The Increasingly Dangerous Hothouse — Local Reports Show It Felt Like 160 F (71 C) in India on June 13th, 2016

The climate change induced delay of India’s monsoon is a pretty big deal. Not only does it reduce the amount of moisture — necessary for the provision of life-giving crops for this country of 1.2 billion — provided by the annual rains, it also increases the potential for life threatening heatwave conditions. And according to local reports, some of the highest heat index values ever recorded on the face of the Earth were seen in Bhubaneswar, India during a period of record heat and high humidity as the Asian Monsoon struggled to advance.

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The Indian province of Odisha sweltered under high heat and humidity that may well have represented the most miserable conditions ever recorded on Earth at any time or place on June 12th and 13th of 2016. Cooling monsoonal rains should have arrived over this eastern section along the Bay of Bengal by that time. But this year, the rains were delayed by about a week and were still about 5 days away. The heat was firmly entrenched. A great wall that seemed to fend the monsoon off.

India Monsoon 2016

(The India Monsoon is finally starting to catch up. After being delayed by 1-2 weeks during early June, the monsoon is now on time for some locations even as it still delayed by 5-7 days for parts of western India. The early June delay, however, has probably lowered overall moisture content of the monsoon even as it contributed to record heat index and wet bulb readings for sections of Odisha on June 12 to 13. Image source: India Meteorological Department.)

As the frontal edge of the monsoonal flow began to run into a region of high temperatures over Odisha, humidity levels spiked even as temperatures remained high. On the 12th and 13th of June, 2016, thermometers topped out at between 101 F (38 C) and 109 F (43 C) even as humidity levels rose. This combination generated a spike in what is called the Misery Index (or an indicator of how hot if felt to be outside). And it also, apparently, pushed wet bulb temperatures in some areas to record levels for any place on Earth.

Wet Bulb at 38 C?

For an unconfirmed report out of Bhubaneswar indicates that temperatures on June 13th hit 103.5 F (39.7 C) even as relative humidity readings were at 87 percent. That’s a wet bulb reading of 37.6 C. And if this report is true, that means it felt like 160 degrees Fahrenheit or 71 degrees Celsius for a brief period in Bhubaneswar that day. If so, this would be near the highest Misery Index value ever recorded on the planet — just a hair below last year’s peak measure in Iraq of a 163 F or 73 C heat index (38.4 C wet bulb) reading. And outright crushing periods during 2015 when India’s wet bulb measures in Andhra Pradesh hit 30 C.

image

(According to Earth Nullschool, it felt like 41 to 54 C [104 to 127 F] outside over Eastern India on June 12th and 13th of 2016 due to combined high levels of heat and humidity. Local reports from Bhubaneswar indicate that this Misery Index hit a stunning 71 C [160 F] on June 13th. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

A wet bulb measure is a kind of thermometer for latent heat in the atmosphere. It uses a wet bladder to measure the temperature of a membrane at the point at which water evaporates. It’s meant to simulate the lowest temperature the human skin can reach through evaporative cooling as the body sweats. The higher the combined heat and humidity, the higher the wet bulb temperature and the hotter it feels. We’ve all experienced this when stepping outside on a day during which both the temperature and humidity are high. And we intuitively know that it’s the combination of heat and atmospheric moisture that makes hot days feel even more oppressive.

It’s a combo that’s also dangerous to human health. At a certain point, the human body becomes unable to cool itself by sweating. And this level of latent heat at which the human body becomes incapable of transporting heat away from the skin is a wet bulb reading of 35 degrees Celsius.

Wet bulb readings do not need to hit 35 C to risk loss of life and heat injury. Wet bulbs above 25 C are considered dangerous and readings for extended periods near 30 C have resulted in mass injury and loss of life in places like Europe during the early 2000s, in Chicago during 1995 and in India during 2015 and 2016. However, exceeding wet bulb readings of 35 C over extended periods of time is an extraordinarily dangerous event. It’s also a new hazard related to human caused climate change. For last year was the first time a wet bulb reading above 35 C was ever recorded on the face of the Earth. And the 2016 37.6 C wet bulb reading for Bhubaneswar, if it bears out, is an extraordinary measure.

Readings this high over large regions over any extended period would make staying outdoors without access to cool water or climate controlled environments unlivable for human beings. And a human forced warming of the world by fossil fuel burning appears to now be in the process of bringing those conditions about. A condition of dangerous added latent heat to the atmosphere that has caused some scientists to sound the alarm that a global hothouse emergency is already upon us. And that unless a massive curtailment of fossil fuel burning takes place soon — large sections of the Earth’s surface will be rendered uninhabitable to human beings due to atmospheric latent heat content alone.

For as ocean surface temperatures rise, more moisture is pumped into the atmosphere in the form of humidity. This extra humidity hits regions of airs that have already been warmed to much higher readings by the over-burden of heat trapping gasses, like CO2, in the atmosphere. The result is a higher latent heat content of the airs of the Earth, and the breaching of wet bulb readings that are deadly to human beings who lack access to climate controlled environments.

UPDATED 11:00 PM EST, June 21

Links:

India Meteorological Department

Odisha Sizzles Under High Heat and Humidity

Odisha Continues to Sizzle Under Heat Wave

Earth Nullschool

Understanding Wet Bulb Temperatures

Dr. James Hansen: We Have a Global Emergency

Hat tip to Wili

Hat tip to Colorado Bob

Hat tip to Scott

Leave a comment

127 Comments

  1. – North America’s topsy turvy N to S temps.

    Michael Ventrice ‏@MJVentrice 21m21 minutes ago

    MIA is even cooler than some of the cities up in northern Canada

    Reply
  2. wili

     /  June 21, 2016

    Thanks for the hat tip.

    We are indeed now in a fundamentally more hostile world for human habitation. This, to me is a really major milestone. It may be now that we will have a couple years without breaking this barrier again, but there is basically no chance now that we won’t have more and more places in the years and decades to come going further and further beyond this deadly limit for longer and longer.

    We have made the planet in a very fundamental and basic way more hostile to human habitation that it has been since before humans evolved.

    It’s hard to find words to get across what this actually means in the deepest sense, though robert does manage to cobble most of the right ones together in the right order most of the time!

