Paris Climate Conference ‘At the Limits of Suicide,’ Commitments Nowhere Near Enough to Miss 2 C

We have a serious global problem. If we continue burning fossil fuels as we are, and if the fossil fuel industry continues to grow along its projected path, the world will see a catastrophic rate of warming between 3 and 7 degrees Celsius above 1880s values by the end of this Century. So much warming would likely mean a very bad end. A bad end for much of global civilization as we know it. A bad end for many of the innocent living creatures who inhabit our world. And a bad end for many of our children — those now being born today who will face the climate troubles we are locking in.

As the Pope succinctly noted in a recent statement seen here in Rueters:

“I am not sure, but I can say to you ‘now or never.’ Every year the problems are getting worse. We are at the limits. If I may use a strong word I would say that we are at the limits of suicide.”

And suicide may seem a rather mild word compared to the reality we would face. So much warming would result in entire forests — tropical, temperate and Arctic lands — burned in great conflagrations, in the destruction of vast agricultural regions, in turning much of the world ocean into a great dead zone, in drowned cities, and in extreme weather related mass casualty events with the destructive ability to take down entire megalopolises. To call such warming simply catastrophic may well be a mild misnomer. Because the world on which we live — planet Earth — has never seen so much warming happen so rapidly. Not at any time. Not even during the great Permian Extinction event of 250 million years ago.

Whether we admit it or not, that’s what the world comes together to address at Paris’s COP 21 Climate Conference. We’re literally meeting to commit to saving the world or to ending it. And there is no sign, as yet, that we’re going to be doing anywhere near enough.

The Great Carbon Gap

The problem, as it stands, is a great failure to communicate the current severity of the global atmospheric heating crisis. Part of this failure involves an inability or unwillingness to translate current Earth System climate sensitivity findings into language relevant to present global policy and then report on it broadly. If global mainstream media were on the ball, they’d be reporting on the findings of UNEP’s annual Emissions Gap Report. They’d also be paying more attention to the recently related speeches and presentations by Dr. Kevin Anderson addressing this critical issue.

(Kevin Anderson’s excellent presentation showing why we’re not yet anywhere near up to the challenge of missing the dreaded 2 C warming mark before the end of this Century.)

If we, as a global community, were taking this matter seriously, we’d be pouring over this report, and taking in the very relevant related statements by Dr. Anderson.

We would also be taking a very serious look at climate sensitivity in the context of past global greenhouse gas concentrations and overall levels of warming. We’d be talking about it broadly and incessantly in the global media. And we’d be comparing our best understandings of past climate contexts with current model based climate sensitivity estimates for warming during the 21st Century (Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity or ECS).

If we did this, we would find that model ECS levels of warming estimated for this Century are about half the amount of warming that is locked in long term. And since the world has already warmed by about 1 C above 1880s levels — which puts us at halfway to hitting the UN’s 2 C level already — it appears that for purposes of considering warming beyond this Century, we’ve already emitted enough greenhouse gasses to easily break the 2 C limit (and possibly hit as high as 4 C) over the course of about 500 years.

Global greenhouse gasses are already in the range of 400 parts per million CO2 and 485 parts per million CO2e. These thresholds, if maintained, are enough (if our understanding of Pliocene climate is correct) to warm the world by 2-3 C long term in the case of CO2 alone and by 4 C, in the case of CO2e, over the same 500+ year period. If the slow feedbacks (rate of ice sheet response, carbon store response, ocean response etc) remain slow, then this level of greenhouse gasses translates to roughly 1.4 to 1.7 C warming this Century (Hansen climate sensitivity) if CO2 levels merely remain stable and about 2 C worth of warming this Century if all other atmospheric greenhouse gasses (methane, ozone, CFCs, nitrous oxides, etc) merely remain stable and do not continue to increase.

If this paleoclimate and ECS based hybrid context is correct, then commitments now need to be for a very rapid drop to zero and then net negative carbon emissions if we are to have any reasonable hope of missing the 2 C threshold this Century. We should also recognize that preventing a rise above the 2 C threshold long term is an even greater challenge.

UNEP provides a slightly more optimistic assessment of the situation. The authors of this report note that peaking global greenhouse gas emissions near current levels globally by 2020 and then reducing them to less than half of current levels through 2050 has about a 66 percent chance of limiting warming this Century to below 2 C (hitting around 1.8 C by 2100). But this assessment may be rather optimistic considering that we will still hit in the range of 450 ppm CO2 and 550 ppm CO2e by mid Century which would be enough, according to our understanding of paleoclimate sensitivities, to hit between 1.9 and 2.2 C from CO2 warming alone and between 2.5 and 3 C from the total warming effect of all CO2 equivalent gasses.

image

(According to UNEP’s most recent Emission’s Gap report, the world is currently on track to warm by a catastrophic 3-7 degrees Celsius above 1880s levels through 2100. The most aggressive current policy commitments on the books, if implemented, would drop that warming to a still catastrophic range of 3-4 C this Century. Clearly, we need to be far more aggressive if we want to have any hope of avoiding 2 C warming this Century. Image source: UNEP — Emissions Gap.)

Unfortunately, regardless of which climate sensitivity estimation ends up being correct, current carbon emission reduction commitments by countries around the globe (called INDCs for Intended Nationally Determined Contribution) will almost certainly result in overall increasing rates of carbon burning through at least 2030. According to UNEP, even the present most aggressive carbon burning reduction commitments will increase global CO2e emissions from the present level of 52.7 billion tons per year to between 54 and 59 billion tons per year by 2030. Such an emissions rate would result in atmospheric CO2 levels at around 435 parts per million by 2030 and 530 parts per million CO2e by the same time. This would, in the paleoclimate based sensitivity context we use, lock in 1.8 to 2.1 C warming by the end of this Century under CO2 forced warming alone. The CO2e levels by 2030 imply warming this Century in the range of 2.25 C.

What we read from this is that the currently most aggressive INDCs will almost certainly lock in a catastrophic rate of 2 C warming by the end of this Century as early as 2030. Through 2100, the UN’s own report is not at all sanguine:

Full implementation of unconditional INDC results in emission level estimates in 2030 that are most consistent with scenarios that limit global average temperature increase to below 3.5 °C until 2100 with a greater than 66 per cent chance. INDC estimates do, however, come with uncertainty ranges. When taking this into account the 3.5 °C value could decrease to 3 °C or increase towards 4 °C for the low and high unconditional INDC estimates, respectively. When including the full implementation of conditional INDCs, the emissions level estimates become most consistent with long-term scenarios that limit global average temperature increase to 3-3.5 °C by the end of the century with a greater than 66 per cent chance.

In other words, according to UNEP, we’re on a path to hitting around 600 to 750 ppm CO2e by 2100 even under the most aggressive current policies and an extraordinarily catastrophic 6-7 C+ long term warming of the global climate.

A Base Refusal to Respond Rapidly Enough

Why are global commitments falling so far short of what needs to be done? It’s true that the challenge is extraordinary. But considering the amazing danger involved it is absolutely amoral to fail to respond.

From the policy standpoint it boils down to the fact that we are still institutionally committed to burning fossil fuels and to using those fuels as a mechanism to increase rates of economic growth. It’s a failed assumption based on the fact that at some point fossil fuel driven growth implodes the planetary life support and kinder, gentler climate systems upon which all economies essentially rely. But since this old way of growing economies has worked for centuries, and since that old growth regime has generated a number of extraordinarily wealthy and well entrenched power bases, many policy makers are unable to look beyond what amounts a vastly amoral growth paradigm based on carbon emissions.

Many nations, including the most developed nations of the world still plan to build new coal, gas and diesel electric power plants. Many nations still favor fossil fuel based vehicular transportation over the more easily electrified and converted to renewable mass transit. Many nations have lackadaisical policies when it comes to transforming vehicular transportation to electricity and other non fossil fuels. And many nations are politically paralyzed due to a portion of their leadership being controlled or strongly influenced by fossil fuel based corporate interests.

It’s a crisis of leadership and one that’s manifest in the weakness of COP 21’s carbon emission reduction commitments. For though COP 21 will likely see some of the most aggressive greenhouse gas reduction policy measures ever put in place, as we have noted above, those policies will not be anywhere nearly aggressive enough to meet the global community’s stated goal of keeping warming under 2 degrees Celsius this Century.

As case in point to the essential disconnect, a comment submitted by dnem (a regular poster here) to the Diane Rehm show, which recently hosted Joe Romm of Climate Progress in a discussion focusing on the Paris Climate talks, raised this key question:

Call me cynical, but it appears that these talks have been ‘pre-engineered’ to achieve a very modest and in all likelihood inadequate accord. They will not collapse in failure like the previous meeting in Copenhagen, but they will not come close to achieving what needs to be done. As long as we remain addicted to economic growth as the world’s primary organizing principle, we will not be serious about addressing our essential problems.

According to dnem, Joe Romm’s response — “absolutely correct” — as well as the second sentence highlighted above fell to the cutting room floor before the show aired. However, the question of how we reconcile current understandings of economic growth with the absolute necessity of responding to climate change is an essential one. The question being, that we will need to all (especially the wealthiest among us) make sacrifices in order to reduce the impact of a disaster of global scale. One possibly never before seen on the face of the Earth. We may need to think, not in terms of wealth accumulation and traditional growth, but in terms of lives saved and quality of life preserved. And many of those among us who see the world through the context of only what goes up and down on the global stock markets appear to be amazingly ill-prepared to make this all-too-necessary cognitive leap.

The sacrifices, instead, are now not just being measured in dollars and cents, but in nations under threat of collapse, by an expanding number of people displaced or at risk of falling into poverty, in lives lost and species going extinct, in the future anguish and struggles of the still unborn and of those children now being born today. By those poor creatures who will be forced to attempt to survive in a world we’re in the process of ruining. And by those of us unfortunate enough to live beyond the next 1-2 decades and to start to see some of the worst effects of the horrific climate change we are now committing ourselves to.

Links:

UNEP — Emissions Gap

Pliocene Climate

Delivering on 2 C — Evolution or Revolution?

World Headed Toward Suicide Without Climate Agreement — Pope Francis

Climate Progress

Definition of INDC

Hat tip to dnem

Hat tip to Colorado Bob

Hat tip to DT Lange

Leave a comment

384 Comments

  1. climatehawk1

     /  December 1, 2015

    Tweeting.

    Reply
  2. Ryan in New England

     /  December 1, 2015

    Great post, Robert. And Exxon steps up the intimidation, targeting those who broke the story that they knew the truth about climate change and led a campaign of denial.

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/exxon_targets_journalists_who_exposed_massive_climate_cover-up_20151201

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  December 2, 2015

      I may well be a cynic
      http://www.news.com.au/technology/online/security/china-blamed-for-massive-cyber-attack-on-bureau-of-meteorology-supercomputer/news-story/b5b4e62c5f945a1f2ebeae2b790d7546

      “THE Bureau of Meteorology has had its sensitive systems compromised by a major cyber attack being blamed on China.

      The ABC reports the breach is “massive”, with the bureau owning one of the country’s largest supercomputers.

      Its systems have a link to the Department of Defence at Russell Offices in Canberra, the report says.

      The cost of fixing the breach has not been determined, and the time needed to repair it is also unclear.

      The weather bureau’s services are vital in warning of weather conditions associated with bushfires, thunderstorms, tropical cyclones, flooding, rain, and dangerous winds.

      They are also essential to the economic livelihood of the nation, assisting the construction, resources, agriculture and marine industries and those who keep our international trade routes open.”

      Also a major component in Climate change research with the BOM being a major contributor.

      Who stands to benefit from corruption of their data. ?

      Reply
      • Yeah. Only real beneficiary to that would be fossil fuel special interests. Perhaps a signal that China intends to keep increasing emissions? Bad news there.

        Reply
      • Leland Palmer

         /  December 6, 2015

        The Chinese government scoping out the Australian department of defense, via the link to the Australian DOD offices in Canberra?

        https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/04/16/aspi-a16.html

        World Socialist Web Site: Australian think tank outlines US war plans against China. Not sure how good a source of information the World Socialist Web Site is.

        Let’s hope not. The world has enough trouble with climate change. We don’t need major wars on top of that. Donald Trump may be raising tensions with his tough talk against China, too, I think. The Chinese government may be actually taking what he says seriously.

        Reply
  3. Reblogged this on GarryRogers Nature Conservation and Science Fiction (#EcoSciFi) and commented:
    It must be the disinformation team; never to my knowledge has everyone remained so indifferent to an impending disaster. How can we pull Congress out of it’s a** and get some help with this?

    Reply
  4. Loni

     /  December 1, 2015

    Another great post, Robert, thank you.

    I’m amazed that politicians got to speak at the Paris meetings. Why aren’t climate scientist front and center at this affair? The world leaders should be hearing from them, and then turning to their budget chiefs they should say, “Okay, there you go, make it work.”

    So many others, coal/oil/nuclear et. al. have no place at this meeting, all that they do is create a Gordian Knot.

    Scientist to world leaders, world leaders to their “can do” team, that’s the flow chart this meeting should have.

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  December 2, 2015

      Seriously we can trust our world leaders and governments to pull out all stops to prevent disaster.
      http://www.smh.com.au/business/rbas-glenn-stevens-expects-massive-investments-in-gas-production-to-boost-lng-20151201-gld545.html

      “Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens says “massive investments” in gas production will soon mean LNG production capacity will reach more than 80 million tonnes a year in Australia, up from 10 million tonnes a decade ago.

      Liquefied natural gas exports have begun from some Queensland projects and are expected to increase strongly in coming years.

      Things would ramp up as projects in Western Australia came online in a few years, he said.

      Most of the construction job losses in Australia’s iron ore sector had “probably occurred”, but once LNG production capacity increased strongly in Western Australia, there was likely to be construction job losses there, Mr Stevens said.

      Speaking at the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce in Western Australia on Wednesday

      Reply
  5. Jeremy

     /  December 1, 2015

    It’s naive to believe that anything other than more hot air will come from these meetings.
    COP21 is about our “leaders ” APPEARING to be engaged in the process.

    Lon i- that’s exactly why climate scientists are NOT front and center.
    And it’s why there will be no mention of CH4 coming out of it either.

    What a tragic predicament earth is in.

    Reply
  6. Very impressed by Kevin Andersen’s presentation – and I rarely watch videos – yes – the 10% must really power down (I shudder to think of the carbon footprint of all the wealthy overseas youngsters milling around this area (a tourist mecca) ..but he sidesteps population (a real no-no-no even for him??) – as along with warming comes massive disruptions to food supply and living space (to say nothing of the lingering desires to ‘live like Americans’) – I guess one great thing – is while we have the internet – we really HAVE to spread the message..

    Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  December 7, 2015

      50% of the CO2 emissions from 10% of the population.

      I think Andersen dealt with where the focus should be, and it’s in us wealthy folk/nations not trying to find excuses for inaction, which is how some of us use population growth.

      Reply
  7. Colorado Bob

     /  December 1, 2015

    Get ready little lady.

    Reply
  8. Ryan in New England

     /  December 2, 2015

    CBS Evening News kept up the comic relief with a clip about electric vehicles in Norway, and how government incentives are increasing their popularity. The reporter interviewed a government spokesman, who was speaking in terms of 40, 50, 60% of vehicles being electric. The reporter responds, “You think you can get to those numbers?” Norwegian replies,”We have to. We have to eventually be 100% electric.” The reporter comes back with a shocked,”100!?” Typical Americanized thinking. Climate change aside, we can’t run our vehicles on oil forever! Not for Americans though, we don’t give in to physics or reality. As George W once proclaimed,”The American way of life is non-negotiable.”

    Reply
  9. Jeremy

     /  December 2, 2015

    Stop the world, I want to get off!

    Even the whales have had enough of this shit show .

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/01/chile-337-whales-beached-stranding

    Reply
  10. Caroline

     /  December 2, 2015

    Excellent post Robert—thank you.
    Been wondering about this:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151201094120.htm

    Reply
    • I’d call this another potential outside risk. Possibly due to the fact that ocean changes could be rather sudden and the shocks to oxygen producing organisms could be quite extreme. The issue is that we don’t have much evidence for mass land animal asphyxiation due to low oxygen in the geological past during hothouse warming events. But it is possible that falling oxygen concentrations and overall lower air quality is a related die-off stressor that has flow under the radar. I think it’s more than fair to say that air quality in a 6 C, 600 to 900 ppm CO2 world would be much worse. Wouldn’t completely ignore the lowering oxygen level asphyxiation risk, though. I just don’t see too much evidence for it in the broader science.

      Reply
      • uilyam

         /  December 2, 2015

        I have read through the paper by Sekerci and Petrovskii. I see nothing there to give me concern about loss of atmospheric oxygen via extinction of ocean photosynthesizers. It is an interesting paper to me personally, and I will be looking at the question in more detail to see how difficult it might be to (1) adapt the model to parameters with real values and (2) make the model more realistic (at least a two-dimensional ocean surface with a temperature difference between the equator and poles). Loss of the ocean ecosystem via destruction of coral reefs is a more realistic concern, IMHO.

        Reply
        • Have to agree here. Based on a broader study, I’d put that issue as lower risk. Although air quality issues will certainly worsen, the level of evidence for direct asphyxiation risk at 6 C is still rather low.

      • Leland Palmer

         /  December 4, 2015

        Since the atmosphere is about 20% oxygen (200,000 ppm) it’s been my understanding that it would take centuries to lose a significant amount of this oxygen, even if oxygen production stopped tomorrow.

        Long term, of course, we really don’t want to significantly damage the phytoplankton – and we already seem to be doing that.

        Reply
      • Leland Palmer

         /  December 5, 2015

        I read it on Wikipedia so it must be true:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxygen_cycle

        Total oxygen supply from phytoplankton is about 1.4xE14 kg per year. Total oxygen in the atmosphere is about 1.4E18 kg. So if phytoplankton production of O2 were to stop tomorrow, it would take 1000 years to use up 10% of the oxygen in the atmosphere, everything else remaining constant.

        Almost 60 percent of the atmosphere is below the summit of Mount Everest. Assuming the atmosphere is roughly homogenous, 1000 years of zero phytoplankton oxygen production would be necessary to lower the sea level oxygen level to the oxygen level now at 1000 feet of elevation. There seems to be something very wrong with the assertion that we could be living with oxygen levels similar to the top of Mount Everest by the end of the century, as some of the popular news coverage of this paper asserts.

        Most oxygen is in the lithosphere – in rocks. Given enough energy CO2 could be baked out of limestone and cracked into oxygen and carbon by UV lasers. Or, the CO2 could be broken down into oxygen and hydrocarbons by photosynthesis in algae ponds on land.

        We’re better off with oxygen production from phytoplankton. But, short of a methane catastrophe, I don’t think we have much to worry about in near term oxygen levels.

