Hothouse Mass Casualties Strike Egypt, Heatwave Continues to Hospitalize Thousands in Japan

Back in May, official temperatures soared to 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) as humidity levels spiked in Cairo, Egypt. The early high heat and humidity sparked anxiety among residents worrying over the coming summer. Public complaints about official temperatures being lower than actual measures were widespread among a populace vulnerable to heat exposure in a notoriously hot region of the world suffering the ongoing impacts of human-forced warming.

The below video captures some of the sentiment of a few months ago, when concern that record global temperatures in the range of 1 degree Celsius above 1880s averages might result in harm to Egypt’s populace was widespread and growing:

(Egyptian residents feared the killing heat was coming back in May. Sadly, their concerns have born out as a powerful heatwave in July and August is resulting in tragic loss of life there. Video source here.)

Unfortunately, the early fears appear to have been all-too-valid. For in late July a seasonal flow of hot, humid air from India, Pakistan and the Persian Gulf began to settle over Egypt. The hot air issued from regions where deaths from 2015 heatwaves numbered in the hundreds and thousands, where hospitalizations numbered in the tens of thousands. As the heat dome extended its oppressive tendrils over Egypt, both temperatures and humidity spiked — pushing wet bulb readings into ranges that made it difficult for humans to maintain body temperatures. Official air temperature readings ranged from 35 to 47 degrees Celsius (95 to 116 degrees Fahrenheit) and the added moisture reduced the ability of evaporation to cool the skin.

The risk of heat injury rose. And over the past few days this hot air and humidity spike began to prey on Egyptian residents. The result was 42 tragic deaths due to the excess heat over the past two days alone. Scores more were hospitalized as the entire country from north to south sweltered.

Weather forecasts, unfortunately, show the hothouse heat continuing to blanket Egypt throughout the coming month. Let’s hope that, somehow, the terrible toll in heat casualties abates.

Japan Heatwave Mass Casualty Event Continues

It’s a hotter world we live in now. One in which any of us living on Earth are now four times as likely to experience a heatwave than we were during the 1880s. And at the most extreme end of this spectrum are the heatwave mass casualty events — which this year have been very numerous and widespread. Italy, Egypt, the Persian Gulf, Pakistan, India and Japan have now all experienced mass hospitalizations and deaths due to the excess heat of a world forced to rapidly warm by human fossil fuel emissions.

For Japan, which has been experiencing heatwave related deaths and hospitalizations since July, the harm due to excess heat spiked to new extremes this week. There, over the past seven days alone, nearly 12,000 people were hospitalized due to heat stroke. That’s the highest number of heatwave related casualties since tracking of these new events began in 2008. And of the thousands hospitalized, an additional 32 souls were lost.

image

(Heat and humidity from a pool of anomalously hot ocean water is still blasting Japan, resulting in the hospitalization of an ever-rising number heatstroke victims. Sea surface temperatures remain in the range of 2-4 degrees Celsius above average as a heat dome high pressure system swelters Japan. Sea surface temperature anomaly map by Earth Nullschool.)

The new wave of deaths and hospitalizations brings to over 45,000 the total number of heat stroke victims requiring emergency care in Japan during this summer alone. More than a thousand of these victims have required care extending longer than 3 weeks. And, tragically, more than 85 souls have now been lost.

During this time, Tokyo shattered its record for longest period of 35 C (95 F) degree or hotter days running. The above 35 C readings extended for a full eight days from July 31 to August 7th. It’s high heat and humidity that resulted in hundreds of hospitalizations for that city alone. And though the heat has somewhat abated, temperatures during recent days have remained in the range of 33 to 34 C (92 to 94 F)– still scorching-hot for a typically much cooler city.

Overall, Japan’s oppressive heat dome hasn’t budged. And it will likely remain in place until extremely hot sea surface temperatures surrounding Japan begin to abate. As of today, there was little sign of such relief as the hot waters remained in the range of 2-4 degrees Celsius above average. And so the hot waters continued to pump both heat and moisture into the air around and over Japan, spiking wet bulb readings and creating a dangerous situation for residents not at all used to these abnormal conditions.

