Arctic Heatwave Drives Deadly Asian Cold Snap

In the Arctic today, there’s a warm wind howling over Siberia. It’s a wind blowing from the northwest. A wind originating from the Arctic Ocean. Siberia is warming up today because warm air blew in from the direction of the North Pole. This should strike everyone as ridiculously, insanely odd.

****

In Okinawa it snowed for the first time since 1977 this weekend. In Taiwan, a cold snap turned deadly killing 85 as tens of thousands more huddled in homes that lacked any form of central heating. In South Korea, 500 flights were grounded due to unseasonable weather. In Hong Kong, the temperature was 3 C — the same temperature as a region near the southwestern coast of Svalbard east of Greenland and above the Arctic Circle.

What the hell is going on? In short, a global warming driven heat-up of the Arctic has punched a hole in the Jet Stream and driven chill, Arctic air all the way into portions of Southeast Asia that seldom ever see temperatures go below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 Celsius).

An Arctic Super-Warmed By Climate Change

Temperatures in the Arctic are just off the charts warm for this time of year. It’s the sad result for a region that now sits in the bull’s eye of rapid heat accumulation due to human greenhouse gas emissions forcing the world above 400 parts per million CO2 and 485 parts per million CO2e. CO2 levels alone that have not been seen in at least 3 million years and a ridiculous total heat forcing at the top of the atmosphere that likely hasn’t been seen for all of the past 10 million years.

Arctic Heatwave, Southeast Asian Chill

(Extreme heat in the High Arctic brings summer-like seasonality to that region even as a record cold snap grips sections of Southeast Asia. Image source: Climate Reanalyzer.)

It’s the kind of heat forcing that has a profound, far-ranging impacts. Impacts, that for many regions of our world, start in the Arctic.

There, in the long dark of polar night, all that overburden of greenhouse gasses is doing its work to re-radiate the sun’s heat. And the ocean sitting beneath the inexorably thinning and greatly reduced sea ice is also transporting that accumulated heat into the Arctic air. Firing off weather systems that run northward in Kamikaze fashion. Surging up through the gauntlet of Greenland chill along that increasingly dangerous storm bombification zone of the North Atlantic. Howling over Svalbard and into the Arctic itself. Giant heat engines aimed directly at the Arctic’s heart.

And heat the Arctic in strange and stunning fashion all of these various processes do — with a large region of extreme, above average temperatures stretching from the North Pole itself, to the northeast tip of Greenland, all throughout a quarter-pie section of the High Arctic above the 80th parallel, on into the Kara, the Laptev, and finally terminating in what should be deeply frozen North-Central Siberia. This entire vast region features temperatures in the range of 20 degrees Celsius or more (36 degrees Fahrenheit) above average for this time of year. For today, for this vast section of the Arctic, it’s as if the Winter Season did not exist.

Extreme Warmth in the Arctic, Cold in Southeast Asia

image

(Gale force northwesterly winds bring much warmer than usual temperatures to Northeastern Siberia even as record cold hits Southeast Asia. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

Just off the coast of Svalbard the current temperature is 3.7 C (or 39 degrees F). That’s the same reading that Taipei City Taiwan, thousands of miles to the south and sitting in the ridiculously warm Southwest Pacific, saw yesterday. Running along the zero degree Longitude line to 85 North, just a few hundred miles from the North Pole, we find 1 C or 34 F temperatures. Temperatures run near or even above freezing along a vast section of ice-covered waters in the Arctic Ocean above 80 North Latitude and on toward the coast of Siberia. There at 74.5 North and 87.55 East, a freakishly warm northwest wind howling out of the Arctic Ocean is pushing temperatures to -1.4 C (29.5 F and above the point at which salty ocean water freezes). It’s colder now in the hills of North Vietnam at 20.1 North Latitude, 103.9 East Longitude with temperatures there hitting -1.5 C (29.3 F).

This is worth repeating — it’s colder in North Vietnam than it is on the shores of Arctic Siberia. Something, most definitely is not right with the weather.

Predictable Seasons Disrupted

To understand what, we need to think for a little bit about atmospheric physics. In a normal world — meaning the world in which we’re used to living, the same world in which human civilization developed and evolved — cold remains mostly locked in the Arctic. Heat remains most highly concentrated at the Equator. This is due to the fact that at the greenhouse gas levels of the Holocene (in the range of 275 parts per million CO2 and 600 parts per billion methane) solar insolation — or the direct heating of the Earth’s surface by the sun’s rays — was more-so in the driver’s seat. The blanket of greenhouse gasses was in that nice Goldilocks zone where its heat trapping ability was just enough to keep the Equator hot, the mid Latitudes mostly warm, and the poles cold. Just right.

This just right atmospheric heat balance with cold at the poles and heat at the Equator set up a large temperature difference between the low Latitudes and the Poles. This high degree of thermal difference, in turn, drove strong circumpolar winds called the Jet Stream that mostly kept the climate zones stable and locked in place. In the north, it was cold, as it should be. And, in the south, it was hot, as it should be. That rapidly moving wall of upper level air did its part to keep the climates divided and stable. To keep the seasons we now know in their appropriate phases and predictable progressions — Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall (please see Dr Jennifer Francis — Jet Stream and Climate Change).

But now, with greenhouse gasses rocketing to above 400 parts per million CO2 and above 1830 parts per billion methane, the Goldilocks zone for human climate is no more. Now, the purity of polar cold has been violated by floods of heat rushing up from the south and oozing up through the ocean itself. Now, that kind regulator of the seasons — the Jet Stream — has been driven into a helter-skelter tangle. And this is why it’s warmer in the Arctic than it is in parts of Southeast Asia.

Arctic Heat Drives Asian Chill

Polar Vortex Disrupted

(Warm air injected into the Arctic through a weakness in the Jet Stream over the North Atlantic drives a polar vortex disruption, strong trough formation over Eastern Siberia and a record Asian cold snap. Image source: University of Washington Jet Stream Analysis)

And it’s exactly the kind of scenario that happened this weekend through today. A weakness in the Jet Stream just west of the United Kingdom developed — allowing warm air to flood northward into the Arctic. While the UK and sections of the Arctic began to experience warm temperatures more usual for Spring and Summer in the affected regions, polar cold was driven southward — this time down another weakness in the Jet Stream that developed over Siberia through Southeast Asia.

It’s the kind of polar vortex disruption, distortion and collapse that we’ve seen so much of during recent Winters. A pattern of warm north, cold south that is the very upshot of a rapidly warming world and an equally swiftly destabilizing climate system.

Links:

East Asian Cold Snap ‘Kills 85 in Taiwan’

Deaths in Japan and Taiwan as Record Cold Snap hits East Asia

Climate Reanalyzer

University of Washington Jet Stream Analysis

Earth Nullschool

Dr Jennifer Francis — Jet Stream and Climate Change

Hat Tip to Greg

Hat Tip to DT Lange

Hat Tip to Ryan in New England

 

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95 Comments

  1. climatehawk1

     /  January 26, 2016

    Tweeting. Great work turning this around so quickly.

    Reply
  2. redskylite

     /  January 26, 2016

    Thanks for a great explanation of the “global weirding” events we have been experiencing over the recent period. Now we are getting a very strong inking of what Climate Scientists mean by “dangerous climate change”, and how vulnerable some parts of society are. Extreme temperatures in locations, that should not experience such extremes, with old people in homes without heating (just like me in the North Island of N.Z). The following ice blog entry in Deutsche Welle, looks at the Potsdam report on skipped ice ages, and observes man has evolved and developed because of previous glacial events. It is no way a good thing to stop them happening, some contrarians argue thus. As you put it, we were in a goldilocks state, but the balance has tipped. moving us away from our comfort zone.

    Time to step up our action . . .

    Anthropocene: No ice age – more blizzards?

    Over the last 3 million years, glacial cycles were more or less regular. Most of the evolution of humans occurred during those last three million years. Ganopolski says humans can be seen as a kind of product of glacial cycles, because the conditions were probably right to increase the size of our brain, because we had to be clever to survive in such a variable climate.

    Ganopolski argues one reason the study is significant is that it does away with the arguments of some climate skeptics who have argued that warming the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels is not a bad thing, because it could avert an “imminent” ice age (a theory first made popular around thirty years ago, he says). Since the research indicates there is none on the horizon for more than 50,000 years anyway, this is nonsense, says Ganopolski.

    http://blogs.dw.com/ice/

    Reply
  3. Greg

     /  January 26, 2016

    Brilliant communication. Goldilocks indeed. She has run into the little bear before our eyes, and he has begun to toy with her, while big bear approaches her for a deadly attack. Lets wake up and end this bad dream before its a nightmare.

    Reply
    • Tom

       /  January 26, 2016

      Greg: it’s too late for that. No matter what “WE” do, nature isn’t going back to the state it was in before – that allowed for predictable seasons to grow crops to harvest. Now we’re in uncharted waters and will have to live with whatever comes our way, weather-wise. The most important part of this new weather is its unpredictability and the effect that will have on growing food.

      Reply
      • Absolutely agree, Tom. For a global society that does not think it depends on environmental services, it is going to be a big shock to see just how much society is impacted by diminished environmental services, in particular our food supply. The thing to understand is that, when there is a food price spike, human society rapidly goes into conflict (at least, this is what happens in countries with weak governance) and this conflict, when it is severe, is attended by significant hunger and the spread of disease. With 7.3 billion people on the planet (more or less), the stakes here are huge.

        Reply
  4. The climate is rather rapidly progressing into the FUBAR state…

    Sent from my iPad 🙏🏻

    >

    Reply
  5. James Burton

     /  January 26, 2016

    Britain is today facing 70mph winds and six inches of rain as a storm which has killed nearly 30 people in the United States heads straight for the UK.
    Some already waterlogged parts of the UK will face another beating.
    The North Atlantic is just the great storm machine that has been written about here this winter.

    Reply
  6. Reblogged this on GarryRogers Nature Conservation and commented:
    GR: And more storms for Great Britain. The extreme events might soon outpace all (well, the few that care) reporters. Thank you Robert Scribbler.

    Reply
  7. Oale

     /  January 26, 2016

    pretty impressive disruption, this (repeats) ” it’s colder in North Vietnam than it is on the shores of Arctic Siberia. Something, most definitely is not right with the weather.”

    Reply
  8. – As they say, “heat rises” — but we sure don’t want it at the top of the world.

    Reply
  9. – Important story:

    Reply
  10. – Gulf of AK regions of E Pac.
    – Dynamic Fetch … I like that term…

    Intense 956 hPa low still producing #hurricane force winds (to 80KT), phenomenal seas to 17M/57FT in dynamic fetch

    Reply
  11. Abel Adamski

     /  January 26, 2016

    An interesting item without much detail popped up from India
    http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/suddhasatta-chowdhury-generate-electricity-from-carbon-dioxide-burdwan-hvm-hamelers/1/575834.html

    Suddhasatta Chowdhury is no ordinary student of Class 10, and we don’t say that lightly because this young man has set himself apart from the crowd by lighting a bulb using carbon dioxide! Cool

    You read that right!

    Hailing from the town of Kalna in Burdwan district, West Bengal, Suddhasatta worked day and night in his lab to extract electricity from carbon dioxide – an idea on which scientists around the world are still working.

    Reply
  12. – Wave energies (I posted a 0121 Rogue Wave OR WA vid yesterday.

    – Ocean energies – rogue wave NE Pac a possible timeline?

    Ocean Data Buoy off Alaska’s Aleutian Islands “ALERTING” over sudden wave 25 Meters tall???
    – superstation95.com Jan 21, 2016
    An ocean data buoy from the National Data Buoy Center is recording a MASSIVE displacement of ocean water 25 METERS within 1 minute, but there is no corresponding earthquake to account for this massive surge! Strange that a Tsunami Buoy would record an event like this, without some trigger . . . . Not sure how to interpret the data .
    https://www.superstation95.com/index.php/world/798

    Reply
  13. Jeannie

     /  January 26, 2016

    Isn’t methane parts per billion, not per million? Otherwise, the whole article is just plain scary. Arctic above freezing and the sun ain’t even shining.

    Reply
    • Tom

       /  January 26, 2016

      Jeannie: it can be in either measurement – parts per billion is one one-thousandth of parts per million (in other words, it’s just a conversion factor: a billion is a thousand million).

      Reply
      • Jeannie

         /  January 26, 2016

        True, but both parts need converting. “…greenhouse gasses rocketing to above 400 parts per million CO2 and above 1830 parts per million methane…”, I’m betting that’s just a typo. And Trolls Love Typos:)

        Reply
  14. Spike

     /  January 26, 2016

    The impact on SE Asia’s agriculture, already impacted by drought, can be seen in this report. Pretty catastrophic if you are a small farmer with all your savings in cattle.

    http://vietnamnews.vn/society/281714/cold-snap-kills-cattle-damages-thousands-of-crops.html

    Reply
  15. Jeremy

     /  January 26, 2016

    Some good news!

    “1.2-million sq. ft. solar panel ‘Gigafactory’ in Buffalo almost ready, will make 1 GW/year”

    http://www.treehugger.com/solar-technology/12-million-sq-ft-solar-gigafactory-buffalo-ny-looks-almost-ready-1-gw-year.html

    Reply
  16. Abel Adamski

     /  January 26, 2016
    Reply
    • Very well done. I particularly appreciated the bit about how France is doing the right thing. France has been able, by focusing directly on cutting gas and coal, to greatly reduce its emissions. The globe should be following that example.

      But it’s sad to me that we’re still in this weird debate. Still having this argument about whether or not global warming is real when the science was settled so long ago. The discussion we should be having is about levels of response (and who’s been most successful at responding thus far, like France, and how we can duplicate their successes). For generation climate disruption (our children), we should be putting every rational response in place at this time.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  January 26, 2016

        How is the UK doing on renewables? We lived in Scotland for several years recently, and it was very encouraging to see the emphasis there on developing wind and wave power– green energy was huge and growing (despite—or perhaps because of—offshore oil), as well as the interest in home-roof solar panels, which were supplied with a govt subsidy and let you sell back your excess to the grid. When we returned to Canada, I was shocked at the continuing–and increasing—reliance on that filthy tarsands oil, and the outright no-can-do attitudes towards windfarms and other green solutions.

        Reply
      • Bill H

         /  January 26, 2016

        Cate, the new-h UK govt has a manifesto pledge to cut all subsidies for on-shore wind: by some ways the most cost effedtive form of renewable generation.The subsidy is pretty small, but it nevertheless is a serious blow to UK wind generation. They also continue to put all manner of planning restrictions on the construction of wind energy.

        So, to answer your question, things aren’t looking rosy for UK wind, which particularly annoys the Scots, who want to exploit their wind resources.

        Reply
        • We should be very clear — it’s what you get if you elect conservative politicians pretty much anywhere in the western world (in Australia, the conservatives are called liberals, but they’re really conservatives). So if you want any movement at all on renewable energy and if you want to remove these restrictions, it’s best just not to elect anyone with a conservative political mindset. They’re pretty much all owned lock, stock, and barrel by the fossil fuel special interests.

    • – i don’t know, but this part says a lot about easily misdirected priorities a la fossil fuels:

      “… then you realize that you have to get out of bed because you have to start up your car 10 minutes before you actually leave,”

      It might say more than on would wish.

      Reply
  17. Ryan in New England

     /  January 26, 2016

    Fantastic post, Robert! You do such a wonderful job taking a very complex situation and making it clear for every reader, so that we can all see how rare/unprecedented weather events that are portrayed elsewhere as isolated are primarily the result of human forced warming. I really like how you stress how crazy it is that the high Arctic is so warm (again!) in the dark depths of Winter. It’s like if (insert your hometown here) the daily high in your town were achieved in the middle of the night, and then it cooled down for noon. To have such warm temps when there hasn’t been, and won’t be any sun for a long time is unreal.

    When you step back and view the Arctic and Polar Jet Stream in fast forward over recent years, as if it’s a spinning top, it starts to look as if the top is starting to slow, and wobble, and will soon fall over. I don’t have the science and math that Jennifer Francis and others have, but to this average dummy it’s clear that the escalating incursions of warm air into the high Arctic and increased amplitude in Rossby Waves is due to the rapid warming of the Arctic, and subsequent decrease in temperature differences between the Arctic and mid-latitudes. We continue to see crazy warmth head north, and then polar air shoved aside and delivered to the subtropics. And it just keeps getting worse. By the time we have enough data for the science to be clear, it will all seem so obvious. By then we’ll be much further down the road.

    Reply
    • It’s pretty amazing to me that we can talk about all the potential impacts of, say, a land falling hurricane, but what we somehow haven’t yet figured out in the mainstream news is how to talk about potential and likely impacts related to climate change. I suppose it’s taboo to talk about emerging science in this way, for some reason. However, my view is that we’d better start doing it soon. Weather forecasting and, more particularly, how we respond to these new weather and climate regimes are at stake. And that loss of perception means loss of property, crops and lives. I think that’s what we need to stress here. Prediction and understanding why extreme weather happens can be a lifesaver. If you cut the understanding part out, then you’re in the same situation as England and so many other places — stuck with governments that cut funding for response and mitigation because they could plausibly deny the causes of the problem. I don’t think if you’re in Cumbria or North England or Vietnam you’re feeling that your government and public officials planned very well for this. I don’t think you’re feeling that these officials have a sense of what’s happening or what could happen. And, for the most part, you’d be right. Why? It’s because we, as media overall, haven’t been very clear on sending this signal out to the public. The evidence is all there on the cutting room floor. It’s up to us to put the pieces together.

      Reply
    • Cate

       /  January 26, 2016

      That image of the spinning top losing momentum and wobbling…..that conveys so graphically what seems to be happening with the Jet.🙂

      Reply
  18. Vic

     /  January 26, 2016

    GFS data predicting that 54 hours from now a large zone of Australia’s top end to experience wet bulb temps in excess of 35C with a small zone on the coast of Gulf of Carpenteria to push wet bulb 37C. WTF !!!???

    Reply
    • Vic

       /  January 26, 2016

      WBGT = Wet Bulb Globe Temperature.
      http://www.skippysky.com.au/Australia/

      Reply
    • Vic

       /  January 26, 2016

      Vanderlin Island in the Gulf of Carpenteria. Population ~ 20.

      In the zone.

      Reply
    • Vic

       /  January 26, 2016

      OK, so roughly one hour after posting that chart, I see the predictions have changed and much to my surprise the .png file I posted has also changed. It’s not looking so bad now at +54hours, but there’s still predictions of wet bulb 35C in the days ahead. 37C is now nowhere to be seen which is certainly something to be thankful for.

      Reply
    • Thanks for this, Vic. Do you know where SkippySky gets its composite data?

      Oh. I see this is based on GFS composite data.

      The reason I ask is that SSTs, though very hot, are in the range of 30-33 C. This may support wet bulbs near 35 C. But the regional ocean surface is typically a limiter to peak wet bulb readings due to latent heat. If the ground in north Australia is very wet and now undergoing extreme heatwave conditions, however, that might spike wet bulb readings there.

      I’m digging further.

      Reply
      • Vic

         /  January 27, 2016

        BOM data shows ~ 10-20mm rainfall there in the last week with land based temperatures hitting up to 39C.
        I don’t know much about SkippySky. I only discovered it yesterday. I’m wondering whether his wet bulb maps might be out by two degrees. He’s contactable if you want to dig deeper, his email address is in the Help file.

        Reply
  19. Ryan in New England

     /  January 26, 2016

    This is infuriating. Nevada is bowing to the entrenched systems of power and pulling the rug out from under residents who have adopted solar, effectively killing the solar industry in Nevada. Solar companies have laid off workers and are fleeing the state.

    http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/nevadas-solar-exodus-continues-driven-by-retroactive-net-metering-cuts

    Reply
    • Caroline

       /  January 26, 2016

      Time to get away from the computers and join forces with others and DO something positive—-even if it’s too late. Bernie is picking up traction. I believe by working together we could break up the entrenched systems of power you speak of Ryan.
      Here he addresses Nevada in this short clip on climate change: http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4569927/bernie-sanders-climate-change

      And as an aside, Democracy Now is a must watch/listen to today—VERY inspirational!
      Josh Fox talks about his new documentary “How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change” in addition to Tim DeChristopher, Aria Doe talking about activism.

      Reply
    • I think it’s pretty clear that the current Nevada government is actively waging a war to kill off individual access to renewable energy in the state. This is absolutely something that people should be up in arms about. If you want energy choice, energy freedom, and the freedom to act individually to prevent the worst effects of climate change, then these decisions by Nevada greatly impact you. We should not just stand by and let this happen. Failing to respond will embolden utilities and their legislative allies to attempt to force similar draconian policies in other states. We’ve already seen this happen in Arizona and Nevada — two states with vast potential to tap solar power. This tragic, misguided strong arming of people away from energy choice and renewable energy access is a travesty and a deep injustice — not just to the people of Nevada, but to all people everywhere.

      Reply
  20. Ryan in New England

     /  January 26, 2016

    This is a good article about the fate of the Arctic. The world’s fossil fuel, shipping and mineral extraction companies are salivating at the untapped resources that are becoming accessible by a thawing Arctic. They’re are planning on “developing” the Arctic, and despite the fact that we already have more oil than we can “safely” burn, fossil fuel companies are keen on finding more. Sadly, it looks like we are set on turning one of the last wild places on Earth into another polluted, corporate controlled wasteland.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/01/26/3742470/arctic-economic-development/

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  January 26, 2016

      Unbelievable, that they have turned their sights on the Arctic. No-one and nowhere is safe from these corporatist psychopaths. That description of these greedily drooling CEOs is no exaggeration, btw. They are that criminally dangerous.

      Reply
  21. Please excuse the narrow, parochial comment, but in my backyard a spring breeze is melting the modest snowpack that covers mud. It’s all but certain that the ground here in central NY is not going to freeze this winter. Oh happy, happy bugs and slugs…

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  January 26, 2016

      Crazy isn’t it, Winters without frozen ground? Here in Ct the ground is still soft enough to dig in. They just dug a new foundation last week where I’m working.

      Reply
  22. Colorado Bob

     /  January 26, 2016

    Figures from the Met Office have shown new 24-hour and 48-hour rainfall records, with 341.4mm (13.4 inches) of rain at Honister Pass, Cumbria over a 24-hour period during Storm Desmond – a level of rainfall considered to be a one-in-1,300 year event.

    In 48 hours during the same storm, Thirlmere in Cumbria received 405 mm (15.9 inches).

    Over the month, Cri b Goch in Snowdonia recorded 1,396mm (55 inches) of rain over the month – among the largest monthly totals ever recorded in the UK.

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/december-deluge-led-to-recordbreaking-rainfall-and-river-flows-34367797.html

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  January 26, 2016

      Cumbria is getting it’s brains beat in again –

      As of 25 January, Manchester, England, has seen over 144 mm (5.68 inches) of rain, well over the monthly January rainfall average of 84 mm (3.30 inches).

      In the same time frame, Cardiff, Wales, has seen over 250 mm (10 inches) of rain, more than twice the January average of 91 mm (3.58 inches

      http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/united-kingdom-flooding-rain-winds-from-eastern-us-blizzard-2016/55004836

      Reply
    • 1,300 year event. How many 1,000 year events have we had in the past decade? My count is well above 5 and that’s just off the top of my head.

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  January 26, 2016

        If you figure globally, it has to be dozens since 2007 or so. It seems like we’re seeing a 1 in 1000 year event once a month somewhere. In the US we’ve seen 1000 year floods in South Carolina this past year, Colorado in 2013 (or 2011?), four in Minnesota since 2004, the ones in Chile just last year, in Death Valley last year, Tennessee in 2010, Baltimore/DC in 2014, Nebraska in 2015, Vermont in 2011, and many, many more I’m sure. And that’s pretty much just in the U.S. For a global estimate multiply that list by about 50.

        Sorry I couldn’t link to everyone of those. I provided the year so you can google it and find the flood I’m referring to…if you want.

        Reply
        • We should put together a list. It’s just insane. Not looking forward to the 10,000 year events. That’s when we really start to define catastrophic.

      • Griffin

         /  January 27, 2016

        That list is a great idea. I have not looked up the interval estimates on them but Detroit 2014, Islip NY 2014 , Interstate 15 in Nevada September 2014, Pensacola FL April 2014, Wimberly TX 2015, Those are just a few more that came to mind in the time that I have available right now! Wow, they sure are adding up. Great post too Robert. You are really on your game now.

        Reply
  23. wili

     /  January 26, 2016

    There seems to be quite a bit of weirdness to go around. Impossible for even rs to keep up!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/26/world/americas/argentina-scrambles-to-fight-biggest-plague-of-locusts-in-60-years.html?mtrref=undefined&_r=0

    “Argentina Scrambles to Fight Biggest Plague of Locusts in 60 Years”

    Reply
  24. wili

     /  January 26, 2016

    And then there’s: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/more-than-600-species-of-british-flowers-in-bloom-on-new-years-day-a6833656.html

    “More than 600 species of British flowers in bloom on New Year’s Day:

    Nature Studies: In a normal winter botanists would expect no more than 20 to 30 plants to have been in flower “

    Reply
  25. wili

     /  January 26, 2016

    https://www.skepticalscience.com/2c-2015-12.html
    “Holy frijole!

    Okay, I’m not surprised that December beat November as the warmest anomaly in the entire GISS temperature record, but I was taken a little aback by how much.”

    Reply
  26. Greg

     /  January 26, 2016

    Jeff Masters weighs in on this post’s theme with some more details. No historucal records or anecdotes os snow in Thailand or Laos before this….

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/freakish-sleet-snow-and-cold-sting-southeast-asia

    Reply
  27. dang what is going on……..? i went to share your posts today but couldn’t even get to your page on facebook to share? did i miss something Robert? dang i do share with a very large community and am now worried they are not getting the best info…….

    Reply
  28. Pete Dunkelberg

     /  January 26, 2016

    First reports should be double checked.
    “Okinawa is not used to snow, but 100 metres up on the hill snow fell and the temperature dropped to -5C. Rare though snow is, it is not unprecedented: occasional plunges of Arctic air produced snow in Okinawa in 1952, 1964 and 1977.”

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/01/siberian-cold-reaches-southeast-asia-160125091421039.html

    Reply
  29. YouTube Newswire ‏@ytnewswire 1h1 hour ago

    Homes evacuated as rain and hail brings flooding to southern #Gaza

    Reply
  30. – As we know that ‘heat drives all’… Our heat being that from the combustion of fossil fuels.

    Ocean Warming Makes Floods Worse

    Rapid ocean warming expands water, accelerating sea level rise

    Water expands as it heats up, and oceans have been absorbing most of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases released by fossil fuel burning, deforestation and animal farming. A new study blames expansion of warming waters for as much sea level rise from 2002 through 2014 as the melting of all the glaciers and the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets combined.

    “Satellite observations show that sea level rise over the last decade is explained, by about 50 percent, by thermal expansion,” said Roelof Rietbroek of the University of Bonn, who led the research, which was published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ocean-warming-makes-floods-worse/

    Reply
    • Revisiting the contemporary sea-level budget on global and regional scales

      Significance

      Understanding sea-level change is of paramount importance because it reflects climate-related factors, such as the ocean heat budget, mass changes in the cryosphere, and natural ocean/atmosphere variations…

      Abstract

      Dividing the sea-level budget into contributions from ice sheets and glaciers, the water cycle, steric expansion, and crustal movement is challenging, especially on regional scales. Here, Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE) gravity observations and sea-level anomalies from altimetry are used in a joint inversion, ensuring a consistent decomposition of the global and regional sea-level rise budget….
      http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2016/01/20/1519132113

      Reply
      • John Upton ‏@johnupton 34m34 minutes ago

        Look how much sea-level rise is being caused by expansion of warming oceans

        Reply
      • Nearly half from ice sheet melt already.

        Worth noting that the altimetry measure from AVISO is snowing a 5 mm per year rate of sea level rise since 2009. We are in an El Nino, so we’d tend to get a bit of a bump. But the rate of rise appears to have jumped up. It’s pretty clear that we’re not longer at 2.7 mm per year and may well be in the range of something twice that.

        Reply
  31. NCAR & UCAR Science ‏@AtmosNews 2h2 hours ago

    ICYMI: Last week our free talk was on all things #ElNiño. Check out the archived video.

    Reply
  32. ohn Upton ‏@johnupton 3h3 hours ago

    Florida is extremely vulnerable to climate change, and 15 of its mayors want to discuss that with Sen. @MarcoRubio

    Open Letter from Florida Mayors to Senator Marco Rubio
    January 21, 2016
    Dear Senator Rubio:
    As mayors representing municipalities across Florida, we call on you to acknowledge the reality and urgency of climate change and to address the upcoming crisis it presents our communities. Our cities and towns are already coping with the impacts of climate change today. We will need leadership and concrete solutions from our next president. As a candidate for that office hailing from Florida, we ask you to meet with us to discuss the future of our communities in a warming climate.

    https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.climatetruth.org/images/FL_Mayors_Climate_Letter_to_Senator_Rubio.pdf

    Reply
  33. Robert. are you going?:
    Michael E. Mann ‏@MichaelEMann 3h3 hours ago State College, PA

    Lecture on “The Physics of Climate Change” @UVA @UVaPhysics Dept. Friday Feb 5 Charlottesville VA:

    Friday, February 5, 2016
    3:30 PM
    Physics Building, Room 204
    http://www.phys.virginia.edu/Announcements/talk-list.asp?SELECT=SID%202990

    Reply
  34. – California:

    ouTube Newswire ‏@ytnewswire 39m39 minutes ago

    Drone video shows #Pacifica homes on cliff’s edge after #ElNino storms pounded #California

    Reply
  35. More:
    -transitstory.com/trending
    Published: 09:01 EST, 26 January 2016

    Residents evacuated from seaside homes teetering on the brink as California cliffs crumble into the ocean amid violent El Nino storms.

    Reply
  36. John McCormick

     /  January 26, 2016

    Robert, you are a valuable person in this political chaos ruling any serious discussion of what we are doing to our children. Thank you. RealClimate should include your link in the Other Opinions column. I’ll raise that with the blog.

    The most important thing we can be doing right now is breaking through to the Republican Party. Frank Luntz authored the Republican Party’s climate change talking points and they are posted on the internet. We have to make the republicans reject his advice.

    Post them and take the document apart. at http://www.motherjones.com/files/LuntzResearch_environment.pdf and scroll down to the climate change topic.

    Reply
  37. Ya know, what we need is someone with the “charisma” of Donald Trump to rise up and say, “We need to stop, just stop, burning fossil fuels until those in charge can tell us what the hell is going on?”

    Glad you used Trump’s line in your excellent article, Robert. Will be reporting with the above comment tomorrow at Fin des Voies Rapides and her new sister blog, “2016 Is Strange!”

    Reply
  38. Colorado Bob

     /  January 26, 2016

    Herrera noted: “On Tuesday the max temperature was higher at Tafjord, Norway, than in Chiang Mai, Thailand…in January!”

    Reply
  39. Ryan in New England

     /  January 27, 2016

    Here’s some good before and after photos that make visible climate change’s impacts. One of which is the Aral Sea, which is very close to becoming the next Lake Poopo.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/12/151229-before-after-earth-features/

    Reply
  40. China snow strands ‘nearly 100,000’ at Guangzhou station

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-35468790

    Reply
  1. Strange things did happen here | Self Propelled

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