They Make Water Out of Sludge in Sao Paulo Now

With El Nino settling into a strong-to-monstrous mode and with the world now baking under 1 C of global temperature increases since the 1880s, a large swath from South American through to the Caribbean is suffering from extreme drought.

Drought South America

As we can see in the above map (provided by NOAA) most of South America is experiencing the impact of significant to severe rainfall deficits. Northern Brazil and the Amazon Rainforest are at the epicenter of water losses. But Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, Chile and Peru all show substantial drying. It’s a drought that stretches all the way up into the Caribbean. One that has set off water rationing over broad regions. Even the US territory of Puerto Rico hasn’t been left unscathed by this wide-ranging drying. There, 160,000 residents and businesses have seen water turned off for 48 hours and then back on for 24 hours. Another 185,000 are losing water services in 24-hour cycles, a further 10,000 are on a 12-hour rationing plan. A hand of drought that had, as of last week, stretched its desiccating fingers all the way to South Florida — setting off wildfires and sending billowing plumes of smoke into Palm Beach skies.

Water From Sludge

But, in all this wide-ranging drought, there are few places where the situation is so acute as it is in Sao Paulo, Brazil. There, the drought is so severe that it has inflicted water rationing on the populace ever since early 2014. A situation that has gone from bad to steadily worse. At the epicenter of these losses is a massive reservoir called the Cantareira. A great lake once filled with enough reserves to supply over 6 million people that has been reduced to what amounts to a giant, drying puddle of mud. A situation that has forced water managers to pump sludge from the Cantareira’s previous dead pool zone and into treatment facilities in order to provide water to Sao Paulo citizens:

Cantareira Reservoir

(“Water like what comes out of the back end of a cow” [hat tip to Andy] being fed from the Cantareira reservoir and into Sao Paulo’s water supplies during February of 2015. Image source: The Telegraph.)

Essentially, in order to provide water, Brazil’s utility managers have been forced to put pump lines in the bottom of the muddy Cantareira reservoir. You can see the heads of these pumps as blue boxes in the above image. The pumps then feed the dead pool water into a spill-way that contacts the old water pump which is now too high in elevation to draw water from the drastically diminished pool.

The Cantareira reservoir is Sao Paulo’s largest, its most essential. At most, it contains about 40 million cubic meters of water remaining before it is bone dry. And it’s losing this water at a rate of 200,000 cubic meters each day. Even worse, it’s uncertain if all the remaining water can be accessed. But if it could, it would take just 200 days to completely bottom out the Cantareira at the current rate of losses. For reference, there are about 100 days left until the rainy season starts in Sao Paulo. But with El Nino strengthening and with the Amazon Rain Forest suffering severe water losses, it is uncertain whether this year’s rainy season will arrive on time.

Looking at the larger water system, the situation is equally stark. Alto Tiete, another Sao Paulo reservoir will reach a dead pool situation similar to the Cantareira in just 90 days at current rates of loss. And the entire water system of Sao Paulo will hit its maximum recoverable water in less than a year if losses are not somehow abated.

With the situation so stark, Sao Paulo water managers have drastically cut back on water outlays to the population. In total only about 54 percent of the typical outlay is reaching the public. The result is a very severe and ongoing situation of water rationing for the metropolis. But even worse would be the near complete loss of Sao Paulo’s water supply. A situation the city and region faces if the rains don’t arrive soon.

*   *   *   *   *

Links:

Water Hoarding Frenzy Set off By Drought, Rationing in Puerto Rico

Palm Beach Wildfires

Sabesp Water Resources PDF

The Telegraph

Hat Tip to Andy in San Diego (Note: Andy provided much of the research for the section on Sao Paulo reservoirs. To this point, Sabesp has become increasingly less transparent as the water situation there has grown more dire and Andy’s dynamite research was necessary to clear up a few of the more murky bits.)

(Please support public, non-special interest based science, like the critical information that was provided for this article by NOAA.)

(Please also support broad-based climate change policy solutions to reduce fossil fuel emissions, increase public access to renewable energy, and to reduce the climate change caused damage that is already locked in.)

Leave a comment

234 Comments

  1. climatehawk1

     /  July 17, 2015

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  2. Colorado Bob

     /  July 17, 2015

    The link between global warming and India’s worst flood

    Two years ago last month, a flood devastated the Himalayan village of Kedarnath, India, the destination of half a million Hindu pilgrims annually. The town sits 11,500 feet up in a tight valley. Sharp, snowy peaks tower on three sides and a stone temple sits at one end. The flood — which occurred June 17, 2013 — was India’s worst disaster in a decade.

    Several thousand people drowned. The deluge tore apart dozens of bridges, swept away miles of paved roads and carried off herds of livestock.

    http://www.greenbiz.com/article/link-between-global-warming-and-indias-worst-flood

    Reply
  3. Jeremy.

     /  July 17, 2015

    Reduced to only correcting spelling now. So little else we can do:-((

    sp. “Cantaretra”

    Reply
  4. A new report released by a global team of scientists warns that climate change is as threatening as nuclear war: http://www.msn.com/en-us/weather/topstories/warning-from-a-global-team-of-scientists-climate-change-is-as-threatening-as-nuclear-war/ar-AAcVQcw

    Reply
    • They’re right. Well, actually, it may be worse.

      Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  July 18, 2015

        I’d say its worse, because we are pretty much certain to hit 2C, whereas we might still get lucky with the nukes.

        After all, we are already 1C!

        Reply
  5. The urban population of São Paulo is about twelve million, the metropolitan area about twenty one million. And they have forty million cubic meters of water to work with.

    Where do you evacuate 21 million people to?

    Reply
    • The larger system has about 580 million cubic meters (edit) left, give or take. At current rates of loss the whole system bottoms out in less than a year. With El Nino, the chances for a robust rainy season are lessened.

      There is already a trickle of refugees away from the city. The military issued a plan this spring in case that trickle became a flood.

      All in all a bad situation.

      Reply
      • Thanks, Robert. (I gather you mean 580 million).

        The problem here is the same as in California and Las Vegas, etc. The irrational optimism that thinks this is just a bump in the road, and “we’ll weather it out.” For some places, any El Niño rainfall could be the last significant rain they see until the next El Niño, and the ones with huge population bases could start looking like São Paulo in the next several years. Even if the El Niño breaks the RRR, there is no reason to believe the weakened jet stream won’t just do it again in 2016. 2016 is currently predicted really hot in the USian SW.

        Reply
        • Yep. 580 million cubic meters.

          I am sick, tired, and I still have another article to write. Sorry about the typo.

          We are looking at increasing difficulty now. Increasing trouble due to the fact that increasing evaporation by 7 – 8 percent for each degree C warming really has a tendency to hit certain regions hard. Regions that have very high population density and water usage now. So if we want to have much hope of preventing total catastrophe, we need to stop burning the fossil fuels immediately, do our best to draw down some of the excess carbon, and really, really work hard to increase resiliency and to cut the fat out.

      • Robert, while there were rumors that an evacuation plan was being made (and the reaction of our mayor Haddad to those rumors – panic face and tantrum – made that news famous ), there’s no official plan, militar or otherwise (and I doubt there will be, plans are not in the nature of my country) to evacuate the city. There are plans (basically a “you may have your vacation time revocked order” notice, but someone somewhere has a better draft, I hope), involving both the military and the police force (specially our military police force, which is the bigger force) for reinforcing security and protect water alternatives (like those huge water tanks that had to be used in Itu) in case an official rationing is declared.

        But our governor, Geraldo Alckmin, was cited in the news (Folha de São Paulo, last week) as bragging about how he may reap political benefits of being a good “leader in crisis” if he manages to reach November without declaring an “official” rationing.

        Official is a key word here. Right now, they’re diminishing the pressure of the water in the system. That means that water doesn’t reach some parts of the city (or the top of buildings). So, some parts of the city are having water in the tap only in a few hours a day (things are a bit more organized now, to the point that there’s a phone to call to ask at what hours water will come). Other parts of the city, low ones, are always with water. My mother in Pinheiros didn’t have lack of water until now, but a friend who lives in a building near Paulista has only 3h of water per day. Unlike Rio de Janeiro, we don’t have a high – poor, low-rich division of the city, so the division is not being rich-poor, it’s really low-high. When official rationing (instead of “unofficial”) is declared, everyone is without water for some time (this would be more just, but it’s a politic no-no).

        Oficially, the reservoirs have been stable in the last weeks, and that’s what is prompting our governor’s good humor. I don’t find those news too hard to believe myself. I live near the last reservoir of Cantareira (Paiva-Castro), and this dry-season has been unusually wet. July normally has little or no rain around here, but we’ve only had 7 days of sun in this whole month until now. No tempests, just drizzinly rain. And most people, even those who normally despise environmental problems as a hobby, are trying to use less water, reuse bath and laundry water and stopping stupid water uses like cleaning cars and sidewalks. Things seemed darker in November, even though we sure aren’t out of the fire yet.

        Reply
      • sunkensheep

         /  July 19, 2015

        30 000 litres per person. Under my city’s strictest water restrictions that would last about 200 days. I hope the rains are not too delayed, but I really fear for the dry season that follows.

        Reply
  6. I gather the big reservoir isn’t the only one, but with these kind of numbers, it hardly matters

    Reply
  7. Andy in San Diego

     /  July 17, 2015

    Robert
    thanks for the reference

    However I must hat tip the cows….

    Reply
  8. ” They Make Water Out of Sludge”, a once avoidable but now desperate attempt at climate change driven alchemy. We will see more tragedies unfolding like this — whether it be for breathable air, water, or food.

    – Good sleuthing by Andy.

    Reply
  9. “I am sick, tired, and I still have another article to write. Sorry about the typo.”

    Tip: pace yourself, take breathing breaks, be bold, and free, with terse replies to comments — it’s only July🙂. Your level-headedness is one of your biggest assets.
    (This, from someone who rarely listens to his own advice.)

    DT

    Reply
  10. rustj2015

     /  July 17, 2015

    Yes, to repeat:
    Three Wisdoms
    “Go slow,” said the snail.
    “Hop! Hop!” said the hare.
    “Pace yourself,” said the cheetah, “it’s a long run.”
    M.C. Richards The Crossing Point; Selected Talks and Writings
    We are all in it for our lives, and you are an important guide.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Rust and DT. Might not make the sea ice report today as the updates appear to have paused for a moment. Bit of a silver lining — I get to pace myself.

      That said, it looks like we have a rough developing situation for Arctic sea ice right now. There are increasing signs that resiliency is greatly diminished and that we will see some significant to severe impacts as this week unfolds to next.

      Might be able to get a better picture by Saturday. Part of it depends on whether or not I kick this cold/flu/whatever.

      Best to everyone. In all honesty, it’s tough to keep a level head sometimes. Feels like we’re in the jaws of a mean whirlwind at the moment.

      Reply
  11. rustj2015

     /  July 17, 2015

    So, not news, but perhaps information:
    Assessing agricultural risks of climate change in the 21st century in a global gridded crop model intercomparison
    Significance
    Agriculture is arguably the sector most affected by climate change, but assessments differ and are thus difficult to compare. We provide a globally consistent, protocol-based, multimodel climate change assessment for major crops with explicit characterization of uncertainty. Results with multimodel agreement indicate strong negative effects from climate change, especially at higher levels of warming and at low latitudes where developing countries are concentrated. Simulations that consider explicit nitrogen stress result in much more severe impacts from climate change, with implications for adaptation planning.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/111/9/3268.full

    Reply
  12. Vic

     /  July 17, 2015

    Reply
  13. Jeff Masters latest blog is on the state of the climate report. Warm and warmer.

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3047

    Reply
  14. Robert, I am sorry you are ill and wish you a speedy recovery. Please take care of yourself and especially get enough sleep. The world will still be melting when you return😦

    Reply
    • Thanks, Miep. Melting, burning, and there’s still this broad based effort to halt renewable energy adoption and continue to expand carbon emissions. We live in a mad world.

      Reply
  15. Thank you, Robert and Andy. This is pretty much the only site you can find any information on this dire situation. As always, the media is silent on the real issues that matter, and force feeding us bull***t stories like the one about a kid who fastened a gun to a quad rotor, the Kardashian’s recent tweets or the urgent situation that all must be concerned with- Carrie Underwood locked her kid in the car. The humanity! Now that I know these important facts, I can be a more enlightened citizen and effectively create a better plan for my future, and vote for quality representatives like Donald Trump. /sarcasm

    Reply
    • Has Donald shown desire to do anything about climate change? I don’t suspect it will mater much at the rate things are going. Politicians, like everyone else, will be forced to deal with the impacts of the intensifying crisis. However, i fear most will be reactionary to the threat at hand, and not implementing the necessary aggressive initiatives that can significantly mitigate or reverse trends over meaningful time-frames.

      Reply
      • I should’ve turned on the sarcasm light😉 I’m sure that idiot Donald Trump doesn’t “believe” in climate change like the rest of the circus of clowns that is the Republican Party. I would never vote Republican, not because all their policies are detrimental to me and most Americans, but solely because of the very real fact that they no longer acknowledge reality.

        Dems and Repubs used to embrace science, and agree that there was an objective observable reality, but they would differ on how to deal with that reality. Now we find ourselves in an Orwellian dystopia full of doublethink and doublespeak. Repubs on science and technology committees don’t believe in science. It’s the 21st century and they cling to ancient creation myths to decide policy, rather than hard science and verifiable evidence.

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBy3MbP4WDo

        Any party that effectively resides in a delusional fantasy land has no way of dealing with real world problems. If your driving a car with the gas pedal to the floor, and refuse to “believe” in brakes, you have no way of slowing down. Most likely, you have no ability to even conceive of how to go about slowing down. All you know is how to go faster.

        And that is the modern Republican Party. We’re all in a sports car racing towards a cliff, and the right wing is telling everyone that there is no such thing as brakes.

        Reply
      • climatehawk1

         /  July 20, 2015

        For the record, The Donald has said that the Chinese invented climate change so they could take more jobs away from Americans. I gather that makes sense to him somehow.

        Reply
  16. I don’t known if someone linked this site before, but there is an NGO based app for monitoring the reservoirs in São Paulo that may be easier for those speaking english to follow, as it’s mainly numbers (and reservoir names). The historical data in this app is being show counting the dead pool volume, so that the data seems clearer. BUT the data show goes only until february 2015, as they’re not trusting SABESP’s data after that:
    http://www.mananciais.tk/

    Reply
  17. Griffin

     /  July 18, 2015

    Take care and get well soon Robert. Rest easy my friend. You have known this news to be coming for some time now. Pace yourself to tell the story. As Miep says, there will be plenty of news to report when your strength returns. Thank you for all the work you have done..

    Reply
    • Best to you, Griffin! Healing is much easier with all the kind thoughts and support. Should be back in fighting form by Monday. And, yeah, there is quite a lot to do.

      Reply
  18. Vic

     /  July 18, 2015

    Buckle up as Bob would say, we’re in for a hell of a ride…

    Reply
  19. Vic

     /  July 18, 2015

    Hell on the Interstate 15.

    Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  July 18, 2015

      Damn!!!

      I’ve driven that stretched dozens of times. What makes that so sad is that you have to link from an Australian news site. Nobody here cares unless it has a twitter account and is a “reality” star.

      Maybe I should print a t-shirt that says…

      “When I was your age we didn’t have reality shows, we had reality”

      Reply
    • This is what it takes for fires to make the news. Millions and millions of acres burn and nobody even hears/cares about it. A few cars burn and people describe it as “Armageddon”.

      Reply
      • I suspect people are just kind of amazed that a forest fire can do that, run into a highway and set a bunch of cars on fire. That it would be that easy for cars to catch fire. Although I suppose it doesn’t hurt that they include tanks of gasoline.

        Reply
      • Andy in San Diego

         /  July 18, 2015

        But Miep when we watch movies we all know that all you need to do is throw a burning cigarette in slow motion towards the rear of any vehicle and it will explode in slow motion….

        Reply
      • Right.

        Reply
      • sunkensheep

         /  July 19, 2015

        A car is one of the worst possible places to be during a forest fire. The design traps radiant heat within the passenger area and ignites the flammable material (plastics, upholstery) therein. The fuel tends to be among the last thing to ignite.

        Of course, ember attack can set parts of the exterior alight as well.

        Reply
    • MCI or Mass Casualty Incident was used in a basically ‘run of the mill’ (My POV.) high desert scrub fire that happened to involve a major US HWY. Mountain passes provide winds that will scare you — and move wildfire fire like a magic wand.
      I’ve been through, or seen, enough human caused fires and traffic pileups not be a bit hardened.

      I think the MCI call was prudent. It may be a term we will hear more of as CC continues.
      ‘CC MCI for our children.’

