No Pause — NASA Shows Human Hothouse Maintaining Record High Temperatures for 2015

GISS Pulse

(What 2015 temperatures would look like on the annual graph if the +0.79 C departure maintained throughout the present year. Problem is, there’s at least some risk warming could intensify. Image from Tamino’s recent blog post which, justifiably, rips the fussy math of Anthony Watts and ‘friends’ into tiny little pieces.)

It’s an El Nino year. It’s a year in which global CO2 averages are hitting above 400 parts per million for the first time in at least 3 million years. And it’s a year in which CO2 equivalent values for all greenhouse gasses (including methane, nitrogen compounds and other exotic heat trapping gasses) that humans have emitted are nearing 485 parts per million.

Added together — the equatorial Pacific Ocean taking a break in its duties as atmospheric heat sink (El Nino) combined with the immense volume of heat trapping gasses human beings have now loaded into the atmosphere — it’s more than enough to force global temperatures into territory likely not seen since the Eemian interglacial period 150,000 years ago.

Temperatures Continue March into Eemian Ranges

And NASA GISS, in its monthly report, is showing global temperatures that are edging into the Eemian range. First, April of 2015 came in at 0.75 Celsius (C) hotter than NASA’s global 20th Century benchmark (0.95 C hotter than 1880). This represents the second hottest value for April on record in the entire 135 year climate record, coming in just a bit cooler than the 0.83 C departure for 2010. Meanwhile, hindsight adjustments have found that the January-through-March period was warmer than earlier indicated — with new departures hitting +0.76 (Jan), +0.80 (Feb), and +0.85 (Mar).

Combined, the average of these first four months is +0.79 C above 20th Century measures. Or about +0.99 C above 1880s values. This puts us well outside the context of the 10,000 year period beginning at the end of the last ice age (Holocene) and edges us into a range more typical to the Eemian. A time when sea levels were between 6 and 8 meters (20-25 feet) higher than today.

Polar Amplification and the Greenland Cool Pool

Looking at the global temperature anomaly map provided by NASA, we can see where much of this extra heat accumulated throughout April:

Global Temps NASA April 2015

(NASA GISS global temperature anomalies map for April of 2015. Image source: NASA.)

Here we find that polar amplification for the upper Northern Hemisphere latitudes was continuing to hit high marks. Broad south-to-north wind flows over central Asia drove a powerful warming spanning up from Lake Baikal in Russia, on through Central Siberia, up over the Yamal region and into the High Arctic. Average temperatures for the month in this zone ranged from 2 C to as high as 6.9 C above average. Another zone of extreme warmth sprawled out over Western North America and into the Beaufort and Chukchi Sea regions. There, temperatures ranged between 1-4 C above 20th Century averages.

Other notable warm regions included the Equatorial Pacific — showing a band of 1-2 C departures in association with a developing El Nino — and the West Antarctic Peninsula, which saw heating in the range of 2-4 degrees Celsius above average for most of the month.

Overall, most of the globe showed above average readings with cool pools relegated to isolated regions. In particular, the distribution of cool temperatures near Greenland is somewhat disturbing. It’s an indication of increased glacial melt outflows from Greenland ice sheets into the North Atlantic. It’s also a validation of climate model analysis of human-caused global warming — which indicated cooling near Greenland due to a combination of ice sheet and ocean responses to heating the Earth-Ocean System. The ocean response — a dangerous slowing of Atlantic thermo-haline circulation — was also identified in a recent paper by Rahmstorf.

Zonal anomalies April of 2015

(NASA Latitudinal temperature anomalies again shows strength of Northern Hemisphere polar amplification. Image source: NASA.)

NASA zonal anomalies also continue to validate climate model predictions for human-caused warming. Here we find the predicted extreme polar amplification — more rapid warming of the Northern Hemisphere polar zone than the rest of the world — clearly indicated. There, in the 60-90 North Latitude zone we find temperatures ranging from 1-3.5 Celsius above the 20th Century global average. A rate of warming far exceeding any other region.

