New Study Finds Clouds are Amplifying Human Warming

The mysterious clouds.

For decades, science has been unable to nail down how clouds might change with human warming of the climate. Sure, we knew that added water vapor through a heating-increased amplification of the rate of evaporation and precipitation would likely impact cloud formation. But how would those physical alterations impact climate? Would an added darkening of the Earth through increased cloud cover provide a cooling effect and slow down the rate of human-caused warming (also called a negative feedback)? Or would the added water vapor aloft, itself a powerful greenhouse gas, provide an extra boost to the human heating engine (also called an amplifying feedback)?

The mainstream climate models thus assumed a zero to slightly positive heat feedback from clouds and relied on decadal verification runs to help test for accuracy. A kind of backwards checking that excluded values from clouds due to a lack of needed information.

Pyrocumulonimbus

(From the global climate change perspective, some clouds are worse than others. The above image shows a thunderstorm set off by massive wildfires blazing through the permafrost zone near Great Slave Lake on August 5 of 2014. A pyrocumulonimbus cloud or, colloquially, a fire thunderstorm. Image source: NASA.)

Confusionists Take Advantage of Cloud Uncertainty

It was an uncertainty hanging in the very air above us. An uncertainty many climate confusionists used to sow doubt over a broad range of issues involving how sensitive the Earth is to the human heat forcing. They often argued, through this scientific dim spot, that climate sensitivity was, indeed, quite low and that we had very little to be concerned about regarding an immense dumping of heat trapping gasses into the atmosphere that is now at least 6 times faster than at any time in the deep history of life on Earth.

The shady clouds, in other words, would save us from ourselves.

Not so fast, said Dr. Andrew Dressler who in this paper and this paper recently defended consensus climate science from the cloudy claims of confusionists. Dressler, like mainstream climate science, assumed at least a small degree of positive feedback from changes to clouds and atmospheric water vapor loading. And his observational findings were consistent with an equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS), or a one century rate of warming, in the range of 2.0 to 4.5 degrees Celsius for each doubling of CO2 (consistent with a multi-century warming [ESS] in the range of 4 to 9 C for each doubling of CO2 — or about a 6 C average).

New Study Finds Changes to Clouds are an Amplifying Feedback

But now, a new study has found that the picture is not quite so rosy as some claimed. The study, led by Dr. Kevin Trenberth, found that net changes to clouds and related additions of water vapor to the upper atmosphere is a positive or amplifying feedback to human caused warming. In other words, the way human heat alters clouds and the related hydrological cycle results in yet more heat being trapped by the Earth System.

This confirms Dr. Dressler’s work and raises a rather unpleasant question — if we have an added heat feedback from clouds under a regime of Earth Systems warming, then how strong is it?

Trenberth notes in an interview published today in The Guardian:

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.

Climate Sensitivity Needle May Tilt Toward Upper Range of Estimates

This is somewhat unhappy news.

What it means is that the Earth System is at least as sensitive as climate models suggest. But, even worse, there is a chance that the Earth System may be closer to the upper range of climate sensitivity estimates. It means that accumulation of heat in the atmosphere, in glaciers and in the ocean may happen somewhat faster than consensus models predict and that geophysical changes may, consequently, be greater and more catastrophic.

Whether model simulation of climate sensitivity will need to be altered has not, as yet, been determined. The study is now very new and it will take some time for the more recent data to wash out in the model projections.

But what can be plainly stated is that fossil fuel industry funded voices of false comfort have again been proven dreadfully wrong and that there is some risk that the situation may be even more dangerous than current science anticipates. As such, there is absolutely no reason for further delays in policy action and a very rapid draw-down to zero human carbon emissions.

Links:

Climate Variability and Relationships Between Top of Atmosphere Radiation and Temperatures on Earth

Changes in Water Vapor and Clouds are Amplifying Global Warming

A Determination of the Cloud Feedback from Climate Variations Over the Past Decade

Clouds and The Earth’s Energy Budget

NASA

Hat Tip to TodaysGuestIs

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181 Comments

    • Well done, Robert. You covered a lot. A true ambassador of logic, physics, and empathy.
      I bow to ambassdorness — bow, bow, bow.🙂

      And thanks to Alex, radioecoshock. and Pacifica.

      Reply
  1. Andy in San Diego

     /  April 23, 2015

    Phrase of the Day.

    “cloudy claims of confusionists”

    You sir, get 15 points for that piece of eloquence.

    Reply
  2. More heat = > evaporation => moisture aloft .

    Hot house & hot h2o = hothouse Earth.

    The House of the E PAC RRR. I bow to it.🙂

    Reply
  3. Andy in YKD

     /  April 24, 2015

    “I have sunshine on a cloudy day. . . .
    when it is supposed to be cold outside
    I have the month of May. . . “

    Reply
  4. Andy in San Diego

     /  April 24, 2015

    And for a round of “guess whom the subject of this Haiku is”. Take a guess, this should be easy.

    Old, rich, selfish cads,
    Leader cost billion bucks?
    Must fuck earth for cash.

    Reply
  5. wili

     /  April 24, 2015

    Another great and sobering post. Not entirely unrelated: http://climatestate.com/2013/08/09/earth-under-water-worldwide-flooding-global-warming-national-geographic-documentary/

    “Earth Under Water: Worldwide Flooding & Global Warming” With many guests appearances by major names like Hansen, Rahmstorf and P. Ward.

    Reply
  6. Andy in San Diego

     /  April 24, 2015

    Lake Mead, 16 ft lower than the same date last year. Ouch.

    Reply
    • I was following an intriguing headline from MSM Newsweek ” Americans Must Become Citizens of the Watershed”, when I came across this vid. “Pat Mulroy: Combating climate change and water scarcity in the U.S.”
      -Newsweek
      “Mulroy, who has been called the “water empress of Vegas,” served as general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) from its inception in 1991 until her retirement in 2014. She also served as general manager of the Las Vegas Valley Water District and the Governor’s chief negotiator on the Colorado River.

      During her tenure at SNWA, the region faced a huge crisis when one of the worst droughts in the history of the Colorado River hit the region. The drought limited the snowpack in upper Colorado and the amount of water runoff available to the region.

      Mulroy discusses the main challenges brought by that drought, specifically Lake Mead’s falling water levels.
      5:21 min

      Reply
      • ” Americans Must Become Citizens of the Watershed”

        This should apply to the greater ‘Airshed’ as well — local, regional, and global.