      Reply
  20. Very scary. Do you see an end to these droughts any time soon, or is the situation going to become permanent at some point?

    Reply
    • After El Niño, the drought pressure will lessen somewhat. But the underlying conditions — deforestation + global warming — continue to worsen. And that’s what Brazil and the rest of us have to deal with. This is not an isolated event but part of a larger trend.

      Reply
    • Tanya, the Brasilian Climate Model results until now show that these droughts are the most probable “new normal” (with normal variance, of course, and a few years should be wetter than 2014 and 2010 — the drought was actually worst in 2010, but the reservoirs were almost full when that dry season began) for the southeast of Brasil.

      The only links for the Brasilian Climate Model in english that I’ve found are:
      http://www.bv.fapesp.br/pt/auxilios/7061/modelo-brasileiro-do-sistema-climatico-global/
      http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00580.1
      which are more about the model and how it worked, and less about the predictions it made until now.

      But if you can read portuguese, Ecodebate online newspaper did a series of news stories about the model predictions that were very good.

      Reply
      • Just wanted to thank you for your on-the-ground reporting of events from Sao Paulo. I’ll do my best to put together an update that includes some of these very helpful observations soon.

        Best to you and stay safe!

        –R

        Reply
      • Thank you very much, Robert! I’ve been reading your blog for a while, and I’m a huge fan of your work, but I seldom comment as the discussion is normally well beyond my knowledge. But when talking about things closer to my home, things get easier.

        Get well soon,
        Mariana

        Reply
      • Thanks!

        Reply
  21. labmonkery2

     /  July 18, 2015

    Spotted this on GRIST
    http://grist.org/science/arizona-and-california-are-ignoring-the-science-on-water/

    Is a little tl;dr (but I did anyway). Seems that the CA & AZ water management folks never thought that surface and ground waters were somehow connected? Not that I’m surprised in the least. Now that they have finally taken the time to research this connectivity, it may be too late to do anything about it as we continue to suck water out from under the rivers and streams.
    When you squeeze the sponge dry…

    Reply
    • “High and Dry,” by G. Emlen Hall, was published in 2002. This excellent book details the history of New Mexico/Texas water wars and water contracts, and most decidedly addresses the problems arising from assessing the interconnections between rivers and ground water.

      I cannot accept the idea that anybody involved in water management doesn’t think surface and groundwater are connected. This is some kind of coverup.

      Reply
    • That article should win some kind of Darwin Award. Or a “Painting the Roses Red” award.

      “The politics of water are more challenging than any other issue the state faces,” said Fran Pavley, a California state senator who helped draft a much-praised package of state laws passed last year regulating groundwater withdrawals for the first time.

      Tucked into Pavley’s package was a little-noticed provision that explicitly prohibits California state regulators from addressing the interconnection between groundwater and surface water in local water plans until 2025, a compromise meant to give local water agencies a leisurely runway to adjust to a new way of counting.

      Pavley said the prospect of more immediately acknowledging the overlap between ground and surface waters threatened to derail the legislation entirely, triggering fierce opposition from the Agricultural Council of California, the California Chamber of Commerce, and other industry groups.”

      Reply
  22. Andy in San Diego

     /  July 18, 2015

    “I am sick, tired, and I still have another article to write. Sorry about the typo.”

    Robert, I couldn’t care less about typos, I have never, and never will point out a tyepoh. I read for content / context, if I want grammar I would recluse elsewhere. Get better, hope all is good, it’s the weekend so rest.

    Here, eye will addd uh phew typoes myseph two help…..

    Reply
    • I think he was talking to me. I don’t point out typos either, I was just making sure I understood the intent of the comment.

      Reply
      • Andy in San Diego

         /  July 18, 2015

        Poor guy has got to be bagged with so many folks depending on him.

        Reply
        • It’s shocking that so few people are doing this work.

          Flu is nasty. The night coughing is the worst. Once you get past that and can sleep better, it’s easier. Cough suppressants tend to just make it worse though. Some herbal teas help slow it down some, but mostly it’s just a matter of slogging it out.

      • Andy in San Diego

         /  July 18, 2015

        I’m a big fan of a 3 oz shot of scotch, then sleep.

        Reply
      • All good, Miep.

        Reply
    • With Robert’s extremely low error rate an occasional ‘typo’ is rather refreshing.🙂
      This from a former ‘ace’ Quality Control Inspector inspecting to certain Military Standards.

      Reply
  23. Andy in San Diego

     /  July 18, 2015

    On a serious note, how can we help you out Robert?

    You are stuck at point, and need backup.

    Reply
    • I second that, Andy. What can we do to help you out, Robert? You provide so many fantastic posts for us, and deliver current, relevant and extremely important information for those of us who care.

      To the fellow readers- perhaps we could all spare just a few bucks each month as a way to help compensate Robert for the effort and time he puts into this site on a daily basis. Personally, I’m rather poor and can’t do much on my own, but with help from others I’m sure we could make it a worthwhile contribution. Robert’s great writing has cultivated a group of loyal followers, and I’m sure the number of readers continues to grow. Whatever the numbers are, a dollar or two from many will quickly add up.

      What does everybody think? And don’t forget, Robert has dedicated much of his life and time (and apparently health) to delivering must-read material to us all. Information that is rarely, if ever, found in traditional news outlets.

      Reply
      • Ryan, I’m in, thanks for the suggestion. That crow up at the top of the page is a Paypal link. I can’t give a large amount, either, but if a bunch of us pitch in a few bucks, at least we could pay Robert’s internet bill.

        Reply
    • You guys are a huge help!

      Reply
      • FYI I’m working up a post on PNW & Cascadia (AK and Canada included) firestorms and abrupt weather extremes.
        “Abrupt weather extremes/events” have really grabbed us here.

        Reply
      • Re: “firestorms and abrupt weather extremes” there will be focus on E PAC coastal regions and rainforests which usually don’t burn so quite so easily.

        Reply
      • Washington burning: Wildfires are adding up

        Wildfires have burned about 74,000 acres of Washington since June 1 — roughly twice the acreage that burned in the same period in 2014.

        And hot, dry weather appears to be the safe bet through next winter.

        State officials briefed the press Friday on the statewide drought, Washington’s worse since at least the late 19th century.

        “We have never experienced a drought like this,” said Maia Bellon, director of Washington’s Department of Ecology. She said 98.6 percent of the state could be considered in severe drought conditions. (Ecology has a web site on the drought.)
        http://crosscut.com/2015/07/washington-burning-wildfires-are-adding-up/

        Reply
      • I did flee So Cal. for the PNW — like a moth enamored by the candle flame.
        And the rainforests are burning.
        OUT

        Reply
        • You want somewhere on the other side of the drought line but on this side of all that insane storm stuff. And further north than I am, bit too hot in the summer here and it’s going to get worse. Options are limited.

          I left Los Angeles in 1995 and never looked back. Not a good place to be, especially when the water wars really get going.

      • People keep asking — where’s the place that’s safe from climate change? I just keep telling them — there’s no safe place.

        Reply
      • You can add, that’s why it is called “global warming.” Interesting, though–anyone who asks that just doesn’t get the magnitude.

        Reply
  24. Loni

     /  July 18, 2015

    Umbrios27, thank you for your interesting information. One thing that I’m curious about is how the sewer system is holding up in Sao Paulo? When the gray water evaporates out of pee traps, it allows methane sewer gas to escape into the living quarters. And then there is the sludge solids drying out in the sewer lines, creating blockages. Are these problems showing up yet?

    Robert, I will echo the others in wishing you well. Take care, you mean much to many.

    Reply
    • rustj2015

       /  July 18, 2015

      Circle of Blue Water has provided some stories on Sao Paulo’s dire conditions. Here is the e-mail to the author of those articles:
      Codi Yeager-Kozacek is a news correspondent for Circle of Blue based out of Hawaii. She co-writes The Stream, Circle of Blue’s daily digest of international water news trends. Her interests include food security, ecology and the Great Lakes.

      mailto:codi@circleofblue.org

      Reply
    • Hi Loni,
      Our sewers here in São Paulo are organized in smaller pipes than what’s normal in Europe or the USA, so they need a smaller flow of water to work (and are WAY more prone to flooding, which is not pleasant), and those kinds of low flow sewer problems didn’t appear yet.

