Unprecedented Fire Season Has Burned 11 Million Acres So Far For Alaska and Canada

The land of ice is being transformed into the land of fire.

Greenhouse gas emissions are forcing the air to rapidly warm (half a degree Celsius each decade in some places). Frozen lands are thawing, liberating billions of tons of soil carbon as an ignition source for wildfires. And methane bubbling up from lakes, bogs, and wet zones in the soil itself provides yet more tinder for a rapidly developing Arctic fire trap.

Bog fire in Canada

(What the hell is wrong with this picture? Here we have a bog fire burning away in Saskatchewan, Canada on July 1st, 2015. The bright white color of the smoke is indicative of water vapor mixing in. Due to permafrost thaw, both bogs and related themokarst lakes have been emitting higher and higher volumes of methane over recent years. Methane that could well serve as a volatile fuel for fire ignition over wetlands like the one shown above. Image source: Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment.)

It’s a situation that gained explosive intensity this year as global temperatures hit new all-time record highs and as an obnoxiously persistent ridge in the Jet Stream delivered extreme heat to Alaska and Western Canada. As of today the 652 fires in Alaska alone had burned an unprecedented 3.5 million acres. That’s 3.4 million acres burned since June 18th and more than a million acres ahead of the previous record burn year of 2004. Across the border in Canada, an outrageous 4,672 wildfires had put another 6.6 million acres to the flame — double the five year average rate and nearly three times the 25 year average rate.

Wildfires in Canada now are so intense and widespread that the Canadian armed forces have deployed 1,400 personnel to support in a firefighting effort that has drawn resources from as far away as New Zealand. Earlier this week, the fires forced evacuation of more than 13,000 people in Saskatchewan Province alone. Smoke from the fires combined over the past week to form choking clouds that painted the skies milky-white from Alaska to Canada to the Northern and Central US. Smoke and poor air warnings were issued as far away as Denver Colorado, 1,000 miles to the south of Canada’s blazes. Further to the north and west, a massive smoke plume blotted out the sun over a broad region west of Seattle and Vancouver:

smoke plume Pacific Northwest

(Smoke cloud blots out the sun for massive region of the Pacific Northwest on July 5th. Image source: Rapid Response.)

Over the next few days, rains are expected to aid in what is now a massive fire suppression effort ongoing throughout Canada. However, rains have also brought with them an inordinate number of lightning strikes this year. And, contrary to some ill-informed statements in the mainstream press during the past couple of weeks hinting that people were the primary ignition source, lightning-initiated fires have been responsible for 99 percent of the acres burned in Alaska alone (information on acres burned by cause for Canada fires was not available in the CIFFC SITREP). In addition, fires have also shown an uncanny resiliency to rainfall — continuing to burn at a very rapid rate (250,000 acres in just the past day) despite widespread storms continuing to flood in from the Gulf of Alaska.

All these massive fires are burning through tree, scrub and bog. But, more importantly, they are penetrating the insulating layer of soil and contacting the thawing permafrost underneath. This soil-breaking fire mechanism is further exposing and accelerating the release of soil-locked carbon. It is also setting up situations where fires can burn in a thawed permafrost understory for additional days, weeks and months.

Methane spike to 2525

(Summer is not typically the time of year for substantial methane spikes. But we see them Tuesday in conjunction with increased rainfall, wildfires and thunderstorms throughout the Arctic. Image source: OSPO/METOP.)

We can see a hint of this ominous additional carbon release in the weekly methane readings which this Tuesday hit a peak value of 2525 parts per billion (596 mb) and an atmospheric mean of 1827 parts per billion (496 mb) in NOAA’s METOP measure. Meanwhile, CO2 spikes in the range of 410 to 420 ppm are also widespread throughout the Arctic. Indications that the intense fires are dumping a serious amount of carbon into the local and regional atmosphere .

With billions and billions of tons of carbon stored in the Arctic alone over the past 3-15 million years, we really don’t want to be rapidly warming the Arctic environment as we are. As we can see with this year’s record wildfires we’re actively tossing matches into what amounts to a carbon powder keg. So it’s just maniacally insane that Canada’s government is still planning an all-out production of Tar Sands that will make the already dangerous heat and fire conditions for Canada’s people worse and worse.

