New Study — Risk of Significant Methane Release From East Siberian Arctic Shelf Still Growing

Large plumes of methane bubbling up from the Arctic Ocean sea-bed, saturating the water column, venting into the air, adding significantly more heat forcing to an already dangerous, fossil fuel-based, accumulation of greenhouse gasses in the Earth’s atmosphere. It’s a nightmare scenario. One in which human-forced warming, already at 1 C above 1880s levels, is further amplified through the feedback release of ancient carbon stored over the past 8 million years of Northern Hemisphere glaciation. And a recent study by the now famous Semiletov and Shakhova team provides still more reason for appropriate concern that such an event may be in the works.

ESAS methane release organic carbon store

(Shakhova and Semiletov’s new study produces an increasingly clear picture of a destabilizing organic carbon store beneath thawing permafrost in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf region. The above images show organic carbon concentration [left frame] and rate of release of methane in grams per square meter per day over observed regions. Image source: The Royal Society.)

*  *  *  *  *  *

By now, many of us are familiar with the controversy over the potential risks of significant-to-catastrophic methane release due to human-forced warming of the ArcticAn increasing number of observational specialists are pointing toward a risk that rapid human warming will set off the release of still more carbon in the Arctic. For some, this release is expected to be gradual. Others believe there’s enough risk of a rapid release to warrant an equally rapid emergency response.

But regardless of where you stand on the issue, new research coming to light from some of the Arctic’s top observational scientists more clearly describes what appears to be an increasingly dangerous situation.

Disintegrating Permafrost Cap in ESAS

At issue is the fact that, at the end of the last ice age, a great store of permafrost carbon was submerged as the Arctic Ocean rose. A low lying region containing about 500 billion tons of carbon as methane became inundated by the shallow sea that is the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS). The waters of this sea remained cold — below the freezing point of non-salt water in its lower reaches for most of the year. But, in some places, warmth invaded, and it is thought that small portions of the permafrost cap deteriorated.

In the near shore zones and in geologically active zones, methane conduits called taliks developed. And from these expanding taliks an increasing amount of methane bubbled to the surface.

Submerged Thermokarst Lake

(Ivashkina Lagoon was once a thermokarst lake. It has since been flooded by the Laptev Sea. For much of the time of inundation, the fresh water lake surface remained frozen. It is now thawing and releasing its organic carbon store as methane. Image source: The Royal Society.)

However, for the most part, the permafrost cap over the methane stores remained in tact — waiting to be rejuvenated by a new ice age. That is, until human industry belched billions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere, removing the possibility of a new ice age and forcing the world ocean and connecting Arctic Ocean to begin to warm in excess of peak Holocene temperatures. This warming, twice as fast in the Arctic as in the rest of the world, added still more heat pressure to the permafrost cap locking methane within the ESAS sea floor.

Now, more and more permafrost beneath the shallow ESAS waters is starting to thaw. And this, much more rapid than normal thaw is resulting in an increasing risk that methane stores beneath the permafrost cap will destabilize.

Shallow Waters, Geothermal Hot Spots, Taliks

Recent observational records by Dr. Natalia Shakhova and Dr. Igor Semiletov have found what they hypothesize to be an expanding array of methane vents in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf sea bed. According to their recent research, the vents appear to be growing more robust — bubbling up greater volumes of methane from a more vigorous and inter-connected network of channel beneath the thawing sea floor.

Atmospheric Methane September 6 2015

(Ever since 2005, atmospheric methane levels have again been on the rise. Much of this increase may be due to human emissions. However, an overburden of atmospheric methane and carbon dioxide in the Arctic zone hints that destabilizing carbon stores may also be adding substantial volumes of greenhouse gasses to the world’s airs. Image source: NOAA OSPO.)

Currently, according to Shakhova and Semiletov, methane emissions are most vigorous in the near-shore region of the ESAS and in the offshore slope region. Shakhova and Semiletov believe that near shore emissions are increasingly active due to rapid warming occurring there. Not only are the regional waters impacted by a rapidly warming Siberian land mass. They also see the flux of hotter waters from rivers issuing from the continent. As a result, the near shore region is most vulnerable to permafrost thaw and destabilization. In the slope zone, however, geological features are more active. These features provide a natural heat for the formation of taliks. And though most of this region was once frozen to the point that even geological activity did not result in methane venting, the now warming permafrost cap is generating weaker regions that natural geological heat can exploit to greater and greater degrees.

Sea Ice Melt, Storms, Heighten Methane Emissions

Ever since the mid 2000s Shakhova and Semiletov have observed what appears to be a generally heightened methane emission coming from the ESAS. Estimates for total release rates have doubled and then doubled again. By 2013, the scientists were estimating that 17 million tons of methane was venting from the ESAS sea surface each year.

The increased rate of methane release is not only due to permafrost thaw on the sea floor. It is also due to an increase in large polynyas in the ESAS during winter time as well as an overall increase in the area of open water that can be impacted by storms. An ice locked ESAS keeps more of its methane in the water column and gives the methane a longer period to be absorbed by the water or consumed by microbes. But as the ice recedes, more of the methane is able to break the surface and reach the airs above. In addition, ice free seas are more susceptible to the action of storms. Storms increase wave heights, increase the rate of breaking waves, and reduces ocean surface stratification. As a result methane moves more rapidly through the upper level water column and encounters a larger surface area from which to transfer from water to air.

An ice free ESAS is not only warmer, generating more destabilization forcing to the permafrost cap which locks in methane, it is also more and more devoid of the surface ice cap which acts as a secondary barrier to methane to air transfer.

Shakhova, Semiletov Recommend Adding ESAS Methane Release to Global Climate Models

Shakhova and Semiletov’s findings continue to compel them to issue warnings over the prospect of continuing increases in methane emissions from the ESAS and nearby seas. They conclude:

The observed range in CH4 emissions associated with different degrees of subsea permafrost disintegration implies substantial and potent emission enhancement in the ESAS as the process of subsea permafrost thawing progresses with time. While it is still unclear how quickly CH4 flux rates will change, the current process of Arctic warming and associated sea ice loss will accelerate this process. The potential for the release of substantial amounts of CH4 from the ESAS region has important implications not only for atmospheric CH4 concentrations but also, given CH4‘s potency as a greenhouse gas, for the global climate. Because the ESAS contains the largest and arguably most vulnerable stores of subsea CH4, inclusion of the ESAS source in global climate models should be considered a high priority.

Links:

The East Siberian Arctic Shelf: Further Assessment of Permafrost Related Fluxes and the Role of Sea Ice

Double the Rate of Methane Release From the Arctic Sea Floor

NOAA OSPO

Concern Over Arctic Methane Release

Threat of Permafrost Destabilization is ‘Real and Imminent’

 

Leave a comment

195 Comments

  1. climatehawk1

     /  September 10, 2015

    Tweeting.

    Reply
  2. climatehawk1

     /  September 10, 2015

    Oops, neglected to check the comments notif box. Sorry for extra msg.

    Reply
  3. I find it stunning that none of the models include the possible effects of permafrost methane release. Am I missing something or is this a gross oversight -akin to worrying about North Korean missiles that didn’t exist when 19 highjackers were getting ready to fly planes into buildings…?

    Reply
    • There’s an awful lot of things not included in the models, whether because they’re insufficiently understood or not anticipate at all.

      Reply
  4. Andy in SD

     /  September 10, 2015

    Some may say 17 million tons is not much. However at 25 times efficiency as a GHG this represents an operational capacity of 425 million tons (roughly 1/2 giga ton) of CO2 within the atmosphere for the duration of it’s active lifetime.

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  September 10, 2015

      Per year, with a half atmospheric life of what 8 years. = approx 2.5GT+ average extra methane within 8 years if the rate does not increase, plus that released from the onshore permafrost Siberia, Alaska and Canada etc

      Reply
      • wili

         /  September 10, 2015

        No, 25 is the (outdated and understated, the actual number is more like 35) estimate for methane’s greenhouse potential relative to CO2 over the time period of a century. Over the decadal ranges you are talking about, it’s more like 105 x CO2 GHP. See Shindell et alia 2009.

        Also note: “increasing levels of methane from 1X to 200X industrial levels increases the half-life of methane from 8.4 years to 42.5.” Schmidt, G.A., and D.T. Shindell, 2003

        Reply
    • Egor the wonder dog

       /  September 11, 2015

      There is more CH4 in the atmosphere today, than yesterday, and for the foreseeable future, there will be more CH4 in the atmosphere tomorrow, than today.
      Doesn’t that mean for calculating the forcing factor of CH4/CO2 ‘we’ should be giving CH4 a way longer lifetime?
      If the amount in the atmosphere is growing doesn’t that make it more or less immortal, at least on human time scales, meaning by the time CH4 stabilizes, then starts to reduce in the atmosphere humans will well and truly be yesterdays news ?

      Reply
      • It’s a worthwhile question, Egor. However, the calculation isn’t so simple as that. On one hand, if humans continue to emit methane into the atmosphere at current, or worse, growing rates, then the available heat forcing of net methane in the atmosphere increases over time scales relevant to this century. In addition, if you have a larger and larger methane emission from the Arctic, you have another net forcing addition to deal with.

        But due to the fact that methane has a short lifetime on the individual molecule scale, an ever increasing emission is needed to keep increasing atmospheric volumes of the gas. Long residence time gasses like CO2 do not have the same limitation. So if, for example, the human methane emission were to drastically fall, the high oxidation rates for methane can result in a plateau or rapid reduction of methane in the atmosphere and the volume of methane from feedback sources would have to be emitting at a rather high rate to make up that difference.

        So the situation is very dynamic and one that is intrinsically tied to our decision to reduce emissions rapidly now or to delay that emissions reduction. The latter choice, in my view, being a very dangerous one.

        So, no, it’s not so simple as assuming that methane is practically immortal for human purposes. That’s an oversimplification that can lead to some invalid assumptions.

        Reply
  5. Loni

     /  September 10, 2015

    Robert, as always an excellent job with notable dedicated people. You have an invaluable way of clarifying much.

    Dr. Shakhova’s touted 5oGt. methane release comment, which was discussed here a post or two ago, also included, (besides the Great Thaw), what you’ve referred to in the past, tectonic destabilization due to climate change, with that, the possibility of a major earthquake causing a methane release of such proportions. For, included in the Arctic methane stores are also the immeasurable volumes of mantle methane, and if a tremor were to uncork that bottle………we’re stuck with that genie.

    We don’t seem to be helping our cause much, and I hope you are taking care of yourself. This continued reporting of these times probably becomes quite a burden. (Rent Richard Pryor, George Carlin, etc. etc. videos.)

    Reply
    • Tom

       /  September 10, 2015

      Loni: add to that the new viruses thawing out in Siberia from melting permafrost (that are still infectious once thawed out) and it’s becoming clear that we’re headed for disaster.

