Northern Polar Melt Re-Asserts With A Vengeance — Arctic Sea Ice Volume Closed on New Record Lows During February

Arctic sea ice volume hit near new record lows during February. That’s kinda a big deal. What it means is that whatever sea ice resiliency was recovered during 2013 and 2014 are now mostly gone. That record all-time lows for sea ice set in September of 2012 are likely to see a serious new challenge during 2016 and 2017.

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A flood of severe Arctic heat — flowing up through the Barents and Greenland seas in the East and over Alaska and the Bering Sea in the West — has been hammering the Arctic Sea Ice all Winter long. During February of 2016, new record lows in sea ice extent and area were breached. Meanwhile, sea ice volume — as measured by PIOMAS — also greatly declined to hover just above previous record lows for this time of year set in 2011.

PIOMAS Daily Volume

(Arctic sea ice volume, as measured by the Polar Science Center, plunged back to near record low territory during February. Many consider sea ice volume to be the key measure determining sea ice health. So these new drops in the volume measure are a bit spine-tingling. Image source: Wipneus.)

Looking at the above graph, provided by Wipneus, and based on model and observation data collected by the Polar Science Center, it appears that for some days during February, volume measurements even briefly descended into record low territory. As of early March, volume totals were in the range of just above 20,000 cubic kilometers — beating out 2012 as second lowest volume on measure and hovering just above 2011.

Winter Warming Grand Finale

Over the past ten days, abnormal warmth in the Arctic has faded somewhat. The lower Latitudes have heated up with the onset of spring and this has tended to strengthen the circumpolar winds. Perhaps the last bit of seasonal change that can have this effect given the alterations to atmospheric circulation produced by a human-forced warming of the globe and a particular high concentration of this added heat centering on the Arctic.

Ironically, the time-frame of late February to mid-March is when the higher Latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere tend to experience their coldest temperatures. During 2016, we did see some of this atmospheric effect take hold. As a result, temperatures in the High Arctic above the 80 degree North Latitude line have fallen from record warm readings in late February to far above average warm temperatures over recent days.

Temperature above 80 north

(Ever since Early January, Arctic temperatures have been in near record or record warm ranges. This consistent heat has resulted in the warmest Winter temperatures ever experienced for the region above the 80 North Latitude Line. Image source: CIRES/NOAA.)

Today, another very strong pulse of warmth is building up through the region of the Barents and Greenland seas. This heat pulse representing yet another warm wind event for 2016. Another very strong south to north atmospheric draw flooding in front of yet another chain of strong low pressure systems in the North Atlantic. A flow of heat drawn up from the tropics and delivered to the Arctic that will briefly drive regions near the North Pole above the -2 C melting point of sea ice even as a wide wedge of 20 degree Celsius above average temperatures invades a region stretching from Northeast Greenland to the North Pole and back to the isle of Novaya Zemlya in Russia.

Overall, the sea ice in this region is much weaker than normal. Volume is greatly thinned as both the relentless heat influxes and strong sea ice export through the Fram Strait this Winter has leeched the area of thick ice. Most sea ice measures show a loss in concentration and volume for this area. But we’ll know more as the Earth tilts back toward the sun and visible satellite coverage again takes in the entire Arctic.

Given atmospheric changes taking place with Spring — where Continental and lower Latitude warming hold greater sway over atmospheric circulation — this may be the last burst of heat we see through this zone that produces such high temperature anomalies. A grand finale for the record warm Arctic Winter of 2016.

Warm North Atlantic Winds

(Warm North Atlantic Winds are predicted to blow into the Arctic yet again on Saturday, March 12. These winds will push temperatures over a broad region of sea ice to near freezing, driving such anomalously warm temperatures all the way to the North Pole. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

To be clear, long range model forecasts do identify far above average sea surface temperatures and above average 2 meter air temperatures for this region through Spring and on into Summer. However, the Arctic overall is not as capable of producing such high temperature anomalies during Summer as it is during Winter when the human supplied greenhouse gas overburden and the related warming of the oceans holds a much stronger sway — re-radiating an insane amount of heat throughout the long polar night.

High Arctic Temperature Anomalies Predicted to Fall-off For a Short While, Melt Potential Through Summer Looks Rather Bad

To this point, it appears the Arctic may be in for a brief respite on the 3-7 day horizon. GFS model runs indicate overall cooling for the region above the 66 North Latitude line and temperatures above 80 North may see their first period of near average temperatures since late December of 2015. This respite for the High Arctic, though, comes as temperatures in the Sea of Okhotsk, the Bering, and along Hudson Bay are expected to warm.

Arctic Sea Ice Area lowest on record

(Arctic sea ice area remains at record low levels during March of 2016. Image source: Cryosphere Today.)

It’s a mixed signal that may continue some of the very slight Arctic sea ice rejuvenation we’ve seen during March — with sea ice area still in record low territory, but with sea ice extent edging back to second lowest on record and just slightly above 2015.

To be clear, we’re at a very low launching pad for the start of melt season in 2016. Record low or near record low sea ice volumes in February and continuing record low area show that sea ice resiliency is pretty terrible at this time. Furthermore, Northern Hemisphere snow cover totals also at or near new record lows hint that warming of the land masses surrounding the Arctic may be very rapid come mid to late March and throughout April. To this point, 10 day Euro model runs show a tendency for rapid warming over the Northwest Territories, Alaska, the Bering Sea, the Sea of Okhotsk, the East Siberian Sea, and far Eastern Siberia during this period even as the thaw line pretty much everywhere jumps swiftly northward.

A fading record El Nino in the Eastern Pacific will also tend to result in ample excess Equatorial heat heading northward. As a result, the overall risk of strong sea ice melt through the Summer of 2016 remains very high.

Links:

The Polar Science Center

Wipneus

The Arctic Sea Ice Blog

Arctic Sea Ice Graphs

CIRES/NOAA

Climate Reanalyzer

Arctic Explorer

Earth Nullschool

Cryosphere Today

Euro Model Runs

 

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372 Comments

  1. Kevin Jones

     /  March 10, 2016

    Thanks for the report, Robert. I was just visiting an old friend and talking about this. Having learned from Nevin and his team over the years how Arctic sea ice predictions can be tricky things, I’m almost ready to make one for Sept. area, extent & volume. Almost. A three million year old major feature of Planet Earth. Trending towards oblivion in one human lifetime.

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 11, 2016

      I often think of the amount of time the Arctic has been a permanently frozen environment. I think how various species and entire ecosystems had the time to evolve and develop the exquisite balance that had been achieved, until we destroyed it. Seals evolved to depend on the ice to have places to birth and raise their young, which hide from polar bears, who also evolved to thrive in a world of ice and snow. These creatures, and many others, literally need the ice to survive. They are virtually guaranteed to join the long list of other species who are vanishing in the anthropogenic sixth extinction. Heartbreaking.

      Reply
    • It’s rough to watch. We are really headed for some crazy times when it comes to geophysical and Earth Systems changes.

      More recently I’ve taken all that’s happening here pretty hard. It’s a constant battle for me. Not only to get out the message, to provide a signal that something is really happening here and we need to respond rapidly, but to also be as honest as possible about what the most effective course of action is at this time. I harp on renewable energy quite a bit in the comments. But it is absolutely critical given current geopolitics that the 500 billion dollar subsidy support for fossil fuels shift to renewables at this time. Countries will try to grow, they will try to get out of poverty. And if they do it on fossil fuels, then we are done. In addition, the world’s strongest economies absolutely have the capital available for an energy switch. If we go the right policies in place, it would be very rapid. In my view, this is absolutely necessary.

      Such a switch would absolutely involve political and economic upheaval. Traditional power centers would collapse as new power centers emerged. And through it all there is this amazing opportunity to democratize clean energy access. To break monopoly energy holdings down and to renew grass-roots based economic systems. It’s a process that has rightly been described as creative destruction. And we absolutely must undergo it if we’re to prevent absolutely catastrophic climate consequences.

      In support of a process that absolutely must happen, I fight climate change deniers, people peddling despair (who are just as bad), people basically not telling the truth by saying the worst case is inevitable (I don’t know if they’re afraid or if they’re aligned with the doomers, maybe a bit of both), people peddling geo-engineering conspiracy theories, people selling geo-engineering as an effective solution and the only choice (it isn’t) because things are so bad now we can’t mitigate (we can, but we really have to get our act together). It’s a misinformation soup that would make the period of unrest in the Ukraine and subsequent Russian invasion look like a cakewalk.

      But I want to be very clear and tell everyone here that we can act and we must act and the most effective action now is to support a rapid energy switch away from fossil fuels. Conservation and veganism and all the other stuff help too. But the center of gravity here is the energy switch. There’s no getting around it. Without it we lose. Without it, it really is climate change game over.

      Reply
      • Ailsa

         /  March 11, 2016

        Keep it up, Robert. Slumps in energy come and go – remember ‘this too will change’. Know that all your excellent effort is truly appreciated.

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  March 12, 2016

        Very well said, Robert. I understand completely, I often find myself battling feelings of despair and hopelessness when I’m confronting the challenges ahead, and trying to absorb what we’ve already lost. It’s sad that in 2016 we’re still trying to raise awareness, but also a testament to the effectiveness of the powerful interests we are challenging.Fossil fuels are starting to die. We are witnessing a historical battle between David and Goliath in real time. Goliath refuses to admit that he’s going to die, and David understands that he absolutely has to win. And every person we enlighten on this subject, every homeowner embracing solar, every electric vehicle purchased, every cloth bag instead of plastic, every meat-eater gone vegan, is a citizen picking up another small stone, and throwing it at Goliath’s head. All the little stones are starting to add up.

        Robert, thank you so much for all you do to help in this fight! You are absolutely indispensable to us all.

        Reply
  2. Andy Lee Robinson

     /  March 10, 2016

    Here’s another iconic graphic, my Arctic Death Spiral

    The comparison with last year is quite remarkable!

    Reply
  3. climatehawk1

     /  March 10, 2016

    Retweeted.🙂

    Reply
  4. – OT but a startling admission re FF.

    Fossil fuels ‘probably dead,’ says Canadian Pacific Railway CEO

    People need to get their heads around the idea that fossil fuels are “probably dead,” the CEO of Canadian Pacific Railway said Wednesday.

    “I’m not maybe as green as I should be but I happen to think the climate is changing (and) they’re not going to fool me anymore,” Hunter Harrison told a J.P. Morgan transportation conference in New York.
    http://www.nationalobserver.com/2016/03/09/news/fossil-fuels-probably-dead-says-canadian-pacific-railway-ceo

    Reply
    • It’s starting. People are starting to wake up.

      Reply
    • redskylite

       /  March 11, 2016

      Yes fully agree, when non scientists and professionals start planning for Climate Change, then it is a wake up sign. I’m pleased to observe that in New Zealand the GP’s have noticed and are planning for the affects. This has to go a long way towards making ordinary people accept, many don’t listen to scientists, will be confused by self interest groups like politicians and fossil fuel lobbyists, but will accept the medical professions views.

      One big step forward in New Zealand. One small reason to feel some hope.

      The RNZCGP has come out with its strongest statement yet on climate change, saying it “unequivocally acknowledges” it as a threat to health and equity in New Zealand and that GPs will be among the first to deal with the expected impacts.

      The RNZCGP’s policy statement predicts that rising temperatures, altered ecosystems and changes to production and economics caused by human activity will increasingly affect the health of New Zealanders, particularly the most vulnerable groups.

      Some potential impacts on GPs may include:

      * a need to develop new knowledge and skills to deal with illnesses such as Dengue Fever and Ross River Virus.

      * more attention needed to help vulnerable patient groups such as Maori, Pasifika, children and the elderly

      * changes and/or increases in disease surveillance requirements

      * changes to patient demographics due to climate refugees

      * a greater need for disaster preparedness.

      While there might be some positive effects from climate change on health, such as increased agricultural productivity and modest reductions in cold-related mortality and morbidity in some areas, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has concluded these would be outweighed by the negative impacts.

      http://www.nzdoctor.co.nz/news/2016/march-2016/09/college-draws-line-in-the-sand-on-climate-change-saying-gps-will-feel-impact.aspx

      Reply
    • Cate

       /  March 11, 2016

      The CEO of CPR: his comment on investment is most telling, that investment in FF will dry up for environmental reasons. In other words, the money is going into green energy development. And we all know that where the money goes, the rest of the economy gets dragged, kicking and screaming if need be. But it’s a good sign, as long as investment doesn’t revert to oil once the price recovers a bit more. There will probably be a lot of to-ing and fro-ing for awhile, though, until everyone agrees that we have to keep it in the ground.

      Reply
      • It’s not a question of can happen anymore. It’s a question of must happen. That money needs to flee fossil fuels like the lives of its holders depended on it. Because, well, it might.

        Reply
  5. – University of Louisiana-Monroe
    Collin Landry ‏@CollinLandry_Wx 6h6 hours ago

    The rain just won’t stop! We’ve had 18.16″ of rain here at #KMLU since 6:00 Tuesday!! #lawx #Monroe #flooding

    Reply
    • Now that’s a sucker punch if I ever saw one. 18.16 inches so far. And this thing isn’t done yet.

      Reply
    • cushngtree

       /  March 10, 2016

      And with Louisiana’s existing budget woes, what do we do when a state declares bankruptcy?

      “Already, the state of Louisiana had gutted university spending and depleted its rainy-day funds. It had cut 30,000 employees and furloughed others. It had slashed the number of child services staffers…

      And then, the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards (D), came on TV and said the worst was yet to come…

      Despite all the cuts of the previous years, the nation’s second-poorest state still needed nearly $3 billion—almost $650 per person—just to maintain its regular services over the next 16 months…

      A few universities will shut down and declare bankruptcy. Graduations will be canceled. Students will lose scholarships. Select hospitals will close. Patients will lose funding for treatment of disabilities. Some reports of child abuse will go uninvestigated.”

      From https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/03/04/the-debilitating-economic-disaster-louisianas-governor-left-behind/?wpisrc=nl_draw2

      Reply
      • It’s going to look like this in a lot of republican-run states. Their slash and burn version of economics just doesn’t work.

        Reply
      • Syd Bridges

         /  March 10, 2016

        Yes, what a great legacy Bobby Jindal leaves to Louisiana. The term “rainy-day funds” seems both tragic and horribly appropriate in this case. “Rainy-day funds! We don’t need no stinkin’ rainy-day funds! It’s just them thar climate alarmists, and it aint gonna happen never! Jindal for President!”

        Flash soccer latest:

        Laws of Physics 10 : Bobby Jindal 0 and it’s not yet half-time. I tremble to think what the “full-time score” will be.

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  March 11, 2016

        And the gutting of public services, particularly education, creates another generation of Trump supporters and Republican voters, continuing the cycle. As Trump said himself,”I love the poorly educated!”

        Reply
      • Got my masters from Tulane. So sad what is has happened to a once great state.

        Reply
      • Wow, awesome, sounds as though the right wing’s work in Louisiana is pretty much done. Chalk up another success for the Kochs and their revisionist buddies. MHO. They’ve been doing similar stuff in North Carolina and Kansas, I’ll be interested to see how those play out.

        Reply
      • Andy in SD

         /  March 11, 2016

        Like a giant sized version of Detroit or Flint Michigan….

        Reply
      • Syd Bridges

         /  March 11, 2016

        In the time of Frederick Douglass’s childhood, it was a crime to tech slaves to read or write. As George Orwell said: “Ignorance is strength.”

        Reply
  6. Kevin Jones

     /  March 10, 2016

    Hey, Robert. I received a book last week from a prominent concerned citizen asking me to read it and would I write a review of it for Amazon. If any scratch their head wondering why the facts of our concerns have not spoken for themselves this effort goes far to explain.
    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2016/03/10/koch-brothers-new-brand/

    Reply
    • Sounds good, I heard Jane Mayer (author of “Dark Money”) speak a few weeks ago, and I believe she mentioned that title.

      Reply
    • Mark from OZ

       /  March 11, 2016

      Thanks Kevin for drawing attention to Jane Mayer’s most recent work. As one of the best journos around, it’s clear she is interested in not just exposing this perversion of government by the big money crowd, but also in finding ‘ways’ to contain, inhibit and dismantle the influence of the Koch ‘machine’.

      Step one in the playbook of ‘ways’ is ‘awareness’; identifying and broadcasting the truth at what has / is being done to date by these ‘people’ to protect their interests no matter what the ‘cost’ to others. The average person will struggle to accept these sociopathic behaviours as they do NOT operate this way. The facts, heritage and affiliation of the ‘Brand’ will be all any reasonable person will need to accept that the only way these FF industries can exist, is through the treachery and duplicity Mayer has continued to expose.

      However, it’s becoming clearer to more and more average folk that not just their socio-economic status has been hi-jacked by this ‘crowd’ but also the very habitat for life and all the creatures who belong on Earth may disappear unless the Koch’s et al are stopped.

