California in Losing Battle With Climate Change as Wildfires Devour 700 Homes, Force 23,000 to Flee

The oceans and airs of the world are warming. The waters of the Northeastern Pacific have concentrated that heat — resulting in the formation of powerful high pressure systems never seen in modern human memory. Highs that have warded off rainfall from the US West Coast for the better part of five years. Highs that have boosted already above average heat for the region so that now California snowpacks are at their lowest levels in at least 500 years. A lack of rainfall and water flow from snow melt setting off the worst drought in at least 1,200 years. One that has greatly contributed to the death of millions of trees across the state and increased fire risk to extreme and likely never before seen levels.

(Escaping the Valley Fire. Central Valley resident flees unprecedented and dangerous climate change spurred fires late Sunday night. Human forced warming is making these fires more common — creating a very dangerous situation for the US West.)

For decades now, researchers have identified drought in the southwestern US as one of the primary hazards of human-forced climate change. But this year, after five years of related drying, some of the worst wildfires in the Golden State’s history are threatening both Sacramento and the Central Valley.

“We Have Nothing”

Now, as of early morning on Tuesday, nearly 150,000 acres of wildfires in Central California have destroyed more than 700 homes and over 1,200 structures, endangered more than 9,000 more, resulted in the calling up of an army of 2,000 firefighters (For this region alone. Across the US West more than 18,000 firefighters are battling blazes), killed at least one person, and forced more than 23,000 to flee (see more here). It’s an egregious human toll. One in which more and more people are saying heart-wrenching words like these — “We have nothing.”

(Climate change refugees in the USA. Thousands of California residents have been displaced and hundreds have lost their homes due to a recent severe wildfire outbreak related to human-caused climate change. Video source: State of Emergency Declared.)

Perhaps the worst thing of all about these globally mounting tragedies is the fact that these increasing instances of extreme, climate change driven weather, were preventable. Now we are forced to live with the damage, danger, and tragic loss of lives and homes we’ve already locked in. Now we are forced to hope that wiser leaders than the ones we’ve had thus far will work as hard as possible to limit the degree of terrible harm that is all too certainly on the way.

There are harsh consequences to dumping 11 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere each and every year. A rate faster, as an initial forcing, than at any rate in geological history. Governor Jerry Brown, horrified by the severity of the situation this week stated

“We are really in a battle with nature, … nature is more powerful than we are.”

Partly true. What’s really happening is that we’ve riled nature into a climate change driven frenzy of heat and fire. And it’s becoming too violent for us to manage.

Links:

Nature: California Snowpacks are at Lowest Levels in at Least 500 Years

California Experiencing Worst Drought in at Least 1,200 Years

Escaping the Valley Fire

Climate Change Risks Southwest’s Dustbowlification

One Dead As California Wildfires Rage

Valley Fires Have Destroyed 700 Homes

State of Emergency Declared

California Wildfires Raging

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622 Comments

  1. climatehawk1

     /  September 15, 2015

    Tweeting.

    Reply
  2. Wharf Rat

     /  September 15, 2015

    Last week, in the refugee article, Rat said he was an over-crowded lifeboat lib, and asked who was gonna take refugees from the west coast. My governor, as usual, is a week behind him. That’s why Rat always votes for Jerry. He doesn’t like pols who get out there ahead of him.

    VIDEO: Jerry Brown warns of mass migration in California if global warming continues

    Highlights
    California governor says to look at climate change ‘not in terms of me’ warns of mass migration affecting California if global warming continues

    Remarks come as California wildfires continue raging

    Brown says fires are ‘going to get worse’ in future years

    Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article35247639.html#storylink=cpy

    Reply
    • Good to see Jerry stepping up his game. God, last week was a real mess. Worst week ever for me to go to the beach with family. I feel like there’s no option for me taking any time off.

      Some good news, we may be having an article in the Guardian next week…

      Reply
      • Meanwhile my own computer is in storage and I have only 1 to 2 hours a day on the library computer to look up and post things. Now if I lived near you (or even in your house! hahaha) and were on your payroll I can take up your slack when you need a break.

        Reply
  3. Leland Palmer

     /  September 15, 2015

    There was smoke in the air, in Santa Rosa, northern California, over the weekend. My wife and I were both hoarse, and the sunlight had that characteristic orange color associated with smoke.

    The news coverage of these fires seems spotty and inadequate. I found out about the extent of the fires by smelling the smoke. There also seems to be a taboo about talking about the fires at work, and especially mentioning that they could be linked to climate change.

    Reply
  4. I live in Kansas, 1,400 miles form the nearest blaze. Our skies here have been noticeably hazy most days with smoke from Alaska, Canada and the western U.S. since late last May. I’ve never seen anything like this in my life. And yet, the main topic of conversation around here is pro sports. Most people don’t know or care about these fires at all.

    Reply
    • Jacob

       /  September 15, 2015

      I live in California, there is a large conservative population here who thinks that way.

      Of course, to them “the climate’s been changing for millions of years, why is this any different?”

      Whenever I hear that line I feel like I’m going to have an aneurysm.

      Reply
      • James Burton

         /  September 16, 2015

        Climate is a system of variables, the climate responds to each. What makes be red with rage is those who refused to acknowledge that burning fossil fuels and releasing C02 into the atmosphere ,and short circuiting the natural Carbon Cycle, can not effect climate. If climate responds to all natural variables, how can it NOT respond to a man made variable. i.e. Massive carbon dump from fossil fuels! It’s as if a constantly changing climate can happen naturally, but NOT unnaturally! Humans act a busy bees digging up fossil carbon that earth put away for balance, and now we blow it into the atmosphere, and conservative Americans say “it changes all the time, our fossil fuel burning can have nothing to do with it!”

        Reply
  5. This is like the Siberian wildfires back in April!

    Reply
  6. Loni

     /  September 15, 2015

    Having been sequestered in my house for the entire month of August due to the smoke that was far too thick to work in, with the closest fire being just over the ridge about a mile away, yet having to stay close in case of an evacuation order which would mean moving animals, I’ll take exception to the quote from Gov. Brown. We are not at war with Nature, we have LOST the war against Nature. What we are seeing now, are the consequences of that loss.

    We can no longer spit in the eye Nature, but must come to terms with our hubris, and take our humble place at the table with our fellow inhabitants of this world……..if it isn’t too late for that as well.

    Reply
    • Yes, we are on the losing end of a war with our star. The fires are yet another example of too much heat from the sun exploding on the surface of our planet.

      3.5 billion years ago, earth’s initial cellular life began a process of ameliorating the energy of the sun toward an equilibrium best-suited for life to thrive and evolve. The reason why humans exist is because life inherently collaborates with it’s star, through the carbon cycle, etc. It’s time now for a planetary awakening to this stellar collaboration. Spaceship earth is clearly in code red.

      Reply
    • wili

       /  September 15, 2015

      “we have LOST the war against Nature”

      Or worse, we’ve won! We have obliterated the systems that maintained natural balances.

      I prefer to say that we have been at war with the future, a very successful war–but now that future is arriving…

      Reply
      • Eric Thurston

         /  September 16, 2015

        Or, like Yogi Berra would say, “The future ain’t what it used to be.”

        Reply
  7. Maria

     /  September 15, 2015

    First, Loni, it’s great to hear that you’re hanging in there—what a tough season.

    I wholeheartedly agree with you re: Gov Brown’s framing of us at war with Nature. PS: I like him alot. There’s something about that view that makes me bristle–I recently saw it said by someone else.

    It conjures up images/thoughts/views that Nature is the enemy, and I’m concerned that policy will emanate from this framework. “How do we tame this beast? When the q, we here all know is, how do, we, as the species that created this unprecedented degradation and violent insult to Nature, tame ourselves?

    Reply
    • wili

       /  September 15, 2015

      Nicely put. Please Loni and everyone in the area, do stay safe!

      Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  September 16, 2015

      Very well said Maria.
      If we fail to self discipline ourselves we all pay the price

      Reply
      • Maria

         /  September 16, 2015

        Thanks wili and Abel. I don’t know how the Koch’s, Abbotts, et. al. can’t see that it’s for them(and theirs) that we truly speak…

        Reply
  8. Caroline

     /  September 15, 2015

    From Robert’s latest post above:
    “It’s an egregious human toll.”
    I would add—- egregious nonhuman toll as well. Not enough (if at all)coverage in media about all the wildlife and habitat that is being destroyed due to the wildfires. California ecosystems are in a death spiral which would include marine life in the Pacific.
    As Robert states above, “There are harsh consequences to dumping 11 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere each and every year.”

    Heartbreaking consequences.

    Wildfire smoke map for today:
    http://wildfiretoday.com
    Eerily smoky and warm in the Midwest this week.

    Reply
  9. Maria

     /  September 15, 2015

    Some optimistic news out today from Scientific American

    Leaders of Los Angeles, Beijing and more than two dozen other Chinese and American municipalities will announce sweeping climate change commitments today as they prepare for a landmark U.N. deal in December.

    The promises of 11 Chinese cities to peak greenhouse gas emissions, some by the end of this decade, will eliminate 1.2 gigatons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually, according to the White House. That’s about the amount of carbon pollution Japan or Brazil produces each year.

    Meanwhile, American cities are vowing a range of actions—from eliminating coal-fired power in Los Angeles by 2025 to reducing emissions 25 percent below 2005 levels by the end of the decade and 80 percent by midcentury in Boston.

    White House senior adviser Brian Deese said the United States and China are taking a leadership role ahead of global negotiations in Paris.

    And…………..

    President Xi visits next week. High point in pre-climate talks?

    Xi will visit Seattle on Sept. 22 before arriving in Washington, D.C., to meet with Obama. Though the visit comes at a time of tension over cyber spying, several observers called climate change a likely high point in the U.S.-China discussions. Even without major new national-level pledges—which several sources said are unlikely—the meeting could produce momentum for Paris.

    “The visit will reinforce President Obama’s and President Xi’s commitment to reach a strong climate agreement in Paris and to implement the climate mitigation targets they announced last year,” said U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern in a statement to ClimateWire.””””

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/city-cuts-eliminate-as-much-global-warming-pollution-as-japan-produces/

    Reply
    • PlazaRed

       /  September 16, 2015

      Thanks for that Maria.
      Every little reduction of CO2, or anything will help of course but it also makes me wonder how much the increased incidence of uncontrolled fires is also increasing the CO2 along with other toxic gases that’s are released by fires.
      Today I was passing some fields where the wheat had been harvested and the sky was almost back with choking smoke from fires started in the fields by the farmers. Soon they will be burning thousands of tones of olive branches from the pruning’s which are stacked up ready to be set fire too as well.
      Makes me wonder what all the regulations really mean when there are “acceptable” agricultural fires all over the place.

      Reply
      • Maria

         /  September 18, 2015

        That’s a great question, PR. Perhaps Robert or DT who follow these phenomena more closely can give us some insight. I did some digging and although some quantification estimates have been made, it seems that apart from the pollution, it’s tricky to model and calculate how much the smoke is contributing to actual warming. Some of the particles in smoke reflect light and others absorb it…here’s a piece from Scientific American that touches upon this point. There’s also the issue of how much acreage can be lost before those missing trees are no longer there to be serve as carbon sinks—for at least the short/medium term until regrowth begins in earnest.

        The pollution is no doubt an issue with all that wheat and tons of olive branches? My sense is that governments around the world have let the farmers do what what they do with little enforcement of laws even if they’re on the books? I don’t have data to back this up but I’ll do more digging.

        http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/wildfire-smoke-proves-worse-for-global-warming/

        “””””””Biomass burning is really complicated,” said Allen Robinson, Lane professor in mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. There are many different types of fuels, Robinson said, from ponderosa pine trees to peat, and “they burn in a very poorly controlled manner, so it’s difficult to get your arms around the problem.”

        New research published by Robinson and others yesterday in the journal Nature Geoscience tries to give climate modelers a better idea of what smoke does when it enters the atmosphere. It suggests that although it’s not on the same level as fossil fuel emissions, smoke could be worsening climate change more than previously thought.

        Sorting out the color of smoke
        When smoke enters the atmosphere, its particles react to sunlight in different ways. One kind of smoke particle—what is usually called soot—is dark and absorbs sunlight, meaning it warms the atmosphere. Other particles, called organic carbon aerosols, are made up of tens of thousands of different molecules that have both warming and cooling effects—some absorb sunlight, some reflect sunlight, but the net effect is hard to determine.

        To make climate models more workable, scientists assumed that organic carbon aerosols were generally lighter in color, with an overall cooling effect. Today, many climate change projections rely on the idea that the respective warming and cooling properties of soot and organic carbon aerosols cancel each other out, meaning smoke’s impact on the climate isn’t that significant.

        But through a series of experiments at the U.S. Forest Service’s Fire Sciences Laboratory in Missoula, Mont., Robinson and his colleagues think this assumption might have to change.

        Setting a series of different fuels on fire, they captured the smoke in a large, baglike “smog chamber.” They then analyzed the smoke and found that within the realm of organic carbon aerosols, particles called brown carbon, which absorb sunlight and warm the atmosphere, play an important role.

        “If you add brown carbon into the picture, it pushes biomass burning clearly into the warming category,” Robinson said.

        This finding hasn’t yet been applied to advanced climate change models, but the researchers ran a back-of-the-envelope calculation and found that forest fires or fires purposely set to clear land could well be joining fossil fuels emissions in playing a significant role in warming the planet.

        Another of the report’s authors, Manvendra Dubey, senior climate scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, added that climate-warming brown and black carbon particles are found in smoke caused by hot, intensely burning flames—the kind of blazes that are starting to erupt more often.

        “With climate change, some models indicate that fires will become hotter and more intense,” Dubey said. “If you have hotter fires, then the potential to have more black and brown carbon increases.”””””

        Reply
      • Maria

         /  September 18, 2015

        PR: Here is a piece from ’02– they quantified the amount of carbon released by a major fire in Indonesia in ’97. Eye-popping data…I confess to not remembering this fire.

        http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/wildfires-factor-signific/

        Wildfires Factor Significantly in Global Carbon Balance

        “”””Study results published today in the journal Nature suggest that wildfires can have a huge impact on the amount of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere. Specifically, scientists found that fires in Indonesia during 1997 spewed the same amount of carbon into the air as is typically removed annually by the entire planet’s biosphere.
        Susan E. Page of the University of Leicester and her colleagues used satellite images of a 2.5-million-hectare region of Borneo taken before and after the fires to assess their effects. The team found that 32 percent of the overall area had burned and that most of the land affected was comprised of peat bogs. Because peatland is so effective at storing terrestrial carbon, the fire’s pattern had a significant effect on the global carbon budget. (The image above was taken on September 27, 1997 and shows smoke blanketing Lake Toba, Indonesia.) By extrapolating their findings to the country as a whole, the scientists determined that between 0.8 billion and 2.6 billion tons of carbon was released into the atmosphere by the fires. That amount is equivalent to 13 to 40 percent of the annual emissions from burning fossil fuels, making the fires significant contributors to the largest jump in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels since recordkeeping began in 1957. As David Schimel and David Baker of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., point out in an accompanying commentary, “catastrophic events affecting small areas can evidently have a huge impact on the global carbon balance.”

        Reply
  10. Andy in SD

     /  September 15, 2015

    30 to 35C in central Europe (Hungary), and it’s mid September.

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  September 17, 2015

      In Oz we tend to have our worst fires and heat waves in late Feb – mid March in hot years due to centre heating up, so matching pattern.
      Tho unusual for that part of the world

      Reply
      • bearingwitness

         /  September 23, 2015

        Plus the fire danger season is starting much earlier (sometimes in September, like the Blue Mountains fires in 2013) and finishing later.

        Reply
  11. Robert in New Orleans

     /  September 15, 2015
    Reply
  12. To complement Robert’s great piece, here’s another article on this subject at Rolling Stone:

    “What Megablazes Tell Us About the Fiery Future of Climate Change”

    http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/what-megablazes-tell-us-about-the-fiery-future-of-climate-change-20150915

    Reply
    • – This Rolling Stone piece by Tim Dickinson is good — quite s bit of PNW related info and pointed.

      Reply
      • – The sub head is
        ‘Pervasive drought and record temperatures have turned forests from Fresno to Fairbanks into tinderboxes. And it’s only getting worse’

        Reply
      • Leland Palmer

         /  September 23, 2015

        We have millions of dead trees. Will some of these forests ever recover?

        If they are dead forever, we need to start thinking about controlled burning them in the wet season (if we ever get another one) to reduce fire danger the next fire season.

        Except it’s fire season from now on, apparently. Still, there should be times to come when it would be relatively safe to controlled burn the dead areas.

        Reply
  13. rayduray

     /  September 15, 2015

    Time to chill out? Here’s a new NASA video on Greenland glacier research:

    Reply
  14. rustj2015

     /  September 15, 2015

    Innovation in weather reports for all concerned:
    http://wxshift.com/

    Reply
  15. rustj2015

     /  September 15, 2015

    Also this new analytic visual, with an aspect of “deviation from normal”:
    http://www.prism.oregonstate.edu/mtd/

    Reply
    • rustj2015

       /  September 15, 2015

      And the visual of deviation looks like El Nino’s hot breath across a large portion of the US.

      Reply
  16. Jay M

     /  September 16, 2015

    The “Valley” fire was in the highlands to the west of the Central Valley, near to Clear Lake which is a fairly large drainage. The takeaway I had was that this thing went to 40,000 acres in about 1 day and a bit over 60,000 day two. Sorry for the antiquated American nomenclature for area. Having spread out and weather conditions changing it doesn’t seem as ferocious, i.e. can’t revisit the burned over area. These areas are in fire ecology, but extensive habitation creates a big human vibe.

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  September 16, 2015

      For a fire fighter and reporter’s oerspective see:
      http://www.wired.com/2015/09/hows-america-tackling-epic-fires-epic-scheme/

      “Most fires grow in a particular direction, funneled by local geography or pushed by the wind, as is the case in Southern California when the Santa Ana winds push fires to the west. The Valley Fire was unusual in that it appeared to spread in every direction simultaneously, growing so large so quickly that it generated its own weather system, with wind blowing outward from the center of the fire. Frequent spotting compounded the inferno, complicating evacuations and forcing some to flee through the flames.”

      Reply
  17. Andy in SD

     /  September 16, 2015

    Populations of marine mammals, birds, fish and reptiles have declined by 49% since 1970, a report says.

    Somehow I don’t think it will take another 45 years to polish the rest off.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34265672

    Reply
  18. Apneaman

     /  September 16, 2015

    Hot air melting the Arctic
    Around 700 new ‘methane holes’ found in the Arctic shelf by Russian scientists show how fast these emissions are heating up the region. Given the scale of hot air emissions, it is likely the permafrost has been severely degraded, and the thaw irreversible.

    http://in.rbth.com/economics/technology/2015/09/15/hot-air-melting-the-arctic_396863

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  September 16, 2015

      Apneaman, Good catch

      I was waiting for some info from the cruise of the Oden ………….

      In 2014, an international research team led by Semiletov set sail to the Arctic Ocean on the Oden icebreaker science vessel. The researchers were the first to closely examine the waters of the outer West Arctic continental shelf at depths below 50 meters, and it turned out that carbon emissions in the shelf zone are much more intense than expected. Up to several hundred grams of methane per square meter are emitted daily, which shows that the underwater Arctic permafrost has been degrading severely. About 700 such “methane holes,” each up to a kilometer in diameter, have been found in the shelf.

      Reply
  19. redskylite

     /  September 16, 2015

    According to the U.N what has been pledged so far in preparation for the Paris talks is not good enough . . . nowhere good enough . .

    “BRUSSELS, Sept 15 (Reuters) – National promises to cut emissions as part of preparations for a United Nations summit at the end of the year would cap global warming at the unacceptably high level of 3 degrees Celsius, the U.N.’s climate boss said on Tuesday. ”
    http://www.trust.org/item/20150915162156-7pvqd/?source=fiHeadlineStory

    Reply
  20. Colorado Bob

     /  September 16, 2015

    Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice extent

    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icecover.uk.php

    Reply
  21. Colorado Bob

     /  September 16, 2015

    Ecuador forest fires envelope Quito in smoke

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-34267806

    Reply
  22. Colorado Bob

     /  September 16, 2015

    The Arctic Mosquito Swarms Large Enough to Kill a Baby Caribou

    A parable of planetary change and unintended consequences.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2015/09/arctic-mosquitoes-and-the-chaos-of-climate-change/405322/#disqus_thread

    Reply
    • Leland Palmer

       /  September 16, 2015

      Thanks, Colorado Bob.

      The people who think they can retreat north to Canada or Alaska or Siberia to escape the effects of climate change better stock up on the mosquito nets, protective suits, and mosquito repellent, it looks like.

      Every time one of these shocking ecological effects show up, it is both obvious in retrospect and surprising.

      Can you imagine being kept hostage in a cabin for months by swarms of millions of hungry mosquitoes, facing the choice of starving or going outside to get food and get sucked dry?

      Reply
  23. 12volt dan

     /  September 16, 2015

    On a hopeful note and a little off topic. Activist Dutch lawyer says climate change lawsuit could work in Canada. As a Canadian I’ve had to deal with Harper’s attacks on science and environment for too long. with any luck he’ll be gone in October and if not? drag his policies into court I say

    https://ipolitics.ca/2015/09/15/activist-dutch-lawyer-says-climate-change-lawsuit-could-work-in-canada/

    Reply
    • Leland Palmer

       /  September 16, 2015

      Oh, that’s good.🙂 Good catch. Holding the host governments liable for protecting their citizens is a good start.

      But we also need a legal mechanism for holding the fossil fuel corporations liable for climate damages. That’s where the real source of the problem resides – the fossil fuel corporations and their super rich shareholders.

      Reply
  24. Colorado Bob

     /  September 16, 2015

    A Deep Dive into What Exxon Knew About Global Warming and When (1978) it Knew It

    The article is built around documents from various archives and interviews with former employees. A companion video report by the Frontline television team tells the story in the voices of former company scientists.

    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/09/16/a-deep-dive-into-what-exxon-knew-about-global-warming-and-when-1978-it-knew-it/?_r=0

    Reply
  25. Colorado Bob

     /  September 16, 2015

    Discovery of a highly efficient catalyst eases way to hydrogen economy

    Summary:
    Hydrogen could be the ideal fuel: Whether used to make electricity in a fuel cell or burned to make heat, the only byproduct is water; there is no climate-altering carbon dioxide. Like gasoline, hydrogen could also be used to store energy. Scientists now report a hydrogen-making catalyst containing phosphorus and sulfur — both common elements — and cobalt, a metal that is 1,000 times cheaper than platinum.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150914152626.htm

    Reply
  26. Colorado Bob

     /  September 16, 2015

    Photo of Sickly Polar Bear Signals Tragedy Ahead in Arctic

    Walter Vetter of the University of Hohenheim and colleagues Venessa Gall and Karl Skimisson recently analyzed the bodies of four polar bears that swam, in an extremely malnourished state, from East Greenland to Iceland.

    Vetter and his team found that the bears were so thin, their fat reserves had completely redistributed, going to sensitive vital organs such as the brain, kidneys and liver, in a last ditch stage to keep the animals alive. Their findings are reported in the journal Science of the Total Environment.

    http://news.discovery.com/animals/endangered-species/photo-of-sickly-polar-bear-signals-tragedy-ahead-in-arctic-150915.htm

    Reply
  27. Colorado Bob

     /  September 16, 2015

    The refugee issue –

    Assam can recover from devastating floods—if the government gets its act together

    Heavy flooding has affected more than a million people in the north-eastern Indian state of Assam, with 45 dead and more than 200,000 in relief camps. And yet there is still very little coverage of the disaster in the international media—perhaps not surprising when you consider even most Indians aren’t paying attention.

    But they should—and so should you. The fact a region that is flooded regularly should be so unprepared for the latest downpour is scandalous, as is the shortsighted or uncaring government response.

    The floods have also affected local wildlife, with the Kaziranga National Park—home to two-thirds of the world’s Indian rhinos—reporting the electrocution of elephants fleeing from the water, as well as the death of at least three rhinos.

    The floods come amid reports of increasing illegal immigration from Bangladesh and poor working conditions on local tea plantations, while armed conflicts between separatist groups and state security forces make the situation in the region even more unstable.

    http://qz.com/503040/assam-can-recover-from-devastating-floods-if-the-government-gets-its-act-together/

    Reply
  28. Greg

     /  September 16, 2015

    California needs only to look at Saudi Arabia for a glimpse into a possible agricultural future that is far smaller than present due to its thirst for underground water:

    http://www.vox.com/2015/9/14/9323379/saudi-arabia-squandered-its-groundwater-and-agriculture-collapsed?ref=yfp

    Reply
    • They could always ship it in from China, but there’d a small carbon issue:

      The Tarim basin in Xinjiang, China is a valley the size of Venezuela; bigger than California, New Mexico and Florida put together. On the surface it is home to Taklimakan, China’s biggest desert, but deep beneath lies a hidden ‘ocean’ that is thought to contain up to ten times more water than all the Great Lakes combined, storing more carbon than all the plants on the planet put together. While more water may sound like a good thing, researchers believe that if this carbon were to escape into the atmosphere, we would be in serious, serious trouble.

      Reply
  29. Maria

     /  September 16, 2015

    President Obama is seeking psychological advice about climate change.

    Yesterday, he issued an executive order instructing federal agencies to use behavioral science when developing programs to address rising temperatures and other policies. That’s the stuff of sociologists, psychologists and behavioral economists.

    The administration suggests that behavioral cues, like comparing your energy use with a neighbor, can be used to increase participation in energy efficiency and other federal goals. The White House created a group last year to experiment with strategies to change behavior. It’s called the Social and Behavioral Sciences Team, and it’s testing methods that might get people to act differently.

    One is a pop-up computer window that urges people to save paper by printing on both sides. The experiment resulted in a 5.8 percent increase in double-sided printing, a potentially significant reduction in the 18 billion pages printed annually by federal workers.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/obama-seeks-psychological-help-with-climate-change/

    Reply
    • – The root of this ‘behavior’ problem confronting us is that of the average fossil fuel polluter.
      A lack of morality is coupled with a total disregard of self preservation.
      There is near total disconnect with the reality of fossil fuel combustion and its absolute lethal consequences.
      – We burn FF to dry our hair, to mow our unsustainable lawns, to fabricate, transport and freeze/heat obesity snacks. We burn diesel to shred our paper histories. We use huge V-8 gasoline engines to clean our carpets.
      – We permit gas guzzling ‘muscle’ cars, trucks, motorcycles to recreate or endanger, as they dominate our communities and our landscapes.
      – This disconnect behavior is rampant in our culture. Very few take responsibility for their own emissions — or that of their neighbor’s, or their communities.
      – “Stand your ground” – Hell!
      – Stand your air — your atmosphere. Defend it from yourself, and from your neighbor. Until we do that we are nothing. And nothing is what we will become.

      OUT

      Reply
    • labmonkey2

       /  September 16, 2015

      Related to this topic, there is a physiologist (Lise Van Susteren) doing some great research along this line as more people are directly impacted by CC.

      “We spend vast amounts of time and personal energy trying to calculate the most urgent threats posed by climate change. Washington, D.C. psychiatrist and climate activist Lise Van Susteren, however, says the most insidious danger may already be upon us. She’s not talking about heat, drought, floods, severe storms, or rising seas. She’s focused on the psychological risks posed by global warming.
      Van Susteren has co-authored a report on the psychological effects of climate change that predicts Americans will suffer “depressive and anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, substance abuse, suicides, and widespread outbreaks of violence,” in the face of rising temperatures, extreme weather, and scarce resources. Van Susteren and her co-author Kevin Coyle write that counselors and first responders “are not even close to being prepared to handle the scale and intensity of impacts that will arise from the harsher conditions and disasters that global warming will unleash.”

      http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/09/16/3701936/brain-on-climate-change/

      Deeper in the article it references a rally during the Pope visit in DC. Should be an interesting event.

      And as an aside – anyone taking bets on whether CNN will talk about or question the GOP debaterers on CC tonite?

      Reply
      • Maria

         /  September 18, 2015

        LM, I am just seeing this post. Thanks so much. I’ll dig into it tomorrow. So many unintended consequences—yet to be revealed.

        I had to change the station when the R candidates dissed George Schultz re: climate change. No emotional attachment to him but it shows how far off and out of touch they choose to stay! “humbly disagree with one of our patriarchs/forebears?” “Nope, we’re going with the money dealers on this one, ole guy.”

        Reply
      • “Van Susteren and her co-author Kevin Coyle write that counselors and first responders “are not even close to being prepared to handle the scale and intensity of impact…”

        – I alluded to this likely hood a while back.
        If you think these ‘responders’ are up to the task — highly unlikely.

        Ps We here are much needed ‘preventers’.

        Reply
    • I have a further suggestion to combat paper waste and the resultant AGW: in its publications, the Federal Government can eliminate those stupid papaers bearing the message, “This page was intentionally left blank.”

      Reply
  30. Maria

     /  September 16, 2015

    Giant Panda Conservation Also Helps Other Unique Species in China

    By John R. Platt | September 16, 2015

    snip….

    The giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) is more than just a fluffy conservation icon and a beloved media darling. It is also, according to new research, the protector of dozens of other unique Chinese species.

    No, the panda itself doesn’t actually defend other wildlife, but it helps to save them all the same by serving as what’s known as an “umbrella species.” In other words, efforts to preserve habitats for the giant panda also protect many other mammals, birds and amphibians that live only alongside pandas, in the same areas and regions.

    Conservationists have expressed this umbrella species theory for years but a paper published today in Biological Conservation proves it. The research looks at China’s endemic wildlife—species that exist nowhere else on Earth—and found that 70 percent of the country’s forest mammals, 70 percent of forest birds and 31 percent of forest amphibians all live within the panda’s geographic range and the nature reserves set aside to protect them. All told, 96 percent of this range overlaps with important conservation areas for other endemic forest species. “I was very pleasantly surprised by how well the panda does as an umbrella species,” says Stuart Pimm, the paper’s senior author and Doris Duke Professor of Conservation at Duke University. “The mountains of southwest China are a biodiversity hotspot. There are a lot of species that are protected by the panda’s range.”

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/extinction-countdown/giant-panda-conservation/

    Reply
    • Eric Thurston

       /  September 17, 2015

      There are similar situations in the US regarding species such as the spotted owl and the snail darter. Where I live in Oregon, the spotted owl is used as ‘leverage’ to protect land that, in reality, should be protected from exploitation no matter what species inhabit it. An analogy might be the story of the gangster Al Capone who the FBI knew for a certainty was responsible for numerous murders, but were unable to get strong enough evidence to convict him on any of the crimes. So they eventually got him on tax-evasion charges and put him in the slammer where he belonged. We need to convict the bad guys and prevent them from destroying our world using any ‘legitimate’ means.

      Reply
      • Maria

         /  September 17, 2015

        Interesting analogy and insight, Eric. Thanks. As more information comes out re: what Exxon knew and when, whether there are potent enough laws that can be used to nail them.

        Reply
  31. Maria

     /  September 16, 2015

    Link to the abstract cited above re: pandas.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cobi.12618/abstract

    Reply
  32. theguardian.com/environment/2015/sep/15/tuna

    Marine life
    Tuna and mackerel populations suffer catastrophic 74% decline, research shows

    WWF says we risk losing species critical to human food security unless action is taken to halt overfishing and other threats to marine life

    Tuna and mackerel populations have suffered a “catastrophic” decline of nearly three quarters in the last 40 years, according to new research.

    WWF and the Zoological Society of London found that numbers of the scombridae family of fish, which also includes bonito, fell by 74% between 1970 and 2012, outstripping a decline of 49% for 1,234 ocean species over the same period.

    The conservation charity warned that we face losing species critical to human food security, unless drastic action is taken to halt overfishing and other threats to marine life.

    Louise Heaps, chief advisor on marine policy at WWF UK, said: “This is catastrophic. We are destroying vital food sources, and the ecology of our oceans.”

    …Pollution, including plastic detritus which can build up in the digestive systems of fish; the loss of key habitats such as coastal mangrove swamps; and climate change are also taking a heavy toll, with the oceans becoming more acidic as a result of the carbon dioxide we are pouring into the atmosphere.

    “I am terrified about acidification,” Heaps told the Guardian. “That situation is looking very bleak. We were taught in the 1980s that the solution to pollution is dilution, but that suggests the oceans have an infinite capacity to absorb our pollution. That is not true, and we have reached the capacity now.

    Reply
  33. Architecture
    Architecture and design blog
    Inside the London megaport you didn’t know existed

    London Gateway was built by Dubai, is twice the size of the City of London, is run by robots, has the world’s largest cranes – and it’s where everything you buy will soon come from. London’s docks are back in business

    …Running almost 3km along the Thames estuary is a £1.5bn new megaport that has literally redrawn the coastline of Essex, and wants to make equally radical shifts to the UK’s consumer supply chain.

    Welcome to DP World London Gateway, the latest international trophy of the oil-rich emirate of Dubai, and one of the biggest privately funded infrastructure projects the UK has ever seen. It is a gargantuan undertaking (on the scale of Crossrail, Terminal 5 or HS2) that’s projected to have a bigger economic impact than the Olympics – but you might not even know it was happening. The port has been up and running for almost two years, with two of its six berths now complete and a third well on the way.
    http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/architecture-design-blog/2015/sep/15/london-gateway-megaport-you-didnt-know-existed-docks?CMP=ema_565

    Reply
    • Apneaman

       /  September 16, 2015

      What better indicator do we need than this monster this to show there is no real effort to stop the cancer? It’s on the wrong side of the the Barrier, so good luck with that. The monuments of the emirate of Dubai are so fitting of our final futile gestures.

      https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-thames-barrier

      Reply
  34. Maria

     /  September 16, 2015

    Says MIT president in front of announcement re: their plans/initiatives ahead of Paris:

    “We have many levers as an institution that we can pull on,” he says. “We can launch a Manhattan Project for climate change, if we wanted.”

    He received a letter signed by Hansen, Chomsky, etc. this week urging MIT to divest from FF.

    Ahead of MIT Climate Change Plan, Activists Appeal One More Time

    With the fall semester officially underway, environmental activists have their eyes set on MIT.

    In the coming weeks, university president Rafael Reif is poised to announce a comprehensive plan for how MIT will address the growing threats posed by climate change.

    In a final attempt to tip the scales against dirty energy, a group of scholars, scientists, and activists delivered a letter to Reif on Wednesday morning, urging him to commit MIT to “selling its stock in fossil fuel companies.” The letter, whose signatories include actor Mark Ruffalo, scholar Noam Chomsky, author Junot Díaz, and climatologist Jim Hansen, among more than two dozen others, says the largest obstacle to solving the climate crisis is the lack of political will.

    In June, a climate change committee appointed by Reif delivered a sweeping report in which three quarters of the members supported divesting from coal and tar sands, among several other recommendations. The report was open for comment during the summer, and top administrators are due to release a detailed strategy sometime this semester.

    Wednesday’s letter reminds the institution that some of the energy and extraction companies in its investment portfolio have directly funded bogus studies that were intended to discredit the work of MIT’s preeminent researchers. These sins against the scientific method resonate deeply with many on campus, according to Geoffrey Supran, a PhD candidate and organizer with Fossil Free MIT.

    “There’s literally no one at MIT, from the first-day freshman to senior administrators, that’s comfortable with MIT supporting companies that are funding climate change denial,” he says. “I know scientists personally who’ve received hate mail for their role in warning the world about this burgeoning crisis.”

    It’s unclear exactly when MIT will announce its plan—a spokesperson did not respond to an email request for an updated timeline. Whenever the strategy is released, Supran hopes to see Reif and colleagues go wide in their approach, blending divestment with new educational approaches and intensive, high-impact research efforts.

    “We have many levers as an institution that we can pull on,” he says. “We can launch a Manhattan Project for climate change, if we wanted.”

    http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2015/09/16/mit-climate-change-divestment-letter/

    Reply
    • Apneaman

       /  September 17, 2015

      Manhattan Project. A project named after a city whose sole purpose was to build some weapons so horrible that they could destroy somebody else’s cities and all the people in them – instantaneously. Anything to keep the consumer paradise going a while longer by applying more of the same mentality that got us here. Tragic.

      Reply
  35. – Algae again — that nitrogen, et al nutrient fed garland of green overgrowth…

    Satellite Spies a Swirling Cyclone of Algae

    The wake of a ship slices into the eye of an algal maelstrom in this image, acquired by ESA’s Sentinel-2A satellite on Aug. 7, 2015.

    Ribbons of bright green outline concentrations of cyanobacteria as they drift in the swirling currents of the Baltic Sea, off the coasts of Latvia and Estonia.

    A swirling vortex of cyanobacteria in the Baltic Sea was captured on camera by ESA’s Sentinel-2A satellite.

    Reply
    • Maria

       /  September 16, 2015

      Oh my—so beautiful yet so deadly.

      Reply
    • Lake algae puts Country Club homeowners on edge
      azdailysun.com/news/local/lake-algae

      … At one point in late August, the green mat stretched about 40 feet across the lake’s northern alcove. The stench, which was described by one homeowner as similar to raw sewage or overused fertilizer, made him and his partner reconsider hosting a summer birthday event for fear that the smell would force everyone inside.

      “The smell would knock you down,”

      The algae feeds on nutrients in the lake, their photosynthesis spurred by ultraviolet rays that filter through the water. Their processes deplete oxygen in the water, eventually making an environment dangerous to fish.

      It was primarily a subpar aeration system in the lake and the sudden change from a cooler spring to a hot summer that likely spurred the tremendous algae growth this year…

      Carl Clark holds a handful of algae from the surface of Lake Elaine behind his Country Club home Monday morning. Recent algae blooms on the lake have turned its surface emerald green. Lake managers say unusual circumstances caused an explosion in the algae growth this year, forcing them to play catch-up.

      Reply
  36. Maria

     /  September 16, 2015

    I’m sorry. I misquoted. It was not the president of MIT who said: “…..we have multiple levers…..” An MIT PhD student and activist, Geoffery Supran said this.

    I thought it was an uncharacteristically bold statement for said institution!

    Reply
  37. Colorado Bob

     /  September 16, 2015

    Air pollution could kill 6.6 million people a year by 2050

    * Air pollution already kills 3.3 million a year

    * Leading cause of death in some countries

    * Emissions from heating, cooking, traffic, agriculture

    LONDON, Sept 16 (Reuters) – Air contaminated with pollutants such as ozone and tiny particles could cause the premature death of about 6.6 million people a year by 2050 if nothing is done to improve air quality, scientists warned on Wednesday.

    In a study published in the journal Nature, they found that outdoor air pollution already kills about 3.3 million people a year worldwide. The majority of those deaths are in Asia where residential energy emissions, such as those from heating and cooking, have a major impact.

    And that toll could double over the next 35 years, the researchers warned, unless clean-up measures are taken.

    http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/09/16/health-air-pollution-idINL5N11M2EE20150916

    Reply
  38. Colorado Bob

     /  September 16, 2015

    I wrote a rather good retort today. ( Because the deniers are down to a single sentence of insults.)

    Now bring on the deniers who found their hypothesises in the glove box of the Republican Clown Car.

    That’s pretty good , and it’s step up from my old retort :

    “Lie, deny, rinse, repeat”
    That drives them crazy , I was told to kill myself today because of the NYT article about Exxon.
    So that polar bears could live.

    As Paris nears this stuff gets worst.

    Now The Time Has Come

    Reply
    • Caroline

       /  September 16, 2015

      I applaud Romm’s articles but can’t imagine the rationale Climate Progress uses for allowing deniers/trolls and spammers on their reply threads. Moderating this pathological NON science out of there would allow healthy discourse based on facts (operative word: facts). It used to be worthwhile to read the comment section (that’s where I first discovered you C.B.!) But now I rarely go there. It’s absurd and VERY counterproductive.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  September 16, 2015

        Caroline ,

        Clever girl. I made the transit as well , they traded tweets and likes, for God knows what.
        I’ve been at this sometime now. As tine drags on, the deniers are getting more rabid. They used to point to “burn barrels” near airports recording stations. And pulled out their denier protractors to “prove” it.

        Now, they just say I should kill myself, to help polar bears.

        I am really under their skin . As is everyone here.

        Reply
  39. Colorado Bob

     /  September 16, 2015

    One of the “winners” as the climate changes.

    HANOVER, N.H. – Warming temperatures are causing Arctic mosquitoes to grow faster and emerge earlier, significantly boosting their population and threatening the caribou they feast on, a Dartmouth College study finds.

    The study predicts the mosquitoes’ probability of surviving and emerging as adults will increase by more than 50 percent if Arctic temperatures rise 2 °C. The findings are important because changes in the timing and intensity of their emergence affect their role as swarming pests of people and wildlife, as pollinators of tundra plants and as food for other species, including Arctic and migratory birds.
    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-09/dc-amt090915.php

    Reply
  40. – 0916 Much of Greenland is looking hot, and Arctic at +1.00 C.

    Reply
    • Ouse M.D.

       /  September 17, 2015

      Why in the heck is the baseline lifted to +0,49 C pre- industrial?
      I guess someone in the corporate government figured out moving baselines wouldn’t get the public too much excited about actual figures.

      Reply
      • Christina in Honolulu

         /  September 17, 2015

        I agree. Why does Climate Reanalyzer show a temperature anomaly based on 1979-2000 average rather than the 1880/1890 average? Is there a reason for this choice?

        Reply
  41. Colorado Bob

     /  September 17, 2015

    RS –
    Open open threads We don’t care if you comment , we have things to say,

    That;s really important.

    Reply
  42. Maria

     /  September 17, 2015

    Developing:Central Chile 8.3 earthquake. Tsunami alarms triggered near Santiago. warnings issued for the entire country. Valparaiso and Concon already flooding.

    http://www.smh.com.au/world/tsunami-warning-after-powerful-earthquake-hits-chile-20150916-gjojfd.html

    Reply
  43. Colorado Bob

     /  September 17, 2015

    Now the time has come, \t\here are things to realize.

    Reply
  44. Colorado Bob

     /  September 17, 2015

    Time has come today,

    Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  September 18, 2015

      The time has come today

      When you post that I always think of this… (cant paste it properly, I’m lazy by nature!)

      Dunno if sprawling, lo-fi, hipster funk is your thing, but still, it’s good to share!

      Reply
  45. Maria

     /  September 17, 2015

    Hawai’i on tsunami alert post Chile quake

    Tsunami watch issued for Hawaii after Chile earthquake

    SANTIAGO, Chile — A powerful magnitude-8.3 earthquake hit off Chile’s northern coast Wednesday night, causing buildings to sway in Santiago and other cities and sending people running into the streets.

    At least three aftershocks above magnitude-6 and other strong shakes rattled the region as tsunami alarms sounded in the port of Valparaiso in the first major quake since a powerful quake and tsunami killed hundreds in 2010 and leveled part of a southern Chilean city.

    Officials ordered people to evacuate low-lying areas along the 2,400 miles of Chile’s Pacific shore, from Puerto Aysen in the south to Arica in the north. Cars streamed inland carrying people to higher ground.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/tsunami-warning-issued-for-hawaii-after-chile-earthquake/

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  September 17, 2015

      No one cares if brown skin people are dying, the age of Trump. Will make us all white.

      Reply
      • Maria

         /  September 17, 2015

        I hear you. I have the debate on while scouring for updates. Hell has surely come (early) for breakfast to Chile today. Concón suffered all those floods earlier this year..

        Reply
    • Eric Thurston

       /  September 18, 2015

      I don’t know how to embed a youtube piece, so here is the URL to The Galveston Flood that seemed relevant here.

      Reply
  46. Colorado Bob

     /  September 17, 2015

    Reply
  47. Andy in SD

     /  September 17, 2015

    Before it gets lost, check out the massive fracturing in the remaining ice cap. This seems pretty sudden and massively widespread.

    http://www.arctic.io/explorer/8/2015-09-15/7-N86.11242-W35.27438

    Reply
  48. Colorado Bob

     /  September 17, 2015

    ASD –

    Really soon we will hear that bears eating bugs is the same as seal meat.

    Reply
  49. Colorado Bob

     /  September 17, 2015

    ASD –
    In a world of greed, everything has answer.

    Reply
  50. Maria

     /  September 17, 2015

    Another neat chart re: tsunami predictions:

    Reply
  51. Colorado Bob

     /  September 17, 2015

    ASD –

    The fellow at TP, said I should die by my own hand.

    They have no idea what’s coming. .

    And I do.

    Reply
  52. Colorado Bob

     /  September 17, 2015

    They have no idea what’s coming. .

    And I do.

    Buckle your chin strap.

    Reply
  53. Colorado Bob

     /  September 17, 2015

    They have no idea what I know.

    Buckle your chin strap.

    Reply
  54. Colorado Bob

     /  September 17, 2015

    I don;t care where you are, Buckle your chin strap.

    Reply
  55. Colorado Bob

     /  September 17, 2015

    Here’s what I know …………
    Terrapin Station – The Complete Song – Studio version – Grateful Dead

    Reply
  56. Colorado Bob

     /  September 17, 2015

    , Buckle your chin strap.

    Reply
  57. Colorado Bob

     /  September 17, 2015

    The one’s who call for my death by my own hand have a rude reply.
    …………………………

    the deniers who found their hypothesises in the glove box of the Republican Clown Car.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  September 17, 2015

      That’s good writing, Clever, and topical, and to the point.
      Bite my shiny metal ass.

      Reply
  58. Tom

     /  September 17, 2015

    [off topic for this thread, but important – I mistakenly posted it to the previous one]

    http://mashable.com/2015/09/16/arctic-ice-minimum-research-ship/?ref=yfp#u_kJ3vhJMSk5

    Arctic research ship probes frigid depths and 4th-lowest sea ice extent on record

    [begins]

    Through Sept. 11 of this year, the Arctic — which serves a crucial role as the Northern Hemisphere’s refrigerator — lost an area of sea ice nearly equal to the states of Texas, California, Montana and New Mexico combined. This led to the fourth-lowest sea ice extent on record since satellite data began in 1979, continuing the long-term decline in summertime ice cover throughout the Arctic.

    [further down]

    The research mission, known as “Arctic Mix,” is being led by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and University of Washington’s Applied Physics Lab. So far, scientists have been surprised by the strength of ocean mixing they have observed in ice-free areas of the Beaufort Sea.

    The ship is sailing through waters that scientists at the NSIDC called “a striking feature” of this melt season, with large regions of water with less than 70% ice cover. This is unusual for the Beaufort Sea, where multi-year ice used to remain in relative abundance through each melt season.

    “Our instruments are seeing billows of turbulence that look just like a wave breaking on the beach, but much larger,” said Jennifer MacKinnon, chief scientist aboard the Sikuliaq, in a press release sent from the ship.

    “As a result, heat is being mixed up towards the surface, and the remaining ice, at a remarkable rate,” she said.

    [toward the end]

    “One hypothesis for a rapidly-changing Arctic is increasing open water allows storms to mix this deeper ocean heat upward through the generation of undersea beams of energy called ‘internal waves’, in turn melting more ice,” Alford said in a statement.

    “The marked energetic mixing we are seeing here at the heart of the Arctic ice-melt zone may prove key in understanding a potential new climate feedback,” Alford said.

    [check out the graphs and read the rest if interested]

    Reply
    • That’s a lot of unnatural agitation of surface ice (where there is ice). And the ocean heat “undersea beams of energy called ‘internal waves’…”
      Scripps and U of WA are doing some fine research.

      Reply
  59. Tom

     /  September 17, 2015

    [one more, this on el-nino from a site that links to here often]

    http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/2015/09/the-el-nino.html

    Thursday, 17 September 2015
    The el-Nino
    1997 vs. 2015: Animation Compares El Niños Side-by-Side

    Reply
  60. Abel Adamski

     /  September 17, 2015

    And for another perspective from the reinsurance industry (the underwriters)

    http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/international/2015/09/17/381856.htm

    “Politicians must act to cap global warming when they meet at a United Nations summit at the end of the year as the financial and humanitarian consequences of natural catastrophes become ever clearer, reinsurers meeting at an industry conference said.

    The $600 billion reinsurance industry helps insurance companies pay damage claims from hurricanes, floods or earthquakes and can help people and companies get back on their feet after a disaster.

    The UN’s climate boss warned this week that national promises to cut emissions so far would cap warming at an unacceptably high level, heightening concerns in the insurance industry about politicians’ lack of resolve.

    “Definitely we expect political courage to move in a direction that shows responsibility towards future generations and a certain interest in defending the sustainability of this planet,” Swiss Re’s Chief Executive, Michel Lies, told a news conference.

    Swiss Re data shows natural disasters caused an average $180 billion in economic damage per year over the last decade, of which 70 percent was uninsured.

    Credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s said big natural catastrophes can also lead to cuts in sovereign credit ratings – making it more expensive for governments to borrow money – with Latin America and the Caribbean most at risk.

    These conclusions should help concentrate minds at the climate talks starting in Paris on Nov. 30, reinsurers said.

    “What we can bring to the table is a credible price tag for the decisions that are taken or not taken, making sure everybody understands that in the short term you may not take a decision but you will definitely pay a price in the long term,” Lies said.”

    Reply
  61. Suzanne

     /  September 17, 2015

    Dr. Jeff Masters at Weather Underground just blogged on the warmest summer and August in history:
    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3116

    Reply
  62. Maria

     /  September 17, 2015

    68 after shocks(so far) after the initial earthquake in Chili. According to this piece, a geologist said that the drag? on the plate at the epicenter was prolonged. Ouch.

    http://www.ahoranoticias.cl/chile/santiago/153550-geologo-micheal-dobss-el-arrastre-de-las-placas-fue-prolongado-y-eso-explica-la-gran-cantidad-de-replicas.html

    Reply
  63. Maria

     /  September 17, 2015

    One million people had to leave their homes in Chile after a powerful quake hit the country’s central region.

    At least 10 people died when the 8.3-magnitude quake hit at at 19:54 local time (22:54 GMT).

    Residents of Illapel, near the quake’s epicentre, fled into the streets in terror as their homes began to sway.

    In the coastal town of Coquimbo, waves of 4.7m (15ft) hit the shore. A tsunami alert was issued for the entire Chilean coast but has since been lifted.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-34275783

    Reply
  64. Maria

     /  September 17, 2015

    Aside/OT—the Spanish media are using the term “damnificados” to describe the number of wounded. It’s a common word for this condition. Yet, I’ve always had trouble with it because of how we use “damned” in the English speaking world.

    Reply
  65. – Algae — hypoxia….

    NOAA awards $2.1 million to improve observation, forecasting, and mitigation of harmful algal blooms and hypoxia

    September 17, 2015

    NOAA announced today 12 new research grants totalling nearly $2.1 million that will go to organizations from around the country seeking to address harmful algal blooms (HABs).
    … Hypoxia, or low oxygen, can occur naturally but is often caused by poor water quality from human activities, such as excessive nitrogen or phosphorus pollution…

    Reply
    • Reply
      • Jacob

         /  September 17, 2015

        Been seeing that stuff my entire life in my neck of the woods, too.

        Around the Sacramento, CA area.

        Never thought anything of it until you started posting these images a while back.

        Reply
      • Maria

         /  September 17, 2015

        DT: I happened upon this piece re: car emissions fueling desert fires because of the type of nitrogen they emit that allows for non-native grasses to thrive—the author is a member of a book club I joined. It seems the older members know what she does for a living but she’s not inclined to boast. She’s seems like a wonderful person. I sent her a note and her response was quite modest.

        “””In California, weedy, non-native grasses are edging out native plants in desert areas such as Joshua Tree National Park, and NOx is likely to blame.

        “The native plants in the desert were not adapted to have that extra nitrogen, so they don’t really grow all that much better, whereas these exotic grasses have evolved to make use of that nitrogen,” he said.

        The grasses are highly flammable, unlike the bare rock, soil and islands of shrubs that used to predominate, Davidson said. As a result, “an ecosystem that once hardly ever had a fire in it now has fire more routinely.””””

        http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/car-emissions-may-fuel-desert-forest-fires-14625

        Reply
      • – Extra [anthropocentric anthropogenic] nitrogen:
        “The native plants in the desert were not adapted to have that extra nitrogen…”
        This is also very much in evidence.
        So true, thanks Maria.

        Reply
      • Jacob, growth like this should never be seen in an urban open to the elements environment.
        But urban is where so much N pollution is located.

        Reply
      • – This is unnatural growth where there should not be growth.
        And nearby it is crowding out natural growth that should be there.
        It’s absurd on all counts.
        Evidence like this should be used as a dye marker for anthropogenic nitrogen contamination. The atmosphere did not suddenly become a N factory and produce this fallout — but fossil fuel combustion is rife with N.

        Reply
      • Maria

         /  September 18, 2015

        DT, And without people like you and your peers pointing this out, people like myself just see these weeds as weeds that need to be removed but hardly question the why….”we’ll always have weeds.” thanks again…I pass your and others info right along to my address book..

        Reply
  66. Maria

     /  September 17, 2015

    Satire alert😉

    Atlantic Ocean Excited To Move Into Beautiful Beachfront Mansion Soon

    WEST PALM BEACH, FL—Admitting it has had its eye on the property for quite some time, the Atlantic Ocean confirmed Monday that it was looking forward to moving into a beautiful beachfront mansion in the near future. “For the longest time it seemed like this place was completely out of reach for me, but I’ve come a long way in the past few years, and now it’s looking more and more like a real possibility,” said the body of water, which confided that, after having admired the building’s impressive exterior and grounds for so long, it was thrilled at the prospect of finally going inside and exploring all eight bedrooms and 7,500 square feet of living area. “I’m not quite ready yet, but in a couple years or so, I can definitely see myself in there, making the place completely my own. And the little beachside community that the house is located in is just so cute, too—I can’t wait to go through and visit all the shops and restaurants.” The ocean noted, however, that it might make a few cosmetic changes to the mansion once it moves in, including gutting the lower floor and taking out a few walls.

    http://www.theonion.com/article/atlantic-ocean-excited-move-beautiful-beachfront-m-51303

    Reply
  67. redskylite

     /  September 18, 2015

    New paper released, lead Author Dr. Frans-Jan W. Parmentier (Lund University, Sweden), on links to Methane release and disappearing Summer Sea Ice.

    Abstract:

    The Arctic is rapidly transitioning toward a seasonal sea ice-free state, perhaps one of the most apparent examples of climate change in the world. This dramatic change has numerous consequences, including a large increase in air temperatures, which in turn may affect terrestrial methane emissions. Nonetheless, terrestrial and marine environments are seldom jointly analyzed. By comparing satellite observations of Arctic sea ice concentrations to methane emissions simulated by three process-based biogeochemical models, this study shows that rising wetland methane emissions are associated with sea ice retreat. Our analyses indicate that simulated high-latitude emissions for 2005–2010 were, on average, 1.7 Tg CH4 yr−1 higher compared to 1981–1990 due to a sea ice-induced, autumn-focused, warming. Since these results suggest a continued rise in methane emissions with future sea ice decline, observation programs need to include measurements during the autumn to further investigate the impact of this spatial connection on terrestrial methane emissions.

    http://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/article/melting-arctic-sea-ice-accelerates-methane-emissions

    Reply
    • redskylite

       /  September 18, 2015

      Geophysical Research Letters:
      Title:Rising methane emissions from northern wetlands associated with sea ice decline

      Authors

      Frans-Jan W. Parmentier,
      Wenxin Zhang,
      Yanjiao Mi,
      Xudong Zhu,
      Jacobus van Huissteden,
      Daniel J. Hayes,
      Qianlai Zhuang,
      Torben R. Christensen,
      A. David McGuire

      First published: 10 September 2015

      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2015GL065013/abstract

      Reply
      • Dave Person

         /  September 19, 2015

        Hi,
        It is nice to see Dave McGuire in that list of coauthors. Dave helped me get up to speed on GIS, spatial statistics, and landscape ecology during my time at University of Alaska Fairbanks. He is a very fine ecologist studying carbon fluxes from Arctic landscapes.

        dave

        Reply
    • Maria

       /  September 19, 2015

      Hi Dave, How interesting to learn you are in this field? What’s your area of specialty?

      Reply
      • Dave Person

         /  September 20, 2015

        Hi Maria,
        I am a wildlife ecologist specializing in predator-prey systems. I worked for >20 years on wolves and deer in Southeast Alaska. My primary interest in landscape ecology derived from my need to examine how widespread clearcut logging in the Tongass National Forest was changing the predator-prey ecological communities that included wolves, bears, deer, humans, and their habitats. It demanded a systems approach and ecologists like Dave McGuire had a great influence on me. While getting my PhD at University of Alaska Fairbanks, I spent a great deal of time in Dave’s spatial ecology lab but I also got to know many researchers trying to puzzle out the myriad of short- and long-term effects of climate warming on Arctic ecosystems. I am also a statistician and mathematical modeler, and my work involved collecting empirical data on my study system and then using those data to build and parameterize models to project how the system will change as more hectares are logged. Currently, one of my predator-prey system models is being used by the USFWS to help them make a determination to list wolves in SE Alaska as threatened under the ESA. After getting my degree, I worked for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for 15 years continuing my wolf and deer research. However, under the Murkowski, Palin, and Parnell administrations, Alaska became so radically pro development regardless of environmental cost that they started to interfere with my research, which affected the logging industry. Consequently, I left and moved to Vermont where I am semi-retired but do consulting work for the Vermont Division of Fish and Wildlife. Currently, I am helping them with a black bear research project that examines the effects of the construction of wind turbines on the use by bears of important ridge top stands of beech (they eat beech nuts). Also I am helping them with data analysis for a project examining hair loss from moose owing to tick infestations owing to a warming climate. Maria, if you do a internet search for my name and “Alexander Archipelago wolf”, you will find quite a bit about my work. Thanks for asking.

        dave

        Reply
      • Maria

         /  September 21, 2015

        Dave, thanks for your reply. Bravo—I did google the Alexander Archipelago wolf and your name came up immediately. It looks like you have been a champion and still are. I saw the document you submitted re: Big Thorne)….Thank you so much—on behalf of countless people and wildlife. Your “growing up” during this time when the effects of climate change, are being “lived through, I imagine, is a rich story—waiting to be told. What a beautiful animal. I didn’t know of the Alexander Archipelago wolf. Stunningly beautiful. Please feel free to keep us updated on this issue.

        Reply
      • Maria

         /  September 21, 2015

        PS: Dave. I am planning a trip to New Zealand for this upcoming North American winter..Initially, I will be staying with a friend who lives in the Cambridge area. Just this w/e I was doing research and learned about Sanctuary Mountain and it’s “pest proof” fence. What’s your view about this kind of project? Will man indeed be able to restore this area to its ancient roots?

        http://www.hamiltonwaikato.com/experiences/walking-and-hiking-trails/sanctuary-mountain-maungatautari/

        Reply
      • Dave Person

         /  September 22, 2015

        Hi Maria,
        New Zealand has a lot of problems with introduced and invasive species. Islands are particularly difficult conservation problems because of their isolation and restricted area even at the scale of New Zealand. The reserve to which you linked may be successful preserving the native flora, fauna, and ecological communities from introduced species, particularly predators. Fencing is very expensive and you must maintain it forever. Many predators are very adept at finding holes and entrance ways. The most important thing however, is if the fenced in area is of sufficient scale to accommodate the natural disturbance regime. What I mean is that if the natural disturbance is small scale and fine grained such as wind blowing down small patches of forest, which then regenerate as small patches within a fairly static matrix of older forest, a small reserve may be able to maintain the ecological integrity of the ecosystem over the long term. In contrast, if the disturbance regime is larger in scale such as fire, the ecological integrity of the area depends on maintaining a huge matrix of burned and unburned patches. There has to be enough area such that the matrix remains intact despite burned lands regenerating and unburned patches eventually burning. In that kind of situation, reserves must be huge to maintain ecological integrity and it is unlikely that any organization could afford to fence the area in to exclude invasive predators.

        dave

        Reply
      • Maria

         /  September 22, 2015

        Dave thanks again for this thought out post. Much appreciated. I’ll be sure to ask them how it is that they deal with the issues you speak of. Re: NZ and pests. I’m just recalling that about 8 years ago when I moved back to the Northeast and was looking for uber warm socks(!), I went to an NZ merino wool apparel site….it’s there that I learned about the brushtail possum and how it was a serious problem because NZ doesn’t have a natural predator for it…..Non profits and the gvt got involved to reduce its numbers—some selling its wool to help fund their efforts.

        Eco systems management is completely beyond the “world” I’ve walked through—pedi ICU–different type of system complexity, I suppose. Thanks to you(and everyone here) for your patience.

        Reply
    • Maria

       /  September 18, 2015

      Vic, I had no idea so many illegal burns happen there.. This was in my twitter feed.

      Indonesia arrests seven company executives for illegal forest fires

      Suspects included a senior executive from Bumi Mekar Hijau, a unit of Singapore-based Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), which is also Indonesia’s largest pulp and paper producer.

      The national impetus includes deploying more police to help with firefighting and handling probes against culprits, and increasing cloud-seeding sorties to douse the blazes, especially those burning on dry peatlands.

      These carbon-rich peatlands produce the thick haze that has blanketed many parts of Indonesia, as well as neighbours Malaysia and Singapore in recent weeks, bringing the air quality down to unhealthy and sometimes hazardous levels.

      http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/sep/18/indonesia-arrests-seven-company-executives-for-illegal-forest-fires

      Reply
  68. rustj2015

     /  September 18, 2015

    EPA Proposes First-ever Protections to Reduce Methane Pollution
    “The oil and gas industry is wasting millions of tons of methane gas and leaking toxic chemicals into the air as it drills and transports oil and gas. The proposed standard begins to address this critical problem by targeting pollution from new sources, and lays the groundwork for essential regulation of existing sources.”

    http://earthjustice.org/news/press/2015/epa-proposes-first-ever-protections-to-reduce-methane-pollution

    Reply
  69. “Climatic extremes cause significant damage to the environment and society, and can cause even more damage when multiple extremes occur simultaneously. This study shows that although there is no significant trend in meteorological drought, the concurrence of meteorological droughts and heatwaves shows statistically significant increases across the United States. We show that the tail of the distribution of concurrent drought and heatwave conditions has shifted toward more frequent and extreme concurrent extremes. Our study outlines a statistical approach for investigating continuous change in the cumulative distribution functions of climatic extremes.”

    http://www.pnas.org/content/112/37/11484

    Reply
  70. Suzanne

     /  September 18, 2015

    Every time I read about another “denier” politician I get so depressed. Well, here is a Republican congressman who is boycotting the Pope’s speech in Congress because of Pope Francis’s position on climate change.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/09/18/paul-gosar-pope-climate-change_n_8158420.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

    And then you have Trump making a snarky, disrespectful comment about the Pope because of his position on climate change at a rally in New Hampshire on Thursday.

    We seem to have an entire major Republican party whose position on climate change is indefensible…and dangerous. Just so disheartening.. It makes me so angry and sad.

    Reply
    • Remember that these ‘deniers’ are made up mostly of liars, clowns, and psychopaths — or they are paid operatives. Pay them no heed. They will suck up your energies and time better spent.

      Reply
  71. Colorado Bob

     /  September 18, 2015

    Inside Queensland’s Brutal Cattle Cull

    Queensland, Australia

    The drought in Queensland has made grass so scarce that ranchers are felling trees. Not just any tree. Their tractors take down mulgas, a type of acacia found in the Australian outback, spreading the foliage on the ground for cows to graze on. The mulga’s leaves are soft and easy to digest. But sometimes the cows don’t have that luxury. To make sure the herds eat and keep their weight up, the ranchers have also set up blocks of minerals for the animals to lick. The chemicals are nutritious and act as an appetite stimulant, compelling the cows to feed on available vegetation they would normally not touch—bushes and spiny plants.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2015-global-drought-stories/#australia

    Reply
    • Incredible…!
      Cattle are super vermin.

      Reply
    • bearingwitness

       /  September 23, 2015

      How utterly, utterly foolish!
      “When there’s not enough grass for grazing, ranchers use bulldozers to drag 100-meter chains along the ground to tear down trees for the cows to eat.”
      Clearing these (already drought-stressed) trees leads to:
      – high increase in dryland salinity (ruins soil)
      – erosion (soil loss through duststorms &/or future rainfall events)
      – degrades remaining topsoil
      – mass habitat loss
      Oh how I weep for this country!

      Reply
  72. ‘How California’s sprawl got in the way of a strong climate bill’

    …The original version of the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act, passed by the state Senate and backed by Gov. Jerry Brown (D), set three goals to be achieved by the year 2030: cut the state’s gasoline consumption by 50 percent, require electric utilities to generate 50 percent of their power from renewables, and make buildings 50 percent more energy efficient. Unfortunately, lawmakers had to drop the gasoline provision,

    …California is particularly susceptible to the influence of the oil industry because the state is home to many oil wells and refineries…

    . A 2014 report by the ACCE Institute and Common Cause, entitled “Big Oil Floods the Capitol: How California’s Oil Companies Funnel Funds into the Legislature,” spelled out just how much:

    Key members of Big Oil are some of the largest corporations in all of California, including Chevron, Exxon, Aera Energy and Occidental Petroleum. And these big corporations spend big time. Over the past 15 years, Big Oil spent a whopping $143.3 million on political candidates and campaigns. That’s nearly $10 million per year. …

    Big Oil employs high profile, high powered lobbyists to ensure their interests are represented. In the past 15 years, the price tag for these lobbyists has totaled $123.6 million. In 2013-2014 alone, the top lobbyist employer, Western States Petroleum Association, spent $4.7 million.
    http://grist.org/climate-energy/how-californias-sprawl-got-in-the-way-of-a-strong-climate-bill/

    Reply
  73. Maria

     /  September 18, 2015

    Nitrogen pollution. VW caught cheating with their diesel fleet from ’09-’15.

    WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Friday directed Volkswagen to recall nearly a half million cars from the road, saying the German automaker used software intentionally designed to circumvent environmental standards for reducing smog.

    The Environmental Protection Agency issued the company a notice of violation and accused the company of breaking the law by installing software known as a “defeat device” in 4-cylinder Volkswagen and Audi vehicles from model years 2009-15. The device is programmed to detect when the car is undergoing official emissions testing, and to only turn on full emissions control systems during that testing. Those controls are turned off during normal driving situations, when the vehicles pollute far more heavily than reported by the manufacturer, the E.P.A. said.

    And…….

    The software was designed to conceal the cars’ emissions of the pollutant nitrogen oxide, which contributes to the creation of ozone and smog. The pollutants are linked to a range of health problems, including asthma attacks and other respiratory diseases.

    The state of California has issued a separate notice of violation to the company. California, the E.P.A. and the Justice Department are working together on an investigation of the allegations.

    The allegations cover roughly 482,000 diesel passenger cars sold in the United States since 2009.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/19/business/volkswagen-is-ordered-to-recall-nearly-500000-vehicles-over-emissions-software.html?_r=0

    Reply
  74. Colorado Bob

     /  September 18, 2015

    Look at Our Record-Breaking Global Heat Wave In One Terrifying Chart

    http://gizmodo.com/look-at-our-record-breaking-global-heat-wave-in-one-ter-1731672308

    They also posted the usual world map NOAA does every month, and month after month that cold spot Southeast of Greenland never moves, in fact it looks a bit larger this month.
    That thing is really creepy.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  September 18, 2015

      This chart which is made from NOAA data spells it out even better. The green line is 2015 so far. The red lines are the six warmest years in history: 2014, 2010, 2013, 2005, 2009, 1998.

      Reply
    • This is a good presentation of some rather ugly data.

      Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  September 19, 2015

      I wish the cold spot would give us all a break.

      It’s really distracting me when I look at the anomaly maps. I guess the folks on the West Coast of the US have been staring at the RRR, in exactly the same way. It’s like a visible sword of Damocles, and it’s not good when it’s pointing straight at you.

      How bizarre to possibly freeze, when almost everywhere else is burning up.

      Reply
  75. Maria

     /  September 18, 2015

    Those charts are breathtaking, CB.

    Here’s another chart re:the SSTs. Does it look like the blob is cooling? Has cooled?

    Reply
  76. Colorado Bob

     /  September 18, 2015

    There was 5 day sandstorm in the Mideast , , here’s day two, what’s interesting is the wind came from the Northeast, the exact opposite of prevailing winds.
    It was the worst sandstorm since the founding of Israel in 1948, then it hailed in the north, and rained like hell Negev Desert.

    Sandstorm chokes Mideast for second day
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/09/08/sandstorm-blankets-middle-east/71904460/

    I looked at more recent articles about this , but they are infested with the second coming bullshit. There Lance Modis images of this event/

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  September 18, 2015

      Dust storm in the Middle East

      Day 3 –
      Terra/MODIS
      2015/252
      09/09/2015
      08:50 UTC

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  September 18, 2015

        This would be a feedback loop, drought drives war, war drives drought. There are no farmers where that sand came from.

        Reply
    • ” the exact opposite of prevailing winds.” We’ve heard this said frequently in the past many months — wildfires and downed trees. etc.

      Reply
  77. – Hey Jack Nicholson (Chinatown), you better put a Band-aid on your nose and go see it for yourself.

    latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-aqueduct-drought-20150514

    L.A. getting no Owens Valley runoff for first time since 1913

    For the first time since 1913 — when Department of Water and Power chief architect William Mulholland opened the waterway with the words, “There it is. Take it!” — the 233-mile Los Angeles Aqueduct has stopped carrying Owens Valley runoff to Los Angeles.

    As severe drought continues to grip California, the DWP confirmed Thursday that it had dammed the aqueduct at Owens Lake in order to conserve meager Eastern Sierra snow runoff.

    “That’s how bad this drought is,” said LADWP Spokeswoman Amanda Parsons. “We’ve never kept the water in the valley before. This is unprecedented.”

    Jack Nicholson in Chinatown
    – patrickcoopertailoring.com/blog/4587216202/The-Greatest-Suits-In-Film

    Reply
  78. Colorado Bob

     /  September 18, 2015

    Today 12:54 pm
    What Exxon Knew About Climate Change

    Wednesday morning, journalists at InsideClimate News, a Web site that has won the Pulitzer Prize for its reporting on oil spills, published the first installment of a multi-part exposé that will be appearing over the next month. The documents they have compiled and the interviews they have conducted with retired employees and officials show that, as early as 1977, Exxon (now ExxonMobil, one of the world’s largest oil companies) knew that its main product would heat up the planet disastrously. This did not prevent the company from then spending decades helping to organize the campaigns of disinformation and denial that have slowed—perhaps fatally—the planet’s response to global warming.

    http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/what-exxon-knew-about-climate-change

    Reply
    • – Now let’s see — if corporations now have ‘people’ rights, and crimes against humanity and nature have taken place. Is there not a suitable punishment upon their very person-hood for these crimes
      Can justice ‘veritas aequitas’ be served here?

      -Veritas aequitas is Latin for truth and justice and is a motto that stands for personal honor and truth in actions and justice, regardless of the circumstances.

      – yourdictionary.com/veritas-aequitas

      Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  September 18, 2015

      Al Gore is fly on the butt of ExxonMobil.

      Reply
  79. – Robert, how are you?🙂

    Reply
  80. Reply
  81. Reply
  82. Colorado Bob

     /  September 18, 2015

    By 1977, an Exxon senior scientist named James Black was, according to his own notes, able to tell the company’s management committee that there was “general scientific agreement” that what was then called the greenhouse effect was most likely caused by man-made CO2; a year later, speaking to an even wider audience inside the company, he said that research indicated that if we doubled the amount of carbon dioxide in the planet’s atmosphere, we would increase temperatures two to three degrees Celsius. That’s just about where the scientific consensus lies to this day. “Present thinking,” Black wrote in summary, “holds that man has a time window of five to ten years before the need for hard decisions regarding changes in energy strategies might become critical.”

    http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/what-exxon-knew-about-climate-change

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  September 18, 2015

      This is real power.

      Reply
    • Syd Bridges

       /  September 19, 2015

      Well, that’s a surprise! Yet another leaf out of the Tobacco Liars playbook. IIRC, it was in 1959 that the chief statistician for one of the British tobacco companies confirmed the work of Hill and Doll on smoking and lung cancer and threatened to resign unless they fessed up. Naturally, they let him resign. I quite like the idea that, as corporations are now people, they should be imprisoned and ruinously fined for outrageous mendacity, which causes the deaths of millions, or in Big Oil’s case, the destruction of most of the biosphere.

      Reply
      • Wharf Rat

         /  September 19, 2015

        The denial industry has committed crimes against humanity. Punishment needs to go beyond monetary damages, and jail just isn’t satisfying enuf for me, and maybe
        for the kids who will grow up in that world. I’d like to see many of the perps spend the rest of their days in stocks, appearing (or re-appearing) for one day in each town in the country. Some small portion of the fines should cover the cost of tomatoes for the crowd.

        Rat

        Reply
    • And back then the news media were telling us that we were falling headlong into a new ice age. And it was not hard to believe them, in fact hard not to believe them, because they interviewed the minority of scientists who hypothesized that, and because Boston and New York Harbors had ice floes in them.

      Can we convict ExxonMobil — and the corporate media — of Crimes against Humanity, and Crimes against Nature, and sentence them to corporate death?

      Reblogging your comment on Fin des Voies Rapides (If Peak Oil Were No Object) with the above as my comment.

      Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  September 20, 2015

        An interesting comment on a Guardian article re CO2 and Global warming being discussed by undergrads back in the 60’s. Plus another good comment following

        http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/sep/18/mining-debate-caught-between-anti-coal-and-climate-denial-bhp-coal-boss

        http://discussion.theguardian.com/comment-permalink/59790175

        ” ohnonotagainagain
        1d ago

        I repeat my contribution to the debate on coal b egan recently by the Minerals Council;

        During my time at University in UK doing geology in the late 1960’s one of our visiting lecturers during field trips was a guy called Norm Shackleton, a very personable chap that we all became firm friends with. We discussed his research topic which was trying to discover what triggered the fluctuating ice-ages of the past 1 million years. He spent as further decade on this but in 1976 published a ground-breaking paper titled “Variations in the Earth’s Orbit: Pacemaker of the Ice Ages”. Science 194 (4270): 1121–1132. • Hays, J. D.; Imbrie, J.; Shackleton, N. J. (1976).
        Having resolved the mechanisms that caused ice-ages (CO2, and O16/18 ratios content in the atmosphere), the authors also realised that we were storing up a real problem for ourselves. In their conclusions they stated;
        Future climate.
        Having presented evidence that major changes in past climate were associated with variations in the geometry of the earth’s orbit, we should be able to predict the trend of future climate. Such forecasts must be qualified in two ways. First, they apply only to the natural component of future climatic trends-and not to such anthropogenic effects as those due to the burning of fossil fuels.
        This reference to anthropogenic burning of fossil fuels seems almost understated these days but then it was assumed that the overwhelming case made by science would be acted on. This whole question was discussed at undergraduate level earlier in the 1960’s and resolved scientifically in 1976. . And yet still we have this abject nonsense for the Minerals Council.
        And now we can add the Name Henry to this abject nonsense. The science has been settled for decades, and Henry’s self-serving argument is complete anti common-sense rubbish”

        ” rockyrex ohnonotagainagain
        18h ago

        Very interesting.
        ‘Back in the day’, my palaeontology lecturer was Russell Coope.
        He made a shocking discovery in the 1950s……
        “I happened, entirely by accident, to visit a Quaternary gravel pit in which were exposed the spectacular bones of mammoth, woolly rhinoceros and bison.
        Looking at their sediment matrix I was amazed to find enormous numbers of equally spectacular, if somewhat smaller, insect remains.
        I was hooked instantly!
        Particularly exciting to me was the fact that these insect fossils showed that Quaternary climates had changed abruptly.
        Thus, at times, fully glacial climates gave place to temperate interglacial conditions within the span of one human lifetime.”
        This was the first discovery of evidence that the climate can change really quickly.
        Russell Coope died in 2011, but gave an interview that year in which he said……

        “We are messing with the trigger that causes climate change….the outcome is likely to be ferocious.”

        Reply
      • Leland Palmer

         /  September 22, 2015

        Hi Ed-M

        Can we sentence ExxonMobil and their ilk to corporate death?

        Sure, the legal mechanisms to do that exist, I think. One way to do that would be to charge them for climate damages. Since the damage they are doing is many times the benefit from fossil fuel usage, this would bankrupt them. Then, we would have to follow the chain of profit back to the investors that have profited from global warming, and get their money, too.

        But these people are immensely powerful, on an international level. Precautions would have to be put in place to prevent capital flight overseas. Chances are, the huge banks like JPMorgan Chase that have profited from fossil fuels, traditionally controlled by the Rockefeller family (just like ExxonMobil) could crash the stock market in retaliation.

        I think the President could also declare a state of emergency and just seize their assets. This might be overturned by the courts – the Roberts Supreme Court would likely overturn something like that in a heartbeat.

        To limit climate damage, the government could seize the power plants through eminent domain, I think, and then pay the investors for them. We could afford this, their total market value is affordable, I think.

        Reply
        • And the Roberts Court might put the schnitz on eminent domain taking of the power plants, too. Looks to me that we might need a Green Fascist or a Communist government. of course that’s a pipe dream, since these same corporations have immense ownership power over the news media.

        • Points up urgent need to win 2016 election, create chance of overturning Roberts Court via new justices.

  83. Reply
  84. – “Frackademia” ‘Me-thane or your-thane?

    Boulder Weekly “Frackademia” Investigation Reveals University of Colorado for Sale to Oil and Gas Industry

    Boulder Weekly, a Boulder, Colorado alternative weekly newspaper, has published a 10,000 word ”frackademia” investigation in a special edition of the newspaper.

    The long-form investigation by Joel Dyer — based on thousands of documents obtained by Greenpeace USA — exposes the ongoing partnership between the University of Colorado-Boulder’s Leeds School of Business and the Common Sense Policy Roundtable (CSPR), the latter an oil and gas industry front group. The investigation reveals connections to Koch Industries, American Petroleum Institute, and Encana, among others.

    http://desmogblog.com/2015/09/17/boulder-weekly-frackademia-investigation-university-colorado-for-sale

    Reply
    • Syd Bridges

       /  September 19, 2015

      We saw in the financial crises and scandals of the late 1990s and the crash of 2007 just what business schools really teach. The only morality is the bottom line. So why not whore to frackers? They’ve whored to everyone else.

      Reply
  85. Maria

     /  September 18, 2015

    Now, this is super cool. A long piece in WaPo describing another paper that shows the warming hiatus never happened. Apart from the different statistical models used, they also did a “blind expert test.” Bravo, dear scientists. They told the economists who were asked to look at the data that they were looking at agricultural stats…LOL..

    The paper also describes a separate experiment that lead author Stephan Lewandowsky, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Bristol, says is “the most exciting part.” The researchers subjected the idea of a warming pause to something called a blind expert test.

    They presented the climate data to a group of 25 professional economists, but told them that the data represented world agricultural output, not temperature. They did this to prevent any personal biases the economists might have, essentially “dressing up the data as something different that doesn’t have any political or emotional connotations,” Lewandowsky says.

    They then asked the economists whether a pause in output had occurred in the period after 1998. The experts rejected this idea, and some even agreed that such a statement was “fraudulent.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/09/17/new-statistical-studies-dismantle-the-notion-of-a-global-warming-pause/?postshare=4711442613173706

    Reply
  86. Maria

     /  September 18, 2015

    Pertinent to the topic of this post. Re: fires. A team out of UC Davis wants more prescribed burns, restoration of burned areas, etc…at this point current fire suppression is “stealing” money from departments within the US Forest Service that could be used to study fire, and how to suppress future fires.

    “What we’ve done over the last 100 years plus with fire suppression in these frequent fire forests and landscapes is dramatically altered them and consequently their behavior,” Franklin said. “We were going to have a ‘come to Jesus’ time one way or another, but climate change of course is almost certainly exacerbating what’s going on.”

    https://news.vice.com/article/heres-how-insane-this-years-fire-season-has-been?utm_source=vicenewstwitter

    Reply
  87. Maria

     /  September 18, 2015

    Here’s an editorial from the Nature Conservancy re: the above fire paper. Worth the read for those living in CA..

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/349/6254/1263.full

    Reply
  88. labmonkey2

     /  September 18, 2015

    spotted this link on Climatestate to an article in the Guardian on Indonesian executives being locked up for illegal fires (forest clearing) in the region. Setting precedent for our oil execs?


    Indonesian police arrested seven corporate executives on Wednesday in connection with illegal forest fires across Sumatra and Kalimantan, as part of a wide-ranging effort to stop the haze crisis.

    Suspects included a senior executive from Bumi Mekar Hijau, a unit of Singapore-based Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), which is also Indonesia’s largest pulp and paper producer.

    The national impetus includes deploying more police to help with firefighting and handling probes against culprits, and increasing cloud-seeding sorties to douse the blazes, especially those burning on dry peatlands.

    These carbon-rich peatlands produce the thick haze that has blanketed many parts of Indonesia, as well as neighbours Malaysia and Singapore in recent weeks, bringing the air quality down to unhealthy and sometimes hazardous levels.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/sep/18/indonesia-arrests-seven-company-executives-for-illegal-forest-fires

    Another collateral effect of El Nino.

    Reply
  89. Colorado Bob

     /  September 19, 2015

    Larry made a compkete if a guuffet. down to the mm/

    Reply
  90. Maria

     /  September 19, 2015

    OT: The Ig Nobles are out. Fun stuff. Love this idea.

    http://www.improbable.com/ig/winners/#ig2015

    “”””Ig Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Elena Bodnar demonstrates her invention (a brassiere that can quickly convert into a pair of protective face masks) assisted by Nobel laureates Wolfgang Ketterle (left), Orhan Pamuk, and Paul Krugman (right). Photo credit: Alexey Eliseev, 2009 Ig Nobel Ceremony””””” fun pic of this in the link..

    “”””””BIOLOGY PRIZE — Bruno Grossi, Omar Larach, Mauricio Canals, Rodrigo A. Vásquez [CHILE], José Iriarte-Díaz [CHILE, USA], for observing that when you attach a weighted stick to the rear end of a chicken, the chicken then walks in a manner similar to that in which dinosaurs are thought to have walked.
    REFERENCE: “Walking Like Dinosaurs: Chickens with Artificial Tails Provide Clues about Non-Avian Theropod Locomotion,” Bruno Grossi, José Iriarte-Díaz, Omar Larach, Mauricio Canals, Rodrigo A. Vásquez, PLoS ONE, vol. 9, no. 2, 2014, e88458. [NOTE: The paper is accompanied by a video.>””””””””

    Reply
  91. Abel Adamski

     /  September 19, 2015

    And a very interesting article with several layers and extremely informative comments

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-18/sutton-iraqs-political-leaders-are-being-made-to-feel-the-heat/6786654

    “raqis of every creed, sect and political philosophy are defying security forces, Daesh and the sweltering heat to protest against poverty, unemployment and a venal political elite, writes Jacky Sutton.

    It’s been a long, hot summer in Iraq, and as the Islamic year draws to a close, protesters in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square are preparing for a final mass demonstration on September 18 before Eid and the holy month of Muharram.”
    ………..
    They have already forced drastic political concessions from prime minister Haider al-Abadi, which include a pledge to reform Iraq’s sectarian quota system that is held to be partly responsible for facilitating the rise of Daesh in the Sunni heartlands of the west of the country.

    For the last few weeks, Iraqis of every creed, sect and political philosophy have been defying security forces, Daesh and the sweltering heat to take to the streets and protest against rampant corruption and the sclerotic political system imposed by the US-backed coalition in 2003 in the name of democratic change.

    Iraqis have endured a decade and more of squandered opportunities, raised and dashed expectations, and the humiliation of seeing their country run by craven politicians answering to paymasters as far apart ideologically as Washington and Tehran – with Ankara, Riyadh and Damascus thrown into the mix for good measure.

    They are Sunni, Shia, Kurdish, Yazidi, Christian, Turkmen, Shabak – men and women. Iraq’s glorious heterogeneity is out there defying the Daesh narrative of bleak sectarian hegemony and united in anger and frustration against poverty, unemployment and a venal political elite.

    Iraq’s second “Arab Spring” started as a reaction to the death of Muntazar al-Hilfi, a young student from Basra who was shot dead in mid-July by security forces at a peaceful demonstration.

    The temperatures this year have topped 50 degrees Celsius and, despite billions of dollars being poured into infrastructure over the last 12 years, OPEC’s second biggest oil producer can’t provide the power to keep generators running. When it gets too hot, the government simply calls a holiday and schools and offices shut down

    Read the comments and comprehend the rapaciousness and psychopathic obsessive cruelty of those who are distorting reality and funding the Republicans and the Deniers

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  September 19, 2015

      One of the comments
      “‘Iraq Reconstruction’ is the greatest fraud in US History.

      American authorities have started to investigate, in 2009, the alleged role of senior military officers in the misuse of $125bn in a US -directed effort to reconstruct Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein. The exact sum missing may never be clear, but a report by the US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) suggests it may exceed $50bn, making it an even bigger theft than Bernard Madoff’s notorious Ponzi scheme.

      “I believe the real looting of Iraq after the invasion was by US officials and contractors, and not by people from the slums of Baghdad,” said one US businessman active in Iraq since 2003.
      In one case, auditors working for SIGIR discovered that $57.8m was sent in “pallet upon pallet of hundred-dollar bills” to the US comptroller for south-central Iraq, Robert J Stein Jr, who had himself photographed standing with the mound of money. He is among the few US officials who were in Iraq to be convicted of fraud and money-laundering.

      Despite the vast sums expended on rebuilding by the US since 2003, there have been no cranes visible on the Baghdad skyline except those at work building a new US embassy and others rusting beside a half-built giant mosque that Saddam was constructing when he was overthrown

      Reply
    • – I like the term: “sclerotic political system”.

      Reply
  92. – The cost of meat eaters in America:

    JAMESTOWN, N.D. (AP) — Corn and soybeans may be good for cattle and humans — but not bees.

    The insects prefer plants with lots of pollen and nectar, and in this part of the country it’s become increasingly difficult for them to find what they need to stay healthy.
    Advertisement

    Good times in agriculture have led farmers to roll land out of conservation programs and into crops. It’s a shifting landscape that can be seen across eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota, and bees are paying the price, Minnesota Public Radio News reported.

    The bees are potentially being squeezed out of some of those areas that are being converted from pasture or fallow land or hay land to row crops,” said Matthew Smart, a researcher with the U.S. Geological Survey.

    http://www.mitchellrepublic.com/news/state/3842950-bees-feel-squeeze-cropland-consumes-habitat

    Reply
  93. Kevin Jones

     /  September 19, 2015

    Cryosphere Today showing ANTARCTIC sea ice area at more than 500,000 sq. km. below base line. Was 2,000,000 sq. km. above at this time last year…..

    Reply
  94. – Nitrogen N2 illustrated “Environmental Issues in Atmospheric Chemistry” on Youtube
    Brandon Canfield

    N = 78% of atmosphere as we see examples and impacts of chronic atmospheric N deposition. The first 3 min is this type of info.

    It would appear that due to fossil fuel combustions the atmosphere is supersaturated with N.

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  September 19, 2015

      dtlange: N2 is an extremely abundant and stable molecule. It gives our atmosphere necessary mass. Lightning , hot fires, internal combustion and a few bacteria break it down into various ‘NOX’. NO, N2O. Some of this ‘available’ nitrogen is necessary to life on earth. As in the case of everything, however, too much is too much. This is my understanding….. Keep up the good observations of what too much does!

      Reply
  95. Kevin Jones

     /  September 19, 2015

    “We have only felt the warming of half the greenhouse gasses up there.”
    James Hansen, recently quoted in TruthOut. This strikes me as not only new, but supporting the reading of many of us. And, of course, means Goodbye 2C…… Thanks, Exxon. You who knew you would drown NYC….. as early as 1977. Can any candidate, or their AG spell T R E A S O N ? Shouldn’t any Republican used car dealer in low lying Staten Island be interested?

    Reply
    • Syd Bridges

       /  September 19, 2015

      I have long thought that this is the case, Kevin. After all, what is the equilibrium time for a sudden jump in the Earth’s CO2 from say, 310 ppm, which I suspect it was when I was born in 1950, to 400 ppm, which it is now? I would guess it is of the order of several decades at least. So if we had stopped in 1988, I think we would still have ended up with 1 deg C, perhaps in 20 years time. Now, even if we stopped tomorrow, we probably have a future with at least 2 deg C. That would give a sensitivity of about 4 deg C per CO2 doubling, which is by no means at the top of the range. We can thank Exxon-Mobil and their ilk for the second degree and, no doubt, more to come after.

      But my country, the UK, has had a poor summer and was, with western Russia, one of the two areas mentioned by NOAA as being colder than average in August. This is connected to the cold spot south of Greenland. Clearly, in the eyes of David “empty suit” Cameron, this can have nothing to do with melting of the GIS, and he can frack us up the Wazoo. I’m not sure that “frack” is quite the right word, but it’s fairly close.

      Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  September 19, 2015

        Syd Bridges: Really appreciate your thoughts. Last week, away from my collection of books, papers & internet, I was musing upon some remembered data: CO2 20,000 YBP. (years before [pre-industrial] present) 180 ppm. 150 years ago: 280 ppm. Antarctic ice cores reveal a 9C local temperature rise, estimated to be a 4-5C global average rise. Plus some 400 feet (120 meters) sea level rise. 180 to 280 is not a doubling. Also AVERAGE CO2 for the past 10 or so glaciations/inter-glacials has been 220. We are now at 400ppm, not counting the other culprits, CH4, N2O, halocarbons, O3, and of course increased highly variable in time & space H2O in its’ gas phase. With these we are now approaching 500 ppm CO2 equivalence. There remains the ‘fly in the ointment’ of cooling aerosols which accordint to Hansen still have large error bars…. I am Nervous….. p.s. I also was born smack dab in the middle of that terrific century: 1950. According to my ‘backdating’ of Keeling’s Curve we were at 310 1/2 ppm! ‘:)’

        Reply
    • Save for the politicians and / or their AGs who are in the back pockets of ExxonMobil, Koch Industries, Royal Dutch Shell, ChevronTexaco, ConocoPhillips, etc. ARREST THEM ALL.

      Reply
  96. – Check out the extremely non-essential water use for landscaping etc with the dry desert mountains for a metric.

    As California drought drags on, hard choices lie ahead
    desertsun.com/story/news/environment/water-energy

    Reply
    • PHOTO CREDIT: Homes and grassy fairways cover a swath of southern La Quinta on April 15, 2015. Jay Calderon/The Desert Sun

      Reply
    • – MEANWHILE NOT FAR AWAY…

      The California Report
      Hundreds of Millions in Drought Relief Failing to Reach Many Californians

      The next time you bring home a case of those little 16-ounce bottles of water, imagine living out of them: pouring a little out every time you wash a dish and dumping them into buckets to shower or flush the toilet.

      That’s what Maria Medina’s family has done since their well went dry 18 months ago.

      “I use just a little bit of water,” Medina explains in Spanish as she trickles water over a dirty plate. “It takes about half of one of these bottles to wash a single dish. I have to use enough water to get the soap off.”

      Medina, her husband and two children live in Okieville, a cluster of ramshackle houses and trailer homes in rural Tulare County. Originally settled by Dust Bowl migrants, the unincorporated community is now home to mostly Mexican farmworkers and their families. Because of the drought, many of them have seen their wells slow to a trickle — or go completely dry.

      “A year and a half and no water. It’s really hard,” sighs Medina. “Okieville used to be such a pretty place. I had grass. Now I just have a poor dog chained up to a dead tree. The situation just feels so impossible.”

      http://ww2.kqed.org/news/2015/09/19/hundreds-of-millions-in-drought-relief-failing-to-reach-many-californians

      Reply
    • – and the evaporation of more moisture into the atmosphere… All for what?

      Reply
  97. Reply
  98. – Acid rain “MADE IN THE USA” remediation attempts for salmon.

    Groups use lime to help restore salmon to river

    Twenty-five years ago, the Clean Air Act turned down the exhaust fumes coming from south of the border.

    The sweeping amendments passed in 1990 to the American legislation sought to address acid rain, ozone depletion and toxic air emissions resulting from industry, primarily those burning fossil fuels.

    And it was largely successful; acid rain-causing emissions have been reduced by upwards of 85 per cent in the United States, Eddie Halfyard, a research scientist at the University of Windsor, said Wednesday.

    Yet high levels of acidity continue to be one of the main factors keeping salmon out of all but a handful of the 65 rivers on this province’s Eastern Shore in which the fish used to spawn.

    “When all that acid rain fell really heavy through the ’80s, it stripped the soil of compounds like calcium and magnesium that would buffer its effects,”
    http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1311524-groups-use-lime-to-help-restore-salmon-to-river

    Reply
  99. wili

     /  September 20, 2015

    If anyone has access to this article and has the mathematics chops to evaluate their statistics, I would sure appreciate knowing what you think of their use of ‘p values.’ Are they playing fast and loose with them, essentially cherry picking what constitutes ‘statistically significant’ to come to the conclusion they intend (as a mathematician friend of mine claims). I’d love a second opinion. The question at hand is whether the drought that contributed to the Syrian conflict had GW ‘fingerprints’ on it. Thanks ahead of time.

    Reply
  100. rustj2015

     /  September 20, 2015

    A bit of the old call to show up for a cause:

    We need people to join us on the 25 [September 25] not so much to support us but to make a strong statement to FERC, and all those who will learn of our action, about the need for FERC to heed our demand: No New Permits for Fossil Fuel Infrastructure.

    http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/09/september-25-at-ferc/#more-59841

    Reply
  101. Abel Adamski

     /  September 20, 2015

    More on the hidden costs of Fossil Fuel
    http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-19/taxpayers-may-foot-bill-for-mine-rehabilitation/6787954

    Dirty tricks department.
    A closed mine has to be rehabilitated at major cost by the miner.
    Solution, don’t close it, mothball it for eternity

    Reply
  102. Well Mr Scribbler, it looks like your blog has become quite the ‘news service’ via contributions. Would be interested to know your webstats now! (lifeisnotanerror)

    Reply
  103. June

     /  September 20, 2015

    Yet more bad news for the bees, and another impact of ozone pollution.

    Flowers don’t smell so sweet, thanks to ozone pollution.

    http://news.sciencemag.org/climate/2015/09/flowers-don-t-smell-so-sweet-thanks-ozone-pollution

    Reply
  104. rustj2015

     /  September 20, 2015

    There is a proposal to what is being revealed about the climate science affirmed by the oil companies:
    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2015/09/19/letter-to-president-obama-investigate-deniers-under-rico/

    The responses of deniers there appear to follow conditions and environments carefully presented in a recent essay by Henry Giroux, “Donald Trump and the Ghosts of Totalitarianism”.

    This is a indication by Giroux of what the most powerful, the “official” deniers have done:

    “As Richard Hofstadter, Noam Chomsky, and Susan Jacoby have made clear ignorance is not simply about the absence of knowledge, it is a kind of ideological sandstorm in which reason gives way to emotion, and a willful stupidity spreads through the culture as part of a political project that both infantilizes and depoliticizes the general public.”

    Reply
  105. “… aromas and flavours resembling smoked meat, disinfectant, leather, salami and ashtrays” .

    – Put under the heading of: ‘Particulate fallout and deposition from all aerosol sources with a focus on fossil fuel and traffic dust sources’. For weird and powerful and underappreciated chemical reactions take place on all biota exposed to the above.

    ‘ California wildfires threaten to make local wine ‘unpalatable’

    Multibillion-dollar industry at risk as state grapples with tens of thousands of acres of fire whose smoke could ‘infuse’ grape skin

    …Concern in Napa is focused on how the grapes interact with the billows of smoke from the massive Rocky fire in neighboring Lake County.

    … Australia’s Department of Agriculture and Food provides a warning: it previously investigated the effect smoke has on grape and wine production after the country was hit with large wildfires in 2003 near Canberra.

    It was not positive news for the industry. “Wines made from grapes exposed to smoke during sensitive growth stages can exhibit aromas and flavours resembling smoked meat, disinfectant, leather, salami and ashtrays,” said a report. It noted that when “unfavourable smoke characteristics are detected by consumers at high concentrations”, the wines could be “unpalatable”.

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/aug/05/california-wildfires-wine-industry

    Reply
  106. Maria

     /  September 20, 2015

    I listened to the Union of Concerned Scientists webinar(posted upthread). I payed most attention to Christiana Figueres.

    My overall sense is that she was quite self-restrained, trying to point out the positive developments of what we now know will be disappointing targets by the major countries.

    Based on those targets: 5 Gigatons of CO2 by 2030 will be “removed” from the atmosphere vs. BAU.

    15 Gigatons by 2030 would be needed to “get us on the pathway to 2C.”

    Emphasized changes we need for C02 will happen over decades—ouch. Again, she did not sound pleased. Restrained is the only word that comes to mind.

    She also described how “non-state actors” are and will continue to be essential drivers of changes—i.e: cities, states, provinces, business, insurance companies—“out of self interest” and “city leaders who have already implemented changes are enthusiastic because they are seeing the positive effects close up”. Serving as models for other “non-state actors.”

    What she describes as a major challenge for the Dec. meeting is acquiring the funding that developing countries will need—they are being asked to increase economic growth while keeping their carbon footprint in check. “This is the first time in history that this is being asked of humans. These countries will be a test case/laboratory for the rest of the world.”

    Fossil fuel companies? It’s her opinion that they are at a fork in the road. A period of self-reflection. Do they want to continue being part of the problem? Or do they want to become part of the solution?

    She was quite enthusiastic and heartened about the convergence of what she described as “3 layers of the imperative coming together and aligning.” The moral(Pope and other faith traditions)+ scientists+ economic interests.

    It was the “it will take decades” that most startled me, I think.

    Reply
  107. – USA West

    Bay Area heat wave: Advisory issued as temperatures soar
    – mercurynews.com/my-town/ci_28846567/bay-area-heat-wave-advisory

    [CC redux]: “… It’s that weak offshore flow that we get with the intense high pressure,” Benjamin said. “It’s suppressing the marine level, so we aren’t getting the onshore cooling effect.”
    …Gilroy and Mountain View, Benjamin said, where temperatures were forecast to be 105 degrees and 99, respectively.

    In Santa Cruz, the temperature was expected to reach 98 degrees, five off the record-high mark set in 1939. It was expected to be slightly cooler in San Francisco, where the forecast high of 93 was four degrees off the mark also set in 1939.

    The temperature was forecast to reach 96 degrees in San Jose, while Oakland was expected to reach 95 degrees. Further inland, Livermore was expected to see 103 degrees.

    ###

    Nevada 3-day drought summit starts Monday
    – reviewjournal.com/news/nevada/nevada-3-day-drought-summit-starts-monday

    CARSON CITY — Water, the lack of it and how the driest state in the nation can best stretch every last drop will be the focus of a three-day drought summit that convenes Monday in Carson City.

    It’s the penultimate event before a panel convened by Gov. Brian Sandoval meets Sept. 28 to narrow down the voluminous testimony gathered over the past several months and identify priorities and recommendations to be included in a report due Nov. 1.

    Reply
  108. – Chronic hot-spot SE Greenland: 092015

    Reply
  109. glacier calving aerial, Qajuutaap Sermia, South Greenland
    Jason Box Published on Sep 13, 2015

    lucky timing for a moderate calving event. The calving front is higher than 100 m!

    Reply
  110. – Algae PNW

    Death of Whales in British Colombia Linked to Toxic Algae

    The alarming phenomenon of the death of two dozen whales that washed up on the shores of British Colombia and Alaska can now be traced to toxic algae. Subsequent studies showed that the Pacific Ocean has a patch of water that is warmer than normal which helped the toxic algae flourish and bloom.

    A University of British Colombia professor, Andres Trites said that these types of algae contained a neurotoxin that was earlier responsible for poisoning small fish. These small fishes are typically food for the whales. Data showed that since May 2015, 30 sea creatures, including 11 fin whales, 1 gray whale, 14 humpbacks, and 4 unidentified cetaceans have been found dead near Alaska’s shores. In British Colombia alone, 4 humpback whales were found dead since August.

    One of the dead Whales in the gulf of Alaska area. Scientists have discovered that the deaths are due to the toxic algae.

    Reply
  111. Colorado Bob

     /  September 20, 2015

    25 Dead Walruses, Many Of Them Headless, Found On Alaska Shore

    Federal wildlife officials are investigating reports that 25 walruses were illegally shot and beheaded for their ivory off the coast of Alaska.

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/jasonwells/dead-headless-walruses-found-in-alaska#.cxj74oBOZ

    Reply
  112. Colorado Bob

     /  September 20, 2015

    An op-ed, which I try not to post, but this ties into the comments up-thread : It’s good one by Bill Curry.

    This is a climate-change nightmare: Droughts rage and fires burn, while evil ALEC and hapless Democrats dither

    http://www.salon.com/2015/09/20/this_is_a_climate_change_nightmare_droughts_rage_and_fires_burn_while_evil_alec_and_hapless_democrats_dither/

    Reply
  113. Colorado Bob

     /  September 20, 2015

    Another op-ed, which I try not to post, but this ties into the comments up-thread : It’s a good one too.

    Snyder, author of the new book “Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning,” draws parallels between the World War II and more-contemporary battles for resources.

    Snyder further argues that the strain of climate change denial common in American politics is reminiscent of Hitler.

    http://www.jpost.com/Business-and-Innovation/Environment/Climate-change-could-cause-second-Holocaust-says-Yale-historian-416683

    Reply
    • – Both items offer valid, mostly unspoken, points.

      However, I would add the societal norms and values of the ‘modern’ cultures that nourished the current destruction of the climate — and the geopolitical conquests via holocaust of the earlier times. Both have more in common than most of us would like to consider.

      One book in particular that I recommend is The Hitler Salute: On the Meaning of a Gesture by Tilman Allert.
      It is more than the ‘gesture’ but all behind it — what it allows, or promises vs what it forbids.
      Think: advertising, disengagement, avoidance of personal responsibility — and more.
      “We do it all for you”. “Total instant gratification — NOW”. “Road rage and traffic/air pollution deaths”.

      A thread I got from it is the impact of a culture that had much distrust for the ‘present’ — which post WW I Germany had.
      A consumer culture like ours is dissatisfied with the present — and demands more, better, tastier, shinier, and quick, quick, quick.

      The same with FF motorcar use — and the millions who use them to be somewhere where they are not — day or night. With total, or near total, disregard for the consequences for their community. This is socially acceptable, I might add.

      The Hitler Salute: On the Meaning of a Gesture

      Sometimes the smallest detail reveals the most about a culture. In The Hitler Salute, sociologist Tilman Allert uses the Nazi transformation of a simple human interaction–the greeting–to show how a shared gesture can usher in the conformity of an entire society. Made compulsory in 1933, the Hitler slaute developed into a daily reflex in a matter of months, and became the norm in schools, at work, among friends, and even at home. Adults denounced neighbors who refused to raise their arms, and children were given tiny Hitler dolls with movable right arms so they could practice the salute. And, of course, each use the greeting invested Hitler and his regime with a divine aura.

      The first examination of a phenomenon whose significance has long been underestimated, The Hitler Salute offers new insight into how the Third Reich’s rituals of consent paved the way for the wholesale erosion of social morality.
      ###

      Reply
      • – All you good folks who offer your right hand out in a gesture of trust and connection should think of the stiff upward outstretched right arm of a Hitler salute.

        Reply
      • Maria

         /  September 21, 2015

        DT—reading these posts re: Hitler and that era that you’ve been posting recently—my memory was tapped about the religious group, “The Family,” who hosts the annual National Prayer Breakfast. I read the Harper’s Magazine article by Jeff Sharlet back in 2008. The story didn’t go very far, unfortunately. He describes how the leadership applauds, uses as examples, people like Hitler, Osama Bin Laden while teaching for the US politicians and other people that they teach/mentor re: leadership skills. Spine-tingling since a who’s who of our politicians have been involved with them for decades…

        Reply
      • Maria

         /  September 21, 2015

        Gosh, I wish wordpress would let us edit our comments. I often don’t see my mistakes until they’re posted ;-(

        Reply
      • At heart is the society, and the individuals that make up the society, that allow or excuse evil.

        Reply
      • – I add Hannah Arendt’s theme (often attributed to her, anyway), “You (society) must judge.”

        – If you don’t judge — then anything goes. It will.
        And it will gain a life and energy of its own.
        And more — much more will perpetuate. As we have seen with this steady decline in our climate, etc.

        Ps I only bring up Nazi Germany’s conduct because of the many similarities and dynamics of what takes place now.

