Glacier National Park is Burning

A bad wildfire year for the US and Canada just got that much worse. As of yesterday a fire had ignited in Montana’s majestic Glacier National Park. As of today, the fire had consumed nearly 3,000 acres and it’s still growing. In other words — Glacier National Park, a national monument, a natural wonder, a place known for its towering glacier-capped peaks and frozen valleys, is now on fire.

Glacier National Park Burning

(A massive wildfire is now burning in Glacier National Park. Image source: Commons.)

Strong winds and low humidity combine to generate what fire management officials call — ‘explosive fire growth potential.’ These conditions allowed the fire to burn over 1,000 acres during just a few hours yesterday and to rapidly expand to cover nearly 3,000 acres today. The fire there has now spurred officials to order a complete evacuation of St. Mary’s Park and to suspend all activities until further notice. A 50 mile long road running through the park has also had 21 miles blocked off to traffic. Type 1 incident management teams are now en route to the blaze which is still growing.

The fire occurs as other blazes are now popping up throughout both Montana and Washington. East of Glacier National Park, the Cabin Gulf Fire also exploded to 1,000 acre size yesterday — drawing the firefighting efforts of 10 aircraft and dozens of hot shotters. In southeastern Washington, more than 600 firefighters battled a single blaze that had consumed more than six square miles including one residence. Across Washington other forest areas, including rain forests, were also experiencing a widespread fire outbreak.

Glacier National Park Smoke plume

(Plume from Glacier National Park Fire spreads over hundreds of miles in yesterday’s satellite shot. Image source: National Weather Service Great Falls.)

The glaciers of Glacier National Park have greatly retreated during recent years. Many once snow-capped peaks now show only the gray-brown of naked granite. This multi-decadal melt, driven by a 1 C warming of the global climate since the 1880s, has also set the stage for more fire vulnerability. A vulnerability that, this year, hit a new high extreme as powerful heatwaves invaded Montana as well as much of the Canadian and American west. Many regions are now experiencing record wildfires for June and July. Now Glacier National Park can be added to that grim tally.

Links:

Montana Wildfires

Fire in Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park Wildfire Tops 2,000 Acres

Fire at National Park Forces Evacuations

National Weather Service Great Falls

Commons

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92 Comments

  1. M E Cheshier

     /  July 22, 2015

    Reblogged this on Travels with Mary and commented:
    Oh my

    Reply
  2. M E Cheshier

     /  July 22, 2015

    So sad… Our weather conditions here have been horrible. So little rain.. I do hope my friends contain the two fires soon. TY for the great post and update!

    Reply
  3. labmonkey2

     /  July 22, 2015

    Found this, too. Uses NASA data
    http://fires.globalforestwatch.org/#v=map&x=-104.77&y=32.75&l=4&lyrs=Active_Fires

    Lots of activity in South America…but Africa is just unbelievable. Even Madagascar is on fire.
    Is there a saturation point at certain levels of our atmosphere for particulate matter to magnify/multiply its effects? I can’t see this getting any better as we also use potable water, in many cases, to fight fires too.

    Reply
    • Good catch Lab Monkey.

      For my own part, this fire in Glacier National Park has me floored. Striking a bit too close to home now.

      Reply
    • James Burton

       /  July 22, 2015

      Thank you for posting that resource. Worthy of bookmarking for future reference. And YES, Africa is terrible.
      “Is there a saturation point?” I wonder about that myself. When does the scale of burning begin to start to create it’s own climate influence in short term and longer term.
      The global scale of fires looks like a giant global warming finger print just screaming at us.

      Reply
    • wili

       /  July 23, 2015

      Many farmers in Africa burn their fields and sometimes some forest every year to return nutrients to the soil. These aren’t quite the same as wild fires.

      Reply
  4. climatehawk1

     /  July 22, 2015

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  5. Eric Thurston

     /  July 22, 2015

    My Mother-in-law who is a geologist was at Glacier Nat. Park with a group of graduate students until yesterday. When I saw this post, I called her and was relieved to hear she was home again. She said the smoke was getting pretty bad as they were leaving, burning the eyes.

    Close to home is right!

    Reply
  6. – With all of these fast moving wildfires, one has to think about all those thousands of rolling firebombs (tanker trains) carrying Bakken oil across the land.

    – Let’s see, NA looking west to east, we’ve had fires on two (water on three sides) coastal peninsulas (Kenai & Olympic) — one (water on all sides) island (Vancouver Island) — now in a glacier locale.
    Usually, the coastal regions burn after the more interior regions dry out and burn.

    Reply
  7. 2015 wildfires: NASA photographs smoke over Greenland Sea
    csmonitor.com World/Global-News

    A picture captured onboard NASA’s Aqua satellite shows the dramatic effects of this year’s wildfire season.

    Reply
    • Better image here: Smoke Over the Greenland Sea

      – nasa gov image-feature/smoke-over-the-greenland-sea

      The 2015 wildfire season in the Arctic has been very intense – and very smoky. As of July 15, over 3,190,000 acres had burned across Canada, according to Natural Resources Canada. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), more than 600 fires had burned millions of acres in Alaska as of July 7, making this worst wildfire season so far in state’s history. In much of Russia the 2015 fire season also started early and intensely, with highly destructive fires as early as April in the northern regions.

      Reply
      • From July 6, Lower Mainland BC — dense smoke and unhealthy particulate pollution that mixes with ongoing FF pollution.

        Reply
    • There’s a fire burning in western Greenland now as well.

      Reply
  8. Lots more speculation about the Hansen et al paper. The reaction in the media has been quite remarkable.

    Prediction of Rapid Sea Level Rise Won’t Change Global Climate Talks
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/07/150721-james-hansen-sea-level-rise-climate-change-global-warming-science/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social&utm_content=link_tw20150722news-sealevel&utm_campaign=Content&sf11210763=1

    The godfather of global warming’s frightening prediction is getting the cold shoulder
    http://mashable.com/2015/07/22/james-hansen-scary-new-climate-study/

    Damning Study Claims Earth Could See 10-Foot Sea Level Rise in Just 50 Years
    http://mic.com/articles/122701/damning-study-claims-earth-could-see-10-foot-sea-level-rise-in-just-50-years

    Reply
    • I read that National Geographic post. The author is clearly out of his depth. He associates sea level rise with sea ice melt.

      The mainstream media reaction has, at least to my mind, been pretty obnoxious so far. Nat geo takes the cake, though.

      I’m sitting on my hands until I can see the paper. There’s been a lot of whinging and speculation about a subject that a lot of people know very little about. At least we have some articles getting opinions from other scientists. But again, the paper isn’t even up for review yet…

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  July 24, 2015

      The way the media is reacting to the Hansen et al paper is bulls**t. Like this quote for example:

      “The lack of prior peer review is a red flag that should caution against taking the results at face value. Another red flag is that the study’s conclusions so contradict the consensus views expressed last year in the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s fifth assessment report.”

      So they’re suggesting what? That Hansen is some hack trying to dodge peer review in order to promote sketchy science? He collaborated with others who are among the best in their fields. And Hansen himself has a proven track record of being quite accurate with his past predictions, especially those made about 30 years ago with much less sophisticated models and much less computing power and climate data to work with. We are now light years from where we were in the 80s in regards to our understanding of climate dynamics.

      Then they say that another red flag is that his results contradict the IPCC! Really!? The IPCC, whose reports are already outdated the moment they’re released, and who has consistently underestimated all aspects of climate change, from SLR to Arctic melt to temperature rise? Don’t worry folks, this brilliant scientists is probably wrong since his results suggest a very uncomfortable future, and the IPCC is obviously 100% accurate since it’s published reports are available to the world for editing before publication.

      The outright dismissal of very real possibilities in our future is reprehensible.

      Reply
  9. Hi Robert, my post has gone in the Mod bin again. Could you fish it out when you have a chance.

    Reply
  10. Tsar Nicholas

     /  July 23, 2015

    The third paragraph of the national Geographic article is hopelessly confused. It refers to warm waters getting trapped under Antarctica. Even if this is a misprint and means the Arctic, it makes no sense.

