Water Conflict Starts as Climate Change Induced California Drought Expected to Worsen Through Summer, Autumn

From the West Coast perspective, climate change is a day-to-day, in-your-face affair.

The sunsets in Seattle are tinted red from massive Siberian permafrost fires belching immense smoke plumes in springtime. California snow packs and reservoirs are at historic low levels after a four-year-long drought that is the worst in 1200 years and the hottest winter on record. The Golden State, famous for its Central Valley fruits, vegetables and wines, is facing increasingly strict water rationing. Other water intensive industries from resorts, to computer chip makers, to nonrenewable power plants are all feeling the pinch.

Off the coast, a blocking high pressure system — so persistent it has earned the monicker Ridiculously Resilient Ridge (RRR) from weather experts — continues to expand. Wildfires for the region are burning at double their typical rate for Winter and Spring. And the only real hope for a break in the drought will come this winter with a potential strong and perhaps even more disruptive El Nino.

Dwindling Snow Packs and Failing Reservoirs

California Drought April 20 2014California Drought April 20 2015

(Comparison of California snow packs from water-poor 2014 [left frame] to water-poorer 2015 [right frame]. Under continued human-forced warming, snow packs in California may completely disappear during spring and summer by mid-Century. Image source: LANCE-MODIS.)

But even if a Monster El Nino does emerge to hurl a hellacious, storm-engorged Pineapple Express at California this coming Winter, the state is now facing off against a very water poor Summer and Autumn. April 20 snow packs have dwindled even from their amazingly depleted levels last year (see above comparison) and reservoir levels in many areas are at critical thresholds. At a time when water pools should be brimming full after winter rains, all major state water storage sites are well below historical averages as of April 20 with six out of eleven sites showing levels at less than 39 percent capacity. Exchequer Reservoir, in southern Central Valley, is the driest of a dry bunch — showing a 9 percent capacity.

These low levels come after major consumption reduction policies were put in place by Governor Brown and by numerous municipalities during 2014. Now, critical State water levels are resulting in additional reductions in urban water use of 25 percent statewide. A policy that is causing backlash from the wealthy, businesses, landowners, and other high-volume consumers together with calls for new desalination plants and pipelines to divert Seattle water into Lake Mead (a project that, by itself, would cost about 30 billion dollars). There water levels have gone through a multi-decade free-fall and Monday hit a new, all time, record low level of 1081.10 feet.

California Reservoir Conditions

(Current California reservoir situation map. Image source: The Pacific Institute’s California Drought Page.)

Drought to Worsen at Least Through Autumn

Long-range forecasts through mid-summer show continued extreme dry conditions on tap. The US Seasonal Drought Outlook shows drought worsening through July 31st for a six state section of the US Southwest. A section of increased and record drying which features California at center mass. For this region, strong south-to-north air flows beneath an expanding heat dome will continue to bring much hotter and drier than normal conditions. The heat dome will continue to feed on much hotter Northeastern Pacific water temperatures in the range of +3 to +5 warmer than normal. (A pool of hot water that is also implicated in various ocean creature mass die-offs over the past two years.)

With California already facing the hottest and driest conditions in two millennia, a continuation and intensification of historic heat and drought may well be seen as merciless. And what it means is imminent water shortages and likely conflict over a dwindling supply.

US Drought outlook

(The US Seasonal Drought Outlook provided by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center shows the ongoing 1200 year California Drought intensifying through at least mid-July.)

Already, businesses are up in arms over a ratcheting water use reduction policy. According to reports from the Los Angeles Times, farmers looking at water reductions in the range of 25 to 30 percent are questioning whether they can continue to produce. Water brokers to desert resorts in Coachella Valley are looking at losses exceeding 10 million dollars. Landscaping, intended to add to home values, is withering, drying up investments and home equity in one blow.

These deep cuts are rippling on down the line to threaten a wide variety of businesses, all dependent on water access. Business policy advocate Valerie Nera noted to the Times:

“Beverage manufacturers, bottlers, coffee shops, industries like micro chip processors and food processors for example would be put in jeopardy if 25 percent of their water usage were cut or if they had to pay significantly more for their water.”

All losses that will mount on top of an estimated 2.2 billion dollars in damages from the drought’s impact in 2014 alone. Losses that will, all too likely, continue into 2016 if a potential, very strong, El Nino doesn’t develop and deliver very heavy rains.

A Crisis Without End

But the issue isn’t just one of water impacts for this year and the possible impacts for next. It is an issue of ongoing and worsening water impacts throughout this Century. Impacts set off by an inexorable and ramping of human-caused climate change and highlighted in a new report earlier this month entitled: Risky Business — The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States.

