The Ominous Greenhouse Gas Accumulation Continues: Peak Methane Approaches 3,000 Parts Per Billion as CO2 Growth Rate Jumps Higher

The world finally appears like it’s slowly starting to wake up from the grips of a fossil fuel influence-induced fever dream. Slowly, despite endemic political meddling by these powerful entities, some changes are starting to happen. Global carbon emissions growth remained flat during 2014 and likely 2015. Renewable energy adoption ramped up. Some major international commitments to reducing global carbon emissions were made.

But the very pertinent question must be asked — are we waking up fast enough? And the still rapidly growing concentrations of gasses that heat the Earth’s atmosphere would seem to supply the answer in the form of a resounding, thunderous — “NO!”

Another Troubling Methane Spike

On January 8th of 2016, we saw another record methane reading for the global atmosphere. The most recent single point peak for NOAA’s METOP measure hit a new all-time atmospheric high of 2,963 parts per billion or just 37 parts per billion shy of the milestone 3,000 parts per billion threshold.

Peak Atmospheric Methane Levels Approach 3,000 Parts Per Billion

(Another record methane spike rockets its way toward the ominous 3,000 parts per billion milestone in the NOAA METOP satellite array. The location of the current spike appears to be in the region of the Arctic where a number of very large carbon stores are now starting to warm up. Image source: NOAA OSPO.)

As has been typical of this particular sensor array, peak methane readings appear directly over the upper Latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere — hinting that this particular spike may have been generated by some Arctic amplifying feedback related carbon source. It’s also worth noting that the array continues to pick up the overall methane overburden pattern centered atop the Arctic. A troubling overburden that has showed up in a number of sensor arrays over recent years and has been one key bit of evidence pointing toward a potential new trend of amplifying carbon feedbacks in the Arctic.

Atmospheric Methane Averages Continue Measured Upward Trend

In the broader context, we continue to see rising average global methane concentrations after a pause in atmospheric increases during the 1990s through the mid 2000s. This rate of increase is a sign that either new human sources, new global feedbacks from methane sources, or a combination of the two are pushing global totals higher. It is worth noting that the lower Latitude measures like Mauna Loa, however, did not pick up a signal that some kind of major-to-catastrophic environmental methane emission was underway. A situation some observational scientists fear may be possible, but that other, more well-established specialists tend to consider far, far less likely. Regardless of the current scientific conjecture, heightened and rising methane readings in the Arctic remain rather troubling.

To these points, methane readings at Mauna Loa by end of 2015 had hit a range of around 1855 parts per billion even as peak atmospheric averages for the year had hit around 1840 parts per billion. Continuing a general trend of rapid atmospheric methane accumulation of about 7-8 parts per billion per year that started in 2008.

Mauna Loa Methane

(Significant rates of atmospheric methane increase that began during 2008 continue in the ESRL/Mauna Loa measure. Though these rates of increase are troubling, they do not at this time indicate that a major or catastrophic release from the global environment has taken place. Image source: NOAA ESRL.)

Next to CO2, methane generates the second strongest atmospheric heat forcing. Its accumulation in the Earth’s atmosphere since the beginning of major industrialization at the end of the 19th Century has primarily been driven by a number of human sources — chiefly through the activities of coal, oil and gas extraction, industrial agriculture (meat farming), and waste accumulating in landfills. During recent years, there has been some signal that global wetlands — including the thawing permafrost zones of the world — are also starting to contribute to the overall methane load as the world warms up and the carbon cycle starts kicking into higher gear.

Rates of Atmospheric CO2 Accumulation are Also Ramping Higher with El Nino

To this point, rates of atmospheric CO2 accumulation (the primary heat trapping gas in the atmosphere) also appear to be ramping higher coincident with the influence of a monster El Nino now taking place in the Pacific acting together with global greenhouse gas emissions from human fossil fuel burning that remain near all-time record highs. As large regions of the global ocean warm, the ocean’s ability to act as a carbon sink becomes inhibited. In more extreme cases, where the sea surface temperatures of an ocean that’s already saturated with human-emitted carbon become too warm, then CO2 starts to vent back into the atmosphere. And with what is possibly the strongest El Nino on record occurring coincident with a period of massive fossil fuel based carbon emissions, impacts to the rate of atmospheric CO2 accumulation can become quite dramatic.

It’s for this reason that El Nino years in the context of massive, human-based burning can see spiking global CO2 readings. And it appears that just such an event may now be underway.

Mauna Loa 3 ppm CO2 increase december to december

(Atmospheric CO2 levels pushing rapidly above 400 parts per million is the ugly legacy of human-based fossil fuel burning. Most recent two-year section of the Keeling Curve shows a substantial accumulation of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere that is well above the current and already very rapid average annual accumulation of 2.2 parts per million each year. Image source: The Keeling Curve.)

