Climate Change Induced Drought and Fire at Critical Stage in Chile — Construction of 12 Desalination Plants Underway

In the National Forests of Chile, it’s been burning since February.

An intense upshot of the stifling of water supplies through month after month of heat and lack of rainfall. A kind of intense onset, persistent drought that has become all too common in a world in which atmosphere, ice and ocean temperatures keep rocketing on to new record highs.

Starting February 17th, massive fires erupted, spreading swiftly through Chile’s forested mountainsides and valleys, threatening protected woods and endangered species. The fires have continued off and on now for more than a month — fueled by hot winds and a record drought that has forced the nation to build 12 desalination plants in a desperate effort to restore the country’s ebbing water supply.

Chile Fires February 17Chile Fires March 24

(Side by side frames of same region of Chile on February 17 [left frame] and March 24 [right frame]. For reference, bottom edge of frame is approximately 100 miles. Right frame is slightly off-set toward the east. Image source: Lance-Modis.)

Reports from BBC indicated that today’s fires are burning in three protected national parks: China Muerta National Reserve, Nalca Lolco National Reserve and Conguillio National Park. The fires threaten ancient growth forest that is the abode of the majestic Araucaria araucana trees. A kind of pine that can live up to a thousand years. Over 4,500 hectares are now burning and the smoke is plainly visible in the NASA satellite shot (right frame in the image sequence above). Fully fifteen fire brigades are involved in what is currently a massive firefighting effort.

Overall, the fires that have been raging for more than a month throughout Chile have consumed an exceptional 91,000 hectares — nearly double the 59,000 hectare per year average over the last five years. Years that themselves experienced increased heat, drought, and burning.

This extreme burning comes as Chile faces a ramping, multi-decadal water shortage set off by human warming. Climate scientists there have indicated a high risk of drastically increased drying throughout Chile over the next 35 years through to 2050 due to climate change related impacts.

According to President Michele Bachelet the country’s current drought situation is already at critical stages. Bachelet recently announced millions of dollars in funds to drill for underground water and to construct desalination plants to provide drinking water to fight ramping drought conditions with the ugly prospect of more to come.

In a report today from BBC, Bachelet noted that the situation was now endemic and expected to worsen:

“Faced with this critical situation, there is no choice but to assume that the lack of water resources is a reality that is here to stay and that puts at risk the development of important regions of our country.”

Though climate change is expected to continue to ratchet down on drought impacts to Chile — increasing heat, melting critical glacial ice, and drying out forestlands — this year, at least, there appears to be some hope for an end to the stifling heat and the ongoing fires. Hints of the first rains of autumn have now begun to show up in Central and Northern Chile.

But by 2050 with the world expected to be between 1.5 and 2.5 degrees Celsius hotter than 1880s averages, the autumn rains will have been brutally beaten back — retreating further and further into fall. In that time, the heat and dryness of spring and summer will come early and the great glaciers upon which Chile depends so much for its water will be but wan shadows of former grandeur. If they exist at all.

Links:

Forest Fires Rage in Chile — Made Worse By Wind and Drought

Chile Declares Forest Fires Alert

Lance Modis

Hat tip to Colorado Bob

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521 Comments

  1. eleggua

     /  March 25, 2015

    Thanks for this report, Robert.

    ” the great glaciers upon which Chile depends so much for its water will be but wan shadows of former grandeur. If they exist at all.”

    News yesterday regarding the Barrick Gold mining operations in Chile wasn’t good..
    Chile environmental court rules Barrick project did not harm glaciers Mar 23, 2015
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/03/23/us-barrickgold-chile-glacier-idUKKBN0MJ25220150323
    Chile’s Environmental Court ruled on Monday that Barrick Gold Corp’s halted Pascua-Lama gold and silver project has not damaged glaciers within its “area of influence,” the Toronto-based gold producer said….

    …The claims against Barrick were brought by local farmers and environmental groups and covered three glaciers and the valley into which their waters flow, according to a statement from the court in Santiago.

    Reply
    • Just the start of this fight, Eleggua. Those farmers are on what Sun Tzu called death ground. You don’t put people on death ground and have much hope of them keeping quiet.

      We can see similar circumstances all over the world. People are getting fed up with losing their natural resources. A heritage of wealth that is unfathomable.

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 25, 2015

        Agreed. The word’s out on Barrick. They’re up to no good all around the planet.

        Protest Barrick
        http://protestbarrick.net/section.php?id=3
        Protestbarrick.net serves as a portal to groups researching and organizing around mining issues, particularly involving Barrick Gold. It contains news articles, testimonies, and backgrounders about Barrick’s operations worldwide. The administrators of this site are volunteers with sincere concerns for communities negatively impacted by Barrick’s operations.

        WHO IS BARRICK GOLD? Barrick Gold is the world’s largest gold mining company, founded and chaired by Peter Munk. With a former Canadian Prime Minister on their board and former executives sitting on the board of the Canadian Pension Plan, Barrick enjoys government funding and diplomatic support.
        Barrick Gold is based in Toronto, Canada while Africa Barrick (now is a UK-based company 70% owned by Barrick Gold.

        WHY PROTEST BARRICK? In countries around the world, Barrick takes advantage of inadequate and poorly enforced regulatory controls to rob indigenous people of their lands, destroy sensitive ecosystems and agricultural land, support brutal police and security operations, and sue anyone who tries to report on it. In the context of this libel chill, Barrick has branded itself as the socially responsible mining giant and boasts its listing on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

        Behind the scenes, Barrick has a long history of undermining democratic attempts to hold transnational corporations accountable. They were singled out as the company most involved in the lobbying effort to stop private member’s bill C-300. This bill would have withdrawn government funding and diplomatic support for companies found – after an investigation – to be abusing human rights or violating international environmental norms.

        Barrick has some cause for worry: last year, the Norwegian Pension fund divested $230 million from Barrick for ethical reasons, especially related to their mine in Papua New Guinea. And when Swiss Research firm Covalace compiled both quantitative and qualitative data – spanning seven years and 581 companies – they listed Barrick as the 12 least ethical company in the world….

        Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 25, 2015

      In 2013, Barrick were forced to stop mining operations. No news yet on whether they plan to resume following Monday’s unfavourable ruling.

      Chile Halts Construction On Barrick Gold Corp. $8 Billion Mine In Andes, More Setbacks In Latin America 04/12/2013
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/12/barrick-gold-chile-mine-stopped-setbacks-in-latin-america_n_3070740.html?
      A Chilean court’s halt to construction of Barrick Gold Corp.’s $8 billion, border-straddling mine on the high spine of the Andes is only the latest setback in Latin America for the world’s largest gold miner.

      Barrick also faces growing environmental resistance in Argentina, which shares the Pascua-Lama mine project, and the Dominican Republic’s government is insisting on rewriting the royalty contract for its $4 billion Pueblo Viejo mine.

      The Canadian company’s troubles reflect increased risks for the industry in Latin America, where authorities are taking a closer look at how mining is regulated and taxed. They are determined to capture more of the profits while protecting natural resources….

      Chile’s environmental and mining ministries are on record supporting the suspension of work on the Andes mine. Critics allege construction has spread dust that has settled on the nearby Toro 1, Toro 2 and Esperanza glaciers, hastening their retreat, and is threatening the Estrecho river, which supplies water to the Diaguita tribe living downstream….

      But even here, mining and energy projects have been delayed as environmentalists go to court demanding tougher protections for nearby populations and natural resources.
      “This is part of the adaption to the new social and environmental conditions of Chile and companies will have to face this. If not, there will be no more mining projects,” said Gustavo Lagos, mining professor at Universidad Catolica.
      “There’s much more opposition to Pascua-Lama than any other mining project in Chile. Barrick will have to solve this mess because the mine is really important to the company and it has already invested a lot of money.”

      Reply
      • james cole

         /  March 25, 2015

        Here in North Eastern Minnesota we are facing new developments of Copper, Nickle and Gold mines. Both underground and surface mining. Sulfide mining for Copper. The Copper mine will be right on the edge of a federally protected wilderness. “The Boundary Waters Canoe Area”. Very large expanses of Boreal forest and thousands of lakes. Sulfide leakage into this watershed would be disaster. But, State government is likely going to approve all the mines, in order to provide jobs. But, with China in major slowdown and commodity prices crashing. Iron Ore, Copper, Nickle, we can hope that market economics does the job that we locals can not accomplish. Shut these mines down before they open.

        Reply
      • PCCP82

         /  March 25, 2015

        http://www.mining-technology.com/news/newsnewmont-barrick-gold-settle-hazardous-waste-release-allegations-us-epa-4530892

        Gold-mining companies in the US Newmont and Barrick Goldstrike have signed an agreement with Nevada and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to pay penalties and settle hazardous waste release allegations.

        The companies will together pay $600,000 in a deal with US and Nevada environmental regulators to settle allegations that they violated hazardous waste laws with releases of mercury from their mines.

        According to EPA, the two mines located near Carlin in Nevada were illegally treated and disposed of toxic waste without the required permit.

        They failed to identify the materials as federally regulated hazardous waste.

        Reply
  2. J McGinn

     /  March 25, 2015

    Unfortunately, I have a come to the conclusion that the human race will continue to believe that we can geo-engineer out of our problems. That is, until we have destroyed the vast majority of our population. The human race needs to change on a much more fundamental level than is ever discussed in order to develop both short and long term solutions.

    Reply
    • I think geo-engineering (primarily solar radiation management, but some other schemes as well) involves a double insult in that it taps into the same kind of hubris that got us into this mess in the first place. It creates a false sense of security for some who think it enables us to safely burn fossil fuels and emit carbon longer. And it can result in some monstrous changes to weather that negatively impact billions of people.

      Reply
      • climatehawk1

         /  March 25, 2015

        Naomi Klein does a nice job of dealing with geoengineering in “This Changes Everything.” Governance is just an overwhelming issue. Who’s going to decide, and how, what countries get shortchanged by the weather modifications resulting from geoengineering–especially when we won’t really know what the results will be? Given what we’ve done so far with reducing emissions, it’s very hard to be optimistic.

        Reply
        • Geoengineering solar radiation management in a world filling with hothouse gasses is bolting unintended consequences onto a warming nightmare. And Klein is right, a lot of those consequences would be in the political sphere as well. Would country B go to war with country A because country A’s geo-engineering wrecked the rains for country B?

      • climatehawk1

         /  March 25, 2015

        She also conveys nicely how the geoengineering discussions are proceeding among scientists and engineering types in a way that is divorced from those messy policy and governance issues.

        Reply
      • J McGInn

         /  March 26, 2015

        Sometimes I think the difference between Scientists and Engineers is that a Scientist studies a problem and tells you to change a behavior in order to diminish or eliminate the problem, while an Engineer will try to “fix” the problem so you don’t have to be inconvenienced by having to change your behavior.

        Reply
  3. Rich Miller

     /  March 25, 2015

    Completely off topic: As much as I like your work and admire the content of this blog, its underlying software structure is completely absurd. It basically never finishes loading, and so keeps locking the navigation controls. Today, my Disconnect program detected literally 272 tracking requests. Websites do not have to behave this badly.

    Reply
    • WordPress… Unfortunately, I’m not in the driver’s seat on this one. Anyone else having the same trouble?

      Reply
      • Yes, slow loading and reload at times. Maybe lengthy comment section or many Youtube embedds? WP limitations?

        Reply
        • Probably due to the embeds. I try to knock some of the extraneous ones out when I can. But I don’t like to take too heavy a hand at it. There’s quite a lot going on in the comments. So my guess is that’s where the strain is coming from.

          Weeded a few out and things seem to be running a bit better.

  4. Loni

     /  March 25, 2015

    Robert, any record of how El Nino’s manifest during prolonged droughts?

    Tough times for South America, we can sympathize, those of us here in California who whisper under our breath, “There for a mere factor of time, go us.”

    Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  March 25, 2015

      India gets reduced monsoons, Australia gets less rain. Other folks can extend this list.

      Reply
  5. danabanana

     /  March 25, 2015

    Just 2 days ago my home town of Castellon (Spain) saw the heaviest rain in history (over 100ltr/sqm in a short time) and the wettest March since records began.

    Reply
    • Drought and deluge. That’s the sad song of climate change.

      Reply
      • danabanana

         /  March 25, 2015

        A very sad song indeed Robert.
        Just here as observer of it all. Meanwhile studies keep supporting observations.
        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150129143040.htm

        The researchers borrowed techniques from oceanography and looked at observations and climate simulations. Their approach allowed them to test global warming scenarios and measure the output of atmospheric circulation under warming conditions.

        “We came up with an improved technique to comprehensively describe how air masses change as they move from the Equator to the poles and back, which let us put a number on the energy efficiency of the atmospheric heat engine and measure its output,” said Laliberte.

        The scientists concluded that the increase in water vapour was making the process less efficient by evaporating water into air that is not already saturated with water vapour. They showed that this inefficiency limited the strengthening of atmospheric circulation, though not in a uniform manner. Air masses that are able to reach the top of the atmosphere are strengthened, while those that can not are weakened.

        “Put more simply, powerful storms are strengthened at the expense of weaker storms,” said Laliberte. “We believe atmospheric circulation will adapt to this less efficient form of heat transfer and we will see either fewer storms overall or at least a weakening of the most common, weaker storms.”

        Reply
    • – This description jibes with what I’ve seen along the NA Pacific Coast — ‘sluggish’ lower atmospheric winds, and ‘slabs’ of weather vs energetic weather systems. Then, there is the particulate and untold numbers of molecules and chemical ‘evaporatives’ we as a consumer society add to the atmosphere. This all makes all unnaturally dense and dysfunctional, I would think.

      “… the increase in water vapour was making the process less efficient by evaporating water into air that is not already saturated with water vapour. They showed that this inefficiency limited the strengthening of atmospheric circulation, though not in a uniform manner. Air masses that are able to reach the top of the atmosphere are strengthened, while those that can not are weakened.”

      Reply
  6. Thanks for this one Robert.
    While we’re down at the southern tip of South America, something that Colorado Bob mentioned today – temperatures in the Drake Passage. Do you have any opinions about this? Any possible effects on the Antarctic Circumpolar Current? I know next to nothing, but I get the impression of increased cold in that area; however I also imagine that the ACR is very robust.

    Reply
    • Very large melt pulse events can certainly set off regional cooling and the Drake passage region is under the gun for shifts that are similar to those we are seeing in the North Atlantic. That’s the Southern Hemisphere ‘Storms’ scenario.

      ACR and Younger Dryas events bear watching as a reference. But we are adding ghg forcing at such a rapid pace that such events may not bear too much in common with what we could be looking at. Perhaps they would be a better allegory if we could drastically slow down or rapidly halt emissions. That said, very large melt outflows will tend to set off regional cooling that puts a drag on the pace of atmospheric warming as the ice sheets are going down. The pace of the current energy imbalance accumulation means that weather could get very, very nasty (Hansen, Francis).

      We do see some high amplitude wave patterns in the SH as well as an extraordinary storm track through the Southern Ocean. The SO has always been stormy, but it seems to have kicked up a notch of late due to a ramping temperature differential at around 60 South and due to the occasional break of the 60 South barrier by a meridional north to south flow.

      Reply
      • Many thanks Robert.

        In other (non-) news, I just checked what’s trending on Twitter in São Paulo; top trends are all about Zayn from One Direction, so I guess all is ok…

        Reply
      • You tell me. The reservoir alerts page is pushing 18 percent capacity at Cantareira (including the new dead pool inlets — they are saying 13.9 percent otherwise). I suppose rationing plus some rains have resulted in a bit of refill.

        Reply
  7. wili

     /  March 25, 2015

    Thanks for another great post. Putting on my nit-picking hat, the opening of this essay is a bit rough, syntactically: “through month after month heat and lack of rainfall” should have an ‘of’ before ‘heat,’ no?

    And in the next paragraph, ‘Fueling’ should be a continuation of the previous sentence. As it stands, we are left waiting for main clause that never shows up.

    Reply
  8. Andy in San Diego

     /  March 25, 2015

    Ted Cruz may wind up doing more to bring the discussion of climate change than we have seen in ages.

    His views are wrong. He paraphrases the worst, most easily debunked denial bits and doubles down on them. Relying on the “mythical” hiatus created by cherry picking a super El Nino year as year zero he has tied himself to the “no warming since” claim. He stated that one paper proves the earth is not warming. Again, he doubles down, and has claimed that he is like Galileo when it comes to science.

    By stating these incorrect things as undeniable fact, he has thrown red meat to the media and fact checkers. They are now researching the data, they are approaching true scientists (the real Galileo has not responded yet to their emails). They are pointing out the 1998 cherry picked date, and are explaining why that year is used by denialists. They has contacted the author of the one paper he uses as evidence, whom promptly stated that Cruz is wrong and is miss quoting him. I am now seeing the general media referring to decade length intervals, not one specific year or another. They are asking how “zero warming in 17 years” can coexist with “2014 was the warmest”, so they ask the real scientists.

    The media is now assembling world wide events such as Arctic ice extent, Antarctic ice shelf disintegration, fresh water intrusion into the oceans, glacial retreat, drought and how it alters behavior.

    The media and fact checking sites are having a heyday with such easy to disassemble falsehoods. By doing so, the general public is benefiting by receiving better, more qualified information.

    The longer he is in the race, the better. Once the rest of the gang climbs into the clown car and this subject gets more action in the noise chamber hopefully those who check the claims and report on them will continue with the same vigor and reality will be disseminated (except for those glues to faux news). As they embark on a race to be more skeptical than the next guy, and make more and more crazy stretches, the falsehoods and fabricated claims should be dissected in front of the USA and the world and countered with reality. All the while the populous will be the audience, and the public in the end may benefit. Or at least I hope reality will be used to counter nonsense.

    Run Forest Run!

    Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  March 25, 2015

      The republican candidates have no choice. They have to compete for the Koch $1 billion fund for this election, thus they can not walk any denial claims back. They are stuck and must compete in this twisted gong show of denial, the prize is $1 billion.

      Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  March 25, 2015

      Yes, that is supposed to be how the media works! But will it? Didn’t work in the run-up to the Iraq war. Perhaps the drought in California will get their attention! What, no more almonds! Veggies costing a lot more…

      Reply
      • Andy in San Diego

         /  March 25, 2015

        Agreed Mark, the hope though is disillusionment coupled with the sheer glee of proving a candidate is so epically wrong will take hold. Kind of like what they are doing in London when these guys do their obligatory overseas “see I can do foreign policy” shticks. The UK media discovered that questions about climate change and vaccines causes these people to make themselves look like complete tools, it’s a sport over there now.

        Reply
      • Mark from New England

         /  March 25, 2015

        Andy, I completely agree with you that these fools need to be held accountable. The more climate change questions the better, both in the US and Europe.

        Reply
      • Bill H

         /  March 26, 2015

        Andy, I’m puzzled, though intrigued by your comment about the UK media. As a Brit myself I haven’t noticed the media here being very adept at tripping up US AGW-theory hating politicians. Could you expand on this?

        Reply
    • Wharf Rat

       /  March 26, 2015

      Ted Cruz unfit to run for president because of his views on climate change, Jerry Brown says

      “That man betokens such a level of ignorance and a direct falsification of the existing scientific data,” he said. “It’s shocking, and I think that man has rendered himself absolutely unfit to be running for office.”

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2015/03/22/ted-cruz-unfit-to-run-for-president-because-of-his-views-on-climate-change-jerry-brown-says/

      Reply
  9. Caroline

     /  March 25, 2015

    Robert,

    What is your take on desalination plants? Not much information on the environmental impacts in the media (one has to take some time to search). From what I’ve read they are anything but benign.

    From LA Times:
    Proposed desalination plant could harm ocean environment, report says
    Seawater desalination plant in Huntington Beach could significantly harm coastal waters

    From Food and Water Watch:

    Desalination: An Ocean of Problems
    Do we really need to drink the ocean because our freshwater supplies are running low?
The corporations selling ocean desalination certainly want you to think that taking salt out of seawater is our best and only remaining water option. Yet research at Food & Water Watch exposes ocean desalination as an expensive and dangerous technology that policymakers consider at the risk of our public water supply.
    We found:
    Ocean desalination costs more than any other option
    Ocean desalination uses more energy than any other option–which means bigger contributions to global warming
    Desalination technology can kill marine life
    Desalination creates water pollution
    Desalination can fail to remove harmful chemicals from your drinking water
    Desalination projects invite corporate abuse of your public water systems
    Desalination is not necessary – we have other alternatives
    Conservation programs are cheaper and without the risks of desalination. They are not as profitable for private companies but they better serve the public.

    Reply
    • My opinion is that the best way to conserve water is to shut down water intensive industrial meat farming (1,800 gallons per pound of beef for example) and related water hogging power generation (fossil fuels and nuclear) to be replaced with efficiency and renewables — (wind, solar, battery storage) which are far less water intensive.

      In some regions, a degree of desalination may be needed. But, in my opinion, it should only be a last ditch option. They are major power hogs. And a desalination plant shackled to fossil fuels is a very, very destructive system. Non FF desalination could be managed to reduce impact. But you still have the damage to local marine ecology from the intake pipe. If salt is pumped back into oceans — which should be avoided through design, but in some cases is not — that can create a bottom kill zone expanding out from the plant. Some impurities in seawater are more difficult to deal with, so there’s a bit of added risk or engineering to deal with as well.

      My general opinion is that resources should be better managed first and that desalination is a backstop for regions with crippling water issues. But I would certainly go for conservation first. And conservation involves, to a large degree, what and how we farm and what we use for energy. There are additional resiliencies you can build in through how you capture and store water. But the primary issues I see have to do with the industrial meat and the FF power industries.

      That said, places relying on glacial water will be very had pressed. Chile is in this boat. So is California. So is India. Just to name a few…

      Reply
    • Robert In New Orleans

       /  March 25, 2015

      Two potential issues that I see with shoreline based desalination facilities.

      1. Tsunamis from very powerful off shore earthquakes (especially in the Pacific Ocean).

      2. Rising sea levels.

      Reply
    • Dave Person

       /  March 25, 2015

      Hi Caroline,
      Another major difficulty is that it is unlikely to solve water problems for agriculture regardless of the level of meat production. Moreover, the water has to be transported to the user and because desalination must be near salt water, basically near sea level, that means pumping the water uphill to the users rather than taking advantage of gravity.

      Reply
      • Going down the chain of resiliency, industrial meat farming is the worst of the worst.

        You’re right about desalination not being a good fit for agriculture in general. But if you are looking at the water footprint for ag, you quickly run into ridiculous requirements for industrial meat.

        Reply
  10. Colorado Bob

     /  March 25, 2015

    Deluge Floods Driest Desert as Evergreen Forests Burn in Chile

    (Bloomberg) — Torrential rain in the desert of northern Chile blocked roads and forced the closure of schools, while a drought and heatwave in the south fanned forest fires that are consuming thousand-year-old araucaria trees.

    The Copiapo River, 800 kilometers (500 miles) north of Santiago, reappeared for the first time in a decade after a storm drenched the town of the same name, newspaper La Tercera reported Wednesday.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-25/deluge-floods-driest-desert-as-evergreen-forests-burn-in-chile

    Reply
  11. Kevin Jones

     /  March 25, 2015

    A signature of El Nino, as I recall.

    Reply
  12. Colorado Bob

     /  March 25, 2015

    Record-breaking Sahara rain
    A year’s worth of rain fell in southern Algeria just five days.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/03/record-breaking-sahara-rain-150325102748690.html

    Reply
    • danabanana

       /  March 25, 2015

      That was part of the same Jet Stream layout that caused the floods in my home town Col. Talk about drunk Jet!

