Jet Stream Re-Mangled: Record Winds Rage Over Scotland As Polar Amplification Ramps Up Yet Again

Polar Amplification January 9

(Polar Amplification on Friday January 9, 2014 plainly visible in the GFS summary. Another warmer than average day for the Arctic in a warming world. Image source: Climate Reanalyzer.)

For the Arctic, it’s another much warmer than normal day…

Temperature anomalies for the region spiked to 3.55 degrees Celsius above the, already hotter than normal, 1979-2000 average. And a swath of the Arctic Ocean stretching from Greenland to Siberia experienced extraordinary 15-22 C above average temperatures.

It’s another day of Arctic Amplification — the fourth in an ongoing progression this week. Another day of extreme dipole temperature anomalies. And another day of record-setting weather. All symptoms, plain as day, of a world undergoing a fit of rapid, human-induced heating.

Warmth in The High Arctic Drives the Cold Out

Last night, while studying Earth Nullschool, I found a temperature of 27 F near Zemlya — an Island in the Arctic Ocean off Siberia. The night before last, I captured these two pictures — one of a region a few hundred miles south of the North Pole and well north of Svalbard at 22 F and another of the surface temperature near Richmond, Virginia at 20 F.


(Top frame temperature at 85.3 North, 39.2 East. Bottom frame temperature at 36.9 North and 77.3 West. In other words — it’s warmer up north than down south. Image source: Earth Nullschool. Data Source: NOAA, Global Forecast System Model.)

In other words, it was warmer just off Santa’s front porch than it was thousands of miles to the south in Richmond, VA.

In technical meteorological parlance there’s a term for such warm north, cold south temperature variations — dipole. In this case, it’s a cold North American Continent and a warm Atlantic Ocean pushing much higher than average temperatures far into the Arctic.

Jet Stream Re-Mangled — High Amplitude Jet Stream Waves

Such a warm airs surging north forcing cold airs south arrangement can result in some pretty extreme waviness in the Jet Stream. The kind of waviness that Dr. Jennifer Francis has warned is set off by just the kind of Arctic warming we witnessed this week.

And, as we can plainly see in the map below, we have an extraordinary meridional pattern in the Jet Stream occurring in perfect coordination with the current instance of polar heating:


(Last night’s extaordinarily high amplitude Jet Stream pattern. Note the greatly intensified storm track setting Scottland directly into its sights. Image source: Earth Nullschool. Data Source: NOAA, Global Forecast System Model and various.)

I suppose some may call this kind of instance circumstantial. But what a circumstance, especially when one considers the plainly obvious and visible mechanism of the current polar temperature spike, the subsequent southward displacement of warm air from the polar zone, and the related warm air invasion flooding up from the North Atlantic into the heat compromised polar core.

It’s as easy to see as 1,2,3.

This re-arranging of air masses has re-instated the kind of circulation pattern around Greenland we warned about during late November of 2014. A kind of off-center displacement of air masses that shoves cold toward hot and can result in some rather extreme weather.

Record-Setting Winds over Scotland Last Night

Dr. Francis has also mentioned this resulting heightened severe weather potential in her research. And she can count herself among such visionaries as Dr. James Hansen who warned of ramping storm intensity resulting from a combined polar amplification and melting and softening of the remaining great glaciers in Greenland and, later, Antarctica.

Unfortunately, the more recent polar amplification episode did set off a spate of rather extreme weather in Scotland. The North Atlantic storm track intensified as temperature differentials ramped up. On Tuesday, a 930 mb low bombed out between Greenland and Iceland. Fed by a massive meridional air-flow, this storm soon generated very strong winds raging across the North Atlantic.

By last night, these winds roared throughout Scotland, peaking at 113 miles per hour — a new all-time record for the Northern Isles since wind measures began in 1970.

In a return to the kind of extreme weather that battered the UK for much of the winter of 2013-2014, trees were torn down, power lines unmoored and roads and railways blocked. This, in turn, forced a wide-scale emergency response throughout Scotland after last night’s brutal battering by hurricane force winds. From the BBC:

The storm caused the suspension of all ScotRail trains, although some limited services are now running. More than 46,000 homes are currently without power as the Atlantic jet stream caused gusts of more 100mph (160km/h).

So the observational evidence is pretty clear. Here we have yet another instance where polar heating is driving some rather extreme Jet Stream changes coupled with related instances of record extreme weather. And as human-related warming continues to intensify, we are likely to see far worse instances than today’s minor episode.


Evidence for A Wavier Jet Stream in Response to Rapid Arctic Warming

Engineers Battle To Re-Open Scottish Rail After 110 mph Winds

Hurricane Force Gusts Cause Disruption to Travel and Power

Global Forecast System Model

NOAA’s National Climate Data Center

Climate Reanalyzer

Scientific Hat Tip to Dr. Jennifer Francis and James Hansen

Hat Tip to commenters JPL and DTLange

Leave a comment


  1. wili

     /  January 9, 2015

    Thanks for another great post, RS! Could you comment on what is happening at the 10 hPa level?

  2. joni

     /  January 9, 2015

    Storms of my grandchildren (within our own lifetimes before they are even born)?

    • The start of the ramp up.

    • Certainly felt like it in Central England last night – was woken by howling winds and lashing rain at 5am. ‘Twas a dark and stormy night…..not fun lying listening to roof attempting to depart.