According observations taken by Dr Ralph Keeling and fellow researchers at the Mauna Loa Observatory, atmospheric CO2 concentrations jumped by more than 3 parts per million from December of 2014 through December of 2015. This jump in concentration is pretty far in excess of average annual rates of increase in the range of 2.2 parts per million CO2 each year that have been ongoing since the early-to-mid 2000s.

With El Nino still ongoing, we should continue to see such ocean-warming related impacts on atmospheric carbon dioxide levels continue into 2016. Impacts that may be further enhanced as another strong westerly wind burst along the Equatorial Pacific will likely serve to reinvigorate the current El Nino — making its already substantial influence more long-lasting.

Links:

NOAA OSPO

NOAA ESRL

The Keeling Curve

CO2: The Principle Control Nob Governing Earth’s Temperature

A4R Global Methane Tracking

Hat Tip to mlparrish

Hat Tip to islandraider

 

 

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95 Comments

  1. wili

     /  January 12, 2016

    At what point do we start measuring methane in parts per million?!

    Reply
    • Peak at near 3 ppm. Now average is at 1.85 ppm. Rate of average atmospheric growth, though, is much lower. 7-8 parts per billion. Or a CO2e growth rate of .2 to .8 per year (depending on how you calculate methane’s GWP).

      Reply
  2. Tsar Nicholas

     /  January 12, 2016

    If the methane peak is detected at higher latitudes rather than lower ones, isn’t that at least suggestive that we are witnessing the effects of a feedback centred on the Arctic as opposed to a more general problem caused by human emissions?

    Reply
    • Put that cart back behind the horse where it belongs. We have a potential Arctic carbon feedback problem because of fossil fuel emissions and the polar heating they produce. The overburden appearing in some sensors suggests that at least some of the excess methane contribution is coming from the Arctic.

      Reply
      • Tsar Nicholas

         /  January 12, 2016

        Robert, of course we have an emissions problem. I wasn’t suggesting otherwise, only that the 3,000 ppb part of this story is suggestive of Arctic feedbacks.

        Reply
    • I´m very green to that stuff, but I´ve seen in other blogs the info that the hidroxil ion OH- , which normally degrades methane in CO2 is more abundant where there´s lots of plants and rarer in the polar regions, so that could be one of the factors in higher concentrations of methane in higher latitudes.

      Reply
  3. Kevin Jones

     /  January 12, 2016

    And then there is the curious hydroxyl, the detergent of the atmosphere, which has highest concentrations in the humid and solar bathed tropics. One might expect higher CH4 at high latitudes but then why not in Antarctica? There has been a long time concern that it not be overwhelmed by our various pollutants. Any ideas?

    Reply
    • There may be an excess of oxygen radicals in the Antarctic region. In any case, the methane overburden in the Arctic coincides with a CO2 overburden. A dual signal where the, admittedly quite striking, methane signal alone may be suspect.

      It’s worth noting that we have a hydroxyl hole now forming over the Western Pacific. This particular loss, however, has not also resulted in a major methane overburden in that region.

      For my part, I think there are a lot of variables in play that need to be nailed down. But these Arctic overburdens are a concern to me.

      Reply
      • redskylite

         /  January 13, 2016

        Oops should be catch up with the North . . . and here is a longer version from Dr Alley . .

        Oddly enough, northern sun has been more important than southern sun, with cooling in the south during some times when sunshine was increasing there. Many people have tried to explain this odd behavior in many ways, but so far the only successful explanations involve carbon dioxide. (The high albedo of the expanded ice contributed to the cooling, as did the sun-blocking effect of extra dust, plus shifts from trees to grasslands or tundra with higher albedo, but these together don’t explain the whole signal; the carbon dioxide, and a bit of methane and nitrous oxide change, were important.) Whenever the ice sheets have grown in the north in response to reduced sunshine there, carbon dioxide has dropped, and the carbon dioxide provides a successful explanation of the changes in the south. The path is: changing sunshine to changing things in the Earth system (temperature, ice volume, sea level, dust, etc.) to changing carbon dioxide to more changes in temperature in response, so the carbon dioxide is a positive feedback, not a cause.

        https://d396qusza40orc.cloudfront.net/energy%2Fenrichment%2Flesson5%2FL5enrichment_d.html

        Reply
    • redskylite

       /  January 13, 2016

      The High North and High South latitudes are not in sync, there is a phenomena polar or bipolar see-saw. Numerous papers cover the difference, the speed at which the Southern polar region will catch up with the South depends on how quickly we get the carbon balance back in sync (assuming we can). It is generally estimated at a couple of hundred years, but the way we have supercharged the atmosphere, I could see it taking much less time. Sorry to pontificate but this is my subject of most interest in the sad debacle.

      This short article hints at it . .