      Reply
  13. Greg

     /  March 25, 2015

    For video and commentary on the Chilean fires see below in this compilation of natural disasters over the last month or so along with some end of times evidence (suggest ignoring that message). For Chile go to 12:58. Don’t forget Argentina’s fires as well at 4:28:

    Reply
  14. climatehawk1

     /  March 25, 2015

    Haven’t seen much about this in MSM, so thanks. Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  15. Colorado Bob

     /  March 25, 2015

    Before and After Photos Show Parts of Vanuatu Stripped Bare by Cyclone

    http://www.wunderground.com/news/vanuatu-cyclone-pam-photos-before-and-after-islands

    Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  March 25, 2015

      Bloody internet…. link shows where Lake Mead water level sits in comparison to past 2 years.

      Reply
  16. Kevin Jones

     /  March 25, 2015

    I spent a day out at Lake Mead, this time of year, 2005. Marveled at the bathtub ring then. About 1140′ elevation then. 1086′ now. 54′ lower now and it was ‘big talk’ then.

    Reply
  17. – Living language: out of Florida we had the curious term “atmospheric reemployment” to describe climate change. Ha.
    On the light side, that sounds like what will happen when I die. Yeah, that’s me, reemployed or redeployed.
    But coming out of Florida, “atmospheric reemployment” sounds like a term for “rapture” too.
    Who knows.

    To me, language is everything in a society.
    I think that a major reason we have been losing the climate, is because our terminology, from day one, wasn’t strident enough.
    Too many easy sounding, but hard to wrangle, terms like GREEN-HOUSE-GASES ( A ‘vaporous structure colored green’ to describe a preventable physics taunting extinction process.
    That was a somewhat lame example but my point is that soft sounding terms of acceptance have been more of a barrier that ‘denial’. There shouldn’t be any room for denial to ever enter into the discussion. None.

    Atmospheric reemployment — do I have to phone ahead and make a reservation?🙂

    Reply
  18. Kevin Jones

     /  March 25, 2015

    Lake Mead record height: 1,229 ft. above sea level. 1983
    Officially full 1221′
    pump limit 1000′ (as of last year) Heard there were efforts to lower pump intakes….?

    Reply
  19. climatehawk1

     /  March 25, 2015
    Reply
  20. – San Diego, CA Hot days — then nights that don’t really cool. The normal hot/cool cycle dynamic is missing. Urban heat islands really take a toll too.
    ?Que paso, Andy.

    Heat records could fall at coast

    The second heat wave in two weeks will send temperatures into the mid-to-upper 80s at the coast on Thursday and Friday, and into the upper 90s across some inland valleys, says the National Weather Service.

    So far, the average monthly temperature for March is 66 degrees, almost seven degrees above normal. As noted during earlier posts, the average is way above, in part, because the nights have been unusually warm.

    http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2015/mar/25/march-heat-records/

    Reply
  21. Radio Ecoshock recently posted a very good, wide-ranging discussion with Kevin Anderson (Tyndall Centre):

    [audio src="http://www.ecoshock.net/downloads/ES_150325_Show.mp3" /]

    Reply
  22. Colorado Bob

     /  March 26, 2015

    More big storms increase tropical rainfall totals
    Date:
    March 25, 2015
    Source:
    University of New South Wales
    Summary:
    Increasing rainfall in certain parts of the tropics, colloquially described as the wet get wetter and warm get wetter, has long been a projection of climate change. Now observations have shown that an increase in large thunderstorms is the primary reason for this phenomenon.

    Link

    Reply
  23. Colorado Bob

     /  March 26, 2015

    Two most destructive termite species forming superswarms in South Florida
    Two of the most destructive termite species in the world — responsible for much of the $40 billion in economic loss caused by termites annually — are now swarming simultaneously in South Florida, creating hybrid colonies that grow quickly and have the potential to migrate to other states.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150325151727.htm

    Reply
  24. Caroline

     /  March 26, 2015

    Robert and others—-thanks for responding to my desalination question. As always, excellent points!
    While I’m at it; thank you Robert for this blog and all the excellent work you do. Somehow you’ve kept the conversation healthy and productive which is rare on the internet these days.
    During these most difficult times I count on what you and those that comment here have to say regarding human induced climate catastrophe. Knowledge is essential. Morphing knowledge into wisdom is vital and something to strive for whatever our fate may be.
    Many thanks for conveying such valuable information and setting the bar high—- nudging us toward wisdom.
    With respect and a huge amount of appreciation,
    Caroline
    ps Colorado Bob: thanks to you too for all your contributions over the years. Please keep it up!
    pss just learned that the loud boom and shaking I felt about an hour ago was an earthquake—yikes! I’m in northern Illinois. Things feel very off—-more than ever.

    Reply
    • Nicely said, Caroline. Thanks for pointing it out..

      “… Knowledge is essential. Morphing knowledge into wisdom is vital and something to strive for whatever our fate may be.
      Many thanks for conveying such valuable information and setting the bar high—- nudging us toward wisdom.”🙂

      Reply
      • Caroline

         /  March 26, 2015

        Thanks to YOU dtlange for all you do! Your compassion and love for this earth emanate brightly through this sometimes cold world of computer mediated communication. Shine on!

        Reply
  25. Jay M

     /  March 26, 2015

    So we are seeing the heat signature of higher nighttime low temps move down the latitudinal range, while daytime highs maybe unseemly but erratically record breaking. This I think I noticed with the warm pool in the northeastern pacific off of San Francisco over the last year or two. Seems it has to do with the insulation (CO2) working 24/7 while the insolation varies according to the seasonal set up.
    How do the Chileans plan to fuel desalination?

    Reply
  26. This is a bit off topic, but I suppose it ties in with climate change induced fires. I just returned from Colorado, my first visit in some years, and what really struck me was the vast expanses of forest devastated by pine beetle infestations. I’m sure all of you are well versed regarding the explosion of pine beetles in a warming climate, greater range and increased breeding cycles etc. I too have read about the topic and viewed photos of seemingly endless areas of affected trees. But when you see it first hand and can truly appreciate the scale of it all it has a visceral effect. When I saw trees as far as I could see that had once been vividly green and healthy, now completely dead with no color other than grey, I literally felt like I was kicked in the gut. Nothing but dead and dying trees. Everywhere I went I saw evidence of the same. It seems no areas are unaffected. All the way down I70. Loveland. Copper Mountain. Vail. Steamboat. Breckenridge. Some places seem to be a total loss, while others appear healthy at first glance. But when you look closer you see pockets of affected areas. It saddened me beyond words to see majestic, lush green forests disappearing before our eyes.

    Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  March 26, 2015

      I’ve mentioned before on trips to Denver (driving through the mountains), you would be floored in August. There is no snow pack up by the tunnel anymore. There hasn’t been in years at that time of year. In 92 it was cold and covered in August. Since the early 2000’s it has been noticeably hotter and zilch except for a few patches.

      Those beetles are now devastating forests all the way up to the Yukon / Alaska area. BC has huge areas that have been decimated.

      Reply
      • Andy, the lack of snowpack was another thing that stuck out. Vail had bare dirt at the base (when not long ago March would reliably produce big snows) and a couple smaller ski areas were closing early, I forget the names, I heard this on the local news. All the way down I70 from Denver to Glenwood Springs the mountains were pretty much snow free. Rapid and disturbing changes occurring. And this is just one piece of the global picture that indicates that our future is grim indeed.

        Reply
    • Caroline

       /  March 26, 2015

      Ryan, philosopher/teacher Glenn Albrecht put a name to the feelings you describe: “Solastalgia”—– human pain that results from environmental damage/destruction.
      Whatever one calls it, it is beyond heartbreaking. We are experiencing a depth of sadness and loss that I believe is unprecedented.
      In the time humans have been on this earth there has never been this level of hydrospheric/biospheric destruction at the hands of humans. It is very hard to bear witness to the decimation of the intricate, miraculous web of life on earth.
      I am not hopeful however I do find action is still one of the best antidotes to despair. Action could be as simple as tending an organic garden or planting a native prairie in an old hay field.
      It also helps to know that we are not alone in our grief.
      (music helps too as Colorado Bob can attest to!)

      Reply
      • Well stated Caroline. I find this true, as well.

        “…I do find action is still one of the best antidotes to despair.”

        And music too.

        Thanks

        Reply
      • I was unaware that the feelings I was experiencing had a name. Thank you for that Caroline! And you’re spot on with your comment. I do what I can to spread information, educate and motivate. I’ve adjusted my lifestyle to reduce my carbon footprint. Still, when I think of the loss of biodiversity that is occurring and will occur because of the greed of our species it saddens me beyond description. The complexity of life and ecosystems that exist currently took tens of millions of years to evolve, longer in many cases. And we are eliminating them with total disregard. These species will never ever exist for the entire lifetime of the universe. It is a one time shot, and we are throwing it all away like we could just make more in a factory in China if we decide to. The scale of it all and the fact that it is permanent and irreversible is probably the most heartbreaking thing I could imagine.

        Reply
  27. Jay M

     /  March 26, 2015

    re Andy
    Those beetles are now devastating forests all the way up to the Yukon / Alaska area

    luckily such a scale that Monsanto doesn’t have a clue (optimistic comment)

    Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  March 26, 2015

      OMG, don’t give them ideas!

      Reply
    • Dave Person

       /  March 26, 2015

      Hi Jay,
      Mountain pine beetles and spruce bark beetles devastated millions of acres of conifers in interior BC and southcentral Alaska years before they became a detectable and ubiquitous problem in the lower 48 US states. The Rocky Mountain states are the latest victims of the irruptive infestation largely caused by warmer winters. Pine beetles recently expanded eastward across the continental divide separating BC from Alberta. As in BC there will be a lot of pressure to clearcut log the dead and dying trees. One excuse will be fire protection. However, because the standing dead trees lose value rapidly as timber, the logging companies usually claim they cannot make money by just logging the dead wood. They want to cut healthy forest in addition to “sweeten the pot”. So even in our National Forests, efforts to cut the dead trees will also result in the loss of healthy forest and in some cases, old growth forest.

      dave

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  March 26, 2015

        British Columbia, Spruce Bark Beetles:
        110728_JTSi_0472_d_h.jpg

        Reply
      • Mark from New England

         /  March 27, 2015

        Greg, What incredible photos! I assume you took them? Wow – but so sad to see all the dead spruce trees. But above treeline it looks like incredible hiking. Were you able to hike or visit this part of BC before the infestation did this?

        Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  March 26, 2015

      Sir Francis Drake in a tee shirt? Does not compute!

      Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  March 26, 2015

      Base Esperanza, Antarctica currently 46F. 63.40 South (Keene NH 43F 42.9 North)

      Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  March 26, 2015

      Old report for Esperanza. Currently 37F. Hit 49F yesterday.

      Reply
  28. entropicman

     /  March 26, 2015

    In the unfortunate race to be the first major city to run out of water, there is a contender most of us have neglected.

    Sana’a, the capital city of Yemen has its own water crisis.

    http://geographical.co.uk/places/cities/item/753-will-yemen-run-out-of-water

    Another water crisis and another civil war. Surely not a coincidence.

    Reply
  29. Andy in San Diego

     /  March 26, 2015

    Last 10 years deltas (from previous year) on the volume of Lake Mead for March 25th.

    2015 -2m acre ft.
    2014 -1.5m
    2013 -1.1m
    2012 +3.5m
    2011 -400k
    2010 +300k
    2009 -700k
    2008 -1.1m
    2007 -1.2m
    2006 -900k

    Net Chg: -5.1m acre ft.

    Current Volume: 10.5m acre feet.

    At the depletion rate of the past 10 years, if it followed the same trend Lake Mead would be empty around the year 2035.

    Further spelunking required for acceleration of the deltas…..

    Reply
  30. Aldous

     /  March 26, 2015

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/25/treating-soil-like-dirt-fatal-mistake-human-life

    “According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, the world on average has just 60 more years of growing crops.”

    Factor in the UN World Water Assessment Program’s 2015 report that states the world faces a 40% water shortfall in 15 years and we have ourselves a mighty hefty one-two punch to contend with.

    I foresee very difficult decisions to be made in the future, along the lines of, do we provide water to a thirsty population or use said water to grow food for a hungry population? Realistically, it should never have to come to that, considering that both problems can be tackled by changing our industrial agricultural practices.

    Reply
  31. Robert In New Orleans

     /  March 26, 2015

    It has been suggested in some quarters that the 1% could find refuge from CC in the Patagonia region, but this article shows otherwise. You can run, but you cannot hide.

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  March 26, 2015

      There go my retirement plans, Robert in NO. Guess I won’t be knocking on the gates of Ted Turner’s 3 (totaling 125,000acres) Patagonia ranches. Nor his N. America ones…2 million acres total. Captain Planet indeed.

      Reply
    • Caroline

       /  March 26, 2015

      Yes! Robert in N.O. I was thinking the same thing!!
      In fact I was hoping to get RS’s take on any safe havens these days since the areas that were previously considered safe(er) havens seem to be safe no more.
      I agree—–you can run but you cannot hide even in those multimillion dollar underground bunkers out west.
      Kevin Jones—-thanks for making me laugh!

      Reply
    • Robert In New Orleans

       /  March 26, 2015

      Personally, I think the idea that the 1% can hide from CC in well guarded compounds is unsustainable as no one can store an indefinite amount of supplies. When the food runs out, those with the guns will take over as money becomes useless.

      Reply
      • Jacob

         /  March 26, 2015

        I get the feeling the 1% will make use of Blackwater type organizations to protect themselves from those with guns, at least for a time –until their protectors turn on them.

        Reply
      • Robert In New Orleans

         /  March 26, 2015

        Exactly Mr. Jacob! They will kill their employers and then eat them with some fava beans and a good Chianti.

        Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  March 26, 2015

      Another very popular place for 1%’ers to make an apocalypse hide away is New Zealand.

      “As inequality soars, the nervous super rich are already planning their escapes ”

      http://www.theguardian.com/public-leaders-network/2015/jan/23/nervous-super-rich-planning-escapes-davos-2015

      Reply
      • Ouse M.D.

         /  March 27, 2015

        And of course
        1) very close to Antarctica
        and
        2) far- far away from any coastline nuclear power plant prone to meltdown due to sea level rise

        So would be an ideal survival spot.
        If it were not for those giant seabed methane craters

        Reply
  32. Winters in Siberian permafrost regions have warmed since millennia

    For the first time, researchers at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) have successfully employed a geochemical method used in glacier research to decode climate data from millennia-old permafrost ground ice and reconstruct the development of winter temperatures in Russia’s Lena River Delta. Their conclusions: Over the past 7,000 years, winter temperatures in the Siberian permafrost regions have gradually risen. The researchers claim that this is due to the changing position of the Earth relative to the sun and is amplified by the rising greenhouse-gas emissions since the dawn of industrialisation.

    http://www.awi.de/en/news/press_releases/detail/item/winters_in_siberian_permafrost_regions_have_warmed_since_millenia/?cHash=0aa36c00c625eff1af9a633c217db960

    Reply
  33. climatehawk1

     /  March 26, 2015

    GOP Launches Brazen Bid to Give Carbon Polluters Free Rein: http://huff.to/1N9wH5H via @NRDC

    Reply
  34. http://sao-paulo.estadao.com.br/noticias/geral,consorcio-do-pcj-discute-dessalinizacao-do-mar-para-abastecer-cantareira,1657848

    São Paulo water authorities looking at an Israeli desalination plant scheme to provide the Cantareira. (It’s in Portuguese.) Last year it was rejected on grounds of cost – $6 billion…

    Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  March 26, 2015

      By the time something like that is brought online, the problems are well under way (as in later this year). Also, that is expensive water and there is a sizable population of low income folks there, this would not offset the social impact. It may even exasperate it. The rich live on a nice big hill (that one has to pump up to at what cost?).

      Reply
  35. Antarctic ice shelves rapidly thinning

    “Total ice shelf volume (mean thickness multiplied by ice shelf area) across Antarctica changed very little from 1994 to 2003, then declined rapidly, the study shows. West Antarctic ice shelves lost ice throughout the entire observation period, with accelerated loss in the most recent decade. Earlier gains in East Antarctic ice shelf volume ceased after about 2003, the study showed. Some ice shelves lost up to 18 percent of their volume from 1994 to 2012.”

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-03-antarctic-ice-shelves-rapidly-thinning.html#jCp

    Reply
  36. Robert In New Orleans

     /  March 26, 2015
    Reply
  37. Griffin

     /  March 26, 2015

    Right on cue, drought to deluge. The pattern continues with flooding in Chile.
    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/027776c9bb824cccbd32c15f1a399860

    Reply
  38. Here’s something about me, the memory of a good friend, and some things that concern us today.
    My good friend is the late Helmut Ehrenspeck who died in his sleep high in the Sierras while on a field trip in 2001.
    The rest is…

    “Helmut E. Ehrenspeck was born on June 4, 1943 in Andechs, Germany which is located south of Munich, in the Bavarian foothills.
    His family moved to Boston in 1953 when his father, a prominent research physicist and inventor came to work for the US Air Force….
    … He moved to California and earned a Master’s Degree in Geology from UC Santa Barbara in 1972. His thesis was “Geology and Miocene Volcanism of the eastern Conejo Hills, Ventura County, California”.
    He went down to Antarctica to study the Permo-Triassic nonmarine stratigraphy in the Transantarctic Mountains! Because of his work there was a mountain named after him, Mount Ehrenspeck.”

    -sbnature-org-dibblee-newweb-helmutobit

    (He did the color mapping of the Santa Monica Mnts. for the Dibblee Foundation. Tom Dibblee basically walked the entire SM Mnts to make the maps.)

    As I remember it, while doing his TA work at UCSB in the mid ’70s Helmut lived in a makeshift camp below the cliffside campus to save money. His home was in a thicket of Arundo Donax (an invasive bamboo cane like plant) on a wide stretch of sandy beach.
    (I knew this beach from the 60s.)

    (A few years ago, I kept track of some Western Pygmy Blue butterfly Brephidium exilis (NA smallest b-fly) habitat just south of this area.)

    With SLR this sandy beach is now under water, with the mean tides are close to, or at, the foot of these cliffs.

    Within about 100 meters of this same cliff stands the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management where in 2014 Jeremy Jackson gave his Ocean Apocalypse Now lecture.

    Furthermore, in 2010-2012, while scoping out the black soot and dust that was settling in the SB area, I found that much of this beachside ocean air campus was also covered with black soot. I knew this campus since the early 60s, with many wildfires in between, and can state that this soot was a recent occurrence.

    The changing Antarctica we know about.

    Tilley Hat tips to Helmut, RS & friends, and Brephidium exilis

    Reply
  39. Bigger thunderstorms are bringing more rain to the tropics

    By Patrick Lynch,
    NASA’s Earth Observatory
    A new study has shown that increasing rainfall in the wettest regions of the tropics is caused by an increase in large, well-organized thunderstorms. The joint research, based in part on NASA satellite data, was conducted by scientists from the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science (ARCCSS) and NASA and was published online in Nature on March 25, 2015.

    Many scientists have thought that in a warming world some regions would see more rain because a warmer atmosphere can hold more water vapor. The idea seemed to be supported by recent observations showing strong precipitation increases in the wettest tropical regions—sometimes referred to as a “rich-get-richer” pattern.

    http://climate.nasa.gov/news/2260/

    Reply
  40. Colorado Bob

     /  March 26, 2015

    Report: Diversity of New England plant life is threatened

    BOSTON

    From picturesque coastal estuaries of Cape Cod to the soaring White Mountains, much of New England’s rich native flora is fighting for survival against increasing odds, according to what conservationists call the most comprehensive accounting ever made of the region’s plant life.

    The report, released Thursday by the New England Wild Flower Society, studied more than 3,500 known plant species and determined that 22 percent are considered rare, in decline, endangered or possibly extinct. Many plants also range over a much smaller geographical area than they once did.

    Another statistic that researchers found alarming: More than 30 percent of current plant species are not native to the region. Non-native or invasive species often compete with and crowd out existing plants.

    Read more here: Link

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  March 26, 2015

      Brand new informal study released tonight suggests that New Englanders are in danger of suffering the same fate as the flora if GHG emissions don’t stop soon.😉

      Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  March 27, 2015

      I’ve been working in or walking through NH’s woods most of my 64 years, Colorado Bob observing these losses and ‘gains’. It rips at my innermost being.

      Reply
    • “…More than 30 percent of current plant species are not native to the region. Non-native or invasive species often compete with and crowd out existing plants.”

      – Almost everything grows in So. Cal. It’s full of invasives. Drainages, creek beds, alleys, etc. are packed with them. It’s a real botanical horror story.

      Reply
    • “…salt marsh dieback, a complex process of erosion that already has affected more than 80 percent of Cape Cod marshes, the report said.”

      Reply
  41. Colorado Bob

     /  March 26, 2015

    The Atacama Desert floods –

    (Reuters) – The death toll in Chile rose to seven after rains battered the north and caused flooding, the government said on Thursday, while 19 others were unaccounted for as the military rushed to rescue stranded villagers.

    The downpours in the usually arid region have been the heaviest in about 80 years,
    although the worst of the bad weather appeared to be over, meteorologists said.

    Link

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  March 26, 2015

      March 22 –

      Upper low progged off coast of northern Chile next week one of the more anomalous meteorological events I’ve seen.

      Link

      Reply
  42. Colorado Bob

     /  March 27, 2015

    More than 630 hectares of forest was in flames on Thursday morning in the Siberian Zabaikalsky region, with most fires caused by the careless handling of bonfires by local residents and lightning strikes, emergency officials said.

    Since the fire hazard season began this year, flames have already affected a total area of more than 1, 280 hectares in Siberia, Interfax news agency reported Thursday.

    Officials declared an emergency situation in the Zabaikalsky region on Wednesday, the report said, adding that fires were still ablaze in an area of 639 hectares Thursday morning.

    http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/news/article/forest-fires-rage-through-siberian-zabaikalsky-region-/518063.html

    Reply
  43. Kevin Jones

     /  March 27, 2015

    Lightening strikes in Siberia in March….

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  March 27, 2015

      Naomi Klein: Let’s kick oil while the price is down – video

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  March 27, 2015

        Excellent, thank you. Have you, by the way, looked for, or seen any images of the newly discovered Siberian craters we heard about in late February, one being described as a kilometer in diameter?

        Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  March 27, 2015

        Greg –
        I have it on my news feed, not a peep since the Guardian story 2 weeks ago.

        Reply
  44. There Are Only Two ‘Big Blobs’ Of Forest Remaining On Earth

    ‘… A new study shows just how much humankind has tailored these landscapes to our own devices at the expense of the rest of the natural world.

    The findings, published this week in the journal Science Advances, offer some of the longest-term evidence available on how ecosystems and species react to habitat loss and fragmentation over time. The trend is distinctively negative.

    “There is a consistent loss of species — birds, butterflies, plants — across every experiment, and these experiments varied widely,” Nick M. Haddad, North Carolina State University biologist and lead author of the study on habitat fragmentation, told ThinkProgress. “But they were all going downward.”

    Hadded said he was “shocked” at the study’s findings on how much we’ve “sliced and diced” forest ecosystems through human development, which includes everything from building railroads to cutting down trees for cropland. ‘

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/03/26/3638910/all-forests-not-created-equal/

    Reply
  45. PHOTOS!

    PHOTOS: Drought-Stricken California Community Close To Running Out of Water

    http://www.weather.com/news/news/photos-california-community-running-out-of-water

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  March 27, 2015

      First 100 Degree Temperature of 2015 – Western U.S. Will Likely See More Record High Temperatures This Week (FORECAST)

      A ridge of high pressure will bring record warm temperatures to much of the West while a pronounced southward dip in the jet stream will allow below-average temperatures to return to the Northeast, as well as parts of the Midwest and South. This is the pattern that has been in place for most of this year so far, with the jet stream deflected far to the north over western North America and then the jet stream takes a dip in the East allowing cold air to plunge into areas east of the Mississippi River.

