Northeast Greenland Begins Ominous Collapse — Giant Zachariae Isstrom Most Recent to Destabilize

November 12, 2015:

North, south, east, and west. At all points of the compass, the entire outer edge of the Greenland Ice Sheet is flooding into the oceans with increasing velocity. For NASA it’s the absolute worst kind of OMG realization. For the world’s warming oceans and airs are clearly worsening an already visible Greenland melt. And a new report just out of the University of California (Irvine) today shows that a massive glacier containing enough water to raise seas by more than 1.6 feet (0.5 meters) is the most recent of a growing number of these ice giants to initiate a swift rush into the ocean.

Called Zachariæ Isstrøm, this enormous glacier dominates a large section of the northeast-facing shores of Greenland. The glacier, hundreds of feet tall and plunging hundreds more feet below the ocean surface, like many in our world, now faces the combined threat of warming airs and waters. A double insult that, according to researchers, over the past 15 years has led to first destabilization and then a rapid seaward acceleration.

Zachariae Isstrom Surges Toward Ocean

(1975 to 2015 time lapse shows recent rapid retreat of the Zachariæ Isstrøm glacier’s front. The dark green line marks the 2003 extent of the glacial front. Note the rapid retreat through 2015 in lighter shades blending toward white. Image source: Jeremie Mouginot/UCI via Climate Central.)

According to the new study — Fast retreat of Zachariæ Isstrøm, northeast Greenland — published today in Science, the glacier’s rate of seaward movement has tripled in velocity even as the pace of ice thinning along its grounding line doubled:

Warmer air and ocean temperatures have caused the glacier to detach from a stabilizing sill and retreat rapidly along a downward-sloping, marine-based bed… After 8 years of decay of its ice shelf, Zachariæ Isstrøm, a major glacier of northeast Greenland that holds a 0.5-meter sea-level rise equivalent, entered a phase of accelerated retreat in fall 2012. The acceleration rate of its ice velocity tripled, melting of its residual ice shelf and thinning of its grounded portion doubled, and calving is now occurring at its grounding line.

In total, more than 4.5 billion tons of ice is now estimated to be flooding out from this glacier and into the ocean each year. That’s a mountain of ice about 4.5 cubic kilometers in size hitting the world’s waters from just this single glacier every time the Earth completes one circuit around the sun. In other words, Greenland just opened a new floodgate to the North Atlantic. Researchers publishing the study estimate that it will take between 20 and 30 years for the glacier to melt back to an underwater ridge line that should somewhat slow its melt. But the real news here is that a human-forced warming of the globe has set a monstrous pile of ice, once thought stable, into a motion that will result in yet more global sea level rise.

To the north of Zachariæ Isstrøm sits the also melting Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden. A giant of ice in equal volume to that of Zachariæ. Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden sits on an upward sloping bed and so is not as subject to rapid destabilization as Zachariæ. However, the study found that the combined total ice mass of both glaciers in the range of 1 meter worth of sea level rise was now involved in a significant melt that would “increase sea-level rise from the Greenland Ice Sheet for decades to come.”

greenland-topography

(Map of Greenland topography showing large sections of the interior resting near or below sea level. As a result, warming waters have numerous avenues for invasion into the Greenland Ice Sheet. Numerous ways to melt Greenland ice from below. Zachariæ Isstrøm covers the upper right hand section of this image — sitting astride a low elevation channel the plunges deep into the heart of the current ice mass. Image source: Livescience.)

Greenland is the last major remaining bastion of glacial ice in the Northern Hemisphere. Surrounded on all sides by warming airs and waters, it is the most vulnerable large ice mass to the forces set in play by a human warming of the global environment. In total, Greenland holds enough ice to raise seas by 23 feet. And, in the geological past, just 1.5 to 2.5 degrees Celsius worth of temperature increase above Holocene averages was enough to melt much or all of it.

Currently, human warming by Greenhouse gasses has pushed global average surface temperatures into a range about 1 degree Celsius hotter than the 1880s. It’s a temperature running into ranges that are now comparable with the Eemian — the interglacial period that occurred between 115,000 to 130,000 years ago. A period when oceans were about 13 to 20 feet higher than they are today.

But perhaps even more concerning is the fact that global greenhouse gas concentrations in the range of 400 ppm CO2 and 485 ppm CO2e are enough now to warm the Earth by 2 to 4 degrees Celsius long-term. It’s a heat forcing that would likely spell the end for Greenland’s ice if it remained in place for any significant period. A heat forcing more comparable with Pliocene and Miocene ranges when the world’s glaciers were even more greatly reduced and seas were 30 to 130+ feet higher than they are presently.

Unfortunately, what the building global heat and currently very high greenhouse gas heat forcing means is that the Earth System will continue to accumulate warmth for some time. And as this happens more and more glaciers — both in Greenland and Antarctica — are going to destabilize, speed up, and contribute increasing melt volumes to the world ocean. Eliminating greenhouse gas emissions at this time and pushing to return to atmospheric levels in ranges below 350 ppm CO2 is therefore absolutely necessary if we are to have much hope of preventing ever-worsening rates of glacier destabilization and related contributions to sea level rise.

Links:

Collapsing Greenland Glacier Could Raise Seas by Half a Meter

Fast retreat of Zachariæ Isstrøm, northeast Greenland

Once Stable Glacier Facing Melt

NASA Science Missions — Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG)

Greenland Just Opened a Major New Floodgate to the Ocean

Livescience

Pliocene Climate

Miocene Climate

Departures in Pliocene Sea Level Record

Greenland Weather Underground

Hat tip to Todaysguestis

Hat tip to Colorado Bob

Hat tip to Ryan in New England

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159 Comments

  1. wili

     /  November 13, 2015

    I just saw the Guardian article on this (first one cited in your list), and when I went to post it on FB, there was your article on it, too!

    It really strikes me that, if it only takes _one_ glacier to raise sea levels by 1/2 a meter, we really have no chance of avoiding well over a meter of sea level rise, even in the (relative) short term of the next 100 years or so.

    Reply
    • If we don’t hit the breaks soon, I think next century will look nothing at all like the 20th. Nothing like anything that the Earth has ever seen possibly. I don’t think there’s ever been a case when greenhouse gasses have accumulated so rapidly during a period when the Earth still had its ice sheets. That’s a bad combination. One that begs some rather bad consequences. I really hope Paris gets it right. I really hope Congress does not approve TPP. I really hope we can get some good policies in on this issue globally and soon. And for goodness sake can we please stop subsidizing fossil fuels to the tune of 450 billion each and every year.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  November 13, 2015

        “I don’t think there’s ever been a case when greenhouse gasses have accumulated so rapidly during a period when the Earth still had its ice sheets.”

        I think that is supported by the fact that the oceans have never acidified at the rate they are now for at least 300 million years.

        On another point, what is all this GIS fresh water in the North Atlantic going to do to the AMOC?

        “can we please stop subsidizing fossil fuels to the tune of 450 billion each and every year” Amen.

        Reply
        • We’ve knocked it down by about 20-30 percent already. Pretty clear we’re on a path to shutdown of AMOC.

          Would you mind linking that 300 million year ocean acidification study if you can find it? It and you have given me a thought.