      It has also been shown that shifts between glacial and interglacial periods on Earth are most related to the severity of summers in the Northern Hemisphere. . .

      http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/climate-weather/stories/everything-you-need-to-know-about-earths-orbit-and-climate-cha

      Reply
      • I think we should also consider that the Arctic is, overall, more vulnerable to warming. The ice sheets there are less massive. The Arctic Ocean more vulnerable to heat transfer. The surrounding continents provide no insulation. And the carbon stores are more vulnerable to tipping into feedbacks. The natural see-saw between North and South is an interesting phenomena in paleoclimate. However, considering that the rate of greenhouse gas accumulation is so rapid, it’s all too possible that we’ve tripped out of natural polar cycling and into new climate variables in which the differing physical nature of the poles becomes the more important factor.

        Reply
    • Ops, sorry for posting above, I hadn´t read your comment.

      Reply
  4. climatehawk1

     /  January 12, 2016

    Tweeted.

    Reply
  5. ” troubling overburden…”
    A useful term applicable to methane — and to the many other fossil fuel related impacts on our life support systems.
    – Great post — like Thor’s hammer striking hard and true.

    Reply
  6. NWS Miami ‏@NWSMiami 2h2 hours ago

    1/12/15: #Naples had a low temp of 53 degrees this morning. This is latest winter date on record to fall below 55F (previously 12/26/1946).

    Reply
  7. – Barges full of coal in a river swollen by an fossil fuel altered climate.

    VICKSBURG, Miss. — Two barges sunk in the Mississippi River after hitting a bridge near Vicksburg.

    According to WAPT, twenty-two barges carrying coal were being towed down the river when it struck the U.S. 80 bridge just before 9 a.m.

    After hitting the bridge, the barges reportedly broke free, and that’s when two of the barges sunk.
    http://wreg.com/2016/01/12/barges-sink-in-mississippi-river-after-hitting-railroad-bridge/

    Reply
  8. WXshift ‏@wxshift 1h1 hour ago

    Say hello to Hurricane Pali, the earliest hurricane on record for the Central Pacific http://buff.ly/22Y9k7Z

    Reply
    • http://wxshift.com/news/rare-january-hurricane

      ‘It’s not often that an official hurricane forecast uses the word “surreal,” but that was the case late Monday as Tropical Storm Pali improbably became Hurricane Pali, the earliest hurricane ever recorded in the Central Pacific.

      The out-of-season storm has benefited from unusually favorable conditions largely linked to the strong El Niño that also helped boost storm activity to record levels during the main storm season.

      The official hurricane season in this basin is May 15 to Nov. 30, but when conditions are right, storms can, and have, formed outside of that typical timeframe. But winter storms are still rare, with only three having ever been recorded in the January to March period.

      Reply
  9. CO2 Increase

    “There’s still no sign that we’ve stopped the acceleration of atmospheric CO2, let alone actually decreased the growth rate.

    The world is finally waking up to the fact that to avoid climate disaster, we need to reduce CO2 emissions. But it seems not yet to have realized that what we really need to do is stop CO2 increase. The frightening truth is that not only have we failed to stop CO2 growth, we haven’t even slowed it down.”

    https://tamino.wordpress.com/2016/01/09/co2-increase-2/

    Reply
  10. Last January at this date we appeared to have had only 399ppm CO2 in the atmosphere; meaning in the year since then, the Carbon Dioxide content in the Atmosphere increased by 4ppm, about 1%.
    😮

    And the governments of the world only agreed to reduce FF emissions over several decades.

    Reply
  11. Andy in SD

     /  January 13, 2016
    Reply
  12. Abel Adamski

     /  January 13, 2016

    Another for the Arctic
    https://www.rt.com/usa/328675-murre-die-off-alaska/
    using the quick double step of pasting and copying to wordpad to drop out links

    Warming water temperatures are believed to have decimated the stock of fish eaten by common murres in Alaska. Lack of food has led to about 8,000 dead murres being found in just one location – part of the most extreme die-off in 40 years, one expert says.

    In Alaska, there are about 2.8 million breeding common murres, a land-averse seabird that dives as deep as 600 feet underwater to find prey, such as herring and capelin. Thousands of murres were recently discovered dead on a beach in Whittier, Alaska, according to the Associated Press. Others were emaciated, suggesting a change in diet that the murres could not handle.

    “That’s unprecedented, that sheer number in one location is off the charts,” said John Piatt, research wildlife biologist at the US Geological Survey’s Alaska Science Center, referring to the 8,000 dead murres in Whittier. Piatt told the Alaska Dispatch News the die-off is “the most extreme I have ever seen or heard of” in four decades of research in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans

    Reply
  13. Abel Adamski

     /  January 13, 2016

    And for sea level rise
    http://phys.org/news/2016-01-greenland-ice-sheet-cloudy.html

    The Greenland Ice Sheet is the second largest ice sheet in the world and it’s melting rapidly, likely driving almost a third of global sea level rise.