      Warmest March So Far

      Many cities are currently experiencing their warmest March on record and this comes after many locations in the West experienced their warmest winter on record.

      http://www.weather.com/forecast/national/news/record-warm-march-west

      Reply
  46. Colorado Bob

     /  March 27, 2015

    New video from the BBC includes Peru –
    Flood torrents devastate Peru and Chile

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-32081748

    Reply
  47. Colorado Bob

     /  March 27, 2015

    Destructive ‘mega’ icebergs keep breaking off Antarctica and wreaking havoc on the ocean floor

    Over the past 50 or so years the robust cycle of growth and decay in the Mertz glacier has broken down. The researchers think this is due to large-scale changes in the way the wind circulates over Antarctica – the so-called Southern Annular Mode (SAM). Other studies have shown us that the way the SAM has changed over recent decades has an anthropogenic footprint. It seems even in Antarctica we can identify human impacts on climate processes that are likely to have been operating for thousands of years.

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/destructive-mega-icebergs-breaking-off-antarctica-2015-3#ixzz3VZV0R6OA

    Reply
  48. Colorado Bob

     /  March 27, 2015

    One of West Antarctica’s largest glaciers surged a staggering 325 feet (about 100 meters) in less than two weeks this month, the European Space Agency reports.

    Two radar images from the ESA’s Sentinel-1A satellite on March 3 and March 15 reveal parts of the enormous Pine Island Glacier and its floating ice shelf making a swift trek toward the sea. The wild race to sea is typical for Pine Island Glacier, which flows up to 13,120 feet (4,000 m) every year.

    “Pine Island is not speeding up,” said Eric Rignot, an expert on Pine Island Glacier at the University of California, Irvine, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

    However, Pine Island Glacier is one of the most rapidly changing features in West Antarctica. In recent decades, the colossal river of ice has sped up and grown markedly thinner. (As glaciers flow faster, they stretch out and thin.) [Photo Gallery: Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier Cracks]

    The glacier’s grounding line — the zone where the ice loses contact with the ground and floats into the ocean — has also receded by nearly 20 miles (up to 30 kilometers).

    Link

    Reply
  49. Colorado Bob

     /  March 27, 2015

    Possible New Continental Heat Record for Antarctica

    On March 24th Base Esperanza (under Argentinean administration) located near the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula reported a temperature of 17.5°C (63.5°F). Although this is the warmest temperature ever measured since weather stations became established on the southern continent, it is complicated by what the very definition of ‘Antarctica’ is. Here’s a brief review.

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/weatherhistorian/comment.html?entrynum=323

    Reply
  50. Colorado Bob

     /  March 27, 2015

    Coastal property values could erode if nourishment subsidies end
    Date:
    March 25, 2015
    Source:
    Duke University
    Summary:
    The value of many oceanfront properties on the East Coast could drop dramatically if Congress were to suddenly end federal beach nourishment subsidies. Values could fall by as much as 17 percent in towns with high property values and almost 34 percent in towns with low property values. A gradual reduction of the subsidies, in contrast, is more likely to smooth the transition to more climate-resilient coastal communities.
    Link

    Reply
    • These nourishment efforts are typically extremely fossil fuel dependent: a train of diesel trucks, graders, back-hoes, or whatever — mechanically dig the sand up, transport it, spread it, etc.And often just to repeat in a year’s time, or until the next IT-NEVER-HAPPENED-BEFORE storm.

      Reply
  51. climatehawk1

     /  March 27, 2015

    Fossil fuel divestment movement’s newest strategy: alternative endowments: http://www.fastcoexist.com/3043781/the-fossil-fuel-divestment-movements-newest-strategy-alternative-endowments by @jessleber

    Reply
  52. climatehawk1

     /  March 27, 2015

    2-Degree #GlobalWarming Target ‘Utterly Inadequate,’ Leading U.N. Scientist Says http://t.usnews.com/Z80onk

    Reply
  53. Andy in San Diego

     /  March 27, 2015

    Global water stress from Guardian

    Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  March 27, 2015

      Image is from this article

      “Why fresh water shortages will cause the next great global crisis ”

      http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/08/how-water-shortages-lead-food-crises-conflicts

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  March 27, 2015

        In south Asia, for example, there have been massive losses of groundwater, which has been pumped up with reckless lack of control over the past decade. About 600 million people live on the 2,000 sq km area that extends from eastern Pakistan, across the hot dry plains of northern India and into Bangladesh, and the land is the most intensely irrigated in the world. Up to 75% of farmers rely on pumped groundwater to water their crops and water use is intensifying – at the same time that satellite images shows supplies are shrinking alarmingly

        Reply
      • Colorado Bob – “About 600 million people live on the 2,000 sq km area…” – 2,000 sq km?Typo? The Indian state of Rajasthan alone is 342,239 sq km.

        Reply
      • Andy in San Diego

         /  March 27, 2015

        Those are the larger “km”‘s, think of them as super sized.

        Reply
  54. Andy in San Diego

     /  March 27, 2015

    Reply
  55. Mark from New England

     /  March 27, 2015

    Some recent, topical, climate-change humor from Jon Stewart. He’s definitely got a good research staff:

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/1017254658

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  March 27, 2015

      We’re gonna miss that show!

      Reply
      • Mark from New England

         /  March 27, 2015

        Yes Kevin, I hope whoever replaces Jon can do 75% as good of a job as he did!

        Reply
    • Out of official Florida: SLR = “nuisance flooding” — see, language is everything.

      Reply
  56. Colorado Bob

     /  March 27, 2015

    Video of the moment the floods reached the town of Chañaral:

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  March 27, 2015

      CB-Would this be one of the early signs of El Nino for this region? I know the rain totals are historic but does rain in Northern Chile at this time of year reflect Easter Pacific warming?

      Reply
    • It must be worse on people if it happens in the middle of the night.

      Reply
  57. Colorado Bob

     /  March 27, 2015

    The rain event in the Sahara accumulated 47 mm or 1.7 inches in March over 5 days in Tamanrasset.

    Reply
  58. Colorado Bob

     /  March 27, 2015

    RS –
    Have a look at this :

    Reply
    • wili

       /  March 27, 2015

      A monster lurking in the deep! Yet I seem to recall similar extreme temperatures at depth last year that somehow only produced a marginal El Nino. These things seem to be getting harder to predict accurately, it seems to me.

      Reply
    • Phil

       /  March 27, 2015

      Some commentators on Arctic Sea ice Forum reporting a moderate WWB event also might be underway with a newly formed tropical depression that is expected to develop into a Cyclone. Longer range forecast indicates another possible storm in WPAC within 2 weeks – long way out however.

      Of interest also with the recent WWB and MJO events is whether the full atmospheric feedback (e.g. Walker cell has flipped into El Nino mode??) has finally kicked in, and if so, its likely extent (e.g. is it locked in or can it reverse)and implications for strength of any El Nino over 2015.

      Reply
  59. Greg

     /  March 27, 2015

    Man versus Nature. Helicopter live view of this week’s tornado in Moore, Oklahoma demolishing its electric grid:

    Reply
  60. Just a small anecdote.

    I’m on the small Greek Cycladian island of Naxos.
    It’s cold (12°C) and has been raining heavily for 3 days.
    The older locals here say they’ve never seen anything like this at this time of year.
    They’re just amazed – it’s all they can talk about!
    It should be 22°C+, dry and sunny.

    Athens was also cold and wet last week.
    Completely unusual at this time of year.

    People the world over are slowly waking up.

    Reply
    • wili

       /  March 27, 2015

      Thanks for that ground truth. It looks like the good people of the Aegean Isles are a bit more savvy than the folks in, for example, OK, where they keep re-electing deniers in spite of getting hit with ever worse droughts, killer heatwaves, and extreme storms.

      Reply
    • Griffin

       /  March 28, 2015

      It is an awesome part of this blog when readers share the actual conditions that are taking place across the world. Thanks for taking the time to share this.

      Reply
      • Agreed! The links and info provided in the comments section capture a wide range of climate news and meteorological events. Add to that Robert’s great posts and this place is a must visit site. Oh, and I also LOVE the fact that you never have to deal with idiot deniers and their pathetic talking points that waste everybody’s time and effectively halt all productive discussions. When I encounter that elsewhere (you find it in every comments section, even progressive and liberal sites, conservative frequented sites are a cesspool) it makes my head want to explode. Thank you Robert for creating such a stimulating and positive environment!

        Reply
  61. A report published this month by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, a collaborative research center associated with the University of East Anglia in the U.K., points out this hypocrisy: If climate scientists want to protect the climate, they shouldn’t be organizing conferences that torch it.

    Nudging Climate Scientists To Follow Their Own Advice On Flying

    Reply
  62. Colorado Bob

     /  March 27, 2015

    Snow Melting 16 Days Earlier in Wyoming Mountains

    The spring snowmelt now comes more than two weeks earlier than it did in the 1970s in Wyoming’s Wind River Range, a new study finds.

    The trend is part of a larger snow shortfall across the Western United States documented by many researchers. Several independent studies have found the spring snowmelt starts up to 20 days earlier in the West than in the past because there’s less snow falling each winter and warmer spring weather means the snow that does fall melts earlier. The double whammy is hurting water resources in states, such as Wyoming, that rely on snowmelt.

    http://www.livescience.com/50244-wyoming-snow-melting-earlier.html

    Reply
  63. Colorado Bob

     /  March 27, 2015

    From NASA Earth Observatory, the Image of the Day for March 27, 2015:

    In the Aftermath of Cyclone Pam

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=85582&eocn=home&eoci=iotd_readmore

    Reply
  64. Not far from “nuisance flooding” Florida,on the Gulf of Mexico, and at the end of the Mississippi River sits a petrochemical free fire zone mandated to exist by the US Congress.
    A couple of years old, Petrochemical America by Richard Misrach & Kate Orff, ASLA is worth a look at the 14 maps and photos. I shudder at the lunacy described.

    Reply
  65. — And out west in another food producing air pollution zone sits California’s Central Valley. The ‘food’ you eat from here is grown in very polluted air. But I guess if you have enough water to waste, you can wash it off. But since it was grown in an arid waterless topographical bowl you may not mind.
    Keep in mind that the air coming into the valley is also carrying pollution from the SF Bay area, and US Interstate I-5 emissions corridor.
    Ah, but at the bottom, or south end of the valley are the Tehachapi Mountains and the Tehachapi Pass Wind Farm.
    The wind that turns the turbine blades is that polluted air which then circulates down into the LA Basin and the Santa Barbara Channel. It’s a very dynamic system.

    – This piece centers on the San Joaquin Valley, which is different but it shows the situation. And one that may have been negatively impacted by the new weather, and wind, patterns on the west coast.

    KINGS COUNTY, Calif., March 27 (Reuters) – The brown haze over California’s San Joaquin Valley breadbasket on some winter days has been an unwelcome reminder of the bad old days, when pollution hung so thickly that people were warned to stay inside.
    …But prolonged drought and warmer temperatures have triggered a spike in the number of winter days thick with soot and dirt, while summer days have been marred by smog.

    … characterized by high levels of ozone in the atmosphere caused by an interaction of heat with pollutants.

    For December 2014-February 2015, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, which covers Los Angeles, reported 24 days that failed to meet federal pollution rules. That was up from 19 days during the same three months in 2013-2014, and 16 in 2012-2013, state figures show.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/27/california-air-pollution_n_6953860.html

    Reply
  66. Colorado Bob

     /  March 28, 2015

    Dr. Michael Mann on the Gulfstream slowing down.

    http://loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=15-P13-00013&segmentID=3

    Reply
  67. Colorado Bob

     /  March 28, 2015

    Senate Republican leaders had been eyeing a raft of votes into the wee hours Friday as a chance to put a spike in the heart of President Obama’s plan to confront the dangers of climate change.

    Things didn’t go quite as planned.

    Seven Republicans joined all Senate Democrats in voting to tie climate change to national security and call for action to cut carbon pollution and invest in efficiency and renewable power.

    A GOP proposal to stop the president’s Clean Power Plan dead in its tracks wasn’t even brought up for a vote.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rhea-suh/some-republicans-step-back-from-gop-climate-change_b_6958830.html

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  March 28, 2015

      Glad to see that our Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte was one of the seven. Concerned about her re-election prospects?

      Reply
      • climatehawk1

         /  March 28, 2015

        Absolutely. She is up again in 2016, right? Presidential year? New Hampshire has been tipping blue recently in those years.

        Reply
  68. Andy in San Diego

     /  March 28, 2015

    Another Unpleasant Side Effect Of Climate Change

    Cross breeding of invasive species, super termites anyone?

    http://www.salon.com/2015/03/26/floridas_invasive_termite_species_are_now_interbreeding_and_the_resulting_super_termite_is_basically_the_worst_thing_imaginable/

    Reply
  69. -Language is Everything or Cue Snowball:

    A new change to the AP Stylebook, a style and usage guide used by news organizations, allows the terms “global warming” and “climate change” to be used “interchangeably,” though the Associated Press considers climate change to be “more accurate scientifically.”

    The new entry on the divisive terms were unveiled on Friday, sparking fiery online dissent and accusations that the style guide is following the lead of other climate change activists who stopped using the term “global warming” when the figures on rising temperatures were no longer adding up.

    First, let’s review the AP’s official new guidelines on global warming and/or climate change:

    The terms global warming and climate change can be used interchangeably. Climate change is more accurate scientifically to describe the various effects of greenhouse gases on the world because it includes extreme weather, storms and changes in rainfall patterns, ocean acidification and sea level. But global warming as a term is more common and understandable to the public.

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/03/27/new-ap-stylebook-entry-on-global-warming-climate-change-doesnt-go-over-well-with-many-so-full-of-bull/

    Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  March 28, 2015

      The oxymoron is that it was GWB’s administration which wanted the term climate change to be used over global warming (thus watering it down). Now the deniers claim that the term was switched to hide the conspiracy by “leftists”, when in fact it was their guy who did it.

      Per 1984, how many shoes did we manufacture last year?

      Reply
      • And it was Republican strategist Frank Luntz who wrote the memo suggesting that “global warming” sounded more frightening to voters than “climate change”. So naturally the ignorant claim it was the leftist scientific elite who manipulated the language to achieve a desired political outcome. As usual, the deniers are as wrong as it is possible to be.

        https://www.skepticalscience.com/print.php?r=326

        Reply
        • climatehawk1

           /  March 28, 2015

          Actually, that is not quite the meme I see regularly on Twitter. The meme I see is more, “Yukitty yuk, the alarmists changed from global warming because their predictions were wrong.” Now that I think of it, that’s a good argument for not fiddling around too much with language–there was a discussion on another blog recently, yet again, about some other term than “denier,” and I said I was just sticking with that because it is a very clear and understandable way to refer to someone who denies something. Duh. (I also quoted someone from Twitter who said he’s fine with being called a “[global warming] pause denier.”)

    • The thing is, once you allow, or introduce, ambiguity into the description then accuracy and veracity are crippled.
      This stresses the need for precision — you know, like a well placed dagger thrust to the heart of the matter.
      Then there is a malicious term like “atmospheric reemployment” that reeks of vaporous ambiguity. Think about it, you can’t definitively define it. It has so many possible meanings that it is meaningless. Right?

      Reply
  70. LRC

     /  March 28, 2015

    My apologies if notes I make already mentioned.
    With regards to mining in South America. One point I do not think covered is the idigenous influence in the main mining areas which is the Andean Mountains. The largest group lives in Bolivia and the rest of them tend to react very similarly to what goes on in Bolivia. Farmers in the Altiplano have already stopped one Canadian company from mining and did so with out the courts (violence is always a second choice for these groups and the have memories that go back to getting rid of the Spaniards during independence). Note: Not advocating violence, just reporting what happens when you cross up the indigenous groups of the Andes. (The last two lines of the Bolivian anthem says it all. Its is a repeat phrase that says ‘better to die then be a slave’)
    Drought tends to happen on the Altiplano and the lowland eastern side of South America. As far as the slopes of the Andes, east and west, lots of rain. The bigger the El Nino the worst the rain. Reports abound in the last 3-4 months of floods all up and down the Andes. If that is a standard to be set then El Nino east Pacific side has been well in place for quite a while and appears to be a major one.

    Reply
  71. Kerry Emanuel; “Abrupt Methane release is NOT a serious problem.”

    I watched & watched & watched … trying to absorb his simple message – so bizarre to my
    lights.

    Emanuel is well known for enthusiastically endorsing nuclear power along with James Hansen in 2013.

    Emanuel’s delivery is captivating & downright scientifically terrific even with his ongoing emphasis on mystifying “uncertainties,” – until 1:22:03 when he blithely states; “We don’t think that it (methane release) is very important any more.”

    AND, “We don’t think that it (methane release, including sea bed clathrates) is going to be accessed by global warming.”

    So much for observational empirical scientists; Semiletov & Shakhova.

    So much for Charles Miller/NASA/Carve, Wadhams, Wasdell, McPherson, Nick Breeze, Carana, etc.

    So much for the methane gas videoed bubbling to the surface in the Arctic & elsewhere.

    So much for 90 mile in diameter methane plumes observed by CARVE in 2013.

    So much for empiricism, observation, evidence, inference, & prediction.

    “Some of our worst mistakes are not the result of bad logic & poor reasoning – but the logical result from a faulty premise.”

    Emanuel’s lecture/video was sponsored by PARC; the ultimate MIT type technofixers, who say they are in “the business of breakthroughs.”

    I hope that they don’t breakthrough the melting ice cover.

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  March 28, 2015

      I understand your frustration Gerald. I would, given the climate news we have been subjected to recently, think it hubris to dismiss the potential of methane to worry us.
      As I have mentioned before, just take a look back at what we thought possible even ten years ago. Ice Shelves were robust and would take decades at least to collapse. Ice sheets were stable and not prone to accelerated collapse. Sea level rise would not be so abrupt as to see five inches in a year. The AMOC would not slow appreciably this century…we could go on and on. The one constant that readers of this blog can count on is “decades ahead of schedule”. So, no matter what they are confident in today, I reserve the right to wait to be not so surprised.

      Reply
    • Apneaman

       /  March 28, 2015

      Another self assured scientist claiming to know something he does not know. There was similar assuredness about sea ice not shrinking to where it is today until 2070 or mid century at the earliest. There have been a host of underestimates in the last two decades, yet the careerists must still play the game. I am also seeing a pattern of dismissal and over aggressiveness towards non-western scientists and females (Jennifer Francis). Me thinks the old boys club is alive and well. All humans have blind spots and biases.

      Climate Science Predictions Prove Too Conservative
      Checking 20 years worth of projections shows that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has consistently underestimated the pace and impacts of global warming

      http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/climate-science-predictions-prove-too-conservative/

      Reply
  72. LRC

     /  March 28, 2015

    From my limited understanding there are two different sources of methane. The clathrates do have physics that dictate they will not spontaneously erupt, and from that angle methane is not a problem. What Semiletov & Shakhova are concerned about is that there could be as much as or even more methane in gas form trapped under the clathrates and that will spontaneously erupt once the trapping layer has a big enough hole in it to let it out. If Semiletov & Shakhova are right them all scientists would agree that is a major problem. The problem for lecturers is that the Semiletov & Shakhova study is still relatively new and there is some debate as to their findings so most lectures still stick to the clathrate issue which there is no debate about.
    The thing to remember is that methane has a fairly short shelf life before turning into CO2 and that being ppb will have almost no impact on CO2. Where methane impacts is if you have a burst that can really impact temperatures before it gets turned into CO2.

    Reply
  73. Magnificent Greek actress Helena Kalleniotis’s unsurpassed classic rant about the filth & the crap.

    Today Helena takes care of sickly recluse Jack Nicholson.

    I saw this in 1971, & laughed so hard I near to busted my gut.

    More tragic than funny today.

    We were all polluting like crazy as we motored across America.

    I logged one million miles playing Jack Kerouac.

    I had a great time, but I didn’t have an inkling about what horrendous CO2 pollution I was spewing in 1971.

    at Youtube; Palm Apodaca – Five Easy Pieces

    Reply
  74. Colorado Bob

     /  March 28, 2015

    Forest Fire Destroys Argentine Wildlife
    Forest fires have been burning in southern Argentina for over a month due to severe drought. The BBC reported over 50,000 acres in Argentina have been destroyed so far. Los Alerces is home to trees over 1,000 years old.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/forest-fire-destroys-argentine-wildlife-n331551

    Reply
  75. Colorado Bob

     /  March 28, 2015

    This week’s possible temperature record was setup by a large, warm ridge of high pressure – or heat dome – originating from southern South America that extended over the Antarctic Peninsula. The intensity of this weather system was almost off-the-charts, judging by the purple shades on the map below, portraying the difference from normal conditions:

    Here’s another view of this heat dome – from a global perspective – which shows this particular high pressure ridge was, by far, the strongest in the world compared to normal:

    Should the high temperature at Argentina’s Esperanza Base be validated as a record, Antarctica will join Greenland in this achievement over the last two years. On July 30, 2013, the observing station Maniitsoq / Sugar Loaf on Greenland’s southwest coast soared to 78.6F, which was a record according to the Danish Meteorological Institute.

    Link

    Reply
  76. Colorado Bob

     /  March 28, 2015

    Drought in São Paulo: Brazil’s Megacity on Verge of Crisis as Water Rationing, Shutoffs Continue

    The past three months have seen the driest winter in 84 years in southeastern Brazil. Water shortages are now critical in São Paulo, home to twenty million people. The city’s primary reservoir is fluctuating between 6-13% of capacity, and officials are estimating São Paolo’s reserves will last a mere 90 days without additional rainfall. The rainy season, from December through February, is over, and sadly, recent flooding within the city has not raised main reservoir levels, which are located further inland. (1)

    Link

    Reply
  77. Colorado Bob

     /  March 28, 2015

    Climate change to hit sovereign debt ratings, S&P says

    Global warming will harm sovereign creditworthiness around the world this century, with poorer nations the worst hit, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said.

    Climate change is one of two “global mega-trends” alongside aging populations that dominate global economic risks, the agency said today in a report. It identified the most vulnerable nations as Vietnam, Bangladesh and Senegal. Luxembourg, Switzerland and Austria were deemed least at risk.

    Global warming “will put downward pressure on sovereign ratings during the remainder of this century,” S&P analysts led by Moritz Kraemer in Frankfurt wrote. “The degree to which individual countries and societies are going to be affected by warming and changing weather patterns depends largely on actions undertaken by other, often far-away societies.”

    Link

    Reply
    • climatehawk1

       /  March 28, 2015

      Thanks, tweet scheduled.

      Reply
    • “with poorer nations the worst hit” — why to they always write this? In what situation are the poorest NOT most hit???

      Alex

      Reply
      • climatehawk1

         /  March 29, 2015

        Um, not sure why they are stating it, but I like it. One of the favorite and unconscionably cynical memes of the fossil fuel industries and the liars they pay is that fossil fuels are essential to lift people out of poverty, and that calls to reduce fossil fuel use are anti-poor.

        Reply
  78. Ouse M.D.

     /  March 28, 2015

    CCI shows World Temp anomaly at only +0,49 C
    after +0,79 C and + 0,8 C throughout January- March I smell something fishy here,
    sulphates in the air…

    Reply
    • Oh perleese.
      The fossil-fuel lobby creates enough ridiculous and distracting conspiracy theories surrounding climate data without you adding another one

      Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  March 29, 2015

      How would sulphates work into things and where would they come from? I have not heard of this but perhaps there is reliable data on this. Can you give more details and links to the data and the source of the data?

