Shades of a Canfield Ocean — Hydrogen Sulfide in Oregon’s Purple Waves?

Are we already starting to awaken some of the horrors of the ancient hothouse ocean? Are dangerous, sea and land life killing, strains of primordial hydrogen sulfide producing bacteria starting to show up in the increasingly warm and oxygen-starved waters of the US West Coast? This week’s disturbing new reports of odd-smelling, purple-colored waves appearing along the Oregon coastline are a sign that it may be starting to happen.

Purple Waves

(Purple waves wash over the Oregon beach of Neskowin on August 15. A form of hydrogen sulfide consuming bacteria is known to color water purple. Is this an indicator that the deadly gas is present in Oregon’s waters? Image source: Jeanine Sbisa and Beach Connection.)

A Dangerous Beauty

Oregon beachgoers and ocean researchers alike are flummoxed. There’s something strange in the water. Something that’s coloring the waves of Oregon’s beaches purple even as the off-shore waters are painted greenish-blue. These puzzling purple waves have been washing up along the Oregon Coastline for the better part of a month. And no-one seems to know exactly what’s causing it.

Eyewitness photographer Jeanine Sbisa described the scene at Neskowin:

“The purple was only on the edge of the water. I did not see any patches in the deeper water. ( in fact the deeper water was a beautiful turquoise, instead of the deep blue that it usually is at Winema). Some of the waves were a deep clear purple. Other waves in other segments were a rich foamy lilac color. The colors were amazing. Very beautiful.”

All up and down Oregon’s coastline similar reports have been surfacing. Oregon State Park Ranger Dane Osis photo documented another incident at Fort Stevens State Park near Astoria. And eyewitnesses at some locations have described a ‘funky smell’ issuing from some of the purple-colored waters.

Initial reports have claimed that there’s no evidence the purple waters are harmful. But such assertions may well be premature.

Purple Sulfur Bacteria

At issue is the fact that the waters off Oregon are increasingly warm. They are increasingly low oxygen or even anoxic. Conditions that are prime for the production of some of the world’s nastiest ancient species of microbes. The rotten-eggs smelling hydrogen sulfide producing varieties. The variety that paint the waters green (or turquoise as described by Jeanine Sbisa above) or even an ugly black. And there is one primordial creature in particular that thrives in warm, low-oxygen, funky-smelling water. An organism that’s well known for coloring bodies of water purple — the purple sulfur bacteria.

Purple Canfield Ocean

(Artist’s rendering of what a Canfield Ocean may have looked like. A Canfield Ocean is a deadly hothouse ocean state implicated in 5 of 6 major mass extinction events. And, perhaps, we see a hint of this deadly ocean along the Oregon coast today. Image source: Biogeochemistry.)

In order for blooms of purple sulfur bacteria to form, waters have to be low in oxygen or anoxic. There has to be hydrogen sulfide gas present in the water. And the water has to be relatively warm. This is because the bacteria is warmth-loving, anaerobic, and it uses the sulfur in hydrogen sulfide gas as part of its energy production process.

In the current day, the purple sulfur bacteria is present in anoxic lakes and geothermal vents. But during ancient times and during times of hothouse extinction, the purple sulfur bacteria are thought to have thrived in the world’s oceans — painting them the strange tell-tale purple we see hints of along the Oregon shoreline today. A purple that was the hallmark color of a life-killing hothouse ocean.

In his ground-breaking book “Under a Green Sky,” Dr. Peter Ward vividly describes what a Canfield Ocean may have looked like:

Finally we look out on the surface of the great sea itself, and as far as the eye can see there is a mirrored flatness, an ocean without whitecaps. Yet that is not the biggest surprise. From shore to the horizon, there is but an unending purple colour – a vast, flat, oily purple, not looking at all like water, not looking anything of our world. No fish break its surface, no birds or any other kind of flying creatures dip down looking for food. The purple colour comes from vast concentrations of floating bacteria, for the oceans of Earth have all become covered with a hundred-foot-thick [30m] veneer of purple and green bacterial soup.

The purple sulfur reducing bacteria, though not dangerous themselves, live in a kind of conjoined relationship with the much more deadly hydrogen sulfide producing bacteria. The purple, is therefore, a tell-tale of the more deadly bacteria’s presence. And hydrogen sulfide producing bacteria may well be the most dangerous organism ever to have existed on the planet — largely responsible for almost all the great extinction events in Earth’s deep history. For hydrogen sulfide itself is directly toxic to both land and ocean-based life. Its deadly effects are increased at higher temperatures. And not only is it directly toxic in both water and air, if it enters the upper atmosphere it also destroys the ozone layer.

(Video shot on July 18 [please excuse the colorful language] showing purple waters and dead jellies, barnacles and mussels on another Pacific Ocean beach. Video source: Gezzart.)

Purple waters are a sign that the little organisms that produce this deadly agent may be starting to bloom in an ocean whose health is increasingly ailing. Tiny tell-tales that we’re on a path toward a hothouse Canfield Ocean state. A path we really don’t want to continue along through the ongoing burning of fossil fuels. For that way leads toward another great dying.

*  *  *  *  *

Pigmented Salps — An Indicator of Bio-Magnification?

UPDATE TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 1: According to reports from Oregon’s Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon’s purple waves are being caused by the large-scale spawning of an oxygen dependent jellyfish-like vertebrate called a salp in the near shore zones along the Oregon coastline. The normally clear salps have apparently developed a purple pigmentation which is coloring the waves in this region a strange hew. The findings, though seemingly reassuring, raise more questions than they do answers.

First, salps do not typically spawn in the near-shore region. However, during recent years, near shore salp spawnings have become more common leading to reports of these jellies washing up all along the U.S. Coastline. Phytoplankton and other bacteria are a typical food source for salps and the jellies are mobile enough to follow this food. So large blooms in the near shore ocean could be one reason for salps coming closer to shore.

Second, salps are typically clear — devoid of any pigmentation. So the question here is how are salps picking up this strange purple color? Since salps are filter-feeders known to eat bacteria, it’s possible that a highly pigmented food source or a source laden with purple sulfur bacteria may be resulting in this odd new coloration for salps. So identifying pigmented salps as the source of the purple coloration does not necessarily eliminate the possibility of sulfur reducing bacteria being present in either the near shore or the off shore waters where salps typically reside and feed. Pigmentation, in this case, may be due to salps bio-magnifying the natural pigmentation in their food source. Given the fact that salp coloration is practically unheard of, it’s somewhat puzzling that marine researchers haven’t investigated this particular mystery a bit further.

Third, the region off the Oregon coastline has been increasingly low in oxygen due to a combination of eutriphication, ocean current change, and ocean warming. This fact of declining ocean health in the off-shore Oregon environment is contrary to assertions circulated in some media sources claiming that large salp blooms are a proof that the environment in the bloom region is healthy. Salp blooms follow bacterial and phytoplankton blooms. And such blooms are well known triggers for dead zone formation. Though salps tend to aid in mitigating these blooms, their presence is not necessarily a sign of healthy waters. Conversely, in the case of very large algae blooms, salps presence may indicate just the opposite. Since salps are oxygen-dependent, it’s possible that the near shore environments where wave mixing tends to oxygenate the water is a drawing these vertebrate jellies closer in due to a loss of an off shore environment healthy enough to sustain them.

As with the freak appearance of pink pigmented salps at Manzanita during 2010, the widespread purple waves off Oregon during 2015 remain somewhat of a mystery. The key question as to why salps, that are known to be a clear-bodied species, are picking up a pigmentation very similar to that possessed by purple sulfur bacteria has not been answered.

Links:

Purple Waves Puzzle Oregon Coastal Scientists

Awakening the Horrors of the Ancient Hothouse — Hydrogen Sulfide in the World’s Warming Oceans

Purple Sulfur Bacteria

Canfield Ocean

Under a Green Sky

Biogeochemistry

Hat Tip to Wharf Rat

Leave a comment

272 Comments

  1. wili

     /  August 28, 2015

    Thanks for referencing Ward’s book. Anyone who has not read it should run out (ideally to a library and ideally by car, bike or public transoport ‘-)), get it and read it. I put it up next to Mark Lynas’s “Six Degrees” and Elizabeth Kolbert’s “Sixth Extinction” as one of the most important books of our time.

    Reply
    • Ward’s is better, in my view. The other two were compilations. Ward did groundbreaking research to help us understand this.

      As a side note I completely do not agree with him on the issue of geo-engineering. But his paleo-climate work is insanely good.

      Reply
      • I think that Ward’s many books are all excellent, actually. Rare Earth and The Medea Hypothesis are particular favorites (along with Green Sky.)

        For the big picture, I also very much like “Climate Wars” by Gwynne Dyer. I don’t know why, this book seemingly hasn’t received much attention, as far as I can tell. Anyway, he’s not a researcher, but a journalist and military historian, so no original research, really. But he’s concisely synthesized the science (including parts of Green Sky), the technology, the impacts, and especially the geopolitics, and paints some rather thought-provoking (to say the least) scenarios for the not-too-distant future. Robert: have you read this book? I imagine it would be especially interesting from an emerging threats perspective.

        Reply
      • Great! I’m sure we’ll all be interested to know what you think.

        Reply
      • wili

         /  August 28, 2015

        “The other two were compilations” Yeah, but that can be an advantage for introducing students to the topic. It would be great to have a post from you either reviewing a book or work you think we should all look at, or just listing your top picks and brief notes on strengths/weaknesses of each. But of course there’s plenty to do just to stay on top of the unfolding mayhem, of course!

        Reply
      • I’m about 2/3rds into 6th Extinction right now. I’d characterize it more of a synthesis of wide ranging field research (much if which that she’s personally investigated – so lot’s of entertaining field stories), held together with some interesting perspectives on what it all means, giving the reader some new insight into what’s really happening and how. I like it. She’s obviously not done the groundbreaking-type research of a Peter Ward, but I’m still finding it a rewarding, timely book.

        I also plan to read This Changes Everything. What do people here think about it? The trailer for the upcoming movie looks interesting. http://thefilm.thischangeseverything.org/

        Reply
    • Dave Person

       /  September 1, 2015

      Hi Wili,
      I urge you and others to read Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking Fast and Slow”. Along with reading books about the vast number of scenarios and climate change indicators that have occurred and will occur in the future, reading his classic book helps explain why so many people simply aren’t likely to believe the evidence, assess it correctly and in a timely fashion, or do anything about it. It helps describe the morass of human psychologies that we have to wade through with others and be mindful of within ourselves.

      dave

      Reply
  2. wili

     /  August 28, 2015

    Off topic question–I am thinking of assigning this blog for my students to read this fall. Not to put any pressure on you, but do you think you will be making at least one posting a week through mid Dec. for them to read and respond to? I could make it a fortnightly assignment, if that would take pressure off.

    Reply
  3. climatehawk1

     /  August 28, 2015

    Tweeting.

    Reply
  4. I take back yesterday’s comment about it being warm enough to surf in Barrow, Alaska within a couple of decades or so. Who would want to surf in a toxic purple Canfield ocean?

    Reply
  5. I know that a popular bottom line here is “engineering is not the solution”, and I agree – But I wonder if you could not make it part of the solution, in some way.

    Are there phages that attack and destroy these bacteria?

    Reply
    • Oxygen is toxic to it. Most of the things that kill it en masse rely on oxygen. Kinda hard to produce oxygen in anoxic waters.

      Reply
    • Best way to deal with it (as with most things people push geoengineering for) is to instead remove the initial conditions that result in these blooms in the first place. All of which are related to fossil fuel burning and the related nitrogen industry. So the engineered solutions include renewables and indoor and outdoor vertical farms.

      I guess the watch word here is wise use of resources + effective engineering not geo-engineering.

      Reply
  6. To see this, so early on in things, is … surely very bad. I had thought this sort of thing would be later in the century, with significantly greater levels of warming in force.

    Reply
    • We’re slowing down ocean currents. We’re stratifying the ocean. We’re warming to ocean. And we’re super-loading it with nitrogen. We’ve accelerated the process.

      It’s still very early. And these little blooms of what may be purple sulfur bacteria do not a Canfield Ocean make. But it is a warning sign.

      Reply
      • The problem is, with several decades of further change in committed from existing emissions alone and the accelerating pace of change – one can reasonably expect things to run quite a bit further before collapse or transition addresses the human forcing (whether or not it can do so before positive feedbacks takes things quite bit further is another question).

        From my relatively more restricted perspective lately (not got the time to keep following as many things as I used to), it seems to me we’re starting to find out a lot of potentially more abrupt impacts than we expected – along with the warning signs that they’re creeping up on us faster than most anyone thought. These little purple patches of water are just another thing to add to the list…

        Reply
    • Andy in YKD

       /  August 29, 2015

      Perhaps it is not as early as we think.

      Reply
      • In terms of the changes we can ultimately potentially expect to see, it’s still very early. At least, if the we who potentially expect to see them are the descendents of a rather small fraction of those living today.

        Reply
    • Tom

       /  August 29, 2015

      The biggest mistake is thinking you have time . . .

      Reply
      • Considering I’ve been preparing (or trying to) for 8 years and counting at this point, I’m not so sure that’s my biggest mistake…

        My biggest mistake is not being rich enough.

        Reply
  7. Griffin

     /  August 28, 2015

    I didn’t see this post coming. This one is not good. Far too many signs lately have made this a very frightening post. All those creatures dying in the E Pac is just too coincidental. Dang.

    Reply
    • It’s based on one local media report of an event that’s apparently been ongoing for a month without news coverage. It’s mind boggling to me that more reports haven’t been filed. And it’s equally mind-boggling to me that ocean scientists don’t know about this stuff. I don’t know. Maybe I should offer to do a briefing for them. Would be more than happy.

      Reply
      • Indeed, mind-boggling that something of this import got no coverage. Thanks to you and Wharf Rat for drawing our attention, Robert. Seems myriad consequences are showing up this year? Or is that I’m paying for attention. This post, by far is the most frightening manifestation that I’ve seen. So many interrelated phenomena that defy the fix that our society expects to have on hand. It’s the emergence of dangerous/ancient? bacteria, viruses, fungi that I’ve most lost sleep over, I think.

        Reply
      • Meant to say: It represents, I think, So many interrelated phenomena that defy the fix that our society expects to have on hand.

        Reply
      • Griffin

         /  August 29, 2015

        Well said Robert. My thoughts exactly. My goodness, how long does it take to test a vial of water? Man, all I can think of is a remark by you last year about surfing until the bacteria forced you to stop. At the time, it all seemed so far away. Now, just a year later, the Pacific is hot, whales are dying in droves and your posting about purple surf.

        Reply
  8. Bill H

     /  August 28, 2015

    Arctic sea ice extent latest: a quarter of a million square km lost in just 2 days, according to both Jaxa and NSIDC. The former shows 2015 now significantly below 2011 and equal to 2007 (i.e. second lowest ever). I imagine those storms that have also done so much damage to Barrow, AK, have something to do with it.

    Reply
    • The high pulled the extent values lower. And the storms are chewing away the ice edge. Looks like extent has a shot at second lowest on record. Not a good sign 2 years out…

      Reply
  9. Apneaman

     /  August 28, 2015

    Arctic Emergency: Scientists Speak On Melting Ice and Global Impacts
    This film brings you the voices of climate scientists – in their own words.
    Rising temperatures in the Arctic are contributing the melting sea ice, thawing permafrost, and destabilization of a system that has been called “Earth’s Air Conditioner”.
    Global warming is here and is impacting weather patterns, natural systems, and human life around the world – and the Arctic is central to these impacts.

    Scientists featured in the film include:

    – Jennifer Francis, PhD. Atmospheric Sciences
    Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University.

    – Ron Prinn, PhD. Chemistry
    TEPCO Professor of Atmospheric Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    – Natalia Shakhova, PhD. Marine Geology
    International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

    – Kevin Schaefer, PhD.
    Research Scientist, National Snow and Ice Data Center.

    – Stephen J. Vavrus, PhD. Atmospheric Sciences
    Center for Climatic Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison

    – Nikita Zimov, Northeast Science Station, Russian Academy of Sciences.

    – Jorien Vonk, PhD. Applied Environmental Sciences
    Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University

    – Jeff Masters, PhD. Meteorology
    Director, Weather Underground

    Reply
  10. Andy in SD

     /  August 28, 2015

    20 years ago it was “these things might occur in the far future”
    15 years ago it was “these things could occur in the far future”
    10 years ago it was “these things will occur in the far future”
    5 years ago it was “these things will occur in the future”
    Now it is “these things are occurring”

    “These things” are occurring much sooner than was considered.

    What state will this planet be in 5 years from now? Likely much worse than has been proposed.

    Reply
    • It’s the main reason why I do not now, and will never, have children. Maybe I’ll adopt. But I simply can’t create an innocent life who will certainly face extreme hardship and suffering in the future, and I would have to explain to them how I knew it was all coming, and I knew there would be 10+ billion fighting for resources soon, yet I still had a kid in order to fullfil some biological urge or need to do ” what comes naturally”. I know remaining childless isn’t for everyone, and I don’t have a problem with those who want children. It is simply a personal choice. When I see friends having their second and third child I can’t help but feel bad for those kids who will never have the future lives their parents currently expect for them. Everybody just keeps going like everything is normal, and like “normal” isn’t destroying our biosphere.

      Reply
      • Andy in SD

         /  August 29, 2015

        If I was 20+ years ago I would rethink it as well. However, I have a kid and am working towards trying to give her some sort of future. It is difficult, I discuss what is happening and what will happen with her. As a member of the generation contributing to this mess it is with some guilt.

        Reply
    • Steven Blaisdell

       /  August 29, 2015

      “These things” are occurring much sooner than was considered.”
      Yes, this has been clear to me ever since I started reading the research about 10 years ago. Coming from a textual analysis point of view, as opposed to a strictly scientific point of view, it was clear years ago, strictly from a textual analysis standpoint, that these processes were occurring much faster then were being publicly announced or acknowledged. Factor in the politics involved in the IPCC reports, along with the built-in conservatism of the scientific method, and you have a structurally unavoidable underestimation of the speed of these processes, which a textual analysis reveals fairly easily and quickly.

      Which is why I initially gravitated towards McPherson’s assessment of the situation; while his facts are skewed towards catastrophic thinking, I think he structurally has what is increasingly clearly the right idea, which is that we are unleashing global processes that can and have occurred much faster that anyone really wants to recognize. So while McPherson plays fast and loose with the facts (as has been shown a number of times on Real Climate), he seems to have intuitively grasped our true situation. Which is why Robert’s blog quite a while ago became for me the primary source of information for all things climate change, because he is (as many have noted) “connecting the dots,” but with the best available empirical information. Which combines the best aspects of both empirical science and understandable narrative, where in this case the narrative understanding appears to be a better global picture then a purely scientific approach.

      Reply
      • PlazaRed

         /  August 29, 2015

        One of the things which crosses my mind about the previous time scales and projections, is that as long as things were in the future and in a time when even our children would have to be over 100 years old to experience them, it was sort of OK to think that maybe a solution would be found to upcoming problems with the climate etc.
        Now they/we are talking about 5-10 years maybe a bit more and its there bang in OUR lifetimes, soon it might be a panic situation.
        There could be serious climate refugees in the next 20 years not 100.
        I know there are climate refugees now but this is probably nothing compared to imagining cities like London, New York, New Orleans, which most of us are familiar with but there are also dozens of other cities which are in Asia and Europe which are under grave threat now.

        Reply
  11. http://www.goes.noaa.gov/dml/west/nhem/nepac/rb.html

    Ominous signs. I am just in awe of the Pacific the nhem nepac loop.

    That has to be some sort of golden ratio of storms surrounding the blob and the high at the moment. Is this the face of El Nino? Then its payback time. That Juan de fuca plate has me disaster casting with the pattern flip too. I just need a couple more riders, and we’ll have ourselves a real party. Hell, lets throw in a chinese recession, what does less dimming from China do to the tropics and heat transport. Oh yeah peak oil. Weeeeeeee.

    On the bright side, the superEN should spread that purple stuff around so nobody will notice for another year.

    Reply
    • That big beast of a high is generating some serious storms around its edge line. The high squeezes a massive amount of moisture and instability into its fringe. You end up with these big storms popping up out the boundary. The face of a coming age of storms…

      Reply
      • PlazaRed

         /  August 29, 2015

        Just wondering if this big Gulf of Alaska high is usual or normal during an El Nino year or are they a new feature for this year, or at least and anomaly?
        I’m not really sure where to look for past charts and data during El Nino years.

        Reply
  12. Jack Arnold

     /  August 28, 2015

    Wasnt expecting this post either. I was not expecting, like another person, that this kind of bacterial bloom would happen any time soon, and Im much more doomy than most here.

    Are there any studies that can comprehensively give an accurate idea of just how anoxic the oceans really are, or are we limited to local studies that just take samples from one (relatively) small area? If so, can those results be extrapolated onto the ocean whole? Or, are there no real studies at all, and all we have to go on are visual observations such as purple water and satellite imagery of gigantic algae swirls?

    We have all been wrong to assume that things will happen slowly, IMO. We, meaning basically all of climate science and those paying attention to it, are always talking about 2100, like we set nature time table and it must obey or something. I think its much more likely that transition phases are extremely short and rapid, and exceedingly non-linear.

    Take this purple bacteria… bacteria from what I remember, can double itself every 20 minutes or so. I dont know if this is a slower, or a faster bacteria, but if ocean conditions are starting to become uniformly accommodating to this bacteria, it wont take 85 years (or more) for it to reach ridiculous levels. If it had perfect conditions, every 24 hours it would increase itself by 2^72 (4,722,366,482,869,645,213,696) times. With a 4.7 sextillion fold increase per day… wouldnt take all that long to make a 100 foot thick layer of itself, as mentioned in the OP. Obviously conditions are never perfect though… but geez, even if it only gets to a billionth of where it could in perfect conditions, its still increases in the trillion range per day.

    The point: when something happens, I dont think any of us will have any warning. One day it will not really be “there”, and the next, its “out of control” and still accelerating. Probably what the IPCC meant when they said “rapid, non-linear, and unpredictable”. Just my feeling though.

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  August 29, 2015

      Jack, I worry too about the lack of studies. I worry that too much is happening too fast for studies to keep up with. Scientific studies take time and funding. I worry that we rely on them in a time where change is happening just too fast. Don’t get me wrong, we absolutely need scientific studies, but I worry that the scientists are not being funded/deployed in the manner we need to truly understand the changes that are taking place in our oceans.

      Reply
      • There’s another problem: People ignore and deny the results of any studies that conflict with the “Drill, baby, drill” agenda. With his usual razor-sharp prose, Kunstler calls it our “naive assumption that, when all was said and done, the leadership layer of American society [is] composed of rational people who would make sane decisions and policies if presented with the plain facts, especially about a situation that conceivably threatened America’s well-being, civilization, or the survival of life on earth” (Too Much Magic)

        Reply
  13. Wharf Rat

     /  August 28, 2015

    Well, I’m honored, and I let my buddy I stole the story know that he has his own thread.

    Rat knows red + blue = purple, and he knows red tide. Who knows from blue tide? Anyone? Anyone? Buehler?

    Reply
    • It’s a fantastic catch, Wharf Rat. Damn. I’m still feeling a bit sickened by it all, though. I could say we can’t conclusively say that it’s purple sulfur bacteria. But what the hell else could it be?

      Reply
      • I don’t know, but it _could_ be something else. Or it could be purple sulfur bacteria resulting from some kind of industrial/maritime discharge that nobody is owning up to.

        So we shouldn’t get too far ahead of ourselves. Nor should it be dismissed as “beautiful purple waves.”

        Reply
    • LOL, Wharf. I was wondering why it was taking so long for that Prince vid to show up. -:)

      Reply
  14. Colorado Bob

     /  August 28, 2015

    The Russia walrus herd is hauling out as well –

    Photos taken in Ryrkaypiy in Chukotka, Russia show an estimated 5,000 walruses hauled out in that spot, while across the strait in the United States, thousands more are hauled out near the village of Point Lay, Alaska.

    Link

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  August 28, 2015

      Prior to 2007, Pacific walruses preferred a summer resting area known as the Hanna Shoal region. Here, the ice of the Chukchi Sea, between Russia and Alaska, remained solid year-round — even in summer when sea ice elsewhere had melted

      Link

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  August 28, 2015

        Baby Walruses Stranded by Melting Arctic Ice, Experts Say
        Adrianne Appel
        for National Geographic News
        March 27, 2006

        A team of scientists working in the Arctic Ocean in 2004 says it encountered nine Pacific walrus pups struggling alone in the water far from shore.

        Typically walrus pups live on ice close to shore and are inseparable from their mothers.

        “I’m not a walrus expert, but we thought it was unusual,” said Lee Cooper, a marine ecologist at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, who led the team.

        “The baby walruses would swim up to the boat. It was heartbreaking,” he said.

        Link

        Reply
  15. redskylite

     /  August 28, 2015

    Sockeye Salmon in Idaho, Climate change, Dams and the brink of extinction:

    3 Minute video from Al Jazeera (America)

    http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/live-news/2015/8/salmon-in-idaho-becoming-endangered.html

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  August 28, 2015

      Salmon In every river South of Glacier Bay will be gone in a heart beat. They cannot over come the conditions we are seeing in these rivers they once swam in. Never mind what they find as fry in the soup that is the North Pacific. It’s like the walrus –
      “The baby walruses would swim up to the boat. It was heartbreaking,” he said. “

      Reply
  16. Reblogged this on GarryRogers Nature Conservation and Science Fiction (#EcoSciFi) and commented:
    Here we are at 1-degree C above normal, calling for a 2-degree limit, and already we get hints of horrors that might come. These purple waves should be treated as an early warning and cause for intensive investigation.

    Reply
  17. Colorado Bob

     /  August 28, 2015

    “Wasn’t expecting this post either”

    Cheer-up folks , you could be a walrus pup in that nasty climate change ghetto on the beach at Point Lay. . And that’s what it is , a climate change ghetto for walrus. It’s like every year now the walrus have to move into the “Super Dome” with no working toilets, and no food, for at least a month. Instead of living out on the Hanna Shoal in the Chukchi Sea in your small family groups.

    If your a walrus pup tonight at Point Lay, “Hell has come to Breakfast”.

