Subtropical Storm Alex Forms in the Atlantic — Sets Path Toward Greenland

“We must begin to move now toward the era beyond fossil fuels. Continued growth of greenhouse gas emissions for just another decade practically eliminates the possibility of near-term return of atmospheric composition beneath the tipping level for catastrophic effect.”

— Dr James Hansen in Target Atmospheric CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim back in 2008

*****

We should have listened to Dr. James Hansen back in 2008. Now, nearly 8 years later, human greenhouse gas emissions have continued to grow even as freakish extreme weather events have multiplied across the globe. It’s all too clear now that atmospheric composition is well within the range that produces freakish, and even catastrophic effects of the kind Hansen alluded to.

On Friday, we wrote about the potential for just such an unprecedented event. National Hurricane Center Forecasts at the time indicated a potential that two named tropical cyclones may form in both the Pacific and the Atlantic during January. Today, on January 13 of 2016, it happened. As of 5:00 PM Eastern Standard time, we have a named subtropical storm Alex raging in the North Atlantic just west of the Azores. In the Central Pacific, Pali has reached hurricane strength and is now setting a course that will bring it very close to the Equator.

Alex is only the fourth named storm ever to have formed during January in the North Atlantic (since record keeping began in 1771). But Alex is an odd event for a number of other reasons — not the least of which being that it formed at the same time that another unprecedented storm — Pali — had hit hurricane status in the Central Pacific.

Dr. Jeff Masters over at Weather Underground sums it up very well:

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 projected path

(Alex’s projected path brings it just off Greenland by Saturday. A winter subtropical cyclone aiming its heat-engine fury directly at the Arctic. You couldn’t write science fiction that was more bizzarre. Image source: NOAA.)

Like a cold-seeking missile of atmospheric heat, Alex is predicted to aim itself directly at the Arctic. A summer-time storm forming in Winter and projected to deliver its heat energy to the environment of the far North Atlantic just south of Greenland by this weekend. The storm is predicted to retain subtropical characteristics even as it approaches Greenland by late Friday. Another extraordinary projection of tropical heat and moisture into the Northern Latitudes during a Winter in which the season seems to be anything but.

Instead, we seem to have this strange hybrid of winter, spring and summer. In which hurricanes form during January in the Northern Hemisphere. In which the North Pole sees above freezing temperatures. And in which many regions keep flashing between warm and cold conditions even as the threat for extreme storms abounds. As Hansen warned nearly a decade ago — we are tipping into more and more catastrophic conditions. And we should listen to Hansen and put every policy in place possible to “to move now toward the era beyond fossil fuels.”

Sadly, we didn’t move fast enough 8 years ago to prevent some of the catastrophic effects of human-forced climate change from being locked in. But we can at least now move decisively to prevent the very worst impacts. All too sadly, though, it appears the storms that Hansen predicted for our grandchildren may well have started to arrive early.

Links:

This is What the Anthropocene Looks Like

NOAA

Hurricane Pali Sets Pacific Record

Unprecedented: Simultaneous Named Storms in Atlantic and Pacific During January

Off-Season North Atlantic Hurricanes

Hat Tip to Redsky

Hat Tip to Colorado Bob

Hat Tip to DT Lange

Hat Tip to Griffin

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85 Comments

  1. Jeremy

     /  January 13, 2016

    Glad you’re channeling Hansen.
    Another great post RS.

    Reply
  2. “We should have listened to Dr. James Hansen back in 2008.”

    Indeed. And with the passage of time the pertinence may shift amongst messages.

    Sent from my iPad 🙏🏻

    >

    Reply
    • For Hansen? Not bloody likely. He’s threatened the whole fossil fuel industry with global boycott because he thinks current half measures are nowhere near enough to make scratch.

      Reply
    • Matt

       /  January 14, 2016

      “We should have listened to Dr. James Hansen back in 2008.”

      We should have listened to Dr James Hansen back in 1988! and Mann and a host of others for that matter!

      Reply
      • Well, yes. But 2008 was when Hansen’s messaging started to take on that — we’d better do this now or else tone. He was like Jeremiah predicting the coming of the Babylonians. The king never listens.

        Reply
      • Matt

         /  January 14, 2016

        Yes and his message is getting darker all the time. What is concerning for me is I am seeing the usual suspects starting to put him in the Lovelock category… Difference is Lovelock in my opinion started losing his marbles with old age, where as age and the dire situation seems only to be focusing Hansen’s work and allowing him to break away from the usual conservative nature of scientists.

        Reply
        • I get a lot of pressure from those that are AEI and other industry related types. I can only imagine the brutality of the messaging focused at say a Hansen or a Lovelock or a Mann. Everyone responds to it differently. It appears to me that Hansen’s response has been to dig his heels in and fight no matter what. He’s not in this for himself anymore. All he sees now is the future suffering of his children and grandchildren. And that … Well that’s something that’s just not acceptable.

          Lovelock I think may have fallen to a kind of Stockholm syndrome (or he may have just clarified his views on nuclear energy). And I can understand that. There’s this tendency to attempt to isolate people in this bubble of false messaging. You’ve got to be really careful. But on the up side, it makes you pretty damn sharp. There’s no way I could have given that VOA interview two years ago.

          And the odd thing about it all is that if you just let it wash over you, you can get an idea of future fossil fuel company strategy. And I’m pretty sure that once climate change denial fails — if it does fail — then they’ll try to shift to this message of ‘it’s too late, we must try geo-engineering now.’ Anything to shift focus away from the necessary emissions cuts.

          My tendency though is to push against the grain. Mostly the grain is pretty much always laid out all wrong these days. If I’m not making both other people and myself uncomfortable, then I figure I’m doing something wrong.

      • Matt

         /  January 14, 2016

        Yep, you have an incredible way of summing it up so perfectly!

        Reply
      • James Burton

         /  January 14, 2016

        I wonder what it will take to knock the fossil fuel interests off of the Denial Stage and onto some other diversion that will allow continued fossil fuel burning?
        Like you say, they may very well say “Ooops, nobody could have seen this coming!” “Let’s get to work geoengineering a rescue.”
        It should be known to all, that right now, Fossil Fuel interests across the globe hold almost all the power. Political, economic, financial and media. To knock these boys off of their fossil fuel hobby horse will take some mighty blows!

        Reply
    • Doug

       /  January 14, 2016

      LBJ should have listened to the climate scientists that briefed him. Not to mention every President since.

      Reply
      • James Burton

         /  January 14, 2016

        Old guys like me remember reading real science about CO2 in the atmosphere and the equations that proved continued use of fossil fuels would produce a strong Green House Effect! Yes, even in the 70’s! Some of my first interest in science, outside of semi conductors, electronics & submarine sonar, was the idea off global warming. In the 70’s it was all very new and I was very young. But as the 80 progresses, the science exploded! And media picked it up and media was full of it! Like I said many times, “Then the fossil fuel interests fought back and silenced much of this in the 90’s”

        Reply
  3. wili

     /  January 14, 2016

    Tropical storms forming in January are pretty rare, and having a hurricane form in the Pacific while a TS is forming in the Atlantic both in the same year in the middle of January…I believe the term that the hurricane tracking folks used was ‘surreal.’

    Reply
    • danabanana

       /  January 14, 2016

      “Tropical storms forming in January are pretty rare”

      Not for long…

      Let’s see if we get a cat 6 this year.

      Reply
  4. Loni

     /  January 14, 2016

    Napoleon used to tell his generals, “Ask me for anything…….but time.” Alas, now we know.

    Honestly, Robert, when you left Janes, did you ever think that you’d be jumping from the pan into the fire, in terms of “thinking of those things that keep us up at night.”?