Risky-Business

(Instances of extreme weather become ‘normal’ as global temperatures increase.  Graph from the Risky Business climate report.)

In short, for California, it’s not just an issue of making it through this drought. It’s an issue of making it through the many that will surely follow — decade after decade after decade. Making it through the more intense storms that will break droughts by delivering far more rain in a far shorter time than previously experienced. An issue of dealing with a diminishment and then a loss of snow pack. An issue of dealing with significant property losses from rising sea levels. An issue of dealing with harm to almost every food-producing sector from farming, through drought and increased storm intensity, to fishing, through a major blow to ocean health and vitality.

In such an instance we can read the words Climate Change writ large in the current California drought emergency. Not just because it is the worst drought to affect the state in two millennia. Not just because conflict over water resources is starting to ramp up now. But also because the current crisis is but one in a long succession of similar and worsening disruptions that will surely follow. The terrible result of a ramping heating of the atmosphere set off by human greenhouse gas emissions.

Links:

California Drought to Worsen

Smoke From Siberian Permafrost Fires Reaches West Coast

California Drought Worst in 1200 Years

California Experiences Hottest Winter on Record

LANCE-MODIS

Monster Kelvin Wave Redux

California Faces Fight Over Historic Water Rationing

Lake Mead Hits Record Low Levels

The Pacific Institute’s California Drought Page

The US Seasonal Drought Outlook

2014 California Drought Damages at 2.2 Billion

Starving Sea Lion Pups and Liquified Starfish

Risky Business — The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States

Hat Tip to Colorado Bob

Hat Tip to Andy in San Diego

Hat Tip to DTLange

Leave a comment

102 Comments

  1. Red Hot Chili Papper ” Rain Dance”.

    Reply
  2. Kevin Jones

     /  April 22, 2015

    Please pace yourself, Robert. It’s going to be a long summer. http://www.arachnoid.com/NaturalResources/

    Reply
  3. Andy in YKD

     /  April 22, 2015

    Ian Dunlop has a new update here:

    http://media.wix.com/ugd/148cb0_98c292356bce41638b9cd34fd49869f4.pdf

    Snip: • The IPCC reported that “to provide a 93% mid-value probability of not exceeding 2°C, the concentration (of atmospheric greenhouse gases) would need to be stabilised at, or below, 350 ppm CO2e”, that is, below current levels, which means no carbon budget available for 2°C.”

    Comment: The author should have, IMO, mentioned that the current CO2e is 481 pppm, with a difference of 131 ppm from 350ppm CO2e. David Wasdell’s ESS puts the current CO2e temperature above 6c.

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  April 22, 2015

      Thanks for this Andy in YKD. The tightly correlated CO2/Temp graphs going back 850,000 years from the ice cores rather firmly suggest the above is on the mark. My complaint with most climate activists I know is that they really don’t work that hard to understand the science. Lovelock worries that for many it has become a religion. I do too. It’s great to find purpose and belong to a tribe….but jet setting activists must have Faith that some kind of carbon capture and storage will relieve them of their contrail sins…..

      Reply
      • If someone believes there is no harm in the pipe, or that we can respond fast enough to have zero harm, then they really are flying on faith. What we are looking at are degrees of harm and what may be, remotely, survivable. The carbon negative society, at this point, is no longer an option — it’s a necessity. If we can’t achieve that, then we are pretty much hosed.

        Reply
      • Andy in YKD

         /  April 22, 2015

        Regarding being relieved of their carbon sins. . . .ditto for climate scientists going to conferences in far away destinations. . . Permaculture trainers/educators etc. . . Kevin Anderson is the only scientist of public note that I’m aware of that has given up flying. Pretty much everyone continues to burn far to much carbon because it is good for their bank accounts, retirement accounts etc . . .I suppose it could be said that at this late stage in the process that it doesn’t really matter what a person chooses to do. . . and we are all guilty. A bit like cancer cells running around metaphorically waving our hands in the air.

        Reply
        • Well, if we want to help the situation we need to go to zero and then net negative. Societally and individually. Systemic action really helps. We need to reward good actors and punish bad.

      • Andrew Dodds

         /  April 23, 2015

        Andy in YKD

        The problem is that individual action cannot solve the problem. Indeed, I often think that the emphasis on individual changes is almost counter productive – it reinforces the idea of environmentalists as ‘hair shirters’, or hobbyists trying to live off-grid. Then some skeptics turn around and say that other people are ‘choosing’ to use coal so there is nothing anyone can do, the decision is ‘made in the market’.

        But this isn’t VHS vs. Betamax. It’s not 3D TV vs. 4k TV; it’s not PC vs Mac. It’s not a problem that can be fixed by the market. It needs systematic government action sustained over a couple of decades, to replace our entire energy supply. This can be done – and it’s affordable – but it will not happen because a few people, or even a lot of people individually change their behavior.

        Reply
    • Looking like 484 CO2e as of now. Maybe 485 if this El Nino keeps ramping up and we get more carbon out of the Ocean.

      Wasdell includes amplifying carbon store feedbacks (and added carbon on top of what we already have as a result) which are a tough measure to nail down. But even if we stabilize at current CO2e levels we’re looking at a range near 4 C long term and 2 C this Century.

      With an AMOC slowdown, with carbon stores heating up in the Arctic and with the tropical rainforests going down it’s a pretty safe bet that the carbon store response is already outsized enough to provide net additions in atmospheric values (CO2 methane). That’s trouble, regardless of your ESS figures.

      So, yeah, no carbon budget.

      Reply
      • Sorry Robert
        But where do you get 484 CO2e from?
        404 CO2
        172 ish absolute minimum CO2e via CH4 @ the BS rate of 86/1 over 20 years.
        100 CO2e with NO2 (Sorry not total sure on this??)
        60 Co2e negative feedback when the particulates ‘wash out’
        ?? water vapor ? + other stuff
        = 876 ppm CO2e?
        And that’s without adding the real forcing factor of possible 300/1 – CH4/CO2 , and the more of it there is the longer it hangs around.

        Thanks for your stuff.

        And carbon negative worth a darn = 10 GTs per year withdrawn and stored atmospheric CO2/CO2e. Or so I heard the other day?

        Reply
    • Andy in YKD

       /  April 22, 2015

      Yes, we all need to go carbon negative. Geoff Lawton makes the statement that we need all the people currently on the planet since the only way to get carbon out of the atmosphere and ocean is for all of us to get out there and get to work returning our local ecosystems to full function. That resonated with me. We all need to get out there. . . not wait for organizations to tell us it is okay. . . or governments to make some more non-binding agreements. We are the leaders we have been waiting for.

      Reply
    • Andy in YKD

       /  April 24, 2015

      Andrew Dodds. . .

      I respectfully disagree. Societal change always comes from individuals taking action. Governments lead from behind on social issues, if at all, only after the opinion polls come in.

      Reply
  4. 0422: Robert, this am Portland’s KBOO FM radio had a Radioecoshock piece with you. It was edited to fit the KBOO .5 hr. time slot. No mention of date of interview. It’s not listed on radioecoshock.
    Either way it was good to hear you speak of what needs to be said.
    Am proud of KBOO, raqdioecoshock, and you (and your researchers).

    Program:
    Political Perspectives
    Air date:
    Wed, 04/22/2015 – 9:30am – 10:00am
    Short Description:
    Robert Marston Fanney on the New Frontiers of Climate Change
    From Radio Ecoshock host Alex Smith speaks with one of the world’s best risk
    watchers. He’s author Robert Marston Fanney, and his launching pad is called Robert Scribbler’s Blog.
    [audio src="http://kboo.fm/sites/default/files/episode_audio/kboo_episode.2.150422.0930.12434.mp3" /]

    Reply
  5. J McKenzie

     /  April 22, 2015

    Surely California also has a problem with groundwater supply which accounts for 40%(?) of supply. Since most groundwater is from alluvial deposits these must also react relatively quickly to drought. While you can drawdown in years of drought, exceeding the recharge, doing that for multiple years leads to deeper wells, higher pumping costs and eventual exhaustion. Are their any worries on that front? The article for obvious reasons refers to resevoirs.

    Coming from a wet country (usually), Wales, the reliance on resevoirs with a lack of groundwater supply can leave you in a difficult place – 1976 here comes to mind. So groundwater can balance out supply in dry years but having visited California I get the impression that people, somehow, believe they live in a wet enviroment. Water sprinkled everywhere in the mid-day sun, Green swathes of grass – usually golf courses – or front gardens of houses, never used for anything but visual amenity. Quite strange when compared to countries like Spain or Greece.

    Reply
    • https://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2014/10/06/100000-wells-about-to-go-dry-nasa-finds-california-drought-removing-4-trillion-gallons-of-water-each-year/

      4 trillion gallon per year loss from groundwater during recent years. This from October of 2014. We will probably have an update this fall. But the situation is quite dire with a combination of drying wells and land subsidence in low-lying Central Valley.

      Reply
    • Historical bit: Many of S.Cal’s early urban settlers were from places with Iowa and Missouri like climates and landscapes — green and verdant with lot’s of water.
      California is mostly desert with little to no water.
      Hollywood, Disneyesque Fantasy Lands grew wherever stolen water and gas guzzling spewing cars were invited.

      – Earth Day got much of its impetus from Santa Barbara’s 1969 Union Oil platform blowout.
      Not much has really changed — it is sad to report.
      Just the severity.

      A geog-ucsb-edu 1969 view of Santa Barbara harbor area. The same harbor I used to sail out of until a warming Arctic crippled the polar jet steam, and allowed the RRR high to entrench itself — which took my W NW sailing wind away. Which also likely caused a great deal of black carbon soot air pollution to fall and accumulate in Santa Barbara.

      Reply
  6. Here’s a good Earth Day carbon reality check from Climate Central.
    (Main link to follow.)

    Reply
  7. Just listened to

    https://kboo.fm/robertmarstonfanneyonthenewfrontiersofcl

    Thanks Robert – writing and talking are different skills, but you communicate either way.
    Great to be able to hear radio from all over the planet.

    Reply
  8. Colorado Bob

     /  April 22, 2015

    Been following the Sydney Super Storm ?

    Australian really got it’s clock cleaned .

    Reply
    • Been looking at the reports. It’s been in one hell of a pattern over the past week or so. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday were definitely extreme, especially with that 300 millimeter one-day rainfall event.

      Reply
  9. “Sydney weather: waves break records as erosion sees Narrabeen retreat 25 metres during storm”
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/sydney-weather-waves-break-records-as-erosion-sees-narrabeen-retreat-25-metres-during-storm-20150422-1mqqjc.html

    Massive beach erosion pictures.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  April 22, 2015

      THE worst of the wild weather is over — but the extent of the damage this week’s killer east coast storm has caused is only beginning to be uncovered.

      Storm-battered towns in NSW have been warned to watch out for more flooding and evacuation orders remain in place for parts of southwest Sydney after the Georges River broke its banks, forcing residents out of 250 Milperra homes.

      The death toll rose to at least eight yesterday as Sydney, The Hunter and the Central Coast weathered a third day of record-breaking rain and cyclone-strength winds.

      Link

      Guess what ? This one, killed only old people. It stripped nearly a foot of sand off Bondi Beach. It closed the world’s largest coal export terminal , and coal prices rose as soon as it started. The rainfall rates 125 miles north of Sydney were a 100 year event. 50 foot waves outside Sydney harbor also never seen before.

      Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  April 22, 2015

      Everyday all over this Earth, rich or poor hundreds of thousands of people are getting first hand lessons in climate change. Tonight those rich people at Narrabeen, Australia have no beach. Even if they still have their house. They remind me of Inuit on the Arctic , the sea is eating their town as well.

      Reply
    • As a type I am hearing the sound of chainsaws clearing falling trees. Not a fun few days, but the sun is out now.
      Apparently the storm was an East Coast Low, a unique storm cell only experienced on the east coast of Australia. It is like a 1/2 slice of a hurricane.

      Reply
      • On the sat it looks like a wind and moisture blow torch. Pattern is still in place even though it appears to have backed off a bit.

        Reply
  10. Wharf Rat

     /  April 22, 2015

    Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over.

    Mark Twain

    Reply
  11. james cole

     /  April 22, 2015

    Off the Shores of the British Isles, much warmer than normal sea temperatures has brought a mass jelly fish invasion. I saw this same thing in 2009 in the Kattegat Sea between Sweden and Denmark. This normally cold water makes swimming on the west coast of Sweden in May a freezing prospect. But not for us, we plunged into the unusually warm sea water at the end of May, and basked in 90 degree heat and sunshine afterwards. With two months until tourist season for these beaches. Everything was two months ahead of normal climate. And the sea was awash with jelly fish!
    In my Grand Parents day, every town and village on the coast was chocked full of fishing boats, and the rivers of the coast were world famous salmon fishing waters. In my parents day the fishing began a decline that ended now in 2000’s with the Kattegat a dead sea, unless you count Jelly Fish as life worth noting! Pollution and increasing warm waters killed or chased away nearly all the normal cold water fish types. My last living relative there sold his fishing boat a decade ago. Along the coast there simply is no sport or commercial fishing. Kattegat is classed as a dead sea, though no media or government cares to even speak of it. More denial
    I don’t know how much longer British fishermen can catch a cold water species anywhere near British waters. I hear the Scottish boats go far north now, and still find good Cod, but for how much longer? Warming seas everywhere it seems. On the pacific northwest, I read of major warming episodes changing the fish species. Japan’s waters have been invaded and conquered by giant jelly fish. Jelly Fish thrive in our world’s warming oceans.
    All this escapes our media. Only the scientists seem willing to publish the news that warming world is killing our seas.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  April 22, 2015

      james cole –
      Well said.