      • wili

         /  November 13, 2015

        Footnote to the preceding: https://www.skepticalscience.com/Why-were-the-ancient-oceans-favorable-to-marine-life-when-atmospheric-carbon-dioxide-was-higher-than-today.html

        (Last paragraph): “As far as we can tell, looking back over the last 300 million years [Zeebe (2012), Honisch et al (2012)], the oceans have never become as corrosive as quickly as they are doing so now.”

        Reply
    • mlparrish

       /  November 13, 2015

      Thanks wili. Clearest time-dependent explanation of ocean acidification I have seen, with the most frightening implications. The chemistry is basic, but mightily impressive. Compare the Parthenon friezes in the British Museum with those on the Parthenon itself.

      Reply
  2. Colorado Bob

     /  November 13, 2015

    When I read about this today , I thought about that cold spot south of Greenland –

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  November 13, 2015

      Click to enlarge

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  November 13, 2015

      Looks like there will be a lot more cold, fresh water heading down to that cold spot in the Atlantic. That is really not good.

      Reply
  3. By some estimates, a return to a CO2 will take millennia, well outside any pragmatic timeframes for human planning.

    Sent from my iPad 🙏🏻

    >

    Reply
  4. An alternative to the acronym OMG (Oceans Melting Greenland): OMFG (Oceans Melting and Fracturing Greenland).

    Reply
  5. Kind of off-topic but also about a colapse, and perhaps news of interest here. Not ice, but mud from a mineration operation, of the enterprise Samarco (a subsidiary owed half by brasilian Vale do Rio Doce and half by australian BHP). Two mineral rejects dams have been breached, dumping 21,9 metric tons of heavy-metal contaminated mud in the River Doce. This was pure incompetence, negligence and criminal intent, as the dams where found defective in 2013 and instead of fixing them, Samarco asked for permission to put even MORE mineration rejects there (and even without the official permission, upped the production of minerals… and rejects… last year).

    Articles in english that I’ve found about this were awful (articles in Portuguese and offline info from people responding on site are way different), using the “Samarco official” data of deaths (22 deaths – the number of bodies found in non-complety interdited areas, instead of at least 120, and possible over 200, since there are a lot of disapeared persons), claiming that sysmic activity was to blame for the rupture (articles in portuguese, including from the original source about the reports of sysmic activity, the University of Rio de Janeiro, claim the opposite: sysmic activity on the day of the rupture was too low to have affected the dams. Also, there was no rain on the day of the dam rupture, so the weather can’t be blamed either), and moping about the poor enterprise that is probably going to be closed.

    This is the worst environmental disaster that ever happened in Brasil’s history. It affected River Doce, one of the main rivers in Southeast Brasil, one that once (but no more) was used to supply potable water to Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo. The mud submerged the city of Bento Rodrigues entirely, and also affect the neighboring city of Mariana. There was no evacuation plan for the possibility of dam rupture, and people were NOT warned about it before the mud tsunami arrived.

    Those mineration rejects (not only mud, but heavy metal contamined) are now going downriver, killing everything on their path. Aquatic life in the Rio Doce has been extinct (even the most resilient fish are unable to survive on the mud’s wake), and six marine natural parks in Southeast Brasil are expected to be heavily impacted. Environmentaly, it’s a heavy blow in an ambient that was already impacted by the drought, and specialists are saying that River Doce will need at least 100 years to recover from this disaster.

    Since I’ve found no english written article with good info in this disaster, I share here a photo collection to give an idea of how bad things got:
    http://g1.globo.com/minas-gerais/fotos/2015/11/barragem-se-rompe-e-distrito-de-mariana-e-inundado.html#F1838066

    Reply
  6. Syd Bridges

     /  November 13, 2015

    Thank you for this update, Robert which ties in nicely with your last article in the weather wierding. With very warm poles and a lot of El Nino heat to yet enter the Arctic, the Greenland Ice Sheet is looking increasingly precarious. I noticed on the Cryosphere Today maps in August that there was considerable sea ice melt off north east Greenland, which ties in well with the area warming up. So this will add more meltwater to the North Atlantic, re-enforcing the backup of the Gulf Stream, rising sea levels on the eastern seaboard of the US and further priming the north Atlantic storm generator for the British Isles. It all paints a coherent picture, if a very grim one. And a further half a meter of SLR will be disaster for many regions.

    Reply
  7. redskylite

     /  November 13, 2015

    Robert, thanks for keeping it focused more grave news on Greenland.

    Liam Neeson’s “Ice” today’s timely release . . .

    Reply
    • Thank you for introducing me to this “Nature is Speaking” series. I had not known of them until you posted “Ice”…I am now in the process of watching them all. They are powerful…sad…and beautiful all at the same time.

      Reply
  8. Andy in SD

     /  November 13, 2015

    One of the items that leaves me befuddled is the reaction of people to the concept of risk / destabilization.

    The whole issue of the ocean rising 23 feet or whatever amount is immaterial to our current civilization. By the time the ocean hits such a level, our civilization has long been toast. We are already experiencing destabilization of civilization and that journey (ocean level rise) has just barely begun.

    The civilization we recognize will not see such changes, the human race will be reduced to fighting, and be reduce by fighting over what is left. I can see a world where population centers are deliberately targeted in conflict. The reason being, if I reduce your population then you don’t need as much to survive and can not battle me. Thus you will not fight, and I can gather what I need for my population from you or elsewhere.

    I see the very worst of the human race ahead.

    Africa is being crushed by the worst drought in 80 years. It has been super sized by the El Nino. This only creates regional conflict.

    http://www.moneyweb.co.za/news-fast-news/temperatures-rise-to-record-in-el-nino-drought/

    Reply
  9. Andy in SD

     /  November 13, 2015

    Johannesburg – South Africa’s economy and businesses are beginning to count their losses from the devastating drought that has wreaked havoc throughout the country.

    http://www.iol.co.za/business/news/sa-counts-losses-from-drought-1.1944084#.VkWHdCsnuoY

    Reply
  10. Andy in SD

     /  November 13, 2015

    MUMBAI (REUTERS) – India’s villages face a sharp spike in food prices in 2016, as a second year of drought drives up the cost of ingredients such as sugar and milk, and poor transport infrastructure stops falling global prices from reaching rural areas.

    Bad timing for India regardin El Nino.

    http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/south-asia/rural-india-faces-rising-food-prices-in-2016-due-to-drought

    Reply
    • James Burton

       /  November 13, 2015

      There is a large investor conference going on right now as regards future investment opportunities in large scale agriculture to meet future food demands. It was important to note that for the first time in decades, overall food prices have begun to rise again, after a very long period of falling or stable prices. The Global Warming induced droughts around the world seem to be the cause, though investors paid NO ATTENTION to this fact, seeing only the profit potential from rising prices. Idiots!
      The investor class is not concerned with stopping Global Warming, only seeking the right places to invest in industrial scale agriculture to maximize profits going forward.
      I am afraid their dreams of riches will be shattered by Global Warming, which will induce weather patterns that wipe out their billions of dollars of industrial Agriculture investment and land purchases! Short sighted? Blind more like!

      Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  November 15, 2015

        Good catch JB
        I find an interesting aspect re corporate agriculture and it’s methodology as against proven Carbon farming techniques which avoid most of the chemicals and their cost and turn farmland into a carbon sink, financially very rewarding for the smaller farmer, difficult for the corporates.
        Not to mention far healthier and sustainable produce

        Second item on this link
        http://www.ecoshock.info/2015/02/climate-deadline.html

        This week I’ve reached out to an award-winning author and freelance journalist from Portland, Oregon, Kristin Ohlson. Her book is “The Soil Will Save Us – How Scientists, Farmers, and Foodies Are Healing the Soil to Save the Planet” It’s a Finalist for the 2015 Oregon Book Awards.

        Reply
  11. redskylite

     /  November 13, 2015

    I read stories on Kiribati and on the Bay of Bengal regularly now – yet nothing much seems to be reacting – I have a feeling the same story will soon on fold at accelerating pace, especially if the Paris talks do not succeed (like the predecessors). When I was young the promise of computers and technology impact on society was to make life better for people, to give them more leisure time, a shorter working week. But sadly all I have seen is mass job losses and fewer people working harder. People are now called “Human Resources” and treated just like that (a resource that is disposable when needs dictate). Sadly disillusioned after the swinging vibrant sixties into the ever greyer future. I guess I’m suffering from the black dog too, beam me up Scottie. Here’s more depressing news of India courtesy of the New York Times.

    http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/11/12/indias-rising-tides-and-temperatures/?ref=topics&_r=1

    Reply
  12. Desertification: The people whose land is turning to dust

    According to the UN, over 50 million people could move from the desertified areas of sub-Saharan Africa towards North Africa and Europe by 2020

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-34790661

    Reply
  13. Oale

     /  November 13, 2015

    I’ve also been guessing whether Pliocene or Miocene is the sea level the people are aiming at. Where does that estimate of +40m asl for Miocene come? It must be for early Miocene but still this sounds a bit too high?

    Reply
  14. Abel Adamski

     /  November 13, 2015

    Oh what a strange world we live in
    http://wyomingbusinessreport.com/jh-scientist-greenhouse-gases-effect-minimal-in-global-warming/

    “JACKSON – A retired Jackson Hole scientist is anteing up $10,000 of his children’s inheritance to try to disprove the foundations of current global warming theories that tie it to greenhouse gases.

    Dr. Peter Ward, who retired in 1998 after 27 years with the U.S. Geological Survey, has spent a good deal of his retirement exploring global warming. His years of research, reading thousands of scholarly articles and many books, have led him to a different conclusion than the consensus opinion.

    “There has never been an experiment done that if you increase the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that the air would get warmer,” he said.

    With that in mind, he has said if someone can prove experimentally rather than theoretically that greenhouse gases cause more global warming than ozone depletion, he will fork over the $10,000. He doesn’t anticipate spending the cash.

    There is a link to his site and the wager conditions, however I find this most interesting as there is a site warm wagers (provide the link in next comment) that has been running since 2006 with a dearth of takers

    Also the recent paper re the experiment over 10 years I also posted recently proving the CO2 back radiance factor

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  November 13, 2015

      The Good Dr’s site

      http://whyclimatechanges.com/challenge/

      Funnily I tried to post an invited response on the business report site to read “You are not permitted Access”, I know Breitbart blocks me (for years now)

      tried to post
      “I refer the good Dr to the recently published result of a 10 year experiment conducted in two locations to evaluate just that.
      It resulted in recording a 0.2 Watt/SqMetre increase in back radiation over that time during which time CO2 concentration increased by 22ppm.
      Considering that since the commencement of the industrial age in the mid 1700’s we have lifted CO2 by minimum 220ppm, possibly closer to 240ppm that equates to approx 2 Watts/Sq/Metre . Considering a Maunder Minimum reduces incident energy by approx 0.5 Watts/Sq/Metre ”

      Tsk Tsk

      Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  November 13, 2015

        The warm wagers site (Originally a $10,000 wager was on that site, what takers there were strangely withdrew their wager)

        http://warmwagers.org/

        Reply
      • Eric Thurston

         /  November 13, 2015

        Not to confuse this Dr. Peter L. Ward with Dr. Peter D, Ward, Professor of Geology at University of Washington and author of “Under a Green Sky” and most definitely not a denialist.

        Reply
      • Thank you, Eric Thurston, for clarifying that. It seemed far too bizarre news at first.

        Reply
      • Eric Thurston

         /  November 13, 2015

        You are certainly welcome, umbrios27.

        However, I guess it isn’t right to characterize Dr. Peter L. Ward as a ‘denialist’ because he does apparently accept global warming but has issues with one of the central mechanisms of what is causing this warming, that is of course the CO2 caused greenhouse effect.

        Reply
      • Eric Thurston

         /  November 13, 2015

        Also, Dr. Peter D. Ward is a paleontologist, not a geologist.

        Reply
    • Maria

       /  November 13, 2015

      He sounds like an anti-vaxer. They want blinded, randomized, placebo controlled trials, in humans, now, after multi-millions of doses have been given around the world, whose results we know, to tell us whether vaccines are safe. They recently sacrificed 30+ primates to learn that they are safe and don’t cause autism. Done by their own sponsored researchers.

      Meanwhile, this past summer, Africa quietly celebrated its first year of no polio cases reported.

      Reply
  15. labmonkey2

     /  November 13, 2015

    And the latest from NOAA on our El Nino:
    http://www.weather.com/news/climate/news/strong-el-nino-noaa-update-november2015


    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.

    The hits just keep on coming, guys. Better grab your galoshes and your life raft, Andy in ‘Sandy Eggo’. I think we’re in for some wet weather this winter.

    Reply
  16. Check out what’s up with sea-level rise: http://www.aviso.altimetry.fr/fileadmin/images/data/Products/indic/msl/MSL_Serie_MERGED_Global_IB_RWT_GIA_Adjust.png

    For some perspective, compare the latest ramp-up with the sea-level blip associated with the 1998 El Nino. Up a full centimeter in about a year. Will that latest ramp-up turn out to be a temporary excursion from the trend-line, or is it a hint of something more ominous?

    Reply
  17. June

     /  November 13, 2015

    Many conservatives seem to be binary thinkers…glaciers have melted in the past, therefore this is all natural not manmade. The fact that there can be multiple contributing factors is denied either out of simple ignorance or fingers- in-the-ears-lalala ignorance. I think scientists need to communicate in a clearer way that the rising CO2 levels caused by fossil fuel burning can’t NOT have consequences. It is physics. Of course that wouldn’t sway the reality-refuseniks, but it might reach people who just lack the science background (assuming they pay attention long enough to inform themselves).

    Another aspect the scientists need to emphasize more is the inertia in the system. Someone in a previous thread used the great metaphor of a supertanker and how long it takes to slow down. That is the kind of image that might make people “get it”.

    Reply
    • James Burton

       /  November 13, 2015

      “the reality-refuseniks” Long experience has proven to me that wasting any time on debate with these clowns is useless. They have an ability to just ignore the laws of physics in total.
      The conservative mind is a waste land, a desert where nothing green grows. If conservatives won every debate, we would be primates not even advanced to using fire and flint, as this would upset the conservative values of the troop.

