Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Worsen, Nightmare Melt Scenario in the Works?

It’s the end of a bad week in a bad month in a bad season in the all-too-bad, human-heated, era for Arctic sea ice. As of the middle of this week, both the US measure — NSIDC — and Japan’s measure — JAXA — were showing record low daily sea ice extents. The lowest levels in the history of Arctic sea ice observation for this time of year and likely the lowest levels for hundreds, even thousands of years.

As charts go, the JAXA graphic looks pretty amazingly ominous. A 2015 sea ice extent line diving below all others, steadily plumbing an abyss that, if not this year or the next, could lead to a dreaded blue ocean event in the not-too-distant future. The kind of upshot from human greenhouse gas emissions we thought we might see by 2080 or later. One that has become increasingly more likely during recent years and that some researchers are expecting could emerge by before 2020.

Sea ice extent

(JAXA sea ice measure plunging to new record lows on May 22 and now hitting a very steep angle of decline. Image source: JAXA Polar Research.)

Above you can seen the 2015 red line taking its most recent plunge after hovering very near to record low levels. According to JAXA’s Polar Research Center, sea ice extent dropped like a stone to 11.44 million square kilometers yesterday, or about 200,000 square kilometers lower than the previous record low value set in 2006.

Divergence in May

The problem is not just one of a new record low. It’s one of timing and divergence. Accelerated melt in the May-to-June time-frame can have serious impacts on late season ice. The reason is that greatly reduced ice coverage also reduces albedo or reflectivity. The result can be compounded warming and increased heat absorption by darker surfaces under the 24 hour Arctic sunlight of June and July.

Large open stretches of ocean also enable swell formation, which can chew away the ice. And already we can see very large sections of dark, low albedo, ocean forming throughout many vulnerable regions.

Arctic ice visual May 22

(MODIS satellite shot shows widespread regions of open ocean and far northward melt advance for this time of year. Image source: LANCE-MODIS.)

For this time of year, we have very advanced sea ice loss and open ocean development in the regions of the Chukchi, the Beaufort, Northern Baffin Bay and the Kara. In addition, large open water areas are now becoming visible in the Laptev. A far northern extent of sea ice melt for May in addition to typical seasonal losses coming from Hudson Bay and southern Baffin Bay.

Such record low ice totals at this time of year can enable far greater melt advance by end season if the weather stacks up in all the wrong ways. And, at least for the next week, the weather forecast is tilting ever more heavily toward a melt-enhancing extreme warming of Arctic regions.

Arctic Warm Air Invasion Forecast to Continue

Over the next seven days, heat is predicted to continue to flood from south to north — goaded along by high amplitude ridges in the Jet Stream continuing to form over Northwestern North America and the Siberian region adjacent to the Kara Sea. The warm flux zones are forecast to deliver unseasonable, above average temperatures to the Arctic — resulting a general state of much warmer than normal conditions for the entire Arctic Ocean by late next week.

Air Temperature Anomaly ArcticAir Temperature Arctic May 29

(Side-by-side comparison of Arctic temperature anomaly forecast [left] and 2 meter temperature forecast [right] for May 29, 2015 in the GFS model run as provided and graphically displayed by Climate Reanalyzer. It’s worth noting that such extreme anomalies are very unusual for Arctic Ocean regions during late spring and summer.)

As a result, we see temperature anomalies for the entire Arctic Ocean zone hitting a range of between 5 and 15 degrees Celsius above average for next Friday (May 29, 2015). Such a warm air surge would push temperatures in the above freezing range for almost the entire Arctic Ocean area. These are temperatures more typical of late June and early July. Conditions that, should they emerge, would result in a multiplication of ice-threatening melt ponds, a further expansion and warming of already unseasonably large open water zones, and a forcing of more ice-eating, high heat content water vapor into the Arctic environment.

Any forecast is subject to uncertainty. Rapid May melt during 2013 and 2014 stalled out during June of those years. However, May melt is significantly more advanced this year than during those years. And, as opposed to 2013 and 2014, GFS model forecasts showing warmer than normal conditions have tended to be correct. The warm air slots over Northwest North American and Western Siberia are also very well established at this time.

Melt Ponds Barrow May 22

(Snow cover gone, melt ponds plainly visible at Barrow Alaska today. Proliferation of melt ponds during May and June can greatly enhance risk of record low totals come August and September. Image source: Barrow Sea Ice Cam.)

As a result, there’s high risk that the current record lows now appearing in the NSIDC and JAXA measures with continue to deepen over the coming week. It’s an utterly wretched situation for sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere. One that will bear very close watching as the risks now appear to be heading toward some unsettling markers.

Links:

NSIDC Arctic Sea Ice

JAXA Polar Research Center

LANCE-MODIS

Climate Reanalyzer

Barrow Sea Ice Cam

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224 Comments

  1. M E Cheshier

     /  May 23, 2015

    Oh my… 😦 It baffles me that even with these stats that people still think climate change is a hoax.

    Reply
  2. It’s very easy to understand. So many folks get all their knowledge about the world from the fake news channel. it’s a wonder they believe (grudgingly I’m sure) that the earth is round!

    Reply
    • Sometimes, the hard work goes on off stage. That’s what it can take to make the complex stuff look straight forward.

      OT:

      Berman was off again bashing the Humane Society this week. WTOP fibbed when they told me they were keeping him off the air. Ad money is serious moral hazard.

      Reply
      • The Humane Society!? Jeez! It seems like the fake conservatives are hell bent on destroying all civil society until the poor and middle classes are dependent solely on mammoth monopoly corporations for all our daily needs.

        Reply
        • Big ag and the restaurant industry doesn’t like the animal welfare laws HSUS puts out. So they hire people like Berman to slime them. If there’s a good cause in this world you can find a powerful business interest that has directly opposed it. The dark game, on that side, appears to be direct pushes to profit from harm. Apparently, these folks have given up on making better products and actually improving people’s lives and instead focus on bullying people to force them to buy crap.

      • sunkensheep

         /  May 24, 2015

        Ed-M – I noticed this in Australia too. – All kinds of civil society organisations from legal aid to charities to arts organisations and public broadcasters are having federal funding cut and/or being demonised by conservative politicians and the press. At the same time there are efforts in multiple areas to impose direct political control.

        On a completely different note, I see some cold water upwelling about PNG/the Indonesian archipelago that should reinforce ElNino once it reaches the surface. The hot Indian Ocean seems to have been keeping a bit of a lid on ENSO ocean-atmosphere coupling so far.

        Reply
  3. Andy in San Diego

     /  May 23, 2015

    If one zooms in on the modis daily image and looks between Alaska & the NWT, especially off the MacKenzie delta ( http://www.arctic.io/explorer/8/2015-05-21/7-N74.54486-W134.51224 ) you can see the ice fracturing and the fractured expanse reaching further into the cap daily. You can also see the open water expand, again daily.

    The tail end of the MacKenzie in the delta has some residual ice, the balance of the river up to Great Slave Lake is clear of ice.

    Open fires were banned 2 weeks ago due to the lack of ground moisture in Hay River.

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  May 23, 2015

      The darkness of the open water is such a scary contrast to the ice.

      Reply
    • wili

       /  May 23, 2015

      Thanks for that. It strikes me how very little snow remains on the ground through most of the region. That’s a huge albedo feedback, too!

      Somebody over at neven’s blog last year worked out what seems to have been the most accurate prediction tool for predicting final ice melt levels and it turned out the most important factor was level of snow melt in on the surrounding lands in early June, iirc.

      Certainly _this_ side of the Arctic Ocean should be pretty damn ice free at the end of the season using that formula. (Still lots of snow around most of the Eurasian coastal regions, though, last I looked.)

      Reply
      • The rather odd thing here, Wili, is we have sections of Arctic Ocean that are warming faster than land on the Siberian side. Wouldn’t look too hard at the land snow. Snow melt on top of sea ice…

        Reply
      • wili

         /  May 23, 2015

        Yeah, just when you think you’ve got something figured out about the Arctic, it tend to do something different.

        Reply
      • Griffin

         /  May 23, 2015

        This is from 2012 to compare some numbers with. Interesting that in 2012, -150sqkm was considered a massive daily loss.
        http://m.earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=78429

        Reply
      • Griffin

         /  May 23, 2015

        This article, which we discussed here back when it was released, keeps coming back to me as I look at the image of the open water.
        http://m.earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=84930

        Reply
      • bill shockley

         /  May 27, 2015

        wili, I had heard that May-June melt-ponding had replaced early-season land-snow-loss as the #1 predictor. And, although Robert agrees with this, I had understood that early season melt-ponding was in turn correlated with sunniness/hi-pressure systems, whereas Robert is attributing the melt-ponding this year to warm air temperatues. Robert, could you comment on these things, and is there formal research that you refer to or are you going by the available satellite pics, weather reports, etc?

        Reply
      • bill shockley

         /  May 28, 2015

        What I mean to say is, for there to have been a correlation, there must have been quantification of melt-ponding. How close to real time is that data made public and is that what you use for your current projections?

