At Start of 2015 Melt Season, Arctic Sea Ice is in a Terrible State

Strong Polar Amplification. With human-forced climate change, it’s normally something you’d tend to see during winter time. By spring, the increase in solar radiation in the Mid-Latitudes would tend to force a more rapid pace of warming there. The snow and ice cover, recently refreshed by winter, would be at highest annual albedo at winter’s end. That high albedo would create a warming lag from the upper Latitudes. The resulting increase in temperature differential would then tend to reinforce the Jet Stream — giving it a strengthening kick and providing the polar north with a kind of ephemeral haven. At least for a brief window during early spring time.

Not so with 2015. This Spring, the Jet has been a basketcase. A mess of meanders like a river finding its way through a wetland prior to joining the sea. Strong south to north flows have persisted over the North Atlantic and well into Western Siberia. These meridional patterns have repeatedly delivered heat into the Arctic — particularly through the oceanic gateway between Greenland and the Yamal region of Russia.

Unusually Warm Spring for The Arctic

For the past week, this pattern intensified and the result is a bulge of extreme heat extending on toward the North Pole in the broad zone between Greenland and Northwest Siberia:

21 h Thursday April 9 Arctic T Anomaly Map

In the above image, provided by Climate Reanalyzer, we find a classic polar vortex disruption type pattern (a rather odd event for April, as both polar amplification and vortex formation have both tended to fade by this seasonal period) in which the cold core is essentially ripped in half by warm air invading from the south. In this case, we see a massive warm air flood emerging from Eastern Europe, Western Russia and the North Atlantic riding up and over the polar zone across a warm frontal boundary. This greater warm air influx is joined with a lesser one emerging off the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge pattern off the US and Canadian West Coasts and flooding up over Alaska and the Mackenzie Delta region of Canada.

The cold cores are thus shoved aside. One has fled to a dubious haven over Eastern Siberia. The second has taken a stronger hold over Greenland. For the Greenland region, surface winds have encircled the new, displaced, cold pool, generating a temperature boundary that is sharply visible in the anomaly map. The dangerous weather-wrecking “Storms of My Grandchildren” Greenland melt and polar amplification pattern — featuring a Greenland cold pocket beside a meltwater-cooled North Atlantic zone surrounded by angrily warming regions.

High anomaly departures in the range of 15-20+ degrees C above average cover about 1/3 of the high Arctic region above 80 degrees North Latitude. Laptev, Kara, Barents and the Arctic Ocean proper are all included in the heat bulge. Temperatures in this zone today spiked to near or above the point at which sea ice melts at the surface (-2.5 C) with temperatures in the Kara in the 0 to -2 C range, temperatures in the Laptev in the -2 to -4 C range and temperatures within 100 miles of the pole hitting around -3.8 C. For this region, these are readings more typical to June or even July.

Record Low Start to Melt Season

The impacts to sea ice have been nothing short of unprecedented for early season melt.

In the extent measure we find that for the past month running we have been at or near new record lows. Over recent days, consistent with the strong surge of polar heat amplification, extent values have again plummeted past previous record low values. Dropping by more than 50,000 square kilometers for each day in the April 6-8 timeframe, the melt rate is exceedingly steep for this time of year. With April 8 achieving a new record low extent of 14,073,000 square kilometers — 95,000 square kilometers below the previous record low of 14,168,000 set in 2006.

Sea Ice Extent April 9

(Arctic Sea Ice Extent as recorded by NSIDC through April 9 of 2015. We are at the descending curve of the upper arc on the left in the image. The bottom dark blue line represents 2015 sea ice extent. The light blue and pink lines are 2007 and 2006 [previous record low years for springtime]. The upper dark blue line represents 1979 sea ice extent. The dotted green line represents 2012. Note how the 2015 line has consistently trended in record low range during the past month. Image source: NSIDC.)

As heat and sunlight build in this record low ice extent environment, greater stretches of dark, open water will trap more sunlight. This will tend to have a heat amplifying effect — pushing for greater ice losses as melt season gains traction. Weather trends will tend to have an impact as well. And Arctic Oscillation (AO) is expected to again hit a strongly positive level over the next couple of days — providing further melt pressure to sea ice already at record lows. Wind patterns have also tended to facilitate ice export through the Fram, Nares and Bering Straits this year. Given a predicted continuation of these conditions, the long term-trend seems to be melt-favorable through end of April.

Kara Melting Early, Beaufort Cracking Up

In the satellite shot the impacts of these much warmer than normal Arctic conditions are clearly visible. Particularly, the Kara Sea near Northwestern Siberia and the Beaufort are showing signs of melt stress and ice fragility.

For the Kara, melt is proceeding well in advance of typical seasonal thaw. Large polynyas have opened up even as the ice edge has retreated. Much of the ice in this zone appears broken, thin, and disassociated — making it vulnerable to both increasing solar radiation and to the periods of more intense warmth to come.

Kara Sea April 9

(The Kara Sea showing reduced sea ice coverage on April 9 of 2015. Image source: LANCE-MODIS.)

With 2015 showing a tendency for strong south to north air flows in this region, the Kara continues to be at risk of early melt through spring and into start of summer.

But perhaps more disturbing is an ongoing and widespread break-up of sea ice in the Beaufort. Starting in late March and continuing on through April, very large cracks have opened up throughout the Beaufort Sea. Given that air temperatures remain in a range cold enough to freeze surface water (-12 to -25 C), the resulting gaps have quickly frozen. However, this crack-up is occurring directly at melt season start. Warmth is building, the sun is at an ever higher angle, and the lower albedo cracks may well serve to capture more heat in an already vulnerable region. In addition, temperatures in the Mackenzie River Delta — a region that, when thawed, will dump above freezing water into the already broken Beaufort — are approaching the melt point (-4 C readings today and 0 C for widespread thaw).

Beaufort Breaking Up

(Large cracks and polynyas throughout the Beaufort Sea on April 10 of 2015. Left side of frame is somewhat covered by cloud, but a large polynya [partially frozen] is visible through the coverage. Image Source: LANCE MODIS.)

These cracks are very extensive and include multiple large breaks. A scene reminiscent of the winter 2013 break-up. But the current timing at melt season start is far more likely to enhance ice vulnerability as spring progresses toward summer. Also, the fragile behavior of this broad section of Beaufort ice illustrates how thin sea ice in this region has become even as it hints at the potential that warm water (which is increasingly prevalent at depth throughout the Arctic Ocean) may be upwelling to melt some of this sea ice from below.

Together, the warm air influx and very high temperature anomalies, the rapid melt at the edge zones, the record low extent levels, and the massive crack-up ongoing in the Beaufort all point to extreme sea ice weakness at the start of melt season. With weather patterns remaining neutral to melt-favorable over the next few weeks and with winds favoring export through the Fram, Bering and Nares, risks remain high that Arctic sea ice will remain in record low territory over the coming weeks. Sea ice fragility in certain regions, especially the Beaufort, also bear watching for possible unpleasant surprises.

Links:

Climate Reanalyzer

NSIDC

LANCE-MODIS

The Storms of My Grandchildren

The Arctic Ice Blog

Leave a comment

181 Comments

  1. Kevin Jones

     /  April 10, 2015

    I’m starting to feel 2015 could be one of those rare years that becomes a book’s title.

    Reply
    • And adding to the pathological insanity of it all, a Russian Minister wants sea ice to melt faster so they can increase oil development…

      Now if that’s not a WTF moment, I don’t know what is.

      Reply
      • Ouse M.D.

         /  April 11, 2015

        And add to that China desperately willing to drill in Antarctica

        Reply
      • Dave Person

         /  April 11, 2015

        And Alaskan legislators and congressional delegation waiting for the same thing that Russian minister wants.

        dave

        Reply
  2. wili

     /  April 10, 2015

    By one estimate, snow cover in June over the lands surrounding the Arctic Ocean has a large influence on September melt numbers. June is still a ways off, but from what I’m reading at neven’s forums, snow cover is taking a beating right now and in the coming days.

    Of course, if the slow down of the AMOC that we’ve been reading about recently slows even further this summer, we may have a very different scenario unfolding in the northern Atlantic and in adjacent regions including parts of the Arctic.

    I’ve pretty much given up on what’s coming up next up there–it’s all just getting too wild and unpredictable.

    Reply
    • The cold core shifts to Greenland, the Continents and Arctic heat up, an anomalous cold pool pops up in the North Atlantic. Storm track gets very nasty. Not certain if the negative feedback of Greenland melt is enough to save the sea ice. I suppose that depends on volume, which as you well know is a double edged sword.

      Reply
  3. dnem

     /  April 10, 2015

    I know everyone seems to hate my “maybe THIS will shut the deniers up” meme, but Paris COP21 2015 won’t be populated by deniers. It will be a sober, international gathering of at least marginally sane negotiators. I think any evidence that can help point out the suicidal nature of shooting for 2 C will help focus the conference. Not that I hold out much hope for any kind of strong outcome even IF the arctic sets a new record low this summer.

    Reply
    • I don’t think it’s a bad meme. I just think the deniers have long since lost the opportunity to be considered as rational actors.

      Reply
  4. climatehawk1

     /  April 10, 2015

    Thanks, tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  5. Ouse M.D.

     /  April 10, 2015

    Unfortunately, everything is true.
    And the two are very much interconnected…

    http://thebulletin.org/clock/2015

    Reply
  6. Bill H

     /  April 11, 2015

    A press release for this paper on permafrost melt got a brief mention a day or so in a comment to Robert’s previous thread, but I think it is important enough to bring up again.:

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v520/n7546/full/nature14338.html

    First of all Shakhova and Semilotov get a lot of coverage, so that is progress, since it’s in Nature. The press release was very badly worded, suggesting that carbon release from the melt would be “more gradual than previously thought”. Actually it says that until recently the subject was poorly understood – a rapid release of carbon was conjectured, but no more. Consequently CLimate Models haven’t taken it into account. The paper presents a raft of evidence that actually this is going to be a very significant phenomenon over the next 100 years and will need to be incorporated in the models as an extra feedback – positive, of course. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think this is vindication of your warnings about permafrost release and Gavin Schmidt and others are going to have to modify their models accordingly.

    Unfortunately, the article is paywalled.

    Reply
  7. Andy in San Diego

     /  April 11, 2015

    I’ve come across a great trove of old newspapers, and one of the search criteria is the arctic. Here are some snippets, followed by the link. Great stuff. It is well worth perusing for a spell. May almost be worth a post on how this is all not really news after all.

    So if the denialist use one 1970’s article as a great precedent (due to it’s publication date), wouldn’t any of these then supersede it?

    ******************************************************************************
    WORLD IS WARMING UP, July 04, 1947
    SAYS PROFESSOR.
    NEW YORK (A.P.).—Professor Hans
    Ahlman, of the University of Stockholm, a prominent geographer and glaciologist now on a lecture tour of the United States, says the world is getting warmer…..(more)
    *******************************************************************************
    Scientists fear for Arctic Sea ice – Feb 02, 1972

    Scientists fear that man, voluntarily or ac- cidentally, may melt the Arctic Sea ice, leading to irreversible climatic changes………..(more)
    *******************************************************************************
    RAPID MELTING OF POLAR CAPS – 18 Feb 1952

    CLEVELAND, Sunday.

    Dr. William S. Carlson, an Arc- tic expert, said last night that the Polar ice caps were melting at an astonishing and unexplain- ed rate, and threatening to swamp seaports by raising ocean levels…………(more)
    *****************************************************************************
    WILL EARTH GET WARMER? – Apr 25, 1939

    Scientist Has New Theory More than eighteen years of observ- ing the fluctuations of Arctic weather

    conditions in the fifty-eight Soviet scientific stations in the Far North, writes the Moscow correspondent of the “Observer” (London), lead Rus- sian meteorologists to a forecast of warmer winters and hotter summers for the North and South Poles……..(more)
    ***********************************************************************
    Melting Polar Icecaps Raise Ocean Levels NEW YORK, Feb 18, 1952

    Sun.—Dr. Wil- liam S. Carlson, an Arctic ex- pert, said last night that Polar icecaps were melting at an astonishing and unexplained rate and were threatening to swamp ports by raising ocean levels……..(more)
    *********************************************************************

    Link:

    http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/result?l-publictag=Arctic+ice&q&l-availability=y%2Ff&s=20

    Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  April 11, 2015

      Those are just some of the articles, there are plenty of others dating back into the 1800’s.

      Reply
      • Amazing, Andy. You are too. What a trail of warnings not heeded — an indictment.

        The ‘denialists’ are populated with liars and lunatics for hire. They are bought and sold on the open market. One should feel compassion for them but I don’t know how. I’m too busy with survival.
        Peace

        Reply
      • rustj2015

         /  April 11, 2015

        Thank you, Andy, for these awesome clips.

        Reply
    • Griffin

       /  April 11, 2015

      Simply incredible find Andy. Thank you for sharing this.

      Reply
  8. Kevin Jones

     /  April 11, 2015

    http://www.harvardfacultydivest.com/open-letter-new

    I interviewed the first signer, Dr. James Anderson in Bangor, Maine. In March of ’93 while he was lead scientist of NASA’s Arctic Airborne Stratospheric Expedition ll. A great guy. 22 years ago…. I’ll be standing with the students next week, as true elders stood with me 44 years ago in imprisoned opposition to the Viet Nam War. Daniel Berrigan once told me, “Don’t just do something. Stand there!”

    Reply
  9. Colorado Bob

     /  April 11, 2015

    Salt Lake City experienced its least snowy winter since record-keeping started in 1885 — and its warmest winter since that documentation started in 1874.

    http://www.capitalpress.com/Water/20150410/drought-leaves-utahs-farmers-wondering-what-they-can-grow

    Reply
  10. Kevin Jones

     /  April 11, 2015

    “Suffice it to say 2015 is a dead skunk.” the water report said. 2015: The Year of the [Dead] Skunk. How’s that for a book’s title…..