        What we should really be worrying about is setting off a methane catastrophe, I think, not oxygen levels.

        Reply
  11. Colorado Bob

     /  December 2, 2015

    Jeremy / December 1, 2015

    It’s naive to believe that anything other than more hot air will come from these meetings.

    It is blind to see that things are not changing. And they are , and I am a world class “debbie downer”, but things are changing.

    Do I have to play Tom Jones again ?

    Reply
  12. Ryan in New England

     /  December 2, 2015

    A short, but interesting, interactive article that shows this year’s fires in Indonesia as they spread, It also shows how the fires were intense in areas owned by corporations involved in palm oil and paper products, despite those companies denying using slash and burn agriculture.

    Reply
  13. Jeremy

     /  December 2, 2015

    Climate Change?

    American Pigs are far too busy feeding at the trough to care.
    And just look how fat they are.

    Reply
    • Steven Blaisdell

       /  December 2, 2015

      We are a sick, sick people. We have democratized the entitlement, amorality, excesses and moral turpitude that led to the French Revolution, except our Reign of Terror will be global as the systems humans and all life depend on collapse. The American Dream, like the self aggrandizing fantasies of every empire, is fast showing itself for what it is – a necrotic nightmare, a dissociated, delusional storying of our species’ immanent consumptive nature. Because we are, after all, yeast with forebrains. We will eat all the sugar, and we will shit out the poison. And we will keep doing this until external forcings – not one, but many catastrophic external forcings – drill into the collective nature of the species how to live within the constraints of an ecology. I’m thinking 50,000 years of natural selection and cultural evolution, if we make it. In the meantime, we’ll have a raging climate and destroyed ecosystem to remind us of our evolutionarily designed, fantastic ability to survive and thrive.

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  December 2, 2015

        Well said, Steven. I often think of the yeast analogy. Seeing as we are doing the exact same thing that yeast do…consume all the food/resources while destroying the capacity for our environment to sustain us with our waste/fossil fuel emissions. We are increasing the alcohol content of our container and it will soon be lethal to us. The analogy is spot on.

        Reply
    • Carole

       /  December 3, 2015

      This is what a 7 y.o. little girl was watching on the computer at the library. 32 million views on this video.

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  December 4, 2015

        My God, this makes me cringe. How many little girls are being brainwashed into thinking that the bigger house you have and more clothes you have is the goal in life. Instead of being taught real values, and principles, they are taught to be a better consumer. We are a very sick culture.

        Reply
  14. Colorado Bob

     /  December 2, 2015

    Jeremy et al.
    I’ve lived in this dark world for decades , but as Jesus Jones said ,

    Right here right now –

    Reply
  15. Jeremy

     /  December 2, 2015

    “France has offered a key concession to the US on the eve of historic climate talks in Paris, saying a new global climate accord will not be called a “treaty” and might not contain legally binding emissions reduction targets.”

    http://www.cnbc.com/2015/11/28/france-bows-to-obama-and-backs-down-on-climate-treaty.html

    America – doing what it does best.
    Fucking things up for humanity.

    Colorado – who’s dark?

    Reply
  16. Jeremy

     /  December 2, 2015

    Right here Right now !

    Reply
  17. Speaking of Kevin Anderson:

    “Response to questions on the Paris climate change negotiations”

    http://kevinanderson.info/blog/response-to-questions-on-the-forthcoming-paris-climate-change-negotiations-for-the-big-issue/

    Reply
  18. Colorado Bob

     /  December 2, 2015

    Jeremy

    Don’t make me post the clips of how mild our fights in a mall are.
    We dropped all the tonnage of the bombs of WW II on Vietnam . Plus napalm, plus agent orange.

    We all understand what we are. We killed every Indian that tried to save his land. Then we set up a system to preserve ‘ property rights”.

    I am a world class “debbie downer”, but things are changing.

    Reply
    • Steven Blaisdell

       /  December 2, 2015

      Three to five million dead in Indochina, eleven million dead Native Americans. Never mind the millions killed in our name and for our benefit in Central and South America. We’re sure not the first, but we’re certain;y the most vicious, brutal people to ever walk the Earth, cloaked in the self assigned, soporific mantle of ‘Democracy.’

      Reply
  19. Colorado Bob

     /  December 2, 2015

    Jeremy

    Life is funny old dog.

    Reply
  20. Jeremy

     /  December 2, 2015

    Funny?
    Bloody hysterical.

    Tom Lewis with his latest.

    “Charades in Paris.”
    http://www.dailyimpact.net/2015/11/30/charades-in-paris/

    Reply
  21. Colorado Bob

     /  December 2, 2015

    Jeremy
    I just thought of Curtis LeMay , he believed that our war with the Russians would insure that that we could make the rubble bounce.

    Some how in the American mind that is considered a “win”.

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  December 2, 2015

      Dr. Strangelove was on last night, so I watched some of it…we haven’t changed a bit. That movie could’ve been made last year. It’s still relevant. Much like Orwell’s 1984. It is eerily prophetic and reads like a book written in modern times. Just goes to show that while most people believe in the myth of perpetual progress, we haven’t changed at all. If anything, we are creeping backwards toward the dark ages. Just look at the demagogues lined up as presidential candidates. The fact that Trump is the most popular Republican candidate speaks volumes to the state of moral decay our sick society has devolved to.

      Reply
  22. Colorado Bob

     /  December 2, 2015

    Jeremy
    You lecture me about things that I thought about long ago.

    Reply
  23. Jeremy

     /  December 2, 2015

    Sorry Bob – no lecture meant

    Reply
  24. Colorado Bob

     /  December 2, 2015

    THE PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND – EAST WEST (FULL ALBUM)

    Reply
  25. Colorado Bob

     /  December 2, 2015

    Jeremy
    Cheer up . Hell may becoming to breakfast , but you may get the catering contract.

    Sarcasm never travels over then web. Ever.

    Reply
  26. dnem

     /  December 2, 2015

    Locked and loaded indeed, Robert! Check out this brutal lack of imagination and creativity in today’s NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/02/business/economy/imagining-a-world-without-growth.html?_r=0

    (Small edit above; the highlighted sentence is the third, not the second).

    Reply
    • Utter lack of imagination. It’s more clear each day that fossil fuel based growth is a formula for global civilization suicide. And our civilizations can absolutely continue without fossil fuels. Continuing to burn them is a death wish.

      I suppose the question RE non fossil fuel growth is an open one. The issue in my view is that if that growth is still based on the consumption of physical goods then you run into limits. But if ‘growth’ is instead quantified as increasing qualities of life by doing more with less and by fueling it all with renewable energy, then I think you’ve broken out of the traditional growth paradigm in the way that Limits to Growth authors originally suggested for a healthy future human civilization. I think the problem here is that growth in consumption of material goods and fossil fuels and prosperity have been linked in the minds of misinformed persons. And that, my friend, is a big problem. A big problem in the sense that it has now become a deeply entrenched ideology.

      Reply
      • DrFog

         /  December 8, 2015

        Regarding the seminal work “Limits to Growth” published in 1972, a system level tour de force study on the consequences of the “Exponential Growth” (population, resource extraction, oil production, etc.), Deutsche Welle (DW) TV has produced a very interesting documentary, interviewing some of its original co-authors.

        Will governments heed their “Final Warning”? Unfortunately I don’t think so. Addiction to cheap energy and constant growth is just too strong.

        Final Warning: Limits to Growth

        Reply
  27. utoutback

     /  December 2, 2015

    From Paul Simon: Mrs. Robinson
    “Going to the candidates debate
    Laugh about it shout about it
    When you’ve got to choose
    Any way you look at it you lose.”

    I went to our local climate march: about 250 of the local folks who have been involved in environmental causes for years and a few young people and new comers.
    With the consequences of our inaction evident to those who are watching, one would think there should be thousands – millions – tens of millions in the streets demanding action to save the lives of their children and future generations.

    But, we’ve been led to believe that someone else will figure this all out and do something. Or, we can make a difference by insulating our houses, eating less meat and driving less. Just our military contributes major CO2 discharges with their actions. And locally, even though OR has no coal fired power plants, our local electrical supplier gets coal derived electricity from out-of-state.

    I am at a point of sitting in meditation to maintain equanimity and cultivate the compassion that will be needed as we watch these events unfold.

    I’d say “God save us.” but I know it’s us who have to do the saving.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  December 2, 2015

      utoutback-
      There was an ice storm here and zero meet ups on the web search. Not one college kid. But I still plan a statement. And not one where I am a wandering fool. I am somewhere between the Buddhist Monks of early 60’s who set themselves on fire with gasoline , and Gandhi sitting down and starving.

      Any advice is welcome.

      Reply
      • utoutback

         /  December 2, 2015

        CB
        Your presence on this blog, the information you routinely supply, the musical relief and your sense of humor are all so important.
        Advice: Do no harm to others or yourself. Do not poke the beast in a way that invites retaliation. Humor and ridicule are best.
        AND, Keep on truckin’…….

        Reply
      • Bob, hope all is well, my friend.

        Reply
    • Well, it’s probably fair to say the public, overall, doesn’t feel the urgency yet. Poor media coverage probably has an impact on that sentiment.

      Reply
  28. Andy in SD

     /  December 2, 2015

    The circle jerk in Paris, with the best of intentions, will achieve nothing.

    I don’t see much that can supersede human greed beyond imminent danger. Any danger more than 3 days out is not immediate enough to be immediate.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  December 2, 2015

      Oh shit, you folks make me a cheer leader ?

      Over a Trillion Dollars of clean energy development was pledged. In the first day.

      I have never seen this before, ever.

      Reply
      • Steven Blaisdell

         /  December 2, 2015

        Well, Jesus, Bob, if you’re gonna see the half full, I guess I have to as well. Oh, well. Nihilism sure is fun…..

        Reply
      • Now that, my friend, was a huge leap forward and one well worth writing about. And there’s little doubt that fossil fuels, especially coal, are on the ropes. Anyone saying we’d see such big moves toward renewables and away from fossil fuels just two years ago would have been poo pooed by the peanut gallery. So, yeah, we’ve got progress. And yeah, we are in a fight for our lives — one that includes whether or not new energy makes it out the gate fast enough. And yeah, there are some huge leaps forward ongoing now. The question I guess that’s worth asking is are we moving fast enough. And the answer, for me, right now, is not yet.

        So the idea is to keep the fires hot and to keep people motivated to push forward and to prevent as much of this thing as possible.

        Reply
      • Jeremy

         /  December 2, 2015

        Visiting relatives laughed this summer when they saw how small the European cars are getting. My Smart car was particularly amusing to them.

        Americans – effing things up!

        http://www.marketwatch.com/story/americans-are-buying-more-suvs-than-ever-2015-12-02?dist=countdown

        Reply
    • Well, we do have some pretty substantial progress, but it’s probably fair to say that it’s not yet enough.

      Reply
  29. Why isn’t anyone talking about aerosol cooling? We are at 1.26C warming now, but man-made aerosols actually provide a cooling of 1.2C, so we are technically over 2C already. Given the fact that we have still at least 0.6C in the pipeline, that puts us over 3C, just from from current warming. Why use 500 year timeline? Why isn’t anyone talking about the real warming?

    Most scientists agree that 1C is too much, and will trigger a catastrophe. We’re already at past 2C, but we haven’t really felt it yet.

    Reply
    • At 485 ppm CO2e total forcing, we see about 60 ppm CO2e aerosol cooling. So the fraction at net 425 CO2e forcing is 60/205 or around 0.3 C warming blocked out by aerosols. 1 C blocked out by aerosols is on the extremely high side and is not in the likely range.

      Reply
  30. I want to recommmend this to everyone that’s interested in #Climatechange
    It’s a systemic analysis of climate based on historical models. It says we’re already locked in for +6°C of Average Global Warming…! by Apollo-Gaia Project Director: David Wasdell
    http://www.apollo-gaia.org/harsh-realities-of-now.html

    Reply
    • mlparrish

       /  December 2, 2015

      Randomjack

      I have also been worrying about this. Using the paleoclimate data only, as Wasdell apparently does, gives figures with implied consequences that my mind cannot get around, if scalable. I calculated the CO2 for each additional 1C increase using the baseline ice sheet figures:

      1C 311 ppm CO2 per Wasdell
      2C 343 334
      3C 374
      4C 405
      5C 437 440

      And this is only for CO2, not accounting for methane above 700ppb or chloroflurocarbons or nitrous oxide. Using CO2e raises the bar substantially. Current CO2e is said to be 485. That would put us well above 5C (long term) right now.

      Not having sufficient training in the area, I have been unable to understand why climate scientists do not rely more on the ice sheet data than they obviously do, given that their ECS is so much lower. As Wasdell points out, those data already account for feedbacks. There must be technical issues with measurements and gas exchange in the ice and ranges of error. Scientists are also not completely clear when the North American isthmus with South America closed. Estimates range from 3M to 10-14M yr ago. This timeline is critical, given the influence of the Gulf Stream and ocean currents in general. One of my charts (Bill Illis), for example, says the Milankovich cycles appeared about 5M yr ago.

      Standard ECS calculations, ranging from 2-6C, are not that far from the original estimate for doubling of atmospheric CO2 by Svante Arrhenius (1859-1927), which was 5-6C. Arrhenius was one seriously impressive Dude.

      Reply
      • mlparrish

         /  December 2, 2015

        The spacing in the chart collapsed, but I think you can make it out.

        Reply
      • These numbers are likely to be a bit too hot. Wasdell uses the unstable glacial to interglacial as a paleoclimate reference. Which is a very hard baseline to pin down due to rapidly changing conditions. The more stable Pliocene is more likely to be an accurate reference for ESS.

        If Wasdell’s figures were correct, given a CO2e including aerosols + other gasses of 425 ppm effective and understanding the general inertial lag, we’d already be at 1.4 to 1.8 C warming. We’re at 1 C instead, which is bad enough. It’s my opinion that Hansen provides the best yardstick currently available at 5-6 C ESS warming for each doubling of CO2 concentration. CO2e is a bit trickier due to shorter residence times for gasses like methane and a relatively unknown impact coming from some of these other trace gasses.

        Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  December 2, 2015

      There is another factor
      http://www.freepressjournal.in/co2-impact-on-global-warming-underestimated/

      “New York : The rise in carbon dioxide (CO2) levels would have more catastrophic impact on the climate than currently estimated, suggests new research, reports IANS. The researchers found that climates on Earth may be more sensitive to rise in CO2 levels than was previously thought.

      The new data suggests that past predictions significantly underestimate the impact of greenhouse warming and that Earth’s climate may be more sensitive to increased carbon dioxide than was once thought, said one of the researchers Tim Lowenstein, professor at Binghamton University in New York.

      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.”

      I highlight hothouse and CO2 was nearly half of what we had previously determined, i.e 650ppm or very close to where we will be by 2100 especially if CO2e is the figure

      Reply
      • uilyam

         /  December 2, 2015

        Another article with more detail: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/eocene-temperature-spike-caused-half-much-co2-once-thought

        I quote from that article: “But the past doesn’t necessarily reflect the present, says paleoclimatologist Ethan Hyland of the University of Washington in Seattle. A lot has changed over the last 50 million years —such as new types and abundances of vegetation —that could change the impact of CO2 on the climate. ‘Sensitivity might not be a fixed parameter; it may be something that changes’ over time, Hyland says.”

        In my thinking, I correct Hyland’s statement: “Sensitivity is not a fixed value; it is something that changes depending on the state of the climate system.” First, sensitivity is not a parameter used in serious climate models. It is a value computed from the results of model simulations. Second, we know that many feedbacks vary depending on the state of the climate system; for example, the snow/ice-albedo feedback is very significant in conditions approaching a snowball earth, but quite insignificant under maximum hothouse conditions.

        http://geology.gsapubs.org/content/early/2015/10/23/G36886.1.abstract (paywalled paper)

        Reply
        • Exactly, which is why the swings between glacial and interglacial are so radical. The move from interglacial to non glacial is more in line with Pliocene and Miocene climates. But obviously human land based changes and warming velocity are likely to have a somewhat different impact.

      • Wow. Well, considering a number of other proxies showing CO2 in the range of 1100 ppm during that time, I think you’d need more and pretty significant confirmation. We’d also have to explain why we haven’t seen more warming by now if climate sensitivity was in the range of 12 C ESS warming at around 700 ppm CO2. Unsettling, nonetheless. For now, I’m sticking with the Hansen yardstick. But will be keeping an eye on this. Worth noting that if true, this would broadly confirm Wasdell. Not ready to jump on that train yet, though.

        Reply
    • This is starting to get a bit spammy. We’ll revisit Wasdell as new information comes in. But currently, given the broader science, this is an outside risk.

      Reply
  31. Colorado Bob

     /  December 2, 2015

    As the Pope said , we are facing suicide, And that fact is coming home to roost. The carbon lobby , will be dead in 5 years. Climate will be so violent. no one will doubt the theory. Everywhere all over the Earth.

    I can write this because I am 66 years old , and climate change kills little kids , and old people first.

    But nothing in the history of mankind shows any time where we all laid down , and quit.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  December 2, 2015

      But nothing in the history of mankind shows any time where we all laid down , and quit.

      Reply
      • Have to agree with you here, Bob. My philosophy is that as long as I’m still breathing there’s still a reason to fight for a better future. Even if it seems hopeless. Have managed to make it through a number of real tight spots on just bloody minded refusal to quit. And why should we quit? Who has the moral imperative here? Surely not those pushing fossil fuels? No, we have the best cause in the world and every reason to keep fighting. Anyone selling despair is just as bad as the fossil fuel pushers. Get, up stand up is right.

        Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  December 4, 2015

        Once we can get it into our thick heads that this is an existential crisis, we can move mountains.

        Who knows if we will grab the nettle soon enough, but this is no time for apathetic pessimism, no matter how dark things get.

        We are in the biggest fight imaginable, and we simply have to keep pushing forward, anything else would be a gross dereliction of duty. It’s happened on our watch, and it is our destiny to turn this supertanker round, no matter how long it takes, or how bleak the outlook.

        Throughout human history, innumerable human souls lived desperate and wretched lives, and died horrible deaths, to get us to where we are today. We owe it to them, and to generations unborn, to not give up on hope. Because if we get through this, it will be those who refused to stop fighting for change, who will rank among the most glorious of all humankind.

        I just felt the need to say that, and I feel a bit better for it, although I’m now worrying that it sounds like a third rate Obama speech!🙂

        Reply
  32. Colorado Bob

     /  December 2, 2015

    The third version of this song by the same band –

    Paul Butterfield’s Better Days [Full Album]

    Reply
  33. Colorado Bob

     /  December 2, 2015

    Walkin’ Shoes .

    Reply
  34. Colorado Bob

     /  December 2, 2015

    I didn’t post 3 versions of this by the same band for fun.

    Reply
  35. Colorado Bob

     /  December 2, 2015

    Muddy Waters – Eletric Mud (1968) Full Album [HQ]

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  December 2, 2015

      You people want discuss the state of the world ?

      OK.

      Let’s start right here right now.
      I’ve been paying attention since I saw Jimmy Reed so drunk he couldn’t go on stage. At the Vulcan Gas Company.
      I was just a tiny squirrel back then.
      I had a really great life, Me and Muddy Waters.

      Reply
  36. Chuck Hughes

     /  December 2, 2015

    Opinion poll here:

    Has this Paris Climate Conference been a success or a failure? In other words, are we better off than before the conference?

    “Your thoughts” ~ Chris Matthews, HA!:

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  December 2, 2015

      Somewhere in hell Chris Matthews, Trump, Hitler, Stalin, et al. Will all share the same room.
      He will torment them all, by endless ever ending drain of dead questions.

      And that boys, and girls is Hell.

      Reply
    • Andy in SD

       /  December 2, 2015

      I think the jury is still out. The challenges are huge, hills are steep to climb. Politicians, oil interests, many deliberately being obstacles. Intentions are good, but we’ll see the closing statement. How watered down does it get in order to get signatures? And afterwards, the real tough part, living up to the agreements.

      We’ll see as it winds up and the end results are on display. Will the science win the day or the politics, special interests?

      I do hope science and truth win.

      Reply
    • I think it’s a question worth asking. But pinning it down to success or failure may be too narrow a frame. I think that first off, as Andy says, we’re not yet really able to judge. We’ll see what happens after Paris and how well nations take up the commitments made there. I also think that this summit is most likely to result in progress on reducing emissions. But, overall, it’s probably going to be nowhere near enough.

      As long as national governments remain paralyzed by fossil fuel special interests controlling large political blocks, climate action is likely to be too slow. So the question I have for Chris is how can Paris really address the problem to the fullest extent needed when so many political blocks are defending the very interests that got us into this problem in the first place. If we agree, as nations, that fossil fuels no longer have a part in any future energy construction and funding, then I’d say we have a success. Any commitments to reduce emission is progress, but not a full on success if we are still building gas or coal plants, if we are still trying to open up new oil reserves or enhance existing reserves, if we are still planning to expand industrial meat farming. If we are still planning to slash and burn peatland and tropical forests. At this point, considering a GHG level of 400 ppm CO2 and 485 ppm CO2e and growing, only the most aggressive carbon emission reduction strategy possible could be considered a full on success.

      Failure? Well, a full on failure would be that nations did not submit reduction commitments. That we stick to the worst case BAU path. And it doesn’t seem like we’re doing that either.

      We are likely to get a middle of the road plan. One that’s not an abject failure. But one that may seem like only a paltry and half hearted effort to those future generations that have to live in the very dangerous world we’re in the process of creating.

      Reply
  37. Colorado Bob

     /  December 2, 2015

    Chuck Hughes

    As jackasses go , Chis Matthews one of the stupidest. He has never left the day he came home from the Peace Crops.

    Reply
  38. redskylite

     /  December 2, 2015

    Walrus, Polar Bears, Birds, now a look at how Whales are faring from AFP . . . not so good . . .

    Whales under threat as global warming impacts migration

    But to marine biologists, these huge mammals are not as carefree and healthy as they appear.

    They are skinny, covered in parasites and exhausted from the increasingly long journeys they are making to reproduce.

    “You can see their bones. They’re sick. They have parasites. We never used to see that,” said Ecuadorian marine biologist Cristina Castro as she scanned the horizon for more humpback whales, the species she has studied for the past 18 years.

    These whales swim thousands of kilometres (miles) each year from Antarctica to the waters around the equator to have their young, which measure three to 4.5 metres (10 to 15 feet) at birth and can weigh up to one tonne.

    But as ocean temperatures rise, whales are migrating earlier and travelling farther.

    Warmer waters are killing off the supply of krill, the small crustaceans that are whales’ main food source in their Arctic feeding grounds. The whales eat several tonnes a day to fatten up for their journeys.

    http://www.themalaymailonline.com/features/article/whales-under-threat-as-global-warming-impacts-migration

    Reply
  39. Colorado Bob

     /  December 2, 2015

    So much despair.
    Bob Marley – Get Up Stand Up

    Reply
    • Mark from OZ

       /  December 2, 2015

      Is true Co Bob, but without the ‘community’ here and the honest spirits of those driving the contributions towards a solution, it would be like climbing Pike’s Peak when your derailleur breaks and you can’t get to the small ring in front. I know about that! And, I know that without your carefully selected obs /research / music, it would be harder yet. When you get a second minute, how ’bout u/l an image of the autumn Aspen in Gunnison county. This ole cowboy from the Running W down Kleberg Cty way ain’t ‘seen’ them in a long time. I’d be much obliged! And those that have never… would be too.

      One for you Amigo! This helps power me along and help keep the wheels turning–getting out of the saddle now just not an option!
      Paul Williams ‘Where Do I Go From Here (case it’s blocked)

      Reply
      • No matter how bad things get, we need to stay focused on reducing harm and putting in place solutions. Pure cynicism at this point is most certainly suicide.

        Reply
  40. uilyam

     /  December 2, 2015

    @Caroline – Thanks for the link. Being unable to pay, I requested a reprint from Petrovskii. Back in the day, I knew the chief editor (and founder) of the Bulletin. — Bill

    Reply
  41. Colorado Bob

     /  December 2, 2015

    ” get up, stand up, stand up for your rights ”

    Bob Marley

    Reply
    • Wharf Rat

       /  December 4, 2015

      Maybe sit down for your rights.

      51 years and 2 days ago, our poor fathers watched us bring forth on this continent a new nation, without conception, thanks to The Pill…

      Reply
  42. redskylite

     /  December 2, 2015

    After reading of the 337 whales beached off Chile and the sad report from Agence France-Presse, I can only express my thoughts with an old song I like . . .

    Reply
  43. Jeremy

     /  December 2, 2015

    India flooding.
    Not a normal monsoon.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-34981246

    Reply
  44. Abel Adamski

     /  December 2, 2015

    From climate negotiator to grass roots activist (02:34)

    Yeb Sano pleaded with fellow delegates to curb the greenhouse gas emissions that were fuelling massive storms such as Typhoon Haiyan, two years on, the former official delivers a similar call to the Paris climate summit – but this time as an activist.

    http://media.brisbanetimes.com.au/news/environment-news/from-climate-negotiator-to-grass-roots-activist-7054179.html

    From being one of the negotiators he came to realise that it is only the people of the world that can make the change, as they are the ones that will be affected the most

    Reply
  45. Jeff Nestor

     /  December 2, 2015

    Jeff.
    Great post Robert, as always. Enjoy your site and your passion.
    I think the Pope may have been more accurate if he had described the current path being taken as global genocide to be honest.I guess he is trying to not appear too inflammatory maybe.
    The way I see it, any one showing any concern for the planet is just the enemy of the born to rule. It isn’t about policy,”it is about politics” and maintaining the neo-con status quo, at any cost…..and many of us have become well aware of the devious lengths undertaken to disrupt and hijack sensible debate. Would love to know how many energy industry lobbyists are back grounding in Paris.
    Anyone that cares for this earth and it’s inhabitants and creatures are seen in this light below. The enemy.
    http://oilpro.com/post/13695/exxonmobil-isnt-going-to-fake-rex-tillerson-takes-40-year-smear-o
    Cheers.

    Reply
    • Had some similar thoughts. It’s fossil fuel climate colonialism and we’re all Earth natives here, falling under threat of displacement, disruption, poverty, disease and die off.

      Reply
  46. Article worth checking out at the Guardian…a third of arable land gone in past 40 years:
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/02/arable-land-soil-food-security-shortage

    How much longer before the majority wake up to what is happening right before our eyes?

    Reply
    • “… Around 30% of the world’s ice-free surfaces are used to keep chicken, cattle, pigs and other livestock, rather than to grow crops.”

      Reply
      • After fossil fuels, this is the next big problem we urgently need to deal with. Industrial meat farming is hugely wasteful, vastly unsustainable, and ridiculously cruel.

        Reply
      • – Big Ps here: A great deal of “crops’ grown also grow feed for the above livestock, etc. — plus in America much goes into producing dog food for the many millions of dogs — which could otherwise feed the hungry of the world.

        Reply
      • Maria

         /  December 3, 2015

        DT, I wonder how dog food development can change / adapt to be less carbon intensive.

        Reply
      • Dog food can be vegan (cat food can´t, cats are obrigatory carnivores), though I personally wouldn´t recommend it as a vet. Dog and cat food, also can, and normally use meat by-products, meaning those parts of the cow-chicken-pig, etc that few people eat (organs, head, toes, bones, skin that can´t be used for leather, etc), so, actually, unless we´re talking about super-premium feed, it´s rare that cows, chickens and pigs would be killed for making feed… they´re killed for the meat and then what´s left is used for dog food (there are a few sanitary conditions that preclude the use of the meat for humans but allow it for animals also). Super-premium feeds, though, are made with for-human-quality meats (mostly chicken and fish), and much of the fish used for feed is human-quality or near it. One way of reducing the carbon intensity of pet food would be avoiding super-premium feeds (the health benefits for pets in relation to premium feeds aren´t that massive, and the carbon footprint difference is) and fish-based feeds.

        Reply
  47. Apneaman

     /  December 2, 2015

    Goals Of The Paris Climate Talks

    Over 150 world leaders are meeting in Paris this week to address the global effects of climate change in the hopes that a unified international effort can avert grave future consequences for the planet. Here are the major goals of the Paris climate talks:

    Pledge to create one new ecosystem for every ecosystem destroyed by climate change

    Provide aid to help developing island nations transition into fully underwater economies

    Make shortlist of species actually worth saving at this point

    Give every world leader nice little non-binding agreement to take back to country as small keepsake

    Destroy the livelihood of 47-year-old Indiana coal miner and father of four Kevin O’Riley

    Finalize battle lines for when water wars begin

    Conceive of, design, and develop reliable, affordable, carbon-neutral source of clean energy capable of powering entire world before conference concludes next Friday

    Provide political cover for next round of fossil fuel subsidies

    Settle on scapegoat nation to pin blame on in the event of a worst-case scenario

    Find most rhetorically effective way to push problem onto next generation

    Above all to have fun, meet new people, and forge friendships that will last a lifetime

    http://www.theonion.com/graphic/goals-paris-climate-talks-51931

    Reply
  48. Greg

     /  December 2, 2015

    Another glimpse into the future of agriculture.

    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-worlds-largest-rooftop-farm-300182070.html

    “The state of the art, 75,000 sq ft Chicago greenhouse, located on the rooftop of Method Products manufacturing facility, is powered by 100% renewable energy, employs over 50 workers, many from the Pullman community, will produce nearly 10 million annual crops of local, premium-quality, pesticide-free, leafy greens and herbs.”

    Reply
    • There we go. Indoor and rooftop vertical farming is a huge leap forward for sustainability. If there’s one practice that has the strongest potential to reduce deforestation pressure, then this is it. In addition, if you recycle the water, then it eliminates the flow of fertilizers into to streams and oceans — removing eutrophication pressure.

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  December 2, 2015

        Yes, thank you Robert. Fossil Fuels have enabled us to be so incredibly wasteful and inefficient and destructive. Their twilight forces us to be resourceful and creative and innovative and localized and humbled.

        Reply
        • Less greed, far less pollution, less climate catastrophe, more community. A world without fossil fuels is just so much better.

      • danabanana

         /  December 3, 2015

        We should heavily bet on Bio-mimicry, and in particular Artificial photosynthesis as a means of creating fuel and remove CO2.

        “The artificial photosynthesis was first anticipated by the Italian chemist Giacomo Ciamician in 1912.[13] In a lecture that was later published in Science[14] he proposed a switch from the use of fossil fuels to radiant energy provided by the sun and captured by technical photochemistry devices. In this switch he saw a possibility to close the gap between the rich north and poor south and ventured a guess that this switch from coal to solar energy would “not be harmful to the progress and to human happiness.”[15]”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_photosynthesis

        Reply
  49. Greg

     /  December 2, 2015

    A plug for tonight’s (9pm EST) worldwide showing of the documentary “Racing Extinction” that debuted back in January at Sundance.

    http://insideevs.com/racing-extinction-documentary-featuring-leilani-munter-tesla-model-s-air-tonight-discovery/

    Reply
    • ‘Better to light one candle than to curse the darkness…’

      I couldn’t agree more. Hope this streams online for a while. 2.4 billion is a huge audience. Fantastic!

      Reply
  50. – NASA scientists react to 400 ppm carbon milestone

    The global concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – the primary driver of recent climate change – has reached 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in recorded history, according to data from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii.

    “In some ways, 400 ppm is just a number, another milestone that we are blasting past at a rate that is now exceeding 2 ppm per year. Over time, this number takes on greater weight. It brings home the fact that fossil fuel combustion, land use practices, and human activities have increased the CO2 concentration in Earth’s atmosphere by more the 20 percent since I was born. Wow!”
    – Dr. David Crisp

    Principal Investigator, Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 satellite mission; works on the Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite (GOSAT) Project

    http://climate.nasa.gov/400ppmquotes/

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  December 2, 2015

      Just noticed Scripps showing November avg. CO2 at Mauna Loa (on their one year chart) above 400ppm. Thus we almost certainly say goodbye to seeing it seasonally dip below this milestone again.

      Reply
  51. John Russell

     /  December 3, 2015

    I think it is likely a big mistake thinking that the rise in temperature will follow a linear function. Nature abhors the linear function and adores the exponential function. Doubly true when you are talking about Positive Feedbacks

    The “Hockey Stick” plot is what Nature looks like, not a nice steady change at the same rate. A more likely scenario is it starts out slow giving the impression of a linear function and then shoots up at a faster and faster rate like a exponential function

    A :Tipping Point” is really the spot on a graph where it become apparent it is following an exponential curve rather than a linear straight steady line

    Reply
    • Sea level rise, glacial melt, increasing extreme weather — these are the points where rates are most likely to be non-linear in ways that at times mimic an exponential signal.

      As for temperature increase, the physical Earth System sets a number of rather strong boundaries. So even if you end up with a strong amplifying feedback, the signal tends to be more spike and then plateau at new equilibrium.

      There is some danger, however, that we might get into mini-runaway warming territory due to the fact that we’re rapidly adding heat forcing at the end of a glacial period. Such periods will have more in the way of carbon stores to unlock. And the tipping point for a mini runaway may be closer than traditional science might currently perceive.

      I think the primary risk now is that we end up with enough feedback to maintain elevated CO2 and ghg (methane) levels for centuries and millenia or even push a bit higher. But the biggest potential emissions as carbon feedbacks from the climate system pale in comparison to what the human fossil fuel burning infrastructure is capable of. It’s not very likely, for example, that current warming forces out enough carbon from the global stores fast enough to hit 750 to 900 ppm CO2 by the end of this Century, for example. But that’s what the human fossil fuel burning infrastructure is bound to do if we don’t shut it in. Bound to do that and to hit the Earth System and related carbon stores with a never before seen heat stress, making runaway situations all the more likely.

      So if you want to see something like exponential warming. Then yes, keep burning fossil fuels and keep pushing those carbon stores with an extreme human based heat forcing. Right now, if we’ve crossed tipping points, they will be far milder if we halt human fossil fuel burning as fast as possible.

      Reply
  52. Andy in SD

     /  December 3, 2015

    Record rains flood south Indian state; more to come
    =========================================

    The heaviest rainfall in over a century caused massive flooding across the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, driving thousands from their homes, shutting auto factories and paralysing the airport in the state capital Chennai.

    The national weather office predicted three more days of torrential downpours in the southern state of nearly 70 million people.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/12/02/us-india-flood-idUSKBN0TL0CW20151202#krf01i0oqepqlGB7.97

    Reply
    • – Chennai floods due to global warming: Expert

      ‘Thought the global target is to limit the temperature rise to 2 degree Celsius by 2100, as the study pointed out, such changes are already happening in India along with shifting rainfall patterns, another marker of climate change.

      “We’re facing a deadly combinations of temperature rise, reduced rainfall and erratic monsoons in certain areas, with a threat of drought,” said Dholakia, the co-author of the study. This will mostly occur in central and north eastern parts of the country. Other areas, such as the coasts, will see “extreme precipitation events”, giving rise to floods.

      “The current state of Chennai, the floods in Uttarakhand, Kashmir, the heat waves in Telangana, are all such events caused by these changes,” explained Dholakia.

      This will affect farmers, fishermen and all those who live off the coast. “The night time temperatures are also set to rise by 1-1.5 degrees Celsius, which will lead to crop failures,” said Dholakia.
      http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-chennai-floods-due-to-global-warming-expert-2151356

      Reply
  53. labmonkey2

     /  December 3, 2015

    sometimes, we just continue to shoot ourselves in the foot…so to speak.

    Just last night at a Los Angeles City Council meeting, the CEO of the private utility said that it could be three to four months before SoCal Gas can plug the underground leak, which has sent tens of thousands of kilograms of methane per hour seeping up into the air.

    In the meantime, CARB sent planes with methane sensors (PDF) flying over the leak on two separate occasions in November. It first found that the well was leaking 44,000 kilograms of methane per hour (plus or minus 5,000 kilograms). On the second occasion, it found that the well was leaking 50,000 kilograms of methane per hour (plus or minus 16,000 kilograms).

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/12/massive-natural-gas-leak-in-southern-california-may-take-months-to-plug/

    Reply
    • labmonkey2

       /  December 5, 2015

      This story made the Rachael Madow show tonight…with more to follow in coming days.

      Not to worry though, it’s only METHANE! smh

      Reply

  54. .Should you go outside today? Live map of world air pollution launched’

    A start-up company has used the Paris climate change talks to launch a live map of air pollution around the world which it says will help people protect their health and policy makers clear the air.

    A website and mobile phone app lets you check hour-by-hour on whether exercising and eating outdoors or taking a baby outside is a good idea.

    Plume Labs’ world air map estimates hourly air pollution levels in over 200 metropolitan areas around the world using half a million pieces of data from 11,000 measurement stations.

    Reply
    • Caroline

       /  December 3, 2015

      Apneaman: thanks for this link! Made my day . . . these fake ads are brilliant and spot on.
      Thanks to everyone for contributing to this very informative site which consistently stays on point in a respectful manner. Hard to do on the internet these days but am grateful for that.

      Reply
  55. Andy in SD

     /  December 3, 2015

    World’s richest 10% produce 50% of CO2: Report

    LONDON: The richest 10 % of people produce half of the Earth’s carbon emissions, while the poorest half-most threatened by droughts and super stroms linked to climate change–contribute a mere 10%, British charity Oxfam said in a study released on Wednesday.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/environment/global-warming/Worlds-richest-10-produce-50-of-CO2-Report/articleshow/50020466.cms

    Reply
  56. I am not a religious person, but found this short article at The Conversation interesting. The author suggests a Plan B for climate change action should focus on world religious leaders. One quote from the article is the following:

    “But morality and caring are the bread and butter of religion. While the world focuses on the science of climate change, religion could now be a lynchpin for achieving widespread action.”

    Hey….at this point I am open to anything that will promote world wide “effective” action.
    http://theconversation.com/look-to-our-religious-leaders-for-a-climate-change-plan-b-51572

    Reply
  57. Syd Bridges

     /  December 3, 2015

    Thee talks might produce a few useful things like a push for renewables, but they remind me more of a group of alcoholics, each ostentatiously pouring a bottle of spirits down the drain, although everyone knows that they’ve just bought a distillery. Now the real world, rather than politicians, will drive the agenda. The laws of physics don’t care what Lamar Smith or Senator Snowball think-or whether, indeed, they are capable of rational thought.

    Reply
  58. islandraider

     /  December 3, 2015

    Video linked below is an excerpt from a press conference at COP21 on December 2. Featured in the video are comments from Dr. James Hansen. His frustration is pretty evident, as highlighted by the following comments:

    “This approach is the same old thing that was tried in Kyoto”

    “Why are we talking about doing the same thing again?”

    “I don’t like to use crude language… but this is half-assed and half-baked!”

    “All the ministers and heads of state… they are planning to clap each other on the back… we are really doing great… this is a very successful conference… really addressing the climate problem… if that’s what happens, then we are screwing the next generation & the following ones because we are being stupid and doing the same thing again that we did 18 years ago”

    “We can’t pretend we don’t know what is going to happen if we stay on this path… to pretend that what we are doing is having any effect… it might slow down the rate of growth, but that is not what is needed. Science tells us we need to actually reduce emissions rapidly.”

    He also touches on Jevon’s paradox, as well, as he criticizes the country by country approach to voluntary emissions reductions: as long as fossil fuels are cheap, (because they are not priced taking into account the true cost to society) even if you reduce the emissions in one place (like through individual countries doing cap & trade schemes), somebody else is still going to burn it (because it is cheap energy). He makes a strong case that the only way to address climate change is through a global fee on carbon. He also seems resigned that his very simple approach will not be adopted.

    Link below is the excerpt. If someone could find & link the entire press conference I would really like to see it. Link:

    Reply
  59. A bit off topic, but it´s a thing of beauty, a glance to climates past. The Tiquié tribe made a calendar of the yearly changes in seasons (including signals of when to plant, what fruits are in season, etc) as a present to the dignitaries in the Paris Conference, to remind them of what people are losing, that old feeling that the future would reflect the past and which is now getting complety lost. The calendar can be seen in:
    http://ciclostiquie.socioambiental.org/en/index.html#

    Reply
  60. Greg

     /  December 3, 2015

    How the US Government Could Execute Bill Gates’ Vision for Energy Innovation announced at COP21. One of the points in this -how to effectively deploy the billions pledged by the Gates announcement- is that the model of the linear model of innovation — where government simply funds basic research, invents breakthrough technology, and then transfers it to the private sector for commercialization — is highly reductionist. So is the tired dichotomy between “R&D-only” versus “deployment-only” approaches.
    http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/how-the-government-could-execute-bill-gates-energy-vision

    Reply
  61. Robert, can I assume you’ve seen this?

    http://www.news.ucsb.edu/2015/016158/dissecting-paleoclimate-change

    I’d like to rest my case having jumped up and down about methane for some years now.

    I think realistically, at some point people need to accept it’s basically game over for the existing civilisation and billions of lives – if not most lives (although most will accept that I fear only when chaos reigns and collapse has unambiguously set in – when the window of opportunity to respond effectively will have also closed on what I’m trying to do). Looking ahead post collapse into what can then be built seems the only rational outlook from where I’m sitting, but with so few people (anyone?) looking at this properly, I’m looking at what it would take to recover from origins – ie the stone age.

    It’s necessary of course to simultaneously solve the even harder problem of how to address the shortcomings inherent in human nature that lead to our non sustainable thinking, likely an effective result of evolutionary pressures, but our species has no future without resolving that too.

    Reply
    • Caroline

       /  December 3, 2015

      ccg: Wow. Don’t know what else to say about the recent findings in this link—– which is is very well written/concise. The article packs a punch but if it’s any consolation you can hit an icon that describes how you feel after reading it (for me it was a toss up between “sad” and “worried” with the latter winning out).
      I’m not surprised by the findings but it still comes as a shock when I see the reality in bold letters. How does one fully grasp the situation we are in on this planet at this time in the history of humans? I’ve been aware of AGW/biosphere destruction for decades. I’ve experienced—- with all my senses—- the devastation on the ground in my work as an ecologist—- but I guess on some level I still find myself in shock that moves in waves over the ever present grief . . . . . .

      Reply
      • They don’t have an icon for “vindicated”, although of course I’d rather not be.

        I’ve long accepted all this as a simple fact – it’s beyond my personal power to influence the earth system as an individiual in isolation – also beyond my personal power to influence the masses of humanity even when that window of opportunity was open (seems extremely unlikely to be so now).

        Consequently, I’ve put every effort I can into preparing for a worst case collapse, and contemplating questions of how one can structure civilisation with a long view, amongst many other things. Were collapse avoidable, I don’t think I would’ve done any real harm (except arguably wasted a lot of my life, but it’s been an interesting if difficulty journey even thus far). As is – I guess some day I expect to give it my best shot, however tiny it might be.

        I never bothered with a pension or a mortgage or anything else my society tried to push on me as a young man on account of all this (unfortunately middle age seems to be chasing me now).

        As I see it, the challenge is to have a foot in the modern world (the only avenue to effective preparation in the short term sense) and the future world without falling into the chasm between the two.

        Reply
      • uilyam

         /  December 4, 2015

        I shared the news article on FB with this comment: “I seem to be at the extreme. This article made be feel “sad,” but at the time I read, the report was that it made 40% of the readers feel “worried.” I checked my spreadsheet of changes in atmospheric CH4 during the last seven warming episodes. The episode about 630,000 years ago had the greatest average rate of CH4 increase. Maybe it is not surprising that we have a possible confirmation of one of Byalko’s hypotheses* coming from exactly that episode.”

        * http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2210983813000813

        Reply
    • uilyam

       /  December 4, 2015

      Thanks for the link. It looks like a very interesting paper. I recall your 14 Oct 2014 statement: “Whoever you are though, physics has the last word.”

      Reply
    • Tom

       /  December 4, 2015

      ccgwebmaster: when i pointed this out a while back i was banned for a while as being too doomy. Good luck. People will come to realize this as all other avenues close due to environmental degradation (including erratic temperatures, storms, flooding and drought makes it ever harder to grow crops combined with marine die-off, not to mention pollinators,
      shuts down the food supply). We’re long past the time when effective action could have prevented the near 60 runaway feed-backs from triggering.

      Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  December 6, 2015

        Defeatist!

        What if your judgement is a bit off, and it turns out we had a chance of getting through without total collapse, but didn’t fight until the last moment? Would you feel guilty for telling people it isn’t worth trying?

        Having said that, it does look like a dark future with mass casualties more likely than not. I suppose the thing is to voice your fears, but to accept that others will try and hold on to hope for as long as possible.

        I don’t think the debate about whether to even bother trying to stop this, is a particularly useful one.

        Reply
    • Caroline

       /  December 4, 2015

      Am lining up an interview with the research team Jim Kennett and/or Craig Nicholson for morning program on community radio station WOJB (wojb.org).
      Will confirm the date/time (looks like Monday or Tuesday next week).
      Pass along any questions!

      Reply
      • It’s hard to ask good questions without reading the actual paper – but things I’d wonder would be just how high the resolution of their data was, ie are they saying “within 50 years, but insufficient resolution to tell with more accuracy” or “it took 50 years and we have obvious data resolution down to a year/decade/whatever”.

        I’d also be curious how they correlated with release of methane hydrates (presumably through isotopic signature, but more details would be interesting, especially relating to the confidence of the stated conclusion). Similarly with respect to the release of the methane hydrates I’d be curious exactly what profile the emission curve of these followed, with the intention of trying to determine if there was any analog to modern conditions (although personally I have suspected for some time now that methane works like this).

        I’d also be curious if could be said in some lights to be good news – because if methane clathrates are involving in normal interglacial transitions, that means we don’t necessarily need to weight the ongoing release of them today with such a high risk of total catastrophe (eg end Permian style outcomes). I realise that viewpoint is a rather strange one to most people though, but bear in mind for years I’ve very much focussed on planning strategy for the worst case outcomes that seem reasonable to expect. So to me, it would be good news if we were sure methane clathrates respond like this in normal interglacial transitions, although I’d be curious then how we’d differentiate between the bigger more serious episodes (eg end Permian, PETM).

        I’d wonder how the authors see their research as pertaining to ongoing events today, if they are concerned that their research has important cautionary messages with respect to how the world at large is continuing to underestimate the severity of abrupt climate change and the risk thereof.

        It’s a pity the paper is paywalled, but so many are. If anyone knows of a location to find it, I’d love to know.

        Reply
      • Incidentally I’d love to know when this interview is, if not too late.

        Reply
  62. Colorado Bob

     /  December 3, 2015

    Global warming: depletion of oxygen far greater threat than flooding

    Should global warming increase ocean temperatures by just a few degrees, then it is not flooding but a huge reduction in atmospheric oxygen that would pose the greatest threat to our life on Earth………………………………
    In a paper published in the Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, they explain how 70% of the oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere comes from phytoplankton – photosynthesizing microscopic organisms that inhabit the sunlit, topmost layer of nearly all our oceans and bodies of fresh water………………………………………..
    The model shows that a sustainable system of oxygen production is only possible in a middle range. And, if the rate of production goes too high or too low on either side of this range, it leads to oxygen depletion and extinction of the plankton.

    It suggests that a rise of just 6 degrees Celsius in the temperature of the world’s oceans – which some scientists predict could happen by 2100 – would be enough to wipe out the phytoplankton and deplete atmospheric oxygen everywhere.

    Such a catastrophe, note the authors, “obviously can kill most of life on Earth.”

    Link

    Reply
    • Can you link to the paper? I don’t think rate of atmospheric oxygen production should be conflated with the stable equilibrium personally, and the planet has managed fairly wide ranges of variation in the past (and even the range which humans can tolerate is pretty wide). So I’m personally reluctant to take depleting atmospheric oxygen too seriously without some credible analysis to look at.

      Depleting oceanic oxygen is a whole other story of course.

      Reply
      • Caroline

         /  December 4, 2015

        ccg : posted this at beginning of this thread—sorry for repeat!
        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151201094120.htm

        Reply
      • uilyam

         /  December 4, 2015

        @ccgwebmaster I have a personal copy of the paper in the Bulletin of Mathematical Biology from one of the authors and have read through it once. The paper is purely theoretical and does not provide any basis for drawing real-world conclusions. I’m not even sure that 70% of atmospheric oxygen comes from the oceans. The simple predator-prey model used as a basis for the model in the paper (zooplankton=predator, phytoplankton=prey) is understood by biologists to be an inadequate representation of real predator-prey systems. There is essentially zero data input into the model, and it could just as well be a model of cows, grass, and oxygen, except that I am aware of pretty good data on the temperature dependence of photosynthesis in grass, and the authors of the paper in question have no evidence of the temperature dependence of photosynthesis in phytoplankton. They therefore see what happens in their model if oxygen production increases linearly with temperature and if oxygen production decreases linearly with temperature.

        The estimate of 6 degrees warming apparently comes from an earlier paper Robinson C (2000) Plankton gross production and respiration in the shallow water hydrothermal systems of Milos, Aegean Sea. J Plankt Res 22:887–906. I quote:

        “Even if the current state of the system is safe, a sufficiently large warming (roughly estimated as 5–6 ◦C, see Robinson 2000) would inevitably lead to an ecological disaster resulting in a complete depletion of oxygen.

        “The above conclusion is made based on the properties of our model (19–21). The question arises here as to how general and realistic this conclusion is as the model apparently leaves many features of real marine ecosystems out of the scope. In particular, the model (19–21) does not contain space, hence assuming that both oxygen and plankton are distributed uniformly. Although this assumption is known to work well in some cases (in the so-called well-mixed systems), it becomes irrelevant in a situation where the nonuniformity of the plankton distribution becomes prominent and hence cannot be neglected. Meanwhile, strongly heterogeneous spatial distribution of plankton is rather common in marine ecosystems (Fasham 1978; Martin 2003; Steele 1978). An observation that makes the spatial aspect of the plankton dynamics especially relevant to this study is that conditions of species extinction can be significantly different in spatially explicit models compared to their nonspatial counterparts; see Petrovskii et al. (2001, 2002, 2004).”

        Reply
        • Thank you for clarifying this.

          My skepticism is quite simple – while I am sure there is a real risk that photosynthetic producers are going to disappear in large numbers, the consumers of oxygen also are liable to go extinct – and to me that doesn’t necessarily mean a reduction in the production of oxygen necessarily correlates to a decline in atmospheric ratio. Carbon cycles (and by implication so does oxygen), and to my mind the organisms that consume atmospheric oxygen also depend on consuming the primary producers of oxygen as they sit at the base of the food web…

          That isn’t to totally discredit the risk of a decline in atmospheric oxygen, just trying to explain my skepticism about whether it needs taken seriously or not (and I’m usually accused of being super doomish on these things…).

    • Leland Palmer

       /  December 7, 2015

      Hi Colorado Bob-

      The conclusions of this paper are not true. Even if phytoplankton oxygen production stopped today, there is so much oxygen in the atmosphere it would take 1000 years to use up 10 percent of it.

      Even if the methane hydrates destabilized completely, and even if we have 100 trillion tons of methane in hydrates, methane oxidation would still only use up about 30 percent of the available oxygen, which would be like living at something like 3000 feet of elevation.

      The global heating caused by the rapid release of that much methane would kill us long before oxygen depletion.

      Oxygen depletion is not a major concern. Before coming up with those sorts of BS conclusions, the reporters or authors of the paper should have looked it up on Wikipedia.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxygen_cycle

      Reply
      • uilyam

         /  December 7, 2015

        Leland, the authors of the paper never considered an atmosphere in the paper. The initial equation (1) for the rate of change of the oxygen concentration (in the water) has one positive term and three negative terms in the right-hand side. The positive term represents the oxygen added from phytoplankton photosynthesis. The negative terms represent the oxygen subtracted as a result of phytoplankton respiration, zooplankton respiration, and natural processes. In the absence of phytoplankton and zooplankton, the first three terms become zero, and equation (1) becomes dc/dt=-mc, where c is the concentration of oxygen at time t and “the coefficient m is the rate of oxygen loss due to the natural depletion (e.g., due to biochemical reactions in the water).” [The quote is from the paper.] After some manipulations involving going to dimensionless variables (e.g., dividing through by m) and substituting parameters, equation (1) becomes equation (19), again with the four terms mentioned above but with dimensionless variables and new coefficients. In the absence of phytoplankton and zooplankton, equation (19) reduces to dc/dt=-c, whence you can clearly see that the oxygen concentration must become zero instantaneously in the absence of phytoplankton and zooplankton. This model has some interest mathematically, but, in my opinion, has a vanishingly small relevance to the real world.

        Reply
  63. Colorado Bob

     /  December 3, 2015

    Death toll climbs to 269 from torrential rain and flooding in southern India

    Tamil Nadu’s capital, Chennai, and surrounding areas have received more than 11 inches of rainfall in recent days — about 75% of the average for the entire monsoon season — with about one-third of the rainfall coming over a 24-hour period leading into Thursday. The downpour was one of the heaviest in the area in a century.

    Link

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  December 3, 2015

      South India floods leave three million cut off from basic services

      As much as 345mm (14in) of rain fell over 24 hours earlier this week.

      Link

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  December 3, 2015

        New flooding problems may develop in eastern Tamil Nadu and far southern Kerala with additional rainfall of 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) expected through Sunday.

        Locally higher amounts are possible and some communities, such as Chidambaram and Tirunelveli, could receive most of that rain on either Friday or Saturday alone.

        Link

        Reply

  64. THE mighty Amazon rainforest is ablaze after being fanned by the same El Nino phenomenon that has devastated Indonesia.

    Images of orangutans escaping the flames and thousands of people suffering the effects of smoke have exposed the catastrophic environment disaster unfolding in the Far East.

    British scientists today show how the climatic conditions blamed for setting Borneo ablaze are at work in the planet’s greatest rainforest.

    Erika Berenguer, a senior research associate from the Lancaster Environment Centre, has posted a graphic dispatch about this year’s Amazon forest fires.

    She tells how satellite images show there were 18,716 fires in the Brazilian Amazon last month and that 12 cities across the region have declared a state of emergency because of the smoke clouds.

    The scientist, attached to Lancaster University, is investigating the fires around Santarém, a city on the south bank of the Amazon and 500 miles from the sea.
    – express.co.uk/news/nature/623984/Amazon-rainforest-UNDER-THREAT-El-Nino-

    Reply
  65. Google announce huge renewable energy purchase. Paris and reality have indeed moved some power players to go forward.I’m with Bob, there’s been a change(positive). My perception is that we’re in a never going back” phase. Renewables will keep growing. Countries, counties, towns will compete re: bragging rights to how much they’ve grown their non-carbon power usage. Just today Uruguay was highlighted–upwards of 90%.

    Across three countries, we’re nearly doubling the amount of renewable energy we’ve purchased to date,” Google said. “We’re now up to 2 gigawatts—the equivalent to taking nearly 1 million cars off the road.”

    http://ecowatch.com/2015/12/03/google-renewables-purchase/?utm_source=CR-TW&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=ClimateReality

    Reply
  66. Factory meat production—there’s also what I’d call a crisis brewing of a resistance to the antibiotic of last resort–colistin– spreading from China(who overuses it with impunity) and fanning out to the rest of the world.

    http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2015/12/03/colistin-r-2/

    Reply
  67. Colorado Bob

     /  December 4, 2015

    The mounting economic toll of the record rainfall in Chennai

    As the rains continue to fall on the southern Indian city of Chennai, so do the records. Dec. 3 was the wettest December day for the city in over 100 years. The weather and subsequent flooding have already claimed 270 lives, disrupted electricity and phone service in many areas, and forced the city’s airport to shut. And Chennai is expected to receive more rain over the next 48 hours.

    The weeks of unprecedented rainfall have also been wreaking havoc with the local economy, which is home to outposts for multinational companies ranging from BMW and Ford Motor Co. to Tata Consultancy Services and IBM.

    An industry lobby, Associated Chambers of Commerce of India, estimates the overall economic loss from the flooding at over Rs15,000 crore ($2.25 billion).

    Reply
    • redskylite

       /  December 4, 2015

      Bob, good article thanks for sharing . . ..

      India have expressed that their priority is to end poverty and the fact that other nations have become developed and comfortable by exploiting fossil fuels in the past, they too have a right to catch up.

      However, maybe India can now sense the very sad injustice, the fact is they cannot catch up by burning fossils as a red line is approaching that they cannot afford to cross. The dangers to themselves are too real and apparent.

      Amitav Ghosh sums it up well in the Times of India

      “Two degrees is a global mean average. The rise is not going to be equal in all parts of the world. We (India) are probably going to get a 4-degree rise,”

      Two degrees is very general and some parts of our planet are already experiencing well above this, others that are not will catch up as ocean currents distribute the heat. One century is tiny and meaningless, we must take a much longer view and simply phase out our love affair with coal and oil.

      http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/environment/global-warming/Amitav-Ghosh-India-seems-to-be-home-of-lost-causes/articleshow/50005108.cms

      Reply
  68. redskylite

     /  December 4, 2015

    I remember as a teen, in my first job, standing under an overflow vent, as a B.P tanker was replenishing my companies diesel supply, I had overestimated the amount we needed and will never forget the feeling being drenched in diesel gives you.

    More spills in far off Russia, and more sadly effected wildlife, really is time to be kinder to our planet. . .

    http://siberiantimes.com/ecology/others/news/n0510-rescuers-seek-to-save-pelagic-cormorants-covered-oil-from-tanker-spill/

    Reply
  69. redskylite

     /  December 4, 2015

    Not too much news filters through from Russia, so thanks to the Siberian Times again for reporting these traumatic events. More news of the mass whale deaths in Chile, the final investigation not complete yet. . . . warming seas and man caused runoffs seem to figure suspiciously . . .

    Scientists initially said the whales did not bear any wounds, suggesting they may have died of a virus or a harmful algal bloom known as “red tide”.

    In an online article, National Geographic quoted lead scientist Carolina Simon Gutstein of the Universidad de Chile and Consejo de Monumentos Nacionales in Santiago as saying that although red tides could be caused by sewage and fertiliser, it is often “very difficult to find one person or corporation culpable”.

    http://www.scmp.com/news/world/article/1885735/whale-apocalypse-more-300-huge-whales-found-dead-chile-worst-stranding

    Reply
  70. Abel Adamski

     /  December 4, 2015

    A very good article from an analyst, don’t like his geoengineering suggestion of injecting sulphur compounds into the atmosphere though
    https://consortiumnews.com/2015/12/03/humanitys-hail-mary-on-global-warming/

    Reply
  71. Andy in SD

     /  December 4, 2015

    dt,

    Are you getting any El Nino influenced weather yet?

    Nothing down here yet.

    Reply
    • Hi Andy,
      I can’t say for sure.
      Late Nov. lows are about 11 degrees F below normal — highs 7 F below norm.
      It’s a bit breezy now with quite a bit of energetic weather coming in from the Pacific on a 200 mph jet stream.

      NWS WPC ‏@NWSWPC Dec 2

      A series of storms are forecast to produce as much as 20-in of precip over the next 7 days along the Pac NW coast.

      Reply
    • Ps Snow only at high elevations — otherwise rain which signals little build up of snow pack for water storage and seasonal runoff.

      Reply
  72. Colorado Bob

     /  December 4, 2015

    From the poking the dragon file –

    Dissecting paleoclimate change

    Using a core sample from the Santa Barbara Basin, researchers decipher the history of paleoclimate change with surprising results. For more than a million years, Earth’s climate has oscillated from glacial (ice age) to interglacial (warm) — the latter representing modern conditions. According to the authors, the Santa Barbara Basin holds the most pristine marine record of these fluctuations, thanks in large part to the area’s unique location along the California margin. The basin is the confluence of the cool California current from the subpolar region and the warm countercurrent from the tropics…………………………… The warming associated with the major climatic shift was accompanied by simultaneous releases of methane — a potent greenhouse gas.

    “This particular episode of climate change is closely associated with instability that caused the release of methane from gas hydrates at the ocean floor,” Kennett said. “These frozen forms of methane melt when temperatures rise or pressure decreases. Changes in sea level affect the stability of gas hydrates and water temperature even more so.

    Link

    Reply
    • Caroline

       /  December 4, 2015

      Lined up an interview with Jim Kennett and Eric Schubring who is the morning edition host for community radio station WOJB/ Reserve Wisconsin on Monday, December 7 at 8:25 a.m. (central time). You can stream at http://www.wojb.org. If any of you have questions for him please post them and I’ll pass them along. This is a significant finding.
      Jim is very graciously willing to take your questions—–a very nice man!

      Reply
    • Leland Palmer

       /  December 13, 2015

      It looks like the purported stability of the methane hydrates may be a myth:

      “Kennett noted that this remarkable record of paleoclimate changes also raises an important question: What process can possibly push the Earth’s climate so fast from a glacial to an interglacial state? The researchers may have discovered the answer based on the core’s geochemical record: The warming associated with the major climatic shift was accompanied by simultaneous releases of methane — a potent greenhouse gas.

      “This particular episode of climate change is closely associated with instability that caused the release of methane from gas hydrates at the ocean floor,” Kennett said. “These frozen forms of methane melt when temperatures rise or pressure decreases. Changes in sea level affect the stability of gas hydrates and water temperature even more so.

      “The clear synchronism of this rapid warming and the onset of the destabilization of gas hydrates is important,” Kennett concluded. “It suggests that methane hydrate instability and the warming are somehow linked, which is an interesting and potentially important observation. The beauty of these paleoclimate records from the Santa Barbara Basin is that you can actually determine these relationships at high fidelity”

      This sounds like they have independent geochemical evidence in this core of methane release coincident with the abrupt warming. All of this occurring within 50 years, Kennett says.

      The paper itself is behind a pay wall, unfortunately. Only supporting materials and articles are available, so far as I can tell.

      I wonder if Flemings and Liu’s “triple point” chimneys can spontaneously form in conventional hydrate deposits as a result of gas flow forming hydrates at an increased rate, leading to local salt concentrations within the chimney that reach the triple point of the gas/ hydrate/ brine system?

      https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Andrew_Smith79/publication/263970235_The_evolution_of_methane_vents_that_pierce_the_hydrate_stability_zone_in_the_world%27s_oceans/links/5412e8680cf2bb7347db1277.pdf

      Reply
  73. Not sure if this was already posted, but here goes:

    Report: The World Will Run out of Breathable Air Unless Carbon Is Cut

    “As representatives from 195 nations gather in Paris to hammer out a global agreement to slash greenhouse gas emissions, a new study finds that the failure to do so could leave the world gasping for breath.

    “Marine plants such as phytoplankton are estimated to produce more than half the Earth’s atmospheric oxygen, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. For the study, Sergei Petrovskii, an applied mathematics professor at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, calculated how unrestrained global warming could affect phytoplankton and thus the ocean’s ability to generate breathable air.”.

    He found out that once the world’s oceans warmed by 6C (10F) the phytoplankton have a mass die-off, depriving us and other creatures of Oxygen with essentially zero warning..

    http://news.yahoo.com/report-world-run-breathable-air-unless-carbon-cut-210604512.html

    I’ll be posting this on my blog, too.

    Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  December 6, 2015

      It was. There is some discussion further up the comments thread, with various perspectives.

      Reply
  74. Wharf Rat

     /  December 4, 2015

    Incredibly important finding on renewable energy

    A new research project, just out in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, addresses these issues and gives great hope to the use of 100% non-nuclear renewables to meet energy demands. The paper is by Mark Jacobson, Mark Delucchi, Mary Cameron, and Bethany Frew, and is titled “Low-cost solution to the grid reliability problem with 100% penetration of intermittent wind, water, and solar for all purposes.”

    Here is the abstract and the statement of significance from the paper:
    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2015/12/04/incredibly-important-finding-on-renewable-energy/

    Reply
    • dnem

       /  December 4, 2015

      That’s a very interesting post, WR. Of course there is tremendous resistance to smart meters in my liberal ‘hood here in Baltimore, so there will be many hurdles to get to a smart, load sensing and shifting grid integrating over thousands of miles. But it is heartening to read that the modeling at least shows it’s doable. I also think that it wouldn’t KILL people to have dial it back every now and then if it’s calm and dark out.

      Reply
  75. Is anyone interested to know the US Green Party is at the Paris Climate Conference? The campaign sent out a mass e-mail today. Is anyone curious to read their point of view? In the event that someone is interested I will share it.

    Here it is:
    “I’m writing to you from Paris, where I just arrived for the COP21 UN Climate Summit. Thank you so much to everyone who donated to make this important campaign trip happen!
    The next few days will be a whirlwind, so I wanted to take a moment now to let you know what I’ll be doing here in Paris and what I expect from COP21.

    First, the big picture: the widely expected result from COP21 is a set of voluntary, unenforceable pledges from each country to reduce long-term emissions. Even if followed, these weak agreements would fail to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.

    2 degrees Celsius is widely considered by scientists as the tipping point where climate crisis becomes climate catastrophe, with runaway global warming causing sea level rise, extreme weather, fires, droughts, floods, food and water shortages, and mass extinctions.

    The US government’s climate pledge is shamefully weak, especially considering our historical status as the biggest climate polluter and our incredible untapped potential, as the world’s richest country, to transition rapidly to a low-carbon economy. The proposed US targets for emissions reduction are less than half what the European Union is offering.

    Climate change is an urgent, life-or-death issue. That’s why I signed a pledge to not accept campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry – a pledge Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton refuses to sign.

    To leave future generations a livable world, we need to transition to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030. My Green New Deal plan would accomplish that, and put millions of Americans to work building the transition to a sustainable society.

    I came to Paris to join forces with others working to stop the ruling elite from throwing the future of humanity under the bus – all for the sake of the fossil fuel industry’s profits.

    I’m excited to meet with leaders of the Global Green movement, like Caroline Lucas, who overcame an essentially two-party system to become the UK’s first Green member of parliament; Elizabeth May, who did the same in Canada; and Christine Milne, former Australian Senator and leader of Australia’s Greens.

    I’ll march with the Global Greens at the People’s Climate Summit and speak on two panels on climate and militarism, highlighting the huge progress the US could make towards climate justice by cutting bloated military spending and reinvesting in sustainable technologies.

    I’ll meet with climate justice campaigners, human rights advocates, and civil society groups, including representatives of WECAN (Women Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change), Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), and Tibet Justice.

    I’ll take part in a general assembly at the Climate Action Zone in Paris with activist networks and artists from around the world.

    And I’ll speak at a major forum addressing bold solutions to the climate crisis including China’s recent national shift toward renewable energy, as well as our own Green New Deal plan. There I plan to meet with Celine Cousteau, environmentalist daughter of Jacques Cousteau; Su Wei, China’s lead climate negotiator; and the presidents of Bhutan (the first country to implement a Gross National Happiness Index) and Iceland (where a Left-Green government recovered from financial crisis by bailing out the people and prosecuting bankers).

    Most importantly, I’m here to bring our collective voice for people, planet, and peace to a global gathering that holds the fate of the world in the balance.”

    The above is directly quoted from the Jill Stein 2016 campaign mailing list. I hope this was useful. OK. Back to my cave.

    Reply
    • islandraider

       /  December 4, 2015

      Thanks for that Chris. My opinion: The ONLY wasted vote is a vote that continues the status quo.

      A vote for a D or and R is a vote for the status quo. One will certainly result in a slightly ‘more bad’ result, but both keep us marching lockstep on the road to increasing climate chaos (and a breakfast with an unwelcome guest).

      Reply
  76. Colorado Bob

     /  December 4, 2015

    The current El Niño set a monthly record in November, and may eventually become the strongest El Niño on record this winter, according to data just released from NOAA.

    Water temperatures near the ocean surface reached their highest positive anomalies on record in the zone of the equatorial Pacific Ocean defining either El Niño or its opposite, La Niña, in November. This means the sea-surface water temperature was farther above average for the time of year than any previous month in reliable records dating to 1950.

    Specifically, the water temperature in this region was about 2.35 degrees Celsius above average in November 2015, topping the previous record monthly anomaly from November 1997 by 0.02 degrees Celsius, in reliable records dating to 1950.

    Link

    Reply
  77. -NA USA NWS WPC

    Experimental Day 4-7 Winter Weather Outlook

    Probability of At Least .25″ Liquid Equivalent of Snow/Sleet

    We are interested in your feedback regarding this experimental forecast. Please consider taking our survey and providing your feedback.

    For additional details on this product, please read the official Product Description Document (PDD)
    http://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/wwd/pwpf_d47/pwpf_medr.php?day=4

    Reply
  78. The Momotombo volcano on Nicaragua’s Lake Xolotlán erupted on December 1 for the first time in 110 years. The cone-shaped stratovolcano reportedly experienced high levels of activity in the late 19th century, but lay dormant after an eruption …

    Momotombo Erupción 2015

    Reply
  79. -Why, indeed!

    Why Fast-Track Trade Deals, But Not Climate Agreements?
    by Sujata Dey

    … But as the conference opens, I cannot help thinking that, while countries rush to sign trade deals such as CETA and the new Trans-Pacific Partnership, they cannot seem to get a binding climate change agreement.

    … trade agreements allow corporations to have binding rights through the Investor State Dispute Settlement process, involving a private arbitration process that allows corporations to sue states over laws or decisions that get in the way of profits. The message is: you have a right to profits but no rights to clean air or a decent wage, no rights to have clean drinking water.
    http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/12/04/why-fast-track-trade-deals-not-climate-agreements

    Reply
  80. Why? Because the locals are on this😉 I’m quite heartened to learn this week of how much local leaders have been doing and plan to do.

    Close to 1,000 mayors from five continents gathered at the Paris City Hall Friday to sign a historic agreement on climate change measures.

    The mayors, including the City of Vancouver’s Gregor Robertson, pledged to support such long-term climate goals as a transition to 100 per cent renewable energy in their communities or an 80 per cent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050. On Thursday, the City of Vancouver was honored in Paris by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group for the Greenest City Action Plan.

    http://www.nationalobserver.com/2015/12/04/news/nearly-1000-mayors-five-continents-back-aggressive-climate-change-policies-paris

    Reply
  81. Colorado Bob

     /  December 5, 2015

    Southern India Is Hit With Deadly Flooding After Wettest December Day In 100 Years

    That follows a November that brought the city 300 percent more rain than is usual for the month. Monsoon winds typically bring rainfall to Chennai during October, November, and December, but rainfall this year has been exceptional —

    Link

    Reply
  82. Colorado Bob

     /  December 5, 2015

    Soggy Bottom Boys- I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow

    Reply
  83. Colorado Bob

     /  December 5, 2015

    Dueling Banjos Deliverance

    Reply
  84. Colorado Bob

     /  December 5, 2015

    Blodwyn Pig – Dear Jill (Ahead Rings Out, August, 1969)

    Reply
  85. Colorado Bob

     /  December 5, 2015

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  December 5, 2015

      The guy in the lower right hand corner is Mike Bloomfield. Here he is playing East West
      On lead. Elvin Bishop is number 2 –

      Reply
  86. Apneaman

     /  December 5, 2015

    Bob, have you been into your cups? You know the punishment

    Reply
  87. Colorado Bob

     /  December 5, 2015

    Paul Butterfield – In My Own Dream

    Reply
  88. Colorado Bob

     /  December 5, 2015

    Apneaman

    Hell in a bucket –

    Reply
  89. Colorado Bob

     /  December 5, 2015

    I may be going to Hell in a bucket babe , but at least I’m enjoying the ride.

    Reply
  90. Colorado Bob

     /  December 5, 2015

    Apneaman / December 5, 2015

    Bob, have you been into your cups?

    When I was a young man we thought that women gathering seeds year after year gave birth to agriculture. We now think that some water got into a jar of the seeds. Later, some jackass drank it. There’s invention of agriculture.

    Reply
  91. Apneaman

     /  December 5, 2015

    Bob, we are really disrespecting our mother. I wonder how much longer she will carry us?

    Reply
  92. Colorado Bob

     /  December 5, 2015

    The Egyptians ate , and drank over 50 different kinds of beer. Yes they had a beer “oat meal” for breakfast.

    Reply
  93. Colorado Bob

     /  December 5, 2015

    Crosby Stills Nash – Southern Cross

    Reply
  94. Colorado Bob

     /  December 5, 2015

    Jethro Tull – Stand Up – Album (1969)

    Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  December 6, 2015

      Ahh, something I can say that I actually like,

      You post so many that I don’t bother listening normally, but I’ve seen JT a few times live, and they are great. Aqualung and Thick as a Brick are probably my favourite Tull albums.

      Reply
  95. Colorado Bob

     /  December 5, 2015

    Liven the this life has it’s problems.

    Reply
  96. Colorado Bob

     /  December 5, 2015

    The Doors – Roadhouse Blues

    Reply
  97. Colorado Bob

     /  December 5, 2015

    Being at the end of my rope, you folks can get on solving this problem without me.
    Never forget that music can inform , and pave the way forward.

    Reply
    • Apneaman

       /  December 5, 2015

      If you think Hook sucks then you are probably more shitfaced then they were during that performance.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  December 5, 2015

        You are the only jackass in the history of the world that misses.. Dr. Hook.

        Here’s yer “Atta Boy”.

        Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  December 5, 2015

        Do I have to move to , ” Bite my shiny metal ass?”

        Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  December 6, 2015

        C’mon guys, not everyone needs to love everything the same. We’re not the taste police.

        If you ain’t got anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. At least as regards the music, anyway!

        Reply
  98. Syd Bridges

     /  December 5, 2015

    In two weeks time, I will be back in the UK. I guess this is the sort of thing I have to look forward to. How’s David Cameron doing at the Paris Conference? Is he there?

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/weather/624185/Weekend-weather-forecast-flood-alert-UK-months-rain-48-hours

    Yes, the backed up Gulf Stream and the Greenland cold pool appear to be doing their little number on the British Isles.

    Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  December 6, 2015

      I think he made a worthy sounding speech, but it got lost in the ‘to bomb or not to bomb’ debate.

      We got serious flooding in the north, but the linkage to CC is rarely mentioned, at least as far as I have seen.

      Reply
      • Syd Bridges

         /  December 6, 2015

        Well, I don’t suppose “our Dave” is going to worry about flooding in the North. Mostly, it affects working class Northerners, very few of whom can tell one vintage Port from another. How many of them would make it into the Bullingdon Club or the Piers Gaveston, Old Boy?

        If the jet stream drives the next storm system further south so the Home Counties get it instead, I expect it will be a very different story. We can’t have flooding in the Stockbroker Belt. Think of the property values!

        What will Dave do if, after all his posturing and dredging, the Somerset Levels flood again? It struck me as one of his most brilliant ideas to dredge the tidal reaches of a river, when with rising sea levels and tidal surges up the Bristol Channel, you could end up flooding the Levels with salt water. But what do I know? I was one of those middle class State School swots who studied science at university. Hardly Tory party material, Old Boy!

        Reply
  99. Spike

     /  December 5, 2015

    Some major flooding in NW England due to storm Desmond, and with another 12 hours rain forecast and high tide this evening things getting hairy. A major incident has been declared by emergency services in Cumbria. I shudder to think what another 1C will bring, especially if Greenland melt gets into full throttle.

    Reply
    • Caroline

       /  December 5, 2015

      Yes Spike I shudder to think what another 1C will bring too.
      I posted Paul Beckwith’s latest video— which illustrates those same sentiments—- above (very powerfully I might add).
      In the upper midwest (U.S.) it is eerily and I mean eerily warm.
      Bluebirds singing, skunk cabbages emerging in the wetlands juxtaposed against suburban sprawl that is hideously emblazoned with the most Christmas lights I’ve ever seen. People are basking in the warmth while filling their inflatable Santas on motorcycles . Most—-in their AGW denial bliss— seem to be loving it, as if this warmth is a good thing.

      Reply
    • PlazaRed

       /  December 7, 2015

      They are experiencing the tip of the melting ice burg right now.
      I3 inches of rain in some areas of the UK and a water fall flowing over Malham Cove for the first time in anybody’s living memory.
      A 1000 or more evacuated in Hawick.
      Being a pensioner, I don’t know how much more I can live to see but things are already well out of hand.

      Reply
  100. Apneaman

     /  December 5, 2015

    Bob the tens of millions of Dr Hook views on youtube with positive comments say otherwise. So does the fact the surviving members are still happily touring. Maybe you are jealous cause you never made it as a musician.

    Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  December 6, 2015

      I really don’t come hear for arguments about musical taste, or even the music at all.

      It’s fine posting it, but extended chat about it is just a bit too much, imho.

      Reply
      • Mblanc, I have to agree that it happens a lot. I sometimes think that many of these music references are a way to express emotions in a time when words fail.
        But too much, or too many, tend to bog down the effort.🙂

        Reply
      • wili

         /  December 6, 2015

        And slow down loading time!

        Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  December 7, 2015

        Of course, if there was more of what I liked posted, I wouldn’t be moaning!

        Virtually anything by Kraftwerk is fine, for example…

        Reply
  101. ‘Europe’s tallest active volcano, Mount Etna, has erupted in spectacular fashion, filling the sky above Sicily with flame, lightning, and a gigantic ash cloud. Mount Etna has been mostly quiet for two years, but after intensifying volcanic activity in recent weeks, things came to a head with the dramatic eruption you can see in the video above.

    The video footage, picture by Sicilian digital photographer Marco Restivo, captures precisely what the idea appeared to be while Support Etna’s Voragine crater make it possible for shed. According to Italy’s Country wide Start involving Community Geophysics as well as Volcanology (INGV), this was a brief nevertheless really chaotic eruption, standing among the most chaotic Etna offers noticed previously 2 full decades.

    Reply
  102. – From Climate Alert:
    Mark Richardson
    16 hrs · Edited

    Earlier this week I posted three days worth of temperature anomaly forecasts for North America this weekend, and I am truly shocked to see what Climate Reanalyzer is forecasting for Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, much worse than they forecast for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. More than half of Canada is facing a temperature anomaly of 15-20 C / 27-36 F above normal on Tuesday and Wednesday.
    https://scontent.fsnc1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfl1/v/t1.0-9/12347750_1058524834179050_8847071125465475691_n.jpg?oh=e4eaafd5e1832dfa7b07e1c561c9c2a8&oe=56F44CF1

    Reply
  103. – PNW
    A big low in Gulf of Alaska w/ a strong upper jet. E & S of low are highs.

    Reply
  104. Windyty shows 3 – 4 counter rotations within the massive low:

    https://www.windyty.com/?pressure,52.297,196.729,3

    Reply
  105. Proof positive that ‘Butter’ was the Blues:
    Woodstock 1969:

    Reply
  106. – Africa
    In Drought-Battered Somaliland, Climate Change Is Deadly Serious

    By Amanda Sperber
    December 5, 2015 | 7:20 am

    The cows were the first to die, 10 of them. Then most of the 20 sheep went, and after that most of the 40 goats.

    As the drought in the Horn of Africa gradually killed everything Farhan Abdi Ali had worked for, all his life savings, he separated his animals into two groups: Those that produced offspring that could be sold, and those that produced milk. Besides being a source of nutrition for his 13 children, the milk provided a nice supplemental income throughout the year from cheese his wife made and sold.

    Ali lives in Somaliland, the self-declared independent nation that emerged in the north of conflict-ridden Somalia, and one of the largest hubs for livestock in the world. Somalilanders sell animals, mostly sheep and goats, usually for less than $100 each, to traders from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. One-third of Somaliland’s economy, the fourth-poorest in the world according to the World Bank, depends on livestock.

    But by 2012, there were no animals left for Ali to sell. The few sheep and goats that hadn’t withered away were too weak to reproduce…
    https://news.vice.com/article/in-drought-battered-somaliland-climate-change-is-deadly-serious

    Reply
  107. Ryan in New England

     /  December 5, 2015

    Internal documents reveal Shell is planning on a 4C world. This is more revealing than it may initially seem. Oil company CEOs and executives are often very powerful people, who are connected to the political elite. Big Oil has a very heavy influence on policy decisions and law making. If the view internally in the company is that there is no motivation or willingness on the political landscape to achieve a 2C goal, than they likely are basing that view on evidence or known desires of key players. These companies often have inside knowledge about upcoming policy agendas. In short, I don’t like the fact that the business plan of one of the majors is to take us past 4C.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/may/17/shell-accused-of-strategy-risking-catastrophic-climate-change

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  December 6, 2015

      Given the track record of the majors when it comes to predicting government inaction regarding emissions, this is not good news. Unfortunately, it looks like they will be right yet again.

      Reply
  108. How are they going to package it when they finally realize 2°C is no longer on the board? That requires one hell of a story! If you want the whole world to agree on something, the outcome is going to be most likely on the conservative side. And conservative governments from all over the world have been aiming at just that. After Paris we need to realize that something else is needed. In my opinion we need a new organization of countries that are willing to do what is necessary. For instance they can coordinate a common carbon tax coincided with import penalties to ‘bad’ countries. Big enough they can really make a difference. And who doesn’t want to be on the good side of things?

    Reply
  109. Andy in SD

     /  December 6, 2015

    In honor of the Paris Climate Talks…..

    Reply
  110. Andy in SD

     /  December 6, 2015

    Monsanto to Be Put on Trial for “Crimes against Nature and Humanity” at The Hague

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/monsanto-to-be-put-on-trial-for-crimes-against-nature-and-humanity-at-the-hague/5493715

    Reply
    • Leland Palmer

       /  December 6, 2015

      Hi Andy-

      That would be great, let’s hope it sets a precedent.

      The biggest danger to humanity and the biosphere though is from climate change, especially if we destabilize the methane hydrates. ExxonMobil and Koch Industries should be seized by executive action, or legally by charging them climate damages. ExxonMobil and Koch Industries and the entire Eastern financial establishment in the United States should be on trial at the Hague. The Eastern financial establishment in the United States including the major banks should be assessed for their part in climate destabilization, and made to pay for the damages they are inflicting on the rest of us and on the earth.

      The problem is not population and economic growth. The problem is fossil fuels destabilizing the climate by adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

      We can have economic growth, and a much larger population than we have now, if we want that. We just cant fuel the whole system on fossil fuels, that have total cumulative greenhouse heat generation roughly 100,000 times the useful heat of combustion. Against this massive impact on a very sensitive trigger mechanism in the atmosphere, the planet has no defense.

      So, if we at long last develop a legal system that mandates protection of the planet, and legally makes corporations responsible for the long term consequences of use of their products, that can only be a good thing. Monsanto has probably done a lot of long term harm, with their chemicals and GMOs. But the most powerful, richest and most damaging corporations are the fossil fuel corporations and their Super Rich controllers. Those are the entities that should be put on trial, their assets seized and used to pay to fight climate change.

      In terms of real power, ExxonMobil – just part of the Eastern Financial Establishment – has gross revenues per year greater than the GNP of Thailand. Add together the Eastern financial establishment, and they may in fact be more powerful than the U.S. government. The Rockefeller family that still controls ExxonMobil may in fact have more influence on our fates than the President, Congress, and Supreme Court of the United States put together.

      Those are the people that should be on trial at the Hague, I think.

      Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  December 7, 2015

        I agree with you on population, and to some extent growth. If we are low-carbon, there are still choices to be had, within limits.

        Reply
      • Leland Palmer

         /  December 7, 2015

        Hi Mblanc

        The sheer size of the solar energy resource has often been overlooked:

        ” Even yearly energy potential from sunshine dwarfs total energy potential from any other source.

        The annual energy potential from solar energy is 23,000 TWy. Energy potential from total recoverable reserves of coal is 900 TWy. For petroleum, it’s 240 TWy; and for natural gas, it’s 215 TWy. Wind energy’s yearly energy potential is 25–70 TWy.”

        This chart seems to have overlooked the methane hydrates, that might contain on the order of 1000 TWy or more, just by themselves, as natural gas. But in sheer size, the solar energy resource is roughly 1000 times our total energy needs as a society, even in 2050. The solar energy resource, in a single year, is on the order of ten times the total fossil fuel energy available to us.

        We’ll never run out of solar energy, or aluminum, or glass. Just with those things and a stable climate, we could live and do fine for millions of years on this planet, All we have to do is use the scientific knowledge we already have, and maybe pay a little more for energy than we do now. With solar energy, recycled materials and respect for the biosphere humans could live on this planet for hundreds of millions of years – so long as we avoid destabilizing the climate.

        Reply
      • Robert in New Orleans

         /  December 7, 2015

        Mr. Palmer,

        I respectfully disagree, population and economic growth just as responsible if not more than climate change as major threats to our collective futures. We live on a finite world, we cannot grow our way out of our current predicament.

        Reply
      • Leland Palmer

         /  December 8, 2015

        Hi Robert in New Orleans-

        The main cause of climate change is fossil fuel use. The total cumulative greenhouse heating from burning a quantity of fossil fuel is on the order of 100,000 times the useful heat of combustion. In the first year, greenhouse heating is something like 50-100 times the useful heat of combustion – and year after year, declining over time for thousands of years, we keep paying the greenhouse heating penalty for burning that fossil fuel.

        It’s no wonder the climate is destabilizing – that’s less like a reasonable energy supply system and more like an extremely virulent virus aimed at destroying the stability of the climate.

        Let’s do a thought experiment: suppose our energy supply system did not have heat side effects 100,000 times greater than the useful heat benefit?

        Take fossil fuels out of the picture, and we would still be living in a stable climate.

        The earth, while finite, is very large. Mineral resources, while finite, are very large. The supply of solar energy, while finite, is on the order of 1000 times our current energy usage.

        I’m not advocating having 50 billion people on the earth. But if we lived in arcologies, harnessed solar energy effectively, segregated our technology from the rest of the world as much as possible, and made sure that all materials cycle through the system instead of flow through it to end up in landfills, I believe we could easily have 50 billion people living sustainably on the earth. It’s not a good idea, but we could do it if we had to.

        I’m not advocating continued economic growth for Americans. We’re rich enough, I think. We should attempt to maintain our prosperity while using our science to reduce and eventually eliminate our ecological footprint.

        Human beings don’t have an unavoidably large ecological impact on the planet. We have an ecological impact that is heavily influenced by how we live, what our energy supply is, and how well we use our science to minimize our impacts on the earth.

        Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  December 9, 2015

        Hi Leland and Robert,

        I’m all for a better way of organising the world, the dominant ideology that prevails today, is morally and intellectually bankrupt, a thin veneer of bad logic, which favours the few.

        Equally, a fall in population would be a good thing for sure, and if you take a good long look at historical trends (as very few do before hitting the panic button), that is going to be easier than many (rich westerners) seem to think. It will cost, but it is far from impossible

        My fear is by trying to address other issues as well as CC, we lose time, and risk more. Mho is that we need to fix the climate ASAP, and if we get bogged down with other worthy issues, we might be in even greater trouble.

        This is more a reflection of how worried I am about CC, rather than the how I feel about other important issues.

        Reply
    • Leland Palmer

       /  December 6, 2015

      Hundred Seventy Split – Poison.

      I know I might die of the poison
      Invisible, hanging there in the sunlight
      For don’t you know that your Creator is running out of ideas?

      Reply
  111. – Subsidizing AGW FF:
    -NYT Justin Gillis
    [Odd title though.]

    On Tether to Fossil Fuels, Nations Speak With Money

    In their simplest form, fossil fuel subsidies amount to government spending to keep the price of fuel low for citizens… The International Energy Agency estimates that global subsidies total about $490 billion a year. Those direct subsidies are found chiefly in the developing world and in oil-producing nations.

    Industrialized countries like the United States are less likely to reduce the cost of fuel at the pump with government money, but experts who track subsidies say that America, too, finds ways to support fossil fuel use through tax breaks and in backing for exploration and production. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has counted 800 ways that rich industrial nations use taxpayer money to support fossil fuel producers.

    A new report from Oil Change International, an energy research and advocacy group, estimates that aid to the coal, oil and natural gas industries came to $452 billion last year. The group said the situation amounted to governments “allowing fossil fuel producers to undermine national climate commitments, while paying them for the privilege.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/06/science/on-tether-to-fossil-fuels-nations-speak-with-money.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=1

    Reply
  112. Chuck Hughes

     /  December 6, 2015

    Anyone have an expert opinion on what this means as fart as any sort of binding agreement? I mean, It doesn’t sound good to me but I’m not sure how to interpret some of the language used to describe what kind of agreements are being made. Thanks

    http://www.trust.org/item/20151205114648-4a5oo/?source=jtHeadlineStory

    Reply
  113. Chuck Hughes

     /  December 6, 2015

    As FAR – T omg! Sorry about that. i can’t see very well. Somebody please fix that. Thx.

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  December 6, 2015

      Hey, CH. it works for me! 🙂

      Reply
    • Caroline

       /  December 6, 2015

      It’s OK Chuck—-perhaps it was a Freudian slip given TPTB aren’t taking into account methane release as oceans warm and clathrates destabilize (sorry, couldn’t resist😉)
      Seriously I am MOST concerned about methane!! Reminder: show on http://www.wojb.org at 8:25 central time 11/6 (tomorrow/Monday) with James Kennett who has new findings regarding stability of gas hydrates and water temperature. Last chance for questions!

      Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  December 9, 2015

      Leave it in.🙂

      Reply
  114. NWS OPC ‏@NWSOPC 7h7 hours ago

    00Z OPC 48-hour forecasts w/hurricane force low, expansive area of gales over E Pacific & Bering Sea w/ seas to 9m.
    https://twitter.com/NWSOPC

    Reply
  115. CIRA layered PW helps visualize #AtmosphericRiver; easy to see AR stretching from the Caribbean to Ireland/UK! #GRPG

    Reply
  116. Ken Barrows

     /  December 6, 2015

    If the Federal Reserve raised the fed funds rate from 0-0.25% to 5% tomorrow, we’d get our emissions reductions. So let’s do it!

    Reply
  117. – There used to be a beach at this location.
    I used to surf there — til dusk.
    No more beach — AGW.

    – Santa Barbara County firefighters are on the scene of a water rescue.

    The incident took place Saturday at 5:26 p.m. on the 6700 block of Del Playa in Isla Vista.

    Three surfers, two females and one male, were in the water and became trapped against the cliffs. The waves prevented them from getting back to safety.
    http://www.ksby.com/story/30677262/santa-barbara-county-fire-department-on-scene-of-a-water-rescue-in-isla-vista

    Reply
  118. James Burton

     /  December 6, 2015

    Leave it to the Daily Mail! They have found information to put things in new perspective and here we have it : ” In the last decade, CO2 levels have more than trebled since the early 1960s and are up by almost a third in the last decade.
    However figures due to be published tomorrow will say emissions ‘nearly stalled’ at 37bn tonnes of CO2 last year, according to The Sunday Times.
    It suggests that emissions could be level or even fall in 2015, raising early hopes of turning point in the battle to limit the environmental impact of human behaviour.”

    So they SUGGEST levels of emission could level or even FALL in 2015!
    I recently watched the film ” Agents of Doubt”. It was hard to watch this film, knowing that they have succeeded in large measure to capture the debate, to capture the news, to capture HOW people think about climate change. A big bundle of money and some Public Relations experts, and stories like today’s Daily Mail piece are plastered all over the media.

    Reply
    • Syd Bridges

       /  December 6, 2015

      Thanks for posting this, Jeremy. I didn’t see much on the BBC, though maybe that has changed in the last few hours. Whilst Cameron will no doubt posture over this after the COBRA meeting, I don’t suppose that any of the a***holes in the Cabinet will ask WHY this is happening. The image that dt put up earlier of that atmospheric river from the Caribbean to southern Sweden speaks volumes.

      Even though I have taken a keen interest in climatology and global warming for many years, I had not heard of atmospheric rivers until September 2013, when one dropped 14 inches of rain in 4 days on my tent in northern Colorado. That was impossible to ignore, though the tent performed very well. Now they seem to be a regular event. Though it also occurs to me that the moisture might have been dragged across the Atlantic by all that hot air generated in Paris last week.

      Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  December 7, 2015

        Ireland is having a really bad time too.

        The Pennines took a chunk of that atmospheric river in NW Engand, this time at least. Also, check out the trends in rainfall for Scotland, because they are pretty bad.

        Reply
  119. Colorado Bob

     /  December 7, 2015

    Britain’s national weather service, the Met Office, said in one of the worst affected areas 201.8 millimetres (7.94 inches) of rain had fallen on Saturday – only slightly below the 215 mm usually seen during the whole of December. Gusts of wind reached 90 miles per hour, a spokesman said.
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-weather-idUKKBN0TP0GU20151207

    Reply
  120. Chuck Hughes

     /  December 7, 2015

    Caroline / December 6, 2015
    It’s OK Chuck—-perhaps it was a Freudian slip given TPTB aren’t taking into account methane release as oceans warm and clathrates destabilize (sorry, couldn’t resist😉)

    Oh well. My medication makes my vision blurry. That’s my excuse anyway. There are other nasty side effects but I’ll spare the readers on that one…

    I know methane is a factor but I’ve heard so many varying opinions about it that I don’t know what to think anymore. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a known “unknown”. What we’re doing is so unprecedented that there’s no corollary to point to. It can’t be good though so I’ve taken it out of that column. I guess that leaves bad, worse and tragic maybe.

    I’m very anxious about the Climate Conference and how soon anyone will be able to tell which way the wind is gonna blow. it’s better than anything in the past I guess but we don’t have any room for error. Revisit it in 5 years??? If that’s the plan then I’m not impressed.

    Reply
  121. Colorado Bob

     /  December 7, 2015

    ‘200-year flood’ ravages southern Norway

    http://www.thelocal.no/20151207/200-year-flood-ravages-southern-norway

    Reply
    • redskylite

       /  December 8, 2015

      Thanks for including that item, I’d only heard of the storm effecting Northern Ireland and the North of the U.K. Such scenes are getting so common younger people may start thinking it is normal. I read there is a lot of anger that more has not been done and spent on flood mitigation, directed at governments both national and local. I do nor hear the same people directing anger at coal and oil enterprises though, and demanding climate action. How much engineering is needed to cater for our ever warming atmosphere, that gives it the ability to carry more and more moisture ? Wish more people could connect the dots and use their vote.

      In this you-tube clip of the incident a house is actually being swept along in the storm water, and a cheerful smiling man appears at the end, maybe from relief as he doesn’t live there.

      Reply
  122. Chris Hedges’ latest: Apocalyptic Capitalism

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/apocalyptic_capitalism_20151206

    “The charade of the 21st United Nations climate summit will end, as past climate summits have ended, with lofty rhetoric and ineffectual cosmetic reforms. Since the first summit more than 20 years ago, carbon dioxide emissions have soared. Placing faith in our political and economic elites, who have mastered the arts of duplicity and propaganda on behalf of corporate power, is the triumph of hope over experience. There are only a few ways left to deal honestly with climate change: sustained civil disobedience that disrupts the machinery of exploitation; preparing for the inevitable dislocations and catastrophes that will come from irreversible rising temperatures; and cutting our personal carbon footprints, which means drastically reducing our consumption, particularly of animal products.”

    Reply
    • James Burton

       /  December 7, 2015

      Excellent link. Hedges has a good handle on corporate power and how it has captured government. Even more, he understands the financial services economy, the financial engineers who have created a world wide financial system outside the real economy. In order to create assets to feed this financialized economy, growth is a must. The asset owners and governments are in debt and have made trade bets that all hang on continued growth. To grow, energy use is the top priority. So it’s all connected, the wall street banker has trillions in trades that would collapse the world economy unless enough growth can be squeezed out of the real economy. We face a rigged game, where any lack of growth will implode the entire world banking system, because trillions of dollars hang on financial engineering schemes designed to make a tiny minority wealthy without work.

      Reply
  123. Colorado Bob

     /  December 7, 2015

    ExxonMobil Warns of ‘Catastrophic’ 7°F to 12°F Global Warming Without Government Action

    It’s a Through-The-Looking-Glass world. The Washington Post reports Sunday that ExxonMobil has a far saner view of global warming than the national Republican party.

    Fred Hiatt, the paper’s centrist editorial page editor, drops this bombshell:

    With no government action, Exxon experts told us during a visit to The Post last week, average temperatures are likely to rise by a catastrophic (my word, not theirs) 5 degrees Celsius, with rises of 6, 7 or even more quite possible.

    This is indeed basic climate science.
    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/12/07/3728921/exxonmobil-warns-catastrophic-global-warming/

    Reply
  124. – NWS OPC ‏@NWSOPC 4h4 hours ago

    low south of #Iceland has rapidly intensified to 956mb, will develop #hurricane force winds within the next few hrs

    Reply
  125. NWS OPC ‏@NWSOPC 21h21 hours ago

    GeoColor imagery reveals several lows & impulses aimed at PacNW, @NWSWPC 5 day total precip shows impressive totals

    Reply
  126. – They are burning USA fossil fuels that USA sells them. Much of the poison smog will blow back across the Pacific and poison the ocean until it reaches the PNW which ships them the fossil fuels — all will be poisoned by what the USA extracts and sells to the highest bidder.

    – Beijing issues first pollution red alert as smog engulfs capital

    Alert will prompt schools and factories to close and force millions of vehicles off roads after smog reached 40 times safe level in some areas

    Beijing has issued its first pollution red alert as acrid smog enveloped the Chinese capital for the second time this month.

    The alert will begin at 7am on Tuesday and should see millions of vehicles forced off the roads, factories and construction sites shut down and schools and nurseries advised to close.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/07/beijing-pollution-red-alert-smog-engulfs-capital?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+USA+-+Version+CB+header&utm_term=142086&subid=8553955&CMP=ema_565b

    Reply
  127. – A: Algae

    New program tests for harmful algae blooms, toxicity in Southeast waters

    ktoo.org/2015/12/06/southeast-organizations-monitor-for-worrisome-algal-

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  December 9, 2015

      I remember seeing a television program (forget which one) concerning this subject. A hunter claimed that he shot a polar bear/grizzly hybrid, recognizing that the polar-bear-looking animal had very distinct features emblematic of a grizzly bear. Subsequent genetic testing confirmed it was indeed a hybrid.

      Reply
  128. This is what non-deniers scientist publish—whether it advances their “agenda” or not. Honest, hard-gotten data, nothing more, nothing less..

    “””The volume of carbon dioxide belched into the atmosphere from human activity this year is on track to decline slightly from last year’s emissions, according to a new analysis published in the journal Nature Climate Change on Monday. The anticipated decrease in CO2 emissions comes even as the world economy is growing, suggesting a turning point in clean energy development—and a long-hoped-for “decoupling” of economic growth and increased carbon emissions.

    A flattening of emissions in 2014 and this year’s expected decrease contrast with the rapid growth of emissions over the past decade. It is, however, far from the zero or near zero emissions required to halt global warming. Some say the trend in declining emissions is only temporary, but others counter that the finding offers a rare glimmer of hope in the fight against climate change.””””

    “I think we could be seeing a new trajectory of CO2 emissions,” said Stanford University’s Robert Jackson, the paper’s lead author. “I hope it’s the start of a long and challenging downward trend.”””””

    http://insideclimatenews.org/news/07122015/global-carbon-emissions-rising-decades-decline-2015-study-climate-change-paris

    Reply
    • Apneaman

       /  December 8, 2015

      Except the economy is not growing. This is just more desperation to believe.

      Reply
    • Hi Apneaman—do you have a link re: economy not growing?

      Reply
      • Apneaman

         /  December 8, 2015

        The Search for the Crash of 2015

        “Taken by itself, this could be called business as usual. But there are many other red warning lights flashing and klaxons sounding that tell us things in the markets are far from “usual.”

        The pace of mergers and acquisitions, an emergency substitute for actual profits and growth, is frenzied — the fastest since Just Before the Last Recession in 2007 (hereafter JBLR).

        Similarly, stock buybacks –an artificial means of raising or maintaining dividends in hard times — are bigger and more frequent than JBLR.

        Declines in corporate sales and earnings are worse, and have been for longer, than JBLR.
        Junk bonds are crashing now, just like they did JBLR.

        Corporate debt defaults have increased to a level not seen since JBLR, on debt that has doubled since then.

        Money velocity — the rate at which dollars change hands in the economy — is the lowest ever recorded, including at the depths of the last recession.

        Manufacturing in the US is contracting faster than JBLR.

        Unsold goods are piling up in stores and warehouses at a rate not seen since JBLR.

        All of which goes to show that the US stock market is charging along, not like a bull on a tear, but like Wile E. Coyote just off the edge of a cliff: his legs are still churning, but there’s nothing under them, and as soon as he looks down it will be all over but the splat.

        In the larger world, the precursors that ushered us into the financial firestorm of 2007-08 and 09 are looming large again:

        The crash of the stock markets in China and 26 other major countries means that virtually every trade and financial partner we have in the world is in trouble.

        Global trade is freezing up. The movement of cargo by ship is at historic lows. Imports landing at America’s three busiest seaports during the height of the shipping season — September and October — were down by 10 per cent. Orders for new ships, rail cars and long-haul trucks are tanking everywhere.

        Commodity prices as tracked by the Bloomberg Index are at a 16-year low, reflecting both the implosion of China’s overheated economy and the impoverishment of formerly middle-class consumers worldwide.

        And then there is one factor not present JBLR, that threatens to make this round much worse: the tanking of the US oil industry. What was being touted as a revolution that would restore the country to energy independence has turned out to be just another Ponzi scheme that is unwinding with breathtaking consequences, adding to the financial carnage that is piling up bodies in all the marketplaces of the world.”

        http://www.dailyimpact.net/2015/12/07/the-search-for-the-crash-of-2015/

        Reply
      • Apneaman

         /  December 8, 2015

        White, Middle-Age Suicide In America Skyrockets
        White, middle-age suicide spiked 40% in the last 10 years. Why?

        https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/reading-between-the-headlines/201305/white-middle-age-suicide-in-america-skyrockets

        Reply
      • Hi Apneaman and all who contributed to teasing out the Nature article’s results re: CO2 emissions…lots of moving parts and data that is not easily accessed by one individual and your responses show, for me, how essential it is re: working and looking at these issues by different people with different skill sets.

        What I admired most and a major reason why I posted that link was to1) get feedback on it and 2) show that ethical scientists will publish data that they get without regard for whether it speaks for their agenda or not—knowint that it will be critiqued and scrubbed for inaccuracies. I’d heard an interview on NPR that day and the interviewer asked one of the study spokesman, “will this hurt your cause in Paris?” He answered it tactfully but I thought it was emblematic of our media. Pushing agendas and data be damned.

        Thanks again.

        Reply
  129. Vic

     /  December 8, 2015

    The Global Carbon Project have been tracking greenhouse gas emissions for more than a decade, during which time emissions typically grew at around 2.4% each year.

    Until 2014 which saw a zero percent increase.

    Their latest estimates for 2015 are now showing a 0.5% decrease in emissions, while the global economy continued to grow by 3.0% .

    We live in interesting times.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-08/economic-growth-possible-without-worsening-climate-change/7008280

    Reply
    • uilyam

       /  December 8, 2015

      The Global Carbon Project numbers quoted in the Nature Climate Change commentary by Jackson et al. do NOT track total greenhouse gas emissions, and even do NOT track total CO2 emissions. They only track CO2 emissions from fossil carbon combustion and cement production. For the 2015 estimates, they projected emissions for China, the USA, and the rest of the world. I quote from page 2 of the supplementary information to the paper:

      “Using these separate projections, as described below and in Le Quéré et al.[2], we estimate that the growth in global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion and cement production will be near or slightly below zero in 2015, with a rate of growth of –0.6% below 2014 levels (range of –1.6% to +0.5%). As with most forecasts, our method contains several assumptions and large uncertainties that could influence results beyond the given range. Within the given assumptions, global emissions decrease to 9.7 ± 0.5 GtC (35.7 ± 1.8 GtCO2) in 2015, but are still 59% above emissions in 1990.”

      The discussion of stabilization wedges on page 2 of the Nature commentary is also interesting. According to the authors, seven successful wedges are necessary. Two are currently on track to be successful. Three wedges have been partially successful but are not on track to be fully successful. Other potential wedges have shown no essential progress.

      Finally, I note that the commentary does not discuss “natural” greenhouse gas emissions such as CO2 emissions from wildfires (think of Indonesia, for example), nor does it discuss reduced natural sequestration of CO2. With regard to the Keeling curve, I note that it responds to more than just CO2 emissions from fossil carbon combustion and cement production.

      Reply
  130. Abel Adamski

     /  December 8, 2015

    And from the other side of the fence
    http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/data-mine/2015/12/07/hey-big-spenders-global-warmings-going-to-hit-us-in-our-wallets

    A new survey released Monday morning by the New York University School of Law finds that economists – generally seen as more conservative than scientists and environmentalists on the topic of climate change – are, in fact, more concerned about global warming than the general public.

    The vast majority – more than 75 percent – believes climate change “will have a long-term negative impact” on the global economy, and 80 percent say the United States can lead the way by unilaterally reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions, regardless how other nations act.

    “There is clear consensus among economic experts that climate change poses major risks to the economy and that significant policy responses will be needed to avoid large economic damages,”

    Monday’s survey, however, found economists “overwhelmingly” believe the U.S. should act on its own no matter what other nations do – that it’s actions on climate could, in short, induce others to follow suit, and that the country stands to gain either way.

    “Economists seem to believe that the United States would benefit from enacting strong domestic climate policies in the near term regardless of any concerns about ‘free-riding’ by other countries,” the survey found. “These findings strongly suggest that policymakers in the United States and elsewhere should be concerned about a lack of action on climate change.”

    Reply
  131. Colorado Bob

     /  December 8, 2015

    British insurers rethink models after repeat of 100-year floods

    Five of the six wettest years on record have happened since 2000, according to the Association of British Insurers, which said flooding in the Carlisle area cost insurers 272 million pounds in 2005.

    Link

    Reply
  132. Colorado Bob

     /  December 8, 2015

    15 Feet of Snow Could Fall Near Mount Rainier’s Peak Early This Week

    The Sunday night National Weather Service (NWS) forecast near the summit of Mount Rainier predicted that up to 190 inches (15.8 feet) of snow would fall at an elevation of 12,762 feet from Sunday night through Wednesday night. The low end of the forecast range from the NWS was still an impressive 152 inches (12.6 feet). For reference, Mount Rainier’s peak elevation rises to 14,410 feet.

    Link

    Reply
  133. Colorado Bob

     /  December 8, 2015

    13 inches in 24 hours: Flooding storm ‘Desmond’ shatters U.K. rainfall records

    Storm Desmond wrung out this moisture over Ireland, northern England and Scotland. An incredible 13.44 inches of rain fell in 24 hours at Honister Pass in the Lake District. The total sets a new record for 24-hour rainfall at the location, says the U.K. Met Office. The previous record for 24-hour rainfall was 12.45 inches at Seathwaite, Cumbria, in November of 2009.

    15.94 inches of rain fell at Thirlmere — also in the Lake District — in just 48 hours, which also set a new record for the 48-hour period. The previous 48-hour rainfall record was 15.57 inches, which was also set at Seathwaite in November 2009.

    Link

    Reply
  134. dnem

     /  December 8, 2015

    I’m interested in this recent Nature Climate Change paper reporting that global C02 emissions actually fell slightly despite a growing global economy. The Keeling Curve certainly did not seem to get the memo. Does this mean that the Keeling Curve integrates emissions over longer times period, and the dip will show up later? Or, more likely, that the measured dip actually under-reports true emissions from all sources or that global sinks are becoming less efficient at sequestering emissions (or both). And one more point, not only did no MSM report on the paper mention that global CO2 CONCENTRATIONS continued to rise, NPR actually conflated emissions and concentration and reported that concentrations fell (big surprise there). Robert, would love to get your take on the relationship between measured emissions and the Keeling Curve.

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  December 8, 2015

      dnem: My two cents worth is this: The RATE of increase slowed. In order (natural feedbacks not considered) for Keeling’s Curve to flatten we would have to cut global emissions of CO2 in half. From some 11 Gtons C (of the CO2) to 5.5 Gtons Carbon. In half because currently about half is going into the ocean and high latitude terrestrial sinks…and this may/may not continue… Intentionally misleading reporting by media, in my opinion.

      Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  December 8, 2015

        “It is not whether emissions stop growing, it is whether they stop period.” Kevin Trenberth

        Reply
      • dnem

         /  December 8, 2015

        I get that Kevin. (Actually the paper predicts that 2015 will show an actual decrease in emissions for 2015 compared to 2014). My point is it would be clearer to the public if the point was made when reporting this small drop that the actual concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere continues to rise.

        Reply
    • Aldous

       /  December 8, 2015

      We also have to keep in mind that according to the October 2015 IMF World Economic Outlook, the global economy is not growing robustly, but rather it is shrinking by 4.9% or $3.8 trillion.

      http://www.voxeu.org/article/shrinking-planetary-gdp

      I suspect that the notion of and presentation of decoupling greenhouse gas emissions from economic growth is a sophisticated form of maintaining pro-business, neoliberal policies. I.e. the status quo.

      Additionally, the analysis provided in Nature Climate Change attributes a portion of the decline in global emissions to a decline in China’s coal consumption. However, back in November of 2015, the New York Times reported that China, “has been burning up to 17 percent more coal a year than the government previously disclosed, according to newly released data.” (I cannot post a second link)

      Reply
  135. Kevin Jones

     /  December 8, 2015

    democracynow.org just concluded an excellent interview with Kevin Anderson.

    Reply
  136. Colorado Bob

     /  December 8, 2015

    Wow –
    Last month Chennai recorded 1218.6 mm (47.98”) of rain, the highest observed for any November in more than 100 years of recordkeeping. Then, on December 1-2, a total of 345 mm (13.58”) fell in 24 hours, which smashed the city’s all-time 24-hour record rainfall of 261.6 mm on December 10, 1901. Estimated losses in the region have already topped $2 billion US.

    Link

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  December 8, 2015

      An average of 1.98 inches per day for 31 straight days….. More than five feet.

      Reply
  137. Colorado Bob

     /  December 8, 2015

    What Japan’s Venus probe could tell us about Earth?

    Much like Earth’s greenhouse gas effect, Venus’ atmosphere traps heat to warm the surface of the planet. But something about Venus’ atmosphere makes the effect much more extreme. Temperatures on the second planet can reach 870 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to melt lead.

    The NASA explains just how inhospitable Venus is: “The planet’s 96% carbon dioxide atmosphere is thick and steamy with a corrosive mist of sulfuric acid floating through it. The terrain is forbidding, strewn with craters and volcanic calderas – and bone dry.”

    Link

    Reply
  138. Colorado Bob

     /  December 8, 2015

    Exxon Mobil backs carbon tax

    Exxon Mobil several years ago threw its support behind a revenue-neutral carbon tax, which it says is the most transparent and the easiest way to add carbon costs. A revenue-neutral carbon tax would pump government proceeds back into the economy. Other ways, Exxon Mobil believes, are inefficient. For example, it says, Telsa vehicles cost plenty of electricity from the grid to assemble but don’t contribute much to emissions reductions because of their range limitations.

    Link

    Reply
  139. Just dropping off this link in case no one else puts it up. More haunting images:
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/gallery/2015/dec/08/greenlands-dark-snow-in-pictures

    Reply
  140. Colorado Bob

     /  December 8, 2015

    Some climate change impacts may appear sooner than expected

    Only immediate and aggressive efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change can head off these accelerating near-term impacts, argues a commentary paper published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience. As more impacts occur, the incentives for addressing the causes of climate change will themselves change, the paper’s authors warn.

    “Our argument is that if you want to do something, you’d better do something now because over time, you are going to lose the ability to have an impact,” said Juan Moreno-Cruz, an assistant professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Economics and one of the paper’s five co-authors. “If we delay action on climate change, the likelihood of doing something will be reduced because the damages will be accelerating. The incentives to address it are going to disappear as more damage occurs.”