        Reply
  7. I saw this and I thought of dtlange:

    “Air pollution, even at moderate levels, has long been recognized as a factor in raising the risk of stroke. A new study led by scientists from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine suggests that long-term exposure can cause damage to brain structures and impair cognitive function in middle-aged and older adults.”

    http://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-04-long-term-exposure-air-pollution-pose.html

    Reply
    • Thanks, humorta.
      That and a plethora of related ailments from human caused air pollution abound.
      Most likely a complete inventory of our air/ atmospheric chemical/particulate does not exist — or not publicized.
      Decade after decade, we have over loaded the air with noxious, toxic molecules. Everything that burns, evaporates, or becomes aerosol goes into the atmosphere. What doesn’t becomes part of our landscape — our habitat.
      I’m positive that if NASA, did a astronaut safety check inspection of most urban areas that they would say, “Don’t go there. No Eva. Bad air. Bad dust”. Look at the million of homo saps who are no longer with us because they took one too many breaths. I shudder.
      Peace
      OUT

      Reply
    • This sort of thing likely applies to the massive number of “Alzheimers” and possible pseudo dementias in industrialized populations. Further, AP is known to cause neurological damage to the human fetus.
      All of this reflects the insidious nature of air pollution — it attacks the very young and the elderly FIRST. This has been known for a long time yet it continues unabated.
      At the same time, it is the lighter gaseous elements that go high in the atmosphere and destroys the climate.
      All part of the same murderous cycle.

      OUT

      Reply
  8. -Related to post:

    How to Misinterpret Climate Change Research

    Research into the cooling impact of aerosols sends climate contrarians into a tailspin

    Slivers of dust float in the upper atmosphere, scattering the sun’s rays back into space and cooling the planet in some places. In other places, the particles warm the planet.

    The equivocation has meant that the particles, known as aerosols, are a significant wild card in our planet’s climate, rivaled only by clouds. So it was arguably not surprising that a study on aerosols would receive public attention.

    But it was not the type of attention that the study author, Bjorn Stevens, a climatologist and director at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany, was seeking. His work has been portrayed by conservative news outlets and blogs as undermining the theory of human-caused global warming. Red lights lit up. “New Climate Paper Gives Global Warming Alarmists ‘One Helluva Beating,'” Fox News declared.

    In the months since the study was published, Stevens has been peppered with emails from schoolteachers and laypeople asking him, broadly speaking, whether climate change is indeed something to worry about. That brought the normally reticent scientist, who says his aim is not to convince anyone of anything, into the public sphere.

    “I was touched that they’d write me and double-check that my study was being interpreted correctly,” Stevens said, speaking on a train en route to the Netherlands.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-to-misinterpret-climate-change-research/

    Reply
  9. Glaciers in Tibet retreating at alarming rate

    China’s glaciers particularly those in Tibet have retreated by about 7,600sqkm – nearly 18 per cent – in the last 65 years and even the thick ice around the base camp of the Mt Everest has disappeared exposing its rocks structure due to rising pollution level, officials said.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/environment/global-warming/Glaciers-in-Tibet-retreating-at-alarming-rate/articleshow/47025626.cms

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  April 24, 2015

      todaysguestis: This reminds me, unpleasantly, of this: Early in my research on climate I read a paper in Science on glaciers worldwide which concluded that most were in retreat. I shared it with a Professional Environmentalist, who,
      as most in my experience, was a NIMBY focused one–hoping this would broaden his horizon. “I don’t want to hear this ——.” was the response. 1991 or so….. I keep at it if only out of a sense of self-respect.

      Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  April 24, 2015

        Reply
      • I know what you mean, Kevin Jones:“I don’t want to hear this ——.”
        And from the media: “People don’t want to hear bad news —.”
        That, and “It’s never happened before —.”
        Or, when dealing with air pollution in So. Cal.: “It’s not as bad as LA (Los Angeles) —.”

        Avoidance, denial, or acceptance as responses to solid evidence.
        But that’s what we’re up against.

        OUT

        Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  April 24, 2015

      This will lead to further conflict between India and China.

      Reply
  10. World’s plants and soils to switch from carbon sink to source by 2100, study shows

    “We’re going to go from terrestrial ecosystems sponging up carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere to actually having them contribute to the problem.”

    http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/04/worlds-plants-and-soils-to-switch-from-carbon-sink-to-source-by-2100-study-shows/#.VTpWy38_1kU.twitter

    Reply
  11. Kevin Jones

     /  April 24, 2015
    Reply
  12. climatehawk1

     /  April 24, 2015

    .@ExxonMobil’s dangerous business ‘strategy’: http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/B1FhZ7sEdSvEFdCnhMYuUN/Jeffrey-D-Sachs–ExxonMobils-dangerous-business-strategy.html via @JeffDSachs #climate #globalwarming #divest

    Reply
  13. Colorado Bob

     /  April 24, 2015

    Reply
    • Here’s a NASA Vizualization from 2012: (Planned Website Outage on Sunday, 4/26/15)
      The Water Cycle: Steaming The Air

      This second part of our series on the water cycle illustrates the way in which evaporation and winds combine to move water from the ocean to the land. The ocean loses water to the air when the water evaporates and turns into water vapor (steam). If the air over the ocean didn’t move, the ocean water would reabsorb much of the steam. But the ocean surface air moves constantly and increases the transfer of water vapor to the air to roughly 440 trillion tons of water per year (just like blowing on hot liquid cools it off faster). Evaporation of water from the land only moves about 66 trillion tons of water to the air every year, mostly during the day. The winds in the atmosphere mix up the water vapor over the land and ocean, so that there is a net movement of water from land to ocean of 37 trillion tons of water per year. Surprisingly, only about 12 trillion tons of water is in the air at any one time because water vapor only stays in the air for an average of 10 days.
      http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/details.cgi?aid=10883

      Reply
      • “Surprisingly, only about 12 trillion tons of water is in the air at any one time because water vapor only stays in the air for an average of 10 days.”
        I wonder if that average of ten days still holds? Or the amount of h2o?
        Just curious.

        Reply
      • wili

         /  April 24, 2015

        Water vapor has increased by about 6%, iirc.

