NASA: Monster El Nino + Climate Change Means ‘Not Normal’ Winter is On the Way

“Over North America, this winter will definitely not be normal. However, the climatic events of the past decade make ‘normal’ difficult to define.”  — Bill Patzert, climatologist at NASA’s JPL speaking in Earth Observatory today.

****

It’s official, as of this Monday’s weekly NOAA ENSO report, a still growing 2015 El Nino had taken yet one more step into monster event territory. Hitting a +1.5 C sea surface temperature anomaly in the benchmark Nino 3.4 zone over the period of July through September even as weekly values rocketed to an amazing +2.4 C above average, the 2015 El Nino heightened yet again — making a substantial jump in overall ocean heat content. But according to a recent report out of NASA’s Earth Observatory, it appears we’re just beginning to see the full potential of this thing.

As Big or Bigger in Ocean Heat Content Than 1997-1998

For the 2015 El Nino, an event that NASA scientists are now calling ‘too big to fail,’ appears bound to continue strengthening through late Fall and Early Winter. Growing into a climate and weather wrenching oceanic and atmospheric heavyweight that will significantly impact North American weather patterns during the Winter of 2015-2016. This extreme climate event — which is currently building to an extraordinary ocean heat content anomaly in the Central and Eastern Pacific — is now comparable to the top three strongest El Ninos on record. In other words, and according to NASA: “El Niño is strengthening and it looks a lot like the strong event that occurred in 1997–98.”

Sea surface height anomalies

(Sea surface height anomaly graphic provided by NASA shows a pattern very similar to 1997. Positive ocean surface height anomalies, indicated in red above, are the hallmark of an El Nino that is currently ranked among the top three strongest events observed for October. Image source: NASA.)

Ocean surface heights, as seen in the Earth Observatory graphic above, now show a pattern very similar to the monster 1997-1998 El Nino.

In a typical El Nino, Kelvin Waves transfer Equatorial Pacific Ocean heat from west to east which in turn sets off a rise in sea surface heights by thermally expanding the water column throughout the traditional Nino zones. And during the Fall of 2015 what we’re seeing is a big thermal and related ocean surface bulge swelling seas throughout the Eastern and Central Equatorial Pacific. To this point, Earth Observatory notes: “October sea level height anomalies show that 2015 is as big or bigger in heat content than 1997.”

Strong Westerly Wind Burst Lends More Energy to El Nino

Supporting NASA’s conclusions that El Nino intensity during 2015-2016 may hit near or beyond the top of the chart is a recent intensification of westerly winds over the Western Equatorial Pacific. Throughout 2014 and growing into 2015, these westerly wind bursts have fed El Nino by pushing warmer, Western Pacific waters eastward — thus increasing ocean heat content in the El Nino zone to near record levels.

Over the past week, another very strong westerly wind burst was again supplying El Nino with a warm water recharge. By tomorrow, the Global Forecast System model shows not one but four cyclones driving a strong westerly wind pattern from the Philippines all the way to the Date Line:

image

(Yet one more strong westerly wind burst is providing the already powerful 2015 El Nino with another boost. Note the extensive reverse trade wind pattern stretching all the way to the Date Line. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

It’s a pretty significant westerly wind pattern — near to par with some of the related weather events (MJO) earlier this year that were among the strongest in the meteorological record. These winds will rise to near gale-force gusts in some regions and provide a dominant fetch from west to east across a 1,500 mile section of Pacific Ocean. According to NASA:

“This [weakening of the trades] should strengthen this El Niño. All multi-model averages predict a peak in late fall/early winter. The forecaster consensus unanimously favors a strong El Niño…Overall, there is an approximately 95 percent chance that El Niño will continue through Northern Hemisphere winter 2015–16.”

Not Normal Winter Weather on the Way

A typical powerful El Nino of this kind would tend to drive a very intense train of moisture into the West Coast of the US, make for a cool and very wet winter across the southern US, and drive warmer temperatures and drier conditions across the northern tier. Climatologists, however, are uncertain how interactions between the current powerful El Nino and a globally changing weather pattern set off by a human-forced warming of the atmosphere to 1 C above 1880s levels (or about 1/4th the difference between the 20th Century and the last ice age, but on the side of hot) will interact.

Very warm sea surface temperatures, likely due to both a climate change-forced heating of ocean surface waters and a weakening of the Gulf Stream, off the Eastern Seaboard hint that storms along the US East Coast and particularly for the US Southeast may hit extreme intensity if an El Nino associated trough digs in. Meanwhile extraordinarily intense sea surface temperature anomalies in the range of +2 to near +6 C above average off the US West Coast associated with a ‘hot blob’ that has lingered in this region for many seasons has caused some to question whether California will see the high intensity rainfall events typical of powerful El Ninos during the latter half of the 20th Century.

image

(Extreme sea surface temperatures off the US West Coast can generate a kind of atmospheric inertia in which high pressure systems tend to develop — deflecting or weakening storms moving across the meridional Pacific northward toward Canada, Alaska and even the Polar region. Alternatively, an El Nino strong enough to over-ride this ocean and atmospheric block is likely to generate some very extreme storms — spurring events possibly exceeding those in the modern climate record. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

For the US West Coast, the region may be balancing on a razor’s edge. If El Nino is strong enough to overwhelm the atmospheric and ocean inertia generated by the hot blob, storms running into that region could be extremely intense. On the other hand, if the hot blob holds or deflects the moisture stream northward, California may not see a drought-busting delivery of rainfall (See Godzilla El Nino vs the Hot Blob).

To this point, we’ll leave Earth Observatory with the next to last word:

“[The] elements of our changing climate are too new to say with certainty what the winter will bring.”

A pretty significant statement when one begins to fully take in its meaning — that climate change may be starting to set weather forecasting out of the context of the latter 20th Century. That it’s NASA’s view that aspects of modern weather prediction for El Nino events may have already been set off kilter by ‘elements of our changing climate.’

New Global Temperature Records For 2015 Likely a Lock

But what we do know is that the ocean-to-atmosphere heat back-up generated by what could be a record El Nino, when combined with the enormous added heat forcing provided by human fossil fuel emissions, will almost certainly set new global high temperature records for 2015 and possibly for 2016. This, unfortunately, means that we’ve already started on a dangerous path toward the far more disruptive +1.5 and +2 C above 1880s benchmarks. A range that many scientists associate with a greatly increased risk of hitting climate tipping points.

Links:

Earth Observatory: El Nino Strengthening

Monster El Nino Emerging From the Depths

NOAA’s Weekly El Nino Report

Earth Nullschool

Godzilla El Nino vs the Hot Blob

Dr. Lenton’s (somewhat conservative) Exploration of Climate Tipping Points

Climate Change’s Hot Blob Still Blankets Northeastern Pacific

Halfway to 2 C

Nasty Signs North Atlantic Overturning Circulation is Weakening

Leave a comment

162 Comments

  1. Colorado Bob

     /  October 13, 2015

    I just asked for a sign of life, How are you ?

    Reply
    • I’m doing well. This time of year is always a bit rough for me. Lots of travel and transitions, usually, which makes blogging a bit more challenging. The climate beat is a rough one in that you, as you well know, can really grind yourself down looking at all the challenges. I try to keep a brave face to it all. But I think subconsciously it hits me at times and I get a bit of a writer’s block. I think I’m through it, though. Had a great weekend with friends and the black dog appears to have backed off.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  October 13, 2015

        the black dog

        Oh yeah . Me , You , and Winston . The black dog ate my ass to pieces. Winston beat Hitler.. He was drinking at 10 AM in the morning And the ” the black dog ” chased his ass everyday.

