Heat-Stoked Wildfires Erupt Across US West — Out of Control Blaze Rages Near Oil Processing Facility

A potential record southwestern heatwave is building — predicted to hit peak intensity by the middle of next week. But, already, higher than normal temperatures and strong southerly winds are lighting off severe wildfires throughout the drought-stricken US West.

Fires Prompt Evacuations, Declarations of Emergency Across US Southwest

In Central New Mexico, a three acre fire exploded to three square miles in size Wednesday — prompting the governor to declare a state of emergency and spurring evacuations in the mountains southeast of Albequeque. Belching out a mountainous plume of smoke, the fire had forced 50 people to flee from their homes by late Wednesday. By 10 AM Thursday, the fire had again ballooned — this time expanding to 19 square miles in an outward rush that consumed an unconfirmed number of structures.

Doghead Fire June 15 New Mexico

(A crown fire southeast of Albuquerque forces the residents of 50 homes to flee as the governor of New Mexico declared a state of emergency Wednesday. Satellite image source: LANCE MODIS.)

In eastern Arizona, a small town was evacuated and residents of five more were given orders to prepare to leave as the Cedar Creek Fire devoured 4 square miles Wednesday evening. The fire continued to grow throughout the night and by Thursday morning had expanded to cover fully 8.5 square miles. Firefighters are now struggling to contain the blaze but hot weather and 30 mile per hour winds predicted Thursday present serious challenges.

Homes in Utah were also blanketed by smoke and haze as fires threatened. In Iron county, 40 mile per hour winds stoked yet another explosive blaze, cutting off Bumblebee Road and forcing 20 residences to be evacuated. As of last report, the fire was 400 acres in size, but this is likely to be a low estimate as 80 firefighters are now attempting to contain the blaze.

Southwest Drought Fuels Wildfire Near Santa Barbara Oil Refinery

It’s a rash of wildfires fueled by above normal temperatures and an endemic and steadily worsening drying of the region. Ongoing conditions related to human-caused climate change. And California has seen the worst of it. There, extreme drought has now lasted for three years. And in all of the past nine years, California has only seen two non-drought years.

Dry US West

(Dry US West. Dry conditions expanded to cover much of the US West this week ahead of a powerful and potentially record heatwave. Coincident with human-forced warming, an expansion of drought is expected in the US West. A condition that has born out in the form of worsening drying conditions for this region of the US over the past 2-3 decades. Image source: US Drought Monitor.)

In the south, near Santa Barbara, rainfall totals again fell short of average this Winter. Another dry season in a very dry decade that has provided ample bone-dry vegetation as fuel for wildfires.

By late Wednesday, these dry, warm conditions combined with strong sundowner winds to stoke fire dangers near the city. At that time, a 300 acre blaze burning near an oil facility exploded to cover about 2 miles of ground. By early Thursday, the huge blaze was raging out of control along a ridge near an Exxon-Mobile oil processing station.

Hundreds of campers were evacuated from the burning ridge as firefighters rushed in. The oil facility has now been emptied of non-essential personnel and more than 500 firefighters are attempting to erect a defensive line in order to contain the blaze. Currently, there appears to be no severe threat the fire will ignite fuels within the Exxon facility. But 40 mile per hour winds are predicted for later today and the nearby fire could be poised for more explosive growth.

Sherpa fire Near Exxon Mobile Oil Refinery

(Fire rages near Exxon Mobile oil processing facility in Santa Barbara, California on Wednesday. Firefighters had a brief respite as winds died down Thursday morning. However, fire conditions are expected to rapidly worsen by Thursday afternoon with the return of strong sundowner winds. Image source: Pete Demetriou.)

Dangerous Infrastructure — Oil Facilities Vulnerable to the Fires of Climate Change

This is the second time that a large oil facility has been threatened this year by a wildfire. In Canada, the Fort McMurray Fire forced the evacuation and shut down of large tar sands production facilities as barracks for oil workers succumbed to that massive blaze.

Human caused climate change is increasing instances of wildfires around the world through the combined forces of increased drought, rising temperatures, and more intense rates of evaporation. And in what could well be called an ironic twist of fate, the very fossil fuel infrastructure that is causing the warming is also quite vulnerable to the fires it has helped to light off.

If we were to use a metaphor, we could compare it to playing with fireworks on a 100+ degree (F) Fourth of July day in a big puddle of gasoline. In other words, this is the very definition of irresponsible. And the potential for tragedy here is enormous. Fossil fuel facilities contain massive amounts of volatile explosive compounds. Explosions at refineries due to accidents are among the most powerful manmade (if unintended) violent outbursts on Earth. And the very use and production of that fuel makes it more and more likely that a wildfire will set off a very real manmade firestorm at one of these many massive facilities.

Fire danger map US

(US fire danger map shows high to extreme potentials for wildfires across large sections of the country. Fire risk is likely to intensify over the coming week as a record heatwave is predicted to build across the country. Today’s outbreak, therefore, may just be the start. Image source: US Fire Service.)

It’s just one more example of how dangerous and irresponsible the global fossil fuel industry has become. And in this instance they are increasing risks to life and property not just to those who live anywhere near an oil or gas facility — but for anyone living pretty much anywhere at all. In other words, the fires are getting worse because we are burning fossil fuels. And the very fossil fuel facilities that are causing this problem are threatened.

Links:

Cedar Creek Fire Threatens Show Low

Wildfire Near California Oil Facility is Burning Out of Control

Santa Barbara Fire Burning Out of Control

Death Valley Like Heat to Blanket Southwest

US Fire Service

Pete Demetriou

LANCE MODIS

US Drought Monitor

Hat Tip to DT Lange

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92 Comments

  1. wili

     /  June 16, 2016

    I have a feeling this year will continue to supply you with plenty go keep track of, Robert. Thanks for helping us all stay on top of the latest developments.

    Reply
  2. wili

     /  June 16, 2016

    I’m little surprised that, in that last map, more of southern Cal isn’t in the high to extreme categories. Most of it is still officially in very serious drought conditions, last I saw.

    Reply
  3. Reply
  4. – AZ – Navajo/Apache country – Show Low — Cedar Creek Fire — NE of Phoenix & somewhat near NM border.

    Ian Schwartz Verified account ‏@SchwartzTV 4h4 hours ago

    NEW: #CedarCreekFire 10 mi south of #ShowLow. Extreme fire
    behavior with torching, spotting, and wind-driven runs.

    Reply
    • FOX 10 Phoenix Verified account ‏@FOX10Phoenix 5h5 hours ago

      The #CedarCreekFire has burned 3,000 acres near Show Low, nearby cities on evacuation alert

      Reply
  5. – Meanwhile;
    ASCAT Arctic Ice & Greenland melt jan13-jun16

    Reply
  6. – Reuters:
    [No mention of AZ Cedar Fire.]

    Wildfires in California, New Mexico trigger hundreds of evacuations

    [SBA] “There isn’t a lot of marine layer (ocean humidity) so not great conditions for firefighting,” Diane Black, a joint incident command manager, said in a phone interview.

    Winds drove the so-called Sherpa Fire, named after a ranch near where it started, toward the Pacific coast, leading authorities to evacuate two state beaches and some ranch land, according to information from InciWeb.gov and the Santa Barbara County website.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-wildfires-idUSKCN0Z22E3

    Reply
  7. entropicman

     /  June 16, 2016

    Arctic sea ice extent is higher than for this date in 2012. Have dodged the bullet for this year?

    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icecover.uk.php

    Reply
    • … the DMI measure.

      I’ve still got a majority of measures showing extent is below the 2012 line and that we’ve got a rapid thinning ongoing in the thick ice region.

      If we had a valid area measure, we’d get a better idea of what’s going on up there. But given a steepening rate of decline and most measures still showing extent just below the 2012 trend line I’d say it’s too soon to say we dodged the bullet.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  June 16, 2016

        Isn’t ice condition also a factor in sea ice extent? There is much discussion of this right now over at the ASIF, with suggestions that thin, rotten or rubble ice can be easily dispersed by cyclonic storms. So weather is a factor too. Ice can disappear really fast in a good breeze of wind, which spreads it out, exposing more blue water for heat absorption. And then there’s upwelling warm water—the heat that’s already out there and circulating, but do we know exactly how much, where it’s going, and how fast. I’m no expert but it seems even the experts are having trouble calling this one. Very instructive to watch. 😀

        Reply
        • If you look at basin melt, it can tend to follow a pattern of —

          1. Melt and ponding.
          2. Break up and dispersal.
          3. Increasingly rapid movement and transport.
          4. Thinning and spreading.
          5. Melt-out.

          The entire Arctic could eventually be subject to this kind of pattern if there’s enough heat baked in. Area and volume measures provide a decent indicator RE this particular state of play. However, not all the measures are perfectly accurate so we don’t have a perfect picture.

          With regards to what’s happening now with the sea ice, we’ve had storms over the past two weeks. Storms tend to disperse the ice at the edges and to thin the ice at the center. The result in sea ice measures tends to be more rapid loss in area as gaps appear behind the ice edge and a lagging in extent rate losses during melt season (as we see now).

          In the past, storms have been viewed as a mechanism that helps to preserve sea ice during the summer time. Storms produce cloud cover that results in less sunlight hitting the ice and tends to keep temperatures cooler over the ice zones.

          That said, storms also produce larger waves in the increasing open water areas around and within the ice. Storms increase ice transport if the ice is broken — as it has been moreso recently. And very large storms at certain times of year (as in the great Arctic cyclone of 2012) have resulted in notable large-scale losses of sea ice.

          I’ll post the current ARCc navy forecast model run showing predicted rates of thinning. The older navy model runs have tended to be innacurate. But this one last year produced decent forecasts.

          Arctic Sea Ice

          Note the thinning and dispersal in the central Arctic over the past couple of weeks. In the last few frames we have a predicted re-concentration and contracting at the ice edge in the Beaufort. This appears to coincide with a predicted high pressure system formation in that region for the coming week.

          Over the past few days we’ve had daily extent losses in the range of 55,000 square kilometers per day. This is primarily due to rapid losses in the Kara Sea, in Baffin Bay, and in Hudson Bay. The Beaufort contracted and broke up very early and is now in the process of flinging huge chunks of thick ice toward the Alaskan and Canadian shores:

          Beaufort Wrecked

          I’ve never seen the Beaufort in such bad shape during mid June. And the extent measure doesn’t catch it at all. It basically draws a line a the ice edge. But it doesn’t catch all those big blue water gaps in between.

          I’d call the Beaufort the weak underbelly for Arctic sea ice. This is due to its colocation to the central ice. Due to the Beaufort Gyre’s ability to make a thinning ice pack more broken and mobile. And due to a big potential albedo flip in late June and through July.

          If large sections of the Beaufort become open water, then the big waves really start to wreck the large ice above the 80 North line. The Beaufort actually also tends to be cooler than the polar region during this time of year. So if you lose the ice there, you get this big albedo flip that can add even more heat (ocean or atmospheric) to the system.

          It’s still all pretty much a crap shoot because we are in uncharted territory here. But I wouldn’t rest on my laurels now. The system is pretty unstable and could tilt pretty quickly given the right conditions.

      • Cate

         /  June 17, 2016

        Robert, a perfect capsule primer on melt season 2016. Thank you so much!🙂

        Reply
  8. Cate

     /  June 16, 2016

    Meanwhile, just up the road in British Columbia, places that were under evacuation orders because of wildfires earlier this spring are now getting soaked to flooded, with upwards of 130 mm of rain—-close to six inches in old money.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/chetwynd-dawson-creek-flooding-1.3638232

    Reply
  9. Cate

     /  June 16, 2016

    http://news.agu.org/press-release/permafrost-thawing-below-shallow-arctic-lakes/

    Permafrost beneath shallow arctic lakes is thawing as a result of a changing winter climate.

