More Weather Weirding — Godzilla El Nino vs a Mean Polar Amplification

We may have never seen heat like this before in the Equatorial Pacific. And as for atmospheric temperatures, 2015 is already locking in to shatter all-time global records set just last year. But despite a Monster El Nino raging across the world’s mid-section, despite a strengthening Jet Stream and a roaring storm track, the greatest warm atmospheric temperature anomalies are still centering in on the Arctic.

In other words, it appears that human-forced warming has taken so much cold out of the poles that there isn’t much of it left for the strengthening circumpolar winds to lock in.

A Godzilla El Nino

Equatorial Red Scar

(The angry red scar of anomalous ocean heat that is the tell-tale of a monster El Nino is plainly visible in today’s Climate Reanalyzer Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly [SSTA] graphic.)

All you have to do is look at the great red scar spanning more than half of the Equatorial Pacific Ocean on the upper Climate Reanalyzer map to tell it’s a Monster El Nino year. A zone that in this measure is now showing an amazing +1.26 C sea surface temperature anomaly above the already hotter than normal 1979-to-2000 average. A region where weekly average sea surface temperatures in NOAA’s El Nino monitor are now tied with the record 1997 event. There, according to NOAA, temperatures last week hit 2.8 degrees Celsius above average along an Equatorial band stretching from 120 to 180 West Longitude. As a result, the Equatorial atmosphere continued to heat up, continued to contribute to global temperatures that for 2015 will be the hottest ever recorded over the past 135 years.

Considering such a massive amount of heat boiling up off this key Equatorial zone, we’d tend to think that this region would also show atmospheric temperatures that are much warmer than average. And it does. But strangely, perhaps ominously, the highest average atmospheric temperature departures do not reside over these record hot waters. They instead show up where we might least expect them during a record El Nino year — at or near the poles.

Odd Polar Amplification

Atmospheric temperature anomalies

(El Nino is already contributing to stronger circumpolar wind fields, so why are the Antarctic and Arctic regions still so warm? Image source: Climate Reanalyzer.)

For both within the Arctic and Antarctic — it’s still much warmer than normal. In the Antarctic, a zone from 70 to 90 South features air temperatures that are between 10 and 20 degrees Celsius hotter than average. In the northern polar zone an even warmer region ranging from 14 to 20+ degrees Celsius above average stretches over the fractured and greatly thinned sea ice along an arc just north of Svalbard and on into Russian Siberia. Overall, the Arctic as a whole shows an extraordinary +1.27 C positive anomaly. The Antarctic is at +0.90 C. And the tropics, which includes our massive El Nino still lags at an admittedly impressive +0.64 C above the already hotter than normal 1979 to 2000 average.

Why is this temperature anomaly pattern so darn weird? It all has to do with atmospheric physics. During times of strong El Ninos, the temperature difference between the poles and the Equator tends to increase as the Equator warms. This, in turn, strengthens the Jet Stream. A strong Jet Stream, for its part, tends to keep cold air locked away at the poles. So, ironically, as the Equator warms with El Nino, the poles have a tendency to cool off a bit.

So far, for the Fall of 2015, this isn’t really what we’ve seen. Sure, the Equator has warmed up quite a bit. Concordantly, the Jet Stream appears to have strengthened somewhat. We still have a big ridge that tends to keep forming over the ridiculously and persistently warm Northeastern Pacific, but it’s not stretching all the way into the Arctic like it did last year. Meanwhile, Jet Stream velocities and related storm track intensities are hitting rather high values. Arctic Oscillation has also recently hit extremely high positive values. A strongly positive Arctic Oscillation traditionally tends to result in cold air remaining locked away in the Arctic, but considering the temperature anomaly maps, Arctic cold hasn’t really been all that cold of late.

image

(North America — surrounded on all sides by ridiculously hot water. How will the influences of this off the charts ocean warming impact North American and North Atlantic weather systems this Winter? Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

Is Human Forced Warming Meddling with the El Nino-Polar Interplay?

So why are the poles still tending to remain very warm even as the Equator warms? The first answer is that high greenhouse gas concentrations from human fossil fuel emissions tend to preferentially warm these regions. This is due to the fact that greenhouse gasses have their greatest warming impact during times of darkness or when the sun is at a low angle. Compounding this impact for the Arctic is the fact that a high overburden of both CO2 and methane hangs over the region — possibly due to heightening emissions from thawing permafrost, increasing forest fires, and increasing ocean-to-atmosphere carbon fluxes.

A second answer is that the overall atmospheric impacts of the current Monster El Nino may not have come into full swing yet. We do still have a very warm pool of water in the Northeastern Pacific and this warm pool has tended to somewhat resist the polar wind field intensifying effects of a strong El Nino. This warm pool has also given the current El Nino a springboard upon which to further intensify. So the push and pull between these two hot water zones may not be over yet.

All in all, this pattern points to more and more weather weirding on tap for this Winter. Jet Streams and storm tracks may run further to the north as a result — especially in the areas of the Pacific Northwest and in Northern Europe. Troughs may also tend to dig a bit deeper along the Central and Eastern US and on out into the North Atlantic. This is not exactly the forecast we would expect with such a strongly positive Arctic Oscillation. But the related cool air pool has retreated so far north as to, at least for now, not fully result in a strong El Nino + strong Arctic Oscillation related weather pattern. Instead, for now, what we are seeing is a weird kind of hybrid weather pattern that appears to be incorporating the influences of a Monster El Nino, of ongoing polar amplification, of the cool pool in the North Atlantic, of the abnormally warm Barents Sea, and of the Hot Blob still firmly entrenched in the Northeastern Pacific.

Links:

NOAA’s Weekly El Nino Report

NOAA’s Arctic Oscillation Index

Weather Underground El Nino Reports

Climate Reanalyzer

Earth Nullschool

Hat Tip to Ryan in New England

Leave a comment

169 Comments

  1. labmonkey2

     /  November 10, 2015

    Thanks again for a great article on this very disturbing topic. Seeing the US surrounded by anomaly temps in the +2 to +5 degree range is not what we normally see this time of year. I am making preps for the rain, but not sure how much or when this will all come to pass. Watchful eyes are all I can lend at this time.

    And speaking of ice caps: http://phys.org/news/2015-11-arctic-ice-cap-global-thermostat.html

    “The whole system is so complex, it is not something that can be experimented on. We’re talking about processes occurring on a global scale. Just a small detail forgotten can lead to different conclusions.”

    Reply
  2. Robert, what are your thoughts on recent reports of Antarctic land ice getting thicker? In addition to wanting to stay informed on climate, I’m also concerned that perceived anomalies can be used to discredit climate science and hinder mitigation efforts.

    Possible causes that immediately come to mind:

    Precipitation over continental Antarctica might be increasing due to warm water intrusion from ice shelf erosion around its periphery, warming atmospheric conditions which hold more moisture, and shifting atmospheric circulation patterns.

    Post-glacial rebound (i.e. the increase in elevation of land masses in response to the reducing weight of melting glaciers) might be producing inaccurate or misleading ice volume measurements.

    Reply
    • I’d give the Realclimate piece a good read. It’s a very well done analysis and contextualization of the Zwalley report findings. For my part, it seems to me that the Zwalley research is a bit old (only covering the period through 2008) and that it primarily measures volume (using laser altimetry rather than readings from the GRACE satellite, for example). The volume measure is, in my view, likely less accurate because it fails to take into account loss of ice through basal melt or from a kind of hollowing out of the ice sheets by melt that some researchers are now calling honeycombing. It’s worth noting that most of the studies finding net mass loss in Antarctica over recent years have been pure mass studies based on GRACE figures and analysis of basal melt trends. It’s also worth noting that a clear consensus of studies point toward net mass loss in Antarctica.

      Reply
      • One thing Zwally does is call into question whether or not the sea level budget is closed. Recently they concluded it was closed. Sea level is observed. The Zwally paper cannot make sea level go away. With the Antarctica component in question, it means some other source could be off as well. Potentially. It cannot mean the rise is not there.

        Reply
        • Unlikely. The consensus science shows net mass loss. Our best measures show net mass loss. Why depend on the Zwally data when more up to date and higher resolution data is available?

      • Just saying, even if he is right, its only affect is the sea level budget is back out of balance, and something else is over/underestimated.

        Reply
  3. Jeremy

     /  November 10, 2015

    What’s disturbing Lab is that even Robert can’t really accept that the clathrate gun has been fired.

    (snip)

    It’s all about methane now, and very little else matters.
    Sad, tragic – but true.

    Reply
    • Regarding what may or may not be inevitable on our current path, I prefer the insights of Kevin Anderson to those of Guy McPherson, who features heavily in the film. As a relative ignoramus I prefer to think that it is not “all” about the methane yet, thank you.

      Reply
      • I think it’s pretty clear that we don’t have much certainty yet RE Arctic feedbacks. But it is most certainly not all just about methane now.

        Reply
    • James Burton

       /  November 11, 2015

      Maybe it is not about the gun firing, it is about how big a charge it emits right now. The gun is going to spit out small charges, long before it brings out the big guns. Warming and melting is just now getting a good grip on the Arctic. My fears reside 10 years from now. I shudder to think what is already baked into the cake, as economists are so fond of saying.

      Reply
    • Steven Blaisdell

       /  November 11, 2015

      Guy McPherson is not credible. Not that there’s no basis for concern, but a close reading of his statements and positions – even without knowing how fast and loose he plays with the data – clearly shows a nihilist in action. Nothing can be done, according to Mr. McPherson, all efforts are doomed to failure not in effect, but in their mere existence. He cherry picks (or hypothesizes – listen to him talk about solar) the worst possible aspects of any response to or dimension of AGW, and weaves a narrative of preemptive helplessness that orbits in necessary antipodal tension its kissing cousin, willful denialist ignorance. He’s interesting as a putatively ‘scientific’ iteration of the zombie American subculture of End Timers, but anyone who claims to have ‘the answer’ to an issue as massively complex as AGW (or any dimension of lived experience) is automatically suspect, and Mr. McPherson especially so.

      We may be too late to stop the worst of AGW; in fact this is my position. I think we are locked by immanent and inevitable human and climate inertia into a multi-decadal descent into catastrophic warming. But this does not mean there’s nothing we can do. McPherson is either a broken man, endlessly repeating his broken narrative, or he’s a tool of the fossil fuel industry paid to sow seeds of nihilist helplessness. I think he’s broken, but that’s my read.

      Reply
    • danabanana

       /  November 11, 2015

      “It’s all about methane now, and very little else matters.”

      Actually, is all about Dopamine and keeping its flow going…. that’s why I think that we are all well f****d =/

      Reply
  4. Thanks RS for another great post.

    “So why are the poles still tending to remain very warm even as the Equator warms? The first answer is that high greenhouse gas concentrations from human fossil fuel emissions tend to preferentially warm these regions. This is due to the fact that greenhouse gasses have their greatest warming impact during times of darkness or when the sun is at a low angle. Compounding this impact for the Arctic is the fact that a high overburden of both CO2 and methane hangs over the region — possibly due to heightening emissions from thawing permafrost, increasing forest fires, and increasing ocean-to-atmosphere carbon fluxes.”

    If this is correct then I am guessing there would be seasonal variations in the temperature anomalies in the polar regions which I am not aware of. Any sources of charts for these phenomena? Thanks.

    Reply
    • There’s certainly a seasonal component.

      Global warming tends to take down the cold, dark bits first (or as Bob says, hot seeks cold). So AGW most greatly impacts the winter season and temperatures at night. But its most vivid impacts of all are on the polar regions during Winter time. So when people talk about polar amplification, it is usually at its most visible impact during or close to the periods of polar darkness. This week’s Antarctic warmth is a bit odd for that reason as well since they’re approaching austral summer.

      Reply
  5. Mblanc

     /  November 10, 2015

    Yeah, Prof Dr Guy McPherson doesn’t fill me with confidence on CC, although his biodiversity worries are more compelling, for me.

    For example, this…

    ‘McPherson also claims that the United States government, and virtually all high-profile scientists and activists (like James Hansen), know we are beyond the point of no return, but are purposefully making conservative predictions to mislead’

    Sounds like a worldwide climate science conspiracy to me, and I am, frankly, sick of hearing that particular meme.

    It’s not that I am unconcerned about methane, precisely the opposite, in fact. But I have not yet seen enough evidence to support your claim.

    Indeed, how many contributors to the video you link to (apart from McPherson), would support your statement as proven fact?

    Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  November 10, 2015

      Hey Robert, Just thought I would get on the front foot!

      Feel free to take my post down, as it doesn’t make much sense without Jeremy. I’m guessing he has history here, and reading Tobis on McPherson is revealing.

      I’m not gonna watch the video, despite the presence of people like Rignot and others, who I feel are relevant and respected scientists.

      Putting McPherson in the middle of credible voices, gives me no confidence in the production values of the piece, so I am not going to even bother.

      Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  November 10, 2015

        ooh, as an explanation, this was all about replying to Jeremy, but I just posted rather than replying, leaving my contribution floating in isolation. Doh.

        Then I couldn’t see Jeremy’s contribution (live edit?), so I assumed it had descended into ad hom’s and deletion.

        Crikey, this interweb thingy can get complicated!

        Reply
        • Your comments are fantastic, Mblanc. And I’ve decided to keep Jeremy’s first post for discussion’s sake. But it’s a pretty unsupportable claim from the scientific standpoint.

      • I mostly shut down the McPherson stuff about a year ago. He takes my work out of context, then uses it to support his own doom theories. But because he links my work I tend to get a few of his followers posting here from time to time.

        People need to understand that you can track risk or point out risk without claiming that this or that risk will inevitably emerge. The problem with so many people is that they can only see risk from a single frame of reference. I look at risk from multiple frames of reference and in the context of multiple potential scenarios. Apparently this confuses people who are only invested in seeing the situation through a single frame. McPherson is most certainly one of those. And his particular frame is probably even beyond the utterly absolute worst possible case.

        Reply
    • What concerns me most about the methane issue and communications surrounding it is the underlying divisiveness. I’d also tend to lean hard away from this ‘conspiracy by climate scientists’ meme. Just because there is disagreement over carbon feedbacks doesn’t mean there’s a conspiracy. And just because some scientists favor their own data sets, doesn’t mean that’s a conspiracy either. And even if I, for one, disagree with a scientist or set of data it doesn’t mean that I’m attacking the credibility of that scientist.

      For my part I think it’s safe to say we don’t have a scientific consensus on the state of Arctic carbon feedbacks or methane feedbacks in general. But in my view I think it’s just best not to play with fire in this case.

      But there is very little evidence at this point to support claims that we are on some inevitable exponential warming ramp. We have a few disturbing reports from some observational specialists, but we don’t have a signal in the global or Arctic measure that such an exponential warming event is happening. We do have some more evidence of feedbacks, but that is not yet even confirmed in the broader science. I’d say the current state of the science is that it is troublingly unclear when it comes to Earth System responses to the human forcing. But let’s be clear — anyone saying the clathrate gun (meaning that we are setting off a mini-runaway through feedbacks now) has already been fired hasn’t given a good reading of all of the science. There’s not enough evidence to support such a huge claim at this time. Sadly, the monitoring is a bit thin too, which adds to the confusion and uncertainty RE methane. And, unfortunately, that evidence of any big carbon feedback going off would mostly only appear in hindsight. Hence the call for caution and restraint on further emissions.

      In my opinion, it is more supportable to say that we are probably starting to see signs that the Arctic carbon sink is starting to turn into a carbon emissions source. That, by itself, is cause for serious concern. And I think it’s also fair to say that with human beings warming up the globe so rapidly that there is cause for some concern that a range of carbon releases — from harmful to catastrophic — could be set off at some future date and some future level of human forced warming. But, that because this is a tipping point issue, it is very difficult to identify an exact time when such a series of events could occur. Finally, it’s also probably fair to say that we may see a carbon response from the Arctic in this Century with a lower boundary level that’s equivalent to around 100 billion tons of carbon or about 10 years of human fossil fuel emissions. And that is also cause for concern.

      So no clathrate gun as yet. But probable trouble nonetheless.

      Reply
      • Steven Blaisdell

         /  November 11, 2015

        “…we are probably starting to see signs that the Arctic carbon sink is starting to turn into a carbon emissions source.”
        Good article from a climate scientist on exactly this:
        https://theconversation.com/will-the-arctic-shift-from-a-carbon-sink-to-a-carbon-source-47826

        Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  November 12, 2015

        I first found you here because I was trying to find out more about methane, and found polarised opinions almost everywhere.

        I think it is so easy to disappear down the rabbit hole, about one issue or another, especially when we know this is such an important time. I’ve certainly done it a few times myself! It reminds me of the Hitchikers Guide to the Universe, which had inscribed on the front those immortal words, ‘Don’t Panic’.

        Of course, one day we may be standing, knee-deep in water, asking ourselves, ‘Why didn’t we panic about this particular angle?’ It is so hard to strike a balance, as we all know enough to to be anxious and frightened. Methane is as good a case study of this challenge, as I can think of.

        I really appreciate the job you do with moderation, and feel it adds greatly to the value of your blog. I find it interesting to see how free-for-all comments sections are not as fashionable as they were, on newspaper websites.

        That moderation/curation is a complex job, and I find your description of how the subject of McPherson has developed, from your perspective, very interesting. Combine that with the complexities and diversity of the subject matter, and It sounds like a kind of rolling intellectual minefield!

        All the best

        Reply
  6. Henri

     /  November 10, 2015

    Just read yesterday a piece about the California drought. It claimed some anonymous household in a posh area of Los Angeles consumes a whopping 45 million liters of water in a year. That is an equivalent amount of replacing all the water in a swimming pool every day or having eight showers run 24/7/365. Is there really no limit to selfishness in some people?

    Reply
  7. Malcolm

     /  November 10, 2015

    Thanks again for a scary post Robert😉

    One thing has only just dawned on me when I looked at the Climate Reanalyser SSTA (in particular) more closely.

    Seems to me the colours chosen could be better. I’d always stupidly assumed that dark red was the ‘worst’ anomaly. Looking closer the colours chosen for approaching 4C anomaly are remarkably similar for those just below 2C. Makes it harder to determine exactly how bad the bad is around SE Australia (and you might have guessed from the spelling, that’s where i live)

    Do you know someone who could comment/respond on the colour question?

    Reply
    • Since there’s no direct contact for Climate Reanalyzer, I’d trying making a call in to the University of Maine. I see a lot of color schemes that do this at the upper end, though.

      Reply
  8. Jeremy in Wales

     /  November 11, 2015

    Posted this back on 1st Nov : “Was in Aberystwyth today, beautiful sunny day and very warm. Got back home and the BBC is reporting it as the UKs hottest November day, 22.4C (72.3F). http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34693529 ” and this morning the BBC reported that the UK had in N.Ireland recorded its warmest November night time minimum some 16 degrees C (61 F), some 10 degrees centigrade above the long term average, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-34782723 .

    These first two weeks have been really hot for November and 53 degrees north (same as Kamchatka or Lake Winnipeg). Air coming up from the south and southwest, not unusual as a wind direction but the long run of warm temperatures are.

