Monster 2015 El Nino May Be Most Intense Ever Seen

For nearly two years now, we’ve had every indication that Dr. Kevin Trenberth was right. A human-forced warming of the deep and middle ocean was indeed coming back to haunt us. Back during early 2014, signs were that a Monster El Nino was building in the Equatorial Pacific. This slow bleed of added heat to the Earth’s mid-section, in turn, forced global temperatures higher, leading to a record hot year during 2014, what will surely be a record hot year during 2015, and what may well also become a record hot year during 2016.

A primary driver of this record global surface heat was a period of extreme warming throughout the Pacific Ocean. A warming that increasingly centered upon the Equatorial Pacific as a Monster El Nino emerged and grew ever stronger.

The Strongest El Nino on Record

By mid summer, we had early indications that the 2015 event was likely to come in as the 1rst to 3rst strongest on record. Since that time, temperatures within the key NINO 3.4 region gradually built up.

Sea Surface temperature anomalies Nino 3.4

(Sea surface temperature anomalies in the benchmark NINO 3.4 zone hit an extreme high temperature departure of 3.0 degrees Celsius above average in the NOAA monitor this Monday. These temperatures are the hottest ever recorded for this region of the Pacific. An indication that the 2015 El Nino is shaping up to beat out even the 1997-1998 El Nino as the strongest such event ever in the modern meteorological record. Image source: NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.)

Two weeks ago, according to NOAA’s weekly El Nino monitor, average temperatures for the zone hit a +2.8 C positive anomaly. This extreme high temperature reading tied the weekly peak recorded by the NOAA measure in the same region during the record 1997-1998 El Nino. It looked like the 2015 El Nino was on track to at least tie the all time most intense El Nino ever recorded in the NOAA measure.

The 2015 El Nino, at that time had rocketed into record range. Any further strengthening and 2015 would be a monster El Nino year to beat out every other. And through the intervening time heat continued to build, spilling out of the ocean surface, pumping out volumes of heat and moisture that would have been considered unimaginable just a year and a half ago.

1997 vs 2015 El Nino

(The 1997 El Nino ramped up and peaked rapidly. In contrast, 2015 gradually built up from a start during 2014 and didn’t hit a rapid ramp until summer and fall of 2015. Currently, sea surface temperatures in the critical Nino 3.4 zone well exceed that of the 1997 event in the NOAA monitor. It is also worth noting that overall heat content throughout the 2015 event has been greater — with higher temperatures so far lasting longer than during the 1997-1998 El Nino. Image source: Jan Null at Golden Gate Weather via Twitter and Weather Underground.)

As a result, NOAA this week marked the hottest sea surface temperatures ever recorded in the NINO 3.4 zone of the Equatorial Pacific. Sea surface temperature anomalies for the region hit an extraordinary 3.0 degrees Celsius above the climatological average. This new reading shatters the old weekly record set for the 1997-1998 El Nino and is yet one more indication that the 2015 El Nino is a monster event without precedent in the global climate record. In other words, we’ve never seen anything like this before.

Early Indications that Heat Continues to Build

Despite the fact that the current El Nino has already shattered weekly temperature records, it appears that warming for the critical NINO 3.4 zone continued to build through November 16 and 17. Daily Sea Surface Temperature monitors, as provided graphically by Earth Nullschool give us a basis for comparison with the NOAA measure. And over the past two months a very rudimentary grid analysis of the data reimaged through Earth Nullschool has shown sea surface temperatures about 0.2 C hotter than the weekly NINO 3.4 averages provided by NOAA.

Yesterday, this analysis provided a reading of 3.4 degrees Celsius above average in the NINO 3.4 zone — roughly corresponding with a NOAA reading in the range of 3.2 C above average. Today, the reading is in the range of 3.3 C hotter than average — corresponding with a NOAA reading near 3.1 C above average.

image

(The Equatorial Pacific Ocean splits open and disgorges a record amount of heat in today’s Earth Nullschool sea surface temperature anomaly graphic. What we are seeing, at this time, is what is shaping up to be the strongest El Nino ever recorded in the climate record. An event that is likely driven, at least in part, by the extraordinary volume of greenhouse gasses human beings have dumped into the Earth climate system. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

Overall, the appearance, during recent days, of a band of 4 to 4.5 C above average sea surface temperatures stretching from 120 to 160 West along and near the Equator is yet one more indication that the current record El Nino has continued to intensify. And a broader look at the entire northern Pacific Ocean shows abnormal heat stretching all the way from Equator to Pole. This extra North Pacific heat, especially the hot zone off the West Coast of North America is providing an atmospheric and ocean inertia which pushes El Nino toward further strengthening even as it aids in the maintenance of El Nino conditions overall.

In other words, we may be near the peak of the 2015 El Nino. But the overall ocean picture and trend still points toward the possibility for more strengthening in store. And what this means is that more records are likely to fall over the coming weeks. That El Nino related weather around the world is likely to hit some amazing and potentially very dangerous extremes over the next four months. And that global temperatures are likely to explore new extreme record ranges, as we have already seen during October, over the coming 4-6 months.

