Warm Storm Brings Rain Over Arctic Sea Ice in Winter

The Starks were wrong. Winter isn’t coming. It’s dying.

******

As The Atlantic so aptly notes, the hottest year in the global climate record is ending with a Storm that will Unfreeze the North Pole. A warm storm that is now predicted to bring never-before-seen above freezing temperatures in the range of 32 to 36 degrees Fahrenheit for the highest Latitude in the Northern Hemisphere by afternoon tomorrow. A storm expected to dump six inches of rain and bring 80 mile per hour winds to a Northern England already suffering the worst flooding events in all of its long history. A storm that will rage ashore in Iceland packing 90-100 mile per hour winds and hurl both heavy rains and snows across that volcanic isle.

Frank 4 lows

(Three of Frank’s multiple strong low pressure systems raging through the North Atlantic on Tuesday, December 29. At 956, 948, and 974 mb, two of these lows each pack the strength of a major hurricane — but with their energy spread out over a larger area. By late tonight two of these lows will have combined and tracked toward Iceland bombing out into a 920 mb class monster storm. Meanwhile, the far flung effects of these storms will have resulted in yet another round of high winds and very severe flooding for England. Image source: Ocean Prediction Center.)

It’s a storm with impacts stretching from just west of Spain and all the way to the North Pole itself. A sprawling monster of a thing covering the area the size of a small continent. The very precursor in fact of Dr. James Hansen’s ‘continent-sized frontal storms packing the strength of hurricanes.’ The dark beasts this visionary scientist feared might arise during an age in which the great glaciers of the world started to melt — the cool outflow of their waters conflicting with a raging human forced warming of the globe to radically destabilize the world’s weather (see Storms of My Grandchildren).

The impacts of this storm, which the UK Met Office is now calling Frank, could well be tremendous. Cumbria in Northern England may be set to experience yet another ‘worst flood on record’ — one of three occurring just this month. And the 920 mb range central low of this sprawling system is forecast to rip through the heart of Iceland itself. But the more visible risk of damages to England and Iceland may well pale in comparison to the quiet, yet drastic impacts taking place in the far north.

image

(Unprecedented doesn’t even begin to describe rain over Arctic sea ice above the 80 degree North Latitude line on the evening of Tuesday, December 29, 2015. It’s something we’d rarely see during summer time. But this rain is falling through the black of polar night during the coldest time of the year. Image source: Climate Reanalyzer.)

There, over the Arctic sea ice today, the rains began in winter time.

As the first front of warm air proceeded over the ice pack to the north of Svalbard, the rains fell through 35-40 degree (F) air temperatures. It splattered upon Arctic Ocean ice that rarely even sees rain during summer-time. Its soft pitter-patter a whisper that may well be the sound to mark the end of a geological age.

For we just don’t see rain over Arctic sea ice north of Greenland during Winter time. Or we used to not. But the warmth that liquid water falling through the black of what should be a bone-cold polar night represents something ominous. Something ushered to our world by human fossil fuel industry’s tremendous emission of heat trapping gasses. Gasses that in the range of 400 ppm CO2 and 485 ppm CO2e are now strong enough to begin to roll back the grip of Winter. Gasses, that if they keep being burned until we hit a range between 550-650 ppm CO2 (or equivalent) will likely be powerful enough to wipe out Winter as we know it entirely over the course of long and tumultuous years of painful transition.

What does the beginning of the end of Winter sound like? It’s the soft splash of rain over Arctic Ocean sea ice during what should be its coldest season.

Links:

The Storm That Will Unfreeze The North Pole

Warm Arctic Storm to Bring Above Freezing Temps to North Pole

Storm Frank to Bring More Flood Misery

Climate Reanalyzer

Storms of My Grandchildren

NOAA’s Ocean Prediction Center

Hat Tip to Neven’s Fantastic Arctic Sea Ice Blog

Hat Tip to DT Lange

Hat Tip to Spike

Hat Tip to Ryan in New England

Leave a comment

184 Comments

  1. NevenA

     /  December 29, 2015

    The nice ending deserves a bis: “What does the beginning of the end of Winter sound like? It’s the soft splash of rain over Arctic Ocean sea ice during what should be its coldest season.”

    Thanks, Robert. I put up a link to this on the ASIB.

    Reply
    • Thanks Neven! You rock.

      What’s the scuttlebutt about all that’s going on with Frank over at ASIB? I’m sure everyone’s got a lot to say about it. Your thoughts would certainly be welcome.

      Reply
      • NevenA

         /  December 31, 2015

        Your thoughts would certainly be welcome.

        In a week or two I’ll put up an analysis of the first half of the freezing season and compare it with those of other years. I’m, of course, very interested in what this series of storms means for the Arctic sea ice, so hopefully a comparison will be useful.

        Reply
        • Thanks, Neven. Worth noting that both sea ice area and extent are quite low for this time of year. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some more daily records with the very warm anomalies ongoing up north. Will be very interested to see your comparison work.

    • Ryan in New England

       /  December 30, 2015

      I too thought that was a wonderfully worded phrase. Great work on this topic, Robert.

      Reply
  2. beautifully written. In 1975 I have read The Closing Circle by Barry Commoner, and ever since believed in the insanity of industrialization – and been treated as an eccentric lunatic by nearly everyone.
    Now there you are, we harvest the fruits of 60 years of sheer madness.

    Reply
  3. Baker

     /  December 29, 2015

    Great article again.
    It’s mind-boggling what’s happening these days virtually on every continent.
    I wonder when the storm track could reach continental Europe and the Mediterranean…
    But the cold air being shoved out of parts of Siberia to Southeastern Europe, even only because of the extremely strong transport of warm air to the North, doesn’t reach the West either.
    Can we estimate how much less cold the cold weather patterns (and warmer the warm patterns) already are through climate change?
    How long could it take to the scenario that there won’t be any frost over the Arctic Ocean in winter (after a blue ocean event?)?

    Reply
  4. redskylite

     /  December 30, 2015

    Applause for a truly brilliant posting and expressive style of writing, RobertScribbler, just a perfect description of a very dramatic event. One small part of a far more dramatic story than all the great and excellent SF authors and stories, I have read over the years. Along the way, I remember various people saying this was the grandest experiment ever undertaken, In retrospect this was a grave insult to science and experimentation, no scientist would undertake such self destructive steps, especially when greenhouse gas properties and effects were know so long, long ago.

    Some people keep pointing out to me that exploitation of fossil fuels have reaped many benefits to society and alleviated much poverty, although exaggerated that statement maybe party true.

    However the fact that most (if not all) oil companies knew of the harm they were causing in the 1970’s and gave enormous amounts of money to suppress and obfuscate the knowledge is truly disgraceful. Had they weaned us off it decades ago we would not be changing at such a furious, overwhelming pace.

    Now we must deal with the consequences of the folly of mankind.

    “The jet stream was discovered during WWII when high altitude bombers found their ground speeds varied dramatically when flying east or west. The pattern and location of these winds were quite consistent. The stability of the jet stream is related to the amount of difference between temperate and arctic temperatures. The zone where these two temperatures meet determines the duration and location of weather patterns. Greater temperature contrast contributes to greater stability, while less contrast suggests greater instability. Jet stream stability appears to be a key to extremes in weather and weather patterns. As the Arctic warms faster than the rest of the planet those temperature differences are not as great and the path of the Jet Stream begins to wobble out of its usual path. Bulges or waves begin to appear where warmer air is injected into Arctic latitudes and colder Arctic air is thrust into more southerly latitudes.”

    http://www.planetexperts.com/arctic-amplification-the-canary-in-the-ice/

    Reply
  5. Reblogged this on GarryRogers Nature Conservation and commented:
    “As the first front of warm air proceeded over the ice pack to the north of Svalbard, the rains fell through 35-40 degree (F) air temperatures. It splattered upon Arctic Ocean ice that rarely even sees rain during summer-time. Its soft pitter-patter a whisper that may well be the sound to mark the end of a geological age.” –Robert Scribbler, December 29, 2015

    Reply
  6. Mblanc

     /  December 30, 2015

    You are not the only one to pick this up, I’m glad to say.

    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2015/12/29/north-pole-set-for-december-heatwave/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ClimateHome+%28Climate+Home%29

    Nice work Robert, powerful stuff. I’m going to mention it to everyone I meet.

    Reply
  7. Andy in SD

     /  December 30, 2015

    For the lurker climate deniers we know who pass through here.
    ************************************************************************

    Can you answer a question or 4, after reading the news extract below. It is from an article complaining about winter’s cold. However, the part I transcribed relates to CO2 and it’s effect.

    It is one of the core stands of climate denial that CO2’s impact on the atmosphere is a falsehood brought about by a cabal composed of the worlds scientists, led by Al Gore. Deniers are extremely adamant that the CO2 atmospheric behavior is a fairly recent (~20 to 30 yr old) fabrication. They also claim that Al Gore has scored billions of dollars (and still can not appear on Forbes rich guy list? What gives!) leading a secret army that has only one nefarious goal, stop progress.

    So my question to our lurker deniers are as follows, please answer AFTER reading the news bit below.

    1) How did Al Gore cause scientists from the mid 1800’s forward to investigate CO2 and constantly come up with the same result? How did he cause people who were dead for decades before his birth to do this? Why do the experiments, whether conducted in the 1800’s, 1900’s, 2000’s, and anywhere, by anyone always have the same result if in fact as you state, that result is not true. Are they using “bad” CO2?

    2) When did the evil scientists start their coven of lecherous desire for funding for fabulous trips and free grant money? It had to be before Sept 12, 1918. So when did it start, and by whom? Since you have this information that I do not, you have dates, names, places and agreement content. Please share.

    3) I never heard any details about the secret handshake, wink-wink agreement that the scientists engaged in back then. How did you find out, what reference material can you provide that predates Sept 12, 1918 which points this out?

    4) What the hell made people so stupid that simpletons from 1918 are infinitely smarter on this subject than so many almost 100 years later? They can quote facts, figures, equations. They don’t blurt out crap like “plant food”, “Al Gore”, “Evil Scientists”, “look I made a snowball for show and tell in the Senate” etc… They actually look at the math and science. Why do we have so many dumb ass idiots that are incapable of investigating things in an unbiased manner without a preconceived decision provided by someone else (motive?)?

    South Bend News-Times. September 12, 1918, page 9.
    ========================================

    …Experiments show that the power of the atmosphere to trap heat is largely due to the water vapor it contains. It is also due, to some extent, to the carbon dioxide gas that is one of its minor constituents. Carbon dioxide is a remarkable heat retainer, but there is only a very small quantity of it in the air compared with the vast bulk of the atmosphere. It only amounts to about 3-100ths of 1 percent. But there is this significant fact about it, viz., that its amount is variable, to a slight degree at the present time, while there is evidence from past geological history that it was once vastly more abundant than it is now.
    Now, how much carbon dioxide must the air gain in order that a perceptable effect on the temperature may be produced? Arrhenius answers that if all the carbon dioxide now in the air were removed the average temperature would fall nearly 38 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, if the present amount were doubled the temperature the temperature would rise more than 7 degrees, and if it were quadrupled the rise would amount to nearly 14 1.2 degrees….

    Reply
      • Wow, Andy. Absolutely amazing article from 1918 talking about the heat trapping properties of carbon dioxide. Shows pretty clearly how climate change deniers have tried to erase history.

        Reply
    • Good questions, considering the fact that I just deleted about 20 denier related posts trying to get in today alone. Of course, seems to me that fossil fuels are stunting progress by preventing more effective and sustainable energy systems from developing. How do you have any hope of advancing civilization on a finite, dirty, high cost to extract energy source that’s the fuel equivalent to shitting where you eat (or in this case, breathe, eat and live)?

      Reply
      • Robert Alexander

         /  December 30, 2015

        Robert, of the deleted denier comments, what is their current angle?? I mean, what sort of creativity are they resorting to??

        Thanks in advance.

        Reply
        • Today they’re saying that the Icelandic storm won’t be so bad for certain locales (true, but a red herring as this will likely be one of the strongest storms to hit Iceland during winter) or that the storm is causing sea ice to back up into the Fram (false, the counterclockwise circulation around the storm aids in Fram export), or that Svalbard is still below freezing and that the GFS model info is bunk (blatantly false, we have 40 F/4C readings in Svalbard right now), or that all CO2 dropping out of the atmosphere would only lower global temps by 1.5 C (ah, more like result in a snowball Earth) or that all this stuff is just natural anyway and has been happening for millions of years (false, the cause of current warming and related climate destabilization is directly due to massive human greenhouse gas emissions).

          They don’t really have much in the way of cogent or competent arguments so they tend to trot in the old falsehoods, make blatant lies about complex subjects, or attempt to split hairs on small details to infer or mislead on a larger point. Of course the reason why their arguments tend to be compelling to the uninformed is likely due to the assertiveness with which they present them. If there’s something I can’t stand, it’s an assertive idiot. There’s no bigger roadblock to human progress.

        • Incidentally, I have a reading in Ny Alesund, Svalbard of 40 F or 4 C right now with strong southeast winds:

          http://www.yr.no/place/Norway/Svalbard/Ny-Ålesund/

          Temps there on Thursday are expected to hit 6 C or 42 F. It will be colder here in Gaithersburg, MD which is well below the Arctic circle.

      • Andy in SD

         /  December 30, 2015

        There are the lot who are paid, they are nothing more than the modern equivalent of Heartlands tobacco sleight of hand.

        But there are those that have moved beyond flat denial and now grudgingly admit that the climate is heating up.

        They use the “it happened before” denial shtick. What I find exasperating is their inability to comprehend the rate of change and it’s knock on effects. Nobody denies that the planet has been warmer or cooler in the past. They can’t (or won’t) wrap their heads around the rate of change exceeding the ability for the food chain to adjust.

        Is the first derivative that tough? Is the basic understanding of genetic selection (trial and lots of error) that difficult?

        Reply
        • It’s the old fallback. In my experience, they just oscillate between the two depending on the strength of the evidence.

      • Greg

         /  December 30, 2015

        The deniers and their enablers are all cowards, plain and simple. Scared of the truth and its implications.

        Reply
      • FrasersGrove

         /  December 30, 2015

        It isn’t climate change that’s melting the sea ice, it’s the gentle breath of angles sent from Trickle Down Jesus, to melt the sea ice so we can open up the land to fracking, like it says in Genesis

        Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  December 30, 2015

      Great points, Andy. Their “arguments” can’t stand up to the least bit of logical scrutiny. It’s part of the reason I’m flabbergasted that there are still so many deniers. How can so many people be so unbelievably ignorant!? Not only do we have nearly two centuries of understanding of the function of CO2 in the atmosphere by countless individuals, institutions and the U.S. government and armed services, but we are now seeing the predictions made by scientists playing out in remarkable fashion. How the hell can somebody deny the entire physical reality that surrounds them and affects every single person on the planet? It has to be a severe psychological disorder, or an extreme embodiment of the Dunning-Kruger effect. Sadly, their stupidity is helping to drive much of the biosphere, maybe even ourselves, into extinction.

      Reply
      • Dave Person

         /  December 30, 2015

        Hi Ryan,
        Is it not necessarily stupidity but more often intellectual laziness. Thinking through complex ideas and phenomena takes work along with education, training, and experience. Until those folks denying or acting ambivalent about climate change owing to global warming are motivated to do the brain work to understand what is happening, they are going to wallow in ignorance, black and white thinking, and be manipulated by those with vested financial interests in fossil fuels. Even if motivated by devastating evidence right in their faces, there will be many who will use their intellectual energies to devise conspiracy theories to give meaning to the dilemma or simply dismiss the events as the “hand of god”. A small portion of the world’s population will “get it”. I hope they are enough.

        dave

        Reply
      • Ryan, think in stages of mourning. Denial is the first of those (and many people never leave the stages of denial and anger). And when one sees what’s happening to our planet, one of the first impressions is that we’ll have to mourn for our species and countless others. I known that the fossil fuel industry pays some trolls to spread ignorance, but I also known deniers that surely aren’t being paid, but try to deny with all their spirit because their minds need it to keep functioning (for other stuff). Comtempling the magnitude of it all is scaring. Denial is not a good or constructive reaction, but it’s a quite human one. What I hope for is that those people speed up through anger, and get at least to bargaining, where there’s a chance that they’ll do something useful.

        Reply
      • I agree with “umbrios27” points…However, in addition, it has been my experience with acquaintances who don’t want to hear about the climate, that there is a feeling that GW is just too overwhelming and complicated to deal with the issues. Then you throw in all the deniers..and it just reinforces peoples feelings of it being “too overwhelming” to deal with…so they continue living in their denial….thus unable to move onto the next stage.

        I have gotten very judicious about the information about GW that I pass on to these same people for that very reason. I just know that if I send too much information…they will not even read what I have sent. These past few years have been a tough road to travel in terms of sharing information about GW. It can become so discouraging and isolating.

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  December 31, 2015

        Dave, Umbrios, and Suzanne, thank you all for those wonderful points. I often forget that my natural curiosity and fascination with the world in which we live is not necessarily shared by others, and “learning” about things can be viewed as boring or avoidable drudgery. I also seem to dismiss the power of denial a little to easily. It is a very powerful human coping mechanism and we see it appear throughout the entire human experience. And of course, if there was ever a topic so overwhelming and worthy of denial, it is climate change and the need to fundamentally alter our entire civilization or face unthinkable consequences. Thank you all for your wonderful insight!

