Sea Ice Death Spiral Continues — Start of 2016 Sees Arctic Ocean Ice Hitting New Record Lows

In January, Arctic sea ice extent hit a new record average low for the month. Meanwhile, during the first days of February, both Arctic sea ice extent and area hit new daily record lows even as global sea ice area also entered the second lowest range ever recorded. And so it seems that the sea ice death spiral of a record warm world continues.

January lowest sea ice on record

(According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, Arctic sea ice extent averages were the lowest on record for the month of January since at least 1979. The new low beats out 2011, continuing an ongoing decadal January decline of about 420,000 square kilometers every ten years. Image souce: NSIDC.)

But before we go more into the new spate of record low Arctic and global sea ice measures, it’s important to consider the context — our world has not seen the current level of heat forcing from greenhouse gasses (CO2 + methane + NOx + other greenhouse gasses) in the atmosphere since about 15 million years ago. It’s an unprecedented amount of hothouse potential that is having equally unprecedented results.

Unprecedented Volume of Heat Trapping Gasses Drives Raging Atmospheric and Ocean Warming

About 50 billion tons of CO2 equivalent from all those greenhouse gasses hit the Earth’s atmosphere each year these days. In vast part driven by industrial fossil fuel burning and extraction, this unconscionable, monstrous, and difficult-to-imagine accumulation of heat-trapping vapors is pushing the world to warm up at an unprecedented rate. A pace that is now at least 20 times faster than the widespread warming that occurred at the end of the last ice age.

Temperatures above 80 North

(It’s likely been a record warm start of the year for the Arctic above the 80 degree North Latitude Line. Temperatures in that high Arctic region have tended well outside the 2 standard deviation range and have hit above the record line on numerous occasions. Image source: NSIDC.)

Back then, it took about 2,500 years for the Earth’s atmosphere to heat by 1 degree Celsius for a total of a 4 C temperature increase over 10,000 years. By just this past year, in 2015, fossil fuel burning had managed to do more in 135 years than what an Earth System rising up out of an ice age did in all of two and one half millenia. For 2015 hit a new record high of about 1.1 C above 1880s averages in all the major global temperature monitors (NASA, NOAA, JMA, UK MET Office). It’s amazing, crazy, terrifying to think about. The end of the last glacial period was a great upheaval that violently re-shaped our world. And fossil fuel industry is running a similar, if much more dangerous, geological process in fast forward by pumping out heat trapping gasses at a rate at least six times faster than anything seen in all of Earth’s history.

Yet as amazing as the current rate of atmospheric warming is, it’s just the thin lens through which a vast amount of heat is transferring into the world’s ocean systems. In fact, according to Peter Gleckler, an oceanographer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory “Ninety, perhaps 95 percent of the accumulated heat is in the oceans.”

Arctic Sea Ice Concentration January

(What was possibly the warmest January on record for the Arctic contributed to major sea ice losses in almost all of the major ice formation basins. Image source: NSIDC.)

And all that extra heat doesn’t just sit there. It goes to work transforming water to water vapor — shoving atmospheric moisture content 7 percent higher for each degree Celsius of warming even as it amps up the rate at which water evaporates from the Earth’s surface or falls down in the form of precipitation. Perhaps still more ominously, this heat goes to work melting the great white ice coverings it comes into contact with at the shoreline and upon the ocean surface.

Arctic Sea Ice Hits New Record Lows For January Through Early February

For 2016, that heat has led to new record lows in Arctic sea ice extent and area even as it has pushed global sea ice coverage within striking distance of a scant range never before seen in the whole of the modern era. New record daily lows for sea ice extent — now an almost annual occurrence for at least some time during the calendar year — are now also being breached.

Arctic Sea ice area new record lows

(Arctic sea ice area explores new record low territory on January 29 through 31 of 2016. Image source: Cryosphere Today.)

In the major monitors, Arctic sea ice extent hit a new record low average for the month of January, 2016. This average included a number of record daily lows early in the month even as the entire monitor held within 1st to 3rd lowest on record for each day throughout January. Record daily lows were again breached in the NSIDC measure on January 29th. A streak that continued on through February 1st with totals hitting 13.911 million square kilometers for the day. That’s 119,000 square kilometers below the previous record daily low for February 1 set in 2011 at 14.030 million square kilometers or a region of ice lost below the previous minimum extent slightly larger than the State of Virginia.

Arctic sea ice area as recorded by Cryosphere Today (see graphic above) followed a similar record low range through the end of January. By January 31st, the most recent date in the measure, Arctic sea ice area had hit 12.27 million square kilometers or about 61,000 square kilometers below the previous record daily low for sea ice area set during 2006.

globalice

(A very warm Arctic during January of 2016 likely contributed to shoving the global sea ice area measure into striking distance of new record lows by early February. Image source: Pogoda i Klimat. Data Source: Cryosphere Today.)

Also disturbing is the fact that global sea ice area — which has shown consistent losses over time — has also now come within striking distance of new record lows. The Cryosphere Today monitor now shows global sea ice area in the range of 14.5 million square kilometers or just above previous record lows set during 2006 for this time of year.

Conditions In Context — Amazing Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies, Major Winter Warm-ups Hit Sea Ice Hard

Arctic sea ice area negative anomaly is now in the range of -1.23 million square kilometers. With Antarctic sea ice at around 200,000 square kilometers below average, it’s pretty clear that the bulk of current global sea ice losses are now ongoing in the Arctic.

Warm ocean waters, especially in the Barents Sea and the Greenland Strait are likely major contributors to record low sea ice extents during recent weeks. These sea surface temperatures now show between 1 and an amazing 8 C above average reading in the NOAA sea surface temperature anomaly map below.

NOAA Sea surface temperature anomalies

(Sea surface temperatures are in the range of 4-8 degrees Celsius or 7-14 degrees Fahrenheit above average near sections of sea ice in the Northern Barents Sea. These very warm sea surfaces continue to suppress refreeze and provide melt pressure on into early February. Image source: NOAA.)

Such amazingly warm waters likely helped contribute to major atmospheric warming events in the high north over the past two months including one above freezing event at the North Pole during late December and another near freezing event for the same region during late January, likely added to the overall melt pressure. The very warm water in the Barents likely helped to enable the observed warm air slots that formed north of Svalbard and on toward the North Pole on numerous occasions.

Over the next seven days, Arctic air temperatures are expected to range about 1 C above average — as opposed to the 2-3 C above average range seen during the past month. This slight cooling may allow for a more rapid freezing of some regions including the Sea of Okhotsk. But overall warm waters and airs along the sea ice edge in the Bering and Barents should continue to suppress major ice formation there. By the second week of February, risk increases that high amplitude Jet Stream waves will deliver another burst of warm air to the far Northern Latitudes, potentially continuing the trend of extreme above average atmospheric temperatures in the region of the Arctic Ocean during 2016.

 

 

Links:

NSIDC

NASA GISS

Arctic Sea Ice Graphs

The Arctic Sea Ice Blog

This is Where 90 Percent of Global Warming is Going

CO2 Rising Ten Times Faster Than PETM

NOAA

Cryosphere Today

Pogoda i Klimat

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197 Comments

  1. Colorado Bob

     /  February 3, 2016

    From the last thread –

    Abel Adamski –

    Nice job of linking the 2 papers on Icelandic rebound , and the massive increase in volcanic activity at the end of the last ice age,

    Watching all that weight being unloaded in Iceland , is like taking the “safety” off a loaded gun . Iceland may be small , but on the global stage , it gets some very big parts in the play. And they are all rather nasty characters. with very bad breath.

    Zika –

    Another item I noted. The thinking is it came to Brazil in 2014 with the World Cup. If this turns out to be true, it’s arrival in South America means it mutated very quickly. Remember viruses can swap genetic material like cooks swap recipes. Because since it was first originally found, these birth defects weren’t seen .

    Climate Change connection –

    Type of Mosquito that Carries Zika Virus Found in Washington, DC

    A few years back, a friend asked Andrew Lima for help fighting the mosquitoes constantly biting him at his apartment in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

    What Lima found shocked him.

    “Upon going in his place and seeing the first mosquito that I saw, I … found it was the Aedes aegypti mosquito,” said the mosquito biologist of his 2011 visit.

    http://www.voanews.com/content/mosquito-zika-virus-washington-dc-united-states/3173882.html

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  February 3, 2016

      It’s the small things making the first jump to this new world we are building.

      Reply
    • redskylite

       /  February 3, 2016

      Zika – The Ecologist” are speculating that the Zika mutation may be associated with GM modified “control” mosquitoes, that were released in the affected area in Brazil a few years ago. While the medical world seems just as complex as the Climate World, I can only trust the U.N expert body WHO to investigate and place sufficient safeguards and containment in place, (much as I lay my trust in the IPPC policymakers advice on climate matters. The important thing is that women know the risk, have access to the recommended repellents and advice & do not take risks.

      Maybe Climate Change has enlarged the virus operating danger area, and this is just one example that we cannot continue on unchanged. I do feel uneasy at man altering nature to suit his purposes as I’m sure many others do.

      http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2987024/pandoras_box_how_gm_mosquitos_could_have_caused_brazils_microcephaly_diasaster.html

      Reply
      • – It looks like I was wrong about GM mosquitoes playing a significant part in Zika outbreaks.
        I worry a lot about trolls etc diverting attention from AGW or ACD.

        – ‘GM control mosquitoes’ … as “effective control of a wild population of Ae. aegypti by sustained releases of OX513A male Ae. aegypti. ” but on the other hand, “the 2007 finding by Phuc et al that 3-4% of the first generation mosquitos actually survive.”

        – A side effect of tampering with genetic material (or going against nature’s coding) in a an industrial setting:

        “The genetic engineerig method employed by Oxitec allows the popular antibiotic tetracycline to be used to repress the lethality during breeding. But as a side-effect, the lethality is also reduced by the presence of tetracycline in the environment; and as Bernish points out, Brazil is among the world’s biggest users of anti-microbials including tetracycline in its commercial farming sector:

        “As a study by the American Society of Agronomy, et. al., explained, ‘It is estimated that approximately 75% of antibiotics are not absorbed by animals and are excreted in waste.’ One of the antibiotics (or antimicrobials) specifically named in that report for its environmental persistence is tetracycline.

        -Whew…

        Reply
        • There’s a lot of merchant of doubting going on over the issue. How to tag a crackpot theory these days.

          1. The government is always the bad guy (an oversimplification that removes corporate influence which is, 9 times out of 10, the primary driver).
          2. Theory uses circumstantial or anecdotal evidence as support without looking at other factors.
          3. Theory completely ignores expert analysis and opinion. This is a key point. A rational argument would address expert analysis and opinion, understand its validity, and point out critical evidence (not just circumstantial/anecdotal) why we might consider other points.
          4. Theory is absolutist in its level of assertion — assumes the theory is the only valid view.
          5. Theory distracts from a major issue of key importance.
          6. Theory plays on emotions, fears and prejudices (irrationally based).
          7. Theory comes from a distorted grain of truth.

          In this case we have an exaggerated fear of GM mosquitoes (based on the currently unsupported claim that GM mosquitoes cause microcephaly) as a distraction from what should be a very real and passionate discussion about how climate change increases the range and variety of deadly diseases around the world. We’ve seen it in fish, amphibians, mammals, pretty much everything, including human beings. And the more we warm the world, the more deadly microbes and deadly microbe carriers we are certain to unlock. That’s the real story here. The one that’s encountering an active effort of a cover-up.

          Why? Well there are few motivators for mass action that are stronger than a rational and understandable concern about the spread of a deadly illness. In the case of Zika, the impacts really do strike at the root of what it means to be a human being.

          Since I wrote the Zika article, I’ve encountered a heightened level of what I would call active suppression of the issue of Zika+Climate Change in the comments as well as a heightened level of mechanical suppression of the information flow coming from this blog. Apparently the notion of a link being established between Zika and climate change and being repeated as a meme is pretty threatening to a certain set. I can understand this. If I was a climate change denier, if I was an industry or related political/media entity invested in the suppression of response to climate change, then a Zika – climate change link in the public mind would be at the top of my list of items to confuse.

      • Robert says:
        “I suspect mosquitoes are useful ecologically in their own unique way. And it’s not as if wiping them out eliminates all disease vectors. You might end up with something worse filling the mosquito niche. Nature tends to morph strangely when pressed.”
        _____________
        “The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant, “What good is it?” If the land mechanism as a whole is good, then every part is good, whether we understand it or not. If the biota, in the course of aeons, has built something we like but do not understand, then who but a fool would discard seemingly useless parts? To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.” Aldo Leopold, Round River, 1953
        _____________
        Whatever is causing the microcephaly outbreak/spread of the Zika virus, it should come as no surprise to any of us who have been paying attention: an increase in vector borne disease due to global warming has been predicted for many years by groups such as National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, CDC, World Health organization—–too many groups and individuals who have been sounding the alarm to cite in this space.

        We’ve got AGW, habitat destruction/fragmentation, globalization, use of highly toxic herbicides/pesticides THEN a company —Oxitec—– tossing out millions and millions of gm mosquitoes . . . . . recipe for disaster?

        Whatever one thinks about gm mosquitoes there are multi-level problems when a company makes up it’s own rules and tampers with nature in a big way.

        Is it ethical to release GM mosquitos without getting global scientific consensus (in addition to the other issues cited in this link below) prior to doing so?

        I linked this piece below several threads/posts back:

        http://www.genewatch.org/uploads/f03c6d66a9b354535738483c1c3d49e4/CPB_insects_sub_Aug14_v2.pdf

        Reply
        • Now that, Caroline, is a very responsible way to approach this issue. Raise very valid concerns and keep all the various moving parts in context. Bravo! This is what we should have seen first. It’s considered, clear-headed and the warning, in my view, is absolutely something we should listen to.

      • Re: Zika, GM mosquitos. I appreciatate Caroline’s and others postings here about it…Here’s apiece from the New Yorker that focuses heavily on Oxitec and it’s gm mosquito. Well worth the read because it addresses the ecological issues raised and attempts to answer them..Here’s a snip re: concern of modified females inadvertently slipping into the pool(pun)…Oxitec was born in a zoology lab in Oxford…its chief science officer has worked on this since at least the 90s. These factors help me, personally, to give them a listen. The good news is that we have activists like Caroline to keep these guys honest..I come out on the side of letting them test—with close oversight..

        http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/07/09/the-mosquito-solution
        ______
        Environmentalists have expressed concern about what might happen if some of the modified females survived and, while biting people, injected them with an engineered protein. Oxitec separates males from females, but, with so many mosquitoes, a few genetically modified females inevitably slip by—Oxitec puts the number at about one in three thousand. “This is a nightmare scenario, and we don’t have any published data that answers this question,’’ Eric Hoffman, a food-and-technology policy campaigner for Friends of the Earth, told me. Hoffman has assiduously followed the Oxitec experiments. Reiter says that none of the protein introduced into transgenic mosquitoes enters its salivary glands—which means it couldn’t spread to the humans it bites. In addition, he has recognized nothing in the genetic structure of the modified mosquitoes that could cause humans harm. But he and others are eager to see papers published, by groups unconnected to Oxitec, that confirm those conclusions.

        ______

        Those are reasonable concerns. But ecologists are quick to note that Aedes aegypti have been in America for only two hundred years or so; that’s not enough time for a species to make an evolutionary impact. Many biologists argue that if Aedes aegypti, or, indeed, all mosquitoes, were to disappear, the world wouldn’t miss them, and other insects would quickly fill their ecological niche—if they have one. “More than most other living things, the mosquito is a self-serving creature,’’ Andrew Spielman has written. “She doesn’t aerate the soil, like ants and worms. She is not an important pollinator of plants, like the bee. She does not even serve as an essential food item for some other animal. She has no ‘purpose’ other than to perpetuate her species. That the mosquito plagues human beings is really, to her, incidental. She is simply surviving and reproducing.”

        Reply
        • So here’s where I see a valid concern identified regarding GM mosquitoes — the potential risk of passing along the reproduction suppressing protein to human beings. And I certainly think that this is further cause for research and independent validation before introducing these mosquitoes as a means of Aedes aegypti control.

      • That’s a great question, RS..it would be impossible for Oxitec’s mosquito to pass the reproduction suppressing gene to a human or any other living species(apart from wild Ae. aegypti). It’s transmitted via sex(!) and so a bite would set the immune system in motion to do its thing to neutralize it–just like it does with any other insect bite. Here’s a piece from Yale that among other things speaks to this. Now, I am not inclined to give GM crops, animals(salmon–oy) a pass—but from what I’ve read/heard, Oxitec’s mosquito is quite benign—to every other species that’s not Ae. aegypti. A very informed person I know said this week that he’d rather see Oxi’s mosquito than a CRISPR produced mosquito…Oxi’s essentially kills itself but CRISPR’s (at this time) keeps them out there but with an altered genetic makeup. CRISPR advocates are feverishly working on this too but their(at its current development) method has too many potential problems re: unintended consequences.

        My biggest q? Will Zika in its attempt to survive find another vector in this ever-warming world hospitable to life-forms we don’t even know yet exist…which is why a multi-prong approach is needed, imo. Drug treatment, vaccine, etc..But these 2 are years away if ever, unfortunately. Viruses are so tough. The highly anticipated Ebola vaccine is not succeeding….

        http://e360.yale.edu/feature/genetically_modified_mosquito_sparks_a_controversy_in_florida/2883/

        Reply
        • 7 mosquitoes of the Aedes genus carry the disease so far. Aedes aegypti is just the most prevalent vector at this time. Perhaps the virus is most well adapted to that particular carrier.

        • So I did read recently that transmission of the protein through a bite was highly unlikely and that chances of the protein making it through the immune response was even more unlikely. The words ‘not possible’ weren’t used. Hence my question regarding validating studies.

      • RS, I suppose that using the term highly unlikely is safest re: avoiding absolutist conclusions. But based on the mechanics of how the engineered gene is passed on–reproductive behavior with said target organism(mosquito) and how our immune systems(including fish/birds, etc) of other species, operate, I don’t see how a bite, whose saliva does not contain the protein, can make it into our or other species reproductive genes. But I’m certainly open to learning differently.

        Reply
      • Ok—my last post on this. For further clarification: RS, you said, What’s concerning to me is that you imply there is no mechanism for transfer of genetic material, you cite an anecdote (an unverified conversation you had with a specialist you say you can’t reference), and we are supposed to believe this is proof?

        I did not imply. I clearly stated that because the genetic material is not in the saliva, per what was posted in the previous links, and not just based on unnamed sources, there is no way for it to enter the human reproductive system because it’s not even in the saliva…..I am willing to be wrong and admit it….My only “dog” in this race, RS, is finding the best solution to this problem. It’s my understanding that these blogs are for back and forth discussion and it’s up to the reader to do their own research and not rely on the opinion of an anonymous someone who explicitly states that this is not her area of expertise.

        Take good care……stay away from Ae. aegypti when you venture into DC😉

        Reply
        • OK…

          So I held this thread for a bit while I did a little more research and let heads cool.

          My thoughts are starting to come around to the notion that GM mosquitoes might actually be one of the better weapons available against Zika. So I certainly sympathize with your concerns in that regard. I’m still a bit concerned over the fact that there hasn’t been much in the way of outside validation of Oxitec’s findings, though.

          I suppose my thoughts lean more toward this recent report by the Guardian:

          http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/04/alert-theres-a-dangerous-new-viral-outbreak-zika-conspiracy-theories

          What I’ve been most concerned about is the fear mongering that’s surrounding GM mosquitoes and the obvious campaign to spread what is basically untrue information. I honestly can’t see who would benefit from such a misinformation campaign. It’s pretty sad, overall.

    • redskylite

       /  February 3, 2016

      Talking of engineered modified control mosquitoes and with man having the power of God and creating the environment to his own will, this article in today’s “The Conversation” seems very relevant. Nice warning to all would be godlets at the end.

      http://theconversation.com/why-dont-we-wipe-mosquitoes-off-the-face-of-the-earth-54005

      Reply
      • I suspect mosquitoes are useful ecologically in their own unique way. And it’s not as if wiping them out eliminates all disease vectors. You might end up with something worse filling the mosquito niche. Nature tends to morph strangely when pressed.

        Reply
      • Guys, we need to remember that we’ve eradicated(played God)with pests that cause human/vegetation public health issues (screwworm in CA) in the past and. Insulin that saves million of lives is a result of genetic engineering…I worry about fear and not enough information being disseminated to the general public. If we were populations in S America who’ve dealt with dengue, malaria et. al., impacting/killing in the millions of people, what would be our willingness to explore?

        Reply
        • Good points. I’m somewhat consoled by the fact that most of these GM mosquitoes significantly reduce the vector population. I think that’s probably more desirable than a complete eradication. But, perhaps, Aedes aegypti is a threat on a similar level to that of the screwworm and a similar eradication campaign is called for.

          For reference:

          “Screwworms are a destructive obligate parasite of all warm-blooded animals including livestock, wildlife, pets, zoo animals and occasionally humans. The female screwworm fly generally mates once in a lifetime, retaining the sperm for fertilization of all subsequent egg batches. After mating she seeks an open wound on a warm-blooded animal. Eggs are laid on the edge of the wound in a shingle-like manner. Within 12 to 24 hours, tiny first-instar larvae hatch from the eggs, crawl into the wound and, closely packed with their heads down, feed on the living flesh and body fluids (Knipling, 1960).

          As serum and blood begin exuding from the infested wound, it becomes even more attractive to other gravid adult female screwworm flies. The result may be multiple infestations with hundreds of larvae of various ages feeding on the animal. If unabated, the process continues until the animal dies within five to ten days.

          After the larvae have fed for five to seven days they crawl out of the wound and drop to the ground. Larvae that survive desiccation (Baumhover, 1963) and predation burrow into the soil to pupate. The pupation period varies from seven to 60 days (Parman, 1945) according to temperature, moisture and soil type (Melvin and Bushland, 1938). Screwworm flies that survive the effects of the elements emerge as adults, then feed on wound exudates and nectar sources from flowers and are ready to mate within three to five days, thus repeating the cycle (see Figure 2).”

          Link: http://www.fao.org/docrep/u4220t/u4220T0a.htm

          I think there are still a lot of unknowns here and jumping to conclusions early on has a way of muddying the water that I’m somewhat averse to.

      • Screworm is horrible…CA(h/t Wharf Rat) used the wombachia bacteria to neutralize it..For sure there are unknowns—for sure—and that’s where oversight comes in. Scientists test dangerous drugs every day in humans but they have excellent oversight. Given the disaster that Zika can wreak on the world, I think that the US/EU/UN regulatory agencies will be willing to put the resources($$$) into oversight. We also need to remember that scientists have been working on mosquitos and how to neutralize them for decades because of malaria, dengue, et. al.—so there’s lots of experience working on this. Insecticides have been a failure—I shudder at the thought that Brasil is going house to house spraying walls, under beds, etc…One piece I read today quoted a scientist saying that this method would never be allowed here in the US which gives even greater support to a gm mosquito that is safe…

        Reply
        • Looks like the choice is between GM mosquitoes, Insecticides to possibly include DDT, or Zika spreading while waiting for a vaccine … I’d say these are all pretty risky options.

      • Brasil is not sharing enough blood and tissue samples right now so our scientists can fully evaluate the correlation between Zika/microcephaly, transmission, etc..

        http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/3d281c11a96b4ad082fe88aa0db04305/Article_2016-02-03-EU-MED–Hoarding%20Zika/id-da134de2955440ad97c1a3a31d523f74?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

        Reply
      • GM mosquitos by Oritec have accumulated data(not enough, certainly) because they’ve been in small field trials for several years and have been worked on in the lab for many more…Here is a piece that goes thru the various mosquito control options. I’d say that mosquito control is the only way to stem the spread of Zika quickly—because no matter that some media make it seem that a vaccine is quickly on the way—there’s a graveyard full of failed vaccines for viruses. Ditto drug treatment ;-(

        http://gizmodo.com/its-time-to-declare-war-on-mosquitoes-1756455993

        Reply
    • Oale

       /  February 3, 2016

      Aedes aegypti is well known as being one of the species capable of surviving through winter in the larger sewers, with some nooks of unflowing sewage as there almost always are. It’s not though one of the commonest species benefiting of the biotope.

      Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  February 3, 2016

      Thanks C.B
      Another that ties in (I expect increasing geological/volcanic activity over the next few years, earthquake central may have some shocks in store – prodding that old fault line

      https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24755-earths-poles-are-shifting-because-of-climate-change#.U17X045ELzI

      Climate change is causing the North Pole’s location to drift, owing to subtle changes in Earth’s rotation that result from the melting of glaciers and ice sheets. The finding suggests that monitoring the position of the pole could become a new tool for tracking global warming.

      Computer simulations had suggested that the melting of ice sheets and the consequent rise in sea level could affect the distribution of mass on the Earth’s surface. This would in turn cause the Earth’s axis to shift, an effect that has been confirmed by measurements of the positions of the poles.

      Also shifts the equatorial bulge as a consequence.
      Earth will be adjusting in so many ways including structurally.
      Prod the Dragon at your own peril, pity the rest of us are along for the ride

      Reply
      • We are looking at geophysical changes on a massive scale. We are in the process of making, for ourselves and our children, a violent, alien world.

        Reply
      • I still worry about the mass distribution changes as mass shifts from the polar regions to equatorial regions actually changing the relative motions of the tectonic plates.

        Nobody else seems worried about this, so maybe I should shut up.

        But as the rotation rate of the earth slows down due to conservation of angular momentum, I think the stresses applied to slow the earth will be applied to the crust of the earth and the beds of the oceans – unevenly. The massive core of the earth will want to rotate at its old rate, but the tectonic plates and continents will be trying to slow down in the equatorial regions but rotate at the old rate in the polar regions. I worry that fast enough deceleration and the unevenly applied stresses could apply torques to the tectonic plates and create rifting.

        I wish some real geophysicists would take a close look at this, and either refute it or confirm and quantify it.

        Reply
  2. wili

     /  February 3, 2016

    This is supposed to be the boring time of year for watching ice in the Arctic. This year and in some other recent ones…not so much.

    Meanwhile, SkS has what looks like a good piece on a subject that comes up here quite a bit–the effect of the Pacific Blob on climate and on CC: https://www.skepticalscience.com/blob-disrupts-what-we-think-we-know-about-climate-change.html

    Reply
    • Oale

       /  February 3, 2016

      Yea, this record was a bit of a surprise at least to me, I was expecting this sorts of minimal amounts the next winter, that is 2017. Still the ice has time to grow in area to proper numbers this winter but it’s not looking too good for that i admit.

      Reply
  3. Colorado Bob

     /  February 3, 2016

    This article has some very important first hand quotes in it –

    As the ‘blue Arctic’ expands thanks to global warming, an icebreaker finds no ice to break

    “Larsen told me that he has observed “big changes” in the Arctic during his nearly 25 years at sea. In addition to shrinking in extent, “most of the ice we encounter now is young — just one year old.”

    In 1976, I flew on a helicopter, and there was ice as far as the eye could see. In 2010, I flew in a Gulfstream aircraft to the same location at the same time of year, and as far as I could see, which was probably at least 100 miles, there was no ice.

    What I saw in 1976 was normal then. What I saw in 2010 was the new normal.

    I’m telling you what you know already. The ice has receded. But for me it was a very dramatic demonstration of how much things had changed over the course of my career of 40 years, and it gave me a greater sense of urgency for getting the United States prepared for increasing activity in the Arctic.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/imageo/2016/01/30/an-icebreaker-with-no-ice-to-break-in-blue-arctic/#.VrFQD1K7T6N

    Reply
  4. rustj2015

     /  February 3, 2016

    Respondents might pay attention to this:

    Last week, Senate Democrats introduced an amendment to the larger Energy Bill sponsored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) that would allocate $400 million to fix Flint’s contaminated water pipes. On the surface this seems like a great idea, and just what we’ve been asking for. [However,] Our wish would come at the price of an Energy Bill that subsidizes coal and increases fracking. That’s why I need you to call your Senators today and tell them: Don’t Use Flint As a Political Chess Piece.
    Click here to make a call.
    http://environmental-action.org/action/call-to-de-flint-the-senates-bad-energy-bill/

    Reply
  5. Andy in SD

     /  February 3, 2016

    Concurrently at the other pole we are seeing a lot of variability. One can’t read much into the current dip below the 1980-2010 mean line on it’s own. What it does mean is that the denial-speak schtick about “well look at Antarctica” is pure nonsense (as we knew all along).

    Once the source of the variability is locked down we will understand if it is simple variability, GLOF’s (out flow pulses), underside melt of floating ice or otherwise.

    However, it is and never was proof of “global cooling” that the WUWT crowd has been peddling for a few years. Another fabricated straw of pseudo logic they were clutching onto has fallen away. It must be getting tough trying to find those tiny bits of information which can be tortured into saying anything they want.

    I suspect the horse may be out of the barn regarding when we enter the “new world”.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  February 3, 2016

      Amen, good catch.

      Reply
    • That variability is primarily wind and storm driven. Of course the glacial melt outflow from Antarctic is bound to have even more of an impact on sea ice in the Southern Hemisphere. That ice volume weighs pretty heavily.

      We are definitely in a new climate age. The question, based on how much we ultimately emit, is which one.

      Reply
  6. Colorado Bob

     /  February 3, 2016

    Storms vs. terror: More Americans killed in weekend blizzard than Islamic extremist attacks in 14 years after 9/11

    Peter Bergen’s new book, who interviewed Osama in a cave long before Ted Cruz ever heard of him said this on CBS this morning –

    “You have 5000 percent chance of being shot and killed with a hand gun by a fellow American over being killed by a Islamic extremist “

    Reply
  7. Colorado Bob

     /  February 3, 2016

    I found this clip years ago , it has never left me , at 3:40 you see the landing strip .

    VLJ Embraer Phenom 100 Landing at Narsarsuaq Airport in Greenland

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  February 3, 2016

      coloradobob1 5 years ago
      It was 55F degrees on the last day of 2010 at this airport. Winds from the east at 51 mph. gusts to 60 mph.

      Reply
  8. Colorado Bob

     /  February 3, 2016

    North Atlantic Ferry Flight-Leg 3 Narsarsuaq Landing

    Published on Jun 27, 2015

    Reply
  9. Colorado Bob

     /  February 3, 2016

    The melt of out these 2 videos is amazing One from the east one from the west. Only 5 years. Watch the land.

    Reply
    • So I recall being a part of some creative study group back in the 6th Grade. Mind you, this was 1985 — before Hansen made his big announcement to Congress. It was a couple of years after ozone depletion became a topic that was broadly discussed. So people, as I recall, were generally more open to the idea that some industries were changing the Earth and it was on a potentially apocalyptic scale.

      The topic was — was the Earth warming due to fossil fuel emissions and if so what could we do about it? I think the consensus, at the time, among my 6th grade class was that CO2 and other heat trapping gasses were probably having an impact that would grow worse over time. Solutions ran the gambit from increased nuclear, more wind, solar, hydro and geothermal, more conservation and efficiencies, there was even a pretty rational discussion about electric and hybrid electric vehicles (hybrids were mostly just a concept).

      Back then, it was still up in the air as to what killed off the dinosaurs. Impact theory was just starting to gain real traction. But a warming planet through increased volcanic activity was a prime suspect for that and other mass extinctions. There wasn’t talk of the PETM — I think mainly due to the fact that this particular era hadn’t really been identified as a big topic of interest. But what struck me most, in my recollection, was this notion that we still had time to get things in order.

      Back then, CO2 was at around 335 ppm. We were still under the 350 ppm threshold. And we hadn’t yet really hit this period of accelerated warming we’re in now. The world was more open to possibility. We had more room to maneuver, to act and to act well.

      Now, I’m sure that my current understanding colors my recollection of this time. And upon reflection, it’s pretty clear that I’ve reinforced some of that past experience. But, in some ways, I really wonder about my teachers of that time and how much they put into us. How much they really did to give us a good sense of things. And the more I look back, the more I think that I was so unbelievably fortunate to have had these issues introduced to me so soon.

      But the one thing that strike me now the most is what that discussion would like today — if it was an honest one. Sure, we’d talk about some of the same things. But we’d also probably talk about how fossil fuel industry was lying to the public. Trying to a orally force the consumption of deadly fuels. How we’d already passed some of the tipping points and that at least some of the bad impacts were already locked in. We’d probably talk about the Permian and the PETM. But most of all we’d talk about how we didn’t have any more time left to delay action. That we’d already delayed for too long.

      And to this point I believe that the same people who said we couldn’t do anything to change industry to prevent ozone depletion would also be saying that we couldn’t deal with fossil fuels either.

      These films, for some reason, remind me of that old discussion. They make me wonder what kids think now. For my part, I know if I was a kid, I’d be pretty pissed off.

      Reply
      • Hugh Campbell

         /  February 3, 2016

        This brings to mind shifting baselines. Kids of today will have no tangible sense of the stable climate the previous generation has seen.

        Reply
  10. Colorado Bob

     /  February 3, 2016

    RS –

    I understand that I was one of earliest of the commenters here, but the amount and volume pouring in now, takes my breath away. And I thought I was a hot dog.

    This engine is different . It’s a research team. It’s not a bunch of boozes posting “stories”, it’s smart people adding deep facts.

    I am so proud I helped , and they came . What brilliant team.

    Keep the bit in your teeth.

    Reply
    • “deep facts”… I like that.

      Reply
    • One of the earliest and probably the first real ray of light to hit these boards. One of the people who really helped to define this blog. We owe a lot to you for setting the tone here. And, yeah, the comments are so much better informed. I’ve become spoiled in some respects.

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  February 3, 2016

        I’ll take this opportunity to point out it was Colorado Bob who brought me to this wonderful place. It was years ago now, but it was a link he posted in the comments section over at Jeff Master’s blog. Once I found your site, Robert, I never left🙂

        Reply
  11. Colorado Bob

     /  February 3, 2016

    I hover between a 3 dollar bill , and a rock.

    A 3 dollar bill is crazy , there is no evidence that a rock has ever been crazy. .

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  February 3, 2016

      I’m a damaged old jackass , but that was the best line I ever wrote.

      Reply
  12. Colorado Bob

     /  February 3, 2016

    The Rolling Stones – Sympathy For The Devil

    Reply
  13. Colorado Bob

     /  February 3, 2016

    The sad thing about the modern world our best music is 40 years old.

    Reply
    • Art relecting life — societal thought and creativity suffers from calcification in many aspects. There are still flickers in the counter-current though — struggling up through the toxic over wash.

      Reply
    • PlazaRed

       /  February 3, 2016

      Have you ever heard of a band called Midnight Oil.
      Here’s a track called Bed are Burning. We used to hear then in New Zealand about 33 years ago I think while working there.

      Reply
      • Matt

         /  February 4, 2016

        Such a shame, this brings back a bitter pill for us in Australia to see the front man Peter Garrett sell out so badly when he was appointed environment minister during the previous Labor government! I think we all hoped a new age of environmental protection would occur from the man who so passionately wrote the lyrics to the midnight oil songs. What did we get? nothing, no action to protect the environment over exploitation, same old minister AGAINST the environment.

        And for those of us who hoped Turnbull was an improvement to Abbott…..

        “Reacting to the announcement of a fresh round of cuts, Greens MP Adam Bandt hit out at the Prime Minister.

        “Malcolm Turnbull is an innovation imposter if he allows these reported cuts at CSIRO to go ahead,” he said.

        “In Paris, the Prime Minister said research and innovation are key to dealing with global warming, yet here at home the Liberal government’s cuts to the CSIRO mean that hundreds of climate scientists could be getting the axe.”

        http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-04/climate-science-on-chopping-block-as-csiro-braces-for-shake-up/7139224

        Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  February 4, 2016

        Matt
        SMH has a better coverage
        http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/climate-will-be-all-gone-as-csiro-swings-jobs-axe-scientists-say-20160203-gml7jy

        A senior scientist also questioned the government’s claim that the CSIRO was acting independently, noting the government had picked the CEO who then chose the board. “Our biggest customer is the government – they have to approve all this,” the scientist said.

        Data gathering hit

        The overall cuts come from a staff of 4832 full-time positions, a CSIRO spokesman said.

        “Hopefully the net result will be stable in about two years [as new staff are recruited for the CSIRO priority areas],” he said.

        It is understood just 30 staff will be left in the Oceans and Atmosphere unit and they will not be working on climate issues related to basic data gathering.

        “This staggering attack on climate science is an act of political vandalism, pure and simple, and if the government doesn’t back down on this it’s ordinary Australians who will ultimately pay the price,” Nadine Flood, national secretary of the Community and Public Sector Union, said..

        Remaining climate staff will focus on mitigation – cutting greenhouse gas emissions – and adaptation to warming impacts rather than gathering basic science.

        Andy Pitman, director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science at the University of NSW, said the scale of the cuts was “jaw-droppingly shocking”.

        “It’s a catastrophic reduction in our capacity to assess present and future climate change,” Professor Pitman said. “It will leave us vulnerable to future climate change and unable to take advantage of any positives that result.”

        The impact will extend not just to the science being conducted in and around Australia but also to the ability of the country to retain and attract scientists, he said.

        Adam Bandt, the Greens science and research spokesperson, said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was “an innovation imposter” if he allowed the cuts at CSIRO to go ahead.

        “In Paris, the Prime Minister said research and innovation are key to dealing with global warming, yet here at home the Liberal government’s cuts to the CSIRO mean that hundreds of climate scientists could be getting the axe,” Mr Bandt said.

        “The Coalition’s denialist dinosaurs continue to run the Turnbull government, just as they did under Tony Abbott,” he said.

        Reply
        • This, to me, is a very concerning trend on the part of conservatives around the world (Australia’s liberals are everyone else’s conservatives). They have this virulent tendency to attack science. The attacks come from their belief system which, even more sadly, has been fueled by fossil fuel industry misinformation. I think political attack dog would be a good way to describe it. But what we are seeing is worse than that. It’s an atrocity on a global scale.

          We’ll get this in the US too if we keep electing republicans. Say what you like about Obama, but he and the democratic minorities in Congress are all that now stands in the way of a mass defunding of the very systems necessary to track catastrophic climate change. If we get a republican president — all of the front runners are climate change deniers, Cruz is among the worst — what we’ll see will be far worse than what happened under Bush.

  14. – Glad you put this is, Robert. It put everything human forced heat related into proper context: ” … Peter Gleckler, an oceanographer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory “Ninety, perhaps 95 percent of the accumulated heat is in the oceans.”
    That, and the vapor duly created.
    – Once we put that extra and unnatural heat into the world it’s there forever — in one form or the other. Whether we see it or not — we have put it there.

    – 2016… and it’s only Feb.
    Whew…

    Reply
    • The National Laboratories have done some amazing work that absolutely should be more widely recognized in the press. We do what we can here.

      Reply
  15. Chuck Hughes

     /  February 3, 2016

    From Kevin Anderson’s twitter feed. 2C is gonna be really bad. much worse than we thought

    http://www.lse.ac.uk/publicEvents/events/2016/02/20160204t1830vOT.aspx

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  February 3, 2016

      Yep.

      Reply
    • We should consider that 2 C this Century is 4 C long term. That’s really worth giving a good long think. We’re pretty amazingly far behind the 8 ball here and we need a full mobilization to deal with what is probably the greatest challenge humankind has ever faced.

      Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  February 4, 2016

      Kevin Anderson is doing a fine job, I’ve seen a few things recently where he has really laid the reality of our present trajectory out, clearly and bluntly.

      Reply
    • Tsar Nicholas

       /  February 4, 2016

      I keep hearing more and more about climate scientists self-censoring. I hope Kevin’s talk becomes publicly available on the internet.

      Reply
    • I’d just like to reference this quote from Kevin’s recent blog:

      “…it’s the wonderful spirit of the Paris Agreement and the French people on which we need to build – and fast! The pursuit of a low-carbon future could do much worse than be guided by the open concepts of liberté, égalité et fraternité.”

      My concern is that Paris has split the environmental community between those that want to support it and those that want to criticize it. While we remain divided, the powerful fossil fuel special interests still make political gains in an attempt to shut down any response to climate change.

      What we need is unification among everyone and a big push for drastically reducing emissions as rapidly as possible. Quibbling over the details now is not in our best interest. The call now is for action. Action as broad and wide-ranging as possible. It’s time to unite the clans.

      Reply
  16. Colorado Bob

     /  February 3, 2016

    “Freeway Jam”

    We all loved this , a free open world where everyone’s speeding to their appointments. We never dreamed we would be locked on concrete for hours.

    Reply
  17. Colorado Bob

     /  February 3, 2016

    Disney is part of the problem now , when i was 9 I was sure he had all the answers.

    Reply
  18. Colorado Bob

     /  February 3, 2016

    One more thing , Ted Cruz could be the most psychopathic human being since Hitler.

    Reply
    • They’ve got a whole gang of them over there on the republican side. Not since the civil war has a political party sunken to such a low level of thuggishness driven by a slavering pandering to those who make their money by wrecking lives. And never in the history of politics here has such a party so brazenly aligned themselves with those who, through what some call industry, but should be called twisted, money and power-grabbing madness, will wreck our world if they are permitted to continue.

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  February 3, 2016

        They’ve already wrecked our world, it’s a question of whether we will be able to preserve any life for future generations. And you’re correct about the Republican party. They have devolved into a xenophobic, racist, reality-denying hate group that requires their voters to be completely disconnected from factual information, and essentially severely delusional, or else they would only get about 1% of the vote in any election.

        Reply
      • John McCormick

         /  February 4, 2016

        Robert, Northern Republicans waged war against the southern democrat paty that protected slave owners. I am a lifelong Democrat but recognize the legacy of the modern Republican party. Start with Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Senator Bob Stafford and Richard Nixon. They all had a hand in making the environment their issue. How to appeal to incumbent Republicans is the door we need to open.

        Reply
        • It’s pretty clear that the old republican party doesn’t currently exist today. What we have now is a party that panders only to business interests to pretty much the detriment of everyone else. They’re basically a reincarnated Whig party, but worse. In this context, there’s pretty much zero outreach possible. It’s not on us to initiate diplomacy. They need to admit that their war against science was as ill-founded as their near religious support of the fossil fuel special interests.

  19. Colorado Bob

     /  February 3, 2016

    If you hate your choices, and I do. Just remember, the next president picks the court.

    And Ted Cruz could be the most psychopathic human being since Hitler.

    Reply
    • – Definitely there are parallels — Disney included… Henry Ford… Trump fits Hermann Goering… Exxon and Krup and I.G. Farben…
      We have our own particular bunch on our hands.

      Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  February 3, 2016

        Murdoch = Goebbels

        Reply
      • So Ford, it is worth noting, was a big supporter of the American family farm. His Model T, back in the 20s, was designed to run on biofuel (produced on family farms throughout the US) or gasoline, or a combination thereof. Fossil fuel industry national political wrangling (by supporting prohibition as a political cause) suppressed US farmed ethanol and hemp based biofuel back in the 20s and 30s. They effectively co-opted US government action to suppress the proliferation of stills capable of producing biofuels cheaper than gasoline at the time.

        But it’s a strike in Henry Ford’s favor that he was rather suspicious of the fossil fuel industry and preferred the American family farmer.

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  February 3, 2016

        I read (forget where) that Henry Ford was making many vehicles run on ethanol which was putting a dent in gasoline consumption, and then prohibition came along and made alcohol illegal. Ford kept producing them for 8 years until he finally caved and produced 100% gasoline powered vehicles…then prohibition was quickly repealed.

        Reply
    • I’ll be endorsing Bernie Sanders in a few days. I think he’s got a shot.

      But yeah, even so, Clinton is a rose compared to the other alternatives.

      Reply
      • Amen to that…I love Bernie…but I will vote for Hillary if it comes to that. And any Bernie supporter who sits out if he doesn’t win the nomination…is doing a great disservice to us all. Every single one of the Republicans is a Climate Change denier. Also, the aging Supreme Court is another reason not to let a Republican any where near the WH…IMO.

        Reply
      • John McCormick

         /  February 4, 2016

        Suzanne, we cannot stress that enough. There are more than 75 million millennials looking into this dangerous future. Their votes can change the Congress, State Houses……. dog-catcher. It is their moment, in November, to be the revolution.

        Reply
        • I sincerely hope this is the case, John. We need all them if we’re going to do this. We need them to help us take on the billionaires — the fossil fuel special interests who are digging their heels in and further polluting the already off-kilter political process. I mean it’s unconscionable that the entire republican field is populated with climate change deniers. What a farce!

  20. – L.A. prosecutors file criminal charges in methane leak near Los Angeles

    Los Angeles prosecutors filed criminal charges against the Southern California Gas company on Tuesday over a huge methane leak near the city that has forced thousands of residents from their homes since October.

    The four misdemeanor charges accuse SoCalGas, a division of San Diego-based Sempra Energy, of failing to report the release of hazardous materials following the underground pipeline rupture and discharging air contaminants.

    “While we recognize that neither the criminal charges nor the civil lawsuits will offer the residents of Los Angeles County a complete solution, it is important that Southern California Gas Co. be held responsible for its criminal actions,” District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a written statement.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-california-methane-lawsuit-idUSKCN0VB25M

    Reply
    • – ‘a meter above the surface is already the atmosphere.’

      – Last week, ace KBOO reporter Robin Ryan did a story on Sempra gas leak and methane.
      She tied in info that 6 or 7 members of Congress had ties to Sempra.
      Included was an interview with Union of Concerned Scientists climate et al expert Astrid Caldas about the ramifications of the methane.

      – It was music to my ears to hear Caldas putting into perspective the methane (as
      atmospheric GHG): ‘ a meter above the surface is already the atmosphere.’
      Indeed!
      Most people tend to think of the atmosphere as something very far away — like it’s almost in space or something. She brings it close to home — where it belongs. Like air/aerosol pollution or smog — the stuff we have accustomed ourselves to at our peril.

      Reply
    • So this is progress. But we should also think about criminal charges against an industry that is attempting to lock in place, through the exertion of a malign political power and influence, the emission of toxic gases into our atmosphere in perpetuity. To perpetually overburden the atmosphere with toxic, hothouse extinction vapors that have been ripped away from their safe sequestering in the terra firma.

      Porter Ranch is just one more in a long list of reasons why these fuels should be kept in the ground. And how their extraction and burning is, at its heart, an amoral, and what should become an unlawful endeavor.

      Reply
  21. Abel Adamski

     /  February 3, 2016

    Just a reminder re the Antarctic sea ice, fresh water (meltwater) freezes at 0C and saltwater at -2.5C, in conjunction with the circumpolar Roaring 40’s that have morphed into the Roaring 50’skeeping it all bunched up and minimising the warm air inflow.

    A side note, I read several years ago on a fisheries website that they were reporting Red King Crabs appearing at the edge of the Antarctic ocean Zone (Now warm enough for them on the sea bed), this was a concern as those Crabs are brutal destructive predators and would cause great damage to the local ecosystem.
    Also discussions on migrating marine species etc (Commercial Fisheries Industry site), back around 2006

    The computer all those links were on is defunct, but hard drive still in a box somewhere

    Reply
  22. Abel Adamski

     /  February 3, 2016

    A little OT on this subject but worthy of a look
    http://www.newsecuritybeat.org/2016/02/adapting-climate-change-cities-require-major-rethink/

    Around the world, urbanization and climate change are transforming societies and environments, and the stakes could not be higher for the poor and marginalized. The 2015 UN climate conference in Paris (COP-21) highlighted the need for coordinated action to address the profound injustice of the world’s most disadvantaged people bearing the greatest costs of climate impacts. Among those at the COP were mayors from around the world advocating for the important role of cities in these efforts.

    In theory, local urban leadership on climate adaptation could significantly reduce the vulnerability of those who need the greatest protection. More people live in cities than ever, providing an opportunity to concentrate climate investments.

    In reality, most adaptation proposals try to protect existing development in coastal and low-lying urban areas in ways that perpetuate continued growth in these exposed areas. It remains unclear how large proposed infrastructure projects such as the Great Garuda Seawall in Jakarta, Indonesia, or Eko Atlantis Island in Lagos, Nigeria, will affect vulnerable groups. The fact is, there are winners and losers in urban climate adaptation projects, and it is the poorest and most marginalized who (as always) tend to lose.

    Some other good articles on that site. i.e
    Fire and Oil: The Collateral Environmental Damage of Airstrikes on ISIS Oil Facilities
    and contrary to the MSM fear mongering
    More women and children than men seeking European asylum, says Unicef

    Reply
    • So this is an important note — the fear mongering now aimed at demonizing the growing pool of displaced persons around the world is basically teaching people to fear and hate destitute women and children. I think it’s pretty monstrous, really.

      Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  February 4, 2016

      Robert.
      The religious fundamentalists are behind the Republicans and into this up to the tops of their craniums.
      They should consider that Jesus clarified the sin of Sodom on THREE occasions , it was the way they treated their widows and children that was their sin, not what the nutters like to think

      Reply
  23. Ryan in New England

     /  February 3, 2016
    Reply
    • It’s worth noting that researchers identified Zika’s potential for sexual transmission a few years back. The dual modality of transmission here makes the virus more mobile than a parasitic agent like malaria.

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  February 4, 2016

        True. I also heard today that there are 9 cases in Florida and the state has declared a public health emergency, worried that a mosquito may bite an infected person thus transmitting the disease to the local mosquito population.

        Reply
  24. Cate

     /  February 3, 2016

    This report on the seasonal “ice roads” from one of Canada’s leading dailies reveals much about the dominant Central Canadian perspective on climate change in the north: it’s all about the impact on resource extraction. Notice that the story appears in the “Business” section under the “Energy and Resources” tab. The message: the planet is still ours for the plundering.

    But never mind that. At least our senior and highly-respected meteorologist David Phillips is quoted—-what’s happening in our North is “runaway warming.” As well, “the late freeze….raises the alarming prospect of thawing permafrost.” Yet, lest any investors feel a twinge of concern, the good spokesperson for the mining companies reassures us that it’s not “panic time”—which left me wondering, how will we know when it is, and what will we do then?😉

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/warm-weather-threatens-vital-ice-road-for-canadas-remote-diamond-mines/article27937755/

    Reply
    • If it gets to panic time and we are still burning fossil fuels, then it’s probably too late for a majority of civilizations around the world. It should be urgent action time as well as cause for serious outrage over the fact that Canada is still positioning itself to extract fossil fuels from the ground.

      A meteorologist stating ‘it’s runaway warming’ is a pretty good indication that Canada’s got its priorities backwards. That extraction activity is not just dangerous. When you think about its systemically deleterious impacts on civilization as a whole, it’s basically criminal.

      Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  February 4, 2016

        It will also be too late for the economic systems and the investors

        Reply
  25. wili

     /  February 3, 2016

    Thanks to DavidR at neven’s Arctic Sea Ice Forums for this:

    NOAA have released their initial monthly temperature estimates for January and the figures are remarkable.
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/timeseries/timeseries1.pl

    For 80N+, 2016 is 2.5 dC warmer than 2005 in both air temp and sea surface temp.

    For the entire Arctic Circle, 2016 was more than 2.4 dC ahead of second place 2005.

    So not just record-breaking, but blowing the previous records clear out of the water.

    Reply
  26. Cate

     /  February 3, 2016

    RS, just wondering if any info is out there on precipitation in the north, whether and how it’s changing. I thought about this when I saw of photo of Greenland showing no snow on the ground at all in January. Here in Newfoundland, mild spells in winter bring rain that can take away some or all snow, leaving the ground bare—or worse, covered with a layer of ice. We hear a lot about temps and warming air, but is the northern air becoming comparably “wetter” as it warms? Someone must be monitoring precip north of 60, in both rain and snow?

    Reply
  27. Spike

     /  February 3, 2016

    Good Irish video – Jason Box says at least 1m sea level rise this century, doesn’t dismiss 2-3m, says we need to get off fossil fuels “yesterday”.

    Reply
    • Box is right. My own prediction range is 7-9 feet by end Century. 1 meter is looking like the lower end to me due to the fact that glaciers are now destabilizing so rapidly and due to the fact that we are entering a range of temperatures (1-2 C above baseline) that has typically resulted in more rapid periods of sea level rise. Finally, the overall current forcing from CO2 alone is enough to raise seas by up to 75 feet long term. We will hit near 407 ppm CO2 this year. That’s outside the top Pliocene range (390 to 405 ppm). The Pliocene saw seas that were 25-75 feet higher than today. If we’re on a trajectory for at least 450 ppm CO2, we need to consider that we have an overhang long term SLR in the range of 125 feet unless global greenhouse gasses are rapidly drawn down. It’s really a question of the domino effect of glacial instability. The more of these glaciers that get involved in seaward movement, the more SLR we lock in. Considering the movement of glaciers now, it looks like we have a long term lock on 15-20 feet. And that’s if we were somehow able to rapidly draw down atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gasses. We are still now contributing to the worsening the problem — both because we are adding greenhouse gasses, and because we are not now drawing down the current greenhouse gas overburden.

      Reply
      • Jeremy in Wales

         /  February 4, 2016

        The other Jeremy posted a video of a presentation by Peter Wadhams Professor of Ocean Physics and Head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group at Cambridge on 31 January 2016 on the Zika thread and at around 45 minutes in he seemed to be inclined to support sea level rise at the end of this century in the region of several metres (10-12 feet) not the IPCC 1 metre or under figure. He did not name the other sources for this view but as this talk was at the end of 2015 whatever research he is privy too has probably not yet been published.

        Reply
  28. Vic

     /  February 3, 2016

    From little things big things grow.

    Reply
  29. godfrey

     /  February 3, 2016

    thank you all for the facts and reasoned discussion. Where can I see the figures for the decline in arctic ice volume, which I suggest is the critical measure in reference to an ice-free arctic?

    Reply
  30. Thanks Robert—– yet another excellent piece with vital information that should be headline news throughout the world.
    Found this in my “Arctic Death Spiral” folder from 2014—-beautiful, poignant, heartbreaking . . ..
    http://www.jennyross.com/documents/JERoss-ArcticSeaIce-OceanGeographic-201410-LowRes.pdf

    Reply
  31. Greg

     /  February 3, 2016

    If I told you back in 1980 that this radar shot (taken 10 minutes ago) was taken in early February, would you have believed me?

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  February 3, 2016

      Note that this link is dynamic so will update image and then expire. Currently shows a line of thunderstorms from the Gulf of Mexico to New England.

      Reply
      • We’re getting hammered by it now. The rough stuff looks like it’s moved off for now. Huge line, though. Just a very broad south to north sweep.

        Reply
    • It’s a spring pattern in February. Looks more like April than anything else.

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  February 4, 2016

        The past three days in Ct have felt exactly like April used to.

        Reply
      • Maple sap is flowing in some places in northern New England. By any measure, we have had nothing but spring weather all “winter” long in my part of Maine. Fascinating to see the threads of warm air coursing over the eastern US, with some being pulled all the way to the Arctic.

        Reply
  32. Reblogged this on Rhya's Place.

    Reply
  33. Cate

     /  February 3, 2016

    The Danish Meteorological Institute has this daily tracker for the “surface mass balance” of the Greenland ice sheet. Popping it in here in case anyone hasn’t seen it.

    “Satellite observations over the last decade show that the ice sheet Is not in balance. The calving loss is greater than the gain from surface mass balance, and Greenland is losing mass at approximately 200 Gt/yr.”

    http://beta.dmi.dk/en/groenland/maalinger/greenland-ice-sheet-surface-mass-budget/

    Reply
  34. Greg

     /  February 3, 2016

    Canada protects a very large piece of rain forest after a long battle to do so:
    “We have very little time to increase protections … before the impacts of climate change will make it harder for species to adapt,” Wieting said. “It should be commonsense, but unfortunately it’s not what most of humanity is doing.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/great-bear-rainforest-canada_us_56b18b10e4b01d80b2448824

    Reply
  35. Greg

     /  February 3, 2016

    Hawaii is doing something right. Almost 1 in 5 customers of the major electric utilities now have solar and 32% of single family homes on Oahu.

    http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/news/2016/01/28/hawaiian-electric-has-77-000-installed-solar-pv.html

    Reply
    • Fantastic! This is one of those cases where pretty much everyone worked together to focus on shifting to renewables. Case study for next decade pretty much everywhere as renewable energy costs continue to fall.

      Reply
  36. Greg

     /  February 3, 2016

    Exxon, one of only 3 U.S. corporations with an AAA bond rating, is facing the music after 86 years, a downgrade in its creditworthiness. The world’s five largest oil explorers had their credit ratings cut or threatened with downgrade as the market crash undermines their ability to pay debts, dividends and rig leases. For most of the oil industry, slashing drilling budgets and other cost-cutting “are insufficient to stem the meaningful deterioration expected in credit measures over the next few years,” S&P said. May we suggest that, if they just can’t stop drilling, that they begin drilling for geo-thermal power generation instead?

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-02/chevron-hess-join-ranks-of-downgraded-crude-oil-explorers

    Reply
    • There could not be a better time to divest from fossil fuels. It’s a lose monetarily, it’s a lose for pretty much everyone long term due to global warming, it’s a lose socially due to its ability to increase inequality, a lose health wise due to its impact on air and water quality, and it’s a lose geopolitically due to its current role in worsening conflicts around the world.

      Reply
      • Matt

         /  February 4, 2016

        I posted an initial Fossil Fuel leverage downgrade notice on previous posts from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and now this…
        “LVR changes from 25/1/16: Reductions to some additional Oil & Gas stocks, plus increases for some stocks in other sectors.”
        Its obvious enough for our major financial institution to smell the scent of risk and divert away from lending against fossil fuel companies…

        Reply
      • ExxonMobil products have produced on the order of four to five percent of all the CO2 produced by the industrial revolution. If you lump together all the daughter corporations of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Monopoly, the numbers are higher than that.

        So, should the Rockefeller family be liable for four to five percent of the trillions of dollars of damages created by global warming, now and in the future?

        Likely, that would bankrupt them. Investors should take note of possible future liability, I think.

        Reply
  37. Anne

     /  February 3, 2016

    UK Judge threatens to jail climate protesters:
    At around 3.30am on the morning of Monday 13 July 2015 a group of protesters cut a hole in the perimeter fence at Heathrow and making their way on to the north runway13 forced the cancellation of 25 flights. The Heathrow protest – part of the long-running Plane Stupid campaign to end airport expansion – includes Rob Basto, a retired atmospheric physicist who says he was “frightened” into protesting 15 years ago after studying research into the impact of climate change.
    Danielle Paffard, 28, is a biology graduate of Oxford University who also faces a jail sentence for her part in the Heathrow action. “I was very shocked by the judge’s comments. It was really galling to hear her say she understands the serious impact of climate change – but that we made some people late and that’s unacceptable.”
    Ten of the Heathrow 13 have no previous convictions, while three have been convicted of aggravated trespass before
    If the “Heathrow 13” are jailed, this would be the first time peaceful environmental protesters have gone to prison for the offence of aggravated trespass since it came into force two decades ago.

    More here:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/heathrow-13-jailing-peaceful-protesters-would-be-unprecedented-attack-on-dissent-judge-told-a6849636.html

    Reply
    • – “made some people late and that’s unacceptable.” a sad tale but that’s FF as a ‘time’ saver savior. We burn and worship it even while it kills us. We mess with ‘gravity’ too.

      Reply
    • So this is the new global protest environment policy makers need to consider — if it emits greenhouse gasses, it’s a target for action. The biggest emitters — tar sands, coal, fracking — face the strongest opposition. But all fossil fuel based emitters are now at risk of protest disruption. They can jail people. But that doesn’t change the fact that these people are acting morally to protect both human civilization and the living world that supports it. That doesn’t change the fact that what’s really criminal here is not a protest disrupting air traffic, it’s the fact that so much of transportation still, in the 21st Century, still runs on fossil fuels and dumps hundreds of millions of tons of carbon into the air each year.

      The airlines, the cars, the trains, the ships all need to switch away from fossil fuels. And they should have done this yesterday.

      Reply
  38. utoutback

     /  February 3, 2016

    Off topic – but interesting:
    In a section of DEFINING THE WIND, a book about the Beaufort scale there is a section on wind mills.

    Reply
    • utoutback

       /  February 3, 2016

      Must have hit the wrong key
      In 1850 there were 9000 windmills in the Netherlands, by 1950 as a result of electrification, war and a cultural blind spot only 900 remained.

      Reply
    • ” DEFINING THE WIND ” — a great book.
      Thanks for the windmill connection.

      Reply
  39. Greg

     /  February 3, 2016

    “I beg to express my firm belief, founded on all I have seen, on all I have heard and on all I have read, that all around the North Pole, as around the South Pole, there lies an eternal mass of ice a thousand miles in diameter, and perhaps miles thick in the centre. And, further, I do no believe that either ship, sledge, man, beast, bird or ballon will ever get across it.” Wednesday 11 April 1877
    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/77047000?searchTerm=&searchLimits=l-publictag=Arctic+ice|||l-availability=y%2Ff

    Reply
  40. Greg

     /  February 3, 2016

    1920-1939 then 2012 Arctic map

    Reply
  41. Greg

     /  February 3, 2016

    Arctic volume animation updated through 2015:

    Reply
  42. Reply
  43. Reply
    • Cate

       /  February 4, 2016

      Predictably, this is getting almost no coverage in Canada. Canadians want good news only, please. As a nation, we believe Canada is the best country in the world and we don’t want to hear news that tarnishes that naive self-image. Our big news media are only to happy to deliver. Out of sight, out of mind, whether it’s the shameful treatment of our First Nations, the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women, or climate change (bury it in the Business report).

      Reply
  44. mlparrish

     /  February 3, 2016

    Somewhat off topic, but a potential influence from hydrothermal activity along the mid-ocean ridge system on glacial/interglacial transitions. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160129134335.htm

    Icy ebb and flow influenced by hydrothermal activity. Release of magma from beneath earth’s crust plays significant role in earth’s climate. January 29, 2016
    Source: University of Connecticut

    “This activity is controlled by the rate of pressure release at any given location. There’s clear evidence that when ice sheets grow, sea level lowers and significant pressure is taken off the ocean ridges. This causes melting in the mantle, which should in turn promote the release of heat and carbon into the oceans — and that’s when glacial termination begins — meaning the ice starts to melt. Then, sea levels begin to rise, pressure on the ridges increases, and magmatic activity decreases.”

    Reply
  45. Jeremy

     /  February 3, 2016

    ‘World’s biggest’ wind farm to be built off East Yorkshire coast.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-humber-35483190

    Reply
  46. Cate

     /  February 3, 2016

    Still with sea ice—-where I live, sea ice means harp seals–the seal hunt!—and polar bears which follow the seals. Some of these bears end up coming ashore, usually later in the spring as the drift ice-fields dissipate. This year, we’ve had reports of polar bears ashore already—in January, a very rare occurrence. According to scientists, such bears are usually young and/or hungry; they can also be aging and/or ill. Anyway, here is a blog by a polar bear scientist who is also a fiction writer—her novel, EATEN, is billed as a “polar bear attack thriller”—well, I hope it’s fiction!🙂

    Anyway, another link for your list. Interesting stuff here, not always directly about climate change, but often relevant to it.

    https://polarbearscience.com/

    Reply
  47. – I don’t recall if this has been referenced here:

    Study Shows North Atlantic Ocean CO2 Storage Doubled Over Last Decade

    MIAMI—A University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science-led study shows that the North Atlantic absorbed 50 percent more man-made carbon dioxide over the last decade, compared to the previous decade. The findings show the impact that the burning of fossil fuels have had on the world’s oceans in just 10 years.

    Reply
  48. In the Southern Ocean, a Carbon-Dioxide Mystery Comes Clear

    Coauthor Robert Anderson, a geochemist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said the study “finally provides the long-sought direct evidence that extra carbon was trapped in the deep sea by the buildup of decaying organic matter from above.” He added, “It’s also clear that the buildup and release of CO2 stored in the deep ocean during the ice age was driven by what was happening in the ocean around Antarctica.”

    The study may hold powerful lessons for today. While the natural 20-part-per million wobbles took thousands of years to happen, carbon dioxide levels have risen that much in just the last nine years, due to human emissions. Levels are now about 400 parts per million, versus about 280 in the early 1800s. “The current rate of emissions is just so fast compared to the natural variations that it’s hard to compare,” said study coauthor Eric Galbraith of the Autonomous University of Barcelona. “We are entering climate territory for which we don’t have a good geological analog.”

    http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/news-events/southern-ocean-carbon-dioxide-mystery-comes-clear

    Reply
  49. – Iceland et al in the cross-hairs again?

    NWS OPC ‏@NWSOPC 2h2 hours ago

    48hr Atlantic sfc & wind/wave #forecast charts showing a #hurricane force low expected near #Iceland w/seas to 12m!

    Reply
  50. – USA SE

    Reply
  51. The Latest: Brazil’s President Says Zika a ‘Real Threat’

    Brazil’s president says Zika virus has gone from a “distant nightmare” to a “real threat” against the Brazilian people.

    In a pre-recorded, prime time television address Wednesday, Dilma Rousseff calls on citizens to unite to combat the mosquito that transmits the virus, which researchers in Brazil have linked to a rare birth defect. She describes concrete measures people can take to eliminate the mosquito’s breeding grounds in their homes.

    She also has “words of comfort” for the women who have given birth to babies with the birth defect, microcephaly, saying: “We will do everything, absolutely everything, to protect you.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/02/03/world/americas/ap-zika-the-latest.html?_r=0

    Reply
    • – AP Brazil

      APNewsbreak: Few Zika samples being shared by Brazil

      RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — U.N. and U.S. health officials tell The Associated Press that Brazil has yet to share enough samples and disease data needed to answer the most worrying question about the Zika outbreak: whether the virus is actually responsible for the increase in the number of babies born with abnormally small heads in Brazil.

      The lack of data is frustrating efforts to develop diagnostic tests, drugs and vaccines.

      http://wtop.com/world/2016/02/apnewsbreak-few-zika-samples-being-shared-by-brazil/

      Reply
  52. Ryan in New England

     /  February 4, 2016

    California attorney general files charges over methane leak…

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/02/02/3745605/california-attorney-general-porter-ranch/

    Reply
  53. – AP
    Report: Food fish in Northeast at risk to climate change

    PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Fish and shellfish that humans rely on for food and that are important to the economy are on a list of Northeastern marine species considered most vulnerable to climate change, a federal government report released Wednesday and published by the journal PLOS ONE said.

    The study ranged from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, to the Gulf of Maine and is the first “multispecies assessment” of the vulnerability of marine fish and invertebrates to climate change…

    NOAA’s report assigned a “climate vulnerability score” to 82 Northeastern fish and shellfish species. It listed types of scallop and quahog and the Atlantic salmon as the most vulnerable in the region, as well as eastern oysters, a $175 million fishery in 2014. Also, certain types of herring, a vital part of the ocean’s food web and commercially important as bait, were found to be highly vulnerable to climate change.
    http://wtop.com/business/2016/02/report-82-food-fish-in-northeast-at-risk-to-climate-change/

    Reply
  54. Reply
  55. – Flint, MI et al has H2o lead. — Local area at PDX Hillsboro airport is laden with civil aviation’s airborne aerosol lead.

    Reply
    • OHSU Study Confirms Causal Link between Lead Exposure and ADHD

      ’01/07/16 Portland, Ore.

      Genetics and environmental factors jointly contribute to the effects of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

      PORTLAND, Ore. – Scientists at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital have defined the first causal link between blood lead exposure and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in humans. While previous studies have associated lead blood levels with ADHD, research published in Psychological Science is the first to confirm previous hypotheses that exposure to lead in miniscule amounts typical in the U.S., or less than 10 parts per billion, increases symptoms in some individuals with ADHD.’
      http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/about/news_events/news/2015/1-7-study-first-to-confirm-cau.cfm

      Reply
  56. Vic

     /  February 4, 2016

    Because we care.

    A dugong has been relocated to Brisbane’s Moreton Bay after being found living in cool waters off the southern coast of New South Wales.

    Reply
  57. dnem

     /  February 4, 2016

    In response to dt’s link above about CO2 uptake in the north Atlantic, the article says: “The researchers hope to return in another 10 years to determine if the increase in carbon uptake continues, or if, as many fear, it will decrease as a result of slowing thermohaline circulation.”

    To me, this points out the utter BS of the much-heralded recent “stall” in CO2 emissions “despite a growing economy.” The dynamics of sources and sinks is so complex as to render any such measurements (IEA annual emissions numbers) meaningless. Sure I guess it’s better than IEA reporting a big increase but it hardly gives me solace. What will Mauna Loa say if this big sink starts to fail?

    Reply
  58. JPL

     /  February 4, 2016

    Democracy Now did a good story this morning about Zika and they touch on the roll of climate change:
    http://www.democracynow.org/2016/2/4/zika_virus_are_climate_ecological_factors

    John

    Reply
  59. Greg

     /  February 4, 2016

    Another great example of innovation in farming, which is what we badly need to reduce our carbon footprint, restore our land, and feed people in urban areas in a changing climate. Freight Farms using shipping containers to grow high quality vegetables with very little inputs:

    Reply
  60. rustj2015

     /  February 4, 2016

    Bad news, to me, that TPP has been signed. If interested/concerned:
    The U.S. Signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership — Now Let’s Kill It!
    Share the Petition:
    NO TPP!
    http://act.foodandwaterwatch.org/site/R?i=LQRCD4W2mCwWgbQItIOOyQ

    Reply
  61. rustj2015

     /  February 4, 2016

    And this:
    Democratic U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Ed Markey (MA) and Brian Schatz (HI) introduced an amendment into the energy bill yesterday intended to express Congress’s disapproval of the use of industry-funded think tanks and misinformation tactics aimed at sowing doubt about climate change science.
    Good news for the proposal; bad news for the bill it’s nestled into.
    http://www.desmogblog.com/2016/02/03/senators-introduce-merchants-doubt-amendment-energy-bill-call-fossil-fuel-industry-end-denial-and-deception

    Reply
    • Well done. I think we need to sharpen up our tactics. This is a good example of how to wage an effective legislative battle over an issue that should be brought to the fore.

      Reply
  62. Greg

     /  February 4, 2016

    Remember hurricane Patricia,which hit Mexico this past Fall? The National Hurricane Center has upgraded Patricia’s Maximum Sustained Wind speeds from October 23th to 215 mph and lowered the atmospheric pressure to 872 millibars, the lowest on record in the Western Hemisphere, and the second lowest on record for the world.
    https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/hurricane-patricia-mexico-coast

    Reply
  63. Greg

     /  February 4, 2016

    Australia should be a global leader and has new leadership. What’s going on Down Under?! Hundreds of climate scientists to lose jobs in Australia:

    http://mashable.com/2016/02/04/csiro-job-losses-australia/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Mashable+%28Mashable%29#Pyq3JOqfOkqp

    Reply
    • The word that should be used here is purge. They are attempting to purge the climate scientists. It’s sick and unconscionable. A great charge into ignorance.

      Reply
    • Mark from OZ

       /  February 5, 2016

      These ‘cuts’ are on top of ~900 CSIRO positions ( over 20%) that went in 2014-15 when Abbott ( the neo-con wrecking ball) was PM. Still, there is 8 ‘civil servants’ per 100 population–currently 1,898,899 as of June 2015. Hence, the very real ‘nanny’ state!
      With a ‘local’, ‘state’ and ‘federal’ governments quite often doing the same things on astonishingly high salaries and retirement benefits, ‘bloated’ comes nowhere close to describing the civil service and the aggravation / frustration that results from the numerous and petty fiefdoms. Countless studies suggest mega mergers of the local ‘shires’ to a central office for cost / benefit reasons, but they instead slice away the CSIRO (one of the few remaining jewels in Straya’s tattered and tarnished crown). Shakes head slowly; again & again & again.

      Reply
  64. Greg

     /  February 4, 2016

    Would give generously to be a fly on the wall in smoking rooms and board rooms throughout industry. Will certainly need follow-up, and skepticism abounds, but are the Koch brothers warming up? What powerful allies they would be if they joined the Hawks. “He went from just a month ago saying there would be no future impact to saying world’s poor are hurt first and worst,” says Greenpeace research associate Connor Gibson. “He sounds like Bill McKibben.”
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2016/02/03/did-bloomberg-bury-a-big-scoop-about-the-kochs-position-on-climate-change/

    Reply
  65. PlazaRed

     /  February 4, 2016

    More in the theme of the last entry but I am monitoring the Spanish news for information on the Zika virus spread into Europe.
    Tonight’s news stated that the first pregnant woman in Spain to contact the virus is 13 weeks pregnant and lives in the Barcelona area.
    Spain together with Portugal have an enormous amount of links and daily flights to South America.
    We are just coming up towards the mosquito season here and already this year I have seen massive numbers of fly’s around even though its only early Feb. I have small and very large fly’s all over the place at a farm I look after here. I would say with personal certainty that I have never seen so many fly’s about this early in the year over the 25 years I have lived here.

    Over on WU they have a new blog on the very high temps this year in the Arctic.

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3239

    Reply
    • There’s continued concern that humans made mobile by air travel could introduce the virus to new mosquito populations around the world.

      Apparently, there’s a big push to use GM mosquitoes to fight this thing. Oxitec’s scientists say there’s almost zero chance that modified genes could enter humans through their engineered mosquitoes. Some independent experts remain concerned, though.

      I think this will be a big controversy as the mosquitoes continue to spread. People are very concerned and fear has a way of distorting the discourse.

      Reply
  66. Vic

     /  February 4, 2016

    Adani Enterprises sees the light (the sunlight).

    Reply
  67. Vic

     /  February 5, 2016

    “Australia’s biggest energy utility, AGL, has announced that it is quitting gas exploration and production as part of a move to accelerate the company’s focus on the “evolution” in the energy industry.”

    http://reneweconomy.com.au/2016/agl-quits-gas-production-to-focus-on-energy-transformation-55770

    Reply
  1. Even a Monster El Nino Can’t Beat the Southwest Drought | robertscribbler

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