One Month Above 1.5 C — NASA Data Shows February Crossed Critical Threshold

We had a number of preliminary indicators that February of 2016 was going to be ridiculously hot. And, according to new reports from NASA, those indicators appear to have born out.

In short, we’ve just experienced a month that was more than 1.5 C hotter than 1880s averages. It’s not a yearly average in this dangerous range — but likely the peak reading from a very intense El Nino combining with the growing base forcing of human climate change. That said, it’s a foretaste of what could very easily happen on a 5-15 year timescale in the annual measure if fossil fuel burning and related carbon emissions do not radically ramp downward.

February of 2015 was About 1.57 C Hotter Than 1880s Averages

According to NASA GISS, February of 2016 was the hottest February ever recorded by a long shot with global temperature departures hitting a never-before-seen above average range. Land and ocean temperature averages hit 1.35 C above NASA’s 20th Century baseline (1951-1980). This extraordinarily hot global reading represents a 1.57 C departure from average temperatures in the 1880s. In other words, for one month during February of 2016, global temperatures exceeded the dangerous 1.5 C threshold.

NASA record Warm February

(February of 2016 showed an extreme departure from global average temperatures. Much of the extra heat focused on the Northern Polar region with the High Arctic bearing the brunt of it. Image source: NASA GISS.)

Japan’s Met Agency also showed February temperatures exceeding 1.5 C above 1880s averages. So we only await NOAA’s findings for final confirmation.

Overall, these temperatures were the highest anomaly departure ever recorded in the NASA GISS monitor. The previous highest anomaly reading being January of 2016 at +1.14 C above 20th Century and +1.36 C above 1880s averages. Overall, the three month period of December, January and February hit an amazing +1.20 C above 20th Century averages or +1.42 C above 1880s averages. Overall, this three month departure is +0.51 C above peak three month departures during the 1997-1998 El Nino or a peak-to-peak warming from strong El Nino to strong El Nino at a rate of 0.28 C per decade.

Such high peak to peak increases may imply an acceleration above the baseline rate of warming of 0.15 to 0.2 C per decade since the late 1970s. However, such above baseline rates of warming will need to also bear out in the post strong El Nino record before such a claim can be made with any confidence.

Ridiculous Amount of Heat Over the Northern Polar Region

Looking at the geographical distribution of these extreme, above average, temperatures we find a broad swath of record heat in the range of 4 to 11.5 degrees Celsius hotter than normal covering a huge swath surrounding and including the Arctic. A region stretching from just north and west of the Great Lakes including Northwest Canada, Alaska, the Beaufort and East Siberian Seas, the Chukchi, the Laptev, the Kara, a huge expanse of Europe and Asia stretching from Eastern Europe to Lake Baikal and north to the Arctic Ocean, the Barents, the Greenland Sea, the Northeast tip of Greenland and most of the region of the High Arctic above the 80 degree North Latitude line, all experienced these extremely warm readings.

Still very warm 2 to 4 C above average temperatures surrounded much of this zone even as a broad 2-4 C above average hot spot is apparent over the record El Nino region of the Eastern Equatorial Pacific. Smaller regions experiencing similar 2 to 4 C anomalies include sections of Brazil and Columbia, a region over Southern Africa, Northern Australia and Northern New Zealand.

Overall, very few regions show cooler than normal temperatures — though the cool pool just south and east of Greenland continues to stand out as a feature that is likely related to human-forced climate change.

Feb zonal anomalies NASA

(Zonal anomalies show an extreme polar amplification signature for February of 2016. Image source: NASA GISS.)

The disposition of extreme temperature departures centering over the Northern Polar zone is indicative of a pattern of extreme polar amplification during a strong El Nino year. As such, we can infer that the circumpolar winds did little to keep warm, Equatorial Pacific air isolated to the lower Latitudes and instead had weakened to the point that Equator to Pole heat transfer was facilitated.

The temperature anomaly map at the top implies a warm meridional air flow issuing directly from the Equatorial Pacific and over the Northeast Pacific and Western North America. A second implied meridional wind pattern appears running from the Eastern Equatorial Atlantic over Western Europe and the Barents and Greenland seas. These dual Equator to Pole warm air slots appear to have helped to push High Latitude zonal anomalies in the polar region to very extreme warm temperatures for February with the highest departures approaching 6 degrees Celsius above average for the entire region north of the 80 degree Latitude line.

Arctic Degree Days above Freezing

(We’re going to need a bigger graph to measure the Freezing Degree Day anomaly below average which has now hit near -1,000. An above average warmth that has continued since a spate of record Winter heat during February. It’s an all-time low in a measure that typically doesn’t level off until June. For reference, the less Freezing Degree Days, the closer the Arctic is to thawing. Image source: CIRES1.)

Zonal anomalies remain high above the 45 degree North Line — hitting a steep slope from 2 C to 6 C as we progress northward. An Equatorial peak in the range of 1.3 C above average is also observed near and just south of the Equator. But despite an extreme El Nino, these departures are nowhere near those seen in the upper Latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. Pretty much all zones except for the heat sink region in the 60s South Latitude over the Southern Ocean and the far south over Antarctica experienced above average temperatures for the month.

Conditions in Context — Signature of Climate Change in the Anomaly Maps Continues, Global Temperatures to Settle Back into a New High Range

The extreme polar warming, the visible warm air slots facilitating Equator to Pole heat transfer, and the overall very strong global temperature departure for February continue to express the signature of human forced climate change as predicted by many of the global model runs. The extreme Winter heat in the Arctic — while a sign of things to come during this strong El Nino year — is also an early blow to snow and ice in the Arctic for 2016 and 2017. Already, snow totals are at or near record low extent levels. Meanwhile, sea ice volume during February returned to near new record low levels as measured by PIOMAS. As a result, the melt risk to both sea and land ice in the Arctic will likely be quite high over the next two years.

GFS_anomaly_timeseries_global

(GFS temperature anomaly time series shows peak February 2016 global temperatures falling off implying a March global temperature average that will likely be somewhere between January and February values. Perhaps in the range of near 1.4 C above 1880s or 1.2 C above the NASA baseline. Image source: Karsten Hausten using GFS data.)

It is worth noting, though, that February of 2016 will likely be the highest monthly temperature anomaly we see for some time. A record El Nino is fading away from peak intensity and NOAA is now predicting a 50 percent chance of La Nina conditions by Fall. We can expect to see global temperatures now begin to fall off a bit as a record El Nino starts to fade. To this point, 2016 will likely hit a departure range near 1.2 or 1.3 C above 188os values. Post 2016 temperatures will likely hover up to 0.2 to 0.4 cooler than those values during La Nina years, with new global records possible at the onset of El Nino again in the 3-5 year timeframe.

To be very clear, though ENSO sets the short term trend, the long term trend is governed by a human forced accumulation of heat-trapping gasses. And as long as that continues, the heating we’ve experienced will also continue. Finally, since we are now very close to hitting dangerous 1.5 and 2.0 C warming thresholds (possible within 5 years for 1.5 C and 15 years for 2 C in the worst case), we should be very clear that we are just passing the most recent peak in a long progression. The trend, therefore, is up and we have now been thrust into more dangerous times.

Links:

NASA GISS

The Roof is On Fire

Japan’s Met Agency

NOAA El Nino

Karsten Hausten

CIRES1

Leave a comment

310 Comments

  1. I thought I read somewhere that polar temperatures were generally lower than average during past El Nino events. Did I get that wrong?

    Reply
    • El Nino tends to lock colder temperatures into the Arctic as the temperature differential between Equator and Pole increases. During some of the recent El Ninos we’ve seen the opposite. But this one featured a very extreme polar amplification.

      Reply
      • Hello Robert
        I think I spotted a typo… February 2016 is 1.67°C up from the 1880, I believe your 1.57°C is a mistake although I’d rather prefer you’re right.
        Please double check
        Thank you and take care

        Jack

        Reply
      • wili

         /  March 18, 2016

        Any idea why some sources are reporting February as being 2.18 degrees above average?

        As here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2016/03/17/global-warming-climate-change-february-record-warm/81905886/

        Reply
      • wili

         /  March 18, 2016

        Never mind. I see they’re using Fahrenheit.

        Reply
      • wili

         /  March 18, 2016

        Aha! “So how do we untangle all the figures?

        The 1.35°C figure from NASA is from the norm for February for 1950-1980. The instrumental temperature record goes back to 1880 and early instrumental data and model simulations allow a reasonable estimate for the northern hemisphere for warming since 1750, which is the “pre-industrial” starting point.

        The record shows 0.3°C warming from ~1900 to the NASA 1950-1980 baseline, and Prof Michael Mann told Climate Code Red that the proxy data shows around another 0.3°C from 1750 to the end of the nineteenth century for the northern hemisphere.

        “Adding the figures together, we can estimate February 2016 as being around 1.95°C warmer than the 1750 pre-industrial level for the northern hemisphere”

        So there’s that about 2C figure. Is it mostly his starting date that causes the discrepancies here?
        http://www.climatecodered.org/2016/03/mind-blowing-february-2016-temperature.html

        Reply
        • Wili, it’s pretty obvious that if you cherry pick your data and start sometime during or near the Little Ice Age, which dipped to as far as 0.5 C below the Holocene average, then you’ll get higher numbers. The standard preindustrial baseline used by IPCC and the related climate bodies is 1850-1900. The closest number to this average in the major monitors is 1880-1890, which is why I use it. So if you’re going to post a number relevant to global policy and to the established science, then February of 2016 was between 1.5 and 1.6 C hotter than the late 19th Century. This is a single month that is about 0.45 C below the 2 C threshold and part of a year that will in all likelihood be 0.8 to 0.7 C below the scientifically established 2 C threshold.

          I’ve got to say that the above statement is a bit wacky and you should probably try to ground yourself more in the established science before making statements on temperature departures.

  2. climatehawk1

     /  March 16, 2016

    Retweeted.

    Reply
  3. Robert – as you may know, you’re my “go to” on climate matters. You may also remember that I’ve written about 20 climate articles for Huffington Post. I just submitted an article that attempts to put the latest stunning numbers into context using a pop-culture metaphor. For some reason, HUffPost has declined this one. I would love it if you wanted to give it a quick read and tell me what you think. If you do, please let me know how I can send the pdf.doc Thanks….David You can also contact me directly by email

    Reply
  4. Kevin Jones

     /  March 16, 2016

    Ah, Robert. I no more chose to board this airplane than the passengers of Sullie Sulenbergers chose to board his! Serendipity!

    Reply
  5. – Hi. Robert.
    As you put it: “… we can infer that the circumpolar winds did little to keep warm, Equatorial Pacific air isolated to the lower Latitudes and instead had weakened to the point that Equator to Pole heat transfer was facilitated.
    The temperature anomaly map at the top implies a warm meridional air flow issuing directly from the Equatorial Pacific and over the Northeast Pacific and Western North America.”

    – Do I see a lot of south to north latitude covered in this long train of cloud and moisture being pulled up by the low?

    NWS OPC ‏@NWSOPC 3h3 hours ago

    Very impressive Geocolor #satellite image of the developing #hurricane force low in the Eastern #Pacific! #GRPG

    Reply
  6. Griffin

     /  March 16, 2016

    This week I asked some folks what they thought of the news about February’s temps. The folks I asked would be considered average business types and all of them consider themselves in touch with current events.
    None of them had a clue as to what I was talking about. They thought I was making something up for conversation or something.
    It was quite eye-opening for me. Even record shattering temperatures had not crept in to the news feed of the average ignorant American. Sad.

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 17, 2016

      Griffin, I understand all too well. The complete ignorance of the subject, and total apathy when you attempt to enlighten, is extremely discouraging. The support that Trump is experiencing is evidence that the typical American can’t be bothered to learn enough to understand what is in their best interest.

      On a personal note regarding warm and unusual weather, there is a thunderstorm rolling into my area right now. This is weather more in line with late Spring or early Summer. The air is very warm and tropical feeling.

      Reply
      • Griffin

         /  March 17, 2016

        It was incredibly frustrating to know that one of them was even a Bernie supporter. It’s just that in the course of a regular news cycle, climate is just not grabbing attention the way it should. It’s hard to explain the urgency required in our fight when the person your talking to has no idea of the strength of the enemy!
        I agree on our weather tonight. I had a mosquito land on me a half hour before the rains came in. On a positive note, the peepers are in full throat in the swamps. They always give me hope in the spring. Just hope they don’t get blanketed by a nor’easter next week.

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  March 17, 2016

        Oh no, Mosquitoes!? Your favorite! Haha I too am hoping that the nor’easter stays out to sea. I guess the warm temps the past couple weeks have me in the mood for Spring. I’ve been running in shorts and t-shirts, and I have to admit I’ve been enjoying it. I feel guilty afterwards though, because I know what these unusually warm temps portend.

        I’ve likened this record warm weather to an addict’s first experience with heroin. Sure, it’s a blissful experience that is enjoyable and euphoric (from what I’ve read/heard). Unfortunately, that wonderful moment is the necessary first step in a downward spiral that leads to suffering and devastation.

        Reply
      • Griffin

         /  March 17, 2016

        Great analogy!

        Reply
  7. – NASA Climate blog Greenland 0316

    Greenland is melting and it’s time to pay attention

    Yes, yes, Greenland is melting. You already knew that…probably. And the giant flux of fresh water pouring out of the second largest ice sheet on the planet isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Greenland’s ice melt is actually accelerating. In the last decade alone, NASA’s twin GRACE satellites measured it shedding 2 trillion tons of ice like a fire hose pouring fresh water into the North Atlantic.

    “We often find that a glacier that’s been retreating a lot might be in 1,000 feet of water,” he explained. “Whereas the glacier that’s not thinning very much is in water that’s only 100 or 200 feet deep.” That’s because the layers of ocean water around Greenland are in a very unique situation, where you have colder fresh glacier meltwater near the surface over salty ocean water that, due to climate change, has been warming. The water found at 600 feet and below is a relatively warm 4 degrees Celsius compared with the surface water, which is just near freezing at 0 degrees. This means that the “primary suspect” behind the acceleration of Greenland’s melting glaciers is the warming ocean waters that can get right up against the edge and interact with the glacier itself.
    http://climate.nasa.gov/blog/2416

    Reply
    • – From Scripps:

      Upside-Down “Rivers” Threaten Antarctic Ice Shelves
      Scripps researchers use satellite laser altimetry to provide first look at basal channels around Antarctica

      “Upside-down rivers” of warm ocean water threaten the stability of floating ice shelves in Antarctica, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder’s National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and co-authored by researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. Published today in the journal Nature Geoscience, the study highlights how parts of Antarctica’s ice sheet may be weakening due to contact with warm ocean water.
      https://scripps.ucsd.edu/news/upside-down-rivers-threaten-antarctic-ice-shelves

      Reply
      • Mark from OZ

         /  March 17, 2016

        Thanks dt-good find!
        All that ocean heat obeying 2d law of thermodynamics where heat ‘flows’ to cold to arrange an equilibrium. Just one year ago, NASA was identifying these disturbing developments.

        http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-study-shows-antarctica-s-larsen-b-ice-shelf-nearing-its-final-act

        So mercilessly efficient and beautiful in a melancholic way, is Mother Nature, in her attempt to ‘cool’ down. I can think of no faster way to move large amounts ice into the sea.

        Reply
      • Matt

         /  March 18, 2016

        Excellent article, I note one of the authors as being Karen Alley! Surely this must be the daughter of Richard Alley? What an asset she would be for this discipline of science with the handed down knowledge and passion of her Father! (unless of course it is not her and I am left embarrassed🙂 ). But I am sure he has two daughters one of whom is named Karen??

        Reply
    • – Impacts of warm water on Antarctic ice shelf stability through basal channel formation

      http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2675.html

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 17, 2016

      This research is important. If the major contributor to the increase in Greenland glacial melt is warming sea water, and the majority of global warming is absorbed by the oceans, then that has major consequences for future melt scenarios.

      Reply
  8. Each day I checked the daily global forecast on Climate Reanalyzer. While the last week of February was amazingly hot, the first 16 days of March cooled only slightly and have still been much hotter than the first three weeks of February. El Nino has peaked, but it is still adding heat to the atmosphere over a huge area of the Pacific that usually is covered in cooler water. It appears to me and at least one source which I read that March has a good chance of having a still higher warming anomaly than February.

    I don’t know much about the Pacific Multidecadal Oscillation that I think some attribute as causing the 1945-1977 atmospheric warming pause and the slowing of atmospheric warming after 1998 to 2013 or so. If the PDO is over, then we might be entering another 20 year+ period of accelerated atmospheric warming where the oceans absorb a slightly smaller portion of the total increase in heat by pumping more into the atmosphere.

    Great article. I agree that almost all educated people in my rural Republican area are oblivious to climate science news. Evenfor people who are well informed, the large majority are doing very little to significantly lower their own footprint. They won’t give up beef and dairy, or air travel, or AC, or buy an EV, or switch to wind/solar energy electricity. By the way, both the U.S. and Germany increased their carbon emissions in 2015. A deforestation satellite study of 34 nations recently found that between 2000 and 2010, deforestation accelerated 62% compared to the previous decade while the governments claimed that it had decreased 24%. Governments can’t be trusted and COP22 needs to set up independent monitoring and reporting systems.

    Reply
    • Daily GFS model runs show that March has cooled down from late February peaks. It’s unlikely that we see a February to March temperature increase if these early indicators are correct.

      Reply
  9. Ryan in New England

     /  March 17, 2016

    Great post Robert! The previous one as well, These are some remarkable numbers we are seeing. Every graphic is more shocking than the last. The rapid and significant jump in temperatures we just witnessed, well, it’s honestly quite frightening. I think of what we have “baked into the system”, which from what I understand would be about thirty years of further warming if we ceased fossil fuel burning tomorrow. Then I look around at all the fossil fuel extraction still occurring…90+ billion barrels of oil every single year, with more in natural gas and coal, then agriculture, and cement production, and deforestation…it’s enough to send me into a panic attack.

    Here’s a little positive news. I’ll take any glimmer of hope or step in the right direction!

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/03/15/3759755/electricity-sales-dropped/

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  March 17, 2016

      Ryan. Cold comfort this, but it’s +/- 30 billion barrels oil per year. Oil plus coal plus gas is about 90 billion barrels oil equivalent. Please accept this from one who tries to get the data straight..but sometimes not. Best.

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 17, 2016

      You’re absolutely right, Kevin! Thank you for the correction🙂 I sometimes mix up the numbers in my head. I was thinking of the daily oil use, which is about 90 Million (not billion), when I typed that. About 90 MILLION per day, 30 BILLION per year. Staggering numbers that I find hard to even get my head around.

      Reply
  10. Jeremy

     /  March 17, 2016

    How about climate induced collapse?
    Good luck Venezuela.

    “Venezuela is shutting down for a week as the government struggles with a deepening electricity crisis.

    The government has rationed electricity and water supplies across the country for months and urged citizens to avoid waste as Venezuela endures a prolonged drought that has slashed output at hydroelectric dams.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-16/venezuela-to-shut-down-for-a-week-as-electricity-crisis-mounts

    Reply
  11. redskylite

     /  March 17, 2016

    Robert S., many thanks for this detailed in-depth look at February’s startling temperature anomaly. Again I am very disappointed such important news has not been reported by many respected news outlets, BBC among them. The high Northern latitudes are among the most cause for concern, especially for the regions known feedback risks. BBC has a report of global risks (from The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) ranks global risks on a scale of one to 25) apart from the alarming risk of Trump getting elected for U.S presidency it rates a collapse of investment in the oil sector as the number 1 global risk ( global economy, political and security risks).

    Still they just don’t get it at all – where is Climate Change in their table of risks ?

    We should have weaned ourselves off fossil fuels as the primary economic driver decades ago.

    If the establishment talks like this how can we expect the populous to take it all seriously and react ?. The Northern hemisphere land surface reached way over the two degree mark, met by total indifference and lack of media reports. It is very frustrating.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/business-35828747

    Reply
    • redskylite

       /  March 17, 2016

      During my life, there have been some mammoth protests, and tremendous changes for the better have transpired. Apartheid, De-segregation &, busing, Vietnam War, British Coal pit closures, Nuclear disarmament among them. Despite COP-21 and international focus it seems necessary to continue, it should all be resolved at this very late hour, but clearly is not.

      “2016 is already looking like it will top 2015 as the hottest year in recorded history.

      Despite it being absolutely essential that we leave most of the world’s fossil fuels in the ground to avoid catastrophic climate change – John Key’s Government is still hell-bent on drilling for more oil.

      That’s why on Monday, we will be at the oil industry conference at SkyCity in Auckland. Through non-violent peaceful civil disobedience inspired by Gandhi and Martin Luther King, we will send the strongest message we can that New Zealand must join the global fight to quit oil and meet the greatest challenge of our time – climate change.”

      The 2016 Conference will be held at SkyCity Convention Centre in Auckland from Sunday 20 March to Tuesday 22 March.

      Good Luck to all peaceful protesters and sorry it is still needed.

      http://foreignaffairs.co.nz/2016/03/17/bill-mckibben-calls-on-new-zealanders-to-take-action-at-auckland-oil-conference/

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  March 18, 2016

        Redskylite, it is terribly sad that protests are still needed. I sometimes get discouraged because it feels like, despite generations of environmentalists fighting for a livable planet, we have made very little progress. I realize that since the days of Rachel Carson and Silent Spring there have been very substantial victories is both raising awareness and preventing wholesale destruction and poisoning of pristine environments. But if you look around the world at what’s still happening, you realize we haven’t stopped environmental destruction, just outsourced it to poorer countries, and have done a better job hiding domestic pollution, such as injecting fracking wastewater deep underground instead of dumping it into rivers like what would’ve been done in the 19th century. Part of the problem is climate change and other environmental problems are viewed as special interests that only a small portion of the population cares about. It’s treated like abortion or gun rights, they’re only matter for the constituents who care. Everybody needs to realize that without the environment there won’t be any “the economy”. This is a matter for everyone on Earth, including and especially generations yet unborn.

        Reply
  12. Cate

     /  March 17, 2016

    “The surprising connection between modern slavery and ecological disaster.”

    Caused by us, in the resource-greedy North, with our over-consumptive demands for ever more and more stuff. ..how the people who make our throwaway stuff are made just as throwaway. along with the environment they, and we, must live in……

    This is Kevin Bales, coming at climate change as a profoundly moral issue—–see more at kevinbales.net

    http://blog.longreads.com/2016/03/08/your-phone-was-made-by-slaves-a-primer-on-the-secret-economy/

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  March 17, 2016

      CBC Radio’s excellent program “Ideas” did an episode on Bales:

      http://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/blood-and-earth-kevin-bales-1.3442119

      Reply
    • – In context, it seems that when ‘we’ became consumers, and self centered — concern for the health and welfare of our community slowed dramatically, or came to a complete stop.

      Not a wise move — for as a consequence, we may have neither self, nor community.

      It shouldn’t have to be this way. Every effort must be made to preserve the community.

      Reply
      • I’m a communications guy, so I think word choices are important. A word other than “consumers” would help–maybe “people” or “citizens” or even “customers” (which I foolishly think implies a higher level of responsibility for business).

        Reply
      • ch1 – “our over-consumptive demands” was/is the context. The term ‘consumer society’ is in common usage.
        – OUT

        Reply
        • Oh, I realize too well that it is in common usage and represents a huge communications victory for the corporate mindset, just suggesting that common usage needs to change.

    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 18, 2016

      Thanks for that link, Cate. That was a really good article. And really upsetting.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  March 19, 2016

        Ryan, thank you, but I’m sorry if it upset you! Sometimes I think we need to take all this upsetting stuff about climate change and put it in a pile and get mad instead of sad about it, and then remind ourselves, Don’t get mad, get even! This train of feeling, which might seem oddly negative,actually helps me to figure out what actions I can take in my own life and my own community to make a difference to that pile. And you do what you can do—there’s nothing more than any us can do but all we can to keep up the fight!🙂

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  March 19, 2016

        Cate, you’re absolutely right! I get upset because I care so damn much. It’s especially frustrating to see the lack of concern from most people. It’s like getting laughed at as your loved one dies, the lack of empathy is just cruel. But no matter how upsetting the information is, I much rather know it than not, so thanks for the links and comments, Cate🙂

        Reply
    • Syd Bridges

       /  March 19, 2016

      Thanks, that’s a very informative article, Cate. These unfortunate people are indeed “Children of a Lesser God.”

      Here, of course, the greater god is greed. It is greed that is destroying a liveable climate, and greed for cheap goods that is driving the rape of Kivu. And look at how many fingers are in the pie (or should I say the till): local and foreign militias, chiefs, other African Governments, commodity traders, mineral refiners, and electronic goods companies-to name but a few. Lastly, we consumers benefit from cheaper electronics. Sure, most of us could afford to pay more for our cell phone, which is often discarded after a couple of years for a smarter model, but we prefer not to think about how it is sourced. It’s good for business, so it must be good, just as the peonage system helped supply cheaper steel, which was also good for business.

      Reading this article reminded me of Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness.” The “resource curse” then was gold and ivory, now it is strategic metals and diamonds. King Leopold would feel right at home today. The short term gainers are the rich North, but the destruction of Central Africa is another nail in the climate coffin, which will not spare the wealthy countries. So far, I, at least, have not worked out how to get food and potable water from a cell phone.

      Reply
  13. webej

     /  March 17, 2016

    Feb 2016 will become a benchmark for all climate denialdom — all their charts to show there is no warming will henceforth feature Feb 2016 as the origin.

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 18, 2016

      Absolutely! This grand cherry must be far more appealing than 98, and will enable all the deniers and shills to claim global warming stopped in 2016.

      Reply
  14. Cate

     /  March 17, 2016

    In other news: Honey Nut Cheerios in Canada launches “Where’s Buzz?”, a campaign designed to raise awareness—particularly among young people, from the look of the website—about pollinator loss.

    https://www.bringbackthebees.ca/

    Reply
  15. Ryan in New England

     /  March 17, 2016

    Hey Robert, this comment is similar to one I made a few posts ago, but I just wanted to make sure your eyes read it. Bob reminded me of it with his comment from yesterday.
    Bob wrote,”I have been here for some time now , and I can say your growth , and your readers growth is amazing. Poor Joe Romm’s site is under attack by spammers, and trolls.
    The key here is that readers offer new information , And not silly debates.”

    I had recently realized the same thing, and that’s the fact that your posts now get more comments than sites like Climate Progress or The Guardian. But numbers alone don’t tell the story. Any other site is full of deniers and trolls, and there is no productive discussion because of it. A few good comments usually, but broken up by lots of nonsense that just makes my angry. Whereas here, every comment is a contribution and worth my time reading. Every single one. And most comments have a link, and every one of those is worth reading. It’s like no place else I know of. You have done an incredible job growing this site into what it is, Robert. I’ve noticed many new commenters in the past year, and every one is a welcome addition.

    So this is a congratulatory thank you. Congrats on what your hard work has accomplished here. And thank you…for what your hard work has accomplished here🙂

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  March 17, 2016

      I often wish there was a “like” button here!😀 Well said, Ryan. Roberts has created an oasis of climate change sanity here. I too read every single comment and like to check out the links—it’s all good. Deepest thanks to you, Robert.

      Reply
    • Ha! Well thanks for saying so many kind words, Ryan. I find I tend to be sharp, but maybe that scares away the trolls😉.

      We should be very clear that there’s a lot of attempted message manipulation out there and I do my best to keep it out. Every now and again I’ll let something through — like that GT video above — that is basically bad information and let everyone hash it out. But that’s the exception rather than the rule. And if it gets ugly, I’ll just take it all down.

      As a former commenter over at the Oil Drum and as a member of a church that was basically infiltrated by Pat Robertson followers bent on politicizing the community there and having spent a long time as a communications professional (not to mention spending time as a military Intel analyst and doing work on counter prop, counter psy-ops), I’m very sensitive to false messaging. Considering how pervasive it is, it can be a heavy lift to keep it out of forum.

      But it means a lot to me that you guys appreciate the work and I’ll do my best to keep things free and clear.

      Reply
      • Thanks, RS, very much appreciated.

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  March 17, 2016

        Robert, I can’t imagine how much nonsense from deniers and fossil fuel shills you have to filter out. But seriously, it means more than I can express in words. This space, with sharing of information, matched with insightful comments and links, with zero disinformation or distraction from those deniers you encounter virtually everywhere else is such a precious treasure. I can’t find this kind of productive and satisfying dialogue anywhere else in my life, including nearly all “real life” family and friends. You are a vital resource to me (and I’m sure many others), and I feel like you and the readers here understand and empathize with me more than my own family.

        Sometimes we feel powerless compared to the monumental forces we are facing, but I’m telling you Robert, you have a very substantial, and very real impact, not only to me but to many, many others. You make a difference, and your voice reaches far.🙂

        Reply
      • Ailsa

         /  March 17, 2016

        Robert, many apologies for being the one responsible for posting the offending video. I was on a huge learning curve reading The Oil Drum back in the day, and had no idea the bad stuff you’re talking about went on. Still learning!

        Reply
        • No worries. It’s good to learn how to filter out malinformation. Which is why I left this up. A good general rule is that if a supposed authority makes blanket statements that are out of context, that are steeped in ideological terms, that are absolutist, and that are inculcated in calcified methods of thinking, then they are likely to be incorrect.

          Furthermore, we should be wary of false meme generation — which generally runs on a half truth or an unknown and then spins it out of proportion. Debt, in this case, is kind of a red herring. Managed debt works or fails depending on how it is regulated, whether consumption of destructive materials (fossil fuels) is incentivized or disincentivized, whether labor increases are real or ephemeral, who gets what share of the fruits of the mechanized labor pool, related tax structures, and whether materials throughput can be reduced or recycled so that net external impact falls.

          The above view as shown in the video is simplistic in the extreme in that it implies that human systems are fixed, non-adaptive, and that pretty much all boundary limits are impermeable (boundary limits are either impermeable, semi-permeable, or permeable). It takes a simplistic view of growth and what occurs when growth boundary limits are tested. Finally, it fails to understand even the most basic threat analysis responses or take into account dynamic collapse and response theory.

          Not only that, an extreme fossil fuel centric worldview along with an extremely inflexible view of peak oil theory is attached to this particular source which makes it all the more questionable. Notably in that their conclusions weren’t just a little off or mostly right but off in one or two big ways — they pretty much were proven wrong in their timing for systemic economic collapse due to ‘peak oil,’ wrong in the systems ability to supply more fuels, wrong in their assessment of renewables ability to run large economies or their ability to be rapidly adopted, wrong in the ability of western governments to manage debt, wrong in regards to the ability of the recovery to occur, and wrong about climate change (they assumed there wasn’t enough fossil fuel left for climate change to be a real issue).

    • Steven Blaisdell

       /  March 18, 2016

      Read my mind, Ryan. Big thanks to RS echoed in this wain chamber as well. This blog is a perfect example of how indiscriminate speech is not at all the same as free speech; in absence of sociocultural mores and ethics regulating speech as a productive social good (as in tribal rituals), an active agency must make choices to allow the free flow of “yes and…” ideas, and censor those whose malevolence, willful ignorance, implicit and/or explicit hostility, grossly fallacious assertion, and flat out mongering grind collective discursive progress to a dispiriting halt. In fact, I think this is sufficient measure of whether a voice sounds of these Gollum-esque qualities – if it brings meaningful, valuable, collective discussion to a standstill. I’ve seen it in activism – when discussion and action seem to go nowhere, inevitably it means the group has been infiltrated by a mole, who can usually be found by careful observation (they almost always leave before being confronted, having done their work).

      Robert has spoken well in the past about this, how indiscriminate speech is poisonously antipodal to true free speech. Until this country adopts or evolves some kind of cultural understanding and productive restraint on collective speech, some authority must make decisions to ensure coherence, meaning, community, and utility. I’ve begged other forums to moderate their comments or 86 ’em; Robert is the first to take the necessary action.

      It gets deeper – I read a study a few years back that showed if comments were consistently loaded with denialist garbage, the reader strongly tended to discount the content of articles on AGW. So it’s more than just aesthetics or a feeling of community (not that this isn’t reason enough); denialist comments are a very, very effective propaganda tool. And isn’t it amusing when these paid and unpaid shills inevitably scream bloody murder about “censorship” when their bullshit is called out and silenced? We are a country of overgrown, narcissistic children, and our fetishization of wholly unfettered speech (which does not in fact exist) does not mix well with a general inability to discriminate between childish self indulgence and mature, considered, thoughtful conversation. That, and Fox ‘News’.

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  March 18, 2016

        Absolutely Steven. The deniers can have a profound effect on not just the discussion, but the way in which the information in the article is interpreted. Also, if you have readers who are new to the subject and unaware of the lies contained within the worn out denier talking points, there’s always the possibility that they can be fooled into believing the misinformation. Or they could be led to believe there’s still a debate in the scientific community about climate change, which is a very common misunderstanding that has been successfully spread through the population by deniers.

        Reply
      • And it’s important to understand that no one can really be “censored” on the Internet, where anyone can set up a Twitter account, Facebook page, blog, etc., and pontificate to her or his heart’s content. Cries of “censorship” in this context, in essence, are saying, “You’re not letting me post whatever I want wherever I want to. Waaah.”

        Reply
    • Shawn Redmond

       /  March 18, 2016

      Ditto Ryan

      Reply
      • Ailsa

         /  March 18, 2016

        Hello Robert and all those on this comments strand. At the risk of sounding like someone who ‘protests too much’, I want to apologise again for putting up what was obviously unacceptable content.

        As someone who has put her head above the parapet herself in other contexts, and suffered the consequences, I can really appreciate your efforts Robert, and how much work it takes to keep to your message.

        I can’t prove to you that I am not doing deliberate malicious work. But I assure you I’m not. I’m just wading through all the information/misinformation.

        I’ve pondered this all day today, unsettled / upset that I may have offended on a site that I truly value. Like I said, I can’t prove this to you. Please monitor / delete my posts at will (of course you don’t need my permission for this). I’ll try to do better.

        Thanks again to all of you doing such sterling, essential work.

        Reply
      • Cate

         /  March 19, 2016

        Ailsa, speaking for myself only here, but please don’t worry. Many of us have been there done that! haha And the hearts and minds on this board are pretty big and inclusive. I myself got a wee wrist slap from RS early on for posting a link that was not up to par, but like you, I was and still am learning, and there is no better place on this planet than right here to learn about the climate change, without a trace of hype or spin, and especially to learn how to spot suspect information—I think that’s one of the most valuable things I’m learning here.

        Reply
      • Ailsa

         /  March 19, 2016

        Thank you Cate

        Reply
  16. Abel Adamski

     /  March 17, 2016

    From “Official” figures (Like US Methane?)
    Keeling Figures?
    http://qz.com/640933/one-of-the-biggest-myths-about-beating-climate-change-has-just-been-busted/

    “For the second straight year, the global economy has grown without a corresponding rise in emissions tied to climate change, reversing an almost two-century-old trend and giving some hope that heat-trapping gases can be curbed without hurting living standards.

    And, in a similarly unprecedented shift, officials in the US—the second-largest CO2 emitter—say that the US this year will produce more electricity from natural gas than coal; that change is contributing to a drop in US carbon emissions, and reflects the fast eclipse of the country’s coal industry, which is weighing on coal-producing states such as West Virginia.

    According to the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA), carbon dioxide in the atmosphere remained flat for the second straight year in 2015 despite the growth of global GDP. CO2 emissions have historically corresponded with the GDP growth, since energy is a primary ingredient in economic activity. Indeed, economists have long twinned the growth of energy consumption and GDP as axiomatic partners.”

    Reply
    • Ken Barrows

       /  March 17, 2016

      If growth is what you want, you also need 6% annual declines in global emissions ad infinitum. Good luck

      Reply
      • Well, if the start date is now then the decline rate needs to be 2-3 percent annual to have a shot at missing 2 C if the sinks and stores are as kind as IPCC says. I’d be more comfortable with 3-6. But the key is to start consistent declines now while building out the replacement infrastructure. If you start by replacing coal, you can get to 20-35 percent pretty reliably. After that, it’s oil and gas, which gets you to 70-80 percent. Then land management, management of old well and mine emissions, landfill management, materials, agriculture and possible other atmospheric capture to get to a net negative 5-10 percent.

        It’s not really ad infinitum as what you’re shooting for first near zero and second net negative.

        Reply
    • wili

       /  March 17, 2016

      Abel wrote: “According to the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA), carbon dioxide in the atmosphere remained flat for the second straight year in 2015…”

      Slight correction. They said emissions from energy generation remained flat. Actual CO2 levels in the atmosphere have continued to climb at record rates.

      Which is why some of us are wondering whether all of that increase can just be chalked up to an El Nino-heated ocean surface absorbing less CO2 than previously, or if carbon feedbacks are also starting to kick in with a vengeance, or if the IEA is just wrong here, or what else might be going on.

      Reply
  17. dnem

     /  March 17, 2016

    So, here’s a study that addresses one of the most important global CO2 sinks: temperate and boreal forests. “Boreal and temperate trees show strong acclimation of respiration to warming,” http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature17142.html

    One the face of it the study presents some fairly optimistic results as the authors demonstrate that once trees acclimate to higher temperatures, they respire 80% less excess CO2 than they did when they were first exposed to warmer conditions. If that was universally true, that would mean that forests would contribute less to future CO2 fluxes than previously feared by studies that looked at non-acclimated trees. The study subjected the trees to a steady 3.6 C warming and what they refer to as “seasonal variation” although it is not clear exactly what that means. My concern would be what happens over longer time scales and more importantly during and after extreme temperature events. Obviously a dead tree no longer photosynthesizes at all and ultimately “respires” all its accumulated carbon!

    The study also says that “Plant respiration results in an annual flux of carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere that is six times as large as that due to the emissions from fossil fuel burning” which puts the importance of forest health and other ecosystem response to future climate change into clear perspective.

    Reply
  18. Hi there — I’ve been lurking here on Robert’s blog for probably 18-24 months now. I feel like I know you folks pretty well, even though I’ve never chimed in before. I want to echo Ryan’s comments about what a joy it is to read a blog where all commentary (and of course the main content) is mature, well written, to the point and free of troll mularkey. Thanks to all of you for making it happen — it’s not an understatement to say this group is making a significant positive contribution to the planet’s future. I feel very lucky to have found you.

    So I have a question related to this article; I apologize if this is overly simplistic and has been addressed in the past. Here goes: since the pre-industrial baseline is expected to be used to gauge our overall situation, why do we use “1880s levels” or any other baselines? (“We,” of course, means NASA, Japan Met, NOAA, etc.) Shouldn’t we always just say how much the temperature has risen above the pre-industrial level?

    My experience conveying this type of information to non-scientific folks like myself has taught me that I have only about 7-10 seconds to provide salient data before eyes glaze over. If I have to include a disclaimer about different baselines, I lose them.

    Anyway, thanks again for being here!

    Reply
    • It’s simply due to the fact that most monitors start at or near 1880, that it would be cherry picking to start in the early 1900s, and that the 1850 to 1900 average used by IPCC is unclear. Standardization would be nice. However, the difference is about 0.1 C.

      To be clear, the late 1800s to early 1900s was the end of a relatively cool period for the Holocene. However, we’re talking about a mild departure from baseline where the current departure is quite extraordinary.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  March 17, 2016

        “mild departure from baseline where the current departure is quite extraordinary”

        Yes and no. The long-term (in terms of millennia) trend in the Holocene since about 8000 years before present has been a gradual decline in global temperature, by about -.1 degree C per millennium, obviously with wobbles along the way. The cooling before 1880 may be seen as simply a return to the long-term downward trend after an earlier wobble (as we were very, very slowly moving toward the next ice age because of Milankovitch cycles).

        As I understand it, that’s why some estimates of what part of GW since 1880 is attributable to human activity include ranges above 100%, since without GW, we probably would have had a slight amount of further cooling given this long-term trend.

        Anyway, that’s my vague layman’s understanding. Please do correct any idiocy that crept in, or blast the whole thing if it’s all rubbish! ‘-)

        Reply
        • If we cherry pick 7,500 years ago as peak Holocene temperatures and then go to 1880, we end up with a -0.5 C approximate drop over the entire period. However, if we use the baseline Holocene average, we find 1880 at around 0.2 C below that average. Current temperatures (annual 2015) are about +1.1 C 1880, +0.9 C Holocene, +0.6 C Holocene thermal maximum, and +1.4 C Holocene thermal minimum (little ice age).

          The variance for the Holocene never exceeded +0.25 C (approx) above baseline or -0.5 C (approx) below baseline. Current global temperatures are an exceptional exception on the hot side — more like near peak temperatures during the Eemian about 150,000 years ago. 1.5 C above 1880 begins to exceed the peak Eemian range with 2 C reliably doing it. At that point, we will be exploring temperatures not seen in around 1.5 to 2 million years. It’s possible that February briefly did it. But we’d be getting ahead of ourselves to call that an average. A pretty extreme monthly spike, for certain.

          Of course, temperature variations on the scale we now witness previously tended to take many centuries to unfold.

    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 18, 2016

      Welcome to the party, Lookout! It’s always great to see new “faces” 🙂

      Reply
  19. Cate

     /  March 17, 2016

    So we were discussing electric vehicles, and the question came up:

    How much are emissions reduced, exactly, if the electricity for an electric car comes from a FF-fired source?

    So for instance, coal-fired electric vs gasoline engines: has anyone fairly quantified the emission pros and cons in layman-speak? :

    Reply
    • wili

       /  March 17, 2016

      I don’t have exact figures, but the efficiency of an electric motor means that, even if you get the electricity from a coal plant, you would come out way ahead. Of course, the smaller the car, the more efficient is generally is, too.

      Reply
  20. Greg

     /  March 17, 2016

    As ever, real life comes in shades of grey. If the power source for electricity is exclusively coal then electric vehicles are not going to help with emissions. There is a whole industrial ecosystem to consider. Electric vehicles convert about 59%–62% of the electrical energy from the grid to power at the wheels—conventional gasoline vehicles only convert about 17%–21% of the energy stored in gasoline to power at the wheels and emit all the waste locally. EVs emit no tailpipe pollutants. However, the vehicle manufacturing of a gasoline car is just 40g CO2e/km compared to currently 70g CO2e/km for the electric vehicle. This accounts for both a greater manufacturing footprint and lower lifetime mileage in current electric cars. Electric cars are relatively new at a commercial scale and are dealing with issues of cost, range and charging speed. Each of which will be helped by improving batteries. Despite this, they offer enormous hope for reducing carbon emissions, improving local air quality and limiting noise pollution. Lots of details below showing the large variation in each country.

    http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/electric-car-emissions

    Reply
    • wili

       /  March 17, 2016

      Good points about carbon costs of construction and batteries, and especially the point about their potential going forward. I’m not sure whether they have figured in the reduction in maintenance costs over the lifetime of the car. EV’s have very few moving parts, so they tend to not need as much maintenance. As I said above, the size of the car is also key. I had an early model, a Zenn, which was very light, and as I recall when I crunched the numbers, it came out well ahead of ICE cars in total emissions even with ff sources (though I got mine from wind). As you note, the current need to replace the batteries after five or so years is perhaps the biggest hurdle now.

      Mostly of course, we have to get away from most car (and air) travel, either traveling less, using foot and bike locomotion as much as possible, and when not, using public transportation and trains or busses for longer trips. Personally, I gave up flying about 12 years ago, and gave up most non-bike-powered trips longer than about 50 miles a few years ago, too. The benefits just don’t outweigh the ecological costs, in my eyes.

      Reply
      • Dr G

         /  March 17, 2016

        On this topic of electric motors / batteries, can I get on my hobbyhorse and highlight electric bikes! Light enough not to need much electricity (I think I use electrical energy equivalent to about 1,500 miles per gallon if it was petrol), not need many batteries compared to car, and it greatly extends what you can do with a bike (think hills, long distances, cargo..). As above on the benefits they are also great fun, not least because I have found them to expand what can be ‘local’ for (perceptually) self-propelled / non-metal-boxed adventures🙂

        Reply
    • webej

       /  March 17, 2016

      And there is also electrical transmission loss, loss at generation, and cooling (FF plants are often restricted by their water needs, which means a lot of cooling). Loss is also incurred due to swings in power demand, reserve capacity, etc. Actual power delivered is generally only about 30% of the energy burned. Inefficiencies in the consumption devices often mean an additional 60-90% of the power is being wasted. Incandescent light-bulbs convert only 2.2% of input to lighting. 65% of industrial power goes to motors running at full speed, wasting up to 60% of the input. All in all, only about 17% of FF input is actually being used at best with grid-based power usage.

      Eating and riding a bike is quite superior in terms of energy efficiency!

      Reply
      • wili

         /  March 17, 2016

        Good points, but I don’t care to eat my bike, thank you! ‘-)

        Reply
        • Many cities around the world are shifting to more bike-friendly policies. You’d be surprised what one can do with a bike in the city setting. Take London as an example.

          But if you’re going to deal with auto emissions, there’s really no way without a full EV fleet in addition to the related conservation measures.

      • Ryan in New England

         /  March 18, 2016

        Great information in this thread folks🙂 I’d like to add this chart that shows the efficiency of your typical forms of transportation. As anybody who has ridden a bicycle knows, it is hands down the most efficient means of getting around. Dr G, I wasn’t even aware of electric bikes, so thank you for that!

        http://www.exploratorium.edu/cycling/humanpower1.html

        Reply
      • Dr G

         /  March 18, 2016

        Ryan, you’re welcome🙂. They’ve been around for a while, but I think the continuing improvements (at a given cost) in battery weight / capacity (clearly even more critical than in a car if you want to cover a good range but still have something that feels like a bike when pedaling) mean that their time has definitely arrived.

        No tastier than a normal bike to eat though!

        Reply
  21. The global economy grew while carbon emissions stayed flat — but it’s still not enough to curb global warming

    http://mashable.com/2016/03/16/economy-grew-carbon-emissions-stalled/#nziQ_tWTJmq8

    Reply
  22. JPL

     /  March 17, 2016

    Yikes!

    “The Guri dam, which is the source of 65% of all of Venezuela’s electricity, is less than four meters from reaching the level where power generation will be impossible, according to experts interviewed by Latin American Herald Tribune.”

    http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=2407640&CategoryId=10717

    Reply
  23. JPL

     /  March 17, 2016

    Portland will join six other West Coast cities, including Seattle and Spokane, that have already filed federal lawsuits against Monsanto.

    http://www.kgw.com/news/local/city-of-portland-to-sue-monsanto-for-contaminating-waterways/85906401

    “Monsanto was the only manufacturer of PCB’s in the United States from 1939 until PCBs were banned in the late 70’s,” said Reeve. “During that time there’s documentary evidence that Monsanto knew that PCBs were dangerous to the environment, that they migrated from waterways to fish, from fish to birds and also to people and they, nonetheless, continued to manufacture and distribute PCBs.”

    Reply
  24. Reply
  25. folke kelm

     /  March 17, 2016

    Gasoline engines have an energy conversion efficiency of at best 30%.
    Diesel engines reach 40%.
    Electric engines have an efficiency of over 90%, but, if you generate this electricity with coal fired plants you are down at this source to 40% in modern plants, about 20% in old plants, and you have losses in transmitting the electricity of up to 60%.
    So, the overall efficiency of an electric car with fossil generated power is less than direct burning with diesel engines.
    Electric cars demand renewable electricity, otehrwise they are a loosing game.

    Reply
    • Grid power by energy source in the US is (2014 EIA):

      32 percent renewable and nuclear (zero or near zero carbon)
      27 percent natural gas
      39 percent coal
      2 percent other

      The high efficiency electric vehicle tied to this mix produces a net carbon emissions reduction vs oil burning vehicles alone. If the US fleet converted now, CAFE equivalent mpg emissions would be about 40 mpg or a 20-30 percent emissions reduction. The reductions fall precipitously as more renewable charging sources become available.

      Add in the fact that the grid is moving to renewables and residential solar power is becoming more and more accessible and the fact that coal use is declining what you end up with is a context in which the EV is a considerable game changer for emissions reduction.

      Beginning the argument with coal powered EVs is a false starting point due to the fact that the majority of the electricity is coming from a different source. In any case you have to pick the highest ICE conversion efficiencies to even beat out the worst ‘coal powered’ EV on emissions. Basically an exercise in cherry picking.

      But, yes, the most powerful argument for the EV is in marrying it with renewables — which should be done as soon as possible.

      As a final note, with 2015 numbers we can basically assume a 34 percent renewable + nuclear power base when you consider added 2015 installations and the rapidly growing residential solar sector.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  March 17, 2016

        Good points. The other thing about adding electric vehicles to a grid that is incorporating more and more renewables is that they could be key in helping to even out intermittency issues.

        Reply
        • Good point there, Wili. Would add that this particular set of distributed storage adds resiliency during times of systemic stress. EVs, with the right electronic support systems can act as portable ‘generators’ after storms or other events that knock out power.

    • Vic

       /  March 17, 2016

      That seems an unfair comparison Folke. It accounts for the inefficiencies of supplying electricity to an EV, but completely disregards the inefficiencies of supplying gasoline to an ICE vehicle.
      There’s a huge footprint involved in the exploration, extraction, refinement and bulk transportation of liquid fuels to the fuel bowser that your analysis hasn’t accounted for.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  March 18, 2016

        +1

        Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  March 18, 2016

        Got some friends who have just bought a BMW i3 (range extender), with the help of govt and work grants. It’s a bit funny looking, and the driver has to be mindful of pedestrians, but it is the future. You can see the carbon fibre composite in the door sills, which is very cool, and saves on paint!

        Sadly, there are only 5000-ish in the UK so far, but they have just announced an upgraded battery option with 50% greater range. I know it is still early days, and there are still issues with EV’s that need improving, but the trend is pretty clear.

        The emissions from coal only generation is a bit of a red herring argument, as RS says. As with renewable energy, and with our response to AGW in general, the EV revolution is running a bit late for comfort, but it is happening.

        Reply
  26. June

     /  March 17, 2016

    “Coal Pollution Costs Western Balkans Dear”[sic]

    Heavy pollution from coal-fired power stations results in Serbia losing a third of its national wealth annually because of premature deaths caused by poor air quality.

    http://climatenewsnetwork.net/coal-pollution-costs-western-balkans-dear/

    Of course mainstream media never mentions this in their stories about developing countries needing to rely on fossil fuels to help their citizens get out of poverty.

    Reply
  27. Tom

     /  March 17, 2016

    Puget Sound coho salmon return forecasts ‘critical’ – Tribes propose canceling fishing season – ‘The loss of coho fishing on the heels of losing chinook fishing last year would be absolutely devastating’

    http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2016/03/puget-sound-coho-salmon-return.html

    Reply
  28. Ryan in New England

     /  March 17, 2016

    A research ship will spend an entire year tracking the Arctic sea ice. Most studies are conducted in summer months, but this vessel will remain in the ice through the Winter. This study should provide some important information and insights into the annual freeze/thaw cycle in the Arctic.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/17/arctic-research-vessel-spend-entire-year-studying-sea-ice-decline

    Reply
  29. Colorado Bob

     /  March 17, 2016

    Almost half of Australian voters say policies on climate change, renewable energy and the Great Barrier Reef will influence the way they vote at the next federal election, according to new polling shared exclusively with Guardian Australia.

    The nationwide poll of 1,048 people over the weekend found 47% of people agreed or strongly agreed that “climate change and renewable energy will influence the way I vote at this year’s federal election”.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/17/climate-change-a-vote-changer-at-federal-election-says-poll

    Reply
  30. Colorado Bob

     /  March 17, 2016

    Way more Americans are worried about climate change

    There’s good news and there’s bad news: More Americans are concerned about climate change now than at any time in the past eight years. But that’s because the consequences are getting harder to ignore.

    According to a Gallup poll conducted in early March, 64 percent of Americans are worried about climate change a “great deal” or a “fair amount.” This is quite a jump over last year’s up from 55 percent

    http://grist.org/article/way-more-americans-are-worried-about-climate-change/

    Reply
    • Syd Bridges

       /  March 19, 2016

      It must be time for Frank Luntz to come up with a new phrase then. “Climate Change” sounded so much less threatening than “Global Warming” (ie the truth), but now it embraces nasty weather extremes, and these are becoming increasingly obvious. What we need is something more anodyne, more reassuring. As most of the Mesozoic and much of the Cenozoic were considerably warmer then the Pleistocene and Holocene, I propose the term “Climate Normalization.” I mean, what could be bad about that? Any other suggestions?

      Reply
  31. Ryan in New England

     /  March 17, 2016

    This is a good article from back in November. I’m not sure if it’s been shared here. It’s about the collapse of our great ice sheets, in particular Eric Rignot and his cutting edge work on understanding glacial dynamics.

    Evaluating these dangers is a thorny scientific undertaking, because the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are not just big blocks of frozen water. They are giant plumbing systems made from gigatons of ice, snow and slush, honeycombed with buried lakes and hidden rivers. Their size and complexity have long made their behavior difficult to assess and even harder to predict. A few years ago, a NASA-­supported researcher seeking to shed light on the ice sheet’s interior pipes dropped 90 yellow rubber ducks into a Greenland moulin, a deep hole in the ice sheet, with his contact information on them, in case they were found. Only two ducks were recovered — the next year — thanks to a fisherman working in a nearby bay. Somewhere, trapped deep in the Greenland ice sheet, or floating in the waters nearby, or who knows where, really, there are 88 more rubber ducks.

    But there are clear warnings that the ice sheets have entered a phase of dangerous and unknown instability. To assess what this means for tomorrow requires looking back to long ago. The current research on sea-­level rises during ancient eras — findings that are rarely discussed outside scientific circles — suggests that to regard the prospect of a future glacial collapse with only modest concern is to disregard what has happened in earth’s past, and what might happen again. ‘‘We know the ice can change fast,’’ Eric Rignot, a professor of earth sciences at the University of California, Irvine, told me in May, as we talked at a campus picnic table on a sunny afternoon. ‘‘We’ve never seen it. No human has ever seen it.’’ Rignot is fairly confident, however, that we are seeing it now — a conclusion borne out by the ice-­sheet data he scrutinizes every week. A few decades from now, he said, we may look back with regret, wondering why more of us didn’t acknowledge the signs all around us, why we didn’t see ‘‘that the collapse had already started.’’

    When I asked Richard Alley, almost certainly the most respected glaciologist in the United States, whether he would be surprised to see Thwaites collapse in his lifetime, he drew a breath. Alley is 58. ‘‘Up until very recently, I would have said, ‘Yes, I’d be surprised,’ ’’ he told me. ‘‘Right now, I’m not sure. I’m still cautiously optimistic that in my life, Thwaites has got enough stability on the ridge where it now sits that I will die before it does. But I’m not confident about that for my kids. And if someday I have grandkids, I’m not at all confident for them.’’

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/11/15/magazine/the-secrets-in-greenlands-ice-sheets.html?referer=&_r=1

    Reply
    • rustj2015

       /  March 18, 2016

      Good that he’s respectable and something of an optimist.

      Reply
  32. Beyond record hot, February was ‘astronomical’ and ‘strange’

    http://phys.org/news/2016-03-hot-february-astronomical-strange.html

    Reply
  33. – redskylite

    Rapid melt of New Zealand glaciers ends hikes onto them

    FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand is renowned for its wondrous scenery, and among the country’s top tourist attractions are two glaciers that are both stunning and unusual because they snake down from the mountains to a temperate rain forest, making them easy for people to walk up to and view.

    But the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers have been melting at such a rapid rate that it has become too dangerous for tourists to hike onto them from the valley floor, ending a tradition that dates back a century. With continuing warm weather this year there are no signs of a turnaround, and scientists say it is another example of how global warming is impacting the environment.
    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/573a77b3aecd43cdb43a6131019ae205/rapid-melt-new-zealand-glaciers-ends-hikes-them

    Reply
    • – Cumulative speaking — the overall amount, and or, effects of glacier and polar ice melt?
      – !

      Reply
    • redskylite

       /  March 18, 2016

      Many thanks Sir – glad I visited at the end of last century, still could hike and view then, too much too fast being lost.

      Reply
    • redskylite

       /  March 18, 2016

      I read your comments earlier regarding your time in Canada and reasons for it. At the time I was an English national and looked at the war with amazement and horror. I admired Mohammad Ali’s stance, but also can understand those who chose to fight. I cut loose from the U.K in the 80’s fed up with Mrs. Thatchers policies and the death of British industry and values (as I perceived them). Ended up in a (very) multi national work camp in Saudi Arabia during the Iraq – Iran war, near the border of Iraq and Kuwait. The area was full of young male Iraqi draft dodgers, they set up camps/villages in the desert, they just hated war and did not want to be part of it. They were good and kind people. I saw strong parallels with the U.S and Canada, the experience changed my life in many ways. I enjoy your contributions and life experiences. Regards.

      Reply
  34. Reply
  35. Reply
  36. Ryan in New England

     /  March 17, 2016

    A severe storm in thunderstorm Texas produced devastating hail, which damaged property and actually killed animals at the zoo, including flamingos.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2016/03/17/hailstorm-dallas-fort-worth-texas/81903102/

    Reply
    • The article says the first severe hail fell around 4AM. the METAR weather observations for both KDAL and KDFW reflect thunderstorms, but do not mention the hail, which was probably localized. I wonder what the consequences would be if this type hailstorm hit a major hub such as KDFW while a hundred or so aircraft or on the ground? Seemingly it could have immediate impact, destroying airline schedules not just for that day but even for weeks and months, what with the out-of-commission aircraft.

      Reply
  37. Ryan in New England

     /  March 17, 2016
    Reply
  38. Cate

     /  March 18, 2016

    Thanks for all the responses to my question about electric cars—you guys are the best.🙂

    Reply
  39. Could anyone please tell me how to calculate temperatures from other baseline temps, like 1950 to 1981average, so I can convert them to 1880 baseline?
    I could really appreciate the help.
    Thank you very much

    Jack

    Reply
  40. Vic

     /  March 18, 2016

    With the Mekong River at its lowest level in 90 years, Thailand has started pumping water from the Mekong into its own waterways, sparking concern from downstream countries like Vietnam, which is suffering its worst drought in almost a century.

    The Huai Luang project is relatively small scale, but Thailand’s National Water Resources Board has approved a much bigger pumping station for the area that could divert 150 cubic metres every second from the Mekong River.

    Locals said these mega-projects have been talked about for many years but have been fast-tracked by Thailand’s military junta, which took power in 2014.

    Modelling conducted by the Mekong River Commission predicted salt intrusion on Vietnam’s main Mekong channel would reach up to 162 kilometres inland this year, which is nearing the Cambodian border. A normal year would see salt intruding only 98 kilometres inland.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-18/mekong-river-thailand-diverts-worries-neighbours/7256678

    Reply
  41. Deke Arndt ‏@DekeArndt 2h2 hours ago

    Literally off the charts: we had to rescale this graphic to accommodate Feb #StateOfClimate situation

    Reply
    • entropicman

       /  March 18, 2016

      NOAA February 2016 land temperatures averaging 2.0C+.

      Columbia shows the February land average more than 2C above 1880.

      Another ripple lapping over the safe limit. Is the tide advancing faster than we expected?

      Reply
  42. – Many waterways, bays, and oceans are suffering rampant algae growth. Chicago does this:
    – I’ve got Irish Callaghan blood in me — but some Choctaw blood too.

    YouTube Newswire ‏@ytnewswire 6h6 hours ago

    The Chicago River was dyed green for #StPatricksDay

    Reply
  43. Water flow in Mediterranean rivers to fall by 34 percent by the end of the century, study predicts

    “The rising global average temperature induced by climate change will cause regions such as the Mediterranean Basin to become drier and more arid, in turn directly affecting the availability of water. A study has revealed that river flows in this zone will decrease in headwaters, on average, by as much as 34% by the year 2100 — a figure that will reach 50% during the autumn months.”

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160317110137.htm

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  March 18, 2016

      When the tornadoes of Ontario come early? Sounds Gordon Lightfootian! (much appreciated, Cate)

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  March 19, 2016

        Okay, only one cure for an earworm…..here we go…… this song always gives me chills, every single time….

        Reply
  44. Cate

     /  March 18, 2016

    Sugaring season started early and it’s finishing early, according to some producers—the excessive warmth is to blame—but others aren’t ready to concede: after all, this is Canada, and it’s only March. There’s room in the calendar for quite a bit of winter yet…..although the long-term forecasts aren’t very promising on that front…Here in central Newfoundland, March has felt more “normal” than February or January did—we’ve been under a polar outflow for a few weeks now.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-waterloo/waterloo-maple-syrup-season-early-wrap-up-1.3493517

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  March 18, 2016

      90,000 taps. 20,000 gallons produced. That is the word I just received from a trusted worker for the US of A’s third largest producer. The lad reminded me that I was correct in remembering that in the old days the seasonal yield per tap was one gallon. He agreed with me that the weather has gone bullshit. Agreed with me that the season was fini.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  March 19, 2016

        Well, that’s a shortage that will drive the price up—a luxury product, but this will become the way of the world for more and more of what we’ve taken for granted on grocery shelves.

        Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 19, 2016

      There’s a syrup producer one town over from me, in Burlington, Ct. He’s an “old timer” and has been doing this a long time. He told me that things have definitely changed. The weather is too variable. What used to be fairly reliable isn’t anymore. The transition between seasons aren’t a steady warm to cold or cold to warm, and have become periods of wild swings in temperature, often far above normal, or sometimes too cold. As you know, maple trees require a very narrow window of temperatures for ideal sap production.

      Reply
  45. Cate

     /  March 18, 2016

    Weather Network current temps:

    my town in central Newfoundland -9C
    Narsarsuaq, Greenland 11C (with 5-10 mm rain forecast)

    Crazy.

    Reply
  46. Not looking good for Bernie and those that wanted to change the system from within—– via a peaceful revolution.
    IMO: With HRC: no carbon tax, more fracking, more trade deals that are devastating for humans/nonhumans, more wars/regime changes etc. etc.

    Or we could have Trump and a possible Mad Max Fury Road scenario.

    There was a choice this year to vote for someone who is a passionate advocate for the earth and all people. For the first time in my life, there was a choice to get behind someone who stated that human induced climate change is the biggest threat to life on earth, someone who refused money from corporations (Monsanto, fossil fuel companies, big banks etc). Someone who has fought his whole life for those that don’t have a voice.
    Someone who fought for family farms, against gm foods, against trade deals, against Wall street, against big pharma and for universal health care.
    Perhaps those on the far left were right: the 2 party system is a machine that is too powerful and what seemed like a choice was a phantom choice.

    Or . . . . perhaps there’s not enough people who have critical thinking skills or . . it’s as simple as too many people just don’t care about anything beyond their own lives.

    In any case, we don’t have time for more of the same no matter how you might try to spin the Clinton dynasty who may be at the helm of this sinking ship yet again. Any candidate who is propped up by dirty money from fossil fuels can’t possibly bring about the changes that were needed yesterday. Money in politics will be the death knell of democracy and life on earth.

    Reply
    • I’m somewhat optimistic about a Clinton + Bernie ticket. At least we’d have both sides of the Democratic Party represented in the election and another seven months of Bernie on prime time. It’s not ideal. But politics is the art of the possible.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  March 20, 2016

        Yes, I hope the precedent of Obama picking not only one former presidential opponent for VP, but another (Clinton) for Secretary of State is followed through in the next (hopefully Democratic) administration. Even if he’s not VP, there are a lot of positions in the administration where Bernie could do a lot of good.

        Reply
  47. dnem

     /  March 18, 2016

    Very interesting article about methane emissions over on Think Progress:
    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/03/17/3760811/rising-methane-due-to-agriculture/

    The article, which discusses possible sources of recent large increases of atmospheric methane, including a new Science paper that argues that asian ag is a big source, highlights one of the reasons that the recent crowing about the decoupling of CO2 emissions from economic growth needs to be taken with a few grains of salt.

    Reply
    • June

       /  March 18, 2016

      The article points out that big agriculture is largely unregulated (showing the power of their lobbying). The fact that the EPA is not even allowed to collect data is appalling.

      “But methane from the agricultural sector is still largely unregulated, despite the fact that greenhouse gas-related emissions from livestock manure management systems grew 54 percent between 1990 and 2013.
      Quite the opposite of imposing regulations on livestock producers in the United States, Congress has actually explicitly forbidden the EPA from collecting greenhouse gas emission data from livestock producers, making it the only major source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States that enjoys such an exemption.”

      http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/03/17/3760811/rising-methane-due-to-agriculture/

      Reply
  48. dnem

     /  March 18, 2016

    On a similar vein, I’m on the listserv of a group called SCORAI – The Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative. It’s mostly academics in sustainability studies. There has been quite a bit of pushback against the recent International Energy Agency announcement regarding CO2 emissions and economic growth, with many arguing that focusing strictly on energy sector emissions misses a lot of the picture and presents a potentially misleadingly optimistic narrative. Here’s one post, for example:

    “One major point is that the IEA press release is only evidence for decoupling energy-related GHGs from economic growth. Its not accounting for GHGs from land use change, agriculture, forestry, cement/steel production, etc. Since overall global energy use/production is still on the rise (~1% annually), IEA’s “decoupling” is an artifact of the rapid rate of decarbonization/fuel switching in the electricity supply and increased auto-fuel economy, outpacing the growth in energy demand/growth in GDP. These are low hanging fruit/GHG emissions reductions, and its not clear this can be sustained; its certainly not iron clad evidence for decoupling.”

    I’m conflicted about whether it is better to advance an optimistic narrative, even if it might be a bit flawed, versus tearing down every positive trend with a chorus of “yeah buts.” Hopelessness and despair certainly won’t inspire the change we need.

    Reply
  49. Colorado Bob

     /  March 18, 2016

    The PMD rainfall statement shows unprecedented rainfall so far in March this year.

    During the sixteen days from March 1 to March 16, Islamabad received 149mm against the normal 87.7mm; Faisalabad 126.1mm against 92.4mm; Jhelum 98.3mm against 65.9mm; Sialkot 87.1mm against 52.8mm; Sargodha 133.1mm against 32.4mm and Mandi Bahauddin 122mm against 33.9mm.

    Bannu has received 59mm against 29.8mm; Kotli (AJK) 130mm against 128.5mm; Rawalakot 230.1mm against 165.8mm; Cherat 185mm against 90.5mm and Malam Jabba 284mm against 76.4mm.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/1067353/march-poised-to-record-unprecedented-rainfall/

    Reply
  50. Colorado Bob

     /  March 18, 2016

    Drought Doubles South African Potato Prices to Record High

    The nation last year suffered its lowest rainfall since records began in 1904, cutting output of crops such as grains, wine grapes and peanuts. Farmers in potato-producing provinces such as Limpopo, which has the biggest output, the Free State and the North West need rain to fill boreholes and dams.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-18/drought-doubles-south-african-potato-prices-to-record-high

    Reply
  51. wili

     /  March 18, 2016

    So I keep reading reports about how climate scientists are responding to this February peak with words like ‘shocking,’ ‘stunning,’ and just ‘wow.’

    I agree, and I know they expected _some_ increases in an El Nino year. But now I want to know what the science didn’t anticipate that has made this monthly peak so high (and I realized that, just as it is difficult to predict the exact effects of GW on a particular place, it is hard to predict what global heat levels will be over just a month’s period).

    1) Was it just that the El Nino disgorged even more heat than expected? If so, the timing seems a bit off, since the peak of this El Nino was back in November, iirc. Does it just take that long for the heat to propagate through the system?

    2) Was there an additional push from carbon feedbacks starting to kick in? Specifically, there have been recent reports that terrestrial soils, plants and other biological activity are actually a net source of GHGs, rather than a net sink. “when you include the other two main greenhouse gases – methane and nitrous oxide – this completely changes the role of the land in that instead of having a cooling effect on the climate, it has a net warming effect” http://www.azocleantech.com/news.aspx?newsID=23234

    It’s not clear to me whether this finding represents mostly a shift in our understanding, or if it also suggests that this shift from sink to source is also a recent development.

    3) Are we starting to see the effects of economic slowdown, cleaning up of coal plants, and a general move away from coal on the ‘aerosol umbrella’? Is there some place where they monitor atmospheric aerosols? Has there been a statistically significant change?

    4) Is there some other potential cause that I (or possibly even the whole scientific community) have not considered?

    Of course, it could be some combination of the above, but if so, it would be nice to know how much each contributed, since if 2 and 3 are major factors, we may not see this ‘peak’ drop down quite back to the old linear upward trend (bad as that already was), but rather start on a new, steeper upward trajectory, or it could exhibit a ‘step change.’

    Sorry for the multiple questions, but I feel a bit like someone who, somehow conscious during his own brain surgery on what he thought was a serious but minor brain tumor, suddenly hears the surgeon say ‘Wow!’

    One rather wants to know something about what is behind that ‘wow,’ and about what it means for the longer term prospects and prognoses.

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  March 18, 2016

      Well, you sure have summed up my questions exactly! That month was more than just a “wow” for me.

      Reply
    • The current El Niño provides a hint that the rate of overall warming may have accelerated. This is also born out in rate of ocean warming. And there is more than enough human forcing to account for this temperature acceleration, if that’s what’s really happening.

      There is nothing in the mainstream science yet that confirms an amplifying feedback in the warming signal from the global carbon stores. In my opinion, they need to look at this as well as loss of albedo. But we should be very careful about making such statements without evidence, proof, and support.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  March 20, 2016

        ” This is also born out in rate of ocean warming.”

        Good point. Please note that what I presented were intended as questions, not claims or statements.

        Reply
  52. Colorado Bob

     /  March 18, 2016

    Seabird die-off takes twist with carcasses in Alaska lake

    Murres occasionally land in fresh water, Piatt said.

    “You figure it’s a misguided individual. To have 6,000, 8,000 birds in the lake is pretty mind-blowing, really,” he said. “I’ve never heard of any such a thing anywhere in the world.”

    Abnormal numbers of dead common murres, all apparently starved, began washing ashore on Alaska beaches in March 2015. After late-December storms, 8,000 were found at the Prince William Sound community of Whittier. The confirmed carcass count is now up to 36,000, but most don’t wash ashore. Also, Alaska has more coastline than the rest of the United States put together and relatively few beaches have been surveyed.

    Link

    Reply
  53. wili

     /  March 18, 2016

    rs wrote (2nd to last paragraph): “February of 2016 will likely be the highest monthly temperature anomaly we see for some time. A record El Nino is fading away from peak intensity and NOAA is now predicting a 50 percent chance of La Nina conditions by Fall. We can expect to see global temperatures now begin to fall off a bit as a record El Nino starts to fade. ”

    But Huneycut claims in this recent post on SkS: “If 2016 plays out anything like the 1998 El Nino, we’re in for many more months of similar temps before they fall back to the long term trend.”

    I guess time will tell.

    Reply
    • wili

       /  March 18, 2016

      And then there’s this quote from over at ClimateCentral: “’There is no way to be absolutely sure of course, but I think that March will break the record again next month,’ Jessica Blunden, a climate scientist with ERT, Inc., at NOAA’s National Center for Environmental Information, said in an email.” http://www.climatecentral.org/news/february-winter-record-warm-for-planet-20150

      Reply
    • Wili —

      You’ve been producing a good number of inexact comments lately. And I think anyone with even basic reading comprehension would understand that temperatures receding from a February peak would be well above baseline for some time when considering the fact that the February peak was so high.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  March 20, 2016

        Sorry if some of my comments are ‘inexact.’

        And I’ll keep working on my reading skills! ‘-)

        Reply
        • It’s a scary time. Which is why it’s all the more important that we don’t light our hair on fire and be very clear about definitions and boundaries.

          We’re passing peak El Niño now. And while there’s a possibility that Arctic feedbacks are strong enough to keep global temperatures a bit higher than expected, the natural variability draw down post El Niño should swing temperatures lower than what we saw during February. March looks like it will come in a bit cooler — 1.4 to 1.5 C above 1880s if the current post peak trend continues. Early model indications are that temps continue to fall off into early April.

          Queries are certainly welcome. But if you’re going to make statements like the above, you need to put them into context.

      • wili

         /  March 21, 2016

        “temps continue to fall off into early April”
        Yeah, that makes sense to me. That’s why I was surprised to hear some legitimate-sounding folks out there suggest that we might not see much of a fall off this year yet. (I pretty sure _I_ didn’t make any statements, just posted those of some other folks. But yeah, I’ll try to contextualize them better next time.)
        Thank again for a great blog.

        Reply
        • Hey Wili. Sorry for the sharp posts yesterday. I’m thinking I probably misunderstood your tone. In any case, warmest regards and best wishes. I hope you’re doing well. — R

        • In any case, I’ve taken a closer look at temperature trends as a result of this discussion and have revised the estimate for March upward to 1.4 to 1.5 C. The temperature decline appears in GFS. But the rate of fall is only slightly faster than the rate of rise in February. So we’d expect temperatures to be closer to February, but somewhat below.

          Worth noting that the major monitors come in at about 1.43 above 1880s (NOAA), + 1.57 (NASA), and +1.51 (JMA). That’s a +1.5 C average. Pretty amazingly excessive.

          We do have a pretty strong cool Kelvin Wave rippling through the Pacific right now. So I think NOAA’s forecast for ENSO neutral by summer looks more favorable.

          Overall, +1.22 to +1.35 C above 1880s looks like the most likely current range for 2016. That’s 1 to 1.13 above the NASA 1951 to 1980 baseline.

  54. Spike

     /  March 18, 2016

    Germany considering a 95% by 2050 GHG reduction target – hope they go for it!

    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/03/18/germany-mulls-minimal-carbon-emissions-in-a-generation/

    Reply
  55. Ailsa

     /  March 18, 2016

    Biodynamic Land Trust, new site in Dartington Devon England – working towards sustainable healthy local food:

    http://www.biodynamiclandtrust.org.uk/securing-and-protecting-land/land-share-offers/huxhams-cross-farm/

    Reply
  56. Reply
  57. – NA USA – Revealing info here re spring foliage leaf-out.

    Gridded Spring Indices

    How is spring unfolding this year?

    The Extended Spring Index models are a powerful way to track the progression of spring across the continent….

    … The bottom map shows how different this year’s progress of the leaf index is from the long-term (1981-2010) average (calculated using PRISM Tmin/Tmax).

    http://geoserver.usanpn.org/geoserver/si-x/wms?service=WMS&request=GetMap&layers=si-x:leaf_anomaly,si-x:states&format_options=layout:leafanom_web&styles=si-x:leaf_anomaly_black,&time=2016-3-17&bbox=-125.020833333333,24.0625,-66.479166666662,49.937500000002&width=1400&height=600&srs=EPSG:4269&format=image/png

    Reply
  58. Colorado Bob

     /  March 18, 2016

    Defense Department Redefines Climate Change

    Here’s how it now defines “climate change”:

    Variations in average weather conditions that persist over multiple decades or longer that encompass increases and decreases in temperature, shifts in precipitation, and changing risk of certain types of severe weather events.

    Link

    Reply
  59. Colorado Bob

     /  March 18, 2016

    Navy Submarines Arrive in Arctic for Ice Exercise 2016

    CEX 2016 is a five-week exercise designed to assess the operational readiness of the submarine force while also continuing to advance scientific research in the arctic region. The Navy’s Arctic Submarine Laboratory, based in San Diego, serves as the lead organization for coordinating, planning and executing the exercise involving two submarines, multiple nations and more than 200 participants.

    “Our Arctic Submarine Laboratory, led by Larry Estrada, continues to be the world leader in Arctic undersea operations,” said Rear Adm. Jeff Trussler, commander, Undersea Warfighting Development Center.

    Submarines have conducted under-ice operations in the Arctic region for more than 50 years. USS Nautilus (SSN 571) made the first transit in 1958. USS Skate (SSN 578) was the first U.S. submarine to surface through arctic ice at the North Pole in March, 1959. USS Sargo (SSN 583), which the temporary ice camp is named after, was the first submarine to make a winter Bering Strait transit in 1960.

    Link

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  March 18, 2016

      USS Nautilus (SSN571) was commanded by William Robertson Anderson. He became a REPUBLICAN congressman from Tennessee’s 6th District. He co-authored bi-partisan a draft to congress condemning the brutal torture of civilian dissidents of Viet Nam by our thugs. CON-SON ISLAND. He condemned J. Edgar Hoover’s persecution of Philip Francis Berrigan and there went his political career. Ain’t it all lovely, Colorado Bob?

      Reply
  60. UnNaturalFX

     /  March 18, 2016

    My first time commenting , a silent follower of climate science for 15 years. Just wanted to say thank you Robert for this place of mental refuge. Most people I know think I am crazy..even lost a few friends over this topic. Science in its purity is the search for truth and the commenters here are awesome…Hat tip to you all …Thank you for your diligence , It is so appreciated.
    UnNaturalFX British Columbia Canada

    Reply
  61. Kevin Jones

     /  March 18, 2016

    Well our DOD certainly has enjoyed ‘modeling’ weather from Hamberg to Dresden. Tokyo to Nagasaki. My point is as defenders of all that is right and good for American citizens, other humans and life itself, their credibility is becoming somewhat tattered….

    Reply
  62. Jay M

     /  March 19, 2016

    Current week drought map for CA, looks like extreme drought has budged a bit. Sounds like they have enough water for another year of BAU, probably maintaining restrictions. This is good, in terms of I have lived there, and people don’t want their area to just dry up. In fact, fabulous amount of plumbing in CA to prevent that.
    http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?CA

    Reply
  63. Colorado Bob

     /  March 19, 2016

    More proof that pine beetles don’t watch Fox News –

    Warmer Winter Brings Forest-Threatening Beetles North

    This winter has been the warmest on record in much of New England. And while many people enjoyed the T-shirt weather, it made Claire E. Rutledge, a researcher with Connecticut’s Agricultural Experiment Station, more concerned about what next season may hold.

    Beginning in April, she will head to Wharton Brook and other state lands, setting traps for the southern pine beetle and checking them weekly through midsummer.

    The beetles, which can kill thousands of trees in epidemic attacks, had never been found beyond the pitch pine forests of the American South, because the winters were too cold.

    But they have migrated to New Jersey, where they have destroyed more than 30,000 acres of forest since 2002. And the warmer winters have now beckoned them to New England.

    Link

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  March 19, 2016

      …and the woodsman told me this afternoon they were picking ticks outta their hair last DECEMBER, here in New Hampshire.

      Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  March 19, 2016

        CB. I request ‘Farewell Angelina’ sung by Joan & written by Bob. You know how to do this!

        Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  March 19, 2016

        “they were picking ticks outta their hair last DECEMBER, here in New Hampshire.”

        This is why the moose population has crashed. Ticks don’t watch Fox News either.

        Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  March 19, 2016

        KJ
        Excellent choice.
        The PBS series “Craft in America” did a segment on Martin Guitars . They took Joan’s axe apart to copy it, inside they found a note pasted in a corner, from a previous repair :

        “Too bad you’re a commie”.

        She loved it.

        Reply
  64. Colorado Bob

     /  March 19, 2016

    Enjoy every sandwich

    Reply
  65. Colorado Bob

     /  March 19, 2016

    To all the Bernie supporters as a McGovern voter in 72′ , I feel your pain. He won one state …… Mass.
    But this is not 1972. There is much more on the line this time, not just a crazy war in Asia, but the rest of the 21st century. . The court, the senate , the presidency,

    I’m an Obama man, because he broke the mold. But I’m working for Clinton, because the other choices are bat shit crazy. To sit on your hands this time, and not vote dooms us to a bat shit crazy world. And if you think it can’t get any worse, think about listening to Ted Cruz speak through that nose foe 4 years.

    Reply
  66. Colorado Bob

     /  March 19, 2016

    Bat shit crazy –

    Mitt Romney Says He’ll Vote for Ted Cruz in Utah Caucuses

    Reply
    • LAM78

       /  March 19, 2016

      Colorado Bob: what’s wrong with Sanders? You can’t trust Hillary, she is swaying in her opinions. But most of all she is for the TTIP-deal and GMO’s. Not to mention all the $$$ she has got from Wall Street and Monsanto. Another question is why people have so much trouble with Kasich? IMO, he should be a much better candidate than Cruz. But Sanders would of course be the best choice.

      Reply
      • Bill McKibben of 350.org, who has endorsed Sanders, said the fossil fuel industry “should be persona non grata for any politician who cares about climate change.”
        “They’ve lied and lobbied for decades to keep meaningful action at bay — all of us, almost as a matter of intellectual hygiene, should do everything we can to keep them at a distance,” he said.

        “Just as I believe you can’t take on Wall Street while taking their money, I don’t believe you can take on climate change effectively while taking money from those who would profit off the destruction of the planet.”—-Bernie Sanders

        https://news.vice.com/article/fossil-fuel-investors-are-pumping-millions-of-dollars-into-hillary-clintons-campaign

        Reply
  67. Colorado Bob

     /  March 19, 2016

    Bat shit crazy –
    Nuuk, Greenland
    30F . in the dark.
    Yesterday in Greenland –

    Narsarsuaq, Greenland

    Friday, March 18, 2016

    Max Temperature 56 °F average – 36 °F record – 53 °F (2006)

    http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/BGBW/2016/03/18/DailyHistory.html?MR=1

    Bat shit crazy.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  March 19, 2016

      The entire west coast of Greenland is melting tonight.

      Bat shit crazy.

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 20, 2016

      That is just nuts!

      Reply
      • Hey Ryan — just wanted to drop in and thank you for the kind words and thoughts. I think I’ve driven myself a bit nuts lately trying to keep everything locked down. It’s really worth it, though, if you guys find this place to be a haven.

        Best — R

        Reply
  68. Colorado Bob

     /  March 19, 2016

    It’s warmer in Greenland than Texas tonight.

    Reply
    • Now that’s a headline.Just say it nice and slow to let the meaning slowly sink in.
      Yup. Real slow…🙂

      Reply
      • – Pardon the regress to humor here with this here cartoon. It’s by Max Cannon is an old favorite of mine.
        Yup.

        Reply
      • – Yup. It’s all about feed. You can’t make this stuff up. But it is a sign of the times.
        – Yow.

        Marine algae to reduce the use of antibiotics

        A compound extracted from green algae could be used in livestock feed to improve animals’ resistance to infections and therefore reduce the use of antibiotics.

        This was shown by Olmix Group and Inra researchers who teamed up to study the algae. They showed that a compound extracted from green algae inhibited the growth of pathogenic bacteria in vitro and stimulated the production of immunity mediators by intestinal epithelial cells. According to the researcher this is promising for using this green algae as antibiotic alternative or an aid in vaccine strategies.
        http://www.allaboutfeed.net/New-Proteins/Articles/2016/3/Marine-algae-to-reduce-the-use-of-antibiotics-2777569W/

        Reply
  69. – Via Arctic News Wire 0318

    Nobel Peace Prize winners call for halt to Arctic drilling

    In a letter, six female Nobel laureates urged Arctic countries to put a stop to drilling in the region.

    “We urge you to seize this moment, to set a high standard for multilateral climate leadership, to protect the Arctic Ocean from the dangers of fossil fuel extraction, and to lead as the world builds the safe, clean, and renewable energy future we need,” the letter reads.

    The address is sent as leaders of Arctic nations assemble in an Arctic Council’s senior officials meeting in Fairbanks, Alaska. It is the Nobel Women’s Initiative which is behind the letter.

    “The Arctic Council has the opportunity to serve as a model of the international cooperation that will be needed as we collectively phase out fossil fuels and transition the world to cleaner, more sustainable sources of energy,” the Nobel Laureates write.

    The letter is signed by laureates Mairead Maguire (Ireland), Rigoberta Menchu Tum (Guatemala), Jody Williams (USA), Shirin Ebadi (Iran), Leymah Gbowee (Liberia) and Tawakkoi Karmal (Yemen).
    http://nobelwomensinitiative.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Arctic-Council-letter_Mar2016_FINAL.pdf?ref=18

    Reply
  70. Colorado Bob

     /  March 19, 2016

    Bat shit crazy.

    Reply
  71. Arctic future: not so permafrost

    http://blogs.dw.com/ice/?p=17009

    Reply
  72. Cate

     /  March 19, 2016

    Tonight (Saturday) in Narsarsuaq the Weather Network forecasts 1C.
    Not even freezing, on a night in March.
    Tonight in my town in central Newfoundland the forecast is for -11C.
    12 degrees C colder than Greenland.
    On a night in March, 1500 km south.

    Reply
  73. Kevin Jones

     /  March 19, 2016

    March 18 Daily Avg. CO2 at Mauna Loa from ESRL GMD: 407.12 ppm. New record daily avg. high

    Reply
  74. Cate

     /  March 19, 2016

    David Suzuki is 80. He has been on TV teaching Canadians about “the nature of things” ever since I was a teenager.

    In conversation here with Peter Mansbridge, he has some interesting things to say about climate change and the future of the planet—-not to mention a few choice words about cherry-pickin’ climate science…

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 20, 2016

      I have always loved David Suzuki, and his much needed voice of sanity in an insane world. I especially like his willingness to call modern economics based on perpetual growth a form of “brain damage”.

      Reply
  75. Reply
  76. – USA – State of California – Climate, etc. – Keep in mind that it covers much of the west coast of NA — about 10 degrees of latitude (32 to 42 aprox.).

    Zack Labe ‏@ZLabe 16m16 minutes ago

    Despite recent heavy rains & snow, nearly half of #CA remains below normal since the start of water year #drought

    Reply
  77. Reply
  78. Andy in SD

     /  March 19, 2016

    Malaysia: 170 per cent increase in bush, forest fire cases in Labuan

    http://www.eco-business.com/news/malaysia-170-per-cent-increase-in-bush-forest-fire-cases-in-labuan/

    Reply
  79. June

     /  March 19, 2016

    Cate, it looks like you’re right to be wary of the new Trudeau gov’t commitment to dealing seriously with climate change.

    Here’s how TransCanada edited a federal investigation report

    http://www.nationalobserver.com/2016/03/17/news/heres-how-transcanada-edited-federal-investigation-report

    TransCanada Corp convinced the federal pipeline regulator last fall to make 34 out of 36 recommended changes to a report reviewing serious safety allegations raised by a whistleblower, with most edits downplaying mistakes made by the pipeline operator.

    Reply
  80. June

     /  March 19, 2016

    Also this about TransCanada:

    “After Keystone failure, TransCanada comes up with another pipeline scheme in the U.S.”

    http://grist.org/climate-energy/after-keystone-failure-transcanada-comes-up-with-another-pipeline-scheme-in-the-u-s/

    After its hopes of cutting an enormous tar-sands oil pipeline across North America were dashed by anti-Keystone activists, TransCanada has moved on to something new: buying the Houston-based Columbia Pipeline Group, Inc. (CPG), a large natural gas pipeline company. The move will not improve TransCanada’s poor environmental reputation, as CPG has a troubled environmental history of its own.

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  March 19, 2016

      Exactly. Trudeau is making all kinds of contradictory noises about climate change. Handsome is as handsome does.

      Reply
      • Yeah, I’m not impressed by the LNG approval they just gave in BC either. If they approve the really big LNG project and allow it to go ahead and override the local First Nations, the one that premiere Clark is pushing so hard, it’ll be a complete betrayal of First Nations and everyone in Canada who cares about climate. i dont know if the Libs realize how close they are to becoming full of shit, all just to try to solidify their pro fossil fuel vote.

        Reply
  81. Ailsa

     /  March 19, 2016

    Here’s a voice of sanity, I think, tho I may be wrong.

    Mary Robinson served as the seventh, and first female, President of Ireland from 1990 to 1997, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, from 1997 to 2002. In this Feb 16 talk she speaks of climate justice, the need to move into the ‘can-do’ mind set of limiting to 1.5C temp rise, and much more. The Q&A is particularly inspiring.

    Reply
    • – Mary R. is quite good. Will listen later. Thx

      Reply
    • File Under: Macho Kills?

      Why Climate Change Is a Gender Equality Issue

      A 2014 EU study found that women are consistently more concerned about climate change than men, and are more willing to make sacrifices to reduce emissions.

      Women are even statistically more likely to “believe” in climate change.

      Perhaps that’s unsurprising since women around the world are both worse affected by climate change and prohibited from tackling it by their inequality.

      The link between gender and climate change is gradually becoming more widely understood, as climate change is increasingly understood in terms of human rights and social justice.

      http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/35259-why-climate-change-is-a-gender-equality-issue

      Reply
      • Ailsa

         /  March 20, 2016

        Thanks for this link dt. As a person born and happy to be female, I always felt ‘in my bones’ that western civ was doing wrong, on so many levels.

        Reply
      • – ‘She’ is not called Mother Earth for nothing.

        Reply
  82. PlazaRed

     /  March 19, 2016

    This article is interesting in that a very large coal company is in a very bad way financially according to the article.

    “The world’s second biggest coal miner could be about to go bankrupt.”

    http://www.msn.com/en-gb/money/companies/the-worlds-second-biggest-coal-miner-could-be-about-to-go-bankrupt/ar-BBqFpZh

    Reply
  83. Mblanc

     /  March 19, 2016

    Dunno if anyone has posted this already, I can’t actually read the full article, but I can see enough to think it is potentially a big story for methane watchers. My first reaction is that this kind of crater isn’t totally new, but they are new in this location.

    http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/uk_news/Science/article1677701.ece

    What do you think?

    Reply
  84. Mike

     /  March 19, 2016

    I stumbled on to this short documentary video from made in 2001. It just shows you how long some have known what the root issues are and who of us is behind perpetuating the situation. Rene had it all figured out back in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s… Pretty sad to realize that we are where we are now at his point – still saying the same things 40 years later.

    https://www.nfb.ca/film/rene_dumont_global_ecologist

    Reply
  85. – Re: The thuggery of the USA Trump (A real belligerent on the subject of climate change. His supporters too.) candidacy. Todd Gitlin offers historical context and some reason for alarm.

    No one will be able to stop the political violence Donald Trump is unleashing

    On Oct. 24, 1968 , at Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden, in the very heartland of the “intellectual morons,” as the third-party presidential candidate George Wallace was given to say, Wallace told a cheering overflow crowd of 20,000 about a protester who had laid down in front of Lyndon B. Johnson’s limousine. His take was this: “When November comes, the first time they lie down in front of my limousine, it’ll be the last one they ever lay down in front of.” …

    Blood shouts are back, and some of them come from Donald Trump’s stage. In Las Vegas last month, Trump said of one protester, “I’d like to punch him in the face,” waxing nostalgic for an era when protesters would be “carried out on stretchers.” “We’re not allowed to push back anymore,” Trump rued. The day after an enthusiast threw a sucker punch at a demonstrator being led out of a Fayetville, N.C. event, Trump said: “The audience hit back. That’s what we need a little more of.”

    Wallace roused his crowds against left-wingers in the same way Trump turns his followers’ rage against Muslims and immigrants. Like Wallace, the game Trump plays is, “Make my day.” Disruptors in his audiences are props for his performances, rallying his supporters more fervently and defensively around him. The result, as in 1968, is a growing climate of violence. It feels as if, somewhere, fuses are lit.

    The menace of the late 1960s eventually subsided as Richard M. Nixon harnessed his “silent majority” to calm the political climate early in his presidency as the ultra-radicals burned through whatever base of sympathy they had started with. But today’s chaos won’t be so easy to stop. The splenetic fury Trump taps may be immutable, and no Nixon is on the horizon to focus it.

    In fact, Trump’s bludgeoning rhetoric may be even more dangerous than Wallace’s. Defeat could prove to be Trump’s victory, just as Barry Goldwater’s 1964 rout paved the way for Ronald Reagan’s ascent. Trump has opened the gates for imitators in the years to come
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/after-1968-nixon-helped-end-political-violence-this-time-trump-cant/2016/03/18/78a47cdc-ebd9-11e5-a6f3-21ccdbc5f74e_story.html

    Reply
  86. – 0318 USA Some Anti Trump activities:

    At the #StopTrump protest outside Trump tower in Manhattan

    Violence just broke out at the anti trump rally with a number of people myself included getting peppered sprayed

    Kia kaha (be strong!) from Aotearoa/NZ. We are united with you against hate

    Go Phoenix! #STOPTRUMP

    Trump protestors in Phoenix are using their cars to block a major road to the rally. I think this is pretty genius

    Puente Arizona ‏@PuenteAZ 6h6 hours ago – Protesters lock to car doors by the neck at street shutdown to Trump Rally. Shea blvd and Eagle Mountain #stoptrump

    #Trump just NOW arriving at his own rally, more than an hour late b/c protestors blocked road. #DumpTrump #StopTrump #UnitedAgainstHate

    Reply
    • Rising Tide NA ‏@RisingTideNA 3m3 minutes ago

      Violence broke out @ #StopTrump NYC rally with multiple people, incl national media, getting pepper sprayed. THIS is safe sponsored terror.

      Reply
      • – CBS News-Mar 10, 2016
        Donald Trump: The GOP front-runner has repeatedly spoken critically of climate change science, using words like “hoax,” “con job,” .

        – NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
        Updated: Sunday, March 20, 2016,
        Protester sucker punched during Donald Trump rally in ‘physical pain’ after violent Tucson, Ariz., event.

        A member of the audience stomps on protester Bryan Sanders as Donald Trump speaks in Tucson. When the protestor fell, the man was captured on video wildly kicking at the body while people tried to pull him away.

        http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/protestors-block-ariz-road-stop-trump-rally-article-1.2570353

        Reply
  87. New Alaskan butterfly: A monitor for climate change?

    Tanana Arctic butterflies, the first species discovered in Alaska in almost 30 years, could be a bellweather for change in the fragile arctic ecosystem

    http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2016/0319/New-Alaskan-butterfly-A-monitor-for-climate-change

    Reply
    • Earthjustice ‏@Earthjustice 7h7 hours ago

      Storks no longer migrating, choosing human trash year-round

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  March 20, 2016

        It is simply astonishing how quickly, and thoroughly we are destroying the biosphere.

        Reply
      • – The worst part is that the problem is one single, and known source, of this cruel destruction.
        It is the same thing that imperils us all.
        That being: fossil fuel — and the whole toxic chain of emissions, plastics, and other petrochemical products and byproducts.
        A single source curse.
        OUT

        Reply
        • You got it, DT. We somehow have to figure out a way to shut down this destructive industry and fast. We need a protest action equal to or exceeding that against nuclear in the 1970s. That’s doable. But we’ve really got to be working to take down all three infernal cylinders — coal, gas, and oil.

          Best

          –R

  88. redskylite

     /  March 20, 2016

    I spend many hours most days trawling the news, like I suspect many others on this forum. I became interested in climate science around 2008, when I retired from work. I contribute (as an editor) to a FB Climate Science group, and read so many daily stories, I sometime become detached from the articles, it seems so surreal and heavy sometimes.

    This attached story has brought me down to Earth, it is simple, straightforward and very human.

    Thanks Keith Joseph for making my day and glad there are people like you.

    Anglican priest shames climate change “hypocrites” after witnessing sinking SI

    “Let us be blunt and honest – in denying climate change, we are just defending our greed.

    “You hypocrites are killing the islands of my friends, my brothers, my home.”

    http://www.solomonstarnews.com/news/national/9947-anglican-priest-shames-climate-change-hypocrites-after-witnessing-sinking-si

    Reply
  89. redskylite

     /  March 20, 2016

    A lot of those uptight weird people try and discredit Leonardo DiCaprio for his wealth and use of a private jet.

    I understand his foundation has just donated a million dollars to Ocean protection around the Seychelles, and has made a point in Siberia recently.

    All Kudos to the actor wealthy or not.

    What have any wealthy deniers done to improve the mess we have made of our planet ? except to encourage more and more vitriolic anti science vibrations.

    Leonardo is a true statesman and spokesman, who is generous and positive with his wealth.

    ‘Climate change is real, it is happening right now,’ he said. ‘It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.’

    http://siberiantimes.com/culture/showbiz/news/n0616-dicaprio-warns-of-climate-change-threat-as-he-accepts-siberian-oscar/

    Reply
  90. Abel Adamski

     /  March 20, 2016

    Be warned it is heartbreaking
    All those creatures we are carelessly destroying are so like us
    https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/31145591/heartbreaking-moment-grieving-sea-lion-mother-cries-over-dead-pup/

    Campaigners have shared footage of a mother sea lion grieving over its still-born pup, which they say was caused by humans harassing the animal.

    The video, filmed in San Diego in southern California, shows the mother writhing and pining as the pup lays dead next to her.

    Andrea Else Hahn, who uploaded the video to her Facebook account, then films the moment she returns the following day and finds the sea lion still with her dead offspring.

    They too shed tears of grief and grieve

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  March 20, 2016

      George Bush Sr.’s Cabinet Was Worried About Climate Change — 27 Years Ago

      “Global climate change is the most far reaching environmental issue of our time,” warned Acting Assistant Secretary of State Richard J. Smith in a 1989 memo.

      Reply
  91. Abel Adamski

     /  March 20, 2016

    What we don’t realise, the ice is getting thinner in more ways then one

    http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/sorry-idea-civilians-control-us-military-pure-fantasy

    Reply
  92. Colorado Bob

     /  March 20, 2016

    Here’s What the Southern Floods Looked Like From Space

    NASA also released a map that showed estimated rainfall totals from these storms. In the image below, areas shaded in darker shades of blue received up to a half-foot of rain, while places with the brightest shade of white recorded upwards of two feet of rain. The map effectively communicates the widespread nature of the biggest rainfall totals as the system stalled out over the South and dumped immense amounts of precipitation.

    Link

    Reply
  93. March 18, 2016

    407.12 ppm

    NOAA-ESRL

    and we’re not even at peak yet—everyone should be talking about his number.
    https://scripps.ucsd.edu/programs/keelingcurve/2013/06/04/why-does-atmospheric-co2-peak-in-may/

    Reply
  94. Chuck Hughes

     /  March 20, 2016

    Daily CO2
    March 18, 2016: 407.12 ppm
    March 18, 2015: 400.38 ppm

    https://www.co2.earth/daily-co2

    Reply
    • We might get a few daily spikes to 409-412 come April or May. The monthly average is likely to come in between 405 and 407 ppm by May.

      Reply
  95. Colorado Bob

     /  March 20, 2016

    Ice breaker: US nuclear submarine bursts through frozen Arctic ice (VIDEO)

    Link

    Reply
  96. – Since 2010 JM has felt it from watching his computer models, etc.

    – 2010 was also when I alerted Santa Barbara, CA to the seriousness black soot and traffic dust fallout. I knew climate changes were also happening but I wasn’t able then to make the connections.
    My photos were very convincing but as one City employee put it, “It’s only carbon.”
    I wasn’t able to answer a key question — though someone up the chain should have considered it, “Why so much? And why now?.
    That took a couple more years for me to figure that out.

    -On to the news story which mentions other aspects, many of which I also noticed back then:

    Warmer Winters Will Mean Catastrophic Effects For The Environment And Human Life
    – Mar 19, 2016

    For many, the winters we remember from childhood are becoming just that: memories.

    “In the more than 30 years I’ve been a meteorologist, I’ve always enjoyed sitting down each day and taking a look at the latest computer model forecasts of the weather for the upcoming ten days,’’ said Jeff Masters, director of meteorology for the site Weather Underground. “That pleasure began becoming tinged with anxiety beginning in 2010, when we seemingly crossed a threshold into a new more extreme climate regime. The relatively stable climate of the 20th Century that I grew up with is no more.’’

    But a change in the timing of spring plant resources could harm the species that depend on them, such as long distance migratory birds…

    Also, many insects time their emergence in the spring to the flowering of leaves and flowers. “But, since they have evolved to respond to slightly different environmental cues than their host plants, changes in spring temperatures have led to a reduced coincidence among some plant-insect interactions…

    …Moreover, many plants and insects need cold temperatures during the winter to begin to break dormancy. “Many fruit trees require a certain number of hours of exposure to temperatures below freezing or else they won’t flower…
    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/03/19/3761760/warmer-winters-impacts/

    Reply
    • – USA NWS 0320
      Late Season Winter Storm To Impact The Northeast And Southern New England

      A low pressure system off the Middle Atlantic Coast will slowly intensify today and track northeast into Monday. A mixture of rain and snow is expected to change to all snow this evening and continue into Monday morning over portions of the Northeast and southern New England. Heavy snow is expected from eastern Long Island to Boston including Cape Cod and Rhode Island…

      Reply
  97. Colorado Bob

     /  March 20, 2016

    Mongolia herders face disaster: Red Cross

    Goats, sheep and cows die en masse, unable to graze sufficiently in the warmer months to build up the reserves necessary to withstand later temperatures that regularly drop to -50 degrees Celsius.

    More than 350,000 animals have already died, but more than a million deaths are expected, according to the latest available data from the UN mission in the country, IFRC said.

    Its East Asia communications delegate Hler Gudjonsson told AFP: “We’re only about one-third through the disaster.”

    Link

    Reply
  98. Reply
  99. Colorado Bob

     /  March 20, 2016

    AUSTRALIA’S record-breaking autumn heat is just a taste of what’s to come if we continue to lag behind global powers who are moving away from fossil fuels to combat climate change.

    Environmental experts have warned Australia will continue to experience record-breaking heat and extreme weather in the wake of a damning report that reveals a notable climb in average temperatures across the country at the start of March. Maximum temperatures in the first four days of this month were four degrees above average.

    Former Australian of the Year, the Climate Council’s Tim Flannery, said conditions over the past few months had been unprecedented, and inaction from Australia following a global agreement in Paris to do more was “quite disgraceful”.

    “We’ve had three months in Australia where nothing has happened, but we got the announcement that emissions from the burning of fossil fuels have grown,” he said.

    Link

    Reply
  100. – Robots Radiation TEPCO Fukushima Japan

    Fukushima radiation has fried clean-up robots

    It’s been reported that the robots sent in to remove the melted fuel rods have died — their wiring fried from the high levels of radiation as soon as they got close to the reactor, rendering them useless. These robots were just unveiled two months ago after two years of development.

    Many other efforts have been made to clean up and contain the site. Human workers as well as robot counterparts are there everyday, but so far only 10 percent of the mess has actually been cleaned up. Reactors 2 and 3 are thought to have had partial meltdowns, but Reactor 1 is of the greatest concern. It’s believed that the fuel may have burned through the pressure vessel, fallen to the bottom of the containment vessel and into the concrete pedestal below.

    http://www.treehugger.com/gadgets/fukushima-radiation-clean-up-robots.html?utm_content=bufferadf59&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  March 21, 2016

      I posted this link at Dr. Masters is first comment, and my reply –

      Quoting 283. Tazmanian:
      Oh well back too the drawing board

      Spoken like some one who is not a fisherman in the North Pacific, or a rate payer of TEPCO, or a tax payer of Japan.

      Sorry, but some of these middle school quips on the web to the deepest of problems we face, really get my hackles up.

      One thing about the web, Lindsey Lohan’s breasts , and the melt down of reactor # 1 at Fukushima both get the same level of comment. A short quip, and on to the next mess.

      It’s driving us all to have the attention span of gerbils. And as long as we aren’t ripping out the dry wall in our houses it’s all good.

      Guano Insanity

      Reply
  101. Jay M

     /  March 21, 2016

    We have to face it that it is the northern hemisphere summer experienced by the vast majority of humans on the Eurasian and American continents and agricultural yields and damaging weather that is possible that will tell the tale this year. The vast rainfall over LA and adjacent recently tells the story of atmospheric H2O saturation increasing, along with lazy loops in the jet stream.

    Reply
    • Worth noting that this was the driest strong El Nino yet. Overall rainfall is just above average for this Winter in some areas and well below in others. In other words, the California Drought continues.

      Reply
  102. Reply
  103. Colorado Bob

     /  March 21, 2016

    Stunning Time-lapse Shows Beauty and Danger of Wildfires
    Photographer and videographer Jeff Frost has spent the past few years chasing wildfires across California, to document their toll and make a point about their increased danger in a warming world.

    “As each year gets hotter and fire season in the state continues to expand, I have become increasingly concerned about our continued existence on this planet,” said Frost, 37, who is based in Los Angeles.

    Link

    Reply
    • Just absolutely heart-wrenching, my friend. We see this over and over again, but it is so hard for to believe we are experiencing this now. That’s the tragedy of dislocation. I think the scientists are really starting to get it in spades this year when looking at those crazy January and February temperature numbers.

      — R

      Reply
  104. – 0320 01:35 UTC Some of today’s headlines of Pacific Rim earthquakes:

    Magnitude 4.6 earthquake shakes Big Island of Hawaiʻi
    Earthquake: 3.3 quake strikes near Sonoma, Calif.
    Russia earthquake: Strong tremor strikes off Kamchatka Peninsula
    – 0318
    Earthquake Near Port Hardy, B.C. Registers 5.2 Magnitude

    Reply
  105. Colorado Bob

     /  March 21, 2016

    Choking smog returns to Mexico City

    <MEXICO CITY (AP) – Choking smog returned to the skies of Mexico City this week at levels not seen in more than a decade, prompting fears of more eye-watering days to come as efforts to curb pollution run afoul of the courts and the realities of life.

    The haze that shrouded the second-largest city in the Western Hemisphere for four days never reached the worst periods in the 1980s and 1990s, but ultimately resulted from the fact that there are still too many cars on the crowded streets.

    Despite much grumbling the government imposed a rule that forced cars more than eight years old to stay parked for at least six days each month even if they passed smog checks.

    But the Supreme Court last year overturned that rule, putting an estimated additional 1.4 million vehicles back on the streets, many of them older, more-polluting models. As traffic jams increased, overall emissions were boosted even more because cars were forced to idle, experts say.

    Reply
  106. Colorado Bob

     /  March 21, 2016

    The Black Keys- Wicked messenger

    Reply
  107. Colorado Bob

     /  March 21, 2016

    wicked messenger bob dylan

    Reply
  108. Colorado Bob

     /  March 21, 2016

    The Faces – Wicked Messenger

    Reply
  109. Colorado Bob

     /  March 21, 2016

    The Wicked Messenger

    I posted these clips because some themes never change. But they way we say them does.

    I crouch as many here do here. I don’t preach to the my circle. My relationships would crumble. But that time is passing.

    The Wicked Messenger has come.

    Reply
  110. Colorado Bob

     /  March 21, 2016

    The best bottleneck ever cut , Rod and Ron –

    The Faces – Around The Plynth

    Reply
  111. Colorado Bob

     /  March 21, 2016

    HOWLIN WOLF – LONDON SESSIONS (FULL ALBUM)

    Reply
  112. Colorado Bob

     /  March 21, 2016

    I was working in the light show in spring of 69′ at the Vulcan Gas Company. with Jim Franklin. On south congress ave.

    I saw Jimmy Reed, Big Momma Thortan , Muddy Waters, and Johnny Winters .
    Google the Vulcan Gas Company. .

    Texas in the 60’s.

    Reply
  113. Colorado Bob

     /  March 21, 2016

    Texas in the 60’s.

    I was arrested in 1967 , I was facing death for smoking pot. I turned out to be the unidentified youth. By 18 days.

    Reply
  114. Colorado Bob

     /  March 21, 2016

    Life is a funny old dog.

    Reply
  115. Colorado Bob

     /  March 21, 2016

    Reply
  116. Colorado Bob

     /  March 21, 2016

    Reply
  117. Colorado Bob

     /  March 21, 2016

    Reply
  118. Colorado Bob

     /  March 21, 2016

    Reply
  119. Colorado Bob

     /  March 21, 2016

    Reply
  120. Colorado Bob

     /  March 21, 2016

    Reply
  121. Colorado Bob

     /  March 21, 2016

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  122. Colorado Bob

     /  March 21, 2016

    He never stopped drawing –

    Reply
  123. Colorado Bob

     /  March 21, 2016

    The Vulcan Gas Company had an entire second floor. That was Jim Franklin’s space. He had perfect Victorian bird cage , Huge, 30 inches tall , 24 inches across. With a cast iron stand, All of it had a perfect rust patina.

    In it , he had epoxied a dead pigeon, just the bones , on a roost. He keep the bird feed and water.
    This the God’s honest truth.

    Reply
  124. Colorado Bob

     /  March 21, 2016

    Reply
  125. Colorado Bob

     /  March 21, 2016

    Jim Franklin (born 1943 in Galveston, Texas) is an artist, illustrator, and underground cartoonist best known for his poster art created for the Armadillo World Headquarters, a former Austin, Texas, music hall. He is also known for his detailed, surrealistic illustrations of armadillos.

    Franklin studied at the San Francisco Art Institute. Returning to Texas, he teamed with musicians and artists to open a psychedelic music hall in Austin, called the Vulcan Gas Company.[1] Franklin lived in the club and was its primary poster artist for bands such as Shiva’s Headband, 13th Floor Elevators, Conqueroo, and Canned Heat.[2] At the Vulcan, Franklin and Gilbert Shelton worked together for the first time

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Franklin_%28artist%29

    Reply
  126. Colorado Bob

     /  March 21, 2016

    13th Floor Elevators

    Reply
  127. Colorado Bob

     /  March 21, 2016

    St. Vincent – Digital Witness

    Reply
  128. redskylite

     /  March 21, 2016

    The sad tale of the Great Barrier Reef, it is taking a pounding thanks to these temperatures and conditions . . .

    Now I know why the scientists were so sad in a recent course I took. Let’s cherish what survives and stop plundering for yet more fossils.

    Startling images reveal devastating coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef.

    “I have never seen coral this heavily bleached,” he said. “And we are seeing algae growing on parts, which means it has died.”.

    http://www.theage.com.au/national/startling-images-reveal-devastating-coral-bleaching-on-the-great-barrier-reef-20160321-gnnjt3.html

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 21, 2016

      The scale and completeness of the destruction of the biosphere gets me very depressed. Literally depressed. I simply can’t understand how fellow humans don’t care that all of the world’s biodiversity is systematically being removed. The rainforests, the corals reefs (rainforests of the ocean), temperate forests, rivers and lakes, grasslands…the animals are dying everywhere. Entire populations. Entire species. All being killed so that the human virus can grow even more, like the metastasized cancer that we have become. Your typical American has no clue where the oxygen we breathe comes from, and thinks that the food that keeps us alive comes from the grocery store. They think the world can become a city, with no ” natural environment” left, and we’ll have no problem. I’m not being facetious either, I have literally been told by people that “environmentalists” need to give up because we no longer “need nature”. We are no more intelligent than yeast in a bottle, happily destroying the very environment that we completely depend on for our very survival.

      Reply
      • Eric Thurston

         /  March 21, 2016

        Ryan, I share your feelings. Denial plays a very large part in how people see the world around them. The overwhelming majority of people are wedded to the growth paradigm. If you press someone on the issue, pointing out the finiteness of the planet, they will wave their arms and say one of several things:
        1. There are plenty of resources to last for thousands of years so we don’t need to worry about it.
        2. We ‘make’ our own resources. Oil was not a resource until we made it into a resource by inventing many uses for it.
        3. The human population will level off according to the demographic transition and the economy can still grow in qualitative terms if not in strictly material terms.
        4. Humans have always found a way to keep growing the economy and the population,
        etc. etc.
        I’m afraid there will have to be major catastrophes occurring to wake up a lot of people. Many will never wake up and the blaming and scapegoating will run rampant. Denial seems to get worse when the truth hits someone in the face.

        Reply
        • You’ve got to cut off the fossil fuel material through-put and cut the link between fossil fuel and perceived economic growth if we’re to have any chance at dealing with this. From the global policy level you’ve got to push hard on renewables, alternatives, and efficiencies. Better lives through less growth in materials consumption that result in net added carbon emissions. But the main issue here is fossil fuel burning — which absolutely has to stop.

  129. Cate

     /  March 21, 2016

    This is why we can’t believe one word that comes out of Justin Trudeau’s mouth.

    His govt has just approved a huge new fossil-fuel export industry for Canada’s west coast.

    AAA+++ for hypocrisy, Justin. Shame shame shame on Canada.

    http://www.nationalobserver.com/2016/03/18/news/woodfibre-lng-gets-environmental-stamp-approval-ottawa

    Reply
    • Note that Obama did recently cancel the East Coast off-shore drilling we were discussing earlier. I’d also like to point out that any exports going through BC will face very stiff local protest and political opposition.

      Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  March 22, 2016

      From an excellent Business site that News Ltd bought a majority interest in, Climate Spectator has since become defunct

      http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/9/9/science-environment/oh-canada-north-americans-alarming-forestry-fall

      Canada leads the world in forest degradation, according to a new mapping project.

      The project, put together by World Resources Institute, Greenpeace and multiple other groups, uses interactive maps to display forest degradation and destruction around the world between 2000 and 2013. According to WRI, more than 104 million hectares – a chunk of land the group notes is three times the size of Germany – of the world’s remaining large, undisturbed forests, or Intact Forest Landscapes, were degraded in the last 13 years. The Northern boreal region of Canada, Russia and Alaska had some of the largest area of degraded forests, with the Amazon having the second-largest and the Congo basin the third.

      In Canada’s tar sands region, forest fires and industrial development have destroyed or degraded almost two million acres of boreal forest since 2000, according to Peter Lee, director of Global Forest Watch Canada. Lee told ClimateProgress in an email that Canada’s main driver of forest destruction is an “increased frequency and extent of forest fires” driven by climate change. These fires are likely converting areas that were once heavily forested into shrublands. Logging and road-building are the second-biggest causes of forest destruction and degradation, Lee said, and “massive increases in the pace and scale of energy developments, especially non-conventional oil and gas developments in northern Alberta’s tar sands region and also in north-eastern British Columbia with the shale plays,” is the third.

      In order to mine for tar sands in Canada’s boreal region, swaths of boreal forest are cut down, and according to the Sierra Club, none of the land altered to make way for tar sands mining has been “certified as reclaimed” by Alberta, Canada’s government. Canada’s boreal forests serve as key breeding habitat for 292 species of protected birds, according to a June report, and tar sands development has resulted in the death of thousands of these birds.

      The excuse
      In the end, though, the main reason Canada is the top country in terms of forest degradation is that it still has so many intact forests, Lee said. According to WRI, nearly 95 percent of the planet’s remaining large, Intact Forest Landscapes are found in boreal and tropical regions. There’s also a “lack of of political interest in conserving virgin forests” among Canada’s federal and provincial governments, Lee said.

      “Most logging done in Canada is still to this day done in virgin forests,” Lee told the Edmonton Journal.

      Reply
  130. Abel Adamski

     /  March 21, 2016

    https://www.uq.edu.au/news/article/2016/03/world-carbon-dioxide-emissions-could-rise-more-rapidly-expected

    10 March 2016

    CO2 emissions and thus global warming could rise more quickly than expected, according to a new model by University of Queensland and Griffith University researchers.
    The model includes ‘energy use per person’ as a predictive factor rather than focusing solely on economies or populations.
    It forecasts that population and economic growth combined with rising energy use per person could significantly increase global energy demand and CO2 emissions, locking the world into more rapid global warming.
    The model was developed by Professor Ben Hankamer from UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) and Dr Liam Wagner of Griffith University.
    “Nations at the 2015 UN Conference on Climate Change agreed to keep the rise in global average temperature below 2 degrees Celsius, preferably limiting it to 1.5 degrees to protect island states,” Professor Hankamer said.
    “Our model shows we may have less time left than expected to prevent world temperature from rising above these thresholds.
    “World population is forecast to increase to over 9 billion people by 2050, which, together with international ‘pro-growth’ strategies, will lead to continually increasing energy demand.
    Professor Hankamer said it was vital to move from CO2-emitting fossil fuels and tap into renewable resources to accommodate these increases while controlling temperature..
    “The sun is by far the largest renewable energy source,” he said.
    “In just two hours it delivers enough solar energy to the Earth’s surface to power the entire global economy for a year – now is the time to make the switch.

    Reply
  131. Eastern Monarch Butterflies at Risk of Extinction Unless Numbers Increase

    Long-term declines in the overwintering Eastern population of North American monarch butterflies are significantly increasing their likelihood of becoming extinct over the next two decades, according to Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) research published today.

    The new study, available in the journal Scientific Reports, found that the Eastern migratory monarch population declined by 84 percent from the winter of 1996-1997 to the winter of 2014-2015. Using this information, the study demonstrated that there is a substantial chance—11 to 57 percent—of quasi-extinction over the next 20 years. A quasi-extinct population is one with so few remaining individuals left that recovery is impossible…

    Reply

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