        Reply
  14. wili

     /  April 24, 2015

    Lindzen’s zombie lie, “the iris effect,” has just been resurrected by Mauritson and Stevens…and now debunked by Andy Dressler at RC: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2015/04/the-return-of-the-iris-effect/

    Reply
  15. Move over Eva — Patti’s here.
    Patti Page – Steam Heat (1954)
    -Great lyrics too.
    We need a climate musical with this. Or we need to feed the audio over the Congressional sound system. I wonder the SF Mime Troupe is doing these daze.

    Reply
  16. Colorado Bob

     /  April 24, 2015

    Western Victorian scientists make world-first climate change finding

    Western Victorian scientists say they’ve made a world-first discovery linking increased carbon dioxide levels and crop viruses.

    Media player: “Space” to play, “M” to mute, “left” and “right” to seek.
    Audio: Victorian researcher Piotr Trebicki on carbon dioxide and wheat crop diseases (ABC Rural)

    Scientists from the Victorian Department of Economic Development are carrying out the landmark study in Horsham.

    The study found that as carbon dioxide levels rise, so does the severity of barley yellow dwarf virus – an aphid-spread disease common in plants.

    Link

    Reply
  17. Colorado Bob

     /  April 24, 2015

    Koch Brothers Explain Bible To Pope. Thanks, Koch Brothers!

    While most of the world is trying to figure out what to do about this whole climate change thing before it’s too late and we are all OOPS! dead, the concerned citizens at the completely objective Heartland Institute, which happens to be funded by the also very objective Koch brothers, are looking out for more important things, like teaching Pope Francis that God loves pollution:
    “The Holy Father is being misled by ‘experts’ at the United Nations who have proven unworthy of his trust,” said Joseph Bast, president of the Heartland Institute. “Humans are not causing a climate crisis on God’s Green Earth – in fact, they are fulfilling their Biblical duty to protect and use it for the benefit of humanity. Though Pope Francis’s heart is surely in the right place, he would do his flock and the world a disservice by putting his moral authority behind the United Nations’ unscientific agenda on the climate.”

    Link

    Reply
  18. Colorado Bob

     /  April 25, 2015

    Savage drought will drive Lake Mead to record low on Sunday

    By HENRY BREAN
    LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

    Sunday’s forecast for Lake Mead calls for breezy conditions, with a high in the low 80s and a water level as low as it has been in 78 years.

    The reservoir east of Las Vegas is expected to reach a new record low this weekend and continue downward another 7 feet through June, as the drought-stricken Colorado River withers from its 12th dry year since 2000.

    The latest projections by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation call for the new record to arrive sometime after midnight Sunday, when the surface of Lake Mead dips below the current low-water mark, set on Aug. 13, 2014, of 1,080.19 feet above sea level.

    The last time Lake Mead was this low was May 1937, the same month as the Hindenburg explosion. The reservoir then was filling for the first time behind the new Hoover Dam.

    The bleak new milestone comes as federal forecasters slash their projections for how much water will make its way into the Colorado River in the coming months, as snow melts away in the mountains of Utah, Colorado and Wyoming.

    Last month, the forecast called for the river that supplies water and power to some 40 million people in the U.S. and Mexico to see about 71 percent of its average flow this summer. Now forecasters expected the river’s flow to be more like 52 percent of average, and it could go even lower than that, according to one expert.

    Link

    Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  April 25, 2015

      They’ll dump everything in Lake Powell into it this summer. Must keep it above 1075 ft. It’s at 1081 tho….

      Reply
    • climatehawk1

       /  April 26, 2015

      Thanks, tweet scheduled.

      Reply
  19. Jay M

     /  April 25, 2015

    The photo posted by DT Lange on April 25, 2015
    The classical form of the turbine houses, also looking like the head of a squid,
    the paired parabola of the tunnels in the rock wall behind
    water stained algae green
    HV towers standing like praying mantis on horizon
    Is there a wind farm upper left?
    otherwise a martian landscape, parched

    Reply
    • “water stained algae green” could be from nutrient nitrogen aerosol fallout, water borne, or both.

      Reply
  20. Colorado Bob

     /  April 25, 2015

    By the early 1980s, some scientists were thinking that sulfur dioxide in volcanic eruptions, not the ash, causes the widespread climatic effects of some volcanoes. Their hypothesis was that the sulfur dioxide a volcano shoots high into the air combines with water vapor to form sulfuric acid, which quickly condenses into tiny sulfate aerosols. As winds carry these aerosols around the earth, they absorb some solar radiation, which warms the stratosphere where absorption is occurring while cooling earth’s surface below.

    Changing the locations of areas of warm and cold air affects patterns of high and low atmospheric pressure from the stratosphere down to the surface. These changes, in turn, affect the speeds and directions of winds aloft and at the surface with related changes in temperature and precipitation patterns.

    The 1982 eruption of the El Chichon volcano in Mexico, in conjunction with the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens helped confirm the hypothesis. While the Mount St. Helens eruption had lowered global average temperatures by roughly 0.1 degrees Celsius, the much smaller amount of ash from El Chichon cooled the globe three to five times as much.

    Data from NASA’s Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS), which had been launched in 1978, showed that sulfur aerosols probably were the culprit. TOMS, which measures other atmospheric gases as well as ozone, showed that El Chichon produced 40 times as much sulfur dioxide as Mount St. Helens.

    Link

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  April 25, 2015

      Yes. We sure don’t need, in this ever more stressed moment, another Tambora. Or Pinatubo. Alas, Nature doesn’t give a rats ass what we think we need or not. I remember the grave concern of stratospheric ozone depletion following Pinatubo. Turns out it was the lowest on record. I saw a lot of deformed frogs the summers of ’91-’92. http://pubs.usgs.gov/pinatubo/self/

      Reply
  21. Kevin Jones

     /  April 25, 2015

    Pinatubo blew so much sulfur so high into the upper stratosphere it really had a profound effect on the atmosphere’s thermal ( and chemical) structure: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/service/global/uah-lowstrat-global-land-ocean/201001-201012.gif

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  April 25, 2015

      What we’re looking at in chart is a tropospheric heating trend producing a lower stratospheric cooling trend–with a Pinatubo caused lower stratosphere heat spike in middle. A different from Antarctic set of chemical reactions–yet accurately predicted–caused record ozone depletion.

      Reply
  22. Colorado Bob

     /  April 25, 2015

    Joint Statement on Climate Change from the Premiers of Ontario and Québec
    April 24, 2015 7:15 P.M.

    Office of the Premier

    Today, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Québec Premier Philippe Couillard issued the following statement on climate change:

    “We are at the forefront of the fight against climate change and we want Canada to be a leader on this issue of critical importance.