    Reply
  18. Robert, it seems to me that your posts have been increasingly terrifying as of late (and they are always fantastic). Things are changing extemely rapidly, events are unfolding too fast to keep up, and the warning signs are becoming ever more dire. It blows my mind that the topic of climate change is still largely ignored or dismissed altogether. I think a Republican president come next term would be the final nail in the coffin. We have no carbon budget remaining and time to delay has long since expired.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  August 28, 2015

      Ryan in New England

      Nobody likes the Republican field. The GDP just grew at 3.7 percent. Cheer up , Bernie Sanders could win.

      Reply
    • I think a Republican president come next term would be the final nail in the coffin.

      Ryan, I do think? wonder? if 2016 will be an especially tough one for the R nominee and deniers in general. It’s predicted to be another hot year on the heals of this “Godzilla El Niño”—-if this indeed comes to be, based on all the natural disasters this year re: drought/fires/flooding, more red tide, purple seas?, fish die offs, marine mammal illnesses, even more data coming from NOAA, et. al., –on and on——and events that can’t be predicted today, the R candidate will be confronted directly with this issue.

      I eagerly await the R response.

      Reply
  19. Colorado Bob

     /  August 28, 2015

    Funny how nature set-up “Climate Change: ghettos , before men.

    Reply
  20. One more regarding Republican insanity, in honor of the tenth anniversary of Katrina.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/08/28/3696490/michael-d-brown-katrina-sea-level-rise/

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  August 29, 2015

      Let’s look at the heart of Red State America, Indiana. They have been swamped by rain , Corn is rotting in the fields. And “Sudden Sot Bean Death” has entered their speech.

      Reply
  21. Colorado Bob

     /  August 29, 2015

    35,000 wairus –

    Reply
    • Heartbreaking. They know they’re in trouble…….I can’t begin to imagine their terror.

      Reply
      • Mark from OZ

         /  August 29, 2015

        Oh Maria and CB! It IS heartbreaking. Their behaviour typifies the very real foreboding that we ‘feel’ and discuss here academically and observationally. Completely devoid of guile or rank and unaware of Keeling Curves, PH, O2 levels, they join together as required by their instincts.
        They are unaware that they are unaware to be able to do something beyond trying to coexist with an environment that is rapidly becoming hostile to their very being. We humans, on the other hand, have the ‘benefit’ of ‘seeing’ where this is leading and I’m not confident that we’ll congregate with such humility and resignation.

        Reply
  22. Colorado Bob

     /  August 29, 2015

    “Climate Change:Ghettos”

    Reply
  23. Robert,

    Excellent post, as usual. That said, I’m curious why you didn’t mention the underwater volcano that has been erupting off the Oregon coast for the last month or so. I would think that the eruption would be accompanied by hydrogen sulfide gas. As such, it is either an alternate explanation (and a huge relief) or at least a confounding variable. What do you think?
    Scott

    Reply
    • Good point. But unless it was a very large eruption, and very sulfur rich, it wouldn’t have this impact.

      Reply
    • PlazaRed

       /  August 29, 2015

      I was thinking the same about a volcano producing a lot of sulphur dioxide gas which feeds the bacteria.
      Is the purple bloom confined to the Oregon coast, or is it showing up in other places?
      All around the north American cost there must be plenty of places with similar temps to this place where the purple is now. A lot of places warmer and colder, so if the bloom is only in this area as of now there must be a localised explanation for it.
      If it proves to be harmful in even the slightest way to humans then it could be disastrous for the coastal related tourist industries in a way much worse then just the potential problems for the fishing industry.
      Surly there must be a massive investigation going on into this already by the fisheries and university’s in the area. The local government for the area must be very concerned.
      Looking at it from a holiday makers point of view, would they not be reluctant to enter the purple waters? Hence more problems for locals. The place in the video looked like it had a lot of tourist type buildings on the cliffs.
      A lot of question here.
      Thank you for bringing this to a large number of readers.

      Reply
  24. Dave Person

     /  August 29, 2015

    Hi Folks and Robert,
    I know nothing of these bacteria but why is this just showing up in the surf where water is likely oxygenated by the wave action (like rapids in a stream)? Is the water too warm for that to happen? Why is there no purple color further off shore where conditions are calmer and at least at the surface, more anoxic? I may be ignorant, but some things don’t make sense to me with respect to this event and proposed Canfield conditions.

    dave

    Reply
    • Wave action concentrates any material that is already there. What may be less visible off shore becomes more so as it is trapped in the break zone. Oxygenation by mixing may kill the bacteria that’s in the confluence zone. But that bacteria is refreshed with each new tide. The dead biomass still retains pigmentation and would rob oxygen even from the confluence zone through decay.

      Reply
      • Dave Person

         /  August 29, 2015

        Hi Robert,
        Thanks, that makes sense. Essentially the bacteria may be at low, and unnoticeable concentrations throughout much of the inshore ocean, and waves simply concentrate the residue at the shoreline.

        dave

        Reply
    • Leland Palmer

       /  August 29, 2015

      But the oceans would tend to smell funky due to the red tide anyway, I think.

      Additive color mixing, which is the appropriate system of color mixing for either lights or transparent colors, means that blue plus red makes magenta, a purplish color. So the blue color of the water could combine with the red of the red tide organisms to make magenta, but only when seen by light transmitted through the ocean wave. The foam could look purplish due to the same phenomenon, but with scattered light bouncing around within the foam.

      Somebody really needs to get a sample. We don’t want to make a mistake about this, or jump to conclusions, because this could be a very important finding. Are we starting to see a glimpse of things to come, with oceans full of green and purple bacteria? Or is this just an optical phenomenon?

      Red tides can sometimes have purple coloration – generally a dull brownish purple, I think. This is a known phenomenon.

      Really, though, this looks visually like purple photosynthetic bacteria, to me. The vivid purple color suggests a photosynthetic pigment, I think.

      Reply
  25. Colorado Bob

     /  August 29, 2015

    “Climate Change:Ghettos”

    You can be poo ar framer in Pakistan , or a walrus in the Arctic, Either way way , you end up in a shitty camp alone. With no hope.

    Reply
  26. Colorado Bob

     /  August 29, 2015

    Sorry my only thought tonight is with those little pups on those beaches.

    Reply
  27. Colorado Bob

     /  August 29, 2015

    I’d Love To Change The World – Ten Years After

    Reply
  28. There was a note in one of your linked articles suggesting maybe this is jellies. Now, I am sure it can take a bit of work to find out what is making the tide lavender, but how much work does it take to take a sample and stick it under a microscope and say “Yup, jellies” or “nope, definitely not jellies”? Should it really take more than two minutes to determine at least basically what sort of organism this is? Has someone confiscated all the microscopes in Oregon?

    Reply
    • Tom

       /  August 29, 2015

      Miep: since this purple stuff KILLS jelly fish, it’s most likely not jelly fish that are creating it.

      Reply
  29. redskylite

     /  August 29, 2015

    Too much short term thinking on CO2 emissions ?, worrying report in ARS Technica, strong unified action needed sooner than later . . .

    A new study using one of the most complex models, however, suggests that the simpler models get a key issue wrong: they overestimate how much carbon we can emit if we actually want to stay below 2 degrees Celsius over the centuries that follow.

    Would warming stop after greenhouse gas emissions end? Not quite
    Study shows we might need to rein in carbon emissions even more.

    http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/08/would-warming-stop-after-greenhouse-gas-emissions-end-not-quite/

    Reply
  30. redskylite

     /  August 29, 2015

    A lot of activity and news from NASA recently on sea level rise. I for one am glad to see that the Scripps Institute are on the job too.

    Expect a lot of news on results of research and more realistic estimates of SLR later in the coming months. . . . . .

    “Historically the Arctic Ocean interior has been quiet, and the heat contained in sub-surface waters was sequestered from contact with the surface by a layer of thick ice. However, the more the ice melts, the more turbulent the ocean is likely becoming, and this deeper heat might be getting mixed upwards, warming surface waters and accelerating the rate of ice melt. ”

    https://scripps.ucsd.edu/news/field-what-making-arctic-ice-melt-faster-expected

    Reply
  31. Colorado Bob

     /  August 29, 2015

    redskylite
    Keeping watching the 3rd world , you are a profit.

    Reply
  32. Colorado Bob

     /  August 29, 2015

    Nature’s Way by Spirit

    Reply
  33. Colorado Bob

     /  August 29, 2015

    SPIRIT- “I GOT A LINE ON YOU” (W/LYRICS)

    Reply
  34. Colorado Bob

     /  August 29, 2015

    “I GOT A LINE ON YOU”

    Reply
  35. Colorado Bob

     /  August 29, 2015

    Nature’s Way by Spirit
    \https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsTK2LHZKPQ

    Reply
  36. I’ve asked around about this and keep getting told this is villellas. I can neither confirm nor deny this.

    Reply
  37. Correction: Velellas, sorry.

    Reply
  38. Andy in SD

     /  August 29, 2015

    It would be so simple for someone to take a sample of the water. Do we know if anyone has done so?

    Reply
  39. Andy and Miep—Oregon has some pretty smart sea scientists who just recently dealt with starfish sickness. I cannot imagine samples not having been taken—even before the story was inked. It’ll be interesting to see this unfold.

    Reply
    • Ummmm. I take that back! I just re read the original newspaper piece:

      While some scientists from institutions like the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport or UofO’s Institute of Marine Biology have ventured a few educated guesses, even those were tempered with assertions that they weren’t sure and that water samples needed to be taken.

      That they didn’t think samples needed to be taken, frankly, takes me aback.

      Reply
      • Yeah, generally when one is thusly employed, and you go to cast your gaze upon the lavender waves, you bring sampling vials with you.

        Reply
      • Dave Person

         /  August 30, 2015

        Hi Maria,
        I think you should read your quoted statement again. The scientists opinions were tempered with assertions that they weren’t sure (of their opinions) AND THAT samples needed to be taken.

        dave

        Reply
    • Thank you.

      Reply
    • danabanana

       /  August 29, 2015

      Does not look anything like Salp but more like purple bacteria to me, but hey, what do I know…

      http://earthsciences.iupui.edu/~wgilhool/research/mahoney-lake-british-columb/purple-sulfur-bacteria-from.html

      from the beachconnection article:

      “The how and why is the interesting twist that could involve the infamous “blob,” an area of warmer water in the Pacific Ocean that scientists believe is contributing to the current drought patterns of the West.

      “This may be an unusual sight for us because of two or more possible (hypothetical) reasons: 1) they may be blooming significantly this year due to unusual ocean conditions, or 2) they are usually out there but this year they are onshore due to the suppressed upwelling (the ‘blob’) pressed up alongshore.”

      And no mention of what causes the blob which has been there for 3 years already and not this year alone.

      Reply
    • Updated the post to include new information.

      The issue to me is if salps — spawning in large enough numbers to color the waves purple — are picking up a purple pigmentation, then where is that pigmentation coming from. Salps are typically clear. But they are filter feeders. So are we seeing a case of biomagnification due to consumption of purple sulfur bacteria?

      Purple pigment from food sources has a pretty short list with the sulfur reducing bacteria at the top. I wouldn’t call this just a case of purple salps. We don’t get purple salps. So why are the salps purple?

      Reply
  40. Andy in SD

     /  August 29, 2015

    Anecdotal items:

    – Reduction of general birds in areas, crows present (crows eat carrion).
    – Insect mix changing. My daughter noticed more spiders, less other insects, less birds.

    Reply
    • Andy, are the spiders of various types, or just multitudes of one, or two species?
      The type, locations and constructs of their webs should indicate diversity, or not.

      – The webs themselves also tend to show pollutant fallout — as particulate matter sticks to the web material. A silky white is all you should see. If you see facets of pink, purple, or gray — then you are seeing traffic, or emission fallout.
      I’ll post a photo to illustrate ASAP.
      Thanks,
      DT

      Reply
      • Andy in SD

         /  August 29, 2015

        DT,

        didn’t think of the capture pollutants aspect.

        As for variety, mostly black widows. Seems there are 3 species that are thriving. All top line predators.

        Reply
      • Oh, yeah Andy,
        Spiders know exactly what has fallen out of the air.

        Reply
  41. Back from the grave, Cecil. Thats what I’m calling this El Nino.

