A World in Hot Water sees Floods, Floods Everywhere

2015 was the hottest climate year in the global record by a long shot. According to Japan’s Meteorological Agency, temperatures were a full 0.18 degrees Celsius hotter than 1998, which is now the third hottest climate year on record, and a whopping 0.13 C above just last year (the second hottest year on record).

It’s a part of a larger warming trend that began during the latter 19th Century. One that has now seen more than 1 degree Celsius of total overall global warming. And so, in a little more than one hundred and thirty years, humans through a massive burning of carbon based fuels, have forced the world to warm by about 20 percent of all the warming seen at the end of the last ice age. But at that great glacial termination it typically took about 2,000 years for the world to warm by the amount we’ve now seen over little more than a Century.

A World in Record Hot Water

That’s a lot of heat accumulation for a very short period of time. A massive heat build-up that saw its most recent high point just this past year (2015). And all that extra heat accumulating over 2014-2015 blew an extraordinary amount of water vapor into the Earth’s atmosphere. Water vapor that primarily boiled off of Ocean hot spot zones. One of these zones, the Eastern Equatorial Pacific, experienced some of its hottest temperatures ever recorded as a monster El Nino blew up through that region. But other ocean surface hot spots abounded. The Northeastern Pacific, the Atlantic Ocean off the US East Coast, regions of the upper Northern Hemisphere Latitudes including the Barents and Bering Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean, the Southern Pacific, the Southern Atlantic off South America and Africa and many other regions in between all experienced much warmer than normal surface temperatures.

Hot Water, Hot Water Everywhere

(Extremely warm sea surface temperatures around the world are dumping an extraordinary amount of moisture into the global atmosphere. As global temperatures hit peak just after El Nino, a heavy volume of this moisture is likely to come down in the form of extreme precipitation events. And with global temperatures at record levels, the resulting storms could be extroardinarily powerful. We’ve already seen some of this weather. But there’s all-too-likely more in the pipe. Image source: NOAA’s Earth Systems Research Laboratory.)

These hot waters generated unprecedented plumes of moisture. The water vapor flooded into the record hot atmosphere. And as we neared peak global temperature readings, or even worse, started to come off that peak, some of that massive volume of water hanging in the air began to precipitate out.

River Threatens to Devour 16th Century Castle in Scotland

One of the heaviest hit regions — Northern England and Scotland — has experienced the worst floods in its history this Winter. Residents of this waterlogged country now all-too-often report rivers of water running down the streets just outside their homes. And time after time during storm after storm, hundreds to thousands are forced to flee the record high and rising waters. Last week, a powerful North Atlantic low pushed river levels so high that a bridge that had lasted through more than three Centuries of floods finally succumbed to the epic torrent.

Today, the raging Dee River devoured 250 feet of bank and is now threatening to undermine Abergeldie Castle — a structure that has stood against storms for the past 450 years. But one that is now no match for the hydrological events arising in a record hot world.

According to some, climate change was only supposed to threaten the poor. But the particular natural disaster that we’ve brewed up apparently didn’t get the message. Abergeldie is the residence of an Scottish Baron and friend to the Queen — John Gordon (76) together with his wife. Sadly, these well established people have also recently joined the ranks of refugees to a disaster that does not discriminate. One that can devour homes and residences of any variety — those of any people of any nation and of any walk of life. Baron Gordon may not know it yet, but he stands in solidarity with the people of island nations around the world, with Bangladeshis, and with the hundreds of thousands of people all displaced by extreme weather events just this year. All of whom are deserving of our best efforts to help them and to, most of all, prevent ever worsening extreme weather events of the kinds we are now experiencing on a global basis.

John’s neighbor described a very distraught family in this recent Guardian posting:

“The castle is in imminent danger and John is at his wits’ end. It’s not only a home. It’s the heritage, the history. Nothing can be done while the river is in spate like it is. It’s just thundering down. It swept away and smashed the mature trees at the back of the house like matchsticks. It also took 250ft of the bank away and all the ground at the back. The river is right at the back door.”

160,000 Displaced by Floods in South America

For many in South America last week, the situation was just as dire. Regions suffering from a two year long drought suddenly found themselves facing off against some of the worst rainfall events in at least the last 50 years. Powerful storms driven by the massive heat and moisture bleed off the Equatorial Pacific ripped through the region — sparking high winds, ripping down power lines and inundating the area with flooding rains.

By December 27th, when the rains had mostly abated, tens of thousands of people were displaced by rising flood waters. In Paraguay alone more than 100,000 people were forced to flee the floods. And throughout the rest of South America including sections of Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina another 60,000 were made refugees by the raging waters.

(Floods, floods everywhere. NASA tracks the global extreme weather events of 2015 in the stunning composite video above. Video source: NASA.)

The floods swamped thousands of homes — ripping apart roads and other critical infrastructure as the region reeled to respond to the disaster. By Monday, December 28 the only form of transportation through much of the vast impacted area was by boat.

Missouri, Illinois Inundated

At about the same time historic floods were ripping through England and Paraguay last week, a massive storm system was in the process of dumping more than a foot of rain over some sections of the Central US. The heavy rains swamped Missouri spurring the government there to declare a state of emergency even as heavy impacts spread over a multi-state region of the Central US. The storm — dubbed The Four Season Storm — by Dr Jeff Masters over at Weather Underground, immediately put over 1.5 million people in the affected region under flood warnings as town after town was swamped by the torrential downpours associated with the powerful system’s eastern edge.

Mississippi Flooding over Missouri

(The Mississippi leaps its banks amidst freak, unseasonable storms during December of 2015 and January of 2016. This image taken at 39,000 feet by pilot Chris Manno in a 737 over Missouri on January 3rd.)

By today, the heavy rains dumped by the storm were well on their way through the Mississippi River basin and its tributaries. As a result more than 7 million people across the Central US are now impacted. In Illinois, levee breeches sent waters flowing out over lands up to six miles away from the Mississippi — swamping roads, homes and vehicles. Meanwhile, back in flood-soaked Missouri Governor Jay Nixon was inspecting the aftermath.

After touring St. Louis, he seemed aghast:

“I’m from this part of the state and, quite frankly, it’s almost hard to believe. It’s almost as if you’re living on some other planet.”

Heavy Weather Takes Aim at US West Coast

As multiple regions of the world reel under freak and historic flooding, the storm track in the North Pacific is now angling in at the US West Coast. A strong storm system is now battering California with heavy winds and rains. The system, which raged in out of the Pacific upon the backs of 27 foot waves, is now venting its fury over California. It’s the first of a series of storms that are, in total, predicted to dump as much as 7 inches of rain over the region by the end of this week.

Liquid precipitation accumulations 7 day

(NOAA’s 7 day liquid precipitation equivalent forecast shows 4 to 7 inches of rain or equivalent snow predicted to fall over Coastal California, the Sierra Nevada range and Central Arizona. For southwestern desert regions, especially, the predicted weather is expected to be unusually heavy. Image source: NOAA Weather Prediction Center.)

With three storms expected to impact the region over the next four days, it appears the flood risk is now taking aim at California. The extreme moisture of a record warm atmosphere again appears to be set to unload. Lets hope that our fellows on the US West Coast are prepared.

Links:

Japan’s Meteorological Agency

NOAA’s Earth Systems Research Laboratory

Climate Change Driven Storms Wreck 300 Year Old Bridge in England

450 Year Old English Castle Threatened by Flood Waters

100,000 Displaced by Floods in Paraguay

NASA

The Four Season Storm

Weather Underground

Chris Manno

Mississippi Inundates Southern Illinois — Memphis is Next

NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center

Hat Tip to Colorado Bob

Hat Tip to DT Lange

Join me with Dr. Jeff Masters and Dr. Steven Amstrup at www.voanews.com live at 12:30 PM EST tomorrow, Tuesday January 5th

Leave a comment

124 Comments

  1. Jeremy in Wales

     /  January 4, 2016

    Robert “River Threatens to Devour 16th Century Castle in England” it is in Scotland.

    Brilliant articles by the way.

    Reply
    • Jeremy in Wales

       /  January 4, 2016

      and he probably is a Scottish Baron although I am no expert in this anachronism

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  January 4, 2016

        Dry Welsh Wit , what a tonic.

        Reply
      • Tsar Nicholas

         /  January 5, 2016

        I know I am a bad person but if only this had happrned to that other Scottish baron, Christopher Monckton.

        Reply
    • Thanks, Jeremy. Fixes in.

      And for tomorrow:

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  January 5, 2016

        Good luck today in your appearance, Robert! Not that you need luck. I’m super excited for this…having both you and Jeff Masters in one discussion is like having Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny at one party🙂 I’m also extremely pleased you’re getting more exposure. You are one of the best communicators and educators regarding climate change out there, and you deserve to be read/heard by everyone.

        Reply
      • Paul PNW

         /  January 5, 2016

        Trying to follow the link from twitter and I just keep getting a “Page does not exist” message😦

        Hopefully it’ll be available later?

        Reply
  2. JPL

     /  January 4, 2016

    Looking forward to this tomorrow!

    Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  January 5, 2016

        Great job, Robert. You and Jeff make a complimentary team. (p.s. I didn’t know we shared the same barber!🙂 )

        Reply
        • Hah! I like my rangy locks.😉

          Glad to hear the interview went well. My first time live on TV for this topic. I thought everyone was fantastic. Dr. Masters and Dr. Ahmstrup provided some really great points. I’ll be posting the video along with a follow-up commentary when I get home. So those who had trouble with the links can see it later today.

  3. Griffin

     /  January 4, 2016

    Outstanding post Robert! Thanks for the Twitter link as well. Best of luck to you!

    Reply
  4. Jacque

     /  January 4, 2016



    Abergeldie Castle on the banks of the River Dee

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  January 5, 2016

      Jacque

      Many thanks for these images. . Crackerjack work , absolutely crackerjack.

      Reply
    • So sad to see this bit of our history in jeopardy due to the rising waters of climate change…

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  January 5, 2016

        It is heartbreaking to see such historical locations literally washed away. If there is a bright side to this I think it’s the hope that when the average person sees structures that have survived centuries of flooding and storms destroyed by clearly changed climate, they start to realize that yes, maybe things have changed. The same thing happened with Hurricane Irene in 2011 when it struck New England. It dumped outrageous amounts of rain in Vermont, a very mountainous state with tight river valleys. Not only were historic bridges washed away, but the entire state’s infrastructure was destroyed, leaving entire towns inaccessible and causing complete devastation. That, combined with Winters that don’t have snow before Christmas in a state known for cold, snow and skiing really puts things into perspective for the average person.

        Reply
  5. Spike

     /  January 4, 2016

    Reply
  6. climatehawk1

     /  January 4, 2016

    Tweeted.

    Reply
  7. Colorado Bob

     /  January 5, 2016

    As Dr. Master’s post today pointed out, the current flood in the Miss. Valley is a result of just 3 days of rain beginning around Christmas. He posted a graphic of the precp. totals over a huge area. Some spots got 14 inches of rain . They were 200 to 600% above normal for the entire month of December.

    And it came as rain in December. That is something we’ve never seen before. If this thing had happened. at 28F degrees. The area in question would be under 2 to 5 feet of snow.

    Historic Mississippi River Flood Brings Highest Crest on Record Below St. Louis

    Reply
  8. mike campbell

     /  January 5, 2016

    In the Fall of 1997 I was trucking mucho Firewood into the Dallas area.In the warm wet pulses of rain that fell that winter.Firewood does not sell in an el nino winter!I flipped out of that business into Tornado Shelters and nailed the transition to more moisture.But the ’97
    Event did not deliver 80″ of rain that year vs 2015 !Think Hot,Wet,and Stormy like I do for the next few years,if the past is any prologue to the future.

    L

    Reply
  9. And all that water in the USA Midwest is coming down the Mississippi to New Orleans like a million tractor-trailers barreling down the Mass. Pike into Boston.

    Yes, I used to live in New England.

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  January 5, 2016

      I can relate to that! Wish you the best Ed. I hope the great wall of water has minimal impacts for your area.

      Reply
      • First decent East Coast low sweeps in by next week. California facing a daisy chain of bombs going off in the Pacific at the same time. Monster storm predicted to continue to stoop over the UK. Well, it appears that things are lining up in a manner similar to what we were concerned about earlier this year.

        Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  January 5, 2016

      Ed-M
      It’s a loaded the gun . Here come a chain real El Nino storms , which means the lower river may get lot’s of rain as this slug of water works it’s way through the python.
      Dr. Masters today spoke of the “The Old River Control Structure”. As he pointed out that 60 percent of our levees are weak.
      I watched a PBS story about all this years ago, When the “The Old River Control Structure” fails, the Mississippi River will leave New Orleans high and dry. The river will move West as it always has done. It goes where it wants. Our time of holding it in our hands is a fart in the wind.

      Reply
      • Clearly, we’re going to need infrastructure work to deal with climate change. But without hitting zero carbon emissions ASAP, we’re running to stand still.

        Reply
  10. Colorado Bob

     /  January 5, 2016

    And the really great thing about all this , we won’t tax our selves for any thing. When Bush 41 said , “No New Taxes” That stuck. So here we are.

    The beach pumpers in North Carolina need federal money to hold back the sea. The people in New Orleans have several billion dollars of federal money keep to the sea out of their sinking tea cup.

    Bur not one has ever taxed them selves to save their world. Since Bush taxed us, and Bill Clinton enjoyed 8 years of growth.

    The real new problem, tonight , the capital of California. Their levees are made from mud and reeds. If this current set-up tests them , they will fail.

    It could rain on the snow pack. Then it rains like hell on the drainages. This water vapor is not cold anymore folks. It should have snowed in Scotland, and snowed in Missouri. In December.

    It didn’t .

    The first I time noticed this was the Great Floods in Pakistan in 2010 . Back then the mountains were over 16,000 feet. It rained on that snow pack. Below it rained 16 feet of rain, but at 16,000 feet it rained as well.

    Rain at 16,000 feet in the Hindu Kush .

    Everyone read that one , That really happened .

    Reply
    • 2010 was an El Nino year and a relatively weak one at that… We’re playing Russian weather/cllimate roulette with half the chambers loaded this year.

      Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  January 5, 2016

      1996 and 2011 were Greenland glacier internal drainage years, over 400 GT in 2011, then 2012 Arctic sea ice minimum
      Watching both closely for next couple of years

      Reply
  11. Colorado Bob

     /  January 5, 2016

    Reply
  12. Colorado Bob

     /  January 5, 2016

    We are at the end of the, world. all is lost.

    Buckle your chin strap.

    Reply
    • utoutback

       /  January 5, 2016

      Correction Bob – We are at the end of the world that humans have known. Particularly this lovely, temperate inter-glacial period. The world has been through these changes before. Sad thing is, we have done this to ourselves. Ah Hubris!

      Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  January 5, 2016

      ” Let’s go into our test kitchen , and measure the latest numbers”.

      Watch the bees, and butterflies.

      As they crash , so do we we.

      End of story. We ride on their wings. Not the profit report from Exxon.

      Reply
  13. Pakistan Today
    Dedicated to telling the news as it is

    Diamer-Bhasha dam construction to start next year

    The construction work of Diamer-Bhasha Dam, one of the largest energy projects in the country, will start next year, government sources said on Monday.

    The land acquisition process for the project has been finalised with a cost of Rs 104 billion, according to official sources in the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms.

    The project is likely to be part of the second phase of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and would generate 4,500 MW of electricity besides serving as a huge water reservoir for the country.

    “The country is expected to face acute shortage of water in the next decade, and so, in order to prevent food shortage, this project will be developed at any cost”, Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal said in a recently held meeting.

    He said that the government assigns the highest priority to Diamer-Bhasha Dam because a serious water crisis is looming in next five to ten years which may be a lot worse than the current electricity crisis.

    Reply
  14. Griffin

     /  January 5, 2016

    Not sure if this was linked earlier but this is an interesting summary on a new study just released regarding the Greenland ice sheet. You know the drill unexpected” faster, worse etc but it is worth the read. I will be looking forward to learning more about this.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/01/04/what-scientists-discovered-in-greenland-could-be-making-sea-level-rise-even-worse/

    Reply
  15. Jeremy.

     /  January 5, 2016

    The grinning monster cutting up one of the few remaining bluefin tuna in this photo reminded me of the ass-clowns at US gas stations, smiling wildly as they filled up their tanks with cheap gas while basking in 83° temps. on December 24th.

    I spent the Christmas holidays surrounded by educated liberals completely oblivious to, and in denial of, the social and environmental carnage their govmnt continues to inflict at home and around the world.

    USA – an armed madhouse!

    “A sushi restaurant in Japan has paid US$118,000 (£80,000/AU$164,000) for a bluefin tuna at the first auction of the year at Tokyo’s Tsukiji market, despite repeated warnings that the prized fish is heading towards extinction.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/05/threatened-bluefin-tuna-nets-high-price-tokyo-fish-market

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  January 5, 2016

      Jeremy, our society has collectively gone completely insane. The only thing nearly everybody cares about is being able to consume more. That’s it. They’re oblivious to any of our many serious problems, and have absolutely no interest in learning about anything. I too spent my holiday in the company of “educated liberals”, who I couldn’t engage in a serious conversation about climate change, even though at Christmas it was so warm we had the windows open. The masses have been brainwashed to only care about trivial nonsense like sports, TV shows and what celebrities are doing. Meanwhile they can’t name a single U.S. Senator, don’t have a clue about our economic policies or why they can’t make ends meet, and probably couldn’t find a country other than the U.S. on a map. A sad, sad state of affairs.

      Reply
      • Jeremy.

         /  January 5, 2016

        Indeed Ryan, indeed.
        In N. Carolina we had the air conditioning going on Christmas Day.
        And then on 12/26 we went to Atlantic Beach.

        People I shared the holiday with thought it was wonderful.

        It’s an interesting feeling going from being simply disgusted by one’s family members to almost getting to actually hate them.

        Reply
  16. Bill H

     /  January 5, 2016

    Robert,

    Thank you for highlighting the massive floods along the Mississippi and so many of its tributaries. This isn’t appearing in the news media in the UK at all.

    Reply
    • Bill H

       /  January 5, 2016

      Jeremy, note that I said “isn’t appearing”. You’re right there was an item about a week ago on the bbc website but then the circus moved on.

      Reply
  17. Jeremy.

     /  January 5, 2016

    Psychologist Jerry Kroth discusses the psychology behind global warming denial.

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  January 5, 2016

      Thanks for the video, Jeremy. I’m fascinated and very frustrated by the level of denial, delusion and ignorance that’s pervasive in our culture.

      Reply
      • Jeremy.

         /  January 5, 2016

        You’re welcome Ryan.

        It’s a very interesting video discussing both right wing “denial” and left wing “displacement” of climate change issues.
        Dr. Kroth does a good job making the video informative and engaging.

        Reply
  18. Robert – this article is all wet, and I apologize for my lame attempt at humidity.

    Reply
  19. Andy in SD

     /  January 5, 2016

    I am not sure if this has been already mentioned.

    It appears that a relief valve was not installed in the Porter Ranch gas storage facility, thus the inability to stop the gas leak.

    As an aside, this is not really on the radar as it is gas venting into the atmosphere therefore there is a lack of photo opportunities such as birds covered in oil. If birds were dropping out of the sky covered in oil and trees were slathered in sludge, yes the media would cover it as one can whop up the situation into a froth.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-0104-gas-leak-20160104-story.html

    Reply
    • Andy in SD

       /  January 5, 2016

      In the “It was a great idea at the time” category….

      The Aliso Canyon field was originally developed for oil and gas production in the 1940s and 50s. Many of the 115 wells at the site, including the leaking well, were drilled at that time.

      By the early 1970s, the field was depleted and it was sold and the empty underground cavern was converted to natural gas storage.

      The wells were originally designed to withdraw oil and gas through a 2 -inch tube. That tube is surrounded by a 7-inch steel casing. However, on the leaking well and on many others, the gas company opted to use the 7-inch casing, not the smaller tube, to inject and withdraw gas. That allowed the company to pump far more gas through each well, which helped serve a growing customer base.

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  January 5, 2016

        Is anyone else struggling to figure out exactly where in the voanews website to listen to the live broadcast shortly?

        Reply
      • – I have to wonder how much that fracking has to do with the ‘need’ to store the gas.

        Reply
      • – The giant Sempra Energy is at the top of this gaseous chain.

        Reply
      • Jeremy.

         /  January 5, 2016

        Yup dtlange – that’s right.
        And Jerry Brown’s sister Kathleen sits on the Board of Directors of Sempra Energy.
        You just can’t make this shit up.
        Oh no – no conflict of interest there.

        http://www.ocregister.com/articles/brown-696690-leak-energy.html

        Reply
      • Bill H

         /  January 5, 2016

        In reply to dtlange, I think there may well be a connection between fracking and the “need” to store gas. My understanding from following the blog “The Oildrum” is that because fracking requires such high start-up costs the fracking companies have to borrow a huge amount of money/issue a huge amount of equity. As a result they’re stuck with having to pump the oil/gas out of the ground and sell it, regardless of how much demand there is for the stuff, so you can keep paying off your lenders/stockholders. Consequently there’s a glut of the stuff that has to be stored somewhere. More traditional fossil fuel drilling, where it’s cheap to tap a large reservoir, means producers are not saddled with debt, and you can therefore afford to turn off the spigot whenever prices are low, or indeed, whenever you want to raise the price, as OPEC were once able to do with great effect.

        Well, that’s my understanding: others are welcome to correct it.

        Reply
      • – Bill H, “As a result they’re stuck with having to pump the oil/gas out of the ground and sell it, regardless of how much demand there is for the stuff, so you can keep paying off your lenders/stockholders.”
        If that is so, also consider how much new fracking is taking place and is planned. Every region and their communities are being exploited or destroyed by a systematically ruthless and destructive industry.

        Reply
  20. JPL

     /  January 5, 2016

    This VOA link is working for me:
    http://www.voanews.com/media/all/latest.html?z=1433

    John

    Reply
  21. Eric Thurston

     /  January 5, 2016

    On my daily look at the wunderground weather report was this:

    ” The series of storms impacting the West Coast this week will be a bit different than what the region has experienced in recent months. This go around, even Southern California can expect a decent helping of much-needed rain and mountain snow. For parts of the Siskiyous and Sierra, as well as parts of the Four Corners, expect hefty amounts of snow to pile up through the week ahead.
    This will add to a Sierra snowpack that is much more substantial than at the same point last year. According to the USDA/NRCS, through Jan. 1, 2016, the Sierra snowpack was 100 percent or more of average for the season. ”

    Much needed precipitation, but at what cost?

    Reply
  22. New post on Real Climate.

    Marvel et al (2015) Part 1: Reconciling estimates of climate sensitivity

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2016/01/marvel-et-al-2015-part-1-reconciling-estimates-of-climate-sensitivity/

    Reply
  23. – Great VOA talk, Robert.
    – Your heat and water vapor to atmospheric storms description followed by Dr. Masters’s additional reinforcement really painted an informative picture for all to understand.🙂

    Reply
    • – And your comments about the severe droughts impacting others around the globe.
      A true ambassador, you are.
      Thanks.

      Reply
      • So the video is up on both the robertscribbler facebook and twitter page. I have trouble embedding anything not from YouTube in a blog post on WordPress. I’ll go ahead and post a link in the media links section, though.

        Reply
  24. June

     /  January 5, 2016

    The studies just keep coming…always supporting greater warming impacts than expected. Yet the politicians continue to act as if we have lots of time to act.

    [Cirrus] clouds help amplify El Niño’s effect on the atmosphere to a greater degree than once thought, a new study reports…

    Models that don’t include the warming effect of cirrus clouds underestimate el niño
    strength by about two thirds.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/05/science/study-shows-larger-effect-of-clouds-on-el-nino.html?_r=0

    Reply
  25. NWS OPC ‏@NWSOPC 3h3 hours ago

    12Z E. Pac sfc & #wind/wave analyses. A #storm force low is creating seas up to 33 ft per the wind/#wave analysis.

    Reply
  26. Press Release 16-002
    Flying lab to investigate Southern Ocean’s appetite for carbon

    ORCAS field campaign will help scientists predict future climate
    January 5, 2016

    A team of scientists supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) will launch a series of research flights over the remote Southern Ocean this month to better understand just how much carbon dioxide its icy waters can lock away.
    http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=137314&org=NSF&from=news

    Reply
  27. Jeremy.

     /  January 5, 2016

    ” . . . he’ll stop ISIS and take their oil.”
    Ha, ha , ha ………..

    Comedy gold!

    Reply
    • Looting climatologically deadly oil from Islamic countries, xenophobia of Muslims, isolating ourselves from the global community, picking border fights with Mexico … Apparently that’s Trump’s definition of a great America. What’s next? Internment camps and bring in the deadly climate change parties?

      Reply
    • Mark in New England

       /  January 5, 2016

      Some PLEASE tell me – was that meant as a joke, or is it a legitimate ad? If the latter, well… we’re in for a world of hurt.

      Reply
      • I was thinking the same thing. Brazen hate and fear mongering, glorification of violence all in one go.

        Reply
      • Jeremy.

         /  January 5, 2016

        Sorry to say Mark – it was real.
        Only in America could such drivel and hatred be spewed across the MSM.

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  January 5, 2016

        What’s worse about the Trump ad is the fact that a substantial portion of the U.S. populace supports this lunatic. You know how many people have told me,”yeah he’s a little over the top but he makes some good points.” No he doesn’t! He doesn’t make any points. He’s like someone’s racist grandfather who goes off on crazy racist rants, completely untethered to reality and not bound by facts. He has absolutely no clue about any issue, is immune to legitimate criticism whose entire campaign consists of making fun of people, whether individually or in groups. It’s a sad state of affairs and speaks volumes as to how much our culture has declined. It’s like Lord of the Flies in this damn country. Where the hell are the grown-ups!?

        Reply
      • And he’s not even a good fascist! I’m afraid America is going to end so very badly.

        Reply
        • Let’s hope, instead, that this is the last gasp of the current whacko version of republican anti-think. He’s an old, mean, angry, raving mad version of Sarah Palin. The new albatross to hang around the necks of those who have just mentally gone off the deep end.

        • Well those deranged people wore that albatross as a badge! They’ll wear Trump as a badge as well, even if he loses, and loses badly.

  28. – My Tweet to Democracy Now, and with link to the VOA News show:

    David Lange ‏@DavidLange2 20s20 seconds ago

    @democracynow An excellent picture of impacts and dynamics of #climate change.

    Reply
    • Thanks, DT. You rock!

      Reply
      • I also sent it to them with a longer intro as a ‘story idea’.

        Reply
      • ‘Robert Fanney of robertscribbler.com would be a relevant addition to your show. He was just on Voice of America News with Dr. Jeff Masters and Dr. Steve Amstrup.
        I enclose a link to VOA News.
        Thank you, David Lange.”

        Reply
        • Bless you, DT. But even if they don’t pick it up, I still got to be on TV with two of my heroes today. I still got to pitch in in a kinda big way to this conversation on weather and climate and on the severe risks to both human beings and the innocent creatures of the natural world. It was a snapshot. I hope we see more to come.

  29. Anthony Sagliani ‏@anthonywx 56m56 minutes ago

    Granted scale is off due to map projection, but very impressive anticyclonic wave break in Russia/Kara Sea.

    Reply
  30. Jeremy.

     /  January 5, 2016

    “An assistant professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst concluded his comparative politics course earlier this month by telling students the planet is dying because of human activity – and there is little hope of reversing course.”

    http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/25649/

    Reply
  31. Thank you JPL for the link. I thought good points were made by everyone in clear, even explanations but I was particularly impressed by Robert’s excellent posture!

    Reply
    • Yes, I worked on that.😉

      Very, very happy with this one. Working on an embed for the post now. Maybe an hour or two of writing ahead.

      Reply
  32. Jeremy.

     /  January 5, 2016

    ” I do care, really, I do care.
    Well, I at least I used to.
    Then I went to America and realised – what’s the point?”

    Reply
    • When it comes to America, it’s not just the people, it’s also the propaganda apparatus called “the mainstream media,” and worst of all, it’s also the built landscape which compels mandatory automobility. And everybody is expected to drive to work unless they work downtown.

      Reply
  33. – Go to the OPC link to view:
    NWS OPC ‏@NWSOPC 19m19 minutes ago

    sunrise across the Pacific reveals rapidly intensifying, developing #hurricane force low en route the Aleutian Isl

    Reply
  34. UW-Madison CIMSS ‏@UWCIMSS 2h2 hours ago

    Suomi NPP #VIIRS view of storm force winds offshore of U.S. eastern seaboard detected by ASCAT MetOp-B & @NWSOPC.

    Reply
  35. NWS OPC ‏@NWSOPC 3h3 hours ago

    GeoColor imagery reveals storm/gale lows over OPC marine waters, bringing copious moisture to the W Coast #cawx

    Reply
  36. Jeremy.

     /  January 5, 2016

    Another US demi-god turns out to have been a fascist monster.

    “But Jobs didn’t care. He even instructed Obama that the United States had to behave more like China in the manner in which it encouraged corporations to act free of regulations or concern for their employees and their environment.”

    http://www.thenation.com/article/agony-and-ecstasy-and-disgrace-steve-jobs/

    Reply
  37. Good VOA show, Robert. I was a little disappointed by some of the questions early on (and of course, the questions determine the direction of the show), but when they got to more open-ended questions you and Dr. Masters were able to make some good points. At the mid-point I was tsking at the screen and wishing you’d had a better chance to explain the interconnectedness of our natural systems and the impact of accelerating decay on human society, but shortly after you made a valiant effort at connecting all the dots, so good for you.

    My real surprise on this program: You are much younger than I thought. For some reason, I pictured you as retired. And probably balding. I was wrong on both counts.

    Reply
    • I think they did their best. You’ve got to realize that most people here now have a pretty high level of climate change expertise and that most of this stuff is pretty new to almost everyone else. In my initial conversation with Michael, for example, I didn’t get the sense that he had an opinion either way on the COP21 conference. I think he thought the resolutions were pretty strong, but after the pre show talk with us guests, it seemed like he really got to point where he felt that the committed reductions weren’t enough and more needed to be done on reducing carbon emissions. This came out in the show when he said — COP 21 probably isn’t enough, right? (or something like that)

      It’s another point that I would have liked to hit harder in the show. But you only have so much time and you’re not able to self-edit after the fact as in writing. So word choice isn’t going to be perfect. But I’d like to say now that, absolutely, we need to do far, far more than COP21 committed to. And even though it represents a lot of progress for a global climate conference we are pretty amazingly far behind the 8 ball on even missing 2 C this century.

      But, overall, I think it’s starting to sink in among a few of these media guys how much work and trouble we have ahead.

      Reply
  38. Andy in SD

     /  January 6, 2016

    Hey Robert,

    Watched the piece on VOA. All 3 speakers were very good and conveyed good information. Well done. And you are a lot younger than I thought!

    Cheers.

    btw. We had our first real El Nino storm today. Very similar to 97/98 in intensity and rainfall, or at least it aligned with my memories from that one.

    Reply
    • It means much to me that you guys thought it worked out well. You’ve seen me at my best here and on the radio. TV is a mostly new medium for me.

      I was especially pleased to serve with Dr Masters and Dr Amstrup. Dr Masters is definitely one of my weatherman heroes from days of yore. And he’s still doing it with this responsible reporting from Weather Underground — pretty much the only major meteorology source in the world that I think does climate change justice in its coverage.

      As for Dr. Amstrup. I’ve seen his work on polar bears and the changing Arctic time and time again and I’ve covered some of his groundbreaking work here. His tenor and the way in which he comes across is among the most compassionate I’ve yet encountered. And he’s done all of this amazing work over the years raising awareness on the plight of the Arctic. He’s really brought this issue of Arctic canary species to the forefront and his sense of connection to the suffering species of our world is something to be admired and emulated by all. If we all cared as much as he did, were as sharp-minded and sensitive as he is, then we wouldn’t be in this mess.

      They were amazing and I am glad I got to help them, at least in some small way, get the word out and make their very important points have even more resonance.

      As for my age. I’m 43, which I don’t really consider to be that young. I suppose I’ve aged well. I put that up to a nice vegan diet and good genes probably. Lots of exercise too. And, since after the military, my wife has encouraged me to grow my hair out.

      So, yeah, I guess I look like a kid to a lot of you guys. But it’s hard to feel like a kid when you’re 43.

      I’m waiting for Bob to weigh in. He’ll probably have something nice and pithy to say about all this.

      Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  January 6, 2016

        Believe me 43 is young and a great time. Good you are looking after yourself, our body is like any construction, only as good as the quality of the materials used in its construction

        Reply
    • Looking out into next week, I’d like to say — keep those gutters clear. Looks like there are some serious bombs in the storm track headed your way.

      Reply
  39. Andy in SD

     /  January 6, 2016

    You can’t tell if we’ll see a late season cold snap in the Arctic. If we do not, then it looks like a pretty bad winter for sea ice.

    Reply
  40. Tsar Nicholas

     /  January 6, 2016

    “Minor” item: there was a gardener on a well known daytime TV show in Britain today who stated that all winter vegetables in his garden/allotment not grown in a greenhouse have been destoyed. Plenty of green shoots but nothing edible.

    If this reflects what is happening in general, what is to be the fate of the crops?

    http://www.producer.com/2015/12/lack-of-snow-puts-crops-in-danger-worldwide/

    Reply
    • Tom

       /  January 7, 2016

      Tsar Nicholas: thank you for repeating what i’ve been saying for years now – climate change wrecks our ability to grow enough food (not to mention that of all the other species we rely on). CC is destroying our habitat! Draw your own conclusions.

      Reply
  41. redskylite

     /  January 6, 2016

    Just watched the VOA Hashtag program, very impressed that all 3 interviewees complimented each other, were on the same page and promoted the science admirably. When you read & write on a blog you build a mental picture of the other regular voices, and I was surprised to see that you are much younger than my mental image, it must indicate that you are wise beyond your years. Well done Sir . . you did the science proud, and conveyed the need for action.

    As someone who visits academic and other sites daily, at least 97% are saying exactly the same thing, just using different words and in different fields.

    Today a short abstract from the University of Bristol concurs in a short, concise way.

    “Consequently, these risks, in this case to the marine ecosystems on which so many of us depend, remain associated with profound uncertainty. Decreasing CO2 emissions, as recently agreed in Paris, will be necessary to avoid these risks.”

    http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2016/january/pace-environment-change.html

    Reply
    • redskylite

       /  January 6, 2016

      Oops Sorry – Complement not compliment

      Reply
    • Thanks Redsky. I’ll say that I’ve tended to get along with people beyond my years for much of my life. But I am 43 now and really don’t think of myself as all that young.

      I was really amazed by how everyone in the discussion seemed to gel and work off of each other. My only major disappointment, aside from having less time to talk overall, was not getting a good chance to hear Dr Amstrup’s final words. He was making some fantastic points there at the end and I wish we could have gotten those last wonderful bits.

      Reply
  42. Spike

     /  January 7, 2016

    UK Met Office chief scientist blog on the floods – much that will be familiar to Robert’s readership.

    http://blog.metoffice.gov.uk/2015/12/31/whats-been-happening-to-our-weather/

    Reply
  1. A World in Hot Water sees Floods, Floods Everywhere | GarryRogers Nature Conservation
  2. Trippin’ Away » Survival Acres Blog

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