All other Latitudinal zones show about a +0.75 C above average temperature departure. The first noted exception is the heat sink in the Southern Ocean (at -0.5 to +0.5 C in this measure) which continues to uptake atmospheric heat, transfer it to the middle ocean and, by Ekman pumping through storm action, deliver it exactly where it is least needed — along the basal regions of various melting Antarctic ice shelves. The second is marked by a zone of March-April storm intensification along the Antarctic Continent and Southern Ocean boundary centering at 75 degrees South (-0.5 to -1 C).

Conditions in Context

Overall, temperatures at +0.99 degrees Celsius above 1880s averages for the first four months of 2015 should be cause for concern. We still have El Nino ramping up in the Pacific. And with some models showing the event could be quite powerful, the added boost to global heating we are seeing now could well ramp higher later this year. In addition, we are entering an Arctic melt season that is showing some risk of pushing Arctic sea ice into new record lows — at least early in the melt season. Such an event would further tilt the globe toward record heat by reducing ice-based light and heat reflectivity in the Arctic at times of 24 hour sunlight (May through July).

As such, there is risk that already record warming seen since 2014 and into 2015 could continue and, potentially, ramp higher through the end of this year.

Links:

NASA GISS

Standing on the Shores of Disaster

A Faustian Bargain on the Short Road to Hell

Catch 22 No 1

Steaming Equatorial Pacific Sees Winds Blowing Toward Monster El Nino

World Ocean Heartbeat Fading

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79 Comments

  1. Wharf Rat

     /  May 13, 2015

    Mother Nature bats last

    Typhoon Dolphin is gathering strength in the waters to the east of the U.S. Mariana Islands, and is a serious threat to strike Guam and the nearby islands as a major typhoon on Friday morning (U.S. EDT.) The 8 am EDT Wednesday advisory from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) put Dolphin’s winds at 105 mph, and the Japan Meteorological Agency estimated a central pressure of 965 mb. The latest 00Z Wednesday run of the European model and 06Z run of the GFS model show Dolphin passing within 50 miles of Guam between 06 – 09 UTC Friday (2 am – 5 am U.S. Eastern Daylight Time.) Satellite loops show that Dolphin significantly increased in organization on Wednesday morning, with an increase in the intensity and areal coverage of its heavy thunderstorms and formation of an eye. Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are near 29°C (84°F), and warm waters extend to great depth along Dolphin’s track, giving it plenty of heat energy to draw upon for intensification. Wind shear has risen over the past day to the moderate range, 10 – 20 knots, and is expected to remain low to moderate through Friday. Dolphin should be able to intensify to Category 3 typhoon status by the time it reaches Guam, and may rapidly intensify, potentially affecting Guam as a Category 4 super typhoon.

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2986

    Reply
    • Here we go again…

      Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  May 14, 2015

      The rate over the past 24 months in which cyclones increase in intensity in seemingly shorter time periods is very interesting. Anyone else suspect that may be a behavior associated with increased “fuel” (temperatures, moisture etc..)?

      Reply
  2. danabanana

     /  May 13, 2015

    Mesmerizing.

    Reply
    • Pretty stunning visualization. Also nice illustration of how the atmosphere is really just an ocean of air — complete with ripples at the top.

      Reply
  3. wili

     /  May 13, 2015

    Thanks for pointing this out. That Tamino graph should put to rest the ‘pause’ lie for a while till they come up with some new manipulation of the data. Very sobering that we are essentially at 1C above pre-1880 levels now and are entering the Eemian. So we’re crossing two milestones in one year–above 400ppm average for over a month (and probably over the year), and probably also crossing above the 1C threshold. 2 seems to be nearly inevitably on its way within 2-3 decades.

    I posted this in a previous thread, but it is more relevant here:

    Australia’s BoM has now called it: “the Bureau’s ENSO Tracker has been raised to El Niño status”
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/

    Reply
    • We still have 8 months left for 2015. So the average could swing around a bit. But where we’re sitting at now looks like a pretty strong departure. And if those El Nino models are right, we could hit a range from +0.8 to +0.85.

      Reply
  4. Robert, thanks for posting this so quickly. It is clear that 2015 has a much bigger head start than 2014. My understanding is that El Niño usually has less influence on summer months (for surface temps) but I don’t see how this warming trend doesn’t continue through the summer. It is not often we start the summer with such high El Niño conditions already.

    I can only hope that “record warm, hottest ever” stories will help drive the narrative for both parties in the U.S. Leading up to the general election 2016. This should push Americans to take this issue more seriously.

    Reply
  5. I probably won’t live long enough to witness it, but I’d sure like to see the political and economic changes which must occur after climate change impacts begin to cause large-scale social unrest.

    Reply
    • See Sao Paulo, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Syria.

      See also California and Australia.

      Response so far is uninspiring in most cases.

      Reply
    • wili

       /  May 13, 2015

      Good examples. The mass migration now underway from MENA into Europe, tragic stories about which we see nearly every day now, is at least partly the result of the Sahara moving north into otherwise Mediterranean climate of much of the North African coast and the Eastern Mediterranean. It will likely lead to much disruption of politics and probably of countries of the EU, (the southern tier of which are already experience the same drying, but so far, at lower levels).

      This is kind of a reverse version of the mass migration of the so called Sea Peoples in about 1200 BCE out of various parts of mostly the northern Mediterranean into the Eastern Mediterranean areas. This mass migration lead to the fall of the three great kingdoms dominant in the area at the time: Hittite, Babalonian/Akkadian, and Egyptian (19th dynasty).

      The latest theory about what made the Sea Peoples leave their homes in such large droves at about the same time is that the climate shifted and made raising adequate food to feed their populations impossible.

      Reply
      • Wili, seems you’ve read 1177 B.C. The Year Civilization Collapsed. If you haven’t, bet you’d like it. Good book.

        Only thing we don’t know is the history we don’t know! Wouldn’t it be nice if we learned something from history. Will and Arial Durant’s The Lessons of History is another one that should be read by everyone. It is available in a pdf free online, if anyone wants it. Short, but a great read for anyone that hasn’t.

        Reply
  6. rayduray

     /  May 13, 2015

    Scripps-La Jolla will host a lecture on AMOC etc. titled “Overturning Assumptions on Ocean Circulation” next Tuesday afternoon.

    http://tinyurl.com/kkh5tmt

    Andy in Sandy-ay-go, can we send you as our emissary?🙂

    Reply
    • Send Roundup ‘a thank you but we don’t want any more’ note for this one.

      Reply
    • Griffin

       /  May 14, 2015

      When you look at just how much Roundup is spread across the midwestern USA, it really is no surprise that the bees are going away. This is an eye-opening map.
      https://api.tiles.mapbox.com/v4/ewg.m3fa5dp2/page.html?access_token=pk.eyJ1IjoiZXdnIiwiYSI6IlYxUUpUTlUifQ.87Ean7pyT-H6eapPSES_pA#5/40.210/-94.452

      Reply
      • Andy in San Diego

         /  May 14, 2015

        I haven’t seen it on youtube yet, but they had an excellent segment on Friday regarding Monsanto, their Roundup and roundup ready crops. They covered the consequences of pesticide resistant weeds, insect death (pollinators), farmer becoming stuck in a cycle as well as roundup overspray into other farms.

        Reply
    • Here in my part of PDX, OR — a neighbor and I are alarmed at the small number of Bumblebees we see compared to last year. We are seeing only 25%, or less.

      Side notes: commercial honeybees are overworked and often kept in crowded places. Some keepers take too much honey from hives when the bees ‘overwinter’ and feed the bees high fructose (GMO?) corn syrup. Bees need to ventilate and aerate.
      Further, air pollution and particulate of all sorts falls on every exposed surface of flora — blossoms, petals, grasses, and leaves. And the hives.
      Bees live their wonderful lives feeding and foraging in a toxic landscape of our making.

      Also, we keep pulling the climate and weather “rug out from underneath” them just as we slather herbicides and pesticides all over the air, land, and water.
      We blast and bake insect habitat with power blowers every day.
      Not a pleasant picture.

      But I close with a group photo of some of my Monarch butterfly friends at Ellwood Main coastal overwintering site in Goleta/Santa Barbara, CA.
      Myself, and others, worked very hard to protect this habitat. I could protect them from everything except aerosol pollution– which the US Congress insists be allowed.