Links

May Heatwave Sparks Fears of Hot Summer in Egypt

Egypt Heatwave Kills 42

Japan in Hot Water

Earth Nullschool

It Felt Like 165 Degrees in Iran Today

Heatwave Mass Casualty Event in Pakistan

Heatwave Mass Casualty Event in India

Record Japan Heat Leads to 32 Deaths in One Week

Hat Tip to Brian

Hat Tip to Colorado Bob

Leave a comment

97 Comments

  1. “Off-road trials for “electric highways” designed to power electric and hybrid vehicles are set to take place later this year, it’s been confirmed today by the UK government.”

    http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2015-08/11/electric-highways-uk-off-road-trials

    Reply
    • Good to see them moving forward with electric highways in the UK. Too bad their government is still trying to frack the countryside, though.

      Reply
      • James Burton

         /  August 11, 2015

        Robert, With luck the collapse of oil prices will make UK fracking uneconomical in the extreme. But of course low oil prices then contribute to increased use. Fossil fuels have us in a death grip. The very idea of fracking the last green spaces of the UK is a crime of epic scale, not to mention the added CO2.
        Funny how earth laid a death trap for us when all that carbon became sequestered, a good deal of it as the perfect pool of energy known as oil.

        Reply
        • Perfect? A perfect trap.

          It’s a black razor for cutting one’s own neck and wrecking practically everything else in the process. Pandora’s Box, the Ring of Power, Stormbringer. The thing that if you use it or profit from it, you become possessed by it. A perfect trap for a greedy and exploitative set whose hearts are empty but for the desire of power.

      • Robert,

        Another name for it is The Cave Of Wealth And Death.

        Reply
      • Thank you. But I wasn’t the first to coin the term — the honor goes to Elaine Meinel Supkis, who used to term to describe the antics of the bankers in their never ending greed in the run up and peak of the RE bubble.

        Unfortunately, she denies AGW.

        Reply
  2. redskylite

     /  August 11, 2015

    “The effects of climate change are everywhere – you can’t escape it,”

    Migrating Amazonian trees are a cause for concern

    http://phys.org/news/2015-08-migrating-amazonian-trees.html

    Reply
  3. Remember the good old days when climate change was going to affect “future generations”?

    Reply
    • Yeah. Another comfortable mythology blown out of the water…

      Reply
    • James Burton

       /  August 11, 2015

      This was the trap humanity fell into. “Future generations would face the impacts.” Now we know it is present generations who face the looming era of storms, heat waves and deadly likely feedback loops waiting to expose us to the worst imaginable.
      The basic physics and chemistry of global warming and fossil fuels in not hard to grasp. Even a layman like me can gain a good working knowledge of the forces at work. WHY, is it so hard to make that type of thought Mainstream? The corporate media machine has not only failed as a source of news, it has become a tool for a powerful fossil fuel industry to squelch the facts and the data being recorded.

      Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  August 11, 2015

      Do unto others as you would have done unto you.

      Reply
      • Brian

         /  August 12, 2015

        Unfortunately most of the corporate lot go by “Do unto others before they have done unto you” . . . and they are proud of it.

        Reply
      • And most of the rest of the corporations go by “Do as you will shall be the whole of the law… pass it on.”

        Reply
  4. redskylite

     /  August 11, 2015

    This report from Joe Romm on a new report from Potsdam:

    “we will not be able to preserve ocean life as we know it.”

    Ex Machina: No Techno-Fix For Irreversible Ocean Collapse From Carbon Pollution

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/08/11/3689803/ex-machina-irreversible-ocean-collapse-carbon/

    “We will not be able to preserve ocean life as we know it.”

    Reply
    • James Burton

       /  August 11, 2015

      Good report, thanks! I am convinced that oceans will deal the first death blow to us, due to global warming. They are delicate and balanced, we live at the whim of the oceans, and we are killing them.

      Reply
    • Good article on Climate Progress except that climate solution is NOT supercheap – if it was, it would be done already!

      Alex

      Reply
      • CP is right about costs. The main source of inertia is fossil fuel special interests getting in the way to preserve their bottom line. In other words, climate change mitigation and prevention is cheap for everyone else, financially devastating for the fossil fuel special interests. And there’s no helping that. Those interests need to go down.

        Reply
    • I just read Joe’s fantastic article and I couldn’t agree more. There are no Dues ex Machina solutions to climate change. We have to do the good work of cutting emissions. And we have to perform that work swiftly and soon.