      Our actions block life moving on land, the oceans are not that case. Life moves freely there . But like the land , we drive them relentlessly. Your comment reminded of Niel Young –
      “After the Gold Rush”
      “Look at mother nature on the run in the 1970’s”

      Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  April 22, 2015

      I like this post,and it should be shocking, but its almost par for the course at the mo.

      Jellyfish n chips, anyone?

      Reply
    • Griffin

       /  April 22, 2015

      Cape Cod has been in a similar situation James, thanks for sharing this.

      Reply
    • Yes, very well said, and in a easy to understand context full of empathy. “In my Grand Parents day…
      Thanks, james cole

      Reply
    • The water’s getting cooler just south of Greenland. But that’s the glaciers bleeding out. And it’s not an ocean helper at all. That cold water right there is an ocean killer.

      Reply
  12. Colorado Bob

     /  April 22, 2015

    That tall leggy blonde from American Petroleum Inst. is on TV right now, telling us how the past is the future. I wonder if she has children ? I hope she has a home over the Earth Quake zone in Oklahoma.

    Reply
  13. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2015/04/siberia-tug-war-lake-baikal-water-150406080745184.html
    “Nikolay Penoyev stands in the middle of an empty field blanketed in snow. Next to him on the barren ground rests a speedboat.
    “This boat is meant to be on water,” Penoyev says, pointing to the grounded vessel. “We’re standing in the middle of a river. It used to be 40 metres wide.”
    Penoyev is chief of Ranzhurovo, a Siberian village stricken by a water crisis. That Ranzhurovo is on the shores of Lake Baikal, home to a quarter of the world’s fresh surface water, makes the situation all the more perplexing.
    The water level of Lake Baikal – the world’s deepest and oldest freshwater lake and a UNESCO world heritage site – has reached its lowest point in 60 years, plummeting below the minimum level designated by the government as critical.”

    Reply
  14. Colorado Bob

     /  April 23, 2015

    A real divide is under way , between American TV “News”, and what we read on the web.
    We all know this. But today it seems a real split is under way.
    The endless hours about Republican “front runners” and zero coverage of Lake Baikal .

    I have never seen a report about Lake Meade on “TV News” But we get thousands of hours about who said what . For next 18 months.
    But I think climate change is about to come to the top. It’s been eating rich peoples beaches on the Australian coast for over 3 days now.

    This storm in Australian has moved peoples thinking .

    It’s one thing to have a storm last for 7 hours , three days is another matter.

    Climate Change gets to vote in every election from here on out. Because people with money will be slammed in the face by it.

    Reply
    • Ah, the republican clown show returns. I suppose it had a makeover, but it’s the same old nonsense re-purposed for another election…

      Reply
    • J McKenzie

       /  April 24, 2015

      Colarado Bob, people forget, have short term memories. Remember the storms in the UK 2012/13, an incredible sight, flooding, yet now there is a General Election not a mention or whispher of climate change or the enviroment breaks through, probably because the last winter was very mild and unremarkable.

      It will be the same in Australia for the vast majority.

      Reply
  15. – climatehawk1, check this out. (Keep up your good work.)
    I throw stuff (photos mostly) on Twitter it’s quick.

    Why you shouldn’t only get your climate change news from the mainstream media

    On the week of Sept. 8, 2014, the Web site Skeptical Science launched an online campaign to emphasize the broad scientific agreement about climate change. It was called “97 hours of consensus,” and for each hour, the organizers put out a new statement from a climate scientist highlighting the scientific consensus — accompanied by tweetable cartoon images of each scientist.

    The campaign was popular enough that organizers claimed to have reached “millions” online. A tweet from Barack Obama surely didn’t hurt:

    [study] “Actions by individuals appear prominently on Twitter. In about half of the cases, these individuals do not belong to the elite: they are neither rich, nor powerful, nor famous. Twitter indeed allows those individuals, in many cases, to generate peaks of attention as large as the ones that are obtained by large organizations or governments.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/04/21/how-to-get-twitter-riled-up-about-global-warming/

    Reply
    • – Mentioned in the above piece is an interesting resource: GDELT Project

      A Global Database of Society

      Supported by Google Ideas, the GDELT Project monitors the world’s broadcast, print, and web news from nearly every corner of every country in over 100 languages and identifies the people, locations, organizations, counts, themes, sources, emotions, counts, quotes and events driving our global society every second of every day, creating a free open platform for computing on the entire world.

      GDELT Event Database

      The GDELT Event Database records over 300 categories of physical activities around the world, from riots and protests to peace appeals and diplomatic exchanges, georeferenced to the city or mountaintop, across the entire planet dating back to January 1, 1979 and updated daily (soon every 15 minutes).

      http://www.gdeltproject.org/

      Reply
    • climatehawk1

       /  April 23, 2015

      Thanks, will do!