        Reply
  114. rayduray

     /  September 20, 2015

    Here’s a simple fact that I find quite stunning. And if it were understood by the public, the climate change denial cottage industry would have gotten absolutely no traction:

    Since 2000, Earth has broken monthly heat records 30 times and seasonal heat records 11 times. The last time a monthly cold record was broken was in 1916. Records go back to 1880.

    No new monthly cold records in a century! That’s amazing to me.

    Reply
  115. Colorado Bob

     /  September 20, 2015

    Dr. Jane Goodall talks climate change at Westconn

    DANBURY — World-renowned primatologist and conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall delved into topics from chimpanzees to climate change during a wide-ranging lecture Saturday at Western Connecticut State University.

    Some of the loudest applause came when she jabbed the audience about deniers of manmade global warming.

    “I’m not sure if there was a climate-change denier in this room,” Goodall said to laughter. “I doubt you would stand up and say so. I don’t suppose Donald Trump is in here, or Sarah Palin?”

    But she struck a more serious tone in talking about preserving earth’s resources.

    “Even the brightest chimpanzee pales in significance to the creature that has designed a rocket that went all the way up to Mars,” she said. “From it crept a little robot and that little robot went crawling along the surface of the red planet, taking photographs for us to see.

    “Isn’t it peculiar, that the most intellectual creature to ever walk planet earth is destroying its only home? It’s pretty clear from those pictures from Mars that it is not a hospitable environment. I don’t want to go to Mars, and I don’t image any of you do, either. We’ve got Planet Earth, and Planet Earth has finite resources. We are using them as though they will go on forever, and they won’t.”

    http://www.newstimes.com/news/article/Dr-Jane-Goodall-talks-climate-change-at-Westconn-6516474.php

    Reply
  116. Colorado Bob

     /  September 20, 2015

    Video explores climate change in Glacier Park

    A new video, “A Changing Landscape: Glacier’s Warming Climate,” explores current research on Glacier National Park’s melting glaciers and how the park’s ecosystem is responding to climate change.

    The video can be viewed on the Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center’s website , and Glacier Park’s website,

    http://www.dailyinterlake.com/members/video-explores-climate-change-in-glacier-park/article_e64f8998-5f34-11e5-b727-03669a61e051.html

    Both links are on the site, didn’t want to hit the spam filter with this one.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  September 20, 2015

      Around 1850, there were an estimated 150 glaciers within the present boundaries of the park.

      Today, only 25 glaciers remain and are predicted to disappear by 2030 if not earlier.

      Reply
    • – Montana’s disappearing glaciers vs corporate oil & gas leverage on places of higher(?) learning: (Donations like this have been a corrupting influence on colleges and universities for a very long time.)

      Oil field services company donates $1 million in software to Montana Tech

      September 02, 2015 2:44 pm

      The Montana Tech Geophysical Engineering Department has received a donation of oil and gas software — valued at $1 million — from Schlumberger, the world’s largest oil field services company, according to a news release from Tech.

      The software is in addition to other Schlumberger software that Tech has a license for use on campus.

      Both undergraduate and graduate students at Tech will have access to this software in their geophysics classes and for their projects.
      http://mtstandard.com/news/local/oil-field-services-company-donates-million-in-software-to-montana/article_ed8a8019-b3a1-5775-9a71-56fedc928910.html

      Reply
      • – More influences in Montana:

        Crowley Fleck PLLP Of The Montana Petroleum Association (MPA), Hosts Complimentary Energy Law Seminar In Billings

        Meeting Aug. 31, one day prior to the annual meeting of Montana Petroleum Association, Crowley Fleck PLLP held a seven-hour seminar focused on areas relating to oil, gas and mining law.

        Uriah Price, an Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Department associate, provided the more than 135 attendees with updates on case law from Montana and North Dakota pertaining to mineral and surface ownership, including pooling interests, royalties and probate. He serves on the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation’s Young Professionals Committee, and works in the Billings office, where his practice encompasses multiple areas of energy and natural resources law.

        Price delved into river issues related to navigable and non-navigable waterways, providing legal background and explanations on state and federal classification of waterways, particularly, the Yellowstone River. He also gave an update on the latest changes to flaring regulations passed by the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) aimed at dramatically curbing flared gas from oil wells in the Bakken.

        http://www.roundupweb.com/story/2015/09/16/energy/crowley-fleck-pllp-of-the-montana-petroleum-association-mpa-hosts-complimentary-energy-law-seminar-in-billings/6985.html

        Reply
  117. Colorado Bob

     /  September 20, 2015

    James Kirkcaldy (@Bradford_Indie) / September 20, 2015

    Well Mr Scribbler, it looks like your blog has become quite the ‘news service’ via contributions. Would be interested to know your webstats now! (lifeisnotanerror)
    Amen.
    It’s cracker jack research team , and I am proud of everyone who adds to it. It’s funny how good your dog looks went you keep all the fleas off it.

    Reply
  118. Colorado Bob

     /  September 20, 2015

    Warm temperatures have dominated much of the U.S. so far in September and many cities are on track to see a record warm September.

    If you have been enjoying the summer-like conditions then you may be in luck as much of the contiguous U.S. may have to wait a little longer than usual for fall to set in as there are indications this trend of above-average temperatures will persist into at least the beginning of October.

    http://www.wunderground.com/news/record-warm-september-into-warm-october

    Reply
    • Not here in New Orleans! Today we are enjoying deliciously salubrious autumn weather. Which means our winter this year will be wicked cold.

      Reply
  119. Colorado Bob

     /  September 20, 2015

    I watched “Moby Dick” recently , and it was most enlighting, man’s contempt of nature. knows no bounds.

    Reply
  120. Colorado Bob

     /  September 20, 2015

    “Call me Ishmael”.

    Reply
  121. Colorado Bob

     /  September 20, 2015

    The news tonight said 9 million acres have burned. , that’s a new record. New fires in California ………..

    MIDDLETOWN, Calif. — A new wildfire in Northern California has killed one person and destroyed or damaged 10 homes in Monterey County, a week after two other blazes killed five people and destroyed at least 1,400 homes, fire officials said Sunday.

    The blaze burning about 2 miles north of the community of Jamesburg quickly grew to 1,200-acres after starting Saturday afternoon, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/09/20/us/ap-us-california-wildfires.html?_r=0

    Reply
  122. Colorado Bob

     /  September 20, 2015

    A word about these fires.

    A Bic lighter, and a brick kiln are both fires. Once in the west fires were nearer to a Bic lighter.

    Now they burn like brick kilns. The difference is about 1,800 F degrees.

    This is how climate change is working. These fires kill everything under ground. . What was once here will never return , because it’s fungi are dead.

    That’s what these big fires are doing. , they are destroying the fungi.
    God knows where we go from here.

    Reply
  123. Colorado Bob

     /  September 20, 2015

    A denier will say, trees don’t fungus. Well they are really , really stupid.

    Reply
  124. Colorado Bob

     /  September 20, 2015

    Each tree needs a fungi group to feed it all over the world. .

    Reply
    • rustj2015

       /  September 21, 2015

      Yes:

      “In a discovery that inspires adjectives from staid scientists such as surprising, disconcerting, and alarming, it has just been determined that warming of drylands, which comprise 40 percent of Earth’s land surface, is now expected to initiate enormous amounts of carbon release. Such landscapes are normally protected by what is known as “biocrust”, described as “a combination of mosses and lichens that are in effect glued together by photosynthetic microorganisms called cyanobacteria, which provide structure to the landscape through the carbohydrate molecules they secrete.” On top of this structure grow lichens and mosses.

      “Damage from humans who trample this delicate covering underfoot and crush it driving off-road vehicles has long been a concern, but this research indicates global warming will add to dust storms, erosion, and yet another amplifying feedback to global warming.”
      from Wit’s End NJ 9/20/15

      Reply
  125. Colorado Bob

     /  September 20, 2015

    Washington (CNN)Donald Trump declined to use his Sunday show opportunities to clarify his thoughts on President Barack Obama’s birthplace and repeatedly avoided direct answers on the subject.

    The Chambers Brothers – Time Has Come Today

    Reply
  126. Colorado Bob

     /  September 21, 2015

    \It’s the best song from the ‘of it’s time.

    Reply
  127. Colorado Bob

     /  September 21, 2015

    Time has come today

    Reply
  128. Maria

     /  September 21, 2015

    A thread, high up in the comments. with Dave Person and his work with the Alexander Archipelago wolf and now with bears in Vermont—I’m reminded of learning about this bear and wolf in a Finland forest that are best buddies…

    Finnish Photographer Documents The Unusual Friendship Between A Bear And A Wolf

    rare-animal-friendship-gray-wolf-brown-bear-lassi-rautiainen-finland-91.jpg

    Reply
    • Dave Person

       /  September 22, 2015

      Hi Maria,
      This is a wonderful story and I cannot claim to have any explanation for the behavior. Who knows, these kind of circumstances may happen a lot in nature and we never see them. I do notice that the female wolf seems to be initiating most of the interactions. Her behavior appears to be solicitous of the bear. Did she bring food to the bear? Anyway, the bear appears to be young and it will be interesting to see how things develop when he reaches sexual maturity. He may be less tolerant of the wolf.

      dave

      Reply
      • Maria

         /  September 22, 2015

        Great catch, Dave–indeed, she is the one creating opportunity for them to interact….how poignant it will be when their brother/sister type relationship has to? transitions to each parting ways and creating families of their own. Who knows, maybe their families will understand and become part of this mysterious relationship. How easy/dangerous it is to anthropomorphize. I will send a note to the photographer and see if he keeps tabs on them.

        Reply
  129. Maria

     /  September 21, 2015

    Link to above photograph by Lassi Rautiainen:

    http://higherperspectives.com/unusual-friendship-of-a-bear-and-wolf/

    Reply
  130. redskylite

     /  September 21, 2015

    “divide et impera”

    Having listened to a few presidential hopefuls trying the old Divide and Rule gambit, especially on fossil fuels, implying that foreign imports were from nations who hate the U.S. (would that be Canada ?, who have never forgiven the U.S for that South Park episode, I wonder) I’m glad to see some international cooperation among space agencies. At least NASA and ESA and others have signed up in Mexico. We need to pool as much resource as we can to defeat this peril.

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-09/21/c_134643981.htm

    Reply
  131. Maria

     /  September 21, 2015

    The Vanishing Island
    Taro Island: a sometimes picturesque coral atoll adrift in the ocean at the north-western tip of the Solomon Islands.

    Barely a kilometre long and less across and almost none of it more than two metres above sea level, it is barely a smudge on a map. Yet this smudge – with its nearly 600 permanent residents, its hospital, churches (four), school, police station and courthouse – is set to take an unwanted place in history. Though tiny, it is the capital of the province of Choiseul. Soon it may be the first provincial capital in the world to be abandoned due to climate change.

    http://www.theage.com.au/interactive/2015/the-vanishing-island/

    Reply
  132. Scientists in Alaska race to understand thawing permafrost

    “There’s competition between different disciplines about (whose subject area) will drive the carbon release” as the climate warms, Romanovsky said. Contenders include oceanographers, glaciologists, bog limnologists — and geocryologists, a term sometimes referring to permafrost researchers.

    “Everyone thinks that what they are studying is the most important,” said the Russian-born holder of two Ph.Ds. “But probably, everything is a factor.”

    https://www.adn.com/article/20150920/scientists-alaska-race-understand-thawing-permafrost

    Reply
    • “Severe fires are defined as ones that burn to some degree through the organic mat of vegetation that insulates the permafrost below, and the loss of that insulation can cause thawing over time.

      In the past, when the climate was cooler, permafrost was more likely to survive the loss of the organic layer, the University of Alaska Fairbanks study found.

      “In the 1930s, a high-severity fire would have a big impact on permafrost but a moderate-severity fire would not,” said lead author Dana Brown, a doctoral student at the university. “Today, even a moderate-severity fire would have a big impact. Permafrost has become increasingly vulnerable to the effects of fire due to changes in climate.”

      And long, intense fire seasons in Alaska’s boreal forests are increasingly becoming the norm, according to scientific models. “

      Reply
  133. The Impossible Just Happened in Texas – Business Insider

    In the wee hours of the morning on Sunday, the mighty state of Texas was asleep.

    The honky-tonks in Austin were shuttered, the air-conditioned office towers of Houston were powered down, and the wind whistled through the dogwood trees and live oaks on the gracious lawns of Preston Hollow.

    Out in the desolate flats of West Texas, the same wind was turning hundreds of wind turbines, producing tons of electricity at a time when comparatively little supply was needed.

    And then a very strange thing happened: The so-called spot price of electricity in Texas fell toward zero, hit zero, and then went negative for several hours.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/the-impossible-just-happened-in-texas-2015-9

    Reply
  134. Emissions from melting permafrost could cost $43 trillion
    September 21, 2015

    Increased greenhouse gas emissions from the release of carbon dioxide and methane contained in the Arctic permafrost could result in $43 trillion in additional economic damage by the end of the next century, according to researchers from the University of Cambridge and the University of Colorado.

    In a letter published today (21 September) in the journal Nature Climate Change, the researchers have for the first time modelled the economic impact caused by melting permafrost in the Arctic to the end of the twenty-second century, on top of the damage already predicted by climate and economic models.
    http://phys.org/news/2015-09-emissions-permafrost-trillion.html

    Reply
  135. – The Guardian 0921
    This growing migration crisis is the canary in the mine on climate change

    Conflict in the Middle East forces people to flee, but so does drought, destroying crops and livelihoods. We must invest in science for sustainable agriculture.

    …One of the drivers of this crisis was a five-year drought – the worst ever recorded in Syria – that began in the 2007-8 cropping season. Farmers lost livestock, crops withered, and children went hungry. Many decided to move to nearby cities, hoping for work but finding instead unhealthy living conditions, a lack of community support and few jobs. During the drought, the UN estimated that levels of youth unemployment in Syria reached as high as 48%.

    …Syria and Jordan are predicted to lose 30% of their fertile land to desertification if measures are not urgently taken to combat desertification and land degradation. The Arab region as a whole already has the most significant food deficit in the world.

    http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/sep/21/this-growing-migration-crisis-canary-mine-climate-change-middle-east

    Reply
  136. Reply
  137. – Me monitoring a Western Pygmy Blue (NA smallest butterfly) habitat I was able to protect from City weed whacker destruction. I am most ‘me’ while doing things like this.

    Reply
  138. – I am most appalled when I see things like this (and I saw many like it).

    Reply
    • – For 40, or more, years I had lived among many palm trees in So. Cal., and never, until 2011-2012, years of aerosol soot, fallout did I ever see this part of a palm tree that was not on the tree. It’s beyond absurd.

      Reply
    • Re: the above palm tree frond seed pod assembly.
      Think of a healthy human female of reproductive age who just had her eggs, ovaries and uterus suddenly detach and fall to the sidewalk.
      That, basically, is what took place with this palm.
      OUT

      Reply
  139. “The volume of waste in landfills, a major source of the potent greenhouse gas methane, was grossly underestimated in the United States in 2012, researchers said Monday.

    Some 262 million tons of garbage — more than double the national estimate by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of 122 million tons — was dumped in landfills that year, scientists wrote in the journal Nature Climate Change.

    This suggested that methane emissions from the decomposition of municipal waste at these dumps were also undercounted.”

    http://news.discovery.com/earth/global-warming/us-landfill-waste-methane-undercounted-150921.htm

    Reply
    • Yes, absolutely.

      Much of the landfill material is from overproduction and wastage of the American consumer. FF is burned for transport in all aspects, as well.

      Reply
    • Dave Person

       /  September 21, 2015

      Hi,
      By 2020, all food and organic waste from households in Vermont will be composted. It will be illegal to throw it into landfills. In addition, all potential recyclables will be removed from the waste stream. One of the side effects of the policy is that it is beginning to spawn commercial composting businesses that take the waste for a fee and create a product for sale.

      dave

      Reply
  140. Mapping the World’s Air Pollution in Real Time

    A new interactive map draws data from more than 5,900 sources in nearly a thousand cities around the globe.

    http://www.citylab.com/weather/2015/09/mapping-the-worlds-air-pollution-in-real-time/406411/

    Reply
  141. How digital ‘tree of life’ embodies the potential of open science

    Scientists have developed a comprehensive, open map of the relationships among all known life. The project illustrates how open-science principles and digital technology can bring together information to expand understanding of a complex subject.

    Reply
  142. Speaking of fires:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/22/science/as-fires-grow-a-new-landscape-appears-in-the-west.html

    “The future in a lot of places is looking shrubbier.”

    Reply
    • Dave Person

       /  September 22, 2015

      Hi David,
      Keep in mind, this is the process that created what we all recognize as the Mediterranean shrub and forest ecosystems of southern France, Italy, Greece, etc. Thick ancient forests were cut and destroyed and then fire-maintained shrub forests and grasslands replaced them. We are going to turn much of the west into Greece. The other thing to understand about the article, be very wary of US Forest Service prescriptions for thinning to reduce fuel load. Scientifically, it makes sense but thinning is done by local logging contractors. Often, the Forest Service has to sweeten the economic pot to attract those contractors by offering them old growth or other valuable timber that subsidizes the poor return from thinning contracts. In order to thin, often old existing logging roads have to be repaired and made ready for use and that costs a lot of money. We taxpayers pay for that and selling the valuable timber also subsidizes the costs for the Forest Service. This is similar to Forest Service KV funds for restoring wildlife habitat in logged stands. The level of KV funds allocated to a ranger district is directly proportional to the amount of timber they cut. Therefore, to get more KV funds to restore forest lands, they have to cut more. It is institutional insanity.

      dave

      Reply
  143. Colorado Bob

     /  September 22, 2015

    Tokyo at high risk of devastating floods, experts say

    It’s just a matter of time before Tokyo is struck by the same magnitude of flooding that devastated parts of the northern Kanto region this month, and should the capital remain unprepared it will most likely be “annihilated,” followed by an unprecedented death toll and economic damage, experts warn.

    With the effects of global warming becoming increasingly obvious, the climatic conditions that triggered torrential rain in Ibaraki and Tochigi prefectures two weeks ago is no longer a rarity, and the odds are “100 percent” that similar downpours will hit Tokyo, says Nobuyuki Tsuchiya, a civil engineering expert and author of the 2014 book “Shuto Suibotsu” (“The Capital Submerged”).

    The downpours that led to the Kinugawa River overflowing its banks in Ibaraki were mainly caused by a concentration of thunderclouds that formed a lengthy band of rain, a phenomenon that was also responsible for torrential rain that killed 74 people in the city of Hiroshima in summer 2014.

    Although previously considered very rare, the abnormal weather condition is becoming increasingly prevalent due to the growing impact of global warming, Tsuchiya said.

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/09/21/national/tokyo-high-risk-devastating-floods-experts-say/#.VgCyZpd4PgZ

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  September 22, 2015

      “But now, the subways and underground structures have become so developed that there is nothing to absorb the river water before it arrives in Tokyo. . . .The subways would function like water drainage pipes in times of flooding disasters.”

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  September 22, 2015

        You got to love this comment –
        “Don’t count on water rings. As was the case with the Kinugawa disaster, they will easily puncture when hit by rubble,” he said.

        Pool toys don’t work in after it rains 14 inches. Everybody got that ?

        Reply
    • Tweeting, thanks. Glad to see someone is actually on the ball.

      Reply
  144. redskylite

     /  September 22, 2015

    Serious and sobering reminders and predictions of the course we are embarked on from Dr J. Hansen and Dr. Makiko Sato (at the Columbia University Earth Institute).

    “The exact course of North Atlantic cooling is difficult to predict, because of competition there between amplifying and diminishing feedbacks, as discussed below. Nevertheless, the nature of the prediction is clear: the warming-induced freshwater flux increases ocean stratification, slows North Atlantic Deep Water formation, reduces the strength of Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), and cools the North Atlantic Ocean. This is an old concept, studied extensively for many years. However, what we are saying is that the system is more sensitive than has been realized and effects are already beginning to occur. ”

    http://csas.ei.columbia.edu/2015/09/21/predictions-implicit-in-ice-melt-paper-and-global-implications/

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  September 22, 2015

      That cold spot Southeast of Greenland has been much reported here. And the last NOAA map shows it’s even colder. Remember this map –

      There are 2 outlets of fresh water from the Ice sheet, Pointing at it.

      http://i.livescience.com/images/i/000/056/407/original/Greenland3.jpg?1377792929

      Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  September 23, 2015

        I’m still waiting for this story to really break into the mainstream. AFAIK the latest wave of concern is quite recent.I started to see references to it popping up in the last 6-12 years.

        We love moaning about the weather in the UK (with some justification), it’s a national pastime, so this will be the mother of all climate bombshells.

        Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  September 25, 2015

        Ooh, so you are. Excellent work, thank you.

        I believe it will breakthrough in the near future, because more climate scientists are starting to make public statements, referring to it.

        Reply
  145. Colorado Bob

     /  September 22, 2015

    Iranian flash floods leave 10 dead, 8 missing
    Deforestation and improper construction near riverbeds blamed for increased flooding

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/iran-flash-floods-1.3235325

    Both statements are true, but the amount of rain in a short period of time is the real killer as we all know. 4 inches in a week ain’t a big deal, 4 inches in 45 min you come to Jesus pretty fast.

    So much of this reporting never says how much came and how fast it fell. . So we are always left with the same old comment –
    “Deforestation and improper construction near riverbeds blamed for increased flooding “

    Reply
  146. Colorado Bob

     /  September 22, 2015

    “It Felt Like the Apocalypse”: Israel Hit with Extreme and Unusual Weather on Jewish New Year

    “It felt like the apocalypse, the rain has been torrential, there were about 10 lightning strikes in seconds, and even with your windshield wipers on high, it was impossible to see anything,” Mark Katz, a National Parks Authority employee, told the Times of Israel.

    Since the beginning of September, Israel has experienced a series of extreme weather changes, beginning last week with a sudden sandstorm that blanketed the country in thick yellow dust.

    The record setting five-day dust storm was also accompanied by a heat-wave, with new records reached across Israel in temperatures and air pollution.

    Read more at http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/49091/it-felt-like-the-apocalypse-extreme-flash-flooding-hail-strike-israel-on-jewish-new-year-jerusalem/#3wE4Ml1A6jvMtMD8.99

    Reply
  147. Wharf Rat

     /  September 22, 2015

    another killer fire
    CARMEL VALLEY, Calif. —According to a Cal Fire press release, the Tassajara fire remains at 1,086 acres and is 50 percent contained.

    The fire began at about 3 p.m. Saturday near the intersection of Tassajara Road and Carmel Valley Road.

    Thirteen residences have been damaged or destroyed, along with seven outbuildings, CalFire said.

    There has been one fatality.
    http://www.ksbw.com/news/tassajara-fire-holds-at-1100-acres-30-containment/35391334

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  September 22, 2015

      The cold spot has an answer, There is a hell of a lot of cold fresh water pouring out of Greenland. It runs along the sea bed, and pops up Southeast of Greenland.

      If a ship sailed out there and measured the salt , it would be fresher, and colder.

      Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  September 22, 2015

      To make that cold spot in the North Atlantic month after month means huge amounts of fresh water are pouring off Greenland. There is no other answer.

      It really creeps me out. It’s unseen , unmeasured,. unknown.

      Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  September 23, 2015

        I’m walking around (in the UK), carrying this huge, huge story in my head, and no-one I know has a clue. It’s a climate bombshell for us.

        If this is just the beginning of a bigger trend, this country is going to be affected. Our ‘Storms of my Grandchildren’ test-bed status will presumably be shared with our transatlantic cousins on the east coast of North America.

        So you are not alone in finding that blue spot creepy!

        Reply
  148. – Acodado Glacier, Northern Patagonia Ice Cap.

    Acodado Glacier, Chile Rapid Retreat 1987-2015
    September 21, 2015

    Reply
  149. – Santa Barbara – pink lagoon – hydrogen sulfide – nutrients – CC warmth. See video.
    – Let’s watch for upticks of this sort of condition. The location of the recent ‘purple water’ on the Oregon coast has golf courses, RV parks, and dogs on the beach — nutrient rich, all.

    ‘Bacteria Turns Santa Barbara Bird Refuge Pink’
    SANTA BARBARA, Calif. –

    The bird refuge in Santa Barbara is turning heads after the water turned a startling shade of pink.

    A purple sulfur bacteria caused the water to turn pink.

    “They are able to reproduce more frequently and more intensely right now because we’ve had such warm temperatures both during the day and during the evening,” Zachary said.

    http://www.keyt.com/news/bacteria-turns-santa-barbara-bird-refuge-pink/35403678

    Reply
  150. Maria

     /  September 22, 2015

    Solar Desalination in California. The company will be desalinating irrigation drainage in the Central Valley. The article doesn’t talk about where all that brine will go….What is an appropriate method way to deal with desal brine?

    snip

    “””Less than one percent of the world’s desalination is powered by renewable energy sources today, but that could all change soon if companies like California-based WaterFX have anything to say about it. Its Aqua4 “concentrated solar still” (CSS) uses a concentrated solar thermal collector to compress heat, create steam and distill water at 30 times the efficiency of natural evaporation. It can produce 65,000 gallons of freshwater per day—and it can desalinate a wide range of water sources, not just seawater.

    Solar desalination is a technique used to remove salt from water via a specially designed still that uses solar energy to boil seawater and capture the resulting steam, which is in turn cooled and condensed into pristine freshwater. Salt and other impurities are left behind in the still.

    Less than one percent of the world’s desalination is powered by renewable energy sources today, but that could all change soon if companies like California-based WaterFX have anything to say about it. Its Aqua4 “concentrated solar still” (CSS) uses a concentrated solar thermal collector to compress heat, create steam and distill water at 30 times the efficiency of natural evaporation. It can produce 65,000 gallons of freshwater per day—and it can desalinate a wide range of water sources, not just seawater.

    To wit, the company will start employing solar desalination to treat some 1.6 billion gallons of salt-laden irrigation drainage from California’s drought-stricken, agriculturally-rich Central Valley next year. Crops extract nearly pure water from soil, leaving behind salt and other potentially toxic minerals like selenium that naturally occur in the water. These excess minerals must be drained from the soil, or crop productivity plunges. By treating this drainage, WaterFX can prevent about percent of farmland in California from being retired every year to make room for storage for untreated drainage water.”””

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-solar-desalination-slake-the-world-s-thirst/

    Reply
    • Simple. Boil off all the water til there’s nothing left but salt. they you can market it as rock salt, or bury it.