    Reply
  5. Matt

     /  January 14, 2016

    With all the amazing storms going on around the world there hasn’t been much of an update from “down under” here in Australia (please excuse if there has and I have missed the contributions). Anyway…. the major fire that destroyed the town of Yarloop (180 buildings and sadly 2 lives) has flared up again in Western Australia.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-13/wa-fires-flare-up-threatening-lives-and-homes/7087544?WT.ac=statenews_wa
    This after the massive rain/flooding event in New South Wales occurring virtually simultaneously. El Nino seems to be just teasing us here at the moment…….

    Reply
  6. climatehawk1

     /  January 14, 2016

    Tweeting.

    Reply
  7. Sebastian

     /  January 14, 2016

    Hi. i’ve seen last 3 days at climate reanalizer, that a cold mass of water is rapidly climbing up trough the coast of chile toward the warm masses of water in the ecuator. I’ve also noticed that the persistent rains over that warm waters have gone. What can you say about that?. I think that those warm waters can be cooled fast if this trend continues.Also I’ve noticed large temperature anomalies (colder waters) in the sea surface in the southern pacific and atlantic. Could this colder waters interact with el niño to moderate its strenght? Is that ocurrence analized and forecasted?
    thanks,

    Reply
    • So there’s an east to west and west to east heat exchange along the equator that primarily drives El Niño. The atmosphere couples with this exchange as well. Its chief manifestation is in the westerly wind bursts that show up near or west of the date line.

      Right now, it appears that the current El Niño is past peak. But with a strong set of westerlies in the Central Pacific helping to somewhat reinvigorate warm water upwelling, we will probably see an event that continues to extend well into 2016. If the model forecasts are correct, the end to El Niño will come sometime by late spring to mid summer. There is an off chance that we see some resurgence come Fall. But that will depend on any strong, warm Kelvin wave formation in the late Winter to early spring timeframe.

      Reply
  8. PlazaRed

     /  January 14, 2016

    This is he lead line from this blog:-
    “We must begin to move now toward the era beyond fossil fuels.”
    I keep wondering how to summarise what is probably going to happen in very simple terms which anybody can instantly understand.
    I think the best way to put it is. If you reduce greenhouse gases by 10% and increase the population by 10%, bearing in mind that everybody uses some aspect of fossil fuels, then the net result will be the same amount of fossil fuel use?
    I personally don’t think there will be a significant reduction in fossil fuel use, meanwhile the new people of the expanding population will all be using fossil fuels. Hence the fossil fuel use will increase.
    The only way to reduce fossil fuel use is to have less people using them.

    Now with the sharp reduction in the cost of oil, the use of fossil fuels will almost defiantly increase.
    I will be keeping an eye on oil consumption over the coming months but I am sure it will rise.
    Added to this the reduction in coal use will probably not be very significant over the next few years.

    Then we get the increase in natural gases emissions like methane. These will increase as well with general global warming.
    I personally can not think of any way that fossil fuel use is going to be significantly reduced enough to make much difference to the overall consumption, as the users are increasing all the time and the reductions are too small.
    There are too many sources of greenhouse gas input to attend to in limited time.
    Its a bit like fighting a battle on too many fronts, with too few forces, things are stretched too thin for the time frame.

    Reply
    • Jean

       /  January 14, 2016

      Do you think that if citizens really knew what is going on that they would want to stop fossil fuel use? I think the media is the problem that scientists have no idea how to deal with..instead they try to figure out how to :frame the conversation

      Reply
    • Hi PlazaRed, I keep thinking this oil price bottoming out might still be temporary, or at least a downswing on a yoyo. My reasoning that I’ve picked up from random places (I always appreciate that RS adds footnote links to his posts) is that US shale oil is going to slow down dramatically at some point in the next few years, and most of the major oil companies have mothballed their exploration efforts because they’re only looking for oil in very expensive places. This means that at some point, unless demand goes down dramatically, even though I hope it does, I’m not expecting it to go down by much in the next few years (so many new SUVs in the US basically), supply will suddenly become tighter as all the easy oil disappears (North Sea, Mexico, Africa, US shale) and there are no new fields coming online. Oil companies will go back to looking for new deepsea and arctic and oil sands operations, but those will take much time and huge money to get going. When supply becomes tighter, or if something happens like Saudi Arabia collapses, then the price will shoot back up.

      Iran coming online might keep the price down for longer though, and Euro and US fuel economy standards and the Chinese push for electric transport might all keep demand soft. As well, although suburbs with gas guzzlers is an entrenched part of US culture, I think it’s weakening with younger people.

      Ok that was a bit of a ramble, I should get back to work.

      Reply
      • I agree. Oil booms and busts are traditional. This bust IS different, but I would be truly stunned if it turned out to be permanent. One simple contrary indicator is Americans flocking to buy lower-mileage vehicles because of low gasoline prices.

        Reply
    • Well, Plaza Red, I’ve got to say that I think you’ve got it pretty wrong here. We’re not talking about gross reductions in carbon emissions. We’re talking overall reductions. We’ve already had gross reductions in rapidly falling carbon intensity around the globe as efficiencies pick up. But we’re at the start of an era, now, where carbon emissions are going to start falling as both replacement energy sources and new efficiencies pick up more and more of the slack.

      COP 21 pledges to increase the rate of that trend — pushing total emissions reductions by 40 percent come 2030. This is not against the growing population trend. This is total emissions reductions in the final tally.

      So I’m sorry to say that this thought process of yours here, though maybe well intended, is rather flawed.

      Now if you were a fossil fuel cheerleader the thing that you’d say now is that carbon emissions reductions, or attempts at carbon emissions reductions, are futile. And I think that’s kinda what you ended up saying anyway. But I’m definitely not a fossil fuel cheerleader and I’m here to say that it doesn’t matter how hard emissions reductions are. I’m saying that they’re something that simply must be done. There’s no way to deal with the climate crisis if you don’t reduce emissions to net zero and soon. Geo-engineering can’t save you and may kill you and changes to land use and adding in atmospheric carbon capture can only take down (in the best case) but a fraction of the massive, massive human emission.

      So what I’m saying is that emissions reductions are not a question of if. It’s a question of survival of human civilizations and possibly of the human race itself. It’s not a question of if. It’s a question of must.

      Now there has been much quibbling here in the forum over this issue. And it leads me to believe that either 1 — many of you have not checked your sources and become misinformed by much of the nonsense circulating these days and seeded mostly by the fossil fuel industry or 2 — you’re a troll for the industry itself and wish to spread any combination in any measure of hopelessness, futility and denial.

      I’d like to state very clearly that I do not appreciate either of those two here in this space. I did not set up this forum to be nice. I did not set it up to be some messaging whipping boy for the fossil fuel industry and its agents. I set it up to focus on threat identification and pushing out the policies that result in real solutions. Not some form of fake, crap window dressing for the fossil fuel special interests.

      So I’ll warn you all. Quibbling over the necessity of emissions reductions and spreading doubt over the absolute necessity of that one thing will get you kicked off. The science is very clear — net emissions reductions to zero or near zero is the only reliable way to deal with climate change. Failing that, you have half measures and dangerous crap. And since we are here to save lives and prevent harm we cannot budge on this point. We cannot deflate it. We cannot back off from it. We must reassert it and reassert it with strength and passion and honor.

      We must, as Hansen so presciently said, reduce carbon emissions. We must also move away from the era of fossil fuels as rapidly as possible. If there is one mission of this blog, then that is it. To make Hansen’s words here real.

      You see. I have a reason for that. I happen to like Hansen’s grandchildren, my sister’s children, and all the children of all my friends. I happen to like Bangladeshis and people who live on the coasts of this great land. I happen to like anyone in the path of this nightmare fossil fuel special interests have locked us into because of their insistence on continued emissions. And because of that like and love I am here to tell you that if you can’t support emissions reductions, then you can get the hell off of my blog.

      Got it? Be a part of the problem or a part of the solution. There is no middle ground here.

      Reply
    • Greg

       /  January 14, 2016

      The Force is strong with this young scribbler! Great passion and conviction has he not? Join him we must do and seek light or cross unto the Dark Side from which only suffering you will!

      Reply
  9. redskylite

     /  January 14, 2016

    Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA):-

    Monthly Anomalies of Global Average Surface Temperature in December (1891 – 2015, preliminary value)

    The monthly anomaly of the global average surface temperature in December 2015 (i.e. the average of the near-surface air temperature over land and the SST) was +0.67°C above the 1981-2010 average (+1.05°C above the 20th century average), and was the warmest since records began in 1891. On a longer time scale, global average surface temperatures have risen at a rate of about 0.74°C per century.

    http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/tcc/tcc/products/gwp/temp/dec_wld.html

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  January 14, 2016

      JMA reports December 2015 .36C above previous record 2014. An identical jump would put GISS LOTI December 2015 at 1.15C above their 1951-1980 base. GISS should report soon.

      Reply
  10. Ryan in New England

     /  January 14, 2016

    It’s hard to believe it’s mid-January, with tropical storms in both the Atlantic and Pacific. As I mentioned in a comment when the North Pole rose above freezing last month, we’re now at a point where pretty much any type of weather can happen at any time of year. Rainstorms at the North Pole during their long, cold, dark Winter. Record flooding on the Mississippi in December/January. Powerful storms with tornadoes year round. Forest fires year round. And now, tropical storms and hurricanes are now capable of forming year round. There is no longer a “hurricane season” or “fire season”. There’s still a time of year when they are more likely, but they now have the potential to occur at any time. This is a profound change in global climate in just the few decades that I’ve been alive. Truly remarkable.

    Reply
  11. Ryan in New England

     /  January 14, 2016

    Even economists are recognizing that climate change is the number one threat facing humanity. For the first time it topped the list of concerns for the global economy in 2016, beating out weapons of mass destruction, water crises and energy price shocks.

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jan/14/climate-change-disaster-is-biggest-threat-to-global-economy-in-2016-say-experts

    Reply
  12. Hope to see you today at NAS. It will be very very interesting to hear what the Arctic climatologists have to say about this.

    Reply
  13. “The researchers estimate that by the 2040s, the Sierra will see 50 percent less snow in places where there is typically more snow than rain right now. By the 2080s, that could increase to a 65 percent reduction”

    http://scienceblog.com/480101/history-doesnt-indicate-future-climate-change/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+scienceblogrssfeed+%28ScienceBlog.com%29

    Reply
  14. Jean

     /  January 14, 2016

    There is a lot of talk now about carbon sequestration..Skeptical Science has an article,(http://skepticalscience.com/),Shell oil advertising for CSS..NPR *Diane Rehm had a show http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2016-01-06/environmental-outlook-a-new-push-for-carbon-removal ).Paul Beckwith’s new company would be trustworthy,but I wonder if the frackers are planning something horrid..Dying from breathing co2 seems like a bad way to go.

    Reply
    • That doesn’t surprise me. Every time the fossil fuel industry ends up in a tight spot politically or economically due to perception that emissions must fall, it trots out that old dog and pony show. To date, no scalable CCS has been initiated. It still lives in pet projects and laboratories and in maybe a handful of power plants around the world. It’s expensive and will sink the fossil fuel industry even more in the current environment. And from the net cost perspective subsidizing renewables would be a more cost effective means to more rapidly reduce carbon emissions while shutting down fossil fuel plants than adding in CCS to all existing or most existing plants.

      CCS is water intensive and water polluting and requires vast underground open spaces in which to inject the emission. Since there’s only about 10-20 percent of the open space needed to store the carbon from all existing plants such space is at a premium. Other solutions involve pressurizing the carbon (adds more cost) or injecting it into the deep ocean (requires coastal plants, big pipes, and aids in ocean health decline). Perhaps even more concerning is the fact that CCS has been used as a means of enhanced oil and gas extraction. So, in practice, net carbon emissions have not even been reduced by the few CCS plants actively operating today.

      As for Paul Beckwith. It’s sadly not a surprise that the same people who support Frankenstein-type geo-engineering would also be involved in these kinds of, thus far, futile efforts. Both geo-engineering and CCS have some potential to mislead people into thinking that it’s OK to keep burning fossil fuels such that we have net emissions. They’ve generated a sense of illusory response rather than actual response. At least, for CCS, that’s what’s been the net effect thus far. Pet projects that serve only as greenwashing.

      So I’d be very suspect of any talk-talk on CCS.

      Reply
  15. Kevin Jones

     /  January 14, 2016

    I can disagree with some things James Lovelock, James Hansen and other enormous contributors have made to our understanding of this planet. But I would try to be very specific. The poet Daniel Berrigan speaks of the importance of ‘non-belittling’.

    Reply
    • To be very clear, Lovelock backed off from some of his earlier principles later in life. Primarily, his later outspoken support of nuclear power was seen by some as a bit of a betrayal. This does not detract from his earlier achievements. Nor is it an issue that should be avoided in discussion.

      In any case. By its very nature any challenge to current orders are iconoclastic. In the case of the fossil fuel industry’s current dominance, this is absolutely necessary.

      Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  January 14, 2016

        Thanks, Robert. Please allow me to re-state my 100% agreement with you on the overriding necessity of immediate as possible CO2 reduction. I have, in the past, attempted to explain, if not agree with, both Lovelock AND Hansen on their argument that (newer, ‘ safer’) nuclear power-to their minds-is a necessary part of what would be required to prevent collapse. Hansen does make clear that he believes wind, solar ,tidal are not scaleable in time. I have several reasons for deep skepticism regarding the wisdom of pursuing anything nuclear. I share your deep urgency on focusing on what must work. Somehow we must get from where we all are now to a place with basic dignified food clothing shelter for all. Community, in its’ truest sense along with lowered appetites for non-essentials will likely be part of it. I did make a conscious decision years ago to not have any kids until humanity could reverse some very bad decisions some had made: nuclear weapons invention, deployment, proliferation was that concern then. I wish others would think more along these lines…..

        Reply
        • So I suppose I have a slight disagreement with Hansen on nuclear. I do not see it as anywhere near as rapidly scalable as renewables due to its high costs and the uranium and plutonium supply chain security issues and resource constraints. Revolutionary new fusion that reduces or eliminates these constraints would be desirable, but is still not feasible. And the political opposition among the people of the world who fear nuclear energy (given past history, probably rightly so) makes any fast build measure a very, very tricky prospect.

          Now I can sweep that all aside and say that I wholeheartely support Hansen’s own proposal of a carbon tax and transfer as the most fair, unbiased way of trying to support a rapid transition to non carbon emitting energy. And I would throw all my weight behind it even though I have this slight disagreement with him on nuclear v renewables. The one is the big point (getting the right policy in place) and the other is a more minor one.

          But if we’re really, really honest about reducing carbon emissions as rapidly as possible we need to be very diligent about removing any and all barriers to market for renewables. There’s a vast array of constraints in place by traditional energy suppliers, by homeowner associations, by state laws themselves. If you’re going to have any honest conversation about renewables’ ability to rapidly move (as they already have in areas without these constraints) then those barriers need to go.

  16. Kevin Jones

     /  January 14, 2016

    Latest on Alex. Predicted to arrive at 60N 40W 1a.m. Sunday. 60 knots/70 mph… Just off SE Greenland. Just fantastic.

    Reply
  17. Kevin Jones

     /  January 14, 2016

    “Remarkably Alex has undergone the transformation into a hurricane” NHC (just in)

    Reply
  18. cRR Kampen

     /  January 14, 2016

    Hurricane Alex official, and in fact it may have just crossed the threshold for cat. 2 now.
    Hurricane watch Azores, which will receive a full hit of the system tomorrow.

    Reply
  19. utoutback

     /  January 14, 2016

    Here some good news.
    In spite of FF falling to record low levels investment in Solar & Wind Energy continues to soar, especially in China.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-14/solar-and-wind-just-did-the-unthinkable

    Reply
  20. Study finds global warming made Britain 50-75% more likely to receive catastrophic rainfall that caused floods, but natural variation also played a role

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jan/14/climate-change-made-record-uk-rainfall-in-december-more-likely?CMP=share_btn_tw

    Reply
  21. Greg

     /  January 14, 2016

    From Berkeley Earth

    Reply
    • Wow. What a rendering. One that tells the tale of climate change beginning to grip the Earth. We could have avoided this. But we chose to listen to false leaders and false prophets. Will we make the same mistake again?

      Reply
      • James Burton

         /  January 14, 2016

        Greenland melt water cool pool screams at us “Here I am!”

        Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  January 14, 2016

        Interesting to note that Berkeley was originally set up to challenge NASA, NOAA and UK Met by skeptics complete with funding by Charles Koch. Yet they are now unequivocal in their language that this real problem is here now.

        Reply
    • Hope you guys don’t mind about another silly “I’m still in the begginer phase of trying to understand this” question: there’s a big pool of cold under Greenland, which is probably melt water, ok. There’s a very similar pool of cold near Antartida, and I’d expect it to be because of melt water too, but it’s in the east, and not in the west. Everything that I’ve read thus far says that West Antartida is where there’s more melting, and East Antartida is more stable (thus far), so, why the cold melt water would be pooling in the East? Is it currents, or it’s not melt water, or … I don’t known? Thank you in advance.

      Reply
      • The cold water near Antarctica is due to a number of influences. One is probably due to melt water. But the stronger factor there is due to storm upwelling. As a result, we have one of the most intense regions of heat transfer from atmosphere to sea surface right there in the Southern Ocean. That’s one reason why I call it a heat sink. It’s a pretty intense energy transfer that’s now ongoing there.

        Reply
      • Thanks Robert!

        Reply
  22. Greg

     /  January 14, 2016

    Alex formation, the movie, until yesterday. Should run if clicked.

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  January 14, 2016

      sorry, try:

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  January 14, 2016

        One last try, dang it:
        [video src="http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/goes/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/160106_160113_goes13_water_vapor_Alex_anim.mp4" /]

        Reply
  23. Caroline

     /  January 14, 2016

    Latest piece on Ca. Methane disaster (which is now resulting in a radon threat):

    Ilissa Ocko, a climate scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund, tells Carbon Brief:
    “the amount leaked to date will have the same impact on warming over the next 20 years as burning over half a billion gallons of gasoline”
    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/34375-aliso-canyon-how-bad-is-the-california-gas-leak-disaster

    Reply
  24. Greg

     /  January 14, 2016

    Alex from Stu Ostro:

    Reply
  25. 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
  26. 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
  27. 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
    • Colorado Bob, it’s January, and we in the Federal Police in Brasil have all received an official e.mail stating that combustible for cars is in rationing, the cards allowing buying it have been blocked (that commonly occured in December, as budgets dried out, in other years. In 2015, rationing began in June, but cards weren’t blocked).

      We had an operation today that had been planned for two months and almost got cancelled. I and a lot of my colleagues, we’re using our own cars to go in police operations (not a very wise idea, I known).

      That’s because the budget of our PF was gutted. The official excuse is the recession, but it’s probably mostly in retaliation, as more and more criminal activities from politicians (President Dilma and ex-President Lula are now oficially in the radar) is discovered. And to help Dilma secure those ruralist votes in the Senate that may be the difference betwen her being impeached or continuing in government, IBAMA’s (our ambiental analists) budget was gutted too.

      Anti-deforestation operations are expensive, and involve a lot of travel to where the deforestation is happening. Sattelite imagery helps, a lot, but the criminals still have to be seized in the ground. With a few administrative pen strokes, it was virtually paralised for this year.

      The only chance that the forest has in 2016 in Brasil is that failed soy crop that may have crippled some players in Big Agro, so maybe (just maybe) they won’t have so much money to thrown in land grabbing. But the corn safra was still record, even with the drought, so forests are out of luck. Even if the impeachment happens, there’s zero chance that a politician with a reasonable environmental plataform will assume the reigns, unless things get so bad that new elections are called and Marina wins.

      Brasil’s deforestation numbers in 2016 will probably beat 2015’s to the bad side (though I intend to fight it with all my will, like my colleagues).

      Reply
  28. Greg

     /  January 14, 2016

    And 98P in the Pacific may be next:

    Reply
  29. 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

    http://berkeleyearth.org/temperature-reports/dec2015/

    Reply
  30. Colorado Bob

     /  January 14, 2016

    Climate change ‘made record UK rainfall in December more likely

    Study finds global warming made Britain 50-75% more likely to receive catastrophic rainfall that caused floods, but natural variation also played a role

    Link

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  January 14, 2016

      “Greenhouse gas emissions are loading the weather dice towards these warmer, wetter winters,” said Friederike Otto, scientific coordinator of the climateprediction.net project, which harnessed the collective power of roughly 70,000 home computers to run thousands of climate models extremely quickly.

      Reply
  31. Colorado Bob

     /  January 14, 2016

    NORTH AMERICA’S LARGEST RIVER RECORD WARM:

    Measurements taken from June to November in 2015 show that Saint Lawrence River was record warm. It is North America’s largest river by flow.

    Link

    Reply
  32. WS OPC ‏@NWSOPC 6h6 hours ago

    06Z GOES-W IR image, OPC analysis w/intense Pacific hurricane force low, ASCAT winds to 90kt altimeter seas to 50ft!

    Reply
  33. – Seattle trial of oil train blockade and necessity due to climate change:
    Jay O’Hara ‏@oharjo 49m49 minutes ago

    Jurors in #delta5 #climatetrial will NOT decide if defendants acted from necessity. Now we’ll see if jurors are ready to use their consci…
    .

    Reply
    • Emily Johnston ‏@enjohnston 50m50 minutes ago

      Judge says #Delta5 are “tireless advocates that we need” in face of climate change urgency….but: precedent

      Reply
    • Tim DeChristopher ‏@dechristopher 59m59 minutes ago

      Judge will not give necessity defense instructions to the jury. Defense can’t make necessity defense argument in closing statements. #Delta5

      Reply
    • Tim DeChristopher ‏@dechristopher 58m58 minutes ago

      At last possible moment, Judge Howard undercuts the defense’s ability to make their case. #Delta5

      Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  January 14, 2016

        $10 says Judge Howard got a phone call explaining which side his bread is buttered on. The real story is who made that call.

        Reply
  34. – insideclimatenews.org/news/14012016/aliso-canyon-high-levels-methane

    Leaking Methane Plume Spreading Across L.A.’s San Fernando Valley

    The findings by independent researchers raise potential health concerns for people living outside the immediate vicinity of the Aliso Canyon gas leak.

    – This data visualization shows the methane plume from the Aliso Canyon gas leak (in red) extending well beyond Porter Ranch on the right to neighboring Northridge on the left. The readings for this visualization were taken on Jan. 12, 2016. Courtesy of Home Energy Efficiency Team and Google Earth.

    Reply
  35. Natl Hurricane Ctr ‏@NWSNHC 2h2 hours ago

    NHC’s Tropical Cyclone Report for Hurricane #Joaquin has been released:

    Reply

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