“Please Get Us Out” — Hothouse Wildfire Threatens to Engulf Tar Sands City of Fort McMurray, 88,000 Evacuated, 1,600 Structures Burned

Emergency situation now ongoing in Fort McMurray, Alberta where a massive wildfire in this northern climate zone is engulfing the city. This is a very dangerous developing situation that includes hundreds of structure fires and what is now the largest evacuation in the history of Alberta — the first time an entire Canadian city has ever had to evacuate due to a wildfire. Frequent updates to follow (refresh page for new updates).

(BBC report on the latest news from Fort McMurray.)

Conditions Consistent With Climate Change Fan Massive Fire Invading City Made by Tar Sands Production

Monday, a massive wildfire began to encroach upon the City of Fort McMurray, Alberta — a region of Canada known for its production of the hothouse gas emitting tar sands. An emission that has almost certainly contributed to increasing fire danger to the city during recent years and decades as tar sands crude is one of the highest carbon fuels now in production (See: IPCC — How Climate Change is Worsening Wildfires).

The McMurray Fire slowly expanded over the weekend under unseasonably hot and dry conditions. It surprised fire officials by jumping the Athabasca River on Monday night and, with a switch in the wind toward the southwest, began to approach and invade northward into the city on Tuesday. By early evening Wednesday, the fire still raged out of control — swelling to more than 10,000 hectares as more than 1,600 buildings fell victim to the flames.

Reporter Reid Fiest in a tweet at 12:05 PM Wednesday briefly described what is now a city under existential threat:

The catastrophic wildfire is 10,000 ha and resisted all the suppression efforts. Today’s weather could cause explosive conditions.

And by 2:37 PM, fire activity within the city had become so intense that the roof of the Fort McMurray emergency operations center began to smolder and those working within were ordered to evacuate.

Extreme Temperatures in Northwest Canada

(It was hotter in Northwest Canada Tuesday than it was in the Central US. Extreme heat related to human-forced warming that contributed to a dangerous developing fire situation in Fort McMurray, Alberta. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

The southerly winds and hot airs fanning such explosive conditions ran up behind a high amplitude wave in the Jet Stream pushing temperatures into the upper 80s and lower 90s (F) — readings that are about 30-35 degrees (F) above average for this time of year — over a broad swath of Northwestern Canada on Tuesday. The heat-baked air wrung out moisture and drew humidity readings into the very dry 20 percent range. Similar extreme fire conditions continued into Wednesday — with temperatures in Fort McMurray hitting a very unseasonal 87 degrees — as the fire now burns through the city proper.

Clouds of My Grandchildren over Fort McMurray

Pyrocumulus cloud over Fort McMurray on Tuesday. Clouds of this kind can form in the strong updraft zone of powerful wildfires. During recent years, pyrocumulus formation over the Arctic and other northern regions during spring and summer has been very intense and widespread. A climate change enhanced phenomena that could rightly be called ‘The Clouds of My Grandchildren.’ Image source: Randy Vanberg.

To the north, a very early recession of sea ice in the Beaufort and an opening up of waters there likely assisted this Jet Stream anomaly, a related strong high pressure system, extreme high temperatures, and hot southerly winds that pushed fire conditions in Alberta to unprecedented levels. The south winds, far, far hotter than normal temperatures and very low humidity contributed to a very dangerous situation fanning flames as they encroached upon and invaded the city — burning structures, igniting oil fires and forcing motorists to abandon their vehicles. All while a massive pyrocumulus cloud expanded — casting a dark shadow and dumping soot over this bitumen-laden region of Alberta.

For this region of Canada, these are highly abnormal conditions consistent with weather pattern alterations forced by human-caused climate change. “This (fire) is consistent with what we expect from human-caused climate change affecting our fire regime,” noted Mike Flannigan a wildfire researcher at the University of Alberta who was cited in a report on the climate context of the McMurray Fire on Wednesday.

All Fort McMurray City Residents Ordered to Flee

As of latest reports, all of Fort McMurray’s city proper has been placed under mandatory evacuation orders. That makes for a total of more than 88,000 people evacuated so far. Including outlying suburbs and migrant residents, the city likely is home to a total of more than 100,000 souls — a good number of whom will also be forced to leave. A fire-driven evacuation of this size — basically resulting in the mandatory emptying of an entire city — has never occurred before in the history of Alberta. And the odd nature of this event is magnified by the fact that a very large early May fire — a period when fire activity is typically far more quiescent — is the cause.

Please Get Us Out

(Abasand resident pleas for assistance as fires encroach.)

Many residents, like Jenine in the tweet above, had to scramble to vehicles as fires approached their neighborhoods on Tuesday, spurring some to turn to social media in order to plea for assistance. The proximity of the flames was so close that many residents were unable to bring any personal belongings. With the entire city being ordered to evacuate, both lanes of Highway 63 were used for outbound traffic. Even so, motorists remained stuck in gridlock or stop and go traffic and were forced to drive through billowing smoke and along beside the raging fires. Some vehicles stalled in the hot winds or simply ran out of gas — leaving highway 63 strewn with empty cars, trucks, and buses.

The flow of evacuees has been driven northward ahead of the fire. Emergency shelters have popped up all along route 63 with many tar sands workers hunkering down in camps within the hothouse fuels extraction zone itself. A region that may also fall under threat by the fire.

The closest tar sands facilities are located within 16 miles of the city center. However, fuels for the fires in the form of trees run right up to the edge of the industrial zone and southerly winds expected to continue through late morning on Thursday may drive the flames closer. After that time, a front sweeping in from the north should shift the wind direction to northwest — pushing the fires away from these facilities. Currently, the possibility of the fires affecting these facilities is low. However, both Shell and Suncor have now suspended operations — presenting a brief silver lining to an, overall, terrible situation.

Huge Mobilization Underway, But Much of the City May Succumb to the Fire

Firefighters, who early on Tuesday acknowledged the severity of the situation, are now scrambling to deal with numerous very large blazes raging throughout the town. Social media imagery now shows images of gas stations, stores, and homes being burned or left in ruins by the fires. As of current reports, more than 1,600 structures been destroyed by the flames. By 2:28 PM Wednesday, these included 70 percent of the homes in Beacon Hill, 50 percent of the homes in Abasand, 90 percent of the homes in Waterway, and about 60 other homes and additional structures lost throughout other sections of the city. Unfortunately, given the severity of the situation, the number of burned structures is likely to grow as Wednesday progresses into Thursday.

NASA Shot of Fort McMurray Fire

Large active fires running north of a huge, 15 kilometer, burn scar. Satellite shot of Fort McMurray Fire and burn scars posted in the NASA twitter feed on Wednesday afternoon.

Considering the massive pall of smoke covering Fort McMurray and the fact that firefighters have been overwhelmed by the intensity of the fires — leaving many structures to burn — the situation has run completely out of control. National officials are scrambling to allocate more resources to attempt to abate what is a very difficult and dangerous inferno. A national emergency has been declared and an outpouring of assistance and resources is now aimed in the direction of Fort McMurray. Reports as of Wednesday afternoon indicated that there were 250 firefighters on the ground in the fire zone with more on the way. And by evening a number of defensive fire breaks appear to have been cut in an attempt to control the blaze’s expansion.

However, with numerous other fires now raging throughout Canada and with fire conditions at extreme levels over such a large area, at least one province — British Columbia — is already at the limits of its fire suppression manpower and was unable to provide aid to Fort McMurray. As a result, Alberta officials are now coordinating with national and military firefighting forces as fires continue to expand through the city and along the Athabasca River.

Conditions in Context — More Tar Sands Burning Generates More Wildfire Risk

It’s true that the people of Fort McMurray have suffered enough from this disaster and that the people of Canada and the world should do their best to help them in their hour of need. However, one cannot look at the situation truthfully without taking into account the impact of the Canada’s tar sands upon what is now a broadening climate crisis.

For years and decades now, IPCC has been warning that increasing greenhouse gas emissions and related rising global temperatures will result in increasing, expanding, and extreme wildfire hazards. The region of Northwest Canada is particularly vulnerable due to the influence of sea ice melt on the local Jet Stream pattern and due to the fact that many plant species in the region are ill-adapted to warming temperatures making them far more vulnerable to wildfires. In addition, permafrost thaw in the Arctic zone provides peat-like fuels that add to the fire risk. An issue where the ground itself burns.

Failure to view the current crisis in Fort McMurray in the context of global temperatures that have now exceeded 1 C above preindustrial averages and in the context of a failure to halt tar sands extraction is a failure to view the situation realistically. Much talk has been made of getting Fort McMurray’s tar sands industry back on track. But it’s the tar sands that have greatly contributed to the intensity of the dangerous fire that is now threatening that city’s very existence. And it’s the tar sands that will produce far-flung harmful impacts affecting so, so many other cities around the world. Will Fort McMurray respond to their hour of need by finding a better way of doing business? Or is it all just still denial and doubling down in a way that hurts just about everyone involved?

(Best hopes and prayers to everyone involved in this terrible situation. Please stay safe and stay tuned to official broadcasts for updated information on fires and evacuations.)

Links:

Fort McMurray Homes Destroyed as Wildfire Forces Mandatory Evacuation Orders

Fort McMurray Residents take to Social Media as Situation Intensifies

Jenine’s Twitter Feed

Earth Nullschool

LANCE MODIS

Canadian Fire Danger Map

Fort McMurray Area Updates

It’s Apocalyptic. No Way out But North.

