Dr James Hansen — Human Warming Pushing Seas Toward Exponential Rise of Several Meters This Century

Continued high fossil fuel emissions this century are predicted to yield … nonlinearly growing sea level rise, reaching several meters over a timescale of 50–150 years. Statement from a new scientific study led by Dr James Hansen entitled Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise, and Superstorms.

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This week, Dr James Hansen and colleagues published one hell of a groundbreaking bit of scientific research. It’s a multi-disciplinary study incorporating the work of 19 top climate scientists, glaciologists, paleoclimatologists, and other Earth Systems researchers. Scientists from NASA, GEOMAR, JPL, and other top research agencies including recognized names like Dr Eric Rignot and Dr Makiko Sato all appear on the contributors list.

Global mean sea level change

(Rates of sea level rise since 1900 and associated with a 1.1 C jump in global temperatures have already shown a non-linear progression. Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise, and Superstorms attempts to pin down just how fast glacial melt rates will increase over the coming decades.)

The paper covers three topics related to the rapid accumulation of fossil fuel driven greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere and related rapid warming — Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise, and Superstorms. In other words, the paper looks into what will likely be the initiation of a Heinrich Event during the 21st Century so long as high levels of human greenhouse gas emissions continue.

A Heinrich Event for the 21st Century

For those not familiar with a Heinrich Event — it’s one of those disastrous climate change related incidents that you really don’t want to see emerge. One that drives rapid sea level rise, wrenching climate dislocations, and is likely also a trigger for regional and possibly hemispheric superstorms. Something that’s occurred numerous times in the geological past when the great Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets warmed enough to disgorge armadas of ice bergs into the North Atlantic and/or Southern Ocean. The kind of thing that scientist Steve Pacala called a Climate Monster in the Closet. And Dr. James Hansen and colleagues’ new study is the first of its kind to scientifically explore the potential occurrence of just such a freak and dangerous event during the 21st Century.

Because the paper covers such a broad range of topics related to Heinrich Events, I’ve decided to write a two-blog post covering it. This post will focus on the ice melt and sea level rise issues. The superstorm-generating aspect of Heinrich Events — which Dr Hansen and colleagues found was capable of producing waves powerful enough to pluck 1,000 ton boulders from the sea floor and deposit them upon hillsides in the Bahamas 130 feet above sea level 115,000 years ago — is something we’ll cover in a second related post over the next few days.

Warm Ocean Waters Attacking Weak Glacial Underbellies

The chief driver of Heinrich Events is spiking rates of glacial melt issuing from the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets and related outflow of ice bergs and fresh water into the North Atlantic or the Southern Ocean. Hansen and colleagues’ paper builds on recent work by Eric Rignot and others who’ve found that the contact of warming ocean waters with the submerged sea faces of glacial cliffs and undersides of floating ice shelves is a primary driver for melt and ice berg release during periods of local and global temperature increase.

Heinrich Event Amplifying Feedbacks

(Illustration from Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise, and Superstorms shows how ocean stratification acts as an amplifying feedback to glacial melt. Cool, fresh surface waters generated by the initial ice release set up a kind of ocean heat conveyor belt that delivers more and more warm water to the submerged underbellies of the great ice sheets. In Greenland, prograde beds limit the amount of ice that can be released in sudden events. In Antarctica, retrograde beds below sea level set up a situation where the amplifying melt feedback is further enhanced.)

Grounding glaciers and ice shelves are, at first, weakened by slow but ramping melt rates. Eventually, the glaciers and shelves collapse due to the weakening process of melt which leads to a surge of previously buttressed ice sliding out into the oceans. As more fresh melt water expands over the ocean surface, it traps heat into deeper layers of the water column near the submerged glacial faces. So initial melt produces an amplifying feedback that delivers more ocean heat to the ice and, in turn, results in more ice rushing out into the North Atlantic or the Southern Ocean.

Exponential Rates of Glacial Melt and Sea Level Rise

It is this mechanism that Hansen and colleagues fear will come into play over the course of the 21st Century. Their paper identifies a risk that such a mechanism could set up 5, 10, or 20 year melt doubling times for Greenland, West Antarctica or both this Century. A new perspective from some of the world’s top scientists that assumes the risk of non linear melt is high enough to present a major concern. As an example, under a 10 year doubling time, the current approximate 3 mm per year sea level rise would double to 6 mm per year by 2026, 12 mm per year by 2036, 2.4 cm per year by 2046, and nearly 5 cm per year by 2056.

Doubling times in non linear events often don’t fit a pure exponential curve — instead tending to follow a series of spikes and recessions with major transitional events coming at the end of any ‘curve.’ But Hansen’s particular perspective is useful given the fact that current rates of sea level rise do not appear to be following a linear pattern and due to the fact that the mechanism for large, Heinrich Event type glacial melt spikes is becoming more supported in the observational science.

Rate of Greenland Antarctica Mass Change

(It’s still early days for Greenland and Antarctic melt. However, current trend lines do point toward a potential for multi-meter sea level rise this Century. Image source: Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise, and Superstorms.)

Early measures of Greenland and Antarctica ice mass loss imply 8-19 year melt doubling times for Greenland and 5-10 year melt doubling times for Antarctica. For reference, if both these ice systems continued to double mass loss on a roughly 10 year basis, total sea level rise by the 2090s would equal 5 meters or 16.4 feet. By contrast, a 5 year doubling time would result in 5 meters of sea level rise by the late 2050s and a 20 year doubling time would result in nearly a meter of sea level rise by the end of this Century and 5 meters worth of sea level rise by 2160.

Hansen notes that these are still early days and it is unlikely that ice sheet response trends have become clear at this stage. However, initial trend lines, though likely to be less accurate, appear to pose some cause for concern. In addition, Hansen points out that rates of sea level rise are less likely to be constrained by ice sheet inertia during periods when global temperatures are rapidly rising. Projected rates of global temperature increase in the range of 1-5 C this Century is on the order 20-100 times faster than during the end of the last ice age — at the upper end covering all of the 10,000 years worth of ice age warming in just one Century. And Hansen notes that this potentially extreme rate of temperature increase poses a much greater risk of rapid glacial destabilization than is indicated by current IPCC glacial melt models.

Hansen’s research also points to the likelihood that rapid glacial melt would temporarily put a break on rates of global atmospheric warming by cooling local ocean surfaces and increasing the rate of heat transfer into middle ocean layers. And it’s this energy flip-flop and related heightened imbalance that provides a pretty severe potential storm set-up as rates of glacial melt ramp up.

Links:

Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise, and Superstorms

Climate Guru James Hansen Warns of Much Worse Than Expected Sea Level Rise

Dr James Hansen

Dr Eric Rignot

Dr Makiko Sato

Heinrich Event

Climate Monsters We Want to Keep in the Closet

Melting in West Antarctica Could Raise Seas By 3 Meters

Hat Tip to DT Lange

Hat Tip to Colorado Bob

Hat Tip to TodaysGuestIs

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155 Comments

    • Eric gets the math a bit wrong here and he’s not linking to the right data. GISS shows 1880 to 1890 baseline at 0.22 C below the 1951 to 1980 baseline. The link he provides doesn’t link to the IPCC (Hadley Center) 1850 to 1900 data. But the difference between this and 1880 to 1890 is in the range of 0.05 to 0.1C. So we’re talking about maybe 0.3 + 1.35 which would be 1.65 C warming.

      Here’s the Hadley Center data where we clearly see that 1850 to 1900 is not 0.4 C below 1951 to 1980:

      Hadley

      Mixing in Mann’s model data is kinda comparing apples and oranges here as well.

      Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  March 23, 2016

        For simplicity’s sake, as well as my own ‘taste’ I stick with GISS data and suppose the first three decades of the twentieth century to be as accurate a place as any for a ‘pre-industrial’ base line. Hansen’s site gives us this in the Decadal Anomalies image The average from 1901-1930 is -0.276 below GISS 1951-1980 three decade avg. which is zero. Half way through this rapidly warming decade we are at 0.70C for 2011-2015. So that makes a solid 1C warming (0.976C) on a decadal resolution. Hansen does wisely remind us in this superb paper that surface temperature may not deserve too much attention. Storms, sea level rise, droughts and floods. These are what will increase as because of ice melt and cold fresh water stratification at the atmospheric boundary, the sea surface, some regions will see temperatures (and thus global averages, perhaps) drop. Until the ice is no more…..

        Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  March 24, 2016

        One big question arises for me, Robert. What happens to arctic sea ice during this transition around mid-century? Will we have lost it by then-at least for increasing summer months? Only to see new sea ice-at least during winter appear around the cold pool off southern Greenland?

        Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  March 24, 2016

        Please disregard the above comments. I’d read the reports, not the paper. Just saw the Annual mean surface temperature change scenarios graphics for the first time. Thanks for the link. I think I’ll go upchuck.

        Reply
        • Actually, I had a few responses to your insightful comments.

          The first is that I’ve been using the 1880-1890 set as it’s only -0.2 from the Holocene baseline. The further we go back, the closer we get to little ice age temps which probably would have been the start of a descent into ice age conditions. In any case, I do think that the atmospheric temps matter. But it’s not the only indicator.

          The Hansen paper is pretty crazy. I think it’s still a rough definition of likely outcomes. But in my view, it’s probably closer to reality than current IPCC findings. The energy imbalance and temperature deltas are flat out obnoxious. But as for sea ice, what we will probably see is near zero or zero in the north followed by rapid Greenland melt and then negative feedbacks starting to bring some of the ice back, especially in the near Greenland area for about 3-6 decades before falling off again. This, of course, assumes that human emissions do not fall off as rapidly as we’d hope — hitting around 450 to 550 ppm CO2 by the time emissions cease. Under BAU, the swings are probably far worse, but with more warming in the end.

          The implied T deltas are pretty sick. So the nausea is warranted.

      • Kevin Jones

         /  March 24, 2016

        Thanks, Robert. Interesting to note this paper is dedicated to Wallace Broecker. He who said ‘ The climate is a sleeping dragon and we are poking it with sharp sticks. ‘ A long time ago.

        Reply
  1. – There are days when I feel somewhat ashamed of humans with their large brains but are incredibly stupid in behavior.
    This post and all those encompassed cause me to feel pride.
    A well done (Part one) post, Robert.

    Reply
    • Ailsa

       /  March 24, 2016

      ‘Somewhat ashamed’ – I’m *deeply* ashamed, its horrific what we’ve done.

      Reply
  2. Airborne study surveys greenhouse gases in world tour
    NASA’s Earth Science News Team

    … [a] DC-8 flying laboratory on a 26-day journey from the North Pole down the Pacific Ocean to New Zealand and then across to the tip of South America and back north up the Atlantic Ocean to the Arctic.

    The airborne mission will complement NASA’s current satellite-based efforts to monitor and understand the major gases of Earth’s atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide and ozone. In addition to validating space observations, the Atmospheric Tomography mission, called ATom for short, will zoom in to make the finely detailed measurements of atmospheric chemistry that are difficult or impossible to make from orbit.
    http://climate.nasa.gov/news/2420/

    Reply
  3. Reply
  4. Cate

     /  March 23, 2016

    Reply
  5. Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  March 24, 2016

      Every single time I am in a car there are at least two occupants. That’s because I no longer own a car and don’t drive😉 It’s definitely not for everyone, and it was an adjustment at first, but my life seems much simpler now. I’m also saving money from not having pay for a car payment, insurance, gas, or maintenance, all to bring a few thousand pounds of precious resources with me everywhere I go. Resources that are polluting to extract, polluting during their life cycle, and polluting when they end up sitting in a landfill or dump somewhere after they’re used for only a few years..

      And for those who drive, please don’t take offense. I certainly don’t judge anybody for owning a car, and using it all of the time. Our cities and towns are designed and built to accommodate and require ownership of a vehicle. Giving it up was simply a personal decision. It’s like changing my old light bulbs to more efficient ones; I know it isn’t going to change the world,or even have any effect for that matter. I just didn’t feel comfortable, learning all I have over the years, being one of the 85% of people driving solo everywhere that dt”s comment describes.

      Reply
      • My wife and I share a car. We’d get rid of it if we could. But one less car is half the headaches and expense for certain. Electric + solar does help.

        Reply
  6. – I add this because it’s pretty much the way I called it a while back — “most moisture is coming ashore above Monterey Bay.”

    Reply
    • Andy in SD

       /  March 24, 2016

      You called that one last year. I remember it.

      Reply
      • – And it’s like the boundary of So Cal and No Cal has moved north from Point Conception up to Monterey Bay — in just over a dozen years or so. That migrating latitudinal warming.

        Reply
  7. Andy in SD

     /  March 24, 2016

    I found this a decent informative read.

     Global Warming’s Terrifying New Chemistry
    Our leaders thought fracking would save our climate. They were wrong. Very wrong.

     Global warming is, in the end, not about the noisy political battles here on the planet’s surface. It actually happens in constant, silent interactions in the atmosphere, where the molecular structure of certain gases traps heat that would otherwise radiate back out to space. If you get the chemistry wrong, it doesn’t matter how many landmark climate agreements you sign or how many speeches you give. And it appears the United States may have gotten the chemistry wrong. Really wrong.

    http://www.thenation.com/article/global-warming-terrifying-new-chemistry/

    Reply
  8. Anna

     /  March 24, 2016

    Robert, I fee like you should have put a link to the video abstract with your summary because he speaks to the layman about his findings. When I click on your link for the paper, all I get is the abstract.

    Reply
    • Click on the PDF in the upper right hand corner. Thanks for the video. A good addition. Will see if I can post it in an update when I get back to my desk.

      Reply
  9. Can’t breath a complete sigh of relief re: SE U.S. waters being closed to drilling—-more insanity/cruelty inflicted on nonhuman world via homo (un)sapiens:

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/03/23/3762703/seismic-testing-permits-continue/
    Despite the recent announcement that the waters off southeastern United States are closed to drilling, applications to send massive sonic booms throughout the region are still being considered.
    The practice is called seismic airgun testing, and it is used to determine oil and gas resources below the sea floor using loud noises that can travel up to 2,500 miles underwater — potentially disrupting whales, fish, turtles, and invertebrates such as scallops and crabs.

    Reply
  10. – NA USA OK/KS Anderson Creek grass fire.
    – I won’t ask if Sen. Snowball Inhofe will be sitting around the fire roasting snowballs on a stick. No, not me.🙂

    Reply
  11. – USA $$$ SEC Exxon

    S.E.C. Orders Exxon Mobil Shareholder Vote on to Climate Data

    The Securities and Exchange Commission has told Exxon Mobil it must include a resolution on its annual shareholder proxy that, if approved, would force the company to outline for investors how its profitability may be affected by climate change and the legislation that aims to combat it.

    The decision was a defeat for the energy giant, which had fought against it.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/24/business/sec-orders-exxon-mobil-shareholder-vote-on-to-climate-data.html?_r=0

    Reply
  12. – phys.org/news/2016-03-effects-black-carbon

    The damaging effects of black carbon

    Air pollution, both outdoors and indoors, causes millions of premature deaths each year. The deaths are mainly caused by the inhalation of particulate matter. Black carbon, a component of particulate matter, is especially dangerous to human health because of its tiny size. But black carbon not only has impacts on human health, it also affects visibility, harms ecosystems, reduces agricultural productivity and exacerbates global warming.

    The World Health Organization’s new report on disease from preventable environmental risks attributes 3.7 million premature deaths in 2012 to outdoor air pollution, and 4.3 million to household air pollution. The breathing in of particulate matter (composed of black carbon, sulfate, nitrates, ammonia, sodium chloride, mineral dust and water…
    A major constituent of soot, black carbon is the most solar energy-absorbing component of particulate matter and can absorb one million times more energy than CO2.

    But unlike CO2, which can stay in the atmosphere for hundreds to thousands of years, black carbon, because it is a particle, remains in the atmosphere only for days to weeks before it returns to earth with rain or snow.

    – [ But it can also come back to earth as a sooty dry fallout on a local or regional scale. I can attest to this. ]

    As arctic ice continues to melt, there will be more shipping in the region, making it more likely that black carbon emissions from ships burning heavy fuel will increase in the future.

    According to the Committee on the Marine Transportation System, shipping in U.S. waters of the arctic could increase five-fold by 2025.

    -The melting toe of the Athabasca Glacier in Canada. Credit: Wing-Chi Poon

    Reply
  13. – UC Santa Barbara gets some Arctic work;

    UC Santa Barbara’s NCEAS to host new NSF Arctic Data Center Archive

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) has made a five-year, $5.9 million award to a national partnership led by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at UC Santa Barbara to develop and curate the NSF Arctic Data Center, a new archive for Arctic scientific data as well as other related research documents.

    NCEAS will partner with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) and the NSF-funded Data Observation Network for Earth (DataONE) on the NSF Arctic Data Center.
    http://www.news.ucsb.edu/2016/016574/cool-data

    Reply
  14. Ryan in New England

     /  March 24, 2016

    Really fantastic post, Robert. Honestly, the past three that you’ve just cranked out in rapid succession are all very important (not that any post of yours lack importance) and really bring to light the seriousness of our situation. I’ve been super busy the past week, so I’m just now getting a chance to really absorb all the information and check out the links and comments. Personally, I’m starting to become truly terrified at the scale and pace of the changes to the Earth’s natural systems. We are already experiencing the effects I thought we would be smart enough to avoid when I was a much younger man. We have record heatwaves, droughts, floods, storms, forest fires, coral bleaching, melting ice sheets and glaciers, collapsing sea ice, melting permafrost, and mass die offs of animals populations, but when I look around I still get the overwhelming impression that nobody cares about any of it. The one issue that is affecting, and will affect, every person on the planet is the one issue that nobody seems to be concerned with. It’s absolutely insane! We are racing towards a cliff with our foot still on the gas. It’s as if we’re trying to guarantee that we usher in the greatest extinction event the world has ever seen. If that was our goal, I don’t think we could be doing a better job at accomplishing it.

    While the news is grim and has the effect of making me depressed, I look forward to the follow up post!🙂

    Reply
    • wili

       /  March 24, 2016

      +1

      Reply
    • Ryan—-agree with your poignant post above; the terror, sadness/anger is almost beyond expression for me at this point. What amplifies those feelings for me is the fact that I have a teen daughter. As I observe her reaction to the collapsing systems around her, it amplifies these feelings of grief (and yes, terror) exponentially. When I gave birth to her, I believed—like you mention above—–that we (humanity) were at a turning point for the good. I was in full advocacy mode, working at the local level (“watershed protection”) and focusing on “thinking globally and acting locally”. Suffice to say, it’s not turning out the way I’d hoped . . . .

      “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you mad.”  –  Aldous Huxley
      and sad

      Reply
      • John McCormick

         /  March 24, 2016

        Caroline, we parents can encourage our children to find a path to being a part of the solution, in any way they choose. Advocating, protesting and finding professional careers in whatever science, psychology, engineering, meteorology, forest management; whatever interests our children have. We can help them to make a difference.

        Reply
      • Localization, like any other practice that reduces energy use and increases efficiency is certainly helpful. But the center of gravity — fossil fuel burning and many of the related industries — cannot be dealt with without an energy switch. So, yeah, I once was a soldier. And from a soldier’s point of view you look at the battlefield in terms of the ground you need to fight on that will give you the best likelihood of winning. And the ground we need to be fighting on to win right now is in fully switching away from fossil fuel use and adding in the renewable alternatives to take up the slack. You do that and net emissions fall even as the political opposition to putting in place other needed solutions (carbon pricing, more rapid efficiency gains, better land use, husbandry of the natural world, atmospheric carbon capture, clean air and water policy) fades. In other words, any time we drop one dime paying for something that comes from fossil fuels we feed this beast. But if we can break ourselves out of what amounts to a trap of captive consumption, then the political and monetary power opposing moral action fades away.

        Reply
      • Thanks for your thoughts John (and Robert, as always).
        My daughter is on her way . . . . helping with the Sander’s campaign and me with land/habitat conservation work.

        Reply
        • I find hope in the fact that many in my generation and younger are not as materially oriented as previous generations. I think they hold experiences and connections as a higher value than a mere attainment of goods. And rail travel is, if anything, an immersive experience providing an opportunity to make new connections that vehicle driving does not afford.

          I’ve said this before. But I really appreciate your work in the Sanders campaign. In my view he was the only candidate with the courage to focus on the real, hard, issues that impact so many of us in this country. He has truly given voice to so many of the voiceless. His message is as important as his candidacy. His aspirations and values are a reason for me to continue to hope that, even if he loses, he will get prime time coverage in the general election. I think a VP run, given the right deal with Hillary would be beneficial. He’d keep key issues alive in the media through the campaign cycle if he managed to make it work. And there are cracks in the media coverage wall that can show up during the general that do not show up in the primaries.

          Of course, I’m sure this would require negotiation to make happen. What we don’t want see is Bernie bottled up.

          I think he still has a rather long shot at a win. But chances are thinner now. I hope I’m proven wrong. He’s the best shot we’ve got for good climate policy and addressing other critical issues. Clinton I think is pragmatic, and therefore swayable. But I’m a little uncomfortable with a few noted corporate ties and the acceptance of FF contribution money. I don’t think this means she’s necessarily on their team. But I do think it opens her up to negative influences that may come back to bite us in the end. In any case, Trump is an order of magnitude more terrible. So if it is Clinton v Trump in the end, that decision is pretty easy for me.

          I can’t suppress a wistful hope for a Bernie come from behind, though. I guess that’s what I get for being somewhat optimistic. Thanks again for you and your daughter’s ardent advocacy for him.

  15. dnem

     /  March 24, 2016

    Totally agree, Ryan. I just can’t get any traction anywhere trying to explain to people the depths of the hole we’ve dug ourselves.

    Robert – I think the attribution for the climate monster in the closet quotation is Stephen Pacala, not Pascala. https://www.climatecentral.org/what-we-do/people/stephen_pacala

    Pacala is the climate stabilization wedges guy (along with Robert Socolow).

    Reply
  16. climatehawk1

     /  March 24, 2016

    Retweeted.

    Reply
  17. Thanks for a great article. It appears that iceberg armadas might be more likely in the southern ocean due to the receding underwater slope the ice rests on. I don’t know how Dansgaard-Oeschger events play in. They have been more common in the last 100,000 years than Heinrich events, but thanks to your article I understand Heinrich events a little better. I do fear that Hansen is overly optimistic in stating that we probably haven’t past the point of no return on an AMOC shutdown. With satellite data showing large methane emissions having already started in the Arctic, the future looks grim. Hansen’s video is great as is Bill McKibben’s article on methane emissions from fracking published in Nation.

    Reply
  18. In keeping with the discussion on the previous thread regarding the scope of humanity’s impact on the biosphere —i.e. no ecosystem is unscathed from destructive impacts of man —– more evidence of this below. Another feedback loop . . .

    “the human impact of methane and nitrous oxide emissions—from such sources as dairy farms, rice paddies and wheat fields—far outweighed the terrestrial uptake of carbon dioxide. That is, humans have turned the land and its soil into part of the global warming machine. The continents and islands have become contributors to climate change.”

    “Without human activity, the terrestrial biosphere would be neutral. But we found that the terrestrial biosphere emits enough greenhouse gases to become a net contributor to global climate change.”

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/now_even_soil_is_accelerating_climate_change_20160324

    Reply
    • And Cate, if you’re reading this—thanks for the boot print link and yes, too many people insist on going to places that should be off limits!
      As but one example “Cavers” who can’t stay out of caves even though they may be spreading and thus jeopardizing the survival of bats.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  March 24, 2016

        Caroline, good example. And the boot print reminded me of George Orwell’s image of the future, as a boot forever stomping on a human face–but in this case, it is the face of our beloved planet.

        Reply
    • It’s really amazing how much of this is fossil fuel linked. Without fossil fuel related nitrogen fertilizers, destructive farming practices would not have been enabled and the humus would be a net carbon sink. Changes in farming and land management need to remove these practices if we’re to have net carbon neutral or net carbon negative lands again.

      Reply
  19. Abel Adamski

     /  March 24, 2016

    An excellent read.
    Somewhere where sanity is more prevalent
    http://www.newsweek.com/california-global-warming-climate-change-439972

    Reply
  20. Reblogged this on GarryRogers Nature Conservation and commented:
    Good expansion on the issue.

    Reply
  21. Greg

     /  March 24, 2016

    I totally agree with the focus here to immediately cut FF emissions at a herculean rate as RS has shown over and over with each excellent piece. We must also begin removing CO2 from the atmosphere (profitably) without losing this focus on FF phase-out. This requires we place a rapidly rising price on carbon or we are toast for sure. Once carbon is priced the markets will respond quickly. The price for bottled CO2 delivered to soda manufacturers today is somewhere around $100/ton but that is captured from FF sources. Atmospheric capture will have to enter the equation and then the CO2 captured must have huge new markets such as concrete.

    From the Department of Energy a dimensional analysis:

    The elimination of 22 billion tons of CO2 would represent an annual cost of $330 billion worldwide. The capital cost involved would be on the order of 1.6 trillion, which is a huge number, but it is again not so large as to be prohibitive. If one were to aim at an implementation in the course of a decade, the total worldwide capital investment would
    be comparable to the current discussion on tax cuts in the US alone.

    https://www.netl.doe.gov/publications/proceedings/01/carbon_seq/7b1.pdf

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  March 24, 2016

      For some details from an early pioneer on carbon capture from the air from a several year old startup called Global Thermostat :

      https://www.technologyreview.com/s/531346/can-sucking-co2-out-of-the-atmosphere-really-work/

      Reply
    • It’s doable. But it’s a huge endeavor. In my view, it’s something that absolutely must be put in place. We’ll need that 1-2 billion tons per year atmospheric drawdown to compensate for amplifying feedbacks and to attempt to return the world to more normal temperatures over longer timescales.

      But we also absolutely need to get human emissions from energy sources and from all other sources to zero as quickly as possible. We need a can-do and will-do mentality. And we need a crisis response footing that can manage a long-term mitigation, relief and response.

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  March 24, 2016

        Totally agree. I think once the threshold is crossed where we collectively realize we must entirely change course rapidly (and there is then overwhelming grassroots support) there will be a psychological component that is critical to maintain for society to stay focused not on fear but on resolve and everything that can contribute to that effort will be necessary. Local opportunities will be needed and ones that are visible. Seeing CO2 taken out of the skies and feeling it and using it, and needing it, in our everyday lives will be critical, I feel. I see this capture and concrete use, for example, as one of these efforts. Additionally, the huge energy required for this necessitates local/regional responses that citizens can see the opportunities and benefits of to maintain livelihoods and hope.

        Reply
  22. Greg

     /  March 24, 2016

    Descendants of John D. Rockefeller sold their Exxon Mobil Corp. stock and plan to dump all other fossil-fuel investments in the latest move against the industry that made their fortune.

    The Rockefeller Family Fund concluded there’s “no sane rationale” for companies to explore for oil as governments contemplate cracking down on carbon emissions, according to a statement on the website of the New York-based philanthropic foundation Wednesday.

    Descendants of John D. Rockefeller sold their Exxon Mobil Corp. stock and plan to dump all other fossil-fuel investments in the latest move against the industry that made their fortune.

    The Rockefeller Family Fund concluded there’s “no sane rationale” for companies to explore for oil as governments contemplate cracking down on carbon emissions, according to a statement on the website of the New York-based philanthropic foundation Wednesday.

    “It’s not surprising that they’re divesting from the company since they’re already funding a conspiracy against us,” Alan Jeffers, a spokesman for Irving, Texas-based Exxon, said in an e-mailed statement on Wednesday.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-23/rockefellers-dump-exxon-holdings-that-made-family-s-fortune

    Reply
    • Thank goodness. Now let’s hope there’s a huge groundswell that follows this particularly good example.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  March 24, 2016

        This is not the “big” Foundation, however. If they divest that, now that will mean something. For now, they’re tinkering around the edges. Let’s watch carefully to make sure this isn’t window dressing or diversionary tactics.

        Reply
      • Cate

         /  March 24, 2016

        Robert, yes, it’s better now. Nae worries!🙂

        Reply
  23. I remember a paper by Peter Wadhams and a few others on the deep convective chimneys in the Greenland sea published in 2002. It is a good read:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2001GL014306/full

    Also another interesting article in Scientific America on AMOC… what got me was the chart of the historical flow rates and were we where at the time of the paper being published, it shows a sharp slow down in the 1970 to 1990 time frame and a rebound.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/atlantic-circulation-weakens-compared-with-last-thousand-years/

    There is no way this is going to be explained to the global population at large (Americans in particular), in a manner that will prompt them to cease carbon emissions and the entailing changes that come this this.

    The tipping points are at hand.

    Reply
    • I think that Americans are starting to wake up now. And that when they do respond, it will be an overwhelming effort. We, as a group of people, greatly dislike injustice. And is simply due to the fact that many, many of us have been fooled and exploited that we’ve had such a slow response so far. But when Americans see what is happening clearly, they will fight for their children. Any who doubt this are fooling themselves.

      Reply
  24. June

     /  March 24, 2016

    “The U.S. is just pathetic on high-speed rail”

    http://grist.org/business-technology/the-u-s-is-just-pathetic-on-high-speed-rail/

    Referring to the top 5 countries, …”None of these countries has as high a GDP per capita as the U.S., so our problem isn’t lack of resources, it’s lack of political will.”

    But I’m not optimistic about a major change in our car-centered culture anytime soon.

    Reply
  25. Abel Adamski

     /  March 24, 2016

    Back to Greenland, a blast from the past, but exceedingly relevant

    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/12/18/science-environment/greenlands-ice-sheet-shifts-could-speed-melt

    A similar pattern is also playing out in parts of southeast Greenland, where ice cores have recently turned up a watery mess instead of a solid core. Richard Forster, an ice researcher at the University of Utah, was on a drill site in April when he first hit upon a liquid surprise.

    “This is April and air temperatures are minus-20°C and melt on surface doesn’t occur for another two months, so we knew water pouring out of this core extracted from 25 meters below surface lasted throughout the winter,” Forster said.

    Satellites and radar measurements have since confirmed the slushy core wasn’t a lucky strike but part of a pattern of underwater pockets of water.

    Reply
  26. Robert, I don’t know if you’ve seen this one, but it seems a fairly solid critique of the Hansen paper:
    http://icarus-maynooth.blogspot.ca/2016/03/on-hansen-et-al.html?m=1

    There was also a video of a lecture from a very familiar scientist whose name i can’t remember but i’m sure i’ve seen him on Peter Sinclair’s videos a number of times, where he talks about a sea level reconstruction that found that even with our elevated co2 and the foregone collapse of the WAIS, they found that they could account for a paleo sea level rise (6-7m, the one 3million yrs ago i believe?) without the collapse of the GIS, meaning that the GIS might not be a lost cause yet.

    Sorry my memory’s vague on that one, but between those 2, it at least seems plausible that the GIS might not collapse abruptly. yes, the WAIS seems likely to collapse abruptly and even if it’s an abrupt 1-2m over several decades it will be very destructive, but i guess i’m looking for a grain of salt to go with hansen’s apocalyptic scenario.

    cheers,
    marcel

    Reply
  27. Ryan in New England

     /  April 6, 2016

    Hey y’all, anyone else come over to this comments section after JPL’s suggestion from the overloaded comment section?

    Reply
  28. Reply
  29. – NA USA Fire weather OK KS

    Reply
  30. – Spring of 2016: the word, and the process, ‘melt’ is quite prominent (understatement) in links to glaciers, snowpack, ice caps, etc.

    – The following article is something we have talked about here as well.

    -0404
    Meltdown: More Rain, Less Snow as the World Warms

    As the world warms, the meaning of winter is changing. In the U.S., a greater percentage of winter precipitation is falling as rain, with potentially severe consequences in western states where industries and cities depend on snowpack for water, and across the country wherever there is a winter sports economy.

    A Climate Central analysis of 65 years of winter precipitation data from more than 2,000 weather stations in 42 states, found a decrease in the percent of precipitation falling as snow in winter months for every region of the country. Winter months were defined as the snow season for each station, from the month with the first consistently significant snow, to the last.

    (No rollover link — just copy & paste into browser to for further research.)

    climatecentral.org/news/more-rain-less-snow-as-world-warms-20204

    Reply
  31. – Gulf Stream AMOC refresher — A recent WU post:

    US East Coast Sea Level and the Gulf Stream

    By: Dr Larry P. Atkinson , 7:56 PM GMT on March 09, 2016

    Water level along the US east coast varies because of tides, winds, land motion (e.g., subsidence), global sea level rise and many other processes. One process that just recently has been more recognized is the contribution to variations in sea level from changes in the strength and position of the Gulf Stream. In this blog we’ll explain what the role of the Gulf Stream the Gulf Stream plays.

    (Full link):

    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/lpaocean/us-east-coast-sea-level-and-the-gulf-stream

    Reply
  32. Keeling_Curve ‏@Keeling_curve 1h1 hour ago

    406.04 parts per million (ppm) CO2 in air 05-Apr-2016

    Reply
  33. AU –

    Record patch of warm waters point to more global heat records being smashed

    From hot oceans to shrinking Arctic ice and glaciers, the evidence of a warming planet has gone into overdrive in the first three months of 2016.

    Sydney on Wednesday posted its hottest April day on record, with the 34.2-degree reading beating a mark that had stood for 30 years. Suburbs from Camden in the south-west to Richmond in the north-west topped 36 degrees.

    Australia has also just posted its hottest March in more than a century of reliable data after a scorching heatwave to start the month that the Bureau of Meteorology said in some areas approached “record levels for any time of the year”.

    Others, including Alaskan climatologist Brian Brettschneider, have been reworking official data to come up with other signals of the unprecedented warmth.

    Dr Brettschneider said he used the “go-to bible of sea surface temperatures” compiled by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to show almost one-tenth of the world’s ocean surfaces were at least 30 degrees as of the end of March – a breadth of heat not seen previously.

    Reply
  34. John Russell

     /  April 7, 2016

    I’ve said it here before and I’ll say it again

    Nature abhors the Linear Function and adores the Exponential Function ….

    Temperature will also go exponential eventually, that’s just how nature works

    Reply
    • wili

       /  April 7, 2016

      Of course, exponents cut both ways. Since heat is lost at the fourth exponent of the temperature difference between the body loosing heat and the space into which it is lost, it takes quite a forcing to overcome that basic, physical negative feedback (known as Stefan-Boltzmann Law).

      But in spite of that, I too think that we are headed in that direction, at least for a while.

      Reply
  35. entropicman

     /  April 7, 2016

    Continued exponential growth, a “runaway greenhouse effect”, looks unlikely for several reasons.

    a) There is not enough releasable CO2 available. Even if you emptid the biosphere, permafrost, methane clathrate and ocean sinks and threw in a shield volcanoit would be very difficult to push CO2 past 2000ppm.

    b) There is a IG water vapour/ cloud feedback at higher temperatures. Increasing cloud cover albedo would limit further warming.

    c) We have been there before. There is paleo evidence for CO2 over 1000ppm and temperatures 9C warmer than today. No runaway warming occurred.

    We are in the exponential growth phase of a sigmoid curve. Resistance will kick in eventually to slow the growth rate and stabilise temperatures at a higher level.

    Reply
    • dnem

       /  April 7, 2016

      Well jeez entropicman I don’t think JR meant “exponential until a temperature of infinity is achieved”! Any sort of accelerating temperature increase over a few decades, whether or not it creates a truly runaway, hothouse event, will be totally unmanageable for civilization. A single decade of ever larger increases building on the 2014 to 2015 increase would probably be unmanageable.

      Reply
      • entropicman

         /  April 7, 2016

        There has been speculation that Earth might end up like Venus. On a billion year timescale this is a possibility.

        On a human timescale Venus surface conditions are nlikely to occur on Earth, but sufficient exponential warming to extinguish our civilisation is a definite possibility. If that occurs, the subsequent stabilisation phase will be irrelevant,.except to whatever remnant of humanity survives the collapse.

        Reply
    • John McCormick

       /  April 7, 2016

      Tell me about the first great extinction?

      Reply
    • wili

       /  April 7, 2016

      a) We don’t know exactly how much methane clathrate there is, so I’m not sure how you can make this statement with certainty.

      b) That depends on where the clouds form. In general, this sounds like Lindzen’s ‘Iris’ theory that was disproved a couple decades ago, iirc. It depends on where the clouds form in the atmosphere.

      c) The past is not always a perfect predictor of the future. The earth and the sun are different than in those earlier moments, and the earth has never experienced an increase in CO2 and other GHGs anything like at the rate that we are creating now.

      As I recall, Hansen somewhere laid out three types of ‘runaway’: 1) runaway forever, which is clearly impossible; 2) runaway to Venus, which he thinks is just possible, though it would probably take a while; 3) passing tipping points where CO2 levels increase for a while, even if we stop all further anthropogenic emissions.

      We’ve likely already passed the third one, according to MacDougall et al. (2013); Hansen, who knows a thing or two about Venus, thinks the second possible, and I certainly don’t feel qualified to gainsay him; the first is simply an absurdity and shouldn’t be part of the discussion.

      Reply
  36. Ryan in New England

     /  April 7, 2016

    CSIRO’s cuts to climate change research was about cutting funding to “public good” sciences, emails have revealed. This proves the BS they fed the world about why they made these cuts was just that, BS.

    http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/apr/06/csiro-climate-cuts-about-cutting-public-good-research-documents-show

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  April 7, 2016

      There is a Ultra Right wing Libertarian think tank/lobby group called The institute of Public Affairs (IPA). Murdoch is key figure along with Gina Reinhart etc. Increasingly influential in the media etc and politics, even now have one of their aparatchicks James Paterson appointed to Parliament to replace a retiring member. 28 years old with no life experience and his work experience is within the IPA
      They have a 75 point wish list which Abbot and the LNP promised to implement.
      http://ipa.org.au/publications/2080/be-like-gough-75-radical-ideas-to-transform-australia.
      Note the authors

      72 Privatise the CSIRO

      Reply
  37. Ryan in New England

     /  April 7, 2016

    This graph illuminates how snowpack has declined in recent decades in the western U.S.

    http://www.climatecentral.org/gallery/graphics/despite-gains-western-snowpack-trending-downward

    Reply
  38. Ryan in New England

     /  April 7, 2016

    This is a very sad situation. Starving farmers in the Philippines who were protesting to beg the government for sacks of rice to help ease the hunger were shot at by government forces, killing 10. A very warm Winter, and drought, has killed their crops, leaving many desperate for food.

    http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/04/04/amid-climate-fueled-food-crisis-filipino-forces-open-fire-starving-farmers

    Reply
  39. Abel Adamski

     /  April 7, 2016

    http://fox13now.com/2016/04/06/non-partisan-group-tackles-climate-change-in-utah/

    Non-partisan group tackles climate change in Utah

    SALT LAKE CITY – The words “climate change” can heat up a conversation, but a group of public and private organizations are working together to find common ground.

    The newly formed Utah Climate Action Network gathered Wednesday to lay out their vision for confronting what they see as a global problem.

    “The convening organizations were Salt Lake City, Park City, Salt Lake County Health Department, University of Utah and Alta Ski area,” said Tyler Poulson, SLC Sustainability Program Manager.

    That list now includes 20 public and private sector partnerships. The variety of voices will address the realities of climate change.

    “In Salt Lake City more specifically, when we look at the data, we do see a pronounced change in temperatures in terms of warming decade over decade,” Poulson said.

    Reply
  40. dnem

     /  April 7, 2016

    Accuweather is reporting this morning that the cold blob south of Greenland might have an impact on this year’s hurricane season:

    http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/cold-blob-to-be-wildcard-la-nina-atlantic-hurricane-season-forecast-2016/56491288
    The potential movement of a ‘cold blob’ of water in the North Atlantic Ocean may be the wild card in the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season, experts say.
    The cold blob refers to a large, anomalous area of colder-than-normal sea-surface temperatures, located east of Newfoundland and south of Greenland.
    “This area of colder water started to show up a few years ago and has become larger and more persistent during the past couple of years,” AccuWeather Atlantic Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said.

    Reply
  41. JPL

     /  April 7, 2016

    I frequently think about humanity’s seeming ambivalence (or worse…) in the face of the existentialist threat posed by climate change. We could change, yet we don’t, for the most part. Why? I always have an eye out for answers to that ‘Why?’.

    I recently came across an article from a few years ago that delves into that topic, primarily from an American point of view.

    A couple of things… first I was a bit put off by the superman image at the top of the article. I’m not sure what the author intended other than to take the reader off-guard a bit. It’s probably a triple or quadruple entendre that I’ll never fully appreciate.

    Second, and more to the point, if any of you scribblers read it, does it resonate with you? Do you recognize the archetypes that the author discusses? Particularly the spiteful world-view?

    It seems to me that getting people to recognize and work towards their own best interests is a tall order these days for some, especially considering that is an all-hands-on-deck problem we collectively face.

    http://exiledonline.com/we-the-spiteful/

    John

    Reply
    • dnem

       /  April 7, 2016

      I think the spiteful archetype is ONE of the obstacles we face. I don’t know how sizable that contingent is, but I do think it’s out there, and in meaningful numbers. As I have the good fortune not to really cross paths with too many so-minded folks in my life, I tend to think more about the well-intentioned, even truly concerned, caring, good people ALL AROUND ME that just have no clue, no inkling, of the depth of our predicament. I feel like only my fellow scribblers and a few other nuts and oddballs I come across come anywhere close to getting it.

      Reply
      • JPL

         /  April 7, 2016

        My personal experience has been that for the most part, people I know acknowledge the reality of what’s coming, right up to the point where they need to make *any* meaningful changes in their lives. It’s going to take some pain for people to get with the program, unfortunately. Just human nature. I don’t judge, though. I get it – the inertia, the fear of change, myopic as it may be.

        David Suzuki articulated something along these lines that stuck with me in an article last year:

        “We don’t have the infrastructure to be ecologically neutral. Right now, the important thing is to share ideas and change minds, and the way I do that is by meeting with people or speaking. Unfortunately, in Canada, that means I have to fly, and flying generates a lot of greenhouse gases. Still, it doesn’t mean that we don’t need to try to minimize our ecologic­al footprint. I did that by trying not to use a car, or when I needed to, I bought the first Prius [electric car] sold in Canada. We have a rule in our household: if you’re going to work or school, you take a bus or walk. We’ve reduced our garbage output to about one green bag a month, and I think we can reduce it further. But every time I jump in a plane, it negates everything else I do to live sustainably.”

        That’s how I feel. I’ve made and continue to make changes, but in the overall scheme of things they don’t amount to a hill of beans. But I do it anyway.

        John

        Reply
  42. June

     /  April 7, 2016

    Great idea to come here to continue comments…thanks!

    NSIDC has put up its March and winter analysis. Fingernail-biting time for this summer’s minimum. Depending on the vagaries of winter, it could beat 2012 minimum. The graph of the distribution of ice age is scary…very little 5+ Year old ice left.

    https://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

    Reply
    • It’s only a matter of time, June. If it’s not this year, it will be the next one or two. And when the arctic really turns the corner, buckle your chinstraps.

      Reply
    • To clarify, I think much of the consensus on the ASIF & Neven’s blog is that the summer melt mainly depends on spring weather, which conditions the ice. Things like lots of melt ponds in May/June = rapid melt in July, or whether or not the winds blow a lot of ice out of the Fram Straight or not.

      As well, the age of the ice doesn’t necessarily show its thickness, and the thickness charts are showing a lot of very thick ice in the East Siberian Sea, which I’m guessing is 1st yr ice piled up by the wind of the Beaufort Gyre. The Beaufort, OTOH is showing relatively thin ice, and considering that last year it had a lot of old and thick ice that completely melted out, it could melt out relatively early.

      If that happens, and there’s Fram export, and the extra warm sea temps of the Kara and the Barents have an effect, then look out, it’s going to be heading for record ice loss. The Beaufort melting early means not only the water will heat up a lot more due to albedo, but much larger waves will be hitting the remaining ice pack, churning up the warmer deeper water and bringing it in contact with the ice.

      Considering the extra heat this winter, a lot of observers feel the ice just isnt as strong as it was, so yes, we could be headed for a doozy. I’m kind of expecting it to beat 2015 and approach 2012. Whether it beats 2012 depends on the weather.

      Reply
  43. – Don’t look now but…

    Keeling_Curve ‏@Keeling_curve 28m28 minutes ago

    407.30 parts per million (ppm) CO2 in air 06-Apr-2016

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  April 7, 2016

      I just did, dt. Did you notice the ESRL hourly values of ~410 recently?

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  April 7, 2016

      We all knew a big increase in CO2 would coincide with El Nino, but man, this is just nuts! Remember how recently we were remarking on the devastating milestone of crossing 400 ppm?

      Reply
  44. Reply
    • – The ‘bad guys’ have at this a long time too — way ahead of us I’m sorry to say.
      A major piece in their arsenal is their capture of the language and the media purveyors. Not to mention their way too easy domination of our beloved and trusted legislative bodies.
      OUT

      Reply
    • Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  April 7, 2016

        “Clouds do not seem to want to do us any favors when it comes to limiting global warming.” co-author Mark Zelinka LLNL 5C+ for doubling?!

        Reply
  45. – Wrapped in a sheath of petrochemical plastic — get your ‘consumeristic’ CalAvos — that’s California avocados. Yum? Yuck!
    This stuff runs deep in in our culture.

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  April 7, 2016

      This same thing has been done with bananas. Have banana peels become too much work for you? Try new pre-peeled bananas wrapped in plastic packaging, just peel open the package and enjoy!

      Reply
  46. – Bob, you may like this:

    Reply
  47. – USA PNW PDX bio-indicators and moss…
    – But aren’t our burning bio-eyes, bi-throats, and bio-lungs pretty accurate indicators too.
    – Anyways, it’s good to see some attention brought to bear.

    Moss is useful bioindicator of cadmium air pollution, new study finds

    April 7, 2016
    Source: USDA Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Research Station

    Summary:
    Moss growing on urban trees is a useful bio-indicator of cadmium air pollution in Portland, Oregon, a study has found. The work is the first to use moss to generate a rigorous and detailed map of air pollution in a US city.
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160407111826.htm

    Reply
  48. – Arctic ice etc: And as we have been watching/developing as severe storms have impacted the region:

    -adn.com/article/20160406/arctic-sea-ice-getting-younger-and-thinner

    Arctic sea ice isn’t only sparser; it’s younger and thinner too

    Arctic sea ice, which already hit a record low for winter extent this year, is also younger and thinner now than at almost any time since the satellite record was begun in the late 1970s, scientists said Wednesday.

    As of mid-March, 70 percent of the ice was formed within the past year and only 30 percent was multiyear ice, the National Snow and Ice Data Center said in a report that summarized conditions over the past winter. That is a reversal of the proportions that existed in the mid-1980s, when most ice was at least 2 years old.

    The current conditions follow a “highly unusual winter in the Arctic, characterized by persistent warmth in the atmosphere that helped to limit ice growth,” the report said.

    One unusual weather event happened in late December, when warm air shot up from the tropical Atlantic to the Arctic and briefly took temperatures near the North Pole almost to the point of thaw, caused some midwinter ice thinning.

    During that period, ice in the Kara and Barents seas thinned by about a foot, the center said. Similar midwinter thinning also happened north of Greenland and off Siberia, the center said.

    Ice extent — the area where ice covers at least 15 percent of the sea surface — has been running low all winter, and last month was no exception.

    Reply
  49. – Just when I was going to take a nap:

    Reply
  50. Ryan in New England

     /  April 7, 2016

    A new analysis of clouds has revealed that they contain more liquid water, and less ice, than previously thought. This causes the estimate for warming to increase substantially.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/apr/07/clouds-climate-change-analysis-liquid-ice-global-warming

    Reply
  51. – Anthony Sagliani ‏@anthonywx 2h2 hours ago

    Parts of eastern Africa, which have had horrible drought/famine due to Nino, had extraordinarily wet week.

    Reply
  52. – Weather 2016 (or 2015) The Year of Broken Records…
    Robert Speta ‏@robertspeta Apr 5

    Nadi Fiji has seen a staggering 529mm of rainfall since Saturday. The Avg for April is 163mm. #Zena cyclone…

    Reply
  53. Ryan in New England

     /  April 8, 2016

    Ricky Rood has a good blog on climate change. He points out that many projections have underestimated the impacts we are likely to experience.

    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/RickyRood/no-way-to-slow-down-silence-howling-in-antarctica

    Reply
  54. Ryan in New England

     /  April 8, 2016

    I’m really starting to get worried about Robert. Does anybody have a way of contacting him directly? Email or phone number? Just to check in and make sure he is ok. I can’t recall another time when he was away from the blog for so long, even when he has been swamped with other things. I’m definitely not complaining, Robert works very hard and deserves a break now and then. I’m just genuinely concerned.

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  April 8, 2016

      I am too, the black dog ha been known to visit and he genuinely cares and the challenge and coonsequences aren’t getting better..
      However maybe some practical support may well be a help at this time, visiting the Raven

      Reply
      • John McCormick

         /  April 8, 2016

        Folks, the fact that no shills, denies and wackos are showing up on the comments tells me Robert is following constantly each comment and keeping the blog on point.

        Reply
      • Is that true?…I am not tech savvy in any way, shape or form…but couldn’t he have things set up so that only the comments of IP addresses of regulars…are the only ones that are allowed to be posted.

        And I agree with Ryan…if something is wrong with Robert, isn’t there a way for us to reach out to him? Doesn’t he live in Gaithersburg, Maryland?

        Reply
      • – On the one hand, Robert can be very busy busting his asterisk * on his many hard slogging, and somewhat Sisyphean efforts, on behalf of our climate. This blog is one of them.
        This has been the case in the past, anyways.
        – Just a thought to keep in mind.

        Reply
  55. Shawn Redmond

     /  April 8, 2016

    ” wrapped in a sheet of petrochemical plastic ” dt thats the only way left the food industry has left for growing their business. We can only eat so many pounds of food per year and growth is the only thing the economy understands [ and rewards ]. To get rising value in your company shares and thus improved dividends, is to sell more! Smaller packages thus more packaging means more revenue, it’s the packaging thats driving their growth. Steady state after a marked decline is our best hope at this point.

    Reply
  56. dnem

     /  April 8, 2016

    I hope that’s true about the comments monitoring, although a quick “I’m fine, carry on folks” comment would be reassuring!

    Been thinking about this and wonder what folks think. I don’t think that any of the dots they we here easily connect will be sufficient to convince the rank and file. By this I mean things like arctic and antarctic ice declines, diversions in the jet stream and abnormal winter temperatures and storm tracks, enhanced downpours and storms, sea surface and deep ocean temperature changes, droughts, sea level rise, etc. etc. I think we “need” a brutal, summer heat wave, probably in the DC to NYC corridor, to open folks’ eyes. And by brutal, I mean totally, completely unprecedented, breaking all-time records for both temperature and duration. I just think everything else is too abstract. And I’m not sure even that will do it.

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  April 8, 2016

      It may be a helper assisting in that regard, the previous hospitalisation and break did not effect the moderation to any appreciable extent

      Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  April 8, 2016

      The reality is starting to get broader coverage in regional and local media, the Republican Trump Supporters are starting to question the media they have adored and trusted as it hoes into their hero, this has them questioning everything that media says.
      Especially as local media is increasingly facing up to AGW and it’s consequences even if it is only in their science pagesand the major MSM is avoiding the subject or denying it.
      I suspect this Spring and Summer will be characterised by extremes and great variability, if this has a substantial impact on agriculture or local infrastructure and economies there is a strong possibility that Climate change will be a sleeper that has a substantial effect on the elections in the fall after Spring and summer.
      http://www.albanydailystar.com/science/biggest-glacier-in-greenland-is-crumbling-in-to-north-athlantic-ocean-elizabeth-daily-science-9873.html

      Reply
  57. Wharf Rat

     /  April 8, 2016

    Beaufort under early pressure

    A high-pressure area has been moving in over the Beaufort Sea lately. It’s quite big and quite high in pressure. Environment Canada has the current pressure there at 1042 hPa:

    This is the second notable high of this year, following another big one in February that produced strong winds that pushed the ice away from the coast. This phenomenon called the Beaufort Gyre resulted in what we call a cracking event around here …

    On the one hand those leads let heat escape from the ocean water, on the other hand the thin ice between the enormous floes will melt out easily as soon as sunlight and higher temperatures start taking over, possibly making the entire zone more vulnerable early in the melting season.

    http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2016/04/beaufort-under-early-pressure.html

    Reply
  58. dnem

     /  April 8, 2016

    Hey, while we’re twiddling our thumbs over here, Tamino has a great conversation going about CC communication. Very interesting comments section. Worth a look:
    https://tamino.wordpress.com/2016/04/06/tell-me/#more-8355

    Reply
    • June

       /  April 8, 2016

      Yes, dnem, I was reading that last night. Some very thoughtful comments, and I share many of their opinions. There are many different reasons people don’t “get it”, and improving communication will require different stategies for different reasons. The problem is time, or the lack of it. The deniers have successfully reframed attempts at communicating the danger of crossing tipping points, and the urgency of taking action as alarmism.

      I briefly had some hope last summer when Pope Francis issued his encyclical on climate change. I thought his focus on the moral/ethical aspects would spark a public discussion that might convince a lot of people to be willing to make changes both individually and as societies. But after a few small ripples in the press, there was silence.

      Climate change impacts every major issue facing humanity – poverty, war, injustice, water, food, ecosystem destruction. They are all interrelated.

      Progress is being made, but not nearly fast enough to prevent massive suffering and disruption.

      Reply
  59. – I post this because of the photo.
    It shows the stark and direct connection between the atmosphere and the solid ice as it melts and becomes liquid which is cyclical as well.
    The spectators… well, that’s us.

    Reply
  60. June

     /  April 8, 2016

    This story makes me both sad and angry. I live in Maine and have always loved the cries of the loons. The loon died of avian malaria, caused by a species of tropical mosquito, and was the first known case.

    “Why one loon’s death is stirring fears of tropical disease, climate change”

    “Loons can live for decades, so losing any adult loon to a new cause casts a long shadow,” John Cooley, senior biologist for the Loon Preservation Committee, said. “So when we find a new cause like this malaria strain, it’s a real cause for concern. Obviously it’s the kind of new stressor that you worry about in anticipating what climate change could mean for loons.”

    https://bangordailynews.com/2016/04/08/outdoors/loon-dies-of-tropical-disease-stirring-talk-of-climate-change/

    Reply
    • ‘ … No one knows exactly why, but this blob of unusually chilly water, roughly half the size of the United States, has taken up what seems like semi-permanent residence in the North Atlantic Ocean.

      It’s normal for ocean temperatures to wax and wane on all kinds of time scales. What’s more uncommon is for a cold anomaly this large and strong to persist for so long, especially when the rest of the planet is trending ever warmer. ‘

      -Bob Henson WU

      Reply

    • ‘A number of leading scientists believe that meltwater from Greenland has already produced an AMOC slowdown. Mihai Dima and Gerrit Lohmann (Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research) argued in a 2010 paper that the global conveyor belt has been weakening since the 1930s, with a dramatic shift around 1970. ‘

      Reply
  61. wili

     /  April 8, 2016

    Dr. Michael Mann – Are We In Runaway Climate Change? http://climatestate.com/2016/04/07/dr-michael-mann-are-we-in-runaway-climate-change/

    Reply
  62. Reply
  63. – NA USA Fire weather Red Flag alert for parts of Missouri.

    Reply
    • – This area is basically due east of the recent OK/KS fires and roughly the same latitude.

      Reply
  64. Abel Adamski

     /  April 8, 2016

    http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2016/04/08/global-warming-has-shifted-how-earth-wobbles-nasa-study-finds.html
    A follow up on the earlier research, this time by JPL

    Melting ice sheets, especially in Greenland, are changing the distribution of weight on Earth. And that has caused both the North Pole and the wobble, which is called polar motion, to change course, according to a study published Friday in the journal Science Advances.

    Scientists and navigators have been accurately measuring the true pole and polar motion since 1899, and for almost the entire 20th century they migrated a bit toward Canada. But that has changed with this century, and now it’s moving toward England, said study lead author Surendra Adhikari at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab.

    “The recent shift from the 20th-century direction is very dramatic,” Adhikari said.

    While scientists say the shift is harmless, it is meaningful. Jonathan Overpeck, professor of geosciences at the University of Arizona, who wasn’t part of the study, said that “this highlights how real and profoundly large an impact humans are having on the planet.”

    Jianli Chen, a senior research scientist at the University of Texas’ Center for Space Research, first attributed the pole shift to climate change in 2013, and he said this new study takes his work a step further.

    “There is nothing to worry about,” said Chen, who wasn’t part of the NASA study. “It is just another interesting effect of climate change.”

    However IMO that does impact on plate tectonic stresses, especially in Polar regions and the equatorial bulge, subtly changed direction of and larger geological forcings

    Reply
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