      Reply
  6. Matt

     /  September 10, 2015

    Excellent article Robert! The methane tipping point to me seems to be the most under estimated tipping points (in terms of likelihood) and my biggest concern😦 On another note, the BOM in Australia has released its latest ENSO update and its numbers pretty much confirm that of yours in the US agencies. Of note, “Anomalies for the week ending 30 August exceeded +2 °C across most of the equatorial Pacific east of 170°W.” All five Nino indices remain 1C above normal levels (this must be smashing the previous record now?). BTW does anyone have the heads up on how August went in terms of global temperatures? i know NOAA haven’t released them yet but you guys seem to normally have a rough figure by now🙂

    Reply
  7. Ouse M.D.

     /  September 10, 2015

    (Nuclear) winter is coming.
    Thanks to Your US Hawk- Senators and Congressmen.
    Don’t forget to thank their Puppet Masters, too

    Reply
  8. redskylite

     /  September 10, 2015

    Many thanks Robert, for the timely and topical post explaining the highlights of the latest paper from Natalia Shakhova, Igor Semiletov, Valentin Sergienko, Leopold Lobkovsky, Vladimir Yusupov, Anatoly Salyuk, Alexander Salomatin, Denis Chernykh, Denis Kosmach, Gleb Panteleev, Dmitry Nicolsky, Vladimir Samarkin, Samantha Joye, Alexander Charkin, Oleg Dudarev, Alexander Meluzov and Orjan Gustafsson.

    Natalia Shakhova and Igor Semiletov have been working around ESAS for many years now and their diligent measuring and investigation is invaluable, if not undervalued by some it seems. I have read the interesting and enlightening paper several times since Apneaman kindly shared it with your readers yesterday, and, although there were mixed opinions on the author’s team, it confirms to me that expectations that all the global warming indicators will stay near-linear are grossly optimistic. Just how sharp the exponential curve will be remains to be seen (and experienced).

    Also in the news today the Scripps Institute have released details of a deep-sea site roughly 48 kilometers (30 miles) west of Del Mar (just north of San Diego, Calif.) where methane is seeping out of the seafloor, the first such finding in the region. There announcement also comes with a warning. . . it really is time to address our CO2 output . . . . . .

    “Finding a methane seep in our own backyard is a great opportunity for Scripps,” said Levin. “There is the potential for more frequent visits and long-term observations, and for greater engagement of the public and students. My hope is that more people will learn about chemosynthesis-based ecosystems like this methane seep. As the ocean warms it is likely that more methane will be released from the seafloor, and seep ecosystems will expand.”

    https://scripps.ucsd.edu/news/scripps-video-news-release-researchers-release-details-recently-discovered-del-mar-seep

    Reply
  9. Attending the first annual Elders Climate Action in DC. Yesterday we were honored to have Jim Hansen give us some straight talk, including calling out the liberals who have a knee jerk antipathy to anything nuclear and saying it’s baloney to think we can save the planet for our grandchildren without it. Today we do a couple of flash mobs at Union Station and Longworth Cafeteria and then lobby recalcitrant Congressmen for fun….

    Reply
    • Tom

       /  September 10, 2015

      Yes, Jim Hansen, because Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima worked out so well.

      Reply
      • No coal, no oil, no gas, no nuclear, no hydro, no biomass, soo…whast left for 7 billion people and counting?

        Alex

        Reply
      • Dr. Hansen is a climate expert, not an energy expert. There are other climate experts who unfortunately like to talk about energy, but don’t know all that much about it–Kerry Emanuel, the hurricane expert, comes to mind. I’m knowledgeable on renewables–not an expert, but knowledgeable enough to know their capabilities are still being seriously underestimated. What’s been doing nuclear in of late, IMHO, is not superstition or liberalism, but the high cost of new power plants.

        Reply
      • Wharf Rat

         /  September 11, 2015

        “Fukushima worked out so well.”

        More like “Fukushima continues to work out well”.

        Environment Pollution in Japan on Thursday, 10 September, 2015 at 10:24 (10:24 AM) UTC.

        Description
        The continuous torrent of rain water is complicating the already difficult situation in Fukushima where, according to an operator of the Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), the drainage pumps are not able to evacuate all the water that is pouring into the plant, becoming contaminated and damaging the ‘surrounding environment. Since 2011, the Tempco has been in charge of storing tons of radioactive water used to cool the reactors at the plant, destroyed by the tsunami. Prime Minister Abe, speaking to the press, assured that “the government will remain united and will do its best to deal with the disaster, making the saving of human life our highest priority.”

        http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/site/index.php?pageid=event_desc&edis_id=ED-20150910-50029-JPN

        Reply
    • wili

       /  September 10, 2015

      nukes, besides all their other problems, take too long to build to be any kind of immediate aid. As Anderson has pointed out, we need to greatly reduce the economy rapidly. That is the only way to get the reductions needed.

      Reply
      • Ouse M.D.

         /  September 10, 2015

        So, 80% emission reductions are needed- and fast.
        How on Earth are You gonna achieve that without a global war – erasing say 80% of all the ecocidal global industry?
        Your suggestions for solutions are welcome.
        Because as Elon Musk said: we’ d need 200 BILLION of Tesla’s new mega solar batteries to cover current energy needs.
        That clearly is impossible. Not in a 1000 years.

        Reply
      • Greg

         /  September 10, 2015

        Ouse M.D. your numbers are wrong to support your argument. “We could power a small city with a giga-watt class powerpack. What’s really needed to transition the world to sustainable energy? With 160 milion powerpacks you can transition the entire United States. With 900 million, you can transition the world. if you want to transport segment to be covered you would need about 2 billion power packs,” says Musk. That’s essentially the same scalablity as cars.

        http://www.emirates247.com/business/technology/900-million-batteries-can-power-the-whole-world-2015-05-09-1.590076

        Reply
      • Andy in YKD

         /  September 10, 2015

        Technology is the problem. It causes the atrophy of natural systems including human social system. Why is it that when something demonstrably isn’t working the reaction is to double down on it? Read here for the details:
        http://www.edwardgoldsmith.org/49/thermodynamics-or-ecodynamics/

        Reply
  10. Thanks for this very important update Robert.
    I have a RCP question. Since RCP’s are based on a forcing of watts per square meter, and since the RCP 8.5 has been around for quite a while as the planet keeps on heating and we’re adding more and more GHG’s to the atomosphere, how come the IPCC RCP8.5 number doesn’t go up?
    Or, what is the forcing per square meter at right now? Anyone knows?
    Thanks for your time and dedication.

    Reply
  11. danabanana

     /  September 10, 2015

    “If even a small fraction of Arctic sea floor carbon is released to the atmosphere, we’re f’d.”

    Jason Box 2015.

    Reply
  12. Dave Person

     /  September 10, 2015

    Hi,
    The paper to which Robert refers is one of 6 included as the 2nd part of an invited series of papers published by the Royal Society. The paper has 15 additional coauthors and really should be cited as Shakhova et al. to give a nod to those others, who I am sure worked pretty damn hard on the research. It is not just Shakhova and Semiletov’s work. Some folks made comments about climate models not including the methane leakage process described by Shakhova et al. I am sure when there are suitably quantifiable rates and parameters for the process, and the scale of the process known to be sufficiently large to add a new signal to climate change noise, the process will be included in the mainstream climate models. About 9 months ago, when the 2014 SWERUS expedition had barely wrapped up its field work and begun data analyses, some folks on this blog expressed concern that the science was being suppressed because few results of the effort had been released to the public. There was even talk about conspiracy to silence S&S. Well, the peer review and publication processes take time. Having a lot of personal experience with that process both as an author and reviewer, I would say Shakhova et al. have done well getting a significant publication out in a timely fashion.

    dave

    Reply
    • Carmelo

       /  September 11, 2015

      Dave would you know if mainstream climate models already include methane venting from thawing of LAND permafrosts? Because what S&S are more concerned of are the offshore venting in ESAS, and I believe that land venting is still much more significant than offshore because it goes direct to the airs. Thanks

      Reply
      • Dave Person

         /  September 11, 2015

        Hi Carmelo,
        I don’t think the main climate models include methane from terrestrial sources. That process could be very hard to model because if associated with wetlands and other riparian environments, much of the methane is absorbed by microbial activity and never reaches the atmosphere. Some may also be transported out to sea and some will reach the atmosphere. Recently, several papers were published addressing those processes. The key with any modeled process is that it must be able to be reduced to mathematics. That means there must be quantifiable rates and parameters as well as quantifiable relations and interactions between components. I don’t believe the current state of knowledge about methane release from Arctic sea beds and land owing to melting permafrost is sufficient yet to model it. At present it serves as a warning that the current climate model projections are likely conservative relative to potential emissions of CO2 equivalents and consequent climate warming.

        dave

        Reply
      • Maria

         /  September 11, 2015

        Thanks, David & Carmelo for this discussion. I hadn’t known of these issues re: methane measurements.

        Reply
  13. Greg

     /  September 10, 2015

    A short brand new video take on climate deniers by Girl Pants Productions. A funny look on their arguments extended into real life situations. Share with your deniers:

    Reply
  14. Greg

     /  September 10, 2015

    Japan is reeling from torrential “rare” rains that inundated the Tokyo metropolitan region. Japan is arguably the most engineered country to handle floods in the world and they asked almost one million to evacuate.

    Reply
  15. Greg

     /  September 10, 2015

    Flooding in S. California. The southern part of the RRR weakening. Moisture from Tropical Storm Linda is reaching north into portions of Southern California. The amount of moisture in the atmosphere is considerably above average and will help promote drenching thunderstorms across the area through the end of the week,” said weather.com meteorologist Quincy Vagell.

    http://www.wunderground.com/news/southern-california-extreme-weather-impacts

    Reply
  16. Greg

     /  September 10, 2015

    Just a pleasant reminder about one chapter of the story, one that is breaking all sorts of new records. America Will Add 1 Gigawatt of Solar Every Month Between Now and the End of 2016.
    http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/america-will-add-one-gigawatt-of-solar-every-month-between-now-and-the-end

    Reply
  17. Colorado Bob

     /  September 10, 2015

    Sure enough, the study found that from 1910 to 1960, the ratio of hot to cold records was close to 1 to 1. From 1960 to 2014, however, that changed, as hot records started to happen much more frequently than cold records — and from 2000 to 2014, outnumbered them by more than 12 to 1.

    The simple statistic that perfectly captures what climate change means

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/09/09/the-simple-statistic-that-perfectly-captures-what-climate-change-means/

    Reply
  18. Colorado Bob

     /  September 10, 2015

    Scientists tried to redo 38 climate change-denying studies and discovered some major flaws

    So, a team of seven climate scientists and meteorologists decided to give climate contrarians the benefit of the doubt, picked half of their more popular studies, and tried to redo them. (The hallmark of a good scientific paper is that it’s reproducible, meaning another scientist can do the same experiment and get the same or similar results.)

    What happened? Beyond being unable to replicate most of the results, the team discovered major flaws in the papers. In fact, many papers left out essential data, and some even ignored basic physics.

    Read more: http://www.techinsider.io/global-warming-denier-studies-not-replicable-2015-9#ixzz3lMEjkRRH

    Reply
  19. Reblogged your article here: http://ifpeakoilwerenoobject.blogspot.com/2015/09/methane-warning-from-arctic.html with these comments:

    The Royal Society has commissioned a study performed by the now well-known husband and wife team from Russia, Natasha Shakhova and Igor Semiletov, concerning the outgassing of methane (CH4) from the East Siberian Sea Continental Shelf (ESS), which is essentially frozen tundra that drowned when the glaciers receded about 10,000 years ago and since then. There are about 1,600 billion (that’s a b) tons (GT) of CH4 frozen in hydrates.

    Now that the Arctic is getting warmer, the marine ice cap is suffering a catastrophic collapse to the fifth or sixth smallest sea ice area on record, warm waters from the Atlantic and Pacific are sneaking in and storms are churning the near-shore Arctic seas from surface to bottom, methane is escaping from the Arctic Seafloor at an increasing rate, particularly at the ESS area. Previously Shakhova and Semiletov stated that 50 GT of CH4 could escape at any time.

    And what the Royal Society study has to say is that the Risk of Significant Methane Release from [the] East Siberian Arctic Shelf [is] Still Growing.

    Increasingly dangerous is right! The present CH4 overburden is about 1846 ppb (1.85 ppm) which equates to about 5 GT of methane in the atmosphere. An addition of 50 GT of this stuff would add about 18.5 ppm for a grand total of 20.4 ppm of CH4. At 25 times the heat-trapping efficacy of CO2 over the lifetime of methane in the air would yield an equivalent of 510 ppm CO2 E, increasing the global mean temperature by 3 degrees C quite quickly, to about 4 deg C above 1880s values.

    Well at least a PB study is suggesting we are nearing peak oil demand. But it might not save us from Hell on Earth! This could be one of those situations where Peak Oil really is no object.

    Reply
  20. Brian#2

     /  September 10, 2015

    I found this excellent series of interviews with Bob Pollin, Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts and co-founder of the Political Economy Research Institute on what the move towards a green economy actually looks like.

    Pollin has crunched the numbers and discusses how best to move forward in contracting the fossil fuel economy and expanding alternatives in order to stave off some of the worst case projections of future climate change. He discusses his findings in an interview with Paul Jay on ‘Reality Asserts Itself’:

    The interviews consist and 10 short parts of less than 10 minutes so with Robert’s permission I’ll post them 1 at a time over the next little while. Or you can watch the whole series on The Real News Network.

    Also, I am just finishing up Naomi Klein’s ‘This Changes Everything’ and would like to write a short review, again with Roberts permission as I realize this is quite off topic and maybe not appropriate here. If you’d rather I not just let me know, Robert.

    Great work, Mr. Scribbler, sir

    Thank you for doing so much to keep us informed and in the fight…..

    Reply
  21. Andy in SD

     /  September 10, 2015

    Algae Blooms.

    As winter approaches, the algae blooms (especially in the arctic) will die off. Thus a further hypoxic enforcing event?

    Reply
  22. Colorado Bob

     /  September 10, 2015

    Global warming causing record rock falls in the Alps, warns expert

    A French expert is predicting a record number of rock falls in the Alps this year as rising temperatures, thought to be a result of climate change, cause the permafrost to melt.

    A report on the website of French newspaper Le Monde noted that at least 150 rock collapses (described as a rock fall of more than 100 cubic metres) have been recorded on Mont-Blanc, the highest peak in Europe, since the summer began.

    The paper quoted Ludovic Ravanel, a researcher at the University of Savoie at Le Bourget-du-Lac, as saying the level is already higher than that recorded during a 2003 heat wave.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/global-warming-causing-record-rock-falls-in-the-alps-warns-expert-10495432.html

    Reply
  23. Colorado Bob

     /  September 10, 2015

    Weeks of near-daily rain had already left much of Ibaraki and Tochigi prefectures, north/north-east of Tokyo, deluged before the typhoon struck, dumping over 500mm (about 20ins) of precipitation in just 24 hours in some places – twice the average for the entire month of September. At one point early today over 900,000 people were advised to evacuate. So far, more than 90,000 had been forced to flee the “wall of water”. ……………. The typhoon has now veered away from the mainland but left behind a thick band of cloud that continued to bring torrential rainfall to Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures. Several prefectural governments have reported landslides. An official for Tochigi prefecture said at least one person was missing in Kanuma, a city with a population of just over 100,000. The city was battered by nearly 18ins of rain in a single 24-hour period, more than double the previous rainfall record. Several other parts of the country have also seen records tumble.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/japan-floods-record-rainfall-sees-new-wall-of-water-sweep-across-honshu-causing-rivers-to-burst-their-banks-and-landslides-10495585.html

    Reply
  24. Colorado Bob

     /  September 10, 2015

    South Africa Declares Drought Disaster in No. 1 Corn Province

    “The new summer season is upon us and the grazing is at its worst,” De Villiers said in an e-mailed response to questions.

    The lack of rain has helped cause local prices of white corn, used to make a staple food known as pap, to surge 48 percent this year. That of the yellow type, used mainly as animal feed, has risen 34 percent.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-10/south-africa-declares-drought-disaster-in-no-1-corn-province

    Reply
  25. – As So. Cal. gets LOW tropical storm moisture and the PNW stays HIGH and dry, I wonder if this years El Nino storm tracks will be similar to this 0910 NWS map.

    Reply
  26. – A possibly useful link for USA watchers ’emergencymgmt.com’
    This one is geared for the SF Bay area.

    With El Niño Threatening to Turn California’s Drought Into Drenching Winter, Worries Mount
    After four years of drought, weather scientists are concerned that El Niño will open a fire hose in the jet stream this winter.

    After four years of drought, creeks and rivers flowing through the Bay Area are more trickle than torrent. But weather scientists are recording water temperatures in the Pacific nearing the highest they’ve ever seen, suggesting El Niño will open an atmospheric fire hose in the jet stream this winter. That’s caused a rising tide of anxiety that has left even the highest-and-driest Californians on edge.
    http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/With-El-Nino-Threatening-to-Turn-Californias-Drought-Into-Drenching-Winter-Worries-Mount.html

    Reply
    • James Burton

       /  September 11, 2015

      I assume four years of drought have baked the lands and river beds into rock hard surfaces which will at first simply flush away the El Nino rains. Flash floods could be epic in this case. Once ground bakes for years, or river beds go dry and bake for long periods, they shed water like the parking lot of the local WalMart!

      Reply
  27. – $ or £ plus human deaths plus coal as source — but to cause people to die prematurely is equal to homicide — or put another way,the killer is a local climate of toxic atmosphere.

    – Notice that money tends to get top billing on our fossil fuel life or death ledgers.

    – The climate of your lungs is the same as the climate of your community which is the Earth’s climate. Each is the same. How much gold or silver is our life/death worth? Or Earth’s climate?

    – We must stop this mad and lethal rush to catastrophe.

    ‘Coal burning costs UK between £2.5bn and £7bn from premature deaths’

    Only Germany and Poland have higher CO2 emissions and health costs from coal-fired power plants than the UK, new study finds

    Deaths related to emissions from coal cost the UK economy between £2.47bn and £7.15bn in 2013, according to a comprehensive overview of coal production in Europe.

    The figure, which includes mortality costs from coal-related respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses, such as heart disease and lung cancer is linked to the 395 kilotons of pollutants emitted by UK coal plants. Europe as a whole had equivalent mortality costs of between €21bn and €60.6bn, according to the authors.

    The report, from the NGO umbrella group Climate Action Network Europe (Cane), also found that the UK was the third largest emitter of carbon dioxide from coal burning after Germany and Poland.

    “The British government has not caught up with reality,” …

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/sep/10/uk-ranks-in-top-3-of-europes-coal-league-of-shame

    Reply
    • Spike

       /  September 13, 2015

      “The British government has not caught up with reality,” …

      Actually worse than that – it’s pedalling away hard in the opposite direction.

      Reply
  28. Reply
  29. Colorado Bob

     /  September 10, 2015

    Toxic algae may threaten West Coast marine economy for years

    Among their concerns is the possibility that an unusually strong El Nino climate pattern—such as the one that’s expected this year—will keep water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean unusually high through next year, meaning the toxic bloom could last through 2016, said Raphael Kudela, a professor of ocean ecology at the University of California Santa Cruz.

    “The one that we are waiting to see is one of the strongest El Ninos ever, and those are exactly the sorts of conditions we have been having so far,” Kudela said. “So we are waiting to see if next year we will have a big bloom, and that would be pretty much unprecedented to have blooms two years in a row.”

    http://www.cnbc.com/2015/09/10/toxic-algae-may-threaten-west-coast-marine-economy-for-years.html

    Reply
  30. James Burton

     /  September 11, 2015

    “They also see the flux of hotter waters from rivers issuing from the continent. As a result, the near shore region is most vulnerable to permafrost thaw and destabilization.”
    I can see the possibility of localized nightmare scenarios in distinct regions where the great Siberian rives disgorge their masses of water, now heated by warmer winters, earlier springs and summer heat waves.
    We experience more and more record warm Great Lakes waters, I am sure the Siberian mega rivers are getting the same record rise in heat content. Summers now blaze with heat, and winters are pathetic shadows of the former Siberian deep freezes.

    Reply
  31. Brian#2

     /  September 11, 2015

    Towards a Green Economy:

    Reply
  32. Maria

     /  September 11, 2015

    Fascinating finding. Capacity of the Southern Ocean to absorb CO2 increased in this decade–which, among other things, indicates that we actually pumped out more CO2 than we thought.

    But the new report published in the journal Science shows that this downward trend in capacity reversed around 2002 and regained its former strength in line with rising emissions by 2012. The scientists put the change down to a combination of dropping water surface temperatures in the Pacific sector and a change in ocean circulation keeping carbon rich waters below those at the surface.

    Prof Nicolas Gruber, lead author and environmental physicist, told the Guardian: “A strong carbon sink in the Southern Ocean helps to mitigate climate change for the moment, as otherwise even more CO2 would have stayed in the atmosphere, but we cannot conclude that this will continue for ever. One has to recognise that despite this remarkable increase in the Southern Ocean carbon sink, emissions have gone up even more.”

    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/southern-ocean-revival-carbon-absorption-19422?utm_content=buffer37e94&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    Reply
    • Andy in YKD

       /  September 11, 2015

      Increases rate of ocean acidification I suppose. No free lunch.

      Reply
      • Maria

         /  September 12, 2015

        Apparently, not, Andy. One of the experts quoted in the piece said this to say when asked about acidification of the Southern Ocean.

        “This extra carbon is unlikely to pose a large threat to life through ocean acidification. Most of the carbon taken up in the Southern Ocean is transported shortly afterwards to the deep ocean, where fewer organisms live,” he said.

        Reply
      • Maria

         /  September 12, 2015

        I thought the same as you re: increased acidification.

        Reply
  33. Maria

     /  September 11, 2015

    Footage from a 1983 Washington, DC local news station interviewing scientists who are predicting the climate changes we’re bearing witness to now and their concern re: instability in the Middle East. There is also a clip from the BBC in the late 80s.

    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2015/09/05/scientists-predict-global-instability-and-drought-due-to-greenhouse-gas-pollution/#.VfHVITllaa0.twitter

    Reply
  34. labmonkey2

     /  September 11, 2015

    It may be getting warmer in the North, but in poking around on Weather Underground, I found this: http://www.wunderground.com/history/station/89577/2015/09/10/DailyHistory.html?EditMetar=1

    Temp range for September so far is -84 to -108 degrees F. Now that’s cold.

    Reply
    • Maria

       /  September 11, 2015

      It’s pretty amazing, eh? Gives new meaning to all things being relative cliché.

      Reply
  35. redskylite

     /  September 11, 2015

    In view of the seriousness of Global Warming and the urgency in cutting down emissions by all nations it is good to see oceanographers organizing a petition to collect over 100,00 signatures to present at the Paris conference. The concern is continued changes to temperature and composition of our oceans effecting plankton, resulting in marine food change loss and diminished carbon sink properties.

    Sometimes I need pinch myself to realize this is really happening, because even the imagination of writers like Frank Herbert in his Dune series, could not conjure up so many dramatic changes and situations.

    “One of the discoveries that struck the researchers was how interconnected the organisms they found were. “Only 20% of the organisms exclude each other,” Karsenti said. The rest are tied in a complex web of prey/predator, parasitic and mutually dependent relationships. That means that disruptions in one part of the ecosystem could have vast repercussions across the food chain. “

    Threat to oceans from climate change must be key to Paris talks, say scientists

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/sep/11/threat-to-oceans-from-climate-change-must-be-key-to-paris-talks-say-scientists

    Reply
  36. redskylite

     /  September 11, 2015

    I agree with this new policy paper by UC Berkeley researchers it is far more effective to use the carrot rather than the stick, in discouraging carbon technologies and encouraging carbon free technologies…. . .. ..

    Just needs the will from world-wide governments.

    http://news.berkeley.edu/2015/09/10/clean-energy-coalitions-climate-policy/

    Reply
  37. redskylite

     /  September 11, 2015

    As a lifelong fan and customer of the National geographic magazine, and all the good work they do, including sponsoring studies, I was truly gutted/gob-smacked/dismayed to read that it has gone over to the dark side. No more subscriptions or site visits from me . . . .

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/rupert-murdoch-buys-national-geographic-quotes-media-mogul-climate-change-1519188

    Reply
    • Skylite, my heart sank when I read this. I wonder what the back story is on the National Geographic end.

      Reply
  38. Colorado Bob

     /  September 11, 2015

    Australian Leaders Overheard Joking About Climate Change Impact On Pacific Countries; Islanders Demand Apology From Tony Abbott

    Immigration Minister Peter Dutton was holding a conversation with Prime Minister Tony Abbott ahead of a meeting in Canberra Friday. Discussing the scheduled meeting on Syrian refugees that was running late, Dutton said that it was running to “Cape York time,” to which Abbott replied “we had a bit of that up in Port Moresby,” referring to the meeting earlier this week with Pacific Island leaders in Papua New Guinea about climate change, according to the ABC.

    Dutton replied, “time doesn’t mean anything when you’re about to have water lapping at your door.”

    http://www.ibtimes.com/australian-leaders-overheard-joking-about-climate-change-impact-pacific-countries-2092411

    Reply
    • redskylite

       /  September 11, 2015

      There are people on this planet who I would expect that sort of joke from (unfortunately), I would not expect it from people in power in Government in a sovereign country. What is the matter with people. . . . Loss of land, homes and nation is no joking matter, will Australia take the landless refugees ? Peter Dutton has a wife and 3 young children, and claims to be a proud father. What sort of world does he want to provide for his offspring ???

      Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  September 12, 2015

      What is not mentioned in that article is that Abbott (The supposed PM was laughing to that crass comment by Dutton)

      Reply
  39. Colorado Bob

     /  September 11, 2015

    Indonesia’s Forest Fires Choke Malaysia, Singapore: ‘Burning Land….Just for Fun’

    Planes can’t land, schools are closed, states of emergency imposed and the Indonesian President Joko Widodo makes a surprise visit to still-smoking South Sumatra. This is the new normal for Southeast Asian summers — choking haze from Indonesian forest fires. Unlike past years, the pall hardly makes a headline in the Hong Kong press. For Singaporeans, Malaysian and Indonesians the inconvenience and ill health are something they have to live with. This year is no exception. The Singapore government has a special website.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/mclifford/2015/09/10/indonesias-forest-fires-choke-malaysia-singapore-burning-land-just-for-fun/

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  September 11, 2015

      Smoke and fires in southern Borneo

      Aqua/MODIS
      2015/253
      09/10/2015
      06:00 UTC

      Reply
      • – California ground level POV of Butte Fire burning in Amador and Calaveras counties.
        kcra.com/california-wildfires

        Reply
  40. Caroline

     /  September 11, 2015

    Another excellent (albeit alarming) article and commentary that follows —-as always!

    Question to those more knowledgeable than I about weather forecasting and El Nino related to this article in the Guardian yesterday: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/sep/10/el-nino-weather-pattern-strong-california-drought:

    If you factor in changes in the slowing of the AMOC (not mentioned in this article) how accurate will it be to make predictions like this one: “Overall the north-east is expected to have a warmer winter than average as a result of the periodic weather cycle.”

    Given the changes in the jet stream, ocean circulations, the existence (yet perhaps diminishing) blob/RRR how many of previous El Nino behaviors will be applicable this year?

    Will there be any pattern consistencies in these “periodic weather cycles” such as El Nino/La Nina remaining? Climate chaos (due to AGW) seems to be the only thing predictable from here on out. “Weather cycles” —–meaning they were regularly repeated in the same order—– seem like a thing of the past given the human forced GW changes to the system that is now completely out of whack. Is weather now and forever nearly impossible to predict except to expect more extremes (deluges/flooding, droughts, monster hail, etc. etc.)?

    Reply
    • wili

       /  September 11, 2015

      Good questions, C. Right now, as I understand it, the slowing AMOC is actually piling up _more_ warm water off the coast of New England–that’s why there was so much water vapor around in the atmosphere to create all those intense snow storms last year, iirc.

      But your general point is right, I think. It is harder and harder to know exactly what the response of the whole system will be to the normal weather cycles, since everything has been altered by a melting Arctic Ocean and a generally warmed planet.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  September 11, 2015

        How might El Niño evolve under man-made greenhouse warming?

        Scientists are now studying the diversity in El Niño behavior – strong and weak ones, changes in duration, and the different regions for the maximum SST anomalies. Are these changes to El Niño related to global warming? It is too early to say.

        For one thing, there is significant natural variability in the Pacific over the decade-length and longer time scales, which could be masking changes driven by global warming.

        Climate models do suggest that the mean conditions in the Pacific will evolve toward a warmer state. That means sea surface temperatures are likely to rise and the trade wind to weaken, which could lead to a more permanent El Niño state and/or more intense El Niño events.

        Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/el-nino-2015-potential-effects-and-global-warming-2015-9#ixzz3lRSOAJf3

        Reply
        • I wonder about this… If the mid latitude highs keep strengthening and heightening, then the trades might be stronger or at least highly variable depending on the strength of storms at the equator, which could also become rather extreme.

  41. Greg

     /  September 11, 2015

    Breaking news story of crane collapse at Mecca. Dozens dead. The first video I see appears to show a dust storm occurring during this event. Anyone else have more info?

    http://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2015/09/11/saudi-arabia-mecca-mosque-crane-collapse-video.cnn

    Reply
    • rayduray

       /  September 11, 2015

      The crane collapsed during unusually heavy wind conditions. This may be the second crane collapse of note related to climate change. The first, as I recall, was during Hurricane Sandy’s retrograde visit to Manhattan.

      Reply
      • Ouse M.D.

         /  September 12, 2015

        I guess these things are to be expected to ramp up.
        Our civilization and technology were designed in and for a more or less stable climate.
        Time travelling back to Pliocene CO2- levels and climate conditions wil put much of that under enormous stress.
        Take for example commercial jets- which are still mostly based on designs back in the ’70s.

        Reply
  42. Photo for Maria: Sunflower at dusk – flash- underexposed – Portland, OR 09/05/15

    Reply
    • Maria

       /  September 11, 2015

      Thanks so much, DT. This image is both beautiful and haunting. That bit of bright(er) sky in bottom left gives a foreboding feel to it.

      Upthread, I also saw the pyrocumulus cloud of the Butte Fire that you posted. I heard it reached 40K feet. Ouch.

      Reply
  43. Clouds low level with odd vertical flaring from upper level.

    Reply
  44. – A recently located ‘lost’ photo of algae like runoff signaling a superabundance of nitrogen type environmental or atmospheric nutrients. A likely source being rampant FF emissions in Portland, OR.
    If anyone has anything to add or subtract from my description – please do.

    Reply
  45. – This, like many other, trees in this area are being eaten alive by epiphytic growths and aerosol nitrogen impacts. The atmosphere and terra firma around Portland, OR must be saturated with N.

    Reply
  46. Greg

     /  September 11, 2015

    Michael Mann explaining/defending the fat-tail non-normal distribution curve for climate change risk. We need to address this 10% chance of “catastrophe” into our risk assessments:

    http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/8116264

    Reply
  47. Maria

     /  September 11, 2015

    Union of Concerned Scientists is holding a free one hour webinar re: the upcoming COP21 on September 16. Christiana Figueres will be participating.

    Speakers:
    • Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
    • Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy, Union of Concerned Scientists
    • Dr. Peter Frumhoff, director of science and policy, Union of Concerned Scientists

    http://action.ucsusa.org/site/Survey?SURVEY_ID=32681&ACTION_REQUIRED=URI_ACTION_USER_REQUESTS&autologin=true

    Reply
  48. For DT—I found this re: pollutants/algae blooms right after registering for the above webinar. The piece is about bringing big data to a broader audience and they chose this topic

    “A resource out of place: the story of phosphorus, Lake Erie, and toxic algal blooms” (created by Eric Roy, Matthew Seibert, and Benjamin Wellington of Landscape Metrics) asks us to consider looking at an age-old problem in a new way—and they present the data in just the right way to actually provide a shot at doing that.

    http://blog.ucsusa.org/making-big-data-bigger-sleeker-science-to-inspire-water-pollution-solutions-878?_ga=1.75723474.699322928.1434161819

    Reply
  49. – Hi-res imagery from Japanese HAMAWARI satellite is quite stunning. Don’t know if it’s been linked to here.
    This in DISPLAY res — hi-res at next link.

    Reply
      • Hurricanes this year have set records in the Atlantic and Pacific, in part due to a near-record El Niño. Check out some of our favorite image images of these massive storms from space.

        Typhoon Kilo, Tropical Storm Ignacio, and Hurricane Jimena in the Pacific Ocean are captured by Japan’s Himawari satellite on Sept. 2.
        discovery.com/earth/earth-shots-hurricanes

        Reply
      • WATCH: Animation of Satellite Images Shows Smoke Plume From Mammoth Explosions in Tianjin, China
        blogs.discovermagazine.com/imageo/2015/08/14
        (Robert, if it slows RS please delete.)

        Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  September 11, 2015

        dtlange –
        Remarkable series of images. I never grow tried of ” Earth from Space ” stuff. One feels like “God” watching them. I guess it’s because just a few years back no one ever got more than 20 miles from where they were born.

        Everyone note the sea of smoke, and smog that black pimple has punched through When the port in Tianjin blew up.

        I am reminded of when the SS Grandcamp blew up at Texas City, Texas in 1947. The worst industrial accident in US history. =

        A 2-short-ton (1.8-metric-ton) anchor of Grandcamp was hurled 1.62 miles (2.61 km) and found in a 10-foot (3 m) crater. It now rests in a memorial park

        The page on Wiki.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_City_disaster

        The two things in common , in 1947 in Texas zero regulations, in 2015 in China zero regulations, or just plain bribery.

        Reply
      • – CB. right. “The two things in common, in 1947 in Texas zero regulations, in 2015 in China zero regulations, or just plain bribery.

        Just for comparison there was the July 17, 1944 Port Chicago Disaster in Oakland, Ca.

        During World War II, one of the sources of ammunition for the Pacific Theater was the Naval Ammunition Depot at Port Chicago, California. Port Chicago is located on an arm of San Francisco Bay about 30 miles northeast of Oakland and San Francisco. The town of Port Chicago, population 1,500, was located about 1.5 miles from the pier. Not far away was Vallejo’s Mare Island, a major Naval Base which included ammunition depots.

        … two ships being loaded at the pier. The Liberty ship SS E.A. Bryan, after 4 days of loading, had about 4,600 tons of ammunition and explosives on board.
        …the SS Quinault Victory being loaded by about 100 black men for its maiden voyage…Besides 430 tons of bombs waiting to be loaded, the pier held a locomotive and 16 boxcars.
        At 10:18 an Army Air Force plane flying at 9,000 feet saw pieces of white hot metal, some as large as a house, fly straight up past them. According to the co-pilot, the “fireworks display” lasted about one minute. The explosion was heard 200 miles away.

        … a Coast Guard patrol boat, was about 1,500 feet from the pier. The force of the explosion wrecked the wheelhouse, nearly capsized the boat, badly wounded the man at the wheel; and was followed by a 30 foot wall of water. …A 16 inch shell, which did not explode, hit the engine room of a small tanker

        The 1,200 foot long wooden pier, the locomotive and boxcars, the SS E.A. Bryan, and 320 people (202 black enlisted men) on the pier were gone. All 67 crew and 30 Armed Guard aboard the two ships died instantly. Of the 390 military and civilians injured, which included men in the barracks and townspeople, 233 were black enlisted men.

        There were no identifiable pieces of the SS E.A. Bryan remaining: 25,000,000 pounds of ship and ammunition were gone! Disappeared! The stern of the SS Quinault Victory lay upside down in the water 500 from its origin. The rest of the ship, which had been lifted clear out of the water and turned around, was in scattered pieces.

        http://www.usmm.org/portchicago.html

        Reply
      • “Smoke Plume From Mammoth Explosions in Tianjin, China”, that is a hue volume of toxic particulate being carried aloft. It will deposited somewhere as atmospheric fallout, and will impact bio and eco systems.

        Reply
  50. Colorado Bob

     /  September 11, 2015

    A couple of days ago a troll came by my FB page, ( Via Thinkprogress I think ) and attacked me, it seems my greatest sin is posting here. I took great pleasure in deleting his comments . Also I should leave my mother’s basement and get a job, even though I’m 67, have no basement, and she’s been dead for 13 years.

    They seem to be getting more rabid. They’ve always been stuck in the 8th grade, but this coming meeting in Paris is really driving them out of the woodwork.

    Reply
  51. Colorado Bob

     /  September 11, 2015

    El Niño Heads for Potential Record Strength; Japan Picks up Pieces from Etau’s Rains

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3109#commenttop

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  September 11, 2015

      Japan still recovering from floods, landslides associated with Tropical Storm Etao
      Damage continues to mount in central Japan as a result of a persistent band of heavy rain that caused landslides and flooding over the area. The rainband formed on the southeast flank of Tropical Storm Etao as the storm moved northward across the island of Honshu, as the southerly inflow encountered Honshu’s high mountains. The city of Ikari recorded 21.69″ (551 mm) of rain in just 24 hours, and the popular destination of Nikko received 26.30″ (668 mm) from Sunday into Thursday (thanks go to Maximiliano Herrera for the Ikari rainfall info.) The 24-hour total at Ikari was larger than the city’s previous highest 48-hour total in more than 35 years of recordkeeping. The prolonged rains led to the collapse of a flood berm and the inundation of several areas, including parts of the Tokyo suburb of Joso (population 60,000). At least 3 people are dead and 23 missing, and at least 99 landslides have been reported. Nick Wiltgen at weather.com has much more on the flooding from Etao.

      Reply
  52. labmonkey2

     /  September 12, 2015

    Just spotted this at Thinkprogress regarding the GOP and their total lack of integrity and regard for the human race:
    ” Over the past year, GOP leaders, driven by Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), have made a radical shift in the party’s public position on climate change. They are now actively seeking to destroy a global climate deal.”

    sonsofbitches…

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/09/11/3700163/gop-leaders-embrace-climate-change/

    Reply
    • The headline should read: “Coal’s War on the World”.

      Reply
    • Steven Blaisdell

       /  September 13, 2015

      McConnell was not always delusional and unhinged. I think it’s an example of how virulent the corporate/authoritarian virus is, which is of course the natural metastasization of capitalist/imperialist entitlement. Or, little boys (and girls) who’ll be damned if they’ll share with anyone. Mineminemine, umm hmm.

      Reply
  53. Colorado Bob

     /  September 12, 2015

    Time Has Come Today

    Reply
  54. Colorado Bob

     /  September 12, 2015

    Time Has Come Today

    Reply
  55. labmonkey2

     /  September 12, 2015

    Here’s one for ya CB – Some CREAM from 1967. (hope this link works)

    This stuff never gets old – for us old guys.

    Reply
  56. Maria

     /  September 12, 2015

    CB: here’s one to add to your list. “We’re not in climatalogical Kansas anymore.”

    Saw this on weather blog.

    Reply
  57. redskylite

     /  September 12, 2015

    I’ve been following the plight of the Walrus this year with concern. Colorado Bob’s concern for the fellow mammal kind of touched me too. In an odd way it hit me that if the Walrus were human it would have some parallels to the settlement of North America and the Native Americans, or settlement of Australia and Aborigines, or settlement of New Zealand and the Maori.

    During August I read that they were massing/hauling out (earlier than in previous years), at Point Lay, Alaska (seems to be an important ground for the species without sea ice). Then towards the end of August I read (in Mash-able) they had disappeared from sight as a storm scurried through that part of the Arctic Circle.

    I was relieved to read this morning that they appear to have returned, I hope and pray that their young have survived the ordeal.

    I can do nothing more than wish the species good luck as global warming and mankind’s folly persists. Sorry guys . . . Having a conversation earlier with a young lady (collecting money for the W.W.F), she thought her organization were relocating the Walrus, sorry to say girl, but even the W.W.F (who perform a great job), where (and how) are they going to relocate 35,000 Walrus . . .. .

    Estimated 35,000 walrus come ashore in Northwest Alaska

    https://www.adn.com/article/20150910/estimated-35000-walrus-come-ashore-northwest-alaska

    Reply
    • redskylite

       /  September 12, 2015

      I am the Walrus . . . .. . . ..
      Oasis

      Reply
    • redskylite

       /  September 12, 2015

      The attached article from Green Prophet does not exactly convey my thoughts on the Walrus, and not climate related, but it is in the same park.
      Costa Rican tourists thwart sea turtle nesting, a surreal mirroring of the crisis in the Med.

      http://www.greenprophet.com/2015/09/costa-rican-tourists-thwart-sea-turtle-nesting-a-surreal-mirroring-of-the-crisis-in-the-med/

      Reply
      • Maria

         /  September 13, 2015

        Redskylite, thanks so much for keeping us updated re: the walrus’ condition and for this from Costa Rica. I wonder if the poverty level is that extreme that the locals would, themselves, operate these tour companies? Or work for them. As you know, it’s usually foreigners that generally own them. It’s quite shocking for me to learn that Costa Ricans allowed this considering their track record on environmental issues. Although, I’ve not kept up with that country in about a decade or so.

        Reply
    • redskylite

       /  September 12, 2015

      I think this person from Sri Lanka, sums it up well . . . .

      Climate change and baby Aylan

      http://ceylontoday.lk/64-103565-news-detail-climate-change-and-baby-aylan.html

      Reply
      • Maria

         /  September 13, 2015

        Very well said. I wish every parent, no matter their position in life, could/would read this.

        “””The parent who wishes his/her child to live a better life could be a ‘world leader’ who is responsible for taking bold and decisive action towards climate change at the international climate conferences; or he could be a ‘politician’ of a nation who is responsible for making laws to prevent climate change; or he could be an ‘authorized official’ who is responsible for putting such laws and regulations into effect; or he could be a ‘manufacturer/ industry owner’ who is responsible to take all preventive measures to avoid serious damage to the environment; or he could be a ‘teacher’ who is responsible for teaching his students the value of protecting the global climate and the manners of sustainable living.”””

        Reply
  58. Abel Adamski

     /  September 12, 2015

    Maybe a worldwide political resonance
    http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/editor-s-agenda/tony-abbott-is-the-ultimate-incompetent-boss/201509076233#.VfP0en36mWx
    Abbott is the ultimate Incompetent Boss. He doesn’t know how to deal with the real functions of his role – to manage the truly monumental issues currently facing the Australian economy and the deal with the complexities of foreign relationships on the global stage – so he hides from them through increasingly obsessive focus on death cults and political enemies.

    And as the need for him to act on the things he doesn’t know how to deal with grows, his fearful obsessions overwhelm him more and more. Until we get to the point where a dead child is something he can only see through the filter of the Stop The Boats rhetoric. And not only does this seem rational to him, he cannot comprehend how it could seem utterly irrational to anyone else.

    The danger to the entire country is that his fear of his own inadequacy can only grow as the problems facing us are left to fester. All the tricks of Incompetent Bosses everywhere come into play: increased aggression, bullying, empire building, ridding himself of people who implicitly or explicitly draw attention to the things he doesn’t want to see, fulsome reporting of irrelevancies and increasingly irrational hostility towards any perceived opposition.

    Reply
  59. Suzanne

     /  September 12, 2015

    Well, this will not go over well with many in our country judging just by some of the comments of this article at USA Today http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/09/12/kostigen-climate-change-reparations/72014440/

    Poorer nations suffering from extreme weather disasters, so much so that their citizens are seeking refugee in safer terrains outside their borders, want rich nations like the United States to pay for reparations and to relocate populations.

    I can venture to guess we will be revisiting this topic more and more in the years to come.

    Reply
  60. Leland Palmer

     /  September 12, 2015

    During previous mass extinction events, carbon isotope excursions consistent with the release of hundreds of billions or trillions of tons of carbon from the methane hydrates occurred. This has happened several times, not just once or twice.

    Generally there is flood basalt activity going on, releasing massive amounts of CO2, much like our current fossil fuel use. But the flood basalt activity generally seems to precede the sharp mass extinction event, sometimes by hundreds of thousands of years, and often seems to go on after the mass extinction event.

    Methane release from the hydrates, triggered by flood basalt release of CO2, is the best mass extinction hypothesis to explain all of the geological evidence, I think. The sudden methane release hypothesis has the most explanatory power, the most predictive ability, and even makes quantitative predictions that turn out to be correct. It is consistent with all the geological evidence. When a new claim is made that contradicts the methane release hypothesis, that claim generally does not hold up, and turns out to be wrong.

    The methane release hypothesis turns out to be a unifying theory – it constitutes a general theory of most or maybe all mass extinctions.

    The arguments made by those who believe that climate change will be gradual are weak quantitative arguments concerning the size of the global methane hydrate inventory and its rate of dissociation. I don’t think we should be betting the future of the human race and of the biosphere itself on weak quantitative arguments concerning poorly known and inadequately modeled factors. I also don’t think that human beings are capable of predicting the complex, snarled positive feedback loops that could occur during methane release with sufficient certainty to allow business as usual use of fossil fuels.

    I also question the background and associations of several of the gradualists. Several of them have ties to ExxonMobil or BP. ExxonMobil has a history of lying, spinning and deliberately distorting or confusing the climate change issue, and has a clear profit motive for doing so.

    Here’s a carbon isotope excursion, this one from the End Triassic. Others occurred during the PETM (the End Eocene), the End Permian and several other mass extinction events. Notice the “End” in these names for these events. These events were big enough to transform whole assemblages of species.

    Notice the negative C13 carbon isotope ratio excursion, consistent with the release of as much as 12 trillion tons of C13 depleted carbon from the methane hydrates, on the left. Notice the mass extinction of numerous species, on the right, and notice the exact correspondence in time between the probable methane release and the extinctions.

    We really don’t want an End Anthropocene, but it looks like we’re going to get one, unless we stop using fossil fuels.

    Reply
    • labmonkey2

       /  September 12, 2015

      Agree on the End Anthropocene – not wanted. But you can’t always get what you want – to borrow a phrase.
      But wait, there’s always those [carbon] surprises – like this I spotted on Discovery:

      “The Tarim basin in China’s northwestern Xinjiang province, which covers about 350,000 square miles, is one of the driest places you could imagine. Surrounded by mountains that block the passage of moist air from the ocean, it doesn’t get much rainfall — less than 4 inches annually. And the shallow, silt-laden Tarim river doesn’t provide much water, either.

      Paradoxically, though, Chinese scientists have discovered that the Tarim basin actually has an enormous supply of water — 10 times the amount in all five of North America’s Great Lakes combined, in fact. The problem is that the water in a gigantic aquifer that they describe as an underground ocean. It’s too salty for the region’s impoverished residents to use, but it apparently plays a role in helping to slow climate change.
      The findings were reported in a recent article in Geophysical Research Letters.

      “This is a terrifying amount of water,” professor Li Yan, who led the study at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography in Urumqi, the Xinjiang capital, told the South China Morning Post.

      He added: “Our estimate is a conservative figure — the actual amount could be larger.”

      The scientists actually discovered the immense underground ocean while investigating carbon dioxide absorption by the region. A 2014 study in Nature Climate Change, which found that the Mojave Desert acts as a carbon sink, suggested that the world’s deserts might play a role similar to oceans and forests in soaking up and storing some of the excess carbon emissions from human activity.
      The Chinese scientists obtained deep underground water samples from nearly 200 locations in the basin and measured the carbon dioxide in them, and then compared it to the levels in the snowmelt that gradually seeps into the ground from the surrounding mountains.

      The area’s alkaline soil helps the carbon dioxide to dissolve into the water, Li said.

      Li described the carbon dioxide-rich water in the ground as “like a can of Coke.” If the aquifer were somehow opened, “all the greenhouse gas will escape into the atmosphere.”

      A separate study by German scientists found that the region’s underground water may actually be getting saltier, as a result of massive cotton farming in the region and resulting agricultural runoff.
      http://news.discovery.com/earth/global-warming/giant-mysterious-body-of-water-found-under-china-desert-150911.htm

      “…like a can of Coke.” Dangit, I was hoping for Fresca😉

      Reply
      • wili

         /  September 12, 2015

        And SALTY coke! Hmmmmm! Probably laced with all sorts of nasty pesticides, if cotton farming runoff is getting down there.

        Reply
      • Wow… everything terra firma actually is connected. Sardonic smile.🙂
        It’s great to see these linkages though.

        Reply
    • Leland,

      This is too good to pass up! I’m going to reblog this on Fin des Voies Rapides (If Peak Oil Were no Object). Thank you.😉🙂

      Reply
    • Andy in YKD

       /  September 15, 2015

      A large methane excursion would move the biosphere into the Endocene.

      Reply
    • Leland Palmer

       /  September 15, 2015

      Here’s another negative carbon isotope excursion (CIE) this one from the End Permian – our largest mass extinction event…so far:

      Notice the negative carbon isotope excursion on the left, and the subsequent marine collapse of species on the right, at the level of the light yellow bar.

      These repeated sudden CIE events, coupled with hyperthermal mass extinction events, are good consistent evidence of methane release from the hydrates. There have been maybe 20 or more of these flood basalt eruption / sudden negative CIE / extinction events, and hundreds of smaller apparent releases, I think. So, maybe our hydrates are less stable than we think.

      Reply
      • Leland, I’ve updated the reblog to call attention to this End Permian CIS graphic, with the following end-comment: “Considering that the hydrates up in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf are already letting loose, I think they are a LOT less stable!”

        Again, thank you!

        Reply
    • Leland Palmer

       /  September 16, 2015

      Uh, correction, the PETM would be the End Paleocene, not the End Eocene. Sorry.

      Reply
  61. NOAA Drought – August 2015

    Detailed Drought Discussion

    The weather and upper-level circulation during August 2015 were influenced by the North Pacific and North Atlantic subtropical high pressure centers (mostly in the south) and an active jet stream (mostly in the north and east of the Rockies).
    … Above-normal precipitation fell with showers and thunderstorms along frontal boundaries from the Northern Plains to parts of the Southeast, bringing localized relief from drought. But drought and abnormally dry conditions rapidly expanded in the Southern Plains to Lower Mississippi Valley; drought and abnormal dryness expanded or developed in the Ohio Valley, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast regions; and drought intensified in the Pacific Northwest and into the High Plains of Montana. Wetter-than-normal conditions across Hawaii and much of Alaska contracted drought in those states. El Niño-enhanced dryness continued across much of the Caribbean.

    Reply
    • Drought – August 2015

      National Drought Overview

      Based on the Palmer Drought Index, severe to extreme drought affected about 15 percent of the contiguous United States as of the end of August 2015, an increase of about 2 percent from last month. About 18 percent of the contiguous U.S. fell in the severely to extremely wet categories.

      About 22 percent of the contiguous U.S. fell in the moderate to extreme drought categories (based on the Palmer Drought Index) at the end of Augus

      On a broad scale, the 1980s and 1990s were characterized by unusual wetness with short periods of extensive droughts, the 1930s and 1950s were characterized by prolonged periods of extensive droughts with little wetness, and the first decade of the 2000s saw extensive drought and extensive wetness (moderate to extreme drought graphic, severe to extreme drought graphic).
      http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/drought/201508#national-overview

      Reply
  62. – Fossil fuel climate change drought as reflected in western NA wildfires.
    – The air over Portland, OR is a murky pale-pink. Local US EPA/ OR DEQ air monitoring is insufficient and rather useless in protecting public health and safety. All are beholden to Congressional/ US Chamber of Commerce mandated allowances to err on the side of commerce.
    – If you can see the air, it is dirty. If it’s polluted by toxic fossil fuel emissions enough to be visible it is certain to be unhealthy.
    – Back to wildfires in the time of climate change drought.
    http://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=topics.smoke_wildfires

    Reply
  63. – KBOO FM radio and WWW in Portland, OR — a is listener supported, and is holding its Fall Membership Drive. Please contribute and help keep it on the air/web.
    DT

    Donate to KBOO
    http://kboo.fm/membershipform

    Reply
  64. – Oregon:

    Deforestation a problem in Oregon despite replanting, analysis says

    Deforestation isn’t just happening in well-known global hotspots like Indonesia and Brazil’s rainforest.

    A new analysis says forests are also shrinking on state and private land in Western Oregon, where an estimated 522,000 acres of forest cover have disappeared since 2000.

    Two environmental groups, Oregon Wild and the Center for Sustainable Economy. studied 13 years of satellite imagery. They used Global Forest Watch data and a technique established by researchers to estimate forest losses around the world.

    They compared timberland lost to cutting with areas that regained forest cover – a canopy covering 30 percent of the ground with trees at least 16 feet tall. They found the western part of the state lost an average of 34,797 acres of tree cover each year. (State and private timberland is heavily concentrated in Western Oregon.)

    Reply
  65. Maria

     /  September 13, 2015

    DT, after reading your drought posts, I’m inclined to title this post “From drought to flooding–where many parts of our world.”

    I posted this last nite but it’s stuck in moderation. I just realized that Robert is on vacation. Please delete one of them when you get back online, Robert. Thanks! I think that wordpress didn’t like both the photo link and the pbs link in one post.

    DT, those are beautiful Earth images. Thanks. Here’s one that I saw on the PBS Newshour’s Parallax segment tonight of the legendary Jet Star roller coaster–post Hurricane Sandy. By Matthew Clark.

    Reply
  66. Maria

     /  September 13, 2015

    I have mixed feelings about this study being covered by the NYT. I’m concerned it will give its broad readership a false sense of non-urgency?

    In a major surprise to the scientists, they found that half the melting could occur in as little as a thousand years, causing the ocean to rise by something on the order of a foot per decade, roughly 10 times the rate at which it is rising now. Such a pace would almost certainly throw human society into chaos, forcing a rapid retreat from the world’s coastal cities.

    The rest of the earth’s land ice would melt along with Antarctica, and warming ocean waters would expand, so that the total rise of the sea would likely exceed 200 feet, the scientists said.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/12/science/climate-study-predicts-huge-sea-level-rise-if-all-fossil-fuels-are-burned.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=0

    Reply
    • James Burton

       /  September 14, 2015

      “a false sense of non-urgency” Yes, this is the main tactic now by denial professionals. If we can’t deny it all, we can make it seem nothing to worry about in our life times! Clever, and predictable.

      Reply
      • Maria

         /  September 14, 2015

        It’s a shame–the NYT has changed just within our lifetime—never mind that “it’s not your father’s NYT.”

        Reply
    • – Beware of historically simplistic Op-Eds such as this ‘genocide’ piece in this time of government sponsored fossil fuel climate change.

      The author’s use use of, “the Einsatzgruppe commander lifted the Jewish child in the air and said, “You must die so that we can live.” is a case in point.
      This modus operandi and value set began much earlier at places like Hadamar which concerned German citizens considered to be a burden on commerce.
      They were called ‘useless eaters’ and were exterminated with lethal exposure to fossil fuel engine emissions. These were the first ‘gas’ chambers.
      – Sound familiar? It should — since commerce often trumps human life (even children) in this day and age.
      – The same for fossil fuel emissions as means and method — plentiful and efficient.

      ‘The Nazi persecution of persons with disabilities in Germany was one component of radical public health policies aimed at excluding hereditarily “unfit” Germans from the national community. These strategies began with forced sterilization and escalated toward mass murder. The most extreme measure, the Euthanasia Program, was in itself a rehearsal for Nazi Germany’s broader genocidal policies.
      The ideological justification conceived by medical perpetrators for the destruction of the “unfit” was also applied to other categories of “biological enemies,” most notably to Jews and Roma (Gypsies).
      On July 14, 1933, the German government instituted the “Law for the Prevention of Progeny with Hereditary Diseases.” This law called for the sterilization of all persons who suffered from diseases considered hereditary, including mental illness, learning disabilities, physical deformity, epilepsy, blindness, deafness, and severe alcoholism. With the law’s passage the Third Reich also stepped up its propaganda against the disabled, regularly labeling them “life unworthy of life” or “useless eaters” and highlighting their burden upon society.
      … the Nazis experimented with gas vans for mass killing. Gas vans were hermetically sealed trucks with engine exhaust diverted to the interior compartment.’
      – ushmm.org/information/exhibitions

      – teachinghistorymatters.com/2014/07/04/
      http://teachinghistorymatters.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/064.jpg?

      Reply
      • – Some resisted though. (Sound familiar?) They would have blogged, I’m sure.

        ‘The White Rose (weisserose), named after a Spanish novel (Rosa Blanco). The Group coordinated efforts on Campus for Civil Rights and Opposition to Nazi policies. Among their efforts on campus were weekly discussion groups, painting ‘freedom’ on brick walls at the entrance into campus, and distributing leaflets opposing the Reich on moral and political grounds, encouraging students to think for themselves.’

        In the early summer of 1942, a group of young men — including Willi Graf, Christoph Probst and Hans Schol formed a a non-violent resistance group in Nazi Germany, consisting of a number of students from the University of Munich and their philosophy professor. The group became known for an anonymous leaflet campaign, lasting from June 1942 until February 1943, that called for active opposition to the Nazis regime.

        The group co-authored six anti-Nazi Third Reich political resistance leaflets. Calling themselves the White Rose, they instructed Germans to passively resist the Nazis. They had been horrified by the behavior of the Germans on the Eastern Front where they had witnessed a group of naked Jews being shot in a pit.

        The core of the White Rose consisted of five students — Sophie Scholl, her brother Hans Scholl, Alex Schmorell, Willi Graf, and Christoph Probst, all in their early twenties — also members were Hans and Sophie’s sister Inge Scholl, and a professor of philosophy, Kurt Huber.
        – holocaustresearchproject.org/revolt/whiterose

        Sophie & Hans Scholl with Christoph Probst summer of 1942

        Reply
      • I continue this historical thread of heroism:

        ‘Producing and distributing such leaflets sounds simple from today’s perspective, but, in reality, it was not only very difficult but even dangerous. Paper was scarce, as were envelopes. And if one bought them in large quantities, or for that matter, more than just a few postage stamps (in any larger numbers), one would (have) become instantly suspect.’

        Reply
      • – In this day of comfortable internet connection:

        ‘Taking leaflets to other cities carried great risk, because trains were constantly patrolled by military police, who demanded identification papers of any male of military service age. Anyone traveling without official marching papers was AWOL – and the consequences predictable.

        “Some of us traveled in civilian clothing, hoping for the best, some with forged travel orders, I myself used false identification papers (my cousin’s with whom I shared a certain resemblance). We left the briefcases which contained the leaflets in a different compartment, for luggage was routinely searched. Mostly, however, leaflets were taken by female students who were not subject to such scrutiny.”

        The members of The White Rose worked day and night, cranking a hand-operated duplicating machine thousands of times to create the leaflets which were each stuffed into envelopes, stamped and mailed from various major cities in Southern Germany. Recipients were chosen from telephone directories and were generally scholars, medics and pub-owners in order to confuse the Gestapo investigators.’

        Reply
      • Arrest of the White Rose

        Sophie and Hans were questioned for four days in Munich, and their trial was set for February twenty second. They, along with Christoph, were arrested. Within days, all three were brought before the People’s Court in Berlin. On February 22, 1943. The trial was run by Roland Freisler, head judge of the court, and lasted only a few hours, they were convicted of treason and sentenced to death. Only hours later, the court carried out that sentence by guillotine. All three faced their deaths bravely, Hans crying out his last words, “Long live freedom!”

        Reply
      • – Denialsim?

        Prior to their deaths, several members of the White Rose believed that their execution would stir university students and other anti-war citizens into a rallying activism against Hitler and the war. Accounts suggest, however, that university students continued their studies as usual, citizens mentioned nothing, many regarding the movement as anti-national. Their actions were mostly dismissed, until after the war when their efforts were eventually praised by the German consciousness.

        Reply
      • rustj2015

         /  September 14, 2015

        You can rest, but you cannot stop. [unk.]

        This indicates that such societal controls are not “safely in the past.”
        [important article on Law of War and a revealed opposition to 1st Amdt.; moreover, the inclusion of generalized “resistance” as a cause for repressive actions on the part of authorities.]

        https://consortiumnews.com/2015/09/12/us-war-theories-target-dissenters/

        Reply
      • Maria

         /  September 14, 2015

        DT, I truly appreciate these posts. It’s been a distracting day with the #valleyfire, among other things. But wanted to let you know how valuable I found them at this time. Shana Tova to all who honor this season.

        Reply
      • DoD Announces New Law of War Manual

        Press Operations
        Release No: NR-232-15
        June 12, 2015

        Today, the Department of Defense has issued the first-ever DoD-wide Law of War Manual.
        The manual is the product of a multi-year effort by military and civilian lawyers from across the Defense Department to develop a department-wide resource for military commanders, legal practitioners, and other military and civilian personnel on the international law principles governing armed conflict.

        Although all of the services have previously published respected works on the law of war, which have served as valuable resources for their personnel, DoD has never before published a department-wide law of war manual.

        Link to pfd http://www.dod.mil/dodgc/images/law_war_manual15.pdf

        Reply
        • I think the first ordinance in that Law of War should be “The United States Departments of Defence, the Navy, Army and Air Force shall sit on their hands when the CiC decides to commit aggression.”

  67. Tom

     /  September 13, 2015

    Visual details released of recently discovered methane seep
    http://phys.org/news/2015-09-visual-methane-seep.html

    Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have released details of a deep-sea site roughly 48 kilometers (30 miles) west of Del Mar (just north of San Diego, Calif.) where methane is seeping out of the seafloor, the first such finding in the region.

    Reply
  68. -Pacific – Hawaiian Islands – Dry/wet – El Nino

    ‘Record-breaking rainfall relieving Hawaii severe drought’

    Torrential rain has soaked parts of the state for weeks now. Some spots once in a severe drought are finally seeing some relief.

    Places like Diamond Head on Oahu are now green and lush, thanks to another record rainfall of nearly 1.5 inches of rain that fell between Friday night and Saturday morning.

    “I’ve been in Kaupo for five years as manager and I’ve never experienced this much rain,”

    Places in Kaupo that were once barren and brown are now green and thriving. …even the old timers have never seen anything like it.

    But Honolulu saw the biggest increase in the month of August. The record more than doubled from 3.74 in 2004 to 7.83 in August 2015.

    “El Nino is gonna be one of the strongest that we’ve ever seen, and typically El Nino patterns are very dry patterns here across the islands. So even though there has been some improvement here recently because this tropical cyclone activity which has moved around the islands, there is potential the drought conditions could return here this winter,” said Senior Forecaster Jon Jelsema.

    http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/30018076/record-breaking-rainfall-relieving-hawaii-severe-drought

    Reply
  69. – ” … particularly children.”!!!

    Air pollution is like smoking a cigarette each day, doctors warn

    Air pollution in parts of NSW is so bad that it is equivalent to smoking a cigarette a day, according to a group of doctors who have called on the state government to take immediate action.

    Twenty-four doctors have written to Health Minister Jillian Skinner and the Environment Minister Mark Speakman, warning that the latest pollution monitoring in Newcastle showed that three out of six sites revealed air pollution above the accepted advisory standard.

    The doctors are concerned that the unacceptably high levels are having an impact on residents health, particularly children.
    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/air-pollution-in-newcastle-is-like-smoking-a-cigarette-each-day-doctors-warn-20150911-gjkq6e.html

    Reply
  70. Vic

     /  September 13, 2015

    For those who don’t recognise Tony Abbott’s caricature, he can be identified by the shirt he’s wearing.

    Reply
  71. – A repetition of disaster proclamations:

    9-13-2015

    SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued an emergency proclamation for Lake and Napa counties due to the effects of the Valley Fire, which has burned thousands of acres of land and caused the evacuation of residents and damage to highways and other infrastructure.

    Today’s proclamation also incorporates provisions from an executive order issued last month to expedite the debris removal process and waive fees to replace documents such as birth certificates for those affected by the fire.

    The full text of the proclamation is below:

    PROCLAMATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY

    WHEREAS on September 12, 2015, the Valley Fire started in Lake County and spread into Napa County, and has rapidly burned thousands of acres of land and continues to burn; and
    WHEREAS this fire has destroyed multiple structures, including homes, and continues to threaten hundreds of homes, necessitating the evacuation of residents; and
    WHEREAS this fire has damaged and continues to threaten critical infrastructure, and has forced the closure of major highways and local roads; and

    https://www.gov.ca.gov/home.php

    Reply
    • ibtimes.com/valley-fire-california September 13 2015

      As part of the state of emergency proclamation, Governor Brown ordered that “The California National Guard shall mobilize under California Military and Veterans Code section 146 (mobilization in case of catastrophic fires) to support disaster response and relief efforts and coordinate with all the relevent state agencies, including the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, and all relevant state and local emergency responders and law enforcement within the impacted areas.”

      Reply
      • Wharf Rat

         /  September 13, 2015

        A horrific story is unfolding there, about 80 miles SE of me. Yesterday at 1 PM, 50 acres had been burned. This morning, 40,000!! People are missing, and there was an anecdotal report that one road had been blocked by the obligatory disaster movie car crash, trapping people. Major damage to the towns of Cobb and Middletown.

        Social media posts from Valley Fire include dramatic photos, videos
        http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Social-media-posts-from-Valley-Fire-include-6501532.php

        Reply
      • Wharf Rat

         /  September 13, 2015

        PS..

        NOON THE GEYSERS (Geothermal plant)

        The Valley Fire, which spread earlier into Sonoma County from the Cobb area, reportedly is moving in on The Geysers and threatening a power station, according to the CHP.

        CHP Sgt. Robert Boyer said a CHP officer was sent to Geyserville late Sunday morning to assess the fire’s progress. Heavy smoke has grounded Cal Fire air tankers and spotter planes, creating a need for more effort from the ground to assess the situation and determine if any evacuations could be needed, he said.

        http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/4473490-181/valley-fire-devastation-during-the?page=2?gallery=4470892

        Reply
      • – It’s all burning incredibly fast. But reports also depict smoke laying low to the ground — not much air is moving.

        Reply
  72. Reply
  73. – Permafrost Central:

    ‘Climate research: Where is the world’s permafrost thawing?’
    September 13, 2015

    This Saturday at a conference in Quebec, Canada an international research team will present the first online data portal on global permafrost. In the Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost researchers first collect all the existing permafrost temperature and active thickness layer data from Arctic, Antarctic and mountain permafrost regions and then make it freely available for download. This new portal can serve as an early warning system for researchers and decision-makers around the globe

    Although the world’s permafrost is one of the most important pieces in Earth’s climate-system puzzle, to date it has been missing in most climate models. The reason: data on temperature and the active layer thickness were neither comprehensive nor were they available in a standard format suitable for modelling. With the new Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost (GTN-P), scientists from 25 countries have now filled this gap in the data.

    http://phys.org/news/2015-09-climate-world-permafrost.html

    Reply
  74. – More on algae.

    ‘Ocean acidification weighs heavily upon marine algae’

    Ocean acidification can weaken algal skeletons and cause loss of marine biodiversity, say scientists in a new research paper published this week.

    Even a small loss of skeletal calcification, caused by exposure to corrosive waters, can have a significant impact upon the strength of marine skeletons and leave algae at risk of losing access to light and nutrients.

    https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/news/ocean-acidification-weighs-heavily-upon-marine-algae

    Reply
  75. redskylite

     /  September 14, 2015

    I was beginning to worry that maybe the B.B.C was going over to the “Dark Side”, when I read that they were no longer using the U.K Met office for their weather forecasting. Also they insisted on calling the escapees from the nightmare in Syria “migrants”, lately I note they now are using the term “migrants and refugees”, which is not quite so bad.

    I just read this excellent piece on the PETM on B.B.C Earth, that restores my respect somewhat.
    Seems a bit heavy on my notepad resources, maybe time for an upgrade . . .

    Title: When Global Warming Made Our World Super-Hot

    “When the oceans warm up a little, vast deposits of methane that are “frozen” in the seabed begin to melt. The methane – a potent greenhouse gas – bubbles up, enters the atmosphere and raises global temperatures.
    This leads to more ocean warming, triggers more methane release from the seabed, and causes atmospheric temperatures to rise a little more, and so on. Soon the planet becomes very warm, which is exactly what happened 55 million years ago during the PETM.
    Worryingly, something similar might be happening today. As the modern oceans warm there is good evidence that methane is once again bubbling up from the seabed. The PETM offers us a preview of where that can lead.”

    http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150914-when-global-warming-made-our-world-super-hot

    Reply
  76. Wharf Rat

     /  September 14, 2015

    Big news….

    Breaking – Malcolm Turnbull ousts Tony Abbott and will become Australia’s new Prime Minister
    Sou |

    Australia is about to get a new Prime Minister. Malcolm Turnbull has defeated Tony Abbott in a ballot taken by the Liberal Party just now.

    This will, I hope, mean a change in Australia’s position on climate action. I’ve been told that Malcolm may have done a “deal” to keep a low profile on climate, but I know he has strong views on the subject. So let’s hope that he adopts a leadership stance and doesn’t kow tow to the deniers in the party room.
    http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2015/09/breaking-malcolm-turnbull-ousts-tony.html

    Reply
    • phil s

       /  September 14, 2015

      Big relief that Captain Abbott’s ship is sunk.
      Maybe we can now have a more informed conversation about climate change in this country.
      The following discussion would be a great place to start.

      [audio src="http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/2015/09/bia_20150914.mp3" /]

      The psychology of climate change.
      Clive Hamilton, Carmen Lawrence and David Ritter have a really frank wide ranging dissection of how climate change is understood (or misunderstood) and where to go from here

      Reply
  77. wili

     /  September 14, 2015

    JMA just declared August the hottest ever, and by a long shot.

    Reply
  78. Colorado Bob

     /  September 14, 2015

    Hawaii to experience worst-ever coral bleaching due to high ocean temperatures

    Corals are recovering from last year’s bleaching but warmer-than-normal ocean temperatures this year will likely lead to deadlier year for coral reef

    The island chain experienced a mass bleaching event in 1996, and another one last year. This year, ocean temperatures around Hawaii are about 3F to 6F warmer than normal, said Chris Brenchley, meteorologist for the US National Weather Service (NWS) in Honolulu.

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/sep/13/hawaii-coral-bleaching-scientists-predict-worst-ever

    Reply
  79. Caroline

     /  September 14, 2015

    Big Changes Underway in the Climate System?
    (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/media/pdf/8/c/Changes_In_The_Climate_System.pdf)

    Note question mark at the end of the title of this document. Is that a joke? Not funny. I don’t think the people of Middleton California(and many other places in the world) are questioning whether or not there are “big changes underway in the climate system”.

    On another note—–is it just me or does it seem like there is little to no coverage of the nonhuman life affected by the wildfires?

    Reply
  80. – California – Gov. Brown – Climate – Wildfires 0914

    kcra.com/california-wildfires/gov-jerry-brown-

    ‘Gov. Brown on NorCal wildfires: This is serious stuff and will get worse’
    Cal Fire: 11,000 firefighters battling 12 major fires across California

    SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. (KCRA) —Gov. Jerry Brown, along with Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services Director Mark Ghilarducci, spoke Monday morning at the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services in Sacramento County about the wildfires raging up and down California.

    “We are 1,500 fires above average,” Pimlott said. “We don’t hear about that because of the work the firefighters are doing across the state. Some fires escape the initial attack. That is what we’ve seen with the Butte Fire and Lake County fire.”

    There were about 4,500 wildfires last year, but there have already been about 6,000 fires in 2015.

    …”We do not see an end to the fire season for the months ahead,”

    Pimlott added that people need to be vigilant if they are told to evacuate.

    “People are not heeding warnings to evacuate,” Pimlott said. “These fires are fast-moving. Individuals want to protect property and stay with livestock, but we know that people weren’t evacuating. The problem is that diverts our firefighters. Firefighters and law enforcement were pulling people out house to house.”

    During his remarks, Brown addressed climate change and the need for something to be done.

    “There is no doubt that we need to de-carbonize our modern economy,” Brown said. “We have sharpened what the debate is because there are a vast amount of officials that say it isn’t true. This will smoke it out. Fires are not political. Climate change is not political. It is real.”

    Brown then piggy-backed on what Pimlott said earlier in the news conference.

    “This is serious stuff. Firefighters need to be careful, but so do people,” Brown said. “People need to leave when they are told. It is going to get worse because of the nature of climate change.”
    http://www.kcra.com/california-wildfires/gov-jerry-brown-speaks-on-california-raging-wildfires/35263788

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    • – Photo: bare rock predominates.

      newscientist.com/article/dn28162-sierra-nevada
      ‘Sierra Nevada’s 500-year snowpack low deepens California drought’

      The snow cover on the iconic US mountain range of Sierra Nevada has hit a 500-year low, with the snowpack in April this year just 5 per cent of the average volumes recorded for that month between 1951 and 2000.

      …compared the snowpack levels in April 2015 with those seen over the past 500 years. To estimate past snowpack volumes, they analysed tree rings from 1500 blue oak trees that have been growing in central California for centuries. The tree rings are wider in wet winters, and narrower in dry winters…
      …unusually low winter precipitation combined with exceptionally high winter temperatures – the highest ever recorded were seen between January and March this year.

      The only long-term option to protect the snowpack is to cut back on the carbon emissions…

      The Sierra Nevada’s snowpack is at the lowest level ever seen (Image: AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

      Reply
  81. ‘As the Arctic heats up, military targets cold-weather tech’
    – defensesystems.com/articles/2015/09/14/dod-arctic

    Melting Arctic ice is opening up that region as a military domain, with Russia and China increasing their presence in the Far North and the United States making plans to counter that presence.

    But melting ice doesn’t mean it’s exactly warm up there, and the U.S. military, anticipating deployments to the Artic, are looking for technologies that will work in extreme cold—down to 60 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.

    The Rapid Reaction Technology Office in the Office of the Secretary of Defense has issued a Request for Information under its Thunderstorm Spiral 16-2 for technologies to take part in the planned Multi-Service Demonstration for Arctic Challenges project.

    Army paratroopers train earlier this year in Deadhorse, Alaska.

    Reply
  82. Maria

     /  September 14, 2015

    Greenland’s inland ice is melting @ 287billion metric tons/year.

    Reply
  83. Maria

     /  September 14, 2015

    H/t for above chart to Svein T Veitdal on twitter. I don’t know how to directly post tweets here. Tips welcome.

    Reply
  84. Maria

     /  September 14, 2015

    I posted the wrong info in one post and it’s in now in moderation. Then I posted: “copy link to tweet. ” And it shows up nicely but it too is in moderation. Hmm. The new tweet is about how Vermont became a clean-power powerhouse. It’s Bernie’s fault!😉

    http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2015/0912/How-Vermont-became-a-clean-power-powerhouse?cmpid=addthis_twitter&utm_content=buffer0bbf0&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    Reply
  85. ‘Photographer shares image of emaciated polar bear, blames climate change’

    A photograph of an emaciated polar bear will likely be one of the saddest things you’ll see this week.
    German photographer Kerstin Langenberger took the image while working in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard in the Barents Sea…
    While every year she photographs many fat, healthy bears who are mostly male, she has observed the females becoming increasingly leaner.

    “I realized that the fat bears are nearly exclusively males which stay on the pack ice all year long,” Langenberger writes. “The females, on the other hand, which den on land to give birth to their young, are often slim.

    With the pack ice retreating further and further north every year, they tend to be stuck on land where there’s not much food. In the first year, they lose their first cub.”

    In the second year, they lose their second (and last) cub. Only once I have seen a mother with a nearly independent cub…
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Photographer-shares-image-of-emaciated-polar-6503536.php

    Reply
  1. Prepare For Climate Collapse – Part I – Food Assets Blog

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