      Reply
      • Eddie

         /  November 13, 2015

        So far as I’m aware, the only animals which have managed to destroy the planet are those that *did* “advance” to using fire and flint…

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  November 13, 2015

        I have to agree with you, James. I used to be very patient and clearly explain the evidence to those who were skeptical, and point out why we know what we know. As time went on, the evidence became overwhelming, yet the deniers dismiss any evidence, often with the ridiculous claims parroted from the right.They have no interest in learning the truth. They already “know”, and nothing will convince them otherwise. And like you point out, the conservative mind is hostile to any new information that goes against their worldview in general. Conservatives have fought against every single bit of progress our country has ever made. And they still do.

        Reply
      • Dave Person

         /  November 14, 2015

        HI James,
        It has long since departed from a debate about science and facts. It is all about who provides the message. If Rush Limbaugh said global warming is real and caused by burning fossil fuels, the conflict would be over. Until something like that happens, the denialists will obstruct progress. Moreover, at least in the United States, our founders did not trust the urban mobs. That is why we have an electoral college and a senate in which each state, no matter how small, has two senators. Under those circumstances, it is very hard to promote climate change legislation that is often difficult to implement in rural areas and often promotes a political backlash from those areas. Rural America has come to distrust government because of many things, immigration, gun control, environmental regulations, taxes, big banks, etc. When progressives talk about reducing eating meat and live stock farming, gun control, and reducing the use of fossil fuels, they alienate most of America’s rural population and because of our political structure, that becomes a real stumbling block. For us to succeed within the U.S., we have to break that barrier and put forward spokespeople that our rural population will trust. That means religious leaders, agricultural leaders, hunters and sportsmen, fishers, mayors and chambers of commerce in small towns and communities, veterans groups, etc. Basically people that many folks on this website probably disdain and avoid. All my working life I have engaged and lived among those people and I understand completely that they do not respond to facts except those provided by people they trust.

        dave

        Reply
      • Paul

         /  November 14, 2015

        If conservative minds had been as successful at halting ‘progress’ in the past then perhaps we wouldn’t be in this mess now.

        Reply
      • Dave Person—I completely agree with your post. Thanks for articulating your points so clearly.

        Reply
    • Agree, regretfully, with those who say debating with deniers doesn’t help. More important, IMHO, to spend scarce resources of time attempting to educate and raise awareness.

      Reply
      • James Burton

         /  November 15, 2015

        Thanks for comments. Of course my entire point was related to Climate Change, I don’t post anything political here. The conservative mind is not monolithic of course. If you broaden the term, then of course “conservative mind” is not that negative.

        Reply
  18. AveryCottonwood

     /  November 13, 2015

    A punk song about SLR

    Reply
  19. James Burton

     /  November 13, 2015

    Another really ominous post! I have for the first time taken some of Robert’s key points, and squeezed them onto my Twitter account. It’s time to spread the word by all means possible. Twitter is hard due to the short allowed Tweet. BUT, I use a screen Capture program that lets you isolate only the part you want, transfer to your photos, then transfer to pin to your tweet. So I can use a lead in sentence and then pin some of Robert’s important date and words to the Tweet. A sort of mini climate change Tweet. I am anxious to see how it is received on Twitter. One can Block idiots at once I guess!
    The repercussions from rapid collapse up there is just too ominous for silence by concerned people everywhere.

    Reply
    • Totally agree with your statement. Climate change catastrophes and information are coming much more rapidly with each passing day…So getting the word out as individuals is crucial and something we can all easily do with social media. Thank you for the Twitter tutorial…🙂

      Reply
  20. – 13 November 2015 – South Africa: Five Provinces Declared Drought Disaster Areas

    Five provinces have been declared drought disaster areas, threatening food security in the country.

    As the country continues to battle a shortage of water, the most affected are farmers who are unable to harvest crops or feed livestock. An inter-ministerial task team led by Minister Pravin Gordhan told the media on Friday that North West, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the Free State bore the brunt of the water crisis.

    “KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, North West, Limpopo and Free State are severely affected with some areas declared disaster stricken. Most are maize areas…”
    http://allafrica.com/stories/201511131899.html

    Reply
  21. – Winds & Extremes in US Midwest Nov 11,12 NWS:
    “Both a tornado and snow were reported within six hours of each other…”
    – Peoria, IL wind gusts 71 mph.

    Reply
  22. Colorado Bob

     /  November 13, 2015

    Sea ice plays a pivotal role in the Arctic methane cycle

    Sea ice forms a natural barrier on the Central Arctic Ocean, limiting gas exchange between water and atmosphere. Over the past several years, the summer sea ice cover in the Arctic has rapidly decreased. “We’re investigating how the changed conditions are affecting the geochemical interaction between the ocean, ice and atmosphere,” explains Dr Ellen Damm, the first author of the study and a biogeochemist at the Alfred Wegener Institute. “We were able to confirm that the surface water in the central Arctic contains higher methane concentrations than the atmosphere, which means the Arctic Ocean is a potential source of atmospheric methane. That makes it fundamentally different from oceans in lower latitudes, which – except for a few sporadic sources – are considered methane sinks.”

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-11-sea-ice-pivotal-role-arctic.html#jCp

    Reply
    • – Great, it looks like we both posted it at about the same time.
      Ice as a shield, or moderating factor.

      Reply
  23. – Sam Carana put this current post by Robert in the Arctic News thread.

    Reply
  24. – Sam Carana at Arctic News posted this from the Organisation of the Alfred Wegener Institute:

    “Sea ice forms a natural barrier on the Central Arctic Ocean, limiting gas exchange between water and atmosphere..”

    Sea Ice Plays a Pivotal Role in the Arctic Methane Cycle
    Nature study on greenhouse gas feedback mechanisms between the atmosphere, sea ice and ocean
    [10. November 2015]

    The ice-covered Arctic Ocean is a more important factor concerning the concentration of the greenhouse gas methane in the atmosphere than previously assumed. Experts from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) report on the newly discovered interactions between the atmosphere, sea ice and the ocean in a recent online study in the journal Nature’s Scientific Reports.

    http://www.awi.de/en/about-us/organisation.html

    Reply
    • – The study:

      Methane excess in Arctic surface water- triggered by sea ice formation and melting

      Abstract

      Arctic amplification of global warming has led to increased summer sea ice retreat, which influences gas exchange between the Arctic Ocean and the atmosphere where sea ice previously acted as a physical barrier. Indeed, recently observed enhanced atmospheric methane concentrations in Arctic regions with fractional sea-ice cover point to unexpected feedbacks in cycling of methane…

      http://www.nature.com/articles/srep16179

      Reply
  25. Ryan in New England

     /  November 14, 2015

    Well, we certainly live in interesting times, if nothing else. Robert, you mentioned that at current CO2e concentrations we have 2-4C long term warming locked in. So essentially we are almost guaranteed to trigger some of the most feared positive feedbacks? If you figure the years of emissions still to come, by time we stabilize CO2 we will certainly be much higher than current levels, so eventually we’ll warm way past the 2C mark, right? It’s sad to picture the world we leave for future generations.