    Despite this the BBC news did not put the Met Office report that “Global temperatures are set to rise more than one degree above pre-industrial levels and that Figures from January to September this year are already 1.02C above the average between 1850 and 1900 and that if temperatures remain as predicted, 2015 will be the first year to breach this key threshold”. No doping by Russian atheletes is a more important topic. The BBC have lost their balls and are running shit scared of the politicians, on so many levels.

    Reply
    • Sorry I missed your earlier post. The filter tends to pick up multi-links and keep them out of the comments, though. So something to consider when posting.

      Reply
    • redskylite

       /  November 11, 2015

      I’ve noticed that the BBC have moved their position on climate science, from neutrality and fair reporting to almost denier state. Sadly, something has changed in the land of Aunty BBC. Very poor reports on E.V’s too.

      Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  November 12, 2015

        Sadly, the Beeb has been facing an existential threat. It is called the Tory party! You are right that the output has changed, but it is a long and winding story. Some things have improved (no more false equivalence), and some things have probably worsened (a couple of awful programmes).

        I’m guessing you are referring the old Top Gear, and that god awful radio programme, whose name escapes me.

        My view is that the Beeb has been semi-neutered on CC, but it is still quietly fighting the good fight.

        Reply
    • I don’t like the BBC’s reporting on climate either, but it’s best to get your facts straight when you’re criticizing them, they definitely did report on the 1C Met Office press release, both on the 6 o’clock news and on their website…

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-34763036

      Reply
  9. Ryan in New England

     /  November 11, 2015

    Chris Burt’s blog on record heat. Too many records to list here, but what’s truly remarkable is the wide spread record warm minimums. As we all know, with the carbon blanket getting thicker, the warming influence will be more pronounced during periods of little or no sun (as Robert points out in his most recent post about CO2 overburden warming the poles).

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/weatherhistorian/incredible-november-warmth-for-portions-of-the-us-europe-and-beyond

    Reply
    • climatehawk1

       /  November 11, 2015

      Tweeting, thanks.

      Reply
    • Greg

       /  November 11, 2015

      From Burt’s blog: France.Temperature departures from normal for France on November 7th, the warmest November day (perhaps along with November 8th) ever experienced in modern times for the country. Map from Meteo France.

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  November 11, 2015

        Remarkable, isn’t it? I overheard a comment last week at a restaurant, about record temperatures. The woman behind me (I was in Florida) commented on the record setting heat, and the gentleman with her dismissed it by claiming that “they say that every year”, without having a clue about the significance of that statement. He’s right, “they” do say that every year…because we keep setting records!! And if I’m not mistaken, if we weren’t warming, as the amount of years in the record book increases we should expect to see fewer records being set. Yet we keep shattering records, and often by very substantial margins. And it appears most of the records for heat have been set in recent years, with very few records from the early twentieth century still remaining on top.

        Reply
  10. James Burton

     /  November 11, 2015

    “But strangely, perhaps ominously, the highest average atmospheric temperature departures do not reside over these record hot waters. They instead show up where we might least expect them during a record El Nino year — at or near the poles.”

    I guess this odd behavior is just exactly what I was looking to see when the next El Nino finally appeared, as this one surely has. Our old understanding of what an El Nino year meant for various parts of the globe would change, due to massive heat forcing from global warming. That things are no longer normal at all, but we are living in a brave new world. Global warming is overriding what we thought was normal. It isn’t just a big El Nino, it is one in which the world now is so forced by man’s Greenhouse gases, that the Arctic isn’t what it was in past El Ninos.
    If there is a question in this, it would be “what other surprises might we expect”?

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  November 12, 2015

      This has even appeared on a News Ltd, website, within the article in a statement by the BOM person , but it wasn’t creatively edited.
      http://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/this-is-what-australia-could-expect-once-el-nio-goes-away/story-fnjwvztl-1227606769754

      “Even though there was so much riding on which way weather patterns would swing, Dr Brown reiterated that it was very difficult to know what we were in for.

      She said while we could look to the past to see how previous El Niño and La Niña events behaved, there’s one big thing clouding our judgment of the future — climate change.

      “We know climate change is real and it’s happening and it’s changing the playing field, and changing they way things operate and the tools we use,” she said.

      “We can’t necessarily look to the past and see that as a guarantee of how the future’s going to look because we just don’t know what the interactions between climate change and El Niño and La Niña is. We’re going blind a little bit.”

      All in all not a bad article on the subject , especially from a Murdoch publication

      Reply
      • James Burton

         /  November 12, 2015

        “She said while we could look to the past to see how previous El Niño and La Niña events behaved, there’s one big thing clouding our judgment of the future — climate change”

        Yes, that is exactly what I was referring to. We use the past to predict the future, putting our measurements into models based to a degree on past experience, and now we are in dubious ground..

        Reply
      • Yep. You can’t really depend on models that were built on 20th Century climates if the climate is rapidly changing. I’d think there’d be more concern about this. Proof yet again that climate change is weather change.

        Reply
  11. Ryan in New England

     /  November 11, 2015

    Great post, as always Robert. There’s such an unbelievable amount of heat…everywhere! I often think about what was predicted in the 80’s, and thinking in the 90’s about what the future (present day) would be like. I would never have believed you if you had told me 25 years ago that we would still be trying to convince people of the reality of AGW, even though the effects are presenting themselves to us everyday, and it just keeps getting worse. And still, we delay…

    Reply
  12. Thanks for another outstanding article and the detailed comment on methane. Still not 100% clear on how the polar jet can amplify so much when the temperature difference is less. On top of that, isn’t the polar jet wavy right now – at least at lower heights?

    Reply
  13. I am quite concerned about the clathrate issue – but will leave that to the experts .. one of my concerns is the growing amounts of fluorocarbons in refrigeration and A/C systems (with CO2e’s in the thousands), which are almost guaranteed to be released into the atmosphere – especially if we get social dislocation (as we are seeing in Europe). Even here in a remote locale – we have abandoned resorts – with rusting chillers and a/c’s – already releasing hundreds of Kg of flurocarbons to the atmosphere. At least a carbon tax would make scavenging and destruction (for which we have the technology) a worthwhile activity. The crazy thing is that we have perfectly good alternatives (hydrocarbons – “greenfreeze”) but du Pont will fight like hell to stop that. Commerce before environment! I heard a report on Australian Radio National last week that Australia signed an agreement to phase out flurocarbons (including the ubiquitous R 134a “the Ozone Friendly Refrigerant”) – but the internet silence has been deafening…

    Reply
  14. utoutback

     /  November 11, 2015

    Thank you Robert for your continued excellent work.
    I am less concerned about Methane release right now as there is little we can do about how the planet reacts to our continued production of the primary stimuli; Greenhouse gases.
    We have a global Climate conference coming up in which, if I am not mistaken, the commitments for reductions by the major producers of AGW are woefully inadequate to address the growing problem.
    It seems to me that 10 years ago James Hansen said we had a decade to get a handle on this crisis and here we are producing more offending gases, not less.
    When will we start to turn this ship around. Or do we need to hit the iceberg before we accept the crisis.

    Reply
    • Great comment, UT. And a sentiment with which I wholeheartedly agree. I think that some, and even some in power, are working mightily to turn the wheel on the ship and to avoid hitting said iceberg. They and we struggle against others who appear bound and determined to stay the deadly course. Because money and power is at stake, we have one heck of a fight on our hands. But because the future of our world, our health, the health of the living Earth, and the lives and livelihoods of our children are all also as at stake, we must also fight with every effective means that we have, and we must win. It’s ironic, but whether we use more or less energy, whether we use wind and solar, or coal oil and gas, whether we eat meat or veggies, whether we vote for politicians who support carbon emissions reductions policies, whether we support politicians who push policies that protect natural lands and the oceans, that increase energy efficiencies, that do not pander to the wealthy, these and so many more are all survival choices, moral choices, choices that may well determine the fate of our world, our race, and that of countless other innocent beings who now stand directly in the path of this disaster.

      I wish we had more like you, UT. But each one of us willing to stand on the deck and pull at the wheel is one more out there fighting for the ship. And we should take every hand we can get. So thank you and bless you, good sir.

      Reply
  15. – A Nov. 10 Lake Superior weather and history piece for Bob:

    Forty years ago, on Nov. 10, 1975, the freighter Edmund Fitzgerald sank during a ferocious storm on Lake Superior, killing all 29 men aboard.

    The shipwreck was soon to be made famous in the haunting song by Canadian songwriter Gordon Lightfoot, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, which was released the year after the sinking.

    In the song, the disaster was blamed in part on the “Witch of November,” which is the source of memorable and fierce storms on the Great Lakes.

    Reply
  16. – To address some time consuming points made above which I may have started with a posting of a video.
    There are many voices trying to explain the many climate dangers we now face.
    Guy McPherson has his arsenal of points to make in his framework. We all do.
    Metrics and data sets abound. All have strong and weak points.
    Biases and emotions play a part too.
    And we all must juggle them even as new ‘balls’ are added to the stream at seemingly random times. But others are taken away. Or we drop some — or miss one.

    For me I take a holistic view and try to keep as many of them in sight and watch how they interact.
    If I pay too much attention to one I will surely drop one or two. And if I stoop to pick one up they all may fall.

    We have many feedback loops going on as well. All capable of surprising us.
    At the root are basic physics, geophysics and thermodynamics — to name some.
    But we also have human lives, and nature itself, at risk. And many suffer at this very moment.
    They couldn’t give a damn about our angst about who said what, or who was too alarmist or not alarmist enough.
    No one has ever had to, or tried to, express the situation we now find ourselves in. No epoch, era, or whatever timeframe you want to pick has ever been prompted.