      From ‘ Enemy of the State’ ( G Hackman / W Smith)

      Brill (GH): In guerrilla warfare, you try to use your weaknesses as strengths.
      Robert Clayton Dean (WS): Such as?
      Brill: Well, if they’re big and you’re small, then you’re mobile and they’re slow. You’re hidden and they’re exposed. You only fight battles you know you can win. That’s the way the Vietcong did it. You capture their weapons and you use them against them the next time

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 11, 2016

      I think Dark Money should be mandatory reading in High School history (or any subject,really) classes. I had been aware of the Koch brothers and their political interests for some time, but Jane Mayer blew me away with the extent and pervasiveness of the Koch’s political machine. She did an amazing job with this book, and her in-depth investigation into the Koch’s history, connections, influence, spending, and creation of their political network is second to none. These two men now spend more than, and likely have as much influence as, both major political parties. The Republican party, and Trump in particular, depend on low information voters to win elections. It’s the very essence of the people the Kochs have captured with the Tea Party movement. Have you ever seen interviews with Tea Party crowds? It’s like seeing interviews with grown-up toddlers. They really have no clue about any policy that’s in place, or how government works, or the history of Republicans being against every benefit the working class has come to enjoy. They just hate gays, Muslims, liberals and especially Obama. They hold up signs that say “Keep Gov’t Out of My Medicare”, and “Obama is a moran” (sic), They scream with rage at the thought of having health care, beg for lower taxes on the wealthiest among us, and are furious with all the “handouts” that “illegals” are getting from Obama. And of course, climate change is a hoax created by the government in order to take our money and give control to the U.N., or some such nonsense, it varies from person to person. It really is an alternate universe where everything you or I have learned about the world just isn’t true. I wonder how many would still support them if they knew just how much they’ve been manipulated and taken advantage of. I’m sure many would stay based on hatred of non-whites, Muslims and even liberals, and their fear of what they don’t know or understand (which happens to be a lot). But I like to hope that the educated ones with a functioning frontal lobe would do the right thing and abandon support for Koch candidates. – Rant Over

      Disclaimer- I know not all of Republicans and Tea Party supporters are ignorant or clueless, obviously. I’m just speaking generally about low information voters on the right. View this clip, and you’ll see they’re afraid of the “death tax” and “death panels”, which obviously is Fox News propaganda they’ve been convinced of. It’s just so pathetic. And this isn’t that bad of a clip. If you search for Tea Party interviews using words like “stupid”, “ignorant” or “clueless” you’ll see some crap that’ll make your head explode.

      Reply
    • Thanks for this Kevin. Looks like its more ammo for my quiver. An absolute must read for any climate hawk in my view.

      Reply
  7. Ryan in New England

     /  March 11, 2016

    Regardless of how this coming melt season in the Arctic plays out, we’re certainly off to a troubling start.
    Robert, have you seen this disturbing event in your state (I think)? The group of dead bald eagles recently discovered were killed by a human.

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/mar/10/13-bald-eagles-found-dead-maryland-search-for-killer

    Reply
    • This is the first I’ve heard of it. Sad and troubling news, Ryan. It’s become a refrain for me but — what the hell is wrong with some people?

      Reply
  8. Cate

     /  March 11, 2016

    Another little wrinkle to think about…

    http://phys.org/news/2016-03-nights-warmer-faster-days.html

    Reply
    • Nights warm faster than days, winters, overall, warm faster than summers, and poles, at first, warm faster than the Equator.

      Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  March 11, 2016

        The way I picture it is incoming solar radiation warms one half the planet at any moment. Outgoing infra-red energy is absorbed 24/7 365 days/yr. by GHG’s. Increase greenhouse gasses, increase energy imbalance. Warmer nights & winters are as good a proof of the theory as I can figure.

        Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  March 11, 2016

        Should have added outgoing infra-red happens over the entire surface. Hansen states the rather eye-opening fact in his book that Earth ‘shines’ at about 288K. The Sun surface at 6,000K. “…which means it is cooler than the sun by a factor of about 20.” Turn that thought around and even if you are freezing during a blizzard your body is still almost 5% as hot as the surface of the Sun. Ain’t perspective something!

        Reply
  9. Colorado Bob

     /  March 11, 2016

    Right on que with the heat export to the Arctic –

    Storm brings chaos across the country with railways flooded and commuters stranded

    THOUSANDS of commuters were hit with hours of delays last night after heavy rainfall caused chaos across the country.

    Cops formed a human barrier to cope with the crowds clogging Euston Station in London.

    One officer reportedly told passengers that commuters had fallen from trains earlier and warned someone could be killed.

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/6990255/UK-in-chaos-with-severe-warnings-across-South-and-Midlands-along-with-cops-in-tense-standoff-with-delayed-train-commuters.html

    Reply
    • It’s a mean hammer that’s rat-a-tat-tatting around the globe. And, yeah, we can predict the likely impacts depending on what happens up (in the Arctic) and downstream (in the Equatorial Pacific region). I’m really surprised weather forecasters haven’t made more hay on this. I’m a non-meteorologist with a threat-analysis focus and I’ve been calling this stuff for years. Weather Underground and a number of meteorologists and atmospheric scientists speaking out on Twitter do great. But when the heck is everyone else going to wake the frack up?

      Reply
  10. Ryan in New England

     /  March 11, 2016

    Abnormally warm waters contributed to a deadly algal bloom that killed as much as 15-20% of Chile’s annual salmon production. They are the world’s second largest exporter of salmon.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/03/10/3758642/chile-algal-bloom-salmon/

    Reply
  11. Colorado Bob

     /  March 11, 2016
    Reply
  12. Jay M

     /  March 11, 2016

    higher water levels will challenge tube systems if pumps cannot keep up

    Reply
  13. Colorado Bob

     /  March 11, 2016

    PUBLIC RELEASE: 10-MAR-2016
    European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts – Model upgraded to best ever
    ECMWF

    More accurate global weather predictions at record-breaking resolution
    Number of grid points tripled to 900 million, evenly distributed around the globe
    Gain in predictability of up to half a day at same level of quality
    Years of scientific and technical work came to fruition today as the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) launched a significant set of upgrades, dramatically increasing the quality of both its high-resolution and its ensemble forecasts.

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-03/e-emw031016.php

    Reply
  14. Reply
    • – FYI – Not an endorsement of HC.

      Reply
      • Steven Blaisdell

         /  March 12, 2016

        I’ll do it – if Ms. Clinton wins the nomination, as it appears she will, then to not throw every ounce of weight behind getting her elected President is effectively working to damn a livable biosphere to hell. Many, many folks were hypercritical of Obama for not acting earlier and harder on AGW; this of course insultingly discounted the man’s intelligence and commitment given his climate actions the past four years. Clinton will be a force to be reckoned with on all things climate, you can count on it. So allow me to make a full throated endorsement of Hillary Clinton for President. Love Bernie (my hometown bro); will throw everything I have behind Clinton, without hesitation.

        Reply
    • Funny thing is, they could just shut their blithering, misinforming mouths for a minute and actually listen to the scientists. And no, I’m not talking about the handful of Heartland funded sock puppets they keep trotting out. They should listen to the real scientists. You know, people like NASA.

      Reply
  15. Kent Porter ‏@kentphotos 10h10 hours ago

    #mudslide #debrisflow in #forestville #SonomaCounty. 1/2″ perhr rain rates @NorthBayNews @NWSBayArea #ElNino #cawx

    Reply
    • Wharf Rat

       /  March 12, 2016

      Rat lives under the West Coast X on the map on Robert’s previous post. I’ve had about 3 inches since last night; actually multiple times this month, after no rain at all in Feb. State reservoirs now averaging 76%, but the South Coast is still hurting.
      http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/reservoirs/RES

      The storm which came thru on Thurs ( another 3 inches for me) dumped 5 feet of snow at Sugar Bowl ski resort.

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  March 13, 2016

        That’s nuts Wharf Rat. Five feet of snow is too much at once, even at a ski resort. I’ve spent most of my life in love with snowboarding, so I have some experience riding in deep powder. Anything over 2-3 feet is difficult to ride in. Snowboards will float on the snow more than skis, but that’s only if you’re on a steep face and carrying some speed. You can’t even use the green circle or blue square trails. All black diamond and up with that amount of powder. The problem is if you stop, or fall. The snow’s so deep it’s hard to get back up. You try and push with your hand, but your arm just sinks in to your face. You try and walk, but you sink up to your waste and can’t take another step. It can become quite an ordeal.

        In recent years I’ve not snowboarded much. I’ve felt guilty about the travel to the mountain, the energy just getting up the mountain (from fossil fuels), and all the resources for equipment (I haven’t purchased new gear in about a decade).

        Reply
  16. – What is going on down there?

    NOAA Satellites ‏@NOAASatellites 7h7 hours ago

    Suomi NPP captured this image the system bringing rains and flooding to Louisiana.

    Reply
  17. NWS Alaska Region ‏@NWSAlaska Mar 9

    Every #Alaska region had a top five warmest winter (Dec-Feb) according to #NCEI based on records 1925-2016. #akwx

    Reply
  18. – USA DOJ

    Attorney General Lynch Looks Into Prosecuting ‘Climate Change Deniers’

    In news that should shock and anger Americans, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that not only has she discussed internally the possibility of pursuing civil actions against so-called “climate change deniers,” but she has “referred it to the FBI to consider whether or not it meets the criteria for which we could take action.”

    Lynch was responding to a question from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., who urged Lynch to prosecute those who “pretend that the science of carbon emissions’ dangers is unsettled,” particularly those in the “fossil fuel industry” who supposedly have constructed a “climate denial apparatus.”

    http://dailysignal.com/2016/03/10/attorney-general-lynch-looking-into-prosecuting-climate-change-deniers/

    Reply
    • – Bias seems to fill out he rest of the article bu Heritage Foundation. Am on the lookout for other sources.

      Reply
      • So, this is being played up in the right wing echo chamber (Daily Signal, Breitbart, Daily Blaze, Daily Mail, TruNews, CNS, and so on), but nowhere else. Naturally, they’re trying to make it sound as though individual citizens will be rounded up, but the video provided by TruNews makes it pretty clear that the subject under discussion was the conduct of ExxonMobil and other industry players, as being similar to the tobacco industry.

        Reply
    • So they’re trying to pretend that holding bad actor corporate ‘Citizens’ accountable is the equivalent of a ’round up.’ Prosecuting a few CEOs and billionaires for the obvious misdeeds they’ve perpetrated would do this country good. Give real people who don’t only care about money and short-term profits a chance to breathe a little.

      The irony of all ironies is they brought this upon themselves. You can’t basically poison the Earth System and spread what amounts to broad-based propaganda about it without there being social, moral, and ultimately legal consequences. They took a page out of big tobacco’s playbook. But they didn’t really look at the history of what ultimately happened to big tobacco. And climate change, you’ve got to realize, is far, far worse than tobacco. Yeah it’s terrible and bad when your grandpa, like my grandpa, died because he was addicted to cigarettes at a time when the science was intentionally muddled. That’s bad and deserves prosecution and large-scale response. But when it’s your entire country that goes under because of sea level rise or a global famine that’s set off because of loss of arable land or another country that collapses because it can’t deal with the flood of immigrants or people that die of a virus moving northward on the warmer airs or a very real mass extinction in the animal world coming about by mid Century if we don’t stop this soon with many, many human deaths likely to follow, then that’s cigarettes on a global scale. That’s the entire health of the Earth failing under the choking fossil fuel toxins. That’s genocide and ecocide and civicide all wrapped into one.

      Prosecution, is absolutely warranted. It’s not like these people who had the means responsibly advocated an energy switch when the information became apparent to them. They’ve been fighting responsible action tooth and nail for decades and there needs to be a reckoning. The arch of justice bends slowly. But it bends now toward them.

      Reply
  19. Latest Radio Ecoshock show features scientific fear about developments in the Arctic. Peter Gleick, Pam Pearson on the report on irreversible changes in the Arctic, and James Kennett, founder of paleoceanography, very frank on his fears we are entering abrupt climate change. Blog with links to show here: http://www.ecoshock.info/2016/03/extreme-arctic-fear.html

    Reply
    • – Yes, a good show.
      ‘James Kennett [UC Santa Barbara], founder of paleoceanography’ said interesting things about the Santa Barbara Basin having a concise record (trying to paraphrase from memory) record of (two?) extreme climate temp changes which took place in very short time frames. One had to do with a massive Yellowstone (volcanic dome?) event.
      An excellent radioecoshock.

      Reply
  20. Jeremy

     /  March 11, 2016

    Great radio show on the evil Koch brothers.

    “Jane Mayer on the Koch Brothers and How ‘Dark Money’ Shapes U.S. Politics”

    Jane Mayer is the author of “Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right.”

    For decades, billionaire libertarians Charles and David Koch have spent millions trying to reduce the size of government and slash regulations, making the brothers a target of the political Left and campaign finance reformers. But few people have dug deeper into the Koch empire and family history than New Yorker staff writer Jane Mayer, author of the new book “Dark Money.” Among other revelations, she alleges that the brothers hired private detectives to investigate her after she published articles critical of them. We talk to Mayer about the book and about what the rise of Donald Trump means for the Kochs and their allies.

    http://www.kqed.org/a/forum/R201603081000

    Reply
    • Anne

       /  March 11, 2016

      The FT review of Mayer’s book is staggering in its complacency, complaining that “there is little if any attempt to persuade the non-partisan.” It ends with this slap: “If conservative billionaires such as the Kochs or Donald Trump are enjoying political success it is because their opponents fail to offer an inspiring vision. Rather than obsessing over the influence of the super-rich, the critics should reflect on their own failure to project an alternative.” http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/24f7dc1e-d1a8-11e5-831d-09f7778e7377.html#ixzz42b7mhYgE

      Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  March 11, 2016

        Ummm…. “The writer is the author of ‘Ferraris for All.”

        Reply
      • Anne

         /  March 11, 2016

        Well, quite! It was probably naive of me to hope for something a bit more thoughtful, as the FT can be surprisingly thoughtful on some issues. A shame they didn’t give the review job to someone else.

        Reply
  21. Ryan in New England

     /  March 11, 2016

    Jeff Masters has a good piece about this massive trough and the cut-off low that has led to record setting rains. From the piece;

    Weather weirding par excellence: Strongest upper low ever observed over central Mexico?
    This upper low originated from energy that moved across southern California late in the weekend, producing heavy thunderstorms. Rather than barreling across the southeast U.S., the powerful subtropical jet stream carved out a progressively deeper trough into Mexico that cut off from the jet stream, forming a slow-moving closed low. At 00Z (7:00 pm EST) Thursday, this cold-cored upper low was centered in central Mexico, roughly in the vicinity of Guadalajara. Thundersnow was reported on Wednesday in Mexico at Zacatecas (altitude 8010 feet), about 200 miles north of Guadalajara. However, weather records researcher told us in an email that snow in the mountains of northern Mexico has occurred in April, May and even early June, so is not that unusual. As shown in Figure 7 below, this upper low featured a large 558-decameter contour (the 558 dm, which is 5580 meters, refers to the height at which the atmospheric pressure is 500 mb, or about half of the typical surface pressure). Such a large, strong upper low appears to be an unprecedented event in modern weather observations for Mexico; upper-air analyses dating back to 1948 from the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis project suggest that no previous upper low in this region has been strong enough to generate a 558-dm contour. During the last “super” El Niño, in mid-December 1997, a powerful upper trough extended south from the United States, producing what was reportedly the first snow observed at Guadalajara since February 1881. Low-level temperatures have not been quite as cold this time around, given that it’s now early March rather than mid-December, but the thundersnow reported at Zacatecas indicates the strong instability being produced by the deep cold at upper levels. The gradient between this upper low and a strong upper ridge over the eastern U.S. has also intensified the southerly flow pumping moisture into the south-central states.

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/recordstrength-upper-low-brings-extreme-rains-to-south-us-thunders

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 11, 2016

      He also covers the record heat that accompanies this trough and associated ridge. This is where the media fails, and Robert is incredibly successful. Tying together these events, and making it clear and understandable why, and how, this is a manifestation of the very climate change we have been warned about for decades. The MSM will cover the record weather and extreme events intensely, and also be quick to associate El Nino with any abnormal weather, even the warm water that’s been off the west coast of the U.S. for years. But they do whatever they can to avoid bringing “climate change” or “global warming” into it.

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 11, 2016

      Premature spring warmth swaddles Northeast
      Dozens of temperature records melted like so much gelato beneath sun-filled skies across much of the Northeast on Wednesday. Boston basked in temperatures that topped out at 77°F–not just a daily record, but the city’s warmest official reading on any day in astronomical winter since records began there in 1872. New York City’s Central Park also had its earliest 77°F in records that, likewise, go back to 1872. The uncannily mild air served as a fitting curtain call after New England’s warmest meteorological winter on record (Dec-Feb). The lack of persistent snow cover across New York and New England helped give this week’s warmth an extra boost. Some of the records set on Wednesday, March 9, 2016 included:

      Earliest 80°F on record
      Albany, NY: 81°F (previous record March 16, 1990)
      Hartford, CT: 81°F (previous record March 20, 1945)
      Newark, NJ: 82°F (previous record March 13, 1990)Poughkeepsie, NY: 82°F (previous record March 13, 1990)

      Earliest 75°F on record
      Boston, MA: 77°F (previous record March 14, 1946)
      Concord, NH: 77°F (previous record March 18, 2012)

      Earliest 70°F on record
      Glens Falls, NY 77°F (previous record March 13, 1990)

      Earliest 65°F on record
      Montpelier, VT: 66°F (previous record March 15, 1990)
      St. Johnsbury, VT: 65°F (previous record March 16, 1990)

      Reply
      • Connecticut Gordon

         /  March 11, 2016

        Hi Ryan

        Here in New Fairfield, CT, on Wednesday, we reached 81F; the prior record for the day was 69F

        I presume I must be somewhere near you?