    Reply
    • That wasn’t so bad. Although technically it’s warm water melting away at the undersides of ice shelfs and moving the grounding line further inland.

      Reply
  11. Washington state’s terrifying new climate threat: “Urban wildfires”

    http://www.salon.com/2015/07/22/washington_states_terrifying_new_climate_threat_urban_wildfires/

    Reply
    • Reading now. It’s very comprehensive. Well done.

      A few early take backs —

      1. 1 meter SLR by 2060
      2. 10-20 year melt outflow doubling times.
      3. Possibly 3 meters by 2100
      4. Hansen model may be slow by 1-3 decades
      5. Higher rates of melt impede atmospheric warming. The trade off is greater SLR and more deep ocean warming — something we’ve warned about here on a number of occasions.
      6. Primary amplifying feedback mechanism for more rapid glacial melt is ocean stratification.

      Hope to get a post out later. Those are the big points so far. And, yeah, I’m glad I waited to read it. The media missed the nuance in this thing by a mile.

      Reply
      • Wondering if the blocking of oceanic heat by ice melt will be more regional. So that when or where the building oceanic heat does poke its head out, it will be more extreme – especially with greater temperature differences between hot and cold areas?

        Reply
      • wili

         /  July 23, 2015

        Looking forward to your post on this important paper. I’m hoping RealClimate might have something on it too, since Rignot, one of the authors, is also on staff there, iirc. It would be nice to see a thoughtful, reasoned discussion there between Rignot and Schmidt.

        It all reminds me of points that Richard Allen and others have made about how you don’t prepare your self for median probability dangers; you prepare yourself for low probability, high impact dangers–why we buckle up whenever we get in a car, even though we don’t expect to get into a major accident.

        Historically, ice sheets don’t tend to respond to forcings linearly–they seem almost completely stable until (relatively) suddenly, they’re not.

        “Hansen model may be slow by 1-3 decades”

        This is the kind of thing that has me most worried.

        Reply
      • Phil

         /  July 24, 2015

        I saw a recent blog post posted by a commentator on the Arctic Sea Ice Forum web-site which has a thread also dealing with this new paper. The original blog post by Revkin (see link below) includes some comments by Trenberth.

        http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/07/23/whiplash-warning-when-climate-science-is-publicized-before-peer-review-and-publication/?smid=fb-share

        Reply
      • mikkel

         /  July 24, 2015

        “The new Hansen et al study is provocative and intriguing but rife with speculation and “what if” scenarios. It has many conjectures and huge extrapolations based on quite flimsy evidence, but evidence nonetheless. In that regard it raises good questions and topics worthy of further exploration, but it is not a document that can be used for setting policy for anthropogenic climate change, although it pretends to be so”

        “As you, and most of your readers, well know, this is a not-yet-refereed single paper, and even though it is from a remarkable team led by one of the most influential climate scientists, that does not change the fact that the reports of the National Academy of Sciences, the IPCC or the Royal Society that assess our understanding are not based on one such paper, and are very unlikely to be changed much by this paper. Starting with the IPCC or the Academies on this topic, and staying with them until there is a really solid reason to change, is highly useful, and in my opinion this paper as it stands is not a really solid reason to change”

        At what point will climate scientists realize that when we’re literally talking about the global warming “threatening the fabric of civilization” that the appropriate metric for determining whether new research should rapidly inform policy and consensus is not whether it is “highly probable” or even “likely” but “plausible.”

        Climate experts immediately talking about the need for further exploration — no doubt taking at least another decade — is extremely detrimental because we have no time. They should be doing their best to see if there are errors so large that we don’t have to worry at all, and if not, *that* should be guiding policy.