        Reply
  4. Andy in San Diego

     /  May 23, 2015

    I think I found us a nice big forest fire in Northern Alberta. This fire is to the west of High Level.

    http://www.arctic.io/explorer/8/2015-05-21/9-N56.3957-W109.48882

    btw: the big fire in BC is at 25,000 ha.

    Reply
  5. Andy in San Diego

     /  May 23, 2015

    Russia Forest Fires – you can see burn scars quite clearly.

    http://www.arctic.io/explorer/24/2015-05-21/7-N51.41602-E108.91626

    Reply
  6. Syd Bridges

     /  May 23, 2015

    From that GFS forecast for the 29th, it looks like here in northern Colorado may be colder than much of the Arctic Ocean. We’ve had a great deal of rain and some snow this week. Yet three years ago on this date, we had already seen the Poudre Canyon fire and the High Park fire was soon to come. Now everything is soaking wet and an arsonist would stand no chance.

    I remember from the early ’90s, when I still lived in England, hearing Peter Wadhams talking about the thinning of the Arctic ice, IIRC from about eight feet in the ’60s to five feet, and also reading about Arctic amplification. Then along came 2007 and some rebound, then 2010/2011 near record lows, before 2012 blew through the previous record. Then we heard the wistful thinking of 2013 and 2014 being the start of a rebound. Is 2015 going to be the year that the Arctic chickens really come home to roost with a massive helping hand from a strong El Nino?

    Reply
    • Not a good trend at this time, Syd. We have about two to three weeks of window for a weather switch to come to the rescue. Problem is the pattern seems quite entrenched and the way the Arctic is responding to the prevailing Synoptics seems to be reinforcing it. Looks like the cards may be lining up on Wadhams’ side of the table.

      Reply
    • sunkensheep

       /  May 24, 2015

      Going by historical records, ElNino really does not mean much for the sea ice state. “The Blob” in the North Pacific on the other hand, I’m not so sure about.

      Reply
      • In the past decade, summer El Niño has statistically shown a teleconnection to enhanced warming of said blob. Same for mid ocean events. But maximum heat transport into the Arctic seems to occur about 1-2 years after the El Niño signal.

        Reply
  7. steve

     /  May 23, 2015

    Wasn’t this the year that Peter Wadhams predicted would go ice free in the Arctic and took same verbal abuse for?

    Reply
    • Originally, yes. He’s subsequently backed off to 2017.

      Reply
      • Robert, what is more relevant at this point of the melting season, extent or area?

        Reply
        • Trend and velocity are most important. Any new record lows in any measure with new measures picking up the trend.

          Area is important as a more complete measure of surface ice, extent is important due to zones of more contiguous albedo loss, and volume is important as a measure of overall ice state. Worth noting that accuracy in the volume and area measures is not quite as refined as extent.

      • And he will again shift it to 2020😉

        Alex

        Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  May 23, 2015

      These predictions are so unhelpful. They simply provide the denial crowd with drivel to quote and use as “evidence” of their perceived conspiracy.

      5 or 10 years to the left or the right of a prediction does not discredit the trend.

      Reply
      • Approximate percent risk and melt warnings are more helpful, certainly.

        Reply
      • There’s a fair chance we see zero or near zero conditions pre 2020, depending on a number of factors, not the least of which is Greenland melt response.

        Reply
      • james cole

         /  May 24, 2015

        When we are this close to an ice free arctic sea ice season, it is just semantics to debate which year will be THE first ice free summer. The trends are clear and obvious. The ice can’t last much longer and letting too much energy go into arguing the exact year is just counter productive. I sometimes feel the same about glaciers. I know there is a lot of work going into the science of how glaciers melt, but I can’t help be observe that many conclusions are self evident on the face of them. What ought to put fire in our bellies is the reasons for glacier melt and sea ice melt. How ice melts is interesting, but really not going to change anything. Science needs to learn how badly the feed backs could blind side us. So I generally agree with Andy. The trend is clear, a hit or miss over or above the time line is just noise in my opinion. And yes, every time a prediction misses, the denial crowd piles on like crazy and FOX news blares the minor blip like it disproves all the relevant science.

        Reply
      • And I agree also. Communication on this issue is very important, and the climate science community still doesn’t fully appreciate that. Getting better, but of course, not fast enough.

        Reply
      • And here’s an example: Climate Central tweets: “Here’s why moderate cold is more deadly than extreme heat: bit.ly/1ccUwvG ” Pondering, I think perhaps OK to cover (although I personally wouldn’t–I’d leave to someone else), but I certainly wouldn’t promote as actively as other stories. Here’s the link: http://www.climatecentral.org/news/cold-weather-more-deadly-19026

        Reply
      • One thing to consider is the difference between pure prediction and tracking potential events. If risk is higher given a trend, then the public needs to know. If we simply keep our heads down because of message pressure from climate change denier PR and advertising campaigns, then all we end up doing is reporting events after the fact. Not helpful at all. Forecasting, though having a decent risk of a miss, is essential in the current environment.

        Reply
      • Andy in San Diego

         /  May 24, 2015

        I think the focus should definitely be on trend, and the backing data. Allow the consumer to view the trend and draw their own conclusion.

        The validity of the data is key, an understanding of signal noise is essential, the rest follows.

        Reply
      • Today’s great headline from Climate Central, on the same story: “Study: heat waves are not as deadly as has been assumed.” This while hundreds die in India.

        Reply
    • Henri

       /  May 28, 2015

      Dangers of extrapolation methinks. Extrapolating arctic sea ice volume back in 2012 gave 2015 as the best estimate of a first time ice free arctic and a 95% confidence of it happening between 2014 and 2017. The danger is of course that being purely mathematical it doesn’t take the changing conditions into account. While interpolating a natural series (ie. not completely random) gives a nice fitting curve most of the time and it’s easy to spot trends that way, extrapolating on that basis is always hazardous.

      [IMG]http://i61.tinypic.com/imjlm9.jpg[/IMG]

      Here is an example of me interpolating the arctic sea ice minimum extent with a second order polynomial. Extrapolating on that it would look like the best guess for an ice free arctic would be the year 2034. I only included the error bars for this year’s extent but we wouldn’t be ice free until mid 2020’s by the earliest.

      Even though there is less room for instrumental uncertainties in the extent figures the volume extrapolation gives much better guesstimate since extent treats 3 yard thick multiyear ice the same way as cracking one foot ice. The best we can hope for is a result somewhere between but judging by math alone I will be surprised should the first ice free event happen after early 2020’s.

      Best short explanation of the dangers of extrapolation:

      https://xkcd.com/605/

      Reply
      • Henri

         /  May 28, 2015

        I have no idea how to embed pictures in the post, lol. Anyone care to give a hint?

        Reply
  8. Andy in San Diego

     /  May 23, 2015

    An interesting Poll. My take away is that one fringe is disproportionately loud and has decided to hijack the conversation on behalf of those they do not represent. And they have disproportionate representation for such a fringe view. Very unfortunate.

    https://img.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://img.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/files/2015/05/ClimateViews.png&w=1484

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  May 23, 2015

      I don’t know if it is just my luck or the people that I talk to, but I have a very difficult time finding the conversation about climate with folks (friends/family). I say climate change, even in the most casual way, and they clam right up. I really have not come across too many reasonable folks that have any opinion either way, or at least enough of one to mention the subject. This often makes me wonder, if they are not having the discussion, are they more apt to just be influenced by a single snippet of news that is likely inaccurate? Probably. Without discussion, there is no healthy exchange of thought, and that is usually a bad thing.
      Getting that exchange started, sure is a challenge though.

      Reply
      • Andy in San Diego

         /  May 23, 2015

        I find younger folks are more interested in the science and what the trends are. I try to avoid the subject with most people as they are in denial or are part of the conspiracy crowd.

        When confronted by those that don’t reference data, trends or other items that indicate that they have looked beyond a media headline sometimes I find questions serve well.

        ie:

        Them: “It’s a conspiracy to keep grant money flowing”

        Me: “They set this conspiracy up in the early1800’s? That’s amazing isn’t it? Wow, how did they keep it going this long so quietly?”

        Them: “what do you mean 1800’s?”

        Me: “well, that was when the correlation / causation was determined between CO2 and warming, and that was done by one of those scientists. Studies between CO2 and the atmosphere were being worked on in the late 1800’s so the conspiracy had to have been figured out, and perfected so nobody knows! By the late 1800’s there are news articles and science papers on the long term effect of warming by CO2. I wonder what made them decide in the 1800’s that this scam will be a great trick in the 2000’s. You know more about this then I do, how did they know back then what science discipline to use for a scam that would only grow for 150 years?”

        Them: “thats not true, you’re just making that up”

        Me: “no, actually the original articles are on the internet scanned from paper, and the text is beside it, I’ve looked it up and found it. I don’t trust media assholes, I know you’re far too smart for that too. They’ve been printing this and stating it for about 150 years. Look for a site called “trove” and do a search, you’ll see it. I can give you links to data and everything. I’ve also found temperature and other data going back to the 1800’s up until now that I have studied, and have found scientific literature from the 1800’s that must all part of this scam. I can point you to all sorts of information that you can decipher to determine how the scam worked back then. I’m sure you have researched this and didn’t just trust some talking head on tv or radio with some dipshit statement designed for morons that don’t do their own research and believe any horseshit they are fed. You’re far too smart to be one of those idiots. Don’t you think those people are fucking dolts for not bothering to look into what backs up what they are fed? I bet you can get me the concrete evidence of the conspiracy dating back to the 1800’s. There must be scanned letters, hand written letters, telegraphs, drawn graphs with note on how to scam everyone from the 1800’s that you have found out there. Please point me to them so I can see how they discredit the stuff I have found. I’m really looking forward to the real evidence that will blow this out of the water. That is fantastic and so much smarter than listening to some fucking clueless shits that just parrot some tv asshole from the extreme left or right who has an agenda. I’m so looking forward to real facts, you’re someone who really digs into something and finds the real truth, thanks! When can you get me that info? Actually I have time right now!”

        Them: *** Pissed Off Crickets Pause ***

        Them: “How about Tom Brady’s balls?”

        Reply
      • utoutback

         /  May 24, 2015

        I get just the opposite reaction from my friends. They all pretty much shake their heads and say “we’re toast”. Still not the best response, because it’s a sign of resignation without the changes needed to avoid the expected outcome. Still, until my culture/civilization shifts to a survival stance I have to agree.
        On another note: Neal Stephanson has a new book out “Seveneves” in which he posits the destruction of the planet and uses the idea of a tipping point in an exponential process. Sounds a lot like where we are headed.

        Reply
      • Griffin

         /  May 24, 2015

        “pissed off crickets pause” hahaha! Thank you for the great response Andy. Sad but true!

        Reply
    • Sorry, should have been Saskatchewan in Canada.

      Reply
      • Spike

         /  May 24, 2015

        Fire danger map getting pretty nasty

        Reply
      • james cole

         /  May 24, 2015

        “Record rainfall was wreaking havoc across a swath of the U.S. Midwest on Sunday, causing flash floods in normally dry riverbeds, spawning tornadoes and forcing at least 2,000 people to flee.”
        Nearly every day I check the general news, the words “Record” are used with some or other weather event. That ought to tell us something.

        Reply
  9. For the first time in Alaska wildfire history, the first lightning fires of the season were detected in Southeast Alaska Thursday in the Tongass National Forest. Neither fire posed a major problem but we thought it was worth mention, given that much of the Tongass is considered a rain forest.

    SaidAlaskan Division of Forestry 10 hours ago on Facebook.

    Alex

    Reply
    • Nancy

       /  May 26, 2015

      Alexander, thank you for posting that video. I can’t imagine my local TV station running a Science segment that describes the speed of Antarctica’s ice loss. The local TV weather people don’t ever, ever mention climate change. TV meteorologists are forbidden to talk about climate change, because they will get complaints from ignorant viewers. And most TV weather forecasters are climate change deniers.

      Reply
    • One really minor caveat about the video – ice melting that’s actually already floating does not add much, if at all to global sea level rise.

      It’s all the new ice flowing down to the sea as a result of the ice shelf collapse, as the glaciers accelerate their flow that will add to sea level rise. And those glaciers are accelerating a lot.

      Reply
  10. Andy in San Diego

     /  May 23, 2015

    Lake Mead is at 1075.13′, down 1.65′ yesterday.

    Powell is getting good inflow atm. Perhaps we’ll get enough there for the hail Mary refill this summer (like what was done last summer).

    The late season precipitation the past 2 weeks has given us this gift.

    Reply
    • rayduray

       /  May 23, 2015

      Andy,

      That 1.65′ drop in elevation at Lake Mead has got to be a measuring error. The outflow from Lake Mead is at about the same level as it has been for the previous week (around 13,000 cfs) and the release from Lake Powell has been pretty steady at 11,500 cfs.

      http://lakepowell.water-data.com/

      I’ve had my eye on these water-data pages for years now and I’ve never seen anything like the reported 1.65′ drop in Lake Mead for May 22.

      Reply
      • Andy in San Diego

         /  May 23, 2015

        Hopefully we’ll see a rebound number of 1.65′ in the next couple of days.

        Reply
      • sunkensheep

         /  May 24, 2015

        Definitely something not right, it has dropped by 6.38 feet today.
        Maybe it sprang a leak? Loosing 630 383 ML in one day would be quite some leak.

        Reply
      • neal

         /  May 24, 2015

        Run on the water bank…..

        …Without the water stored in Lake Mead so far by California, Nevada, Arizona and Mexico, Davis said, the surface of the reservoir formed by Hoover Dam would be at least 10 feet lower than it is right now.

        http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/california-will-tap-its-water-bank-even-lake-mead-shrinks

        They want to get their water out of the bank before mandatory distribution rules go into effect in January. And like all runs on banks, once one does it, they will all do it. And on a 3 day weekend when no one is really following.

        Reply
        • Article from 2014.

          Prior to these odd drops we were hovering just over the rationing line. But El Niño related trends are providing a bit of relief in the form of rainfall in some key states.

          That said, the Lake Mead data is showing a strange precipitous drop. Now at 8 feet in the chart. Errata? Or something odd going on? Perhaps Powell can come to the rescue?

      • Yes, the data and the graph says Lake Mead is down 6.38 feet in one day. ??

        http://lakemead.water-data.com/

        Some sensor progressively failing? Even if a huge leak had developed, is it possible to lose that much water in one day?

        Reply
      • sunkensheep

         /  May 25, 2015

        It has been fixed on the official USBR government hourly monitoring data http://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g4000/hourly/hourly.html now at 1077.5ft

        Reply
    • izzy

       /  May 24, 2015

      Either the data is wrong, or something very out-of-the-ordinary is happening at Lake Mead. There was a sizeable quake in Las Vegas right at the time the level started dropping. Did the ground crack open? That kind of decrease ought to be obvious to the naked eye. We’ll see what the measurement is tomorrow.

      Reply
      • Spike

         /  May 25, 2015

        Yes I was wondering about the potential for enhanced earthquake activity the other day as I’m reading Bill McGuire’s book at present. California’s water deficit must have removed a considerable weight from that area.

        Reply
    • What’s particularly notable about the new study is the apparent rapid onset of the change. The researchers say the region is now losing on the order of 56 gigatons of ice per year — a gigaton is a billion metric tons — and that there appears to have been “a remarkable rate of acceleration in dynamic mass loss since about 2009 that must have been near-simultaneous across multiple basins and glaciers.”

      Reply
  11. “Arctic Warm Air Invasion Forecast to Continue”, sadly, this will happen as it has been happening for some time. It it an important headline for all media. Its impacts will be severe and far reaching.
    Thanks, Robert.

    Ps Possible edit last paragraph: “measures with [will] continue”?

    Reply
  12. Andy in San Diego

     /  May 23, 2015

    Now this is interesting.

    I was perusing the daily satellite image from yesterday whilst having coffee this morning. While I was looking through notable features on Greenland (such as the outflow from Jakobshavn Glacier.

    I took a look at Petermann Glacier and took note of what appears to be a large crack or an image anomaly. I zoomed in max, copied the image, pasted it into an image editing program and did an edge detection.

    Low and behold it is a giant crack.

    On this perma link to the location, the reference point you should look for is the large feeder on the right hand side of the outflow. There are 2 Y shaped feeders, the one to look at is the one further inland (with the thicker base of the Y).

    Now look at the inland edge of that feeder, and the main outflow. You will see a faint blackish line running about 50% of the way across the main outflow (it looks like what you would see if you had a hair on a camera while taking a picture).

    That is a giant crack forming across the outflow. It is roughly 18 miles between the crack and the calving face (I did a rough measure using google maps).

    If you want to examine further, print screen that and paste it into an image editor where you can filter, zoom further etc….

    Link to what I am talking about….

    http://www.arctic.io/explorer/8/2015-05-22/9-N80.53573-W58.96354

    Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  May 23, 2015

      I have a zoomed filtered image of the crack on my computer. It is very apparent and actually you can see it extends further than 50% across and you can see it’s formation all the way to the other side of the channel.

      If anyone is interested I can put / post / share it.

      Reply
  13. – Convolutions in modern civil government in these critical hours — weird…

    MoJo
    Exclusive: The CIA Is Shuttering a Secretive Climate Research Program
    Scientists used the Medea program to study how global warming could worsen conflict. Now that project has come to an end.

    On Wednesday, when President Barack Obama spoke at the US Coast Guard Academy’s commencement ceremony, he called climate change “an immediate risk to our national security.” …

    …Under the program, known as Medea, the CIA had allowed civilian scientists to access classified data—such as ocean temperature and tidal readings gathered by Navy submarines and topography data collected by spy satellites—in an effort to glean insights about how global warming could create security threats around the world. In theory, the program benefited both sides: Scientists could study environmental data that was much higher-resolution than they would normally have access to, and the CIA received research insights about climate-related threats.