        Ir took me 50 years to understand that I am not Winston
        But I an his kin. Because we both keep the same black dog.

        Reply
      • Good to have you back. We’d feel guilty if your posts came at the coat of your health (or sanity). Hope all is well, Robert!

        Reply
        • I think my problem is that I always believe I’m capable of pushing it a bit harder than is possible. I think I’m good for now, though. Thanks for the sentiments, Ryan. I wouldn’t have made it half so far without you guys backing me up.

  2. – Hi, Robert.
    I saw your tweet about this post a minute ago.

    A warm and wet weather regime at he top of the world is a big concern as: “…. deflecting or weakening storms moving across the meridional Pacific northward toward Canada, Alaska and even the Polar region.” Conditions up their now are slush where ice was the norm as the permafrost melts.
    Yikes!

    Reply
  3. Colorado Bob

     /  October 13, 2015

    I wanted to be the first to reply so I did not see this post . Nice work old friend.

    Reply
  4. – Watch out for the overgrowth and anthropogenically nourished invasives.

    Tropical vines are smothering rainforest, study finds

    A recent study shows that invasive vines are choking out rainforest trees, preventing the uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

    Researchers from the University of Nottingham have found that the vines scaling the rainforest canopies are causing serious disturbances in the balance of carbon in rainforests around the world. According to a press release from Eurekalert, these vines are causing the death of a large number of trees in tropical climates.

    http://www.babwnews.com/2015/10/tropical-vines-are-smothering-rainforest-study-finds/

    Reply
  5. Colorado Bob

     /  October 13, 2015

    I have been on fire debate on Dr; Master’s sire

    Costliest (and Deadliest?) Disaster of 2015: Indonesia’s $14 Billion Fires

    I wrote a rather good comment –

    I have no idea how deep the peat is on these islands , but I know a little about it’s burning in the far North. The Northwest Territories had 6 fires start this spring that burned all winter . and started new fires this spring. The reason 58,000 Russians died in 2010 was in large part because the drained peat lands around Moscow caught fire.

    These days when one reads about a “forest fire”. It’s also a ground fire, and not the pine needles on top, but 6 and 8 feet of very old carbon burning under the worst conditions. Low O2 , low temperatures . A perfect soup for some of the nastiest gases fires can make. There are shots from the Modis where the smoke is yellow in Siberia. That’s not twigs and needles burning , that’s a fire 4 feet in the ground eating dead plant material hundreds of years old.

    Fire is part of the system , yes. But we are in new system. And fire is burning like we have never seen before. It is sterilizing the soil because it is burning so hot and deep. Anyone who doubts this, …………… there was a pinion , and juniper forest in Northwest New Mexico , that was wiped out by fire. They need fire to seed.
    These are toughest of trees They live hundreds of years. It’s been over a decade not one tree has come back, even with re-plantings.

    It’s one thing to burn the forest, it’s a whole other thing when we fry the soil.

    Reply
    • Crackerjack insight as usual there Bob. I hope people listen to you. The kinds of fires we’re seeing now as you well note are increasingly at risk of blowing up into the not normal kind that destroy forest soils and send their locked-in carbon into the air as an amplifying feedback. The hotter the fires burn, the deeper and older the carbon store that’s unlocked. That’s well beyond normal carbon cycling. Probably due to the fact that forests have forgotten what it’s like to live in the climates that we’re setting up. We’re putting them into contexts not seen in at least 150,000 years. Maybe 2 million not too far off from now.

      Reply
    • I shared the link with portions of your comment, Colorado Bob!

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  October 13, 2015

        Annie Mond / October 13, 2015

        The nature of wild land fires has changed.

        Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  October 13, 2015

        Annie Mond –

        I wrote the lead author years ago about the collapse of the forest in Northwest New Mexico.

        For me and him this a heart break, It ain’t coming back.

        Reply
    • Bob, are you saying that P-J soils contain flammable carbon stores to multiple-foot depths?

      Reply
  6. Reblogged this on GarryRogers Nature Conservation and Science Fiction (#EcoSciFi) and commented:
    Thanks again Robert for an excellent review of conditions.

    Reply
  7. Colorado Bob

     /  October 13, 2015

    Now lets us alll taste a bit of is to be human

    Moody Blues – Tuesday Afternoon (1970)

    I sat on a pile of rail road ties at Bend NM in the
    rail road yard. 48 years ago.

    Reply
  8. Phil

     /  October 13, 2015

    Great to see another very informative piece. Will be interesting to see how things play out with another possible WWB emerging later this month and located closer to Eastern Pacific, as well as how things interact with MJO. The most recent WWB should see things continue to strengthen over the next three months and any follow-up WWB’s would push it into next year.

    Very interesting times with the atmosphere and ocean now seemingly fully in sync.

    Reply
  9. Colorado Bob

     /  October 13, 2015

    I had a radio, The entire trip. That was 48 year ago.

    I really made the trip from Venice to Lubbock. In 68′;

    That’s why I an a such a jackass,

    I did it , and you did not,

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  October 14, 2015

      Colorado Bob is crazy as 3 dollar bill. Colorado Bob knows what a 3 dollar bill. was.

      Next cane the Eagles

      , Eagles – ‘On the Border’ (lyrics in description)

      Reply
      • Mark from OZ

         /  October 14, 2015

        Love your ‘academiclectic’ variety CO Bob!
        One for the Craig Powerplay in the Chevy.

        “Warped by the rain, driven by the snow..”( back when they were marvellous)

        Reply
    • – What were you doing in Venice?

      Reply
  10. Griffin

     /  October 14, 2015

    Great to see you back Robert!

    Reply
  11. mlparrish

     /  October 14, 2015

    Really missed you. I haven’t found any other place to get a global, balanced view of climate and global warming happenings. No pressure, now . . .

    Reply
  12. Colorado Bob

     /  October 14, 2015

    I”m to change this water to wine,

    Reply
  13. climatehawk1

     /  October 14, 2015

    Tweeted.

    Reply
  14. Leland Palmer

     /  October 14, 2015

    I’ve noticed something, and wonder if this is a real statistical trend or just my imagination.

    It seems like Southern California is getting downright tropical, these days, with moisture coming in from the west and south, from the Pacific.

    I’m wondering if the Mojave desert is going to move into California’s Central Valley and the Sierras, while southern California starts to become a wetter, more tropical climate.

    Anybody with any insight or data about this? Any thoughts?

    Reply
  15. Wharf Rat

     /  October 14, 2015

    OT…

    Ben Carson: Democrats Offered No Plan to Protect Earth from Dragons

    LAS VEGAS ( The Borowitz Report)—The Democrats who participated in the first Democratic Presidential debate of the 2016 campaign garnered a scathing review from the retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who said that none of them offered a concrete plan to protect the Earth from an invasion of bloodthirsty alien dragons.

    “A swarm of marauding dragons with the capacity to shoot flames a thousand feet or more could destroy life on this planet as we know it,” Carson told Fox News. “And yet not a single one of these Democrats has apparently given any thought to such a threat.”