        Reply
      • Griffin

         /  July 24, 2015

        I am eagerly looking forward to your post as well Robert.
        Kevin has wasted no time in completely discrediting the paper. https://theconversation.com/study-predicts-multi-meter-sea-level-rise-this-century-but-not-everyone-agrees-45139

        Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  July 24, 2015

        I do remember Kev also getting his nose out of joint and rubbishing a paper that identified the large CO2 pulse that ended the last Ice Age as I think coming from the Southern ocean, Kevin had done a paper stating the pulse came from the Pacific and insisted the new research was incorrect, his Pacific theory was the correct solution.
        It was some years ago and at a time when my filing diligence was sub optimal and had other things on my mind so I may have the oceans mixed up, but the gist is as I remembered . I also remeber that new research was very sound and also expanded knowledge on erroneous measurements due to poorly suited proxies, finding and using better ones in the process.
        My estimation of Kevin did go down, whilst I still respect him and his expertise, ego can get in the way

        Reply
  12. Andy in SD

     /  July 23, 2015

    Yowzers.

    Check out the Chartic graph. Sea ice concentration seems to be dropping quickly. At this rate, in a week or so it would be on track to cross the 2012 trend line (of course 1 week out, much can happen).

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/charctic-interactive-sea-ice-graph/

    Reply
  13. Andy in SD

     /  July 23, 2015

    How scientists say mystery craters were formed in northern Siberia

    Now the experts say the formation is something ‘never observed’ before, linked to warm weather in recent years. New pictures from the expedition are shown here, showing how one of the holes has rapidly filled with water in recent months.

    http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/news/n0302-startling-changes-revealed-in-mystery-craters-in-northern-siberia/

    Reply
  14. Andy in SD

     /  July 23, 2015

    Hey Robert, I have 2 posts sitting in post purgatory, can you unflag them?

    Reply
  15. – “extreme fire behavior”

    Wildfire sends campers fleeing Glacier National Park

    By MATT VOLZ and KRISTIN J. BENDER
    Associated Press

    HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A wildfire driven by gusting winds swept down Glacier National Park’s most popular roadway toward a small community at the park’s eastern entrance, while a fast-moving Northern California blaze threatened 200 homes and ranches.

    The fire burning in the drought-parched Montana park doubled in size Wednesday, leading officials to evacuate homes along St. Mary Lake and visitors to flee hotels and campgrounds in the nearby community at Glacier’s eastern entrance.

    Additional firefighters, helicopters and fire engines were arriving as the blaze spread, though crews have been hampered by wind and extreme fire behavior, park spokeswoman Denise Germann said.

    By Wednesday evening, the fire had burned more than 6 square miles. It also destroyed the Baring Creek Cabin, a historic backcountry structure.

    Reply
  16. Colorado Bob

     /  July 23, 2015

    The Link Between Climate Change And ISIS Is Real

    by Joe Romm

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/07/23/3683536/omalley-climate-change-isis/

    Reply
  17. Premier warns B.C. in for more wildfires, blames climate change

    As she toured a fire zone in her Okanagan riding, Premier Christy Clark heaped praise on the more than 2,000 people fighting hundreds of wildfires in British Columbia and warned there could be worse to come for the province because of climate change.

    “I am mostly concerned that … the forest fire season won’t give us a break and that we’re going to see more homes threatened, more people’s livelihoods threatened, more forest resources lost,” Ms. Clark said Wednesday. She said B.C.’s extreme fire season has been bad, but it appears to be part of a longer-term trend rather than an anomaly. So far this year B.C. has had 1,300 fires, which have burned more than 295,000 hectares – far exceeding the 10-year average for the same time period of 708 fires and 41,000 hectares.

    “Climate change has altered the terrain and it’s made us much more vulnerable to fire,” she said. “The earth is very dry and I think that we have to be planning with the knowledge that this isn’t going to be an unusual year …
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/bc-wildfire-fight-aided-by-cool-weather-but-winds-complicate-efforts/article25628547/

    Reply
    • Flames from a wildfire close in on Kelowna, B.C. Located in the hot, dry Okanagan, Kelowna rarely sees a summer go by without smoke being visible from some hillside.
      Photograph by: Shawn Talbot Photography , National Post

      Reply
      • – Replace the body of water in the foreground with the Pacific Ocean, and you could see pretty much the same scene in California or elsewhere.

        Reply
      • 2007 Santa Barbara 240,207 acre Zaca Fire, cause Homo Sap with power tool.
        I remember being out on the water in a sailboat watching the billowing smoke and the ash falling on the water.

