NASA — World Just Had Seven Months Straight of Record-Shattering Global Heat

It’s not just that we’re seeing record global heat. It’s that 2016’s jump in global temperatures may be the biggest single-year spike ever recorded. It’s that the world may never again see annual temperatures below 1 C above preindustrial averages. And it’s that this high level of heat, and a related spiking of atmospheric greenhouse gasses due to fossil fuel emissions, is now enough to begin inflicting serious harm upon both the natural world and human civilization.

Seven Straight Months of Record Heat

Last month was the hottest April in the global climate record. Not only was it the hottest such month ever recorded — it smashed the previous record by the largest margin ever recorded. And this April has now become the seventh month in a row in an unbroken chain of record global heat.

Stephan Rahmstorf Temperature anomaly

(When graphed, this is what the hottest April on record looks like when compared to other Aprils. Note the sharp upward spike at the end of the long warming progression. Yeah, that’s for April of 2016. Image source: Dr. Stephan Rahmstorf. Data source: NASA GISS.)

According to NASA GISS, global temperatures in April were 1.11 degrees Celsius (C) hotter than its 20th Century baseline average. When compared to preindustrial readings (NASA 1880s), temperatures have globally heated by a total of +1.33 C. And that’s a really big jump in global heat, especially when one considers the context of the last seven months. When one looks at that, it appears that global temperatures are racing higher with a fearful speed.

About this raging pace of warming, Andy Pitman, director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science at the University of New South Wales in Australia recently noted in the Guardian:

“The interesting thing is the scale at which we’re breaking records. It’s clearly all heading in the wrong direction. Climate scientists have been warning about this since at least the 1980s. And it’s been bloody obvious since the 2000s.”

Record Atmospheric Carbon dioxide levels

(Record atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, as seen in this Sunday May 15 Copernicus Observatory graphic, are the primary force driving an amazing spike in global temperatures during 2016. Image source: The Copernicus Observatory.)

Though 2016 is likely to be a record hot year, overall readings have moderated somewhat since earlier this year as El Nino has begun to fade. But that doesn’t mean we’re out of the danger zone. Quite to the contrary, we’re racing toward climate thresholds at a never-before-seen pace. And that’s really worrisome. Peak monthly readings this year hit a ridiculous +1.55 C above 1880s averages at the height of El Nino during February. And April’s current monthly record is now tied with January of 2016 in the NASA measure. In total, the first four months of 2016 now average +1.43 C above 1880s baselines or uncomfortably close to the +1.5  C mark established by scientists as the first of many increasingly dangerous climate thresholds.

According to Pitman:

“The 1.5C target, it’s wishful thinking. I don’t know if you’d get 1.5C if you stopped emissions today. There’s inertia in the system. It’s [now] putting intense pressure on 2C.”

And when mainstream scientists start to say things like that, it’s really time for the rest of us to take notice.

A Record Hot World Made by Fossil Fuel Burning and Consistent With Scientific Predictions

Looking at where the globe warmed the most, we find greatest extreme temperature departures during April were again centered over the climatologically vulnerable Arctic. Alaska, Northwest Canada, the Beaufort Sea, a huge section of Central Siberia, the West Coast of Greenland, the Laptev and Kara Seas, and a section of North Africa all experienced monthly temperatures in the range of 4 to 6.5 degrees Celsius above average. Monthly ranges that are screaming-hot. A notably larger region experienced significant heat with temperatures ranging from 2-4 C above NASA’s 20th Century baseline. Overall, almost every region of the world experienced above average readings — with the noted exceptions linked to extreme trough zones related to climate change altered weather patterns and ocean cool pools induced by warming-related glacial melt.

Record Global Heat April

(NASA’s picture of a world with a severe and worsening fever during a record hot April of 2016. Image source: NASA GISS.)

These counter-trend regions include the Greenland melt zone of the North Atlantic cool pool, the trough zone over Hudson Bay, the trough zone over the Northwest Pacific, and the oceanic heat sink zone that is the stormy Southern Ocean. Observed amplification of warming in the Northern Polar Region together with formation of the North Atlantic cool pool and the activation of the heat sink zone in the Southern Ocean are all consistent with global warming related patterns predicted by climate models and resulting from human fossil fuel burning pushing atmospheric CO2 levels well above 400 parts per million during recent years.

Record Heat Spurs Unprecedented Climate Disasters

This pattern of record global heat has brought with it numerous climate change related disasters. Across the Equatorial regions of the world, drought and hunger crises have flared. These have grown particularly intense in Africa and Asia. In Africa, tens of millions of people are now on the verge of famine. In India, 330 million people are under water stress due to what is likely the worst drought that nation has ever experienced. Australia has seen 93 percent its Great Barrier Reef succumb to a heat-related coral bleaching. And since the ocean heat in that region of the world has tipped into a range that will force more and more frequent bleaching events, it’s questionable if the great reef will even survive the next few decades.

Pittman in the Guardian again:

“The thing that’s causing that warming, is going up and up and up. So the cool ocean temperatures we will get with a La Niña are warmer than we’d ever seen more than a few decades ago … This is a full-scale punching of the reef system on an ongoing basis with some occasionally really nasty kicks and it isn’t going to recover.”

In Florida, ocean acidification due to fossil fuel emissions is providing its own punches and kicks to that state’s largest coastal reef. A different effect from warming, acidification is a chemical change caused by ocean waters becoming over-burdened with carbon. Kind of like a constant acid rain on the reef that causes the limestone it’s made out of to dissolve.

And if the above impacts aren’t enough to keep you awake at night, unprecedented May wildfires also forced the emptying of an entire city in Canada. Islands around the world are being swallowed by rising oceans due to ice sheet melt and thermal expansion. Cities along the US Atlantic and Gulf Coasts are experiencing ever-worsening tidal flooding events. Glacial melt in Greenland and Antarctica is accelerating. And the Arctic sea ice is so thin and melting so fast that some are questioning if any of it will survive come September.

La Nina is Coming, But it Won’t Help Much

It’s worth noting that global atmospheric temperatures will temporarily cool down from 2016 peaks as La Nina is predicted to settle in by this Fall. However, greenhouse gasses are so high and Earth’s energy balance so intense that the global ocean, ice and atmospheric system is still accumulating heat at an unprecedented rate. As La Nina kicks in, this extra heat will mostly go into the oceans and the ice as the atmosphere cools down a little — preparing for the next big push as El Nino builds once more.

global-warming-since-1850

(Global warming spirals toward dangerous climate thresholds. Graphic by climate scientist Ed Hawkins.)

This natural variability-based shift toward La Nina shouldn’t really be looked at as good news. A massive plume of moisture has risen off the global oceans during the current heat spike and as global temperatures cool, there’s increasing risk of very large flood events of a kind we’re not really used to. La Nina also produces drought zones — in particular over an already-suffering California — and the added warming from rising global temperatures will add to drought intensity in such regions as well.

With global temperatures predicted to hit around 1.3 C above preindustrial averages for all of 2016, it’s doubtful that the world will ever even again see one year in which temperatures fall below the 1 C climate threshold. And that means faster glacial ice melt, worsening wildfires, more disruption to growing seasons and crops, more extreme storms and rainfall events, faster rates of sea level rise, expanding drought zones, more mass casualty inducing heatwaves, expanding ranges for tropical diseases, increasing ranges for harmful invasive species, and a plethora of other problems. Over recent years, we’ve tipped the scales into dangerous climate change. And with global temperatures increasing so rapidly, we’re getting into deeper and deeper trouble.

In the end, our best hope for abating these worsening conditions is to rapidly reduce global carbon emissions to zero or net negative. Until we do that, there’s going to be a ramping scale of worsening impacts coming on down the pipe.