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  March 12, 2016

        Gordon, yes, I am not that far (nowhere in CT is). I’m in Bristol, about midway on 84 between Waterbury and Hartford. It was just shy of 80 in my town. Absolutely nuts. It’s still Winter, and I’ve had my windows open for three days/nights. Some people around here have turned on their air conditioners!

        Reply
    • So, seems similar to me to the recent weather pattern that brought snow to Vietnam (unheard of).

      Reply
    • Well done, Dr. Masters. A very good bit of much needed context.

      Reply
    • 🙂 Thanks.
      Industrious critters: “These spiders are also exceptionally good at swimming and will often dive down into the water and hide at the bottom when disturbed or with prey.”

      Reply
  22. Ryan in New England

     /  March 11, 2016

    I found this interesting. It’s a piece about the current oil oversupply and resulting price decline, and the ramifications occurring. The banks lent over a trillion dollars to American and Canadian oil and gas companies, many of which are now defaulting and going bankrupt. Citibank said 30% of its loans were to companies with low credit ratings. The boom towns that popped up in places like North Dakota and Ft McMurray are turning into ghost towns. 50,000 workers in Texas alone have lost their jobs already.

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/energy_wars_of_attrition_the_irony_of_oil_abundance_20160311

    Oil and gas, and the 20th century way of thinking of them, have led to so much pain and suffering both here and abroad, without even considering the climate. It’s long past time we transitioned to a 21st century energy infrastructure. It won’t only benefit future generations, it will benefit us all.

    Reply
    • It’s a 1 trillion dollar malinvestment, my friend. Imagine what good this money would have done if invested in renewables and efficiencies.

      Reply
  23. JPL

     /  March 11, 2016

    Check this out:

    2015 Federal Lawsuit

    “21 young people from across the United States have filed a landmark constitutional climate change lawsuit against the federal government in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon. Also acting as a Plaintiff is world-renowned climate scientist Dr. James E. Hansen, serving as guardian for future generations and his granddaughter. The Complaint asserts that, in causing climate change, the federal government has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, property, as well as failed to protect essential public trust resources. ”

    http://ourchildrenstrust.org/us/federal-lawsuit

    John

    Reply
    • JPL

       /  March 11, 2016

      More…

      “The way I hope it will go is that the judicial branch will say, ‘You’ve got to do something,’” said Dr. James Hansen, adjunct professor at Columbia University and former director of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Hansen’s granddaughter is a plaintiff in the case, and he’s formally listed in the complaint as the legal guardian of “Future Generations.” He continued, “Hopefully the court will ask for a plan: How are you going to ensure the rights of young people?”

      In a time of gridlock and sorely needed climate action, the case couldn’t come soon enough, Hansen said. “It gets harder and harder to stabilize the climate if you go longer and longer without turning the curve.”

      Addressing climate change is perhaps the greatest challenge of our time, and it necessarily causes us to ask some big questions. Is there a constitutional right to be free from climate change? Is there a constitutional right to a safe climate? Is youth a class, or simply a mutable trait? If the federal government takes actions that worsen the climate crisis, does that amount to an abuse of its power?

      Said Olson: “We are not just in a climate crisis. We will have a significant constitutional crisis and a crisis in our democracy if this doesn’t work.”

      Reply
      • All absolutely true. It is the very definition of injustice what we are allowing a set of corporations to do to our youth. But it’s sad to say that it’s optimistic to say only the youth will be effected. My generation (X) is going to see some of the worst of this. And we’re going to just start to get the brunt of it by about the time we start taking in social security checks (if the republicans haven’t obliterated social security by then). Anyone who’s age 50 and younger now should be very concerned about the impacts on their future. Not to say we shouldn’t all be concerned now. The Mississippi is likely about to see its worst flooding in 200 years in some places. And that’s absolutely related to climate change. But these are still the early, easy outliers. Not fully responding now, for everyone’s sake, is just insane.

        Reply
      • wili

         /  March 11, 2016

        “Addressing climate change is perhaps the greatest challenge of our time, and it necessarily causes us to ask some big questions.”

        Well put, but I think the big questions need to be beyond even those of one country’s constitution. We have to look at who we are as an industrialized civilization. What the deepest as well as proximate roots of our predicament are. What it means about us as a species that we have brought planetary life to this precipice…

        Mostly, though, academia is not rising to the occasion–this should be the major focus of essentially every history department, as well as other branches of the Humanities and Social Sciences. But mostly courses on ecological economics, history, literature…are seen as either relatively fringe aspects of their respective, or completely and utterly obscure, or even non-existent.

        Reply
  24. dnem

     /  March 11, 2016

    Re current very high atmospheric CO2 levels:
    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/unprecedented-spike-co2-levels-2015-20125
    “Michael Mann, an atmospheric science professor and director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University, who is unaffiliated with NOAA, said the carbon dioxide milestone shouldn’t be over-interpreted.

    “This spike is almost certainly due in substantial part to the ongoing El Niño event, which is a fleeting effect that increases carbon dioxide concentrations temporarily,” Mann said. “Carbon dioxide concentrations are a lagging indicator, and they don’t accurately reflect recent trends in the more important variable — our actual carbon emissions.”

    Emissions, he said, have stabilized somewhat in recent years and dropped slightly in 2015, reflecting human progress in transitioning away from a fossil fuel economy, he said.

    “Those are the numbers to keep a close eye on,” he said. “If they continue to decline, we will see carbon dioxide concentrations beginning to stabilize.”

    A bit surprised by Mann’s very conservative tone here. Yes, the El Nino is behind a large part of this current surge, and the growth rate will probably slow down soon. But I still have the feeling that sinks are growing less robust and I have little faith in the numbers showing a recent stabilization in energy sector emissions. I know I just used “feeling” and “faith” in that sentence (!), but I’d strike a more cautionary tone about future atmospheric CO2 levels than Mann does here.

    Reply
    • It appears likely that global CO2 emissions have peaked and are starting to decline. However, there is no guarantee that this trend will continue. We need active policy support to produce those continuing results.

      Also, atmospheric CO2 will continue to accumulate unless emissions radically decline. Sure, the rate of accumulation may slow down — depending on the health of various sinks around the world. But dropping from 2.2 ppm annual CO2 increases to 2.1 or 2.0 ppm annual CO2 increases (even in the best case sink and store stability scenarios) is still pretty amazingly bad.

      The aim should be to get the human emission to near zero as swiftly as possible. A decline in rates of emissions now is positive, especially if maintained. However we should be very clear that the rate of human emission at this time is many times that of anything we’ve seen in paleoclimate. So calling an end to the crisis now is more than a bit premature.

      We should point out that human CO2 emissions briefly declined in the 1990s before ramping up again. To this point, we can’t really declare a climate victory until the human emission is net negative and the rate of atmospheric CO2 accumulation is starting to head downward.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  March 11, 2016

        “It appears likely that global CO2 emissions have peaked”
        I would like to think so, but I am unconvinced so far. What are the most important data points that convince that we have reached a peak in carbon emissions? I’m afraid from experience I can’t trust most of the year-to-year data coming out of China. They have a long history of putting out faulty data that makes them look good and only much later putting out ‘corrections.’ If your optimism is based only on China’s data and promises, I cannot yet join you in that appraisal. But perhaps there are other major trends you are looking at?

        Didn’t the 1990’s pause in increased emissions correspond with a collapse of the Soviet Empire? Is there a similarly immense shift in global power and production going on?

        Reply
        • Wili —

          1. I suppose that China may be lying about the fact that its coal use has dropped by 3.7 percent year on year. But it appears unlikely to me when looking at export/import data — with China coal imports falling flat.

          2. This is the second year in a row that China data has shown a negative emissions trend. So any post report revisions would have to be pretty strong to overcome the current trend.

          3. Net global coal use is down based on production data, demand and supply.

          4. I wouldn’t say I’m completely optimistic. Just cautiously so. But what we see here appears to be a concerted shift away from coal in the global economy. The trend, of course, would have to continue. But the preliminary information appears quite positive.

          5. Unlike the 1990s shift, this shift appears to be driven by a combination of renewable energy and natural gas replacing coal infrastructure (in China, nuclear is also having a bit of a resurgence, but the renewable energy replacement factor is far higher).

          6. Overall, reducing coal consumption globally with such replacements would result in early net emissions reductions.

          7. Adding in new natural gas is problematic long-term due to the fact that it establishes a bit of a basement for global emissions decline rates.

          8. In order for emissions to rapidly decline, we need to go all out on renewables and non-carbon emitting replacements.

          9. However, the draw down of coal use is the low hanging fruit and it appears that just such a transition may be underway.

          Cautiously optimistic on this point. But there is still a lot of work ahead of us.

      • wili

         /  March 11, 2016

        Thanks for the point by point. I certainly hope that the China data is right or at least in the ball park. Of course, we’re in something of a global economic slump right now, and it’s always hard to judge long term future trends by current wobbles–is this just another bump or the beginning of a new direction? Again, I dearly pray it’s the latter.

        But then I see things like this: http://phys.org/news/2016-03-oil-prices-higher-co2-emissions.html

        “Lower oil prices lead to higher CO2 emissions”

        And I’m a bit less hopeful, even if coal is finally looking as if it is on its way to exit the stage–long overdue though that departure is.

        Reply
      • anthropocene

         /  March 13, 2016

        Afraid to say, I am closer to Wili’s thinking. Even if CO2 emissions are reduced dramatically over the next 20 years (which they have to be to retain any chance of limiting temperature increase to manageable levels) I’m afraid that by then the problem will have been externalised by big business yet again; this time to methane. The latest findings indicating that USA methane emissions are 30% greater than currently estimated http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/feb/17/us-likely-culprit-of-global-spike-in-methane-emissions-over-last-decade shows one way in which this will be done. Not too sure about the arithmetic but this appears to be an amount which cancels out any possible reductions in CO2 achieved so far. So, after winning the argument over CO2 we’ll back to square one to do it all over again with CH4. I can almost hear the response already: “You green, tree-hugging types are never happy. You’ve got what you wanted on CO2 and it cost me (insert FF burning activity here) and look the roof didn’t fall in like you said it would – now you want to stop us burning gas”.

        Reply
  25. Ailsa

     /  March 11, 2016

    From over the pond here in England, I’m truly grateful for this incredibly informative and responsible blog RS (for which I’ve not found a UK quality equivalent), and truly horrified by the climate denial and political shenanigans of US life.

    But (following Colorado Bob’s lead on good music) I’d like to highlight one of my UK musical heroes – Billy Bragg. Below is a link to a song he wrote back in 1985 (this is a 2010 performance):

    Sound quality is only ok, and the accent might be a bit troubling (!), so in the intro he’s saying “socialism is nothing unless it is organized compassion… we’re talking about [many things including] climate change… none of these big problems can be solved by the individual, they can only be dealt with by collective action.”

    Some of the lyrics:
    “Theirs is a land with walls around it, and mine is a faith in my fellow man,
    Theirs is a land of hope and glory, mine is the green field and the factory floor”

    He’s an inspirational force of nature – hope you enjoy.

    Reply
  26. – It’s about time, I say.

    NASA has selected two proposals for new Earth science investigations that will put new instruments in low-Earth orbit to track harmful particulate air pollutants and study the development of tropical cyclones.

    Observations of small atmospheric aerosols from the Multi-Angle Imager for Aerosols (MAIA) will be combined with health information to determine the toxicity of different particulate matter types in airborne pollutants over the world’s major cities. David Diner of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, is the principal investigator.

    – The Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats (TROPICS) investigation, 12 CubeSats about a foot long each, will study the development of tropical cyclones by taking measurements of temperature, precipitation and cloud properties as often as every 21 minutes. Credit: MIT Lincoln Laboratory

    Reply
  27. – ‘N’ I can relate to the geography/topography of the study area.

    Wildfire Emissions May Be Far Worse In Polluted Areas With Excess Nitrogen, Study Says
    A new study suggests that the more polluted an area is, the worse a wildfire will be for the atmosphere and for public health.

    Researchers from the University of California, Riverside and the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research station decided to see whether nitrogen saturation would actually cause a difference in forest fires. They looked at a 60-mile stretch of forest land to the east of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The pollution concentrations in the area actually decreased from west to east, which meant that the region was perfect for studying the effects of pollution.

    The research team selected sites 55 miles apart and collected deposited material from the forest floor. This litter is the primary fuel source for forest fires.

    It turns out that litter from the polluted site had a higher nitrogen content than litter from the cleaner site. More interesting, though, was what the researchers found after burning the samples of litter.

    They discovered that the litter from the polluted site released more nitrogen oxides than the litter from the clean site. Nitrogen oxides help contribute to the formation of smog and ozone, which means that polluted areas are likely to become even more polluted if they’re hit by forest fires.

    That’s not all that the polluted materials released. It turns out that the litter also release more small fine particles, which can contribute to respiratory health problems in people.
    http://www.hngn.com/articles/187649/20160311/wildfire-emissions-far-worse-polluted-areas-excess-nitrogen-study.htm

    Reply
  28. – A few 0311 rain and flood headlines;

    Devastating Flooding Turns Louisiana Roads Into Rivers
    Six states are under flood watches and warnings, and the damage is especially devastating in Mississippi and Louisiana, where states of emergency have been declared.

    Flood-stop barriers installed in San Francisco to prevent storm damage

    Russian, Napa Rivers To Exceed Flood Stage During Storms

    York to replace Foss flood defence pumps after Boxing Day failure

    Reply
  29. Keeling_Curve ‏@Keeling_curve 48m48 minutes ago

    404.57 parts per million (ppm) CO2 in air 10-Mar-2016

    Reply
  30. Reply
    • – I like this one, as I did, as an afterthought, add ‘Forensic’ to my ‘Naturalist’ title. I was perfectly content to be a naturalist but I kept observing and documenting obvious ‘unnatural’ destruction to the natural world.

      seth borenstein ‏@borenbears 1h1 hour ago

      Scientists compare looking for global warming’s fingerprints in wild weather to forensics

      Reply
  31. Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 12, 2016

      Man that thing just isn’t moving, spinning in one spot like a top.

      Reply
      • entropicman

         /  March 12, 2016

        In the UK some of the worst recent flooding has happened when a depression runs up against the continental high and becomes slow moving.

        The result is that an otherwise normal depression dumps all it rain in the same area, rather than moving through.

        For etreme flooding you often need rain which is intense and long lasting.

        Reply
  32. Colorado Bob

     /  March 11, 2016

    Over a Dozen Major Flash Floods in the Last 12 Months in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas
    http://www.wunderground.com/news/flood-fatigue-2015-2016-texas-louisiana-oklahoma

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  March 11, 2016

      To nobody’s surprise, the March 2015 through February 2016 period was the wettest such period on record in both Oklahoma and Texas, according to NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  March 11, 2016

        It’s official: 2011 was the driest year on record in Texas, according to the National Weather Service. It was also the second-hottest ever.

        Link

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  March 12, 2016

        That’s weather whiplash right there. We seem to be seeing more and more of this stuff.

        Reply
    • Scheduling tweet on this, thanks.

      Reply
  33. Colorado Bob

     /  March 11, 2016

    Friday morning. The 7 am EST Friday March 11, 2016 upper-air balloon sounding from Jackson, MS set a new record for most precipitable water on record for any day during the December – March period: 1.97″. New Orleans, LA set a record on Friday morning for most precipitable water of any astronomical winter date: 2.14″.

    Link

    Reply
    • – Indeed:

      “The upper low over Mexico responsible for the deluge was able to tap into an atmospheric river of moisture from both the Western Caribbean and the Eastern Pacific, and was still bringing record amounts of water vapor to the Gulf Coast on Friday morning.

      … as of 9 am EST Friday, a rain gauge two miles from the city of Monroe, Louisiana had received 20.90″ of rain since Monday, and Shreveport, Louisiana had picked up 19.00″ at Barksdale Air Force Base. Over a foot of rain was recorded at several locations in Southern Arkansas.”

      Reply
  34. Colorado Bob

     /  March 11, 2016

    A scientific journal editor has criticised the UK’s The Times newspaper for misinterpreting the findings of a special edition that looked at the science linking ocean acidification to impacts on marine organisms.

    The Times story claimed the publication, led by Dr Howard Browman, had concluded most studies found ocean acidification had little or no impact on marine organisms.

    But Browman, of the Institute of Marine Research in Norway, said The Times had omitted or misinterpreted key points and “cherry-picked” aspects of an interview with him.

    Link

    Reply
    • – It’s amazing how often this sort of thing happens in the ‘media’

      Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  March 12, 2016

      http://climatefeedback.org/feedbacks/

      Analysis of Ben Webster’s “Scientists are exaggerating carbon threat to marine life”
      The Times / The Australian

      01 Mar. 2016

      “This article misses some major intellectual points about ocean acidification, thanks to what seems to be a willful misunderstanding and misquoting of an interview with Dr. Browman on an Ocean Acidification special issue journal.”

      ” Howard Browman, Principal Research Scientist, Norwegian Institute of Marine Research:

      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. After reading my introduction, and the articles in the special issue, readers can come to their their own conclusion about whether the journalist worked carefully, conscientiously and impartially to help me accurately spread its messages.

      I spoke with Ben Webster of The Times in a 30-minute phone call and explained that the objective of the special issue he was reporting on was to introduce more balance into the topic of Ocean Acidification. He 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.”

      Reply
  35. March 11, 2016
    NASA Tracking the Influence of Tides on Ice Shelves In Antarctica

    Ice shelves, the floating extensions of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, are not simply resting on the ocean waters: they rise, fall and bend with the tides. Ultimately, these oceanic motions impact the flow of ice coming from the glaciers that these ice shelves buttress
    … NASA scientists worked with personnel from the Korea Polar Research Institute to install instruments on the Nansen Ice Shelf, a roughly 30-mile-long ice shelf sticking out from the coast of Antarctica’s Victoria Land. The ice shelf is near the new South Korean Jang Bogo Station…
    “Nansen is a smaller ice shelf but we’re hoping that it’s representative of many of the smaller ice shelves that ring Antarctica,” Walker said. “We also hope that the techniques that we’re testing out in this campaign can be used in the future on larger ice shelves.”
    http://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/nasa-tracking-the-influence-of-tides-on-ice-shelves-in-antarctica

    Reply
  36. Reply
    • wili

       /  March 11, 2016

      Out of the drying pan, into the mire!

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 12, 2016

      That’s rough. In a place that needed armed guard for water trucks recently.

      Reply
    • – Likely it’s those ‘extremes’ that Bob alludes to as they ‘adjust’ to a tipping point.

      Reply
  37. Reply
  38. Cate

     /  March 12, 2016

    Construction to start in 2019, assuming approval (It’s Alberta, it’s tar sands. Approval is guaranteed). 50,000 barrels of bitumen per day by 2022.

    This is the reality of the energy sector in Canada.

    This is why we cannot believe one word about climate change that comes out of Trudeau’s pretty mouth.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/imperial-oil-oilsands-cold-lake-plant-1.3486949

    Reply
  39. São Paulo: from drought to flood in one year. While anual floods are sure because governmental incompetence around here (flood plains and slopes are routinely ocuppied and badly build, and no-one is ever removed from high risk areas, nor advised on how to build properly in places where a different way to build and occupy the terrain can mean life or death), this Friday was worst than usual. The last body count I heard in the radio confirmed 22 deaths, and there are at least 9 people still missing. While some of the worst mudslides were quite near me, in my hometown of Mairiporã (one of the two possible streets to exit my home was under stones and mud until midday), my neighboring reforested slopes have kept their structure well. Trees save lifes in more ways than one.

    Article in Portuguese, but there’s no need for translation of the movies images:
    http://g1.globo.com/sao-paulo/noticia/2016/03/chuvas-afetam-mais-de-20-cidades-do-interior-e-da-grande-sao-paulo.html

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 12, 2016

      Thank you for the local update, Umbrios! Very glad to hear that you’re safe. It’s so sad to see what my fellow humans are having to endure, in every corner of the planet. And the extreme events are becoming more frequent, and more extreme. Take care of yourself down there, Umbrios🙂

      Reply
  40. Jay M

     /  March 12, 2016

    getting good precipitation in northern California, but when I look at the satellite views, it looks like a lot of energy is being split off to the PNW. anyway, don’t mean to be repetitive, but interesting as the drought, hopefully, breaks down this year

    Reply
    • – PNW is getting the wind — No Cal the moisture. 109 mph at Mt Baker WA> a few days ago — a new wind event forecast for Sunday.

      Reply
      • NWS Seattle ‏@NWSSeattle 1h1 hour ago

        NASA Aqua satellite pic earlier today shows active NE Pacific primed for rapid development of weekend storm.

        Reply
    • Well, there’s a big groundwater deficit to make up, but the reservoirs are filling, and snowpack is only slightly below average. It’s good to see the reservoirs filling, in California. My lawn actually needs mowing, it seems that some of the grass survived.

      Millions of trees are dead in Californian forests though, and in some places land has subsided 10 feet or more due to aquifer depletion during the drought.

      Major reservoir conditions from the California Data Exchange Center:

      http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cdecapp/resapp/getResGraphsMain.action

      The links are working again, click on the individual reservoir names to see individual graphs for the reservoirs.

      The link to get back to the major reservoirs main page is almost hidden – it’s in small print under the image of the individual reservoir in light blue.

      Reply
  41. – A rather ominous sign out of USA:
    ROLL TAPE

    Reply
    • – Then there’s the verbal blunt force trauma of a right wing FoxNews mouthpiece.
      – 2012 Santa Barbara had Bill O’Reilly and Dennis Miller in town for a well attended 100% white ‘Fascist Revival Meeting’ (my term). No one, except my dear wife and a ‘street’ person (on my alert) protested. I just happened upon it while doing my rounds documenting air pollution and ran out of stamina to go back to the ugly event.

      boilerroomradio ‏@boilerroomradio 6h6 hours ago

      Bill O’Reilly loses custody of his children after choking wife

      Reply
      • Jean

         /  March 12, 2016

        I have done quite a few one person protests..over time my friends softly suggested I “retire” and I guess it all wore me down…can always start up,,Glad to heat about you wife’s action..inspiring..

        Reply
      • – Way to go Jean: “I have done quite a few one person protests.”
        Don’t ‘retire’ just pick your spots to do what you can — when you can.🙂

        Reply
    • Vic

       /  March 12, 2016

      I heard the protesters got some great footage…

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  March 12, 2016

        Haha, Vic I love it! Trump’s red “make America great again” hats will soon become armbands. Trump’s crowds have become far more rabid and out of control in recent days, with more and more protesters being attacked (as they are removed by security), and leaving bruised and bloodied. The Trump rally last night was cancelled because of protests and crowd violence. And Trump just fans the flames, with statements like “I’d like to punch him in the face”. It grows more frightening, and more pathetic, by the day.

        Sorry for the Inside Edition clip. The show is like the National Enquirer on TV.

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  March 12, 2016

        A Donald Trump rally in Chicago had to be called off on Friday evening amid scenes of violence and chaos unparalleled in the recent history of American political campaigning.

        http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/mar/12/donald-trump-rally-called-off-in-chicago-amid-protests-violence-and-chaos

        Reply
      • Hi Ryan-

        And Trump managed to blame the violence on Bernie Sanders supporters Fox News supports him in this, of course.

        I think part of Trump’s appeal is hysterical denial of climate change, myself. On some level, ignorant people know that the climate is changing, and that it is significant and perhaps catastrophic. But they are ravenous to be told their fears aren’t real. So, being authoritarian followers, they seek an authoritarian leader, hoping to shelter in his organization and gain the protection of being in his group.

        We’re evolved to to this, I am convinced. Science and logic and reason have not been the dominant way that people got along in the past – mostly people survived by joining groups – finding a strong leader and parroting him, submerging themselves in his version of reality.

        Trump is a joke, of course. He’s not so much a strong leader as he is a fake. John Oliver claims that Trump values the Trump name at 3 billion dollars – and that is one way he’s able to claim he has been successful – by valuing the Trump brand name at 3 billion dollars. If not for the banks who lent him money repeatedly taking over his failed businesses in order to keep from losing their money, he would be one of the homeless people he denigrates:

        John Oliver on Donald Drumpf:

        Reply
  42. Ryan in New England

     /  March 12, 2016

    Hey Robert, you’ve done an amazing job growing this site. We have many new regulars (and every one is fantastic with their comments and contributions) and I seem to notice news additions all the time. It just occurred to me that your posts now get more comments than many of the articles over at The Guardian, which is a major publication. But it’s more than just the number of comments. The Guardian is full of gibberish and still has lots of deniers (there are some good commenters) that kill any productive conversation. Here, every single comment is worth reading, and every link is worth visiting. I know I’ve said it before, but thank you. hank you so, so much! You really have created a virtual think tank here. Well done sir, well done🙂

    Reply
  43. Colorado Bob

     /  March 12, 2016

    Colorado River flows reduced by warmer spring temperatures

    During and since the 1980s, average Upper Colorado River Basin temperatures during the runoff season have been increasing.

    “If we have a warmer spring, we can anticipate that the flows will be less relative to the amount of snowpack,” Woodhouse said. “What we’re seeing is not just the future – it’s actually now. That’s not something I say lightly.”

    For at least the past decade, climate models have indicated that warming temperatures have an increasing effect in modulating streamflow, she said. The team’s findings, which are based on real, observed data, mirror the predictions of the climate models.

    Read more at: Link

    Reply
  44. Colorado Bob

     /  March 12, 2016

    Scorching start to autumn smashed national heat records, Bureau of Meteorology says

    National records were smashed in the scorching start to March, as the driest January-February in parts of northern Australia for half a century led to an unusual build-up of heat, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

    In a special climate statement on the heatwave that is yet to ebb in parts of south-eastern Australia, the bureau said the first three days of the month were each warmer than any previous March day, based on area-averaged temperatures across the nation.

    The average maximum temperature of 38.14 degrees on March 2 broke the previous record for the month by 0.98 degrees – a margin that has only been surpassed once before, in July 1975, the bureau said.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/scorching-start-to-autumn-smashed-national-heat-records-bureau-of-meteorology-says-20160312-gnha5q.html#ixzz42i7jzGZR

    Reply
  45. Colorado Bob

     /  March 12, 2016

    Would Saving A Livable Climate Destroy Buffett’s Fossil Fuel Empire?

    by Joe Romm

    Billionaire Warren Buffett has bet the future of his company Berkshire Hathaway on dirty energy. In recent years he has been building a vertically-integrated fossil fuel empire — one that develops, delivers, processes, and burns the most climate-destroying fuels.

    The final part of this series on Buffett looks at how BNSF Railways is the engine of his carbon-intensive conglomerate, creating a massive risk for shareholders in this increasingly carbon-constrained world — a risk the “Oracle of Omaha” needs to be far more upfront about.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/03/11/3757285/buffett-fossil-fuel-empire/

    Reply
  46. Kevin Jones

     /  March 12, 2016

    NOT sure what to say. NASA GISS FEBRUARY LOTI 1.35C (smashes January, which smashed December…which….

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  March 12, 2016

      I recall somewhere Hansen said to add .27C to LOTI to get pre-industrial total heating.
      1.62C. (I believe I’m correct about this…)

      Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  March 12, 2016

        Meteorological Stations come in at just shy of 1.7C. above 1951-1980 base period. Please forgive me Robert, Team. But this is BATSHIT crazy….

        Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  March 12, 2016

        Tip: Go to GISTEMP . You’ll see January. Locate and punch in February and voila! Some other graphs have posted. You won’t see this till you click on ‘PDF’

        Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  March 12, 2016

      Pardon me, Robert. I know you and others saw Feb. coming in as likely new all time record hot month…but by how much catches my breath.

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 12, 2016

      Kevin, it is absolutely insane. It’s scary how large the jump in temperature is.

      Reply
      • Syd Bridges

         /  March 13, 2016

        From the latest http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata_v3/GLB.Ts.txt

        sources: GHCN-v3 1880-02/2016 (meteorological stations only)

        1997 46 54 64 37 42 65 34 44 50 60 70 68 53 51 50 48 47 60 1997
        1998 70 118 82 82 94 104 90 86 59 67 64 80 83 82 86 86 93 64 1998
        1999 68 86 48 42 48 62 64 55 66 63 57 53 59 61 78 46 60 62 1999
        2000 30 78 69 75 55 69 63 59 57 33 47 47 57 57 54 66 64 45 2000

        Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec J-D D-N DJF MAM JJA SON Year
        2001 59 64 69 61 73 66 71 65 70 61 83 73 68 66 57 68 67 71 2001
        2002 96 91 112 80 87 66 82 68 81 64 69 54 79 81 87 93 72 71 2002
        2003 91 75 71 69 87 64 65 86 83 90 66 87 78 75 73 76 72 80 2003
        2004 71 92 86 77 49 64 24 57 59 84 87 68 68 70 84 71 48 77 2004
        2005 97 88 93 84 75 82 81 76 96 100 90 90 88 86 84 84 79 95 2005
        2006 76 94 82 69 51 78 68 84 73 85 88 94 79 78 87 67 77 82 2006
        2007 125 94 93 94 95 67 80 88 84 82 71 71 87 89 104 94 78 79 2007
        2008 51 46 92 67 59 53 73 41 81 76 82 74 66 66 56 73 56 80 2008
        2009 76 78 67 76 81 83 88 88 92 74 86 76 80 80 76 74 86 84 2009
        2010 97 105 113 102 97 87 75 84 89 97 101 71 93 94 93 104 82 96 2010
        2011 74 68 78 85 66 75 93 97 80 86 79 79 80 79 71 76 88 81 2011
        2012 63 59 72 81 97 73 59 87 90 96 95 73 79 79 67 83 73 94 2012
        2013 98 78 86 67 69 88 67 80 100 86 89 85 83 82 83 74 78 92 2013
        2014 96 65 80 89 104 78 74 85 108 104 83 99 89 88 82 91 79 98 2014
        2015 96 109 111 79 89 87 77 88 81 118 121 141 100 96 101 93 84 107 2015
        2016 137 169 **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** *** 149 **** **** **** 2016
        Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec J-D D-N DJF MAM JJA SON Year

        An anomaly of 1.69 deg C for February land stations. The global anomaly will obviously be lower, but these are the temperatures that almost all of us experience. They are also the temperatures that our agriculture has to cope with.

        Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  March 14, 2016

        Syd Bridges. I don’t (yet) know the difference in parameters between GISS Meteorological Stations and Land Areas. Monthly Surface Air Temperature Over Land Areas Monthly Mean Anomalies chart shows 1880.125 -0.93C. 2016.125 (Feb. again) 2.37C (only monthly anomalies but scary math to add THOSE two….)

        Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  March 14, 2016

        Or if you Really want to get lost in the numbers or my mind🙂 Difference between Feb. Land Area Monthly Anomaly 1950, when I ‘began’ to arrive and Feb. 2016 : +2.37C

        Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  March 14, 2016

        Sorry. +2.85C. I have finished…..

        Reply
  47. – Activism in Bangladesh

    Demonstrators have begun a four-day-long “long march” from Dhaka to Khulna in protest against the Rampal power plant, which they believe is a threat to the world’s largest mangrove forest the Sundarbans.

    – Demonstrators begin the “long march” to save Sundarbans on March 10, 2016, and press Bangladesh government to abandon the Rampal coal-fired power plant. Photo: SK Enamul Haq

    Reply
  48. – This bad air condition really applies to the whole So Cal Bight and lower Central Valley.

    Earthjustice Takes Air Board to Court for Failing to Curb Los Angeles Smog

    -Smog hovers over downtown Los Angeles and surrounding areas on March 3, 2016. An Earthjustice lawsuit challenges an oil industry-backed plan to blunt smog clean up in the LA region.

    Reply
  49. Kevin Jones

     /  March 12, 2016

    GISS L-OTI (Northern Hemisphere Winter.) Dec. ’15-Feb. ’16 1.2C [Oct. ’15 was first month to ever breech 1C….each month since has.

    Reply
  50. wili

     /  March 12, 2016

    We have a new high for this freeze season, though it is still in record low territory for this date: http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/arctic.sea.ice.interactive.html

    12.85256 million square kilometer at day 70

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  March 12, 2016

      DMI temps for area north of 80N just jumped to almost as ‘hot’ as they’ve gotten so far this year. Wili, ‘fraid I might have to bet you a warm beer on where ice will be come September….

      Reply
      • – Something that has been on my mind for some time re: KJ’s reference to ‘warm beer’:

        Beer’s flavors are at their best when served cool at something like a ‘wine cellar’ temp (maybe a bit cooler).

        The phony and uniquely American scam in promoting ‘ice cold’ beer led to a huge amount of fossil fuel being burned just to cool, and keep, it cold. Also, most places refrigerate the beer glasses and mugs too – crazy.
        When you drink beer, at ‘ice cold’ temp., all you are tasting is the bite of the cold — and very little hop/malt, etc. flavor. This is fact, with the result being a stupid dumping of CO2 into the atmosphere — and more extraction and addiction to FF.

        If I buy a glass of good tap beer, I have to ask for a room temp glass — and let the beer warm a bit.
        ‘Ice cold’ beer is for people who don’t like the taste of beer.

        Reply
      • Jeremy

         /  March 13, 2016

        Coors, Bud, Miller etc. HAS to be served ice-cold – it tastes so goddamn awful otherwise.

        Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  March 13, 2016

        You have a gift for scientific observation, Jeremy.

        Reply
      • Jeremy / March 13, 2016
        “Coors, Bud, Miller etc. HAS to be served ice-cold…”

        Just picture a can, glass, bottle or keg of the above — then picture that same volume GHG or coal etc. used to cool it — as the Arctic melts into a warm puddle.

        That is where we’re at and much of how we got here. Not a pretty picture but there it is.

        Reply
      • Syd Bridges

         /  March 13, 2016

        As a Brit, whose sister and brother-in-law ran a pub in Gloucestershire, I fully concur on the wastefulness of ice-cold beer. IIRC, the pub cellar was kept at 49 deg F, for all the beers. Real ales and more standard beers were at their best. However, I concur with Jeremy that the cold is useful for masking how vile Miller, Coors, etc are.

        Reply
      • Jeremy

         /  March 13, 2016

        I just bought Sierra Nevada Pale Ale at my local supermarket – here in Devon!
        Thank god for small miracles.

        Yes – I know, there’s a HUGE footprint flying that from Northern Cali over here.

        Reply
      • Wharf Rat

         /  March 14, 2016

        Rat prefers smoking weed, but when I drink beer, it is Old Rasputin Imperial Stout or Anchor Porter, at room temperature. Stay thirsty, my friends.

        Reply
  51. NWS OPC ‏@NWSOPC 6h6 hours ago

    Impressive scatterometer (RapidScat) pass over the #hurricane force low southeast of #Newfoundland, Canada. #SatWind

    Reply
  52. – Norway

    Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, dropped 11 companies in 2015 over their connections to forest destruction.

    The GPFG, which manages $828 billion worth of funds, released its annual report for 2015 today, revealing that six palm oil companies, four pulp and paper companies, and one coal company were dropped from its investment portfolio.
    http://news.mongabay.com/2016/03/worlds-largest-sovereign-wealth-fund-just-dropped-11-companies-over-deforestation/?utm_content=buffer0f5c7&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    Reply
  53. – USA

    Torrential rains lead to unusually strong flooding in Louisiana and Mississippi

    “It’s the most widespread non-hurricane flooding the Louisiana National Guard has ever dealt with, said Col. Pete Schneider, a guard spokesman. He said about 1,000 soldiers and air crews were at work in 25 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes.

    washingtonpost.com/national/torrential-rains-lead

    Reply
  54. Ryan in New England

     /  March 12, 2016

    Africa will have to alter the crops they grow because the land is no longer viable, and it’s only going to get worse.

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/africas_farmers_must_adapt_quickly_to_rapidly_changing_climate_20160312

    Reply
  55. Jay M

     /  March 13, 2016

    looks like CA has a great moisture flow arriving:
    http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/west/nepac/flash-wv.html

    Reply
    • Jay M

       /  March 13, 2016

      file under: you may not enjoy the capacity of the atmosphere to absorb more moisture

      Reply
  56. Griffin

     /  March 13, 2016

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 13, 2016

      That’s a fantastic piece by Mann. Thanks Griffin. If you notice, the “False Hope” chart used in the article looks pretty dire, but it stops at 2013. It would look far worse if the past two years (and start of this year) were included.

      Reply
  57. – More of the mental toll of climate change will manifest itself. No (zero) RX will help either. Prevention our only salve.

    Aboriginal leaders are warning of the mental health cost of climate change in the North

    First Nations and Inuit communities in the North are coping with growing despair over climate change, a problem observers are connecting to mental health and social problems.

    It’s mid-February and the ice roads into and out of Deer Lake First Nation still aren’t reliable enough to officially open, a reality that weighs heavily on the minds of residents.

    “It’s very late. It’s bad. We want to get our stuff, our supplies, housing materials, fuel. I don’t know if we’ll be able to get it this year (by road),” said chief Roy Dale Meekis. “You feel isolated.”

    Anxieties are high in this small Oji-Cree community, located about 700 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay. An unusually warm winter in Ontario’s north — what’s expected to become the new norm in a changing climate …
    http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2016/02/29/aboriginal-leaders-are-warning-of-the-mental-health-cost-of-climate-change-in-the-north.html

    Reply
  58. – Day light saving time begins Sunday 2 am your time zone:

    NWS Fairbanks ‏@NWSFairbanks 2h2 hours ago

    Don’t forget to move your clocks forward one hour before you go to bed tonight!

    Reply
  59. – USA – Some 0312 rain event highlights:

    THE WEATHER PREDICTION CENTER
    STORM SUMMARY MESSAGE
    … SOME WARM AND MOIST AIR DOES CONTINUE TO STREAM NORTHWARD AHEAD OF THE LEFTOVER WAVE INTO THE DEEP SOUTH WHICH IS INTERACTING WITH A SURFACE FRONT DRAPED ACROSS THE TENNESSEE VALLEY. [Much fog in St. Louis area. and others.]

    …SELECTED STORM TOTAL RAINFALL IN INCHES FROM 600 AM CST MON MAR 07 THROUGH 800 PM CST SAT MAR 12
    …ALABAMA…
    THEODORE 5.47
    TILLMANS CORNER 4.69
    MOBILE 4.68

    …ARKANSAS…
    HAMBURG 13.50
    EUDORA 12.80
    CROSSETT 12.30

    …MISSISSIPPI…
    GREENVILLE MUNI ARPT 12.83
    HATTIESBURG/LAUREL 9.45
    SOUTHAVEN 9.07
    …TENNESSEE…

    MEMPHIS INTL ARPT 8.59
    CORDOVA 8.06
    WILLISTON 7.64
    …LOUISIANA…

    MONROE RGNL ARPT 21.07
    SWARTZ 19.00
    BARKSDALE AFB/BOSSIER CITY 18.11
    MOUNT HERMAN 16.00
    RAYVILLE 14.90
    …TEXAS…

    LONGVIEW 11.60
    TOLEDO BEND DAM 9.79
    KIRBYVILLE 9.01

    Reply
  60. – Via climatehawk1

    Reply
    • Andy in SD

       /  March 13, 2016

      That is an excellent metric. That could be done worldwide to determine / anticipate social issues and starvation.

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 13, 2016

      Wonderful, and troubling, image. 200 inches is staggering, and puts the size of the problem into clearer perspective. This area’s agriculture (which we all know) has been depending heavily on groundwater to compensate for the shortfall in precipitation. And this leads to dramatic subsidence, affecting infrastructure and costing us more energy money just to maintain our current status. A change in weather has ripples through all aspects of society. The floods in Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas has destroyed hundreds homes that never needed flood insurance, causing devastation. Again, we have to spend millions just to get back to where we were. This is how Empires fall. They spend all of their excess energy on trying to simply maintain the system, that they start to shrink and cut spending and commitments, which shrinks the state and tax income further, which becomes a positive feedback. Obviously this is very simplified, lacking nuance and specifics, but you see what I mean. We keep spending more and more simply recovering from ever-stronger weather disasters, while we will simultaneously lose production of key crops from increasing extreme events (heat, flood, storms). It’s a slippery slope, and insurance companies have definitely recognized the increase in losses from weather.

      Reply
  61. Colorado Bob

     /  March 13, 2016

    Our Planet’s Temperature Just Reached a Terrifying Milestone

    Update, March 12, 2016: Data released Saturday from NASA confim that February 2016 was not only the warmest month ever measured globally, at 1.35 degrees Celsius above the long-term average—it was more than 0.2 degrees Celsius warmer than the previously most unusually warm month ever measured: January 2016. The new NASA data confirms unofficial data released earlier this month showing a dramatic and ongoing surge in the planet’s temperature—if anything, that data, upon which the previous versions of this post were based, were an underestimate. On Twitter, Gavin Schmidt, the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, which maintains the NASA temperature database, noted that February’s temperature record was “special” and commented simply: “Wow.”

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2016/03/01/february_2016_s_shocking_global_warming_temperature_record.html

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  March 13, 2016

      Dr. Makiko Sato who maintains the temperature graphs at Dr. James Hansen’s site has been working overtime incorporating Feb. data. The Temperature Anomalies In Different Regions chart shows Feb. Land Surface (Earth surface minus oceans and sea ice) at 2.4C. this is not a misprint….

      Reply
      • ‘2.4C. this is not a misprint….’ This roughly is what PDX USA , especially the daily low temps has been measuring by the NWS — for the casual observer to see.
        It’s so damned obvious.

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  March 13, 2016

        That is just plain scary!

        Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  March 14, 2016

        See my note above to Syd Bridges comment with all the Meteorological Stations data.

        Reply
  62. Abel Adamski

     /  March 13, 2016

    From low snow winter to high snow spring in the Alps
    https://weather.com/photos/news/spring-snow-alps-france-europe-photos

    Reply
  63. Abel Adamski

     /  March 13, 2016

    Alaska
    From the Arab Emirates
    http://www.thenational.ae/world/americas/lack-of-snow-at-alaska-dogsled-race-highlights-global-warming-threat

    This winter and the previous two are among the six warmest since 1925 in the US state. February saw an average temperature of –1°C in Anchorage, almost six degrees above average.

    “Signs of long-term environmental change are ubiquitous in Alaska,” Mr Thoman said. “Wildfires are increasing, summers are becoming too warm to support the existing boreal forest composition in parts of the interior. In south-east Alaska, some tree species are threatened due to a decline in winter snow cover.”

    As the world tries to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels as agreed at the Paris climate summit last year, Alaska might well be a bellwether of how rapid warming will affect human activity.

    “Climate change leads to more permafrost thaw and disruptions to freeze-thaw cycles,” the US Environmental Protection Agency warns on its website. “This can potentially cause damage to transportation infrastructure in Alaska, including highways, railroads, and airstrips.”

    The most serious signals may be emerging not from snow on a dogsled trail, however, but from deep underground.

    Vladimir Romanovsky, a professor at the University of Alaska and the head of the Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost, has used boreholes to study permafrost – permanently frozen soil that has remained below freezing for a minimum of two years.

    Permafrost can lie just below the surface, or it can lie hundreds of metres deep. “Lower temperature means stable permafrost,” Dr Romanovsky told The National.

    In northern parts of Alaska, the temperature of permafrost has risen by 3°C over the past 30 years. “In some locations, permafrost has already started to thaw,” he said. “When ice-rich permafrost thaws, the ice turns to water, and the water drains away, causing the ground to sink. This affects anything sitting on the ground surface: trees, houses, roads, pipelines.”

    He said a full melt of the permafrost in Alaska might occur around 2060-2070.

    And I highlight the last sentence

    Reply
  64. Abel Adamski

     /  March 13, 2016

    And another from the Middle East, this time a blast from the past – 2012

    http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/climate-change-is-a-big-threat-to-arab-states

    DOHA // They are perilous facts.

    The Arab world will experience unprecedented and dangerous warming over the next century, endangering farming, industry and the water supply.

    In Russia, two years ago, 55,000 people died from an extreme heatwave linked to global warming.

    Arctic ice – that was once predicted to disappear this century – is now expected to vanish within the decade.. And the entire globe is in danger of a rise in temperatures of 4°C by the end of the century and possibly as soon as 2060, if greenhouse gas emissions are not significantly cut.

    The main reasons for failing to achieve progress were the same as in previous UN climate conferences: the intransigence caused by the economic imperatives of China and the US – the world’s largest polluters – and the exorbitant demands of developing countries for wealthy nations, grappling with recession, to pay for their transition to a greener economy.

    After Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of New York City in October, conference delegates had hoped for a dramatic shift in US climate policy. Yet there was no discernible difference in the US approach. Hamstrung by a strong oil, gas and manufacturing lobby, which views cuts in carbon emissions as a cut to their bottom lines, the US remains reluctant to consent to emission reductions necessary to keep a rise in global temperatures below the dangerous 2°C threshold.

    Reply
  65. Abel Adamski

     /  March 13, 2016

    And heading down South
    http://www.hngn.com/articles/187761/20160311/more-information-antarcticas-scary-past-data-points-ice-sheet-danger-threshold.htm

    The new research stretches back even further, approximately 34 million years ago, during an era when the ice sheet’s growth is believed to have originated. The results show that in this period as well, decreased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide was connected to glaciation and the growth of ice sheets.

    “Before 33.6 million years ago, there was no ice, and CO2 was above 750, was above the threshold,” said Simone Galeotti, lead author of the new study. However, this didn’t last for long – a transitional period with lower carbon dioxide and a variable ice sheet surfaced, followed by a period when the carbon dioxide levels went below 600 parts per million and the Antarctic ice sheet experienced a large expansion.

    “This is one of the biggest climate changes that the planet has seen in the last 50 million years, when Antarctica went from being forested and vegetated, to really… it became glaciated at this Eocene-Oligocene boundary,” said Rob DeConto, co-author of the study.

    The team based their findings on a core of deep-ocean almost one-kilometer in length and examined sediment taken from the western part of the Ross Sea. The distribution of rocks in the various layers of the core suggests that icebergs were breaking off of an ice sheet approximately 32.9 million years ago, after emerging from the hot Eocene period.

    Both the new findings and last month’s research point to a “danger” threshold for ice sheets and potentially indicate a rapid melting event that may take place in the near future.

    “As we go forward to a warmer world, we’re essentially running this in reverse,” said Thomas Wagner, a cryosphere scientist who was not involved in any of the research. “This work shows us what the world looked like back then that we’re now heading toward.”

    The findings were published in the March 10 issue of Science.

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 13, 2016

      I sometimes wonder if we will go so far that Antarctica completely thaws over centuries, returning to somewhat forested lands. Would the lack of sunlight half the year prevent trees from taking hold?

      Reply
  66. Abel Adamski

     /  March 13, 2016

    Interesting, at least multidisciplinary
    http://www.hngn.com/articles/188193/20160312/global-warming-hiatus-investigated-multidisciplinary-research-project.htm
    After recent research pointed to data discrepancies as the cause of the global warming hiatus that many in the field debate, scientists from the U.K.’s National Oceanography Centre (NOC) are planning to investigate the issue and determine why the global warming trend varies from decade to decade. The NOC will work alongside researchers from nine other organizations, which marks the start of a major new multidisciplinary research project.

    The NOC claims that a slowdown has been observed in the global warming of the Earth’s surface over the last decade, although they note that despite this decrease, heat is still increasing in other parts of the climate system, such as the deep ocean.

    The new project, called Securing Multidisciplinary Understanding and Prediction of Hiatus and Surge events (SMURPHS), will investigate the potential causes of this slowdown including volcanic activity, solar radiation and greenhouse gases, among others, and determine the impacts that each of these factors have on the variation in global warming.

    NOC scientists previously observed that the absorption of heat by the North Atlantic, Tropical Pacific and Southern Oceans plays a key role in the recent global warming slowdown. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the team plans on continuing to investigate the role of the ocean in global warming variability

    Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  March 14, 2016

      Smurfs? Great name.

      I think it will be the ‘surge’ events that will be most relevant, the way things are going

      Reply
  67. Things are looking quite ominous on the societal and environmental collapse fronts. We are watching fascism unfold live—– with CNN, Fox news and other MSM entities exacerbating the downward spiral we are on.

    At trump rallies there is incessant cheering of “Build that wall, build that wall”

    http://www.defendersblog.org/2014/07/saving-wildlife-north-south-border/

    Reply
  68. NWS OPC ‏@NWSOPC 4h4 hours ago

    1315Z Geocolor #satellite image of a #hurricane force low in the central #Atlantic. #GRPG

    Reply
    • 18:54 UTC
      NWS Seattle ‏@NWSSeattle 5m5 minutes ago

      Impressive winds south of Hoquiam on the central Washington Coast. Gusts to 75 mph at Cape Dissapointment

      Reply
  69. – USA China (Both FF GHG culprits) Global: Meanwhile, major influences are in play.

    Chinese Owner of Waldorf Astoria Bets Big on More U.S. Hotels

    HONG KONG — The Chinese owner of the Waldorf Astoria is placing an even bigger bet on high-end lodging in the United States.

    The Blackstone Group has agreed to sell Strategic Hotels and Resorts in a deal valued at $6.5 billion just months after buying it, according to a person with knowledge of the deal who was not authorized to comment. The buyer is Anbang Insurance Group, which bought the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York for a $1.95 billion in 2014.

    With the deal, the Chinese insurance company would clinch a real estate investment trust that owns and invests in high-end properties. They include Four Seasons hotels and resorts in the Silicon Valley area, Washington and Jackson Hole, Wyo. Strategic Hotels also owns the JW Marriott Essex House Hotel near Central Park in Manhattan.

    With growth slowing at home and the renminbi weakening, Chinese companies have been looking overseas. In February, a Chinese state-owned company called China National Chemical Corporation, or ChemChina, agreed to buy the Swiss agriculture conglomerate Syngenta for $43 billion, which, if completed, would be the biggest Chinese purchase of a foreign company. Last year, Chinese foreign direct investment in the United States reached $15.7 billion, a record, according to the consulting firm Rhodium Group.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/14/business/dealbook/chinese-owner-of-waldorf-astoria-bets-big-on-more-us-hotels.html

    Reply
  70. – USA Louisiana:

    HWV Tour of South Bossier 12 March 2016

    Reply
    • – Wrong link picked up ‘list’ item:
      – This is it:

      Reply
      • – Not to be too flippant but it looks like ‘the flood plain done flooded.’ Gotta take more care of the climate.

        Reply
      • wili

         /  March 13, 2016

        Reply
      • – Thanks wili,

        – Levee construction began in the 19th century in the U.S. on the Mississippi River and rivers like the Red and the Brazos. Work has pretty much continued on them since. In the 1920s and especially the 30s, government contractors brought laborers into camps to build the levees higher and higher. These camps were wild places where the only law was the boss. Murder and other crimes were common. It was yet another situation where black laborers were brutally exploited. Still, there was no shortage of men looing for jobs on the levees. Pay was better than sharecropping. At least when a worker got paid. They often didn’t.

        – This ‘Levee Camp Blues’ thing by Son House always moves me.

        Reply
  71. Colorado Bob

     /  March 13, 2016

    wili / March 13, 2016

    “His net-favorability rating was a negative-39”

    I don’t understand what this means.

    The percent that like him, compared to the percent that don’t . The billionaire bully is 39 percent under water.

    Reply
    • wili

       /  March 13, 2016

      Thanks, Bob. I figured that out eventually. I think I just couldn’t quite believe that that could be it. Wow.

      Reply
  72. Colorado Bob

     /  March 13, 2016

    February Smashes Earth’s All-Time Global Heat Record by a Jaw-Dropping Margin
    By: Jeff Masters and Bob Henson , 7:46 PM GMT on March 13, 2016

    On Saturday, NASA dropped a bombshell of a climate report. February 2016 has soared past all rivals as the warmest seasonally adjusted month in more than a century of global recordkeeping. NASA’s analysis showed that February ran 1.35°C (2.43°F) above the 1951-1980 global average for the month, as can be seen in the list of monthly anomalies going back to 1880. The previous record was set just last month, as January 2016 came in 1.14°C above the 1951-1980 average for the month. In other words, February has dispensed with this one-month-old record by a full 0.21°C (0.38°F)–an extraordinary margin to beat a monthly world temperature record by. Perhaps even more remarkable is that February 2015 crushed the previous February record–set in 1998 during the peak atmospheric influence of the 1997-98 “super” El Niño that’s comparable in strength to the current one–by a massive 0.47°C (0.85°F).

    Link

    Reply
  73. islandraider

     /  March 13, 2016

    New offering from Masters/Henson. The last sentance, referring to us being committed to an additional 5C additional atmospheric warming, is… troubling.

    February Smashes Earth’s All-Time Global Heat Record By A Jaw-Dropping Margin

    “Because there is so much land in the Northern Hemisphere, and since land temperatures rise and fall more sharply with the seasons than ocean temperatures, global readings tend to average about 4°C cooler in January and February than they do in July or August. Thus, February is not atop the pack in terms of absolute warmest global temperature: that record was set in July 2015. The real significance of the February record is in its departure from the seasonal norms that people, plants, animals, and the Earth system are accustomed to dealing with at a given time of year. Drawing from NASA’s graph of long-term temperature trends, if we add 0.2°C as a conservative estimate of the amount of human-produced warming that occurred between the late 1800s and 1951-1980, then the February result winds up at 1.65°C above average. If we use 0.4°C as a higher-end estimate, then February sits at 1.85°C above average. Either way, this result is a true shocker, and yet another reminder of the incessant long-term rise in global temperature resulting from human-produced greenhouse gases. Averaged on a yearly basis, global temperatures are now around 1.0°C beyond where they stood in the late 19th century, when industrialization was ramping up. Michael Mann (Pennsylvania State University) notes that the human-induced warming is even greater if you reach back to the very start of the Industrial Revolution. Making matters worse, we are committed to at least 0.5°C of additional atmospheric warming as heat stored in the ocean makes its way into the air, as recently emphasized by Jerry Meehl (National Center for Atmospheric Research). In short, we are now hurtling at a frightening pace toward the globally agreed maximum of 2.0°C warming over preindustrial levels.”

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3264

    Reply
    • islandraider

       /  March 13, 2016

      While acknowledging that this is “just” a monthly number, last I checked 1.65C or 1.85C, plus 0.5C > 2.0C. Seriously. Just 2 months after COP21. Astonishing.

      Reply
  74. islandraider

     /  March 13, 2016

    Bob beat me to it!

    Reply
  75. I think this image speaks for itself:

    Reply
    • islandraider

       /  March 13, 2016

      Must be Europeans. Americans would take a selfie.

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  March 14, 2016

        Spot on Islandraider! Americans are supremely pompous and conceited, no matter where they are or what the event, they take another picture of their face. An American photo album now consists of hundreds of pictures of their face, with slightly different backgrounds.

        Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  March 13, 2016

      Truly a picture is worth a thousand words

      Reply
    • Vic

       /  March 14, 2016

      “We’re setting sail to the place on the map from which no one has ever returned.”

      All Aboard !

      Reply
  76. dnem

     /  March 13, 2016

    So, in a few months when we start to back off these insane anomalies by a few 10ths, I guarantee you we’ll be hearing “oh, it was just El Nino, things will be cooling off now, not to worry.” Bank it.

    Tamino and Joe Romm both have good posts about the outlandish February data.

    Reply
  77. – UK Coal ‘permitted’ source emissions

    Scores of Britain’s coal-fired power stations, steel plants and iron works will no longer have to maintain a plan to show they will meet air pollution standards under the latest permits issued by the government.

    ClientEarth, a group of environment lawyers who last year successfully sued the government over air pollution, said the permits deleted a condition that required the plants’ operators to publish air quality management plans and to assess how much they might damage protected nature areas.

    Around 60 large industrial plants were issued the permits by the Environment Agency in December to keep operating under an EU directive that sets limits on harmful emissions.

    The UK is already facing the prospect of fines for breaching nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution limits, largely because of diesel vehicles. But industry is a big source of the pollutant too, accounting for half of UK NOx emissions, and the UK was the last EU member state to get sign-off on the transitional plan the IED calls for.
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/13/coal-fired-plant-permits-proof-pollution-standards

    Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  March 14, 2016

      Dear god, yet another glorious moment for the UK.

      We must be guaranteed the gold medal for green back-pedalling in Rio, because we are the form team!

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  March 14, 2016

        MBlanc, Don’t worry, Canada will be giving the UK a run for the money. We are forging ahead with pipeline development, about to approve a big new tarsands development by Imperial Oil, and getting ready to rape and pillage the Arctic (saving the 10% of the marine environment we’ve promised to “preserve”), all while our PM is basking in the sunshine of Obama’s love and vowing as if with upraised fists to “reduce” emissions by, oh, around 2050 or something, or was that 2030, oh who cares…..

        Reply
  78. – from NASA Climate Change:

    Published on Mar 9, 2016

    This visualization shows total sea level change between 1992 and 2014, based on data collected from the TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason-1, and Jason-2 satellites. Blue regions are where sea level has gone down, and orange/red regions are where sea level has gone up. Since 1992, seas around the world have risen an average of nearly 3 inches.

    The color range for this visualization is -7 cm to +7 cm (-2.76 inches to +2.76 inches), though measured data extends above and below 7cm(2.76 inches). This particular range was chosen to highlight variations in sea level change.

    Reply
  79. Ryan in New England

     /  March 14, 2016

    Didn’t look through the entire thread yet, so I apologize if this is a repeat. Even if it is, it needs to be repeated. The February numbers are in and they are absolutely insane. I’m literally frightened by the size of the increase.

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/february-smashes-earths-alltime-global-heat-record-by-a-jawdropping

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 14, 2016

      Sorry, guys, just noticed I was late to the party with this one.

      Reply
  80. Jay M

     /  March 14, 2016

    Looks like northern and central California have had a normal rain year:
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Final-round-of-storms-soaks-Bay-Area-before-skies-6887317.php

    the economy is saved, which is good, because we are talking about people

    Reply
    • Wharf Rat

       /  March 14, 2016

      My town managed to get about 7 inches above normal in late Jan, after a very dry Oct. and Nov. Then, the rains disappeared again in early-mid Jan. March came in like a lion, and after 7.5 inches in the week ending last Wed, we were back to an inch above average, at 54 plus. I’m losing track, but I’ve prolly had another 10 inches since then. In ’97-98, I had 120 inches. I’m up in the hills, so I get more rain than the town does.

      Here’s the great news…

      Homewood Mountain Resort, nestled on the slope just above Highway 89 at lake level, had almost no snow at all last year. It received 16 inches of snow on Monday alone. That brings its snowpack to 98 inches below Ellis Peak. The latest storms have piled up a 165-inch snowpack at Sugar Bowl near Donner Pass, tops for the region. For the season, Sugar Bowl reports a snowfall of 269 inches at the base, 444 inches on top. Northstar had 13 inches of fresh snow measured Monday morning for a season total of 387 inches, and probably will hit 400 by the weekend. It means all the ski areas will be open into early April.

      http://www.sfgate.com/columnists/stienstra/article/El-Ni-o-does-its-part-for-a-vibrant-spring-6880782.php

      Last March 1, they were measuring the water content of the snowpack on bare grass.

      Reply
  81. Ryan in New England

     /  March 14, 2016

    Joe Romm does a good job covering the record February heat.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/03/13/3759569/record-february-warmth-alaska-arctic/

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 14, 2016

      A remarkable fact:
      The five largest monthly global warm anomalies in NASA’s database have all occurred within the past five months, topped by February 2016.

      Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  March 14, 2016

      The question is as the peak recedes what will the aveage temperature plateau around until the next peak, how much of a step change have we locked in. ?
      If the Arctic ice permafrost and sea ice keep melting, at what rate and what consequences.?
      I linked an article above re the early spring heavy snow in the Alps and there is also snow and winter chill along with the rain following that warm winter where plants budded and started tgeir growth now to be hit by winter in spring, the biological consequences of an out of kilter weather cycle. ?

      Reply
  82. NWS Shreveport ‏@NWSShreveport 2h2 hours ago

    DAM BREAK REPORTED ON BAYOU LAFOURCHE BORDERING CALDWELL AND RICHLAND PARSH. WATER FLOWING RAPIDLY TOWARDS HEBERT !!! EVACUATE HEBERT NOW !

    Reply
  83. Ryan in New England

     /  March 14, 2016

    Not sure if this information has been shared here yet. NOAA has recently quadrupled their computing power for their forecast models. The upgrade was heavily inspired by Hurricane Sandy, and the U.S.’s failed forecast that predicted the storm going out to sea, while the European model predicted the storm’s turn towards the Jersey shore with remarkable accuracy five days out. This cleared the way for bi-partisan support (something almost non-existent with science denying Republicans) for funding the upgrade. The added computing power is expected to be incorporated into the forecasts in time for this year’s hurricane season. Disclaimer- Some of what I just stated was information I had learned outside of the link I provided, so you may not find everything I just typed in the article.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2016/01/15/national-weather-service-triples-computing-power-to-generate-more-accurate-forecasts/

    Reply
  84. Abel Adamski

     /  March 14, 2016

    Global Warming Causes Rising Concern in Höfn

    Global warming has a big impact in Höfn, Hornafjörður, Southeast Iceland, where land rises as the weight of glaciers decreases, RÚV reports. The town lies just south of Vatnajökull glacier, and residents of the district are close to 2,200. The Southeast Iceland Nature Research Center has records of Breiðamerkurjökull glacier (an outlet glacier of Vatnajökull) since 1860.

    “The melting is the equivalent of having removed meltwater, filling a 20-foot container, and we would remove 2,000 such containers every hour for 120 years. That’s the amount of ice which has disappeared from Breiðamerkurjökull glacier alone,” explained Snævarr Guðmundsson, specialist at the Nature Research Center.

    Glacial melting is also obvious in Hoffellsjökull glacier, another outlet glacier of Vatnajökull.

    As the weight of glaciers decreases, the land rises. “The flow of the glacial rivers changes. The mouth of the river, where ships sail into Hornafjörður, is changing from what it was a few decades ago. Plumbing changes somewhat, sewage and water pipes, as the land rises,” stated Kristín Hermannsdóttir, meteorologist and head of the Nature Research Center. She told RÚV that the land rises by 14 millimeters (0.55 in) a year.

    http://icelandreview.com/news/2016/03/14/global-warming-causes-rising-concern-hofn

    Reply
  85. Kevin Jones

     /  March 14, 2016

    HOW INTERESTING. NASA February Temperature Shocker makes The Telegraph UK (accurately)! The New York Times as far as I can tell is silent on this.

    Reply
  86. Colorado Bob

     /  March 14, 2016

    Winton flooding: Aerial footage shows extent of floods in drought-stricken Queensland town
    Lands End Station, near Julia Creek, has received 327 millimetres of rain so far this month – the highest March total since records began more than 90 years ago.

    The most recent record was from 1971, when the station received 305.8 millimetres of rain during March.

    More than 80 per cent of Queensland is currently drought declared after three failed wet seasons in the region.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-14/drone-vision-captures-flooding-in-winton-western-queensland/7243896

    Reply
  87. Colorado Bob

     /  March 14, 2016

    Climate change could speed up groundwater seepage

    Ge said she zeroed in on the subsurface flow phenomenon by observing stream flows during the year’s coldest months when inflow from rain or melting snow is negligible. Somehow though, Ge and her research team observed the volume of water increasing in the streams as they ran downhill, suggesting they were being fed by some other source of water.

    It turns out it was subsurface groundwater seeping into the water channels.

    It’s not just the headwaters regions of the Rockies where this pattern is becoming apparent. In Canada, there are more than 20 locations where streamflow is increasing in the fall and winter and a similar phenomenon is occurring among the six largest Eurasian rivers that flow into the Arctic Ocean, Ge said.

    http://azdailysun.com/news/local/climate-change-could-speed-up-groundwater-seepage/article_5cde4323-99a2-5dbb-b14c-710d1c8d5c69.html

    Reply
  88. Colorado Bob

     /  March 14, 2016

    Mexico News Daily | Saturday, March 12, 2016

    The beleaguered monarch butterflies can’t get a break. The numbers that arrived in Mexico for the winter were up, but cold weather has killed as many as 11 million in the last few days, according to one report.

    At the El Rosario sanctuary in Michoacán, where winter storm No. 11 brought 35 centimeters of snow and temperatures that plunged to -12 C, they say about 1.5 million butterflies have died.

    Rosario spokesman Homero Gómez González was able to see the monarch deaths in a positive light. He pointed out that the majority had survived despite snowfall levels that hadn’t been seen in 40 years.

    – See more at: Link

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 14, 2016

      That’s just heartbreaking. They fly for thousands of miles to a specific location that usually protects them from the cold. It’s one of nature’s greatest migrations.

      Reply
  89. Atlantic Salmon Is All But Extinct as a Genetically Eroded Version of Farmed Salmon Has Taken Over

    Atlantic salmon, the native salmon that used to inhabit the northern Atlantic Ocean, rivers and seas, is a species now represented by an impostor: farmed salmon. Also known as cultured salmon, farmed salmon comes from hatchery genetic stock and unlike its native ancestors, lacks wild genetic variation. The wild fish our ancestors ate is gone. What appears on our dinner plates is a substitute copy, a genetic dilution of a once mighty fish, the adaptive king of the sea and a significant food for coastal humans since prehistoric times.

    The change in genetic stock has been happening for decades, as farmed salmon are released into native waters via restocking programs (in an attempt to reduce the negative impacts of overfishing of wild salmon) and also unintentionally as a consequence of faulty containment in sea net-cages.
    http://ecowatch.com/2016/03/14/atlantic-salmon-extinct/

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 14, 2016

      That is so depressing for me. Thanks for that link. It seems like every day news gets more upsetting for me.

      Reply
  90. Highest amount of rain ever recorded in one day in parts of the UAE: 50 times more than the average rainfall for March!

    http://www.thebigwobble.org/2016/03/highest-amount-of-rain-ever-recorded-in.html

    Reply
  91. JPL

     /  March 14, 2016

    Antarctica on the Brink: NASA Emeritus Scientist Warns of Dramatic Loss of Glaciers

    Dahr Jamail interviews NASA climate scientist Robert Bindschadler.

    John

    Reply
  92. Shawn Redmond

     /  March 14, 2016

    As usual a fine and informative blog. Thank you all for your superb efforts. Just an observation from the front lines. With no scientific training what so ever but having spent most of my life outdoors in the area I was born, this is the first year our local lakes haven’t frozen over solid enough to walk on. In the sixties we always went skating by Christmas. The more disturbing thing is there are no over wintering birds here. Usually there’s a strong showing of Nut Hatches, Chickadees and Juncos. I put up my feeder in November and still not one bird!!! Is anyone noticing these sorts of anomalies or is this local [ hopefully ]. I could go on but ….

    Reply
    • – ” Usually there’s a strong showing of Nut Hatches, Chickadees and Juncos. I put up my feeder in November and still not one bird!!! ” Very sorry to hear that, Shawn.
      I hear you.
      Peace

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 14, 2016

      Shawn, thank you for that! Sad to hear what you’re seeing. Mind if I ask what area you’re in? Here in Connecticut we had an ice-free Winter as well, and as recently as the 80s we were able to ice skate every Winter.

      Reply
      • Shawn Redmond

         /  March 15, 2016

        Sorry Ryan replied further down. Still learning this blog stuff.

        Reply
  93. – Straight Out of Canada — The US Chamber of Commerce is the lowest of all though.

    Canadian companies supporting fight against U.S. climate plan: report

    Many large Canadian companies are financing legal action and lobbying against President Barack Obama’s climate change plan, putting the public and their investors at risk, said a new report released on Monday by an investment services organization.

    The report said that major companies such as BMO Financial, Cenovus, Resolute Forest Products, Suncor and TransCanada Corp are all members of U.S. trade associations that have aggressively lobbied and taken the U.S. government to court to block its Clean Power Plan.

    The support for the legal action, led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, also runs counter to public statements and positions taken by many of these companies, which are making investments to tackle rising carbon pollution…

    http://www.nationalobserver.com/2016/03/13/news/canadian-companies-supporting-fight-against-us-climate-plan-report

    Reply
    • Mark from OZ

       /  March 14, 2016

      It’s always branded as a ‘fight’ as if there are competing interests that will be settled in an equitable manner. (‘fight’-verb: to overcome, prevent or eliminate). The quest for ‘profitability’ has centuries of case law behind it and hence, why so hard to ‘fight’.

      The writings of Edward Abbey have always provided to me a new dimension to the concept of a ‘fight’. In ‘The Monkey Wrench Gang’, petitions, legal documents and even case law are routinely ignored as ‘those’ playing fields for the ‘fight’ are anything but level. As climate developments continue to advance, suggesting dire outcomes will be inevitable, the ascent of similarly minded people will become the rule and not outlier exceptions.

      MWG is a terrifo read and the ‘prologue’ adequately sets the stage. FF to page 91, and enjoy the chapter: Hayduke’s Night March. They are ‘unfriendly’ to those who seek to destroy the Earth.

      https://books.google.com.au/books?id=SzVKF5634aUC&printsec=frontcover&dq=monkey+wrench+gang&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiSu_DKqMHLAhWGKaYKHWepBO4Q6AEIKTAB%23v=onepage&q=monkey%20wrench%20gang&f=false%23v=snippet&q=monkey%20wrench%20gang&f=false#v=onepage&q&f=true

      Select for ‘single page’

      Reply
    • Cate

       /  March 14, 2016

      No surprises there, dt. Most of those “Canadian” companies are multi-national anyway and owe no loyalty to anything but their bottom line.

      This duplicity—this double-dealing, this talking out of both sides of the mouth—is just the beginning of the greenwashing and of what I would rather call the political and corporatist PR project of “greenspinning”—pretending to support renewables while aggressively pursuing FF-based business-as-usual.

      Reply
  94. – Degrading underground ice could reshape Arctic landscape

    Press Release From: Southwest Research Institute
    Posted: Monday, March 14, 2016

    Rapid melting of ice and Arctic permafrost is altering tundra regions in Alaska, Canada and Russia, according to a new study released in the journal Nature Geoscience. Ice-wedge degradation has been observed before in individual locations, but this is the first study to determine that rapid melting has become widespread throughout the Arctic.

    “The analysis clearly shows dramatic changes to this landscape, especially during relatively short periods in unusually warm summers in recent years,” said Dr. Marius Necsoiu, a principal scientist in SwRI’s Geosciences and Engineering Division.

    If this trend continues, it will lead to widespread draining and differential subsidence of the landscape, having long-term effects on plants and wildlife across the Arctic.

    “It’s really the tipping point for the hydrology,” said Anna Liljedahl, the lead researcher and an assistant professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Water and Environmental Research Center.

    http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=48189

    Reply
    • Nature Geoscience | Article
      Published online 14 March 2016

      Pan-Arctic ice-wedge degradation in warming permafrost and its influence on tundra hydrology

      Abstract

      Ice wedges are common features of the subsurface in permafrost regions. They develop by repeated frost cracking and ice vein growth over hundreds to thousands of years. Ice-wedge formation causes the archetypal polygonal patterns seen in tundra across the Arctic landscape.

      http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2674.html

      Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  March 16, 2016

        For the first time, researchers at the Alfred Wegener Institute have successfully decoded climate data from old permafrost ground ice and reconstructed the development of winter temperatures in Russia’s Lena River Delta. Their conclusions: over the past 7,000 years, winter temperatures in the Siberian permafrost regions have gradually risen. The study will be published today on Nature Geoscience’s website.

        You won’t find any glaciers in Russia’s Lena River Delta. Unlike in Antarctica or Greenland, in the Siberian tundra ice doesn’t form above ground on hillsides or elevated plains. Rather, it forms directly underground as ice wedges.

        “Ice wedges are a typical feature of permafrost regions. They are formed when the permanently frozen soil contracts in response to intensively cold winter temperatures, causing it to crack. When the snow melts in spring, the melt water fills these cracks. Since the ground temperature is roughly minus ten degrees Celsius, the water refreezes immediately. If this process repeats itself winter after winter, over the decades and centuries an ice body shaped like a giant wedge is formed,” explains Dr Hanno Meyer, a permafrost researcher at the AWI Potsdam and first author of the study.

        With a depth of up to 40 metres and a width of up to six metres, the ice wedges of the Siberian Arctic may not be as physically impressive as Antarctic glaciers. However the ice wedges, some of which are more than 100,000 years old, store climate information in much the same way, allowing scientists to investigate them using glacier research methods. “The melt water always comes from the snowfall of a single winter. Therefore, when it freezes in these frost cracks, information on the winter temperatures in that specific year is also preserved. We have now succeeded for the first time in using oxygen isotope analysis to access the temperature information stored in the ice and compile it into a climate curve for the past 7,000 years,” states AWI researcher and co-author Dr Thomas Opel.

        Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-01-winters-siberian-permafrost-regions-millenia.html#jCp

        Note the temperature measurement is of Winter Temperatures , not Summer

        Reply
  95. Ryan in New England

     /  March 14, 2016

    Hey dt, your puzzlement over the term smog, and the lack of connection to poison air is what the word describes, led me to think of an acronym.
    S.M.O.G.= Subsequent Maladies Obviously Guaranteed

    Reply
  96. Ryan in New England

     /  March 14, 2016

    Just an observation. Here in Connecticut the ski areas couldn’t open until January because it was so warm, and just closed last week because of the same reason. The season only lasted about 8 weeks. If this is the new normal, the industry will no longer be viable. We used to have ski areas that depended on natural snow to open, before man-made snow was developed. Now, it’s not even cold enough (28F) to make snow.

    Reply
  97. Kevin Jones

     /  March 14, 2016

    Michael Mann tweets that northern hemisphere temperature monthly anomalies were “~2.5C” last month.

    Reply
  98. Kevin Jones

     /  March 14, 2016

    above pre-industrial, I should have added.

    Reply
  99. Kevin Jones

     /  March 14, 2016

    Hope you are OK, Robert. I thought I was developing an immunity to this awful stuff. On my way to work yesterday I experienced the worst headache ever.

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  March 14, 2016

      Hope I am not out of line but let us not forget our support in material ways also, a fact of life. not forgetting others we value also

      Reply
  100. Colorado Bob

     /  March 15, 2016

    The right wing continues to eat it’s self .

    As a proudly renegade voice of the populist right, Breitbart News has long delighted in bedeviling liberals and establishment Republicans alike, emerging in recent years as one of the nation’s leading conservative media outlets.

    But in an ironic twist, Breitbart, a news and opinion website that welcomed the rise of Donald J. Trump as an outsider candidate, is now facing a problem similar to the one roiling the Republican Party it likes to torment: a scathing internal dispute, with Mr. Trump at its center.

    Several top executives and journalists at the site have resigned in the last week, saying the organization has turned into a shill for the Trump campaign and failed to support Michelle Fields, a Breitbart reporter who accused Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, of grabbing and shoving her at a Florida rally last week.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/15/business/media/upheaval-at-breitbart-news-as-workers-resign-and-accusations-fly.html?_r=0

    Reply
    • Wait. Breitbart has journalists? That’s news to me.😉

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 15, 2016

      I love it! The Breitbart “reporter” gets attacked, and suddenly she is concerned that Breitbart is involved in character assassination, and promoting Trump. As always, the hypocrisy displayed by the right is off the charts.

      Reply
  101. Michael E. Mann Retweeted
    mtobis ‏@mtobis 3h3 hours ago

    mtobis Retweeted Jeet Heer

    One of the most dangerous things about Trump is that he has distracted people into forgetting how dangerous Cruz is.

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  March 15, 2016

      DT, fully agree, in football terms he is running the spoiler for Cruz, Very dangerous

      Reply
  102. ttp://www.alternet.org/election-2016/gasland-director-urges-fracking-states-vote-sanders-super-tuesday

    Reply
  103. Colorado Bob

     /  March 15, 2016

    Sea rise could force millions in Florida to adapt or flee, study finds

    The number of people threatened by rising seas fueled by climate change in the U.S. could be three times greater than previously estimated, with more than six million Floridians at risk under a worst-case scenario, according to a study published Monday.

    For the first time, a team of researchers looked at ongoing population growth in areas where the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has created flood maps that more accurately reflect local conditions. What they found was startling: projections that failed to factor in population growth in dense states like Florida hugely underestimated the number of people at risk and the cost of protecting them.

    Combined with the findings from a 2015 report, that means Florida can claim two titles: most property at risk and now, most people.

    Read more here: Link

    Reply
    • – Another graphic of Arctic conditions

      Zack Labe ‏@ZLabe 14h14 hours ago

      NOAA CFSR/CFSv2 reanalysis shows mean temperatures (925mb) as the warmest February on record in the #Arctic

      Reply
      • – A very ‘graphic’ graphic at that. Yow!

        Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  March 15, 2016

        Up almost 11C from 1979. Almost 20F. !?!

        Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  March 15, 2016

        Not one February colder than the previous one since 1979? At 925hPa? !

        Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  March 15, 2016

        Upon further reflection, I remember the first time I saw the Keeling Curve in an article was 1979 and it only spanned ’58-’65. If this data which so eerily parallels that was known for decades, well that would be a rather extraordinary revelation……

        Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  March 15, 2016

        925hPa equals roughly 2500′ altitude for those who like me may need to look it up.

        Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  March 15, 2016

        SO SORRY. Robert, Please remove my remarks. Read graph wrong with aging eyes. Years in small print are NOT chronological….

        Reply
      • anthropocene

         /  March 15, 2016

        Interesting though that the other two major El-Nino years (83 and 98) are towards the cool end. Admittedly a small sample but could indicate that El-Nino pattern has no impact on this temperature in the Arctic or the current El-Nino is operating in a new paradigm.

        Reply
  104. Abel Adamski

     /  March 15, 2016

    Just a reminder of where the term Climate Change replaced Global warming, from 2003
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2003/mar/04/usnews.climatechange

    he US Republican party is changing tactics on the environment, avoiding “frightening” phrases such as global warming, after a confidential party memo warned that it is the domestic issue on which George Bush is most vulnerable.

    The memo, by the leading Republican consultant Frank Luntz, concedes the party has “lost the environmental communications battle” and urges its politicians to encourage the public in the view that there is no scientific consensus on the dangers of greenhouse gases.

    “The scientific debate is closing [against us] but not yet closed. There is still a window of opportunity to challenge the science,” Mr Luntz writes in the memo, obtained by the Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based campaigning organisation.

    “Voters believe that there is no consensus about global warming within the scientific community. Should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly.

    “Therefore, you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate.”

    The phrase “global warming” should be abandoned in favour of “climate change”, Mr Luntz says, and the party should describe its policies as “conservationist” instead of “environmentalist”, because “most people” think environmentalists are “extremists” who indulge in “some pretty bizarre behaviour… that turns off many voters”.

    Words such as “common sense” should be used, with pro-business arguments avoided wherever possible.

    The environment, the memo says, “is probably the single issue on which Republicans in general – and President Bush in particular – are most vulnerable”.

    A Republican source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said party strategists agreed with Mr Luntz’s conclusion that “many Americans believe Republicans do not care about the environment”.

    The popular image is that they are “in the pockets of corporate fat cats who rub their hands together and chuckle manically [sic] as they plot to pollute America for fun and profit”, Mr Luntz adds.

    The phrase “global warming” appeared frequently in President Bush’s speeches in 2001, but decreased to almost nothing during 2002, when the memo was produced.

    Environmentalists have accused the party and oil companies of helping to promulgate the view that serious doubt remains about the effects of global warming.

    Since then the downhill slide from bad to worse and accelerating

    Reply
  105. Shawn Redmond

     /  March 15, 2016

    Ryan I’m in the near far east, Nova Scotia, Canada, on what is referred to locally as the south shore. Just a few kilometres from the Swiss Air flight 111 memorial Peggy’s Cove.

    Reply
  106. Colorado Bob

     /  March 15, 2016

    Antarctica’s ice is being carved up from below

    New research published Monday in Nature Geoscience uncovers yet another consequence of this warm water intrusion, one that further highlights the region’s vulnerability………………………….It appears to be slowly carving deep channels into their bases, cavities ranging from 50 to 250 meters in vertical extent.

    These channels appear to be formed as the warm water that hits the grounding line then bursts upward in a plume, combined with meltwater, and cuts into the ice shelf from below, Alley said. “They’re kind of like upside down rivers, or streams. Instead of the water flowing downhill, it’s flowing uphill, because it’s buoyant,” she says.

    The channels are so large that, even though they are occurring on the underside of a very thick sheet of ice, they can be measured from satellites from above, because they cause depressions on the ice surface itself. Here’s an example, in an image from the Landsat 8 satellite sent by Alley:……..

    Link

    Reply
    • These studies are coming thick and fast and are all hinting at Antarctica being more unstable than previously thought.

      Reply
  107. Good news to start another super Tuesday:

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/15/obama-to-kill-off-arctic-oil-drilling

    But . . . . (from article)

    “The administration was still expected to allow oil and gas leases off the coast of Virginia, where Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic governor, has been in favour of offshore oil.
    Under an earlier draft of the proposal the interior department would offer the first Atlantic leases in 2021. The first exploratory drilling could take place within three to five years. If the companies did make a discovery it would take about a decade to move to oil and gas production.”

    However . . .
    at this rate, I can’t imagine how things (arctic melt, temp. rise etc.) will be in 2021 and am going with the belief that even the exploratory drilling will be stopped.

    Reply
  108. Abel Adamski

     /  March 15, 2016

    Hope for plastic pollution
    Looks like wonderful nature and evolution delivering hope in that area
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-11/plastic-eating-bacterium-can-break-down-pet/7238614

    A newly discovered plastic-eating bacterium may hold the key to safely degrading millions of tonnes of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics dumped each year.
    Key points:

    PET plastic is a global pollution problem
    Scientists have discovered a new species of bacteria that produces a plastic-eating enzyme
    When microbes were applied to PET film it broke down completely after six weeks

    More than 45 million tonnes of PET plastics are produced annually. While a small percentage is recycled worldwide, much of it ends up in landfill or waterways, creating significant environmental problems.

    Scientists have long searched for a biological agent that could effectively degrade PET’s tough crystalline structure.

    To date, they had only found a few species of fungi that could partially break down the plastic.

    But a team of Japanese researchers, led by Dr Shosuke Yoshida from the Kyoto Institute of Technology, have discovered a new species of bacteria that produces a never-before-seen plastic-eating enzyme.

    Reply
  109. Abel Adamski

     /  March 15, 2016

    Back to the painful grind
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-14/february-smashed-all-time-global-heat-record/7246356?section=science
    Australia’s chief scientist has warned the planet is “losing the battle” against climate change, after new data showed February set a “completely unprecedented” record for the hottest month since global records began.

    Key points:

    February was the hottest seasonally adjusted month since records began in 1880
    Global temperatures are around 1C warmer than the pre-industrial average
    Chief scientist Alan Finkel tells Q&A the world is losing battle against climate change

    The data released by NASA compared each month going back to 1880 against average temperatures between 1951 and 1980, and confirmed preliminary analysis that February was the hottest month on record.

    “You wouldn’t want to dismiss it. There is genuine reason for concern,” Dr Alan Finkel said during an appearance on the ABC’s Q&A program, which focused on science and also discussed AI and gender equality.
    External Link: Alan Finkel on Q&A

    “For all the effort we are putting into trying to avoid increases of emission, we are losing.

    “What we are doing with solar, wind, changing practices, behavioural practices and things like that, we’re not winning the battle.”

    Plus Jeff Masters and Stefan R

    Includes a link to the Q & A program

    Reply
  110. dnem

     /  March 15, 2016

    Ryan, re Skiing, above. Skiing seems to me to be increasingly an unsupportable anachronism. You’ve got the giant SUVs hauling the skiers. Very energy hungry lifts hauling bodies upslope all day long. Insanely energy hungry snow canons making the snow to ski on. The altered hydrology of moving all that water around in unnatural ways. And now the climate itself is making it untenable as a business. It just seems…done…to me. If you live in a place that still gets snow, go snow showing. Cross country ski. Hike up for a run down if you’re so inclined. But I think it’s time to wind down the ski industrial complex.

    (Btw, I’m a Connecticut boy myself. Grew up in the 60s and 70s in Woodbridge).

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  March 15, 2016

      http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/dismantling-ski-lifts-in-europe-as-world-warms-up-20141129-11wmh4.html
      With temperatures rising faster in the Alps than the rest of the world, alpine countries are working together to adapt to climate change and hope to set an example.

      A recent Austrian climate change report found that the country’s temperatures had risen twice as fast as the global average since 1880, with the number of sunshine hours in the Alps increasing by 20 per cent.

      While this may please holidaymakers or locals enjoying longer summers, it is also likely to cause more landslides and forest fires, affecting the agricultural sector and local economy, the Austrian Assessment Report found.

      “Just imagine, you have a relatively narrow valley and in that small space, you have a street, a railway line, maybe power lines and some houses. If a landslide hits there, there will be serious damage,” Georg Rebernig, managing director of the Austrian Environment Agency, told AFP.

      “Preventing this is what we’re trying to do when we talk about a strategy for the Alps,” he said ahead of UN climate talks in Lima on December 1-12 meant to pave the way towards a global climate pact next year.

      Rebernig’s office is part of the C3-Alps project, which groups ministries and research institutes from alpine countries – mainly Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and France – to discuss ways to tackle climate change.

      It is only one of several European initiatives promoting the sharing of information and experiences in the Alps, a mountainous region of around 200,000 square kilometres with a population of 14 million.

      “The effects of climate change can be seen and felt … we have to look ahead, take action,” said Karine Siegwart, vice director of the Swiss federal office for the environment, also part of C3-Alps.

      “This is a cross-border problem and it requires cross-border collaboration.”

      A UN report earlier this month warned that Earth was on a likely trajectory for at least 4C warming over pre-industrial times by 2100 – a recipe for worsening drought, flood, rising seas and species extinctions.

      Alpine countries are already shifting their focus to adaptation solutions, acknowledging that climate change will not be stopped or turned around anytime soon.

      Switzerland’s Stockhorn ski region, which dismantled its ski lifts to refocus on winter hiking and snowshoeing.

      Reply
  111. Abel Adamski

     /  March 15, 2016

    Another one for DT
    We got some unusual ones on Oz
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-09/butterfly-holds-record-number-of-vision-cells/7229824

    A species of swallowtail butterfly found in Australasia holds the record for having the largest number of different vision cells in its eyes for any insect, scientists say.
    Key points

    Different classes of photoreceptors detect such things such as colour and movement
    Until now, the largest number of photoreceptor classes in any one insect was nine
    This common bluebottle butterfly has 15 classes

    The team, reporting today in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, said a butterfly known as the common bluebottle (Graphium sarpendon), has no less than 15 classes of these vision cells, known as photoreceptors.

    “To date, the highest number of photoreceptor classes in any one insect was nine,” said Professor Kentaro Arikawa of Sokendai (the Graduate University of Advanced Studies) in Hayama, Japan, who is an expert in the neuroscience behind insect vision.

    “Fifteen is the record.”

    “All the photoreceptors are used at the same time, sensing colour, brightness, movement and shape.”

    Humans have four classes of photoreceptors, including three types for colour vision (cones) and those specialised for seeing shape, movement and changes in light and dark (rods).

    The large compound eyes possessed by butterflies cannot see as clearly as human eyes, but are better at seeing a wide panorama, fast movement, polarisation and grades of colour.

    Reply
  112. Super Tuesday here in the Midwest where we have yet another wind advisory: “WEDNESDAY MORNING INTO WEDNESDAY EVENING.
    * WINDS… SOUTHWEST WINDS GUSTING TO AT LEAST 50 MPH ARE EXPECTED AND GUSTS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH ARE POSSIBLE.”
    This is becoming the norm where I live—-it seems a week does not go by when we don’t have gale force winds. Then the resultant downed trees. It looks like a tornado went through my yard which is making the house hard to sell. Can’t keep up with the $$ of dead/downed tree removal.
    Worse than the expense, of course, is the constant reminder of dying ecosystems . . .

    Reply
  113. Colorado Bob

     /  March 15, 2016

    Louisiana’s vanishing island: the climate change ‘refugees’ resettling for $52m

    Isle de Jean Charles has lost 98% of its land and most of its population to rising sea levels – but as remaining residents consider relocation, what happens next is a test case to address resettlement needs

    Link

    Reply
  114. Louisiana residents a “test case” for relocation and settlements due to climate change:
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/15/louisiana-isle-de-jean-charles-island-sea-level-resettlement

    Reply
  115. Cate

     /  March 15, 2016

    I see I’m not the only one calling Canada’s PM Trudeau out on his hypocritical, nay, even schizophrenic, stand on climate change.

    http://www.the-peak.ca/2016/03/naomi-klein-calls-out-trudeau-on-pretending-to-care-about-climate-change/

    Reply
  116. Colorado Bob

     /  March 15, 2016

    Global warming levels masked by aerosols: study

    There was a silver lining to the sulfur pollution in our atmosphere late last century – it offset some of the warming effects of greenhouse gases. And now we’re cleaning up our act, the Arctic has suffered. Amy Middleton reports.

    Link

    Reply
  117. Greg

     /  March 15, 2016

    A surprising piece in USA today:

    Will history condemn climate deniers?
    They risk both the planet and keeping company with allies of slavery and colonialism.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/03/15/coming-reckoning-climate-change-column/81759258/

    Reply
  118. Record-breaking temperatures ‘have robbed the Arctic of its winter’

    “You can’t overestimate how big the changes in warming we saw in January and February in the Arctic,” James Overland, an Arctic and climate change researcher at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told reporters covering the Arctic science summit in Fairbanks.

    “Not only have we beaten the record, we have beaten it by an unbelievably large amount, when you think of it in relation to how Arctic temperatures changed in the past.”

    The Arctic had already been warming twice as fast as anywhere else over the last 30 years but scientists were still taken aback by the February records.

    “We would never have expected such a jump in one year,” Overland said. “It sends us into a new temperature place that we have never seen before.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/15/record-breaking-temperatures-have-robbed-the-arctic-of-its-winter

    Reply
  119. NOX – Curious linkage

    Reply
  120. Kevin Jones

     /  March 15, 2016

    Hey dt, I just was reading G. Schmidt’s twitter stuff and thought of your work. I see you see.

    Reply
  121. June

     /  March 15, 2016

    Good post by Glenn Greenwald on MSM faux objectivity. It applies as much to climate change coverage as to Trump.

    The Rise of Trump Shows the Danger and Sham of Compelled Journalistic ‘Neutrality’

    “Under this framework of corporate journalism, to denounce Trump, or even to sound alarms about the dark forces he’s exploiting and unleashing, would not constitute journalism. To the contrary, such behavior is regarded as a violation of journalism. Such denunciations are scorned as opinion, activism, and bias: all the values that large media-owning corporations have posited as the antithesis of journalism in order to defang and neuter it as an adversarial force.”

    http://commondreams.org/views/2016/03/14/rise-trump-shows-danger-and-sham-compelled-journalistic-neutrality

    Reply
    • – To our detriment this same media dynamic applies to the avoidance of useful climate information.

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 15, 2016

      Glenn makes a great point. And you’re absolutely right, the inability to call out nonsense by the press applies to climate change as much as, or more than, Trump. There are not two sides to every argument.

      Reply
      • – Yes.
        And as the late great reporter Jack Nelson (RIP) put it while covering a KKK ‘meeting’ that wanted ‘fair and balanced’ coverage — “There are no two sides to a lynching. A lynching is a lynching.”

        Reply
  122. Bernie Sanders Talks Climate — and WWII-Scale Mobilization—(wish I could find the longer portion of Bernie’s response to the use of fossil fuels, it was excellent and unprecedented)

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 15, 2016

      I wish everyone would know enough about the issues, and the candidates, to realize Bernie Sanders is the one to vote for. On climate change, which is THE issue, he is hands down the candidate to support. This election is so important, because we are the first generation to be affected by rapid climate change, and the last generation that can prevent the worst effects. It’s unbelievable to me that a large population of overworked, underpaid and angry middle class voters think that Trump is the guy who will turn things around for them. I don’t think there has ever been a candidate that is so obviously against the best interest of average Americans, who has gained such popular support. It’s like I’m stuck in the Twilight Zone or something. I keep waking up in the morning hoping it’s all been a dream, but once I check the news it has somehow gotten worse. This must have been how good German citizens felt watching the rise of Hitler…”how can my fellow countrymen be so blinded by hatred of the others?”

      Reply
      • Hi Ryan,
        Really appreciate all your comments including this one.
        You say: “I keep waking up in the morning hoping it’s all been a dream, but once I check the news it has somehow gotten worse.”

        I share your sentiments especially this morning. Very sad here in the midwest. For the first time in my life (never thought it was possible) there is an honest, compassionate, intelligent, candidate running for president. A man who has fought his entire life for social and environmental justice, who is not sponsored by corporate America/fossil fuel industry. In spite of this, people are choosing to vote for Trump or Clinton.

        I did not want to believe it is too late. But if most people cannot see the choice that lies before us—–if they refuse to see—— I will have to admit and accept, that the critical mass of humanity is choosing the path to extinction. Human induced climate change HAS gone mainstream—–yet people are still turning away.

        Reply
  123. Reply
    • Eric Fisher ‏@ericfisher 2h2 hours ago Boston, MA

      Essentially the entire U.S. above average (+4.2C) for the first half of March. Mild times continue.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  March 16, 2016

        Pretty much spot on—March here in Newfoundland has been more like January so far.

        Reply
  124. – A Sea Shepherd crew hard at work in the Indian Ocean.

    -Sea Shepherd’s Flagship, the Steve Irwin, is en route to the Indian Ocean to confront a killer in our oceans.

    A fleet of fishing vessels is actively fishing on the high seas of the Indian Ocean using driftnets; a form of fishing banned by the United Nations in 1992 due to its indiscriminate and destructive impact.

    Reply
  125. – Some good points in this article:

    How Scientists Can Win the War(s) on Science


    What they can do instead is engage more effectively. Increasingly, doing so requires approaching public communication not from the classic position of experts delivering pronouncements from on high, but as citizen-scientists who can partner with people on the ground in democratic dialogues.

    Effective engagement first requires scientists to clearly survey the nature of the battle lines passing over their fields. They should understand that most attacks on research are rooted in political ideology, not antipathy toward science or the scientific method. Dark money funding for various front groups, including ones that attack science and support biased research, have confused the public

    Second, scientists should recognize that the public doesn’t view their profession as monolithic. Indeed, scientific research itself is often the product of competing societal choices. Sociology professor Aaron McCright, for instance, has drawn distinctions between so-called “production science” – which makes new medicine, chemical compounds, food products, energy sources and, arguably, weapons of war – and “impact science,” which focuses on what’s happening to our health, our air, our water, and the world’s built and natural environments.

    http://undark.org/article/how-scientists-can-win-the-war-on-science/

    Reply
  126. Colorado Bob

     /  March 16, 2016

    When I saw this , I immediately thought of the blow outs in Siberia, not the Bermuda Triangle.

    Gas Craters Off Norway Linked to Fringe Bermuda Triangle Theory

    Scientists in Norway have caused a stir with their announcement this week of giant craters in the Barents Sea, which they believe were formed by exploding natural gas. The scientists have even suggested the phenomenon could explain the mysterious Bermuda Triangle—a highly controversial concept.

    Researchers at the Arctic University of Norway have described craters off the coast of the country that are up to a half mile (0.8 kilometer) wide and 150 feet (45 meters) deep. They appear to have been caused by the explosive release of methane, also known as natural gas, that was trapped in the sediment below.

    Link

    Reply
  127. Abel Adamski

     /  March 16, 2016

    From the land
    http://www.farmweekly.com.au/news/agriculture/general/weather/ag-entering-uncharted-territory/2751916.aspx

    Ag entering uncharted territory
    MATTHEW CAWOOD
    16 Mar, 2016 01:00 AM

    Making incremental changes to farming practices is no longer enough, the Outlook 2016 conference heard. Farming is rapidly moving into a climate unlike anything it has experienced before.
    “Temperature is going up and up and up,” Dr Mark Howden of the Australian National University’s Climate Change Institute told Outlook.
    “(Current average temperatures) are way above the temperatures that our agricultural practices were developed in. The minimum annual temperatures we’re experiencing now are round about the same temperature as the hottest years experienced by people who were farming in the 1950s.”
    The risks of a warming climate can come from surprising quarters. Like frost.
    During the southern Australian spring, high-pressure systems bearing masses of cold air have shifted southward over the past few decades, a result of global warming shifting weather patterns down the latitudes.
    That has produced a much higher frost risk for certain regions. In places, the frost season has lengthened by more than 40 days since the early 1960s.
    Most of the lengthening has come in spring. Crops were always vulnerable at this point, but warming also accelerates the maturing process of crops, increasing their vulnerability.
    The operating environment for farming has now shifted so drastically that agriculture has to start making big adjustments, Dr Howden said. Changing in increments isn’t enough: it has to be at a systemic or transformational level.
    “The basic theory is that if we don’t respond to the changes that are already happening, then we will either underperform, or we will incur increasing risk.”

    Reply
  128. Colorado Bob

     /  March 16, 2016

    The flesh eating bacteria that infects the right wing continues to race ahead.

    Three influential leaders of the conservative movement have summoned other top conservatives for a closed-door meeting Thursday in Washington, D.C., to talk about how to stop Donald Trump and, should he become the Republican nominee, how to run a third-party “true conservative” challenger in the fall.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/03/top-conservatives-gather-to-plot-third-party-run-against-trump-220786#ixzz431TefJLU
    Follow us: @politico on Twitter | Politico on Facebook

    Reply
    • Syd Bridges

       /  March 16, 2016

      Necrotizing Trumpetitis caused by Donaldus Simplex?

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  March 16, 2016

        Perfect.
        They cultured this beast in the lab for years, hoping to use it on their enemies, and now it has escaped , and it’s eating the lab workers first.

        Reply
  129. Abel Adamski

     /  March 16, 2016

    So much depends on what our littlest bretheren do.
    http://phys.org/news/2016-03-microbes-climate.html

    Microbes may not be so adaptable to climate change
    March 15, 2016
    Microbes in soil – organisms that exert enormous influence over our planet’s carbon cycle – may not be as adaptable to climate change as most scientists have presumed, according to a paper published March 2 in PLOS One.

    The finding means that a big piece of the puzzle regarding the future climate of our warming planet just got a little tougher to fit into current computer models.

    Soil holds an enormous pool of carbon – in a forest, for instance, usually there is more carbon beneath the surface than in the trees above – and what happens to that carbon is an important factor in the future of our planet. Bacteria, fungi and other microbes are central players, converting carbon and other elements in the soil into carbon dioxide and other gases that are expelled into the atmosphere.

    “Soil is the major buffer system for environmental changes, and the microbial community is the basis for that resilience. If the microbial community is not as resilient as we had assumed, then it calls into question the resilience of the overall environment to climate change,” said author Vanessa Bailey of the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

    The findings are based on a unique 17-year study of transplanted soils on a mountain in eastern Washington state. The team moved some samples of soil down the mountainside 500 meters to a warmer, drier climate, and other samples up 500 meters to a cooler, moister climate. After 17 years, they analyzed both sets of soil in the laboratory, as well as “control” samples from both sites that had never been moved.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  March 16, 2016

      Abel –
      I saw this one, but haven’t gotten around to reading it. And it’s one of my hobby horses.
      One wonders at the relentless effort this experiment took. The day in day out claim of the deniers that this is all about money, and scamming people, pales when one reads about people moving soil up and down a mountain in Washington 17 years ago.

      The grinding out of knowledge that science gives us is truly amazing.

      Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  March 16, 2016

        C.B
        So true, those researchers especially the field ones in the biological and earth sciences do fantastic work, it is basically simple work, but accuracy and detail is critical as is patience and perseverance and they are not well paid.

        I tips me lid to them

        Reply
  130. Abel Adamski

     /  March 16, 2016

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/mar/15/donald-trump-hillary-clinton-florida-ohio-primary-vote

    Rubio is gone, Kasich still in the race and an uphill battle for Sanders

    Reply
  131. Jay M

     /  March 16, 2016

    natural events will be in the saddle and ride us

    Reply
  132. Colorado Bob

     /  March 16, 2016

    Necrotizing Trumpetitis caused by Donaldus Simplex is at large in the wider world.

    Poll worker pulls gun in Cleveland

    Things apparently got a little out of hand at Louisa May Alcott Elementary School in Cleveland on Tuesday.

    A poll worker got into an argument with another worker and whipped a .380 out of his backpack and “verbally threatened people” before fleeing the polling station, Cleveland.com reports. Police arrested him and charged him with “aggravated menacing.”

    No word yet on what the argument was about.

    Reply
  133. Colorado Bob

     /  March 16, 2016

    The flesh eating bacteria that infects the right wing continues to race ahead.

    Necrotizing Trumpetitis caused by Donaldus Simplex

    They cultured this beast in the lab for years, hoping to use it on their enemies, and now it has escaped , and it’s eating the lab workers first.

    Necrotizing Trumpetitis caused by Donaldus Simplex is at large in the wider world.

    Poll worker pulls gun in Cleveland

    Things apparently got a little out of hand at Louisa May Alcott Elementary School in Cleveland on Tuesday.

    A poll worker got into an argument with another worker and whipped a .380 out of his backpack and “verbally threatened people” before fleeing the polling station, Cleveland.com reports. Police arrested him and charged him with “aggravated menacing.”

    No word yet on what the argument was about.

    Credit Syd Bridges at Scribbler for naming this beast.

    Reply
    • Syd Bridges

       /  March 16, 2016

      Thanks, CB. I’ve only had to wait 65 years for my 15 nanoseconds of fame.

      But, yes, the once great Republican party has succumbed to a beastie of its own making. Confronted with the reality of global warming, what would Teddy Roosevelt have done? Or Ike, Nixon, or even GHW Bush? He and Thatcher acknowledged the risk. Now the Republicans deny everything and Cameron is a greenwashing shill for fossil fuels.

      Reply
  134. Jeremy

     /  March 16, 2016

    Climate Change – If Trump becomes President.

    Chomsky:

    Reply
    • – Chomsky also sez something similar to: (From a 0315 above comment.) ‘One of the most dangerous things about Trump is that he has distracted people into forgetting how dangerous Cruz is’.

      Reply
  135. Abel Adamski

     /  March 16, 2016

    Kasich is no solution
    http://grist.org/climate-energy/john-kasich-is-no-better-than-donald-trump-on-climate-change/

    Kasich says he supports renewables but equally alongside coal, natural gas, and oil. He opposes most policies that curb carbon pollution and that encourage wind and solar over dirtier sources. He’s promised to “freeze all federal regulations for one year except for health and safety” — and considers the Environmental Protection Agency’s climate and health regulations as the first that need to go. And he’s criticized the international climate deal the world reached last December, insisting the thousands of climate policy experts that were in Paris for a climate conference should have been there for ISIS: “I think when [Secretary of State John Kerry] went to Paris, he should have gone there to get our allies together to fight ISIS instead.”

    Reply
  136. Ryan in New England

     /  March 16, 2016

    The record low Arctic sea ice is devastating for wildlife that depend on the ice to breed and feed.

    http://phys.org/news/2016-03-historic-arctic-sea-ice-wildlife.html

    Reply
  137. Greg

     /  March 16, 2016

    Large ice calving event in the Bering Strait between Alaska and Russia on March 14:
    with the state of Rhode Island for comparison:

    Reply
    • Oldhippie

       /  March 16, 2016

      Ice has been flowing outwards through the Strait most of the winter. Easiest way to see that is the archived gif at the Navy HYCOM site. This is normal, it has plainly been much more active than usual this winter.

      Reply

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