    Reply
  11. K.J. today Thoreau might say; “I am sick for my planetary home & my species. All is lost.”

    Reply
  12. How can anyone be optimistic?
    What an ignominious end – a dead skunk.

    Reply
  13. Washington Post article from yesterday: The Pacific Ocean may have entered a new warm phase — and the consequences could be dramatic

    Two new studies have just hit about the “warm blob” in the northeast Pacific ocean — a 2 degree C or more temperature anomaly that began in the winter of 2013-2014 in the Gulf of Alaska and later expanded. Scientists have been astonished at the extent and especially the long-lasting nature of the warmth, with one NOAA researcher saying, “when you see something like this that’s totally new you have opportunities to learn things you were never expecting.”

    Reply
  14. james cole

     /  April 11, 2015

    I want to talk about Greenland a bit. I have been watching a cable channel documentary of mineral prospectors in Greenland. They are in season two right now, working 250 miles north of the arctic circle on the west coast of Greenland. In both season one and two, a viewer is treated to coastal Greenland like few have ever seen it. They also venture around many active glaciers.
    Here is the point of my post. In season one, locals told this mining group that every year much new land appears that has been under ice basically for ever. They told the miners not to ask for advice, because much of this new land has never been seen before by locals. The land is so new, the natives have no experience of it.
    In the scenes, it is obvious glaciers are very unhealthy. All of the ones you see are shrinking and melting like mad. Sold glaciers are now just falling to bits. The exposed ground is falling apart from the glacial forces that had ground it up. Mountains lined with lose rocks of all kinds. Everywhere you look the rivers are raging down from the inland ice sheets.
    Basically, watching this show is like a death watch. Greenland is warming and melting at an extreme rate. This shown “Ice Cold Gold” offers a chance to really see it from the ground, the sea and the air. If this process accelerates, we might see things go off the rails up there faster than anyone dared think.

    Reply
  15. Kevin Jones

     /  April 11, 2015

    A pack of rabid hyenas has more honor and self-respect.

    Reply
  16. Colorado Bob

     /  April 11, 2015

    Every day is fire season in drought-era California, experts say

    Since January, Cal Fire has responded to 640 fires, more than twice the number in similar periods in pre-drought years, Tolmachoff said. The year-round fires led the agency to keep 70 fire engines working over the winter compared with the 10 on off-season duty in normal years, she said. ………………………………… Jet Propulsion Laboratory climatologist Bill Patzert said that with high temperatures and dry vegetation, the West “is primed for fire” and rainstorms are unlikely before November.

    “The drought is not going to get any better between now and the fall,” Patzert said. “We are in an incendiary situation.”

    Link

    Reply
  17. Please, people. Don’t besmirch the honorable animal kingdom in order to label purely homo sap behavior.

    Reply
  18. Kevin Jones

     /  April 11, 2015

    It’s the friggin’ launguare, dtlange. No disparagement of the flora or fauna… Smallpox is more honorable and manly (in that almost extinct good sense) than these douche bag gold diggers.

    Reply
  19. Kevin Jones

     /  April 11, 2015

    languare: ” A symptom which is by no means infrequent in many diseases of the heart, I mean the vomiting.” Dr. Burns 1809 ( had I spelled ‘language’ correctly I would have missed this.) Thanks dtlange. I’ll have another beer!🙂

    Reply
    • Apneaman

       /  April 11, 2015

      I’m waiting for the reality series where privileged N Americans, who never changed a fucking thing, turn on each other for survival.

      Collapse:Reap What You Have Sown

      Showing 24/7 on ESPN – Viewer discretion advised for nudity & cannibalism.

      Reply
  20. Colorado Bob

     /  April 11, 2015

    Well I never heard of John L. Casey , but Newsmax has been seeding his Ice Age is coming predictions lately .

    Apparently mental patients , can get web sites just like the rest of us .

    Tea Party Welcomes Global Cooling Theorist/Earthquake Predictor John L. Casey

    Just when you think the Palm Beach County Tea Party can’t sink any deeper into the quicksand of gullibility, it brings in another clown act to prove you wrong.
    Last time around, it was an uproar over a mythical U.N. plot to subvert local government via mind control. This time, crackpot science is on the menu.

    This week’s joker is one John L. Casey, president of the Space and Science Research Corp. and CEO of the International Earthquake and Volcano Prediction Center — both outfits conveniently located in Orlando, just down the road from Disney World.

    Casey, with a CV spotty as a case of measles, describes himself as “a former White House space program adviser, consultant to NASA Headquarters, and space shuttle engineer.” He claims an M.A. in management from Webster University in St. Louis and a B.A. in physics and mathematics from “JSU” — whatever and wherever that is.

    Claiming to be the “foremost institution in the United States dedicated to communicating the need to prepare for the new cold climate epoch” (a dubious honor), Casey’s Space and Science Research Corp. has, according to its website:

    led all climate research companies in alerting the White House, Congress, and the maintsream [sic] media to the ill-effects of the next climate change predicted by the SSRC and other international scientists to be decades of potentially dangerous cold weather.

    Link

    Reply
    • Tom

       /  April 12, 2015

      Colorado Bob: Maybe that’s who’s funding sott.net, because they tout the same nonsense, but otherwise do great reporting. i could never understand why they wouldn’t face FACTS and this answers the question. Good find. Thanks.

      Reply
  21. “I think that 20 years from now, every summer will be too hot for corals: they will disappear as dominant members of tropical reef systems by 2040-2050. It’s hard to argue it any other way.”

    Ove Hoegh-Guldberg directs the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland, Australia, is chief scientist for the Catlin Seaview Survey and a coordinating lead author of the oceans chapter in the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22630160.300-soon-every-summer-will-be-too-hot-for-corals.html#.VSmkivDfXfQ

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  April 12, 2015

      Hell of a catch.

      I’ve been at this for 15 years, this is best research team on the web for sucking up every new scrap of information.

      I was on the Washington Post thread earlier today . ( Linked up thread ).

      A denier named eric was throwing out claims about Antarctica, I linked a study to show he wrong. He tap danced sideways and made a new claim with 2 studies. Both were 10 years old . When I pointed this out, he told me to come back to Robert Scribbler’s site where he can’t post.

      I recommended he get data that wasn’t 10 years old to make his case.

      He also called us really a sad group . That we are . If he knew what we know, he’d be sad too.

      Reply
      • I agree that I find more interesting links here than almost anywhere else.

        But I sometimes wonder if we’re all engaging in a an epic case of confirmation bias, egging each other on to try and find the scariest gloomiest predications we can and that we don’t pay enough attention to the studies that show positives or examples of successful adaptation etc.

        Reply
      • I agree that there is a great variety of interesting links with lots of information and currents science to digest. And todaysguestis, I think what you suggest is often balanced by Robert’s optimism. You have to consider him an optimist. He writes about some pretty horrifying and depressing topics that affect the entire planet for thousands upon thousands of years to come, yet he never suggests that we are defeated or that things are totally hopeless. Other sites do seem to have the crowds who are more doom and gloom and have a more hopeless perspective on things. I understand their view, but I really respect Robert’s dedication to the fight for some kind of livable future and spread of important information. And Bob, I love what you said about the denier’s comment over at the Post. Not having to deal with deniers parroting their talking points that have all been debunked is a wonderful feature of this site. They stop productive discussions dead in their tracks and do nothing but annoy and frustrate those of us living in the real world.