    Reply
  26. Colorado Bob

     /  November 14, 2015

    HOUSTON — Such is the state of the oil industry these days that there is sometimes nowhere to put the oil. Off the coast of Texas, a line of roughly 40 tankers has formed, waiting to unload their crude or, in some cases, for a willing buyer to come along. Similar scenes are playing out off the coasts of Singapore and China and in the Persian Gulf.

    There is little sign that the logjam will ease, as the price of oil continued its yearlong plunge this week, declining by nearly $10 a barrel.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/14/business/energy-environment/an-oil-soaked-globe-as-production-keeps-climbing-and-demand-falls.html?_r=0

    Reply
  27. – Robert, an interesting threat analysis piece from Russia.

    “Ocean Multipurpose System: Status-6”

    ‘Assured unacceptable damage’: Russian TV accidentally leaks secret ‘nuclear torpedo’ design

    ‘ The Kremlin has confirmed “some secret data” was accidentally leaked when Russian TV stations broadcast material apparently showing blueprints from a nuclear torpedo, designed to be used against enemy coastal installations.

    During President Vladimir Putin’s meeting with military officials in Sochi, where the development of Russia’s military capabilities were being discussed, a number of TV crews were able to capture footage of a paper that was certainly not meant for public viewing.’

    The presentation slide titled “Ocean Multipurpose System: Status-6” showed some drawings of a new nuclear submarine weapons system. It is apparently designed to bypass NATO radars and any existing missile defense systems, while also causing heavy damage to “important economic facilities” along the enemy’s coastal regions.

    https://www.rt.com/news/321640-leaked-russian-nuclear-torpedo/

    Reply
  28. – Fossil Fuels, Homo spas, and Machines and you get this.

    One dead and three injured in PG&E natural gas line explosion southwest of Bakersfield

    “A third party, more than likely a farmer, hit the line with a piece of heavy equipment,” Kern County Fire Department Capt. Tom Ellison said. “The operator of that vehicle was killed.”
    -Marla Proffit photo
    bakersfield.com/news/2015/11/13/pg-e-natural-gas-line-explodes-

    Reply
  29. – Windborne alage fo the red kind.

    ‘Unravelling the mystery of Spain’s ‘blood rain’: Bizarre phenomenon was caused by ‘stressed out’ algae – but experts have no idea how it got there

    Red water was found in Zamora and neighbouring villages in Spain
    ‘Blood rain’ was caused by a microalgae that turns red when stressed
    Experts have identified the species – Haematococcus pluvialis – but don’t know where it has come from, suggesting it may have crossed the Atlantic
    – Daily Mail 1113
    #
    ‘Residents of several villages in northwest Spain received an unpleasant surprise last fall, when they noticed that the water in their fountains had turned a gory shade of red. The tint wasn’t left behind by a guilty murderer’s bloody hands, but rather by microscopic algae that arrived in a recent rainfall.’
    – Live Science 1112

    Reply
    • NWS OPC ‏@NWSOPC 2h2 hours ago

      Just off W Coast: low along cold front to rapidly intensify next 24hrs, produce storm force winds + high seas ≈25FT

      Reply
      • NWS OPC ‏@NWSOPC 2h2 hours ago

        CIRA layered PW (total in this image) offers another way to visualize #AtmosphericRiver aimed at the Pacific NW

        Reply
      • -This Nov 11 photo of the sky above Portland, Oregon shows the degree of moisture in the atmosphere that is this atmospheric river.
        The lazy upper air and jet stream seem to keep it all in a gauzy curtain which will eventually fall somewhere as heavy rain or snow. It’s likely the result of the carbon heat pump taking water out of the oceans, etc and putting it in the air.

        Reply
      • Photo DT Lange CC 2.0

        Reply
      • Photo DT Lange CC 2.0
        The thin scudding clouds at 12 o’clock just look out of focus. I can’t look at them to long with eye strain.
        I’m pretty sure the jet contrails forming the big X were parallel but the winds intertwined them.🙂

        Reply
  30. WebHubTelescope

     /  November 14, 2015

    Richard Lindzen who is a global warming denier really screwed up the theory of upper atmospheric oscillations. Actually trivial to model

    As he is now retired, will probably make some progress on understanding natural variations.

    Reply
  31. OT, but it appears the trees are overstrrssed. They don’t show their autumn colors like they used to, even here in New Orleans.

    http://witsendnj.blogspot.com/

    Reply
    • Oh yes, trees are often among the biota first to show atmospheric toxicity.

      Reply
    • Happening also in my part of Vermont, for several years now.

      Reply
    • Griffin

       /  November 15, 2015

      I really wish that she was wrong in her posts. Unfortunately, her points regarding tree health are brutally easy to see no matter where you go. Sometimes my jaw will drop at what I see in my area of Massachusetts. There are profound changes happening now with our trees. Obvious and frightening at the same time.

      Reply
  32. Colorado Bob

     /  November 14, 2015

    Pictures: Green Slime Invades World’s Deepest Lake

    Russia’s Lake Baikal has a new threat that worries scientists.
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/11/151113-lake-baikal-green-slime-algae-photos-water-quality-science/

    Reply
  33. Colorado Bob

     /  November 14, 2015

    NASA Satellites Show Slowdown of Key Atlantic Ocean Current, Could Cool European Climate

    Buoy data from the winter of 2009-10 estimated a similar slowdown, but it’s the first look at the circulation from space, which also showed the slowdown extending several thousand miles north and south of the buoy’s latitude of 26 degrees North, NASA said.

    http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/nasa-satellites-show-slowdown/53574827

    Reply
  34. Colorado Bob

     /  November 14, 2015

    West Antarctic ice cascades towards crisis

    Scientists warn that continued ocean warming will lead to ice loss in the Amundsen Sea region that could raise sea levels by three metres.

    LONDON, 11 November, 2015 – It wouldn’t take much to precipitate the complete collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet, according to new research.

    Just a few more decades of ocean warming would be enough to destabilise the relatively small region of ice by the Amundsen Sea − starting a cascade of slipping and sliding that would tip enough ice into the ocean to raise sea levels by three metres. The loss of ice would continue for centuries.

    Two scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that they wanted to take a look at the long-term future of the mass of south polar ice that has been worrying researchers for decades.

    Link

    Reply
    • ‘Snow accumulation

      In a separate study, scientists from the British Antarctic Survey have found that even though the West Antarctic ice sheet is thinning, the snowfalls have become heavier.

      Elizabeth Thomas, a palaeoclimatologist, and her colleagues report in Geophysical Research Letters that a study of ice corings revealed that annual snow accumulation increased 30% between 1900 and 2010.

      In the last 30 years, the ice sheet gained five metres more frozen water than it did in the first 30 years.

      “The same storms that brought more snow inland have also brought warmer ocean currents to the ice shelf, which has then thinned rapidly, even as the fresh loose snow has continued to pile onto the impacted ice of previous decades.

      “Thus the increased snowfall we report here has not led to thickening of the ice sheet, but is in fact another symptom of the changes that are driving contemporary ice sheet loss,” said Dr Thomas. – Climate News Network

      Reply
  35. Carbon emissions – climate change – drought – poverty – political instability – war – terrorism. The causal connections are not obvious to everyone, but it is not far-fetched to connect carbon emissions to yesterday’s attacks in Paris.

