Dr. James Hansen: “We Have a Global Emergency” Dangerous Heat to Render Parts of the World Practically Uninhabitable by 2100

There’s a tragic new danger lurking in the world. Something that’s arisen from a mass burning of fossil fuels on an epic scale that now pumps out more than 100 times the greenhouse gas emission from all the volcanoes in all the world combined. Something that’s been building heat in our atmosphere at unprecedented rates. Something that’s been increasingly setting off the strange and deadly Hothouse Mass Casualty Events (HMCE). Events that appear ready to hit the innocent, the poor, and the vulnerable among us the hardest.

Over the past few decades, HMCEs, have occurred with increasing frequency during periods of extreme heat and drought that exceeded the scope and intensity of past heatwaves. These events resulted both in mass human mortality and in medical infrastructure crippling waves of heat injuries. These new, deadly heatwaves occurred in a world that was about 0.6 to 0.8 C hotter than 1880s averages. But as of the past two years, the global heat factor has cranked still higher — hitting 0.9 to 1.1 C above 1880s levels during 2014 and 2015 — and further increasing the likelihood of these dangerous events.

And according to a new scientific report from Dr. James Hansen — these events are about to become an ever-more permanent part of the global landscape. In essence, if fossil fuel burning continues, the poorest parts of the world who have contributed the least to the climate change problem will experience HMCEs with such a high frequency that many of these regions are going to become practically uninhabitable by the end of this Century. It’s a level of unfair and unequal treatment that’s difficult to stomach. For those who continue to burn fossil fuels, who continue to push fossil fuel burning through lobbying, market dominance, and short-sighted government policies, and who plan to burn these harmful fuels on into the future now appear to be involved in a kind of combined act of inflicted human habitat destruction and possible genocide.

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On Wednesday, Dr. James Hansen, former head of GISS NASA, and one of the world’s foremost authorities on human-caused climate change, dropped another bombshell on an in-the-know scientific community that appears to be struggling to keep up with the velocity of what has now become a Global Warming Emergency. Hansen’s new report first takes a look at warming in retrospect — using historical temperature and extreme warming event data to show that the world has been radically altered by a rampant fossil fuel emission. Then, Hansen takes a look forward into what appears to be an increasingly hot and dangerous greenhouse gas warmed future.

TimeBombFig16

(Through late 2015, Hansen’s data showed that human fossil fuel emissions continued along a path just above IPCC worst case ranges, and flirting with the lower edge of absolute worst case ranges. Hansen here identifies these carbon emissions as a global warming ‘Time Bomb.’ Image source: Dr. James Hansen.)

No More Cool Summers For Some Parts of the World

The paper found that the frequency of extreme heating events increased over the globe, even as the likelihood of cool or cold weather fell off. Though every region showed an increase in warm or hot events and a drop off in cool or cold events, some regions experienced more warming than others.

For example, in the US, summers cooler than the 1951 to 1980 average now occur only 19 percent of the time. Meanwhile, the frequency of extreme heating events 3 standard deviations outside the mid 20th Century average increased by an order of magnitude to 7 percent. These are strong shifts toward hotter summers for the US. But they are somewhat minor in comparison to shifts occurring in other parts of the world.

Hansen notes that in the Middle East and Mediterranean, rates of summer warming have increased to the point that there are now no summers that are cooler than average even as the period of summer seasonality has grown “considerably longer.” This statement is worth thinking about for a bit — essentially what’s happened is cool summers below the mid 20th Century average have been basically wiped out in the Med and Middle East. Cool summers there are a thing of a much less dangerous and far more pleasant past.

And looking at Hansen’s graph below we find that the impact of warming in many highly populated regions of the world is already far greater than within the United States:

Shifts to Warm and Hot Summers

(Shift to hotter Summers and Winters is now producing a greatly increased frequency of extremely hot summers even as it is steadily eliminating the likelihood of cool summers. Image source: Regional Climate Change and National Responsibilities.)

As the world continues to heat up, there is rising risk to human beings over broad regions. This is due to the fact that a warming world increases the latent heat of the atmosphere. When Ocean surfaces warm to above 35 degrees Celsius, this results in an increase in the amount of warm moisture in suspension in the atmosphere. For human beings, it makes it more difficult for heat to transfer way from the skin through evaporative cooling. At a 35 degree C Wet Bulb reading, the human body’s ability to cool itself breaks down — resulting in high risk of heat stroke and death if exposure continues for 1-2 hours.

But these are the kinds of conditions we’ll be increasingly putting into effect if human fossil fuel burning continues. Hansen notes:

The tropics and the Middle East in summer are in danger of becoming practically uninhabitable by the end of the century if business-as-usual fossil fuel emissions continue, because wet bulb temperature could approach the level at which the human body is unable to cool itself under even well-ventilated outdoor conditions.  Lesser warming still makes life more difficult and reduces productivity in these regions, because temperatures are approaching the limit of human tolerance and both agricultural and construction work are mainly outdoor activities.

Health-Risks, Violence, Climate Inequality and Responsibility

In addition to increasing the likelihood of hothouse mass casualty events, severe heatwaves, and increasing drought prevalence, Hansen notes added impacts to human beings and human societies. As we’ve seen with the Zika virus, disease vectors spread into higher Latitudes as the world warms — increasing the range of harmful and deadly tropical illnesses. Furthermore, studies indicate that violence increases dramatically in hotter regions. With each standard deviation increase in temperature patterns, group on group conflict has been observed to increase by 14 percent. This would already have increased conflict in the Med and Middle East by nearly 30 percent. For many regions of the world, if fossil fuel burning continues, warming is expected to shift a further 3-7 standard deviations off baseline. If the violence study findings are correct, this could double instances of group on group conflict for some parts of the world.

Carbon emissions cumulative by country

(Unequal climate change contributions, unequal impacts. Image source: Regional Climate Change and National Responsibilities.)

One final assertion of Hansen’s paper is that warming impacts and contributions are unequal. People living in Asia and Africa are seeing disproportionate warming even as they have contributed very little to the problem. And many of the regions now experiencing above average rates of warming could be rendered practically uninhabitable by Century’s end. People in the United States, Canada, Australia, Russia, Japan, and Northern Europe, though also suffering warming impacts, have been among those contributing the most to the problem and seeing the lowest rates of change in the form of extreme heat related events (though those experiencing ever more frequent droughts in the US Southwest may beg to differ). The Middle East’s own moderate national emissions contribution to global warming (though a rather high export contribution in the form of oil and gas sales) is matched by an extreme commitment to dangerous heatwaves for the region. This distribution represents a highly unequal and unfair spread of climate impacts and climate change responsibility. Yet one more reason why the industrial nations of the world should be getting their act together for a concerted and rapid transition away from fossil fuel use.

It’s worth noting that the Hansen paper does not assess the impact of other climate change related events such as extreme rainfall or sea level rise on regions that have contributed the most to the problem. It’s likely that vulnerable cities would see a widely distributed impact from the kind of multi-meter sea level rise Hansen warns is possible rippling across the globe. Portions of the US East and Gulf Coasts, in particular, have an extraordinary vulnerability to this climate change related threat.

Links:

Regional Climate Change and National Responsibilities

Wet Bulb Temperatures

Wet Bulb Temperatures 35 C

Hat tip to TodaysGuestIs

 

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191 Comments

  1. wili

     /  March 5, 2016

    I find that a lot of otherwise intelligent people really have a hard time wrapping their heads around wet bulb temperature limits. Most people have experienced temperatures in the high 90’s F (high 30’s C) that felt very humid. So when they hear that extended exposure to wbt’s of 35 and over is _universally lethal for all humans_, not just the infirm, etc…they just can’t believe it. They are often sure that they have experienced these temperature and come out just fine.

    But in fact there is no place on earth that I have heard of that has yet reach a wbt of 35 C (= 35C at 100% humidity, or the equivalent–higher absolute temperatures with progressively somewhat lower levels of humidity). Some places have come close, and more and more so recently. But the first place where 35 Cwbt is reached for more than a couple hours will see 100% death rates of everyone exposed to it, no matter how much shade or wind they are exposed to.

    Reply
    • wili

       /  March 5, 2016

      The only people who would survive it, would be people who found their way to air conditioning, or found a deep cave somewhere that remained relatively cool, or some such strategy.

      Reply
    • Liam

       /  March 6, 2016

      I think one has to experience that kind of heat to get a feel for it. I understand it from a thermodynamic perspective, and have had just a taste of it in some superheated summer weather.

      What I wonder about is the political response to a mass casualty event. As such an event could occur quite suddenly, it may take entire regions unprepared and unaware. Seeing people drop dead of heat stroke may bring climate change into the realm of immediate threat, with populations demanding a strong response. It doesn’t seem out of the question that this could spark real wars against extractive industry or heavy emitting nations.

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 6, 2016

      I agree, Wili. Nobody I’ve talked to can truly appreciate how unbearable those conditions are. It’s outside of human experience. And most of those I talk to go from a climate controlled home, to a air conditioned/heated car, to a comfortable office. They are completely removed from the “real” world in every way, and think that a 35C wet bulb just means you need to take it easy, and that you’ll sweat a lot. Even after I explain it to them, they just don’t get it. As a carpenter who does mostly new construction, I am always outside, usually doing physically exhausting work. I have been outside on the hottest/coldest days we experience, and when it’s cold you could always put on more clothes, but the heat becomes intolerable. I’ve been roofing on a 100 degree day and have gotten to the point where I become dizzy, am nauseated and have stopped sweating and have the chills. And that’s in conditions nowhere near a 35C wet-bulb. At that temperature outdoor activities will have to cease.