        Reply
  22. Colorado Bob

     /  April 11, 2015

    ‘First time in 30 years’: Japan whaling ships return from Antarctic trip EMPTY

    Link

    Reply
  23. http://g1.globo.com/sao-paulo/noticia/2015/04/estado-de-sao-paulo-ja-enfrenta-epidemia-de-dengue-diz-ministerio.html
    Google translation – “The state of São Paulo already faces a dengue epidemic, according to Ministry of Health data. The state has 585 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
    The World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that places with more than 300 cases of the disease per 100 thousand inhabitants are in an endemic situation.
    In the first three months of the year, 258,000 cases were reported, seven times higher than the same period last year, when 35,000 cases were reported.
    According to the Ministry of Health, São Paulo accounts for half of the country’s cases.”

    I am noticing an increasing trickle of tweets about water from São Paulo in the last few days, including references to dengue and the danger of storage of standing water.

    Reply
  24. Joseferreira ‏@Josefrr 1h1 hour ago
    Não tenho duvida . Esse povinho de São Paulo adora levar porrada. Eles tem os políticos que merecem. De dia falta água a noite falta luz.
    Translated from Portuguese by Bing –
    I have no doubt. This rabble of São Paulo loves getting hit. They have the politicians they deserve. There is no water by day – at night no electricity.
    4:48 PM – 11 Apr 2015

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  April 12, 2015

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

      Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  April 12, 2015

      São Paulo

      Has 20 million people it’s largest city in South America, and our big media hasn’t said one word about it.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  April 12, 2015

        As people save water in a drought , dengue fever is a real threat. Careless storage is really stupid. Most people are really stupid.

        That’s why Brazil had 7 fold jump in dengue fever.

        Reply
  25. Eric Thurston

     /  April 12, 2015

    Here’s an interesting NASA funded study on the probable collapse of our current industrial civilization. The Guardian is one of the few mainstream news sources that is tackling our environmental crises head on.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/mar/14/nasa-civilisation-irreversible-collapse-study-scientists

    Reply
  26. http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=50538#.VSnMAc6zsUU

    The UN reports on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen –

    “The ground attacks and airstrikes are quickly unravelling “anything there was left” of basic services including health care, safe water and availability of food.

    Even before the latest escalation of the conflict, 16 of the 25 million Yemenis required humanitarian assistance to meet their most basic needs.

    “Ordinary Yemeni families are struggling to access health care, water, food and fuel –commodities that are basic requirements for their survival,” the Humanitarian Coordinator said.

    Schools, hospitals, markets, power plants and warehouses have been damaged. Shortages of food and fuel are being reported across the country. Many areas in the country are also experiencing frequent power cuts, and shortages of water and fuel. In the city of Aden, one million people risk being cut off from access to clean drinking water within a matter of days.”

    Reply
  27. Colorado Bob

     /  April 12, 2015

    The Doors The WASP Texas Radio And The Big Beat

    Reply
  28. Colorado Bob

     /  April 12, 2015

    Serious bullshit –

    Jethro Tull – Stand Up – Album (1969)
    Back to the Family

    Reply
  29. Colorado Bob

     /  April 12, 2015

    Where did the Saudis get all that fire power from?

    We’ve shipping them weapons since FDR. Please keep up.

    Reply
    • Democracy Now!, April 7, 2015

      As Saudi Arabia continues U.S.-backed strikes in Yemen and Washington lifts its freeze on military to aid to Egypt, new figures show President Obama has overseen a major increase in weapons sales since taking office. The majority of weapons exports under Obama have gone to the Middle East and Persian Gulf. Saudi Arabia tops the list at $46 billion in new agreements. We are joined by William Hartung, who says that even after adjusting for inflation, “the volume of major deals concluded by the Obama administration in its first five years exceeds the amount approved by the Bush administration in its full eight years in office by nearly $30 billion. That also means that the Obama administration has approved more arms sales than any U.S. administration since World War II.”

      Reply
      • A great book that is a real in depth analysis if the growth of our military industrial complex over recent decades (new/expanding bases, endless conflicts, weapons sales etc) is The Sorrows of Empire by Chalmers Johnson. It was published in 2004 and sadly, things have only gotten worse.

        Reply
    • Yes indeed — a Saudi American petrol military complex with a long and shameful symbiotic history.

      Reply
  30. Colorado Bob

     /  April 12, 2015

    Apneaman

    Gorge the second told us that the invasion would give us an example of freedom in the mid east. Instead he opened a 700 year old hornets nest.

    When did he this, he had no idea that Shia, and Sunni, were at each others throats since the 7th century.
    The only people stupider than our right wing is ISIS.

    Reply
    • Jacob

       /  April 12, 2015

      “The only people stupider than our right wing is ISIS.”
      Let us hope, Bob, that we (voting Americans) don’t test that notion (by voting a Republican into office in 2016) only to reveal who is truly stupidest.

      Reply
  31. Colorado Bob

     /  April 12, 2015

    Dear Robert –
    If Hillery wants to be president. She has to book you as her climate man.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  April 12, 2015

      Let us all write her . And tell her how smart Robert is.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  April 12, 2015

        The battle has be gun . The wing nuts will say anything.

        Reply
  32. Andy in San Diego

     /  April 12, 2015

    NSIDC Greenland Melt Extent is back online for the 2015 melt season.

    http://nsidc.org/greenland-today/

    Reply
  33. Colorado Bob

     /  April 12, 2015

    Here’s your choice –
    A. The first woman president.
    Or B.
    8 morons.

    Reply
    • Jacob

       /  April 12, 2015

      It’s a sad political state the US finds itself in, but the choice is easy for me. Deny science, refuse to do anything about, or even admit that we have a serious problem on our hands (GOP) — you will never get my vote. I understand that Hilary is still a part of the existing political paradigm, but — assuming she gets the Democratic nod — she is still the lesser of two evils and she will have my vote.

      Reply
      • climatehawk1

         /  April 12, 2015

        She gets my vote too. As I recall, voting for Nader in 2000 was not a successful strategy.

        Reply
      • I’ll support Hillary. The republicans are basically evil incarnate at this point in the game. I prefer Warren, though.

        Doug — show us a viable, electable alternative. Otherwise, this is just talk-talk.

        Reply
    • That would be 9 morons.

      Reply
  34. Andy in San Diego

     /  April 12, 2015

    The RRR (West Coast SSTA) has been noticed now by the traditional media.