    While the Republican Presidential candidate acknowledged that the Democrats in Las Vegas tangled over such issues as guns, Syria, and income inequality, he said, “I did not hear the word ‘dragon’ once.”

    “If I am elected President, I will gather the greatest minds in technology to design and build a dome made of dragon-proof material,” he said. “As a backup plan, in the event of a dragon attack, I would attempt to convince the dragons to attack Mars instead.”

    Carson said that, of all of the men and women running for President, he was best prepared to protect the United States from dragons. “This is the problem that keeps me up at night,” he said.
    http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/ben-carson-democrats-offered-no-plan-to-protect-earth-from-dragons

    Reply
  16. Syd Bridges

     /  October 14, 2015

    Thanks for this-as usual-timely update, Robert. I had noticed the last two Nino 3.4 readings of 2.4 on the NOAA ncep reports. I don’t know the peak value for 1997, though I know it was 2.3 for both OND and NDJ from

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ensoyears.shtml

    So, if this continues to strengthen over the next four-or even three-months, it looks as though it might be stronger than 1997. And we have about 35 ppm more CO2 in the atmosphere than then (about 363 ppm then). I would not like to be a forecaster under such circumstances, except to say that a lot of people are likely to be hit by very heavy storms this winter. Incidentally, we are having beautiful weather here in northern Colorado at the moment. Perhaps ominously beautiful.

    Reply
  17. Robert and Colorado Bob, as you pet your black dogs and try to keep them from making a mess on the carpet of your minds, you might give a read to this apology to a future generation by Gary Gripp. I discovered this little gem in a Facebook comment of all places and, with the kind permission of the author, reprinted it on my blog under the title “Grieving over Growth.”

    http://blog.edsuom.com/2015/10/grieving-over-growth.html

    We know that future generation is screwed, for all the reasons you two so amply document. Well and truly screwed, and we (collectively if not so much individually) have been part of the problem with our comfortable lifestyles and propensity to procreate. (Mea culpa on that count!) And yet Mr. Gripp asks that future generation, “Would you, in our place, behave any differently?” It’s a hard and legitimate question.

    Take care, both of you. The destruction of a global ecosystem is a hard beat to cover, for sure. Sometimes I envy the ignorant their complacency.

    Reply
    • dnem

       /  October 14, 2015

      Phenomenal stuff in the attached link! A great essay and more interesting content on the FB page where the comment was first posted. Sums up perfectly why, on bad days, I feel so stymied. Highly, highly recommend clicking through and reading.

      Reply
      • Looking forward to his promised book, too. Have often wondered what people were thinking in the midst of other civilization collapses and now we know–runs the gamut of human emotion and reaction. And still nothing happens. We march on.

        Reply
    • – From the above self described: ” Ed Suominen’s Shitty Little Blog”.
      – That’s a new ranking for you, Robert.🙂

      ‘Some Non-Shitty Sites’

      My Flickr Photography
      Why Evolution is True
      Sam Harris’s blog
      The Thinking Atheist
      James Howard Kunstler
      RobertScribbler

      Reply
  18. Andy in SD

     /  October 14, 2015

    Things seem somewhat askew here in so cal already.

    It is October, it should be 61 to 73 degrees. We are still in the grips of this heat wave since who knows when. It was 98 degrees this past weekend at my place. It was over 92 every days since. It has been over 90 last week. It was 94 today. The humidity is unbelievable and has been forever now it seems. It is miserable, most houses in my neighborhood have no air conditioning as they are all built pre 1990. The ocean is way over the old normal.

    Hope all is well for you Robert and everyone else as well.

    Reply
    • Wharf Rat

       /  October 14, 2015

      It’s supposed to be 96 today in Ukiah, up in Mendocino Co. I’m 45 miles north, in the hills, and it’s supposed to be 92. No frost in sight.

      Reply
    • Mark in New England

       /  October 15, 2015

      That sounds pretty bad Andy. Come to New Hampshire where it’s in the 60s now.

      Reply
    • That is just crazy, Andy. Looking at the temp maps and there seems to be just a little relief in the short range. Mid 80s is still pretty extraordinary for this time of year, though.

      Reply
  19. Ouse M.D.

     /  October 14, 2015

    And what IF this whole signals a global ocean-to- atmosphere heat transfer?
    We could be in for a rough ride to reach the atmospheric- space heat equilibrium….

    Reply
  20. greenman023

     /  October 14, 2015

    more great stuff… Curious will sea temperature rises have any significant effect on the oceans viscosity and increase the magnitude and speed of waves and resulting storms? Will warmer seas be rougher as well as deeper?

    Reply
  21. Reporting in from Pt. Loma, San Diego (about a mile from the ocean, as the crow flies), basically due east of that horrible “hot blob” in the Pacific Ocean.

    Last night, I ran the A/C just long enough to get the house down to 80F before we went to bed. Woke up at 6AM to an 82F house. This is October in coastal Southern California, for Pete’s sake! Should be seeing overnight lows in the 50’s!

    Did I wake up in Cabo?

    Reply
    • labmonkey2

       /  October 14, 2015

      “The Point” – nice location to be during the warmer months, but as you stated, the weather is not as consistent as it once was. I live in Santee (since 1981) and typically during this time of year, we have days of Santa Anna low humidity (<10%) and easterly winds that also play a large part in the local fire season.
      Things in the climate are not 'typical' any longer. And we have also had to run the AC later in to the evening just to suck some of the moisture out of the air in the house. Usually I would open the house up after the sun goes down and turn on the whole house fan unit that vents through the attic. Not this year… too much moisture in the outside air at the times of day I would prefer.
      This winter/spring is looking to be more than just wet…it's looking to be phenomenal.

      Reply
    • Andy in SD

       /  October 14, 2015

      I’m in Mira Mesa. It has been wretched.

      Reply
      • – caerbannog666 & Andy:
        How are the locals framing this ‘weather’?
        How much different from last year?
        Take care.

        Reply
    • – Cabo came to you as the tropics climb the latitudes. For now, there’s not much to stop it.
      The polar dependent jet stream is keeping the ‘door’ open

      Reply
  22. Bill H

     /  October 14, 2015

    As el Nino continues to build It looks as if the global temperature anomaly for October could be a major spike, . Take a look at NIck Stokes’ blog, specifically: http://www.moyhu.org.s3.amazonaws.com/data/freq/ncep.html

    This anomaly dataset is calculated using Nick’s gridding method, and has shown itself over time to be very close to GISS. At the moment the October anomaly is over 0.3 degrees higher than September! It looks as if we are entering El Nino spike territory now, similar to what happened in early 1998 and 2007, with all time monthly anomalies in the offing.

    Reply
  23. redskylite

     /  October 14, 2015

    More El Nino talk from Andrew Freedman in Mashable. . . . . . .

    El Niño keeps on growing and growing, and it’s showing no signs of slowing. At least not yet, anyway.

    According to recent data released late last week by forecasters at the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) in College Park, Maryland, El Niño is maintaining its pace toward becoming one of the strongest such events on record, as measured by the unusually mild ocean temperatures in a huge swath of the Pacific.

    “El Niño could soon rank as the strongest event since 1950”

    http://mashable.com/2015/10/13/el-nino-second-most-powerful/#1yOYw9ntokqh

    Reply
  24. redskylite

     /  October 14, 2015

    More on the El Nino and the devastating effects in South East Asia from Al Jazeera . . . .