Links:

Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment

OPSO/METOP

Rapid Response

CIFFC SITREP

Alaska Interagency Coordination Center

Thousands Flee Homes in Saskatchewan

Massive Smoke Plume From Canada’s Wildfires

Hat Tip to Colorado Bob

Hat Tip to Andy in San Diego

Hat Tip to DT Lange

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59 Comments

  1. Time wave stuff like this under Harpers fat nose?!?!!

    Sent from my iPhone of course🙂

    >

    Reply
  2. Leland Palmer

     /  July 9, 2015

    Wow, it’s looking really bad. Surely, the fires will go out in the fall. I think. Will this still be the case in the future.

    I wonder sometimes just how much freedom the politician have to change policy, about the tar sands, for example. Some of them seem to be so beholding to the oil corporations that they cannot change policy without sacrificing their careers.
    Humans are too stupid to run planets, it seems.

    Reply
    • wili

       /  July 10, 2015

      Hi Leland. Remind us, is taiga conflagration one of the major feedbacks in your estimation, or is lumped together with other forests or general burning of biomass.

      Reply
      • Leland Palmer

         /  July 11, 2015

        Here’s a link to a 2014 paper on triple point chimneys in the gas hydrates.

        Are all of these chimneys on the seismic scans these triple point chimneys, that pierce the entire depth of the deposit?

        I feel the same growing sense of horror I had when I started looking at all the circular features and lakes on the Yamal Penninsula, and started realizing that many of those lakes could have started as methane blowout craters. How many of them? All of them? Have we been staring at these things all along, and totally misinterpreting the meaning of these landscape features? Occam’s Razor says that one circular lake generating process operating in the same area is a simpler explanation than two or more processes. There are thousands and thousands of these circular lakes. How many are evidence of past methane blowouts?

        Now, we see these hydrate chimneys in the seismic scans, and see Smith and Liu and Flemmings interpreting them as triple poiint chimneys, that allow free migration of methane gas through the entire depth of the hydrate deposit. How many of these chimneys are triple point chimneys? All of them?

        http://www.researchgate.net/publication/263970235_The_evolution_of_methane_vents_that_pierce_the_hydrate_stability_zone_in_the_world's_oceans

        Reply
      • Leland Palmer

         /  July 11, 2015

        Image of methane hydrate chimneys:

        Reply
    • Leland Palmer

       /  July 10, 2015

      Hi wili- I don’t actually know. Other people know more about this.

      Reasoning from first principles, though, I would say that in past slower hyperthermal events repeated burning of the taiga could have actually acted as a negative feedback. About 25 percent, if I recall right, of carbon in a normal forest fire can end up as charcoal, and repeated burning of the forests could have injected carbon as charcoal into the soil, where it can last for hundreds of years before it returns to the atmosphere.

      But, these are not normal forest fires- they are more intense – and they seem to be be adding to permafrost thaw. The northern permafrost contains something like 1.6 trillion tons of carbon – maybe twice the carbon content of the atmosphere. This permafrost carbon is a lot like fossil fuel carbon – it has been stored outside the active carbon cycle. The fires could change the taiga from an immense carbon sink to a carbon source, increasing the effective greenhouse forcing of our fossil fuel emissions. The peat fires ignited by these forest fires could also release significant amounts of methane – a very strong greenhouse gas. And the soot from these fires could decrease the albedo of the Greenland ice sheet, increasing melting there.

      I’m afraid that the permafrost emissions could act as a bridge to the widespread destabilization of the oceanic methane hydrates. As Liu and Flemmings have discovered, there is a subclass of methane hydrates that contain high salt concentrations, and so are at the triple point of the methane hydrate system. The hydrates are also packed with gas chimneys at the triple point of the system, and we are just starting to realize that these triple point chimneys exist, let alone being able to predict how they will react to increased gas driven pumping of seawater or mud through the hydrate deposits.These triple point hydrates are in equilibrium with ocean temperatures and so can be extremely sensitive to temperature changes- so for these hydrates there will be no time lag between ocean heating and increased emissions of methane from these hydrates.

      Too fast – it’s all happening much too fast, I think. We’re in virgin territory. If it was a video game, it would be fascinating.

      Reply
      • Leland Palmer

         /  July 11, 2015

        To be clear about the hydrates – there is an energy barrier that acts to limit the rate of dissociation of the hydrates. Hydrate dissociation is an endothermic process that requires heat. Like ice, it takes heat to melt the hydrates. But now, we are supplying that heat, and it turns out the hydrate deposits are convoluted, and some of them are riddled with these triple point chimneys, which appear to act as free gas migration pathways, and may be susceptible to gas driven pumping, increasing heat flow into the hydrate deposits.

