Entering the Middle Miocene — CO2 Likely to Hit 404 Parts Per Million by May

The Pliocene. A period of time 2-5 million years ago hosting carbon dioxide levels ranging from 350 to 405 parts per million and global average temperatures that were 2-3 degrees Celsius hotter than 1880s levels. The great ice sheets of Greenland and West Antarctica were feeble, if they existed at all. And seas were about 25-80 feet higher than today.

mlo_two_years

(CO2 hit above 401.84 parts per million on March 9, 2015, and above 403 parts per million on March 10 — levels that test the upper boundary of CO2 last seen during the Pliocene and entering a range more similar to the Miocene. Image source: The Keeling Curve.)

In the context of human warming, the amount of heat forcing we’ve added to the global atmosphere from carbon dioxide emissions alone has been hovering in the range of the Pliocene for the past two decades. A heat forcing that, if it remained steady over a substantial period of time, would almost certainly revert the world to a climate state last seen during that time.

But by 2015, the global human heat forcing from carbon dioxide emissions had begun to exit the period of the Pliocene. Now we are entering a period in which atmospheres are more similar to those seen during the Middle Miocene Climate Optimum — the last time CO2 measures exceeded a threshold of roughly 405 parts per million (see here and here)

The Middle Miocene Climate Optimum occurred between about 15 and 17 million years ago. It hosted an atmosphere in which carbon dioxide levels varied wildly from 300 parts per million to 500 parts per million. Temperatures were between 3 to 5 degrees Celsius hotter than the 19th Century. And sea levels were about 120 to 190 feet higher. During this period, the world was still cooling down from the heat of the Paleocene and Eocene epocs. Carbon was being sequestered. And it was the first time the world broke significantly below a 500 part per million CO2 plateau that had been established during the Oligocene 24 to 33 million years ago.

The great glaciers in East Antarctica were mostly well established, even though their scope was a mere shadow of what we see today. The Greenland and West Antarctic glaciers did not exist. They would have to wait for about another 5-10 million years for the Earth to cool further.

glaciation-since-petm

(Glaciation since PETM. Image source: Dr James Hansen.)

As of March 9, 2015, atmospheric CO2 levels had reached 401.84 parts per million. Already a level testing the Pliocene-Miocene boundary, this measure will continue to increase through the rest of March, on into April, and keep rising until middle or late May. At that point, global CO2 levels will have reached around 404 parts per million. At least the highest levels seen in the last 3 million years and possibly the highest levels seen in 15 to 18 million years.

If the greater portion of this range is correct, then we are now breathing air that none among our species or even our hominid relatives have ever breathed since their setting foot on this world.

But CO2 alone doesn’t tell the whole story. Equivalent CO2 levels (CO2e) including all human emitted greenhouse gasses — methane and a host of industrial gasses — will reach about 484 ppm CO2e this year (see here and here). And that forcing puts us easily within the range of the warmest periods of the Miocene. A brew of heat trapping gasses including exotic chemicals that no creature has likely ever breathed while living on the Earth.

Links:

The Pliocene

Middle Miocene Climate Instability Associated With CO2 Variability

CO2 and Climate Closely Linked During Middle Miocene

Sea Level and Ice Volume Variations

IPCC 2007 Chapter 6 — Paleoclimate

Dr James Hansen

The Keeling Curve

NOAA ESRL CO2 Measure

CO2 Levels for February Eclipsed Prehistoric Highs

A Faustian Bargain on the Short Road to Hell — Living in a world at 480 CO2e

400 PPM CO2? Add in All other Gasses and it’s 478 CO2e

Hat tip to Aldous

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227 Comments

  1. Kevin Jones

     /  March 11, 2015

    Thank you, Robert. The hours I have spent entranced by the paleoclimate data and the enormous efforts of many great folks to increase the acuity of it….the resolution. (there were days I thought I was going mad. Bullshitting myself…)

    Reply
    • I honestly think this is our base line guide to potential outcomes. Of course we can’t get much resolution on the impact of the stunning speed at which humans are changing the climate.

      Trying out a new notation method that’s a bit of a hybrid. Hope it’s helpful to those who like to grab and read the source info. I think I like it better without the numbers…

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 11, 2015

        Great articles coming fast and fantastic these days!

        Notation links work fine. Not so keen on the red text; kind of ‘angry’ looking. Any option for ‘green’? Whatever works, of course.

        Reply
      • climatehawk1

         /  March 12, 2015

        Just listened to a good lecture on the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) of 56 million years ago on YouTube. It’s at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81Zb0pJa3Hg and is about 1:44 in length.

        BTW, lots of denier videos on YouTube. They have done quite a job of getting stuff recorded and posted. I am slowly working my way through the science-based material.

        Reply
  2. Germ

     /  March 11, 2015

    Thanks for reminding us what a fraud 350.org is – simply hopium.
    The corporate dollars just keep pouring in for those guys

    Reply
    • Hello Gerald,

      Just so you know, I support 350.org. If corporations (like Google and Tesla) are starting to support 350, then I think they are doing the right thing. In particular, I see the fossil fuel divestment campaign as imperative. And the campaign against the Keystone helps to reduce the economic incentive to mine the tar sands. I don’t find any reason to attack them, unless, of course, you wish to be counter productive.

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 11, 2015

        350.org are good folks. Wherever their donations come from, they’ll know best how to transform them into good work.

        Good also to know about the new mask. Thanks, Robert. 😉

        Reply
      • climatehawk1

         /  March 12, 2015

        I support them also, good group. With regard to the accusation of corporate funding, references and links, please. Sounds like BS to me.

        Reply
      • @climatehawk – I think this stems mainly from a CounterPunch article that was posted here a while ago. The idea is that groups like 350 get massive donations from Tides, Tides gets massive donations from NoVo, and Warren Buffett is the chief funder of NoVo.

        Thus there is a key interest on the part of such nonprofits in starting campaigns that appear to be in the public interest on the surface, but that are really made in the interest of shutting down Buffett’s competition in the FF sector, namely oil pipelines, while he quietly expands a rail-based oil tycoon.

        Don’t get me wrong; any slowing of FF expansion is good work, but if what they’re saying is right it’s like being the chief of police and training all your guns and spotlights on the bank robber while his accomplice is dashing off in the getaway car so that he can hand you a cut of the dirty money.

        Reply
        • climatehawk1

           /  March 12, 2015

          >> “@climatehawk – I think this stems mainly from a CounterPunch article that was posted here a while ago. The idea is that groups like 350 get massive donations from Tides, Tides gets massive donations from NoVo, and Warren Buffett is the chief funder of NoVo.”

          Thanks for the perspective. I very much doubt that Bill McKibben would lend his name to such a scheme, so count me among the skeptics.

      • eleggua

         /  March 12, 2015

        Unlike Wille Soon and his ill ilk, McKibben and 350 don’t allow their funding sources to influence their work. The opposite is likely: their work will help influence the funding sources.

        Reply
      • We live in a capitalist’s world – and whichever direction the decision-makers head, there’ll be business winners, and business losers. At this point in human/economic history, it can’t be avoided – only the degree. If it weren’t Buffet, it would simply be somebody else…

        Reply
  3. Ouse M.D.

     /  March 11, 2015

    Sobering…
    I feel 3 million years younger now. This is a time travel we should not have embarked on, in the first place.
    On the other hand:
    the now lately admitted safe level was 330 ppm.
    Oops, that target is in the rearview- mirror, and it doesn’t seem we were to slow down, the exact opposite.
    I wonder if the paleoclimate reords were that time already available.
    I mean since when did we now- paleoclimate data became available- we’ re in the danger zone?
    Because there’s no excuse for that, what we are doing since that conscious point in history.

    Reply
    • We should have really started to move in 1988 with Hansen’s announcement. But the first big clue was the start of glacial destabilization back in the 1960s.

      Reply
    • “I feel 3 million years younger now. This is a time travel we should not have embarked on, in the first place.”
      Great comment!

      I also identified with the almost-final part of the post, “If the greater portion of this range is correct, then we are now breathing air that none among our species or even our hominid relatives have ever breathed since their setting foot on this world.” — perhaps that explains why my mystery cough/allergies have reawakend. Maybe some of us are canaries, and we’re screaming, ‘Something’s wrong here!’

      We’re into month three of our ‘rainy season’ on the equator and have only received 6 inches of rainfall. It’s way too dry, and I wonder if most people along the coast are even aware of the drought.

      Thanks for keeping us informed.

      Reply
      • Ouse M.D.

         /  March 11, 2015

        I guess it’s not only marine life, amphibious, bees, birds that are going through a Biosphere- Stress Test unfolding at an unprecedented rate…
        How many humans are on this Earth, ailing from industrial civilization?
        The out- of-work alcoholics/ drug addicts, neurotics, psychotics, depressed,obese, malnourished, burn- out, worn out, suicidal…
        Nothing has changed, since 1974- according to Howard Beale

        Reply
      • – File under ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY

        We are also breathing many things that are in the air which no one has breathed before. Things toxic, and man made, and in concentrations no one interested in long term survival would would even think of breathing.
        But that’s us today.
        I try to imagine the ratio of toxic molecules versus actual air that is in the air terrestrials breathe in this 21st century.
        Most extra-air components are petroleum based –VOCs and other molecules of petroleum. (MOP)?
        Then there are the droplets of acid, and heavy metals — this is quite an inventory of aerosols we call ‘air’.

        Reply
        • i’m super sensitive to msg and aspartame, and i never pondered that my recent problems might be from the ‘pure’ air that i breathe. i live in a very remote area far from pollution from cities. i think it’s time to seriously consider investing in a mask, though it would be much more rewarding to whack away at the root of the cause.

          it’s like watching our planet bleed to death, while most are looking the other way.

        • And you have been ever diligent in pointing out the finer aspects of this particular folly, DT. Certainly raised my awareness.

      • eleggua

         /  March 11, 2015

        “…it’s not only marine life, amphibious, bees, birds that are going through a Biosphere- Stress Test unfolding at an unprecedented rate…”

        And the bats; let’s not forget the bats:
        White nose syndrome https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_nose_syndrome
        White-nose syndrome (WNS) is an emerging disease in North American bats which as of 2012 was associated with at least 5.7 million to 6.7 million bat deaths. The condition is named for a distinctive fungal growth around the muzzles and on the wings of hibernating bats and was first identified from a February 2006 photo taken in a cave in Schoharie County, New York. It has rapidly spread. As of September 2014, the fungus has been found in caves and mines of 25 states throughout the Northeastern U.S., as far south as Mississippi, as far west as Missouri and as far North as five Canadian provinces….

        The fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans is the primary cause of WNS. It preferably grows in the 4 to 15 °C range (39–59 °F) and will not grow at temperatures above 20 °C (68 °F). It is cold loving or psychrophilic….

        Caves are warming up along with everything else; possible climate change related acceleration and spread of the fungus.

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 11, 2015

        Or maybe not.
        https://www.whitenosesyndrome.org/faq/global-climate-change-possible-cause-white-nose-syndrome
        Is global climate change a possible cause of white-nose syndrome?

        While many possible causes of white-nose syndrome are being studied, no credible evidence links climate change and WNS. Weather conditions in caves and mines where bats hibernate were stable during when WNS emerged, and no data show changes in insect prey numbers in affected areas. Potential impacts of global climate change will continue to be monitored as we learn more about the disease.

        Reply
        • Climate change related extreme weather and habitat loss are the most directly dangerous to bats and wildlife in general. Warming does increase vectors for many illnesses as well and animals impacted by habitat stress are more vulnerable to disease contraction. WNS can be transmitted by humans and some have suspected that human mass transit played a role in the rapid spread of the illness. However, WNS is a cold-loving fungus that thrives in the chill, damp environment of caves where many bat species roost. As many sources note, there is no confirmed link to climate change and this illness at this time.

      • eleggua

         /  March 12, 2015

        Yes, I sort of jumped the gun on that supposition. It does seem in some way to be more than simply coincident with the current plights of starfish, bees and amphibians, though.

        “WNS can be transmitted by humans and some have suspected that human mass transit played a role in the rapid spread of the illness.”

        Chytrid fungus, too. Cannot recall whom, but may’ve Martha Crump that surmised that the disease was transmitted to the Golden Toads of the Monterverde Cloud Forest by researchers that inadvertently brought it in on their boots. Some study showed the progression followed streams and rivers leading from research sites. Don’t have that material close at hand at the moment.

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 12, 2015

        Beautiful artwork, Z.

        The energy breathes in and out from the tree.

        Reply
        • Thanks! The ceibos are unique, and hopefully they’ll endure the climate changes. We’re losing too many trees to deforestation, and we cannot afford to lose more due to climate change.

      • eleggua

         /  March 12, 2015

        You’re welcome. Ceibas seem quite sturdy, able to withstand environmental stress; couldn’t locate any data related to climate change-related threat to ceibas. Logging’s a big factor in ceiba population decline, particularly in your part of the world.
        Too many trees already lost to deforestation and climate change.

        A fragrant beauty painted by Z.

        Reply
  4. Kevin Jones

     /  March 11, 2015

    350ppm CO2. Have you read the history of that notion, Germ. Storms of my Grandchildren by Dr. Hansen tells it best. How McKibben politely badgered him for a maximum safe number. Hansen had been thinking,way back then, that 450 might be a reasonably non-catastrophic level. A Greenpeace dude laughed me off in ’07 when I attempted to discuss a safe limit with him. Just before I got arrested with Hansen for a mountaintop removal arrest. The Greenpeace guy said 280. I said, “Well the average over the past 800,000 years has been 220. (I interviewed McKibben in 1994. He called me brother. We’ve not seen eye to eye since then, but he did start a lot. None of us are perfect.

    Reply
    • Great context, Kevin.

      I think it was Hansen who said (and I’m paraphrasing) — try to get to 350 and we’ll see if that’s safe. But it may not be.

      Thanks for your good work!

      Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 11, 2015

      ” None of us are perfect.” Ought to print that out and hang above the bathroom mirror.
      Thank you, Kevin, thanks so much.

      Reply
  5. Fun fact of the day: “canfield ocean here we come” is a suggested Google search.

    I was curious what you know about Global Thermostat in terms of being useful for drawing down CO2. The technology sounds great to me in concept, but without hard numbers as to its effectiveness it’s hard to tell what if any impact it might have.

    Reply
  6. Kevin Jones

     /  March 11, 2015

    …yes RS,elleggua, and it was June 23,’09 that I met Hansen, in handcuffs at the Raleigh County West Virginia State Police HQ. I said,”Jim. This is the anniversary of your historic US Congress testimony.” He said. “No. That was last year.” He meant the 20th. I meant the 21st.🙂

    Reply
  7. Kevin Jones

     /  March 11, 2015

    Please share with this community your wonderful efforts, Germ.

    Reply
    • I think the angle of attack is simply to criticise 350.org for donations from corporations and speaking to corporations.

      My opinion is that the outcome of corporations and investors pulling money out of fossil fuels would be a huge help to reducing emissions. If GM went all in to stop producing ICEs, for example, and if many of these other companies pledged zero carbon emissions and pulled their hedge investments out of coal, oil, and gas.

      Where corporations have tended to fail is where they’ve exploited people and the environment. Changing corporate behavior to make them less exploitative in this fashion is a huge win.

      Is 350 perfect? Can they, by themselves and without working with large entities like government and business, bring about emission reductions? I don’t think so. Sure, the blockading of coal plants helps a huge amount. But it also helps if we stop spending money on coal plants in the first place. Go after that money and encourage its support of more positive outcomes. Carrot and stick. And that’s what we’re really talking about.

      350 is going after the FF investment money. Which I believe is good strategy.

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 11, 2015

        “My opinion is that the outcome of corporations and investors pulling money out of fossil fuels would be a huge help to reducing emissions.”
        “350 is going after the FF investment money. Which I believe is good strategy. ”

        Indeed. And the less loot those ‘dementors of doom’ have, the better for the planet and inhabitants. Break their banks.

        Reply
  8. Aldous

     /  March 11, 2015

    The daily average of CO2 for March 10th 2015 managed to hit 403.43 according to,
    NOAA/ESRL (www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/).

    Reply
    • Fantastic catch, Aldous. Edit in.

      Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  March 11, 2015

      Keeling Curve over at Scripps confirms this. For an hourly average. The daily, weekly, monthly variability is fascinating….

      Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  March 11, 2015

        Whoa, Aldous. NOAA’s daily avg. really does jump out. My submitted hourly avg. was from the 9th of March

        Reply
    • Ouse M.D.

       /  March 11, 2015

      Fantastic is not my first idea about this…
      This rapid rise could be coming from the dreaded feedbacks ramping up…
      In just 2 days up 2 ppm. This is hell of an increase.

      Reply
      • They do tend to bounce around. But that is one heck of a daily spike.

        Reply
      • Spike

         /  March 12, 2015

        Week beginning on March 1, 2015: 401.26 ppm
        Weekly value from 1 year ago: 398.09 ppm
        Weekly value from 10 years ago: 381.56 ppm

        So the increase over the last year is >3ppm compared to an average of just under 2ppm per annum for the last 10 years – not good.

        Reply
  9. eleggua

     /  March 11, 2015

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/weekly.html
    Week beginning on March 1, 2015: 401.26 ppm
    Weekly value from 1 year ago: 398.09 ppm
    Weekly value from 10 years ago: 381.56 ppm

    Last 5 days of preliminary daily average CO2:
    March 10 – 403.43
    March 09 – 401.56
    March 08 – 401.74
    March 07 – 401.43
    March 06 – 401.66

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 11, 2015

      What’s with the significant 24-hour jump?
      March 10 – 403.43
      March 09 – 401.56

      “preliminary daily average” Could it be an error, to be corrected later after further analysis?

      Reply
      • Aldous

         /  March 11, 2015

        The daily averages presented via ESRL/NOAA are preliminary analysis and are liable to change over the next couple of days as additional information is made available. That being said, if the reading of 403.43 stands the scrutiny of further investigation it would represent just a 4.51 PPM increase from where we were last year on March 10th. That’s simply mind boggling.

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 11, 2015

        Mind-boggling is apt. Stunning. Keeling Curve’s hit 403+ a few times on hourly readings, the past month. No daily average over 403 there yet.

        Reply
      • A similar departure in May would rad in the range of 407 to 408 ppm… Very strong if it stands.

        Reply
  10. eleggua

     /  March 11, 2015

    ‘Can Climate Action Plans Combat Megadrought and Save the Colorado River?’ Gary Wockner | March 9, 2015
    http://ecowatch.com/2015/03/09/climate-action-plans-megadrought/
    If a city’s water supply is threatened by climate change, should that city enact a strong climate action plan? I believe the answer is yes, but few cities throughout the Colorado River basin are moving forward aggressively to address climate change even though the threat is increasing every year….
    In this quagmire, several cities in the Southwest U.S. that use water out of the Colorado River are enacting “Climate Action Plans” to reduce their carbon emissions. A few of those plans are highly ambitious and propose to reduce carbon emissions to zero. Several others have less lofty goals but are moving in the right direction. Here’s a quick summary of some of the cities’ plans in the seven Colorado River basin states:

    Colorado: Several cities have aggressive plans including Fort Collins, Boulder and Aspen.
    Fort Collins proposes to get to 100 percent renewables by 2050.
    Aspen proposes an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
    Boulder enacted a “climate action plan tax,” and is in the process of “municipalizing” its utility to achieve an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
    Denver’s plan to reduce emissions is minimal, but the city has embarked on a lengthy “Climate Adaptation Plan.”

    Utah:
    Salt Lake City has proposed an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

    New Mexico:
    Albuquerque has proposed an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
    Santa Fe recently created a “Climate Action Task Force” but has not yet to proposed emissions goals.

    Wyoming:
    No traceable climate action plans are occurring in the Colorado River basin area of this heavy oil, gas and coal extraction state.

    Nevada:
    Las Vegas is likely one of the first cities that may be hit by the impacts of climate change as the water levels in Lake Mead continue to drop. The city has committed to a smaller 30 percent reduction in its carbon footprint by 2030.

    Arizona:
    Phoenix set a small goal of a 5 percent reduction by 2015 and achieved it. In 2011 Tucson signed on to the U.S. Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement (MCPA) goal of a 7 percent reduction by 2012.

    Southern California:
    San Diego has an ambitious goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2035. Los Angeles has a goal of a 35 percent reduction by 2030.

    In addition to these cities, a number of cities across the basin and especially in Southern California signed on to the MCPA goal for a 7 percent reduction by 2012….

    Reply
    • Robert In New Orleans

       /  March 12, 2015

      These well meaning measures are the equivalent of painting the barn white and adding solar cells to roof ten years after the horses ran away😦

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 12, 2015

        The alternative to those “well meaning measures” then seems to be doing nothing. That’s not an alternative that I’m alive to support.

        Reply
  11. Kevin Jones

     /  March 11, 2015

    eleggua: Since you asked (a tad of my tale) and the hour is late:

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/03/09/break-in-at-y-12

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  March 11, 2015

      this above linl works

      Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 12, 2015

      Thank you, Kevin. Long piece. A lot to digest. Though the focus of the actions therein aren’t (directly) climate change related, can see reasons why you shared it. Inspirational. Familiar with the Berrigan brothers, Dorothy Day and some of the others and the earlier actions; wasn’t aware of the details of y12. A lot to process; a lot to digest. Thank you again.

      Eric Schlosser’s very good. Going to read some of this other pieces now. This one is pertinent to some of the conversation that’s gone on here in the comments the past couple of weeks, and others might find it worthwhile.
      http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/almost-everything-in-dr-strangelove-was-true

      January 17, 2014
      Almost Everything in “Dr. Strangelove” Was True
      Eric Schlosser
      http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/almost-everything-in-dr-strangelove-was-true

      Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 12, 2015

      Thank you, Kevin. Long piece. A lot to digest. Though the focus of the actions therein aren’t (directly) climate change related, can see reasons why you shared it. Inspirational. Familiar with the Berrigan brothers, Dorothy Day and some of the others and the earlier actions; wasn’t aware of the details of y12. A lot to process; a lot to digest. Thank you again.

      Eric Schlosser’s very good. Going to read some of this other pieces now. This one is pertinent to some of the conversation that’s gone on here in the comments the past couple of weeks, and others might find it worthwhile. (dtlange et al.)

      January 17, 2014
      Almost Everything in “Dr. Strangelove” Was True
      Eric Schlosser
      http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/almost-everything-in-dr-strangelove-was-true

      Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 12, 2015

      Kevin, posted about this in the comments last week; in case you missed it:
      Landless Brazilians in GM eucalyptus protest</b?
      https://uk.news.yahoo.com/landless-brazilians-gm-eucalyptus-protest-211603061.html#zBcazTE
      Around 300 supporters of the Via Campesina rural protest movement meanwhile interrupted a meeting of Brazil’s Technical Commission on Biosafety (CTNBio), which regulates genetically modified plants, in the capital Brasilia, where Suzano/Futura Gene was presenting the new modified species.

      The CNTBio discussions are due to resume in April after the protest disrupted FuturaGene’s attempt to obtain industrial GE plantation.

      Atiliana Brunetto, representing the landless legalization movement, said that even if the genetically modified eucalyptus plant could boast 20 percent higher productivity than the traditional version it would require greater use of pesticides and water to cultivate, thereby harming the environment.
      “The most important thing is we have managed to bring the debate into the public domain,” Brunetto said.

      Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 12, 2015

      Women Occupy Research Site in Brazil to Protest GM Trees
      http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Women-Occupy-Research-Site-in-Brazil-to-Protest-GM-Trees-20150306-0008.html
      Nearly 1,000 women affiliated with the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) occupied a corporate research installation in the state of Sao Paulo Thursday to protest the possible introduction of genetically modified eucalyptus trees in Brazil.

      The MST is concerned that the introduction of genetically modified eucalyptus trees will have negative consequences for the environment, people’s health, and the livelihood of beekeepers.

      The genetically modified eucalyptus trees reportedly result in 20 percent higher productivity. However, the MST has warned that the pollen of the genetically modified eucalyptus trees will contaminate the honey produced by bees that visit areas where genetically modified trees are introduced.

      According to the MST, Brazil is the tenth largest producer of honey in the world, employing 500,000 beekeepers, the majority of who are small-scale producers. The contamination of the honey could pose a threat to beekeepers who produce organic honey for export.

      The MST is also concerned that genetically modified eucalyptus trees require an exceptional amount of water; Brazil’s southeastern states are currently in the midst of an unprecedented drought.

      In addition, the social movement alleges that these genetically modified trees require the heavy use of pesticides, with claims that one pesticide commonly used at sites with genetically modified eucalyptus trees is sulfluramid, a substance banned by 152 countries, including Brazil.

      The National Biosafety Technical Commission (CTNBio) is set to decide whether or not to approve the introduction of genetically modified eucalyptus trees to Brazil. The decision by the CTNBio was postponed after another group of 300 persons occupied the meeting room where the commission had gathered to deliberate on the decision….

      Reply
      • Monarch Butterflies in North America Found to be Vulnerable to Extinction

        PORTLAND, Ore.—A newly completed assessment has found that monarch butterflies in North America are vulnerable to extinction. The assessment was undertaken by NatureServe and the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, and results were published in a report released by the U.S. Forest Service yesterday.

        “Our findings show that even a widespread and common insect can face dramatic population declines in an alarmingly short period of time,” said Bruce Young, NatureServe’s Director of Species Science. “The time is now to intensify continent-wide efforts to reduce the threats to this iconic species and prevent it from succumbing to the fate that has befallen far too many other species.”

        – The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation is the best.
        – DT ‘Some-of-my-best-friends-are-insects’ Lange

        http://www.xerces.org/2015/03/10/monarch-butterflies-in-north-america-found-to-be-vulnerable-to-extinction/

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 12, 2015

        Pressure for Federal Protection of Monarch Butterfly Grows as Public Comment Period Closes March 2, 2015
        http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2015/monarch-butterfly-03-02-2015.html
        …More than half a million people called on the government to protect the monarch butterfly today, as the public comment period on protecting monarchs under the Endangered Species Act closed. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service now has nine months to determine whether to propose protections for the iconic orange-and-black butterfly, which has declined by 90 percent in the past 20 years. The agency’s review of the monarch was spurred by a legal petition filed in August by the Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Food Safety, the Xerces Society and renowned monarch scientist Dr. Lincoln Brower, all of whom submitted comments today renewing their call for the agency to list the monarch butterfly as threatened. …

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 12, 2015

        Monsanto Herbicide Wiping Out Monarch Butterflies 06 February 2015
        http://macedoniaonline.eu/content/view/26928/1/
        he multinational agricultural giant Monsanto’s signature herbicide Roundup Ready is leading to the decimation of Monarch butterfly populations, according to a report issued by the US environment watchdog Center for Food Safety.

        “This report is a wake-up call. This iconic species is on the verge of extinction, because of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready crop system,” executive director at Center for Food Safety Andrew Kimbrell said in a press release announcing the study’s findings on Thursday. “To let the monarch butterfly die out in order to allow Monsanto to sell its signature herbicide for a few more years is simply shameful.”

        Monsanto’s Roundup Ready herbicide has wiped out 99 percent of milkweed in corn and soybean fields in the US Midwest since 1999, eliminating Monarch butterfly’s only source of food, the report said. The butterfly lays eggs on milkweed, the only food the larvae will eat….

        As a result, Monarch populations have dropped nearly 90 percent over the past 20 years as the use of the herbicide has expanded in US Midwest corn and soybean crops….

        US-based Monsanto is one of the world’s largest agricultural companies, producing genetically engineered seeds and Roundup Ready.

        Reply
  12. Kevin Jones

     /  March 11, 2015

    eleggua: since you asked for some history:

    https://www.newyorker/2015/03/09/break-in-at-y-12

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  March 11, 2015

      Despite everything, I would break my leg for Bill Mckibben. I would die for these fine friends.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  March 11, 2015

        What caused you to break with him? That is, despite what, exactly?

        Reply
  13. Another old report on the same theme here:

    http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/last-time-carbon-dioxide-levels-111074

    Can’t say we weren’t warned.

    Reply
  14. Phil

     /  March 11, 2015

    I see the latest JISAO February value came in at 2.30, down from 2.45 in January but still a very high value for February.

    NOAA’s February value was 1.56, down from 1.73 in January.

    So still in the positive PDO range and also with a strong WWB event forecast for the next week for so.

    Reply
    • Strong WWB over the past few days. have 80 kph 10 minute sustained winds near equator since last night. Cyclonic development in WWB pattern…

      That Kelvin Wave is looking rather strong.

      Reply
      • Phil

         /  March 11, 2015

        Robert, will be interesting to see if the confluence of strong MJO and sustained and strengthening WWB event finally induces the along waited for full atmospheric coupling needed for a conventional El Nino.

        The other interesting aspect is timing – possible emergence and strengthening during conventional time when it would be dying out or declining in intensity.

        Reply
        • Everything here seems rather odd to me. This is what the Fall El Niño should have been. Yet we have weak El Niño combining with what could be a rather intense subsurface warming, MJO, and WWB that would tend to be a leading indicator…

        • Phil — a feature of some note is the southern cyclone in the current WWB by the name of Pam. This storm is expected to be one of the most powerful to have ever formed in the SW Pacific. Pretty dramatic WWB upshot there.

      • wili

         /  March 11, 2015

        “MJO and WWB” I had to look them up, even though I’ve seen these a few times, they just don’t stick in my aging head. Madden-Julian oscillation and Western Wind Bursts. The latter is rather self explanatory. Here’s the wiki article on MJO: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madden%E2%80%93Julian_oscillation

        Reply
      • Phil

         /  March 12, 2015

        Cyclone Nathan is also off the North Queensland Coast although much smaller in size to Pam. Of interest is how quickly both Pam and Nathan intensify. Also Nathan is expected to approach the coast and then turn around and head back out to sea in an easternly direction while intensifying and might follow in Pam’s footsteps.

        While I mention speed of intensification, Cyclone Marcia sort of set records for intensification going from Cat 1 to Cat 5 in less than 24 hours. Could be a function of the abnormally warm water feeding these things although Marcia also had just about a perfect structure for intensification.

        Reply
      • DanEJ

         /  March 12, 2015

        Actually Phil, and everyone, there are now 3 cyclones in the southern oceans around/close to Australia. There’s Olwyn just off the North-West of Western Australia. This was forcast to struggle to a Cat 2 storm only yesterday by the BOM in Australia. It’s now upgraded to a Cat 3, and look currently that it will sustain cuclone status as it moves south over land. I’m in Perth and there’s a chance that it will have only just decreased intensity below cyclone level when it gets this far south. The odd thing is that there have only been maybe 1 or 2 cyclones get close to Perth in the records, then 3 have happened in about 5 years. The waters arouns Australia, as in many places, is consistently warmer than normal, and have been for a few years now.

        Pam does indeed look like a massive system, and very deep. Keeping an eye on it. Wouldn’t like to be on a boat of any size under that one!

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 12, 2015

        Dampier Port Shuts as Cyclone Olwyn Approaches Australian Coast
        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-12/dampier-port-shuts-as-cyclone-olwyn-approaches-australian-coast
        Two ports in Western Australia closed as a strengthening tropical cyclone approached the coast….
        The port of Dampier, used by Rio Tinto Group, closed at 10 a.m. local time on Thursday…
        Anchorages are closed to new arrivals with the exception of vessels proceeding to cyclone moorings and small vessels seeking safe haven. The port of Ashburton shut at 8 a.m., it said…

        Apache Corp., an energy producer with oil and gas assets in Australia, said Wednesday that it was evacuating non-essential personnel from offshore operations in the area. Australia’s cyclone season runs from Nov. 1 to April 30, with an average of four storms crossing the coast, according to the weather bureau.

        Reply
      • Tropical Cyclone Pam Gives NASA an Eye-Opening View

        Status Report Source: NASA HQ
        Posted Thursday, March 12, 2015

        Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 12, 2015

      Australia faces double tropical cyclone threat March 11, 2015
      http://www.theweathernetwork.com/uk/news/articles/extreme-weather/australia-faces-double-tropical-cyclone-threat/46958/
      People in parts of Queensland and Western Australia have been warned of stormy weather over the next few days as two tropical cyclones near the Australian coast.
      Tropical Cyclone Nathan is currently nearing the north-east coast of Queensland and although it is expected to head back out to sea before making landfall, it will still bring heavy rain and strong winds….
      Another storm, Tropical Cyclone Olwyn, is heading towards the north-west coast of Western Australia….

      It comes only a month after the country was simultaneously hit by two other tropical cyclones. In February, cyclones Marcia and Lam damaged communities in parts of Queensland and Northern Australia.

      Meanwhile, a powerful Tropical Cyclone Pam has developed to the east of Vanuatu in the south-east Pacific….

      Reply
  15. The discussions going on here are damned good — loaded with energy, thought, and empathy.
    Everyone, Thank You.
    DT

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 12, 2015

      RIght on, dt. Back at you and everyone. Glad to be here and sharing. Thanks so much, Robert Scribbler.

      Reply
  16. An Atmospheric Chemistry link I just came across:
    (By Brazilian researchers too)

    Today, many people know that carbon dioxide emissions are the cause of climate change. What most people don’t know, however, is how different our planet is now when compared to the planet of the unchanged pre-industrial times.