      Reply
  5. Loni

     /  August 11, 2015

    This heat in Japan may explain their push to restart some of their nuke plants, of which I understand, one was restarted today. I’ll bet the air conditioning units are humming over there.

    Robert, regarding your last post, and the mention of Watts, Tisdale, et.al. When the bastards ‘ave got you on their ‘list’, you know you’re causin’ ’em grief. I suspect there are many of us here who have your back, at your beck and call.

    Reply
  6. climatehawk1

     /  August 11, 2015

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  7. labmonkey2

     /  August 11, 2015

    Thought of CB when I spotted this article. I spent some time in both ‘Springs’ back in the mid 70’s. I do recall some of those spring/summer storms were brutal… but nothing like this.
    2+ inches in 45 min… that’s a lot of water.
    http://mashable.com/2015/08/10/flash-flood-colorado-car-river/

    Reply
  8. Colorado Bob

     /  August 11, 2015

    Why Misleading Americans About Climate Change Is Dangerous

    In fact the overwhelming majority of research supports the reality of climate change — a 2013 review of nearly 12,000 scientific articles published between 1991 and 2011 found that of those that took a position on the issue, 97.1 percent endorsed the idea that climate change was real and human-caused. The study concluded that papers disputing climate change were “a vanishingly small proportion of the published research.”

    Making Americans aware of this fact can have real effects. A study published earlier this year found that informing people of the scientific consensus on climate change “causes a significant increase in the belief that climate change is (a) happening, (b) human-caused and (c) a worrisome problem. In turn, changes in these key beliefs lead to increased support for public action.”

    http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/11/why-misleading-americans-about-climate-change-is-dangerous/?_r=0

    Reply
  9. Vic

     /  August 12, 2015

    96 million polyethylene “shade balls” being released into the Los Angeles reservoir at the Van Norman complex in Sylmar, California. Authorities expect the balls will prevent the evaporation of 300 million gallons of water per year.

    http://i.guim.co.uk/img/static/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2015/8/11/1439298564174/ec580308-d77a-415b-84d7-1609158debb0-2060×1094.jpeg?w=700&q=85&auto=format&sharp=10&s=71b57f03fd7afd3434d8a5bbc904997c

    Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  August 12, 2015

        96 million polyethylene “shade balls”

        Like “tarping” glaciers in the Alps, I am reminded of the Dutch boy and his finger in the dike.

        Reply
      • Jonzo

         /  August 12, 2015

        The shade balls will probably end up releasing vinyl chloride into the drinking water. Men solving environmental problems always end up causing more severe environmental problems over the long term. Get to the root of the problem or don’t bother.

        Reply
        • It’s the difference between reacting to a problem and getting on top of the problem so as not to have caused it in the first place. Usually the reactive part results in unintended consequences.

      • labmonkey2

         /  August 12, 2015

        Article at VOX states that this is more to prevent the photo chemical reaction with chlorine and naturally occurring bromide in the water – creating bromate, a possible carcinogen. Not sure of this then means that some of the water was dumped in the past due to elevated levels of bromate. Interesting that evaporation reduction is a side benefit and not the major reason for this deployment, too.
        Also noted that the balls are weighted with – wait for it – WATER! Whether this is potable or from some other source is not known. Hope they don’t leak?

        http://www.vox.com/2015/8/11/9130563/shade-balls-are-californias-most-mesmerizing-water-saving-trick

        Reply
      • Vic

         /  August 12, 2015

        I suspect the unintended consequences of this “solution” could include a reduction of dissolved oxygen content within the water body leading to an increase in methane emissions. I hope they’re monitoring it.

        Reply
    • So it starts. Next thing is putting lids on reservoirs and rivers.

      Reply
      • Griffin

         /  August 12, 2015

        Not a bad idea, if the lid is made of solar panels. 😉

        Reply
        • If you’ve cut a river completely off from the Earth system, then what good can it do for the land, the airs, what vegetation is left. I don’t know about you, but I’m not looking forward to seeing rivers and lakes enclosed. It’s the opposite of the living, connected environment we should be striving for. Although, for my part, I think solar energy can certainly be a part of that larger goal.