        I hate this crap. I want to wake up in a different world – one in which we haven’t screwed the biosphere.

        Sorry about the mixup in the order of the posts, above.

        Reply
  3. labmonkery2

     /  July 9, 2015

    Another great, but somewhat distressing article. And most of this is old-growth, too.
    Joe Biden once exclaimed after the ACA was signed into law: “This is a big f**king deal.” And although his comment was widely heard and discussed in the media, climate issues such as these are rarely mentioned in teh MSM. Even the Weather Channel makes little mention of the connection between current extremes and their causation. I expect to see a very distinct difference in what were fairly predictable yearly weather patterns now that we have upset the planets equilibrium.

    Reply
    • There’s a point where it interferes with accurate weather and situational forecasting. For example, a couple of weeks ago, the fire forecast was downplayed too much in a number of sources and they ended up flat wrong. The link between global warming and El Nino enhanced weather (particularly hydrological events) is being ignored for the most part in mainstream sources. So what happens when this El Nino finally becomes strong enough to crush the NEPAC block? All that heat and moisture exchange that was not predicted because the impact of all the added heat in the system was either ignored or not talked about?

      Reply
      • labmonkery2

         /  July 9, 2015

        Well, you know what they say – What goes up, must come down. And the intensity of recent rain/flooding in the US only reminds me that with more heat, there’s more moisture loading and subsequent redistribution of this moisture [it’s not rocket science]. These fires are adding particulate matter to the mixture, too. Is there a connection here?

        Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  July 9, 2015

        labmonkery2

        Researchers find mechanism that ties human-caused air pollution to catastrophic floods in southwest China

        Following the trail of the 2013 Sichuan flood in southwest China, researchers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and their collaborators found that heavy human-caused air pollution over the Sichuan Basin just upwind contributed to the catastrophic flood. Through a series of events they call “aerosol-enhanced conditional instability,” tiny particles from heavy air pollution absorb heat from the sun, stabilize the atmosphere, and suppress local storms during the daytime. However, this allows the heavy moist and now warm air to be transported downwind to mountainous areas where it is lifted causing extreme nighttime precipitation. The research was published in Geophysical Research Letters and highlighted by Nature.

        Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-07-mechanism-ties-human-caused-air-pollution.html#jCp

        Reply
      • Robert, I’ve noticed that the local mainstream media (CBS,NBC, etc) “meteorologists” seem to be giving increasingly inaccurate forecasts. I realize they’re mostly talking heads whose meteorological forecasts involve pushing a button on a computer, but I’m suspecting that their basic computer models are no longer capable of handling the new dynamics that have been introduced into the system, and they need to be updated to accurately simulate current conditions. Their forecasts are often wrong just a day or two out, and they tend to underestimate precip potential fairly frequently. They’re using algorithms written for a 20th century climate, and we no longer live on that world. I often see them referring to the European model for major storms, which is far more accurate. Remember Sandy? They predicted her path with the left turn into NY/NJ about a week out while she was still in the Caribbean, while most US models didn’t fall in line until just a couple days before landfall.

        Reply
    • Just a general statement for those interested in the METOP CO2 graphic referenced in the above post, but not included so as not to add too much clutter, here it is:

      Also, the top link is to the OSPO site which provides the full suite of tools.

      Reply
  4. Colorado Bob

     /  July 9, 2015

    Science is about to learn a whole lot about how climate change, drought affect crops

    A new letter in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) highlights an exciting new ability in global remote sensing: by using fluorescence data from satellites already in orbit, some scientists now believe they can provide a more accurate look at the level of photosynthetic activity in large vegetated areas. Even better, there’s already a super-powered successor satellite in the works, meaning that this new technique could shortly give scientists a much better understanding of how global food crops are responding to climate change.

    Link

    Reply
  5. Colorado Bob

     /  July 9, 2015

    NOAA: Saharan Dust Clouds Suppressing Hurricanes

    A satellite image taken Tuesday, July 7. The green area is dust making its way across the Atlantic.

    South Florida’s air has been dustier than usual this week.

    The dust has come from across the Atlantic, originating from dust storms in the Sahara desert and being pushed towards the Americas by winds and tropical waves.

    While the current influx of dust-filled air may be a hazard for people with respiratory conditions, scientists say it also brings with it a more positive effect.

    Link

    Reply
  6. California OKs drought curb on Sacramento River flows

    …Officials began curbing the volume of water coming out of Shasta in late May, and the plan became official with an order signed late Tuesday by Thomas Howard, executive director of the State Water Resources Control Board.