Here’s the Climate Context for the Fort McMurray Wildfire

Alberta Burning

Randy Vanberg

NASA Twitter Feed

Hat tip to Cate

Hat tip to Mike Crews

Hat tip to Andy in San Diego

Hat tip to DT Lange

Hat tip to Redsky

Hat tip to TodaysGuestIs

Leave a comment

289 Comments

  1. So, I looked up Fort McMurray on Google Maps to check how far north it is (56.7 deg.) and Google happens to print the current weather for the city, too:

    Mostly Sunny · 91°F
    5:06 PM

    Reply
  2. Griffin

     /  May 3, 2016

    Good Lord that fire is terrifying. For those of you on Twitter, search #ymmfire.
    Robert, great job by you and Cate to bring this to our attention. Thank you for all you do!

    Reply
    • Good lord is right. Let’s just hope those people get to safety and the firefighters bring the situation under control.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  May 4, 2016

        Robert, thanks for the HT and Griiffin, thank you, too, but it’s no fun being the bearer of such bad news.

        Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  May 4, 2016

        Do you reckon the tar-sands themselves can burn, on site, like peat fires or naturally occurring hydrocarbon fires?

        Reply
        • In some places, the bitumen is in high enough concentration that it will burn. So, yeah, there are parts of the ground there that are flammable in that region.

    • New updates are in. Trying to get a fix on the fire’s location and scope as of early afternoon Wednesday. My understanding is that not only has the fire engulfed large sections of the city itself — expanding to 10,000 hectares — but that it is also moving north along the Abathasca River. If this is the case, then we may see some risk to Tar Sands facilities. The nearest Tar Sands structures are about 16 miles north of the city center and are visible as brown and barren swaths in the satellite imagery from Tuesday in the post above.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  May 4, 2016

        Superb work on the updates, Robert. Watching this with huge anxiety—wildfire in the heart of tarsands.

        Reply
      • Cate

         /  May 4, 2016

        We are hearing now that boil water advisories are in effect across the entire fire-affected region, as water supplies may have been contaminated. Some of the moth-balled work camps to which evacuees have been directed lack water at the moment. So here’s another aspect as the effects play out—and I suppose the EMO folks learn a lot from such enforced exercises.

        Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  May 5, 2016

        Robert, the propaganda machine is cranking up in Australia, too. The ABC (Government broadcasters) ‘News’ just had a report of the catastrophic mass death event in the waters off Chile, with dead whales, sardines, salmon etc. The report, lengthy and with a hackette not previously seen, also mentioned drought in India, Indonesia and Vietnam, but specifically and repeatedly blamed ‘El Nino’ alone, and NOT a syllable about climate destabilisation. Two also previously unknown ‘scientists’ were wheeled out, also not mentioning the unmentionable. They probably have jobs to defend, at a time when the Federal regime is simply destroying climate science, a la Harper in Canada. The MSM presstitute even ended with an up-beat promise that nice La Nina would soon be here, and end the drought. To call it moronic agit-prop would be praising with faint damnation.

        Reply
  3. Jimmy

     /  May 3, 2016

    check out the fire weather indices

    http://wildfire.alberta.ca/fire-danger-forecasts/default.aspx

    I did fire for 9 years with Alberta Forestry. Finished in 2002. I’ve never seen anything like this and it’s not even ‘fire season’ yet! Alberta could be out of forest by mid summer.

    http://wildfire.alberta.ca/fire-weather/understanding-fire-weather.aspx

    Reply
    • Thanks for the comment and info, Jimmy. Thanks for your service as a firefighter. Sad to say but they’re going to need a lot of guys like you in the years to come.

      It’s pretty crazy. The fires clearly haven’t gotten the message that this isn’t their time for big blazes.

      Reply
    • Bill H

       /  May 4, 2016

      CO2 may be, as soi-disant “sceptics say”, plant food. As these events show, for the umpteenth time, it’s also plant death.

      Reply
  4. Andy in SD

     /  May 4, 2016

    Looking at the sit rep for CIFFC (Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre) over 22,000 ha has burned so far this year in Canada. Last year at this time it was 0 ha.

    1102 fires so far this year, last year on this date it was 0.

    161 fires, 27 of which are out of control. A 7,000 ha beast in BC is set as a priority fire.

    http://www.ciffc.ca/firewire/current.php

    Reply
  5. Andy in SD

     /  May 4, 2016

    Reply
    • That’s a lot of RED there. Have to wonder if eastern area will impact grain on the Prairie.
      A quick scan of windyty sez: Fort Mac has erratic winds seem to be mostly from South and some from the North.

      Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  May 4, 2016

        We suffered a terrifying wildfire here in South Australia, a few months ago, that spread with lightning speed through standing grain crops, destroying scores of houses and killing two. As usual, the locals and fire-fighters had ‘..never seen anything like it before’.

        Reply
    • Thanks for your quick updates last night, Andy.

      Reply
  6. – A repost better suited here:

    Reply
  7. Jay M

     /  May 4, 2016

    syncrude facility just up the river:

    Reply
  8. Cate

     /  May 4, 2016

    Weather Network forecaster on tomorrow for Fort Mac: “just as hot, just as dry, and the winds will be gustier.”

    This is a disaster.

    Reply
    • Today’s high is predicted to be 87 there. It’s like July in DC has come to Fort McMurray, Canada in early May. That and a fire that threatens to consume the city itself.

      Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  May 4, 2016

      A ‘disaster foretold’.

      Reply
      • Gforce

         /  May 5, 2016

        Hello Mulga, we’ve encountered one another over at Truthdig after my damnation of a denier troll😉 My username there is Gforce27. I live in BC, and while Fort Mac is fairly far away, this event still feels like it hitting close to home. It’s certainly adding to my deep sense of unease over the climate situation. We had an unusually hot early April heatwave here on Vancouver Island, the likes of which no one had really seen before–though many people we’re claiming to enjoy it–which I find…disturbing. I live in a small town near the edge of forest. This could happen here.

        Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  May 6, 2016

        Gforce, we got within one kilometre of being burned out last January, when the wind changed. Watching the smoke rising on the first day, when it was 44 degrees Celsius (112 Fahrenheit)was frightening, but driving back up from the city the next day, as the pyro-cumulus clouds grew, was even more deeply shocking. This summer was slightly cooler, but started in October, stunningly early, and very dry. Only a fool could not see the climate changing around them, but the idiots somehow manage to do so. I’ve been here for fifteen years, and the pace of change is plainly accelerating, yet we are about to have an election where the ruling hard Right regime is ferociously denialist, with a facade of lies and moronic ‘policies’ to pay polluters not to pollute, which is already being rorted and every expert says will fail, spectacularly. The ecological crises are gaining virtually ZERO mention, as if they do not exist or are minor matters besides tax cuts and ‘incentives’ for the business parasites. It is quite surreal, like a bad dream or some episode of the Twilight Zone, where you wake up in a circle of Hell where destruction descends, and no-one takes any notice.

        Reply
  9. OT but a weather influence.

    Reply
    • – Quite the evident comma-shape as extratropical low continues to move into North Pacific (#Himawari-8, AHI GeoColor)

      Also a system to the East near UK, Iceland, Greenland.

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  May 5, 2016

      This is way off topic, but I found myself mesmerized by that image, DT. To the west of the sunlit part of the Earth, west of the sunset, those pinkish/reddish hues, are those clouds colored by the sunset? Looking from the ground, would those be the kind of clouds that glow fiery red and pink during sunset? Is that what I’m looking at? A gorgeous sunset from space?

      Reply
  10. Cate

     /  May 4, 2016

    The whole city of 100,000 Is now ordered out. But there are reports that gas (petrol) is all sold out.

    Reply
    • The place is burning like a many latitudes lower Southern California wildfire — in August.

      Reply
    • Thanks Cate. According to the feed I’m using, the official reports right now state the entire downtown region of 60,000 has been ordered to evacuate.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  May 4, 2016

        Robert, we may have to meet halfway on the numbers! haha The official census and the local census numbers conflict, in any case, and Fort Mac as you probably know has quite a large transient population. But whether it’s 60K or 80K people, it’s a disaster for any who have lost homes today, and so terribly unexpectedly. My heart goes out to them all.

        Reply
        • 😉

          I’m just tracking the official reports right now. I added the 100K number which includes the airport district which hasn’t yet received evacuation orders according to the local reports.🙂

      • Cate

         /  May 4, 2016

        Update 5:45 am: 60K it is, and egg on my face for taking CBC at their word.🙂 Memo to self: always double check with wiki….oh, wait..

        The main thing: looks like all are safe, although a whole neighbourhood is burned down. And it’s not over. That monster is still out of control.

        http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/fort-mcmurray-wildfire-remains-out-of-control-after-city-evacuated-1.3563977

        Reply
    • Andy in SD

       /  May 4, 2016

      Yikes,

      How does one move 100,000 people out with so few roads of any significance.

      Reply
    • You ended up being right in the end. The official report now says 80,000.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  May 4, 2016

        Robert, LOL! Put it this way—the population numbers in the area seem quite fluid.😀

        Reply
  11. Abel Adamski

     /  May 4, 2016

    More atmospheric pollutants on top of the human and environmental disaster

    Reply
  12. Jay M

     /  May 4, 2016

    seems like a remote area to have 100K people on the move
    gasoline sucked dry almost immediately

    Reply
  13. Andy in SD

     /  May 4, 2016

    Reply
    • Jay M

       /  May 4, 2016

      the petrochemical conundrum: wall to wall traffic both directions

      Reply
      • Andy in SD

         /  May 4, 2016

        Looking at that, I think I-15 rush hour here in southern cal. I don’t immediately think way the hell up north in Alberta.

        Reply
  14. Any estimates yet, how bad the ash distribution may be, on arctic ice areas?

    Reply
    • I think this fire season will be pretty bad. This particular fire hasn’t generated a plume long enough to disperse to typical sea ice zones, though. Overall, wildfire soot tends to have a longer-term effect on Greenland. But the ocean ice doesn’t get much help from it.