      Liam, I too have thought about what might happen when we see a heatwave that results in large numbers of deaths…but then I remembered we’ve already seen these events, even without a 35C wet-bulb reading. In 2003 70,000 people dies in Europe’s heatwave, with about 15,000 dying in France alone, where most homes did not have AC and had never experienced heat like that before. During the Russian heatwave of 2010 over 50,000 people died, with thousands dying just in Moscow. Interestingly, as many as 2000 died while swimming drunk in an attempt to cool off. There were also unprecedented wildfires that year which contributed to many deaths as well. And just last year a heatwave in India and Pakistan killed thousands. Britain had a heatwave that claimed about 1000 lives in 2013. I’d like to think that a highly lethal heatwave might get people’s attention, but it hasn’t happened yet. Most likely, when it does happen in the U.S., there will just be a surge in sales of air-conditioners and our emissions will increase. And James Inhofe and Ted Cruz will have a snowball fight to rove that there isn’t global warming.

      Reply
  2. And then people in the developed countries will whine about the refugees because they don’t like their cultures. Oh, the irony.

    Reply
  3. Jay M

     /  March 5, 2016

    It seems like underground living may be the ticket, but would have to be in areas without shallow water tables and constant flooding.

    Reply
    • mlparrish

       /  March 5, 2016

      Old sci-fi story with that precise setting. One character pops out of a tunnel door to report that the war with Britain is going very well.

      Reply
  4. And then there are those who would say that Hansen is sanguinely overoptimistic: some have been harping on this for almost a decade.

    Sent from my iPad 🙏🏻

    >

    Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  March 5, 2016

      That’s harsh, Hansen cannot cover every aspect of AGW on his own. He has been pretty much the bravest senior climate scientist I am aware of.

      Reply
      • Hansen has indeed been incredibly brave (him and Michael Mann). He’s also pulled few if any punches as far as how bad things are; witness his criticisms of the Paris Accords. Most importantly he’s been pretty much spot on with almost all his predictions; to call him “sanguinely overoptimistic” seems kind of polemical or uninformed.

        Reply
      • If there’s one climate scientist whose been more on the money than anyone out there, it’s Hansen.

        I don’t know for how long you’ve followed the climate story, but Hansen has been hounded from jump by fake experts who’ve been making the starkest possible predictions all while he’s also had to confront what amounts to idiot climate change denial. He’s been bracketed by outrageous alarmism and denial since jump. But he still keeps a level head and produces some of the best science out there.

        Here on this blog, I’ve got a few people who make ill informed and uneducated comments about Hansen. Or those who just basically take his comments out of context. It’s sad, really. He’s one of the best scientists we’ve ever had. And he’s willing to put himself on the line to fight this nightmare. Integrity, morality, climate science genius. The character assassination, false claiming, and strawmaning against is really just repugnant.

        Reply
      • Hear hear!

        Reply
      • T-rev

         /  March 6, 2016

        While Hansen and Mann etal have been awesome in bringing it to our attention, solutions from them are understandably thin on the ground eg Dr Hansens nuclear option is impossible (as Professor Anderson explains below, we can’t build our way out of this). For this I have great respect for Professor Kevin Anderson above all others, he lives a low emissions lifestyle and keeps espousing it, for example here with a lecture to the LSE

        Reply
        • There is much in the way of solutions when it comes to renewables + cutting carbon consumption. Dr Anderson, though he doesn’t really talk about it, helps point to what should be the obvious mitigation — cut emissions based consumption, while adding renewables.

          If we just espouse living a low carbon lifestyle, we’re basically using the abstenence argument. But if we can do that while also adding in non carbon energy, that’s a combination that both impacts behavior and impacts the emissions source directly. We’ve got to push hard on providing solutions. You wipe out the bootstrap problem if the energy sources you use to build renewables are low to zero carbon all while having emissions based consumption fall.

          Dr Anderson’s criticisms of atmospheric carbon capture are also a bit off. For one, we know that different forms of farming and land management can draw down atmospheric carbon. We also have a biofuel carbon capture and storage fallback. But the only way these will work is if the world is emitting next to zero carbon. And we can’t do that with low carbon lifestyles alone. We also need an energy switch. The two together are necessary as is the land use change and, possibly, BCCS (completely decoupled from fossil fuels which would be a heavy lift).

          Finally, I find Kevin’s pointing the finger at climate scientists as high carbon consumers while ignoring the super-rich who often, individually, produce 100,000 times the carbon impact of a subsistence farmer to also be a little off. Will these people voluntarily cut their carbon consumption? And if not, how much help does it do if people in the middle class like climate scientists struggle to take up the slack? In all honesty, without renewable energy, I find it tough to see a way in which the top of the top 1 percent reduces their own inordinate emissions voluntarily.

          Kevin puts together a good presentation. I just think he needs to think a little bit about his messaging.

  5. Kevin Jones

     /  March 5, 2016

    Thanks Robert. And Jim Hansen. Looking carefully at Scripps and ESRL graphs we can see that February monthly average at Mauna Loa came in at just over 404 ppm CO2. Just over May 2015 average. Making last month the highest yet with 3 months of annual cycle to go. Our billionaire ‘captains’ of industry are as insane as they are at the reins. Storm Warning.

    Reply
  6. Given that the “worst fears for global heating are realized”, we’re solidly in the 400 ppm range of CO2 and now this from James Hansen——- why is oil drilling in the Atlantic still an option?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/04/us/politics/divide-grows-in-southeast-over-offshore-drilling-plan.html?_r=0

    Once again, shame on Obama. Even if he doesn’t sign off on this it should not even be on the table. This is outrageous and once again evidence of his duplicitious character: saying one thing and doing another. It is the ultimate in crazy making.

    And shame on NY Times for not mentioning (no surprise) the consequences of extracting and burning this oil should Obama give drilling the green light:

    On the bright side (facetious) drilling would start in 5 years. Where do you think we’ll be in 5 years at this rate?

    Reply
    • redskylite

       /  March 5, 2016

      I agree and thanks for drawing attention to new drilling plans in the U.S. The country I live in is no better, after the COP 21 talks were over, the government congratulated themselves for conducting their side so well, gave themselves a nice pay rise, then issued a bunch of drilling permits. How do we get through to them that they need to leave it in the ground and stop burning the already exploited reserves for us to have a chance. ? Do they think scientists and environmentalists enjoy repeatedly warning them. ? Do they think ?

      Govt awards new oil permits straight after COP21

      The New Zealand government has awarded nine new oil and gas exploration permits, almost immediately following the Paris climate change conference, COP21.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/element-magazine/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503340&objectid=11562582

      Reply
    • Not a peep in this article about climate change. The coastal cities don’t like the drilling. But what they don’t seem to realize is that drilling and mining coal has already sealed many of these cities’ fates.

      To be clear, the context for my worst fears statement was due to us hitting the top end of potential warming due to El Niño + climate change. 1.5 to 1.7 C monthly in February …

      Reply
      • Got it Robert, thanks—-I will take greater care and not quote you out of context.

        I swear my blood pressure rose when I read that Time’s piece last night after reading that the Obama family will be staying in D.C for the sake of his daughter: “We’re going to have to stay a couple of years so Sasha can finish. Transferring someone in the middle of high school — tough”

        Shall we talk about what will be tough?

        The consequences of burning oil (as you so forcefully and brilliantly point out)—-from NY Times article:

        “the interior Department estimates there are 3.3 billion barrels of recoverable oil on the Atlantic’s outer continental shelf and 31.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Energy industry experts say the true reserves may be far greater”.

        I suggest he talk more about how Sasha’s life will be affected by that.

        Yes, I’m angry about this. We all should be. There is no excuse for Obama to support this—–zero, zip, nada.

        On a positive note: Sanders is the first and only candidate with a carbon tax as an essential part of his tax plan.

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  March 5, 2016

        Robert, have you seen that Arpa-E recently announced they have achieved the “holy grail” of next generation batteries? I can’t find details about what the breakthrough consists of, however. All I can find is short write ups quoting Arpa-E with the holy grail comment.

        https://www.inverse.com/article/12384-u-s-agency-beats-elon-musk-and-bill-gates-to-holy-grail-of-batteries

        Reply
        • I have seen this. And it is yet another arrow for our quiver. This is a huge deal and will have some pretty amazing implications. Low cost batteries means that the last physical barrier to individual homeowner renewable energy adoption is falling. Increasingly, the barriers are political and social. What this means is a social and political upheaval will likely be the next step in the transition to renewables.

          You’ll probably see battle lines reopened in places like Nevada and Hawaii as solar providers begin to offer less grid reliant or grid independent systems. In addition, the vehicle batteries will be superior to ICEs on both range and performance. Cost will start to fall into ranges where EVs compete with ICEs on cost more and more.

          Oil, gas, and coal are in trouble. And that’s a necessary thing. But there will be a lot of conflict and turmoil due to loss of power — both economic and political — by major players. It’s necessary. But it will probably be messy.

      • Yes, where are the details? Without specifics, it’s kind of an empty statement. What new chemistry? Periodically breakthrough announcements are made in battery technology, and then you never hear anything else about them.

        Reply
        • There’s no gauranteed route from lab to market. That said, I find ARPA-E’s statement here worth a bit of cautious optimism, especially when you consider so much innovation and advancement going on in the field and the fact that the new tech is already in early stage production by seed companies.

          So here’s a bit more context from The Guardian:

          “She said projects funded by Arpa-E had the potential to transform utility-scale storage, and expand the use of micro-grids by the military and for disaster relief. Projects were also developing faster and more efficient super conductors, and relying on new materials beyond current lithium-ion batteries.

          The companies incubated at Arpa-E have developed new designs for batteries, and new chemistries, which are rapidly bringing down the costs of energy storage, she said.

          “Our battery teams have developed new approaches to grid-scale batteries and moved them out,” Williams said. Three companies now have batteries on the market, selling grid-scale and back-up batteries. Half a dozen other companies are developing new batteries, she added.

          Williams was speaking on the sidelines of Arpa-E’s annual gathering of researchers and investors this week.

          Arpa-E has been upbeat in the past about emerging technologies. But researchers have struggled and failed to replicate such successes at greater scale and lower cost outside the research lab – a challenge Gates describes as the valley of death for innovation.”

          Link: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/03/us-agency-says-has-beaten-elon-musk-gates-to-holy-grail-battery-storage?CMP=fb_us

      • Leland’s right, they’re completely short on specifics, and as such their statements are pretty much useless. I think they just make them periodically to justify their research funding. Tesla/Panasonic and LG Chem and BYD remain way ahead of anything that ARPA-E is talking about because they’re already deploying massive amounts of batteries. Whatever they’re talking about in this article will only become meaningful once factories are built and pumping out a market-viable product.

        In other related news, I read somewhere recently that grid storage will soon become very cheap once used EV batteries start getting salvaged. An EV battery is no good for a car when it’s down to 60-70% capacity, but is perfectly good for grid storage. There are GWh of storage available in the existing LEAF batteries alone.

        Reply
        • ARPA-E provides innovative research which is then made freely available. They’re set up to stream-line their innovation products to production. If those products aren’t useful, then industry won’t pick them up. But what the article indicates are a number of processes and new technologies that look very promising. I think it’s likely that a number of auto and battery makers will pick up on at least some of these innovations — especially when you consider the number of players in the field. Ford and GM are moving toward serious EV production lines, for example. Many other automakers are following suit.

          As a result we are likely to continue to see innovation coming from both government and industry sources. But I wouldn’t ignore the seed research done by ARPA-E. They’ve been very helpful so far.

          Good point RE recycling vehicle batteries for use as an energy storage option. Overall, I think we’re widening the chain pretty rapidly which creates a number of positive feedbacks within the field.

    • Cate

       /  March 5, 2016

      Something similarly duplicitous is happening a Canada: on one side of his mouth, PM Trudeau threatens to impose a national carbon “price”, and on the other side of his mouth, he urges the development of pipelines. Pipelines, he says, will provide the money we need to develop clean energy. Talk about head-spinningly crazy. But of course, they’re not interested in actually doing anything. They’re just concerned with what they can spin—what the masses will swallow. Obama, Trudeau, and many other world leaders are still in the back pocket of Big Oil and the Bankers.

      Reply
      • Let’s be clear. On a scale of 1 being terrible and 10 being perfect, Trudeau is probably not terrible. He’s pushing these carbon fees and renewable energy policies that the conservatives would never consider. And without Obama’s sun shot intiative it’s arguable that solar panel prices would have never been so low. In fact, Obama’s clean power plan is a decent bit of policy heading in the right direction.

        My view is that Trudeau and Obama get it somewhat, but either they don’t have the necessary sense of urgency or the political backbone to fully stand up against the fossil fuel special interests. They are powerful and standing up involves risks. Risks in my view that must be taken but that are not apparently a part of the political calculus.

        Now, just one more point about COP 21 that hasn’t really been mentioned here is that under the agreement renewable energy research and development funding is doubled. In the US that means we have an ARPA E program that is aiming to do to battery prices what the sun shot initiative did to solar prices.

        So we should be careful not to paint everything with a brush of a single color. We should encourage the good and stand up to fight and block the bad. We should praise Trudeau on his carbon tax/fees and fight to block the pipelines. In this way, from the grass-roots, we can provide our own lobbying pressure.

        Reply
      • Cate

         /  March 5, 2016

        Robert, I agree, and on my FB timeline I am very careful to praise Trudeau where it’s warranted. I’m glad he’s vowed to stand up to the premiers and impose a carbon tax, but frankly, that’s the easy part for him, because he owes the premiers nothing politically. On the other hand, it’s well to remember that he comes from the very top of the Canadian establishment and that he must be under tremendous pressure from that quarter to do what they want in terms of economic and energy policy. He will want to avoid angering them, and for that reason he will appear to shilly-shally all over the climate crisis solutions map. Balancing all their demands with doing the right thing for the planet is going to require him to grow one huge backbone. But he’s a good man and he comes from tough stock. We sit and watch with fingers crossed.

        Reply
        • I think we should fight the bad moves like the dickens and support the good moves like our lives depended on it. Because, well, they might.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  March 6, 2016

        Cate, we had a similar ‘head-spinner’ as PM in 2011, Julia Gillard, who found the money for flood repair, after the worst flooding in our history, by slashing environmental programs. Mind you she was succeeded by a fanatic denialist, enemy of renewable energy, and fan of coal (‘A boon to humanity’, quoth he)Tony Abbott. The Anglosphere is Ground Zero of human stupidity and evil, no doubt about it,

        Reply
        • Mulga — a little more perspective.

          http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/gillard-cautious-on-climate-change-20100624-z2sr.html

          So though Gillard did not initially side with greens to push much needed policies like carbon taxes and/or pricing — which did eventually become implemented under her administration before Abbott basically dismantled them — by the time Gillard left as PM, Australia was on a course for a rapid transition away from fossil fuels. It took Abbott’s actions and adversarial policies to hamstring what was an amazingly rapid and ongoing transformation.

          To be clear. If we’d never have had Abbott or his successor, fossil fuels would be on the way out in Australia.

          This is testament to the current and growing market strength of renewables. Even Gillard’s reluctant support of green initiatives resulted in a renewables Renaissance. But in this case holding back the future, which could have basically been the slogan for Abbott’s entire stint as PM, begs locking in more climate harm.

          So the issue here is that, as Kevin notes, we should do everything possible at every level to tilt the odds in our favor. We should absolutely use the power of the vote to elect politicians who are more favorable to positive action. But we should also still be involved in individual responsibility — reducing our own consumption and carbon emissions, involving ourselves in direct protest action to block coal, oil, and gas, taking our personal investments out of fossil fuels, and actively seeking to replace our own energy consumption with renewables. You have to look at the issue strategically and hit it on all levels.

          One last point. I understand that you’re angry, and you have more than a right to be, but lashing out with emotionally charged rhetoric at those who have been more helpful than not, more sympathetic to our position than not, and painting them with the same brush as those who ignore and deny us entirely is not at all helpful or responsible.

          We should absolutely criticise them for their failures. But the example in Obama, who is absolutely still putting forward some unhelpful policies, is that he has listened and changed tac. He supported keystone, but under pressure, he canceled it, he launched renewable energy initiatives that rapidly expanded access and reduced prices, he pushed energy efficiency standards to never before seen levels, he supported far more helpful policies that were killed off in Congress by republicans, and when those initiatives failed, he pushed out the clean power plan. Republicans would have never done these things.

          Politics in a democratic system involves compromise. In this case, pretty much any politician would be forced into a compromise position with now dominant but faltering fossil fuels. The issue here is end goals and an increasing pace of change coupled with a greater awareness of the problem. Unfortunately, this is not likely to result in rapid enough action by itself, which is why we need such broad additional action from individuals, protest groups, and other institutions. But if we abandon the political process, it’s game over. You can’t make headway against a rising tide of policies adversarial to response and mitigation. That’s exactly what we face in the form of the Republican Party.

          And that’s why this election is so absolutely crucial. If we elect the right leaders, we stack the cards in favor of human civilization survival and reducing terrible impacts on the natural world. And we need to do all we can to do everything we can to make that happen. And that’s why this election is so very, very critical.

    • Liam

       /  March 6, 2016

      We need to turn this ship around fast, our carbon budget gives us 15 years under zero emmissions growth. From a theoretical pov, the car I currently own should be my first and last oil burner. In 2030, a new oil burning vehicle should be unthinkable. It would require a tax on raw crude (and all crude-based items) eqivilant to $2 per litre ($6 per gallon). That should knock most oil production out of business, reverse economies of scale and deter investment. Same goes for other fossil fueled substitutes.

      Without complete, rapid dismantling of FF based infrastructure, we end up in 3, 4 maybe even higher above pre-industrial, the consequences playing out over my generation’s lifetime. This is no longer about children, grandchildren, this is the immediate future of at least anyone under 30.

      Reply
    • That also shows that the president isn’t really in charge, which is also a good thing considering the current lineup of nominees. Better still to focus our wrath on the nexus of drilling cartels that seem determined to feed our addictions.

      Reply
  7. Mark from OZ

     /  March 5, 2016

    Most never notice or really care about the little warnings that portend ‘bigger’ things coming-sometimes very soon. Like the H20 temp gauge in a motor vehicle that is experiencing a cooling problem. And even if they do, more still will just keep going to ‘see what happens.’ The owner’s manual (prepared by the engineers / experts), if one bothered to read and most don’t, would have wisely recommended stopping to determine the source of the problem and getting it rectified before proceeding.

    And usually, the stumble from bad to worse, occurs very quickly and the cost and effort to fix the catastrophic failure rises exponentially. I think for many, they’ll need to smell the coolant, witness the escaping steam, feel the ‘bang’ as the engine seizes, and be left staring and listening to the multiple gauges and chimes that are now unequivocally ‘reminding’ them that an issue needed immediate attention. The question of “what happened?” will be entirely rhetorical. Action usually proceeds from this point. The level of damage will determine if it can be repaired successfully.

    Note: Hansen’s last month release examines the ferocity of Atlantic storms, the possibility of rapid sea level rise (large parts of Greenland and the Antarctic ice are below sea level) and how close we are temperature wise to previous periods when the temp needle moved higher. Those already leaving inhospitable places and moving northward, may experience further trouble as many of the destination cities are coastal and thus, at risk from SLR.

    http://www.columbia.edu/~mhs119/Temperature/RecentT_v4.pdf

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 5, 2016

      I like your analogy, Mark. I know we are experiencing an expected rapid temp rise associated with El Nino, but it still seems like things have really started to accelerate.

      Reply
      • Steven Blaisdell

         /  March 6, 2016

        Yeah, it’s a good one. Of course, this natural tendency to overlook the ‘small’ problems of AGW has been supercharged by massive propaganda and relentless disinformation. I also think Americans, with our “can do,” optimistic folkways and history of success (which have in some ways made us incredibly productive, effective, and resilient), are particularly vulnerable to assuming anything is fixable. Factor in the increasingly immediate, 24/7 culture of consumer gratification – where anything can be had at almost any hour at almost a moment’s notice; the nearly complete dissociation from any meaningful contact with or awareness of the natural world; the lack of emotionally tangible danger signals from AGW’s pace of change; plus the bias towards minimizing danger signals, especially ones that intimate disruption of a deeply narcissistic culture of materialism that’s been almost entirely reduced to a cultish veneration of personal enjoyment, comfort, and convenience…..actually, I’d be kind of surprised if Americans didn’t minimize and overlook what to the careful observer seems rational and obvious. I’m wondering, as some kind of world order settles out of the huge disruptions we’re going to see, how and where America and Americans will place on a greatly changed field. Folks might not like us much, I suspect. We shall see.

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  March 6, 2016

        Hopefully the more level headed and lest fascist countries will overtake America, but since we spend over half our budget on “defense” (expanding our empire), which is more than the rest of the world combined, I’m worried we will assert dominance for the foreseeable future. Our policy of forcing neoliberal economics and free-markets down the throat of every country on Earth has lead to this point we’re at now, and we’ve brainwashed the rest of the world to all be uber-consumers like Americans.

        Reply
  8. Colorado Bob

     /  March 5, 2016

    As a system nears a tipping point, it moves to the extremes.

    Reply
  9. ‘The link looks like something handy for the ‘tool chest’.

    Reply
  10. Colorado Bob

     /  March 5, 2016

    Trump fits this perfectly.

    This theory has real value. It sates we will be whip lashed between two poles. Before the new state emerges. Vote next fall. Drag everyone you know to the poles and vote next Fall.

    Reply
    • Absolutely! Climate change makes the vote this year critical. Anyone voting for a republican at this time is voting to worsen the problem.

      But fair warning. There will be arguments circulated in an attempt to convince folks their vote doesn’t count. Arguments making false statements about democratic support of climate change solutions. Don’t listen to them! They are likely just spoiler memes. Nothing more than psychological voter suppression. So don’t fall prey.

      As a whole, the Republican Party has made itself the party of climate change denial and increasing rates of carbon emission. Their policies are disastrous and we absolutely cannot let them gain power again. The fewer of them who hold office, the better. If we can take back the Senate and even the House, then we can develop another hard push for climate progress. And we desperately need that now. We cannot allow fossil fuel interests to resurge as they did in Australia and Britian. Our climate does not have the luxury of a political setback in 2016. So we can say with all honesty that there has never been a time in history when your vote mattered more.

      I have a number of trolls on these forums attempting to suppress the vote through false and emotionally charged negative statements. I will be taking them down if their posts appear. But due to the fact that the WordPress filter is not perfect, I will be asking you to ignore such heartless and irresponsible statements if they do show up.

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  March 5, 2016

        I’d argue that the American Republican party has been the largest, and most persistent impediment to reducing emissions in the entire world. They are the only people with power that still deny the objective reality of climate change.

        Reply
      • climatehawk1

         /  March 6, 2016

        Here’s a nice piece, posted previously, that puts the election in context: “The decisions we make today about climate change will reverberate for millennia. No pressure.” http://www.vox.com/2016/2/15/11004086/climate-change-millennia

        Reply
  11. Colorado Bob

     /  March 5, 2016

    This election is about if we fear over courage.
    Fear and Courage ,

    I’m really sick of being called an “alarmist” , they peddled this ISIS is under your bed theme.

    Your odds of being shot by ISIS are 5,000 percent lower than being shot by our standard white guy who never when to the prom.

    Fear and Courage ,

    Reply
    • There’s a difference between a rational alarmist and an outrageous one. At this point, for climate change, some alarm is justified.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  March 5, 2016

        I know the difference. And you know I know. .
        Sweet Jesus ,

        I was moving on a larger theme. The Greater Fear . Vote for me or you will die.
        .

        Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 5, 2016

      John Oliver pointed out on Last Week Tonight that you’re more likely to be shot by a toddler or killed by a vending machine than killed an ISIS terrorist.

      Reply
  12. Colorado Bob

     /  March 5, 2016

    Fear and Courage ,
    There we go, what a cusp , what an idea, What an American idea.

    Reply
  13. Colorado Bob

     /  March 5, 2016

    Sweet Jesus ,

    Reply
  14. Colorado Bob

     /  March 5, 2016

    My liver feels like a coffee table in my rib cage.

    Sweet Jesus.

    Reply
  15. Spike

     /  March 5, 2016

    In the EU there are some egregious examples of awful policy. Poland’s wind fleet has been growing strongly but new regulations are being proposed to hamstring it and they are fighting to protect coal and prevent the EU increasing its ambition post-Paris.In the UK solar hot water was attacked this week, another change causing utter bemusement.

    And yet these are two of the countries most concerned about the tide of refugees from the Middle East! There seems to be no joined up thinking going on. What we are seeing now is only the start of our traumas to come.

    Reply
  16. Taswegian

     /  March 5, 2016

    The alarm bells are well and truly ringing in my island state of Tasmania, south of Australia. This El Nino summer has been the hottest on record, with very little rain, leaving our hydro electricity dams at extremely low levels. Unprecedented bushfires have raged across the rainforests of Western Tasmania, and the precious Gondwana wilderness World Heritage areas have been devastated by wildfire. Climate change is coming home to roost.

    Reply
  17. wili

     /  March 5, 2016

    Guy gives you a shoutout here at about minute 13, robert, though he calls you ‘the very conservative rs”! ‘-) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YK3aVa6tMZE

    Reply
    • wili

       /  March 5, 2016

      But at least you’re not “unbelievably conservative” like Joe Romm!!

      Reply
    • I’m conservative? I think pretty much every scientist worth their salt would disagree.

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  March 7, 2016

        I would not call you conservative, but you’re far from alarmist. I would say you’re very grounded in reality and base all commentary on objective, factual data. You’re as accurate as a climate change writer can be.

        Reply
  18. Kevin Jones

     /  March 5, 2016

    Rutgers Snow Lab shows very large negative anomaly for Northern Hemisphere Snow Cover. Arctic Sea Ice IS all it’s cracked up to be. ‘A savage Sun it squints upon a bed that is never mine’ (no apology to bob dylan) We’ve one Hell of a summer on our hands….

    Reply
  19. Ryan in New England

     /  March 5, 2016

    Robert, fantastic and troubling post. It makes me furious when I think about the fact that Hansen has been screaming warnings at the public and policy makers for thirty years, and has been remarkably accurate with his forecasts even though in the 80s he was working with far less sophisticated models and much less computing power than what’s available today. Not to mention three decades of intensive studies of every aspect of the Earth’s climate, both past and present has provided far more data to make models and forecasts more accurate. I think back to when I was graduating high school (last century-1999), I was already concerned with climate change because we were already seeing signs that changes were occurring, yet our emissions were still soaring. But back then we had the Kyoto accord and things looked hopeful. Then Bush happened and things became remarkably worse. Now here we are, it’s 2016, Hansen is now warning that it’ll be so hot when our kids grow up you die if you go outside (while Winter has retired from the Arctic) and people still don’t give a sh*t. I’d argue things have devolved severely since the 90s. My evidence? Look at the Republican “presidential” candidates! That’s all you need to say, as it speaks volumes as to the concerns of a large part of this country. If they’re afraid of all the immigrants now (we have the most guarded border ever, with cameras, drones, border guards and national guard troops by the thousands and walls and Obama has deported more immigrants than any other President) wait until the areas to our south collapse. And Europe is struggling to deal with Syrian refugees…wait until the entire region can’t support the population.

    Reply
  20. Thank you Robert for your discussion. I would like to add that the human-caused emergency is becoming or has already become a tragedy for natural ecosystems. Earth’s webs of life constructed of interacting plants and animals will suffer far greater and more important loses than will human civilization. For one thing, humans can emigrate (if their neighbors let them) from landscapes becoming uninhabitable. Plants and most animals cannot.

    Reply
    • Garry, yes . . . . what you say is the tragic truth. Thank you for pointing this out.
      While lovely to hear the sounds of spring—- woodpeckers drumming, cardinals, tufted titmice, song sparrows and more singing—- it also breaks my heart for I see the changes in the places they live and of course, these changes do not bode well for their continued survival.

      The red winged blackbirds are staking out their territory and singing here in the Midwest. Sandhill cranes are arriving, the chorus frogs will start calling this week, I predict.

      All of it is breathtaking. Every year it is as if I experience a cardinal song for the first time. Ditto for Woodcock “peenting” and all of the wonders of spring that continue to burst forth in spite of human’s assault on the biosphere.

      It is bittersweet (to say the least) to see/hear/smell/feel spring unfold in the face human induced warming and habitat destruction. The bitter part is becoming more difficult to integrate into my psyche.
      The sweet part . . . that still outshines all the darkness we face . . . . the first sighting of a hummingbird will bring me to my knees with joy and reverence. Can’t imagine a world without them. It would be impossible to feel whole in such a world.

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  March 5, 2016

        Wonderfully stated, Caroline. I too am enjoying the sounds of Spring, but my heart is heavy because it’s far too early, and I know what that ultimately means. It’s going to be 70 here on Wednesday, about 30 degrees above normal.

        Reply
    • Cate

       /  March 5, 2016

      Caroline, beautiful post, heart-rending in fact. Thank you.

      Garry, you remind me of all the species going extinct daily, especially plants, but also animals, sea creatures, for example, some of which are still unknown to science. A long time ago I worked at a national park in northern Canada, where the botanists showed me subspecies of tundra flowers that grew there—and nowhere else on the planet, as far as anyone knew. These are the plants that cannot escape climate change, that cannot move, in the way that fish, birds, and mammals can. We are losing so much that we will never even know.

      Reply
  21. Excellent closing point made in the final paragraph.

