Mauna Loa Methane Measure Shows Rising Rates of Increase Through End 2014

Mauna Loa Methane early December

(Atmospheric methane levels as measured at the Mauna Loa Observatory. Image source: NOAA/ESRL.)

Atmospheric methane levels as measured by the Mauna Loa Observatory (MLO) showed a continued steepening rate of increase through late 2014 — featuring one rather troubling spike late last month.

The measure, which has been recording atmospheric methane levels since the middle of the 20th Century, continued to ramp higher with readings hitting an average of 1850 parts per billion by late November.

Notably, this increase is at a faster pace than yearly averages for all of the last decade.

In addition, a single spike to 1910 parts per billion took place last month. This large departure of 60 parts per billion above the average was somewhat unusual for the Mauna Loa measure. The collection site is rather far from human or Arctic emissions sources which makes it less likely to feature anomalous spikes due to local influences. This particular spike also represents the largest single departure from the base line measure since 1984 (when the ESRL record begins).

Overall drivers of the more recent increase in global methane levels beginning around 2007 come from an increase in human emissions (likely due to rising rates of fossil fuel exploitation — primarily through hydrofracking and coal mining) as well as what appears to also be an increase in Arctic emissions. Large methane sources in Siberia, over the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, in the Laptev Sea, the Nares Strait, and west of Svalbard have been observed in both satellite monitors and through observations taken by scientists and researchers on the ground. Overall, a significant overburden of greenhouse gasses centers on the Arctic and appears to be enhanced by local carbon (methane and CO2) sources in the region.

More comprehensive measurements of methane releases over Alaska (according to NASA JPL), on the other hand, have not yet shown methane release departures above the global norm for land areas. But the observational record for Alaska composes just one year (2012), so there is no way to yet determine if permafrost carbon and methane releases from the tundra in that region increased to achieve their current rates. It is worth noting generally that the terrestrial zone for Alaska and its off shore region are not, as yet, major carbon release hot spots.

Global Warming Potential at Least 20 Times CO2

Methane (CH4) is an important greenhouse gas due to the fact that its global warming potential (GWP) over short periods is much higher when compared to a similar volume of CO2 (most measures consider the GWP of methane to be 20 times that of a similar volume of CO2). That said, methane’s residence time in the atmosphere is much shorter than CO2 and CO2 volumes are much larger. So CO2 is considered to be a more important gas when it comes to long term climate change. Nonetheless, CH4 increases since the start of the industrial revolution put it as the #2 gas now forcing the world to warm.

Very large outbursts of CH4 from the global carbon store (including terrestrial and ocean stores) during the Permian and PETM are hypothesized to have set off very rapid increases in global temperature. For some prominent researchers, this potential hazard is seen to be very low under current warming conditions. Others, however, seem very concerned that a rapid methane outburst under the very fast rate of human warming could be a tipping point we are fast approaching.

Observations in a Murky Scientific Context

It is important to note that the current profile of atmospheric methane increase does not yet look like one of catastrophic release. Instead, what we see is an overall ramping up of atmospheric levels.

The issue of catastrophic release potential — raised by Peter Wadhams, the Arctic Methane Emergency Group, and Dr. Simeletov and Shakhova among others — is not one that is certain or settled in the science.

As an example, Dr. Shakhova identifies a substantial but non-catastrophic 17 megaton atmospheric release from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (equal to about 8 percent of the human emission and a substantial increase from a previous estimate of 8 megatons per year in 2010) as currently ongoing. However, both Simeletov and Shakhova have been the object of criticism due to their identification of a risk of a 3.5 gigaton per year methane release should all the East Siberian Arctic Shelf methane hot spots become active. Such a release would, in one year, nearly double the amount of all methane currently in the atmosphere (5 gigatons).

Dr. Peter Wadhams, another Arctic expert, has also received criticism for his assessment that a 50 gigaton release from the large subsea Arctic methane stores could be possible as sea ice retreat spurs Arctic Ocean sea floors to warm.

Other scientists such as GISS lead Gavin Schmidt and prominent Earth Systems modeler David Archer have noted that such very large releases aren’t currently likely. They point to natural traps that tend to tamp down sea based release rates (sometimes stopping as much as 90 percent of a destabilized methane source from hitting the atmosphere). They also note that current warming has probably not yet exceeded levels seen during the Eemian (130,000 years ago) and no large methane releases were observed at that time from Arctic carbon stores like the ESAS. They tend to take the view that any increasing rate of release coming from Arctic methane stores in particular and Arctic carbon stores in general will be very slow — so slow as to not be a significant amplifier of human warming (less than 5 percent) this century.

In general, between these two rather extreme and increasingly polarized views on Arctic methane, there appears to be very little in the way of middle ground. Although, a loosely related survey of permafrost carbon experts found a consensus opinion that the total carbon emission (including CO2 and methane) from land based tundra alone would equal between 10 and 35 percent of the current annual human emission by the end of this Century. It’s worth noting that this survey assessment does not include potential releases from the submerged permafrost in the ESAS or releases from other global carbon stores as a result of human warming.

The current rapid pace of human-caused warming — heating some regions of the Arctic as fast as 0.5 to 1 C per decade — also caused some of Archer and Schmidt’s scientific forebears, particularly James Hansen, to be rather less dismissive of the potential for a significant release from global methane stores, especially those in the Arctic. In any case, current human greenhouse gas emissions of nearly 50 gigatons CO2e each year are now in the process of pushing global temperatures past Eemian thresholds. An excession likely to elevate Anthropocene temperatures beyond all Eemian estimates before the mid 2030s under current rates of global greenhouse gas emissions and expected increases in fossil fuel burning.

So it is in this murky scientific context that we must interpret risks involving a continuing and apparently ramping rate of atmospheric methane increase. And what we can say with certainty is that there is little evidence that we are now hitting an exponential rise in global atmospheric methane levels. But that there is some evidence that a risk for such an event is real and requires much more detailed research and public dissemination of information to put what are some very valid concerns to rest.

Links:

NOAA ESRL

Alaska Methane Survey by JPL

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494 Comments

  1. Raymond DeBrane

     /  December 8, 2014

    If methane release from the Arctic is similar to boiling water in a pot on the stove, then over a short period of time the methane will erupt in mass just as it only takes a short period of time to bring water to a boil. Only time will tell just how fast the methane is released in great amounts.

    Reply
    • It’s an object of continued concern for me. My fear is that we are at a similar place now on carbon store response to where we were in the 80s to 90s on ice sheet response. We’re now learning that those ice sheet (stability) assumption were far too conservative and keep having to adjust accordingly.

      On a related note, I just got an email from Martin Kakobsson of SWERUS C3 and he notes that draft reports on some of the ‘more pressing research issues’ will be out this spring. So we can look forward to that.

      Reply
      • tristedrille

         /  December 9, 2014

        Hello, Mr Scribbler.
        I’m really pleased to hear news about datas collected from Swerus expedition. I wouldn’t say they overhelmed media so far.
        By the way, Noaa esrl Tiksi methane concentration graph has been, at last, updated. I let you have a look, if you didn’t. End of the year seemed pretty concerning to me…
        Glad to read you,
        Regards

        Reply
        • I did see the Tiksi graph — on the upswing to 1950 ppb, might hit 1960 at peak this winter. 3 years now in that record.

    • Powerful 940 mb low just bombed out off Greenland. Has to be one of the strongest North Atlantic storms on record for this time of year. Storm track model brings it over Iceland, skirting Scottish coasts and surging into Scandinavia as a double barrel 970 mb system by Friday. England is lucky the storm track is still a bit to the north. This thing is a beast.

      Meridonal moisture and wind feed into this storm stretches all the way from 20 North Latitude to Iceland. Just a huge, huge frontal storm with that 940 mb storm as the anchor off the SE tip of greenland.

      Reply
      • Griffin

         /  December 9, 2014

        I have seen some concerns for serious coastal damage from wave action in Ireland from that storm Robert.

        Reply
      • Spike

         /  December 9, 2014

        Arne Vogler, of Lews Castle College UHI, said: “The coming storm has the potential to hit us with higher waves than the most severe event we have observed under the Hebridean Marine Energy Futures project.

        “Wave buoys and acoustic sensors that were deployed on 4 February 2013 off the Isle of Lewis had recorded extreme waves with maximum wave heights in excess of 25m observed at a location 15km north-west of Lewis.

        “I am anticipating similar or even slightly higher wave heights tomorrow, due to the combination of different atmospheric pressure systems and the long fetch across the Atlantic in which the waves can build up.”

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-30393614

        Reply
  2. “A new study by researchers at the University of Exeter has found early warning signals of a reorganisation of the Atlantic oceans’ circulation which could have a profound impact on the global climate system.

    The research, published today in the journal Nature Communications, used a simulation from a highly complex model to analyse the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), an important component of the Earth’s climate system.

    It showed that early warning signals are present up to 250 years before it collapses, suggesting that scientists could monitor the real world overturning circulation for the same signals.”

    http://phys.org/news/2014-12-early-abrupt-climate.html

    Reply
  3. wili

     /  December 8, 2014

    RS, I believe that Shcindel et al. in:
    Shindell, D.T., G. Faluvegi, D.M. Koch, G.A. Schmidt, N. Unger, and S.E. Bauer, 2009:

    “Improved attribution of climate forcing to emissions.”

    Science, 326, 716-718, doi:10.1126/science.1174760.

    http://www.see.ed.ac.uk/~shs/Climate%20change/Data%20sources/Shindell%20methane.pdf found

    Calculated the Global Warming Potential for methane to be 105 times that of CO2 over decadal time scale, and some 35 times over century time scales.

    Further amplification would happen with very rapid release of methane, since the atmospheric hydroxyl crucial for its breakdown would be depleted. (Sorry, couldn’t find the paper on that one right off the bat.) So you might want to adjust some of those numbers in your (as usual, excellent) main post.

    Reply
    • wili

       /  December 8, 2014

      Of course, as always, I could be wrong!

      Another thing I could be wrong about: I thought it was Shakhova who brought up the possibility of a sudden ’50 gigaton release’ in a lecture she gave.

      Also, iirc, you should add Mann to the list of scientists that don’t think catastrophic release of methane from ESAS can be ruled out. (Again, sorry not to have links to sources handy. If I have time, I’ll try rooting around tonight, unless someone else can put their sticky fingers on them first!)

      Reply
      • Wadhams wrote a letter to Nature on the issue of the 50 GT release. I wouldn’t be surprised if Shakhova also mentioned it in a talk. She brought up the possibility of. 3.5 GT annual release as early as 2010-2011.

        Reply
    • There’s quite a few GWP numbers floating around. I’m using IPCC. But Shindell, might be a better fit.

      Reply
  4. Barry Danilow

     /  December 8, 2014

    And it looks like, just today, CO2 has surpassed 400ppm for the first time this cycle (if the measurement holds):

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/weekly.html

    …which didn’t occur until March of this past year (due to the annual cycles and fluctuations), and first only briefly crossed it (in recorded/human history) the year/cycle before. At this rate, by next year (or the year after), it won’t be dipping below 400ppm at all.

    Reply
  5. Griffin

     /  December 9, 2014

    Robert, I found this very interesting for the damage from an average winter storm. I realize that astronomical ideas are running high but it sure looks like time is running thin for many locations on the outer banks.http://outerbanksvoice.com/2014/12/08/coastal-storms-sand-overwash-close-n-c-12-on-hatteras/

    Reply
  6. eugene

     /  December 9, 2014

    Often I feel like I’m on the Titanic and somebody has just come from the breach reporting the amount of water coming in. A guy sitting at the bar says “It can’t possibly be happening” followed by long academic rationalizations as to why he’s right. I think some of these people need to go look.

    Reply
  7. Andy in San Diego

     /  December 9, 2014

    XMas idea….

    BP oil spill snow globe.

    http://fancy.com/things/260810945/BP-Oil-Spill-Snow-Globes

    Reply
  8. Apneaman

     /  December 9, 2014

    Extinction Rate Rivals That of Dinosaurs, 2014 Likely Hottest Year Ever

    http://truth-out.org/news/item/27869-extinction-rate-rivals-that-of-dinosaurs-2014-likely-hottest-year-ever

    Reply
    • A good overview of ongoing threats and impacts. I see the Royal Society is playing with the geo engineering beast. Sewing clouds with sea salt. May as well just salt the Earth.

      Reply
  9. Spike

     /  December 9, 2014

    Coal seam gas field in Australia reported here to be producing local levels of CH4 up to 6890 ppb and CO2 541ppm. The CH4 and CO2 δ13C source values showed distinct differences within and outside the production field, indicating a CH4 source within the production field that has a δ13C signature comparable to the regional CSG.

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11270-014-2216-2

    Reply
  10. Ouse M.D.

     /  December 9, 2014

    Prof. McPherson and Prof. Beckwith not mentioned at all.
    Both say- based on data – if not mistaken- Greenland samples of PETM that a 5 C increase is possible with a short span of 13 years.
    CO2 alone is not capable of such rapid heating. So , methane stores could be more vulnerable than according to IPCC.

    Reply
    • Cheers Ouse. The question for me on this one is this — is Guy or Beckwith involved in published observational or model based science on this issue. To my knowledge, it’s mostly a kind of meta analysis coming from both. Not that meta analysis isn’t important, but I’m looking at base science (papers etc) for the purpose on this article. If Beckwith published a peer reviewed paper on the 13 C short span temperature rise, then by all means post the link and I’ll take a look to have it included.

      Reply
      • Robert, the paper they are quoting is here:

        http://www.pnas.org/content/110/40/15908.abstract

        But other scientists (e.g. Zachos) don’t agree and I think the same – 5°C of GLOBAL temperature rise in 13 years is non-sense,

        best,

        Alex

        Reply
        • Yeah. I don’t see much evidence for that in the paleoclimate record. In any case, so long as we have ice sheets the negative feedbacks from their melt can also put the breaks on atmospheric warming.

          PS apologies for the nonsense spam. Don’t know how it got through.

      • wili

         /  December 10, 2014

        “5°C of GLOBAL temperature rise in 13 years”

        Well, if something caused all aerosol emissions to stop, we would have a global temperature rise of between .5 to 2 degrees C within weeks to months, iirc.

        If that prompted (or was prompted by, or just happened to coincide with) a sudden catastrophic methane emission (or a series of them) of the sort that Shakhova and Wadhams are talking about, I would think we would be able to get rather close to that level of temperature rise in something like that time frame, especially with some positive feedbacks kicking in.

        I would think it would take quite a few years or decades for enough ice to melt into the sea to start exerting the kind of negative feedback that rs is talking about, but maybe not.

        Reply
  11. Spike

     /  December 9, 2014

    May be worth signposting this article on Arctic methane in the UK press about 18months ago which has lots of useful links. Interesting to see the Met Office review of the situation was not dismissive of the potential for significant to severe release.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2013/aug/05/7-facts-need-to-know-arctic-methane-time-bomb

    Reply
    • Thanks for the link, Spike. I’ll look at including it above. I generally don’t see too much dismissive ness coming from the broader community on the issue. I’d say the overall tone is one of cautious concern. Inevitability and dismissiveness are the more rare alternatives.

      Reply
  12. Neil Gundel

     /  December 9, 2014

    Let’s say the odds are a thousand to one we don’t initiate another Great Dying in the 21st century. Should we relax and let the GOP block Obama’s carbon rules? The Market will figure it out, right?

    Look at it this way: If Southwest Airlines* had only a 99.9% chance of landing safely, they would have 4 fatal crashes every day. How much would you need to save to fly an airline with those odds? What if you knew the crash would be in slow motion with 8 billion passengers on board? Would you call for elimination of the FAA?

    Excellent article!

    (*to pick an airline at random)

    Reply
  13. Ouse M.D.

     /  December 9, 2014

    http://climatedesk.org/2013/12/us-navy-predicts-summer-ice-free-arctic-by-2016/

    I guess this will certainly get us pretty close to that rapid methane store destabilization scenario…

    Reply
    • Wadhams is now in the 2020 range.

      An ice free Arctic during summers would heighten the risk. Although with cloudier summers for 2013 and 2014, we’ve seen a bit of a false pause in losses. And GIS melt together with a continually weakening Gulf Stream provide some cause to look for these negative feedbacks fighting against the late summer melt trend from here on out.

      Reply
  14. Kevin Jones

     /  December 9, 2014

    NOAA/ESRL also shows a larger than recent seasonal CH4 spike at Easter Island. I like Archer’s The Long Thaw very much and wonder if we spend too much focus on century long timelines. After all Nature has a better memory than humans and no statuate of limitations.

    Reply
    • The Century timescale is an artificial constraint that has tended to distort the science. We should focus on what will probably happen overall. Then set benchmarks on that temporal arc. We can then issue warnings based on both what will happen soon and on what will happen later.

      If we don’t any future generation that survives to look back at us will hate us for our combination of greed and myopia. Planning for the Century timescale could best be described as a sales pitch to global corporations and economic interests. Well, it’s pretty clear that the outreach to those interests was an abysmal failure.

      We’re not going to sell this to those invested in oil, gas, coal. We need to look beyond these destructive systems and speak directly to people — who if they know the truth will fight to turn away from a kind of consumerism that is clearly laying waste to just about everything.

      Reply
  15. Kevin Jones

     /  December 9, 2014

    (sp) statute…

    Reply
  16. Mark from New England

     /  December 9, 2014

    In the dismal world of American politics, here’s a story from today’s Boston Globe on Senator Inofe’s nefarious plans when it comes to environmental protection and climate change:

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2014/12/09/senator-james-inhofe-congress-most-outspoken-climate-denier-prepares-take-environment-gavel-promises-thwart-obama-regulations/8T7JivZPSoFYskneW1hffI/story.html

    Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  December 9, 2014

      Koch will chair the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works via proxy.

      “People and political committees associated with Koch Industries, the energy company, have been his largest individual contributor over the course of his career.”

      Lobbyists/Corporations own the government via contributions (graft). Is it even possible now to claw the nation back so it belongs to the people?

      Reply
      • A good question, Andy.

        The fossil fuel industry is waging war against both democracy and our future. Do we have any rational choice, as the inheritors of a liberty they would strip from us, but to fight it with every scrap of power and influence we still hold?

        When we look at the world about us. At all the terrible blows to our world and to the life in it, I think it is plain for all to see that there is no worse brand of tyranny. A fossil fuel tyranny that forces people, as they consume, to lay waste to all that is good and whole.

        They’ve turned so much of humankind into destroyers of the Earth. We should refuse them. Cast them out for the horrors that they are.

        This simply cannot stand.

        Reply
      • “Is it even possible now to claw this nation back…?”

        Left and Roght will HAVE to join forces if the desire to replace or even revamp the system will have any chance of success.

        Reply
    • Inhofe — going to bat for the oil, gas, and coal corps that are playing him like some kind of diabolical marionette.

      I see a long train of vetoes on the way. And good. Because the American people need to know what these republican bozos really stand for. They are a force for extinction all unto themselves.

      Reply
  17. Andy in San Diego

     /  December 9, 2014

    A piece on extinction and a rather bright fellow who knows a lot about the subject.

    http://news.mongabay.com/2007/0312-interview_peter_raven.html

    Reply
  18. Is a similar situation like last year unfolding?

    Extreme Winter Storms Northern Europe December 2014 http://climatestate.com/2014/12/09/extreme-winter-storms-northern-europe-december-2014/

    Reply
    • At least for now. This storm is one of the most powerful recorded in the North Atlantic basin, ever. Looks like we may see something similar to last year’s record spate of extreme UK weather. Batten down the hatches…

      Reply
  19. Warmer Pacific Ocean could release millions of tons of seafloor methane

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/12/141209101257.htm

    Researchers found that water off the coast of Washington is gradually warming at a depth of 500 meters, about a third of a mile down. That is the same depth where methane transforms from a solid to a gas. The research suggests that ocean warming could be triggering the release of a powerful greenhouse gas.

    “We calculate that methane equivalent in volume to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is released every year off the Washington coast,” said Evan Solomon, a UW assistant professor of oceanography. He is co-author of a paper to appear in Geophysical Research Letters.

    Reply
    • David — this is also a zone of increasingly more dangerous ocean anoxia. We may be looking at a hydrogen sulfide event for this region in the coming years.

      Reply
  20. Phil S

     /  December 9, 2014

    Come to Queensland if you want to escape the escalating impacts of AGW. Seems, if you close your eyes hard enough, we’ve got nothing to worry about.
    http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-09/seeney-removes-climate-change-references-from-council-plan/5954914

    My thanks and best wishes to the Scribbler and all contributors

    Reply
  21. Wharf Rat

     /  December 9, 2014

    Weather whiplash

    Huge Rainstorm Poised to Ease California’s Thirst
    By: Dr. Jeff Masters ,

    The wettest storm to affect the U.S. West Coast since 2009 is gathering strength over the Pacific Ocean, and promises to bring much-needed drought relief to thirsty California Wednesday through Friday. Rainfall amounts of 3 – 8 inches are expected over most of Northern California, with snowfall amounts of 1 – 3 feet predicted in the Sierra Mountains. As noted by Wunderground weather historian Christopher C. Burt in his Monday post, California Drought Situation Improves, this week’s storm may be the strongest and wettest storm to hit the region since October 2009, when the last major ‘pineapple express’ soaked the state.

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2877

    Reply
    • It’s an interesting dance right now. The approach of this storm is slow — fighting that warm water and related warm air bulge. But it does like it will get through to Northern California. So another soaking likely on the way.

      Reply
  22. Jay M

     /  December 9, 2014

    Hey, let’s not leave Cali out of the picture–the weatherheads on teevee say the Thursday storm may be disruptive–high winds and of course rain. We are at about a third of annual rainfall already in SF, I think RS said that the high seemed to be moving towards the midwest. Maybe have a crop impact if it stays there? Need quite a bit more than average here to really break the drought, and the snow levels are high so far, which is a needed water reserve to feed the reservoirs during the summer.