Links:

NASA GISS

Dr. Stephan Rahmstorf

April Breaks Global Temperature Record

The Copernicus Observatory

Ed Hawkins

Hat tip to Suzanne

Hat tip to Colorado Bob

Hat tip to DT Lange

 

 

Leave a comment

99 Comments

  1. Jay M

     /  May 17, 2016

    The seasonal insolation increase plus the CO2 excursion rising faster in the northern hemisphere seems to be another feedback loop, I’m sure, noted by people sharper than me.
    The world chemistry is in serious disarray. This must be dealt with.

    Reply
    • wili

       /  May 17, 2016

      ” seasonal insolation increase plus the CO2 excursion rising faster in the northern hemisphere seems to be another feedback loop”

      Could you explain this a bit for the slow if wit like me! ‘-\

      Reply
      • Jay M

         /  May 17, 2016

        Just looking at the world graphic in the post where the northern hemisphere is purple with much higher co2 level as we turn to NH summer.

        Reply
  2. Andy in SD

     /  May 17, 2016

    The fire in Alberta.

    Now over 1,100 square miles.There are 1,919 firefighters, 161 helicopters, 377 pieces of heavy equipment and 29 air tankers currently battling the fires in Alberta.

    It is now threatening oil terminals and other facilities.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-16/alberta-blaze-nears-enbridge-oil-sands-terminal-as-flames-spread

    Reply
    • Was afraid of this when looking at the Sunday MODIS shots and writing the article from earlier today. Glad to see that Bloomberg is on the ball at least. No word from Canadian media all day on what was obviously a re-emerging danger.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  May 17, 2016

        When Canadian media “break” news, it’s nearly always from CNN, or from yesterday’s BBC.

        Just kidding.

        Well, not completely.

        Reply
    • Reply
      • So here is the MODIS shot of the Fort McMurray Fire today:

        Fort McMurray Fire May 16

        As you can see, it’s again grown quite intense.

        Latest reports show the blaze now at 285,000 hectares or 1,100 square miles.

        Reply
      • 05:21 UTC

        Wind shifts forecast for the wild fires and ash/smoke.
        Fort Mac: Mon 0516 10 kt Winds out of the south but forecast to shift throughout the week: roughly slack 7-9 kt west SW for Tue/Wed — N NE @ 11-15 kt for Thur-Fri — 12 kt SE for Sat.
        – windyty.com

        Tue 0517 temps 5 pm temps 68 F at Cold Lake 265 km to the south of Fort Mac 79 F.

        https://www.windyty.com/?2016-05-19-21,55.727,-108.633,6

        Reply
  3. Andy in SD

     /  May 17, 2016

    arctic.io has changed their website and have added some aggregation from other arctic data gathering sites.

    http://www.arctic.io/#data

    Reply
  4. Reblogged this on GarryRogers Nature Conservation and commented:
    Perhaps vengeance is ours after all.

    Reply
  5. donesoverydone

     /  May 17, 2016

    Reblogged this on things I've read or intend to.

    Reply
  6. ‘Doing something like this, and possibly being arrested, is a lot less crazy than continuing on like nothing is wrong.’

    At Break Free Protests Around the World, Climate Activists Put Bodies on the Line

    Reply
      • – Those brave souls are on BNSF tracks.

        BNSF whistleblower case begins in federal court

        A BNSF Railway whistleblower case over safety concerns is under way in Seattle federal court.

        The trial began Monday in Seattle. In a brief filed with the court, Rookaird’s attorneys allege that BNSF violated federal law that protects railroad whistleblowers, and seek back pay and damages.

        Rookaird’s trial is the latest whistleblower action to reach federal court against BNSF, a major national carrier that in Washington state carries a wide range of freight, including crude oil and other tanker car cargo.
        http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/northwest/bnsf-whistleblower-case-begins-in-federal-court/

        Reply
      • Ailsa

         /  May 17, 2016

        Enraged?… enraged, that’s how I feel. Interesting that looking at the NASA map above, UK is one of the few spots that is maintaining something like normal temps, but of course we are due for big extreme storm/wind/rain events, so all is not good here after all.

        Been seen coming for a long time:

        “Meltdown expected, the wheat is growing thin
        Engines stop running, but I have no fear
        ‘Cause London is drowning, and I live by the river

        “London calling, yes, I was there, too
        An’ you know what they said? Well, some of it was true!
        London calling at the top of the dial
        After all this, won’t you give me a smile?”

        ~~~~

        Reply
        • Yeah. But I try to keep it in check. We have a duty to inform people here. Which is one reason why we need to be cognizant of what we say and how we say it. Developing a sense of urgency is the aim. Developing a sense of rage would be counter-productive.

        • This song was written in the 80s. Seems more appropriate for today …

      • Ailsa

         /  May 17, 2016

        Fully agree Robert, untrammeled rage is not helpful. But focused and honoured, allowing righteous rage can be truly life-affirming and magnificent. Particularly for those of us who are analytical by nature. Onward with our power…!

        Reply
      • Ailsa

         /  May 17, 2016

        Strummer – astute commenter and valued prophet. RIP

        Reply
  7. wili

     /  May 17, 2016

    SkS has updated their 2C Tracker through April 2016, and they indicate that the 12-month running average (baseline to pre-industrial or 1880 – 1909) has increased up to +1.246C.

    ((note that at the end of March 2016 this value was +1.210C)

    (Thanks, as often, to ASLR at neven’s forum for this.)

    Reply
  8. Mulga Mumblebrain

     /  May 17, 2016

    Don’t you worry about any of that ‘warmist’ nonsense. The ‘Australian’, the flag-shit of Murdoch’s local Empire denounced the observation that these temperatures represent a ‘climate emergency’ as ‘hysterical nonsense’ in an editorial. So there!

    Reply
  9. – NA – Climate Change – Lyme disease – Ticks as vectors
    – “The vectors have spread…”

    Lyme disease cases rising in Canada; climate change cited as a probable factor

    More Canadians are contracting Lyme disease and federal health officials are partly blaming global warming for a dramatic uptick in cases.

    Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted to people by black-legged ticks that get infected after biting mice or deer that carry the bug. These ticks are referred to as vectors for the disease.

    “As climates change across the country, that is certainly one of the major factors why we believe that it has spread in recent years,” Health Minister Jane Philpott told reporters after addressing a national conference on Lyme disease in Ottawa on Monday.

    “The vectors have spread and we expect it to continue to change and it needs to be monitored closely,” Philpott added.

    In 2015, there were 700 new cases of Lyme disease reported to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), up from 140 cases in 2009. Lyme is now being diagnosed in southern B.C., Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

    But PHAC chief Dr. Gregory Taylor said those figures are likely under-reported.
    http://www.nationalobserver.com/2016/05/16/news/lyme-disease-cases-rising-canada-climate-change-cited-probable-factor

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  May 17, 2016

      Oh dear, they did really write “uptick in cases”….. 😉

      Reply
  10. Robert, does this mean more warm moist air heading north?

    Reply
  11. Past the crook in the hockey stick, maybe? A full “moon” by the critter that has exited the barn…

    Sent from my iPad 🙏🏻

    >

    Reply
  12. ? “ideology” ?! I don’t think so.
    Ps ‘Attorney Generals’ are infamous for being ideology driven.

    Texas, Alabama Attorneys General Join Exxon’s Battle Against Climate Probe

    Saying the Virgin Islands’ racketeering investigation ‘appears to be driven by ideology, not law,’ states file in support of company in Texas court.

    The top law enforcement officials of Texas and Alabama are jumping in on the side of ExxonMobil, objecting to a racketeering investigation of the oil giant by the attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

    The attorneys general of Texas and Alabama filed notice that they intend to intervene in the case, contending that Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker is abusing his authority. According to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, Walker overstepped his bounds in opening the investigation that has no legal basis.

    http://insideclimatenews.org/news/16052016/texas-alabama-attorneys-general-taking-exxon-side-objecting-climate-probe-virgin-islands

    Reply
    • They’ve been trying to call climate science ideology for a few years now. It’s typical psychological reversal and bullying on the part of the right. Just another way of blaming the victim.

      Reply
  13. Cate

     /  May 17, 2016

    Premier Notley has a bit of a deer-in-the-headlights look these days. No doubt she is exhausted, but she must have nerves of steel. I commend her strong, calm, focused leadership throughout this fire crisis—which shows no signs of abating, btw. And it’s only May.

    So this piece yesterday in the Calgary Herald seems to signal some bullet-biting in Oil Country, some acknowledgement that the fire and flood calamities are indeed related to climate change. The next dot they have to connect is the biggie: that climate change is caused by fossil fuels, which means we have to stop using fossil fuels.

    They’re not there yet—they’re still thinking they can negotiate with Mother Nature. We’ll know when they come to their senses—that’ll be when they follow Ontario’s lead and start the process of divestment.

    http://calgaryherald.com/news/politics/alberta-government-preparing-for-climate-related-disasters

    Reply
    • So long as the fossil fuel industry dominates the political process, there will be no real acknowledgement or appropriate response to the problem. This is better than what’s been happening over the past two weeks. But it’s late in coming and still far, far too muted.

      Reply
  14. redskylite

     /  May 17, 2016

    After CSIRO has stripped away much of it’s experienced and senior staff, it is now putting out reports on best ways to maintain fossil fuel exports and exploitation. Just a feeble organ of the government’s draconian ambitions.

    “The 66-page report barely mentions climate change, ignores 2°C emissions scenarios, and gives scant mention to the numerous renewable energy technologies many consider will be a key ingredient of the global effort to avert dangerous climate change – something the CSIRO’s own Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station has now confirmed we are not doing nearly fast enough.”

    http://reneweconomy.com.au/2016/csiro-buries-australias-future-30556

    Reply
    • So CSIRO is being turned into an outlet for anti-science mumbo-jumbo. This is how civilizations fall folks. If this happens everywhere that matters, then we are done.

      Reply
  15. redskylite

     /  May 17, 2016

    Another turn of events in the Alberta wildfire season . . .

    Canada wildfire: Oil workers urged to leave Fort McMurray camps

    Around 12,000 people have been urged to leave Canada’s oil sands camps near the fire-hit town of Fort McMurray as a resurgent wildfire heads towards them.

    A regional official told the BBC that 8,000 people were given precautionary evacuation orders late on Monday evening, in addition to some 4,000 who had already been advised to leave.

    More than 80,000 people fled Fort McMurray two weeks ago when a wildfire swept through the town.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-36309184

    Reply
  16. Ryan in New England

     /  May 17, 2016

    Things are really starting to get frightening. We are knocking on the door of 1.5C, and every day we still burn 90+ million barrels of oil. And coal. And natural gas. We should be transitioning to renewables at wartime speed, but we still act as if we have decades to get our act together. It’s like an addict who admits he needs rehab…but continues using, thinking that the admission is enough to usher in a change. The Paris agreement is our admission that we are junkies. But we are still using, and haven’t even tried getting into rehab yet.

    Every month that passes I get more pessimistic about our collective future.

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  May 17, 2016

      + Many

      Reply
    • Ryan…I couldn’t agree more with your analogy. We are a species of addicts with fossil fuels being our drug of “choice”. It is hard to see how we could “kick the habit”…because we are so “all in” for fossil fuels…We have been “mainlining it” since 1880…and that’s what I find so disheartening.

      Reply
    • That’s what we need — a wartime transition away from fossil fuels. The right wing mind has yet to comprehend this basic fact. For them, every effort appears to be to enforce the barbaric harm of climate change on everyone — including themselves. And, no, they won’t dodge this. The irony is that their assets and methods of wealth generation are very, very vulnerable to the forces now coming into play.

      Reply
    • Ryan, I agree 100%. What’s worse, is that those in political and economic power have designed or evolved a national and global economy to *not* run without either debt finance capitalism *or* fossil fuels. I really don’t know what the solution is…😦

      Reply
  17. Vic

     /  May 17, 2016

    “A shift in the wildfire burning around the Canadian oil sands hub of Fort McMurray has put about 4,000 people in work camps on evacuation alert, including hundreds who were given mandatory orders to leave the area.

    An evacuation alert issued on Monday covered 12 camps north of the city, with workers being moved south and all northbound traffic once again cut off at the city,”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/17/shift-in-alberta-wildfire-prompts-evacuation-of-oil-sands-work-camps

    Reply
  18. Vic

     /  May 17, 2016

    “Put a tiger in your tank”

    Reply
  19. Phil S

     /  May 17, 2016

    So what are the chances of these seven records being broken within the next decade? My guess is they’ll be toast.

    Being thoroughly embedded in the local growing community, I’ve been constantly pushing for a focus on resilience and healthy (carbon rich) soils, but despite having a sizable degree of respect within the committees and boards of the various groups I’m involved with, the mention of preparing for climate change is generally greeted with an uncomfortable silence or a backhanded derision.

    It’s my firm belief that the conditions we’re currently experiencing will be looked on in hindsight as the most benign and conducive for producing food and developing farming systems and management techniques capable of withstanding the onslaught down the line.

    If Hell is indeed coming to Breakfast, then Hell may well go hungry like the rest of us.

    A colleague of mine recently mentioned a study in South America (apologies for the lack of a link) that looked at the impact of a 1C degree rise in temperature on the soybean harvest. Despite initial estimates of a 10% decrease, the farmers chose not to double crop due to the conditions, and the subsequent harvest was less than 50%.
    There’s so many factors involved. Uncertain times await us.

    Reply
    • Depends on what happens to carbon emissions and how fast those ice sheets start really coming into play. My bet is that warming is fast tracking to 2 C over the next 2-3 decades unless emissions really start going down quick.

      Reply
    • If this helps, this is a summary (in portuguese, but citations to articles in English) of effects of climate change expected in the most proeminent monocultures in Brasil, copiled by Embrapa (our main agricultural research agency): http://www.mma.gov.br/port/conama/reuniao/dir929/1330_04MagdaLima.pdf

      Reply
      • Hi umbrios27

        This appears to be a later document, with roughly the same title. It’s in English.

        http://www.pbmc.coppe.ufrj.br/documentos/gt2_grid_ingles.pdf

        What scares me about Brazil is that the Amazon forest is such a huge carbon sink. If it should change from a carbon sink into a carbon source because of climate change – well, that would be bad.

        Thanks, to Brazil and Brazilians for cleaning up so much of our mess.🙂

        Reply
        • Fires in the Amazon have already started that trend. One reason why 2 C is a tipping point is that it’s about the range in which the Amazon and other Equatorial forests become nonviable.

  20. Greg

     /  May 17, 2016

    A touching and inspiring story of an Indian man who took an eroding and barren island in northeastern India and, since, 1979 has planted trees until it is now forested and home to a variety of animals including elephants and rhino. The island is larger than Manhattan!
    http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/short-film-showcase/india-man-plants-forest-bigger-than-central-park-to-save-his-island

    Reply
  21. Greg

     /  May 17, 2016

    Jeremy Grantham is a British investor who is a master of assessing risk. He is also a large sustainability philanthropist and his firm, GMO, one of the largest in the world had more than US $118 billion in assets under management as of March 2015. At a recent conference he said “We’ve been around for 300,000 years. We’ve had agriculture for 12,000 years…Yet we’ve come down to just 100 years where the whole game is playing out.” He said it’s not just that the climate is warming, but that climate warming is accelerating….” He is far more optimistic about technology’s ability to solve energy problems than most environmentalists. But he is also far more pessimistic about the ability to feed a rapidly growing global population, given changing climate patterns, than most technologists. “Both groups underestimate the good news or the bad news.” As a result, he said, “it’s going to be quite a horse race.” And the ultimate outcome? “It’s fifty-fifty.”
    http://fortune.com/2016/05/16/is-mankind-reaching-the-end/?iid=leftrail

    Reply
  22. Greg

     /  May 17, 2016

    The fire was moving roughly parallel to the city and traveling about 40 yards per minute. By early evening it was nine to 12 miles from the Syncrude and Suncor facilities. To the dismay of the authorities, the blaze jumped a large firebreak that had been constructed in its anticipated path. “We’re fairly confident — fingers crossed, knock on wood — when it comes to Fort McMurray,” Scott Long, the executive director of operations for Alberta’s emergency management agency, told reporters. “Our concern tends to be towards the oil and gas infrastructure to the north.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/17/world/americas/fort-mcmurray-canada-wildfire.html

    Reply
  23. Greg

     /  May 17, 2016

    Now we have to battle labor unions? Can they not see that the entire revamping of our civilization will be the mother of all construction projects? “some in the labor movement, whose cash flow has dwindled and whose political clout has been increasingly imperiled, announced a partnership last week with a wealthy environmentalist, Tom Steyer, to help bankroll a new fund dedicated to electing Democrats. That joint initiative enraged members of the nation’s biggest construction unions, already on edge about the rising influence of climate-change activists. The building-trades unions view Mr. Steyer’s environmental agenda as a threat to the jobs that can be created through infrastructure projects like new gas pipelines.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/17/us/politics/democratic-turnout.html

    Reply
    • Way to go Steyer for working to find synergy between labor and environmentalists. I think the construction Union is off its rocker if they think the billionaire mascarading as a populist Trump will support their interests.

      Reply
    • dnem

       /  May 17, 2016

      You beat me to posting a link to this Greg. Very troubling story. It just shows how deeply entrenched the current paradigm is and how difficult it will be to create the change we need.

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  May 17, 2016

        It is movement for environmentalists and the old guard simply retrenching, yes with skirmishes to follow. It’s just watching sausage being made. Steyer and his change is delicious.

        Reply
    • Dems shouldn’t worry too much. Construction unions (“the trades”) have always been pretty retro and Republican-leaning. But I agree, definitely a sign of the bankruptcy of the labor “movement” that parts of it have so little social conscience. No wonder they are going down the tubes.

      Reply
      • So I think that the schism portrayed in the article is over-blown. From a workers standpoint, wind and solar now represent nearly 300,000 jobs in this country. Coal, by comparison is at around 56,000 jobs. And a construction Union whose members would absolutely benefit from rooftop solar installations appears to be cutting off its nose despite its face.

        As for billionaires — a Trump billionaire running as a populist is a bit of a farce. Trump doesn’t have a track record for helping the little guy so much as crushing him. I’d call him a fake populist. He’s a 1 percenter, surrounding himself by 1 percenters and pretending to care about the little guy by talking a little populism. But where’s the substance? He’s proposing another tax cut for the rich and his finance chair was one of the dudes who deregulated the markets and helped engineer the Great Recession:

        https://newrepublic.com/article/133368/donald-trumps-finance-chair-anti-populist-hell

        I’d say this construction Union has been hood-winked. In any case, I think it’s good news that Steyer is attempting to unify Union efforts with environmental efforts. There’s huge opportunity for common ground in the sense that the potential for green jobs growth and public service jobs growth is quite significant in a situation where you have an all-hands-on-deck response to climate change. And if they think they’re going to get better pay, hours, and working conditions under Trump then they are absolutely fooling themselves.

        Reply
  24. Greg

     /  May 17, 2016

    OT but leaving with this. We need to think systematically, with sustainable design and passion with everything we build moving forward. Here is a pavilion at the University of Stuttgart. It is modeled on nature – the sand dollar- and uses much less wood that is literally stitched together. Think beauty, renewable, and I could see my boys loving to play in that thing!

    Reply
  25. Greg

     /  May 17, 2016

    One more. Robert, The Fireman, out today, follows a nurse named Harper as a deadly pandemic called Dragonscale spreads across the world. The author is Stephen King’s son ‘Joe King’. “We can watch the ice caps shrinking in real time using satellite footage. That’s creeping us out—it’s upsetting to know how fragile our ecosystem is. If you doubt civilization is fragile, go to a Trump rally. Fiction is one place we go to explore the anxieties in ordinary life, where we take stressful subjects and play with it.” Bradbury was going to title his book The Fireman, which is a great title, and at one point changed it to Fahrenheit 451.
    http://www.wired.com/2016/05/joe-hill-the-fireman/

    Reply
  26. Greg

     /  May 17, 2016

    Keep a weary eye on Bangladesh:

    Reply
  27. USA – CALIFORNIA – 30 km NE OF SACRAMENTO – ROSEVILLE – Mass Casualty Training Event for 0518

    ‘It is also a great chance to test the county’s recently finalized oil-by-rail response guide…”

    Mass casualty exercise planned for May 18 in Roseville

    Low flying helicopters, scores of first responders, various emergency vehicles, sirens and other loud noises, and dozens of people made up to look like accident victims can be expected in Roseville May 18, as firefighters and law enforcement officers from throughout Placer County will team up to practice and ensure preparedness for a mass casualty incident.

    Placer County’s Office of Emergency Services is holding the training exercise to give first responders from various agencies the opportunity to practice working together and test how well they can come together in a crisis. It is also a great chance to test the county’s recently finalized oil-by-rail response guide, which was developed to aid our first responder fire and law enforcement community and specialized response teams in the unlikely event an oil train disaster were to occur here.

    https://www.placer.ca.gov/news/2016/may/county-emergency-training-exercise

    Reply
  28. Reply
  29. USA – Fossil Fuels – History of Industrial Earthquakes

    Oil and Gas Quakes Have Long Been Shaking Texas, New Research Finds

    Waste disposal from fracking has been the recent culprit in causing man-made earthquakes, but industry has likely been triggering them for decades, study says

    A new study suggests the oil and gas industry has triggered earthquakes across Texas since 1925. The research, which publishes Wednesday, attempts to set the record straight on what has become a hot-button issue across the state.
    http://insideclimatenews.org/news/17052016/oil-and-gas-production-earthquakes-texas-new-research-fracking

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  May 18, 2016

      DT
      I read an article which I don’t think I bookmarked (work computer during lunch) which I haven’t been able to find.
      Recent research shows that some earthquakes are due to huge chunks of faulted crust breaking off and sinking into the magma rather than surface or crustal movement.
      I hope that is not happening under those Fossil Fuel areas as their activity is causing quakes which will fracture or expand the crustal fractures.
      Last thing the world needs is volcanic activity in that part of the world

      Reply
  30. – Add this to my above ‘extratropical low in the North Pacific’ post.

    Reply
  31. Reply
  32. – AIR POLLUTION – SMOG – South Asia

    Smog in the Himalayan Foothills, Nepal and Western India 0501
    -NOAA

    Reply
  33. Kalypso

     /  May 17, 2016

    Considering how rapidly the warming has occurred over the past several years could the Earth system be more sensitive to CO2 emissions than we think? If the Earth system is more sensitive, could we see 2 degrees Celsius sooner rather than later-maybe before the end of the next decade? The Earth is capable of rapid large scale change over short periods of time, could it be that crossing the 1 degree threshold is enough to push the Earth into a different climatic state let alone 2 degrees, 3 degrees, or 4 degrees. Many climate change related impacts occurring now are ahead of schedule.

    As a very recently graduate with a BS in Marine Biology I have been following this issue closely. It was heart breaking to learn that nearly 90% of the great barrier reef is bleaching. Than, adding insult to injury, a new study was published showing that coral reefs off the Florida Keys had started to break down due to ocean acidification. The ecosystems of the world make this planet habitable for us. If we lose ecosystems like the great barrier reef I fail to see how humans will continue to survive. Not just from a purely biological perspective, but from a sociocultural one as well. Ecosystems are not only the source of our life, but they also give us a sense of beauty and deeper fulfillment.

    Just wanted to share some videos of Dr. Kevin Trenberth discussing the new rapid warming and its relation to El Nino and the PDO.


    Reply
    • That’s always a concern. If so, we’ll see it in amplifying feedbacks and a stronger than expected carbon response from the Earth System itself.

      Reply
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