    Reply
  22. – $$$ and divestment — this is interesting:
    ( The Guardian supplies more relevant news re USA than USA media — or so it seems.

    New York pension fund could have made billions by divesting from fossil fuels – report

    Moving money out of fossil fuels and into environmentally-friendly tech could have made members of the state’s pension fund an extra $4,500 each

    New York State’s pension fund would have an additional $5.3bn to give to its retired employees if it had divested from fossil fuel companies and put that money into clean energy, according to a new report.

    The analysis, compiled by research firm Corporate Knights, assessed the fund’s top 100 domestic and international equity holdings, and calculated how much it would have earned over the past three years if it had got rid of its investments in coal, oil and gas companies.

    The New York State Common Retirement Fund is the third largest pension fund in the country, behind California’s CalPERS and CalSTRS, with $184.5bn held in trust for retirement benefits. According to the report, released this week, a move away from fossil fuels would have made each of the fund’s 1.1 million members more than $4,500 richer, and helped the state cover nearly 12% of the costs following Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
    http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/mar/04/fossil-fuel-divestment-new-york-state-pension-fund-hurricane-sandy-ftse?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+USA+-+Version+CB+header&utm_term=160322&subid=8553955&CMP=ema_565

    Reply
    • So it’s pretty clear that clinging to fossil fuels in investment funds is more about misconception and institutional inertia than anything else.

      I read the financial news sources to keep up on sentiment and the amount of myth and misconception regarding the viable future of fossil fuels is pretty outrageous. Right now, oil provides a good study. The price of oil has made a little jump over the past week and the flood of investment capital coming back in is rather mystifying. You’d think that a 5-10 dollar bump suddenly made everyone profitable. When the truth of the matter is there’s a 50-60 dollar per barrel threshold for most operators.

      Oil may still be the most entrenched fossil fuel. But coal and gas are now less desirable options than wind and solar when considering both cost and climate impact.

      I think what we have here is a low information investor problem. That combined with the fact that legacy fossil fuel holders are defending concentrations of wealth and power that are related to fossil fuels. It’s a crumbling edifice, though. And these more visible attempts at cynical market dominance and monopolization by fossil fuel interests is a pretty clear indication that they require government intervention to remain viable. The only path for these guys, and the one they are now trying to take is to legislate the competition out of the equation, this shouldn’t be a surprise, because this has always been the case with these entities — rigging the game so that people have no energy choice. So that people are held captive to their products. If there’s one thing that’s most amoral and underhanded about these fossil fuel entities, then this is it. And now, we have no choice but to confront them directly and to fight with everything we have. They’ve put the whole of the human and the natural world on death ground this Century. The only way out now is to beat them.

      Reply
    • Cate

       /  March 6, 2016

      DT, agreed re The Guardian, although of course the slant is to the left, so righties beware! haha

      The BBC online also does excellent North American coverage.

      Reply
  23. – PNW All that heat that became moisture hovers above as I write.

    Reply
  24. Earthjustice ‏@Earthjustice 1h1 hour ago

    Wow, America gets a lot of electricity from wind these days

    Reply
    • Onward and upward.

      It’s worth noting that as renewable energy’s positive learning curve has steepened — lowering costs and prices with time and scale — the same has not been the case with nuclear. Prices remain high. And in the best case nuclear is likely to only be a bit player in dealing with the climate crisis. Even France, which now gets 75 percent of its electricity from nuclear is planning for 50 percent by mid century with the rest taken up by renewables — chiefly on the issue of cost.

      Renewables are a mainstream power source now capable of exponential expansion. Low cost battery tech enablement is waiting in the wings.

      Reply
    • Coming along, definitely. Wind still only provides about 5% of U.S. electricity, but it’s 10x what it was a decade ago, and poised to continue growing after extension of federal tax credits passed last December. (The reason it appears to be more on the map is that many of the states with the highest percentages have very small populations and population density.)

      Reply
  25. June

     /  March 5, 2016

    As Robert said above, Hansen has an integrity and courage that is inspiring. He is fully aware of the difficulties that lie ahead, yet he does not give in to despair. Instead he is fully committed to the fight to the point of being willing to be arrested. He is one of my heroes.

    His portrait is among those in a series called Americans Who Tell The Truth by the Maine artist Robert Shetterly. I highly recommend taking a look at his website whenever you feel overwhelmed by the state of the world. The portaits are of citizens, past and present, who have committed themselves to addressing issues of social, environmental, and economic justice. Each portrait contains a quotation from the portait subject. Some of the other current people in the series include Tim DeChristopher, Naomi Klein, Bill McKibben.

    http://www.americanswhotellthetruth.org/

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  March 6, 2016

      Berrigan, Bonds & Brown… I remember them!

      Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  March 6, 2016

        I met Phil Berrigan in Federal Prison in 1971. Buried him in 2002. Met Judy Bonds in 2007. Got arrested with her in 2009. And I am a direct descendant of John Brown’s fathers’ sister. That’s my resume and I’m stickin’ to it!

        Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  March 6, 2016

        Some times, dear friends, despite the odds and disagreements, we must park our excuses and get off our asses.
        http://www.democracyspring.org

        Reply
        • Hear! Hear!

          I just want to add by thanking Kevin for his service in the form of the numerous, selfless protest actions he has contributed to throughout his life. If we were all as active as Kevin, the level of public awareness would be higher and our level of policy response would also likely be far more adequate to the problem. Political activism like Kevin’s is absolutely essential. In morden democracies government responds to the institutional powers AND to the force of applied public sentiment. In fact, it’s the force of the public will that is the real trump card in what kind of policies and what kind of government we get. If the people are divided, then the institutional powers can have their way. But if the people are united on climate change and if they vote their conscience, then we can change our path.

          Thanks to Kevin. But I’d also be proud to thank everyone in the aftermath of a climate victory for 2016,

          It’s not going to be easy. We’re going to have to fight like hell. But we need to do all we can to win for our future, for our children, and for all the innocent creatures and living things of this world. We have to win to prevent the worst case and we must win to preserve a fighting chance for a survivable future. It’s not a question of should at this time. It’s a question of must.

      • Kevin Jones

         /  March 6, 2016

        Thanks for the kind words, Robert. The bizarre truth is I owe (the good parts) of my life to Nixon, the draft, the soldiers who resisted and the kids shot down at Kent State. They all opened my eyes at an early age and as Neil Young sang, “How can you run when you know?”

        Reply
        • Reagan was my Nixon. Military (some Intel) service opened my eyes to a few things. 12 months in a trade org was pretty eye-opening too. And yeah, well, Janes. I’m with you and Neil both. Can’t run. Know too damn much. Got too much conscience to just give up.

  26. I’ve seen similar shifted graphs regarding food production. But as David Battisti explains, it doesn’t mean a bad crop, but crop failure. Further more, these crop failures tend to be in the not so stable countries of the world.

    Reply
  27. Syd Bridges

     /  March 6, 2016

    I suspect that after these areas become uninhabitable, continued positive feedbacks will make many of “our” countries uninhabitable too. Much of western Europe and the southern US will find itself within an expanded Hadley cell and turning to desert. Indeed, I wonder whether we will see all three Hadley, Ferrel, and Polar cells or whether we could end up with the nprthern polar cell collapsing and the Hadley cell pushing the Ferrel cell north. In the extreme we might just see the Hadley cell in the northern Hemisphere, when most of it could become uninhabitable.

    Hansen has consistently warned what was to come and he has been proved correct time and time again. And you too, Robert, have done a great job, warning what this El Nino would bring. From your first post on the Kelvin waves crossing the Pacific, things have occurred just as you warned they would. But don’t hold your breath for an apology from Antony Watts.

    Reply
  28. Jay M

     /  March 6, 2016

    skipped to the end here, so hope not repeating anything
    the set up is that an atmospheric river is finally may occur and may reduce the water deficit in CA. I am in WA which is predicted to be the north edge of the phenomenon. The Weatherunderground prediction for Camas, WA is Sun-Fri .52, .22,..58,1.27 (WED),.09, .36
    inches, Saturday is occasional rain. So looks like WED check on California. I will try to give a fringe interpretation.

    Reply
    • wili

       /  March 6, 2016

      “atmospheric river…may reduce the water deficit in CA”

      May, or may not: “Atmospheric River Storms Can Reduce Sierra Snow”

      http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=5648

      Reply
      • “…in California’s Sierra Nevada, atmospheric river storms are two-and-a-half times more likely than other types of winter storms to result in destructive “rain-on-snow” events, where rain falls on existing snowpack, causing it to melt. Those events increase flood risks in winter and reduce water availability the following summer.

        …in California’s Sierra Nevada, atmospheric river storms are two-and-a-half times more likely than other types of winter storms to result in destructive “rain-on-snow” events, where rain falls on existing snowpack, causing it to melt. Those events increase flood risks in winter and reduce water availability the following summer.
        “That small difference in temperature often determines whether we gain snow or lose snow from a storm,”…

        The amount of snow that melts in these events depends on how warm the rain and air are and how much rain falls. But the researchers found that, on average, warmer storms generate about a quarter-inch (0.7 centimeter) of snowmelt (i.e. liquid water) for each day of rain, providing 20 percent of the water available for runoff in these events. In other words, as Guan explained, “The primary contribution to any flooding still comes from the rainfall, but the melting snow makes things 20 percent worse.”

        Reply
  29. Andy in SD

     /  March 6, 2016

    It’s Been So Warm in Anchorage, They’re Bringing in Snow by Train for the Iditarod

    Feb. 29 was the first February day in recorded history in which there were zero inches of snowpack in Anchorage, during what is typically the snowiest time of the year. (And yes, Feb. 29 was Leap Day, but March 1 typically isn’t any warmer than Feb. 28.) Given the forecast for even warmer weather ahead in our coldest state, the 2015–16 winter, as short as it was, is essentially already over.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2016/03/03/iditarod_2016_alaska_hauls_snow_by_train_to_race_start.html

    Reply
  30. Cate

     /  March 6, 2016

    Unseasonal heat in Canada’s north: the ice roads are turning to slush.