        Reply
      • Mark from New England

         /  July 23, 2015

        Smoke on the Water, a Fire in the Sky…

        Reply
  18. Colorado Bob

     /  July 23, 2015


    Fewer but Stronger Global Tropical Cyclones Due to Ocean Warming

    By: Dr. Jeff Masters

    Global ocean temperatures hit their warmest levels in recorded history last month. Since hurricanes are heat engines which extract heat energy from the oceans and convert it to the kinetic energy of the storms’ winds, we should be concerned about the potential for hurricanes to be stronger as a result of global warming. Indeed, the observed 0.3°C (0.5°F) warming of Earth’s oceans over the past 30 years has made more energy available to hurricanes, says a new study published in May in Nature Climate Change by Florida State hurricane scientist James Elsner and the deputy director of the National Typhoon Center in South Korea, Namyoung Kang.

    Link

    Reply
    • – Condensed.

      Reply
    • Eric Thurston

       /  July 24, 2015

      I have been reading some of what Seattle-based meteorologist Cliff Mass says about weather events and global warming. Mass apparently has a large following in the Pacific Northwest. His take on climate change IMO borders on denialism but, while he explicitly acknowledges the reality of Global Warming and the need to address the problem, he has some almost bizarre ideas about the issue of the effects global warming has on individual weather events, such as hurricanes or droughts.

      This quote came from Mass’ blog http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2015/07/why-is-northwest-so-warm.html
      via the ‘Open Mind’ blog
      https://tamino.wordpress.com/2015/07/07/uncritical-mass/

      “the more extreme the weather anomaly, the less likely it is to be caused by human-induced (anthropogenic) global warming.”

      I found it interesting that the Jeff Masters quote above goes directly contrary to what Mass is asserting. There is an interesting discussion that follows on the Open Mind blog.

      Robert, have you run across Mass’ opinions and I wonder what your take is on his point of view on global warming issues.

      BTW I need to add my thanks to the chorus. This is my go-to place for the latest information on what has to be the #1 concern for humanity.

      Reply
      • I don’t see how anyone can seriously make a blanket like, “the more extreme the weather anomaly, the less likely it is to be caused by human-induced (anthropogenic) global warming.”
        How extreme? How less likely? A little? A lot?
        To my mind, Nature rarely behaves in rapid extremes. She always telegraphs her ‘punches”.
        Mr. Mass seems to keep an eye on things but Mr. Masters has a wider and deeper wealth of knowledge.

        Ps Eric Thurston, are you related to the Thurstons of high country Tabernash, CO?

        Reply
        • Mass’s statement sounds goofy to me. Take the May rains in Texas and Oklahoma. Both received about one-third more rain than in any previous month in their 120-year weather records (1,440 months), and in each case, the difference between May and month #2 in the all-time record was greater than the difference between month #2 and month #10. Anyone who doesn’t think that is due to anthropogenic climate change, I own a bridge in Brooklyn that I’m looking to sell at a terrific bargain price (cash only).

      • climatehawk1
        “I own a bridge in Brooklyn that I’m looking to sell…”
        With SLR and it’s an operational draw bridge, it may be worth holding on to.🙂

        Reply
      • Eric Thurston

         /  July 24, 2015

        @dtlange re: Thurstons of CO
        not related as far as I know, although I could probably find a link somewhere in my genealogy.

        Reply
  19. – “Imagine the captain of the Titanic banning the words “iceberg” and “lifeboats” among his crew.”

    Daniel A. Brown — New Mexico — fires & CC

    For years, climate scientists have warned that global warming would drastically increase the risk of wildfires. For them, we have long passed the stage of “studying” the problem. In fact, the human race may be beyond the point of remedial action. The response of world leaders is to discuss the issue and do nothing. The response of American politicians is to pass local and national laws to ban any mention of climate change and its consequences.

    Imagine the captain of the Titanic banning the words “iceberg” and “lifeboats” among his crew.