    El Nino could make Southeast Asia haze worst on record

    The country’s health ministry says that 20 million people are thought to have been affected by this year’s haze with more than 120,000 of them having to seek medical help.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/10/el-nino-southeast-asia-haze-151014085027360.html

    Reply
  25. redskylite

     /  October 14, 2015

    I’m feeling pretty pissed at V.W as I have always previously liked and owned their cars and admired their business model, but words fail me on Exxon, and I feel ashamed that I once worked in a corporation they partly owned.

    ‘No corporation has ever done anything this big or bad’

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/oct/14/exxons-climate-lie-change-global-warming

    Reply
    • Leland Palmer

       /  October 15, 2015

      ExxonMobil is the merger of two of the fragments of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil monopoly. By several different measurements, John D. Rockefeller was the richest man who ever lived. When the Standard Oil monopoly was broken by anti-trust laws in 2011, the aggregate stock never lost value, and some of us think it’s likely that the Rockefeller family covertly retained control of the fragments. They did this by numerous means including overlapping corporate directorships and establishment of huge charitable organizations. These charitable organizations like the Rockefeller Brothers Fund made some of the wealth essentially eternal and tax free – but still allowed the trustees of the charitable organizations to vote the stock and help retain control of the corporations themselves.

      At the same time ExxonMobil was helping melt the Arctic Sea Ice and financing climate denial, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund financed Council on Foreign Relations was publishing articles hyping increased access to Arctic “resources” – oil and gas- created by global warming.

      http://apps.americanbar.org/intlaw/spring08/materials/Borgerson%20-%20Artic%20Meltdown.pdf

      “Ironically, the great melt is likely to yield more of the very commodities that precipitated it: fossil fuels. As oil prices exceed $100 a barrel, geologists are scrambling to determine exactly how much oil and gas lies beneath the melting icecap. More is known about the
      surface of Mars than about the Arctic Ocean’s deep, but early returns indicate that the Arctic could hold the last remaining undiscovered hydrocarbon resources on earth. The U.S.
      Geological Survey and the Norwegian company StatoilHydro estimate that the Arctic holds as much as one-quarter of the world’s remaining undiscovered oil and gas deposits. Some Arctic wildcatters believe this estimate could increase substantially as more is learned about the region’s geology.”

      ExxonMobil is not only immense itself – it’s gross sales are greater than the gross national product of all but 30 countries, making it financially bigger than Thailand – it is also part of the truly immensely powerful Rockefeller financial empire, which according to Thomas R. Dye consists of control over 100 major American corporations. The Rockefellers have historically controlled Chase Bank- a bank with 2.6 trillion dollars in assets – as well. Dye believes that the family wealth is becoming increasingly fragmented due to being split among many members of the clan, though.

      So, it’s no wonder that ExxonMobil considered itself immune from any effective consequences of their actions.

      Reply
      • Leland Palmer

         /  October 15, 2015

        Oh, Jesus, typo alert. Standard oil was broken up in 1911, not 2011.

        Sorry about the potential confusion. The typo does show just how deep ExxonMobil’s financial connections are, and just how immune to prosecution or penalty they think they are, though. Fossil fuels have been at the center of Wall Street profits for more than a century – and longer than that if you include coal.

        Reply
      • It’s a huge challenge to deal with this particular interest. I’ve also been disheartened by the fact that Buffet is apparently now also fighting against rooftop solar. These actions may protect utilities, which are reliable profit makers for big investors, but it slows down the transition away from fossil fuels by keeping all the cards in the hands of big polluters. Freeing the captive fosssil fuel based electricity consumer is one essential element of rapid reduction in global carbon emissions.

        Reply
      • rustj2015

         /  October 16, 2015

        Thank you, Leland, for this summary. I wonder at the story behind the 1911 “break-up” and the hydra-headed revival. What could force that powerful conglomerate to separate? Lincoln Steffens for a start…
        And I don’t quite want to paste Exxon to the wall now, until there can be better links to who paid for what votes in Congress during the ’80s. Those who were the representatives of the people were supposed to protect the nation’s interests — unless the interests were of the corporate form of “person.” And our interests–us’ns in the present and those coming after–may have been sold out in certain fora.
        We need to be able to name names. And parties. And spokespeople. And hearings.

        Reply
        • I’m thinking this goes beyond a set group of people within the company. It’s been corporate policy to deny climate change and delay action for many decades now. It’s endemic to the corporation in this case. Certainly individuals were involved. But this was also a matter of specifically and consistently applied corporate policy.

      • Leland Palmer

         /  October 16, 2015

        Thank you so much for all your efforts, Robert. You’re doing the country and the world a great service, although many of them don’t know it yet. No pressure…pace yourself. It’s a long term problem, kind of like a slow motion train wreck. It takes a strong constitution to deal with it, day after day. Great job you’re doing…really.

        Yes, freeing the utility users from their electrical bondage is essential. People need to know how much money they can save with solar cells on their roofs, so long as net metering is available, and the prices are still dropping. We also need to keep pushing for utility scale solar, either photovoltaic or concentrated solar. Entrenched wealth hiring lawyers pretending environmental concerns is likely one reason utility scale solar growth is slow or stalled.

        About dealing with entrenched wealth…don’t know. The only thing I can think of is the courts. Congress is very corrupt, although not universally. Legally, the fact that greenhouse heating is on the order of a hundred thousand times the useful heat of combustion ensures that paying climate damages could bankrupt and destroy these corporations. They can never make enough to pay off the damage they are doing.

        If a U.S. based court is too corrupt, maybe an international court is the answer.

        I know that these corporate entities are damaging the rest of us, and eventually will likely be made to pay for it, one way or another. We all hope that it’s not too late by then.

        Reply
        • I read a good article in the Atlantic on a related subject yesterday:

          http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2015/10/why-only-a-technocratic-revolution-can-win-the-climate-change-war/410377/

          From it, I’ve learned a new term — the Nirvana fallacy. Apparently it’s the notion that institutions must be perfect in order to respond to crisis. In truth, it’s more like institutions need to just decide to respond. For example, how corrupt was the US prior to World War II? Probably pretty corrupt. But the bureaucracy managed to leverage resources and optimize for mass effect in such a way that worked. Any effective and rapid response to climate change would probably need to include a large scale leveraging of government and institutional systems. Corporations alone cannot solve the problem. And, largely, many of their interests will need to be set aside if we’re going to get through this thing. We’ve gotten to the point where we can’t just pretend things haven’t changed. We could hit +1.2, +1.3, or +1.4 C in the monthly global T anomaly next month. This puts us in the range of back-filling to +1.5 C over the next ten years or so. Dangerous and worsening climate impacts are now here and we need a mass, large-scale response to deal with the situation with any kind of effectiveness.

          It’s worth noting that the Atlantic article is realistic — noting that such a response, though probably unlikely to prevent all the terrible damage, is the most likely to work in the end. They call it a technocratic response. I’m not sure that’s the best word. But it will require all hands on deck and this will require major government coordinating efforts. I do like their use of Boyd as an example of the kind of person we’ll need for dealing with this situation. People who can manage to make bureaucracies work effectively will be invaluable in the coming crisis.

  26. New University of Washington research suggests that subsurface warming could be causing more methane gas to bubble up off the Washington and Oregon coast.