    The reason for such difficulty resides on the difference between the simple perception of change and quantification of change within defined a reference time, which is far from simple. In fact, to correctly estimate the change the atmosphere has been subject due to anthropogenic emissions depends on the definition of a “clean atmosphere” reference state, or a given moment of our history when the atmospheric composition was dominated by natural sources instead of anthropogenic ones….

    http://earthzine.org/2012/12/17/how-clean-is-the-natural-atmosphere/

    Reply
    • james cole

       /  March 12, 2015

      Thanks for that! This question has been heavy on my mind whenever I read comparisons of today’s CO2 loading to these past eras. We just have to know that today’s atmosphere can’t take a pure comparison to these past atmospheres. Also the particulate levels of industrial earth of today are unique to our times.

      Reply
  17. eleggua

     /  March 12, 2015

    What Are The Financial Risks Of Climate Change? March 03 2015
    http://www.ibtimes.com/what-are-financial-risks-climate-change-1833160

    Reply
    • climatehawk1

       /  March 12, 2015

      Tweet scheduled, thanks. Not sure how I missed this one.

      Reply
  18. Andy in San Diego

     /  March 12, 2015

    Referencing what dt posted above regarding the ability for organisms to adapt / survive the modified atmosphere (and oceanic concentrations), I would love it if the guy from University Of Buffalo who posted here some months back would give us some thoughts / insights on this.

    He was the guy who was working on modeling the resilience of organisms / plants to the increased variability in their locales. It was fascinating and I think this subject is right up his alley.

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 12, 2015

      Very happy you shared that, Bob. Thanks so much. Radical solution for a radical problem. And it works!

      ‘The Carbon Gatherer’
      ….“carbon sequestration”…

      The problem is that many of these notions have not survived rigorous scientific analyses. That’s where John Wick has come in, with a novel way to supercharge the process—and some valid studies to back it up. His protocol has now been approved by the American Carbon Registry for use on the voluntary carbon trading market. It also just recently got the nod from the California Air Pollution Control Officers Association, which means that California counties can offer emitters the ability to purchase credits from ranchers using the system….

      Reply
  19. Andy in San Diego

     /  March 12, 2015

    The Anthropocene – a new geological time period that marks the “Age of man” – began in 1610, a study suggests.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-31836233

    Reply
  20. Andy in San Diego

     /  March 12, 2015

    Very Sobering

    Climate change in the Marshall Islands and Kiribati, before and after – interactive

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/ng-interactive/2015/mar/11/climate-change-in-the-marshall-islands-and-kiribati-before-and-after-interactive

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 12, 2015

      Terrible. In 75 years: World War II; nuke tests; and now, the likely coup de grace of climate change. Sad.

      Reply
  21. eleggua

     /  March 12, 2015

    Group Requests Investigation Into Whether Florida Banned Climate-Change Terms March 12, 2015
    http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2015/03/12/360223.htm
    Did Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s administration ban state environmental scientists from using the terms “climate change” and “global warming” in their work?…
    Florida members of the group Forecast the Facts filed a complaint on Tuesday with the Department of Environmental Protection’s inspector-general, asking for the investigative arm of the agency to find the truth….

    Jim Harper, a former DEP contractor who says a report he worked on had a reference to climate change expunged, is now the president of the South Florida chapter of the climate advocacy organization 350.org.
    Harper said there was no hard ban at DEP, but workplace culture discouraged using terms that didn’t fall in line with the administration’s biases.
    “There’s a culture of silence. When people have lost their jobs, you learn to play by the rules,” Harper said….

    Reply
  22. eleggua

     /  March 12, 2015

    Ban on terms such as ‘climate change’ reported at other Florida agencies March 11, 2015
    Tristram Korten, Florida Center for Investigative Reporting
    http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/stateroundup/ban-on-term-climate-change-reported-at-other-florida-agencies/2220972

    Reply
  23. eleggua

     /  March 12, 2015

    Arctic sea ice closes in on record low for the winter March 11, 2015
    http://mashable.com/2015/03/11/arctic-sea-ice-close-to-new-winter-low/
    In another sign of how swiftly global warming is reshaping the Arctic, it is likely that scientists will declare a record low annual maximum sea ice extent as early as Thursday. This means that the sea ice cover, which has been in a steep decline in recent decades, built up to a record low level this winter….

    Reply
  24. eleggua

     /  March 12, 2015

    Arctic Sea Ice Extent

    Reply
  25. wili

     /  March 12, 2015

    Now
    it seems
    that the
    part has come
    where the world starts to
    come apart
    at the
    seams. It’s

    what I can’t
    tear my eyes
    away from.
    Can I wipe
    these tears
    away from
    my eyes
    now?

    Reply
  26. I note that you are using data from Mauna Lau.

    In January 2015 the average figure for the global atmosphere was 400.14 parts per million which is slightly higher than the figure for Mauna Lau. I suggest the global figure is more relevant.

    Reply
  27. Ouse M.D.

     /  March 12, 2015

    Wouldn`t it be practical, that instead of years, to use CO2 concentrations as our standard time-o-meter… Or maybe even CO2 (e).
    But need to account for noise, such as:
    -aerosols
    -pollutants
    -soot
    and very important water wapour.
    I guess CO2 alone is scary enough to be on every watch, phone,public display,hourglass, etc…

    Reply
  28. Kevin Jones

     /  March 12, 2015

    Ouse M.D. I think it would be great to have real time CO2 e global measurements. Aerosols continue to have a tall error bar in total forcing due to the 2009 launch failure of NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory and a near identical Taurus XL powered Grace in 2011, both designed to narrow this gap in understanding. (This is my understanding. Hansen continues to show large aerosol uncertainty bar in his climate forcing graph.)

    Reply
  29. Kevin Jones

     /  March 12, 2015

    hope somebody more knowledgeable can fix link.

    Reply
  30. Kevin Jones

     /  March 12, 2015

    …it’s available on James Hansen’s site….

    Reply
  31. Andy in San Diego

     /  March 12, 2015

    Looking at the retracting Jet Stream dip in North America on climate reanalyzer. As it retreats northward, you can see a significant high temp anomaly following it.

    Thus snow cover is down to 14.1% lower 48 coverage today. March 1st it was 63.4%.

    This behavior reminds me of what stood in for spring in the Arctic (NWT). Granted this was over 35 yrs ago. The temp would rise roughly as follows, -20C day 1, -10C day 2, 0C day 3, 5C day 4, 10C day 5, 15C day 6. 15 to 20C for the next couple of months.

    The snow melt was rapid. Rivers would see breakup (ice breakup) quite suddenly causing floods.

    Reply
  32. climatehawk1

     /  March 12, 2015

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  33. luddite

     /  March 12, 2015

    I’m just an old Luddite who can barely operate a keyboard so you can be sure I won’t comment here much and perhaps not again. And I don’t know how to put my comment at the appropriate spot in the thread.

    Any who want to call BS or demand links about 350.org sould simply do any web search of the terms “350” and “Rockefeller”. I just did and found even more than I had been aware of. The information comes from the left blogosphere, the right blogosphere, the business press, and press releases from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. If you think the corporate sponsorship makes no difference that call is up to you. As a small example, robertscribbler’s political views seem to make no difference at all to the good work he does on this blog. I’m reading here because robert does good work.

    350 and OneSky have never looked like or behaved like grassroots organizations. Even without examining the books anyone should be able to see that. Although the cat is well out of the bag they have in past been cagey about funding sources. Who pays the piper calls the tune.

    Reply
    • To this point:

      http://www.rbf.org/post/fund-announces-plans-divest-fossil-fuels

      The Fund has begun a two-step process to divest from investments in fossil fuels, first focusing on limiting its exposure to coal and tar sands, with a goal to reduce these investments to less than one percent of the total portfolio by the end of 2014. The Fund is also analyzing in detail its remaining fossil fuel exposure and will develop a plan for further divestment as quickly as is prudent over the next few years.

      Reply
  34. Greg

     /  March 12, 2015

    This is what Climate Change looks like from space. Syria at night, after war, after drought that has been linked to climate change.

    Reply
  35. Greg

     /  March 12, 2015

    That was 2012. Here is 2014:

    Reply
    • Robert In New Orleans

       /  March 12, 2015

      Is a new Dark Age waiting in the wings?

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 12, 2015

        A lot more darkness at night would be a good thing, though not due to civilization collapse but rather due to responsible use of lights.
        http://www.starrynightlights.com/lpIndex.html
        >What Is Light Pollution?
        In a nutshell, Light Pollution is misdirected or misused light… generally resulting from an inappropriate application of exterior lighting products. Light Pollution comes in several flavors… each with its own negative effects…..

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 12, 2015

        International Dark Sky Association
        http://darksky.org/about-us
        Once a source of wonder–and one half of the entire planet’s natural environment—the star-filled nights of just a few years ago are vanishing in a yellow haze. Human-produced light pollution not only mars our view of the stars; poor lighting threatens astronomy, disrupts ecosystems, affects human circadian rhythms, and wastes energy to the tune of $2.2 billion per year in the U.S. alone.

        DA is the recognized authority on light pollution. Founded in 1988, IDA is the first organization to call attention to the hazards of light pollution, and in 24 years of operation our accomplishments have been tremendous.

        We promote one simple idea: light what you need, when you need it. We know some light at night is necessary for safety and recreation. We work with manufacturers, planners, legislators, and citizens to provide energy efficient options that direct the light where you want it to go, not uselessly up into the sky….

        Reply
    • Civilization collapse by counting lights.

      Reply
      • Apneaman

         /  March 12, 2015

        I can’t stop collapse, but I can help you fine folks help yourselves to sleep better. My unfortunate afflictions with multiple sleep disorders have compelled me to become somewhat of an amateur expert on sleep. This little app really does make a difference.

        https://justgetflux.com/

        Reply
  36. wili

     /  March 12, 2015

    “The declining uptake rate of atmospheric CO2 by land and ocean sinks”

    This seems like kind of a big deal. Don’t know how I missed it.
    http://www.biogeosciences.net/11/3453/2014/bg-11-3453-2014.pdf
    Thanks to Joe Romm for bringing it to our attention: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/03/12/3632373/carbon-sinks-climate-action/

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  March 12, 2015

      Thanks, wili. Something I’ve worried about. Interesting, as Romm points out in his good piece how this was published in 2014.

      Reply
  37. wili

     /  March 12, 2015

    The news that major global carbon sinks are beginning to fail puts the recent spike in CO2 levels in a bit of a new perspective.

    http://www.biogeosciences.net/11/3453/2014/bg-11-3453-2014.pdf

    March 10 – 403.43
    March 09 – 401.56
    March 08 – 401.74
    March 07 – 401.43
    March 06 – 401.66

    Reply
    • Failing carbon sinks… And increasing carbon feedbacks. No news is good news for the environment, it seems.

      Reply
  38. eleggua

     /  March 12, 2015

    Catalina Island fox completes its comeback, may come off endangered list March 11, 2015 http://www.ocregister.com/articles/catalina-653937-foxes-island.html
    Catalina Island foxes, the top predator on Catalina Island, have returned from the brink in what may be the quickest recovery of an endangered American land mammal, officials said Wednesday….
    Catalina’s fox population bottomed out near 100 foxes around 1999 because of an outbreak of canine distemper disease…
    Last year, officials estimated a population of 1,700 foxes on Catalina, surpassing pre-disease levels by hundreds….

    “They have evolved without predators. They don’t view humans or cars as a threat. If you stop, they will often run around the car and stop by the driver’s side and look up at you,” King said.

    The king of Catalina may be seated back in his throne, but his position isn’t totally secure, scientists said.
    “At the population level, we’re looking at climate change as affecting the whole island ecosystem and changing the food system,“ said Boser, the ecologist at The Nature Conservancy

    Reply
  39. eleggua

     /  March 12, 2015

    No, cosmic rays aren’t causing global warming March 12, 2015
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/03/12/no-cosmic-rays-arent-causing-global-warming/
    Climate change contrarians have sought all sorts of explanations for why humans aren’t causing global warming, ranging from changes in solar activity to natural cycles in Earth’s own wobbly climate system. Another increasingly popular reason given is cosmic rays — highly energetic particles from outer space sources that are constantly bombarding our planet.

    Scientists have long considered this argument to be baseless, and now a new study hammers that point home further. Changes in how many cosmic rays hit Earth could affect temperatures in the short term, but not in the long term, researchers reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences….

    Multiple studies show that this argument is flat-out baseless. Not only might cosmic rays not be very good at boosting cloud formation, but even if they are good at it, the resulting effects on temperature would be pretty small. A 2011 paper, for instance, found that our planet’s dose of cosmic rays could only account for eight percent of the 20th century’s warming. And a 2013 paper also found at most a 14 percent link with warming after 1955. Basically, cosmic rays alone can’t account for all the warming we’ve experienced….

    These findings further shoot down the idea that cosmic rays caused the warming we experienced in the 20th century, the researchers conclude. Global warming is a long-term matter, and on long timescales any causal link between cosmic rays and temperature simply breaks down.The strongest explanation for the planet’s warming remains the same: greenhouse-gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.

    Reply
  40. eleggua

     /  March 12, 2015

    How an Antarctic octopus survives the cold Mar 10, 2015
    http://phys.org/news/2015-03-blue-blood-ice-antarctic-octopus.html
    An Antarctic octopus that lives in ice-cold water uses an unique strategy to transport oxygen in its blood, according to research published in Frontiers in Zoology. The study suggests that the octopus’s specialized blood pigments could help to make it more resilient to climate change than Antarctic fish and other species of octopus…..

    “…The results also imply that due to improved oxygen supply by haemocyanin at higher temperatures, this octopod may be physiologically better equipped than Antarctic fishes to cope with global warming.”…

    While haemocyanin has proved to be crucial to Antarctic octopods, more comprehensive insight is needed to predict their fate in a warming ocean.

    Reply
  41. eleggua

     /  March 12, 2015

    Giant Chunks Of Ice Wash Ashore On Cape Cod March 9, 2015
    The historic winter of 2015 has left giant chunks of ice on the Cape Cod National Seashore.
    WBZ-TV Chief Meteorologist Eric Fisher says this could be a “once-in-a-generation” event due to the extraordinary amount of ice on the Massachusetts Bay. Fisher says the ice won’t be around for long.
    There have been several remarkable images left from the record-setting winter, including the nearly frozen waves captured off the coast of Nantucket last month.

    Reply
    • If Greenland really blows…

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 12, 2015

        Radical solution for radical problem:

        Use a ship like the MV Blue Marlin to grab huge chunks of calving glaciers and bring them where water is needed. Certainly that idea would need research to implement, but it seems quite possible from here.

        Reply
    • danabanana

       /  March 13, 2015

      I’ve proposed similar idea before eleggua. Since Greenland Ice Sheet is doomed (or at least the lower half) why not collect the run off water (or the ice) and ship it to where is needed? We have super-tankers and we don’t think twice when it comes built giganormous oil or gas pipelines to transport fossil fuels, so instead of letting the doomed ice melt into the oceans we should collect it and use it.

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 13, 2015

        Yep. Exactly. Lots of radical solutions available and lots of radical imaginations to envision, create and implement them.

        The future of our planet is all about the radical: radical problems, radical problem-solvers, radical solutions. Actually, the current state of the planet is already radical.
        The time is ‘now’ to promote the truly radical problem-solvers: sane, honest, peaceful radicals.

        Reply
  42. eleggua

     /  March 12, 2015

    Human Size Icebergs In Cape Cod photo by Dapixara

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  March 12, 2015

      To think I could drive 3 hrs southeast to stand on an Arctic shore. Bizzare.

      Reply
  43. eleggua

     /  March 12, 2015

    Good idea or not?

    Forget Global Warming And Climate Change, Call It ‘Climate Disruption’ 3/12/2015
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2015/03/12/forget-global-warming-and-climate-change-call-it-climate-disruption/
    People have been learned to cope with change by thinking it’s not all bad, but climate change is all bad, according to a climate scientist at Argonne National Laboratory who says it’s time to replace the term climate change, itself a replacement for global warming, with a new term: climate disruption.

    “Positive mental attitude is a really wonderful way to deal with change,” research meteorologist Doug Sisterson told about 200 people at the University of Chicago’s International House Tuesday night. “We’ve learned that we want to be optimists and have a positive mental attitude, and the way we deal with that is by thinking ‘Not all change is bad.’ Well, talking about climate change, it’s not good. So maybe it’s wrong to portray climate change with a positive mental attitude.