    Reply
    • Andy in SD

       /  March 6, 2016

      That event usually turns out only one way, that truck sinks unless the fuel tank is empty.

      One expensive tow!

      If anyone else has even been on an ice road in the spring as it is falling apart, they know how these usually turn out. I almost had a Camaro deep six it on an ice bridge on Hay River in May of 81.

      Reply
      • Andy in SD

         /  March 6, 2016

        Looking at the pic, that fuel tank is empty, one lucky bugger there!

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  March 7, 2016

        I cant believe this is happening in the beginning of March! Like you just stated, Andy, you were driving on an ice road in May. I saw a graph that displayed the change in amount of days the ice road is open each year, and like everything it has declined rapidly in recent years. I’ll try and find it…

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  March 7, 2016

        Number of travel days for oil exploration

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  March 7, 2016

        Oops, that didn’t copy the image. Well, here’s the link for a graph displaying days per year that the tundra roads are open. It used to be from about October until June in the 70s, but now it’s open from mid-January through April.

        Reply
    • redskylite

       /  March 6, 2016

      The main shock from this article is that ice road does not usually close until the end of March. As far as I know El Nino’s do not normally effect the Arctic much, although the Arctic oscillation is also strongly positive, this is abnormal and worrying. Warnings were there last year too. We know that GHG’s are warming the planet and should not be surprised anymore. It is great that people on this forum are so quick on the ball though.

      The Déline access road is the only road connection between the community, located on the shore of Great Bear Lake, and the Sahtu winter road system. The Déline road historically closes around the end of March.

      http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/truck-plunges-deline-ice-road-1.3477869

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  March 6, 2016

        redskylite, agreed, very alarming, very bad news. This is climate change coming home. And it’s biting the North very hard.

        Northern communities all across Canada rely on these winter ice-roads to transport much of their annual goods and materials because the only other option, flying in the non-ice seasons, is prohibitively expensive. Shortening of ice road seasons (they were late opening this year, and this one is closing almost a month early in what is already a relatively short season) will have a huge impact on our isolated northern communities.

        Reply
  31. labmonkey2

     /  March 6, 2016

    Spotted this GRIST article linked from Climate State. Stating we’ve passed the 2C mark on Thursday.
    – I’d say that the climate being in overdrive… is an understatement –

    As of Thursday morning, for the first time in recorded history, average temperatures across the Northern Hemisphere briefly crossed the threshold of 2 degrees Celsius above “normal.” Eric Holthaus picked up on the momentous occasion over at Slate, adding that global warming is now “going into overdrive.”

    http://grist.org/climate-energy/global-warming-is-now-in-overdrive-we-just-hit-a-terrible-climate-milestone/

    Reply
    • Daily 2 C mark passed in the northern hemisphere in the CFSv2 model essay. One day in one hemisphere in one measure. That’s not a global 2 C excession. But it is a very high single day reading for the NH.

      Reply
      • entropicman

         /  March 6, 2016

        It is also the first lapping ripple of the advancing tide.

        It may be 30 years before we can expect 2.0C as an annual global average, but it is coming. Such symbolic numbers as March 3rd are a reminder.

        Reply
        • Oh it’s coming. It would take something pretty extraordinary to have a decent chance of stopping it now.

      • “Oh it’s coming. It would take something pretty extraordinary to have a decent chance of stopping it now.” I’m still hoping for the extraordinary.

        Between reading this and “phone banking” for Bernie yesterday it’s hard to function today!!!
        Never thought I would intrude into people’s lives via direct phone calls for political reasons (yesterday I morphed into one of those obnoxious people you hang up on—never say never) but it gave me an insight into the level of despair people are feeling, at least throughout the state of Illinois which I’m sure extends throughout the world.

        To hear people’s stories (the ones who didn’t hang up on me!!) was heartbreaking. And there were many. But it was also inspiring and uplifting (except for the “Trumpeters” who told me to f*&k off).

        Humans, nonhumans, lots of pain out there.
        No question we are at an unprecedented time in history.
        Insert: Time has come today.

        Reply
        • We have nearly enough GHG forcing to lock it in over the 100 year timeframe now. We need a response that rapidly plateaus and subsequently reduces CO2e in order to avoid 2 C . Even in such an optimistic scenario, we might exceed that level briefly, all the while praying that the carbon stores behave themselves.

          I want to thank you for your diligent support of Bernie. He’s the best candidate for the climate out there.

  32. Hilary

     /  March 6, 2016

    Update on Fiji post Winston:
    http://www.weatherwatch.co.nz/content/fiji-read-these-incredible-tales-survival-cyclone-winston
    Difficult times for people there now.
    Also:
    “Paul Ross, the founder of charity Pacific Kids, has been helping orphans of the Pacific island for the past three years in Loloma, near Nadi, but he knew the cyclone would have more far- reaching consequences, so he got on the phone to New Zealand businesses to get them on boa
    Very quickly I realised that Fiji was in desperate need of international help and I needed to do far more than simply help out at the orphanage…….
    “However, because of corruption in Fiji, Mr Ross said he’s not too focused on raising money, rather getting much needed food and supplies.”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11600960

    Reply
  33. Abel Adamski

     /  March 6, 2016

    An item of interest, we all know the article
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/science/648802/global-warming-climate-change-coral-reef

    However the response by the good Dr Bowman as posted in the comments
    JohnFitzgerald1
    So, Dr. Browman says,

    “The Times article is not representative of the message that I tried to give the journalist during the interview – that is, the message presented my introduction to the special issue in which I state clearly and explicitly that ocean acidification IS happening and WILL have effects.

    He [Ben Webster of The Times] cherry-picked our conversation and presented phrases out of context – seemingly in order to be sensational – despite the fact that I told him that the press was part of the “exaggeration” problem. For example, the quoted phrase “inherent bias” in the first paragraph is not the same as the “publication bias” that I refer to in my introduction. Further, my introduction does not say that the existing literature is “exaggerating” the effects of ocean acidification, but that more careful interpretation is required. Finally, I am not saying that the special issue overturns previous literature on the topic, as the Times suggests, but that they should be taken together, in balance. Very disappointing.”

    And the really amazing this is how deniers will swallow SEAN MARTIN bs, hook, line and sinker… Easy money.

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 7, 2016

      Of course they will, because they aren’t looking for nuance, or explanations for facts. They already know the answer, and only accept information that confirms their view.

      Reply
  34. Sea ice in Arctic Circle melting faster than thought

    “It’s completely unprecedented, people who work up there, go up to the Arctic, go around on boats, cruise around to measure these things are absolutely stunned by how warm it is this year,” said Robert Newton,an arctic researcher at Columbia University.

    “It’s the dead of winter, there’s no light, it’s well below freezing. It should be locked in with ice all the way across, but the ice has significantly retreated even in the winter time.”

    He also says scientists “are both fascinated and frightened by it, yes.”

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/sea-ice-in-arctic-circle-melting-much-faster-than-first-thought/

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  March 6, 2016

      todaysguestis, wow, this story made the CBS mainstream news? That’s got to be a story in itself.🙂

      Reply
    • It’s CBS. But this is just online. This should be the lead in the nightly news.

      Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  March 6, 2016

        I saw it on network news. Sun shining (as in archival footage). Glaciers crashing into the sea (in a story about sea ice)…but the scientist was good. ‘ Scientists are fascinated. People should be frightened. We scientists are people and we are fascinated and frightened…’ something like that.

        Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  March 6, 2016

        And New Hampshire’s only network tv station had a very short clip on maple sugar season heating up and the discussion to be held at Keene State College this week about that. It ain’t much. Criminally late. But some thing.

        Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 7, 2016

      I caught this on the CBS Evening News program. They did cover it, and didn’t have a denier to dismiss it. The scientist they interviewed said it was totally unprecedented, and stressed how troubling this is. I was surprised by how accurate the segment was. It was towards the end of the broadcast though, when it should be the lead story every single night.

      And their story about starving seal pups cancels out any good they did with the story bout the Arctic. In a recent broadcast they mentioned the starving animals and disturbed food chain on the west coast, but said the warmer than usual water is a result of the current El Nino. This is a ridiculous and misleading statement. El Nino is a a build-up of warm water in the Southern Hemisphere off the coast of South America, but CBS viewers will think it’s warm water that piles up off the North American west coast. And as everyone here knows, there was “The Blob” (a massive area of ocean off the American west coast that was far warmer than normal) that had been parked off of California’s coast for years, far before the current El Nino emerged. My take from the news was that it was very ill informed and incredibly misleading, and the viewer walks away thinking nothing abnormal is happening in the Pacific.

      Reply
      • So a positive PDO may have also influenced the hot blob’s formation. But if the news isn’t mentioning climate change’s likely impacts on increased Pacific heat, and especially what we’ve seen in the Northeast Pacific recently, then they’re not telling the complete story. Overall, there’s no way we would have seen such warm sea surface temperatures in NE PAC for so long without the added influence of climate change. There’s a degree of science to support that conclusion. Enough to provide context and to consider it irresponsible for media to not cover that likely and almost certain climate change influence.

        Reply
  35. Cate

     /  March 6, 2016

    Apologies if this has already been posted. Again, that familiar refrain…..”more than expected…”

    http://www.rcinet.ca/eye-on-the-arctic/2016/03/01/levels-of-methane-increasing-rapidly-in-the-arctic/

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  March 6, 2016

      Thanks, Cate. I just checked ESRL GMD data from Svalbard: CO2 above 411ppm. CH4 above 1985ppb.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  March 6, 2016

        This is probably a really stupid question, but is anyone monitoring for the “clathrate guns” as they happen, or is that something that can only be inferred from the data after the fact….? Forgive me, I am an English major.😀

        Reply
        • Right now, we have a few observational scientists looking at suspect hotspots. And we have the global GHG monitors. We’d get some warning prior. But given the state of the science now, the signal would likely be confused.