    The study, to appear in the journal Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, shows that of 168 bubble plumes observed within the past decade a disproportionate number were seen at a critical depth for the stability of methane hydrates.

    “We see an unusually high number of bubble plumes at the depth where methane hydrate would decompose if seawater has warmed,” said lead author H. Paul Johnson, a UW professor of oceanography. “So it is not likely to be just emitted from the sediments; this appears to be coming from the decomposition of methane that has been frozen for thousands of years.”

    http://www.washington.edu/news/2015/10/14/bubble-plumes-off-washington-oregon-suggest-warmer-ocean-may-be-releasing-frozen-methane/

    Reply
    • Leland Palmer

       /  October 15, 2015

      Damn, I was afraid of that. That area contains some of the known deposits of high salt “triple point” hydrates, which may be drastically less stable than low salt hydrates. I speculated that the hydrate methane emissions might be quickly oxidized to CO2 and adding to both acidification and hypoxia along the Washington and Oregon coast at least a year ago.

      I’ll look into this some more, and try to see if the observed plumes are at known high salt locations. Maybe not, though. At first glance, what he appears to be talking about are emissions from the shallow edge of hydrate deposits where warming has made the hydrate stability zone migrate into deeper water.

      Reply
    • Saw this yesterday. Will be writing a related analysis. One issue with these deeper hydrates is that though they don’t often hit the surface as ocean to atmosphere emissions they do markedly impact ocean health in addition to greatly reducing the ocean’s ability to act as a carbon store.

      Yeah, Leland, the issue is that the stability zone is being pushed lower. They noted 168 plumes in the 500 meter range.

      Reply
  27. – Thanks humorta, I’ll pass it on.
    Sonar image of bubbles rising from the seafloor off the Washington coast. The base of the column is 1/3 of a mile (515 meters) deep and the top of the plume is at 1/10 of a mile (180 meters) depth

    Reply
  28. – Aerosol pollutants in habitable zones:

    Air Pollution Kills 3 Million People a Year. What do Cheeseburgers Have to Do With It?

    … Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry are attributing 3.3 million premature deaths worldwide each year to outdoor air pollution. What’s more, researchers only expect these numbers to double by the year 2050. That’s nearing 7 million people that will lose their life to air pollution every single year!

    While the sources of air pollution are numerous and varied, some of the largest offenders include the animal agriculture and fossil fuel industries.

    …Ozone, ammonia, and particulate matter are three of the major pollutants that researchers identified as the most harmful to human health. Incidentally, these prime offenders are closely tied to the animmal agriculture industry.

    For starters, particulate matter is often attributed to factory farms and feedlots. It can result from animals moving around and stirring up dust, dried manure blowing around…

    http://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/air-pollution-meat-and-dairy-cheeseburgers/

    Reply
    • – This applies to the mostly corporate driven obesity epidemics as well.

      ““The real war against climate is being fought on our plates, multiple times a day with every food choice we make,” says Nil Zacharias, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of One Green Planet, ”one of the biggest challenges facing our planet, and our species is that we are knowingly eating ourselves into extinction, and doing very little about it.”

      Reply
  29. Abel Adamski

     /  October 14, 2015

    From BloombergBusiness
    Even Coal-Mining Giants Now Want a Climate-Change Deal This Year

    The 14 companies that issued a joint statement Wednesday endorsing international negotiations include leaders from some of the world’s most carbon-intensive industries: coal miners BHP Billiton Plc and Rio Tinto Plc; oil majors Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc; aluminum producer Alcoa Inc.; and the planet’s biggest cement-maker, LarfargeHolcim Ltd

    Along with a mix of power utilities, industrial-equipment makers and technology companies, the businesses are backing a United Nations effort that’s set to conclude in Paris in December with an agreement among almost 200 nations to rein in fossil fuel emissions blamed for warming the climate. The negotiations are “a critical opportunity” to lay out a path toward “progressively decarbonizing the global economy,” according to the statement.

    “These are companies with real skin in the game — either they’re large emitters or their products are,” said Bob Perciasepe, president of the Center for Climate & Energy Solutions, a Arlington, Virginia-based group that helped organize the joint announcement. The businesses “support a Paris agreement that gets all the major economies on board, provides stronger long-term direction and holds countries accountable.”

    “We recognize the rising environmental, social, economic, and security risks posed by climate change, and that delaying action will result in greater risks and costs,” according to the statement. “An effective response to climate change requires strong government leadership, and presents both enormous challenges and significant economic opportunities for the private sector.”

    The statement was also joined by Alstom SA, Calpine Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., Intel Corp., National Grid Plc, PG&E, Corp., Schneider Electric SE and Siemens AG. The companies have combined revenues of $1.1 trillion and more than 1.5 million employees, according to a separate statement from the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.

    Reply
  30. – Oil as fuel for wars and other barbarous acts — Syria. [

    Reply
    • Syria.
      Inside Isis Inc: The journey of a barrel of oil

      Isis controls most of Syria’s oil fields and crude is the militant group’s biggest single source of revenue. Here we follow the progress of a barrel of oil from extraction to end user to see how the Isis production system works, who is making money from it, and why it is proving so challenging to disrupt.

      http://ig.ft.com/sites/2015/isis-oil/

      Reply
  31. Maria

     /  October 14, 2015

    It’s great to see you back, Robert.

    Reply
  32. – File under: VEHICULAR ROADKILL USA

    Amid drought, rise in roadkill in Sonoma County

    California’s record-breaking drought is responsible for low reservoirs, dried-up creeks and parched, brown hillsides. But the most grisly toll can be seen on Sonoma County’s busiest roads: dead animals.

    A growing number of animals are being struck by cars on roads in Sonoma County and other parts of California, according to university researchers and local agencies responsible for dealing with the mess.

    The drought is driving animals closer to roadways and other populated areas in search of water, said Fraser Shilling, co-director of the Road Ecology Center at UC Davis. Roadsides often have more plant life than other areas due to rain runoff and nitrogen from car exhaust, which is necessary for plants to grow.
    http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/4578000-181/amid-drought-rise-in-roadkill

    Reply
  33. Maria

     /  October 14, 2015

    CA weather anomolies. Oh my: dime size hail.

    CAZ517-530-142245-
    SANTA LUCIA MOUNTAINS AND LOS PADRES NATIONAL FOREST CA-
    SOUTHERN MONTEREY BAY AND BIG SUR COAST CA-
    320 PM PDT WED OCT 14 2015

    AT 317 PM PDT…DOPPLER RADAR WAS TRACKING A STRONG THUNDERSTORM 7
    MILES EAST OF GORDA…MOVING NORTHWEST AT 35 MPH.

    DIME SIZE HAIL AND WINDS IN EXCESS OF 40 MPH WILL BE POSSIBLE WITH
    THIS STORM.

    Reply
  34. The animal agriculture industry, according to the new movie ‘cowspiracy’, and their website, contributes far more to climate change than do fossil fuel emissions. Before I cut out meat sources of protein altogether (I eat meat 2-3 times a week now), I thought I would run this by the expert on this blog. Anyone care to take a stab at it?

    My kudos to you Mr. Scribbler, for posting this important information online, in such a well-done format, to help educate us to the impending doom we all face, if things aren’t corrected pronto!