    “Maybe we should start talking about climate disruption, because the things I’m talking about would seem to be highly disruptive. And so maybe the better way to characterize what’s happening with these extreme weather events is to think of it as climate disruption. Maybe it more accurately represents the journey we are about to be embarking upon.”…

    “We used to lobby Congress, and we used to lobby lobbyists. And scientists now would say the best thing we can do is lobby the public—lobby you. If we can be clear about the science we’re doing, communicate science-based evidence to you, you are our best advocates.

    Reply
    • Climate Disruption works intellectually. But syllabically it’s a bit heavy on the tongue.

      Reply
      • That’s likely why Forbes put it out.🙂

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 12, 2015

        I don’t favor it either. “Climate Change” works just fine and the ball is already rolling with it in a good direction. No reason to change direction or slow progress with semantics.

        Reply
      • Bob Nickson

         /  March 12, 2015

        Global Weirding

        Reply
        • climatehawk1

           /  March 13, 2015

          Me for climate disruption. Big weakness: too long for most tweets. But, it sounds serious and it covers the varying weather phenomena we are seeing. Also, very hard for deniers to mock (which I don’t believe is true for “global weirding:).

      • eleggua

         /  March 13, 2015

        Weird to the wise:

        Reply
    • Apneaman

       /  March 12, 2015

      How has the whole Positive/Optimists movement in the last decades benefited society? How about not at all. Worked wonders to shut down any and all debate for politicians and corporations. “Oh come on Apneaman – your just being negative – think of the economic benefits that can be gained from destroying the planet.”
      How about calling it “Climate Suffering” or “Climate Ruin” or “Climate Death” ?

      Bright-sided
      How Positive Thinking is Undermining America

      http://barbaraehrenreich.com/website/brightsided.htm

      Reply
  44. Colorado Bob

     /  March 12, 2015

    A new paper on the Anthropocene caught my attention with this –
    The human-dominated geological epoch known as the Anthropocene probably began around the year 1610, with an unusual drop in atmospheric carbon dioxide and the irreversible exchange of species between the New and Old Worlds, according to new research published today in Nature. ……………………………….

    a pronounced dip in atmospheric carbon dioxide centred on 1610 and captured in Antarctic ice-core records. The drop occurred as a direct result of the arrival of Europeans in the Americas. Colonisation of the New World led to the deaths of about 50 million indigenous people, most within a few decades of the 16th century due to smallpox. The abrupt near-cessation of farming across the continent and the subsequent re-growth of Latin American forests and other vegetation removed enough carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to produce a drop in CO2.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150311160444.htm

    Pretty amazing detail . When one looks at the NASA position on the “Little Ice Age ”

    NASA defines the term as a cold period between AD 1550 and 1850 and notes three particularly cold intervals: one beginning about 1650, another about 1770, and the last in 1850, each separated by intervals of slight warming.[7]

    Wiki

    Pretty amazing detail

    Reply
    • Aldous

       /  March 12, 2015

      Bloomberg recently posted an article concerning the ‘Anthropocene’

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-11/the-year-humans-started-to-ruin-the-world

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 12, 2015

        Did the Anthropocene Begin with the Deaths of 50 Million Native Americans? 3/12/15
        http://www.newsweek.com/did-anthropocene-begin-deaths-50-million-native-americans-313319
        Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the “new world” in 1492 marked the start of an epoch of mass death. An estimated 50 million inhabitants of North, Central, and South America died between that date and the mid 1600s, from warfare, enslavement and the rapid spread of European disease among the native populations — who had no community-ingrained immunity. The scale of human obliteration was so massive that it ushered in a shift in the makeup of atmosphere, leading scientists to propose that 1610 be recognized as the beginning of the Anthropocene — the moment when humans began to alter Earth’s processes……..

        “Historically, the collision of the Old and New Worlds marks the beginning of the modern world,”…“Geologically, this boundary also marks Earth’s last globally synchronous cool moment before the onset of the long-term global warmth of the Anthropocene.”…

        Reply
      • Aldous

         /  March 12, 2015

        To me, there is a great irony associated with the Anthropocene. The forces humans have exerted on Earth to alter its’ processes and geology to usher in a new epoch could very well be the same forces that bring the Anthropocene to an abrupt end. Some people in literature might call that the perfect example of poetic justice.

        I used to think the word ‘Anthropocene’ reeked of hubris considering it means “era of us”, but I started looking at from the perspective of how can we potentially use the concept of hubris, specifically self-confidence, to our advantage? For example, do we want the “era of us” to be one of the shortest experienced epoch’s in geological history or do we want to extend it? We have the knowledge, ingenuity and means to do so.

        A train of thought. Sorry if I was rambling.

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 12, 2015

        Sensible perspective; not rambling.
        Can we come up with a more apt moniker? Let’s give it a shot.
        Any ideas, Aldous?

        Reply
    • Andy in YKD

       /  March 13, 2015

      That evidence supports the need to switch from annual industrial ag to local perennial-based food production.

      Reply
  45. Kevin Jones

     /  March 12, 2015

    CB: William Ruddiman in his Plows Plagues and Petroleum was the first (I know of) to suggest that CO2 dip was due to the die off of 50 million. A great read. My taste for the date of the start of the Anthropocene is 1714. Lovelock suggests it in his A Rough Ride to the Future. The year Thomas Newcomen got the first steam engine up and running to pump the Irish Sea out of the coal mines which led to railroad locomotives (to haul that coal to factories and on and on….

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 12, 2015

      Thanks for pointing out that book, Kevin.

      ‘Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum’ by William F. Ruddiman Wins 2006 Science Award December 18, 2006
      https://news.virginia.edu/content/plows-plagues-and-petroleum-william-f-ruddiman-wins-2006-science-award
      …”Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum” is the first book to trace the full historical sweep of human interaction with Earth’s climate. Shifting the focus on global warming away from the highly charged political and media debates that dominate the issue, Ruddiman offers a fascinating look at our past to see what we can learn about climate change and what can be done to curtail it in the future….

      “It uses solid scientific data to treat issues significant not only for science, but with major societal implications.”

      Providing startling facts and insights, Ruddiman details how humans overtook nature as the controlling force of the climate. The climate had once changed due to small changes in Earth’s orbital patterns, but the discovery of agriculture nearly 12,000 years ago and the advent of farming and crop irrigation added significant carbon dioxide and methane to the atmosphere. With brilliant detail, Ruddiman explains precisely how humans have affected the climate through innovations more pastoral than industrial….

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  March 12, 2015

        the dramatic drop in population allowed about 65 million hectares of farmed land in the Americas to return to forest.

        Reply
  46. Kevin Jones

     /  March 12, 2015

    ….of course Vonnegut thought it began a million years ago when we bi-peds came to control our first Force of Nature. Fire. Should have stayed with raw fruits and vegetables…he said.

    Reply
  47. Kevin Jones

     /  March 12, 2015

    Holocene, Pleistocene, Pliocene, Miocene….Eocene , Paleocene….these Epochs which comprise the Cenozoic….the Age of Mammals…and on a fast track back, we humans…to when CO2 was 1000-2000 ppm? ….and the Sun was significantly dimmer. As Cosmic as it could be.

    Reply
  48. Kevin Jones

     /  March 12, 2015

    Perhaps the Fundamentalists are right, after all. Jesus riding on the back of Brontosaurus….We sure are riding them now.

    Reply
  49. – Climate change or marital difficulties? Hear it from one who knows:

    Sonny Boy Williamson – Nine below zero

    Reply
  50. Ouse M.D.

     /  March 12, 2015

    And no nuclear power plants/ weapons that time…. No plastic oceans and mountains of unusable human waste.

    What is the punishment for burning Your ancestors into the atmosphere according to Buddhism?

    Reply
  51. Colorado Bob

     /  March 12, 2015

    Leaked Email Reveals Who’s Who List of Climate Denialists
    A network of pundits and scientists is consulted about stopping release of “Merchants of Doubt,” a documentary film that exposes their work.

    In the months before the debut of the new documentary film “Merchants of Doubt,” long-time climate denialist Fred Singer contacted more than two dozen bloggers, public relations specialists and scientists asking for help in derailing the documentary’s release.

    “Can I sue for damages?” Singer asked in an email last October. “Can we get an injunction against the documentary?”

    Link

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  March 12, 2015

      The Usual Suspects
      But where is Keyser Söze ?

      Leaked Email Reveals Who’s Who List of Climate Denialists

      A network of pundits and scientists is consulted about stopping release of “Merchants of Doubt,” a documentary film that exposes their work.
      http://insideclimatenews.org/print/38586

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 12, 2015

        ‘They’, the dementors of doom, are on the run. Wash those men right out of our hair; make them go away!