Links:

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center

Deep Ocean Warming is Coming Back to Haunt Us

Monster El Nino Emerging From the Depths?

El Nino of 2015 Hits All Time Record Strength For A One-Week Period

NOAA’s Weekly El Nino Monitor

Earth Nullschool

Hat tip to Todaysguestis

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

103 Comments

  1. Well, if there is a “Gaia”, she is doing her best to mer her case as the Paris talks commence.

    Reply
    • Monster El Nino and a climate conference happening at the same time? It’s a climate change denier’s worst nightmare. But who knows, maybe we’ll actually get some good policy out of this one. I’d like to see a strategy session on how to prevent fossil fuel corps and utilities from blocking a rapid response, for one. For another, I’d like to see some real, broad-ranging agreements with enough flexibility to work and enough teeth to really start to take a bite out of overall emissions.

      So here’s hoping for Gaia having a much bigger say at this one.

      Reply
  2. While discussing this oversight with my Net Cell over a year and a half ago, (April 25, 2014), I mentioned that the current possible El Nino which is sharpening up to be a “gum swallower,” would warrant a name of its own and suggested “Rouge El Ninos.” Another with some language back ground found the Spanish term “Pillo” for rouge and suggested “El Pillo.” We all quickly liked the term and been hawking it and would like to see it have legs.

    That inspired me to pen a couple of ditties:
    El Pillos here
    El Pillos there
    El Pillos popping everywhere.

    Grab your hat
    Mend your boots
    El Pillo is growing roots.

    Reply
  3. Entering the 3°C mark this is the first cat 6 El Nino ever witnessed (if there were such a scale that is). But even more amazing it can even get higher. Keep us posted Robert!

    Reply
    • wili

       /  November 17, 2015

      Jeddah hit by heavy showers

      Residents of Jeddah witnessed heavy rains in the city on Tuesday with many coming out on to the streets to watch the rare downpour as others struggled to travel around the city. Inclement weather hit many parts of western Saudi Arabia early Tuesday. Makkah also saw rains across the city as the Ministry of Education ordered a one day school closure in Jeddah and surrounding areas delighting students and parents alike. The same, however, could not be said for motorists traveling around Jeddah. A number of streets and tunnels were blocked with rain water causing traffic issues across the city. One resident told Arab News, the rain is defiantly having an impact, saying “people are tense, fleeing their jobs and rushing home! Because of all this rush there are a lot of accidents and tragedies.”
      Arab News received a number of photos and videos of how residents were witnessing the rare showers. Images showed police assisting accidents and vehicles stuck in rain water.
      Heavy rain of this magnitude last hit the city in 2011, a year after the deadly floods that claimed the lives of over 120 people. Jeddah weather is usually dry, but humid in the summer, with winter months usually being very pleasant.

      Reply
  4. Jack Arnold

     /  November 17, 2015

    What effect will this el nino have on ocean waters flowing into the arctic? My concern is warm water flowing into the arctic and the shallow methane hydrates that are all over the shallow ridges there. Also arctic ice in general. The methane hydrates will be the thing that will signal the final point of no return when they destabilize en mass. So Im wondering how this might effect them.

    Reply
    • Caroline

       /  November 17, 2015

      Great question Jack! I’m wondering about the same thing . . .
      and what will confirm for you— Robert— when/if a critical tipping point has been passed of methane release in Arctic?

      Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  November 18, 2015

      Robert may say more, but AFAIK it’s not that easy for massive amounts of Pacific ocean heat to get into the Artic ocean directly.

      I’m not saying that it doesn’t happen at all, of course, clearly it does, but the Bering Strait is only roughly 50m deep (from Nevan’s site), which limits the possibilities.

      I think everyone here worries about Methane, be it under the ocean, or in the permafrost on land.

      Reply
  5. – FILE UNDER: ALGAE GROWTH AS S DYE MARKER FOR A WARMING MEDIUM (H2O) PARALLEL WITH N (NITROGEN) AS AN ANTHROPOGENIC NUTRIENT.
    OR
    ANTHROPOGENIC BAD NEWS

    SA’s recreational dams affected by toxic algae

    Cape Town – Research into the general safety of SA’s natural water resource has revealed some shocking findings.

    On Sunday evening, 15 November, Carte Blanche featured an in-depth update on a primitive toxin called blue-green algae that is polluting our waters.

    South Africa has the highest known levels of blue-green algae contamination in the world, with about two thirds of our national water resource contaminated, Carte Blanche reported.
    http://traveller24.news24.com/News/Alerts/sas-recreational-dams-affected-by-toxic-algae-20151117

    Reply
    • Algae bloomin’ disaster for US crab industry

      A massive bloom of microscopic algae – which produced a natural toxin called domoic acid that is harmful to wildlife and fish – in the Pacific Ocean is threatening the crab industry during a time when many fishing outfits make their most money. It’s also impacting on coastal tourism and marine ecosystems.
      [ Reality]

      Experts say the warm conditions that set up the toxic algae bloom – while not attributed to climate change – does offer a picture of what’s to come as ocean temperatures are projected to warm.
      [Avoidance]
      http://www.ntnews.com.au/lifestyle/fishing/algae-bloomin-disaster-for-us-crab-industry/story-fnkchy3h-1227612612623

      Reply
    • SINGAPORE – A thick layer of algae turned the waters of Marina Bay outside the Fullerton Bay Hotel, NTUC Centre and the Promontory @ Marina Bay a rich emerald green on Tuesday (Nov 17).