    • Abel Adamski

       /  August 12, 2015

      Meanwhile plastic microspheres are being banned in cleaning products and personal care products – go figure the logic.
      the wicking effect if nothing else will compound the problem

      Reply
  10. Colorado Bob

     /  August 12, 2015

    Unlike hurricanes or tornados, wildfires are actually a sequence of disasters that may go on for years. First is the immediate devastation of the fire itself, but that turns out to be just the start. Burned trees don’t absorb water and there is virtually no undergrowth after a fire. When a fire stays in one place for a while, the burn severity is more intense, and the oils in the trees turn into a smoke that soaks into the soil. When the fire stops, those oils become a hard waterproof crust that sheds water rather than absorbing it. At the very least, the storm water flowing down a drainage doubles compared to pre-fire flows, and in some cases, there was a tenfold increase expected.

    https://drpence.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/the-aftermath-of-fire-colorado-springs/

    Reply
  11. Andy in SD

     /  August 12, 2015

    One of the side effects of displaced rain patterns.
    **************************************************************

    The myriad of islands between Vancouver Island and the mainland (BC) are populated. They do not have flowing rivers or major water projects as they are just islands. Now that reduced rainfall / drought conditions are kicking in a very dire situation occurs.

    These people rely on wells that are replenished by rainfall. The fresh water in the wells holds salt water intrusion at bay provided withdrawals are not too much and do not upset the balance.

    Now that the replenishing rains are not dependable there is nowhere to turn. Drought conditions and their side effects evolve much faster than on the mainland.

    This is similar to Crete, where once a week a tanker full of water arrives. There are no alternatives.

    How many other islands globally have populations that have existed in a balance with rainfall / replenishment coupled while dissuading salt water intrusion? And how many will see imbalances in that rainfall / replenishment? Will they cooperate, or will it be a race to pull water before your neighbor does?

    These communities are mini experiments on what we are doing with aquifers on a much grander scale. By observing how we act / react, we can scale up the response (or lack of) to get a rough estimate on what to expect on a continental scale.

    And by the time we get to the continental stage of this saga, those islands will be deserted, destitute or simply support a much smaller population, again perhaps a foreboding?

    http://globalnews.ca/news/2123361/gulf-islands-faces-unique-circumstances-in-dealing-with-drought/

    Reply
    • “Now that the replenishing rains are not dependable…”

      This is a severe situation for places like this. All a result of government sanctioned FF emissions – and a doltish populace who won’t control themselves.

      Thanks for keeping an eye out, Andy.

      Reply
      • – Gad, I see Pender & Salt Spring are mentioned.
        – And that ominous timeline mentioned which jibes with the breakdowns I have seen in So Cal. coast.
        “Luckham has lived on Thetis Island for 27 years, and has noticed gradually reduced well levels over the last decade.”

        Reply
  12. Andy in SD

     /  August 12, 2015

    95 to 99% of species on the planet are invertebrates. We’re focused on vertebrates to determine the health of our ecosystems. However, the mortality rates and extinction rates in invertebrates should be triggering an alarm.

    Granted people may think “who cares about snails and worms”, however without them, there is no us.

    Mass extinction in poorly known taxa
    =============================

    “Since the 1980s, many have suggested we are in the midst of a massive extinction crisis, yet only 799 (0.04%) of the 1.9 million known recent species are recorded as extinct, questioning the reality of the crisis. This low figure is due to the fact that the status of very few invertebrates, which represent the bulk of biodiversity, have been evaluated. Here we show, based on extrapolation from a random sample of land snail species via two independent approaches, that we may already have lost 7% (130,000 extinctions) of the species on Earth.”

    http://www.pnas.org/content/112/25/7761.full

    Reply
    • Greed demands the worst kinds of sacrifices. In this case, life itself. This one gets to me, Andy.

      Reply
    • Steven Blaisdell

       /  August 12, 2015

      I think it’s more than just the number of species. If I remember my S.J. Gould, something like 95% of marine and 70% of land species went extinct in the P/T event, but around 99% of all living things died. Thus, if invertebrates are dying in large numbers, the total percentage of living things dying might be a more important metric than number of species, which might be somewhat misleading. And as you point out, centrality to biosphere functioning might be most important.

      Reply
      • According to Ward it was closer to 96 percent of species in the ocean and 80 percent of species on land with, as you note, a 99 percent + loss of individuals. It was the only other time in which hothouse conditions occurred almost immediately after glaciation. The implied risk is both to sequestered carbon stores and due to cogeneration of hydrogen sulfide and methane in the world ocean system. Sea bed release of methane generates a mechanism for mobility of sea bed or near sea bed sulfide upward through ocean layers and toward the ocean surface.