      We do have, though, more than a few methane pockets caused by irregular (and in some cases, regular 40 years ago) dumping, and a whole history of “recovering” trash dump sites by building over those, creating explosion hazards in unbeliable areas. USP Leste (one of the biggest university campus in the city), Villa-lobos Park (a green area), Villa-lobos Shopping (a high end shopping mall), SP Market Shopping (medium class shopping mall) and at least 32 high end residential buildings I can remember (a work friend of mine does work in trying to prevent and/or remediate those kinds of hazards) are built over methane pockets and are in risk of explosions.

      Reply
      • Loni

         /  July 20, 2015

        Thank you for the response umbrios27. I pray something works out for the folks in Sao Paulo, as there for the Grace of God, go us all.

        Reply
  25. Loni

     /  July 18, 2015

    Andy is San Diego, Re: “When I was you age we didn’t have reality shows……”

    My personal kick is the video games. In the pursuit of which folks spend hours killing the badest guys and monsters around…………meanwhile, right outside their friggin’ door is Fukushima runoff washing up on their shores, and dropping out of the sky. Droughts, Floods on Biblical scale………..the they’re too busy with their thumb pacifiers to give a shit. I suppose it’s easier killing monsters of the imagination than going outside and taking on the real ones.

    Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  July 18, 2015

      …. But it is so much easier to level up when it is imaginary (less effort). Real life does not make a “ding” noise when you level up. Plus, giving a crap does not give one Experience Points.

      I like video games, but in moderation and in context. They are a proxy for “generic entertainment” they are “tv” with a joystick.

      When video games, social media, tv, radio etc… overtake the basic human reactions to major events, then we’ve done something wrong (or so I think).

      We seem to be doing that a lot, substituting our trivial moments of “trending” for what really means something.

      Reply
    • Nicholas Swenson

       /  July 19, 2015

      most people aren’t aware of how dire the situation is. My generation (I’m 25) seems to be completely unaware of how bad this situation is …

      I think video games would be a fantastic pursuit, if humanity stabilized itself within the environment. How else do you stop the endless pursuit of more and more, without virtual rewards to work for? You don’t have to be rich with videos games to entertain. So don’t hate on them, most of them aren’t actually aware there’s a problem, because mainstream doesn’t spread this.

      Reply
  26. Spike

     /  July 18, 2015

    This is an interesting new way of looking at the Ecocidal mania that has seized humanity’s soul in the last century.

    “Scientists estimate that the Earth contained approximately 1,000 billion tons of carbon in living biomass 2,000 years ago. Since that time, humans have reduced that amount by almost half. It is estimated that just over 10 percent of that biomass was destroyed in just the last century.”

    http://news.uga.edu/releases/article/continued-destruction-plant-life-humankind-jeopardy-0715/

    Reply
    • rustj2015

       /  July 18, 2015

      Yes, reading that article gave me the (“breezy”) idea that the fundamentals that Schramski ,Brown, and Gattie assert is our limitation — thermodynamics and the limitation of living biomass — are strongly “overcome” by the mental activity of consciousness unpolluted with comprehension of its living conditions. Just press a button and there is so much to be seen and done. It’s the “information” age, doncha gnow…q.v. Neil Postman…

      Reply
    • Something we’re going to have to figure out how to reverse going forward. Deforestation greatly reduces overall resiliency and is a climate change threat multiplier in that it takes down the Earth System’s ability to sequester carbon.

      Reply
      • The other one that is 40 times more effective than deforestation is wetlands in CO2 sequestration and long term storage.
        I have noted there is increased attention in media articles to saving and expanding even restoring wetlans

        Reply
  27. Colorado Bob

     /  July 18, 2015

    If Monsoons Were Not Extreme Enough Weather for You, You’re In for a Treat

    Facing more intense seasonal rains as a result of global warming, India’s and Pakistan’s poorly planned infrastructure could lead to worsening floods.

    Link

    Reply
  28. If the world came to an end due to environmental cataclysm and the major mainstream media did not report it, would Kim Kardashian still be hot?

    Reply
    • labmonkery2

       /  July 18, 2015

      When I first witnessed this phenomenon, all I could think of was Zappa’s Valley Girl… because that whole thing certainly gags me with a spoon.

      Reply
  29. Colorado Bob

     /  July 18, 2015

    B.C., Sask. premiers call for national forest fire strategy

    ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Saying this year’s wildfires may be the new normal, the premiers of British Columbia and Saskatchewan are calling for a national approach to fighting forest fires…………….. B.C.’s Christy Clark says a national plan is needed because climate change means long hot burning summers are not going to be the exception in western Canada.

    Clark added that her province budgeted 60-million dollars to fight forest fires this year, but the bill could be as high as 400-million.

    Link

    Reply
    • They need to be calling for a national program to shut down the tar sands and stop making the problem worse… To switch to renewables, you know, because that replaces oil, gas, and coal and shuts down emissions.

      Reply
  30. A brief update on El Niño.

    According to:

    IRI ENSO Forecast – 2015 July Quick Look
    Published July 16, 2015
    http://iri.columbia.edu/our-expertise/climate/forecasts/enso/current/

    … most models forecast a strong El Niño, a few a record Super El Niño surpassing 1997. See especially the fourth chart showing the IRI (International Research Institute for Climate and Society at the Earth Institute of Columnbia University) / CPC (Climate Prediction Center of the National Weather Service) Mid-Jul 2015 Plume of Model ENSO Predictions.

    Reply
  31. Colorado Bob

     /  July 18, 2015

    Smoke and fires in eastern Russia

    Terra/MODIS
    2015/198
    07/17/2015
    02:45 UTC

    Link

    Reply
  32. Live Science: Sea Creatures Make Brighter Clouds to Cool the Earth

    Green globs of little critters in the ocean are responsible for half of the cloud droplets that cover the Southern Ocean during the summer, a new study finds. This link between the critters and clouds provides needed insight for predicting the effects of climate change, the researchers say.

    Reply
  33. Reblogged this on GarryRogers Nature Conservation and Science Fiction (#EcoSciFi) and commented:
    H2O filtering technology must be booming.

    Reply
  34. J.R.

     /  July 18, 2015

    Kim Kardishan is not hot and never was. She’s a media fabrication (I’m being polite) and a distraction for the ignorant masses who think that sex and shopping are they keys to a good life. Sustainability is too difficult to spell or understand, but sex isn’t.

    Reply
  35. Colorado Bob

     /  July 18, 2015

    Study: Western pine beetle outbreak may have weakened next generation of trees by wiping out key fungi

    FRISCO — The recent pine beetle outbreak in western forests may have left the next generation of trees more vulnerable to future pests, Canadian researchers concluded in a new study that examined how the wave of tree deaths affected fungi that grow together with lodgepole pines.

    Many trees, including lodgepoles, are partly dependent on certain fungi that enable a nutrient exchange at the cellular level. But the pine beetle outbreak was so widespread that many of the beneficial fungi disappeared.

    Link

    Reply
    • I expect much of the southwest is going to stop having things like lodgepole pines at all, but it’s certainly interesting to see acknowledgement of relationships between flora and fungi in the media. Thanks for the link.

      Reply
    • Greg

       /  July 18, 2015

      Remember Thailand’ epic floods in 2011? Hell or high water.

      Reply
  36. Colorado Bob

     /  July 18, 2015

    They’re at the foot of the post in very light grey.

    Reply
    • rustj2015

       /  July 18, 2015

      Yes, but perhaps numbering, as at Weather Underground, might be helpful.

      Reply
      • Andy in San Diego

         /  July 20, 2015

        Check out the temp anomaly in Antarctica. There are parts of the periphery around 0C.

        Reply
        • Polar amplification getting into gear down there. Sea ice taking a hit as well in SH.

        • LJR

           /  July 20, 2015

          These are anomaly measurements so a 0 degrees means a temperature that’s the same as the historical average. Right? Why are you directing attention to a normal reading?

          Look at the two regions on the bottom right, one 15C below average and right next to it another region 20C above average. That’s amazes me.

        • Andy in San Diego

           /  July 20, 2015

          LJR,

          the 0C is what the +20C created (normally -20C). Sorry if my post implied that a normal value was of interest. Rather was pointing (or trying) out exactly what you noticed as well.

        • “two regions on the bottom right, one 15C below average and right next to it another region 20C above average. That’s amazes me.”
          Right, extremes in close proximity. It’s scary.
          I see quite a bit of that in the botanical world — stressed or damaged foliage, etc. All suffering localized environmental influences.
          Nature, on its own, generally stays close to balance.
          Homo saps constantly introduce extremes.
          A very extreme species, we are.