    Last week, in front of international leaders and experts, including Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, we were present at the Québec Summit on Climate Change, where the vast majority of Canadian provinces and territories were represented. Eleven premiers, representing over 85 per cent of the Canadian population, made a joint declaration stating that, “carbon pricing is an approach that is being taken by an increasing number of governments” and that “investing in the fight against climate change, especially in areas such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, and cleaner energy production, holds great promise for sustainable economic development and long-term job creation.”

    Clearly, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s statement yesterday that emission reduction plans are ‘designed to enrich governments,’ does not reflect the declaration made at the Québec Summit.

    Link

    Reply
  23. Colorado Bob

     /  April 25, 2015

    It blacked out 225,000 homes, closed more than 170 schools and will produce more than $500 million worth of insurance claims. It yielded the biggest wave ever recorded, at 14.9 metres, off the NSW coast

    Link

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  April 25, 2015

      Sydney hit by hail, flash floods, as storm-affected areas warned to expect more

      Parts of Sydney experienced a fresh deluge on Saturday, which brought down two factories, as the central coast and Hunter braced for more wild weather

      Link

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  April 25, 2015

        Firefighters were expected to spend much of the night mopping up at Huntingwood, in Sydney’s southwest, where five large factory buildings were brought down by the weight of up to half a metre of hailstones.

        Read more at Link

        Reply
      • Liam

         /  April 28, 2015

        Thats was an East Coast Low (like a nor’easter), looks like we might get a few more of them before el-nino sets in. Not particularly intense by the standard of such things, however it was made worse by warm water on the east cost and cold upper air in an unusually large high pressure system.

        There is also a lot of warm surface water in the Indian Ocean, which is tipped to give higher rainfall over winter. We are going to need it given a 1997/1998 style enso event is on the cards.

        Reply
    • Griffin

       /  April 25, 2015

      Exceptionally informative article CB. Thanks for sharing this.

      Reply
  24. Colorado Bob

     /  April 25, 2015

    On Animal Deaths and Human Anxieties

    At first light on June 4, 2013, Steve Fradkin, a National Park Service ecologist, led a small team down a gravel strand called Beach 4 on Washington’s Olympic coast. The group’s destination was a rocky bench known—fatefully, it would turn out—as Starfish Point. There it would carry out an annual count of intertidal life forms as part of a long-term survey of the Pacific shore. Conditions were perfect, the sea calm beneath a blue sky dotted with cotton-ball clouds.

    The day’s beauty ended at Starfish Point. “It was a horror show,” Fradkin told me. Instead of the usual spangling of purple, orange, and brick-red on the rocks, many of the starfish, which are known to biologists as sea stars, were contorted, marke­d with white lesions, or seemingly melting into goo. “They were missing arms,” Fradkin said, “and there were even instances of arms walking around by themselves.”

    The team’s observations are considered the first official record of an ongoing outbreak of a sea-star wasting disease that has killed millions of starfish from Baja California to southern Alaska, typically wiping out more than ninety per cent of each population it strikes. It’s the greatest wildlife mass-mortality event, or “die-off,” of the present day.

    Link

    Reply
    • “die-off” — we’re going to hear this term more often — until it’s our turn.
      ‘It’s the greatest wildlife mass-mortality event, or “die-off,” of the present day.’

      These first person, active tense, field reports are invaluable in understanding the gravity. The photos do, as well.
      Thanks, CB.

      Reply
  25. Colorado Bob

     /  April 25, 2015

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  April 25, 2015

      I think fracking is giving us the finger😉

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  April 25, 2015

        Another Hockey Stick .

        Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  April 25, 2015

        ‘Reawakened’ faults could trigger big Okla. earthquakes

        They’ve been asleep since before the dinosaurs roamed Earth and now we’re waking them up.

        Long-dormant, 300-million-year-old fault lines across Oklahoma are being “reawakened” by recent small earthquakes that have been previously linked to the fracking process, scientists reported in a new study out this week.

        The faults could trigger much higher-magnitude and more destructive quakes than most of the smaller ones that have plagued the state in recently.

        http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/03/10/oklahoma-earthquakes-fault-lines/24702741/

        Reply
    • Great gif graphic of quake swarms.
      I see one centered in Enid — the “Koch Swarm”. Then there’s the “Inhofe”.

      Ps Current Nepal quake images:
      Look at any news photos of large scale damage of like American events. You will see that the rubble consists of aprox. 80% consumer items vs 20% structure rubble.
      But the same damage in many other countries produces roughly the inverse proportion.

      American victims show varying degrees of obesity, and vehicles everywhere. Both are energy, and resource intensive, and recklessly self centered.

      OUT

      Reply
      • – Above is USA tornado damage.

        Below current Nepal quake damage. Other examples of both are easy to find but I’m trying to certain aspects not usually considered into perspective.

        Reply
  26. Colorado Bob

     /  April 25, 2015

    Duke Researcher Denounces Rush Limbaugh’s “Ridiculous” Distortion Of His Global Warming Study

    Rush Limbaugh grossly distorted a new study from Duke University, claiming it shows that “there isn’t any [global] warming going on.” But one of its authors noted that the study actually confirms humans’ role in driving global warming and said that Limbaugh’s claim is “ridiculous.”

    On the April 22 edition of his show, Limbaugh touted the Duke University study as “[b]ad news for the climate change crowd” and claimed the Duke researchers are part of a “consensus” of people who think “there isn’t any warming going on.” He went on to assert that the study, which examines temperature records over the past 1,000 years, shows that “there’s no evidence whatsoever to suggest that long-term warming over the next 100 years is going to be anything even noticeable, abnormal.”

    But the study itself said nothing of the sort. Rather, the study stated that, out of the range of warming projections outlined by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), temperature records suggest that at present time the “middle-of-the-road warming scenario” is more likely than the most severe warming projections. One of the study’s authors, Duke doctoral candidate Patrick Brown, confirmed as much in an email to Media Matters, and called Limbaugh’s assertion “ridiculous”:

    Link

    Reply
  27. Colorado Bob

     /  April 25, 2015

    Sea-Level Rise Poses Hard Choice for Two Neighborhoods: Rebuild or Retreat?

    STATEN ISLAND, New York— The first time I walked Fox Beach Avenue on Staten Island, in October 2013, the house at number 72 was still standing. Its windows were boarded over and the surrounding yards overgrown by a tall swamp grass called phragmites, which had advanced from the saltwater marsh at the end of the street.

