The Rains of Climate Change, Voracious Locust Swarms Wreck Crops in Russia

This year was supposed to set new records for Russian grain production. But that was before a persistent trough in the Jet Stream funneled storm after storm over the Ukraine through Western and Central Russia setting off record extreme rainfall events. Before a swarm of locusts invading further north earlier than is typical ravaged over 170,000 ares of corn in Southern Russia. Now the combined insect plague and stormy weather has put cereal crops at risk of shortfalls.

Planting Season Disrupted by Severe Rains

image

(A big polar amplification enhanced dip in the Jet Stream over Central and Western Russia set off record heavy rains during May, putting the cereal growing season in jeopardy. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

For Western and Central Russia, May was a terrible month for planting season. Warming in the Arctic aided in the generation of numerous high amplitude Jet Stream waves. These waves, in turn, generated a deep trough zone over Central and Western Russia. As with many recent climate change related weather features, the trough stuck around. And a series of seemingly endless storms dumped between 2 and 6 times the normal amount of rainfall over Russia’s most productive growing zone.

The rains prevented or slowed the rate of seed planting. For Central Russia, planting all but halted. Now some estimates are hinting that Russia may miss its record grain harvest target. Andrey Sizov Jr., managing director at consultant SovEcon in Moscow stated to AGWeb today that:

“There’s too much rain. Planting all but stopped in the center. If rains continue, there will be no record” grain crop.

Locust Swarm Devours 10 Percent of Southern Russia’s Corn Crop

(A massive locust swarm blackens the skies over Southern Russia. The early swarm is already reported to have devoured a big portion of the region’s corn crop — prompting officials there to declare a state of emergency.)

New doubts over Russia’s grain harvest also emerged after media reports indicated that 10 percent or 170,000 ares of Southern Russia’s corn crop was destroyed by a massive swarm of locusts during late May and early June. The swarm is part of an annual arrival of the insects from North Africa. But this year, warmer than normal weather conditions — enhanced by the hot air dredged up ahead of the rainy trough to the north — are thought to have spurred breeding, swelled the size of the swarm, and aided in its early arrival.

Last year, a voracious locust swarm also devoured a significant portion of Southern Russia’s crops during mid to late summer. Sadly, the swarm this year has likely only just gotten started — meaning that with most of summer ahead, there’s a risk that the swarm will continue to expand for weeks or even months.

Farmers have attempted to control the insects through the use of pesticides and by lighting fires over swarming fields. But the locusts, which can grow to the size of small bird and eat their weight in food every day, are both tough and resilient. This year’s early swarm was so intense that local officials have now declared a state of emergency.

Conditions in Context

Human forced climate change both has the increased potential to set off extreme rainfall events and to extend the period of time during which swarming insects like locusts can move and breed. Heat creeping northward also expands the range of locust swarms even as extreme heat, drought, and heavy rainfall events can increase insects tendency to gather into large groups rather than forage individually.

During recent months, numerous trough zones around the globe have produced extreme and record rainfall events related to human caused climate change. The Central and Western Russia rains add to extreme flooding in Germany, France, and over Southeastern Texas to generate a global context of ongoing climate disruption. Disruptions that have in total flooded hundreds of homes injured dozens and resulted in related losses of life. A new kind of weather hazard that is, when combined with a huge early swarm of warming-enflamed locusts, is now threatening the Russian growing season.

But Russia isn’t the only region whose crops are feeling the sting of all the climate change related extreme weather. In France, record rains there have put the wheat crop in danger. In the UK, crops have been impacted by drought. In Argentina, 4 to 8 million tons of soy have been lost due to flooding. In India, drought has cut off water to 330 million people, forced farmers to abandon their livelihoods and seek refuge in a growing diaspora to the cities. In the US, California agriculture is still reeling under the effects of a four year drought. And with a record heatwave emerging over the US West on Friday even as Texas continued to be buried under rains, the litany of crop disrupting weather just seems to go on and on.

Links:

Russian Rains Put Grain Harvest in Doubt

Russia Declares State of Emergency over Locust Swarm

Earth Nullschool

Huge Swarm of Locusts over Russia

Hat tip to Colorado Bob

Hat tip to Kalypso

Hat tip to DT Lange

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127 Comments

  1. Colorado Bob

     /  June 2, 2016

    India’s record heat wave has killed more than 370 people

    http://wwlp.com/2016/06/02/indias-record-heat-wave-has-killed-more-than-370-people/

    Reply
    • So I think, considering the intensity of the heat this year, that we don’t have a full account yet. There’s been very little information coming out from the Indian government and it’s taken agencies like Greenpeace to give us a better picture of the situation. Reminds me a lot of the Sao Paulo drought but on a national scale.

      Reply
  2. – That’s quite a double hit for that region but also show how many of Earth’s conditions are inter-related and dependent.

    https://twitter.com/hedgeit/status/738010658717990912

    Reply
  3. A sidebar as hemp is also is very sustainable and not fossil fuel dependent:

    Reply
    • I’ve always seen hemp based biofuels and materials as a replacement for fossil fuels as a kind of no-brainer. The US was headed that way in the 1920s before a fossil fuel based prohibition knocked out home grown farmer ethanol and biofuel production. It’s one of the chief reasons why so many people had to ‘sell the farm.’ Many don’t realize that the fossil fuel special interests of the time had a big hand to play both in prohibition and in the great depression that followed. Another bad action by fossil fuel interests that has been basically untold or undertold in the history books.

      Reply
  4. – SA – Brazil – Severely stressed politically and environmentally, and even as it in a Olympics (corporate logo $$$) frenzy.

    Reply
  5. – A note re ‘winter’ wheat and climate disruption:

    ‘Winter wheat needs a few weeks of cold before being able to flower..’

    http://www.islandgrains.com/whats-the-difference-between-spring-wheat-and-winter-wheat/

    Reply
    • – USA 2002 Winter wheat map for reference. Some of the areas are now being weather and climate stressed.
      – oregonstate.edu/instruct/css/330/four

      Reply
  6. Let me put on a conical DENIER cap for just a moment:

    CO2 is plant food!
    Farmers have always complained about floods or droughts.
    Plagues of locusts go back to Biblical times.

