Atmospheric CO2 Rocketed to 405.6 ppm Yesterday — A Level not Seen in 15 Million Years

As CO2 levels hit a new record global high of 405.66 ppm yesterday, I couldn’t help but think that HG Wells could not have imagined a more perilous mechanism for exploring the world’s past.

For when it comes to testing the range of new climate extremes, the present mass burning of fossil fuels is like stepping into a dark time machine. As all that carbon hits the airs and waters, the climate dial spins backward through hundreds of thousands and millions of years. Speeding us on toward the hothouse extinction eras of Earth’s deep history. Now, not only is it driving us on through extreme weather and temperature events not seen in 100, 1,000, 5,000 or even 10,000 years, it is also propelling us toward climate states that haven’t occurred on Earth for ages and ages.

*****

Ever since 1990, the world has experienced atmospheric CO2 levels in a range that hasn’t been seen since the Pliocene geological epoch. A period of time 2.6 – 5.3 million years ago hosting carbon dioxide levels ranging from 350 to 405 parts per million and global average temperatures that were 2-3 degrees Celsius hotter than 1880s levels. Overall, global sea levels towered about 80 feet higher than those humankind has grown accustomed to.

Annual mean CO2 Growth Rate

(Never has the Earth seen a CO2 build-up so rapid as the one produced by the human fossil fuel energy era. Rates of CO2 increase just keep ramping higher ever as the world’s climate sinks appear to be filling up. In this context, 2015 saw the swiftest pace of CO2 rise yet. Warming ocean surface waters can’t absorb as much CO2 as cooler oceans. And a record hot ocean during 2015 contributed to this extreme atmospheric CO2 accumulation. For the whole of the past year, CO2 built up in the atmosphere at a rate of 3.2 parts per million per annum. That’s well above the already raging pace of 2 parts per million average annual accumulation during the decade of the 2000s. Image source: NOAA ESRL.)

If global atmospheric CO2 levels had stabilized in this range, it’s likely that we would have eventually seen climates, temperatures, and sea levels that became more and more like those experienced 2-5 million years ago. A process that would have likely taken centuries to reach a final, far warmer climate state. One in which little to no ice remained upon Greenland or West Antarctica, and one hosting a substantial retreat of coastlines.

From 1990 through 2015, that was our climate context. The new world that was steadily settling into place. One that would eventually assert itself unless atmospheric CO2 levels were somehow drawn down to below 350 parts per million. It was kind of a big deal. Unfortunately, few experts really talked about it.

Exiting the Pliocene

But starting in 2015 and continuing on into 2016 the fossil fuel burning time machine again cranked us back toward hotter, more dangerous times. For during the past two years we began to exceed the maximum CO2 threshold of the Pliocene and we started to enter CO2 ranges that were more typical to those of the Middle Miocene climate epoch of 15 to 17 million years ago.

 

Rocketing on past the Pliocene

(Rocketing on past the Pliocene. On February 4 of 2016, a record daily atmospheric CO2 level of 405.66 was recorded at the Mauna Loa Observatory. The Earth hasn’t experienced CO2 levels this high in 15-17 million years. Image source: NOAA ESRL.)

By late April of 2015, as CO2 approached its typical May high point, daily readings had hit a range of 404.9 parts per million — propelling us toward the outside boundary of the Pliocene climate context. For a brief period of 9 months, CO2 retreated back from the Pliocene boundary as spring and summer-time plants in the Northern Hemisphere respired. However, average atmospheric CO2 levels were still ramping higher as a rampant burning of fossil fuels around the world continued. By yesterday, February 4, 2016, daily CO2 levels at the Mauna Loa Observatory had rocketed to 405.66 parts per million. A level well outside the upper range for the Pliocene climate epoch. One more typical for periods seen during the Miocene of 15-17 million years ago.

Entering the Middle Miocene

Unfortunately, this daily Februay peak at 405.66 parts per million is not the end to the current year’s ramp up. Typical atmospheric peaks occur during May. And this year, we are likely to see atmospheric levels hit near a range of 407-409 (estimate revised in March of 2016) parts per million in the weekly and monthly averages over the next few months. Such a range thrusts us solidly out of the Pliocene climate context and well into that of the Miocene.

Though the Middle Miocene was not a hothouse extinction climate, it was one much more foreign to humankind. Back then, only the great apes existed. Our most ancient ancestor, Australopithecus, was still at least 9 million years in the future. It’s fair to say that no human being, or even our closer offshoot relatives, have ever breathed air with the composition that is now entering our lungs. Never lived under the oppressive and intensifying dome of such a great global atmospheric heat forcing.

co2_data_mlo

(We said farewell to the Holocene climate context when CO2 levels rose above 280 parts per million back during the 19th Century. By around 1990, we had begun to enter the Pliocene context, a period occurring 2-5 million years ago. As of 2015, we had begun to exit the Pliocene climate context and enter the Middle Miocene. If current rates of fossil fuel burning or business as usual rates of fossil fuel build-up continue, we will be entering the Ogliocene climate context in about 25 to 50 years. Image source: NOAA ESRL.)

We are now entering a period in which atmospheres are more similar to those seen during the Middle Miocene Climate Optimum — the last time CO2 measures exceeded a threshold of roughly 405 parts per million (see here and here).

The Middle Miocene Climate Optimum of 15-17 million years ago was a radically different world. It hosted an atmosphere in which carbon dioxide levels varied wildly from 300 parts per million to 500 parts per million. Temperatures were between 3 to 5 degrees Celsius hotter than the 19th Century. And sea levels were about 120 to 190 feet higher. During this period, the world was still cooling down from the heat of the Paleocene and Eocene epochs. Carbon was being sequestered. And it was the first time the world broke significantly below a 500 part per million CO2 plateau that had been established during the Oligocene 24 to 33 million years ago.

If CO2 levels remain in this range, these are the temperatures, sea levels, and climate conditions we will transition to and ultimately experience. But time, and fossil fuel burning, is not on our side. For under business as usual fossil fuel burning rates of increase, we could hit the Oligocene threshold within as little as 25-30 years. And even if the current rate of increase were maintained, the Oligocene boundary sits about 5 decades away.

Links:

NOAA ESRL (Please support public, non-special interest based, science like the fantastic and essential work produced by the experts at NOAA.)

The Keeling Curve

Pliocene Climate

Entering the Middle Miocene

Hat tip to Kevin Jones

 

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368 Comments

  1. John McCormick

     /  February 5, 2016

    Rob, I accessed the Mauna Loa hsitory data. Dec 2014 reading was 398.85; Dec 2015, 401.85. A 3 ppm increase over the year. That is feedback, folks. Never has the ppm increase been 3 ppm/yr. Never, ever. We are in the early days of a runaway climate. Feedback emissions are showing up on the Mauna Loa measurements.

    Reply
    • The warming ocean is blocking CO2 uptake. El Nino, as Keeling Curve predicted, tends to tip these scales. The human emission is about 13 billion tons carbon per annum, which is much higher than 1998, so we see even more increase in atmospheric CO2 related to ocean surface warming.

      We are seeing other global carbon system feedbacks as well (and you’re right to be concerned) — fires in the tropics and around the world are ramping up and the warming Arctic hints that feedbacks there have started.

      But it’s worth noting that the global feedback is nowhere near the size of the total human forcing as well as that ridiculous addition of 13 billion tons of carbon each year by fossil fuel burning. I think the big signal this year is coming from the oceans warming and failing to draw down as much of our carbon emission as it does during a typical year.

      And the more we burn, the worse the potential feedback becomes.

      For reference — atmospheric CO2 increased by 2.9 ppm during the last strong El Nino ocean warming event. The current increase in the range of 3.2 ppm per year during the current near record El Nino year is the first to top that.

      Oh, and one more point to consider — 2016 could be worse. We could see a 4 or 5 ppm jump.

      Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  February 5, 2016

        Great write-up Robert. And a good point regarding a reduced sink not being the same as an increased source. So far We are the Volcano, mostly. Will we act on this knowledge? Will we stop poking the sleepy climate dragon with a sharp stick in time? A geologist once said the people of Pompeii weren’t paying attention to their geology…..

        Reply
        • Not building cities in volcanic outflow zones and not dumping huge volumes of hothouse gasses into the atmosphere seems like wisdom to me. But hey, what do I know about threats and stuff😉.

          We have added feedback sources. But they’re a small fraction compared to the human forcing and the impact that occurs in the ocean due to a record El Nino. We’ve filled the oceans up with carbon and its ability to take down the carbon carbon we’re emitting is really reduced when a huge zone of the equatorial Pacific heats up as it has.

      • Abel Adamski

         /  February 7, 2016

        Other ones that sneak in around the edges too

        http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/15822/20150727/mosses-unexpectedly-release-greenhouse-gasses-more-powerful-c02.htm

        Climatologists didn’t see this one coming. It looks like mosses, lichens, and blue-green algae are all major players in the Earth’s complex and often-confusing carbon cycle. Now, new research has revealed how these organisms regularly release some of the most intense greenhouse gasses known to man, demanding more attention be pointed their way.

        Despite the fact that carbon dioxide (C02) is the greenhouse gas that’s in all the headlines and on everyone’s mind, methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) are two other gasses that climatologists have been keeping a close eye on. That’s because these gases are up to 30 and 300 times (respectively) more efficient at trapping heat in Earth’s atmosphere than C02 ever could be.

        Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  February 5, 2016

      Heavy news, John McCormick. NOAA informs us that 1 part per million of carbon dioxide equals 2.12 billion tons of carbon. Thus in the past year we have added 6,360,000,000 tons of carbon to the atmosphere. Approximately the same amount again to acidifying the oceans and absorbed by the terrestrial biosphere. Heavy news. Heavy consequences.

      Reply
  2. PlazaRed

     /  February 5, 2016

    One of the problems with this kind of calculation is that it is only taking into account what we as people are adding into the air.
    The hidden factors are what is now vital in the calculations.
    We add “X”.
    The oceans can take up a part of “X”.
    That part of the equation is simple and concerns some standard physics to do with CO2 and ocean temps.
    The remainder stays in the air.
    Now we have the odd sneaky little fellow side entering onto the scene, in the form of non human released CO2 and other related nasty’s.
    This is going to be the problem in the calculations.
    As the permafrost starts to melt and of course anything in it, from some frozen vegetation to all forms of other organic matter is going to come into contact with the air. This is the big unknown and its going to be anything from a steady increase in the CO2 above human contributions, to a possible explosive increase beyond anything that is at the moment being taken into the calculations of the equations.
    No amount of human intervention into the natural melting world is now probably going to be able to stop this “naturally generated” greenhouse gas additions to the air.
    In my opinion, we need to watch out for some possible nasty surprises in the near future with the atmospheric CO2?

    Reply
    • So maybe 34 megatons of methane from the Arctic compares to 400 megatons from human sources currently. If the base Arctic methane emission was 17-24 megatons, then we are seeing about a 3-5 percent contribution addition. The global net added CO2 feedback from wildfires and permafrost thaw might be in the range of 2-3 percent of the human CO2 emission.

      This is a back of the napkin approach. I’d like to see the formal sciences tackle this and give it a good go. NOAA, for example, thinks that Arctic methane emission is in the range of 24 to 30 MT now and that there hasn’t been enough signal yet at least from their monitoring sites to call a net addition yet.

      I think it’s fair to say we’re at the start of amplifying feedbacks and that the signal will probably grow more clear over time.

      But, as I said before, I’d like to see a comprehensive global study on the issue. It’s a big one and tough to tackle.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  February 5, 2016

        I think your point about the El Nino ocean is also relevant here. Permafrost doesn’t have to be a net source to be a player in rising atmospheric CO2 levels–it just has to stop being as effective of a sink.

        Reply
        • Very true.

          I think we’re starting to see swings. We’re seeing it in the smaller systems. The signal just hasn’t become large enough yet to come out of the grainy global monitors.

          I want to see a comprehensive sink/feedback study. The information is too spotty for my liking.

  3. climatehawk1

     /  February 5, 2016

    Scheduling tweet.

    Reply
  4. Please, please. puhleeze… add the CO2e component to the Mauna Loa readings .. my information is that we are at about 480 ppm CO2+CO2e .. way past anything from the past ..
    This continued harping on only CO2 – sends a very false message of optimism, we have really stuffed up – and it makes the speed of the observed global climate changes much more understandable. It would be great if someone could analyse the contribution of the various components (fluorocarbons and fluorinated compounds, methane and NOx etc..) and post them here..

    Reply
    • Please see:

      https://robertscribbler.com/2014/03/05/a-faustian-bargain-on-the-short-road-to-hell-living-in-a-world-at-480-co2e/

      With the aerosol negative feedback we’re at 430 CO2e at this time. Methane falls out after 8 years of emissions cessation and currently accounts for about 65 ppm + of the CO2e in the measure.

      Also, NASA notes that CO2 is the primary driver for long term climate change — which is the issue covered here.

      I will talk about CO2e in a later post. But this context is scientifically correct.

      Reply
      • Phil

         /  February 6, 2016

        Does this methane eventually become C02? I read that methanotrophic bacteria can via high affinity oxidation, oxidise atmospheric methane to carbon dioxide and also oxidation within the troposphere by the hydroxyl radical.

        If that is the case, would the 65 ppm methane component become 65 ppm C02 upon oxidation or does the 65 part become much smaller in magnitude – contributing, for example,only something like 5 ppm C02 upon oxidation?

        Reply
      • Bill H

         /  February 6, 2016

        Phil,

        Solar-induced Photochemical processes cause the atmospheric methane to be oxidised to carbon dioxide over a period of about 20 years. Methane is a far stronger greenhouse gas, about 200 times, than CO2, so it actually makes a very small contribution once converted to CO2.

        Reply
        • It’s worth noting that methane’s more efficient at trapping heat due to less competition along its absorption band. Also, a stated GWP of around 40 is due to its shorter residence time in the atmosphere.

          CO2’s longer residence time makes it a key component of generating state changes along geological epoch level time-scales. The risk regarding methane is its ability to rapidly spike temperatures over shorter time periods. So a large methane emission could result in significant additional disruption even if the spike timescale is relatively short.

      • Phil

         /  February 7, 2016

        Thanks Bill H for your excellent explanation.

        Reply
    • wili

       /  February 5, 2016

      Good point and good reminder. What are we up to now in terms of CO2eq? 475? 480?

      Reply
  5. – Good headline.
    Sent post on to KBOO News w relevant comments.

    Reply
  6. Reply
    • – Pretty close dead center – a bit low to the left, A short burst.

      Reply
      • – It makes me wonder Mt. St Helens looked like from above when she blew in 1980.

        Reply
      • St Helens image source – Oregonlive: Tara Bowen, age 11 when Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980, remembers the turbulent air, full of debris, as she and her father flew around the mountain.

        Reply
  7. Reply
  8. Anthony Sagliani ‏@anthonywx 49m49 minutes ago

    Epic gap wind event ongoing in Gulf of Tehuantepec. Scatterometer pass shows sustained 50+kts.

    Reply
  9. – WOW…

    Reply
  10. The CO2 level is indeed news, but just about everyone with their head screwed on properly has been especting it.

    The pace of change reminds one of

    From a Railway Carriage

    Faster than fairies, faster than witches, Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches; And charging along like troops in a battle, All through the meadows the horses and cattle: All of the sights of the hill and the plain Fly as thick as driving rain; And ever again, in the wink of an eye, Painted stations whistle by. Here is a child who clambers and scrambles, All by himself and gathering brambles; Here is a tramp who stands and gazes; And there is the green for stringing the daisies! Here is a cart run away in the road Lumping along with man and load; And here is a mill and there is a river: Each a glimpse and gone for ever!

    – Robert Louis Stevenson From A Child’s Garden of Verses (1885)

    Sent from my iPad 🙏🏻

    >

    Reply
  11. Ryan in New England

     /  February 5, 2016

    It seems like it was just yesterday we were talking about the dire consequences of continued CO2 accumulation passing 400ppm, and already 400 is far in the rear view mirror. While we expected a jump in CO2 to coincide with the monster El Nino, it is still shocking to see these numbers.

    I can’t help but think of the sci-fi movie from the 90s The Arrival. An astronomer from S.E.T.I. and climatologist discover that there is a rapid increase in greenhouse gases from some isolated locations, and it turns out that aliens posing as humans are the reason for rapid CO2 emissions. They are executing a plan to terraform the Earth and make it a more suitable climate for their species.

    When this movie was made they had scenes with meteorologists reporting record heat and displayed what at the time was shocking temps for the continental U.S. on the television. Well what was supposed to be shocking to viewers in the 90s now seems to be a regular occurrence. It makes me wonder if this is all a conspiracy by aliens!😉 How can we be so stupid!?

    Reply
  12. Ryan in New England

     /  February 5, 2016

    This is from the movie I referenced. It’s silly, but what we’re doing to ourselves is far crazier.

    Reply
  13. PlazaRed

     /  February 5, 2016

    Reading through everybody’s comments so far several times, I am a bit confounded as to speculate on the future CO2 levels.
    It seems now inevitable that the rise will continue for a considerable time and although there would be massive slowing down of the rise if the fossil fuels were abandoned, that in itself will realistically take quite some time to achieve.
    Hopefully within the next 10 years, or maybe less we can achieve major reductions in fossil fuel use.
    Meanwhile I am hoping that the earths natural emissions are at least balanced by uptake in one form or another. Its so difficult to calculate when there are so many unknowns.

    On the Spanish European Zika front. We now have 7 confirmed cases in Spain and a Brazilian medical report today said that Zika can be transmitted by saliva and urine, hence adding more possibilities to the spread of the virus.

    Reply
    • Yes, that report came out on Friday. Here in Brasil, official news also included the new official advises for pregnant woman: don’t share glasses or food dips, and stay away from Carnaval partys (and this was Carnaval Friday already). Mosquito bites are still the most probable form of contagion, and there is no case of confirmed transmission by saliva or urine (they only found active viral particles in those mediums), but better safe than sorry.

      Carnaval festivities were canceled because of the Zika epidemy, the droughts or floods (depends on the state) and the economic crisis in 297 cities in Brasil ( a list here, in Portuguese: http://mts.org.br/noticias/carnaval-cancelado ). That’s a very huge deal around here, and a bit amazing, even for me (I’m on team “Carnaval, how to flee it” ).

      Reply
  14. Ryan in New England

     /  February 5, 2016

    Here’s a really good interview with Naomi Klein about climate change. It’s quite extensive.

    http://www.salon.com/2016/02/04/naomi_klein_there_are_no_non_radical_options_left_before_us_partner/

    Reply
  15. Ryan in New England

     /  February 5, 2016

    Paul Krugman points out that the fate of the world is at stake in the next election. Personally, I think he underestimates the difficulty in the challenges we face.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/01/opinion/wind-sun-and-fire.html

    Reply
    • I think Krugman’s right. But there’s a big if — if that President and Congress are able to lead an international mobilization for a rapid energy switch. Later, we’ll need all sorts of programs to draw down atmospheric carbon. But the challenge now is to stop the very rapid accumulation.

      Reply
      • John McCormick

         /  February 6, 2016

        Robert, as the impacts hit populated areas in the U.S. damage, repair, rescue and abandonment of habitable ares will put huge strain on the federal budget at a time when Republicans write the Appropriations bills. That will be a fiscal world of hurt at a time when massive investments will be needed in non-fossil fuel energy sources, efficiency and adaptation. A fiscal train wreck coming at us.

        Reply
        • If the republicans remain as a powerful political force and still retain their highly destructive — drown everything public — prejudices, then the public will indeed be at great risk of being drowned.

  16. Jimmy

     /  February 6, 2016

    I recall reading recently that a few weeks of forest fires in Indonesia were the equivalent of Germany’s annual CO2 production. I also heard comparisons to USA CO2 output. Last year the northern hemisphere experienced extreme forest fires and I suspect this year will be worse. The Arctic methane burp seems to be getting started according to some observers. Once that thing lets loose it’s rapid doom. I guess what I’m curious to know is how long until the global famine gets started. I’m leaning towards 2023 but it’s just a wild ass guess.

    Reply
    • wili

       /  February 6, 2016

      Africa is undergoing a couple of famines that have been linked to this El-Nino-on-GW-steroids. Multiple links don’t work here, but the ones I’ve heard of center around the horn of Africa on the one hand, and around Zimbabwe and South Africa, on the other. The partly-GW-driven desertification and resulting disruptions in Syria and environs is another place to look. All these areas give pictures into what is going to happen in more and more places more and more permanently.

      Reply
      • Exactly. Look at the where foods security and water acces are already marginal to be impacted first. Problem is, these new flash droughts, crop disrupting storms, and roaming ocean die off events add wild cards into the mix.

        Reply
    • So it’s worth noting that expert consensus currently leans toward a 10 to 30 percent equivalent of current human emissions from Arctic carbon sources — methane + CO2 — by end Century. That would be a significant feedback. The higher impact releases that some seem to fear, or be mesmerized by, are less likely. And they would have to be extraordinary in order to even match the potential human emission over the course of this Century if fossil fuel burning isn’t halted.

      So the Indonesian fires put out a significant amount of CO2 over the course of a month or two — equivalent to adding a Germay worth of carbon emissions for most of the period (one day it hit the US equivalent).

      Total emissions from the fires were about 150 million tons of CO2 vs an annual global CO2 emission from human activities of about 40 billion tons. So though considerable, these fires represented about 0.4 percent of the total human emission.

      Food stress will probably increase due to climate influences over the coming years. The impact will depend on the frequency of extreme events and the overall rate of warming. Shifts to different, more land and water efficient, forms of agriculture, will help to mitigate the impact. However, food stress will probably increase in fits and starts.

      The most vulnerable regions in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East would tend to feel the pain first. I’d think that instances of food stress would tend to flare off and on as the global community struggles to make the difference. The first reflection would tend to show up in food prices and social unrest in afflicted regions.

      Though food impacts would tend to increase with warming, extreme weather, and ocean decline, a global famine by 2023 is very unlikely. More likely, we will have experiences between one and three major regional and global food market impacting events over the next 8 years. The situation would tend to be somewhat worse by that time, but I wouldn’t predict a significant risk of global famine until 2040 (moderate) to 2060 (substantial) under business as usual fossil fuel emissions. Reductions in human fossil fuel burning would tend to push the high risk timeframe back. And that’s the most critical mitigation.

      Of course, a lot will also depend on global carbon systems feedbacks and whether or not human beings are also able to draw down atmospheric carbon.

      Reply
      • Steven Blaisdell

         /  February 6, 2016

        A sound assessment, I think. As bad as it is, and as bad as it’s going to get, there’s a lot of inertia in a complex global system. That said. the CO2 graph in the article shows a similar trend as the JMA December temps, that is, the low lows have disappeared. I’m really wondering if we aren’t actually in the early stages of non-linear increase in CO2, temps, etc. It would seem that at this point the only way to avoid catastrophic runaway warming, as RS proselytizes, is immediate, rapid, and drastic drawdown of human CO2 emissions. Not as an aspirational goal, but as an empirical fact.

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  February 6, 2016

        As the extreme weather events become ever more powerful, more frequent and more widespread it will eventually have a growing impact on food production, and subsequently global food prices. This is often an overlooked aspect to food “shortage”. Most famines are results of failed crops and an actual shortage of food, but much of the current hunger stems from rising food prices that may be inconvenient for us, but devastating for a family already spending half its income on food. Climate change and population growth are two sides of a coin that has the word “hunger” stamped on it. Wild swings in temperatures that can kill entire crops, heat waves, droughts, extreme rainfall/floods, these are already having an effect on food prices. As the population rockets towards 9+ billion, and China, India and other growing economies embrace Western diets high in meat consumption, more pressure is put on the food supply. Prices rise further. It’s a troubling situation.

        I’ve always found Lester Brown provides a good analysis of food and water problems and how climate change is exacerbating those problems. In this short video about this topic he points out the heartbreaking situation that some families are facing. As prices rise, people go from three meals to two, then one. Now there are some who must plan a food free day during their week because they can’t afford to eat every day. A meal per day has become a luxury. Tragic.

        Reply
  17. Thing is – when we consider natural feedbacks – and note that the human activity still dwarfs them, we both need to consider that in recent years we’ve been seeing rather ominous and rapidly developing signs of those natural feedbacks waking up – including some of the worse ones – and we need to consider that if we stopped emitting carbon dioxide immediately (fantastically unlikely) there are still decades of additional warming to be expected just from our own emissions before the system reaches equilbrium. In other words – it is unlikely that any human effort can now stop the climate from jumping to a radically different state – and not just a state that we haven’t seen for a few millions or tens of millions of years – but possibly one we haven’t seen in a quarter billion…

    We can hope not, but as the saying goes – plan for the worst, hope for the best. And with so much at stake, only fools would do otherwise – one would think…

    Reply
    • If we stopped now, we’d probably lock in a range of 400 to 450 CO2 long term considering all the various feedbacks and responses. Initial GHG levels would drop, the ocean would draw down some of the excess — pushing us back to around 390 ppm atmospheric before a kind of longer term balance was achieved. The added warming would result in a long term carbon feedback that would probably be equivalent to around 0.2 ppm CO2 per year over a couple of centuries.

      Getting out of that lock would require human being to learn how to manage lands food, materials, and energy sources to effectively draw carbon out of the atmosphere.

      That particular scenario would provide a decent amount of response flexibility.

      Reply
      • – “Getting out of that lock” it looks like we all will have to some sort of a Houdini.🙂
        Indeed.
        – wikipedia

        Reply
      • Question is though – what are you basing those projections on? IPCC? Computer modelling? Paleoclimate?

        While it’s comforting to think (hope?) that the system can stabilise not much above present CO2 levels, losing both the sulphate aerosols and the sea ice are a big kick in themselves to further warming, to say nothing about a whole list of other feedbacks in the system (some more speculative than others, granted).

        Reply
  18. Ryan in New England

     /  February 6, 2016
    Reply
    • So here’s a big part of the problem. Big oil, the new robber baron, can spend a relatively small amount of money to lock in more and more future emissions. They only look at their profits and not at impacts — which longer term are far worse than those of any criminal heroine trade. I honestly think that a case can be made for the criminalization of this industry. It’s plain as day that their interests run exactly counter to the interests of pretty much everyone else, pretty much everything that wants an environment in which they were adapted and evolved to live.

      Reply
      • Steven Blaisdell

         /  February 6, 2016

        Yup.

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  February 6, 2016

        You’re absolutely correct, Robert. As a society we have waged a “war on drugs” and have spent billions and billions of dollars in an attempt to reduce consumption (the entire policy is fundamentally flawed, and I disagree with it), and more recently the opiate/heroin addiction epidemic constantly gets headlines and attention due to the fact that it is having an effect on many Americans and their loved ones. However, the effect of all drugs throughout human history pales in comparison to the ultimate damage that the fossil fuel companies are doing to both the human population and every other life form on Earth, as well as the future of every ecosystem and habitable environment that currently exists on Earth. These companies pursue profits at the expense of everyone and everything (which is the modus operandi of every corporation), but the use of their product, like heroin or cigarettes, has adverse effects on every person that lives/will live. But unlike drugs, we do not get the option of not using. It’s the ultimate case of second hand smoke. The oil barons are all filling this room with smoke, but we have no way of leaving or finding fresh air.

        Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  February 7, 2016

      I find it amazing, and, as with most of life in the glorious West these days, quite sinister, that there has never been a concerted move to make these genocidists answer for what, I believe, are and will be, the greatest crimes in human history. I wish some legal experts could be convinced to draft laws against Crimes Against Humanity involving the active dissemination of disinformation, the financing of the denialist industry and the sabotage of attempts to avert a climate destabilisation Holocaust that will kill billions this century. These laws could have no Statute of Limitations, Universal Jurisdiction and be back-dated to some time when climate science had become unequivocal, say 2000, to be generous. We could then await the election of a sane Government somewhere, who could enact them. It would ‘concentrate the minds’ of the denialists and begin a process of defection and confession, as occurred with the tobacco industry, as chief denialists ple bargain and shaft their colleagues.

      Reply
  19. Another educational blog, thank you. I’ve written a short story describing a day in the life of someone living in the not too distant future, using some of the leanings I had from reading your posts over the last few months. Some of it’s a bit fantastical, but I wonder how far from the truth it is: http://selfpropelled.life/2016/02/06/2050-a-day-in-the-life-of/

    Reply
    • I gave it a read and found I enjoyed it quite a lot. A likely potential future if things don’t get too nasty. One of the better possible outcomes, actually.

      Worth noting though that if all of Greenland melted, Norfolk would be 10-12 feet under water.

      Reply
      • Thank you, I’ll find a taller hill to live on, consider buying a boat, or perhaps an airship to live on. Although airship based villages wouldn’t survive big storms too well!

        Reply
    • Mark from OZ

       /  February 7, 2016

      Nice work SP!
      Just 663 years have passed since the end of the ‘black death’ which some estimate reduced Europe’s population by 60%. We never really know what is ‘around the corner’, but it would be imprudent to presume it’s nothing but innocuous.

      From what we can ‘see’ and ‘measure’, and building on the knowledge of this planet’s history, we better ‘be prepared’ for some significant changes. It might just be the old Scout training but I’m certainly ‘feeling’ an urgency now that cannot seem to be traced to academic knowledge.

      A new ‘bell’ seems to be ringing in my /our collective autonomic systems and this typically signals a prelude to an approaching and very real event; often before we understand it intellectually.

      Reply
  20. Kevin Jones

     /  February 6, 2016

    Scripps, the original Keeling Curve later joined by NOAA’s ESRL GMD at Mauna Loa just in with their independent data for Feb. 4: 405.83 ppm. The two teams provide a good check on each other.

    Reply
    • ESRL is pretty good at weeding out the outliers.

      Reply
    • Oale

       /  February 6, 2016

      A reminder here that Mauna Loa has a bit higher top value than the globe and specially so on El Nino years. The global values tend to follow c. 2 months afterwards the Mauna Loa valuea so this would be a reasonable estimate for the global high point in 2016. Not that it matters a lot. Feedbacks are also likely to play a larger role in 2016 and 2017 than before. I would be sad if that would help.

      Reply
  21. Bryan Stairs

     /  February 6, 2016

    Melting of Yedoma permafrost could have a far bigger impact then just methane. This study http://www.colorado.edu/news/releases/2015/10/26/study-shows-thawing-permafrost-quickly-turns-co2-climate-concern found this:
    “The researchers found that more than half of the dissolved organic carbon in yedoma permafrost was decomposed within one week after thawing. About 50 percent of that carbon was converted to carbon dioxide, while the rest likely became microbial biomass.”
    Because thawing permafrost is still a new happening you are getting a lot of debate as to whether is will be slow release or fast as far as methane and CO2 are concerned. We had a similar debate as to the melting of the Arctic Sea Ice in the ’80’s and ’90’s. If we get a similar result with the methane and CO2 releases as we did with the melting of the ASI then all the issue will be is how much will be released in the end and place the time frame as very short.

    Reply
    • So the current midrange science is looking at around 90-150 gt of carbon unlocked from Arctic permafrost thaw. If the rate of thaw was equal to sea ice melt vs expected, we’d be looking at 2-3 times this range. The top result being equal to about 17 years of current carbon emission from human sources or 17 percent of the total emission over 100 years.

      Add in other sources and you see where the potential 30 percent estimate comes from. It would probably take around 3 C warming to achieve that result this Century. Lower levels of warming result in less feedback.

      Top scientists like Archer think the feedback related thaw would likely be slower (maybe swifter for permafrost but slower for hydrate). And then you have observational specialists like S&S who are concerned about large methane releases from ESAS. 500 GT of methane estimated to be in that shallow sea would result in a significant feedback — if all of it were to release and hit the atmosphere, that would about equal a BAU carbon emission for the next Century (more heat sooner, but tailing off faster than CO2) and maybe equal 2-3 times the human emission if it were to remain flat over the next 100 years. Like the carbon in the Permafrost, though, not all of the methane would escape the water column even in such a catastrophic instance. Nor would a 100 percent total release be very likely.

      Other, deeper clathrate sources exist. But a much greater volume of that carbon would go into the water column or be taken in by microbes — likely contributing to ocean health decline — before adding its impact to the atmosphere.

      The thing that concerns me is that we don’t have too much in the way of direct observation of what could happen. The end of each ice age produced a decent carbon feedback, but we don’t have too much in the way of direct analysis of where the added 80-100 ppm CO2 came from or how it released. Increased wetlands extent, and added biomass do account for some of the added CO2. But we haven’t really looked at frozen store feedbacks like permafrost. We talk about additions to the carbon cycle, but how were they added?

      In addition, the carbon that’s thawing now is older. At least 150,000 years and possibly in the range of 2-5 million years. That’s a glaciation to hothouse issue that concerns me. An issue that was not present during the PETM. And even during the Permian there’s a gap between loss of glaciation and rapid warming.

      My general sense is that we need more study. But we also need a sense of urgency not to push these carbon stores and lock in more feedback emissions than we can handle. I think it’s pretty clear we’ll have some amplifying feedback. The real question now is how much and how soon. But the point to really reinforce is that the initial human forcing needs to be rapidly reduced by cutting carbon emissions off as swiftly as possible and by working on ways to draw down atmospheric carbon.

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  February 6, 2016

      I remember hearing about this a few months ago. I was shocked to learn that half the carbon was liberated within a week. One week! And think about the kind of heat we’ve been seeing in the Arctic in recent years, and how much permafrost is, or soon will be, susceptible to thawing. I realize the carbon released currently is minuscule compared to human emissions, but it seems like this could be a feedback that catches us by surprise, much like Arctic sea ice melt did. I agree that we need much more study on this particular topic.

      Reply
  22. Andy in SD

     /  February 6, 2016

    A big concern I have is the non linear functions we are seeing in many things such as the Mauna Loa readings, the sea level rise you wrote about, mass die offs, drought frequencies and such. It is not within the realm of a person not focusing on this to think outside of a linear function.

    Also as an aside. Robert above you mentioned the methane bomb. The reason I posted those 2 jpg’s regarding Mackenzie delta permafrost temperatures the other day is that we are nearing methane releases quite quickly now. There is some data I need to re find where permafrost temps have been recorded for about 60 years in northern Canada. One can see where the zero degree threshold is being crossed, as well as the change over time.

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  February 7, 2016

      I’ve always thought Dr. Albert Barlett does a wonderful job explaining the power of exponential increase, using simple arithmetic and examples that are easy to understand. When you examine modern society and human culture, it becomes clear that population is not the only thing that has gone non-linear.

      Reply
  23. June

     /  February 6, 2016

    An example of the challenge of understanding the complexities of earth systems, and developing effective mitigation policies. Every additional ppm of CO2 makes it more difficult to deal with the consequences. Everything is interrelated and we still don’t understand these relationships well enough.

    Europe’s shift to dark green forests stokes global warming-study. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-climatechange-forests-idUSKCN0VD2KV

    “An expansion of Europe’s forests towards dark green conifers has stoked global warming, according to a study on Thursday at odds with a widespread view that planting more trees helps human efforts to slow rising temperatures…
    Forest changes have nudged Europe’s summer temperatures up by 0.12 degree Celsius (0.2 Fahrenheit) since 1750, largely because many nations have planted conifers such as pines and spruce whose dark colour traps the sun’s heat, the scientists said…
    They said the changes in the make-up of Europe’s forests outweighed trees’ role in curbing global warming.”

    Reply
  24. Jay M

     /  February 6, 2016

    Friday night Tehuantepec, Oaxaca is 67 F going to 80, winds E 16 going to low 20’s. RE: gap wind phenomena going east to west over isthmus.

    Reply
  25. redskylite

     /  February 6, 2016

    What a great job “Inside Climate News” are doing. Slowly but surely more and more damning evidence is coming out (and media outlets are picking up on it). The world is slow to react, but when I think back to the smoking sixties, it took some time for the harm & damage of nicotine addiction caused, yet now we live in an enlightened world. I used to think that extreme contrarians (no need to name names, we all know who they are), were just super skeptical, but now I think they are plain deceitful & crooked.

    . . . . . . . . . It is the latest indication that the oil industry learned of the possible threat it posed to the climate far earlier than previously known.

    The report, “Climate Models and CO2 Warming, A Selective Review and Summary,” was written by Alan Oppenheim and William L. Donn of Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory for API’s Climate and Energy task force, said James J. Nelson, the task force’s former director. From 1979 to 1983, API and the nation’s largest oil companies convened the task force to monitor and share climate research, including their in-house efforts. Exxon ran the most ambitious of the corporate programs, but other oil companies had their own projects, smaller than Exxon’s and focused largely on climate modeling.

    http://insideclimatenews.org/news/04022016/oil-industry-report-shows-early-knowledge-climate-change-impact-api-american-petroleum-institute

    Reply
  26. – ESRL has this. Will investigate thoroughly.
    ‘clouds are the atmosphere’s ultimate shape-shifters’

    Where Clouds and Particles Meet Climate
    1 February 2016
    New Approach to Quantifying How Aerosol-Cloud Interactions Influence Climate

    It’s easy to understand why the influence of atmospheric particles (aerosol) on clouds is one of the most uncertain pieces in the climate puzzle: there are many unknowns about both the aerosol and the clouds. On the aerosol side, there’s the wide variation in several aspects, such as what’s in the aerosol (composition), how the particles affect light, how effective they are at initiating the formation of water droplets or ice particles, and their distribution and movement in the global atmosphere. And clouds are the atmosphere’s ultimate shape-shifters: turbulent, ephemeral, and largely unpredictable.

    A new paper led by Graham Feingold of the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory’s Chemical Sciences Division in Boulder, Colorado, takes fresh aim at the elusive target of understanding how the aerosol/cloud interaction affects climate, and finds that the key is to consider yet another layer of complexity: that the meteorological conditions that drive cloud formation are changing – or “co-varying” – along with the aerosol amount.

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/csd/news/2016/179_0201.html

    Reply
  27. Reply
  28. – Bob, add this one to your tally.
    Many White-Tailed Deer Have Malaria

    Two years ago, Ellen Martinsen, was collecting mosquitoes at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, looking for malaria that might infect birds–when she discovered something strange: a DNA profile, from parasites in the mosquitoes, that she couldn’t identify.

    By chance, she had discovered a malaria parasite, Plasmodium odocoilei–that infects white-tailed deer. It’s the first-ever malaria parasite known to live in a deer species and the only native malaria parasite found in any mammal in North or South America.
    http://www.eurasiareview.com/06022016-many-white-tailed-deer-have-malaria/

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  February 6, 2016

      That’s surprising. And they suspect 25% of white tailed deer along the East Coast are infected. If a mutation allowed the disease to jump to the human population, we could see some serious trouble. There are deer all over, and they thrive in suburban environments. I encounter them routinely when jogging or hiking (here in CT).

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  February 6, 2016

      White tailed deer is one (there aren’t many) species that is thriving alongside humans. This is a great episode of Nature, concerning the life of white tailed deer and their success in suburban settings.

      Reply
  29. Jeremy in Wales

     /  February 6, 2016

    If this is right then the leaking gas well in California is a Fukushima scale disaster in the USA, in addition to methane the well is said to be spewing 1.91 curies per hour of naturally occuring radon and uranium.

    (Link taken down by RS)

    Can anyone confirm the veracity and accuracy of this report?

    (RS comment — Zero Hedge is not a reliable source and was the primary outlet for Zika virus misinformation over the past two months. Also, the two sources linked are even less reliable [one is a conspiracy theory a minute Donald Trump supporter, the other is some anti-government New World Order wacko]. I’m taking this link down. At this time, it has all the trapping of misinformation and fear mongering.)

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  February 6, 2016

      I’m not very knowledgeable in regards to radiation, and won’t pretend to be an expert. But from what I can find, there are in fact radioactive elements contained in natural gas such as radium and radon, but I can’t confirm the concentrations in the gas being emitted and/or their lethality. And with radiation the victims might not see effects until years later in the form of bone cancer or something like that.

      If it’s as bad as this article claims, then I’m slightly suspicious that we haven’t heard about this sooner. Some of our scribblers here have been doing a great job staying on top of this developing situation.

      But then what the heck do I know?😉

      Reply
      • – From what I gather, most radioactive material happens at the point of extraction and its local impacts a la “Technologically-Enhanced Naturally-Occurring Radioactive Material” or TENORM.

        March 19, 2015
        Fracking Radiation

        Radioactive waste produced by hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” is making headlines all over gas land, particularly in North Dakota’s booming Bakken gas and oil field.

        National news coverage of the scandalous illegal dumping of radioactive filter “socks” there — on Indian Reservations no less — has led North Dakota’s legislature to consider changes to its radioactive waste laws so that fracking’s contaminated wastes can be dumped in ordinary landfills.

        Radioactive isotopes that contaminate fracking industry waste and its machinery include radon, radium-226, uranium-238, and thorium-232. According to the Health Department’s website, these long-lived radioactive pollutants come in six forms:

        * “Produced water” which is injected underground but later brought to the surface as waste;
        * “Sulfate scales,” which are hard, insoluble deposits that accumulate on frack sand and inside drilling and processing equipment;
        * Contaminated soil and machiner
        * Filter socks, contaminated by filtering “produced water”;
        * Synthetic “proppants” or sand; and
        * Sludge and “filter cake” solids of mud, sand, scale and rust that precipitate or are filtered out of contaminated “produced water. They build up in “filter socks,” and in waste water pipes and storage tanks that can leak.

        http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/03/19/fracking-radiation/

        Reply
      • Bill H

         /  February 6, 2016

        Radium? Implausible, since radium and its ores are all solids.

        Radon? Yes it’s a gas produced by decay of heavier nuclei in rocks, so, yes, it would be found in all natural gas at very low concentrations, and would then disperse in the atmosphere. But radon is in the atmosphere anyway. Compared with other hazards from methane leaks I would guess negligible.

        Reply
    • Bill H

       /  February 6, 2016

      Jeremy in Wales, I’ve already responded re radon. What people,Zerohedge included, don’t seem to realise is that the methane being released was pumped into this particular rock formation in order to store it for late use. It isn’t methane issuing from geological methane deposits that might also contain uranium traces. Uranium and its its ores are all high melting point solids, so it is implausible that the stuff would be pouring into the atmosphere.

      Reply
  30. Spike

     /  February 6, 2016

    Typo I think Robert:

    “For a brief period of 9 months, CO2 retreated back from the Pliocene boundary as spring and summer-time plants in the Northern Hemisphere respired.”

    Should be photosynthesised I think. Great article.

    Reply
  31. Spike

     /  February 6, 2016

    Another useful blog on the paleo record can be read at the link below which explains the quite extraordinary forcing we are unleashing in restrained scientific language.

    “Given this longer term view of climate forcing, the scenarios for future fossil fuel use stand out as being even more extreme, and the business as usual scenario (RCP8.5) would amount to a climate forcing by CO2 that is largely unprecedented in the geological record (as far as we can tell).”

    http://descentintotheicehouse.org.uk/past-and-future-co2/

    Reply
  32. Cate

     /  February 6, 2016

    RS, with imported cauliflower at $8 a head here now, I’m wondering if the general discourse might soon focus on the links between food supply and climate change. Then I come across an article like this–yes, it’s a couple of years old but I suspect the attitudes behind it persist. It’s sobering on two counts: 1. again, a climate change story is pushed into the “Business” section of the website—the wider implications of that are worth examining—, and 2. NOT ONE mention is made of climate change or global warming in the entire article. The only reference is made in passing, to “warming temperatures”. The whole focus is on how to mitigate and the favoured solution—because this is reading for business people—is to charge more for food or water. I haven’t read much in this “business of climate change” genre yet, but this article is looking quite typical. It troubles me that the central cause of the problem (and where the solutions lie: in our energy use) is completely ignored and suppressed, while the corporatists lick their chops over how they can make money off this huge crisis. I’m sorry but this does not bode well for humanity, that greed and the quest for profit above all have reached such globally psychopathic proportions.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/business/economy/global-drought-threatens-water-food-supplies-get-used-it-n196841

    Reply
    • James Cole

       /  February 6, 2016

      I have my toes pretty deep into the economics world. What I see is this. ” Warming is occurring, we don’t care how or why.” ” How should we alter business to profit?” ” Mitigation, what are the business prospects, and how should we change our operations to adapt and profit from the results of warming temperatures?”
      Inside Government and Business, there is a tacit agreement not to mention the causes of global warming. But there is room t speak of adaptation and mitigation going forward. I can guarantee you all that neither entity, Government or Business is anything but committed to Fossil Fuels. And we all know this is big business and it’s iron grip on congress, state legislatures and presidents. When 5 billion or more get spent to elect those who rule us, those who pay that 5 billion have the loudest voice. Even our great western free media is totally captured by Business interests, The corporations who own media are a mere handful, and each one has as much at stake in fossil fuel companies as they do in media.

      Reply
      • Ailsa

         /  February 7, 2016

        Hello RS and all,

        Thank you so much for this informed and well-mannered site. I’ve really come to value it over the last few months since I found you.

        I’m a new commenter, but now feel moved to do so. (I hope this isn’t too off topic – if so, then do feel free to not post it Robert.) I’ve been deeply concerned with our planetary predicament for a good while, and have been adjusting my life as I can. The point I’d like to make is as follows: James C, you inform us all (thank you) how business/government register Warming, but don’t care how or why, they just want to work out how to profit from it. I cannot disagree with you about this at all.

        But I find myself having my working hours cut. I teach sustainable horticulture, but cuts in education come. I see the planetary balance shifting, and simultaneously I wonder how to pay the bills… So, I uncomfortably sympathize with the need to find a way to ‘profit’ from warming, but instead read ‘survive’ in the accompanying economic climate.

        Literally, what income options are open to me? Something that doesn’t compromise my ethics, like selling top-end superficial lifestyle courses (where sign-ups are also drying up), or are dead ends very soon, like working with those who really ‘get it’ but are having their access funding stopped.

        I just felt like I wanted to speak out for those of us feel a bit close to the ‘coal face’ (odd analogy to use, but I think you know what I mean!) Of course, I’m sure there are other commenters here who are in similar predicaments – I’m still a newbie and don’t know what people do. But I feel like ours are skills which are going to be essential, but are currently seriously tricky to be invested in. Has anyone else negotiated their way through this?

        Thanks for your attention
        Ailsa

        Reply
        • Maybe use the Internet to seek out some possibilities? Google, e.g., sustainability careers and see what comes up. One obvious choice (but I don’t know whether fits with your skills or interests) is installing solar systems (comes with the usual trappings of sales and office jobs, etc.). But there are lots of others; wind power, green buildings, hydroponics, and so on. If you pick something in the private (not public, because public funds can always be cut) sector that is on the right side of history, you should be able to derive both a living and satisfaction. I spent the bulk of my career in wind energy, for example, even though I started many years ago (way too early, in retrospect).

        • EPA might be a good choice if you like socking it to the big carbon polluters. You could also look for a job in an advocacy organization like 350.org or the Sierra Club — which would give you a chance to provide support for the programs you’re passionate about.

          Though it can be tough to get a government job, it’s also pretty tough to lose one once you get one — at least in the US. I wouldn’t let the republicans’ aim to cut such initiatives be a limiting factor for you. The private sector isn’t invulnerable either and the main thing going for any kind of sustainability initiative is a broadening public support as well as a growing recognition that these programs are absolutely necessary. I think where the main need now is in finding ways to channel that demand and that need into growing choices for what are now captive consumers. For this we have these basic subsets — direct political and social action, support of new industry, public programs (state, city, and federal), advocacy to industry, government and the public, and breaking artificial barriers to market. The movement is large and growing and we can certainly find consolation in the fact that renewable energy jobs just keep on expanding.

      • Ailsa

         /  February 8, 2016

        Thank you so much for your replies, CH and RS. Much to ponder, and altho I’m in UK rather than US, you’ve given me a great set of ways to explore.

        Reply
  33. deem

     /  February 6, 2016

    I continue to be concerned about the sink side of the equation and I don’t think I’ve seen it assessed in a synoptic way. Here are a few sinks that I think are faltering: global decline in forest health, salt marshes and mangroves getting flooded and losing their ability to lock away carbon, reduced phytoplankton flux to the sea floor, reduced ability of warmer water to absorb CO2. I’m sure there are others. Even if these add up to a drag on the system of just a few percent per year, along with a few percent per year of feedback sources, it will be that much harder to bend the curve on total CO2 flux to the atmosphere.

    Reply
  34. Robert—yet another excellent, must read (I send it out everywhere I can) piece followed by valuable insights/links/thoughts from those who comment here!

    I re-read your eerily prescient piece from March 2014 titled:
    NOAA: El Nino is Coming. Extreme Weather, New Global High Temperature Records to Likely Follow.

    I’m wondering what your thoughts/feelings are now that we are 2 years into this?

    You wrote:
    “Should the predicted El Nino emerge and be as strong as average model values indicate, global surface temperatures could rise by between .05 and .15 degrees Celsius, pushing climatology into a range of .85 to .95 degrees Celsius above 1880s values. This would be a substantial jump for a single year, resulting in yet one more large shift toward an ever more extreme climate.”

    One of the remarks in the comment thread (all of them cracker jack btw!) is from Robert who said (and my stomach turned when I read this):

    “I am thinking we’ll be seeing a lot more ugly diseases with climate change. The warmer environments support it. The stress to animal populations support it. Human food stress supports it”

    Another very prescient comment came from Andy who wrote:
    “I’ve been looking at purchases, and rights acquisitions over the past few years by wealthier state / nation players of current and future arable land. China through deliberate or accidental action has made key purchases related to food security globally (such as in USA, Brazil, Argentina, Ukraine).”

    Andy, are you aware of this latest news on 2/4/16: China seeks food security with $43 billion bid for Syngenta(www.reuters.com/article/us-syngenta-ag-m-a-chemchina-idUSKCN0VB1D9)

    Reply
    • And the dominoes continue to fall:
      India may decide on GM food as China makes big leap with Syngenta buy(http://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-gmo-idUSKCN0VD1VH)

      Reply
      • In light of the news above regarding widespread use of GMO’s: I fear their use—-which seems to be going hand in hand with weather extremes due to AGW—— is basically a done deal for food sources throughout the world without adequate longitudinal studies on their impact on the biodiversity of life on earth—-let alone the potential unintended consequences on human/animal/insect health.

        What I find very troubling is the divisiveness when it comes to anything GM. Those who state that Zika/microcephaly is caused by gm mosquitos do a TREMENDOUS disservice to those who have legitimate concern over the use of gm insects.

        Those who are promoters of the use of gm food and insects (see Christie Wilcox or Mark Lynas) tend to label anyone who has a concern over their use as a “tin foil hat crazy” (i.e. schizophrenic) or “anti-vaxer” (i.e. paranoid and dangerous) or even lump them in the same category as climate change denier Ted Cruz!

        This labeling breaks down discourse and limits —–if not terminates—- any honest exploration of what is really happening in the world regarding use of gmo’s, food supply and human health—–not to mention health of the planet.

        With that I will post a beautiful piece by Verlyn Klingenborg from way back in 2009 (who, far as I know, has not been diagnosed with schizophrenia or paranoia):
        http://e360.yale.edu/feature/why_i_still_oppose_genetically_modified_crops/2191/

        Reply
  35. Glaciologists anticipate massive ice shelf collapse

    http://news.uaf.edu/61609-2/

    Reply
  36. James Cole

     /  February 6, 2016

    It’s been my understanding that the oceans, before this new El Nino, had been taking up more CO2 than science had expected it to. Acting as a great break on the rate of atmospheric CO2. Giving us a false sense of just how badly we have messed up the chemistry of the atmosphere.
    This El Nino seems to prove the fact that as we keep warming oceans, we keep losing more and more of it’s ability to soak up CO2. For decades now the oceans have been taking up a good share of our output of CO2, giving us a breathing space. This El Nino illustrates to us that more ocean warming at the surface and less CO2 gets taken up. The ocean temperatures are still on the way up, so we are losing our cushion. None of this is encouraging.

    Reply
    • The rapidity of what is happening as a result of AGW in the atmosphere and oceans is most disturbing—- to say the least.
      For those of you who have not read the Wikipedia Clathrate Gun Hypothesis:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clathrate_gun_hypothesis

      James Kennett is the man behind this hypothesis —— he has new research that indicates the time frame for rapid warming is shorter than previously thought (I’ve posted this several times)
      Robert—in your opinion—- how will we know when/if the “clathrate gun” has been fired?

      Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  February 7, 2016

      That ice melt and that ice shelf collapse will provide a surface chilled freshwater skin that I assume will be active in taking up CO2 for a period, it is also rich in minerals so there will be temporarily increased bloom of planktons and algae etc (hopefully not the weed species).
      As per Hansen this will provide a cooling surface influence and take down some CO2 , but at what cost to the Cthulucene

      Reply
  37. Reply
  38. Greg

     /  February 6, 2016

    From the Naomi Klein interview above: “the head of the Heartland Institute, I asked him how he got interested in climate change and he said, very frankly, “Well, we realized that if the science was true that would allow liberals to justify pretty much any kind of regulation, so we took another look at the science.” [laughter] He’s very frank about this….I’m not sure that you should devote that much energy to trying to change his (the denier) mind. You can if you want to but first, there’s a much larger group of people out there who are not that invested in protecting an extreme ideological worldview or protecting their own financial interests who actually probably believe that climate change is real but are scared, don’t know what they can do about it, are sort of in a state of soft denial, like most of us are in, like, ‘Oh, I can’t look at it, it’s just too awful.’ That’s a much better place for us to invest our energy than trying to convince James Inhofe…Germany has created 400,000 jobs in their energy transition. And so much of it is decentralized and community-owned, 900 new energy cooperatives in Germany. So we can do this in a way that heals wounds dating back to our country’s founding. This can be a process of healing and reconstruction. I think it can be incredibly inspiring…shocks like the market crash of 1929 became progressive moments and moments to expand democracy and expand participation and the inverse of the shock doctrine….if progressives do not enter this space with a vision of how we respond to crisis that brings us together rather than apart, we are looking at a future of Katrinas because there will be more and more climate shocks intersecting with weak and neglected public infrastructure…I wish more environmentalists would wrap their heads around: This is not just about things getting hotter and wetter, it’s about things getting meaner. And that’s why we have to talk about values and who we want to be in the face of this crisis….what fossil fuels sold was the illusion that it doesn’t matter where you live, the illusion of separateness from nature and dominance. (Renewable Energy) requires you to think about where you live and where you are in nature…when climate action is married with those urgent needs for jobs and better services and a better quality of life for people, that’s when people will fight to win. That’s when people will fight because they’re fighting for their lives. And they’re fighting not just for the future, they’re fighting for their present. And I think that’s the kind of movement we haven’t had yet. We haven’t seen what that looks like yet.
    http://www.salon.com/2016/02/04/naomi_klein_there_are_no_non_radical_options_left_before_us_partner/

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  February 7, 2016

      That’s a good point tying in the “Shock Doctrine” policy that the right always employs, to cram extreme right wing policy into the void immediately created by a devastating event, while people are disoriented, or shocked. I’ve always thought the right was very good at this, and convincing the average person to vote against their best interest time and time again. The left will have better ideas that work for everyone (especially sine Republicans have abandoned reality) but they aren’t effective at convincing the public. The right plays dirty, will flat out lie and say anything no matter how incorrect their claim may be. You ever see a “debate” between a climate scientist and someone from The Heartland Institute or some other denial think tank? The scientist’s internal moral compass keeps him from making outrageous claims unsupported by the evidence. The denier delivering the opposing “viewpoint” will attack the character of the scientist, make factually untrue statements and dismiss the entire body of evidence for climate change that comes from climatology/meteorology/chemistry/physics with a simple wave of the hand. So election after election we have a public voting against their own interest, voting to betray their children and their own future, and supporting their own oppressors based on fear that a gay marriage might occur or some poor rape victim might get an abortion somewhere.

      Reply
  39. Reply
  40. – USA PDX Lat: 45.53°NLon: -122.67°W
    Next week’s forecast is for highs in the upper 50s to lower 60s F. Normal is 50-51 F.

    Reply
  41. Because we need good news sometimes:
    A new study published in Nature (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature16512.html )
    found a greater than previously estimated carbon storage of regenerating forests in the state know here in Brasil as “capoeira” or “jungle-that-was” in Tupi, our most disseminated indigenous language, which is the jungle that was clear cut and/or burned and is left alone (without being sequencially burned/grazed/pavimented after) to regenerate naturally.

    Capoeiras in the Amazon Rainforest bioma took only 66 years to regenerate 90% of the biomass of virgin forest, sequestering carbon in a rate 11 times greater than nearby virgin forests, in the grand total of 122 tons of carbon/hectare.

    (Required disclaimer: cutting virgin rainforest to create capoeira produces more carbon than what the capoeira will sequester in those 66 years. And the rate of biodiversity increase is still low, in 70 years of regeneration, capoeiras only have 35% of the biodiversity of nearby rainforests. This is not about virgin forest not being needed, we need every acre of virgin forest that haven’t been felled yet, this is about secondary forests, capoeiras, being also valuable).

    Reply
    • (Replying to myself, to be able to post the nifty map).

      In the Atlantic Rainforest biome, carbon sequestration is slower (about 70% of the carbon sequestration in the Amazon Biome), but there are more areas to reforest. Legally, about 11% of the Amazon Biome in Brasil should be reforested to keep with current legislation requirements. In the case of the Atlantic Rainforest biome, about 40% of its area should be reforested to keep with legislation requirements ( and to conserve water resources, but people are forgetting that now that El Niño gave a brief respite to the drought here in São Paulo. Cantareira is out of the dead pool, so all is well, isn’t it ?(sigh))

      The map below (I don’t know if it will show as picture or link, but if link, it goes to a map) shows the speed of regeneration of the capoeiras. It’s faster where there are regular rains and proximity to virgin forests:

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  February 7, 2016

        As always Umbrios, fantastic information, thank you! You’re definitely the South American expert at this think tank😉 It’s sad that we’ve been destroying that forest for so long there is a word for a forest that was once clear cut. Although, as I typed that I realized we have “regenerated forest” in English. Although “jungle-that-was” sounds rather haunting to me.

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  February 7, 2016

        Well, aren’t I embarrassed. I’m blushing right now.

        Thanks again for the great information and very enlightening insights.

        Reply
        • Don’t be embarrassed, Ryan, your first idea was a quite fair guess.
          Going off topic: the Tupi people, who inhabited most of Brasil before the Europeans, practiced a form of agriculture known as “coivara” and badly translated as “slash and burn”. Coivara agriculture was a way to use the land more intensively, while not losing soil to erosion. The Tupi would first clear-cut a parcel of jungle (caetê, true jungle), then they would build their hamlet with the wood cut from the jungle (and palm leaves for the roofs), and intensively garden the area with manioc, sweet-potato, beans, corn, pumpkin and a few other edible/medicinal herbaceous plant species. In the years 2-3 after cutting the jungle, the Tupi would start to plant fruit trees and other useful trees (medicinal, wood trees, etc) from seed. After five years, when the bare soil would start to fail under tropical rain, the seedling trees would be grown enough to be left alone. The Tupi would leave the area, considered now a “capoeira”. Natural regeneration (aided by the seedling planting before, ensuring better biodiversity) would take the reins. In 20-30 years, the jungle would be in the state of caapora (hunting jungle). The Tupi would visit it in brief expeditions to hunt or gather fruit, but never cutting any tree. In about 70-80 years (funny how indigenous tradition ends fitting so well with modern data), the jungle would be considered to be again “caetê” (true jungle), and the cycle could begin anew.
          That is a source of much conflict now days, as indigenous people see large territories (justly) as their homelands and conventional farmers are heckled by the idea, as they have trouble understanding that nomadic way of life. That is partnered with the tradition that Tupi woman stay in their home hamlets and the man need to find a new hamlet to life when they’re grown… a matrilineal way of inheriting territory. Both traditions means that “homeland” for a Tupi is a quite extensive area, and conventional farmers tend to think “those indians are foreign, coming from far away trying to steal our lands with their claims that this was their ancestors land”, as they see the coming and going of indians with occidental eyes. And those conflicts can be bloody (for a recent example, article in Portuguese http://www.socioambiental.org/pt-br/blog/blog-do-monitoramento/apos-terem-casas-incendiadas-guarani-kaiowa-em-ms-temem-por-novos-ataques-durante-o-carnaval?utm_medium=email&utm_source=transactional&utm_campaign=manchetes%40socioambiental.org ).

      • Ryan in New England

         /  February 8, 2016

        I absolutely love how knowledgeable you are, Umbrios. I learn something from every comment you post🙂

        Reply
  42. Ryan in New England

     /  February 6, 2016

    I thought this was a good move by Obama. Help fund renewable research and development, as well as force the Republicans to take their mandatory position contrary to reality. Eventually this ridiculousness by Republicans will be seen by the public for what it is, climate terrorism.

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/feb/06/barack-obama-final-budget-request-congress-climate-change-action-congress

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  February 9, 2016

      Different viewpoints brought up in the comments of Climate Crocks in this regard.
      i.e is it an in character support of established interests that will not actually do much to address the core issue

      “I suspect the reason Obama is pushing research is because it is in fact meant mostly or entirely for nuclear (and supposedly non-dirty coal?), maybe using renewables as a cover, which means he’s doing exactly what he’s done with every single climate action he’s undertaken his whole reign–put real action off til later. and give breaks to huge corporations tied to the energies of the past. This seems like simply another despicable action by him, dressed up as doing something.”

      In the same way the change in direction of the CSIRO in discarding the climate scientists to focus on mitigation and solutions (such as a mentioned high priority on producing diesel fuel from Coal)

      Reply
      • Just to add a little perspective, Obama is by far the best President on climate we have ever had. By far. Not nearly good enough, and I definitely fault him for picking health care as the issue to solve instead, but …

        Reply
  43. – FEB. 5, 2016 NYT Opinon page – A good narrative though.

    T-Shirt Weather in the Arctic

    WE crested the northern rim of Alaska’s Brooks Range, and from the windows of our truck looked out across the undulating foothills toward the Arctic Ocean. Instead of seeing snow as we had in years past, we were greeted by a landscape already green with spring.

    We flew by helicopter to our remote camp and shed our heavy parkas. The fish we had come to study had already disappeared downstream to spawn.

    We now realize that what we saw last May was historic — the hottest May for Alaska’s North Slope during what scientists recently concluded was the hottest year on record for the earth. We also saw the future.

    Last May’s warmth deceived white-crowned sparrows into breeding earlier than usual. When a snowstorm roared in, the sparrows abandoned their ill-timed nests, leaving their eggs behind to perish.

    We plan to return to the Arctic again in May. This year is predicted to be even hotter than the last. We’ll be ready this time. We understand now that we have already entered the heat age.

    – Mark Urban is an associate professor in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. Linda Deegan is a senior scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory Ecosystems Center in Woods Hole, Mass.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/06/opinion/t-shirt-weather-in-the-arctic.html?emc=edit_th_20160206&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=59208846&_r=0

    Reply
  44. – No comment from me on this one — no way.

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  February 7, 2016

      Haha, dt this one needs no caption! I just saw this on the evening news and was going to post a link. Wisconsin, whose lakes are melting during the first week in February.

      Reply
  45. – For Bob and others.
    The Protest Music of Jefferson Airplane’s Paul Kantner

    Still, undeniably, the music Kantner and others in Jefferson Airplane created is protest music. So many of the songs weave counterculture narratives in with references to war in Vietnam, the threat of nuclear warfare, and government efforts to suppress dissent and demonize hippies. The music unquestionably helped agitate a generation. (Why else would the FBI have kept tabs on where Jefferson Airplane was performing next?)

    https://shadowproof.com/2016/01/29/the-protest-music-of-jefferson-airplanes-paul-kantner/

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  February 7, 2016

      dtlange, thanks for that link. Rest in Power, indeed. A fresh perspective on the music of my best-loved band back in the resistance days. Maybe Eskimo Blue Day and Wooden Ships are starting to look less like acid dreams and more like prophecies now.

      Reply
  46. To add to the list of “once in a millenium” things that seem to come once… how fast are milleniums running these times:
    Rorraima drought – Rio Branco, the main river in the state, which is normally 240cm (94inches) deep, is so dry that it’s only 46cm (18 inches) deep right now. That was once considered a “once in a millenium drought). Millenium came in 1998, 2010 and now in 2016.\

    Article in Portuguese, stricking photos:
    http://g1.globo.com/rr/roraima/noticia/2016/01/rio-branco-enfrenta-seca-historica-e-muda-paisagens-de-roraima.html

    That’s rainforest area, where in the past, people would schedule their days by saying things like “we’ll get lunch before the rain”, or “we’ll meet just after the rain”, so regular and daily the rains were. It’s NOT an Arch of Fire state (agribusiness does show their ugly face there, but not with much force), but it has been setting records of fire alerts (4139 in January, almost double the previous record). Some cities/villages there are becoming stranded because of the drought, as they can’t be reached by roads or train, and all the transport is done by boat. When rivers became unnavegable, those places can’t receive commerce from the outside world, including food and medicines.

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  February 7, 2016

      This is terrible. This story, and those like it, need to be the main story in every newspaper for the next 50 years. Yet the main topic here in the Empire is still Donald Trump

      Reply
  47. Ryan in New England

     /  February 7, 2016

    Earthquakes in California now linked to fracking and wastewater injection.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/02/05/3746653/california-link-earthquakes-fracking/

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  February 7, 2016

      The future of Fracking is re Fracking

      https://www.caseyresearch.com/articles/the-future-of-fracking-is-re-fracking

      In the next few years, you’ll very likely be hearing a lot about re-fracking… and it will likely also become as common as fracking is today over that time frame.

      What is re-fracking?

      Essentially, rather than drilling a new well, a company re-enters and re-fractures existing horizontal wells. This can be done currently at about 25% of the cost; that cost will only improve with more “re-fracks” and as better techniques develop with time.

      Now that oil has fallen to new lows and management teams are coming to the realization that prices aren’t going up anytime soon, oil producers need to find ways to reduce drilling costs and increase production (recovery) from existing wells.

      I believe that one of the absolute best ways to do this is to eliminate as much of the drilling costs of a new well as possible and focus on re-entering an existing well. By applying better modern technology and better equipment, the company can re-frack the older horizontal wells to unlock the trapped oil and natural gas left behind in the initial frack process. And there’s a lot of oil left behind in the existing fracked wells.

      Bam! Innovation out of necessity.

      Re-fracturing horizontal oil wells is new to the industry, but I think it will actually revitalize the declining wells in the shale sector. I’m not saying that the re-fracked wells will be better than the original fracked wells initially, but thus far, the future is very promising for re-fracks based on the results I’ve seen.

      The Zombie that just won’t expire

      Reply
      • Ken Barrows

         /  February 7, 2016

        It will only happen if those drilling get lots of financing, which is not a given.

        Reply
  48. Reply
  49. mlparrish

     /  February 7, 2016

    Here’s something you don’t see every day, Storm Henry blowing waterfalls backward on the Isle of Mull. (Tried to copy picture, not sure it went through).

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2016/02/04/scotland-waterfall-windy-backwards/79806836/

    Storm Henry.jpg

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  February 7, 2016

      You don’t see that every day. Love the fracking ad that proceeds the video. Those energy companies are so lovable and clever.

      Reply
  50. – The article is centered on Britain but relevant to world.

    – Brazil and regions: “Animals, cows, and sheep are major sources of greenhouse gasses, and we’re using a lot of “hidden” land for them. The Amazonian rainforest is being chopped down for the purpose of growing soya, which is then fed to the animals in Europe which you eat.’

    What Would Happen If an Entire Nation Stopped Eating Meat?

    This post originally appeared on VICE UK.

    I think, deep down, we all know the meat industry isn’t that great. Whether you’ve watched Cowspiracy, read those George Monbiot-type articles about how meat production is catastrophically bad for the environment, or just listened to someone at a party go on about how Food, Inc. was, like, so dark it almost made him or her give up eating burgers, you’re likely aware of the ramifications of industrial animal farming.

    … we would dramatically increase our horticulture. The good things for your diet and mine are actually plants. Fruits, vegetables, cereals—staple foods. And there has been a catastrophic drop in the production of these things in Britain. If we stopped eating meat we would have to resuscitate and reinvest and re-skill ourselves in horticulture. And we have to do that anyway, certainly with climate change
    http://www.vice.com/read/what-would-happen-if-everyone-in-the-uk-stopped-eating-meat

    Reply
  51. Jeannie

     /  February 7, 2016

    just an old fish tale…

    http://www.npr.org/sections/krulwich/2014/02/05/257046530/big-fish-stories-getting-littler

    Prize fish from a day’s cruise in Key West, starting in 1957-8 and ending with a 21st century catch from 1997, And the youngsters out fishing count them a good catch, for they’ve never seen the size their grandparents exclaim about—-just their usual exaggeration.

    Reply
    • Jeannie

       /  February 7, 2016

      Picture of fish from 1950s (If someone knows how to insert that address above as a picture, go for it, please.)

      Reply
    • Bill h

       /  February 7, 2016

      Dt: good catches h ere, demonstrating more evidence for Jennifer Francis’ theory. Heat now being freely transported not just from temperate to Arctic latitudes but now from the tropics. Amazing. Note also the near minimum antarctic sea ice extent this year.

      Reply
  52. – This is a pretty good run down with well researched info and context.

    First Ever Recorded Snow in Kuwait & Saudi Arabia Deep Snow/Hail | Mini Ice Age 2015-2035 (127)
    Published on Feb 5, 2016

    On January 29, 2016 Kuwait received its first recorded snowfall ever recorded and Rafha, Saudi Arabia experienced rare deep snowfalls as well. A week prior the road to Mecca in western Saudi Arabia had deep hail inches thick snarling traffic. At the same time Tehran, Iran had 50 year snowfall.

    Reply
    • – Here, also. Nice presentation of pictures and data

      First Ever Recorded Snow 300km south of Hanoi Vietnam 18.5N Latitude | Mini Ice Age 2015-2035 (123)
      Published on Feb 1, 2016

      Snows blanketed Vietnam and Laos the last week of January 2016 breaking hundreds of cold and snow records. SaPa farmers at total crop losses, 9000+ cattle froze to death and Nghe An recorded its first snowfall ever with records stretching back to 1650.

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  February 7, 2016

        Robert or anyone else,

        Is there published or accessible data that shows the amplitude of the jet stream? that would show the statistical anomolies with unusual dips southward along with the periodicity? From this pattern you could predict the year when Cuba, for example, may see its first snow.

        Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  February 8, 2016

      Wow, this is truly remarkable. I’m sure this wouldn’t happen without the massive amounts of hot air entering the Arctic and displacing the cold air, driving it further south with the enormous peaks/troughs in the jet stream.

      Reply
  53. danabanana

     /  February 7, 2016

    “Hurricane Patricia’s winds reached a record 215 mph as it roared toward the west coast of Mexico in October, the National Hurricane Center announced Thursday.

    That’s 15 mph greater than Patricia’s previously thought top speed. It’s the strongest wind speed ever measured in a hurricane in the Western Hemisphere. The record was set while the storm was offshore.”

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2016/02/04/hurricane-patricia-winds-215-mph/79828370/#cx_ab_test_id=21&cx_ab_test_variant=cx_advanced_v1&cx_art_pos=2&cx_navSource=arttop&cx_tag=collabctx&cx_rec_type=collabctx&cx_ctrl_comp_grp=false&cxrecs_s

    Reply
    • – Right, also see above twitter comment ‘Epic gap wind event ongoing in Gulf of Tehuantepec. Scatterometer pass shows sustained 50+kts.’ — as this is where Patricia formed and stormed ashore.

      Reply
  54. redskylite

     /  February 7, 2016

    RS- Many thanks for another richly researched and illustrated post. We have amazingly turned up the chemistry in such a short period, and all the contributors to this wonderful site understand mother Earth will react, the timing may be slow in politicians concept of time-frames, but short for experienced paleo-climateologists like Richard Alley and other climate savvy scientists who we should listen to.

    Just a reminder that the heart of man is not that bad, (and we deserve better from those who represent us) a great short video from the Siberian Times . . . .

    Reply
  55. Unusually warm Arctic winter stuns scientists with record low ice extent for January

    http://mashable.com/2016/02/05/arctic-sea-ice-hits-record-low-for-january/#HIuF3oTWqiqU

    Reply
  56. Kevin Jones

     /  February 7, 2016

    ESRL has 405.98 ppm CO2 for Daily Mean of Feb. 6th. Third day above 405.6

    Reply
    • It will go down a bit, but impressive anyway…

      Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  February 7, 2016

        I expect so, as well, Alexander. Lots of variability on hourly, daily and weekly timescales…. But just noticed ESRL posted it’s weekly value for week beginning Jan. 31, 2016 and it comes in a whopping 4.35 above weekly value of one year ago. 404.55 versus 400.20….

        Reply
  57. – Robert, a big tweet here by Sven T vietdal w/ 164k followers. He may have got it from me since he follows my Twitter — sometimes I tweet him directly with important stuff.
    Regardless your post got spread around.
    DT

    Reply
    • Wow. Thanks to Svein for that! Looks like we now have three days near 406 ppm in the rear view. Hovering at 404.5 ppm now. Pretty big deal. We could see daily peaks at 408 or 409 by April/May. This year is just nuts.

      Reply
  58. Reply
  59. – Follow link in tweet to see motion graphic.

    Reply
  60. – What a shock to find this out…

    No Questions About Climate Change at GOP Debate Sponsored by Big Oil

    The Republican presidential candidates were asked about the Super Bowl but not the future of the planet Saturday night — there were no questions about climate change or global warming in the debate in St. Anselm College in New Hampshire.

    Angelo Carusone, who works for pro-Hillary Clinton groups American Bridge and Media Matters, offered one possible reason why: The debate was sponsored by Big Oil:
    https://theintercept.com/2016/02/07/no-questions-about-climate-change-at-gop-debate-sponsored-by-big-oil/

    Reply
    • The “Vote4Energy” propaganda—once again ubiquitous on CNN—- is reprehensible.
      Undercover activist exposes API’s Vote4Energy Campaign

      Reply
      • Steve from NZ

         /  February 7, 2016

        I love the courage of that young man’s convictions.

        I give myself a daily dose of Chris Hedges – a real “American Hero” in my estimation. This is a great interview – but any speech of his will fill you with rage and a sense of wanting to fight back.

        Kia Kaha! (be brave) as the Maori people say here in NZ.

        Reply
  61. utoutback

     /  February 7, 2016

    In response to Caroline’s comments on GM foods.
    My wife is among the many people I have been meeting lately that are having more & more difficulty with food allergies/sensitivities. I am not about to blame this all on GM products. This is part of a larger concern. Back in the mid last century there were threats of massive starvation due to the inability to produce enough (this may have also been just as likely a distribution problem) food. Then we had the miracle of the “green revolution”. This consisted of a huge increase in industrialized food production using mono-cropping, mechanization, herbicides, pesticides and non organic (ammonia) fertilizers. Companies such as Monsanto benefited and found an even better system of producing patented seeds for plants that were “Round-Up tolerant”. Next they began manipulating plants (and animals) with genetic modification to fit this new, “unnatural” system.
    So, now we have a system that produces much greater yields of foods that are either toxic or no longer genetically matched to the population that is supposed to consume them. Humans and the food plants which developed together over millennia are now being decoupled.
    In addition, we will very soon be told that the proprietary seeds & plants of this new system are necessary to provide food in the new climate circumstances in which we find ourselves. Plants that can be grown in salty soil or with less water will be necessary.
    One more way for some one to profit from this crisis.

    Reply
  62. – VIA Sam Carana

    Senate Passes Booker Amendment Protecting Atlantic Ocean & Jersey Shore from Offshore Methane Exploration

    Amendment blocks seismic testing for methane hydrate in Atlantic Ocean Action comes on heels of Booker, Menendez, Jersey delegation rally against Atlantic Ocean offshore oil drilling in Asbury Park on Sunday
    https://www.booker.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=360

    Reply
  63. Colorado Bob

     /  February 7, 2016

    This tiny state agency is at war with climate change — and lobbyists

    Washington state’s plan to fight climate change relies heavily on a little-known state agency with a handful of employees that is under attack in the 2016 legislative session by development industry lobbyists.

    It’s a fight that could ultimately affect consumers because the agency, the Washington State Building Code Council, also develops standards that protect residents through codes governing fire safety, plumbing, and much more. Already the agency has halved its staff since the late 1990s and now says it will have to cut again this summer unless the legislature changes something. The agency is funded by a construction fee of $4.50 per building that hasn’t increased for decades. Every building permit provides the same inflation-ravaged $4.50 to the council, whether it’s for a deck addition or a skyscraper.

    Link

    Reply
    • Keep in mind that many of the ‘building trades’ are rife with corruption, cronyism, and criminality — both organized and otherwise — let alone the lobbyists.
      All civil governments feel the same pressure. If I remember right, the state of Oregon got short changed when mandatory asbestos searches when prepping for demolition were removed, or diluted. Possibly it was the data tracking mechanisms that were removed from legislation.

      Reply
      • – Oops. A recent corrective in Oregon re asbestos.

        Oregon Home Asbestos Demolition Laws Becoming Stricter
        December 30, 2015

        Salem, Oregon – Oregon’s asbestos laws regarding home asbestos demolition will become stricter per the passing of Senate Bill 705, starting on January 1st. The state’s legislature passed the bill pertaining to asbestos surveying requirements due to a large concern from its residents about exposure to the hazardous chemical.

        Asbestos can cause mesothelioma cancer and a variety of other health problems. One way being when the chemical is handled improperly or disposed incorrectly, resulting in fibers being released into the air. With residential homes, insulation is a big contributor.
        http://www.mesothelioma.com/news/2015/12/oregon-home-asbestos-demolition-laws-becoming-stricter.htm

        Reply
  64. Storm Imogen is about to batter Britain with 80mph winds

    Imogen is threatening to fell trees, down power lines and wreak havoc with the morning commute, while high winds are expected to carry thundery downpours throughout the day that have the potential to cause problems even into the evening rush hour. Tracts of coastal Devon and Cornwall have been told to be prepared for large waves and localised flooding.
    http://www.irishexaminer.com/examviral/science-world/storm-imogen-is-about-to-batter-britain-with-80mph-winds-380550.html

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  February 7, 2016

      DTL –
      I don’t have to tell you how these “one off” events are all tied into larger patterns. But this new low points to the larger story . As the readers here understand. Sure it’s off shore, but it’s still part of the same deep low pattern
      A new phase –
      “In our planet’s most rapid period of global warming (in modern records), from the late 1970s to present, D.C. has witnessed more giant snowstorms than ever. The same holds true in Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Boston:

      .https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2016/02/03/is-global-warming-behind-d-c-s-new-era-of-great-snowstorms/

      Then these same lows slam into the UK, and Norway, and dump their final heat load above Russia. They are certainly breaking records there. But the record breaking flooding in Florida this winter is part of the same larger pattern . (I have really shitty pictures from Florida below)
      The hurricane junkies seemed to have missed that the hot waters just off the East coast, and points South, in winter now spawn really very nasty systems.

      It’s like a “winter hurricane season”. The ocean heat comes from South of Fla. Not the Azores. And it’s headed to the Arctic, not New Orleans.

      It’s 2 hurricane seasons a year not one. This would be a clear signal how hot the oceans are. If this moves to the Pacific , and we see signs it is.

      7 billion people get to test my hypothesis. With chicken wings on Super bowl Sunday.

      Reply
      • Right, the past many months have shown that. Weather systems are now on uncharted trajectories. Ocean related systems respond wildly since the ocean is the repository of overabundant heat and energy we have put there.
        These are wild times alright.

        Reply
  65. Colorado Bob

     /  February 7, 2016

    Steve from NZ –
    Many thanks.

    That Chris Hedges interview explains why I am as crazy as bed bug. I’ve spent so much time in this climate coal mine , I have “black brain disease”.

    His comments about the collapse in Eastern Europe. were very telling about nature as well. It all runs like a watch, then one day it doesn’t.
    Diamond, pointed out the only reason Japan still has forests . Is because 300 years ago the leaders tied themselves to the people. Their fate was tied to everyone else.

    Now the governor Mich. , does not have lead in his shower, at least for the time being.

    Reply
    • Steve from NZ

       /  February 8, 2016

      Hi Bob,

      another meaning to Kia Kaha is “stay strong” – maintain your internal vigilance, your moral compass. A few days ago around 25,000 people marched against the TPP “trade” deal here in Aotearoa (NZ) – the biggest march in years. It was lead by Maori, who like so many indigenous people know the meaning of being screwed over. It was good to see our country finally waking up.

      At some point take the time to watch this Chris Hedges speech – it will move you to tears and will you to action.

      Kia Kaha!
      Steve

      Reply
      • wili

         /  February 8, 2016

        Thanks. Though long, it is indeed well worth a watch.

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  February 8, 2016

        I think Chris Hedges has become one of the best and most fearless writers/journalists of our time. Time and time again he speaks truth, and provides his readers with accurate assessments of our deteriorating situation, both socially and environmentally. He brings together what some may see as separate issues, and reveals how it is all part of a fundamental problem facing society, and that is the fact that we are no longer a functional democracy, but rather a plutocracy run by corporate interests that never have the average citizen in mind when devising policy, or the future of the biosphere. Corporations have seized control of our political and economic systems, and will plunder and pillage until there is nothing but scorched earth remaining. What little social programs remain are being gutted in favor of tax breaks for the already wealthy and endless wars to seize remaining resources and expand the empire.

        Yup, I really enjoy Chris Hedges.

        Reply
  66. Colorado Bob

     /  February 8, 2016

    Steve from NZ –
    In your link Chris Hedges said this will only change when people are willing to die. We see that everyday now. But the first time I saw this was in Vietnam . The monks set themselves on fire. And the bus riders into Mississippi. And most lately when a young man burnt himself. to death in Tunisia.
    Each time, the world changed. I am drawn to to the monks. This was my first introduction into politics.

    http://what-buddha-said.net/gallery/var/albums/Dhamma-illustrations/burning-monk-colour.jpg?m=1344150838

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  February 8, 2016

      Real political action no dies , but you.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  February 8, 2016

        This man changed the world, like the street vendor in Tunisia, when one tosses the match into the powder magazine. The world explodes .

        And how did all that work – out for us ?

        Not really good.

        If one is willing to die for their beliefs , the jackasses we see today have ruined that idea.

        Reply
  67. Vic

     /  February 8, 2016

    Contributions from around the world are being sought for a “message in a bottle” that will be broadcast from Earth to the cosmos later this year.

    The project, called A Simple Response to an Elemental Message, is a collaboration between the University of Edinburgh School of Art, the Royal Observatory of Edinburgh and other partners.

    So far, more than 700 people from around the world, including several from Australia, have visited the Simple Response website to submit an answer to the question “How will our present environmental interactions shape the future?”

    Responses will also contribute to science, with researchers analysing them to see if there are significant geographical differences in how people think about the environment and the future of the planet.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-07/global-message-in-a-bottle-to-transmit-to-space/7146908

    Reply
  68. Colorado Bob

     /  February 8, 2016

    There are hundreds of thousands of old people we could harness . If we just dreamed up the right way. If we set our selves on fire in carbon free way.
    Solar panels ?

    I have a device in my garage that melts pennies in seconds from a 22 in. circle. I could cull the Earth in a week. Without one atom from fossil fuels.

    Reply
    • Steve from NZ

       /  February 8, 2016

      Ha ha – I wonder if the grand spectacular gesture would work anymore. We live in a society of the spectacle – our brains are burned out.

      Being a constant piece of grit in the eye of power may be better – if enough people concentrate on being gritty it could become very irritating…

      Reply
  69. redskylite

     /  February 8, 2016

    We need Australia (and every other country) on board . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    CSIRO climate cuts will cost Australia dear, world scientists warn government

    More than 600 international experts have condemned the ‘illogical’ plans to restructure CSIRO, which one described as Australia’s ‘national treasure’

    . . .

    http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/feb/08/csiro-climate-cuts-will-cost-australia-dear-world-scientists-warn-government

    Reply
  70. Anthony Sagliani ‏@anthonywx 2h2 hours ago

    Powerful low off the North Carolina coast. Models indicate wind gusts to 100 mph thru 6z in sting jet S/E of center.

    Reply
  71. – Via climatehawk1
    – I’ve been expecting this sort of warm up/melt and diminished snow pack cycle — and early stream flows. The graphic includes much of the West & PNW

    Hot, Dry Weather Could Cut Into California’s Snowpack

    A ridge of high pressure is coming to the state, harkening back to the ridiculously resilient ridge of the past few years and butting into California’s burgeoning love affair with El Niño. It could set back California’s snowpack and break heat records.

    Peter Gleick, a climate expert at the Pacific Institute, warned that seven days of sustained warmth could melt as much as 30 percent of California’s snowpack.

    – Map:

    Reply
    • “The hot, dry weather is exactly what baked in exceptional drought in California over the past four years. Some signs indicate the heat is driven in large part by climate change…”

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  February 8, 2016

      That’s crazy. Until recently the Sierra Nevada range and Rocky Mountains would have growing snowpack right into April. In Colorado March was often the snowiest month, with the snowpack growing deep into April. Now there’s significant melt in the middle of Winter, and March is like what May used to be. I remember last year in California the workers who go out and measure snowpack didn’t even do it for the last month because there was literally no snow to measure. Instead of snowfields there were fields of wildflowers. Losing Winter snowpack and mountain glaciers will have devastating effects around the world, Snowpack melt is used all throughout the summer for agriculture and everyday water needs. The snowpack acts like a massive water tower that stores water in the Winter and releases it throughout the warmer seasons. There’s roughly a billion people in India and China that use rivers that originate in the Himalayas, some of which already no longer reach the sea.

      Losing snowpack is a disaster.

      http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/09/15914-Sierra-California-snowpack-mountains-drought-centuries/

      Reply
  72. Reply
    • Bill h

       /  February 8, 2016

      Another good catch,dt. I read on some denier blog that John Christy had testified at the recent Ted Cruz that the UAH version 6 agreed well with radiosonde data. Hmm….

      Reply
  73. I keep remembering that the Sun was about 2% less luminous according to standard models of stellar evolution 250 million years ago during the End Permian. This 2% doesn’t sound like much, but it’s equivalent to at least a couple hundred ppm of CO2.

    And still, that mass extinction wiped out upwards of ninety percent of all species – probably more than 99 percent of all individual organisms.

    I keep remembering too that CO2e carbon dioxide equivalents are above 500 ppm, counting CO2, methane, nitrogen oxides, and trace gases.

    I keep remembering that water vapor, the strongest greenhouse gas, is predicted to increase almost linearly with 7 percent more water vapor in the atmosphere per degree C of temperature rise.

    All of the great progress in alternative energy development hasn’t yet done much to cut into the rate of CO2 increase. Let’s hope that changes, and we start to see statistically significant reductions in the rate of CO2 increase.

    Reply
  74. Vic

     /  February 8, 2016

    The temperature in Perth, Western Australia hit 42C today. Currently it’s around 38C at 7:30 in the evening. 42 predicted again for tomorrow, followed by another three days at around 40. All sorts of living things will be dying there over the next few days.

    Also this from the ABC on Perth’s water issues…

    “Last year the run-off into our dams was the lowest since records began [in 1911], we got 11 billion litres in the dams and we lose about 14 billion litres a year in evaporation,” Water Corporation chief executive Sue Murphy said.

    “So that means that our dams contributed nothing. In fact, took away from our water supply.

    “We have a problem which is probably more extreme than other cities around the world. Every year we seem to have the worst case scenario worse.”

    Reply
  75. Spike

     /  February 8, 2016

    Anyone interested in renewables should sign up for Chris Goodall’s newsletter as it covers lots of cutting edge stuff. Got this one yesterday.

    http://us9.campaign-archive1.com/?u=a336c39e55a6260d59adbffb0&id=06eedaf7e7

    Reply
  76. How melting Arctic ice may have set off era of vicious East Coast snow storms

    In Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston, at least five of the top 10 snow storms on record have occurred since 1990. More blockbuster storms have occurred in the past 25 years than in the hundred years prior.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2016/02/05/how-melting-arctic-ice-may-have-set-off-era-of-vicious-east-coast-snow-storms/

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  February 8, 2016

      I can personally confirm that. The top five snowfalls in my area have all occurred since 1983…in my lifetime. Four of the biggest have happened since 2006, with the biggest one in 2013. They just keep getting more potential as the ocean and atmosphere warm. As Robert can now personally testify, getting three feet of snow in a city, or even a highly developed suburb, can be a serious event.

      Reply
  77. Wharf Rat

     /  February 8, 2016

    Hurricane Patricia’s 215 mph Winds: A Warning Shot Across Our Bow
    By: Jeff Masters
    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/hurricane-patricias-215-mph-winds-a-warning-shot-across-our-bow

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  February 8, 2016

      Masters makes a great point, and that was that they were really wrong in their forecast of the strength of the hurricane. Had they made that mistake with a storm hitting a major population center, the consequences could be devastating. It’s possible not everybody would be evacuated, and those are F5 tornado speeds with the destruction path width of a hurricane. The consequences would be catastrophic.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  February 9, 2016

        Yes, that is an important point. Is that what happened with that storm with hurricane force winds off the US East Coast that apparently nearly sank that cruise ship?

        Reply
  78. Wharf Rat

     /  February 8, 2016

    Climate Change Is Leaving Native Plants Behind
    Published: February 8th, 2016

    By John Upton
    BERKELEY, Calif. — Willis Linn Jepson encountered a squat shrub while he was collecting botanical specimens on California’s Mount Tamalpais in the fall of 1936. He trimmed off a few branches and jotted down the location along the ridge trail where the manzanita grew, 2,255 feet above sea level.

    The desiccated specimen is now part of an herbarium here that’s named for the famed botanist. It was among hundreds of thousands of specimens of thousands of different species that were used recently to track the movement of plant species up the state’s many hills.

    The results of the analysis warn that native plants are struggling to keep up with changes around them as pollution from fuel burning and deforestation continues to warm the planet. Earlier research into the movement of Californian animals shows they’re shifting more quickly than the native plants.

    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/climate-change-is-leaving-native-plants-behind-19992

    Reply
  79. wili

     /  February 8, 2016

    Some indication that not only are scientists looking more carefully at long-term Earth Systems Sensitivity consequences of GW, but that it is now starting to get into the main stream media, and perhaps from there into international agreements??: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/02/08/what-the-earth-will-be-like-in-10000-years-according-to-scientists/

    “What the Earth will be like in 10,000 years, according to scientists”

    Reply
    • wili

       /  February 8, 2016

      Oops, tgi already scooped me on that one!

      Reply
    • Maybe it’s hubris on my part, but I think it’s scientific hubris on their part to try to predict what will happen without ever considering arctic methane from permafrost decay or the methane hydrates.

      This is a purely CO2 based scenario. Their paper does not mention methane at all, and lumps all carbon emissions together into a single category – “carbon emissions”.

      http://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate2923.epdf?referrer_access_token=GpDlesw8V7ZUxZmS9xQumNRgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0P7bBCydl3XkC-iEMeXdnEdD0CDGSUB4J_y6QudGd2kHI-O4zS0GBOo2PCuJDFGc2JdJs0LGIrWoStPg8lYReA9WPhvUOlXxg_lsLNTky-rTo92ASz0mwxFQ_o95G2H-Ea_yk5Lfy1yHkwiWZBYzNt0lW4jAVmZk85N6w8xX2BxskLdg69o-RsizFr_M_fKQ9ceFEfiy9HlYzdtIMe2u7Vilz0_gvE-b4pK_TSs0Tl2IHl1kT_dnLtHP0-sr-IHhco%3D&tracking_referrer=www.washingtonpost.com

      It took the rock weathering cycle at least 100,000 years to reduce CO2 levels after the End Permian mass extinction, not 10,000 years. It took life something like 10 million years to regain most of the diversity it lost during this extinction. These scientists don’t even mention mass extinction events in their paper, and never consider the possibility that those mass extinction events could be tied to methane hydrate dissociation.

      There is a lot of uncertainty about methane hydrate dissociation – how fast it will be, and how much methane will make it through the barrier of the oceans and into the atmosphere. It’s not really scientific to pretend we will know what will happen when the methane hydrates dissociate, except perhaps from looking at past mass extinction events.

      But it is scientifically irresponsible not to include the methane hydrates at all, I think. They should have at least mentioned the methane hydrates and the potentially radically different and more severe consequences of a low level runaway release of methane. The rate of release of methane is very important – too fast could overwhelm the oxidation capacity of whole ocean basins and the atmosphere, leading to very strong positive feedback effects.

      The whole thing is kind of puzzling, to me. These are generally well respected climate scientists – who appear to be very determined to ignore the five to one hundred trillion ton methane gorilla sitting in our collective living room.

      This appears to be David Archer’s “it will be gradual” and “we’ve got it all figured out” crowd of climate scientists – the Chicago School of climate science. I’d trust Archer’s work a lot more if I didn’t know that he has co-authored at least 4 scientific papers and part of a book with ExxonMobil chief scientist Haroon Kheshgi. I’d trust his work more if he didn’t work for the University of Chicago – founded and endowed with Rockefeller oil money. I’d also trust his work more if his methane hydrate inventory estimates were higher and closer to those of Gerald Dickens, for example. I’d trust his work more if Naomi Klein had not written her book The Shock Doctrine, exposing how the economic “Chicago Boys” from Archer’s University of Chicago were used politically to spread radical conservative “disaster capitalsim” through the western hemisphere.

      Archer’s collaboration with Haroon Kheshgi was mentioned on an ExxonMobil web page, since taken down but likely still available from internet archives. The title of the page was something like “ExxonMobil Sponsored Scientific Publications on Climate Science”. ExxonMobil sponsorship implies direct payment from ExxonMobil to Archer, at least to me.

      Reply
      • Actually, it looks like the ExxonMobil web page listing Archer’s collaboration with ExxonMobil Chief Scientist Haroon Kheshgi is still available. It looks there were three scientific papers and a chapter from a book that resulted from this collaboration, for a total of four collaborations that we know about so far.

        The title of the page is ExxonMobil Contributed Publications, and it lists peer-reviewed climate publications from ExxonMobil. This definitely implies payment from ExxonMobil to Archer, I think:

        http://cdn.exxonmobil.com/~/media/global/files/energy-and-environment/climate_peer_reviewed_publications_1980s_forward.pdf

        17. Archer, D., Kheshgi, H., and Maier-Reimer, E. 1997. Multiple Timescales for the
        Neutralization of Fossil Fuel CO2, Geophysical Research Letters, 24: 405.

        19. Archer, D., Kheshgi, H., and Maier-Reimer, E., 1998. The dynamics of fossil fuel CO2
        neutralization by marine CaCO3, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 12:259-276.

        35. Kheshgi, H. S. and Archer, D. 2004. A non-linear convolution model for the evasion of CO2 injected into the deep ocean. Journal of Geophysical Research, 109, C02007,
        doi:10.1029/2002JC001489

        13. Kheshgi, H. S., and D. Archer, 1999: Modeling the Evasion of CO2 Injected into the Deep Ocean, in Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies, edited by B. Eliasson, P. Riemer and A. Wokaun, pp.287-292, Pergamon

        Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  February 9, 2016

        I have read, re-read and re re-read David Archer’s The Long Thaw (2007). It holds a place of honor on my book shelf next to Hansen’s Storms of My Grandchildren. The best two books on the subject I’ve found in 26 years of research. In no way does he dismiss methane from clathrate melt as a non-entity. I’ve found over the years to listen to the one speaking. Not the one who says he said…. p.s. This from one who believes in criminal prosecution for Exxon liars.

        Reply
      • The Long Thaw.

        Message 1 – It will be gradual.

        Message 2 – I’ve got it all figured out.

        Message 3 – We have time

        None of that is true, I think. I don’t think global warming will be gradual, I don’t think we know what will happen when this tangled snarl of positive and negative feedback loops becomes activated and I think we’re totally out of time. I don’t think that scholarship alone is sufficiently certain to risk the future of the world on.

        Certainly we should not be risking the fate of the world on anyone’s calculations of the rate of methane hydrate dissociation. If God himself appears with his choir of angels and announces he knows how fast the hydrates will dissociate, we should still assume that God’s calculations could be wrong, and wonder if God is being paid by ExxonMobil.

        I’ll get my information (and conceptual or semantic frames) from climate scientists who don’t co-author scientific papers with ExxonMobil chief scientist Haroon Kheshgi.

        Reply
      • wili

         /  February 9, 2016

        And note that # 1, even if it is true, does not necessarily imply #s 2 and 3.

        I actually think that it is worse in the big picture if release of carbon from, for example, sea bed methane hydrates is gradual, because that will guarantee that our initial push will prompt feedbacks that will continue to keep atmospheric levels of carbon very high for thousands to millions of years longer than they would otherwise be–arguably an even worse legacy to leave to the future of the living planet that a fast burst that perhaps wipes us out, but that also allows the planet, perhaps, to start the long business of recovering some kind of stability without constant new destabilizing forcings continually kicking in.

        But then I tend to take the long view in such things.

        Reply
      • Archer is also featured in an excellent video on abrupt climate change. I think I’d withhold judgment here.

        Reply
      • Hi climatehawk1-

        If I’m correct about what’s going on with David Archer, he has to do things like that, or we wouldn’t listen to him at all. One very common propaganda and persuasion technique is the “get them nodding” technique. If propagandists don’t do this, their audience tunes them out altogether.

        The way I think of it, in such propaganda efforts there is bait, and then there is a payload. The bait in this case is Archer’s statements of concern about global warming. The payload is his load of conceptual frames about how long it will all take, and his CO2 only warming scenario.

        What Archer says, the way he is spinning the global warming problem, directly benefits ExxonMobil. If people take the long view, they may sit back philosophically and do nothing when we are in fact in the largest crisis humanity has ever faced. If the public does not know about or minimizes the methane hydrate dissociation scenario, they are more likely to allow ExxonMobil to continue to pump oil out of the ground.

        Reply
  80. NWS OPC ‏@NWSOPC 6h6 hours ago

    Great Hires ASCAT pass showing hurricane force winds just off the SE US coast late yesterday. #SatWave

    Reply
    • Disclosure: I do not do cruises or air travel . . . .
      I imagine as the number/intensity of extreme weather events increase due to AGW, cruises/air travel (ANY travel?) will get increasingly perilous (click off that annoying maroon box to get full affect— this does not look like an enjoyable vacation to say the least!):

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  February 8, 2016

        Looks like those were some serious waves. The power of “everyday” storms is getting to the point where it can’t be ignored much longer. They’re having an effect on every aspect of society.

        Reply
      • At least 27 people drowned when a boat carrying migrants sank off the northwestern Turkish coast yesterday in the latest episode in the tragedy of thousands of refugees seeking to cross into Europe

        Reply
  81. Reply
  82. Reply
    • wili

       /  February 9, 2016

      If some of that wind makes it down near the surface, that looks like it could be driving a lot of sea ice export out of the Fram right now.

      Reply
  83. Reply
    • Sea foam forms in this way – but on a much grander scale – when the ocean is agitated by wind and waves. Each coastal region has differing conditions governing the formation of sea foams.

      Algal blooms are one common source of thick sea foams. When large blooms of algae decay offshore, great amounts of decaying algal matter often wash ashore. Foam forms as this organic matter is churned up by the surf.
      http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/seafoam.html

      Reply
  84. Hi Robert.

    Reply
  85. Ocean Disruption from Abrupt Climate Change, Crappy Sea Ice
    Posted on February 7, 2016
    http://paulbeckwith.net/2016/02/07/ocean-disruption-from-abrupt-climate-change-crappy-sea-ice/

    Reply
  86. Ryan in New England

     /  February 9, 2016

    The Southwest is entering a new climate state, one of less moisture and filled with droughts. If you look at the North American projection, Mexico looks like it will be so bad they won’t be able to grow anything.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/02/08/3746706/southwest-enters-drier-climate-state/

    Reply
  87. Ryan in New England

     /  February 9, 2016

    Here’s a pretty good piece by The Guardian on sea-level rise, and how it is a problem that will last for thousands of years.

    “Much of the carbon we are putting in the air from burning fossil fuels will stay there for thousands of years,” said Prof Peter Clark, at Oregon State University in the US and who led the new work. “People need to understand that the effects of climate change won’t go away, at least not for thousands of generations.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/feb/08/sea-level-rise-could-last-twice-as-long-as-human-history

    Reply
  88. Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  February 9, 2016

      The Koch brothers are probably the two most influential people in the world when it comes to promoting denial and influencing the view of countless members of the public. They bought our elected officials, then they bought their own scientists. When people were still learning about climate change they decided to buy off the schools. When they can’t silence the truth they go after the very source that is discovering that truth. How many generations before we start believing again the Earth is flat, and think that weather is the result of Gods? We already have the most ignorant adult population on the planet, half of which don’t “believe” in evolution. Now we will go further down that road until everything that Americans believe is the opposite of observable, objective reality.

      Reply
      • Vic

         /  February 9, 2016

        Enter at own risk…

        Reply
      • Vic

         /  February 9, 2016

        Pop music and pop TV are open for business to whoever wants to buy.

        Australian Reg Grundy produced numerous successful television soap operas and drama series including Class of ’74, Class of ’75, The Restless Years, The Young Doctors, Prisoner, Glenview High, Sons and Daughters and Neighbours. He subsequently started the US-based company Reg Grundy Productions, which produced famed 1980s NBC daytime game shows $ale of the Century and Scrabble, as well as Time Machine, Bruce Forsyth’s Hot Streak, and Scattergories.

        He was discovered a couple of years ago attempting to secretly donate $200,000 to Tony Abbot’s election campaign. I wonder why and I also wonder what influence his ideology has had on me after watching countless hours of his productions as I was growing through my formative years.

        I wonder what effect has he had on my country, the US, the UK, Canada…

        Got Neighbours got denial ?

        http://www.smh.com.au/comment/smh-editorial/failure-to-disclose-political-donations-undermines-democracy-20140603-zrwls.html

        Reply
  89. Vic

     /  February 9, 2016

    UK, Storm Imogen.

    Reply
  90. Jay M

     /  February 9, 2016

    big inverted U over Pacific Northwest, wonder how long this will last:

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  February 9, 2016

      That pattern is providing my area (Connecticut) with some brutally cold air this weekend, with lows on Saturday expected to be about -10F.

      Reply
      • Cold weather coming to Vermont as well, although nowhere near record. Forecast here for Saturday night is -14F (-26C). In the past, we’ve recorded -25F (-32C) at our house for three mornings running (quite a while ago, perhaps after Pinatubo). Most of Feb so far has been above normal.

        Reply
  91. Vic

     /  February 9, 2016

    “China’s Government has slated 2,500 factories for closure this year as they prioritise clear air over jobs.

    The state plans to reduce pollution by 40 per cent by 2020 and has allocated more than $3 trillion for investment in environmental protection.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-09/beijing's-air-quality-improving-but-not-without-cost/7146360

    Reply
  92. redskylite

     /  February 9, 2016

    Siachen Glacier moves but troops to stay. . . . . .

    The Hindu quoted a small signboard at the Siachen Base Camp that read: “Snout of the glacier was here on 10 April 2005.” It said now the snout, the starting point of the glacier, had moved about a kilometre ahead from that point. “It is a testimony to the accelerating pace of human-induced climate change and is the likely culprit behind increased disasters on the glacier.”

    http://www.pakistanpost.pk/2016/02/siachen-glacier-moves-but-troops-to-stay.html

    Reply
  93. Greg

     /  February 9, 2016

    Can you tell the difference between category 2 hurricane Isabel and the storm off the US coast right now?

    Reply
  94. – Pretty good at that:

    Reply
  95. redskylite

     /  February 9, 2016

    Thinking of Peter D. Ward’s green seas, and something that may adapt . . .

    Biologists find genetic mechanism for ‘extremophile’ fish survival

    “This is one of the reasons that I got excited about this because we have this natural experiment where we can ask these questions,” said Kelley. “It’s not just one instance that we’re looking at. We have the ability now to compare multiple instances of survival in hydrogen sulfide.”

    “The researchers found that about 170 of the extremophilic fish’s 35,000 or so genes were turned on, or upregulated, to detoxify and remove the hydrogen sulfide. Previous studies by other researchers in other systems have seen the same genes detoxifying hydrogen sulfide. ”

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-02/wsu-bfg020516.php

    Reply
  96. – Offshore Ocean Waves

    Check it out: Gulf of Tehuantepec. And Chivela Pass — winds funneling through a gap between two segments of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range has waves going offshore. Either side of the gap has usual onshore waves.
    This region is where powerful Hurricane Patricia rapidly formed.
    So, I wonder if a venturi effect helped in its creation. Or if the region’s Tehuano Winds played a part.
    windyty (0920 UTC) has 13-14 ft offshore waves.
    Interesting…
    https://www.windyty.com/?waves,2016-02-11-21,16.941,-92.911,6

    Reply
    • – earthobservatory.nasa.gov

      The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite captured this image on April 8, 2014, when Tehuano winds carried dust over the Gulf of Tehuantepec. A thin arc cloud marked the leading edge of this pulse of wind.

      Reply
    • Cool air often follows storm systems passing through North America in the winter and early spring. In some cases, the cool air surges as far south as Mexico, where it encounters the Sierra Madre Oriental Mountains, a long chain oriented roughly parallel to Mexico’s Atlantic coast. The mountains behave like a wall, funneling winds to the south until they reach Chivela Pass, a gap in the range on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.

      At the gap, pressure differences between cool, dry air from the north and warm, moist air from the south cause winds to rush toward the Pacific Ocean. Northerlies that last for more than a day are known as Tehuano winds. Such winds can be extremely strong, reaching gale or even hurricane force on the Beaufort wind scale.
      http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=83483

      Reply
  97. redskylite

     /  February 9, 2016

    Many trends have been modeled but most of them seem to be happening faster than projected, not surprising as the modellers are most likely cautious in their code.

    Climate change driving species to the Earth’s poles faster than predicted, scientists say . . . . . . .

    Warming temperatures are pushing land and sea creatures closer to the north and south poles and to cooler altitudes at rates faster than first predicted, scientists say.

    Scientists from 40 countries are gathering in Hobart for a four-day conference about how climate change is forcing species to move, including humans.

    . . . . .

    “For the species that we have really good data on where they’ve lived historically over the past 100 years, we’re seeing about half of those have actually moved where they live, which is an astonishing number given we’ve only had one degree centigrade warming,”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-09/climate-change-driving-species-to-the-poles-scientists-say/7152682

    Reply
  98. Vic

     /  February 9, 2016

    Dtlange,

    I thought you’d like to hear the Milkweed/Monarch butterfly combo is eking out a naturalised existence in the toasty town of Perth, Western Australia. I lived there most of my life and they were always a common, yet beautiful sight. I’m in the NE NSW rainforest on the east coast now and I see the dynamic duo around here too.

    The milkweed is declared a noxious weed here, although taking it out now would probably require Monsanto to gear up significantly (shush, don’t tell Malcolm Turnbull).

    I don’t think Aussie Monarchs get to have a big old party like yours do in Mexico, unless they’ve worked out how to ride the jet stream over. 😉

    Reply
    • – Thanks for that, Vic.
      – Some background on MONX AU:

      Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) are native to North and South America. In the 1800’s, however, they spread to other parts of the world. Monarchs were first seen on Hawaii in the 1840’s, and then throughout many South Pacific islands in the 1850’s and 1860’s (Ackery and Vane-Wright 1984). In the early 1870’s, the first monarchs were reported in Australia and New Zealand (Gibbs 1994). It is not clear exactly how and why this emigration occurred. One possibility is that monarchs were transported by ships, either as larvae that found their way onboard from shipyard milkweed plants, or as adult monarchs that happened to land on ocean-going vessels. It is most likely that humans were involved in the process, but it is not known to what extent. Because North American monarchs often fly over 2,200 km during their migration, it is always possible that some made the journey on their own (Vane-Wright 1993).
      http://monarchnet.uga.edu/MonarchBiology/

      Reply
  99. Spike

     /  February 9, 2016

    Great photo of the sort of waves that hit the SW UK yesterday.

    Reply
  100. Connecticut Gordon

     /  February 9, 2016

    This site states that yesterday it got to 406.27
    https://www.co2.earth/daily-co2

    Reply
    • Thanks for this latest reading C.G.
      As R.S. states above:
      “Typical atmospheric peaks occur during May. And this year, we are likely to see atmospheric levels hit near 407 parts per million in the weekly and monthly averages over the next few months. Such a range thrusts us solidly out of the Pliocene climate context and well into that of the Miocene.”
      . . . . .
      Seeing these numbers are sickening—-literally sickening. Anyone else feel sick to their stomachs while attempting to digest the reality of these numbers? Along with all of the species that are suffering . . .
      Can’t imagine what the numbers in May will be if things haven’t peaked yet.

      Reply
      • Connecticut Gordon

         /  February 9, 2016

        Hi Caroline

        Thanks for responding. I am wondering whether RS now thinks that even 410 might not be impossible in a few months time. It is the almost 7ppm increase over the same day from last year that is truly astonishing about yesterday’s figure.

        Reply
    • I think daily readings might peak at around 408-410 during April and May, possibly as high as 411.

      We could see a 3 ppm to 5 ppm jump year on year from 2015 which would put the May monthly average in the range of 406.9 to 408.9.

      This would be pretty extraordinary. But a strong El Nino can have this kind of effect on the carbon cycle. And considering how much ghg is hitting the air now, it’s a possibility.

      Reply
  101. Good news in the Zika front : the same doctor that noticed the beggining of the microcephaly epidemy, Dra. Vanessa Van Der Linden, says that there are good reasons to believe that those who aquire Zika get immunized by it (it’s like chickenpox, after you have it once, you can’t have it twice). The virus seems to be very similar to Dengue (which has 4 sorotypes, so the same person can catch Dengue up to four times), but until now, and even after becoming widespread in a large population, it seems to have only one sorotype.

    Though that will not limit the spread of the epidemy to areas that never had it, this limits the potential of Zika to become an endemic disease.

    Article in Portuguese:
    http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/cotidiano/2016/02/1738061-populacao-talvez-esteja-imunizada-agora-contra-o-zika-diz-especialista.shtml

    Reply
  102. wili

     /  February 9, 2016

    General question to anyone familiar with how real estate markets function, especially in coastal areas: At what point does the stampede away from low-lying areas start? House purchases are often long-term affairs, people planning to stay for 30 years or longer. If you can be pretty sure that all or part of your property (or the roads that service it) will be underwater, or that your risks from evermore intense storms will make the property essentially unlivable…why would you purchase or even stay in the home. Resale will be impossible at that point.

    Even if, after that 30 years, the property is still dry and accessible, the people potentially buying the property for the _next_ 30 years will be able to clearly see that it will become unlivable within that time frame–why would they buy it.

    I would think that in real estate, such long time-frames would be more relevant than in other contexts, but generally I tend to assume that things operate in some kind of rational way when they in fact don’t.

    Reply
    • Wili, there are two problems in assuming that people will behave racionally: desperation and denialism.

      Desperation:
      People buy properties in “Jardim Pantanal” (Garden Swamp) here in Brasil. It’s a low area, aptly named, in the vicinity of the heavy polluted Tietê river, that gets flooded every year between november and march. Floods are common knowledge, they invariable appear in mass media. Desperation makes poor people move there, as they can’t find other places to live, and they’re kept in poverty and desperation by having ther belongings destroyed by waters every year. The area was “urbanized” (gained eletricity, a nearby school, a nearby hospital, etc) by a populist mayor in the past, and since then, it has become impossible to evacuate. When people are removed from it and placed in safer locales, they “sell” their houses (most house selling and buying in Brasil is done in not-exactly legal contracts that aren’t notified to the government and are impossible to curb) to other desperate people. The houses look decent, some have adaptations to withstand a bit of flooding, some have second and third levels to keep belongings safe. The market goes on as long as there’s desperation and poverty. It’s better to have a house that floods yearly than to live in the streets.

      Denialism:
      Market kept by desperation is working in very low prices, by definition. But a more expensive range of prices can be assured by denialism. Sometimes denialists truly believe what they’re saying. They really believe that Miami won’t flood, for example. Or that any flooding will only happen in a few centuries, far too long away to bother. I known even a few bizarre persons who believe in climate change and sea level rise, but think that it magically won’t affect the USA or Europe, because “they’re first world” (that person did buy Miami beach front property). As long as there’s denialism, there will always be a (insert your world of choice here, I can’t think of a publishable one) to buy the property. In “pop” places like Miami Beach, I’d expect prices to keep up for a while, maybe changing from “selling to locals” to “selling to foreign (word of choice) “, who won’t known that the place is flooding. As long as the realtor chooses the time of the pre-buy visit carefully, they’ll be able to sell.

      Property will become a liability in the future, but I’d expect the market to last at least another 20 years on those two legs.

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  February 10, 2016

      Umbrios makes some great points. Especially that there will always be some idiot to buy up a property. I think it will be mostly people buying homes with cash that keep the market going, because banks tend to be smart about mortgages (ignore the financial crash of 2007-8 )and they want to protect their investment, so if they expect the property to come under distress before the life of the mortgage runs its course, they’ll decline to approve it. Banks in Miami Beach are already starting to talk about when 30 year mortgages will have to be declined. It’s definitely coming. And already Florida is seeing many potential homeowners walk away due to changes in flood insurance premiums. Many have gone sky high, over $20,000 per year to insure a home. This is already having an effect.

      This is a good piece by National Geographic on Miami Beach.

      http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2015/02/climate-change-economics/parker-text

      Reply
  103. Just 0.5 degrees of separation
    A major global warming threshold is closer than it seems

    February 9, 2016 | The planet is a lot closer to 2 degrees Celsius of warming than official temperature records indicate.

    In 2015, the hottest year on record, the average annual temperature was a full 1 degree C (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than in pre-industrial times. That’s halfway to the limit of 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) that world leaders set in Paris in December to prevent potentially catastrophic warming.

    But what if we’re already effectively well beyond 1 degree C of warming?

    https://www2.ucar.edu/atmosnews/perspective/19348/just-05-degrees-separation?utm_content=buffer69c58&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    Reply
  104. Kevin Jones

     /  February 9, 2016

    Leland Palmer. Your above criticism of David Archer and his collaboration with Exxon Mobile chief scientist Haroon Kheshgi prompted me to find this: Two-faced Exxon: the misinformation campaign against its own scientists. The Guardian by Dana Nuccitelli 25 November 2015 “Of the 53 papers, 45 were co-authored by Haroon Kheshgi. I spoke with several climate scientists who worked with him and all agree, Kheshgi is a top-notch climate scientist.” It is a swamp out there but I try hard not to shoot the messenger(s). Or misrepresent them. I find it a far reach to believe you have read David Archer’s The Long Thaw AND come to the conclusions you have. The best advice I ever heard was from Henry David Thoreau. “Don’t read the pulp. Read the ‘classics’. And read them as deliberately as they were written.” p.s. We’re in this thing together.

    Reply
    • – To, Henry David Thoreau. “Don’t read the pulp. Read the ‘classics’. And read them as deliberately as they were written.” — I would add read between the lines, including all you hear as well.

      Reply
    • Hi Kevin Jones-

      I don’t think that ExxonMobil believes their interests are exactly congruent with mine – they don’t seem to know that we are all in this together. They seem to think they are sitting on trillions of dollars in fossil fuel assets still in the ground, and they seem to think I have to be conned into allowing them to continue putting their CO2 into my air.

      I don’t doubt either Archer’s or Kheshgi’s ability… I doubt their financial motives, their numerous one or two degrees of separation from ExxonMobil connections, and ExxonMobil’s record of past behavior. ExxonMobil has tried for decades to subvert the scientific peer review process, and has succeeded in some cases.

      The Union of Concerned Scientists has a series of reports on ExxonMobil’s delay, deny and confuse tactics, many of those tactics copied from earlier Tobacco Industry to confuse the public and escape regulation.

      Here’s a good one from 2007. There are others that are more recent, but very little has changed, I think.

      http://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/legacy/assets/documents/global_warming/exxon_report.pdf

      Smoke, Mirrors, and Hot Air – How ExxonMobil uses Big Tobacco’s Tactics to Manufacture Uncertainty on Climate Science.

      I noticed Archer’s use of loaded language and conceptual frames before I knew about his connections to Rockefeller oil money through the University of Chicago and his collaborations with ExxonMobil Chief Scientist Kheshgi. To me, his papers, and his posts on his website Real Climate, have always read as if he was given a list of conclusions and low methane hydrate inventory numbers he had to support, and then he went looking for scientific justifications to support those conclusions and numbers. In my opinion, he acts as if it is his job to be a well regarded scientific authority who systematically ignores the methane threat, creates low methane hydrate inventory numbers, and stays on message that the long view is what is important.

      We should remember that we are in a state of information warfare with the fossil fuel industry, with trillions of dollars of fossil fuel assets still in the ground at stake.

      The paper that appeared in Nature has lots of positive things about it, probably due to Archer’s coauthors, and a few really glaring omissions. Leaving methane totally out of the paper, for example, and not admitting that a high rate of methane dissociation could trigger a positive feedback methane catastrophe and low level runaway global warming. Leaving ocean acidification out of the paper. The language implying that long term consequences are what matters most, when we are in the midst of what might already be abrupt climate change, as another example.

      We really are at a crisis point in human history right now, regardless of Archer’s repeated assertion that the long view is what matters. We may still be able to avoid disaster, but only if we totally decarbonize energy production now, and probably start putting carbon back underground using BECCS (Bio-energy with Carbon Capture and Storage).

      If the methane hydrates destabilize, there may not be a long view for most of humanity.

      Reply
      • Certainly true. However, there are a number of climate scientists, some quite eminent (e.g., Gavin Schmidt), who don’t believe that meltdown of methane hydrates is imminent. I’m not sure you can really use that as a dependable litmus test for whom to denigrate. MHO.

        Reply
      • Hi climatehawk1-

        I don’t care about denigrating David Archer.

        I don’t care about not denigrating him, either.

        A PhD is no guarantee of honesty, nor does it make anyone immune to the attractions and benefits of money. A PhD does not guarantee that the recipient of that degree is not a sociopath, for example. Getting a PhD is an incredibly laborious process and it does make dishonesty and mental pathology less likely, I think, but it does not reduce the chance of those things to zero. Many of the PhD’s who are climate change deniers have strong religious beliefs, or think that actions taken to limit global warming would harm the economy, or are very conservative politically.

        I do care about whether Archer is trying to con the public into inaction, and engaging in subtle persuasion tactics to persuade people to take the long view during the biggest crisis to ever face humanity. He seriously acts like a guy who is on the payroll to me, who says what he is paid to say.

        It is scientifically wrong to not ask what would happen if the methane hydrates were to dissociate. Gavin Schmidt, Archer’s cohost on the webpage Real Climate has done this himself in this paper on the PETM, (Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum) stating what should be obvious – if huge amounts of a very strong greenhouse gas are released, radiative forcing would indeed increase by a huge amount:

        In this paper, coauthored by Gavin Schmidt, they estimate that if 1.5 trillion tons of carbon as methane were to be released over 500 years by the methane hydrates, the peak increase in radiative forcing would total 13.3 W/m2. Contrast this with around 4.4 W/m2 for a doubling of CO2, according to this paper:

        Atmospheric composition, radiative forcing, and climate change as a consequence of a massive methane release from gas hydrates. Authors: Gavin A. Schmidt and Drew T. Shindell

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2002PA000757/full#palo976-tbl-0002

        But we don’t have 1.5 trillion tons of carbon in our current methane hydrates. Archer admits to around 5 trillion tons, including associated free gas. Other estimates are higher, up to around 75 trillion tons, and a couple are lower. Likely, not all of it would dissociate, some of the deep hydrates are likely stable.

        So, why was there no mention of the possibility of hydrate dissociation in the recent Nature paper that the Washington Post likes so much? If the forcing from an extreme hydrate release scenario is maybe three times that from a doubling of CO2 scenario, why not mention the possibility of methane hydrate dissociation?

        They neglect to mention the methane scenario because of somebody’s calculation that release rates will be slow? A calculation done of a situation with numerous latent positive feedback loops now being activated, interacting with each other, that could affect both the amount of methane produced and its residence time in the atmosphere?

        They are asking us in effect to trust them and their rate of dissociation calculations? In such a complex situation? In a situation where ExxonMobil pays good money for lies?

        Even taking the long view, the long view will be different if there is a large release of methane – a possibility that Archer and his coauthors in Nature don’t even mention.

        Reply
  105. – Another impact from the warming that has been climbing the latitudes.
    Consider, also, the rapidly warming Arctic as that warmth expands down the latitudes — AGW.

    #

    Warming World Spreads a Wider Welcome Mat for Zika-Carrying Mosquitoes

    The Aedes aegypti mosquito thrives in warm, wet conditions, which are spreading northward, even into central California, because of climate change.

    When the mosquito now infamous for spreading the Zika virus suddenly showed up thousands of miles from anywhere it would usually call home, a California insect abatement officer was confounded.

    Steve Mulligan and his equally puzzled colleagues first encountered the Aedes aegypti mosquito in 2013, in their work for the Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District in California’s Central Valley. Until then, no one had ever reported seeing the mosquito in the area.
    Most puzzling to Mulligan, the agency’s manager: why had the mosquito popped up around Fresno?
    “It was way out of its range,” he said.
    As Mulligan searched for an explanation, he kept coming back to the warmer temperatures blanketing the state’s prime agricultural region year after year.
    http://insideclimatenews.org/news/08022016/warming-world-spreads-wider-welcome-mat-zika-virus-carrying-mosquitoes-climate-change

    Reply
  106. Southwest Enters ‘Drier Climate State’ Raising Specter Of Megadroughts

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/02/08/3746706/southwest-enters-drier-climate-state/

    Reply
  107. Reply
  108. NWS Juneau ‏@NWSJuneau 6h6 hours ago Juneau, AK

    A very mild Monday. SE Alaska was as warm as noted in SE US. #Juneau #Klawock #Sitka #Ketchikan #Skagway #akwx

    Reply
  109. Gruesome Tumors on Sea Turtles Linked to Climate Change and Pollution

    A turtle hospital in Marathon, Florida is treating an increasing number of green sea turtles affected by fibropapillomatosis (FP), a global sea turtle disease caused by a herpes virus. The disease leads to the formation of tumors on the turtles’ eyes, flippers and internal organs. The possible culprits? Pollution and warming waters.

    Reply
  110. Reply
  111. Supreme Court deals blow to Obama by putting his climate change rules on hold

    The Supreme Court dealt a surprising setback to President Obama on Tuesday by putting his climate change policy on hold while a coalition of coal producers and Republican-led states challenge its legality.

    The justices, by a 5-4 vote, issued an unusual emergency order that blocks the Environmental Protection Agency from moving forward with its effort to reduce carbon pollution from power plants by 32% by 2030.
    ADVERTISING

    The court’s order said the EPA’s “carbon pollution emission guidelines” for power plants are “stayed pending” a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, which will hear the case this summer.

    It is rare for the high court to intervene in a case pending in the lower courts. The brief order suggests that most of the justices have doubts about the legality of the EPA’s policy.
    http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-court-obama-climate-change-20160209-story.html

    Reply
  112. redskylite

     /  February 10, 2016

    More research on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, business as usual means it’s mainly gone in around 13 generations, that’s really not very many.

    Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research. .

    “Given a business-as-usual scenario of global warming, the collapse of the West Antarctic could proceed very rapidly and the West Antarctic ice masses could completely disappear within the next 1,000 years”,

    http://www.awi.de/nc/en/about-us/service/press/press-release/wie-stabil-ist-der-westantarktische-eisschild.html

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  February 10, 2016

      That is excluding the effects of Geological and volcanic factors or feedback factors including rising seas and Greenland and other Glaciers contributing to that rise or Methane and (including from Gas and oil and coal mining).
      An optimistic assessment in my opinion, especially as even just a partial melt in conjunction with the other consequences will mean mitigation repair etc will be a never ending financial cost let alone societal and lifeform cost.
      There just will not be anywhere near enough money to pay for it all even for the wealthiest nations and individuals

      Reply
      • John McCormick

         /  February 10, 2016

        Abel, we can begin with the economic collapse of Florida real estate market as rising seas permeate the fresh water source. That coming exodus will make the dust bowl exodus seem like a trivial event…in terms of numbers of families relocating and having nothing in their pocket when they arrive (to where).

        Reply
  113. Andy in SD

     /  February 10, 2016

    I’ve been reading 6th Extinction. It is a superb, yet very troubling read. An immediate eye opener is the historical precedent we have set for ourselves. We may view our disdain for our world as a relatively new phenomenon, and the world we see is close to what we started with.

    In fact, we have chewed through the planet for many, many thousands of years decimating so many species to extinction. The world we inherited is NOT the one we live in, not even close. What we are doing is nothing new, our impact is not a novelty that has manifested itself in the past few generations.

    We have already clear cut an unbelievable number of species to nothing. Large birds, mammals, you name it, we decimated it and ate it. Like rats, we have voraciously consumed our locales to nothing.

    Reply
  114. Andy in SD

     /  February 10, 2016

    Could someone verify this for me?

    Look at this daily sea ice concentration image. Look at the north west corner of Greenland. See the thinned part? I will link a zoom on windyty which appears to be reporting open water behavior for this spot.

    Does it seem both are reporting open water to you?

    Reply
    • Andy in SD

       /  February 10, 2016

      Now look at this zoom on windyty

      https://www.windyty.com/?waves,77.567,-73.894,7

      Reply
      • PlazaRed

         /  February 10, 2016

        I have added a link to the global temp anomalies at the moment. In addition to many high temp anomalies, there is also a red spot over the sea on the north west coast of Greenland.

        Reply
      • – I see 6 ft. waves and 14 knot winds. Wind seems to be forming waves = open water – indeed.

        Reply
    • Andy, have you checked on the Arctic Sea Ice forum? That’s the Nares straight between Greenland and Ellesmere and has a very strong current that moves a serious amount of water and pushes ice through there almost year round. It only stops when an ice bridge made out of colliding floes forms in the winter, and that thinner area you’re talking about is where the current spills out into Baffin Bay.

      So it’s entirely possible that’s not that unusual. Link to the forum: http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,176.0.html

      Reply
    • The Nares Strait has formed a polynya there from time to time during recent winters. In the past, this has been a feature that precedes Baffin Bay melt. Though it’s happened before, as currents in that region are quite strong, it’s becoming more and more common during the colder months of the year and is a sign of decline in sea ice integrity during Winter.

      Reply
  115. Vic

     /  February 10, 2016

    Perth has recorded its fourth consecutive day of temperatures above 40C, equalling a record that has stood for more than 80 years.

    Today’s maximum takes the number of days over 40 this summer to a total of seven, setting an all time record.

    Tomorrow’s maximum is expected to be around 38C.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-10/bom-perth-weather-temperature-hits-40c-for-record-fourth-day/7156572?WT.ac=statenews_wa

    Reply
  116. redskylite

     /  February 10, 2016

    A reminder from Penn State Uni, it’s going to get worse for all those coastal dwellers . . Time to prepare . .

    Deluge: Climate change, sea level, and the growing threat of coastal floods
    For coastal towns to prepare for deadly storm surges, they must accept that disasters can happen here

    This is not a matter of doubting climate change or the predictions of rising seas. Research in his lab has shown that even people who are very concerned about climate change tend to be more worried about faraway places like low-lying island nations than about their own back yards.

    “It’s ‘We’ll be fine, things aren’t going to be as bad here, and if we do have problems, we’ll be able to handle it. But those poor people over there…’ ”

    While that empathy is admirable, Yarnal says, “it also means that people are usually less willing to take action to adapt in their home area.”

    For the past several years, Yarnal and his students have been investigating how people in Sarasota County, on Florida’s Gulf Coast, perceive the climate-related risks facing them.

    “Florida is Ground Zero,” he says. “Sea-level rise is going to affect Florida the most, of any place in the nation. It could become a huge problem. It really could overwhelm our financial capabilities as a nation.”

    He’s less concerned with the rising sea level itself, which communities can adjust to over decades, than with the possibility of massive hurricane-driven storm surges that could wipe out whole neighborhoods within a few hours.

    http://news.psu.edu/story/391240/2016/02/05/research/deluge-climate-change-sea-level-and-growing-threat-coastal-floods

    Reply
    • Andy in SD

       /  February 10, 2016

      If you look at the Miam-Dade county flood zone map, there really isn’t much at all that is not flood prone already.

      And with the acceleration of the ocean level increase coupled with the Miami subsistence, I suspect it is sooner than later.

      http://gisweb.miamidade.gov/floodzone/

      Reply
    • “Time to prepare”. Easier written than said😉

      Alex

      Reply
    • wili

       /  February 10, 2016

      “Florida is Ground Zero” Yes, but parts of coastal Louisiana and of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay area are close behind, both areas that are also sinking even as the sea rises. Tangiers Island near the mouth of the Bay has already lost much of its landmass to the sea.

      The whole East Coast will see /is already seeing some of the fastest rates of sea level rise in the world, due to what appears to be the slowing of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Current (AMOC ~= Gulf Stream).

      I’m still wondering when we are going to start seeing big effects on coastal real estate in certain areas.

      Reply
  117. redskylite

     /  February 10, 2016

    Research from a Finnish University highlighting the plight of the Tibetan Plateau water being polluted from the remote industrial machine and buried carbon awakening. It;s going to get harder and harder to bend that CO2 trend downwards.

    “Tibetan Plateau has an extensive permafrost cover and there is a lot of carbon stored in it. The temperature in the area has been increasing for the past 500 years and the climate in the central plateau has been warming more than other regions in the last century. Rising temperatures export old carbon stores from ancient permafrost into contemporary rivers in the Tibetan Plateau. Global warming will continue to release more carbon to the water system, which will, in turn, intensify the regional climate change and affect water quality. ”

    http://www.lut.fi/web/en/news/-/asset_publisher/lGh4SAywhcPu/content/climate-change-deteriorates-water-quality-in-the-himalayas-affecting-40-of-world%E2%80%99s-population

    Reply
  118. Greg

     /  February 10, 2016

    Some builders (and buyers) catching on to the opportunities/challenges posed by climate change. A total American interpretation of sustainability mixed with luxury:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/realestate/builders-finding-ways-to-make-homes-stand-up-to-mother-natures-fiercest-outbursts/2016/02/08/0ca39460-c53b-11e5-a4aa-f25866ba0dc6_story.html?hpid=hp_regional-hp-cards_no-name%3Ahomepage%2Fcard

    Reply
  119. redskylite

     /  February 10, 2016

    Cyanobacteria ‘See’ Like Microscopic Eyeballs, New Study Finds

    Cyanobacteria are found throughout the world in terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats. They are sometimes considered algae, but they are actually bacteria.

    In the oceans, they are among the world’s most important oxygen producers and carbon dioxide consumers.

    http://www.sci-news.com/biology/cyanobacteria-see-like-microscopic-eyeballs-03622.html

    Reply
  120. PlazaRed

     /  February 10, 2016

    This article on Antarctic sea ice and glacier movements is disturbing to say the least.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160209105416.htm

    Reply
  121. Greg

     /  February 10, 2016

    Thanks to Peter Sinclair – this is the game we’re playing.

    Reply
  122. Colorado Bob

     /  February 10, 2016

    Intelligence Director: Climate Change Could Lead to Larger Refugee Crisis

    Director of National Intelligence James Clapper warned Tuesday that the effects of climate change could lead to mass migrations in the years ahead that will strain the western world on a much larger scale than the Syrian refugee crisis, adding that worldwide resources to support a growing population are “somewhat of a finite resource.”

    Link

    Reply
  123. Greg

     /  February 10, 2016

    Good to hear back from you again CB, thanks. Clapper must think strategically as should we all or our suffering will only increase. BTW, how do you put that clean link in there?

    Reply
  124. Reply
  125. Reply
  126. Nearly 3,000 climate scientists condemn Australia’s dramatic research cuts

    The news that Australia’s federal science agency plans to cut as many as 350 climate science research jobs is being met with worldwide condemnation from the climate science community.

    The cuts, which are planned for the country’s Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), are based on the organization’s new director’s reasoning that climate change is proven and needs fewer research dollars and assets going forward.
    http://mashable.com/2016/02/10/climate-scientists-australia-csiro-cuts/#b56_D8XswZq3

    Reply
  127. Clams help date duration of ancient methane seeps in the Arctic
    February 10, 2016

    Clams, mussels, scallops and oysters sound like delicious items on a restaurant menu. But bivalves such as these are much more than that: They function as a delicate record of changing environments and climate.

    They live for a long time in one place, all the while accumulating information about their environment in their shells.

    Precise timing of a climate gas release

    17,707 to 16,680 years ago, around the end of the last Ice Age, clams were alive and kicking on the seabed of the Arctic Ocean above 79° North. That is a pretty accurate time frame that proves persistent methane release from the Arctic Ocean floor for approximately a thousand years.
    http://phys.org/news/2016-02-clams-date-duration-ancient-methane.html

    Reply
  128. Cate

     /  February 10, 2016

    This link is from Storm Imogen in NW France. Everyone in the video is okay—one of the comments gives all the details. Could have been so much worse.

    Reply
    • John McCormick

       /  February 12, 2016

      What I saw was a nearby witness with a camera satisfied to record the entire event without running to their aid.

      Reply
      • According to the comments to the Facebook post, the photographer was a person with disabilities.
        “Please do not insult the old man who is filming. He had his part in the rescue and took good care of the old man that almost drowned.”

        Reply
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