    Meeting a crisis with denial doesn’t make that crisis go away. It only increases its shock value when deniers can no longer avoid it. Let’s hope our grandchildren and great-grandchildren don’t despise us for doing nothing during this critical time when action is vital.

    http://www.recorder.com/home/17860274-95/brownmy-turn-living-with-wildfires

    Reply
  20. Colorado Bob

     /  July 23, 2015

    What 12 Months Of Record-Setting Temperatures Looks Like Across The U.S.

    In fact, the 12-month period from July 2014 through June 2015 was the warmest ever recorded. I was curious to see what these record-setting temperatures looked like in more detail, so I updated a famous New York Times weather chart to show the past 12 months of temperatures for a handful of large cities across the U.S.1

    These charts show the record, average high and low (“normal range”), and actual temperatures over the past year for each day in each city. Dots indicate days when there was a new record low (blue) or high (red), even if it was only a tie with a previous year.

    Each city has a unique story to tell.2 (Click each chart to expand.)

    FiveThirtyEight

    Reply
  21. – July 2015 Water temps at selected locations:

    Gibraltar Sea Temperature
    (Today) 23rd Jul 2015
    26.1°C 79°F
    Average July sea temperatures
    Max: 24.9°C / 76.8°F
    Avg: 22.8°C / 73.1°F
    http://www.seatemperature.org/europe/gibraltar/gibraltar.htm

    Cartagena [Spain] Sea Temperature
    (Today) 23rd Jul 2015
    27.8°C 82°F
    Average July sea temperatures
    Max: 26.1°C / 78.9°F
    Avg: 24.7°C / 76.5°F
    – seatemperature.org

    Reply
  22. Colorado Bob

     /  July 23, 2015

    Central Asia Floods Reawaken Glacier Anxieties

    Floods across Central Asia over this past week are highlighting the perils of failing to adopt robust water-management measures and put adequate early-warning systems in place.

    Tajikistan has been the worst hit, with abnormally high temperatures causing rapid snow and glacier melts. The country is 93 percent covered by high mountains, making it particularly vulnerable to landslides and flash floods. Dozens of homes have been destroyed and at least a dozen people killed. ………………………………..
    “This year, the summer has been very hot. The anomalous temperatures have lasted for 10-12 days,” Bekbolov said, adding that freezing temperatures were only being registered at altitudes as high 4,800 meters. “This has had a strong effect on high-altitude glaciers and led to them melting.”

    Link

    Reply
  23. Colorado Bob

     /  July 23, 2015

    At least 46 areas in Sindh declared sensitive to floods

    However, the floods have caused immense damages. Crops grown on lacs of acres of land in Layyah, Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh and southern Punjab have been destroyed. Thousands of families have lost their sources of income and homes as hundreds of villages have been washed away so far.

    However, Pakistan Army is continuing relief operations in flood-hit areas.

    In Layyah, at least 380 localities have been demolished leaving 56,000 families homeless. Sugarcane and cotton crops spread across at least 2 lac acres have been quashed.

    Link

    Reply
  24. Colorado Bob

     /  July 23, 2015

    Megafauna extinction: DNA evidence pins blame on climate change

    But the real culprit, he says, is climate change.

    Cooper and colleagues have simultaneously produced an unprecedentedly accurate map and timeline of changes in megafauna populations around Eurasia and North America, and precisely matched that timeline up with ancient climate records.

    It punches a hole in a key argument of the prosecution. This states that climate cannot have caused megafauna extinctions because it has changed so much over the past 60,000 years. There were lots of warm and cool periods – interglacial and glacial epochs, respectively. If climate change is the real megafauna killer, why did the animals survive those events only to die when humans turned up in their region?

    The new data show that they did not survive. Megafauna extinctions were actually relatively common during the past 60,000 years whether humans were around or not.

    Link

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 23, 2015

      The team were surprised by another finding that emerged: it wasn’t the long cold periods that wiped out megafauna, as some have suggested – it was warming.

      “What we found, which we were staggered by: no matter how we analysed the data, abrupt warmings drove the extinctions or the replacements,” says team member Chris Turney of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

      It is most likely that warming was such a killer because it arrives rapidly – temperatures change far more abruptly than they do at the onset of a cooling period, says Cooper.

      Link

      Reply
  25. Vic

     /  July 24, 2015

    Wikipedia’s description of Glacier National Park provides some extra context…

    “Of the estimated 150 glaciers which existed in the park in the mid-19th century, only 25 active glaciers remained by 2010. Scientists studying the glaciers in the park have estimated that all the glaciers may disappear by 2030 if the current climate patterns persist.”

    Reply
  26. Colorado Bob

     /  July 24, 2015

    NOAA awards $88,000 in grant funding to respond to West Coast harmful algal bloom outbreak

    Blooms of Pseudo-nitzschia have been occurring along the entire West Coast from southern California to Alaska since May 2015, prompting public health concerns. Some species of Pseudo-nitzschia create a strong neurotoxin, domoic acid, which accumulates in filter-feeding fish, such as anchovies, and shellfish, and can affect marine mammals such as sea lions. Also, seafood contaminated with domoic acid can cause Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning, a severe illness that can cause permanent short-term memory loss, brain damage, or death, in severe cases. When domoic acid exceeds regulatory limits, state officials close shellfish beds and certain fishing areas.

    Link

    Reply
  27. Andy in SD

     /  July 24, 2015

    An Interesting Paper

    “Species traits and climate velocity explain geographic range shifts in an ocean-warming hotspot”

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ele.12474/full

    Reply
  28. Spike

     /  July 24, 2015

    Oliver Rackham the great UK woodland expert famously stated that our woodlands in the UK don’t burn, and so the popular mythology of neolithic man clearing the landscape by fire was wrong. After all he argued, miscreant youths had spent decades trying to ignite the woodlands around them and failed dismally in our sodden cool forests.

    Well I was out hiking in central England yesterday and came across a bare hillside in the middle of a fine ancient woodland – I wondered what had possessed the landowner to clear fell such beauty, until I noted the brown leaves on all the trees still standing on the periphery and the lush regrowth of bracken from blackened soil. Yes the hillside had gone up in smoke, judging from the regrowth it was in our unusually hot and dry April.

    Of course the fire was on nothing like the scale of the fires we’re discussing here – but it was the first time I’ve ever come across such an extensive burn outside a heathland or grass area in the UK in decades of hiking the countryside. And trees had burned – you could see the regrowth.

    For those with eyes to see the signs are becoming clearer.

    Reply
  29. dnem

     /  July 24, 2015

    Very interesting article about how several prominent climatologists – Jason Box, Michael Mann and Gavin Schmidt – deal personally with the sobering reality of what they know. http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a36228/ballad-of-the-sad-climatologists-0815/
    The dynamics described in the Box household ring very true around my house.

    Reply
  30. DonnaLou

     /  July 24, 2015

    This just happened in the past hour…is this significant?fhttp://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/site/index.php?pageid=seism_index&rid=497886

    Reply
  31. Colorado Bob

     /  July 24, 2015

    California’s drought is ‘a harbinger of the coming global water crisis’

    “We view the unprecedented drought in California as a harbinger of the coming global water crisis,” BAML strategists wrote in a note to clients on Tuesday.

    “By 2050E, 45% of projected GDP is at risk, with as many as 50 countries at risk of conflict over water.”

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/a-multi-decade-mega-drought-is-coming-to-the-us-2015-7#ixzz3goppbHTH

    Reply
  32. Colorado Bob

     /  July 24, 2015

    The march of the king crabs: a warning from Antarctica

    Changing wildlife: this article is part of a series looking at how key species such as bees, insects and fish respond to environmental change, and what this means for the rest of the planet.

    Hundreds of metres below the surface of the freezing ocean surrounding Antarctica, the seafloor is teeming with life. The animals living there have no idea that an army is on the brink of invading their tranquil environment.

    The army is composed of king crabs. Until 2003, there were no crabs in this fragile Antarctic ecosystem. Now, driven by warming waters, their arrival heralds a major upset.

    Link

    Reply
    • “driven by warming…”
      How times have we seen or heard that phrase being used to describe many varied events?
      It boggles…

      Reply
  33. Paul Beckwith: Can global sea level rise 7 meters by 2070?