    Reply
  36. Kevin Jones

     /  November 14, 2015

    Interesting jump at Mauna Loa. Scripps reports 401.64 ppm CO2 daily avg. for 11/12. NOAA 402.51 ppm for 11/13. (both preliminary, I assume.)

    Reply
  37. James Burton

     /  November 14, 2015

    Large swathes of northern Britain have been warned to take urgent action and prepare for potentially deadly flooding over the next 24 hours. It’s looking like Britain’s position on the storm track of the Atlantic is holding firm, and these storms will just keep hammering Britain.
    If Robert’s post about the Greenland glacial collapse is the norm for now, shouldn’t that set up the UK for one storm after the other? The cold fresh glacial waters making up their part of the dipole storm machine.
    I wonder when British Insurance carriers will be forced to react and their reinsurers cease to put up the capital to fund losses the endless storm machine is throwing at Britain. I find that Insurance Carriers and their Parent Corporations are the first to take Global Climate Change seriously, because their statistics will signal climate change just like the scientist’s studies will.

    Reply
  38. June

     /  November 14, 2015

    New post by Jeff Masters/Bob Henson at Weather Underground about forecasts for warmer December in large parts of U.S. One caveat is something Robert has talked about…possible big winter storms in the Northeast if the Arctic Oscillation turns negative, esp with the warm SSTs. I live in Maine and I have vivid memories of what we call the Great Ice Storm in January 1998, during that super El Niño. No power for a week (a lot longer for some), and massive numbers of trees down or heavily damaged. I hope we don’t have a repeat of that.

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3185

    Reply
  39. – Making snow with FF powered machinery to lure FF drivers up a mountain to spend money and slide back down on polyester (or its petrochemical based equal).
    – Tip watch the manufactures and stock price for indicators of CC/AGW.

    ‘Snow-making is a growing cost of doing business for B.C. ski resorts’

    In the ski resort business, snow falling from the sky is money in the bank.

    But what happens if the snow stops?

    That is a dire scenario that ski and snowboard resorts around the province face this winter as climatologists and other weather experts warn of unseasonably warm El Niño conditions.
    theprovince.com/travel/snow+making+growing+cost+doing+business

    A snow-making machine operates at Whistler.
    Photograph by: Mitchell Winton , Coast Mountain Photography

    Reply
    • Snowmaking: ‘Nasty job’ that Colorado ski area workers cherish
      ,,,
      As Colorado’s multibillion-dollar snow sports season slides into gear, many of the state’s 25 ski resorts rely on snow machines and their operators to keep the slopes running smooth, the customers happy and the cash flowing in.

      At A-Basin, the yearly dance requires a staff of 10. Working in two-person teams, they make snow during 12-hour shifts, generally stopping only once skiers and snowboarders have arrived.

      “If it’s really good and we’re making a lot of snow, they will work in two 12-hour shifts and run everything around the clock, basically,” said Bill Miller, A-Basin’s director of snow surfaces.

      Miller said making good snow requires the three C’s — cold, clear and calm.
      http://www.dailycamera.com/get-out/ci_29109370/snowmaking-nasty-job-that-colorado-ski-area-workers

      Reply
    • – Jackson Hole, W – jhnewsandguide.com/sports/snow-making 102015
      Snowmaking machines blow snow on the top of Snow King Mountain in 2004. New equipment has expanded capacity on the Town Hill and may begin creating a training run for ski racers as early as the end of October for a Nov. 5 start.

      Reply
      • Snowmaking Basics
        How is Snow Made?

        When nature doesn’t cooperate by providing natural snow, snowmakers take over. Given water, electric or diesel energy, and temperatures below 32°F (0°C) snowmakers can provide snow.
        http://www.snowmakers.com/

        Reply
  40. – UPDATE BRAZIL TOXIC DAM COLLAPSE

    Brazil’s slow-motion environmental catastrophe unfolds

    Toxic mudslide from collapse of dams spreads as BHP Billiton fined $66m

    Nine people are now confirmed dead, and a further 19 remain unaccounted for as a slow-motion environmental catastrophe continues to unfold following the collapse of two mining dams in Brazil’s mineral-rich state of Minas Gerais.

    Eight days after the town of Bento Rodrigues was swept away by 50m cubic metres of toxic mud, a slow-moving tide of toxic iron-ore residue is oozing downriver, polluting the water supply of hundreds of thousands of residents as it makes its way to the ocean.

    Brazil’s national water agency, ANA, has warned that the presence of arsenic, zinc, copper and mercury now present in the Rio Doce make the water untreatable for human consumption. Already the lack of oxygen and high temperatures caused by the pollutants has killed off much of the aquatic life along a 500km stretch of the river.

    “It is a tragedy of enormous proportions,” Marilene Ramos, president of Ibama, the federal environmental agency, said. “We have thousands of hectares of protected areas destroyed and the total extinction of all the biodiversity along this stretch of the river.”

    The mine and dams are operated by Samarco Mineração SA, a joint venture between the Anglo-Australian mining group BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest mining company, and the Brazilian iron ore giant Vale.

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/nov/13/brazils-slow-motion-environmental-catastrophe-unfolds?CMP=share_btn_tw

    Reply
  41. Colorado Bob

     /  November 14, 2015

    How coastal real estate is being impacted by climate change

    “This is the biggest challenge we’re probably going to face in the physical world,” said oceanographer John Englander, author of High Tide on Main Street, which warned of the coastal crisis a week before Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on New York and New Jersey shores.

    Englander expects that within a decade, perhaps as early as five years from now, awareness of sea level impacts on coastal real estate will spook the marketplace. Insurance premiums will spike, making mortgages unattainable for some. Property values will plunge, along with local tax revenues, making it harder for communities to adapt to new realities.

    “People think this is an environmental issue, but it’s not. It’s an economic issue,” he said. “The people who own lots of real estate and finance it, they haven’t really thought this through yet.”

    Those that have are quietly selling, Englander added. “They don’t want to make noise because they want to protect their property values. They want to sell high before the market notices.”

    Link

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  November 14, 2015

      “Mark my words,” said Young. “North Topsail officials are going to drive that community into default. They’re borrowing money to pay for beach projects, yet they won’t raise taxes on themselves because, Good Lord, this is America and nobody wants to pay taxes anymore.”

      Reply
    • wili

       /  November 16, 2015

      “Those that have [thought this through] are quietly selling…”

      Says it all. ‘Don’t disturb the chumps till the fix is most definitely in’ seems to be the general attitude.