      OUT

      Reply
      • — Proof of one success: I got, with the help of a property owner, and the City, to post signs, and erect rope line barriers, to alert visitors to the sensitive nature of habitat.

        Reply
      • This what I was able to put a stop to — overuse by “visitors” was destroying the ravine, the understory, and the habitat. The real success. Plant growth and leaf litter now cover this bare area.🙂

        Reply
  7. May heatwave breaks record in Spain – this is in Spanish, but it looks from the table that Lanzarote broke the May record by almost 6C !!!

    http://www.4gotas.com/mas-tiempo/blog-noticias-meteorologia/records-temperatura-maxima-mayo/

    Reply
  8. News from Down-Under:

    New Zealand’s Minister of Conservation, when asked in parliament if a 2C temperature increase occasioned by a 50% increase in rates of species extinction (from a Minstry of the Environment report) responded “I DISPUTE THE FACTS”

    http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/2015/05/climate-change-minister-refutes-facts.html

    While NASA and the Australian Meterorology department have declared an el-Nino, New Zealand is still “debating” as to whether there is an el-Nino or not

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/273540/scientists-debate-el-nino-likelihood

    Meanwhile farmers on the country’s east coast are suffereing from ongoing drought, soon to be made worse

    http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/el-nio-pattern-blow-to-canterbury-farmers-2015051318

    Reply
  9. Carbon Pollution’s Harm To Sea Life Coming Faster Than Expected

    Oceanographer and coral expert J.E.N. Veron, former chief scientist of the Australian Institute of Marine Science, has written, “The science is clear: Unless we change the way we live, the Earth’s coral reefs will be utterly destroyed within our children’s lifetimes.”

    Reply
  10. Andy in San Diego

     /  May 14, 2015

    Holy hell,

    look at the outflow from the Mackenzie River chewing up the ice at the delta and beyond. Take a look at daily concentration.

    https://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/

    Reply
  11. marmocet

     /  May 14, 2015

    “First, April of 2015 came in at 0.75 Celsius (C) hotter than the global 20th Century average…”

    Minor detail: the April 2015 .75 °C anomaly is given relative to the 1951-1980 average. Relative to the 20th century average, April 2015 was .79 °C warmer.

    Reply
  12. Andy in San Diego

     /  May 14, 2015

    A piece on Sao Paolo water issues plus perceptions about it locally.

    http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/2015/world/sao-paulo-drought-perception-impedes-government-action/

    Reply
    • Good–I was just going to post this myself. Depressed me so much I had to take a time out up on Skyline Drive (Shenandoah NP) and soak up some late spring.

      Reply
    • Welcome to my world — pushing climate policy as solutions and not giving up on politics. The grass roots stuff is great. But, yeah, as he states so plainly, getting EPA to regulate carbon emissions down to zero should be our overarching goal. We can fight this guerrilla war forever or we can use politics to take the fossil fuel Giants down. And that’s what we need to do. Same as big tobacco, but on a larger scale.

      Reply
  13. Colorado Bob

     /  May 14, 2015

    French climate envoy sees ‘change of perception’ in Russia

    “There is now a change of perception” in Russia about climate change, Hulot claimed, citing the wildfires outside Moscow, which left 54 people dead in the summer of 2010. The drought and crop failures that resulted from the fires and heatwave cost roughly $15 billion in damages, according to estimates. He also mentioned the “sudden appearance of giant craters” and the “strong methane emissions” in Siberia, which scientists believe could be caused by thawing permafrost.

    “I was also able to meet with scientists and various politicians. They have a very different understanding of [climate change] than a few years ago,” Hulot believes.

    http://www.euractiv.com/sections/climate-environment/french-climate-envoy-sees-change-perception-russia-314570

    Reply
  14. Colorado Bob

     /  May 14, 2015

    Prince George Bobtail Lake fire could be omen for long, hot B.C. summer

    A forest fire at Little Bobtail Lake near Prince George was showing what an official called “unpredictable and aggressive” behaviour Wednesday and may be a portent of what this summer could be like in B.C.