    Read more at: Link

    Reply
    • AveryCottonwood

       /  December 8, 2015

      http://www.pik-potsdam.de/~anders/publications/ricke_moreno-cruz15.pdf

      The paper in question makes quite an interesting point. What’s bad at 6 degrees is still worse than at 2 degrees, but only by a comparatively small fraction of impact. What’s bad from between where we are at the moment to 2 degrees, is catastrophic, and going to happen within the time it takes to reach 2 degrees.

      Reply
      • AveryCottonwood

         /  December 8, 2015

        “With climate change impacts that are
        severe early on and then taper off, there is a
        risk that once an optimal global temperature
        is overshot the world will end up in a state
        in which marginal costs exceed marginal
        impacts. These conditions are conducive
        to a shift in climate goals towards a
        different equilibrium, characterized by high
        temperature change and correspondingly
        low levels of mitigation. If climate policies
        are not sufficiently ambitious early on,
        society could land in a state in which
        welfare is considerably lower than in the
        low-temperature equilibrium”

        Reply
  141. Colorado Bob

     /  December 8, 2015

    10 Million in Ethiopia Face Hunger After Worst Drought in Decades

    JOHANNESBURG—

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in 50 years. Save the Children has launched an urgent call for food aid but says that is only a temporary fix and world leaders meeting in Paris must act on climate change.

    Ethiopia’s government says a staggering 10.1 million people will face critical food shortages in 2016 — and that more than half of those are children. Adding to that, an estimated 400,000 children are at risk of severe acute malnutrition — a condition that can lead to stunting and physical and mental problems.

    Link

    Reply
  142. Colorado Bob

     /  December 8, 2015

    In Drought-Hit Uttar Pradesh, The Poor Are Eating Rotis Made Of Grass

    Bundelkhand has been roiled by three successive crop failures – for two years because of drought, and a year in the middle because of unseasonal rain

    Over the past fortnight as India’s attention was riveted on the floods in Chennai, the shadow of drought has deepened across Uttar Pradesh. Fifty of the state’s 75 districts have been officially declared as drought-hit. Through this week, NDTV’s Truth vs Hype show reports from one such region, Bundelkhand where successive crop failures have had a convulsive impact on its people: from worsening hunger to mass exodus of entire villages. In a three-part series, ‘Harvest of Hunger’, we report not just on the impact of drought but also investigate the gradual collapse of the safety nets that are meant to protect the rural poor from such events. In the first part, NDTV looks at whether the hunger which has forced people in Bundelkhand to eat grass and weeds, a man-made phenomenon?

    Link

    Reply
  143. Colorado Bob

     /  December 8, 2015

    Thailand’s Drought: Time to conserve water is now

    SALT WATER INTRUSION

    There has been a reduction of Chao Phraya River water available to be used due to a problem of salt water salt water Meaning: water with salt in it Thai Translation: ที่น้ำกร่อย , มีรสกร่อย
    Learn more
    intrusion, said Thanasak Watanathana, the governor of the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority (MWA).

    People living in Bangkok and nearby provinces, particularly Nonthaburi and Samut Prakan, to which the MWA supplies tap water, should prepare to deal with possible water shortages during the drought season which lasts from now until May next year.

    Link

    Reply
  144. Colorado Bob

     /  December 8, 2015

    Columbia-led research shows causes of California drought are complex

    Ben Cook, a research scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory who studies climate records spanning thousands of years before humans began influencing it, said that he thinks the question itself is misstated.

    “Whenever some extreme weather climate event happens, whether it’s a hurricane or a flood or a drought, there’s always the question of ‘Did climate change cause this?’ In some ways, that’s the wrong question,” Cook said. “The right question is, ‘Was there an anthropogenic influence that made this event more likely or more intense, and how large of an influence was that?’”

    Link

    Reply
  145. – The Guardian 1218

    Greenpeace exposes sceptics hired to cast doubt on climate science

    Sting operation uncovers two prominent climate sceptics available for hire by the hour to write reports on the benefits of rising CO2 levels and coal

    An undercover sting by Greenpeace has revealed that two prominent climate sceptics were available for hire by the hour to write reports casting doubt on the dangers posed by global warming.

    Over the course of their investigation, Greenpeace posed as the representative of a Middle Eastern oil and gas company and an Indonesian Coal company. In the guise of a Beirut-based business consultant they asked William Ha pper , the Cyrus Fogg Brackett professor of physics at Princeton University, to write a report touting the benefits of rising carbon emissions, according to email exchanges between the professor and the fake company.

    “My activities to push back against climate extremism are a labor of love, to defend the cherished ideals of science that have been so corrupted by the climate change cult,” he wrote in an email. He did not respond to a request from the Guardian for comment.
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/08/greenpeace-exposes-sceptics-cast-doubt-climate-science?CMP=share_btn_tw

    Reply
    • Read the article this morning. I think it was a very important “sting operation” by Greenpeace and glad it is getting some play in mainstream media. Thanks for posting.

      Reply
  146. – I fail to see complexity here.
    Homo saps have caused a latitudinal warming of western North America – think of a huge northward expansion of the Sonoran desert with a bit of tropical/sub tropical influences filling some of the void.
    Car crazy California’s ‘drought’ is merely a symptom of this.
    I’ve seen it up close. It’s not pretty either.
    – Modern humans have a very hard time grasping the obvious.
    I’ve seen that up close too.

    – “Trickle on Columbia…”

    Reply
    • – This is a response to “Columbia-led research shows causes of California drought are complex”.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  December 8, 2015

        I was for going for the framing of this tired old media fueled question . And I for one , like the answer.

        “Whenever some extreme weather climate event happens, whether it’s a hurricane or a flood or a drought, there’s always the question of ‘Did climate change cause this?’ In some ways, that’s the wrong question,” Cook said. “The right question is, ‘Was there an anthropogenic influence that made this event more likely or more intense, and how large of an influence was that?’”

        As for the rest of your comments, I am in complete agreement. We’re living in casino where all the dealers are drunk, and all the cards are marked.

        Reply
  147. – Arctic News:

    Strong winds and high waves are hitting the Arctic Ocean from both the Atkantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

    Above image shows waves as high as 12.36 m or 40.5 ft near Greenland on December 8, 2015.

    http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2015/12/strong-winds-and-high-waves-hit-arctic-ocean.html

    Reply
    • – “The situation looks set to get even worse. The image further down on the right shows that waves as high as 14.04 m or 46.1 ft are forecast to hit the Bering Strait on December 13, 2015.”

      Reply
    • Caroline

       /  December 8, 2015

      Don’t worry DT —-this is how Neven responded to the news about the extreme wind and waves in the Arctic as posted by CB:
      “What can I say? It’s winter, and winters tend to be stormy in the Arctic.
      Posted by: Neven | December 09, 2015 at 00:05”

      Reply
      • Caroline

         /  December 9, 2015

        Just to be clear—-statement above from me was said in a sardonic manner.
        While I appreciate Neven’s site and the work he does, what is happening in the Arctic is very serious, sorry he was so dismissive of CB’s post.

        Reply
      • – The Arctic, in 2015- 16, is very vulnerable to wind and waves — which is my concern.

        Reply
      • danabanana

         /  December 9, 2015

        And what would you have Neven do other than poke a bit of fun at such disastrous events?

        … Arctic sea ice is as good as gone and no amount of emission cuts will bring it back. It is all well and good to be concerned but how does ones concern fix the current AGW?

        Reply
  148. Colorado Bob

     /  December 9, 2015

    I am reminded of Grace Slick –

    “It’s a wild thyme , I’m doing things that don’t have a name yet.”

    Link

    She’s still alive.

    And she was right –

    “It’s a wild thyme , I’m doing things that don’t have a name yet.”

    Certainly , what just happened in Iceland. Now it moves on to the East.

    Eight years ago, I read a statement from the head of US Forest Fire Service , “We Have never seen this before”.

    If had a nickle for everyone have I seen make that same statement since then , I’d have like 5 Bucks. Which is over 100 people saying the same thing-

    “We Have never seen this before”.

    Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  December 9, 2015

      I have been hearing that in the UK this week, Bob. I guess the citizens of Chennai will have been saying something similar.

      Reply
  149. Colorado Bob

     /  December 9, 2015

    “We Have never seen this before”.

    Reply
  150. Colorado Bob

     /  December 9, 2015

    RS –

    You made this mess , not us . It’s now 8 days since the last time stamp. Either post or die.

    This new phase will serve none of us. Not your family . or the world.

    Post up buddy, and do it today. or tell us you are leaving the field.

    Now spit –

    Reply
    • Robert in New Orleans

       /  December 10, 2015

      Hey Mr. Bob,

      Take a chill pill , if RS is under the weather or is preoccupied with something else, give the man his peace after all this is his blog. And you need to stop posting so many you tube music videos as it is making the website more difficult to load up on my iPad at night when I like to read it.

      Reply
  151. Colorado Bob

     /  December 9, 2015

    RS –
    “I’d be half way to Mexico by now , if it wasn’t for that crazy squaw;

    I picked this metaphor for a reason.

    Hell is comin’ breakfast.

    Reply
    • – Well, before breakfast is served, we have a floor show planned. Please remain seated.

      Why Is Shock Jock Mark Steyn Testifying At A Senate Hearing On Climate Science?

      Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), the climate science-denying presidential candidate who chairs the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness, convened a December 8 hearing that purported to answer whether the “debate over the magnitude of human impact on earth’s climate” is being driven by “data or dogma.” One of Cruz’s star witnesses is frequent Rush Limbaugh Show guest host Mark Steyn, whose extreme attacks on a climate scientist appear to be the main reason he was invited to participate.

      http://mediamatters.org/blog/2015/12/08/why-is-shock-jock-mark-steyn-testifying-at-a-se/207349

      Reply
  152. Colorado Bob

     /  December 9, 2015

    RS –
    Now spit –

    Reply
  153. Colorado Bob

     /  December 9, 2015

    If we face the threat of our age , how come we don’t draft the best and brightest , and tax our most rich streams of money ?

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  December 9, 2015

      We are the fucking Romans. They did the exact same thing when a new threat showed up.
      They didn’t tax themselves , and they didn’t send their best.

      Reply
    • I suspect you did not need a response. But, I wanted to reply.

      Because capitalism. More precisely, creative destruction is the policy of choice. The amount of socialism required to repair the virus-like political and climate policy of the 20th century is a major threat to the power of any State government as understood in Political Science.They [the State institutions] must “protect,” especially China, its power and ideology. If broad institutional change does not occur, then I submit for consideration that slow change, limited responsiveness, and low resilience goals will be the agenda items [less than climate science demands]. We value the “temple on the hill” above all else. No one is allowed to tear it down without a fight (according to political science).

      In the event the above (I think we can call this a counter factual conditional) is correct, it must follow that “acceptable losses” of biota, human life, and habitat will be allowed in order to preserve the “needs of the oligarchy.” All in an effort to protect those valued institutions…I do believe this kind of thinking will occur under capitalist institutions with a fossil fuel energy system. No one needs a reminder of the horrifying ethical failure that would be.

      Reply
  154. Colorado Bob

     /  December 9, 2015

    We are the fucking Romans. All the trashed brains in the NFI, remind me of all the winners in Rome. Without the shoe contracts.

    Reply
  155. Colorado Bob

     /  December 9, 2015

    I’m not done.

    Reply
  156. Apneaman

     /  December 9, 2015

    All America’s best and brightest get recruited before graduation by the MIC, CIA, NSA, Goldman Sachs et al and spend their careers oppressing the masses on behalf of their 1% masters. The rest are too fat, stupid, lazy and selfish to meet the ever lower standards of military recruitment. Like all empires in their last stage, the US will turn to hiring ever more mercenaries; like Blackwater for their military misadventures while the sheep will turn to more drugs, distraction, decadence and denial. There is a pattern to dying civilizations. Once you know it, it becomes plain as day that it is playing out yet again. I think this time it may be the entire species that falls.

    Reply
    • I’m one of the doomsayers, but there is no credible reason to posit that the human species has a probability of failure yet. Take a keen look at the superhuman motivation of the Chinese culture-state to overcome foreign dominance and humiliation. I suspect China will be more motivated to survive and overcome the threat of anthropocentric climate change than any other political power. We shall see how the Chinese state responds to future climate change.

      Reply
      • Apneaman

         /  December 9, 2015

        I guess that it’s a matter of who and what (evidence) is deemed creditable. I tend to think past events are helpful. Motivation is fine, but it does not trump the laws of biology, physics and chemistry and there is no such thing as “superhuman”. Climate change is but one existential threat, ocean acidification and the 6th mass extinction are biggies as well. All our problems are of our own making and can be categorized as overshoot. In the next 24hrs we will add another 225,000 souls to the population and the carnage will grow that much more. This happens everyday.

        Humans could be among the victims of sixth ‘mass extinction’, scientists warn

        “And the study, which was published in the journal Science Advances on Friday and described by its authors as “conservative”, said humans were likely to be among the species lost.

        “If it is allowed to continue, life would take many millions of years to recover and our species itself would likely disappear early on,” lead author Gerardo Ceballos of the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico said.”

        http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-20/sixth-mass-extinction-impact-humans-study-says/6560700

        Reply
      • Caroline

         /  December 9, 2015

        “there is no credible reason to posit that the human species has a probability of failure yet.”
        Takeaway from the radio interview with paleogeologist James Kennett (as noted in comment thread above) was that we could be well on our way to a very rapid extinction event. Humans are NOT immune to extinction events which is the norm for life on the planet (extinction).
        The methane “clathrate gun” (Professor Kennett coined that term which basically means no way of stopping methane release when a threshold is reached) may indeed have been fired by human induced warming. Methane is rising out of seabeds throughout the world. If indeed that “clathrate gun” has been fired, we are on track for catastrophic, unstoppable warming/ocean anoxia that could occur in less than 50 years. This could wipe out most—–if not all—– life on this planet.
        Professors Kennett’s research has confirmed that previous catastrophic methane release occurred in 50 years.

        Reply
    • uilyam

       /  December 9, 2015

      Death seems necessary for evolution (otherwise, successor progeny have no room). Civilizations are, in a sense, a level in evolution. Hence, civilizations must die. The problem is that a global civilization dies globally. Because we have only one globe, it would seem wise to avoid global civilizations. For example, it might be crucial that China remain a Chinese civilization and not become part of the “global civilization.” We may be too late for that. If that is so, then our remaining alternative is to achieve a peaceful death of the global civilization while maintaining the possible continued existence of successor civilizations (or the seeds of such civilizations). I stress the plural “civilizationS.”

      Reply
      • entropicman

         /  December 9, 2015

        The world civilisation depends on communications, transport, resources and a livable environment.

        Without these we default to peasant agriculture and local warlords.

        Reply
      • entropicman

         /  December 9, 2015

        I am not sure that a successor civilisation will be possible. All the easily available resources that bootstrapped World Civilisation 1.0 have been used up.

        Without them, it would be difficult to start again.

        Reply
      • utoutback

         /  December 9, 2015

        Remember – when we talk about extinction and evolution we are using a time frame of hundreds of millions of years. My vote is for insects next. We’ve had reptiles – and mammals are giving it a go now.
        I hate to give up on us just yet…. but it’s going to take a really serious climate catastrophe to get us moving and then it will probably be too late.

        Reply
      • uilyam

         /  December 10, 2015

        @utoutback – I’m not sure what you mean by extinction and evolution implying a time frame of hundreds of millions of years. Extinction can happen rather quickly (and is currently). The time for evolution is measured in generations, not years. A clear change in a population can occur rapidly under opportunities and strong selective pressure, in a few generations (often four to ten generations for some organisms).

        Reply
  157. – Broken Weather PNW PDX 120815

    Yesterday’s low temperature as recorded by the National Weather Service Portland was 56 degrees F, or 20 degrees above the normal of 36. The high was 62, or 16 degrees above normal.
    The weather is broken. We broke it.
    It will break us.
    OUT

    Reply
  158. – BEWARE OF ANY HEADING THAT COUPLES ‘ENERGY’ (FF) WITH ENVIRONMENT.

    WaPo Energy and Environment

    Scientists just discovered a surprising new factor that could make global warming worse

    … They’re arguing that the biggest driver is tropical nighttime temperatures, which are expected to warm at a faster rate than average temperatures otherwise will.

    As these temperatures rise, the researchers say, they could begin to seriously interfere with forests’ ability to store carbon, even helping tip the scales one day in the future so that our global forests turn into a net source of greenhouse gas emissions — leaking carbon into the atmosphere rather than sucking it out, and thus exacerbating global climate change.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/12/09/the-surprising-factor-affecting-carbon-storage-in-the-worlds-forests/

    Reply
  159. Snap out of it Bob. We are not Romans. We are motorists, or Fordists, if anything.

    Reply
  160. Plaster of Paris
    Activists covered the city in “Wanted” posters that call out climate criminals.

    Activist group Avaaz thinks that climate deniers deserve a more forceful qualifier for their creative interpretations of the atmospheric sciences—it prefers climate criminals. On Monday morning, volunteers plastered more than 1,000 “Wanted” posters, featuring the faces and names of seven prominent fossil fuel lobbyists who have been obstructing the climate movement. The group put the signs up near Paris’s five-star hotels and handed out fliers to passersby at metro stations.

    Reply
  161. CO2 flux and wind stress
    Published on Dec 9, 2015

    This animation shows the ocean surface CO2 flux between 1/1/2009 and 12/31/2010. Blue colors indicate uptake and orange-red colors indicate outgassing of ocean carbon. The pathlines indicate surface wind stress.

    NASA Climate Change

    Reply
  162. West Vancouver bracing for sea level rise
    Construction fill used to protect waterfront from future flooding

    A 2008 government report entitled “Projected sea level changes for British Columbia in the 21st century,” forecast the continued rise of sea levels globally as the result of continental glacier and ice cap melt, as well upper ocean warming.

    In B.C., sea levels will also be impacted by local conditions, it noted, “including ocean and weather conditions and vertical movements of lands due to geological processes.”
    http://www.nsnews.com/news/west-vancouver-bracing-for-sea-level-rise-1.2129067

    Reply
  163. Algae bloom to blame in state’s largest fish kill this year

    Maryland Department of the Environment investigators said Tuesday that up to 200,000 fish were found killed in the Upper Middle River and its tributaries last month by an algae bloom.

    … the type of algae blamed in the fish kill, called Karlodinium venficum, damages a fish’s gills so that it can’t take in oxygen.

    The fish killed include largemouth bass, yellow perch and bluegills, among several others.
    http://www.wbaltv.com/news/algae-bloom-to-blame-in-states-largest-fish-kill-this-year/36879340

    Reply
  1. Que se passa na ciência climática, enquanto os outros olham para a COP21 Paris? | Aquecimento Global Descontrolado
  2. Climate Tactics Redux | Economic Undertow
  3. 1.06 C Above 1880: Climate Year 2015 Shatters All Previous Records For Hottest Ever Recorded | robertscribbler

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