      Reply
  42. Abel Adamski

     /  November 15, 2015

    And from Climatecrocks
    http://climatecrocks.com/2015/11/14/unprecedented-96-percent-of-american-counties-have-recently-seen-a-weather-extreme/

    Something one of Peters readers sent him

    An incomplete list of the word “Unprecedented:” found in news stories when in relation to weather and or biological events for just the first two weeks of November 2015
    Unprecedented Toxic algal bloom – domoic acid neurotoxin
    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2015/11/california-has-toxic-crabs
    Yemen’s Unprecedented Cyclone Double Whammy
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2015/11/09/unprecedented-second-freak-tropical-cyclone-to-strike-yemen-in-the-same-week/
    Unprecedented Citrus Crop Decline In The Sunshine State
    http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20151111/article/151119943
    Unprecedented Rainfall Event In Egypt
    http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/165407/Egypt/Politics-/Rainfall-amount-in-Egypts-Alexandria,-Beheira-unpr.aspx
    Heat Wave In South Africa
    http://news.yahoo.com/heat-wave-persist-week-over-south-african-maize-122411958.html
    Subtropical Butterfly New To Britain
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/nov/11/butterfly-watch-barkham-subtropical-long-tailed-blue-england-
    Climate Change May Represent Unprecedented Risks To Portfolios (Commenters heads explode)
    http://www.valuewalk.com/2015/11/climate-change-could-erase-45-of-your-portfolio-by-2020/
    Ridiculous Flash Floods & Hail In Saudi Arabia (I know, The Express as a source)
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/616651/Ice-flood-Saudi-Arabia-Middle-East-rain-size-hail-weather
    Unprecedented Coral Bleaching
    http://hawaiitribune-herald.com/news/local-news/bleaching-worse-around-west-hawaii
    California’s Massive Tree Die Off
    http://www.woodworkingnetwork.com/news/woodworking-industry-news/22-million-ca-trees-killed-bark-beetle-gov-brown-declares-emergency
    Floods In Pakistan
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/09/pakistan-climatechange-culture-idUSL8N1330PQ20151109

    Reply
  43. – Harare –
    Think you’re hot?
    Temperatures rose so high in Zimbabwe’s resort town of Kariba that a pilot was unable to land his plane there and had to go on to Victoria Falls, the official Herald reported on Saturday.

    The Air Zimbabwe MA 60 was on a scheduled flight from Harare to Kariba on Friday morning, the paper reported.

    When temperatures at Kariba Airport went above 40°C, it was judged to be unsafe to land the aircraft.
    http://www.news24.com/Africa/Zimbabwe/heatwave-stops-zimbabwe-plane-from-landing-20151115

    Reply
  44. dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3319263/It-s-beach-time-Heat-wave-

    It’s beach time! Heat wave set to sear Australia with temperatures of close to 40 degrees – and the hot weather’s here to stay!

    A high-pressure system will bring soaring temperatures across Australia
    Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne could hit 38 degrees on Thursday
    The Northern Territory is forecast to average 35 degrees all week

    Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  November 15, 2015

        You can spot the pronounced peaks and valleys in the Northern Hemisphere jet stream that has developed in recent years. Extreme cold in Alaska, heat in the Mid-West, cold in Greenland, heat in Europe, cold in Central Asia, heat in Eastern Asia.

        Reply
  45. Colorado Bob

     /  November 15, 2015

    Fresh Climate Data Confirms 2015 Is Unlike Any Other Year in Human History

    Over the past few days, a bevy of climate data has come together to tell a familiar yet shocking story: Humans have profoundly altered the planet’s life-support system, with 2015 increasingly likely to be an exclamation point on recent trends.

    Link

    Reply
    • – I had a feeling 2015 would be a year of reckoning and regret.
      But here we are. We have to do the best we can now.
      OUT

      Reply
      • Steven Blaisdell

         /  November 16, 2015

        Yup. 2015 is a turning point. Or maybe 2014-16, El Nino. Either way, we’re not in Kansas anymore.

        Reply
  46. – 1110 In Nepal, fuel crisis hinders quake recovery

    KATHMANDU, Nepal (BP) — A new, man-made disaster is complicating efforts to help Nepalis recover from the devastating earthquake that struck the country in April.

    Ongoing protests over Nepal’s new constitution have shut down the main road between India and Nepal since Sept. 24. The road is the main supply line for fuel and food into Nepal. Nepal claims that India instituted a blockade along the border. News reports say dozens of fuel trucks are stranded at the border.

    Nepal is heavily dependent on imports from India because it is landlocked by some of the world’s tallest mountains. The fuel stoppage has crippled Nepal and stalled all kinds of activities — including earthquake recovery efforts, said workers involved in the Baptist Global Response disaster relief effort in Nepal.
    http://www.bpnews.net/45812/in-nepal-fuel-crisis-hinders-quake-recovery

    Reply
  47. Oregon Closes Recreational Crabbing Along Southern Coast

    Authorities in Oregon have shut down recreational crab harvesting on the southern Oregon coast after finding high toxin levels. It also closed commercial crabbing in bays in that area.

    The closure is from Heceta Head to the California border. It includes crab harvested in the bays and estuaries, and off docks, piers and jetties.

    [40 percent of live Dungeness crab are shipped ASAP to China as an export racket – CA almonds too.]
    http://www.opb.org/news/article/oregon-closes-recreational-crabbing-along-southern-coast/?google_editors_picks=true

    Reply
    • 1115 PDX OR USA
      On 1114 NWS PDX low temp recorded 15 F above norm — high 7 F above norm: 55 F & 60 F — a 5 F spread.
      Mon 1116 forecast is for 47 F low with a high of 48 — a 1 F spread.
      Most of the summer and fall for PDX had a 30 F plus spread.
      1115 – The daffodil buds are maturing and very close to blooming.
      OUT

      Reply
  48. mlparrish

     /  November 15, 2015

    I must be missing something. Can someone explain to me why the ECS, equilibrium climate sensitivity, to a doubling of CO2, is estimated to be anywhere from 2-6C, when the measured paleoclimate data show (ice cores per James Hansen) that at the end of the last ice age an increase in CO2 from 180 to 280ppm (100 ppm or only 56%) gave a 5C rise – and that presumably didn’t include methane above 700 ppb or CFCs?

    Reply
  49. Joni

     /  November 16, 2015

    COP21 scaled back after the terror attacks in Paris, concerts cancelled and a heavy police presence are confirmed. Kerry rejects a legally binding treaty because he knows it will never in a million years be approved by congress. China still has no plan to peak emissions or even measure the amount that it emits.

    http://www.english.rfi.fr/americas/20151112-hollande-clashes-kerry-over-legally-binding-climate-deal-cop21

    “Kerry told Thursday’s Financial Times that there was “definitively not going to be a treaty”, as favoured by the European Union and many other countries.”

    Reply
  50. wili

     /  November 16, 2015

    According to the JMA, October 2015 (+0.53C) is a new record, beating the record set last year by whopping +0.19C. This makes is just the second month on record, and second month in row, with an anomaly of at least +0.5C above the 81-10 average.

    >>This is now also the largest anomaly for any month on record.

    (Thanks to bftv at neven’s forum for this.)

    Reply
  51. Colorado Bob

     /  November 16, 2015

    Storm Barney: Army called in as Britain to be battered by floods, snow and freezing temperatures

    These pictures show devastation on the streets of York after flood water swept through the city……………………..The Met Office forecast gusts up to 80mph on coasts, with 70mph gusts inland.

    RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: “Barney will affect much more populated areas than Abigail and rush-hour in the darkness is the worst possible time for strong winds to hit.

    Link

    Reply
    • wili

       /  November 16, 2015

      “Why CC and Terrorism are Connnected:

      Drought in Syria has contributed to instability

      Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders used the terrorist attacks in Paris to call for action to address climate change at a primary debate Saturday. But, while the plea attracted ridicule across the political spectrum, many academics and national security experts agree that climate change contributes to an uncertain world where terrorism can thrive.”