    I get ‘battle fatigue’ myself — PTSD (pre and post) from years of trying to be ‘alarmist’ about the black soot, and other heavy aerosols or pollutants falling out of the sky onto the landscape in parts of Southern California.
    Much of the fallout, it turns out, came from climate change as the north winds slackened due the warming Arctic.
    I used photos, videos, testimony, and agitprop to tell people the “bad news they didn’t want to hear” (as the executive editor of a newspaper put it to me.)
    I am in the Pacific Northwest now. The warming Arctic (and ocean) is still running the show around here.

    For me, it’s not always about ‘what’ was said, or who said it — but how it was said, or what was unspoken. Personal insights from thoughtful empathetic observers are always of great value to me.
    Having said that, robertscribbler is the first source I go to, spend the most time at, and get the most from.
    I also feel fortunate to be able to add my point of view and experiences to the mix.
    Thanks, Robert.
    OUT

    Reply
    • Caroline

       /  November 11, 2015

      Excellent post DT! Thanks—– well said. I’m with you on all you articulate above and am not a “follower” of one but read as much as possible from those who study the affects of AGW on this beautiful, fragile planet. And, like Ed Abbey, believe action is the antidote to despair.
      Robert, how will we know—definitively—– if the methane clathrate gun has been fired?
      Thoughts?
      For those who missed this—-a piece about Jason Box and his feelings about AGW:

      http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a36228/ballad-of-the-sad-climatologists-0815/

      Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  November 12, 2015

        The concept of a clathrate ‘gun’, where it all goes at once, is a controversial one. Some recent papers suggest we are more likely to see gradual releases.

        If it did happen, I imagine we would know from the measurement of methane in the air over specific areas.

        I would recommend reading some of Roberts many pieces on the subject, along with some of the comments. AMEG are pretty extreme, in my view, but that certainly doesn’t mean there is nothing to worry about.

        Reply
    • Maria

       /  November 11, 2015

      Great post, DT…Indeed, action as Caroline also pointed out–and taking time-outs spending time, savoring the beauty. of this planet we are advocating for is a heavy-dosed antidote for me.

      Many of you here were early recognizers of what was going to happen. Pioneers have the heaviest loads to clear. Thanks so much for your efforts.

      Reply
  17. eugene

     /  November 11, 2015

    Personally, I think there are “we’re past the tipping point” deniers just as there are “climate change deniers”. But, for some, hope springs eternal. That and “we can solve anything” are American characteristics we are so proud of. Course to people in the Middle East and Africa have a different opinion but then they pay the price for our optimism.

    When I look at economics, energy and climate, it does not look too optimistic to me. Then I listen to the masses and it gets real interesting. The masses are still at the “huh?” stage with each their own level of capacity to cope with reality. I spent some yrs of my youth as a drunk and couple of decades working with addicts. All of this is so damn familiar ie the denial, the simplistic, idealistic solutions, the inability to accept the scope of the problem, the “all we have to do is ______, the endless blaming, etc. My reality is I see very little to convince me anything is going to happen except we going to keep on keeping on. For developed nations, all of this is an academic question. It’s not academic for those in countries we are feeding off. Long ago, I came to believe humans are a clever but stupid animal. We are so clever with our brains (ability to create fantasy worlds) and our hands. We can build some neat shit.

    I like McPherson simply because he is talking an option that few want to hear. It could be he’s right. Not for certain but could be and that’s way too scary for many.

    Reply
    • Leland Palmer

       /  November 11, 2015

      Hi eugene-

      I haven’t watched the McPherson video, and don’t really know much about McPherson.

      But if we over-react to global warming, and have a massive WWII scale effort to stop and then reverse it, we end up maybe paying a little more for clean energy, and maybe spending our national treasure on saving the planet instead of invading the Middle East. In the long run, though, we should remember that some large solar thermal installations from the 1980s that have paid off their loans are now producing some of the cheapest power around. So, potentially, a future of really low energy prices could result from an investment now.

      If we under-react, the clathrate gun could fire, and have huge, potentially catastrophic effects possibly killing billions of people and maybe even endangering the biosphere itself. We should remember that the sun is a couple of percent hotter now than it was during the End Permian, an effect Hansen says is equivalent to about 1000 ppm of CO2, just by itself.

      So, the truly scientific thing to do is over-react, I think. Real scientists admit the possibility of error, and admit that their work and human activities can have a big effect on society and the future. Risk is generally estimated by multiplying consequences by probability. So a low probability of huge consequences from methane hydrate dissociation can greatly greatly increase the risk to humanity.

      But, the probability of a methane catastrophe is not low, I think. So we have what I believe to be a fairly high probability of a terrible catastrophe.

      The risk from a methane catastrophe is off the charts, I think, and justifies huge and immediate action.

      Reply
      • I think the message now is that all actions have an impact and that we should act in the best possible way as swiftly as possible to prevent as much harm as possible. McPherson sings a sirine song of futility. He wrongly thinks that no actions make a difference. He is an incarnation of the apathy of our times — this belief and cynicism that first all actions have to be perfect in order to be effective (Nirvana fallacy) and second that all action is futile anyway (Nihilist fallacy) so why act at all?

        All who invest in non action, in non-response, the Kochs, the oil, gas, and coal companies, any who now profit from future harm must greatly enjoy this message which masquerades as ecology but is instead simple decadence. There is no call to action, just an appeal to keep doing the terrible things that got us here in the first place.

        I think we’ve seen enough of this nonsense.

        Reply
      • Leland Palmer

         /  November 11, 2015

        Hi Robert-

        I just watched part of the video. Certainly McPherson has some of the science wrong- there is nothing special about fossil fuel energy. We could certainly repair infrastructure and build wind turbines and solar panels without using fossil fuel energy – we just don’t do that right now.

        I agree with you about the Nirvana fallacy and the Nihilist fallacy, of course. Neither is based on science. There are a group of negative population growth people who won’t accept any solution except a decline in human population – and that is the hardest solution to implement, I think.

        Large economic growth on a finite planet is quite possible, I think – if we use solar energy and possibly recycled materials. That is after all how nature runs its technology – energy flows ultimately from the sun, and materials cycle within the system. We’re nowhere near the limits to growth if we follow that paradigm, I think.

        Reply
      • Leland Palmer

         /  November 13, 2015

        One thing the nihilists often don’t mention is the sheer size of the potential solar energy resource:

        It is a diffuse resource – we have to cover a lot of area very cheaply to harvest this energy in an economically viable fashion. But our total energy use is a very tiny fraction of the available solar energy resource, as most of us who read this blog already know.

        Reply
    • We’re going to end up dealing with some trouble. How much depends on our speed of response, how fully we accept that we need to work together and help each other (rather than play dominance and exploitation games through the crisis), and how well we are able to focus on solutions that not only increase the resiliency of human civilizations, but increase the vitality of the life giving systems of our world. We’ve thought for so long as exploiters. We need to change our thinking to that of preservers.

      It’s an amazing challenge.

      And I don’t think of someone sitting on the fence, doing absolutely nothing to improve the situation and instead preaching a doctrine of hopelessness and nihilism, as being in any way helpful. This McPherson stuff isn’t waking people up. It’s putting people into a coma. There’s no option. Option involves action. There’s just deep depression, paralysis, and an inability to act. I’d call it existential crisis, but that would be giving it too much credit — as existential crisis tends to arise from some monumental effort and ultimate failure and futility. But there’s no effort here, just existential masturbation.

      Reply
    • Apneaman

       /  November 11, 2015

      eugene, I too was a practicing drunk and later added junkie to the mix spanning 13-30 years old and have also helped others (non professionally). I see what you see. I suffered greatly, caused others to suffer and was fortunate to survive. The damage was a beat up body and hepatitis – C. I could have easily contracted HIV. After a number of sober years of delaying treatment (fear) , we were able to eradicate the virus with 6 months of therapy (yuck) before I reached the tipping point of cancer. As you are aware, even with every good intention and great effort, support and expense the number of addicts who get clean is depressingly low. Humanity seems to be like a gathering of abusers having the biggest most decadent party ever. A handful of people, between chugging beers and snorting lines of coke, are mumbling something about going on the wagon someday (2100) and there are a couple adults over in the corner screaming at the top of their lungs that the house is on fire, but most are ignoring them and some (the dealers) are even telling them to shut the fuck up. Sooner or later the party’s going to end and end badly and many won’t be going home. The uncertainty and fear is causing many pretenders, who really know, to poison themselves even more in a futile attempt to not think/feel about it.

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  November 11, 2015

        That’s a pretty good analogy, Apneaman. And like an endless party, most welcome the message that says ignore the problem and party on. Denial is so much easier (for most). You get to remain where you’re comfortable and can avoid the unpleasantness and effort that is required when one finally accepts reality. Change is scary and intimidating, and when there are some saying change isn’t needed, that’s who people end up listening to.

        Reply
      • Thanks for sharing this with us.

        Reply
      • Griffin

         /  November 12, 2015

        I place great value in the wisdom of one who has been in such a dark place and has lived to tell the tale. Apneaman, Eugene, it is good that the both of you recovered and can comment on this blog today. You give us hope. As climatehawk said, thank you for sharing this.

        Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  November 12, 2015

        Great stuff, Apneaman, I laughed out loud.

        Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  November 12, 2015

        At your analogy, of course.

        Not the first bit.

        Reply
  18. islandraider

     /  November 11, 2015

    Keeling Curve. Latest reading on November 9, 2015: 400.14 ppm CO2.
    Link:
    https://scripps.ucsd.edu/programs/keelingcurve/

    Reply
  19. islandraider

     /  November 11, 2015

    Ralph Keeling asks, “Is this the last year below 400?”
    https://scripps.ucsd.edu/programs/keelingcurve/2015/10/21/is-this-the-last-year-below-400/

    As we trend, strongly, in the wrong direction…

    Reply
  20. June

     /  November 11, 2015

    http://www.nationalobserver.com/2015/11/10/news/trans-pacific-partnership-deal-act-climate-denial

    All the work to make any kind of substantive deal in Paris (even though not enough) will be for nought if the TPP passes as written. If a climate change policy interferes with a corporation’s profits under the terms of the TPP deal, the corporation could sue state governments. The same would be true for environmental regulations. This would be Obama’s real legacy…profits over the planet. It’s difficult to remain positive in the face of such corporate power.