    Reply
    • GFS shows very warm ridge building in through the central US (Oklahoma north shows temperatures in the range of 13-30 degrees F above average) through central and eastern Canada by this Saturday. West Coast through Alaska to stay warmer than average, but the very high departures are in this central zone.

      No indication yet on persistence. But it is a shift we didn’t see much of last year.

      As for moisture, Nor Cal looks like it gets slammed. SoCal still waits for more consistent relief.

      Reply
  23. Anthropocene

     /  December 9, 2014

    Is it not the case that the massive CH4 release is not required to make the increasing CH4 atmosphere content bad enough news. Take the options:
    1)Most of the additional emissions come from human fossil fuel extraction especially natural gas. In order to keep under the 1000Gt limit the strategy is to initially pick the low-hanging fruit e.g. switch electricity production from coal to natural gas. This would (hopefully) give time to tackle the more difficult areas in which to cut emissions e.g. agriculture, air travel. In this scenario this strategy looks like a busted flush. A rough calc. is 10ppb CH4 increase per year = approx 300ppb C02e increase = 10% of current human additions to the atmosphere.
    2) CH4 is coming from natural sources. This most probably means that CH4 emissions will increase exponentially throughout the century. This would mean that human emissions have to be reduced even more aggressively than the existing models show. We would struggle to reduce emissions at the same rate as the CH4 emissions increase. Running to standstill.

    Reply
    • Good points. Under the base case scenario from the permafrost researcher survey we end up with 100+ megatons per year of methane from terrestrial permafrost alone. This does not include ocean stores.

      Reply
  24. Well according to Dr Hansen (Storms of My Grandchildren, it took just 1 GT of methane per annum for a thousand years with a repeat after a thousand-year intermission (2000 GT total over 3000 years) to cause the PETM extinction.

    Just how many GT per year of the same gas are we now throwing up into the atmosphere?

    Reply
    • The human methane emission is a bit less than 1 GT — at about 220 mt. Total carbon emission exceeds 10 GT, which is more than ten times faster than the PETM. Though the majority is CO2, which is little cause to celebrate due to CO2’s long residence time.

      Reply
  25. james cole

     /  December 9, 2014

    Just giving some thought to the recent crash in oil prices. The economic reasons and political reasons are pretty well reported, the climate impacts are not. If this is a play by the biggest oil producers to gain market share and also kill alternative energy, it would seem to be a rational reason for them to drive prices to the basement long enough to kill competition off and leave oil as the last man standing. Weakening global economies, despite what CNBC reports, are one reason, but I think most of this drop is well planned as part of the oil producers to sink the alternative and also shale and tar sands. Kill two birds with one stone. Obviously with rising populations and 3rd world development, low oil prices can’t be a long term prospect outside of a couple years. Cheap oil encourages USE, more use and use in replace of anything more costly. $60 a barrel is low enough to kill many alternatives. My bottom line is this is climate negative, ensuring oil and fossil carbon remain the major players for decades to come. Climate seems to have no advocates with any real power, the mad race to oblivion picks up speed, People say the 21st century is becoming a refutation of the enlightenment, and the scientific method the enlightenment so championed. Given the economic blogs I read, and the people I interact with, I would say the Dark Ages are not nearly so far removed from modern life as many care to believe.
    Low oil, means more oil burned. The CO2 is being locked in for steady rise for decades. Honestly, does anyone see a hint that the Powers That Be, the 1%, favor any actions?

    Reply
    • mikkel

       /  December 10, 2014

      I think it will be a real challenge to alt-energy but now oil (and most fossil fuels in general) cost more on a system basis than renewables. I’m not even talking about pricing externalities, merely the community side impact with current pricing.

      This is because there are very few fossil fuel players, it is extremely capital intensive, and it is geographically limited. This means that few people are employed and tax base is only affected in a few areas (which of course means it’s prone to sweetheart deal corruption). Focus on renewables/energy efficiency provides many more high valued jobs spread throughout all communities, and the ability to scale in means that the communities can fund deployment themselves. In this sense, it is one of the best tools against wealth inequality.

      Whether this view catches on or not is still uncertain, as it requires cooperation across the community, but there is no reason to choose to remain on fossil fuels even from a current cost perspective.

      Reply
    • I’d say this is more mixed.

      If we first look at what drove consumption down, we can look directly at a combination of energy efficiency, alternative energy, and stagnating economic growth (now in Asia). In most industrial countries, CAFE is rising due to higher and higher fuel efficiency standards together with increasing adoption of alternate fuel vehicles, EVs and hybrids. The net effect of these forces is that demand for oil is not growing.

      One other piece is that even at 60 dollars per barrel oil is a bad deal. It’s still more than twice as much as a barrel equivalent of electricity and even ethanol can compete from many markets with oil at that price.

      That said, the low prices do encourage both more consumption and increasing dependence. But the situation is now different in that it also damages the high cost producers, resulting in crimps in production and bringing a return to high prices sooner. What we would expect is for oil sands and fracking producers to first shelve new projects and then to cap high cost wells/mining pits that are no longer bringing a profit.

      There’s some slack, so these supply chain issues will probably take until mid 2015 to tighten up, at which point, we would expect prices to come back a bit. But with the potential oversupply at 1.5 to 2mbpd if all new projects come online is a big deal, one that may rapidly crush the cash poor unconventional fossil fuel producers very rapidly.

      In addition, this crunch is coming at a time when fracking producers are having trouble selling natural gas due to completion from both coal and renewables. Coal has always been low cost. But we have a new situation where residential solar power and ramping efficiencies, especially in lighting costs, is shrinking the size of the power market. So again, fracking producers feel the crunch. And at least half of that crunch comes from renewables/efficiencies.

      Back to the oil side, we find scores of EV charging stations cropping up with Tesla, Sunpower, and even some utilities jumping into the game. The net effect now is small, but it represents the start of a sea change in which renewables are a more attractive and economical option than unconventional fossil fuels — especially to buyers in certain markets (luxury and sport).

      In this case, renewables which have economic synergies and broader advantages than unconventional fuels are in a stronger position, competitively speaking. So I think it likely that a combination of conventional oil, efficiencies, and renewables are in place to eat unconventional oil and gas’s lunch.

      Expect the dirty fuel companies to push backers to create laws penalizing and taxing renewable energy use and to try to generate subsidy support for these most dangerous fuels.

      Solar will continue to swim upstream against this political resistance due to falling panel and installation prices, due to the fact that most homeowners can save money now by installing solar power, and due to the fact that power companies will look to shore up their dwindling market share by supplying the growing vehicle to grid market.

      Finally, solar is also gradually eating the diesel and oil powered electricity generation market for lunch due to the fact that these fuels are, even now, far more expensive than solar. We see this in Hawaii, other island nations, India, and China where small and medium sized liquid fuel generators are far more common.

      This is the first demand destruction driven slide for oil prices. But it is not the last. With so many viable competitors for oil arising — solar, vehicle to grid, advanced biofuels, rapidly increasing efficiencies — the pressure will fall more and more beyond the price margin.

      Slow or fast, that’s the trend. Hopefully it will be very fast. We don’t have time for oil and other fossil fuels to make a resurgence. It’s time to start putting these dangerous assets to bed.

      Reply
    • Griffin

       /  December 11, 2014

      James I sure do see your point and I agree with you. I would like to add one more bird to your bag though. Russia is dealt a heavy blow with the falling price of oil. No matter if it is only a temporary drop in price, the timing is bad for Putin and his attempt at a resurgence of Russian influence in Europe. It would be great if Europe would seize the opportunity to increase efficiencies and renewable power generation to rid themselves of the ties to Russian gas and oil. It would be good for them and the planet. But I am sure that Western leaders are more than happy to see a drop in Russian revenues right now. Anyway, I agree with you that it doesn’t help the case for renewables here in our land of rejoice at the pump.

      Reply
  26. RWood

     /  December 10, 2014

    Counterintuitive or plain contrary to the threat of resurgence (though I don’t have Prof. Bardi’s timeline in mind):
    http://cassandralegacy.blogspot.com/

    Reply
  27. Andy in San Diego

     /  December 10, 2014

    Interesting piece regarding the CEO of Unilever in Lima Peru speaking.

    The speaker was pointing a finger of blame at one of the most environmentally damaging industries on earth. In doing so, Paul Polman, the CEO of England-and-Netherlands-based Unilever, the world’s second-largest consumer goods conglomerate, was in essence pointing a finger at himself. It was both disarming and, well, breathtaking.

    “For those of us in the food sector, like my company, we know that climate change cannot be tackled without a fundamental change in the way that agriculture – the world’s oldest and largest industry – is practiced,” Polman told an audience of several hundred.

    http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2014/12/08/the-saving-face-of-corporate-climate-change/

    Reply
  28. Colorado Bob

     /  December 10, 2014

    First El Niño in five years declared by Japan’s weather bureau

    Agency becomes first major meteorological bureau to declare weather phenomenon which can bring severe droughts to south-east Asia and Australia

    Link

    Reply
    • climatehawk1

       /  December 10, 2014

      Interesting, I’d have to say wait and see. Hard to know whether any meteorological phenomenon works the way it has in the past. MHO.

      Reply
  29. Kevin Jones

     /  December 10, 2014

    Word of the Day: Kaputilism

    Reply
  30. Kevin Jones

     /  December 10, 2014

    Deja vu, all over again. Chicken Little was right, according to my overhead sky. Bloomberg says “The Markets are Falling”, according to their data. Brent and WTI are in a race to the bottom, approaching the $50’s……Just like Woodstock ’69….Free Love, Free Food, Free Oil & 32.9 cent/gal. gasoline! To go along with Free Beer ! (tomorrow….always tomorrow..) Either The Future has slowed down or The Anthropocene has accelerated. Thank AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM , there are no consequences at this banquet!

    Reply
  31. Colorado Bob

     /  December 11, 2014

    No laughing matter: Nitrous oxide rose at end of last ice age

    An international team of scientists analyzed air extracted from bubbles enclosed in ancient polar ice from Taylor Glacier in Antarctica, allowing for the reconstruction of the past atmospheric composition. The analysis documented a 30 percent increase in atmospheric nitrous oxide concentrations from 16,000 years ago to 10,000 years ago. This rise in N2O was caused by changes in environmental conditions in the ocean and on land, scientists say, and contributed to the warming at the end of the ice age and the melting of large ice sheets that then existed.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/12/141210131301.htm

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  December 11, 2014

      Atmospheric N2O was roughly 200 parts per billion at the peak of the ice age about 20,000 years ago then rose to 260 ppb by 10,000 years ago. As of 2014, atmospheric N2Owas measured at about 327 ppb, an increase attributed primarily to agricultural influences.

      Reply
  32. Colorado Bob

     /  December 11, 2014

    This entire subject, has made me crazy. I know too much . I am old and sick.

    Reply
  33. Colorado Bob

     /  December 11, 2014

    I am so sorry ,I have to leave to you.

    I can barely keep my ass clean.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  December 11, 2014

      I cleaned asses for years , no one is around to clean mine .

      That is way of the world.

      Reply
  34. Colorado Bob

     /  December 11, 2014

    Do not out live everyone around you , then you become me.

    Reply
  35. Colorado Bob

     /  December 11, 2014

    I am the smartest , nastiest , meanest , Motherfucker you have ever seen. But tonight I am just an old man , all a lone.

    I planned to die decades ago ., i really don’t give a rat’s fuzzy butt.

    Try

    Reply
    • Wharf Rat

       /  December 11, 2014

      ” i really don’t give a rat’s fuzzy butt.”

      I get no respect.

      Rodney DangerRat

      Reply
  36. Colorado Bob

     /  December 11, 2014

    This I am leaving tonight , and don’t rat’s fuzzy butt about any of you, the . entire subject, has made me crazy. I know too much . I am old and sick. And really crazy.

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  December 11, 2014

      Namaste’ Bob. Perhaps there is some(not)thing that transcends all this bullshit here on the physical plane? Even if not, surprises happen, and who knows how the actual future will unfold. I’d rather you not take leave of us in any sense, but I certainly don’t know your situation. Best anyways.

      Reply
    • utoutback

       /  December 11, 2014

      Whatever happens, I am thankful for your presence. “Carry on my wayward son.”

      Reply
    • climatehawk1

       /  December 11, 2014

      If you really are leaving, sorry to hear it. Thanks for your tremendous contribution.

      Reply
    • Jacob

       /  December 11, 2014

      Old or crazy, your contributions here and elsewhere have been invaluable, Bob.

      I find the direction our society is going to be true madness, not you.

      Reply
    • Apneaman

       /  December 12, 2014

      It’s not you that’s crazy Bob, it’s 99.99% of the world thats fucked up.

      “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti

      Reply
    • Griffin

       /  December 12, 2014

      Hopefully you are still checking in on us CB. Hopefully it was just a rough night. You are not alone, you have us that look forward to your contributions every day. Yes, you know too much, but we hope you stick with us for the ride.

      Reply
    • Sorry to see you go, CB.
      Maybe I will see you on the other side.
      DT

      Reply
  37. Met Office has ocean surface temps this Nov at .48 C vs 2013 .42. This makes the ocean surface temps once again the warmest on record for November 2014.

    Reply
  38. Tom

     /  December 11, 2014

    Colorado Bob: I hear you, man. Thanks for sharing your perspective and research over the years – I appreciate it. When it’s time to vacate, go in peace, you did what you could. You’ll be missed. What’s on the way pretty much guarantees we’ll be along shortly.

    Reply
  39. RWood

     /  December 11, 2014

    “This dewdrop world
    is but a dewdrop world
    and yet–”
    Issa, quoted by Gary Snyder

    Reply
  40. wili

     /  December 11, 2014

    Thanks for everything, Bob. I have linked more of your posts to other forums than probably anyone else’s. You’ll be missed here. Do take care.

    Reply
  41. Colorado Bob, I have read your posts on numerous sites these last few years, and found you a source of sanity. Sanity in a mad world comes at a price. Peace, now and always.

    Reply
  42. Jay M

     /  December 12, 2014

    Currently getting the moisture fetch to deliver a healthy amount of precipitation to the California project

    Reply
  43. Robert In New Orleans

     /  December 12, 2014

    Methane Peak = Dragons Breath? 😦

    Unlike Smaug, this dragon is for real and we will all get burned.

    Reply
  44. Steve Bloom

     /  December 12, 2014

    Robert, I wanted to remind you about my request in a prior thread for a pointer. Having now had a chance to read the Levitus paper, I also want to ask if we can be sure that the cooling around 60S in the Atlantic is even resulting in downwelling on a scale that might affect Antarctica. They don’t say so. FWIW I notice that there’s much stronger cooling around 50N, which IIRC isn’t associated with increased downwelling.

    Reply
  45. From this article — that shows why I like plants and get very concerned when things go obviously wrong with this sort of simple botanical process:
    “A plant, for example, absorbs extremely energetic sunlight, uses it to build sugars, and ejects infrared light, a much less concentrated form of energy. The overall entropy of the universe increases during photosynthesis as the sunlight dissipates, even as the plant prevents itself from decaying by maintaining an orderly internal structure.”

    And something related to our climate talks:
    ” Eventually, the system arrives at a state of maximum entropy called “thermodynamic equilibrium,” in which energy is uniformly distributed. A cup of coffee and the room it sits in become the same temperature, for example.”

    Read more: http://www.quantamagazine.org/20140122-a-new-physics-theory-of-life/#ixzz3LkIx9WSc

    Reply
  46. Robert, NASA LOTI updated Nov .65, other months changed, average for first 11 months of year 66.7 anamoly.

    Reply
  47. Andy in San Diego

     /  December 13, 2014

    Dec is pretty close to 1/2 over.

    Sao Paolo normal for Dec. ~221 mm rain. They’ve had 39mm so far this December. They are getting roughly 25% of normal so far this month.

    Main reservoir down to 7.4% of full pool.

    Reply
  48. Colorado Bob

     /  December 14, 2014

    Sorry for the insult the other night to all of you. I do care what happens to all of us. But this mindless drive we have to turn nature into “profits” , and my powerlessness to stop it , just ran over me like a cross town bus .

    Reply
  49. Colorado Bob

     /  December 14, 2014

    Why I am so sad and crazy –

    Fingers pointed as climate talks deadlock
    Accusations flew at deadlocked UN climate talks in Lima on Saturday, as the United States warned that failure to compromise could doom the 22-year-old global forum.

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-12-fingers-climate-deadlock.html#jCp

    If governments fail us , the next model under that are warlords.

    Reply
    • utoutback

       /  December 14, 2014

      C Bob –
      I understand completely. Someone asked me about my position once and I responded that my default position was melancholy.
      But, my actions are do no harm and love thy neighbor (even the ones that drive me crazy).
      Nice to see you back here.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  December 14, 2014

        utoutback
        Thanks , this so hard we have no idea what we are losing . And what poorer world we are passing along.

        Reply
  50. Colorado Bob

     /  December 14, 2014

    Man’s nature –

    To shoot the last rhino for it’s horn , for profit.

    See the passenger pigeon, we killed everyone by the dawn of the 20th century.

    When Lewis and Clark when down the Ohio River on their way west, the sky sometimes would become dark for 8 hours because these birds were flying.

    Lewis’ dog “Seaman”, jumped out of the boat because tens of thousands of squirrels were swimming the Ohio from the North bank to the South Bank to feed. It was fall, and the water was very low.

    This is called generational amnesia , you don’t remember what we have wiped out just before you were born.

    Perfect example –
    In the 8th grade , I when outside to collect my insect collection , there were dozens of Monarch Butterflies.

    Now, there are none of them , or any of the other insects , I needed to make my bug collection in the 8th grade.

    If one is 18 , there are no Monarch Butterflies.

    generational amnesia

    Reply
    • Spike

       /  December 17, 2014

      Yes the EU was advised by science to reduce fishing quotas 20% – so have increased them 5%.

      Reply
    • Colorado Bob –

      Last year or the year before was the last year I saw Monarch Butterflies in New Orleans.

      And a certain species of Rhinoceros? Only five left, according to one report.

      Reply
  51. Colorado Bob

     /  December 14, 2014

    More tears –

    Obama and IMMIGRATION –

    Central America drought turning into humanitarian crisis, UN warns

    12 December 2014 – A prolonged drought in Central America is turning into a humanitarian crisis for nearly two and a half million people affected by food insecurity in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned today.

    http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=49590#.VI0bNntlT6M

    Watch the planning for this wave of human pain, and tears .

    We will do nothing to keep this wave of human suffering from breaking on our border. Then the right wing will bitch and moan. And call for more guns to make us safe.

    Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  December 14, 2014

      Bob,

      Not anyone can disagree with your feeling the other day. We all get that way from time to time. We see the train in the tunnel, but can’t get people to step off the tracks. And it is really not that complicated, simple cause and effect. We’re the audience for a slow motion genocide of epic proportions, and we see it coming. We tell others who simply ignore the warning for profit, because they can’t be bothered or inconvenienced.

      They will be forced to acknowledge what is occurring eventually, hopefully not too late to mitigate it somewhat.

      We all throw our hands in the air and say “fuckit” from time to time.

      Reply
  52. Ouse M.D.

     /  December 14, 2014

    Another heatwave hitting the Arctic

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

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  December 14, 2014

      That is a great series, nicely done.

      Reply
    • Bill H.

       /  December 14, 2014

      Spike, the graphic showing tide gauge readings round the world is particularly useful for countering the claims of the “distinguished professor” and Global Warming Policy Foundation denizen Nils Axel Moerner. This character claims that tide gauge data which he has “personally” recorded indicate that there is no rise in global sea level.

      As the graphic shows the sea level is indeed falling along the coastline of his country, Sweden, so the “personal” findings are indeed explained and the gross cherry picking revealed.

      Reply
  53. Ouse M.D.

     /  December 14, 2014

    Anybody else noticing the complete and total disappearance of “Weather” header from some of the major news websites? CNN, FOX
    We all should live- and of course produce, work an buy, buy, buy- in the Matrix, according to them

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  December 14, 2014

      In America, the major news outlets on tv seem to be content to leave the weather to the Weather Channel. It works out nice because the Weather Channel is such an absolute joke, such a completely overblown farce of any reasonable information, that most folks just tune it right out. Weather hype has become the best way to get the average person to ignore the fact that there are serious changes to the weather that have already taken place. When there are headlines such as “Monster Storm”, for a system that should be categorized as no more than “some drought relief” for California, then there is the inevitable snap-back of ridicule in social circles. This behavior then plays directly into the hands of those who would rather the general public remain completely ignorant of what is really going on in the big picture. Make the public think it’s a joke and they will tune it right out.

      Reply
      • Mark from New England

         /  December 14, 2014

        Well said.

        Reply
      • anthropocene

         /  December 16, 2014

        Yes good point. In the UK this job is done by such “newspapers” as the Express and Daily Mail. Coincidence that the extreme weather mongers are climate change denialists?

        Reply
        • climatehawk1

           /  December 16, 2014

          This may be mitigated by folks getting their weather info online. That is where I get mine–that and the morning paper. Online info at Weather Underground is much more detailed and accessible as needed.

    • Anthropocene

       /  December 17, 2014

      Yes but that brings even more scary thoughts. If people access weather online then in effect we’ve commoditized extreme weather. I wonder how much their traffic goes up each time their’s a polar vortex.How do you increase your profits? increase production or increase abstraction of the resource. It is in Weather Undergrounds interest for the weather to become more weird, Might explain a lot.

      Reply
      • climatehawk1

         /  December 17, 2014

        Not sure I really see the connection between various methods of accessing weather info and commoditizing it. Why is online more driven by advertising than every other method? And why is TV news dropping it if it is such a draw? TV news shows are certainly not averse to sensationalism.

        Reply
      • Anthropocene

         /  December 23, 2014

        A slightly different angle on the story but Kathryn Miles on http://www.ecoshock.info raises some interesting points on ‘democratisation’ of meteorology. Glad I live in the UK where we have (in the main) the ‘national’ systems model with the Met Office and BBC. Anybody on here know if TTIP impacts meteorology and weather forecasting?