        • – Example of falling climate dominoes…
          – Sidenote: Can anyone really think orderly of successful mass evacuations of a motorized populace are possible? “There’s no end to the cars that are stuck out here.”

          Amid California’s historic drought, an even rarer weekend downpour that calmed wildfires also washed away a 30-foot bridge that carries commuters to Arizona.

          An elevated area on Interstate 10 collapsed early Sunday evening near Southeastern California’s Desert Center, leaving a pickup truck trapped underneath. Firefighters launched a cut and rescue operation and the driver was taken to hospital with minor injuries, authorities told the Associated Press. California Highway Patrol have since stopped eastbound traffic near Joshua Tree National Park, a roadway from Palm Springs to the Arizona border.
          Drivers were stranded for miles, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
          “We are so stuck out here,” 53-year-old commuter Pamala Browne told the AP Sunday evening. “There’s no end to the cars that are stuck out here.”
          http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/07/20/california-is-now-flooding-burning-and-having-a-drought-at-the-same-time/

        • – orderly OR successful

        • – ” a normally dry wash… snapped and washed away…”

          An elevated section of Interstate 10 collapsed Sunday amid heavy rains in a remote desert area of California, cutting off traffic between the state and Arizona and leaving a driver injured.

          The Tex Wash bridge in Desert Center, which carries the eastbound interstate about 15 feet above a normally dry wash west of the Arizona state line, snapped and washed away in flooding water below, the California Highway Patrol said.

          Part of a bridge collapsed on the 10 Freeway in Riverside County, trapping the driver and forcing the closure of both sides of the highway on Sunday, July 19, 2015.
          nbcsandiego.com

  37. Colorado Bob

     /  July 18, 2015

    Volcanic eruptions slow down climate change — temporarily

    Date:
    July 9, 2015

    Summary:
    Although global concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has continuously increased over the past decade, the mean global surface temperature has not followed the same path. Scientists have now found an explanation for this slowing down in global warming: the incoming solar radiation in the years 2008-2011 was twice as much reflected by volcanic aerosol particles in the lowest part of the stratosphere than previously thought.

    “Overall our results emphasize that even smaller volcanic eruptions are more important for the Earth´s climate than expected,” summarize CARIBIC coordinators Dr. Carl Brenninkmeijer, MPI-C, and Dr. Andreas Zahn, KIT.

    Reply
  38. You can also pass your cursor over the link (assuming no one has used a link shortener) — the date will be just after the root yyyy / mm / dd. But yes, I kind of like having the date a little more obvious.

    Reply
  39. Deeper fjords means there are “a lot more places where the warm water, subsurface water, can reach the glaciers,” Rignot said. Shallow fjords don’t pose as much of a threat.

    On average, the fjords in this region are about 200 to 300 meters deeper than previously thought in some areas, he added. Glaciers undercut by warm water can melt twice as fast as those in colder waters, all other things being equal.

    Estimates on how fast sea levels are rising “will have to change because these processes are not accounted for in existing models,” Rignot said. “It’s part of an ongoing story, that the projections of sea level rise are underestimated.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/07/17/the-troubling-reason-why-greenland-may-melt-faster-than-expected/

    Reply
    • Spike

       /  July 19, 2015

      Rignot seems one of the scientists who really does put good stuff out about the reality, a bit like Rahmstorf, both are excellent communicators. Need more like ’em.

      Reply
      • Somewhat OT:

        Just discovered that the wildfires in Canada resulted in the disruption of tar sands production during June.

        Reply
      • Total amount shut in by fires — 100,000 barrels per day.

        Reply
      • Mark from New England

         /  July 19, 2015

        Finally, one small ‘positive’ feedback😉 – can’t produce quite as much sludge oil.

        Reply
        • You’d think Canada would get the rather loud hints nature keeps hurling at them. More tar sands production means worsening and worsening fires.

          But yeah, a kind of ‘positive feedback.’ At least the tar sands are catching some of the hell they deserve.

  40. Colorado Bob

     /  July 19, 2015

    An Avalanche of New Models for Severe Weather Prediction

    Not so long ago, forecasters at NOAA had just one high-resolution computer model to tell them where thunderstorms might erupt later in the day. Now there’s a whole cornucopia of models that project how storms will evolve, hour by hour, at fine scale. It’s a bit like having a large network of friends and family to consult when you’re making a big personal decision, instead of asking just one person for a single opinion that might steer you right or wrong. Processing all those viewpoints does take some time, though. Forecasters practiced using the array of new guidance during May and early June as part of the 2015 Spring Forecasting Experiment at the NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed (HWT) in Norman (see my posts of May 5 and May 21).

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3048&page=1#commenttop

    Reply
    • They are wrong all the time here. But the storm maps are super helpful. Between watching the maps and paying attention to the air, one can make a pretty good stab at short-term forecasts.

      Reply
    • Having multiple models isn’t always so helpful. You often end up with contradictory information. If you have a way of aggregating the model results, then this can be useful. But the mark 10 eyeball can get confused by all the data coming in.

      Reply
  41. Colorado Bob

     /  July 19, 2015

    Cardinal George Pell criticises Pope Francis over climate change stance

    Cardinal George Pell has publicly criticised Pope Francis’ decision to place climate change at the top of the Catholic Church’s agenda.

    Cardinal Pell, a well-known climate change skeptic, told the Financial Times the church had “no particular expertise in science”.

    “The church has got no mandate from the Lord to pronounce on scientific matters,” he said,

    “We believe in the autonomy of science.”………………………………………. Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Pell to reform the Vatican’s finances nearly 18 months ago.

    Read more: Link

    That sound you hear, is Galileo auto-rotating in his grave.

    Reply
    • sunkensheep

       /  July 19, 2015

      George Pell attends meetings of the Institute of Public Affairs – Rupert Murdoch’s pet thinktank that just do happens to count FF lobbyists and coal miners among it’s donors. Furthermore, he is one of our foremost Culture Warriors, and one of the puppet masters behind the Abbott Government.

      Reply
      • Spike

         /  July 19, 2015

        By their fruits Ye shall know them.

        Reply
      • The words ‘false church’ come clearly to mind. Pell must have forgotten Timothy ‘love of money is the root of all evil’ and Revelation ‘God will destroy the destroyers of the Earth.’

        Reply
      • Let us not forget that as Archbishop he was involved in cover up and denigrating child abuse victims, has managed to avoid facing the Royal Commission into child abuse the previous Labor Government instituted which is ongoing but now under a loony “Fundamental/Catholic” “Christian” to abuse the terms government.

        He obviously has no regard for the words of Christ, Stones and millponds come to mind.

        As an aside, the sound associated with the shadows in the movie Ghost is a baby’s cry slowed down and played in reverse, actually strangely appropriate for an evil one leaving this earth

        Reply
  42. PNW PDX 1800 HRS NWS
    96°F
    36°C
    Humidity 14%
    Wind Speed WNW 12 MPH
    Barometer 29.86 in (1011.1 mb

    Too damn dry and hot.
    I spent last week getting over a very bad case food poisoning.
    With GW foods that may normally keep well for a short while un-refridgerated — don’t.
    Or if the grid falters beware.

    Reply
    • We used to have storage spaces at different temperatures. You had your root cellar, your spring house, your ice box. Lot to be said for that. If you have a storage space kept close to freezing (and most people really want that) there are many things that would do fine around 50-60 for varying periods of time that don’t need to be kept so cold. But in hot weather lots of things go off that can last for a long time around fifty or so. Anything with oil in it, some kinds of produce. So the amount of stuff you need to keep really cold is much less than people often keep in a standard refrigerator. You need that for meat, if you eat it, soft dairy, soft produce, leftovers. People often keep too much fresh food around, too. But if you can rig up a cool box with a lot more storage space, you can keep tons of stuff in there in jars and keep it from just going stale or turning into insects, along with potatoes and cabbages, etc.

      If you like technology, though, refrigerators and freezers appear to have gotten a lot more efficient. Standalone freezers make a lot of sense.

      Otherwise, we should be learning from older cultures that handled heat well. Adobe houses are amazing.