    Reply
  21. June

     /  November 11, 2015

    Trying to add a little positivity…

    This Skeptical Science post on the potential uses of graphene to improve effeciency of solar panels and energy storage is interesting.

    http://skepticalscience.com/Graphene-SkS.html

    Reply
    • I think we’ve a lot of increasingly powerful tools at our disposal. And, in my view, the primary constraint now to widespread renewable energy adoption is political. New wind and new solar is now, in many cases less costly than gas or coal. And the costs just keep falling for the new energy sources. What we are dealing with is utilities and corporations that are trying to extend the lifespan of old energy and of old utilities in order to keep capitalizing on an investment made so long ago. So what we’re confronting is an old and damaging way of doing business but that manages to still generate a profit for some.

      I think the optimistic thing to consider here is that the new energy is better. Better for individuals and families. Better for the environment. And, if we act decisively, a better way to challenge the power of harmful monopolies.

      But we need to think strategically. We need to think public energy systems and individual access. We need to think net metering and cities that take their energy futures into their own hands. We need to think divestment — not just from fossil fuels, but from the utilities still heavily invested in fossil fuels who are fighting to prevent people from having an option out.

      Whether we like it or not, we’re in the midst of a disruptive energy Renaissance and the choices we make now will be critical in shaping our future.

      So I just want to say that if anyone wants to promote or link new energy here, you have my full support and a wide open forum. Thanks for the great link, June.

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  November 11, 2015

        Absolutely, Robert. Maybe in the 70s and 80s we still needed technological advancements to catch up with what needs to be done, but now we are there. We are living in the future. Take away subsidies and renewables are in the same league as fossil fuels. We are living in the future. It’s just a damn shame our politicians are still in the Middle Ages.

        Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  November 12, 2015

        One for you, a crystal “Tardis”, I did mention it some time ago, but here is an update. (capability to store insane volumes of gases), from a News Ltd publication however (they do try and promote the techno fix or deus ex machina {A “Deus ex machina” — literally “God from the machine”})
        http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/latest-news/csiro-seeks-uses-for-tardis-like-crystals/story-fn3dxiwe-1227606784163

        Reply
  22. Greg

     /  November 11, 2015

    Speaking of action…The latest from the wise Dr. James Hansen:
    “Environment and Development Challenges: The Imperative of a Carbon Fee and Dividend”

    http://csas.ei.columbia.edu/2015/11/11/environment-and-development-challenges-the-imperative-of-a-carbon-fee-and-dividend/

    Reply
  23. Thank you for keeping us posted on the state of our planet. :~)

    Reply
  24. Thank you, Robert for this post and to all the commenters and your responses. I’m on and offline and just able to do “drive-thru” glances at my news feeds and posting. The dialogue in these last 2 posts is especially meaningful. Thanks all.

    Reply
  25. Re: the Exxon Probe by the NY Attorney General. Informative piece on how he’s using a little known(to the general public) law in NY State to go after them.

    “”””The Peabody and Exxon probes are based on New York’s powerful shareholder-protection statute, the Martin Act, as well as the state’s consumer protection and general business laws. The 1921 Martin Act forbids “any fraud, deception, concealment, suppression, false pretense” or “any representation or statement which is false.”

    The statute also gives the state broad powers of discovery. Schneiderman, a second term Democrat, and predecessors have used that power to probe companies on the grounds that their securities are traded in New York.

    The implications of a Martin Act probe of Exxon go far beyond forcing the company to disclose what it knew about the impact of climate change on business as was the outcome of the Peabody probe, said Pat Parenteau, professor of environmental law at the Vermont Law School.

    New York officials have the power to delve deeply into Exxon’s record on climate change through the subpoenas of records and by compelling testimony, he said.

    “This gives leverage to wider investigations of Exxon,” Parenteau said. “Who knows what they’ll discover?”””””

    http://insideclimatenews.org/news/10112015/peabody-coal-climate-change-settlement-new-york-ag-exxon-subpoena-investigation

    Reply
  26. The World Meteorologic Organization put out a report this week with the depressing news that: between 1990 and 2014 there was a 36% increase in radiative forcing – the warming effect on our climate – because of long-lived greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) from industrial, agricultural and domestic activities.

    They discussed water vapor’s role which I don’t often see detailed in the various reports.

    “”Water vapor and CO2 are the two major greenhouse gases. But it is CO2 which is the main driver of climate change. Water vapour changes are the so-called feedback mechanisms and happen as a response to the change in CO2. For a scenario considering doubling of is CO2 concentration from pre-industrial conditions, i.e. from about 280 to 560 ppm, water vapor and clouds globally would lead to an increase in atmospheric warming that is about three times that of long-lived greenhouse gases, according to the Bulletin.”””

    https://www.wmo.int/media/content/greenhouse-gas-concentrations-hit-yet-another-record

    Reply
    • – Maria, it’s good to see “nitrous oxide (N2O)” in this triad with the water vapor..
      The sky is dense with water vapor and particulate. I see it every day. All I have to do is look upwards.
      Watch news and media accounts of any outdoor activity anywhere in the world — you can see it. It’s milky pasty white at almost anytime of day. Each shot looks like it could have been filmed at the same location.
      For years I’ve been dumbfounded while watching this. Like if your complexion or skin color loses vitality and turns pale — you know something is amiss.
      The sky is awash.
      Thanks again for the link.

      Reply
    • Maria

       /  November 12, 2015

      You’re quite welcome, DT. Thank you for raising our awareness.

      Reply
  27. – Philip Klotzbach ‏
    #Kate is the latest hurricane formation in the Atlantic basin since Epsilon on 12/2/2005.

    Reply
  28. Early Wednesday morning, Tropical Storm Kate officially became Hurricane Kate as it jetted its way northeastward across the Atlantic Ocean. It is the latest forming hurricane in the Atlantic since Hurricane Epsilon formed on Dec. 2 during the blockbuster 2005 season.

    he 2015 and 2005 seasons could scarcely be more different: 2005 had a record 28 systems become tropical storms, of which 15 became hurricanes, another record. There were so many storms that the normal list of storm names ran out and the backup system of Greek letters had to be used.
    http://wxshift.com/news/kate-becomes-latest-forming-atlantic-hurricane-since-2005?utm_content=buffer2273e&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    Reply
  29. For DT:
    From Nov. 10 through Dec. 21, NASA and university scientists are taking to the field to study wet winter weather near Seattle, Washington. With weather radars, weather balloons, specialized ground instruments, and NASA’s DC-8 flying laboratory, the science team will be verifying rain and snowfall observations made by the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite mission.

    http://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/nasa-heads-to-pacific-northwest-for-field-campaign-to-measure-rain-and-snowfall

    Reply
    • – Thanks Maria.
      The PNW is like a climate-atmospheric punk rock ‘mosh pit’ of weather.
      While cold and snow is forecast this weekend — it will be followed by warm wet weather which will melt the snow, become runoff, and retard possible snow pack.
      Rivers and fish will have water now but not the more beneficial and sustaining runoff from snow pack needed next spring and summer.
      – Ps more daffodils buds are filling out. Other trees have leaves burnt to a crisp from aerosol pollutants, and have bare branches which are budding — in November.

      – Mosh weather🙂

      Reply
    • – From another link:
      ‘The Olympic Peninsula, home to a protected temperate rain forest, is ideal for the project because it’s in the middle of an active winter storm track, said Lynn McMurdie, a UW researcher and one of the project’s lead scientists.

      It’s reliably wet on the peninsula, which typically receives more than 8 feet of rain on the coast to about 15 feet of snow in the mountains. The landscape changes from sea level to over 6,500 feet in a short distance of about 30 miles, offering a comprehensive picture of how precipitation falls over such extreme differences in terrain.’
      http://www.wkow.com/story/30477531/scientists-tracking-rain-snow-in-soggy-washington-state

      Reply
      • Maria

         /  November 12, 2015

        DT: Mosh has just the right sound to it to describe what’s happening there. Just today I was chatting with someone from Olympia(I’m traveling) and he wanted nothing to do with a conversation re: climate change. I let it be…….the teacher comes when the student is ready.

        I also drove thru the coal/oil lands of Utah this week–such isolated towns with barely any radio reception. How do we reach those youngsters?

        Reply
  30. – Wired
    ‘Congress’ Chief Climate Denier Lamar Smith and NOAA Are at War’

    During his 28 years in Congress—the last two as science chair—Smith, who represents the San Antonio area, has become de facto leader of the House GOP climate change skeptics’ caucus. He’s opponent-in-chief of air pollution rules from the Environmental Protection Agency, and the nation’s foremost critic of the National Science Foundation’s peer-review process.

    This time, the object of Smith’s ire is an astronaut, veteran of three missions, the first American woman to walk in space (during a 1984 shuttle mission), Navy captain, PhD geologist, and former science museum director. Kathryn Sullivan, in other words, is tougher than you.

    Perhaps that’s why she refused to roll over for Smith’s latest climate investigation. The target: a research paper by NOAA scientists stating that a 15-year pause in the overall rise in global temperatures…
    http://www.wired.com/2015/11/congress-chief-climate-denier-and-noaa-are-at-war/

    Reply
  31. – Photo: Kadir van Lohuizen /NOOR
    Residents protect their homes against rising sea levels with sand bags at Betio, #Kiribati. The Republic of Kiribati is on the frontline of climatechange. The impact of storm surges and coastal erosion are already very visible across the 32 low-lying atolls which make up the Republic

    Reply
  32. – Drought-Stricken Southeast Brazil Has Lost 15 Trillion Gallons of Water Per Year Since 2012
    Mark Leberfinger, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer

    The ongoing drought in southeast Brazil has cost the region 15 trillion gallons of water a year since 2012, according to a study done by the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    Dr. Augusto Getirana, a hydrologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, Maryland, used data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites to determine the drought’s impact.