        Reply
  8. Abel Adamski

     /  December 30, 2015

    When considering the effect in Iceland

    http://www.icenews.is/2015/08/08/iceland-volcanic-eruptions-could-be-a-consequence-of-melting-glaciers/#axzz3vlNsdRss

    Also the reducing mass as in Greenland means the earth rebounds releasing pressure on the volcanic ducts.
    Icelandic volcano’s have historically had a major impact on climate, arguably triggering the French revolution even

    Reply
  9. Jeremy

     /  December 30, 2015

    I have just had a joining the dots moment…..
    There is a skinny little guy called Matt Ridley who is a lead columnist for the Times on Environment and Energy. His articles are very persuasive – but hugely misleading: wind farms needing nuclear back up and kill all the badgers to save our cuddly cows: I guess that millions of nice conservative readers of the Times get their view of the world from him.
    Anyway while reading an interesting book by a guy called Danny Dorling.

    I came across reference to Matt Ridley. Turns out that he is none other than the 5th Viscount Ridley – the family made their fortune in coal mining and probably still own mineral rights to large chunks of the north of England (fracking potential?). He was also chair of Northern Rock when it collapsed. He is a climate change doubter and against renewable energy.His brother in law is Owen Patterson who was in George Monbiot’s words “the worst Environment Secretary we have ever suffered.” ( He was moved from post after the last lot of floods when it became public that he had personally cut the flood defence budgets by 40%)
    Ridley was reputed to be Patterson’s personal think tank and I suspect that he is the at the heart of the clique that is causing our government to ignore their advisors and implement such disastrous policies on energy and environment.

    It help answers the question – …”how can they act so dumb” Because Matt Ridley told them so.

    The Brits deserve everything they’ve got coming to them.

    No pity – fuck ’em.

    It was said that the sun never set on the British Empire.

    Want to know why?

    Because God wouldn’t dare trust those wankers in the dark.

    Reply
    • There’s a second GHG sun forming directly over Ridley’s head, the poor, blind fool.

      Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  December 31, 2015

      I really think that we don’t need that kind of attitude,Jeremy.

      Robert has plenty of posters who are Brits, of which I’m one. Now if you lived in a country that was a paragon of climate virtue, I would be prepared to be lectured, but you are living in the US! People in glass countries shouldn’t throw stones.

      Heartland institute, Donald Trump, almost every high-profile scientific (as opposed to journalistic) denier, spying on everyone at Copenhagen, inumerable right-wing denialist think tanks, Rush Limbaugh, Fox news, couldn’t deliver on legally binding commitments in Paris etc, etc.

      I’ve got a joke…

      What do you call an elevator with a group of slim, softly spoken, intelligent people inside?

      A lift.

      Reply
  10. Griffin

     /  December 30, 2015

    I was upset about rain in New England today. Then I read about rain in the Arctic. [whistles a tune]. You are the best Robert, thanks for keeping us updated on this.

    Reply
    • 😉. Thanks Griff. If I have a favorite personal quality it would have to be the company that I keep🙂. You guys rock!

      Re the storm … Pretty amazing and far-flung impacts. But rain past the 80 North line over sea ice in Winter is just nuts.

      Reply
  11. Thank you Robert for your wisdom and dedication to the biggest crisis of our time and more than likely that of all human history. I have passed this on via email to everyone in my address book.

    Reply
  12. Hellish!

    Sent from my iPad 🙏🏻

    >

    Reply
  13. Thank you…
    We should be scheduling COP22 for next week…we”re out of time… What will it take?

    Reply
    • Agreed. There was finally progress at COP 21. But it wasn’t nearly enough as we’re so far behind the 8 ball right now. We’re already locking in changes, setting things in motion that will have severe and permanent impacts. And the more we burn, the more we keep on locking in.

      I see all this mention of flood defenses in the UK media. All this mention of adaptation. But that’s a losing proposition so long as the UK still plans to burn carbon. And it’s clear that current UK policy makers intend to do just that.

      Reply
      • About 40 more years of change from existing greenhouse gas emissions, even if we stopped emitting tonight, and entirely disregard natural feedbacks that will continue.

        No sense repeating myself overly though, events will tell all soon enough.

        Reply
  14. Andy in SD

     /  December 30, 2015

    Drought in India taking it’s toll on farmers. I’ve been reading various angles on their drought combined with overuse of groundwater and it’s effect. Very bad situation.

    112 distressed farmers commit suicide in a month in drought-hit Marathwada

    Since January 1, this year, every week between 20-30 suicides have been reported in eight districts of Marathwada.

    http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/100-distressed-farmers-commit-suicide-in-a-month-in-drought-hit-marathwada/#sthash.dONLgIBs.dpuf

    Reply
    • Man, it’s gotten so bad in India that farmers would rather just die than continue to struggle. Pretty terrible. Reminds me of some related animal behavior when facing habitat loss due to climate change. The beautiful, bountiful, wonderful world they knew was ripped away. So when the joy in living is gone, then why live. We’re doing this to ourselves. And our children will face this in spades.

      My mom sent me a text today thanking me for all I do for the Earth. But the Earth will be fine. It’s Earth’s creatures, including human beings I’m concerned about. Maybe people are starting to understand this very crucial distinction. I hope so.

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  December 30, 2015

        Yes, thank you Robert for keeping this little corner of the insane asylum tidy. The Earth will be fine, indeed. The conservatives know this and use it to gross arrogant effect in their cowardly justification for their deeds– to protect themselves from any and all change (ironically they will lose, spectacularly of course, along with all the rest of us, thank you all very much).

        Reply
    • labmonkey2

       /  December 30, 2015

      And Japan is having problems, too –

      Forty-one of Japan’s 47 prefectures — over 80 percent — have seen deterioration of locally produced rice or fruit over the past decade, apparently due to global warming, a Mainichi Shimbun survey has found.

      http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20151230/p2a/00m/0na/003000c

      Reply
      • Griffin

         /  December 30, 2015

        As with the declining health of our forests, our crops suffer from Ozone pollution. Reduced crop yields is a hallmark effect of Ozone. Life downwind of China is not good. And we are all downwind of China.

        Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  December 30, 2015

      I’ve seen the farmer suicide aspect of the problems in India on more than a few occasions. Andy, I believe you (or maybe dt?) recently linked to an in-depth piece in USA Today about depletion of aquifers around the globe, and one area they covered was India, and the topic of high numbers of farmer suicide was pointed out. Such a sad, sad situation. All of these isolated, failing areas around the globe are harbingers of what’s to come.

      Reply
      • Andy in SD

         /  December 30, 2015

        Yes, that was a great piece (India, Peru, Cali etc…). The depletion in India was terrifying, the desertification.

        Reply
  15. – “Winter as we know it” – RS
    – Thanks.

    – To the western portal to the Arctic — A good sized storm with strong winds is bringing up warm air to S/W AK.

    NWS Anchorage Verified account
    ‏@NWSAnchorage

    Southwest #Alaska/ Bristol Bay: Damaging winds gusts will move in tonight and Wed. #AKwx

    Reply
  16. Bryan Stairs

     /  December 30, 2015

    redskylite / December 30, 2015
    ” As the Arctic warms faster than the rest of the planet those temperature differences are not as great and the path of the Jet Stream begins to wobble out of its usual path. Bulges or waves begin to appear where warmer air is injected into Arctic latitudes and colder Arctic air is thrust into more southerly latitudes.”
    At lot was made out in past months that El Nino would cause in increase in jet stream speed and therefore contain the cold in the Arctic better and bring about more “normal” El Nino” weather for the next few months. Could this not be indicative that maybe the whole system is so unstable now and compounding that with the Arctic having such hot weather, therefore still keeping the Equatorial-Arctic temp differential still too narrow, we could have a case that the next couple of months could bring us back to a state of TTT-RRR weather in NA, therefore making the the drought/heavy precipitation weather of the last couple of years even worse because the weather systems will be more intense because of the heat the El Nino brings the atmosphere?
    Granted the Arctic will not stay above 0C for long, but will it be able to get to more seasonal El Nino levels? I really do not see that happening. the Jet Stream is just not up to the speeds of 20 years ago.

    Reply
  17. – Watch out — here it comes, Commerce-At-All-Costs Exxon-Lamar-Smith USA (In winter).

    ‘The Floods of Five Rivers Heading for the U.S. Industrial South’

    Brace yourself, U.S. South. The Mississippi River is coming, and so is the Arkansas, the Red, the Ohio and the Missouri.

    The water on the Mississippi River is already so high that Missouri has closed interstate highways. Governor Jay Nixon activated the National Guard to stave off disaster.