        Reply
      • Andy in SD

         /  August 12, 2015

        That dovetails with what I was thinking about Islands being canaries in the coalmine for velocity of reaction to change and the invertebrate issue.

        I wonder if we are aware of Hawaii having an issue simply because we study Hawaii a lot. Could this be reoccurring elsewhere or even in a lot of “elsewhere’s”? We may be further along than many suspect.

        Reply
    • – Insects are basic to our very existence. Without them in our food and sustenance chain we are nothing but emaciated skeletal corpses.
      This has always been so.

      ‘ SOIL BIOLOGY AND THE LANDSCAPE

      An incredible diversity of organisms make up the soil food web. They range in size from the tiniest one-celled bacteria, algae, fungi, and protozoa, to the more complex nematodes and micro-arthropods, to the visible earthworms, insects, small vertebrates, and plants.

      As these organisms eat, grow, and move through the soil, they make it possible to have clean water, clean air, healthy plants, and moderated water flow.

      There are many ways that the soil food web is an integral part of landscape processes. Soil organisms decompose organic compounds, including manure, plant residue, and pesticides, preventing them from entering water and becoming pollutants. They sequester nitrogen and other nutrients that might otherwise enter groundwater, and they fix nitrogen from the atmosphere, making it available to plants. Many organisms enhance soil aggregation and porosity, thus increasing infiltration and reducing runoff. Soil organisms prey on crop pests and are food for above-ground animals.

      nrcs.usda.gov

      Reply
      • And we’re destroying the soil as fast as we can, thanks to mandatory hypocrisy enforced by the FF (and other) capitalists.

        Reply
        • So we’ve killed off 7 percent of species through habitat destruction, the proliferation of toxic chemicals, and the transport of invasive species. The rapid climate shifts we’ve seen so far have probably contributed as well. And, sadly, it’s just the warm up if we let fossil fuel industry keep us dependent on their products. They’re gearing us up for a second great dying that could well make the Permian look tame by comparison.

        • If peak oil occcurrs on “schedule” and keeps us in the RCP 4.5 or 6.5 (latest IPCC green line and orange line) we might avert the Permian Extinction no. 2. What do you think?

        • I think RCP 4.5 might avoid Permian 2, but we still probably get a warming related extinction event.

          The safest course is to not count on peak oil and stop burning fossil fuels now. Waiting on peak oil is a good way to get to RCP 9+.

        • Somewhere between RCP 4.5 and 6 is where you probably start to hit runaway (20-30 percent or greater feedback for the carbon stores). Things are really getting out of our hands in that range.

          Look, we’re not safe now. We’re risking extinctions now. It’s time to stop burning.

        • I know we’re not safe now. Take out the aerosols and we immediately have +2C above 1880s temps. That means we get the coming global superstorms.

          Well I think PO will come sooner rather than later, so, yeah, even though it’s likely IMO we’d get between 4.5 amd 6.5 with peak oil, we’d still screw ourselves and cause the 6th Major Extinction if we’re still burning NatGas and Coal.

          If the feedbacks are worse, i.e., more sensitive, we’d still get the Second Great Dying. (Or is it the Third, now? Turns out it was the End-Permian-like Deccan Flats / End Cretaceous global climate change that killed off the dinosaurs.)

        • Ed, I guess I have to keep being patient. So I’ll try this one more time.

          480 CO2e ultimate warming is about 3.8 C. 40 percent of that in 10 years is 1.52 C. So that’s what you get if all the aerosols fall out and everything else stays the same in ten years.

          However, stop fossil fuel burning and in ten years you also lose in the range of 200 ppb methane and 5-10 ppm CO2 as the oceans draw down. This gets up to 420-440 ppm CO2e and 3.4 C ultimate warming which is 1.36 C in ten years.

          So, no, we do not immediately go to 2 C if the aerosols fall out.

        • The point is that to avoid hitting the 2 C mark you really have to stop burning fossil fuels soon. And we should probably be trying for something closer to 1.5 C for this Century — which will take a cessation of fossil fuel burning. Cessation of fossil fuel burning and then some added work as well.

        • Okay, Robert I get your points. So the 3.8 C, etc. are above current? That’s not good.

