Smoke From Peat Bog Fires Blankets Europe and Russia Amidst Record Heat and Drought

According to reports in the Associated Press, on September 1 of 2015, Kiev shattered its all-time record high temperature as readings rocketed to 35.5 C (96 F) in a city stifling under the pall of bog-fire smoke. The city ordered school cancellations and urged restraint in the use of fossil fuel burning vehicles as gray smog choked the city pushing air pollution levels to between 2 and 18 times normal.

For Kiev, it was just one more hot, dry day among many. A heat dome high pressure system has dominated the region for much of late July through early September. And rainfall totals for the past month were just 4 percent of average. Now bogs across a wide swath of Ukraine and Russia are drying out, issuing tell-tale plumes of smoke, and filling the region with a choking smog.

Peat Bog Fires

(Drought and heat induced bog fires blanket Ukraine and Western Russia in a dense cloud of smoke on September 3 of 2015. Image source: LANCE MODIS.)

The record heat, drought, and fire outbreaks for this region come during a year in which record hot global temperatures are hitting 1 degree C above 1880s averages. A year in which a monster El Nino is firing off. And a year in which Arctic sea ice extent measures are in the range of second lowest ever recorded. All these factors likely played a part in the formation of a persistent heat dome high pressure system over Eastern Europe during July and August. In the setting off of the kinds of wildfires that have now become all-too-common in a rapidly warming world.

For Europe, in general, there were numerous related impacts throughout mid-to-late summer. According to a related report from DW:

The impact of the lack of rain and high temperatures could be felt across many sectors. Agricultural production was reduced, and forests dried out and became more susceptible to insect attacks. Hydropower production decreased, rivers fell to record low levels, and inland water transport was completely shut down in some places.

By today, temperatures across Ukraine and extreme Southwestern Russia had risen to an amazing 12-14 degrees Celsius above average (21 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than normal for this time of year). It’s a ridiculous extreme temperature departure for a mid-latitude region. The scorching center of a stifling dome of hot air that extends from the Caspian Sea all the way to Poland and Italy.

Ukraine Heatwave

(Temperatures in Russia and the Ukraine today hit 12-14 C above the already hotter than normal 1979-2000 baseline in the GFS model summary by Climate Reanalyzer.)

This record heat, drought and fire danger is expected to linger over the impacted regions for at least until Sunday. Then, a trough digging in through Eastern Ukraine is expected to shove the hot pool eastward into Russia and Kazakhstan. Setting the stage for record hot conditions running along a ridge extending from the Middle East through Russia and Siberia and on into the Arctic.

Links:

Kiev Cancels School Amid Record Heat, Bog Fires

LANCE MODIS

Climate Reanalyzer

Arctic Sea Ice at Second Lowest on Record

Monster El Nino Hurls Record Barrage of Hurricanes at Hot Blob

Halfway to 2 C

Hat Tip to Colorado Bob

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129 Comments

  1. climatehawk1

     /  September 3, 2015

    Tweeting.

    Reply
  2. wili

     /  September 3, 2015

    Wow, thanks for yet another important post. You’re really cranking them out!

    I wonder what the effect of the heat and smoke will be on the wheat harvest. That’s one of the most important wheat growing regions in the world. The heatwave of 2010, as you’ll recall, caused Russia to stop all exports of wheat, which was probably one triggering event in at least the Egyptian part of the uprising that became known as “Arab Spring” (since Egypt had been importing most of its wheat from Russia, so prices of food staples skyrocketed.)

    Are we going to see a re-run of 2010 this year, in term of global wheat availability/prices?


    OT (but nothing is ultimately unrelated)–These findings may cause a change in climate sensitivity estimates–yet another exacerbating (‘positive’) feedback:

    Xin Qu, Alex Hall, Stephen A. Klein and Anthony M. DeAngelis (September 3, 2015)

    “Positive tropical marine low-cloud cover feedback inferred from cloud-controlling factors”

    Geophysical Research Letters, DOI: 10.1002/2015GL065627

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 … 7/abstract

    Reply
    • Cheers, Wili. Actually, the drought this year hit after much of the wheat had already been harvested. So it appears we may have dodged a bullet. http://www.agweek.com/crops/wheat/3830463-ukraine-grain-exports-58-million-tons-so-far-2015-16

      58 to 60 million tons for Ukraine is about 3-5 million tons short of their record crop last year. Harvests in Europe were a bit short, though. Russia seems mostly OK for now. Not the same food impact as 2010, thank goodness.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  September 3, 2015

        Not the same food impact as 2010, thank goodness.

        There’s your roots of the “Arab Spring”. The bread eaters in the world are in North Africa.