    If the long-range forecast for hot and dry conditions proves accurate, it could set the stage for a bad wildfire season in B.C. similar to 2014, when fighting fires cost more than $300 million, said fire information officer Navi Saini of the B.C. Wildfire Management Branch.

    There are fewer fires so far this year than in 2014 (133 compared to 159), but far more forest has burned (9,045 hectares compared to 749 in 2014).

    Link

    Reply
  15. Colorado Bob

     /  May 14, 2015

    Portugal –

    Forest fires increase five-fold

    Up until 5 May the National Civil Protection Authority had taken count of 4,320 forest fires, whereas last year just 846 fires had occurred during that same time frame.

    According to the ANPC the majority of fires have been small due to the swift intervention of fire-fighters.

    Up until now, this year only two fires spread beyond 500 hectares.

    Link

    Reply
    • Rough night guys. Lost my cat Merrin suddenly to a blood clot. She was a great pal.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  May 14, 2015

        Sorry to hear that , I had a friend lose his dog last week , and even though she wasn’t mine , it still was hard .

        Reply
        • We’ve had three. All amazing Cats. I attribute it to my wife who seems to be able to draw them out of their shells and get them comfortable enough to show their personalities.

          Never easy losing one.

      • Dave Person

         /  May 14, 2015

        I am sorry Robert. I love animals and dread losing my border collie, Bella, who is now 12. She is my constant companion and I can appreciate your loss.

        dave

        Reply
        • I hope you have many more good years ahead, Dave.

          Here’s a pic of Merrin being a great scribbling companion. Her ritual was to sit with me in that basket, on the desk, or on the lap until about 3ish. Then she’d break for an afternoon nap.

      • Greg

         /  May 14, 2015

        Robert, sorry about Merrin. I didn’t even know cats could suffer that fate. Rest in peace Merrin.

        Reply
      • Jacob

         /  May 14, 2015

        My condolences for your loss, Robert. It’s never easy to lose a friend. My cat, Joplin, also recently passed away. She drank coolant fluid about 18 years ago, and the vet said at the time she’d not live longer than 3 years after that. She lived to be almost 20 years-old.

        Reply
      • Eric Thurston

         /  May 14, 2015

        We lost a cat likewise a few years ago. Apparently it isn’t too uncommon for a cat to throw a clot that gets lodged in the fork in the artery that feeds the hindquarters, paralysing the back legs. It is sad when it happens. We do get fond of the little critters.

        Reply
      • JPL

         /  May 14, 2015

        Sorry Robert. Its always tough losing a 4-legged friend. Hang in there – we’re thinking about you!

        John

        Reply
      • rayduray

         /  May 14, 2015

        Sorry to read about your loss, Robert. I’m reminded of the loss of my last cat, a giant of an orange tabby. I found Tommie as a stray in a rural neighborhood and took him in as a “teen-ager”. After about a year with me he decided I was a reliable re-fueling stop, but that his real calling in life was out rambling the neighborhood for days on end. This pattern persisted for several months. After his extended absence for a couple of weeks though I decided to inquire of my neighbors what they might have seen of him. About half of the folks I talked to knew of his comings and goings. One particularly keen eyed neighbor though put together a plausible story on his disappearance. We had a great horned owl that summer in our area. The neighbor surmised that my cat had been a McFeast for the owl. I spent a lot of time down in the copse where the owl was known to hang out, and found nothing resembling my Tommie. Alas, I found no sign ever of what became of him.

        Reply
        • Sorry to hear about Tommie, Ray. Sounds like he had some crazy adventures.

          Merrin was all housecat. Although she was a rather proficient mouser. I’d find them dazed in the middle of the living room now and then.

      • Mblanc

         /  May 14, 2015

        Sorry to hear that Robert. its always tough to lose a loved animal, especially when it is sudden.

        We have 2 cats, and the thought of being present, if something like that happened, fills me with dread. I have a friend who tried mouth-to-mouth on his cat, who had a fit one night, to no avail.

        RIP Merrin

        Reply
        • Thanks, Mb (damn autocorrect keeps changing your name to ambulance).