          1.36 is “okay” and 1.52 C is just shy* IF they are above 1880s values, not present. Now my hunch is that 3.4 above 1880s and 1.36 above present will cause too much of the metane clathrates to disassociate and vent up into the air, leading to that hothouse.

          * Actually even 1C above 1880s values is too much IMO because of all the storms and other damages we’ve created. 0.75 target is doable if we plant lots and lots and lots of trees. I do my part by burying all the seeds that I find in the oranges I eat. New Orleans is semisubtropical, so they’ll grow.

        • 3.8 C over about 500 years, not including amplifying feedbacks. The trick is to get under that curve as swiftly as possible. It’s a bad spot to be in. Basically behind the 8 ball, but we have time if we decide to let it work in our favor. Letting time work in our favor means rapidly cutting fossil fuels now and looking to manage all aspects for resiliency and carbon draw down over the long term. But the first step is cutting fossil fuel burning to zero ASAP. There are other steps. But they cannot be accomplished without the FF part.

          Yep, it’s bad. Bad, bad, bad. And we are going to get hell even if we respond rapidly. But it’s a possibly manageable hell. Continuing to burn — that’s not manageable at all. And we need to turn that stuff off now if we’re going to have any much of a shot.

  13. Matt

     /  August 12, 2015

    Hi Robert, again as usual for me, off topic but…. i would love to know your thoughts on the current state of GHG reduction commitments being touted at present prior to the Paris summit. I ask this for a number of reasons.
    1. It seems to me that the majority of climate scientists already believe we have blown the 2C “safe limit” GHG budget,
    2. I can’t really find many who even still say that 2C is safe anyway,
    3. The 2030 targets seem like a woeful attempt and are at best window dressing,
    4. Most countries are not even meeting their targets anyway, including my own Australia which is going in reverse.
    I am sure many here are aware of the excellent presentation given by Professor Kevin Andrews relating to our greenhouse gas budget and what it actually means in reality. Link provided in case anyone hasn’t. It seems to me that if the targets being plugged at present, if agreed to, will actually be the final chapter in our response to save our only planet.

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  August 12, 2015

      In a way Obama put it best

      We are the first generation to feel the impacts of climate change, and the last generation to be able to do something about it.

      Reply
    • dnem

       /  August 12, 2015

      I can’t say what RS thinks about the prospects for Paris, but I, for one, think that it will fall far, far short of what is needed. We need to bring about the end of global capitalism, plain and simple. This will take a revolutionary change in the public zeitgeist across the world. There is no sustainable world that looks roughly similar to the current world, but powered by renewables. It is just not possible (or even desirable) to perpetuate (much less grow!) the scale of the human endeavor on renewables. A sustainable future will be powered by renewables, but it will also be simpler, humbler, more local and more real. THAT ain’t coming out of Paris.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  August 12, 2015

        More specifically, we need to stop producing ANYTHING that requires ff’s to run it by 2018 at the latest. I see no one seriously talking about this. Actually, I see basically no one talking about it at all. It should be the main thing that nearly everybody in the (industrialized) world is talking about.

        Reply
        • We’re not on the right footing. And you’re right, anything that burns fossil fuels should not be produced after a very near date. To continue to produce this infrastructure locks emissions in over the course of years and, for fixed infrastructure, decades — unless it is retired early. But once the stuff is built it becomes a sunk cost that adds to the carbon bubble. We should be trying to deflate that bubble, otherwise it will hit us hard economically when the change in perception comes.

    • Any country not fully committed to reducing carbon emissions by 90-100 percent over the next two to three decades is not taking the situation seriously enough.

      With regards to whether or not we’ve already blown the 2 C budget for this Century. I think you’ll find a vocal minority of scientists (around 20-30 percent) who think we’ve already blown 2 C. Using ECS measures we’re at around 2 C if current atmospheric ghg levels are maintained over the course of the next century. My view is that if we let the human methane emission completely wind down and we rapidly halt the CO2 emission there’s still a window for below 2 C IF the global carbon store doesn’t feed back too strongly. That’s a big if for me. A big wild card.

      But to do that, you need to go to zero emissions very, very rapidly. The nations of the world need to take this very, very seriously. Whether they act responsibly here determines the ultimate fate of civilization and of millions and billions of innocent human beings and creatures for whom this world is our only home.