      Reply
  15. Andy in SD

     /  May 4, 2016

    Wildfires, Once Confined to a Season, Burn Earlier and Longer

    The first Alaska wildfire of 2016 broke out in late February, followed by a second there just eight days later.

    New Mexico has had 140 fires this year, double the number in the same period last year, fueled by one of the warmest, driest winters on record.

    And on the border of Arizona and California this month, helicopters dumped water on flames so intense that they jumped the Colorado River, forcing the evacuation of two recreational vehicle parks.

    Fires, once largely confined to a single season, have become a continual threat in some places, burning earlier and later in the year, in the United States and abroad. They have ignited in the West during the winter and well into the fall, have arrived earlier than ever in Canada and have burned without interruption in Australia for almost 12 months.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/13/science/wildfires-season-global-warming.html?action=click&contentCollection=Americas&module=RelatedCoverage&region=EndOfArticle&pgtype=article

    Reply
  16. Andy in SD

     /  May 4, 2016

    Probably too early to determine . Apparently tomorrow will be worse for them. If that soot settles on ice this early in the melt season….

    Reply
  17. Syd Bridges

     /  May 4, 2016

    Thank you for this report, Robert. It is terrifying to see this happen to a city of that size. However, after what we’ve seen this winter in the North, it does not come as any surprise. This must be one of the worst urban fires in peace-time for many years. It was bad enough for us, being ordered to evacuate for the High Park fire in Colorado in 2012, but here the danger is much more imminent and in a highly populated area/

    Long term, what is equally worrying is the quantity of carbon these fires could release, not only from the trees burned but peat and/or permafrost too. Then there are the tar sand facilities and even the tar sands themselves. I remember talk of the tar sands catching fire a few summers ago, but, fortunately, it didn’t happen. I’m not sure whether it is even possible for them to be ignited in situ by a conflagration, so I hope that it will not be a further problem.

    I have been watching the Uni Bremen ice maps for the last few days and it is very obvious that the Arctic ice is in terrible shape, as you posted earlier. 2016 is shaping up to be an “annus horribilis,” when Nemesis starts to deal out Nature’s retribution for human hubris.

    Reply
  18. This one of my first articles – it emphasizes the terrible “psychological calculus” of our times that events such as this fire call upon: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/davidgoldstein/burn-baby-burn-a-climate-_b_3224411.html

    Reply
    • I hope they get out. I hope they figure out how to make a living sans tar sands production — for their sake and for ours.

      Reply
    • I worry about the psychological impacts of our evolving climate situation. And, I agree with the idea in your article, that we may need a little tough love from Mother Nature to scare us into changing our ways. And, hell yeah, it feels really uncomfortable almost wishing changes will accelerate. “Today let him have that heart attack. Let him live through it and not suffer irreparable damage, but let it hurt him enough and scare him enough that he changes his ways. Please, let this happen today because… I love him.”

      Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  May 5, 2016

        I doubt that the reaction of the Right, once the catastrophe is clear, and their role in causing it undeniable, will be rational, sane, humane, compassionate or pacific.

        Reply
    • Big tragedy now is the only thing that will spur humans to prevent complete tragedy a little later.

      Reply
      • I think we would have responded far sooner without being mislead by the fossil fuel industry. In general, people want to do what’s right and will tend in that direction so long as they’re not confused or mislead. Of course, there are a number of malicious exceptions. But I find that people don’t want to be remembered as such.

        Reply
      • RS: “I think we would have responded far sooner without being mislead by the fossil fuel industry.”

        – Over many years, they (FF) actively and deliberately (With malice aforethought…..?) — hid a quantifiable body of solid evidence from the light of day. Something more than just ‘crime’ of omission on the subject of of emissions on their part.
        The deliberateness on their part galls me to no end…
        – PEACE

        Reply
        • Yeah. I feel the same way. It’s just unconscionable. Individual criminals tend to get caught and prosecuted. For political criminals, the likelihood is high that the worst will also see their day of reckoning. But for industrial criminals there appears to be no effective method of accountability for acts that endanger or hurt hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands or the world itself. Media has a blind eye to corporate criminals. Society basically has very little in the way of historic reference points — perhaps the gilded age. And gilded age history really isn’t taught too well in most schools these days.

      • I noticed in your discussions mentioning the intentional misleading by the fossil fuel industry that they alone were not entirely responsible for the debacle we now face. They had help from the government when during the oil crisis of ’74 instead of getting on a path of fr more efficient cars they secured supplies with deals with the Saudi’s and then with the auto industry to go ahead with producing autos as usual. I believe that when the first Earth Day was viewed as a quaint anomaly by the peaceful hippies and they would go away and the govt could continue with rampant exploitation,wars,producing wasteful autos etc. Well we had it right, my senior class did a field trip to a big coal fired plant in ’72 and we understood the consequences. Scrubbers were added to take the sulfur out but little else. Well now the hens have come home to roost without a coop to roost in because nothing was done, starting in 1970 when the science said it was coming. Well now it’s here in all it’s inglorious hideous horror, grab your popcorn, the 2nd act will really be a spectacular show to tell your grand kids about if they survive that is. Thanx Robbert for all your tireless effort to get the news out; I just wish important leaders would listen and pay attention.

        Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  May 5, 2016

        The fossil fuel industry, with its tens of trillions in ‘assets’ on the books of mega-corporations and their bankers, is the very bed-rock of capitalism. The denialist industry, which denies ALL environmental crises and relentlessly vilifies ‘Greens’ (in the poor world they are often just murdered if they ‘get in the way’)is a joint venture of nearly all Big Business, the Rightwing MSM and lumpen Rightwing, brainwashed, imbeciles, who are STILL screeching that this reality is just a ‘Leftwing conspiracy’.

        Reply
      • Spike

         /  May 5, 2016

        This episode is another example of the idiocy of some pundits and some scientists (some in the UK at least) who say, don’t worry too much, below 2C there will be gains as well as losses for us in the North, better growing conditions, new territory for agriculture etc…

        Leaving aside the horrendous indifference to folk in equatorial and subtropical regions this has always struck me as a foolhardy position. We have clear evidence that small temperature changes can produce enormous changes from the paleo record. Those who do not learn from history….

        The current tactic of the deniers on Twitter seems to be to say now is not the time to discuss the climate link – obviously they prefer to wait until memories fade as with mass shootings, or the floods in the UK when they adopted the same tactic. Well I’m not having any of it.

        Reply
  19. Reply
    • Zack Labe ‏@ZLabe 3h3 hours ago

      Warm/dry spring (below normal snow cover) contributing to favorable conditions for early fire season in Canada

      Reply
    • Anthony Sagliani ‏@anthonywx 3h3 hours ago

      Temperature at #ymmfire location (Fort McMurray, Alberta) reached 32.2C (90F). This is 4.4C (8F) above daily record.

      Reply
      • Met Office ‏@metoffice 4h4 hours ago

        #Heatwave conditions will continue across western parts of Canada and North America over the next few days

        Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  May 5, 2016

      ‘Impressive’ hardly seems the most appropriate word to use.

      Reply
  20. Abel Adamski

     /  May 4, 2016

    Event the trash Murdoch Media are reporting on this, not a bad article even though it avoids the reasons behind this situation.

    (Link removed by RS)

    However I note on JAXA a slight slowing kick on sea ice, I noted this with the Alaskan and Canadian wildfires last year, the melt slowed as the smoke and clouds built up over the Arctic area during peak solar warming times

    Reply
    • This fire isn’t large enough yet to have any impact on sea ice. It’s also worth noting that massive wildfires on the Russian side during 2012 had no positive impact on sea ice either. Dark carbon from soot heats the local atmosphere. Dark carbon fallout also reduces ice albedo. The net impact from fires is likely melt-promoting.

      Reply
    • – Shameful ‘ambulance chasers’ at root. MSM always there when casualties are real or possible. Sponsors demand blood — may be a bit strong of a statement but it has much truth.

      – For a long time now I’ve been posting photo evidence of toxic landscapes due to a toxic atmosphere. All are very obvious looks at ‘under foot’ happenings. All in hopes of avoiding casualties. I’ve had little success as most people don’t want to see or hear bad news.
      But once casualties, or damage to commerce, are at hand the cameras and talking heads are there in triplicate. I wish so much that it was otherwise.
      Thx. This is always on my mind.
      Peace

      Reply
      • Based on the link that I took down, it appears that the Murdock press is trying to paint the oil industry there both as hero and victim. In truth, they’re the accessory to an climate arsonist that’s lighting more and more these fires.

        Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  May 5, 2016

        Murdoch is one of those MOST responsible, through his entirely hard denialist MSM cancer, for the horrors humanity is about to suffer.

        Reply
  21. – Wind – our atmosphere in motion — the ruler of wildfire.

    – 13% RH with 40 mph gusts — no wonder it’s like a SoCal wildfire.

    Weather has played a big role in the evolution of the wildfire in Fort McMurray. Meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe explains what’s happening.

    Reply
    • – Correction ’40 km per hour.’

      Reply
    • George W. Hayduke

       /  May 4, 2016

      When a large crown fire gets rolling it begins to make its own weather, including wind.

      Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  May 5, 2016

        Have you seen the video of the fire tornado that hit Canberra during the megafire disaster there on 18 January 2003? Not just one of those little fire willy-willies as we call them here, but a full tornado of fire, caught on video incidentally, and not spotted for some time. If, and it is 99.999% sure, I would say, these fires keep worsening, and they get kicked along by methane leaking out of the frozen soils and clathrates, we are in deep, deep, doo-doo, as they say.

        Reply
  22. – In years past I felt connected, and very comfortable with PNW weather that was always cool and sometimes damp.
    Now I wonder if those days, with those feelings, are a thing of the past.

    Reply
  23. – web
    Scientists Build a Hype Detector for Online Climate News and Commentary

    Through an annotation project called Climate Feedback, scientists are critiquing online news and commentary focused on global warming.Credit ClimateFeedback.org

    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/05/03/scientists-build-a-hype-detector-for-online-climate-news-and-commentary/?smid=tw-share&_r=0

    Reply
    • – FYI | Not sure of what to make of it — maybe a bit convoluted an a bit time intensive — or it may be a good thing.

      – What is Climate Feedback?

      Climate Feedback brings the expertise of the scientific community into the world of online climate coverage to provide readers and authors with in-situ feedback about the content’s scientific credibility.

      Climate Feedback is a project born from the reality that we are at a critical moment in history, one in which important decisions about climate change must be made. It’s a project born from the understanding that in order for our democracies to choose the right courses of action, citizens must have access to scientifically accurate information. And it’s a project born from the belief that it’s the civic duty of scientific professionals to better inform their fellow citizens in their respective areas of expertise.

      http://climatefeedback.org/

      Reply
  24. – Hat tip for RS on: World Press Freedom Day 3 May

    “On this World Press Freedom Day, I urge all Governments, politicians, businesses and citizens to commit to nurturing and protecting an independent, free media. Without this fundamental right, people are less free and less empowered. With it, we can work together for a world of dignity and opportunity for all.”

    – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
    http://www.un.org/en/events/pressfreedomday/

    Reply
    • Maybe they should put a word in about a certain cartoonist in Iowa.

      Reply
      • – Good point. A little follow up on Rick Friday:

        FORT DODGE, Iowa —Rick Friday has been giving farmers a voice and a laugh every Friday for two decades through his cartoons in Farm News.
        Now the long-time Iowa farm cartoonist tells KCCI that he has been fired.
        Friday announced Sunday that his job was over after 21 years in a Facebook post that has since gone viral.

        FACEBOOK POST:
        “Again, I fall hard in the best interest of large corporations. I am no longer the Editorial Cartoonist for Farm News due to the attached cartoon which was published yesterday. Apparently a large company affiliated with one of the corporations mentioned in the cartoon was insulted and cancelled their advertisement with the paper, thus, resulting in the reprimand of my editor and cancellation of its Friday cartoons after 21 years of service and over 1,090 published cartoons to over 24,000 households per week in 33 counties of Iowa.

        “I did my research and only submitted the facts in my cartoon.

        “That’s okay, hopefully my children and my grandchildren will see that this last cartoon published by Farm News out of Fort Dodge, Iowa, will shine light on how fragile our rights to free speech and free press really are in the county.”

        – kcci.com/news/longtime-iowa-farm-cartoonist-fired-

        Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  May 6, 2016

        dtl, looks like its definitely NOT ‘Je Suis Rick Friday’, in the Land of the Free.

        Reply
  25. Greg

     /  May 4, 2016

    Picture taken this evening leaving Ft. McMurray:

    Reply
  26. – Must add some ‘Hat Tip’ humor courtesy of Oddjob — good for morale, and all that.

    Reply
  27. Greg

     /  May 4, 2016

    Syncrude Canada Ltd: “Securing Canada’s Energy Future”

    ‘Due to the rapidly changing fire situation, Syncrude asks employees at work to hold in your work location until further notice. #ymmfire’ no metaphors here. move on.

    Reply
    • Wharf Rat

       /  May 4, 2016

      Urgent:
      Due to wildfires in the Fort McMurray region, the Oil Sands Discovery Centre will be closed until further notice.

      The Oil Sands Discovery Centre in Fort McMurray is located in the heart of the world’s biggest single oil deposit – the Athabasca Oil Sands.
      http://history.alberta.ca/oilsands/

      Reply
  28. Greg

     /  May 4, 2016

    One more pic of the oil sands capital of the world tonight

    Reply
    • – Awesome.
      It looks like a a bit like a company housing footprint type neighborhood.

      Reply
  29. – This is one of the originals of a ‘broadside’ (maybe 2nd printing from 1969). I gave it to a fine deserving soul who had something to do with it’s production as I readied to leave Santa Barbara, CA.

    Zen Master
    Gary Snyder and the art of life.
    newyorker.com/magazine/2008/10/20/zen-master

    He took the Buddhist name Chofu and early on fell in with some yamabushi—followers of an ancient folk religion that centers on mountaineering

    … In “Four Changes,” a widely circulated environmental treatise he published in 1969 and made available for free, he warned of the dangers of overpopulation, pollution, and consumption—particularly of fossil fuels. Some of his ideas seem implausible now—polyandrous marriages as a remedy for overpopulation, walking the Coast Range as a way to get from San Francisco to L.A.—while others are straight out of the post-Gore environmental consciousness: bring your own bags to the grocery store, use natural fertilizer, recycle, carpool. He says, “It is not particularly gratifying to have been right.”

    “Gary was in the thick of Bay Area green activism at a time when it was being invented,” Stewart Brand, the publisher of the “Whole Earth Catalogue” and one of many people who published “Four Changes,” told me. According to Snyder’s old friend Jack Shoemaker, of Counterpoint, his publisher since the early eighties, “ ‘Four Changes’ really elevated him to be an environmental leader of the counterculture. It wasn’t a hippie-dippy, feather-wearing poem. It was a manifesto, and the national environmental movement had to take it seriously.” Snyder began to be recognized as a public intellectual, lecturing at universities and appearing at environmental conferences, including the historic United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, in 1972. Shoemaker said, “The environmental movement needed a celebrity-like person, someone charismatic. The others were dull as paste. They needed someone attractive, and Gary understood something about his own attractiveness. He had a sense of his life as style, long before we had that term ‘life style.’ “

    Reply
  30. redskylite

     /  May 4, 2016

    RS – Many thanks for the Hat Tip on the previous posting on the Himalayan forest fires and the detailed and timely alert on the grim Alberta situation. If all your annual postings were made into an illustrated coffee table book, it would make a great educational gift and history record of this troubled period, laced with science and humanity. The sort of gift I much valued in my younger day’s well before the internet and PC’s emerged.

    The Canadian online website has defined the events as “apocalyptic”. I can only watch in horror and wonder what else is in store for us.

    Fort McMurray fire: ‘It’s apocalyptic. No way out but north’

    http://www.nationalobserver.com/2016/05/03/news/fort-mcmurray-fire-its-apocalyptic-no-way-out-north

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  May 4, 2016

      First the fire…then “no way out but north.” Ironies abounding.

      Reply
  31. redskylite

     /  May 4, 2016

    Earlier I was reading a report from the Swedish Lund University on Climate Change and demographic effects on wildfire . .

    Demographic changes increase the risk of natural fires . . . .

    Wolfgang Knorr at Lund University, together with colleagues from Germany and China, has studied the correlation between an increasingly warmer climate and various types of natural fires in different parts of the world. They have also studied another, and more unknown, aspect of these fires. According to Wolfgang Knorr, demographic changes will have a major impact on the spread and number of fires, and to what extent they pose a threat to humans.

    http://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/article/demographic-changes-increase-the-risk-of-natural-fires

    Reply
  32. Ryan in New England

     /  May 4, 2016

    This is just completely nuts. If this isn’t an in your face example of climate change, I don’t know what is. Canada should not be dealing with these conditions, especially in the first few days of May. Raging wildfires and 90+ temps in Spring is extreme for Southern California.

    Great job staying on top of unfolding events, Robert! Yet again, I am shocked at what we are witnessing happen right before our eyes. It’s tragically ironic that in the satellite image, just North of the fires, is a vast man-made wasteland created by our fossil fuel addiction that has spawned these unprecedented conditions. It’s like a Marlboro tattoo on someone with lung cancer.

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  May 4, 2016

      Marlboro tattoo…. yep, excellent, and if one were of a romantic or mythological turn of mind, one might see deep meaning and all sorts of signs in the juxtapositions involved with that very tattoo.

      Maybe it was true, once upon a time, that there was “no way out but north”, but all our evacuation routes are now closed, and we have to fight this thing on the ground, in our own backyards, with all we can muster.

      Reply
  33. Tom

     /  May 4, 2016

    Cate: your last sentence rings so true because climate change is bringing all kinds of changes that we’ve never experienced to all areas of the globe and it’s now about survival.

    Looking at the “big picture,” people have to deal with everything from air pollution (all kinds including wafting radiation) to soil biota and tree death to weather events ‘out of season,’ completely unexpected destruction like baseball sized hail, along with extended drought or massive flooding, enormous out-of-control fires, crop damage, insects, disease, super storms, etc. But on top of all this there’s still increasing earthquake and volcanic activity!

    It’s so overwhelming that one has to deal with it moment by moment – until it’s over.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  May 4, 2016

      Thank you, Tom, and yes, we have to keep the big picture in view—which is what Robert excels at doing, fortunately for us🙂

      In that regard, this post and the previous one can be read in tandem, as there is much food for thought in that exercise in terms of impacts and implications, responses and repercussions in these two very different, yet very similar, climate events.

      Reply
  34. The Athabasca oil sands (also called the Athabasca tar sands or Alberta tar sands) are large deposits of bitumen or extremely heavy crude oil, located in northeastern Alberta, Canada – roughly centred on the boomtown of Fort McMurray…

    Reply
  35. “Worst of the fire not yet over”….
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/wildfire-rages-in-fort-mcmurray-as-evacuees-settle-in-edmonton-1.3565573
    (Link also has live blog updates)
    This is just horrendous…on so many levels.

    Reply
  36. Cate

     /  May 4, 2016

    Info piece here (in a right-wing paper) on science aspects of Canadian sub-Arctic wildfires. From July 2014 at the height of fire season—when temps were standing at “well above normal since mid-June.” Current temps in Alberta are smashing heat records, and May has only just begun.

    Note the mention of blocking patterns and persistent ridges and troughs, as well as effects on permafrost and changes in flora (and hence fauna–elsewhere, we learn that moose are now moving onto what was tundra.) Climate change? Oh you betcha. Big-time.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/what-wildfires-in-the-northwest-territories-say-about-climate-change/article19606467/

    Reply
  37. dnem

     /  May 4, 2016

    Does anyone have a sense of how big a feedback fire behavior might become in coming years? How much CO2 is liberated by fire activity globally, how much is that amount increasing, how does it compare to anthropogenic sources and what becomes of the land left behind? I would imagine burned areas begin to sequester quite strongly as they regrow after fire. I wonder what the net effect of all this might be? (I’m not minimizing the local impacts on people and ecosystems, just wondering about the global impact).

    Reply
  38. Andy in SD

     /  May 4, 2016

    It is this bad for fires in Canada right now.

    B.C. fire season flares up early forcing province to turn down Alberta request for help

    http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/b-c-fire-season-flares-up-early-thanks-to-unseasonably-warm-dry-weather-expert

    Reply
  39. danabanana

     /  May 4, 2016

    Thanks to Professor Peter Wadhams for his gift of experience based foresight😀

    Reply
  40. Greg

     /  May 4, 2016

    (Via Peter Sinclair) Clouds of my Grandchildren:

    Reply
  41. “Tipping Points on the Horizon” as described in a 2014 report——it seems the points have tipped:

    “Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability,” Working Group II of the IPCC identified three other natural systems already showing early-warning signs of catastrophic tipping points: the Arctic, coral reefs, and the Amazonian forest.  All three, the report suggested, could experience massive and irreversible changes with profound implications for human societies.”

    http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/10/08/welcome-new-planet-climate-tipping-points-and-fate-earth

    All this (extreme weather, dying reefs —-Florida reefs now too—–ocean choking and acidifying etc.) before the “blue ocean event”. What is next?
    AMOC shutting down?
    How to keep functioning and still find joy/peace amidst deepening sorrow and angst . . . . is a tremendous challenge.

    Reply
  42. Greg

     /  May 4, 2016

    Jimmy Kimmel, my new comic hero, takes on Sarah Palin, and her support of a new climate denier movie, in this video which has gone viral, thankfully. It has, according to Media Matters, more climate scientists than ABC’s evening and Sunday news shows did in an entire year. And they’re cussing!

    Reply
    • Wharf Rat

       /  May 4, 2016

      Kimmel’s Climate Backlash

      May 4, 2016
      Jimmy reviews some of the ridiculous comments he received on social media following our airing of a bit about climate change.

      Reply
  43. Hi! I’ve reblogged two of your previous articles on Arctic Sea Ice Melt and the Satellite Monitor going on the Fritz here at Fin des Voies Rapides.

    Thanx for all you do!🙂

    Reply
    • Yeah, the F 17 is gone. That’ blnds one of our eyes but we have a few left. Will do my best to keep track this season. It looks like a bad one setting up. And it could be very bad.

      Reply
  44. ack Labe ‏@ZLabe 1h1 hour ago

    Persistent ridging last 30-days in western Canada responsible for warm/dry & early start to fire season (H5 anoms)

    Reply
  45. Reply
    • Reply
      • wili

         /  May 4, 2016

        Yikes.

        In the last frames all the old ice just seems to suddenly disappear!!

        Reply
      • Reply
      • Pretty stunning loss of compressive strength as the ice is knocked off its mooring zones by continued strong circulation in the gyres. Edge upwelling is extremely powerful at the moment.

        Reply
      • RS: “…stunning loss of compressive strength as the ice is knocked off its mooring zones by continued strong circulation in the gyres. Edge upwelling is extremely powerful at the moment.”
        ROGER THAT!
        Robert, that’s a fine descriptive piece. A bit poetic — something like sci-Zen koan to my ears.
        I hear a bit fatigue as your thoughtful word wizardry flowed with the pixels.
        DT

        Reply
  46. – “Report at will!”, I say. With heavy and concentrated reportage
    TALLY HO

    Reply
  47. wili

     /  May 4, 2016

    GoghGoner at POForums has started a thread on this topic, with lots of good info, especially from vox_mundi: http://peakoil.com/forums/post1308979.html#p1308979

    Reply
  48. Mika McKinnon Verified account
    ‏@mikamckinnon

    Looking at the Canadian disaster database: #YMM is the biggest wildfire evac in our history. Only larger events? Floods & a chem spill.

    Reply
  49. Reply
  50. Nancy

     /  May 4, 2016

    If you haven’t seen the film “Tipping Point….The end of oil” about the Alberta tar sands, I highly recommend it. The poisonous impact on the native people of this region is horrifying. I am very sorry about people losing their homes, but perhaps this fire will put an end to the destruction of this land. The film is more than 5 years old and the size and scope of the tar sands mining has increased enormously in that short time. https://jman.tv/film/4674

    Reply
    • That region is under stress due to falling oil prices already. This is another blow. But since the oil infrastructure there isn’t as likely to be damaged, it may be temporary.

      This is just the start of a long fire season for the region. One much, much longer now with climate change more heavily in play. So this vulnerable infrastructure could well be threatened again.

      My view is they should just plan to shut it down. Canada is much better off without the kind of harm these fuels will lock in. And the impact on the political system has already been severely deleterious.

      Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  May 4, 2016

        Currently 63F in Yellowknife. Rain forecast for Barrow by the 13th. Looking like the Far North has lost a January and gained a July.

        Reply
      • Cate

         /  May 4, 2016

        It’s going to be interesting to see how Fort Mac—and thus the tarsands project in general—-reacts to this disaster in the medium term, say, over the next five years—-how many will choose to stay and rebuild their lives, and how many will rethink…..cut their losses in the face of the oil collapse and move on. Tipping points all round, methinks.

        Reply
  51. Canada wildfire: 1,600 Fort McMurray buildings damaged

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-36207807

    Reply
  52. Colorado Bob

     /  May 4, 2016

    Hell comes to breakfast.

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  May 4, 2016

      I am not kidding when I say that I went to sleep last night thinking of you posting those words.

      Reply
    • PlazaRed

       /  May 4, 2016

      Looks like Hell is running the restaurant and the whole show right now in Alberta.
      I think that a lot more will go wrong and be damaged with this than what the fire alone will directly cause. Just thinking about where up to 80,000 people are going to live, let alone how to restore the damage and the infrastructure.
      Amazing I just got an e-mail from somebody in Canada saying that, “there are not that many trees in that area?” ( Well not any longer!)
      I’m thinking that its only the 4th of May and still only mid Spring!

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  May 4, 2016

        It’s not so much the trees that burn up there, actually. It’s as much the ground, the matted turf, that burns. Fire can go deep into that and smoulder for weeks, only to flare up with a stiff warm breeze.

        Reply
      • – ‘Spruce trees, pine trees, they like to burn’

        Why the boreal burns: The trees surrounding Fort McMurray are hard-wired for fire

        The large swaths of green that ring Fort McMurray are made up of trees that have adapted over time to depend on fire for growth.

        Natural Resources Canada says that in the boreal forest fire “is as crucial to forest renewal as the sun and rain.” During a Tuesday press conference in Fort McMurray, Bernie Schmitte from Alberta Forestry elaborated on why the region is going up in smoke.

        “Spruce trees, pine trees, they like to burn. They have to burn to regenerate themselves. Those species have adapted to fire. Their cones have adapted to open up after the fire. The trees have adapted so that once they’re old enough, and decadent and need to be replaced, they are available to fire so they burn.”

        He called the black spruce, white spruce and aspen trees “volatile fuels” in the fire-dependent ecosystem.
        http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/why-the-boreal-burns-the-trees-surrounding-fort-mcmurray-are-hard-wired-for-fire

        Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  May 5, 2016

        May the Fourth be with you.

        Reply
  53. Mulga Mumblebrain

     /  May 4, 2016

    We can see from his reaction to this bitterly ironic catastrophe, that the MSM’s darling, Justin Trudeau, is just yet another denialist fool. The Guardian happily announces that Trudeau ‘shot down’ (a telling use of words)the commonsense observations of the Green Party leader, Elizabeth May, that these fires are caused and worsened by anthropogenic climate destabilisation, with the usual gobbledegook about being unable to attribute direct cause and effect. So, even now, as we plainly fall through featherless space, having already stumbled over the precipice, the political ‘leadership’ of the West cannot and will not dare face the horrific truth.

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  May 4, 2016

      So right. MM.

      Trudeau has been speaking with a forked tongue on climate change ever since he took office. He has been consistent in saying one thing and doing another and in delivering mealy mouthed greenish platitudes while continuing to support Big Oil and pipelines everywhere. The classic Justinism was that we can pay for renewables with pipelines, which is logic that can twist your skull off your spine if you pay too close attention to it. Justin Trudeau is a hopeless, hapless poser who will do none of the hard work that needs to be done because Big Oil still keeps the silver spoons in the mouths of his children.

      Reply
      • We are seeing increasing evidence that top elected officials in North America (or everywhere?) are forked-tongued and unreliable for the masses but always reliable as cheerleaders for status quo interests. These guys are not elected to lead; they are elected to pitch spin, for their ability to seem credible no matter what absurdities they speak. Of course, this is not leadership.

        Reply
    • Josh

       /  May 4, 2016

      I have just read that article (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/04/canada-wildfire-evacuation-fort-mcmurray). Trudeau’s quote is particularly nonsensical to my ears, but perhaps that is because I read Robert’s excellent blog.

      “One thing we know is that with climate change there will be more extreme events,” said Trudeau. “But, we know very well that placing a direct link between any fire or a flood and climate change goes a step beyond what is helpful and does not benefit a conversation we must have.”

      This is a contorted way to look at things. It “doesn’t benefit a conversation we must have” to link this to climate change? Yes it is a specific event, yes there can be other reasons for any particular extreme event that also contribute. But it is still one of the effects of climate change.

      What conversation must we have if not that one?

      Reply
      • Trudeau is starting to sound a bit like a climate change denier to me. We’ve got scientists saying that there’s a link, that fires get worse with climate change, and that this fire was made worse by it. If you can’t think about fires in this context you’re not going to be prepared. You’re not going to be aware of the danger. And you’re not going to be motivated to do everything you can to prevent worse events related to climate change from happening.

        It’s directly due to the fact that we can link these events to climate change that we now have an opportunity to set effective response policy. Boiled down, Trudeua’s statement amounts to — let’s pretend that for this fire climate change doesn’t exist. Let’s pretend for the next big climate change related storm that it doesn’t exist. How is that not denial?

        What a terrible disappointment. With politicians who think like this, we will never get anything done. We’ll just keep moving on and on through worse and worse events. Ignoring causes and therefore ignoring our opportunity for a better outcome.

        Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  May 5, 2016

        The only ‘conversation'(a despicable usage when enemies of humanity on the Right control the Western MSM ENTIRELY, and have their propaganda presstitutes screeching their lies, 24/7/52)we are going to have to have is the choices of means to bring justice to the omnicidists. The rest will be panic-struck babble.

        Reply
    • John McCormick

       /  May 5, 2016

      Mulga, we can start an impeachment procedure against the new prime minister.

      Reply
      • – Keep in mind that JT couldn’t have made to PM if didn’t hold, or espouse, those sentiments.
        FF interests, et al have been at the controls of our Western political system for a very long time.
        Peace

        Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  May 5, 2016

        John, good luck! Can there be any greater sign of unfitness for office than his mealy-mouthed denialism in the face of the monster kicking his citizens’ doors down? And there is NO politician in the West, in power, that is in any way different. Indeed Trudeau is superior to the raving omnicidal psychopaths in power in Australia, where the ruling Federal regime is controlled by the most fanatic denialists imaginable.

        Reply
  54. – Weather | USA | Gulf of Mexico | Florida, et al.

    Reply
  55. Cate

     /  May 4, 2016

    Canada’s Green Party leader ignites her own little firestorm. Some say this is not the time to up climate change links to the Fort Mac fire. So if not now, when?

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/elizabeth-may-fort-mcmurray-climate-change-1.3566126

    Reply
    • She’s completely right, this would never have happened in early May without climate change. If there wasn’t climate change, then it might have happened in July or August with the right weather conditions. But it’s better to try to support the affected people first while the fire is still raging. The real problem with talking about the Fort Mac fire and climate change is that everyone who lives there makes their living from the oil sands, so climate change is a prickly subject for them.

      Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  May 5, 2016

      Of all the Rightwing denialist omnicidaires’ vicious and evil imbecilities, the one they trot out after every climate disaster, that it is not ‘the appropriate’ time to mention climate destabilisation reality, is the one that enrages me the most. The thought of these utterly immoral swine attempting to dictate moral appropriateness, and in doing so trying to silence their betters, is beyond despicable, but that is what they are, always have been and always will be.

      Reply
  56. Keeling_Curve ‏@Keeling_curve 60m60 minutes ago

    Monthly mean CO2 at MLO 407.57ppm for April 2016, up from 404.86 in March 2016

    Reply
  57. Viewed from space, the Fort McMurray wildfire looks like an explosion

    The raging Fort McMurray wildfire in Alberta has been so severe that it has given rise to a towering cloud known as a “pyrocumulus.”

    Such clouds occur when intense fires vault soot and other particles high into the atmosphere, to altitudes normally reached by massive thunderstorms.

    Such clouds help fires such as this one spread smoke hundreds of miles downwind, and indeed the National Weather Service is warning of smoke-related hazards moving toward the Upper Midwest during the next few days.

    Reply
    • Above – mashable.com/2016/05/04/fort-mcmurray-wildfire-satellite
      – Downwinders — smoke coming your way.
      In general, it looks like the S S/W winds that fuel the fire will slacken to replaced by N N/W winds which will bring smoke downwind.
      My instinct sez that this may reverse again and become somewhat cyclical.
      I may be biased due to local PDX weather and temps are acting this way this spring. To wit: a short 2-3 day spurt of hot/dry followed by 3-5 days of cool moist — with accompanying wind shifts.
      For fire areas , some of these wind shifts will come with tightened gradients which can play hell with fire. Lightning likely, also.

      – Anyone interested in weather and fire events should refer to accounts of the South Canyon Fire on Storm King Mountain, near Glenwood Springs, Co. A 1994 wildfire that took the lives of 14 wildland firefighters. Local terrain played a part there — just like at all locales.

      Ed Joyce ‏@EdJoyce 2h2 hours ago

      Updates on 25,000 acre #ymmfire via @CBCNews http://ift.tt/1UzpWAb
      (Photo via @TownSlaveLake) #Alberta

      Reply
      • Dang, Robert, you are fast. Thx2

        Reply
      • – This is pretty informative on location centric weather and fire behavior.

        South Canyon Fire 1994 Incident Reflections – 7 min.

        Reply
    • Shucks, I didn’t notice the 2nd link in the post. Please delete — as I wish to get this up.

      Above – mashable.com/2016/05/04/fort-mcmurray-wildfire-satellite
      – Downwinders — smoke coming your way.
      In general, it looks like the S S/W winds that fuel the fire will slacken to replaced by N N/W winds which will bring smoke downwind.
      My instinct sez that this may reverse again and become somewhat cyclical.
      I may be biased due to local PDX weather and temps are acting this way this spring. To wit: a short 2-3 day spurt of hot/dry followed by 3-5 days of cool moist — with accompanying wind shifts.
      For fire areas , some of these wind shifts will come with tightened gradients which can play hell with fire. Lightning likely, also.

      – Anyone interested in weather and fire events should refer to accounts of the South Canyon Fire on Storm King Mountain, near Glenwood Springs, Co. A 1994 wildfire that took the lives of 14 wildland firefighters. Local terrain played a part there — just like at all locales.

      Ed Joyce ‏@EdJoyce 2h2 hours ago

      Updates on 25,000 acre #ymmfire via @CBCNews
      (Photo via @TownSlaveLake) #Alberta

      Reply
  58. Jimmy

     /  May 4, 2016

    FYI peat fires.

    http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/forests/climate-change/forest-carbon/13103

    Once the peat bogs dry out and start burning it will increase the CO2.
    Peat is not fossil carbon but it’s often a good old pile of old veg matter all piled up.

    Reply
  59. Ryan in New England

     /  May 4, 2016

    At least 1,600 structures have been destroyed, and the fire looks to blaze out of control through the rest of the day.

    “Bad news does not get better with time,” said Scott Long, executive director of Alberta’s Emergency Management Agency. “It is a possibility that we may lose a large portion of the town,” he added.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-36207807

    This is an unprecedented event that would be shocking in the U.S. in late July/August. The fact that it is happening far north in Ft McMurray in the first days of May is completely freaking nuts!

    Reply
  60. Ryan in New England

     /  May 4, 2016

    Florida’s corals are in worse shape than expected. More bad news, and as usual things are worse, and happening faster, than previously thought.

    “We don’t have as much time as we previously thought,” said Chris Langdon, a professor at the University of Miami and a senior author of the study. “The reefs are beginning to dissolve away.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/04/florida-coral-reefs-disintegrating-climate-change

    Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  May 5, 2016

      As usual, worse than the most ‘pessimistic’ forecasts. I’ve been hearing that, with increasing frequency, for fifteen years or so. It does look awfully as if the Right’s campaign of vilification and intimidation has succeeded in getting climate scientists to err on the optimistic side.

      Reply
    • What is wrong with us as a species? The signs of our planet’s dying due to our greed are everywhere…and yet, we continue to behave like locust. Do we truly have a death wish?

      Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  May 6, 2016

        Suzanne, ‘we’ don’t have a ‘death wish’, but ‘they’ the ruling psychopaths and the brain-dead ‘consumers’ do.

        Reply
  61. Ryan in New England

     /  May 5, 2016

    Bob Henson has a blog about the intense record breaking pre-monsoon heat being experienced in India. Many heat records have been broken, records that had been set at the end of May, not the start.

    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/brutal-heat-intensifies-across-india-generous-monsoon-on-the-way

    Reply
  62. Andy in SD

     /  May 5, 2016

    I don’t think the tipping point is on the horizon anymore

    Reply
  63. Andy in SD

     /  May 5, 2016

    Here is a satellite shot of the fire. At first one looks at the smoke, however….look the the North West. Another fire coming online.

    And to think, it is not fire season yet.

    http://www.arctic.io/explorer/8/2016-05-03/7-N56.15028-W117.57316

    Reply
    • Matt

       /  May 5, 2016

      Excellent perspective with the vicinity of the frozen lakes in shot.

      Reply
  64. Colorado Bob

     /  May 5, 2016

    This new Sarah Palin-endorsed, climate-change-denying movie is even worse than you’d think
    Climate Hustle, the climate change denying film by Marc Morano, is not funny.

    This might not surprise you. Morano is not a comedian—he’s a Rush Limbaugh advisor turned founder of climate skeptic blog ClimateDepot.com.

    But Climate Hustle is billed as a comedy, and when I settled into my seat at the Regal Cinemas in New York’s Union Square to watch the film on a recent Monday evening, I was told it would be funny.

    http://fusion.net/story/297913/climate-hustle-review/

    Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  May 5, 2016

      Another pair for the trials for crimes against humanity.

      Reply
  65. Andy in SD

     /  May 5, 2016

    Holy hell…

    Look at the smoke from the fires in the Himalayas.

    http://www.arctic.io/explorer/24/2016-05-03/8-N29.21375-E81.97888

    Reply
  66. Andy in SD

     /  May 5, 2016

    The video and news of Ft McMurray is mind numbing. (Man that town got big, I went through there many times when it was a nowhere place).

    I remember this fire in 1981, 196,000 hectares. There was no way out of town, so we sat back in lawn chairs, drank beer and watched the giant flames behind the fuel tank farm. The town was fortunate, as the winds did not push the fire into the city.

    http://www.upi.com/Archives/1981/08/24/Fire-fighters-built-up-fireguards-in-an-effort-to/7688367473600/

    Reply
  67. Colorado Bob

     /  May 5, 2016

    As 19-year-old resident Cassie White fled, she saw the gas station explode. “It almost looks like a zombie apocalypse,” she told The Globe and Mail. “At the time, I didn’t know if I was going to make it out … I felt like I was in a vacuum bag and all the air was being sucked out.”

    While homes burn, the fire has left the nearby Athabasca oil sands unscathed. That could change; Fort McMurray Fire Chief Darby Allen called the fire a “moving animal.”

    Link

    Reply
  68. Jay M

     /  May 5, 2016

    While homes burn, the fire has left the nearby Athabasca oil sands unscathed.
    hasn’t interfered with business, I guess

    Reply
  69. – In my entire adult life at any job I had, I was either on the Safety Committee, head honcho of, or the entire Committee. I look at my neighborhood and my community the same way

    – That’s why I tell all, or anyone downwind, or potentially so, of any wildfire or wildfire prone area — to get some quality N95 particulate dust mask respirator. I did this here last year — in July, or something.
    Comfort and ease of operation should also be considered. You will breathe better, and as such, be less prone panic and panting — especially once your adrenalin, or breathing levels go up.
    I prefer the soft accordion fold design that gives one the look of a half duck bill.
    – Claustrophobia is a bane of mine. If my situation is relatively stable I will put the mask on my nose only — where I will breathe IN — and breathe OUT through my mouth ( which also helps cool one’s interior chest cavity, mouth, and throat.) We ‘pant’ to exchange heat.

    – N95 link sample:
    NIOSH-Approved N95 Particulate Filtering Facepiece Respirators
    Manufacturers Listed Alphabetically
    http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/topics/respirators/disp_part/n95list1.html

    Reply
  70. Oh.
    Canada.

    Canada to submit its Arctic continental shelf claim in 2018

    Canada plans to submit its Arctic continental shelf claim in 2018 and it is expected to include the North Pole, overlapping with both Russian and Danish submissions that also claim ownership of the planet’s northernmost point, according to Canadian officials.

    Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which Canada ratified in 2003, all coastal states have a continental shelf extending 200 nautical miles (370 km) from coastal baselines. They can also extend their claim by 150 nautical miles (278 km) beyond 200 nautical miles if the shelf is a natural prolongation of their landmass.

    However, there are circumstances where a coastal state can claim even further than 350 nautical miles, said Mary-Lynn Dickson, head of Canada’s UNCLOS Program.

    Reply
  71. – The surround area weather has a fairly low ceiling. Cloud cover and lazy air will keep smoke fairly low to the ground – I’d say. Could be region wide or for downwind areas.

    Chris ‏@cbcerchris 4h4 hours ago
    #ymmfire from a little further south. Like a volcano in this light. #cbc #FortMacFire

    Reply
  72. Andy in SD

     /  May 5, 2016

    I’ve been looking at Lake Balkal through the spring to see when the ice clears and if the fires perhaps continued underground.

    Not sure if they were underground, but there is still ice on the lake, and you can see a fire blooming to the lower right on this shot.

    Yup, it starting there again too.

    http://www.arctic.io/explorer/24/2016-05-04/8-N54.13293-E109.91711

    Reply
  73. Andy in SD

     /  May 5, 2016

    This is what driving through hell must be like

    Reply
    • Andy in SD

       /  May 5, 2016

      Reply
    • Andy in SD

       /  May 5, 2016

      The first one is in California (Valley Fire).

      Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  May 5, 2016

      It just takes one log down across the road and those guys would be dead.

      Reply
    • mlparrish

       /  May 5, 2016

      That drive is the stuff of myth. Why did they wait so long to evacuate?

      Reply
  74. Colorado Bob

     /  May 5, 2016

    Fires and smoke in northern India

    04/28/2016
    08:20 UTC

    One wonders just what could be burning .

    Reply
  75. Colorado Bob

     /  May 5, 2016

    Fort McMurray, Alberta
    Almanac for Yesterday
    Actual Average * Record
    Temperature
    High 89 °F 52 °F 77 °F (2006)
    Low 45 °F 28 °F 17 °F (2002)

    https://www.wunderground.com/q/zmw:00000.1.71585

    Reply
    • dnem

       /  May 5, 2016

      And that 52 deg average and 77 deg record are based on 1999-present climatology! I wonder what the numbers are for mid-20th century baseline.

      Reply
      • marcel_g

         /  May 5, 2016

        Yeah there are so many places where the baseline has climate change built in. People will just adjust as described in that brilliant xkcd comic about ice in St Louis

        Reply
  76. Colorado Bob

     /  May 5, 2016

    Climate change is corroding our values, says Naomi Klein

    Climate change is spawning injustice, racism, intolerance and wars, according to author and political activist Naomi Klein.

    “It is not about things getting hotter and wetter but things getting meaner and uglier, unless we change the corrosive values that are pitting people against each other,” she said in a lecture held in memory of Palestinian literary critic and political activist Edward Said at the Royal Festival Hall in London’s Southbank Centre on Wednesday.

    “Fossil fuels, which are the principal driver of climate change, require the sacrifice of whole regions and people. Sacrificial zones like the Niger delta and the tar sands in Alberta, Canada, dot the world.

    “These zones require the shredding of treaties that enable peoples to live on their land. Indigenous rights are meaningless when the land is being [destroyed] and the rivers are polluted. Resource extraction is a form of violence because it does so much damage and kills cultures,” she said.

    Link

    Reply
    • More people plus greater struggle for limited resources plus human greed…a formula ripe for self destruction.

      Reply
    • – Or one might also say: “Our values is [are] corroding [the] Climate.”
      OUT

      Reply
    • No, the American Way has corroded our values. Just ask any native AmerIndian.

      Reply
      • Corroded values caused climate change in the first place.

        Reply
        • And we have Alexander Hamilton to thank for our corroded values. A good source on this is Gore Vidal’s Inventing a Nation which discusses how state war debt bond speculators were rewarded handsomely after buying them for pennies on the dollar from poor, desperate bondholders when Congress passed a bill to buy all the state bonds at face value and was signed into law by the sitting President, George Washington IIRC. And the rest is history.

      • And, sadly, greed is not solely an American affliction.

        Reply
        • True, that. Greed operates the same everywhere and it is present everywhere in every country!

  77. Phil

     /  May 5, 2016

    Latest news about the Great Barrier reef. Latest information is that more than half the corals of the far north Great Barrier Reef are dead.

    See http://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/more-than-half-the-corals-of-the-far-north-great-barrier-reef-dead-official-20160504-gomo2n.html

    for further details.

    Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  May 6, 2016

      Phil, the news of coral death in the northern GBR was met by regime liars and tourist industry disinformationists declaring that the coral would ‘recover’, ‘quickly’. When money is at stake, any lie will suffice. The MSM here has more or less forgotten this story, already. The plebs don’t like bad news, and it’s ‘bad for business’.

      Reply
  78. Colorado Bob

     /  May 5, 2016

    A climate warming warning: Warmer temperatures are affecting lakes in the oilsands region

    A recent collaborative research project between scientists from academia and government agencies has identified climate warming as the dominant driver of an increase in algal growth in the Athabasca oilsands region of northern Alberta.

    Researchers used dated lake sediment cores to reconstruct past algal production and industrial impact at 23 remote, helicopter-accessed lakes in the oilsands region. Snowpack samples were also used to determine the nutrient deposition across the landscape.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160502161845.htm

    Reply
  79. Ryan in New England

     /  May 5, 2016

    It really pisses me off that Trudeau would come out and say that this isn’t climate change. Really!? Sure, for thirty years scientists have been telling us that increased wildfires would be a result of climate change. Then we have unprecedented record heat and an unprecedented fire, way up north where we shouldn’t see these things, and it’s happening in the first days of May…I’m sure it’s all some big coincidence. I mean, if my mechanic tells me I urgently need new brakes, then I lose my breaks a few days later, that’s just a coincidence.

    Completely irresponsible. This is one of the clearest examples of climate change that we can point to.

    Reply
    • marcel_g

       /  May 5, 2016

      I mostly agree, although I thought JT and Mulcair were both basically saying it’s too early to talk about that now, make sure everyone’s safe first. yes, it’s their job to make sure everyone’s safe first, but considering JT is already doing a climate-pipeline two step, I’m not holding my breath that he or his govt will get back to talking about the climate context of this fire later.

      Reply
    • – A repeat of my earlier comment:

      – Keep in mind that JT couldn’t have made to PM if didn’t hold, or espouse, those sentiments.
      FF interests, et al have been at the controls of our Western political system for a very long time.
      Peace

      Reply
  80. Colorado Bob

     /  May 5, 2016

    Oil Sands Fire Forcing 80,000 Canadians From Homes Set to Expand

    The fire will probably grow to about 100 square kilometers (40 square miles), from around 80 now, Chad Morrison, a wildfire official, said Wednesday. ……………………………… The wildfire is the latest blow to a province already grappling with the economic toll of a two-year oil price slump in one of the world’s most expensive places to extract crude. More than 40,000 energy jobs have been lost in Canada since the price crash began in 2014. Some 250 firefighters, 10 helicopters and 17 air tankers have been deployed to fight the blazes around Fort McMurray, about 700 kilometers northeast of Calgary.

    Link

    Reply
  81. Ryan in New England

     /  May 5, 2016

    All the victims of this fire, the thousands who have lost everything…don’t worry, according to Trudeau climate change isn’t even happening, so this fire is just some liberal scam. It’s not even real.Go back to your homes, they’re not really piles of smoldering ash. Al Gore is the one who ordered the town to evacuate, just so he could shut down your oil pipelines.

    Reply
  82. Fort McMurray wildfire burning so hot only weather can stop it

    “Climate change models and research all point to the idea that fire season is going to be longer in the coming years, and the fires will be more severe,” says David Andison, adjunct professor with the faculty of forestry at UBC. “It will really just be the new normal.”

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/alberta-wildfire-science-background-1.3565932

    Reply
  83. Abel Adamski

     /  May 5, 2016

    http://www.azocleantech.com/news.aspx?newsID=23326
    Collective Framing of Climate Change Causes More Effective than Individual, UC San Diego Study Suggests
    Published on May 5, 2016 at 4:58 AM
    What can you do about climate change? The better question might be: What can we do about climate change? University of California San Diego researchers show in a new study that framing the issue collectively is significantly more effective than emphasis on personal responsibility.

    Reply
  84. New live blog just up at the CBC on the McMurray wildfire fire:
    http://www.cbc.ca/news2/interactives/breaking/fort-mcmurray-wildfire-may5/

    Reply
    • marcel_g

       /  May 5, 2016

      Wow, just watched the video showing how close fleeing people’s cars got to the flames. Unbelievable that everyone got out, and so much admiration for the police and firefighters, esp those officers standing out there directing traffic in the smoke with no protective gear.

      Reply
      • I know. That video was truly frightening. Can’t even imagine driving through that with all the fiery debris falling on your vehicle. Truly amazing none of those vehicles exploded.

        Reply
  85. Off topic:
    “We’ve been mayors of New York, Paris and Rio. We know climate action starts with cities”
    by Michael Bloomberg…Anne Hidaglo…Eduardo Paes
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/05/mayors-new-york-paris-rio-climate-action-cities

    Reply
  86. Colorado Bob

     /  May 5, 2016

    Note to Exxon: Lying About Climate Change Isn’t Free Speech—It’s Fraud

    Facing hundreds of billions of dollars in potential damages, the fossil-fuel giant is trying to change the subject.

    When in trouble, change the subject—or at least try to. So it is that the world’s oldest, richest, and most powerful oil company, under investigation for apparently lying to investors and the public for decades about the deadliness of its products, has launched a high-stakes counterattack under the unlikely flag of the First Amendment. On April 13, ExxonMobil filed suit to block a subpoena issued by the attorney general of the US Virgin Islands. Following revelations from the Los Angeles Times and InsideClimate News, the subpoena charged that the company may have violated the territory’s anti-racketeering law. It questioned whether Exxon told investors, including the territory’s pension fund, one thing about climate change (that it wasn’t a danger) while its own scientists were privately telling its management the opposite.

    Link

    Reply
    • – Oh, there is plenty of ‘free speech’ — on the gallows.
      Even if it is the more forgiving ‘gallows’ of history and its judgement.

      Of this, I firmly believe.
      Yes, siree.

      What Exxon and the rest have done is worse than criminal.
      They obviously know it. And they surely have a battery of lawyers and propagandists at work trying to fabricate some sort of public absolution.
      They won’t get it from me.
      OUT

      Reply
      • I often think about history and the contexts of events — as a matter of form.

        A mental exercise I just pictured for Exxon that is fit for the gallows or any just punishment — this picture came into my mind…
        PS For context , the Nuremburg Tribunals prescribed hanging as punishment for those found guilty of ‘Crimes Against Humanity’.

        The picture my mind drew: A rope for hanging sits suspended above a trap door — the door being a melting glacier or polar ice sheet.

        If only for the morality of their crimes.

        PPS The very first thing I do when I move to a place is get a library card. Which I use (now the internet though). The books help fill in gaps in my knowledge and understanding.

        Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  May 6, 2016

      Lying about climate change is not just fraud-it’s complicity in genocide, the same crime that got Streicher’s neck snapped at Nuremberg.

      Reply
      • I think there’s a case for that. If I were in front of a fossil fuel board of execs right now, I’d tell them to turn back before it’s too late. The current misinformation and political efforts on their part are a combined active deceit and attempt to enforce global harm. If there was ever a case for criminal charges against industry leaders on the level of war crimes charges, then the fossil fuel industry as it exists and operates today is it.

        Reply
        • You mean disinformation, Robert. Remember: they knew…. they knew! back in the 70s when the winters were bitter cold and the lamestream media were telling us that we were headed for a new ice age.

        • Oh it’s absolutely disinformation. And intentional disinformation at that.

  87. Reply
    • Jason Box @climate_ice
      record darkness around Greenland ice sheet periphery from warm conditions and low snow in the west @PolarPortal

      Reply
  88. – The lecture is 1 hr 41 min long.

    Reply
  89. – Coral reefs soften shore erosion etc.

    Coral Deaths Threaten Coasts With Erosion, Flooding

    Colorful corals draw snorkeling tourists to natural marine playlands along the Florida Keys, Mexican Riviera Maya and northeastern Australia, and new research shows the flailing ecosystems they underpin also protect beachfront hotels from erosion and floods.

    As coral reefs the world over bleach from warming waters, dissolve from acidification and are attacked by diseases and pests, scientists are discovering the critical roles that they play in breaking destructive swells before they reach coastlines.

    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/coral-deaths-threaten-coasts-with-erosion-flooding-20314

    Reply
  90. NA | USA | BAKKEN OIL

    ETHANE | C2H6
    Ethane is a colorless odorless gas. It is easily ignited. The vapors are heavier than air.
    – pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/ethane
    Ethane is a hydrocarbon with a molecular structure C2H6, and belongs to the group of natural gas liquids (or NGLs).
    – marketrealist.com/2014/04/ethane-important-energy-companies

    Fracking Pollution Raising the Earth’s Levels of Ethane, Bakken Oilfield Is Solely To Blame

    http://www.desmogblog.com/2016/05/05/pollution-fracking-raising-earth-s-levels-ethane-and-just-one-oilfield-main-culprit-researchers-conclude

    Reply
  91. 18:13 UTC
    CBC News Alerts ‏@CBCAlerts 18m18 minutes ago

    #Alberta premier says fight against fire totally dependant on weather; officials expect it to keep growing for a few more days. #ymmfire

    Reply
  92. Reply
  93. 18:16 UTC
    Eric Holthaus ‏@EricHolthaus 28m28 minutes ago

    Eric Holthaus Retweeted Briar Stewart

    Wow. Per morning briefing, #FortMacFire increased in size by about 850% over last 24hrs, now 210,000 acres.
    ###
    Briar Stewart Verified account
    ‏@briarstewart

    Fire is now 85 thousand hectares in size. #cbc.

    Reply
  94. Andy. SD methane.

    San Diego County’s Methane Problem Visible For First Time

    Researchers have identified dozens of methane hotspots, including a series of hits near the Miramar landfill, with the gas apparently drifting to the end of the pier at La Jolla’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where a different group of scientists has an air intake connected to some of the world’s most sensitive atmospheric analyzers.

    “Any time we go by Miramar from any direction, we pick up something…
    http://www.kpbs.org/news/2016/may/04/san-diego-countys-methane-problem-visible-first-ti/

    Reply
  95. Andy in SD

     /  May 5, 2016

    Reply
  96. – The irony:

    Reply
  97. Andy in SD

     /  May 5, 2016

    Reply
    • THAT is an appropriate image for the times.
      The red smoky hazy horizon, the cloud lid above it, the towering column of smoke above that.

      – And a reminder to acquire a gross of N95 dust mask respirators.
      OUT

      Reply
    • This photo is now my laptop’s desktop scene.

      Reply
    • Holy hell that’s freakish.

      Reply
  98. – Hmm…
    – So Cal Bight – SB – Must watch this if fire is out of control.

    Reply
    • wili

       /  May 5, 2016

      http://syvnews.com/news/local/solvang-fire-chars-five-acres-of-land/article_a2e095c4-5b2f-56ed-a249-7b976bc0abe8.html

      This makes it sound as if it is now under control:

      “Santa Barbara County Fire Department authorities are working to control a five-acre vegetation fire that occurred at the 1400 block of Holsted Road in Solvang Thursday morning. Authorities said that the cause of the fire was from a permitted burn pile that escaped.

      At 10:04 a.m. authorities responded to the report of a vegetation fire. After arriving at the scene, crews found a quarter acre of land on fire which escaped from a burn pile. Winds were blowing during the burn, causing the fire to escape from the burn pile and quickly spread to approximately five acres of grass. Santa Barbara County Fire Department authorities responded with four engine companies, one water tender and two helicopters.

      The helicopters made water drops to help control the fire. Homes in the surrounding area were threatened briefly, but crews were able to contain the fire.

      A second alarm was called and and air tankers were requested, which were later canceled. Authorities would like to remind the public that permit holders are responsible for permit burn piles, and that it could be possible that the permit holders will be held liable for full cost recovery of damages. “

      Reply
      • Thx wili, it goes to show you how worried they are about fire conditions. They have decided a few years ago to respond in force as a first response.

        Reply
  99. I’ve reblogged this article and the previous one on the Himalaya fires at 2016 is strange!, here. (Sister blog to Fin des Voies Rapides.)

    Reply
  100. And a new article for you: Southern Louisiana faces existential threat from Global Warming at the same 2016 is strange! sister blog.

    Reply
  1. Ocieplenie ziemskiej atmosfery przyspiesza (aktualizacja: 5.05.2016) | Blog exignoranta

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