    Reply
    • Thanks for bringing it to my attention, Wili. The original post appeared to have the gist of it. But their dates and numbers were a bit off, so I didn’t cite it. The Bhudeswar numbers remain unconfirmed, so we should be cautious for now. Though it does fit into the larger trend.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  June 21, 2016

        Thanks for your always meticulous fact checking! Do you think we will see more of these above-35-C wbt’s this year? Do you think that they will now be a permanent feature every year going forward? Or perhaps we’ll have a few years coming up with no such reports as El Nino fades?

        I just find this a particularly grim turning point, myself.

        Reply
        • So what we appear to be experiencing now are brief and isolated instances. I think we’ll tend to see then here and there on about a once or twice per yearly basis over the next 5-10 years. What we should be looking for is the big new version of the heatwave that will generate WBT over a large region in the range of 35 C over extended periods of time. That would be a very serious event.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  June 22, 2016

      Speaking of ‘hostility’ to human existence, after nearly 100, reported, deaths from lightning in India this week, one Indian farmer leader declared that a storm he had witnessed was so electrically intense that it was like ‘..a war in the sky’. Has there been much work done on just how much more intense electric storms may become, the effects on human life, and any ‘interesting’ (as in ‘May you live in interesting times’)speculations about as yet unknown consequences of a more electrically charged and active atmosphere?

      Reply
  3. This is a heck of a lot of weird weather! I’m going to have to reblog this and the previous two posts as blurbs today (if I can) or tomorrow at one of my blogs, 2016 Is Strange! There’s so much now, I can’t keep up!

    Reply
  4. climatehawk1

     /  June 21, 2016

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  5. Vic

     /  June 21, 2016

    And a little closer to home for some, wet bulb temps nudging 35C in southern US today.

    Reply
  6. Vic

     /  June 21, 2016

    Ludovico Einaudi performs an original piece “Elegy for the Arctic” against the backdrop of the Wahlenbergbreen glacier (in Svalbard, Norway) on June 17 2016.

    Reply
  7. USA – Another cause to worry with Republicans in control of US Congress.

    Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  June 22, 2016

      This insanity is a phenomenon known at its worst in the Anglosphere states, where the ruling elites are plainly insane. But they intend imposing it on the rest of the, relatively sane, world, through ‘Surrender of Sovereignty’ Treaties like the TPP, TTIP and TiSA. The next ten years will decide the fate of humanity.

      Reply
      • Transfer of civil power to corporate power. Privatization via deregulation is a huge conflict of interest. This man’s got it written all over everything he says.

        Just think of him as a door to door salesman for the corps offering this or that piece of America up for sale and you’ve got him defined to a T.

        Reply
      • Not just America, but the whole planet! Morris Berman predicted this would happen in Twighlight of American Culture in 2000. He also predicted then that Capitalist Culture and the Capitalist System is too strong to overcome but will collapse of its own about 2040 or 2050. Just in time for really, really, really dangerous climate change, the kind that will destroy current day human living arrangements, utterly.

        Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  June 22, 2016

        Ed-M, the collapse will come much sooner than 2040. The Trump and Brexit phenomena are signs that the plebs are waking up to the ‘neo-liberal’ con-game after forty disastrous years of deliberately contrived increases in wealth for the few, poverty for the many and inequality. The answers from the ruling elite, ie the Clinton ascension and the hysteria of the entire Trans-Atlantic elite to intimidate the British into voting for EU-run neo-feudalism, and the total takeover by the corporate power of society (Mussolini’s definition of fascism)through the TPP, TTIP, TiSA etc, signal that they will not and cannot change course. Once the serfs awaken to the climate cataclysm, which must be near, despite the total corporate MSM propaganda to deny or ignore it, there will be a social explosion unprecedented in history, and, as far as I’m concerned, it will be humanity’s last hope. A faint hope, but better than Business As Usual which is the road to perdition.

        Reply
        • Hope you’re right, Mulga. But in the USA? I don’t see it, but rather Americans as a whole egging on the US Military stomping every flame of the revolution down. (I’m reading Morris Berman right now).

          Another way collapse of capitalism could come early — Trump and Brexit win, the elites could engineer a financial collapse in the UK and the USA.

          Or: Peak Oil, Coal, and Fossil Fuels could bring down the economy due to affordability issues: that is, the fossil fuel extraction companies can’t extract the stuff and sell it a price the people could afford AND break even, let alone make a profit.

          Or: WORLD WAR III, which is the Apocalypse and Near Term Extinction (omnibiocide).

          Or: The financial elites screw up again, only to find out the Governments cannot and the people WILL NOT bail them out.

        • If we keep burning fossil fuels long enough to get to peak oil, coal, and gas, then our goose is cooked…

          For my part, I see climate change as an enabling factor for global conflict, mass migration, and income inequality. So it feeds into many of the other things you mention here.

        • “If we keep burning fossil fuels long enough to get to peak oil, coal, and gas, then our goose is cooked…”

          Exactly! When you talk about peak oil, coal and natural gas with only geological constraints as the limiting factor. But I think we will hit those peaks long before then due to economic constraints because capitalism does NOT like to lose money!

        • Legacy assets, Ed. If you’re being realistic, you’ll already see that those invested in coal, oil, and gas are fighting a market dominance game that doesn’t have anything at all to do with keeping the cost of energy low. And capitalism, or better termed market dominance, in this form isn’t at all about low cost energy. It’s about monopolization, keeping consumers captive to a limited source that makes it all too easy to keep prices high and jack up a profit.

          If consumers remain captive to fossil fuels, the cost doesn’t matter. 2008 proved that. The cost went up, and the new, harder to reach reserves were accessed. And peak oil, gas, and coal were again rolled back as they would be with each new shock and each new period of extraction innovation.

          Now, some companies can frack at a profit at 45 dollars per barrel or lower. Now, Canada can produce tar sands at a profit at 50 dollars per barrel or lower. Just the proven reserves on the books alone is THREE TIMES THE AMOUNT NEEDED TO HIT 2 C this century.

          Ed, you need to pay attention to what’s really happening. Peak oil, as you’ve described it is a myth.

        • Now, some companies can frack at a profit at 45 dollars per barrel or lower. Now, Canada can produce tar sands at a profit at 50 dollars per barrel or lower. Just the proven reserves on the books alone is THREE TIMES THE AMOUNT NEEDED TO HIT 2 C this century.

          Yes, but are they selling it fast enough to cause the price to go back up into the stratosphere (2014) or even the ionosphere (2008)? No they are not. Not yet, anyway. This is the period when newer technologies are put on hold until prices go way back up.

          At any rate, I do not think even half of those proven reserves will be extracted this century. Peak Demand will see to that. Either because of affordability issues and declining ROI with increased technology sooner, or because of the coming global superstorms later ca 2050 or so, either cause initiating The Five Stages of Collapse. If we get the earlier cause, the Collapse won’t be so bad. History is absolutely clear on this!

          And don’t count on the American People as a whole to flock to our side.

          If you want to change things, find someone who has the ears of big business and big finance. That’s the only way business and the American culture of convenience are going to change.

        • “If you want to change things, find someone who has the ears of big business and big finance. That’s the only way business and the American culture of convenience are going to change.”

          That’s one reason I strongly support the divestment campaign and other efforts to point out that fossil fuel investors are ultimately going to get screwed. No one, not even a loony climate science denier, wants to get left holding the bag (stock in these idiot rogue companies) when their “assets” can no longer be used.

  8. Colorado Bob

     /  June 21, 2016

    India’s Drought Is Wreaking Havoc on Its Reservoirs

    https://weather.com/climate-weather/drought/news/india-reservoirs-down-nasa-photos

    Reply
  9. – USA – Weather predictions lagging behind?

    – Cliff Mass Weather Blog
    Bits from:
    U.S. Numerical Weather Prediction is Falling Further Behind: What is Wrong and How Can It Be Fixed Quickly?

    … the latest forecast statistics reveal an unfortunate truth: U.S. operational weather prediction, located in NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS), is progressively falling behind the leaders in the field. Even worse, a private sector firm, using the National Weather Service’s own global model, is producing superior forecasts.

    A private sector firm, Panasonic, has gone into the global weather prediction business using the US global model (GFS) as a starting point. Panasonic scientists have worked on fixing some of the obvious weaknesses in the U.S. modeling system and report they have dramatically improved the forecasts over National Weather Service performance (GFS model). They claim that their forecasts are not only better than the official US GFS model, but nearly equal to that of the vaunted ECMWF.
    The US Air Force has abandoned the US GFS model, saying that it was inferior to the UKMET office model, which the AF will switch to.

    So the National Weather Service’s global model is falling behind international leaders AND a private sector firm starting with the same NWS model. Even the US military is abandoning it. Can it get any worse?

    It can. The U.S. Congress gave the National Weather Service tens of millions of dollars for superb new computers, two CRAY XC-40s: one used for operations, and the other for development and backup. Unfortunately, the operational computer is only being lightly used, with its vast capacity not being applied effectively to make critically needed improvements in U.S. NWP.

    http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/

    Reply
    • From the article:

      “The National Weather Service is about to make a critical decision regarding the replacement of its out-of-date GFS global weather prediction model. And this decision is a huge one, deciding the fate of US global weather prediction for the next several decades.

      As noted above, this decision is part of a process called NGGPS and has been an attempt to rationally decide on the guts of the next US global model, something called its dynamical core. After testing a number of candidates, the choice is down to two.

      The first is the MPAS model, developed by the National Center for Atmospheric Research, a consortium of US universities involved in atmospheric research. The second is the FV-3 model developed by the NOAA/NWS GFDL laboratory. As I have described in a previous blog, the clear choice is MPAS for many reasons.

      MPAS uses an innovative geometry (hexagonal grid) that solves age-old model problems at the poles, while FV-3 uses a more traditional grid geometry. MPAS uses a superior grid structure (the “C” grid) that will produce far better high-resolution predictions than the problematic “D” grid of FV-3. And moving to high resolution is where global prediction is going.

      MPAS allows local refinement of resolution without adding additional “nested grids”, as shown by the figure below. And MPAS’ superior numerics offer better inherent resolution for a particular grid spacing, so one can run with coarser grids than FV-3 and secure equally good results (which reduces computer demands).

      But there is something that goes beyond grids and model numerics. Something even more important. By picking MPAS, the National Weather Service will combine efforts with the huge US atmospheric sciences research community, with that community’s model innovations (including physics and data assimilation) flowing into the National Weather Service. The isolation of NWS global prediction efforts would end.

      But it is better than that. NWS research dollars could then help support global model research efforts that benefit both the operational and research communities. Other entities, such as the National Science Foundation, would able to help support research and development as well that would, in turn, improve operational skill, and hopefully a resurgent US global model, will bring the Air Force back into the fold.”

      It’s good to see the NWS is moving ahead with model improvement. The GFS has lagged behind other models for some time and the Panasonic proprietary weather data drive is rather disturbing to say the least. Good luck to everyone involved.

      Reply
      • – Thanks, Robert.
        I had a feeling you could round out the various parameters. ( I was counting on it.)🙂

        – Am frequently impressed with various GFS, etc data/graphics. Many are very lay user friendly — some are rather dense with equations without many cues.

        Reply
  10. – Supermarkets
    Trader Joe’s reaches settlement over Clean Air Act violation claims

    Grocery chain agrees to reduce leakage of hydrochlorofluorocarbons and pay $500,000 fine after US officials claim it did not promptly repair refrigerators

    Trader Joe’s agreed on Tuesday to reduce its stores’ greenhouse gas emissions and pay a $500,000 penalty to settle claims from the federal government that the grocery chain had violated the Clean Air Act.

    US officials alleged that the company did not promptly repair leaks of a hydrochlorofluorocarbon that the chain used as a coolant in its stores’ refrigerators. Hydrochlorofluorocarbons are an ozone-depleting substance and a potent greenhouse gas which contributes to global warming. The federal complaint also said the company had not kept adequate records of refrigerator repairs.

    “Some of the refrigerants now in use by Trader Joe’s are up to 4,700 times more potent than carbon dioxide,” said Alexis Strauss, an EPA official, in a statement. “Today’s settlement will affect all of Trader Joe’s current and new stores to prevent the release of approximately 31,000 metric tons of carbon-equivalent greenhouse gases.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jun/21/trader-joes-clean-air-act-settlement

    Reply
  11. Robert Speta ‏@robertspeta 56m56 minutes ago

    Another morning of torrential rainfall in western Japan. Nagasaki just reported 135mm in 1hr

    Reply
  12. – The ‘Aqueduct Project’

    Measuring, mapping and understanding water risks around the globe.

    Aqueduct’s global water risk mapping tool helps companies, investors, governments, and other users understand where and how water risks and opportunities are emerging worldwide.

    Map: Flood Analyzer
    Map: Shale Resources and Water Risks

    Reply
  13. Colorado Bob

     /  June 21, 2016

    ‘Coral zombies’ may spell doom for coral reefs around world

    Scientists have known for a while that coral reefs around the world are dying, and in a worst-case scenario they were counting on large, healthy-looking corals to repopulate.

    But a new study presented at the 13th International Coral Reef Symposium in Honolulu today shows that these seemingly healthy colonies are “Coral Zombies” with no reproductive ability, which makes them useless in a recovery effort.

    “It’s pretty discouraging,” said University of Central Florida biologist John E. Fauth, one of the researchers who sampled 34 sites across the Caribbean for the study. “This is not good news.”

    Read more at: Link

    Reply
    • Thanks for this, Bob. Looks like the NWT is starting to light off as well.

      Reply
    • Tesla is moving to acquire Solar City. Vehicle + Solar is a huge strategic advantage. You’ve got your storage system in the vehicle and can handle intermittency when the car is at home in the late afternoon (storage) and evening (nightime battery discharge). For reference one Tesla Model S EV battery pack can power a home for a week or more.

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  June 22, 2016

        Saw this and was going to post. Beat me to it. Described as first vertically integrated renewable energy company. Apple also has formed energy division. Lots of moving and shaking going on in this space.

        Reply
  14. Jay M

     /  June 22, 2016

    More moisture developing in south Algeria. This is well south of the Atlas Mts. so don’t know if it is a typical summertime pattern.

    Reply
  15. Paul

     /  June 22, 2016

    Robert, I was just wondering if you meant to reference the 1995 Chicago heat wave instead of referencing 1985 in paragraph 7.

    I really like your web site. I’ve been regularly visiting this site for about a year and a half (this is my first comment) and I’ve been very impressed by your knowledge about climate change. Please keep up the great work.

    Reply
  16. man oh man. People there are going to need a lot of air conditioning!

    Reply
  17. Scott

     /  June 22, 2016

    Thank you for the Hat Tip. I always learn here, and I appreciate you and this community. I’m always pleased to contribute a little something when I can.

    Reply
    • There’s a lot of information shared here. Making connections — that’s what it takes to understand the context. For my part, I really appreciate what everyone does here, the way everyone adds to the conversation.

      Reply
  18. June

     /  June 22, 2016

    “Opinion: The case for a child-centered energy and climate policy”

    “There’s no question that reducing our dependence on fossil fuels would achieve highly significant health and economic benefits for children worldwide, both immediately and well into the future – vastly improving the health and well being of generations to come. Knowing this, we have a moral imperative to enact child-centered energy and climate policies that address the full array of physical and psychosocial stressors to which children are subjected due to fossil fuel combustion.”

    http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2016/june/opinion-the-case-for-a-child-centered-energy-and-climate-policy

    Reply
    • Thanks for this, June. Failing to transition away from fossil fuels is really leaving our kids to the wolves in the worst kind of way.

      Reply
  19. daddyjames

     /  June 22, 2016

    Not sure if you got my previous comment? It appears as if you may have made a slight calculation error. You cannot have a wet bulb temperature higher than the dry bulb temperature.

    For an unconfirmed report out of Bhubaneswar indicates that temperatures on June 13th hit 103.5 F (39.7 C) even as relative humidity readings were at 87 percent. That’s a wet bulb reading of 41 C.

    The wet bulb reading would be (based upon an assumed pressure of 1020 mb: ~ 37.56 C.

    Although this is alarmingly high, and potentially lethal, it does not beat the mark set last year.

    Here is where I did the calculation: https://www.easycalculation.com/weather/dewpoint-wetbulb-calculator.php

    I used 39.7 C, 1020 mb, and 87% RH as inputs.

    I would hope that you correct the statement. Mistakes can be made. If you would like to email me to receive assurances that I am not a troll (I am not) feel free to do so.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the fact check. The fix is in.

      Reply
      • Josh

         /  June 22, 2016

        Hi Robert,

        If you don’t mind another small correction I think the 41c figure is still present here:

        “And the 2016 41 C wet bulb reading for Bhubaneswar, if it bears out, is an extraordinary measure.”

        Thanks so much for the great work you’re doing here.

        Reply
      • Further corrections made…

        Reply
    • Unfortunately it appears that the wet bulb calculator I used was on the fritz. That said, should have noticed wet bulb higher than dry bulb which is a physical impossibility.

      Will be scratching this link off my tools list:

      http://www.the-snowman.com/wetbulb2.html

      Reply
      • wili

         /  June 22, 2016

        That seems to be only for very low temperatures (note ‘snow’ in the title–it’s for people using snow makers). So, yeah, not useful above freezing or so. Still, I’m not sure why it wbt would be higher than dbt at those temps. So, yeah, maybe it’s just broken.

        Reply
  20. There were deadly heat waves in 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, . . during the “warming hiatus years” after the 1997 El Nino. Even if we have another period of warming hiatus, we could have deadly heat waves. We should expect (and plan for) heat waves that are more intense than the heat waves in the last set of warming hiatus years.

    It does not matter if the heat waves are isolated, if you happen to be in such a heat wave. At wet bulb temps of 30 C, all kinds of mechanical systems can fail with very little warning.

    It was ~ 30C (wet bulb) day and night, and we were in a tin shed with only 3 walls. They (UAE Air Force) issued us a little hand towel. Day after day transport aircraft landed, and were unable to leave. I keep the towel to remind me that no matter how bad things are, they can always get worse.

    Reply
    • The impact of a heatwave is a function of its duration, its peak intensity, its overall intensity over its duration, and its geographical extent.

      The Chicago heatwave was relatively isolated but lasted for a period of 5 days and resulted in 739 deaths. The European Heatwave of 2003 covered much of France, parts of Germany, England, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Luxembourg, Switzerland and parts of the Balkans. It lasted from June through August and resulted in 70,000 deaths. Duration, intensity, geographic scope and availability of cool water and cool environments are all contributing or mitigating factors for these events.

      We are looking at worsening heatwaves through both increasing heatwave duration, increasing the period during daylight when high temperatures occur, increasing night-time temperatures (rising at faster rates than daytime temperatures), and increasing geographic scope.

      It’s worth noting that the European heatwave and the Chicago heatwave featured wet bulbs in the low 30s C that did not hit or exceed 35 C. The Indian heatwave last year which resulted in 2500 deaths (approx) had similar peaks near 30 C. We have not seen a 35 C + wet bulb heatwave that has taken in even a single location for more than a very brief period. When these things start to hit a large geographic extent and a longer duration, we’ll know it. Hospitals will get swamped.

      Reply
  21. Vic

     /  June 22, 2016

    Like the proverbial rats deserting the sinking ship, the Russian government is seeking buyers for a 19.5% share in Rosneft OJSC, the government owned oil producer that pumps more crude the Exxon Mobil.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-19/putin-said-to-weigh-11-billion-rosneft-sale-to-china-and-india

    Reply
  22. great post

    Reply
  23. – USA – CA – 100 yrs drought record.
    California Climate Division 6 – The So Cal Bight – Population wise = Santa Barbara to San Diego

    Zack Labe ‏@ZLabe

    A different visualization to reiterate the severity of the #drought in coastal #SoCal (Division 6) vs last 100 years

    Reply
  24. Greg

     /  June 22, 2016

    Another iconic image to add to the growing pile. Smoke from wildfires burning in Angeles National Forest fills the sky behind the Los Angeles skyline on Monday, June 20, 2016:

    Reply
  25. Please note my radio program on the Indian heat wave, with 3 experts, including the current Secretary for climate, monsoons and meteorology for India, here:
    http://www.ecoshock.org/2016/06/record-heat-india-pakistan.html

    Reply
  26. Colorado Bob

     /  June 22, 2016

    Watch 6,000 Years of Urbanization in 3 Minutes

    Max Galka at Metrocosm has taken the most comprehensive dataset on cities and made it come alive in a new video.

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  June 22, 2016

      Thank you for that, Bob. We’ve exploded across the planet in recent years like a major infestation.

      Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  June 22, 2016

      Thanks for the history lesson. CB. Reminds me of the Cambrian Explosion. On fast rewind.

      Reply
  27. Ryan in New England

     /  June 22, 2016

    Robert, you’ve been doing an amazing job staying on top of events and developing situations. Between your prolific writing, the informative links, and the fantastic comments provided by the community of Scribblers here I find it difficult to keep up (I’ve been really busy in recent weeks). My boss has the radio on at work, so I’ll get a few vague phrases from tie to time about “newsworthy” events such as the current fire near L.A., or the brutal heatwave gripping the Southwest, but if I want to truly understand a situation this is the place I go to. You provide what mainstream news never will, and that is the proper context for everything that gets discussed. Wonderful job, Robert. And thank you so much for all you do🙂

    Reply
    • Promise to keep doing my best for you guys here. As far as I’m concerned, this space wouldn’t be anywhere near as helpful without the posts coming in from people like you, Ryan.

      We’ve got a long haul ahead. Lots of challenges. Lots of hard work. Fighting to make the energy transition happen is a bigger job than abolishing slavery in the US. We’re facing off an economically entrenched and powerful industry that combines oil, gas and coal companies as well as utilities and individuals holding legacy fossil fuel assets.

      In my state of MD, Exelon just acquired PEPCO. Exelon is a contributor to both the Kochs and ALEC and holds both legacy nuclear, coal and gas fired plants. Ironically, Exelon is also a supporting of putting a price on carbon — but primarily due to its large nuclear holdings. In Illinois, Exelon fought against wind energy that was undercutting both nuclear and coal powered generation. Exelon ultimately lost its fight, but its actions remain as a reminder where the incentives lie for a legacy assets utility — in protecting those assets while delaying an energy transition.

      In Maryland, the republican governor Larry Hogan recently vetoed a renewable fuels standard bill that would increase Maryland’s proportion of renewable energy. Though we’re not California, solar panels on houses here are popping up like daisies. This is largely due to positive policy measures and due to a healthy cooperative solar adoption program that bundles solar purchases among numerous homeowners through an RFP process that often reduces the cost of solar acquisition by about 20 percent. You get these instances where ten or twenty solar roofs pop up all at once and the combination of positive policy stance and cooperative installation really makes it a great deal for Maryland homeowners.

      The Maryland legislature has enough votes on the renewable fuels standard to over-ride the governor’s veto. But this will be delayed until the next legislative session later this year, which will create uncertainty in the solar market and generate a number of delays in renewable energy growth for the state. It is not lost on me that governors like Hogan have worked to protect the interests of legacy fossil fuel asset holders like Exelon while working to hamper and delay renewable energy adoption rates. This results in slowed, halted, or reversed rates of carbon emissions cuts. In the end, it results in loss of life, species extinction, and loss of property.

      The conflict ongoing in Maryland is happening everywhere. And it’s one we absolutely have to win if we are going to have any future. The system of special corporate favors for fossil fuel industry provided by politicians in the pockets of these destructive industries has to end. And, in its most basic sense, it’s an endemic corruption that is the greatest barrier of all to renewable energy adoption — not economics, and certainly not the laws of thermodynamics (which are in renewable energy’s favor in pretty much every case). These guys have got to go. We’ve got to push through an energy switch.

      One last point is that cities are starting to mandate solar roofs for every new building constructed. This kind of policy would be a huge benefit. There are about 12 million new buildings constructed in the US each year. And putting a 7 kwh system on the roof of each one would add about 100 GW of solar each year in the US alone. Wrapping the system into new construct reduces overall costs even as it allows homeowners to use a mortgage to finance the system. As a result, the monthly cost of solar systems is greatly reduced.

      Cities adopting these policies also generate economic leverage against the influence and politically corrupting pressures now provided by deregulated and monopoly utilities. Some of whom are captive to a fossil fuel related influence that will ultimately result in the city’s loss due to sea level rise, loss of access to water, a very powerful storm, or any of a number of other harmful impacts related to climate change.

      Reply
      • It’s always the same, isn’t it? Republicans always protect their own — big corporate interests and the interests of the megarich — and to Hell (now literally with AGW) with everybody and everything else.

        Really sad about those surviving coral reefs, BTW.😦

        Reply
  28. Colorado Bob

     /  June 22, 2016

    Since this afternoon seems primed for this –

    Summer Derechos Have a Favored Corridor, New Study Says

    Progressive derechos are those thunderstorm clusters typically forced in the warmer months of the year not by a strong cold front, per se, but rather near a stationary or warm front separating hot, humid air to the south from less hot, still humid air to the north.

    These clusters ingest dry air, helping to produce a collection of damaging downburst winds which race forward over a large area.

    https://www.wunderground.com/news/derechos-summer-climatology-2016

    Reply
  29. Ryan in New England

     /  June 22, 2016

    Robert, just wanted to point something out. From the above post;

    And if this report is true, that means it felt like 160 degrees Fahrenheit or 71 degrees Celsius for a brief period in Bhubaneswar that day. If so, this would be the highest Misery Index value ever recorded on the planet — nearly hitting last year’s peak measure in Iraq of a 163 F or 73 C heat index (38.4 C wet bulb) reading.

    I thought you might want to rephrase, since the 160 (highest ever recorded) is less than 163.
    I’m not trying to be a pain in the butt, or pick apart your writing. One of the reasons I (and many others) respect this blog is because you are always very accurate and never post factually incorrect information, so naturally I thought you would prefer to not have a minor discrepancy between your temps and the way it’s worded. Cheers! 🙂

    Reply
  30. Cate

     /  June 22, 2016

    A Norwegian expert predicts oil will go back up to $100 a barrel within four years, as growing demand outstrips supply. Since this will mean a hike in the price to the consumer, this might sound like a deterrent, but not so. For an oil-producing country like Canada where prosperity is widely believed to hinge on the price of oil, this kind of pricing is cause for rejoicing in the streets: Big Oil’s in his heaven and we’re pumping at $120 like there’s no tomorrow.

    This is denialism at its most pernicious: at the industry level, pretend to the people that nothing has changed, it’s Business As Usual, there’s nowhere to go but up. “The future is bright.”

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/oil-surge-rystad-norwegian-expert-1.3645606

    Reply
    • So these guys have been predicting 100 dollar oil for some time now. And there is reason to believe prices will go back up, But there’s also a lot of resistance. Here in the US, you’ve got frackers chomping at the bit to re-open wells and restart expansion projects. This starts at around 60 to 70 dollars per barrel. Not something to ignore considering the fact that the US fracking boom was the primary factor driving prices down in the first place. Second, you’ve got competition from other forms of energy vs oil like never before. Here in MD, I can purchase E85 fuel for less than the cheapest unleaded gasoline. High fuel efficiency vehicles are growing more and more prolific. And electric vehicles keep capturing more of the global market — especially in places like California and Europe. The result is that higher demand for vehicle transportation is defrayed at the top of the margin by other sources. Third, we still have oil fired and diesel fired fossil fuel electricity generation around the world. This generation is increasingly under fire by far cheaper renewables and is starting to come under fire by solar + storage systems in the marginal markets like Pacific Island states and Australia.

      So resistance to 100 dollar oil is quite high and moving up to 100 dollar oil will inevitably result in increased demand destruction for oil as fuel due to the increased competition described above. I don’t think, this time, there will be too much dancing in the streets by oil execs if and when it does happen.

      Reply
  31. Colorado Bob

     /  June 22, 2016

    Significant humus loss in forests of the Bavarian Alps
    Climate warming to blame for 14 percent humus decline in the Alps

    Link

    Reply
  32. Colorado Bob

     /  June 22, 2016

    Coral reefs facing a hot time and increased bleaching, especially along US coasts
    Hotter-than-normal ocean temperatures continuing for third consecutive year

    Date:
    June 20, 2016
    Source:
    NOAA Headquarters
    Summary:
    A new NOAA outlook shows that many coral reefs across around the world will likely be exposed to higher-than-normal sea temperatures for an unprecedented third year in a row, leading to increased bleaching – and with no signs of stopping. While the bleaching event is global, it will hit the US hard.

    Link

    Reply
    • We’ll have few breaks in the bleaching events now. We’re looking at a case where 1998 El Nino peak global temperatures will become the global average during La Nina events. Though all of this does not necessarily translate to SSTs, it does generate a context in which bleaching is a widespread risk during any single year.

      Reply
  33. wili

     /  June 22, 2016

    I don’t know if this has been linked. It takes a lot to spook tamino, which he seems to be here: https://tamino.wordpress.com/2016/06/15/global-warning/

    “Is the rate of [CO2] rise at least slowing?

    Unfortunately, no. It’s speeding up.”

    And that in spite of claims that emissions rates are slowing or even stabilizing. El Nino doesn’t seem to be enough to account for it. So: Are the emissions reports wrong? Are sinks failing at rather large levels? Are carbon feedbacks kicking in now at measurable levels? Is there some other dynamic going on?

    Reply
    • John McCormick

       /  June 22, 2016

      Wili, Robert has suggested warm oceans are less sink and more source. Quantifying the role of oceans in the CO2 increase rising rapidly will be hard to pin down. I accept Robert’s comment and Mauna Loa readings and ocean temperatures, in the La Nina cycle, may add credence to his conclusion.

      Reply
      • Oh, the “hot soda pop loses it’s fizz” effect, maybe.

        Reply
      • Knocked out my internet. An adversarial climate preventing climate communications.

        Reply
      • There is one thing to clarify here, though. Human carbon emissions haven’t yet really fallen. In 2014 and 2015, they essentially plateaued — AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL EVER RECORDED. They plateaued in a range of 13 billion tons of carbon hitting the air each year. A rate ten times faster than during the PETM and probably faster than during any time in the geological record.

        You’re going to have to draw that down substantially before you’re going to see an impact on the rate of atmospheric CO2 increase. Methane is another matter due to its shorter residence time.

        But you’re kinda fighting the tide right now. Some carbon feedbacks are starting to emerge and the Earth System is not as able to uptake carbon as it was during the 20th Century.

        Reply
      • In other words, a 10 percent cut in global carbon emissions over the next 5 years would be helpful enough to probably marginally move the annual rate of atmospheric CO2 accumulation downward. Doing that would give us an idea of where we are when it comes to global carbon stores and how challenging this Century will actually be for our race. We should have done it in the 80s and 90s. But we’re here now and we owe it to our children to give this our best shot.

        Reply
    • We’ll get a picture of how bad the situation is once the current El Nino fades and we start to enter La Nina conditions. But it is my opinion that the global carbon stores are starting to top off and spilling over and we have generally less wiggle room than in the past. In addition, we are starting to get amplifying feedbacks from various systems around the world. This would tend to happen as the Earth warms. Its basic physics that if you heat a carbon store, then some of that carbon comes back out.

      During El Nino years, we’ve tended to get a global carbon spike due to the fact that the Equatorial Pacific takes in less atmospheric carbon than is typical, due to the fact that heating at the Equator dries land, generating droughts that push more CO2 into the air from the soil, and that wildfires increase in scope. These factors are also factors generally related to human forced warming. In addition, you include the Arctic which is losing its ability to act effectively as a carbon sink and is starting to provide some of its own emissions.

      You don’t need to flip the switch on too many of these systems before you start looking at a steepening curve. And its worth remembering that only a small change in how sunlight hits the Earth at the poles is enough, during the glacial to interglacial transition, to set off geophysical changes that increase global CO2 by 100 ppm and global temperatures by 4-5 C. The human forcing is much stronger and we’ve already warmed the Earth by, on average, about 1 C since the 1880s. That’s a much harder initial kick to the global carbon system than any mere orbital change.

      Reply
  34. Kevin Jones

     /  June 22, 2016

    NSIDC reports Arctic Sea Ice Extent for day 173 at 131,000 sq. km. below day 173 for 2012. (previous record low for date and Sept. minimum) 10.195 million sq. km. now vs. 10.326 million then. .

    Reply
    • Nearly 200K below 2012 in JAXA. For this time of year, that’s a pretty big difference. Big storm has really ripped up the ice in the ESAS and Laptev on through the CAB. Pretty bad representation for June. I’m thinking we had 6-12 foot waves in that large opening north of Siberia under gale force winds over the past 2 days. Not good ice survival conditions.

      Reply
  35. Kevin Jones

     /  June 22, 2016

    An area smaller than Louisiana but larger than Mississippi. (For we Americans’ reference.)

    Reply
  36. Colorado Bob

     /  June 22, 2016

    Cosmopolitan snow algae accelerate melting of Arctic glaciers

    The role of red pigmented snow algae in melting Arctic glaciers has been strongly underestimated, suggests a study to be published in Nature Communications on June 22. White areas covered with snow and ice reflect sunlight; the effect is called albedo. It has been known for quite some time that red pigmented snow algae blooming on icy surfaces darken the surface which in turn leads to less albedo and a higher uptake of heat. The new study by Stefanie Lutz, postdoc at the German Research Centre for Geosciences GFZ and at the University of Leeds, shows a 13 per cent reduction of the albedo over the course of one melting season caused by red-pigmented snow algal blooms.

    Read more at: Link

    Reply
  37. Colorado Bob

     /  June 22, 2016

    Lightning strikes kill at least 90 in India

    New Delhi (CNN)Lightning strikes killed at least 90 people Tuesday in four Indian states as monsoon rains swept across much of the country.
    “Lightning strikes are common during monsoons, but there have been more strikes than usual this year,” said Vyas Ji, principal secretary in Bihar, where a record 57 people died Tuesday from the strikes — the most of any state in the country.

    Link

    Reply
    • You get all that dust particulate during drought. That’s a big enabler of static electricity generation needed for lightning strikes.

      Reply
      • “dust particulate during drought. That’s a big enabler of static electricity generation needed for lightning strikes.” Ditto.

        Reply
  38. Colorado Bob

     /  June 22, 2016

    April, May and June set rainfall records for Houston

    If you’ve spent any time in Houston and the surrounding area this spring and early summer, there’s a good chance you’ve had the opportunity to canoe down a street or were in fear of your car getting flooded.

    That’s because southeast Texas has been getting pounded with nonstop rain. Houston got so much rain, in fact, that April 14 to June 12 were the 60 wettest days on record for the Bayou City.

    According to Alaskan climatologist Brian Brettschneider, Houston received 33.7 inches of rain in the past 60 days.

    The highest previous 60-day total was in 1990, when 30 inches of rainfall was recorded.

    Link

    Reply
  39. Colorado Bob

     /  June 22, 2016

    At least 22 killed, thousands flee in China floods

    BEIJING (China Daily/Asia News Network) – Torrential rain across nine provinces and Chongqing municipality in central and southern areas of China has left 22 people dead, 15 missing and forced tens of thousands from their homes, the authorities said.

    The State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said nearly 268,000 people have been relocated and 324,000ha of crops have been damaged, leading to direct economic losses of 6 billion yuan (S$1.22 billion).

    Link

    Reply
  40. Greg

     /  June 22, 2016

    Another iconic image for the record. Metro station in Robert’s neck of the woods – Washington D.C., former swamp and destined to be returned to Poseidon, June 21:

    Reply
  41. Intense lightning kills at least 93 as monsoon sweeps India:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-23/lightning-kills-at-least-93-as-monsoon-sweeps-india/7535122

    Wow, something like 2500 people are killed in India by lightning every year. I wonder just how unusual this 93 people figure is?

    Reply
    • Order of magnitude more than on a typical day.

      Reply
      • Yeah,

        What freaked me out was the report that the Fort MacMurray fire was generating its own lightning, and that lightning was igniting more fires.

        Increased temperatures mean more atmospheric moisture means more intense storms, and maybe more lightning, as you know.

        I was looking forward to a few quieter years after this El Nino year – but you spoiled it with your post the other day about how polar amplification is becoming more important than El Nino.

        No rest for the wicked – and we’ve been wicked, sad to say.

        Reply
  42. Greg

     /  June 22, 2016

    California closing last nuclear reactor (PG&E proposal) and replacing with efficiencies, renewables and storage:
    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-diablo-canyon-nuclear-20160621-snap-story.html

    Reply
  43. Heatwave in Phoenix area has let up somewhat. Still, we are to have an extreme heat alert until Thursday, June23, at 8 pm. This sounds promising but we still have predicted temps of over 110 for the next ten days or so. So, our extreme heat alert should actually confinue until Tuesday, June 28. Our temps are supposed to bein the 110 to 114 range until June 28. If wè go past that date with 110 + temps we are closeto the record for 18 days in a row 110 degrees and above. Personally, I certainly hope we don’t go over the record. This heat wears you down as is continues.

    Believe it or not, this is a vast improvement over 118 to 119, especially after dark. Pool water after these last 4 days is still refreshing even if it is like bathwater.

    Thanks so much for your blog, Sheri

    Reply
  44. Greg

     /  June 22, 2016

    An interview with a NASA aerospace engineer on the recent breakthroughs in electric motors that are leading to the realization of electric/hybrid aircraft. The aircraft can be completely redesigned around these multiple distributed motors. They now provide 4 HP per lb, the same as a turbine engine but at 95% efficiency versus 45% and with much less noise and no emissions, of course.

    Reply
  45. Greg

     /  June 22, 2016

    Some courage on the U.S. House Floor! A sit-in on gun violence. It’s the same courage needed for climate action.

    Reply
  46. – USA – Cal.
    – To my mind, these minimum lows are very telling of climate change and latitudinal warming.

    Zack Labe ‏@ZLabe 3h3 hours ago

    Widespread record high min temps were broken this week. A look at #CAwx trends in min vs. max temps over last 100+yr

    Reply
  47. USA – Fossil Fuels and Lamar Smith of Texas.

    Reply
  48. Reply
  49. Professor discusses links between climate and security

    LAKESIDE – As the issue of national and global security is once again at the forefront, one expert is discussing just how closely connected it is with another pressing topic, climate change.

    Geoff Dabelko, a professor at Ohio University and director of the school’s environmental studies program, spoke about the subject in a series of presentations at Lakeside on Monday and Tuesday to start the Chautauqua Lecture Series.

    “Part of the challenge on putting these two things together is moving away from our traditional notions of environmentalists as ‘tree huggers’ and military only as a ‘use of force tool’ blowing things up,” Dabelko said.

    Moving away from those “narrow conceptions” of the two is where the discussion should begin, he said, in order to address their role in dealing with the issues of both security and climate.

    http://www.portclintonnewsherald.com/story/news/local/2016/06/21/professor-discusses-links-between-climate-and-security/86181162/

    Reply
  50. – USA – Not a pretty sight this: but be sure it is a common occurrence.
    – Via YouTube News Wire:

    Video shows men dumping barrels of waste into US desert, claiming boss forcing them to do it

    Reply
    • The label on one of the barrels:

      Hocut® 795-H

      Hocut 795-H is the leading biostable soluble oil metal removal fluid used in the Automotive industry. Heavier duty than the Hocut 795, Hocut 795-H machines and grinds cast iron through the hardest steel alloys as well as all grades of Automotive cast aluminum alloys. This boron-, chlorine-, and formaldehyde-free, high-lubricity coolant is clean running, performs exceptionally well in hard water, and provides excellent corrosion protection for both ferrous and aluminum. Low-foaming characteristics make Hocut 795-H an excellent choice for gun drilling and other high-pressure applications.

      http://www.houghtonmetalworking.com/products/metal-removal/water-miscible/soluble-oils/hocut-795-h

      Reply
  51. – Nature – Beautiful – Poetic – 100% Natural:

    Reply
  52. Reply
    • NASA JPL Verified account ‏@NASAJPL 21h21 hours ago

      Space-based view of #SanGabrielComplex Fire

      Reply
  53. Reply
  54. utoutback

     /  June 22, 2016

    “solar plants using photovoltaic technology could account for 8 percent to 30 percent of global electricity produced by 2030.”

    This is not fast enough – but solar is finally being acknowledged as the cheapest electricity of the future. Elon Musk seems to understand this even if his shareholders don’t get it.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-22/solar-power-to-grow-sixfold-as-sun-becoming-cheapest-resource

    Reply
  55. Wow, maybe a little good news, for a change. I guess this has been expected for a long time, though.

    http://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/carbon-dioxide-fertilization-greening-earth

    “From a quarter to half of Earth’s vegetated lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on April 25.”

    So, this will likely help retard the growth of CO2 levels, at least some.

    But wildfires are increasing, too.

    Looked at a different way, we’ve bounced right past 400 ppm atmospheric CO2, even while this greening effect was going on, all along. May this greening by CO2 fertilization effect grow as time goes on. But it doesn’t seem likely to save us, I think.

    Reply
  56. It’s about monopolization, keeping consumers captive to a limited source that makes it all too easy to keep prices high and jack up a profit.

    If consumers remain captive to fossil fuels, the cost doesn’t matter. 2008 proved that. The cost went up, and the new, harder to reach reserves were accessed. And peak oil, gas, and coal were again rolled back as they would be with each new shock and each new period of extraction innovation.

    Well supply-side peak oil is most certainly a myth. But not so IMO on the demand side. There is this one horrid thing called debt, which must always be serviced by the producer and by the consumer, destroying both demand and eventually production, until it is no longer possible to do so.

    And yet with each price hike more consumers are shut out of the market, or have their ability to consume financially curtailed. And so the demand drops down so consumer debt can be serviced (some consumers default). At the lower price people can consume more and if they are working get back into the market so demand goes up, driving the price up and sparking off technological innovations as you said, but at the expense of more debt on the producers — and probably also on the consumers. But the technological innovations aren’t necessarily cost effective if they bring in too much supply compared to the demand. So prices go down and STAY down until some extractors, despite subsidies and financial support by banks, investment houses and wealth management products, are unable to continue and so they declare bankruptcy or even go out of business, defaulting on their debt.

    Rinse and repeat until big finance and big government cannot support these companies anymore and so the only fossil fuels extracted will be those the remaining companies can make a profit off of on a price per unit that the consumer can afford. Technology may or may not help these guys. You forget, that guaranteed continued progress for-evah is a myth.

    Reply

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