    Unfortunately reading the comments….it’s just plain sad to see people avoiding the elephant in the room at all costs.

    http://www.voicechronicle.com/201504-strange-blob-affecting-weather-and-marine-life-around-the-us

    Reply
  35. Andy in San Diego

     /  April 12, 2015

    Resurrecting 1500-Year-Old Canals Could Fix Peru’s Water Shortages

    http://gizmodo.com/resurrecting-1500-year-old-canals-could-fix-perus-water-1696772190

    Reply
  36. Nestle CEO: Water Is Not A Human Right, Should Be Privatized:

    Link (YouTube)

    Reply
  37. Mother JonesThese Maps Show Why We Keep Electing Climate Change Deniers:

    …according to the data, 58 percent of US congressional districts have majorities that don’t accept the climate science.

    Reply
  38. Kevin Jones

     /  April 12, 2015

    Everyone has their limit, Gerald Spezio. I knew of, more than knew a great creative boat designer who took his life because he was losing his mind and made it clear to his wife he would not go there, nor put her through his going there. I knew very well Mitch Snyder, the heroic and difficult advocate for the homeless, who took his life for reasons not so noble and crushed the hearts of hundreds who knew him. Living is a tough decision and one must take care doing it. So is dying. Take care.

    Reply
  39. From Albert Camus, I take as a mantra, his theme: “Neither victim nor executioner.” This applies to all things climate change as well.
    It is a constantly shifting balancing act which means I will likely fail at both ends of the scale — but I will try anyways.

    Reply
  40. Mr. Lange, before you are executed by an abrupt methane release, please pass your wisdom on to the Koch brothers.
    As supreme executioners, they know much about who executes whom & how.
    Executioners cannot execute w/o victims.
    We are their raw material.

    Reply
  41. rustj2015

     /  April 12, 2015

    My bid of Camus:
    “The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”
    and WitsEndNJ posed this:
    Camus states in The Myth of Sisyphus: “Thus I draw from the absurd three consequences, which are my
    revolt, my freedom, and my passion. By the mere activity of consciousness I transform into a rule of life what was an invitation to death, and I refuse suicide.”
    The option is, to me, a switch.
    Peace

    Reply
  42. http://www.climatecentral.org/news/california-shattering-temperature-records-18871
    “The dubious records keep piling up for California, a state wracked by four years of drought brought on by a pernicious weather pattern that has kept rains at bay and exacerbated by human-induced warming. Just one week after the state measured its lowest-ever snowpack, U.S. scientists have announced that the year so far has been the warmest on record, setting expectations for a long, hot, dry year ahead.”

    Reply
  43. climatehawk1

     /  April 12, 2015

    .@Guardian seeks to rouse #media from #climate torpor: http://www.thinkorswim.ie/guardian-seeks-to-rouse-media-from-its-climate-torpor/ via @think_or_swim #globalwarming #journalism

    Reply
  44. climatehawk1

     /  April 12, 2015

    #Glaciers ignore #climate change denial, continue melting: http://cnn.it/1yO6HnY #climate #globalwarming #sealevel #divest

    Reply
  45. http://www.climatecentral.org/news/u.s.-leads-global-oil-and-gas-production-18867

    “For the third year running, the U.S. produced more crude oil and natural gas than any other country in the world in 2014. More oil than Saudi Arabia. More gas than Russia. And it’s happening at time when the U.S. is trying to take a leadership role in slashing greenhouse gas emissions to avert the worst consequences of climate change.”

    Reply
    • and since today is today – Mother Jones: How Hillary Clinton’s State Department Sold Fracking to the World … That’s also Mr. Obama’s State Department…

      Reply
    • Apneaman

       /  April 13, 2015

      That’s not exactly your grandpas crude oil. They changed the definition of oil back in 2005 to crude + condensate for political reasons and to get investors to bite. Most of that production was/is only possible through junk debt that will not be paid back. At least not by those who borrowed it. Pensioners will be getting nailed for that through bail-ins. It was all arranged by the G-20 leaders in Australia last year. It was just another bubble.

      How changing the definition of oil has deceived both policymakers and the public

      http://resourceinsights.blogspot.ca/2012/07/how-changing-definition-of-oil-has.html

      New G20 Rules: Cyprus-style Bail-ins to Hit Depositors AND Pensioners

      http://ellenbrown.com/2014/12/01/new-rules-cyprus-style-bail-ins-to-hit-deposits-and-pensions/

      Reply
    • james cole

       /  April 13, 2015

      Yes, the USA is tops. The difference is that US production is marginal price wise. We produce oil and gas at the very high end of the cost structure, while Russia and Saudi produce at the low end of input costs, thus are most profitable. US Frackers made the difference, and now with lower prices, they are stopping drilling. Frackers for oil make a lot of fake claims, to lure investors in to buying their bonds. But fact is, oil needs to be $100 a barrel for Fracks to be on safe profitable ground. $80 and some can work on the margin. Under that, and we spend more money and energy producing the oil than we get back. Feature this. The USA finds 100 billion barrels of oil to frack. It costs more to frack it than the market will pay for it. Thus it is negative oil. More energy and currency in than comes out.

      Reply
      • Apneaman

         /  April 13, 2015

        The other little known, but major difference is you cannot do much with that condensate except use it for feed stock to make plastic pipe. Cost more to extract and provides less energy per barrel. Thus the new definition in 2005.

        Reply
      • Ouse M.D.

         /  April 13, 2015

        It`s not about profit anymore.
        It´s about keeping the masses on their arses.
        What do You think negative interest rates also serve?
        The super- rich are now partly paying INTO the system to keep the Matrix running…
        It´s The End and we deserve every minute of it.

        Reply
  46. climatehawk1

     /  April 12, 2015

    As weather shifts, ‘cli-fi’ takes root as new literary genre: http://www.trust.org/item/20150410094252-x7we9/?source=shtw via @TR_Foundation #climate #divest

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  April 13, 2015

      I highly recommend “A Being Darkly Wise” by John Atcheson – the best ‘cli-fi’ I’ve yet read.

      Reply
  47. climatehawk1

     /  April 12, 2015

    #Climate Change May Make Iconic #Alaskan Tree an Endangered Species http://io9.com/climate-change-means-this-tree-may-soon-become-an-endan-1697241778 #globalwarming #forest #divest

    Reply
  48. Tweets from São Paulo are starting to feature water shortages and dengue fever. They are not yet trending, but I am seeing more every day. There are themes of dissatisfaction with politicians, and the wealthy neighbourhoods that consume more water.

    Celso Dossi ‏@celsodossi 4h4 hours ago
    Alunos sem escola.
    Milhares de pessoas com dengue.
    População sem água.
    Poderia ser roteiro do novo Mad Max, mas é o Estado de São Paulo.

    Translated from Portuguese by Bing –
    Students without school.
    Thousands of people with dengue fever.
    Population without water.
    Could be the new Mad Max, but it’s the State of São Paulo in Brazil.

    Reply
    • climatehawk1

       /  April 12, 2015

      Huh, that is morbidly funny, as I have added the tagline “Mad Max Days” to a few of my recent tweets. Mostly they’ve concerned water–water thefts in California, gangs stealing water in Pakistan …

      Reply
  49. climatehawk1

     /  April 12, 2015

    So, I’ve griped a few times here about people “following their passions” instead of doing what they can to fight/slow climate change. Here’s a nice op-ed that says it much more articulately: “Commencement speakers are always telling young people to follow their passions. Be true to yourself. This is a vision of life that begins with self and ends with self. But people on the road to inner light do not find their vocations by asking, what do I want from life? They ask, what is life asking of me? How can I match my intrinsic talent with one of the world’s deep needs?”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/12/opinion/sunday/david-brooks-the-moral-bucket-list.html

    Reply
    • entropicman

       /  April 12, 2015

      Particularly since there is a distinct possibility that all these expensively researched reserves are likely to end up as stranded assets!

      Reply
      • climatehawk1

         /  April 12, 2015

        Oh be still, they are concentrating very hard on Orwell’s “doublethink” right now and you will upset them.

        Reply
  50. My whole life I’ve been hearing, “I’d rather he was more liberal, but I’ll vote for the Democrat, because I don’t want a Republican in office”.

    Voting for people you don’t believe in, while on the ballot are parties you do believe in (The Green Party)

    is

    insanity.

    Reply
  51. climatehawk1

     /  April 13, 2015

    Electric Car Batteries Fall to Key Price 5 Years Ahead Of Projections http://thkpr.gs/3646004 #climate #globalwarming #ev

    Reply
  52. climatehawk1

     /  April 13, 2015

    The Issue That Could Derail Marco #Rubio’s Presidential Chances With Latino Voters http://thkpr.gs/3645153 #climate #divest

    Reply
  53. climatehawk1

     /  April 13, 2015

    Like #coffee? Here’s how #climate change is affecting it: http://achangingclimate.org/2015/04/10/coffees-climate-crisis/ via @AChangingClimat #globalwarming #food

    Reply
  54. climatehawk1

     /  April 13, 2015
    Reply
  55. climatehawk1

     /  April 13, 2015

    Once Upon a Time, Marco #Rubio Believed In #Climate Science: @MotherJones http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2015/04/marco-rubio-president-climate-change #globalwarming #divest

    Reply
  56. Colorado Bob

     /  April 13, 2015

    Mighty Rio Grande Now a Trickle Under Siege

    Rising temperatures are the reason. The federal Bureau of Reclamation, which manages much water in the West, reported in 2013 that average temperatures in the upper Rio Grande, in Colorado and New Mexico, rose almost 2.8 degrees during the 40 years ending in 2011 — and could rise an additional four to six degrees by 2100.

    The 40-year increase, twice the global average, was beyond anything seen in the last 11,300 years. Future warming “has the potential to cause significant environmental harm and change the region’s hydrology,” the bureau’s analysis stated.

    Link

    Reply
  57. — From the NYT re Calif. drought cycle:

    “… Equally as important but much easier to forget is that we consider the last 150 years or so to be normal,” he added. “But you don’t have to go back very far at all to find much drier decades, and much drier centuries.”

    That raises the possibility that California has built its water infrastructure — indeed, its entire modern society — during a wet period.

    Within that century and a half of relative wetness, the period from the mid-1970s to the late 1990s — a time when California’s population soared by about 50 percent — was even wetter, said Dr. Seager of Lamont-Doherty. “All of that growth occurred at a time when more water was available than you’d expect in the long term…”

    — The dividing up water resources and dam building on the Colorado River was based upon a very wet cycle — and not at all normal or dependable.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/14/science/californias-history-of-drought-repeats.html

    Reply
  58. Kevin Jones

     /  April 13, 2015

    Any candidate who runs on a platform designed with justice and fairness, no exceptions, to bend down the Keeling Curve will have my support. That this happen is not ‘the perfect’ but the necessary. This is the single issue to encompass all real ones. The candidate America and the world desperately need is unknown at the moment. We need a brave and brilliant one who is of the people and not for sale. The evacuation at Dunkirk was ‘good generalship’ . It saved the British Army and thus the Brits. (some say). Sustainable Retreat away from our drug addiction to fossil fuels which will not last forever…. should be job 1. When Honest Hope becomes risible, we’ve a real situation on our hands.

    Reply
  59. Kevin Jones

     /  April 13, 2015

    robertscribbler: the chronology of comments is getting scrambled… disrupts the dialogue. Is there a fix?

    Reply
    • The discussion got political. Some of the comments went off the rails — anti-Semitic, baseless political statements taking the form of agitation, statements approaching personal attacks, misinformation (intended or unintended) about political candidates etc.

      I pulled those comments out and that can tend to break the dialogue up. Not much I can do about it. My general request would be that everyone moderate themselves when talking about politics.

      As a general statement to everyone (not aimed at you, Kevin), I’d like to add that Hillary Clinton has been demonized since day 1. So there is a lot of wheat and chaff to sort out on that particular candidate and the load of misinformation is enormous — probably more than even what we see with Obama.

      In such a situation, to aid in rational discussion, we should probably think about what we do know as opposed to what we think we know or what we’re most afraid of.

      Statements about Zionism (anti-Semitic), statements or allusions to body lists (misinformation), hate-speak about lawyers (Just utter nonsense — every civilization since Babylon has had something equivalent to a lawyer. If you have laws, you have lawyers.), overly politicizing the issue of drone attacks, or the like are not welcome and do not add value to the discussion.

      These are politically divisive statements that I have found feed into the republican narrative (fear all things government) and serve only to fracture support for solutions or positive response.

      Reply
  60. 12volt dan

     /  April 13, 2015

    More research on the arctic methane question ; Guest post: What the latest science says about thawing permafrost. http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/04/guest-post-what-the-latest-science-says-about-thawing-p.
    not sure myself which way the carbon will be released but I have found this topic interesting not just for the topic but the opportunity to see the debate among the scientists involved.

    Reply
  61. climatehawk1

     /  April 13, 2015

    How U.S. energy agency lowballs renewables projections, damaging #climate efforts http://blog.ucsusa.org/eia-annual-energy-outlook-2015-renewable-energy-climate-change-704#.VSwcH55oU6s.twitter #globalwarming

    Reply
  62. Speaking as a UK voter, our election is in May. I have always voted tactically in previous elections. This time I will vote Green because:

    Our two main parties are very close to each other in the middle.

    We do not have proportional representation, so if you live in a safe constituency for one of the parties, you can vote with your beliefs (pointlessly), or you can vote tactically for someone who has a chance of winning, although you may not agree with them 100%.

    I have no chance of having an effective vote, so I may as well vote from principle.

    Reply
  63. TomCobbler

     /  April 13, 2015

    Decadal modulation of global surface temperature by internal climate variability

    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2605.html

    One more hiatus paper can’t hurt, can it? Just out from Nature today. Very conclusive, backs up other PDO/IPO papers explaining the “hiatus” in surface warming (if there really is one).

    Reply
  64. climatehawk1

     /  April 13, 2015

    Ding, Dong: #Coal Is Dead, Time to Accept It http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2015/04/11/coal-is-dead-its-time-to-accept-it.aspx via @themotleyfool #climate #globalwarming #divest

    Reply
  65. climatehawk1

     /  April 13, 2015

    RT David Spratt @djspratt
    Crazy question: could Siberia burn in a hotter world? Answer: it already is, right now. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-13/17-dead-as-wildfires-sweep-through-siberia/6390260

    Reply
  66. Apneaman

     /  April 13, 2015

    Reply
  67. Colorado Bob

     /  April 13, 2015

    For Wyoming, Climate Change Is Now
    By Phil Plait

    In 2014, I wrote about the Wyoming state Legislature actively moving to suppress real science education when it came to global warming. As I said,

    Science itself has many laws, but it doesn’t give a damn about ours.

    Those words still echo loudly when it comes to Wyoming. A new research paper has come out showing that snow melt in the northwest region of that state is occurring earlier all the time, exactly as you’d expect with warmer winters and spring.

    The scientists used satellite data to measure snow extent over time and found that snow is melting 16 ± 10 days earlier in the 2000s compared with 1972–1999.
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2015/04/13/climate_change_wyoming_experiencing_effects_now.html

    Reply
  68. LRC

     /  April 14, 2015


    Interesting comment on climate change and train wrecks.

    Reply
  69. Interesting piece on what happens when Lake Mead water level falls to the point where shortages are declared. Likely this August. Spoiler alert. It’s not the panicky situation you might think it is.

    http://www.inkstain.net/fleck/2015/04/1075-what-a-lake-mead-shortage-would-mean-in-practice/

    Reply
  70. Ouse M.D.

     /  April 14, 2015

    “Polar” vortex displaced over Siberia…

    http://postimg.org/image/mb4f7ntwd/

    Reply
  71. Colorado Bob

     /  April 14, 2015

    Global Warming Is Already Clobbering the Amazon

    Any individual tree doesn’t tell Phillips much about how the Amazon is reacting to climate change, of course. But thousands of them, measured regularly for decades? That’s some of the most valuable climate data to come out of the world’s largest rainforest. Phillips coordinates a project called Rainfor, which aims to census and re-census the trees in hundreds of plots in the Amazon for as many decades as funding will allow. The oldest plots in the network were first censused in the 1970s; over 400 scientists, many of them from Amazonian countries, have been involved in the fieldwork so far.

    http://www.wired.com/2015/04/global-warming-already-clobbering-amazon/

    Reply
  72. Colorado Bob

     /  April 14, 2015

    As Glacial Floods Threaten Mountain Communities, a Global Exchange Is Fostering Adaptation

    In 1941, glacial Lake Palcacocha in the Peruvian Andes burst its moraine dam of earth and stones, sending a torrent of water through the city of Huaraz and killing an estimated 5,000 people. Between 1941 and 1950, two more glacial lake outburst floods, or GLOFs, which can occur after enough water fills in behind a glacier’s end moraine, killed another 5,000 people in the Cordillera Blanca. In response, the government set up one of the most effective glaciological units in the world with the goal of preventing future outburst floods. Using drain pipes, reinforced terminal moraine dams, sophisticated tunnels, and valve systems, they drained or contained 34 lakes in the region. As a result, thousands of lives were saved.

    Link

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  April 14, 2015

      Reply
    • We are hitting a time when Glacial Outburst Floods are going to be in the news more and more. It’s a huge hazard to put so much water at high elevation behind a tenuous dam of silt. We could see far worse in Greenland and Antarctica…

      Reply
  73. climatehawk1

     /  April 14, 2015

    Volcanoes (Still) Not the Cause of #GlobalWarming http://www.wired.com/2015/04/volcanoes-still-not-source-increasing-carbon-dioxide-atmosphere/ via @WIRED #climate #science #divest

    Reply
    • Wired finally figured this out? The human carbon emission is 150+ times that of volcanoes.

      Reply
      • climatehawk1

         /  April 14, 2015

        Actually, I think it is encouraging. IIRC, Wired has been carrying stuff in the past from Matt Ridley, who is affiliated with the bogus Global Warming Policy Foundation and has coal investments.

        Reply
        • I suppose so. But I can’t help but give them a bit of a hard time for what is basically a ‘duh’ statement. These guys are supposed to be top science journalists. Where have they been for the past 5 decades? They should have been posting this in the 1960s.

  74. climatehawk1

     /  April 14, 2015

    .@WorldBank chief: Scrap fossil fuel subsidies now, bring in #carbontax: http://gu.com/p/47fvm/stw #climate #globalwarming

    Reply
  75. Colorado Bob

     /  April 14, 2015

    Sierra Nevada pine tree die-off worsens as beetles thrive in drought

    PINEHURST, Calif. — A massive die-off of pine trees in the southern Sierra Nevada caused by beetles attacking drought-stressed trees is turning forests brown and creating a fire tinderbox.

    From El Portal in Mariposa County to Kernville in Kern County and beyond, stands of dead trees are striking fear in the hearts of mountain residents.

    “You drive around and it’s all around us,” said Lee Duncan, who lives in Miramonte in Fresno County near Pinehurst. “It’s like a gasoline can everywhere.”

    Link

    Reply
  76. Colorado Bob

     /  April 14, 2015

    Southern pine beetle found across state is destroying trees

    WALLINGFORD–A tiny beetle, discovered for the first time in Connecticut just two weeks ago, is causing big problems for pine trees in state.

    The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection have announced that the southern pine beetle was detected in Wallingford’s Wharton Brook State Park, in roughly two dozen red pine trees, on March 17 by staff members.

    Link

    Reply
  77. Colorado Bob

     /  April 14, 2015

    West’s pine forests ravaged by beetles

    In the most recent epidemic of bark beetles, which began in about 1996, pine trees in the U.S. West have died on chunks of land that, if aggregated, would be as large as Montana.

    Link

    Reply
  78. Colorado Bob

     /  April 14, 2015

    Odds now favour an El Nino event in 2015, Bureau of Meteorology says

    Australia’s chances of a hotter and drier than usual year have increased with the likelihood of an El Nino event forming in the Pacific Ocean this year now an odds-on risk, the Bureau of Meteorology said.

    All international climate models…indicate that El Nino thresholds will be reached or exceeded by June

    Sea-surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific are “now just shy of El Nino levels”, the bureau said in its latest update, adding that large areas of abnormally balmy waters below the surface are likely to keep the region warm for some time.

    “Ocean temperatures in the tropical Pacific continue to be warmer than average, trade winds remain weaker than average, and all models surveyed suggest further ocean warming will occur,” the bureau said.

    It predicts the likelihood of an El Nino event this year “at least a 70 per cent chance”, matching the recent forecasts of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/odds-now-favour-an-el-nino-event-in-2015-bureau-of-meteorology-says-20150414-1mktud.html

    Reply
  79. Colorado Bob

     /  April 14, 2015

    Record sea-surface temperatures in Pacific point to record warmth in 2015 and 2016

    Sea temperatures around Australia are posting “amazing” records that climate specialists say signal global records set in 2014 may be broken this year and next.

    The climate is on a performance-enhancing drug and that drug is carbon dioxide

    March sea-surface temperatures in the Coral Sea region off Queensland broke the previous high by 0.12 degrees – a big jump for oceans that are typically more thermally stable than land. Temperatures for the entire Australian ocean region also set new highs for the month, the Bureau of Meteorology said. …………………………….. For the Coral Sea region – which includes the entire Great Barrier Reef and stretches from Cape York almost as far south as Brisbane – sea-surface temperatures from January to March were 0.73 degrees above average at 29.16 degrees, making it the warmest three-month period on record, the bureau said.

    Link

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  April 14, 2015

      Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  April 14, 2015

      “The climate is on a performance-enhancing drug and that drug is carbon dioxide”. – That’s an excellent way to put it when discussing AGW with people. Thanks Bob.

      Reply
    • Well, said and cited, Bob. Seeing equatorial zones with such high departures should be a wake up call. What a mess!

      Reply
  80. Kevin Jones

     /  April 14, 2015

    JAXA just called March 2015 warmest March yet. GISS not out yet but I noticed March 2010 was their previous warmest March so far (and 4th warmest month yet) at .87C. It will be ‘interesting’ when GISS posts.

    Reply
  81. Caroline

     /  April 14, 2015

    Robert, you have always been a source of optimism AND realism in the face of despair regarding climate change. I can’t imagine voting for more of the same which has moved us closer to the wall where earth’s life support systems will literally crash and burn. There has got to be a better way than going the route of “most electable” in this pathological 2 party system.

    This is a serious question to you; how can you reconcile Hillary’s touting of oil and gas production besides just pointing out that she is better than the denying “ogres” of the Republican party?
    The actions of the Democrats have been crazy making! Saying one thing and doing another. We’ve got to do better or at least go down trying. I am not one that easily succumbs to learned helplessness. We are out of time —- we can’t settle, we just can’t.

    From Mother Jones this month:
    “Clinton see climate change as a major threat. But she still wants to boost fossil fuel supplies.
    Clinton shares what David Roberts has identified as Obama’s split personality on climate change—tackling it aggressively on the consumption side but continuing to boost fossil fuel supplies. That’s not as bad as the science deniers on the Republican side, or the climate curmudgeonliness of likely Democratic candidate Jim Webb. But it’s also not quite the climate hawkishness we need.”
    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2015/04/hillary-clinton-climate-change-president

    Reply
    • Caroline —

      This statement isn’t entirely true. If Obama is using policy to direct EPA to regulate carbon emissions, if Obama is making treaty arrangements with China to cut carbon emissions, if Obama is increasing CAFE standards, if Obama is delaying or denying the Keystone Pipeline, then Obama is working to reduce carbon consumption as well as to increase alternative energy supply.

      This is policy Hillary continues to support and I view it as far more positive than what republicans would do — amounting to wholesale curtailment of efficiency standards, use of EPA to regulate carbon, international efforts to reduce carbon emissions, and active support of renewables.

      So, yes, democrats do have a few fossil fuel cheerleaders in their ranks and, yes, Obama could stop approving drilling for certain regions under an ‘all of the above’ energy security arrangement.

      But if you look at the policy arrangement, both Obama and Hillary pursue an ‘end of fossil fuel’ stance — slower than I would like, for a certainty. But it is there nonetheless. The opposition pushes to shackle the US to fossil fuel use through the end of this Century at least which is a recipe for wreckage.

      Caroline — there is no viable opposition to the two party system that is capable of overturning it in 2016. And if we go off hunting rainbows and imagined alternatives, we lose the progress that we already have. I’m not willing to take that risk. So it is full on support of Hillary for me. If something else does emerge, then I will look at that as it arises. But right now there is simply too much to lose by dividing our forces chasing ephemeral goals.

      Finally, I’m not going to host a conversation that either intentionally or unintentionally acts as a wedge issue to divide liberal support and demoralize the democratic base.

      Fin.

      Reply
      • Caroline

         /  April 14, 2015

        Ok—I’ll be on my way; “chasing rainbows, imagined alternatives, ephemeral goals and acting as a “wedge to divide liberal support”.
        I just wanted your thoughts . . . sorry to offend you. God forbid someone has a differing view than yours when it comes to certain topics.

        Reply
    • In other words, Caroline, show me a way to challenge the 2 party system that does not result in republicans gaining even more power and I’d give it a shot. At this point, I don’t see that as a viable possibility. Maybe there’s something or someone I’m missing?

      For reference, even Teddy Roosevelt had to join one of the two major parties to get elected… Bull Moose was great, but it resulted in Teddy having to wait 4 years. For our part, we can’t afford to lose 4 more years to republican nonsense. But we can light one hell of a fire under Hillary — as we already have with Obama.

      Reply
  82. LRC

     /  April 14, 2015

    If I may have a different take on this debate. The concentration seems to be on lowering CO2 emissions which is a needed first step. My issue is that we are so far down the road that even going to zero emissions the level of ppm is so high now that natural feedbacks are going to cause huge problems. What is needed is to bury carbon in a liquid or solid stable form that will stay there for a very long time.Solution grow fast growing plants and bury it in mines in a form that will not decompose, such as hempcrete. If we want to continue to live on this planet we really need to think in terms of getting CO2 levels down to 300ppm not letting it creep up to 600-700ppm. Nature can do it without our help over 1000-10000 years. In otherworlds it needs a big assist in a hurry.

    Reply
    • Get net CO2 emissions to zero as fast as possible. Then get to net negative Carbon emissions as fast as possible. Those have always been the stated goals and the low hanging fruit is rapid cessation of fossil fuel burning.

      Reply
  83. Kevin Jones

     /  April 14, 2015

    Hmmm. If I remember correctly the Supreme Court and it’s reasoning deprived Gore of his (well) earned victory. Back to science….

    Reply
  84. Do you know the reason behind the recent slight up-ticks in Arctic sea ice in April, or is that not unusual for this time of year?

    Reply
    • Not unusual. In fact, some variability is expected.

      Over recent days, we saw a broad shift in the wind pattern over the region between Siberia and Yamal from south-north to north-south. This shift is related to a warm air invasion over the Beaufort and Mackenzie Delta region — driving cold air out of the Arctic on the Atlantic side.

      This shift pushed ice pack expansion in the Barents and Kara after an earlier recession.

      Overall, we are still 3rd to 4th lowest on record in the extent measure for this time of year.

      I’d say given the negative feedback of fresh water outflow from Greenland glacial melt and from increasing river flows fighting a very rapid pace of Arctic warming the sea ice situation for the Northern Hemisphere is anything but stable. In addition, the expected shift of the cold core to Greenland appears underway which is ratcheting up instability further.

      I’d be surprised if we don’t see some pretty wild swings.

      Reply
    • It’s been a fairly slow start to the melt season with both extent and area slowly undulating. It’s to be expected that the extent/area at any time of the year will be in the top few of lowest for time of year, given the long term trend, but it could take many years yet to reach a sea ice free Arctic.

      Reply
      • Melt rates have slowed down over the past week or two. Looks like we are at around 5th or 6th lowest on record at this point. Beaufort is in a state of disarray, though.

        AO heading negative may mean that melt continues to lag a bit for the next week or so.

        Reply

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