        Reply
  54. Tom

     /  December 14, 2014

    CO Bob: good to see you back – completely understandable reaction to our dying world.

    http://news.yahoo.com/un-climate-talks-peru-seem-headed-overtime-220749283.html

    Deal salvaged at UN climate talks in Peru

    LIMA, Peru (AP) — Climate negotiators salvaged a compromise deal in Lima early Sunday that sets the stage for a global pact in Paris next year, but rejected a rigorous review of the greenhouse gas emissions limits they plan.

    [read the rest: basically it’s watered down, kicking the can down the road again]

    Most of us already know there’s no way out – no political solution, no change to our delusional behavior, and certainly no stopping the civilization juggernaut from it’s current fall off the cliff of reality.

    Reply
    • joni

       /  December 14, 2014

      http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/dec/14/lima-climate-change-talks-reach-agreement

      “Campaigners said the plan was far too weak to limit warming to the internationally agreed limit of 2C above pre-industrial levels, or to protect poor countries from climate change.”

      This deal would be comparable to the one that the bridge crew and captain of the Titanic reached when they noticed that there was an iceberg in their way….. Except for the fact that the crew of the Titanic reacted to the threat immediately after becoming aware of it.

      The international community has had access to lots of good science done on the climate for nearly 40 years now, 20 climate summits, 5 assesment reports with their message only becoming more dire with each iteration. Yet, no real action is happening because developed and then developing countries take turns obstructing the decision making process and watering down the findings of the scientists, only to agree to meaningless “mays” and “mights” at the last minute so they can pat themselves on the back before they go home.

      This “agreement” reached in Lima has ensured COP21 will be a COP15 redux at best.

      Reply
  55. Dave Person

     /  December 14, 2014

    Hi,
    With regard to the Lima conference, science provides the most reliable knowledge of what is, whereas, politics, always transacted through the filters of emotion, perception, culture, ideology, and religion, is the expression of what we wish to believe. In a world in which a growing human foot print determines what is, and increasingly constrains the achievement of what we wish, science and politics will become more disconnected. I foresee a very rough future for climate and ecological scientists unless we can bridge that gap.

    dave

    Reply
  56. Andy in San Diego

     /  December 14, 2014

    Alto Tiete reservoir is not reporting anything today (it s/b at 4.1% per the trend over the past few months). It may be an equipment issue, we’ll see in the next few days if it reports again. If it has in fact stopped, then that one is tapped dry.

    Canteriera is at 7.3%, roughly 45 days of water left.

    http://www2.sabesp.com.br/mananciais/DivulgacaoSiteSabesp.aspx

    Reply
  57. utoutback

     /  December 14, 2014

    Humans being tribal in nature seem to always work towards Self Interest, meaning me, my family, my community, my country. The Nation-state is a disaster. Climate has no borders, let that guy on the other side of the planet suffer and eventually the suffering comes to your doorstep. So, these international (thus by definition competing groups of humans from various geographical and socio-political spaces) become forums for trying to get the best deal I can for me and mine.
    THERE IS NO BEST DEAL! There is only survival or collapse.
    Yikes!

    Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  December 14, 2014

      I think that the order of self, family,community (tribe), nation breaks down in the reverse order as things go awry.

      First to go is nation, then large community (tribe), small community (sub tribe), family, then self.

      I suspect we are seeing this in action already in Somalia, Middle East, various African countries. Basically those less wealthy, as wealth delays the onset of such a deconstruction via social controls (military, police, rule of law).

      As nations lose wealth (thus social controls are underfunded, thus decay to self interest) and reach a threshold, they begin to deconstruct into large communities(tribes), small communities (sub tribes), family, close family, self.

      Wildcard triggers being the 3 true stores of wealth, water, food, shelter.

      Reply
  58. The drought continues to impoverish the people of Central America

    http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=49590#.VI3ov9kgGc0

    Reply
  59. RWood

     /  December 15, 2014

    Might be of some interest here. The second part and comments especially:
    http://cassandralegacy.blogspot.com/

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  December 15, 2014

      It sure can be difficult to talk to folks that have no clue. The seriousness of the subject can very easily cause them to dismiss it outright. They simply cannot accept that you are suggesting that things must change or very bad results are locked in..

      Reply
  60. Andy in San Diego

     /  December 15, 2014

    Northern White Rhino dies, that leaves a sum total of 5 left in the world.

    http://newsok.com/northern-white-rhino-dies-5-left-worldwide/article/5376135

    Reply
  61. RWood

     /  December 15, 2014

    Another take on what we are facing and what we might do:
    http://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/harvest-learning-leave-planet-gracefully/

    Reply
  62. joni

     /  December 15, 2014

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/dec/15/greenland-ice-melt-underestimated-study-says

    “One key effect the lakes have, once they reach a critical size, is to drain through fractures in the ice to reach the ice sheet base. Like a lubricant, the lake water causes the melting ice to slide more rapidly into the ocean.

    The lakes also have a direct impact on ice sheet melting because, being darker than ice, they absorb more of the sun’s heat.

    Lead researcher Dr Amber Leeson, from the University of Leeds’ School of Earth and Environment, said: “Supraglacial lakes can increase the speed at which the ice sheet melts and flows, and our research shows that by 2060 the area of Greenland covered by them will double.

    “When you pour pancake batter into a pan, if it rushes quickly to the edges of the pan, you end up with a thin pancake. It’s similar to what happens with ice sheets: the faster it flows, the thinner it will be.

    “When the ice sheet is thinner, it is at a slightly lower elevation and at the mercy of warmer air temperatures than it would have been if it were thicker, increasing the size of the melt zone around the edge of the ice sheet.”

    Reply
  63. Arctic sea ice volume holds up in 2014

    “What we see is the volume going down and down, but then, because of a relatively cool summer, coming back up to form a new high stand,” said Rachel Tilling from the UK’s Nerc Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM) at University College London (UCL).

    What Tilling and colleagues see in the data is a very strong link between autumn thickness and the degree of melting in a year.

    “You might think, for example, that wind conditions would be important because they can pile the ice up and make it less susceptible to melting, while at the same time exposing more water to freeze,” the University College London researcher explained.

    “But we’ve looked at this and other factors, and by far the highest correlation is with temperature-driven melting.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-30399079

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  December 16, 2014

      7,500 cu km being classified as “holding up” is a bit like saying that a few compartments remaining watertight as the ship goes down can be called “maintaining structural integrity”. We should commend them on the optimism though!

      Reply
      • climatehawk1

         /  December 16, 2014

        Yes, not a particularly good example of science communication. “High stand” sounds like some sort of permanent uptick.

        Reply
  64. climatehawk1

     /  December 15, 2014

    ” Global coal use is on an upwards march despite calls to halt fossil fuels demand at a UN climate summit in Peru and will hit a record 9bn tonnes by 2019, according to the International Energy Agency.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/dec/15/coal-demand-set-to-break-9bn-tonne-barrier-this-decade

    Reply
  65. One has to wonder how much reality religion can grasp… Me, I’ve been moaning about all the cars and tailpipes in the parking lots surrounding our churches — all those emissions in a quest for moral validity. But go to your average school or medical center, and you will see the same. That’s us– homo saps with big brain pans and opposable thumbs but still can’t grasp how very serious, and unforgiving, reality really is.

    Hazy road to Mecca: Severe air pollution spikes during yearly pilgrimage

    Dangerously high levels of air pollutants are being released in Mecca during the hajj, the annual holy pilgrimage in which millions of Muslims on foot and in vehicles converge on the Saudi Arabian city, according to findings reported today at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.

    “Hajj is like nothing else on the planet. You have 3 to 4 million people – a whole good-sized city – coming into an already existing city,” said Isobel Simpson, a UC Irvine research chemist in the Nobel Prize-winning Rowland-Blake atmospheric chemistry laboratory. “The problem is that this intensifies the pollution that already exists. We measured among the highest concentrations our group has ever measured in urban areas – and we’ve studied 75 cities around the world in the past two decades.”

    http://phys.org/news/2014-12-hazy-road-mecca-severe-air.html

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  December 16, 2014

      “Little me. I can have no impact on this world”, said the tiny raindrop in the storm that grew to epic proportions.

      Reply
      • Griffin

         /  December 16, 2014

        Every traveler is convinced that they are not the problem I guess. So they all go.

        Reply
  66. We Could See More And More ‘Hot Droughts’ Like California’s

    Last week, California’s dry spell got a temporary reprieve thanks to an onslaught of Pacific storms. But the storms won’t be enough to turn back the state’s drought — one that, researchers say, is the region’s worst in the last 1,200 years.

    … To compare the current drought’s severity to that of previous ones, University of Minnesota dendrochronologist Daniel Griffin and his colleague Kevin Anchukaitis, a paleoclimatologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, collected tree rings from California blue oaks. “These trees have an exquisite relationship to moisture — when there’s lots of precipitation, they put on a fat ring,” Griffin said. They calibrated those measurements with temperature and precipitation records from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and added data from the North American Drought Atlas, a compilation of drought records constructed from tree ring chronologies over the past 2,000 years.

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/we-could-see-more-and-more-hot-droughts-like-californias/

    Reply
  67. Colorado Bob

     /  December 16, 2014

    Europe’s worst ever sea bird disaster caused by last winter’s storms
    Last winter’s storms saw 50,000 dead sea birds including puffins, guillemots and razorbills wash ashore, researchers say

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/weather/11291281/Europes-worst-ever-sea-bird-disaster-caused-by-last-winters-storms.html

    Reply
  68. Colorado Bob

     /  December 16, 2014

    Greenhouse emissions similar to today’s may have triggered massive temperature rise in Earth’s past

    About 55.5 million years ago, a burst of carbon dioxide raised Earth’s temperature 5°C to 8°C, which had major impacts on numerous species of plants and wildlife. Scientists analyzing ancient soil samples now say a previous burst of the greenhouse gas preceded this event, known as the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum (PETM), and probably triggered it. Moreover, they believe humans are pumping similar levels of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere right now, raising concerns that our own emissions may also destabilize Earth’s climate, triggering the planet to emit devastating bursts of carbon in the future.

    The paper implies that even if we stopped emitting carbon dioxide right now, our descendants might still face huge temperature rises, says paleoclimatologist Gabriel Bowen of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, the lead author of the new research. “It is a possibility,” he says, “and it’s a scary one.”

    AAAS

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  December 16, 2014

      Good find Bob. Looks like we’re setting off a PETM event all over again…

      Reply
    • climatehawk1

       /  December 16, 2014

      Thanks, tweet scheduled on this. I like that it says the planet “quickly returned to normal” when speaking of the 2,000 to 3,000 years after the first pulse. Not hard to see why people have difficulty coming to grips with the scale of what is happening.

      Reply
  69. Colorado Bob

     /  December 16, 2014

    Before and After Photographs Show the Impact of Global Warming on Greenland’s Glaciers

    By analyzing old photographs from the early 1900s and comparing them with contemporary ones, researchers have mapped the retreat of some Greenland glaciers.

    In the example above, the images show changes to a glacier in the vicinity of the Sukkertoppen ice cap in southwest Greenland. By summer 2013 (top), the glacier had retreated by about 3 kilometers (less than two miles) since summer 1935 (bottom), according to researcher Anders Bjørk of the Natural History Museum of Denmark. Both photographs were acquired from aircraft, most recently in an effort by Bjork and colleagues to re-photograph the sites of Greenland’s fast-changing glaciers.

    The historic photographs studied by Bjørk’s team showed a remarkably quick retreat between 1900 and 1930—more rapid than in the past 15 years. The Little Ice Age had lost its grip on the region and temperatures climbed. As the Arctic climate warms again, the information from historic photographs should help researchers understand how quickly glaciers can react to temperature changes.

    Bjørk presented the historic photos and analysis alongside other new insights about Greenland that were unveiled on December 15, 2014, at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.

    Link

    Reply
  70. Colorado Bob

     /  December 16, 2014

    Hidden Movements of Greenland Ice Sheet, Runoff Revealed

    For years NASA has tracked changes in the massive Greenland Ice Sheet. This week scientists using NASA data released the most detailed picture ever of how the ice sheet moves toward the sea and new insights into the hidden plumbing of melt water flowing under the snowy surface.

    Reply
  71. Colorado Bob

     /  December 16, 2014

    Global Warming Fact: More than Half of All Industrial CO2 Pollution Has Been Emitted Since 1988

    By the end of this year, more than half of all industrial emissions of carbon dioxide since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution will have been released since 1988 — the year it became widely known that these emissions are warming the climate.

    I recently learned this startling fact from my colleague Richard Heede at the Climate Accountability Institute. Heede drew upon historic estimates of annual global carbon emissions from fossil fuel burning and cement manufacturing by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC) and the 2014 annual update on the global carbon budget and trends published by the Global Carbon Project (GCP), an international scientific research consortium studying the global carbon cycle.

    The GCP estimates that in 2014, we will release a record 37 gigatons (GT) of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere from burning coal, oil, and natural gas, and manufacturing cement. That’s a 2.5 percent increase over emissions in 2013, itself a record year. This brings the total industrial carbon dioxide emissions since 1751 to an estimated 1480 Gt by the end of this year. And, remarkably, more than half of these emissions, 743 Gt, or 50.2 percent, have released just since 1988.

    Link

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  December 16, 2014

      1988 – coincidentally the very year Dr. Hansen was before Congress testifying about global warming. So since his warning we’ve double-downed on the warming.

      Reply
  72. “NET REGIONAL METHANE SINK in High Arctic soils of northeast Greenland. We conclude that the ice-free area of northeast Greenland acts as a net sink of atmospheric methane, and suggest that this sink will probably be enhanced in a future warmer climate.”

    http://cenperm.ku.dk/news/nature-geoscience-publication/

    Reply
  73. Kevin Jones

     /  December 16, 2014

    Hey, Colorado Bob. re: half since ’88. 1750-1988 about 275ppm to 350ppm atmospheric CO2. +75ppm. 1989-2014 about 351-399ppm atmospheric CO2 increase. About + 50. Where is the other 25 (to make up half of all since ’88)? Apparently gone to sea and terrestrial increased uptake, which I’m sure we agree, cannot continue.
    http://www.columbia.edu/~mhs119/UpdatedFigures/Storms_Fig16.pdf

    Reply
  74. Kevin Jones

     /  December 16, 2014

    P.S. You’re a damned fine man Colorado Bob. Try to join the rest of us, now and then, in knowing this!

    Reply
  75. Kevin Jones

     /  December 16, 2014

    If my point is muddy, it is this: as Global CO2 emissions have soared since 1960, the airborne fraction (on a 7 year mean ) has declined from 58% to 48%. (roughly) The highly unlikely continuation of this trend causes me to wonder how much longer before sinks are overwhelmed by myriad of probabilities….ocean heating & stratification….increased forest fires & etc; and on and on.

    Reply
  76. Kevin Jones

     /  December 16, 2014

    Yes, Mark 1988. The last time we’ve seen 350-the point of no return if we don’t return….Hey, all that’s required is to remove 106 billion tons of C from Earth’s atmosphere! (instead of adding 10+/yr as is current) [ 1ppm CO2= 2.12 billion tons C according to NOAA ]

    Reply
  77. Kevin Jones

     /  December 16, 2014

    Had all of that 1480 Gt of CO2 stayed in the air instead of roughly half being taken up by unlikely to last sinks we would be at about 535 ppm…..

    Reply
  78. Kevin Jones

     /  December 16, 2014

    Our current 10 billion tons of the C (in CO2)/yr being equal to 36.7 billion tons CO2/yr……

    Reply
  79. Kevin Jones

     /  December 16, 2014

    Should have said, two above, instead of adding 10+/yr of which 4.8 billion tons C / year remains…. (currently)

    Reply
  80. And, from the shallow end of the gene pool:

    ‘The new climate denialism: More carbon dioxide is a good thing’

    For years, the fossil-fuel industries have been telling us that global warming is a hoax based on junk science.

    But now these industries are floating an intriguing new argument: They’re admitting that human use of coal, oil and gas is causing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to rise — but they’re saying this is a good thing. We need more CO2 in our lives, not less.

    “CO2 is basically plant food, and the more CO2 in the environment the better plants do,” proclaimed Roger Bezdek, a consultant to energy companies, at an event hosted Monday by the United States Energy Association, an industry trade group.

    The session, at the Ronald Reagan Building in downtown Washington, was devoted to demonstrating that “CO2 benefits clearly outweigh any hypothesized costs.” And though Bezdek is an economist, not a scientist, he played one on Monday — showing a PowerPoint presentation that documented a tree growing faster when exposed to more carbon dioxide.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dana-milbank-the-new-climate-denialism-carbon-dioxide-is-good-for-you/2014/12/15/beaafc72-8499-11e4-b9b7-b8632ae73d25_story.html

    Reply
    • Apneaman

       /  December 17, 2014

      I wonder how long until Americans will be too terrified to speak out on climate change or any social justice issue. Anyone can be labeled a terrorist for anything at any time. Lawyered up language.

      About Half See CIA Interrogation Methods as Justified

      http://www.people-press.org/2014/12/15/about-half-see-cia-interrogation-methods-as-justified/

      Reply
    • Jacob

       /  December 17, 2014

      @Apneaman

      You’re right the United States is sick. I’d say terminally ill. We are/have been subjected to intense propaganda, going back (conservatively) 15 decades. Doesn’t mean all Americans believe the propaganda, just (unfortunately) not enough of us have critical thinking skills to see through the B.S.

      Thank you for generalizing “white” America, it’s more about money than skin color. Still a dangerous societal environment, but it’s not about your ethnic heritage, so much as it is your socio-economic status. I’m a multi-generational American of European descent (aka “white”) and my family has always been worker drones.

      Republicans disgust me, so this non-apologetic attitude they have towards American use of torture is no surprise. I was never under the impression we were saints, an un-objective view of our domestic history tells the story of us.

      Reply
    • wili

       /  December 19, 2014

      Good catch, but that particular dodge is not particularly new nor very intriguing. It’s old, tired, and stupid. https://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-plant-food.htm

      Reply
  81. On a related subject –

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/16/us-space-mars-idUSKBN0JU2JX20141216

    “NASA rover finds organic molecules, methane gas on Mars”

    Reply
  82. Colorado Bob

     /  December 16, 2014

    Ocean acidification a culprit in commercial shellfish hatcheries’ failures

    The mortality of larval Pacific oysters in Northwest hatcheries has been linked to ocean acidification. Yet the rate of increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the decrease of pH in near-shore waters have been questioned as being severe enough to cause the die-offs.

    Now, a new study of Pacific oyster and Mediterranean mussel larvae found that the earliest larval stages are sensitive to saturation state, rather than carbon dioxide (CO2) or pH (acidity) per se.

    Saturation state is a measure of how corrosive seawater is to the calcium carbonate shells made by bivalve larvae, and how easy it is for larvae to produce their shells. A lower saturation rate is associated with more corrosive seawater.

    Increasing CO2 lowers saturation state, the researchers say, and saturation state is very sensitive to CO2.

    Read more at: Link

    Reply
  83. Colorado Bob

     /  December 16, 2014

    Glacier beds can get slipperier at higher sliding speeds

    Data collected by the researchers show that resistance to glacier sliding – the drag that the bed exerts on the ice – can decrease in response to increasing sliding speed. This decrease in drag with increasing speed, although predicted by some theoreticians a long as 45 years ago, is the opposite of what is usually assumed in mathematical models of the flow of ice sheets.

    Read more at: Link

    Reply
    • Spike

       /  December 17, 2014

      China’s glaciers have retreated by 18 per cent over the past half century, a comprehensive survey has found, as some experts warn of “chain effects” that could have an impact on water supplies in the country’s western regions.

      An average of 244 sq km of glacial ice had disappeared every year since the late 1950s, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which released its second major survey of the nation’s glaciers at the weekend, Xinhua reported.

      http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1662844/chinas-glaciers-shrink-fifth-1950s

      Reply
  84. Colorado Bob

     /  December 17, 2014

    Major cities in the Bay Area are experiencing record rainfall during the first half of December, the National Weather Service said Tuesday.

    “It’s the wettest start ever for December,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Charles Bell.

    San Francisco has seen more than 9.14 inches of rain through early this morning. The previous record of 7.10 inches was set in 1889. Data go back as far as 1849, Bell said.

    Link

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  December 17, 2014

      Yep, one extreme to the other. A taste of things to come…

      Reply
    • Wharf Rat

       /  December 17, 2014

      Rat (in the hills of Mendocino Co) had 25 inches thru last Wed, according to his weekly paper, about another 7 inches from Wed noon thru 8 PM last night, plus about another 2 inches since then.

      Reply
  85. joni

     /  December 17, 2014

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2014/12/16/the-real-outcome-of-global-warming-talks-in-lima-a-future-for-coal/

    The Real Outcome of Global Warming Talks in Lima: A Future for Coal

    “The shift of a single word—from a “shall” to a “may”—means the world will very likely continue to burn lots of coal. Instead of being required to provide “quantifiable information” about their greenhouse-gas emissions, countries may choose whether or not to include those statistics in their pledges instead, known in the jargon as “intended nationally determined contributions.” These pledges or INDCs are promises that come in a variety of flavors – not just strict pollution cuts like those from the E.U. nations, but also softer targets, such as reducing the amount of energy used to produce a single widget in India while producing more widgets overall (a so-called “carbon intensity” goal).

    China and India led the charge against any monitoring or verification of such pledges. Worse, the Chinese and Indian negotiators do not appear to want INDCs to be comparable with each other. In other words, the pledges “may” prove mutually inscrutable.”

    Reply
    • Apneaman

       /  December 17, 2014

      Remember, plant proteins start to denature a 4degrees C above baseline. I doubt any crops will grow at 6C and then there are wet bulb temp issues. We could live underground eating bugs, but we will probably loose our vision after a time and our eyes will just be vestigial organs. Evolution is awesome.

      Reply
      • mikkel

         /  December 18, 2014

        I don’t understand how plants can denature @ 4C when temps have been way above that in the past? I mean, I can understand how shellfish can adapt with enough time to low pH, but denaturing is more of a physical law than adaptive trait.