          I think what’s more likely is that we will tend to see a rising indication of releases from the global carbon system over the coming decades. But we should be very clear that it appears that the Earth System is not capable of producing anything even close to the human emission over an annual timescale. The main feedback issue appears to be locking in dangerous long-term warming, adding to the human forcing in the range of 10-30 percent this century, and putting the world on a long term feedback path to another hothouse event like the Permian or PETM even if human emissions follow a low to moderate path this Century.

          There is a caveat — that being that there’s an outside chance that the velocity of human warming overwhelms Earth System carbon stores to the point that we get a response never seen before in paleoclimate. One that would amplify the human warming far more than the 30 percent range. Unfortunately, we have only circumstantial evidence for this potential and no confirmed physical mechanism. Part of the problem here is that hydrate stability models are still their infancy. We’re 30 years behind the glacial sciences in this regard. And the study itself is rather small and niche. We basically need more of everything when it comes to climate change — research, mitigation, response, and readiness. Republicans in this country are fighting to kill it all.

      • Ok. So the major monitors are — NOAA ESRL (reporting station data), METOP (satellite), Copernicus (satellite), and AIRS (retired satellite). There are a few more but these are the biggies.

        Reply
      • Cate, great question (re: clathrates) and Robert, thank you for you thoughtful answer.

        Reply
      • Cate

         /  March 6, 2016

        Thanks, Robert, for the very patient explanation—eventually it will sink in, I promise! haha–and thanks, Kevin also. Supplementary question: so is there a threshold level of methane beyond which we should be trying not to go? Say with carbon, it’s 350/360 ppm, and now we’re over 400, so is there something similar for methane we should be looking at?

        Reply
  36. Pakistan’s Big Threat Isn’t Terrorism—It’s Climate Change

    With sea levels rising, there is also an increased chance of trans-boundary migration. According to a report by Dawn, sea level rise is expected to produce 35-40 million climate refugees. These Pakistani refugees will have no place to go: migration to India will not be possible because of the tense political history between the nations, and Bangladesh will not be able to absorb the vast number of refugees as it suffers from its own low-lying coastal belt.

    Dr. Inam of the NIO agrees that the danger is imminent unless drastic actions are taken. “Time for Karachi is quickly running out,” he said. “Some parts of Karachi’s Malir have already gone under water. And with the current rate of climate change, the economic hub of Pakistan has 35 to 45 years before it completely submerges into the Arabian Sea.”

    http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/03/04/pakistans-big-threat-isnt-terrorism-its-climate-change/

    Reply
  37. For those who believe that all things are interconnected; that if you pull a thread in one place, you’ll find it is attached to the rest of the world . . .
    this is essential reading:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/06/business/a-biotech-evangelist-seeks-a-zika-dividend.html?_r=0

    Reply
  38. – Weather NA

    Reply
    • Anthony Sagliani ‏@anthonywx 4h4 hours ago
      In fact this trough digs practically to the equator on Wednesday at 200mb.
      – nullschool:

      Reply
    • [And some going up north into Quebec and towards the Gulf of St. Lawrence, etc.]

      Reply
      • – One more due to location the ‘Gap’:

        Anthony Sagliani ‏@anthonywx 14m14 minutes ago
        Very strong reverse gap winds through Isthmus of Tehuantepec as +5 SD trough & S meridional flow evolves Wed-Thur.

        Reply
      • Eric Blake ‏@EricBlake12 8m8 minutes ago
        @anthonywx @BDiNunno reverse gap gale events– rare indeed!

        Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 7, 2016

      That is just nuts. It’s leading to a high of 70 here in Ct on Wed.

      Reply
  39. – PDX USA NWS – March 2016 temps hi/lo averaged aprox. 6 F or 3 C aprox.

    Reply
  40. Map: 116 environmental activists were killed in just one year

    Last April, a report found that in 2014, at least 116 environmental activists were murdered. Of these, the largest percentages were protesting the activities of hydropower, mining, and agribusiness companies. Global Witness compiled the killings into a map by country, giving a startling picture of the dangers facing environmentalists around the world:
    http://grist.org/news/map-116-environmental-activists-were-killed-in-just-one-year/

    Reply
  41. – Off topic personal note:
    Hey, Robert — you once called RS a “A think tank in exile.”
    Guess what?
    This is not the first time I have been linked to a ‘Think Tank.’
    The first time was when I was in the sixth grade in Venice California.
    I was 12 or 13 years old, and I caused quite a ‘stir’ when the SAT test takers came to my school.
    I was taking the test (effortlessly) when I heard some exited whispering behind me that lasted a couple of minutes. Though I couldn’t make out much of what they were saying later I pieced together what I thought I could hear. (I’ll relate them in a moment.)
    I didn’t think much more about it but that day, or the next, my teacher paid a visit to my home. She had a rather intense look on her face — and I wasn’t sure why she was there. As far as I knew, teachers didn’t do that sort of thing. If someone did something bad parent’s were usually summoned to the school.
    My Mom was a bit confused herself but was able to tell me that the teacher said something like, “This kid (me) is sharp! Real sharp.”
    And that my parents should everything they could to help keep me on track — or some such thing.
    This was in 1961-62 the height of the cold war etc. And over in Santa Monica 4 km away was the burgeoning Rand civilian (DOD for the most part) Think Tank. I’m sure the SAT people were told to be on the lookout for possible ‘brainy’ assets.
    And — the point being that the two whispered words I thought I could make out during the test were, “Maybe Rand…”.
    (I never made it to Rand. Two of my modern day heroes , Anthony Russo and Daniel Ellsberg (Pentagon Papers), were over at Rand though.)
    Mom wasn’t sure what to do as she had to deal with my really weird adoptive father who kept the whole family off balance. But that is another story.

    Reply

    • Anyway, I didn’t think much about it until recently as I was trying to put a fragmented life and identity back together. Then I remembered this early episode.
      Then, when I hit my stride as a hands on field naturalist, and I started noticing environmental situations and offering possible remedies long before the local experts and authorities did — it got me thinking.
      So, from a possible Rand think tank to a, as you put it, “A think tank in exile.” — here I am at 66 putting my efforts into working for, I hope, the common good.
      Thanks again for the opportunity to input here.
      OUT

      Reply
      • Well, DT. I for one really appreciate all the effort you put in here. The constant stream of updates in real time really helps to give context — which is absolutely needed. It’s also nice to see new expertise highlighted. And the analysis is often spot on. From where I’m sitting, I’d say Rand missed out.

        Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  March 6, 2016

        “The case [Pentagon Papers] has messed up my life but what difference does that make.” Tony Russo Thanks dtlange. Tony and my paths crossed a few times while in and out of Mitch Snyders’ DC Community for Creative Non-violence. I remember several warm talks and cold beers. ’73-’76. A good soul as was Mitch’s. RIP both. But hey! We’re still standing!

        Reply
      • Cate

         /  March 6, 2016

        Thanks, DT, good to hear your story. Seems to me Rand’s loss is the RS Thinktank’s gain.

        Reply
      • – KJ, Russo was a hard charging helper working for LA Probation Dept. (I think.) until his health gave out.
        I mentioned him to Daniel Ellsberg when he spoke in Santa Barbara about nuclear politics. He mentioned that Russo had to sue some agency to his deserved pension instated as his health was failing.
        DE was involved in the study of Command and Control decisions re hot times with nuclear weapons as an option.
        I approached him about the black dust and soot fallout I was seeing in SB. And the lack of progress in getting local civil gov alarmed. He understood and wished me well but he had much to do himself.
        The ‘command and control’ decisions I faced were basically the many individual motorists generating FF fallout and the culture or economic forces at work. I guess I still am.

        It took teamwork by AR and DE in getting the ‘Papers’ out to the public.
        And I like the teamwork here.

        Reply
      • – Thanks, Robert.
        PEACE

        Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 7, 2016

      Thanks for that, dt. I loved reading that, it made me not feel so alone. I was also singled out in elementary school as “gifted”, and since I was very young refused to skip a grade because I didn’t want to leave my friends/classmates. I ended up in a new class the next year anyway, since I was placed in a city wide gifted class called the “Epic program”, which was at a different school than my friends. My classmates from Epic have become lawyers, business leaders and money hungry super-consumers. While I have gotten rid of my car, have given up meat, walk run or cycle everywhere, and live in a small one bedroom apartment. I took the path less traveled, and that has made all the difference🙂

      Reply
      • We need about three billion more like you, Ryan. Including many of the extraordinarily wealthy.

        Reply
      • – Way to go, Bruddah!
        I am glad that I never got a ‘label’ attached to me — labels are so limiting. Energetic free range moral thinker and doer — giving back to my community.

        Reply
  42. There is a great new TV show called Occupied on Netflix that touches on topics that are discussed here, climate change and geopolitics. Very well written. Here’s a blurb from a vogue magazine review.

    “In a not-so-distant future, Norway has elected a radical branch of the Green Party, and its charismatic new prime minister shuts down the country’s supply of oil and gas to continental Europe. Despite an impending climate crisis, the EU is none too pleased with this overnight weaning from petrol, and invites Russia to offer Norway “technical assistance” in restoring its fossil fuel production. Russian gunships descend on Norway’s oil platforms. America, having withdrawn from NATO, is nowhere to be found. And so begins a slow, doublespeak-laden, Putin-style escalation into occupation.

    In a dramatic style characteristic of Scandinavian film and television, the characters, which are drawn from every faction of the political situation and include the prime minister, a Norwegian double agent, a newspaper reporter, his restaurateur wife, and even the de facto Russian governor of Norway, are all portrayed sympathetically. And as a viewer, it’s impossible to take sides, or even to see through the fog of war to what a good outcome might be.”

    Reply
    • Thanks for the heads up, Erik. Will have to take a look. But it appears from your write up that this bit of art is an all-too-real imitation of life.

      Reply
  43. Many of world’s lakes are vanishing and some may be gone forever

    “If Titicaca stops supplying the Desaguadero River then the region will enter a new climate regime and the entire Andean Plateau will change from a benign agricultural area to an arid inhospitable area,” says Mark Bush, biologist at Florida Institute of Technology. “This happened during two prior interglacials and each time the dry event lasted for thousands of years.”

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/2079562-many-of-worlds-lakes-are-vanishing-and-some-may-be-gone-forever/

    Reply
  44. Reply
  45. Carole

     /  March 7, 2016

    Meet Cameron Beccario, the creator of earth.nullschool. How cool is he?

    Reply
    • Carole

       /  March 7, 2016

      Please go to 34:30 and listen what Cameron has to say about the accuracy of his model.

      Reply
  46. Andy in SD

     /  March 7, 2016

    Looking at the crappy snow cover, I wonder what the fire season will be in Alaska this year.

    http://www.arctic.io/explorer/8/2016-03-05/9-N64.67336-W154.44427

    Reply
  47. No one in my lifetime has EVER spoken the truth about climate change like Bernie Sanders did in the debate tonight. We have an opportunity here to support someone who stated tonight he is against fracking (Clinton supports all of the above energy) and must have a carbon tax. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity here—-we have no more time.

    Reply
  48. Andy in SD

     /  March 7, 2016

    Miami is starting to sweat, and it;s not the humidity, it’s sea level rise…

    Mayors of 21 cities in Florida on Friday called on the moderators of next week’s presidential debates in Miami to ask candidates how they would deal with rising sea levels caused by climate change, a concern of the state’s coastal communities.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-climatechange-idUSMTZSAPEC34J7GI77

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 7, 2016

      I often find that the question of what to do in Florida is indicative of an ability to grasp the true scale of the problem at hand. Everyone asks “what do we do about rising seas” and are answered with engineering solutions such as dykes and sea walls, but nobody ever says that we need to stop seas from rising by stopping emissions. Nobody ever links rising seas to fossil fuels. The topic of stopping emissions just never comes up.

      Reply
      • If we aren’t able to identify rising seas with continued emissions, then we’ll never solve the root cause. We’ll just end up dealing with increasingly difficult circumstances.

        Reply
  49. – More weather energy heading up to this NE Atlantic region:

    Reply
    • COLDER THAN ICELAND: Britain hit by shivering temperatures as heavy snow sweeps in TONIGHT
      UPDATED: 18:32, Sun, Mar 6, 2016

      As the current cold snap continues to dish out freezing temperatures across the UK, forecasters warn we have not seen the last of the shivering snow.

      Overnight, temperatures plunged to -7C in some parts of northern Scotland and are expected to plummet to as low as -10C – COLDER than Iceland – tonight.

      And there is another frosty night ahead for the rest of the country because temperatures are expected to drop between 2C to -4C.

      In contrast, temperatures will drop to a chilly 0C in Reykjavík, Iceland.
      http://www.express.co.uk/news/weather/650264/UK-weather-heavy-snow-temperatures-rain

      Reply
  50. – I like this🙂

    Reply
  51. – Hey Bob;
    NWS Albuquerque ‏@NWSAlbuquerque Mar 5

    Snowpack across the Sandia mtns is less this year (early March) compared to last year. Feb was not kind. #NMwx

    Reply
  52. Cate

     /  March 7, 2016

    The Heat Age is here….. “we’re going to have to live through a global heat age.” It’s not about stopping it anymore, it’s about how we—and other species—are going to survive this, through adaptation and increasing resiliency. “Because we want to make it through the heat age with the least number of casualties possible.”

    http://www.ktoo.org/2016/03/06/researcher-science-must-protect-key-species-from-climate-change-driven-extinction/

    Reply
  53. Abel Adamski

     /  March 7, 2016

    Conservative governments
    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/smaller-penalties-for-csg-companies-amid-crack-down-on-protesters-20160307-gncbkk.html

    Penalties of just $5000 could be issued to coal seam gas companies who explore or mine without permission instead of a potential $1.1 million fine under changes introduced by the Baird government.

    As energy minister Anthony Roberts unveiled plans to clamp down on anti-coal seam gas protesters, the government has ushered in smaller alternative penalties to court prosecution for a range of offences.

    For example, mining without authority – currently a $1.1 million fine plus $110,000 per day for a company if successfully prosecuted in court – can now be punished with a $5000 penalty notice.

    Prospecting without authority – currently a $550,000 fine and $55,000 per day under a prosecution – may now be dealt with via a $5000 penalty notice.

    Failure to provide information and records to an inspector – currently a $1.1 million fine and $110,000 a day under a prosecution – is now punishable with a $5000 penalty notice.

    Greens MLC Jeremy Buckingham will on Tuesday give notice of a motion that the Legislative Council disallows the regulation containing the changes.
    Mr Buckingham said the gulf between the prosecution fine and the penalty notice was “so massive” it introduced a corruption risk for bureaucrats.

    Reply
  54. Abel Adamski

     /  March 7, 2016

    Conservative politics
    For those not in Australia, the IPA is a ultra right wing Libertarian think tank by and for the wealthy and corporates.
    The US has it’s counterparts that set policies and write up bills etc.
    Worth reading the comments a list of major players is provided and funders including the Fossil Fuel companies and Exxon
    http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/mar/07/top-spot-on-coalition-senate-ticket-goes-to-institute-of-public-affairs-researcher

    Gary Johns of the IPA states that: ‘a cardinal tenet of liberalism is to keep democracy in its place, to regard it as an activity of limited application’.

    The IPA Gary Johns says government’s role is ‘to depoliticise much of life, to make it less amenable to public dispute.'”

    Reply
  55. John McCormick

     /  March 7, 2016

    I often ask myself, who is RobertScribbler. Well, I found the following on Tamino’s Open Mind blog. And, I hope this is acceptable to you, Robert.

    “I’m a progressive novelist, non-fiction writer and emerging threats expert. I’ve served 8 years in the combat arms, spent 3 years as a police officer, and spent 3 years as Editor, Emerging Threats for Jane’s Information Group. I’ve spoken at over 250 events for schools nationwide and am currently working to both complete my third speculative fiction novel “The Death of Winter” and my second non-fic — a climate justice based book called “Abolition — Ending the Resource Curse,” and a climate/emerging threats book entitled “The Second Great Dying.”

    My robertscribbler blog is dedicated to supporting causes and spreading information and analysis that advance environmental, social and economic justice. Please feel free to contact me if you believe your cause would benefit from my written advocacy or if you need expert trends analysis in one of these key areas.”

    We visitors are your teammates. Nice to know a bit more about you.

    Reply
    • That bio should be linked to my gravatar, which is public for everyone to see. Just hover over my screen image. In any case, can you please show where Tamino links to my bio? I don’t happen to see any of my publicly available information on his site.

      Reply
      • John McCormick

         /  March 7, 2016

        Robert, you posted a comment on Tamino’s blog on March 5. I clicked the icon on the right and came upon your impressive bio.

        Reply
        • Just so you know, though. Anywhere my icon appears, you can click on it and get the bio. You can click on it here as well.

  56. Kevin Jones

     /  March 7, 2016

    Bill McKibben among 50 protesters arrested this a.m. at Seneca Lake. Bravo!

    Reply
  57. June

     /  March 7, 2016

    Another year, the climate clock ticks louder, while the mainstream media gets quieter. A Skeptical Science post: During the most important year for climate news, TV coverage fell.

    http://skepticalscience.com/during-most-important-year-tv-climate-coverage-fell.html

    PS We had our Democratic caucuses yesterday here in Maine. Bernie won by a margin of 64% to 35%, and there was a record-breaking turnout with some people in the Portland area waiting 4 hours in line. I checked the Guardian, the Washington Post, New York Times and Los Angeles Times this morning to see how it was covered. The Guardian had a big story on the front page (although it has since been moved to the politics section). Barely a peep from the others. While we may not have a lot of delegates, it seems to me that the margin of victory and high voter turnout should have made it more newsworthy. But then, they don’t want coverage that might encourage the excitement out there for Bernie.

    Reply
  58. Jay M

     /  March 7, 2016

    Looks like California got a decent rainstorm over the weekend. Didn’t really impact the PNW, which was originally predicted. We are still predicted to get heavy rain on Wed.
    Current look at the Pacific moisture Monday morning sure looks like it is splitting in a north and south direction, maybe hitting a RRR?

    Reply
  59. Andy in SD

     /  March 7, 2016

    Ryan,

    Thanks for that graph of open days above. Yup, it really shows a trend (both sides of that equation are presented quite well).

    To further that, in the early 80’s in the lower arctic we had snow on the ground until roughly late May/early June. Ice roads were usable until roughly 2nd / 3rd week of May.

    Hay River was prone to massive floods at Breakup, that is when the ice in the river creates a clog. The ice was up the entire river, and extremely thick. As the river now forms less ice, the breakup displays less and less opportunity to create an ice jam and flood that “old town”.

    Back in the early 80’s it required a lot of dynamite to bust up the ice clogs to get the river flowing in May.

    This graph shows the trend.

    Reply
    • Andy in SD

       /  March 7, 2016

      This is what used to happen.

      The large building in the distance is the NTCL synchro (I worked there). My place was on the road that runs up into the woods (towards the reservation). The building to the left of the white fuel tanks on the river bank was the toughest damn bar I ever hung out in back then.

      You can see the river had jammed with ice, and the water found other channels. The lake entrance for the river was clogged too.

      All of this is now ancient history and does not apply anymore.

      Reply
  1. Dr. James Hansen: “We Have a Global Emergency” Parts of the World Will be Practically Uninhabitable by 2100 | lmrh5
  2. The Increasingly Dangerous Hothouse — Local Reports Show It Felt Like 170 F (77 C) in Bhubaneswar on June 13th, 2016 | robertscribbler

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