      Experts said a combination of hot sun and heavy rain might have caused the widespread bloom.

      Dr Patrick Martin, Nanyang Technological University Earth Observatory of Singapore research fellow, said: “The heavy rain over the past couple of weeks might have caused more nutrient run-off from land, which is fuelling the bloom.”

      http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/environment/algae-turns-marina-bay-waters-green

      Reply
      • Published on Nov 17, 2015
        The waters in Marina Bay turned a deep green colour due to an algae bloom, on Nov 17, 2015. VIDEO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

        Reply
    • Nitrates Polluting 1 In 5 Private Wells In Wisconsin
      State Data Says 90K Wells Could Be Contaminated By Farm Runoff

      When Doug and Sherryl Jones built their house 15 years ago in Spring Green on the banks of a lake near the Wisconsin River, they were hoping it would be a little piece of heaven in their retirement.

      What they didn’t know was that the level of nitrate in their well water was much higher than what officials the U.S. Enviromental Protection Agency say is safe to drink.

      “We had children, we had babies in our house, we had pregnant daughters, we had pregnant daughter-in-law,” Jones said. “What was this doing? There was no way we could let them drink this water.”
      http://www.wpr.org/nitrates-polluting-1-5-private-wells-wisconsin

      Reply
  6. U.S. Thirst for Oil Straining International Water Supplies

    Fossil fuel production is a major freshwater consumer. In the U.S., for example, most new oil and gas wells use millions of gallons of water each. Much oil and gas development is taking place in drought-stricken and arid regions suffering from water scarcity like the Colorado River Basin, a major source of water for Los Angeles, Phoenix and Las Vegas.

    The study by the University of Southampton in the UK, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that petroleum is responsible for most of the global demand for water when it comes to energy production.
    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/us-oil-straining-international-water-supplies-19689?utm_content=buffer0653a&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    Reply
  7. Denver and the West
    Fort Collins cyclists still victims of air pollution, study says


    Researchers following bike commuters in Fort Collins concluded that cyclists, because they are breathing harder, inhale about three times as much pollution as people breathing normally — likely increasing the exposure experienced while cycling.

    They found that exposures vary by pollutant. Drivers got the highest exposure to carbon monoxide and gaseous pollutant, while cyclists got exposure to particulate matter like black carbon.
    http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_29129191/fort-collins-cyclists-still-victims-air-pollution-study

    Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  November 18, 2015

      Another corker.

      Fit as a flea, but got particulates on the brain/lungs etc, or fat and horrid, and being gassed. What a choice!

      Having said that, I have been reading some stuff about indoor air pollution recently, and I think it’s fair to say that a modern, well sealed, energy efficient home can be pretty damn unhealthy too.

      Many years ago, I wrote an essay on Radon, which is a problem in some parts of the UK, and I have always wondered why personal environmental monitoring isn’t a huge business.

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  November 18, 2015

      I always suspected this was the case. I used to cycle quite a bit, sometimes a couple hundred miles a week. I have been running more the past six years, which is basically the same thing, breathing heavy near roads and/or vehicular traffic. Here in Connecticut it isn’t as bad as when I spent some time in Los Angeles. That place is hell for cyclists.

      Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  November 19, 2015

        At least the particulates issue doesn’t seem as bad in the US, as it is in Europe.

        When the papers were full of ‘how many excess deaths from VW’s?’, I noticed that predicted deaths in the US were only roughly twice those predicted in the UK. Now, we only have 75ish million people.

        I just hate to think of all those little kids being at exhaust pipe level, although I guess i took my fair share of lead, when I was young.

        Reply
  8. – Nov 17, 2015 PDX USA Spring daffodils are opening.
    PHOTO DT LANGE CC 2.0

    Reply
    • – Nov 17, 2015 PDX USA – Algae and moss growth in a nitrogen and atmospheric nutrient rich region in a time anthropogenic global warming.
      PHOTO: DT LANGE CC 2.0

      Reply
    • – Nov 17, 2015 PDX USA – Algae and moss tufts on an ornamental lion.
      PHOTO: DT LANGE CC 2.0

      Reply
  9. Children Sue Over Climate Change
    It’s like the plot of a Disney movie: 21 kids with gumption pitted against the president of the United States.

    A new lawsuit against the federal government, filed by a group of 21 children and young adults between the ages of 8 and 19, could become a major new front against climate change—and a preview of the next important civil rights struggle of the 21st century.

    Renowned climate scientist James Hansen has joined a federal lawsuit on behalf of his granddaughter, Sophie, in what could eventually pave the way for a major civil rights decision.