        Reply
        • Absolutely right. And herein we also have an underlying cause for the current refugee crisis. Climate change impact = high food prices = instability in the Middle East = regime change = political turmoil and exploitation of vulnerable persons = mass migration and refugee crisis. Add in droughts and water crises in Syria, Turkey, Yemen, Egypt and throughout North Africa and you’ve got all the impetus you need for people heading north.

    • Actually, Russia is in the midst of their 3rd largest grain crop. And the FAO index is looking pretty solid. Global food looks better than it has in 6 years. Can’t say we’re out of the woods by any stretch, but at least we’re not edging along near crisis levels.

      As for the new scientific report. Thanks for the tip-off. I’m loading up on these for my week at the beach coming up in mid to late September. Will be good to brush up on all the latest work. Low cloud feedback at the tropics is a heat amplifier…. Not liking the looks of this one.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  September 3, 2015

        Thanks for the info. I should have checked myself. Good to hear that there won’t be a huge impact on ag output this year.
        Enjoy the beach! (But be sure not to get sand or water on your keyboard!)

        Reply
        • I don’t head out until September 12. Hoping to get some surfing in. That and take a look at the high tide lines, beach erosion, and sea life. Given my perspective, it’s more a research ‘vacation’ than anything else. You know you’re a climate nut when you’ve taken to looking at the MODIS shot for algae blooms before going surfing!

      • Colorado Bob

         /  September 3, 2015

        Yep, but as we all know now, these heat domes drift a bit season to season now France, Germany, and Spain, got their brains beat in.

        Reply
        • Yeah. Well said. Quite honestly, I’m glad it took this long for the heat to shift east. There’s a lot of material to burn in Ukraine and Russia. Combine that with the food issue and it can be a real mess.

          Food resiliency is a bit higher with all those indoor vertical farms operating in China. So long as they can secure the water for them, that is.

      • Colorado Bob

         /  September 3, 2015

        What Beach ? Virginia ? Be sure to talk to the fishermen.

        And a nature photo essay/diary would be really great here. Just pictures and a comment would be . really great.

        Reply
  3. Colorado Bob

     /  September 3, 2015

    Eni Discovers Supergiant Gas Field in the Mediterranean Sea, Offshore Egypt

    https://www.oceannews.com/news/2015/09/02/eni-discovers-supergiant-gas-field-in-the-mediterranean-sea-offshore-egypt

    Reply
    • Oh more bad news. Can’t we just build more wind and solar already? It’s high time for these guys to call it quits.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  September 3, 2015

        Yep, since their solar potential is vast, this will crush any chance to move on that , but it puts Russia in a bind, no more blackmailing Europe over gas supplies.

        Reply
        • Not a fan of any of it. There’s more security in renewables than anything else. It’s tough to put a claim on the wind or the sun. Except for a few isolated regions, the availability is ubiquitous.

          From my point of view. More nat gas emissions means more climate insecurity.

        • Hell, call it more harm and disruption too…

  4. Nice analysis here on how the Kochs have hijacked conservatism for their self-serving war on renewable energy: http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/energy-environment/252010-conservatism-hijacked-for-war-on-renewables

    Reply
    • More specifically:

      “Emails and financial documents released by the University of Kansas on Thursday reveal earmarked funding from Koch Industries to develop research used to lobby against the state renewable energy standard.

      “On November 12, 2013, Art Hall, the director of the university’s Center for Applied Economics, emailed Koch Industries’ Laura Hands to discuss a grant from a Koch-controlled foundation to fund research on the Renewable Portfolio Standard.

      “Hall is the former chief economist for Koch Companies Public Sector, the lobbying subsidiary of Koch Industries, the largest privately owned company in America with a significant stake in oil refining, pipelines, gas production and coal. Hands is the current community affairs director at Koch Companies Public Sector.

      “The Koch money was part of an ongoing project Hall described as an effort to develop ‘intellectual products’ [which is to say, lies] to be used ‘as a tool in economic policy debates.’

      https://theintercept.com/2015/08/28/emails-show-koch-industries-backed-effort-undermine-renewable-energy-kansas/

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  September 3, 2015

        Can the Koch’s Buy Kansas ?

        Reply
        • Thankfully, they don’t yet own the state’s major newspapers–Wichita Eagle, Topeka Capital Journal, Kansas City Star (probably in Missouri) are all strongly pro-renewables. Hutchinson News, too–there is a major wind turbine manufacturing plant in Hutchinson.

      • Colorado Bob

         /  September 3, 2015

        climatehawk
        You do good work. And we are smarter for it . This us the best research on the planet. I am so proud you cone everyday.

        This team is amazing now. Nothing on the web is like us. Granted Robert is Robert, but his research team is amazing.

        Never forget that.

        Reply
  5. Colorado Bob

     /  September 3, 2015

    Here we go ……………..

    Hundreds of flamingos battered to death during giant hailstone storm

    Hailstones the size of golf balls killed around 300 flamingos in one of Spain’s most important bird reserves as storms caused damage across Spain.

    http://www.thelocal.es/20150903/flock-of-flamingos-wiped-out-in-giant-hail-stone-storm

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  September 3, 2015

      Reply
    • They didn’t stand s chance. Poor birds.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  September 3, 2015

        No one does with that comes .

        Reply
      • That’s for sure.

        Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  September 3, 2015

        If you were outside in this with no cover available… 😦

        I would think the damage done by hailstorm rises as a function of the size, but not in a linear way.

        Reply
      • – And velocity upon impact of an inert object or biota.

        Reply
      • Or a good fastball …
        “Why, I think this guy is just bit too comfortable close to the plate. I better check his reflexes. Whoosh!

        Reply
      • Syd Bridges

         /  September 4, 2015

        Last year I was repairing a canvas tent in the mountains of Colorado, when we had a two minute hailstorm with about 1 centimeter hailstones. It bruised my head through the canvas roof and trashed 10 tents. One had over 60 rips in the roof. I hate to think what would have happened if we had been hit by this.

        Reply
    • PlazaRed

       /  September 4, 2015

      I saw some photos of the hailstones on the Spanish news, they were about the size of tangerines, 2-2,5 inches across.
      I don’t thing anything could have stood up to that sort of barrage falling from a great height. Fruit on trees smashed to pieces along with vines and shrubs stripped of their leaves.
      Big rainstorms as well, a lot of flooding but mainly up in the north east around the Barcelona Teruel areas, up toward the French boarder.

      Reply
  6. Colorado Bob

     /  September 3, 2015

    robertscribbler / September 3, 2015

    Murrel’s Inlet. Great idea! Will definitely bring along the camera.

    Just take lots of pictures , and give us a sense. The thread will run with it.

    Reply
  7. – Good post, Robert. All that smoke over very hot land. all that carbon.

    – Here’s a bit from 2010 NYT about some of the Russian peat fires in engineered bogs:

    ” Among all the troubles that have been visited on Russia in this summer of record heat, wildfires, smoke and crop failure, perhaps none have been so persistent and impervious to remedy as the peat fires. Particularly maddening, many here say, is the knowledge that the problem is caused by humans.

    As early as 1918 Soviet engineers drained swamps to supply peat for electrical power stations. That approach was abandoned in the late 1950s, after natural gas was discovered in Siberia, but the bogs were never reflooded, though the authorities are currently weighing the idea.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/13/world/europe/13russia.html?_r=0

    Reply
  8. – Before the upcoming Paris climate summit:

    ‘Nations’ Climate Pledges Set Course for Disastrous Warming: Analysis’

    ‘Holding warming below 2 degrees C could essentially become infeasible, and 1.5°C beyond reach,’ if committments kept at Paris summit, says Climate Action Tracker

    Greenhouse gas reduction pledges countries have submitted to the United Nations in advance of global climate talks set the planet on a path that keeps critical climate goals out of reach.

    That’s according to the Climate Action Tracker (CAT), a project of four research organizations that assesses nations’ climate pledges and actions. It released its findings Wednesday as talks are underway in Bonn, Germany, where global delegates are working to streamline the draft text for the UN climate change summit in Paris in December, known as COP21.
    http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/09/02/nations-climate-pledges-set-course-disastrous-warming-analysis

    Reply
  9. Colorado Bob

     /  September 3, 2015

    I’ve been thinking about Gorgon Lightfoot , and is fall.
    And the fall -“The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” – Gordon Lightfoot (HD w/ Lyrics)

    Reply
    • Yeah, CB. Great song — great cut by GL.

      Reply
    • James Burton

       /  September 4, 2015

      Small bit of trivia. My High School Girlfriends father went down on that boat. I will not use names. But I was home on leave from the Navy and went down to watch the waves from that storm crashing over the breakwater here. The Lake reminded me of the Bering Sea from which I had just come to take 2 weeks leave. When Lake Superior looks like theBering Sea in winter, you know you have a storm!

      Reply
  10. – Photography Photojournalists and Empathy: The situations and subjects vary but …
    – Climate change drought and Syrian, et al refugees and victims.
    – Back to the photo:

    ‘Why I Shared a Horrific Photo of a Drowned Syrian Child’
    by Peter Bouckaert

    I thought long and hard before I retweeted the photo. It shows a lifeless toddler, lying face down on a popular Turkish beach, one of eleven Syrians who have almost certainly died as they tried to reach safety in Europe by boarding a smuggler’s boat. Instead they ended up as the latest victims of Europe’s paltry response in the face of a growing crisis.

    What struck me the most were his little sneakers, certainly lovingly put on by his parents that morning as they dressed him for their dangerous journey. One of my favorite moments of the morning is dressing my kids and helping them put on their shoes. They always seem to manage to put something on backwards, to our mutual amusement. Staring at the image, I couldn’t help imagine that it was one of my own sons lying there drowned on the beach.
    http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/09/03/why-i-shared-horrific-photo-drowned-syrian-child

    Reply
    • On KBOO local news this evening RE salps, declining ocean health, and purple sulphur bacteria. I probably owe you a huge thanks, DT. Was on my cell. So the interview might not have been as clear as I’d have liked.

      Reply
      • – Good news Robert.
        5:00pm – 5:45pm PDT http://kboo.fm/eveningnewson090315 [For live broadcast or after 45 min or so it will be on podcast]
        Evening News
        Hosted by: pmnews
        Non-corporate, volunteer-powered, local, national, and international news
        – That would have been Jenka Soderberg PM News and Public Affairs Director that called.

        Reply
      • – Outstanding, Robert. Jenka is a gem too.
        You are in the News In Depth program at 5:45 PM PDT or podcast soon.
        http://kboo.fm/newsindepthon090315

        Good connections on ocean health etc. Microbial blooms — biotoxins, warm water. etc.
        “FF emissions loading atmosphere with N” is a good hook, or context, for me to hang some bright green ‘blooms’ and algae like films I see on land. Some graphic instances — in a time frame, seem to be at hand. Plus I found s photo I thought I lost which is very revealing.
        Good show, good science, good networking!

        TALLY HO – ROGER THAT – OUT

        Reply
      • Interview is very clear — edited w/ Adobe Audition — Ha. You were great.

        Jenka Soderberg
        Evening News & Public Affairs Director

        Reply
      • Ps KBOO, gets good coverage around here with translator stations, etc. Vancouver, WA is just across the Columbia from PDX. “In 1991, the station set up a translator in White Salmon, Washington, allowing KBOO to broadcast into the Columbia Gorge. KBOO also has a translator in the Corvallis area.”

        Reply
      • Robert, your piece is 15 min. — News In Depth show.
        [audio src="http://kboo.fm/sites/default/files/episode_audio/kboo_episode.2.150903.1745.69083.mp3" /]

        Reply
      • – “Nitrogen compounds” — no big deal. As long as N is mentioned in context — we are better informed.

        – Ps: with my black soot findings in SB, I always asked three or four basic questions which also needs to asked of N:

        ” Where did it come from?” (source)
        “Who put it there?” (cause)
        “Why so much?” (quantity) (how wide spread?)
        “Why so black.” (green, purple) (severity and maybe all of the above).

        Reply
  11. Colorado Bob

     /  September 3, 2015

    ” Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours?”

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  September 3, 2015

      The Edmund Fitzgerald is a tell we should we learn ,

      Reply
      • The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
        Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
        The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
        When the skies of November turn gloomy

        That good ship and true was a bone to be chewed
        When the gales of November came early

        – What great narrative!

        Reply
      • uilyam

         /  September 4, 2015

        I was living in Ann Arbor, Michigan, when the Edmund Fitzgerald went down. I used to sing that song a lot. I also like Lightfoot’s song about the humane arrogance of our so-called civilization: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HD_89WnsYsY

        Reply
      • James Burton

         /  September 4, 2015

        I talked to the helmsman of the Duluth based coast guard cutter that put out into the lake on a failed and foolish rescue attempt. Stupid for any number of reasons. He told me that as they exited the ship channel in Duluth that he was certain they were all dead. I have some experience with the Lakes, and the Navy, and the Coast Guard was absolutely mad to put a Duluth cutter out into that storm! He agreed, they nearly went down themselves and their cutter was just a buoy tender with ice breaker bow. No business out in those seas.

        Reply
  12. – Pardon the photography and photojournalism jag but it’s dear to me. Maria might like this, as well.

    – Ps I got to know Massoud Hossaini a bit through Twitter after the publication of his “Girl in the Green Dress” photo showing the bloody aftermath of a suicide bombing if Afghanistan.
    I prompted his photo to all within earshot because it showed the the bloody physical ‘rearranging’ of innocent lives through the violence of an exploding bomb.
    His reasons for demanding that the photo not be cropped upon publication was the same as my own reasons to make people see the upclose and personal nature of violence.
    He’s s fine man, Massoud is.

    – Me, I take un-cropped and un-manipulated photos of landscapes made toxic, and that are at everyone’s feet — or above their heads — or off to the side. Humans rarely appear in my photos but their impacts upon the landscape are.

    – But back to Massoud the empathetic photojourno:

    ‘AFP photographer recalls Kabul carnage’

    Reply
    • Eric Thurston

       /  September 3, 2015

      That’s right up there with the classic photo from Vietnam of the little girl, naked and screaming, running from the explosions of battle.

      Reply
    • Thanks for bringing this photo back up. And rustj for the image of the little Vietnamese girl—I had not seen that one.

      The whole issue of our MSM’s sanitization of images of war is another long conversation. Bush not allowing our soldiers coming home in body bags to be photographed. Oh my.

      You have an interesting approach re: documenting the environment’s wounds. Feel free to post a link if you have a gallery on the web.

      For reasons too long(personal) for me to get into here on Robert’s porch—I have a need to only photograph the beauty of nature–I love that each one of us is drawn to capture different aspects of life, no matter the medium, to cast a light on, to underline in bold font. And somehow they all come together in a cohesive whole…..

      Reply
    • Robert, I hear you re: humans always coming up with a reason for violence and war………..I’m wondering if fear is ultimately the culprit for our wars, our greed—taking from others without their permission.

      Reply
  13. Colorado Bob

     /  September 3, 2015

    ” when supper came the old cook came on deck, and said fellows is been to know ya”

    Reply
    • – For sure!

      “Does any one know where the love of God goes
      when the waves turn the minutes to hours?
      The searchers all say they’d have made Whitefish Bay
      if they’d put fifteen more miles behind ‘er.
      They might have split up or they might have capsized;
      they may have broke deep and took water.
      And all that remains is the faces and the names
      of the wives and the sons and the daughters.”

      Reply
  14. Colorado Bob

     /  September 3, 2015

    That good ship and crew was a bone to be chewed
    When the gales of November came early

    – What great narrative!

    Yes, it was., It’s us . And a guy from Canada wrote the words.

    Reply
    • “Canadian Railroad Trilogy”

      There was a time in this fair land when the railroad did not run
      when the wild majestic mountains stood alone against the sun
      Long before the white man and long before the wheel
      when the green dark forest was too silent to be real
      But time has no beginnings and hist’ry has no bounds
      as to this verdant country they came from all around
      They sailed upon her waterways and they walked the forests tall
      built the mines, mills and the factories for the good of us all

      Reply
    • This q will reveal my ignorance—what is that song really about? I’m too lazy to google it up. Seeing you and DT writing of the lyrics reminds me that I didn’t take Gordon Lightfoot seriously—wouldn’t be my first mistake in the music realm.

      Reply
  15. Colorado Bob

     /  September 4, 2015

    The Chambers Brothers – Time Has Come Today

    Reply
  16. Colorado Bob

     /  September 4, 2015

    Now the time has cone there are things to realize,

    Reply
  17. Dan B

     /  September 4, 2015

    15′ seas in the Beaufort stall Shell’s drilling. Staff at Barrow is evacuated to Anchorage.
    http://climatechangepsychology.blogspot.com/2015/08/shell-pauses-oil-drilling-in-chukchi.html
    Yay! Thanks storm… Now if you’d stop churning up the ice…….

    Reply
  18. Colorado Bob

     /  September 4, 2015

    Now the time has come , there are things to reak\lize –

    Reply
  19. Colorado Bob

     /  September 4, 2015

    Colorado Bob / September 4, 2015

    Now the time has come ,

    Reply
  20. rustj2015

     /  September 4, 2015

    A bit earlier it went this way, folkies:

    Reply
  21. redskylite

     /  September 4, 2015

    I’ve always believed health & safety issues have been paramount areas of concern across all types of industries, and despite the complex science and politics involved in Climate Change, the underlying cause by known physics (since Svante Arrhenious 1896) is straightforward enough. With higher temperatures, human health & safety needs to be considered and this article in ThinkProgress/ClimateProgress is a good example where it was very sadly lacking:

    http://thinkprogress.org/immigration/2015/09/03/3697705/temperatures-rise-farmworkers-heat-illness/

    Reply
  22. I don’t know the Pozo Seco’s…all I know is that in Spanish that means dry well(water). Hmmm.

    Reply
  23. It’s not Godzilla we need to fear: 😉

    Reply
  24. redskylite

     /  September 4, 2015

    Following the stunning Canary Island SciArt Maria posted yesterday, I noticed statues in the Thames today .. Think art has a part to play in getting attention to the menace of Climate Change and continued burning of fossils . .

    http://mashable.com/2015/09/03/horse-sculptures-thames-climate-change/

    Reply
  25. Skylight, These are terrific, genius…how wonderful you saw them in person. What was it like?

    Reply
    • redskylite

       /  September 4, 2015

      Sorry to confuse by bad phrasing, unfortunately I didn’t walk by the Thames today, I meant noticed them in Mashable and New Scientist.. Not been home to the U.K since 1999, though get homesick sometimes.

      Reply
  26. redskylite

     /  September 4, 2015

    In Planet Experts today, a sad story on Californian seabirds from Monica Heger a science journalist based in San Francisco. . . . . .

    http://www.planetexperts.com/seabirds-starving-off-northern-california-coast/
    Weakened and malnourished common murres, a species of seabird, are turning up in large numbers on Northern California beaches. That’s according to the International Bird Rescue center in Fairfield, California, in the San Francisco Bay, which has rescued more than 150 of the mostly young chicks in August alone — more than 10 times the normal number.

    According to International Bird Rescue, scientists are not sure what is causing the excess of starving common murres, but think it could be related to warming ocean waters. Northern California coastal waters are 5°F to 10°F warmer than historical averages, which may be causing the fish that the murres feed on to dive deeper than normal in search of cooler waters.

    Reply
    • redskylite

       /  September 4, 2015

      “Albatross” is a guitar-based instrumental by Fleetwood Mac, released as a single in November 1968.

      Reply
    • Oh yes…the murres. My dog found several one evening last month on Rodeo Beach in the Marin Headlands. Fortunately there is a Marine Mammal Center in that complex of property who was on their way after being called by another witness. Thanks for posting this because some folk were saying they’ve seen the murres on the beach for years as Fall approaches and they were not too concerned. But obviously, these kinds of numbers are not normal.

      PS: No worries, skylite, re; the phrasing and the Thames. Hope you get have a chance to return soon. I get homesick too….;-(

      Reply
  27. Bees and flowers have a special relationship, and climate change is screwing it up

    This is a great question re: will flowers and bees stay in sync as flowers begin to open up sooner and sooner with warming. The team in CO is shoveling out patches of land early to find out what the bees do, find out the flower yields, etc. Upon first blush, it seems to me that they’re not mimicking the temps which would perhaps incline/force? the bees to become more active….Perhaps I’m missing something.

    http://grist.org/news/bees-and-flowers-have-a-special-relationship-and-climate-change-is-screwing-it-up/

    “””Because bees depend on flowers for food and flowers depend on bees for pollination, the two groups of organisms tend to sync up. (Remember scribbling “symbiotic relationship” into your high school biology notebook? It’s one of those.) And because climate change is fiddling with the times that flowers bloom, it means “we could have a situation where plants are available but bees are not active,” says Rebecca Irwin, an associate professor of applied ecology at North Carolina State University, in the video. “That’s going to be a problem for both parties.”

    To try to examine some of the relationships at play, Irwin’s team is conducting some pretty fascinating experiments. By digging out trenches of snow near the end of winter, the researchers can coax some patches of flowers into blooming a bit earlier than others. In doing so, the team is effectively able to simulate pockets of climate change — consider a warming world with less extreme winters — and examine how the bee and flower populations interact in these areas. Without ample pollination, the early bloomers could be left with little reproductive success. Results of the experiments are pending.””

    Reply
    • – It’s a big deal for a cycle dependent and foraging natural world– “And because climate change is fiddling with the times that flowers bloom, it means “we could have a situation where plants are available but bees are not active.”
      Birds and fowl are similarly impacted whether it be food source for the young, or nesting, or camouflaging, etc. Insects too. It’s a cascade of unmitigated cruelties.
      As they say, “Timing is everything.”

      Reply
  28. uilyam

     /  September 4, 2015

    I got a first-hand account of the heat down there when my wife and children returned from a small music festival at Panchovka (on the Black Sea shore near Feodosia) about two weeks ago. It would be nice if we could get a few degrees of that warmth up here. On the other hand, I am not sure about the dynamics now. I tend to think that the boundary conditions imposed by SEGACS (southeast Greenland anomalous cold spot) might prevent the movement of the meander and that after the following ridge and trough are maximally “stretched” they will “pop back” to something closer to the resonant frequency/wavelength.

    Reply
  29. Artists strike again…….they trolled the Kochs at a red carpet premier in front of the Lincoln Center’s David Koch Theater…to debut this vid.

    Reply
  30. PS: h/t climatecrocks.com

    Reply
  31. redskylite

     /  September 4, 2015

    Here is a pattern or prototype that could be followed, by countries and smaller communities who can afford it. It works, it is not a scam, it is not a con, but it does not fill the coffers of fossil fuel interests . . . . . .

    This is a truly remarkable village an example of adapting to the post industrial revolution age ….

    “The Solar Village is the first community in the world to produce 4x more energy than it uses”

    https://www.minds.com/blog/view/407634747297107968/the-solar-village-is-the-first-community-in-the-world-to-produce-4x-more-energy-than-it-uses

    Reply
    • redskylite

       /  September 4, 2015

      And with the latest developments in battery storage, that Tesla have inspired, now is the time to do it. “Solarsiedlung” would be so much easier now with latest storage technology on board . . . . .
      “Energy Storage Surging as More U.S. States Look to Batteries”

      http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2015/09/energy-storage-surging-as-more-u-s-states-look-to-batteries.html

      Reply
      • redskylite

         /  September 4, 2015

        I recently took an online course at Penn state, tutor was Prof R.B Alley and a good proportion of the climate change course was on renewable technologies, lets train our gifted young climate scientists in energy and in politics, we know enough about what we have done to the climate. Lets go ferociously on this guys. . .

        Then and only then do we have a chance of building a decent future for our descendants . . surely we all want that . .

        Reply
      • The synergy between solar, wind, battery storage and electronics is amazing. I’m pretty sure it’s powerful enough to eventually break fossil fuels stranglehold on economic systems. The question is can we get things up and running fast enough? It’s a critical challenge.

        Reply
    • Indeed, skylite, lets train our gifted young climate scientists in energy and in politics, we know enough about what we have done to the climate.

      The clip you posted re: Freiberg, Germany’s village was a wonderful Friday hope-inspiring, imagination-expanding way to start the day…thanks.

      PS: I’ve been hesitant re: doing online courses on these and other topics of interest, but it sounds like your experience was positive.

      Reply
      • uilyam

         /  September 4, 2015

        Maria, during the last two years, I have participated in several MOOCs related to climate change, sustainability, food, and ethics with three goals (in priority order):
        1. Establish personal connections with useful people around the world.
        2. Help other people learn.
        3. Learn more myself.

        To the extent that I had time for this project, I found the results generally quite positive. For example, I now have some good contacts on all continents except Antarctica.

        I am not saying that you should or should not do online courses. I am only saying that if you do, then you should have some clear goals and ways to assess whether your goals are being accomplished (IMHO).

        Reply
  32. I wondered when will you write anything about Eastern Europe. Living in Poland for long time now (hah, nearly entire life) and weather in last month was unprecedented – our rivers are nearly dry, practically no rain for a month with extensive heatwaves just a little bit short of breaking record measurements (but instead of breaking them they hovered just under them for more than a month). And while we didn’t have many WILDfires we did have URBANfires (various factories burned, even cars would sometimes selfignite). In addition we nearly went into nationwide blackout due to lack of electricity supply (in fact we are just a bit from it even now – to compensate for all these power plants that had to be shutdown due to insufficient cooling all other power plants are working at full capacity – this includes redundant units. So if we get just one accident resulting in shutdown of some units we may end up once again in severe energy use restrictions (unless it will be blackout…) due to lack of redundancy at the moment.

    Reply
    • Thanks so much for expressing your concerns and for telling your story and the story of your country, darkest. I’ll do my best to put together a piece based on your observations and on additional research soon. We take the notion of complete coverage very seriously and what’s happening in your country is both unprecedented and an important part of the story of human-forced warming. I sincerely hope you, your friends, and your family are doing well in this difficult time. We will not forget you here.

      Also, if you wish to report on conditions in your country please feel free to post them here at any time. If you have concerns or other statements, this is an open forum for you.

      Reply
    • The latest post right now at Jeff Master’s WunderBlog has a bit of material about this topic.

      “Figure 3. Historians recover relics from the 17th century on the bed of the Vistula River in Warsaw, Poland on September 3, 2015. The water level of the Vistula, Poland’s largest river, is at its lowest level since measurements began in 1789, due to severe drought conditions. The treasures being excavated were looted by an invading Swedish army in the mid-17th century and got buried in the Vistula when a Swedish barge sank. Jewish tombstones and wreckage from a WWII fighter plane have also been uncovered this summer from the Vistula and its tributaries due to the low water levels. Image credit: JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images.”

      Reply
      • Thanks darkestkhan and david for your posts–it’s blogs like Robert’s that can amplify your voices….

        Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  September 4, 2015

      Thanks for the heads up from Poland, perspectives from places we don’t have many posters are especially valuable.

      Reply
  33. Spike

     /  September 4, 2015

    In the HadCRUT4.4 global temperature dataset, Jan-July 2015 is 0.996°C above a ‘pre-industrial’ baseline of 1850-1900.

    Welcome 1C – your terrible progeny will no doubt be following before too long.

    Reply
    • Yep, that’s our world now, Spike. 1 C and climbing… Let’s hope that 2 C is still a ways off and that we get our act together as swiftly as possible. One thing’s sure. Deniers won’t be able to explain extreme weather events away as we climb up through the 1-2 C range. There are crushing impacts in this range. World-changing impacts that we are starting to experience now.

      Reply
  34. James Burton

     /  September 4, 2015

    “The relentless, if zigzag, rise in financial markets for the past 150 years has been sustained by cheap fossil fuels and a benign climate. We cannot count on either from here on out….”
    This is from a recent economic analysis of market prospects. It is unusual in that is openly speaks of CLIMATE. I have been hammering economics blogs for years with the coming economic effects of unstable climate. The deniers tear into me with vigor, as you would expect. But serious people in economics are no longer able to discount climate as the future economies develop. Unstable, even out of control climate is evident in Britain, with all the flooding of past years. Drought has collapsed the Middle East farm economies. As just two examples.
    As thw writer above says, in so many words, “We can no longer bank on benign climate”! And let’s be totally clear about today’s modern world. It was built on tow necessary factors, cheap abundant fossil fuels, and a very benign climate that allowed development the world over with very little in the way of weather and climate caused losses.
    No more benign climate, and fossil fuels are only cheap due to temporary and extra ordinary circumstances. Like zero % money costs for the big players. Shale was built on 0%, take that away and Shale collapses, it is not viable without free borrowing.

    Reply
    • The necessity of fossil fuels is an economic myth. They may be energy dense but the machines that use them are terribly inefficient. In any case, depending on the use of a resource that rapidly destroys one’s living space is not an effective survival strategy. The basis for markets could best be termed as suicide-grounded. Meaning that perpetuation of status quo eventually results in self-slaughter.

      Reply
      • Currently reading Jared Diamond’s “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Suceed.” He examines several societies that collapsed (often, environmental problems played a major part) or succeeded. It’s worth noting that the ones that succeeded used some form of regulation, either imposed from the top or created via collaboration from the bottom. Fortunately for the societies that succeeded, the idea of leaving everything to the “market” had not yet been invented, although its analogue (“devil take the hindmost”) was likely used in the ones that collapsed.

        Reply
        • I recommend this book as necessary reading to anyone interested in emerging threats at it relates to civilization collapse dynamics. It’s worth noting that displacement is usually a collapse feature as it is a symptom of combined societal dysfunction, loss of habitat, and collapse of the resource base.

      • Mblanc

         /  September 4, 2015

        Great book, he really nails the fact that we have choices.

        His book ‘Guns, Germs and Steel’ genuinely changed my understanding of human history, and the thorny question of ‘why the west won’.

        Reply
  35. Building on skylite’s post upthread re: art’s role in climate change I found this:

    They highlight 18 projects around the world..

    Using toxic runoff found in the Ohio River region, artist and professor John Sabraw produces his own DIY pigments — bold yellows and reds that are sourced from the oxidized sludge of abandoned coal mines. Rather than using imported iron oxide from China to make his paint colors, he taps into the water’s heavy metals left over from abandoned coal mines, bringing to light the region’s pollution problem in the process.

    “The artist, like the scientist, has a crucial role to perform in our society,” Sabraw explained to HuffPost. “See things differently, act on this vision, report the failures and successes.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/15/environmental-art_n_5585288.html

    Reply
    • – Nasty stuff there.

      – My findings of discolored flora and other surfaces exposed to aerosol pollutants had much in common with colors and hues I remember seeing near mine sites in the Colorado mountains. Similar to mineral, chemical leaching and residue — but not what I had associated with any natural process in flora, etc. These discoloration tell us something is very wrong.

      – If interested see 2013 Smithsonian Mag (It’s colorful):

      Toxic Runoff Yellow and Other Paint Colors Sourced From Polluted Streams
      An engineer and an artist at Ohio University team up to create paints made of sludge extracted from streams near abandoned coal mines

      – Artist John Sabraw uses paint made from the toxic runoff in streams located near abandoned coal mines in his abstract paintings. Chroma S1 1, by John Sabraw. Image courtesy of the artist.

      Reply
      • A stream polluted by acid mine drainage. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

        Reply
      • – And the US EPA is left with the ‘clean up’ task.

        Reply
      • Thanks so much, DT, for the Smithsonian pointer that gives more detail. I applaud these SciArtists for experimenting in this way with such dangerous materials. I haven’t kept up with the Animus River tragedy in CO recently. The orange in your photo reminded me.

        My findings of discolored flora and other surfaces exposed to aerosol pollutants had much in common with colors and hues I remember seeing near mine sites in the Colorado mountains. Similar to mineral, chemical leaching and residue — but not what I had associated with any natural process in flora, etc. These discoloration tell us something is very wrong.

        Absolutely….I’ll have to dig up a pic I took in CO of the Gunnison River near Somerset, CO for your opinion(as you know, there was an active coal plant there). During Spring it was gushing with clay-colored water–I was driving thru and didn’t have a chance to ask anyone whether this was just runoff from the mountains or whether other toxins were in there…

        Reply
      • James Burton

         /  September 5, 2015

        Just north of where I live, a giant underground copper nickle mine is under permit proceedings by the state of Minnesota. This is Sulfide Mining! The watershed leads to Lake Superior, or to the Canadian Border north into pristine federally protected Wilderness. The prospect of new jobs in the mine has everyone turning a blind eye to Sulfide Mining. The company claims they will treat the water, BUT, no mining company ever has treated Sulfide Mining water waste. And, it emits this water for ever! Or until geology finally overlays or erodes away the whole thing.

        Reply
  36. Oh no–what did I do? I’m in moderation purgatory😉

    Reply
  1. Cricket Crescendo | astroplethorama

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