    But now, the program has come to a close.

    …Francesco Femia, co-director of the Center for Climate and Security, said it is usually impossible to know whether any particular study includes data from Medea. “You wouldn’t see [Medea] referenced anywhere” in a peer-reviewed paper, he said. But he pointed to the CIA’s annual Worldwide Threat Assessment, which includes multiple references to climate change, as a probable Medea product, where the CIA likely partnered with civilian scientists to analyze classified data.

    Marc Levy, a Columbia University political scientist, said he was surprised to learn that Medea had been shut down. “The climate problems are getting worse in a way that our data systems are not equipped to handle,” said Levy, who was not a participant in the CIA program but has worked closely with the US intelligence community on climate issues since the 1990s. “There’s a growing gap between what we can currently get our hands on, and what we need to respond better. So that’s inconsistent with the idea that Medea has run out of useful things to do.”

    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2015/05/cia-closing-its-main-climate-research-program

    Reply
    • rustj2015

       /  May 23, 2015

      OK, but stay out of the cowpasture if you want to keep your boots clean (comments following the MJ article are cowpie, though brave people keep trying to convince the critters of AGW). I walked in looking for answers to these questions:
      So, does the loss of publication have an effect on overall research or not?
      Why would this operation be “shut down” — or is it the information access that’s been closed?
      I think the information has been closed down, but there’s a great number of continuing studies ongoing that may not have the perspective, but smart people that are drawing conclusions.

      Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  May 23, 2015

      “The Company” may have chosen to discontinue public or govt disclosure of their work to keep it from becoming politicized and interfered with.

      Reply
  14. Andy in San Diego

     /  May 23, 2015

    A forest fire in the Yukon.

    Look to the left hand side of this linked satellite image. For reference, the MacKenzie delta is on the left hand side.

    http://www.arctic.io/explorer/8/2015-05-22/9-N67.27596-W136.87711

    Reply
  15. Irkutsk, Russia:

    Reply
  16. Andy in San Diego

     /  May 23, 2015

    Water Theft Becomes Common Consequence of Ongoing California Drought

    In April, The Associated Press reported that huge amounts of water went missing from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and a state investigation was launched.

    http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/stealing-water-california-drought/46978449

    Reply
  17. Andy in San Diego

     /  May 24, 2015

    Plains flooding (Ok, Tx).

    Is that due to atmospheric loading of moisture? That is my assumption, but would like someone to verify who has looked into this.

    Reply
  18. Andy in San Diego

     /  May 24, 2015

    Sorry all for being the only person loading up the comments today, it’s like comment spamming. Didn’t stop to consider that.

    Reply
  19. “My end is near” (Requiem of ice)

    Reply
  20. Colorado Bob

     /  May 24, 2015

    In Texas, Wichita Falls and Corpus Christi received unprecedented levels of rainfall for May, making it the wettest month on record for both cities. Oklahoma City was on track to eclipse the record for the wettest month for the area. As of May 22, 14.46 inches of rain had been recorded just shy of the record 14.66 inches recorded for June 1989, Weather Underground reported.
    http://www.ibtimes.com/flash-floods-texas-oklahoma-cities-will-hit-wettest-months-record-1936077

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  May 24, 2015

      Oklahoma City experienced the wettest month it has ever recorded as rain continued to fall, according to CNN meteorologist Sean Morris.

      By late Saturday, 3.15 inches had drenched the city, bringing the total for the month to 17.61 inches. “It … shatters the all-time monthly record of 14.66 inches set in June of 1989,” Morris said.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  May 24, 2015

        The Blanco River rose more than 33 feet in just 3 hours in Wimberley, Texas, reaching a level more than 27 feet above flood stage at 1 a.m. Sunday. This broke the all-time record crest from 1929 by nearly 7 feet, before the river gauge stopped reporting. Wimberley is about 25 miles southwest of Austin. Emergency management reported residents were trapped on rooftops due to the sudden rise in floodwaters. Officials opened shelters to house those forced from their homes by the swollen river.

        http://www.wunderground.com/news/tornado-flash-flood-live-updates-may-23-24-2015

        Reply
  21. Colorado Bob

     /  May 24, 2015

    Anatomy of the worst fire year
    By Ned Rozell, UAF Geophysical Institute May 24, 2015

    In a gorgeous warm May this year, we have not yet sniffed the bitter scent of flaming spruce. When we do, many of us will think back to a year that still haunts us.

    In summer 2004, a Vermont-sized patch of Alaska burned in wildfires. That hazy summer was the most extreme fire year in the half century people have kept score.

    Here’s how it happened.

    May 2004 was warmer than average in the Interior, ground zero for Alaska’s fires because of its heat and abundance of black spruce, which a firefighter once described as “gasoline on a stick.”

    http://www.ktoo.org/2015/05/24/anatomy-of-the-worst-fire-year/

    Reply
  22. Andy in San Diego

     /  May 24, 2015

    2 fires now to the west of High Level Alberta.

    http://www.arctic.io/explorer/8/2015-05-23/9-N56.08291-W109.75097

    Reply
  23. Jack Arnold

     /  May 24, 2015

    Lake Mead dropped 8 feet in the last 2 days. 1.65 on the 22nd, 6.38 yesterday.

    http://lakemead.water-data.com/

    Reply
    • That’s an odd one, Jack.

      Reply
      • synaxis

         /  May 24, 2015

        ZeroHedge on the precipitous plunge – ‘correlated’ with a nearby earthquake.

        “Lake Mead Water Level Mysteriously Plunges After Nevada Quake”

        “A 4.8 magnitude earthquake (originally reported 5.4) shook Las Vegas and surrounding areas Friday morning causing roads and bridges to be closed. The quake went little-reported outside of local news (since there was at first glance minimum damage caused) but, since the quake’s occurrence, something considerably more worrisome has occurred.

        In the 36 hours since the quake’s occurrence, water levels at Lake Mead have plunged precipitously. While we know correlation is not causation, the ‘coincidence’ of an extreme loss in water levels occurring in the aftermath of one of the largest quakes in recent Vegas history does raise a suspicious eyebrow – especially when there has been no official word on the precipitous decline.”

        http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-24/lake-mead-water-level-mysteriously-plunges-after-nevada-quake

        Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  May 24, 2015

      The outflows are not through the roof.

      I wonder if they opened up the “third straw” for Vegas and it began filling. Third Straw being the water supply tunnel they drilled to under the lake.

      Reply
  24. Dutch #SeaLevel Rise Expert: Miami Will Be “New Atlantis” http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/dutch-sea-level-rise-expert-miami-will-be-the-new-atlantis-a-city-in-the-sea-7628340 via @miaminewtimes #climate #agw #divest

    Reply
  25. Drought-stricken California loses 50m gallons of water as vandals target dam

    Police say vandals caused ‘irreversible damage’ to inflatable dam in Fremont

    An inflatable dam in drought-stricken California was damaged on Thursday, causing the loss of nearly 50,000,000 gallons (190m litres) of water.

    Police said vandals caused “irreversible damage” to the inflatable dam in Fremont, a city in the San Francisco Bay Area. The vandalism caused water meant for local residents to instead flow into San Francisco bay.

    The Alameda County water district said the lost water could have supplied 500 homes for an entire year.

    Police said that the vandals entered a restricted area on Thursday and intentionally damaged the dam. By Saturday, no one had been arrested in connection with the incident.

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/may/23/drought-stricken-california-loses-50m-gallons-water-vandals-dam?CMP=ema_565

    Reply
  26. Andy in San Diego

     /  May 24, 2015

    I have not found any references on the Southern Nevada Water Authority site or elsewhere regarding filling the new 3rd intake. I’ve found references that it will be online summer 2015. Perhaps they have opened the intake to the lake and the balance of the work (1 or 2 months) would be validation and final prep.

    If they have opened it to the lake, that would explain the ~8 foot drop in the past 2 days.

    Inflows & outflow do not explain it. Only other possibility is the measurement equipment being either fouled, or cleaned.

    Reply
    • Remember too that the entire water C. River storage system throughout its history has been akin to a “shell game”. Plus all projections were based on abnormally heavy river flows when the H2o was allocated, and the various storage dams were planned.

      Reply
  27. – Two items dear to my heart:

    From SB Audubon Society newsletter:

    Spread of Santa Barbara oil spill raises concerns about Western Snowy Plovers at Coal Oil Point
    May 21st, 2015 · by Garrison Frost

    Crude oil from a ruptured pipeline at Refugio State Beach in Santa Barbara has moved south to Coal Oil Point Reserve, where threatened Western Snowy Plovers are in the middle of their nesting season. The Santa Barbara Audubon Society, which has been working closely with the reserve on protecting the birds, is standing by to help in any way it can.

    “I was out there yesterday, and I was pretty optimistic at that point that the oil wouldn’t reach Coal Oil Point,” said Santa Barbara Audubon Society co-president Steve Ferry. “But things changed overnight.”