      Have seen some suggestions of possible 933 pressure system over Scotland by 15th, which is approaching UK record low

  3. wili – thanks for posting Kevin Anderson’s famous (to those of us who follow this sort of thing) lecture. I re-watched it and saw something I can’t explain. At about the 7 minute mark he covers world CO2 emissions and claims that they went up in the 2009/2010 period at 5.9 per annum – this information is a key part of his talk. But my research shows CO2 emissions actually FELL a tiny bit in 2009 (recession): This is bothering me a bit as I have placed so much stock in Anderson’s conclusions. Wili (or Robert)….any feedback???

    • wili

       /  January 10, 2015

      He has a dash, not a slash, between 2009 and 2010. So he’s not talking about the dip from 2008 to 2009 that you are talking about but the rebound, if you will, that happened between 2009 ant 2010. Or am I missing something?

  4. Kevin Jones

     /  January 9, 2015

    Perhaps someone ought to alert state and federal authorities about the too obvious national security implications. You know, the elected officials whose job it is to inform the rest of us…

  5. 0109 PDX USA
    Well articulated, Robert.
    Was a bit startled looking up at jet contrails this AM — mostly polar routes, I believe.
    Some were straight — S to N. But many were arcing back on themselves in a near perfect semi circle.
    This a new sight to me — one who, everyday, scans the sky and horizon to check how the air, weather, and atmosphere is functioning. Grew curious to know shape of jet stream.
    I shuddered and did my usual colorful curse at the airline pilots and passengers for being such destructive idiots.

  6. Steve

     /  January 10, 2015

    15 times the average monthly rainfall possible this weekend in Australia this weekend. i wonder how many outlets will cover this?

  7. The weather institutes here in Norway have issued extreme warning and hurricane strength winds. I recall the destructive winds in 1992 (hurricane strength 3) which knocked over tons of trees. This article talks about the 1994 storm and one in 1949 to compare it with though:

    (its in Norwegian btw)

    • This is bad news. Talk about bio-rhythms shot all to hell.

      ‘They say according to textbooks there should be between 20 and 30 species in flower. This year there were 368 in bloom.’

    • Again? Had some good sat shots of the earlier fires. My primary first impression was how small these things are compared to the Arctic monstrosities that pop up every year now.

  8. Hi Robert — Very nice post, and thanks so much for the “hat tip!” I thought you might be interested in our new paper that was published this week in ERL, which I’ve attached. Cheers,Jennifer  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Jennifer Francis, Ph.D. Research Professor, Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University francis@imcs.rutgers.edu

    From: robertscribbler To: Sent: Friday, January 9, 2015 3:33 PM Subject: [New post] Jet Stream Re-Mangled: Record Winds Rage Over Scotland As Polar Amplification Ramps Up Yet Again #yiv8095399702 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv8095399702 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv8095399702 a.yiv8095399702primaryactionlink:link, #yiv8095399702 a.yiv8095399702primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv8095399702 a.yiv8095399702primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv8095399702 a.yiv8095399702primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv8095399702 | robertscribbler posted: “(Polar Amplification on Friday January 9, 2014 plainly visible in the GFS summary. Another warmer than average day for the Arctic in a warming world. Image source: Climate Reanalyzer.)For the Arctic, it’s another much warmer than normal day…Temp” | |

    • wili

       /  January 10, 2015

      Wow. Thanks for looking in on us, Dr. Francis. But could you try posting that link again? Is it this one (that I linked to over at Skeptical Science a couple days ago)?
      Evidence for a wavier jet stream in response to rapid Arctic warming
      “New metrics and evidence are presented that support a linkage between rapid Arctic warming, relative to Northern hemisphere mid-latitudes, and more frequent high-amplitude (wavy) jet-stream configurations that favor persistent weather patterns. We find robust relationships among seasonal and regional patterns of weaker poleward thickness gradients, weaker zonal upper-level winds, and a more meridional flow direction. These results suggest that as the Arctic continues to warm faster than elsewhere in response to rising greenhouse-gas concentrations, the frequency of extreme weather events caused by persistent jet-stream patterns will increase.”

      And if you would indulge one more question: I’ve seen reference of a shift of the ‘cold pole’ toward Greenland, a pattern that would help explain the intrusions of cold air deep into North America as well as the line of storms that traveled across the Atlantic into England and West Europe last year and seem to be about to do the same again this year. Does that idea fit into your model? Do you think it has merit? Why or why not? Thank ahead of time for any answers, and for all your work!

    • Hello Dr Francis and thank you so much for dropping by! I’ll make certain to include this, most recent, paper in the links! Working on a related blog based on your work for this week. I’ve seen quite a bit on the new paper over the webs and felt I might be able to help provide some good examples of recent extremes, that to my mind, seem a strong validation of your work.

      Thanks so much for all you do! And please feel free to let us know if/when there’s more in the pipe!

      Warmest regards,


  9. JPL

     /  January 10, 2015

    Robert, you mentioned in the comments earlier this week that you were observing storms repeatedly turned away from California.

    I just grabbed this screenshot of the conditions at the ski areas in Cali and the ‘Last Snowfall’ column certainly confirms it. No reported snowfall this year, with some places seeing no precip since Christmas eve.

    Hope their snowpack gets some later-season accumulation but it looks like things haven’t changed much to alleviate the drought pattern they’ve been stuck in.