    Reply
  42. Salp stamp:

    Reply
  43. redskylite

     /  August 29, 2015

    Interestingly enough I am slowly progressing on a painting, inspired by Peter D. Ward’s book and the colour purple I’ve selected from my palette perfectly matches the photo from Beach Connection”. Goosebumps …

    The land is hot barrenness.
    Yet as sepulchral as the land is, it is the sea itself that is most frightening.
    Waves slowly lap on the quiet shore, slow-motion waves with the consistency of gelatin. Most of the shoreline is encrusted with rotting organic matter, silk-like swaths of bacterial slick now putrefying under the blazing sun,
    Finally, we look out on the surface of the great sea itself, and as far as the eye can see there is a mirrored flatness, an ocean without whitecaps.
    Yet that is not the biggest surprise.
    From shore to the horizon, there is but an unending purple color—a vast, flat, oily purple, not looking at all like water, not looking like anything of our world.
    No fish break its surface, no birds or any other kind of flying creatures dip down looking for food.
    The purple color comes from vast concentrations of floating bacteria, for the oceans of Earth have all become covered with a hundred-foot-thick veneer of purple and green bacterial soup.
    At last there is motion on the sea, yet it is not life, but anti-life.
    Not far from the fetid shore, a large bubble of gas belches from the viscous, oil slick-like surface, and then several more of varying sizes bubble up and noisily pop. The gas emanating from the bubbles is not air, or even methane, the gas that bubbles up from the bottom of swamps—it is hydrogen sulfide, produced by green sulfur bacteria growing amid their purple cousins.
    There is one final surprise.
    We look upward, to the sky.
    High, vastly high overhead there are thin clouds, clouds existing at an altitude far in excess of the highest clouds found on our Earth.
    They exist in a place that changes the very color of the sky.
    We are under a pale green sky, and it has the smell of death and poison

    Reply
    • from the Wikipedia entry about salps:

      “One reason for the success of salps is how they respond to phytoplankton blooms. When food is plentiful, salps can quickly bud off clones, which graze the phytoplankton and can grow at a rate which is probably faster than that of any other multicellular animal, quickly stripping the phytoplankton from the sea. But if the phytoplankton is too dense, the salps can clog and sink to the bottom. During these blooms, beaches can become slimy with mats of salp bodies, and other planktonic species can experience fluctuations in their numbers due to competition with the salps.”

      Reply
    • I would love to see that. Sounds horrifying and spectacular all at once.

      Reply
  44. Apneaman

     /  August 29, 2015

    Purple Waves 2015

    Purple waves, all in my brain
    Lately things they don’t seem the same
    Actin’ funny, but I don’t know why
    Excuse me while I kiss this world goodbye

    Purple waves, all around
    Don’t know if I’m comin’ up or down
    Am I happy or in misery?
    What ever it is, that canfield put a spell on me

    Help me/us
    Help me/us
    Oh, no, no

    Ooo, ahhh
    Ooo, ahhh
    Ooo, ahhh
    Ooo, ahhh, yeah!

    Purple waves all in my eyes
    Don’t know if it’s day or night
    You got me blowin’, blowin’ my mind
    Is it tomorrow, or just the end of time?

    Ooo
    Help me/us
    Ahh, yea-yeah, purple waves
    Oh, no, oh
    Oh, help me/us
    Tell me, tell me, purple waves
    I can’t go on like this
    Purple haze
    You’re makin’ me blow my mind
    Purple waves, n-no, nooo
    Purple waves

    ================================================================

    Reply
  45. redskylite

     /  August 29, 2015

    Many sources cite Bangladesh as the country most vulnerable to climate change events such as sea level rise, monsoonal shifts, Himalayas glacier/snow-pack melt and extreme weather events. I have been reading with interest about their efforts installing solar home systems. It is ironic they are also actively exploring for oil, I only hope that helps to lessen child malnutrition rates which are currently at 48% there.

    This article which I read in cleantechnica today, details a new effort to install solar irrigation pumps. . . .

    “To leverage its success in the solar home system programs, IDCOL has set itself a target to finance 1,550 solar irrigation pumps by 2017 and 50,000 by 2025.“

    http://cleantechnica.com/2015/08/28/next-big-thing-bangladesh-solar-irrigation-pumps/

    Reply
    • redskylite

       /  August 29, 2015

      Bangladesh, Bangladesh
      Bangladesh, Bangladesh
      When the sun sinks in the west
      Die a million people of the Bangladesh

      Once again we stand aside
      And watch the families crucified
      See a teenage mother’s vacant eyes
      As she watches her feeble baby try
      To fight the monsoon rains and the cholera flies

      Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  August 30, 2015

      Here is a recent report for Save the children

      https://bangladesh.savethechildren.net/news/malnutrition-bangladesh-new-report-published

      Interestingly, it quotes figures of 60% for chronic malnutrition in 1997, falling to 41% in 2011, but suggests that progress appears to be slowing. Maybe your 48% figure is more recent.

      The birth rate has also fallen dramatically, so the situation is quite dynamic, but the suffering is still immense.

      Reply
  46. redskylite

     /  August 29, 2015

    Heartfelt story on the Siberian wild-fires . . . .

    ‘Babushka Bay with the shore covered in charcoal and black and yellow mountains, covered in smoke. This road to the viewing point rock reminds of a horror film. Fire traces as far as you can see on the horizon. This is where I sat for hours, enjoying view of endless green carpet’.

    http://siberiantimes.com/ecology/casestudy/news/n0378-the-destruction-wrought-by-wildfires-around-lake-baikal-leaves-physical-and-emotional-scars/

    Reply
  47. Caroline

     /  August 29, 2015

    Dire year to date wildfire stats for U.S. —— 2015 record breaking (no surprise there):
    http://www.nifc.gov/fireInfo/nfn.htm

    Reply
  48. Jack Arnold

     /  August 29, 2015

    Honestly it doesnt look like salps to me. Salps are big things that you can easily see; the pictures show a rather uniform purpleness though with no obvious salps visible.

    Amazing though, purple waters found, article written about it, H2S bacteria and its purple counterpart logically speculated, and lo, 2 days later, it is to be declared: “nope, just harmless salps, nothing to see here, move along!”

    Reply
    • Dave Person

       /  August 29, 2015

      Hi,
      I believe the news story about salps indicated the identification of juvenile salps was made from examination of water samples. Hence, the small size of the organisms. It may not be definitive but it has more evidence supporting it than any other explanation right now. Moreover, to my knowledge, the only ones speculating about H2S bacteria are the members of this forum, with access to no actual water samples or any empirical data. Jack, your possible insinuation of some sort of cover up, and I apologize if I misunderstand your intent, is unfounded at this point.

      dave

      Reply
      • Regarding an earlier comment, I never suggested velella were causing purple sulfur bacteria. I was referring to people who have lived there saying “that looks like velella,” though the first article did state that this idea was incorrect. I’m always a little nervous about how the popular press reports science. They often get things confused.

        Regarding the salps, the impression I got was that the researchers were amazed by an unprecedented number of salps, but still mystified about the purple. So there appears to be more than one story here, or a complex one.

        It does strike me as an important story one way or the other. The more we know about how the ocean is changing, the better.

        Reply
  49. Ouse M.D.

     /  August 29, 2015

    http://thebulletin.org/press-release/press-release-it-now-3-minutes-midnight7950

    Read it through- CAREFULLY.
    Can Your brains connect the two simple, almost jumping-right-at-You-dots?

    Reply
    • LJR

       /  August 29, 2015

      “The resulting climate change will harm *millions* of people and will threaten many key ecological systems on which civilization relies”

      I think he’s a bloody optimist.

      Reply
      • Ouse M.D.

         /  August 29, 2015

        What I meant by connecting the dots was:
        -recent geopolitical tensions AND
        -the threat of nuclear war & winter vs global warming

        Reply
      • LJR

         /  August 30, 2015

        I don’t understand what you mean by “dots” concerning these two issues. If we have an all out nuclear war that causes the nuclear winter effect from aerosols we’re screwed. If we don’t and global warming continues then we’re screwed again. Seems like two entirely separate scenarios, both with hideous outcomes.

        I think it’s possible that tactical nuclear weapons might be used in a future conflict but that the response would not escalate to an all out nuclear catastrophe.

        I believe that even our senile world leaders can readily see that the use of nuclear weapons will precipitate a storm of refugees that could easily flood the aggressor. I’m thinking of India and Pakistan here. The greatest risk will be that we play a game of chicken and neither side blinks. Russia and the US will posture and threaten each other but I hope that’s as far as it goes.

        But I just may not be following your line of thought.

        Reply
  50. 0000

     /  August 29, 2015

    Has anyone explained the dead jellyfish?

    Reply
  51. Bill DeMott

     /  August 29, 2015

    Scientists should not have much trouble to use filters and/or a centrifuge and microscopes to identify the nature of the purple matter. If purple bacteria, they would develop in a deeper, anaerobic layer. So, there would need to be upwelling without too much mixing to see such a dark purple due to bacteria. In lakes, purple bacteria are found in aerobic layers with enough light (quite low 1% of surface or less) for photosynthesis.

    Reply
  52. I read one of the links at the bottom of this post where last year Robert described in greater detail the presence of hydrogen sulfide in our oceans…He speaks directly re: the coast of Oregon—the piece and the dialogue it stimulated in the comments are excellent.

    Off the Oregon coast, in perhaps one of the most extreme examples of ongoing ocean hypoxia, one of the world’s largest and most oxygen-starved dead zones continues to expand. The oxygen levels in this region are so low that local fisherman often bring back horrific tales of baby bottom dwelling creatures such as crabs and octopus climbing anchor ropes to escape the dangers of their oxygen-starved environment. In another, possibly related event, masses of starfish perished during 2013 and 2014 as they, over the course of a few weeks, turned to goo. The fact that this sci-fi esque mass death of starfish occurred near one of the world’s largest dead zones should not be lost on those concerned for world ocean health.

    But perhaps even more concerning is the fact that this region off the Oregon coast is producing substantial volumes of hydrogen sulfide gas. Volumes high enough in concentration to occasionally cross the ocean-air boundary.

    https://robertscribbler.com/2014/01/21/awakening-the-horrors-of-the-ancient-hothouse-hydrogen-sulfide-in-the-worlds-warming-oceans/#comments

    Reply
    • There have been dead zones off the coast of Oregon for at least ten years now, and with this year’s exceptional El Niño, unusual phenomena certainly warrant close examination. And, as has already been noted many times; the many huge sea life die offs have not been clearly resolved, though the correlation with heat is clear. And in a region that has a history of anoxic zones and is exceptionally warm right now, it’s certainly appropriate to consider what sorts of life thrive in very warm, anoxic waters.

      Reply
      • Dave Person

         /  August 29, 2015

        Hi,
        There is also an unprecedented algal bloom occurring. Salp feed on phytoplankton so it may be plausible that there has been an irruption of salp. It is also possible that some other process such as an irruption of H2S eating bacteria may be happening and salp is a “red herring”. Ocean scientists will collect data and I am sure an explanation will be forthcoming.
        dave

        Reply
  53. I agree, Miep. Forums like this provide a safe environment(pun) to these explore ideas and hypotheses. I come from a background of Pediatric Intensive Care where we were commonly faced with children presenting with clinical symptoms both straightforward and more often quite vexing. It was the challenge re: diagnosing the vexing by exploring all avenues that gave me the much satisfaction. Sometimes someone on the team would note the shade of a child’s cyanotic toes, for example, that would lead to the answer. We all saw this color but for this team member that exact coloring clicked something in his/her files of experience and study….Great stuff. Lives saved.

    Reply
  54. On an iter-related note: Russia Raises an “Ice Curtain” in the Arctic Thanks to Climate Change

    Russia has developed an “anti-access” presence in the Arctic in the past year with a stronger military presence, a push for more territory, and nationalist rhetoric, a report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies notes.

    And:

    NATO has reported that Russia has increasingly been turning off aircraft tracking devices when flying over Northern Europe, and the country has announced the reopening of dozens of previously closed military bases in the Arctic.

    “The Arctic is beginning to become militarized and there is no forum or place to discuss security-related issues and to promote greater transparency and confidence,” states the report, which refers to the current situation as “the new ice curtain.”

    More:
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/russia-raises-an-ice-curtain-in-the-arctic-thanks-to-climate-change/

    Reply
  55. That same website is now claiming that the mystery is solved:

    http://www.beachconnection.net/news/salppurp082815_725.php

    “My staff have been communicating with WDFW and taken samples at Clatsop Beach,” Braby said. “They are a huge bloom of juvenile salps – a gelatinous VERTEBRATE, more closely related to fish than to jellies.”

    So, it looks like there will be no Canfield ocean today.

    Reply
    • Sorry – I missed the earlier comments above about this same article…

      Reply
      • What’s odd about the story is that you’d think that when the ocean shoreline presented a unique and highly visible phenomenon, and the answer was as simple as collecting a little water and determining that the coloration was being caused by a known animal that was relatively easy to identify, that it would be resolved quickly, not discussed behind closed doors for a month first. So I really can’t judge people for wondering whether there is more to this story.

        Reply
      • That is a puzzling aspect, I agree. I also wonder about the report of ‘funky’ smells. (Which is, at this point, only hearsay, I guess.) Anyway, there certainly could be more to it than is being reported. Though it could also plausibly just be a case of, how shall I say it, non-optimal human behavior.😉

        Reply
  56. In Santa Barbara (Coal Oil Point-Ellwood) hydrogen sulfide was an issue. (Warning sirens for H2S were at hand due to on shore oil pipeline and processing facilities.

