Multi-Day ‘Siege of Storms’ Follows Exxon Shareholder Meeting

A multi-day siege of severe thunderstorms morphed into a major flash flood event in parts of Texas, Kansas, and other states late Thursday into Friday, and more severe weather is expected into Friday night.Weather Underground.

*****

It was a stifling hot and humid day that set the scene for the Exxon shareholder meeting this week. There, in Dallas, Texas on Wednesday, oil company CEO Rex Tillerson found himself besieged by environmentalists enraged over his company’s decades-long campaign to misinform the public on climate change and by shareholders concerned about the company’s future prospects. But what the climate change denying oil company CEO, and even NOAA weather forecasters, didn’t know was that an extreme rainfall event worsened by the very smoke and fumes emitted by Exxon was starting to gather over Southeast Texas — not far from where the shareholder proceedings were taking place.

Protestors Ice Sculpture Exxon Knew

(Protesters urge stockholders to dump Exxon in a push for accountability over Exxon’s deceptive language and media campaigns related to emissions-based climate change. Image source: Exxon Facing Heat Over Climate Change.)

At the meeting, Rex Tillerson, set to retire in 2017, spewed out his usual pro-fossil-fuel rhetoric — defending the myth that oil represents the inevitable mainstay of global energy and concocting various straw-man arguments imagining oil protesters filling up cars with gasoline or flying jet airplanes to join in an array of embittered protests surrounding this week’s shareholder meeting. Rallying the board of directors, Tillerson managed to deflect numerous shareholder attempts to positively modify Exxon’s behavior with regards to fossil fuel emissions and responses to climate change. Outside the meeting, protestors called for keeping oil reserves in the ground, urged Exxon to transition to a non-fossil fuel based energy company and acknowledge and prepare for climate change, or urged Exxon investors to dump stock holdings in response to the company’s decades-long-effort to stifle effective climate action.

Outside the meeting, a 13 foot long ice statue spelling out the words — #ExxonKnew — rapidly melted in the sweltering heat of an atmosphere roiled by the powerful climate-altering forces fossil fuel entities like Exxon had already unleashed upon the airs of our world.

‘Siege of Storms’ Batters Texas

By Thursday, the day after Exxon’s shareholder meeting, an expansive trough had extended down from Canada and over Texas. Exploiting this hole in an increasingly weakened Jet Stream cool, Arctic airs plunged south. Crossing the Great Plains into Texas, this unstable atmospheric mass came directly into confrontation with a super-heated, moist flow rising off the Gulf of Mexico and Pacific Ocean.

Texas Rain Event

(Very heavy storms firing off over Southeastern Texas have dumped record amounts of rainfall over portions of the state and set off a flash flood emergency. Image source: NOAA.)

Both the big Jet Stream dip and the extreme moisture content in the airs over Texas were not normal. Both were new features enabled by a human-forced (Exxon-forced) warming of the world. For with global temperatures early this year spiking to 1.4 C above 1880s values, the planetary atmosphere is now enabled to contain about a ten percent higher moisture load than during the late 19th Century. It’s a weird new atmosphere that is now capable of producing storms with previously unimaginable heights of 70,000 feet over temperate Latitudes. And as the current El Nino fades and a temporary 0.2 to 0.4 C dip in global temperatures takes place in the cyclical transition to La Nina, some of that added, unprecedented excess of atmospheric moisture is bound to fall out in the form of never-before-seen rainfall events.

The storms resulting from what can best be described as a climate mangled by fossil fuel emissions produced rainfall of an extreme, record-shattering intensity in a region between Houston, Waco, and Austin over Thursday and on into Friday. In Brenham, 65 miles to the northwest of Houston, the 24 hour record for rainfall was shattered as 17 inches inundated local roads and communities. According to Weather Underground reports, one weather observer recorded 19.14 inches of rain after having to empty an overflowing gauge. In Bastrop County, emergency crews were overwhelmed by calls for water rescues as vehicles were rapidly submerged in the heavy flood. Now, at least one person is presumed dead and five people are missing in yet one more tragic storm and flood event sparking off in a record warm world.

Houston Severe Storms

(National Weather Service Radar shows severe storms and extreme rainfall sweeping into the Houston region at 4:30 PM EST. Widespread reports of severe flooding have prompted emergency officials to urge residents to stay home and avoid life-threatening severe weather conditions. Image source: National Weather Service Doppler Radar.)