    This is the link if you want to see the current version of the chart I posted:


    PS – That was awesome seeing Dr. Francis drop in!

    • Andy in San Diego

       /  January 10, 2015

      Yup JPL,

      Here is San Diego, we were supposed to have 2 days of rain this past week. We received a total of roughly 30 seconds of a few drops. Today & tomorrow we are supposed to get rain. Looking outside right now, it is sunny.

      It was 85 degrees on Tues & Wed.

      I suspect that things are so abnormal now that the forecast modeling is having difficulty resolving an accurate estimate for a days in advance. Old normals, such as a high dissipating and / or moving are not occurring the way they used to.

      The historical behaviors that were used to generate the forecast models may not be marrying up to the behaviors we have now.

      If one used back casting for time periods, and built inputs to the models such that it matches what we see now, then perhaps one could define the input deltas that are causing this.

      With that one could perhaps generate a correlation, as well as a forecast on future behavior based on extending the deltas into the future.

      • We had a similar issue with an Alberta Clipper this past week. Usually these systems dump about an inch of snow. The forecasters predicted a similar amount for the DC region. When the clipper swept in, it brought 3-5 inches. As the local cities were not prepared, there were few closings and poor responses by plows for salting and road clearing. The result was a traffic nightmare. A well publicized event included multiple school bus wrecks.

        That extra moisture makes a difference, as does the close proximity of far warmer air. The clippers are getting pumped up.

    • It does look like the block is back. Overall, California again seems rain poor this winter.

  10. Colorado Bob

     /  January 10, 2015

    Alarm over Kara Sea permafrost thawing

    If the temperature of the oceans increases by two degrees as suggested in some reports, it will accelerate the thawing to the extreme. A warming climate could lead to an explosive gas release from the shallow areas,” says PhD Alexei Portnov at Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrrate, Climate and Environment (CAGE) with the Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø……………………………….
    Portnov and his colleagues have recently published the results from studies done on the seafloor of the Kara Sea in the Russian Arctic. The results are scary reading: The West Yamal shelf is leaking at depths much shallower than previously believed.
    “Significant amount of gas is leaking at depths between 20 and 50 meters,” the paper reads.

  11. Griffin

     /  January 10, 2015

    Wow! Amazing to see Dr. Francis respond to your blog Robert. You certainly do great work and I am glad to have the opportunity to read these posts and the comments as well.
    I have linked to an article below. I was curious if you had seen this development in regards to exporting US oil. It is not good news and it is not going to make anyone here happy, but I wanted to share it because it is important. It is just very sad to see the decisions being made at the very top, are not decisions which are made in the best interest of the people. This certainly does not do anything to help us reduce our carbon emissions.

    • Steve

       /  January 10, 2015

      Vegas odds just skyrocketed in favor of Keystone. Too much money behind that project for it not too pass. I wonder if this country will even tap the brakes before hitting the brick wall.

      • Andy in San Diego

         /  January 11, 2015

        Major interest in the project is Koch. They own too many politicians.

      • New phase of litigation to be opened soon by a Keystone opponents… There’s another big fight brewing in Nebraska on both the ground and in the legal system.

    • The export restrictions have been slowly falling since mid last year. The test case included two producers that were allowed to export for rather specific reasons. Later, condensate was released for export.

    • It does for fracking what the keystone would do for tar sands — gives it a clear market off continent. The only requirement is a minor amount of refining to produce condensate. The results for the US gas market would be some net higher prices while international market prices would lower a bit. The West Texas/Brent spread would stabilize a little, but more regionally isolated oils would still be sold lower and locally.

      This does give a life line to the struggling US oil producers short-term. But with so much crude still hitting markets, the marginal producers are still going to be in trouble. Also, this will put more pressure on overseas marginal producers.

      Of course it’s a massive lose for the climate as it opens wide the gates for the oil industry to try to addict new markets or erode current gains in efficiency through the lower price mechanism. Although, the latter will be more difficult for oil companies as climate change is now an obvious issue, as solar is now a direct competitor with oil-based electricity generation all the way down to 17 dollars a barrel, and as EVs are growing more and more competitive with each passing year.

      Also, with the current glut, new exploration budgets will be cut and cut. The price should whip lash within 1-2 years unless EVs, efficiencies, and solar keep taking down oil market share at a fast enough pace. I hope to see that they do.

  12. Colorado Bob

     /  January 10, 2015

    On a tropical island, fossils reveal past — and possible future — of polar ice

    About 125,000 years ago, the average global temperature was only slightly warmer, but sea levels rose high enough to submerge the locations of many of today’s coastal cities. Understanding what caused seas to rise then could shed light on how to protect those cities today.

    By examining fossil corals found on the Indian Ocean islands, University of Florida geochemist Andrea Dutton found evidence that global mean sea level during that period peaked at 20 to 30 feet above current levels. Dutton’s team of international researchers concluded that rapid retreat of an unstable part of the Antarctic ice sheet was a major contributor to that sea-level rise.

    “This occurred during a time when the average global temperature was only slightly warmer than at present,” Dutton said.

    • Gerald Spezio

       /  January 11, 2015

      CBob; These statements are from a journalist.
      The second appears deceptive & MAY not be the position of Prof. Dutton.
      About 125,000 years ago, the average global temperature was only slightly warmer, but sea levels rose high enough to submerge the locations of many of today’s coastal cities. Understanding what caused seas to rise then could shed light on how to protect those cities today.