        Reply
  86. Colorado Bob

     /  December 17, 2014

    2014 warmest year in Europe since 1500s

    Climate change is very likely to have helped make 2014 Europe’s warmest year since the 1500s, scientists have found.

    In a move that could eventually pave the way for law suits against companies burning fossil fuels, researchers at Oxford university found global warming had increased the risk of such a record being set by at least a factor of 10.

    Other teams working independently in The Netherlands and Australia said the odds had been boosted by 35 to 80 times.

    Link

    Reply
  87. Phil

     /  December 17, 2014

    JISAO PDO index for November came in at 1.72

    Reply
  88. Colorado Bob

     /  December 18, 2014

    Europe’s record hot year made at least 35 times more likely by climate change, say scientists

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/dec/17/europes-record-hot-year-made-35-times-more-likely-climate-change

    Reply
  89. Colorado Bob

     /  December 18, 2014

    Less olives
    Less grapes

    Reply
  90. Colorado Bob

     /  December 18, 2014

    Watch everything . Every bit every sign every thing.

    Reply
    • RWood

       /  December 18, 2014

      Maybe even a bit for those of us not pure and holy:
      Annie Dillard, from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, quoting Martin Buber:
      ‘When you walk across the fields with your mind pure and holy, then from all the stones, and all growing things, and all animals, the sparks of their soul come out and cling to you, and then they are purified and become a holy fire in you.’

      Reply
  91. Tom

     /  December 18, 2014

    CO Bob: I’ve recently seen articles warning that coffee, chocolate and beef will all rise substantially next year. Here come the food shortages . . .

    Reply
  92. Mark from New England

     /  December 18, 2014

    Coffee, chocolate and beef? How will America in particular run without them?😉

    Reply
  93. Andy in San Diego

     /  December 19, 2014

    Yesterdays released NOAA arctic report card.

    Rising air and sea temperatures continue to trigger changes in the Arctic
    Arctic is warming at twice the rate of anywhere else on Earth

    http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2014/20141217_arctic_report_card_2014.html

    Reply
  94. RWood

     /  December 19, 2014

    Lima leavings:
    “China and India, the two biggest polluters in the South, say they will need to burn millions of tonnes of coal in the coming years so they can develop their economies.”
    http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/12/world-climate-deal-further-away-following-disappointing-peru-talks/#more-56708

    Reply
    • RWood

       /  December 20, 2014

      To amend the above:
      According to deputy project science Annmarie Eldering, previous CO2-monitoring satellites were returning just 1-2 percent of the data that OCO-2 is sending back to Earth.

      South America and parts of Africa also show high CO2 levels, which scientists said is most likely due to burning fields and forest to clear them for agriculture.

      Eldering said the initial round of data would be available to the public on December 30 and the full set of CO2 data would likely be available in March for scientists and public to download and explore.
      http://www.climatecentral.org/news/nasa-satellite-most-detailed-view-co2-18459

      Reply
  95. Colorado Bob

     /  December 19, 2014

    Clearing tropical rainforests distorts Earth’s wind and water systems, packs climate wallop beyond carbon

    “Tropical deforestation delivers a double whammy to the climate — and to farmers,” said Deborah Lawrence, Professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia, the study’s lead author. “Most people know that climate change is a dangerous global problem, and that it’s caused by pumping carbon into the atmosphere. But it turns out that removing forests alters moisture and air flow, leading to changes — from fluctuating rainfall patterns to rises in temperatures — that are just as hazardous, and happen right away. The impacts go beyond the tropics — the United Kingdom and Hawaii could see an increase in rainfall while the US Midwest and Southern France could see a decline.”

    The report presents compelling evidence that tropical deforestation is already affecting local and regional climates. Meteorological data, for example, show that in Thailand, the beginning of the dry season is experiencing less rainfall due to deforestation. And in parts of the Amazon, the world’s largest stretch of rainforest, the timing of once-predictable rainfall has shifted due to deforestation. In deforested regions, the wet season is delayed by two weeks; in forested regions, there are no changes.

    Link

    Reply
  96. Major coral bleaching in Pacific may become worst die-off in 20 years, say experts

    This does not augur well for the future of the world’s reefs under climate change.

    “The real problem is that recovery from a major bleaching event can take decades and these events keep coming back every 10 years or less… [Reefs] just don’t have time to recover,” said Eakin.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/dec/19/major-coral-bleaching-pacific-may-worst-20-years

    Reply
  97. Colorado Bob

     /  December 20, 2014

    Most of Alaska’s Permafrost Could Melt This Century

    SAN FRANCISCO — The permafrost in some of Alaska’s most iconic national parks could all but disappear this century, new research suggests.

    Right now, half of the ground in Denali National Park’s is frozen year-round, but if global warming continues at the current pace, just 1 percent of this land could remain permafrost by the year 2100, according to new research presented here at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

    http://news.yahoo.com/most-alaskas-permafrost-could-melt-century-153452426.html

    Reply
  98. Colorado Bob

     /  December 20, 2014

    Old Ship Records to Shed Light on Arctic Ice Loss

    Wood says these observations lengthen the timeline of data scientists can use to create models. That, in turn, will lead to more accurate future predictions. The project began two years ago and Wood says it will take time for the data to be fully incorporated into future models. He says the Arctic described 140 years ago bears little resemblance to the Arctic of today.

    “So the information in the logbooks, the descriptions and the things that they actually measure to me don’t look like what I see when I travel to the Arctic every year. The ice is thicker, the ridges are higher, the keels are deeper, the ice is aground in places that are almost unbelievably deep, you know, well over a hundred feet deep, and those things we just don’t see any more. And also the ice is thick and in places that it just doesn’t exist anymore,” Wood stated.

    Link

    Reply
  99. Kevin Jones

     /  December 20, 2014

    Thanks, CB. Sure makes me wonder what the min/max annual sea ice volume was 140 years ago vs. today. For that matter,that of the entire northern hemisphere cryosphere: sea ice, glaciers, permafrost…..

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  December 20, 2014

      I bet Jack London would have picked a different location to write about if he was thinking of a novel today.

      Reply
  100. Andy in San Diego

     /  December 20, 2014

    Main water supply for Sao Paolo is now at 6.7%

    Only 57mm rain this month. Normal for December is ~220mm.

    Alto Tiete now shows 10.3% with 67 mm rainfall in December. 192 mm is normal for the month there. They may have transferred water into Alto Teite, as it stopped registering last week when it got below 4%.

    Looks like a repeat of last year. Get ready for the water war with Rio this year.

    Reply
  101. Houston
    Oil patch gas flaring continues to go up

    SAN ANTONIO–Gas flares in the Eagle Ford Shale burned more than 20 billion cubic feet of natural gas and released tons of pollutants into the air in the first seven months of 2014 – exceeding the total waste and pollution for the entire year of 2012.

    New records analyzed by the San Antonio Express-News show that flaring in the oil patch has continued to increase in the Eagle Ford, an upward trend first revealed in a yearlong San Antonio Express-News investigation called Up in Flames that was published in August.

    The Express-News obtained new flaring data from the Railroad Commission of Texas, which oversees the oil and gas industry. The updated database shows that from January to July, energy companies flared and wasted enough natural gas to fuel CPS Energy’s 800 megawatt Rio Nogales power plant during the same seven-month period.

    The newspaper also found some of the top sources of flaring in 2014 lacked state-mandated permits to flare natural gas.

    http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Oil-patch-gas-flaring-continues-to-go-up-5971250.php

    ###

    Note: “…Railroad Commission of Texas, which oversees the oil and gas industry.”

    Reply
  102. Ouse M.D.

     /  December 21, 2014

    Urals, Russia, Rezh, Sverdlovsk

    https://www.google.hu/maps/place/Rezh,+Sverdlovskaya+oblast‘,+Oroszorsz%C3%A1g/@57.3644336,61.3871285,3z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x43c0593fe92f7e4b:0x24948dd2bd4403e

    Could this have been a methane explosion?
    I’m wondering if the recent “bbom” hysteria all over the U.S. could also be the awakening sleeping dragon.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  December 21, 2014

      Could this have been a methane explosion?

      Whatever it was , it has a high “creepy factor”.

      Reply
      • Jacob

         /  December 21, 2014

        Barring it being a meteor I’d bet this was a methane explosion, CB. Hopefully someone will check out the scene when the weather permits, and we’ll see if there is a hole like those we saw last summer.

        Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  December 21, 2014

      Probably a large bolide (meteor) exploding in the upper atmosphere, similar to what happened somewhere else in Russia a few years ago. It does look eerily like an atomic explosion, but if it was, I think we’d be hearing about it on the news. At least, one hopes.

      Reply
      • climatehawk1

         /  December 21, 2014

        The few films I’ve seen of atomic explosions suggest that the bright light would last quite a bit longer if it reached the level shown here.

        Reply
  103. Kevin Jones

     /  December 21, 2014

    More eyes in NE North America fixating upon the X-mas Eve Santa Bomb! 🙂

    Reply
  104. Colorado Bob

     /  December 21, 2014

    Losing Paradise
    Climate change is changing Mount Rainier

    If the scientists are right, the end is near for a Northwest treasure — at least as we know it.

    Global warming is melting Mount Rainier’s glaciers at six times the historic rate.

    For years now, the melting has sent floods of water and rock pounding down the mountain, filling up rivers, killing old-growth forests and endangering historic national park buildings.

    The glacial outbursts also are tearing up the roads that provide access to the park’s wonders, testing the National Park Service mission to keep the great outdoors open to all.

    Researchers are flocking to Mount Rainier to study the effects of climate change that they predict will destroy habitat for plant and animal species up and down the mountain.

    Link

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  December 21, 2014

      Hell of an article.

      Reply
    • climatehawk1

       /  December 21, 2014

      Thanks, tweet scheduled.

      Reply
    • “The Nisqually Glacier, the one of Rainier’s 28 named glaciers most accessible to visitors, has been receding rapidly since 1983. It’s at a historic minimum, and this summer it shrank toward the mountain’s summit at unprecedented speed: more than 3 feet every 10 days.”

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  December 21, 2014

        What struck me in the article, among many things , was that the streams and river beds are rising , because so much material is coming off the mountain. First time, I had ever heard of that one.

        Reply
    • Griffin

       /  December 21, 2014

      Wow! That is an exceptional piece of journalism!!

      Reply
  105. Mark from New England

     /  December 21, 2014

    Wondering if Robert will have a ‘Christmas present’ article for us? I’m missing him right now along with Stephen Colbert. That was a great show.

    Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  December 21, 2014

      I suspect Robert has been very busy, and hopefully productively in his favor. In his absence, I think all are doing a fantastic job of collaborating and perusing information. I for one, appreciate everyone here and their insights, findings and information. Whether yourself, dtlange, Apneaman, CB (congrats, you are now an abbreviation), Kevin et al, I very much look forward to all of your posts. I learn more every day, thanks to everyone.

      Reply
      • Griffin

         /  December 21, 2014

        Thank you for saying this Andy, as my thoughts mirror yours. I would like to thank all of you that have sustained this blog as a going concern in Roberts absence. I look forward to reading the insights and posts from all of you. It is a great group on here!

        Reply
  106. Colorado Bob

     /  December 21, 2014

    New challenges for ocean acidification research

    Over the past decade, ocean acidification has received growing recognition not only in the scientific area. Decision-makers, stakeholders, and the general public are becoming increasingly aware of “the other carbon dioxide problem.” It is time to reflect on the successes and deficiencies of ocean acidification research and to take a look forward at the challenges the fastest growing field of marine science is facing. In the January issue of the journal “Nature Climate Change” Ulf Riebesell, professor for Biological Oceanography at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, and Jean-Pierre Gattuso from the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) urge the international scientific community to undertake a concerted interdisciplinary effort. According to the two experts, future ocean acidification research will have to deal with three major challenges: It needs to expand from single to multiple drivers, from single species to communities and ecosystems, and from evaluating acclimation to understanding adaptation. “The growing knowledge in each of the diverging research branches needs to be assimilated into an integrated assessment,” Prof. Riebesell points out.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/12/141219104039.htm

    Reply
  107. Colorado Bob

     /  December 21, 2014

    How the Fastest-Warming City in the Country Is Cooling Off

    In Louisville, it’s one tree at a time.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/12/louisville-heat-tree-cover-113424.html#ixzz3MZlbhTsb

    Don’t read the comments, it’ll make you sick to your stomach.

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  December 21, 2014

      I read the comments and reached a pseudo-scientific conclusion. I submit my findings here for peer review. I have concluded that the problem we face is actually not one of rising levels of CO2, it is runaway levels of ignorance. I think we are screwed.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  December 22, 2014

        “No one ever when broke under estimating the intelligence of the American people”

        Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  December 22, 2014

      I have to read the comments, no matter what I think. I feel it is important to understand / evaluate when a locale becomes panicked. They will hold out till the bitter end. I bet they vote in those the hold out till the bitter end as well. At least they won’t migrate till it is too late.

      I find the comments fascinating. Not one iota of backing science to any of those denials.

      When did any of the following impact the laws of physics? Al Gores House, A Newsweek story in the 70’s, Al gores flight patterns, my diet, your diet, caves, the UN, theoretical implications of UN conspiracy. How does any of that impact the laws of physics? Laws of particle behavior does not care about Republican, Democrat, Liberal or Conservative. It just does what it is supposed to do. Simple math.

      Reply
      • climatehawk1

         /  December 22, 2014

        Right. A favorite comeback I like is, “Good thinking. If that doesn’t prove that the laws of physics are repealed, I don’t know what does.” And that’s usually about all the time I spend “debating”–arguing with deniers is a time sink that takes away from educating myself and others about the real state of affairs.

        Reply
  108. Colorado Bob

     /  December 21, 2014

    Happy Birthday Frank Zappa

    (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993)

    Frank always spoke truth to power.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  December 21, 2014

      The Mothers of Invention – Motherly Love

      Reply
      • I have enjoyed Zappa’s music since the 60s, but I have yet to appreciate his contribution to the current climate debate. I would appreciate any elucidation of his contribution.

        Reply
      • Humorta: I believe this FZ quote has relevance to the current climate debate:

        “Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe.”

        Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  December 21, 2014

      Billy The Mountain!

      Reply
  109. Andy in San Diego

     /  December 21, 2014

    I’m sure many of you do the same as me. Each day you peruse clime reanalyzer & null school to check SST, SSTA, air temp & air temp anomaly.

    Last year we saw a hotspot over Siberia, a cold spot over N. America at this time. Roughly 50/50 anomalies above & below (above in Siberia, below in N. America).

    This winter so far, it appears to be roughly 60-75% above normal, with N. America getting a good dose of this. Additionally, the SSTA for N. America is way spiked.

    Anyone else notice this and have thoughts?

    Reply
    • Andy, Same here. How accurate is the forecasting of global temp anomalies? I normally don’t look into these but was wondering how accurate it is 3 or more days out. Ocean temps have been record setting (for December) so far. Surface temps look to put December in the low to mid .60’s anomaly if current trends continue.

      Also, in reference to your comments below, my big concern about deforestation is what some of the add on effects of el nino induced droughts over the next few years will be. I think a lot more attention needs to be focused on deforestation rather than just emissions because of their influence on the water cycle. The difference between dense tree cover and parking lots is very stark in this modern world for so many reasons.

      Reply
  110. Andy in San Diego

     /  December 22, 2014

    I’ve been looking for the past 2 days, and have been unsuccessful so far….

    I am looking for historical vegetation coverage for the Mid East, Africa and Europe. I am also looking for the historical data on rain fall for the same regions. The higher the granularity (resolution) the better in concurrence with time (looking for correlation between time, coverage, rainfall, human behavior).

    My rationale for this investigation is as follows.

    I suspect we are seeing a repeat of human behavior induced destruction of rainfall patterns based on removal of vegetation / trees and it’s effect on downstream rainfall (prosperity / conflict). In Brazil today, we are seeing a deforestation induced reduction in rainfall in southern Brazil (Sao Paolo State being ground zero). Amazon is being bulldozed, burned and the “flying river” is being killed. Those downstream of this atmospheric precipitation see reduced rainfall, vegetation, prosperity and increased conflict.

    Historically, humans have denuded vast forests and may have caused similar events. Specifically in Lebanon (how many of those “great cedars” do we have left?), Syria, Sumeria and southern Europe. Greece used to be covered in Forest. That is until humans ripped out the trees, and the soil washed away.

    I am curious if to the east of these regions there used to be rainfall, prosperity until we removed the Forest (thus the “flying rivers”) causing a knock on effect.

    If you know of any such data, do share! If you run with this and do a paper throw me a bone and a hat tip!

    thanks.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  December 22, 2014

      Check Anchorage, AK, they can’t make snow, because it’s to warm , and it’s natural normal snowfall is 1/3 of the average. . Which fell weeks ago.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  December 22, 2014

        Anchorage’s persistent warm weather so far this winter may be record setting

        How about the sensation of ice forming in your nostrils when breathing in cold air? That happens when the temperature is approximately 5 degrees or colder.

        But so far this winter, the lowest temperature at Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage came Saturday morning when the mercury briefly dipped to 13 degrees. While warm winters are nothing new to Anchorage, even warm winters have cold spells. Not this year. Never before have we gone this late in the season without at least a brief period of significantly colder weather. Since 1916, every year has seen a temperature of 7 degrees or colder by Dec. 15. In fact, Anchorage normally has eight sub-zero days by this date.

        http://www.adn.com/article/20141215/anchorages-persistent-warm-weather-so-far-winter-may-be-record-setting

        Reply
      • Andy in San Diego

         /  December 22, 2014

        That heat intrusion looks ominous. It has been there all season. Same on the other side in the Atlantic. Could it be the SSTA can not be overcome?

        Reply
  111. Colorado Bob

     /  December 22, 2014

    A new ocean disaster –

    This time at Cape Cod, and it’s turtles . They went from 47 beaching to over 1,200 in a season.

    Reply
  112. Colorado Bob

     /  December 22, 2014

    There are 10 Million viruses in every tea spoon of sea water , they get to vote on climate change too. And they vote faster, in greater numbers than we do.

    Reply
  113. Colorado Bob

     /  December 22, 2014

    It’s Frank Zappa’s birthday , and when pagans used to oil their bodies.
    I concluded that I have lived between Sir Issac Newton , and Homer Simpson.

    There are 10 Million viruses in every tea spoon of sea water.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  December 22, 2014

      Every virus get’s to vote on climate change. Whether you like it or not.

      Reply
  114. Colorado Bob

     /  December 22, 2014

    Frank Zappa –

    I cannot believe he has been dead this long. And we are so poor from his leaving.

    Frank Zappa at PMRC Senate Hearing on Rock Lyrics ……………… 33 mins of Frank.

    You never miss your water, until it’s gone.

    Reply
  115. Andy in San Diego

     /  December 22, 2014

    My Xmas / Chanukah (or whatever you believe) gift to the world this year.

    I have divested ALL investments away from fossil fuels, carbon polluters 100% this year. I did not have much there to start with, but made sure it is all invested away from the denial companies and polluters this year, deliberately.

    And for those that say “only carbon heavy investments pay well”, I am up net for the year ( a lot).

    So to my kid who will inherit my standpoint, I am thankful I can pass along a clean portfolio. And to all of you, I am able to put my money where my mouth is, and proud to do so.

    Been 100% fossil fuel clean on investments for over 14 months now (personal, 401k, etc…) , and will remain so.

    Reply
  116. While Robert takes a break on new blog posts, here are two new really important stories on a possible PDO shift underway.

    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/corals-secrets-of-warming-18468

    See Skeptical Science for the 2nd post.

    Reply
  117. Kevin Jones

     /  December 22, 2014

    Wow, bassman. This goes far in answering some very big and long held questions. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Kevin, It makes me think that a return to positive PDO will be a major turning point in climate conditions(not in a good way). Maybe many of the positive feedbacks such as reduced snow cover, reduced sea ice, drought, ocean co2 sink to source changes and others could all really shift into high gear over time spans as short as a year to a decade. The ocean has done us a great favor for the last 16 years or so, if the ocean surface stays like this a couple more years we may indeed be back in a positive PDO. We might not know until after the next El Niño is complete.

      Reply
  118. Low Oil Prices May Bode Ill For Climate
    Published: December 5th, 2014

    Climate change and falling crude oil prices coalesce at the gas pump.

    Filling the gas tank of a Hummer for $2.18 per gallon in Texas or $2.39 per gallon in New Jersey when a year ago those prices were as much as 75 cents higher means that it’s likely people will drive more, burning more gasoline and spewing more CO2 into the atmosphere, experts say.

    Oil prices are continuing their sub-$70-per-barrel dive, and as gasoline prices fall with them, they create barriers to decreasing fossil fuel consumption and increasing fuel efficiency.

    It also means the U.S. shale oil boom may slow, but not completely go bust. The shale oil boom itself is part of the reason oil prices have been in a free-fall since summer. Shale oil, through advances in hydraulic fracturing, is flooding the market with U.S. crude. Oil prices, which have fallen about 35 percent this year, are also remaining low because the OPEC oil cartel announced in November it won’t cut Middle Eastern production in an attempt to maintain global dominance as the U.S. becomes the world’s leader in pumping crude oil.

    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/low-oil-prices-may-bode-ill-for-climate-18403

    – That’s us — literally driving ourselves to extinction…

    Reply
  119. PDX, OR USA

    Dec. 20 & 21 had high/low air temps that were record highs — even the night time low temp was up in the record high category… 45-59 F. for Sun. 12/21

    Reply
  120. Warming world’s rising seas wash away some of South Florida’s glitz

    “Wanless remembers when he first started getting calls for help from local authorities.

    “In around 2008 or 2009, one of the first years we had a lot of water in the Miami Beach area, the public works people called me for help and I went into this room in their government building and they were all in their coats and ties and they said, ‘We are having a little problem in Miami Beach, we are getting water in the streets. Where do you suggest we put it?’