    – The frame of a car, with a text that reads in Portuguese “Welcome to the desert of Cantareira,” written on its side, is revealed by the receding waters of the Atibainha reservoir, part of the Cantareira System that provides water to the São Paulo metropolitan area, in Nazare Paulista, Brazil, Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

    Reply
  33. Abel Adamski

     /  November 12, 2015

    Another update, highlighting the abnormally warm Indian Ocean in the el Nino context
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/record-warm-indian-ocean-may-temper-el-ninos-wrath-on-australia-bureau-20151110-gkv9yi.html

    Historically, the worst El Nino impacts have come when temperatures in the Indian Ocean have been relatively cool off north-western Australia compared with the western Indian Ocean – such as the current conditions.

    However, what’s moderating the otherwise potent brew is the fact that the Indian Ocean south of the Equator is at record levels of warmth (see chart below), with heat anomalies in October the largest for any month on record, Dr Watkins said.

    Reply
  34. Abel Adamski

     /  November 12, 2015

    Another from SMH, re Munich Re report
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/australia-faces-rising-perils-from-climate-change-earthquakes-munich-re-report-20151109-gku2p0.html

    Note the mention of earthquakes, this is a point I have been concerned with. The alterations in mass distribution due to ice melt, aquifer depletion and rising sea levels will affect the rotational stability and axis. This will have tectonic and geological implications everywhere in the world, especially the Polar fault lines and volcanically active areas.

    Another incalculable wild card

    Reply
    • labmonkey2

       /  November 12, 2015

      I am pondering the same effects as the ‘rotational inertia’ of our planet is impacted by the redistribution of mass. Another collateral impact that is difficult to quantify w/o proper monitoring/measuring data. May need to spend some research time here: http://www.csr.utexas.edu/grace/

      Reply
      • Leland Palmer

         /  November 13, 2015

        There are some old papers that propose a connection between asteroid impacts, sudden cooling events, rotational effects due to redistribution of mass and conservation of angular momentum. The paper I recall proposed geomagnetic reversals as a result.

        So as mass redistributes toward the equator from the polar regions, the equatorial regions will try to slow down while the massive core and mantle will want to rotate at the old rate.

        What the effect of that will be is not known to me. I have sometimes wondered if this effect could change the motion of continental plates sufficient to create rifting and flood basalt eruptions.

        Reply
      • Leland Palmer

         /  November 14, 2015

        Richard Muller and his collaborator Donald Morris wrote a paper “Geomagnetic Reversals from Impacts on the Earth” based on this idea. The idea was that impacts could cause ice ages and result in mass being transferred from the equatorial regions to the poles. The article, unfortunately is behind a pay wall. The paper is controversial and unproven.

        The effect from abrupt warming would be the opposite – abrupt shift of mass from the polar region to the equator.

        Here’s an earlier article with the same math, I think. Geomagnetic Reversals Generated by Aprupt Sea Level Changes : http://www.osti.gov/scitech/servlets/purl/1004148/

        The rate of change is important, in these calculations. If we get tens of meters of sea level rise in a century that might be a bigger problem than tens of meters of sea level rise over several thousand years.

        I really have wondered about the motions of continental plates, rifting, and flood basalt eruptions. We really don’t want flood basalt eruptions, and it would be nice if somebody capable of doing the modeling would take a look at this.

        What would be the effect of tens of meters of sea level rise on the motions of the tectonic plates?

        Somewhat ominously, flood basalt eruptions are associated with hyperthermal events. It has always been proposed that the flood basalt eruptions triggered the hyperthermal events and mass extinctions. What if the truth is just the opposite – that flood basalt eruptions are the consequence of hyperthermal events, and by positive feedback sometimes amplify those hyperthermal mass extinction events?

        Reply
  35. Abel Adamski

     /  November 12, 2015

    An interesting new study
    http://phys.org/news/2015-11-global-fast-today.html

    “Climate change is progressing rapidly. It is not the first time in our planet’s history that temperatures have been rising, but it is happening much faster now than it ever has before. Or is it? Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg have shown in the latest edition of the journal Nature Communications that the temperature changes millions of years ago probably happened no more slowly than they are happening today.

    Rapid changes are invisible, not absent

    In their study the researchers looked at around two hundred analyses of changes in climate from various periods in geological history. It became clear that the apparent speed of climate change appears slower the longer the time periods over which increases or decreases in temperature are observed. The reason for this is that over long periods rapid changes in climate do not happen constantly in one direction. There are always phases during which the temperatures remain constant or even sink—a phenomenon that has also been observed in the current period of global warming. ‘However, we are unable to prove such fast fluctuations during past periods of climate change with the available methods of analysis.

    As a consequence, the data leads us to believe that climate change was always much slower in geological history than it is today, even when the greatest catastrophes occurred. However, that is not the case,’ Prof. Kießling says. If we consider these scaling effects, the temperate increase over the Permian-Triassic boundary was no different to current climate change in terms of speed. The increase in temperature during this event is associated with a mass extinction event during which 90 percent of marine animals died out.”

    A valuable hypothesis that will generate much more fine grained and detailed research, but avoids all mention of causations and provides ammunition to those that argue against taking action with the assumed argument it is all natural and there is nothing we can do about it, also avoids any mention of biological effects as recorded

    Reply
  36. Abel Adamski

     /  November 12, 2015

    Sorry to be a serial poster, guess time difference and some interesting reports.
    http://www.10news.com/news/researchers-global-warming-a-factor-in-stronger-hurricanes

    “The team is made up of researchers from five institutes: Woods Hole, the University of Maine, the University of Maryland, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and Rutgers University. The group received $5.5 million of the $309 million disaster assistance fund given to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration after Hurricane Sandy for research and development in hurricane forecasting.

    The research has found significant results, and Gawarkiewicz said he expects to find more in the coming years. All the team needs is more storms to study.”

    Reply
  37. utoutback

     /  November 12, 2015

    An aside: Two weeks ago I was Home Depot buying 1″ thick rigid foam insulation. We have recently remodeled an older home, including redoing/updating as much of the insulation as we could (crawl space and attic) as well as adding honeycomb insulated window shades (I’ve found these to be very effective). We use thermal curtains for the sliding patio doors. We had 3 windows that we could not use shades on, so I cut insulation to fit the openings and fitted them with handles. They work great all night and on cloudy/colder days.
    The service person who helped me with the foam board said he knows poor people who use foam board on all their windows to keep their heating costs down. This at the expense of a view or seeing the sun. All in the name of heat affordable.
    But, now I read here and elsewhere that we could have environmentally correct and inexpensive energy, if we would just move forward into the age of renewable energy.
    The FF corporations are global criminals who must go.

    Reply
  38. redskylite

     /  November 12, 2015

    From an article and analysis in today’s CleanTechnica the current INDC pledges are placing us in the ranges of 2.7 – 3.7 degrees C rise, depending on whose model you select. Nowhere good enough especially as a vulnerable group of countries are urging a 1.5 degrees C limit.

    Lets hope sense and rationality can prevail.

    http://cleantechnica.com/2015/11/11/why-different-temperature-estimates-from-different-indc-analyses/

    Reply
    • redskylite

       /  November 12, 2015

      A coalition of countries at acute risk from the impacts of global warming has released a set of demands it wants to see embedded in a proposed Paris climate deal.

      Exactly one month until UN talks on a global pact are set to conclude, the 43-strong Climate Vulnerable Forum says the agreement must stipulate a warming limit of 1.5C instead of the current UN target of 2C.

      “Warming of just 0.75-0.85C endangers our people, exceeds our capacity to cope and adapt, and places into question the very survival of a number of our low-lying states,” reads a statement released after a meeting in Manila.

      http://www.climatechangenews.com/2015/11/11/climate-vulnerable-governments-urge-all-countries-to-make-tough-co2-cuts/

      Reply
      • Tom

         /  November 12, 2015

        “demands” bwah-hah-hah! As if this can be changed! [hoo-boy, that’s rich . . .]

        Reply
      • We should set a 1.5 C limit if we’re honest about shooting to avoid some pretty devastating impacts. But we should also realize that we’re going to overshoot it. It’s like 350 ppm CO2 — a line you don’t want to cross, but once you do, it’s worth doing one’s best to get back to it.

        Reply
  39. redskylite

     /  November 12, 2015

    Another study (this one led by researchers from Centre for Ice and Climate at the University of Copenhagen’s Niels Bohr Institute), regarding the bipolar ocean seesaw and inequality of temperatures during warming periods (“As the Earth warmed out of the last ice age the climate of the northern hemisphere high-latitudes became extremely unstable. Ice cores from the Greenland Ice Sheet document temperature jumps of 10°C in the space of a few decades.”), makes me very wary of the usefulness of thinking in global mean temperatures, as it can be a lot warmer in the more populated Northern Hemisphere, than down below in the south.

    “The results shows how forcing the climate system into a different state can trigger climate variations that spread globally and have very different impacts in different regions of Earth. This is important now, where rising atmospheric CO2 levels lead to global warming and may trigger abrupt climatic changes. The results have been published in the scientific journal Nature Geoscience. “

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-11/uoc–tps110915.php

    Reply
  40. Abel Adamski

     /  November 12, 2015

    And for a reminder, very interesting wording, especially considering the warning to the US Govt in 1965
    https://www.insidescience.org/content/my-1975-cooling-world-story-doesnt-make-todays-climate-scientists-wrong/1640#comment-2353320754

    Brought back to mind as Disqus advised someone had replied to a post I had made on it

    Reply
  41. Tom

     /  November 12, 2015

    Robert: any way you can get rid of the annoying ads on your site?