      Reply
      • It’s absurd tin-foil hat nonsense. Google ‘chemtrails’. The ‘troof’, apparently, is that thousands of commercial airliners are secretly releasing millions of tons of chemicals into the atmosphere to reflect sunlight and lower the Earth’s temperature.
        The ‘proof’ is that you can actualy see them. They form visible white trails behind the airliners. Stupid sheeple like me have been conned into believing they are just water vapour trails like they have been for the last 60 years but it appears we are deluded simpletons.
        That’s all we need right now – another distraction from the real problem.

        Reply
    • TomCobbler

       /  March 31, 2015

      Yikes!!, Not a good inference to draw from random day to day, week to week fluctuations in surface temps (most of which happen over land).

      I have been following CR for a year and I can tell you because I have done the math that (GISS and NOAA) surface temps for the month end up about .16 to .30 higher (it varies a lot) for the month. So this .40 anomaly is really .60 or so and not “cold” at all. For the month of March 2015, surface temps according to CR came in at 60.1. So March will likely put 2015 firmly in the lead as the warmest year to date on record even before this el nino begins to really drive surface temps.

      Reply
  79. Climate change may lead to ‘huge hit’ in insurance investments, warns PRA

    Insurance companies are vulnerable to a ‘huge hit’ in their investments due to climate change, a conference was told.

    Paul Fisher, deputy head of insurance supervision at Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), said insurers were exposed to environmental risks around investments in fossil fuels, weather events such as storms, floods and hot summers, and higher sea levels.

    Speaking at a conference organised by The Economist, Fisher said on the liabilities side, the insurance industry was already taking steps to “stay ahead of the climate curve” with the establishment of Flood Re, ClimateWise forums and “more sophisticated underwriting techniques”.

    But on the investment side, Fisher warned insurers investing in fossil fuels assets “could be left stranded by public policy changes which limit the use of fossil fuels”.

    He added: “As the world increasingly limits carbon emissions and moves to alternative energy sources, investment in fossil fuels and related technologies – a growing financial market in recent decades – may take a huge hit.”
    – See more at: http://www.theactuary.com/news/2015/03/climate-change-may-lead-to-huge-hit-in-insurance-investments-warns-pra/#sthash.iXmCIM01.dpuf

    Reply
  80. After record New England winter, region expects a flood _ of insurance claims

    BOSTON — After the Big Dig-out, it’s time for the Big Payout. Or will it be the Big Denial?

    New England’s epic winter is on pace to produce a corresponding number of claims as thousands of homeowners seek to repair damage. Successive storms dumped 110 inches of snowfall in Boston alone, a record for an entire season.

    “It’s a part-time job just to navigate it all,” says Cathy Schwarz, a Plymouth resident who is working with her insurer and repair companies after rooftop ice dams caused leaks in her house. “Everybody says you’ll get through this, but all I can see is a house that’s just not livable right now.”

    http://www.startribune.com/business/yourmoney/297884541.html

    Reply
  81. Andy in YKD

     /  March 29, 2015

    It has been in the upper 40s with a high of 51 F yesterday here on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta for the past 10 days. Never had more than a few inches of snow on the ground all winter, when the average is 65″. Now the ground is mostly bare of snow, and the distant mountains are showing large areas with no snow. The night of the start of the Kuskokwim 300 sled dog race on Jan. 16 it was 34 and raining. 50 years ago this area was Zone 1 on the plant hardiness map, now it shows as zone 3b. The past several winters temps are indicative of a zone 4b or 5a.

    Looking at the SPEI Drought Monitor it indicates that there is drought conditions on most of the west coasts of South, Central and North America from Southern Chile to the Arctic.

    Reply
    • Yes, and that’s an exceedingly long stretch of west coast – and the water…

      Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  March 29, 2015

      Andy,

      Many thanks for that “ground truth”.

      Reply
    • Than you for that, Andy. It’s incredible to think that it’s been colder and snowier here in New England this winter. In CT we saw light snow all day yesterday with temps in the teens last night. I think it’s pretty obvious that our old climate and meteorological norms are long gone. We used to have four fairly predictable and distinct seasons here in New England. Now we just have summer and winter. And boy have the storms become more intense! When you see precipitation totals (rain or snow) from single storms plotted on a graph you notice the last few years have begun to experience outlier events. Example- In 2013 we were hit with a blizzard that dumped about three feet across the state. Hamden recorded 40 inches, which was more than double their previous record! I’m sure everyone that visits this blog has noticed the same in their little corner of the world. Warmer atmosphere, warmer oceans, more moisture in the atmosphere.

      Reply
  82. Colorado Bob

     /  March 29, 2015

    Chile desert rains sign of climate change, chief weather scientist says

    “For Chile, this particular system can only be possible in an environment of a changed climate,” Deputy Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization Jeremiah Lengoasa told Reuters on a visit to Santiago on Friday.

    Link

    Reply
    • … “This is an example of an extreme (event) – it’s an unprecedented event in a place where you would not normally expect it to happen,” he said.”

      Reply
  83. Colorado Bob

     /  March 29, 2015

    RS –

    I’m in the spam filter with 3 links , please set me free.

    Reply
  84. Colorado Bob

     /  March 29, 2015

    Australia’s subcritical coal-fired power stations proving risky for investors.

    Australia’s most polluting coal-fired power stations, owned by providers like AGL Energy, Origin Energy and Delta Electricity, are on the way to becoming devalued assets due to their carbon intensity, a University of Oxford report says.

    The report, by the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, projected the potential costs of closing down such facilities in guarding against unanticipated devaluation, and considered the policy benefits of such closures.

    Ben Caldecott, who co-authored the report with Gerard Dericks and James Mitchell, said Australia has “by far the most carbon intensive power stations globally, the least efficient of all the major economies.”

    Link

    Reply
  85. Colorado Bob

     /  March 29, 2015

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  March 29, 2015

      “Attitude”

      You go down the pub
      You wear make up
      And old dads trousers
      Why don’t you tidy up
      You talk like a docker but you act like a queer
      You drink champagne then complain it’s too dear
      You try so hard not to follow any trends
      Then you cry in your beer and say you’ve got no friends
      But is it any wonder that you’ve got no friends
      But it’s not the make up
      Or the way you dress
      It’s not your appearance, that they all detest
      It’s not your manners, that you gotta improve
      Ooooo-it’s your attitude.

      [Chorus]
      Attitude, Oo Oo Oo
      Your attitude
      Attitude, Oo Oo Oo
      Your attitude

      Take off your head phones
      Hear what’s going on
      You can’t live in a time zone
      You’ve gotta move on
      But before you get there
      There’s one thing you’ve gotta do
      Oh change your attitude
      It’s your attitude
      It’s your attitude

      [Chorus]
      Attitude, Oo Oo Oo
      Your attitude
      Attitude, Oo Oo Oo
      Your attitude

      The ’80s are here, I know cuz I’m staring right at them
      But you’re still waiting for 1960 to happen

      You might have the illness, but you’ve got the cure
      You’ve got the answer, you will endure
      You’re the only person that’s gonna pull you through
      Ooh, with your attitude

      [Chorus]
      Attitude, Oo Oo Oo
      Your attitude
      Attitude, Oo Oo Oo
      Your attitude

      You gotta learn to be positive, it’s your only chance
      You mustn’t be so defensive, you gotta join in the dance
      But it isn’t your dancing that you’ve gotta improve
      Ooh, it’s your attitude.

      [Chorus]
      Attitude, Oo Oo Oo
      Your attitude
      Attitude, Oo Oo Oo
      Your attitude

      It’s all the music
      It’s all in your brain
      You’ve used all the old licks
      Now it’s all gotta change.
      Change your attitude
      It’s your attitude
      Attitude

      Reply
  86. Colorado Bob

     /  March 29, 2015

    You gotta learn to be positive, it’s your only chance.
    You mustn’t be so defensive, you gotta join in the dance.
    But it isn’t your dancing that you’ve gotta improve.
    Ooh, it’s your attitude.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  March 29, 2015

      I am not gay, but I always loved this song. Only after over 35 years did I look up the words.

      After 35 years these words mean more :

      You gotta learn to be positive, it’s your only chance.
      You mustn’t be so defensive, you gotta join in the dance.
      But it isn’t your dancing that you’ve gotta improve.
      Ooh, it’s your attitude.

      Reply
      • “No homo!” – Just kidding Bob. And back in 1970 the Kinks were singing:

        “I think I’m so educated and I’m so civilized
        ’cause I’m a strict vegetarian
        But with the over-population and inflation and starvation
        And the crazy politicians
        I don’t feel safe in this world no more,
        I don’t want to die in a nuclear war.
        I want to sail away to a distant shore and make like an apeman.”

        Reply
  87. Colorado Bob

     /  March 29, 2015

    Sea ice is not the same as land ice. And sea ice has increased somewhat , because of this :

    The Southern Annular Mode (SAM) is increasing speed and moving south , these increasing winds are blowing sea ice away from the continent and allowing new sea ice to refreeze over the open water. As the land ice melts, it is increasing the layer of fresh water around Antarctica. Fresh water floats on salt water. Fresh water freezes at 32F degrees, sea water freezes at 26F degrees.

    Destructive ‘mega’ icebergs keep breaking off Antarctica and wreaking havoc on the ocean floor.

    “Over the past 50 or so years the robust cycle of growth and decay in the Mertz glacier has broken down. The researchers think this is due to large-scale changes in the way the wind circulates over Antarctica – the so-called Southern Annular Mode (SAM). Other studies have shown us that the way the SAM has changed over recent decades has an anthropogenic footprint. It seems even in Antarctica we can identify human impacts on climate processes that are likely to have been operating for thousands of years.”

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/destructive-mega-icebergs-breaking-off-antarctica-2015-3#ixzz3VZV0R6OA.

    Reply
  88. Colorado Bob

     /  March 29, 2015

    Australia’s subcritical coal-fired power stations proving risky for investors.

    Australia’s most polluting coal-fired power stations, owned by providers like AGL Energy, Origin Energy and Delta Electricity, are on the way to becoming devalued assets due to their carbon intensity, a University of Oxford report says.

    The report, by the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, projected the potential costs of closing down such facilities in guarding against unanticipated devaluation, and considered the policy benefits of such closures.

    Ben Caldecott, who co-authored the report with Gerard Dericks and James Mitchell, said Australia has “by far the most carbon intensive power stations globally, the least efficient of all the major economies.”

    http://www.theage.com.au/environment/australias-subcritical-coalfired-power-stations-proving-risky-for-investors-20150326-1m8j7t.html

    Reply
  89. Wharf Rat

     /  March 29, 2015

    Drought in São Paulo: Brazil’s Megacity on Verge of Crisis as Water Rationing, Shutoffs Continue

    The past three months have seen the driest winter in 84 years in southeastern Brazil. Water shortages are now critical in São Paulo, home to twenty million people. The city’s primary reservoir is fluctuating between 6-13% of capacity, and officials are estimating São Paolo’s reserves will last a mere 90 days without additional rainfall. The rainy season, from December through February, is over, and sadly, recent flooding within the city has not raised main reservoir levels, which are located further inland. (1)

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/drought-in-sao-paulo-megacity-on-verge-of-crisis-as-water-rationing-shutoffs-continue/5439225

    Reply
  90. climatehawk1

     /  March 29, 2015

    Discovered an excellent lecture on YouTube today: “Abrupt Climate Change: Past, Present, and Future” by Jim White from the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall 2014 conference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZdhPnsp4Is. Mr. White is a first-rate communicator. Highly recommended.

    Reply
  91. Huh, could it be?: The myth of Europe’s Little Ice Age

    The two Economics professors opine that the Slutsky effect might have been operative in this instance.

    As Mahon and Davies (2009) put it: “Slutsky demonstrated that random numbers subjected to statistical calculations similar to those used to reveal trends in economic time-series formed wavelike patterns indistinguishable from business cycles.”

    Reply
  92. climatehawk1

     /  March 29, 2015

    Climate Change Puts California Economy at Risk of Collapse http://www.triplepundit.com/2015/03/climate-change-threatens-california-economic-collapse/

    Reply
  93. I had a feeling, a while back, that some prevalent contaminant in the air was under appreciated. I figured that it must be Azote-nitrogen since there so much of it — and from fossil fuels which is the chief contaminant load. Evidence keeps mounting that this is so. Right, Gail?
    The only thing worse than being proven wrong is… well, never mind.🙂

    http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/technology/article/1749736/nitrogen-emissions-smog-threatens-massacre-worlds-forests

    Reply
  94. climatehawk1

     /  March 29, 2015

    How I teach about climate change in a state that relies on fossil fuels http://to.pbs.org/1F75EV0 #Wyoming #globalwarming

    Reply
    • That was depressing. The science is taught by deferring to the student’s “beliefs”.

      Reply
      • entropicman

         /  March 29, 2015

        I taught evolution and palaeontology to the children of Free Presbyterians. Like climate change denirs, it is very hard to make them accept your word for something that contradicts their belief.

        An evidence based approach lets you discuss the subject without pressure. Some of the pupils will be isolated by their own Morton’s Demon. Some will consider the evidence and some of those will come to accept it.

        Reply
  95. climatehawk1

     /  March 29, 2015

    Press standards group lets Daily Mail’s climate lies [MHO] stand: http://gu.com/p/472zh/stw

    Reply
  96. Andy in San Diego

     /  March 30, 2015

    Robert,

    Can you roll another thread for us all? This one is loading slow now….

    If you can, it would be great.

    Andy

    Reply
  97. Chile desert rains sign of climate change: chief weather scientist

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/27/us-chile-weather-idUSKBN0MN2N520150327

    Reply
  98. National Geographic: Oceans Are Losing Oxygen—and Becoming More Hostile to Life, March 13

    …Andy and others; maybe it makes sense to set up a companion site to this one for commentary, so we can somewhat delink the threads here from Robert’s writing schedule? Kind of like Moon of Alabama was for Billmon’s site. (with Robert’s approval, of course).

    Reply
  99. climatehawk1

     /  March 30, 2015

    Globalwarming, drought turning Golden State brown: http://gu.com/p/474×9/stw via @dana1981 @guardian

    Reply
  100. climatehawk1

     /  March 30, 2015

    Solutions: Passive House Takes Hold in New York http://nyti.ms/1D6eJzP

    Reply
  101. TomCobbler

     /  March 30, 2015

    Rahmstorf has a new post this morning on Realclimate with a really neat hypothesis connecting his AMOC slowdown paper to the possibility that it also explains the abnormally cold eastern U.S winters. He also mentions that this hypothesis in no way contradicts influences of the jet stream and other factors. Its well worth a read.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2015/03/a-hypothesis-about-the-cold-winter-in-eastern-north-america/#more-18284

    Reply
  102. Colorado Bob

     /  March 30, 2015

    Flooding in Kashmir, India, Triggers Mudslides, Burying At Least 10

    “March has been the wettest month in more than a century, wrecking millions of hectares of winter crops,” said a Reuters report. Several rural farmers have committed suicide in recent weeks due to the crop loss, the report also said.

    http://www.wunderground.com/news/india-kashmir-flooding

    Reply
  103. – Off topic but interesting physics/chemistry/off the shelf human interactions:

    Cat litter blamed for $240m radiation leak at New Mexico nuclear waste dump

    Cat litter used to absorb liquids in a barrel of nuclear waste was the wrong type, sparking a chemical reaction and a subsequent radioactive leak

    A radiation leak at an underground nuclear waste dump in New Mexico was caused by “chemically incompatible” contents, including cat litter, that reacted inside a barrel of waste causing it to rupture, scientists said on Thursday.

    The US Energy Department report on last year’s radiation accident at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad showed that a drum of waste containing radioisotopes like plutonium was improperly packaged at the Los Alamos National Laboratory near Santa Fe before arriving for disposal.

    The improper mix in the barrel, including the wrong sort of cat litter used to absorb liquids, sparked a chemical reaction causing it to heat up and generate gases that dislodged its lid, spewing radioactive materials, investigators found.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/27/cat-litter-blamed-for-240m-radiation-leak-at-new-mexico-nuclear-waste-dump

    Reply
    • Very interesting.

      Reply
    • rustj2015

       /  March 31, 2015

      More interesting: there may have been several barrels and they may be at WIPP now…
      plus (adjust tinfoil): there is a great deal of fracking occurring in that general vicinity…
      (woodywoodpecker victorious departure sounds)…

      Reply
  104. Colorado Bob

     /  March 30, 2015

    Aerial pictures released by the Chilean Air Force reveal the extent of the flooding

    Chile floods death toll rises to 14 as clean-up begins

    Reply
  105. Colorado Bob

     /  March 30, 2015

    A series of heat waves this month — including a brief one one that ended Friday — brought a grim new distinction to hot, dry Los Angeles.

    This is the first March since record-keeping began in 1877 that has had six days with highs in the 90s or above in Los Angeles. That shattered the record set in 1977, when there were three days of highs in the 90s.

    Overall, temperatures are warmer, and the trend is expected to continue for the next three months.

    “This type of weather is very unusual,” said Stuart Seto, a weather specialist for the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

    Almost every day this year temperatures have been on average 10 degrees above normal in California, while there has been little precipitation, Seto said.

    Link

    Reply
  106. Colorado Bob

     /  March 30, 2015

    Glimpses of the future: Drought damage leads to widespread forest death
    Date:
    March 30, 2015
    Source:
    Carnegie Institution
    Summary:
    The 2000-2003 drought in the American southwest triggered a widespread die-off of forests around the region. A team of scientists developed a new modeling tool to explain how and where trembling aspen forests died as a result of this drought, based on damage to the individual trees’ ability to transport water. Their results suggest that more widespread die-offs of aspen forests triggered by climate change are likely by the 2050s.

    Link

    Reply
  107. Colorado Bob

     /  March 30, 2015

    Direct evidence for a positive feedback in climate change: Global warming itself will likely accelerate warming
    Date:
    March 30, 2015
    Source:
    University of Exeter
    Summary:
    A new study has confirmed the existence of a positive feedback operating in climate change whereby warming itself may amplify a rise in greenhouse gases resulting in additional warming.

    Link

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  March 30, 2015

      The past 400,000 years of ice core data suggest, then, that with an additional 5C of warming we could expect a 300ppb CH4 and a 100ppm CO2 increase just from the warming itself? Appears so. (at the least)

      Reply
    • TomCobbler

       /  March 31, 2015

      This study would then be a confirmation of changes to the carbon cycle that will lead to sink to source changes on land and the ocean in the coming century(s)? I know it is more complicated than that when considering human emissions continuing, but this kind of study confirms the paleoclimate records that ECS is more likely 3C than 2C. I really wish we had updated climate models to consider more of these positive feedbacks.

      Reply
  108. – More human folly that scares me:

    Pendleton home destroyed after ag co-op mistakenly dumps diesel into basement

    PENDLETON — A Pendleton couple’s home is being demolished after a worker dumped 150 gallons of diesel into their basement.

    The East Oregonian newspaper reports that Pendleton Grain Growers made the mistake Nov. 24 while delivering fuel to the home that Brent Merriman and Michele Lowary owned for nearly three decades.

    On Friday, the couple watched as workers in two excavators smashed the structure and dropped chunks of it into a semitrailer.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2015/03/pendleton_home_destroyed_after.html

    Ps the sky (atmosphere) over the PNW, and top to bottom, is thick and milky looking. It’s loaded with particulate and moisture — not a good sign.

    Reply
    • – An insane ratio: “…wells can produce as much as nine or 10 barrels of salty, toxin-laced water for every barrel of oil. Much of that fluid is injected back underground into wastewater disposal wells. “

      Reply
  109. Florida’s Climate Denial Could Cause Catastrophic Recession

    …Florida has led the way in all but ignoring the growing twin threats created by human-caused climate change — sea level rise and superstorm surge — thereby creating a trillion-dollar real-estate bubble in coastal property. When the next superstorm like Katrina or Sandy makes its target Florida and bursts that bubble, the state can declare bankruptcy. So too could some insurance companies.

    …There is now at least $1.4 trillion in property within 660 feet of the U.S. coast, a detailed analysis of the data by Reuters found. Worse, “incomplete data for some areas means the actual total is probably much higher.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/03/30/3600645/rick-scott-climate-denial/

    Reply
  110. – And when particles of tire wear become airborne they become part of our atmosphere. Also in the mix is whatever else the tire dust adheres to: molecules of heavy metals, and benzene, etc.
    Millions of tires now circle the globe as aerosols of some sort.

    ###

    Ozone: The Secret Enemy Of Tires

    http://io9.com/ozone-the-secret-enemy-of-tires-1694449252

    Reply
  111. Lake Powell, one of the nation’s largest reservoirs, is now below 45 percent of its capacity.

    Straddling the border between Utah and Arizona, the man-made reservoir is part of the Colorado Water Basin that supplies water to 40 million people.

    Lake Powell stores water from states in the upper Colorado basin — New Mexico, Utah, Colorado and Wyoming — for the states in the lower basin: Nevada, Arizona and California. Along with generating electricity, the reservoir also protects the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead from flooding.

    For more than 14 years, the basin and the Western states have been plagued by drought. Almost every year, all of the water from the Colorado River is pumped out before emptying into the the Gulf of California.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/03/30/what-severe-drought-in-the-colorado-river-basin-looks-like/

    Reply
    • This was recently discussed in the PBS show Nature:A New Wild in the water episode. (I tried to get a link but it’s no longer available on the PBS site) They followed the Colorado into Mexico where it becomes a trickle that dies in the sand, very far from the coastal wetlands that it sustained for millions of years. Since about the turn of the century the Colorado had not reached the sea. But recently water management officials released pulses of water to simulate the natural flood cycles of the river, and that provided enough volume for the river to reach the sea once again. Sadly, many rivers no longer reach the sea because of human activity. As glaciers disappear and rainfall patterns shift I expect it will only get worse.

      Reply
  112. Andy in San Diego

     /  March 31, 2015

    12% normal snowpack, last year it was 28%.
    ===================================

    Current drought monitor for Cali.

    Reply
    • They are really entering into a time when difficult decisions will have to be made. The time for “convenient” and loosely enforced rationing will be forced to end. Targeting consumers with rationing requests when the majority of water use is industrial/agricultural will also have to change, I expect. I caught the mainstream news yesterday and they said Sierra snowpack was “8% of normal”. Although I trust your numbers over theirs, Andy, since a typical news anchor probably doesn’t know what “snowpack”, “8%” or “normal” even means. Or where the Sierra Nevada range is located for that matter.

      Reply
  113. Colorado Bob

     /  March 31, 2015

    Decreased calcification in the Southern Ocean over the satellite record

    Abstract

    Widespread ocean acidification is occurring as the ocean absorbs anthropogenic carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, threatening marine ecosystems, particularly the calcifying plankton that provide the base of the marine food chain and play a key role within the global carbon cycle. We use satellite estimates of particulate inorganic carbon (PIC), surface chlorophyll, and sea surface temperature to provide a first estimate of changing calcification rates throughout the Southern Ocean. From 1998 to 2014 we observe a 4% basin-wide reduction in summer calcification, with ∼9% reductions in large regions (∼1 × 106 km2) of the Pacific and Indian sectors. Southern Ocean trends are spatially heterogeneous and primarily driven by changes in PIC concentration (suspended calcite), which has declined by ∼24% in these regions. The observed decline in Southern Ocean calcification and PIC is suggestive of large-scale changes in the carbon cycle and provides insight into organism vulnerability in a changing environment.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014GL062769/abstract

    Reply
  114. Colorado Bob

     /  March 31, 2015

    Climate change making droughts in Australia worse as rain patterns shift

    The report’s author, Professor Will Steffen, said a much clearer picture of climate change’s influence on drought was emerging through recent research.

    “There is stronger evidence that the front that brings rain in from the Southern Ocean has shifted south by about a degree in latitude, while the subtropical ridge, which is a belt of high pressure in central Australia, has intensified,” he said.

    “We are seeing this kind of thing consistently around the planet. This is being driven very strongly by climate change, through the models and supported by observations.”

    Link

    Reply
  115. Colorado Bob

     /  March 31, 2015

    Sea change: What took decades to destroy in oceans took millennia to recover

    Ocean ecosystems that experience rapid upheaval because of climate change can take thousands of years to recover, according to an examination of fossilized ocean fauna on the seafloor by the University of California, Davis.

    The study, published online March 30 in the Early Edition of the journal PNAS, is the first record of disturbance and recovery of seafloor ecosystem biodiversity in response to abrupt climate change.

    The work, led by Sarah Moffitt, a scientist from UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory and Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute, shows that while climate change and the deoxygenation of seawater can alter ocean ecology very quickly, recovery can be on a 1,000-year scale, not the 100-year scale previously thought.

    Moffitt analyzed more than 5,400 invertebrate fossils, from sea urchins to clams, within a sediment core from offshore Santa Barbara. The core, essentially a tube of sediment that covers a period between 3,400 and 16,100 years ago, provides a before-and-after snapshot of what happened during the last major deglaciation.

    The deglaciation was a time of abrupt climate warming, melting polar ice caps, and expansion of low oxygen zones in the ocean. This new study documents how long it took for recovery of ecosystems to begin, after a dramatic episode of climate change.

    (…)

    The history lesson told by the sediment core is one of initially abundant, diverse and well-oxygenated seafloor ecosystems, then a period of warming and oxygen loss in the oceans, followed by a rapid loss of diversity. The fossils nearly disappeared from the record during those times of low oxygen.

    The study found that oceanic oxygen levels fell by between 0.5 and 1.5 mL/L over a period of less than 100 years, showing that relatively minor changes in oxygen levels could result in dramatic changes and reorganizations for seafloor communities.

    ‘Gritty reality’

    The results suggest that future global climate change may result in similar ecosystem-level effects with millennial-scale recovery periods.

    “These past events show us how sensitive ecosystems are to changes in Earth’s climate—it commits us to thousands of years of recovery,” Moffitt said. “It shows us what we’re doing now is a long-term shift—there’s not a recovery we have to look forward to in my lifetime or my grandchildren’s lifetime. It’s a gritty reality we need to face as scientists and people who care about the natural world and who make decisions about the natural world.”

    http://phys.org/news/2015-03-sea-decades-oceans-millennia-recover.html

    Reply
  116. Colorado Bob

     /  March 31, 2015

    Chuuk Island receives a direct hit March 29, from Typhoon Maysak, leaving the island ‘devastated’. System is expected to enter Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) either Wednesday or Thursday.

    HAGATNA, Guam, USA (UPDATED) – Meteorologists warned Tuesday, March 31, that a storm reported to have left several casualties and severe damage in Micronesia was building into a super-typhoon as it swept across the central Pacific towards the Yap group of islands.

    The island of Chuuk, part of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), received a direct hit late on Sunday, March 29, from Typhoon Maysak and the Yap group was next in its path.

    “Chuuk was devastated,” lawyer Kembo Mida said in an email to the Ayuda Foundation relief organization which is based in Guam about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) away.

    “Houses were blown away and trees snapped in half. It was very dangerous and scary… a ship sank too.”
    http://www.rappler.com/science-nature/environment/88518-pacific-islands-brace-possible-super-typhoon-maysak

    Reply
  117. Colorado Bob

     /  March 31, 2015

    The JTWC forecast 24 hrs out : Max sustained winds 178.371 mph , gusts to 218.648 mph.

    Link

    Reply
  118. Don’t know if Bob got this one already:

    http://www.wunderground.com/news/typhoon-maysak-yap-philippines-pacific

    It seems like “rapid intensification” is a normal behavior of hurricanes nowadays.

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  March 31, 2015

      Andy asked if anyone had noticed this same thing a while back. It sure does seem that way. Cat 5 seems to be the norm too. I know that the science says otherwise but wow, it seems like a lot of storms get that strong now.

      Reply
  119. Colorado Bob

     /  March 31, 2015

    USC study finds urchins work overtime to cope with rising ocean acidity

    They found urchins living in acidic waters need to work harder at a basic life function – growing and rebuilding cells by processing protein. Manahan and his team found that urchins are working a little more than twice as hard – leaving less energy to fight other environmental stressors like disease and pollution. ………………………………………………… Essentially, added stresses from climate change are raising the rent for sea urchins. Urchins he studied were able to keep paying the rent – that is, regulating ions in cells and synthesizing protein – even as the amount of energy it took for those processes more than doubled from 40% to 84% of the creature’s metabolic budget.

    But Manahan says that leaves little energy for dealing with other potential stresses.

    “If you keep spending your available energy to fix this problem, oh, and here there’s a new problem, and ooh, we need twenty percent over here – I’m sorry, I don’t have twenty percent. And then, boom!” he says. “In comes a microbial contaminant and maybe kills you because you can’t mount a response to it.”

    Link

    Reply
  120. Colorado Bob

     /  March 31, 2015

    Research links two millennia of cyclones, floods, El Niño
    March 30, 2015

    Stalagmites, which crystallize from water dropping onto the floors of caves, millimeter by millimeter, over thousands of years, leave behind a record of climate change encased in stone. Newly published research by Rhawn Denniston, professor of geology at Cornell College, and his research team, applied a novel technique to stalagmites from the Australian tropics to create a 2,200-year-long record of flood events that might also help predict future climate change.

    Link

    Reply
  121. Colorado Bob

     /  March 31, 2015

    India’s wettest March in 100 yrs: J&K struggles with twice its normal rainfall

    According to India Meteorological Department Director General L S Rathore, the country as a whole has received more than double the normal rainfall this month, making it the wettest March since 1915. India received an area weighted average of 50 mm rainfall till March 25, against a normal of 24.4 mm.

    In the same period, J&K received 257.2 mm of rainfall, which was 102 per cent more than the normal of 127.3 mm. This is in sharp contrast to the trend of the last one decade — the state saw deficient rainfall for eight years in March.

    Link

    Reply
    • climatehawk1

       /  March 31, 2015

      Thanks, tweet scheduled.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  March 31, 2015

        “Discovered an excellent lecture on YouTube today: “Abrupt Climate Change: Past, Present, and Future” by Jim White from the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall 2014 conference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZdhPnsp4Is. Mr. White is a first-rate communicator. Highly recommended.”

        Got around to this today. Nice catch !

        Loved his reply to the comment made by the Mayor of Miami , about how it’s too valuable to lose.

        “The West Antarctic Ice Sheet doesn’t care.”

        Priceless.

        Reply
  122. Colorado Bob

     /  March 31, 2015

    SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The first three months of 2015 were the driest three months to begin any year in the history of San Francsico, according to statistics from Golden Gate Weather Services.

    The total rainfall in San Francisco for January, February and March 2015 is just 1.59″ – the lowest in the 165 years that rainfall records have been kept. The previous record was from 2013 when there was 2.31″. The March monthly total is 0.12″ through the 29th, the fourth lowest in SF history. The bulk of San Francisco’s 2015 rain 1.47″ inches came in February.

    2015 and 2013 were the only two of the 10 driest starts on record have come since 1984. Half of the driest years on record came before 1923.

    Here’s a look at similar numbers in other Bay Area locations from January-March via Golden Gate Weather Services:
    San Jose 1.94″ – 3rd driest.
    Santa Rosa 4.44″ – 3rd driest.
    Livermore 1.77″ – Driest start on record.
    Santa Cruz 3.36″ – 2nd Driest.

    Link

    Reply
  123. Colorado Bob

     /  March 31, 2015

    Iran faced with deadly water crisis

    According to official figures the reservoirs of Iran are only forty percent complete. And nine cities which include the capital of Iran, Tehran are threatened with water restrictions after an unusually dry winter.

    Many of the major water bodies located near the regions including the Zayanderud Lake and Orumiyeh Lake have dried up. Just to let you imagine how troubling that is the size of Lake Orumiyeh is close to one hundred and forty five kilometers in length and forty eight kilometers wide, and it is the salt lake closest to Iran’s northwest border with Turkey, now imagine this huge area that was filled to the brim with water now almost empty.

    Even the city of Isfahan (which is one of the most beautiful places in Iran with its wonderful palaces, Bridges, mosques and boulevards) through which runs the Zayanderud River has become dry as a husk.

    Link

    Reply
  124. Colorado Bob

     /  March 31, 2015

    Category 5 Super Typhoon Maysak Pounding Micronesia

    By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:30 PM GMT on March 31, 2015
    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2946#commenttop

    Reply
  125. Colorado Bob

     /  March 31, 2015

    Sea Level Rise is Spiking Sharply

    Reply
      • wili

         /  April 1, 2015

        yes…the question is…what does it represent??: a temporary blip??…or…the beginning of a new acceleration in slr??!!

        Reply
      • Matt

         /  April 1, 2015

        from my limited understanding Wili, i think we get an upward jump coming out of la Nina, mind you we been neutral for 2 years so bang goes that theory for this current spike? i know there was research during some recent large la Nina events showing the mass amount of water stored in central Australia (Northern-South America also i think?) explained that big drop you can see starting after the weak la Nina event of 2010, the rapid rise back to trend occured when this water returned to the oceans.

        Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  April 1, 2015

        wili

        Mat is correct about the drop in the graph. But given the signals we’ve seen from the ice sheets , this new spike is more likely a new riser on that upward stair case.

        Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  April 1, 2015

        New research reveals what’s causing sea level to rise

        Sea level rise is half due to melting ice and half due to ocean warming, including 13% from the deepest oceans, a new paper has found.

        http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/oct/30/new-research-quantifies-sea-level-rise

        Reply
    • Something to keep an eye on. The fact that Skeptical Science is raising the issue does make one consider the fact that we may be hitting the next step. SLR does tend to swing a bit. So this would have to continue for a little more to exceed the 2 SD variance level.

      Reply
  126. Colorado Bob

     /  April 1, 2015

    Drought conditions are wreaking havoc with Nevada’s lakes and rivers.

    The Reno Gazette-Journal reported Tuesday that the mountain snowpack this year is the ‘worst in a century.’ The Lake Tahoe Basin’s snowpack was only 3 percent of normal for the date and the Truckee River Basin’s was measured at 14 percent.

    Lake Tahoe is so low no water will flow from the lake into the Truckee River. The Truckee Meadows Water Authority urged customers to immediately cut water use by a minimum of 10 percent.
    Link

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  April 1, 2015

      The Reno Gazette-Journal

      Tuesday’s mountain snowpack, percent of normal

      Lake Tahoe Basin: 3 percent.

      Truckee River Basin: 14 percent.

      Carson River Basin: 5 percent.

      Walker River Basin: 21 percent.

      Source: U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service.

      Previous snowpacks, April 1

      2014

      Lake Tahoe Basin: 44 percent.

      Truckee River Basin: 32 percent.

      2013

      Lake Tahoe Basin: 52 percent.

      Truckee River Basin: 60 percent.

      2012

      Lake Tahoe Basin: 60 percent.

      Truckee River Basin: 65 percent.

      2011

      Lake Tahoe Basin: 213 percent.

      Truckee River Basin: 178 percent.

      Source: U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service

      link

      Reply
  127. James Hansen: Global Warming Hole

    Sorry to have disappeared for two months. I was working on a paper. More on it later.

    For now I only want to let people living in the eastern two-thirds of North America know that global warming is really happening. In fact, 2015 should be the year that stifles discussion of a warming hiatus. A substantial developing El Nino will add to the global warming trend, and should make 2015 easily the warmest year in the instrumental record………

    Reply
    • climatehawk1

       /  April 1, 2015

      Hansen says: “You can take consolation in realizing that it really was as cold as it seemed. Unless you are more than 80 years old, February was the coldest February of your life in New York City (Fig. 2a). In fact, it was the 2nd coldest month in the past 80 years, only January 1977 being colder.”

      I admit, I am kinda proud of having gone through Vermont’s second coldest February on record. No more envy about not having experienced a “real old-time Vermont winter.” And since we’ve had our insulation beefed up, we were able to do it without firing up the second wood stove.

      Reply
      • Here in CT we had our coldest month ever recorded-Feb with an average of 16.0 which beat out the previous record which occurred in Jan in the 1930s (I believe) and was 16.5 degrees. I’ve also experienced the top 5 snowfalls (4 of which occurred since 2000), and the snowiest winter. On the flip side, I’ve experienced the hottest month and all time hottest day here in the constitution state. We live in times of superlatives and extremes.

        Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  April 1, 2015

      Thanks for that, Greyson Smythe. Out of the ice box, into the broiler for New Englanders? I’ve been worried about this possibility–likelihood–probability(?)….

      Reply
  128. Colorado Bob

     /  April 1, 2015

    Possible New Continental Heat Record for Antarctica

    As this report continues to pinball around the web , there is the ole’ one off event comment , “No one event can be etc. etc. etc.”

    So I went and got this little background item from the British Antarctic Survey :

    Science Briefing – The Antarctic Peninsula’s retreating ice shelves

    The breakout in March 2008 of the Wilkins Ice Shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula is the latest drama in a region that has experienced unprecedented warming over the last 50 years. In the past 30 years seven floating ice shelves retreated, with very little of their area now remaining. The changes give us clues about the impact of climate change across Antarctica in the coming centuries……………………………………………………………..

    What is happening to Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves?

    The long mountainous landmass known as the Antarctic Peninsula has always been warmer than the interior of the Antarctic continent. Each summer produces significant amounts of meltwater on the Antarctic Peninsula’s ice shelves. Each shelf can tolerate only so much meltwater before they weaken and begin to retreat — scientists call this the ‘limit of viability’.

    As the climate on the Antarctic Peninsula has warmed — by 3°C over the last 50 years — the limit of viability for ice shelves has moved southwards. Ice shelves that used to be stable are now retreating.

    How much ice has been lost?

    Since the 1950s, a total of 25,000 km2 of ice shelf has been lost from around the Antarctic Peninsula. In volume, this is the equivalent of the UK domestic water requirement for around 1,000 years.

    Link

    Reply
  129. Colorado Bob

     /  April 1, 2015

    Oxygen-depleted toxic oceans had key role in mass extinction over 200 million years ago
    Date:
    April 1, 2015
    Source:
    University of Southampton
    Summary:
    Changes in the biochemical balance of the ocean were a crucial factor in the end-Triassic mass extinction, during which half of all plant, animal and marine life on Earth perished, according to new research.

    Although the Earth was very different during the Triassic Period compared to today, the rate of carbon dioxide release from volcanic rifts are similar to those that we are experiencing now through the burning of fossil fuels.

    Professor Whiteside comments: “The release of CO2 was probably at least as rapid as that caused by the burning of fossil fuels today, although the initial concentrations were much higher in the Triassic. The consequences of rapidly rising CO2 in ancient times inform us of the possible consequences of our own carbon dioxide crisis.”

    Link

    Reply
  130. “Today, the Guardian Media Group will begin the process of divesting its more than £800m investment portfolio from fossil fuels. It is the largest fund globally to make such a commitment.”
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/apr/01/guardian-media-group-to-divest-its-800m-fund-from-fossil-fuels?CMP=ema-60

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  April 1, 2015

      Yet again, we hear Winston Churchill’s words echoing into our uncertain future:

      “The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays is coming to its close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences.”

      Reply
  131. Colorado Bob

     /  April 1, 2015

    KANPUR: March has set a record of rainfall. The city received seven spells of rain between March 1 and 31, with a total of 170.3 mm, the highest ever in March. ……………………… The average rainfall for March is only two mm.

    Heavy rain in March has destroyed crops of pea and pigeon-pea. In Hamirpur district, wheat crop has turned black,” he said.

    Link

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  April 1, 2015

      NEW DELHI: March has brought record rainfall to Delhi. The city witnessed 97.2mm rain through the 31 days of the month, more than six times the average of 15.9mm. ……………………………….The month broke the previous record of 78.2mm rain during March set in 1915.

      Link

      Reply
  132. Kevin Jones

     /  April 1, 2015

    Hmmm. ClimateReanyalizer has Global Surface temp anomaly at -5.36C. Hope the April Foolster doesn’t get in (too) much trouble.

    Reply
  133. Colorado Bob

     /  April 1, 2015

    Lasers Map the Earth That Moved in Colorado’s Epic Floods

    The 2013 storm in Colorado was all kinds of historic. One week of steady precipitation broke daily, monthly, and yearly rainfall records all over the state. The flooding tore away roads, rails, and homes, and forced more than 12,000 people to evacuate. But the rains made their mark on the mountains, too. The stalled storm scraped away hundreds—maybe even thousands—of years of rock, dirt, and sand that had accumulated in the mountain range’s creased valleys. In fact, the storm washed out so much gunk that scientists are reconsidering how storms like these play a role in shaping the mountains and plains below.

    Link

    Reply
  134. Ouse M.D.

     /  April 1, 2015

    Polar vortex displaced and elongated from GB to Kamchatka

    http://postimg.org/image/sj7busb43/916aa725/

    Reply
  135. – Some (actually most) of my best friends are insects . They are the basis for most terrestrial flora and fauna (homo saps too). They are under constant assault by said homo saps. And just as ocean acidification wrecks havoc on marine ecosystems — our actions decimate those smallest, but critical to our existence, insects.
    From 2014:

    Invertebrate numbers have decreased by 45% on average over a 35 year period in which the human population doubled, reports a study on the impact of humans on declining animal numbers.

    This decline matters because of the enormous benefits invertebrates such as insects, spiders, crustaceans, slugs and worms bring to our day-to-day lives, including pollination and pest control for crops, decomposition for nutrient cycling, water filtration and human health.

    The study, published in Science and led by UCL, Stanford and UCSB, focused on the demise of invertebrates in particular, as large vertebrates have been extensively studied. They found similar widespread changes in both, with an on-going decline in invertebrates surprising scientists, as they had previously been viewed as nature’s survivors.

    https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/0714/240714_invertebrate-numbers

    ###
    – Today “nature’s survivors” are not surviving under our thoughtful care — and glacial speed no longer denotes slowwwwness…

    Reply
    • “decomposition for nutrient cycling” — Think of all the garden/landscape power blowers in use as they blast all before them. Extremely hot dry air with velocities like a hurricane hover a few centimeters above the soil and leaf litter blasting, baking, cooking all within reach. (And when used on paved parking lots, driveways, and roads — all manner of roadway dust, soot and asphalt is further mixed, aeosolized, and resuspended.)
      The sheer fact that these machines exist in our community tells me we are doing everything wrong. You can’t much ‘wronger’.

      Reply
  136. Colorado Bob

     /  April 1, 2015

    Brazil’s Economy Suffers Consequences of Amazon Deforestation –

    Farmers are already suffering the financial consequences of the drought. Initial estimates is that the​ prolonged dry season​ may have caused losses of R$20bn (US$6.25bn), the biggest figure in 50 years. Crops such as coffee, sugar cane, corn and beans were affected by excessive heat and lack of rain in most of São Paulo State. The story repeats itself across many other states. Although there are no figures for the industry and commerce as yet, they are likely to be severely dented when they are calculated and publicly issued. –

    See more at: Link

    Reply
  137. Kevin Jones

     /  April 1, 2015

    A little demography, anyone? California population 38.8 million. Florida’s 19.9 million. Total 58.7 million. Between drought and SLR, between tomorrow and a ways down the road, my denialist friends & neighbors best take some civility lessons. They’re likely to have some company.

    Reply
  138. Andy in YKD

     /  April 1, 2015

    March 2015 temperature average was 23 degrees F. Long term average including all years up through 2014 is 13 degrees F.

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  April 1, 2015

      Hey, Andy in YKD. That’s 5.55C. You’ve exceeded your share of the 2C limit. (no. it is not funny)

      Reply
  139. Andy in YKD

     /  April 1, 2015

    Should have added data is for the area I am in of the YKD.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  April 1, 2015

      Andy in YKD

      Got a link for that ?

      Reply
      • Andy in YKD

         /  April 2, 2015

        I got the data off of weatherunderground for March 2015. The long term average I googled some months ago. . . don’t recall where now. The long term average might vary a little based the time frame used.

        Reply
  140. Colorado Bob

     /  April 1, 2015

    California Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced a set of mandatory water conservation measures today, as the state continues to struggle with a prolonged drought that has lasted for more than four years.

    “Today we are standing on dry grass where there should be five feet of snow,” Brown said in a statement after visiting a manual snow survey in the Sierra Nevadas. “This historic drought demands unprecedented action.”

    For the first time in the state’s history, the governor has directed the State Water Resources Control Board to implement mandatory water reductions across California, in an effort to reduce water usage by 25 percent. The measures include replacing 50 million square feet of lawns throughout the state with drought-tolerant landscaping, banning the watering of grass on public street medians, requiring agricultural water users to report their water use to state regulators, and requiring large landscapes such as campuses, golf courses and cemeteries to make significant cuts in water use.

    Reply
  141. Hurricane force winds have battered parts of northern Europe leaving at least five people dead in weather related incidents.

    In Germany two forestry workers died when their vehicle was crushed by a falling tree, another person was killed when a stone wall fell on him.

    Trains and flights were all disrupted across northern Germany with rail services cancelled as far south as Bavaria.

    “It’s chaos. Nothing is operating anymore. There is no railway traffic in North Rhine Westphalia at all. Now, we are trying to get a voucher so we can take a taxi somewhere,” said one man waiting at Cologne station.

    At the storm’s height winds of 100 kph were recorded with gusts reaching 120 kph.

    http://www.euronews.com/2015/04/01/hurricane-force-winds-batter-europe/

    Reply
    • – Extra-Tropical Cyclones

      Extra-Tropical Cyclones Niklas and Mike Strike No. Europe

      AIR Worldwide reports that extra-tropical cyclone Niklas, currently battering northern Europe with gale-force winds, “is reportedly one of the worst storms to affect Germany in recent years. High winds and heavy rains from Niklas have caused serious building damage in Germany, and triggered flood warnings across central and southern Germany.

      Before hitting Germany Niklas struck the UK on Monday night with “wind gusts of nearly 128 km/h [79.5 mph] on the Norfolk coast,” as the storm moved eastward from the North Sea into the Baltic. Niklas was anticipated to continue its slow northeastward motion.

      “The 2015 season has been characterized as a North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) positive phase, with a higher-than-normal subtropical high (Azores high) and a lower-than-normal Icelandic low reaching from Greenland to the Baltic states,” said Sebastian Diebel from AIR Worldwide. “The increased pressure differential causes westerly winds to intensify between 50-60°N latitude, which favors stronger winter storms crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

      http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/international/2015/04/01/362826.htm

      Reply
  142. Wildfires Burn from California to Iowa to North Carolina; Fire Threat Remains High

    Brush fires have broken out again Wednesday in states from Iowa to New Jersey, a day after a rash of grass fires, brush fires and forest fires broke out from the Desert Southwest to the Plains to the East Coast.

    A large brush fire flared up in Edison, New Jersey, Wednesday afternoon in an industrial area near the Raritan River. The smoke plume could be seen for miles in the clear weather over northern New Jersey. The fire was seen advancing onto the property of a business in the area around 3 p.m. EDT.

    http://www.weather.com/safety/wildfires/news/wildfires-grass-fires-brush-fires-homes-burned-march-31

    Reply
  143. Colorado Bob

     /  April 1, 2015

    These Charts Show the Horrific Conditions That Forced California Into Water Rationing

    California’s governor has taken the unprecedented step of ordering mandatory water restrictions as the state’s epic drought enters a fourth year.