    Ouch. I can’t imagine wearing that all the time.

    Reply
  7. – NA USA Texas:

    Reply
    • – Yesterday, I took my visiting wife to PDX Union Station to ride the train down to California.
      While standing in line I conversed with a woman from one of the most hard hit parts of Texas, and near the Brazos River.

      “Normally, she said as she pointed to the very high ceiling of the station (as a reference to standing level with a non-flooding river and viewing a bridge crossing the Brazos) ‘The river is down here and the bridge is up there. But now the water is flowing over the bridge.”

      That would have put 50 ft underwater… Yikes. A stark reference it was.

      Reply
    • Three Army soldiers from Fort Hood killed, six others missing after Texas floodwaters sweep away military truck

      Three Army soldiers were killed and six others went missing when fast-moving Texas floodwaters swept away a military vehicle at Fort Hood Thursday morning, officials said.

      Rescuers also brought three other soldiers to safety after the Army truck overturned into a rain-swollen creek at a low-water crossing around 11:30 a.m. in an area near Cold Springs and Owl Creek, Fort Hood officials said in a statement.

      “Three confirmed deceased soldiers were recovered from the water downstream from the vehicle,” Fort Hood officials said.

      Rescue teams were searching for the other soldiers Thursday afternoon in aircraft, boats, trucks and on foot. The three soldiers rescued at the scene were in stable condition at Coryell Memorial Healthcare System in Gatesville.
      http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/army-soldiers-killed-vehicle-swept-texas-floods-article-1.2659115

      Reply
      • And today it’s the Texas-Louisiana border. Watch out for later this week in FL. 5-10 inches expected. Worth noting we’ve been overshooting the rain predictions by quite a bit lately.

        Reply
  8. Colorado Bob

     /  June 2, 2016

    Quoting 356. ncstorm:
    I am currently watching NBC News and they are talking about the Zika Virus/Florida. This potential system could aggravate the mosquito population even further and possibly increased cases of the Zika Virus..This could be an entirely different situation than what we have seen before with previous tropical systems due to the Zika epidemic..

    The Aedes aegypti, is a tough customer, it is resistant to most pesticides. That’s why the House just a passed a bill to weaken current rules in favor of more lethal compounds.

    The Day-Biting, Disease-Spreading Asian-Tiger Mosquito Is Here

    A number of years ago, at just about this time of year, my family was enjoying a pleasant alfresco dinner in our Brooklyn backyard when a squad of marauding mosquitoes crashed the party. These were unusually shrewd and persistent critters, targeting our ankles and the backs of our necks, hovering just out of reach of our swats and slaps. They were ferocious biters, too. But when one landed on my forearm, I paused to admire this nefariously beautiful creation of evolution: She was engineered to be a sleek hypodermic needle with wings, and her sole purpose was to siphon off, like a gas bandit, a bit of blood, which she needs in order to lay her eggs.

    And then I noticed the telltale pattern of white stripes on her legs. “Damn,” I said to myself. “That’s an Asian tiger!”

    Only a mosquito nerd would get jazzed by insect markings during a backyard blood draw. But it wasn’t that long ago, in ecosystem time, that the Asian tiger first turned up in the United States. A couple of mosquito-control officers in Houston spotted the mosquitoes (the official name is Aedes albopictus) in a port area of Houston, where the insects had presumably hitched a ride inside some used tires imported from Asia. Experts now consider it the most invasive mosquito in the world.

    This immigration story is important for three reasons. One, since that day in August 1985, the Asian tiger has spread to at least 37 states in the U.S., including New York, Pennsylvania, and virtually all of New Jersey, in part because its eggs can survive northern winters. Two, even battle-­hardened insect-control officials noticed something special about this mosquito: It is a very aggressive biter. And three, it is the only resident mosquito in the New York area, as far as anyone knows, that can transmit many of the “exotic” tropical viruses knocking on our door, including Zika.

    Reply
    • Playing with Asian tigers in the back yard. Not something I’d recommend these days. Kinda like horsing around with a loaded gun.

      Reply
  9. – France – A WW II query in August, 1944: “Is Paris burning?”

    – Paris – June 2016:

    Reply
  10. – NA – AK
    NWS Juneau Verified account
    ‏@NWSJuneau

    It was another warm month in #May for #Alaska. #Sitka recorded the second warmest May on record.

    Reply
    • Reply
      • redskylite

         /  June 3, 2016

        What amazes me is the breadth of attitudes, separating the wildfires from ongoing warming. Although it is not true to say climate change is responsible for the fire, many academics and firefighting professionals are noting higher occurrences of out of season wildfire. A timely article from Blayne Haggart (an assistant professor of political science at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ont.) in the Globe and Mail.

        ” let’s discuss what the sincerely expressed desire not to link Fort McMurray and climate change says about Canada’s ability to respond to challenges posed by climate change. ”

        http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/what-the-alberta-fire-says-about-our-attitudes-toward-climate-change/article30223866/

        Reply
        • “This fire is consistent with what we would expect due to climate change’s ongoing influence on the Canadian fire regime.” Mike Flannigan, wildfire expert from the University of Alberta.

          If Canada can’t hear what the experts are saying, then Canada is going to fall flat on its face in front of what’s coming down the pipe. This was bad. But if Canada can’t mitigate climate change, if Canada can’t phase out things like the tar sands, then there’s really no good future for Canada. It’s hard to say. But that’s the bald truth of the matter that everyone is avoiding. There’s no doubt. Cigarettes greatly increase your risk of cancer. And climate change — well it greatly increases the frequency of all kinds of extreme events that are capable of wrecking Canada’s cities. And when you boil it down to brass tax, Canada can’t exist in a state where her cities continuously fall under threat of an increasing frequency of extreme events. Canada’s reeling after just one of these fires. What about three, or five? Add in a deluge that drowns another, sea level rise taking in another, and drought wrecking the water supply of yet another. Add in diseases and invasive species and the threat of glacial outburst flood tsunamis from Greenland. Add in loss of whole fishing and farming industries. Is burning the tar sands really that important?

      • Cate

         /  June 3, 2016

        Here’s what I see in my country: Canadians aren’t stupid. It’s not so much that we don’t “believe” in climate change, or that we doubt that it’s happening. Most Canadians might agree it’s happening and that something has to be done about it. But this view is hugely complicated by the fact that we are one of the greatest per-capita energy hogs on the planet–we love consuming energy to excess and we consider this a human right in our FF-rich country. Biig Oil and its Filthy Friends pretty much dictate our governments’ (federal and provincial) energy policies and practices, which is why our govts speak out of both sides of their mouths. We also owe a lot of our recent material prosperity in particular to Big Oil and to criticise it feels at least like ingratitude, at most like a species of treason.

        So Canadians are not stupid, but we are bloody stubborn. We’re not in a state of denial so much as refusal—a stubborn refusal to admit that as individuals we have any effect or any responsibility to fix this, along with a stubborn refusal to allow any whiff of sacrifice or self- limitation into our God-given right to over-consume.

        We are also pretty shockingly self-centred, self-absorbed, and self-obsessed. I suppose it’s not only in Canada that so many people refuse to think beyond the next weekend party, let alone about the kind of world their grandchildren might inherit if climate change continues BAU. This mindset represents the ultimate triumph of the capitalist-corporatist project to addict us all to more and more junk.

        But certainly, at some point, stubborn, selfish, and stupid become interchangeable.

        Reply
        • Psychological definition of denial:

          Primitive Defense Mechanisms. 1. Denial. Denial is the refusal to accept reality or fact, acting as if a painful event, thought or feeling did not exist. It is considered one of the most primitive of the defense mechanisms because it is characteristic of early childhood development.

          Archaic definition of an idiot:

          “An idiot in Athenian democracy was someone who was characterized by self-centeredness and concerned almost exclusively with private—as opposed to public—affairs.[6] Idiocy was the natural state of ignorance into which all persons were born and its opposite, citizenship, was effected through formalized education.[6] In Athenian democracy, idiots were born and citizens were made through education (although citizenship was also largely hereditary). “Idiot” originally referred to “layman, person lacking professional skill”, “person so mentally deficient as to be incapable of ordinary reasoning”. Declining to take part in public life, such as democratic government of the polis (city state), was considered dishonorable. “Idiots” were seen as having bad judgment in public and political matters.”

          The world is full of idiots — bread by special interest centered misinformation and suffering from the psychological form of denial.

          I don’t live in Canada and I don’t believe that the whole of the Canadian people represent the crap and nonsense now coming out of the Canadian media or the double-speak coming from the Prime Minister. But I do think that, as with republican America, you guys are afflicted with a kind of rank corruption of the national spirit that has lead to endemic psychological denial and pervasive idiocy (of the archaic definition).

          These must be overcome. There’s really no option out. People of conscience, citizens of moral standing must stand up in opposition now to fossil fuel based energy dependence and the kinds of bad outcomes that dependence is locking in.

      • Cate

         /  June 3, 2016

        “Rank corruption of national spirit” is a good way of putting the Canadian problem. I think Canadians have something like a national psychosis—there is such a huge divide between what we are and what we think we are in Canada. We have lost our grip on the reality of we we are and our place in the world—we are mythic Canadians, live in a kind of Canadian dream world.

        For example, on one hand, Canadians recite to themselves the national narrative of our own wonderfulness and excellence among nations in oh so many fields, while on the other hand, we have the ongoing disgrace of our endemic and egregious racism against First Nations and the cavalier disregard for the environment demonstrated by the tarsands scar, visible from space. On the one hand, Canadians ridicule Americans for Trump while on the other, they go and re-elect the likes of Harper, again and again. On the one hand, we accept the fact of climate change, but on the other we don’t think it’s our problem to solve because we’re only creating 3% of the world’s carbon emissions anyway—“China and the US are the problems!” I have had that argument made to my face by supposedly educated Canadians who appeared otherwise sane.

        This national insanity is something that mainstream media absolutely maintains but that the alternate and social media can interrogate, expose, and remediate. But as long as the sickness persists, effective responses to climate change in Canada will remain blocked. We can’t fix ourselves until we begin see ourselves for what we are.

        Reply
        • Well said.

          I’m not interested in blaming Canadians so much as I am in setting responsibility at the feet of fossil fuel special interests. There are many of us around the world who’ve been hoodwinked into making bad choices. We’ve basically been sold a bad future. Ignoring the role of the sellers is probably not in our best interest.

          Every country suffers from a distortion of its politics due to what’s happened. The US has Trump, Canada had Harper. And we all have climate change denial and people who’ve been convinced to basically either act in a negative manner or to give up their political power. To renege on their civic duty as citizens of a vital and functioning state. This loss is due entirely to the push for corporate dominance and is a kind of soft disenfranchisement.

          If anyone is saying that your vote doesn’t matter or that one political party is the exact same as the other — don’t listen. It’s utter nonsense aimed at removing your political voice. In the US, we have a clear difference between political parties that anyone willing to open their eyes can clearly see. Here in MD, the republican governor (Larry Hogan) just vetoed legislation aimed at increasing the renewable energy standard for the state. The democratic legislature proposed this increased rate of renewable energy adoption. And had we had a democratic governor, there would have been no veto.

          Obama and Hillary support the Clean Power Plan — which would reduce US carbon emissions by a further 30 percent and put the US on a fast track for coal mothballing and renewable energy adoption. The Plan is a little heavy on nat gas, but overall it is a huge improvement in our carbon emissions and energy mix. Trump has threatened to kill it.

          With a democrat in office we, as liberals, can hold them accountable to the liberal ideals they profess to believe in. We can influence them, just as we influenced Obama to shut down the Keystone Pipeline. With Trump — good luck. We’ll end up with more coal, more gas, less renewables, more pipelines. We’ll be swimming in carbon emissions with this guy. The difference is pretty much night and day.

          So for those lurking, don’t let an imagined perfect ideal be the enemy of what under democrats is an expanding set of good policies that move in the right direction and leave open the opportunity to build on those policies should the need arise.

          People say we need revolution. But where is it? Where is the revolution so I can join in? It’s not there. Why? Because the democratic party already supports the policies that the revolution would uphold. We just need to invigorate democrats and empower them. What we need is a revolution in the form of a wave election that sweeps in progressive democrats. That’s what we should all be fighting for here in the US.

          So, Cate, these words are not just meant for you. I’ve just springboarded off your excellent points to talk to some broader issues.

          And one last point for you.

          In going through my spam filter today, I found a few of your comments. I did not put them there and have since changed my WP password and re-approved your comments. I had an issue with malicious code yesterday and have since been playing catch-up. I think that what happened to your comments was related.

          I want to say that you are one of the most valued posters here. With a clear mind and an extremely powerful voice. For my part, I wish to promote what you have to say, because it is worth hearing. I wish to give you a big hill so you can shine your bright light from the top of it for all to see.

          Warmest regards to you and best wishes and thank you for lifting the quality of the discussion that is ongoing here.

          –R

    • Record warm Barrow, record early Beaufort sea ice thaw.

      Reply
  11. Colorado Bob

     /  June 3, 2016

    Allow me that restate my hypothesis.

    It’s small things , and the very small things that have made the jump into our “New World”.

    We race to to keep up.

    On the last thread we joked about lobsters marching North. Well, I read the article. The ones in the South have a bacterial infection , 30 percent. The Bacterial are swell , the lobsters not so much.

    By the way., they aren’t marching North, the young are dying the the South. The young are living in North.

    That’s mot a march, it’s an ecological shift from South to North.

    Reply
  12. Colorado Bob

     /  June 3, 2016

    PBS interviewed Judy Collins tonight , she’s 77 and just as beautiful .

    Reply
    • A gorgeous song from one heck of a lady. One of my all-time favorites.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  June 3, 2016

        We are so lucky to live at the same time as such a great artist. What an amazing soul she is. My favourite song of hers is “Farewell to Tarwathie.”

        Reply
        • Another song that’s pure and celestial and that gives me strength to believe in our better angels.

      • Colorado Bob

         /  June 3, 2016

        A time to clean our thoughts,

        Reply
  13. Ryan in New England

     /  June 3, 2016

    Some good news and a reminder that the fight is not lost and far from over. Things are changing in a big way.

    An upsurge in new wind, solar and hydro plants and capacity saw renewable energy smash global records last year, according to a report on new supply.

    Some 147 Gigawatts of renewable electricity came online in 2015 – the largest annual increase ever and as much as Africa’s entire power generating capacity.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jun/01/renewable-energy-smashes-global-records-in-2015-report-shows

    Reply
    • Yeah. Did a pretty comprehensive report on that actually: https://robertscribbler.com/2016/06/02/renewables-are-winning-the-race-against-fossil-fuels-but-not-fast-enough/

      Glad to see the Guardian stepping in. Although I think the context we worked on here was helpful in getting an idea of the forces at work.

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  June 3, 2016

        Robert, I’m sorry! I didn’t notice the extensive post on that very topic, just below this flood/locust post. I read about the situation in Russia and jumped right into the comments without noticing the other new post by you. Fantastic work, Robert!

        Reply
        • It’s not you Ryan. That article was actively suppressed. I found a bit of malicious code embedded in it that took down its visibility in emails and social media forums. I removed it, but from the page view standpoint, it has been handicapped to 50 percent of a typical post. This happens now and then, usually when I cover the issue of renewable energy.

  14. Colorado Bob

     /  June 3, 2016

    We all need spine, we all need courage , we need guts,

    Reply
    • Bob, I hate to say it, but I’m increasing just furious. It’s beyond guts are this point. It’s time to bring on the fire.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  June 3, 2016

        I have been as crazy as a 3 dollar bill for a decade,

        Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  June 3, 2016

      Advice from an old man . Who never had this,

      Reply
  15. Colorado Bob

     /  June 3, 2016

    It’s time to bring on the fire.

    Well let”s ask that question.

    Reply
  16. – I like this – it’s under appreciated – Urban heat island related weather.

    Reply
  17. Colorado Bob

     /  June 3, 2016

    RS –

    You have huge pool of troops, Deploy them.

    Reply
  18. Colorado Bob

     /  June 3, 2016

    One doesn’t build an army just to let it sit in camp.

    Reply
  19. Colorado Bob

     /  June 3, 2016

    Steve Earle – Texas Eagle

    Reply
  20. Colorado Bob

     /  June 3, 2016

    My Love Will Not Change – Del McCoury Band

    Reply
  21. Anyone else find this a stunning image?

    Coastal erosion reveals the extent of ice-rich permafrost on the Arctic Coastal Plain in the Teshekpuk Lake Special Area of the National Petroleum Reserve.
    Credit: USGS/flickr

    But the article? I know I’m tired and in an allergy fog at the moment but this seems like another mixed-message report that tends to confuse people.
    Warming Could Boost Carbon Storage in Alaska Forests
    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/climate-change-carbon-storage-alaska-forests-20407

    Reply
    • Warming and CO2 are indeed boosting forest growth rates on the BC raincoast, but beetles who like mild winters have been decimating many inland forests in western Canada .

      Reply
  22. Colorado Bob

     /  June 3, 2016

    Delano Floyd McCoury (born February 1, 1939 in York, Pennsylvania) is an American bluegrass musician. As leader of the Del McCoury Band, he plays guitar and sings lead vocals along with his two sons, Ronnie McCoury and Rob McCoury, who play mandolin and banjo respectively. In June 2010, he received a National Heritage Fellowship lifetime achievement award from the National Endowment for the Arts and in 2011 he was elected into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Del_McCoury

    Reply
  23. Syd Bridges

     /  June 3, 2016

    I’ve been busy for a few days and now return to your blog, Robert. I still have two articles to read. But the picture is getting grimmer by the day. The old expression “It never rains, excpt it pours,” is becoming nightmarishly true. There are now biblical plagues of locusts in Russia, to add to the floods in Europe, the US, and South America and heatwaves in Asia. The speed with which the predictions of Drs. Francis and Varvus have been borne out is truly mindblowing. The combination of atmospheric water unloading following the El Nino and stalled weather systems is giving us a taste of what is to come.

    Reply
  24. Andy in SD

     /  June 3, 2016

    Paris floodwaters set to peak as more rain forecast

    Floodwaters in Paris are forecast to peak on Friday with the River Seine due to reach 6m (19ft) above its normal level.

    The world-famous Louvre and Orsay museums have been shut so staff can move priceless artworks to safety.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36441322

    Reply
  25. – I believe (GIF image is small) that three years of June 1983, 1998 & 2016 data make up this GIF.

    Reply
  26. – Ah, the ‘buttons’ of Rocky Flats Nuclear Arsenal. A mere 15 km north of my childhood home 1948-53 (with lots of return visits and summers there in Golden/Pleasant View, CO.
    Then a couple of years living north a bit in Boulder — going back and forth from Golden to there and seeing the fences and towers of the ‘Arsenal’ just off the road bit.

    – 52-53 the Korean War was in full swing. Uncle Frank (RIP) lied about his age to get in the Marine Corps . It’s said an older neighbor/friend forged my Grandpa’s name on some enlistment papers since Frank was only 16 years old.
    I didn’t see much of til he got back from Korea with a back full of shrapnel.
    Then my unmarried mother married, and I was adopted, to someone who soon joined the USN — and we were off to various stateside military bases (mostly in Southern California next to the Bight.
    Being on a flight-line was soon second nature to me. The skies were a deep ‘sky’ blue rarely scarred my aircraft contrails since military planes were the only ones that high.
    (That soon changed.)
    Rocky Flats:

    ###
    -hcn.org/articles/latest-after-26-years-a-settlement-over-rocky-flats-plutonium

    Latest: After 26 years, a settlement over Rocky Flats plutonium contamination
    The site near Denver was once home to a nuclear weapons plant.

    BACKSTORY
    From 1952 to 1989, Rocky Flats — a 6,500-acre site just northwest of Denver — was home to a nuclear weapons plant that produced thousands of plutonium triggers for the nation’s nuclear arsenal. After toxic waste leaks, catastrophic fires and years of protests, Rocky Flats was raided by both the FBI and the Environmental Protection Agency, and shuttered by 1992. By 2006, the government had spent $7.5 billion to clean it up. Today, 5,000 acres are a wildlife refuge, but the central 1,300 acres remain a Superfund site, haunted by buried chemicals and toxins

    FOLLOWUP
    In late May, over 15,000 residents who owned homes downwind of Rocky Flats in 1989 reached a $375 million settlement with plant operators over plutonium contamination, ending a 26-year legal battle over violations by Rockwell International Corp. and Dow Chemical Co. A federal judge is expected to approve the settlement, and then a claims process will be established.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cj_tbJNWUAAb7yh.jpg:large

    Reply
  27. Andy in SD

     /  June 3, 2016

    Nepal lake: Work begins to drain rising waters near Everest

    GLOF’s

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-36434040

    Reply
    • redskylite

       /  June 3, 2016

      Thanks for sharing that – another turbo charged high scale event happening greatly encouraged by us.

      Reply
  28. PNW PDX — warm weather on the way:

    NWS:

    SENSITIVE GROUPS SUCH AS THE ELDERLY AND THOSE WITH EXISTING
    HEALTH CONCERNS MAY EXPERIENCE IMPACTS FROM THE HEAT. THE
    ELDERLY…AND THOSE WITH EXISTING HEALTH CONCERNS…SHOULD REMAIN
    HYDRATED AND ATTEMPT TO STAY IN A COOL PLACE DURING THE HEAT OF
    THE DAY.

    Reply
  29. redskylite

     /  June 3, 2016

    Newsweek has an interesting article on 21st century permafrost melt in Alaska, more empirical evidence at a personal level.

    “I encounter people who don’t believe in climate change every day of the week. I just tell them they might feel differently if it were happening to them,” he says. Despite all the setbacks, Wetzen is happy to have made his life in Alaska. “It’s very comfortable here. I love having the opportunity to do what I want on my piece of property. I loved being able to build the house I wanted to build,” he says, then pauses. “Well, houses.”

    http://www.newsweek.com/2016/06/10/permafrost-greenhouse-gases-global-warming-465585.html?piano_d=1

    Reply
    • mlparrish

       /  June 3, 2016

      Anyone know why CARVE was phased out? It seems it would have given an answer to:
      (from the article) “None of the permafrost thawing beneath millions of lakes across the Arctic is accounted for in global predictions about climate change—it’s “a gap in our climate modeling,” says Katey Walter Anthony, a University of Alaska Fairbanks researcher who studies permafrost thaw across Alaska and Siberia. She’s become famous in certain circles for finding methane bubbling up beneath the ice in frozen-over permafrost lakes, cutting a hole ice-fishing style and lighting the highly flammable gas on fire, sending up a column of flames 10 feet high.”

      The program was also thrifty, a C-23 Sherpa aircraft deployed 3 times a year to measure soil states, methane, CO2, CO. http://science.nasa.gov/missions/carve/

      Reply
      • The subject basically operates under black-out. Things people like Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking talk or have talked about openly are basically not being talked about at the scientific agency or at the media level. I think this will come back to haunt us. We are looking at adding 50-150 ppm CO2e over the next few centuries under a middle case Earth System response. But because we don’t have effective monitoring and modeling (we’ve suffered from a similar issue with regards to ice sheet melt and sea level rise, but the carbon feedback issue is worse) we don’t really have a picture of what we’re looking at.

        The issue is serious and lends urgency to a necessarily rapid shift away from fossil fuel burning. And we should be talking about this urgency openly. Fossil fuel burning and the possibility of harmful geophysical changes including a runaway carbon system response is the most immediate threat that humankind now faces.

        Reply
      • One more thing to add —

        The fossil fuel monetary interest runs deep. And it’s pretty clear to me that it has influenced this subset of the geophysical sciences. The degree is unclear. But as with certain brands of ecology, there is enough circumstantial evidence to raise a level of reasonable suspicion that the discourse has been suppressed and polluted by that agency.

        Reply
      • “The fossil fuel monetary interest runs deep. And it’s pretty clear to me that it has influenced this subset of the geophysical sciences. The degree is unclear’

        The ratio of Geology grads et al that go. or don’t go, on to fossil fuel jobs would tell for sure.
        I have no doubts which side would be weighted at maybe 8.5 of 10.
        And for a long time too.

        Reply
      • mlparrish

         /  June 4, 2016

        Oh, my. This is not good.

        Reply
  30. Ryan in New England

     /  June 3, 2016

    I find it absolutely insane that we are now going to allow fracking offshore. It’s like we are trying to kill the biosphere and eliminate any life support system left on Earth. And all so fossil fuel barons cans enrich themselves further.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/06/01/3783386/offshore-fracking-california/

    Reply
  31. dnem

     /  June 3, 2016

    Way to go, Maryland. Governor Hogan vetoed a bill to increased MD’s Renewable Portfolio Standard. WTF? It appears likely that the legislature will override the veto and the Gov knew that and vetoed the bill to get political cover from fears that he supports “making energy more expensive.” Nice Leadership, huh?

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/05/31/3783302/hogan-vetoes-popular-clean-energy-jobs-bill/

    For the past 12 years, Maryland has had a highly successful program requiring utilities to use more renewable energy. Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s own Dept. of Environment last fall said the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) was creating thousands of jobs and would create billions in economic activity by 2020. In April, the governor signaled his own commitment to clean energy, signing the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act.

    And then last week, Hogan reversed course and vetoed a bill that would have increased the RPS and given the state a way to reach its greenhouse gas emissions goals.
    “It was infuriating,” Maryland Delegate Bill Frick, who sponsored the Clean Energy Jobs bill, told ThinkProgress.

    The bill would have increased the state’s RPS from 20 percent by 2022 to 25 percent by 2020.

    Reply
  32. Robert

     /  June 3, 2016

    FYI: High temperature of 111F to 118F today through Sunday in Yuma, Arizona. Excessive Heat Warning in place.

    Reply
  33. – Indeed, they are lining up and heading for Lamar Smith’s Texas.

    Reply
  34. Reply
    • Greg

       /  June 3, 2016

      Could be a lot of rain for Florida DT:

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  June 3, 2016

        Florida, get ready

        Reply
      • Jonathan Erdman ‏@wxjerdman 27m27 minutes ago

        #Hurricane hunters now scheduled to investigate the W Caribbean disturbance Saturday afternoon.

        Reply
  35. Ocean Waves Are Getting Stronger

    Officials in many coastal communities are scrambling to protect increasingly denuded shorelines — and waves are only getting stronger.

    Countries scrambling to protect their coasts from rising sea levels and more frequent storms will also have to contend with a phenomenon that is often overlooked. Ocean waves – which have the ability to add new coastline, but can also ruthlessly take it away – are becoming stronger with climate change. Experts say failing to consider their power could spell disaster for current and future coastal infrastructure.

    “Everybody thinks about sea level rise,” said Mike Beck, The Nature Conservancy’s lead marine scientist and an adjunct professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz. “Nobody’s talking about increasing wave energy and wave attack. It’s a much greater near-term problem to coastal infrastructure and it’s totally under-appreciated.”

    http://undark.org/2016/06/03/ocean-waves-are-getting-stronger/

    Reply
  36. marcel

     /  June 3, 2016

    Count this as another high stakes race humanity is in, whether our agricultural and food systems can adapt fast enough to compensate for the extra drags that climate change will force. Cuba did when their soviet aid ended, and we now have rapid information sharing, so I think there’s a chance some places might be able to.

    Reply
  37. labmonkey2

     /  June 3, 2016

    We all know there are persons and groups HELL BENT on attacking climate science and mitigation efforts…but this – THIS – is getting way out of hand. And yes. Very, very creepy.

    From DeSmogBlog:

    McKibben told DeSmog: “I think it’s pretty clear that they want to talk about anything other than climate change.”

    AR2 has launched a new website, Core News, to push its partisan talking points into the public space. The site is accompanied by a YouTube channel, Vine account, Twitter feed and Facebook page.

    AR2 has its origins in the spring 2013 launch of America Rising PAC — the political action committee created by Republicans to carry out so-called “opposition research” into Democrat opponents. The PAC’s prime target is Hillary Clinton.

    America Rising PAC employs trackers to follow candidates’ every move in the hope of capturing a potentially embarrassing slip-up or hypocritical statement while researchers dig into their histories for anything that might put them in a bad light.

    http://www.desmogblog.com/2016/05/25/introducing-america-rising-squared-republicans-creepy-new-assault-climate-action

    Reply
    • If you’re a voice talking openly about climate change, you’re targeted. This blog is hounded by a group of trolls and hackers. Just yesterday I had to remove a malicious code that basically blocked views from the “Renewables are Winning the Race Against Fossil Fuels” article while removing it from my facebook page. I moderated out trolls spreading misinformation about total renewable energy’s portion of all global energy use. I moderated out the usual climate change denier trolls. And I moderated out the inevitable doom ecocide trolls who are basically telling people they shouldn’t act because ‘it’s all hopeless.’ I dealt with similar thugs on facebook. I dealt with intentional manipulation of social media in an attempt to use my writing to promote ‘chemtrails’ misinformation and Guy McPherson misinformation.

      I dealt with people promoting scientists who published non-science papers that support Daniel Yergin’s fossil fuel centric worldview and the inevitable ecocide fallacy and all the all energy comes from fossil fuels fallacy all wrapped into one.

      The pressure to shrink people’s heads and enforce dependence upon fossil fuels is just extreme and it’s one of the reasons I’m furious about 70 percent of the time now.

      I just write a small blog. We get decent views and discourse. But we must have an impact given the level of opposition, distraction, and flat out psychological warfare I get here. I cannot imagine what it would be like to be a political candidate.

      My sense is that Hillary has been unfairly treated on a number of issues including emails and Bengazi. It’s all BS and nonsense to say that she’s dishonest. She has represented her views pretty openly. Moreso than any republican I know. And though I disagree with her on the issues of education (support of deleterious charter schools), and her past support of fracking, I think that she’s been pretty open in the past RE these policies. It seems to me now that her views on renewable energy are positively evolving and that she has put together one hell of an energy team for her candidacy. One that will support a massive renewables expansion in the US and a related large-scale carbon emissions reduction effort. This has made her one ginormous target. And its a major reason why, if she does become the candidate, we should support her all-out against the fossil fuel driven attacks.

      This is going to get rough folks. Fossil fuels have their backs against the wall in the economic sense and they will fight to put someone in the Whitehouse who will lock in dependency and keep captive consumption to fossil fuels indefinitely. It’s all out warfare folks and we have desperately got to win this one.

      Reply
      • ‘If you’re a voice talking openly about climate change, you’re targeted. This blog is hounded by a group of trolls and hackers.”
        – I wondering about your workload at keeping up on security. Wishing i could help from this end.
        The fact that one is a target is an indication that one is a (positive) force to be reckoned with.

        – During my time with my SaveTheSky website I had hoped to at least get some ‘hate mail’ — but no such luck. Plenty of page views but no engagement — which is what I wanted.
        You and the Nelson Mandela Foundation sites most resemble what had going.
        Photos, historical examples. and agit-prop were big featured.

        That’s pretty much the same for next effort ‘windspiritkeeper’. blog.
        Trolls etc, couldn’t argue with photo evidence — so didn’t have a problem other than the obligatory ‘chemtrail’ line.

        My WP dtlange2 was just to ensure some compatibility with your WP ‘RS’.

        – Thanks for ‘walking point’ and ‘watching our rear’, etc.

        DT

        Reply
        • Thanks, DT. And I want you to know that you’re a huge, ginormous help.

          For now, I think I need to manage to internal stuff on my own. When I get the resources in hand (which might take a few years), I’ll build this site out to something larger. Something that hires internal moderators and that sets up a multi-blog/news feed platform. As I said before, I don’t have the resources to do that right now. But we are lean and we are mean and we absolutely are making a difference.

          And the ship here is small, nimble, fast and light. She’s able to manuever in ways that a big platform can’t. This makes us able to hit targets of opportunity and to generate assymetric political, informational, and social advantages. So, yeah, the trade offs for being the equivalent of an internet frigate vs an internet cruiser or battle ship are worth it for now.

          Welcome to the guerilla war against fossil fuels! And for people watching, lurking and commenting here — if you didn’t know you were contributing to that good effort, then this is your formal welcome to the renewable energy, anti-fossil fuels, pro climate response internet marines and navy. Gungo-ho — work together!
          😉

          Gotta go. Another quarry sighted off the starboard bow.

      • ROGER THAT
        FAST AND LIGHT
        OUT

        Reply
      • JPL

         /  June 3, 2016

        Robert, sorry to hear that so much of your time goes to housekeeping on this blog, but you have all of our sincere thanks for doing it. As always, this place is an oasis in that desert we all call the internet. Shields up!

        John

        Reply
      • climatehawk1

         /  June 4, 2016

        Thanks for staying with it, Robert. I think your stuff is great and hits just the right note of very deep concern. You’re doing a tremendous job.

        Reply
  38. Greg

     /  June 3, 2016

    Look at those ridges in the arctic

    Reply
    • – They cover a lot of territory.
      That oblong one in the Pacific is worrisome but not surprising. And it looks like it’s stretching itself toward the other to the north…

      Reply
    • Hello Greenland High.

      Reply
      • Most definitely.

        Reply
      • Cate

         /  June 3, 2016

        Greenland highs can affect summer weather in the UK as well as polar climate changes, among other things.

        >>>>>Professor Hanna and his team have found an increase in the occurrence of atmospheric high pressure ‘blocking’ systems over Greenland since the 1980s throughout all seasons, which relates to a significantly strong warming of the Greenland and wider Arctic region compared with the rest of the world.
        The Sheffield-led team also found an especially strong recent increase in the occurrence of Greenland ‘blocking’ weather systems in summer, which is linked to a more northward-meandering branch of the atmospheric jet stream. This has resulted in warmer air more often moving north into the region in recent years….
        “This is resulting in an increase in the occurrence of warm air in the region and it is also affecting weather systems downstream of Greenland, such as over the UK. The unusually wet weather seen in the UK in the summers of 2007 and 2012, for instance, is linked to these stationary high pressure systems over Greenland.” <<<<<<

        https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160426215430.htm

        Reply
  39. Greg

     /  June 3, 2016

    Climate change and how it is being thought about by the CEO’s of some of the world’s biggest companies is important. Here is an opinion piece by the CEO of Unilever, which I consider generally proactive …”the transition won’t be easy, especially for businesses having to adapt to a new climate economy. Many are asking themselves the same questions: What are the opportunities for me? How can I make this work in my industry, in my value chain, in my local context? How to create value in the future without destroying value today?… We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-polman/-climate-action-for-growt_b_10254556.html

    Reply
  40. – Methane – Cornell U.

    Howarth alerts White House of growing methane danger

    As methane intensifies greenhouse gas in the atmosphere – propelling average global temperatures higher toward the brink of no return – Cornell’s Robert Howarth briefed the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy May 27 on its dangers and solutions.

    he 90-minute briefing, “Natural Gas and Methane After COP21,” was given to senior staff and scientists.

    Howarth told the group Earth’s atmosphere is on target to raise the average atmospheric temperature by 1.5 degrees C in the next 10 to 15 years and by 2 degrees C within the next 35 to 40 years. “The only way to slow this rate of warming and meet the COP21 target is to reduce methane emissions,” he said. “Although we should reduce carbon dioxide emissions, reducing carbon dioxide alone will not slow global warming on the time scale of the next few decades. The climate system responds much more quickly to reducing methane emissions.”

    http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2016/06/howarth-alerts-white-house-growing-methane-danger

    Reply
    • So the nice thing about a transition to pure renewable based energy systems is that you hit both methane and CO2 emissions in one go.

      Howarth here, I think, overstates the methane problem somewhat. The total forcing coming from the CO2 emission is about three times that of methane. And if you only target methane and fail to target CO2, then you’ve got an even worse problem. This has happened in the past. During the 1990s, we worked to cut methane and we did. CO2 kept rising and here we are today.

      The center of gravity is a shift away from fossil fuels. A huge chunk of the global methane emission comes from fossil fuels as does the vast majority of CO2. If you put together an energy transition, CO2 emission dramatically falls as does the methane emission. If you’re fortunate and the Earth System hasn’t responded strongly enough to take up the slack, the methane overburden in the atmosphere rapidly falls out due to shorter methane lifespan.

      A shift away from industrial meat farming would also significantly cut the human methane source, though not quite as much as the shift away from nat gas, oil, and coal.

      For reference, Robert Howarth was the author of this study which found that fracking was nearly as bad as coal when it comes to net CO2e emissions:

      http://www.eeb.cornell.edu/howarth/publications/Howarth_2014_ESE_methane_emissions.pdf

      He’s basically the source of the natural gas a bridge energy to nowhere meme. And he’s basically right. Trading coal for nat gas via fracking isn’t a very positive trade off. We should be working toward a full transition to renewables. No need for a bridge.

      Reply
      • Right.
        Though it’s good any methane problem talked about in a fairly accessible forum.
        Not many ‘dig in. And it might give something for people to ponder while the points you mention become more pronounced.

        Reply
  41. Greg

     /  June 3, 2016

    For those able to stomach it here is an interview with one of the Koch’s. Of course, he is a very smart man using his wealth in ways that we all disagree strongly with. If only he could be brought back from the dark side. He seems to rely heavily on the British scientist named Michael Polanyi. Polanyi’s “The Republic of Science: Its Political and Economic Theory,” published in 1962, is the text that best illustrates what Koch is trying to do with his massive personal fortune — and the contradictions and controversies that come with it.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/06/03/inside-charles-kochs-200-million-quest-for-a-republic-of-science/?

    Reply
  42. Reply
    • labmonkey2

       /  June 3, 2016

      Sad article – and the there’s this, too:

      As if we didn’t have enough to worry about with the start of wildfire season, we now have to face the reality of zombie blazes: fires that never really die.

      Last year’s Alaskan wildfire season was the second-largest ever — and it seems it never entirely ended. A wildfire in southwest Alaska that swept more than 8,000 acres in the Medfra area over the course of this week is a continuation of a 2015 fire that never went out, despite having ceased to visibly burn. The Soda Creek Fire raged through 16,500 acres in the same area last summer, according to Alaska Dispatch News. It smoldered underground, survived the winter, and finally reignited on Sunday, spreading to an acre within an hour.

      http://grist.org/climate-energy/the-zombie-wildfires-have-awakened-in-alaska/

      Reply
    • Greg

       /  June 3, 2016

      There’s a growth industry! Firefighters.

      Reply
  43. dnem

     /  June 3, 2016

    Nice piece in the Times today about net zero homes in CA:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/04/business/energy-environment/solar-power-energy-efficient-net-zero.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fscience&action=click&contentCollection=science&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront

    Every new home should be net zero or close to it. I shake my head in disbelief when I see standard subdivision going up that doesn’t even bother to orient homes to take advantage of future solar. My house has spray foam, solar PV and hot H20, high efficiency electric heat pumps for heating and cooling and a wood burning stove. We handle over 75% of all energy consumption on site and buy the rest from the electric utility.

    Reply
  44. JPL

     /  June 3, 2016

    DT, think we’ll wise up?

    http://komonews.com/news/local/oil-train-derails-along-columbia-river-gorge-sparks-fire

    This article has a nice history of oil by rail accidents at the end.

    Reply
  45. Abel Adamski

     /  June 3, 2016

    The crazies are doing what I anticipated when the Australian versions cut into the CSIRO’s monitoring and modelling.
    Now trying to kill Nasa and Noaa’s earth systems monitoring.
    At the same time we have individuals such as Elon Musk promoting Cyborgs (artificial human enhancement)
    Guess if there is no evidence that the F/F companies and their complicit lackeys are destroying the biosphere and killing billions and destroying economies they cannot be held accountable, all an act of GOD, or just “Natural Cycles”.

    https://climatecrocks.com/2016/06/03/unscientific-americans-congress-aims-to-cut-climate-science/comment-page-1

    Reply
    • Musk should stick to EVs. That’s something that actually helps matters. And it happens to be something Musk is pretty good at developing.

      Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  June 4, 2016

      Abel, remember that destroying climate science and other environmental research really got going in Canada under Harper. But it is becoming ubiquitous in the Anglosphere dystopias, no doubt to the bemusement of the rational world.

      Reply
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