    Canada is finally ending its war on science – PM Trudeau appoints minister of environment and climate change – ‘Canada is going to be a strong and positive actor on the world stage, including in Paris at COP 21’

    http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2015/11/canada-is-finally-ending-its-war-on.html

    Reply
  42. “A report from InfluenceMap published today, and drawn from over 10,000 evidence points, demonstrates the stark contradictions in stated claims of the oil and gas companies and the obstructive lobbying activities of the trade associations they actively support and finance.”

    “The energy majors’ strategy (Shell, BP and Total) leading up to Paris 2015 is to call for a price on carbon. Behind the scenes, however, all are systematically obstructing the very laws that would enable a meaningful price. This report examines this obstruction, how trade associations are playing a key role and serious misalignment by Shell and Total with their own trade associations on climate policy. InfluenceMap’s research, backed by analysis of over 10,000 points of evidence, shows all three are obstructing key climate regulatory measures directly and through trade bodies, as are ExxonMobil and Chevron, the two US majors not signed on to the price of carbon message.”

    http://influencemap.org/report/Big-Oil-the-Price-of-Carbon-and-Obstruction-of-Climate-Regulations

    Reply
    • It’s worse than just that. The trade obstruction is still underpinned by massive and wide ranging climate change denial efforts. I think the strategy appear to be to lie to the faces of anyone who understands climate change is real while doing everything to both obstruct policy and continue to misinform the public. It would be two faced, except that it’s three or four faced.

      Reply
  43. Andy in SD

     /  November 12, 2015

    On this end of the pending El Nino.

    We should be starting to get some weather from El Nino if things were normal. We should be seeing rain in November (some, nothing huge), a letup in December, then the big hit in January and February.

    So far for November, there is nothing related to El Nino coming onshore. Today it will be sunny and roughly 75 to 80 degrees.

    The local outlier is the water temperature. Last week the air temperature was ~70F. The water temp at the shore was up to 75F. Yes, it was hotter in the water than out. Currently the water temperature is is roughly 70F, this is about 5F above normal.

    We will see if the blob and it’s cousin “RRR” will change the local El Nino sub behavior.

    For normal temps along the US coasts, here is a table so you can compare your locale.

    https://www.nodc.noaa.gov/dsdt/cwtg/all_meanT.html

    Reply
  44. Colorado Bob

     /  November 12, 2015

    Aleutians Cyclone Undergoes Bombogenesis; Multiple 90-MPH Gusts Reported

    As it approached the far western Aleutians, it began undergoing a period of rapid intensification, as measured by its minimum central pressure – a key factor in determining the winds that a cyclone (tropical or non-tropical) can produce.

    The central pressure fell from 992 millibars at 4 a.m. Alaska time Tuesday to 964 millibars at 4 a.m. Wednesday, a drop of 28 millibars in 24 hours. This qualifies the cyclone as a “bomb” – a term generally applied to a storm whose minimum pressure drops at least 24 millibars in 24 hours.

    http://www.wunderground.com/news/aleutians-low-pressure-bombogenesis-alaska-november-11-2015

    Reply
    • – While it’s good to some energetic weather in the Gulf — this low is something else.
      N/W Washington and S/W BC are getting battered and soaked.
      PDX likely to get only the edge of the storm,
      Meanwhile the Southern California Bight has strong hot and dry offshore winds with red flag alerts. So far one “small’ wildfire in Simi Valley.

      – Seattle KOMO News 1112:
      ‘The National Weather Service says satellite analysis of the storm shows more than double the moisture content of a typical Pacific Storm,’

      2-day storm to pummel region with heavy rains, strong winds

      A very potent storm that covers much of the Gulf of Alaska and stretches back into the Central Pacific tropics — measuring it on Google Earth puts it roughly covering about 3 million square miles of Earth — is about to barge through Western Washington’s door Thursday afternoon, and it’s not going to leave until Saturday morning, perhaps longer.

      The National Weather Service says satellite analysis of the storm shows more than double the moisture content of a typical Pacific Storm, …That is plenty for flooding and why a Flood Watch is in effect for all mountain-fed rivers on our half of the state.

      Rivers likely won’t begin flooding until Friday, although some spots downstream likely won’t see it until Saturday.

      Reply
  45. Andy in SD

     /  November 12, 2015

    Not sure if this was mentioned above.

    Unprecedented: Second freak tropical cyclone to strike Yemen in the same week

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2015/11/09/unprecedented-second-freak-tropical-cyclone-to-strike-yemen-in-the-same-week/

    Reply
    • On top of the extraordinary nature of these cyclones, the UN is now warning of the possibility of the extra rainfall unleashing locusts in the region, which is already ravaged by war and food shortages –

      “Close monitoring is needed over the next six months to prevent the insects from forming destructive swarms,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said at a daily news briefing here.

      After becoming airborne, swarms of tens of millions of locusts can fly up to 150 km a day with the wind, and a very small swarm eats the same amount of food in one day as about 35,000 people.

      The locust situation in countries normally affected by Desert Locust remained mostly calm in October with only small-scale breeding activity detected, FAO said in a release, citing its experts.

      They noted however that this could change, in part due to the impact of El Nino in Africa and the tropical cyclones Chapala and Megh in the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa.

      “Extreme weather events, including torrential downpours, have the potential to trigger a massive surge in locust numbers. Rain provides moist soil for the insects to lay their eggs, which in turn need to absorb water, while rains also allow vegetation to grow which locusts need for food and shelter,” said Keith Cressman, FAO’s senior locust forecasting officer.

      “The effects of a locust plague can be devastating on crops and pastures and thus threaten food security and rural livelihoods,” he added.

      http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/article_xinhua.aspx?id=308912

      Reply
    • ” … The same records revealed that from 2002 to 2014 the area of the glacier’s floating shelf shrank by a massive 95%, according to a report in the journal Science. The glacier has now become detached from a stabilising sill and is losing ice at a rate of 4.5bn tonnes a year.”

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  November 12, 2015

      I just realized I posted the same link, right below yours. Sorry about that!!

      Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  November 12, 2015

      Blessed is the Rignot, because he is doing his best to get the story straight!

      Reply
  46. Ryan in New England

     /  November 12, 2015

    From The Guardian…

    A major glacier in Greenland that holds enough water to raise global sea levels by half a metre has begun to crumble into the North Atlantic Ocean, scientists say.

    The huge Zachariae Isstrom glacier in northeast Greenland started to melt rapidly in 2012 and is now breaking up into large icebergs where the glacier meets the sea, monitoring has revealed.

    The calving of the glacier into chunks of floating ice will set in train a rise in sea levels that will continue for decades to come, the US team warns.

    “Even if we have some really cool years ahead, we think the glacier is now unstable,” said Jeremie Mouginot at the University of California, Irvine. “Now this has started, it will continue until it retreats to a ridge about 30km back which could stabilise it and perhaps slow that retreat down.”

    Mouginot and his colleagues drew on 40 years of satellite data and aerial surveys to show that the enormous Zachariae Isstrom glacier began to recede three times faster from 2012, with its retreat speeding up by 125 metres per year every year until the most recent measurements in 2015.

    The same records revealed that from 2002 to 2014 the area of the glacier’s floating shelf shrank by a massive 95%, according to a report in the journal Science. The glacier has now become detached from a stabilising sill and is losing ice at a rate of 4.5bn tonnes a year.

    Eric Rignot, professor of Earth system science at the University of California, Irvine, said that the glacier was “being hit from above and below”, with rising air temperatures driving melting at the top of the glacier, and its underside being eroded away by ocean currents that are warmer now than in the past.

    “The glacier is now breaking into bits and pieces and retreating into deeper ground,” he said. The rapid retreat is expected to continue for 20 to 30 more years, until the glacier reaches another natural ledge that slows it down.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/nov/12/collapsing-greenland-glacier-could-raise-sea-levels-by-half-a-metre-say-scientists

    Reply
  47. Ryan in New England

     /  November 12, 2015

    Not sure if a link to this had been posted already, since the article was published over a week ago, but it’s about the current conflicts exacerbated/caused by climate change and the conflicts likely to arise in the future.

    http://www.salon.com/2015/11/05/the_water_wars_are_coming_civilization_will_never_survive_climate_calamity/

    Reply
  48. Ryan in New England

     /  November 12, 2015

    I love Bill Nye and his courage to call out denier BS for what it is. I’m sure his pragmatic but hopeful attitude is welcome here. We need a million more like him (and Robert!).

    “To confront climate change, we all have to embrace two ideas. They are simple and familiar ideas, but that does not make them any less true. First: We are all in this together. Second: The longest journey begins with a simple step.” – Bill Nye

    On Nov. 10, Bill Nye will release a new book titled “Unstoppable.” As only Bill Nye can, he uses the book to explain the science behind climate change, debunks popular myths, and asks readers to take action in their own lives to create a sustainable future. The book is shot through with optimism, but Nye has no illusions about what lies ahead. The message is simple: Climate change is real; humans are causing it; and we have no choice but to build a better and cleaner world.

    http://www.salon.com/2015/11/06/bill_nye_demolishes_climate_deniers_im_not_a_scientist_therefore_im_not_going_to_use_my_brain/

    Reply
  49. Colorado Bob

     /  November 12, 2015

    Climate Central as an animation of the break-up:

    Once Stable Greenland Glacier Facing Rapid Melt

    In their data, the researchers saw that while Zachariae was stable for decades, that all changed when a huge chunk of its ice shelf broke off in 2002-03, after which the remainder continued to crumble. Today it is only 5 percent of the size it was in 2002. – See more at: http://www.climatecentral.org/news/northeast-greenland-glacier-melt-19673#sthash.ZekrILYt.dpuf

    Reply
  50. Ryan in New England

     /  November 12, 2015

    One more post for now…

    The strongest El Niño in 18 years continues to intensify and is likely to be one of the three strongest on record by the time it peaks this winter, according to a monthly outlook from NOAA released Thursday morning.

    This El Niño is then expected to weaken in the spring, disappearing altogether by late spring or early summer 2016, the November El Niño diagnostic discussion from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center said.

    http://www.wunderground.com/news/strong-el-nino-noaa-update-november2015

    Reply
  51. Ryan in New England

     /  November 12, 2015

    OK, OK, I promise this will be my last link for now. It was just too juicy and infuriating to not share with my fellow scribblers.

    A new joint investigative report by Oil Change International and the Overseas Development Institute reveals that, in the United States alone, the fossil fuel industry has benefited from over $20 billion per year in government subsidies between 2008-2015.

    The percentage of subsidies has skyrocketed during the two terms of the Obama Administration, growing by 35 percent since President Barack Obama took office in 2009. The findings are part of a broader report on subsidies given to G20 countries ahead of the forthcoming G20 Leaders Summit in Antalya, Turkey, set to take place November 15-16.

    “Since the initial G20 commitment in Pittsburgh six years ago, US subsidies have increased dramatically in [the Obama] Administration, in line with the increase in US oil and gas production,” said Steve Kretzmann, executive director of Oil Change International. “The President can and must do more to eliminate subsidies at home and to keep carbon in the ground in the time he has left.”

    The broader numbers presented in the report are even more stark. G20 countries at-large have doled out some $452 billion per year in recent years subsidizing fossil fuel production, despite the overwhelming scientific consensus that burning fossil fuels leads to climate chaos.

    By way of comparison, the renewable energy sector has received $121 billion in subsidies globally , according to the report.

    http://www.desmogblog.com/2015/11/12/fossil-fuel-industry-united-states-20-billion-subsidies

    Reply
    • It’s been this way for some time. Fossil fuels receive about four times the level of subsidy support. Not only that, you have this combined negative policy stance that basically blocks access to renewable energy in whole states or regions. There’s a reason, for example, that the US Southeast has such paltry wind and solar installed capacity. The policy environment is utterly adversarial. And this adversarial bent is primarily due to entrenched and intransigent utilities who are doing everything they can to prevent an energy transition.

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  November 13, 2015

        If wind and solar had the kind of subsidies that fossil fuels get, we would have electricity that’s basically free. What angers me most is the BS talking points from the right about letting the market decide. Free markets without any government interference. Typical hypocrisy. Just like government “handouts”. They’re unacceptable for the desperately poor, but totally appropriate for the corporations who already make more profits than any other industry in the history of the world.

        Reply
        • It’s really monstrous what they’re doing — pushing policy on a global scale that basically subsidizes wholesale impoverishment, hunger and destruction. Letting markets decide means a monolithically slow pace of change. It means that coal plants keep burning coal for another 50 to 100 years. It means building new gas plants that last just as long. We, as a global civilization simply can’t afford that. Letting markets decide results in a price to us all that simply cannot be paid.

      • Just to be fair, the onshore wind resource is pretty poor in the Southeast. DOE is only now beginning to fund development of turbines tall enough to harvest it successfully. No excuses for solar, though, or biomass.

        Reply
        • Or offshore wind for that matter.

        • Agreed. You know the story, though. Southern Co., the big utility that serves much of the Southeast, has been totally hooked on coal, with a “Just Say No” posture, until maybe the past five years or so.

        • I know the story for Virginia and how Dominion has basically suppressed solar adoption for at least the past two decades. Seems the story pretty much everywhere in the Southeast. What’s worse is it seems more and more utilities are taking a very hard line when it comes to individual solar ownership. Bad news for pretty much everyone, even the utilities, because it means that there’s going be one heck of a fight over this. I already see where some cities have decided to return to public ownership in order to speed wind and solar adoption. In my view that’s a big step in the right direction.

        • Here’s a tweet that graphically portrays the problem: https://twitter.com/AWEA/status/657542744953499648 But hey, at least North Carolina is getting a project now.

  52. Colorado Bob

     /  November 12, 2015

    The Times has a broader ice sheet article up –
    The Secrets in
    Greenland’s Ice Sheets

    A few years ago, a NASA-­supported researcher seeking to shed light on the ice sheet’s interior pipes dropped 90 yellow rubber ducks into a Greenland moulin, a deep hole in the ice sheet, with his contact information on them, in case they were found. Only two ducks were recovered — the next year — thanks to a fisherman working in a nearby bay. Somewhere, trapped deep in the Greenland ice sheet, or floating in the waters nearby, or who knows where, really, there are 88 more rubber ducks.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/15/magazine/the-secrets-in-greenlands-ice-sheets.html?_r=0

    Reply
    • Predicted 1-day rainfall totals for NW Washington are in the range of 12 inches. That area tends to be wet. But this seems pretty extreme to me. 7 day totals are near 30 inches. Looks like monster El Nino weather is starting to rev up. There’s also a bomb that hits the Central US with 3-5 inches of rainfall in the 4-7 day timeframe.

      Reply
      • islandraider

         /  November 13, 2015

        Seeing strong gale force winds in the San Juan Islands (WA State) for the last several hours. Some (sideways) rain so far. I expect the winds to continue to be strong, but diminishing slowly overnight & tomorrow. I expect rain will increase overnight & continue through Saturday.

        November is typically our windiest month around here, so storms like this are not unexpected. Additionally, parts of Olympic Peninsula get around 12 to 14 feet (yes, FEET) of rain each year. Some locations on the BC coast exceed 15 feet every year on average! Now, that said, 12 inches of rain in one day is likely going to be a pretty big deal just about anywhere!

        Still… sitting here… watching the 80’+ doug firs around my house dance that impossible wind-dance as the night falls is kind of humbling. Once darkness fully sets in I won’t be able to see them at all anymore. I can only hear them roaring. And the wind. And the rain pelting the windows.

        Takes a certain faith in the kindness of the universe to fall asleep.

        Reply
        • Lovely narrative, raider. It’s nice to know that a foot of rainfall on those mountains isn’t too far out of the ordinary. Maybe two weeks to one month’s worth of rain in one night, rather than a year’s worth over a couple of days. I guess that’s not too bad, considering what we’ve seen recently.

    • Colorado Bob

       /  November 13, 2015

      . ‘‘Jakobshavn is the fastest glacier we know of,’’ Joughin said. Its movement has sped up by as much as a factor of four over the past few years, to the point where it recently hit a peak of 17 kilometers, or about 10.5 miles, per year.

      Reply
  53. – Declining snowpack, water shortage projected in areas home to 2 billion: study

    Large swathes of the northern hemisphere, home to some 2 billion people, could suffer increasing water shortages due to shrinking snowpacks, researchers said on Thursday.

    Data shows reduced snowpacks – the seasonal accumulation of snow – will likely imperil water supplies by 2060 in regions from California’s farmlands to war-torn areas of the Middle East, according to a team of scientists in the United States and Europe.

    In total, nearly a hundred water basins dependent on snow across the northern hemisphere run the chance of decline.

    “Water managers in a lot of places may need to prepare for a world where the snow reservoir no longer exists…
    http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/11/12/us-usa-climate-water-idINKCN0T10OO20151112

    Reply
  54. Ryan in New England

     /  November 13, 2015

    Chris Mooney wrote a good article about the news from Greenland already linked to in previous comments…

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/11/12/scientists-say-greenland-just-opened-up-a-major-new-floodgate-of-ice-into-the-ocean/

    Reply
  55. Maria

     /  November 13, 2015

    Clinton plan to help coal communites transistion…I recently traveled through some of the western communites(Utah, CO) and the necessity came in sharp focus for these people to get help transitioning to learning new skills to make a differnt kind of living, a new way of life that has been passed on for several genertions.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/11/12/3721674/hillary-coal-plan/

    Clinton’s plan calls for $30 billion towards infrastructure improvements, mine land remediation, training and education programs, and incentives for business investment in Appalachia, the Illinois Basin, and the Western coal areas.
    “What I like about this plan is that it’s multi-faceted,” Evan Hansen, president of Downstream Strategies, a West Virginia-based environmental consulting firm, told ThinkProgress. “There is no one solution.”
    Hansen pointed to education, for example. While many people in coal communities need training and education that will make them more attractive employees, training the workforce alone is not enough. The areas also need to bolster the businesses that will hire people, Hansen said, and that means improving standard of living in order to attract new investment. Clinton’s plan includes both infrastructure and broadband improvements.

    Reply
    • Maria

       /  November 13, 2015

      a new way of life that has been passed on for several genertions.

      Should read: “a new way of life from the the only one they know right now–that for many was passed on since the initial homesteading days…

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  November 13, 2015

      Chris Hedges has written extensively on what he terms “sacrifice zones”. Areas, like West Virginia, where corporations have destroyed entire towns in pursuit of resources, leaving the residents without money, their health or any legal recourse. It’s a tragic situation, and not really known about by many Americans. His book Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt is about these sacrifice zones.

      Reply
    • Agree, this is politically essential to moving rapidly on this issue. Too bad Bill Clinton did not have the focus and fortitude to get moving on it while he was President.

      Reply
  1. More Weather Weirding — Godzilla El Nino vs a Mean Polar Amplification | Climate Change 360
  2. More Weather Weirding — Godzilla El Nino vs a Mean Polar Amplification | GarryRogers Nature Conservation and Science Fiction (#EcoSciFi)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: