Warm Arctic Storms Aim to Unfreeze the North Pole Again — That’s 55 Degrees (F) Above Normal For January

It’s worth re-stating. The Starks were wrong. Winter isn’t coming. Winter, as we know it, is dying. Dying one tenth of a degree of global oceanic and atmospheric warming at a time. Steadily dying with each ton of heat-trapping greenhouse gasses emitted through our vastly irresponsible and terrifyingly massive burning of fossil fuels.

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According to UCAR reanalysis, it’s something that’s only happened three times during December in the entire temperature record for the North Pole since the late 1940s. Four times now that a record warm surge of air hit that highest point of Northern Hemisphere Latitude during late December of 2015. An event that was influenced by the very destructive Winter Storm Frank. A combination of weather variables that, by themselves, was odd and rare enough. But what may be about to happen next week is even more rare. Because we’ve never, not once, seen this kind of heat set up at the North Pole during January.

UCAR North Pole

(UCAR’s North Pole temperature data record since 1948 per Bob Henson shows no above freezing days at the North Pole during January through late April. But it could happen next week.)

Disturbingly, what we’re seeing now starting to take shape is another warm air invasion of the Arctic with the potential to bring above-freezing temperatures to the North Pole during the long polar night. An odd and highly abnormal event that may again take place this Winter in just a few more days. If it does happen it will be yet another case of a never-before-seen warming event occurring in a record hot world.

North Pole May Unfreeze A Second Time This Winter

According to Global Forecast Systems model reanalysis by Earth Nullschool, it appears that a record warm Earth atmosphere and ocean system is again taking aim at the High Arctic. Another synoptic daisy chain of storms funneling warm, south-to-north winds — dredging them up from the tropics, flinging them across thousands of miles of North Atlantic Ocean waters, driving them up over Svalbard and toward the North Pole — is predicted to set up by early morning Monday.

image

(Temperatures are predicted to warm into a new record range for the North Pole by late Tuesday. Readings that strike very close to freezing at the North Pole now appear in the most recent Global Forecast System model summary by Earth Nullschool. If temperatures in this region do hit above freezing, it will be an unprecedented event. Image source: Earth Nullschool. )

The anchor of these dervishes of Equator-to-Pole heat transfer is the very Winter Storm Jonas that just crippled the Eastern US with record snowfall amounts and storm surges that have beaten some of the highest seas seen during Superstorm Sandy. A second, hurricane force low in the range of 950 mb is predicted to set up between Iceland and Greenland. But the tip of this spear of record atmospheric heat pointed directly at the Arctic is a third, but somewhat milder 990 mb, storm.

And it is this northern low that will draw a leading edge of record warmth into the Arctic. An anomalous, ocean-originating heat front that will spread its pall of air warm enough to melt sea ice during Winter north of Svalbard tomorrow. A swath of near and above-freezing temperatures spreading inexorably Pole-ward. Reinforced by the supporting lows and the synoptic wave of warmth in train, this storm is predicted to drive near or slightly above freezing temperatures into the region of 90 North Latitude by late Tuesday or early Wednesday. An event that would be unprecedented, at least in modern meteorological reckoning. One that may well be unprecedented for the whole of the Holocene.

Conditions in Context — Another Summer-Type Heatwave For The Arctic During the Long Dark of Winter

Another Wave of Extreme Arctic Heat

(Another wave of extreme, above average temperatures for the Arctic is on the way. Image source: Climate Reanlyzer.)

To put such extraordinary temperatures into context, this predicted record polar warmth is in the range of 55 degrees (F) above normal for January. And for such a typically frigid region, these temperatures are more usual for June, July, or August. Or, to make another comparison, for Gaithersburg, Maryland it would be like seeing readings above 94 degrees (F) for the same Winter day. A summer heatwave in the midst of what should be a season of cold. That’s what’s predicted for a region that will not see a single ray of sunlight until April.

Heat trapping gasses with the ability to re-radiate the sun’s energy in the dark of night or in the depths of Winter are now having a profound impact on our world. It’s something that should really be keeping us up at night. At the very least, it’s something that on Tuesday may push the North Pole up above freezing on a, black as night, January day.

Links:

Warm Arctic Storm to Push Temps Above Freezing at North Pole During Winter

The Storm that Will Unfreeze the North Pole

Climate Reanlyzer

Earth Nullschool

Bob Henson

UCAR Climate Reanalysis

Hat Tip to Greg

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187 Comments

  1. We,re srcewed – crossthreaded.

    Reply
  2. Accuweather is giving us a red flag fire warning down here in the SE corner of NM. Not only is this the third week in January, but we are not in drought, quite the contrary. Three weeks ago we had fifteen inches of snow.

    Reply
  3. Kevin Jones

     /  January 24, 2016

    NWS Climate Prediction Center has Northeast USA (from SW PA to all of Maine) 70%-80% probability of warmer than average Jan. 31-Feb. 6. 40-50% wetter. Appears Winter went south for the Winter., and Summer went North… About 2 inches ice/snow on ground here in SW New Hampshire which is next to nothing for us this time of year. Although we could ‘feel’ the proximity of the blizzard, not one flake here.

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  January 24, 2016

      Jonas will brush the SE corner of Newfoundland, 10-15 cm forecast. Newfoundland has had—thankfully—a comparatively mild, fine, settled January, with daytime temps well into the -5C range, some days even to 0C, rather unusual for our coldest month. A green Christmas with little snow since (excepting one major storm on the Avalon) and less in the 14-day forecast. Wednesday is supposed to hit 4C—that’s spring temps! Of course we still have plenty of winter left—March is typically our snowiest month, so we’ll see.

      Reply
    • That’s a good way to describe it. Unfortunately looks like there’s more of a mess on the way.

      Reply
  4. Ryan in New England

     /  January 24, 2016

    I’ve said it before…this year will be seen in retrospect as a turning point when the Arctic was no longer safe from melt even in the depths of winter. It’s hard to overstate how remarkable this is. As you pointed out, Robert, it’s like seeing mid 90s in your home town in January. Maybe a heatwave in NYC would get people’s attention?

    Reply
  5. Griffin

     /  January 24, 2016

    Great post Robert. It will be interesting and a little unnerving to watch how things unfold.
    Here is a good update on the climate consequences of the Aliso Canyon methane leak.
    “Experts say the release of so much methane, a fast-acting greenhouse gas many times more powerful than carbon dioxide, means that the biggest environmental consequence of the leak will be its effect in boosting global warming. Long after the leak stops and the foul odors vanish, the pulse of methane will remain in the atmosphere and its damage to the climate will go on.”
    http://www.latimes.com/science/la-me-porter-ranch-greenhouse-20160124-story.html

    Reply
    • Regulators on Saturday approved a comprehensive abatement order that requires Southern California Gas Co. to take immediate steps to contain a massive natural gas leak in Porter Ranch, permanently shut down the damaged well, establish a leak detection system and conduct an independent health study.

      http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-porter-ranch-regulators-approve-comprehensive-abatement-order-over-massive-gas-leak-20160123-story.html

      Reply
    • Leland Palmer

       /  January 25, 2016

      If the number given in the article is correct, the cumulative amount of methane emitted so far is 84 million kilograms of methane. That’s about 63 million kilograms of carbon, or about 63,000 metric tons of carbon. I think we have about 5 billion tons of carbon as methane in the atmosphere, so cumulative methane from this single gas leak comes out to roughly .002 percent of the methane in the atmosphere.

      Contrast that with the methane in the methane hydrates worldwide, which could be anywhere from 5 trillion tons of carbon equivalent to 100 trillion tons of carbon equivalent. That means that the methane in the hydrates is anywhere from 100,000 percent of the methane in the atmosphere to 2,000,000 percent of the methane in the atmosphere right now.

      Any single man made source of methane is not terribly significant. Destabilizing the methane hydrates is very, hugely, potentially catastrophically significant.

      It’s about what I would expect from the LA Times or most other mainstream media sources.

      If they are not ignoring the global warming problem, they are getting it quantitatively wrong.

      The news media has always looked on quantitative exaggeration as their right, to increase sales of their newspapers. It’s really, really important to get the reporting on global warming right, both quantitatively and qualitatively.

      Only when we get our information right can we intelligently react appropriately to the real world.

      Reply
      • We have a current emission in the Arctic, from natural systems, of methane in the range of 34 megatons each year that hits the atmosphere currently. The total human methane emission is in the range of 400 megatons each year. If the amount of CO2 were converted to CO2e methane that total would be in the range of 2,000 megatons each year.

        So the human emission is already equal to a clathrate gun going off. As yet, the one in the Arctic has not gone off and its most likely to, in average, not exceed 1/3 the current total human emission. So to be very clear, the current total human emission is a warming and heat forcing disaster never before seen in all of Earth geology and the primary issue with Arctic methane release is its ability to contribute to what is a nightmare human emissions scenario. To shorten the timeframes for responses and making the needed changes.

        But also to be very clear, the Arctic methane release currently is nowhere near even that very dangerous level at this time. There are concerning factors at play which we should not ignore. But we should also not ignore the main problem here. What’s causing the problem in the first place — the insane rate of human emission at this time.

        Reply
      • Leland Palmer

         /  January 26, 2016

        Hi Robert-

        Oh, yes, human emissions are the main problem right now, you’re right.

        But any single leak, even a whopper like the Porter Ranch leak, is not that significant.

        We all know that the likely leakage from natural gas systems nationwide and especially worldwide is significant and is likely much higher than the energy corporations admit. Rice culture emissions are significant, enteric fermentation is significant, coal and oil mining and fracking are significant. Human CO2 emissions are huge.

        I didn’t mean to imply that Arctic emissions are huge right now – I’m sure your numbers are at least roughly correct and are as good as anyone’s can be considering the state of our current knowledge and monitoring capability. .

        I just really worry about the size of the total hydrate reservoir. We are told that emissions rates will be slow from the hydrates, that hydrate dissociation will be an orderly process.

        I hope that is the case.

        We were told similar things about icecap melting, and deep sea warming…those predictions of stability for centuries turned out to be wrong.

        There is a blues song about Judgement Day. The lyrics say that he singer will get dressed up in his best clothes and wear his best smile, on Judgement Day…because he’s not really sure which way he’s going to go (to Heaven or Hell).

        I’ll be wearing my best suit and best smile on Arctic methane Judgement Day. Because I’m not really sure which way we’re going to go….

        Reply
  6. Syd Bridges

     /  January 24, 2016

    These incursions into the Arctic are straws in the wind as to what will happen over the next few years. How long before these rare warming events become common? The next two years will be very interesting to see whether the pattern of Arctic minima two years after the El Nino continues. The great reservoir of cold in the north, that has been such an important part of a stable climate in the Holocene is now disappearing in the Anthropocene.

    Reply
    • James Burton

       /  January 24, 2016

      ” The great reservoir of cold in the north, that has been such an important part of a stable climate in the Holocene is now disappearing in the Anthropocene.”
      Yes, the great frozen north has been a giant Stable Element for our climate. When that massive force of stability is well on it’s way to being gone, we can be assured of a new climate for the European States whose mild stable climate has allowed such a huge mass of people to crowd together and prosper. In Sweden, wheat still gets grown not all that far from the arctic circle, that’s how stable things have been. If climate goes haywire, I don’t think Europe is at all ready to deal with it. Not when nations like Britain will soon host 74 million people on that tiny island!

      Reply
    • Bill H

       /  January 24, 2016

      Syd, I would suggest that it’s the next three years, or at least three summers that we should be focussing on, since temperatures due to the current el NIno are likely to peak in the first half of this year, so we can expect the el Nino induced minimum in Arctic sea ice to come in 2018.

      Reply
      • 2016-2018 is the window. We’ll just have to keep a sharp eye out over the next three years. Of course, given the overall trend, we’d have to say that the Arctic is heading for greater and greater instability. We’re witnessing the start of that shift right now. So even the old decline rate isn’t a very reliable guide.

        Reply
      • Bill H

         /  January 25, 2016

        You’re absolutely right, Robert, I should have added the caveat “on the evidence of past el Ninos”, but the ease with which equatorial heat now travels to the poles suggests that the “two year rule”may well no longer apply.

        Reply
  7. Nancy

     /  January 24, 2016

    Has anyone seen this news reported on TV or in the papers? The media, in my view, is completely ignoring the changes to our atmosphere, allowing the denialsphere to continue to confuse the voters. For anyone who wants to know the presidential candidates’ positions on climate change, the local TV station in New Hampshire, WMUR, has this 14 minute video. Be careful to not let your head explode watching it. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=s69Iu64VwdU

    Thanks for giving us the latest information, Robert. It should be on the front page of the NYT.

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  January 24, 2016

      Nancy, you’re correct, the mainstream news pretty much never addresses climate change, even though many of their top stories are concerning extreme weather and record setting events. They report all the time about climate change, but convince their viewers it’s not climate change and everything is fine.

      Reply
      • Several notable exceptions, though:
        Guardian
        NY Times
        LA Times
        USAToday
        NPR
        Washington Post (though still carries deniers/misinfo on op-ed page)

        Reply
        • I’d grade them:

          The Guardian — A+
          NY Times — A
          LA Times — A-
          USAToday — A-
          NPR — B (sporadic coverage and some bad information)
          Washington Post — B- (A coverage in the front fold but deniers in op Ed sends a confusing signal that this is somehow a legitimate view)

          Pretty much all of these except the Guardian dim their coverage of climate change from time to time. NPR has fantastic specials on climate change but the nature of the coverage is so inconsistent that you tend to forget what’s happening. USAToday and LA Times are pretty consistent and hit some of the big stories pretty consistently. Washington Post has fantastic coverage that gets muddied up on the editorial page.

      • Ryan in New England

         /  January 24, 2016

        Yes, Climatehawk, they do cover climate change rather well. In my head as I typed that comment I was thinking about the morning/evening news (ABC, NBC, CBS) which a great many people still get their news from. I would point out (not to suggest you’re incorrect or off base) that all of those that you list, other than NPR, are type based mediums, and most people in this nation of anti-intellectuals don’t read. Those that read are the intelligent minority in this country, and they tend to be the only ones who already know about climate change. Perhaps those papers are the reason?

        Again, I was picturing my Aunts/Uncles, Mom and Dad who still get almost all of their info from traditional morning and evening television news. Those platforms do their viewers and the world a disservice by not pointing out every single day the things that the readers here know deep in their bones.

        Reply
        • No offense intended, Ryan, just wanted to recognize some outlets that are trying and tip other readers on some that can generally be trusted. I (obviously) don’t watch much TV news, partly because I read somewhere a long time ago that print media have much more space available to provide detail and background, and I also like the ability to quickly pick and choose what to pay attention to.

      • Ryan in New England

         /  January 25, 2016

        You’re completely right, climatehawk. For my own information, I definitely prefer print sources, most of my preferred sources are on your list. Actually, there’s not a one on your list that I don’t regularly read.🙂 It’s not you or I that desperately need the info on climate change. It’s the knuckleheads who count on the TV news who get more and more out of touch. And obviously those who rely solely on conservative media have a downright delusional view of the issue.

        Reply
      • Topic omission is absolutely a form of climate change denial.

        It’s funny, I was listening to a reporter once questioning whether they could actually cover climate change. The excuse, apparently, was that the topic was too broad. That it wasn’t something they could handle. Truth is, any good journalist knows that story framing and context is everything. Climate change has just been taken out of the normal story frame.

        Reply
  8. Kevin Jones

     /  January 24, 2016

    Hey, Robert. Bill McKibben has tweeted your Icebergs off Newfoundland report. Good for him. Heard him at the local college last Wed. stumping for Bernie. Good for him.

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  January 24, 2016

      That’s fantastic recognition! McKibben is a very influential figure with a huge audience. His words have a long reach.

      Reply
      • McKibben is amazing. He’s doing everything we should all be doing. He’s putting himself out there on the front lines of this necessary fight against zombie corporations that keep wanting to lock in carbon emissions. If we had a hundred Bill McKibbons, we wouldn’t be in this mess. He’s a visionary leader of the most important social justice movement of our time, perhaps of all time. If he thinks we’re doing something right here, then we’re doing something we should be proud of.

        Reply
  9. climatehawk1

     /  January 24, 2016

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  10. Andy in SD

     /  January 24, 2016

    Here is a satellite shot from yesterday. I found and zoomed into a spot where the Amazon is being burned for farming.

    http://www.arctic.io/explorer/24/2016-01-23/8-N0.87341-W60.49951

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  January 24, 2016

      Powerful image there, Andy. Every time I see the scale of the clearing and burning it makes me want to weep. Those large, barren areas visible from space were once filled with some of the greatest concentrations and diversity of life found on the planet. And we’ve made it disappear forever so that a few individuals can get obscenely wealthy. It’s a crime beyond comprehension.

      Reply
    • From the satellite shot it looks like the progress of some kind of deadly malignancy. We really need to change how we use land. The process that’s going on down there is rapidly destroying one of the Earth’s greatest treasures. A great carbon sink and repository of untold life combined. The transient wealth that will be gained from this dangerous conversion cannot compare to the irreplaceable, precious thing that is lost.

      Thanks for posting this, Andy.

      Reply
  11. – A bit lower in latitude – USA:

    CIPS Analog Guidance ‏@CIPSAnalogs 2h2 hours ago

    Hist. events similar to large-scale pattern for end of Jan –> abv norm temps likely for Plains/Midwest. #JanThaw

    Reply
  12. ABC7News ‏@ABC7News 3h3 hours ago

    #BREAKING LIVE VIDEO: #Redskins practice bubble defalted in #Blizzard2016:

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  January 24, 2016

      That’s one way to get Americans’ attention…mess with football😉

      Reply
  13. Jonathan Overpeck ‏@TucsonPeck 4h4 hours ago

    + Nice from NASA. Each of the three big El Niños since 70’s has been progressively warmer.

    Reply
  14. AK Earthquake Center ‏@AKearthquake 47m47 minutes ago

    A GIF of the ground movements from this morning’s event. Each dot is a seismic station, color shows shaking

    Reply
      • YouTube Newswire ‏@ytnewswire 3h3 hours ago

        Watch #Anchorage International Airport shake as magnitude-7.1 #earthquake hits #Alaska
        Alaska Air Cargo Anchorage Int’l Airport

        Reply
      • Andy in SD

         /  January 24, 2016

        It’s interesting to see the fault line run through the Yukon

        Reply
      • Andy in SD

         /  January 24, 2016

        Actually, correction as those are most likely seismic stations rather than a fault line. They just have stations along that line and it is simply showing the propagation.

        Reply
  15. Anthony Sagliani Retweeted
    Robert Speta ‏@robertspeta 52m52 minutes ago

    Robert Speta Retweeted mitsuki.k

    May not be much, but first ever recorded snowfall in Okinawa this past weekend.

    Reply
    • YouTube Newswire ‏@ytnewswire 3h3 hours ago

      Cold front brings heavy snow to Northern Taiwan

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  January 25, 2016

      Wow, that’s definitely something to take note of. Do you know if this is this the result of Arctic air plunging south after warm air intruded into the arctic?

      Reply
  16. – Low temps FL
    NWS Miami ‏@NWSMiami 27m27 minutes ago

    Other highs today across #SoFla: 61 at MIA & Naples and 60 at Ft. Laud. Upper 50s to lower 60s area-wide, about 15 degrees below normal.

    Reply
  17. – Reality avoidance and counterproductive words from desperate voices and downright jibberish which underlines the importance of Robert’s, et al work here:

    DESPERATION
    huffingtonpost.com/entry/justin-trudeau-tells-leo-dicaprio

    Justin Trudeau Tells Leo DiCaprio To Tone It Down On Climate Change
    In Davos, Trudeau took the actor to task, calling his campaign “inflammatory.”

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged Leonardo DiCaprio to tone down his “inflammatory rhetoric” on climate change saying it was not helping those who have lost their oil-industry jobs.

    ###

    BANAL JIBBERISH
    wsj.com/articles/the-climate-snow-job

    The Climate Snow Job
    A blizzard! The hottest year ever! More signs that global warming and its extreme effects are beyond debate, right? Not even close.

    Surface temperatures are indeed increasing slightly: They’ve been going up, in fits and starts, for more than 150 years, or since a miserably cold and pestilential period known as the Little Ice Age. Before carbon dioxide from economic activity could have warmed us up, temperatures rose three-quarters of a degree Fahrenheit between 1910 and World War II.

    Reply
    • – Global warming and the words of a dangerous simpleton for sure:

      “The science can’t back up that it’s warming,” Sen. Ted Cruz said Wednesday. “If you are a big-government politician, if you want more power, climate change is the perfect pseudo-scientific theory. . . because it can never, ever, ever be disproven.”

      http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/01/ted_cruz_is_a_pseudo_science_onto_himself_editoria.html

      Reply
    • DeCaprio is right, we need to make the energy switch quickly. Trudeau has the ability to help move people to higher employing renewable energy jobs. So he should.

      Wall Street Journal once again shows that it is a font of misinformation and anti-science rhetoric. Pretending that the world’s carbon emissions from the late 19th Century through World War II had not impact on the warming seen during that period is just one more outrageous attempt to play climate shell games. In addition the dates, as with typical climate change denial, are cherry picked. If we begin warming at 1910 and go to now, we’d be at 1.3 C already.

      But it’s no surprise to hear it from this source. Spouting idiocy is what the journal does these days.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  January 25, 2016

        Trudeau can do something, but whether he will or not—well, here in Canada we are watching and waiting. I hope he will be able to get out from under Big Oil, but that speech in Davos was hardly promising.

        Reply
        • Yep. That’s pretty sad. Trudeau is starting to sound like a fake environmentalist. Let’s hope that’s not the case.

    • Bill H

       /  January 25, 2016

      yep, I rather doubt the wsj understands the idea of logarithmic dependence of climate warming on CO2. The increase in global temperatures since the late 19th century actually correlates very well with the log of atmospheric CO2 concentration (unfortunately, I can’t lay my hands on the graph of this at the moment: can anyone help?)

      Reply
  18. – I had to say some thing before nap time… I couldn’t rest:

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  January 25, 2016

      Ha! Did you see Tina Fey’s take on Palin’s endorsement of Trump? I swear, the parody made more sense than Plain’s actual speech. And the conservatives are eating this crap up! Is it really any surprise that Exxon can convince them that the oil companies are the poor victim and it’s greedy fat-cat scientists who are the ones getting rich from climate change?

      Reply
      • Leland Palmer

         /  January 26, 2016

        Hi Ryan-

        Palin’s endorsement of Trump was almost as scary as her speeches about gas pipelines being God’s will a few years ago. The Alaskan government as a wholly owned subsidiary of the oil corporations…

        An Energy Secretary that knows that pipelines are God’s will…you can’t make this stuff up.

        Reply
  19. Steve Bowen ‏@SteveBowenWx 2h2 hours ago

    It’s expected that #Blizzard2016 will become the 15th U.S. billion-dollar winter weather or freeze event since 2000.

    Reply
    • OK, we have15 of them and we start at 2000 and if we stop at 2015… do I see a trend? Or good reason to keep burning fossil fuels in the interest of the economy?

      Reply
  20. Ryan in New England

     /  January 25, 2016

    Oil projects keep getting cancelled, and renewable investment has been increasing.
    I apologize if this story was linked to already. I think Andy or dt may have linked to it a few threads ago.

    As investment has been pulled from the oil and gas industry, clean energy investment has hit a record in 2015 at $329 billion. China has led the way with $110.5 billion – double that of the $56 billion seen from the US. This is a 4 percent increase on the prior year, driven by large scale projects – and indicative of the increasing cost competitiveness of solar and wind power.

    http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/380-Billion-In-Upstream-Projects-Delayed-As-Oil-Keeps-Tanking.html

    Reply
    • The thing that’s most amazing is that we have all fossil fuels at rock bottom prices right now and renewables are still gaining ground. This is not a typical bust cycle for fossil fuels. It looks like the beginning of the end for them.

      Reply
  21. Scott Kelly ‏@StationCDRKelly 24h24 hours ago

    Day 302. #Blizzard2016 gave us an impressive view below. Stay warm! #GoodNight from @space_station! #YearInSpace

    Reply
  22. Ryan in New England

     /  January 25, 2016

    I posted a link to this story already, but it deserves to be repeated. By 2050 there will e more plastic in the oceans than fish! Just a few decades ago basically everything in the ocean was edible to one creature or another. Filter feeders from krill on up to whales ingest plastic bits instead of what was always just edible organic material. Fish that eat shiny things smaller than themselves didn’t evolve to recognize plastic, so they eat that as well as fish. Fish eating birds are already starving to death because their stomachs are filled with plastic. What will happen when half the mass in the once edible ocean is toxic, non-digestible plastic?

    The report says that every year “at least 8m tonnes of plastics leak into the ocean – which is equivalent to dumping the contents of one garbage truck into the ocean every minute. If no action is taken, this is expected to increase to two per minute by 2030 and four per minute by 2050

    “In a business-as-usual scenario, the ocean is expected to contain one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish by 2025, and by 2050, more plastics than fish [by weight].”

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jan/19/more-plastic-than-fish-in-the-sea-by-2050-warns-ellen-macarthur

    Reply
  23. Colorado Bob

     /  January 25, 2016

    So last night I re-watched the NOVA program :

    Mystery Beneath the Ice

    This is about the crash of the krill populations around Antarctica. By 50%, and in some places 90%. And they explain why this happening.

    For the last few years we have heard the deniers harp on the slight growth on sea ice around Antarctica as proof the world is not warming. As anyone who who has studied this is aware, it’s the fresh water layer flowing off the ice cap that is freezing. Fresh water freezes a 32 F degrees, salt water freezes at 26 F degrees. So the ocean surface is freezing at much higher temperature than in the past. Because there is an ever higher melt rate of fresh water sitting on top of the ocean.

    But as this was happening , something else, far more worrisome was taking place. The melt season is 90 days longer. It melts sooner, it freezes later. The Antarctic peninsula has warmed by 11 F degrees in the last 50 years.

    Nobody told the krill.

    All this change has slammed this key species in the food web. The Arctic gets lot’s of focus, but the changes at the bottom of the world are more more worrisome. I wish everyone would watch this program. It’s a very important piece of the new puzzle we find ourselves in.

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  January 25, 2016

      Well said, Bob. This was a very enlightening episode, and the images beneath the ice were breathtaking. As Bob points out, the melt season is 90 days longer, but only now are experts realizing how important the ice is to the krill. The krill feed on phytoplankton, which don’t grow during the sunlight free depths of winter. Even the experts were uncertain how the krill sustained themselves through the winter. So they went there and drilled through the ice and dove into the icy depths to find out.

      It turns out the krill actually graze on the bio-film found frozen on the underside of the sea ice. The images are beautiful. Countless krill grazing along the surface of the ice like herds on the plains of Africa. It just goes to show how little we understand the fundamentals of systems we are destroying. It’s an example of how the small changes we’ve already seen (small compared to what’s coming) can have profound effects.

      Like Bob has warned us before, it’s the little things that will cause our demise. And we are killing the little things.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  January 25, 2016

        Ryan –
        Thanks , I needed that. An excellent follow on .

        To see those baby krill feeding on an ever more thinning grazing area, it reminded me of the caribou. Their numbers are crashing because ice coats the land, and not snow. It reminded me of moose where ticks get the upper hand.

        It’s these changes where we see nothing , and nature is reeling.

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  January 25, 2016

        Bob, you couldn’t be more right. All of these changes go unnoticed and un-felt by most humans, but the animal populations in every corner of the world, at every level of the food chain are being decimated. We are poisoning their habitat, removing their habitat and changing their habitat. These ecosystems have evolved for millions of years and achieved an exquisite balance in line with the climate of the Holocene. We’ve decided to destroy it all in order for a handful of greedy individuals to hoard obscene amounts of wealth.

        Reply
    • It was absolutely terrifying and amazing.

      Worth noting that global sea ice totals are very near to new record daily lows currently.

      Reply
  24. Colorado Bob

     /  January 25, 2016

    Ryan in New England

    Amen

    Reply
  25. Colorado Bob

     /  January 25, 2016

    Southern Jersey Shore Hit With Severe Flooding by Snowstorm’s High Tides

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/25/nyregion/southern-jersey-shore-hit-with-severe-flooding-by-snowstorms-high-tides.html?_r=0

    Now we are the krill.

    Reply
  26. Colorado Bob

     /  January 25, 2016

    H. P. Lovecraft – Wayfaring Stranger

    Reply
  27. labmonkey2

     /  January 25, 2016

    And then there’s this:
    http://www.marathonpetroleum.com/FTOF/

    We’re all doomed.

    Reply
  28. Colorado Bob

     /  January 25, 2016

    HP LOVECRAFT – Country Boy & Bleaker Street

    Reply
  29. Colorado Bob

     /  January 25, 2016

    New York, NY (Central Park)
    –Calendar-day total: 26.6” (old record 24.1” on Feb. 12, 2006)
    –Storm total thru Sun. AM: 26.8” (record 26.9” on Feb. 11-12, 2006)

    New York, NY (LaGuardia)
    –Calendar-day total: 27.9” (old record 23.3” on Feb. 12, 2006)
    –Storm total thru Sun. AM: 27.9” (old record 25.4” on Feb. 11-12, 2006)

    New York, NY (Kennedy):
    –Calendar-day total: 30.3” (old record 24.1” on Feb. 12, 2006)
    –Storm total thru Sun. AM: 30.5” (old record 26.8” on Feb. 16-18 2003)

    Newark, NJ:
    –Calendar-day total: 27.5” (old record 25.9” on Dec. 26, 1947)
    –Storm total thru Sun. AM: 27.9” (old record 27.8” on Jan. 7-8, 1996)

    Allentown, PA
    –Calendar-day total: 30.2” (old record 24.0” on Feb. 11, 1983)
    –Storm total thru Sun. AM: 31.9” (old record 25.6” on Jan. 7-8, 1996)

    Harrisburg, PA
    –Calendar-day total: 26.4” (old record 24.0” on Feb. 11, 1983)
    –Storm total thru Sun. AM: 30.2” (old record 25.0” on Feb. 12-13, 1983)

    Philadelphia, PA:
    –Calendar-day total: 19.4” (record 27.6 on Jan. 7, 1996)
    –Storm total thru Sun. AM: 22.4” (record 31.0” on Jan. 6-8, 1996)

    Baltimore, MD (Baltimore-Washington Airport and earlier sites):
    –Calendar-day total: 25.5” (old record 23.3” on Jan. 28, 1922)
    –Storm total thru Sun. AM: 29.2” (old record 26.8” on Feb. 16-18, 2003)

    Washington, DC (Dulles)
    –Calendar-day total: 22.1” (record 22.5” on Feb. 11, 1983)
    –Storm total thru Sun. AM: 29.3” (record 32.4” on Feb. 5-6, 2010)

    Washington, DC (National Airport and earlier sites):
    –Calendar-day total: 11.3” (record 21.0” on Jan. 28, 1922)
    –Storm total thru Sun. AM: 17.8” (record 28.0” on Jan. 27-29, 1922)

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/colossal-noreaster-dumps-record-snow-from-maryland-to-new-york

    Reply
  30. Colorado Bob

     /  January 25, 2016

    The wind speed at Langley, Va. reached 77 mph.

    This was “cold” Sandy.

    Reply
  31. Question. Was there a period in Earth’s paleoclimate that is comparable to the atmospheric gas concentrations (notably co2, but also oxygen), axis tilt, temperatures, and biomass concentration as the period toward which we are now headed? Can we infer a massive acidification of the oceans, a sulfuric atmosphere, or are different scenarios more probable, perhaps a darker, warmer, low light ecosystem most hospitable to simple plants and fungi? I am honestly trying to wrap my brain around the inevitable consequences of this trajectory, and I have no background to do so. Are there hints from our past that will help forecast how our future planet will look?

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  January 25, 2016

      Never ever.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  January 25, 2016

        szuletik

        It’s not the conditions, it’s the velocity. Every record of change , except for rocks the size of the largest mountain on Earth plowing into the planet. . It took tens of thousands of years to change just a bit, Since 1850, we have packed 10 million years of change into less than 2 centuries.

        Life is wonderful, but we out stripped it ,

        It’s called the “Great Uncontrolled Experiment”

        Every time you drive your car, heat your house, light your life, buy your food, cook your food. We run that “Great Uncontrolled Experiment” forward .

        There are 7 billion of us.

        Do the math.

        Reply
        • It’s the context and the velocity. If you get to 1,000 ppm CO2, regardless of how fast or slow, you get a mass die off. The problem is that we are doing it very, very fast. Maybe in 1 Century where it happened before over thousands of years. It’s just ridiculously insane. But if we do keep burning the way we are, we will set up Permian hothouse extinction conditions within just 1-2 Centuries.

    • Running the Permian in fast forward is basically what it looks like if we keep burning fossil fuels. Read ‘Under a Green Sky.’

      Reply
    • Caroline

       /  January 25, 2016

      This article was linked on Robert’s blog several threads back that relates to your question about the trajectory we are on:

      http://www.msi.ucsb.edu/news/paleo-climate-change

      From article:

      “New research from UC Santa Barbara geologist James Kennett and colleagues examines a shift from a glacial to an interglacial climate that began about 630,000 years ago. Their research demonstrates that, although this transition developed over seven centuries, the initial shift required only 50 years.

      “One of the most astonishing things about our results is the abruptness of the warming in sea surface temperatures,” explained co-author Kennett, a professor emeritus in UCSB’s Department of Earth Science. “Of the 13 degree Fahrenheit total change, a shift of 7 to 9 degrees occurred almost immediately right at the beginning.”

      “Kennett said that one of the current worries about modern global warming is that the increase in ocean temperatures will destabilize methane hydrates located at relatively shallow depths on the ocean margin, in turn causing positive feedbacks that reinforce the global warming. In fact, this appears already to be occurring in the ocean.”
      _______________
      A colleague of mine interviewed Professor Kennett on public radio in December. He is the man that posited the clathrate gun hypothesis.
      It was clear from the interview that he is MOST concerned about our current trajectory especially in light of the recent findings re: abrupt (we’re talking REALLY abrupt!) rate of climate change.

      Reply
      • Caroline

         /  January 25, 2016

        I’ve arranged an interview with Dr. Brian Moench (president of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment and a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists) on the public/community radio station mentioned above. Dr. Moench has done heroic work, speaking truth to power and always connecting the dots: linking human induced climate change, pollution, habitat destruction to a host of crises which would include an increase in vector borne diseases such as the Zika virus.

        From an article today (BBC and several other sources)
        The Zika virus, a mosquito-borne disease suspected of causing serious birth defects, is expected to spread to all countries in the Americas except Canada and Chile, the World Health Organization said.

        Dr. Moench is scheduled to be on http://www.wojb.org @ 8:30 CT on 1/29
        Pass along any questions!

        Reply
      • Thank you.

        Reply
      • “Dr. Moench has done heroic work, speaking truth to power and always connecting the dots…”
        Yes, he does.
        I look forward to hearing him.
        Thanks

        Reply
  32. redskylite

     /  January 25, 2016

    Further CB’s posting of the University of South Florida’s piece on the AMOC slowdown and climate affects, (in the Jonas blizzard blog), Stefan Rahmstorf posts an interesting piece in “Realclimate” today, titled “Blizzard Jonas and the slowdown of the Gulf Stream System”, in which Stefan argues that the warmth in the ocean off the U.S East coast, that has been deduced as responsible for the recent record snow event, is a long term change, and partly due to the AMOC slowdown. Deduced from observations and modelling runs.

    “When Jake Gyllenhaal was snowed in in the New York public library in the film The Day After Tomorrow after an AMOC collapse, the physics may have been wrong, but perhaps there was a grain of truth in that snow storm after all.”

    Excellent read, got a little confused at the colors used for blob temperatures in the figs.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2016/01/blizzard-jonas-and-the-slowdown-of-the-gulf-stream-system/

    Reply
  33. Colorado Bob

     /  January 25, 2016

    szuletik / January 25, 2016

    Question. Was there a period in Earth’s paleoclimate that is comparable to the atmospheric gas concentrations (notably co2, but also oxygen), axis tilt, temperatures, and biomass concentration as the period toward which we are now headed?

    No, because there was never a chain saw army , or sea fleet , or mining attack, like we see now.

    THERE ARE 7 BILLION PEOPLE

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  January 25, 2016

      a chain saw army

      Nothing I mean nothing , in the history of the Earth compares to this, a chain saw army.

      Listen, all over world they are roaring . Cutting every tree they see.

      That’s not in the record, where species could destroy another in less than 2 centuries.

      And it ain’t just trees.
      Bison , we shot nearly 6 million one bullet at time .
      Cod , America was cod. They are gone from our waters.
      etc, etc, etc.

      There’s paper on this .

      It’s called Historical Amnesia,

      You don’t see the world, that Lewis and Clark saw. So for you, that is normal.

      Reply
      • islandraider

         /  January 25, 2016

        Shifting baselines, short memories, and a lack of the ability to see the interconnected nature of ecosystems. All contribute to the extreme difficulty in getting people to understand the predicament we are in.

        A quote I like:

        “One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.”
        ― Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

        Reply
      • Yes. We are consuming our host. It doesn’t need to be that way. But we are not intelligent enough as a species to understand that the common goal of survival is worth working toward- together. We require a functioning planet ecosystem to survive. Deniers are not going to admit there are forces capable of determining human “destiny”. Old story, sadly- and all species suffer for it.

        Reply
      • danabanana

         /  January 25, 2016

        “That’s not in the record, where species could destroy another in less than 2 centuries”

        Big herbivore dinosaurs consumed so much green stuff that atmospheric methane increased greatly. http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/17953792

        Also cyanobacteria were responsible for the increase in atmospheric oxygen.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stromatolite

        We are not the first species to alter the planet’s chemistry but we are the ones doing it the fastest.

        Reply
        • Species that dominate tend to disrupt things. Human beings may be the first species that is actually able to mitigate the harm that it’s causing. But we will need to be very diligent and wise to do so. The question basically boils down to — are we smarter than yeast? Let’s hope so.

  34. Colorado Bob

     /  January 25, 2016

    You don’t see the world, that Lewis and Clark saw. So for you, that is normal.
    It’s called Historical Amnesia,

    When i was boy, coming home from school in the 5 th grade. I saw baby horny toads every day in the spring. Now, they are all gone. Now the kids walking along that path, have not idea they were ever there.

    Historical Amnesia

    Reply
  35. Colorado Bob

     /  January 25, 2016

    I love Italy from space at night. Look at it . No place on Earth has ever had this dense amount of people. For as long .
    The next time , you see the puny humans theory , post this image.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  January 25, 2016

      If I could have posted this same shot 100 years ago , all of that would be dark.

      Puny humans indeed.

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  January 25, 2016

      The scale and pace of change is truly unbelievable, isn’t it Bob? One of the most aggravating comments from deniers is the whole “humans are insignificant” line. We’ve covered every corner of the globe. There’s 7.3 billion of us. We used to make up less than 1% of total biomass, and now we and what we grow to eat makes up 99% of the world’s biomass. We have become the primary geological force on this planet.

      Reply
  36. redskylite

     /  January 25, 2016

    Sundance Film Festival (competing), Jan. 24, 2016. Running time: 125 MIN.

    HOW TO LET GO OF THE WORLD (AND LOVE ALL THE THINGS CLIMATE CAN’T CHANGE)

    variety.com , , , , , , , , ,

    With one statistic after another, the movie paints a picture of the inevitable flooding of coastal cities and an ensuing struggle for homes and food. “I don’t know about you,” Fox says at one point, “but I’m about ready to watch a few cat videos right now.”

    After admitting, about 40 minutes in, that he is resigned to pure hopelessness, Fox suddenly shifts tactics, seeking out ground-level activists around the world who have come up with local solutions to climate problems. “I needed to find the people who’d found this place, this place of despair, and gotten back up,”

    Trailer .. . .

    Reply
  37. Colorado Bob

     /  January 25, 2016

    redskylite

    Great quote, i stole it. The clip sucks.

    Nobody has their head around how deep this shit really is.

    Makes this movie.

    Reply
  38. Colorado Bob

     /  January 25, 2016

    RS –
    Earlier tonight , I was compered to you. It was tended as a slur. I was so proud when saw it.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  January 25, 2016

      Here;s the “in” and “I”, I missed. If this platform had a edit function, my spelling would be cracker jack.

      Cracker Jack.

      I love that term. It means so much more now.

      Reply
    • Ha! Really? What was the context? That’s absolutely hilarious.

      You’re a great one, Bob. Learned quite a bit from you. You can tell those jackasses that you were my Obi Wan Kenobi.😉

      Reply
  39. Abel Adamski

     /  January 25, 2016

    Digressing back to Brazil and Samarco and that dam
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/mining-and-resources/samarco-sensors-gave-warnings-well-before-brazil-damburst–reports-20160125-gmdnig.html

    Brazilian iron ore miner Samarco Mineração SA received serious danger warnings from ground sensors in 2014 and 2015, months before a deadly and environmentally destructive burst of a tailings dam, Globo TV’s Fantastico newsmagazine said on Sunday.

    The alerts, from probes driven deep into the dam’s structure to detect ground moisture and stability, reached as high as “emergency” levels, Fantastico said, citing Samarco-commissioned engineering studies provided to prosecutors investigating the case.

    The video on that article isn’t too bad.

    P.S glad to see R.S, C.B, D.T and all the US residents saw that episode , the prelude act through OK

    Reply
  40. Colorado Bob

     /  January 25, 2016

    So I went looking for the phrase in the The Magnificent Seven. I found every great quote ever.

    “A fella offered me a job in a grocery store. Fella says I’ll make a crackerjack clerk. Crackerjack”

    The Magnificent Seven Theme • Elmer Bernstein

    “A fella offered me a job in a grocery store. Fella says I’ll make a crackerjack clerk. Crackerjack”

    Reply
    • This gave me a good laugh. I honestly think my use of the word came from these westerns. My dad and I used to watch them Sunday afternoons together.

      Reply
  41. Colorado Bob

     /  January 25, 2016

    This movie from from 55 years ago has a lot to teach us.

    I Want Him Buried

    Reply
  42. Colorado Bob

     /  January 25, 2016

    You know, I’ve been in some towns where the girls weren’t very pretty. Matter of fact, I’ve been in some towns where they were downright ugly. But this is the first time I’ve ever been in a town where there are no girls at all

    Reply
  43. Colorado Bob

     /  January 25, 2016

    Reminds me of that fella back home who fell off a ten-story building. As he was falling, people on each floor kept hearing him say, “So far, so good.” Heh, so far, so good.

    Reply
  44. Colorado Bob

     /  January 25, 2016

    Fella I once knew in El Paso, one day he took all his clothes off and jumped in a mess of cactus. I asked him the same question, why? He said it seemed to be a good idea at the time.

    Reply
  45. Colorado Bob

     /  January 25, 2016

    The Magnificent Seven Confronting Calvera

    If God didn’t want them sheared , he would have not made them sheep.

    Reply
  46. Jeremy

     /  January 25, 2016

    “Fifty dead and thousands stranded as cold snap hits East Asia”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-35397763

    “A cold snap sweeping across East Asia has led to more than 50 deaths in Taiwan and stranded at least 60,000 tourists in South Korea.”

    Reply
  47. Colorado Bob

     /  January 25, 2016

    The jackasses have control of the great movies.

    So let’s look at another one .

    Master and Commander The Far Side Of The World “Final Battle”

    Reply
  48. Ryan in New England

     /  January 25, 2016
    Reply
    • Ryan…I was just about to post this article until I saw you beat me to it….🙂
      The Guardian has become my “go to” mainstream media source since they are so diligent about publishing Climate Change article.

      Reply
  49. Jeremy

     /  January 25, 2016

    Latest Ecoshock Radio with Alec Smith.
    Discussion of the end of Nuclear Power .

    Very informative.

    [audio src="http://www.radio4all.net/responder.php/download/84954/93626/105565/?url=http://www.ecoshock.net/downloads/ES_160127_Show.mp3" /]

    Reply
  50. Hello All:

    Extrordinary weather all around the globe, across huge areas of East and SE Asia another outbreak of Arctic super-cold air reaches far further south than ever in living memory.

    “A cold snap sweeping across East Asia has led to more than 50 deaths in Taiwan and stranded at least 60,000 tourists in South Korea. Taiwanese media reported a rash of deaths from hypothermia and cardiac disease following a sudden drop in temperature over the weekend. Meanwhile heavy snow forced the closure of the airport on the Korean holiday island of Jeju, cancelling flights. The cold spell has also hit Hong Kong, southern China and Japan”. From: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-35397763

    See also: http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/1904384/polar-vortex-hits-hong-kong-record-low

    http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1904909/records-tumble-across-planet-polar-vortex-storms-kill-cause-chaos-and

    Temperatures have fallen as low as 3 degrees in Hong Kong city and the mountains have been heavily covered in frost; Taiwan is reeling under mutliple deaths of the elderly, with the latest BBC report saying that 85 at least have perished. The cold running through Hong Kong expected to last around a full week.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-35397763

    Newsweek Europe reports:

    “In Hong Kong, temperatures fell to 3 degrees Celsius (37.4 Fahrenheit), the lowest in 60 years, forcing kindergartens and primary schools to close on Monday. Parts of southern China have had snow—a rare occurrence—while the Japanese island of Okinawa has experienced sleet for the first time. More than 600 flights have been grounded in Japan while at least three people have died from the cold, CNN reports. China, which issued an orange weather warning on Sunday, was gearing up for a busy travel period. February 8 marks the start of Chinese New Year, when many people go on holiday.

    Even in balmy Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, temperatures fell, though to a rather less frigid 16 degrees Celsius (60.8 Fahrenheit). Vietnam was hit by temperatures of 6 degrees Celsius (42.8 Fahrenheit), the coldest for the country in two decades”.

    See: http://europe.newsweek.com/least-90-dead-temperatures-plummet-across-east-asia-cold-419064?rm=eu

    El Fenomeno del Niño is really showing its claws, combined with the superheated oceans by climate change and a completely out-of-control jetstream that buckles far to the north and south in astonishing acrobatics of extreme troughs and ridges.

    As to the background science, as useful resource is the Arctic Oscillation page of Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER/VERISK) https://www.aer.com/science-research/climate-weather/arctic-oscillation that explains for their outlook of 18th January:

    “Initially there are two dominant areas of positive geopotential height anomalies in the mid-to high-latitudes with one region of positive geopotential height anomalies centered over Greenland with ridging/positive geopotential height anomalies spread across the North American Arctic. This in turn is displacing a piece of the tropopospheric PV southward across the Great Lakes. Negative geopotential height anomalies stretch from southern Hudson Bay southward to the Gulf Coast. This pattern has yielded relatively mild temperatures for Alaska, northeastern Canada and Greenland but well below normal temperatures for the Canadian and United States Plains and much of the Eastern United States. This pattern will be in place through the week but as the AO trends positive, temperatures are predicted to become more seasonable across the Central and Eastern United States.

    The other region of positive geopotential height anomalies is centered over Western Siberia with a strong surface reflection in the mean sea level pressure field and an impressive Siberian High. The strong ridging/building of geopotential heights both across Siberia and Greenland are forcing negative geopotential height anomalies across much of Europe. Similarly the strong ridging/building of geopotential heights both across Siberia is forcing negative geopotential height anomalies across China. This strongly blocked atmospheric circulation, in the shape of the Greek letter omega, has resulted in a generally cold pattern across Eurasia. Some notable exceptions to the cold pattern are across northcentral Siberia close to the region of Arctic warming and southwestern Asia, which is under the influence of a mild southwesterly flow of air downstream of the trough of low pressure dominating Europe.”

    Reply
  51. Kevin Jones

     /  January 25, 2016

    Brief clip on Democracy Now this morning of a Vietnamese farmer with snow on his thatched roof in background saying he’s never seen anything like this….livestock & crops dying in the cold…..

    Reply
  52. Reblogged this on Rhya's Place.

    Reply
  53. New post on Real Climate by Prof. Stefan Rahmstorf

    Blizzard Jonas and the slowdown of the Gulf Stream System

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2016/01/blizzard-jonas-and-the-slowdown-of-the-gulf-stream-system/

    Reply
  54. Reblogged this on GarryRogers Nature Conservation and commented:
    GR: Losing the polar ice and high-pressure cap are unconscionable. I didn’t think we could, but now the possibility is real.

    Reply
  55. Caroline

     /  January 25, 2016

    Robert, thanks for your excellent (as always) coverage of the latest AGW enhanced storm. Really appreciated your videos too!
    And I wholeheartedly second what you say about Bill McKibben above:
    “McKibben is amazing. He’s doing everything we should all be doing. He’s putting himself out there on the front lines of this necessary fight against zombie corporations that keep wanting to lock in carbon emissions. If we had a hundred Bill McKibbons, we wouldn’t be in this mess. He’s a visionary leader of the most important social justice movement of our time, perhaps of all time.”
    Yes!!
    Here he is again today:
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/25/zika-virus-brazil-dystopian-climate-future

    Reply
  56. Greg

     /  January 25, 2016

    Robert. Thank you for the hat tip. Do you see a connection/ article for the Tues/Wed northpole extreme warmth and the Southeast Asia freakish cold snap?

    Reply
    • So if you look at the hot and cold anomaly maps, what you see is an extreme warm departure running from NE of Greenland to the Pole then southeastward over the Lap.tev and Kara then on into North Central Siberia. As is usual with these polar warming events, there’s a related but lesser pool of cold air anomaly to the south. In this case, a subset of cold, Arctic air has been driven out into Southeast Asia.

      Jet Stream analysis finds a coordinate dip in the circumpolar winds into that region along with a strong cold front having swept in at the time of greatest temperature departures below normal there.

      The warm departures in the Arctic are, again, pretty ridiculous — in the range of above 20 C and 36 F above average over an enormous region. The cold departures in SE Asia appear to have been in the range of -10 to -15 C and also over a more isolated area.

      I think it’s important to note that with more moisture in suspension in the Atmosphere (7 percent now) there’s a higher likelihood that any cold snap will produce snowfall. Which may be the reason we saw anomalous snows in Okinawa over the weekend.

      Reply
    • For reference, it was colder in parts of Okinawa than along the southeastern tip of Svalbard during part of this event (-1.5 C [Svalbard] vs -3 C [Okinawa]).

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  January 25, 2016

        Thank you. This is becoming the new normal. I imagine a slowly spinning giant cold water spherical bathtub and pouring hot water in the top with food dye and watching the eddies and swirls as it mixes. A lot more complicated for sure but visually helpful.

        Reply
  57. Wharf Rat

     /  January 25, 2016

    New Legal Analysis Shows How Untapped Clean Air Act Provision Can Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
    Report from Three of the Nation’s Premier Climate Law Centers Concludes that EPA Can Create Economy-Wide, Market-Based Program Under Clean Air Act Section 115 to Help Achieve Paris Agreement Goals Efficiently

    “A team of law professors and attorneys at three U.S. centers devoted to climate change and environmental law have published a joint paper concluding that an unused provision of the Clean Air Act authorizes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop and implement an economy-wide, market-based program to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions and achieve the Obama Administration’s Paris Agreement pledge. The program could be implemented without further Congressional action and would provide regulators and businesses seeking to mitigate climate change with clear benefits – increased flexibility, heightened administrative and economic efficiency, and greater effectiveness.

    Legal Pathways to Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Under Section 115 of the Clean Air Act, was published by the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law, and the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University (NYU) School of Law.

    The report offers an in-depth analysis of Section 115,titled “International Air Pollution,” which authorizes the EPA to require states to address emissions that contribute to air pollution endangering the public health or welfare in other countries if the other countries provide the U.S. with reciprocal protections.

    The paper examines the legal basis for invoking the provision, and a number of critical legal issues that would confront implementation of a comprehensive nationwide program.

    This analysis offers a blueprint for federal action, and has been endorsed by scholars at Yale Law School, New York University School of Law, University of Virginia Law School, University of California-Berkeley School of Law, and Stanford Law School.

    https://www.law.columbia.edu/media_inquiries/news_events/2016/january2016/clean-air-act-section-115

    Reply
  58. danabanana

     /  January 25, 2016

    So it appears that Carbon capture schemes/projects have not been rolled out because they are expensive… yet we (or rather they) found money in the Trillions to bail out Banks worldwide. ***shakes head***

    Reply
    • Exactly. Tells you a little something messed up about our priorities, doesn’t it?

      But it’s worth noting that the most efficient and least expensive way to reduce emissions is not to install carbon capture. It’s to shut down fossil fuels and replace them with renewables. Much cleaner too.

      Reply
  59. There is a little film called Diary of a Snake Bite Death, by Tom McNamara. It essentially follows a physician’s own documenting of his death via snakebite. He knew the snake that bit him was lethal. He knew he was having symptoms. Why didn’t he check into a hospital and attempt treatment? Did he think all efforts would be futile? Did he believe was actually immune, that everything he knew to be true somehow didn’t apply this one time? I feel we are in the throes of just such a scenario. Our inability to act now baffles the minds of those of us who would rather attempt to survive this. We have a diagnosis.

    Reply
    • The sanity in this post is very much appreciated. You, my friend, are the anti-doomer.

      It’s not just that we should attempt to survive this, to stop it in its tracks. We have every moral obligation to ourselves, our friends, our families, our loved ones, to life on Earth itself to do so.

      We identify threats here for just this reason — to elicit a response appropriate to the extreme level of rising danger. To turn people’s response switches on. To get everyone on board in facing this thing. This is an all-hands-on deck moment. And any good captain would call it.

      All hands. We need all hands here.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  January 25, 2016

        Would that we had some/any actual ‘captains’–top political and business leaders–who actually do understand the (as you put so well) “extreme level of rising danger,” who communicated this danger effectively, who called us all to respond at an appropriately dramatic fashion, and who did all s/he could to implement policies that might give ourselves and our progeny a chance of avoiding the worst.

        Reply
  60. Dear Robert, I posted a comment to this posting, which hasn’t appeared. Was it deficient in some way? I tried to give some information online about the cold snaps worldwide and in Asia, which I thought was pertinent. The non-appearance of one of my comments has happended before. May I please ask if there was a reason, to be able to understand if I am unwelcome or if objectively what I wrote you evaluated it and found it not relevant. Much appreciate clarification. My email is tmkowal@googlemail.com Many thanks Mark Kowal

    Reply
    • wili

       /  January 25, 2016

      Hi Torsten,

      I should let Robert reply, but I do notice that when I try to make posts with more than one link in them they generally don’t go through. I have also had other times when posts with no links didn’t go through. I assume there are still some glitches in the system, as these were pretty innocuous posts. I hope you continue to post, in spite of these (in my experience of blogs run by over-worked people) inevitable glitches.

      Best,
      wili

      Reply
    • Torsten — I found your multi-linked post and approved it.

      So there are a few filter options that I have running to keep things sane around here. One is that multi-linked posts require approval. The other is that new posters are held in queue for approval. This is primarily to keep out climate change denier related misinformation, posts that detract from the level of the discussion, and to aid in preventing trolling/spam.

      That said, I get quite a lot of posts and sometimes I might miss a few good ones. If that’s happened to you, then please accept my regrets. My experience, though, is that the WordPress comment system is also a bit glitchy and sometimes there’s nothing on my end that I can do to retrieve a lost comment. Generally, if it comes to my attention, and I can dig it up, then I do.

      Ryan — I’d be curious to know how often this happens for you? I’d really like to make certain the lane is clear for top commenters and those honestly seeking to contribute to the dialogue.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  January 25, 2016

        It doesn’t happen too often for me. Mostly I just assume that my post was so good that you wanted to steal it for yourself and get all the credit!! ‘-) jk (That would actually be fine with me, by the way.)

        It seems to be a time thing–there will be a few hours or more when nothing I post shows up, then it’s back to normal. No problem, really. Glitches happen. And I don’t always have to air every random thought that floats through my addled brain!🙂

        Reply
        • I wonder if posts with more comments have more problems. I do notice there’s sometimes a lag in the amount of comments coming in.

        • This seems to me something that has to be more on wordpress’s end than mine. Although I do find posts like Torstens that I’ve just simply missed due to volume.

        • I’ve also encountered what I’d describe as various forms of active suppression of the blog and posts. DNS poisoning has been a problem (which I can get around pretty easily) and the kinds of glitches I get can often be attributed to various forms of hacking. I’ve also found malicious code in comments. So, yeah, it’s the wild, wild west out there.

          I’m really sorry for any trouble. I’d recommend to anyone who can’t post here to copy and paste to facebook as well with a note to me to post it for you, if possible. If I have time, I’ll go through and transfer them here.

        • … and then of course there are the ignoramus comments that I get in near constant stream. For example, in response to my recent comment on how we set up a new Permian over the course of the next 1-2 Centuries with continued fossil fuel burning, I get this bozo response from some guy with the sock puppet name of ‘Bob.’

          ‘Easy. It’s not my problem.’

          Not my problem. The heartless chant of idiots everywhere who would just let atrocity be. What if the US said ‘not my problem’ about Hitler? What if we said ‘not my problem’ about DDT or CFCs? How many people in Germany said ‘not my problem’ about what was happening to the Jews? Or in the US about slaves for generations and generations?

          It’s amazing how quickly ‘not my problem’ now becomes my problem tomorrow. And the callous indifference that isolates people in this way generates far more problems than necessary, creating an ever-weakening response to any problem due to total apathy.

          Pathetic. I call such people lack-spine. Thought drool. An individual completely unworthy of possessing a cerebral cortex due to pure lack of will to even use it. A limbically-impared individual unwilling to use the one ability that makes human beings among the most capable species on this Earth — the ability to work together effectively and to put petty personal desires aside for the greater good.

          As if ramping worsening conditions weren’t already taking place. Or as if the person has no care in the world for the fates of their children or grandchildren or as if this person is so bloody-mindedly selfish as to not consider it completely monstrous to leave a ruined world behind them. (Spam/Trash). Next.

          Those trolls can go dumb down and brutalize the discourse somewhere else. We do not cater to such thuggishness here.

      • Ryan in New England

         /  January 25, 2016

        Hi Robert. If I’m the Ryan you’re asking, I don’t think I’ve ever lost a comment or not had one come through. From what I can gather from other comments over the years, I would guess a missing/unapproved comment would probably have something to do with multiple links.

        As far as your filtering system, I’m totally fine with it. It has kept the comment section free from trolls, with productive discussion as long as I have been coming here🙂

        Reply
        • 🙂 Fantastic. Then it’s working as intended. Troll-free open discussion. Torsten was one of the multi-link issues. Shouldn’t have a problem if he keeps the links to 1.

          Thanks for the feedback, Ryan.

        • climatehawk1

           /  January 26, 2016

          Agreed, I’ve had no problems either. Very much appreciate the conscientious moderation.

      • wili

         /  January 26, 2016

        I can’t imagine how tedious it must be to wade through and eliminate all the idiotic tripe that must wash up on your shore. But we all appreciate the consistently high-caliber discussion and contributions that result. There truly are very few places on the internet as good, that I know of. Thanks, Robert.

        Reply
  61. Weird weather? Blame the North Atlantic

    “the extent to which standing records have been shattered – in such a short space of time – is astounding. This suggests some sort of regional effect may have amplified the extremes experienced around the North Atlantic.”

    https://theconversation.com/weird-weather-blame-the-north-atlantic-53271

    Reply
  62. Tsar Nicholas

     /  January 25, 2016

    Meawhil, the British justice (sic) system is about to send to jail some people who want to save humanity. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-35403577

    Reply
  63. Jeremy

     /  January 25, 2016

    Thouroughly rotten in Europe.

    “Conflicts of interest in the field of energy and climate policy are being ignored by EU institutions, allowing some of the world’s biggest polluters to potentially benefit from the know-how and contact books of top Brussels insiders, according to a new report.”

    http://realmedia.press/brussels-big-energy-revolving-doors-a-hothouse-for-climate-change-2/

    Reply
  64. – When alluding to any climate changing via fossil fuels by the world population — one might well consider one other data point.
    That being the number of combustion vehicles in operation.
    (‘Combustion’ via FF is key.)
    ###

    Analysis

    World Vehicle Population Tops 1 Billion Units
    – WardsAuto Aug 15, 2011

    The number of vehicles in operation worldwide surpassed the 1 billion-unit mark in 2010 for the first time ever.

    According to Ward’s research, which looked at government-reported registrations and historical vehicle-population trends, global registrations jumped from 980 million units in 2009 to 1.015 billion in 2010.

    The figures reflect the approximate number of cars, light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses registered worldwide, but that does not include off-road, heavy-duty vehicles.
    http://wardsauto.com/news-analysis/world-vehicle-population-tops-1-billion-units

    Reply
    • Number of the Week: What If Rest of World Had as Many Cars as U.S.?

      Reply
    • ! “registered worldwide, but that does not include off-road, heavy-duty vehicles.!
      Off-road USA — recreational crime against nature and humanity if there ever was one.

      Reply
  65. How a changing ocean circulation could worsen East Coast blizzards

    “We have pretty good certainty that the northwest Atlantic is going to be a hotspot for climate change,”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/01/25/climate-scientist-why-a-changing-ocean-circulation-could-worsen-east-coast-blizzards/?tid=ss_tw

    Reply
  1. Polar Regions Workstream
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