    “I held my laughter. The ocean had arrived. You can put the water anywhere you want, but it is going to keep coming.”

    Wanless believes the hundreds of millions of dollars that have already been spent of flood mitigation infrastructure around Miami have been wasted because the sea cannot be held back.

    “We are in the position where we think we are going to fight it and win. We are not going to win.”

    Soon, he believes, insurance companies will stop underwriting homes in the worst affected areas and then owners will be unable to sell.

    Money should be saved for moving people away while all levels of government work to reduce emissions, he argues.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/world/warming-worlds-rising-seas-wash-away-some-of-south-floridas-glitz-20141220-129wub.html

    Reply
  121. Spike

     /  December 23, 2014

    If the temperature of the oceans increases by two degrees as suggested by some reports, it will accelerate the thawing to the extreme. A warming climate could lead to an explosive gas release from the shallow areas.”

    http://phys.org/news/2014-12-methane-leaking-permafrost-offshore-siberia.html

    Reply
  122. Spike

     /  December 23, 2014

    The Guardian features this article on wheat yields with future warming – it’s downhill all the way from now on folks.

    http://bit.ly/1v9Ysj4

    Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  December 23, 2014

      I was reading that last night and immediately thought of the PDO article bassman found yesterday. It showed the +/- PDO effects on global temperatures. Such an event could case a sudden event that lacks mitigation threatening net importers of food very quickly.

      Reply
  123. Spike

     /  December 23, 2014

    The UK is getting warmer and wetter as predicted:

    Temperature records:

    Since 2000, there have been 10 times as many hot records as cold records.

    Taking into account the weighting, the period since 2000 accounts for two-thirds of all hot records in a national series from 1910, but only 3% of cold-records.

    The longer Central England Temperature (CET) series, which dates back to 1659, reveals a similar trend – with seven out of a possible 17 records set since 2000 but no record cold periods.

    The increase in hot records and decrease in cold records seen in recent decades is consistent with the long-term climate change signal. Seven of the warmest years in the UK series from 1910 have occurred since 2000.

    Rainfall records:

    Since 2000 there have been almost 10 times as many wet records as dry records.

    Taking into account the weighting, the period since 2000 accounts for 45% of all wet records in a national series from 1910, but only 2% of dry records.

    Remarkably, period since 2010 accounts for more wet records than any other decade – even though this only a 5 year period. The most prominent wet records in this period were winter 2013/2014 and April, June and year 2012.

    The longer England & Wales Precipitation (EWP) series, which dates back to 1766, shows a similar trend – with six out of a possible 17 records set since 2000, but no record dry periods.

    http://metofficenews.wordpress.com/2014/12/17/has-there-been-a-recent-increase-in-uk-weather-records/

    Reply
    • wili

       /  December 23, 2014

      Thanks, Spike. It would be interesting to get a region-by-region update on how these impacts are proceeding–where are things getting generally wetter so far and where are they getting dryer, and how do either match up with regional predictions.

      Reply
  124. wili

     /  December 23, 2014

    Apologies if this has already been linked, but these look like a couple of quite important studies for understanding the pattern of chaos we are heading into. They also suggest that Archer and co. have gotten it enormously wrong on predictions of a relatively stable seabed permafrost layer.

    >>Methane is leaking from permafrost offshore Siberia<<

    "… Portnov and his colleagues have recently published two papers about permafrost offshore West Yamal, in the Kara Sea. Papers look into the extent of permafrost on the ocean floor and how it is connected to the significant release of the greenhouse gas methane.

    It was previously proposed that the permafrost in the Kara Sea, and other Arctic areas, extends to water depths up to 100 meters, creating a seal that gas cannot bypass. Portnov and collegues have found that the West Yamal shelf is leaking, profoundly, at depths much shallower than that.

    Significant amount of gas is leaking at depths between 20 and 50 meters. This suggests that a continuous permafrost seal is much smaller than proposed. Close to the shore the permafrost seal may be few hundred meters thick, but tapers off towards 20 meters water depth. And it is fragile.

    'If the temperature of the oceans increases by two degrees as suggested by some reports, it will accelerate the thawing to the extreme. A warming climate could lead to an explosive gas release from the shallow areas.'"

    http://phys.org/news/2014-12-methane-leaking-permafrost-offshore-siberia.html

    (Thanks to vox_mundi at POForums for this link.)

    Reply
    • wili

       /  December 23, 2014

      Ah, I see Spike beat me to it above. But really, this one is worth some discussion, and perhaps worth a treatment by RS, perhaps together with the terrestrial permafrost issues discussed some here? I image we won’t see him till into the new year, though.

      Reply
      • Griffin

         /  December 24, 2014

        Maybe it is just me, but I don’t see any new information from this article. They have some quotes from Portnov and reference “two papers”. One of them was published in Aug 2013, the other was Nov 2014. The latter paper that is written in regards to modeling of permafrost reaction to warming waters. In effect, if the water warms we might see a massive melt of permafrost and subsequent release of methane gas due to hydrate destabilization.
        Call me crazy but I believe we have been discussing this very topic in detail for quite some time now. Robert has been touting the dangers of subsurface warm currents mixing down and warming the sea floor in this region at length. It is good to see articles written to raise the awareness of others though, so I don’t want to come across as negative.

        Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  December 23, 2014

      I read this , and thought about that video Ouse M.D.posted 2 days ago. This area is also where the blow out craters where seen last summer.
      This is a chain of events, not “one-off events”.

      The irony is , the Russians call this , “The end of the world” . I’m sure when they named it, they never dreamed it could mean more than just a really hard place to get to.

      Reply
      • Ouse M.D.

         /  December 24, 2014

        Actually the video has been removed, after I pointed to the fact that was too much a hint.
        And it was near Rezh, middle part of the Urals.

        Reply
  125. wili

     /  December 24, 2014

    Sustained Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) values below -8 are indicative of an El Nino. Today’s SOI is -38.56! That’s preliminary, and one day’s value is not very probative by itself, but this is part of a pattern over the last week of steadily falling values (about -37 yesterday, -20 before that, and in the negative teens for the three days previous). So perhaps worth keeping an eye on in between gulps of eggnog and gluehwein!

    Reply
  126. Kevin Jones

     /  December 25, 2014

    Just a brief note of true gratitude to all you contributors and you, Robert, for your grand efforts which have attracted such a remarkably interesting crew. Folks who are interested in the real world are real -world interesting! Best to All. (this Bud’s for you!) And continued engagement in this forthcoming ‘new year’.

    Reply
  127. In may seem naive, but:
    Peace on Earth and Goowill to All.

    Reply
  128. Griffin

     /  December 25, 2014

    Good read, sharp pics. Enjoy folks. I am looking forward to some comments from everyone on this one!
    http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/news/n0076-how-global-warming-could-turn-siberia-into-a-giant-crater-time-bomb/

    Reply
    • climatehawk1

       /  December 25, 2014

      Agree nice pics, but I don’t think repeated comparisons with the Bermuda Triangle are helpful.

      Reply
      • Griffin

         /  December 26, 2014

        Yes, the Bermuda Triangle references showed a naivete with the subject matter on the part of the writer. I found the article interesting in that there has been very little follow up reporting on the holes since the summertime. It was good to see that the research into them continues. I would like to know more about the possible geothermal link – is there any validity to that? Are the holes something we will see more of in the future or are they a rare natural phenomenon that happened to get our attention because of the modern ubiquity of the video camera and the unprecedented sharing of information via the internet?

        Reply
    • Some useful terms I liked: “crystallised ‘fire ice’ gas, relic hydrate”.

      Reply
  129. – Noteworthy from ALJAZEERA AMERICA:

    World’s future climate will depend on people in 2015, not governments
    Series of increasingly dire warnings about effects of global warming met with inaction by world leaders
    December 25, 2014

    As the world looks ahead to the signing of a global climate treaty in Paris next year — a year predicted to be the hottest on record after 2014 — a lack of significant pledges to cut carbon emissions by world leaders signals a lack of political will that could be catastrophic for the entire globe.

    Though the entire world will face the consequences of inaction, it is likely the poorest will be affected first. Low-lying states like the Marshall Islands in the South Pacific may be drowned by rising seas if climate change is not curbed. Nearby Kiribati is already preparing for a full-scale evacuation of its residents due to climate change. Researchers warned that a hotter world would have a severe impact on agriculture, with global implications for food prices.

    Scientists warned last month that saving the world as we know it would require leaving up to 85 percent of currently recoverable fossil fuel reserves in the ground. If not, the global average temperature could increase more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) over pre-Industrial era temperatures — leading to abrupt climate disruption.

    The release of a series of increasingly dire scientific reports in 2014 cataloging effects of climate change already in motion such as increasingly severe storms has moved the global conversation forward.

    http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/12/25/world-s-future-climatewilldependonpeoplein2015notgovernments.html

    Reply
  130. Colorado Bob

     /  December 26, 2014

    Average temperature in Finland has risen by more than two degrees

    According to a recent University of Eastern Finland and Finnish Meteorological Institute study, the rise in the temperature has been especially fast over the past 40 years, with the temperature rising by more than 0.2 degrees per decade. “The biggest temperature rise has coincided with November, December and January. Temperatures have also risen faster than the annual average in the spring months, i.e., March, April and May. In the summer months, however, the temperature rise has not been as significant,” says Professor Ari Laaksonen of the University of Eastern Finland and the Finnish Meteorological Institute. As a result of the temperature rising, lakes in Finland get their ice cover later than before, and the ice cover also melts away earlier in the spring. Although the temperature rise in the actual growth season has been moderate, observations of Finnish trees beginning to blossom earlier than before have been made.

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-12-average-temperature-finland-risen-degrees.html#jCp

    Reply
  131. Colorado Bob

     /  December 26, 2014

    Water table drops as drought forces more pumping

    TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, N.M. (AP) – The Upper Rio Grande Basin has been struggling with drought for most of the past decade, forcing cities and farmers from southern Colorado to Texas’ Hudspeth County to pump water from the ground to make up for the lack of snow and rain.

    Experts say that has resulted in the groundwater levels dropping in the border region as much as 200 feet in the past 10 years.

    The precipitous drop is especially disturbing because it’s taking place in an area where it recharges too slowly to make up the loss. Worse, many experts predict a future in which even less water in the river will mean even more pumping.

    Even if the region gets through the present drought, the basin’s groundwater will be overexploited, said Brian Hurd, an agricultural economics professor at New Mexico State University who also is president of the Universities Council on Water Resources, a national organization.

    “The real big deal is going to be the change in the intensity of pumping,” Hurd tells the El Paso Times.

    http://krqe.com/2014/12/25/water-table-drops-as-drought-forces-more-pumping/

    Reply
  132. Colorado Bob

     /  December 26, 2014

    PM under fire as 118000 flee worst Malaysia floods in decades

    Reply
  133. Colorado Bob

     /  December 26, 2014

    UK wildlife endures roller-coaster year of extreme weather

    Wildlife is in store for a bumpy ride in the coming years, one of the country’s leading naturalists warns today, as a double-whammy of extreme weather and accelerating habitat loss straps nature into a roller-coaster ride.

    Experts say Britain has experienced one of the warmest, if not the warmest, year on record in 2014, while last winter’s rainfall in England and Wales was the heaviest since 1766.

    “The greatest challenge for wildlife this year, and perhaps a sign of things to come, was the extreme weather,” said Matthew Oates, the National Trust’s Nature and wildlife specialist. “This, combined with the loss of habitat, means that nature is in for a bumpy ride in the years ahead, as shown by the roller coaster that many species endured in 2014.

    “This was a remarkable year for much of our wildlife, with many extreme highs and lows. Some species fared exceptionally well, others very poorly, with many faring differently from region to region.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/uk-wildlife-endures-rollercoaster-year-of-extreme-weather-9945526.html

    Reply
  134. Colorado Bob

     /  December 26, 2014

    More on that methane paper –

    Lexey Portnov, Jurgen Mienert and Pavel Serov of the Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø and VNIIOkeangeologia in Saint Petersburg have published a worrying paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, in which they have been, “Modeling the evolution of climate-sensitive Arctic subsea permafrost in regions of extensive gas expulsion at the West Yamal shelf” . In it, they ponder the 2 problems of vulcanism beneath the sea and warming ocean above the permafrost. Intermittently, both have melted the permafrost and released the dreaded methane.

    The Russian portion of the Arctic shelves that stretch from Eurasia deep into the cold waters contain degrading subsea permafrost, swallowed up when sea levels rose 20,000 years ago in the Late Pleistocene. Minor changes in the temperature, such as subtle geothermal heat flow from beneath, seem to affect the methane production. The permafrost has a thickness of 275-390m near the shore which leaves us with incredible amounts of methane when you consider how much dissolves in one cubic meter of water. That figure is 164 cubic meters!

    http://www.earthtimes.org/climate/methane-danger-undersea-permafrost/2782/

    Reply
  135. Colorado Bob

     /  December 26, 2014

    Alexey Miller: Yamal is the future of the Russian gas industry
    Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014
    A new gas facility (GP-1) was commissioned today at the Bovanenkovskoye field.

    Taking part in the commissioning ceremony were Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, Dmitry Kobylkin, Governor of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area, heads of the Company’s structural units, subsidiaries and contracting agencies.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin commanded to put onstream the gas facility.

    Gazprom gradually builds up its production capacities in the Bovanenkovskoye field and develops the Cenomanian-Aptian deposits. The annual design capacity of the new gas facility (GP-1) is 30 billion cubic meters. As a comparison, it is more than the Company will be producing from the Chayandinskoye field, the largest one in Yakutia.

    http://www.youroilandgasnews.com/alexey+miller%3A+yamal+is+the+future+of+the+russian+gas+industry_110466.html

    Reply
  136. Colorado Bob

     /  December 26, 2014

    Friday,
    December 26th, 2014
    Air Temperature Anomaly

    Check out Siberia today –

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

    It’s only 20C degrees above average.

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  December 27, 2014

      Extreme northern Quebec is even hotter. And to have it nearly 60 degrees in the northeast on Christmas was weird too.

      Reply
  137. Colorado Bob

     /  December 26, 2014

    Christmas heat breaks records across Atlantic Canada

    Moncton beat its 13.3 ºC record set in 1996 by more than two degrees. Their Christmas Day temperature reached a high of 15.6 ºC. Saint John hit 14.0 ºC, easily exceeding their previous high: 2003’s 12.8 ºC.

    Shearwater beat a record that was more than 120 years old. Their previous Christmas day high came on December 25, 1886 reaching 12.2 ºC. Their new high is 14.3ºC

    Halifax and Greenwood had perhaps the biggest jump: 3.5 and 3.6 degrees respectively. Greenwood was up to 18.5 ºC this year. Almost 20 ºC!

    http://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/christmas-heat-breaks-records-across-atlantic-canada/42547/

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  December 26, 2014

      The top of of the planet continues to warm ever faster in winter. , and these numbers from Canada point to ever warmer water off shore . Saint John did not set this on Christmas record because a wind from Mexico blew up. they set it because the ocean near them is still very very warm.

      It’s been too warm to make snow in Anchorage –

      Making snow in Anchorage? Weird weather in Alaska
      http://www.sacbee.com/news/nation-world/national/article4682157.html

      Reply
  138. Colorado Bob

     /  December 26, 2014

    As a system nears a tipping point, it moves to the extremes

    Snow drought: December record for least snow underway in Grand Rapids

    The last time the first 25 days of December saw so little snow in Grand Rapids was 1946, when only five-tenths of an inch fell. The phenomenon was repeated in 1947, when only seven-tenths of an inch fell.

    The record lack of snowfall is a sharp contrast to the 31 inches that fell last month, which was the snowiest November on record in Grand Rapids.

    http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2014/12/wheres_the_snow_least_snowiest.html

    As a system nears a tipping point, it moves to the extremes

    There it tends to get suck , before wildly swing back to the other extreme.

    During one of the extremes, a new state emerges. And the system shifts to a new state.

    Reply
  139. Mark from New England

     /  December 27, 2014

    Colorado Bob,
    Thanks for keeping this thread going over the holiday.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  December 27, 2014

      Mark.
      As a system nears a tipping point, it moves to the extremes

      Reply
  140. Colorado Bob

     /  December 27, 2014

    Mark. It’s about keeping perma-frost frozen . Large amounts of Alaska can’t make man made snow on the ski slopes. They are not skying in Alaska/

    It’s too warm to make snow.

    Reply
  141. Colorado Bob

     /  December 27, 2014

    RS –

    Time to make a new post , we’ve ground this one to a pulp.

    Reply
  142. Kevin Jones

     /  December 27, 2014

    Nuuk, Greenland: Wind 13.8 mph out of the EAST. Air temp 5C 41F 12/27/14 10:50UTC according to Athropolis

    Reply
  143. Kevin Jones

     /  December 27, 2014

    Weather Underground confirms this and adds: light rain…..

    Reply
  144. Andy in San Diego

     /  December 27, 2014

    Looking at the temperature anomaly map it looks like the East coast is above normal (by what appears a significant amount).

    Can anyone living there confirm this? Is it noticeably above average?

    Here in So Cal, we’ve had a bit of a chill one morning (~45F), but daytime is ~72-80F. It should be a high around 55-65F for this time of year.

    I know this due to riding my motorbike in the winter, that 33F temp at 80 mph in your face, shins and fingers is pretty unforgettable. It’s downright balmy this winter.

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  December 28, 2014

      At 55F , I was walking around Boston with a sweatshirt and no coat today Andy. It felt like a typical day in early April.

      Reply
    • RWood

       /  December 28, 2014

      It was minus two in the very early morning near Albuquerque, but solar heating brfught melting to the 6″ of snow.

      Reply
      • doug

         /  December 28, 2014

        Rwood, as one Albuquerqian to another, how do you feel about living here for say the next thirty years-climate wise? I feel relatively good about it. The only extreme weather events that seem a possible threat at all, would be heat waves, but it is so much cooler here than other parts of the Southwest that I think we’ll be okay (hope). Of course water supply is a major concern, but we’re a lot better off than Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Diego in my opinion. I have talked with some well known hydrologists, and none of them think Albuquerque is going to “run out of water” in this time span. This of course is a very different story for people who rely on well water around New Mexico. Drought of course, will hit here big, and that will effect the economy. That is my main concern, but it’s not a “weather event”. At least we don’t have to worry about Hurricanes, Tsunamis, Earthquakes, Blizzards, Extreme flooding, (unless you live in the valley) Phoenix level temperatures, nor wet bulb temperatures because of the lack of humidity. We don’t get extreme cold temperatures, and if the predicted increased power failures happen in the future, we at least can survive that year around-temperature wise. All in all I think this is a bit of a haven for the Southern U.S. when one considers climate impacts-except, for, drought.

        Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  December 29, 2014

        What will you folks be using for drinking water in Albuquerque?

        Water table drops as drought forces more pumping.

        TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, N.M. (AP) – The Upper Rio Grande Basin has been struggling with drought for most of the past decade, forcing cities and farmers from southern Colorado to Texas’ Hudspeth County to pump water from the ground to make up for the lack of snow and rain.

        Experts say that has resulted in the groundwater levels dropping in the border region as much as 200 feet in the past 10 years.

        The precipitous drop is especially disturbing because it’s taking place in an area where it recharges too slowly to make up the loss. Worse, many experts predict a future in which even less water in the river will mean even more pumping.

        Even if the region gets through the present drought, the basin’s groundwater will be overexploited, said Brian Hurd, an agricultural economics professor at New Mexico State University who also is president of the Universities Council on Water Resources, a national organization.

        “The real big deal is going to be the change in the intensity of pumping,” Hurd tells the El Paso Times.

        http://krqe.com/2014/12/25/water-table-drops-as-drought-forces-more-pumping/

        Reply
    • Ryan O'Connor

       /  December 28, 2014

      Andy, I’m in Ct and have been running in shorts the past few days. It has definitely been, and continues to be, very mild for this time of year. Although the entire term “normal weather for this time of year” should probably be retired. Recent years have given us tastes of every season pretty much any time of year. Fall in winter, summer in winter, we are def transitioning to a very different climate than the one we knew and loved.

      Reply
  145. Oh, and in Albuquerque we don’t have to worry about sea level rise either.

    Reply
    • JimB

       /  December 28, 2014

      May have to worry about heat if the rivers and dams can no longer be used for electricity generation because of low levels and you can’t run your air conditioning.

      Reply
      • Hi JimB,

        Yeah, that’s something that I’ve wondered about…

        Reply
      • Jacque

         /  December 29, 2014

        I run my swamp cooler off my solar panel – mostly only need it in the heat of the afternoon when the sun shines and I am generating more power than I otherwise use on long summer days in southern Utah. ps – I left NM partly because of the shakey water supply.

        Reply
  146. Forest fires on the outskirts of Albuquerque will be an issue though. Projected to be around 4 times as common as today in the Southwest by 2050. It’s why I already have several masks that filter out smoke. Well, Nowhere is going to be perfect under climate change, but considering the 300 plus days of humid free sunshine we get here, this place is a jewel.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  December 29, 2014

      I would add that the entire pinon / juniper forest collapsed northwest of Albuquerque over a decade ago.

      For those who don’t know, pinon / juniper is one of the toughest tree systems. nature ever developed. The folks at Mesa Verde’ were eating pinon nuts. Dozens of animals depend on them. Hundreds of thousands of acres of them died in a 2 year period over a decade ago. Then, the worst fires in New Mexico history came next.

      Reply
      • That’s right, CB. By nature, those trees are extremely hardy and geared for survival — something very un-natual is doing them in. (That’s us…)

        Reply
  147. No Derechos, Tornados, Mosquitos…I think I ought to work for the tourism bureau.

    Reply
    • And at the end of that article:

      Francis will also be opposed by the powerful US evangelical movement, said Calvin Beisner, spokesman for the conservative Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, which has declared the US environmental movement to be “un-biblical” and a false religion.

      “The pope should back off,” he said. “The Catholic church is correct on the ethical principles but has been misled on the science. It follows that the policies the Vatican is promoting are incorrect. Our position reflects the views of millions of evangelical Christians in the US.”

      Reply
      • climatehawk1

         /  December 28, 2014

        Yeah, the Pope should back off from matters of conscience. No end to deniers’ chutzpah.

        Reply
      • RWood

         /  December 28, 2014

        Yes, you might look over the astute comments at Resource Crisis, as well as current Wit’s End.

        Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  December 29, 2014

        I can’t believe I’m cheering a pope.

        Reply
    • Spike

       /  December 28, 2014

      Dan Misleh, director of the Catholic climate covenant, said: “There will always be 5-10% of people who will take offence. They are very vocal and have political clout. This encyclical will threaten some people and bring joy to others. The arguments are around economics and science rather than morality.

      Hmmm…if an issue which threatens the welfare of billions of humans and 20-50% of other species isn’t a moral one I don’t know what qualifies.

      Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  December 28, 2014

      The shame is that Francis is 78 and has one lung. He won’t be in that post for long. He has upset the right wing world wide quite well, as he is adept at pointing out their hypocrisies.

      Reply
  148. Kevin Jones

     /  December 28, 2014

    p.s. Chevron could go straight to Hell for that ad! (1/2 way down on link above)

    Reply
  149. Kevin Jones

     /  December 28, 2014

    ….the one saying we protect groundwater with eight layers of steel and concrete. (they’ve since changed it to an equally odious ploy…

    Reply
  150. Spike

     /  December 28, 2014

    Most of Europes glaciers are retreating according to EEA

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bu0uVEwCAAA3wrx.jpg:large

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  December 29, 2014

      Spike –
      The only gain is Norway where heat machine is flowing from the Atlantic into the Arctic, seeking a condenser. And giving up it’s water as hits the coast and rises and falls as snow.

      I think this will reverse, as more rain (heat) falls on Norway. In a few years it will rain in Norway in January at altitude. Then the Norway glaciers will follow everyone south of them.

      They will melt , and they will be a big problem as the water comes down stream.

      Your chart reminds me of the sea ice around Antarctica. It only increased because so much fresh water was flowing into the sea it raised the ocean around Antarctica, and it freezes at 6F sooner than saltwater.

      Funny little bumps on the road to hell.

      Reply
  151. joni

     /  December 29, 2014

    http://fortune.com/2014/12/21/why-the-next-world-war-will-be-fought-over-food/

    Why the next world war will be fought over food

    “The world has a massive food crisis on its hands. The crisis is so big that organizations like the World Bank and the United Nations say there won’t be enough food to feed the global population when it jumps from the current seven billion people to nine billion by 2050.

    Some research even suggests a food scarcity crunch as early as 2030 – just 15 years from now.

    The reasons? Severe weather events like droughts and floods, economic hardships, and political unrest in underdeveloped countries, as well as agribusiness expansion.

    While many experts say that producing more food will make the crisis go away, others contend it’s not that simple.

    “To address food security, we need a shift in the way we address poverty and inequality in the world,” Stephen Scanlan, a professor of sociology at Ohio University. “There should be a reframing of food as a fundamental human right in a way that governments actually stand by.””

    Reply
  152. Andy in San Diego

     /  December 29, 2014

    A bad sign.

    “Koenig discovered that lakes in west Greenland now stay liquid through the frigid winter, as long as an insulating snow blanket keeps the water warm. These lakes get a head start on melting the next summer.”

    http://www.livescience.com/49224-greenland-ice-sheet-melt-changing.html

    Reply
  153. Colorado Bob

     /  December 29, 2014

    I would remind everyone, the plane lost over the Java Sea was trying to fly through thunderstorms over 50,000 feet high.

    Reply
  154. Colorado Bob

     /  December 29, 2014

    I would remind everyone , the entire system is gaining energy . One may not just sail from Japan anymore, one may have their forehead driven into the cabin of aircraft. If you don’t wear your seat belt at all times.

    And ladies, never wear panty hose on a jet, and always wear flat shoes.

    Reply
    • Better yet, stay on the damn ground — and stay out of our air in your insidious heavier-than-air machines.

      Reply
      • Mark from New England

         /  December 30, 2014

        DT, is that a particularly old plane in need of an oil change😉, or is that really how much nasty shit your average jet spews on takeoff? Perhaps the smog background makes plane exhaust stand out more in California?

        Reply
  155. Got anybody in your life that still needs convincing about the reality of global warming/climate change? Maybe for religious reasons? I just stumbled across this video of a talk by evangelical christian climate scientist Kathryn Hayhoe. I think it is excellent. It is great to convince deniers for two reasons. First of all it’s by an evangelical Christian, and secondly it’s a video. The effect of video is very different than reading, and frankly a lot of deniers probably don’t read a lot. Just saying’ But seriously bookmark this link and spread it around to any deniers you know. It’s a very good explanation of the science.

    Reply
    • Jacob

       /  December 31, 2014

      I agree Doug, that is an excellent talk from Katherine Hayhoe. Very well articulated to explain the situation. I’m not religious myself, but I do see the war on the environment (which we’ve been waging) as a moral issue and she has eloquently hit the nail on the head. Thanks for finding and posting it.

      Reply
  156. Kevin Jones

     /  December 29, 2014

    Just a couple of thoughts regarding turbulence. I recall Lovelock discussing sea level as a great natural thermometer. And the late Stephen Schneider added that so was the height of the troposphere. Air expands, of course, as does water, with increasing heat. And as heat goes to those two, the stratosphere cools and shrinks…and I just botched the link, but there is a graph (and explanation ) over at NOAA of stratospheric temps from 1958-2012.showing a cooling trend. Recently accelerated.

    Reply
  157. Kevin Jones

     /  December 29, 2014

    ….so the troposphere is expanding, the stratosphere,shrinking. What happens at the tropopause (re: turbulence) is my thought….

    https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/2012-state-climate-temperature-lower-stratosphere

    Reply
  158. Kevin Jones

     /  December 29, 2014

    …the image that comes to mind is pinching a watermelon seed between forefinger and thumb.(the tropopause being the seed)…..used to have great fun long ago in distance contests….

    Reply
  159. Kevin Jones

     /  December 29, 2014

    And now that I’ve stuck my foot in mouth 2013 (available in above link at bottom) shows a slight warming. But with large (4F + and – ) regional anomalies.

    Reply
  160. Colorado Bob

     /  December 29, 2014

    American Geophysical Union 2014 Recap: That Sinking, Drying, Sharing Feeling

    Sociohydrology

    “We need more interaction with the social sciences.”
    Quite a few panels and posters traveled this line of inquiry.

    One presentation looked at the relationship between rising temperatures and violence. Urban lore certainly connects the two. The Son of Sam serial killings, for instance, terrified New York City during its legendary 1977 heat wave, and films such as the steamy 1980s noir Body Heat link murderous intent with thermal oppression. But Solomon Hsiang of the University of California, Berkeley, analyzed the data. They analyzed 60 studies of climate and human conflict that varied in scale from the interpersonal to the national, from road rage to civil war. It is a tricky field for attributing cause and effect, but Hsiang found more agreement than not that more heat means more conflict.

    “Disregarding the potential effect of anthropogenic climate change on human conflict is a dangerously misguided interpretation of the available evidence,” Hsiang concluded.

    http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/2014/commentary/editorial-in-the-circle-fresh-focus/american-geophysical-union-2014-recap-sinking-drying-sharing-feeling/

    Reply
  161. Kevin Jones

     /  December 29, 2014

    More of this sort of thing to come, I’m sure, Colorado Bob. As Vonnegut said of running out of oil, so could be said of running out of the stability of the Holocene: “When we run out of (it ) [that glurp] we will go positively apeshit.”

    Reply
  162. Business Insider Dec. 29, 2014, 2:52 PM
    This Is The Climate Report South Carolina Spent Years Hiding

    … six major impacts of climate change in the state:

    1. Detrimental change in habitat
    2. Detrimental change in the abundance and distribution of species
    3. Detrimental change in biodiversity and ecosystem services
    4. Detrimental change to the traditional use of natural resources
    5. Detrimental change to the abundance and quality of water, and
    6. Detrimental change in sea level.

    The document shows a history of rising temperatures, warming waters, and increases in severe weather events in the state, and also notes concerns for the future

    … The report warns of rising sea levels, water shortages, severe storms, and species die-offs. It also lays out specifically how certain impacts of climate change could harm human health:

    These impacts are real, but South Carolina policy-makers have been largely quiet when it comes to outlining plans for dealing with them.

    The DNR acknowledges the state policy-makers’ climate change apathy in the now-public climate report, writing the following:

    Interest in the effects of climate change in the Southeast is increasing, but there are any number of impediments to understanding and predicting climate change, including public apathy and a lack of awareness, lack of outreach on adaptation options, lack of uniform access to information on current climate change risks and a lack of guidance on what information and tools are available. Climate change documentation and development of adaptation strategies also are limited primarily by a lack of funding, a lack of political will and a lack of government leadership.

    Reply
  163. – Did no one consider a prevention strategy…? Too complicated — or obvious…?

    Iowa City, Iowa USA

    County officials explore possibility of climate change commission

    The Johnson County Board of Supervisors plans to approach other area governments with the idea of forming a commission to address climate change at the local level.

    The supervisors expressed the goal Dec. 19 in a response to calls by local environmental activists for the county to create a body to devise a climate mitigation and adaptation plan.

    The supervisors issued a five-page letter to environmentalists following a September meeting between officials and the participants in a climate march in Iowa City.

    Board members said that any commission tasked with creating a climate mitigation plan should include not only county leaders, but elected officials, employees and citizens from at least the five cities that make up the Iowa City metro area and the University of Iowa.

    “Matters of public health, in particular, require a multi-jurisdictional approach,” supervisors chairman Terrence Neuzil said in the letter.

    http://www.press-citizen.com/story/news/local/2014/12/28/johnson-county-board-supervisors-climate-change/20974637/

    Reply
  164. Carol

     /  December 30, 2014

    Doug, Thanks for the link to the video by the evangelical Christian climate scientist. I watched it and think it’s a great resource for your denier, skeptical, or apathetic planet mates, religious or not.

    Reply
    • Your welcome Carol. Yeah, you have to speak to them in their own language for them to have a hope of getting it. I heard the movie “Chasing Ice” is very good at converting deniers as well. I guess nothing like seeing a Manhattan size chunk of ice collapse in front of your eyes to make an impression.

      Reply
    • Another thing to point out to deniers is that the Pope himself believes in it, and in fact is about to attempt to galvanize a billion Catholics behind the issue. And the World Council of Churches is on board. http://www.ecumenicalnews.com/article/world-church-body-to-hold-september-interfaith-climate-change-summit-in-ny-25434 I think using the religious angle to get at deniers is effective, because so many of them deny based on the belief that climate change somehow goes against God.

      Reply
  165. Apologies if this link has been posted before –

    http://unfccc6.meta-fusion.com/cop20/events/2014-12-04-12-30-abibimman-foundation-united-planet-faith-science-initiative/abibimman-foundation-united-planet-faith-science-initiative-2

    John Nissen is not great at presenting his case for geo-engineering, but enjoyed the clip.

    Reply
  166. james cole

     /  December 30, 2014

    The Western leaders believe and are staking the future on fossil fuels. This is from a report by the security services of the Russian Federation as regards the west’s energy polices going into the next two decades, and the prospect for conflict over hydrocarbon energy. ”

    [Western…]
    “specialists are certain that no real substitute for hydrocarbons as the basis of power generation will emerge in the next few decades. Furthermore the understanding prevails in the West that the total capacity of nuclear, hydro, wind, solar, and other power stations will meet no more than one-fifth of world demand.”

    If Russian analysis of the West is correct, then what are the implications for climate? I say they are dire at best, and apocalyptic at worst. Is the world reading for 2 more decades of business as usual with fossil fuels being the “energy of choice”?

    Reply
    • Weir Bohnd

       /  December 31, 2014

      Well friends, ready or not, it’s what’s for breakfast. That’s right, the one Hell is coming to.

      Reply
  167. Colorado Bob

     /  December 31, 2014

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/5d7f5bd6f91469c21c99c9247de9b348.htm

    Wind Tree uses micro-turbine leaves to generate electricity

    A French start-up says its Wind Tree is ideal for urban environments, harnessing the most gentle of winds to produce power through its micro-turbine leaves. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters

    Reply
    • climatehawk1

       /  December 31, 2014

      Yeah, yeah. Hold onto your wallet. One reason wind turbines are not designed to “capture the gentlest of breezes” is because there is almost no energy in low-speed winds. Winds in urban areas are generally quite low, which is why most “urban turbine” companies have gone out of business.

      Reply
  168. Colorado Bob

     /  December 31, 2014

    Wednesday,
    December 31st, 2014

    Air Temperature
    Anomaly

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

    The heat over Alaska is amazing. A few weeks back , they couldn’t make snow, with snow guns . And the heat into Bering Sea, but notice how little cold pockets have been spit south. , but at the top of the world it’s barely normal. with a ring of “heat”. Then pockets of cold are small and way far south.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  December 31, 2014

      It’s like our “Top”: can’t spin any more , it’s wobbling like it’s about to fall over.

      Currently at Ullensvang FORSOKS., Norway it’s 34.7 °F

      In Lubbock, Texas it’s
      12.3 °F
      Ullensvang FORSOKS., Norway is less than 3 degrees from the Arctic Circle.
      Elev 351 ft 60.37 °N,

      The forecast for January 1st at Ullensvang FORSOKS., Norway tomorrow, is 45F with a low of 40F.

      It should be cold in Texas on January 1st, but it is unthinkable that it will not freeze in Norway tomorrow night. Less than 3 degrees from the Arctic Circle.

      I would invite Robert’s readers to do some research on the last day of year. Something i have done myself for years.
      Use The Weather Underground page to search. , you can read the conditions at the top of
      the Greenland Ice Sheet . Or anywhere on Earth, but let us all take the pulse of planet on the last day , and first day of an old year and a new year.

      Here’s the gateway research tool ……………. Ullensvang FORSOKS., Norway

      http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/getForecast?query=Ullensvang+FORSOKS.%2C+Norway

      Just type in the search box .

      Reply
      • james cole

         /  January 1, 2015

        “The forecast for January 1st at Ullensvang FORSOKS., Norway tomorrow, is 45F with a low of 40F.”
        This is totally nuts! I am looking at Alaska, they are off the charts warm. Imagine the hit to premafrost!

        Reply
  169. Colorado Bob

     /  December 31, 2014

    I found my base marker –

    Narsarsuaq, Greenland at 9:50 PM WGT / 12-29-2010

    50F degrees east wind at 24 mph. This is today’s high so far , the temp went up 9F since noon. Max wind today was 54 mph.

    This current reading is 22F above average max temp., and sets a new daily record by 6F. Beating 44F set way back in 2002.

    http://coloradobob1.newsvine.com/_news/2010/12/29/5735005-narsarsuaq-greenland-at-950-pm-wgt-12-29-2010

    Reply
  170. Since we are concerned with current impacts, shouldn’t you be using the 20 or 10 year global warming potential (gwp) of methane rather then the 100 year gwp? Methane’s impact on local temperatures is immediate. Also, I checked out the CARVE project and think their discounting of winter methane generation will come back to bite them.

    Reply
  171. Women must be given control over their bodies if mankind is to survive as a species, David Attenborough has said.

    The broadcaster and naturalist said that the world’s booming population – predicted to hit 11 billion by 2100 – will lead to our extinction unless something is done to tackle the problem.

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/david-attenborough-women-must-be-given-control-their-bodies-mankind-will-perish-1481424

    Reply
  172. Kevin Jones

     /  January 1, 2015

    Just poking around this a.m. and found a little gem: “NASA climatologist Gavin Schmidt…once told Nate Silver that neither of them would ever see a year in which carbon dioxide concentrations have gone down, not ever, nor would their children.”
    From Wikipedia, Carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere. (From The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction Nate Silver Penguin Books 2013). p.s. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    Reply
    • “I fear their euphoria of merchandise will have no end and they will entangle themselves to the point of chaos. They do not seem concerned that they are making us all perish with the epidemic of fumes that escape from all these things…” ~ Davi Kopenawa, Yanomami leader and shaman

      Reply
      • james cole

         /  January 1, 2015

        I could not find a single family member or friend over the holidays who is the least bit interested in the rapid climate change. Most believe since CNN does not cover it, it is not important. The monolithic corporate media has succeeded in taking Global Warming off the table. This is by design. US Corporate interests have got trillions invested in fossil fuels. They would sooner see us all die than lose money on their investment. Believe it.
        How can you explain the heat over Alaska, oil country, not at least prompting a few stories of this irony. People who brag about their State Oil Checks every year, now see Alaska under the gun of climate change. Vast forest areas are already dead from insect damage due to lack of killing frosts.

        Reply
  173. james cole

     /  January 1, 2015

    “Britain is looking forward to what could be the hottest New Year’s Day on record today, with temperatures expected to reach 15C.”

    59F for Jan 1st?

    Reply
  174. Brian

     /  January 1, 2015

    Happy New Year all……

    The remarkable Chris Hedges on how Moby Dick is a metaphor for the course our civilization and our planet finds itself on. The myth of Human Progress as applied to our failing corporate oligarchy and what this means for the planet.

    Reply
    • wili

       /  January 2, 2015

      Thanks for that, Brian. Chris at his best (and even his not-so-best is pretty damn good!).

      One of the many takeaway lines:

      “The urban poor are in chains, and these chains are being readied for the rest of us.”

      And at about 46:30:

      “I do not know, in the end, if we can build a better society. I do not even know if we will survive as a species.

      But I know these corporate forces have us by the throat, and they have my children by the throat.

      I do not fight fascists because I will win.

      I fight fascists because they are fascists.”

      Reply
      • Brian

         /  January 2, 2015

        I’m glad you found the speech worthwhile, Wili. And I do apologise that the link doesn’t work properly. I had no idea that the publisher had restricted viewing on third-party sites. The title can easily be found on youtube though.

        I don’t agree with everything Chris says and does but he is a very intelligent and inspirational guy and walks the walk he describes in his talk. The struggle for public understanding of climate change can be so depressing sometimes that I found this speech to be a hopeful new years message.

        I do think that until we are able, as a society to have a reasonable discussion about the role of corporations and campaign funding in subverting the political process against the greater public interest, we are going to have a very difficult time changing the course we are on and taking real action against the environmental challenges we face.

        I saw an interesting quote recently to the effect that in previous centuries the struggle was to remove religion from the affairs of state. For our time, the biggest challenge may be to find a way to remove corporate and financial interests from the affairs of state.

        The quotes you picked out as take away messages are Chris’s truth and I agree with him as they speak to the struggle we will all increasingly face as this century, with all its challenges, moves forward.

        Reply
  175. Kevin Jones

     /  January 2, 2015

    Keeling Curve tweets, (34 min ago) : “400.37 parts per million (ppm) CO2 in air 01-Jan-2015… Happy New Year!”

    Reply
  176. Kevin Jones

     /  January 2, 2015

    Interesting that NOAA is reporting 401.56 ppm for Jan. 1, ’15. (Both first daily average–not first hourly– to reach 400ppm this seasonal cycle, I presume.)

    Reply
  177. Kevin Jones

     /  January 2, 2015

    Keeling Curve just posted on their site 400.37 as their daily avg. Some hourly averages at about 402….

    Reply
  178. Colorado Bob

     /  January 2, 2015

    Rapidly Warming Oceans Set to Release Heat into the Atmosphere

    What scientists discovered in 2014 is that since the turn of the century, oceans have been absorbing more of global warming’s heat and energy than would normally be expected, helping to slow rates of warming on land. What they will be talking about in 2015, and beyond, is when that trend might come to an end—likely following a routine shift in Pacific Ocean trade winds. Much of that extra sunken heat will eventually be belched back into the atmosphere by the overheating seas. The effects of ocean warming might be imperceptible to most of us, but they are far-reaching. They are driving fishing fleets further out to sea, ushering tropical fish into polar waters, and worsening flood hazards for coastal communities.

    It can be difficult to probe the ocean, but it doesn’t help to look away. So scientists have been finding innovative new ways of peering beneath the swells, conscripting everything from seals to climate models to improve their grasp of marine temperature trends. Titanic international projects that are just kicking off, including the National Science Foundation-funded Ocean Observatories Initiative and Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling project, promise to pile on reams of new data and knowledge in the coming years—not all of it expected to be postcard pretty. Many of the discoveries from similar research during the past year were decidedly feverish.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/rapidly-warming-oceans-set-to-release-heat-into-the-atmosphere/

    Reply
  179. Colorado Bob

     /  January 2, 2015

    Monarch butterflies could be declared an endangered species. Here’s what that means.

    Monarch butterflies are vanishing. Over the last 20 years, fewer and fewer of them have been making the long journey down to Mexico to survive the winter. By one count, their numbers have shrunk as much as 90 percent.

    “An endangered species listing could mean sweeping new protections”

    There are a few reasons for that: In Mexico, their winter habitat has dwindled due to logging. And in the United States, where they breed in the summer, they’re suffering from a decline of milkweed — the main food for monarch caterpillars before they turn into butterflies. Some recent research has suggested that the rise of herbicide-heavy farming in the Midwest is killing off milkweed.

    http://www.vox.com/2015/1/2/7481337/monarch-butterfly-endangered

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  January 3, 2015

      Yes, I agree wholeheartedly. What a great way to pressure the new Congress of idiots to wake up to environmental realities. Since the Monarch is a beautiful, well-known butterfly, it makes for a good iconic species to rally around. And to think the EPA approved the new ‘Agent Orange’ herbicide.

      Reply
  180. I would be interested in a discussion that we could carry over to the next thread if Robert posts anytime soon, on where in the U.S. would be the ideal place to live many decades hence, as a result of climate change. I have done a fair amount of research into the topic and have even written some “experts” for their opinions, but I don’t feel satisfied I have the right answer-yet.

    Some of the considerations are of course sea level rise, droughts, extreme storms, a steady water supply, access to food, avoidance of extreme heat waves, and where there will be “community” so that it’s not a every man for himself mentality. I think also one would want to pick an area that does not get too cold or too hot in any part of the year, as well as a place where one could make a living.

    In my research it seems many people think the pacific Northwest will be the place to be. Specifically west of the Cascades, but not right next to the ocean. Also the Willamette valley in Oregon is mentioned as perhaps meeting all of the criteria above.

    But once some geographical considerations are narrowed down, you have to think about if you would want to live in a major city, or in a rural area. Also would you want to be near a water source ie. a river. The reason I am wanting to have this discussion is because I’m thinking about my offspring, and am considering buying some property for them. So, since this is property that one and/or their offspring, would hold onto for several decades at a minimum, one would need to think about what you are buying. Land? A house, an apartment? A commercial business or property? Price?

    I’d commit to an ongoing conversation about this, if people are interested. Maybe if we put our heads together we can come up with some pretty good ideas.

    Reply
    • Robert In New Orleans

       /  January 3, 2015

      On the face of it, the Pacific Northwest may seem to be a potential future Shangri-La, but when the heat cranks up big time in the desert southwest and large populations begin to migrate out, the Pacific NW will be in the relocation bulls eye for a lot these people.

      Reply
      • climatehawk1

         /  January 3, 2015

        I agree, don’t believe there is really going to be a safe haven. Any such place is going to be overrun.

        Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  January 3, 2015

      The northeast and New England has many things going for it – adequate and evenly distributed rainfall, good soils in the river valleys, moderate temperatures (of course, this list is based on the past stable Holocene climate), healthy forests and a relatively well-educated populace. But, it has a high population density, most of which is concentrated in the large conurbations of NYC, New Haven, Boston, etc.). Still, given how water is going to be such a large issue going forward, even if that water comes more frequently as torrential flood events, at least there will be plenty of water here.

      Reply
  181. I’d just like to add, before anyone responds, that it might sound defeatist to think about fleeing wherever you are and locate somewhere else as a result of climate change, but, I believe it’s just being realistic. Extreme droughts have been civilization killers in the past, and people WILL MIGRATE, as a result of that. (as well as several other aspects of climate change) It would be nice for all of us to stay in place, and work for building resiliency in the community where you live, but that’s probably not very smart in many areas of the Country. Climate change is likely to overwhelm mitigation efforts for lots of places in my opinion. So, if people are interested in having this discussion, (and Robert is okay with it) let’s talk!

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  January 2, 2015

      Doug –

      I just was listening to NPR , the human smugglers are mow loading large old ships with 500 to a !,000 people , and abandoning the them near Italy. Most are fleeing the Syrian. civil war , which is being driven by climate change.

      45 years ago I fled Texas to live in the mountains, Because I was sure life in a city was waste of time. Since then , we have paved the mountains. And only the rich can live in Santa Fe, or any place. with a view.

      This idea of fleeing , I find interesting . Because our fore sight is so poor.

      Doug –

      Read up on the 30 Years War. That’s template for the future.

      Reply
  182. Colorado Bob

     /  January 2, 2015

    Record-setting warm year in Tucson seems “consistent with” climate change projections, UA scientist says

    No climate scientist worth his acidifying sea salt will speculate on whether one year of record warm weather is due to global warming or other forces of human-caused climate change.

    But Gregg Garfin, a University of Arizona’s climate scientist, said 2014’s record warm temperature in Tucson — which matched the global record warm temperature for the past year — “certainly seems consistent” with projections that UA scientists and others have made for future global warming.

    http://tucson.com/news/blogs/desertblog/record-setting-warm-year-in-tucson-seems-consistent-with-climate/article_baead3bc-92a6-11e4-8dca-a74afe850881.html

    Reply
    • – Yup, you bet.

      “Many climate scientists say the burning of coal, oil and gas traps heat, changing the climate.” – Of course.

      Coal’s war on humanity. Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky as executioneri-in-chief. Worse than evil.

      Reply
  183. Colorado Bob

     /  January 2, 2015

    Superhuman effort isn’t worth a damn unless it achieves results.
    Ernest Shackleton

    Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/e/ernest_shackleton.html#y0eY64PfwBZM1GSU.99

    Reply
  184. Thanks for your response Colorado Bob. I think high elevations such as where you are, has some value in a warming world. Species will be heading to higher elevations, and towards the Arctic as the world warms. Of course that’s already happening, but not so much with people-yet, in the U.S.

    I have looked at projections for future droughts, and the Northwest and Northeast parts of the U.S. look to be best off. Some people say Alaska will be the “new Florida” by the end of the Century, meaning where migration will be for U.S. citizens. It will likely stay wet, while most the rest of the Country is in drought. But I think long before then, people will migrate to the Northwest and Northeast parts of the Country. Maybe even North Central. (Probably) But I think the ideal place looks to be the Northwest, and if we have a collapse of civilization, which I don’t think is out of the question at all, these ideal locations will be of even more importance.

    So, in my mind I think the Northwest is ideal, west of the Cascades, but if I do decide to buy some property up there, I want to buy the right kind! Not sure if city living is going to work out? A lot of people are saying Seattle and Portland will be inundated with people. Already homes are quite expensive in both those cities I think. So, my first inclination would be to buy in an area that has not seen huge increases in property values. Even as an investment, I think buying up there would be very valuable in the future, even if one decided not to move there. Again, I’d love to start a discussion with anyone else interested in this topic.

    Reply
    • islandraider

       /  January 3, 2015

      My sense is that you are not alone in this idea. There is an epic building boom going on in the PNW right now. Was in Seattle over the holidays… the number of construction cranes was incredible! Not just in Seattle, but from Tacoma through Everett the amount of building going on is mind boggling. My non-demographic/non-scientific assessment is that the migration has begun already. I have family working in construction in the area… they are in their 40’s/50’s & feel like they have work easily until retirement. If I was picking a doomstead of some kind, I would look further north… perhaps the Sunshine Coast of BC? There are some pretty isolated islands near the north end of Vancouver Island that I would look at. I would also look further north in BC, up to Alaska.

      The last few years in the PNW, from a weather perspective, have been really great. I feel like it will be our ‘turn in the barrel’ soon enough, though…

      Reply
      • Andy in San Diego

         /  January 3, 2015

        Being from BC there are a lot of great areas. Sunshine coast being one of them (love it). The interior of BC such as Litton, Lilooet, Okanogan etc…are actually a form of semi arid desert. Williams Lake may be a good spot, hell maybe even Prince George! The Island is great, unless drought takes hold. North of Pemberton up the Duffy Lake road, as that will get built out eventually.

        I for one am making that long term plan, and will be back in BC in about 10 years.

        Being in Southern California, the goal is sock away a few bucks, and reduce house hold belongings. 10 years gives me plenty of time to enact this without any panic.

        Reply
  185. Robert in New Orleans-thanks as well, for your response. I suppose I don’t have to tell you about projections for New Orleans. Maybe your kind of oldish like me, and probably won’t have to worry about it! As to your idea that lots of people may overrun the Pacific Northwest, that might be true, but that still might work out for people that had a little foresight, and decided to buy land up there. I’m just saying sometimes you should be rewarded for dealing with reality (climate change) before it got really bad. I am extremely egalitarian, at the same time one has to think about survival for their offspring. Maybe, even though lots of people would flee to the Northwest, it STILL would be the place to be for people who had a little foresight. What do you think?

    Reply
  186. Andy in San Diego

     /  January 3, 2015

    Kevin et al,

    On those Keeling curve readings. We’re seeing some serious loading, and it is pretty solid. Does anyone think our ability to remove carbon has been surpassed such that new plant growth, ocean and other carbon sinks are finding it difficult to absorb more? Thus leaving it as atmospheric, reducing the chance of it getting soak up elsewhere?

    Just smells that way, and if it is such then things may accelerate.

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  January 3, 2015

      Yes, to have it back at 400 ppm so fast is disquieting. What might it peak at later this year? And yes, the carbon sinks of the Amazon forest, forests generally and the oceanic phytoplankton are being overwhelmed. I think we’re at the start of a big ramp up in temps.

      Reply
  187. Thanks for the perspective Island Raider. How’s the soil quality in the areas you’re talking about? Suitable for growing food? My understanding is that one of the problems with people just moving North as the climate changes, is that the soil quality diminishes. Another concern with Canada is of course, immigration. Not easy for us Yanks to live and or buy property there? Probably buying is no problem, but if you couldn’t move there, it kind of defeats the purpose. (Unless one was thinking of it as an investment only)

    What do you think?

    Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  January 3, 2015

      The soil ranges between good & acidic (due to fir trees). A little trivia, Idaho potatoes use seed potatoes grown in Pemberton BC. This is due to a closed valley, with zero potatoes allowed in form anywhere else (ie store shelves). This way they keep the genetic makeup uniform & constant. They harvest these spuds and truck them to Idaho to grow what we see on supermarket shelves.

      Americans can buy property in Canada, same as Canadians can buy in the US. It doesn’t trigger any taxable income situation. Oddly, as a Canadian living in the US, I can’t buy property in Canada as it would cause me to have a significant financial presence, thus causing my US income to become taxable. I can only buy if I move back.

      If you look on google earth and scan around the valleys, you’ll see a fair amount of agriculture.

      Reply
  188. Thanks Andy, being form BC, you probably have insight into the questions I brought up to Islandraider.

    Reply
  189. No comment… except it looks pretty damn warm up there in the polar regions. All those orange and red blemishes. Sun spots? Sunburn? Weather-warts? A liberal agenda?

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  January 3, 2015

      The East Siberian Arctic Shelf looks particularly warm. Hello methane.

      Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  January 3, 2015

      All fall/winter, the cold section of the jet stream mangle has been smaller than last year. If you look at ice extent, the refreeze has slowed down as well.

      Reply
  190. Thanks XrayMike.

    Reply
  191. Kevin Jones

     /  January 3, 2015

    Andy in San Diego: I do worry about loss of sinks. Oceanic & terrestrial. I recall (correctly?) the largest one year CO2 rise recorded by Scripps at Mauna Loa was the El Nino year of 1998. Almost 3ppm. Suggesting oceanic outgassing and/or terrestrial reduction of photosynthesis ? One day we will know, for sure. By the way, there is a blizzard warning for Hawaii, the big island out for above 11,000 ft……

    Reply
  192. Kevin Jones

     /  January 3, 2015

    Just checked NOAA ESRL GMD Trends in Carbon Dioxide: 1998 (the super El Nino year) still stands as the highest annual rate increase at 2.93ppm.. As Spike showed us way back at the beginning of this current exchange, there is variability in all temporal measurements. He showed NOAA showing an outlier above 400ppm a couple weeks ago. If current +400 readings continue we are 1ppm or so above avg rate of rise. A big deal? We’ll see.

    Reply
  193. Kevin Jones

     /  January 3, 2015

    Barry Danilow: sorry for the mis-attribution! Good work. (Yours too, Spike and All)

    Reply
  194. Kevin Jones

     /  January 3, 2015

    ’98 also was the year of those humongous peat fires in Indonesia, I believe….

    Reply
  195. Kevin Jones

     /  January 3, 2015

    According to Wiki, Indonesia fires of 1997-1998 amongst the top three largest group of wildfires in 200 years, if not the largest….

    Reply
    • “This is good news, because uptake in boreal forests is already slowing, while tropical forests may continue to take up carbon for many years.”

      That is a quaint bit of botanical info from NASA.
      Good for them.
      But airborne pollutants from fossil fuel emissions, other than carbon, are killing urban and wild forests worldwide. We are rapidly losing our trees.
      That carbon soaking ‘rescue’ foliage also absorbs every other toxic element in the aerosol mix of emissions.

      ” A new NASA-led study shows that tropical forests may be absorbing far more carbon dioxide than many scientists thought…”
      – That just proves scientists think.

      Reply
  196. Kevin Jones

     /  January 3, 2015

    Headline writers! Might read: NASA finds Good News Today, Not So Good, Bye & Bye…

    Reply
  197. Kevin Jones

     /  January 3, 2015

    In other not wholly unrelated news the DOE’s EIA reports US oil production to rise in 2015. Free Oil Tomorrow! Free Bud’s Tomorrow! Apparently the EIA’s been enjoying Free bud today….

    Reply
  198. Brian

     /  January 3, 2015

    Australian 2015 wildfire season is upon them. Stay safe Australia……….

    http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/jan/03/six-homes-destroyed-southern-australia-catastrophic-fire-danger

    Reply
    • mikkel

       /  January 4, 2015

      McPherson is wrong about many details and catastrophic warming on his timeframe won’t happen.

      For example, he claims in there that if we stop pumping aerosols then the earth’s temp would rise 1 degree “in a matter of days or weeks.” This is absurd considering thermal inertia. What he probably got confused about was that aerosols negate about 1W/m^2 of forcing (http://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2008/06/common-climate-misconceptions-why-reducing-sulfate-aerosol-emissions-complicates-efforts-to-moderate-climate-change/).

      “Aerosols are the primary reason why Earth is still at around 380 parts per million CO2-equivilent (CO2e), rather than the 460 ppm CO2e projected if all the positive forcings were added together. Conveniently enough, aerosols pretty much cancel out the warming from all the non-CO2 greenhouse gases.”

      Certainly we will experience quite rapid warming once coal plants are shut down (hopefully very soon) but the overall impact is a fraction of CO2. As it says, the temp rise over the next 100 year (if there was no more CO2 emission): “A reduction of anthropogenic atmospheric sulfate aerosols by 50 percent means that 1.34 degrees C (2.41 F) warming suddenly becomes 1.70 degrees C (3.06 F).”

      Hardly 1 degree rise in days. Other claims of his are similarly hyperbolic.

      If people want to pay attention to the worse than IPCC but still realm of reality, they should pay attention to Hansen and Robert.

      Reply
      • Mikkel,
        The article you quote from is 6 years old. Things have changed for the worse since that time. For instance, Hansen and his team of researchers have found that temperatures would rise 1.2 degrees (plus or minus 0.2°) within 10 days:

        “Hansen’s new study estimates this aerosol “dimming” at 1.2 degrees (plus or minus 0.2°), much higher than previously figured. Aerosols are washed out of the atmosphere by rain on average every 10 days, so their cooling effect is only maintained because of continuing human pollution…”
        http://www.climatecodered.org/2012/02/beyond-carbon-price-faustian-bargain.html

        Also, the danger of abrupt climate change is real. Google this on youtube:
        “Abrupt Climate Change: Past, Present, and Future”

        Reply
      • lesliegraham1

         /  January 4, 2015

        Three Days Without Contrails
        The post-9/11 grounding of all commercial aircraft resulted in the sudden disappearance of condensation trails (contrails) from jet aircraft across the entire United States. According to the Nature study, the potential of contrails “…from jet aircraft to affect regional-scale surface temperatures has been debated for years…,” but it was not until the three-day grounding period that doubts concerning the existence of the phenomenon could be put to rest.

        The Phenomenon: A 1.8 Degree Celsius Increase In Temperature in North America

        The study found “…an anomalous increase in the average diurnal temperature range (that is, the difference between the daytime maximum and night-time minimum temperatures) for the period 11-14 September 2001.”

        Links to full study via this site:

        http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/artificial-weather-revealed-post-9-11-flight-groundings

        Reply
      • wili

         /  January 4, 2015

        mikkel wrote wrt to McPherson claims: “he claims in there that if we stop pumping aerosols then the earth’s temp would rise 1 degree “in a matter of days or weeks.” This is absurd considering thermal inertia.”

        Yes, good point; the response would certainly not be instantaneous. But wouldn’t you say that “a matter of months or years” would work…still pretty darn fast for an increase at or near 1 degree C (which even your later citation admits–if 50% reduction leads “suddenly” to a .36 degree increase, than presumably the (admittedly unrealistic) loss of _all_ anthropogenic aerosols would lead to a .72 C increase, right?

        (I do agree that McPherson too often gets things wrong, but it can be useful to suss out just how right or wrong he is in particular instances, and it is better to leave out emotionally laden words like ‘absurd,’ imvho. “Off by one or two orders of magnitude in this case” is more precise and just as damning.)

        Reply
      • @wili…
        The most recent thoughts on when the warming effects would manifest from the loss of manmade aerosols is believed to be 10 years…

        “The aerosol impact is not precisely known, but Ramanthan and Feng estimate it as high as ~1°C. As the world moves to low-emission technologies, most of the aerosols and their temporary cooling will be lost. Recent research finds that quickly eliminating all greenhouse gas emissions (and necessarily the associated aerosols) would produce warming of between 0.25 and 0.5 °C over the decade immediately following (Matthews and Zickfield; Hansen, Sato et al.)”
        http://www.climatecodered.org/2013/09/is-climate-change-already-dangerous-3.html

        Science is not static but constantly evolving.

        Reply
      • “Without removing CO2 from the atmosphere (feasibility unknown), we are already committed to a warming above 2ºC.”

        A List of Unavoidable Sources of Warming

        “3. Deferred warming from unmasking air pollution aerosol cooling
        We all know that burning fossil fuels produces air pollution, which causes and contributes to a myriad of very costly health disorders. Black carbon (soot) particulates is a large contributor to global warming, but the aerosols are a much larger source of global cooling. Because these pollutant emissions have to be reduced for air quality and virtually stopped for climate change and ocean acidification mitigation, the hidden warming will be unmasked and the global temperature will rapidly rise. The amount of this cooling is very uncertain but estimated by the 2007 IPCC AR4 at up to 0.8ºC and the 2014 AR5 at about 0.4ºC.

        (Ramanathan and Feng were published in PNAS 2008 pointing out that the prevailing science, which does not account for this deferred warming, is wrong, and calculated that the commitment due to the ocean heat lag and deferred aerosol warming (for a high aerosol warming) is 2.4ºC.”

        http://www.climate-change-emergency-medical-response.org/climate-change-commitment.html

        Reply
      • wili

         /  January 4, 2015

        Thanks, xray. I would have thought that it was pretty clear from the effects of volcanoes that most of the cooling behavior of aerosols was gone after a few months to years, depending on the size of the volcano and leaving aside feedbacks.

        That commitment of 2.4 degrees is pretty damn frightening. Is that on top of the .85 degrees or so that we already have under our belts?

        And I would have thought that the ocean heat lag would have gone the other way–that the oceans still haven’t caught up with the added heat of the atmosphere (just as it hasn’t reached equilibrium with the CO2 concentrations yet). But I am constantly surprised by how counter intuitive the world can be.

        Reply
      • RWood

         /  January 4, 2015

        Thank you for clarifying some of the hyperbole. That’s why I posted the link. I do read here daily for such education.

        Reply
      • mikkel

         /  January 4, 2015

        xraymike: the contrail link refers to differences in max and min temperatures during the day. The increased radiation from fewer aerosols during the day leads to increased heat loss at night and is relatively net neutral (although maybe slightly warming). This may seem pedantic except for the fact that most plant sensitivity seems to be based on higher night time temperatures in terms of blooming, ripening and other aspects.

        The link you sent doesn’t say that the temperature would rise after 10 days, it says that the negative forcing would disappear in that time. That is a big difference: the total net forcing is now about 2W/m2 and the total aerosol forcing is: (again from Hansen)

        “Hansen et al., based mainly on analysis of Earth’s energy imbalance, derive an aerosol forcing -1.6 ± 0.3 W/m2, consistent with an analysis of Murphy et al. that suggests an aerosol forcing about -1.5 W/m2. This large negative aerosol forcing reduces the net climate forcing of the past century by about half.”

        Only about half to maybe 2/3 of that is man made, so we’re looking at 1W/m2 increase. If the temperature has only increased about 1C under 2W/m2 in the last century, certainly an extra 1W/m2 won’t cause the temperature to rise that much in weeks or months!

        That said, if someone wants to argue that 1W/m2 will cause a total of 1C extra warming, that sounds reasonable; it just will take quite a while to happen.

        Reply
      • mikkel

         /  January 4, 2015

        wili: it is difficult to predict because forcing is an energy imbalance (flow) which is different than the total energy of the system (stock). Volcanic eruptions can have enormous short term effects in blocking out a fraction of sunlight, which leads to rapid weather changes, but the total energy of the system is little changed. If sulfur was constantly pumped into the atmosphere, it would stop a lot of the increase in heat imbalance, but over time the heat already in the system would come out and stabilize: i.e. it wouldn’t remain so cold. This has now been identified as a major problem with geoengineering.

        The reason volcanoes have an impact of a few years is that when volcanic ash gets washed out of the system the immediate balance is restored to the long term energy stock.

        xraymike: in that sense, I guess it is possible to have large and fairly immediate but shallow warming, but again, the total heat in the system would only start increasing at 50% greater rate, so after a few years things would equalize. Perhaps if aerosols were gone we’d see a quick spike and if that were enough on its own to kick in many positive feedbacks we’d see outsized long term increases, but otherwise we wouldn’t.

        Reply
      • mikkel

         /  January 4, 2015

        wili: to me absurd means something beyond any rational thought that it should be immediately identified with a modicum of thinking by the person saying it (so something can be absurd when said by one person who has knowledge and context but not by another person who doesn’t).

        In that sense, conflating immediate forcings with long term equilibrium temperature increase — without any mechanism in between — is absurd for someone who is arguing from scientific authority that we’re going to go extinct within 15 years. If he merely said it would add 1C (or even 2C) to the overall outcome, then that could be arguable but not absurd.

        I happen to agree with xraymike’s link that we’re already committed to 2.4C for this reason, largely because of the work by Robert and Hansen reasonably demonstrating that long term sensitivity is probably close to 6C. Also, his quote of between 0.25C and 0.5C within a decade of aerosol removal also seems quite reasonable, but again is much different than 1C within weeks.

        xraymike: I know that abrupt climate change is a real phenomenon, what I object to is McPherson’s certainty around time frames and mechanisms. The proper answer is that these things might happen and that they are much more likely to happen the greater the energy imbalance (the more CO2 we pump out, faster than equilibrium can be reached). The other part of the answer is that we can’t be sure what it’d look like: it could get really hot or it could cause huge glacial melt and short term cooling. Whatever happens, variability is going to increase dramatically and make life miserable.

        This is still far disconnected from claiming extinction.

        I’m watching the AGU youtube video and it’s thus far it’s great. One of the best videos on climate I’ve seen. He is doing a great job of explaining the nature of tipping points and psychology that we should pay attention to. Even the ice cores in the AGU talk don’t show rapid global warming, after all, the methane increase was only 50%. I’m not saying it wouldn’t cause massive climate disruption, but it was probably due to energy shifting and (obviously) did not lead to runaway climate warming. This is much different than the AGW/McPherson crew.

        Reply
        • @Mikkel
          I’m thinking McPherson is trying to influence social behavior any way he can, hyperbolizing threats in order to wake up the public. But as we can see, it’s not having much of an effect and is even turning people away from his real message which is that humanity needs to fundamentally rethink it’s way of living which is inherently unsustainable.

      • @ Mikkel
        Also, whether we are talking about a few years, a decade, or even 50 years of several degrees warming, all of those time frames are instantaneous on a geologic timescale and can be considered abrupt on a human timescale since they happen within a person’s lifetime. Catastrophic in all cases. It’s interesting to note that up until just a month ago, the scientific consensus was that the lag time for CO2 greenhouse effects was roughly 40 years, but has now been moved up to a decade:

        http://www.climatecentral.org/news/co2-emissions-peak-heat-18394

        And as climate science has matured over the decades, the earth appears to be much more sensitive than thought:

        “Swings of temperature that in the 1950s scientists had believed would take tens of thousands of years, in the 1970s thousands of years, and in the 1980s hundreds of years, were now found to take only decades. Ice core analysis by Dansgaard’s group, confirmed by the Americans’ parallel hole, showed rapid oscillations of temperature repeatedly at irregular intervals throughout the last glacial period. Greenland had sometimes warmed a shocking 7°C within a span of less than 50 years. For one group of American scientists on the ice in Greenland, the “moment of truth” struck on a single day in midsummer 1992 as they analyzed a cylinder of ice, recently emerged from the drill hole, that came from the last years of the Younger Dryas. They saw an obvious change in the ice, visible within three snow layers, that is, scarcely three years! The team analyzing the ice was first excited, then sobered — their view of how climate could change had shifted irrevocably. The European team reported seeing a similar step within at most five years (later studies found a big temperature jump within a single year). “The general circulation [of the atmosphere] in the Northern Hemisphere must have shifted dramatically,” Dansgaard’s group eventually concluded.”
        The Discovery of Global Warming by SPENCER R. WEART

        Reply
      • mikkel

         /  January 5, 2015

        xraymike — he’s saying that we’re going extinct by 2030. There is no changing behavior there except getting ready to die.

        Don’t get me wrong, I totally agree with what you’re saying. In fact, I’ve been critcizing climate science for years for underplaying likely variability and speed of change. There hasn’t been a good push back against the idea that everyone can just move up to Canada, which is painful but doable. Instead, it is likely that all places on Earth will have such wild swings that any adaptation is nearly impossible — nearly, but not totally.

        For instance, even though climate science has shown that system response is more sensitive than first thought, sensitivity works both ways. Regreening and reforesting efforts are highly likely to buffer a huge amount of change and provide a lot of protection against seasonal swings, floods and droughts. People focusing on regenerating soils have successfully reduced runoff by 90% or so, meaning long term soil storage, regeneration of aquifers and end to erosion. Combine that with permaculture principles and we can create food and habitat for many.

        I went to visit a mature food forest in NZ a couple months ago (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L74WkW1rWKU). When they started 20 years ago, the land was compacted and infertile and now they have a regenerative native forest that is almost indistinguishable from pristine forests, in addition to much food production for minimal labor. The forest creates its own microclimate — when we were there, the Antarctic wind was blowing strongly with a windchill of probably around 45F, but inside their forest it was at least 65-70F if not warmer. Similarly, I’ve read about well planned forests allowing food growth in AZ and other places where it often gets to 110F+ but inside the forest is 80F.

        The Guytons took 20 years to get to that point, but they say that they made many mistakes that greatly increased the time, and think it’s doable within 10 years if done without those mistakes.

        I don’t think our current architecture or way of life is salvageable, but I do think that massive ecosystem regeneration would give us more than a fighting shot to muddle through as best as we can. I am not so sure that things have to be worse on a social level than they have always been.

        But of course we’re running out of time. I actually wish that people would stop spending so much energy trying to characterize climate change and instead redirect it into these projects. We’re at the point that I think increased knowledge is having marginal returns, since it’s all pointing to extreme sensitivity and inability to truly predict what will happen. Things won’t be solved by science but by reframing reality, which to me is most effective by the people who are ready just joining together and creating a new social reality, then incorporating the young and those who suffer disaster/fear as appropriate.

        Reply
      • @Mikkel
        I’m all for forest restoration, permaculture, etc… I just think they need to be done on an “industrial” scale to have meaningful effect. Only governments can provide the infrastructure and guidance to carry out such large scale projects, and anyone looking at the daily headlines can see that this is not going to happen. As Sheldon Wolin recently remarked, “Capitalism is destructive because it has to eliminate the kind of customs, mores, political values, even institutions that present any kind of credible threat to the autonomy of the economy…-–that’s where the battle lies. Capitalism wants an autonomous economy. They want a political order subservient to the needs of the economy.”

        As far as McPherson, I was told that he has now gotten even more extreme in his outlook…

        “Collapse of industrial civilization, global nuclear meltdown, super abrupt climate change, and total human extinction pretty much guaranteed sometime in the next 2 to 20 years!”

        Reply
  199. arctic-news.blogspot.com

    Friday, January 2, 2015
    Strong winds threaten to push sea ice out of Arctic Ocean

    Reply
      • Mark from New England

         /  January 4, 2015

        Stunning. Are we really looking at an imminent ‘state change’ here, or would we have seen this same phenomenon in 2007 and 2012 before the previous min. summer ice events? Was the winter sea ice as fluid then?

        Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  January 4, 2015

      That really ties in with what a lot of us (if not all of us) have been watching all winter. That high temp anomaly between Alaska & Russia. I looked at the temp and temp anomaly as usual this morning. With the temperature, you can really see the invasion of warm air pushing the temperatures up across a large area. It “pairs” with the above animation very well.

      The high SSTA off the coast of BC and Alaska may be too powerful now and is setting the course for the Beaufort.

      What I find amazing with that animation is the thick ice forcing down the east side of Greenland. That is open during the summer, so it is all excreta from the Arctic Ocean. It really does make me wonder what we’ll see summer 2015 and onward.

      Air Temp.

      Reply
      • Mark from New England

         /  January 4, 2015

        Yes, and when you look at the temp. anomaly map, you see it’s 18 – 20 C above normal over the ESAS. That in combination with the winds off Siberia will likely do away with the thin sea ice there well before ‘normal’. Perhaps 2015 will see a new record min. extent and volume of sea ice. I wonder what Robert makes of these developments? (cueing Robert, it’s the new year and all…:-)

        Reply
  200. Colorado Bob

     /  January 4, 2015

    Bird carcasses along Pacific shore baffle biologists

    The carcasses of thousands of small birds called Cassin’s auklets have been washing ashore over the last few months from Northern California up to the north coast of Washington.

    Scientists along the Pacific Coast have been trying to determine what is causing the large die-off of the birds this winter.

    The University of Washington’s Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team has seen more than 1,200 bodies wash ashore since fall began.
    Executive Director Julia Parrish thinks that is only a small fraction of the total number of dead birds. It is probably in the tens of thousands, she said.

    Parrish, a professor of marine sciences at the University of Washington, said the die-off was largely a mystery to experts.

    The birds have been found mostly starved to death, so the deaths are not a result of an oil spill or a toxic reaction to food, said Lindsay Adrean, a wildlife biologist with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

    http://www.latimes.com/science/la-na-dead-birds-20150103-story.html

    Reply
  201. Colorado Bob

     /  January 4, 2015

    Alaska’s toasty temperatures in 2014 worry observers

    For the first time in recorded history, temperatures in Anchorage did not drop below zero once in an entire calendar year. In comparison, Alaska’s largest city had 14 days below zero in the 2013 calendar year and 32 days in 2012. The average is 29 days.

    http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-baked-alaska-20150103-story.html

    Reply
  202. Andy in San Diego

     /  January 4, 2015

    A rather sobering read.

    Environment Canada. Tracking the ground temperature change in the North West Territories. Some regions have warmed by 2C since the 1970’s. In huge areas this puts the ground temperature at -1.5C. Yes, only 1.5C which places a giant chunk of permafrost at striking range of 0C+.

    Sections 13.1, 13.2 and 13.3 are well worth a read.

    13.3 has great information on the collapse of ground layers exposing permafrost to futher melting.

    They also have links to the raw data.

    http://www.enr.gov.nt.ca/state-environment/131-ground-temperature-permafrost-zones

    Reply
  203. Andy in San Diego

     /  January 4, 2015

    Open / Close dates for ice roads in the North West Territories for the Mackenzie River from 1983 forward.

    Items of note, look at the 10 yr average at the bottom and then look at the last few years. Most significant would be the Fort Providence crossing. It has not even opened in the past 2 years (not enough ice, or ice too thin).

    http://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/_live/pages/wpPages/Open_Close_Dates_Ice_Bridges.aspx

    Reply
  204. If anyone does want to talk about this idea of mine, about trying to figure out where might be a good place to buy a property for the kids or grand kiddies, and you don’t feel like talking about it here. You can e-mail me at doug4500@outlook.com. Otherwise, I am happy to discuss it in detail here, as long as we don’t clog up the thread. I thought putting our heads together might be useful. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Gerald Spezio

       /  January 5, 2015

      Doug, your “question” demonstrates that you do not understand even the basics of what near term extinction means.

      Reply
  205. Please PLEASE, can somebody help.
    When I talk to people about global temps rising I regularly get the following graph shown to me that indicates NO rise in average globale mean temps for the last the 10 years.

    How does one interpret this.

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • wili

       /  January 5, 2015

      So statistically, there is not pause. The eyeball effect of that graph has more to do with choosing that particular data set and moving an average that becomes less reliable when you get to the margins of the data. There have also been estimates of influence of volcanic activity (and possibly aerosols from Chinese and other coal plants) that, when factored out, make it even clearer that the ‘pause’ is ephemeral. Data that include best estimates of what is happening in the Arctic also make the it clear that there is no real pause. Finally, all along something like 90% of the heat has been going into the oceans. Heating of the oceans, especially at depth, has been accelerating during this period. So total heating has certainly not paused. Figure in also the energy that went into the change of state of melting massive amounts of ice, particularly Arctic sea ice, but also from the Greenland Antarctic ice sheets and it becomes clear that a lot of heat has been going into the system.
      All of these can be found with searches at the Skeptical Science site and elsewhere.

      Reply
    • wili

       /  January 5, 2015

      One more thing, even if there was a ‘real’ pause for ten or even twenty years, those are insignificant time scales when one is talking about climate. There are just too many variables in the system that can cause ‘static’ in the short term to be concern about such annual or even decade-long wobbles.

      Reply
    • mikkel

       /  January 5, 2015

      I look at this two ways. One way is the excellent link provided by wili, which shows there is no pause from a long term linear perspective.

      However, the other way is that there has certainly been a “pause” the last 15 years, with a step change in 1998. This isn’t cause for relief or victory by the deniers, it’s cause for believing that we are about to see immense warming. Why?

      Because the PDO has been in negative phase, so things should be cooling! In fact, Mojib Latif wrote a paper 7 years ago that showed it was likely that we’d see little increase through 2015ish +/- a few years (http://grist.org/article/nature-article-on-cooling-confuses-media-deniers/ unfortunately the source images seem to have been taken down)

      It irritates me to no end that this hasn’t been shouted from the mountain tops from the very beginning. We’ve known about the PDO for a long time and could easily predict that warming would “pause” so why not get out in front of the action? All it means is that we’re likely to see immense warming over the first decade after the PDO switches (on the scale of 0.3C+ or more — twice as fast as anything we’ve seen).

      It’s possible the PDO won’t switch for another five years or perhaps even ten, and the longer it goes, the faster the warming and impact once it does turn. There is also evidence it could be turning now and we’ll soon see huge warming.

      In any case, this probably isn’t much of a rebuttal to when you get sent that graph, even though it’s completely true.

      Reply
      • mikkel

         /  January 5, 2015

        Here is a better link

        http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2010/01/14/205350/science-mojib-latif-global-warming-cooling/

        The graph is showing that temperatures can fall 0.3-0.4C below the IPCC model (which doesn’t accurately have PDO), but then rapidly catch up.

        Reply
      • wili

         /  January 6, 2015

        Does this tie in with what you’re talking about, mikkel? : https://www.skepticalscience.com/Record-Breaking-Sea-Surface-Temperatures-in-2014-Has-the-Climate-Shifted.html

        Particularly this bit toward the end: “there are a number of other indicators, such as local changes in sea surface height, that suggest that the background climate state has once again shifted and we might expect to see decades of accelerated surface warming. “

        Reply
      • mikkel

         /  January 6, 2015

        Yup, exactly.

        “. This field of research attracted public attention when Meehl et al (2011) examined simulations from one climate model and found that decadal hiatus periods (decades of surface cooling) were possible even when the Earth was under a strong long-term warming trend. The authors noted that the patterns exhibited in the climate model were similar to the spatial patterns of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) and that, in the model at least, the negative IPO-like condition was a time when anomalous heat was taken up by the deep ocean. The year after Meehl et al, Levitus et al (2012) was published and found that not only was the subsurface ocean warming strongly but, in the recent decade, the deep ocean was warming at a greater rate than the upper ocean layers, therefore confirming the model ‘prediction’ in Meehl et al.”

        Assuming that the oscillations don’t change — which considering they are probably a product of deep water-surface interactions, if it stops it’s probably a sign of a Canfield ocean — then it’s likely there will be pauses even in 2050 and onwards; there will just be immense warming when it is released.

        Whether it’s the Climategate “hide the decline/missing heat” or even trying to show that actually there probably wasn’t a pause, even though the moving average is flat, the reaction comes across as making things up on the fly and being bewildered/hand waving. And make no mistake, relying on statistical arguments to show there isn’t sufficient p-value to reject a change point is seen as hand waving by the general public, not the least because they have no idea what any of that means.

        In actuality that link clearly shows that things are reproducible from clear understanding built into the models and it’s simply that the models weren’t given realistic expectations of the cycle.

        It says “These ‘wrinkles’ will be ironed out in the scientific literature in due course, but the point is that this natural oscillation in the IPO has been a major contributor to the slower rate of surface warming in recent times and in the future, when it does switch phase, surface temperatures are likely to rise more rapidly. ”

        But the problem is that we don’t have “due course” and climate change is as much about messaging and being proven “right” (so you can influence others) as it is understanding — at this point, even more so. It is a massive failure of the community that this wasn’t incorporated a decade ago. I’d just like to see scientists getting credit.

        Reply
  206. Kevin Jones

     /  January 5, 2015

    Good question, beckjeremy. Great response(s), wili.

    Reply
  207. Colorado Bob

     /  January 5, 2015

    2014 was UK’s hottest year on record, says Met Office

    Provisional figures show 2014 was hottest since 1910, and fourth wettest on record
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/05/2014-was-uks-hottest-year-on-record-says-met-office

    Reply
  208. Colorado Bob

     /  January 5, 2015

    2014 Was Hottest Year On Record Globally By Far, Reports Japan Meteorological Agency

    by Joe Romm Posted on January 5, 2015 at 9:09 am

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/01/05/3607735/2014-hottest-year-by-far/

    Reply
    • RWood

       /  January 6, 2015

      Yes, but is this comment reliable?
      “The permafrost (soon to be renamed the permamelt) contains twice as much carbon as the entire atmosphere. If we don’t reverse emissions trends sharply and soon, then the carbon released from it this century alone could boost global warming as much as 1.5°F.”
      That is, is this temperature rise the worst that could result?

      Reply
      • Another 1.5 F this century is rather bad. It’s basically an admission of ongoing permafrost thaw and related carbon emissions for centuries. It’s basically a runaway scenario — on that’s very fast on a geological scale if a bit slower than the human monstrosity.

        Reply
  209. Gerald Spezio

     /  January 5, 2015

    Guy McPherson’s hard nosed scientific site, Nature Bats Last, has Guy’s most recent updated position on video.
    It ‘s entitled; On the edge of Extinction.
    The first episode is here;
    http://guymcpherson.com/2015/01/premiere-episode-edge-of-extinction/

    Reply
  210. Kevin Jones

     /  January 5, 2015

    In 1973 I attended a small gathering of big thinkers who were convinced nuclear war was very likely, very soon. They had good reason.

    In 1994 I attended a large gathering of NASA and International scientists working on whether or not the Arctic was about to experience catastrophic ozone depletion. They had then state-of-the-art good reason.

    Some knowledgeable and sane and earnest investigators, from overworked James Hansen to under-appreciated James Lovelock to not totally off the wall Guy McPherson are worried about what is known, knowable and yet to be discovered regarding the consequences of farting 10 billion tons of carbon into the air every year. They have good reason.

    I can only appreciate from the bottom of my heart the efforts of all above to wake us up.
    All I can suggest is that we continue to care, learn and spend ourselves as worthily as we can.
    Never call a man happy until you know how he died.

    -Solon

    Reply
  211. Colorado Bob

     /  January 5, 2015

    As per the whole , “Any one weather event cannot be pointed out as proof of climate change …………… ”

    That is true up to a point , but the “weather” is always taking place within a “climate” that has never seen the pressures we are placing on it. This giant uncontrolled chemical experiment we are currently conducting on the thin shell of gases we call our atmosphere.

    The latest example of this experiment that comes to mind , the weather report from Iran last week :

    Air Pollution In Tehran Sends Hundreds To Hospitals

    Tehran officials have urged sick and elderly people to stay indoors and away from heavy traffic areas.

    The Iranian capital — which has a population of some 12 million — has some of the most-polluted air among the world’s major cities.

    By the way , the US Census said we began 2015 with 7.2 Billion humans on the planet. When I read that , I wondered how many dinosaurs were walking around the day before the Great impactor slammed into the Chicxulub neighborhood ?
    Because on that day , the dinosaurs were not mowing their lawns with gasoline powered mowers, or driving to the store in their F-150 pick-up trucks . Or operating thousands of cement plants burning old rubber tires.

    They were not strip mining Wyoming , to run their power plants. Or drilling in 10,000 feet of water off the coast of Brazil. They were not cutting off the tops of mountains in West Virgina. They were not chain sawing the forests to plant palm oil plantations.

    I could go on from here all night , with insults we have dealt the planet , we cut down 95 % of every tree in America. When one sees the trees we didn’t cut down, that tiny 5% . You go church. You see something greater than yourself.

    Once up on a time in America , just 150 years ago we had zero asphalt roads. As humans we suffer from what gave birth to our comfort, and the bill to is coming for that comfort.

    The biggest credit card bill in history.

    To compare what we are up to in just 150 years to the great sweep of Earth’s past , is great mistake.

    Reply
  212. Colorado Bob

     /  January 6, 2015

    robertscribbler
    / January 6, 2015

    Another 1.5 F this century is rather bad. It’s basically an admission of ongoing permafrost thaw and related carbon emissions for centuries. It’s basically a runaway scenario — on that’s very fast on a geological scale if a bit slower than the human monstrosity.

    Welcome to my party.

    Colorado Bob

    ” Get ready little lady , Hell is coming to breakfast. “

    Reply
    • RWood

       /  January 6, 2015

      well, when’s breakfast? Yes, facetious, please pardon — there are effects on many that are horrible already. we are insulated, as well, we/I are/am confused, so,
      I’m mainly trusting this site, Robert Scribbler and cohorts, for its analysis, which I can’t do with the data, of which reports veer, as below:

      “I teach my students that they need to plan for a world 7F (4C) warmer. A 2011 report from the International Energy Agency states that if we don’t get off our current path, then we’re looking at an Earth 11F (6C) warmer. Our current Earth is just over 1F warmer, and the observed changes are already disturbing.”
      from
      What would Happen to the Climate If We Stopped Emitting Greenhouse Gases Today?
      by Richard B. Rood, The Conversation January 4th, 2015
      in Op Ed
      and
      “Coal will likely overtake oil as the dominant energy source by 2017, and without a major shift away from coal, average global temperatures could rise by 6 degrees Celsius by 2050, leading to devastating climate change.
      “This is dramatically worse than even the most dire predictions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which predicts at least a 5-degree Celsius increase by 2100 as its worst-case scenario, if business continues as usual with no major mitigation efforts.”
      Dahr Jamail in conversation with Guy McPherson
      http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/27714-are-humans-going-extinct

      and the comment noted above that it’s only 1.5 F (Joe Romm) we have to be concerned with…

      Reply
      • I am thinking renewables are increasingly able to outcompete FF for various reasons. This reality will shake up traditional energy structures over the next decade. To the extent that renewables are suppressed, the climate picture worsens. To the extend that they are adopted, we end up with less impacts, but bad impacts still.

        Under a best case, we may have 1.5 to 2.5 C warming by the end of this century and that is with a massive global response to climate change and a not so sensitive Earth System. Under a reasonable worst case (not absolute worst case), we are looking at 5-7 C this century.

        What’s sad is that even under the best case, once all the feedbacks kick in, we may be looking at 4 C or more long term (past the one century mark).

        Looking at paleoclimate 481 CO2e is enough to warm Earth by about 3.8 C long term. So there we are.

        Reply
      • Today’s CO2 levels are the same as the mid-Miocene period(15 million yrs ago) when sea level was 25–40 meters higher & global mean temperatures were 3­–6°C hotter. And we’re still throwing fuel on the fire.

        Reply
  1. Climate-Change Summary and Update
  2. Current Emissions Could Already Warm World to Dangerous Levels: Study - BlogCatalog

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