    ###
    gizmodo com santa-barbara

    Santa Barbara Still Reeling From the Worst Oil Spill in Decades

    The Santa Barbara Channel, a region that stretches from the coast out to a number of offshore islands, is often called the “Galapagos of the north” for its ecological richness and diversity. The channel offers habitat to porpoises, dolphins, seals and sea lions, in addition to serving as a migratory passage for blue and humpback whales and a range of birds. Towering underwater kelp forests are home to a diverse community of fish and benthic invertebrates.

    In the early days of a spill like this, large animals can become smothered with oil and die from toxic exposure. Over the longer term, tides will disperse the oil, and hot California days may cause some of it to sink to the seafloor, seeping into sediments and reefs. Once dispersed, oil can have far-reaching impacts on the communities of microorganisms that form the base of marine food webs and impact the nutrient cycles they drive. Oil slick can also diminish the amount of light available in the water column for photosynthetic organisms, including kelp and coral…

    ###
    – North of Goleta, Calif., Thursday, May 21, 2015. AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

    Reply
  28. – Santa Barbara, CA, “The Cash Register By the Sea”.
    This “resort” hotel below sits between the oil spill site and the Snowy Plover beach currently being threatened with oil coming ashore.
    ###
    latimes com business -oil-spill-tourism 20150522

    Santa Barbara tourism industry fends off oil spill concerns

    Hotels in Goleta, 15 miles from the 21,000-gallon spill at Refugio State Beach, have also been answering calls from concerned visitors.

    “We are trying to communicate to guests that our beaches are not covered in oil,” said Anne Elcon, director of marketing for Bacara Resort and Spa in Goleta. “There’s no smell. This would not impact their stay.”

    Reply
  29. #California #Drought Caused by #Climate Change http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2015/05/22/california-drought-caused-by-climate-change/#.VWIYdT3NXlI.twitter via @gregladen #globalwarming #water #agw #divest

    Reply
  30. Andy in San Diego

     /  May 24, 2015

    An excellent piece on the complex Colorado River, from treaties and how rights work to usage from the headwaters to the end. If you are interested in the Colorado and the huge system of farms, cities and power plants it serves as well as how the rights work (and who is senior rights and where), this is very much a great read.

    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/05/25/the-disappearing-river

    Reply
  31. Youcon heatwave made it to mainstream:

    Yukon’s hot, dry weather continues to shatters records across the territory as a heat wave enters its second week, keeping fire crews on high alert.

    David Millar, a retired meteorologist based in Whitehorse, says temperatures broke records in seven communities Saturday and he expects further records to be set Sunday.

    Yukon’s record breaking temperatures enter second week

    Alex

    Reply
  32. neal

     /  May 24, 2015

    California, Nevada, Arizona and Mexico have all “banked” water in Lake Mead and have the right to withdraw it (until restrictions are placed in January 2016).

    What better time for a “run on the bank” by those parties than a long holiday weekend.

    The way it works is that if they don’t get it before the 1075′ restriction are put in place for the new water year, they lose it.

    Over 10 feet of water represents the “banked” amount of all the parties (it’s probably well over 10 feet because of the tapered cross section of the reservoir)

    Reply
  33. Brian

     /  May 24, 2015

    Geez…..if even the CBC is reporting anomalous warming in the pacific we must be in big trouble:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/ocean-blob-could-be-responsible-for-warmer-temperatures-1.3084610

    Even in 1998 conditions were not like this…….

    Reply
  34. rayduray

     /  May 24, 2015

    Lake Mead elevation:

    According to the BuRec, the current elevation of Lake Mead is 1077.49 feet above MSL.

    http://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g4000/hourly/hourly.html

    It would appear that the precipitous drop shown on the private website lakemead.water-database.com is in error.

    Reply
  35. Colorado Bob

     /  May 24, 2015

    PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FAIRBANKS AK
    220 PM AKDT SUN MAY 24 2015

    …UNSEASONABLY WARM TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE INTERIOR
    YESTERDAY..


    RECORD HIGH MAXIMUM TEMPERATURES OCCURRED ACROSS THE INTERIOR
    YESTERDAY. THIS WAS THE WARMEST DAY OF THE RECENT SPELL FOR ABOVE
    AVERAGE TEMPERATURES THROUGHOUT THE INTERIOR. BELOW ARE THE
    RECORDS THAT WERE BROKEN OR TIED.

    SATURDAY PREVIOUS
    LOCATION HIGH HIGH YEAR
    EAGLE CO-OP 91 84 1960
    FAIRBANKS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT 86 80 2002 1960
    NORTH POLE 86 83 2002
    EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE 85 82 1960
    UAF 84 83 1963
    NORTHWAY AIRPORT 84 83 1960
    BETTLES AIRPORT 82 78 2002
    DELTA JUNCTION/FT GREELY AIRFIELD 82 82 1960 TIED

    Link

    Reply
  36. Colorado Bob

     /  May 24, 2015

    The Blanco River runs through both Wimberley and San Marcos, and it was swollen by nearly 10 inches of rain that fell Saturday night over neighboring Blanco County.

    Reply
  37. Andy in San Diego

     /  May 25, 2015

    Water crisis can prompt riots, Farooq Sattar says on 2nd day of protest

    KARACHI (Dunya News) – Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) protest against water crisis in Karachi continued on second consecutive day on Saturday, Dunya News reported.

    http://dunyanews.tv/index.php/en/Pakistan/280804-Water-crisis-can-prompt-riots-Farooq-Sattar-says-

    Reply
  38. Colorado Bob

     /  May 25, 2015

    The death of the haul rood –

    According to WU it was :
    Yesterday
    High 92.5

    In Fairbanks Alaska. .

    Do you have any idea what these numbers do to permafrost ?

    Let me give you a hint. The haul road, to North Slope, has been washed out foe over 50 miles. North of the Brooks Range . It was 47f degrees at Barrow last week.

    Given the numbers this May The entire road will melt. And I mean, one can drive 4 miles , and 30 a foot hole 200 yards wide appears.

    The haul road will never be the same.

    Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  May 25, 2015

      The run off and rivers will be toasty too, and all that heated water will dump into the surrounding ocean. What little snow cover there is this year will melt (and higher in elevation) putting a lot of risk into the fire season.

      Those anomalies run all the way over to the MacKenzie. That is insane.

      Reply
  39. Colorado Bob

     /  May 25, 2015

    May 24, 1941 (age 74 years)
    bob dylan

    Reply
  40. Robin Datta

     /  May 25, 2015

    Arctic sea ice may be the most important, but it is one of many disruptions:

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  May 25, 2015

      Incredible sobering video. Thanks for sharing.

      Reply
  41. Rain deluge brings floods to Texas and Oklahoma

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-32867226

    Reply
  42. http://www.su.se/english/about/profile-areas/climate-seas-and-environment/northern-lakes-history-can-predict-future-methane-emissions-1.230133

    ”Bubbles from lakes are one of the largest transport paths for the greenhouse gas methane to move between the land and the atmosphere, but bubbles are also the hardest path to measure. By linking methane bubbling with incoming sunlight, we connect methane bubbling to something much easier to measure, and something we can use to estimate bubbling over longer periods of time—both in the past and in the future,” says Brett Thornton, a researcher at Stockholm University, who led the study recently published in Geophysical Research Letters.

    Reply
  43. http://www.su.se/english/about/news-and-events/press/press-releases/four-of-nine-planetary-boundaries-now-crossed-1.218003

    “Crossing the Planetary Boundaries produces a great risk that the entire Earth system, the complex interactions between land, oceans, atmosphere, ice sheets, biodiversity and humans, becomes destabilised. Ultimately this can push the Earth system into a new state.”

    Reply

  44. Beaufort Sea Ice Movement in the Spring of 2015

    Reply
  45. “Over 500 dead across India as heat wave sets in, Telangana’s Khammam sizzles at 48 degrees”

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/india-reels-under-intense-heat-wave-dozens-dead-in-ap-telangana/article1-1350663.aspx

    Reply
  46. Colorado Bob

     /  May 25, 2015

    Bureau of Meteorology rejects Maurice Newman’s climate claims

    Claims by the Prime Minister’s chief business adviser about climate change have been rejected by the head of the Bureau of Meteorology as “incorrect”, irrelevant and “old red herrings”.

    Earlier this month, Maurice Newman, the chairman of the Prime Minister’s business advisory council, came under fire after he wrote in The Australian that scientific modelling showing the link between humans and climate change was wrong and the real agenda was a “new world order” led by the United Nations.

    In a Senate estimates hearing on Monday, Greens climate spokeswoman Larissa Waters read through the opinion piece, paragraph by paragraph, asking the bureau’s director of meteorology and chief executive Rob Vertessy to respond to Mr Newman’s claims.

    Link

    Reply
  47. – Interesting bits re from Grist: Ice free Arctic and June 2015 USN activities.