    The restrictions are severe—a 25 percent reduction in water use and a ban on new homes unless they feature water-efficient irrigation, among others. However, it should come as little surprise to anyone who has watched this drought unfold. Here are four charts that offer a glimpse at California’s predicament, which by some measures has been the worst drought in at least 1200 years.

    Link

    Reply
  144. Colorado Bob

     /  April 1, 2015

    As Jim White says .
    “Speed Kills”

    It’s not the change that kills you it’s the velocity. I can walk into a brick wall, and I bump off it . If my Buick hits it at 100 mph, that’s another matter. In each case I have changed direction.

    Reply
  145. Jay M

     /  April 2, 2015

    I admit I have been thinking about this, but wonder if other people have eliminated it as a sudden event raising ocean levels: if the underflow of warmer water floats a mass that has been below sea level, as is certain areas of Greenland and Antarctica, would this displace enough water to engender large sea level rises over a “decade” or so. We have established that glacial outbreak, like Lake Agassiz caused remarkable change in short order.

    Reply
  146. Colorado Bob

     /  April 2, 2015

    California just declared war on 50 million sq. feet of English Grass.
    Everybody get their head around that.

    Way over 40 million people. Because it ain’t snowing in the NWT either And they closed the shrimp harvest at mouth of the Sea of Cortez Two months ago.

    Buckle your chin strap kids Your seat is a flotation device.

    California leads the nation since 1850 . This is where the rain record was kept in S.F. . 165 years.

    Nothing in the record like the last the 4 months. Or several thousand years.

    In Brazil another 40 million

    They have 6-13 percent in their water bank. and their dry season is just coming.

    20 million have 90 days . And ” No Water “.

    Buckle your chin strap kids Your seat is a flotation device.

    Sao’ Paulo is near collapse

    Everybody get their head around that.

    It’s 20 percent of the GDP of Brazil. They have greedy morons , we have Jerry Brown.

    Jerry Brown
    That boy came to Jesus today .

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  April 2, 2015

      Amen and Brown, in his interviews, was clear and concise about climate change’s impact on California and the need for ALL of us to wake up.

      Reply
    • Griffin

       /  April 2, 2015

      That boy did not call for a moratorium on fracking in California though. He would not even say the word. Limiting residential usage of water amounts to nothing more than a political move to appear to be taking action.
      California is going to need much more commitment from the state to stave off dire consequences from happening sooner than they are ready for.

      Reply
    • Wharf Rat

       /  April 2, 2015

      “Jerry Brown
      That boy came to Jesus today .”

      That boy came to Jesus sometime before he entered a Jesuit Novitiate to study for the priesthood. He was also the guv during the first big drought.
      http://www.gao.gov/products/CED-77-137

      Reply
    • Andy in YKD

       /  April 2, 2015

      Yeah, so the 25% water useage cut declared by Govenor Brown is what, another 4 months of water?

      Reply
  147. Colorado Bob

     /  April 2, 2015

    At least 54 sailors have died and 15 others are still missing after a trawler with 132 people on board sank in the Sea of Okhotsk in Russia’s Far East.

    ‘We have recovered the bodies of 54 victims. Sixty-three crew members have been rescued alive,’ Russian news agency Tass reported, saying that 15 sailors were still missing.

    The Dalny Vostok sank off the coast of Kamchatka, 250 kilometres south of Magadan, the main town in the sparsely populated region in Russia’s Far East.

    An officer from the local maritime rescue coordination centre told TASS that 78 Russians were on board the vessel and at least 40 people from Myanmar, as well as other nationals from Ukraine, Lithuania and Vanuatu.

    The Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations did not respond when contacted by AFP.

    More than 25 fishing boats in the area helped to rescue the crew members, the emergency services said in a statement on their website.

    No cause for the sinking was given. The Interfax news agency said drifting ice in the chilly Pacific waters may have played a role.
    – See more at:

    http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2015/04/02/54-dead-in-russian-trawler-sinking.html#sthash.OUioPWJq.dpuf/

    Reply
  148. California governor orders first ever water restrictions

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-32151413

    Reply
  149. Spike

     /  April 2, 2015

    Oxygen-depleted toxic oceans had key role in mass extinction over 200 million years ago when half of the plants, animals and marine lives on the Earth perished, finds a new research

    http://zeenews.india.com/news/sci-tech/toxic-oceans-behind-mass-extinction-200mn-years-ago_1571827.html

    Reply
  150. dnem

     /  April 2, 2015

    Much is being made in the MSM about the fact that “energy related” CO2 emissions remained flat last year despite an overall growing global economy, which has never happened before. What I have not heard discussed is what percentage of TOTAL emissions are represented by energy-related emissions, and more importantly, how total emissions relate to Mauna Loa and atmospheric CO2 concentration, and what that might say about the state of global sinks. Might make an interesting post here.

    Reply
    • dnem, I always focus on hard Mauna Loa data, & treat so-called emissions as speculative politics fraught with the high probability of orchestrated error.
      The Keeling Curve is anything but flat, especially the last two months.
      I tried to post the last two yrs, but it wouldn’t post.
      I think that 405. plus ppm CO2 by early June is approaching 90% probability.

      Reply
      • dnem

         /  April 3, 2015

        Thanks, Gerald, that was pretty much my point. The MSM media is playing this like were starting to bend (or at least flatten) the CO2 curve, and look, the economy is growing! Not so much, huh?

        Reply
        • climatehawk1

           /  April 3, 2015

          That’s actually an important message, because it contradicts the denier meme that cutting fossil fuels will be ruinous to the economy (so, much as we’d all like to save a habitable planet, we just cannot afford it).

  151. Kevin Jones

     /  April 2, 2015

    And in the With Friends Like These Dept: Keystone XL Traded for Arctic Drilling Rights?

    energypolicyforum.com

    Reply
  152. A little off topic:

    “One of the effects of massive credit over-expansion and/or the peaking of global oil production is the growing risk of a global systemic financial shock. The likelihood, as with so many financial crises of the past, is that the breakdown of the global financial system will be sudden and catastrophic, marked by complacency and hope turning to fear and panic. It would happen over hours and days.” – David Korowicz – Trade-Off,
    Financial System Supply-Chain Cross-Contagion: a study in global systemic collapse.
    http://www.feasta.org/2012/06/17/trade-off-financial-system-supply-chain-cross-contagion-a-study-in-global-systemic-collapse/

    Reply
  153. rustj2015

     /  April 3, 2015

    Permafrost melt in Alaska is drawing attention. We have heard the threat. WaPo, with links.

    According to a 2013 report from the National Academy of Sciences, northern permafrost contains 1,700 to 1,850 gigatons of carbon — a gigaton is a billion metric tons — which is more than double the amount of carbon currently in the atmosphere (730 gigatons, says the NAS). And over 1,000 of those gigatons are thought to be stored in the top three meters of permafrost soil.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/04/01/the-arctic-climate-threat-that-nobodys-even-talking-about-yet/?utm_content=buffer36092&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    Reply
  154. -PNW WA (OR Klamath Basin 7% & CA 6%) terminology: “snowpack drought”

    “Statewide, snowpack is at 22 percent of average, he said. The upper Yakima Basin is at 5 percent of average snowpack, while the lower Yakima Basin is at 28 percent.

    What snow there is continues to melt earlier than normal, Pattee said.

    Last month, Gov. Jay Inslee declared a drought emergency for the Yakima Basin, Walla Walla, Wenatchee and the Olympic Peninsula.

    Officials are calling it a snowpack drought. The reservoirs for the Yakima Basin are full, but the basin depends on snow to recharge those reservoirs, and that snowpack isn’t there.

    The drought situation this year is different than what the state experienced in recent years, Marti said. That’s because while there was normal precipitation statewide, the unusually warm temperatures meant that water fell as rain instead of snow and already has flowed to the ocean.”

    http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2015/04/01/3490833/expected-yakima-basin-drought.html

    Reply
  155. – Meddling with Atmospheric Chemistry & Nitrogen NO2 as Culprit Again (Recent Chinese study & forest death from N.):

    Pollution
    Keep it in the ground

    Air pollution may cause more UK deaths than previously thought, say scientists

    Current figures of almost 30,000 UK deaths a year from air pollution do not factor in lethal nitrogen dioxide from diesel engines and wood, oil and coal burning, say experts

    The death toll from air pollution, usually put at around 29,000 a year in the UK, could be substantially higher because the lethal effect of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), emitted during fossil fuel burning, has not been taken into account, experts believe.

    Until now, only deaths linked to fine particles, less than 2.5mm in diameter (PM2.5) have been estimated. In cities, these come primarily from cars, lorries and buses but they are also produced by the burning of wood, heating oil or coal for domestic or industrial purposes, or in forest fires.

    In Europe, the WHO estimates about 500,000 people die prematurely as a result of air pollution every year.

    But this death toll may be significantly higher if NO2 were factored in.

    Adding those deaths to the count is difficult though, because there is an overlap. It is hard to know which traffic emissions have done harm to people who live alongside major roads. But a WHO report last year concluded that NO2 was an additional cause of death and the UK government’s committee on the medical effects of air pollution (COMEAP) is now attempting to put figures on it.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/apr/02/air-pollution-may-cause-more-uk-deaths-than-previously-thought-say-scientists

    Reply
      • Yeah, my carotid arteries are mostly plugged as it is. Every venture outdoors is fraught with danger for me from the many reckless polluters.
        Some days, it’s ozone searing my lung tissue — but this happens to everyone too, even if they don’t happen to notice it.
        Other days, it’s ultrafine particulate making my airways want to shut down.
        It’s an insidious situation. I never know when my community will kill me for their shopping and driving pleasure.
        Ever wonder why there is a COPD epidemic — or asthma attacks?
        That’s right, use an inhaler to open your airways to breathe even more of what causes them to shut down!
        STROKE-COPD-HEART DISEASE-ETC
        US CONGRESS
        AMERICANS

        Reply
      • China is shrouded by toxic pollution, making its cities appear almost apocalyptic. Benedikt Partenheimer turns his lens on the unsettling veil of smog in his series Particulate Matter.

        The title is another name for particle pollution, a dangerous mixture of acids, metals, and other toxins that can infiltrate the lungs and even the bloodstream. Seven million people died from air pollution worldwide in 2012, and the World Health Organization calls it the world’s single biggest environmental health threat. Many of those at risk live in Asia, and the Chinese government publishes live updates on current air pollution across the country.

        http://www.benedikt-partenheimer.com/album/particulate-matter?p=1#10

        Reply
  156. Colorado Bob

     /  April 3, 2015

    As Sea Stars Die, New Worries About Urchins

    Some urchins waste away, others come out of hiding as the fallout from sea star disease ripples along the California coast.

    SANTA CRUZ, California—Along California’s central coast, an unusual underwater scene is unfolding. Where sea urchins previously hid in cracks and crevices, they now carpet the seafloor. Yet a couple hundred miles away, in southern California, urchins are losing their spines and dying.

    This emergence of urchins, as well as the mass mortalities to the south, are newly discovered phenomena that appear to be connected to a die-off of sea stars that scientists have called the largest marine disease outbreak ever recorded.

    Effects of the sea star die-off seem to be reverberating along the California coast, altering the prey and predator relationships of urchins, sea otters, kelp, and even human anglers.
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/03/150401-urchins-sea-stars-monterey-bay-california-animals/

    Reply
  157. Colorado Bob

     /  April 3, 2015

    Katey Walter Anthony, of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, has been measuring methane seeps in Arctic lakes in Alaska, Canada, and Russia for about a decade. Her estimates show that global atmospheric methane concentrations could increase tenfold in the coming years. She explained her research in a 2010 video, in which she ignited a few of the bubbles, resulting in an impressive ball of flame:

    I spoke with her colleague, Vladimir Romanovsky, who was a co-author on the study that quantified the amount of carbon that may be released from permafrost this century. Romanovsky believes the Siberian holes are an example of a new type of Arctic landform that has never been seen before.

    “The warming has started to decompose the gas hydrates,” Romanovsky told Slate. “The pressure increased so high that it actually erupted the material out of the hole.” The Siberian craters are found in a primary area of industrial natural gas extraction. “It’s still much more questions than answers at this point,” he said. “For all my 40 years of studying permafrost, I’ve never read about these kinds of things. Nobody knows any examples of these happening in the past.”
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2015/04/02/exploding_methane_holes_in_siberia_linked_to_climate_change_is_alaska_next.html

    Reply
  158. Colorado Bob

     /  April 3, 2015

    Solar cooling system keeps water at 9 degrees Celsius for up to three months

    Date:
    April 2, 2015
    Source:
    Investigación y Desarrollo
    Summary:
    Maintaining food in places where high temperatures prevail, using little energy at a low cost, it is now possible with new technology, thanks to the creation of a solar cooling system.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150402081756.htm

    Reply
  159. rustj2015

     /  April 3, 2015

    Another whiff of organized madness:
    Like fracking, UCG is an ecocidal project: one which has clear potential for environmentally damaging outcomes. Yet those who should know better – for reasons of political, professional of financial expediency – recklessly choose to play down or ignore those hazards.

    http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2817551/underground_coal_gasification_hellfires_threaten_tyneside_and_the_north_sea.html

    Reply
  160. Nestlé called out for bottling, selling California water during drought

    Nestlé is wading into what may be the purest form of water risk. A unit of the $243 billion Swiss food and drinks giant is facing populist protests for bottling and selling perfectly good water in Canada and drought-stricken California.

    Nestlé Waters says it does nothing harmful in the watersheds where it operates. Its parent company also signed and strongly supports the United Nations-sponsored CEO Water Mandate, which develops corporate sustainability policies.

    http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2015/04/02/nestle-wades-into-purest-form-of-water-risk/

    Reply
  161. – ACC as “drought amplifier”

    Hot hands: Fingerprints of climate change all over California drought

    California’s astonishingly low snowpack, a pathetic 5 percent of normal, and the severity of the drought afflicting the state isn’t some fluke. It’s a likely consequence of climate change, specifically the rising temperatures which are intensifying many of the processes causing the state to lose water at an alarming rate.

    To begin, let’s make clear climate change is best characterized as a drought amplifier rather than the cause of the drought itself. The climate system has enormous natural variability and several studies and analyses have linked the drought to a randomly occurring configuration of Pacific Ocean temperatures that encourages atmospheric winds to steer weather systems away from the Golden State.

    For three years strong, the atmosphere steering flow has hit a road block along the West Coast (dubbed the “ridiculously resilient ridge”), but connecting that to climate change has proven difficult.

    Reply
  162. Climate dot Gov
    Winter Outlook 2014-2015 w/ short video & graphics.

    https://www.climate.gov/news-features/videos/winter-outlook-2014-2015

    Reply
  163. Orca whales—those beautiful, charismatic megafauna—are being invoked by California environmentalists to draw attention to those who often do not get mentioned in the battle over the state’s water resources. The decades’ old battle, which has intensified dramatically with the exceptional drought, pits Southern California against Northern California and water-starved cities against Central Valley farmers. But all the other non-human species of California—which has the highest species diversity and highest rate of endemic species (ones only found in a certain geographical area) of any U.S. state—need water too.

    https://ecowatch.com/2015/04/03/drought-climate-change-orcas/

    Reply
  164. Wharf Rat

     /  April 3, 2015

    If it moves, we will eat it…
    The Competitive Exclusion Principle
    http://peakoilbarrel.com/the-competitive-exclusion-principle/

    Reply
  165. – Events for an atmosphere dependent species:

    2011 Japan Tsunami Unleashed Ozone-Destroying Chemicals

    The 2011 tsunami that struck Japan released thousands of tons of ozone-destroying chemicals and greenhouse gases into the air, a new study shows.

    Thanks to the country’s strict building codes, the enormous magnitude-9 Tohoku earthquake left Japan’s homes and businesses relatively untouched. But the earthquake triggered a deadly tsunami that roared through coastal cities and villages, destroying almost 300,000 buildings, according to the National Police Agency of Japan.

    The damaged insulation, refrigerators, air conditioners and electrical equipment unleashed 7,275 tons (6,600 metric tons) of halocarbons, the study reported. Halocarbon emissions rose by 91 percent over typical levels in the year following the earthquake, said Takuya Saito, lead study author and senior researcher at the National Institute for Environmental Studies in Tsukuba, Japan.

    … Emissions of the banned chemical CFC-11 were 72 percent higher than before the March 11, 2011, earthquake. “This was surprising to us, because it had been banned in Japan 15 years before the disaster,” Saito told Live Science in an email interview. “We had almost forgotten the fact that this ozone-depleting gas still exists around us.”

    http://www.livescience.com/50371-japan-tsunami-released-ozone-destroyers.html

    Reply
  166. Hi all.

    Remember the story of methane craters? Here is the scientific report:

    (1) An exciting permafrost feature, a gas emission crater surrounded by a parapet no more than 30 m in diameter is observed;

    (2) As water accumulates at the bottom of the hole, the feature has no access to deeper layers and the assumption that deep-seated gas deposits caused the crater is implausible;

    (3) No traces of human activity in the vicinity of the crater were found, so this phenomenon is of a purely natural origin; (4) The date of the crater’s formation is estimated to have been in the late fall of 2013;

    (5) The high concentration of methane in the hole, which decreases in the vicinity of the hole and is negligible far from the hole, indicates the role of methane in the formation of the crater;

    (6) No high background radiation and no traces of extremely high temperatures, which would point to a gas explosion or an extraterrestrial object such as a meteorite were observed.

    http://www.rgo.ru/sites/default/files/gi214_sverka.pdf

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  April 4, 2015

      Alexander Ač

      Many thanks for this . page 68 everyone.

      Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  April 4, 2015

        ‘Golden Glove’ to Alexander A for this catch! Nice throw to first, CB! page 68, everyone.

        Reply
  167. Colorado Bob

     /  April 4, 2015

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  April 4, 2015

      Chile flood toll: 107 dead or missing
      The death toll in Chile from severe flooding that hit March 23 – 26, 2015, is now 24, with 83 others officially listed as missing. According to EM-DAT, this would rank as Chile’s 4th deadliest flood in recorded history. Although rainfall amounts were generally less than 2″ (50.8 mm), the rains fell on Northern Chile’s Atacama Desert region–the driest place on the planet. Antofagasta, which averaged just 3.8 mm of precipitation per year between 1970 – 2000, and has a long-term average of 1.7 mm of precipitation per year, received a deluge of 24.4 mm (0.96 inches) during the 24 hour period ending at 8 am EDT March 26. That’s over fourteen years of rain in one day! According to weather records researcher Maximiliano Herrera, some areas in the Atacama Desert saw the equivalent of a century or so of rain in few hours. The 4 mm of rain that fell on the driest place on Earth–Quillagua, Chile–on March 23 – 25 was the first rain there in 23 years, and the amount that fell was about the same amount that had fallen in the previous fifty years. The rains triggered flooding that damaged some houses in the town. Apparently, the previous rain episode in Quillagua before 2015 was in 1918 or in 1919. All other precipition events were from blowing drizzle.

      This is a chronicle of the biggest rainfall events in Antofagasta, Chile with daily amounts above 10 mm over the past century (from Maximiliano Herrera, who maintains a comprehensive set of extreme temperature records on his web site):

      http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2951

      Reply
  168. Colorado Bob

     /  April 4, 2015

    Reply
  169. Colorado Bob

     /  April 4, 2015

    Flood Insurance Rates To Increase April 1 for Thousands of Homes Along U.S. Coastline

    Flood insurance rates are set to skyrocket when a new bill goes into effect on April 1. Known as the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA), it’s going to drive the prices of flood insurance plans through the roof for residents of all U.S. coastlines.

    How much could they increase? In some areas where flood maps show maximum risk, premiums that were previously $500 could be raised to as much as $20,000 a year or more, according to estimates released in 2013. ……………………………….. Lawmakers say there’s one big reason for this new law: FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is broke. It’s $24 billion in debt and only able to pay on its interest at this point, and only collected about $4 billion in premiums while insuring nearly $1.5 trillion in property, according to a Government Accountability Office report.

    Link

    Reply
  170. Colorado Bob

     /  April 4, 2015

    Thus, based on the remote sensing data, we
    assume that the crater was formed within the
    time range from 2013/10/09 to 2013/11/01.

    Reply
    • So if late fall is the crater season, we should be looking for news of the 2014 crop…

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  April 4, 2015

        They cite the thermal lag time between air and permafrost warming –

        The origin of this crater is attributed to
        the anomalously warm summer of 2012,
        the increased ground temperature and
        amount of unfrozen water in the permafrost,
        expanding of cryopegs, formation of a
        pingo-like mound and its outburst due to
        high pressure produced by gas hydrate
        decomposition within permafrost. Similar
        temperature anomalies may increase in
        number in the future decades, presenting
        risks for human activities in the region.

        Reply
  171. Colorado Bob

     /  April 4, 2015

    Are Harvard’s Dying Hemlocks a Warning for Trees Everywhere?

    The hemlocks here teem with a pest that’s slowly killing them; their demise is all but inevitable. “I’m hoping some will survive,” said Orwig, the forest’s senior ecologist, “but we’re on borrowed time.”

    Harvard’s forest, 70 miles (113 kilometers) west of the university’s campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is not alone. These are troubling and confusing times for forests all over the world.

    Watching the Woods All Over

    The Harvard site is part of a network of some 60 forests around the world called the Center for Tropical Forest Science–Forest Global Earth Observatories (CTFS-ForestGEO), where scientists are studying how forests are responding to the turmoil humans are stirring up. Kristina J. Anderson-Teixeira, an ecologist with the network, says its forests are “being impacted by a number of different global change factors. We do expect more of this, be it pests or pathogens or droughts or heat waves or thawing permafrost.”

    A recent paper that looked at data from all these sites found that change was the constant, with unique geographical stamps. At Scotty Creek, in Canada’s Northwest Territories, thawing permafrost is shrinking the forest as trees at the edges die. As permafrost melts and the water table drops, the trees’ relatively shallow roots can no longer easily reach it: Despite living in a very wet environment, they’re struggling with drought. (Drought has hit many of the network’s other forests too—including some in Panama, China, and the United States.)

    Link

    Reply
  172. Colorado Bob

     /  April 4, 2015

    Colorado mountain snowpack low at 69 percent, raising water concerns

    Colorado’s mountain snowpack is running low — around 69 percent of average — raising concerns about low stream flow during summer and potential strain on water supplies.

    A relatively hot, dry March took a toll, melting away snowpack from 87 percent at the end of February.

    http://www.denverpost.com/weathernews/ci_27837306/colorado-mountain-snowpack-low-at-69-percent-raising

    Reply
  173. Colorado Bob

     /  April 4, 2015

    Watch the West’s Snowpack Shrink Dramatically Right Before Your Eyes in Striking Satellite Image Animations

    I made the animation above to illustrate what’s happening. It consists of two pairs of images from NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites. The view stretches from the eastern front of the Rocky Mountains on the right to the Utah-Nevada border on the left. (Also included are snippets of Wyoming to the north and New Mexico and Arizona to the south.)

    I’ve chosen both natural and false color images to illustrate what has happened. In both pairs, the first image was acquired on March 5th, and the second on March 30. In the false color images, the reddish tones are indicative of snow.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/imageo/2015/03/30/watch-the-wests-snowpack-shrink-dramatically-right-before-your-eyes-in-striking-satellite-image-animations/#.VR_q2-H9v6M

    Reply
  174. Ouse M.D.