    When I returned on a recent Friday morning, a year and a half later, it was gone. The lot was empty save for a modest memorial: two small flowered crosses stuck into the ground at the center of the plot. Empty lots outnumbered standing homes all along the street.

    “That was the first house to come down,” says John Jaieceki, who lives on nearby Mill Road.

    In fact, since 2012, when Hurricane Sandy brought catastrophic flooding to this neighborhood, Oakwood Beach, 99 percent of its residents have sold their homes to the state of New York. The land is to be permanently cleared, then returned to nature to become a blue-green buffer zone protecting inland communities.

    Link

    Reply
  28. – Avalanches and earthquakes.
    — and ancient dust or aerosols wafting into atmosphere.
    After some quakes, SoCal has had outbreaks, or alerts sounded, having to do with “Valley Fever” ( severe respiratory infection). When ancient, or historical, bacteria buried in the soil are awakened by a quake, they are suspended into the air currents.
    ###

    10 dead in Everest avalanche triggered by earthquake

    Ten people have been confirmed dead and several have sustained serious injuries on the treacherous Khumbu icefall on Mt Everest due to the deadliest avalanche triggered by a powerful earthquake on Saturday.
    http://www.ekantipur.com/2015/04/25/top-story/10-dead-in-everest-avalanche-triggered-by-earthquake/404531.html

    Reply
  29. – Interesting (CB) tidbit re liquid mercury and ancient Mexican pyramid and tombs.

    Liquid mercury found under Mexican pyramid could lead to king’s tomb

    Researcher reports ‘large quantities’ of the substance under ruins of Teotihuacan in discovery that could shed light on city’s mysterious leaders

    An archaeologist has discovered liquid mercury at the end of a tunnel beneath a Mexican pyramid, a finding that could suggest the existence of a king’s tomb or a ritual chamber far below one of the most ancient cities of the Americas.

    Mexican researcher Sergio Gómez announced on Friday that he had discovered “large quantities” of liquid mercury in a chamber below the Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent, the third largest pyramid of Teotihuacan, the ruined city in central Mexico.

    Mercury is toxic and capable of devastating the human body through prolonged exposure; the liquid metal had no apparent practical purpose for ancient Mesoamericans. But it has been discovered at other sites. Rosemary Joyce, a professor of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, said that archaeologists have found mercury at three other sites, two Maya and one Olmec, around Central America.
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/24/liquid-mercury-mexican-pyramid-teotihuacan?CMP=ema_565

    Reply
  30. Gail Griffith

     /  April 25, 2015

    Your 4/25 photo of wildfires burning in Arctic permafrost brings up a question: does anyone know the ratio of organic carbon to methane that might oxidizing? Both produce CO2 but burning methane should be better than releasing it to the atmosphere since it’s a more powerful GHG. Any information?

    Reply
  31. Fires in Russia, from today:

    Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  April 25, 2015

      Yikes. Is it getting worse or leveling off?

      Reply
      • I guess the fires are getting smaller, based on reporting. But summer is still ahead of us, I expect bussy fire season in Western USA.

        Reply
  32. Colorado Bob

     /  April 25, 2015

    100,000 People Demand Gov. Scott Walker Denounce Climate Change Censorship

    Climate activists delivered over 100,000 signatures to the Wisconsin State Capitol demanding that Gov. Scott Walker put a stop to the climate change censorship currently taking place in state government.

    Similar to Gov. Rick Scott’s ban on saying “global warming” or “climate change” in his Florida administration, the state public lands agency in Wisconsin has been banned from discussing climate change by a three-person board.

    The move is being framed as an attempt to avoid work distraction by political interests. Forecast the Facts member Vera Pfeiffer explains what’s really happening:

    [T]his is not a measure that is helping to focus people’s work, but rather just eliminating areas of discussion. It’s making their jobs harder, its adding more bureaucratic rules that they need to work around in order to get their jobs done.

    Responding to the censorship, climate activists donned tape over their mouths in protest as they marched the petitions to Walker’s office on Earth Day. You can still sign Care2′s petition to keep the heat on Gov. Walker and urge him to help stop the absurd gag order.

    http://www.care2.com/causes/100000-people-demand-gov-scott-walker-denounce-climate-change-censorship.html#ixzz3YMBCLSnQ

    Reply
  33. “The eight nations that make up the Arctic Council were set to adopt a framework on Friday in Canada’s far-northern city of Iqaluit to reduce potent, short-lived black carbon and methane emissions in a move meant to slow the more immediate effects of climate change.”

    “Unlike carbon dioxide emissions, which remain in the atmosphere for centuries and take longer to affect the climate, black carbon and methane are short-lived. But many scientists say they have a far greater warming impact in the near term, and research has shown that reducing them could be an effective method of slowing global warming in the near future.”

    http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/4/24/arctic-methane-black-carbon.html?utm_content=bylines&utm_campaign=ajam&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=SocialFlow

    Reply
  34. File under: COFUSIONISM IN CALIFORNIA

    California drought: Eastern Sierra community lives with devastating reality of year-round fire season

    BISHOP — The fire came up quickly here in the eastern Sierra Nevada, destroying 35 homes and taking the mountainside community of Swall Meadows by surprise. Who would expect a roiling wildfire — throwing fireballs and whipping up flame whirls through 7,000 acres of sagebrush, piñon and Jeffrey pine — in the dead of winter?

    “Three years before, I had 12 feet of snow at my house on that exact date in February,” said volunteer Fire Chief Dale Schmidt, whose Wheeler Crest station in the remote Swall Meadows neighborhood is surrounded by carcasses of burned homes. “Four years ago, they would have had a couple to 3 feet of snow where the fire started. That’s the mental state people were in: Winter is not the season for fire danger.”

    It is now.

    … Swall Meadows, where the 300 residents are now shoveling ash instead of snow.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_27987835/california-drought-eastern-sierra-community-lives-devastating-reality

    Reply
    • I detect a more energetic type of climate reporting these days. Either the writing is getting more honest, or the editors are letting more get published. Good trend.

