Major Wildfire Outbreak in Central and Western Africa as Drought, Hunger Grow More Widespread

The major news organizations haven’t picked it up yet, but there’s a massive wildfire outbreak now ongoing over Central and Western Africa. These wildfires are plainly visible in the NASA/MODIS satellite shot — covering about a 1,400 mile swath stretching from the Ivory Coast, through Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon and on across the Central African Republic, the Congo, and Gabon.

Major Wildfire Outbreak Central Africa

(Very large wildfire outbreak in Central Africa in the February 10 LANCE-MODIS satellite shot. For reference, bottom edge of frame covers about 350 miles. Image source: LANCE MODIS.)

Smoke from these fires is extremely widespread — stretching over almost all of Western and Central Africa, blanketing parts of Southern Africa and ghosting on out over the Southern Atlantic Ocean. Together with these massive fires we have what appears to be a rather significant CO2 plume showing up in the Coperinicus monitoring system (see below). It’s a signature reminiscent of the amazing Indonesian wildfires that, during a few weeks of the Fall of 2015, matched the CO2 emission of Germany. The satellite representation of these fires is so strong that it’s difficult to believe that no news of the fires has hit the mainstream media. But, so far, there hasn’t even been a peep.

The intensely burning fires now rage across a region of Africa experiencing both severe heat and drought with temperatures hitting well over 40 C in Nigeria and over 36 C throughout the broader region today. An extreme heatwave occurring in tandem with a new kind of flash drought event that’s becoming more and more common as human fossil fuel emissions keep forcing the world into higher and higher temperatures ranges.

Global_Total32column_Carbon32dioxide_00

(The Copernicus CO2 monitor shows an intense CO2 plum issuing from very intense wildfires over Central and Western Africa on Wednesday, February 10th. Other CO2 hotspots include China, the Northeast US, Northern South America, Southeast Asia, and a region stretching from Siberia through to the Arctic. It’s worth noting that Northern Hemisphere CO2 levels now range from 400 to 414 parts per million. Image source: CAMS CO2 Monitoring.)

Central Africa is but the most recent region to feel the effects of extreme drought and related risks to food security. For through 2015 and on into early 2016, both drought and hunger grew in scope and intensity across Africa. An impact that is almost certainly related to the combined influences of a near record El Nino and global average temperatures that are now in the range of 1.1 degrees Celsius hotter those seen at the end of the 19th Century.

El Nino + Global Warming’s Impact on African Drought Risk

As a human-forced heating of the globe warms the world’s airs and waters, the rate of evaporation and precipitation intensifies. On the wet end of the spectrum, the added heat and atmospheric moisture provides more available energy for storms. But on the dry end, droughts can appear more rapidly, become more intense and, in many cases, become longer-lasting. Effects can generate entirely new weather patterns — as seen in increasing instances of heat and drought appearing over the US Southwest or the progressively more stormy conditions showing up over the North Atlantic. Or they can intensify an already prevailing pattern.

Large sections of Africa suffering from severe drought

(Large sections of Africa suffering from severe drought as of February 7th in the Africa Flood and Drought Monitor graphic above. Widespread areas in red show soil moisture levels hitting their lowest possible rating in the monitor over widespread regions during recent days.)

In the case of the latter, it appears that just such an event may be happening now across Africa. During typical strong El Nino years, heat and drought were already at risk of intensifying — particularly for regions of Southern and Eastern Africa. But now, with global temperatures 1.1 C hotter than those seen during the late 19th Century, the drought risk is amplified. Added average atmospheric heat sets base conditions in which water evaporates from the soil more rapidly — so a pattern that would typically result in drought risk becomes far more intense and dangerous.

Over the past year, intense drought has impacted widespread regions across eastern and southern Africa. Sections of South Africa experienced its lowest levels of rainfall since record-keeping began in 1904 even as widespread drought from the Horn of Africa and regions south and westward put millions at risk of a growing hunger crisis.

Hunger Crisis Spreads, Fear of Famine Grows

According to The World Food Program and a February 10 report from VICE News, the widespread and growing drought is taking its toll. Skyrocketing local food prices, mass displacement due to political instability, and failed crops due to the driest conditions in 35 to 111 years are all having an impact. Now, more than 20 million people are at risk of hunger across Africa.

In Zimbabwe, President Mugabe declared a state of emergency as more than a quarter of the 13 million population struggled to access food. Many families were reported to have gone more than a week without a meal amidst heightening concerns over potential food riots. In Somalia, more than 3.7 million people faced acute food insecurity even as 58,000 children were at risk of dying during 2016 due to lack of food. Nearly 10 million people in Sudan were reported at risk of going hungry even as 40,000 were identified as potential immediate casualties due to the growing crisis. In Ethiopia, massive livestock losses due to drought are resulting in the worst food crisis since 1984 — a year that saw an estimated 1 million die due to famine.

Food Emergency in East Africa

(A food emergency — shown in red — emerges in East Africa even as food crises erupt across Central and Southern Africa. Food emergency regions indicated in red on this map are just one level below famine. Image source: Famine Early Warning System.)

Meanwhile, according to the Famine Early Warning System, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Yemen, Zambia, Mozambique and Madagascar all faced potential food crises through March. Risk of hunger is also compounded by a large number of displaced persons throughout Africa with East Africa alone hosting over 5.1 million refugees across South Sudan, Burundi, and Yemen.

Rain patterns are expected to shift eastward, bringing some relief to sections of the Horn of Africa even as drought is predicted to expand into the regions of Central Africa now experiencing intense wildfires.

Links:

LANCE MODIS

Famine Early Warning System

The World Food Program

VICE News

South Africa Experiences Its Lowest Rainfall Levels in 111 Years

CAMS CO2 Monitoring

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401 Comments

  1. Dry weather takes toll on Ivory Coast cocoa trees

    ABIDJAN, Feb 9 (Reuters): More dry and hot weather last week in most of Ivory Coast’s main cocoa regions damaged cocoa trees, young flowers and small pods, threatening to delay and reduce the next mid-crop, farmers said Monday.

    The dry season in Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa grower, runs from mid-November to March. Intermittent showers are needed to help develop the April-to-September mid-crop, but dry Harmattan winds and hot weather were reported in most regions.

    In the western region of Soubre, at the heart of the cocoa belt, farmers reported no rain…

    http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/2016/02/09/14859

    Reply
    • Harmattan, hot, dry wind that blows from the northeast or east in the western Sahara and is strongest in late fall and winter (late November to mid-March). It usually carries large amounts of dust, which it transports hundreds of kilometres out over the Atlantic Ocean; the dust often interferes with aircraft operations and settles on the decks of ships.

      The harmattan is a trade wind strengthened by a low-pressure centre over the north coast of the Gulf of Guinea and a high-pressure centre located over northwestern Africa in winter and over the adjacent Atlantic Ocean during other seasons. In the summer it is undercut by the cooler winds of the southwest monsoon, blowing in from the ocean; this forces the harmattan to rise to an altitude of about 900 to 1,800 metres (about 3,000 to 6,000 feet).

      http://www.britannica.com/science/harmattan

      Reply
  2. – Off Topic but:

    Here’s What Happened to the Exxon-funded EU Think Tanks After It Pledged Not To Fund Climate Denial

    By Kyla Mandel • Thursday, February 11, 2016

    Pressure is mounting on ExxonMobil to explain why the oil giant funded climate denial around the world years after its own scientists established global warming was real.

    Exxon in the EU… what has ExxonMobil been up to in Europe?

    Exxon and the IPN

    Perhaps the most memorable of these think tanks, however, is the story behind the climate sceptic IPN, which was founded in 2001 by Julian Morris and Roger Bate of the British free-market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA).

    http://www.desmog.uk/2016/02/11/here-s-what-happened-exxon-funded-eu-think-tanks-after-it-pledged-not-fund-climate-denial

    Reply
  3. Reblogged this on GarryRogers Nature Conservation and commented:
    Drought and heat combine to expand fire size and extend the burning season. In Arizona, in the 20th Century, lightning ignited the largest fires in early summer when low humidity and high temperature had prepped the vegetation combustion. Human-caused fires during the more-humid conditions of the rest of the year were smaller. However, as things have warmed up and the drought has intensified, large human-caused fires are beginning to flare up in other seasons. The devastating result is that the fire recurrence interval is becoming too short for regeneration by most native perennial plants. Much of the Sonoran Desert is becoming an annual weedland (http://garryrogers.com/2014/01/14/desert-fire/).

    Reply
  4. greenman023

     /  February 12, 2016

    The winter rains have so far failed here in Morocco .. (at a guess) the Riff mountains have seen less than 50mm…it normally sees 2000mm pa the majority of which falls dec-march.. still time but not looking good….

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  February 12, 2016

      Thanks for the report from the ground, Greenman!

      Reply
    • PlazaRed

       /  February 13, 2016

      This is a good map to keep and eye on for the north coastal areas of Morocco, even though its mainly Spain.
      It shows possible rainfall into the Moroccan Rif area which I am very familiar with being a neighbour just over the waters. At the moment all is very dry and a lot of people are very concerned about this.
      Hopefully you will not miss out on the spring rains and out thoughts are with you for rain to come, Inshalla.
      Our thoughts are also with you in all the agricultural problems and we know as well as you do how important and vital water is to our worlds.

      Reply
  5. Reply
    • wili

       /  February 12, 2016

      Most of these are intentionally set fires that are used every year to burn away some of the jungle in an annual cycle. If you looked any year at about this time you would see the same. But this year, many of these probably got ‘out of hand’ so to speak because of the unusually dry conditions.

      Reply
  6. – There are some sharp eyes and minds out there noticing things like this.
    – It is good to see varied aspects which tend to reinforce each other too.

    Reply
  7. climatehawk1

     /  February 12, 2016

    Tweeted.

    Reply
  8. wili

     /  February 12, 2016

    These are friends and relatives of my neighbors and students and colleagues and lots of people that I interact with every day here in the Twin Cities. So it’s not ‘just another Third World disaster’ for me, at least.

    I met someone who worked in forestry in Somalia before things started going south. He pointed out that it was the extraction of this ‘resource’ that helped lead to the droughts and the ensuing wars and famines. The country used to be about 40% forested. It is now less than 1%, last I checked. It was mostly foreign countries who raped the land and left with their profits, leaving the people behind to live or die as they may in the denuded landscape.

    This is the story you can find over and over all over the world, but these situations, to the extent that they even rise to the level of consciousness in the MSM, are rarely presented with this full context.

    And then of course, the desolation is further obliterated by El Nino on AGW-steroids, the
    ‘anthropoi’ who generated these horrors again overwhelmingly NOT being the empoverished locals, but the same western (and now other global capitalist) countries and enterprises who more also more directly raped the land of its forests…

    Sorry to rant. To angry to go on right now. More later…maybe…

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  February 12, 2016

      No need to apologize, Wili. The trend you point out (Western interests and corporations extracting everything of value in an impoverished nation and leaving the place decimated) is widespread and very disturbing. It has happened, and continues to happen, in every nation that doesn’t have the military capabilities to fight off American/Western interests.

      Reply
  9. rayduray

     /  February 12, 2016

    NASA’s Earth Observatory has an article today about Lake Kariba, at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. Drought has it at its lowest level since it was initially filled in the 1950s.

    Reply
  10. wili

     /  February 12, 2016

    Many seem to think that it will not just be 20 million in danger of starvation. I’ve seen estimates that there will eventually be as many as 60 million in that situation: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/60-million-people-risk-famine-sub-saharan-africa-el-nino-strengthens-1522606

    Reply
  11. redskylite

     /  February 12, 2016

    RS – Deep thanks for another well observed and early pick up & narration – many perils facing Africa, with drought and food shortages, and with drought comes fire. Watch the GHG levels jump, and a study mentioned in AGU’s Geospace recently, confirming a lot of speculation that I was hoping not want to hear.

    New study suggests northern tundra shifting from carbon sink to carbon source

    “The more the Arctic and sub-Arctic warm, the more carbon will be released to the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide and methane, which are greenhouse gasses and will trap more heat, warming the high latitudes even more,”

    Reply
  12. James Cole

     /  February 12, 2016

    Hunger is the key word. The Middle East was hit by drought, then hunger, then the Arab spring, then wars. Africa, if anything, is just as vulnerable to the same scenario. Nigeria is a ticking time bomb population wise, as are some others. If hunger and war breaks out, which analysts believe will happen. The implications for Europe are almost too predictable.
    What I fear most is when the constant insults to our oceans begin to massacre the delicate food chain, and the seas can no loner provide the protein for humans and fertilizers of the natural kind. The very bottom of the ocean food chain is under direct threat, when it passes the tipping point I can’t say, only that at this rate we will push it over, and then what?

    London’s turn now, the Thames is flooding and the barrier was closed too for high tides. Rain has swollen the Thames, giving the big city a taste of what outer regions have had all winter.

    Reply
  13. Eric Thurston

     /  February 12, 2016

    A bit OT but it has been hard to keep up with Robert and get my thoughts together to comment in time before the next post.

    There is apparently some evidence that the microcephaly attributed to the zika virus may be caused by an insecticide used to kill mosquito larvae in drinking water. If true, this would qualify as the irony of the decade.

    http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2987137/argentine_and_brazilian_doctors_suspect_mosquito_insecticide_as_cause_of_microcephaly.html

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  February 12, 2016

      Good catch. Bitterly ironic indeed. Pyriproxyfen or 4-phenoxyphenyl (RS)-2-(2-pyridyloxy)propyl ether, could be the source as it was introduced into Brazil in 2014 to control mosquitoes in the very areas affected by microencephaly. It has an Aqueous photolysis of DT50 (days) at pH 7 value of 11.5 days (according to the PPDB: Pesticide Properties DataBase) so it remains in likely untreated drinking water for some time. Noted that it has no laboratory known reproduction / development effects on humans, though that is exactly what it does to mosquitoes -inhibit their maturation, but there is no data in the PPDB on mutagen or endocrine disruptor effects. The report by the Argentine and Brazilian doctors notes that “”In humans, 60% of our active genes are identical to those of insects such as the Aedes mosquito.”
      http://www.reduas.com.ar/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2016/02/Informe-Zika-de-Reduas_TRAD.pdf

      Reply
  14. – Headline sez: ‘finally capped’ but only a temporary capping by pumping ‘fluids’ is in progress… oh well, we shall see.

    Massive natural gas leak near Los Angeles finally capped
    Feb. 11, 2016 at 11:40 PM

    LOS ANGELES, Feb. 11 (UPI) — The natural gas leak that flowed for more than three months and sickened hundreds of residents near Los Angeles has been at least temporarily capped, gas company officials said Thursday.

    The Southern California Gas Co. said a relief well has reached the base of the leaking well and heavy fluids are now being pumped into the leaking well to control the flow. The stop-gap measure could permanently stop the leak, but officials said cement will still be poured into the well over the next several days to ensure a permanent stop to the leak.

    http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2016/02/11/Massive-natural-gas-leak-near-Los-Angeles-finally-capped/6381455241476/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    Reply
  15. – Weather – South Pacific – Twin Cyclones

    Anthony Sagliani ‏@anthonywx 7h7 hours ago

    [I like his attitude… and his findings.] – It’s a big world with many eyes watching it.🙂

    Tropical Cyclone Winston (11P) assessed at T4.5, or 1-min winds 90 mph. Passing east of Vanuatu.
    Winston’s twin, Tropical Cyclone Tatiana (12P) is weaker assesed at T3.5 or 60 mph. Storm west Vanuatu.

    Here is Tatiana and Winston, and our good friend the South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ).

    Reply
  16. redskylite

     /  February 12, 2016

    In the last posting, Colorado Bob made a very poignant point about the cave painting artists who preceded us 600 or so generations ago. They pre-dated the last glacial maximum, humans lived through that and developed because of it. As CB points out, the blind greed came much, much later.

    We are in dire straits, my generation haven’t yet tackled the problem, put things right and put us on a better path.

    At least we owe it to future generations to tell the truth, the facts . . . .

    Lets teach and hope they (the next generation) can do a better job.

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-02/ncfs-fns020916.php

    Reply
  17. Kevin Jones

     /  February 12, 2016

    Barrow, Alaska 5F. Keene, New Hampshire -4F. Rain and 44F forecast down here in NH for Tues. (After -13 on Sunday forecast)

    Reply
  18. Wharf Rat

     /  February 12, 2016

    Rat’s congressman…

    Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) introduced the Keep It in the Ground Act on Thursday. Under the bill, there would be no new leases for extraction of fossil fuels — such as coal, oil, and gas — on all federal lands. It would also stop new leases for offshore drilling in the Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico and prohibit offshore drilling in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/02/11/3748675/house-keep-it-in-the-ground-introduced/

    Reply
  19. PlazaRed

     /  February 12, 2016

    A very interesting subject for the blog heading and something most of us never hear much about in the media?

    Meanwhile a bit of the topic but interesting.
    The river Thames in London has burst its banks. Here’s the link and headline:-

    “Flood alerts have been issued for a large part of London and the Thames Barrier has been closed for the first time this winter after the river burst its banks.”

    http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/london-flood-alerts-thames-barrier-closed-as-river-burst-its-banks/ar-BBpqFth?li=BBoPWjQ

    Reply
    • ‘The Thames Barrier is one of the largest moveable flood barriers in the world, protecting 125 square kilometres of central London, encompassing 1.25 million people and the infrastructure that London depends on.

      It stretches 520 metres across the River Thames at Charlton and each gate takes 10 to 15 minutes to close (1 and a half hours for total closure of the barrier), and the control room is manned 24 hours a day, every day of the year.’

      – Alan ‏@AlanBarrierEA Feb 10

      The view from the #ThamesBarrier Control Room during today’s closure. We’re not expecting any closures tomorrow

      Reply
  20. dnem

     /  February 12, 2016

    Totally OT (or maybe not!?) but a lot of talk by posters over at the Sea Ice Forum about getting their “minds blown” by rather large DROPS in Extent here in mid-February! Crazy goings on, although the ever-calm Neven is cautioning against reading too much into the fluctuations of the last few days. Still…

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  February 12, 2016

      Maybe it’s my layman’s viewpoint, but I think any drop in Arctic ice in mid-February is absolutely nuts. There’s no sunshine right now and it’s supposed to be the coldest part of the Northern Hemisphere.

      Reply
      • PlazaRed

         /  February 12, 2016

        Here’s is the “Drop!”

        There is going to be no end to this in the foreseeable future as once things are heated up they will take along time to cool down.
        Sunshine may not be relevant, as warm air does the same thing as long as there is a lot of it about.

        Reply
  21. Reply
  22. Alaska Dispatch News
    February 11, 2016
    Wildlife
    For the first time, researchers have documented algae-related toxins in Arctic sea mammals

    Toxins produced by harmful algal blooms are showing up in Alaska marine mammals as far north as the Arctic Ocean — much farther north than ever reported previously, new study published Thursday finds.

    – A map created by NOAA officials shows where researchers found marine mammals with two algae-related toxins in their tissues. The study represents the furthest north the presence of the toxins has been documented. NOAA

    Reply
  23. Bryan Stairs

     /  February 12, 2016

    All our science is based upon what has happened in the past. That is how we learn. The problems come when we expect the past to repeat itself even though all the indicators or not the same. Example: Bake a cake. Repeat all the steps the same way and you will expect the same outcome. Change the order of the ingredients added, the amounts, the time taken and you do not get the same outcome.
    In the past usually the temps changed 1st then the CO2 which then changed the temps again.Now you have CO2 driving temps which then should turn around and drive CO2 farther. Also in the past what happened on land was dictated to resources that were stockpiled and available to mitigated what is happening and also it happened over 10’s of thousands of years. We are trying out a cake recipe that is in terms of decades and on top of that we are doing our best to ensure that there are no resources left for mitigation. Case in point how much fresh water is now not controlled by man for immediate local benefit. How deep does the biomass in the soil now go compared to the 1800’s. Any historian could tell you that the end result of just those 2 issues how brought down strong empires because of environmental catastrophes and that on just a local level.
    Folks we are doing it on a total global level. We are turning every inch of land around the world into a desert as fast as we can. We are heating everything up as fast as we can. What continually surprises me as how surprised and shocked everyone gets even on this blog that the cake is not turning out the same way. I has been said that when the pilgrims first landed in the USA a squirl could get from NYC to the Mississippi River without touching land. Do you not think that will change how things would be if that were still the case? How about all the great European forests? I am not talking about the effect of CO2 directly, I am talking about the effects on weather systems and land hydrology. You make too many of those changes and you change the cake recipe.
    I expect the worse to happen for 2 reasons. Man is not capable of understanding what he is doing to himself until way too late and history tells that same story over and over. Part 2, any efforts that man makes to fix the problem will fail because we have no clue of what the cake recipe consists of or how it all works together.

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  February 14, 2016

      I agree. We have altered the landscape in every part of the world, and continue to do so with the few pockets of wild forests left. Sadly, I think we will ultimately end up collapsing like past societies, and for some of the same reasons. But as you point out, the civilization is global, so for the first time we run the risk complete collapse which would be nothing short of devastating. What’s worse is the fact that we are eliminating a beautiful and amazing collection of fellow creatures while we destroy ourselves. An astonishing level of biodiversity that took tens of millions of years to develop and evolve, and ultimately achieve the exquisite complexity that we have only recently begun to appreciate. The world humans evolved in was a true Garden of Eden.

      Reply
      • Every complex society that has ever existed, save this current one, has collapsed. It is what they do (see Tainter, The Collapse of Complex Societies). However, this is the first known instance of a global cmplex soceity in a state of pre-collapse. The stakes are much, much higher with the whole world involved.

        Reply
  24. Reply
  25. Bill H

     /  February 12, 2016

    Thank you Robert for once again being the one who once again keeps us informed about crucial world events. i guess the MSM will pick up on this one of these days.

    Reply
  26. – without drastic cuts in CO2 emissions drastic cuts in CO2 emissions drastic cuts in CO2 emissions…

    ‘Abandon city!’ – Climate experts warn of displacement and migration as sea levels rise

    Scientists are working feverishly to understand the complex mechanisms driving sea level rise. Without drastic cuts in CO2 emissions, they say 20 percent of the global population may lose their homes to rising seas.

    A spate of scientific papers examining the effect of climate change on the world’s oceans are shedding more light on the topic. Just this week, leading sea level experts warned that today’s fossil fuel emissions mean rising seas for centuries to come.
    http://www.dw.com/en/abandon-city-climate-experts-warn-of-displacement-and-migration-as-sea-levels-rise/a-19044363

    Reply
  27. Griffin

     /  February 12, 2016

    Oh boy. Robert, we are going to need you to weigh in on this one! Looks like methane concentrations over the U.S. are far higher than EPA estimates.
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016GL067987/abstract?campaign=wolacceptedarticle

    Reply
    • – Thanks Grif.
      The abstract amounts to an indictment.

      Abstract

      The global burden of atmospheric methane has been increasing over the past decade but the causes are not well understood. National inventory estimates from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicate no significant trend in US anthropogenic methane emissions from 2002 to present. Here we use satellite retrievals and surface observations of atmospheric methane to suggest that US methane emissions have increased by more than 30% over the 2002–2014 period. The trend is largest in the central part of the country but we cannot readily attribute it to any specific source type. This large increase in US methane emissions could account for 30–60% of the global growth of atmospheric methane seen in the past decade.

      Reply
    • Hi guys-

      It would be nice to get some clarification on this, but the thing that really bothers me about the methane satellite data is that it is so bad.

      The satellite images are really noisy, and have poor resolution.

      We have this brand new satellite OCO-2, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory, to study carbon dioxide at high resolution. But this satellite does not monitor methane.

      I guess the Germans and the French are developing Merlin, a small satellite to monitor methane emissions. But it won’t launch until 2019, and real data from it will likely not be available until 2020.

      Why the paucity of good satellite data? Why haven’t methane monitoring satellites received higher priority? Have the fossil fuel corporations and the fracking interests used their influence to stifle methane monitoring satellite development and deployment?

      If anybody knows a good source of methane satellite data I would be very interested to know it.

      If the paper linked to is correct about the U.S. growth of methane emissions, likely fracking for natural gas is to blame, of course. If you zoom in using Google Earth on the area of the methane hot spot located in northern New Mexico near the four corners of New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona, you will discover the San Juan Basin in New Mexico. This basin is just covered with a spider web of dirt roads and thousands of fracking pads, visible from space.

      Here’s a Youtube video on it.

      Reply
    • On the other hand, the U.S. government Energy Information Administration says that the areas shown on this map accounted for all of the domestic natural gas production growth in the period from 2011-2014

      Reply
  28. Ryan in New England

     /  February 12, 2016

    This isn’t really about climate change, more like what happens when you learn about it.

    I have friends and family members who are completely ignorant of what those of us here consider common knowledge. I also know those who are downright hostile to even hearing about climate change, you know, typical denier worldview. Pretty much everyone that I know seems to be concerned with growing their carbon footprint and increasing consumption as a way to reach their goal in life of obtaining vast amounts of material possessions…the American Dream.

    For me, however, this is the most important issue there is, and possibly the greatest challenge mankind has ever faced. I learn and read about this topic pretty much every day of my life. I feel it should be the main news story in every paper, on every television broadcast, every day. Everyone should be interested in learning about our situation, and concerned about the current position we are in. The future is very bleak unless we completely overhaul our energy systems, and that should be on your mind if you have or want children, or even if you’re childless but younger than retirement age because the effects will be felt by all.

    But nobody discusses it. Nobody wants to discuss it. Nobody wants to even hear about it. But I can’t help but think, worry and talk about it. This has strained some relationships in my life. It has made me lose some respect for a few friends. Too much knowledge on this topic can be an isolating condition. I feel very alone sometimes, and often feel like I have nobody to relate to. This can be a lonely subject sometimes.

    Which brings me to my point, and that is how thankful I am to have this place that Robert has created, and all of you have filled. I feel like everyone here understands me. All of you “get it” which allows for a more productive conversation than I find anywhere else. You are my adopted family, and I want to thank all of you for the delight you provide for me. Even though the subject matter can be depressing, I’m always happy to come here. Thank you to all my scribbler friends!🙂

    Reply
    • Thanks, Ryan. For what it’s worth, I personally have found the works of Eckhart Tolle to be very helpful in achieving some measure of detachment from the frustration of this and other problems. He also has several lengthy videos available free on the Web, although I think his delivery has improved over time (so earlier ones may not be as accessible).

      Reply
    • redskylite

       /  February 13, 2016

      I fully agree with your thoughts Ryan, in my own circle of immediate family & friends very few seem to share my concern on climate. In fact only one person who I worked with years ago is in agreement, so it can be very isolating. It is good to be able to share & discuss virtually through RobertScribbler’s admirable postings, especially as it is free from annoying deniers.

      Reply
    • Griffin

       /  February 13, 2016

      Gosh Ryan, you just summed up my situation quite nicely. Let’s just say that I know Exactly what you mean!
      Your not alone buddy and I can say that I am thankful that you are here.

      Reply
    • Vic

       /  February 13, 2016

      My thanks to you Ryan and also to everybody else contributing here.
      It helps to see we’re not all monsters.

      Reply
    • Steven Blaisdell

       /  February 13, 2016

      Cheers, Ryan, my feelings exactly. Thanks for all your insights and contributions.

      Reply
    • Thanks, Ryan.
      Your thoughts mirror many of my own.
      It is fortunate that we can learn here — and contribute to the learning as well.🙂
      DT

      Reply
    • wili

       /  February 13, 2016

      ditto

      Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  February 13, 2016

      Ditto.
      For me there is more, my special one who returned home after completing the simple but onerous task she volunteered for in another time and place. (there is a story there that the telling of would have askance of my sanity as the order of the day).

      We must fight for the planet/environment that was created and built up over Billions of years to provide the environment for us and the other lives that share its bounty. Those hydrocarbons we are burning are the environments life blood that slowly seeps over aeons from storage into the environment where life forms modify it as part of the basis of the food chain and that also contributes to the stabilising of the climate.

      Even the methane stores are now in danger of harvesting.

      http://www.azocleantech.com/news.aspx?newsID=22762
      Energy Production from Natural Gas Without Generating Carbon Dioxide Emissions

      The production of energy from natural gas without generating carbon dioxide emissions could fast become a reality, thanks to a novel technology developed by researchers of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). In a joint project initiated by Nobel Laureate and former IASS Scientific Director Professor Carlo Rubbia, the two institutions have been researching an innovative technique to extract hydrogen from methane in a clean and efficient way. After two years of intensive experiments the proof-of-principle has now been provided. With the experimental reactor running reliably and continuously, the future potential of this technology has become apparent

      Reply
      • Vic

         /  February 13, 2016

        I’d like to see that coupled with biogas for a carbon negative energy source.
        BECCS without the underground gas storage. Fingers crossed.

        Reply
      • Hi Abel and Vic-

        Wow, wouldn’t that be great. The key to making the process carbon neutral or negative would be avoiding leakage, I think, because methane is such a potent greenhouse gas. Much food for thought, thanks for the info.

        Reply
      • The traditional problem with schemes that produce carbon from a hydrocarbon fuel and then seek to sequester the carbon is that around half the combustion heat produced is from the carbon. Biochar does that, and seeks to make the process economically competitive with fossil fuel burning by using the biochar as a soil amendment. But, especially for poor people, biochar asks often poor developing world farmers to bury perfectly good charcoal – a valuable fuel.

        The advantage of conventional BECCS is that it burns all the fuel, and uses the combustion heat from both the carbon and the hydrogen to produce electricity. Distributed BECCS is possible, by the way, if small distributed pyrolysis stations were to harvest the energy of the hydrogen in the biomass hydrocarbon fuel to produce electricity and charcoal. Then just transport the (dewatered, much less massive) charcoal to the converted coal fired power plants, for burning via oxyfuel combustion. The resulting almost pure stream of CO2 could be deep injected, for storage or in situ mineral carbonation.

        It would be wonderful if the Carlo Rubbia process for cracking methane produced a high value product like carbon fiber – or even better carbon nanotubes or graphene. Nanotubes and graphene may actually be achievable, I think, maybe. Really pure carbon is high value right now, but there might be a limited market for it. But the market for cheap carbon fiber, nanotubes, or graphene would likely be enormous.

        I think the Rubbia process could be useful for carbon neutral remediation of active methane emission sites. Avoiding the methane altogether in conventional combustion might be a good idea, because of the potential for methane leakage.

        There is a reaction for reforming CO2 and hydrogen into methane, by the way, called the Sabatier process. But it requires a source of hydrogen, which I suppose could be biomass. The potential for methane leakage still scares me.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabatier_reaction

        Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  February 14, 2016

      Thank you all for the kind words, wisdom and understanding🙂

      Reply
    • Thank you, Ryan. And thanks Robert, for keeping this space where all these discussions can be had. Ryan, remember that even if everybody else seems to be chasing the “american dream” regardless of consequences, sometimes it’s easier to use honey than vinegar. What matters is wheter or not people are emmiting CO2, not why they’re having their lifestyles. Best way to convince someone to start a local organic diet is to invite that person home, reveal that the “secret” of those delicious recipes is organic vegetables and talk about how prices are in the local farmers market (normally quite cheaper than people assume, or maybe it’s just here in Brasil that supermarkets price inferior produce in far more expensive prices). Best way to convince neighboors to switch to solar is a tie between having the lights on during a black-out and grinning that you no longer have a eletric bill when other people complain of eletricity prices. Living the green lifestyle can be enjoyable too.

      And for trying to find people in the physical world that understand (as sometimes, web only conversations can be lonely), maybe joining a few hobbie groups that are likely to have people who care about the environment? In the physical world, the people I can talk about themes like here are fellow RPG players of Werewolf the Apocalypse… strangely a lesser rate of deniers (none that I known of. Maybe the theme of “let’s try to save Gaia” sorts people out) than even at my job (one should think that to be in the environmental police task force a person would always “get it”, but even in this group there are people who, though they do not fully deny global warning, think that it’s a problem for 200 years in the future or more). Gardening groups also normally are full of people who “get it”.

      Reply
    • Chuck Hughes

       /  February 15, 2016

      You’re telling my story. Ditto. i’ve pissed off friends, annoyed family, bored people, been written off as a fanatic, OCD…. I somehow see this as the only thing that can possibly change things for the better. It’s sad and it shouldn’t have to be this way but I’m watching one of our political parties come apart in front of our eyes while people who should know how to be rational are becoming more and more extreme. We’ve managed to convince ourselves that everything on this planet was put here for us to exploit. God ordained it, it’s in all the bibles and we preach it to ourselves. Now we have cellphones so we can take pictures of ourselves being cool while the planet comes apart.

      This isn’t going to end well but good luck trying to convince anyone that science works. Just listen to a GOP Presidential debate if you want to know the future of humanity. We never could handle reality. Not from the very beginning and we’re not about to handle it now. I may sound pessimistic but it’s actually optimism. I know the Earth will survive and do well. I am highly optimistic about that. I think humans will survive in one form or another but it’s going to be a long dark tunnel we have to pass through. I’m not sure all the best ideas will survive but maybe a lesson will be implanted in the DNA of humanity to remind future generations that we have no other home.

      Reply
    • Robert Alexander

       /  February 17, 2016

      Heinlein’s admonition about trying to teach a pig to sing keeps me sane and smiling and beautifully frames all my outreach efforts.

      Reply
  29. redskylite

     /  February 13, 2016

    An excellent informative short video clip from the B.B.C on the Zika virus.

    As the clip points out it is likely to spread to other zones and regions, just one of several nasty viruses . Climate Change of course facilitates the conditions needed for the mosquito to breed.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/video_and_audio/headlines/35566109

    Reply
  30. redskylite

     /  February 13, 2016

    There has been quite a lot of information regarding the slowing of the North Atlantic Drift recently, and the climate affects and implications. New research from Bristol University today explores a Southern hemisphere (Pacific Ocean) event at the end of the last ice age . . .

    The catastrophic release of fresh water from a vast South American lake at the end of the last Ice Age was significant enough to change circulation in the Pacific Ocean, according to new research co-authored by a PhD student from the University of Bristol.

    “This study is important because we are currently concerned about the volumes of fresh water entering the oceans from the melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica and this gives us an indication of the likely effects,” the study’s lead author, Professor Neil Glasser from Aberystwyth University said.

    The study, published today in Scientific Reports, reveals that the lake, which was about one third the size of Wales, drained several times between 13,000 and 8,000 years ago, with devastating consequences.

    http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2016/february/catastrophic-failure-of-ice-age-dam-.html

    Reply
  31. Vic

     /  February 13, 2016

    Australia’s largest energy utility AGL has pleaded guilty to 11 counts of failing to declare political donations when submitting a development proposal for a coal seam gas project.

    “The only way that this has come to light was the community researching and working to bring this into the light,” she said.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/feb/12/agl-pleads-guilty-to-11-counts-of-not-declaring-political-donations

    Reply
  32. Vic

     /  February 13, 2016

    Meanwhile in Western Australia,

    “It seems to us ironic that the government is taking jail time off the table for people who take, damage, kill threatened species or communities but is seeking one to two-year jail terms for people who engage in peaceful protest under the Prevention of Lawful Activity Bill that’s pending,” he said.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-12/scrap-wa-biodiversity-laws-environmental-defenders-office-says/7162228

    Reply
  33. redskylite

     /  February 13, 2016

    Cyclone Winston ramped up to severe (Cat 4), may impact Tonga next week

    Cyclone Winston has sustained winds of 175km/h and is still strengthening. Winds were expected to get to 185km/h today, with gusts well over 200km/h.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11589137

    Reply
  34. Jeremy

     /  February 13, 2016

    The survey of 1,500 middle and high school science teachers in 50 states was conducted by the Penn State Survey Research Center (SRC) and the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), and the paper on the findings was published in the Feb. 12 issue of the journal Science.

    It shows that little time was devoted to teaching climate science; while nearly three-quarters of the teachers devoted one or more lessons to recent global warming, the median amount of time they devoted to that was just an hour and a half, an amount, the authors write, that is “inconsistent with guidance from leading science and education bodies.”

    The messages being taught are problematic as well.

    “At least one in three teachers bring climate change denial into the classroom, claiming that many scientists believe climate change is not caused by humans,” stated NCSE programs and policy director Josh Rosenau. “Worse, half of the surveyed teachers have allowed students to discuss the supposed ‘controversy’ over climate change without guiding students to the scientifically supported conclusion.”

    http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/02/12/climate-science-education-us-pretty-crappy-survey-finds

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  February 16, 2016

      This story really bothered me. I’m aware that our education system here in the U.S. leaves much to be desired, especially when compared to the rest of the world. But these statistics were very sobering. The first generation to be born, live and die in a different climate than the one we’ve known doesn’t even know climate change is happening! This is not a good sign. These are the kids who should be growing up fully aware of what we’re doing to the climate, because more than any other generation they will be the ones impacted by it. And they are also the generation that should be eager to tackle the challenges that our generation has decided to ignore. But it doesn’t look like that will be happening. It appears we are cultivating the next generation of American idiots, who will be totally ignorant of climate change or flat out deny it. Another generation voting Republican, voting against themselves and the future of the planet because they’re too uninformed to know any better. Another generation embracing “leaders” like Trump, who appeals to them because he speaks at the level of a 10 year old, and promises to build a wall (we already have the most secure border in history, protected by sophisticated motion sensors, drones, borer patrol and the military), rebuild our military (we already spend more than the rest of the world combined, spend over half our budget, and have the largest military the world has ever seen with roughly 1000 U.S. bases all over the world) and make America great again (there’s never any specifics on what that means or how it will happen, but I guarantee every “policy” idea of Trump’s will not get us there). I really want to get out of the U.S. There is no hope for a better future anymore. We are basically Germany in the 1930s. A country rabid with hatred for anyone non-white and non-Christian. We no longer value information and knowledge, and our school system is evidence of that.

      Reply
  35. – As it relates to Robert’s post:

    Reply
  36. utoutback

     /  February 13, 2016

    Colorado Bob
    Come out, come out wherever you are.
    I’ve noticed a lack of comment for the last couple of days and miss you.
    Hope all is well.
    Just saying.

    Reply
  37. – Andy, how’s it going?

    – The airport is at the Pacific water’s edge:
    Robert Krier ‏@sdutKrier 5h5 hours ago

    San Diego hit 80 degrees for 6th straight day today. Previous longest streak at airport in Feb., back to 1940: 4 days. #sandiegoweather

    Reply
  38. Jeremy

     /  February 13, 2016

    “An estimated 150,000 Adelie penguins living in Antarctica have died after an iceberg the size of Rome became grounded near their colony, forcing them to trek 60km to the sea for food.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/13/150000-penguins-killed-after-giant-iceberg-renders-colony-landlocked

    Reply
    • – Yes,I saw that.
      Terrible.

      Reply
    • ‘Penguins seeking food must now waddle 60km to the coast to fish. Over the years, the arduous journey has had a devastating effect on the size of the colony.

      Since 2011 the colony of 160,000 penguins has shrunk to just 10,000…

      Reply
    • Jeremy

       /  February 13, 2016

      6th great extinction.

      Coming at us from every angle now.

      Reply
  39. Kevin Jones

     /  February 13, 2016

    NASA GISS Land-Ocean Temperature Index January 2016: 1.13C. Hottest month ever recorded. Oct. ’15 through Jan. ’16 are the four hottest months ever recorded. (expletives deleted)

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  February 13, 2016

      ….while a Boston meteorologist tells Weather Underground’s Bob Henson that tomorrow will likely be the first February record low in 50 years…..

      Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  February 13, 2016

        GISS January 2016 83N to 89N 7.29C Temp anomalies through the roof at the top of the Earth.

        Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  February 13, 2016

        Oct. 2015 through Jan. 2016 average surface temp: 1.08C. NASA GISS LOTI. (1951-1980 base period) Add .26 (Hansen) for 1880″s to 1940 or so warming: 1.34C. This the Earth’s average temperature above pre-industrial for the past four months. +1.34C. +2.4F. In human terms Earth has a 101F fever.

        Reply
  40. – I too am occasionally reminded of those historic cave paintings.
    There is one painting that comes to mind that makes me shudder with a sense of dark foreboding.

    Reply
  41. Abel Adamski

     /  February 13, 2016

    Whilst the Australian government touts innovation and the CSIRO cuts climate research instead focussing on increasing at taxpayer expense profitability of risk averse conservative corporations and big business with limited intelligence and imagination.
    http://www.azocleantech.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=575
    Despite a well-documented track record of success in enabling Australian Clean Technology companies to commercialize their products, the Australian Technologies Competition is now slated to close.

    Is this another example of a change of Government targeting Tech Transfer success stories that are simply “not their idea”, or is it a valid saving of Tax Payer Dollars?

    Reply
  42. Abel Adamski

     /  February 13, 2016

    Back to Australia, the Tasmanian Gondwana forest fires CSIRO and either lunacy or corruption in government

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/pr-war-over-fires-in-tasmanias-world-heritage-area-takes-to-the-air-20160212-gmstxz.html

    The Premier said the role of climate change would be included in reviews of the fire response. He pointed to the extraordinary number of lightning strikes that started the blazes. “We received advice of 1000 strikes on one day. The highest recorded in previous years was more like 19,” he said.

    “I think it is a reminder to us all that our conditions – our climate – is changing, is more volatile, and obviously we rely on the experts and scientists to provide us with advice.”

    What experts, the CSIRO is sacking them

    Reply
  43. USA CT
    Climate change warming area lakes

    The toxic blue-green algae blooms that plagued Connecticut lakes last summer, closing some beaches for weeks, could be a sign that climate change is already raising the temperature of the region’s waters.

    Data for most Connecticut lakes is sketchy, but summertime measurements at Candlewood Lake show a clear warming trend, with average surface temperatures increasing about 1.2 degrees Celsius, or almost 2.2 degree Fahrenheit, since the Candlewood Lake Authority began monitoring in 1985.
    http://www.newstimes.com/news/article/Climate-change-warming-area-lakes-6827112.php

    Reply
  44. Three Decades Before Porter Ranch, a Methane Explosion Derailed L.A.’s Subway Plans

    Thirty-one years ago, however, the Southland’s hydrocarbons made themselves visible in a surreal way.

    Methane from a mysterious underground source had silently been seeping into the basement of the Ross Dress for Less in L.A.’s Fairfax District when, on the afternoon of March 24, 1985, an employee punched his timesheet in an adjoining room, emitting a spark and igniting the pool of odorless gas. The ensuing explosion launched the store’s roof into the sky. It blew out the windows. It twisted the discount clothing racks into pieces of flying shrapnel. Horrified and bloodied shoppers ran outside, only to find themselves surrounded by an even more hellish landscape: the ground itself was on fire, as flames licked up from cracks in the concrete. No one died, but in all 23 people were hospitalized.

    http://www.kcet.org/updaily/socal_focus/history/la-as-subject/31-years-before-porter-ranch-a-methane-explosion-derailed-las-subway-plans.html

    Reply
  45. – Exactly.

    Few of us ever give thanks to our placenta. You should. It’s the most important organ you no longer have. It’s the ultimate vascular, or blood vessel, structure. Air pollution, on the other hand, is the ultimate vascular insult, causing inflammation, constriction and impaired blood flow. Given that, it should come as no surprise that air pollution could wreak havoc with placental function and jeopardize its irreplaceable role as facilitator of fetal development. When a fetus is deprived of sufficient blood flow, or the blood is contaminated with particles, chemicals or toxins from the mother, the end result can range from fetal demise to subtle but meaningful harm to any and all organs. Poor pregnancy outcomes, like miscarriages, premature birth, low birth weight, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, birth defects and still births, all increase with more air pollution.

    – Op-ed: Air pollution’s damage starts hitting Utah children before birth
    By Brian Moench
    http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/3528274-155/op-ed-air-pollutions-damage-starts-hitting

    Reply
  46. 21st Century US ‘dustbowl’ risk assessed

    A repeat of 1930s weather today would lead to a 40% loss in maize production.

    In a 2-degree warmer world, it becomes a 65% reduction, the team projects.

    “And what we see at higher temperatures is that these crops – maize and also soy – are so sensitive that an average year come mid-century could be as bad as 1936, even with normal precipitation,” he told BBC News.

    looking at the production of the major grains – rice, wheat, maize and soybeans – the taskforce’s scientists found that the chances of a one-in-100-year production disruption was likely to increase to a one-in-30-year event by 2040.

    “Maybe by mid to late century, Iowa will be known as the cotton state rather than the corn state, because cotton will basically have been eradicated out of much of the southern states because the temperature thresholds will have blown way past what cotton can handle there.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-35566151

    Reply
    • – Mechanized farming, degradation by cattle , real estate and bankers, etc — add some dry weather and what do you get?

      22 min.

      Reply
      • – Mechanized fossil fuel farming.
        From John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, Chapter 5:

        ‘And at last the owner men came to the point. The tenant system won’t work any more. One man on a tractor can take the place of twelve or fourteen families. Pay him a wage and take all the crop. We have to do it. We don’t like to do it. But the monster’s sick. Something’s happened to the monster.

        But you’ll kill the land with cotton.

        We know. We’ve got to take cotton quick before the land dies. Then we’ll sell the land. Lots of families in the East would like to own a piece of land.’
        http://genius.com/John-steinbeck-chapter-5-the-grapes-of-wrath-annotated

        Reply
  47. dnem

     /  February 13, 2016

    In response to Ryan in New England’s dead on post above: I hear ya, my friend. We are having a little dust-up in our family, having nothing to do with environmental views (it’s about eldercare issues and who’s doing their share). In a recent email, my very wealthy and successful brother-in-law, who lives alone with his wife in a 6500 sq ft house told me and my wife “I know you despise us and our lifestyle.” I’ve never even tried to have “the talk” with him, nor have we ever openly condemned how they live. But they see how we live, and I guess they interpret that as our “despising” them. I only say all this to underscore how desperately large the gulf is between us and them, how unlikely it feels to me that I will ever be able to shrink it, and how frustrated and inadequate that makes me feel. So, Ryan, I hear ya.

    Btw, another DROP in arctic SIE today. In February.

    Reply
  48. Kevin Jones

     /  February 13, 2016

    dnem. Re: Btw, WTF? Getting late for Sea Ice Area to Not be a record low max……. p.s Yeah, Ryan, dnem and others as well. I hear ya.

    Reply
  49. Spike

     /  February 13, 2016

    In the UK the peaceful Heathrow protestors face what the judge has indicated will likely be jail terms on 24th February, so keep these brave principled people in your thoughts. In other areas of the world they would face death, with around 2 environmental protestors killed every week.

    http://www.psmag.com/nature-and-technology/murdering-the-movement

    Reply
  50. US Forest Service stretched to breaking point after record year for wildfires

    “We are seeing significant problems with forest health across the country, with acute problems in the west,” said Bonnie. “The warmer temperatures are putting trees under stress. We have changed the ecosystems so they are more susceptible to disease and catastrophic fire, as well as raised the temperature around them. This is a real challenge for us.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/08/us-forest-service-stretched-after-wildfires-record-year-climate-change

    Reply
  51. Colorado Bob

     /  February 13, 2016

    You just can’t make this stuff up –

    If this Iraqi dam collapses, half a million people could die

    The collapse of Mosul Dam would be catastrophic for Iraq.

    The dam has been called the most dangerous in the world for the past decade. But recent assessments by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers say it is at “significantly higher risk” of failing than previously thought.

    The dam’s structural problems became evident as soon as the reservoir behind it was filled in 1985. It is built on layers of clay and gypsum, a soft mineral that dissolves when it comes into contact with water, and the dam immediately began seeping.

    Link

    Reply
  52. dnem

     /  February 13, 2016

    I’m a regular lurker on the Arctic Sea Ice Forum site
    http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1377.msg69963.html#new

    I see several Scribblers there frequently. It’s a fascinating, utterly science-based and generally troll-free zone. The very knowledgable and sober folks there are as alarmed as I can remember, at least since the 2012 summer collapse, anyway, about the sorry state of this winter’s freeze-up. Here’s a very recent post which also hits on the themes raised by Ryan in New England:

    Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
    « Reply #428 on: Today at 05:57:58 PM »
    Neven Today at 09:55:19 AM

    Another drop of 20K reported for JAXA SIE. That means it’s now 150K below the first peak reached 4 days ago. The current forecast doesn’t look promising for things to pick up soon. Some cold, strong winds need to come from somewhere soon and blow along the ice pack’s edges, or we’re having a crazy maximum this year, even crazier than last year’s.

    I spent quite a while last night just staring at the GFS model, watching it play itself out over the next week using Climate Reanalyzer. (currently, not an exercise for the faint-hearted)

    I sat there, not just thinking about numbers, but about what I was feeling. I finally sorted it out. Crazy nothing; this year is terrifying.

    The saddest thing is, most people outside of this blog wouldn’t have a clue why I feel that way.

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  February 13, 2016

      It really is true. We are incredibly isolated in thoughts, concerns and knowledge.

      Reply
  53. What is a Food Shock?

    Reply
  54. Greg

     /  February 13, 2016

    New England gets splashed by the leaking Arctic gut this weekend but then whiplashes back to warm. Providence, Rhode Island will see a 56 degree swing, for example, according to Jeff Masters. First record February new low possible in Boston in 50 years.
    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/huge-temperature-swings-to-sock-the-northeast-ahead-of-earlyweek-stor

    Reply
  55. Jeremy

     /  February 13, 2016

    “With the proposed connection between the Zika virus and Brazil’s outbreak of microcephaly in new born babies looking increasingly tenuous, Latin American doctors are proposing another possible cause: Pyriproxyfen, a pesticide used in Brazil since 2014 to arrest the development of mosquito larvae in drinking water tanks. Might the ‘cure’ in fact be the poison?”

    http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2987137/argentine_and_brazilian_doctors_suspect_mosquito_insecticide_as_cause_of_microcephaly.html

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  February 14, 2016

      Interesting to see how mainstream media are completely ignoring this. If microcephaly is caused by Zika, it means big bucks for Big Pharma and their cronies, so this is the story mainstream news obediently showcases. If the truth is elsewhere, if microcephaly is caused by an approved pesticide, who can profit off that but a few lawyers?

      Reply
  56. – So much visible moisture in atmosphere — way too may steamy looking air sheds. Here’s Denver, CO.

    Reply
      • Ps I was most alarmed that during my year (2013) in Flagstaff, AZ (7,000 ft.) that I only saw the Milky Way galaxy maybe three times. The air, day or night, was usually too gauzy and murky. I should have seen it every clear night.

        Reply
  57. Colorado Bob

     /  February 13, 2016

    The End of The Enlightenment in The Land Down Under (CSIRO)

    Back in November, I wrote that our, the U.S.’s, political behavior seemed a concerted effort to accelerate our decline into the Dark Ages. This week we discover that we are not alone. Dr. Larry Marshall, the Chief Executive of CSIRO in Australia, announced large cuts in staff. CSIRO is the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization; it is Australia’s national science agency.

    “At the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), we shape the future. We do this by using science to solve real issues. Our research makes a difference to people, industry and the planet.”

    A large percentage of the CSIRO cuts target climate science.

    Australia, Canada and the United States all have large landmasses and relatively low population densities. All have had easy access to energy, especially fossil fuels, that have allowed development of economies based on the inefficient use of energy and the sloppy management of energy waste. All have developed “gray” economies rather than “green” economies. All have the hallmarks of success and wealth, which is built on the luxury of cheap energy and the neglect of waste management.

    Link

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  February 14, 2016

      More than one reason.
      A large platform of this Governments CO2 reduction platform was agricultural soil take up.

      But that pesky CSIRO did some research on it

      AUSTRALIA’S method of measuring how much carbon is being stored in its soil is flawed, undermining the credibility of government programs to pay farmers to sequester the climate change inducing element, a new study by CSIRO researchers has found.

      The Carbon Farming Initiative begun by the Gillard government and the Abbott-Turnbull government’s Direct Action climate policy have spent millions of dollars to encourage farmers to boost carbon levels in their soils to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the productivity of the land.

      However, the model used in Australia and elsewhere in the world to calculate carbon storage fails to account for soil and wind erosion, which means the carbon sink is as much as 17 per cent over-estimated over a century, according to the peer-reviewed research published last week in Nature Climate Change.

      http://www.theland.com.au/story/3462355/csiro-study-erodes-credibility-of-key-carbon-model/

      Reply
  58. More than half the world suffers from ‘severe’ water scarcity, scientists say

    Alarming new research has found that 4 billion people around the globe – including close to 2 billion in India and China – live in conditions of extreme water scarcity at least one month during the year. Half a billion, meanwhile, experience it throughout the entire year.

    The new study, by Mesfin Mekonnen and Arjen Hoekstra of the University of Twente in the Netherlands, uses a high resolution global model to examine the availability of “blue water” – both surface and underground freshwater – in comparison with the demand for it from agriculture, industry and human household needs.
    http://www.nola.com/environment/index.ssf/2016/02/more_than_half_the_world_suffe.html

    Reply
  59. Reply
  60. – Drivers, eh?

    Reply
  61. Brandon Sullivan ‏@BTSullivan91 4h4 hours ago

    Preliminary 5.4 quake in woods County in NW OK! #okwx #earthquake

    Reply
    • PlazaRed

       /  February 13, 2016

      This is very disturbing in more ways than one!
      I never thought hat I would see a quake of over 5.(!).? in Oklahoma in my lifetime.
      Possibly a sign of the times to come!

      http://earthquaketrack.com/quakes/2016-02-13-17-07-05-utc-5-1-7

      Flooding chaos in Spain at the moment with all sorts of rivers over their banks. Boulder’s the size of cars in the streets in northern Spain.
      Here in the south its just gales and driving rain, a sort of normal February.

      Keep thinking of our brothers over in Morocco in the Rif and to the south. I sure hope they are getting some of the rain levels we are here?

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  February 13, 2016

        And the first one was just 7 km deep , with 2 aftershocks just 2 km.

        Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  February 13, 2016

      It’s about time some one besides beloved musicians kicked the bucket. Hope they make him share a room with Nixon, and Saddam.

      Reply
  62. Colorado Bob

     /  February 13, 2016

    From Space, Earth Looks Sickly And Fragile, Astronaut Says
    Scott Kelly, the commander of the International Space Station, returns from his mission March 1.

    Kelly’s comments came during a recent satellite interview with CNN, in which the network’s chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, asked the astronaut to describe the health of the planet as if he were looking at a human body.

    Certain areas, specifically parts of Asia and Central America, Kelly said, are covered in a “haze of pollution” and “look kind of sick.”

    Link

    Reply
  63. Colorado Bob

     /  February 14, 2016

    Two Coasts, One Problem: In Florida, GOP Leaders Think Voters Are Stupid

    In Florida, there are two coasts — the Gulf and Atlantic — and one problem: GOP leaders (Republicans first and foremost, because they the executive branch and legislature) think voters are stupid. Why do GOP officials think you are stupid? Simple. They think they can hide the state’s afflicted waters, the massively polluted Lake Okeechobee, by shoving it into the Everglades.

    Link

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  February 14, 2016

      Historic rainfalls in January surfaced the mismanagement of water resources in Florida. Simply put, Florida’s water flows downhill toward the political wealth of Big Sugar billionaires like Florida Crystal’s Fanjul family or the Mott’s of US Sugar. Buttressed by phalanxes of lobbyists and the most highly paid attorneys in Florida, plus hirelings in the state legislature, Big Sugar dictates outcomes for the rest of the state.

      Growing sugarcane on 500,000 acres south of Lake Okeechobee requires year-round irrigation: never too wet, never too dry. Call it the Goldilocks principle because, once federal farm subsidies are added to the mix, sugar turns to gold.

      The operation requires the use of Lake Okeechobee as a vast septic tank for agricultural runoff. It all works very well — except when extraordinary rainfall requires the release of water from the Lake. Then, it is not just the Everglades that suffer the consequences: highly toxic flood water pours — billions of gallons per day — through the rivers and estuaries serving both Florida coasts and onto the shorefront of millions of property owners, residents, businesses and taxpayers on both coasts.

      Two coasts, one problem. And possibly some cracks in the wall.

      Reply
      • – History – sugar and politics American style:

        Joe McCarthy
        Later it would be known as the McCarthy era, though it has other names as well. The Red Scare. The Scoundrel Time. The Time of the Toad. But early in his career McCarthy was known mainly for fighting price controls on sugar, work that earned him the nickname “The Pepsi-Cola Kid” for a $20,000 personal loan he received from a Pepsi executive.

        . The senator’s specialty was the media spectacle, the high-profile hearing or speech whose most salient characteristics were exaggeration, insult, innuendo and outright misrepresentation, all delivered in sensationally brutal style. A favorite tactic was scheduling announcements for late afternoon, when reporters would have scant time to check facts or get a response from the person accused. For their part, reporters and editors usually gave McCarthy the benefit of the doubt, respectful not only of his power but their own bottom line. The man sold newspapers. He glued eyes to the tube.

        – The phony in American politics: how voters turn into suckers
        http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/feb/13/american-politics-election-voters-suckers?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+USA+-+Version+CB+header&utm_term=156645&subid=8553955&CMP=ema_565

        Reply
      • Reply
      • – More on corporate sugar:

        Americans still drink a lot of soda: Sales in the U.S. were more than $70 billion in 2014, according to Euromonitor International, well ahead of China, the runner-up market, with $28.4 billion… So with the threat of soda taxes and warning labels and an increased popular understanding of the links between sugar-sweetened beverages and obesity, companies like Coca-Cola and Pepsi are looking to sell more of their products elsewhere—especially in developing markets.

        Soda Companies Turn Attention to Developing Countries as Sales Fall Flat in the West
        – ecowatch.com/2016/02/12/coke-pepsi-target-developing-world

        Reply
      • Eric Thurston

         /  February 15, 2016

        And there is talk of fracking in Florida. This is a totally insane idea, bad anywhere but insane in Florida. Florida is basically a bunch of sand on top of very porous limestone. Any fracking fluid is going to go wherever it pleases and poison everything under the ground there.

        Totally insane!

        Reply
  64. Colorado Bob

     /  February 14, 2016

    As 116. Sfloridacat5 reported, is was great day on the golf course in Florida today. And as Americans isn’t a great day on the golf course the real measure of our well being ?
    Never mind all that record breaking January rainfall of toxic water being flushed off the land and into the seas around Florida.

    Brown tide returns to Indian River Lagoon

    COCOA BEACH — Brown tide’s back in the Indian River Lagoon, reinforcing concerns the algae that first bloomed here in 2012 might become a permanent, deadly fixture.

    This time, the algae — Aureoumbra lagunensis — bloomed earlier, but in the same stretches of the northern lagoon.

    The algae is so small that it would take 200 of its cells to stretch across the period at the end of this sentence.

    But biologists warn the damage this minuscule algae could inflict on the lagoon is huge. Brown-tide blooms block sunlight vital to the seagrass that supports much of the lagoon’s marine life. It also kills shellfish such as oysters and scallops.

    “It does appear there is a brown tide going on in portions of the lagoon,” said Ed Garland, spokesman with the St. Johns River Water Management District. “It is the same thing that we’ve had in past years.”

    Link

    Reply
  65. Colorado Bob

     /  February 14, 2016

    Arguing with assholes tonight , and I found this picture –

    I made this. It’s a solar oven . As far as i know it was the largest ever built in North America.

    Reply
  66. Colorado Bob

     /  February 14, 2016

    Donating Maria

    I named my oven after the woman who invented solar ovens..

    The ” Maria Telkes ” June 2010

    When I started this project 13 months ago, my goal was always to pass her a long to some group that could put her to good use. I have found that group , the good folks at Breedlove Foods
    I have no idea exactly where she may go from here, but in the next week , I will spend getting her ready to ride in a shipping container . Like the rest of this site , I’ll post the process of that here, as well as some background about Breedlove.

    http://cbsolaroven.blogspot.com/2010/06/donating-maria.html

    Reply
  67. Reply
  68. – Due to ruthless gas and oil extraction human forced climate disruption:

    Can’t Stop the Water tells the story of Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana and the Native American community fighting to save its culture as its land washes away.

    For 170 years, a tribe of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Indians has occupied Isle de Jean Charles, an island deep in the Louisiana bayous. They have fished, hunted, and lived off the land. Now the land that has sustained them for generations is vanishing before their eyes. Years of gas and oil exploration have ravaged the surrounding marsh, leaving the island defenseless against the ocean tide that will eventually destroy it. As Chief Albert Naquin desperately looks for a way to bring his tribe together on higher ground, those that remain on the island cling to the hope that they can stay.

    Reply
  69. Reply
  70. Reply
  71. Colorado Bob

     /  February 14, 2016

    Reply
    • utoutback

       /  February 14, 2016

      Bob nice to have you back – missed you for a couple of days without the normal Friday night music.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  February 14, 2016

        utoutback

        We will all jump off the edge of the Earth, with music and art.

        Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  February 16, 2016

      Top tune Bob.

      I have the album this is from, and it is a corker!

      Reply
  72. utoutback

     /  February 14, 2016

    Paul Hawken at the Bioneers conference Nov. 2015.
    Listening, I keep having this “yes but” voice in my head… BUT we need to listen to people like Hawken if we are to continue without despairing. He’s talking about draw down of CO2 which, now is the only way forward.
    Thanks to my friend Constance for bring this to my attention.

    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=Paul+Hawken+bioneers+talk&ia=videos&iai=_EfBGjHuy9g

    Reply
  73. Colorado Bob

     /  February 14, 2016

    St. Vincent performs “Digital Witness” on Later… with Jools Holland

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  February 14, 2016

      Why do I love this girl so much ?

      She was born Oklahoma.

      Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  February 16, 2016

        Talent on every level?

        That appearance on Later was the first I’d seen or heard of her. I was blown away! It is the only decent music show left on the Beeb, and I have lost count of the amazing performances I have seen on it, often by US artists.

        Reply
  74. Colorado Bob

     /  February 14, 2016

    Modern English
    I Melt with You

    Dancing on that rat bastards grave –

    Reply
  75. Colorado Bob

     /  February 14, 2016

    Justice Antonin Scalia had 9 kids and a wife, not one of them was near him when he died.

    Reply
    • Jeremy

       /  February 14, 2016

      He deserved to die alone.
      Fat fucker!

      Reply
      • dnem

         /  February 14, 2016

        Hey, let’s keep it classy here, folks. By all accounts, Scalia was a warm, engaging, incredibly bright, principled guy. Not OUR principles, I get that. But Ruth Bader Ginsburg, for one, adored him. He died suddenly on a hunting trip with friends. I have no doubt he would have been surrounded by legions of friends, family and well-wishers had he died under less sudden circumstances.

        Reply
      • Jeremy

         /  February 15, 2016

        A climate-change denying animal hunter with 9 children.
        What’s not to like?

        A planet full of guys like this and it would be over for earth even sooner.

        Reply
      • Jeremy

         /  February 15, 2016

        Antonin Scalia twice vehemently argued for the right of states to imprison homosexuals for sex.
        Feel free to speak ill of the dead – when they deserve it.

        Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  February 15, 2016

        “Mere factual evidence of innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.” A. Scalia

        Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  February 15, 2016

        As a man, a “Christian” and a Supreme Court Judge, he now is being judged by one far greater and the criteria are not necessarily what he believed them to be.
        His attitudes and judgements had profound ramifications and he is facing the reality that with power and authority come the personal consequences in the eternal realm, hopefully he is deemed fit for another chance in the world he helped create.
        It is not for me to prejudge

        Reply
  76. redskylite

     /  February 14, 2016

    New figures from an international disaster database show increased drought figuring in disasters (Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation).

    In the hottest year on record, with temperatures pushed up by global warming and a strong El Niño weather phenomenon, 32 major droughts were recorded.

    That was more than double the 10-year annual average from 2005 to 2014, according to the Belgium-based Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED).

    “The main message from this trends analysis is that reducing greenhouse gases and adapting to climate change is vital for countries seeking to reduce disaster risk now and in the future,” said Robert Glasser, head of the U.N. Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).

    http://news.trust.org/item/20160212115257-l4kl2/?source=fiHeadlineStory

    Reply
  77. Colorado Bob

     /  February 14, 2016

    The end of this old world was great , too bad it strangled every baby in the future .

    Reply
    • redskylite

       /  February 14, 2016

      Too bad indeed CB, The NASA GISS release of the stats for Jan 2016 is not good at all and NOAA’s CO2 looks just as bad. Yet still science falls on deaf ears. Glad there are people like you who care, and I love the solar oven.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  February 14, 2016

        redskylite
        I had another thread going, I was accused of being all talk and no walk . This really burns my butt, otherwise I would have never found the Maria. She made 310F degrees with her bonnet on . The original Maria Telkes made 270 F degrees in the early 1950’s .

        Reply
  78. California Capped a Massive Methane Leak, but Another is Brewing — Right Here in Texas


    But a comparable climate disaster brewing in Texas has received far less attention from regulators and the media — perhaps because there isn’t a single huge leak to point to. Every hour, natural gas facilities in North Texas’ Barnett Shale region emit thousands of tons of methane — a greenhouse gas at least 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide — and a slate of noxious pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and benzene.

    In total, the Barnett emissions amount to 544,000 tons of methane every year — 8 percent of nationwide emissions. And before a glut of natural gas flooded the market and suppressed prices, Texas saw its natural gas production — and with it, emissions levels — skyrocket.

    Between 2009 and 2014, Texas saw its shale gas production more than double. The number of unplanned toxic emissions also doubled during the same time. These emissions mainly contain methane as well as other chemical compounds such as benzene, xylene and toluene, which have been found to have detrimental health effects — such as respiratory problems and birth defects.
    https://www.texasobserver.org/fracking-barnett-shale-disaster/

    Reply
  79. CO2 Emissions Are Causing Earth to ‘Hyperventilate’

    Every year, plants inhale and exhale carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It’s a natural seasonal cycle that has played out over millennia.

    But as humans emit more carbon dioxide (CO2) by burning fossil fuels, the steady rhythm is being replaced by a more erratic cycle as plants race to keep pace with all the new CO2 in the atmosphere. New research shows just how much that extra CO2 is changing our planet’s natural cycles.

    There’s been a curious shift over that time. While CO2 has risen steadily — as illustrated by the iconic Keeling Curve — the difference between the seasonal high measurements taken in the spring and the seasonal low measurements taken in the fall has been getting wider with each passing year. Instead of rising at the same rate, the seasonal high has been rising faster than the seasonal low.

    The trend has been most extreme in the high northern latitudes, where the gap between the seasonal high and the seasonal low in a given year is now up to 25 percent greater than it was since recordkeeping began.
    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/co2-emissions-earth-hyperventilate-20026?utm_content=buffer9dce8&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    Reply
  80. nsideClimate News ‏@insideclimate 11m11 minutes ago

    USGS reports 5.1 magnitude earthquake in Okla that was felt across Kan, Mo., N.M., Neb, Texas, Ark, Iowa. #fracking

    Reply
  81. Colorado Bob

     /  February 14, 2016

    ” Get ready little lady. ”

    The Digital Witness is coming.

    Reply
  82. Colorado Bob

     /  February 14, 2016

    redskylite –

    I made an entire diary of the building of the Maria ………………

    Colorado Bob’s Solar Oven – 6-4-09 Sheet metal work begins

    I also have a “penny melter” , It will melt a penny in 20 seconds. Using a 22 inch diameter lens.
    Pennies are zinc, zinc melts at 610 F degrees, It’s made from the fork of a bicycle , and a 4 foot carpenters level. The little kids go crazy . Remember burning ants ? This thing will burn a German Shepard to a crisp using just 22 inches of sunlight.
    I built it to show people just how powerful the sun is. It’s really dangerous. You don’t leave it alone.

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  February 15, 2016

      Bob, that is awesome! I love it, thanks for sharing that🙂

      Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  February 16, 2016

      Impressive contribution to this thread Bob.

      Loving your oven.

      Reply
    • Carole

       /  February 17, 2016

      Bob, this is amazing. You remind me of my dad. He was an inventor and spent his time in his workshop. We were living from hand to mouth but felt safe with him because whatever happened to us, he could fix it.

      Reply
  83. Colorado Bob

     /  February 14, 2016

    St. Vincent – Emotional Rescue (A Bigger Splash Soundtrack)

    Reply
  84. Colorado Bob

     /  February 14, 2016

    St Vincent – Fuzz Pedal Fuckery (H E L P)

    Reply
  85. “The immediate and easily foreseeable impact is staggering. Last week, the Supreme Court issued a stay delaying the implementation of Obama’s Clean Power Plan. The stay indicated that a majority of the justices foresee a reasonably high likelihood that they would ultimately strike down Obama’s plan, which could jeopardize the Paris climate agreement and leave greenhouse gasses unchecked. Without Scalia on the Court, the odds of this drop to virtually zero. The challenge is set to be decided by a D.C. Circuit panel composed of a majority of Democratic appointees, which will almost certainly uphold the regulations. If the plan is upheld, it would require a majority of the Court to strike it down. With the Court now tied 4-4, such a ruling now seems nearly impossible.”

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/02/how-scalias-death-will-change-everything.html

    Reply
  86. Kevin Jones

     /  February 14, 2016

    Arctic Sea Ice Area & Extent continue into record low territory for time of year….. Lower 48 has one inch of water equivalent in snow cover. Sierra melting.

    Reply
  87. a bit O.T.

    Recent quote from interview with Noam Chomsky that made me think of R. Scribbler———-😊

    Noam was asked:
    “Are you overall optimistic about the future of humanity given the kind of creatures we are?”

    his reply:
    “We have two choices. We can be pessimistic, give up and help ensure that the worst will happen. Or we can be optimistic, grasp the opportunities that surely exist and maybe help make the world a better place. Not much of a choice.”

    Reply
  88. NWS OPC ‏@NWSOPC 3h3 hours ago

    Terra MODIS True Color captures low south of Nova Scotia, cold air and cloud streets spilling across the W Atlantic

    Reply
  89. Anthony Sagliani ‏@anthonywx 5h5 hours ago

    Very strong Azores high will mean very strong easterly wind anomalies across the subtropical Atlantic.

    Reply
  90. Ryan in New England

     /  February 14, 2016

    Dt I thought about you when reading this one. Particulate pollution may lead to premature births.

    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/34824-insidious-invisible-impacts-on-baby-health-exposure-to-toxics-and-preterm-births

    Reply
    • – Right.
      “Particulate pollution” is a easy sounding term for toxic aerosol debris contaminating our community. If it was in wet form it would be called a ‘toxic spill’ demanding remedy.

      Reply
      • – From text:
        [Fresno,CA part of our ‘food’ basket.]

        ‘When Dr. Brian Morgan moved to Fresno, California, a decade ago, the frequency of babies being born too early in his new community struck him. So did the widespread pollution – freeway exhaust, processing plant emissions, pesticide-tainted soil stirred up by the agricultural region’s fleet of tractors.

        Fresno has one of California’s highest rates of preterm births – which means a baby arrives at least three weeks before their due date – at around 10 percent. The city also ranks among the dirtiest on state and national lists. ‘

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  February 15, 2016

        When I read that paragraph I naturally thought of you, dt, and all of your wonderful posts here shining a light on this subject that often goes unnoticed.

        Reply
  91. Ryan in New England

     /  February 14, 2016

    Here in New England we are currently experiencing some frigid temperatures. The official low (measured at Bradley International Airport) this morning was -9F, but we had reports from weather stations in the state of -16 to 18F, and with winds blowing pretty hard we saw wind chills of -30 to -40. This is a quick intrusion of Arctic air, with a warm up coming tomorrow night. We are warming up from -10 to -15 tomorrow morning to almost 50 on Tuesday. A crazy swing in temps thanks to a huge dip in the jet stream…something we’ve been seeing lots of in recent years.

    Jeff Masters has a blog post about the wild swings in temperature we are seeing.

    Predicted low for Sun., Feb. 14, and predicted high for Tues., Feb. 16 (asterisk indicates daily record low)
    Portland, ME: -4°F to 43°F (spread of 47°F)
    *Boston, MA: -4°F to 50°F (spread of 54°F)
    Providence, RI: -6°F to 50°F (spread of 56°F)
    Burlington, VT: -4°F, 37°F (spread of 41°F)
    *Albany, NY: -11°F to 39°F (spread of 50°F)
    Buffalo, NY: -8°F to 36°F (spread of 44°F)
    *New York, NY (Central Park): 0°F to 50°F (spread of 50°F)
    *Philadelphia, PA: 0°F to 47°F (spread of 47°F)
    Washington, DC (National): 10°F to 47°F (spread of 37°F)

    Weather pick of the weekend: Mt. Washington, New Hampshire
    There aren’t many weather stations at high altitude over the Northeast, but those that exist will get a wintry hammering this weekend. The most venerable of these is atop Mount Washington, NH (elevation 6289 feet), where the Mount Washington Observatory was established in 1932. The MWO’s Friday afternoon forecast for higher summits in the region is a jaw-dropper: “Temperatures will fall steadily into Saturday night where they will bottom out in the mid 30’s below zero….The coldest air and the highest winds will likely occur at the same time so wind chills late Saturday into Saturday night will be approaching 90 below zero. These are extremely dangerous conditions to be exposed to for any length of time.” Winds are expected to gust as high as 95 mph.

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/huge-temperature-swings-to-sock-the-northeast-ahead-of-earlyweek-stor

    Reply
  92. Ryan in New England

     /  February 15, 2016

    Another precious collection of biodiversity scheduled to be scraped clean, all for the sake of “progress”. Tragic.

    http://www.desmog.ca/2016/02/12/old-growth-threatened-site-c-ecologically-important-great-bear-rainforest-former-b-c-biologist-says

    Reply
  93. Ryan in New England

     /  February 15, 2016

    A good article in Rolling Stone about how the Koch brothers and utilities have aggressively attacked solar power and prevented it from becoming widespread in the state of Florida…which happens to be “The Sunshine State”. Tragically ironic.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-koch-brothers-dirty-war-on-solar-power-20160211?page=4

    Reply
  94. The Australian river so polluted it boils with methane gas – and BURNS when you hold a match to the bubbling water


    Pictures of the Condamine River near Chinchilla in Queensland’s Darling Downs region by local landowner John Jenkyn show bubbles bursting from beneath the water.

    Mr Jenkyn said the bubbling has gotten far worse since the coal seam gas mining started in the area and he blames mining processes for sending the flammable gas methane bubbling into the river, the ABC reported.

    Reply
      • Vic

         /  February 15, 2016

        It’s a shocker DT. I’ve heard a 5km section of the river is like that. Bloody frackers!

        Interesting to see this now being published in the UK now that the frackers are moving in.

        Anyone out there actively fighting the fracking industry would do well to look into the Lock The Gate movement here in Australia. They started too late to save Queensland’s Condamine River but they’ve had some real successes in other parts of the country.

        I live in the heart of Lock The Gate territory. Their small, triangular, yellow signs are nailed to every other front gate in the district. At the long running Bentley blockade, Metgasco was due to move in the drilling rigs along with a contingent of 700 police. Lock The Gate mobilised 7000 and sent them packing. The state government (a conservative one at that) had no choice but to buy back the mining licences from Metgasco.

        Activism works.

        Reply
      • Vic

         /  February 15, 2016

        Lock The Gate – 2015

        Reply
      • Vic

         /  February 15, 2016

        Lock The Gate – 2014

        Reply
      • Vic

         /  February 15, 2016

        Perhaps it’s a cultural thing.

        Reply
      • Vic

         /  February 15, 2016

        This guy Peter Garrett had a go at Aussie politics. Murdoch’s attack dogs chewed him up and spat him out.

        Reply
      • Bill H

         /  February 15, 2016

        Once again it’s the the right-wing, hot bed of AGW denial, the Daily mail, that brings us this important news about increasing methane leakage. The daily fail also brought the SIberian tundra craters to our attention.

        Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  February 15, 2016

        https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/30827531/mystery-surrounds-bubbling-queensland-river-that-burns-when-match-is-held-to-water/

        “A series of investigations into the mysterious bubbles began in 2012 when they were first reported to authorities.

        ABC reports that the government claimed there was not enough information to establish the cause of the leak.

        CSIRO’s lead researcher into unconventional gas, Professor Damian Barrett, has been monitoring gas seeps at the river and says it has got worse in the last 12 months.”

        No wonder that pesky CSIRO had to be neutered

        Reply
  95. Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  February 15, 2016

      American propaganda is so pervasive and thorough, Goebbels would be amazed if he could see it. The typical American is basically brainwashed, and usually quite ignorant of what educated individuals consider basic information. There’s a reason Americans are the most ignorant group of people on the planet. It’s by design.

      Reply
  96. Worldwide Threat Assessment: Climate Magnifying Instability

    The U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence held a hearing on Feb. 8, 2016 on the Worldwide Threat Assessment, which is released by the National Intelligence Council every year. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s opening statement included mention of a range of threats. With regards to climate change, he noted:

    Unpredictable instability has become the “new normal,” and this trend will continue for the foreseeable future…Extreme weather, climate change, environmental degradation, rising demand for food and water, poor policy decisions and inadequate infrastructure will magnify this instability.
    http://climateandsecurity.org/2016/02/10/world-wide-threat-assessment-climate-magnifying-instability/

    Reply
  97. redskylite

     /  February 15, 2016

    Japan Meteorological Agency stats for January just released, confirms NASA’s earlier figures. . . . .

    Japan Meteorological Agency (気象庁) – Monthly Anomalies of Global Average Surface Temperature in January (1891 – 2016, preliminary value). . .

    The monthly anomaly of the global average surface temperature in January 2016 (i.e. the average of the near-surface air temperature over land and the SST) was +0.52°C above the 1981-2010 average (+0.91°C above the 20th century average), and was the warmest since records began in 1891. On a longer time scale, global average surface temperatures have risen at a rate of about 0.75°C per century.

    http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/tcc/tcc/products/gwp/temp/jan_wld.html

    Reply
  98. Ryan in New England

     /  February 15, 2016

    An update to my comment earlier…

    This is one of the largest single day temperature swings I have ever experienced here in Connecticut. Right now, at about 7 a.m., the temps bottomed out at around -10F with isolated areas seeing colder temps. Tomorrow we are expecting to see a high of 55F. That’s a 65 degree increase in a single day!

    Griffin, I’m sure you’re seeing the same thing up there in Mass.

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  February 16, 2016

      Sure are buddy. I thought of you when it was 12ºF today and the forecast is for strong wind and heavy rain tomorrow. What a freak show our weather has become!

      Reply
  99. China’s Sea Levels Rising Faster Than Global Average
    Guangdong Province particularly at risk

    https://thenanfang.com/report-china-climate-change-faster-world-average/

    Reply
    • James Cole

       /  February 15, 2016

      China should have more trouble coming long term. As Greenland and the last giant ice sheets melt up north, their gravitational pull will disappear, and the bulge of water that sits up north will relax to the south and raise sea levels even more. Oddly enough, sea levels will drop a bit to the far north, while that water formerly held in place by Ice Mass, will collapse down and raise China’s and other’s ocean levels. I think this will come as a profound shock to places looking simply at melt water and thermal expansion. I know that it kind of knocked me for a loop when I read about it on a story linked to here on this blog a few months ago.

      Reply
    • Scheduling tweet on this, thanks.

      Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  February 15, 2016

      Much about China and it’s past history have been glossed over, they actually may become one of the most effective Nations in saving our biosphere. Even if they started so much of what is wrong, Drilling for oil, development of gunpowder, flame throwers, weapons of warfare, production lines, automated machinery all centuries ago.

      Reply
  100. Eric Thurston

     /  February 15, 2016

    The Arctic Sea Ice Extent is still going down. Last year IIRC the peak was on Feb 25. That isn’t too far away, so it looks like we are approaching count-down territory for possibly a record low winter SIE.

    Reply
  101. Immm-pressive long tail of warm moist air being pulled northward in E Pac.

    NWS OPC ‏@NWSOPC 13m13 minutes ago

    2145 UTC Geocolor satellite image w/impressive storm force low in the E Pacific & gale force low to its west. #GRPG

    Reply
  102. Ecuador To Sell One Third Of Pristine Rainforest To Chinese Oil Companies

    In a move that could simultaneously ease the debt of Ecuador and deliver a huge blow to rainforest conservation efforts, Ecuador is set to auction off one third of their pristine rainforest, 3 million hectares of their 8.1 million, to Chinese oil companies.

    http://www.mintpressnews.com/213663-2/213663/

    Reply
    • Adam Zuckerman from Amazon Watch told The Guardian:

      “My understanding is that this is more of a debt issue – it’s because the Ecuadoreans are so dependent on the Chinese to finance their development that they’re willing to compromise in other areas such as social and environmental regulations.”

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  February 16, 2016

      Stories like this make me think we will never get control back from corporations and right-wing climate destroyers. There aren’t many pristine places left on Earth. We’re now seeing the beginnings of scarcity, and companies are drooling over the untouched areas that are currently protected by national park/preserve status. These places were set aside to be protected, but it seems that nothing can prevent these powerful interests from taking everything they want.

      Reply
  103. Several Caribbean countries under drought watches or warnings

    Drought warnings have been issued for Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, northern Guyana, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and northern Suriname.

    A drought watch has also been issued for Grenada, while Haiti east-and southward has been noted for drought concern.

    http://www.caribbean360.com/news/several-caribbean-countries-put-on-drought-warnings-by-cdema

    Reply
  104. Forthcoming Documentary on Climate and Security

    The Center for Climate and Security (CCS) is pleased to promote a forthcoming documentary film, THE AGE OF CONSEQUENCES, which explores the risks of climate change through the lens of national security and global stability.

    – He takes the words right out of my/our mouth(s).

    Reply
  105. Abel Adamski

     /  February 16, 2016

    From a comment in Climate Crocks
    http://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/american-electoral/?day=6#day-6

    Quote: “Floods are already the number one disaster in these United States—and NFIP [the National Flood Insurance Program]… is still $28 billion in the hole. And as of 2011, the total value of floodplain properties insured by companies backed by NFIP was $527 billion. That’s right—half a trillion dollars that all of us are on the stick for.”

    Note that was 2011

    Reply
  106. Ryan in New England

     /  February 16, 2016

    Investors warned they could lose their money if they invest in fossil fuels…

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/fossil_fuels_are_now_a_bad_bet_investors_told_20160215

    Reply
  107. Abel Adamski

     /  February 16, 2016

    IMO the greatest risk to the American and world economy is the Libertarians, Tea Party and GOP and FF industry and obsessed fools such as the Kochs.
    Their desperate need to protect property and asset values at the taxpayer expense whilst reducing the tax income in an AGW world will have massive economic consequences for no mid or long term benefit

    Reply
    • Yes Abel I agree. But there’s more . . .
      I will preface this by saying I detest the Koch brothers and all they represent. The trail of destruction left in the wake of the Koch brother’s greed is beyond reprehensible.
      This article is well worth the read as it explains how deep, wide and destructive bipartisan corporate control is in our country—–the heart of it all— according to Nomi Prins below—- is centered in Wall Street:
      N.P. says:
      “you know, it’s all easy to blast the Koch brothers and the evil right-wing forces, but if you think about who really runs this country, it’s not the Koch brothers. Goldman Sachs is much closer to the center of power.”
      She backs up that statement in detail here:
      http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/audio_robert_scheer_speaks_with_nomi_prins_about_the_20160212

      Reply
      • – Caroline, did you see the above link:

        dtlange / February 13, 2016

        – Exactly.

        Few of us ever give thanks to our placenta. You should. It’s the most important organ you no longer have. It’s the ultimate vascular, or blood vessel, structure. Air pollution, on the other hand, is the ultimate vascular insult, causing inflammation, constriction and impaired blood flow
        – Op-ed: Air pollution’s damage starts hitting Utah children before birth
        By Brian Moench

        Reply
      • – Caroline. Are you going to this?:
        Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment is holding a free seminar Tuesday night on the BYU campus. They’ll be discussing air pollution and the impacts on pregnancy at 7pm in the Joseph F. Smith building.

        Reply
      • – Caroline, FYI I interviewed him on KBOO radio in March, 2014 about Autism and air pollution — and the inadequate response from the authorities.

        Reply
  108. redskylite

     /  February 16, 2016

    Thomson Reuters – As many as 49 million people in southern Africa could be affected by a drought that has been worsened by the most severe and longest El Nino weather pattern in 35 years, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said on Monday.

    The WFP, which has already said 14 million people face hunger in the region, said the El Nino conditions had caused the lowest recorded rainfall between October and December since 1981.

    A lot of desperate and hungry humans lets hope that the drought does break during April or May . . . . .

    http://news.trust.org/item/20160215121526-us1ro/?source=fiOtherNews2

    Reply
  109. – My hero!
    – He talks my talk and he speaks for all to hear.
    – What does your doctor say?

    “We can very credibly estimate that somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 Utahns die prematurely every year due to the air pollution,” said Dr. Brian Moench with Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment. “If I were to tell you the Ebola virus was killing 1,000 to 2,000 Utahns every year, there would be panic in the streets.”

    Doctor says Utah’s air pollution leading to premature death of thousands

    Salt Lake City — (KUTV) New research from a study at the University of British Columbia suggests air pollution is the fourth leading cause of death globally, leading to 5.5 million premature deaths worldwide each year.

    The study included researchers from China, India, Canada, and the U.S. and shows more than half the deaths occur in China and India, but local health professionals in sat Utahns are absolutely being impacted.
    http://kutv.com/news/local/doctor-says-utahs-air-pollution-leading-to-premature-death-of-thousands

    Reply
    • – Ps this applies to Zika or any other infectious disease. But air pollution deaths are 100% human caused and therefore preventable — every day in every state.

      Reply
    • “One of the things people need to know is that the biologic response to the air pollution does not dissipate when the air clears up,” says Moench.

      Reply
    • “I wouldn’t let the kids go outside. I wouldn’t, unless they’re wearing masks,” said Tim Wagner, Executive Director of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, who suggests kids should be inside when the PM2.5 level is over 40. “The lungs of these little kids are still forming and exposure to this stuff is dangerous.”

      – Believe it.
      Consider that a 40 reading is still within the ‘GOOD’ air quality index. That only the US Congress can change.

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  February 16, 2016

      This is just tragic. And nobody, especially the media, ever talks about it. That quote makes a great point, if this many were dying from Ebola or another disease there would be mass panic and outrage. But since it’s pollution, we just don’t care.

      Reply
      • Thanks for caring, Ryan.
        The thing is, commerce is the guiding value — fossil fuel driven commerce at that.
        Think of the health problems and deaths as just another ledger item on the list of collateral fossil fuel subsidies.

        Reply
  110. Vic

     /  February 16, 2016

    The tightening of the screws…

    The United Nations has called on the West Australian Government to withdraw controversial new legislation that imposes harsh penalties on protesters.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-16/un-urges-wa-government-not-to-bring-in-anti-protest-laws/7172738

    Reply
  111. Vic

     /  February 16, 2016

    Thousands of people have called on the New South Wales Government to reconsider new laws forcing cyclists to carry identification.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-16/10000-sign-petition-against-nsw-government-cyclist-laws-id/7172488

    Reply
  112. redskylite

     /  February 16, 2016

    More evidence found linking Zika to birth defects . . . . .

    More evidence linking the Zika virus to birth defects in babies has been found, scientists in Brazil say.

    The team at the PUC-Parana University discovered the virus in the brains of two babies who only lived for 48 hours.

    The mosquito-borne virus is thought to cause microcephaly in babies, who are born with damaged brains and abnormally small heads.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-35584953

    Reply
    • PlazaRed

       /  February 16, 2016

      I think that there is going to be a lot unearthed about Zika as time goes along in the next few months.
      Spanish national news last night said there are now 23 confirmed cases in Spain, This is up from Zero not long ago.
      We will be coming into the warm mosquito season here soon, so its anybody guess what will happen then.
      I get the impression that the news about Zika is being played down a bit!

      Reply
      • redskylite

         /  February 16, 2016

        I agree it is being played down a bit, trouble is a lot of interest groups are speculating that it is associated with their own interest (ie. anti-vax & anti GM etc), and some very strong conspiracy theories are circulating. It might turn out to be so, but it is pure speculation for now. The thing about the Zika outbreak is that it is spreading to new areas due to climate change, accommodating the mosquito carriers. The birth defect issue is complicated and appears mainly to affect Brazil, but it is a nasty virus. I hope some mainstream WHO based research & info will be broadcast soon, especially concerning the birth defects.

        In this world of interest groups and conspiracy theorists what news outlet can you trust ? I must trust WHO as I trust the IPPC . . else end up dazed and confused.

        Scientists debunk theory linking pesticide, not Zika, to birth defects

        http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/02/16/experts-dismiss-claims-pesticide-not-zika-causes-birth-defects/80451116/

        Reply
      • redskylite

         /  February 16, 2016

        Can’t resist – reading too many conspiracy theories makes me so . . .take it away Led Zeppelin

        Reply
    • Eric Thurston

       /  February 18, 2016

      Like redskylite says, it is difficult to know who to trust. This article from Truthout gives one pause about what is real science and what is bought science:

      Meet the “Rented White Coats” Who Defend Toxic Chemicals
      http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/34857-meet-the-rented-white-coats-who-defend-toxic-chemicals

      I have done a lot of reading of peer-reviewed research articles and I can testify to the fact that research science in general is in very poor shape. One must read the research very carefully and follow up with reading related articles to re-check the data.

      I am extremely skeptical of statements that the insecticide Pyripyroxyfen used in drinking water is totally benign in its effects on humans. Even if the Zika-microcephaly connection turns out to be true, it is likely that the insecticide is harmful. While pyripyroxfen has been around for years without being linked to birth defects, so too has Zika been around for years or decades without being linked to microcephaly or other defects.

      I hope that scientists who are independent of the chemical industry will do decent research into this. The stakes are high.

      Reply
  113. Kevin Jones

     /  February 16, 2016

    Nine long years ago I was sitting in a hall in DC as panelist Bill McKibben announced, “We have broken the Arctic.” Sept. 2007. This year, although melt season is not supposed to be yet, it appears we will boil it in oil. So to speak. (Never seen so many polynias, open water along coasts, Lena estuary this time of year…)

    Reply
  114. Kevin Jones

     /  February 16, 2016

    ‘polynyas’

    Reply
  115. Kevin Jones

     /  February 16, 2016

    According to Cryosphere Today Arctic Sea Ice Area some 600,000 sq. km. below record low maximum of 2011. Growth season ‘should’ be over early March. “Should’ grow only another 100,000 or so between now and then.

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  February 16, 2016

      Meanwhile, Newfoundland waters are already thronging, months early—or perhaps late?—-with bergs, many of them unaccountably huge, like great slabs of ice-shelf. Some folks here are starting to notice, and to wonder. It takes bergs a number of years to make their way from western Greenland to us, but several bumper iceberg summers in a row, and now this, give pause for thought. Something is definitely up with Greenland.

      Reply
  116. wili

     /  February 16, 2016

    NASA: The Demise of the Warm Water Blob

    “Thanks in part to the strong El Niño in the equatorial Pacific, the Blob has finally broken up. Beginning in November 2015, strong winds blowing south from Alaska began to pick up, and sea surface temperatures in the northeastern Pacific began to cool.”

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=87513

    (Thanks to Sigmetnow at neven’s site for this)

    Reply
  117. This could explain all those strange happenings in Alaska’s waters

    “The waters are warming, the sea ice is melting, and we are getting more light in those waters,” said Kathi Lefebvre, NOAA Fisheries research scientist. “Those conditions, without a doubt, are more favorable for algal growth. With that comes harmful algae.”

    “We were surprised,” Lefebvre said. “We did not expect these toxins to be present in the food web in high enough levels to be detected in these predators.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/02/16/this-could-explain-all-those-strange-happenings-in-alaskas-waters/

    Reply
  118. BREAKING: Climate activists launch daring occupation of the California PUC, calling for agency to shut down all gas storage facilities

    SAN FRANCISCO – Two Bay Area residents have occupied the ledge above the entrance to the headquarters of the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) today to protest the PUC’s failure to protect the Golden State from the climate and health impacts of methane from underground natural gas storage facilities.

    https://risingtidenorthamerica.org/2016/02/breaking-climate-activists-launch-daring-occupation-of-the-california-puc-calling-for-agency-to-shut-down-all-gas-storage-facilities/

    Reply
  119. Nature paper places human evolution in Africa, not Eurasia

    LOS ALAMOS, N.M., Feb. 16, 2016—A paper in the latest issue of the journal Nature suggests a common ancestor of apes and humans, Chororapithecus abyssinicus, evolved in Africa, not Eurasia, two million years earlier than previously thought.

    Through fieldwork, volcanic ash chemistry and geochronology, WoldeGabriel helped nail down the age of the fossils to approximately 8 million years old. Based on this new fossil evidence and analysis, the team suggests that the human branch of the tree (shared with chimpanzees) split away from gorillas about 10 million years ago—at least 2 million years earlier than previously claimed.

    http://www.lanl.gov/discover/news-release-archive/2016/February/02.16-fossil-analysis.php

    Reply
  120. – This is just a hint of how bad the air is around here. Tis progress though.

    Reply
  121. Reply
  122. – OK. We could have seen this coming:

    Scientist: Nitrogen threatens high-elevation ecology

    CARBONDALE — Fewer alpine wildflowers and shifts in the biology of mountain lakes are among the changes occurring in Colorado’s high country due to increasing levels of atmospheric nitrogen, a scientist studying the issue says.

    Fortunately, the problem is worse on the Front Range than in western Colorado, although lakes with low nitrogen levels are susceptible to problems if those levels increase, says Jill Baron. She’s an ecosystem ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, a senior research ecologist at Colorado State University and director of the North American Nitrogen Initiative.

    The problem of nitrogen pollution in air and water serves as a reminder that climate change isn’t the only kind of global change, she said last week at the weekly winter Naturalist Nights speaker series. Things such as land-use changes and nitrogen pollution can wreak havoc on things such as biodiversity as well.

    Nitrogen pollution comes from numerous sources, from livestock manure to overfertilization to fossil-fuel combustion…

    http://www.gjsentinel.com/news/articles/scientist-nitrogen-threatens-highelevation-ecology

    Reply
  123. – Alert. Earlier story on China/Ecuador oil as debt solver may be erroneous.
    (Know too that China does own a great deal of USA and other countries debt — much credit and real estate.. So there is background leverage there.)

    Propaganda as “News”: Ecuador Sells Out Indigenous Tribes and the Environment to China

    The end of January a news article appeared, “Ecuador To Sell A Third Of Its Amazon Rainforest To Chinese Oil Companies,” and has resurfaced again and again on the internet….

    Almost all these stories refer back to one article three years ago, in March 2013, in Australian online journal Business Insider:

    The problem is that the story is an invention. This same story slamming Ecuador President Correa and China for forcibly displacing indigenous people and destroying the rainforest for the sake of oil profits reappeared in June-July 2015. This just happened to coincide with a rightwing protests in Ecuador against Correa, over his raising taxes on the rich.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/02/16/propaganda-as-news-ecuador-sells-out-indigenous-tribes-and-the-environment-to-china/

    Reply
  124. Ryan in New England

     /  February 17, 2016

    Here’s some sobering records. From Joe Romm;

    Hot on the heels of the hottest year on record globally, NASA reported Saturday last month was the hottest January on record — by far. January 2016 blew out the previous record for hottest January (2007) by nearly 0.3°F.

    In January the Arctic averaged a staggering 13.5°F (7.5°C) above average, leading to a new record low of Arctic sea ice extent for the month.

    There has never been as hot a 12-month period in NASA’s database as the previous 12 months (February 2015–January 2016). This is using a 12-month moving average, so we can “see the march of temperature change over time,” rather than just once every calendar year.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/02/16/3749815/carbon-pollution-hottest-12-months-january/

    Reply
  125. – Hey, those with BC in background.

    Oil, gas sites abandoned in B.C. ‘like walking in a ghost town’: survey

    An environmental group is raising concerns about pipes, wellheads, pumpjacks and even entire buildings left abandoned in the British Columbia backcountry from oil and gas developments.

    “We found that very, very few of all the wells we looked at had been what we consider properly restored,” said John Werring, science adviser for the David Suzuki Foundation.

    “Wellheads had been removed but all the casings were there. The ponds to collect process water were still on site. There were pumpjacks — entire pumpjacks — left in the field and had been there for 30 or 40 years.”

    http://www.680news.com/2016/02/15/oil-gas-sites-abandoned-in-b-c-like-walking-in-a-ghost-town-survey/

    Reply
  126. – “But don’t individuals also share responsibility for driving and flying around knowing that we are emitting climate-killing gases? Aren’t we also culpable?”

    – Cigarettes & Tailpipes: Tales of Two Industries
    Thursday, February 18th, 2016 6:30 pm

    Description

    Oil companies have long used a page from tobacco companies playbook by vigorously denying evidence that using their product as directed causes societal harm. Now the tobacco and oil narratives are getting closer following news stories that ExxonMobil executives for decades suppressed internal reports about the negative impacts of burning fossil fuels.

    A former U.S. Department of Justice lawyer who won a huge racketeering case against tobacco companies says the federal government should investigate whether oil companies colluded to bury evidence of human-caused climate disruption. It’s easy to blame energy suppliers and that may be the right thing to do. But don’t individuals also share responsibility for driving and flying around knowing that we are emitting climate-killing gases? Aren’t we also culpable?

    A conversation on how oil might be the new tobacco.
    http://climateone.org/events/cigarettes-tailpipes-tales-two-industries

    Reply
    • 555 Post Street, San Francisco CA 94102

      Also know: The speakers and audience will be videotaped for future broadcast on the Climate One TV show on KRCB TV 22 on Comcast and DirecTV.

      Reply
    • It is debatable how culpable we little people are, as so much of the way society has been built was always out of our hands – how do we take it back when ‘democracy’ is so slow – time to speed things up a bit.

      Take for instance the long-term attacks on public transport (and in NZ rail transport) by the automobile and trucking lobbies, road networks that are designed against pedestrian movement (cul-de-sacs, zoning and utility corridors making walking very slow). Innovations are often stopped in their tracks by the legal, financial and insurance lobbies too – I know farmers who want to go organic but their bank won’t let them change from non-sustainable methods such as using superphosphate.

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  February 17, 2016

        Good points Nigel. It’s often pointed out on the right that us “environmentalists” want to lower emissions but are hypocritical because we still depend on fossil fuels. Well, yeah, that’s because there has been a very conscious effort by industry, corporations and lobbyists to design our entire society to be completely dependent upon fossil fuels, particularly oil. If we had sustainable or low carbon options we would surely choose them over the current status quo. Like everything that comes from deniers, it’s a flawed argument and it doesn’t stand up to the most basic logical scrutiny.

        Reply
  127. Reply
  128. Jay M

     /  February 17, 2016

    entering SF territory, watching the icebergs off Newfoundland
    the profound wind events– the view off the NE atlantic with the clouds following the paths of the mountains
    a key year hear

    Reply
  129. redskylite

     /  February 17, 2016

    After California have (at least temporarily) fixed the methane gas leak, problems in Siberia . .
    Mystery gas hits town in Irkutsk region as flowers die and people suffer toxic poisoning

    http://siberiantimes.com/ecology/others/news/n0585-mystery-gas-hits-town-in-irkutsk-region-as-flowers-die-and-people-suffer-toxic-poisoning/

    Reply
  130. Abel Adamski

     /  February 17, 2016

    Anyone know how RS is going, a tad concerned

    Reply
    • – A ‘ditto’ here.

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  February 17, 2016

      I was just thinking the same thing! It’s been a few days since I’ve seen a comment from him. Robert, we are all concerned, and hope all is well.

      Reply
  131. redskylite

     /  February 17, 2016

    Berserk Beetles Attack

    The beetles normally take two years to develop but a longer warm season has doubled their development rate to only a year. Climate scientists have long warned that insect infestations will be greater on a warmer planet. This attack is how that prophecy begins. Half the forests in British Columbia have fallen victim – 44 million acres in total if we include Alberta. This is an area 20 times bigger than Yellowstone National Park, bigger than New England, New York and New Jersey combined. There were so many beetles at the peak in the mid- to late 2000s that strong winds transported them 100 miles over the spine of the Rockies. It was said, “they fell like rain.”

    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/34853-the-beetles-eighty-nine-million-acres-of-abrupt-climate-change

    Reply
    • – Berserk Beetles Attack: Incredible but understandable.

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  February 17, 2016

      This is devastating. When I was in Colorado last year I saw the devastation first hand. It took my breath away. Hillside after hillside, as far as the eye could see, nothing but dead trees. Still standing, but grey and dead.

      Reply
  132. – It looks like meat production, fossil fuels, and the US DOD dirty our water.

    The Department of Defense Is the Third Largest Polluter of US Waterways

    Advocacy group Environment America has “crunched the numbers” in an effort to reveal who the largest polluters of American waterways are. The culprits that crack the top-15 list may very well surprise you.

    AK Steel Holding Corp took the slimy grimy first-place prize, with transnational mega meat marketer Tyson Foods coming in a very close second. Two oil companies, Phillips 66 and ExxonMobil, did make the top-15 – but only in 13th and 15th places respectively.

    Interestingly, nearly half the entities on the list were food and meat producers, but it’s the third-place finisher that’s been raising some eyebrows as well.

    According to the analysis, the US government, and specifically the Department of Defense (DOD), is the third largest water polluter in America, having dumped some 63,335,653 pounds of poison into waterways from 2010-2014.
    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/34829-the-department-of-defense-is-the-third-largest-polluter-of-us-waterways

    Reply
    • – AK Steel

      Headquartered in West Chester, Ohio (Greater Cincinnati), AK Steel is a world leader in the production of flat-rolled carbon, stainless and electrical steel products, primarily for automotive, infrastructure and manufacturing, construction and electrical power generation and distribution markets. The company operates eight steel plants, two coke plants and two tube manufacturing plants across six states: Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

      http://www.aksteel.com/company/corporate-profile/

      Reply
      • – All fossil fuel intensive:

        AK Steel

        Key Customers
        All of the major automakers, as well as key producers in the appliance, construction, manufacturing and electrical equipment industries.

        Reply
  133. redskylite

     /  February 17, 2016

    A three day conference entitled “In The Eye of The Storm” has just taken place at the University of Victoria in Wellington, New Zealand, to highlight the plight of low lying Pacific Islands. It has attracted some local media exposure, and I hope a full report will be released soon.

    Keynote speakers:

    His Excellency Anote Tong, President of the Republic of Kiribati
    Bill McKibben, 350.org founder
    Professor Will Steffen, Australian National University Climate Change Institute director
    Leota Kosi Latu, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme director general
    Koreti Tiumalu, 350.org Pacific outreach coordinator
    Rod Oram, business journalist and commentator
    Dayle Takitimu, Indigenous rights and environmental lawyer
    Professor James Renwick, Victoria University of Wellington Professor of Physical Geography
    Professor Tim Naish, Victoria University of Wellington Antarctic Research Centre director

    . . . . . . . . . . . .
    Challenges facing Kiribati indicate what climate change could mean at its worst

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/76989520/challenges-facing-kiribati-indicate-what-climate-change-could-mean-at-its-worst

    Reply
  134. Colorado Bob

     /  February 17, 2016

    The Beetles: Eighty-Nine Million Acres of Abrupt Climate Change

    We were awash for 19 days in a tumultuous sea of mountains and forests, drifting a course through the heart of the US Rockies on a 6,000-mile journey of observation. Our film, What Have We Done, the North American Pine Beetle Pandemic, was released in 2009. It was the story of what is now 89 million acres of forest across the North American West that have been attacked by native insects. These insects had been driven to unprecedented numbers by warming that is twice or more the global average. Most of the trees in impacted forests were killed in the wake of the beetles.

    It has been four years since the Climate Change Now Initiative’s last post-film observation in 2010. Our epic crossing was different on that final journey. The mountainsides of impacted forests were not predominantly bright red. Some were red. Some were brown. And ghost forest of gray needleless conifers at times spread to the horizon.

    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/34853-the-beetles-eighty-nine-million-acres-of-abrupt-climate-change

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  February 17, 2016

      Reply
      • – These photos say it all. Horrible.

        Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  February 17, 2016

        Yes. I have seen it with my own eyes. But the author says direct air carbon capture will allow us to put the climate back….? Astonishing claim. I await the astonishing technology, plan and implementation.

        Reply
      • Greg

         /  February 17, 2016

        Yep CB, like you say, watch out for the little things and don’t forget to add the small things too. Those beatles, the ticks, and mosquitoes are all small and devastating. They form quite an enemy along with the microorganisms all turbocharged by heat.

        Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  February 17, 2016

      See my comment above…

      I saw this first hand last year in Colorado. You can see the newly infected trees (red, orange) and the trees that have recently died (grey but standing) and the dead trees starting to pile up on the ground. It literally took my breath away. I started having a panic attack at the immensity of it all, and how every single tree seemed to be affected. As far as I could see. And I noticed it everywhere. From the East not far from Denver, all the way down I70 past Copper Mountain and Vail to Glenwood Springs, and in Breckenridge. Everywhere I looked there were at least some trees affected.

      Reply
    • wili

       /  February 18, 2016

      MEAT THE BEATLES!

      Reply
  135. Reply
  136. – Pakistan – (China [again] Pakistan Economic Corridor)
    – Climate & Security

    Gwadar port reels under water shortages

    Pakistan’s Gwadar port is facing acute drinking water shortages after a three-year drought in the arid province of Balochistan. Officials hope the port city will become an international business hub at the end of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – an ambitious US $46 billion project linking the deep water port on the Arabian Sea with the city of Kashgar in western China.

    But Gwadar city is facing a growing water crisis, leaving 100,000 people with no access to clean drinking water.

    Residents have been forced to buy expensive water (US $115-140 per tanker) or wait days for government subsidised water transported from 80 kilometres away. Other locals have resorted to boiling sea water for drinking purposes. This is the second time that Gwadar and the surrounding areas in Balochistan province have suffered major water shortages in six years.

    http://www.dawn.com/news/1239912/gwadar-port-reels-under-water-shortages

    Reply
  137. Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  February 17, 2016

      I just made a comment above about the pine beetle, and referenced Glenwood Springs. I passed through this place less than a year ago.

      Reply
  138. Vic

     /  February 17, 2016

    Australian fossil fuel interests took a hammering today.

    The country’s largest oil and gas producer Woodside Petroleum announced its full-year net profit had tumbled by 99% to just $US26 million. It is a massive reversal of fortune from last year’s $US2.4 billion result and the record $US3 billion profit reported just three years ago.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-17/woodside-profit-plunges-99-per-cent-on-oil-prices/7175960

    Reply
  139. Vic

     /  February 17, 2016

    A controversial Chinese coal mine project in the New South Wales Liverpool Plains looks unlikely to go ahead.

    Shenhua’s $1.2 billion open cut Watermark coal mine near Gunnedah has conditional approval from the Federal Government, but its mining exploration licence expires on Monday.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-17/shenhua-unlikely-to-go-ahead/7177270

    Reply
  140. dnem

     /  February 17, 2016

    Interesting article in NYT about the “on demand economy”: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/16/science/recycling-cardboard-online-shopping-environment.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fscience&action=click&contentCollection=science&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront

    The article supports my belief that simply transforming the current fossil fuel based consumption economy to a renewables based one will fall far short of the revolutionary changes we need to see in our attitudes regarding consumption. We need a revolution in what we value and how we view consumption just as much, if not more, than a revolution in what powers our economy.

    Reply
    • wili

       /  February 17, 2016

      Well put. I wish this were more prominent in discussions of GW and related issues.

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  February 17, 2016

      This article is depressing. Our society is getting more and more unsustainable. Think how many forests have been leveled just so that all of these (mostly wanted, not needed) packages can be delivered. Millions and millions and millions of boxes. More and more. Faster and faster. It’s completely insane to me. We need to change our culture as much as our energy infrastructure.

      I’m not stating this to claim any moral high ground or anything, just pointing out that people don’t need produce, Starbucks or deodorant delivered in a cardboard box to their house in under two hours. I have never bought anything online other than registering for road races (5ks, half and full marathons). I walk to the grocery store and bring cloth bags. I never drive, I run, walk or cycle everywhere I go, and I don’t even live in a big city.

      Reply
      • I wish I could claim to be as minimalist as you are. I applaud you.

        I was in Wegman’s today and happened to take a look at the prepared foods. One of the offerings was broad egg noodles. Really. Apparently people can’t even cook their own noodles, have to carry them home already cooked in yet another plastic container. I despair.

        Reply
      • wili

         /  February 18, 2016

        Thanks, Ryan. I do drive sometimes, but don’t fly or eat much meat or dairy.

        There’s so much we can do without without much even inconvenience.

        It strikes me that people often obsess about evils that are basically necessities, but many many evils are non-necessities that we can cast off with either no harm or actual improvements in our lifestyles.

        Reply
  141. Vic

     /  February 17, 2016

    GVK Hancock Coal’s plan to exploit deposits containing over 7 billion tonnes of coal in the Galilee Basin are all but officially dead after the Australian railway company Aurizon wrote off its investment and declared the project worth zero.

    Aurizon, a major coal rail carrier in Australia, stated in its half-yearly results released yesterday that it had written off A$30 million it had invested in a new railway proposed to cater for GVK Hancock Coal’s proposed Alpha, Kevin’s Corner and Alpha West coal mines in Queensland.

    http://reneweconomy.com.au/2016/aurizons-bell-tolls-for-gvks-galilee-basin-coal-projects-59778

    Reply
  142. Vic

     /  February 17, 2016

    CSIRO staff have begun a campaign to challenge plans to massively shake-up the nation’s premier scientific organisation, lodging a dispute with the industrial umpire to try to stall the changes.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-17/csiro-staff-to-challenge-controversial-shake-up/7178014

    Reply
  143. wili

     /  February 17, 2016

    Time for a main post on January records??

    Reply
  144. Colorado Bob

     /  February 17, 2016

    Australian wine under threat from climate change, as grapes ripen early

    Wine grapes ripening up to two days earlier each year, as viticultural experts warn some traditional varieties may be abandoned in warmer areas

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/feb/17/australian-wine-under-threat-from-climate-change-as-grapes-ripen-early

    Reply
  145. Greg

     /  February 17, 2016

    Not sure we covered this yet but NASA indicates, through Grace data, that sea level rise has been subdued, temporarily, by the tremendous levels of water that has fallen on continents but not yet reached the seas. This amounts to about .7mm/year:

    http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-water-land-gravity-sea-level-20160215-story.html

    Reply
  146. Colorado Bob

     /  February 17, 2016

    Mild winter could mean bad year for pine beetles in Alberta

    This year’s mild winter could be a setback in controlling pine-gobbling Mountain Pine beetles, say those guarding Alberta’s forests.
    Another warm winter could boost the number and spread of Mountain Pine Beetles that have ravaged the province’s pine woodlands and are creeping towards Saskatchewan, said Alberta Agriculture and Forestry official Erica Samis.

    http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/mild-winter-could-mean-bad-year-for-pine-beetles-in-alberta

    Reply
  147. Colorado Bob

     /  February 17, 2016

    Drought in the Marshall Islands

    The Pacific Island nation has declared a state of national emergency.
    The Marshall Islands has declared a state of national emergency, citing its severe drought conditions as one of the worst disasters to ever befall the archipelago nation.

    The announcement was made by President Hilda Heine on February 4, only a few days after she was elected leader of the Nitijeļā, the Marshall Islands Legislature. Heine has been thrown into the deep end, as the nation continues to be battered not only by giant waves but also by sustained drought conditions, courtesy of a protracted El Niño system that started building up in early 2015 and has shown no signs of relenting.

    http://thediplomat.com/2016/02/drought-in-the-marshall-islands/

    Reply
    • Eric Thurston

       /  February 18, 2016

      The irony here slams you in the face. Less water falling from the sky, more water crashing up on the beach as the sea level rises. Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink.

      Reply
  148. Scientists just found out where the Earth is most sensitive to climate swings — and the news isn’t good

    Thomas Lovejoy, an ecologist at George Mason University who studies the Amazon rainforest and was not involved in the work, called the newly released study “an important advance.”

    “But it is by definition an underestimate of sensitivity because biological interactions (like bark beetles in coniferous forests and bleaching events in corals) show major ecosystem impacts can occur on top of and as part of vegetation or ecosystem impacts,” Lovejoy said. “All the more reason to limit climate change to 1.5 degrees.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/02/17/scientists-just-found-out-where-the-earth-is-most-sensitive-to-climate-swings-and-the-news-isnt-good/?postshare=8231455735023855&tid=ss_tw

    Reply
  149. Colorado Bob

     /  February 17, 2016

    Well the whole “Anthropocene question” is about to be answered –

    New Evidence Shows Global Climate Change Began Way Back in 1610

    The impressively named Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy of the International Union of Geological Sciences is group that’s expected to decide later this year on whether the Anthropocene exists and when exactly it began. In anticipation, the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. has prepared a new exhibit designed to highlight Earth’s new reality, placing human activity alongside triceratops fossils in a showcase of the planet’s 4.5 billion year history.

    Right now they’re leaning toward sometime around the year 1800—the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in Europe—but to declare a new geological epoch, scientists must find a “sufficiently large, clear and distinctive” transitional layer in rocks and sediments themselves. That’s tricky with the relatively slow growth of pollution that resulted from the Industrial Revolution: It took decades for the changes in atmospheric chemistry to be reflected in rock samples worldwide after coal burning began to take off. For this and other reasons, some argue that it’s hubris to suggest that humanity’s influence on the Earth will linger on for geologic timescales—that we’re more likely to be a blip in history, especially considering how hell-bent we seem to be toward self-destructive behavior.

    Link

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  February 17, 2016

      The real take away is , ………….. This thing we “home”, is more finely balanced than we ever dreamed, and is not some industrial punching bag that will last forever before we knock the stuffing out of it.

      Reply
      • “This thing we “home”, is more finely balanced than we ever dreamed, and is not some industrial punching bag…”
        You said it.
        Right on!

        Reply
  150. Kevin Jones

     /  February 17, 2016

    Well, CB, the “sufficiently large, clear and distinctive” transitional layer will be the one showing a profound absence of fossils….from mastodons to modern elephants. From Moby Dick to snail darter…. coincident with plastic. Lots and lots of plastic.

    Reply
  151. Colorado Bob

     /  February 17, 2016

    Vic –
    Nice set of comments. You and others like Outback are sitting at an apex . Keep us posted.

    We are all wondering if the miners will drive Australia over the edge . After all, you folks gave us all Fox News, “shrimp on the barbi”, and the Daily Mail.

    Damn the British Empire, We all live in the hangover of them getting rich , and exporting their poor/

    Insert smiley face here.

    Reply
    • – And I would add: top notch journalists Peter Arnett, John Pilger, and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
      Grats, Mates — or something like that.

      Reply
    • Mark from OZ

       /  February 18, 2016

      Hey CB
      The mountain of personal debt here ( driven by ridiculously high house prices) makes Pike’s Peak look tiny. The price of the country’s most valuable export (Fe Ore) has plummeted by > 83% since 2011, Similarly, with ‘coking’ and ‘thermal’ coal and add these to the Oil / Gas producers whose share prices are all now getting smashed, (causing layoffs) the next 12-36 months look bleak indeed as these industries paid astonishingly high wages.

      The ‘staggering’ and hurt Aussie ‘battler’ typically has no idea what’s ahead as the News Corp assures us all that ‘she’ll be right, mate.” The last remaining profitable ( for now) industry are the protected banks and when they topple due to their lending practices, we’ll be back in the Int’l news.
      http://www.whocrashedtheeconomy.com.au/blog/

      Reply
    • Vic

       /  February 18, 2016

      Thanks Bob. No good news today.

      Pakistan’s Tharparkar district is entering its third straight year of drought, with nearly 200 deaths since January — many of them children.

      “We can hardly find some pulses or vegetables to eat with a piece of bread,” he said.

      “It would be a luxury to find meat to eat at some point.”

      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-18/babies-starving-as-severe-drought-hits-pakistan/7178400

      Reply
  152. Ryan in New England

     /  February 17, 2016

    Jeff Masters on the record breaking January…

    After recording its warmest year on record in 2015, Earth continued its record-warm streak into 2016, with January 2016 being the planet’s warmest January since record keeping began in 1880, said NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) on Wednesday. The month had the second warmest departure from average (+1.04°C) of any month since 1880, with only December 2015 being warmer. NASA also rated January 2016 as the warmest January on record, but said it edged out December 2015 for being the warmest month in the entire historical record–1.13°C above average. The four warmest months since 1880 (as measured by departure from average in the NASA database) were the past four months. Here are the top five warmest months in the historical record, according to NASA:

    1) January 2016
    2) December 2015
    3) October 2015
    4) November 2015
    5) January 2007

    January 2016 also marked the ninth consecutive month that the monthly temperature record was been broken and the fourteenth consecutive month (since December 2014) that the monthly global temperature ranked among the three warmest for its respective month in the NOAA database. Global ocean temperatures during January 2016 were the warmest on record, and global land temperatures were the second warmest on record. Global satellite-measured temperatures in January 2016 for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were the warmest in the 38-year record, according to the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH). This is the fourth consecutive month the UAH database has registered a record monthly high.

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/earth-rings-in-2016-with-its-warmest-january-on-record

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  February 17, 2016

      Robert, methinks this remarkable string of record heat and back to back record months is worthy of a new post. If you notice, the past four months have been the hottest four months on record! Combined with record low sea ice, this is a phenomenal year regarding anthropogenic heating.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  February 18, 2016

        I concur. Between us, we’ve given him plenty to start with. But I’m sure he has plenty of pressing things to get to. Or just needs a rest once in a while, as do we all!

        Reply
      • One in now. Was waiting on GISS. I need to do a larger context piece. A forecast piece and an Arctic sea ice piece at least. We’re entering uncharted territory when it comes to climate. The baseline is being blurred so that makes prediction more difficult. But I think we have enough to make a decent shot.

        Reply
  153. – The go.usa.gov link in the tweet is quite the visual tool.

    Reply
  154. Colorado Bob

     /  February 17, 2016

    KJ –
    The first layers are forecast to be at Midway Island. That is forecast to be the first place on Earth with a plastic beach. No sand, just tiny chips of Bic lighters and tooth brushes, in a very tiny matrix Styrofoam coffee cups.

    I read about this years ago. When I was reading about sea turtles eating plastic shopping bags , thinking they were jellyfish. And stinking balloons , you know. Someone dies, we all let a balloon go into the sky. Carrying one of the most rare, valuable, and hard to get gases on Earth. And when pops , if lands on the ocean sea turtles eat balloons.

    Never ever think a balloon release is beautiful , it kills wild life who eat it, and it wastes one of the most important , and rare gases on Earth.

    There’s beauty about releasing balloons when people die, write your prayer on a stick of wood or paper, and toss into a fire. We’ve been doing that for tens of thousands of years.
    This new idea of gas balloons, kills sea turtles , and wastes one of the most rare gases we wouldn’t sell it to Hitler.

    Reply
  155. Colorado Bob

     /  February 18, 2016

    Robert –
    These times when you fall dark . worry us all. I have seen this before, if your going to do this , just pop up and let us know your OK. There’s no reason to put all of us through this worry.

    After all I;m , the jackass , your the deep thinker.

    Reply
  156. Dan Borroff

     /  February 18, 2016

    http://dailycaller.com/2015/03/23/fema-to-deny-funding-to-states-without-global-warming-plans/ This may get Florida’s attention. What are they going to do about their coastal cities?

    Reply
  157. – If all is well, and with all the things climate ramping up, etc., I would expect that Robert’s insights and services are in demand and getting a thorough workout.

    TALLY HO.
    OVER AND OUT.

    Reply
  158. Reply
  159. Anthony Sagliani ‏@anthonywx 4h4 hours ago

    TC Winston one of stranger TCs I’ve seen. Now reversing direction, will impact Tonga for 2nd time, even stronger.

    Reply
      • – Via climatehawk1:

        Emergency workers out in Niue as Winston passes

        The abundance of warm waters in the Pacific is one reason why Cyclone Winston is predicted to turn and impact Tonga and Fiji for a second time.

        A climate scientist at New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, or NIWA, Nava Fedaeff, said El Niño meant the warm waters provided plenty of scope for cyclones to change track.

        “Well one of the reasons why is just because of El Niño, there are larger area of warmer than normal sea surface temperatures in the Pacific and you need to have warm water, at least 26.5 degrees, to have tropical cyclones.

        “And when you’ve got a bigger pool, they’ve just got more places to go.”

        Mr Fedaeff said the Pacific Decadal Oscillation pattern was also in a negative phase, meaning warmer than usual waters in the Western Pacific.

        http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/pacific/296766/emergency-workers-out-in-niue-as-winston-passes

        Reply
  160. – Legal Matters – Methane Leaks

    Gas company to be arraigned over Los Angeles area methane leak

    Southern California Gas Co is to be arraigned on criminal charges on Wednesday over a huge methane leak near Los Angeles that forced thousands of residents from their homes, officials said.

    SoCalGas, a division of San Diego-based Sempra Energy, faces four misdemeanor charges for failing to report the release of hazardous materials from Oct. 23 to Oct. 26, and discharging air contaminants beginning on Oct. 2.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-california-methane-idUSKCN0VQ24Y

    Reply
  161. – Climate Time Machine

    This series of visualizations shows how some of Earth’s key climate indicators are changing over time

    SELECT A TOPIC
    http://climate.nasa.gov/interactives/climate-time-machine

    Reply
  162. Colorado Bob

     /  February 18, 2016

    Good times bad times – Led Zeppelin

    Reply
  163. Colorado Bob

     /  February 18, 2016

    Led Zeppelin – Whole Lotta Love (HQ

    Reply
  164. Hey all: Trying to hunt up a piece of data that seems surprisingly hard to find: We know that Jan 2016 was 1.13 C above the 1951-1980 baseline that NASA uses, but, how far above the Pre-Industrial baseline is it???? Glancing at the graph that Wili posted on Feb. 17th from the JMA, it looks really close to being 1.5 C above pre-industrial…but I can’t find a reliable number for THAT baseline. Kind of frustrating since the overall “warming” we are most concerned with is from that pre-industrial baseline (e.g. 2C is “dangerous warming” – that is 2C above pre-industrial, NOT 1951-1980). Does anybody know – I want to write an article on it for Huffington Post, especially if it is indeed a full 1.5C above pre-industrial.

    Reply
    • mlparrish

       /  February 18, 2016

      I would also be most interested if you could find it.

      Richard Proennecke kept a decades long diary of temperatures during his stay in Alaska from the 1960s. I remember from the PBS presentation that he said a Christmas Day was -45F. This in the daytime on a clear day. It is so far from the current temperatures, that I would dearly love (though it is impossible for me) to see those journals and what the actual recorded temperatures were. Someone has them, because I also remember a mention that they have been used to support a warming climate.

      I wonder because growing up here in flatland NC during the 1950s, we routinely wore wool in the winter – wool suits, long wool coats, wool sweaters and pants. Now no one needs any wool, or any long coats, at all. That degree of warming must be more than the worldwide averages.

      Reply
    • Greg

       /  February 18, 2016

      The average annual temperature for the globe between 1951 and 1980 was around 57.2 degrees Fahrenheit (14 degrees Celsius) per ucar.edu. The average temperature in 2013 was 14.6 °C (58.3 °F)

      Reply
    • David,
      Sounds like you may have learned your answer from all the top notch posters here on Robert’s blog (one of the best sources for climate information, imo)
      Another source your could turn to is Professor James Kennett who was a guest on the community radio station where I work. Very knowledgeable/helpful and should be noted that he is the man behind the clathrate gun hypothesis. He studies paleoclimate, among other things —–if he does know the answer to your question he would probably know where to go to find it.

      I appreciate your work! I’ve been a fan since the days when Joe Romm’s site had a decent comment section untainted by deniers, ads, etc. I think that’s when I first discovered Colorado Bob as well (with the red helicopter?? )
      Here is Jim K’s contact info:
      http://www.geol.ucsb.edu/people/james-kennett

      Reply
  165. Jay M

     /  February 18, 2016

    The casual Helium use, for balloons and whatnot is amusing since the large magnets used for the technological wizardry of advanced medical imagery requires large quantities of He, 5000L for a magnet. Should not be wasted.

    Reply
  166. Jay M

     /  February 18, 2016

    the anthropocene will leave a signature layer of radioactive isotopes, various persistent hydrocarbon or halogenic hydrocarbon molecules, along with phenomenal amounts of plastics unless something comes along to decompose the plastics.

    Reply
    • PlazaRed

       /  February 18, 2016

      Thinking about your comments and some of those earlier from CB.
      Surly if the fad with balloons continues then it might be a good idea to look into bio degradable balloon materials. Although this may seem obvious, it might need a bit of lobby work in the right area.
      Probably pointless trying to stop people using balloons as there are too many uses. simply change the balloon materials into some sort of degradable material.

      Reply
  167. – Check out DemoNow 0217 about Flint and surrounding area H2O problems plus corporate Nestle as part of it. Lots of brave citizen activists etc.

    The political and corporate villainy mirrors the fossil fuel and air pollution/ climate battles we speak of here.

    “Thirsty for Democracy: The Poisoning of an American City”: Special Report on Flint’s Water Crisis – Michigan’s Water Wars: Nestlé Pumps Millions of Gallons for Free While Flint Pays for Poisoned Water”
    Wednesday, February 17, 2016
    http://www.democracynow.org/

    Reply
  168. – Biodiversity

    Farmers Key to Bringing Monarch Butterflies Back From the Brink of Extinction

    Over the past two decades, the population of monarch butterflies—one of this nation’s most iconic species—has plummeted from more than one billion to about 50 million today. That’s a 95 percent decline, bringing the butterfly that much closer to extinction.

    But the monarch’s story is not over, yet. With an unlikely ally on board, new solutions are emerging with the potential to bring the monarch back from the brink.
    https://ecowatch.com/2016/02/16/monarch-butterflies-brink-of-extinction/

    Reply
  169. redskylite

     /  February 18, 2016

    More news on Zika from Sky . .

    Scientists Close In On Zika Link With Paralysis

    Scientists say they are on the verge of confirming that Zika is the cause of the paralysing condition Guillain-Barre.

    Colombian researchers told Sky News they have detected the virus lingering in the blood of five patients with the syndrome.

    Such persistent infection can trigger the chain reaction that leads the immune system to go rogue and attack the nerves, causing the paralysis.

    With every additional case the cause becomes more certain, according to Dr Andreas Zea, a neurologist in Cali who is closely involved in the joint Colombian-American research project.

    “In my mind it is related to Zika,” he said.

    “It is terrible. It’s a mosquito. Only one bite and 15, 20 days later you are going to be in intensive care. These patients have families.”

    We tracked down the family of Alix Mulato.

    A month ago the 45-year-old was a stout sugar cane worker.

    But he contracted Zika and then developed Guillain-Barre.

    Now he is paralysed, brain damaged and beyond medical help.

    http://news.sky.com/story/1643778/scientists-close-in-on-zika-link-with-paralysis

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 31, 2016

      The more we learn about Zika, the more it appears to be a real game changer for our society and culture.

      Reply
  170. Abel Adamski

     /  February 18, 2016

    Further other earlier reports posted, an interesting twist
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-18/global-map-highlights-sensitivity-of-australian-vegetation/7178164

    The plant life of Australia’s outback may have “given up”, according to satellite-based maps tracking the impact of changing climatic conditions, such as rainfall and temperature, on the world’s ecosystems.
    Key points:

    New index compares how world’s plants respond to climate
    Australian ecosystems more affected by changes in water availability than temperature changes
    Murray-Darling Basin one of the most ecologically sensitive zones in the world

    The study suggests the vegetation of our interior does not respond to sudden increases in rainfall because it has “learned” that drought will soon follow.

    It also indicates the Murray-Darling Basin is one of the world’s most ecologically sensitive zones, and highlights the fact that Australian flora is most sensitive to changes in water availability..

    A factor other plants and species will learn worldwide, all those plants that bloomed etc early winter around the world, will learn that lesson if they still have the resources next year

    Reply
    • PlazaRed

       /  February 18, 2016

      Here’s the linked chart for today, 18th Feb. as you can see the ice levels are so low they are off the scale with regard’s to the past.

      Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  February 18, 2016

      Good read, todaysguestis. Thanks.

      Reply
    • Greg

       /  February 18, 2016

      “It’s unraveling, every piece of it is unraveling, they’re all in lockstep together,” Pomerance says. “What tends to happen is, everybody nationally reports on the latest piece of news, which is about one system. You hear about the sea ice absent the temperature trend. So you really have to think of it as a whole.”

      Reply
  171. Greg

     /  February 18, 2016

    Well, well, well you can have your cake and eat it too. Statoil ASA, Norway’s biggest oil and gas producer, will invest as much as $200 million in renewable energy over four to seven years as part of Chief Executive Officer Eldar Saetre’s plan to diversify the company’s portfolio….”The transition to a low carbon society creates business opportunities, and Statoil aims to drive profitable growth within this space,” Irene Rummelhoff, executive vice president of the clean energy unit, said in the statement.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-17/statoil-to-invest-200-million-in-renewable-energy-by-2022

    Reply
  172. Greg

     /  February 18, 2016

    Nice to see this. A bipartisan group of governors from 17 states has pledged to accelerate their efforts to create a green economy in the US by boosting renewables, building better electricity grids and cutting emissions from transport. These now include states that were not on the radar before such as my own – Virginia. We need to wrestle Nevada’s governor away from Warren Buffet’s solar policies, however.
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/feb/16/us-states-renewable-energy-green-economy

    Reply
  173. Greg

     /  February 18, 2016

    A picture of our earth, our thin atmosphere, and space from Italian Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti taken from the ISS:

    Reply
  174. Robert,

    How can I contact you privately? I assume you have my email. If you will drop me a line, I am working on a project that may interest you and would like to talk to you about it.

    Scott

    Reply
  175. Reply
    • mlparrish

       /  February 18, 2016

      162 satellites and NASA can’t see their way to fund CARVE any more.

      Reply
  176. Reply
  177. We also picked up the tree cover canopy loss from this fire on Global Forest Watch here: http://blog.globalforestwatch.org/2016/03/map-of-the-week-congo-basin-forest-fires-of-unprecedented-extent-detected-by-umd-glad-alerts/ Quite a dramatic large clearing.

    Reply
  1. Climate Disruption’s New Record: Carbon Dioxide Levels Reach Highest Point in 15 Million Years | We Seek the Truth!
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