      So yeah anything not pushing for 90-100 percent carbon emissions reductions over the next 2-3 decades is not taking the problem seriously enough. And anyone talking 10-30 percent emissions reductions over that timeframe is really just not doing enough. I’d call that half-hearted effort given the state of the crisis. Australia’s current statement is shameful, woefully inadequate.

      Reply
      • Actually, Robert, I have read that if it weren’t for Global Dimming (blocking sunlight with emitted FF aerosols), we’d be at 2 C right now.

        Something to chew on.

        Reply
        • Not true.

          Current total human forcing without aerosols is 482 ppm CO2e. ECS from that forcing brings us to +1.6 C within ten to twenty years (40 percent) and +2.8 C within 100 years.

          However, a rapid draw down in emissions would not only cause the human emitted aerosols to rapidly fall out, it would also rapidly bring down methane such that CO2e would fall to between 405 and 440 within 1-3 decades. Which brings us to 1.4 C and 2.1 C respectively.

          IF the carbon stores don’t feedback too hard, the oceans draw down about 20 ppm worth of the excess CO2 already in the atmosphere which brings us to 385 to 420 ppm CO2e by end Century getting us more in the range of 1.9 C.

          If we manage our land well and draw down additional carbon that way we could hit 365 to 405 ppm CO2e or around 1.7 C by end Century.

          It would take an extraordinary effort to stay below 1.5 C. But we should probably try for that even if it’s not ultimately attainable.

          As will all things, there’s a deal that we don’t know. So, luck is involved as well. But much, much better if we start sooner.

          One final note on the aerosol/methane — rapid reduction of emissions brings both into play. The aerosols fall out rapidly, but so does the human produced methane. Without a rather large plume from the Arctic to cancel out the loss of the human methane plume, you end up with a rough cancellation of global dimming as the methane is taken down.

          And, the good news, is we don’t yet have a plume from the Arctic large enough to maintain atmospheric methane levels if human emissions of that gas stop or are greatly reduced.

    • rustj2015

       /  August 12, 2015

      He was speaking in 2012. I haven’t looked for a more recent presentation…if you have a newer version of his very cold [choosing that to indicate something very dense, firm, solid] [or, all right then, searing] prognosis, it would be welcome.
      As I believe I heard him say, ‘we have already pushed aside the complaints and fears of the “global south” if we’re considering 2degC *because they have no power* — it’s schadenfreude that Europe feels the burning.
      And Australia will be saved by its thumbing the eye of El Nino according to its dinosaurs? I think not.

      Reply
  14. redskylite

     /  August 12, 2015

    “Indonesians who perform shalat [Islamic ritual prayers] for only between five and 10 minutes could suffer dehydration, heatstroke and even death,” Fidiansjah said.

    He said that the raise in temperature from the peak of 43o last year could be blamed on climate change, which had also caused the weather in Saudi Arabia to be extremely
    volatile.

    http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/08/12/this-year-s-haj-carries-serious-health-risks.html

    Reply
  15. redskylite

     /  August 12, 2015

    I can’t see see Donald Trump as a supporter of the World Wildlife Fund, but they are supporting the borderlands best they can.

    “We are going to have heavy rains, maybe in shorter bursts. When that happens, the water has no time to infiltrate the ground, so the soil starts flowing away with the water. Soil erosion,” he says, “is to nature like cancer is for humans. It destroys little by little. ”

    Climate Change on the Rio Grande

    http://www.worldwildlife.org/magazine/issues/fall-2015/articles/climate-change-on-the-rio-grande

    Reply
  16. Colorado Bob

     /  August 12, 2015

    Three Years of Rain Falls in 12 Hours as Deadly Storm Causes Flooding, Mudslides in Chile

    Antofagasta, Chile, saw 0.55 inches (14 mm) of rain in just 12 hours Saturday into Sunday. That may not sound like much, but it’s actually more than three years worth of rain for this town where the average annual rainfall is just 0.14 inches (3.8 mm).

    The unusual rains caused deadly flooding and mudslides just to the north of Antofagasta in the town of Tocopilla. According to Chile’s National Office of Emergency of the Interior Ministry, at least three people are dead and one more is missing due to the flooding.

    This is the second time in 2015 that this part of Chile has seen unusual rain amounts. In March, Antofagasta saw an even heavier bout of rainfall with 0.96 inches (24.4 mm) falling during the 24 hour period ending at 8 a.m. EDT March 26. That bout of rainfall also resulted in deadly flooding and was named our strangest weather event of 2015, so far.

    LinkLink

    Reply
  17. danabanana

     /  August 12, 2015

    Spain also had the hottest July on record. It will be interesting to see how Medicanes fare in the long term.

    Reply
  18. Colorado Bob

     /  August 12, 2015

    RS –
    I screwed up and posted a double link. Stuck in the filter.

    Reply
  19. dnem

     /  August 12, 2015

    Very interesting post by Neven this morning about a new paper detailing increases in warmth and humidity in the arctic this century: http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2015/08/a-wetter-and-warmer-arctic.html#more

    “The Arctic became warmer and wetter since the beginning of the 21st century, a self-reinforcing trend likely to continue because it is linked to sea-ice melt and more persistent open-water conditions in the world’s northern ocean, a newly published study concludes.

    Data from NASA shows that average surface temperatures across the Arctic Ocean increased an average of 0.16 degrees Celsius per year from 2003 to 2013, and air temperatures rose 0.09 degrees Celsius annually over the same period, says the study, published online in Geophysical Research Letters.”

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2015GL063775/abstract

    Reply
  20. Colorado Bob

     /  August 12, 2015

    Europe Heat Wave Sets All-Time Record in Germany, Again; Prompts Poland Power Cuts

    An extended heat wave is smashing all-time records in parts of Europe for the second time this summer, and may remain in place into next week.

    Triple-digit heat prompted Poland’s national supplier to cut electricity to factories for several hours Monday. The combination of this extended heat plus dry weather has left rivers used to cool Poland’s power plants running low.

    Link

    Reply
  21. Colorado Bob

     /  August 12, 2015

    Smoke and fires in eastern Russia

    Terra/MODIS
    2015/222
    08/10/2015
    03:35 UTC

    Link

    Reply
  22. So. Japan and Egypt are like the USA Gulf Coast now, itself in unusual and sometimes record heat, some 5-8 F (3-5 C) above normal.

    Yipes.😮

    Reply
  23. redskylite

     /  August 12, 2015

    Yikes, Petroleum groups trying to stop protection of Alaska’s wildlife, including the polar bear, what’s the matter with these folks ???

    Federal court hears arguments for polar bear habitat

    http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/8/11/federal-court-hears-arguments-for-polar-bear-habitat.html

    Reply
  24. redskylite

     /  August 12, 2015

    Danger Days . . .

    Surge In ‘Danger Days’ Just Around The Corner

    “Chances are you’ve never heard the phrase “danger day” when it comes to weather. That’s because they’re rare. You’ll want to get to know it, though, because climate change is about to make them a lot more common over the next 15 years.”

    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/danger-days-on-rise-in-us-cities-19322

    Reply
  25. redskylite

     /  August 12, 2015

    “Waves, currents, storms and people all move the sand that make beaches, well, beaches. But a combination of rising sea levels, stronger coastal storms and coastal development means that sandy shorelines are increasingly disappearing, leaving the millions who live there facing major challenges in a warming world.”

    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/coastal-cities-fight-beach-erosion-19324

    Reply
  26. redskylite

     /  August 12, 2015

    In a stinging letter to The Australian newspaper, which ran the half-page advert, the APS said the authors had shown “cognitive biases” in ignoring a “huge body of scientific evidence” on climate change. DeSmog has found the group members have links to mining, finance, agriculture and free market “think tank” the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA).

    http://www.desmogblog.com/2015/08/11/australian-psychological-society-disturbed-climate-denialist-group-s-misleading-newspaper-advert

    Reply
  27. “Let’s hope that, somehow, the terrible toll in heat casualties abates.” We might also consider cutting back on the tax funded production of greenhouse gases just to show we cared, you think?

    Reply
  1. Hothouse Mass Casualties Strike Egypt, Heatwave Hospitalize Thousands in Japan | GarryRogers Nature Conservation and Science Fiction (#EcoSciFi)
  2. 2015’s Cruel Climate Count Continues as NASA Shows July Was Hottest On Record | robertscribbler
  3. 2015’s Cruel Climate Count Continues as NASA Shows July Was Hottest On Record | Artic Vortex
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