    -But swaths of purple water were never, to my knowledge, in evidence. Over a few decades I surfed, boogie-boarded these waters, and protected shorebird habitat on the beach. No purple water here at all – but in 2012 green algae via nutrient N loading in on-shore beach standing water became evident.
    -Some Background on west coast near shore H2S:

    – -Biogeosciences
    Methane oxidation in permeable sediments at hydrocarbon seeps in the Santa Barbara Channel, California.
    ABSTRACT:
    ” A shallow-water area in the Santa Barbara Channel, California, known collectively as the Coal Oil Point seep field, is one of the largest natural submarine hydrocarbon emission areas in the world. Both gas and oil are seeping constantly through a predominantly sandy seabed into the ocean. This study focused on the methanotrophic activity within the surface sediments (0–15 cm) of the permeable seabed in the so-called Brian Seep area at a water depth of∼10 m. Detailed investigations of the sediment biogeochemistry of active gas vents indicated that it is driven by fast advective transport of water through the sands, resulting in a deep penetration of oxidants (oxygen, sulfate)…”
    http://www.biogeosciences.net/7/3095/2010/bg-7-3095-2010.pdf

    Reply
  57. Here’s Santa Barbara Surfrider link for Robert.
    https://santabarbara.surfrider.org/aboutus/about-sb-surfrider/

    Gnarly!

    Reply
  58. Cuba Turns To Cloud Seeding Amid El Nino-Triggered Drought

    Cuba announced Friday that it will employ cloud seeding to artificially induce rain in areas hit by the Caribbean island nation’s worst drought in years. State newspaper Granma reported that the country will deploy a Russian Yak-40 aircraft in September to increase precipitation in areas that feed into the Cauto River.

    Cloud seeding involves spraying chemicals into the air that increase water condensation and prompt heavier rainfall. “The period from January up to the present has been the driest in terms of precipitation since 1901,” Argelio Fernandez, infrastructure head at Cuba’s state-run waterworks, told …

    Cuba’s reservoirs are currently at about 35 percent of capacity, and in some provinces, they have run well below 20 percent. Of the country’s 242 reservoirs, 25 are completely dry, and with just two months left for the rainy season…
    http://www.ibtimes.com/cuba-turns-cloud-seeding-amid-el-nino-triggered-drought-2074001

    Reply
  59. Q: So why here at Oregon’s Neskowin Beach? Why now? Local water currents,etc and environmental factors?
    – Factors to consider.
    http://visittheoregoncoast.com/cities/neskowin/activities/neskowin-beach-state-recreation-site/

    Reply
    • Dt: if this whole thing is a result of a far offshore body of water blowing in, complete with velella and salps and whatever, it might be worth looking at what the offshore weather and wind patterns have been. I don’t think it likely that this is a result of some local coastal phenomenon. Even if it did involve anaerobic bacteria, that would all have to come from a long ways off.

      Reply
  60. – Shipping water AK to CA. Marine shipping is an extreme emitter of FF etc. Back in the 1980s towing icebergs down the coast was talked about.

    An Alaska company is planning to be the first to ship massive amounts of fresh water to drought-plagued California, potentially as much as 10 million gallons a month.

    “We are prepared to deliver bulk water now… Alaska Bulk Water CEO Terry Trapp said in an email.

    Trapp, who used to run a bottled water company, would perform the feat by shipping the water on a tanker. The water would be taken from the Blue Lake in Sitka, where the company has rights to up to 9 billion gallons of “some of the most pure water on Earth,” he said.

    The hang-ups? Finding available, affordable ships and developing the infrastructure to offload the water on the other end.

    “Alaska Bulk Water is working with several shipping companies to help provide vessels for transporting water to its customers,” Trapp said. “We have met with many of the municipalities and industries in California and many of them would like to have our Alaska water.”
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/small%20business/2015/08/28/sitka-alaska-fresh-water-drought-california/71322518/

    Reply
  61. – Atmospheric Chemistry SO2 and time/speed.

    TAIPEI — A research team at Academia Sinica, Taiwan’s leading academic research institution, has identified active molecules that may be critical to the formation of aerosols and acid rain.

    The team found that the active molecules in the atmosphere, called Criegee intermediates, react with the pollutant sulfur dioxide (SO2) in the atmosphere at a fast speed in a process of oxidation.

    The process produces sulfur ozone and subsequently sulfuric acid, an important constituent of aerosols and acid rain, according to a statement released by Academia Sinica on Friday.

    The finding suggested that the molecules play a greater role in atmospheric chemistry than previously believed, the statement said.
    http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/national/national-news/2015/08/30/444594/Research-team.htm

    Reply
    • redskylite

       /  August 30, 2015

      Many thanks for that interesting include, mainly I get news from the U.S and Europe (through PhysOrg and EurekAlert) and do not see much of what is going on in Asia. This was posted in MIT news recently . . .

      To get a more accurate picture of coagulation, Cziczo’s group constructed a new chamber with a single-droplet generator, an instrument that can be calibrated to produce single droplets at a specific size, frequency, and charge. Typically, droplet generators impart too much charge onto a droplet. To produce electrical charges that droplets actually carry in the atmosphere, the team used a small radioactive source to strip away a small amount of charge from each droplet.

      http://news.mit.edu/2015/rain-drops-attract-aerosols-clean-air-0828

      Reply
      • You’re welcome rskl,
        I came across it in one of my Google News categories I request. This one under ‘acid rain’.
        Others I use are ‘nitrogen’, ‘air pollution’, ‘ozone’, ‘drought’ and others.
        I never know when something current and useful will pop up. Most headlines are easy to cull.
        OUT

        Reply
  62. – For Maria and Andy:

    Air Pollution At Home Linked To Lower Grades For Children

    New research suggests that exposure to toxic air pollutants adversely affects children’s grades, Newsmax reported.

    Researchers at the University of Texas at El Paso found that fourth and fifth graders who were exposed to high levels of motor vehicle emissions from cars, trucks and buses on roads and highways were found to have significantly lower GPAs, even when accounting for other factors known to influence school performance.

    http://www.universityherald.com/articles/22948/20150829/air-pollution-at-home-linked-to-lower-grades-for-children.htm

    Reply
    • Only Congress can regulate sources of Ap.

      Reply
    • Andy in SD

       /  August 30, 2015

      Not surprised at all. This is all common sense (now quite uncommon). It is unfortunate that a study is required to point out the obvious, which will then be ignored.

      Reply
    • Thanks DT. I’m beginning to create a file for these…Andy, I hear you re: needing to do a study for the obvious. Can’t tell you how much time and money was spent to show that sexually violating children is bad for them….this was back in the 80s/90s—this is just one example that we went thru but I found it especially troubling.

      Reply
  63. Robert In New Orleans

     /  August 30, 2015

    A really great video:

    Reply
  64. redskylite

     /  August 30, 2015

    In the Observer/Guardian today:

    My Arctic journey shows how a warming climate exposes our most fragile ecosystem – and threatens its very survival

    A voyage through the awe-inspiring Northwest Passage shows that, with oil drilling in the far north on the way, rapid action is needed to protect nature’s last refuge
    However, there is another factor that made this journey possible, one that reveals the darker side of humanity’s scientific might and which provides the most intriguing aspect of any Arctic visit. Every year our factories and cars pump billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and emissions continue to rise remorselessly. As a result, our planet is heating at a worrying rate, with the Arctic bearing the brunt of temperature rises.

    Every year the melting of sea ice in the far north starts earlier and earlier and it is now vanishing at a rate of about 13% per decade. As a result, the Arctic’s sea ice cap has shrunk by nearly a third since 1979, according to the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre. Finding enough ice in which to get trapped is becoming the Arctic’s real problem.

    That erosion of ice is likely only to worsen, scientists warn. Ice reflects radiation. But if it disappears, and reveals below it the Arctic’s dark waters, which are much better than ice at absorbing heat, less and less solar radiation will be reflected back into space and the Arctic will warm up even more. Indeed, many scientists now believe the Arctic could be free of sea ice in summer within a few decades.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/30/my-arctic-journey-fragile-ecosystem-northwest-passage

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/30/my-arctic-journey-fragile-ecosystem-northwest-passage

    Reply
  65. redskylite

     /  August 30, 2015

    An interesting piece on vanishing ice in Northern Canada from Yale environment 360. . .

    In Northern Canada Peaks, Scientists
    Are Tracking Impact of Vanishing Ice
    “The scenes that greeted us were nothing like those seen by Wexler or the scientists who took aerial photographs of the icefields in 1982. Instead of pristine, crystalized layers of firn that are typically left over from past winter seasons, we found an atrophying glacial surface darkened by sand and dirt. In several places, we came across the frozen carcasses and bones of caribou and wolverines that had fallen into crevasses decades or even centuries earlier and had melted out of the disappearing ice.

    Between 1982 and 2008, this glacier-covered area in the Selwyn Mountains contracted by about 30 percent, from 101 square miles to 71 square miles. Its retreat has accelerated since then.”

    https://e360.yale.edu/digest/in_northern_canada_peaks_scientists_are_tracking_impact_of_vanishing_ice/4519/

    Reply
    • – Thanks for this – rapid contraction, very serious.
      – I wish to convey to PDX etc. reliance on Columbia Ice Fields for C. River.

      –🙂 Maybe Mr, VOOM-THRUST-AND-ROAR B. Dylan will resurrect his Woody Guthrie act and sing “Trickle on Columbia”.

      Reply
      • Roll, Columbia, Roll 1949 Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) Woody Guthrie
        The info for this isa very interesting read as the ice fields deteriorate.

        Reply
  66. Andy in SD

     /  August 30, 2015

    Hey all,

    I just saw that a pretty big chunk of Petermann just broke free, and the front face has crumbled further. It looks like a few square miles worth of ice just broke free.

    Look at this link, for today, and my reply link which shows a month ago. You will see the northern portion broke free, and the calving face suffered a significant event.

    SAT IMAGE #1: Today.

    http://www.arctic.io/explorer/8/2015-08-29/9-N81.0972-W59.78915

    Reply
    • Andy in SD

       /  August 30, 2015

      SAT IMAGE #2: One month ago.

      You can see the giant chunk that broke free.

      http://www.arctic.io/explorer/8/2015-07-29/9-N81.0972-W59.78915

      Reply
      • Andy in SD

         /  August 30, 2015

        I’ve looked up the resolution of the satellite, and it says 500 meter. If I assume 1 pixel = 500 meters, then the piece that broke free is 9km x 13 km (117 square km ). This equates to 45 square miles.

        Can someone very the resolution of the Satellite & my calcs? The key component is distance per pixel at maximum zoom.

        Reply
      • It’s 250m at highest zoom level, next lowest is 500m and so on.

        Reply
      • Good spot, Andy.
        Also, if I am oriented OK, a lot of bergs, chunks, and ice has flushed out of the area – frame right to left.

        Reply
      • Or, left to right…

        Reply
    • redskylite

       /  August 30, 2015

      Wow, that is a huge change, well spotted. I can imagine a whole plethora of numskulls who would prefer such strong tools were kept secret, I can’t verify but if you math is right this is very worrisome.

      Reply
  67. Griffin

     /  August 30, 2015

    I found this to be relevant to this post. Looks like the Robert may not have been far off with the Hydrogen Sulfide.http://www.bbwarm.whatcomcounty.org/news-and-event-stories/purplesulfurbacteriaandalgaereturntobirchbay

    Reply
    • Dave Person

       /  August 30, 2015

      Hi Griffin,
      Except that in the Oregon case a water sample was analyzed by a marine scientist and she identified salp and not purple sulfur bacteria. Looking at photos of psb, I suspect it would be a slam-dunk identification if present but I am not sufficiently knowledgeable about the species to know that for sure.

      dave

      Reply
  68. – PNW PDX 083015

    Finally got some precip.
    Significant rain was forecast — result: TRACE & .27 “. not very much but indicative of overall forecasts these past few years of GW and CC.

    Reply
    • That’s great to hear you got something. More this week? Here’s a really cool photo someone posted on a CA weather blog.

      Reply
  69. Hope…always.

    Reply
  70. Andy in SD

     /  August 30, 2015

    Manhattan is 33 sq miles.

    At 45 sq miles (above) I managed to identify a Manhattan size breakage. Some thing to be proud of, yet not want to see happen.

    Reply
  71. Attention Andy, Maria, and all terrestrial breathers (Excepting US Congress — of course.):

    ! “The World Health Organization considers air pollution as one of the largest avoidable causes of mortality!!!

    – AVOIDABLE !

    ‘despite being within … recommended levels.’

    ‘Vehicular Air Pollution Leading Cause of Heart Disease’

    LONDON, UK, August 30, 2015 (ENS) – Air and noise pollution are environmental health risks with severe consequences for heart health, according to the European Society of Cardiology, which is asking for help from lawmakers to reduce these risks.

    Cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke, are the number one killer worldwide. In Europe, they cause the deaths of more than 10,000 people daily – more than all cancers combined, according to European Cardiovascular Disease Statistics 2012.

    The ESC says cardiovascular diseases account for 80 percent of all premature deaths due to air pollution. The effects may be so serious that experts advise heart disease patients to stay inside during rush hour traffic.

    Particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide pollution are associated with increased risk of severe heart attacks despite being within European recommended levels…

    http://ens-newswire.com/2015/08/30/vehicular-air-pollution-leading-cause-of-heart-disease/

    Reply
    • ‘Ambient air pollution is a mixture of particulate matter and gaseous pollutants such as sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ozone (O3).’

      Reply
      • Know too that the same Pm containing SO2 & NO2, etc does fall into our oceans — am thinking of NE Pacific mess adjacent to US west coast marine shipping and I-5 NAFTA corridor, etc.