      Reply
      • climatehawk1

         /  April 26, 2015

        Thanks, tweet scheduled: “Burning: Now the #fire season is year-round … http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_27987835/california-drought-eastern-sierra-community-lives-devastating-reality via @mercnews #climate #globalwarming #divest”

        Reply
      • rustj2015

         /  April 26, 2015

        Yes, though I’m cynical enough to believe it’s preparation…
        these conditions and their effects aren’t new, but now indelible:
        Long-term exposure to air pollution may pose risk to brain structure, cognitive functions
        Date:April 23, 2015
        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150423182357.htm

        Reply
      • “Long-term exposure to air pollution may pose risk to brain structure, cognitive functions.”
        Count on it. It’s been that way and on the increase since the dawn of the automobile FF consumer age. Almost every molecule of FF emissions is destructively toxic to biological systems. It’s always been that way.

        All this should be made plain by our willful destruction of our climate life support system. A form of lethal cognitive dysfunction (LCD) (My term.) if there ever was one.
        Not a pleasant prognosis.
        Peace

        “Queequeg, it’s time to throw the bones.”

        OUT

        Reply
      • “lethal cognitive dysfunction (LCD)” — or Terminal Cognitive Dysfunction (TCD) may be more accurate.
        I have to wonder if the DSM gets into the fray on the most important issue. It’s probably very messy.

        OUT

        Reply
  35. Idle Q: Any possible link between glacier retreat (TGI’s “Glaciers in Tibet retreating at alarming rate”) and Nepal earthquake?

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  April 25, 2015

      KJ –
      google :
      Iceland rising due to melt.

      Reply
      • – Q Doesn’t this alter the stress load on the Earth’s crust allowing for more “readjustments” — fractures, compressions, and so on?

        “That’s according to a new study published by a team of geologists from the University of Arizona. According to their research, the melting of Iceland’s glaciers has reduced pressure on the ground beneath them, causing the land to “rebound” from the Earth’s crust.

        The notion that rock rebounds is not a new one, Sigrun Hreinsdottir, one of the principal investigators on the project, explained to The Washington Post. Land in Canada and Scandinavia is still slowly rising after being pushed down by glaciers during the last ice age. More recently, there are indications parts of Alaska and Chile are also experiencing a “rebound” phenomenon as glaciers retreat.”

        Reply
  36. Kevin Jones

     /  April 25, 2015

    maybe not an idle question, I mean….

    Reply
  37. Colorado Bob

     /  April 25, 2015

    A word about helping Nepal –

    I recommend ShelterBox in Cornwall , England . Your money will not be wasted on overhead, they are an invention of the Rotary Club there 15 years ago.

    As NGO’s go they kickass.

    ShelterBox provides emergency shelter and vital supplies to support communities around the world overwhelmed by disaster and humanitarian crisis.

    If there are families in need of emergency shelter, ShelterBox does everything it can to help them rebuild their lives.

    ShelterBox in Cornwall , England

    Reply
  38. Colorado Bob

     /  April 26, 2015

    I’d like to change my one signature quote ;

    “Get ready little lady hell is coming to lunch”.

    Nepal

    Reply
  39. Colorado Bob

     /  April 26, 2015

    Reply
    • Well, CB, I spent my first years looking up at Buffalo Bill Cody’s grave on Lookout Mountain behind Golden, CO.
      Used to visit relatives in Glenwood Springs, and go up this windy switchback road to Doc Holliday’s grave.
      Have a good memory of sharing a few 3.2 beers around a campfire under a full moon while sitting behind a very old Grand Lake graveyard. That was 1967.
      Didn’t see neither one of them guys. But I do like good movie lines.
      Thanks

      Reply
  40. Colorado Bob

     /  April 26, 2015

    Get ready little lady, hell is coming to brunch.

    Reply
  41. http://www.newsweek.com/hsbc-warns-clients-fossil-fuel-investment-risks-323886?piano_d=1

    “In the report, titled ‘Stranded assets: what next?’, analysts warn of the growing likelihood that fossil fuel companies may become “economically non-viable”, as people move away from carbon energy and fossil fuels are left in the ground.”

    Reply
  42. climatehawk1

     /  April 26, 2015

    Soas becomes first London university to #divest from fossil fuels: @guardian http://gu.com/p/47zdf/stw #climate #globalwarming

    Reply
  43. climatehawk1

     /  April 26, 2015

    #Climate change deniers blast away, hoping to undermine global accord http://huff.to/1DsDQrs #globalwarming #divest

    Reply
  44. climatehawk1

     /  April 26, 2015

    It’s the immorality, stupid: Why #climate change communication isn’t working http://azdailysun.com/news/local/article_4a83cb9e-cdc1-5b44-9029-1f84919c5a99.html #globalwarming #divest

    Reply
  45. Ouse M.D.

     /  April 26, 2015

    Jetstream blowing from Pacific to Atlantic

    Reply
    • danabanana

       /  April 27, 2015

      Glad someone else noticed this🙂. Has been happening at least two years in a row (that I’ve seen) and more frequently this year.

      Reply
  46. Kevin Jones

     /  April 26, 2015

    “About 96% of the water in Lake Mead is from melted snow.” says HuffPo. Not sure I fully appreciated that. Perhaps MSM will find a story here some year.

    Reply
  47. – Here’s some graphic photos of the aftermath of the Nepal quake by freelance photographer Omar Havana. (Link to follow.)

    Reply
  48. – April 26, 1937 Mechanized FF Propelled Aerial Terror (The early years.)

    The Bombing of Guernica, 1937
    The German bombers appeared in the skies over Guernica in the late afternoon of April 26, 1937 and immediately transformed the sleepy Spanish market town into an everlasting symbol of the atrocity of war. Unbeknownst to the residents of Guernica, they had been slated by their attackers to become guinea pigs in an experiment designed to determine just what it would take to bomb a city into oblivion.
    http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/guernica.htm

    Reply
    • – They couldn’t have done it with hang gliders.

      Pablo Picasso’s visceral response:
      “Guernica is blue, black and white, 3.5 metre (11 ft) tall and 7.8 metre (25.6 ft) wide, a mural-size canvas painted in oil.”

      Reply
  49. – Photos of Everest avalanche by VRoberto Schmidt—AFP/Getty Images

    Reply
  50. Andy in San Diego

     /  April 26, 2015
    Reply
  51. wili

     /  April 27, 2015

    The news keeps getting worse. In case the permafrost melt and the seabed clathrates weren’t bad enough, now it looks like most of the rest of terrestrial plant life will turn from a sink into a source before the end of the century: http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/04/worlds-plants-and-soils-to-switch-from-carbon-sink-to-source-by-2100-study-shows/

    [b]World’s plants and soils to switch from carbon sink to source by 2100, study shows[/b]

    Reply
      • wili

         /  April 27, 2015

        Here’s what Andy Skuce at SkS has to say about it:
        “…the terrestrial carbon sink will turn into a source by the end of the century, because the limited supply of nitrogen and phosphorous nutrients in soils will be insufficient to allow the increased plant growth from CO2 fertilization predicted in current Earth System models.

        If I have read the paper correctly (that’s a big “if”) a terrestrial carbon sink of 140 +/- 240 PgC assumed in current RCP8.5 models could instead turn into a net carbon source. (Note that the error bars are very large.)

        If so, that effect could be as big as–and additional to–the permafrost emissions reported above.”

        https://www.skepticalscience.com/Schuur2015.html#commenthead (comment 21)

        Reply
      • wili

         /  April 27, 2015

        in comments to the carbonbrief article, ‘billhook’ points to this article http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v519/n7543/full/nature14283.html
        as suggesting that [in the amazon, at least] the ‘Forest Loss feedback’ is already taking place.

        Reply
        • “While this analysis confirms that Amazon forests have acted as a long-term net biomass sink, we find a long-term decreasing trend of carbon accumulation. Rates of net increase in above-ground biomass declined by one-third during the past decade compared to the 1990s.”

          This particular study provides a big piece of the carbon sink puzzle. Had cited it in an earlier article here as well. Glad to see it being circulated.

  52. – A significant cumulus cloud yarn:

    Here’s a cherished and instructive sailing wind memory. It’s a picture that stays with me.

    It was early, to mid, 2007 that I was sailing W N/W off of Santa Barbara with hardened sails on a starboard tack, a brisk wind coming from ahead and on my right. (Describing compass directions can be tricky here as SB faces S and S/E. Plus the usual normal wind comes from the W N/W, and bends around Point Conception before reaching SB. ) The smell of open ocean was in my nose, under a clear blue sky, with lots of air was moving down the coast.
    Behind me, to the E N/E was a thick column of white cumulus swiftly rising out of an interior valley.
    It was a beautiful sight. The mostly dry heat of the valley floor was rising at its S/E terminus in a cloud towering over the landscape. It was the only cloud formation in sight.

    Of importance here, was the feel, and knowledge, that part of my moist W N/W wind, and energy, was feeding that magnificent cloud.
    Further, that rising column was also pulling to it, the wind that was in my sails. The yin and yang cycle of differentials at work, in real time. A feast of sensory knowledge that I could, and did, focus on. And a giddy feeling that came with knowing that part of me, a cell of two of skin flaking off with the wind and carried into that rising cloud.
    You see, I was part of the cycle. The cycle was working as it should.
    Then the cycle rarely appeared. The W N/W wind slowed. It no longer fed such rising clouds. In their place was placid, slow moving, dirty pinkish gray air.
    Shortly after, deposits of gray dust and black soot began coating Santa Barbara’s landscape.
    So, I quit sailing, and devoted my time to investigating and documenting the gray and black depositions that were the contents of the atmosphere — aerosol pollution.

    The rest, you likely know, the W/NW winds retreated taking the weather and climate with it as the arctic warmed and tripped up the polar jet stream. And the water off the NA west coast changed character and its ability to support marine life.
    These conditions, and others, have grown much worse and threatening — but there you have it.
    I share this here because RS and its knowing community will understand — and know that I learned much of value here.

    And a grateful, “AHOY THERE.” to Dr. Jennifer Francis — a sailor, a scientist and thinker.

    Reply
  53. Kevin Jones

     /  April 27, 2015

    Thanks, dtlange. Your story evoked many memories. There was a time I’d hoped to follow Joshua Slocum…but clouds got in my way. http://oi43.tinypic.com/4h8it5.jpg

    Reply
    • You bet, KJ.
      Here’s my favorite tallship vessel The Californian. Andy ISD may have seen it in SD where it has its home.
      It made regular visits to Santa Barbara. I got to know it, and even became a welcomed guest after I took its docking lines during one visit. I had anticipated where it would dock after watching the crew position itself just before it entered harbor. It had been met with big fanfare by the commodore of the Yacht Club and hotshots from the Maritime Museum while still offshore.
      So when i got to the dock, there was not a soul in sight. Plus their inflatable was late entering harbor, as they usually race ahead and take care of docking etc.
      I hailed. with outstretched arms, “Give it to me. What cleat do you want me to use?”
      Sure enough, a “monkey’s fist” carrying the thick docking line sailed over me and I caught it and torqued it around the cleat they wanted.
      All was well, they secured the lines, and the inflatable arrived and finished the docking.
      Fun stuff, that was.

      Reply
      • Andy in San Diego

         /  April 27, 2015

        Yep DT,

        Seen it the tall ship festival (beginning of September) down by where the Start India is parked. Beautiful boat.

        Reply
  54. Kevin Jones

     /  April 27, 2015

    Reply
  55. Kevin Jones

     /  April 27, 2015

    Not at all to be off topic, but the lesson I’ve learned is none of us need nearly as much as we think. This man circumnavigated this craft twice! http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_oVZqV2SAiRY/SS9yzFutkzI/AAAAAAAAAos/ogkG1AelKyc/s1600-h/Trekka6bw.jpg

    Reply
  56. PDX OR USA
    Warm temps here in PNW.
    The air (I use this term – only 3 characters – to mean the atmosphere too) is thick and hothouse white but without the overhead glass or plastic of Earhbound hothouse/greenhouses.
    Temperature anomalies in the “Polar Hothouse” seem to be on the warm side as well.

    Reply
  57. – Abstract
    Nature Climate Change | Letter

    Anthropogenic contribution to global occurrence of heavy-precipitation and high-temperature extremes

    Climate change includes not only changes in mean climate but also in weather extremes. For a few prominent heatwaves and heavy precipitation events a human contribution to their occurrence has been demonstrated1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Here we apply a similar framework but estimate what fraction of all globally occurring heavy precipitation and hot extremes is attributable to warming. We show that at the present-day warming of 0.85 °C about 18% of the moderate daily precipitation extremes over land are attributable to the observed temperature increase since pre-industrial times, which in turn primarily results from human influence6. For 2 °C of warming the fraction of precipitation extremes attributable to human influence rises to about 40%. Likewise, today about 75% of the moderate daily hot extremes over land are attributable to warming. It is the most rare and extreme events for which the largest fraction is anthropogenic, and that contribution increases nonlinearly with further warming…
    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2617.html

    Reply
  58. Kevin Jones

     /  April 27, 2015

    Paleoclimate studies fascinate me. This is beyond that: (sorry if anyone else already linked)
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150414212521.htm

    Reply
    • “That’s one thing this kind of research is really helpful for — showing the teleconnections in the climate system,” Gibson says. “So you see something in this one 4,000-square-kilometer basin off the northeast coast of Venezuela, but you see similar changes in the Arabian Sea and in the tropical Pacific, and you can link it all back to changes seen in an ice sheet in Greenland.