    Reply
  34. About fires in a different rainforest:
    http://www.jstor.org/stable/41416666?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

    This study is about how climate change and deforestation are changing the chances of the amazon forest catching fire. Human-induced fire is still a big factor, specially because the trappings of selective deforestation (cutting and wounding smaller trees, planting african grasses) make the forest more vulnerable to burns, but fires in areas supposed to be fire proof (intact tree dossel) are catching fire in drought years also.

    Reply
  35. Sorry about the grammar. The last phrase should be ” areas supposed to be fire proof (intact tree dossel) are also catching fire in drought years.” without the “but fires in” . Another point of the article is that the Amazon is already having wild swings of weather (Hansen’s storms?): in the last ten years we had two “100 years droughts” and 3 “100 years floods”… centuries seem to be passing faster.

    Reply
  36. James Burton

     /  July 24, 2015

    The scope of 2015 wildfires just keeps expanding. Now the Balkans are burings due to extreme heat events this summer. Earlier post mentioned the Greek fires, now this.

    “Croatian firefighters have been stretched to their limits as they struggle to contain raging wildfires on the Adriatic coast and islands at the height of tourist season.

    Two huge fires have swept through the Peljesac peninsula, forcing evacuation of villages and destroying large areas of olive groves, pine forests and vineyards.

    The blaze has occasionally cut off the main road and power supplies since it erupted earlier this week. Associated Press reporters said hot winds on Friday have undermined efforts by firefighters, backed by planes and helicopters.

    Fires also have swept through the islands of Korcula and Brac and on several other spots amid extremely high summer temperatures.”

    Reply
  37. Colorado Bob

     /  July 24, 2015

    Investors could lose $4.2tn due to impact of climate change, report warns

    Investments in fossil fuel companies face serious risk from global warming, research by the Economist Intelligence Unit shows

    Private investors stand to lose $4.2tn (£2.7tn) on the value of their holdings from the impact of climate change by 2100 even if global warming is held at plus 2C, a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has warned.

    If firm action is not taken at the forthcoming climate change talks in Paris and the Earth’s temperature warms by a further 5C then investors are facing losses of almost $7tn at today’s prices, new research shows.

    This is more than the total current market capitalisation of the London Stock Exchange with impacts on company holdings that will come not just through extreme weather damage but also through lower economic growth.

    Link

    Reply
  38. Colorado Bob

     /  July 24, 2015

    From Neven’s site –


    The whole Arctic is adrift, Eli. MODIS images show the last large intact expanses of thick ice have broken away from the northeast Canadian archipelago. The 2 large blocks of thick ice are moving and the east block is shattering. There’s going to be nothing left but shattered mobile ice. The thickest ice in the Arctic has been pulverized.

    This doesn’t bode well. One more hot summer after this one and little will remain in September.

    -Geroge aka FishOutofWater

    Link

    Reply
  39. – Localized and regional, and possible global climate changes from newly exposed hot rock.

    – I’ve been thinking re: RS and El Nino influences heading North how far etc. PNW etc. — West coast coastal and interior mountain ranges.

    Have we discussed the hot rock that is likely resulting from lack of snowpack albedo?

    It seems to me that a lot of rock faces and mountain mass will absorb and hold much radiant heat from the sun. This applies to glacial and ice fields where large tracts of formerly cold and wet soil, rock faces, valleys and mountains, etc. will warm to an (in human scope) unprecedented amount of hot land mass.
    (Oh, and then there’s the ash and soot to blacken all.)

    Much of these areas are integral to local and regional weather formations — rain shadows, air flows, katabatic conditions, and etc.
    How deep into the rock? How hot? Will rock dry and fracture?
    With air temps high and low temps much warmer than usual there should be some heat islands, large and small.

    This might go into the equation along with the ‘blob’, the RRR, etc.

    – After monitoring the microclimates in various Monarch butterfly overwintering sites in coastal California, I have an abiding interest, and fondness, for these close-in local and regional climates.
    Likely, I would still be doing this sort of thing if it wasn’t for the aerosol pollution falling and damaging much and of the landscape.
    Oh well, you can’t have everything.

    OUT
    ###

    Reply
  1. Glacier National Park is Burning | 2rhoeas3

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