      Sorry you got sick! Don’t do that again,😦

      Reply
      • Got, it Miep.
        THX

        Reply
      • Talking Refrigeration
        That too is one of our problems.
        An interesting article some time ago.
        Consider your problem worldwide and people trying to cool
        http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/27/magazine/what-do-chinese-dumplings-have-to-do-with-global-warming.html?_r=0

        Reply
        • Thank you Abel, that’s a very good piece. Refrigeration, like so many convenient aspects of technology, has a lot of potential for continuing to be yet another climate change positive feedback loop, and people aren’t going to want to let go of it. Also the more isolated people get, the more problematic cooking fresh becomes. But it can work for restaurants if they don’t try to diversify too much, just stick to what they’re best at.

          I agree with the article about how people react to personal refrigerators, too. It brings out the hoarder in people.

      • Thanks Miep
        The other one that will be an accelerating CO2 contributor as we seek to build resiliency and mitigation especially in infrastructure is concrete. The amount being built in concrete worldwide especially in Africa and Developing countries is staggering and Concrete production is a major CO2 generator ( a Byproduct ).

        Factor in th3e need to be cool and keep food safe and mitigate and build in a development explosion has depression set in, it is not just Power in all it’s forms, it is the very process of living and building.

        I put in a post earlier re energy positive housing which is working in England (Wales) with their low sunlight quota. Shows that there are possibilities that give a glimmer of hope

        Reply
    • Food poisoning sucks. So very sorry to hear you got it, DT. Glad to hear you’re feeling better. Thankfully, I haven’t had that issue since I went vegan. Though it’s certainly no guarantee…

      You’re sitting at the edge of the broadest zone of ocean heat I have ever seen. Everything from the Equator at the date line to the Chukchi and back down to the Equator on the coast of South America is showing above average temperatures. And there’s this double ridge that includes the RRR linking up with a somewhat newer ridge over the Arctic. Never really seen anything like it. It’s as if PDO, El Niño, and polar amplification all went into insane mode at the same time.

      Reply
      • – Note re food going bad and heat wave: it was my decision making skills that suffered as well in that I let my haste to eat something that I knew was questionable. The air temp was hot, even in the usually cool basement kitchen, and I was hungry after my usual urban field trip morning walk. The food then set on the counter and warmed while I scurried around trying to cool off, etc.

        – So, I will also add a link that encompasses GW heat, small type infrastructure breakdown — and ‘decision making skills’ on the world stage. When things heat up they…
        Watch out for Command and Control decisions in a hot climate. For tempers do flare…

        VIENNA: Europe is expected to be hit by a heat wave in the coming days with day temperature to reach up to 40 degrees Celsius in some areas, the Austrian Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG) said on Wednesday. – english.astroawani

        Iran negotiations extended but John Kerry insists talks are ‘not open-ended’
        Thursday 9 July 2015

        The US secretary of state was speaking a few hours before a deadline set by the US Congress to complete long-running negotiations with Iran on the future of its nuclear programme. Failure to meet the target of midnight Washington time will mean that the legislature has two months instead of one to review any agreement, giving time for its opponents to rally.

        … John Kerry has said nuclear negotiations in Vienna would continue past a congressional deadline on Thursday night, insisting that they could not be rushed.

        … However, the air conditioning in the hotel where the talks are being held suffered a breakdown, ratcheting up the tension and discomfort of marathon negotiating sessions.
        -theguardian.com

        Reply
        • It’s surprising what you can get used to. But just for starters, when you’re dealing with 40°C highs, you gotta lose the suits. No tight clothing. Loose muslin.

          I wonder what the humidity was like in Vienna. 40°C with any kind of serious humidity is going to feel like another planet.

          More efficient air conditioners would be a good science project. Make yourself a boatload of money, too.

  43. Re: Billy Jack and One Tin Soldier — I got a big morale boost watching this vid about Tom Laughlin and Delores Taylor, and the story behind BJ.
    Good people, through ups and downs, doing good.
    Like here…
    It’s good medicine.

    Reply
  44. Colorado Bob

     /  July 19, 2015

    Weather underground –
    Banned

    You have been banned from WunderBlogs. This ban is in effect for the next 4 hours.

    Sometimes it’s 3 days. They have an army of mods. The Outlaw Josey Wells failed the Test.

    Josey Wales: Hell is coming to breakfast

    This is bigger than it seems .

    Reply
  45. Colorado Bob

     /  July 19, 2015

    ” I’d be half way to Mexico , I can’t understand a word she says, “

    Reply
    • Well I love the clips you post, Bob. And the fact that Robert doesn’t ban you for providing a break from the often depressing news we are constantly sharing.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob digs up some great information, often poorly shared. I have often mined his contributions here in the comments for sharing elsewhere myself. That goes for other commenters as well. Nothing wrong with taking a break now and then.

        Reply
  46. Jeremy

     /  July 19, 2015

    Hell came for breakfast for these poor souls.
    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=395_1437261644

    Reply
    • Tragic, terrible and, unfortunately, this type of event is much more likely now. Gets worse at every degree C break. Worse droughts and worsening floods.

      Best to get off fossil fuels fast and prevent rapidly worsening impacts. The impacts will grow worse regardless for a time. But the question now is, what do we lock in — bad, or absolutely terrible?

      Reply
    • Comments section, as usual, is terrible.

      Reply
  47. Andy in San Diego

     /  July 19, 2015

    Hospitalization rates and fracking site proximity: latest study exposes a link between them

    http://www.themarketbusiness.com/2015-07-19-hospitalization-rates-and-fracking-site-proximity-latest-study-exposes-a-link-between-them

    Reply
  48. Jeremy

     /  July 19, 2015

    A must read story about the insane amounts of the electrical energy being consumed to power bit coin mining operations – basically smallish computers, and the struggle for a utility to provide and/or restrict that energy .

    http://jonathanturley.org/2015/07/19/wildcat-bitcoin-mining-centers-cause-problems-for-utility-district/#more-92030

    Reply
    • What a ridiculous contrivance. Nothing more than an extravagent waste of resources.

      Reply
      • I like the hour currency system, where collectives of people use work as currency, and all work is measured the same.

        Reply
        • Call me old fashioned, I like the dollar. And I sure as hell like a national currency better than some corporate driven currency.

        • It’s worth looking at what the attraction is, which is lower processing fees. Remember when banks paid *you* to store your money with them? My mother remembers 18% interest rates on CD’s. So one real problem is inadequate banking regulation. Why should people have to pay several percent for a transaction that is fully automated?

          Otherwise it’s black market currency, a kind of anonymous electronic ledger. Since currencies are all based on collective agreements, it is not surprising that people operating outside the law would use the Internet to create one that was more difficult to trace.

        • Black market, easy to manipulate, high volatility, non transparent management and ownership, and energy intensive and resource wasting ‘mining’ process. What could go wrong?

        • Well, you could lose your encryption key on your hard drive and lose $7 million worth of the stuff, like that one guy did.

        • And you’re right the big banks suck, which is why I recommend credit unions to anyone complaining about bank fees. Not for profit is your friend.

        • The smaller credit unions will give you a good deal, though sometimes the bigger ones get greedy, I hear.

      • danabanana

         /  July 20, 2015

        “Black market, easy to manipulate, high volatility, non transparent management and ownership, and energy intensive and resource wasting (…) process. What could go wrong? ”

        Sounds like the current Banking system to me…

        Reply
        • Well, no, the current banking system is actually regulated. That is, so long as republicans aren’t running the ship.

    • In essence the computing power goes to solving complex ‘math problems.’ Are these ‘math problem solutions’ of any real practical value? For example, are we solving engineering, energy, or nature of the universe type problems here? Or is this just a form of computer busy work needed to access the Bitcoin? If the latter, the what utter and complete nonsense…

      Reply
      • Nicholas Swenson

         /  July 19, 2015

        It’s literally just busywork to prove that someone “did work” to validate the block chain extension. It’s basically what makes the distributed system secure, as the problem is only solvable via mass brute force, supposedly too great for a singular source. It adds no value beyond that.

        More specifically the proof of work is this: to find a number called a nonce, such that when the block content is hashed along with the nonce, the result is numerically smaller than the network’s “difficulty target.”

        Reply
      • Nicholas Swenson

         /  July 20, 2015

        the quest for more money spares no one, it seems.

        Reply
        • Well, linking it up to more fossil fuel burning is pretty insane I think. Basically incentivizing increasing externalities is the exact opposite direction we want to be heading in. Maybe libertarians should think about that before developing another free for all currency scheme or in re-evaluating this one, hmm?

  49. Dan B

     /  July 19, 2015

    96 degrees in Seattle at quarter to four. Record high for this date. We could reach 98 by 6 PM. Humidity is 19% so it’s not like Texas. We are heading to friends Bastille Day party on a huge west facing deck with only two umbrellas. Whee! It’s the new normal.