    Shallow lakes are warming up and there has been “drastic reduction” in lake ice.

    >>>>>>>>>Since permafrost underneath lakes is generally warmer than the surrounding terrestrial permafrost, rising temperatures in the lakebeds make permafrost thaw sooner than beneath surrounding dry land. These lakes may cover 20 to 40 percent of the landscape in vast areas of Arctic lowlands….“With further thawing of sub-lake permafrost there is a good chance that the ground will subside, increasing the lake depth and accelerating further permafrost thawing. In contrast, the warming on the land may increase the protective vegetation layer and delay thawing of permafrost outside of lakes,” said Vladimir Romanovsky of the UAF Geophysical Institute and co-author of the new study.<<<<<

    Reply
  10. Reply
  11. Phoenix is expected to have extreme heat all the way though next Friday and Saturday. Extreme heat is over 110degees.

    Sheri

    Reply
  12. climatehawk1

     /  June 16, 2016

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  13. Wildfire Season: What You Need to Know in One Map

    Wildfire season is about to kick off in earnest. Here’s how you can track it, one fire at a time.

    Summer’s heat is settling in early in parts of the West, and is forecast arrive in earnest this weekend. With sweltering days ahead, the rising specter of wildfires isn’t far behind.

    To get the big-picture, we’ve created a brand new wildfire tracker that shows where every wildfire is burning with a side of climate.

    http://www.seeker.com/wildfire-season-everything-you-need-to-know-in-one-map-1862690226.html

    Reply
  14. Reply
  15. – A black carbon Santa Barbara history moment (ZERO) wildfire related.

    Reply
  16. If this were an apocalypse SiFi novel, nobody would accept this many diverse disasters in such a short time.

    We thank you for tracking all of these AGW related events.

    Unfortunately, I do not see a near term path to ending these events.

    Reply
    • There’s no easy solution. But a rapid energy transition is a big first step. If you don’t get mitigation right, then damage control is basically ineffective.

      Reply
  17. Andy in SD

     /  June 17, 2016

    Not sure if this has been posted before, if so my apologies.

    Antarctica hit 400ppm CO2. It was the last place on the planet which had not touched that 400 level yet. It will dip back, but next year it will plumb a higher level again.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/antarctic-co2-hit-400-ppm-for-first-time-in-4-million-years/

    Reply
  18. 04:54 UTC

    – Sherpa Fire SB – the offshore flow:

    Kathrene Herndon ‏@KathreneHerndon 50m50 minutes ago

    A look at the #ScherpaFire #SherpaFire from out at sea.

    Reply
    • Reply
    • – Sidenote on an extremely dry Southern California Bight:

      Millions live between the fire on the drying mountains and a rising sea. Major transportation arteries parallel the coast as well.
      Ridges of high pressure like the powerful one now taking shape promote an offshore flow that can get quite strong.
      These winds rapidly carry fire from the mountains right to the edge of the sea. And the whole time sending out spot fires like powerful flare guns.
      Working the flanks of the fire are usually the only remedy.

      OUT

      Reply
      • SBCScanner ‏@SBC_Scanner 2h2 hours ago

        SherpaFire firefighters take shelter behind the engine as flames advance on them along near El Capitan State Beach.

        Reply
      • Jon Passantino ‏@passantino 28m28 minutes ago

        KCAL reporting #SherpaFire overcame 101 Freeway so quickly drivers were trapped on road, FD choppers made water drops onto cars. Insane

        Reply
      • Marcus Yam ‏@yamphoto 49m49 minutes ago

        A firefighter takes cover as the unpredictable wind changes direction.

        Reply
      • SBCFireInfo ‏@EliasonMike 3h3 hours ago

        #SherpaFire burns towards 101 & El Capitan State Beach Thursday evening.

        Reply
      • #SherpaFire a tractor-trailer drives past flames in the center divider of US 101 at El Capitan State Park.

        Reply
      • Reply
      • But fire officials said erratic “sundowner” winds could pose a danger to some areas such as Refugio Canyon, where 60 homes are located, and El Capitan Ranch, where 80 homes are located. And flames could pose a threat to Circle Bar B Ranch, a guest ranch in Goleta.

        “We’re going to get … 35-to-40-mph winds tonight,” U.S. Forest Supervising Chief Robert Baird said. “We have more resources going to the areas where we expect the fire to go.”

        -latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-santa-barbara-fire-refugio

        Reply
      • nay vogel ‏@nayvogel 42m42 minutes ago

        #sherpafire #scherpafire Unreal scene

        Reply
      • That firefighter surrounded by embers is one heck of a picture. What a tough spot! You really have to feel for that guy.

        Reply
      • Witchee

         /  June 17, 2016

        Lived in SoCal for 20 years, and never could comprehend how when you know the fire will burrn right down the canyons to the sea, you still rebuild every time. Malibu, Laguna Canyon. Everyone in California subsidizes the people who insist on rebuilding and living in a place where IT WILL BURN AGAIN.

        Los Angeles Is Burning- Bedlam is dreaming of rain.

        Reply
  19. – Via climatehawk1 – The Nation

    Growing Up With Climate Change
    Chloe Maxmin

    My generation will be the first to have lived an entire lifetime in a climate changed world. We witnessed the first climate impacts. We will experience the worst. We were born into this crisis and did nothing to cause it. Everything that we know and love—from our backyards to the existence of Planet Earth—is threatened.

    This is a generation unlike any other.

    What is it like to grow up with this new climate reality? I spoke to six young people who have been working on climate change from a young age and know what it’s like to grow up with this crisis. Their ages range from 13 to 29. Each confronts a different face of the crisis, from the coal mines of West Virginia to the drought-stricken plains of Kenya. Their words offer a glimpse into the challenges, heartaches, opportunities, and hope of growing up with climate change.

    There is one key theme that unites these young people: the commitment to self-determination. Each has crisis thrust upon them. They know that climate change will inevitably impact their futures, homes, families, communities. There is a sense of doom, of unavoidable catastrophe. They could be passive victims, absorbing the consequences of a warmed world. They could allow climate change to dictate their destiny.

    Not these brave champions. They refuse to be defined by the world they inherited. Instead, they define climate change as the opportunity to create a different world. They choose to protect what they love, to create the kind of life that they want, to fight with all their souls for a better future. They define their own fates. They declare that agency, power, and possibility can exist amid crisis.

    The courage of youth in the age of climate crisis is to stand up for what is loved rather than to ignore what is feared. It is this courage that will save our world…

    “My people are an endangered species.”

    – Ekai Nabenyo. 23 years old. Active since age 19.

    “If I’m not going to do this, who else is going to?”

    – Junior Walk. 26 years old. Active since age 18.

    “Break the wall”

    – Carter Ries. 15 years old. Active since age 8.
    – Olivia Ries. 13 years old. Active since age 7.

    “Reality is not yet set in stone”

    – Victoria Barrett. 17 years old. Active since age 14.

    “The task of our generation”

    – Alec Loorz. 21 years old. Active since age 12.

    “It is unfair. But you are capable.”

    – Shadia Fayne Wood. 29 years old. Active since age 7.

    – Chloe Maxmin

    Chloe Maxmin is a recent graduate of Harvard College. She became a climate activist at 12, later forming the Climate Action Club in high school and galvanizing a grassroots movement in her community. At Harvard, she co-founded Divest Harvard–a campaign calling on Harvard University to divest from fossil fuels–and led the campaign for two years, during which time Divest Harvard grew from group of 3 into a movement of over 70,000 people.

    http://www.thenation.com/article/growing-up-with-climate-change/

    Reply
  20. – I’m not sure what to make of this set of figures but Bob Henson ‘liked’ it.
    And though possibly irrelevant, Sept. is usually fire season.

    Reply
    • Holy Gravity Wave, Batman. Looks like the tropical atmosphere really blew its top.

      For reference, QBO stands for Quasi-Biennial-Oscillation.

      Reply
  21. Greg

     /  June 17, 2016

    Jeff Masters reports on the announced May NASA and NOAA temperature records.

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  June 17, 2016

      I dunno about anyone else, but I find this graph really really scary. Especially when you ignore the 2015 line, it’s clear that we’ve made one hell of a jump.

      Reply
    • 2014, 2015, and 2016 look like a big step change between the previous regime. We can probably look at 2014 as the boundary line for the new ‘low’ range for annual temps over the coming decade or so. This implies a range of 0.9 to 1.2 C and pushing toward 1.3 and 1.4 C in the 2-4 El Nino timeframe.

      The 2016 ‘top’ may be challenged again (but possibly not exceeded) by the next El Nino in approx 3 years time.

      With La Nina settling in, 2016 temps should come down a bit more — probably averaging near 1.2 C above 1880s (0.98 C in the above graph which compares to NASA’s 1951 to 1980 baseline). It’s still a big step up. And it’s definitely scary. We’ve just had three record warm years in a row. And that’s pretty ridiculous.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  June 17, 2016

        On this very topic:

        Rahmstorf is quoted in The Guardian today on his response to the NOAA report, especially to the temp and CO2 records being smashed.

        Something else is going on, he thinks. This article doesn’t make for comfortable reading. At all.

        https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jun/17/shattered-records-climate-change-emergency-today-scientists-warn?CMP=share_btn_fb

        >>>>>>>>>>Furthermore, there may be more to the record-breaking series than meets the eye. “There is something more going on than the usual global warming trend and El Niño, because in the past El Niño has led to single years breaking records, but it has not caused several years in a row to break records,” says Rahmstorf.
        “There is some unexplained part to this and it is concerning, because we don’t understand it and it is hotter than expected,” he says. “I hope the data coming in the next six months or so will bring us some important clues.”<<<<<<<<<

        Reply
  22. Cate

     /  June 17, 2016

    A study shows that milder winters and longer growing seasons may have a beneficial effect on the boreal forest of Quebec and other regions in eastern Canada.

    >>>>>>>>….the study predicts that between 2041 and 2070, based on median climate warming projections, about 70 per cent of Quebec black spruce trees between the 49th and 52nd parallels should grow better than they do now. They could also spread north..However, he cautioned that the study only looked at the trees’ direct response to higher temperatures and drier conditions and not the impact of side-effects of climate change such as an increase in forest fires and insect outbreaks: “These could really change the portrait.” <<<<

    Wildfire, disease and insect infestations have always taken a toll on the eastern Canadian boreal, and climate change may well exacerbate conditions for these events. We also need to ensure that deforestation and clear-cutting are everywhere replaced by responsible and sustainable methods of tree-harvesting and by robust reforestation practices.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/black-spruce-climate-1.3639022?cmp=rss

    Reply
  23. Cate

     /  June 17, 2016

    File under: climate change, species range, and the local economy

    Like the eastern-seaboard lobsters that are migrating north, mackerel—an important pelagic species—are doing the same.

    First seen in Greenland waters in 2011, and never considered an Arctic fish as it dies in waters less than 2C, mackerel now comprises 25% of Greenland’s export income. According to the link, it is the most-fished species in the world and critical to the economy of several Scandinavian and European countries.

    The Greenland Institute of Natural Resources: “We have mapped the occurrence of mackerel in Greenland, and we more or less found them everywhere in the mid-summer. We found the largest quantities in warmer waters at a temperature of more than 8.5 degrees C.”

    http://cphpost.dk/news/climate-change-spurs-mackerel-migration-to-greenland.html

    Reply
  24. June

     /  June 17, 2016

    Today is World Day to Combat Desertification. The theme is “Protect Earth. Restore Land. Engage People”.

    Soil Degradation Threatens Nutrition in Latin America

    http://www.ipsnews.net/2016/06/soil-degradation-threatens-nutrition-in-latin-america/

    Reply
  25. June

     /  June 17, 2016

    “Clean energy for poorest starved of investment: researchers”

    Only a tiny fraction of climate change funding is going into small-scale solar, biogas and other off-grid systems that may be the best way to get power to the world’s poorest, researchers say…The IIED paper said most public climate finance is going to large-scale energy projects in high and middle-income countries.

    Larger donors should focus more on supporting off-grid energy besides expanding power grids, and measure the benefits of decentralized energy projects in terms of their social impact, not just the amount of emissions avoided, she said.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-energy-renewables-aid-idUSKCN0Z30ZA?feedType=RSS&feedName=environmentNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A%20reuters/environment%20%28News%20/%20US%20/%20Environment%29

    Reply
  26. Greg

     /  June 17, 2016

    Is it just me or are shelf clouds and rolling clouds showing up in greater and greater abundance? I can’t find anything online to quantify.

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  June 17, 2016

      I’ve noticed more photos of roll and shelf clouds in my newsfeed too, but put it down to that old phenom that when something comes to your attention, all of a sudden you see it everywhere.

      I’m sure that this phenomenon has a name and that someone here knows it.😀

      Reply
  27. Not certain if there’s been one. Shelf clouds are formed by the leading cold air down-draft in front of a powerful convective (usually a storm) formation. Since climate change increases the potential convective intensity of storms, I’d think that we’d tend to see these and other related formations more often.

    Reply
  28. – SB fire now at 4000 acres.

    Reply
  29. Reply
  30. Photo of making changes:

    Reply
  31. – Indian Ocean:

    Reply
  32. – The Guardian:

    Seven climate records set so far in 2016

    From soaring temperatures in Alaska and India to Arctic sea ice melting and CO2 concentrations rising, this year is smashing records around the world

    The Arctic had its warmest winter on record in 2015-16
    Since October every month has been the hottest on record
    India’s hottest day
    Carbon dioxide levels forecast to pass 400ppm
    Australia, and four of its seven states and territories, recorded its warmest autumn on record in 2016
    2016 has seen mass bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jun/17/seven-climate-records-set-so-far-in-2016

    Reply
  33. – Evaporation/heat – Lake Mead – Something I’ve alluded to recently in the context of intense heat wave now forming.

    Why drought alone does not explain Lake Mead’s expanding bathtub ring

    So why is Lake Mead continuing to decline? The giant storage reservoir, located near Las Vegas, in May dropped to its lowest level since 1937, the year after Hoover Dam was completed.

    “Drought” is the usual answer. “Over-appropriation” is another. But an increasing body of evidence points to a more complicated story: the water is literally going up into the air.

    That’s the thesis of Brad Udall, a senior water and climate scientist at the Colorado Water Research Institute. “Climate change is water change,” he said in a presentation at the Martz water conference held last week at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

    “What is making these droughts so much worse?” he asked. Rising temperatures, he answered. Rising temperatures increase the evapo-transpiration rate. Things get hotter, and more water evaporates. It gets hotter, and planets need more water.

    “It’s really pretty simple,” he said.

    http://mountaintownnews.net/2016/06/15/causes-lake-meads-expanding-bathtub-ring/

    Reply
    • Shawn Redmond

       /  June 18, 2016

      Since the late nineties I’ve watched and questioned the older folks about the drying I’ve seen. No one had an answer for what I was seeing or a comparison. The old trail that was used in my grandparents day to get to the city of Halifax N.S. from St. Margarets Bay and the trail I used my whole life,and still do, to get to a great little fishing spot dries up after to days of sun in April. When I was younger through the sixties and on up it was June/July before the mud and water disappeared. It was rubber boots at least till mid June. Now since 2000 no big puddles after a couple of days of sun, not overly warm either. You can do the four kilometre walk in low cut hiking boots or even runners! I has been this way now for the better part of two decades. Even after a big rain event that floods the trial in spots is gone after a couple of days of dry weather. So moisture loss has been increasing for awhile from my vantage point.

      Reply
  34. – India – Drought stressed humanity:

    Drought Selfies and Drought Suicides

    MUMBAI, India — When 2-year-old Rutuja playfully tipped over a bottle, spilling water onto the mud floor of the family’s shack, her mother, Nageshwari Rathore, let loose a screech, lunging forward as though to slap the toddler. Ms. Rathore stopped herself, sinking her head into her hands. “You finished it,” she whispered.

    The loss wrenched at the 25-year-old. That June morning she had stood in line in the scorching heat for over an hour to collect five liters of water. A government tanker rolls up once a day to the abandoned field where she now lives.

    Located in Ghatkopar, a Mumbai suburb, the field functions as a relief camp for 350 families who have left their villages in rural Maharashtra because of a drought, the worst in 100 years. Wild pigs root through the open sewer that runs alongside the Rathores’ tarpaulin shack. When the monsoon arrives, possibly in the next few days, it will flood the camp and force the family out.

    Over 330 million Indians — about one quarter of the country’s population — have been affected by the drought. In this western state, where over half the population is dependent on the rural economy, the effects are severe. An average of nearly nine farmers committed suicide every day last year, primarily over debt related to crop failure.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/18/opinion/sunday/drought-selfies-and-drought-suicides.html

    Reply
  35. Greg

     /  June 17, 2016

    A Fully Charged (England) review of an ATV (Quad) electric on a solar farm in Devonshire. One more chink in the ICE paradigm. A quiet efficient working and recreational vehicle. Add this to the Semi truck review earlier…

    Reply
  36. Reply
  37. Reply
  38. – USA – Politics – Democratic Platform Committee – Climate

    Published on Jun 17, 2016

    Bill McKibben and Michael Mann at the DNC Platform Committee (6/17/16)

    McKibben And Panelist Agree On Keeping 80 Percent Of Fossil Fuels In The Ground

    Reply
  39. Melt ponds suggest no Arctic sea-ice record this year

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36560548

    Reply
  40. Josh

     /  June 17, 2016

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36560548

    “Melt ponds suggest no Arctic sea-ice record this year”

    This seemingly informative article manages to not mention any negatives of the hugely warmed arctic, and ends with the following lines:

    “There is no doubt having better models for sea-ice forecasts would be useful to many sectors.

    Shipping, tourism and oil industries – all are looking to exploit the opportunities that will emerge in an Arctic that is expected to become more open in a warming climate.

    “For many stakeholders – they’re not so much interested in the amount of ice in total; rather, they are interested in the amount of ice where they happen to be. So, it’s the spatial variation that’s of interest and that’s something we’re working on as well and hope to improve for the future,” said Prof Feltham.”

    Its not that its incorrect, its the overall picture the BBC manages to give that really irritates me. I used to think they were unbiased. Now they barely cover climate change. The comparison to a more responsible source like The Guardian very notable.

    Reply
    • Josh

       /  June 17, 2016

      Essentially, “don’t worry the arctic isn’t THAT bad. Plus there’s oil there!”

      Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  June 18, 2016

      Josh, the BBC is the State propaganda unit of the UK ruling class. To work for the BBC you have to be Rightwing, from the ‘Right’ social background, preferably Oxbridge educated, and an adherent to Rightwing Groupthink eg hatred of ‘evil Putin’, the Chinese ‘Yellow Peril’, the mad mullahs of Iran etc, and, crucially, utter disinterest in the environmental crisis of crises. Any attempt to address climate destabilisation would interfere with ‘business’, the Right’s God. Every good BBC presstitute knows that, and acts accordingly. Outright denial is the norm for the Rightwing UK MSM, but that might be too ‘vulgar’ for the Beeb, so they, as you have observed, simply ignore it.

      Reply

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