        Reply
      • What boggles the mind is the leaders of these industries who are putting profits first also breathe the same air—as do their children. A cognitive dissonance of epic proportions. I’d love to speak to Koch’s grandkids—find out their views, their perception of life and how to live it…..

        Reply
      • Andy in SD

         /  August 31, 2015

        Maria,

        Many of them don’t treat their kin as you or I would. I have worked for them, at the top of the food chain. And they literally use the concept of blood relations as a leverage tool. They view it as something they can use to gain more control over that person. These people simply don’t care. About anything or anyone than themselves, they truly don’t care, and there is ZERO way to have them stop and consider a higher purpose. It is not in them, at all, ever. It is all eat now, who cares about tomorrow.

        Reply
      • Andy, thanks for sharing your experience with these people. Can’t imagine how mind-collapsing and soul-robbing it must have felt at times when you worked for them.

        Reply
    • Andy in SD

       /  August 31, 2015

      The real shame of all of this is that it is common sense. Humans are no different than any other organism, we operate within a range of conditions. When we exceed this range we suffer from effects proportionate to the effect induced. There is no magic here, yet it is treated that way.

      Reply
      • Andy in SD

         /  August 31, 2015

        Air conditioners and other modifiers have simply expanded our area of operability. But when those modifiers stop…….

        Reply
  72. – The Guardian 0829
    Warning – a cushy cruise type ship was the reporters platform — but is acknowledged — and the reality of CC on the Arctic is stressed.

    ‘Nature’s last refuge: climate change threatens our most fragile ecosystem’

    An Arctic voyage through the awe-inspiring Northwest Passage shows that, with oil drilling in the far north on the way, rapid action is needed to protect the region

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/30/my-arctic-journey-fragile-ecosystem-northwest-passage

    Reply
  73. – Some take air pollutants seriously.
    – It’s all from known sources — and the lighter elements rise as GHG etc. while the heavier stay low in the community and destroy lives.

    ‘Wanted! An army of citizen scientists to tackle air pollution’

    A Europe-wide project asks iPhone users to help monitor levels of pollution in major cities
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/aug/30/citizen-scientists-tackle-air-pollution

    Reply
  74. Someone was asking at storm2k.org if the remnants of Atsani had anything to do with last night’s gale-force wind/rain storm that nocked out power for half a million people in Vancouver BC. I’m personally wondering how the RRR factored into all of this?

    Reply
  75. – From a link tweeted by ch1 re:

    ‘California climate researchers sound the alarm at symposium: ‘There’s no way out’

    …State environmental and natural resources regulators joined with Gov. Jerry Brown’s Office of Planning and Research to present the latest statewide academic findings at the California Climate Change Symposium in Sacramento…

    But researchers were less interested in sharing their data than in provoking political action — something they said they have failed to do because of poor communication with the general public.

    “What we’re beginning to understand is that there’s no way out,” said Susanne Moser, a leading Santa Cruz-based climate change researcher. “We need transformational change. We don’t need more studies as much as we need to communicate the urgency and make solid changes. We need to not debate forever.

    http://www.dailybreeze.com/environment-and-nature/20150825/california-climate-researchers-sound-the-alarm-at-symposium-theres-no-way-out

    Reply
    • … Geographic impacts of climate change on a local level are mapped in real-time on an online Story Map developed by Stanford researchers that details wildfires, suspended agricultural production and other weather-related effects.

      – Story Map — 5 bar menus above Stanford acrgis map:
      http://stanford.maps.arcgis.com/apps/StorytellingTextLegend/index.html?appid=dafe2393fd2e4acc8b0a4e6e71d0b6d5

      Reply
    • – Terms & lexicon to help make our point:
      Intersperse ‘scientist(s)’ with ‘researcher(s)’.

      Reply
      • “It’s hot and it’s getting hotter. It’s not looking good. It’s not going to get a lot easier. We’re just beginning to understand the most catastrophic situations, and we’re starting to sound like TV evangelists in what we’re trying to say.”

        Reply
    • redskylite

       /  August 31, 2015

      That’s the most sensible symposium report I’ve seen in a long while, communications is the priority, that an a more realistic measure of sea level rise. We have had enough debates.

      Reply
  76. redskylite

     /  August 31, 2015

    Bony Scotland show that Climate Change is far far bigger than mere politics by signing a cross party pledge, if only all other democracies could be so mature. . . .

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-34102208

    Reply
  77. redskylite

     /  August 31, 2015

    This short video (2 mins 6 secs) from Associated Press highlighting the disappearing glaciers in the Mount Baker region of Washington . . . .

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/climate-change/news/video.cfm?c_id=26&gal_cid=26&gallery_id=153861

    Reply
  78. Thanks for the vid, skylight. Visuals make it much easier to wrap my mind around this.

    Here’s a NASA animated graphic(3/4 down) from that shows how with a radar they’ve been able to map out the different time periods(Holocene, Eemian). Very well done—esp for those of us who are just beginning to learn this kind of detail..

    I also got a surprise chuckle when I read below the vid that next year’s mission is called OMG….

    The mission is called Oceans Melting Greenland, or OMG. “I picked that name while I was deleting old texts off my cell phone,” says Willis.

    The first phase of OMG started this summer, when a refitted fishing boat used sonar to map the undersea canyons carved by ancient glaciers along a fjord in western Greenland. Scientists believe the canyons funnel warm water to the base of glaciers. Next year, two specially equipped NASA Gulfstream jets will begin a five-year mission using radar to map more than 90 percent of Greenland’s coast.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/08/150827-NASA-climate-oceans-seas-greenland/

    Reply
  79. PS: skylight. Question. I’ve only heard that NZ is doing a good job re: reducing its carbon footprint. Can you elaborate? No rush.

    Reply
    • Meaning, I’ve not done my own research. I really have to become accustomed to the fact that I can’t edit posts here.

      I’ve only heard that NZ is doing a good job re: reducing its carbon……”

      Reply
      • redskylite

         /  August 31, 2015

        On the plus side most of our electricity is generated from renewable sources (geothermal and hydro) and the last two remaining coal-burning electricity generators will be closed down by the end of 2018.

        But their pledge to Paris has been criticized as even worse than Australia’s.

        Their are academic developments on feed for reducing methane from livestock (N.Z is an agricultural intensive country) but a lot of farmers are very conservative (and of course cost conscious), so not sure how hopeful we can be on reducing methane.

        Transport is an area that could reduce our footprint, their are very few EV’s here (around 700), it needs a push from manufacturers, dealers and governments. The current government rarely talks of tackling Climate Change, and it receives extremely low priority in governmental matters and local media. Maybe partly because Climate Change is physically lagging behind the Northern hemisphere. Apart from the seasons being slightly different (observed by older folk), the only obvious sign in in the South Island among the glaciers.

        In truth I cannot say New Zealand is doing a good job in climate change, it is mainly brushed under the carpet sadly.

        Reply
      • Thanks skylight. It’s the renewables generating electricity that I’d heard about. Sounds like NZ gvt (I know one couple who lives in Cambridge and they are conservative) is not alone in “if I don’t see it, it doesn’t exist.” Here in the the USA, though, we see it and still choose to believe it doesn’t exist!

        Reply
  80. Syd Bridges

     /  August 31, 2015

    There is a reference from this post in 2014 to salps giving the ocean a purple hue. Not sure whether purple is due to symbionts as I believe some tunicates can form symbiotic relationships with algae or bacteria.

    http://rightwhales.neaq.org/2014/10/23-salps.html

    Reply
  81. redskylite

     /  August 31, 2015

    Better daily sea ice forecasts for the Arctic following CU-Boulder-led innovation:

    The resulting high-resolution dataset can capture even small patches of sea ice a few miles across, which are easy to miss in some satellite datasets. That means better input into forecasts, and more accurate output, too. “We expect this combined product is going to do a much, much, much better job at initializing the Navy’s forecast model,” Fetterer said.

    The Navy used the new technique this summer as part of its support to the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Healy, which conducted missions in the Beaufort Sea with a transit to the North Pole to study biogeochemistry of Arctic waters. The Navy has used the blended product to provide sea ice forecasts at 2-km resolution since July 2015, Posey said.

    “It is really helping us, and it’s providing a better product for the whole community that uses and depends on accurate sea ice information from forecast modelers to anybody with assets in the Arctic,” Clemente-Colón said.

    http://cires.colorado.edu/news/announcements/better-daily-sea-ice-forecasts/

    http://cires.colorado.edu/news/announcements/better-daily-sea-ice-forecasts/

    Reply
  82. PlazaRed

     /  August 31, 2015

    Another first for the record books and an unusual event possibly related to El Nino and climate change.
    The Cape Verde Islands are experiencing their first recorded real hurricane directly over them right now at 11 am Monday 31st.
    Below is a wind map of the event.

    http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/1000hPa/orthographic=-20.80,13.46,2083

    Reply
  83. redskylite

     /  August 31, 2015

    NPR has an interesting story on pelagic cormorants, and a biologist who researches in Alaska as to how seabirds are adapting to global warming.

    In The Stomach Of A Seabird, A Glimpse Of An Ocean Heating Up

    http://www.npr.org/2015/08/30/436013176/as-alaskas-climate-warms-seabird-population-shrinks

    Reply
  84. Colorado Bob

     /  August 31, 2015

    Photos: Astonishing 4 to 8 inches of rain in one hour floods Sioux Falls, South Dakota

    Here are some unbelievable photos and videos from Twitter:

    Link

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  August 31, 2015

      Speaking of incredible, check out this video from after a storm in Coacalco, Mexico. Of particular interest, notice the hail after 0:30…

      Reply
  85. Eric Thurston

     /  August 31, 2015

    There was a very sharp downturn in the Arctic ice extent today. Not surprising given the heat and the storms.

    Reply
  86. Colorado Bob

     /  August 31, 2015

    Forest fires in Alaska: A ticking climate time bomb

    About 33 miles northwest of Fairbanks along Highway 2, the verdant vegetation comes to an abrupt halt. Burnt tree stumps and scorched earth stretch from this point on, as far as the eye can see. It’s deathly quiet. A cool wind blows, while here and there a few blades of bright green grass push up through the sodden black soil. And though this devastated landscape, runs an oil pipeline.

    Unprecedented fire year

    Just a few weeks ago, a huge forest fire raged through here.

    “Each year, we’re seeing more area being burned,” says Scott Rupp of the International Arctic Research Centre at the University of Alaska. “The frequency of these large fire years, and their characteristics, are linked very much to an increase in extreme weather – and there are certainly ties to the increase in variability and changes in longer-term climate trends.”

    Link

    Reply
  87. rustj2015

     /  August 31, 2015

    Could be traipsing on permafrost here, but for the Ozonistas out there:

    Rather than drought from climate change killing trees, I think it is worth considering the opposite – that trees dying from ozone are causing the droughts that are plaguing so many parts of the world.

    Let’s not forget fugitive emissions of methane from fracking, and melting permafrost, since methane is also an ozone precursor. Ironically, forests dying primarily from ozone is something we should all wish for, because if the decline and the droughts are really due to the changing climate, there is utterly no hope – since [,] unlike a reduction in ozone precursors which could result in cleaner air almost instantaneously, climate change is long since past any human control, due to amplifying, irreversible feedbacks.

    Collective Insanity August 30, 2015
    at Witsendnj

    Reply
    • – A key point here: ‘man-made ozone pollution comes from volatile organic pollutants and nitrogen oxide.’
      – FF is the source.

      Ozone main air pollutant in China

      BEIJING, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) — Ozone overtook PM2.5 to become the main air pollutant in China in July, and may remain so until the end of October, according to a report released Monday.

      China sees a regular pattern in terms of the regional and seasonal distribution of ozone — the density is higher in southern cities, while across China ozone levels are higher in summer than winter, according to the report in Monday’s Economic Information Daily, which cited Meng Xiaoyan, engineer with the China National Environmental Monitoring Center.

      As well as being harder to detect than PM2.5, ozone is more harmful, and has been linked to respiratory, eye and immune issues. Moreover, crops can be affected by ozone, too.

      According to China Meteorological Administration, man-made ozone pollution comes from volatile organic pollutants and nitrogen oxide.

      http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-08/31/c_134573614.htm

      Reply
    • – Does anyone here think these people give a damn whether you, or your children live — or die? They do hold sway in Congress.

      Pending EPA rules to reduce ozone bring outcry from business groups

      President Barack Obama’s plan to curb greenhouse gases ignited a firestorm of criticism from business interests that criticized the potential costs of the new regulations.

      Business groups oppose the ozone regulations, and a national manufacturing group rolled out an ad campaign in Wisconsin on Wednesday, saying the new law will “stifle the economy and kill millions of jobs.”

      http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/pending-epa-rules-to-reduce-ozone-bring-outcry-from-business-groups-b99564792z1-323022461.html

      Reply
      • ‘Use of ozone-tolerant cultivars can enhance India’s food security’
        University of Eastern Finland

        India’s bread basket, the Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP), have been classified as a “hot spot” for air pollution. A recent study from the University of Eastern highlights the current status of ozone research in the IGP region, which is agriculturally important and densely populated.

        To study adverse effects of ozone, field experiments were conducted with local crop cultivars of mustard (Brassica campestris L.) and rice (Oryza sativa L.), and various growth, physiological (gas-exchange), biochemical and yield parameters were studied throughout the growing season. Ethylenediurea (EDU) was used as a chemical protectant against ozone induced damages.