    Reply
    • No, not like Texas. Texas is hotter and overall more humid. I live just west of West Texas and humidity during the monsoon runs between 20 and 50% a lot of the time. East Texas is wetter than West Texas. It’s been around 103 for the last few days but expected to drop down to the mid nineties in another week.

      Reply
  50. – PNW PDX H2O
    (The dates of blending may be of value in GW- Arctic warming timeline.)
    Portland’s Bull Run untreated muni water is of very good quality.

    PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — For the first time in nearly 7 years the Portland Water Bureau will use well water to help with the drinking supply because one of the city’s reservoirs isn’t keeping up with demand this summer.

    The city is planning to mix the softer reservoir water with the groundwater that has more minerals, and that means the city’s tap water could taste a little different.

    PWB’s Jaymee Cuti said the city will pull water from the well fields for the first time since Sept. 28, 2009. (Earlier information from PWB said it was the first time since 1992. Cuti later amended that to say this is the 10th time since 1992.)

    “As of today, we activated the Columbia South Shore Well fields, so we are going to begin blending 25% well water with 75% Bull Run water,” Cuti said.

    http://koin.com/2015/07/16/pwb-to-blend-reservoir-with-well-water/

    Reply
  51. james cole

     /  July 19, 2015

    Those of us who read the European press daily, are aware of the refugee flood coming out of Africa and the Middle East. Climate is one of the main drivers, drought is killing off former agricultural and pasture lands in both regions. Some reports from the area predict that if present global warming and drought continues at pace, then this refugee crisis is set to explode into a wave of determined migration north, aiming to settle in Europe.
    I see nothing that will be done to stop the global warming component. That leaves us with the social, humanitarian, political, religious and economic fallout of mass migration to an already heavily crowded Western Europe. This issue is laced with potential race issues and religious issues that could make a tinderbox out of Europe.
    Either we finally begin to spend hundreds of billions on new energy projects, and ditch the weapons programs, or all those weapons will end up being used.

    Reply
    • If the fossil fuel companies have their way, then we will do nothing or not enough and be forced to deal with the ever-worsening consequences. That’s a good enough reason to me for not letting them get their way.

      Reply
  52. Comments on this site knock MSM a great deal, which is as it should be. But when a news outlet gets it right with their reporting — and even draws a link between global natural systems and human economy and society — they should be recognized. So join me in thinking good thoughts about Bloomberg. Maybe other outlets will catch on. http://bloom.bg/1M9lL9d

    Reply
    • Oh we are more than ready to give credit when credit is due. Good job to Bloomberg for this one!

      Reply
      • Quite a few folks chipping in out there. Bloomberg, Reuters, USA Today, Washington Post, LA Times along with the Guardian and Sydney Morning Herald, which have been there all along. NYT doing a bit better also.

        Reply
        • Some of the print and online media does OK. It’s primarily TV and right wing based news sources (the right wing based sources have sadly become much more prolific lately) that are the primary problem. Meteorologists and the Weather Channel, in particular, need to get their act together.

        • Of course, we have people posting links to the good sources here all the time and I’m happy to support traffic to those covering this issue honestly.

        • The Guardian, in particular, has done a commendable job.

  53. PHOTO:
    Late afternoon sun and wildfire smoke in the atmosphere give this flower a warm glow, 071315. DT LANGE CC 4.0 BY-NC

    Reply
  54. Greg

     /  July 20, 2015

    The rains from Dolores have pushed through the ridge to at least southern California and into the four corners area in a “super historic” event.

    http://www.weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/southwest-flood-threat-july-2015-tropical-storm-hurricane-Dolores

    Reply
  55. – I don’t think this has shown up here: Greenland Ice Sheet “Thermal-Viscous Collapse”

    We have a new study in the AGU open access journal Earth’s Future this month, which introduces the notion of thermal-viscous collapse of the Greenland ice sheet1. While people tend to think of ice as a solid, it is actually a non-Newtonian fluid, because it deforms and flows over longer time-scales. Of the many strange material properties of ice, the non-linear temperature dependence of its viscosity is especially notable; ice at 0 °C deforms almost ten times more than ice at -10 °C at the same stress. This temperature-dependent viscosity makes ice flow very sensitive to ice temperature. We know that the extra meltwater now being produced at the surface of the Greenland ice sheet, relative to 50 or 100 years ago, contains tremendous latent heat energy. So, in the study, we set out to see if the latent heat in future extra meltwater might have a significant impact on future ice sheet form and flow.

    Reply
  56. Greg

     /  July 20, 2015

    Finally, finally it looks like offshore wind has arrived in the U.S. off of Block island Rhode Island. “Deepwater Wind’s schedule calls for the five foundations to be anchored to the ocean floor over the next eight weeks, and the turbines, built in Europe by Alstom, to be mounted on them starting in late summer 2016. If all continues to go well for Deepwater Wind, the 30-megawatt project will begin generating electricity several months later, powering 17,000 homes, including all of those on Block Island, which now relies on expensive diesel fuel to keep its lights on.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2015/07/17/pioneer-wind-farm-breaks-water-off-rhode-island-coast/30299301/

    Reply
    • Really great to hear! I live in Ct and can’t wait to see those glorious turbines turning!

      Reply
    • We remove the grip of FF one stinking, CO2 emitting finger at a time. Not fast enough for my liking but a victory all the same.

      One point to mention here — this is a direct hit to oil consumption (diesel). About 5 million barrels per day still goes to electricity generation around the world and this expensive generation is now easily and economically replaceable by renewables at both a lower cost and near zero to zero carbon emissions.

      So good job to Deepwater Wind!

      Reply
      • Just to slightly digress if you will permit, my beloved is recently passed and I look through our archives and memories

        Mentioning the Prophesies of Mitar Tarabich (an illiterate Serbian Peasant as told to his close friend, his priest and confessor who wrote it down) , validity is disputed, however his latter ones since initial publication are unfolding pretty much as predicted and his early ones were on the money. He was however as a simple man focussed on his people and his homeland

        The point for all this.
        “”People will drill wells deep in the ground and dig out gold, which will give them light, speed and power, and the Earth will shed tears of sorrow because there will be much more gold and light on its surface than in its interior. The Earth will suffer because of these open wounds. Instead of working in the fields, people will dig everywhere, in right and wrong places, but the real power will be all around them, not being able to tell them, ‘Come on, take me; don’t you see that I am here, all around you?’ Only after many a summer, people will remember this real power, and then they will realise how stupid it was to dig all those holes.”
        Historical Facts:
        • Oil (petroleum), also known as “black gold”, powers the car, electric generator, plane, etc. Exploration to find oilfields is an economically risky task, but in the 1980s the oil exploration technique was perfected, although the risks of discovering economically non-viable oilfields still existed. Oil experts have estimated that by 2050, world oil reserves will run dry.

        “This power will also be present in people, but it will take a long time before they discover it and use it. Thus man will live for a long, long time, not being able to know himself. There will be many learned men who will think, through their books, that they know and can do everything. They will be the great obstacle for this realisation (self-knowledge), but once men get this knowledge then people will see what kind of delusion it was when they listened to their learned men. When that happens, people will be so sorry that they didn’t discover it before, because this knowledge is so simple.
        “People will do many stupid things, thinking that they know and can do everything, not knowing anything. Wise men will appear in the Orient, and their wisdom will cross all seas and frontiers, but people will not trust this wisdom for a long time, and this real truth they will proclaim for a lie. Their souls will not be possessed by the Devil, but by something much worse. They will believe that their illusion is the real truth, although there will be no truth in their heads.”

        “”Those who will read and write different books with numbers will think that they know the most. These learned men will let their lives be led by their calculations, and they will do and live exactly how these numbers tell them. Among these learned men there will be good and evil men. The evil ones will do evil deeds. They will poison air and water and spread pestilence over the seas, rivers and earth, and people will start to die suddenly of various ailments. Those good and wise will see that all this effort and hard work is not worth a penny and that it leads to the destruction of the world, and instead of looking for wisdom in numbers they will start to seek it in meditation.”
        Predictions and Events during World War III (2050–2100)
        “When they start to meditate more, they will be closer to God’s wisdom, but it will be too late because the evil ones will already ravage the whole Earth and men will start to die in great numbers. Then people will run away from cities to the country and look for the mountains with three crosses, and there, inside, they will be able to breathe and drink water. Those who will escape will save themselves and their families, but not for long, because a great famine will appear. There will be plenty of food in towns and villages, but it will be poisoned. Many will eat because of hunger and die immediately.”

