A Blizzard Roars Out of Climate Change’s Heart — Polar Warming and A Record Hot Atlantic Ocean Brew Up Nightmare Storm for US East Coast

There’s a historic blizzard in the form of Winter Storm Jonas setting its sights on the US East Coast. The storm is slowly coming together Thursday evening and now appears to be set to paralyze a 1,000 mile swath under 1 to 2.5 feet of snow even as it hurls a substantial storm surge and 40-60 mph winds at waterfront cities from Norfolk to Boston. A monster storm whose predicted formation has made headlines since Tuesday. But what you won’t hear most major news sources mention is the likelihood that this gathering storm has been dramatically impacted by a number of new climate features related to a human-forced warming of the globe.

Jonas Begins its Ocean-heat Fueled Rampage in Southeastern US

(Jonas begins its ocean-heat-fueled rampage on the evening of Thursday, January 21. Image source: NOAA.)

A Warming Arctic Shoves the Cold Air Out

To understand how climate change helped make Jonas so extreme, it’s best if we start our tale in the Arctic. For if we could mark an area on the Earth’s surface that is at the very heart of impacts for human-caused climate change it would be in that zone of the far north above the 66th parallel. It is there that we see the most dramatic, most rapid changes — to ice, to weather, to the thawing lands, to life itself. But unlike what might be said of an American city made famous by its penchant for sin — what happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic.

This is especially true when it comes to weather. If the Arctic cools, it influences the Jet Stream, strengthens the storm track and shuts more cold air away in the Arctic. But if the Arctic warms, as it has more and more frequently during recent years, then the flood-gates open and cold, Arctic air pours outward — filling the deep, inevitable dips in the Jet Stream that then develop.

And it is a massive accumulation of Arctic heat over the past few weeks that has forced Arctic temperatures, in places, to rocket to above 36 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees C) warmer than average. A heating up of the entire region to 2-3 degrees Celsius warmer than the already warmer than average 1979- 2000 baseline. An Arctic warm-up that muscled out a howling torrent of cold air that then raged on into a deep trough in the Jet Stream now forming over the eastern half of the United States.

Hot Arctic, Cold, Stormy Eastern USMangled Jet Stream, Raging Storm Track

(An Arctic that is, on average 2.02 C hotter than normal on Friday joins with a high amplitude wave in the Jet Stream and together drives a massive flood of cold air into eastern parts of the US on Friday. Cold air slamming head on into unprecedented heat and moisture bleeding of the Atlantic Ocean to form the historic weather event that is now in the pipe. Image source: Climate Reanalyzer.)

CAPE — Storms Fueled by Cold Colliding With Hot

In weather parlance, a trough, or a big dip in the Jet Stream is a storm generation zone. The reason has to do with the nature of how extreme differences in temperature and moisture can provide fuel for strong storms. It’s this very temperature differential that sits as the cornerstone of our current understanding of how extreme storms are fueled in terms of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE).

In the one case, cold air can’t hold as much water in suspension as warm air. So a big flood of cold air can often fuel major precipitation events when coming into collision with hot, moisture-laden air. As hot and cold air are sandwiched closer together, winds — at both the upper and lower levels — tend to increase in velocity. The higher the difference in temperature, the stronger the winds. When these winds run along a big dip in the Jet Stream — like the one now racing over the US East Coast — they can spin off twists and vortexes that can rapidly develop into powerful low pressure systems.

The lows then feed on the difference in temperatures between the two sides of the dividing air-mass — cold on the one side, and hot, wet on the other. The bigger the differential, the more heat and moisture on one side, and the more cold on the other side, the more potential that such low pressure centers will develop into monster storms. The more potential that the storms will develop these crazy atmospheric sandwiches of hot and cold air that really crank out the extreme weather.

Dulles International Airport 5 inch per hour thundersnow potential identified

(“Tremendous Vertical Motion.” Anthony Sagliani tweets about extreme CAPE for a blizzard zeroing in on the US East Coast. What’s important to mention is that human-forced climate change has CAPE written all over it. Image source: Anthony Sagliani.)

In terms of the current storm, some of the CAPE potentials coming in are just off the charts. The above graphic, posted in this recent tweet by Anthony Sagliani, identifies the potential for 5 inch per hour thundersnow at Dulles International Airport (AID) between 2 AM and 2 PM Saturday. To be very clear, a 1 inch per hour snowfall was once considered an extreme event. Now we are looking at possibly 5!

A Record Hot Atlantic Feeds it All

In the context of human-driven climate change, this is one of the reasons why our warming up of the world can generate extreme weather. It warms the Earth unevenly. It puts cold next to hot by driving cold out of the polar zones and by warming up huge areas of land and ocean. And it dumps more moisture into the atmosphere through an amplified evaporation from these greatly warmed Earth surfaces. Mix it all together and you get Anthony Sagliani’s ‘tremendous vertical motion.’

How does this work? In two words — latent heat. More specifically the convective heat energy available in water vapor. And where does most of that latent heat energy come from? It comes, for the most part, in the form of warm waters evaporating into the air above the world’s oceans. More specifically to our current storm it comes in the form of record warm to near record warm temperatures in the waters of the Gulf Stream off the US East Coast (See Dr Jeff Master’s ‘The Future of Intense Winter Storms”).

image

(Sea surface temperatures off the US East Coast are more comparable to those seen during Summer than what would be typical for January. A 76 degree sea surface off Norfolk will provide a massive amount of heat and moisture to fuel the new kind of storm that is Jonas. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

As Dr. Michael Mann noted in a tweet earlier this week, sea surface temperatures off the US East Coast are extraordinarily warm for this time of year. And Bill McKibben was absolutely astute in saying that these near record temperatures “should turbo-charge this weekend’s blizzard.”

And they’re absolutely ridiculously warm — in the range of 76 degrees Fahrenheit in a region about 150 miles due east of Norfolk, Virginia. A region of ocean over which the developing storm center will directly cross. An area of water that is now in the range of 7 degrees Celsius above average (13 degrees Fahrenheit). For the ocean surface, this is screaming hot — more typical to summer than anything one would expect to see in January, even in the Gulf Stream.

You just don’t see these kinds of temperature departures for the ocean — or at least you didn’t before human-caused climate change started to ramp up. But now we have them — an ocean surface hot enough to support a hurricane but one that will this weekend provide fuel for a blizzard. So the kind of blizzard we will have will not at all be like even the usual blizzards of the 20th Century. This is the new, worse variety that will sadly become more frequent. Destructive, heavy snowfall in the 4-5 inches per hour range, thundersnow and storm surges combined, swaths of hundreds of miles impacted and crippled. The kind for the new age of a human-heated atmosphere — destabilized to produce freak storms of a ferocity and frequency the likes of which we have never seen.

UPDATE — Snowfall Begins With Some Models Showing 4 Feet or More Possible (Average Guidance For Gaithersburg is 24-30 Inches)

Moderate snowfall began at 1:35 PM on Friday in my hometown of Gaithersburg, MD. Model guidance for our area is in the range of 24-30 inches, with as much as 4 feet coming up in some of the GFS ensembles.

Will be posting videos and related updates every 2-3 hours as conditions change.

UPDATE: 1-2 Inches on the Ground at Gaithersburg, MD as of 3:42 PM

(See Video of 3:42 PM snowfall here)

Wind and rates of snowfall have picked up somewhat over the past two hours. As of 3:42 PM, about 1-2 inches had fallen and the wind was visibly swaying some of the tree branches outside. Reports are coming in from regions to the south of a very heavy band of snow that should arrive in our area by later this evening.

Radar captures by the National Weather Service indicate this band setting up over much of Central and Eastern North Carolina — stretching northward through just west of Richmond. GFS model tracking and satellite confirmation indicate a coastal low developing in the region of Northern South Carolina. This low is beginning to transfer Atlantic moisture into the storm — pulling strong winds off that abnormally warm region of ocean just east of Norfolk and into the developing powerful snowfall band.

Jonas 420 PM NWS Radar

(Image source: National Weather Service.)

Sustained winds along the coast are now approaching gale force.  We should expect these winds to rapidly increase over the afternoon and evening hours even as the moisture feed and rate of snowfall intensifies.

UPDATE: Rate of Snowfall Still Picking up at 6:05 PM; Heavy Bands Expected by 10 PM

(See Video of 6:05 PM Snowfall Here)

Rates of snowfall continue to steadily increase for the Gaithersburg Area. As of 6:05 PM EST on Friday, 3-4 inches lay on the ground in Montgomery County Maryland. A heavy band of snow continued to gather to the south as the storm center went ongoing intensification near the border of South Carolina and North Carolina and just off-shore. Guidance provided by that National Weather Service indicates that heaviest rates of snowfall are still about 4 hours away. Radar indicates this band is forming just north of Richmond at this time.

UPDATE: At 10:30 PM, Heavy Snow Settles in with Six Inches Already on the Ground

(See 10:30 PM Video Here)

As of 1030 PM, heavy bands of snow had started to stream into the Gaithersburg area. Winds were picking up — in the range of 15-25 mph with some higher gusts. A healthy covering of about six inches of snowfall already lay on the ground. National weather service radar at this time indicated a series of stronger bands of precipitation just south of DC and moving northward. Meanwhile, atmospheric analysis indicates the center of Jonas now over Eastern North Carolina and strengthening. Over the next 6-12 hours Jonas is expected to intensify as it traverses toward the Chesapeake Bay. This should bring increasingly intense bands of snowfall over the area.

UPDATE: 1:35 AM Intense, Heavy Snow, 10-12 Inches on the Ground, Howling Gusts

By 1:35 AM, conditions again deteriorated for the region of Montgomery County. Snow accumulations had hit between 10 and 12 inches and the winds were really starting to howl and moan.

National Weather Service Radar indicated that the low pressure center had moved out over the Chesapeake Bay even as the wide-ranging storm really started to pull in substantial amounts of heat and moisture off the Atlantic. This kicked the storm into a higher intensity that will likely last, for the DC region, until around 1 PM tomorrow. We are entering the period of most intense storminess and snowfall now. Over the coming hours conditions could get quite extreme with 2-5 inch per hour snowfall rates and thundersnow in some areas. In other words — we’re starting to hit the height of this long-duration event.

Storm Really Starting to Crank Up Severe Snowfall over DC Area

National Weather Service Radar above shows very heavy snowfall bands moving directly over the DC Metro area at this time even as the Atlantic moisture feed grows more intense. Regional snowfall forecasts have remained quite extraordinary with most locations in the area now expecting between 18 and 40 inches. Still one heck of a night ahead!

Links:

NOAA (Please support public, non-special-interest based science, like the fantastic work done by the experts at NOAA)

Dr Jennifer Francis

Dr Michael E Mann

Bill McKibben

Anthony Sagliani

Dr. Jeff Masters: The Future of Intense Winter Storms

Jonas to Wallop 1,000 Mile Swath of US East Coast

Climate Reanalyzer

Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE)

Earth Nullschool

Hat Tip to DT Lange

Hat tip to Colorado Bob

 

Leave a comment

159 Comments

  1. Colorado Bob

     /  January 22, 2016

    I just checked the storm totals 2 huge pockets of 3″ rain in western Alabama.

    http://radar.weather.gov/Conus/index_loop.php

    Reply
    • You know it. I know it. That’s a hell of a lot of Gulf moisture heading north. Soon to be joined with Atlantic moisture and Arctic cold. And when you have parts of the Atlantic nearly as warm as the Gulf …

      Reply
  2. Andy in SD

     /  January 22, 2016

    First: I look forward to senator snowball doing his comedy routine again.

    Second: Lake Poopo in Bolivia is now officially gone (dried up). This was the 2nd largest body of water in Bolivia.

    “This is a picture of the future of climate change,” says Dirk Hoffman, a German glaciologist who studies how rising temperatures from the burning of fossil fuels has accelerated glacial melting in Bolivia.

    As Andean glaciers disappear so do the sources of Poopo’s water.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/bolivia-lake-evaporated-1.3413058

    Reply
  3. Ben Leonard

     /  January 22, 2016

    I post on my Facebook page every article from you, my friend

    Reply
  4. Colorado Bob

     /  January 22, 2016

    GFS closing in on 4 feet for D.C

    Link

    Reply
  5. Thank you so much for your blog. I check every day. I am truly terrified for our future, for every species’ future.

    Reply
    • It’s not looking too good at the moment. I seriously hope for everyone’s sake that those seeing fossil fuels as a means to cling to economic power and security are involving themselves in the most destructive political and economic power play of all time. They will be remembered for these terrible mis-deeds. They will not be remembered well.

      Reply
  6. – The teamwork and mutual support here is phenomenal.
    Fast response too — RS.

    BTW: (I’ve been watching the potential for surges — a lot of water is changing places.)

    NWS OPC ‏@NWSOPC 1h1 hour ago

    OPC #winterstorm primary hazards: storm force winds, seas ≈30FT, increased risk of major coastal flooding w/surge

    Reply
    • – Sandology – Diesel – Berms and Jersey:

      YouTube Newswire ‏@ytnewswire 26m26 minutes ago

      #Belmar authorities build dunes along the Jersey Shore in anticipation of major flooding

      Reply
    • I gotta say that everyone has been really on point this week. Amazing research by all the scribblers here. Reading the comments section is like reading one of the best climate-change related news feeds operating on the internet today. You guys do this. So I can’t really say how grateful I am. You help me and a lot of other climate reporters on the web as well keep on top of what is now, sadly, a rapidly deteriorating global climate. The only comfort I can find in all of this is that we’re in it together here. That we’re doing the very best we can. You guys are heroes all and it’s an honor to serve with you.

      Reply
      • Griffin

         /  January 22, 2016

        You give us a great forum Robert and you never stop encouraging a positive attitude from all of us. Thank you for what you choose to do with your time. We all benefit from your efforts as well!

        Reply
        • Cheers, Griff!

          I agree. But putting my hat in for the people of Bolivia I think is certainly worthwhile. There’s a lot of dark space out there when trying to cover global climate news. The more lights the better.

          I figured today was a good opportunity to track what’s happening outside my back door while we were involved hunkering down. I have 2 articles in queue that I’d like to get out when the storm clears.

          BTW, since the last video, it’s really starting to pick up even more. Wind is starting to howl in the trees. Heavy snow still 3 hours away? Storm still forming? There’s really a lot of energy out there. You can feel it.

          See that purple background in the last video? That’s the diffuse glow I tend to associate with heavy snow. But the reports are indicating the heavy bands are still 3 hours away at least.

          It’s pretty nuts. If there’s thundersnow here I’m going to go out and try to do a decent impression of Jim Cantori😉

          In any case, thanks again Griff. It’s great to be riding out the storm with you!

      • Griffin

         /  January 23, 2016

        It is great to hear you enjoying yourself Robert. You put in so much time learning of how our weather systems work, there is always some fascination inside when nature puts on a display! Thundersnow is definitely up there on the list of exciting!

        Reply
  7. Andy in SD

     /  January 22, 2016

    California gas leak spotlights shoddy regulation of aging storage wells

    Long before a natural gas storage well sprung a disastrous leak near Los Angeles, California, utilities and national industry groups were raising alarms about the danger of aging underground storage infrastructure.

    The leaking well’s owner, Southern California Gas Co, warned state utility regulators in 2014 of “major failures” without a rate hike to pay for comprehensive inspections of 229 storage wells.

    Twenty-six of its wells were “high risk” and should be abandoned – even though they complied with state regulations, the utility wrote in a rate filing.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-losangeles-gas-leak-regulation-exclus-idUSKCN0V00DM

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  January 22, 2016

      That cost is actually part of their operating cost, they have just gotten used to the mug public forking out for the essential maintenance and clean ups whilst they keep profits and dividends high.

      Time for them to pay their own way, and maybe time for a good look at the Limited Liability laws. All shareholders for the last 50 years should share the costs proportionally

      Reply
      • Andy in SD

         /  January 22, 2016

        I’ve always thought same. San Onofre is going through the same thing, they are trying to stick the public for the shut down.

        Reply
      • I think it’s a little bit funny that they’re asking for a public handout now, after their big mess-up, and calling it ‘regulation.’ The article may as well have said — “Gas company demands subsidies to prevent catastrophic leaks like Porter Ranch.”

        Reply
  8. Andy in SD

     /  January 22, 2016

    Evolutionary clock ticks for snowshoe hares facing climate change

    Snowshoe hares that camouflage themselves by changing their coats from brown in summer to white in winter face serious threats from climate change, and it’s uncertain whether hare populations will be able to adapt in time, according to a North Carolina State University study.

    “This is one of the most direct demonstrations of mortality costs for a wild species facing climate change,” says L. Scott Mills, professor at NC State’s College of Natural Resources and study co-author.

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-01/ncsu-ect011516.php

    Reply
    • Spike

       /  January 22, 2016

      There are similar concerns for the Scottish mountain hare.

      Reply
    • Conditions changing too fast for adaptation and far too fast for evolution. Life in the Southern Ocean’s dependence on krill and the links to our own reliance on mono-cropping, stable growing seasons, accessible coastlines, productive delta regions, and increasingly scarce fresh water supplies are not unrelated. We are the Snowshoe Hare.

      Reply
  9. Earth system commitments due to delayed mitigation

    http://bcove.me/109y0w26

    Reply
  10. Kevin Jones

     /  January 22, 2016

    Great description of great storm, Robert. I have dear friends in inner city Baltimore. I was with them there in January of 1996 when we received 17 inches of snow (I believe their 5th greatest total on record) which crippled the city for at least a week. NWS is predicting up to 31 inches…

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  January 22, 2016

      That Jan. 1996 storm at 26.6 inches was 2nd greatest snowfall for Baltimore. As I now recall some side streets were buried for more than two weeks.

      Reply
      • pccp82

         /  January 22, 2016

        we got hamstrung a bit in 2010 with the back to back storms, but I think technological advances in terms of GPS and communication makes the entire system more efficient.

        that being said, snow above ill say around 18 inches gets very problematic to keep up with.

        Reply
    • We had 21 inches here in Gaithersburg back in 2010. I think the biggest snow from my childhood was the 1981 blizzard that hit the Hampton Roads area and dumped in excess of 20 inches. We were out of school for 2 weeks during that event. It was also a big nor’easter with 60 mph winds. We had some drifts in the range of 7 feet. The beach was a mess of crusty snow, sand and sinkholes.

      NWS guidance for Gaitherburg is averaging 24-30 inches with GFS totals for my area exceeding 48 inches (hat tip to Bob for that) — which is just outrageous. Either way you cut it, that’s crippling snow regardless of how well we’ve gotten at responding. If we get anything near those upper ranges, it’ll be very, very challenging.

      Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  January 23, 2016

        I’m suffering from a frightful malady that might be called ‘Schadenneide’, or envy at another’s misfortune. While I realise fully that this storm, or flooding rains elsewhere, will cause much suffering, I’d dearly love, say, 10% of the precipitation to fall here, in South Australia, where we are in a dreadful drought. It ‘rained’ yesterday, for about thirty seconds, but at least the temperature was only 31 Celsius, almost frigid by the standards of the last few months, since summer arrived in October, at least two months early. What perturbs me is the thought, verging on a presentiment, that the dreaded ‘runaway’ to a very unkind new planetary climate regime may have begun.

        Reply
  11. danabanana

     /  January 22, 2016

    Great work again Robert.

    Question, do you think that the Blob has migrated south of the Equator? Check the heat anomaly off the coast of Chile

    Reply
    • We’ve still got a weaker version of the blob hanging on in NE PAC. It’s one of the reasons why Southwestern California hasn’t gotten much of the usual El Nino storm track. And that’s a pretty bad development, overall, for California RE the drought situation.

      The anomaly off Chile is new…

      Reply
  12. Abel Adamski

     /  January 22, 2016

    As a matter of interest, Tyndall was not the first researcher to discover the GHG effect of CO2, however he is the one that presented the papers, Eunice Foote beat him by 3 years (1856), but did not publish papers.

    http://www.searchanddiscovery.com/documents/2011/70092sorenson/ndx_sorenson.pdf

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  January 22, 2016

      Fantastic find, Abel Adamski. Eunice Foote. She deserves a huge place in the history of this story.

      Reply
    • Well, she deserves the credit. Will edit my notes accordingly:). Thanks for this!

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  January 22, 2016

      Very interesting. Thanks for that, Abel! It’s this long history of understanding CO2 that gets me pissed off when deniers dismiss the science as a mere hypothesis (although most probably don’t know the meaning of that word) that has yet to be proven.

      Reply
      • Take the history of coal as an example. For as long as there’s been coal to sell, there’s been a campaign to try and claim that coal could be cleaned. ‘Clean coal’ as a phrase and a catch-word is almost as old as coal itself. And ever-so inaccurate.

        Given the level of influence fossil fuel has had since its inception as a basis for industry, and as a means to aquire and concentrate wealth, it has always tended to crush the competition. This includes ideas competitive to its continued viability — such as burning carbon based fuels results in atmospheric warming.

        In other words, the dirty fuels industry has always had a marketing campaign ongoing to support its image — even if untrue — as the cornerstone of modern civilization. The inconvenient facts being swept under the rug has been going on since the start.

        Reply
    • Eric Thurston

       /  January 23, 2016

      It seems that there are many scientific advances where there is a woman more or less behind the scenes doing essential work that brings these advances to the fore. For example, cartographer Marie Tharp did seminal work in the development of plate tectonics theory but was overshadowed by her colleague (and paramour) Bruce Heezen along with other men in the thoroughly male-dominated academic world of geology.

      Reply
      • Dominance is an ugly thing. Kills creativity. Removes a sense of connection to the world that is essential for true discovery. I’m glad these truths are becoming evident. But it makes our past look like a rather ugly place.

        Reply
  13. Colorado Bob

     /  January 22, 2016

    Why Solar and Wind Thrive Despite Cheap Oil and Gas

    Low oil prices are rattling stock markets, but investors remain bullish on solar, wind, and other clean energy. Here are three reasons why.

    Link

    Reply
    • An excellent article by Nat Geo. I’m particularly struck with the fact that capitalization has now risen to 600 billion. I think we’ve definitely passed a tipping point on renewables. The problem is that mitigation for climate change in the form of net global emissions reductions should have happened more than a decade ago.

      Reply
  14. Colorado Bob

     /  January 22, 2016

    Warmer oceans could produce more powerful superstorms
    Simulations of Hurricane Sandy with warmer ocean temperatures resulted in storms more than twice as destructive

    Source:
    University of Maryland
    Summary:
    A warmer Atlantic Ocean could substantially boost the destructive power of a future superstorm like Hurricane Sandy, new research suggests. The researchers used a numerical model to simulate the weather patterns that created Sandy, with one key difference: a warmer sea surface temperature, as would be expected in a world with twice as much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This simulated warmer ocean generated storms 50 to 160 percent more destructive than Sandy.

    Link

    Reply
  15. Colorado Bob

     /  January 22, 2016

    An El Niño–Related Drought Has Triggered Severe Food Shortages in Papua New Guinea

    El Niño–driven drought and frost have triggered food shortages in Papua New Guinea’s highlands that have left millions without sufficient food and may have caused deaths, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

    Up to a third of the population has already been affected, according to the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Markets are low on food and prices for what remains are high. Water supplies have dried up in some areas, forcing villagers to walk for hours to collect enough for their daily needs.

    The situation is particularly dire in remote areas of the Western Province, which have not received relief since the droughts started in mid-2015.

    http://time.com/4189869/papua-new-guinea-drought-el-nino-food-shortage/

    Reply
  16. Reblogged this on Rhya's Place.

    Reply
  17. Barbara Burnett

     /  January 22, 2016

    This is in regard to a comment to the previous post:

    @ redskylite – “I read an interesting story in Slate today by Eric Holthaus (Slates resident meteorologist), reminding me just how frightening and real these events are, and what a great job writers and journalists are doing. Ignorance is not bliss, forewarned is forearmed.
    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2016/01/what_it_s_like_to_think_about_climate_change_all_the_time.html?wpsrc=sp_all_native_recent

    Um, this article is behind a $50/year paywall. Could you please give a brief summary of the article for those of us who can’t afford to buy it?

    Thanks so much!

    Barbara

    Reply
    • redskylite

       /  January 23, 2016

      Apologies – I did nor realize that it was a chargeable article – for some reason I can read it without charge or invite to join “Slate Plus”, very basically he is saying that “Climate Change” affects him emotionally and he tries not to bring it home to his family. His wife forbids him to discuss it at home, as she does not want to think about more than she already does. “Reading and writing about climate change for a living is a bit like being a beer taste tester: It’s interesting, but if you’re going to do it on a daily basis, you have to spit it out, or you’ll wind up incapacitated. ”

      Try accessing from the ordinary slate website . . .

      http://www.slate.com/ . . . the slate plus article is a few lines down, it doesn’t demand money from me, when I select – just goes straight into the article. I will avoid sharing slate plus articles in the future.

      Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  January 23, 2016

        The phenomenon that puzzles me is the continuing tolerance of the denialist industry, the MSM that promotes it (here the Murdoch insanity is its chief, and fanatic, patron)and the lumpen morons, ignoramuses and zealots that regurgitate the lies, usually for ideological reasons. In polite company, Holocaust deniers, advocates of paedophilia, bestiality, serial killing or genocide are, rightly, I would say. not tolerated, but these creatures are. Indeed I see them as a form of Holocaust enablers and promoters, through their denial, and their victims, who might yet be saved, will number tens of times as many as all the victims of WW2, in Europe and Asia. Really, why do we sit back and refuse to do something to silence the enablers of the greatest crime in all human history?

        Reply
  18. Reblogged this on GarryRogers Nature Conservation and commented:
    Thanks Robert for this informative article describing linkages between violent storms (the one on January 22-23, 2016 in particular) and human-caused global warming.

    Reply
  19. Colorado Bob

     /  January 22, 2016

    How a 2°C rise means even higher temperatures where we live
    Land based temperatures rise much faster than global average temperatures

    Regions around the Arctic may have passed a 2°C temperature rise as far back as 2000 and, if emissions rates don’t change, areas around the Mediterranean, central Brazil and the contiguous United States could see 2°C of warming by 2030.

    Link

    Reply
  20. Colorado Bob

     /  January 22, 2016

    Tasmanian bushfires ‘worst crisis in decades’ for world heritage forests

    “As we speak there are areas burning inside the world heritage area, on the central plateau, where there are ancient species of native pine, which are very slow-growing and up to 1,000 years old,” Law said. “Some of those are being killed as we speak.”

    For many Australian forests, fire was a natural part of the ecology. But that was not the case for all of the areas now being threatened in Tasmania, Law said.

    “My concern is for the areas of rainforest and high-altitude vegetation in heavily glaciated [areas] where fire is not and has not been part of the ecology for millions and millions of years.”

    Link

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  January 23, 2016

      “…where fire has not been part of the ecology for millions and millions of years.”

      It seems like every event creeps a little further into uncharted and unprecedented territory.

      Reply
  21. Colorado Bob

     /  January 22, 2016

    Joe Romm –

    I’m suggesting the name, Superstorm (Edward) Snowed-In: Because it will turn DC upside down, bring the government to a standstill, and then flee the country.

    Reply
    • Nicely phrased…

      Reply
      • – To me, the phrase leads one to trivialize both events.

        Reply
        • I’ve always had a weakness for pithy humor. Of course, that could be my old police days talking. But I would laugh at the devil himself given the chance. It’s less triviality and more the kind of sense you get of the world by seeing through the eyes of a battered old crow😉

    • Good to cross trails with you and Mulga Mumbulbrain here. Brought a smile to my face. I will have to check in more often.
      I am still in close contact with a few of the other early commentators on CP. Richard Pauli, & Brenney, Mike Roddy, Gail Z. come to mind. All still in the fight of course. Best wishes to you both. Leif

      Reply
  22. Robert,

    Please allow me to ask for your advice, since you are not only local to the storm (and can understand its impacts) but also on top of all the data related to it. I have appointments in Alexandria, Silver Spring, and Laurel on Monday evening and all day Tuesday. I wasn’t worried about the area functioning by 48+ hours after storm end, but that was with 2 foot totals. Now? I’m not so sure the area will be up and running by then if the totals are 3+ feet. What is your advice? Cancel and rebook or chance it?

    Sorry for a trivial comment, but you are the best person to ask at this point.

    Scott

    Reply
    • They’re doing their best to tackle this thing and may, perhaps, have things dug out so that travel is possible by then. However, given the risk and the likely unprecedented nature of this storm, I’d recommend cancellation at this time unless these appointments are both critical and urgent — something worth encountering the substantial risk of delays.

      We are looking at cessation of heaviest snowfall by Saturday evening, giving about 48 hours to recover. But given the likelihood of 24 inches, the possibility of more, and the fact that snowfall is already quite vigorous in the region, I think the safe bet is to cancel. It’s worth remembering that 17 inches put DC in a lurch for about a week back in 2010. This storm is likely to be worse. Perhaps quite a bit worse.

      Even if snowfall totals are ‘only’ in the range of 20 inches, we’ll have some rather large snow drifts to deal with — some in the range of 5-10 feet with those 60 mph gusts predicted. It’s going to be extraordinarily challenging even for the city center and the peripheral arteries are just going to be locked down as resources get stretched by this thing.

      Just as an aside, are the attendees also still up in the air?

      Reply
      • The various people I’m meeting with all bagged work today and I have not been able to connect with them. I’ve been stubbornly hanging on because the meetings I had were hard to schedule. But you convinced me at “5-10 foot” drifts.

        In Maine, we would recover from such a storm fairly rapidly. But then, in Maine, everyone has a old truck with a plow on the front sitting in the side yard waiting for storms. At our place we don’t have an old truck, but we do have a 750cc 4-wheeler with a plow that does a great job. I guess its not quite the same in Maryland.

        Anyway, thanks for your gracious answer to a small question.

        Oh, and as for this current post: excellent work. Thanks.

        Hope you are stocked up on cocoa and have back-up batteries for your laptop!

        Scott

        Reply
  23. Anne

     /  January 22, 2016

    Another British castle is under threat from erosion caused by floods.
    “Cockermouth Castle, in Cumbria, is in danger of collapsing and crumbling into the River Derwent below.
    Built by the Normans, using stones from a nearby Roman Settlement, the Grade-I listed building has been undermined by the December floods.
    The extreme rainfall has triggered a landslide and washed away soil and rocks from the very foundations of the castle.
    Architect Darren Ward, from the Cockermouth Civic Trust, said the castle’s importance to the town could not be overestimated.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-35383279

    Reply
  24. Colorado Bob

     /  January 22, 2016

    National
    Dulles
    BWI
    Avg. High
    42
    41
    41

    Avg. Low
    27
    21
    23

    Storm timeline for immediate metro area

    11 a.m to 4 p.m. Friday: Snow moves in from southwest to northeast. Temps: 30-35. 1-2 inches accumulation.

    4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday: Moderate snow. Temps: 25-30. Storm total accumulation: 3 to 6 inches.

    10 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Saturday: Snow, heavy at times. Increasing winds. Temps: 25-30. Storm total accumulation: 10 to 14 inches.

    7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday: Snow heavy at times. Possible blizzard conditions. Brief lull, dry slot possible I-95 east. Temps: 25-30. Storm total accumulation: 14-24 inches.

    5 p.m. Saturday to midnight Sunday: Snow and blowing snow, gradually decreasing. Temps: 23-28. Storm total accumulation: 16-30 inches

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2016/01/22/crippling-blizzard-bears-down-on-d-c-the-final-forecast/

    Reply
  25. Reply
    • NWS OPC ‏@NWSOPC 2h2 hours ago

      12Z GFS & ETSS (ExtraTropical Storm Surge) w/E winds, 4 ft surge along DE/NJ coast Sat

      Reply
  26. – RE East Coast Storm:

    Energy Disruptions

    EIA tracks and reports on selected significant storms that impact or could potentially impact energy infrastructure. See past historical events reported on right or real-time storm tracking with energy infrastructure maps below.
    Energy Infrastructure with Real-Time Storm Information

    http://www.eia.gov/special/disruptions/

    Reply
  27. – Methane releases vulnerabilities USA:

    High Country News

    Massive leaks are an everyday occurrence in gas fields

    California’s Aliso Canyon is a reminder that methane emissions are widespread, poorly regulated — and ongoing.

    … In depleted oil fields, old wells (the bad one at Aliso Canyon was drilled in 1953) are prone to fail. Meanwhile, a 2013 study published in the Hydrogeology Journal found that in aquifer storage units “gas loss is a possibility via … faults, inadequate caprock seals, or improperly completed wells.”
    http://www.hcn.org/articles/massive-california-gas-leak-is-an-everyday-occurrence-in-the-gas-fields?utm_source=wcn1&utm_medium=email

    Reply
    • A highly refined, space-based sensor would help track this issue. I think this will be a pretty big deal going forward.

      Reply
    • Griffin

       /  January 22, 2016

      If anyone is interested in well failure that releases methane to the atmosphere, I strongly recommend watching Gasland II. Josh Fox does an outstanding job with interviewing experts in the field of gas wells. Porter Ranch is huge and dramatic in it’s failure but as a fracked nation, we will soon be overwhelmed with leaking wells. For those who do not have time to watch that fantastic movie, here is some further reading on the subject of leaking gas wells.
      “About 40 percent of the oil and gas wells in parts of the Marcellus shale region will probably be leaking methane into the groundwater or into the atmosphere…. ”
      http://www.alternet.org/fracking/newer-and-unconventional-gas-wells-leak-more-old-ones-says-study

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  January 23, 2016

        Gasland 2 is a great documentary! It puts into perspective the scale of what is being done to our country. Very powerful.

        Reply
  28. James Burton

     /  January 22, 2016

    Much thanks for the background material to this storms unique features! I admit reading and watching Main Stream Media coverage of this storm is very disappointing. Background reporting fails to mention the Global Warming aspect. I guess advertisers would not want to be offended.
    I guess the “Age of Storms” is upon us. As the people in the UK have solid proof of!
    I do take it that ,looking very long term, as the earth warms and warms, that temperature differentials will decrease when major ice systems are gone and poles warm up. Without these ice and polar cold regions, we should eventually see storms subside as the differentials that fuel them go away. But, my question is; At that point, with so much extra heat energy in oceans and atmosphere, what kind of super storms would that type of world generate? It would have to be different than what we are used to, with these storms today growing out of temperature and moisture differentials. And future storms being a factor of super energetic atmosphere.

    Reply
    • So it’s the rapid destabilization of the global ice sheets combined with the ramping up of energy imbalance at the top of the atmosphere (and rate of heat up take by oceans) that really fuels the coming age of storms. Once the ice sheets do eventually go down or stabilize, then the new period would be hotter and less stormy. But it would still feature the changed impacts to the hydrological cycle. So rainfall events would be heavier. Droughts and wildfires worse.

      In addition, there’s a good amount of evidence pointing toward the strongest tropical cyclones growing stronger as the ocean surface warms. So the weather is worse in a world that stabilizes at 2 C or 4 C. At 6 C and above, the weather increasingly stagnates. You still get these big events. Probably more apocalyptic when they happen and more all at once and all the time. The reason for this is that variance between the equator and poles really starts to drop off beyond 6 C.

      A 7-10 C warmer world is hot, stagnant, toxic and mostly not the rich, life-supportive world we know.

      The thing that Hansen pointed out, and which is probably what we need to be most immediately concerned about, is the fact that we are headed into this age of major ice sheet destabilization. This will tend to put hot next to cold in some really unprecedented ways. So out of all the ages of climate change, the coming one (which we are just seeing the start of now) will be the worst when it comes to storms. Storms in every kind of wide and wild and wicked variety commingled with all sorts of very bizarre and dangerous atmospheric energy exchanges going on.

      Reply
  29. Can You Eat Snow? Here’s What Science Tells Us

    … The short answer is no, you shouldn’t eat snow — especially in urban areas.

    While clear snow is aesthetically more pleasing to look at than colored snow, it might not be all that healthy to consume, according to a recent study from researchers at McGill University, published online Dec. 21 in the journal Environment Science: Processes and Impacts. What the study found was that snow in urban areas is more prone to absorbing toxic pollutants from the air — specifically, from the exhaust of cars and motorbikes.
    https://www.yahoo.com/health/eat-snow-science-tells-us-173400589.html

    Reply
  30. Eastern Arctic bucks 2015 global warming trend: NASA

    “Those kinds of areas look like the signature of something going on with the ocean currents, because they do stand out,” said Gavin Schmidt, the director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York…. “Any interruption in that circulation really slows down the amount of heat that’s being pushed towards the North, and that manifests itself into cooler [temperatures]”

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/global-warming-nasa-eastern-arctic-1.3415108

    Reply
  31. Melting Greenland ice sheet may affect global ocean circulation, future climate

    Scientists from the University of South Florida, along with colleagues in Canada and the Netherlands, have determined that the influx of fresh water from the Greenland ice sheet is “freshening” the North Atlantic Ocean and could disrupt the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), an important component of global ocean circulation that could have a global effect. Researchers say it could impact the future climate in places such as portions of Europe and North America.

    http://phys.org/news/2016-01-greenland-ice-sheet-affect-global.html

    Reply
  32. – More – Methane releases USA:

    Obama administration seeks to curb methane emissions on public land
    reuters.com/article/us-usa-climatechange-methane

    The overhaul would reduce flaring by up 60 percent and venting by up to 46 percent compared to 2013 rates.

    The BLM estimates that it would prevent the loss of up to 56 billion cubic feet of gas a year through venting, flaring or leaks, which could supply around 760,000 households annually.

    – Photo visible/optical heat waves even in the cold (can’t think of the term). More heat into atmo.

    – A natural gas flare on an oil well pad burns as the sun sets outside Watford City, North Dakota January 21, 2016.
    Reuters/Andrew Cullen

    http://s4.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20160122&t=2&i=1111653748&w=644&fh=&fw=&ll=&pl=&sq=&r=LYNXNPEC0L179

    Reply
  33. Kids Suing Government for Climate Action Attract Influential Allies and Opponents

    Both the fossil fuel lobby and the Catholic Church are paying attention.

    Twenty-one young Americans and climate scientist James Hansen are suing to compel the government to take dramatic action on climate change…

    The last several days saw two big developments in the suit, which has not yet gone to trial. First, on January 13, an Oregon District Court magistrate judge allowed lobbying groups representing some of America’s biggest polluters to join the case — the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers and the American Petroleum Institute will now be arguing alongside the Obama administration that the young people don’t have a case.

    The pairing is an ironic one, given that energy lobbyists and Obama’s regulators are usually at odds when it comes to addressing climate change. All three of the industry groups have been outspoken critics of the administration’s Clean Power Plan, and two of the groups are suing to derail it. But in this case, President Obama, his administration, and the industry are aligned: Should the kids win, a court would order regulators to use climate science to draw up plans that would quickly scale back America’s fossil fuel emissions before the Earth warms past critical tipping points. That’s a directive that both the administration and, of course, the fossil fuel industry don’t want to have to deal with.

    http://billmoyers.com/story/kids-suing-government-for-climate-action-attract-influential-allies-and-opponents/

    Reply
    • Not long after the judge allowed the fossil fuel interests to join the case alongside the government, the young people got some important allies. Two major Catholic groups, one of which includes Pope Francis, announced their support for the youth by filing an amicus brief with the court. In the brief, lawyers for Global Catholic Climate Movement and the Leadership Council of Women Religious argue that “government’s failure to address impending catastrophic harm violates the basic constitutional public trust duty… to protect resources crucial for future human survival and welfare…

      Reply
    • If 350.org is looking for a new campaign post Keystone XL, then I’d say this is it.

      Can’t say I’m too surprised about the Obama foot-dragging. Hansen was right in that these lawmakers don’t get it. They just don’t understand the urgency of the situation. How bad things can get and how easy it is to lock bad outcomes in early on.

      These kids are doing the right thing. We should all stand up and support them.

      Reply
    • One model showing 18-20 inches will fall by just 7 am tomorrow… With heavy snow expected to continue through 6 pm Saturday, looks like the GFS model could be close to correct. Just absolutely insane:

      https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CZW87F8WIAAyXIU.jpg:small

      Reply
  34. Philip Klotzbach ‏@philklotzbach 7h7 hours ago

    #Corentin has intensified into 1st hurricane-strength (H) TC of the S Ind Ocean season – the latest 1st H on record

    Reply
  35. mlparrish

     /  January 22, 2016

    The effect on Europe from an AMOC slowdown could be complicated by other factors.

    There is an additional explanation of European warmth for latitude by a group at Lamont and the University of Washington, including Richard Seagar and Mark Cane (who proposed a workable El Nino prediction).
    They suggest two reasons, the first a result of high latitude prevailing westerlies off a warmed Atlantic Ocean giving Europe a maritime climate while corresponding latitudes of North America have a continental climate. This would account for about half. “The rest is explained by a “standing wave” in air circulation, set up by the Rocky Mountains. The long mountain range running north-south on the western half of North America steers westerly Arctic winds southward to “bind Labrador” and its neighbors on the eastern seaboard in their “fetters of ice”. Over the Atlantic, the winds curve back north, thus arriving in Europe mainly from the warm southwest rather than the west itself or the much colder Arctic.”

    in ‘Thin Ice: Unlocking the Secrets of Climate in the World’s Highest Mountains” by Mark Bowen p. 308-9. https://books.google.com/books?id=wOBL88x80DoC&pg=PA308&lpg#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Reply
    • Warming in the Barents to the north has a major impact as well. Europe has been very vulnerable to severe contortions in the upper level winds and related extreme weather due to a number of complex and competing influences.

      AMOC shutdown, however, would have a profound and extraordinary impact. We can see that now. Even with mild weakening we’ve had substantial impacts to weather — particularly for the UK, France, Spain, and Scandinavia. Shut it down more significantly and the impact is greater than El Nino. Much, much greater.

      Reply
    • Also worth noting that this book, in general, needs a good update. Fantastic and visionary for its time. But we’ve learned so much since 2005. It’s pretty amazing.

      Reply
  36. Colorado Bob

     /  January 22, 2016

    Ocean species mix as sea ice melts, with unknown consequences

    Melting Arctic ice is not only opening up new passageways for ships. Birds and marine species are also traveling to uncharted waters.

    Seabird McKeon, a marine biologist with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, and his colleagues compiled a list of the marine birds and mammals that have been spotted in the wrong ocean.

    The results, published recently in the journal Global Change Biology, included species such as gray whales, killer whales, and seabirds like the northern gannet — birds and mammals crossing into waters where they hadn’t set foot or fin for thousands of years.

    Link

    Reply
  37. Colorado Bob

     /  January 22, 2016

    How Is Climate Change Affecting the Philippines?

    Haiyan, Thelma, Ike, Fengshen, Washi, Durian, Bopha, Trix, Amy, Nina. These are the 10 deadliest typhoons of the Philippines between 1947 and 2014.

    What’s alarming is that five of the 10 have occurred since 2006, affecting and displacing thousands of citizens every time. Seven of these 10 deadly storms each resulted in more than 1,000 casualties. But the deadliest storm on record in the Philippines is Typhoon Haiyan, known locally as Typhoon Yolanda, which was responsible for more than 6,300 lost lives, more than four million displaced citizens and $2 billion in damages in 2013. So what’s going on—is the Philippines simply unlucky? Not exactly.

    Link

    Reply
  38. Ryan in New England

     /  January 22, 2016

    Stay safe through the storm, Robert! This one has so much warm water to feed off the snow totals are going to be insane. The storm that hit us in 2013 dumped record snows across the region, with some places nearly doubling their previous record snowfall.

    Snow Totals
    Significant snowfall totals from 02/07/2013 to 02/10/2013. (Source: NWS Public Information Statements)
    Amount Location
    40.0 in. Hamden, CT
    36.0 in. North Branford, CT
    35.5 in. Gorham, ME
    35.0 in. Tolland, CT
    35.0 in. Yalesville, CT
    34.3 in. New Haven, CT
    33.5 in. Northford, CT
    33.0 in. Stratford, CT
    32.5 in. Coventry, CT
    32.0 in. Manchester, CT

    We saw snowfall rates of 3-4 inches per hour, which just a generation ago was unheard of in this area. As you point out Robert, the increased potential for big snowfalls is a result of our warmed climate. I remember when I was young any storm that could give us 6-12 inches was huge, and we basically never saw snowfall projections over a foot. Now we routinely see projections of multiple feet, with snowfall rates in the many inches per hour ranges. This amount of moisture could not be rung from last century’s winter atmosphere. Tropical amounts of moisture would not be available in mid-winter. Things have very clearly changed.

    As someone fascinated by weather/climate I know I love experiencing big storms. This one should be a storm to remember for you down there, Robert. Like I said, stay safe, but have fun and take it all in. These are unprecedented times we are living through.😉

    Reply
  39. Colorado Bob

     /  January 22, 2016

    Obama’s Carbon Rule Victory Is More Important Than You Think

    Those watching from the U.S. know, however, that everything in the climate space comes with an asterisk: Given a chance, conservative opponents will seek to undo President Barack Obama’s environmental policies and, by extension, undercut the Paris accord. On Thursday, in the first skirmish over new carbon-emissions rules, a federal appeals court in Washington refused to temporarily block their implementation. The war is on.

    Link

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  January 22, 2016

      But the ground underneath the climate change debate has been shifting. Whereas in previous years so-called deniers were accommodated in the public discourse, the accumulation of scientific evidence supporting the thesis that humans are changing the atmosphere and oceans has begun to drown them out.

      More people believe climate change is real and dominated by human causes, polls show. Despite the usual caveat—it’s difficult for scientists to link any single extreme weather event to man-made warming—the fact is that climate change, to many, just feels true. As snow-fearing Americans on the East Coast are about to find out, there’s about five percent more water vapor in the air these days, and what goes up must come down.

      Reply
  40. Colorado Bob

     /  January 23, 2016

    Joe Romm put up a post today on this as well , and as usual the flies flew into the kitchen. With the standard one or two sentence lines designed to insult, and poo-poo.

    Then I remembered one of my great lines myself, from years ago ;

    I love when deniers post links, and one goes a reads them . Then we see that they are useing the BBFF.

    The Butt Based Fact File , You just reach around and pull crap out of your ass.

    Reply
  41. Colorado Bob

     /  January 23, 2016

    Counter Point :

    It’s a Beautiful Day-White Bird

    We are not all thugs , lunatics, and morons.

    Reply
  42. Vic

     /  January 23, 2016

    Ethiopia – 10.2 million people critically short of food.

    Experts say the drought is worse than the one seen in 1984, when years of conflict followed by a lack of rain led to a famine that killed up to one million people.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-23/ethiopian-drought-driving-worst-food-crisis-in-three-decades/7109270

    Reply
  43. Colorado Bob

     /  January 23, 2016

    Been stewing over Greenland lately as well. Then there’s this :

    Narsarsuaq, Greenland at 9:50 PM WGT / 12-29-2010

    50F degrees east wind at 24 mph. This is today’s high so far , the temp went up 9F since noon. Max wind today was 54 mph.

    This current reading is 22F above average max temp., and sets a new daily record by 6F. Beating 44F set way back in 2002.

    The average min temp is 14F, since this reading is at 10 o’clock at night , this measurement is 36F above that average.

    Narsarsuaq started this streak on Nov. 19th they set the new daily record of 42F . Then they set new high records for 4 days, peaking with one of 57F.
    Add in another 11 new high records since, and this station in Greenland has set 16 new daily high temp. records in 60 days.

    A 6 week heat wave in Greenland in the dark, in the darkest portion of winter.

    <a href="http://coloradobob1.newsvine.com/_news/2010/12/29/5735005-narsarsuaq-greenland-at-950-pm-wgt-12-29-2010” target=”_blank”>Link

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  January 23, 2016

      A word about this link –
      I often use the WU comment box to tag my comments . then I copy and paste here, It has been really buggy today on WU.

      I dearly wish there was an edit button here. But that’s the way the web works.

      You write really stupid stuff here, it sticks. I have a PHD in really stupid stuff.

      Reply
    • The ocean is starting to do its thing. Melt the land ice and the fresh water acts as a conveyor, bringing all the subsurface heat that’s been building toward the island shores. Add in upwelling … Plus, we have the record hot Atlantic spinning off these warm, wet storms that just feed on all that temperature difference between the warming waters and the ice. The boundary of cold is being beaten back from the coastline.

      Reply
    • ” The average min temp is 14F … is 36F above that average.”
      – It never goes through a cool/cooling phase/cycle.

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  January 23, 2016

      This winter has been remarkable as far as the amount of heat we’ve been seeing penetrate the high Arctic, and Greenland, during the darkest, coldest time of year. I think that in the future we will look back at this year as a turning point. When the Arctic ice finally melts out, they will point to 2015/16 and the warm temps and melt experienced during winter months.

      Just a guess. But we are seeing significant changes.

      Reply
  44. Colorado Bob

     /  January 23, 2016

    RS –
    I when looking for this using “Greenland” in the search box , you popped up in every one . At 3 or 4.
    —————————————

    We are not all thugs , lunatics, and morons.

    VLJ Embraer Phenom 100 Landing at Narsarsuaq Airport in Greenland (BGBW)
    Uploaded on Jul 8, 2010

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  January 23, 2016

      This where the rich land to refuel crossing the Atlantic. In their small jets. So the camera shots could be repeated against this 2010 baseline.

      Reply
    • Tried to cover most of the likely scenarios and related science for Greenland. Apparently, there’s a lot of interest in that sort of thing these days.

      Greenland, sad to say, is in for a series of bad hits. The early stuff is ending. Past 1 C Greenland enters climates not seen since the Eemian. And all that energy imbalance just weighs on the ice sheet even more heavily. That’s a 3 million year pressure building up. If it continues, it will take the ice down.

      Reply
  45. Colorado Bob

     /  January 23, 2016

    RS –
    I also found this , where I gave up my effort and joined your effort .

    British Isles Endure Endless Barrage of Storms: North Atlantic Riled By Human Warming Forecast to Assault UK With At Least Three More Powerful Cyclones Over Next 7 Days | robertscribbler

    Seeded by Colorado Bob
    Seeded on Fri Feb 7, 2014 3:52 PM
    Link

    Reply
  46. Colorado Bob

     /  January 23, 2016

    As for myself , I have only 5 teeth left. But I still hold the bit in them . Gums not teeth.

    What a hoot –

    “He has the bit in his gums”

    That’s real John Wayne stuff is it ?

    I feel like John Wayne’s Toupée .

    Reply
  47. Colorado Bob

     /  January 23, 2016

    Now there’s a great short story about the modern world .

    John Wayne’s Toupée

    Reply
  48. Colorado Bob

     /  January 23, 2016

    True Grit

    Reply
  49. Colorado Bob

     /  January 23, 2016

    2010 True Grit Music Video-God’s Gonna Cut You Down By Johnny Cash

    Long tongue liar ,

    Reply
  50. Colorado Bob

     /  January 23, 2016

    You can run on for a long time
    Run on for a long time
    Run on for a long time
    Sooner or later God’ll cut you down
    Sooner or later God’ll cut you down

    Go tell that long tongue liar
    Go and tell that midnight rider
    Tell the rambler,
    The gambler,
    The back biter
    Tell ’em that God’s gonna cut ’em down
    Tell ’em that God’s gonna cut ’em down

    Well my goodness gracious let me tell you the news
    My head’s been wet with the midnight dew
    I’ve been down on bended knee talkin’ to the man from Galilee
    He spoke to me in the voice so sweet
    I thought I heard the shuffle of the angel’s feet
    He called my name and my heart stood still
    When he said, “John go do My will!”

    Go tell that long tongue liar
    Go and tell that midnight rider
    Tell the rambler,
    The gambler,
    The back biter
    Tell ’em that God’s gonna cut ’em down
    Tell ’em that God’s gonna cut ’em down

    You can run on for a long time
    Run on for a long time
    Run on for a long time
    Sooner or later God’ll cut you down
    Sooner or later God’ll cut you down

    Well you may throw your rock and hide your hand
    Workin’ in the dark against your fellow man
    But as sure as God made black and white
    What’s down in the dark will be brought to the light

    You can run on for a long time
    Run on for a long time
    Run on for a long time
    Sooner or later God’ll cut you down
    Sooner or later God’ll cut you down

    Go tell that long tongue liar
    Go and tell that midnight rider
    Tell the rambler,
    The gambler,
    The back biter
    Tell ’em that God’s gonna cut ’em down
    Tell ’em that God’s gonna cut ’em down

    Tell ’em that God’s gonna cut you down

    Read more: Johnny Cash – God’s Gonna Cut You Down Lyrics | MetroLyrics

    Reply
  51. Colorado Bob

     /  January 23, 2016

    Johnny CASH` Best of Sun Records Singles

    Reply
  52. – Nice effort and teamwork here:

    Published on Jan 20, 2016

    At 09h30, Wednesday, 20th January 2016, the SA Whale Disentanglement Network (SAWDN) volunteers launched from Yzerfontein harbour aboard two NSRI Yzerfontein sea rescue craft, the Rotary Onwards and the Spirit of Iffley, following eye-witness reports of two whales entangled in fishing rope lines in the vicinity of Dassen Island on the West Coast. Both whales were freed.

    Reply
  53. – 04:36:09 UTC
    Saturday, January 23, 2016

    Jaret Gold ‏@JaretGold 42m42 minutes ago

    Wow….Latest @NWSNewYorkNY Update

    Reply
  54. Colorado Bob

     /  January 23, 2016

    John Wayne’s Toupée –

    I’m thinking of a short story. How’s this for a title ?

    Reply
  55. – These barges carry all manner of cargo — many are toxic. We do know the cause of the ‘high’ water.

    Mississippi River Mayhem: High Water Causes Barges to Break Free Up and Down Mighty Mississippi

    High water on the Mississippi River continues to wreck havoc on barge shipping on Lower Mississippi River.

    By our count, at least 50 barges have broken free and several others have been damaged or sunk from the high water caused by one of the worst flooding events in modern history in the region.

    The mayhem started towards the end of 2015 when torrential rains hammered the midwest, pushing water levels in several of the region’s rivers past flood stage as they emptied into the Mississippi River, sending floodwaters raging towards the industrial south.

    Here’s a timeline of events and incidents we have seen so far on the Lower Mississippi River:
    http://gcaptain.com/2016/01/22/high-water-causes-barges-to-break-free-up-and-down-mississippi-river/#.VqMGZVJWiSo

    Reply
  56. Colorado Bob

     /  January 23, 2016

    dtlange / January 23, 2016

    – Nice effort and teamwork here:

    Amen . If we all don’t crash into despair.

    Words for all of us :

    Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.
    Yehuda Berg

    Melancholy and sadness are the start of doubt… doubt is the beginning of despair; despair is the cruel beginning of the differing degrees of wickedness.
    Comte de Lautreamont

    Despair is typical of those who do not understand the causes of evil, see no way out, and are incapable of struggle. The modern industrial proletariat does not belong to the category of such classes.
    Vladimir Lenin

    The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing… not healing, not curing… that is a friend who cares.
    Henri Nouwen

    With optimism, you look upon the sunny side of things. People say, ‘Studs, you’re an optimist.’ I never said I was an optimist. I have hope because what’s the alternative to hope? Despair? If you have despair, you might as well put your head in the oven.
    Studs Terkel

    I’ve been fating around with optimism.

    Reply
  57. NASA’s SDO Captures Cascading Magnetic Arches

    Published on Jan 15, 2016

    A dark solar filament above the sun’s surface became unstable and erupted on Dec. 16-17, 2015, generating a cascade of magnetic arches. A small eruption to the upper right of the filament was likely related to its collapse. The arches of solar material appear to glow as they emit light in extreme ultraviolet wavelengths, highlighting the charged particles spinning along the sun’s magnetic field lines. This video was taken in extreme ultraviolet wavelengths of 193 angstroms, a type of light that is typically invisible to our eyes, but is colorized here in bronze.

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  January 23, 2016

      Out of the box in spacey context
      http://www.techienews.co.uk/9723818/scientists-microscopic-metallic-sphere-alien-seed-life/

      British scientists have found a microscopic metal globe in samples gathered by a balloon in Earth’s stratosphere and which they claim could be an example of directed panspermia – where life was deliberately sent to Earth by some unknown extraterrestrial civilisation.

      The microscopic metallic globe “is a ball about the width of a human hair” according to researchers over at the Universities of Sheffield and Buckingham. Dr Milton Wainwright from the University of Sheffield and his team made the discovery and according to them the ball was oozing a ‘gooey’ substance.

      “It is a ball about the width of a human hair, which has filamentous life on the outside and a gooey biological material oozing from its centre,” Dr. Wainwright said.

      He further revealed that the sphere made a tiny ‘impact crater’ on the sampler attached to the balloon. “The sphere made an impact crater on the sampling stub. This proves beyond doubt that the particle was travelling at speed from space when it was sampled”, Dr Wainwright said as quoted by Daily Mail.

      Researchers, using X-ray analysis, concluded that the sphere was made from titanium and traces of vanadium and that material that was oozing out was biological. They further found that the sphere has a ‘fungus-like knitted mat-like covering’. The team further claims that it could have been carried to Earth on a comet or even sent by an unknown civilisation. But, they have agreed that it is virtually impossible to prove that the tiny sphere was sent by aliens from outer space.

      Hmmm

      Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  January 23, 2016

        And another from the Twilight Zone

        http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/impossible-propellantless-engine-appears-to-work-despite-breaking-laws-of-physics-20150728-gimlhr.html

        Ridiculed as impossible by the scientific community, the electromagnetic propulsion engine – which could supposedly take a craft from Earth to Pluto in just 18 months without the need for rocket fuel – has apparently been confirmed by an independent scientist as working.

        German scientist Martin Tajmar​, who has a history of debunking fanciful propulsion systems, claims in a paper he has tested a copy of NASA’s experimental device (known as the EMDrive) and that it does produce thrust. This is controversial because the theory that has been used to explain the device violates conventional physics and the law of conservation of momentum.

        Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  January 23, 2016

        Aliens from tiny balls.?
        But then again
        http://www.inquisitr.com/2331741/you-might-not-believe-it-but-octopuses-are-aliens-reveals-new-dna-study/

        The late British zoologist Martin Wells was the first to describe the sea-inhabiting creatures as “aliens,” primarily because octopuses’ protein-coding structures are much more evolved than even humans.

        But now the first full cephalopod genome sequence shows that octopuses (not to be confused with octopi) are extremely different from any other animal – with their genome showing a staggering level of complexity. The new DNA study, published in the scientific journal Nature, has identified the presence of more than 33,000 protein-coding genes in octopuses, significantly more than humans.

        And that is not all. According to Irish Examiner, scientists also confirmed that the DNA of an octopus is highly rearranged– like cards shuffled and reshuffled in a pack – containing several “jumping genes” that can leap around the genome.

        Humans have often found themselves astounded by octopuses’ abilities to carry out functions which would be deemed impossible for most animals – now we know why it is so easy for an octopus to open a jar of jam!

        We mess up, there will be a replacement. Unlikely to be human.
        Libertarians carry on about property rights, whilst they set up abandonment of our planet by our species. Go figure ?

        Reply
  58. Colorado Bob

     /  January 23, 2016

    Reply
  59. Abel Adamski

     /  January 23, 2016

    An extremely good article that hopefully is not prophetic, but does provide context
    http://www.albanydailystar.com/science/according-to-michio-kaku-humanity-when-reached-galaxies-we-will-find-many-extinct-alien-civilization-15643.html

    Unlike Earth, most worlds will likely not find this balance, ultimately succumbing to being cooked by a runaway greenhouse effect (like Venus) or frozen by a thinning atmosphere (like Mars). Life will often not be fortunate enough to win the race against environmental fluctuations to become a stabilizing factor.

    The number of stars in the universe is uncountable. The number of planets potentially even higher. Earth is just one small, pale blue dot orbiting a very average star. The probability that life is abundant in the universe should be high, yet we have located no undeniable signs of life beyond Earth.

    “Early life is fragile, so we believe it rarely evolves quickly enough to survive. Most early planetary environments are unstable. To produce a habitable planet, life forms need to regulate greenhouse gases such as water and carbon dioxide to keep surface temperatures stable.”

    Reply
  60. Griffin

     /  January 23, 2016

    The article is very heavy on the typical disclaimers “King Tides” and “El Nino fueled storms” (but we have come to expect this in modern local media). However, the video tells the story well enough. The California coast is not so friendly to development anymore!

    “There used to be a lot more road years back when I was a kid and when my parents were growing up here, so it is sad to see it kind of falling in,”
    http://abc7news.com/weather/pacifica-declares-local-of-emergency-due-to-falling-cliffs/1170569/

    Reply
  61. On front page at WP:
    “As Zika virus spreads…El Salvador asks women not to get pregnant until 2018”
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/as-zika-virus-spreads-el-salvador-asks-women-not-to-get-pregnant-until-2018/2016/01/22/1dc2dadc-c11f-11e5-98c8-7fab78677d51_story.html?tid=pm_pop_b

    **Also, my best to Robert and all of you dealing with Jonas. You are in my thoughts. Here’s hoping that the power stays on.

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  January 23, 2016

      Holy sh*t! Suzanne, did you see my comment just a few comment threads ago about Zika potentially having serious ramifications for society if women are afraid to get pregnant? Well this it it! It’s already happening!

      Many people referred to China’s one child policy as “brutal”. What will they say when our government tells women not to have ANY babies? Imagine an entire year or two of no new children starting school. No babies being delivered at hospitals. Diaper sales collapse after about 18 months of no babies. Same with bottles, formula, etc. Our entire economic system (as we all know) is based on a continually growing economy. If we have a substantial amount of time without any births there could be serious ramifications for all aspects of our society.

      Reply
      • Ryan…My thoughts exactly. I think the rapid spread and dire consequences of this Zika virus…may have long lasting ramifications. I know even living in S. Florida if I were considering getting pregnant (alas those days are long gone) I don’t think I would do it knowing how quickly this virus is spreading and there not being any cure at this time. Just a terrible situation all around.

        Reply
  62. dnem

     /  January 23, 2016

    Just returned from my 7 am perambulations here in northwest Baltimore. About 13″ on the ground. It’s a pretty dense, granular snow, probably suppressing totals compared to a fluffier mix. We had a nice bright flash and a long rumble of “Cantore-sno” (aka thundersnow) at about 615 am.

    The radar presentation at this hour remain impressive with bands rolling in off the ocean and tracking right over us. Rates right now are maybe 2″/hr so it all depends on how fast the center tracks up off the delmarva. I think we’ll be hard pressed to reach 24″ here, but 18-20 looks doable. What can I say, I still love a good ol’ fashioned dump:-)

    Reply
  63. Bryan Stairs

     /  January 23, 2016

    Using nullschool to follow this storm along its possible track, it seems to then push things around on the eastern side of Greenland. Forecast for Tuesday is a very complex system around the Greenland, Norwegian Seas area. Looking here http://earth.nullschool.net/#2016/01/26/1200Z/wind/isobaric/1000hPa/overlay=mean_sea_level_pressure/orthographic=-98.70,87.76,608/loc=5.213,38.980 here a similar setup exists off of Alaska.

    Reply
  64. Greg

     /  January 23, 2016

    “Extreme winds have been observed along the mid-Atlantic coast, with a peak gust of 85 mph at Assateague Island, Virginia, at 4:40 a.m. EST. Lewes, Delaware, has seen a top wind gust of 73mph with sustained winds peaking at 59 mph…On Saturday morning, the water level at Lewes, Delaware, rose to 9.15 feet, a storm surge of more than 4 feet. This is the second highest level on record at that gauge, beating Superstorm Sandy (8.71 feet) and the Jan. 4, 1992 Nor’easter (8.80 feet)….The top snowfall total from Jonas so far is 28 inches in Terra Alta, West Virginia, as of early Saturday morning.”
    http://www.weather.com/storms/winter/news/winter-storm-jonas-forecast-blizzard-warning-january-22

    Reply
  65. Greg

     /  January 23, 2016

    “– A weather-related traffic backup on southbound Interstate 75 in Kentucky is about 35 miles long — between mile marker 76 and 41, state trooper Kendra Wilson told CNN on Saturday morning. People have been stuck on the highway for more than 12 hours. …989 traffic crashes and 793 disabled vehicles were responded to by Virginia State Police as of late Friday night.”
    http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/23/us/weather-winter-snowstorm/index.html

    Reply
  66. Jobs are needed for all and the only jobs that can provide 100% employment and not kill the planet are GREEN JOBS. Green jobs are rewarding in and of themselves, are not rocket science, have room for advancement, and good for the Nation and the world. With universal health care, access to green transportation, and little to no tax, folks could work for far less wages and still improve their lives significantly. As folks worked their way up the pay scale the tax burden could increase and those folks would willing pay those taxes. The problem with taxes it that when the largest share of our tax $$$ are spent on war and subsidies for pollution profiteers is when we get pissy about them.

    Who would not want a Green Economy with 100% employment and a cost effective green economy? One problem, it is a lot harder For the rich to get richer with distributed energy and a green economy. Tough, I do not see soup lines in their future for some time.
    It has been said that the transition to the Green Awakening Economy would cost ~the same % of GDP as the transition to indoor plumbing ~150 years ago. Try to find someone today that will say that was not a good investment. The GOPollutocrats of the day were against that as well. They are not fast learners, are they?

    It does not take a climate scientist or even a particularly bright bulb on the street to see that Capitalism, unrestrained by the requirements of Planetary life support systems, is guaranteed mutually assured destruction. When dollars are sacrosanct to Planetary life support systems, what other outcome can be expected? Socially enabled capitalism is clearly a failed paradigm. Help end tax funded pollution of the commons for starters. Your tax dollars are funding a Planetary ecocide future for the children of ALL species.

    “War becomes perpetual when used as a rationale for peace,” Norman Solomon. “Peace becomes perpetual when used as a rationale for survival.” Yours truly.

    Reply
    • I will lift my cup of hot beverage to these wise words and shout a hearty — hear! hear! I honestly couldn’t agree more. My only question — why have we waited for so long? This should have been the goal of all nations decades ago. Pursuit of war and dominance is pursuit of self destruction.

      Reply
    • dnem

       /  January 24, 2016

      Well said LEK. My only quibble would be with the statement about the cost of indoor plumbing relative to GDP. GDP is a worthless metric that says nothing about human well-being. Look for Robert Kennedy’s famous speech where he concludes that GDP “measures everything except that which is worthwhile.” The world you describe – and the one we MUST create – will have a vastly smaller GDP than the current one, and we’ll all be better off for it. Less work, less consumption, more real human experience, THAT is the goal. The cult of GDP must die!!

      Reply
      • Less work, less consumption, more real human experience … That’s a pretty sound foundation. We talk jobs, jobs, but the real focus should be quality of life, quality of life. And as for jobs, if the individual works a bit less, there is more room for full employment.

        Reply
  1. How Storm Jonas Ties Everything Together | Planet in Distress
  2. Blizzard Fueled By Ocean Heat Cripples Eastern US, Floods Coast With Historic Storm Surge | robertscribbler

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