Both satellite and weather radar show massive storms continuing to fire over this region. And GFS model forecasts indicate a strong likelihood for continued severe thunderstorm formation over Texas on into both Saturday and Sunday even as heavy rainfall propagates eastward over the Mississippi River Valley and Southeastern US. So this extreme event — a ‘multi-day siege of storms’ enabled by climate change — isn’t over by a long shot. A heavy punch of incessant flooding that is already prompting warnings of rivers over-topping banks all throughout and downstream of the affected region.

Unpredictable Severe Storms — Another Black Irony of Climate Change Denial

This most recent extreme rainfall event’s occurrence immediately following Exxon’s shareholder meeting is yet one more odd and ironic coincidence of human-caused climate change. A black irony similar to that of the Fort McMurray fires.

But perhaps even more disturbing than its coinciding with the Exxon shareholder meeting was the storm’s unpredictable nature. As noted above, a basic understanding of atmospheric physics in a warming world points toward an increasing risk of extreme rainfall events as El Nino transitions to La Nina. This risk is particularly severe in the new elongated trough patterns that have tended to form due to polar amplification and sea ice loss in the Arctic. However, current weather forecasting appears to be completely unaware of or unwilling to report on this new risk.

NOAA precipitation forecast dramatically undershot

(The NOAA precipitation forecast issued on May 25 just before Thursday and Friday’s extreme rainfall event failed to capture any indication that a 17-19 + inch rainfall event was on the way. An indicator that warming related extreme rainfall potentials may not be fully plugged in to current forecast models. Image source: NOAA.)

To this point — NOAA weather forecasts earlier this week had identified some risk of severe rainfall over this region. But the forecasts had only predicted around 3 inches of rainfall in the most heavily affected areas. The forecast therefore undershot Thursday rainfall intensity by 14-16 inches. And this makes it look like the current weather models are having some serious difficultly keeping up with the human-forced atmospheric changes that are now fully in swing. Combine this with current weather media’s near complete blindness (there are noted exceptions — Weather Underground included) to factors related to human-caused climate change and we have what could best be described as a hazardous degree of under-reporting on climate related risk factors. And the result is a great underutilization of a vast array of weather sensors and scientific talent that would be capable of providing helpful and life-saving information if only they were enabled to. But media-wide, we’re still living and acting as if climate change doesn’t affect the weather.

As a result, pretty much everyone — drivers, emergency responders, government officials, weather forecasters — were caught off-guard by this particular storm system’s severity and the numerous flash floods that resulted. So it’s pretty clear that the language of denial that started in places like the board-rooms at Exxon has become pretty much all-pervasive. A situation that will need to change if we’re going to effectively respond to the ever-more-severe events that are surely coming down the pipe.

Links:

Smoke and Fumes

Exxon Mobile CEO Defends Emissions of Smoke and Fumes

Divest From Deception

Exxon Facing Heat Over Climate Change

NOAA

National Weather Service Doppler Radar

Scientific Hat tip to Dr. Jeff Masters at Weather Underground

Hat tip to Cate

Hat tip to Ryan in New England

Hat tip to Greg

Hat tip to DT Lange

Leave a comment

118 Comments

  1. Reply
  2. climatehawk1

     /  May 27, 2016

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  3. xmiller

     /  May 27, 2016

    It seems plausible, at least to me, that this inadequacy of computer modeling would have been less an issue were it not for past budget cuts carried out by Republican politicians enacting a corporate climate change denial agenda.
    Now, we will have to face a super charged hurricane season with outdated forecasting models. This perfectly follows the right wing playbook: use inadequate funding to hobble a government function, then hold up any resulting failure as some sort of twisted proof that either more funding cuts are necessary or that some government official needs to be prosecuted, or both.That’s what they did to the State Department’s budget for embassy security.
    Watch: after after the next Katrina type disaster they will all be on Fox News baying for the heads of federal officials, playing to their cretinous Republican base on behalf of D. Trump.

    Reply
  4. Colorado Bob

     /  May 27, 2016

    Just the last year –
    May 15, 2016
    Deweyville, Texas, Completely Cut Off by Record-Breaking Floodwaters; Mandatory Evacuations Ordered
    Upwards of 18 inches of rain fell in the Sabine River Basin from a weather system that lingered over the area for five days.

    ‘Unprecedented’: 5 Dead as Record Rainfall Floods Houston
    Apr 18 2016,
    More than a foot of rain deluged parts of Houston on Monday,

    Record flooding swamps Texas, Louisiana, Miss.
    March 14, 2016
    The flooding is the result of a slow-moving storm that dumped up to two feet of rain on the region last week

    Torrential rain — up to 20 inches in spots — pummels much of Texas
    Sat October 24, 2015

    2015 Texas–Oklahoma flood and tornado outbreak

    Preceded by more than a week of heavy rain, a slow-moving storm system dropped tremendous precipitation across much of Texas and Oklahoma during the nights of May 24–26, 2015, triggering record-breaking floods.

    Reply
  5. Genomik

     /  May 27, 2016

    For those of you near San Francisco there will be a large climate change event next week. Most of the event is invite only for serious politicians and energy ministers but there are public events such as a technology showcase at union square next Wednesday and Thursday. I’m going to go to some events as I live in SF.

    http://www.cem7.org/

    Reply
  6. Colorado Bob

     /  May 27, 2016

    Neven’s freaked out and that ain’t his style –

    May 27th 2016

    After an unprecedented warm winter and an unprecedented early opening of the Beaufort Sea, the 2016 melting season isn’t showing any signs of shrugging off the ‘unprecedented’ label. What has struck me most so far, is that unprecedented things have been happening on both the Pacific and Atlantic side of the Arctic.

    I’ve been closely observing events in the Arctic for almost a decade now, and have been writing about them since 2010, and during that time I have gotten used to this sort of see-saw, where fast melting on one side of the Arctic would be compensated by events unfolding slowly on the other side of the Arctic. But this year is different. This year the ice pack is under attack on both sides of the Arctic.

    http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2016/05/asi-2016-update-1-both-sides.html#comments

    Reply
  7. Colorado Bob

     /  May 27, 2016

    This is the 2 day doppler rain est. Northwest of Houston , as the next wave slowly moves South.

    Link

    Reply
  8. Colorado Bob

     /  May 27, 2016

    One of the great things to do , if you love our Earth, and the modern world , is to look at the Lance Modis Rapid Fire. Tonight it was clear off the East Coast of Greenland , notice all the sea ice has shattered near the top of the image. Go down to 250 meters and look at this.

    Link

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  May 27, 2016

      A lot of broken ice, a hell of a lot of blue water way up north there. And it’s only May.

      Reply
  9. Greg

     /  May 27, 2016

    Superb as always. I haven’t followed up yet but Bulgaria was hit as were parts of France as well by phenomenal storms in the last couple of days.

    Reply
  10. Cate

     /  May 27, 2016

    More from my neck of the woods: could the AMOC abruptly shut down, and would that cause localised and relatively sudden climate change?

    >>>>>Scientists in the Labrador Sea recently made the first retrieval of data from one of 53 lines moored to the sea floor and studded with instruments that have been monitoring the ocean’s circulatory system since 2014.

    Held taut by submerged buoys, these moorings are arrayed from Labrador to Greenland and Scotland. In total, five research cruises are planned for this spring and summer to fetch the data the moorings are busy collecting.

    The instrument array, known as the Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program (OSNAP), measures salinity, temperature, and current velocity of the surrounding water, data that is vital to understanding a set of powerful currents with far-reaching effects on the global climate. These currents are known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) — or, more popularly, “the Atlantic conveyor belt” — and they have “mysteriously” slowed down over the past decade, according to Eric Hand, author of a Science article published this month……..

    But we’d be wise to include in our forecasts the potential for relatively sudden, possibly localized climate change induced by thermohaline shutdown, Gagosian argued. “Such a change could cool down selective areas of the globe by 3° to 5° Celsius, while simultaneously causing drought in many parts of the world.”<<<<<<

    https://news.mongabay.com/2016/05/scientists-concerned-slowing-atlantic-conveyor-warn-abrupt-climate-change/

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  May 27, 2016

      Cate –
      What key point you add every time you log in . You go girl.

      Reply
    • redskylite

       /  May 27, 2016

      Thanks for sharing that informative article . a lot to think about.

      Reply
    • Scheduling tweet on this, thanks.

      Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  May 29, 2016

      Better the AMOC neither runs AMOK nor slips into a COMA. As Yeats noted in his day, things are falling apart. Each strand of the web of stable complexity we have come to know that snaps puts more pressure on all those that are left. At some stage a ‘Great Unraveling’ of ferocious speed and breadth will occur.

      Reply
  11. Colorado Bob

     /  May 27, 2016

    Business of Disaster | FRONTLINE | PBS

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/business-of-disaster/

    Reply
  12. Ryan in New England

     /  May 27, 2016

    Fantastic post, Robert! Great job pointing out the irony of this event occurring just outside of a meeting by one of the greatest contributors to climate change, and climate change denial.