        OUT of the crazy zone maybe, but as one who started studying Qi Gong (Translation, the study if Chi/Qi energy) and met true masters in China (one of who’m was a scientist) and was exposed to the application and use of energies we do not know. I desisted purely because of the responsibilty and dedication required and the very real personal consequences of such real power and my first priority was my beloved.
        The Chinese did an experiment on their first satellite with a Qi master, they proved that Qi energy has an infinite propagation rate, yet like Chi energy around us can be stagnant.
        It is the “Dark energy/matter” it is within us and around us, life is the bridge/interface and it is the communications and energy matrix of the universe. It can provide infinite energy for us, we must however be careful in it’s use and application that the butterfly effect is not invoked as it is the communications and energy medium of all matter including suns and black holes and our own planet. The problem is it cannot be controlled and rationed as a grid provided energy, though I am sure that is how it would be marketed if the private sector could harness it

        Reply
  57. – E. Pac hot spots in Cal. PNW and E Nino SA

    Sea Surface T Anomaly 0719

    Reply
  58. Greg

     /  July 20, 2015

    More on those obviously El Nino/ CC related rains hitting Southern California and southwest. Took out Interstate 10 for long term:

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/20/us/california-interstate-flooding/index.html

    Reply
    • This is an odd shift in the monsoonal rain pattern, actually. Probably El Nino + global warming driven due to a shift northward and general expansion.

      Reply
      • Yes seems likely indeed. Just like you were saying in previous article that the NE pacific blob anomaly could provide something like a springboard for El Nino affects, looks like another kind of climate warming induced blob is establishing itself off shore of SoCal and further south.

        Reply
    • Effect on commercial shipping:

      “We’ll try to address this situation very quickly and efficiently,” Ashley (Riverside County Board of Supervisors chair) told City News Service. “Forty percent of the goods shipped throughout the country pass through that corridor, either by highway or rail. Now it’s been cut in half.”

      http://patch.com/california/palmdesert/supervisors-proclaim-county-emergency-due-i-10-closure

      Reply
  59. TomCobbler

     /  July 20, 2015

    NOAA is updated for June. Yikes .88 for June warmest on record ahead of 2nd place of .76 for 2014 and .73 for 2010. Record ocean temps, year to date… blah blah blah the usual. 2015 is going to crush previous years by a good margin.

    Reply
  60. “The world’s most famous climate scientist just outlined an alarming scenario for our planet’s future”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/07/20/the-worlds-most-famous-climate-scientist-just-outlined-an-alarming-scenario-for-our-planets-future/

    “In the new study, Hansen and his colleagues suggest that the “doubling time” for ice loss from West Antarctica — the time period over which the amount of loss could double — could be as short as 10 years. In other words, a non-linear process could be at work, triggering major sea level rise in a time frame of 50 to 200 years. By contrast, Hansen and colleagues note, the IPCC assumed more of a linear process, suggesting only around 1 meter of sea level rise, at most, by 2100.

    Reply
    • Ah, good to see Hansen back at it. West Antarctica is an unstable ice mass sitting on a continental hot rock in the midst of a warming ocean. Lots of paleoclimate evidence that it doesn’t take too much to nudge it off its rather precarious perch.

      Reply
  61. Jeff Master’s blog about June being the hottest June on record:

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3049

    Four of the six hottest months ever have occurred in the past six months. In the ocean, nine of the ten warmest monthly averages have occurred in the past 13 months.

    It’s really starting to look like we are at the beginning of a rapid jump in global temps. Record events are happening so fast it’s near impossible to keep up. Terrifying to think this is just the beginning.

    Reply
  62. labmonkery2

     /  July 20, 2015

    And yet another revelation RE: Ocean Acidifcation Impacts on phytoplankton genotypes.
    http://phys.org/news/2015-07-ocean-acidification-phytoplankton.html

    and the carbon just keeps feeding back…back…back

    Reply
    • labmonkery2

       /  July 20, 2015

      Quote from article REALLY caught my attention:
      “I’ve always been a total believer in climate change, and I try not to be an alarmist, because it’s not good for anyone,” says Dutkiewicz, who is the paper’s lead author. “But I was actually quite shocked by the results. The fact that there are so many different possible changes, that different phytoplankton respond differently, means there might be some quite traumatic changes in the communities over the course of the 21st century. A whole rearrangement of the communities means something to both the food web further up, but also for things like cycling of carbon.”

      Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-07-ocean-acidification-phytoplankton.html#jCp

      Reply
  63. The New Approach to Fighting Wildfires
    By Stephen J. Pyne

    Fire season has so far mostly meant Alaska, which has racked up 1.8 million burned acres and counting. But fires are also moving down the West Coast, with a record burn on the Olympic Peninsula and houses again burning in central Washington. Flames are moving into drought-blasted California a couple of months early. The Forest Service estimates it will need an additional $800 million to $1.7 billion to pay for the season’s expected costs.

    But wildfire statistics are a poor proxy for what is happening. Last year Florida prescribe-burned 2.5 million acres—two-thirds as much acreage as burned by wildfire throughout the country. And this year’s largest fire to date in the Lower 48 is actually a managed wildfire. The Whitetail and Sawmill fires on the San Carlos Apache Reservation are being controlled through a confine-and-contain (or box-and-burn) strategy. The complex is 35,000 acres and growing, and doing what neither prescribed fire nor suppressed wildfire could. Last year San Carlos similarly managed two fires that together topped out at 84,000 acres. America’s fire scene is more complex than the usual media and political obsession with burned houses, dead people, and celebrity landscapes like Yosemite suggests.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2015/07/20/box_and_burn_the_new_approach_to_fighting_wildfires.html

    Reply
  64. Colorado Bob

     /  July 20, 2015

    NOAA: Hottest First Half Of Year In Northern Hemisphere By Stunning 0.36°F

    by Joe Romm

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/07/20/3682411/noaa-hottest-first-half-year/

    Reply
  65. Colorado Bob

     /  July 20, 2015

    Heads Up –

    Humanity from Space premieres Tuesday, July 21, 2015.

    Preview | Humanity From Space

    Reply
  66. Colorado Bob

     /  July 20, 2015

    The world’s most famous climate scientist just outlined an alarming scenario for our planet’s future

    The research is slated to appear online this week in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussion, an open-access journal published by the European Geosciences Union in which much of the peer review process, in effect, happens in public — a paper is uploaded, and then other scientists submit comments on it, and then the authors respond. (Because the work is in effect undergoing a public peer review, we solicited comments on the paper from a number of top scientists — their reactions are quoted more extensively below.)

    Link

    I post this not for what Dr Hansen’s saying , but for how it’s being said. How many times have we read reports about papers, and could not read them , because we couldn’t afford to buy a subscription ? This is really an interesting development in science.

    Reply
  67. Colorado Bob

     /  July 20, 2015

    In the new study, Hansen and his colleagues suggest that the “doubling time” for ice loss from West Antarctica — the time period over which the amount of loss could double — could be as short as 10 years. In other words, a non-linear process could be at work, triggering major sea level rise in a time frame of 50 to 200 years. By contrast, Hansen and colleagues note, the IPCC assumed more of a linear process, suggesting only around 1 meter of sea level rise, at most, by 2100.

    Link

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 20, 2015

      RS Hansen spots the cold spot southeast of Greenland .

      Reply
  68. Colorado Bob

     /  July 20, 2015

    Hansen before congress in 1988 , the claims of the deniers now have left all reality. So here’s what the New York Times said –

    Global Warming Has Begun, Expert Tells Senate
    By PHILIP SHABECOFF, Special to the New York Times
    Published: June 24, 1988

    Link

    They are making claims off the charts , stuffing in someone’s mouth with numbers.

    Reply
  69. Colorado Bob

     /  July 21, 2015

    Hansen before congress in 1988 , the claims of the deniers now have left all reality. So here’s what the New York Times said –

    Global Warming Has Begun, Expert Tells Senate
    By PHILIP SHABECOFF, Special to the New York Times
    Published: June 24, 1988

    Link

    They are making claims off the charts , stuffing in someone’s mouth with made-up numbers.

    They need to be showed for the paid liars they are.

    This thread, Neven;s thread , and Roods’ thread , have no trolls. When you log on you learn something.

    That’s the point.

    Reply
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