          Yeah. She hit the rocks really quick. Hung out with me during the evening. Seemed fine until about nine. Her usual chipper self. Then acting really sick. By the time we got in the car with her at 930, she was flat out. Like a train hit her. Got to the vet. No reflex response from eyes, breathing good, heartbeat good, extreme low blood pressure. All signs of a stroke. She could still mew now and then, and did so in the manner of a cry for help.

          With blood pressure so low, organ failure starts in a few hours. We decided to fight with meds and supportive therapy and did so for about three hours. No good response. Vet said she was painfully going down hill. No options left. It was just torture for her. So we held her while they sent her off on a cloud.

          Cried my goddamn eyes out. She was amazing and didn’t deserve to go down like that. I guess the only mercy is that it was rather fast.

          I can sympathize with your friend. Would have done CPR all night if there was any chance it could have helped.

      • So sorry for your loss, Robert. As a dog and cat lover I’ve often said the only drawback of furry family members is their short lifespans. A sudden unexpected passing is even more heartbreaking. I’m truly sorry😦

        Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  May 14, 2015

      All-Time May Heat Record for Europe Falls For the 2nd Time This Month

      An extreme May heat wave unprecedented in European recorded history has invaded Spain and Portugal, bringing the hottest May temperatures ever recorded on the continent. At 1:50pm local time on Thursday, the mercury had already soared to 42.6°C (108.7°F) at Algemet (Valencian Community) in Spain, smashing the previous European May heat record set just eight days ago–41.9°C (107.4°F) at Catenanuova, Spain on May 6, 2015. This week’s heat wave began yesterday, when hot air from North Africa flowed northwards over Spain and Portugal, setting all-time May heat records at Madrid, Sevilla, Cordoba, Ciudad Real, Granada, and many other cities. Portugal beat its all-time May heat record with a 40.0°C (104.0°F) reading at Beja EMA (old record: 39.5°C, 103.1°F, at Regua on May 28, 2001.) The most remarkable record yesterday, however, was from the Canary Islands to the southwest of Spain, where Lanzarote Airport hit 42.6°C (108.7°F), breaking it’s old record for the entire month of May by 6°C (10.8°F)! The old record was 36.6 °C (97.9°F) on May 24, 1986.

      Link

      Reply
      • J McKenzie

         /  May 14, 2015

        Lanzarote is way south of Spain, due west of Morroco’s southern border with the Western Sahara (which Morrocco occupies). Lots of Europeans head there in winter and summer. Usually despite being so far south it has a warm equitable climate with cooling winds off the ocean, averaging 25 Centigrade in summer. 42.6C over the black lava island will be hell, there is no vegetation apart from vines in thousands indivdual craters with small walls to protect from the wind- not many hotels have a/c due to the usually nice climate with cooling winds.

        Reply
      • Baker

         /  May 16, 2015

        Valencia (Spain) reached 42.5°C (also broke May record by 6 K and June record by 4 K, means July heat). Another small city nearby, Carcaixent, seems to have recorded 44.4°C (all-time European heat record for May). Meanwhile, there was another F3-tornado in Germany. When we put conditions in context, is it probable that it could happen again in July with even higher values (all-time records for the year) and farther north?

        Reply
  16. More Northwest Mountains Are Snow-Free Already As Drought Deepens

    http://www.opb.org/news/article/northwest-drought-deepening/

    Reply
  17. cushngtree

     /  May 14, 2015

    Hopefully this links to a map of western states snowpack as of May 1st (first time posting, mainly a lurker)
    https://opensnow.com/news/post/update-western-snowpack-vs-precipitation
    Really sorry about your cat. A loss in microcosm of all we see coming.

    Reply
    • Thank you for your warm thoughts and compassion.

      My view is that all life is deeply important. We are nothing without the connections we share with all living things. Especially the innocent creatures that now rely on our decisions for so much.

      Merrin was a good friend. A person to me. She has been with my wife and I since the month we first began living together. She had this wonderful way about her. A kind of light she carried wherever she went. That light is now extinguished, never to return.