    Keeping more water in Shasta through September is a key element of a plan aimed at cooling down the Sacramento River through the spawning season of winter-run Chinook salmon. Regulators are desperate to prevent a recurrence of last year, when the river got too warm and 95 percent of the juvenile salmon were wiped out.

    Environmentalists and the fishing industry weren’t rushing to embrace the decision, either. The plan would allow water temperatures to reach as high as 58 degrees, or 2 degrees above what is normally allowed. There’s no guarantee this year’s winter salmon run will be protected, said John McManus, executive director of the Golden Gate Salmon Association.

    “I don’t know if it’s going to work,” McManus said. “We have to pray and hope for cooler-than-normal weather, and that’s not a good strategy.”

    http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article26740363.html

    Reply
  7. “Study: Global sea levels have risen six meters or more with just slight global warming”

    “A new review analyzing three decades of research on the historic effects of melting polar ice sheets found that global sea levels have risen at least six meters, or about 20 feet, above present levels on multiple occasions over the past three million years.

    “What is most concerning, scientists say, is that amount of melting was caused by an increase of only 1-2 degrees (Celsius) in global mean temperatures.

    http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2015/jul/study-global-sea-levels-have-risen-six-meters-or-more-just-slight-global-warming

    Reply
  8. Spain also beginning to burn, unsurprising given the heat and drought.

    Reply
  9. Fractal

     /  July 9, 2015

    In looking at the methane graphic, it looks like at least some of the more intense areas between 50 and 65 deg North are centered over Russian gas fields. Very big gas field development north of the Caspian, east of Moscow (West Siberian field) and the Vilyuy field well to the east of that. The pipeline networks are vast as well. The leakage may be enormous. See: image 2

    https://www.google.com/search?q=map+of+russian+natural+gas+fields&biw=1055&bih=516&site=webhp&tbm=isch&imgil=SnbGKFT44pU7MM%253A%253BX3rqbdeb86iQJM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.snipview.com%25252Fq%25252FNatural_gas_in_Russia&source=iu&pf=m&fir=SnbGKFT44pU7MM%253A%252CX3rqbdeb86iQJM%252C_&usg=__HIB8lA0cep1tHRbdYt6obgBE6cE%3D&ved=0CCcQyjc&ei=2OyeVaqKIM7zoASm8IPYBg#imgdii=SnbGKFT44pU7MM%3A%3BSnbGKFT44pU7MM%3A%3BBjJDsbi5rdxR5M%3A&imgrc=SnbGKFT44pU7MM%3A&usg=__HIB8lA0cep1tHRbdYt6obgBE6cE%3D

    Reply
    • Leland Palmer

       /  July 10, 2015

      Hi Fractal-

      Yes, the methane hot spot over the Four Corners area of the Southwest U.S. is also over an area covered by thousands of fracking wells and associated gas processing facilities. Zooming in on Google Earth, thousands of them are visible. The wells are along dirt roads, and look like little dots or commas on a spider web of dirt roads. So, it seems reasonable that the Russians could have their own permanent hot spots as well.

      Reply
  10. Reblogged this on GarryRogers Nature Conservation and Science Fiction (#EcoSciFi) and commented:
    When fire frequency increases, habitats change and biodiversity usually tumbles.

    Reply
  11. How will these enormous smoke clouds affect global average temperatures? Any chance they will have a mitigating effect? -Having read the post above about sandstorms suppressing hurricanes, it’s not clear to me whether or not smoke particles could have a significant short-medium term cooling effect. Perhaps even significant enough to buy a little time for regrowth? Seems like a potential wild card maybe? (Please don’t mistake my question as wishful thinking/grasping at straws… )

    Reply
    • Under cloud cover dense enough to block long wave radiation there’s a bit of surface cooling. But overall, the impact of wildfire brown carbon emission as well as the related greenhouse gas emission (CO2+methane) makes this a net positive feedback.

      Reply
    • Griffin

       /  July 10, 2015

      This may help with your question Phillip.
      http://m.earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/Aerosols/page4.php

      Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 10, 2015

      Philip Heying

      Stick around , and watch. The nasty combustion products coming from these fires are going to start showing up on the sea ice and Greenland. As this season got under way the Canadian fire officials in the NWT, said that 6 of their fires had over wintered in the ground. One stump can burn 6 or 7 feet into the ground alll winter.

      We’re not just burning trees here, we’re burning “duff” as well , in some cases a foot thick. Think of it as the permafrost’s down jacket. Spruce needles moss, twigs , leaves etc. etc. And as RS pointed out we’re burning the bogs that dried out. The Muskeg .

      This whole system has flipped , these forests are not like the Rockies where fire is part of the dance. Lake core samples show much of this system hasn’t burned in 5,000 years. And that number is because the record stops at 5,000 years.

      Two years it was Russia on a much lager scale. And since then we’ve seen fires in Norway in the winter.

      It’s real floating campfire here riding with RS.

      Reply
  12. Andy in San Diego

     /  July 10, 2015

    Jakobshavn Glacier Calving June 20th 2015

    1 to 1.5 km wide calving event.

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  July 10, 2015

      Absolutely stunning.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  July 10, 2015

        Great catch G man !
        Jason Box has a really excellent drone. Just wish there sounds of the event and commentary . That blue water that appears @ 5: 45 , is melt water from the base of the glacier. Once the plug failed it just gushed. In fact it’s pressure is probably why a 1 to 1.5 km wide calving event happened. The GRACE sats will catch this drop . As all that water left the system , the surface above will slope over the next year will slump.

        This is really a big deal .

        I’ve been watching the Jakobshavn for 10 years, this is a new state for the world’s fastest glacier.

        Reply
  13. Andy in San Diego

     /  July 10, 2015

    Acceleration Of Jakobshavn Glacier in one simple image

    Reply
  14. Makere

     /  July 10, 2015

    Reblogged this on The Turning Spiral and commented:
    And still they lie and deny human-caused climate change.

    Reply
    • An excellent article from an unexpected source
      http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a36337/climate-change-liars/

      The article is called “Killing Us Softly: The Industry of Lies Around Climate Change”

      Reply
      • Makere

         /  July 12, 2015

        Great, thanks for this. will repost. On the subject of trauma, not only climate scientists but also other academics and activists like myself are experiencing deep paralyzing depression, in my case alternating with overwhelming grief. When several years ago (maybe five, maybe 7, I dont remember now)I woke in the night with a cold realization that we had gone past the point of no return, in my wildest dreams I didn’t imagine the overwhelming size of the denial and refusal to act that we are faced with today. My desire is to go back home, buy some land for my faraway family and bunker them all down (they sensibly refuse, of course) and I wonder why I remain here in North America futilely attempting to help effect change when even my university is so damned recalcitrant. Glad I found this incredibly informative and helpful blog. Thanks.

        Reply
  15. wili

     /  July 10, 2015

    Another great points. Thanks for mentioning the lightening issue. You might add that, according to the below study, the frequency of lightening itself is likely increasing because of GW: https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jnds/33/2/33_71/_pdf

    “One of the purposes of this paper is to explain the severe forest fires by lightening in 2004 and 2005 that consumed 10% of the forest area of Alaska.

    Price and Rind (1991, 1994) analyzed a global climate model and found that, in association with an increased global air temperature of 4°C, global mean lightning activity increased by 26%, and would ignite 44% more fires and burn a 78% wider area than under current conditions.”

    There are feedbacks within feedbacks within…

    Reply
    • wili

       /  July 10, 2015

      (Replace ‘points’ with ‘post’)

      Reply
    • Good idea, wili, will see if I can add that content later tonight. It’s a great context and one I really only touched on.

      Reply
    • Griffin

       /  July 10, 2015

      Last year I remember asking if the light smoke cover that was present over New England could have contributed to a particularly intense lightning show that we had here. We had some discussion on the point. Interestingly, there was a storm that rolled through the northern burbs of DC last week (just when the current smoke was making it’s way to the area) and Twitter exploded with folks remarking on the extreme amount of lightning in the storm. Of course there were other atmospheric factors at play to produce such lightning but I wondered if the smoke played a role.

      Reply
  16. Leif Knutsen

     /  July 10, 2015

    If my math serves me correct 11,000,000 acres = 17,187.5 square miles or the area of 1.5 X the area of the whole state of Connecticut. It is not even the middle of July yet!

    Reply
  17. Is my thumbnail math correct that an area about the size of California has burned in the past five weeks? (640 acres per square mile, 11 million acres = about 172,000 square miles, California=163,696)

    Reply
  18. I’m off by a decimal point. Oops.

    Reply
  19. Colorado Bob

     /  July 10, 2015

    Jakobshavn Glacier Calving June 20th 2015

    Everyone watch this , this not how glaciers make ice bergs . ice falls off the face , and a wave is pushed in to the outlet. This is a video of ice falling off a face, and fountain of melt water gushing from deep in the ice sheet.

    I always saw it as coming at the bottom of the glaciers. And we would never see it do this.

    Jakobshavn is well monitored jf all that blue was fresh water
    , we will know.

    Reply
  20. Colorado Bob

     /  July 10, 2015

    Back ground –

    Jakobshavn Glacier the World’s Fastest, Picking-up Speed
    By Colorado Bob
    Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:09 AM


    I’ve always been a fan of Nova, and Robert Kurlwich, so I was watching 2 years ago when this Nova Science Now program first aired on the Jakobshavn Glacier. Kurlwich introduces the story by doing a little glacier 101 speed report. The clip is here and it’s 7 min. long .
    World’s Fastest Glacier

    In the story , they report that around the year 2000 the Jakobshavn started to pick-up speed. It went from the “normal” speed of around less than 1 foot a day to 113 feet a day in 5 years. This was widely reported then, so it’s a pretty good benchmark. The program aired in July of 2005, so this morning I went looking to see what the Jakobshavn was doing 2 years later.

    Sure enough, the Washington Post ran a story on June 9, 2007 about the research being done on the glacier.
    And in that story we get speed report on the largest glacier in Greenland :

    Link

    Reply
  21. Colorado Bob

     /  July 10, 2015

    And note all the grey om the ice , that’s soot.

    Reply
  22. Colorado Bob

     /  July 10, 2015

    Quicksilver Messenger Service – Fresh Air

    Reply
  23. Colorado Bob

     /  July 10, 2015

    Quicksilver Messenger Service – Happy Trails – 1969 Full Album

    Reply
  24. Colorado Bob

     /  July 10, 2015

    This looking into the abyss. Is a real drag. It’ll drive all of us crazy. I’ve been crazy for 45 years. Trust me , guts is what you want.

    As Lone Wati said –

    “Get ready little lady, Hell is comin’ breakfast,”

    Reply
  25. Colorado Bob

     /  July 10, 2015

    Trust me , guts is what you want. Ones you never knew you had. Ones you never dreamed of.

    Guts.

    Reply
  26. I live in the fog zone, an area of the pnw that has so much ocean created humidity that we usually don’t even get the fire ban that effect the rest of the coastal forest districts. The heating and effects experienced in the pnw in the last few years has been tremendous and the accumulated effect of no snow pack and radically different weather patterns has left things in a true state of disaster.

    The forest is so dry trees are blowing over in the summer breezes that come off the mountains, the powdery soil cannot hold the roots. Our ground water is virtually gone and wells run dry and a few of my acquaintances have now migrated to the city because they no longer have water to wash and drink. All our local major rivers are so shallow that you can walk across, some have stopped running all together. And the fish the ones that were unfortunate enough to try making it up steam before the latest heat wave are stuck in the few remaining deep pools at the intersections of streams that were once surging rivers. We’ve had weeks of temps in the upper 30’s and no rain of significant amounts since April.

    Through some miracle we haven’t had a local fire yet, but it truly is just amazing luck that we haven’t. Although our skies have been red with all the smoke from the other fires so far it is tainted only by distant catastrophic flame. It is only a matter of time though. I don’t have time now to go into detail on how much out glaciers have shrunk in the last few months or the variety of plants that have simply withered and died, but the changes here in coastal rainforest are apocalyptic in proportions. This may not be the safe haven that some experts thought it would be for weathering climate change. It looks more likely that we will be a coastal desert permanently blanketed in smoke and ash. It reminds me of Ballard’s burning world….

    I am beyond hope, and scared shitless. realising that my families future is now likely to be that of a climate refugees….

    Sorry for any typos I’m on my tablet it has its own agenda with spelling and grammar

    Reply
    • Prayers for you Sochin

      Reply
    • Thanks for the realtime on the ground report from your area, Shochin. I’m sorry for what you’re experiencing. These days it seems like nobody is immune from the effects of AGW. They are happening with greater intensity and more frequency every passing season, and still the general public is completely oblivious to the major disaster that is affecting their lives and will only make their lives harder and harder as time goes on. A sad state of affairs.

      Reply
    • Under climate change, there is no safe haven worthy of the name. And no one gets out unscathed. Prayers are fine. But how about some actual, strong policy action to make the situation better?

      Reply
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