    Reply
    • Fossil fuel burning is the #1 human contributor to GHG emissions. Big ag (primarily due to industrial meat) comes in #2. That said, the impact of current meat farming is so wasteful and harmful, that on the individual level, if you cut out meat, you’re cutting your own carbon emissions by about 1/3. Do that, cut air travel out, get a solar home, grow a garden, get an EV (solar garage) or use a bike and all by yourself you’ve cut carbon emissions for you as an individual by 70 to 85 percent. Ironically, the single biggest factor is cutting out the meat.

      Reply
  35. Wharf Rat

     /  October 15, 2015

    Spring coming earlier in US because of climate change, scientists say
    Study predicts plants will start budding three weeks sooner by end of century as climate change exerts direct effect on seasonal calendar

    ….By 2100 plants will green up 22.3 days earlier in much of the country, with the biggest jump on spring occurring in the western US.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/oct/14/spring-coming-earlier-in-us-scientists

    This could be a big problem for fruit growers here, in addition to lack of rain.
    Dick Hagerty: Central Valley cherry crop suffers from not enough chill hours

    Read more here: http://www.modbee.com/opinion/article3166275.html#storylink=cpy

    Central Valley sees big drop in wintertime fog needed by fruit and nut crops

    http://news.berkeley.edu/2014/05/20/central-valley-gets-less-winter-tule-fog-for-crops/

    Reply
  36. Wharf Rat

     /  October 15, 2015

    Earth’s worst extinction “inescapably” tied to Siberian Traps, CO2, and climate change

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Burgess-Bowring-2015-Siberian-Traps-Dates.html

    Reply
    • Caroline

       /  October 15, 2015

      Excellent (sobering/depressing/terrifying) article W.R. It drives home the point that Sanders stated the other night:
      “The scientific community is telling us if we do not address the global crisis of climate change, transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to sustainable energy, the planet that we’re going to be leaving our kids and our grandchildren may well not be habitable,” Sanders said. “That is a major crisis.”

      p.s. go Cubs! —just noticed I used the term “drives home”. Guess I’m subconsciously still basking in the escapist glow of all the home runs in the Cubs play off game the other night! Last night the Toronto fans gave us a glimpse of how badly humans can behave—- even with full stomachs in comfortable conditions 😞

      Reply
    • Fantastic bit of science here. ESS for this is in the range of 6 C per CO2 doubling. That puts us solidly in the range of +2.5 C at current atmospheric levels. What’s worse is the notion that we are burning fossil fuels at a rate likely 6 times that of the Permian. Six times faster means we overwhelm ocean carbon uptake far, far more rapidly. Probably more than the rate implied by our excession of Permian emissions.

      Reply
  37. Ebonious

     /  October 15, 2015

    Happy enough to see to back that I converted from being a long time lurker to say so. I have taken to planting trees, then when the black dog’s howl starts to echo in my mind I simply walk among the saplings to hush its growl for a while.

    Reply
  38. Matt

     /  October 15, 2015

    Heat really building up down here in Australia! Our summer heat engine area of the Pilbara is off to a flyer. Ominous signs for this El Nino summer. As an example Marble Bar (as some may know as the record holder of the most consecutive days over 100F) is averaging 40.7C which is already 3C above its average October temperature and has had the last 16 days (starting from Sept 30) all above 100F. For the record, when Marble Bar set the record amount of days over 100F the run of 160 days started on October 31. This heat has already been working its way down to the SE of the country. I feel a catastrophic fire season on the way!😦

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  October 15, 2015

      It has been mainly a warm October in Melbourne (the city that experiences 4 seasons in a day (Just water to Antarctica and the other side that hot wind from the centre)). 11 PM 25C or approx 77F outside. Warm for mid Spring

      Reply
    • Looks like a rough summer for Australia. The El Nino tendency for heat and drought is only going to be amplified by these increasing global temps.

      Reply
  39. Abel Adamski

     /  October 15, 2015

    Maybe perceptions are changing.?
    http://www.ibtimes.com/climate-change-7-out-10-americans-now-believe-there-solid-evidence-global-warming-2141932

    Climate Change: 7 Out Of 10 Americans Now Believe There Is ‘Solid Evidence’ Of Global Warming

    ““A majority of Republicans (56 percent) now believe that there is solid evidence of global warming, up from 47 percent a year ago, joining solid majorities of Democrats (79 percent) and Independents (69 percent),” the researchers reported, in the survey. “Americans who believe there is evidence of global warming are also increasingly confident in their belief, with a record 65 percent saying they are ‘very confident’ in their appraisal.”

    The significant swing is largely due to the recognition of the role climate change is playing in changing weather patterns. For instance, severe drought across many parts of the country was cited by 61 percent of those surveyed as having a “very large” effect on their position that global warming is real.”

    Trump and Co may have some unforseen difficulties

    Reply
    • Mark in New England

       /  October 15, 2015

      I hope to print out a large map of Florida under several meters of sea level rise, and if Marco Rubio or Jeb! come to town when I can make it, I plan to shove it in their faces (figuratively). BTW, does anyone have a link to how Florida will look after the GIS melts?

      Reply
      • Doug

         /  October 15, 2015

        I’ve seen maps that if all the ice sheets melted, sea levels would reach southern Georgia.

        Reply
      • – People should show up wearing hip-waders, or paint high water marks on their torso as an illustration of ‘SLR and the human body’.

        Reply
      • If GIS melts, Florida becomes an island chain. Add in West Antarctica and the whole peninsula is pretty much done except for a couple of little holdouts that basically become a new Bahamas.

        Reply
    • Had a conversation with my cousin this recent trip to Atlanta over the past week. He is still firmly in climate change denial land — citing natural variability, the sun, and even God as potential causes. I find this to be a disappointing amount of cognitive dissonance coming from someone who is rather well educated. Fortunately, among my other friends at the gathering, my cousin appears to be the only denier hold out despite there being two high finance types (one admittedly a bit liberal) in the bunch. One of these asked me to comment on the potential for winter weather in Scandinavia. With the Barents so warm, I think a cold winter may well be out.

      Reply
  40. Colorado Bob

     /  October 15, 2015

    Trouble at the edge of the world as Antarctica’s glaciers are undermined by warm water

    Walk into your street, and step out five metres along the footpath.

    Mark that spot, return tomorrow and step out an extra five metres. Do this every day, and you’ll keep pace with warm sea water as it seeps under a West Antarctic glacier.

    This week a landmark study in Nature found global warming of 2 degrees would trigger a collapse of Antarctica’s critical floating ice shelves, making runaway sea level rise almost impossible to stop.
    Advertisement

    But we don’t have to wait centuries to see this unfold. In West Antarctica’s Amundsen Sea, it’s happening already. There, rapid ice loss to climate change has been declared “unstoppable”.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/antarctica-trouble-at-the-edge-of-the-world-20151013-gk7w4m.html#ixzz3odI7Ti3l

    Reply
  41. Mark in New England

     /  October 15, 2015

    Welcome back Robert. I was thinking about you during the recent 1,000 year rain event in the Carolinas. I’d love to hear your scientific opinion on the role of global warming in that event. I’m hoping New England doesn’t get whacked like it did last winter!

    Reply
    • Add heat to the Gulf Stream in this region like we’re doing — through a heat back-up — and the available nearby moisture for extreme rainfall/precip events just goes through the roof all up and down the East Coast. I think we see some severe storms this Fall/Winter. And the pattern that’s currently developing keeps the Northeast in the woods.