      The mission here has always been to spread compassion. A sense of connection to the world by seeing it. To, by increasing that sight, compel remorse and to inspire the will to prevent as much harm as possible.

      We all die one day. And that is a terrible enough fate without adding to the deaths as we have done. To risk setting off a great dying. It’s a terrible injustice, perhaps the greatest human beings have ever perpetrated. That’s saying something, because we have been horrible and have apparently learned nothing from our many failings throughout history.

      Amazing Grace is a song of comfort we often sing for the departed. But, originally, it was a song of remorse written by a slave trader who saw the harm he was causing and decided to make a break with the business of profiting from the suffering of others. I don’t think we remember that as a society. We sing the song, but the words have lost their meaning. And where is the remorse of the powerful now?

      So much blindness without even the will to see…

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  May 14, 2015

        There are those who see, those who see when they are shown, and those who do not see, per Da Vinci. It was some years ago I was visiting Zion National Park and found myself among a large group of retired visitors watching a film presented by a park ranger about the beauty of Zion National Park. Many of them oo’ed and ahh’ed and teared up, especially about the flowers. I did not. I knew it was profound, knew it was touching, knew it was extraordinary, but only intellectually. I said to myself, if I can feel like they do someday I will be the person I hope to be. I don’t know what path takes one there, if it is just the emotion of long experience, the remorse and heaviness that comes with age and loss or a will power and intention. The banality of daily life can easily overwhelm. Your blog is a catalog about the world’s beauty. Thank you. Your wife is a lucky woman. And you can quote that if/when she gives you a hard time about this blog or anything else.

        Reply
        • I think you hit on it with — banality of daily life.

          Constant action can drown out our connection with the world around us and the people in it. It is in the pauses that we are finally afforded the opportunity to be, and to form meaningful ties. I’ve been fortunate to experience both. My childhood was one of family, community, and the great, nearby, wide open space of the ocean. My father revered the beauty of nature and my mother was a deep, spiritual person constantly exploring the mysteries of our inner lives. My early adulthood was as close to the opposite of this as one could imagine. Given my earlier, rich, experience, this made me feel an amazing sense of dislocation. I didn’t begin to feel ‘right’ again until I started taking my ‘lessons’ from childhood and attempting to give them to the broader world.

          But, yeah, constant action is a killer for one’s inner life, emotional connections, and general ability to form meaningful ties. Any time you can take to allow yourself to be, to stop the noise, and to simply share time with those you care for, will help establish it again. For my part, I’ve found that animals (including my friend Merrin) seem to have a profound understanding of the importance of being.

          Bob, I think, gets this too.

      • rustj2015

         /  May 14, 2015

        With the truth of the animals that live with us, with the lives we share:
        “All societies are evil, sorrowful, inequitable; and so they will always be. So if you really want to help this world, what you will have to teach is how to live in it.”
        Joseph Campbell

        Reply
      • Greg

         /  May 14, 2015

        “Really, the only thing that makes sense is to strive for greater collective enlightenment.
        As life’s agents, it’s on our shoulders.”
        Elon Musk

        Reply
      • Wharf Rat

         /  May 14, 2015

        Rat sends condolences, too.

        Reply
      • Griffin

         /  May 14, 2015

        I feel the empty hole in your heart Robert. It is a horrible feeling to lose a long time family member. May time heal your wound soon.

        Reply
  18. Colorado Bob

     /  May 14, 2015

    Sawfly wasp outbreak spreading through Colorado’s ponderosa pines

    A stout brown wasp called the sawfly, eating needles off ponderosa pines across 7,430 acres southeast of Denver, is expected to spread — turning more pines into Charlie Brown Christmas trees.

    Afflicted ponderosas change from puffy green pines to defoliated spines. The outbreak of sawfly wasps is the latest of multiple insect epidemics degrading Colorado forests including mountain pine bark beetles and spruce beetles.

    State entomologist Dan West said Tuesday that forest crews will monitor ponderosas this summer to track sawflies’ spread northward from a stronghold in Elbert County.

    “Three years of this insect feeding on ponderosa pine trees can cause the trees to die,” West said. “We really don’t know why this organism is in this tremendous boom now. That’s the big question.

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