      Duttton, from U of Florida, is quoted as saying this; “Following a rapid transition to high sea levels when the last interglacial period began, sea level continued rising steadily,” Dutton said. “The collapse of Antarctic ice occurred when the polar regions were a few degrees warmer than they are now — temperatures that we are likely to reach within a matter of decades.”

      I spent 6 years of my life at UF – much of it good.
      When I started, there were 9800 students there.
      Today there are about 55,000.

      • Andrew Dodds

         /  January 12, 2015

        My understanding is that collapse of the WAIS (West Antarctic Ice Sheet) has already initiated, and based on the paleo evidence, I’d expect that and the Greenland ice sheet to vanish in time if we just keep CO2 levels where they currently are. An optimist might think that North Greenland might retain some ice.

        In both cases, stability at pre-industrial temperatures was marginal – in the case of the WAIS, it may have been very slowly destabilizing over 1000s of years anyway (but that’s my guess, not anything particularly solid).

        As for the speed of collapse.. that’s the crucial thing. It is very hard to model or find paleo evidence for the rate of rise, so it looks like we are just going to run the experiment and find out.

        • At 481 ppm CO2e — if maintained — we probably lose both WAIS and GIS long term. At 550 ppm CO2e looks like all glacial ice is in danger.

          I’d say the rate of loss will ultimately depend on Earth Systems carbon response, peak CO2e, and if/when human civilization can go carbon negative.

    • We cross that threshold in 3-6 decades.

  13. Colorado Bob

     /  January 10, 2015

    Extreme Weather Displaces Far More People Than War — And It’s Getting Worse

    “Natural disasters displace three to 10 times more people than all conflicts and war in the world combined,” said Jan Egeland, head of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).

    In a recent report, NRC found that in 2013 floods, hurricanes, and other natural disasters drove 22 million people out of their homes — three times the number of people displaced by war and twice as many as were displaced by extreme weather in the 1970s. The study also found that certain parts of the world were disproportionately affected by disasters: More than 80 percent of those displaced over the last five years lived in Asia.

  14. -This is very interesting — worthy of a Crimes-Against-Nature-and-Humanity tribunal:

    Michael E. Mann
    The Serengeti strategy: How special interests try to intimidate scientists, and how best to fight back

    Much as lions on the Serengeti seek out vulnerable zebras at the edge of a herd, special interests faced with adverse scientific evidence often target individual scientists rather than take on an entire scientific field at once. Part of the reasoning behind this approach is that it is easier to bring down individuals than an entire group of scientists, and it still serves the larger aim: to dismiss, obscure, and misrepresent well-established science and its implications. In addition, such highly visible tactics create an atmosphere of intimidation that discourages other scientists from conveying their research’s implications to the public. This “Serengeti strategy” is…

    Swiftboating comes to climate science…

    • Andy in San Diego

       /  January 11, 2015

      That was very well worth the read. It helps classify the various industry funded bits that masquerade as news into easily organized buckets. Another tactic I see is when their piece is vivisected and shown to be nothing but obfuscation, cherry picking and ad hominem attacks they pull the wounded duck immediately. They play victim and become “deeply offended” (they can cry on queue, like any good actor). The point by point dissection of their rubbish is then labeled as an “attack”.

    • The scientists on the cutting edge are most at risk risk.

      We should also consider a deepening division between a group that is supporting geo-engineering as a response to what a few believe is a runaway situation at hand now. We can’t exclude the clear influence of billionaires invested in geo-engineering schemes nor the fossil fuel interests themselves (looking to extend the period of burning).

      Sad to see AMEG making numerous appeals to oil interests…

  15. The only economically feasible project would be the rapid replacement of fossil fuel boilers with the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR), a SAFE form of nuclear power that of course has zero emissions. This would run the turbines that are already hooked to the grid, so new transmission lines would not be needed, as is the case with wind and solar. LFTR could also employ a new hydrolization process to extract CO2 from the atmosphere to provide a carbon neutral engine fuel. I cant imagine why you do not already know about it.

    • Hello Day —

      Well aware of many atmospheric carbon capture techniques and they are all more expensive than simple transitioning of the base fuel source. For example, biodiesel used in jet aircraft is far less expensive than the hydro ligation process you speak of. It’s a neat trick and could be helpful if they scale it. But it won’t be able to reach economies of scale and carbon reductions anywhere near as rapidly as direct replacement — which is why I see various atmospheric carbon capture schemes as a good effort to push as fossil fuel use is on the declining curve to zero. So the timeframe is probably more on the 10+ year scale and not my primary push at the moment.

      As for LFTRs, I’ve been hearing talk-talk about various LT reactors for decades. It’s similar to cool fusion in that it hasn’t been able to fight its way out of the lab yet. In addition, there is quite a bit of public reticence, well earned, regarding the great inherent risk to installing nuclear reactors — primarily due to instances unforeseen by safety engineers or not considered worthwhile preparing for due to cost. I’m sure there’s a slick sales pitch waiting in reply to this comment, but if no-one else is buying, why should I?

      In any case, we do have wind and solar both reaching grid parity as we speak and hitting economies of scale that are extraordinary enough to warrant the term — game changing. These are deployable on mass scales now and are, as we speak, in the process of transforming the global energy economy. In addition, various energy storage methods are also hitting economies of scale — which makes both wind and solar able to directly replace 100 percent of electricity generating capacity in almost every major global market.

      The disruptive nature of distributed energy will also attract and directly involve millions and millions who were previously locked out of the energy generation structure — in essence a democratization of energy that is already changing the balance of the energy realpolitik on national, regional, and global scales.

      In my view, any energy switch is best addressed in this fashion — through a broad expansion of stakeholders which will drive further impetus for a necessarily rapid change. In this case — the grid becomes an asset. It becomes the soul source capable of uniting far flung energy generation into a cohesive whole. Grid owners become the energy middle men — enabling a national and regional exchange of a critical resource. What those who hold grid assets now should realize is that they have an amazing opportunity. One on the level of internet service providers in the 1990s. In addition, that opportunity will expand to a growing number of plug in vehicles that will rely on the grid for distributed power. This links grid owners into an extraordinarily vast new market.

      In this system, we see trade between large energy providers, small energy providers, EV owners, and grid owners. A pretty exciting time, really.

  16. Steve

     /  January 11, 2015

    Anybody have any guess as to what it causing booms in Oklahoma?

  17. Andy in San Diego

     /  January 11, 2015
    • Burgundy

       /  January 11, 2015

      Nature is preparing the land for the changes to come. In a similar why that our own social, political and economic ecosystem is being prepared for what is to come.

      Unfortunately, there seems to be little that we can effectively do to stop the destruction of all that we hold dear. Like king Canute we stand on the shore watching the waves roll in against our wishes, our gestures and evocations becoming increasingly futile. Because the power behind the rising tide needs to take no heed of our actions or our plight as they affect it none.

      Perhaps, if we could get our act together we could improve things, but collectively, humanity appears to lack the intelligence to actually be able to do it. I don’t give the oak, beech and birch of Britain very good odds of surviving. And our own odds don’t seem to be much better.

    • Colorado Bob

       /  January 11, 2015

      From Andy’s link –

      Winter bloomers

      Record numbers of plants normally killed off by winter frosts are surviving into January, with one in seven of Britain’s flowering species in bloom, botanical experts report.

      More than 360 species, an “unprecedented” number, from daisies and dandelions to geraniums and cyclamen, are in flower. It is the latest evidence of the UK’s changing climate, they say.

      However, the numbers of plants do not simply indicate an early spring, according to experts, as only 5 per cent of the species recorded are spring-flowering native specialists.

      Ecologist Dr Tim Rich, of the British and Irish Botanical Society said: “It’s a good indication the climate is warming. Twenty years ago, you’d have been lucky to get 20 species in flower in mid-winter. To have 368 is phenomenal.”

      • Mark from New England

         /  January 11, 2015

        If our crocuses (in NH) bloomed in January instead of March, I’d personally take one into the office of (not a scientist) Republican Senator Ayotte and ask her staff to explain it. In the northeastern US the demise of the sugar maple is ongoing, and the eastern hemlock is being attacked by an invasive pest. When I see little kids these days, I wonder if their parents know what changes are in store for their children’s lifetimes.

  18. Colorado Bob

     /  January 11, 2015

    250+ mph Jet Stream Howls Across North Atlantic, Cuts Flight Times, Causes Damage in Scotland

    Early Friday morning, wind gusts of 140 mph were observed across the Cairngorms, a mountain range in the east highlands of Scotland, according to Brown of The Weather Company.

  19. Colorado Bob

     /  January 11, 2015

    Study shows polar bears relocating to icier Canadian Archipelago

    Polar bears are relocating from ice-sparse parts of the Arctic to the Canadian Archipelago, an area with more dependable summer and fall sea ice, says a new study that tracked the animals’ gene flow.

    The study, published Tuesday in the journal PLOS ONE, examined DNA from about 2,800 polar bears. Samples were in the form of tissue or hair taken from polar bears in all of the countries where the animals live.
    The population shift has been recent — happening in just the past one to three generations, or 15 to 45 years, said lead author Lily Peacock, a U.S. Geological Survey wildlife biologist.


  20. Interview with Paul Ehrlich from yesterday:

  21. Andy in San Diego

     /  January 11, 2015

    And interesting collation of deltas from akclimate

  22. Andy in San Diego

     /  January 11, 2015

    An interesting current SST map from NOAA.

    I find it interesting, and do not know if this is normal (perhaps someone does). The water increases in temp quite quickly (short distance) as one traces from the ice. The archipelago has 5 & 6C water (~8 to 9C from freezing). 10C (50F) by the Queen Charlotte islands.

  23. Andy in San Diego

     /  January 11, 2015

    Todays high in Wasilla, AK, plus forecasts (home to that famous Gotcha! There aint no global warming gal).

    Sun 34F, low 28F (cloudy)
    Mon 32F, 31F (clear)
    Tue 39F, 33F (cloudy)
    Wed 37F, 36F (rain)
    Thur 39F, 34F (cloudy)
    Fri 37F, 32F (cloudy)
    Sat 36F, 29F (snow)

  24. A team of young scientists yesterday unveiled the results of their research into Criegee intermediates (CIs, also known as carbonyl oxides) — a transient molecule in the atmosphere that is linked to the generation of acid rain and suspended particulates — becoming the first scientists in the world to determine the reaction between CIs and water molecules, providing a solid basis for future atmospheric studies….

    By incorporating an ultraviolet absorption spectroscope and a series of prisms, the team was able to create an environment where the air pressure was close to atmospheric pressure, thereby gaining an understanding of how the CIs react with other molecules in the atmosphere.

    By observing the reactions at various relative humidity levels — up to 85 percent at 298 Kelvin — the research discovered that CIs begin to decay extremely rapidly at high humidity, indicating that they interact with water at high concentration levels…

  25. And the great news here in the UK today is 1300 new jobs created in manufacturing.
    A new facility to build solar panels or wind turbines you ask?

    Not on your life!
    These lunatics are going to be building the first luxury Jaguar SUV’s. Ha ha.

    It’s all good – sheesh :-((

    • At least the Nissan Leaf I drive came from Sunderland, so there is some good car manufacturing going on in the UK too. 😉

      • Andy in San Diego

         /  January 12, 2015

        Since here in the US with the price of gas dropping so low, and people forgetting high gas prices they are back to buying giant monstrosities to drive (bigger = best). So it is a great year to buy electric or hybrid if one needs a vehicle, prices/availability will be great.

        How quickly people forget. We went through just a few years ago when they were lamenting their choices (hummer, Tahoe, Suburban, giant tires etc….)

        • So far the gas price drop hasn’t shown much impact to EV adoption. December 2014 was a record month for EV purchases. And even at current gas prices average five year savings for an EV is 4,500 dollars as opposed to 6,000 dollars. So there’s still a very large fuel savings.

          As for SUVs, I don’t see this happening the way it did in the 90s. For one, the fuel efficiency of the SUVs keeps rising — we have ICE SUVs at 35 mpg now. Add to that the fact that we’ll have more and more SUV EV offerings going forward.

          Out further in the future — low oil prices in the range of 30-50 dollars per barrel will knock a big chunk out of North American unconventional production on the 2 year horizon. The loss of about 2 trillion in CAPEX on E/E will result in a whiplash due to rather high decline rates in many of the unconventional plays. So global production would also likely fall.

          So we have the low price signal to stimulate slowly rising global demand, we have weak economies hampering that demand, we have renewables that will take global oil market share, and we have a decline rate that will hit overall production figures hard on the 2 year timeframe as CAPEX on projects continues to unwind.

          If we are fortunate, we will see falling or near flat demand coupled with falling supply in 2017 to 2019.

          Again, this does not at all look like the 1990s. By 2016 it looks like we will have 100 major cities all pledging to go fossil fuel free.

        • In other news – the republicans are trying to de-regulate Wall Street again …

      • EVs scheduled to enter the market in 2017-2018 with a 200+ mile range and pricing at 30-35 K:

        Chevy Bolt
        Upgraded Nissan Leaf
        Tesla Model 3

        The battery tech advances and price reductions keep coming. Something people a few years ago said couldn’t happen.

        Oh, and we have SUVs now with a 35 mpg efficiency rating. I wonder when automakers will wake up to the fact that the SUV is the perfect chassis for an EV.

      • Well, at least in Norway EV sales will be great this year as well. Btw, the Leaf is actually rather tall (sitting on top of the battery pack), so those who are buying SUV’s because they are easier to step in and out of will get some of the same feeling in a Leaf. The weight also makes it solid on the road, and is in fact very good to drive in the winter here.

        Lol, a little pitch for the Nissan Leaf there. 🙂 – I am happy for any new invention and newcomer to this market. It has finally happened! I think the next step is really some sort of renewable energy production on the house to “fill the tank” myself. Although here in Norway the amount of sun energy isnt exactly abundant.

        • How much wind do you guys get? Distributed wind appears to be making a number of gains.

        • As for the Leaf, they have an extraordinarily innovative offering where they give customers with range anxiety rentals for the big road trips.

          I can’t help but feel a bit sorry for Norway given the current oil crash. However, we’ve been warning about the fossil fuel malinvestment for some time now…

  26. “The UK’s automotive industry is thriving with a new car rolling off the production line every 20 seconds, and increasing levels of investment that’s helping to secure local jobs,”

    And then they were all dead.

    • Another region of concern to add to the rest. But, by comparison, ESAS is now emitting 35 times what this region is predicted to emit by 2100.

      Ocean methane hot spots to monitor:

      Nares Strait
      US East Coast Continental Shelf
      US West Coast

      I’m sure we’ll find more as time passes.

  27. Colorado Bob

     /  January 12, 2015

    Andy —

    Brazil is getting dry again and the coffee bulls are back.

    Growing regions are forecast to get about half the normal rainfall this month and in February, according to Celso Oliveira, a meteorologist at Somar Meteorologia in Sao Paulo. Brazil is the world’s biggest grower and exporter, spurring hedge funds to increase their bets on higher prices for the first time in six weeks. ……………………………. Northern regions of Brazil will remain “almost completely dry” in the next two weeks, while light rain is expected in southern Minas Gerais and most of Sao Paulo, Donald Keeney, a meteorologist with MDA Weather Services in Bethesda, Maryland, said in Jan. 8 interview. As much as 40 percent of the crop is at risk, because plants need water to develop cherries that contain the coffee bean, he said.

    • Andy in San Diego

       /  January 12, 2015

      Yup, Soy is getting a hit there as well. That means sugar cane might be at risk (as it suffered last year). The sugar cane is their fuel source, so it has a knock on effect for transportation.

  28. Colorado Bob

     /  January 12, 2015

    The economic damage caused by a ton of CO2 emissions-often referred to as the “social cost of carbon-could actually be six times higher than the value that the United States uses to guide current energy regulations, and possibly future mitigation policies, Stanford scientists say.
    A recent U.S. government study concluded, based on the results of three widely used economic impact models, that an additional ton of CO2 emitted in 2015 would cause US$37 worth of economic damages. These damages are expected to take various forms, including decreased agricultural yields and harm to human health related to climate change.

    But according to a new study, published online this week in the journal Nature Climate Change, the actual cost could be much higher. “We estimate that the social cost of carbon is not $37, as previously estimated, but $220,” said study coauthor Frances Moore, a PhD candidate in the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources in Stanford’s School of Earth Sciences.

    Read more at:

  29. Colorado Bob

     /  January 12, 2015

    Brazil water supply, crops still at risk a year after epic drought

    The Reuters weather dashboard on Friday showed that by Jan. 23, rainfall would be about half the historical average in the southeast region and 300 mm (11.8 inches) below average in Minas Gerais.


    Rains are not likely to bring reservoirs back to comfortable levels in southeastern Brazil, which is responsible for 70 percent of the country’s hydroelectric generation. Brazil, which has the world’s largest fresh water supply, usually relies on hydro-power to generate more than two-thirds of its electricity.

    The national grid operator slashed its forecasts for January rain over reservoirs in the southeast and center-west regions on Friday to just 56 percent of the historical average from 82 percent a week earlier.

    It said reservoirs would probably end January between 19.2 percent and 25.3 percent full. That is about half of the 41 percent a year ago and well short of the 60 percent level specialists consider ideal ahead of the dry season.

  30. – Hmm… a monster heatwave (not to mention the horrible effects from the attendant air pollution) harming children, the elderly, and the infirm) followed by ‘heavy’ rains… business as cruel and usual with a certainty of extremes.

    BA City on yellow alert over heat wave

    The National Meteorological Service (SMN) has issued a yellow alert for Buenos Aires City and Rosario due to elevated temperatures. A 35° Celsius is forecasted for today in BA. At 10 am, the porteños were suffering of sweltering 30.5° C.

    The SMN warned that heat waves “can be dangerous, specially for babies and small children, elderly people and those with chronic diseases” and called for “prevention measures.”

    The Health Ministry advised the population to drink plenty of fluids, to eat vegetables and fruits, and to wear lightweight, light-coloured clothing.

    The heat wave is expected to end tomorrow, at least in Buenos Aires City, when storms with heavy rainfall are forecasted.

  31. Colorado Bob

     /  January 12, 2015

    Climate change will turn Narmada into a cricket pitch: Anil Dave

    OneWorld South Asia: What kind of impact do you see of climate change on rivers like Narmada?

    Anil Madhav Dave: Defining a river by just the water flowing between the two banks is a very narrow definition. In the true sense, the entire catchment area is a river. The condition of the entire area has deteriorated due to commercial activities like mining, blasting which in turn has reduced the water seepage which is main source of water for the river.

    The water level in Narmada in the month of November, last year, was that of what it is usually in the month of May and June. I wonder what would be the level in the latter months.

    Narmada does not get its water supply from a glacier, but from the water stored in trees spread across its catchment area. Trees and mountains form the bank of the river where the rainy water gets stored. It is this water which seeps into the river and forms the actual catchment area of the river.

    • There are five strikes against water in the current age:

      1. Increased evaporation due to heating means more moisture must be provided to sustain current stores.
      2. Expanding drought zones means less water provided as a result of combined climate change and deforestation.
      3. Loss of glaciers means that ongoing water supply through dry seasons takes a hit.
      4. Increased global heating favors strong downpours that increase soil erosion, damaging plant ecosystems that would otherwise recycle moisture for long periods.
      5. These factors combine to make existing forests more vulnerable to being wiped out by wildfires which also contributes to the trend of expanding grasslands and deserts.

  32. Colorado Bob

     /  January 12, 2015

    The U.S. Climate of 2014: Remarkable Hot, Cold, Wet and Dry Extremes
    Wet days getting wetter, and droughts getting hotter
    The recent uptick in extreme one-day precipitation totals across the nation is consistent with more than a decade of research showing that many parts of the world, including the United States, are seeing their heaviest bouts of rain and snow getting even heavier over time. This conclusion was reinforced on a national and regional scale in the 2014 U.S. National Climate Assessment and on a city-by-city scale in a study by Brian Brettschneider (Boreas Scientific LLC) highlighted by Weather Underground blogger Chris Burt last August. The result is also consistent with the basic concept that a warming planet will see an increase in hydrologic contrasts, as warmer temperatures allow for more water to evaporate from lakes, oceans, and plants–helping boost the output of rainstorms and snowstorms–while sucking more water from already-parched land, intensifying the effects of drought.