     /  April 4, 2015

    The not-so- polar vortex…
    Eurasio- Siberian now

    Reply
  175. climatehawk1

     /  April 4, 2015

    #California #Drought Tests History of Endless Growth http://nyti.ms/1EX43no #climate #globalwarming #water #divest

    Reply
  176. doug

     /  April 4, 2015

    For me, the AMOC slow-down is the most terrifying climate event I’ve ever come across. Not least because it seems like the one that could effect us the most, in the near-term. But what an awful year-WAIS inevitable melt now no matter what we do, Totten in East Antarctica, with it’s under ice passages that likely are bringing warm sea water, Giant El Nino possibly brewing, 2014 warmest year on record, PDO shift, California and Brazillian droughts, Oxygen levels decreasing rapidly in the Oceans. Winter Arctic sea ice at all time low….

    What a last 12 months of developments. Unbelievable.

    Reply
    • You summed it up really well and I agree – the slowdown of the AMOC has filled me with dread. The scientists already knew it was slowing down for quite some time – and it was also clear from paleoclimate that it is inevitable that it will – but Michael Mann’s paper that ties it directly to a warming climate means it is as irreversible as is the melting of the Arctic ice. Feels like the nail in the coffin to me.

      Reply
    • It’s ugly, Doug. Ridiculously ugly. I don’t like any of it.

      Reply
  177. Methane levels early 2015 –

    “From January 1 to March 20, 2015, methane levels reached levels as high as 2619 ppb (on January 12, 2015), while peak daily levels averaged 2373 parts per billion (ppb). At the start of the year, global mean methane levels typically reach their lowest point, while highest mean levels are typically reached in September. Highest daily global mean methane levels for the period from January 1, 2015, to March 20, 2015, ranged from 1807 ppb (January 6, 2015) to 1827 ppb (March 5, 2015).

    Further study of the locations with high methane levels indicates that much of the additional methane appears to originate from releases at higher latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, in particular from the Arctic Ocean, from where it is over time descending toward the equator (methane will typically move closer to the equator over time as it rises in altitude, as discussed in this earlier post).”

    http://arctic-news.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/methane-levels-early-2015.html#comment-form

    Reply
      • Eric Thurston

         /  April 6, 2015

        The take away quote from this article:

        ” It’s a truly alien environment, dystopian and horrifying. The thought that it is man-made depressed and terrified me, as did the realisation that this was the byproduct not just of the consumer electronics in my pocket, but also green technologies like wind turbines and electric cars that we get so smugly excited about in the West. Unsure of quite how to react, I take photos and shoot video on my cerium polished iPhone.”

        I am really doubtful that we can ‘clean up’ the environment given the overshoot hole we are in and the fact that the technologies we need to do this ‘cleaning and greening’ are themselves so toxic to the biosphere.

        Reply
  178. Ouse M.D.

     /  April 5, 2015

    Polar vorteces at 10 mb level. Four systems rotating in the NH

    Reply
  179. Guy McPherson has posted a short on point near-term extinction doomer video on his most recent site.

    He states that he gives the probability of an ice free Arctic this Sept. at 50-50.

    When optimist Robert accepts how close we are to the inevitable big methane burp, we will know that the jig is up.

    Reply
    • 50% for Sept. is a safe bet. This hothouse fortress of atmospheric moisture and particulate over much of EPAC/PNW has dominance. This ‘ridge’ of psuedo-tropics extending onto the high N latitudes makes an ice free Arctic pretty much a sure thing.
      And the methane burp-a-thon could work its magic anytime.

      “Say goodnight, Gracie.”
      – G. Burns

      Reply
  180. -The climate calamity word wars ratchet up. The ALEC legislative extortionists, in line with a psychopathic personality, now claim victimhood.

    Facing a loss of high-profile corporate sponsors, a conservative state-level policy group — the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) — threatened action in recent weeks against activist groups that accuse it of denying climate change.

    Attorneys for ALEC sent letters to Common Cause and the League of Conservation Voters asking them to immediately “cease making false statements” and “remove all false or misleading material” suggesting that ALEC does not believe in global warming.

    The activist groups refused the request, saying ALEC’s advocacy of legislation on climate issues and its public discussion of the topic support their claims.

    The legal demands from ALEC follow an exodus of some of its best known corporate members, including Google, British Petroleum, Facebook, Yahoo and Northrop Grumman…

    Lobbyists for the industry say they no longer focus on questioning scientific consensus.

    “The science issue just isn’t as salient as it once was,” said Scott Segal, who represents energy interests at Bracewell & Giuliani. Debate over climate science was “all the rage” in the past, he said. “But today, the key issue is whether proposed regulations cost too much, weaken reliability or are illegal.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/04/05/this-conservative-group-is-tired-of-being-accused-of-climate-denial-and-is-fighting-back/

    Reply
  181. Whether the Arctic Ocean’s surface is “ice free” or JUST 93.6 % or 97.2 % ice covered doesn’t seem to be the the real problem.
    The methane will go off & more!
    It is already “going off.”

    The probability that at least one billion tons (“not much effort needed,” Shakhova, 2012) or more of methane will be released from the Arctic Sea bed as the sea water heats even more approaches 50 per cent.
    And never mind the Permafrost with its stores of 1100 – 1500 Gt.

    Paul Russell blogging at Guy McPherson’s Edge Of Extinction site profoundly suggests; “Because nothing matters, everything matters a great deal more.”

    I think that we are approaching the point where more & more innocents will be practicing Paul Russell’s nine terse simple words.
    The evidence is truly overwhelming.
    Guy’s last video ends with; “Time to face the music.”

    Reply
  182. Here come the lawyers, & the fee generating adversarial masquerade.

    ALEC’s hired guns openly demand; “remove all false or misleading material”

    Isn’t this precisely & openly what ALEC did?

    And it’s all in print, right?

    Continually & everywhere – about everything.

    Everything the bastards did was false & misleading.

    And I mean with a conscious & malicious vengeance.

    Reply
  183. doug

     /  April 6, 2015

    This video is shocking and might make you cringe, but it’s something we all need to see.

    Reply
    • Caroline

       /  April 7, 2015

      Doug,
      I shared this with my teenage daughter who has been “rick rolled” by this many times!
      She couldn’t wait to see it here on what she calls one of my “doomer blogs” but felt you should have “rick rolled” us in a more sneaky way—-like starting out with a Paul Beckwith video that leads us unknowingly into good ole Rick Astley 😉
      Dare I say, I remember this song and (yikes, can’t believe I’m admitting this) liked it when it came out (don’t tell Colorado Bob—I like most of his music but this is about as far from his youtube links as one could get!!) How about those Mom jeans and that poof do?
      Caroline

      Reply
  184. rustj2015

     /  April 6, 2015

    “There’s no reason to believe we’ve reached the limit of moral perception.” Noam Chomsky

    Reply
  185. Colorado Bob

     /  April 6, 2015

    Poll: Americans Starting to Worry About Climate Change Now That It Affects Their Lawns
    By Andy Borowitz

    Carol Foyler, a San Mateo resident who has watched her lawn turn from a gorgeous green to a hideous brown during California’s drought, said she blamed scientists “for failing to warn us of the true cost of climate change.”

    “They always said that polar bears would starve to death,” she said. “But they never told us our lawns would look like crap.”

    Link

    Reply
    • Dave Person

       /  April 6, 2015

      Hi,
      Satire worthy of the “Onion”. The point is bang on though.

      Reply
    • Ouse M.D.

       /  April 6, 2015

      Well, there’s the interdependentness of very complex systems:

      i.e: Biosphere

      Should’ve been taught in elementary instead of cooking/ housekeeping and so- called human rights.

      Reply
    • Dave Person

       /  April 7, 2015

      Hi,
      For a little levity, my favorite “Onion” piece is the story about how studies show that 90% of prayers bounce off satellites and the other 10% are eaten by birds, which explains why so few are answered.

      dave

      Reply
  186. Colorado Bob

     /  April 6, 2015

    ‘India Should Guide the World on Fighting Climate Change,’ Says PM Modi: Highlights


    Here is what he said in his speech:

    The world is getting increasingly worried about the environment.
    The world thinks that India is not bothered about the environment.
    We have had a culture where environment has been equal to divine.
    We are the least in terms of carbon footprints.
    No one can question us on our intentions of protecting to environment.
    We as a third world country are shy to raise a point to the world.
    What was needed was that when there was talk of climate, India should have led the charge.
    The world does not know how to solve climate problem and global warming.
    We are trying to think of ways of reducing carbon emissions, but we are not thinking of changing our lifestyle.
    Unless we bring a change in our lifestyle, we will not be able to save the environment.
    India has a long and well-establish tradition of recycling in every household.
    India has to take the lead in thinking of ways of protecting the environment.

    Link

    Reply
  187. Progressive Radio Network interview with one Harold Wanless: This can’t be happening 04-01-15

    Harold Wanless, a leading climatologist and geologist based at the University of Miami, returns to the “This Can’t Be Happening!” program after a year to revisit his claim that global warming and sea level rise are going to be much more dramatic than the consensus predictions of the UN Climate Committee, NASA, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and other groups. With recent reports of faster melting on Greenland and in both the Eastern and Western Antarctic, Wanless tells host Dave Lindorff we are now facing a catastrophe that could see sea levels rising by more than 20 feet by the end of the century, and perhaps, if methane begins seriously erupting from the Arctic seafloor, even reduced oxygen levels that could threaten mammals, including humans.

    Reply
  188. Colorado Bob

     /  April 6, 2015

    Irish scientist explores effect of wave action on Arctic ice cap

    Rising global temperatures may not pose the only threat to polar ice caps. Research involving an Irish scientist is exploring how warmer and more turbulent seas may be eroding glaciers from below.

    NUI Galway scientist Dr Brian Ward took equipment designed and manufactured at his university to the far north last month to test the force and temperature of such wave action.

    The international team, which undertook rifle training in case of polar bear attacks, headed out on skidoos to place motion sensors on the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard.

    Link

    Reply
  189. climatehawk1

     /  April 6, 2015

    Beneath #California Crops, Groundwater Crisis Grows http://nyti.ms/1yO4NUm #climate #globalwarming #water #farming #divest

    Reply
  190. Colorado Bob

     /  April 6, 2015

    The Myth Of Europe’s Little Ice Age – Analysis

    The Little Ice Age is generally seen as a major event in European history. Analysing a variety of recent weather reconstructions, this column finds that European weather appears constant from the Middle Ages until 1900, and that events like the freezing of the Thames and the disappearance of English vineyards have simpler explanations than changing climate. It appears instead that the European Little Ice Age is a statistical artefact, where the standard climatological practice of smoothing what turn out to be white noise data prior to analysis gives the spurious appearance of irregular oscillation – a Slutsky Effect.

    By Morgan Kelly and Cormac Ó Gráda

    Reply
  191. Colorado Bob

     /  April 6, 2015

    Time for stateswomen to step forward on climate change

    In Kenneth Boulding’s words: “Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.” Hard evidence confirms that we have reached the long-predicted limits to conventional growth, as the demands of human consumption far exceed the biophysical capacity of the planet to supply. The 20th century growth model has ground to a halt; throwing more money at it with subterfuges such as quantitative easing does not work.

    Resource scarcity is already the defining issue of the 21st century, but not in the sense of running out of commodities such coal, oil or gas. As former Saudi oil minister Sheikh Yamani put it: “The stone age did not end for lack of stone, and the oil age will end long before the world runs out of oil”. The reason is climate change, the great intergenerational issue of the 21st century – in scarcity terms, the lack of an atmosphere into which to keep pumping carbon pollution without creating catastrophe.

    Link

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  April 6, 2015

      This op-ed is from the Canberra Times, at the bottom of the post is an ad from the Heartland Inst. :

      In Defense of Willie Soon
      The Merchants of Smear Attack Heroic Scientist

      I’ve noticed this thing at the top of this page as well . But more so in articles with “climate change” in the title. They are spending a fortune to save Willie’s hide.

      Reply
  192. climatehawk1

     /  April 6, 2015

    Is Boycotting States the Future of #Climate Activism? http://thkpr.gs/3643006 via @climateprogress #globalwarming #divest

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  April 6, 2015

      climatehawk1

      A comment on that thread –
      Dallas Dunlap · Top Commenter · American University
      Americans boycotting US states is a stupid and malignant idea. What it will do is pit the people of a state and their elected leaders against “outsiders.” It will feed solidarity between obstructionist officials and their voters.
      The article is based on a misinterpretation. The LGBT movement hasn’t been winning by boycotting states. It has been winning by bypassing the political process and going through the courts.
      Indiana wasn’t turned around by boycotts. What made the difference is when the large corporations told their political minions, the state politicians, what was what.

      Reply
      • climatehawk1

         /  April 6, 2015

        “Indiana wasn’t turned around by boycotts. What made the difference is when the large corporations told their political minions, the state politicians, what was what.”

        Which happened because of a large national outcry, including … boycotts. Under the intensely capitalistic system many of us have been complaining about, divesting and boycotts are an entirely rational way for grassroots individuals to exert influence.

        Reply
  193. Colorado Bob

     /  April 6, 2015

    Climate change is causing Arctic microbes to be more active and increase the thawing of permafrost

    Heat produced by Arctic soil microbes, becoming more active with global warming, could increase the thawing rate of permafrost, a layer of soil or rock frozen all year round, causing the release of carbon into the atmosphere.

    Researchers used simulations to show that the rates of permafrost thaw and microbial heat production could accelerate between the years of 2012 and 2100.

    As global temperatures rise and permafrost thaws, the breakdown of organic material in the soil is expected to accelerate. The process by which this decomposition produces heat is not well understood.

    Bo Elberling of the University of Copenhagen and colleagues quantified microbial heat production in 21 samples of natural organic permafrost soils collected from six sites across Greenland.

    Link

    Reply
  194. Kevin Jones

     /  April 6, 2015

    For those who appreciate context, I’ve been handed a gem, diamond if you will. One of the most fascinating books I’ve yet opened and I’ve hardly begun.
    http://www.stephenpyne.com/the_last_lost_world__ice_ages__human_origins__and_the_invention_of_the_pleistoce_114531.htm

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  April 6, 2015

      Great quote, Andy in SD: “We should not be misled by the big flows…[as the glaciers rapidly melt]…They will be a farewell message… not a sign of abundance.” Sounds like an honest petroleum geologist talking about our current ‘glut’ of that glurp.

      Reply
  195. Colorado Bob

     /  April 6, 2015

    “Get ready little lady , hell is coming to breakfast.”

    Lone Wati

    The Outlaw Josey Wells

    The heat from microbes digesting all that plant matter that was once frozen up North, ain’t on any ones radar. ,They are awake and out of bed. What I really worries me about is that some nasty bug frozen for tens on thousands of years will wake up as the thaw reaches it. And will attack any thing from trees, to cows, to fish , to us, …………….. just like when we brought smallpox to the New World.

    All of us who follow this , have new sense of dread. And nature is coming to bat.

    Stick your hand deep in a compost pile. That ain’t in the models , the paper says thousands of trillions of microbes are waking up. They all make several things.

    A. Heat
    B. Ammonia
    C. Co2
    D. Humus

    Reply
  196. “New research into the changing ecology of thousands of shallow lakes on the North Slope of Alaska suggests that in scenarios of increasing global temperatures, methane-generating microbes, found in thawing lake sediments, may ramp up production of the potent greenhouse gas — which has a global warming potential 25 times greater than carbon dioxide.”

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150330095359.htm

    “Further, researchers found that the methane detected in in lake sediments in this region can arise from both ancient theremogenic sources deep in the earth, or from shallow contemporary biological sources. Interestingly, the coastal plain in the North Slope of Alaska is estimated to contain 53-billion cubic feet of natural gas trapped under the permafrost ice cap.”

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  April 6, 2015

      . They all make several things.

      A. Heat
      B. Ammonia
      C. Co2
      D. Humus

      Reply
  197. climatehawk1

     /  April 6, 2015

    As #SeaLevel Rise Accelerates, Why Buying Shorefront Property Becomes Game of Musical Chairs http://fw.to/aRqSd6k #climate

    Reply
  198. Feds likely to shut down sardine fishing on West Coast

    West Coast fisheries managers will likely shut down sardine fishing this year as numbers decline, echoing a previous collapse that decimated a thriving industry and increasing worries that other species might be withheld from the commercial market.

    Fishermen are resigned to not being able to get sardines, but they hope the Pacific Fishery Management Council will not be so concerned that it sets the level for incidental catch of sardines at zero, shutting down other fisheries, such as mackerel, anchovies and market squid, which often swim with sardines.

    The conservation group Oceana is urging the council to immediately shut down sardine fishing, and not wait until the new season starts July 1. The group wants incidental catch limits set at zero, leaving as much food as possible in the ocean for sea lions and other wildlife, and speeding the rebuilding process for sardines.

    Ben Enticknap of Oceana acknowledged that sardines naturally go through large population swings, but he argued that fishing since 2007 has exceeded their reproduction rate, exacerbating the numbers collapse.

    http://www.katu.com/news/local/Feds-likely-to-shut-down-sardine-fishing-on-West-Coast-298674491.html

    Reply
  199. – Some California water uses and abuses — alfalfa for meat/dairy industries:

    What are the state’s biggest water users?
    Farming in general, and alfalfa (used to feed cows) and almonds in particular. California grows half of the fruits and veggies produced in the States, including more than 90 percent of the country’s grapes, broccoli, almonds, and walnuts. Here are some of the state’s most thirsty crops:
    MotherJones

    Reply
    • wili

       /  April 7, 2015

      I can’t remember what the percentages where, but iirc a bunch of that alfalfa is exported to China–basically exporting CA’s water to fatten China’s cows. Nearly two trillion gallons a year is just a mind-numbingly huge amount of water.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  April 7, 2015

        Especially since, unlike water itself, no one actually has to eat a cow or drink any cow product to survive. This precious, vital resource is being used for a luxury item for the global (relatively) wealthy.

        Reply
      • Right, wili.
        Rice, almonds & pistachios (and the H2O they represent) are exported by the ton.
        I don’t know how popular beverages like rice, or almond milk are made — or their H2O impacts.
        Much corn is likely GMO as well — and much is for animal feed.
        The huge amount of most of the above are for profit $$$ rather than food for USA citizens.
        For China, they hold much our credit line, and own much real estate.
        OUT

        Reply
  200. Colorado Bob

     /  April 6, 2015

    The things we lost This Year :

    The entire sea star population on the west coast, The sea urchins are right behind this,

    Nature bats last.

    Reply
  201. Abrupt burps of methane this summer
    Could be the final big bummer
    Plenty of filth & plenty of crap
    But no water comes out of the tap
    And politicians get dumber & dumber

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  April 7, 2015

      Nice! (not really but gallows humor makes me laugh every time!)

      Reply
  202. -California (my home for almost 50 years).
    – It’s true, as an environmentalist, I am responsible for the current drought. But I am not responsible for the rants of this mental basket case:

    Carly Fiorina is blaming liberal environmentalists for what she calls a “man-made” drought in California.

    “It is a man-made disaster,” Fiorina, who is “seriously considering” a run for president in 2016, told the Blaze Radio on Monday.

    “California is a classic case of liberals being willing to sacrifice other people’s lives and livelihoods at the altar of their ideology. It’s a tragedy.”

    The former Hewlett-Packard CEO, a Republican, ran for a California Senate seat in 2010 against incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer and lost.

    Reply
    • wili

       /  April 7, 2015

      Wow. But really, it’s just another instance that again confirms what I always say when someone on the internet opines that Repubs or denialists…are going to be deprived of some stupid arguments by some catastrophic event (like “Once the Arctic is ice free, the everyone will admit that GW is real” or “Once we have a new record year, they won’t be able to say that it’s a hiatus”…)

      No, lacking any remotely coherent position or argument, they just turn around and makes sh!t up.

      “Liberal environmentalists caused the CA drought” pretty much proves that there is no bottom to the depths of absurdity that they will go to in order to distract (SQUIRREL!) and discredit by just making things up. It is further proof also that Poe’s law definitely needs to be extended beyond creationists to all denialists and probably all Republicans (at least those running for office). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe%27s_law

      Reply
    • Wharf Rat

       /  April 7, 2015

      “It is a man-made disaster,”

      As opposed to a woman-made disaster?

      Fiorina out, HP stock soars

      CEO who engineered Compaq merger leaving after fight with board; will walk away with $21 million.
      http://money.cnn.com/2005/02/09/technology/hp_fiorina/

      Reply
    • Dave Person

       /  April 7, 2015

      Wow, her face and statements make me think of the following song lyrics:
      Back to back, yahoo, belly to belly,
      I don’t give a damn cause I’m stone dead already,
      Back to back, yahoo, belly to belly,
      It’s a zombie jamboree.

      Reply
  203. – On another ocean front — Japan to the PNW:

    Seaborne radiation from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster has reached North America.

    Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution detected small amounts of cesium-134 and cesium-137 in a sample of seawater taken in February from a dock on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

    It’s the first time radioactivity from the March 2011 triple meltdown has been identified on West Coast shores.
    http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/tech/science/environment/2015/04/06/fukushima-radiation-reached-north-american-shores/25322871/

    Reply
  204. Ouse M.D.

     /  April 7, 2015

    Wow, this guy had it right all along:

    It has often been said that, if the human species fails to make a go of it here on the Earth, some other species will take over the running. In the sense of developing intelligence this is not correct. We have or soon will have, exhausted the necessary physical prerequisites so far as this planet is concerned. With coal gone, oil gone, high-grade metallic ores gone, no species however competent can make the long climb from primitive conditions to high-level technology. This is a one-shot affair. If we fail, this planetary system fails so far as intelligence is concerned.
    Quoted in “The Olduvai Theory: Sliding Towards a Post-Industrial Stone Age” by Richard C. Duncan
    Originally from Fred Hoyle, Of Men and Galaxies (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1964).
    Sir Fred Hoyle

    Although he didn’t mention planetary extinction at all

    Reply
    • David Nemerson

       /  April 7, 2015

      Please don’t conflate technology with intelligence. There is plenty of intelligent life on this planet that is not mucking it up with runaway technology. Saying Earth will “fail as far as intelligence is concerned” is an insult to cetaceans, elephants, non-human primates, many other mammals, birds and on and on. I like to imagine other planets humming with complex, intelligent, non-technological life!

      Reply
      • Caroline

         /  April 7, 2015

        Well said David. Thank you.
        Thinking of the planets you imagine makes me smile.
        My heart breaks open every day for all the nonhuman life forms on this earth that are suffering/dying due to human greed/anthropocentrism.

        Reply
      • Mark from New England

         /  April 7, 2015

        Ravens have a good chance of becoming even more intelligent, in my view, and since they have wings, they won’t need oil for transportation! They’re also very adaptive generalists, and I really hope they survive the mass extinction humans are causing.

        Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  April 7, 2015

        “We are impossibly conceited animals, and actually dumb as heck. Ask a teacher. You don’t even have to ask a teacher. Ask anyone. Dogs and cats are smarter than we are.” –Kurt Vonnegut It’s just that we started chipping stones 2 million years ago. Started then to make tools to make life easier. This doesn’t look like it’s working out so well. But it is all we know how to do–make tools. Talk about dumb!

        Reply
      • Caroline

         /  April 7, 2015

        Kevin—Yes! thanks for the Kurt V. quote. What a brilliant man . . . .
        Mark, loved your comment about the ravens, induced more smiles which are hard to come by these days amidst dire news that is increasing exponentially.
        But then we have this:
        http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/04/07/people-vs-shell-high-seas-protest-greenpeace-boards-arctic-bound-ship

        Reply
      • Andy in YKD

         /  April 7, 2015

        Well said David. Humans are dissassemblers/assemblers, we create nothing.

        Reply
  205. rustj2015

     /  April 7, 2015

    Well, yes, and this — the stench rises:

    This spate of parcels is located in northeastern Utah at the Book Cliffs. With fir trees, bears, turkeys, elk, and deer, the land is by no means an empty wasteland. But that’s precisely what the energy industry intends to make it into with a tar sands operation that has been in the works for more than twenty years.

    Even Jimmy Carter invested in oil shale at the end of his term, but the tar sands have been kept at bay through a mixture of timing, lawsuits, and activist engagement amounting to direct action. The high oil prices of recent years led to increased initiative to exploit the oil shale and tar sands in the region.

    The region is located at the headwaters of the Colorado River. Lying 8,000 feet elevation, where the Green River and White River feed into the Colorado, the land forms a crucial watershed locale for the 30 million people who rely on the Colorado River – already highly stressed by drought – for their drinking water downstream.

    As the drought-stricken states in the West, particularly Colorado and California, have begun to clash over access to water, problems of pollution are growing increasingly menacing.

    Wilderness Society’s ‘Grand Compromise’ is a fossil-fuelled sell out
    http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2821385/wilderness_societys_grand_compromise_is_a_fossilfuelled_sell_out.html

    Reply
  206. Mark & the Ravens;
    For a scientist who is always knocking lit crit types for literary largesse, here I go into the valley of death & doom via lit crit.
    Yabut, just lightening up in dark times?
    The last line of Poe’s classic “The Raven.”

    And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
    On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
    And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
    And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
    And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
    Shall be lifted—nevermore!

    Reply
  207. Tom at Edge of Extinction directs us to a terrific site with a simple explanatory graph of the close to exponential growth of global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels, 1751-2012. Data from CDIAC (cdiac.esd.ornl.gov). Graphic: James P. Galasyn

    The simple graphic is both confirmation & prologue.

    It clearly illustrates the great acceleration post Hiroshima.

    It is pure Tufte & then some.

    Combined with the Keeling Curve it screams; “Time to face the music.”

    A bleak excerpt deserves repeating, but don’t miss the graphic.

    It turns out that the growth of human carbon emissions is pretty close to exponential, with an R2 value of 0.988 for the default Excel curve fit. The spike in emissions from coal that starts around 2002 is the biggest contributor to recent total emissions. Given the persistence of the exponential growth over the past two centuries, it seems unlikely that anything in the foreseeable future will bend the curve downward.

    Graph of the day exponential growth of global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels, 1751-2012.

    Reply
  208. – More on lingua climate:
    Columbia Journalism Review

    “We’ve seen some pretty serious misrepresentation of climate science in certain news outlets.”

    How scientists are annotating climate reporting

    When melting ice disappears from the arctic, it exposes more of the ocean’s dark surface, which absorbs the sun’s warming rays. The water heats up and more ice melts, the cause and effect feeding each other in a example of a phenomenon known as climate feedback.

    It’s an appropriate name for a group that’s attempting to slow some of the runaway misinformation about climate change, by doing what scientists do with their published work: review it. To achieve this, Climate Feedback—less an organization at this point than an amorphous gathering of climate scientists, oceanographers, and atmosperic physicists—is making use of a browser plugin from the nonprofit Hypothes.is to annotate climate journalism on the Web. Readers with the plugin, or with a link created through it, can read an article while simultaneously reading comments and citations from a cadre of experts. Click on the headline, and you’ll see an overall rating, based on the article’s accuracy, fairness, and adherence to evidence.

    “We are trying to bring more scientific point of view on what is said about climate change,” says Emmanuel Vincent, a climate scientist at the University of California, Merced’s Center for Climate Communication and the group’s ringleader. “Climate change has been taken a little bit outside of the realm of science.”
    http://www.cjr.org/analysis/feedback_loop.php

    Reply
  209. dtlange; ALEC THROWS BIG LEGAL ROCKS WHILE LIVING IN A GLASS HOUSE

    http://alecclimatechangedenial.org/climate-denier-speakers-1

    Reply
  210. All the Gawds & Goddesses please bless us all;

    Ahem, for the week ending April 6; The Keeling Curve = 404.35

    Reply
  211. Caroline

     /  April 7, 2015

    The latest from Dahr Jamail’s “Climate Disruption Dispatches”: http://truth-out.org/news/item/30063-melting-accelerates-in-antarctica-so-far-2015-is-hottest-year-yet

    Reply
  212. wili

     /  April 8, 2015

    http://www.igbp.net/globalchange/greatacceleration.4.1b8ae20512db692f2a680001630.html

    Interesting site full of telling graphs of our exponential accelerations.

    Reply
  213. rustj2015

     /  April 8, 2015

    Antarctica freaking:
    A remarkable heat wave warmed Antarctica’s northernmost peninsula to slightly above 63 degrees Fahrenheit (17 degrees Celsius) in March — a record high for the normally cold continent. But scientists say the balmy conditions were caused by a “freak weather event,” and cannot be directly attributed to climate change.
    However:
    As Antarctica heads into the fall season, such high temperatures seem alarming. In fact, they occurred nearly three months after Antarctica’s summer. But, it’s hard to link an extreme event to anything in particular, cautioned Gavin Schmidt, a climate scientist with NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City.

    ‘Freak Weather Event’ Sets Antarctic Heat Records
    by Shannon Hall, Staff Writer | April 07, 2015
    http://www.livescience.com/50405-antarctica-heat-records.html

    Reply
  214. – DATELINE PNW – NA RIVERS IN PERIL
    (1&2 are also glacier and snow pack dependent.) (Ps spent 2013 in Flagstaff, AZ #1, and moved to Portland, OR #2. Watch out that I don’t move to your neighborhood.)

    American Rivers announces America’s Most Endangered Rivers of 2015

    #1: Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, Arizona
    Threat: Massive construction project, mining pollution, groundwater depletion
    At Risk: An irreplaceable national treasure.

    #2: Columbia River, Washington/Oregon
    Threat: Outdated dam operations
    At Risk: Healthy runs of salmon and other fisheries.

    #3: Holston River, Tennessee
    Threat: Toxic chemical pollution
    At Risk: Drinking water supply, fish and wildlife, and recreational uses.

    (AmerRiv lnk to follow.)

    Reply
  215. Andy in San Diego

     /  April 8, 2015

    Cal Fire: Ponds, lakes used for water drops are disappearing
    =================================================

    In San Diego, lakes and reservoirs are at their lowest levels in recent memory.

    Lake Morena was 17 percent full at this time in 2010 — now it’s down to 3 percent.

    Barrett Lake was nearly full in 2010 at 96 percent, but today it’s down below 6 percent.

    Lake Sutherland, up at more than 30 percent full in 2010 has fallen to just 8.5 percent.

    Copyright 2015 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
    Print this article Back to Top

    http://www.10news.com/news/cal-fire-ponds-lakes-used-for-water-drops-are-disappearing?google_editors_picks=true

    Reply
  216. Colorado Bob

     /  April 8, 2015

    It takes a gallon of water to produce an almond. That’s one remarkable fact. Here’s another: 82 percent of the world’s almonds are grown in California, almost all of them in its agricultural heartland, the Central Valley. Here’s another: Almond growers use about 10 percent of the state’s water supply every year. And here’s yet another: California’s mountain snowpack, the main source of the Central Valley’s water, is at 5 percent of its historical average for this time of year.

    Link

    Reply
  217. Colorado Bob

     /  April 8, 2015

    Taiwan launches water rationing to fight drought

    Taiwan has launched water rationing in some major cities as the island battles its worst drought in over a decade following the lowest rainfall in nearly 70 years.

    The state water company cut supplies to around 800,000 households and businesses in Taoyuan city on Wednesday as well as parts of Hsinchu county and New Taipei City in northern Taiwan for two days a week for an indefinite period.

    The government said that it was forced to impose the measure as the water supply situation was urgent.

    It comes after the lowest rainfall across the island last autumn and winter since 1947.

    Link

    Reply
    • wili

       /  April 8, 2015

      Your link didn’t work for me. I found it here: http://phys.org/news/2015-04-taiwan-rationing-drought.html

      Seems like everywhere you look these days there’s drought, or flood, or heatwaves, or wildfires…

      Reply
      • Tackling Taiwan’s water shortages

        About three million people will be without water in Taiwan as the government takes drastic action to ration supplies in response to the country’s lowest rainfall for 67 years, reports the BBC’s Cindy Sui.

        Many reservoirs are less than half full, and April’s forecast does not look like changing the situation, weather experts say.

        The country’s traditional rainy season in May and June may not deliver enough water to solve Taiwan’s water shortage problem.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-32213350

        Reply
  218. Colorado Bob

     /  April 8, 2015

    Antarctica losing enough ice every year to fill the Three Gorges reservoir 19 times

    Icebergs breaking away from the Antarctic ice sheets every year contain enough water to fill the Three Gorges reservoir nineteen times, according to a study by Chinese scientists.

    Researchers with the State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science at Beijing Normal University analysed more than 10,000 satellite images from between 2005 and 2011, measuring for the first time all icebergs larger than one square kilometre detaching from the Antarctic coastline.

    They estimated that about 755 billion tons of icebergs “calf”, or break free, from the continent every year.

    The volume of the Three Gorges reservoir on the Yangtze River, one of the world’s largest, is less than 40 billion tons.

    Link

    Reply
    • climatehawk1

       /  April 8, 2015

      Was just thinking–maybe Franzen’s piece is just one more, especially convoluted, version of the “don’t bother me with global warming, I’m working on important stuff” mental construct a lot of people have, in order to pursue their hobbies/interests/passions/indulgences.

      On the other hand, interestingly, the American Bird Conservancy, of which Franzen is apparently a board member, has also been the most strident anti-windpower group within the birding and wildlife NGO community (even going so far as to run anti-wind advertisements on the DC Metro system, something that isn’t cheap).

      I’ve watched with bemusement and, of course, some disappointment as it has taken this stance, which arguably is not a good thing for birds at all (bird collisions with wind turbines, a scalable source of zero-carbon electricity, are a truly infinitesimal part of the overall picture of anthropogenic bird deaths). I’ve chalked it up to ABC competing with Audubon for members and dollars, though I’ve always wondered if there were some fossil fuel money in the background somewhere.

      Reply
  219. Caroline

     /  April 8, 2015

    Off topic random thought while we’re waiting for a new thread from Robert.

    There has been a great deal of talk over the past few days about Duke basketball. Duke is a team that many people love to hate.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the focus shifted from personalities of the players/coaches to the general pathology of big sports today and the malignant wealth behind Duke University?

    Interesting/appalling history behind the Duke name which not many people link with the basketball team that played in “Lucas Oil Stadium” the other night. The televised game was funded by in part by—-among other things (besides lots of Buick commercials)—– Mad Max Fury Road. Slightly ironic?

    Too many horror stories to count behind Duke Energy, this just one of them:

    http://www.southeastcoalash.org/?page_id=2417

    Do you think Duke University will divest from fossil fuels?

    The university’s $7 billion endowment is managed by Duke University Management Company (DUMAC).
    In January 2015 a Duke University advisory committee recommended the university endowment not divest itself from fossil fuel companies, rejecting a request from a student-led group.

    Big surprise.

    But the Blue Devils won!

    Reply
  220. A healthy very well written antidote to novelist Franzen’s literary flights.

    Follies of the Wise:
    Dissenting Essays

    Frederick C. Crews

    Counterpoint Press, 2006
    Best-selling author and Berkeley professor of thirty years Frederick Crews has always considered himself a skeptic. Forty years ago he thought he had found a tradition of thought — Freudian psychoanalytic theory — that had skepticism built into it. He gradually realized, however, that true skepticism is an attitude of continual questioning. The more closely Crews examined the logical structure and institutional history of psychoanalysis, the more clearly he realized that Freud’s system of thought lacked empirical rigor. Indeed, he came to see Freudian theory as the very model of a modern pseudoscience.

    Follies of the Wise contains Crews’s best writing of the past fifteen years, including such controversial and widely quoted pieces as “The Unknown Freud” and “The Revenge of the Repressed,” essays whose effects still reverberate today. In addition, his topics range from “Intelligent Design” creationism to theosophy, from psychological testing to UFO zaniness, from American Buddhism to the current state of literary criticism. A single theme animates his bracing and witty discussions: the temptation to reach for deep wisdom without attending to the little voice that asks, “Could I, by any chance, be deceiving myself here?”

    Reply
    • climatehawk1

       /  April 8, 2015

      Thanks, sounds interesting. Just ordered a copy from ABE Books (abebooks.com, a network of used book stores). Cost was US$3.45, shipping free.

      Reply
  221. Some sordid history of the Duke family fortune. Tobacco then electric power.
    from Wiki;
    In 1885, James Buchanan Duke acquired a license to use the first automated cigarette making machine (invented by James Albert Bonsack), and by 1890, Duke supplied 40% of the American cigarette market (then known as pre-rolled tobacco). In that year, Duke consolidated control of his four major competitors under one corporate entity, the American Tobacco Company, which was a monopoly in the American cigarette market. His robber baron business tactics directly led to the Black Patch Tobacco Wars in 1906-1908.

    Reply
  222. – ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY – FF EMISSIONS – NITROGEN – FLORA
    The collateral culling, and the chemical constricting, of gene pools? Perverse! (Yes, many c’s. but it’s that damn nitrogen again.)

    Nitrogen deposition reduces swiss plant diversity

    High human atmospheric nitrogen emissions lead to a reduction of plant diversity. Researchers at the University of Basel analyzed plots all over Switzerland and report that the plant diversity has decreased in landscapes with high nitrogen deposition. The journal Royal Society Open Science has published their results.

    …Many ecosystems rich in plant species are adapted to low nitrogen availability. An increase in nitrogen availability often favors a few highly competitive species, resulting in a decrease of the overall plant diversity.

    …The weakest relation was found in the traditionally measured species richness, which measures the number of plant species per plot. The biologists found the strongest effect in the so-called phylogenetic diversity, a measure that compares DNA sequences. High nitrogen deposition thus leads to plant species being more strongly related to each other.

    http://phys.org/news/2015-04-nitrogen-deposition-swiss-diversity.html

    Reply
  223. Kevin Jones

     /  April 8, 2015

    Corrected for the annual seasonal cycle, the black line passed 400ppm CO2 for the first time in March at ESRL’s Mauna Loa site.http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/index.html

    Reply
  224. New Study Shows Arctic Permafrost May Be Thawing Faster Than We Thought

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/04/08/3643953/greenland-permafrost-thaw-microbes/

    Reply
  225. Colorado Bob

     /  April 8, 2015

    Plummeting sardine numbers could prompt U.S. West coast fishing ban.

    PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) – Plummeting sardine populations could lead to a complete ban on harvesting the small oily fish off the U.S. West Coast starting later this year, officials with the Pacific Fishery Management Council said on Tuesday.

    Decimated by overfishing, sardine numbers in U.S. waters have dropped by about 90 percent in less than a decade, estimates the council, which regulates fishing within 200 miles of the California, Oregon and Washington coasts.

    The decline has harmed predators that feed on sardines, contributing to mass starvation of sea lions, which have washed ashore by the thousand in southern California.

    It has also led to starvation deaths of brown pelicans and other fish-eating birds, said Ben Enticknap of Portland-based environmental advocacy group Oceana, which is urging regulators to adopt a long-term plan for boosting sardine populations.

    Read more at http://newsdaily.com/2015/04/plummeting-sardine-numbers-could-prompt-u-s-west-coast-fishing-ban/#763ADGpIf66h5ufW.99.

    Reply
  226. Kevin Jones

     /  April 8, 2015

    Am I the only one who becomes irritated by “The good news….stated goal of Paris….avoid 2C…” The biogeochemical realities along with physical properties of all our fossil fueled additives to the air, sea & sky are evidence enough that our approximate 1C warming to date is far to much and far too fast. Don’t get me wrong. Humanity must immediately rise in unprecedented cooperation to deal with, adapt to, plan for what has already been sown without adding more crap to harm further Earth’s vital systems. To paraphrase a great line from Cold Mountain: Anyone who believes we will address this in a timely, just, fair and good way has a higher opinion of mankind than I do.

    Reply
  227. Greg

     /  April 8, 2015

    Brazilian politicians use the word “rodizio” or rotation instead of “racionamento,” or rationing but the dry season has begun and the problems in both Southeastern and less well known Northeastern Brazil grow while to the west the Atacama desert floods…

    “BRASILIA – In another meeting of the government to assess the water crisis affecting parts of the country, the diagnosis is that in the Northeast, there are now 56 cities in state of collapse, that is, without water for more than four days. ”

    http://oglobo.globo.com/brasil/crise-hidrica-56-cidades-nordestinas-estao-em-situacao-de-colapso-diz-governo-15753830

    Sorry, it’s in Portuguese but can be run through google translator.

    Reply
    • wili

       /  April 9, 2015

      So how do we square this with the other studies of self-reinforcing nature of permafrost loss? I have a feeling that studies based on how things have progressed mostly up to now are not going to be very good predictors of how things will play out going forward.

      Reply
  228. The Keeling Curve for the period ending Dec. 9, 2014 = 398.48 ppm CO2.
    The Keeling Curve for the period ending Apr. 6, 2015 = 404.35 ppm CO2.
    The increase in 4 short months = 5.87 ppm CO2.
    That is what it reads.

    Reply
  229. Bloomberg:

    Discussing climate change is out of bounds for workers at a state agency in Wisconsin. So is any work related to climate change—even responding to e-mails about the topic.

    A vote on Tuesday by Wisconsin’s Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, a three-member panel overseeing an agency that benefits schools and communities in the state, enacted the staff ban on climate change. “It’s not a part of our sole mission, which is to make money for our beneficiaries,” said State Treasurer Matt Adamczyk, a Republican who sits on the board. “That’s what I want our employees working on. That’s it. Managing our trust funds.”
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-08/for-some-wisconsin-state-workers-climate-change-isn-t-something-you-can-talk-about

    Reply
  230. joni

     /  April 9, 2015

    http://theenergycollective.com/armondcohen/2196341/no-china-coal-peak-sight-carbon-capture-will-be-necessary-tame-emissions-century

    In late 2014, China pledged to peak its CO2 emissions by 2030, and achieve 20% of its primary energy from non-fossil energy sources. And China continues to lead the world in annual additions of wind and solar power. While these developments are to be celebrated, there remains a sobering reality: they still leave a lot of headroom for China to expand its coal power plant capacity between now and 2030, even though its coal fleet is already more than twice the size of the US coal fleet.

    [img]https://www.catf.us/blogs/ahead/files/2015/02/20140218-2.png[/img]

    As you can see from the chart, despite additions of substantial wind, solar, and nuclear capacity, when properly adjusted for capacity factor (the amount of annual energy produced per unit of capacity) to reflect production capability, the amount of new coal energy added to the China grid last year exceeded new solar energy by 17 times, new wind energy by more than 4 times, and even new hydro by more than 3 times. And, despite having more than 30 new nuclear reactors under construction, China’s new nuclear capability was still a fraction of new coal energy.

    Reply
  231. Colorado Bob

     /  April 9, 2015

    Vermont and New York state each chalked up their coldest January-March period this year, according to NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. The previous coldest first three months of any year in the Empire State was in 1912, while in Vermont tied its previous record from 1923. NCDC’s dataset dates to 1895.

    Five other Northeast states shivered through a top three coldest January-March, including Massachusetts (2nd coldest), Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and New Jersey (all 3rd coldest).

    On the other end of the spectrum, January-March was the warmest such period on record in the following western states:

    – Arizona
    – California
    – Nevada
    – Oregon
    – Utah
    – Washington
    – Wyoming

    Idaho (2nd warmest) and Montana (3rd warmest) each landed one of their top 3 warmest first three months of the year.

    The West experienced above-average temperatures with a ridge of high pressure being the dominant feature since January.

    http://www.wunderground.com/news/warmest-coldest-january-march-west-northeast

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  April 9, 2015

      And in the NCDC category for Statewide Minimum Temperature Ranks for Jan-March 2015, WA, OR, CA, WY, AZ and Utah all had warmest avg. daily lows while NY, PA and New Hampshire had coldest (in 121 years) avg. daily low temps. http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2015/20150331_GlobalWarmingHole.pdf

      Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  April 9, 2015

        So much for the Liars Inc. meme : Scientists are too conspiratorial or dumb to account for cities with their urban heat island effect/cities growing up around thermometers BS. Or did I miss that everyone in the East painted their roads and roofs white before they all moved to the West and once there drank all the water?

        Reply
  232. Colorado Bob

     /  April 9, 2015

    Arctic research vessel set adrift to study sea ice decline

    Scientists investigate why sea ice is retreating faster than expected as cover falls to new low, confounding predictions

    A research vessel is adrift in the Arctic to study why sea ice is retreating faster than expected.

    Ice cover across the northern ocean fell to a new low last month, reaching just over 14.5m sq km at its winter peak, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Centre, in Colorado.

    That was 130,000 sq km smaller than the previous winter low set in 2011 – confounding scientific predictions about the decline of sea ice under climate change.
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    “We are obviously missing something,” said Harald Steen, a biologist from the Norwegian Polar Institute, and the leader of the international expedition. “We are underestimating the rate of ice disappearance in the north.”

    Link

    Reply
  233. climatehawk1

     /  April 9, 2015

    Smoking: #California Continues to Shatter Temperature Records: @ClimateCentral http://shar.es/1gzgwp #climate #divest

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  April 9, 2015

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  April 9, 2015

        And these temperatures contribute significantly to its dessication. Today’s U.S. drought monitor:

        Exceptional drought ticked up another 3% despite some rain this week.

        Reply
      • Greg

         /  April 9, 2015

        Note that Western Oklahoma and Northeastern Texas drought expanding significantly again as well.

        Reply
  234. Ouse M.D.

     /  April 9, 2015

    Polar Vortex still taking a beating

    http://postimg.org/image/ca0cw6t91/

    Reply
    • wili

       /  April 10, 2015

      Doesn’t it usually kind of disintegrate in the spring?

      Reply
      • It does. But we typically don’t see a + 2.8 polar heat anomaly during spring either. The meridional pattern over Eastern Europe and the North Atlantic are really doing a number on things.

        Oh, and during April of the past two years we did have a brief polar vortex reformation — possibly due to more rapid warming in the mid Latitudes vs warming lag at the pole. This year, the pole has remained at strong positive T anomalies.

        Reply
  235. Colorado Bob

     /  April 9, 2015

    The black dots indicate a rank of 1, corresponding to the lowest snow water equivalents in the SNOTEL record. (Source: Andrew Slater, NSIDC)

    The map shows the rank of snow water equivalent measured on April 1 at sites across the western United States. All those black dots are indicative of record low snowpack. April 1 is typically about the time that snowpack in the mountains of the West peaks.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/imageo/2015/04/09/new-record-low-for-arctic-sea-ice/#.VSa0e5P9v6N

    Reply
  236. Colorado Bob

     /  April 9, 2015

    With California’s drought likely to force new water restrictions, many residential and commercial property owners could put a familiar tool to a new use — financing improvements to conserve water.

    The tool is called the Property Assessed Clean Energy program. Known as PACE, the financing mechanism has been a popular program for adding solar power. But it also can be used to finance many water conservation upgrades.

    On the water efficiency side, the program can be used to install drip irrigation, some kinds of drought-tolerant landscaping, high-efficiency faucets and shower heads and high-efficiency toilets, said Severn Williams, spokesman for RenovateAmerica. The San Diego-based organization operates its Home Energy Renovation Opportunity — or HERO — program in several local jurisdictions.

    http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2015/04/09/drought-et-a-sweet-deal-on-financing-for-water.html

    Reply
  237. wili

     /  April 10, 2015

    http://grist.org/article/l-a-just-called-it-says-go-find-another-dystopia/

    LA’s trying to reshape its image from ultimate dystopia to sustainable city of the future.

    Reply
  1. Climate Change Induced Drought and Fire at Critical Stage in Chile — Construction of 12 Desalination Plants Underway | Artic Vortex

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