    And as for forecasts failing to predict these record breaking/unprecedented events, it’s something that I’ve noticed in the past couple years. It’s as if our climate has changed substantially enough that models fail to capture the new potential of storms. The parameters and formulas need to be adjusted. And again, you rightly point out that meteorologists (in general) fail to address climate change, and especially the fact that it is having profound effects on our weather.

    Reply
  13. Jay M

     /  May 28, 2016

    I realize it is an artifact of the colors used in the imagery, but one can’t help but think that the atmosphere is on fire over TX, LA

    Reply
    • Jay M

       /  May 28, 2016

      If one was to take an infrastructure approach to the problem, there is a lot of money to be spent managing inland runoff while there is a lot of money to spent armoring the coast against sea level rise. Getting the flood beyond the dike, now there is the trick.

      Reply
      • Jay M

         /  May 28, 2016

        dark arc of clouds starting in France, Germany hint of bad weather in N Europe?

        Reply
      • There’s really only so much one can do with infrastructure. Sea walls might handle 3, 6, possibly 9 feet if you were willing to engineer the entire US coastline. Beyond that, good luck. In any case, Miami would be running pumps 24/7 to keep the water out. As for storms with the rates of rainfall we are seeing in Texas — you’d need all sorts of serious design changes to have much hope for it. I don’t know. Might be possible if we as a culture had a more civic attitude and we could manage to get the republicans out.

        Reply
      • Reply
      • HOUSTON – YOU HAVE A PROBLEM.
        WE ALL DO.
        TRUMP AND EXXON ARE ONLY TWO OF THEM.

        Reply
      • Genomik

         /  May 28, 2016

        My belief/hope is they will build a dam and shipping loch under the Golden Gate in San Francisco. I think it’s do-able and that might help Northern California deal w climate change. Too much tech companies in Silicon Valley and the delta goes deep in the valley.

        Reply
      • So I agree with this sentiment that fighting climate change is certainly a far more noble endeavor than engaging in warfare against other nations, but on an inflation adjusted basis, the US defense budget has been basically flat since the 1960s (with bumps up and down) and over recent years has returned to the early 60s baseline:

        I think making the statement in this way is a bit of a red herring. The reason we aren’t dealing with climate change is not because of national defense. In general, the defense department is absolutely aware of the issue of climate change and has been one of many proponents for responses to mitigate the threat. The primary opponent to action on climate change is the fossil fuel industry. And that would be true regardless of how much the US spent on defense.

        Reply
  14. George W. Hayduke

     /  May 28, 2016

    A little OT but in the realm of our ever changing planet. Bacteria resistant to all atibiotics discovered.
    http://commondreams.org/news/2016/05/27/dreaded-nightmare-bacteria-resistant-all-antibiotics-finally-here

    Reply
  15. And tonight at a rally in California…Trump announced…”There is no drought in CA”…
    http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2016/05/27/donald-trump-california-water-crisis-there-is-no-drought-fresno/
    I swear to God…I sometimes feel as though I am living in an episode of the Twilight Zone…
    (And for anyone who thinks we need Trump to win… in order to somehow “shock” us into better climate changer policies….I say…we don’t have a moment to spare…and giving that lunatic 4 years to wield his climate denial-ism is insanity).

    Reply
  16. Colorado Bob

     /  May 28, 2016

    The Highwaymen Big River

    Reply
  17. Colorado Bob

     /  May 28, 2016

    Waylon Jennings – Brown Eyed Handsome Man
    Singing Buddy Holly .

    Reply
  18. Colorado Bob

     /  May 28, 2016

    Waylon Jennings – Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way

    Reply
  19. Colorado Bob

     /  May 28, 2016

    Buddy Holly .hired Waylon. He gave up his seat on that plane.

    Reply
  20. Colorado Bob

     /  May 28, 2016

    Waylon Jennings – I’m a Ramblin’ Man

    Reply
  21. Hilary

     /  May 28, 2016

    Also posted on the Totten Glacier page:
    Similar problems in various parts of NZ, this first link has excellent before & after photos of coastal erosion with a slider to view changes:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/80441421/Eating-the-shore-New-Zealands-shrinking-coastline

    and like in Christchurch a similar debate in my home town is beginning to hot up as the city wants to put warnings on some coastal properties around the town:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/74172819/Large-parts-of-Napier-are-vulnerable-to-sea-level-rise-according-to-report

    Reply
  22. Reply
  23. Reply
    • Cate

       /  May 28, 2016

      What on earth would she make of the state of the planet today?

      We have no robins in the neighbourhood this year—spring mornings without robin song are unsettling, to say the least. I hope it’s only temporary—there were some wicked cold snaps early last summer which may have affected brood viability, and god knows the impact of any extreme weather in their wintering grounds.

      Lest we forget Silent Spring.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bernie-krause-soundscape-ecology-extinction_us_5746a423e4b0dacf7ad3fe0a

      Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  May 29, 2016

        Robins eat insects. Do they use the insecticidal neonicotinoids near you? They kill insects quite indiscriminately, with repercussions up the food chain. Another gift of the ‘Free Market’.

        Reply
  24. Climate change
    US climate policy: Why young Americans are done waiting for change

    It’s been 15 years since the United States famously refused to ratify the Kyoto protocol. The country is gradually reconsidering its attitude toward climate policy – with young Americans at the forefront of change.

    Reply
  25. Reply
  26. June

     /  May 28, 2016

    I posted this at the end of Robert’s previous post, but thought it seemed important enough to copy here.

    When the deniers say how good more CO2 will be for crops…not even close. Another in the endless research showing consequences we never anticipated.

    “Poison Packed – Crops are becoming toxic to withstand extreme weather conditions”

    That is the dire message the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has delivered through a report released during its second general assembly this week. Scientists who wrote the report say extreme weather conditions and rising temperatures will make 70 percent of the world’s agricultural production toxic to animals and humans across the globe.

    http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com/news/2016-05-27/poison-packed.html

    Reply
    • BJD

       /  May 28, 2016

      Well that’s just cheery news on top of every thing else.

      The prognosis is not looking good. I saw a few lectures a couple of years ago, back in Australia, given by climate scientists who warned of a period of “climate on steroids” as we moved into a warmer world. That was potentially adaptable, but toxic plants and toxic seas however, instill darker visions of slowly turning our world into another Venus…

      Reply
    • DaveW

       /  May 28, 2016

      June –
      Thanks for the link. A fascinating (although frightening) article.
      Seems no end to the discoveries of different factors that demonstrate that our planet is really only hospitable to Homo Sap at 300 ppm CO2!

      Reply
  27. Via ckimatehawk1:

    Meteorologists are seeing global warming’s effect on the weather

    Weather is becoming more extreme, and meteorologists are taking notice

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2016/may/27/meteorologists-are-seeing-global-warmings-effect-on-the-weather?CMP=share_btn_tw

    Reply
  28. Luke Rudkowski ‏@Lukewearechange 5h5 hours ago San Diego, CA

    What I saw today at the Trump Rally was utter madness, follow on SnapChat LukeWeAreChange

    Reply
    • Reply
      • Luke Rudkowski ‏@Lukewearechange 6h6 hours ago

        The riot police violently shoving everyone together when their fighting anyway is not helping at the Trump rally

        Reply
      • Reply
    • Q: How many municipal coffers are being drained by Trump’s GOP appearances — and by how much? – Leading to civic problems and breakdown?
      Everyone, it seems, are making poor decisions.
      It is similar though on a smaller scale in 1970 Isla Vista/Santa Barbara, Ca riots/occupation at the time of the burning of the Bank of America.
      Many street activists — and law enforcement behaved very badly and stupidly.
      Somewhat level-headed locals like myself were lost in the mob, or tear gassed by hyper charged law enforcement of many jurisdictions.
      The commander was a SB Sheriffs Capt. — an embarrassment with a badge.
      Trouble was everywhere — similar to Trump trouble.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  May 28, 2016

        “tear gassed by hyper charged law enforcement”

        That’s why we call them “police riots.” In most cases like this, by far the most violence is being perpetrated by the boys (and girls) in blue.

        Reply
  29. USA – Colorado – Rocky Mountain National Park – Road usually opens about now.

    Reply
  30. – All for cars — all for asphalt.
    The majority of flood deaths also occur in vehicles.
    A cycle of destruction with one primary fossil fuel propelled source.

    -heatofthemoment.org/features/flood

    The Gross Gatherings
    A climate fight on Chicago’s South Side

    Cheryl Watson lives in the house where she grew up and doesn’t want to leave. But regular and relentless flooding, exacerbated by climate change, is destroying her home.

    A different kind of disaster

    Over the years, cities everywhere have paved over dirt and grass–added more parking lots, streets and sidewalks. That means when it rains, there are fewer permeable surfaces to absorb the rain. And since the water doesn’t have anywhere to go, it fills streets and seeps into people’s foundations.

    This kind of flooding, often referred to as urban flooding, is increasing as the climate changes. And it will change. The National Climate Assessment said in the Midwest we can expect heavier rains, so much so that the City of Chicago’s Climate Action Plan singles out flooding as an issue the city is facing.

    But Watson already knew all that–she can measure it by the water marks in her basement. They’ve gotten higher over time. Still, it was hard to connect it to climate change because it’s rarely thought of as something individuals in the Midwest see in daily life.

    – Cement covers part of Cheryl Watson’s backyard. Paved surfaces absorb less storm water and contribute to urban flooding.

    Reply
  31. Landsat-8 true color satellite image collected on May 23, 2016 showing the source and deposit extent of a mixed ice, snow and rock avalanche covering part of Red Glacier on the east flank of Iliamna Volcano. The avalanche began shortly before midnight on May 21, 2016 (AKDT) and was detected in seismic and pressure sensor data at sites throughout Cook Inlet and the northern Alaska Peninsula. The deposit covers about 7.2 square kilometers (2.75 square miles).

    Reply
    • What the #landslide looked like from @alaska_avo seismometers on Iliamna, Redoubt and Spurr #volcanoes. 2/2

      Reply
  32. METHANE NOT ESCAPING INTO THE ATMOSPHERE FROM ARCTIC OCEAN

    Methane gas released from the Arctic seabed during the summer months leads to an increased methane concentration in the ocean. But surprisingly, very little of the climate gas rising up through the sea reaches the atmosphere.

    https://cage.uit.no/news/methane-not-escaping-into-the-atmosphere-arctic-ocean/

    Reply
    • wili

       /  May 28, 2016

      As often, the headline goes a bit beyond what the actual study, which covered a very small part of the Arctic over a limited period of time, really showed. I am told that headlines are written for the purposes of promoting publicity, not by the author of the piece (much less of the original study), and that may have been a factor here.

      Still, some interesting science here about how the fresh water ‘lens’ tends to disrupt the flow of gas toward the surface. Of course with more and more of the ocean being open, ever-bigger waves will be mixing these layers together more and more.

      Reply
    • So this is an interesting observation for off-shore Svalbard. But it doesn’t really change what we already knew. And this was:

      1. There are significant methane seeps off Svalbard.
      2. The sea ice acts as the most effective barrier preventing ocean methane from entering the atmosphere.
      3. A stratified ocean with a fresh water lens can also act as a barrier, but it is less effective.
      4. The sea ice is melting, resulting in the loss of a barrier of ocean to atmosphere methane transfer.
      5. Storms and even moderate winds can mix the surface layers of ice free waters and allow methane to cross into the atmosphere.
      6. The conclusion is that Arctic Ocean waters tend to be stratified, so the loss of sea ice is not a complete loss of a barrier to ocean methane hitting the atmosphere. That said, the fresh water lens is a far less effective barrier as it is subject to the forces of wind, storms, and loss of the fresh water layer due to evaporation.

      The article’s initial connotation that the fresh water lens is an effective barrier is therefore half untrue and somewhat misleading. The header, therefore, is not an effective communication. The article’s body does provide factual and useful information, but the way in which it is presented is at least somewhat detrimental to a full understanding of the forces involved.

      Reply
  33. Cate

     /  May 28, 2016

    Going to 100% renewable for heat and light in northern latitudes: it’s a no-brainer. We just fit every property with solar (and/or wind, and we make that as normal as fitting every property with flush toilets.

    This is how it’s done in Inuvik, 200 km north of the Arctic Circle. The excess energy generated in the light-filled summer is essentially banked with the power utility as credit against the shortest, darkest days of winter.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/vince-sharpe-inuvik-nwt-solar-power-bill-1.3599408

    Reply
    • dnem

       /  May 28, 2016

      Well, yes and no, Cate. I have a solar array and a net meter and benefit exactly like the gentleman in your linked story. But the utility can’t REALLY bank the power until winter, can it? This is why storage is such a big deal. And such a vexing one. I urge you guys to check out Tom Murphy’s Do The Math on this topic (and others). These columns (check out the battery storage one linked in the pumped storage one linked below) are a bit dated now, and we are making progress, but his back-of-the-envelope, orders of magnitude approach is still very informative.

      http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2011/11/pump-up-the-storage/

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  May 28, 2016

        dt, I hear you, and yes, I do realise that the power isn’t actually banked, the way you’d bank money, for example. I guess the implication is that the power utility would have storage capability that the average homeowner doesn’t, if not now, then potentially, in future, sort of thing….? My brain seizes up when I try to think about techie things but I do believe that the storage problem can and will be solved—and solved so well folks will wonder what the fuss was about.😀

        The main point I was interested in is that everyone can do this and everyone should do it, and maybe building codes can eventually make it mandatory, as domestic power generation becomes mainstream.

        Reply
      • Cate

         /  May 28, 2016

        sorry, that was a reply to dnem!

        *needs a second cuppa*

        Reply
  34. dnem

     /  May 28, 2016

    Re infrastructure and seawalls above. I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but massively engineered, walled off continental margins with massively engineered channels conveying massive pulses of flood water to the coasts, through those massive walls, ain’t exactly the fix we’re looking for, is it? If we’re gonna spend trillions – and we will – I think an orderly retreat inland, coupled with removing toxic materials from the coastal zone and creating soft, natural shorelines might be a better approach!

    Reply
    • Jay M

       /  May 28, 2016

      I think I started that one and meant it as an ironic comment, ie the sea is rising and the inland is flooding, where will the water go?

      Reply
  35. Abel Adamski

     /  May 28, 2016

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2016/may/27/meteorologists-are-seeing-global-warmings-effect-on-the-weather

    Whatever happened to normal weather? Earth has always experienced epic storms, debilitating drought, and biblical floods. But lately it seems the treadmill of disruptive weather has been set to fast-forward. God’s grandiose Symphony of the Seasons, the natural ebb and flow of the atmosphere, is playing out of tune, sounding more like a talent-free second grade orchestra, with shrill horns, violins screeching off-key, cymbal crashes coming in at the wrong time. Something has changed.

    My company, AerisWeather, tracks global weather for Fortune 500 companies trying to optimize supply chains, increase profitability, secure facilities, and ensure the safety of their employees and customers. It’s my 4th weather-technology company. Our team is constantly analyzing patterns, providing as much lead-time of impending weather extremes as possible. As a serial entrepreneur I respond to data, facts and evidence. If I spin the data and only see what I want to see, I go out of business. I lay off good people. I can’t afford to look away when data makes me uncomfortable.

    I was initially skeptical of man-made climate change, but by the late 1990s I was witnessing the apparent symptoms of a warming climate. They were showing up on my weather map with greater frequency and ferocity. I didn’t set out to talk about climate volatility and weather disruption, but by the turn of the 21st century this warming seemed to be flavoring much of the weather I was tracking, turning up the volume of extremes, loading the dice for weather weirding. Multiple strands of data confirm Earth has a low-grade fever, a warming trend that transcends periodic heat released from El Niño.

    “Paul Douglas is a Pennsylvania State University meteorologist and Founder of AerisWeather, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is co-author of “Caring for Creation: The Evangelical’s Guide to Climate Change and a Healthy Environment”, to be released by Bethany House Publishers in September, 2016.”

    P.S A nice turn of phrase if I may say

    Reply
  36. Haven’t seen this item mentioned, perhaps of particular interest to dtlange:

    “… tar sands production in Canada is one of North America’s largest sources of secondary organic aerosols — air pollutants that affect the climate, cloud formation and public health.”

    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/tar-sands-impact-climate-air-quality-20376

    Reply
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  39. – Svalbard Ice Caves – Inside view
    May 12, 2016 PBS

    Reply
  40. Published on May 28, 2016

    As of the time of filming this, the lake level is 204.5 feet — the highest it has been since October 1994 when the lake was 205.6 feet.

    Reply
  41. Sean

     /  May 28, 2016

    Jay M:

    Lightning injures several in France and Germany

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36405482

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  May 28, 2016

      CBC coverage as well— in Germany, witnesses said there were “no clouds” so the incident was “unexpected.” The fact that weather forecasts seem to be struggling a bit to keep up with actual weather has been mentioned on these boards lately.

      http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/paris-lightning-strike-1.3604965

      Reply
      • Sky News Newsdesk Verified account ‏@SkyNewsBreak 7h7 hours ago

        AFP: 35 people have been injured after lightning struck a football pitch in Germany – three people have serious injuries

        Reply
  42. Spike

     /  May 28, 2016

    330 000 lightning strikes in 8 hours today in W Europe, with tragic consequences

    I recall Jeff Master’s comment in March 2012:

    “As I stepped out of my front door into the pre-dawn darkness from my home near Ann Arbor, Michigan yesterday morning, I braced myself for the cold shock of a mid-March morning. It didn’t come. A warm, murky atmosphere, with temperatures in the upper fifties–30 degrees above normal–greeted me instead. Continuous flashes of heat lightning lit up the horizon, as the atmosphere crackled with the energy of distant thunderstorms. Beware the Ides of March, the air seemed to be saying. I looked up at the hazy stars above me, flashing in and out of sight as lightning lit up the sky, and thought, this is not the atmosphere I grew up with. “

    Reply
  43. Spike

     /  May 28, 2016

    Reply
  44. redskylite

     /  May 28, 2016

    Weighty article in LiveScience on growing & future health effects of global warming. Yet EXXON MOBIL carry on regardless. $$$$$$$$’s their God. Trump and like minded their helmsman and custodian.

    “From the viewpoint of a laboratory researcher who is accustomed to analysing results from groups of five subjects given various “treatments”, the great uncontrolled CO2 atmospheric dumping experiment that humanity has been escalating for the past couple of centuries is truly frightening. And it has an experimental group size of one – the planet and all life on earth.

    We have to stop. We must quit mining coal and burning all fossil fuels, including oil and natural gas.

    Just as we manage human health-care in any civilised society, our clear and present responsibility is to manage this planet, our only home, and all its magnificent life forms. Here, of course, we grapple with further levels of extraordinary complexity, especially human behaviour and short-term needs.”

    http://www.iflscience.com/environment/living-complexity-evolution-ecology-viruses-and-climate-change

    Reply
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  47. – Surviving a lightning strike is a major theme of Gretel Ehrlich’s ‘Match to the Heart’.
    Much of her recovery takes place in Santa Barbara — including witnessing open heart surgery of the type I underwent — and in the same hospital.

    – It Begins With a Spark : A bolt of lightning disrupted Gretel Ehrlich’s life and her health, but it also set her on a quest to understand where the breath of life comes from. : A MATCH TO THE HEART, By Gretel Ehrlich (Pantheon:

    At five o’clock one threatening afternoon barely two years ago, Gretel Ehrlich was struck by lighting. Of this event that profoundly and permanently altered her life she writes: “Before electricity carved its blue path toward me, before the negative charge shot down from cloud to ground, before ‘streamers’ jumped the positive charge back up from the ground to cloud, before air expanded and contracted producing loud pressure pulses I could not hear because I was already dead, I had been walking.”

    “A Match to the Heart” is the affecting, gorgeously written chronicle of Ehrlich’s subsequent struggle toward, if not recovery, at least balance. Against the arbitrary bad luck of having been in the wrong place at the wrong time, she searches for a sense of understanding, of acceptance, even as her body resists recuperation. It is a long and difficult journey, a continuing process, but guided by Gretel Ehrlich’s passionate and unflinching inquiry into the scientific causes of lightning, the delicate intricacies of the body, and the battle between stoicism and determined will, we emerge, with her, wiser than we began. Along the way we are privy to an introspective autobiography splendidly rendered.

    http://articles.latimes.com/1994-07-10/books/bk-13725_1_gretel-ehrlich

    Reply
  48. Reply
  49. – Trump University at the Bar:

    Judge bashed by Trump orders release of company records

    A federal judge has ordered the release of internal Trump University documents in an ongoing lawsuit against the company, including “playbooks” that advised sales personnel how to market high-priced courses on getting rich through real estate.

    The Friday ruling, in which Judge Gonzalo Curiel cited heightened public interest in presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, was issued in response to a request by The Washington Post. The ruling was a setback for Trump, whose attorneys argued that the documents contained trade secrets.

    Curiel’s order came the same day that Trump railed against the judge at a boisterous San Diego rally for his handling of the case, in which students have alleged they were misled and defrauded. The trial is set for November.

    Trump, who previously questioned whether Curiel’s Hispanic heritage made him biased due to Trump’s support for building a wall on the Mexican border, said Friday that Curiel “happens to be, we believe, Mexican.” Trump called the judge a “hater of Donald Trump” who had “railroaded” him in the case.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/judge-orders-release-of-internal-trump-university-documents/2016/05/28/2e960e5e-24f9-11e6-8690-f14ca9de2972_story.html

    Reply
  50. Reblogged this on The Free.

    Reply
  51. Reblogged this on The Most Revolutionary Act and commented:
    *
    *
    Protesters urge stockholders to dump Exxon in a push for accountability over Exxon’s deceptive language and media campaigns related to emissions-based climate change.

    Reply
  1. Multi-Day ‘Siege of Storms’ Follows Exxon Shareholder Meeting | robertscribbler | GarryRogers Nature Conservation

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