    A new study shows clouds are playing a larger role in that process than scientists previously believed.

    “Over the next 80 years, we could be dealing with another foot of sea level rise around the world,” says Tristan L’Ecuyer, professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and co-author of the study. “Parts of Miami and New York City are less than two feet above sea level; another foot of sea level rise and suddenly you have water in the city.”

    The study, published today (Jan. 12, 2016) in Nature Communications and led by the University of Leuven in Belgium, shows that clouds are raising the temperature of the Greenland Ice Sheet by 2 to 3 degrees compared to cloudless skies and accounting for as much as 30 percent of the ice sheet melt.

    Reply
  14. Abel Adamski

     /  January 13, 2016

    Possibility of action. The comments are interesting compared to the usual

    I do note the Daily caller, Breitbart and the usual suspects haven’t been popping up on my Google Global warming news filter for quite a few days

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/01/12/republicans-might-actually-be-willing-to-do-something-about-climate-change/

    Republicans might actually be willing to do something about climate change

    Reply
  15. Colorado Bob

     /  January 13, 2016

    My thinking , there is warm water at work in the North. Thawing things and places we haven’t taken into account, or not never observed.
    ( See the new cloud study on Greenland )

    Every report, and they come by the dozens every month , point to a methane train wreck.

    We dropped the most explosives in the history of the world, on the theory of dominoes .

    Now, we are watching that old theory in action.

    Reply
  16. Colorado Bob

     /  January 13, 2016

    By the way, Obama gave a hell of a speech.

    Reply
    • Yes it was. I think people will look back at these years of strong leadership in the White House with nostalgia. I don’t care what the media says. What the masses think. I like this guy. I’ve been proud to have him as our leader. And when it’s all done, I’d love to buy him a beer and let him blow off some steam.

      Reply
  17. Bryan Stairs

     /  January 13, 2016

    This is what makes COP21 so sad. The politicians are still in the mind set that we can control temperatures by limiting human CO2 releases from now on. The feedbacks are getting to such a point you can stop releasing any human based CO2 and you still will get a climb in CO2. The only answer is burying carbon. Burying CO2 in my scientific ignorance seems to be in the long term useless.
    The reason I say this is that CO2 is a gas and if the area is warmed up enough no matter where you bury it it will be released again to my way of thinking. As the earth is warming up more and more where is that cold enough place going to be to keep it stable and buried. Now you say how do you economically bury carbon? Grow plants that grow the fastest and have the highest amount of carbon per volume render it in a stable form (hemp comes to mind as when you combine it with lime, the lime calcifies around the hemp and it turns into stone in a few decades, in the meantime the lime will protect degradation except when exposed to too much water). The more you let nature do the work, the less energy humans will have to use to convert CO2 in carbon in a stable burial form the cheaper and more energy efficient it becomes to bury the carbon.
    The goal should not be to keep things at 400ppm but to get it at least to 300ppm remembering that now you are fighting against all those feedback we have unleashed. Reasoning, if you aim for the minimum safe level you will always miss the target. In the case of CO2 if you do decide it is taking it too far then we all know how to fix that problem.

    Reply
    • So the feedback we are looking at is maybe 10-30 percent of the current human emission by the end of this century in the scenario that is most likely to develop. And it’s worth noting right now that the environmental feedback is much, much smaller. Cutting human emissions, therefore, is the lion’s share of the solution. But we should also be very
      clear than any feedback is bad news.

      Given these facts and projections, the statement that you’re making here — that cutting emissions is futile — is absolute nonsense. Cutting emissions is essential if we don’t want to face a ridiculously bad warming scenario. And given the fact that some of these feedbacks may now be just starting to emerge, we need to have an extraordinary sense of urgency on that count.

      Now carbon mitigation, like what you suggest above, will be absolutely necessary if we’re going to get back to the stable climates of the Holocene. You don’t have much hope for that, though, if you’re not already at near zero human emissions. Reason being that setting up viable carbon mitigation at a scale that is even a fraction of the human emission — say 1/10 — is a massive, massive endeavor. And that’s true no matter how you do it. Natural, physical, or chemical.

      Reply
      • Bryan Stairs

         /  January 13, 2016

        Cutting back is futile if all you do is just cut back. To have a chance at getting any control over the future events it must be a multi-prong attack
        a)zero emissions, and done in the next very few years.
        b)burying carbon at a rate that could get CO2 levels down to 300ppm counted in decades not centuries..
        c) without regular watering over major portions of the earths land surfaces I see desertification of very large portions of every continent beyond what is there now which will be another major feedback and can only be fixed if man desalinates water at high enough levels to be able to water and grow plants on all dry land.Keeping in mind that with higher temperatures, more evaporation.
        Without this approach all I see is world wars and even a worse problem.I am not saying it is not fixable, but we are not focusing on enough of the problems to be able to get started on a fix. The feedbacks are here and they must be put into the equation as a fix, because nature will not return to 1800 weather and growing patterns without man intervening.This is the fix scenario to save man. Those who feel let 75% of mankind to die to help fix things have not read enough history to understand what that outcome can mean in the long term.

        Reply
        • What I’m saying here is that if you don’t do a.) then there’s no way for b.) or c.) to be successful.

          What I’m trying to emphasize here is that we should be very clear that a.) is priority # 1. Without it, all other efforts fail. I don’t think communications have been clear enough in that respect. Emissions reduction is not just a qualifying statement. It’s the center of gravity upon which everything else pivots.

  18. Colorado Bob

     /  January 13, 2016

    Why are whales beaching themselves by the dozen in India?

    Fishermen of a seaside community on the southernmost tip of India worked overnight to rescue dozens of whales that began beaching themselves Monday evening.

    The rescuers from Tiruchendur alerted environmental officials shortly after the mysterious mass casualty event began. While about 36 whales were successfully pushed back to sea by fishermen, at least 45 died. The Times of India reports at least 100 short-finned pilot whales were counted along a 10-mile stretch of beach Tuesday, and the fishermen worked throughout the night to save as many of the mammals as they could.

    Link

    Reply
  19. redskylite

     /  January 13, 2016

    Another sobering article from Vice, very much in line with this topic . . .

    “There Is a New Climate Change Disaster Looming in Northern Canada”

    “Yet there’s another very real issue associated with thawing permafrost that’s received far less attention outside of industry circles, perhaps because of the lack of a catchy apocalyptic phrase to accompany it.

    For decades, mine operators in Northern Canada have stored waste rock and tailings waste—the “pulverized rock slurry” byproduct of mineral processing that’s filled with skeevy chemicals like arsenic, lead, and mercury—in frozen dams reinforced with permafrost, an option far cheaper than constructing artificial structures to house the goop. But if such walls thaw, allowing air and water to interact with the highly reactive tailings, widespread “acid mine drainage” (AMD) could occur. Such a process can generate sulphuric acid and result in the leaching of heavy metals into nearby soil and water sources.
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    If a mine requires long-term water treatment or keeping stuff frozen forever, maybe you shouldn’t do it in the first place. As human beings on this planet, we’re not very good at managing things, even over a few decades, let alone thousands of years.”

    http://www.vice.com/read/this-is-the-looming-climate-change-disaster-in-canadas-north-that-no-one-is-talking-about

    Reply
  20. But the very pertinent question must be asked — are we waking up fast enough?

    Some would say that we need a time machine for that.

    Sent from my iPad 🙏🏻

    >

    Reply
  21. Chuck Hughes

     /  January 13, 2016
    Reply
  22. Ryan in New England

     /  January 13, 2016

    Some positive news, solar installation growth has led to tens of thousands of new jobs in the solar industry being added in 2015.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/01/12/3737971/solar-job-growth/

    Reply
  23. Vic

     /  January 13, 2016

    The month of December 2015 saw the global spot price of lithium carbonate jump by 40% with similar gains seen in lithium hydroxide. So the established lithium miners who were profitable six weeks ago at $7000/tonne are now getting $10,000/tonne. Good work if you can get it.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-13/lithium-graphite-the-new-mining-superstars-potash-ready-to-shine/7081388

    Meanwhile, MSM seems to be far more interested in stories about exploding hoverboards.

    Reply
  24. Andy in SD

     /  January 13, 2016

    Leveraging Redskylite’s post regarding the dangers of Arctic mines and their detritus.

    This is a short piece on Pine Point mine. I know this place, I worked in the Lead / Zinc mine as a kid (was around 18 / 19 at the time). The place was a true hell to work in. If you can think of how horrid it would be to work in a lead mine in the Arctic in the dead of winter….

    It is now an official “Ghost Town”. Closed in 1988, Cominco is still having to attend to the tailing ponds, and now the open pits are filling up with water. Heavy metal are an issue.

    Reply
  25. Lake Poopo dries up

    “In the 90’s there was at least 2,000 square kilometres of water. After that, the water level began going down,” he said. “In 1995, 1996, there was a drought as well, and the water dried up, but it came back quickly. (…) There should be some rain. But that’s not happening.”

    https://widerimage.reuters.com/story/lake-poopo-dries-up

    Reply
  26. Caroline

     /  January 13, 2016

    Speaking of methane . . . anyone know the latest regarding research into the Four Corners region methane hotspot?

    “Based on satellite data gathered between 2003 and 2009, the hotspot, which is centered over New Mexico’s San Juan Basin, released 0.65 million tons of methane each year — accounting for about 10 percent of yearly emissions of the gas in the country” (link—http://www.ibtimes.com/four-corners-methane-hot-spot-nasa-joins-team-scientists-attempting-pinpoint-source-1879200)

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  January 14, 2016

      That’s an enormous amount of methane, and it’s located smack in the middle of hundreds of fracking wells. It’s amazing that this doesn’t make the news. Not even on the radar.

      Reply
  27. Caroline

     /  January 13, 2016

    This is one of the most recent pieces I found which touches on the incessant, repulsive manipulation and distortion of truth by the fossil fuel industry (in this case, Amoco/BP):

    http://www.cortezjournal.com/article/20151022/NEWS01/151029915/Unlocking-the-mystery-of-the-Four-Corners-Hot-Spot

    Reply
  28. PlazaRed

     /  January 13, 2016

    Picture of the day.
    An invest called 90L situated north of the Cape Verde Islands in the Atlantic on 13th January 2016.
    Possibly it will become an hurricane soon.

    Reply
  29. Jeremy

     /  January 13, 2016

    LG INVESTS ADDITIONAL USD 435 MILLION IN SOLAR CELL PRODUCTION

    Company Plans to Triple Output by 2020

    http://www.lgnewsroom.com/2016/01/lg-electronics-invests-additional-usd-435-million-in-solar-cell-production/

    Reply
  30. NWS OPC ‏@NWSOPC 13h13 hours ago

    Super busy in the Atlantic Basin @ 48 hrs as well with 9 warned systems including a developing hurricane force low!

    Reply
  31. NWS OPC ‏@NWSOPC 20h20 hours ago

    Pacific low in process of rapid intensification; will develop intense hurricane force winds, seas in excess of 50FT

    Reply
  32. – Natl Geo Methane
    – Notice Shell sponsorship in top right corner of page.

    The World Is Hemorrhaging Methane, and Now We Can See Where

    The Aliso Canyon breach is accidental, but thousands of other sites are flaring off methane intentionally, as waste.
    ]http://news.nationalgeographic.com/energy/2016/01/150113-methane-aliso-canyon-leak-noaa-flaring-map/

    Reply
  33. Civil disobedience often leads to jail. But now, protesters can explain themselves
    Tim DeChristopher


    For the very first time, US climate activists have been able to argue the necessity defense – which argues that so-called criminal acts were committed out of necessity – to a jury. The Delta 5, who blockaded an oil train at the Delta rail yard near Seattle in September of 2014, have been been allowed to use the defense in a historic climate change civil disobedience trial being heard this week. They said they acted to prevent the greater harm of climate change and oil train explosions.

    Like all civil disobedience, this new wave of climate disobedience is an inherent critique of the moral authority of government.
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/13/civil-disobedience-often-leads-to-jail-but-now-protestors-can-explain-themselves

    Reply
  34. James Burton

     /  January 13, 2016

    Why all the greenhouse gases are so important. We insult the natural world with more than just CO2, but the net effect is as if we were emitting CO2 on steroids. As the UK below, it’s impact on Global Warming goes far beyond it’s CO2 emissions. And why worrying about a melting arctic and tundra is the new normal. The great land masses of Canada and Russia offer up a giant permafrost region waiting to release it’s loads of CO2 and Methane. Humans have all the more reason for a rapid end to all fossil fuels, just given that nature is primed now to begin to release it’s own load into the atmosphere.

    “CO2e, or carbon dioxide equivalent, is a standard unit for measuring carbon footprints. The idea is to express the impact of each different greenhouse gas in terms of the amount of CO2 that would create the same amount of warming. That way, a carbon footprint consisting of lots of different greenhouse gases can be expressed as a single number.

    For example, in 2009, the UK released 474 million tonnes of CO2. But if you include its emissions of methane, nitrous oxide and F-gases, the country’s total emissions work out at 566 million tonnes of CO2e. In other words, those extra gases added the equivalent of 92 million extra tonnes of CO2.”

    Reply
  35. Caroline

     /  January 13, 2016

    “Ever since the dawn of humankind, climate has been inextricably tied to human health. A stable climate and receding Ice Age were essential to the rise of modern civilization. From the physiologic stress of excessive heat, to the widespread failure of agriculture, in many and varied ways, the climate crisis is first and foremost an advancing public health crisis”
    http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/34396-mosquito-borne-illness-fueled-by-climate-change-linked-to-spike-in-birth-defects-in-brazil
    ————–
    I would add climate is also inextricably tied to health and diversity of nonhuman life—–as tragically illustrated by WAPO link that Suzanne posted above.

    Reply
    • Caroline

       /  January 13, 2016

      Brian Moench has written a very powerful piece in this truth-out link.
      He is president of the Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment a member of the radiation and health committee, Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) and a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

      Reply
      • – Yeah, a couple of years ago I did a radio interview on KBOO with Dr. Muench about the damage air pollution does to children even while in their mother’s womb.
        He was very helpful and grateful of the concern shown.
        He’s a real hero.

        Reply
  36. redskylite

     /  January 13, 2016

    I admire and trust the Potsdam Institute above all others, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Stefan Rahmstorf et al are pillars of strength and tower above most organisations (in my opinion). Thus this news I find to be truly Earth shattering, I am gobsmacked, speechless . . .

    Keep out of my way Watts, Curry and co.

    “Even without man-made climate change we would expect the beginning of a new ice age no earlier than in 50.000 years from now – which makes the Holocene as the present geological epoch an unusually long period in between ice ages. However, our study also shows that relatively moderate additional anthropogenic CO2-emissions from burning oil, coal and gas are already sufficient to postpone the next ice age for another 50.000 years. The bottom line is that we are basically skipping a whole glacial cycle, which is unprecedented. It is mind-boggling that humankind is able to interfere with a mechanism that shaped the world as we know it.”

    http://phys.org/news/2016-01-human-made-climate-suppresses-ice-age.html

    Reply
  37. mlparrish

     /  January 13, 2016

    It’s old news, but not to forget the thousands of coal seam fires still burning worldwide. I could not figure out how to paste the world map but here is the link:


    http://www.sapient-horizons.com/Sapient/Underground_Fires.html
    “Decades-burning coal fires are unfortunately rather commonplace. In fact, it’s estimated that a stunning 2-3% of the entire world’s industrial carbon emissions may come from uncontained coal fires in China alone–where such fires burn 20 million tons of coal a year. ”

    http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2009/3084/pdf/fs2009-3084.pdf
    U.S. Department of the Interior U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2009–3084 September 2009. Emissions from Coal Fires and Their Impact on the Environment.
    “Assuming this coal has mercury concentrations similar to those in U.S. coals, a preliminary estimate of annual Hg emissions from coal fires worldwide is comparable in magnitude to the 48 tons of annual Hg emissions from all U.S. coal-fired power-generating stations combined (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2002).”

    And in the US:
    http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2006195,00.html
    “According to a review by the Department of Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Enforcement and Reclamation, more than 100 fires are burning beneath nine states, most of them in Colorado, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Utah and West Virginia. But geologists say many fires go unreported, driving the actual number of them closer to 200 across 21 states. Most have burned for years, if not decades. Pennsylvania’s three dozen underground fires include America’s most notorious subterranean blaze, a 48-year-old fire in Centralia, whose noxious emissions sickened residents and eventually prompted the federal government in the late 1980s and early ’90s to evict homeowners and pay them a collective $40 million for what is now a virtual ghost town.”

    Reply
  38. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: National Overview for Annual 2015, published online January 2016, retrieved on January 13, 2016.

    State of the Climate
    National Overview – Annual 2015
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/201513

    Reply
  39. redskylite

     /  January 13, 2016

    Grim Methane news from CAGE – Center for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Climate and Environment.

    “Modern ice sheets will not need thousands of years to melt.,The Greenland ice sheet has been losing an estimated 287 billion metric tons of ice per year, states NASA. The continent of Antarctica has been losing about 134 billion metric tons of ice per year since 2002, albeit its ice sheet tells a more complicated story.”

    https://cage.uit.no/news/ice-sheets-may-be-hiding-vast-reservoirs-of-powerful-greenhouse-gas/

    Reply
  40. Colorado Bob

     /  January 13, 2016

    OTTAWA – The premier of the Northwest Territories doesn’t see climate change as a ticking time bomb — in his part of the country, it’s already gone off.

    Canada’s North is at the forefront of climate change and its effects can be seen with the naked eye on a daily basis, Bob McLeod said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

    Warmer temperatures have led to a host of changes, including a shifting tree line, problems with the territory’s winter road network and significant impacts on the caribou population, McLeod said.

    “I could go on and on,” he said. “We have permafrost … that’s melting. It is affecting our buildings and our housing so we have to change our building techniques.”

    http://www.brandonsun.com/lifestyles/breaking-news/northwest-territories-bears-daily-witness-to-impact-of-climate-change-mcleod-365104041.html?thx=y

    Reply
  41. Colorado Bob

     /  January 13, 2016

    Unprecedented: Simultaneous January Named Storms in the Atlantic and Central Pacific
    By: Jeff Masters

    As we ring in the New Year with record to near-record warm temperatures over much of Earth’s oceans, we are confronted with something that would have been unimaginable a few decades ago: simultaneous January named storms in both the Atlantic and Central Pacific. The earliest named storm on record in the Central Pacific, Hurricane Pali, formed on January 7, and now the Atlantic has joined the early-season hurricane party, with Subtropical Storm Alex spinning up into history with 50 mph winds in the waters about 785 miles south-southwest of the Azores Islands. The average date of the first named storm in the Atlantic is July 9; the Central Pacific also typically sees its first named storm in July. Alex could retain its subtropical characteristics till as late as Friday, when it will be shooting northward toward Greenland en route to being absorbed in a high-latitude storm. Meanwhile, Pali is predicted to remain a tropical cyclone for at least the next five days, perhaps coming within 2° latitude of the equator–something only two other tropical cyclones in world history have been observed to do–as the storm arcs toward the southwest and eventually back northwest, potentially becoming a typhoon when it crosses the Date Line.