      “So if ice is melting in the Arctic — you might think well, poor polar bears, but it doesn’t matter, right? It matters because you’re going to feel that effect everywhere. The global climate system is very interconnected.”

      Absolutely!

      Fantastic study here, Kevin.

      Reply
  59. Colorado Bob

     /  April 27, 2015

    California’s Central Valley Sinking Faster Than Ever Before As Farmers Drill For Water During Drought

    http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2015/04/26/californias-central-valley-sinking-faster-than-ever-before-as-farmers-drill-for-water-during-drought/

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  April 27, 2015

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  April 27, 2015

        Figure 2. Approximate location of maximum subsidence in the United States identified by research efforts of Dr. Joseph F. Poland (pictured). Signs on pole show approximate altitude of land surface in 1925, 1955, and 1977. The site is in the San Joaquin Valley southwest of Mendota, California.

        http://water.usgs.gov/ogw/pubs/fs00165/

        Reply
        • Oh absolutely. They are hollowing out their Central Valley just in advance of sea level rise. Not really a good combination of factors. We may well be looking at an inland sea in California in the not too distant future.

      • Kevin Jones

         /  April 27, 2015

        “…hollowing out…just in advance…” So totally obvious it blew right over me. As if a game: What can we possibly do to make everything worse?

        Reply
  60. robert In New Orleans

     /  April 27, 2015

    Storms of my grand children are occurring now:

    Reply
    • Wow. there could have been petrochem or explosive oil tank cars brought down as well. Notice the bright flash (ignition source) as cars hit bottom — flash bang.

      Reply
      • Robert In New Orleans

         /  April 27, 2015

        The flash was electrical in nature: lines arcing or a transformer blowing.

        Reply
    • Looks like 150,000 are also without power.

      There is quite a lot of storm potential between the warm air in the west, the cooler air in the east and a strong substropical jet running through it all. The RRR and the TTT + El Nino appear to be generating some unstable spring weather here.

      Reply
    • Right, and I have to wonder how much human produced excess nutrient nitrogen plays a part in creating growth mediums for microbes and other like organisms in a worldwide setting.

      Reply
    • The little methane factories are heating up. Great new study here.

      Reply
  61. – N is for nitrogen — again. I’ve been drawing attention to its obvious power for over two years. There is so much of it in our bio-systems now. It’s a a byproduct of FF combustion NOX, total or incomplete, It’s used as a refrigerant, and fertilizer for unsustainable food production, etc. Koch Industries is very big into its production and dispersal into the environment. It’s the adopted means of execution in Oklahoma whom elected Senator Inhofe, and also the HQ of Koch.
    Now new studies are showing the effects of N on the climate arena.
    Just one more poison arrow in the quiver. Gad! Holy azote. Just how many things can w do wrong here?

    ‘Nitrogen’s impact changes climate forecast
    You are free to share this article under the Attribution 4.0 International license.

    Scientists have developed a way to more accurately forecast nitrogen’s effects on the climate cycle. Incorporating this method shows the planet may be headed for a warmer future than was previously thought.

    According to the researchers, models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change until now have not provided realistic predictions of nitrogen emissions from the land to the air and water. Of the 12 climate models used by the IPCC, only one included nitrogen, and that model was not tracing nitrogen correctly.
    …The scientists identified the isotopic “fingerprints” of nitrogen, tracing its journey to model how nitrogen moves through ecosystems and how it escapes to the air or water.
    …Nitrogen is a critical component of climate change. It determines how much carbon dioxide emissions natural ecosystems can absorb, and it directly warms the climate as nitrous oxide in the atmosphere. It occurs naturally in the air and water and also enters the environment through human-made agricultural fertilizers.

    http://www.futurity.org/nitrogen-climate-models-908102/

    Reply
    • Good to see they’re tackling the nitrogen part of the equation. High NOx does damage the carbon sink by weakening pretty much anything green, as is so often pointed out here. But the influx of nitrogen also impacts ocean health, pushing ocean systems to more anoxic states by fueling algae blooms and consequent dead zones. Add in warming and you get an acceleration toward ocean states that are very unhealthy for life.

      Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  April 27, 2015

      Yes, dtlange. This, as I watch the sad news out of horrifically neglected Baltimore, reminds me of an extraordinarily good 5 part front page series the Baltimore Sun did back in Sept. of 2000: Feeding the World,

      Poisoning the Planet. I was there sharing my climate concerns with peace activists. Seems a lifetime ago.

      Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  April 27, 2015

        …and I had a vision of apprenticing local youth in building a 19th century Maine Scow Sloop to transport produce, chickens and potatoes from the DelMarVa Peninsula to the Inner Harbor as a vehicle for addressing climate/energy/sustainability issues and building real community. I was not ahead of my time…..others were behind theirs.

        Reply
  62. – Re RS, “The above image shows a thunderstorm set off by massive wildfires blazing through the permafrost zone near Great Slave Lake on August 5 of 2014. A pyrocumulonimbus cloud or, colloquially, a fire thunderstorm.

    I see the ashy smoke flowing at low altitude — and the billowing pyrocumulonimbus is white from the moisture, and which going much higher into the atmosphere. Another case of lighter elements carried high and suspended while the heavier stay low or become fallout.
    Correct?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Some of the smoke and black carbon would be Bourne up to those higher altitudes. The high tops whiten due to ice crystal formation in the clouds. It would take a very heavy load from the fire to darken the high cloud tops.

      Reply
      • So isn’t the ice crystals in the clouds from the moisture in the trees and plants which have burned, and are now in atmospheric inventory. One more instance of added h2o that should be on terra firma?
        Was that a Ludlum slip, Robert?🙂

        Reply
  1. Clouds of Denial Clear as Rising Storm Tops, Middle Latitude Drying Found to Speed Global Warming | robertscribbler

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