    And the floods only stand to get worse. Warmer-than-usual weather through December has precipitation falling as rain. Some areas have seen five to 10 inches above normal flowing into the rivers instead of being locked up as snow and ice on solid ground until spring. Flooding on the lower Mississippi may become severe enough to force the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway protecting New Orleans, according to the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center.

    Barges on the Mississippi handle about 60 percent of U.S. grain exports entering the Gulf of Mexico through New Orleans, as well as 22 percent of its petroleum and 20 percent of its coal. Flooding had raised the costs for barge delivery to export terminals in New Orleans by 10 cents a bushel for soybeans and 5 cents for corn since Friday, INTL FCStone Inc. said Tuesday.
    Refineries, Factories

    Dow Chemical Co., Archer-Daniels Midland Co. and Valero Energy Corp. are among the companies with refineries, factories and shipping sites along the river. They’re all still weeks away from seeing flooding, as Graschel said it isn’t forecast to reach New Orleans until the third week of January.

    Even after the flood bulge makes its way into the Gulf of Mexico, the vigil will have to continue, he said. There is still a winter’s worth of rain and snow coming, in part because of this year’s strong El Nino.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-12-30/the-floods-of-five-rivers-heading-for-the-u-s-industrial-south

    Reply
  18. Anthony Sagliani ‏@anthonywx 4h4 hours ago

    Pressure now ~930 mb in monster cyclone south of Iceland. Storm will plow into Iceland w/ pressure around 925 mb.

    Reply
  19. Andy in SD

     /  December 30, 2015

    Mississippi River Flood Crest May Be Highest Since 1993 in St. Louis; Record Crest Possible in Cape Girardeau, Missouri

    Reply
  20. News feed ticking here in Norway now about Svalbard hitting record high temps for December now. Yet another record then. Here in the west of Norway we have had rainfall records being beaten this year.

    News is also full of record insurance payouts to flooding damages here in Norway (and likely in UK as well I would think with the terrible floods they have had). I read USA is also having a pretty bad climate as well with many casualties.

    The winds are hammering pretty bad in here on the west coast now and yesterday we had +10 C here. It felt like a cool summer evening… nothing like a winter at all. I wonder if more people around me notice that climate is changing pretty fast. Problem is that it seems to be a lot about how the jet streams arrange themselves so maybe next year we have loads of snow and freezing temps all winter and people forget all about this years warm winter. People seem to want to avoid the subject at all costs…😦

    Reply
    • Crazy, checking the statistics now for the past days and the high temps were indeed close to an average summer day:

      http://www.yr.no/place/Norway/Hordaland/Bergen/Bergen/statistics.html

      There has been a few cases of people freezing to death in the mountains this year. Obviously here in Norway when the snow does not fall in the lower lands people can hike to the mountains to see winter (perhaps strengthening their delusion about there not being any climage change). But the winds have been pretty strong and weather taken many by surprise in the mountains, normal skiers which possibly thought they were well trained for all kinds of weather they are used to… and here is the catch, how can anyone be used to the ever changing climate we see now? I suspect we will see more suprises down the road.

      I find it odd that so many focus only about mitigation in the media now, not realizing that the reason why an old house was swept by floods now is that it never happened before. That what we are now witnessing is a climate change. Although we have now had cases of people rebuilding their house on the same property only to see it flooded again. How on earth can we mitigate for those changes? Ofc whats happening now is that the insurance companies are becoming more strict in what kind of places they will insure simply because the see costs are rising a lot in places that never had them. The media usually get lost in the crisis of an incident, and never tries to link this to climate change even though its becoming so obvious now. Until they do on a regular basis we will likely not see a big change in peoples minds about the root cause of the rise in these incidents.

      Reply
      • redskylite

         /  December 30, 2015

        Many thanks John for your great description of the news in Norway, here in Auckland, New Zealand we are experiencing a very mellow summer, it is hard to imagine the events taking place in your region, still it could easily happen here as climates around the world get unstable.

        As you mention, when I see ancient cliffs, plus the very old houses and bridges that have been destroyed in the storms over recent years, I would imagine people would start accepting that their climate is changing noticeably, but still there is a lot of silence and indifference. I think it more than just ignorance induced by repeated indoctrination against science by professional vested interest groups, it is an avoidance coping mechanism to circumnavigate stress and a little guilt, that many people have for safety and protection.

        Our best hope is that industry can respond, improve and make carbon free items desirable and acceptable to the public. A decent affordable atmospheric CO2 scrubber and storage design would help a lot too.

        It is great to blog on this site, without having to argue every single little point (with apoplectic deniers) and cite studies, Tyndall and Arrhenius. I thank Robert for his great posts, vigilance in maintaining the comments and his valuable time & expertise.

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  December 30, 2015

        Thank you for the great update from your area, John. That is truly remarkable what is happening. Here in the U.S., the indifference and apathy is overwhelming. Even when people’s lives are destroyed by various unprecedented events, they don’t ever even mention the possibility of climate change. We see record after record being broken, and people still don’t get it! I think they don’t know the meaning of words like “record”, “unprecedented”, or “has never happened before”.

        Reply
  21. entropicman

     /  December 30, 2015

    Storm Frank passed over us in Northern Ireland overnight. Forty odd roads closed due to fallen trees. Scattered power cuts where they hit power lines.

    Rivers are up onto the flood plains everywhere, but this is not a serious problem. We get so much rain that they flood regularly and only an idiot would build on them.☺

    Reply
    • Poking fun at the Scots and Brits are we? Levity in the midst of crisis. You’re developing police humor.

      Reply
      • entropicman

         /  December 30, 2015

        I am a Brit, and therefore entitled to be sarcastic about the stupidity of my own people!

        Jeremy is not a Brit, and should restrain himself. I do not make rude remarks about US citizens, though in his case it is tempting to make an exception

        Reply
        • I agree. Jeremy has been too harsh in this respect. The British people are not to blame and they deserve sympathy and help for the tragedy they now suffer. I was heartened when reading a recent article about Syrian refugees helping flood victims in the North. This is the spirit of solidarity we all need to show when facing climate change. We’re all in this together. We need to do everything we can, together, to prevent further harm and to help the victims. And, at this point, it’s worth noting that the larger victim is the human race itself. Whether we believe it or not, we’re all in this together. You can’t game climate change. And seeking vengeance is just a counter-productive effort. Justice and accountability yes. But that’s for the fossil fuel special interests who keep trying to lock us into more harm. The UK people as a whole in no way deserve any of this. And Jeremy is dead wrong in his ‘f em’ assertion in my view.

          If you or any other person from the UK find his statements too over the top. Let me know and I’ll take them down.

          Best to you, and stay safe.

  22. Climate Change News gives a succinct review of 2015 a “year of extreme weather”…

    “Meteorological madness from heatwaves to cyclones and wildfires has marked the year, in a taste of global warming impacts”

    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2015/12/23/2015-the-year-in-extreme-weather/

    Reply
  23. Bananadana

     /  December 30, 2015

    Grate article again. Is full steam ahead for the end of the arctic sea ice. Wadhams may still be right 😕

    Reply
  24. Ryan in New England

     /  December 30, 2015

    Fantastic job staying on top of this remarkable series of events, Robert. And truly wonderful writing, capturing the essence and unprecedented nature of the moment in time we are living through. Your growing popularity is no mystery, and much like AGW, this blog is destined to become a juggernaut with the potential to affect those across the globe.

    And many thanks for a hat-tip! It’s a great honor for me🙂

    Reply
    • I diligently read all comments here. And if one of them helps me to formulate a post or a meme, I like to give credit where credit is due! You’re a huge help and I greatly value all of your insights and thoughts. We’re all apart of this process here any anyone not reading all these wonderful comments is missing half of the blog. We’re a think tank in exile. But we still do some extraordinary work, don’t you think?😉

      Reply
      • 🙂 “We’re a think tank in exile.” That’s us.

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  December 31, 2015

        Definitely, “a think tank in exile”! A remarkable group of diligent and insightful members from all corners of the globe, sharing news from a variety of sources and providing real-time assessments of local events. A remarkably valuable space. I love it!

        Reply
  25. Spike

     /  December 30, 2015

    Interesting to read a retired UK Environment Agency official state that he, like me, had noted the scientific reticence of the Met Office in recent times.

    “I have always felt there is coincidence and there is coincidence,” said Phil Rothwell, who until two years ago was head of flood policy for the Environment Agency. “But lots and lots of coincidences end up being the reality of life, which is where we are at the moment. It is always very interesting hearing the Met Office trying not to say that one event is climate change, by whatever circumlocution they can use. But if it walks like a duck, it is a duck. What we appear to be on the receiving end of at the moment is something which is absolutely as you expect climate change to appear.”