      Reply
      • Maria

         /  September 22, 2015

        Thanks Ed. Imagine the marketing campaign-;)
        Ps: I saw your comment up thread re: we don’t have decades. I recently learned that the big People’s Climate March was partially subsidized by FF. we know that Paris talks are being partially funded by big oil & major emitters. I’m afraid that unless the grass roots-/-county-to-county and state to state citizens & their leadership take bold action? Decades, I’m afraid. Hope I’m wrong. And that a massive positive feedback loop re: renewals ensues, giving FF & nat’l leadership no choice but to follow.

        Reply
        • Crap. Combined with corporate dominance of our “free” news media (including Russia’s) means any such attempts to get Peak FF’s before their natural peaking at least 15 years from now (too many in my opinion) will be met with derision and … get ready now … “ZOMG DOOMER PORN!!!!!!” spoken from every news media mouthpiece.

          And the same media will say the American Way of Life (Suburban Utopia and Happy Motoring! [TM]) is still non-negotiable.

          And people will fall for it, especially here in the United States, for we are the World’s easiest marks. And that is the reason why our country will do the right thing after trying everything else.

          And there’s something like 8,000 GT of Carbon embedded in the permafrost and the sea beds, which are melting or getting ready to melt as we speak. Sam Caranas, not to mention the paleolithic-paleoclimactic record, has demonstrated that rapid uncontrolled releases of Carbon, especially in the form of Methane, are likely to lead to a hot house extinction right quick. But the ice will stick around for a thousand more years or so, which will put a brake on uncontrolled global overheating.

          Sum it all up, and we face Near Term Human Extinction, maybe even NTE, (by 3015).

          Reblogging all this shortly on Fin des Voies Rapides.

  151. – Off topic but a nice USA history, society, and physics piece regarding nuclear test sites.
    I would like to also see something about the mining, and the extraction uranium and other materials. And with Oak Ridge, TN and Hanford, WA as processing sites.

    Good visuals here in The Guardian:

    The US conducted most of its early nuclear tests in the Pacific, but they became too costly to continue … so in 1950, the US government began to look for a safe place to test nuclear weapons on its mainland

    The Nevada Test Site was established a few years after the end of the second world war, against the fear of an all-out nuclear attack from the Soviet Union. As the Cold War took hold, America needed a convenient place to design and build its nuclear arsenal.

    From 1951, over four decades, the US government carried out almost a thousand nuclear tests at this test site, earning it the nickname of the “most bombed place on Earth”. Here, they took the crude nuclear weapons that had been dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 and honed their destructive power.

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2015/sep/21/building-the-atom-bomb-the-full-story-of-the-nevada-test-site

    Reply
  152. johnm33

     /  September 22, 2015

    That North Atlantic cold anomoly may have more than one cause, check out SSS at http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/hycomARC/arctic.html what I see is the less saline water exiting the arctic by Banks island [130W] making its way through NWP into Hudson, Baffin then Labrador, where it’s joined by Greenland run off and the fresher water from melting ice out of Fram strait then you get the turbulent mixing of the southern flow some of which ‘wants’ to be at 130W and the northbound Gulf steam waters. The flow through NWP continued all through the winter. I’m no expert but thats how I see it.

    Reply
  153. Ouse M.D.

     /  September 22, 2015

    Meanwhile on the nuclear energy battlefront:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/09/21/the-fukushima-fix/

    Fukushima Myths

    Chris Harris, a former senior nuclear reactor operator for over three decades and currently a nuclear consultant, claims Fukushima is an extinction level event: Containment is a myth, there isn’t any; cold shutdown is a myth; cooling is a myth because there is no way to measure cooling when nobody knows where the nuclear fuel is located; waste processing is a myth; cleanup is a myth because it’s a “waste generation facility” that won’t stop.

    And add sea level rise + all coastal nuclear reactors + storm surges

    Reply
  154. – Quite a few interesting viewpoints expressed here in Nature.com.

    Climate policy: Democracy is not an inconvenience

    Climate scientists are tiring of governance that does not lead to action. But democracy must not be weakened in the fight against global warming, warns Nico Stehr.

    There are many threats to democracy in the modern era. Not least is the risk posed by the widespread public feeling that politicians are not listening.

    …More surprisingly, a similar impatience with the political elite is now also present in the scientific community. Researchers are increasingly concerned that no one is listening to their diagnosis of the dangers of human-induced climate change and its long-lasting consequences, despite the robust scientific consensus.
    … “comfort and ignorance are the biggest flaws of human character. This is a potentially deadly mix”.

    http://www.nature.com/news/climate-policy-democracy-is-not-an-inconvenience-1.18393

    Reply
  155. New Satellite Images Show Just How Parched the Ground Is

    …according to NASA’s latest series of soil and groundwater moisture maps, which pull together data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites, in addition to ground-based measurements. The maps show how water content in mid September 2015 compares with averages for Septembers between 1948 and 2012, with warmer colors indicating drier-than-average conditions.
    http://gizmodo.com/new-satellite-images-show-just-how-parched-the-ground-i-1731878514?utm_content=buffer17156&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    Reply
  156. – The power of language;

    ‘An addition to AP [Associated Press] Stylebook entry on global warming’


    “We have reviewed our entry on global warming as part of our efforts to continually update the Stylebook to reflect language usage and accuracy.

    We are adding a brief description of those who don’t accept climate science or dispute the world is warming from man-made forces:

    Our guidance is to use climate change doubters or those who reject mainstream climate science and to avoid the use of skeptics or deniers.

    [ ? Shorter and fewer words are are always preferable to long multi word communication, writing, and journalism. These extra word terms invite ambiguity and confusion — the reader will skip right over them. DT ]
    https://blog.ap.org/announcements/an-addition-to-ap-stylebook-entry-on-global-warming

    Reply
  157. – And the smoke just lays there — not much air is moving in the region.

    On September 18, 2015 the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, with help from a Chinook CH-47 from the California National Guard, did a flyover survey of the burn area around the lower portions of the Valley Fire and Middletown, Calif.

    Reply
  158. rustj2015

     /  September 22, 2015

    Another request for support to a “petition”:
    http://signforgood.com/banfracking/

    Reply
  159. A new expedition to one of the mysterious Siberian giant holes found in recent years has concluded that it is a warning sign of a deadly threat to northern regions as the climate warms.

    Scientists from the respected Trofimuk Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics insist the process by which a series of craters formed was caused by the melting of gas hydrates and the emission of methane.

    This accumulates in a pingo – a mound of earth-covered ice – which then erupts causing the formation of the strange holes that have appeared on Russia’s Arctic fringe.

    A pingo believed to be poised to explode ‘at any moment’ is now being constantly monitored by a Russian space satellite in an attempt to catch the moment when the eruption occurs.

    http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/news/n0415-danger-of-methane-explosions-on-yamal-peninsula-scientists-warn/

    Reply
  160. SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FAIRBANKS AK

    351 PM AKDT TUE SEP 22 2015

    …POTENTIAL HIGH SURF ALONG THE CHUKCHI SEA COAST WEDNESDAY
    THROUGH FRIDAY…

    A STORM WILL MOVE ACROSS THE NORTHERN CHUKCHI SEA WEDNESDAY AND
    THURSDAY. THIS WILL CAUSE STRONG SOUTH WINDS AND HIGH SURF ALONG
    THE CHUKCHI SEA COAST FROM KIVALINA TO POINT HOPE FROM WEDNESDAY
    AFTERNOON TO THURSDAY NIGHT.

    A SECOND STORM WILL MOVE ACROSS THE CHUKCHI SEA ON THURSDAY NIGHT
    AND FRIDAY. THIS COULD BRING STRONG NORTHWEST WINDS AND HIGH SURF
    TO THE AREA FROM THE BERING STRAIT TO KOTZEBUE ON THURSDAY NIGHT
    AND FRIDAY. THIS COULD AFFECT SHISHMAREF…DEERING…AND KOTZEBUE
    THURSDAY NIGHT AND FRIDAY. THERE IS STILL A LOT OF UNCERTAINTY
    ABOUT THIS SECOND STORM AT THIS TIME…HOWEVER.

    Reply
  161. – GIZMODO 0922

    “the fact that most big research universities are located in countries with seasons— what’s happening in the tropics has been largely ignored.

    We Could Have Discovered Climate Change As Early As the 1940s if We Had Just Looked

    “Remarkably our research shows that you could already see clear signs of global warming in the tropics by the 1960s but in parts of Australia, South East Asia and Africa it was visible as early as the 1940s,” said lead study author Andrew King in a statement. (That’s decades before the the fore-thinking researchers at Exxon discovered global warming!)

    Climate change is hitting high latitude ecosystems the hardest — the Arctic, for instance, is warming twice as fast as the world at large. For that reason — and the fact that most big research universities are located in countries with seasons— what’s happening in the tropics has been largely ignored.

    http://gizmodo.com/we-could-have-discovered-climate-change-as-early-as-the-1732420254

    Reply
    • – Pdf of study referred to: IOPscience.

      The timing of anthropogenic emergence in simulated climate extremes

      http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/10/9/094015/pdf

      Reply
    • … ‘big research universities are located in countries with seasons’… they play a lot of football in big stadiums with corporate sponsored scoreboards tho.

      Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  September 23, 2015

      Also
      http://phys.org/news/2015-09-reveal-global.html
      Researchers reveal when global warming first appeared

      While temperature records generally showed pronounced indications of global warming, heavy rainfall events have yet to make their mark. The models showed a general increase in extreme rainfall but the global warming signal was not strong enough yet to rise above the expected natural variation.

      “We expect the first heavy precipitation events with a clear global warming signal will appear during winters in Russia, Canada and northern Europe over the next 10-30 years,” said co-author Dr Ed Hawkins from the National Centre for Atmospheric Science at the University of Reading, UK.

      “This is likely to bring pronounced precipitation events on top of the already existing trend towards increasingly wet winters in these regions.”

      Reply
      • Thirty years!? It’ll be too late to act then. Even ten years is cutting it.

        With all the mass media brainwashing going on, who will wake all the masses before then? Is it even possible????

        Reblgging shortly on Fin des Voies Rapides.

        Reply
    • Not just the tropics, but the Arctic, too. Rachel Carson, in the 1962 edition of her The Sea around Us, noted signs of climactic warming in Greenland in the 1940s including the arrival of warmer-climate plants and birds.

      You can probably pick up a copy, new or used, at your local mom-and-pop bookstore. If that fails, there’s always Amazon.com and friends.

      Reply
      • Rachel Carson — what a powerhouse.🙂

        Reply
        • Indeed, dtlange.🙂

        • The 1962 edition of that book was where I first learned of global warming. I happened to read it in the mid-to-late 70s when we had those back-to-back Arctic Vortex Winters (77-78, 78-79). Back then I figured global warming got cancelled because of the constant MSM harping on “THE NEW ICE AGE!!!”

          A few years later when I was in college I read a huge novel about a globally overheated planet called Bellona, IIRC.

  162. Jay M

     /  September 23, 2015

    (re flyover of Valley Fire area)
    Well, when you look at the terrain it doesn’t look destroyed
    The human infrastructure, an unfortunate mess
    Not lacking sympathy for the victims, suffered fire myself

    Reply
  163. Ocean Acidification: Algae Floppy in Higher Carbon Dioxide Water

    More acidic ocean water can upset the balance, as we’ve learned. New research from the University of Washington has found that a more acidic ocean can weaken the outer shell of a slender alga with the whimsical name of the mermaid’s wineglass.

    The team’s findings, which are pertinent at a time when climate change may increase acidification in the ocean, were recently published in the journal Biology Letters.
    http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/16920/20150922/algae.htm

    Reply
  164. – Snot rocks! – Canada:

    A new invader algae discovered near Sault Ste. marie
    Its slang name is Rock Snot

    Anglers on the St. Mary’s River near Sault Ste. Marie have been pulling up large mats of an invader algae called Didymosphenia geminate, better know as didymo. The unusual species of algae has been detected for the first time in Michigan, in the St. Mary’s River, according to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.
    http://www.upmatters.com/news-upmatters/a-new-invader-algae-discovered-near-sault-ste-marie

    Reply
  165. Caroline

     /  September 23, 2015

    From Dahr Jamail’s latest piece on 9/21:
    “In the Arctic, things continue to look grim. On September 11, Arctic sea ice dropped to its fourth-lowest level on record, and it could well become even the second-lowest level later this month as the ice continues melting, amid what is now a decades-long ACD-generated decline.”

    What’s going on here? On Neven’s site it has been declared that the melt season is over yet it could still become the second lowest record? Thoughts anyone?

    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/32890-relentless-wildfires-water-scarcity-and-marine-die-offs-living-with-climate-disruption

    Reply
  166. redskylite

     /  September 23, 2015

    News from the Himalayas, pollutants that were carelessly released into the air decades ago from far away places , now entering North Indian plains .. . . a new toxic hazard

    “Pollutants carried from lands far away and buried for decades under glaciers in the Himalayas are now finding their way into the Ganga and its tributaries, a new study has found. The pollutants are being released as the glaciers are melting faster due to climate change.”

    http://earthjournalism.net/stories/pollutants-buried-under-glaciers-surface-to-haunt-india

    Reply
    • Thanks, redskylite.

      – From story — relevant aerosol pollutants:
      “… major contributors” of two classes of pollutants – polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) – to the Ganga and its tributaries during the dry season. PCBs are man-made chemicals that were widely used in electrical wires and paint, plastics and rubber products. PAHs occur naturally but are also released into the environment due to burning of coal, coal tar, asphalt, hazardous waste and from vehicle exhausts.

      – To my mind, a relatively small portion is from the “Industrial Age” — the rest is from modern consumer and automobile sources.

      Reply
  167. redskylite

     /  September 23, 2015

    A staggering 70% decline in seabird populations, time to take off the rose-tinted glasses

    Plos One Paper: Population Trend of the World’s Monitored Seabirds, 1950-2010

    Authors
    Michelle Paleczny ,
    Edd Hammill ,
    Vasiliki Karpouzi,
    Daniel Pauly
    Abstract
    Seabird population changes are good indicators of long-term and large-scale change in marine ecosystems, and important because of their many impacts on marine ecosystems. We assessed the population trend of the world’s monitored seabirds (1950–2010) by compiling a global database of seabird population size records and applying multivariate autoregressive state-space (MARSS) modeling to estimate the overall population trend of the portion of the population with sufficient data (i.e., at least five records). This monitored population represented approximately 19% of the global seabird population. We found the monitored portion of the global seabird population to have declined overall by 69.7% between 1950 and 2010. This declining trend may reflect the global seabird population trend, given the large and apparently representative sample. Furthermore, the largest declines were observed in families containing wide-ranging pelagic species, suggesting that pan-global populations may be more at risk than shorter-ranging coastal populations.

    Guardian:

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/radical-conservation/2015/sep/22/after-60-million-years-of-extreme-living-seabirds-are-crashing

    Reply
  168. Colorado Bob

     /  September 23, 2015

    ‘Can explode at anytime’: Scientists reveal giant sinkhole to appear in Siberia

    Scientists in Siberia are preparing for the formation of a massive new crater, which will be even bigger than an existing one. The researchers believe the sinkhole will be caused by a blast in the permafrost, though they are keeping its location under wraps.

    The scientists have located a so-called ‘hillock of swelling,’ which is abnormal in terms of size and form, according to Vladimir Olenchenko, a senior researcher at the Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics in the city of Novosibirsk. He added that the new possible sinkhole is not far from and will be bigger than a massive crater, which was formed last year in Solikamsk.

    “We are keeping the coordinates of its location a secret so that this will not lead to a pilgrimage of the scientists and quasi-scientists, as it can explode at anytime,” said Olenchenko.

    https://www.rt.com/news/316261-siberia-crater-new-abnormal/

    Reply
  169. Syrian war spurs first withdrawal from ‘doomsday’ Arctic seed vault

    Syria’s civil war has prompted the first withdrawal of crop seeds from a “doomsday” vault built in an Arctic mountainside to safeguard global food supplies.

    The seeds, including samples of wheat, barley and grasses suited to dry regions, have been requested by researchers in the Middle East to replace a collection in the Syrian city of Aleppo that has been damaged by the war.

    “Protecting the world’s biodiversity in this manner is precisely the purpose of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault,” said Brian Lainoff, spokesman for the Crop Trust which runs the underground store on a Norwegian island 1300 kilometres from the North Pole.

    http://www.smh.com.au/world/syrian-war-spurs-first-withdrawal-from-doomsday-arctic-seed-vault-20150921-gjrte0.html

    Reply
    • *sigh*. More unwanted “collateral damage” from Bush and the neocons’ War on Iraq. Why do I say this? Did not Aleppo fall to Daesh / ISIS?

      Reply
  170. Greg

     /  September 23, 2015

    The Pope is here:

    Reply
  171. Greg

     /  September 23, 2015

    Quote from the Pope at the White House this morning: “it seems clear to me also that climate change is a problem which can no longer be left to a future generation. When it comes to the care of our “common home”, we are living at a critical moment of history. We still have time to make the changes needed to bring about “a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change” (Laudato Si’, 13). Such change demands on our part a serious and responsible recognition not only of the kind of world we may be leaving to our children, but also to the millions of people living under a system which has overlooked them. Our common home has been part of this group of the excluded which cries out to heaven and which today powerfully strikes our homes, our cities and our societies. To use a telling phrase of the Reverend Martin Luther King, we can say that we have defaulted on a promissory note and now is the time to honor it.”

    Reply
  172. 1997 and 2015 El Niño Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies side by side in animation from NCAR –

    Reply
  173. – Desalination then there’s saltwater intrusion.

    ‘Here Comes the Sea: The Struggle to Keep the Ocean out of California’s Coastal Aquifers’

    Farm districts preserve fresh groundwater with recycled wastewater

    “Saltwater intrusion is the biggest untold water story in the world today. It’s a silent problem. It’s easy to ignore politically but it can spoil the water source for future generations.”

    –Ron Duncan, interim general manager
    Soquel Creek Water District

    Saltwater intrusion, the technical name for the problem, occurs when too much groundwater is pumped from coastal aquifers, thereby upsetting the subterranean balance between inland freshwater and the relentless ocean. Water moves through the ground as it does in rivers: from high elevation to low.

    Globally, more than 1 billion people rely on coastal aquifers for drinking water and irrigation. In delta megacities and in agrarian capitals the ocean is pushing inland, a result of demands on groundwater that far exceed a sustainable rate of consumption. In Jakarta, Indonesia, a city of 10 million people, wells at least 11 kilometers (7 miles) inland have been contaminated with salt. In Chennai, India, salt water is detected nearly 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the coast.

    http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/2015/world/here-comes-the-sea-the-struggle-to-keep-the-ocean-out-of-californias-coastal-aquifers/

    Reply
  174. – Diesel data I kind of new about from a 2013 train trip from CHI to PDX. A knowledgeable passenger told me that Bakken crude was of ‘high’ (volatile and explosive!) grade.
    This is also why it so lucrative.

    Question
    What percentage of a barrel of Bakken oil is gasoline and diesel fuel?
    Answer

    A modern refinery can make about 95% of a barrel of Bakken crude oil into gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel.

    North Dakota Petroleum Council
    http://www.ndoil.org/?id=78&advancedmode=1&category=Bakken+Basics

    Reply
  175. ‘The rise of diesel in Europe: the impact on health and pollution’

    In a bid to reduce CO2 emissions in the 90s, Europe backed a major switch from petrol to diesel cars but the result was a rise in deadly air pollution

    Volkswagen’s rigging of emissions tests for diesel cars comes after nearly 20 years of the technology being incentivised in Europe in the knowledge that its adoption would reduce global warming emissions but lead to thousands of extra deaths from increased levels of toxic gases.

    Diesel was a niche market in Europe until the mid-1990s, making up less than 10% of the car fleet. Diesels produce 15% less CO2 than petrol, but emit four times more nitrogen dioxide pollution (NO2) and 22 times more particulates – the tiny particles that penetrate the lungs, brain and heart.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/sep/22/the-rise-diesel-in-europe-impact-on-health-pollution

    Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  September 23, 2015

      One aspect of this is the question of how many premature deaths have been caused by the incentives for diesel engines in EU car market, and how many future lives have been saved by the reduction of CO2-induced warming. Future generations don’t really have a lawyer, at least not yet!

      Given that CO2 effects are global, whereas the other pollutants are more local, can we say that European lives have been given, to help save lives in the rest of the world.

      This is interesting because traditionally, it’s been the other way round!

      Reply
      • – At its essence, these ‘premature’ deaths are another form of homicide brought about by citizens, or community, knowingly engaged, or perpetuating, actions known to cause harm.

        OUT

        Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  September 25, 2015

        Absolutely, and in such huge numbers, as well.

        I have followed this story for a long while, and the blatant effort of the manufacturers (and their political friends), to slow the emergence of the truth on diesel emissions (for commercial gain), is despicable. I read about a 10% decrease in the lung function of children living within 200m of major routes years ago, and where were the politicians demanding action?

        You would hope to see corporate manslaughter charges soon, but in the dirty world we live in, it might not happen.

        Reply
  176. – File under:
    Property owners in hurricane zones are not assured that someone will risk their lives to “fight” the hurricane. Why should we expect anyone to “fight” the fires?

    The West is on fire – and the US taxpayer is subsidizing it

    A number of economic practices and social issues are exacerbating our forest fire problems.

    The first is the enlargement of what is known as the wildland-urban interface (WUI). More people are building homes in the interface close to the wildlands and forests. Since 1970, there has been a 50% increase in the low-density housing that borders state and federal wildlands. And the majority occurs in areas subject to increasing risk of fire. California has almost five million housing units in the WUI.

    …The West is on fire – and the US taxpayer is subsidizing it

    The cost of protecting people and property in the WUI is so expensive it has shifted the priorities of the US Forest Service. So much money is spent on protecting property from megafires that programs for preventing wildfires and for protecting habitats and wildlife are much reduced. In 1990, firefighting accounted for only 13% of the US Forest Service budget; now it eats up more than half.

    … There are tactical decisions, such as perhaps moving to a hurricane model of disaster relief; that is, tell people to board up and leave rather than assure them that their property will be protected. Property owners in hurricane zones are not assured that someone will risk their lives to “fight” the hurricane. Why should we expect anyone to “fight” the fires?
    http://theconversation.com/the-west-is-on-fire-and-the-us-taxpayer-is-subsidizing-it-47900

    Reply
  177. redskylite

     /  September 24, 2015

    Poetical piece in a short film made for a U.N meeting . . .

    Slate:

    Simply put: If we don’t start caring for the Earth so deeply we can feel it, nothing else matters.

    That’s the message in a powerful new poem by a New Jersey college student, produced by an Emmy-winning filmmaker. It has a beautiful and heart-rending message. Every world leader should watch it:

    The short film was produced in conjunction with the 70th anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly in New York—the biggest routine gathering of world leaders each year. This year, there’s extra pressure: The world body is setting a series of ambitious new goals on sustainable development. Negotiations for a first-ever global agreement on climate change are fast approaching. Plus, the Pope is in town.

    “MOTHER’S CRY: The Deeply Moving Video on Climate Change that Every World Leader Should See ”

    Reply
  178. Andy in SD

     /  September 24, 2015

    Drought Backs Up North County Sewer Lines

    One of the side effects of drought, one could call it being in deep shit (figuratively & literally)

    http://www.kpbs.org/news/2015/sep/04/drought-backs-sewer-lines/

    Reply
  179. Maria

     /  September 24, 2015

    This photo shows how researchers caught VW cheating on its emissions

    Researchers were doing the testing as a matter of course re: following/documenting diesel emissions. Mystified, wrote & delivered a paper at a conference that EPA also attended.

    http://www.vox.com/2015/9/23/9383663/vw-emissions-scandal-photo/in/9149310

    Reply
    • -The Guardian:
      – Go leakers!

      UK, France and Germany lobbied for flawed car emissions tests, documents reveal

      Exclusive: Countries publicly calling for investigations into VW emissions rigging scandal have privately fought to keep loopholes in car tests for carbon emissions

      Leaked documents seen by the Guardian show the three countries lobbied the European commission to keep loopholes in car tests that would increase real world carbon dioxide emissions by 14% above those claimed.

      Just four months before the VW emissions scandal broke, the EU’s three biggest nations mounted a push to carry over loopholes from a test devised in 1970 – known as the NEDC – to the World Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP), which is due to replace it in 2017.
      http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/sep/24/uk-france-and-germany-lobbied-for-flawed-car-emissions-tests-documents-reveal?CMP=ema_565a

      Reply
      • – But now a legal tag team tussle at the ‘bar’:
        – Thanks again Guardian.

        Volkswagen hires BP oil spill lawyers to defend emissions cases

        Carmaker faces class action suits after admitting 11m of its cars were designed to cheat emissions testing

        Volkswagen has hired the US law firm that defended BP after the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster to help it deal with a growing collection of investigations and law suits over the emissions scandal that has rocked the car maker and dragged in the German government.

        The hiring of Kirkland & Ellis emerged as the German government admitted that it already knew about “defeat devices” that can cheat emissions tests.

        http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/sep/23/volkswagen-hires-kirkland-ellis-to-defend-emissions-cases?CMP=ema_565a

        Reply
  180. nwkilt

     /  September 24, 2015

    DT,
    “– I add Hannah Arendt’s theme (often attributed to her, anyway), “You (society) must judge.”

    – If you don’t judge — then anything goes. It will.
    And it will gain a life and energy of its own.
    And more — much more will perpetuate. As we have seen with this steady decline in our climate, etc.”

    The Trouble With Normal

    Reply
  181. rustj2015

     /  September 24, 2015

    May be relevant, with the sirocco called rump:
    Arendt’s point is that the totalitarian form is still with us because the all too protean origins of totalitarianism are still with us: loneliness as the normal register of social life, the frenzied lawfulness of ideological certitude, mass poverty and mass homelessness, the routine use of terror as a political instrument, and the ever growing speeds and scales of media, economics, and warfare.
    Bill Dixon, Totalitarianism and the Sand Storm
    http://www.hannaharendtcenter.org/?p=12466

    Reply
  182. -California’s Monarch butterflies:

    Save the Monarch Butterfly: Tell Governor Brown to sign AB 559 into law!

    Monarch butterfly populations in North America are declining at such an alarming rate that they are already under consideration for the “endangered species” list.

    Millions of monarch butterflies arrive in California every spring to feed on milkweed and reproduce.

    [Important note: west coast Monarchs also gather and overwinter in reproductive (suspended) diapause at suitable coastal sites. Which are niche sites with functioning and balanced micro-climates — that are vulnerable to human intrusion and climate change.]

    https://secure2.convio.net/clcv/site/Advocacy;jsessionid=A522DDFAFBF7B9C51C1DF7F09A6807C2.app202a?page=UserAction&id=237&autologin=true&AddInterest=1057

    Reply
  183. Purdue study: Climate change consensus extends beyond climate scientists
    September 24, 2015

    WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A Purdue University-led survey of nearly 700 scientists from nonclimate disciplines shows that more than 90 percent believe that average global temperatures are higher than pre-1800s levels and that human activity has significantly contributed to the rise.

    The study is the first to show that consensus on human-caused climate change extends beyond climate scientists to the broader scientific community…
    http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2015/Q3/purdue-study-climate-change-consensus-extends-beyond-climate-scientists.html

    Reply
  184. Greg

     /  September 24, 2015

    Lake Meade’s new straw began slurping this week. It means Las Vegas purchased more time in a drought filled future:
    http://news.yahoo.com/third-straw-uncapped-lake-mead-water-vegas-033417377.html

    Reply
    • – Pulled from the piece:

      ” But it will keep taps flowing in Las Vegas… casinos even if drought-stricken Lake Mead drops to its lowest levels”

      “The region had about 126,000 residents when it began drawing water from Lake Mead in 1971. It now has 2 million residents and draws 40 million tourists a year.”

      “The tunnel was tiled behind it with more than 2,400 14-inch-thick sections of curved concrete.”

      – Fossil fuel extravagant casinos and tourism…

      Reply
    • Huh. Article says water will be flowing through the new pipe soon, but that it won’t make the water level go down any faster. I guess I don’t understand how that is possible.

      Reply
  185. September 24, 2015
    NASA to fly parallel science campaigns at both poles

    For the first time in its seven years of flights, NASA’s Operation IceBridge, an airborne survey of changes in Earth’s polar ice, is conducting overlapping campaigns in Antarctica and the Arctic. Since 2009, IceBridge has studied Antarctic ice conditions each fall, but this year a new field campaign has been added to collect measurements of sea and land ice in the Arctic to provide insight into the impact of the summer melt season.

    http://climate.nasa.gov/news/2344/

    Reply
  186. – From Harold H Hensel via Arctic News:

    Arctic Ice Flow and Cracks 09 24 2015
    Arctic Ice Flowing down the right side of Greenland and fissures in the Arctic Ice

    Reply
  187. Despite Rain, Drought Unchanged In California

    The drought remained “unchanged” in California over the past week despite rain in the southern part of the state.

    “Across California and the Great Basin, drought remained unchanged as the region continued through its climatologically dry summer season,” according to the U.S. Drought Monitor released Sept. 24.

    Reply
  188. Colorado Bob

     /  September 25, 2015

    I watched the NOVA program on the “Franklin Expedition” last night. They set sail in 1845 to finish the mapping of the Northwest passage. It was really great TV.

    These ships hulls were 8 feet thick with oak and iron plate, in a sandwich.

    In the middle of the show , they go to the ice core scientists , it seems Franklin set sail at the beginning of a 30 year period when summer sea ice never really melted in that dense chain of sea and land in Northern Canada.

    Here’s the link it’s well worth watching. They found his flagship –

    http://video.pbs.org/video/2365567818/

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  September 25, 2015

      :”Only four cargo vessels traversed the so-called Northeast Passage—a shipping lane across the northern shore of the Eurasian continent, connecting Atlantic to Pacific—in 2010. By 2013 that number had grown to 71.”

      http://www.cnbc.com/2015/09/24/a-melting-arctic-the-world-is-skating-on-thin-ice.html

      Reply
    • rayduray

       /  September 25, 2015

      Bob,

      I watched that show with grim fascination. What bravery those crazy Brits exhibited. Truly only mad dogs and Englishman terrain up there in the Inuit territories. But I do have one question. Since the Koch Brothers took over, why does every PBS “Nova” topic seem two centuries old? I’m looking forward to the Nova treatment of Noah’s Flood. Why stay stuck in the recent past, eh?

      Reply
  189. Colorado Bob

     /  September 25, 2015

    Speaking as part of a forthcoming Radio 4 documentary series “Climate Change – Are we Feeling Lucky?”, she asserted that the earth had cooled in the last 13 years by 1F. And she said no evidence would persuade her of man-made warming.

    She also rejected the theory of evolution. Scientists say her views are “complete nonsense”.

    Ignore Pope on climate, says Republican Marsha Blackburn

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34342808

    Reply
  190. Colorado Bob

     /  September 25, 2015

    How does one fight crazy ?

    Reply
  191. Colorado Bob

     /  September 25, 2015

    It’s a Beautiful Day-Time Is

    Reply
  192. redskylite

     /  September 25, 2015

    Singapore needed to shut it’s schools and hand out safety masks to the elderly on Friday, as the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) hit a hazardly 319 count.

    http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/9/24/singapore-air-quality-worsens-to-hazardous-levels.html

    Reply
    • redskylite

       /  September 25, 2015

      With neighboring Indonesia promising significant cuts today, Singapore must be hoping that they enforce the ban on land clearing by burning sometime soon.

      http://www.climatechangenews.com/2015/09/24/indonesias-climate-plan-lands-amid-flurry-of-pledges/

      Reply
      • Maria

         /  September 25, 2015

        Volkswagen’s falsification of pollution tests opens the door to a very different car industry.

        After going more in depth about the scandal, how Europe/USA have not monitored companies emissions declarations, it finishes with how this scandal may be what opens wider the door to EV, et. al. vehicles.

        http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21666226-volkswagens-falsification-pollution-tests-opens-door-very-different-car

        Reply
        • redskylite

           /  September 25, 2015

          Well we know that several large businesses have been grossly unethical in the past, and V.W have joined the club.

          While the V.W diesel emission measurement cheat is disgraceful, at least the company has admitted the deceit, and it has been widely reported by the mainstream press. V.W are firing their high management and changing their structure.

          Very little news on the far more disgraceful and unethical acts by Exxon . . .
          Are fossil fuel concerns untouchable I wonder . .. . .

      • Maria

         /  September 25, 2015

        Point taken, redskylite. I’m still in shock and disappointed. VW is a legendary company. Creator of icons like the bug, the van that are seared into the American cultural history of the 60s/70s. My brother has owned VW for most of his adulthood. Convinced me into going VW with my last purchase in ’10. Not diesel because I needed a wagon and Passat model was not yet there. Well, life is that way. Unexpected at every corner.

        Reply
      • – FYI: These ‘iconic’ ( I’ve owned a few in the distant past. And junked the last car I owned way back in 1999.) VW bugs and vans etc have been some of the most horrendously polluting devices ever produced. Everyone should know that. This VW culture is a toxic blight — and something to be ashamed of.
        if you doubt this then go find one of them and sit down behind one while the engine operates — breathe the emissions and see for yourself (but beware).
        – Info on this is harder to find now that the latest toxic scam is in the news. So here’s a news piece from CSM from Mexico City 1990. (Ps Brazil became a de facto Ruhr Valley for VW, and made, or forged, cast, and machined many of the engine parts for VW at the expense of the rainforests.

        VW Beetle Sales Soar in Mexico

        POPULAR POLLUTER
        By Michael White, Special to The Christian Science Monitor July 17, 1990

        ‘MEXICO CITY — AIDED by a generous government tax break, the venerable Volkswagen Beetle is riding a new wave of popularity that has made it one of Mexico’s best-selling cars. But ecologists in this smog-shrouded capital say the Beetle’s outdated, air-cooled engine is an environmental hazard and the Bug’s revival marks a setback for efforts to clean the city’s foul air.

        However, the Bug’s revival appears to be at odds with government efforts to reduce auto pollutants. Luis Manuel Guerra, an environmental consultant to Mexico City, says the Beetle produces 10 times more carbon monoxide than the newer Volkswagen Rabbit or Nissan Tsuru.

        “The [Beetle] engine is the most polluting engine sold in the Americas,” …

        http://www.csmonitor.com/1990/0717/fvolks.html

        Reply
        • The worst thing about VW, spiritually, is that the company goes back to the Nazis… and so does the bug!

      • – Also 2011 Greenpeace on VW:

        The Volkswagen Group is the largest car maker in Europe. One in five
        new cars sold in Europe is a Volkswagen brand, and by 2018, the company
        aims to be the biggest car maker in the world

        Volkswagen has a history of diverting attention from its poor overall
        environmental performance by developing super-efficient prototype car
        designs which never come to mass production.

        Volkswagen were one of the driving forces in the lobbying campaign against
        the introduction of vehicle efficiency standards in Europe. It has also been part
        of efforts to oppose the introduction of strong US standards
        http://www.greenpeace.org/finland/Global/finland/Dokumentit/Julkaisut/2011/vw_report.pdf

        Reply
      • LINK because the pic of the NAZI VW bug didn’t show.

        Reply
      • rustj2015

         /  September 26, 2015

        Yah! It was that!
        Another point of view in similar hoorah:
        http://cassandralegacy.blogspot.com/

        Reply
    • – These burnings are illegal clear cutting to produce palm oil for consumer junk for ‘Consumers Without Conscience’.
      That is why these forests are on fire.

      Reply
  193. redskylite

     /  September 25, 2015

    Interesting new paper from the University of Bristol concerning abrupt transfer of CO2 from deep ocean to atmosphere and affects on the AMOC.

    http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2015/september/fossil-corals-and-past-climate.html

    Reply
  194. Caroline

     /  September 25, 2015

    Am interested to read thoughts/reactions to this most accessible, informative (albeit alarming) post from Arctic New blog:
    http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2015/09/warming-arctic-ocean-seafloor-threatens-to-cause-huge-methane-eruptions.html
    As an aside but very important nonetheless: when is Robert coming back?

    Reply
    • rustj2015

       /  September 25, 2015

      Yes, fearsome:
      A polynomial trendline points at global temperature anomalies of over 4°C by 2060. Even worse, a polynomial trend for the Arctic shows temperature anomalies of over 4°C by 2020, 6°C by 2030 and 15°C by 2050, threatening to cause major feedbacks to kick in, including albedo changes and methane releases that will trigger runaway global warming that looks set to eventually catch up with accelerated warming in the Arctic and result in global temperature anomalies of 16°C by 2052.

      Then, mindfulness.

      Reply
      • rustj2015

         /  September 25, 2015

        To wit:

        Tigers
        by Eliza Griswold

        What are we now but voices
        who promise each other a life
        neither one can deliver
        not for lack of wanting
        but wanting won’t make it so.
        We cling to a vine
        at the cliff’s edge.
        There are tigers above
        and below. Let us love
        one another and let go.

        Reply
      • rustj2015

         /  September 27, 2015

        This is an expression of what I think is mindfulness:

        What is most difficult, Arendt writes, is to love the world as it is, with all the evil and suffering in it. And yet she came to do just that. Loving the world means neither uncritical acceptance nor contemptuous rejection. Above all it means the unwavering facing up to and comprehension of that which is.

        About Amor Mundi, Hannah Arendt Letter from Bard College, 9/27/15

        Reply
        • Nice. That fragment is similar to the teachings of Eckhart Tolle, which I heartily recommend. Quite a bit of free video material available online, just search on the name if interested. With respect to this, he’d say, acceptance of the world as it is, is a necessary precondition to effective action.

    • Dave Person

       /  September 25, 2015

      Hi Caroline,
      Since when has anyone on the Arctic News blog predicted anything correctly? In my opinion, they represent the opinions of Sam Carana and that is all. I give them very little weight.

      dave

      Reply
      • rustj2015

         /  September 26, 2015

        Thanks for weighing in.

        Reply
      • Doug

         /  September 26, 2015

        Absolutely correct. Just as the right-wing denier sites lie, “we” have a few liars on our side as well. Hype and fear sell.

        Reply
      • – From my ‘quick’ reading of the piece — there was credible evidence and projections, it describes a ‘threat’.
        Q: Wherein do lies and misinformation exist?
        If so, which ones?
        Do we disregard their views for this?
        DT

        Reply
      • Dave Person

         /  September 26, 2015

        Hi DT,
        I did not accuse Arctic News blog of lying. I give them little weight because they filter almost all of their observations through the lens of catastrophic methane emissions. There is nothing wrong with that and they provide a useful perspective, but it is only one perspective and from one angle, largely Sam Carana’s.

        dave

        Reply
      • Tom

         /  September 26, 2015

        What do YOU think, Dave? Just keep doing what we’re doing and disregard anything that’s unsettling? What’s YOUR observation? Do you think methane release has no consequences?

        Reply
      • Dave Person

         /  September 26, 2015

        Hi Tom,
        1. I told you what I think in the post above. 2. You seem to think that just because I give Carana’s blog little weight that must also mean I don’t believe that methane is a problem and that we should do nothing. In other words, I cannot be skeptical of Carana’s predictions and still consider subsea methane emissions to be a problem or risk. Please explain your logic in drawing that conclusion. Carana consistently interprets events as catastrophic and imminent. An example was his midsummer blog about Arctic ice collapsing based on one European source that showed extent dropping like a stone all of a sudden in August. A simple check of the source data showed there was some problem with the data and no other sources NASA, JAXA, were showing similar results. He acknowledged the possibility that the data may be in error but he clearly hyped the idea that ice was collapsing this summer. I’ve read his blog for a few years and find too many examples of that kind of extreme interpretation that do not pan out. The information he presents on his blog is useful and informative but I don’t give much weight to his interpretations and predictions. I prefer to assess risk of catastrophic methane by reading papers from Shakhova et al., Archer et al., Wadhams, and others.

        dave

        Reply
    • Caroline

       /  September 26, 2015

      Tom, Dave, DT, Doug, Rust: Thanks for commenting on the link!
      Just trying to figure out what the heck is going on . . . . for what it’s worth (IMO) it’s looking rather dire (to quote Sam C.)

      Another article about the slowing of the AMOC from a few days ago:
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/09/24/why-some-scientists-are-worried-about-a-cold-blob-in-the-north-atlantic-ocean/?postshare=571443187048561

      Reply
      • Dave Person

         /  September 26, 2015

        Hi Caroline,
        Thank you for sharing the post and as a scientist, I suggest the article shows a group of very good scientists thinking out loud. I am glad they feel free to do that and express their hypotheses to the public. I am sure they and others will follow up and test the ideas with data.

        dave

        Reply
      • – Keep in mind the importance of the subject — mostly uncharted territory with many datasets, POVs, positive feedbacks and surprises galore. All in the middle of a culture that does not want to hear unpleasant news.
        Plus the emotional components…😦 ? 🙂 !

        Reply
    • Leland Palmer

       /  September 30, 2015

      I agree with Sam Carama about the potential methane threat. There is sufficient uncertainty in the fossil record that he may be correct.

      We just don’t know. Since we’re betting the farm on the scientific judgement of often fossil fuel industry associated scientists, the truly scientific stance is to err on the side of caution.

      The consequences of under-reacting are immense.

      There really are carbon isotope excursions consistent with massive methane release associated with most or even all mass extinction events in the fossil record.

      Reply
      • Plus, the mainstream media inflates the fossil-fuel bought scientists and retards the response to CO2 / CO2e built-up to outright unconservatism, that’s also downright illiberal.

        Reply
      • Leland Palmer

         /  October 2, 2015

        Hi Ed-M

        Having said that about Sam Carana- that he may be correct- I do think that he over-reacts, and his over-reactions don’t do our cause any good. I think he is likely to be wrong about the pace of catastrophic climate change in the next few years, but right about the long term consequences.

        We really don’t know how fast the methane hydrates will dissociate. There are ominous signs that they may be less stable than we think. Certainly, the sudden methane release hypothesis of mass extinctions does predict massive sudden carbon isotope excursions consistent with the release of trillions of tons of methane from the hydrates – and these are actually seen in the fossil record in most mass extinctions.

        There is a class of methane hydrates containing a roughly estimated 50 Gt of carbon as methane, that may be drastically less stable than most of them likely are. These are the triple point hydrates, with high salt concentrations that are generated by the well known purification by crystallization process – very common in chemistry. When the hydrate crystals form, they exclude impurities like salts from their structure, and leave the salt in surrounding sediments. So, these triple point high salt hydrates would tend to form whenever there is a constant flow of methane, producing salt faster than it can diffuse away into surrounding sediments.

        These high salt hydrates are at equilibrium between gas, liquid, and solid, and so can have free flow of methane from deep in the deposit to the surface. There are also triple point chimneys within the hydrate deposits – and the oil corporations are interested in these chimneys as a source of a steady flow of natural gas, which could be harvested.

        I am concerned that these chimneys could activate, and that buoyant flows of methane could drive flows of water or mud through the hydrate deposits, creating a mass flow mechanism that could release methane much, much more rapidly than the static models used up until this point predict. Free migration of gas through the triple point deposits is bad enough, but what if methane hydrates have an active phase, activated by gas driven pumping? Or what if the triple point hydrate chimneys themselves are capable of much higher rates of evolution of gas than many of the (often industry associated) experts are publicly predicting?

        I really, really do not like the look of these chimneys:

        As these seismic images show, the chimneys are often connected to vents and pockmarks on the ocean floor, which evolve methane gas.

        So far, the rates are fairly low.

        So far.

        Reply
        • Hi Lelend!

          I don’t like the looks of that methane chimney sonograph, either. Some of the chimneys look like they extend almost to the sea floor! (shown at 1.3 km below the surface)

      • Leland Palmer

         /  October 2, 2015

        Here’s a link to a paper by Xaoli Liu and Peter Flemmings paper on triple point hydrates and triple point hydrate chimneys.
        http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.150.6060&rep=rep1&type=pdf

        Here are some Implications of their revolutionary work:

        Quote:
        5.3. Implications for Gas Hydrate Stability, Climate,
        and Energy
        [89] Gas hydrate chimneys will affect the dynamic
        behavior of the hydrate reservoir and this may impact
        climate [Dickens, 2003]. In the stratified view of hydrate
        systems, methane is trapped within the RHSZ until there is a
        change in pressure or temperature that alters the thickness of
        the RHSZ. In contrast, gas chimneys provide pathways that
        connect free gas below the RHSZ with the seafloor: these
        chimneys act as valves by steadily or episodically releasing
        methane into the ocean. As a result, significant amounts of
        gaseous methane can bypass the RHSZ without being
        captured in the hydrate reservoir. In this view, the hydrate
        reservoir may be significantly smaller than previously
        envisioned because of this bypass.
        [90] Hydrate reservoirs formed by gas flow have high
        concentrations and lie on the three-phase boundary. As a
        result, small changes in pressure or temperature could
        release a large amount of methane. Thus small increases
        in ocean water temperature may drive large volumes of
        methane from hydrate to the ocean. In addition, highly
        concentrated hydrate deposits that are near the seafloor and
        at the three-phase boundary may be the most economical
        type of hydrate deposit where methane can be extracted.
        Unquote.

        The oceanic hydrates are not the only game in town, unfortunately. There is the permafrost, the subsea thermokarst of the East Siberian Arctic shelf, extra methane from agriculture and animal husbandry, methane from landfills, and so on.

        And lately there are those truly weird Siberian methane blowouts, that evolve from craters into circular lakes by subsidence – in a landscape pockmarked with hundreds of thousands of circular lakes. There may be other processes operating in that area that can produce circular lakes – except that Occam’s Razor says one circular lake generating process operating in the same area is a simpler explanation than two or more processes. In the recent popular news accounts quoting the Siberian scientists working on this phenomenon, it sounds to me like the blowout process and the collapsed pingo explanation are starting to merge into one circular lake generating processs.

        Reply
      • Leland Palmer

         /  October 3, 2015

        Hi Ed-M-

        Yes, the chimneys seem ominous to me. These chimneys are very common in hydrate deposits. Like the circular lakes of the Arctic, we have been looking at these structures and thinking we understood them. Maybe we do – but maybe we don’t.

        It almost sounds like people are talking about triple point chimneys in conventional hydrate deposits, with high salt concentrations within the chimneys. I need to find out more about this – the implications could be very bad, I think.

        Reply
  195. Maria

     /  September 25, 2015

    Re: El Niño. Looks like true reversal of easterly winds by next week.

    Great chart in the link. My attempts to post Twitter links results in them going to moderation limbo ☺️

    https://mobile.twitter.com/MJVentrice/status/647068567859544064/photos

    Reply
  196. – File under: Digital Infrastructure

    The node pole: inside Facebook’s Swedish hub near the Arctic Circle

    Remote datacentre in Luleå cools itself using freezing outside air, has a fence to keep moose out and processes your selfies

    Facebook has four giant datacentres in the US, its newest at Fort Worth in Texas. The construction of the Swedish data halls is in response to the huge amounts of electronic data being generated around the world, at a rate that doubles roughly every 18 months.

    In Facebook’s case, this means 350m photographs a day, 4.5bn likes and 10bn messages.
    http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/sep/25/facebook-datacentre-lulea-sweden-node-pole?CMP=ema_565a

    Reply
  197. – PNW Drought thru 2016


    Even with the arrival of cooler weather and some rain, Washington’s prolonged drought is not over, state officials said Thursday.
    …we face winter with a huge water deficit,” Ecology Director Maia Bellon said during a conference call with reporters on Thursday.

    This year’s drought was spurred early on by a dismal mountain snowpack that gave way to the hottest summer on record in many places, including Vancouver. In Southwest Washington, the impacts have been felt more acutely by fish as record-low stream flows and warm water temperatures have created lethal conditions in places. Regional fish hatcheries scrambled to adapt by releasing fish early or moving fish from one location to another.
    http://www.columbian.com/news/2015/sep/25/drought-expected-to-last-into-2016/

    Reply
  198. – Anthrogogenic nitrogen, in form or another (N,NOX, NO2, etc.is a common thread in many of our current and accelatng threats that make the news.
    The VW scam against humanity in a most recent. Note too the influence of solar heat as an agent in chemical reaction.

    LATimes

    VW cheated on U.S. pollution tests for ‘clean diesels’

    VW’s software trick allows the cars to emit up to 40 times the legally allowed amount of nitrogen oxide, environmental officials said.

    Nitrogen oxide is among the auto pollutants that put more smog into California’s skies, Air Resources Board Executive Officer Richard Corey said.

    “Under the hot California sun [nitrogen oxide] cooks and creates ozone and fine particles,” Corey said.
    http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-volkswagen-probe-20150918-story.html

    Reply
    • From Media Matters:

      Conservative Media Are Trying To Blame Air Pollution Limits For Volkswagen’s Emissions Scandal

      In the wake of the Volkswagen emissions-rigging scandal, questions are being raised about the amount of influence automakers have over the enforcement — or lack thereof — of vehicle emissions standards. But rather than join in that conversation, conservative media are making excuses for Volkswagen’s conduct and seeking to shift much of the blame to the Environmental Protection Agency and emission standards themselves.

      http://mediamatters.org/research/2015/09/25/conservative-media-are-trying-to-blame-air-poll/205788

      Reply
  199. – Koch industries, formerly Koch Nitrogen… that other ‘N’ (anthropogenic) word again…

    Koch Industries running commercials during Badgers games as part of rebranding effort

    Koch Industries is now a sponsor of the Wisconsin Badgers, showing up in promotions during football games, but UW-Madison officials aren’t yet releasing details of the deal.

    UW-Madison is one of 15 universities that Koch Industries, led by conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, has signed with as part of an image rebuilding and employee recruitment program, according to news reports.

    The Koch brothers’ funding of conservative causes and candidates like Scott Walker, to whom their political network has delivered millions, is controversial in politically polarized Wisconsin. The Kochs also have come under fire for the strings they have put on donations to some universities that are criticized as assaults on academic freedom. For example, a donation to Florida State came with a requirement to align instruction to Koch philosophy.

    http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/education/university/koch-industries-running-commercials-during-badgers-games-as-part-of/article_55af34e4-eac4-55c8-a128-732a52146c4a.html

    Reply
  200. redskylite

     /  September 26, 2015

    After the Volkswagen scandal, more on diesel and emission tests, seems some hidden pollutants are emerging. . .

    We really do need to respect our atmosphere and lungs (as well as our climate), and move to carbon free automotive energy sources . . .

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34347873

    Reply
  201. redskylite

     /  September 26, 2015

    Talking about scandals I hope that EXXON are not going scot free for covering up science for so many decades and subjecting so many to pain and suffering . . .

    http://cleantechnica.com/2015/09/25/global-warming-what-did-we-know-and-when-did-we-know-it/

    Reply
    • rustj2015

       /  September 26, 2015

      Though, this article may again show a more long-term lack of authorities’ concern for what was happening. Conditions are “improving” for making the point:

      The scientists examined average and extreme temperatures because these would, of course, be most sensitive to global warming − and therefore evidence should show in historic records.

      “Remarkably, our research shows you could already see clear signs of global warming in the tropics by the 1960s, but in parts of Australia, south-east Asia and Africa it was visible as early as the 1940s,” Dr King says.

      http://www.climatenewsnetwork.net/harder-rains-set-to-fall-as-the-world-warms/

      Reply
  202. redskylite

     /  September 26, 2015

    Elon Mush echoes Joe Romm’s earlier sentiments (in Climate/Think Progress) during a speech in Berlin, so many visionaries, so little time . . .

    “Today’s refugee problem is perhaps a small indication of what the future will be like if we do not take action with respect to climate change,” Musk told an audience at Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. “Today, the challenge is in terms of millions of people, but in the future, based on what the scientific consensus is, the problem will be in the hundreds of millions and much more severe.”

    http://ecowatch.com/2015/09/25/elon-musk-climate-refugees/

    Reply
  203. Abel Adamski

     /  September 26, 2015

    And just a couple of current items (one at a time of course)
    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/09/24/world/science-health-world/new-study-finds-trees-may-strike-global-warming/#.VgZ8JX36mWw

    Trees are starting to be “Cautious” about shooting early with earlier springs and appear to be slowing their growth and CO2 uptake

    Reply
  204. Abel Adamski

     /  September 26, 2015

    Shrinking Glaciers and Land ice
    http://www.bdlive.co.za/world/europe/2015/09/26/mont-blanc-glacier-a-striking-example-of-reality-of-global-warming

    Remember there is permafrost under them thar glaciers also

    Reply
  205. Abel Adamski

     /  September 26, 2015

    A further nail
    http://ncse.com/news/2015/09/polling-scientists-climate-change-0016658

    Non Climate scientists, but biophysical scientists who live with the consequences on a daily basis

    Reply
    • From another link: “Biophysics discovers the biological cycles of heat, light, water, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, heat, and organisms throughout our planet.”