      Reply
  16. Kevin Jones

     /  April 23, 2015

    James Anderson who built the instrument flown under the wing of a modified U-2 into the Antarctic stratosphere which measured a perfect anti-corollary between ozone and chlorine monoxide, thus proving CFC’s were the culprit in The Ozone Hole, helped save the planet’s butt. He has some interesting things to say in interview here: http://www.thenation.com/article/204905/carbon-divestment-movement-reaching-tipping-point

    Reply
  17. Kevin Jones

     /  April 23, 2015

    Reply
  18. Andy in San Diego

     /  April 23, 2015

    Hay River NWT usually hits a high of 57F around May 31st, it was there today. 10 day forecast shows it floating around there several times. Median high temp should be around 45-50F.

    Andy from YKD, if you read this. How have you seen the springs behave? I lived around Hay River in the early 80’s and by what I see from here (yes, I moved south…) it looks like spring is much sooner and more abrupt.

    Reply
    • And the Beaufort is a mess of broken ice…

      Reply
    • Andy in YKD

       /  April 23, 2015

      This is my first spring in western Alaska, so can’t go on direct experience. I can say that southeast AK was more like northern California used to be this past “winter”.

      Reply
      • rayduray

         /  April 23, 2015

        Andy,

        I’m lost. You’re in western Alaska? Does that make YKD stand for Yukon Delta? Please advise.🙂

        Reply
      • I can relate: Santa Barbara to San Francisco now has San Diego’s climate. Portland, OR has SFX climate. This latitudinal climate march up the longitudes? Good description Andy in YKD.

        Reply
      • Andy in YKD

         /  April 23, 2015

        Last I checked the YKD was in western Alaska. Opinions may vary of course.

        Reply
      • Andy in YKD

         /  April 23, 2015

        I do tend to move around a bit. Last year I posted a few times as Andy in Bangalore. . .in terms of southeast AK, home is where the heart is.

        Reply
  19. – A two part comment in reply to Colorado Bob of 0415.
    “Limestone has to be heated to 2,300 F degrees to make cement. …proud they burnt used tires to make that number.
    … Which brings me to all those ground up tires we are making everyday .
    I’m looking at you dtlange .
    Not when we burn the tires to make cement , but when we grid them on pavement. That fine powder of black carbon that is tires wearing out.”

    – Part I
    Tires don’t wear out — they wear inward towards the wheel axle. But the question is: where did the tire particles go when they left their tire.
    All studies of traffic dust (mostly dark gray colored) and pollution find that tire wear is a significant component. How much was small enough to become suspended in the atmosphere — I don’t know.
    How big, or small, a part do tires and carbon black this have in the overall atmospheric carbon inventory ?
    Points to consider:
    Cement — I have seen heavily trafficked cement, or concrete, paved roadways that still have a light beige colored surface. No signs of tire wear, other than skids, or blowouts. But traffic dust is nearby. Watch some idiot “burn” rubber with their car, and you will see black from intense heat friction. That’s instant tire wear.
    Tires: are colored black to help protect the tire from ozone and UV damage. Significantly, ‘carbon black‘ is injected into the tire mix at manufacture.
    Yearly, millions of tires are made, wear out, and are discarded or recycled.
    These round tires loose measurable mass, weight, and circumference as they wear.
    at this writing, I don’t know the figures.
    It seems highly likely that tire manufacturers repeatedly test their tires in a controlled indoor environment. So how much wear became particulate, and at what size enough to become easily suspended aerosol? Were these collected and samples evaluated, with the data stored? Or did the wear debris just go into the trash? How do/would these figures compare to the amount of material in traffic dust?
    Traffic speed & speed limits: Fast speeds equals more wear, Pm dispersal and suspension, and harder and more braking resulting in more asbestos fibers, plus more fuel burning. Not a good mix.
    Fires: Every vehicle burnt sends a cloud of all of the above into the atmosphere.
    Carbon black: A real hydra nefarious carbon threat — see below.
    Carbon black [C.A.S. NO. 1333-86-4] is virtually pure elemental carbon in the form of colloidal particles that are produced by incomplete combustion or thermal decomposition of gaseous or liquid hydrocarbons under controlled conditions.
    Its use in tires, rubber and plastic products, printing inks and coatings is related to properties of specific surface area, particle size and structure, conductivity and color. Carbon black is also in the top 50 industrial chemicals manufactured worldwide, based on annual tonnage. Current worldwide production is about 18 billion pounds per year [8.1 million metric tons]. Approximately 90% of carbon black is used in rubber applications, 9% as a pigment, and the remaining 1% as an essential ingredient in hundreds of diverse applications. Lot’s more here at http://www.carbon-black.org/index.php/what-is-carbon-black
    ###

    Reply
    • Part II reply to Colorado Bob of 0415.
      Other links:
      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jgrd.50171/abstract
      Abstract
      [1] Black carbon aerosol plays a unique and important role in Earth’s climate system. Black carbon is a type of carbonaceous material with a unique combination of physical properties.

      – As a melting agent on ice fields etc. has it chemically altered to hasten melt. Further, what happens when it disperses into sea water etc? Relevant?
      Tires as a paving material:
      Rubberized Asphalt Concrete (RAC)
      Rubberized asphalt concrete (commonly known as RAC) is a road paving material made by blending ground-up recycled tires with asphalt to produce a binder which is then mixed with conventional aggregate materials. This mix is then placed and compacted into a road surface. calrecycle ca gov tires rac
      zidbits com 2010 11 why-are-car-tires-black-anyways
      carbon-black org index.php what-is-carbon-black
      roadandtrack com new-cars car-technology news a18296 anatomy-of-a-tire-1
      carbonblack jp en cbindex html
      – Input from others welcome.
      ###
      OUT

      Reply
  20. Robert it’s great that you’re helping us to connect these dots.

    For goodness knows the media aren’t…

    What can we do to get this information into the mainstream?

    Reply
  21. Andy in San Diego

     /  April 23, 2015

    IMD’s forecast of deficient rains latest scare to India’s growth story

    http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-deficient-rains-may-skew-india-s-growth-story-2079869

    Reply
  22. Andy in San Diego

     /  April 23, 2015

    Now this is sick!

    Oil Companies Are Selling Dirty Wastewater to Drought-Stricken Farms

    http://www.gizmodo.in/news/Oil-Companies-Are-Selling-Dirty-Wastewater-to160Drought-Stricken-Farms160/articleshow/46869675.cms

    Reply
  23. Andy in San Diego

     /  April 23, 2015

    Dengue fever coverage in Brazil

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  April 23, 2015

      Thanks Andy. Note 300,000 case REPORTED (official only) in Sao Paulo alone. It can be fatal on more than 1% of cases, especially if not treated properly.

      Reply
  24. Andy in San Diego

     /  April 23, 2015

    South Africa forced to import corn due to drought.

    SA’s worst maize drought since 1992 a timeous reminder for politicos

    http://www.biznews.com/sa-investing/2015/03/30/sas-worst-maize-drought-since-1992-timeous-reminder-for-politicos/

    Reply
  25. Andy in San Diego

     /  April 23, 2015
    Reply
  26. Ouse M.D.

     /  April 23, 2015

    Just some “pearls” from this blog:

    – FED moving operation to Chicago
    – NORAD relocating to EMP- hardened site
    – training excercises in the Midwest

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-04-16/signs-elites-are-feverishly-preparing-something-big

    Reply
  27. climatehawk1

     /  April 23, 2015

    Energy Experts: @WSJ Alarmists Wrong, @EPA #Climate Plan Will Keep Lights On http://mediamatters.org/research/2015/04/14/energy-experts-wsj-wrong-epa-climate-plan-will/203282 #globalwarming #divest

    Reply
  28. climatehawk1

     /  April 23, 2015

    From Elle magazine, no less:

    Let’s Stop Pretending to Be Neutral About #Climate Change http://www.elle.com/culture/career-politics/news/a27956/elle-agenda-earth-day/ via @ElleMagazine #globalwarming #divest

    Reply
  29. climatehawk1

     /  April 23, 2015

    Inhofe says God’s in charge on #climate, but what if he’s wrong? http://on.mktw.net/1G8dbAI #globalwarming #agw #divest

    Reply
    • God to Inhofe — ‘Don’t be a destroyer of the Earth.’

      Inhofe to God — ‘But, but, but, you’re in charge of the climate, right?’

      God to Inhofe — ‘What did you not understand about DON’T BE A DESTROYER OF THE EARTH???’

      Reply
  30. climatehawk1

     /  April 23, 2015

    .@Newsweek: We didn’t vet anti-#windpower op-ed http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2015/04/newsweek-we-didnt-vet-oped-on-wind-power-205940.html#.VTkAGvjacCw.twitter via @POLITICO #climate #globalwarming #koch #divest

    Reply
  31. Changes in water vapor and clouds are amplifying global warming

    “What we do find is that if one looks at tropospheric average temperature rather than surface temperature, then there is a much stronger relationship with energy flow at the top of the Earth’s atmosphere. We are able to find a water vapor signal that is clearly a positive feedback.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2015/apr/23/changes-in-water-vapor-and-clouds-are-amplifying-global-warming