    I guess this reflects the appointments and culture that prevails in a government service that serves a government in which there is a strong undercurrent of indifference and frank climate change denial, supported by a right wing press which is in full denial and attempting to pull the wool over people’s’ eyes. The BBC has also become a cowering timorous beastie, avoiding the CC issue or passing over it briefly in closing remarks, emphasising El Nino, uncertainty, and scientific conservatism. This isn’t surprising as the head of the BBC and BBC news are close personal friends of George Osbourne, who has driven so much of the rolling back of mitigation and adaptation.

    There is a rising tide of anger palpable in the UK, but they have ridden out such events before and the prospects for change do not look good I’m afraid given the lack of public awareness on climate and the fact that democratic change appears extremely unlikely.

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/dec/30/mildest-december-since-uk-records-began-means-more-rain-and-more-pain?CMP=twt_a-environment_b-gdneco

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  December 30, 2015

      It’s the same here in the U.S., sadly. No matter how many records are broken, by how wide a margin, or how many people are made homeless by unprecedented weather events, nobody will ever suggest even a possibility of a changing climate. The mainstream newscasts are about extreme weather front to back, but they will never mention we were warned decades ago that this very scenario would be playing out right now, and we knew how to prevent it. It seems this year they are very quick to link every event to El Nino, however. It seems to be their way of keeping all thoughts away from the possibility of climate change.

      Reply
      • – Right, Ryan. The word ‘climate’ or climate change is just not used to any useful extent.
        The Weather Channel has changed some ‘on air’ personnel. All are hyper happy- faced pre-school teacher droid like. Though to their credit they do fit in a focused piece about ‘weather disasters’. And today at 10 am PST they did focus on the intensity and breadth of the ‘bomb cyclone’ near Iceland – and how much warm air from lower latitudes is being thrown at the Arctic. I had to smile because I pointed to this three or so days ago when I saw that air coming off of Morocco was being swept northwards into the air flow.

        Reply
    • Tsar Nicholas

       /  December 30, 2015

      As a Brit I can say that the maniacs in charge of the government-media complex wouldn’t get away with their climate denial if they lacked broader political support. The attitude of many older people in particular seem to be the same as with house prices. The status quo suits me even if those coming after me can’t buy a home, so why should I care?

      That’s why I think Jeremy is entitled to say what he does.

      Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  December 31, 2015

        Funnily enough, I’ve noticed a big media pick up on the CC linkage to the recent weather, in the last few days, in the UK (mainly on TV). Numerous meterologists and climatologists have been out there, explaining the link between higher temps and moisture, and the prospects for the future. And how many denialists have I heard from? Not one…

        The BBC is cowed, but it is still better than any commercial station I have seen, and has (after a few days to think about it) given us the bad news.

        For US readers, I should explain that outright denial is a rare thing on TV here, it is the mostly right-wing print media that give space to the merchants of doubt, and usually they are opinion pieces.

        I totally disagree about Jeremy, it is the rhetoric of the school yard. If CC proves anything, it proves that we are all in the mire together.

        If I lived in the most powerful country in the world, I would hope to see my country leading attempts to deliver solutions, not blaming others left, right and centre.

        The US is the biggest obstacle to progress on CC, the very home of climate denial and neo-liberal power. The fact that even Americans who are rightly concerned about CC don’t seem to understand this is very sad, but I don’t come on here every 5 mins to throw stones about it.

        Jeremy, on the other hand…

        Reply
  26. Spike

     /  December 30, 2015

    I have been caning our UK deniers at every opportunity as they try to deny, obfuscate or confuse the climate link, usually by claiming there has been no change, or that it is all based on models. Regulars here may not have seen the observational work that was done in the past, summarised in the document below, which begins:

    “Over the past 100 years the intensity of UK precipitation has increased during winter, and
    to a lesser extend also during spring and autumn. This has been accompanied by more
    frequent spells of very wet weather and an increase in total precipitation, at least during
    the last 40 years.”

    There is really no way out for them when confronted with irrefutable observations of documented climate change from years ago.

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/documents/421974/1295957/Info+sheet+%2315.pdf/8b8457b7-7bd2-49fc-888a-9b3f6785a40e

    Reply
  27. Chuck Hughes

     /  December 30, 2015

    I would like to add my voice to all those saying Thank You Robert Scribbler for your hard work and valuable information. I share your site with my friends whenever possible. Have a safe and Happy New Year!

    Reply
  28. Ryan in New England

     /  December 30, 2015

    Jeff Masters has a good summary of the extreme weather to hit the U.S. over the holiday. Lots of events similar to the 1982-83 El Nino, but seems the events have become more intense. Like the storm bringing the most tropical air mass for this late in the year, or Michigan’s first ever recorded December tornado. And thousands of heat records also being set.

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/us-reeling-from-violent-tornadoes-epic-flooding-winter-weather-an

    Reply
  29. People might find this post of interest, written in early December, but still relevant. (Specifically about UK rainfall).
    http://dosbat.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/anthropogenic-climate-change-and.html

    For UK annual rainfall:
    [QUOTE]If we take the 200mm annual anomaly (1250mm annual total) as an unusually wet year from 1910 to 1997 there were two such years, which makes unusually wet years a 1 in 44 year event, since 1998 there have been 6 unusually wet years, which makes unusually wet years a 1 in 2.7 year event….

    …There is a very clear increase in precipitation in the UK during the most recent phase of global warming. This fits with expectations from models of an intensification of the hydrological cycle with global warming (e.g. Held and Soden 2008), and evidence of an intensification of the hydrological cycle (e.g. Huntington 2006, and Wild et al 2008). One event cannot necessarily be linked to climate change. However the floods in Cumbria, following as they do a flood event in 2009 of similar magnitude, fit the pattern of increased rainfall that adds to an increase in overall UK rainfall, which is very clear from the data.[/QUOTE]

    By November the average rainfall for 1951 to 1980 had been reached, all UK rainfall in December acts to raise the 2015 level above average.

    As for the effects of storm Frank on the Arctic, I am unsure what effect that amount of energy will have in the middle of the freeze season. The daily PIOMAS Gice data in January (for December) will be of great use.

    Reply
    • mlparrish

       /  December 30, 2015

      In support, I would like to mention a Wiki section, “List of natural climate disasters in Great Britain and Ireland”. While not a scientific study, it is impossible not to be struck by the astonishing increase in flooding, nearly yearly since 2000, and not present anywhere near that back to, oh, the Middle Ages.

      Reply
  30. Jock Gill

     /  December 30, 2015

    See also the work of David Wasdell at http://www.apillo-gaia.org. For his take on climate reality.

    Reply
  31. JPL

     /  December 30, 2015

    Hey DT, on today’s Democracy Now broadcast, Amy mentioned the huge storm developing over Iceland (at minute 5:08 during the headlines segment). Though she didn’t mention this site by name, I wonder if your suggestion they contact RS has them paying attention to this site now. This storm isn’t widely covered in the news but her report sounded a lot like a quick summary of the previous RS post. Also, they’re covering the gigantic Porter Ranch gas leak in LA today.
    http://www.democracynow.org/

    John

    Reply
  32. Not about tempests but droughts: in all of this period in Brasil, with drought in the Center-west, Northeast and Southeast, one of the things being chimed by deniers around here (they do come in local flavors too) was that the agricultural numbers were still up, with some record safras of soy in 2014.

    It happens that like most things, the effects of the drought in agriculture aren’t immediate. 2014’s safra had been planted in the still a lit bit moist times of the rain season of 2013. The plants had moisture in their most vulnerable times. The plantations that had to deal with the worst of the drought weren’t the ones being harvested them.

    Now numbers are coming for the plants that DID endure the worst period of the drought. They’re bad. Production numbers are going to be around 40 sacks of soy per hectare. To break even, a farmer needs their fields to produce at least 50 sacks of soy per hectare. Article (in portuguese) – http://www.noticiasagricolas.com.br/noticias/soja/166752-na-folha-capital-da-soja-sofre-tempestade-perfeita.html#.VoPv2I-cE2w . These are rarely small farmers (soy is a monoculture plantation), so they aren’t going to be starving because of this, but some of them may get broke (in the “broke student” level, not the “beggar” level).

    The big-agro industry was one the few ones which was doing okay in the economic crisis that’s now gripping Brasil, and the crisis will probably get far worst in this next year because of this safra failure. BUT there’s a bit of silver lining in there:

    1. When Big-Agro has no money, historically, deforestation numbers fall in Brasil. This may help fight deforestation a lot: the enemy is losing their guns too.

    2. Big-Agro’s money had been heavily invested to change environmental laws for the worst in the last years. Now there’s a chance that they’ll need their reserves to survive the next years.

    3. Soy production here in Brasil isn’t for humans, in the most part (90% of the soy produced is used in animal feeds, and almost all of that is exported). A safra break of soy here will probably up the prices of meat elsewhere (specially China, Russia and the European Union, our biggest buyers, in this order), and that may reduce meat comsumption.

    4. Some farmers had better results than others, and a pattern is becoming more and more clear: those who cared for the environment in their farms (keeping headwaters forested, using less agrotoxics, etc) had better results. These are the guys that still have money, and their example is being followed because… well, they still have money, so they’re doing something right, no? Economic news in Brasil has highlighted “ecofarmers” three times this month, when normally they’d only be cited in passing around Tree Day. This may help herald a mass change of methods in agriculture around here.

    And I want to wish a very good New Year for all of you.

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  December 31, 2015

      As always, Umbrios, fantastic information. And may I say, your English is very good (I assume you speak Portuguese?). Happy New Year to you as well🙂

      Reply
      • Thank you, Ryan. And yes, Portuguese is my mother language. I had the luck of being able to travel to England for a month when I was 15, as an exchange student, and I credit my knowledge of English to that experience.

        Reply
  33. PeteinUT

     /  December 30, 2015

    Robert thank you so much. I am worried about CB (again) anyone hear from him?

    Reply
    • I have not. And I’m definitely worried as well. Will try to track him down. Recently he’s appeared to be somewhat upset. I’ll do my best to cheer him up. He’s a very perceptive fellow and, in the end, deeply sensitive. These kinds of things can have a very strong impact on good hearts like his.

      I’ll also send out this general message to everyone, asking them to help.

      Reply
    • Pete — Bob’s last comment here was on the 29th during the early afternoon. He dropped in to say ‘We are all here. I am here.’

      So unless something has happened since that time, I think he’s probably OK (most of the rough weather had moved on by then).

      I did reply to his post to let him know that his friends were getting worried about him due to an uncharacteristic silence. I’ll go ahead and also msg him on facebook.

      Reply
  34. Robert Danholtz

     /  December 30, 2015

    I wrote you yesterday about an airplane taking off for Iceland from Newark.
    I was not being cynical; nor am I an anthropogenic climate change denier.
    In fact I was in Paris as an activist at the recent IPCC. I guess I misphrased my question which was sincere. I was not poo-pooing the storm. It came off that way, apparently.

    I support you and your efforts fully!

    Reply
    • Fair enough then, Robert. It’s sometimes difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. However, if you like, you can take a look at Iceland’s own emergency weather bulletins which show the strongest impacts for this storm occurring in the southeast. The region you were looking at, Reykjavik, is set to experience near gale force conditions and much lighter precipitation as it’s on the western fringe of the current low.

      It’s worth noting that even very large storms tend to show worst effects in more localized areas. It’s typically a well known aspect of storms that we see intensity hot spots. With Frank, these appear to be relegated to Northern England and Southeastern Iceland. However, broader strong storm effects (though not extreme storm effects) cover a much larger area.

      Finally, it’s also worth noting that I did not say that all air travel to Iceland would be shut down. Just that one of the most intense low pressure systems ever to strike the island was heading their way. Your own statement of disbelief that global model runs (like GFS) were putting out accurate information were what led me to lump you into the climate change denier category. So my advice to you is to think more broadly before making statements like:

      “I think you’re being fed bad information.”

      All based on a single observation of a single airport and a broader failure to look at Iceland’s own emergency weather bulletins showing hurricane force winds predicted for the southeastern coast.

      Reply
  35. Robert danholtz

     /  December 30, 2015

    Weather.com is reporting 43F at the North Pole. Who could deny this as being anything but catastrophic. No sir, I am no denier. I was merely wondering about a flight I happened to see on the departure board. 43F at the North Pole. A nightmare for humanity.

    Reply
    • Fair enough then. Sometimes I’m a bit too on point and my apologies if I misunderstood the tone of your question.

      Warmest regards and best wishes. And yes, it’s just absolutely nuts to see these temps so far north. But this is for Alaska. The real North Pole hit 34 F (1.1 to 1.2 C) max temp last night. We’re actually back to -22 C there now as cold air rebounds from Greenland and the front sweeps on toward Siberia.

      Oddly enough, this means that the north winds over that section of Siberia will be warm for the next couple of days.

      Reply
      • PlazaRed

         /  December 30, 2015

        Its just amazing to sit back and realise how much You / We know about places we will probably never visit and are so far away that its impossible to imagine them both physically and climatically.
        Thank you very much for enabling this collection of posters to come together beneath your web site creation.

        Reply
    • Randy Wolfe

       /  December 30, 2015

      This is for North Pole, Alaska.

      An easy mistake.

      Reply
  36. Randy Wolfe

     /  December 30, 2015

    A quick note for my fellow weather watchers.

    When looking at weather for the geographic North Pole, do not be confused by weather reports for North Pole, Alaska which is just east of Fairbanks.

    Accuracy on our side is paramount. Give the denier megaphones no room to maneuver.

    Reply
    • Looks like we capped out at 34 F last night (EST) at the North Pole (not North Pole, Alaska). Although a 43 F reading at North Pole, Alaska is bad enough given that that’s about 40 F hotter than normal there. So not much room for deniers to maneuver on that little bit.

      Reply
      • Randy Wolfe

         /  December 30, 2015

        You would think so, but their depravity seems to have no bounds. One of the primary reasons I read your posts without fail is the clear, concise, and above all accurate nature of your work. With you, Neven, and Tamino I feel that I get the information I need to educate others.

        Thank you wholeheartedly for your voice in this our most important fight.

        Reply
        • Good choices. With Neven and Tamino, you’ll always be locked, cocked and ready to rock against the misinformation of the day. Sad to say you’re right about the depravity. Doing the wrong thing was clearly a choice that was made amazingly far back. For climate change, it goes back to at least the 70s. I think there can be no better definition of depravity than consciously making the decision to inflict such widespread harm on so many people and to actively cover up, to fight an information war even, against the rational and scientific bodies issuing warnings about the growing problem. It’s distopian fiction made real in our world. We live it. And we’re going to be dealing with this terrible mess for decades, likely centuries, and possibly for millennia to come.

  37. Colorado Bob

     /  December 30, 2015

    Sick of El Niño? You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet, Warns NASA

    But a Dec. 27 satellite image from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which measures sea surface heights, implies the worst of the droughts and flooding are still to come — a forecast that is troubling to humanitarian relief agencies.

    These false-color images provided by NASA satellites compare warm Pacific Ocean water temperatures from the strong El Nino that brought North America large amounts of rainfall in 1997, right, and the current El Nino as of Dec. 27, 2015, left. NASA

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/weather/sick-el-ni-o-you-ain-t-seen-nothing-yet-n487941

    Reply
    • And Bob is back! Three cheers! Ok, that’s a bit corny. But great to see you!

      As for El Nino, we have another strong WWB ongoing which should tend to also help lengthen current El Nino impacts. Great report by NASA here.

      Reply
    • mlparrish

       /  December 30, 2015

      Hi Bob. Always good to hear from you.

      Reply
  38. Reblogged this at Fin des Voies Rapides: It’s Happening!

    Reply
  39. danabanana

     /  December 30, 2015

    *shakes head*

    Reply
    • Thank you for posting it is a must see. But for me, this one is very bad for my blood pressure.😦

      Reply
    • Tsar Nicholas

       /  December 30, 2015

      James Corbett sometimes does some very good journalism. However he is more prolific than Robert Scribbler and is a climate change denier, which is why I have doubts as to whether he is a poor, harrased English teacher working without aid in Japan. I think he gets money from dubious sources. That, to me, is the only explanation for why his often very good standards of argumentation are completely abandoned when it comes to economic growth and climate change.

      I now try to avoid listening to or reading anything said by him.

      Reply
      • danabanana

         /  December 31, 2015

        Perhaps he is but;
        isn’t the FF industry owners that are and have been stopping any sort of viable solution to mitigate AGW?

        Reply
  40. El Nino ocean warming causing havoc for California coast seals:
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/30/el-nino-ocean-warming-seals-california-pacific

    WARNING: The pictures of starving seal pups very upsetting.

    Reply
  41. – More citations, Robert:
    The Guardian:
    “By any yardstick, these are extremely warm and likely record readings for the north pole,” noted climate blogger Robert Scribbler. The strange weather coincides with an unusually warm winter in Europe and the eastern US and torrential flooding in parts of south America.
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/30/north-pole-could-be-25c-warmer-than-average-this-week-warn-meteorologists

    Reply
  42. NWS St. Louis ‏@NWSStLouis 22m22 minutes ago

    Meramec River at Pacific is cresting. #Flooding #mowx #stlwx

    Reply
  43. NWS OPC ‏@NWSOPC 5h5 hours ago

    barometric pressure trace (hPa) at station Höfn í Hornafirði, Iceland — approximate 54 hPa drop in 18 hours

    Reply
  44. NWS OPC ‏@NWSOPC 6h6 hours ago

    Jason-2 altimeter data returns significant wave heights in excess of 55FT (≈17m) east of Iceland #SatWave

    Reply
  45. Jeremy

     /  December 30, 2015

    @ entropic and Robert

    For the record I am English, born and raised .
    Currently living in Devon, but spent many years on the US (east and west coasts) and India and Patagonia .