        The results of the study show the importance of ozone research in the IGP region of India, because both the mustard and the rice cultivars showed sensitivity to prevailing ozone concentrations suffering yield losses. Only seven out of the 18 rice cultivars tested showed a good adaptability to high-ozone environments in terms of grain yield, suggesting that the selection of ozone-tolerant cultivars is a useful strategy for food security in India.

        EDU-mediated protection in plants against ozone stress was mainly due to the up-regulation of the antioxidative defense system, and its extent and timing varied with the developmental phase of the plant species and/or cultivars.

        http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-08/uoef-uoo083115.php

        Reply
  88. – Emissions from fossil fuels: climate killing – children killing – the lighter elements go up and destroy our climate while the heavier ones stay low and just kill.
    All are linked just as all are preventable.
    How much more evidence do Americans, and all the rest, need to stop the slaughter?
    How much more ‘reporting’ do we need to realize the obvious?

    More in-depth reporting on air pollution in Michigan’s Wayne County could save lives

    DETROIT — Air pollution from industrial sources in Wayne County— especially in the low income ZIP codes— is linked to deaths and life-threatening respiratory diseases.

    Yes, that is right. Air pollution is killing people. It spares no one. Not even the innocent children who have fallen victim to dangerous toxins emitted from power plants simply because they live in the region’s low-income, most-polluted ZIP codes.

    Last year, the Clean Air Task Force examined the deaths and other adverse health effects and costs attributable to the fine particle air pollution resulting from power plant emissions in the county and determined that 70 deaths, 110 heart attacks, 1,400 asthma attacks, 47 hospital admissions, 43 cases of chronic bronchitis, and 98 asthma-related ER visits occurred because of that pollution.
    http://www.arabamericannews.com/news/news/id_10984/More-in-depth-reporting-on-air-pollution-in-Michigans-Wayne-County-could-save-lives.html

    Reply
    • Ps the majority of hospital admissions in most urban hospitals are due to ‘environmental’, or community generated, conditions. That means they are preventable.
      The evidence is out there… I’ve heard (televised news bits) doctors, or heads of hospitals say so. Someone out there must have detailed this.

      Reply
  89. Scientists squabble while Africa’s only penguins perish

    August 31 at 1:56 PM

    They’re cute, they’re knee-high, they bray like donkeys and they’re a tourist attraction near Cape Town, South Africa. But African penguins — the continent’s only species of the flightless bird — are at risk of extinction.

    As shoals of anchovies and sardines have migrated south into cooler waters, the population of African penguins that feeds on them has plummeted — by 90 percent since 2004 along South Africa’s west coast, once the stronghold of the species.

    This decline led to a ban on commercial fishing in four key areas seven years ago to see whether that could help save the penguins. But scientists are still debating whether fishing is threatening the species.

    If the situation does not change, the black-and-white seabirds may soon disappear, experts say.

    In the 1930s, South Africa’s largest colony — one of many — had a million African penguins. Now, only 100,000 of the birds remain in all of South Africa and neighboring Namibia, the only places where the species exists.

    Reply
  90. Aside: I’ve been following the commentary on Hansen’s July paper. Nabil Swedan(just getting to know him) had essentially hijacked one thread which devolved into scientists hurling insults at each other. It was closed today by the moderators. But a small peek into all the “energy” being expended to create lies and sow denial, and, the energy, persistence, required to refute it all—by highly schooled people. And it’s happening across every aspect of our society.

    Yet, in the indigenous populations, less formally schooled, there is no debate. AGW is real and it’s impacting their very existence.

    Reply
  91. Colorado Bob

     /  August 31, 2015

    General Mills Warns Climate Change Will Lead To Global Food Shortages
    “We believe every company, government and individual has a role to play. Climate change is a shared, global challenge that is best addressed at scale.”

    In a rebuff to climate deniers, the CEO of American food giant General Mills has asserted that global warming is being created by human activity and is threatening to disrupt global food supplies.

    Announcing that the company has set a goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent over the next decade across its value chain, from farm to fork to landfill, Ken Powell told The Associated Press: “We think that human-caused greenhouse gas causes climate change and climate volatility and that’s going to stress the agricultural supply chain, which is very important to us. Obviously we depend on that for our business, and we all depend on that for the food we eat.”

    A spokeswoman for the company, whose brands range from Yoplait yogurt and Pillsbury to Haagen-Dazs ice cream and Green Giant vegetables, went further, telling The Huffington Post that a failure to address climate change would make it extremely difficult to feed the world’s growing population, which is expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050.

    Link

    Reply
    • Tom

       /  September 1, 2015

      But of course General Mills, an enormous agribusiness, is completely innocent and devoid of any culpability in contributing to the situation . . . .

      Reply
  92. Wharf Rat

     /  August 31, 2015

    The Solar Sunflower: Harnessing the power of 5,000 suns

    The Sunflower has a massive total efficiency of around 80%, thanks to very clever tech.

    http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/08/the-solar-sunflower-harnessing-the-power-of-5000-suns/

    Reply
  93. – As we ponder the toxic stew in the NE Pacific and PNW, consider another obvious source of aerosol pollutants — many of which will actually succumb to Earth’s gravity and fall out of the sky.
    – Add in too the enormous amount shipping to and from China to US west coast ports — and the transportation to these ports, etc. All add to the FF emission and fallout inventory — locally, regionally, and globally.
    – Between the NAFTA induced emissions orgy on the West Coast, and now the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) we are asking for big trouble. Add in the PNW’s rush to export FF to China from west coast ports.
    – But back to the news that most may know about:

    ‘Wind is blowing China’s air pollution ‘straight across’ to the US West Coast’

    A new study links the increase in ozone precursor emissions in Asia to increased levels of ozone over the US’s west coast.

    In the study, published Monday, a team of six researchers from US and Dutch universities found that ozone concentrations over China increased by about 7% between 2005 and 2010 and that ozone travelling in the air from China has reached the western part of the US, challenging the reduction of ozone levels there.

    Lead researcher Willem Verstraeten of Wageningen University in the Netherlands said in statement that “The dominant westerly winds blew this air pollution straight across to the United States.

    “As a manner of speaking,” Verstraeten continued, “China is exporting its air pollution to the West Coast of America.” [Ah, the irony!]

    http://www.businessinsider.com.au/china-pollution-is-causing-high-ozone-in-the-us-2015-8

    Reply
    • Eric Thurston

       /  August 31, 2015

      DT, thanks for keeping the pollution issue(s) in front of the readership. It’s mind-boggling how many and how much poisons are dumped into the biosphere on a continuing basis. And also the issue of who is profiting from this abuse of the global commons.

      It’s likely that many of our ‘diseases of civilization’ are at least in part caused by living in a toxic soup. I would bet that many of our readers/commenters are suffering from various conditions that are caused by or exacerbated by this pollution. It gets real personal when you see what is happening and see that it directly relates to your own health problems. I have Parkinson’s Disease and it is likely at least partly because of environmental toxins and possibly because of a shitty diet that I had before educating myself on nutrition issues.

      Along with cutting out the fossil fuels, cleaning up the water, air and earth should be high on everyone’s agenda.

      Reply
      • You bet, Eric.
        Just keep interjecting the fact that ‘air pollution’ and GHG/CO2 are part of the same mix as they leave their respective smokestack or tailpipe. They just manifest their damage at different altitudes.

        Reply
  94. Wharf Rat

     /  August 31, 2015

    Life on a pissed-off planet

    Rare Hurricane Pounds Cape Verde Islands

    By: Jeff Masters and Bob Henson , 4:23 PM GMT on August 31, 2015

    For the first time since 1892, a full-fledged hurricane is pounding the Cape Verde islands, as Hurricane Fred heads northwest at 12 mph through the islands in the far eastern North Atlantic. The eye of Fred passed just southwest of Boa Vista Island in the Republic of Cabo Verde (formerly called the Cape Verde Islands) near 8 am EDT Monday, with the northeastern eyewall likely hitting the island. The center of Fred is expected to pass over or very close to the northwestern Cape Verde islands of Sao Nicolou, Santa Luzuia, Sao Vicente, and Sao Antao by Monday night. All three reporting stations in the islands went off-line early Monday morning, so we have no observations to report. Despite their name (which translates to “green cape” in English), the Cape Verde islands have a semi-desert climate, with an average annual rainfall of only around 10 inches. The torrential rains of 4 – 6″ predicted from Fred, with isolated totals of up to 10”, are likely to cause unprecedented flood damage on the islands. Fred may well turn out to be the Republic of Cabo Verde’s most expensive natural disaster in history.

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3097

    3 major hurricanes recorded over the Pacific for first time ever

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/3-major-hurricanes-recorded-over-the-pacific-for-first-time-ever-2015-08-31

    Monday, August 31, 2015
    The Strongest Summer Storm In Northwest History

    Saturday was a historic day during a historic summer.On that day western Oregon and Washington was lashed by the strongest summer windstorm in its historic record.
    http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-strongest-summer-storm-in-northwest.html

    Seattle times reporting 60K still without power.

    Reply
  95. Colorado Bob

     /  August 31, 2015

    Bernie Sanders: ‘Environmentalists Deserve A Debate’

    Link

    Amen.

    Reply
  96. Ocean Plastic Could Be Found in 99 Percent of Seabird Species by 2050

    Humans are dumping so much plastic debris into the water that by 2050 nearly every single seabird species will have some of it in their gut, scientists predict.

    They found that nearly 60 percent of all seabird species have plastic in their gut, and that figure will rise to 99 percent by 2050, based on current trends. The risk is greatest at the southern boundary of the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, a region thought to be relatively pristine, the researchers concluded.

    The scientists estimate that 90 percent of all seabirds alive today — including albatross, shearwaters and penguins — have eaten plastic that has washed into the ocean from urban rivers, sewers and waste deposits. The plastic debris includes such things as bottle caps, bags and fibers from synthetic clothes.
    http://www.nbcnews.com/science/environment/ocean-plastic-could-be-found-99-percent-seabirds-2050-n419056

    Reply
    • Millions of Tons! Scientists Tally Up Plastic Pollution in Oceans

      Based on tonnage, China was judged the biggest plastic polluter among 192 coastal countries surveyed. Many of the others in the top 20 — such as No. 2 Indonesia and No. 3 Philippines — have fast-growing populations and economies. The United States ranked No. 20. But every nation could do more to stem the plastic tide, researchers said.

      Eight million metric tons of plastic — what does that look like?” Jambeck asked as she held up a plastic bag. “That’s the same as five bags filled with plastic for every foot of coastline in the world.”

      Another author of the study, Kara Lavender Law of the Massachusetts-based Sea Education Association, noted that the annual global tuna catch amounted to roughly 5 million metric tons. “We are taking out tuna, and putting in plastic,” she said.

      http://www.nbcnews.com/science/environment/millions-tons-scientists-tally-plastic-pollution-oceans-n304956

      Reply
      • Tom

         /  September 1, 2015

        Almost all seabirds are eating plastic
        http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2015/09/01/4301306.htm

        Ninety per cent of the planet’s seabirds are having plastic for dinner, a new study has found.

        The findings are from the first global assessment of plastic ingestion by seabirds, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

        Toothbrushes, cigarette lighters, bottle caps and even a doll’s arm are just some of the items on a seabird’s dinner menu these days, says Dr Chris Wilcox of CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research.

        Previous research suggests there are as many as 580,000 pieces of plastic polluting each square kilometre of the ocean at any one time. And there have been increasing reports about it being found in the guts of marine organisms including turtles, fish, dolphins and seabirds. [lots more, if interested]

        Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  August 31, 2015

      Do you know about Alaska? Nearly five million acres have burned throughout that unusually hot, dry state this year, which is a record, which is something like the size of Connecticut (combined), which is more staggering than your heart can process. Go ahead, try it. And then add in Canada’s staggering wildfires, and you hit upwards of 11 million scorched acres – that’s 17,000 square miles, and still going strong. That’s terrifying.

      The scariest part? Fire season, historically speaking, doesn’t even begin until September. Did you know 2015 is already officially the hottest year ever recorded on Earth? Did you know Alaska recorded its hottest month ever, in 91 years of record keeping, in May? Or that Washington’s biggest fire could keep burning until it snows? The worst – as nearly every scientist, climatologist, environmentalist in the world is all too sick of saying these days – is yet to come.

      Reply
    • Caroline

       /  September 1, 2015

      CB: thanks for posting that link—-it’s excellent.
      The author describes what I’ve been seeing and feeling in the Midwest:

      “The very tone and timbre of life is changing. The air is shifting, the light. As ecosystems collapse, as animals either hatch in bizarre megaswarms or vanish completely, as forests whither and thin out, the planet’s increasingly palpable failure to hold itself in some kind of equilibrium is going to creep into your very spine, shake your dreams. Don’t believe it? Just wait.”

      I can’t bear to look at one more “brilliant, glowing” orange moon or sun courtesy of the wildfire smoke. People seem thrilled by the orange glow.
      It’s going to be in the 90’s here all week. The air a humid, dense, smokey haze, hovering over dying trees and collapsing ecosystems while people are driving around with Ben Carson and Donald Trump bumper stickers. Wake me from this dystopian nightmare!!

      Reply
  97. Global Warming
    Is Alaska Our Future?

    With raging wildfires, melting glaciers and big shifts of animal behavior, Alaska’s environment is changing faster than anywhere else on Earth. That’s why scientists say it’s an ideal laboratory — or perhaps a harbinger…

    …NASA officials announced a new program of air flights, satellite passes and on-the-ground field work in Alaska to figure out what’s happening, how fast and why.

    … and science team leader of NASA’s Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE), in a statement. “It’s an area that’s warming with climate change, and there’s a lot of potential for permafrost degradation, especially with these massive fires burning off the organic soil layer.”

    On the Alaskan tundra, scientists are witnessing big changes. The warmer atmosphere means more thunderstorms, more lightning strikes and more fires in places that haven’t experienced them before…

    A lightning fire burned 400 square miles of the tundra in 2007, a patch the size of Cape Cod. That fire not only released large amounts of carbon that are locked up in the peat of the tundra soils, it also blackened the ground’s surface. This blackened ground acts as the equivalent of a hot patch of asphalt, soaking up the sun’s rays and further melting the permafrost below.
    http://news.discovery.com/earth/global-warming/is-alaska-our-future-150831.htm

    Reply
  98. Citibank released a report that shows, yet again, that the cost of business as usual will far outweigh the relatively small cost of transitioning away from fossil fuels. We cannot afford anymore denial or delay.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/08/31/3696952/climate-action-costs-less-than-inaction-citibank-says/

    Reply
  99. Reblogged this on Seafsee Cidar.

    Reply
  100. redskylite

     /  September 1, 2015

    Interesting piece from NOAA Barrow observatory on thin ice safety:

    Recording climate change from the top of the world
    Barrow reports record-breaking 2015 Spring warming

    Monday, August 31, 2015

    Spring came early this year, breaking several records at the top of the world in Barrow, Alaska, according to a new report that combines observations from NOAA, the North Slope Borough and a scientist who has tracked an Arctic bird for the last four decades.

    Barrow experienced its warmest May on record, averaging 28 degrees Fahrenheit, which is nearly 9 degrees above the average for the last 90 years.
    The snow disappeared from the NOAA Barrow Observatory on May 28, the second earliest date since records began some 73 years ago. The only year it was earlier was in 2002, when snow disappeared on May 24.
    A black guillemot bird laid its first egg on June 8, the earliest in the 40 years that George Divoky of the Friends of Cooper Island has observed these Arctic seabirds.
    Ice completely disappeared from the Isaktoak Lagoon in Barrow on June 27, the earliest date recorded since 1986 when Craig George, the senior wildlife biologist for the North Slope Borough, began tracking the lagoon’s ice status.

    http://research.noaa.gov/News/NewsArchive/LatestNews/TabId/684/ArtMID/1768/ArticleID/11337/Recording-climate-change-from-the-top-of-the-world.aspx

    Reply
    • That was excellent. Sending this off to my address book…Along with highlighting this text:

      If you’re a small government type who thinks the global warming hoax is a plot to increase government control and spending, just imagine government representatives kicking you out of your home as a wildfire approaches, all while they spend billions to fight these fires. Seems like doing something about global warming might not be so expensive after all.

      Truth is that my friends(most are back in the Northeast all think that AGW is real but they’ve admitted that it’s hard to grasp the urgency of it, that it’s happening much quicker than anticipated, when they’re being inundated with snow, rain, etc…One who visited me in CA this summer says: I knew it in the abstract but until I saw how dry the landscape is and hearing about the massive fires, it didn’t sink in. They’re all university-graduated and some with postdoc degrees.

      Reply
  101. – Another reason to stop new coal exports — especially on fragile stressed NE Pacific and PNW.

    ‘China passes new pollution law, sets sights on coal consumption cap’

    Legislators have approved amendments to China’s 15-year-old air pollution law that grant the state new powers to punish offenders and create a legal framework to cap coal consumption, the Asian giant’s biggest source of smog.

    The draft amendments were passed by 154 votes to 4, with five abstentions, Zhong Xuequan, spokesman for the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s parliament, told a media briefing on Saturday.

    The ruling Communist Party has acknowledged the damage that decades of untrammeled economic growth have done to China’s skies, rivers and soil. It is now trying to equip its environmental inspection offices with greater powers and more resources to tackle persistent polluters and the local governments that protect them.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/29/us-china-pollution-idUSKCN0QY08A20150829

    Reply
    • – “punish offenders…” – most definitely. Must bring back public flogging.
      I like the concept anyway- but the question remains — how does a just and humane society punish one for crimes against nature and humanity?

      Reply
  102. There is no harm in being wrong Robert. This would have been pretty bleak if true.

    I can hardly wait to read your take on the El Nino shaping up.

    I was just thinking how long term a place that might be able to pull through even in a full doom scenario might be California. Imagine the riches of recyclable resources and infrastructure available to that small region. A world economy unto it’s self, if there was only a drop to drink. I gotta think in a warmer world, man will be able to pop water off the ocean using his ingenuity on a fairly large scale.

    How big do you think an H2S fog or inversion could be? It would be hard for it to surround the globe completely I’m guessing. I wonder how high concentrations of that gas would behave in the atmosphere.

    Reply
    • I asked a question and raised some possibilities… The fact that there are purple salps in the water still does not rule out the purple pigment coming from purple sulfur bacteria. In fact, we’d probably expect that pigmentation to come out first as a bio-marker or in biomagnification in the organisms that feed on bacteria like salps. Not to say that it is, for a certainty, purple sulfur bacteria. But we do have purple salps. Salps that are usually clear, off-shore dwelling species, for some reason in the coastal zone. Salps that are oxygen dependent and self-mobile vertebrate jellies.

      I think there’s still cause for concern regarding what’s going on. And, given the earlier, more isolated, instances of pink pigmented salps, it appears we’re just at the start of this odd and apparently broadening pheonomena.

      Reply
      • – Right, “pigmentation to come out first as a bio-marker…”, that applies to so many anomalies we are seeing in nature these days. It can be a valuable metric in noting changes as well as severity. Liken it to a dye marker.

        Reply
        • Good point, DT.

          I’m honestly kicking myself for not remembering the 2010 pink salps event. That recollection would have helped with this report. I think I may do a follow-up. But this particular issue looks like another one that’s bound to be controversial. Similar to methane, perhaps.

      • Mblanc

         /  September 1, 2015

        I think this is precisely the kind of thing Robert should be posting about, and I for one have learned about another concerning aspect of our AGW-driven future.

        I come here for the excellent analysis on emerging threats. I want to know about anomalous events like this, and reducing this to a binary ‘right/wrong’ issue is rather unhelpful. We are all here to learn.

        Having said that, it’s a real relief that this is slightly less frightening than it might have been. The previous Methane thread demonstrates that Robert is prepared to go to places where many others fear to tread, only to have his analysis vindicated.

        Reply
        • There was quite a lot of talk-talk behind the scenes regarding this particular event in the marine science community. Some of these scientists apparently share a few of my concerns but don’t want to be categorized as alarmist. Part of removing stigmatization of out of context events is to talk about them, to allow discussion, and to work to hone in on threats. Part of that process involves elimination of threat scenarios. But you don’t ignore the worst case as you go through that process.

          My wife has a marine science degree and I spent a good bit of our anniversary weekend asking her questions about the oceans microbial balance and about what role salps play in maintaining it. Salps are a part of this ocean changes/ shift toward hothouse oceans puzzle, I’m certain and I’m going to be writing more about their responses to ocean changes in the future.

  103. Andy in SD

     /  September 1, 2015

    Anecdotal observations of the pending El Nino from here in San Diego

    “They say the signal from the Pacific Ocean right now is that it will be stronger than it was in 1997, the year of the most powerful El Niño on record.”

    http://www.10news.com/news/signs-of-el-nio-conditions-developing-off-our-coast-083115?google_editors_picks=true

    Reply
  104. Greg

     /  September 1, 2015

    Obama starts to get creative in messaging on climate change. He went for a “walk” with Bear Grylls (of survivalist/exibitionist fame) on Exit Glacier today. I was at that glacier only weeks ago, and bitter, as its unsafe retreat means that now the park service no longer lets one approach its face. That message will reach millions through his t.v. shows this Fall.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/09/01/meet-bug-eating-urine-drinking-tv-outdoorsman-bear-grylls-obamas-unlikely-hiking-buddy/

    Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  September 1, 2015

      I think Obama has gone up in my estimation since he entered his final term. I know the Artic drilling issue is a sore point, but his speech in Alaska seemed like a genuine attempt to communicate the reasons why we must raise our game.

      He actually tried to explain to the American public what a gigaton of ice looked like. That might seem trivial, but he is trying to tell people, in language they understand, that the ice caps are in big, big trouble.

      Reply
      • Obama is doing fantastic work in Alaska. This is a perfect example of how someone in their final year can be effective as President. It also puts the right in a bad spot. Do they attack a President who’s been widely successful and who advocates good policy positions? Do they spend their energies fighting each other in a massive proxy battle between a huge number of candidates? Or do they focus on the obvious democratic front runner? He is putting Republicans in a very bad position. This is masterful gamesmanship and eloquent and moral speaking all combined.

        Reply
  105. Increasing Arctic Ocean temperature directly affects plankton growth: researchers

    SYDNEY, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) — An international study involving Australian researchers has found that while increasing carbon dioxide has a positive effect on primary production, or phytoplankton growth, in the Artic, this benefit is lost once temperatures increase.

    The paper, published in the journal Nature Climate Change on Tuesday, is the first to investigate the direct link of temperature variations on the ocean’s productivity to help improve predictions about the impact of climate change on the world’s oceans.

    Phytoplankton, the fundamental building blocks of the world’s oceans as food for larger marine organisms, also account for half of the photosynthesis on earth, capturing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – a major greenhouse gas – to grow and produce oxygen.

    It is widely held that phytoplankton will play a key role in stemming the effects of human-induced climate change.

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-09/01/c_134577215.htm

    Reply
  106. European drought impacts people and environment


    It’s official: Europe suffered a severe drought in June and July of 2015. This is according to the European Drought Observatory’s analysis of data through the end of July.

    Not only did virtually the entire European continent see a shortage of rainfall this summer, but it also experienced “thermal anomalies” in July – that is, heat waves that were hotter and longer than average.

    The drought had a number of consequences for people and the environment. High heat caused soils to dry out, also drying out plants.,,

    Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  September 1, 2015

      In contrast, we in the UK had the wettest August on record.😦

      I was wondering if could build a giant gutter across the channel, because we have plenty to spare!

      Reply
  107. NOAA NWS 0901

    First day of meteorological fall marked by above-normal temps. across much of U.S.

    Above-normal temperatures are forecast across much of the contiguous U.S. on Tuesday and in some cases will be as much as 10-15 degrees above average for this time of year. Afternoon highs could reach 90 or higher from the Great Plains to the Eastern Seaboard. One exception will be across parts of the Pacific Northwest.

    Reply
  108. Greg

     /  September 1, 2015

    “The chances that the current Event will become a ‘Super El Niño’ has risen to 60%. A WILD winter weather pattern is a virtual certainty.” Part of today’s general world weather analysis by Steve Gregory at weather underground:

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/SteveGregory/comment.html?entrynum=378

    Reply
  109. Wharf Rat

     /  September 1, 2015

    OT… bragging a bit. Humboldt beat Mendonesia, but we grow better weed. Just add water

    Sonoma County ranks among top 20 places to live in US based on climate, scenery
    Based on its climate and scenery, Sonoma County was ranked as the 20th best place to live out of 3,111 counties in the United States, while Mendocino and Humboldt counties ranked fourth and second, respectively.

    http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/4363565-181/north-coast-ranks-high-for?page=0

    Reply
    • Alas, the marijuana growers don’t “just add water,” they divert water from existing waterways and are considered by many to be an ecological scourge.

      All agriculture in California is a problem this way. Large scale grow operations of any sort in deserts tend not to end well.

      Reply
  110. – PNW Onions and Arctic Oil do mix – PNW has many onion agribusiness interests. This is an example of what we are up against.

    – The Intercept:

    ‘Onion Farmers’ Support of Arctic Drilling Copies and Pastes Language From Oil Lobby Group’

    The National Onion Association — which is “the official organization representing growers, shippers, brokers, and commercial representatives of the U.S. onion industry” — wrote to government officials earlier this year to resolutely support Shell Oil’s bid to drill for oil in the remote wilderness of the Arctic.

    The letter does not list any direct benefits for the onion industry. Almost all of the letter consists of language lifted directly from the Consumer Energy Alliance, an “astroturf” group funded by the oil industry, including Shell Oil. Consumer Energy Alliance is managed by HBW Resources, a lobbying firm that represents a drilling trade association that includes Shell Oil as a dues-paying member.

    According to an online plagiarism tool, the National Onion Association’s pro-drilling letter is 78 percent identical to language from a Consumer Energy Alliance petition to support drilling in the Arctic. It appears the onion farmer letter only added a few non-substantial lines, such as: “On behalf of U.S. onion producers, shippers and allied industry …”

    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/09/01/onion-farmers-letter-support-arctic-drilling-lifts-language-oil-lobby-group/

    Reply
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