      Reply
  42. Colorado Bob

     /  October 15, 2015

    The Democratic Party has come a long way on climate change, but CNN hasn’t

    http://www.vox.com/2015/10/14/9530973/debate-cnn-climate-change

    Reply
    • Caroline

       /  October 15, 2015

      Thanks CB! From the article (so true):

      “What did Cooper think people really want to hear about? Who’s “electable.” Who flip-flops. Clinton’s friggin’ emails.

      These are the kinds of things that give people like Cooper the optics of being “tough” — calling out seeming contradictions or asking loaded character questions. What’s really tough for someone in Cooper’s position is stepping outside the self-absorbed world of DC political journalism to assess the issues on their real-world importance. In his fealty to the comfortable worldview of the cosseted US political class, Cooper was anything but tough. He was a perfect puppy dog.”

      Reply
    • They’re still living in a fossil fuel advertising money world.

      Reply
  43. – Nervous money in Vail, CO…. for years, I’ve been watching news photos of fossil fuel dependent destination ‘resorts’ etc. — especially those in the mountains. They’ve been smoggy air polluted basins all along. That didn’t seem to bother them even as it signaled a dirty localized atmosphere. Now that the global atmosphere is showing AGW they start looking (40+ years too late.) at their ledgers a bit more closely.

    – “increased [FF mechanical] snowmaking, [amidst] water scarcity…”

    ‘Stanford looks at impact of warming weather on Vail Resorts valuation’

    Climate exposure. At first glance, that can mean getting a sunburn. Or frostbite. It can also mean risking dollars.

    Climate exposure, according to Stanford researchers, means investors in snow-reliant companies like Vail Resorts could lose money due to warming trends decimating ski runs and resort revenue.

    Stanford University’s Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance recently analyzed how the variations of winter temperatures in the West impacts the valuation of the continent’s largest resort operator.

    Stanford researcher Donna Bebb mixed environmental trends into the formula for determining the equity value of Vail Resorts. Bebb’s climate exposure model weighs the burden of increased snowmaking, water scarcity…
    http://blogs.denverpost.com/thebalancesheet/2015/10/14/stanford-looks-at-impact-of-warming-weather-on-vail-resorts-valuation/13830/

    Reply
  44. Baker

     /  October 15, 2015

    Very early snow in Germany the past two days! Up to 15 cms at 300 m above sea level.
    What do you think about this winter forecast? http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/2015-2016-europe-winter-forecast-seasonable-london-paris-storms-france-italy-alps/52871620
    How is our North Atlantic current doing? Still weaker or recovering a bit?

    Reply
    • Cool pool still looking rather robust. Hints of AMOC slowdown ongoing. Working on a Europe forecast that includes related climate conditions like a warm Barents and a cool North Atlantic zone between the UK and Greenland. For me, the warm Barents calls into question the forecast for an abnormally cold Scandinavia. It seems to me that Accuweather is using a more traditional El Nino based forecast than what we could end up seeing. My thoughts are that the track probably does not end up setting up so far south and that the confluence of new influences — cool pool and warm Barents — makes for a tendency for a more serpentine storm track than what we’d tend to expect during an El Nino year.

      Reply
  45. – Newsweek/NOAA

    ‘El Niño is About to Bring Bad News for Drought-Stricken Northwest this Winter’

    NOAA released its predictions for the upcoming winter (December through February) on Thursday. According to this map, the Northwestern U.S. will experience temperatures 60 percent higher (or more) compared to historically average temperatures for these months.

    Reply
      • Maria

         /  October 15, 2015

        Be heartened—Newsweek, I believe, misinterpreted the NOAA charts. It’s my understanding that these %’s are about the chances of above average temps or precipitation–not the actual temps. Latter would be impossible? to predict this far ahead given all the normal and anomalous variables involved?

        Reply
      • Maria

         /  October 15, 2015

        Well, this is cool. I wrote to the author of the Newsweek piece and she immediately thanked me for the heads up. I also sent her this link that would explain it further for her.

        THE NOVEMBER-DECEMBER-JANUARY (NDJ) 2015 TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK INDICATES ENHANCED
        PROBABILITIES OF ABOVE-NORMAL TEMPERATURES FOR THE FAR WEST, ACROSS THE
        NORTHERN CONTIGUOUS U.S. TO THE NORTHEAST, AND SOUTHWARD TO THE MID-ATLANTIC.
        WITHIN THE CONTIGUOUS U.S., THE CHANCES OF ABOVE-NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE
        GREATEST ALONG THE PACIFIC COAST AND ALONG THE NORTHERN TIER FROM THE PACIFIC
        NORTHWEST TO THE GREAT LAKES WITH PROBABILITIES EXCEEDING 50 PERCENT.
        BELOW-NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE FAVORED FROM NEW MEXICO TO LOUISIANA WHILE
        ABOVE-NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE ALSO MOST LIKELY FOR ALASKA.

        http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/long_range/fxus05.html

        Reply
      • Maria — good for you for keeping others informed!
        “Well, this is cool. I wrote to the author of the Newsweek piece and she immediately thanked me for the heads up. I also sent her this link that would explain it further for her.”

        Reply
      • Well done, Maria! This chart appears to be based on traditional El Nino guidance in which a cooler south, warmer north is more typical for the US as the Jet Stream flattens out and storms run through the southerly regions, but Arctic air is cut off to the Northern Tier. I’d say this scenario isn’t too certain yet. Seeing more waviness in the Jet than I’m comfortable with right now. And polar amplification again appears to be ramping up.

        Reply
  46. Maria

     /  October 15, 2015

    DT re: NOAA’s Dec-Feb outlook. Here’s the precipitation chart.

    The 2015 U.S. Winter Outlook (December through February):

    Precipitation Outlook:

    Wetter-than-average conditions most likely in the Southern Tier of the United States, from central and southern California, across Texas, to Florida, and up the East Coast to southern New England. Above-average precipitation is also favored in southeastern Alaska.

    Drier-than-average conditions most likely for Hawaii, central and western Alaska, parts of the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies, and for areas near the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  October 15, 2015

      Nice work girl.

      Reply
      • Maria

         /  October 15, 2015

        Thanks Bob and DT. It’s the first time I’ve done it re: weather. Medical stuff that didn’t jive with original papers, yes, but I didn’t get the immediate nor genuine gratitude for the information. Kudos to her integrity.

        Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  October 15, 2015

      Dog on a bone Maria, Dog on a bone.

      Reply

  47. dtlange
    / October 14, 2015

    – caerbannog666 & Andy:
    How are the locals framing this ‘weather’?
    How much different from last year?
    Take care.

    I haven’t heard any of our local TV weather-droids even hint of any climate-connection with respect to our abnormally “tropical” weather. One of San Diego’s most well-known “weather droids”, John Coleman, is an over-the-top WattsUpWithThat-style denier. The guy is a real idiot and an obnoxious blow-hard. He recently retired (which is good), but refuses to disappear from public life (which is bad).

    Reply
    • – Thanks.
      The Weather Channel has become immersed in an ‘info-tainment’ style with all reports and forecasts presented with a ‘chuckle and smile’ framework.
      All done in a rapid fire preschool teacher manner aimed at Ritalin dosed children.
      (NPR excels at this style.)
      TWC is framed within commercials for environmental and corporate caused aliments — or car commercials — with overly bright and aggressive music/sound segues or backdrops. (And a running ticker showing traffic flow on the Interstate — now that’s important meteorological news — Bah.