    Actually went to one of those snooty public schools like Cameron and his cabinet and advisors did – but not Eton thank God.
    So I’m aware of the deep disdain that the general public is held in by them.
    As you can tell, I do too.

    The monsters running the UK couldn’t give a rats arse about the poor slobs up north.
    But still they get their vote.
    Ever read “What’s Up With Kansas?”.

    England will be fracked and fucked till it’s a wasteland.
    Anything to keep the lights on so the moronic masses can continue to watch Coronation Street and Strictly.

    Oh yes, they really do deserve what they’ve got coming .

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  December 30, 2015

      FYI
      What’s Wrong With Kansas ?

      Reply
    • Anne

       /  December 30, 2015

      Hey, less of ‘the moronic masses’. FTR, I don’t watch either Corrie or Strictly but let’s not have contempt for those who do. It’s only by taking people seriously that you can hope to win them over: disdain and contempt merely signal one’s imagined superiority. Can you just please try and see this from another point of view? I don’t see how there can be any hope of convincing others of the need for action from an attitude of pained disdain. There needs to be a dialogue of equals. That means respecting people with cultural values you don’t share. (You don’t have to respect their television programmes, just shut up about your precious views about Coronation Street or Strictly – which you probably haven’t watched, either.) The last thing we want is the idea that concern about climate change is some kind of toff’s hobbyhorse.

      Reply
      • We should also understand that denial is a fear response that’s being exploited by the fossil fuel industry. It’s basically psychological warfare against scared people.

        Reply
      • Anne

         /  December 30, 2015

        “We should also understand that denial is a fear response that’s being exploited by the fossil fuel industry. It’s basically psychological warfare against scared people.”
        Totally agree with this. There is hugely cynical exploitation, and probably most people are unaware of it. There is no superiority in being aware of that exploitation when others aren’t – just a huge responsibility. And one shouldn’t anyway assume that people *aren’t* aware of it anyway. Big problems when you start making assumptions about a large body of people. Many of them will be aware, and active. (And still watching Coronation Street. What the hell is it with the demonisation of people who do?) Let’s not treat people as a mass.

        Reply
    • Anne

       /  December 30, 2015

      Btw, are you the same Jeremy that nailed Matt Ridley? That was a nice catch, thanks!

      Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  December 31, 2015

      Jeremy,

      you are sounding much like the people you are slagging off, an arrogant public schoolboy. Quite frankly, the Americans can keep you, and if you could persuade any more arrogant snobs to join you, that would be fine.

      I’m a bit surprised you are a Brit, because you seem to have some strange ideas about fracking, As we don’t have space to burn, and we have seen all the mistakes made in the US rush to frack, I don’t think it is going to be a major part of the future energy mix over here. Even the biggest fracking wells run dry pretty quickly anyway, so I think the whole thing is a bit of a storm in a teacup, so to speak. It’s sad if we do it, but it is a secondary issue.

      Reply
  46. Wavy air patterns mean UK’s extreme storms are here to stay

    Now the UK is starting to feel the full impact of this wavy jet stream, thanks to an unusual cool patch of water in the North Atlantic, probably created by excess melting of the Greenland ice sheet. This winter, the jet stream has been skirting around the bottom of this cold North Atlantic blob and then aligning itself in a south-west to north-east direction, placing northern England right in the crosshairs.

    And, as recent weeks have shown, this wavy jet can easily become jammed in place, firing storm after storm at the same locations. “Ocean temperature anomalies tend to persist for months to years, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see the UK dealing with stormy conditions for a few years,” says Francis.

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn28716-wavy-air-patterns-mean-uks-extreme-storms-are-here-to-stay/

    Reply
    • Bill H

       /  December 30, 2015

      Wow, a great post, Robert, and great comments from so many people in different parts of the planet (either directly or via DTLange!!). I don’t feel there’s much I can add beyond a link to the remarkable graphic on the weather page of the BBC website:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2635167

      In terms of content it shows what Robert’s post already shows, but the picture of a huge and extremely deep storm system taking up the entire North Atlantic takes my breath away.

      Re my compatriot Jeremy’s posts, the close personal relationship between UK Tory bigwig (and originator of the “Green blob” meme beloved of Watts et al.) Owen Paterson and My Noble Lord Ridley is certainly intriguing. Rather similar to the situation of My Noble Lord Monckton, who happens to be brother – in – law to the son of My Noble Lord Lawson.

      (Warning: the foregoing may contain traces of irony).

      Reply
    • Bill H

       /  December 30, 2015

      Good catch, today’s Guest. It’s good to see Francis’ work being publicised this way in a wide-readership science magazine.

      Reply
  47. Colorado Bob

     /  December 30, 2015

    California’s ongoing drought threatens nearly 60 million large trees

    Now a study by researchers at the Washington, D.C.-based Carnegie Institution for Science has found that up to 58 million large trees in California — some of Earth’s oldest and most massive trees — have experienced severe canopy water loss between 2011 and today, putting them at severe risk.

    The Carnegie researchers, whose findings were published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, write that the impacts of this “millennial-scale event” on the health of forests has been relatively unknown until now.

    Link

    Reply
    • mlparrish

       /  December 31, 2015

      CB
      I am also in mourning for the forests of my NC youth, thin and relatively poor compared to the green lushness I knew. Those who come here do not notice, of course, and no one else will talk about it, but it is very clear when one grew up in them. How to bear thinking of the deaths of the great trees I do not know.

      Reply
  48. Jeremy in Wales

     /  December 30, 2015

    Someone on the BBC News has a black sense of humour. In piece on Storm Frank they interviewed a publican from Dumfries. The name of his pub – “Worlds End”

    Reply
  49. Colorado Bob

     /  December 30, 2015

    Plaza Red posted a Churchill quote at WU. Been reading them

    ” Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.”

    Churchill, address to the boys at Harrow School, 29 October 1941
    https://www.churchillcentral.com/quotes?gclid=Cj0KEQiAno60BRDt89rAh7qt-4wBEiQASes2tZv3f_dZaURcra3pMFSs3U-tUf89sZfQOrcg5wYWUzUaAlDl8P8HAQ

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  December 30, 2015

      “This truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it, ignorance may deride it, malice may distort it, but there it is.”

      Churchill, 17 May 1916

      Reply
      • Jeremy in Wales

         /  December 30, 2015

        A controversial person, seen as a villan in South Wales and Liverpool, but a product of his upper class upbringing, the sort making the big mistakes today.

        Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  December 31, 2015

      Says one upper-class public school veteran to a load of upper-class public school boys!

      Can’t stand Churchill (for family reasons mostly), it is amazing how many catastrophic mistakes he made, considering how he is viewed now.

      Good speaker and writer though, I’ll admit that.

      Reply
  50. Griffin

     /  December 30, 2015

    Angela Fritz of the Capital Weather Gang deserves recognition today. I have seen countless articles written this week regarding the disastrous floods in the Midwest USA. Many have contained droves of stats comparing the current river levels with historic flood heights. Angela is the first to mention a HUGE overlooked factor in this flooding. The rain that fell in this event occurred over just four days. No snow melt, no weeks long rain patterns. This (to me anyway) speaks volumes of how much our situation has changed in regards to atmospheric moisture available. It’s a good read.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2015/12/30/rivers-rise-to-record-levels-in-midwest-flooding-will-be-major-to-historic/

    Reply
  51. Colorado Bob

     /  December 31, 2015

    Dinosaur Monument

    Hundreds of huge animals swept away and drowned. Only to land on sand bar on a long dead river. It’s the most amazing thing you can ever see.

    Their bones look just like the piles of tree branches after our floods , A tangled mess. What a flood. What a world. The rains must have been ungodly.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  December 31, 2015

      My point here , we have little idea how hard it can truly rain. It’s rained at the North Pole.

      It’s rained on the highest mountains on Earth . This pattern is the future, Rain, rain, rain.
      Snow is a dead bozo.

      Reply
      • While the glaciers are still going down there will be quite a bit of snow. But the tendency will be this shift toward rain, especially in the unexpected places you mention. Of course, afterwards … And if you get too hot, the rainfall eventually is suppressed. But that’s long after the glaciers are gone.

        The point we should be worried about is 550 to 650 ppm CO2 or equivalent in atmosphere. That’s when you have enough forcing to melt all the ice. If CO2e is the guide, then we’re about 20-23 years away from the 550 mark under current emissions and no added Earth systems feedbacks.

        Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  December 31, 2015

        While the glaciers are still going down there will be quite a bit of snow.

        Don’t bet on it.