    Link

    Reply
  42. Unprecedented: Simultaneous January Named Storms in the Atlantic and Central Pacific

    By: Jeff Masters , 9:46 PM GMT on January 13, 2016

    As we ring in the New Year with record to near-record warm temperatures over much of Earth’s oceans, we are confronted with something that would have been unimaginable a few decades ago: simultaneous January named storms in both the Atlantic and Central Pacific. The earliest named storm on record in the Central Pacific, Hurricane Pali, formed on January 7, and now the Atlantic has joined the early-season hurricane party, with Subtropical Storm Alex spinning up into history with 50 mph winds in the waters about 785 miles south-southwest of the Azores Islands. The average date of the first named storm in the Atlantic is July 9; the Central Pacific also typically sees its first named storm in July. Alex could retain its subtropical characteristics till as late as Friday, when it will be shooting northward toward Greenland en route to being absorbed in a high-latitude storm. Meanwhile, Pali is predicted to remain a tropical cyclone for at least the next five days, perhaps coming within 2° latitude of the equator–something only two other tropical cyclones in world history have been observed to do–as the storm arcs toward the southwest and eventually back northwest, potentially becoming a typhoon when it crosses the Date Line.

    Figure 1. VIIRS visible satellite image of Subtropical Storm Alex on the afternoon of January 13, 2016. Image credit: NASA Worldview.

    Reply
  43. wili

     /  January 13, 2016

    Speaking of methane: http://phys.org/news/2016-01-ice-sheets-vast-reservoirs-powerful.html

    “Ice sheets may be hiding vast reservoirs of powerful greenhouse gas”

    “The results of the study indicate that even under conservative estimates of ice thickness a 500-meter thick gas hydrate stability zone existed beneath the ice sheet in the study area. This zone could have served as a methane sink – a reservoir containing immense amounts of the natural greenhouse gas. 1 cubic meter of gas hydrate contains almost 170 cubic meters of the greenhouse gas methane.”

    Reply
  44. I guess, the kind where many of us haven’t even bothered to buy tickets.

    Reply
  45. Colorado Bob

     /  January 14, 2016

    Brazil inflames forest fires with pro-deforestation laws

    A total of 999 fires for the first four days of January 2016 − an increase of 85% over the same period in 2015 – was recorded by INPE.

    Meanwhile, weather forecasters say 2016 will be as dry as last year, under the continuing influence of El Niño. If the forecasters are correct, and the proposed government bills are passed, then 2016 will be a year of “burn, Brazil, burn”.

    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/01/13/28134/

    Reply
  46. Colorado Bob

     /  January 14, 2016

    This is what global warming looks like: the new age of flooding

    The “one-off” floods of July 2007 have inaugurated a new era of extreme weather events – and they’re only going to get more frequent.

    http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/observations/2016/01/what-global-warming-looks-new-age-flooding

    Reply
  47. Colorado Bob

     /  January 14, 2016

    Alex HURRICANE ……………….. 85 mph.

    Reply
  48. Colorado Bob

     /  January 14, 2016

    Sea Surface Temperatures Blow Away Existing Record
    Today the Hadley Centre posted its anomaly for December — it’s here — and 2015’s annual average completely destroyed the previous record — 2014’s — by 0.11°C.

    Coming in third is the El Nino year of 1998, at 0.17°C below 2015’s value.

    This is a huge jump, almost a decade’s worth of warming in just one year. (The 30-year trend for HadSST3 is +0.135°C/decade.)

    http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2016/01/sea-surface-temperatures-blow-away.html

    Reply
  49. Colorado Bob

     /  January 14, 2016

    From Berkeley Earth:

    YTD Extremes: Jan-Dec 2015

    Record Low: 0.16%
    Extreme Low: 0.14%
    Very Low: 0.5%
    Below Average: 6.74%
    Near Average: 12.25%
    Above Average: 29.6%
    Very High: 21.63%
    Extreme High: 12.05%
    Record High: 16.92%

    Period Trend C/decade
    1850-Present 0.058 C/decade
    1900-Present 0.083 C/decade
    1950-Present 0.117 C/decade
    1970-Present 0.173 C/decade
    1990-Present 0.176 C/decade

    Link

    Reply
  50. No, they’re not “forced” to drive for hours. They CHOSE to gat in on the mania! THey could have CHOSEN to not buy the Powerball tickets in the first palce. I swear, the USA lamestream media is no longer holding people responsible for their own actions.

    Reply

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