    This process is vital to keep in mind when taking stock of the California drought, arguably the nation’s most catastrophic weather event of the year. Although calendar year 2013 was the state’s driest on record, the water year of 2013–14 (July to June) placed third driest. (Water years are the most commonly used index for assessing California precipitation, which occurs mainly in the fall through spring). A NOAA-led study released in December found that the severity of drought conditions over the last three water years–looking only at rainfall–is within the realm of natural variability, with 1974–75 to 1976–77 even drier than the period from 2011–12 to 2013–14. However, the temperatures associated with the more recent drought went well beyond what one would expect from historical analogs (see Figure 4), which has made the impact on ecosystems, agriculture, and people even more severe. The NOAA study acknowledged, “record-setting high temperature that accompanied this recent drought was likely made more extreme due to human-induced global warming.” In a similar fashion, the intense Texas drought of 2011 was associated with all-time temperature records established during the brutal, more prolonged droughts of the 1930s and 1950s. As states and regions consider how best to adapt to drought conditions in the future, they would be well advised to consider the possibility that temperatures during drought periods could soar beyond anything observed in more than a century of experience.

    • Thanks for this, Bob.

      • Colorado Bob

         /  January 12, 2015

        Dr. Masters has added Bob to carry most of the work outside of hurricane season .

        When he introduced him , they posted a picture of him next to a cement block hanging from thick chain. It was titled , “Boulder wind speed gauge” , the man is clearly very bright.

  33. Colorado Bob

     /  January 12, 2015

    2015 Begins With CO2 Above 400 PPM Mark

    Published: January 12th, 2015

  34. Colorado Bob

     /  January 12, 2015

    11. RevElvis
    7:01 PM GMT on January 12, 2015

    The Denier’s “Dream Team”

    Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) Chair Committee on Science, Space and Technology

    Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) Chair Environment and Public Works Committee
    – in September 2005. Inhofe invited the science fiction author Michael Crichton as a witness, because of his thriller novel State of Fear about a scientist who exposed climate change as a global fraud. Inhofe said, “I enjoyed most State of Fear and made it required reading for this committee.” Democratic Senators were unimpressed. “His views on climate change are at odds with the vast majority of climate scientists; it also appears in a work of fiction,” then-Senator Hillary Clinton said.

    Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) Chair of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee

    *Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) Chair of the Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness
    – where he will oversee NASA and science programs. (Cruz’s infamous hours-long speech in September 2013, led to a 16-day government shutdown barring 97 percent of NASA employees from appearing for work.)

    • And all increasingly irrelevant.

      You just have to wonder about the total and absolute lack of integrity represented here. Sad how a man can be rendered down to nothing of real value or meaningful consequence. And all simply through the ugly mechanism of unwavering devotion to monied interests.

  35. Colorado Bob

     /  January 12, 2015

    Back to observed events :

    Britain braces for floods as a new storm gathers pace across the Atlantic

    Parts of England will be hit with the country’s average monthly rainfall in less than 24 hours, as a huge storm tears in from the Atlantic on Wednesday evening, threatening flooding across large swathes of the country.


    • And we’re back to the Storms of My Grandchildren. England is in the path of first blows…

      • Colorado Bob

         /  January 12, 2015

        RS –
        Heat transfer into the Arctic is going to run over them like across town bus.

        • Alaska in a similar, though less severe, situation.

          Once Greenland starts putting out large melt pulses, it gets worse for everyone.

      • Colorado Bob

         /  January 12, 2015

        Alaska in a similar, though less severe, situation.

        I beg to differ just a bit , the Pacific is the big heat battery . Soon the typhoon left overs will be plowing into Nome, and driving inland, melting even more permafrost. This is a much larger door into the condenser . As oceans warm, all that permafrost becomes a bigger condenser.

        Think about it , as we heat up, the heat will go directly to what is left of the cold. The storms won’t ride the old pattern into Washington, they’ll cross Alaska headed to the Mackenzie Delta, on their way to the Arctic.

        Heat seeks cold.

        • Heat differential is the storm engine. Biggest pile of cold in NH is Greenland sitting over a rapidly warming Atlantic. That’s why the UK gets it worse. But Alaska ain’t pretty.

  36. Colorado Bob

     /  January 12, 2015

    Heat differential is the storm engine. Biggest pile of cold in NH is Greenland sitting over a rapidly warming Atlantic. That’s why the UK gets it worse. But Alaska ain’t pretty.

    True, but as time moves forward both of the oceans will seek to melt every last ice crystal.

    It’s a one two punch. But I still fear the heat coming off the Pacific more , except I will be long when it comes.

    • The Arctic Ocean warms too. That makes for bizarre storm tracks.

      • Colorado Bob

         /  January 13, 2015

        I’m glad I’m I an old man . I don’t suffer any of this pain.

        But as one nears death , wisdom speaks.

        • Well, I hope there are still a few more good times ahead. There’s a narrow window out. But it goes through more than a bit of trouble and requires a certain degree of luck as well.

        • Oil down to 45 today. Looks like even Exxon may go into the red for a while on this one.

  37. Brian

     /  January 13, 2015

    World’s Growing Exploding Cities My Be Key to Combatting Climate Change

    Urban growth may provide an opportunity to concentrate resources in the battle against climate change:

    “We could try deep retrofits to the built environment, especially in those inner ring suburbs that have such a high carbon footprints, with things like 100 percent renewable energy, electrified and renewably powered vehicles, onsite water capture and reuse systems and tons more car-free or car-light mobility solutions,” Tam said. Such technologies exist, Tam said, but haven’t been “massively” scaled up. “We could deeply decarbonize America’s existing urban environments. It would take a ton of political will, but I think it’s possible.”


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