    The Navy gears up for huge war games in Alaska — wildlife and environment be damned

    In 2013, U.S. Navy researchers predicted ice-free summer Arctic waters by 2016 and it looks as if that prediction might come true. Recently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that there was less ice in the Arctic this winter than in any other winter of the satellite era. Given that the Navy has been making plans for “ice-free” operations in the Arctic since at least 2001, their June “Northern Edge” exercises may well prove to be just the opening salvo in the future northern climate wars, with whales, seals, and salmon being the first in the line of fire.

    In April 2001, a Navy symposium entitled “Naval Operations in an Ice-Free Arctic” was mounted to begin to prepare the service for a climate-change-induced future. Fast forward to June 2015. In what the military refers to as Alaska’s “premier” joint training exercise, Alaskan Command aims to conduct “Northern Edge” over 8,429 nautical miles, which include critical habitat for all five wild Alaskan salmon species and 377 other species of marine life. The upcoming war games in the Gulf of Alaska will not be the first such exercises in the region — they have been conducted, on and off, for the last 30 years — but they will be the largest by far. In fact, a 360 percent rise in munitions use is expected, according to Emily Stolarcyk, the program manager for the Eyak Preservation Council (EPC).

    Tiny Cordova, population 2,300, is home to the largest commercial fishing fleet in the state and consistently ranks among the top 10 busiest U.S. fishing ports. Since September, when Stolarcyk first became aware of the Navy’s plans, she has been working tirelessly, calling local, state, and federal officials and alerting virtually every fisherman she runs into about what she calls “the storm” looming on the horizon. “The propellants from the Navy’s missiles and some of their other weapons will release benzene, toluene, xylene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and naphthalene into the waters of 20 percent of the training area, according to their own EIS [environmental impact statement],” she explains as we look down on Cordova’s harbor with salmon fishing season rapidly approaching. As it happens, most of the chemicals she mentioned were part of BP’s disastrous 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which I covered for years, so as I listened to her I had an eerie sense of futuristic déjà vu.

    Here’s just one example of the kinds of damage that will occur: The cyanide discharge from a Navy torpedo is in the range of 140-150 parts per billion. The Environmental Protection Agency’s “allowable” limit on cyanide: one part per billion.

    http://grist.org/climate-energy/the-navy-gears-up-for-huge-war-games-in-alaska-wildlife-and-environment-be-damned/?utm_campaign=daily_feed&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter

    Reply
  48. – 2004 AK fire season gives a hint to how things may unfold in a much warmer/drier and weirder weather 2015:
    (Much of Canada & PNW will vulnerable as well.)
    (“The (warm water) Blob and the (dry land) Firestorm”.)

    May 2004 was warmer than average in the Interior, ground zero for Alaska’s fires because of its heat and abundance of black spruce, which a firefighter once described as “gasoline on a stick.”
    …The first hint of something unusual came May 31. On that day, the Alaska Lightning Detection System recorded 7,876 lightning strikes.

    June was a warm month throughout Alaska. For example: Kivalina registered a temperature of 96 degrees F on June 29. The normal high for Kivalina, way north of the Arctic Circle on the Chukchi Sea coast, is in the low 50s. Temperatures in the Interior were 6-10 degrees warmer than the June average.

    In late June and early July came an unusual five days of dry winds wheezing from the Brooks Range and the uplands of the Yukon River. The fires, born of lightning strikes in May and June, “were fanned into conflagrations,” Richmond wrote.

    The firestorm of 2004 continued with a record 9,022 lightning strikes July 15. That summer’s total of 147,642 lightning strikes was more than twice the amount of any other year dating back to 1986.

    And it didn’t end in July. August is usually a wet month in Interior Alaska, when a change in the jet stream shoves moisture from the southwest between the Alaska Range and Kuskokwim Mountains. That mechanism seemed broken in 2004. Fairbanks had its driest August in more than a century of records. It rained three-tenths of an inch on the first day of the month, but not a drop for the next 30 days.

    Fires burned well into September that year. By the end of the 2004 fire season, 6.2 million acres of Alaska had burned. That broke the former Alaska record set in 1957, and not by a little. The 1 million more acres that burned in 2004 than in 1957 equates to a fire scar the size of Rhode Island.

    newsminer com features sundays alaska_science_forum

    Reply
  49. rayduray

     /  May 25, 2015

    The Lake Mead broken gauge issue has taken a turn:

    http://lakemead.water-data.com/

    Curiously, no reports of tsunamis from the lake’s resorts.🙂

    Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  May 26, 2015

      I think all the beer that the visitors over the weekend has finally been pissed out…..(j/k).

      Thanks Ray!

      Reply
      • I wonder, where the jump up in water levels come from? Are the filling the lake? Someone notices also rapid decline in the outflow rate…

        Alex

        Reply
  50. – Robert and RS, pardon this off topic comment about aerosol pollution and our landscape.

    This rather macabre Hass Avocado sighting is offered as being instructive about the effects of solar radiant heat on plant biota exposed to chronic urban aerosol fallout. This also reveals extreme environmental oddities which go unnoticed by the public and its agents.

    I had been watching this site for some time after I noticed necrotic leaves and immature fruit falling from the crown, and onto a grassy area. This area is also “tended to” and cleared of deadfall on a weekly basis by a hired landscaping crew.

    Reply
    • Urban Avocados – Radiant Heat – Aerosol Pollution
      by dtlange

      https://dtlange2.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/urban-avocados-radiant-heat-aerosol-pollution/

      Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  May 26, 2015

      DT,

      Is that due to the pollution, locale change in climatic range or both?

      That is obviously unnatural and I am curious as to the cause (pollution poisoning, climatic shift or both).

      Reply
      • Hi, Andy.
        Actually it is all of the above plus a little more.

        Santa Barbara sits on a narrow strip of coastline that it shares with US Highway 101and its hundreds of thousands of private and commercial cars, trucks, motorcycles, power blowers and mowers, etc. (Heavy truck traffic from NAFTA added to this mix.) They all emit large quantities of toxic tire wear, asbestos, benzene, diesel soot, and heavy metal dust into the air. Plus a busy airport, a rail line, and marine shipping add to it.

        The timing, 2007 – 2010, 11 & 12, of the pollution and soot deposits links with the easing of the NW winds, the warming of the Arctic, and the weakened jet stream. (There wasn’t a sudden increase of sources of pollution — NAFTA was in effect since the 1990s.)

        The air in SB got noticeably dirtier in 2007. The landscape showed black soot deposits in 2009, and I started documenting this in earnest.

        In early 2010 I alerted civil governments, agencies, media, etc.

        By late 2011 tree leaves easily fell, and left heavy soot prints or deposits behind.

        Then in early 2012 all hell broke loose. Trees that had dropped sooty leaves in the fall now dropped vibrant, yet baked and mottled foliage, in late spring. All through 2012 — figs, palm fronds, plums, citrus, oaks, and etc. dropped fruit, or foliage, or seed pods and flowers. A lot of asphalt, that bitumen VOC paste became unstable. And much more.

        I figure that the pollution stopped being circulated over a wide area in the atmosphere, and it just dumped its load on SB. Further, what did not fall on land — fell into the ocean.
        This likely confounded everyone.
        I didn’t piece it together until recently. And I knew that “climate change” was happening but not the connection to what I was seeing.

        It is very important to note how very toxic and powerful this FF induced aerosol pollution really is. The damage it causes to all biota is staggering.

        DT

        Reply
      • “By late 2011 tree leaves easily fell, and left heavy soot prints or deposits behind.”

        Reply
      • “Then in early 2012 all hell broke loose. Trees that had dropped sooty leaves in the fall now dropped vibrant, yet baked and mottled foliage, in late spring.”

        Reply
      • These two photos above very near the blistered avocados. Same intersection of Sola and Chapala St.

        Reply
  51. james cole

     /  May 26, 2015

    “India is sweltering under a heatwave which has seen temperatures soar to 118F and left more than 500 dead.

    And the intense heat which has gripped northern and southern parts of the country looks set to continue this week, officials said today.

    The hottest place in India was Allahabad, a city in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, which saw mercury rise to 47.7 degrees Celsius (117.8 Fahrenheit) on Sunday, while the capital Delhi recorded a high of 43.5C (110.3F).

    Most of the 539 recorded deaths have been of construction workers, the elderly or the homeless in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana where temperatures have been hottest, said officials, but some deaths have also occurred in Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal.”

    India is up for a death dealing heat wave. No relief in sight. Pictures in the article show people desperate to cool their bodies in the urban heat hell of Indian cities. Really, these are visions of hell on earth. Something out of a disaster movie.

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  May 26, 2015

      I haven’t seen anything on this Indian heat wave in the mainstream news in the US. I imagine it must be hellish living in a third-world slum or shantytown under any conditions, but in 100+ degree heat hell on earth is an apt description. Those contributing the least to the problem suffer the most.

      Reply
  52. Henri

     /  May 26, 2015

    Sorry guys, wildly off topic but here it comes:

    http://arstechnica.co.uk/tech-policy/2015/05/eu-dropped-plans-for-safer-pesticides-because-of-ttip-and-pressure-from-us/

    In order to keep the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations alive EU has agreed to drop stricter regulation for pesticides off the table. The article says it happened because of USA’s demand but quite a few off the companies it would have affected are Europe based multinationals. International treaties such as this one are often used to circumvent national legislators who aren’t enough pro-corporation.

    I hope all the noise coming out of TTIP is just fear mongering because even this case aside the whole deal just reeks of pure evil.

    Reply
  53. Catastropic flooding in Central Texas 25 May 2015

    Reply
  54. Colorado Bob

     /  May 26, 2015

    El Nino Data Mimic Record 1997-98 Event as IMF Warns on Food

    The El Nino taking hold across the Pacific strengthened, according to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, citing indexes of sea-surfaces temperatures that showed the same trend for the first time since the event in 1997-1998.

    All five NINO indexes, averaged over the past four weeks, exceeded plus 1 degree Celsius, the bureau said in its fortnightly update on Tuesday. That’s the first time this has occurred since the 1997-1998 El Nino, the bureau said.

    Australia this month joined the U.S. and Japan in declaring that the first El Nino since 2010 had begun. The 1997-1998 event was the strongest on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The weather patterns can bake parts of Asia, hurting crops from rice to palm oil, while crimping the hurricane season in the Atlantic and bringing more rain across the southern U.S.

    Link

    Reply
  55. rustj2015

     /  May 26, 2015

    At Dr. Jeff Masters’ blog, courtesy of Bob Henson:
    “Infrared satellite imagery shows the extremely cold cloud tops (gray) associated with the torrential rains in the Houston area on Monday night, May 25. Cloud-top temperatures at the height of the storms were colder than -100°F.”
    Please let this lower school weather-awareness person know: Are these “normal” variations in storm cloud temps?
    I presume this is some “blob” of cold from the arctic. How long might this “jammed Jetstream” last?
    The arctic is coming apart, I’ll say!
    What does Dr. Francis say?

    Reply
  56. Colorado Bob

     /  May 26, 2015

    The long hot summer up north is well underway.


    Forest fires affect several Alberta oilsands operations

    Facilities evacuated resulting in 15% cut in overall oilsands production.

    Link

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  May 26, 2015

      Yukon’s record breaking temperatures enter second week
      Heat wave continues into 8th day with new records set in 7 communities

      Link

      Reply
  57. Colorado Bob

     /  May 26, 2015

    Has the Last Human Trekked to the North Pole?


    Faced with a dearth of logistical support and challenges related to climate change, human-powered trips to the North Pole may be on the brink of extinction.

    “North Pole expeditions are going the way of the passenger pigeon,” says Eric Larsen, a Colorado-based polar explorer who has completed three North Pole expeditions.

    ” You’re camping on thin ice and to me that’s dangerous. It’s thin, and it moves in the middle of the night. Nothing’s going to stop it from cracking under your tent. ”

    Reply
  58. Colorado Bob

     /  May 26, 2015

    159. help4u

    As system nears a tipping point it tends to swing wildly to the extremes , there it gets stuck before swinging rapidly back to the other extreme.


    Tipping Points: What Wall Street and Nature Have in Common

    Reply
  59. Russia and Western nations stage rival air combat exercises

    Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered four days of air combat readiness testing on Monday, the third major military exercise staged by the Kremlin in the past three months.

    The drills will involve 12,000 troops, 250 aircraft and nearly 700 artillery pieces and other heavy weaponry and include cruise missile strikes at an imaginary enemy target at a Siberian firing range, the Tass news agency reported.

    The surprise test of the Russian Central Military District’s ability to defend against an air invasion coincides with NATO-led military exercises over the Arctic region that are part of the Western alliance’s response to Russia’s stepped-up maneuvers over the Baltic and Northern European regions.

    About 100 fighter jets and 4,000 military personnel from the United States and eight European countries began exercises over the Arctic on Monday…

    https://www.adn.com/article/20150525/russia-and-western-nations-stage-rival-air-combat-exercises

    Reply
  60. Colorado Bob

     /  May 26, 2015

    Influence of Climate Change and Meteorological Factors on Houston’s Air Pollution: Ozone a Case Study

    Abstract: We examined the past 23 years of ground-level O3 data and selected meteorological parameters in Houston, Texas, which historically has been one of the most polluted cities in the United States. Both 1-h and 8-h O3 exceedances have been reduced significantly down to single digit yearly occurrences. We also found that the frequency of southerly flow has increased by a factor of ~2.5 over the period 1990–2013, likely suppressing O3 photochemistry and leading to a “cleaner” Houston environment. The sea breeze was enhanced greatly from 1990 to 2013 due to increasing land surface temperatures, increased pressure gradients, and slightly stronger on-shore winds. These patterns driven by climate change produce a strengthening of the sea breeze, which should be a general result at locations worldwide.

    http://www.mdpi.com/2073-4433/6/5/623/htm

    Reply
    • Curious:
      “The sea breeze was enhanced greatly from 1990 to 2013 due to increasing land surface temperatures, increased pressure gradients, and slightly stronger on-shore winds. These patterns driven by climate change produce a strengthening of the sea breeze…”

      If one reversed these dynamics, or conditions, it would closely mirror what I saw happening in Santa Barbara, CA and the So, Cal. bight. Such as, increased ocean water temps, less pressure gradients, and weaker on-shore winds.

      OUT

      Reply
  61. Griffin

     /  May 26, 2015

    Looking at the arctic.io website link (that Andy provided for us) was very interesting for me today. I am certainly no expert on sea ice and I have no real experience with what it should look like in a satellite image for this time of year BUT, there is a helluva lot of cracks and areas of open water all over and some are quite close to the pole. Even to the uneducated, it just does not look right at all.

    Reply
  62. Vic

     /  May 26, 2015

    Delhi’s roads are beginning to flow.

    Reply
  63. NASA’s Earth Observatory: “Baked Alaska”

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=85932&eocn=home&eoci=iotd_readmore

    Mapping recent land surface anomalies

    Reply
  64. Colorado Bob

     /  May 27, 2015

    If it’s clear where you are , the Moon. Jupiter , and Venus are in a perfect line in the Western sky.

    Reply
  65. Colorado Bob

     /  May 27, 2015

    I would remind all our chipmonk views.

    The Pacific Ocean is the largest feature on Earth. And water moves heat.

    Reply
  66. http://glacierhub.org/2015/05/27/new-study-projects-massive-shrinkage-of-everests-glaciers/

    “This study shows that the glaciers in the Everest region are very sensitive to warming, and will shrink massively by 2100. The precise amount of ice loss will depend on the levels of greenhouse gas emissions, but even if these emissions were greatly reduced, the volume of ice will be greatly reduced. The projected decrease by 2100 range from 70% to 99%–a loss of at least two-thirds.”

    Reply
  67. Andy in San Diego

     /  May 27, 2015

    Now that we have a very clear view today on the Arctic I noticed an interesting feature.

    The link points to yesterdays satellite image section over northern Greenland. The upper right outflow has been exceedingly active on water outflow for the past couple of years, tremendously so.

    If you look inland at the center of the image you will see a circular crater. It looks like it is actively deforming as the sides are crisp and the features are not weathered smooth.

    Now zoom in and look to the south. You will see semi circular features forming with the crater being at their epicenter. One could almost surmise that the crate is in a growth cycle. And it may make one wonder what changes are occurring underneath to cause this.

    http://www.arctic.io/explorer/8/2015-05-26/7-N79.93424-W25.06275

    Reply
    • Jacob

       /  May 27, 2015

      Andy,

      Perhaps I’m not looking at what you are pointing at, but it looks like a cloud to me.

      Reply
      • Andy in San Diego

         /  May 27, 2015

        Jacob,

        Now that I took a 2nd look I have to agree with you. I must have been too early without enough coffee.

        Reply
      • Jacob

         /  May 27, 2015

        No worries. I’m happy to have the good people here like yourself looking out for and reporting these things. Were that an actual crater that would be one heck of an event to say the least.

        As an amateur observer, clearly I’m no authority on these matters, but I don’t think its beyond the realm of possibility for such an event to occur without notice at some point in the future.

        Reply
    • Robert In New Orleans

       /  May 27, 2015

      To my untrained eye the circular shape looks like depression in the ice sheet surface; maybe a subsidence feature, but it does look like it is filled with low level clouds/mist.

      Reply
  68. George Monbiot: The real threat to global security isn’t Islamic State – it’s burning fossil fuels

    The great outgassings of the past were caused by volcanic activity that were orders of magnitude greater than the eruptions we sometimes witness today. The dinosaurs appear to have been wiped out by the formation of the Deccan Traps in India: an outpouring on such a scale that one river of lava flowed for 1,500km. But that event was dwarfed by a far greater one, 190m years earlier, that wiped out 96% of marine life as well as most of the species on land.

    What was the cause? It now appears that it might have been the burning of fossil fuel.

    Reply
  69. “São Paulo state govt. achieved fewer than half its 2014 goals for basic sanitation & water supply.”
    “Army simulates occupation for a possible time of crisis.”

    (Links not working)

    Reply
  70. PNW PDX VISIBLE AK/SIBERIA WILDFIRE SMOKE:

    My 0526 dusk time sky scan saw a new and separate smoke plume higher in the horizon to the N N/W (Aprox. 340 degrees). The smoke from Siberia is low in the horizon to the W N/W (Aprox. 320 degrees).

    NOAA’s air quality site has surface and vertical dust & smoke rollover maps. The AK vertical smoke map caught my attention.

    http://airquality.weather.gov/

    Reply
  71. – Air pollution condemns to death over ten thousand – 10k – 1,036 people a day!
    – The lighter GHG components of AP destroys the climate. They always have.

    Air pollution is causing even more deaths than previously thought prompting a call for a stepped-up response.

    Three-point-seven million people are dying yearly from the effects of polluted air outdoors.

    Even more – almost four-and-a-third million – can be attributed to the effects of health-damaging indoor air pollution. That’s eight million; up from 7-plus-million as of 2012, according to information provided by the World Health Organization (WHO). That makes this situation a far more urgent one.

    http://alankandel.scienceblog.com/2015/05/27/more-early-deaths-from-unhealthy-air-prompt-call-for-stepped-up-response/

    Reply
  72. eric smith

     /  May 27, 2015

    Robert,
    The attached video speaks all.
    Mollison states-
    Man has the potential to become nature become conscious.

    She asks of us.

    Shall we deliver?

    It is time to act, without reservation and with true abandon.

    Regards and love,
    Eric

    Reply
  73. Griffin

     /  May 28, 2015

    Can anyone explain what appear to be enormous streaks of dust that run from north to sputh from Amund Ringnes island and Ellef Ringnes island? These are two large islands due north of the northwest passage. The streaks are quite dark and prominent. I am wondering if it is dust, soot or just a camera anomaly.
    http://www.arctic.io/explorer/

    Reply
    • dnem

       /  May 28, 2015

      This topic was discussed on the Sea Ice Forum:
      JayW,

      “Anyone know what these dark steaks that come off of these two islands in the Canadian Archipelago are?”

      It is most likely tiny fragments of Anhydrite crystals, which have been blown off the top of the salt diapirs on these islands. Anhydrite only has a Moh hardness of 3-3.5, which is less than the hardness of ice crystals at ordinary winter temperatures in these tracts.

      The elongated streaks of dark particles, you see on the sea ice, may reflect the dominant wind direction from NE during the last major snow storm(s) in the area.
      http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,416.450.html

      Reply
  74. Pro Publica is initiating a new series on water in the West. I found it worth the time it took to read the first article, mostly about the absurdity of growing cotton in a desert.

    http://projects.propublica.org/killing-the-colorado/story/arizona-cotton-drought-crisis

    Reply
  75. The Lake Mead Elevation Mystery…. solved?

    Here’s a compelling conjecture on what made the Lake Mead water-data.com elevation data jump so madly. It were da Ruskies!

    Quoting: “The dam already broke, look at Lake Mead’s water level data. The actual water isn’t dropping but the data is all over the board. Russian hackers giving the US fair warning that they own our servers.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-27/apple-co-founder-snowden-hero-me

    Ray again. This explanation of the data mess does seem more plausible than either an unannounced inrush of water into Las Vegas’s third straw, or as a result of a minor earthquake in the region.

    Case closed? Maybe. Maybe not.

    Reply
  76. Looking at the NSIDC maps of sea ice extent it seems possible that the arctic sea ice melt off the east coast of Greenland could be masked by a melt of land-based ice followed by a re-freeze out at sea, due to the higher freezing temperature of fresh water vs. sea water, such as is seen in Antarctica during its summer. This would mean that the relatively normal extent seen off E. Greenland presently could indicate more melting than is immediately apparent. It would also tie in with the anomalously cold patch of ocean in the North Atlantic off south-east Greenland, assuming that is also caused by melt water run-off from the Greenland ice sheet.

    Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  May 29, 2015

      I think you are probably right, I can’t remember the current discharge rate, but its enough to start messing with the Gulf stream, according to recent reports.

      I always look for Greenland on the anomaly charts I see, these days.

      Reply
  77. – Health Conscious AgitProp the Lethal Brown Air Green House Gas
    “Aeroir” anyone?

    For A Summery Snack, Eat Urban Air Pollution In The Form Of A Fluffy Meringue Dessert

    “Most people ask ‘Is it safe to eat?’ and we reply ‘Is it safe to breathe?'”

    Some wines have a terroir that reflects the unique characteristics of the soil where the grapes are grown. At a meringue food cart in New York City this Saturday, you can taste the fluffy dessert’s “aeroir.” The meringue, which is 90% air, will be made from re-created urban smog from four different cities.

    “Most people ask ‘Is it safe to eat?’ and we reply ‘Is it safe to breathe?’” says Zackery Denfield, co-founder of the Center for Genomic Gastronomy. “We think that when people are laughing they are thinking, and we get a lot nervous laughter.”

    Reply
  78. Andy in San Diego

     /  May 28, 2015

    Whilst Fairbanks, Alaska reached 30C on Saturday, Phoenix, Arizona managed a mere 28C. Even Bettles, a town to the north of Fairbanks and within the Arctic Circle, recorded 28C.

    http://mwcnews.net/news/americas/51850-record-heat-hits-alaska.html

    The forecast high for Fairbanks (89 degrees) is warmer than in Phoenix, Arizona for Saturday (84 degrees).

    Reply
  79. Andy in San Diego

     /  May 28, 2015

    We’ve popped below -2 std deviation for extent.

    Reply
    • That decline rate is shadowing 2012. But we are in deeper than we were then. So it’s central Arctic melt we see early now.

      Reply
  80. Andy in San Diego

     /  May 28, 2015
    Reply
  81. Colorado Bob

     /  May 28, 2015

    Heat wave kills nearly 1,500: Green body warns of more agony

    “More heat waves were expected as globally temperatures have risen by an average .8 degrees in the past 100 years. Night-time temperatures are rising too, with Ahmedabad and Delhi recently reporting 39 and 36 degrees centigrade respectively. The number of heat wave days may go up from about 5 to between 30 and 40 every year,” said a statement by the Delhi-based green advocacy and research body.

    Link

    Reply
  82. Colorado Bob

     /  May 29, 2015

    The Texas flooding –

    State climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon said on Thursday the average rainfall across the state was 7.54 inches (19 cm) in May, breaking the record of 6.66 inches (17 cm) set in June 2004, according to records that date to 1895.

    “It has been ridiculous,” Nielsen-Gammon said.

    Link

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  May 29, 2015

      A town called Shallowater just west of Lubbock , got nearly 7 inches of rain in 2 hours today. These storms are marching into Ft. Worth and Dallas as I type ,

      Large areas north of Lubbock have received over 8 to 10 inches of rain in last 48 hours.

      Link

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  May 29, 2015

        State climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon said on Thursday the average rainfall across the state was 7.54 inches (19 cm) in May, breaking the record of 6.66 inches (17 cm) set in June 2004, according to records that date to 1895.

        So in just 11 years we set another all time monthly record for Rainfall in Texas by well over an one inch, and in the middle of that there was the hottest driest summer on record.

        As the system nears the tipping point it tends to swing to the extremes. There it gets stuck, before wildly swinging back to the other extreme.

        Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  May 29, 2015

        That town needs a name change!

        Reply
        • With shifting baselines, there already are a generations of humans (and non-humans!) who have grown up not knowing anything else. Stories have it that westbound pioneers caught fish by dipping a hat into a stream. Even in our times, people carried firearms on board commercial passenger aircraft and stowed them in overhead bins, no questions asked. Future generations may consider “hell” to be “normal”.

          📝 Sent from my iPad 🙏🏻

          >

      • I think we should also take note of Nielsen-Gammon’s comments as reported by the New York Times:

        “John W. Nielsen-Gammon, Texas’ state climatologist and a professor at Texas A & M University, said that Texas weather was heavily influenced by long-term weather phenomena, including El Niño and natural variations of temperatures in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

        “For now, he said, the slight rise in sea surface temperatures may have added 4 or 5 percent to the recent rainfall, but the longer-term trends for much of the state call for “a decrease of a few percent” in rainfall. It could take many decades, he said, before the effects of warming become a more important factor in the state’s weather than the natural variability.”

        Note in particular that last sentence, which basically says, hey, nothing to worry about for a long time.

        Reply
    • It has absolutely been ridiculous. Should have read through these comments before posting my most recent. Best to all.

      Reply
  83. Mblanc

     /  May 29, 2015

    Oops, the last comment referred to Bob’s previous Shallowater post!

    Reply
  1. Will a 2015 Arctic sea ice melt season during an El Nino year shatter previous records? | ClimateState
  2. “Massive” Arctic Heat Dome Sets Up to Bake Sea Ice | robertscribbler

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