      Reply
  52. Colorado Bob

     /  November 16, 2015

    El Niño of 2015 Hits All-Time Record Strength for a 1-Week Period

    Incredibly warm waters continue to build across the equatorial Pacific, and the El Niño event of 2015 has just set a record for the warmest waters ever observed in the equatorial Pacific over a 1-week period. Sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) in the Pacific’s Niño3.4 region, between 90°W and 160°E longitude and 5° north/south latitude, are considered the benchmark for rating the strength of an El Niño event. The weekly departure of SST from average in this region hit +3.0°C (5.4°F) over the past week, NOAA announced in their November 16 El Niño update. This exceeds the previous 1-week record warmth in the equatorial Pacific of 2.8°C above average set during the week of November 26, 1997; accurate El Niño records extend back to 1950. However, the standard measure for the strength of an El Niño event is the three-month average Niño 3.4 SSTs, and the El Niño of 2015 is not yet officially considered the strongest on record. The August-September-October 2015 three-month average Niño 3.4 SSTs were 1.7°C above average, good for only the 2nd warmest on record, behind 1997. Judging from the trajectory of SST anomalies in Figure 1, though, it is likely that one of the late-year three-month average Niño 3.4 SST values in 2015 will end up upending 1997’s record warmth and claim for the 2015 the title as strongest El Niño event on record. El Niño can’t get much stronger than it is now, though, since there simply isn’t enough warm water available in the Western Pacific to transport to the Eastern Pacific; wunderblogger Steve Gregory speculated in his Friday post that El Niño may now be peaking, and will begin a slow decline over the the next three months. Even so, El Niño will decline only gradually, and we can expect significant global impacts on weather during the coming winter. Below, I’ll dive into some of the major non-U.S. impacts we can expect (and have already seen) from a strong El Niño; Bob Henson has covered the likely U.S. impacts in a number of previous posts, which are linked at the bottom of the blog.

    Link

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  November 16, 2015

      This is a really well done El Nino post , and it’s knock on effects.

      Reply
      • – You bet, CB.
        I don’t know about the ‘knock’ but the post is like a brick of info thrown through a plate glass window of complacency and confusion.🙂

        Reply
    • Syd Bridges

       /  November 16, 2015

      I just looked at the NOAA weekly report and my jaw dropped when I saw the 3.0 C anomaly for the Nino 3.4 region. But then I remembered Congressman Lamar Smith and Senator Snowball, and I just knew that they were cooking the books. It’s just started snowing here in northern Colorado, which proves that it’s all lies.

      Meanwhile, my sympathy back home to the people of York and the coastal communities round the UK, who are likely to face a grim winter. They at least have the consolation that they have in David Cameron leadership as fine as that of Lamar Smith and James Imhofe.

      Reply
  53. Colorado Bob

     /  November 16, 2015

    El Niño: food shortages, floods, disease and droughts set to put millions at risk

    Agencies warn of unchartered territory as strongest-ever El Niño threatens to batter vulnerable countries with extreme weather for months

    The UN has warned of months of extreme weather in many of the world’s most vulnerable countries with intense storms, droughts and floods triggered by one of the strongest El Niño weather events recorded in 50 years, which is expected to continue until spring 2016.

    El Niño is a natural climatic phenomenon that sees equatorial waters in the eastern Pacific ocean warm every few years. This disrupts regular weather patterns such as monsoons and trade winds, and increases the risk of food shortages, floods, disease and forest fires.

    This year, a strong El Niño has been building since March and its effects are already being seen in Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Malawi, Indonesia and across Central America, according to the World Meteorological Organisation. The phenomenon is also being held responsible for uncontrolled fires in forests in Indonesia and in the Amazon rainforest.

    Link

    Reply
  54. Colorado Bob

     /  November 16, 2015

    Hundreds Of Thousands Can’t Drink Their Water After Massive Mine Flood In Brazil

    The top image shows the area on October 11, before the incident; the bottom image shows the area afterward, on November 12.

    Reply
  55. – Climate scientists to be grilled by congressional investigators, but their e-mails are still off-limits

    Scientists and top officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have agreed to start interviews akin to depositions this week with House investigators, who are demanding to know their internal deliberations on a groundbreaking climate change study.

    But the interviews may not be enough to placate the chairman of the House science committee, a global warming skeptic who last week stepped up the pressure on the Commerce Department to comply with his subpoena for e-mails that NOAA has refused to turn over.

    Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) wants thousands of e-mails among scientists and NOAA’s staff of political appointees that he thinks will show that the researchers had something to hide when they refuted claims that global warming had “paused” or slowed over the past decade.

    [Congress demands climate change documents as scientists warn of ‘chilling effect’ on research ]

    On Friday, Smith appealed to Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker to force NOAA to comply with his subpoena, telling her that its top officials have “obstructed” the committee’s oversight role.

    “More than once, NOAA officials have attempted to shape and direct the Committee’s oversight,” Smith wrote. “Instead of assisting the committee with its Constitutionally-obligated oversight responsibilities, NOAA has refused to voluntarily and under subpoena provide information crucial to the Committee’s ongoing oversight. ” Commerce is NOAA’s parent agency.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/federal-eye/wp/2015/11/16/climate-scientists-to-be-grilled-by-congressional-investigators-but-their-e-mails-are-still-off-limits/

    Reply
  56. – [ The title is rather lame but a story exists beyond it.]

    ‘California’s Forests Have Become Climate Polluters’

    A new study has shown that greenhouse gases are billowing out of the state’s forests faster than they are being sucked back in, with unnaturally intense wildfires mostly to blame.

    “Ecosystems are regrowing, but not fast enough,” Patrick Gonzalez, a U.S. National Park Service climate change scientist involved with the research, said. “The losses are outpacing the growth. The key element here is wildfire.”

    From 2001 through 2010, the state’s wildlands were responsible for about 8 million tons of carbon pollution annually — more climate pollution than is released every year by the entire economy of Vermont.

    That was the conclusion of a sophisticated analysis requested and partly funded by California’s air resources board. Wildfires affecting a small portion of the state were responsible for two-thirds of the estimated losses of carbon from what had been living plants.
    climatecentral.org/news/california-forests-climate-polluters-18941
    [ A photo, in the story, of the monster Zaca fire in SB County that was started by a human with a power tool.]

    Reply
  57. This Coal Mine Could Create More CO2 Emissions Than Entire Countries

    Australia’s Carmichael coal mine project has been under major scrutiny by large conservation groups and prominent Australians for months. Now, progressive think tank the Australia Institute has found just how damaging the emissions from burning coal at the mine could really be.

    The coal mine project, which is a backed by India’s Adani Enterprises and approved by the Australian government in October, has the potential to out-weigh annual emissions from entire cities and countries, according to a new report by the Australia Institute. According to the report, Carmichael will emit 79 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent a year — more than the annual emissions from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, and about equal to the average annual emissions from both Malaysia and Austria. The projects will also emit three times as much carbon dioxide equivalent per year as the city of New Delhi, six times as much as Amsterdam, and twice as much as Tokyo.

    – thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/11/16/3722647/single-coal-mine-create-co2-emissions-entire-countries/

    Reply

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