        Reply
        • There’s going to be a cold side to glaical melt. It will end up in the ocean and you’ll have four season storms all over the place. If the glaciers melt fast enough, you’ll even put a temporary damper on the rate of atmospheric warming even as energy imbalance and storm generation increases. I don’t want to see the mess that’s coming. But it’s coming and there’s a whole crapload of extreme weather in it.

  52. Colorado Bob

     /  December 31, 2015

    Nothing would induce me to vote for giving women the franchise. I am not going to be henpecked into a question of such importance.

    Churchill in a letter to his assistant private secretary, Eliot Crawshaw-Williams, 1909

    This war effort could not have been achieved if the women had not marched forward in millions and undertaken all kinds of tasks and work for which any other generation but our own…would have considered them unfitted; work in the fields, heavy work in the foundries and in the shops, very refined work on radio and precision instruments, work in the hospitals, responsible clerical work of all kinds, work throughout the munitions facto- ries, work in the mixed batteries…. Nothing has been grudged, and the bounds of women’s activities have been definitely, vastly, and permanently enlarged.

    Churchill, 29 September 1943, Royal Albert Hall, London (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

    Reply
  53. Colorado Bob

     /  December 31, 2015

    In the course of my life I have often had to eat my words, and I must confess that I have always found it a wholesome diet.

    Churchill, 1940s

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  December 31, 2015

      I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.

      Reply
  54. Colorado Bob

     /  December 31, 2015

    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

    Reply
  55. Colorado Bob

     /  December 31, 2015

    This is no time for ease and comfort. It is the time to dare and endure.

    Churchill, 27 January 1940.

    Reply
  56. Colorado Bob

     /  December 31, 2015

    RS – Read this

    Of all the talents bestowed upon men, none is so precious as the gift of oratory. He who enjoys it wields a power more durable than that of a great king.

    Churchill, ‘The Scaffolding of Rhetoric’, his unpublished essay of 1897

    Reply
    • How true. Churchill knew it and used it. Time to give this thing a shot, wouldn’t you say? I’ll be there for you guys on Voice of America on January 5 at noon. My last experience with TV wasn’t so hot. But I’ve polished up a bit since then.

      Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  December 31, 2015

        RS, I suspect the old Canard of proving the warming responsibility of CO2 and mans contribution will be raised, after all core issues.
        Don’t forget
        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/02/150225132103.htm

        First direct observation of carbon dioxide’s increasing greenhouse effect at Earth’s surface

        Date:
        February 25, 2015
        Source:
        Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
        Summary:
        Scientists have observed an increase in carbon dioxide’s greenhouse effect at Earth’s surface for the first time. They measured atmospheric carbon dioxide’s increasing capacity to absorb thermal radiation emitted from Earth’s surface over an 11-year period at two locations in North America. They attributed this upward trend to rising carbon dioxide levels from fossil fuel emissions.

        22ppm rise in CO2 over 11 years leading to a 0.2 Watt/Sq Meter rise in back radiation all in the CO2 band, A grand minimum I believe equates to 0.5 Watt/Sq Meter
        We have lifted CO2 by approx 120-140 ppm/Sq meter (Gas lighting/heating, the steam engine, first factories were in the late 1700’s. Australia was Colonised as a prison due to the resulting displacement and unemployment

        Reply
        • And yet we’ve known that CO2 is a heat trapping gas for more than a Century and a half. This direct observation work is like confirming that gravity does, indeed, exert a force on objects by observing the force directly, even though we’ve know all that since Newton.

      • Abel Adamski

         /  January 1, 2016

        So very true RS, but in that sound bite environment (In an earlier life I watched thousands of Media interviews piped through the Telecom video links between states and saw the editing and twisting daily first hand)

        Referring to all the previous work is to the audience ho hum, the denialists have worked massively to demean it and reduce it’s importance.
        It is recent hard figures obtained using current scientific observations during a supposed hiatus that will stand out.

        The Pause will of course be brought up along with the Satellite temp discrepancy.
        The unthinking will have not realised that as you in other ways have alluded, that the Globe’s AIRconditioning (the great ice sheets and Glaciers) has been performing well, but sacrificing itself in the process and is now showing signs of labouring.
        So whilst it is still functioning reasonably the Satellite readings of that small percentage of the Earths mass should reasonably remain reasonably constant untill the next climate shift.

        Prepare yourself well

        You have our support and prayers

        Reply
  57. Owain Glyndawr

     /  December 31, 2015

    Is no one going to talk about the massive role that animal agriculture plays in climate change?

    Reply
    • We do talk about it. But the tip of the spear is fossil fuel burning which, even in animal agriculture, represents a good portion of the emissions.

      This is not to say that industrialized animal agriculture is not a huge problem. In fact, we will need to remove both fossil fuel burning and large industrial meat farms if we are going to have any hope of bringing net human emissions to zero or near zero.

      This is a large problem involving many industries. But you have to hit the center of gravity if you’re going to have the biggest impact. And that, at this time, is fossil fuels.

      All that said, I wholeheartedly encourage everyone to support the Human Society of the United States (which my wife works for). It’s a vegetarian/vegan organization that, among other things, is dedicated to reducing meat consumption and providing people with options alternative to meat eating. My wife and I both lead a vegan lifestyle and I encourage everyone to both support legislation to rein in industrial meat as well as to consider reducing or even eliminating your dietary meat intake. Like climate change, the action needed is both individual and group-based. And government legislation can have a huge impact on our course as a civilization.

      Reply
  58. Syd Bridges

     /  December 31, 2015

    Thank you for this post, Robert. I am delighted that you are now getting traction in other media.

    Here, in Gloucestershire, we had a rainy day yesterday and it’s clouding over this morning. But the real disaster is in the North, a photo op rather than a threat to our psychppathic Prime Minister, Cameron. I do think that Owen Pattison should now explain to the affected people why he cut money for flood defences, but I have no doubt he has been richly rewarded for his criminality.

    “What does the beginning of the end of Winter sound like? It’s the soft splash of rain over Arctic Ocean sea ice during what should be its coldest season.”

    Beautifully expressed. When I read it, I thought of Norse mythology where the disaster of Ragnarok was preceded by the dreadful Finbul Winter-three years of constant winter with the snow coming from all directions. Humanity degenerates into barbarity and then the gods are defeated on the Plain of Vigrid. Instead, we are looking towards the Final Winter, to be followed by equally disastrous results as there will be little to stop a large further temperature rise.

    We are coming to the end of the most unstable climate year that I can remember. We know that it will be by far the hottest year on record worldwide, but that the record is likely to fall next year. Your latest post on El Nino makes the third record in three years look increasingly likely.

    Keep up the good work!

    Reply
  59. Brian#2

     /  December 31, 2015

    Many thanks to Robert for his work on this remarkable blog and also to the many contributors to the discussion here. This has been an excellent resource for me to keep informed on latest developments and I offer gratitude and kudos. I have mostly taken to lurking but I still follow events with interest and many cases horror!

    A summer of smoke and fire has mostly given way to clear cold and calm here where I live but my hearts breaks for people living under threat of floods and persistent catastrophic rain. And as has been mentioned here before, I fear this is only the beginning.

    It really came home to me this summer as we were camping in the mountains and the whole province around us seemed to be on fire. There was simply no escape from the choking smoke and ash that filled the sky. All you could really do was sit in a tent awake all night with apocalyptic visions filling your mind and the taste of ash in your mouth. Sleep was impossible!

    There really is no escape or any place to hide from what is coming. We must face it and somehow force the powers that be to face it as well.

    I was going to write a brief review of ‘This Changes Everything,’ here but got distracted with other things. The book has glaring weaknesses but also provides an interesting synopsis of where we stand in terms of the ongoing efforts to find international agreement on how to best deal with the crisis we are facing.

    Among the more interesting topics Ms. Klein raises are the weaknesses of Cap ‘n’ Trade scenarios as they have played out and how joint efforts between big oil and big green have actually worked to let fossil fuel interests off the hook on reducing emissions. I would still be interested in writing a short review and possibly discussing some of the implications and even weaknesses of TCE however my experience has been that trying to discuss shortcomings or challenges facing implementation of alternatives and renewables is often met with hostility so I understand fully that this may not be the forum to discuss the economics or setbacks to efforts to embrace more renewable energy sources.

    Of course, the complicity of FF interests in thwarting the move to alternatives cannot be understated either.

    Anyway, this is rather a long way of thanking this blog for the tremendous service it does in informing people and bringing them together to express all the hope and take comfort in the despair we see happening all around us.

    Best wishes and happy new year,

    Brian

    Reply
  1. “Unprecedented” Is Hardly Adequate: It Is Raining Near The North Pole Today | Planet in Distress
  2. It’s Raining In the Arctic – Right Now » Survival Acres Blog
  3. Amidst Disasters Around the World, Top Scientists Declare Links Between Extreme Weather and Climate Change | robertscribbler

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