      It is sad — and it is a disservice to anyone wanting sober news about the weather– which is our survival mechanism.

      Take care and try to educate your neighbors if they’ll listen.🙂

      Reply
  48. Colorado Bob

     /  October 15, 2015

    dtlange

    I was living in Colorado when they built the tunnel that made Vail possible. I remember hitch hiking, and sitting next to a huge meadow, for hours, on the West side of the divide on the turn off south over Climax Pass to Leadville. That meadow is called Copper Mountain today. I lived in a place called Smeltertown, outside of Salida, in the late 19th century the pollution was so bad it killed all the pinion trees in the valley.

    The miners were bad, but the giant vacation homes are a death blow.

    Thanks for that Vail article , the only good thing about Vail is the “Bob Convention”. Every September just west of Vail at Minturn they hold the “Bob Convention” at bridge over the Eagle River. Hundreds of “BOBS” show up and drink beer.

    Or at least they once did.

    Reply
  49. Colorado Bob

     /  October 15, 2015

    The LA Times comes out swinging –

    Editorial Exxon’s damaging denial on climate change

    Before most Americans were even aware of global warming, Exxon was investing in high-quality research on the subject. According to reports in the Los Angeles Times and elsewhere, the oil company’s scientists concluded in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s that climate change was real, would transform the Earth’s landscape and was driven by human activity — especially the burning of fossil fuels.

    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-exxon-climate-change-20151015-story.html

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  October 15, 2015

      Bookmark this
      Every time one reads that the science rigged , or they’re just after the money. Post this op-ed.

      There’s so much smoke coming out of this gun

      Reply
    • This just kills me. Exxon was loading this climate change denial gun back in the 70s…

      Reply
  50. – Lawyer as mouthpiece against the public good. And reason why we here must keep up our informative jabber for public good.

    ‘Meet Terry Jarrett, Friend Of Fossil Fuels And Prolific Author Of Anti-EPA Op-Eds’

    Newspapers across the country have been publishing falsehood-laden op-eds attacking the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan written by attorney and former utility regulator Terry Jarrett. But these newspapers have failed to disclose that Jarrett and his law firm have significant ties to the fossil fuel industry.

    Attorney Terry Jarrett Authored Numerous Op-Eds Attacking Clean Power Plan. Attorney and former utility regulator Terry Jarrett has penned multiple op-eds attacking the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) — which establishes the first-ever federal limits on carbon pollution from power plants — in newspapers across the country. Over a six-month period, Jarrett has written at least six different op-eds that have appeared in 17 newspapers. [Neosho Daily News, 10/8/15; Messenger-Inquirer, 10/8/15; Claireborne Progress, 10/6/15; News Democrat Leader, 10/5/15; The Ledger Independent, 10/2/15; The Times and Democrat, 9/29/15; …

    http://mediamatters.org/research/2015/10/15/meet-terry-jarrett-friend-of-fossil-fuels-and-p/206185

    Reply
    • Here we go again… Government does anything right and it’s a smear campaign from jump. That implies 12 C of long-term warming and zero land ice by the time we hit 6 C.

      Reply
  51. Colorado Bob

     /  October 15, 2015

    Back to Antarctica –
    We a good clip watch this one :

    Reply
  52. mlparrish

     /  October 15, 2015

    Leland Palmer: “It seems like Southern California is getting downright tropical, these days, with moisture coming in from the west and south, from the Pacific. ” Leland, I met a couple from Temecula, CA last week (Temecula, 33.3 degrees N, 54 miles north of San Diego). They said the place is becoming more humid. I was interested because the same thing has been happening in North Carolina (35.5 N), where I live, over the last several decades. Off topic but still interesting was the comment by a Wisconsin (ca. 88N) couple that they play golf all year round. I thought folks came to my state for that.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  October 15, 2015

      mlparrish

      Once upon a time I ran the Tandy Leather store at Torrance. Sepulveda and Hawthorne Blvd, I drove to Temecula to buy gourds We under these huge oak trees . It was amazing. I love California I am so sad to see it get beat up.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  October 15, 2015

        mlparrish
        The gourd farmer had a plywood grid of graduated holes. 5, 10, 24 . The bigger the gourd the more you paid. I was after drum sized gourds I paid through the nose. But I sold everyone. I got promoted to Las Vegas. The first week in Vegas a customer. said, ” How do you like Vegas” ?

        I said :
        ” I’ve been to some shit holes , this brightest ever”
        The Mexican Bar next door raddled the dye off the the wall . The junkies sold my CD player in the first week.

        Reply
      • mlparrish

         /  October 15, 2015

        Yes, it is sad. The couple had seemed happy there.

        Reply
  53. Excellent article, Robert. Thanks for your work. All through the article, I was wondering how hotter sea surface water would interact with a hotter atmosphere, where the disparities in the system would be less than the absolute increase in temps. You answered this as well as anyone can at this point. The only disappointment in the article was seeing you use “next to the last word” in reference to Earth Observatory and thereby forego the opportunity to use “penultimate”. Such a wonderful word and so few chances to use it, it was sad to see one go by.

    Keep up the excellent work!

    Reply
    • Thanks, Planet and best wishes! My view on penultimate is that the word should be used only infrequently and only where the context is very clear. KISS principle applies.

      Reply
  54. Colorado Bob

     /  October 15, 2015

    :” Life is a funny “

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  October 15, 2015

      These are dark days remember –

      Hell’s coning ro Breakfast.

      Reply
  55. Now this is seriously whacked-out — golf-ball sized hail in Southern California (near where I grew up, in fact): http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-rain-mudslides-los-angeles-20151015-story.html

    I lived there from the early 60’s until 1980, and my mom lived there until 2007 (until she packed up and followed my sister to Colorado). I had never experienced (or even heard of) anything like that happening there. Car-damaging golf-ball sized hail? Storms like that (especially in October)? Stuff like that just doesn’t happen in California (or didn’t). Prior to reading that LA Times article, I never even considered it possible for something like that to happen.

    Reply
  56. “I lived there from the early 60’s…”, *there* being near Leona Valley, where the golf-ball sized hail fell.

    Reply
    • Pretty amazing weather for a region that is typically quite moderate. The question is where is all this instability and atmospheric potential energy coming from? In other words, if we can have supercells in SoCal that produce 4-5 inch hourly rainfall rates, 1 inch hail, and 60 mph winds, then we can have supercells that produce tornadoes in SoCal. This is something I’d say is pretty amazingly weird.

      Reply
  57. More details about the Leona Valley weather event: https://twitter.com/passantino/status/655085330396147712 — 3.38 inches in one hour, 1.81 inches in 30 minutes.

    And this post has video footage of a hailstorm in Palmdale (a few miles away from Leona Valley): https://zachnews.wordpress.com/2015/10/16/news-update-castaic-ca-latest-information-on-the-interstate-5-flash-flooding-and-mudslide-closure/ — scroll down a bit.

    I lived about a half-hour’s drive from there for several decades — and like I said, I never saw (or even heard of) anything like that happening there.

    Reply
  1. Japan Meteorological Agency — September of 2015 was Hottest on Record — NASA not Far Behind | robertscribbler

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