    Reply
      • wili

         /  November 17, 2015

        Pakistani farmer sues government to curb climate change

        Asghar Leghari says climate change is reducing crop yields and his community to poverty.

        http://m.csmonitor.com/Science/2015/1116/Pakistani-farmer-sues-government-to-curb-climate-change

        Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  November 18, 2015

        wili.
        This is a factor that is a real concern in that continent, not the legal aspect, but the stability of States.
        Pakistan is already an Islamic Country and has been suspected of being “sympathetic” to extremists and has a paranoid attitude to India. Kashmir the main bone of contention actually has deep religious significance in that it is a possible location of the place oft mentioned in the Vedic Sagas , that are believed to be translations of earlier pre Indic sagas. The Valley of Kashmir was once a huge lake which drained with major geological activity many thousands of years ago
        Archaeological research if it could be done and if it found evidence of an advanced civilisation in the ice age would be catastrophic to the Koran and the Torah due to the time frame being far more than the 6000 years and the advanced culture not being Arabic/Aramaic/Sumerian. Whether a real threat or not the fear is there.

        Pakistan is a major nuclear power, third behind the US and Russia and that has a close science/technology relationship with North Korea.
        India also is Nuclear armed.
        Social and political instability leading to failed states with extremists possibly in control of those assets places a whole new paradigm on the consequences of global warming
        Meanwhile back in the Arctic
        http://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/as-global-warming-opens-up-bering-strait-u-s-coast-guard-studies-shipping-lanes-1.2661933
        ” ANCHORAGE, Alaska — More Arctic sea ice melting each summer from global warming is making it easier for ships to plot routes through the environmentally sensitive Bering Strait, and is prompting concerns among U.S. Coast Guard officials about the potential dangers of a vessel crashing and leaking oil.

        The Coast Guard is taking steps to plot a shipping route that will help the ships safely navigate the 53-mile wide waterway separating Russia and Alaska. Among the vessels slated to pass through the strait is a cruise ship carrying more than 1,000 passengers on a 32-day voyage next year through the Northwest Passage.

        The federal agency has laid out a 4-mile wide route through the Bering Sea into the Arctic Ocean and is reviewing public comment on whether it should become the first commercial shipping lane along Alaska’s west coast.”

        EXXON is achieving the goal it’s deception was meant to achieve

        Reply
      • wili

         /  November 18, 2015

        Abel, many good points, but I’m afraid this bit: “it is a possible location of the place oft mentioned in the Vedic Sagas , that are believed to be translations of earlier pre Indic sagas” is essentially gibberish. There is no such thing as a “Vedic Saga.” There are hymn (Rg Veda) and incantations (Yajur Veda) but no sagas or epics. That is later literature. And it is very unlikely that any of it is direct translation of anything pre-Indic, that I’m aware of (though of course there is surely a lot of influence from that and many other sources.

        Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  November 18, 2015

        Wili, enough interest to have this reaction from the science organisations , especially when considering the other subject matter .
        http://www.cnet.com/au/news/ancient-indian-aircraftspaceship-on-agenda-of-major-science-conference/

        It’s a strange strange world we live in and we know so little

        Reply
      • wili

         /  November 18, 2015

        Abel, don’t get me wrong. The ancient Indians did amazing things and thought even more amazing things. In my field, linguistics, they were clearly beyond anything the west was doing in until quite recently. I’ve spent more hundreds of hours than I would care to admit struggling to be able to read their wisdom, science and hymns in the original. It’s just that, as far as I have seen (and I’ve studies under some of the top Sanskritists in the world), the joining of ‘Vedic’ and ‘Saga’ doesn’t make much sense unless someone is stretching the mean of one or both of those words far beyond their conventional definitions.

        Reply
  10. wili

     /  November 17, 2015

    based on the first ten months, 2015 should end-up something less than 1.1C above pre-industrial (all things being equal):

    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/incredible-october-warmth-guarantees-record-hot-2015-19695

    Reply
  11. Reblogged this on GarryRogers Nature Conservation and Science Fiction (#EcoSciFi) and commented:
    Everyone should prepare for winter-weather extremes.

    Reply
  12. Abel Adamski

     /  November 18, 2015

    It is truly starting in Oz, in WA
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-18/four-dead-in-wa-bushfires/6950142

    “We had some 111 incidents sparked by lightning yesterday so quite significant, but most importantly in the Great Southern Area around Esperance area, extreme weather conditions, with high winds, some of the wind gusts around 93 kilometres.

    Mr Tasker said the blaze at Salmon Gums was the worst he had ever seen.

    “The wind and weather conditions … there was no stopping it,” he said.

    Mr Tasker said the speed of the fire caught firefighters off-guard.

    “It definitely wasn’t planned, it was on the spot and flying by the seat of your pants,” he said.

    “It was moving at a rate of knots that you’ve never seen before.”

    The veteran fire official said it was one of the worst fires the region had faced.

    Reply
    • – “It was moving at a rate of knots that you’ve never seen before.” That is a relevant by-word descriptor. And not the first time usage or similar.

      Reply
  13. Abel Adamski

     /  November 18, 2015

    One good article in there amongst many other good ones
    http://www.gizmag.com/study-maps-earths-groundwater-first-time/40458/

    A new study has, for the first time, estimated the total volume of groundwater present on the Earth. The results show that we’re using up the water supply quicker than it can be naturally replaced, while future research will seek to determine exactly how long it will be until modern groundwater runs dry.

    Reply
  14. Abel Adamski

     /  November 18, 2015

    Some new research re CO2, reported in India of course

    http://www.freepressjournal.in/co2-impact-on-global-warming-underestimated/

    “The study examined nahcolite crystals found in Green River Formation in Colorado, US. The crystals were formed 50 million years ago during a hothouse climate. They found that CO2 levels during this time may have been as low as 680 parts per million (ppm), nearly half the 1,125 ppm predicted by previous experiments.

    “The significance of this is that CO2 50 million years ago may not have been as high as we once thought it was, but the climate back then was significantly warmer than it is today,” Lowenstein explained.

    Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere today have reached 400 ppm. According to current projections, doubling the CO2 will result in a rise in the global average temperature of three degrees Centigrade.

    This new research suggests that the effects of CO2 on global warming may be underestimated. “These are direct chemical measurements that are based on equilibrium thermodynamics,” Lowenstein said. “These are direct laboratory experiments, so I think they are really reliable,” he noted. The findings appeared in the journal Geology.

    Reply
  15. Syd Bridges

     /  November 18, 2015

    It certainly looks as though this El Nino will give 1997-8’s El Nino a good run for its money. And Looking at the long buildup of heat for the current event, it seems likely that it will surpass it. I don’t suppose that will be any surprise to readers of this blog. From early last year, this has been a possibility. Where are those now, Robert, who accused you of such alarmism? Although I always thought that they were living in cloud-cuckooland, nonetheless, for the sake of all of us, I wish they had been right. But even more, I wish these people had been honest over the last fifty years. We would not now be facing the dismal future that we see for future generations.

    When Ronnie “Morning in America” Reagan took down Jimmy Carter’s solar panels from the White House I knew that stupidity had won and I wondered when the consequences would come back to haunt us. Now I know.

    Reply
    • islandraider

       /  November 18, 2015

      But, sadly, no cats.

      Reply
    • labmonkey2

       /  November 18, 2015

      Paul has done a great job with this new site. Can’t wait for his soon-to-be-released book. Thanks for the link.

      Reply
  16. – 52 fools vote for millions of casualties.

    WASHINGTON — The Senate voted on Tuesday to block President Obama’s tough new climate change regulations, hoping to undermine his negotiating authority before a major international climate summit meeting in Paris this month.

    The Senate resolution, which passed 52 to 46, would scuttle a rule that would significantly cut heat-trapping carbon emissions from existing coal-fired power plants.

    Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, said the regulations part were part of President Obama’s “war on coal.” Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

    Reply
  17. Robert – there is a lot of “wait for the next La Nina” talk on blogs. It has been a long tome since people have experienced La Nina during a time when the PDO index is going up. Check out 1933 to 1939.83. My information indicates the period included two La Nina events and no El Nino at all. The GMST went way up. It’s part of the1910 to 1940 warming. A big part of it. So La Nina, if the PDO remains positive, could be accompanied by additional warming.

    Reply
    • If we’re fortunate the next La Nina will bump us briefly back down to the +0.8 to +0.9 C above 1880s ranges. But you’re right, a positive PDO period coinciding with La Nina would tend to dampen any temporary cooling impact. If the notion being spread is that La Nina will somehow challenge the amazing regime of global warming we’ve seen, then the people spreading that notion are complete imbeciles.

      In any case, La Nina tends to direct heat moreso toward the poles. So we’d be looking for increased risk of glacial and sea ice melt pulses during those years.

      Reply
  18. redskylite

     /  November 18, 2015

    After reading of the senate vote against climate change protective regulations, I hope that the U.S senate will listen to such professionals as the scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. (They certainly did during world war II).

    Or do they think they know better ??

    Reply
  19. redskylite

     /  November 18, 2015

    Where are all the climate change songs?

    We won’t actually get a stream of good climate change songs until it starts “affecting people when they get up in the morning and people’s relatives start dying from it,” Hartnoll suggests.

    “The one good thing is songwriters aren’t the ones who are meant to be saving the world are they? I know many try, and valiantly, but it’s the politicians who’ve got to do something. Let’s hope they get on with it.”

    Lets hope so indeed, we counting on it . . . .

    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34844244

    Reply
    • Caroline

       /  November 18, 2015

      Songs about climate change/human’s destruction of earth have been around a very long time and many artists are continuing to try to get the message out there . . . .

      Big hat tip to Marvin Gaye who courageously broke away from Motown to write/produce What’s Going On which contained the song Mercy Mercy Me, The Ecology (imo one of the best songs about pollution/climate change ever!)
      People thought Marvin was crazy (Berry Gordy in particular) for doing this, for writing about something other than love, sex, fluffy r and b songs . . . . but he was a man on a mission and felt compelled to get these messages out through his music with What’s Going On.
      Where Do the Children Play is another classic too.

      Posted below are more recent songs———you can find all on youtube.

      Natalie Merchant: It’s a Coming
      Eliza Gilkyson: Unsustainable, The Great Correction, Green Fields
      Bob Seger: The Fireman’s Talking and It’s Your World from his 2014 album: Ride Out
      Bruce Cockburn: Beautiful Creatures
      Anais Mitchell: Any Way the Wind Blows
      Karine Polwart wrote the song, Cover your Eyes about Donald Trump’s horrid development in Aberdeenshire
      Tina Malia: The Lost Frontier

      There are many more.

      The way people listen to/access music has changed so dramatically (via algorithms, spotify, pandora etc.) it has become less communal and more solitary which really doesn’t bode well for people coming together to rally behind a message😞 As someone who hosts music programs for community radio, I find this quite sad. But happily, community radio seems to be gaining traction is valued by many and is not under the control of mega corporations.

      This last song (with a hint of sarcasm!) was written in 1993. Dean Stevens is a brilliant, most compassionate singer songwriter from the east coast. He practices what he preaches—– has been trying to make the world a better place through actions/music for decades:

      Reply
      • Caroline

         /  November 18, 2015

        And how could I forget the late, great Jim Capaldi???
        This one’s for you C.B.:

        Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  November 18, 2015

        Caroline
        What have they done to the earth?
        What have they done to our fair sister?
        Ravaged and plundered and ripped her and bit her
        Stuck her with knives in the side of the dawn
        And tied her with fences and dragged her down

        Reply
      • AveryCottonwood

         /  November 18, 2015

        The problem is, many modern songs about the subject are more unsettling than touching.

        Reply
    • AveryCottonwood

       /  November 18, 2015

      Reply
    • dnem

       /  November 18, 2015


      Today I went walking in the amber wind,
      There’s a hole in the sky where the light pours in
      I remembered the days when I wasn’t afraid of the sunshine.

      But now it beats down on the asphalt land
      Like a hammering blow from God’s left hand
      What little still grows cringes in the shade like a bad vine.

      Reply
    • Leland Palmer

       /  November 18, 2015

      Well, the band Hundred Seventy Split has recently covered this old Bert Jansch song – Poison:

      They admit it is an ecological song, but I don’t know if they make the link to global warming.

      I know I might die of the poison
      Invisible, hanging there in the sunlight…

      For don’t you know your creator is running out of ideas…

      Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  November 19, 2015

        Dear Miami – Roisin Murphy

        Dear Miami, you’re the first to go
        Disappearing, under melting snow
        Each and everyone turn your critical eye
        On the burning sun and try not to cry

        Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  November 19, 2015

        I’ll try that again.

        Reply
  20. sunkensheep

     /  November 18, 2015

    The latest from TAO/Triton has a pool of subsurface water exceeding 30°C, and anomalies at 8°C. Meanwhile, another WWB looks to be kicking off in the Western Pacific.
    It sure is hot out there.

    Right now looking at a smoked out sky from large bushfires and high temps 1000’s of KMs away in the west of the nation, with that weather arriving here tomorrow. I fear it will be a long, hot summer.

    Reply
  21. Xavier

     /  November 18, 2015

    Is it just an illusion from my untrained eyes or are we witnessing a shifting pattern in the Arctic ? This heat anomaly has been expanding for about 10 days and now almost reaching the Bering strait. Any explanation ?
    http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/overlay=temp/orthographic=118.26,96.90,479

    Reply
  22. Colorado Bob

     /  November 18, 2015

    Three Dead, 1 Million Lose Power in Destructive Northwest Windstorm
    Winds were clocked as high as 119 mph in the mountains of Washington state while urban centers were buffeted by winds strong enough to cause extensive damage to trees and buildings, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of people in the Seattle and Spokane areas.
    http://www.weather.com/news/weather/news/northwest-high-winds-rain-snow-impacts

    Reply
  23. Colorado Bob

     /  November 18, 2015

    Deadly Floods Hit Chennai, India

    “The rain that was meant to be spread out over the monsoon months has poured in just a few days,” Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said in a statement to reporters in Chennai.

    “Low pressure in the middle and lower atmosphere moving slow west over southern India was responsible for the heavy rain that caused the flooding,” weather.com meteorologist Chris Dolce says. Chennai measured more than a foot of rain (306 mm) in the 48 hours ending Monday.

    The rain is forecast to continue, affecting not just Tamil Nadu but the neighboring southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka as well. In nearby Sri Lanka, upwards of 80,000 people are also seeing the effects of the rain, according to BBC.

    The rains come at an unexpected time as Andhra Pradesh had recently declared a drought. With the drastic excess of rain, IBN Live reports that efforts are being made to fill 8,000 water tanks.

    http://www.weather.com/news/weather/news/dozens-dead-chennai-india-floods

    Reply
  24. Colorado Bob

     /  November 18, 2015

    Flash floods turn deadly in Jeddah

    Reply
  25. Colorado Bob

     /  November 18, 2015

    Heat records smashed again as big El Nino rides on global warming

    100 quadrillion kilojoules

    Driving global temperatures higher this year is the big El Nino event in the Pacific. During such years, wind patterns shift, allowing unusual heat to beat up in the central and eastern equatorial areas.

    The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said a six million-square kilometre region on the Pacific, dubbed Nino3.4, had warmed by more than 2 degrees. (See chart below.)

    The heat required to warm just the top two metres of that region by that amount would require 100 quadrillion kilojoules, NOAA’s Emily Becker said in a website post. That’s 100 followed by 15 zeros. That tally is about equal to the total energy consumed each year in the US, she said.

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/heat-records-smashed-again-as-big-el-nino-rides-on-global-warming-20151116-gl0j1j.html

    Reply
  26. Greg

     /  November 18, 2015

    Jeff Master take on the storm system moving east over the U.S.:
    Springtime in November: Tornadoes Rake High Plains from Nebraska to Texas, “an extremely juicy airmass”
    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/springtime-in-november-tornadoes-rake-high-plains-from-nebraska-to-te

    Reply
  27. Greg

     /  November 18, 2015

    And Jeff Masters on October record temperatures:
    October 2015: Earth’s Warmest Month on Record by a Huge Margin
    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3188

    Reply
  28. Greg

     /  November 18, 2015

    with all time heat records worldwide for 2015:

    Reply
  29. Greg

     /  November 18, 2015

    The influence of El Nino (and other phenomena) on global temperatures over the years:

    Reply
  30. Neil Gundel

     /  November 18, 2015

    Nice article Robert! I am confused about one thing: Is today’s anomaly relative to the same climatology as the 1997 El Nino’s, or are we comparing to a hotter baseline?

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  November 18, 2015

      Neil the graph above should answer that.

      Reply
      • Neil Gundel

         /  November 18, 2015

        Thanks Greg, but I really don’t think the graph answers my question. It’s likely that the baseline has been updated, but by how much? El Nino regions have certainly not moved identically to global land+ocean temps, and I’m really wondering if someone knows what the baselines were, so I don’t have to guess.

        Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  November 18, 2015

        Neil Gundel
        The E Nino records begin in 1950.

        Reply
    • We’re actually at a hotter baseline as well.

      Reply
  31. – There’s no ‘Duck and cover.” for this this.Ominous?
    Wednesday, November 18th 2015 – 07:53 UTC
    Tierra del Fuego ozone alert with ‘UV radiation reaching extreme risk or harm’

    Tierra del Fuego in south Argentina has sent out a warning to residents in the province that the ozone layer hole as it expands to the north, over the tip of South America continent this week, it will be reaching its maximum size with UV radiation at 12, violet or extreme alert. The information was provided by Argentina’s VAG Ushuaia Station.
    http://en.mercopress.com/2015/11/18/tierra-del-fuego-ozone-alert-with-uv-radiation-reaching-extreme-risk-or-harm

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  November 18, 2015

      DT:
      http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/
      “While sea ice in Antarctica is near average, the ozone hole over the continent grew relatively large during the austral winter. This goes against the expected trend towards a smaller ozone hole since the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) was banned in 1996. The size of the hole in a given year depends on several factors, including temperatures in the high altitude stratosphere. Temperatures in the Antarctic stratosphere were low this year, aiding chemical processes that destroy ozone. For more information on this year’s ozone hole see this NASA Earth Observatory feature.”

      Reply
  32. The results of our study might be surprising to some. But although it rules out very high rises, climate sceptics certainly shouldn’t be dancing in the aisles

    “We predict Antarctic ice sheet instability will most likely contribute 10cm sea level rise by the end of the century but is extremely unlikely to contribute more than 30 cm…

    …for the upper limit, the IPCC made their quite vague statement because they judged the available predictions were not solid enough evidence. Those predictions reached up to one metre from Antarctic instability alone. If correct, these would hugely increase the upper limit of total sea level rise.

    It’s this wild card, pessimistic outcome – the 1 in 20 bit of bad luck – that we have predicted with more thorough methods than before. And our results are much lower. We find even half a metre is outside the bounds of physical plausibility in our model, requiring rates of ice loss that violate theoretical limits or the whole ice sheet becoming immediately unstable.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2015/nov/18/antarctic-ice-sheet-collapse-sea-level-rise-whats-new

    Reply
  33. Big Antarctic ice melt scenarios ‘not plausible’

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-34859398

    Reply
    • Sad to say that this is a good example of scientific reticence in action. The study model is, like many model studies focusing on either ice melt or carbon stores feedbacks, based on a narrow set of accepted data. These findings, in the satellite study and topography estimations, only take into account current rates of volume loss (not mass loss as we’ve seen from the GRACE studies). Furthermore, they fail to assess recent data involving basal melt mechanisms which, for large sections of the Antarctic perimeter provide the driving force for melt and sea level contributions currently. Finally, such model studies fail to take into account paleoclimate evidence that indicates both warming and sea level rise occur concordantly. In other words, the lag between warming, especially a global climate system warming which includes the oceans and ice sheet response is not evident in the paleoclimate record. Rates of warming beyond 1 C are almost always accompanied with very rapid rates of glacial destabilization and sea level rise.

      The study also fails to accomodate for the fact that the current rate of warming is basically unprecedented in any geological context including millions of years.

      All this evidence together points toward the likelihood that this study, unfortunately, will be proven incorrect in very short order.

      Reply
      • Thanks Robert for your views, which I value. I’m interested to see the reaction from the rest of the scientific community to this paper.