      Reply
    • There is much more to it than temperature as focus — the toxicity of the atmosphere and biosphere is driving the temperature (climate change).
      Much evidence and damage is there to be seen in every community if only people take the time to look closely with an independent mind.
      You don’t have to be a ‘scientist’ — or have highly calibrated techno gadgets. The human sensory facility is far superior and sensitive — if used to potential. And if used and flexed enough.

      Reply
  206. Maria

     /  September 26, 2015

    Hi DT, Ed & Rust,

    Thanks for your informative feedback on VW–I must confess ignorance to any of VW’s history. Let’s hope true justice is served. The level of psychological compartmentalization that goes on in the halls of these companies is astonishing.

    Reply
  207. rustj2015

     /  September 26, 2015

    Maybe there will be rams’ horns instead of bleats:

    October 10 – 17, 2015: International Days of Action for Democracy, Social Justice and our Public Services

    We, civil society organisations, trade unions, farmers and grassroots activists from both sides of the Atlantic oppose TTIP, CETA, TiSA and TPP. These sinister trade deals threaten our democracy, public services, and social & environmental standards, and jeopardise small-scale quality farming, food and pharmaceutical standards, the indispensable energy transition, and our right and ability to change society for the better. The beneficiaries of these agreements are the big corporations who designed and lobbied for them, not citizens.

    http://failedevolution.blogspot.gr/2015/09/call-to-action-stop-ttip-ceta-tisa-and.html

    Reply
  208. – File under “real-world” emissions.

    The Guardian 0926

    The British government sought to block new EU legislation that would force member states to carry out surprise checks on the emissions of cars, raising fresh questions over ministers’ attitude to air pollution and their conduct in the Volkswagen scandal.

    A document obtained by the Observer reveals that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has been advising British MEPs to vote against legislation that would oblige countries to carry out “routine and non-routine” inspections on vehicles’ “real-world” emissions.

    The revelation will add to the growing concerns over the government’s commitment to tackling air pollution. It follows the admission last week that the Department for Transport had ignored significant evidence of the fraudulent practices being employed by the car industry when this was sent to it a year ago.
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/sep/26/uk-tried-to-block-tougher-eu-car-emissions-tests

    Reply
  209. Colorado Bob

     /  September 26, 2015

    The third recorded global coral bleaching event may be underway

    Coral reefs around the world — from Hawaii to the iconic Great Barrier Reef, eastward all the way to the Bahamas and beyond — are in jeopardy of being severely damaged or even dying because of a dangerous spike in ocean temperatures, scientists say.

    Conditions are so dire that, provided coral bleaching soon spreads from the Florida Keys to the Bahamas, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is expected to declare as soon as two weeks from now that the third global coral bleaching event is here. There’s already evidence of coral bleaching in three major ocean basins.

    “It’s like watching a slow-motion train wreck, and we’re waiting for the cars to pile up on this side of the track,” says Mark Eakin, the coordinator of NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch, in an interview with Mashable.

    http://mashable.com/2015/09/24/third-global-coral-bleaching-event/?utm_source=climatenexus&utm_medium=referral#oFAa_etJzuqD

    Reply
  210. – Notice the red dangerous to human health ozone allowed by Congress and perpetuated by American citizens.
    – Worrisome too is the yellow levels of small and ultrafine particulate at the coast and on he offshore islands. The SC Bight is one big air pollution basin. It’s beyond absurd.

    Reply
  211. Colorado Bob

     /  September 26, 2015

    ‘Extreme’ weather becomes the norm

    A new climate report for Norway, updated by 37 researchers and meteorologists nationwide, confirms that torrential rain and flooding is already becoming normal as temperatures rise. Today’s so-called “extreme” weather won’t be so extreme, and buildings need to be secured against floods and rot.

    http://www.newsinenglish.no/2015/09/24/extreme-weather-becomes-the-norm/

    Reply
    • “[B]uildings need to be secured from floods and rot.”

      Plus mold and mildew, especially that toxic black mold.

      Reply
  212. New global data suggests air pollution kills 10 million people per year

    Recently, scientists have used global atmospheric chemistry obtained from satellite data to improve our understanding of the global spread of air pollutants. They looked at seven emission source categories in both urban and rural environments, and the result is a more realistic prediction of the health effects caused by very high concentrations of particulate pollutants.

    http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/09/new-global-data-suggest-air-pollution-kills-10-million-people-per-year/

    Reply
  213. Colorado Bob

     /  September 26, 2015

    Extreme Pacific sea level events to double in future

    During El Niño, warm water and high sea levels shift eastward, leaving in their wake low sea levels in the western Pacific. Scientists have already shown that this east-west seesaw is often followed six months to a year later by a similar north-south sea level seesaw with water levels dropping by up to one foot (30 cm) in the Southern Hemisphere. Such sea level drops expose shallow marine ecosystems in South Pacific Islands, causing massive coral die-offs with a foul smelling tide called taimasa (pronounced [kai’ ma’sa]) by Samoans.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150925142700.htm

    Reply
  214. Colorado Bob

     /  September 26, 2015

    Earth’s oceans show decline in microscopic plant life

    Summary:
    The world’s oceans have seen significant declines in certain types of microscopic plant-life at the base of the marine food chain, according to a new NASA study. The research is the first to look at global, long-term phytoplankton community trends based on a model driven by NASA satellite data.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150923134209.htm

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  September 26, 2015

      ” Diatoms, the largest type of phytoplankton algae, have declined more than 1 percent per year from 1998 to 2012 globally, with significant losses occurring in the North Pacific, North Indian and Equatorial Indian oceans. The reduction in population may reduce the amount of carbon dioxide drawn out of the atmosphere and transferred to the deep ocean for long-term storage. “

      Reply
  215. Colorado Bob

     /  September 26, 2015

    How fossil corals can shed light on Earth’s past climate
    Summary:
    Researchers have used radiocarbon measured in deep-sea fossil corals to shed light on carbon dioxide levels during Earth’s last deglaciation. Fossil corals have the unique advantage that they can be precisely dated by radiometric uranium-series dating, giving an age scale that can be directly compared to the ice core records.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150924151409.htm

    ” Lead author, Dr Tianyu Chen of Bristol’s School of Earth Sciences said: “Our radiocarbon data are consistent with two transient and enhanced deep Atlantic overturning events which flushed out respired carbon in the deep water, causing a rapid rise of atmosphere CO2 concentration and abrupt warming of the high latitude North Atlantic.”

    Reply
  216. Colorado Bob

     /  September 27, 2015

    deep hopelessness.

    It would seem that deep hopelessness is at hand for everyone who knows the physics of our problem, and nature of man’s heart

    Reply
  217. Colorado Bob

     /  September 27, 2015

    Jefferson Airplane Takes Off [Full Album]

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  September 27, 2015

      I planed to die before Grace Slick . she lived a much harder life than me. But here we are , God bless her , where ever she is.

      What a woman, what a time.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  September 27, 2015

        I paid $4.00 for this album at Sears. It changed my life. Ir was like nothing before,

        Reply
    • Yeah, good stuff for sure. Jack Casady’s rich bass and Marty Balin’s vocals and ballads etc did it for me. Song choices were outstanding too.
      Jefferson Airplane – Come Up The Years (1966) HQ

      Reply
  218. Colorado Bob

     /  September 27, 2015

    “Life is funny ole dog.”

    Reply
  219. Colorado Bob

     /  September 27, 2015

    Eagles – Doolin Dalton -HD

    Reply
  220. Colorado Bob

     /  September 27, 2015

    Don Hendly this week ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, I win , you lose.

    Reply
  221. Colorado Bob

     /  September 27, 2015

    The Tragically Hip – New Orleans Is Sinking

    Reply
  222. Colorado Bob

     /  September 27, 2015

    The future ……………….. New Orleans is sinkin’ and I don’t want to swim.

    Reply
  223. redskylite

     /  September 27, 2015

    Italy alpine, startling glacier melt. Is anyone still startled ? how long has news like this been highlighted ? We must stop with the fossil fuel burning, we know it.

    http://www.dispatchtribunal.com/alpine-glaciers-in-italy-have-lost-40-of-their-area-wwf/5901/

    Reply
    • “The status of the glaciers have been revealed in the latest Hot Ice report just a few months before the crucial United Nations Climate Change Conference to be held in Paris. The report highlights that the glacier cover in the Alpine region has currently declined to 368 sq kms from 609 sq kms in the 1980s…”

      Reply
    • Thanks, tweeting. And no, not surprised.

      Reply
  224. – Fossil fuel dependent and obesity promoting industrial cruelty farming… and you know why they hide from public scrutiny.
    This is a well articulated article and worth a read.

    – “Cruelty in the Time of Happy Meals”
    – “Are we Happy yet, Mom?”

    The Guardian:
    Industrial farming is one of the worst crimes in history

    The fate of industrially farmed animals is one of the most pressing ethical questions of our time. Tens of billions of sentient beings, each with complex sensations and emotions, live and die on a production line

    Animals are the main victims of history, and the treatment of domesticated animals in industrial farms is perhaps the worst crime in history. The march of human progress is strewn with dead animals. Even tens of thousands of years ago, our stone age ancestors were already responsible for a series of ecological disasters. When the first humans reached Australia about 45,000 years ago, they quickly drove to extinction 90% of its large animals. This was the first significant impact that Homo sapiens had on the planet’s ecosystem. It was not the last.

    Alas, domesticated species paid for their unparalleled collective success with unprecedented individual suffering. The animal kingdom has known many types of pain and misery for millions of years. Yet the agricultural revolution created completely new kinds of suffering, ones that only worsened with the passing of the generations.

    What makes the existence of domesticated farm animals particularly cruel is not just the way in which they die but above all how they live. Two competing factors have shaped the living conditions of farm animals:

    http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/sep/25/industrial-farming-one-worst-crimes-history-ethical-question?CMP=ema_565a

    Reply
  225. Reply
    • Before settling in PDX I tried out Santa Fe, and ABQ, NM for a short time, then a year in Flagstaff, AZ. All are on Route 66 — a fossil fuel nightmare unto itself and a pox on all of America.
      OUT

      Reply
  226. – 0927 The jet stream is split over PNW.

    Reply
  227. Maria

     /  September 28, 2015

    Super moon eclipse. Looks like it was striking–too cloudy where I am this w/e to partake in the awe & wonder. -;(

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/11895052/Supermoon-lunar-eclipse-2015-Amazing-pictures-of-once-in-a-generation-event-live.html

    Reply
    • Dave Person

       /  September 28, 2015

      Hi Maria,
      It was beautiful. My haven in Vermont has a clear view of the sky with no light pollution. My border collie, Bella, and I sat outside by a fire and watched the entire eclipse. Remarkably, she took notice of the moon when moonlight began to dim noticeably. It caught her attention for 4-5 minutes until she was distracted by a barred owl hooting.

      dave

      Reply
      • Maria

         /  September 28, 2015

        Dave, thanks fior sharing–your evening sounds divine–Orange moon, fire, fresh cool air, best friend, and a hooting owl. Just wonderful.

        To know what Bella may have been thinking–“wait, wait, don’t go. I want to stay out here all night.” ☺️

        I imagine you have some amazing sky memories from your Alaska years. If you have a link to a gallery of images, I’d love to see them.

        Reply
  228. Oceanographic team finds new clues to the ocean’s heat driving Arctic’s fourth lowest sea-ice minimum –

    “The ArcticMix voyage is right on top of what the NSIDC has called ‘a striking feature of the late 2015 melt season’,” said Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Dr. Jennifer MacKinnon, chief scientist aboard the R/V Sikuliaq.

    “Our instruments are seeing billows of turbulence that look just like a wave breaking on the beach, but much larger.

    “As a result, heat is being mixed up towards the surface, and the remaining ice, at a remarkable rate.

    “While we hypothesised this might be happening, we have been genuinely thunderstruck by how incredibly strong the turbulence is below the surface.

    “This heat is likely playing a substantial role in the melting of the ice that we can see all around us, growing thinner every day, and our job now is to distinguish summer melting from longer term change.

    https://scripps.ucsd.edu/projects/arcticmix/media-release-oceanographic-team-finds-new-clues-to-the-oceans-heat-driving-arctics-fourth-lowest-sea-ice-minimum/

    Reply
  229. Abel Adamski

     /  September 28, 2015

    Here we go again,
    Soudelier was such a hit, so now a reprise from ‘Super typhoon’ Dujuan as it nears Taiwan on its journey to enjoy the delights of Mainland China
    http://www.mysinchew.com/node/111424/tid=13

    “Taipei (AFP) — ‘Super typhoon’ Dujuan was swirling towards Taiwan Monday with thousands of people evacuated from outlying islands as the storm gathered strength on its approach.

    Torrential rains and high winds are predicted across Taiwan from Monday afternoon as Dujuan nears the east coast, with landfall predicted around 11:00 pm (1500 GMT).

    Taiwan’s weather bureau upgraded Dujuan to a “strong typhoon” Sunday — it’s top category.

    Other regional weather bureaus, including the Hong Kong Observatory, categorised it as a “super typhoon” as it intensified to reach gusts of 227 kilometres (141 miles) per hour.

    “It is due to exert influence from noon after its edge reaches the island,” an official at the Central Weather Bureau said.

    “Dujuan will pass near the Japanese island of Ishigaki as it approaches Taiwan.

    Japan’s meteorological agency has warned it could trigger waves 13 metres (42 feet) high.

    The storm is on course to hit mainland China from Tuesday, but is forecast to have weakened.

    The Pacific is still rockin and rollin

    Reply
  230. rustj2015

     /  September 28, 2015

    Good news this morning:
    Shell Abandons Alaska Arctic Drilling
    [though they haven’t exactly said they won’t do anything more, just backing off of their current exploration]

    Reacting to the news, Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven said:

    “Big oil has sustained an unmitigated defeat. They had a budget of billions, we had a movement of millions. For three years we faced them down, and the people won.

    “The Save the Arctic movement has exacted a huge reputational price from Shell for its Arctic drilling programme. And as the company went another year without striking oil, that price finally became too high. They’re pulling out.

    “Now President Obama should use his remaining months in office to say that no other oil company will be licensed to drill in the American Arctic.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/sep/28/shell-ceases-alaska-arctic-drilling-exploratory-well-oil-gas-disappoints

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  October 1, 2015

      I wonder if there is not more unsaid to that story, such as a substantial methane outgassing with the drilling that they ran from. ?

      Reply
  231. – Link to coral bleaching
    – So damn much information — so gov. and citizen little action.

    NOAA Coral Reef Watch
    Virtual Stations in Google Maps

    Reply
  232. rustj2015

     /  September 28, 2015

    The real action is to call your representative, but if you have concerns about fracking on public lands:
    http://signforgood.com/banfracking/?code=EA

    Reply
  233. – OK, I’m almost there.
    – But first, with all this coral bleaching out, green carpets of algal growths, a pasty white sky, etc — how much longer will our ‘blue planet’ be blue?

    – In this link is a tie-in to El Nino and bleaching.

    http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/analyses_guidance/enso_bleaching_97-99_ag_20140507.php

    Reply
  234. NOAA Harmful Algal Bloom Operational Forecast System (HAB-OFS)
    Operational Conditions Reports

    http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/hab/

    Reply
  235. Can we talk about recent Methane emissions, Milankovitch, goldilocks and axial tilt now too? How is Robert? Is he on a break?

    Reply
  236. – NYT offers some preventative health info re particulate pollution defenses.( Beware, a driver polluter cause of Pm is the focus. as victim, though.)
    – I will link to another. You likely have bandages, disinfectants, fire extinguishers, etc.?

    Masks and Other Air Pollution Defenses

    there is only limited evidence to show that even the best modern surgical masks, which help filter out a wide range of particle sizes, make a difference along a congested highway.

    The pollutants encountered include ultrafine particles (those with a diameter of less than 100 nanometers, or billionths of a meter), black carbon, oxides of nitrogen and carbon monoxide. Such emissions are increasingly linked to higher risks of lung disease and cardiovascular problems.

    Gases can penetrate masks, but certain highly rated masks divert a significant share of particles from the air. They do not act as simple sieves, except for the very largest particles.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/29/science/masks-and-other-air-pollution-defenses.html?_r=0

    Reply
    • How do surgical mask and respirator filters perform?

      Respirator filters that collect at least 95% of the challenge aerosol are given a 95 rating. Those that collect at least 99% receive a “99” rating. And those that collect at least 99.97% (essentially 100%) receive a “100” rating. Respirator filters are rated as N, R, or P for their level of protection against oil aerosols. This rating is important in industry because some industrial oils can remove electrostatic charges from the filter media, thereby degrading (reducing) the filter efficiency performance. Respirators are rated “N” if they are not resistant to oil, “R” if somewhat resistant to oil, and “P” if strongly resistant (oil proof). Thus, there are nine types of particulate respirator filters:
      N95, N-99, and N-100
      http://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2009/10/14/n95/

      Reply
  237. – Yacht Porn: I’m sorry to report gross grossness in the boat building world but ‘manifest tourism’ is showing itself these days.

    – Pure idle speculation here but I wonder if Sea Shepherd has torpedo capability. This Arctic yachting endeavor is worse than piracy. This is pure speculation though…

    ‘SeaXplorer: £100m luxury yacht that can navigate Arctic launched at Monaco Yacht Show

    The builders, Damen Group, claim that they are the first ever range of expedition yachts, and that they will be able to cruise through the ice of the Artic.

    The impressive vessels, named SeaXplorer, will have space for submarines, two helicopters, diving and expedition boats.

    They also promise a sun deck, Jacuzzi, haman, steam room, sauna, rain shower and massage facilities, plus a “finest dining” service due to extensive provisioning.

    The yacht’s are designed with full capability for remote destinations, from extreme Polar to remote tropical areas, can stay at sea for 40 days, and reach speed of up to 16 knots, according to the Damen Group.

    Reply
  238. – Americans still unleashes millions of gross polluting junker-clunker cars, trucks and power tools upon us — every day!

    ‘How Many Deaths Did Volkswagen’s Deception Cause in U.S.?’

    The impact of smog and soot pollution on global health is substantial: A recent paper by Jos Lelieveld, at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Germany, and colleagues estimated that air pollution causes some three million premature deaths a year, and that the number of deaths could more than double by 2050.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/29/upshot/how-many-deaths-did-volkswagens-deception-cause-in-us.html

    Reply
  239. Maria

     /  September 29, 2015

    Solar Power Invades Oil Rich Middle East

    Nearly 4,000 miles away, on a desert plateau in Morocco, one of the world’s largest concentrated solar power (CSP) complexes is being built in Ouarzazate province, a landscape made famous as a backdrop for Oscar-winning films “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Gladiator,” as well as HBO’s hit series “Game of Thrones.”

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/solar-power-invades-oil-rich-middle-east/

    Reply
  240. – Center for Biological Diversity 0928

    Conservation Groups Applaud Rep. Huffman Legislation to End Arctic Offshore Oil Drilling

    On Day Shell Announces End to Its Arctic Adventure, Rep. Huffman Looks Forward
    With introduction of Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act

    WASHINGTON— Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) today introduced the Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act in the U.S. House of Representatives to prohibit oil and gas leasing in federal waters off the coast of Alaska. This important legislation comes following Shell Oil’s revelation that after seven years and $7 billion in investment, its Arctic drilling campaign has come up dry. Today’s announcement sends a clear message to the Obama administration and the American public that it’s time to look forward and protect the Arctic for our children and our climate future.

    The Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act, which mirrors a bill of the same name that was introduced in the Senate in July by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), also comes on the heels of a letter from Senate Democrats calling on President Obama to reverse current policies promoting Arctic drilling.
    http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2015/arctic-drilling-09-28-2015b.html

    Reply
  241. redskylite

     /  September 29, 2015

    Recent paper in Environmental Research Letters, Volume 10, Number 9. Title “Identification of two distinct fire regimes in Southern California: implications for economic impact and future change”

    Authors: Yufang Jin1, Michael L Goulden, Nicolas Faivre, Sander Veraverbeke, Fengpeng Sun, Alex Hall, Michael S Hand, Simon Hook and James T Randerson

    Published 8 September 2015

    Wildfires have ravaged both populated and unpopulated regions of Southern California at an increasing rate over the past few decades, and scientists from three University of California campuses and partner institutions are predicting that by midcentury, as a consequence of climate change causing hotter and drier summers, a lot more will go up in flames.

    http://www.alternet.org/environment/climate-change-will-cause-more-wildfires-western-us

    Reply
  242. Abel Adamski

     /  September 29, 2015

    Sorry for duplicating Robert, first one had the posters name as a link which I didn’t notice until I saw comment was in moderation. Plse delete
    F
    or a maybe illusory glimmer of hope

    http://climatecrocks.com/2015/09/28/is-low-energy-fusion-real/

    “Rossi has gone well beyond laboratory demonstration; he claims that he and the private firm Industrial Heat, LLC of Raleigh, North Carolina, USA, have actually installed a working system at an (undisclosed) commercial customer’s site.

    According to Rossi and a handful of others who have observed the system in operation, it is producing 1 MWatt continuous net output power, in the form of heat, from a few grams of “fuel” in each of a set of modest-sized reactors in a network. The system has now been operating for approximately six months, as part of a one-year acceptance test. Rossi and IH LLC are in talks with Chinese firms for large-scale commercial manufacture.

    Several “reliable sources” have visited Rossi’s commercial site, and have verified that the system is working as claimed, as evidenced, for example, by the customer’s significantly reduced electric bills.”

    And from the last comment

    ” Bobaspergersr

    September 28, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    Thanks for the post. Professor Robert V Duncan and his wife joined Texas Tech University in Jan 2015, (left Univ. of Missouri cited in 60 Minutes), with leadership positions. Former Governor Perry is not totally dumb, He surrounded himself with good forward looking scientists who saw the future of LENR as a result of an academic mess at Texas A &M regarding professor John Brockrus who, like Martin Fleishmannn , was an electrochemist ( not liked by Dr Blue Head of the Dow electrochimistry Lab). Brockrus repeated the Fleichmann and Pons work and reported tritium. He also did experiments on isotope transmutations with a goal of using the LENR reactions to convert some of the fission wastes into stable, non radioactive isotopes. Perry and his men , together, get the State to move the new stuff to Texas. Call me for more details about what is going on in LENR in Texas institutions and at Austin’s National Scientific (a maker of fine electrical control and monitoring equipment, very widely used at Dow. If there is to be big big big commercial news coming on the Rossi megawatt thermal plant, it should come late in Feb or early March 2016. 417 771 5695″

    If a real practicality, the cat among the F.F pigeons and their backers.

    To take out the atmospheric CO2 there are promising if expensive solutions, SOME of which can produce hydrocarbons that can be used as fuel from atmospheric CO2, some pure colloidal Carbon and 2D carbon film , both highly valuable industrial long term storage, both being means of completely stopping the addition of stored Carbon into the atmosphere and allowing us to steadily reduce the atmospheric CO2 if we have the time

    Reply
  243. Colorado Bob

     /  September 29, 2015

    WWF Report shows Italy’s Alpine Glaciers retreated by 40% over Last Three Decades

    Authors of the report said that drastic measures should be considered by world leaders at the summit, so that glaciers across the globe could be saved from melting rapidly. The report stated that in 1980s, Alpine glaciers had covered an area of about 609 sq kms, but today, the glaciers are covering just 368 sq kms of area. The New Italian Glacier Inventory has provided the figures on Friday. These figures were previously presented at the 19th Alpine Glaciology meeting in May in Milan.

    http://northerncalifornian.com/content/52986-wwf-report-shows-italys-alpine-glaciers-retreated-40-over-last-three-decades

    Reply
  244. Colorado Bob

     /  September 29, 2015

    Mars, Bloomberg vow with 6 million companies to act on climate change

    A refrain echoed through the Climate Group’s signature and final Climate Week meeting Monday in New York, where hundreds of business people had gathered to talk about their role in stemming climate change.

    Pamela Mars-Wright from the board of directors of Mars Inc., the first U.S.-based multinational company to transition to 100-percent renewable energy and pledge to zero greenhouse-gas emissions, spoke about her college-age children, generation five in the family-owned business.

    “Addressing climate change is not an option to them,” she said, but an absolute necessity. “They make that very clear.”

    Maria Fernanda Mejia, president of Kellogg Latin America, put it this way: “The next generation simply can’t tolerate our inability to help others,” particularly those suffering the effects of climate change.

    http://www.greenbiz.com/article/mars-bloomberg-vow-6-million-companies-act-climate-change

    Reply
  245. Eric Thurston

     /  September 29, 2015

    What I’ve suspected for a while….

    “The much-anticipated El Niño gaining strength in the Pacific is shaping up to be one of the biggest on record, scientists say. With a few months still to go before it reaches peak strength, many are speculating it could rival the record-breaking El Niño in 1997/8.

    Today, a new review paper in Nature Climate Change suggests we can expect more of the same in future, with rising temperatures set to almost double the frequency of extreme El Niño events.”

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/

    Reply
  246. Greg

     /  September 29, 2015

    First the coffee rust fungus and now an exceptional drought convince Costa Rica coffee farmers that climate change is real:

    http://news.yahoo.com/centram-coffee-growers-struggle-adapt-climate-change-034918574.html

    Reply
    • – Bad changes in CR, alright.
      I used to roast my own coffee at home. My favorite source of green beans was from the higher altitude fincas in the Tarrazu region. Always good tasty beans.
      There is so much grief being perpetuated by fossil fuels.

      Reply
  247. LAM78

     /  September 29, 2015

    Does anyone know where Robert is and if he is well? Maybe he’s just on vacation or? I think he would be very interested in the foreseen strong WWB that should emerge very soon according to the writers at Arctic Sea Ice Forum as well as the latest NOAA forecast. Let’s hope this won’t be a 700+ commenters article…

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  September 30, 2015

      Last heard on a couple of weeks of well deserved holiday, should be back soon

      Reply
  248. – Winds and fire in SoCa as the marine influence is meager due to CC-warm/arctic/ hobbled jet stream:

    Conditions ripe for explosive wildfire season in Southern California

    Santa Ana fires tend to cluster in coastal areas and the foothills, such as S