Gigantic Gravity Waves to Mix Summer With Winter? Wrecked Jet Stream Now Runs From Pole-to-Pole

It’s as if global warming were ringing the Earth’s atmosphere like some great, cacophonous alarm bell. The upper level zonal winds are swinging wildly from record high positive anomalies to record low negative anomalies. Gravity waves — the kinds of big atmospheric waves that tend to move air from the Tropics all the way to the Poles and are powerful enough to cause the Caribbean Sea to ‘whistle’ in the satellite monitors — are growing larger. And the Jet Stream now has redefined all boundaries — flowing at times from the East Siberian Sea in the Arctic across the Equator and all the way south to West Antarctica.

Jet Stream Runs from Pole to Pole

(Northern Hemisphere Jet Stream runs from near 80 degrees North Latitude across the Equator in this Earth Nullschool screen capture to merge with the Southern Hemisphere Jet Stream and eventually reach West Antarctica. It’s the very picture of weather weirding due to climate change. Something that would not tend to happen under normal Holocene climate conditions. Something, that if it continues on a significant scale, may threaten seasonal integrity.)

****

The big trough today begins near the Northern Hemisphere Pole. It pulls Arctic air down over Eastern Siberia and into a Pacific Ocean storm track. There, a second big dip in the Jet Stream pulls a crazy loop of this upper air flow further south. And here is where things get really weird — for the upper level river of air that began in the Arctic then makes a jump directly across the Equator.

But our story of a wayward Jet Stream doesn’t end there. The upper level air flow that originated near the North Pole joins with a building Southern Hemisphere Jet Stream ridge pattern over the Southeast Pacific. Feeding into very strong upper level winds, it turns southward into a high amplitude wave that crosses the Horn of South America and slams itself, carrying with it a big pulse of extreme warmth, into the upper level airs over Western Antarctica.

West Antarctic Heat

(An injection of hot, Summer air from the Northern Hemisphere into Southern Hemisphere Winter appears to have aided in the generation of 8 C above average temperatures over Western Antarctica during June of 2016. Image source: NOAA ESRL.)

A Climate Change-Driven Loss of Seasonal Integrity?

Like many extreme events resulting from human-forced climate change — this co-mingling of upper level airs from one Hemisphere with another is pretty strange. Historically, the Tropics — which produce the tallest and thickest air mass in the world — have served as a barrier to upper level winds moving from one Hemisphere to another. This barrier can tend to erode during seasonal flips. And so you sometimes get this mixing of sub-tropical Jet Stream winds over the Equator.

But as the Poles have warmed due to human-forced climate change, the Polar Jet Streams have moved out of the Middle Latitudes more and more. More and more they have invaded regions both within the Polar zone and within the Tropics — linking broadening Latitudinal zones. Now, it appears that the old dividing lines are weakening and that flows of upper level air between Hemispheres can be exchanged to a greater degree.

If this is the case, then it’s bad news for seasonality. Prevention and reduction of a mixing of air parcels between Hemispheres by the thick, hot tropical air mass is what has generated a strong division between Summer and Winter during the Holocene Climate Epoch. However, erode that boundary and you get more Summer heat spilling over into the Winter zone and vice versa. You get this weather-destabilizing and extreme weather generating mixing of seasons that is all part of a very difficult to deal with ‘Death of Winter’ type warming scenario.

In the very recent past, scientists favored a view that such a large-scale mixing between Hemispheres was not possible. But recent observations of Rossby Wave patterns seem to indicate instances where upper level air flows link Poles to Tropics and, in this case, where an upper level air pattern has linked Pole to Pole.

In addition, we have some rather weird behavior going on with the Equatorial zonal winds that may also be linked to climate change, but that currently remains a bit of a mystery. Sam Lillo and others have been tracking record variations in the Equatorial zonal wind pattern called Quasi Biennial Oscillation. And these variations may be linking up with the rest of the downstream climate system (Rossby-gravity waves etc).

QBO goes from record high to record low amplitude

(Upper level Equatorial zonal winds moved from record positive anomalies to record negative anomalies within a mere three month timeframe. Image source: Sam Lillo.)

All these observations combined highlight some serious concerns. Polar warming appears to be flattening the atmospheric slope from Equator to Pole to such an extent that an increasing violation of the Hemisphere to Hemisphere seasonal dividing line may be a new climate change related trend. And that’s a kind of weather weirding that we are not at all really prepared to deal with.

UPDATE — A Necessary Statement on the Accuracy of the Above Article and Related Edits

The original article prompted a reaction from a few atmospheric scientists (including noted climate skeptic Roy Spencer) as shown here in this Washington Post opinion piece by Jason Samenow, weather editor for the Post. In consideration of the information shared in this piece, I have made a couple of corrections to the information concerning upper-level equatorial wind patterns.

However, the inference taken from my article was somewhat misconstrued. Stating that a global climate emergency due to loss of seasonality is currently upon us and is far-reaching. The message in my article is that the situation appears to be worsening and that this particular global climate crisis may be something that we’ll face over the coming years and decades. The article was intended to highlight the risk posed by weakening dividing lines between climate zones, an apparent observed increase in meridional upper air patterns, and in this case, an observation of the upper-level wind pattern that crossed from pole to pole.

As I mentioned in my article, large meridional upper-level wind flows and related extreme weather, along with what appears to be a growing trend toward a loss of seasonality is a very big deal. Apparently not everyone agrees with me on this point. Regardless, the concern over loss of seasonal variation due to human-caused climate change remains an issue. While there is no guarantee that risk and climate meta-analysis will result in 100 percent accuracy, it is a worthwhile process nonetheless to both identify potential risks under the rapidly changing climate states of our world and to ask the hard questions.

In closing, I must gently disagree with the assertions Mr. Samenow put forth in his opinion piece. On the contrary, it is the height of responsibility to highlight issues that so many others have tended to ignore or discount at great risk to our global civilization.

Paul Beckwith has made his own statements in response to the above article. His statements and conclusions are his own.

If you do not listen to me, then please listen to what the Earth System is telling us. It is very, very concerning. Regards to all and best wishes.

–R

Links:

Earth Nullschool

NOAA ESRL

Sam Lillo

Something Absolutely Gigantic Appears to Be Whistling in the Caribbean Sea

Hat tip to DT Lange

Hat tip to Colorado Bob

Hat tip to Sheri

Leave a comment

254 Comments

  1. Question here first off: is there more than one jet stream around the globe. Is there a similar phenomena between the Anartic and the tropical zone inthe southern hemisphere?? I know nothing about this except for our jet stream dividing Artic fromNorth America.

    This article describes a frightening thing but thank you, Robert.

    Sheri

    Reply
    • Two Jet Streams — One in the Northern Hemisphere, One in the Southern Hemisphere.

      EDIT:

      Technically, there are four Jet Streams. Two in each Hemisphere. One set is the Northern and Southern Hemisphere Polar Jet Streams, and the second set is the Northern and Southern Hemisphere Subtropical Jet Streams. The Polar Jet Stream is what we’ve tended to focus on RE polar amplification based research. The Subtropical Jet Stream is somewhat weaker and tends to be somewhat less of an extreme weather driver. But it’s worthwhile to note that increasingly wavy polar Jet Stream patterns can result in more subtropical entanglements (and, in this case, transtropical movement of ‘air parcels’).

      Reply
    • Basically what has happened is that the Northern Hemisphere Jet Stream leapt over the Equator and mixed with the Southern Hemisphere Jet Stream. Which is pretty amazingly weird.

      Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  June 29, 2016

        Do you think that these ‘gravity waves’ might need an expanded title, lest they be confused with cosmic gravity waves, such as those recently detected by the LIGO apparatus. Any possible confusion will be an open invitation to the denialists.

        Reply
        • Gravity Wave fits too neatly to be removed. But it definitely needs to be explained more in depth. Not really worried about denialists. Let them bawl. We’ll use it as an excuse to teach some science.

      • Loni

         /  June 30, 2016

        This could harken the beginning to the end of our ‘growing season’, as our respective hemisphere’s know them.

        Reply
    • Also, thanks for the excellent question.

      Reply
  2. Colorado Bob

     /  June 28, 2016

    The deniers have taught me one valuable lesson. Just because I am ignorant of something, doesn’t mean thousands of people aren’t working on the problem.

    Reply
    • It never hurts to ask the question.

      Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  June 30, 2016

      Bob, I’ve enjoyed almost nothing more, since childhood, than discovering something new. To be proved wrong might annoy you for a moment, or for life-time, but the truth is the truth. And I remember seeing Bertrand Russell, years ago, when such stuff appeared on TV, being interviewed and stating that one must always hold one’s opinions tentatively, because a better description of reality or some higher insight is always going to come along.
      The Right, of course (and I learned this at school, pronto)hate and fear being wrong. It insults their egotism, and makes them feel fallible and vulnerable. So they simply deny things, or attack the disseminators of unwanted knowledge. Trump is a perfect example, always correct, always right, even when obviously wrong. What are the laws of science, rationality and observable reality compared to a Rightwing bone-head’s conviction that he, not the Pope, is infallible.

      Reply
  3. Thank you for the answer. I reread the article now anx it makes much more sense to me.
    Sheri

    Reply
  4. This can’t be good for agriculture😯

    Reply
    • Nailed it, Sheri. That’s why this kind of impact from global warming is such a big deal. It can disrupt the growing seasons. Make them so unpredictable that it becomes tough to grow things.

      Reply
      • Yeah, much is ‘topsy turvy’.

        Thanks Robert, for putting these seemingly diverse things (atmospheric mechanics) together.
        Rather quickly too.

        TALLY HO….

        Reply
    • Spike

       /  June 29, 2016

      My thoughts exactly Sheri – it will be deep doo doo for farmers and eaters.

      The problem with many meteorological discussions I find is that they can be so couched in technicalities and acronyms that the public (including me!) can’t begin to comprehend, the tweet on the QBO being a prime example. To reduce complex science to something a lay person can begin to comprehend is an essential skill scientists will have to acquire just as the medical profession have had to, although they have had several centuries head start. Robert exemplifies how to do this, although I did struggle with this particular article for a while😉

      Looks like we have begun to make Vivaldi’s Seasons a nice bit of historical music in more than one sense.

      Reply
  5. Events like this at the heart of the food sustainability and security debate? One would think so. If you take a look at the high end food market, particularly for restaurants, there is a trend to grow indoors, particularly in bunkers and basements. Just a couple of URLS to illustrate this;

    http://growing-underground.com/

    http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/hydroponics-grow-salad-tunnels-london-underground

    Reply
    • I think this is a necessary sustainability innovation. Linked with renewable energy, it can help preserve water resources and to free up land for reforestation. In a worst case scenario, it can help to feed human beings if global land based agriculture fails. However, I think we would want to innovate in advance of that crisis point so as to save so many other wonderful and living things on this world of ours. That’s why pushing the response curve rapidly at this time is such a big deal.

      Reply
      • I agree with you Robert, its needed particularly given the needed reforestation and the upcoming challenges. Heck, I am saving to buy land to reforest here in the UK and to try to get a little food from a woodland farm (foraging). I must admit to finding it hard not to ‘do a McPherson’, when it comes to my outlook of late. There are positives, such as the above and this…

        http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2014/jul/15/urban-farming-tech-indoor-garden-food-supply

        …..but too little too late perhaps and particularly so for some of the very large population centres. I hope I am wrong, I really do.

        Reply
        • Humans are tough. Read about what some of Europe’s cities did to survive an almost complete loss of resources during WW II and you begin to get an idea of what’s possible. You can push the limits pretty far and still survive. That said, there are limits and the trick is to try to mitigate this problem as much as possible. To take as much heat out of the equation as we can and increase our prospects.

      • “take as much heat out of the equation as we can “

        Reply
      • WWII is an interesting and prescient example. Military planners are already talking about a possible shift that would mean maintaining order under such a scenario and ‘hurried transition’. There is a lot of frustration amongst the top brass over just viscous the political system is. May you live in interesting times they said, indeed.

        Reply
  6. Colorado Bob

     /  June 28, 2016

    I am taken back to the Permian, what the hell was the Jet stream like back then ? There were no butterflies to gum up the works.

    In support of your thesis –

    At least 1.5 million Monarch butterflies perish in deadly ice storm in Michoacán
    Posted on March 13, 2016 by Monika Maeckle

    http://texasbutterflyranch.com/2016/03/13/at-least-1-5-million-monarch-butterflies-perish-in-deadly-ice-storm-in-michoacan/

    Reply
    • It’s getting weird. As you well know, my friend, it’s going to get weirder.

      Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  June 28, 2016

      Time for music ?

      Tears for Fears – Shout (HD)

      Reply
      • – Music and Monarchs:

        I remember (hazily) of a Mexican poet saying that the clouds of butterflies filling the air in places El Rosario were like “visual music”.

        Also, in the rubble and aftermath of 9/11 at ground zero noted photographer Joel Meyerowitz related this:
        (Early September being towards the end the Monarch migration to Mexico.)

        Q: How has working at the site affected you?

        “One day I came down in the afternoon and I met some detectives, and they said, “Oh, you missed something…. We were kneeling and ….” It turns out that eight of them were kneeling in one area and they were scraping away — not digging, because it was a sensitive area — and they knew they were going to find a bunch of bodies. They were scrapping away and suddenly they were enveloped in a cloud of Monarch butterflies. “They must have been migrating south, there must have been fifty or more butterflies flitting around our heads,” the detectives said to me. “You should have been here,” the detectives said. I should have been there.”

        https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/on-photographing-the-world-trade-center-site-an-interview-with-joel-meyerowitz

        Reply
  7. entropicman

     /  June 28, 2016

    I have read confident predictions that due to climate change the Hadley Cell boundaries will move further from the Equator. The progressive drying of the Southern US and Southern Europe would be consistent with this.

    I have also read less firmly based speculation that the Hadley cell/Ferrell cell/polar cell system may collapse into something else.

    Would you regard the current QBO anomaly as noise, or the precursor of long term change?

    Reply
    • I read it as one more signal pointing toward tipping into climate destabilization. The old regime is getting swallowed whole by human warming. Our understanding of weather is getting rolled back with it. There are certain predictions that can be made. But it’s really getting to be a big tangled mess. I feel really sorry for the guys who run the GCMs. This physics problem is getting to be pretty enormous.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  June 28, 2016

        As system nears a tipping point , it moves to the extremes. There it tends to get suck, before wildly swinging back , then a new state comes .

        Take Texas –
        2011 the hottest driest year on record. Thousands driven from their homes from at that point.

        The floods we have since are not “balance”. They are the system changing.
        Billy Idol – Eyes Without A Face

        Reply
    • There’s a concern that the three cell system (Hadley Cell, Ferrel Cell, Polar Cell) can’t really maintain integrity as the poles warm faster than the Equator. There’s this situation where atmospheric circulation can tend to break down as pretty much all the Cells grind to a halt. It’s doubtful that the Cell system of atmospheric circulation would completely revert to a single Cell without basically uniform atmospheric temperatures from Equator to Pole (we’d have to be Venus to get that). But it does challenge the old regime making the Cells a lot more loose and wiggly than they were before with the possibility of temporary break-downs.

      We’ve already seen this with the increasing in meridional flows. This possible trans Equatorial stuff is weird.

      Reply
  8. labmonkey2

     /  June 28, 2016

    “The hits just keep on comin'” – to borrow a phrase from my past. This news is not good as now we’re – as you said – “eroding the boundary.” The boundary that has helped keep the planetary systems in a somewhat ‘steady-state’ long enough for us to evolve.
    So, seeing gravity waves as having an effect on the atmosphere must mean the the air itself has taken on more mass loading – particulates and moisture, perhaps? – that is then being influenced by gravity? (follow the flux lines)
    Too much to ponder –

    So now we wait and watch as ‘merry-go-round breaks down….’

    Reply
  9. Colorado Bob

     /  June 28, 2016

    entropicman / June 28, 2016

    I have read confident predictions that due to climate change the Hadley Cell boundaries will move further from the Equator. The progressive drying of the Southern US and Southern Europe would be consistent with this.

    And into South America , Africa, and Australia. So ask your yourself , have we seen this ?

    Reply
  10. Today’s 0628 Democracy Now’s final segment has Michael Mann, a California forestry official or expert, and a WVA mayor talk about the linkage between climate change, the recent fires, and floods. It’s quite good.
    I was listening on the radio and half expected to the words ‘Robert Scribbler’ as the piece was being introduced since RS has covered much of this.
    http://www.democracynow.org/

    Reply
  11. Colorado Bob

     /  June 28, 2016

    40 years ago –

    Frank Zappa – Trouble Every Day

    Reply
    • Oh, how I remember that album.

      When I was a kid, the teenage girl next-door to me bought it. What made the whole thing really entertaining (in retrospect, when I was able to appreciate the humor in it all) was fact that her parents were hard-core John-Birchers — they were absolutely shocked and horrified! It was a commie hippie plot to steal their innocent daughter’s soul!

      I remember how her younger brother (who had not yet started to rebel against his nutty parents) went on and on to me about how horrible and evil that album was. “She bought a record called FREAK OUT. Oh, the horror!!!”.

      It was a shame that I wasn’t old enough to appreciate the hilarity of it all at that time.

      On the bright side, I did learn a lot about commies from those neighbors. The younger brother and I even put our boy-scout skills to good use and set up some commie-snares on the hillside behind our houses. Didn’t catch any commies, though. But we tried.

      Reply
  12. Colorado Bob

     /  June 28, 2016

    The of the world 40 years ago.

    Reply
  13. marcel_g

     /  June 29, 2016

    Wow, I really did not think we’d see this kind of atmospheric disruption so soon! Thanks again to Robert and everyone else here for keeping us up to date with all the climate goings on.

    Reply
  14. Andy in SD

     /  June 29, 2016

    With Doomsday in Mind, California Officials Are Ceding Water to Arizona, Nevada

    California representatives have offered to forgo up to 8 percent of the state’s Colorado River water, if things get bad enough. The worry is cuts would be worse later if California doesn’t play ball with Arizona now.

    http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/topics/government/with-doomsday-in-mind-california-officials-are-ceding-water-to-arizona-nevada/?google_editors_picks=true

    Reply
    • A wise choice and probably to forestall water wars over the Colorado River basin. Arizona and Nevada will still need to work on increasing conservation measures and removing water hogs and probably a decent amount of growth.

      Reply
  15. Andy in SD

     /  June 29, 2016

    Nasty fires in Siberia.

    Here is a complex of fires just across the Bering Strait.

    http://www.arctic.io/explorer/8/2016-06-27/8-N64.02948-E170.72842

    Reply
  16. WebHubTelescope

     /  June 29, 2016

    The AGW denier Richard Lindzen messed up on developing a valid theory for the equatorial jet-stream. The oscillations of the QBO, i.e. the 50 hPA chart shown, actually follows the nodal oscillations of the lunar gravitational force.

    Reply
    • Interesting. Any chance we can get a simplified (non Lindzenized) QBO model anytime soon?

      Reply
      • WebHubTelescope

         /  June 29, 2016

        “Interesting. Any chance we can get a simplified (non Lindzenized) QBO model anytime soon?”

        Robert, Certainly! I placed a link in a comment a slight scroll down this thread. The model uses Laplace’s equations developed in 1776 and knowledge of lunar periods known for millennia.

        My opinion is that Lindzen completely butchered the math and physics when he was working the QBO model in the 1960’s. Everyone assumed that what he asserted was the reality, and since that time we have been at a loss to model the QBO via a simple formulation. We now know better than to trust Lindzen on any topic.

        Reply
    • wili

       /  June 30, 2016

      Here’s some recent work on QBO (quasi-biennial oscillation) modeling:

      Geller, M.A., T.H. Zhou, D. Shindell, R. Ruedy, I. Aleinov, L. Nazarenko, N. Tausnev, M. Kelley, S. Sun, Y. Cheng, R.D. Field, and G. Faluvegi, 2016:

      “Modeling the QBO — Improvements resulting from higher model vertical resolution”.

      J. Adv. Model. Earth Syst., doi:10.1002/2016MS000699.

      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016MS000699/pdf

      Abstract: “Using the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) climate model, it is shown that with proper choice of the gravity wave momentum flux entering the stratosphere and relatively fine vertical layering of at least 500 m in the upper troposphere-lower stratosphere (UTLS), a realistic stratospheric quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) is modeled with the proper period, amplitude, and structure down to tropopause levels. It is furthermore shown that the specified gravity wave momentum flux controls the QBO period whereas the width of the gravity wave momentum spectrum controls the QBO amplitude.

      Fine vertical layering is required for the proper downward extension to tropopause levels as this permits wave-mean flow interactions in the UTLS region to be resolved in the model. When vertical resolution is increased from 1000 m to 500 m, the modeled QBO modulation of the tropical tropopause temperatures inceasingly approach that from observations, and the “tape-recorder” of stratospheric water vapor also approaches the observed.

      The transport characteristics of our GISS models are assessed using age-of-air and N2O diagnostics, and it is shown that some of the deficiencies in model transport that have been noted in previous GISS models are greatly improved for all of our tested model vertical resolutions. More realistic tropical-extratropical transport isolation, commonly referred to as the “tropical pipe,” results from the finer vertical model layering required to generate a realistic QBO.”

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

      Reply
      • WebHubTelescope

         /  June 30, 2016

        Wili, My take on that paper is here

        It may sound like I am criticizing this research but I am really trying to improve the quality of the models. In my opinion, consensus science is safe like H.Clinton, denial “science” is crazy like Trump, and I occupy the Bernie Sanders slot of a fresh scientific perspective🙂

        Reply
  17. Dan in Oz

     /  June 29, 2016

    Don’t take this as a denialist comment – I am exactly the opposite. But has this never happened before? How unusual is this?

    In danger of answering my own question, I do know that there have been periods in Earth’s history where there have been separate climates between the northern and southern hemispheres, indeed climate change now is concentrated more in the northern hemisphere. This would suggest that there is a strong boundary between north and south.

    But it would be good to get a handle on how unusual this leaking between hemispheres is. And how long this event went on for.

    Reply
    • Andy in SD

       /  June 29, 2016

      That is a tough one, and I bet there are a few opinions.

      If this is a product of the rate of change, then it would require something in nature, significant to cause this.

      If this is a product or suspended water vapor, temperature differentials then it would be easier to occur.

      I could see this having happened in the far past. The same likely applies to many scenarios. However, at that time we didn’t have the 7 billion folks in our current civilization depending on a stable environment to feed /cloth / house them. The planet will be fine, it is us as a viable stable civilization which is at risk.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  June 29, 2016

        Well put, Andy. But in your very last sentence, what do you mean by ‘planet.’ If you just mean the rock with a molten core circling the sun, of course, it will be fine till the sun swallows it up in some billions of years.

        But most people when they say things like ‘Save the Planet’ are of course talking about not just the circling orb, but also the variety of life on it.

        The immediate danger for us of a distorted and ‘wrecked’ jet stream is that it will disrupt agriculture. But it is not only our agricultural crops and livestock that will be negatively affected by this breakdown of one of the most fundamental systems affecting the climate on the planet. Many other plant and animal species will be disrupted and probably driven to extinction if/when seasons become completely unreliable.

        So I can’t concur with you (and George Carlin) that ‘the planet will be fine,’ at least not given the usual intended meaning of ‘planet’ in these contexts.

        Reply
      • WebHubTelescope

         /  June 29, 2016

        Every change in behavior appears unusual because the models can’t capture it effectively. Blame it on Richard Lindzen, ever since he made the model of atmospheric winds over-the-top complicated. Anybody that understands calculus can work out the equations and apply simplifications that will lead to something that we can actually work with: http://contextEarth.com/2016/06/29/simplifying-laplaces-tidal-equations-for-qbo/

        The analysis is interesting both from a scientific standpoint and as a study of contrarian border-line-crackpot thinking from the likes of Lindzen.

        Reply
      • Andy in SD

         /  June 29, 2016

        Hey Wili,

        Yup, I meant a spinning rock in space. It could even be extended to nature, as we’ll wipe 90+ % of the species off of earth. Given time / evolution it will repopulate in some new manner.

        Us? We would just be an interesting sliver of sediment. Some future intelligent life form would drill cores and find a layer of deposited elements and be puzzled. Our internet, jumbo jets, kids, roads, cars, factory farms, shipping containers, high rises, all of it, will be compressed into a thin sliver of sediment.

        But that falls under the “way off” machine. It doesn’t detract from our desire to survive as a civilization or a species. Nor does it diminish our intent to raise alarms and try to do our tiny bit to assist in a course correction which will keep our kind from falling back down that ladder and revert to our basic animal behavior.

        So many people out there can’t comprehend how tenuous civilization really is. Just cut off electricity, water or both. We then revert to the animal kingdom in no time flat and our currency then is the 3 basics, food,water, shelter.

        In such a case, one can watch civilization devolve in reverse. Nations become regions, regions become tribes, tribes become villages. Along the way, we begin losing science, and let the myth / mythology of religion steer us through the hope of divine protection.

        Fascinating, yet terrifying.

        Reply
      • wili

         /  June 29, 2016

        Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Andy. And yes, most likely nature will bounce back to some extent, but we can’t, of course, know that for sure, or know how fully it might recover. We have piled on multiple insults to the living systems of the earth:

        –moving invasive species into new territories
        –directly wiping out various species through predation
        –paving over or otherwise deeply disturbing habitats everywhere
        –chopping up landscapes so it is hard for animals to migrate
        –gushing massive quantities and a bewildering variety of new chemicals into the ecosystem, many of which never existed before and which nature has no way of breaking down
        –not the least of which is now-ubiquitous plastics, which do harm at every level of breakdown
        –many other forms of pollution have been taking their toll, also
        –with international travel, we bring diseases to places where they had never existed
        –and now we are adding the increasing and increasingly severe effect of GW, happening at a rate of change probably beyond anything experienced before on the living planet.

        We also don’t know if some other event, like and asteroid, is going to come along and set back planetary life just as it’s starting to get back on its feet so to speak.

        And if all these things lengthen the recovery from the usual millions to tens of millions of years after a mass extinction event to tens to hundreds of billions of years…well, then you are pushing up against the time when the sun will be getting so big and so hot that life will become impossible.

        Not saying there is no way that life will recover, only that, like so many things about the distant future, we just can’t be absolutely certain about it.

        Reply
    • So the key questions to ask are —

      How much does climate change impact seasonal variation? What are the climate thresholds for new seasonal regimes (degrees C delta)? And how is this reflected in atmospheric circulation?

      Related questions include —

      What is a valid physical model for Equatorial atmospheric circulation?

      And a related assertion —

      If we’re going to understand how climate change impacts seasonal variation, we need to have a better understanding of Equatorial atmospheric circulation.

      In answer to the above question, it’s likely that we’ve had parcels of air move from hemisphere to hemisphere in the past. However, it appears likely that during the Holocene these events were very limited. With polar amplification flattening the slope of the atmosphere from Equator to Pole it would seem to suggest that more mixing of hemispheric airs is likely as the Earth tends to warm.

      In June, we observed many of these events. This runs counter to previous atmospheric scientific thought which considered the Equatorial atmosphere to be a mostly impermeable boundary to large hemispheric transitions of air parcels.

      So we have a thesis that human forced warming results in an increase of the exchange of airs between hemispheres and a reduction of seasonal variability and an erosion of predictable growing seasons. And in recent observations, we have various proofs to this thesis, but one that would need broader support in the atmospheric sciences to confirm (which would include a better understanding of upper level air flows over the Equator QBO).

      Reply
      • WebHubTelescope

         /  July 1, 2016

        Robert asked!
        “What is a valid physical model for Equatorial atmospheric circulation? “

        Actually a good one does not exist. You are in good shape because you know about as much about this behavior as any atmospheric scientist!

        The original assertion by AGW denier Richard Lindzen was that the QBO behaved according to the equations he set up in the 1960’s. And people are still following his advice, and finding weird relationships such as the cyclic period is related to atmospheric pressure. That’s in the paper that Wili provided in #comment-84554 elsewhere in this thread. That’s a team of 12 scientists that came up with that one.

        But that’s just a bizarre notion that pressure causes the period of the QBO. If somebody said this about the period of ocean tides, you would have to question their theory. So, that explains why we continue to work the QBO model at the Azimuth Project forum
        https://forum.azimuthproject.org/discussion/comment/15434/#Comment_15434

        To understand the impacts of AGW, which are real IMO, we really need to understand the fundamentals of atmospheric circulation. And Richard Lindzen is not being helpful here. Why is that not a surprise? According to Wikipedia, even his students said that he has a deep contrarian streak when it comes to science.

        Reply
        • Thanks WHT. For my part, I think I need to inform myself more on this issue. It seems pretty murky to me.

  18. labmonkey2

     /  June 29, 2016

    Just spotted this over on ClimateState RE: CC and boundary shifts –

    Weather along the eastern coasts of South Africa, Asia, Australasia and South America will get significantly warmer and stormier on average over the next 100 years, a new study finds. The culprit? Climate changes that are causing ocean currents next to these coastal regions, called western boundary currents, to become stronger and extend further toward the poles, according to the new study.

    https://blogs.agu.org/geospace/2016/06/28/climate-change-causing-oceanic-boundary-currents-intensify-shift-poleward/

    So, both the air and ocean are fuzzing the boundaries – which means (props to CB) that ‘hell is INDEED coming to breakfast’.

    Reply
  19. mlparrish

     /  June 29, 2016

    Amazing piece. The jet stream images at the poles from Earth Nullschool look like a boiling
    cauldron. Just for interest, here is a shot of higher winds at 70 hPa that shows an area reminiscent of the great red spot on Jupiter, though a bit further south, over southern Africa.

    https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/70hPa/orthographic=41.82,-4.01,520/loc=-85.770,-14.314

    Reply
    • mlparrish

       /  June 29, 2016

      Now it has shifted to South America and a bit more north. It would act as flywheel shuttling air from southern to northern hemisphere.

      Reply
  20. USA – Colorado – Weather

    Reply
    • Some of my family members live about a half-hour south of downtown Denver. Their houses (and cars) have been taking a real beating from hailstorms.

      My sister has had two roof replacements due to hail-damage in the past four years, and is likely looking at roof-replacement #3 in the not-so-distant future.

      My mom had her roof replaced a couple of years ago and paid extra for impact-resistant shingles. Her roofer (yes, folks in my mom’s neighborhood often have “personal roofers”!) told her that her now 2-year-old roof has 3-4 years of life left in it. Her storm-damage insurance deductible was increased from 2.5K to 5K last year.

      And a couple of years ago, a niece of mine got to watch her car get totaled by a hailstorm in its uncovered apartment parking-space. She bought the car back from the insurance company and now drives a nicely dinged-up vehicle (no more nice cars for her until she gets a place with a garage!). She told me that repairing the car was a bit more expensive than she expected because the hail had scoured away the weather-stripping from around the windows.

      When I was out there to visit last Fall, I noticed that many of the 20-to-30-year-old houses in my mom’s neighborhood had spiffy new roofs.

      Reply
  21. George W. Hayduke

     /  June 29, 2016

    With all the very odd climate changes especially from this last el nino, it makes me think back a decade when the term tipping points were used a lot. I ask this question in all seriousness, have we finally passed one or more tipping points? Along those same lines are we seeing feedback loops amplifying and which ones are most obvious? Great blog Robert.

    Reply
    • wili

       /  June 29, 2016

      I can claim no great expertise on these matters; but I do have just enough foolishness to rush in in spite of my ignorance and do some man ‘splainin’ here. So take everything with ample grains of salt:

      We do seem to have passed a tipping point wrt the West Arctic Ice Sheet: it is now so destabilized that nothing will keep it from all eventually ending up in the oceans. The only question (and perhaps a variable that we may still have some control over depending on how much more carbon we dump into the atmosphere in the next few years and decades) is how quickly it will disintegrate.

      Permafrost melt seems to have also passed a tipping point. MacDougall already in 2013 determined that, even if we stopped all further carbon emissions then, permafrost melt alone was already far along that just the top couple meters of melt (and optimistically/unrealistically assuming that it would only produce CO2, and no methane) would be enough to keep atmospheric levels of CO2 above current levels for at least two centuries. Things have only gone down hill since then wrt permafrost melt.

      Again, how much and how fast we continue to pour CO2 and other GHGs into the atmosphere will have an effect on how fast these and other effects from passing tipping points will unfold.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  June 29, 2016

        Here’s a link to a SkS piece on the MacDougal article I mentioned: http://www.skepticalscience.com/Macdougall.html

        Reply
      • wili

         /  June 29, 2016

        And here’s another article on continued warming after CO2 emissions stoppage:
        http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n1/full/nclimate2060.html

        Reply
      • wili

         /  June 29, 2016

        In case you have trouble getting the last piece, here’s the abstract, etc:

        “Continued global warming after CO2 emissions stoppage”

        Thomas Lukas Frölicher, Michael Winton & Jorge Louis Sarmiento

        Nature Climate Change 4, 40–44 (2014) doi:10.1038/nclimate2060

        “Recent studies have suggested that global mean surface temperature would remain approximately constant on multi-century timescales after CO2 emissions… are stopped. Here we use Earth system model simulations of such a stoppage to demonstrate that in some models, surface temperature may actually increase on multi-century timescales after an initial century-long decrease. This occurs in spite of a decline in radiative forcing that exceeds the decline in ocean heat uptake—a circumstance that would otherwise be expected to lead to a decline in global temperature.

        The reason is that the warming effect of decreasing ocean heat uptake together with feedback effects arising in response to the geographic structure of ocean heat uptake…overcompensates the cooling effect of decreasing atmospheric CO2 on multi-century timescales. Our study also reveals that equilibrium climate sensitivity estimates based on a widely used method of regressing the Earth’s energy imbalance against surface temperature change…are biased. Uncertainty in the magnitude of the feedback effects associated with the magnitude and geographic distribution of ocean heat uptake therefore contributes substantially to the uncertainty in allowable carbon emissions for a given multi-century warming target.”

        Reply
      • George W. Hayduke

         /  June 29, 2016

        Thanks for this (and links) Wili. Pretty frightening stuff, the permafrost not containing methane seems very optimistic, that methane both in permafrost and in deep ocean deposits is what really scares me.

        Reply
        • Permafrost contains carbon. As it thaws some will vent as CO2. Some will vent as methane. In wet environments a greater proportion vents as methane (5 percent approx) even as more of the carbon is taken in by the biosphere. In dry environments, more vents as CO2 (with less than one percent as methane).

    • I think it’s pretty certain that we’ve passed a number of tipping points.

      1. A degree of significant (15-40 feet or more) sea level rise is locked in. Not clear exactly how much or how soon, but it looks bad and is getting worse.
      2. Weather destabilization tipping points have clearly been reached. Rainfall events are now so extreme as to generate continuous record events. 100 year events are now common. 1,000 year events seem to occur about once every five to ten years somewhere on the globe. Same thing with droughts on the other side of the hydrological scale.
      3. The Arctic is destabilized and has passed climate tipping points such that amplifying feedbacks are taking hold. These include albedo feedback, atmospheric feedback (Jet Stream changes and warm winds scenarios), and what appears to be an initial rumor of carbon feedback that will almost certainly strengthen through the coming decades.

      These are the biggies. There are a number more.

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  June 29, 2016

        Robert, I by no means am correcting you, or think that I have expertise on the subject, but aren’t even the 1,000 year events becoming rather frequent? More frequent than 5-10 years, it seems, from what we’ve been seeing. Just had a 1,000 year flood in West Virginia, last year we had one in South Carolina, and in Colorado there was a thousand year flood in 2013, and I think the recent flooding in Texas and Oklahoma provided numbers for a thirty day period that would qualify as a thousand year event …and this is just what I can recall off the top of my head. And this article claims there have been 6 thousand year floods in the U.S. just since 2010.

        http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2015/10/05/south-carolina-flooding-climate-change/73385778/

        Either way, precipitation certainly has become far more extreme, with expected consequences.

        Reply
      • “[A]ren’t even the 1,000 year events becoming rather frequent?”

        Ryan, a “1,000-year event” means it’s only expected to occur once in 1,000 years, but at a particular site. So having one in WV and another in OK, say, doesn’t necessarily mean things are out of whack.

        That being said, I definitely share your suspicion that extraordinary rain events are coming much more often than they used to. I saw something on this just recently … hmm, actually this isn’t what I saw, but still a nice discussion: http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2015/10/05/south-carolina-flooding-climate-change/73385778/

        Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  June 30, 2016

      It’s not ‘tipping-points’ which are the worry. It’s the ‘points of no return’, to climate stability for aeons. As for tipping-points, the disappearance of Arctic summer sea-ice and the growth of mega-fires are sufficient, but there are others. The really dangerous ones are the currently unknown ones, which we will only recognise with hindsight.

      Reply
  22. Reply
  23. Darvince

     /  June 29, 2016

    There seem to have been several of these events over the past few months, with the strongest that I can find on 2016-04-18:
    https://earth.nullschool.net/#2016/04/19/0300Z/wind/isobaric/250hPa/equirectangular=265.82,0.00,165

    Reply
    • It seems that they’ve fed into the overall high amplitude patterns that have delivered a lot of heat to Antarctica over the past few months.

      Reply
  24. Reply
  25. – Canada – Alberta – 2014 Hail – Interesting aerial suppression (A long time practice but new to me.) at the 1:30 mark.

    Reply
  26. – USA – Texas – Two BNSF trains on one track – locomotives crash head-on – More cause for worry re: oil, coal, etc.

    Reply
  27. Reply
  28. Brexit Bound:

    Reply
  29. Freak variations in the jetstream, down as far as Mexico! National Geographic calls it a “radical shift in wind circulation” http://imgur.com/dS48d0e

    Reply
  30. Ryan in New England

     /  June 29, 2016

    Most of us probably remember the recent extinction of the Bramble Kay melomy, a mouse-like rodent living on a Great Barrier Reef island. It’s believed to be the first mammal driven to extinction by anthropogenic climate change. Well, scientists had planned to start a captive breeding program to save the species, but when they arrived on the island to capture a few specimens they realized they were too late. Appropriate feelings of depression soon followed.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/radical-conservation/2016/jun/29/bramble-cay-melomys-australia-extinction-climate-change-great-barrier-reef

    Reply
    • I can relate. There are so many things happening right now, the tempo of events is so high that one often finds oneself only arriving at the scene of a wreckage one had hoped to help prevent.

      Reply
  31. Ryan in New England

     /  June 29, 2016

    I find this to be absolutely insane. California is allowing oil and gas wells to be drilled directly into freshwater aquifers, thus rendering them permanently unusable. As we all know, oil and gas extraction uses some of the most toxic chemicals known to man, and in California they are intentionally injecting those chemicals into freshwater. You would think that in their fourth year of epic drought Californians would realize that water is precious. But apparently they think they have too much water, and can drink oil instead.

    Nearly one out of every three oil or gas wells in California is drilled directly into a usable freshwater source, the study showed. In fact, oil and gas drilling is happening in 30 percent of the aquifers with deep groundwater resources.

    “We don’t know what effect oil and gas activity has had on groundwater resources, and one reason to highlight this intersection is to consider if we need additional safeguards on this water,” said Jackson.

    Funny he should say that. California’s oil and gas industry has already been taken to task by environmental watchdog groups, which found that the industry was operating in protected aquifers all over the state — without getting clearance from the Environmental Protection Agency. Last year, it was revealed that the state had approved hundreds of injection wells into aquifers protected under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The wells were all either oil and gas extraction or wastewater disposal injection wells.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/06/28/3793523/deep-groundwater-california-study/

    Decades from now when residents are desperate for water, they will drill into the ground and pull up water that is completely, and permanently, unusable.

    Reply
    • Jacob

       /  June 29, 2016

      ”Decades from now when residents are desperate for water, they will drill into the ground and pull up water that is completely, and permanently, unusable.”

      Speaking as Californian witnessing the gross misuse of what water we have I don’t believe it will take decades for that realization to come to pass.

      Reply
    • George W. Hayduke

       /  June 29, 2016

      Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.
      -Chief Seattle

      Reply
    • I give it 5-10 years before the regret from this drilling and facking insanity sets in for California. They’re pushing pretty hard for an energy transition. Why not just go all the way and protect the water resources that will become very, very dear in the future?

      Reply
      • We have a large number of abandoned wells that were never sealed. As the land is topped by sea level rise, many California aquifers will be filled by seawater.

        Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  June 30, 2016

      Ryan, I came to the firm conclusion that the Right, particularly the upper echelons of Big Business, were insane, decades ago, and that they not only do not care what happens to humanity (including their own spawn) after death, but actively work to destroy life, as if to be revenged on living creatures when they themselves have returned to the carbon cycle.

      Reply
  32. Cate

     /  June 29, 2016

    https://eos.org/research-spotlights/a-river-network-preserved-beneath-the-greenland-ice-sheet

    Not a new report, but a nice concise summary with a cool map of what scientists have discovered about the topography of Greenland under the ice sheet and its implications for the behaviour of the great Jakobshavn glacier in particular:

    “Near the basin outlet, the researchers also observed an abrupt break in slope at the confluence of three ancient channels. This knickpoint coincides with the location where the surface flow of the Jakobshavn Glacier rapidly accelerates, a finding that suggests that the underlying, preglacial landscape exerts a strong influence on the location, shape, and size of Greenland’s largest outlet glacier. (Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1002/2016GL069458, 2016)”

    Reply
  33. Cate

     /  June 29, 2016

    The OSNAP team is on the water this summer, collecting on-site data to “quantify the overturning circulation and its heat transport at high latitudes, and to establish a relation to convection and wind forcing.”

    They are particularly interested in the “cool pool” and its relationship to possible AMOC slowdown.This is from their press release dated today, 29 June 2016, summarising some recent findings (link to the research paper is in the article):

    >>>In temperature observations of the earth’s surface in 2015 a similar pattern seems to a
    ppear. The Earth warmed while the ocean southeast of Greenland cooled. This led to speculation that convection had already weakened as a result of increased melting of Greenland’s icecap. It would mean that the overturning circulation would be affected faster than expected.

    Instruments moored in the Irminger Sea, southeast of Greenland, shows that this is not (yet) the case. This mooring, deployed by the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) at 3 km depth in 2003, shows that convection strengthened in recent years. Record depths of convection were observed in the Irminger Sea in the winter of 2014-2015. This strong mixing was caused by an extremely cold and long winter. Two NIOZ scientists, Femke de Jong and Laura de Steur, have shown that the temperature evolution in the Irminger Sea (including the strong decrease in 2015) can be explained through regional interaction between the ocean and atmosphere. The manuscript that describes the convection and explains the temperature changes is accepted in Geophysical Research Letters. This coincides with a publication by a German group in Nature Geoscience this week, in which they use a model to show that it will take some time before freshwater from Greenland enters the deep water formation regions in large enough amount to weaken convection.<<<<<<<

    http://www.o-snap.org/new-research-published-by-de-jong-and-de-steur/

    Reply
    • We’ve had a 10 percent reduction in Gulf Stream strength since the 20th Century. The usual suspect for this is increasing melt rates from Greenland. Rhamstorf has tended to support this line of thought. My experience is that the ‘not yet’ line of thought has tended to focus on noise more than signal.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  June 30, 2016

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/06/30/the-mysterious-cold-blob-in-the-north-atlantic-is-starting-to-give-up-its-secrets/

        Chris Mooney, writing about this study in the WP, presents Rahmstorf’s perspective in a nutshell—interesting stuff: Rahmstorf & al are looking at the broad picture, long term, whereas this study is looking at local, short-term variation.

        >>>But the study attributes the particularly cold character of the water simply to atmospheric phenomena operating in the area that winter, which was longer than usual, extending cold temperatures into April….“The ‘cold blob’ that is seen in the North Atlantic was mostly caused by the same strong winter that caused the convection,” de Jong continued. “Local cooling by the atmosphere is able to adjust temperatures much quicker than changes in the (much more sluggish) ocean heat transport can.”

        Rahmstorf comments: “They are looking at short-term variability while we are looking at climatic trends; the mechanisms behind those are very different.” Rahmstorf further argued that measuring ocean convection in a localized way is not necessarily enough to determine what is happening with the larger Atlantic overturning circulation. “Convection is a highly stochastic, weather-driven process,” he continued. “The linkage between local convection and the AMOC is complex and long-term; the most simple way to phrase this is that the AMOC responds like a long-term integrator of the convection events of the previous decades.” >>>>>

        Reply
        • Very interesting. I’ll see if I can work on a piece RE this exchange.

          In a related note, it appears that I have managed to draw some fire from atmospheric scientists RE the above post. Jason Samenow is writing an article on the issue now. And though it appears I’ll probably need to add some refinements, clairifications and possibly a retraction/update or two, this seems to be feeding into the larger debate over Rossby waves linking with polar amplification.

          To be very clear, I am doing my absolute best to provide accurate information and analysis on an issue that is not entirely settled in the sciences but that appears to be feeding into the larger context of human forced warming. The primary issue here is the risk of extreme weather and related loss of seasonality.

          It appears that we will now have some engagement from major publications and PhD level scientists on the matter.

          As a fair warning — on the issue of trans equatorial air flow — it does appear that this has happened in the past and that a linkage between the subtropical jets is not uncommon. I should have clairified this in the post above and dug deeper into the supporting science before publishing.

          However, the issue seems to me to be that the trans equatorial exchange of airs may be amplified by large Rossby Wave type patterns and may be resulting in Hemisphere to Hemisphere air exchanges such that seasonality is eroded and exchange of airs between Poles and Equator is increased.

          In any case, I’ll certainly be working on an update/response post once the WP article publishes.

      • Cate

         /  June 30, 2016

        Robert, I just want to add that if you have sparked engagement from some major publications or PhDs, well done, and if it means that you have to refine or tweak your post, that says to me loud and clear that this a blog by a writer who is seeking to tell the whole story about climate change without any spin, without mincing words or grinding axes, as accurately, as clearly, as truthfully, and in as much detail, from as many angles and perspectives as possible. Thank you for this remarkable place!

        Reply
  34. wili

     /  June 29, 2016

    I wonder, Robert, if you wouldn’t mind explaining further the distinction (if there is one) between Rossby-gravity waves and just plain old Rossby waves (the latter of which I am more familiar with). Are they the same? If not, how exactly are they different, and why is it the former that is involved here rather than the latter? Thanks for any further light you can throw on this for the benighted.

    Reply
    • So a gravity wave is a wave that is large enough in length to affect the Earth’s rotation. An Atmospheric Rossby Wave is a planetary wave pattern that forms a giant meander in the Jet Stream. Gravity-Rossby Waves are Rossby Waves large enough to impact the Earth’s rotation (given the size of a Rossby Wave, this is true in many cases). Gravity Waves of this kind are measured in a vertical profile (zonal) and can carry with them an angular momentum that break the Equatorial basis boundary.

      I’m working on simplifying this more. But, yeah, this is the best I can get at this time.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  June 29, 2016

        Thanks, robert. That helps. I had no idea that some Rossby waves could affect the earth’s rotation!

        Reply
  35. LRC

     /  June 29, 2016

    There is a second intriguing one for me, and that is the Easterly Africa Jet Stream. Normally it should be going in the direction of the Caribean. This is important for the development of hurricanes. Right now it is swing south and back across the southern tip south Africa.
    Now a lot of people may think, no hurricanes good. My thinking is what will we miss with no hurricanes? No upwelling of colder water mixing in with the warmer waters. No bring up needed nutrients to the surface to feed marine life. No bring of heavy rain clouds into traditional locations changing rain patterns. No hurricanes are nice from the standpoint of destruction of property, but the benefits are rarely talked about or thought about until we start wondering why those benefits are no longer accruing.

    Reply
    • Warmer ocean surfaces due to lack of up-welling means that the potential for strong hurricanes, when they do form, is also increased.

      Reply
  36. Suzanne

     /  June 29, 2016

    Congress gets another reminder from scientists…”Climate Change isn’t Coming…It’s already Here” :
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/climate-change-letter-congress_us_577293ece4b017b379f75f61?section=
    A quote:
    A failure to take action could threaten everything from our food supply to our national security, stated retired U.S. Naval Rear Admiral Jonathan White, who is now CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership.

    Man-made climate change is “not a matter of opinion, but of careful evaluation of data from a vast spectrum of scientific disciplines,” added Anne Yoder, president of the Society of Systematic Biologists, in a statement.

    “What remains unclear is the degree to which climate change will cause environmental, social, and economic havoc,” Yoder said. “Estimates range from severe to catastrophic. We owe it to our children and to our children’s children to take bold action now so that our descendants do not pay the price for our generation’s greed.”

    Reply
    • I suppose it remains unclear, now, whether we’ve locked in severe or catastrophic outcomes. But what is clear is that if we keep burning fossil fuels and dumping carbon into the atmosphere, then it is absolutely certain that it will be the most horrifically catastrophic thing that modern human beings have ever faced.

      Reply
  37. :eek:! Reblogging on 2016 is strange!. Thanks.🙂

    Reply
  38. climatehawk1

     /  June 29, 2016

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  39. – Central America – The ‘dry corridor’.

    Guatemala drought leaves hundreds of thousands hungry
    Ever since 2012, the rains have been weak and insufficient.

    Thousands of people in southern Guatemala are suffering from a prolonged drought after years of below-average rainfall.

    The drought has now resulted in hundreds of thousands of people being left hungry.

    The situation is particularly bad in the “dry corridor”, a region in the south of the country which extends into neighbouring Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/06/guatemala-drought-leaves-hundreds-thousands-hungry-160629093644626.html

    Reply
  40. – More on Russia/Siberia wildfires

    – NOAA/NESDIS/STAR/University of Maryland VIIRS Global Active Fires

    Jun 29, 2016
    Wildfires Spread in Eastern Russia

    This color-enhanced image from the VIIRS imager aboard the NOAA/NASA Suomi NPP satellite shows several fires burning in a small region of Russia in Krasnoyarsk Krai, west of Lake Baikal, near its border with Irkutsk.

    A multitude of wildfires have been burning throughout the vast Russian taiga for weeks (and their plumes of smoke have been visible in NOAA View). According to TASS, the Russian news agency, fires in the region burned about 16,000 hectares (more than 60 square miles) earlier this month (June 15). At the end of May, TASS reported that forest fires had scorched more than 80,000 hectares (more than 300,000 square miles) in the country’s far eastern Amur region.

    Reply
  41. – Jet stream – climatereanalyzer – Quite a bit of action in Southern Hemisphere vs N. Hem.
    (Click on image for fresh data.)

    Reply
    • Winter always revs up the Jet Stream. And, of course, in the SH you’ve got that big block of ice called Antarctica that creates extreme temp differentials that can really give the Jet an extra shove.

      Reply
  42. Reply
  43. – Air pollution – Human health products and info re human skin:
    (Anything that penetrates, or interferes with, any biotic lipid layer is pretty strong.)

    How Air Pollution Is Damaging Your Skin — & 10 Products To Fix It

    “Whenever pollution comes in contact with your skin, it goes beyond just the surface,” says Whitney Bowe, MD, NYC-based dermatologist and clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital. “Tiny particles get into the deeper layers of the epidermis, causing inflammation, dehydration, uneven skin tone, dark spots, and wrinkling. Plus, pollution breaks down collagen and the skin’s lipid layer, which compromises the barrier function.”
    http://www.refinery29.com/air-pollution-skin-care-products#slide

    Reply
  44. Reblogged this on Grab and Keel and commented:
    To read!

    Reply
  45. – NA – USA – California – Wildfire NE of Sacramento:

    Reply
  46. – This link may be helpful to anyone following a local emerging event. I listen to wildfire air attack channels – lots of info. Choose location.

    Broadcastify – Listen Live to Police, Fire, EMS, Aviation, and Rail Audio Feeds

    http://www.broadcastify.com/listen/

    Reply
  47. ‘Green the Church’

    – earthjustice.org/blog/2016-june/green-the-church-on-a-mission

    Rev. Ambrose Carroll, co-founder Green for All’s Green the Church movement, standing at the pulpit. The Green the Church movement is teaming up with spiritual leaders to engage churches and other houses of worship in the climate fight.

    Reply
  48. – Peat bogs – Carbon

    Rising sea-levels linked to global warming could pose a significant threat to the effectiveness of the world’s peatland areas as carbon sinks, a new study has shown.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160629094844.htm

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  June 29, 2016

      Outstanding video to go with this great post. Wow.
      A huge thank you to Robert for the post and to you todaysguestis for this video!

      Reply
    • Absolutely outstanding explanation by Dr Rahmstorf here.

      Reply
  49. Freak Cross-Equatorial Low Level Jetstream in the Western Indian Ocean. (1977).
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00874408

    That’s when it started. It’s been freak after freak after freak after freak since then.

    Reply
  50. Griffin

     /  June 29, 2016

    This is a bit off topic but I do wish to set the record straight on a comment that I made a couple of weeks ago. I mentioned that the trees in parts of Massachusetts looked defoliated and was wondering if it was road traffic pollution that caused the trees to die.
    Well thankfully it is a far more natural cause that is behind the stark scenes of naked trees. It seems that our mild winter and dry spring has resulted in a banner year for caterpillars across southern New England. It’s still not good for the trees of course but they have recovered from such outbreaks before.
    http://m.enterprisenews.com/news/20160618/gypsy-moth-caterpillar-populations-surging-chewing-up-local-leaves

    Reply
    • Jean

       /  June 30, 2016

      Had me very worried and depressed..Glad for the caterpillar report

      Reply
    • Mild winter and dry spring is climate change related. In fact, this is exactly the kind of impact you tend to see from climate change on species that are harmful to trees. The hard frosts tend to kill them off. And the trees have relied on this, as it is one of the primary reasons they have been able to occupy this particular climate zone. So ‘natural’ I wouldn’t really call it. It fits into the broader warming impact trend.

      Reply
  51. Reply
    • Waiting for inexpensive high efficiency solar windows, walls, roofs, tarps, umbrellas, tents, roads, parking lots, paints etc. I think it’s coming. Just a question of how fast.

      Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  July 1, 2016

        Have read where they are integrating a thermal conversion layer under the solar film, increase the efficiency as that sunshine heats the solar film and backing

        Reply
  52. – NZ – Flood – Dramatic footage:

    Published on Jun 29, 2016

    Drone footage of my local town Pukekohe, South Auckland, New Zealand.

    38mm of rain in the space of a few hours had caused the town to flood, with rivers bursting their banks, flooding roads and shutting of access.

    Reply
  53. – Sidenote to the below: I’m constantly amazed at how much Americans value emotions and expectations over actuals. This one is about food and food waste. Many of these ‘foods’ are fossil fuel intensive as well. At eateries I’ve seen well fed and financed eaters eat maybe 1/3 of their substantial meals, pay their bill and leave — and watch everything left behind thrown away.
    (Also, emotions rather than substance propels much of Trump’s appeal – or climate denial.)

    ‘The Bittersweet Reason For America’s Food Waste: It’s How We Show Our Love’

    Do you love your family? Do you prepare them delicious, plentiful meals? Do you keep the refrigerator stuffed full so that everybody can have as much as they want? Then you may be destroying the planet. Or at least, you are contributing to the 40% of food tossed away by U.S. consumers and are personally wasting $371 per year, for each person in your home.

    A new study from the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab looks at the role of affection in food waste. It finds that the affection of “nutritional gatekeepers” has a high environmental impact. For instance, say the authors, “stockpiling comfort foods in abundance—a form of both boosting positive self-emotions and showing affection for kids–-can promote greater food waste.”

    According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, the average American family of four is throwing away $1,500 worth of food every year. Forty percent of all the food we buy goes in the trash, and a good proportion of that is down to affectionate over-providing.
    http://www.fastcoexist.com/3060928/the-bittersweet-reason-for-americas-food-waste-its-how-we-show-our-love

    Reply
  54. – FYI – Stockholm Environment Institute

    Introducing the Transnational Climate Impacts Index: Indicators of country-level exposure – methodology report

    This paper presents a framework for analysing countries’ exposure to transnational climate impacts – which occur in one country as a result of climate change in another place. It presents nine indicators, as well as a composite index.

    Climate change mitigation is widely regarded as a global problem, but climate change impacts and adaptation are typically described as regional or local issues. This reflects the location-specific nature of physical impacts, but it fails to recognize the many interconnections among countries and regions, particularly in an increasingly globalized economy.

    The authors also construct a composite index: the Transnational Climate Impacts Index.

    The paper explains the rationale and methodology by which indicators were selected, and invites feedback and suggestions from readers on how to further develop this research. There are significant opportunities to strengthen and deepen the quantitative assessment of exposure to transnational climate impacts, including via applications of the framework at the national rather than global level.

    https://www.sei-international.org/publications?pid=2972&utm_content=buffer107f8&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    Reply
  55. Ryan in New England

     /  June 30, 2016

    The U.N. is considering listing the Great Barrier Reef as “in danger”, spurred by the recent mass bleaching event. As mentioned here before, the coral reefs are the rainforests off the ocean, with not only ocean life being dependent upon them, but millions and millions of humans as well. And they’re dying right before our eyes.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jun/30/un-committee-may-again-consider-listing-great-barrier-reef-as-in-danger

    I used to think that when the sh*t really started to hit the fan the general population would come around and embrace action. It’s hard to remain hopeful when the sh*it is scattered about because it hit the fan long ago, and everyone still acts as if there isn’t sh*it all over the place. Our weather has become markedly more extreme and erratic, the biosphere is being systematically destroyed, and somehow the world (and the US in particular) is behaving as if food is grown in the supermarket, water is not that important, and we don’t need the natural world in any way because we have shopping malls and cities. I have the feeling this will be the last generation to have the luxury of being indifferent and apathetic.

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  June 30, 2016

      Well said.

      Reply
    • So I think the public is starting to wake up, but that the politicians are lagging. We’ve got polls showing that 50 percent of republicans favor some kind of climate action. Meanwhile, about 90 percent of the republicans in Congress are climate change deniers.

      This is not to say that the public is anywhere near enough informed RE the threat or acting in an urgent enough manner. But I think it’s pretty clear that the public is more in favor of action than government leaders on the whole, more supportive of renewable energy than government leaders on the whole, and more aware of climate change impacts overall. This despite under-reporting in the media and a fossil fuel industry that has been given carte-blanche to freely attempt to misinform the public.

      That’s not to say that climate change deniers aren’t out there. They are and in large enough numbers for they noise they make to be deafening at times. But the majority of people now have a basic understanding that human forced climate change is real and that action is needed.

      Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  June 30, 2016

      Ryan, this catastrophe occurred right before our eyes, after being predicted by scientists for decades, at least since the first bleachings were reported in the Caribbean thirty odd years ago. And the reaction of our brilliant ‘Free Market democracy’ was what?
      First, denial, of course. Denial that it was even happening, coming from the tourist business and our hard Right, denialist, Federal regime. Then down-playing, claiming that the reefs would soon ‘recover’, as if this is some sort of natural phenomenon. And cover-up, with the Federal regime leaning on UNESCO to remove mention of the Reef from a damning report (and UNESCO, shamefully, caving in).Then vilification, from the Murdoch MSM cancer, of course, accusing Green ‘activists’ of distorting the science and being-what else-‘alarmist’.
      Meanwhile we entered an election campaign, where the environmental crisis of crises has been almost totally ignored. The cancer cult of ‘growth’ still reigns supreme, and the rural bumpkins even plan a string of dams in Queensland that would further harm the Reef, not to mention land ecosystems. You really begin to wonder whether deep in the murky recesses of our collective unconscious we are actively pursuing self-destruction. The last twenty years of politics in this country have been so insane and manically ignorant that you can’t but despair.

      Reply
  56. On the other hand, Summer Heat is being sent directly south to be radiated into the winter night.

    Rather the best thing Mother Earth could do under the circumstances. Would you prefer She let the heat melt GIS and raise sea level NOW??

    It also means that there is a huge amount of latent heat over the Northern Hemisphere and we can expect more and bigger storms. This blog is not likely to run out of material. The flip side of that is that I do not see any limits to the potential size and intensity of storms.

    How then does one engineer infrastructure to withstand storms are not predictable by looking at past weather? For a species that depends on engineered infrastructure, this is an existential question.

    Reply
    • So it’s been understood that human forced warming will tend to warm Winters faster than Summers and Poles faster than the Equator. And what happens is that you get this situation where the ice sheets are eventually melting during both Summer and Winter.

      Reply
  57. Andy in SD

     /  June 30, 2016

    If someone can confirm/deny for me, it would be appreciated.

    It appears another big fire popped up in N. Alberta/Sask & NWT border area (center). There are a few other small fires as well.

    If you click back day by day (just a couple of days) you can see what may be an ignition date. The smoke cloud over the center appears to be smoke to me.

    If anyone wants to confirm this, great! Again, I may be misinterpreting some simple clouds.

    http://www.arctic.io/explorer/8/2016-06-29/9-N57.43911-W108.88687

    Reply
  58. Colorado Bob

     /  June 30, 2016

    Andy –
    Yesterday’s pass, the heat signatures show up clearly , they had a nasty set of storms 2 days ago –

    Terra/MODIS
    2016/181
    06/29/2016
    17:55 UTC

    Reply
  59. Colorado Bob

     /  June 30, 2016

    The mysterious ‘cold blob’ in the North Atlantic Ocean is starting to give up its secrets

    For some time, scientists have been worried that something odd may be happening in the North Atlantic Ocean.

    The reason is that in the past several years, amid record warm global temperatures (2014, 2015 and 2016 seem likely to be the third-hottest, second-hottest and hottest years on record, respectively), ocean temperatures to the southeast of Greenland have often been quite cold. Sometimes, according to temperature maps provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, they have even shown record-cold temperature anomalies in and around a region known as the Irminger Sea.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/06/30/the-mysterious-cold-blob-in-the-north-atlantic-is-starting-to-give-up-its-secrets/

    Reply
  60. June

     /  June 30, 2016

    More on the recent story of the death of 66 million trees in the Sierra Nevada range from a Forest Service employee who has been doing aerial surveys for 20 years. Depressing reading. He expects conversion of the type of ecosystem there.

    Summer of Fire: Drought Transforms Southern Sierra

    https://www.newsdeeply.com/water/articles/2016/06/29/summer-of-fire-drought-transforms-southern-sierra

    Reply
  61. Grace Blanton

     /  June 30, 2016

    Does this mean winter will be alot colder like in Ky or warmer ?

    Reply
    • Warmer summers and winters for Kentucky under human-forced climate change. But winters will likely tend to heat up more than the summers over longer time scales.

      Reply
    • Andy in SD

       /  June 30, 2016

      Extremes may become worse. Cold snaps may be colder, hot spells may be hotter. Overall trend though is a rise in average temperature.

      Plants may wake up in February due to a heat spell, then get crushed with a bad cold snap in March. There may be a long dry spell which puts plants, animals, people in a weakened state, then a sudden downpour the likes you’ve never seen causing floods.

      Those kinds of events become the rocket fuel for personal impact which people will see. They will not connect the dots to the reason (jet stream dysfunction), they’ll just see whats in front of them.

      And when the cold leg of the Jet stream nails them and they get hit by a horrible cold spell, they’ll laugh at climate change because today it is cold. They are not evil, they just don’t understand how a cold snap is caused by all of this. It is the job of evil people to ensure they never understand.

      Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  June 30, 2016

        Andy, Goethe said that there is nothing more dangerous than ignorance in action. Ignorant, stupid, people may not be innately evil, but their ignorance and stupidity can have catastrophically evil repercussions. And, as you observe, when evil people (the type, I would assert, that capitalism empowers)lead the stupid and ignorant by manipulating their greed and fear, you get our current predicament.

        Reply
  62. Andy in SD

     /  June 30, 2016

    I may not have pressed [submit] last night on a comment, or wordpress tossed it.

    But here are a block fires popping up again in northern Canada, with a real monster growing south of the lake.

    http://www.arctic.io/explorer/8/2016-06-29/8-N59.35783-W109.5992

    Reply
  63. – Hi, Robert.
    You’re likely busy with “(UPDATES PENDING)”.
    – TALLY HO…

    The WaPo is now in the fray w/ Jason Samenow’s

    – Capital Weather Gangopinion
    Claim that jet stream crossing equator is ‘climate emergency’ is utter nonsense

    Commentary

    Two bloggers have made a stunning claim that has spread like wildfire on the Internet: They say the Northern Hemisphere jet stream, the high-altitude river of winds that separates cold air from warm air, has done something new and outrageous…
    One said this signifies that the jet stream is ‘wrecked‘ [RS], the other that we have a “global climate emergency [PB].”

    But these shrill claims have no validity — air flow between the hemispheres occurs routinely.

    The two bloggers who have perpetuated this misinformation are Robert Scribbler, who describes himself as ” a progressive novelist, non-fiction writer and emerging threats expert,” and Paul Beckwith…

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2016/06/30/claim-that-jet-stream-crossing-equator-is-climate-emergency-is-utter-nonsense/

    Reply
    • Got a big push back from some of the atmospheric scientists on this one. So it appears that the analysis is somewhat of an over-reach. Lots of bits to untangle at this time.

      Reply
      • Ok. Good.
        Best,
        DT

        Reply
      • Consider too that there has bee decades of “under-reach” by much of the ‘scientific’ community.
        DT

        Reply
      • WebHubTelescope

         /  June 30, 2016

        “Got a big push back from some of the atmospheric scientists on this one.”

        Don’t sweat it Robert. I don’t think consensus science has the theory for a behavior as clearly regular as QBO correct yet either. Its interesting dealing with the Tweeters on this since they’re mainly graduate students in atmospheric sciences and meteorology (as Lillo is). If you think about it, how much more do they know than you or I? They are still starting out in their field and trying to make sense of the data w/o a lot of experience to back their thinking.

        It’s good what you are doing because it’s shining some light on the topic. Like I said elsewhere, it’s my opinion that Lindzen has made a mess with the theory and it could use some serious rework. I don’t consider it a risky move to challenge Lindzen on his original QBO theory, since he has been wrong on so many of his other views. In certain scientific disciplines, all you need to do is sound pompous and pretentious and others will defer to your assertions. I believe that’s how a belligerent contrarian such as Lindzen got to where he is at and that other scientists have been afraid to challenge him.

        BTW, we are also working this topic at the Azimuth Project forum. The thread on QBO has been going on for almost a year.

        Reply
        • Thanks, WHT. Bound to happen eventually. Tightened up the original statement a bit.

          It’s worth pointing out a bit of history RE this particular line of research. A couple years ago, there was this big suppressive effort aimed at Dr. Francis. Since that time, a number of scientists have weighed in, indicating that her observations have merit.

          Francis and others like Rahmstorf and Dr Jeff Matthews have regularly included this line of research into their own writing.

          Given its links to potential catastrophic weather changes, the topic will absolutely continue to get flak, in my opinion. I guess I’m one of the messengers and this makes me a bit of a target.

          Carbon feedback is a similar topic that generates heat and controversy. All the more reason to keep writing about it. Skeptics/deniers have for too long used the gray areas to generate doubt. But what they should generate is concern and a need for action. That’s why we’re here and we ain’t going to stop.

      • WebHubTelescope

         /  July 1, 2016

        Wow, you are getting lots of press, even made it onto WaPo. I placed a comment there to suggest that many of the meteorology grad students tweeting on this topic were not exactly calm about what they were finding either. They are also thin-skinned as one of them blocked me on twitter when I tried to engage.

        @WHUT

        Reply
        • It’s OK. I think there’s an undercurrent here that will pop up again sometime soon. We’ll keep taking cracks at that rock in the meantime.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  July 5, 2016

        I found the WaPo article rather disturbing. Aggressive and disdainful, and I found your response broadminded and respectful, in contrast.
        The climate science Establishment has erred catastrophically for years, now, in downplaying the risks of our situation, and the extent of the damage already done to climate stability. The IPCC Reports, we know, as dumbed-down to suit the likes of Saudi Arabia, Canada and Australia, and mainstream climate scientists seem to have been intimidated by the rabid denialist mob into doing anything not to appear ‘alarmist’. And the business-owned MSM is even more guilty, being either still insanely and rabidly denialist, as with the Murdoch MSM cancer, or aggressively downplaying our plight, as with this WaPo article.
        I think it’s pretty obvious why this is so. Fossil fuel interests still represent the greatest treasure-trove of ‘wealth’ in the entire capitalist New World Order. The tens of trillions in fossil fuel ‘assets’ under-write all the Big Banks and thereby all the other transnational corporate interests financed and/or controlled by those banks. And the petro-dollar remains one of the last bulwarks of US global economic hegemony.
        So any functionary in a Western MSM ‘newspaper of record’ knows well that any panic setting in among the serfs regarding the truth of our predicament will cause a social and economic revolution at worst, or catastrophic disruption at best, and his or her employers DO NOT want that to happen. So, even mild-mannered Cassandras like Robert must be silenced and discredited, hence the hatchet-job. I am almost certain that Robert’s observations here, if ‘only’ that of a scrupulous outsider to the scientific priesthood, will prove to be closer to the awful truth than the MSM nay-sayers. Time will tell, but we really don’t have any time left up our sleeves.
        I saw the same process first-hand in years of working in hospitals. Treatments and medications were often ineffective, but procedures followed the opinions and prejudices of Heads of Departments, and a strong hierarchy dominated. Then some wag decided that ‘Evidence-based Medicine’ might be preferable, and the Cochrane Collaboration was created, to bring all the relevant research together. And, oddly enough, much of the ‘received wisdom’ proved to be poppy-cock. And as for pharmaceuticals, the insiders know that most psychiatric medication is worthless or harmless, statins are highly dangerous and most vaccines don’t even work, but let’s keep all that close to our chests because BigPharma still does ‘freebies’ like no-one else.
        As Max Planck observed, science proceeds ‘one funeral at a time’, as the old guard and their certainties die out. I reckon it’s just as true of climate science, where a healthy and rational alarm will do your career prospects no good at all.

        Reply
        • So Francis and the notion of increased Jet Stream meandering/ larger and more frequent Rossby Wave propagation has been a contraversial issue since it was first introduced. At first, the mainstream science attacked it pretty voraciously (in similar style to the attacks leveled at Shakhova and Simeletov).

          Evidence appears now to be weighing in favor of Francis/Rahmstorf/Hansen (Masters etc). This is probably the cause of much consternation among climate change deniers, climate cherry pickers, and luke-warmers. My post (while initially containing some inaccuracies which have since been corrected) used the meandering Jet Stream theory basis and an observation of what looked like an odd set of pheonomena to point to possible knock-on impacts — transfer of larger air parcels across the Equatorial boundary and the potential trans-hemisphere influence of one Wavy Jet Stream pattern (trough) in the North on a Rossby Wave pattern (ridge) and related heatwave in the South — and a related broader trend of loss of seasonal variability.

          These observations and assertions were well outside the bounds of currently accepted science. That said, my view is that the related risks of the broader issue raised are absolutely valid.

          These analysis were probably uncomfortable for many and that likely remains the case. PB took the whole issue to the next level by declaring ‘global emergency now,’ which appears to be the trigger for much hew and cry.

          Ever since starting to write this blog, I’ve had to walk a tightrope. If I cover issues outside the mainstream science, I get heavy fire. Unfortunately, I’ve had rows with Gavin Schmidt, for example, over issues like methane and wavy Jet Streams in the past. And when that’s happened, I’ve done my best to keep an open dialogue and to represent the broader context in which the contraversy is playing out.

          In the end, I think it’s pretty certain that loss of seasonality due to global warming is going to happen. The poles warm faster than the Equatorial regions until the big ice sheets get involved. At that point, the weather just goes completely haywire (worse than what we’re seeing now) and after what looks like an emerging age of storms (Hansen) and extreme weather, you get ice free or mostly ice free conditions at the poles which basically removes Winter as we know it as a season.

          The loss of seasonality of course would tend to progress in steps and phases, but likley not at all in an orderly fashion. The threshold for a full loss of Winter (as we know it) appears to be in the range of 550 to 600 ppm CO2 (or CO2e). Which is enough heat forcing to melt most of the large glaciers on Earth. We are at 408 ppm CO2 (peak Mauna Loa) and 490 ppm CO2e now. That’s probably enough already to take down the vast majority of glacial ice in the Northern Hemisphere and a good chunk in the Southern Hemisphere long term. So Winter is certainly in trouble.

          Overall, the threat to seasonality is a very high risk/high certainty issue. The details as to how that might unfold is what’s somewhat murky at this time and is the major driver of all the ongoing contraversy happening now.

          ****

          About the Cochrane Collaboration:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cochrane_(organisation)

          Also worth noting that vaccination has been an extremely effective tool in disease prevention and controlling the spread of illness. Loss or reduction of vaccination in certain countries has resulting in increase in the death rate as noted here:

          “In several countries, reductions in the use of some vaccines were followed by increases in the diseases’ morbidity and mortality.[53][54] According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, continued high levels of vaccine coverage are necessary to prevent resurgence of diseases that have been nearly eliminated.[55] Pertussis remains a major health problem in developing countries, where mass vaccination is not practiced; the World Health Organization estimates it caused 294,000 deaths in 2002.[56]”

          See vaccine contraversies for more information:

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

        • It IS a tightrope, and I think you generally do a great job of staying on it, so thanks for your continued efforts for us all.

        • 😉. Thanks my friend. And I must say that all your help over the years has been very much appreciated.

  64. – For everyone I must add someone’s comment to the WaPo cited above.
    Gordon Clark

    11:53 AM PST

    “Dear Jason – While I appreciate that you have debunked a story that was inaccurate, I believe you are hurting – or at the very least not helping – our knowledge of climate change and appropriate response, and I’ll tell you why. While the story in question might be wrong, there ARE large numbers of unprecedented, thoroughly documented climate anomalies going on right now, from global temperatures that have quickly gone from elevated to a new record every year/month, as well as Arctic temperatures that in the words of some reputable scientists have “robbed the Arctic of winter,” leading to the lowest Arctic sea ice levels in recorded history – with all that methane in the sea bed and melting permafrost increasingly rising into the atmosphere. Not surprisingly, there are thousands of reputable scientists who are pleading for a global climate state of emergency (or something equivalent) right now. Are you giving them as much coverage as you are giving to debunking this one story, and if not why not? People go overboard and create false stories, on this issue anyway, because they know something is terribly wrong but that we are not being told. We ARE in global climate state of emergency that gets worse with every passing week, and my guess is you know this too, in your heart and gut if not also your head, but that for some reason or reasons you choose to censure yourself, and what these scientists are saying. A pity for all of us, isn’t it? I encourage you to spend more time writing about the state of emergency we are truly in, and less time debunking a few outlier articles. – Gordon Clark”

    Reply
  65. Randy Wolfe

     /  June 30, 2016

    I will leave the arbitration of this debate to the experts.

    A few things I find disturbing.

    The condescending tone of the WaPo CWG response. Educate, do not berate.

    That WaPo CWG chose to focus on responses from Cliff Mass, Roy Spencer, and Ryan Maue. All well known climate data cherry pickers, slow walkers, and perhaps outright deniers. No attribution of their views.

    Sure they gave Jennifer Francis a say, but it was almost offhand.

    Disappointing

    Reply
  66. Hi Robert,

    Thank you so much for your updated remarks. I was returning to this post to highlight the Washington post article in case it had not yet been drawn to your attention. That you had already posted this humble and honest addendum ceding to the experts without argument or defensiveness but in a way of open inquiry, speaks very well to your earnest efforts to communicate the situation we are in.

    It is this attitude and respect for science and expert voices that brings me back to this blog time and again. As you say we’re all human and make mistakes from time to time, the important thing is that we are able to recognise that and correct them, as you have shown is possible.

    Thank you again.🙂

    Reply
  67. Jean

     /  June 30, 2016

    The Jet Stream needs all the Publicity it can get

    Reply
  68. mlparrish

     /  June 30, 2016

    Robert
    Push back maybe, but it appears to me a significant phenomenon I would like to know more about, and don’t see that much. Especially since Earth Nullschool winds at 250 look like a bowl of spaghetti. Terrible to be interested but not a meteorologist.
    All sorts of interesting questions arise. Perhaps it is not the occurrence that is in question, but the degree and frequency. Certainly if widespread it could even hemispheric temperatures pretty quickly. How prevalent is it to begin with? Has it changed? Is all this taken into account in climate models? What do the cross currents have to do with the QBO? Are both acting up at the same time, which would call for an explanation?
    Fred Pearce talked about Drew Shindell’s stratospheric and UV feedback which is about the only thing I have seen that seemed a fairly reasonable explanation of a 0.5 watt Milankovich change causing and ending an ice age. Haven’t heard anything else about that, or even much about the stratosphere, but here we are in the higher atmosphere again. You’ve got my vote for bringing it up.

    Reply
    • mlparrish

       /  June 30, 2016

      Oh, and about the Earth Nullschool California CO anomaly on the fault lines a few months ago that turned out to be a glitch – You were the only one that seriously addressed what was a very significant signal, and which certainly needed clarification. That was quite a service. This information is public and its use has to be understood.

      Reply
    • Well, the waiver Jet Stream narrative sure does fit into what many atmospheric scientist have been pointing out over the past few years. Loss of seasonality is an issue that has been linked with climate change.

      My sense of the WAPO article is that it was a bit of a stawman — conflating me with Beckwith. For one, I did not say ‘planetary emergency.’

      And there’s a bit of ad hominem there as well.

      Add in the fact that Spencer (climate misinformer) figures prominently and this kinda looks like a hit job.

      Reply
      • Genomik

         /  July 1, 2016

        Robert, glad you updated your article. I posted it and got some grief and I got a little suspicious when Beckwith used the back scratcher as a pointing device. When I noted the back scratcher others also noted it was odd. So I started wondering and then this morning I saw the articles. Your update is proper and helps retain legitimacy.

        I think it’s difficult as a blogger to thread a fine line between dispassionate science (which by many measures can take a long time to react to issues) and getting the weary publics attention. It’s further confounded when the opponents of climate change break every rule in the book and even invent new ways to lie about climate change.

        I have started reading you last year and look at footnotes and read other blogs and science for confirmations and second opinions and I find truth in your postings. I urge you to keep that a priority as you are getting a big following and I show you to my friends many of which are critical thinkers.

        Reply
        • Beckwith has kind of emerged like a shake and bake scribbler strawman. If there’s a gray area in one of my posts, he exaggerates it into some rather outrageous claim and then people, for some reason, attribute his claims to me. Similar the Guy McPherson, but on a separate subject tack. The best thing, in this case, is to mostly ignore the claims and not puff them up anymore than is necessary. The WAPO article required a response. But I found it hard to take personally due to the fact that it really wasn’t about me and, in many cases, hyper focused such that it missed the larger point of the article.

          I’m not too worried about it. Jason seems a decent fellow and I suspect wise enough to realize when the dog has been wagged. Will see if there are any repeats. But, yeah, we are changing the communication strategy a bit going forward. I have someone from HSUS helping me with response messaging, so that helps too.

        • And, yeah, I agree. Posts are priority 1.

  69. Cate

     /  June 30, 2016

    We can use a little good news…. 😀

    Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal has overturned approval of the Enbridge Northern Gateway project after finding that the fed govt failed to consult properly with the First Nations affected by the pipeline.

    “The ruling says the government can now reconsider the submissions which are already on the public record in order to consider the concerns of First Nations or they can redo Aboriginal consultation. Either way, once the process is completed, the approval of the project will go back to the federal government for consideration.”

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/northern-gateway-pipeline-federal-court-of-appeal-1.3659561

    Reply
  70. Josh

     /  June 30, 2016

    As a few others have said, we need a climate emergency to be declared anyway regardless of cross-hemispheric jet stream flows. I certainly didn’t take from this post that we were going to have no seasons from next year or anything of the sort, but it is another thing to be concerned about and I thank you for highlighting it.

    Also, a very nice addendum. We’re all human, and actually this does show your blog is getting a good reach!

    Reply
  71. Cate

     /  June 30, 2016

    Robert, further to OSNAP’s and Dr Rahmstof’s work on the AMOC, a new study from Columbia’s Earth Institute with direct relevance:

    http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/news-events/ocean-circulation-implicated-past-abrupt-climate-changes

    >>>>>The new study explores what happened to ocean circulation when the Earth went through a series of abrupt climate changes in the past, during a time when ice covered part of North America and temperatures were colder than today. It looks at the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, which distributes heat as it moves warmer surface water from the tropics toward Greenland and the high northern latitudes and carries colder, deeper water from the North Atlantic southward.
    Using chemical tracers in sediment that builds up on the sea floor over time, Henry and his co-authors were able to document the relative speed of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation during each abrupt climate change. The overturning circulation pushes water through the Atlantic Basin, distributing heat as it moves warmer surface water from the tropics toward Greenland and the high northern latitudes and carries colder, deeper water from the North Atlantic southward.
    The chemical tracers show that the speed of the ocean overturning circulation changed first and that a change in sea surface temperature followed. That suggests that cooling may start with changes in the ocean circulation, influencing the northern sea surface and atmosphere, said co-author Jerry McManus, a professor at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Evidence from ice cores and deep-sea sediment has shown that the Northern climate also cooled before the Southern climate during these abrupt changes, creating a “bipolar seesaw,” with the North cool while the South was warm, and the South cooling as the North warmed.>>>

    Reply
    • Someone has to explain to us, the public and people, what is happening to our climate, and so we need you, Robert and others to be the messengers. Even then, it takes intelligence , perseverance, open mindedness and transcending long held beliefs to comprehend the explainations. That is a lot of levels to go through to come to understanding. If the scientists think your messages need some rweaking for more accuracy, so be it. We want to comprehend what they are saying and they need you to tranfer the knowledge to us. It can be difficult to be the messenger, we wont kill you though. 😁

      Reply
  72. Basic question re:
    The text of 7:32 PM – 27 Jun 2016 Sam Lillo Tweet:
    “Current QBO cycle showing complete disregard to the model we know. As @tim_dunkerton pointed out, closest is 1960”
    A 56 yr spread between data points. That points to something a bit uncommon. Yes?
    Anomalous?
    Am I missing something here?
    1960 – 2016 = 56.

    Reply
    • “Complete disregard” seems a bit pointed.
      Scientific?

      Reply
    • – A Sam Lillo quote in WaPo:
      “None of this is unusual,” he said. “

      – 56 yrs?

      Reply
      • Sam’s been tweeting for weeks about how it’s unusual. So, perhaps, he should clairify his statements?

        Reply
      • Ps: “… equatorial stratospheric winds, which has been “out of phase.”

        “Lillo countered that the tweet referred to some unusual behavior of a phenomenon known as the QBO or Quasi-Biennial Oscillation, which is “a separate story” from the cross-equator flow. The QBO, he said, is an oscillation in equatorial stratospheric winds, which has been “out of phase.”

        I don’t know the linkage but any force ‘out of phase’ seems worth monitoring.

        Reply
      • ” So, perhaps, he should clairify his statements?
        Yes, that would likely help in the understanding.

        Reply
      • WebHubTelescope

         /  July 1, 2016

        Those guys don’t understand that there is a close linkage between between the QBO quasi-periodicity and that of lunisolar cycles. You know that strawberry moon that we just had? They said that this is the first one in 49 to 68 years, depending on who you listen to.

        This is our model of the QBO.
        https://forum.azimuthproject.org/discussion/comment/15434/#Comment_15434

        Nothing special in there, just the tidal equations that Laplace came up with in 1776 and knowledge of lunisolar long periods, i.e. the solar year, half-year, draconic lunar month, etc.

        Lindzen messed up big-time with his QBO theory.

        Reply
  73. – USA – SW weather:

    Reply
  74. jason samenow wrote the following, in response to a facebook comment i left on a nyt journalist’s page noting that you’d edited and amended this post: (Jason Samenow) “Scribbler’s response to the criticism was very dignified and professional. Have new respect for him.”

    Reply
  75. Robert, you need to get this information to Alex Smith of Radio Ecoshock. He’ll get it on the air on 91 ststions, like ours, WGRN-LP 94.1 Columbus.

    Reply
  76. – USA – Coastal Florida – Algae:

    – AP via foxnews.com/us/2016/06/30/guacamole-thick-algae-causes-crisis

    Guacamole-thick’ algae causes crisis on Florida coastline

    STUART, Fla. – A smelly, “guacamole-thick” muck is fouling a stretch of beaches promoted as Florida’s “Treasure Coast,” where lawmakers and residents blame the federal government, saying the algae crisis is fueled by freshwater flows controlled by Army officials to protect an erosion-prone dike.

    The blue-green algae is the latest contaminant featured in yearslong arguments over water flowing from Lake Okeechobee, which is critical to South Florida’s water supply and flood control systems.

    At Central Marine boat docks in Stuart on Thursday, pea-green and brown algae coated the water and smelled strongly like cow manure. Blooms that started last week in the St. Lucie River continue to spread, threatening Atlantic beaches expecting crowds of families for the holiday weekend.

    Reply
    • They should be blaming the capitalists who gained control of the Federal Government back in 1981 and never let go.😡

      Reply
  77. Hi Robert –

    From everything I’ve learned in college in regards to meteorology ( I could be wrong )

    Airflow often crosses the equator. From what I learned is that the air flows can connect with each other and it a way bigger airflow that it may make the jet stream to look like flowing from one hemisphere to another.

    Reply
    • Thanks Marna. I think the statement would have been more valid if the focus was on zonal wind patterns and
      Rossby Waves. The hemisphere to hemisphere mixing may be a stretch too far at this time. Obviously there’s some gray areas in the science RE QBO that need to be clairified. I’m going to keep this in my back pocket for now and take a deeper look at a later time.

      Reply
  78. Griffin

     /  July 1, 2016

    I am sure that you have heard enough Robert but I am sorry, I have to weigh in here.
    You have spent an incredible amount of your time writing about our impact upon this planet so as to educate those who (like me) needed help understanding what is going on.
    You can absolutely make a mistake. Mistakes, though frowned upon in today’s mighty castles of social media, remain an inherently human trait. It is no big deal.
    What is a big deal is the mountain of work that you have produced that has introduced average schmucks like me to a world of experts that I have also learned from. It is from you and your fabulous followers that I would sooner recognize Dr. Richard Alley on the street than some of my own cousins. It is from the endless posts and links on this blog that names like Rahmstorff, Francis, Trenberth, Mann, Schmidt, Hansen, Rignot and Box, are as familiar to me as the names of my neighbors. What I have learned about our energy imbalance as a result of this blog has led me to hold signs in protest of pipelines and write letters to elected officials for better climate policy. It’s gonna take a whole lot of mistakes before you could ever come close to detracting from the value of this blog.
    You inspire learning. Keep up the good work. Your (and your followers) impact is far more positive than you could imagine.

    Reply
    • Thanks Griff. I must admit you made me a bit emotional just now.

      We don’t give up here. We just pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, put our chins down, and keep doing our best to spread the word and to try to prevent harm. And yeah, the best way to learn something is to make a mistake. Don’t make a mistake and well, guess what, you never learn.

      In this case, though, I still think the larger point of concern was valid if some of the details were mussed.

      Reply
      • “You inspire learning.”
        Good words for RS.
        A much needed and appreciated currency indeed.

        – DT

        Reply
      • Spike

         /  July 1, 2016

        Thanks from me too Robert. The quiet dignity with which you have responded speaks louder than a thousand shrill deniers.

        Reply
        • So the issue with the kind of exploration that we undertake here is that it is more open to inaccuracy. In some ways, it has to be to explore these larger issues. First due to the fact that there is no way for me to achieve a specialist level of knowledge in every field. But moreso due to the fact that we are entering a time where there are a lot of unkowns and where the risks are starting to cast some rather long shadows.

          It’s in our nature to recoil, to turn our eyes from these kinds of new dangers. And because of fear, because we really haven’t looked at them hard before, it is almost certain that our first perceptions of the risk will be off to varying degrees.

          I think, sometimes, it’s worthwhile to act as a gadfly. To get people talking about things they wouldn’t otherwise talk about. To bust of the silos of perceived comfortable reality. That’s not always something that elicits a good reaction. But we often find that a good deal of learning can come from the process.

    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 1, 2016

      Griffin –

      Hear, hear !

      Reply
  79. Colorado Bob

     /  July 1, 2016

    Russian volunteers seek a foothold as wildfires rage in Siberia

    ULAN-UDE, RUSSIA — Half a world away from the wildfires that have devastated the Southwestern United States this summer, Andrey Borodin was waging his own battle against the elements, directing a team of a dozen volunteers blasting water into the smoldering Siberian soil. The cloying stench of burning peat filled the air. His team, ankle-deep in the muck, methodically flipped mounds of soggy earth with shovels, occasionally batting out open flames. Nearby stood a forest of burnt birch.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/russian-volunteers-seek-a-foothold-as-wildfires-rage-in-siberia/2016/06/24/ad2a6178-37c0-11e6-af02-1df55f0c77ff_story.html#comments

    Reply
  80. Colorado Bob

     /  July 1, 2016

    Crippled Atlantic currents triggered ice age climate change

    The last ice age wasn’t one long big chill. Dozens of times temperatures abruptly rose or fell, causing all manner of ecological change. Mysteriously, ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica show that these sudden shifts—which occurred every 1500 years or so—were out of sync in the two hemispheres: When it got cold in the north, it grew warm in the south, and vice versa. Now, scientists have implicated the culprit behind those seesaws—changes to a conveyor belt of ocean currents known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC).

    These currents, which today drive the Gulf Stream, bring warm surface waters north and send cold, deeper waters south. But they weakened suddenly and drastically, nearly to the point of stopping, just before several periods of abrupt climate change, researchers report today in Science. In a matter of decades, temperatures plummeted in the north, as the currents brought less warmth in that direction. Meanwhile, the backlog of warm, southern waters allowed the Southern Hemisphere to heat up.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/06/crippled-atlantic-conveyor-triggered-ice-age-climate-change

    Reply
  81. Colorado Bob

     /  July 1, 2016

    Radiography of drought periods in Spain from the last 318 years

    The results, published in the ‘International Journal of Biometeorology’, made it possible to evaluate droughts from the last three centuries; they reveal that the twelve months leading up to July 2012 were the driest over the entire period studied. “We have been able to successfully identify seven especially dry periods and five wet periods since the end of the 17th century,” says Ernesto Tejedor to Sinc, the main author of the study. ………………… The reconstruction of droughts using dendrochronology does not make it possible to directly predict extreme future events, although these reconstructions are indeed used to validate future climate change models. “What we are seeing from the 20th century, and what we have seen so far in the 21st, is an increase in the recurrence of extreme phenomena, including both wet and dry years,” stresses the researcher to Sinc.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160630093233.htm

    Reply
  82. Adam Ash

     /  July 1, 2016

    Antarctica. The weather near there has been kinda odd of late, with really unusual blocking winds obstructing the normal circumpolar Roaring 40s (50s etc) winds. Ive put some illustrations of this on Arctic Sea Ice forum (For want of a more relevant place),

    http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,622.msg81837.html#msg81837

    http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,622.msg81931.html#msg81931

    Is this a sign that the upset in jet stream configuration RS notes is having an effect closer to ground level?

    Reply
  83. Tread lightly where conjecture is scrutinized and harshly criticized.

    Reply
  84. Kevin Jones

     /  July 1, 2016

    Ah, Robert. Responding to this story and your update: “There is a way of being wrong which is also sometimes necessarily right.”–Edward Abbey Illegitimi non carborundum! (Latin for Don’t let the bastards grind you down…)

    Reply
    • Cheers, Kevin. Much appreciated.

      I guess the question that I have for the scientists now is —

      Is it usual for parcels of air to move from the upper Latitudes of one hemisphere, into the Tropics, across the Equator, and then into the upper Latitudes of another hemisphere?

      If so, to what extent and during what times of year? And–

      Does a reduction of atmospheric slope from Pole to Equator due to both polar amplification and human forced warming increase the frequency and force of these potential fluxes? If so, why? If not, why not? And —

      What is the ultimate impact or lack of impact on seasonal variability? And finally —

      What are the other climate change related impacts on seasonal variability and through what mechanisms?

      I may have mussed a few of the details in the article that has caused what is basically now a firestorm. But these are the issues I’ve been trying to raise in the first place. And, in my view, they’re pretty important.

      Reply
  85. Kevin Jones

     /  July 1, 2016

    Well, The Washington Post article just included your Update remarks. Good on them for that.

    Reply
  86. Kevin Jones

     /  July 1, 2016

    Years ago a scientist told a congressional committee “There will be surprises.” To which a brilliant congressman responded, “What will they be?” It cannot be wrong to attempt to foresee them. That is, after all part of your job description.

    Reply
  87. New Boston Globe article on threat of global weirding to Boston, reblogged at Fin des Voies Rapides.

    Reply
  88. Harquebus

     /  July 2, 2016

    “The two bloggers who have perpetuated this misinformation are Robert Scribbler, who describes himself as ” a progressive novelist, non-fiction writer and emerging threats expert,” and Paul Beckwith”
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2016/06/30/claim-that-jet-stream-crossing-equator-is-climate-emergency-is-utter-nonsense/

    I know that this comment will not be posted and I am not saying that you are wrong, I just thought I’d let you know. We agree on global problems, it is only the solution that we disagree.

    Reply
  89. Well that escalated quickly. Wouldn’t want to be alarmist about the world burning to death or anything. You keep that up, people might start thinking we should do something about it, and there’d never be any end to it.

    Reply
  90. I personally think we should all kick back and be quiet, and wait until our imminent demise is conclusively proven to within a fraction of a decimal point, by a unanimous cohort of science people. Then we can all get together online and have a serious talk about this while we swap photos of the fires. CB can do the music.

    Reply
  91. Reblogged this on ingaorama and commented:
    Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025
    Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025
    A Research Paper Presented To Air Force 2025
    by
    Col Tamzy J. House
    Lt Col James B. Near, Jr.
    LTC William B. Shields (USA)
    Maj Ronald J. Celentano
    Maj David M. Husband
    Maj Ann E. Mercer
    Maj James E.
    Pugh
    http://csat.au.af.mil/2025/volume3/vol3ch15.pdf
    August 1996

    Reply
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