        I’ve been following the work of David Pollard and Robert deConto who’s work suggests a much more rapid melt rate.

        http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2015/EGU2015-8104.pdf

        Reply
        • Thanks, TDG. Pollard makes good points here. We saw quite a bit of SLR during the Eemian and that was without radiative forcing imbalances like we see now. Pollard points to a combined contribution from air and ocean driven melt — with atmospheric warming and surface mass loss eventually resulting in the greater melt fraction.

          I think that Pollard is absolutely right to point out that LIG is not a good proxy. But I think what we should consider is that glacial melt and temperature increase occur in a kind of lockstep. On the one hand, the glacier cannot exist at a certain global temperature range. On the other hand, the increasing rate of glacier melt does its part to temporarily tamp down overall warming rates. I don’t think we look at it in the right way when we see glaciers as monolithic blocks of ice possessing such extreme inertia. I think we should look at it as global temperature and glacial mass balance. And at 5-6 C warming, those glaciers don’t exist. To not have rapid melt in a world in which the Earth system warms by 2-5 degrees C or more does not take into account the full scope of the dynamic relationships between the glaciers, the oceans, the heat balance in precipitation, and in the air itself. In other words, we’re warming the whole Earth System in fast forward and that includes the world’s glaciers too. And I hate to say it, but it probably means that we melt those glaciers in fast forward as well.

      • Colorado Bob

         /  November 18, 2015

        The physicist Niels Bohr said, “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.”

        Reply
  34. Colorado Bob

     /  November 18, 2015

    This Bloomberg graphic is pretty amazing –

    We are in uncharted territory. These new milestones follow the hottest summer on record, the hottest 12 months on record, the hottest calendar year on record (2014), and the hottest decade on record. The animation below shows the Earth’s warming climate, recorded in monthly measurements from land and sea dating back to 1880. Temperatures are displayed in degrees above or below the 20th century average. Thirteen of the 14 hottest years have come in the 21st century, and it’s only the beginning.

    Link

    Reply
  35. “Huge attention has focused on the mysterious large holes that have suddenly appeared in the Siberian Arctic recently, and now there is evidence of a similar process underwater in southern areas of the Kara Sea.

    Large mounds – described as pingos – have been identified on the seabed off the Yamal Peninsula, and their formation is seen as due to the thawing of subsea permafrost, causing a ‘high accumulation’ of methane gas.

    These mounds ‘are leaking methane’ and their ‘blowout potential’ poses a significant ‘geohazard’ to energy exploration in Arctic waters, according to new research by scientists at Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate (CAGE) in Norway, supported by the Federal Subsoil Resources Management Agency of Russia.”

    http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/features/f0183-leaking-pingos-can-explode-under-the-sea-in-the-arctic-as-well-as-on-land/

    Reply
    • Does anyone else find it ironic that what they’re most concerned about is ‘geohazard’ to oil and gas exploration? What kills me is that no-one here has made the obvious connection between said oil and gas burning and the destabilization of these methane stores. I think Einstein is rolling over in his grave on account of needing to revise his definition of insanity.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  November 18, 2015

        “Poking the dragon with a stick” –

        The volume of methane during transition from a solid to a gaseous state increases about 150 times.’

        Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  November 19, 2015

        Waking the Giant?

        Reply
      • Leland Palmer

         /  November 19, 2015

        I keep remembering all of those circular landscape features on the Yamal Peninsula and nearby areas of Siberia- all those tens or hundreds of thousands of circular lakes. And, now the original Yamal crater that got so much press about a year ago is looking more and more like a circular lake.

        So, at least some of the lakes on Yamal were created by these methane blowouts. But Occam’s Razor says that one explanation for circular lakes appearing in the same landscape is simpler than two explanations.

        So, how many of these circular lakes were created by blowouts? One percent? Ten percent? One hundred percent, give or take a few?

        The most logical number is one hundred percent, give or take a few, absent any evidence to the contrary, I think.

        How much methane would that be, I wonder? Especially taking into account that the chronic methane emissions are likely much greater than the original amount released in the blowout?

        Reply
  36. – “The volume of methane during transition from a solid to a gaseous state increases about 150 times.”
    It makes me think along the lines of E=mc2 (Einstein again) but on a much different time scale.

    – “Poking the dragon with a stick”
    A nice picture – by some accounts Einstein liked to think in pictures.
    He worked in a patent office hacking patents which are drawings (pictures) and data equations etc. Good practice for him and no doubt it honed his skills as a physicist.🙂

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  November 18, 2015

      “The Stone Age didn’t end because humanity ran out of stones.” — Ronald Bailey

      Reply
  37. Colorado Bob

     /  November 18, 2015

    Funny I fell into quotes , just saw this one .
    First off, there great commenters there, and no fleas. It’s always a great read.
    From Dr. Roods site –
    109. JohnLonergan
    12:50 PM GMT on November 18, 2015
    8 +
    Thought for the day:

    “If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer. But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen.”

    — Henry David Thoreau
    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/RickyRood/comment.html?entrynum=349#commenttop

    Reply
  1. Brazil’s Great Amazon Rainforest Burns as Parched Megacities Fall Under Existential Threat | robertscribbler

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: