Conditions Promoting Arctic Sea Ice Collapse Are Exceptionally Strong This Spring

It didn’t take long for Arctic sea ice to start to respond to a fossil-fuel based accumulation of hothouse gasses in the Earth’s atmosphere. For since the 1920s, that region of ocean ice along the northern polar zone has been in a steady, and increasingly rapid, retreat. Rachel Carson wrote about the start of the Northern Hemisphere ocean ice decline in her ground-breaking 1955 book — The Edge of the Sea.

But it wasn’t until the late 1970s that consistent satellite observations began to provide an unbroken record telling the tale of Arctic sea ice decline. The National Snow and Ice Data Center, The Polar Science Center (PIOMAS), Japan’s JAXA, The Danish Meteorological Institute, and others have since that time provided a loyal recording of the stark impact human-forced warming has had on this sensitive and critical region.

(Severe sea ice volume losses since 1979 illustrated in the above video by Andy Lee Robinson.)

Perhaps the most poignant and direct telling of this tale has been provided in the form of Andy Lee Robinson’s tragic and resonant re-rendering of sea ice volume declines as measured by PIOMAS. Others, like Neven over at the Arctic Sea Ice Blog, have heroically and often thanklessly provided the essential week-to-week analysis of this tragic decline. Rising to the task of a necessary telling of a key chapter in the human tale that our mainstream media sources have all-too-often neglected. Before we go on to today’s update on an Arctic Ocean ice cap that is now in a critically weak condition, I want to add one last mention — these scientists, analysts, experts, and creative and artistically inclined laymen have done the right thing. They were the modern-day prophets providing the critical warning that has been oft-ignored.

A Tale of Devastating Losses

It’s a warning that has been written in the record of the ice itself. A decline that since 1979 has followed a steepening descent curve. An overall downward trend punctuated by the abrupt and severe loss years of 2007 and 2012. A trend that has, nonetheless, featured a few weak challenges in the form of pseudo-recovery years like 2008, 2013, and 2014. A precipitous loss that, all too soon, will likely terminate with abrupt finality in temporally-expanding blue ocean events. Periods when little or no sea ice is observed on the surface of oceans and seas within the Arctic.

JAXA sea ice

(After the warmest Winter and early Spring period on record, Arctic sea ice extent, area and volume are now at or near new record lows. With abnormal heat persisting and with the ice showing an extraordinary lack of resiliency, there appears to be a heightened risk that Arctic sea ice will hit new record all-time lows by September and October of 2016. Image source: JAXA.)

Why should we talk about blue ocean events now? Well, we have only to look at the sea ice record to find that substantial losses have occurred during single years. Years when Arctic heat hit new peaks — lining up with severe adverse weather conditions to take a terrible toll on the ice. Years like 2007 when nearly 2 million square kilometers of ice was lost over the previous year and 2012 which featured about 800,000 square kilometers of extent lost below the 2007 low mark. And if a blue ocean event does happen, it will be during one of these severe loss years.

Extremely Frail Sea Ice During the Spring of 2016

2016 and 2017 could be years when such precipitous declines occur. Heat from an extraordinarily powerful El Nino already skipped over the weakening atmospheric wall of the Jet Stream to invade the High Arctic during Winter of this year. As a result, Winter and Springtime Arctic temperatures are currently at their warmest levels ever recorded.

All this extra heat is doing a number on the ice. Sea ice extent, volume and area, which had experienced a false recovery during the years of 2013 and 2014, have again retreated to seasonally record low levels. In particular, the new near record low seasonal volume measure is disturbing. For while area and extent measure the expanse of surface ice as visible from above, volume measures the ice in three dimensions — giving a better idea of overall resiliency or lack thereof. It’s worth noting that the PIOMAS volume measure is based on a model of assimilated observational data. And, as with any model, there are a few assumptions built in. But overall, PIOMAS has tended to provide data that has matched with other observational findings.

Broken Beaufort

(Extreme fracturing of Beaufort sea ice over recent days has come after a record warm Arctic Spring and Winter and during a period when a powerful high pressure system has been breaking and compacting the ice. Image source: LANCE-MODIS.)

Sea ice frailty seen in the measures is also verified by current satellite observations of the ice surface. This frailty is particularly visible in the region of the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska and Canada. There, extensive fracturing of the ice is clearly visible in yesterday’s MODIS satellite shot. Here we find huge regions of thin ice and open water as the torquing influence of a powerful high pressure system has turned the greatly weakened Beaufort ice into a sea of ice cubes.

During recent years in the post 2012 timeframe, Beaufort ice has shown a considerable lack of resiliency to fracturing. This is particularly disturbing as, historically, the Beaufort Sea has tended to house the thickest, toughest ice in the Arctic. If such a great former bastion for the ice can now be torn to ribbons by the slightest fluxes of wind and weather, then the sea ice is, indeed, in a rather wretched state. And last year, just this kind of early fracturing and warm up in the Beaufort greatly contributed to an overall return to the trend of an Arctic sea ice death spiral in 2015.

Neven notes in a recent blog at his Arctic sea ice portal:

Last year’s April cracking event caused a lot of fragmented multi-year ice to be transported all the way up to the Chukchi Sea (see here), leaving a vulnerable looking barrier on the Pacific side of the Arctic. When this was followed by an early heat wave in May (see here), the ice in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas received a beating it never really recovered from during the rest of the melting season. This was also because continental snow had melted out really quickly, making it possible for warm winds to blow in from the land.

Heating From Both Water and Land

Compared to last year, this year looks quite a bit worse. A wide-ranging Beaufort break-up is happening on the back of last year’s losses and is concurrent with new record and near record low sea ice extent, area and volume values and is happening during a period in which Arctic heat has hit new all-time highs. The result is a risk of compounding melt factors hitting the greatly weakened ice all at the same time.

Locally, the kind of widespread fracturing we now observe can result in a loss of protective reflectivity for the sea ice. As the Springtime sun rises and more of its direct rays fall upon the ice, darker thin ice patches and areas of open water will absorb more of the solar heat. That extra heat will then go to melting the islands of thicker ice that remain.

This situation can generate a compounding effect of ice losses if weather conditions and atmospheric temperatures line up. In addition, loss of the thicker sea ice cap during break-up can result in the ventilating of heat from the warmer waters beneath the ice. In fact, it is the heating of waters beneath the sea ice by means of current transport of warming ocean waters from around the world and into the Arctic that is one of the chief drivers of Arctic Ocean ice losses as the globe has been forced to warm by human fossil fuel emissions. So not only does an ice crack up in the Beaufort reduce the ice’s resiliency to the sun, it also tears the lid off the deeper ocean warming rising up from below.

Warmer Arctic Ocean Cooler Land

(Lower albedo due to ice fracturing results in more of the sun’s rays being absorbed into the ocean surface. A warmer Arctic Ocean surface then radiates more heat into the surrounding environment. Such conditions can result in periods when temperatures over the, previously colder and solidly frozen, Arctic Ocean are far warmer than even over land masses on the verge of tipping into a springtime thaw. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

During Arctic Spring, when land surfaces are now retaining snow cover even as the sea ice breaks up, the effect of lower albedo and ocean heat ventilation can be found in the form of warmer temperatures over thin ice, broken ice, and in open water regions when compared to nearby land masses. Such a condition of newly added heat over ocean zones can have substantial impacts come Summer if melt-favorable weather patterns continue to hold sway. The result is a kind of melt synergy developing between the land, the waters, and the sun. Early on, during Spring, the warmer ocean zone weakens ice and provides warm air pools that aid in the initiation of snow melt over adjacent land. Then, as land warming ramps up, the warm winds coming from regions of early snow withdrawal provide further pressure to the already greatly weakened ice.

A Big Burly High as the Final Ingredient

Weather patterns that favor melt during Spring and Summer include powerful high pressure systems dominating large regions of the Arctic. And for much of the past week, an extremely intense high in the range of 1040 to 1045 mb has stooped over the Beaufort, torqued the ice, and developed the kind of strong clockwise wind flow that has tended to result in fracturing, ice compaction, and the opening of darker ice and open water areas (please read Neven’s fantastic recent blog on this observation here).

This kind of weather system is the last ingredient necessary to trigger an early, rapid melt for the side of the Arctic where the last of the thick, old ice now remains. And it appears that, for at least two weeks, such conditions will hold strong sway over the Beaufort.

So overall, more and more conditions are lining up to deliver a ramping up of melt pressure on the Arctic sea ice. Record atmospheric heat, early break-up, record low or near record low area, extent, and volume, and a powerful high pressure system over the Beaufort do not at all bode well. In fact, this looks like a near perfect early season set-up for a record melt in 2016 should this clearly ominous trend continue.

Links:

Beaufort Under Early Pressure

The National Snow and Ice Data Center

The Polar Science Center (PIOMAS)

The Danish Meteorological Institute

JAXA

Andy Lee Robinson

The Edge of the Sea

CIRES1

LANCE-MODIS

Earth Nullschool

Leave a comment

278 Comments

  1. Boy Robert you are really on a roll. That well deserved break has got you energized…I am having a hard time keeping up. Thank you for all your incredible work.

    That said…with so much happening so fast, I am really wondering if we have reached the “tipping point”?

    Reply
    • And the Guardian just posted this online about the record temperatures for March…
      http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/apr/15/march-temperature-smashes-100-year-global-record

      Quote:
      Professor Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Penn State University in the US, responded to the March data by saying: “Wow. I continue to be shocked by what we are seeing.” He said the world had now been hovering close to the threshold of “dangerous” warming for two months, something not seen before.

      Reply
      • Good for Dr. Mann. I’m so glad he continues to be so outspoken on this critical issue and at this critical time. We should be shocked. It’s terrible, awful. The public needs to realize how far we’ve gone. How much the world will now change because we didn’t act soon enough to stop all the trouble. The key now is reducing the damage as much as possible. But we should be verymuch aware that we’ve already locked in hardship. That we are already approaching dangerous thresholds. Dr. Mann has done so much to raise awareness. He’s an expert that people should really listen to. He knows what the heck he’s talking about.

        Reply
      • wili

         /  April 15, 2016

        I find I am using the new fb icon for ‘Wow!’ more and more these days.

        Reply
    • Yes. Absolutely. We’re in the new world now. 2007-2016 was the tipping point era.

      Reply
      • kevin jones

         /  April 15, 2016

        I remain unfamiliar with anyone doing more important work, Robert. (Stephen Schneider who had early interesting arguments with other climatologists thought the proof began in the years following 1976.) As John Brown said to Frederick Douglas, “I will defend you with my life.”

        Reply
        • I don’t think I’ve ever heard a higher compliment. But I must say I feel the same about you, my good friend.

  2. climatehawk1

     /  April 15, 2016

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  3. Jeremy

     /  April 15, 2016

    A little OT, but worthwhile.

    Japan is getting ROCKED!

    http://tinyurl.com/jzhohwu

    Reply
    • Jennifer

       /  April 15, 2016

      Very good link. I check it daily to see how Oklahoma is doing. Not very well today!

      Reply
  4. Jeremy

     /  April 15, 2016

    BTW – on that USGS map you can zoom in/out, change parameters etc.

    Reply
  5. Hi Robert. Just reblogged your The Greenland Summer Melt Season Just Started in April post with content from the same subject from The Automatic Earth’s Debt Rattle April 14 2016 at one of my other blogs, 2016 Is Strange! At the end of the comments on The Automatic Earth’s post, I discovered a graphic for basal melt under Greenland and it is one scary graph! You should take a look at it.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Ed. Warmest regards to you.

      Reply
    • Kenneth Provost

       /  April 15, 2016

      That’s Nassim commenting, of course, and he’s using the geothermal argument to minimize or otherwise DENY the effect of AGW, as always. I’m always intrigued by TAE, given that Ilargi is obviously very concerned about global warming, but most of his commenters (more interested in the economic issues, I think) tend to not care, or actively try to refute.

      Reply
    • Bill H

       /  April 15, 2016

      Good catches, Jeremy, since I can’t imagine these appearing in the MSM. The Yemen flooding follows on the heels of extensive flooding from a typhoon there less than a year ago. Two such “freak events” signals yet more evidence of a new normal.

      Like a succession of once-a-century floods in Cumbria.

      Reply
  6. Jeremy

     /  April 15, 2016

    When yoo read the comments after an article like this, you can only come away feeling dispirited that so many seem so unconvinced that there is even an issue to be concerned about.

    “March temperature smashes 100-year global record
    Average global temperature was 1.07C hotter – beating last month’s previous record increase”

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/apr/15/march-temperature-smashes-100-year-global-record

    Reply
  7. Colorado Bob

     /  April 15, 2016

    Tipping Points: What Wall Street and Nature Have in Common

    The researchers reviewed data from many different types of systems, including ecological systems such as the Earth’s climate and ocean patterns, economic systems such as global stock market patterns, as well as medical systems in the human body such as asthma attacks, epileptic seizures and migraines. …………… One of the common warning signs of an impending tipping point is when a system takes longer to recover to equilibrium after it is disturbed. Most systems exist in temporarily stable states of equilibrium. If the system is perturbed by some force and pushed in a new direction, it usually moves back toward equilibrium quickly. But if the system is approaching a tipping point, it tends to take longer to recover its balance. ………………………. While fluctuations take longer in these systems, they often are greater in magnitude. That is, under normal circumstances fluctuations tend to be short and small. When a drastic transition approaches, conditions fluctuate between greater extremes, and the fluctuations take longer to pass.

    Link

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  April 15, 2016

      My condensed version –
      “As a system nears a tipping point , it tends to swing between the extremes, there it gets stuck, before swinging wildly back to the other extreme.”

      When I read about the flooding this week in the Mideast I was reminded of this 7 year-old Live Science article.

      Reply
      • Speaking of flooding — it appears we’ll have two-day precip totals in the range of seven inches for a wide swath of the Central US this weekend.

        Flooding Central US

        Not quite as bad as the 1 foot rainfall event over the Mississippi Valley earlier this year but still pretty abnormal.

        I was wondering, did Dr. Masters write an article about this 2 billion dollar hail disaster that just hammered Texas over the past two weeks? Between the Mid-East flash floods, the US floods, and this strange hail, we have quite a bit of very extreme precip (a good bit of it life-threatening) hitting all over the place.

        Reply
  8. utoutback

     /  April 15, 2016

    As I have watched climate change over the last 25+ years I have been impressed by the inherent stability of the planet, maintaining a habitable environment for us humans. But, seeing the ongoing extinction of other species, the changes to the oceans, the loss of ice, both terrestrial and oceanic, changes in the composition of the atmosphere, the melting of permafrost, development of historically unheard of weather events, etc. – all driven by human extraction and consumption and all during my lifetime, I have fear we have created the momentum toward disaster that can not be thwarted.
    I’m sorry to say this Robert, knowing how you feel about continuing the fight…. But, I’m not sure I can continue to side with our species in this battle. I’m on the side of the plankton, krill, whales, mice, egrets, seals, polar bears, pine trees, coral reefs…….. all the beautiful diversity of this planet that we are decimating with our comfort & convenience.
    This look like the back side of the tipping point to me.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  April 15, 2016

      Well said.
      But to give up , is to move quietly to the dustbin of history. And we don’t do that, we take our opposable thumb, and save our bacon.

      We’ve been around for a very short time, and our understanding of the world around us is much, much shorter.

      As for myself , I’ve spent entire life in your camp. But laying down and quitting ain’t in the cards.

      Reply
    • George W. Hayduke

       /  April 15, 2016

      “comfort & convenience” I’m glad to see someone else recognize this as part of the human species downfall. Ironically we are now locked in for a lot more uncomfortable inconvenience!

      Reply
      • Steven Blaisdell

         /  April 16, 2016

        Yes, that’s it exactly. The destruction of an amenable biosphere through parasitic, cancerous pillaging of Earth’s resources so as to enable unimaginable wealth and power for a very few; ultimately, however, it’s humanity’s non-conscious, unmitigated, naturally selected need to conserve calories that drives the whole train. My brother pointed this out to me years ago – that “comfort and convenience” would be the downfall of industrialized civilization. He was, as usual, right. Our forebrain evolved way too quickly (and powerfully) for evolution to counter with effective controls; we are as a species yeast with forebrains, despite all protestations otherwise. Our only hope is transformative socio-cultural evolution (probably a number of these) wrenched into gear by a very unfriendly warming planet (read: lots of dead people), a paradigmatic shift not unlike the shift from hunter gatherer to settled agriculture with the accompanying radical changes in mores, norms, etc. A species wide shift in socio-cultural behavior and worldview that cannot, in my opinion, happen without massive and merciless external forcing. Not because humans are bad, or greedy, or lazy, or stupid; no, because the evolution of the most effective and efficient survival machine in the history of the planet – the human forebrain – temporally outstripped naturally selected controls on population and behavior. We’re really only doing what we were designed to do: survive and thrive; to expect more from any species is, well, unreasonable.

        Doesn’t mean, however, that I have to accept it, or like it, or remain passive in the face of it. Perhaps we can enact species wide changes in behavior without catastrophic forcing. Maybe it’s only necessary to change smaller but crucial segments of global population, i.e. the US and Anglo countries. Maybe the unquestioned assumption that all Third World peoples want the American lifestyle conveniently glosses over how closely in time and place these peoples are still connected to life within Earth’s natural constraints, thus conveniently underestimating a willingness and ability to live sustainably. Perhaps as AGW hammers at the North American continent Americans will shake off the hangover of Imperial gluttony and increasingly migrate towards the ‘practicality’ of sustainable lifestyles. I suspect, however, that given the evidence of rapidly increasing climate change, and given the historical evidence of human behavior as a species (not as a select sub-group of privileged, actualized First Worlders), that we’re looking at not armageddon, but a truly rough road that’s going to last many, many centuries. Whatever the long term outcome, the next twenty-five years are definitely going to be very, very interesting….

        Reply
      • Sunkensheep

         /  April 18, 2016

        Steven, the Third World is full of cognitive dissonance. Our (developed world) lifestyle is promoted as the goal of their development, yet it stands in conflict with the natural world and all who depend on it. The conflict can be seen from West Papua to the arrest of environmental activists, and protesting villagers in China. Right now our whole understanding of economics and progress is being reformed and it is critical that environmental health becomes central to our new goals and measurements. Instead of GDP or budget deficit, the environmental impact index should be the leading figure on newscasts.

        Everyone out there keep working hard, people in power are finally starting to take notice and the next 15 years are critical to our future as a global civilisation.

        Perhaps the most dangerous trend is the techno-utopian rescue fantasy favoured by some of the Davos and Silicon Valley crowd. It delays action and simply cannot happen in the real world.

        Reply
    • Ken Provost

       /  April 15, 2016

      Siding with “our” species, I think, is not required in this struggle. We are newcomers, of course, and the idea that we pose a threat to a much larger fraction of the biosphere than just our little corner should come as no surprise to anyone here.

      Solving “their” problem (caused by us) would also solve ours. The question is, will we pursue a true and lasting solution, are are we the typical short-timers, thinking ahead only a very short way, or not at all?

      Reply
  9. Jeremy

     /  April 15, 2016

    Watch:

    “This is a story about how the world’s most powerful industry used science, communications, and consumer psychology to shape the public debate over climate change. And it begins earlier—decades earlier—than anyone suspected.”

    Reply
  10. Thank you, Robert! And my warmest regards to you, too,🙂

    Reply
  11. It’s difficult and possibly pointless to predict, but Arctic sea ice melt is strongly dependent on the vagaries of seasonal weather, such as the direction and intensity of winds (and increasingly waves), clear vs. overcast skies, river flows from northern North America and Eurasia and even individual Arctic high or low pressure systems. Preconditioning of ice by unusually cold or warm winters can also be a factor.

    That said, you are completely correct and conditions are in place for record low volume, area and extent this September. Even if it doesn’t drop below the minimum of 2012, it’s very hard to see this year as not ranking among the lowest three on record.

    Reply
  12. Unfortunately as of April 12:
    “NSIDC has suspended daily sea ice extent updates until further notice, due to issues with the satellite data used to produce these images.”

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2016/04/sensor-on-f-17-experiencing-difficulties-sea-ice-time-series-temporarily-suspended/

    Reply
  13. Worth adding a Zika update — CDC now concludes that the virus causes microcephaly.

    http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/s0413-zika-microcephaly.html

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  April 15, 2016

      And if it does do that , it attacks the optic nerves.

      Reply
      • From the CDC statement:

        “The report notes that no single piece of evidence provides conclusive proof that Zika virus infection is a cause of microcephaly and other fetal brain defects. Rather, increasing evidence from a number of recently published studies and a careful evaluation using established scientific criteria supports the authors’ conclusions.

        The finding that Zika virus infection can cause microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects means that a woman who is infected with Zika during pregnancy has an increased risk of having a baby with these health problems. It does not mean, however, that all women who have Zika virus infection during pregnancy will have babies with problems. As has been seen during the current Zika outbreak, some infected women have delivered babies that appear to be healthy.

        Establishing this causal relationship between Zika and fetal brain defects is an important step in driving additional prevention efforts, focusing research activities, and reinforcing the need for direct communication about the risks of Zika. While one important question about causality has been answered, many questions remain. Answering these will be the focus of ongoing research to help improve prevention efforts, which ultimately may help reduce the effects of Zika virus infection during pregnancy.”

        Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  April 15, 2016

      Good thing abortion is so difficult in the South now. All those poor women with holes in their window screens, that can’t pay for AC.

      Years ago I came across Professor Smart Ass, he showed me a lot about graphics –

      Reply
      • Syd Bridges

         /  April 15, 2016

        “Compassionate Conservatism” – the archetypal oxymoron. George Orwell would have liked it. It’s on a par with his three slogans of Ingsoc: “Freedom is Slavery;” Peace is War;” and “Ignorance is Strength.”Trickle-down economics” could join the list too..

        Reply
      • wili

         /  April 16, 2016

        My version: “I want to shrink *capitalism* until it’s weak enough to drown in the bathtub!” ‘-)

        Reply
      • Syd Bridges

         /  April 16, 2016

        We were told that Capitalism was so superior to Naziism or Communism and of the three it’s the only one left standing. The latter two gave us the most horrendous mass murder, but only Capitalism can aspire to total ecocide.

        As Norquist hasn’t managed to drown Government in the bathtub, he might drown himself instead.

        Reply
    • Scott

       /  April 15, 2016

      And, what’s good for Zika is also good for Yellow Fever. An old friend reemerging with a vengeance.

      “The survival of the mosquito is driven a lot by temperature,” she added — it also needs moisture to thrive. “So people go to the idea of global warming — that climate change and changes in precipitation patterns and temperature are helping mosquitoes survive in different areas.” In other words, warming is helping expand the range of places that are habitable to mosquitoes.

      http://www.vox.com/2016/4/15/11432522/yellow-fever-virus-outbreak-angola

      Reply
    • mlparrish

       /  April 16, 2016

      “appear to be healthy” is the operative phrase. The virus is neurotrophic. One percent brain damage in a fetus would not be detectable, but it would be the difference between a world class and high school athlete. One percent of the optic nerves, a van Gogh gone.
      Until an effective vaccine is developed, we are in trouble.

      Reply
  14. NevenA

     /  April 15, 2016

    Others, like Neven over at the Arctic Sea Ice Blog, have heroically and often thanklessly provided the essential week-to-week analysis of this tragic decline.

    Thanks a lot, Robert. It’s not entirely thankless, as I receive donations (sometimes large ones even) which make things a lot easier.🙂

    I’m also really happy to have a fellow blogger like you writing so eloquently about the seriousness of Arctic sea ice loss. I try to link to your posts as much as I can.

    BTW, earlier today I posted an update to last week’s blog post you refer to: Beaufort quick update. This event is far from over, which is quite amazing, never mind the potential knock-on effects.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  April 15, 2016

      Why is this site , and Neven’s so productive ?

      Answer…………….. no fleas . Neven throws bums off as well.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  April 15, 2016

        Nobody, I mean nobody is talking about farming Greenland, on Neven’s site.

        Reply
        • Yeah. That.

          Related — I can’t say how much it pleases me to see NASA sticking up for itself on Facebook.

    • Well, considering the great work you do it’s certainly good to hear that folks support you. I also do my best to link your research/writing and I think a few people in the threads (Wili for example) will post links to both your blog and the sea ice forums.

      There is certainly quite a lot going on with the recent early Greenland melt, another big Beaufort crack up, and record warm global readings basically painting a bulls-eye on the Arctic.

      Amazing indeed!

      In any case, I’ll definitely link your new Beaufort update.

      Best to you!

      –R

      Reply
  15. Colorado Bob

     /  April 15, 2016

    Professor Smartass

    Blind obedience and leader worship is patriotic….

    (if you live in North Korea).

    Reply
    • Oh, don’t knock North Korea. They just said they’d sign the Paris climate agreement, and I set up a tweet mentioning that they’re more responsible than Exxon.

      Reply
      • Sunkensheep

         /  April 18, 2016

        North Korea is one of the few that honor their climate pledges, too. Apparently AGW is considered a threat to political stability.

        Reply
  16. Ailsa

     /  April 15, 2016

    I’m so sad, so sad… thanks for this site Robert, and all who contribute. We’ve blown it. Where is the heart? Where is the care? Where is the intelligence? Small pockets like this place just about keep me sane,, while the whirling chaos, denial and short-term-self-interest injure and wreck all that is essential and beautiful.

    I’m so sad, so sad – and so very, very scared

    Reply
    • Will keep doing my best for you guys. Gotta say, though. Things are starting to look a bit rough out there.

      Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  April 15, 2016

      Ailsa

      Go find some one , and sleep with them . Just hold them . It’s been a thousand years since this happened to me. But this is my advice.

      Reply
      • Ailsa

         /  April 15, 2016

        Bob, thanks for the lovely advice… maybe if you were my neighbor! Been emotionally and sexually abused in the past though, so wary of liaisons that promise much but are actually damaging. Its a quandary – Love and comfort in a toxic climate – how to find it. In my gut I know you’re right though.

        Reply
    • Cate

       /  April 15, 2016

      Ailsa, the heart, the care, the intelligence, do exist—they are there within you and here on these comment boards, as well as on others—I like ASIF too—-in abundance. There are many good things, lots of good people….This will have to be enough to keep us going, and in addition to Colorado Bob’s sage advice, I would suggest—cueing Simon and Garfunkel here—we slow down ….do what we can to savour this planet in all her beautiful and glorious life, in every little way we can, showing regard for our fellow beings and creatures. Hello, lamp-post, whatcha knowin? A 59th Street Bridge Song approach to life. That’s timeless. Make the mornin’ last forever.😀

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  April 15, 2016

        I’m sorry, that all came out a bit frivolous-sounding to me know. I didn’t mean it to be. It’s how I answer negativity, chin up with a do-it-n-do-do feeling groovy. Think, defiance. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers…and sistahs…..

        Reply
      • Ailsa

         /  April 15, 2016

        Cate – dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep – yes, a good place to rest!! Thanks

        Reply
      • Ailsa

         /  April 15, 2016

        What’s ASIF?

        Reply
      • Cate

         /  April 16, 2016

        Ailsa, ASIF is Arctic Sea Ice Forum and blog—aka Neven’s place. A good spot, lots of solid info, good links, folks who are really into it, but graciously and not to score points. Much like here.🙂

        http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php

        Reply
    • George W. Hayduke

       /  April 15, 2016

      I find myself watching nature programs with my kids or just being out in the woods sometimes in tears, wondering is this the beginning of the end for this planet? (I know the planet will survive but it will take a long time for it to return to the beauty we see now, minus concrete, steel, and waste.)

      Reply
  17. Loni

     /  April 15, 2016

    Robert, I just got lost in a link maze, now I don’t know where I read this, but it was in regards to basal melt around Greenland, and as I understood the post; Greenland has a ridge across it that may be letting out geothermal heat which is potentially fueling a spiral effect of melt water contacting geothermal heat, melting more ice, allowing for a rising rebound of the land mass of Greenland, potentially creating more of a geothermal face for more heat…..

    Is that what we’re looking at coming out of Greenland?

    Reply
    • The primary driver for Greenland melt is atmospheric and ocean warming.

      However, the Greenland lithosphere is very thin. This results in more geothermal heat at the base of the Greenland Ice Sheet than is typical for other geological features around the world. As a result, the Greenland Ice Sheet is less stable and more sensitive to warming perturbations than it would otherwise be. In other words, it takes less atmospheric and ocean warming to destabilize Greenland ice than it would otherwise due to the fact that the GIS sits on some rather hot rocks.

      And, yes, it does increase the likelihood of larger scale terminal destabilization given a certain forcing.

      Please see:

      http://phys.org/news/2013-08-earth-mantle-contributes-greenland-ice.html

      http://www.irishtimes.com/news/science/hot-spot-under-greenland-accelerating-ice-sheet-melting-1.2597760

      A note o caution here in that climate change deniers have used the fact that Greenland geothermal features contribute to melt to deny that human warming is the cause of the melt. To be very clear, the cause of current Greenland melt is human-forced atmospheric and ocean warming. Most of these hot geological structures under Greenland are millions of years old. They are geophysical features that have existed throughout most if not all of the period of Greenland glaciation. However, these physical features do make Greenland more vulnerable to melt when warming of the atmosphere and oceans does occur.

      Reply
      • Loni

         /  April 15, 2016

        Sheesh, the ankle bone seems to be connected to the neck bone……who knew?!?

        Thanks, Robert.

        Reply
      • Loni

         /  April 15, 2016

        Great links. thanks.

        Reply
      • Bill H

         /  April 15, 2016

        Robert, Thanks for that very clear summary of the situation in Greenland. I think it was WUWT that was trying to cook up a similar meme that antarctic ice loss was down to the eruption of Mount Erebus. Problem is that Erebus has been observed erupting for as long as humans have been visiting Antarctica, and probably a lot longer.

        Reply
      • Bill H

         /  April 16, 2016

        Ha, whaddyaknow! I’ve just noticed Gavin Schmidt has a brilliant article, “the Volcano Gambit”, about the attempts of “skeptics” to attribute all manner of climate change phenomena to volcanic activity. Well worth a read.

        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2016/04/the-volcano-gambit/

        Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  April 18, 2016

        Worth considering the rebound effect as ice melts, good research was done in Iceland some years ago
        http://time.com/3687893/volcanoes-climate-change/
        The paper
        Climate-driven vertical acceleration of Icelandic crust measured by continuous GPS geodesy
        On Geophysical Research Letters

        In relation to Iceland but the principle also applies to Greenland to a degree, but especially to the WAIS

        “As the glaciers melt, the pressure on the underlying rocks decreases,” Compton said in an e-mail to TIME. “Rocks at very high temperatures may stay in their solid phase if the pressure is high enough. As you reduce the pressure, you effectively lower the melting temperature.” The result is a softer, more molten subsurface, which increases the amount of eruptive material lying around and makes it easier for more deeply buried magma chambers to escape their confinement and blow the whole mess through the surface.

        “High heat content at lower pressure creates an environment prone to melting these rising mantle rocks, which provides magma to the volcanic systems,” says Arizona geoscientist Richard Bennett, another co-author.

        A good article on it on Grist
        We could have more volcano eruptions thanks to climate change

        Those icesheets are very delicate due to geology and Greenland does have it’s lava beds

        The Paper for Antarctica
        Rapid bedrock uplift in the Antarctic Peninsula explained by viscoelastic response to recent ice unloading

        Geothermal is already contributing to WAIS basal melt as it always has, however that has been balanced by snow ice deposition in the past, now with reducing weight and uplift as above, the equation changes.

        Reply
  18. All the ledes that opened up increase the water vapor content of the air because the ice is still at subfreezing point temperatures while the water is very close to the freezing point for sea water. Since water vapor is a greenhouse gas, this adds to the warming. Cracking events in spring time definitely bring up water from below where it’s slightly warmer beginning the process of melting from below earlier in the year. Mercator Ocean shows the zone of mixing goes down to 300m N of Alaska.

    Good post Robert. You’re on a roll.

    Reply
  19. Reply
    • Thanks for this. Have to say that I’m 100 percent with Gavin on his projected range for this year. Let’s hope we don’t get surprised by further nastiness.

      Reply
  20. – Hey, Robert.

    Reply
    • Yeah, DT. You got that right. Pretty crazy gnarly there. Looks like a mid-break in a serious fetch-driven swell with all that foam!

      Reply
  21. Reply
  22. Colorado Bob

     /  April 15, 2016

    I am watching a pair of doves nest in my pecan tree . Directly out my window.
    She is such a brave mother. Her ole man seems to be a goof ball.

    The storm is coming , I worry for my young mother.

    Reply
    • – “She is such a brave mother. Her ole man seems to be a goof ball.
      The storm is coming , I worry for my young mother.”

      Reminds me of John Prine’s ‘Angel From Montgomery’.

      I am an old woman
      Named after my mother
      My old man is another
      Child who’s grown old

      If dreams were thunder
      And lightning was desire
      This old house would’ve burned down
      A long time ago

      Reply
  23. – USA Eastern Colorado getting some rotating weather…
    A couple days ago Greeley had one.
    Dick McGowan ‏@stormpics 2h2 hours ago

    Tornado on ground south of Eads, CO #COWX via @Tornaduhs !!!!

    Reply
  24. Reply
  25. Reply
  26. paxmark

     /  April 15, 2016

    Rachel Carson’s “Edge of the Sea” should be arriving at some point to FadedPage via Distributed Proofreaders Canada. “Silent Spring” is available for download, at least for Canadians, at

    http://fadedpage.com/showbook.php?pid=20151002

    If you have P2 access or higher at Distributed Proofreaders, you can speed along the process of getting Edge of the Sea out faster. Your experience at DP can often transfer to DPCanada. Sign up at

    http://www.pgdpcanada.net/c/default.php

    Yes, Neven’s sites rock.

    Reply
  27. – Hey, Robert of MD.

    Fracking Is Now Banned In This Maryland County

    Prince George’s County, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C., voted Tuesday to ban fracking, the controversial oil and gas extraction method that has helped spur a natural gas boom across the country.

    “We really are with this vote taking a lead in his state and in the nation,” Councilmember Mary Lehman said at the hearing. “I could not be more proud of this county.”
    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/04/12/3768576/pg-county-bans-fracking/

    Reply
  28. Colorado Bob

     /  April 15, 2016

    George Gershwin – Rhapsody in Blue

    Reply
  29. Colorado Bob

     /  April 16, 2016

    We need thIs music, in all it’s forms.

    Reply
  30. Colorado Bob

     /  April 16, 2016

    Just a reminder , there are bags of hammers. That contain Palin’s total brain power.

    Reply
    • Syd Bridges

       /  April 16, 2016

      But they can be useful, so the comparison is very unfair to hammers.

      Reply
  31. Andy in SD

     /  April 16, 2016

    If you look at satellite data for the fractured zones and flip back year by year for the same date, you very quickly come to realize that this is very much setting up to be perhaps a tough summer up there. Additionally, scan about and compare to previous years (same date) and the extent of the increased fracturing will become evident.

    I was looking at western Greenland after the heat pulse the last few days and besides observing the loss of ground snow (thus darker areas to absorb heat sooner in the year), the ice surface along that region of the ice cap is darker (compared to the east and previous years). It is as though the heat pulse chewed off a good portion of the winter accumulation, and we are down to dark ice sooner than normal.

    Along the coast as you traverse up the west side, you should zoom down to the fjords. You’ll see sediment flushing out already.

    Furthermore, if you look just north of Jakobshavn (which is in berg emission mode) you’ll see a very odd area which appears to be ocean ice which has had it’s snow surface blasted clear off and has been chewed up from below.

    It is a terrible time for NSIDC to run into sensor failure on satellite F-17.

    Reply
  32. Colorado Bob

     /  April 16, 2016

    Courage.

    I post music here, because we all need Courage. Guts and Faith.

    Reply
  33. wili

     /  April 16, 2016

    Might be time for yet another post on CO2 readings.

    It’s one thing to have one daily reading way of the charts–there are all sorts of daily variations going on all the time for various reasons. But we now have a whole string of them:

    April 13: 408.70 ppm
    April 12: 408.49 ppm
    April 11: 408.97 ppm
    April 10: 409.34 ppm

    (Unfortunately, data is not available for the days immediately before or after these.)

    Hooooooly crimminy! It’s like we just blasted into a whole different universe here. And these should still be going up well into May, right?

    (Thanks for Tanada at POForums for keeping abreast of these, perhaps the most important single data set in this period in the whole history of life on the planet!)

    Reply
  34. Jay M

     /  April 16, 2016

    this year will have a cadence

    Reply
  35. Colorado Bob

     /  April 16, 2016

    In Texas there is this flag, On it is written : “Come and Take It” with a cannon on the field . Well, the Mexicans did, they killed everyone under it.

    The “Come and Take It” flag is one of the best sellers in the history of the world.

    Reply
  36. Colorado Bob

     /  April 16, 2016

    And this is thing. The right never ever gives up.

    EVER.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  April 16, 2016

      Mexico had outlawed slavery. , the Texans never bring that up. It was about keeping their slaves. Lot’s to go to war over many reasons. But keeping their slaves is one

      Reply
  37. Syd Bridges

     /  April 16, 2016

    Thanks for all these posts, Robert the Indefatigable. As well as massive droughts, floods, and famines we see the Artic in dissaray, a surreal jump ion atmospheric CO2, and a crazy jet stream.

    Neven has certainly run a great blog, and performed sterling service for his readers and anyone with curiosity and intelligence who wanted the truth about the Arctic. The moment of truth may be about to force itself onto the public consciousness this year. The ice is in dismal shape and an unprecedented assault on it looks to be in the offing. There comes a point when doubling down on the lies no longer works. I wonder whether 2016 will be the year that this point is reached.

    Reply
  38. Colorado Bob

     /  April 16, 2016

    I am really sick of slave keepers.

    Reply
  39. Colorado Bob

     /  April 16, 2016

    Reply
  40. Colorado Bob

     /  April 16, 2016

    If we just follow the great con man all; con’s will die.

    Reply
  41. Colorado Bob

     /  April 16, 2016

    Blind Faith Can’t find My Way Home

    Reply
    • – So, Bob — you left Texas to Colorado.
      Is this why you stopped?🙂 The Rockies, you know — you can’t miss them coming in from the east.

      Boulder, Colorado, 2015
      – danieljoderphotography.com
      Longs Peak – The Photography Blog

      Reply
  42. Re recent India & SE Asia RS post:

    Anthony Sagliani ‏@anthonywx 1h1 hour ago

    To put heat into perspective, these are temps between 9-10am from India to Vietnam. Some places 100F (38C) already.

    Reply
  43. Colorado Bob

     /  April 16, 2016

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  April 16, 2016

      i was gong for Dear Mr.Fantasy
      Then the internet crap fest took over.

      Reply
  44. NWS OPC ‏@NWSOPC 2h2 hours ago

    Beautiful Himawari visible image of a mature storm and a soon to be hurricane force system emerging off Asia.

    Reply
  45. Colorado Bob

     /  April 16, 2016

    \
    Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton – Can’t Find My Way Home

    Reply
  46. – My Twitter reply to:
    ‘Guardian US — Climate change denier Sarah Palin: ‘Bill Nye is as much a scientist as I am’

    Important point here: Sarah Palin is a raving lunatic — Bill Nye is not.

    Reply
  47. Mark from OZ

     /  April 16, 2016

    “This giant glacier has remained unmelted for centuries,” the ad begins without a trace of irony. “Yet, the petroleum energy Humble supplies — if converted into heat — could melt it at the rate of 80 tons each second!”

    Humble Oil (now Exxon) bragged in 1962 ( 2 page Life Mag Ad) what their products ‘could’ do as if it was some monumental achievement. And sadly (now) they knew all along what this ‘would’ do.
    The enormity of their duplicity is the monument! And, I predict, will be the key factor in their demise; way before the ‘market’ cuts their throat.

    Climate Progress
    via
    http://blogdredd.blogspot.com.au/

    Reply
  48. Record Balkan floods linked to jamming of giant airstreams

    Disastrous floods in the Balkans two years ago are likely linked to the temporary slowdown of giant airstreams, scientists found.

    While the mean daily rainfall in the Balkans has increased only a little since 1950, the intensity of the strongest rainfall events rose by one third, the scientists found. In May 2014, daily rainfall amounts were locally bigger than ever before in the observed period. The frequency of such potentially devastating extremes in the Balkans, though they’re still rare, doubled over the past sixty years.

    “Our findings provide more evidence that planetary waves cause extreme weather events,” says co-author Stefan Rahmstorf, chair of PIK’s research domain Earth System Analysis. “When these waves start to resonate this can have serious impacts for people on the ground. I am concerned that the ongoing climate change may be creating conditions more favorable for this kind of resonance.”

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-04-balkan-linked-giant-airstreams.html#jCp

    Reply
    • – And this:

      ” These wind patterns, circling the globe in the form of huge waves between the Equator and the North Pole, normally move eastwards, but practically stopped for several days then—at the same time, a weather system got stuck over Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia that poured out record amounts of rain.”

      Reply
    • June

       /  April 18, 2016

      This is a very good explanation of rossby waves. I never quite understood how they worked. Thank you for posting.

      Reply
  49. Reblogged this on GarryRogers Nature Conservation and commented:
    We knew that El Nino would release some of the ocean’s stored heat, but the consequences are stronger than expected. There are justifiable fears that we’ve lurched up to a new normal that’s warmer, stormier, wetter, dryer, and more acidic. Our continuing war on wildlife and Earth ecosystems just took a giant step forward.

    Reply
  50. Abel Adamski

     /  April 16, 2016

    A caution to us all
    http://time.com/4295990/pollutants-fish-humans/
    Pollutants in Fish Could Disrupt Your Defenses to Toxins
    ‘It’s very important to make sure that those fish don’t end up in our food supply’

    Human defense mechanisms could be disrupted by the presence of a class of organic pollutants in fish and other food, according to new research.

    The study, published in the journal Science Advances, appears to be the first to identify the mechanism by which chemicals like flame retardants—present in many household furniture items, like sofas and mattresses—and the pesticide DDT block a key protein from removing toxins from the body. P-glycoprotein, the protein in question, defends against toxins that entered the body by transporting them for removal. The new research shows that persistent organic pollutants, known as POPs, latch onto proteins and prevent them from functioning.

    “These environmental chemicals form intimate interactions,” says study author Amro Hamdoun of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. “But instead of being expelled, these proteins interfere with the ability of p-glycoprotein from doing its job.”

    Reply
    • Thx, Abel.

      These sort of chemical reactions must be unfolding at many levels — in the air (atmosphere), the water, the flora and fauna..
      We have put untold numbers and amounts of molecular detritus into our biosphere where all manner of re-combinations surely take place.

      – Food for thought: molecule for molecule — just how much have we added to, and tilted, the inventory?
      – The preexisting state of the biosphere/atmosphere is what allowed life to flourish — all else is basically poisonous to some extent or the other.

      – That’s my take. And am glad to see the study’s firm conclusions.

      Reply
  51. Andy in SD

     /  April 16, 2016

    Check out the smoke from the clearing fires in Indonesia blanketing Thailand.

    http://www.arctic.io/explorer/24/2016-03-13/5-N17.93848-E100.87207

    Reply
  52. Abel Adamski

     /  April 16, 2016

    WOT happened, for at least 15 mins
    This site can’t be reached
    robertscribbler.com’s server DNS address could not be found.
    ERR_NAME_NOT_RESOLVED

    Reply
  53. World’s biggest oil producers meet to discuss possible freeze on production

    Rare off-scheduled meeting between Opec and non-Opec suppliers will focus on what they can do to staunch the continued global surplus of crude oil

    The world’s biggest oil producers will huddle in Doha on Sunday in a rare off-scheduled meeting where discussion about what they can do to staunch the continued global surplus of crude oil that’s weighed on prices for nearly two years.

    Hopes that members in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries cartel and non-Opec oil suppliers, mostly notably Russia, may agree to freeze production pushed crude oil prices to their highest levels this year ahead of a meeting between the two groups.
    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/apr/16/crude-oil-producers-opec-meeting-prices-production?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+USA+-+Version+CB+header&utm_term=167511&subid=8553955&CMP=ema_565

    Reply
    • – Saudi muscle via oil:

      Reply
    • Saudi muscle via $$$:

      WASHINGTON — Saudi Arabia has told the Obama administration and members of Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American assets held by the kingdom if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in American courts for any role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

      The Obama administration has lobbied Congress to block the bill’s passage, according to administration officials and congressional aides from both parties, and the Saudi threats have been the subject of intense discussions in recent weeks between lawmakers and officials from the State Department and the Pentagon. The officials have warned senators of diplomatic and economic fallout from the legislation.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/16/world/middleeast/saudi-arabia-warns-ofeconomic-fallout-if-congress-passes-9-11-bill.html?_r=0

      Reply
    • – Saudi muscle via UK:

      Éoin ‏@LabourEoin

      UK Arms Exports to Saudi Arabia have soared by another £1,108,300,140 to a now staggering £8,825,626,701 in 2016.

      Reply
  54. – Earthquakes Japan:

    Seismic activity could move east, trigger quakes in active faults

    THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

    A number of active faults dot the so-called Beppu-Shimabara Rift, which traverses Kyushu island from east to west, extending to the Median Tectonic Line. This is the nation’s longest tectonic line, and it spans about 1,000 kilometers from the Kanto Plain through Gunma, Nagano, Wakayama, and Tokushima prefectures to Kyushu island in southern Japan.

    Ichiro Kawasaki, professor emeritus of seismology at Kyoto University, said: “The epicenter (in the latest series of quakes that began April 14) is gradually moving eastward. When a fault moves, it tends to move other faults that run on an extended line.”

    He explained that when an earthquake occurs, other faults around it are exerted to different pressure, which could trigger other quakes.
    http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201604160048.html

    Reply
  55. – Rainbow late day #Portland OR.

    Reply
  56. Reply
  57. Millions Face Starvation As Haiti’s Drought Stretches Into Its Third Year

    http://thinkprogress.org/world/2016/04/15/3769857/haiti-farmers/

    Reply
    • – Small island nation and their peoples definitely in for a rough time.

      – Small Islands To Suffer Water Scarcity As A Result Of Larger Nations’ CO2 Emission Contributions

      Authors of a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change report that island populations will, come mid-century, suffer freshwater stress. Of 80 groups of islands studied, located near major ocean basins, 73 percent will be affected. Approximately 16 million people live in areas that are expected to be impacted by increased aridity. Until now, estimates of freshwater availability on small islands has been inaccurate because it failed to account for changes in evaporation patterns.

      Anthropogenic climate change impacts evaporation patterns, therefore, even though some of the islands are expected receive increases in precipitation, it will have little impact on freshwater availability because it will evaporate. Another problem that island nations face regarding anthropogenic climate change is sea-level rise. Sea-level rise impacts freshwater availability because it intrudes into aquifers and renders them useless.

      http://www.immortal.org/25580/small-islands-to-suffer-water-scarcity-as-a-result-of-larger-nations-co2-emission-contributions/

      Reply
      • – Best to go to nature.com rather then the above link (many popups etc.)

        – Future freshwater stress for island populations

        Global climate models project large changes in the terrestrial water balance for many regions over this century in response to greenhouse gas emission1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, but insufficient resolution precludes such knowledge for approximately 18 million people living on small islands scattered across the world ocean. By accounting for evaporative demand a posteriori at 80 island groups distributed among Earth’s major ocean basins, we reveal a robust yet spatially variable tendency towards increasing aridity at over 73% of island groups (16 million people) by mid-century…
        http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2987.html

        Reply
  58. – Pacific Rim (Ring of Fire) more action:

    Reply
  59. Vic

     /  April 16, 2016

    Three million residents in the Chilean capital Santiago have been left without clean water after landslides caused by heavy rains polluted the rivers supplying the city.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-17/storms-leave-three-million-without-water-in-chile-capital/7332664

    Reply
    • – Sediment the cause:
      -enca.com/world/storms-leave-three-million-without-water-chile

      “Unfortunately the weather system over the metropolitan region brought rain that caused increased sediment in the Maipo River, which means a water cut for the population affecting about three million people,” Santiago mayor Claudio Orrego told a news conference.

      Production was down to 35 percent of normal levels, said Eugenio Rodriguez, corporate manager of the Aguas Andinas water company.

      Reply
  60. With the northern jet stream looking like this right now there’s probably a lot of unpredictable weather ahead:

    http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/250hPa/orthographic=-171.11,42.93,357/loc=-87.162,-0.859

    Reply
  61. Andy in SD

     /  April 17, 2016

    It’s Baaaaaack……

    AQMD Again Investigating Reports of Gas Smell in Porter Ranch, 2 Months After Leak Is Capped

    Nearly two months after a leaking gas well was finally capped above Porter Ranch, residents on Wednesday reported again smelling the telltale scent of natural gas wafting through their neighborhood, prompting an investigation from air regulators.

    http://ktla.com/2016/04/13/aqmd-again-investigating-reports-of-gas-smell-in-porter-ranch-2-months-after-leak-is-capped/

    Reply
  62. Andy in SD

     /  April 17, 2016

    The Oil Industry Was Warned About Climate Change in 1968.

    By 1957, scientists from ExxonMobil’s corporate ancestor, Humble Oil, identified the burning of fossil fuels as a contributor to the rise of carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere. Then in 1968, Elmer Robinson — a meteorologist who led environmental research at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI), which had extensive ties to the industry — warned API that rising carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere “may be the cause of serious world-wide environmental changes.”

    It looks like the oil companies knew what was going on a lot earlier than suspected.

    https://news.vice.com/article/the-oil-industry-was-warned-about-climate-change-in-1968

    Reply
  63. Andy in SD

     /  April 17, 2016

    From 1958. Over 1/2 century ago it was a known. Sad that people in the 1950 were not as stupid as so many are today.

    Reply
  64. Abel Adamski

     /  April 17, 2016

    One for us all.
    We are only beginning to grasp the inconnectedness of life on this planet, Avatar is closer to reality than we realise in the basic premise.
    http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2016/04/trees-are-even-more-amazing-than-we-realised/

    Trees Are Even More Amazing Than We Realised

    Trees, is there anything they can’t do? Doubtful. Let’s see: producing half the world’s oxygen, providing habitat for millions of species, creating the soil and timber resources we depend on. Not bad. But all that’s just scratching the surface. As new research shows, there’s a lot more going on beneath the forest floor than we realised.

    Trees might be the original architects of internet-style communication.Through a web of tiny root hairs and threadlike fungal partners called mycelia, the trees in a forest are connected, swapping nutrients and information. Biologists have known this for years. What they didn’t know was just how much sweet, sweet sugar also gets shared across this woody network. New research suggests that a significant fraction of a tree’s food supply may come from other trees.

    Reply
  65. Abel Adamski

     /  April 17, 2016

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-08/tropical-fish-move-south-to-feed-on-kelp-forests/6530276
    A major climatic event has caused tropical fish that are usually found off Western Australia’s Ningaloo Reef to swim south to tackle seaweed forests off the Mid West coast, marine scientists say.

    The fish are in such numbers and eating the kelp with a voracity not seen before anywhere else in the world.

    A team of researchers from the University of Western Australia’s Oceans Institute has been studying the effects of a marine heatwave in 2011 on the temperate water ecosystem off Port Gregory.

    “This is really quite novel globally,” Scott Bennett said.

    “Ever since 2011, when we had a really warm summer and marine heatwave off the Western Australian coast, we found that the kelps have disappeared from quite a few reefs around Port Gregory,” he said.

    “At the same time as that we’ve had a lot of tropical fishes that eat seaweed come down the coast by the strong Leeuwin current.

    “They’re now just grazing flat out on the reefs around Port Gregory and they’re stopping any kelp recovery so we’re seeing complete loss of kelp forests.”

    Mr Bennett said the research is showing how extreme climatic events can effect marine ecosystems.

    “The warming on its own, the kelp could possibly have recovered but the combination of the warming and the interaction between the kelp and the tropical fish from completely different ecosystems means we’ve got a fundamental shift in the nature of these ecosystems and it’s really difficult for them to recover now,” he said.

    The UWA research has been tracking the interactions between the fish and the kelp for a number of years to monitor recovery and changes in the fish.

    “Over the past three years we’ve had a really warm phase, each summer since 2011 has been some of the warmest on record,” he said.

    “Now that’s sort of swinging back and we’re going into a bit of a cooler phase and the El Nino cycle begins again and we’ll see if this gives an opportunity for the kelp to recover.

    “At the moment as long as those fish stick around, it looks like it’ll be quite difficult for the kelp forests.”

    Reply
  66. Abel Adamski

     /  April 17, 2016

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-16/massive-swordfish-caught-off-tasmania/7331238

    Massive swordfish caught off Tasmania a sign they’re here to stay, fisherman predicts

    More giant swordfish have been tagged off the Tasmanian coast, including one which tipped the scales at 370 kilograms.

    Several enormous specimens have been sighted and tagged in recent days while this possibly record catch was hooked and landed off St Helens in the state’s north-east on Tuesday.

    It was among a record number of the broadbill species appearing in Tasmanian waters and is being attributed to a warming of the ocean as the East Australian Current drifts southwards as far as the Tasman Peninsula.

    They are moving South into cooler waters

    Reply
  67. Abel Adamski

     /  April 17, 2016

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-17/ecuador-earthquake-7.8-magnitude/7332852
    Powerful magnitude 7.8 earthquake strikes Ecuador, tsunami warning dropped
    Ecuador’s strongest earthquake in decades, a 7.8 magnitude tremor, has struck off its Pacific coast, killing at least 77 people and causing damage near the epicentre including the large city of Guayaquil.

    President Rafael Correa declared a national emergency and urged the Andean nation’s 16 million people to stay calm.

    “Our infinite love to the families of the dead,” he said on Twitter, while cutting short a trip to Italy.

    Vice President Jorge Glas said 77 people were confirmed dead so far, noting that it was the strongest quake to hit Ecuador since 1979.

    The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre initially issued a warning for the nearby Pacific coastline but later said the threat had largely passed.

    Official details on the damage to Guayaquil, a frequent departure point for foreign tourists visiting the Galapagos islands made famous by Charles Darwin, were slow to emerge.

    Reply
  68. Abel Adamski

     /  April 17, 2016

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-09/climate-change-driving-species-to-the-poles-scientists-say/7152682

    Climate change driving species to the Earth’s poles faster than predicted, scientists say

    Warming temperatures are pushing land and sea creatures closer to the north and south poles and to cooler altitudes at rates faster than first predicted, scientists say.

    Scientists from 40 countries are gathering in Hobart for a four-day conference about how climate change is forcing species to move, including humans.

    Professor Camille Parmesan from Plymouth University in the UK said around the world animals and plants were moving towards the Earth’s poles, and it is happening faster than scientists had originally predicted.

    Reply
  69. Abel Adamski

     /  April 17, 2016

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-17/us-environmentalist-issues-stark-warning-to-tasmania/7333226

    In his first visit to Tasmania, world renowned US environmentalist Bill McKibben has given a stark warning to the Tasmanian Government.

    The state is in the midst of an unprecedented energy crisis due to falling hydro-electric dam levels and a broken Basslink cable, which means power cannot be imported from the mainland.

    The former is being blamed on a dry summer, but climate change activist Mr McKibben warns the weather will only get hotter.

    “Unfortunately it’s not going to be the new norm, the new norm is going to be worse and more dramatic with each passing few years,” he said.

    He believes the focus should now be on diversifying Tasmania’s energy supply.

    “In the future, the main sources of new generation around the world are going to be sun and wind,” he said.

    Attorney-General Vanessa Goodwin said alternative power sources were under consideration.

    “The Energy Minister [Matthew Groom] has indicated that he will be considering all of these options in the context of where we go in the future,” she said.

    Reply
  70. Phil

     /  April 17, 2016

    I see on Neven’s site, speculation mounting about the possibility of another heat wave in Western Greenland. Will be interesting to see if it eventuates.

    Reply
  71. redskylite

     /  April 17, 2016

    I grew up just after WWII, I saw devastated cities being rebuilt, at school I learned about the Great Barrier Reef, it is ingrained in my mind.

    I saw the liberated young of the sixties, flower power, drugs, mods, rockers, skins, beatniks, Teds. Demonstrations, progress. Now in my later years I am dismayed at what is happening to the Great Barrier Reef. Icon of my childhood is all but destroyed. Thanks to the Observer/Guardian network for more honest reporting . . . . . . . It ain’t good, but it’s the real news.

    The scale of this bleaching event has even the most sober and senior coral reef scientists worried. If the rhetoric from marine biologists is to be believed, then the Great Barrier Reef is now in the grip of a “bommie apocalypse”.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/apr/17/great-barrier-reef-worst-destruction

    Reply
  72. redskylite

     /  April 17, 2016

    Grim happenings in Nepal at the moment . .

    “The fire situation is out of control. If prolonged dry conditions continue in the absence of rains, we are likely to experience a state of emergency in the coming days.”

    http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/goddard/2016/smoke-and-fires-in-nepal

    Reply
  73. Ryan in New England

     /  April 17, 2016

    More on the current devastating coral bleaching event…

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/apr/17/great-barrier-reef-worst-destruction

    Reply
    • I don’t know what was more depressing…the article or the comments. I should know better not to read the comments. It’s too bad ignorance isn’t painful.

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  April 17, 2016

        I know exactly what you mean, Suzanne. This and Neven’s Blog are the only comments sections that don’t send my blood pressure soaring and make me want to throw my laptop through the damn wall. The ignorance, the stupidity, and their confidence that they’re smarter than thousands of the world’s most knowledgeable experts is too much for me to handle. The worst part is all the denier talking points that are the exact opposite of reality, like volcanoes emit more CO2 than humans, or the globe is cooling, or there’s more sea ice than ever, etc. It makes me want to find the ones who started these memes and tear their hearts out, and shove them down their throats. And I’m a gentle soul who hasn’t been in a fight since the fourth grade.

        Reply
      • Ryan..Totally agree. I come here for the sanity. And you are right…reading comments at other sites is not good for ones health.🙂

        Reply
  74. utoutback

     /  April 17, 2016

    Straight forward and clear article refuting climate change skeptics in the Boston Globe:
    https://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2016/04/16/doubting-climate-change-not-enough/3aBHd9Weo9AxSmzI99LSZJ/story.html?ref=yfp#comments

    Reply
  75. One of the most shared articles at Slate this morning is a column by Phil Plait on GW…I am always encouraged when a GW article is getting a lot of shares…raising consciousness to the issue:
    “The New World: March 2016 is the sixth temperature record breaking month in a row”
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2016/04/16/march_2016_was_the_hottest_march_on_record.html

    The last sentence Phil specifically calls our need to elect politicians who see GW as a global crisis.

    Reply
    • Wow…that article really grabs you and scares the bejesus out of you. This quote in particular got my attention:
      “Nestle thinks one-third of the world’s population will be affected by fresh water scarcity by 2025, with the situation only becoming more dire thereafter and potentially catastrophic by 2050,” according to a March 24, 2009, cable. “Problems will be severest in the Middle East, northern India, northern China, and the western United States.”

      By 2025…rising sea levels (water water everywhere and not a drop to drink) and world wide droughts…it won’t be pretty.

      Reply
  76. Reply
    • – Latest info Tweet from Jason Box:

      ‘Jason Box ‏@climate_ice 10h10 hours ago Tårnby, Danmark

      because sea water is salty, you get 2 degrees C ice melting for free, below 1 km at ice sheet grounding lines another free 1 C @erignot

      Reply
  77. – Impressive photos of the 2nd (0415/16) Japan earthquake:

    Cryptome ‏@Cryptomeorg 1h1 hour ago

    Japan Quake 2

    Reply
  78. – Quite a bit of terra firma on the move here:

    Reply
  79. To use a phrase from Timothy Morton, we are now in the period of acceleration after the end of the world. Do any leaders have the resolve to do what’s needed to save mankind? The debates have been known for years, scientists are a conservative bunch, so when do leaders do what’s needed. I’ve done all I can: no car, no children, small apt.,small amount of energy use. Do others have the will or resolve to do what’s needed? I would like to live long enough to see it. I didn’t think the end would be apparent in my lifetime though.

    Reply
  80. – A couple of weeks ago I thought I noticed some increased seismic/volcanic activity up on the ‘Rim’ or ‘Ring’. It seems there was/is.
    Here’s AFP’s take:

    Reply
  81. Reply
    • wili

       /  April 18, 2016

      It seems a bit early in the season to be having heat waves of this magnitude. If it’s already about 45 C (113 F) there in April, what’s gonna happen in the heat of the summer?

      Reply
  82. PlazaRed

     /  April 17, 2016

    I clicked on the link to the arctic ice as in the blog heading and enlarging the picture for the 15th of April, there seems to be quite a large area of blue sea ice around the top and to the west of Greenland.
    There is a big break in the clouds and you can see there are at least 7 areas of what appears to be blue water.

    https://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov/?p=arctic&l=VIIRS_SNPP_CorrectedReflectance_TrueColor(hidden),MODIS_Aqua_CorrectedReflectance_TrueColor(hidden),MODIS_Terra_CorrectedReflectance_TrueColor,Reference_Labels(hidden),Reference_Features(hidden),Coastlines&t=2016-04-15&v=-1441416.2435705191,-1520209.7461423115,-114312.24357051914,-873041.7461423115

    Reply
  83. – Ever since I can remember, I have looked carefully at the sky and air around — from the nearest to the farthest horizon, and everything in between. Much can be learned by just looking — and noting what has been seen, or what has changed since the last view.

    I once had a web site I called SaveTheSky.net. The sky also being Earth’s atmosphere. I thought everyone would come rushing to save it. Ground observations with photos were (still are) are my main documents.

    The changes I see in the in the sky, and scientific evidence, continually worry me.

    David Lange ‏@DavidLange2 16m16 minutes ago

    – PNW Thin wispy clouds& N/S aviation trails – slow jet stream over #Portland, OR – 0417.

    Reply
    • Reply
    • – I’ve never seen the sky look like this. In the PNW, yet.

      Reply
      • Jay M

         /  April 18, 2016

        PDX area: according to old timer, unusual to get over 80F/27C before Memorial Day. Already one day in the bag and another heat up that is looking like at least 4 days.
        Winds seem to be easterly Sunday down the Columbia Gorge.

        Reply
      • – Jay M:
        NWS Seattle ‏@NWSSeattle 13m13 minutes ago

        How many times has #Seattle had 3 days in April 80° plus? Answer 0. Only 6 Aprils have had 2 80° plus days 1905,26,34,47,76 & 1987

        Reply
      • Cate

         /  April 18, 2016

        Odd coincidence: I too am an inveterate and curious sky-watcher from childhood, and very familiar with the seasonal characteristics of the sky in my corner of the NW Atlantic. Yesterday it was partly cloudy, but there was a strange milkiness to the light, an uncharacteristic haze for this time of year, like a pearly film across the entire sky.Temp was around 10C. Very strange, very much like your photos clear across the continent. .

        Reply
      • – Skywatching Cate: “a strange milkiness to the light, an uncharacteristic haze for this time of year, like a pearly film across the entire sky.”
        It has to be the moisture and particulate aerosols that keep increasing with FF and AGW.

        Reply
        • If this continues for long enough, you’ll get cirrus cloud level lighting and, ultimately, green skies. We’re a bit away from that, but continuing to burn fossil fuels gets us there.

      • – Skywatching Cate: Look at most news etc photos or vids — you might will see the same in most locations the US. Many also have a ‘steamy’ look to the local air shed.

        Reply
      • Cate

         /  April 18, 2016

        Yeah, I reckoned it was moisture, but it was very high, and so unseasonal. It will get blown out tomorrow night when the nor-easter hits. 20 cm forecast for central Newfoundland. We call it April.

        Robert please expl cirrus cloud level lighting?—-are you referring to nacreous clouds? and whence green skies?

        dt, thank you for the moniker—signing out as Cate Skywatcher.😀

        Reply
        • Eventually, you get enough water vapor at those levels to generate lightning due to the expanding tropopause. Green skies occur when ocean chemistry starts changing enough to affect atmospheric composition.

      • Cate

         /  April 19, 2016

        So green skies and high level lightning would be more indicators of imbalance…..tipping….

        Reply
        • Well, more like a whole different world. That’s more an end state of continuing carbon accumulation in the atmosphere and oceans.

      • Cate

         /  April 19, 2016

        Well, for now, Robert, I think you’ve hit on a possible source of this strange milkiness in the sky in responding to another post by dt : could this be particulates from the Alaskan volcano(es)?

        Your comment jogged my senior’s memory when Eyjafjallajokull erupted in 2010, we were living in Scotland, right in the path of the ash cloud. Some days there was noticeable ash accumulation on cars and so on, but on some otherwise clear days there was a kind of veil over the sky, not like the usual moisture-laden air of the UK, but very much like the pearly film I noticed here this week.. I haven’t been following the systems or the jet across the continent this week so I could be out to lunch on this, but a volcanic source makes sense in theory at least.

        Reply
    • – Sort of an Asian Arctic?

      ‘… findings show that reduced snow cover on the Tibetan Plateau triggers high pressure over southern Europe and north-east Asia, reducing cloud formation and pushing up temperatures. Warmer and drier conditions in turn further inhibit cloud formation, intensifying local heat waves, says their paper, published recently in Climate Dynamics.

      Summer snow cover on the Tibetan plateau has already decreased significantly over the past 50 years with rising level of global greenhouse gases. The region is warming at almost three times the global average.

      Reply
    • – And via Climatehawk1:

      Climate Change Is Melting Everest
      Apr 12, 2016

      Research shows that higher temperatures around the world’s tallest peak are thawing its glaciers, which could spell doom for villages in the Khumbu Valley

      “Across the Eastern area of the Himalaya there are more and more [lakes] developing,” says Quincey. “It’s a positive feedback cycle: a small pond absorbs more radiation than it would if it was rock, and that heats the water, which melts more ice, and the pond gets bigger.”

      At some point, the side of one of the lakes on the Khumbu Glacier may give way, sending water and debris cascading down into villages in the Khumbu Valley below. The researchers aren’t predicting such an outburst any time soon, but it’s still a concern, Quincey says. “While the last thing I want to do is start saying there’s imminent disaster, you really don’t want a big lake there at the head of that valley.”
      http://www.outsideonline.com/2067651/climate-change-melting-everest

      Reply
      • Mark from OZ

         /  April 18, 2016

        Hey dt

        Following on from the notion that melting glaciers can ‘trap’ the water until something gives…

        This from your ‘neighbourhood’ but mine too, (years back)–former Spokane resident.
        Glacial Lake Missoula ‘let go’ recently ( about 13,000 years ago) and produced one of the planet’s biggest floods; the Columbia is a vestige. The images show what huge volumes of trapped water at elevation can ‘do’ when they are released and in a hurry to reach the Pacific. Probably the most awe-inspiring place I’ve ever been thanks to understanding what happened not long ago.

        http://hugefloods.com/LakeMissoula.html

        Reply
      • — Thanks, Mark.
        I was astounded when I learned how big it was. And, via the sediment deposited in OR, It made the Willamette Valley very suitable for agriculture.

        Reply
  84. – UK Muzzling state-funded science…

    ‘Britain’s scientists must not be gagged’

    A ban on state-funded academics using their work to question government policy is to begin on 1 May.

    The aim of the Cabinet Office edict was to stop NGOs from lobbying politicians and Whitehall departments using the government’s own funds. The effect, say senior scientists, campaigners and research groups, will be to muzzle scientists from speaking out on important issues. The government move is a straightforward assault on academic freedom, they argue.

    These critics highlight examples such as those of sociologists whose government-funded research shows new housing regulations are proving particularly damaging to the homeless; ecologists who discover new planning laws are harming wildlife; or climate scientists whose findings undermine government energy policy. All would be prevented from speaking out under the new grant scheme as it stands.
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/apr/17/britains-scientists-must-not-be-gagged

    Reply
  85. Jeremy

     /  April 17, 2016

    Tesla Model 3 launch.
    Musk talks sexy sustainability sense.

    Reply
  86. Reply
    • Joint Cyclone Center ‏@JointCyclone 2h2 hours ago

      Intense Tropical #CycloneFantala is now a intensifying to a Category 5 hurricane with 170mph

      Reply
  87. Reply
  88. Jeremy

     /  April 18, 2016

    $1.1 Billion in hail damage in Plano, N. Texas last month.
    Video:
    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=7ee_1460423341

    Reply
    • Jay M

       /  April 18, 2016

      need hail proof windows (for cars and buildings) pronto

      Reply
    • wili

       /  April 18, 2016

      A billion here, a billion there…pretty soon your talking about real money! ‘-)

      Really, though, at some point will GW-spawned extreme weather events just bankrupt us?

      Reply
  89. Colorado Bob

     /  April 18, 2016

    Record Balkan floods linked to jamming of giant airstreams

    Date:
    April 16, 2016
    Source:
    Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
    Summary:
    Disastrous floods in the Balkans two years ago are likely linked to the temporary slowdown of giant airstreams, scientists found. These wind patterns, circling the globe in the form of huge waves between the Equator and the North Pole, normally move eastwards, but practically stopped for several days then — at the same time, a weather system got stuck over Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia that poured out record amounts of rain.

    Link

    Reply
  90. Colorado Bob

     /  April 18, 2016

    Gusts to 207 mph

    Reply
  91. Reply
  92. Jimmy

     /  April 18, 2016

    Check out the jet stream forecast for April 22 to 25. It’s looking like a big ridge running high up over Greenland. Nullschool has temps forecast to 22nd with lots of warmth over south western Greenland. Imagine if a rosby wave parked a warm high pressure over Greenland for a few weeks this summer! We could watch it fall apart a great deal very quickly.

    Reply
  93. – AU — Coal — Air pollution:

    Air quality across Australia has deteriorated to alarming levels with the coal industry the nation’s worst polluter, new data has shown.

    The most concerning rise in air pollution is from PM10, a coarse pollution particle about the width of a human hair. Nationally, total PM10 emissions have increased 69 per cent in one year, and 194 per cent in five years.

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/air-pollution-increases-69-per-cent-as-coal-named-top-polluter-20160417-go8b82.html

    Reply
  94. – NA USA Weather — Hasn’t this been going on for quite a while now?

    Zack Labe ‏@ZLabe 4h4 hours ago

    A look at the composite of MAX radar reflectivity over the last 24-hr show the area soaked by the recent heavy rains

    Reply
  95. Jeremy

     /  April 18, 2016

    Continuing the death of coal:

    “Norway’s $860 billion sovereign wealth fund unveiled the first list of miners and power producers to be excluded from its portfolio following a ban on coal investments.”

    “Norges Bank has estimated that the ban on coal investments, which was agreed in Parliament last year against the initial reluctance of Norway’s minority, Conservative-led government, would force the fund to sell holdings valued at about 55 billion kroner in 120 companies.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-14/norway-s-860-billion-fund-drops-52-companies-linked-to-coal

    Reply
  96. Chuck Hughes

     /  April 18, 2016

    Jet Stream is stuck in an Omega shaped blocking pattern stretching from Mexico to Canada and back down to Florida. Once again Texas is getting slammed along with Oklahoma. Atmospheric River riding up and over the middle of the country. YeeHaw! The Arctic is melting fast and Greenland is trying to catch up. What could possibly go wrong???

    Reply
  97. One dead, seven missing after storms wreak havoc in central Chile

    http://news.trust.org/item/20160417232414-cj5dd/?source=fiHeadlineStory

    Reply
  98. Abel Adamski

     /  April 18, 2016

    One for CB and DT
    http://phys.org/news/2016-04-microbial-ecosystems-reef-building-corals-animals.html

    Inner microbial ecosystems keep reef-building corals and other animals ‘in the pink’

    Humans are made up of millions of microbes, collectively called our microbiomes. These microbial “ecosystems” contribute to keeping us healthy.

    It’s the same for corals and other species, scientists are finding. Corals’ microbiomes play an important role in reef health. Understanding what lies deep within coral reefs will help us protect these imperiled ecosystems, now under siege by El Niño’s unusually warm waters.

    Reply
  99. Abel Adamski

     /  April 18, 2016

    Fossil fuels could be phased out worldwide in a decade, says new study
    April 15, 2016 by James Hakner

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-04-fossil-fuels-phased-worldwide-decade.html#jCp

    Reply
  100. Colorado Bob

     /  April 18, 2016

    Rain gauges in parts of Harris County, which includes most of Houston, showed water levels approaching 20 inches since late Sunday night.

    Link

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  April 18, 2016

      “This is a mind-boggling situation,” said Jim Cantore, storm tracker for The Weather Channel.
      At one point Monday morning, emergency officials said as many as 60 water rescues were underway simultaneously as rescue workers plucked people from their homes. The National Weather Service in Houston said there were more than 70 subdivisions flooded in the metro area.
      https://weather.com/safety/floods/news/houston-southeast-texas-flooding-impacts

      Reply
      • – Any talk of threat to the Houston shipping channel and concentrated petrochemical facilities.?

        Reply
      • Greg

         /  April 18, 2016

        Don’t have time to find the links but rain heavy through tomorrow with 5 plus more inches possible so more threats and one petrochemical complex on fire from lightning.

        Reply
      • – Jolt. I never considered lightning…

        Reply
    • Greg

       /  April 18, 2016
      Reply
    • Boy did the forecast underpredict this one …

      Reply
      • – It seems that every recent weather event forming, or coming, from this direction ends up offering much more than expected.

        Reply
        • NOAA had predicted 7 inches for the region. The QPC model still hasn’t caught up to reality. We had 4 inches per hour. Four fracking inches in a single hour and up to 20 inches or more. Storms are still training in through Houston. The moisture flow just sat there. Cut off upper level low. Omega block and a bullish high pressure system that wouldn’t budge. All funneling up that Equatorial moisture off our ebbing El Nino and very warm Gulf of Mexico.

          Record atmospheric readings are starting to back off. So some of the excess record moisture is bound to fall out in heavy rainfall events. And we’re seeing those globally now. Should continue on into summer. The big highs are starting to wring the moisture out. It’s a mess. A huge godawful mess.

  101. Colorado Bob

     /  April 18, 2016

    Last 24 hours –

    Floods Overwhelm Chile’s Capital, Fouling Water Supply

    Floods, Landslides Leave 6 Missing in Eastern Indonesia

    Flash Floods in North Afghanistan Kill 38 People Overnight

    Floods Leave at Least 9 Dead in Chile and Uruguay

    Reply
  102. Colorado Bob

     /  April 18, 2016

    Floods in Russia

    Over the last few days, Russia has been plagued by numerous floods in central and northern parts of the country. The bad weather has also accelerated the thawing of ice in many rivers. The Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations has sent teams to address the problems.

    Link

    Reply
  103. – For Andy:

    Reply
    • Andy in SD

       /  April 18, 2016

      Thanks DT,

      I’ll try to make it down there (it’s about 5 miles from my house).

      Reply
  104. Colorado Bob

     /  April 18, 2016

    If you spend a lot of time talking to scientists about climate change, there’s one word you’ll hear time and time again, and yet it’s hardly ever mentioned in the public discussion of climate change. The word is “non-linear.”

    Most people think of global warming as an incremental thing. It may be inexorable, but it’s also predictable. Alas, most people are wrong. The climate is a very complex system, and complex systems can change in non-linear ways.

    In other words, you cannot count on the average global temperature rising steadily but slowly as we pump more and more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. It may do that — but there may also be a sudden jump in the average global temperature that lands you in a world of hurt. That may be happening now.

    Link

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  April 18, 2016

      Good find, Bob. Excellent piece by Gwynne Dyer, the Canadian military historian, who, when asked if ISIS scared him shitless, replied that, No, only one thing scares him shitless and that’s climate change.

      Reply
    • When large quantities of methane are released, as in previous probable hothouse mass extinction events, this can apparently overwhelm the oxidation capacity of the atmosphere, and increase the greenhouse potency of methane – an example of a strong positive feedback loop, according to Isaksen et al.

      Strong atmospheric chemistry feedback to climate warming from Arctic methane emissions

      “The indirect contribution to RF [Radiative Forcing – LP] of additional methane emission is particularly important. It is shown that if global methane emissions were to increase by factors of 2.5 and 5.2 above current emissions, the indirect contributions to RF would be about 250% and 400%, respectively, of the RF that can be attributed to directly emitted methane alone. Assuming several hypothetical scenarios of CH4 release associated with permafrost thaw, shallow marine hydrate degassing, and submarine landslides, we find a strong positive feedback on RF through atmospheric chemistry. In particular, the impact of CH4 is enhanced through increase of its lifetime,and of atmospheric abundances of ozone, stratospheric water vapor, and CO2 as a result of atmospheric chemical processes.”

      Sorry for posting this link so often, but this is a really important finding, I think:

      http://www.atmos.washington.edu/academics/classes/2011Q2/558/IsaksenGB2011.pdf

      So, doing the arithmetic on the above statement, if methane increases by 5.2 times, and forcing increases by 400%, that’s roughly a 20 times increase in radiative forcing from methane plus atmospheric chemistry effects. Even if forcing from CO2 doubles by that time, forcing from methane plus atmospheric chemistry (plus secondary CO2 from methane) would still be on the order of six times greater than the forcing from CO2 (not derived from methane) at this point in this hypothetical scenario.

      When large quantities of methane are released, this can apparently overwhelm the oxidation capacity of ocean basins, according to modeling done by the IMPACTS group of national labs and universities. This is predicted to lead to 60% of the methane released by methane hydrates in these ocean basins bypassing the oxidation barrier of the oceans and escaping into the atmosphere, in their conservative modeling scenarios.

      When I read about this stuff, it reminds me of the enzymatic feedback loops in biological cells, which often have to display on/off behavior, and switch rapidly from one state to another, in a nonlinear fashion. It’s just all very reminiscent of the ultrasensitivity phenomenon in cells, I think, an evolved characteristic that switches cells very rapidly and sometimes irreversibly from one state into another.

      Reply
      • Uh, correction. If methane increases by 5 times current emissions and the atmospheric chemistry feedback factor is 400%, but CO2 forcing doubles, forcing from methane plus atmospheric chemistry effects would be roughly 3 times the forcing from CO2 at that point. Sorry, mental arithmetic error.

        Reply
    • Syd Bridges

       /  April 18, 2016

      You raise a very important issue, CB. Many systems are linear over a certain range of conditions. But push the system out of its stability range and nasty things can happen, often with almost no warming.

      In my days as a graduate chemistry student, I remember a few reactions that started slowly but were subject to some form of autocatalysis. Bromine and acetone is a classic example. The bromination is very slow to start with, but as well as bromoacetone, hydrogen bromide is produced. This is an acid and the reaction is acid catalysed. After apparently doing very little for a while, it suddenly bursts into action and the acetone begins to boil. Another example, which I remember running was N,N-dimethyl oxamide and phosphorous pentachloride. Both are solids and the reaction is very slow, with a gradual release of hydrogen chloride gas. (Of course, this was in a fume hood.) But the products were liquids and they dissolved one or both reactants and the reaction boiled without any heating, which is why it needed a reflux condenser on the apparatus. IIRC-this was 1972-it fumed slowly for about 30 minutes, and two minutes later it was boiling vigorously with liquid streaming back down the vertical reflux condenser into the reaction vessel..

      As a circuit designer, I soon found that trying to squeeze a little extra gain out of a circuit could end up with smoking components or even exploding capacitors or transistors. I was working for the fire industry at the time, and domestic and other building fires are a tragic example of how people fail to understand non-linear systems. Chemical reaction rates usually rise exponentially with temperature and so confined fires grow exponentially as the combustion heat is reradiated back into the room or building. A lethal flashover often occurs in a matter of a minute or two. Most people only see carefully contained fires indoors or bonfires where the heat is radiated into the sky around them. Film depictions often show flames creeping along the carpet and perhaps the curtains on fire, but the hero/heroine still has time to rescue the girl/dog/etc. This is great for prolonging the drama, but it does not reflect the lethal reality of such fires. The reradiated heat is a positive feedback that is not seen in controlled fires. People have very little time to react in these circumstances and often have no idea of the true danger.

      Small perturbations to our stable Holocene climate have generally been reversed over centuries as they were fairly linear. But we are now pushing beyond the stable linear response and non-linear, or even exponential, changes may push us into a very different climate system-one that may take many millennia to return from. We, too, are increasing the reradiated heat and risking a massive natural release of greenhouse gases to add to our own pollution.

      Do politicians understand this? I very much doubt it. 3 percent growth sounds modest, but over a century it is over 19 times the starting amount. I laughed at JEB! and his sustainable 5 percent economic growth claim. Wasn’t one of his minions numerate and computer savvy enough to prepare an Excel spreadsheet with (1 + X)^n for values of x between 0.01 and 0.1 and n say at 10, 20 ,30…90,100? Or would such a simple reality check have been totally unacceptable, leading to instant dismissal? It would be 1.477 over his 8 year presidency, 3.386 over 25 years, 11.467 over 50 years, and the country would be 131.5 times richer in 2116! Had I been a US citizen I would, of course, have voted for him unless someone else offered 10 percent growth.

      Reply
  105. – USA — SLR/subsidence From April 16 — Don’t recall seeing it here:

    Atlantic coastline sinks as sea levels rise

    Taken together, that suggests the sea has been rising along the county’s shorelines recently at a pace greater than 4.5 inches per decade — a globally extraordinary rate. Similar effects are playing out in places that include Sandy Hook in New Jersey and Norfolk in Virginia, the analysis shows.

    Gloucester Point, Va., which is home to the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, was also found to be sinking at a similar rate. Scientists there have been “noticing impacts,” said Carl Hershner, a wetlands expert who has worked at the institute since 1971. “Flooding in our boat basin is one piece of evidence.”

    Reply
    • Andy in SD

       /  April 18, 2016

      Combine those with salt water intrusion due to ground water depletion, bad things coming…

      Reply
  106. Reply
  107. Reply
    • – UK Air Pollution — Action

      Reply
      • — ‘Greenpeace activists fitted gas masks to another 17 statues in the capital, including Oliver Cromwell in the grounds of the Houses of Parliament, Winston Churchill in Parliament Square, Queen Victoria opposite Buckingham Palace, Thierry Henry at Arsenal’s Emirates stadium and Eros’s plinth at Piccadilly Circus.’

        Reply
  108. NWS Seattle ‏@NWSSeattle 1m1 minute ago

    Already broke the record today at Sea-Tac, before noon! Previous record was 77F set in 1962, and its currently 81F

    Reply
  109. Jeremy

     /  April 18, 2016

    Listen and learn:

    “This week Eric welcomes investigative journalist Steve Horn to the show to discuss a little known energy lobbying organization, the connections between the Clinton and Trump campaigns and Big Energy, and some of the geopolitical issues surrounding Israel-Palestine and energy extraction. Steve outlines his investigation of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) and how it operates as both a lobbying group and a shaper of energy policy at the state and federal levels while it works to undermine environmental legislation.”

    http://store.counterpunch.org/?powerpress_pinw=22223-podcast

    Reply
  110. – Indian Ocean 2016 — Another for the record book. (We’re gonna need a bigger book!)🙂

    Reply
  111. Reply
  112. – NA USA Southwest — Coniferous forests:
    Bob.

    New research predicts that nearly all coniferous forests in the American Southwest could be lost to climate change by the end of the century.

    Dr. Nathan McDowell, who led the Los Alamos National Laboratory study, says the projected mass die-off of trees like junipers and piñon pines will be widespread within the next thirty-four years.

    What’s going to kill so many trees? The big culprits will be more frequent and intense droughts and heat waves.

    MCDOWELL: “There’s one smoking gun: we must curb CO2 emissions dramatically…
    http://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2016/04/forest-die-offs-predicted-in-u-s-southwest/

    Reply
  113. @ZLabe a graphical look at the current record highs at this hour from southernwestern Canada into Pacific Northwest

    Reply
    • Impressive! >90% of NAEFS outside max climatology (500mb heights) resulting record warmth into the Pacific Northwest

      Reply
  114. I do not like this graph. Nope nope nope nope nope. I do not.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CgWdBAxXEAEfmX4.jpg:large

    Reply
  115. Jeremy

     /  April 18, 2016

    Enjoy the videos of Houston flooding.
    They’ll be drowning even as they deny climat change.

    http://abc13.com/news/video-tour-of-flooded-areas-in-houston/1296730/

    Reply
  116. Colorado Bob

     /  April 19, 2016

    DTL –
    I never considered that junipers and piñon pines , and the Green;and ice sheet would be holding hands in a death spiral together. But it was right in front of face the whole time.

    Reply
  117. Robert, I’m having difficulty posting to the Houston piece for some reason. Just getting a screen with the message “This reply could not be posted.” Is there some difficulty?

    Reply
  118. Abel Adamski

     /  April 19, 2016

    Awareness is spreading
    http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2016/04/18/its-a-crucial-year-to-address-climate-change-in-ou.aspx

    It’s a Crucial Year to Address Climate Change in Our Portfolios
    This year, shareholders can vote on 94 climate change-related shareholder proposals at U.S. public companies. Where do you stand?

    Climate change wake-up calls have been becoming steadily more persistent. For starters, it’s official: 2015 was the hottest year on record, beating out 2014, which had previously held the dubious honor. The record-breaking heat continues, too: This past February was the most unusually warm month on record (measuring how much warmer it was than the long-term average), beating out the previous month.

    Within just the past week, icy Greenland warmed up to the types of temperatures that would be typical for months from now, climbing at one point to a balmy 64 degrees; the accompanying crazy spike in ice melt inspired perplexed scientists to double-check their models for mistakes.

    NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory also released some weird intelligence to ponder, too. Climate change is causing a polar shift, changing the Earth’s “wobble” — in other words, altering how the planet moves on its axis. This relates to melting ice at the poles, redistributing weight to the middle of the planet. Although this shift apparently won’t itself cause problems, there’s no doubt it’s a jarring and dramatic thought.
    .
    .
    In the case of a changing climate, risks go far beyond investors losing their shirts due to, say, companies failing to innovate for a competitive landscape. It’s about the entire landscape itself: weather, agriculture, natural resources, entire ecosystems, political stability, economies, and, last but not least, human beings and their livelihoods themselves.

    Investors, be sure to check your proxy statements for shareholder proposals. As you read your fellow shareholders’ resolutions and managements’ responses, think long and hard about whether your companies are doing enough, and use your proxy ballot to add your two cents and even vote your conscience.

    And, needless to say, if companies fail to adjust to signs of a very new, risky reality, there’s the possibility of losing one’s investment — and, ultimately, we could all lose a lot more than that.

    Reply
    • Maybe pull out of companies that bankroll climate change denial media organizations like AIE, Americans For Prosperity, and ALEC together with republican climate change deniers for starters? Oh, and take a note from Bill McKibben and divest from fossil fuels?

      Reply

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