    Reply
  32. Greg

     /  April 23, 2015

    Lots of games with numbers in declaring how much water Sao Paulo state has or does not have to get through the dry season in 2015 but the new official numbers show that it is little more than half of what it was in 2014 and even those amounts created serious questions about a disaster for its 27 million or so customers.

    http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=pt&u=http://ultimosegundo.ig.com.br/brasil/seca/2015-04-23/com-chuva-abaixo-da-media-grande-sp-chega-a-estiagem-com-menos-agua-que-em-2014.html&prev=search

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  April 23, 2015

      Sorry about the date. New to me…

      Reply
    • Heat is Intrinsically bad for life…

      Reply
    • Andy in YKD

       /  April 23, 2015

      Soil temps above 26c are lethal. Most plants peak photosynthesis is at 30c. The plants adapted to higher temps have lower productivity. It doesn’t take many hours/days above 48-50c to permanently damage plants. Elevated night-time lows are worse in some respects. The tropics are already close to upper temps for photosynthesis, so even though the tropics are warming more slowly then higher latitudes there is little in the way of a buffer before plant productivity will decline fairly rapidly.

      Reply
      • Watching maximum sea surface temps. Once they hit 35 C, we have real trouble. That’s when we start having fuel for 35 C wet bulb readings which are lethal to many plant and animal forms, including human beings. We’re a 3-4 C ocean temp spike in the Western Equatorial Pacific away from that.

        Reply
      • Andy in YKD

         /  April 24, 2015

        I find the delicate interplay between seasonal cues and plant response quite fascinating. I suppose that is why I teach Biology/Ecology and am a permaculturist at heart. For those of you so inclined here is a bit of good stuff:

        Snip: “Key stages when temperature tolerance really matters

        Germination in flowering plants is the irreversible growth of a plant embryo out of the protective seed coat, fueled by stored nutrient reserves. As germination proceeds, there is a race between the rate of reserve consumption and the establishment of an independent, photosynthetically competent seedling able to acquire water and mineral nutrients from the soil. Germination is highly sensitive to temperature in many species. First, many species are triggered to germinate by either a high or low temperature period that destroys germination inhibitors, an adaptation allowing the plant to measure the end of winter for spring emergence or end of summer for fall germination. Second, water spurs imbibition, making growth possible, but a subsequent drop in temperature can freeze the tender seedling stem, while high heat will crisp the unfurling preformed leaves beyond repair, under conditions that can be tolerated by a well established plant.

        Flowering represents another one-way commitment in the lifecycle, as an apical meristem previously generating leaves and stems switches to the floral program and is entirely consumed in making a flower. Although heat and cold can adversely affect the showy floral parts, the most serious impact is primarily on the developing haploid pollen and its nutritive diploid support tissue, the tapetum. The parallel with germination is that pollen is sealed off from the vegetative plant shortly after meiosis by a thick coat and must survive with a fixed nutrient store throughout maturation, dispersal, and the initial stages of pollen tube growth prior to fertilization. Nutrients in pollen pass through the tapetal layer and the quality of this single-cell-thick tissue ring is thus also paramount. In tomato, slight temperature elevation that did not affect plant biomass, number of flowers, or meiosis greatly affected the number of functional pollen grains and hence fruit yield [6]. In rice, low temperature limits cool season production because of the negative impact on male reproductive fitness [7]. The literature on male fitness abounds with examples of the negative impact of temperature extremes tolerated by the vegetative plant.

        Considering both vegetative (leaf phenotype) cases and male sterility, it is clear that temperatures just beyond the acclimation range can greatly affect both survival and reproduction. These cases show that plants can thrive across a broad temperature range, but that temperatures beyond genotypic thresholds evoke consequences such as cell death – as demonstrated by Zhang et al. – poor greening, and male sterility. These deleterious phenotypes are the starting point for unraveling the mechanisms underpinning temperature tolerance, with the hypothesis that the first process to fail at either high or low temperature defines a key component of plant life.”

        Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3219733/

        Reply
  33. T-rev

     /  April 24, 2015

    @Andrew Dodds
    “The problem is that individual action cannot solve the problem. ”

    Au contraire, it’s the only thing that can. Until that’s acknowledged by a large minority, we’ll see no change at all. We’re like someone who slaps their partner in the morning before work and then agrees someone needs to do something about domestic violence. We need to acknowledge we’re the problem and stop.

    Stop emitting: No flying, no meat eating pets, no driving, only green energy off the grid, engage with friends and family as to why and only vote for politicians with effective emissions mitigation policy. That’s the easy low hanging fruit.

    All we have to do to ensure the destruction of the biosphere as we know it (ie > 3 or 4C) is to keep doing exactly what we’re doing now, blaming others (business, government etal) for our own profligate emissions.

    Reply

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