        In the months before the debut of the new documentary film “Merchants of Doubt,” long-time climate denialist Fred Singer contacted more than two dozen bloggers, public relations specialists and scientists asking for help in derailing the documentary’s release.

        “Can I sue for damages?” Singer asked in an email last October. “Can we get an injunction against the documentary?”

        Reply
  52. eleggua

     /  March 12, 2015

    Robert Scribbler appearing live ‘on air’ next week, Thursday, March 19th, 2015 on
    KPFA Berkeley Free Public Radio, 2PM, Pacific Standard Time, 94.1FM in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Listen ‘live’ online here from anywhere on our Planet:
    http://www.kpfa.org/
    Or via the archives, after the show’s end. (Will post the link to the archived show next week, post-program.)

    Hope you don’t mind my announcing the program, Robert. It’s just been announced ‘on air’ now on KPFA. Program today, on now, regarding global water issues.

    Reply
    • Much appreciated.😉 I am terrible at self-promo stuff. So have at.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  March 12, 2015

        “If don’t toot your own horn no one else will”
        Arly Blankenship

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 12, 2015

        Yes. Right on. So glad you’re on board. Looking forward to hearing you speak.
        Always happy to promote your work in whatever way I can. Blessed, actually, as well as happy.

        Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  March 12, 2015

      Nice catch.

      Reply
      • Couldn’t have done it without you, my friend🙂

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 12, 2015

        We need to help widen Robert’s audience. And it’ll be great to actually hear the voice behind the words.

        Robert is being talked about right now on KPFA , as I type this.
        Next week’s show and this blog are being touted. Program is about water issues.

        Reply
  53. Colorado Bob

     /  March 12, 2015

    There are now FOUR major cyclones in one region of the southwest Pacific:

    Link

    Reply
  54. Colorado Bob

     /  March 12, 2015

    The really long term problem for all these people, even if the storm misses you . It drives sea water into your fresh water supplies . Because you still get the big surf.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  March 12, 2015

      Oddly …………… they, and the people in Brazil, are losing their fresh water at the same time. For 2 completely different reasons.

      Now what could explain that ?

      Reply
  55. Colorado Bob

     /  March 12, 2015

    Russian scientists say climate change to blame for mysterious Siberia craters

    The seven holes discovered are not the work of aliens or meteorites, but rather explosions of methane accumulated as underground ice melts

    Russian scientists have now discovered seven giant craters in remote Siberia, a geologist told AFP on Thursday, adding that the mysterious phenomenon was believed to be linked to climate change.

    Link

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  March 12, 2015

      “We have just learnt that in Yakutia, new information has emerged about a giant crater 1km [0.6 miles] in diameter,” the deputy director of the Oil and Gas Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vasily Bogoyavlensky, told AFP.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  March 12, 2015

        A HOLE OVER ONE HALF MILE IN DIAMETER . In Siberia .

        Let’s all run that over our current thinking .

        Reply
    • Wow. Glad the ‘Concerns’ article went up earlier this week. I guess we can add this to the list…

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  March 13, 2015

        This image will be ugly. The sat, shot from space will be pin point . Before and after.

        Reply
        • I wonder if this has anything at all to do with those massive, massive forest fires we’ve been tracking in Yakutia these past years.

    • eleggua

       /  March 13, 2015

      “Footage allows us to identify minimum seven craters, but in fact there are plenty more,” he said.

      Reply
  56. Colorado Bob

     /  March 13, 2015

    the deputy director of the Oil and Gas Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences,

    Not Green Peace, not Al Gore , the deputy director of the Oil and Gas Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Reported a carter in Siberia over a half mile wide. .

    Reply
  57. Colorado Bob

     /  March 13, 2015

    I wonder if this has anything at all to do with those massive, massive forest fires we’ve been tracking in Yakutia these past years.

    Hand in glove, Russia is the epic center of climate,

    Reply
  58. Colorado Bob

     /  March 13, 2015

    These holes are , dark and scary. Joe Romme posted today with one that is really dark, and small.

    Tonight we learn their ones over one half a mile wide.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  March 13, 2015

      Russian scientists say climate change to blame for mysterious Siberia craters.

      “We have just learnt that in Yakutia, new information has emerged about a giant crater 1km [0.6 miles] in diameter,” the deputy director of the Oil and Gas Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vasily Bogoyavlensky, told AFP.

      He said this brought to seven the number of reported pits.

      Reply
  59. Detong Choyin

     /  March 13, 2015

    Thanks so much for the steady flow of important, easily accessed information, Robert.

    Reply
  60. Colorado Bob

     /  March 13, 2015

    We all excepted this would lay down as winter came. But the deputy director of the Oil and Gas Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Has told us there is new hole, over a half mile wide . In a new place.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  March 13, 2015

      “We have just learnt that in Yakutia,”

      That’s our target, Lets us all go look, You need to look at the Lance Modis to find it , You will have to plow through image after image.

      Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 13, 2015

      Global warming could happen quicker in Russia’s coldest region
      Renowned scientist says temperatures could ‘rise twice faster’ in Yakutia than the rest of the world.
      24 February 2015
      http://siberiantimes.com/ecology/casestudy/features/f0065-global-warming-could-happen-quicker-in-russias-coldest-region/
      …Delivering a lecture in Yakutsk, Professor Oleg Anisimov, from the State Hydrological Institute in St Petersburg said: ‘The UN group of climate experts anticipate global temperature increase from two to four degrees Celsius by the end of the century.’
      For Yakutia – also known as the Sakha Republic – climate models predict up to 8 degrees Celsius temperature rise.

      ‘That is, warming here is two times faster, than globally. This is because of the so-called Arctic amplification. There is a reduction in snow and ice cover, which reflect much of the coming sunlight. With less snow and ice, the Arctic gets additional warmth.’…

      In 2007, as expert of an Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for research on its impact, and is considered one of the world’s most eminent authorities on the subject….

      He continued: ‘Of greater concern is the state of permafrost under the global warming. In Russia climate impacts on permafrost are particularly important.’
      Two-thirds of Russia’s landmass lies within a permafrost zone, and warming and thawing of the frozen ground could cause problems for infrastructure, such as roads, pipelines, and buildings in the cities.

      Other scientists have already speculated that global warming could be partly responsible for the series of unexplained craters appearing throughout the Yamal region.
      They believe warming air is melting thick permafrost, leading to the accumulation and release of volatile ‘fire ice’ gases which then explode to create the giant funnels….

      Reply
  61. Kevin Jones

     /  March 13, 2015

    Shouldn’t seismometers be picking these things up?

    Reply
  62. Kevin Jones

     /  March 13, 2015

    Thanks, eleggua (you are FAST), Fantastic photos. I probably shouldn’t consider rappelling down into one of those. I’d likely get so excited, I’d light a cigarette….!

    Reply
  63. Kevin Jones

     /  March 13, 2015

    …..I should think that .6 mile diameter crater blast would have reached a seismic station somewhere…..

    Reply
  64. jyyh

     /  March 14, 2015

    that 1 km crater contained a whole lot of mammoth dung. there’s a fault line east of Yakutia, so might have been mistaken to come from it. further, the bog likely surrounding the blast area could act as a giant damper, so not too sure if this even should show up in seismometers very far from the site.

    Is it anymore important was it the Ukrainian/North American bogs or the Southern Ocean which was more involved with the ending of the last glacial period? I’m slowly changing my view on the future and the capability of the culture to adapt to this.

    Reply
  65. jyyh

     /  March 14, 2015

    I mean, the global community hasn’t even been capable of using a common system of categorization of tropical cyclones, and these we have known about for several hundred years now, so how we can agree on any climate related stuff?

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 14, 2015

      The global community consists of over 7billiion people, most of whom don’t really care about a common system of categorization of tropical cyclones. They – we – care about the effect/s on our day-to-day lives that caused by the cyclones, the hurricanes, the floods, the fracking-caused earthquakes, the droughts, the loss of homes due to any/all of the above, etc, etc, etc.

      Most of us can easily agree on how we feel about those effects. That’s where we must come together, over the effects of climate change on our lives, not on the effects of semantics and scientific disagreements regarding details of climate change.

      “I’m slowly changing my view on the future”

      Don’t change it too fast; you don’t want to be left behind when the great necessary positive changes in global culture and society begin to ramp up speed.
      Please do you best not to be discouraged; discouragement serves the negative.

      Reply
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