Amidst Disasters Around the World, Top Scientists Declare Links Between Extreme Weather and Climate Change

Andy Lee Robinson said it all-too-well — “El Nino + Climate Change = El Diablo.”

And as the Washington Post so cogently notes — the world is now experiencing a rash of Freakish Weather from the North Pole to South America. It’s what appears to be happening as these two major record weather makers fire off simultaneously. A grim tally that includes the highest river levels ever seen in Missouri, the worst floods England has seen since the Middle Ages, the first time the North Pole has seen significantly above freezing temperatures during Winter in modern record keeping, city and region-crippling droughts spanning Central and South America, and seemingly everywhere, but especially in the North Atlantic where Greenland melt outflow has backed up the Gulf Stream, storms that seem to laugh in the face of our weather history.

Extreme weather on both sides of the Atlantic

(Extreme weather on both sides of the North Atlantic on December 29, 2015. In upper right of frame, the daisy chain of lows named Frank bears down on Iceland and the UK. Meanwhile, a severe storm dumps flooding rains over the Central US. Image source: LANCE-MODIS.)

Dr. Jeff Masters, at Weather Underground, yesterday made this grim observation:

This isn’t the climate I grew up with. We didn’t see this kind of weather in the 20th century. It’s just a continuation of the crazy weather we’ve seen over the course of the 21st century so far.”

Attributing Single Extreme Weather Events to Climate Change

But Dr. Masters will be the first to tell you that it’s tough to scientifically prove that any one storm or weather system was altered by climate change. In essence, it’s like trying to prove that this home-run or that shut-out was caused by a baseball player taking steroids. We know that the steroids result in a changed performance by the athlete, just as we know that climate change alters the overall performance of weather. But it’s devilishly difficult for scientists to pin down the exact climate change mechanisms going into this or that monster storm or mega-drought. It doesn’t mean that climate change or steroids aren’t at work, because they are. It’s just hard to pin down exactly when.

It’s this gray area that climate change deniers and fossil fuel backers have exploited to generate doubt that climate change is happening at all. They’ve hyper-focused on this storm or that drought, rather than the larger extreme weather and temperature trend — which is clearly changing and worsening. It’s almost as if a group of baseball fans got together to defend the use of steroids in the sport and placed the burden of proof on whether or not an individual home run was caused by the stuff. A false analysis that puts both scientists and those concerned about the environment into the ridiculous position of having to prove the existence of climate change in one storm or a single drought. The ludicrous assumption being that, otherwise, climate change doesn’t exist at all.

But merchant of doubters didn’t count on one thing — the advancement of science.

For truth be told, we are now starting to tease out a few of the direct influences of climate change on extreme weather events. One particularly powerful element being what is known as the heat-moisture engine. It’s well known that temperature differentials and rates of evaporation can have a significant influence on weather. And climate change itself fundamentally alters these aspects of weather by 1 — changing the rate of evaporation and precipitation on a global basis and 2 — putting hot and cold air and water masses in places where they’ve never been before.

image

(Sea surface temperature anomalies in the North Atlantic are just going bonkers. From the blazing hot back-up of the Gulf Stream off the US East Coast to the freakish cool pool related to increasing glacial melt just south of Greenland to the abnormally warm and ice-free Barents, sea surface temperature patterns in the North Atlantic have been consistently and radically changed by factors related to human-caused climate change. It’s a fearsome engine of extreme weather that’s only recently emerged. One that may as well have the words ‘human-forced warming’ etched across it in bold script for all to see. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

Scientific luminary Dr. Kevin Trenberth noted in the New York Times today:

In both the Atlantic and Pacific, the unusually warm ocean surface is throwing extra moisture into the air… Storms over land can draw moisture from as far as 2,000 miles away, he said, so the warm ocean is likely influencing such events as the heavy rain in the Southeast, as well as the record number of strong hurricanes and typhoons that occurred this year in the Pacific basin, with devastating consequences for island nations like Vanuatu. “The warmth means there is more fuel for these weather systems to feed upon,” Dr. Trenberth said. “This is the sort of thing we will see more as we go decades into the future.”

North Atlantic Bombs Going Off The Charts

But it is in the North Atlantic that the influences of human-forced climate change upon the weather are starting grow most starkly clear. There the impact of El Nino is far less obvious. During a typical strong El Nino year, storms tend to form more-so over Iceland. And we’ve seen that. But in the past, El Nino years have also tended to bring colder weather to Scandinavia as the Northern Hemisphere Jet Stream strengthened and locked cold air into the higher Latitudes. However, this year, as in recent years, the Barents Sea has been freakishly warm. This region, which during the 20th Century featured much more sea ice than today, is now mostly ice free. And this broad section of open water vents heat into the atmosphere, warming Scandinavia and providing a weakness in the Jet Stream for warm air invasions of the Arctic.

This week, the warm slot over the Barents provided the pathway for a daisy chain of low pressure systems — ranging from the UK to Iceland to the High Arctic — to pull above-freezing temperatures all the way to the North Pole. It was an unprecedented event and one far less likely to have been strongly influenced by El Nino than by human-forced climate change.

Another feature in the North Atlantic related to climate change is a cool pool of water south of Greenland. This pool is generated by increasing glacial melt outflows from the warming and thawing mountains of ice covering that frozen isle. In juxtaposition to the warming Barents, this cool pool creates what in weather terms is called a dipole. A region of cold facing off against a region of hot. Dipoles are notorious for their potential to generate extreme weather. And the Barents/North Atlantic anomaly dipole is something entirely new. A weather system that aims a more heavily moisture laden Atlantic storm track directly at the United Kingdom. An island nation that this year is sitting directly in the path of a northward moving warm wind. A warm air and moisture flow that has all too frequently embedded monster rainstorms never before seen in the isles’ history.

Extreme Storm Was 40 Percent More Likely Due to Climate Change

Myles R. Allen, a Climate Scientist at the University of Oxford, finds warnings by weather and climate experts that instances of extreme weather would emerge due to human-forced warming are now made real:

“As scientists, it’s a little humbling that we’ve kind of been saying this for 20 years now, and it’s not until people notice daffodils coming out in December that they start to say, ‘Maybe they’re right.’ ”

Dr. Allen was the lead of a cutting edge scientific study that, earlier this month, used model runs to find that the recent spate of record UK floods was made 40 percent more likely by human-forced climate change. The study was spurred by a storm that dropped 13 inches of rain on a Northern England town in just 24 hours. It’s worth noting that a 40 percent increase in extreme weather potential isn’t just a little nudge of the needle, it represents what in scientific terms is known as a state change. In other words, if heating of the world’s climate system has made extreme storms 40 percent more likely in your country, then your climate is now nothing like it was before.

image

(It’s not just daffodils blooming in England. All over the western world flowers have been blooming out of season during the freakishly warm weather of Winter 2015. Above, the iconic cherry blossom blooms in my hometown of Gaithersburg, MD on December 31 of 2015. Photo credit: Robertscribbler.)

After the study, the UK was hit time-after-time-after-time by similar record flooding rains. One being the same system that drove temperatures at the North Pole to above freezing in Winter, flung rains over Arctic sea ice during the depths of polar night, and whose rains and winds again spurred raging floodwaters in North England that destroyed a beloved 300-year-old bridge. This isn’t just one instance. What we’re looking at here is the likelihood that England will continue to experience these kinds of freak storms on-and-on until at least March and probably through to April. And that’s just this year. For the pattern is so altered now that England appears to be facing an age of storms the likes of which it has never seen before.

The Climatic Disruptions Have Now Begun

Today The New York Times is calling it Climate Chaos, The Washington Post — Freakish Weather. But what we are really seeing is the start of the extreme climate disruption experts and scientists have been warning us about all along. A disruption resulting from a severe warming of the globe’s atmosphere, oceans, and ice. One that some tried to deny was happening at all but that is now, as likely as not, wreaking havok in their own hometowns. Given the dismal state of affairs, one has to honestly ask the question — why didn’t we listen? Why didn’t we act early to stop this horrendous mess? And following this question, an assertion — we would be insane to not work as hard as we can to prevent this abysmal situation from further worsening.

Links:

Climate Chaos Across the Map

Freakish Weather From the North Pole to South America

Rivers Reach Never Before Seen Level in Missouri

Warm Storm Brings Rain Over Arctic Sea Ice in Winter

North Pole Hits Above Freezing Temperatures During Winter

Raging Floodwaters Destroy 300 Year Old Bridge in England

Weather Underground

LANCE-MODIS

Hat Tip to Andy Lee Robinson

Hat Tip to TodaysGuestIs

Hat Tip to Suzanne

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

222 Comments

  1. From today’s drought monitor:

    “Record setting warm temperatures occurred across large portions of the eastern third of the US. Average temperature departures were in the range of 20-25 degrees above normal for the USDM week. Temperature anomalies were as much as 20 degrees below normal in the western third of the country. The following is a list of preliminary daily and monthly temperature data records that were tied or broken during the period from December 23 – 29:

    1926 highest daily max temperatures; 2019 highest daily min temperatures; 59 highest monthly max temperatures; 240 highest monthly min temperatures.”

    15″ of snow here. I expect this isn’t the last of it, either.

    Reply
  2. M E Cheshier

     /  December 31, 2015

    Great post. Thank you!

    Reply
  3. M E Cheshier

     /  December 31, 2015

    Reblogged this on How 2 Be Green and commented:
    Great article!

    Reply
  4. Anthony Sagliani ‏@anthonywx 2h2 hours ago

    To me, this is the defining image of weather/climate for 2015. The development of canonical strong El Nino.

    Reply
    • A real beast this one. I’d call it the monster that crushed the pause. Poor denial faux theory. Couldn’t hold up to even one Pacific Ocean surface warming event.

      Reply
      • “Couldn’t even hold up to one Pacific surface warming event.” And that was the Blob! Before it, they’d cherry pick the 1997/1998 maxima with the subsequent minima. Until last year when the minimum suddenly jumped — and El Niño hadn’t started yet.😉

        Reply
  5. Well written piece once again. Has emotional depth without going overboard, while laying out the facts with reference.

    Reply
  6. Extreme Weather & Climate Change The Choice: Part 1 https://vimeo.com/128141163

    Sent from my iPad 🙏🏻

    >

    Reply
  7. Colorado Bob

     /  December 31, 2015

    UK weather: Warmest December on record was one of wettest ever seen as Britain battered by storms and flooding

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uk-weather-warmest-december-on-record-was-one-of-wettest-ever-seen-as-britain-battered-by-storms-and-a6792236.html

    Reply
    • Jeremy in Wales

       /  January 1, 2016

      Surprisingly not the wettest in the UK as a whole as rainfall in the south/ south-east was actually below normal, as storms tracked north skirting the west/ north west and stuck weather front stretched north -south.

      Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  January 2, 2016

        I’m glad to say it’s been ok here in the East Midlands too, bur it’s still far too close to draw much comfort.

        Even though CC has got pretty local, which is not good for us, at least the fact that we have such long weather records gives the scientific community more ammunition for the attribution of such events.

        Another good thing is that the deniers have gone pretty quiet round here, and the association between the recent extreme weather and CC has been all over the media over the last few days, repeated by scientists and politicians of all stripes.

        Reply
        • It seems like a switch has flipped for some media circles. MSM in the U.S. Aside from the few responsible sources here has been pretty mum, though.

  8. climatehawk1

     /  December 31, 2015

    Tweeting.

    Reply
  9. Reporting from New Orleans!

    The recent cold front in the past day or two has changed our weather from unusually warm (80 F on Christmas Day, how fracked is that?) to normal, seasonable temps when during a NORMAL El Niño it’s supposed to be slightly cooler than normal.

    And we have azaleas, bougainvilleas and mandevillias blooming, among others… these are spring and summer blooming plants!!!😮

    Reply
    • Jeremy in Wales

       /  January 1, 2016

      Daffodils, wallflowers and marigolds flowering at 53 degrees north and 500feet altitude, azalea coming out soon.

      Reply
  10. Syd Bridges

     /  January 1, 2016

    From a selfish point of view, having no children, I could ignore “Storms of my Grandchildren .” Then it became “Storms of my Dotage,” and now I’ve reached 65, it seems to have become “Storms of my Retirement.” Words fail me when I try to express my gratitude to the Fossil Fuel companies and their whores in politics and the MSM who have ensured that I see these things.

    When I was 10 in 1961, my Science teacher, Mr. Hemingway, told us that this would happen one day, if nothing was done to curb the rise of CO2. It was at about the time Charles Keeling started measurements at Mauna Loa, twenty-odd years after Callendar’s work and sixty-four years after Arrhenius’ seminal paper. So why are people so surprised now?

    Happy New Year, Robert, from England.

    Reply
    • Bill H

       /  January 1, 2016

      Wow, that was prescient.

      Reply
    • PlazaRed

       /  January 2, 2016

      Thank you for putting your thoughts so frankly, or ( “Frankly” as the storm of the week would go or have gone?)
      I’m also a well gone pensioner and have been writing about these niggling climatic things for quite a while to the general common or garden background masses.
      One thing that sticks in my mind from a long time ago is or was a book by a woman named I think Violet Carson called Silent Spring, from probably the late 60s. This outlined a lot of things that are happening now, not so much to do with climate change as not many people had thought f that then but of chemicals and other human distributed noxious substances.

      I live on top of a 2000 foot, (650mt) hill in a very warm and pleasant place, with plenty to eat and very few bills. Costs of living are about 30 euros week, that’s about £22 or $35.
      People ask me, “why should you worry?” Well “I” don’t know really but I do worry, not for me of course. “I’m all right,” its the other 6.8 billion who I am concerned about.

      Reply
      • Mark from OZ

         /  January 3, 2016

        Hey PR,
        Love your contributions! Just a small clarifier; the author of Silent Spring was Rachel L Carson and it was first published in 1962. As you indicate, she accurately ‘saw the future’ and taught millions about the fragility of our planet. Clearly distressed about what was occurring even then, she opens the book with a reference to Albert Schweitzer who said:

        “Man has lost the capacity to foresee and forestall. He will end by destroying the earth.”

        Here’s the Google book link::

        https://books.google.com.au/books?id=6sRtTjwwWYEC&printsec=frontcover&dq=silent+spring&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiw5JyoxIzKAhWn26YKHTN4CKkQ6AEIMDAB#v=onepage&q=silent%20spring&f=false

        Some( myself included) consider her earlier book (1951) “The Sea Around Us” to be even more compelling. It spent 86 weeks on the NYT Bestseller list and 37 at #1.Highly recommended to all. Note: Also available on Google Books.
        Thanks again PR!

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  January 3, 2016

        Agree, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was way ahead of its time and is credited with helping to usher in modern environmental awareness. I just got myself a copy and read it for the first time a few years ago, and it reads like a book that could’ve been written this year. In some ways we have made progress since the 60s, but in many ways we’re worse off than ever. For one, there is twice as many people now as when that book was written. And now, everyone has been convinced they can’t be happy unless they become a billionaire and consume vast amounts of resources.

        Reply
  11. Abel Adamski

     /  January 1, 2016

    Follow up on EXXONGATE
    http://graphics.latimes.com/oil-operations/

    Big Oil braced for global warming while it fought regulations

    By Amy Lieberman and Susanne Rust

    Dec. 31, 2015

    “A few weeks before seminal climate change talks in Kyoto back in 1997, Mobil Oil took out a bluntly worded advertisement in the New York Times and Washington Post.

    “Let’s face it: The science of climate change is too uncertain to mandate a plan of action that could plunge economies into turmoil,” the ad said. “Scientists cannot predict with certainty if temperatures will increase, by how much and where changes will occur.”

    One year earlier, though, engineers at Mobil Oil were concerned enough about climate change to design and build a collection of exploration and production facilities along the Nova Scotia coast that made structural allowances for rising temperatures and sea levels.

    Reply
  12. Vic

     /  January 1, 2016

    Archival documents released to the public yesterday show that a quarter of a century ago Australia’s government was considering a carbon tax in order to address the issue of global warming.

    “The ideas, along with other schemes designed to curb carbon emissions through government incentives, were rejected because of a lack of information about their effects on the economy, which was then in a year-long recession.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-01/hawke-government-considered-carbon-tax/7042908

    Reply
  13. Jean

     /  January 1, 2016

    Happy New Year..Thanks for keeping me informed everyone

    Reply
  14. Montysano

     /  January 1, 2016

    Here in north Alabama, it’s been a warm and wet winter. Our last event, a tropical downpour on Christmas Day, caused widespread flooding. In Cullman County, just south of here, they got 10-12 inches of rain in a 24 hour period.

    As of yesterday, the tally in Cullman Country was 6 bridges and 30 culverts damaged, each (as I understand it) resulting in a closed road. For a mostly rural county, this has to be catastrophic damage to their infrastructure. This level of damage is, of course, unprecedented for this area.

    And we’ve still got a lot of “winter”, and a lot of El Niño left before us….

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  January 2, 2016

      The extreme weather really has been quite widespread. It’s remarkable how many of these “unprecedented” events have occurred in the past few years, and they seem to be increasing in frequency and becoming more widespread, affecting every corner of the globe. I hope you and your loved ones remain safe.

      Reply
  15. Andy in SD

     /  January 1, 2016

    That is some massive outflow of melt water off of Greenland if one looks at the size of that blob of low SSTA. We may track the melt season on the surface as that is all the MSM may seem interested in, however again looking at that outflow, one wonders what liquid monster lies below that surface in order to provide such a year round outflow.

    Any metrics known about the outflow volumes by month or week yet?

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  January 1, 2016

      Good point Andy. I would like to know more about the situation with the subglacial lakes that were discovered in Greenland a few years ago. All that water had to be coming from more than the surface.

      Reply
      • Griffin

         /  January 1, 2016

        that didn’t make sense. The water evident in the SSTA’s must be more than just surface is what I meant.

        Reply
      • Andy in SD

         /  January 1, 2016

        Yes, that giant sub glacial mess the size of Rhode Island that was noted this past year comes to mind.

        Reply
      • James Burton

         /  January 1, 2016

        Gravity is going to ensure that masses of melt water are deep out of sight working their melting magic at the ground and ice boundary. What we don’t see is probably what we should fear most.
        I think the melt is not going to be at all so linear, but the flood of melt waters down below will trigger a major uptick in glacial disintegration. Who can say when and how much, but a slow linear melt is hardly likely. A nasty surprise perhaps?
        As for denial. The Oil Majors really have political powers that you and I can hardly imagine. They will use that power to fight long and hard. We are convinced, the evidence is clear. But that is not the game they are playing. Their game is profit and power. They just don’t care!

        Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  January 1, 2016

      I was thinking about this too. Lots of fresh water, and it seems to be increasing each year. Wondering how long it takes for meltwater from the surface of the ice sheet to make its way through the interior, to the base of the glacier, then finally out to sea. The water is also taking a lot of heat into the glacier, and maybe it remains liquid after the surface melting has ceased for the season? Maybe ice sheet melt has now become substantial enough to essentially discharge freshwater basically year round?

      Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  January 2, 2016

      http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2015/10/09/Study-details-Greenlands-ice-sheet-plumbing-system/7101444396667/?st_rec=9711446321864

      EXETER, England, Oct. 9 (UPI) — Researchers from the University of Exeter think subglacial lakes will be more frequently drained as global warming continues.

      In a new study published in the journal Nature, scientists detail the plumbing systems that fill and drain the subglacial lakes found beneath Greenland’s ice sheet.

      Researchers used satellite images to plot changes in a specific subglacial lake over the last two decades. They found Greenland’s subglacial lakes are distinct from subglacial lakes in Antarctica.

      “Our research reveals details about the plumbing system beneath the Greenland ice sheet, which is important because the configuration of that system has an impact on the flow speed of the overlying ice,” study author Steven Palmer, a geographer at Exeter, said in a press release.

      In Antarctica, lakes are fed by meltwater from the bottom of glaciers. But satellite imagery showed the subglacial lake in Greenland is fed by surface meltwater, which flows through a vertical shaft called a moulin. The lake was last drained in 2011. A similar event happened in 1996.

      Researchers think the lake’s unique style of plumbing will allow faster more frequent draining events in the future, potentially making ice sheets more vulnerable to climate change.

      “We have made the first observations of how the Greenland ice sheet responds to subglacial lake drainage, but more research is required to understand the long-term impacts of these events,” Palmer said. “It is possible that draining subglacial lakes act to release the pressure at the ice sheet base, meaning that if they drain more frequently in the future, they may actually result in slower ice sheet flow overall.”

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  January 2, 2016

        Great link, Abel. Thanks for that.

        Reply
      • PlazaRed

         /  January 2, 2016

        Amazing to hear this.
        Thanks for confirming what we have been suspecting for quite a while now!
        All we need now is some sort of a map of where the water gets out and we have at least half of the picture of the “cool pool in the NA!”

        Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  January 3, 2016

        Do note the wording.
        “a specific subglacial lake”
        There are an unknown number.
        I did read an article some time ago re the drainage, apparently as winter comes and Greenland cools, the drains start freezing at the outlets and it takes a while to thaw enough to let the drainage recommence and clear the pipes

        Reply
    • PlazaRed

       /  January 2, 2016

      Just wondering as a side issue, if the ice sheet of Greenland is somehow suspended on huge miles wide pillars of ice with a liquid water lake interspaced.
      If this scenario should by chance be the possible case, then the whole of the ice sheet could “Slump,” or maybe at least large parts of it?
      This could possibly explain how so much cold water is being expelled into the north Atlantic and still Greenland’s altitude seems unchanged!
      Greenland is probably the only part of the world on a major land mass scale which has got an hypothetical altitude, when and if temps rise, then Greenland loses height. Its probably the only place in the world where frozen water in the form of ice is seen as its altitude?

      Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  January 3, 2016

        Hollowed out ice cubes in your drink. ?

        Reply
      • mlparrish

         /  January 3, 2016

        Thanks to all for this thread. I have also been struck (or terrified) at how fast the cold spot seems to be enlarging on Climate Reanalyzer. Several episodes of rapid climate change and MOC shutdown coming off the last ice age have been described, variously attributed to glacial lake drainage or ice sheet ‘imploding’. The scenario described here makes plenty of sense, too.

        Reply
  16. Dave

     /  January 1, 2016

    Very nice article. Not at all optimistic of an appropriate response by governments – particularly in the U.S. where an entire major party is steeped in denial. And, to add to the tragedy, much more warming is already baked into the cake.

    And, if the arctic is warming dramatically, can the clathrate gun be far behind?

    Reply
    • Jeremy

       /  January 1, 2016

      …. calling Proffesor McPherson. Calling Proffesor McPherson ! ! !

      Reply
      • Dave

         /  January 1, 2016

        Just to be clear, in my opinion McPherson is not helpful, and often exaggerates. That said, there is a substantial potential for the release of great quantities of methane in the arctic, and represents positive feedback that would be extremely dangerous if it were to reach a tipping point.

        Reply
    • Jeremy

       /  January 2, 2016

      …calling Dr. Shashkova. Calling Dr. Sashkova!!

      Reply
  17. redskylite

     /  January 1, 2016

    RobertScribbler, sir, thanks for another excellent posting, with just the right degree of concern and urge to action, with plenty of references and written in a pleasing literary style, for the layman. I am reading that more people are becoming concerned with the effect (on weather patterns) of the cold Atlantic blob, which has been affected by cooling melt water coming of Greenland. Trenberth’s comments that you include from the NYT are as usual spot on.

    I’ve been reading about the storms in a lot of media, especially provincial U.K offerings , the Manchester Evening News and Huddersfield Examiner have covered the local affects well and impressed me. Can’t help reading the comments and there are a few outraged apoplectic protests from hardcore deniers (as usual), stating that the commentary is ridiculous as the climate has always been changing (progress ! – at least they are admitting it is changing now !). Having ploughed through an academic book “Paleoclimatology” by Raymond Bradley (well above my normal comfort zone) several times, it is true that it has changed radically many times in the past. But the time spans were measured in centuries and millenniums, not decades. I am nudging 70 y.o and am astounded with the twenty first century weather events (like Dr Jeff Masters), but just look how steep that increasing atmospheric CO2 and temperature upwards curves are. Your analogy to baseball players on steroids was truly splendid and spot on. Exxon chief’s from yesteryear . . how can you sleep at night ?

    “Here in the UK our unusual weather may be more directly linked to the “north Atlantic cool blob” – an abnormally cold patch that started to develop in 2013 and is thought to have been caused by melting of the Greenland ice sheet. This, along with warmer air temperatures in the Arctic, has altered the jet stream, making it more “wavy” in autumn and winter, and more prone to getting stuck in one position. This time the north of England was in the crosshairs, with storm after storm being fired along the same jet stream track.”

    Caught in the crosshairs by the cool blob

    http://www.theguardian.com/news/2015/dec/30/weatherwatch-ravilious-uk-floods-storm-eva-el-nino-greenland-ice-melt-jet-stream

    Reply
  18. Chuck Hughes

     /  January 1, 2016

    And not a moment too soon! I was afraid someone would jump the gun the way Al Gore did 10 YEARS AGO when we could have done something about it.

    Sometime around COP22 we can make plans to start making plans at the COP23 meeting so we can take action at the COP24 meeting. By then we should be up to 45% of extreme weather events being ‘influenced’ by Climate Change with no direct link to specific events. Call it a ‘hunch” or a “sneaky suspicion” so as not to alarm the folks at FOX News or wake Republican members of Congress.

    Of course the 45% is a Liberal estimate that will have to be pared down by the IPCC whenever they meet again.

    Reply
  19. Spike

     /  January 1, 2016

    Great article Robert, and pleased to see you finally getting noticed in UK press. Progress!

    Nice simple tweet flagged up by Michael Mann the other day:

    “Climate change dumps extra energy into Oceans, periodic imperfect equilibirum with atmo restored by record El Niño. Repeat.” Sums it up very well.

    A very Happy New Year to you and all regulars here.

    Reply
  20. Climate scientist Professor Piers Forster, from the University of Leeds, said: “There is no doubt in my mind that climate change is partly responsible for the flooding across the north of England. These floods are in part due to greenhouse gas emissions.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uk-weather-december-second-wettest-on-record-as-storms-cause-widespread-flooding-a6792136.html

    Reply
  21. Reblogged this on Making Waves Outreach ⚘ Flyers For Animal Rights and commented:
    This has Cowspiracy written all over it! http://cowspiracy.com

    Reply
  22. “The climatic disruptions have now begun”

    That’s quite a declaration, Robert, and you are bold to make it. Kudos for having your data ducks in a row and making such a declaration on an even-keeled basis.

    When it comes to the accelerating decline of earth systems, I am pessimistic. But even with this tendency factored in, I feel a sense of foreboding in regard to what 2016 will bring.
    Having said that, it is now a bit awkward to wish you Happy New Year. Still, for what its worth, I hope 2016 is a year of tremendous professional accomplishment and personal growth and satisfaction for you.

    Scott

    Reply
  23. Griffin

     /  January 1, 2016

    One of the things that I noticed in much of the media coverage last week was that the extreme warmth in the Arctic was seen as an “event” or a “heatwave”. Well, here it is, days later and Climate Reanalyzer is showing a 3.38C anomaly for the region. What Robert so succinctly dubbed “The Long Emergency” is still very much ongoing.

    Reply
    • Climate Change is the real long emergency. Peak oil is nothing more than a much needed transition away from a terribly destructive energy source.

      Reply
  24. Colorado Bob

     /  January 1, 2016

    Been looking at the the price of this latest storm . There’s this of course –
    At least 28 people have died in the U.S. Midwest since the weekend in the rare winter floods, mostly from driving into flooded areas after storms dropped up to 12 inches (30 cm) of rain, officials said.
    But also this –
    Texas, New Mexico producers lose more than 30,000 dairy cows

    http://lubbockonline.com/local-news/2015-12-31/texas-new-mexico-producers-lose-more-30000-dairy-cows#.VobB3FK7T6M

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  January 1, 2016

      Oh my word. That is terrible.

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  January 1, 2016

      There’s such widespread destruction from extreme events these days, it’s hard to even stay aware of it all. It takes an entire environmental department of reporters to stay on top of it all…or a collection of diligent commenters like we have here🙂

      Reply
    • Yeah. We’re measuring rainstorms in feet now, just like we used to measure snowstorms.

      Reply
      • PlazaRed

         /  January 2, 2016

        I never thought I would see it but measuring rainfall in feet is about as crazy as human records can get I suppose!
        Meanwhile we are considering measuring rainfall here in Spain in millimetres this winter.
        So far we have had about 4 millimetres since the beginning of November.
        3 Months to go to the big dry hot season and its still in the +20/C area in our zone here, last year we were at best about +10/C on good clear days.

        Reply
  25. Another informative and insightful post that brings together, so eloquently, several climate change issues into focus. Finding this site has been like coming home, where I can find some sanity from the insanity of denial that exists in my routine, and working world.
    Thank you all for giving me hope and informed, accurate facts to arm myself against the army of denial. And thank you Robert for getting us all together…
    And for my first “hat tip”…🙂

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  January 2, 2016

      Isn’t this place great, Suzanne? Glad you have found it! I find that since Robert keeps the space free from deniers and their ridiculous worn-out BS talking points the conversation can focus entirely on the science and what our future possibly holds, and what needs to be done about it. Pretty much every other comment section has deniers annoying everybody, wasting everyone’s time, and doing what they do best, which is effectively shutting down any chance of a constructive conversation.

      Reply
      • It’s censorship. A form of white noise that shuts down rational public discourse.

        Reply
      • Steven Blaisdell

         /  January 3, 2016

        Reply to Robert: Yes, that’s exactly what it is: censorship, hiding behind the veil of ‘freedom of speech,’ thus nicely hitting a malignant twofer – degradation of the discourse, AND of any meaningful understanding of “free speech.”
        Read awhile ago a study that looked at people’s acceptance of information contained in articles about AGW, which showed that if comments allowed denialist “white noise,” acceptance of the information in the article went down considerably. I’ve asked many sites to either moderate or eliminate comments on articles about AGW; you’re the only one who gets why this is so important. Very much appreciate the hard work.

        Reply
  26. Anthony Sagliani ‏@anthonywx 15m15 minutes ago

    Tropical Cyclone Ula (1-min sustained winds 90 kt)) impacting northern Islands of Tonga in the South Pacific.

    Reply
  27. Poachers using science papers to target newly discovered species

    Journals begin withholding locations after warnings the data is helping smugglers drive lizards, snakes and frogs to ‘near-extinction’

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jan/01/poachers-using-science-papers-to-target-newly-discovered-species?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

    Reply
  28. Colorado Bob

     /  January 1, 2016

    100,000 flee Asuncion as water levels rise

    Large parts of the United States, Britain and South America are underwater ahead of the New Year, still inundated by floodwaters which many experts have blamed on the El Nino weather phenomenon triggered by a shift in trade winds across the Pacific around the Equator. Here’s an update on the situation in the three regions.

    Link

    Reply
  29. Apneaman

     /  January 1, 2016

    The problem is it’s not just deniers and republicans. It’s pretty much the entire suicidal species. Short-termisim some call it. Methinks it’s biological.

    During Paris Climate Summit, Obama Signed Exxon-, Koch-Backed Bill Expediting Pipeline Permits

    http://www.desmogblog.com/2015/12/31/paris-climate-summit-obama-exxon-koch-bill-pipeline-permit

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  January 1, 2016

      And right after, he lifted the export ban. Big Oil wasted no time cashing in either. The first ship is already on the way.

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-12-31/first-u-s-oil-export-leaves-port-marking-end-of-40-year-ban

      Reply
      • Apneaman

         /  January 2, 2016

        There were always easily obtainable exemptions and it never included refined products or exporting to Canada. No big whoop really. This was more about keeping the sucker investors coming for the shale ponzi scheme which is going to end soon and then the oil age will follow. It’s depletion and economics. Look at Saudi Arabia. They have had to borrow money and slash their subsidies and programs for their citizens. We have extracted about half the oil, but the other half is not economical. The majors have spent just as much money suppressing peak oil as they have climate change. What do you think would happen if the sheeple knew the oil age was going to end in a decade? What would the share holders do?

        Billions of Barrels of US Oil Set to Disappear. Poof

        http://www.dailyimpact.net/2015/12/10/billions-of-barrels-of-us-oil-set-to-disappear-poof/

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  January 2, 2016

        Apneaman, you might enjoy this if you haven’t seen it. It’s Richard Heinberg giving a presentation that focuses on the false promises of fracking, and how since the mid-2000s the majors have invested tens of billions in expanding oil production without any noticeable increase in barrels recovered. They are seeing rapidly diminishing returns, and are in a frenzy to maintain production levels. It’s why we’re going nuts with fracking and digging up the tar sands and drilling miles below the ocean…the easy oil is gone but our unquenchable thirst for more remains.

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  January 2, 2016

        Small correction to my above link…the majors have invested TRILLIONS with little increase in crude oil production. They’ve had to rely on unconventionals to meet demand.

        Reply
        • The old, cheap oil is a diminishing fraction of current production. Growth comes from the expensive unconventional a which is one major reason why we have so many companies facing bankruptcy. From the point of view of strategic use of money to reduce future carbon emissions, now is prime time for divestment. But given a still general lack of strong government policy, the energy markets will face a long series of shocks as a result. Laissez faire again and the result is mass malinvestment in fossil fuels and assets stranded in wave after wave.

  30. Ryan in New England

     /  January 1, 2016

    Happy New Year to Robert and all the Scribblers who contribute (and those who just “lurk” as well) and help to make this the best damn climate blog on the internet. And this December closes with hundreds of records being broken…

    http://www.wunderground.com/news/christmas-week-forecast-warm-east

    Reply
    • Happy New Year and thanks for posting the climate butcher board on site.

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  January 2, 2016

        Sorry if it was a bit much. I was trying to get the point across that it’s crazy hot pretty much all over😉

        Reply
  31. Ryan in New England

     /  January 1, 2016

    Here in Connecticut we smashed our previous record for warmest December by almost 6 degrees F. Our average temp for the month was more like what used to be a typical high temp in Dec. Washington, D.C. also smashed their previous record.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2015/12/31/washington-d-c-eclipses-warmest-december-on-record-by-an-enormous-margin/

    Reply
  32. Ryan in New England

     /  January 1, 2016

    And 2015 goes down as the hottest year on record for South Florida.

    The National Weather Service has pegged 2015 as South Florida’s hottest year on record as December sizzles to an end with average temperatures soaring up to 14 degrees above normal.

    http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/news/weather/its-official-2015-hottest-year-on-record-for-south/nptX6/

    Reply
  33. Ryan in New England

     /  January 1, 2016

    Both Dec and 2015 as a whole are the warmest on record for Singapore as well.

    SINGAPORE: December 2015 is likely to be the warmest December on record, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said, while 2015 is likely to tie with 1997 and 1998 as the warmest year on record in Singapore.

    The mean monthly temperature and mean daily maximum temperature for the month to date is 27.8°C and 31.6°C, respectively, said the environment agency in a press release on Thursday (Dec 31). This would exceed previous highs of 27.3°C in December 1997 and 31.3°C in December 1997 and 2002, respectively.

    In addition, 2015 is also likely to tie with 1997 and 1998 as the warmest year on record, with a mean annual temperature of 28.3°C. The record warm temperatures in 2015 and 1997 can be attributed to the strong El Nino events occurring in both years, according to NEA.

    http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/december-likely-to-be/2389500.html

    Reply
  34. Griffin

     /  January 1, 2016

    Powerful article that shows what life is like at the end of the storm gun barrel. Folks in Ireland are not having a good time.
    http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/storms/volunteers-are-fighting-battles-every-day-to-keep-water-at-bay-taoiseach-visits-areas-hit-by-storm-frank-34325980.html

    Reply
  35. Ryan in New England

     /  January 1, 2016
    Reply
  36. Ryan in New England

     /  January 1, 2016

    New South Wales swelters through one of its hottest years, despite seeing a record cold July…

    http://www.news-mail.com.au/news/2015-hottest-years-on-record-nsw/2887005/

    Reply
  37. Ryan in New England

     /  January 1, 2016

    And as we already knew, 2015 as a whole will handily take the place as the hottest year on record…

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/weather/2015-will-be-warmest-year-records-were-first-kept-135-n487356

    Reply
  38. “The weather has changed, and we have changed it: get used to it. Those with more open minds are asking, ‘Is this the new normal?’ Unfortunately, the answer is ‘No’ – ‘normal weather’, unchanged over generations apart from random fluctuations, is a thing of the past.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/uk-weather-why-the-recent-devastating-floods-will-become-the-new-normal-a6793291.html

    Reply
  39. – Earthquakes Fracking Natural Gas Oklahoma 2016
    I wouldn’t be surprised if the fracking frenzy isn’t driving the use of decrepit oil fields (Porter Ranch, CA ) as holding ‘tanks’ for the enormous amount of extracted gas.

    – Sen. ‘Snowball’ Inhofe’s Oklahoma and a series of maps – earthquake-report.com

    Minor earthquake – Guthrie, Oklahoma on January 1, 2016

    Oklahoma City – No damage
    Edmund – We were staying at the Holiday Inn Express and were woke up by slight shaking, then major shaking. It was enough to make me realize what was going on. Being from the southwest I recognized immediately what it was, but it still threw me for a loop. I didn’t realize this area experienced earthquakes.
    Oklahoma City – light to moderate. Whole house shook, jolted, rolling wave movement. Creaking and big bang
    Oklahoma City – Shook for a very long time and rattled wass hangings for 50 seconds
    Shawnee, Oklahoma – It felt like something slammed into the house with a quick jolt. Then a pause. Then a few lighter tremors. Then done.

    http://earthquake-report.com/2016/01/01/minor-earthquake-guthrie-oklahoma-on-january-1-2016/

    Reply
  40. Ryan in New England

     /  January 1, 2016

    Aid agencies face serious shortfalls in 2016 due to El Nino and wars. And everyone here knows conflicts and famines are only going to increase as climate change accelerates even further.

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/el_nino_and_war_drive_aid_agencies_to_the_brink_20151231

    Reply
    • I wonder how much of what’s attributed to El Niño is actually related to or worsened by climate change. Something to think about, but the big impact from El Niño is still, probably, ahead of us.

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  January 2, 2016

        Regardless of what’s attributable to climate change vs. El Nino, I’ve noticed that the mainstream media has used this El Nino to explain away every record temp or unprecedented event without having to mention the possibility of climate change. Everything’s El Nino. Ignore the crazy amounts of heat that have accumulated in all areas of the globe, or the record breaking weather that has been happening more frequently in recent years. Everything must be viewed as an isolated event, and never in context. NBC’s Today Show weekend “meteorologist” even used the term “Godzilla El Nino”, and I think we all remember where that phrase originated.

        Reply
  41. Colorado Bob

     /  January 2, 2016

    December was the warmest on record in Milwaukee, eclipsing the former No. 1 — set in 1877.

    Some other headlines :
    Detroit, Flint and Saginaw post warmest December on record

    Last month was warmest December on record in Toronto

    Pennsylvania’s warm December shatters record

    Washington, D.C., eclipses warmest December on record by an enormous margin

    UK weather: Warmest December on record was one of wettest ever …

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  January 2, 2016

      I think the entire Northeastern U.S. saw its warmest December ever by a wide margin. Here in CT we beat our previous record by nearly 5 degrees F.

      By leaps and bounds, Connecticut just experienced the warmest December it has since we’ve, as a society, started keeping weather records here 110 years ago. The average temperature at Windsor Locks for December 2015 will come in at 43.2 degrees, an amazing 11.6 degrees warmer than normal and – more amazingly — 4.6 degrees warmer than the previous record of 38.6 degrees in December of 1923.

      http://www.wfsb.com/story/30863258/a-quiet-start-to-2016-but-turning-sharply-colder

      Reply
  42. Michael E. Mann ‏@MichaelEMann 4h4 hours ago State College, PA

    My @MSNBC interview today on #ElNino, #ClimateChange & the recent #ExtremeWeather

    http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc-news/watch/nasa-warns-el-nino-may-cause-weather-chaos-594555459950

    Reply
  43. Mississippi River crests 12 feet above flood stage south of St. Louis

    Play video
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/mississippi-river-flood-levee-southern-illinois/

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  January 2, 2016

      This is interesting as someone here pointed out a few days ago , a foot of rain , not snow fell in just 2 days. In Dec. Which set me to thinking of last winter. And those giant snows. The Northeast would still be hauling muddy carpets out of abandoned houses, if the jet stream had set up winter camp just a few miles West.
      There’s one good thing about snow , once it hits the ground and sticks. It doesn’t drive you from your home, until spring.

      Reply
      • Snow is a blessing in the desert. Half the time we’re worrying about insufficient snowpack, half the time we’re PO’d because the snow is a hassle.

        Meanwhile, the desert is laughing at us “Humans, they’d cavil if they caught fire in the rain.”

        Reply
      • AO going negative now. Trough about to angle in toward the eastern U.S. Til at least next Friday. Offshore East Coast SSTs are quite hot. Lots of ingredients for pretty crazy weather in the east if that pattern sticks.

        Reply
      • -“Offshore East Coast SSTs are quite hot.” RS
        That’s what I’m hearing in often ominous tones.

        Reply
    • – ‘Exxon Mobil Corp has decided to shut its 340,571 barrel-per-day refined products terminal in Memphis…’
      – “We usually don’t see this until much later.”
      [Most accounts quote a ‘spring time event in winter”.]
      [Much like the flowers now blooming. It looks like we broke the seasons as well as the weather.]

      Southern states brace for surging Mississippi River flooding

      Officials in Louisiana are checking levees daily, and Exxon Mobil Corp has decided to shut its 340,571 barrel-per-day refined products terminal in Memphis, Tennessee, as floodwaters threatened to inundate the facility just south of the city’s downtown.

      “All that water’s coming south and we have to be ready for it,” Louisiana Lieutenant Governor-Elect Billy Nungesser told CNN. “It’s a serious concern. It’s early in the season. We usually don’t see this until much later.”
      Fri Jan 1, 2016

      http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-weather-idUSKBN0UF1R620160102

      Reply
      • Hell, dt; we broke the damn planet.

        Reply
      • I find it very ironic and more than a little disturbing that the same oil companies that have been shoring up their own infrastructure to deal with climate change keep blocking policies that are now much needed to prevent damage to an undefended public.

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  January 2, 2016

        It’s more than just “early in the season”, as the Lt Governor points out. It’s early in the wrong season. The average person has no clue that this is even happening, much less the magnitude of change that it indicates. Last week we had dandelions blooming in my friend’s yard. In Connecticut. At the end of December. Saying the seasons haven’t changed is like saying Social Security will provide a retirement income. Technically it’s there, but it’s damn sure not something you can depend on.

        Reply
  44. The winter is still young. I’m betting it’s going to warm up down here and crash into the jet and do it all over again. Give it a month or so.

    Reply
    • AO looks like it’s heading negative. With such a strong El Niño ongoing it’s a bit nuts looking at a return of the crazy, wavy Jet.

      Reply
      • I bicycled out and went shopping yesterday. The streets were reasonably navigable and it was above freezing.

        The grocery store, a big chain store, was out of some things. I bought one of the last six dozen packs of eggs.

        This really isn’t seriously bad weather. Capitalism is a fragile system, predicated upon maximizing profit. A system predicated upon being flexible in all sorts of conditions would not be about maximizing profit. It could not be. It wouldn’t work.

        Reply
  45. Robert—the steroids/baseball analogy is the best I’ve read—anywhere on the w.w.w. Thank you. All the best to you and everyone here. I think that staying connected to each other and the other species who were here before us is the most effective balm during these uncertain times…I wish this for all of us. Namaste…

    Reply
    • It’s a continuation of a meme started by the scientists themselves. But I think the fossil fuel advertising agency types kinda managed to pin climate change on single weather events for a while. That is, until the weather started to get too outrageous for the tactic to really work if you happened to call it out. We kinda got put in a box for a little while. And I’ve been working on language to deconstruct that particular denial meme for some time. After a while I figured I’d just attack their supposed strong point.

      Reply
  46. Griffin

     /  January 2, 2016

    It’s probably safe to say that they were right-on with the prediction of increased wave heights on the North Sea.
    LA Times with another installment on how Big Oil knew what was coming.
    http://graphics.latimes.com/oil-operations/

    Reply
    • This story has legs. Made it to the New Year’s dinner table without my prompting. That and the Kolbert essay on Miami sea level rise. I was pretty impressed.

      Reply
  47. Colorado Bob

     /  January 2, 2016

    someone here pointed out a few days ago

    I am sorry I can not keep up.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  January 2, 2016

      I am at the end of everything.

      Reply
    • You do just as well as any here, my friend. And we all can use a rest sometimes. Especially this year with the tempo of events so high. I think I can speak for us all when I say that we wholeheartedly appreciate everything you do.

      As for the end. I wouldn’t say that just yet. But I think we’ll need a far better response than we’ve seen in 2015. Some somewhat encouraging signals. But still a mountain there to be moved.

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  January 2, 2016

      Bob, you keep up better than anyone. The pace has been a little fast recently. Don’t get down. We all need you here.

      Reply
  48. Jeremy

     /  January 2, 2016

    Happy New Year to one and all.

    Read and weep:-(

    http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2015/12/50-doomiest-graphs-of-2015.html

    Reply
  49. – Action in the Pacific too:

    40.62 N / 179.57 E

    NWS OPC ‏@NWSOPC 3h3 hours ago

    #Storm force low in the W Pac expected to develop hurricane force winds within the next 12 hrs!

    Reply
  50. Andy in SD

     /  January 2, 2016

    Check this satellite image from earlier today. You can really see the flow from the Kelvin wave across to the Atlantic, as well as the sections that peel off to the north / south Pacific.

    http://www.arctic.io/explorer/24/2016-01-01/2-N30.16406-W53.4375

    Reply
  51. Abel Adamski

     /  January 2, 2016

    Just a little sideline
    https://www.yahoo.com/news/indias-next-weapon-against-climate-change-heat-tolerant-103800648.html

    THIRUVANANDHAPURAM, India (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Worsening heat, fodder shortages and the threat of drought are forcing many hard-hit dairy farmers in the Anantapur area of India’s southern Kerala state to reduce their herds, experts say.

    “This is nothing less than a catastrophe,” said Ananthakrishnan Kannappan, a livestock agent for 30 years in Anantapur. “This is the first time that due to lack of water and fodder, farmers are eagerly competing to sell off their livestock for throwaway prices.”

    But the solution to the problem is simple and small, livestock experts argue: heat-tolerant dwarf cows.

    Dwarf cows, on the other hand, appear to carry a “thermometer gene” that allows them to better tolerate high temperatures, researchers said.

    Dwarf cows were already gaining popularity among some farmers because they consume less food and water than conventional cattle varieties, the experts said. Small-scale farmers need only one or two dwarf cows to meet the milk needs of their households

    Reply
  52. Syd Bridges

     /  January 2, 2016

    And here’s a suggestion to deal with the current UK floods. Naturally, this freak occurrence will not happen again ever, but if it does….

    https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=David+Cameron+2015+floods&ei=UTF-8&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-004

    Reply
    • Syd Bridges

       /  January 2, 2016

      The solution is the first of the image results on the page.

      Reply
    • So The UK government will spend money to play fight the climate even as they spend money on the fossil fuels that are making the climate ever more violent. I suppose the UK, in the conservative mind, has bottomless coffers. Because that’s what you’d need if you want to goad Mother Nature into an all out war on your country.

      These fools are so blinded by fossil fuel money that they can see no way to stop contributing to this problem. A way that is so obvious to any clear headed thinker — cut the fossil fuels out.

      Reply
      • Syd Bridges

         /  January 2, 2016

        George Orwell had a word for it: DOUBLETHINK.

        To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again: and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself. That was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word “doublethink” involved the use of doublethink.

        From 1984

        RS Note to Syd… Take a look at some of the doublethink by Mblanc and Tom below…

        Reply
      • Tom Bond

         /  January 3, 2016

        Robert you often criticize the UK Government because of your perception that they are doing little to reduce CO2 emissions.

        Did you know they have a Climate Change Act that established the world’s first legally binding climate change target. It aims to reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% (from the 1990 baseline) by 2050.

        https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/2010-to-2015-government-policy-greenhouse-gas-emissions/2010-to-2015-government-policy-greenhouse-gas-emissions.

        Did you know that this Act and the subsequent Carbon Plan, based on science not ideology has the support of the three major political parties in the UK?

        The Carbon Plan can be found at;
        https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/47621/1358-the-carbon-plan.pdf

        A government video (unfortunately poor quality) detailing the Carbon Plan progress and future emission reduction goals can be found at;
        http://www.iema.net/event-reports/uk-carbon-plan-decc

        If every global major economy had a similar plan, there would be real hope that emissions could be reduced sufficiently to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

        I often write to my Federal Government in Australia suggesting that the major parties here develop bipartisan emission reduction targets and plans similar to the UK, but so far no luck as both sides only interested in climate change issues for short term political advantage.

        Reply
        • The UK does have some decent carbon reduction plans which conservatives in the UK government are now in the process of attempting to dismantle through their focus on increased fracking activity, cutting solar funding and even attempting to tax the use of solar energy, reducing energy efficiency standards, dramatically reducing the taxation incentive to shift to clean energy, and continuing to build fossil fuel based oil and gas plants that will continue to emit for decades to come. So, as someone who has admired the previous versions of UK climate and environmental policy, I’m surprised you aren’t also concerned about their erosion.

          Please see: https://robertscribbler.com/2015/11/24/toxic-interests-in-lead-up-to-paris-summit-conservative-politicians-around-the-world-are-fighting-to-kill-renewable-energy/

          Please also see: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/31/green-groups-express-major-concern-over-tory-policies-in-letter-to-cameron

          … Where conservation and environmental leaders are calling current UK conservative government climate and energy policies ‘ the worst seen in 30 years…’

          My frustration is due to the fact that the UK has been a leader in this area and yet the current conservative government is pushing a number of policies that reduce the effectiveness of these efforts. They’re in the process of transitioning away from coal, which is good. The problem being that they’re replacing coal, in large part, with nat gas and oil. Though lowering emissions, this is in no way enough to lower them significantly enough to deal with the problem of climate change. We still hit above 550 ppm CO2e globally under such a scheme in a little more than two decades. So if you’re saying that the example of the UK for the globe is to trade coal for nat gas and oil, to tax solar energy, and to tax an electric vehicle under the same standard that you tax a Porsche, then I am saying that that’s a terrible example. We have viable low cost renewables now and all new energy at this point should come from a zero carbon source. We should be taxing all carbon now at least just as stringently as we tax alcohol and tobacco. We should be providing every incentive for the individual to liberate themselves from captive carbon consumption. My point is that if you’re building any new carbon emitting infrastructure now, if you’re still incentivizing the consumption of fossil fuels, as the conservative UK government is now, then you’re not anywhere near serious enough about climate change.

          In addition, the tone of the UK government, especially UK conservatives, in the face of the current crisis has been terribly inadequate to the problem. Issues raised have only focused on flood planning funding, as if dealing with climate change is simply about flood funding. There has been a broad and complete failure to understand the signal of these floods. The signal being that if we keep emitting carbon, that if we keep planning to emit carbon, then we are planning to make the problem worse. And being unable to see that or to communicate on that matter clearly is, in my view, the very definition of being blinded by ideology. In this case, a conservative ideological view of markets, especially energy markets, and a conservative ideological blindness to climate change that just seems to grow worse and worse.

          So this is all very simple and I don’t understand why it’s so difficult for supposedly intelligent people to get it. What I’m saying is that the UK government and everyone should be very serious about moving toward net zero carbon emissions. And,, yes, they should also be very serious about saving people from weather, sea level rise and other climate disasters related to climate change that are now coming because everyone, including the UK government, was nowhere near serious enough about reducing their carbon emissions in any way soon enough. To be very clear, we have not been anywhere near serious enough about reducing carbon emissions fast enough to be able to prevent climate disasters.

          Which is why we have to deal with all this trouble now. Because far too many politicians have been hypnotized by fossil fuel special interests for far, far too long. And the UK conservatives, in their continued hypnotized state, are laying down a course to wreck the UK and her people.

      • Tom Bond

         /  January 4, 2016

        Robert the UK Carbon Plan is a good long term plan as it has political bipartisan support, uses every CO2 mitigation technology available and is legally binding.

        I currently cannot see any other country (except perhaps Sweden) with a long term plan that will reduce the CO2 emissions to the levels required by 2050.

        I agree that we must get serious about this issue but I see little evidence of this so far from the major economies of the world and the UK Carbon Plan appears to be the best available.

        I spent most of my working life in Government Public Service and noticed that no one side of politics has all the answers and solutions but where there is some agreement a lot of progress can be made quickly. Where one or other side retreats to ideology and beliefs the results are often less than desired and the party pays the price at the next election. This is currently the issue here in Australia maintaining the status quo.

        To be successful climate change and CO2 mitigation issues must be solved by consensus and where this occurs I will always give wholehearted support as this is our best chance for a successful outcome.

        Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  January 4, 2016

        I think the situation is a little more complicated, from my point of view on the ground, than your take on the UK allows.

        The Tories are quite rightly under pressure for all the recent negative moves, but this should be seen in the context of them only recently (in April) having won an outright majority in the Commons. For the previous 5 years they were in a coalition with the Liberal Party, who stopped the Tories remolding ‘green’ initiatives in their own, market-driven image, as they would have liked.

        That is what is happening now, so that some of the negative stuff on subsidies is going to turn out have been part of this ‘reset’.

        For example, have a look at this article from today’s Guardian. Here the CEO of an offshore wind company refers to this ‘reset’.

        ‘Brent Cheshire, Dong’s UK division chairman, said he had harboured concerns about government policies as little as two months ago, but had since been reassured by recent firm commitments to offshore wind.

        “It was a concern that it took as long as it did [for ministers to recommit to offshore wind] but we have now got it. I think there is the clarity we need to commitment to new investment,” he explained.’

        http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jan/03/major-offshore-wind-operator-plans-6bn-uk-pound-investment-2020

        So the world’s first gigawatt offshore wind facility is still on track, and the UK will continue to lead on this particular type of renewable energy. The Tories have used onshore wind as a political football (because they are basically land-owning nimbys), but offshore wind (despite being much more expensive) is ok with them.

        Now I would love the recent announcement of the end of coal powered generation in the UK by 2025, to be totally replaced by renewables, and not mainly by gas. But it is still a positive move, in terms of emissions. Do you think that any major country will make a similar announcement (No coal by 2025) to the UK, but use only non-nuclear renewables to achieve that? I’m sure you will agree that the answer is no.

        I would love us to lead on everything, but it will not happen with small-government, market driven, austerity fetishists in charge

        This article covers the announcement of that qualified commitment, and also covers the ‘reset’ which I have been telling you about.

        http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/nov/18/energy-policy-shift-climate-change-amber-rudd-backburner

        ‘The UK will close all coal-fired power plants by 2025, the first major country to do so, but will fill the capacity gap largely with new gas and nuclear plants rather than cleaner alternatives.

        The announcement came in a speech by the energy secretary, Amber Rudd, which she described as a “reset” of Britain’s energy policy on Wednesday.’

        ….

        ‘ “With this announcement, the UK is demonstrating the type of leadership that nations around the world must take in order to craft a successful agreement in Paris and solve the climate crisis,” said former US vice-president Al Gore. “The UK has become the first major economy to set a clear date to phase out coal, and I am hopeful that others will follow suit as we repower the global economy with the clean energy we need for a sustainable future.”

        But the veteran green campaigner added that he was “confused” by the government’s cuts to support for clean technology such as solar and wind power.’

        The thing that is different about the UK, is that we have been dragged down the road of austerity by the Tories, which has meant big cuts in many government departments. I think this is economically illiterate, and wish we had tried the calm approach used in the US. This move is partly a reflection of who was in charge in 2007, when the wheels fell off. It was the right in the US, but the centre left in the UK

        But what these cuts have meant is that the Treasury is fighting tooth and claw, to reign in spending in all departments. So some of the subsidy cuts are as much to do with austerity, as they are with climate skepticism.

        The Tories are repugnant to me, but it is a mistake to see US and UK conservatives as identical. Put simply, our politicians are not as right wing as yours, and climate skepticism is not as strong amongst Tory politicians as it is amongst your Republicans. As an example Zac Goldsmith is the Tory candidate for London Mayor. one of the most powerful political posts in the UK, and he is unquestionably a ‘green tory’.

        As with offshore wind, expect to see the UK ‘recommit’ to some other green subsidies in the not too distant future.

        To be clear, I am also frustrated by the mixed messages given by this govt, but one cannot understand what is going on without understanding the political context in which these unfortunate decisions have been taken.

        The ‘reset’ was only officially explained 6 weeks ago, and many British Greens have not really grasped what is happening politically, because they are more focused on those bad decisions.

        I’m not sure if I have explained this very well, but things are not as bad as they seem from afar.

        Enough from me… Happy New Year to you Robert, keep fighting the good fight. Congrats on the recent successes you have had, no one deserves it more. The tide is turning.

        Reply
        • I suppose my very valid disappointment comes from a general failure to set the example of what should be done — rapid phase out of all fossil fuels rather than what I see as a foot-dragging approach. Sure the 2011 UK policy was better than many countries. But the shakeout to what’s going to happen with the Tories is still rather murky. So I think you’re conflating the 2011 policy, which was good, with what’s happening now which seems to be a stealth gutting of the 2011 policy.

          Given current performance, I, and many others have serious and reasonable doubts. Making a 90 percent cut to renewables is a big step backward to any rational observer. And if you’re saying that the UK can make this cut and still meet its 2011 goals, then I’d say you’re not being very realistic. And if what you’re saying is just trust the Tories, it’ll all be OK, then you’ll have to count me out.

          But we should still be clear that it’s not enough. There’s this huge gap between what needs to be done and what’s being done. And, simply put, replacing coal with nuclear and gas and oil, though reducing emissions doesn’t do it enough. You don’t hold up the 2011 policy in such a case. Especially when one considers the lost opportunity presented by failing to support cheap renewables.

          And saying that your Tories are, for example, not as far right as our Republicans is a bit of a moot point. The point is that renewables are being blocked and delayed here as they are there. The point is that these political types are setting up a situation in which severe climate shocks are guaranteed. The reason — we’re at a time when net emissions need to hit near zero as fast as possible. That’s what’s so disappointing about current UK backsliding by Tories there. I, for one, would much rather see a UK that does this 80 percent + thing and leaves wide open the door for more. Leaves open the door to new renewables and efficiencies by providing appropriate policy support. But a token nod to offshore wind while putting other renewables and efficiencies in dire jeopardy just doesn’t cut it.

        • In any case, with regards to renewables, I see there an opportunity for a very rapid replacement of fossil fuels. This is due to their combined low price (falling with volume) easy build, and modularity. When compared to the high price of nuclear energy and long build times I think anyone attempting to replace coal with nuclear and gas (sans renewables) is setting themselves up for failure. And, in the case of conservatives in the UK, this is sadly likely intentional.

          Please see: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/13/conservatives-energy-green-cuts-policies-paris-deal

      • Spike

         /  January 4, 2016

        A fair bit was achieved under previous governments, as reflected in the latest power sector CO2 reductions:

        http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2439903/uk-power-sector-slashes-emissions-by-almost-a-quarter-in-just-two-years

        My concern as a Brit is the recent change of tack towards a predominant gas/nuclear policy – the only renewables still getting substantial support are offshore wind farms, for which we can be thankful. But I do think we need to be throwing the kitchen sink at this problem, and the destruction of energy efficiency programmes, changes to automobile taxes, cutting of support for onshore renewables, and defunding of climate adaptation are monstrously reprehensible given the emergency we face. The Climate Change Committee is already signalling its concern in numerous areas.

        Reply
      • Reprehensible, indeed. Climate change is not one of those crises you respond to part-way and hope for the best. You can’t just pick and choose and say — hey we’ll cut coal, but we’ll promote oil and gas. Oh, and by the way, we’re cutting efficiency and renewables too. You can’t really call that a response to climate change. In the UK, with this new conservative policy, what this amounts to is a highly disingenuous and amoral retreat from climate change response.

        And climate change response is really an all or nothing proposition. Either you rapidly reduce carbon emissions to zero or you get hit harder and harder and harder by each new climate disaster coming down the pipe.

        Reply
        • And if the oil and gas extraction starts to irrevocably, irremediably decline, or if they frack the UK and come up with — nothing — or even too little, then when the supply and demand lines cross again and the prices go up, they’ll be totally knackered.

      • Mblanc

         /  January 7, 2016

        Look Robert, perhaps I’m being to optimistic, I hadn’t really heard about the Carbon Plan referred to below, for example. I don’t know everything, which is why I come to places like this for the normally civilised conversations.

        I’m not saying trust the Tories, they are eviscerating the very institutions that till make the UK a decent place to live. I hate them with a passion. But I’m trying to give a bit of context to counteract the constant stream of negativity I am reading. It is not as bad as you are suggesting. Yes the green lobbyists are rightly going bananas in an effort to pressure the govt into moderating the effect of the huge cuts, with some success.

        For example, the solar subsidy cuts of 90% have been moderated to 65%, as I’m sure you are aware, and those cuts are still being fought.

        http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ff9c8016-b396-11e5-8358-9a82b43f6b2f.html#axzz3wWEzcXF3

        Now I appreciate that the minutae (sp?) of UK politics is not really your brief (and I wouldn’t expect it to be), but hear me when I say we are having really deep cuts in all aspects of govt spending, and it is really, really hurting. Disabled people ad benefit claimants are commiting suicide in significantly increased numbers. The NHS is creaking badly, and local government has been absolutely shredded, meaning social care and care of the elderly are going downhill fast. The Tories are cutting everywhere they can, and it is truly horrific.

        And the simple point I am trying to make is that it is austerity madness that is driving these cuts, more than climate skepticism. That doesn’t invalidate our justified anger at these cuts, but it does give context to them.

        Or maybe I just got needled with your strict moderation policy (which I heartily agree with) not seeming to notice posters levelling abuse at us Brits. If you want to have an international reach, it’s worth not allowing the demonising whole nations.

        If Jeremy had said the UK govt were wankers I would have heartily agreed, but saying that Brits are wankers and they deserve all they get is not civilised discussion. I’m not the only UK poster to have mentioned it, so it is not just me noticing that.

        I think I’ll have a break from posting, but I will be back when I’ve moved on a bit,. I really like this site, I’ve recommended it numerous times, and I’d like to think that (at least) one or two of your UK readers are here because I pointed them in this direction.

        Doublethink, my arse!🙂

        In general, still loving your work.

        Reply
        • Mblanc. I warned Jeremy twice, edited his comments, and when he failed to moderate himself — banned him. His targets included you guys over the pond and, apparently anything renewable. That said, he did put out a high volume of posts and I wholeheartly apologise if I missed any that were offensive. I will take time, when I can to go back and delete those.

          In any case, I do very much appreciate your heartfelt description of the plight of people in the UK suffering under the yoke of Tory austerity. I find such policies reprehensible across the board and I feel they undermine the very social harmony that’s necessary to effectively respond to a major crisis like climate change. They risk destabiling UK society even as they fail to respond to the crisis they encourage in the climate.

          I did see that there are those in the UK, whom I stand in solidarity with, who are pushing back very hard again what the Tories have done to environmental policy there. I did see the shift back to a 65 percent cut — which is more like cutting off the arm rather than the head.

          My apologies, then, if I lumped you in with Tom who seemed be be defending this terrible policy shift. In any case, I’ll go back and remove my doublethink comment which upon reflection did not help with the dialogue.

          Best to you.

          –R

  53. NWS OPC ‏@NWSOPC 2h2 hours ago

    12Z OPC 48-hour surface forecast w/E Atlantic storm force low moving through Ireland & the UK 01/04 & 01/05.

    Reply
  54. InsideClimate News ‏@insideclimate 2h2 hours ago

    Almost 12K daily warm records were tied or broken during December

    Reply
  55. – Robert, it’s good to see you posting your own photos.🙂

    Reply
  56. PlazaRed

     /  January 2, 2016

    Here’s the Arctic ice map for the 1st of Jan 2016.
    Looks like although the coverage is about bottom end of normal, there is a big bite out of the northern Atlantic side.
    Still not to “worry,” plenty of time for everything to 2sort itself” out before summer.

    From a casual observers point of view, I would not be surprised to see at least a virtual record low for this winter.

    Reply
    • Both extent and area are in the range of second lowest on record for the most recent days. We seem to have flat lined on sea ice increases since Frank. So if that trend continues we’ll be hitting new record daily lows by Tuesday or Wednesday.

      Reply
  57. PlazaRed

     /  January 2, 2016

    Here’s part 2 of the Pole saga!
    The Antarctic sea ice is looking a bit like some of that Swiss cheese and seems to be in serious decline from the point of view of surface ice.
    I have not been a seasonal watcher of this area before but it does not look to be in a stable state?
    Anyway, here’s the image and its got about 3 months to go yet before the sun sets on it. Having said that there’s 22 million sq. kilometres of ozone free air above it this year to help things along.

    Meanwhile we have had an extra 3 mm or one eighth of an inch of rainfall to add to our virtual nothing so far this year in southern Spain at 36 N, 4 W.

    Reply
  58. Connecticut Gordon

     /  January 2, 2016

    As I predicted last week, the variance from normal December temperature averages to those of December 2015 were off the chart for Central Park, NY. The previous record variance for any month at Central Park was set in January 1932 at 11.5F above normal. December 2015 came in at 13.3F above normal.

    Reply
  59. Reblogging at Fin des Voies Rapides when I get the chance. The short thread of posts on the oil production costs, too.

    Reply
  60. PlazaRed

     /  January 2, 2016

    I’m a bit bothered about the temps in the Aleutian chain 2 days from now, as things are warming up a bit there.

    http://earth.nullschool.net/#2016/01/04/2100Z/wind/isobaric/1000hPa/overlay=temp/orthographic=-154.74,49.39,550/loc=-159.205,54.320

    Reply
  61. nthony Sagliani ‏@anthonywx 3h3 hours ago

    Tropical Cyclone Ula with well-developed eye east of Fiji island groups.
    [video src="https://pbs.twimg.com/tweet_video/CXvSjkRWcAEcli6.mp4" /]

    Reply
  62. Apneaman

     /  January 2, 2016

    As Saudi Arabia continues to unravel, there is a good chance that the oil economy will get a major kick in the teeth. The ME could go completely mental any minute. It’s been coming for a long time.

    UPDATED
    Tehran demonstrators storm Saudi embassy after Shia cleric’s execution
    Al-Qaeda detainees also among those executed

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/shia-cleric-execution-1.3387125

    Reply
  63. Apneaman

     /  January 2, 2016

    Journeyman and independent reporter, Tom Lewis has been following the unraveling of the KSA for sometime. This is his most recent KSA article from 3 days ago.

    The Scariest News Story of 2016

    “Correct. The scariest news story of 2016 is already in. Saudi Arabia is starting to come apart, and when its unscheduled rapid disassembly is a little farther along, the Industrial Age will come to an end.”

    http://www.dailyimpact.net/2015/12/31/the-scariest-news-story-of-2016/

    Reply
  64. Colorado Bob

     /  January 3, 2016

    The price of oil is about to change once more , but this time is going to be real dozy .

    The house of Saud just did something really stupid. Their Wahhabi chickens are coming home to roost. That burning tower in Dubai was a real metaphor for this young new year.

    Reply
  65. Colorado Bob

     /  January 3, 2016

    I spent some time today logging on to some small town papers and commenting on denier letters to the editor. There has eruption of them lately . There’s real new level anger now.
    This all part of deeper darker plot to steal their precious bodily fluids. While turning the entire world over to the UN who will manage the length of one’s beard as well as carbon emissions.

    Reply
  66. Colorado Bob

     /  January 3, 2016

    I spent some time today logging on to some small town papers and commenting on denier letters to the editor. There has eruption of them lately . There’s real new level anger now.
    This all part of deeper darker plot to steal their precious bodily fluids. While turning the entire world over to the UN who will manage the length of one’s beard as well as carbon emissions.

    Conservatives are not political line thought anymore , all over the world, what ever their stripe, they are paranoid lizards. Flicking their tongues , for the next molecue of a new conspiracy . All of which is designed to unseat ExxonMobil, Chevron,BP, Chevron , who have the cleanest hands in world.

    Putin agrees with this thinking. He’s biggest lizard om the planet.

    Thinking back when we dropped more tonnage on little ole’ Vietnam , than all of World War II. I thought the world had lost it’s mind. But now we are digital crazy. Hyper crazy, GPS crazy.

    A giant section of the greatest research tool man ever made is full of nut bags , paranoid lizards. flicking their tongues and porno.

    It’s truly a golden age friends.

    Reply
    • Chuck Hughes

       /  January 3, 2016

      It seems to me like the more technology we have the worse it gets. Everybody’s opinions do not deserve publication but everybody has an opinion and they all get published… good, bad, stupid, smart. What I’ve discovered is that a lot of people simply do not think… about anything… ever. It’s the bombastic politicians that are the loudest and do the most talking and manage to suck all the air out of the room. I was just reading where Sandy Hook was/is a “hoax” and by god “we’ve got proof!” In the 1960’s and 70’s there might have been a few people that had those kinds of thoughts but they wouldn’t get any air time. Now everyone’s a news reporter and some of the dumbest things “go viral”… In one minute and out the next. Then here comes the next piece of “viral news” until everyone has the attention span of a gnat, while the really important stuff gets pushed aside because it doesn’t boost ratings.

      Climate Change is Reality but we no longer live in reality. I don’t think most young people have a concept of reality. Even when you see disaster after disaster on the news we have a detached view of it. It’s the same in the music business and many other areas. You simply cannot tell people what’s really happening. The general public can’t hear autotune and even when you point it out they don’t care.

      I try to stay hopeful but I’ve almost come to the conclusion that everything is going to have to reset just so things can eventually get better. The Earth has plenty of time to do that. Unfortunately we do not.

      Reply
      • Caroline

         /  January 3, 2016

        Good points Chuck. Critical thinking skills, creativity, mindfulness are all being impacted by technology:

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet/7967894/How-the-Internet-is-making-us-stupid.html

        Add to that an increasing disconnect from the nonhuman world (i.e. woodlands, prairies, wetlands, savannas, deserts oceans, streams and all that live there) and ask yourself——where does this leave room for compassion, empathy and reverence for other species?

        I was going to preface this comment with “OT” but it really is not off topic. IMO: human’s disconnect from the nonhuman world (which obliterates the possibility of reverence for the nonhuman world) is directly related to the destruction of the biosphere.

        Reply
      • Steven Blaisdell

         /  January 4, 2016

        Caroline: “…human’s disconnect from the nonhuman world (which obliterates the possibility of reverence for the nonhuman world) is directly related to the destruction of the biosphere.”

        Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Not that the humans who practiced slash and burn agriculture 10,000-5,000 yrs ago, that prevented the initiation of the next glaciation and gave us the Holocene (see Ruddiman, et al), weren’t intimate with the natural world; homo sapiens sapiens, like any species given the ability, are as a species relentless ecosystem destroyers. It’s in our genes, literally. (See Dawkins’ “The Selfish Gene.”) We like to fancy ourselves moral actors, motivated at least in plurality by ethics, reason, compassion, common sense, evidence, rule of law, but as a species we are survival machines, machines of grace and power certainly but as a species survival machines first, last, and always. Natural selection slapped a forebrain on top of an emotional and instinctual brain; of these three survival mechanisms the forebrain has shown hands down to be the most savagely effective, in no way inferior to the brutality of the non-human, “red in tooth and claw.” The ancillary talents we inherited as a result of the evolution of this incredibly complex and sublime survival mechanism – consciousness, thought, self awareness, other awareness, language, art, society, government – are accidents of nature, yet when we think of the human these are the things we aggrandize, even as we dissociate those aspects for which the forebrain actually evolved. Which is survival, by any means necessary. It’s who…we…are. Just to be clear, I do not advocate nihilistic surrender to man’s brutal nature; the idea, however, that we’ve “fallen” from some state of elevated grace is a heavily biased illusion, even delusion – to my mind it’s testament to the almost limitless capacity of the human brain (in particular the survival mechanism of love and attachment) that we’ve discovered and created the beauty we have, even as we ravage the biosphere that sustains us. Are our incidental abilities, paradoxically now the only hope we have for the survival of a livable biosphere, sufficient for the task? Has 12,000 years of cultural evolution reached parity (or near enough parity) with 6m years biological evolution to preserve some kind of ‘civilization’? If so, will this be reasonably equitable, or will it be a violent, chaotic hell hole? Somewhere in our vast intelligence apparati I have to believe there’s a reasonably accurate prognosis for what we now know to be inevitable, which is massive disruption of all global systems, human and non-human.

        If humans can cultivate as a matter of survival – not as a matter of morality, or ethics, or choice, or aesthetics, or assent, or anything, but as a matter of survival – “reverence for the nonhuman world” (as opposed to reverence for the human as per our current, evolution engendered systems), then and only then will we stop being ecosystem destroyers. Otherwise we are fated to create and suffer through externally forced contractions until a) “reverence for the nonhuman world” is socially, culturally and idiopathically drilled into each and every one of us, or b) we kill ourselves off for good, and possibly a livable planet in the process. One man’s opinion.

        Reply
  67. Colorado Bob

     /  January 3, 2016

    Saturday night –
    Muddy Waters masterpiece ……. Electric Mud

    In 1968 I worked the light show for this at Vulcan Gas Company in Austin, Texas. The entire band was jammed in a purple Chrysler station wagon , with small taller in tow. They drove all the way from Chicago.
    They killed it .

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  January 3, 2016

      Hard scrabble roots is cemented in American Myth. Two weeks later Jimmy Reed came. He was so drunk he couldn’t take the stage.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  January 3, 2016

        Muddy Waters master work is at 18:53 . Manish Boy . His peak .

        Reply
  68. Colorado Bob

     /  January 3, 2016

    Back to small town papers .
    After they vent , ask them what planet they plan to move to. Mars with zero Co2 , and really cold numbers Or Venus with 90 percent Co2, where lead melts on it’s surface.

    Reply
    • Michael E. Mann ‏@MichaelEMann 28m28 minutes ago Pennsylvania, USA

      Just an observation: My typical twitter troll appears to have a roughly 6th grade level of reading comprehension and writing skills.

      Reply
      • Sounds about right. I am sometimes tempted to respond, “As my daughter likes to say, ‘So’s your face,'” but then I take a breath and realize that that, too, would be a waste of valuable time.

        Reply
  69. Andy in SD

     /  January 3, 2016

    North arm of Utah’s Great Salt Lake reaches lowest-ever level

    http://www.sltrib.com/news/3358814-155/north-arm-of-utahs-great-salt

    Reply
  70. Abel Adamski

     /  January 3, 2016

    For an excellent article (rather long one)
    http://www.gainesville.com/article/20160102/ARTICLES/160109958?p=1&tc=pg

    Florida was once a leader in Climate change mitigation and the Republicans were once on board with taking action.

    Reply
  71. Ryan in New England

     /  January 3, 2016

    This is a pretty good piece by The Guardian on the effects of climate change and development on the Mekong River, which effects the entire southeast corner of Asia (Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos). Lots of serious problems that are only exacerbated by the dozens and dozens of dams that are planned to be built.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/ng-interactive/2015/nov/26/the-mekong-river-stories-from-the-heart-of-the-climate-crisis-interactive

    Reply
  72. Abel Adamski

     /  January 3, 2016

    And Note the author – huhh
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uk-flooding-how-a-yorkshire-flood-blackspot-worked-with-nature-to-stay-dry-a6794286.html

    While the sodden, submerged North of Britain was, literally, wringing out the old year last week, one notorious Yorkshire flood blackspot was celebrating staying dry – despite having been refused a multimillion pound defence scheme.

    Pickering, North Yorkshire, pulled off protection by embracing the very opposite of what passes for conventional wisdom. On it’s citizens’ own initiative, it ended repeated inundation by working with nature, not against it.

    Its success, and that of similar schemes across the country, should be at the heart of the “complete rethink” of policy being officially promised in the aftermath of last month’s floods – which cost the country at least £5 billion – as climate change threatens to make them increasingly commonplace.

    And it ridicules an increasingly-voiced contention that these were largely caused by what one columnist called “militant environmentalism” enforced by “green zealots who put protected species above people”. By this argument, much advanced by climate change sceptics, the unprecedented north English and Scottish inundations – like those on the Somerset Levels and the Thames Valley two years ago – are down to successive Governments and officials neglecting to take precautionary measures, like dredging rivers, in order to protect wildlife.

    Reply
    • Phil S

       /  January 4, 2016

      This is an excellent and important article Abel.
      The inspiration behind those flood mitigation measures comes from a British based NGO called The Flow Partnership (.org). They’re teamed up with Newcastle University (I think). There’s some great case studies on their website.

      Also, here’s some examples of similar projects and initiatives around the world.
      http://terranovavoice.tamera.org/2015/11/water-the-missing-link-for-solving-climate-change/4220

      They make some pretty bold statements about reducing climate change, but there’s some beautifully simple methods for rehydrating the landscape and alleviating droughts and floods

      Reply
  73. Ryan in New England

     /  January 3, 2016

    So I was just reading Ricky Rood’s blog over at Wunderground about how this year is going to be a record warm year, and this news is becoming repetitive, and it just keeps getting hotter. Well something in the comments caught my eye. I haven’t verified the info, but it came from a commenter over on the Arctic Sea Ice Forum, which in my experience can have some good information.

    Astounding Heat/Cold Records Ratio in Europe – December 2015

    Commenter “Buddy” on the Arctic Sea Ice Forum just posted these amazing December statistics on the Forum today:

    “One additional tidbit for the “ratio of new daily record high temps to new daily record low temps” for Europe in December:

    I took a “broader look” at Europe for the entire month of December through the 31st….and also broadened my scope to include EVERY country in “continental Europe” + Ireland, UK, and Iceland. so I included the eastern European countries. 33 Countries in all (couldn’t get data for Germany).

    There were only 5 new record daily LOWS for the month…..3 in Iceland and 2 in Italy. There were 882 new daily record high temperatures set.

    Spain had 182….France 113…..Ukraine 98…..U. Kingdom 84….Finland 69….Belarus 66…..Italy 45…..Estonia 43…..Norway 30. Those had the most numerous new record daily highs.

    It should be pointed out…..that Russia had 461 new record highs to 15 new record lows as well. So….temperature wise it was warm from the east coast of the United States…..all the way east through all of Europe and Russia. THAT….is a LARGE AREA to have a lot of warmth.

    This is just the beginning….we have another 50+ years of this and much…much…more I’m afraid.”

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  January 3, 2016

      Great point Ryan. I follow a lot of meteorologists on Twitter. I remarked to my wife just the other day that it seems like they are running out of adjectives to describe the endless string of records being smashed. It does present an interesting communication problem. The sheer repetition is overwhelming.

      Reply
    • Just an anecdotal observation on my part, for my region, has been that for several years our nightly lows in S.Fl have been a few degrees warmer…consistently. I have mused how we use to be able to open the windows at night with much more frequency, except of course in the summer. Now, you have to run the a/c at night throughout most of the year. Those average “lows” have been creeping up for years.

      Reply
      • Here in Southern Louisiana our coldest nights so far have been what should be the normal average lows for December and January. Tomorrow night we expect to be in the 30s… I remember 15 years ago last December we were expecting a hard freeze (20s). Plus ça même chose, plus c’est la change these days.

        Reply
      • Yep, and that is one of the signature signs of global warming. The CO2 blanket reduces normal cooling at night.

        Reply
        • So’s tonight, our coldest night of the winter so far. Forecast is for mid to upper 30s here in New Orleans. In a typical year the coldest night is in the low 20s. So yeah, we’re definitely warming.

  74. NWS OPC ‏@NWSOPC 5h5 hours ago

    A pair of #storm force lows in the E. #Pacific have resulted in #sea heights of 40 ft & 29 ft respectively.

    Reply
  75. Weather Plus 24 ‏@WeatherPlus24 8h8 hours ago

    Live Flood Warnings – GOV.UK

    Reply
    • Spike

       /  January 4, 2016

      Yup we are sodden – I live smack in the middle and a river was running down the streets of my village yesterday as the soil around us saturated out and ceased absorbing. We were lucky in that no houses flooded, although one road in was closed by about 3 feet of water.

      I’ve lived here 20 years and never seen anything like it before, but expect the next 20 years will be rather different.

      Reply
  76. PlazaRed

     /  January 3, 2016

    Warm at about +7 /C around the south coast of Alaska now and staying that way for at least 2 days into the future according to this wind map prediction.
    Quite a lot of inland Alaska is also above freezing for the next few days.

    http://earth.nullschool.net/#2016/01/05/1800Z/wind/isobaric/1000hPa/overlay=temp/orthographic=-164.56,53.10,550/loc=-150.718,58.880

    Reply
  77. OceanicEstate

     /  January 3, 2016

    “Nutty” blocking setup on the 12z Euro. What if this happened during the summer?

    Reply
  78. Okay I have my reblog up and updated at Fin des Voies Rapides. Many thanks to Robert, todaysguestis and dtlange!

    Reply
  79. — US | Sun Jan 3, 2016 6:21pm EST
    Southern Illinois battles flooding as Mississippi River builds downstream


    Days of downpours totaling 10 inches or more in spots pushed the Mississippi and smaller rivers over their banks in several states. At least 31 people have died in Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma and Arkansas, most of them after vehicles drove into flooded areas.

    “The levees have a lot of pressure on them,” Tatum said, adding that a breach two days ago in a levee west of Miller City in the county has reached a quarter-mile wide. “We hope they hold, but I don’t want to bet someone’s life on it.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-weather-idUSKBN0UH0ND20160103

    Reply
    • @Chris_Manno

      The #Mississippi over its banks, from 39,000′ today. #airlinepilot #Missouri #flooding @FOX4 @SeaTimesPhoto

      Reply
  80. – But, but the mountains in the background are bereft of snow…

    Severin Freund of Germany makes a test jump during the third stage of the Four Hills ski jumping tournament in Innsbruck, Austria on January 2, 2016. (Daniel Karmann / EPA)

    Reply
    • – Meanwhile, back in reality…
      A Syrian refugee man carries bread as he walk in the snow in the Barelias refugee camp in the Bekaa valley, eastern Lebanon, on January 2, 2016. (LUCIE PARSAGHIAN / EPA)

      Reply
    • Hey where’s all the snow?

      Reply
  81. Andy in SD

     /  January 4, 2016

    Well tonight is the start of the first El Nino related storms series for us in Southern California. Today, I got up on the roof and made sure the gutters are clear, and all of the flashing etc… are in good share and ready.

    Having been through the 97/98 El Nino here in So Cal, we’ll see how this one compares over the next couple of months.

    Reply
  82. Matt

     /  January 4, 2016

    Hi Robert,
    You were commenting on the blog recently about polishing up on presentation skills for upcoming interviews on the 6th??
    An excellent example of this (and excuse me if you are already aware of his excellent work and presentations) is a man by the name of Peter Hadfield (you can see his CV on Youtube), his Youtube channel is Potholer54, were its sole purpose is debunking crap science. The main reason for my recommendation is that his methodology is unwavering and flawless in the way he pulls apart the trash of the denier trolls and his presentation skills are very basic and effective. He keeps bringing them back to the “source” of their information, over and over, it is his constant starting point and puts the deniers on the back foot right from the start.
    I would recommend his channel to anyone here who is unaware of it (the series on “Lord” Monkton is hilarious), he has an entire series on Climate Change including Monkton, the hacked emails, Gore vs Durkin and even his encounter with none other than Mr Watts🙂

    Reply
    • The VOA social media/TV event is on 1/5 at 12:30. I won’t be facing off against deniers in this one. Instead, it’s an open discussion on the current, record or near record, El Niño, Frank, and on prospects for extreme weather in 2016. I’ll be there with Dr Jeff Masters and another expert — probably an Arctic specialist. So this will be a more collaborative discussion.

      But, yes, I’m brushing up — mainly RE my notes on these particular climate/weather events — for the discussion. Thanks for the Hadfield rec. I’ll be sure to take a look as I prepare. However, I must say that I find his described tactic of direct identification of their sources to be highly appropriate, even poetic justice. From them it’s all cherry picked data, special interest sourced data, or intentionally mangled data. So I could well imagine that his tactic is quite successful.

      Reply
      • Matt

         /  January 4, 2016

        Ahh that’s good news!
        Yes he is a former Science writer and has all the investigative and objectiveness skills so sadly lacking in today’s media. There would not be much new to anyone here in relation to information presented, but the way in which he dismantles the stupid arguments, and presents the real story is a treat to watch.
        I use his methods when rebutting denialist trash in our local media comments section, it reduces their replies to nothing but personal abuse.
        I look forward to the event! Will you be publishing a link for us??

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  January 4, 2016

        Good luck in your appearance tomorrow, Robert! Not that you need luck😉 And a discussion with Dr. Masters!? That sounds great! I love the fact that you’re being recognized as a well informed expert on the climate change issue, and are now regarded as top communicator and educator and someone whose voice deserves to be heard. Fantastic news all around.

        P.S. Where can I view/hear this discussion? You and Jeff Masters at the same time will be like Christmas and Thanksgiving all in one party!

        Reply
  83. Apneaman

     /  January 4, 2016

    Dystopias and Eutopias

    “Cities like Miami, New Orleans, Tokyo and Venice will squander billons to forestall the inevitable and for a while may even seem to succeed, only to lose it all in one spin of the wheel — a single bad day with some monster storm.”

    http://peaksurfer.blogspot.ca/2016/01/dystopias-and-eutopias.html

    Reply
  84. We talk about the jet steam(s) as if they are directing the weather systems around the world, separating the lower latitude warmer weather from the colder higher latitude weather. I think it is a convenient fiction just as the plum pudding model of the atom was a convenient fiction in it’s time. It was replaced by the solar system model which was more useful in explaining physical phenomenon and then the sub orbital model with dumb bell shaped orbits for p orbits and above. Now we have the quantum model which is even more useful. Similarly, it is not the jet stream that is doing the work. It simply marks the place where Hadley cells meet. Where the Polar Hadley cell meets the Ferel cell you have a wall of upflowing air which splits at high altitude and heads back north and south (skewed by Coriolis). Where you have the Ferel cell meeting the Equatorial Hadley cell you have a wall of ‘downwhelling” air which reaches the ground and spreads North and South. These walls of air, along with Coriolis, result in (in the case of the northern junction) with high pressure, clockwise rotating systems in the anticline below the location of the jet stream and counter clockwise, low pressure systems in the synclines above the convergence. It is convenient to think of the jet stream as being the barrier between the systems but, just as the solar system model was an improvement on the plum pudding model, the wall of rising or falling air is an improvement on the jet stream model. Hopefully, we will work our way toward the sub orbital and then the quantum model with respect to climate theory.
    http://mtkass.blogspot.co.nz/2014/04/the-jet-steams.html

    Reply
  85. William Hughes-Games

     /  January 16, 2016

    One of the commentators in one of the climate articles advocated spending much more money on flood defences. This is a little like the king that had his subjects place his throne in the tide zone to show them that there is no such thing as an all powerful king. Perhaps we should learn from this old parable. A better solution would be as follows.

    Insurance companies and/or governments should say to people who have been flooded out by rivers or rising sea level, we will compensate you generously for your loss this time but that is the end of it. You will have enough money to move somewhere else but you are welcome to stay where you are. However, you are now uninsurable and the government will not give you any money next time you have a flood. The resulting retreat from flood prone areas would have a number of beneficial effects.

    By allowing the rivers to spread out when they are in flood instead of confining them in stop banks, downstream flood peaks would be greatly diminished and some properties would be saved from floods.

    The flood plain areas could be used for Agriculture, (with no flood insurance), parks, and/or riparian nature reserves. Such areas all slow water flow, thus diminishing down stream flood peaks. They, catch sediment, thus building up the land. They improve water quality by catching nutrients from adjacent farm lands and they provide wild life habitats for flora and fauna. They would also be great recreational areas.

    Trying to fight nature instead of working with her is farting against thunder, peeing against the wind and trying to talk sense to a religious fanatic.. Regards William

    Reply
  1. Amidst Disasters Around the World, Top Scientists Declare Links Between Extreme Weather and Climate Change | GarryRogers Nature Conservation
  2. Amidst Disasters Around the World, Top Scientists Declare Links Between Extreme Weather and Climate Change | Making Waves Outreach ⚘ Flyers For Animal Rights

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: