Coastal Cities, Critical Infrastructure Unprepared to Face the Rising Tides of Climate Change

Civitasthe latin word for city and the root word for civilization. Civilization, in other words, is a collection of component cities. And, by extension, any major threat to a large number of cities is a threat to civilization itself. Such is the case with human-forced climate change.

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It’s a sad fact that many of the hundreds of coastal cities around the world are living on borrowed time. Current greenhouse gas levels — topping out near 408 parts per million CO2 (and 490 parts per million CO2e) this year — will need to fall in order to prevent 1-3 C of additional warming and 25 to 60 feet or more of sea level rise over the coming decades and centuries. And even if we somehow dialed atmospheric CO2 and CO2e levels back to 350 ppm, it’s likely that we’d still see seas eventually rise by 10-20 feet over the long term due to already destabilized glaciers in places like Greenland or West Antarctica.

But with fossil fuel burning continuing at near record levels globally, and with many corporations and political bodies around the world dragging feet on greenhouse gas emissions cuts, the level of heat-trapping carbon held aloft in our airs will continue to rise for some time. These vastly irresponsible actions will further heat the atmosphere and ocean — melting a greater share of the world’s land ice and forcing seas to ultimately rise even more. If CO2e exceeds a range of 550 to 650 parts per million — which could easily happen even under so-called moderate rates of fossil fuel burning before the middle of the 21st Century — then all the land ice on Earth will be placed under melt pressure. And that vast sum of ice melt represents about 220 feet of sea level rise long term so long as the greenhouse gas melt and heat pressure remains.

Sea level rise AVISO July 2016

(Seas have been rising in concert with ocean warming and fossil fuel burning since the start of the 20th Century. At first, during the first half of the 20th Century, rates of rise were less than 1 mm per year. By the 1993 through 2016 period, sea level rise averaged 3.39 mm per year. And since 2011, the rate of rise appears to have steepened into the range of 4 to 6 milimeters per year. Image source: AVISO.)

Even more disturbing is the fact that in the geological past, glacial melt has not tended to process in a gradual, orderly fashion. Instead, initial gradual melt has, in deep history, often been punctuated by very large melt pulses as glacial systems rapidly succumbed to warming environments. And with human warming now proceeding at a pace about 20 times faster than the end of the last ice age, the risk for rapid melt has been greatly enhanced.

Despite continued snide claims by climate change deniers to the contrary — it really is a global emergency. One that includes difficult impacts now and a rising risk of far worse impacts to come. A very real kind of long emergency for human civilization and the natural world combined. One made no less worse by its current deceptively slow, if massive and inexorable, advance.

Hundreds of Cities Under Threat

Due to this threat posed by human-forced warming of the global climate system, cities that have lasted for hundreds or thousands of years now face a serious risk that they will ultimately be devoured by rising tides. Around the world, nearly half of the world’s approximate 4,000 cities with populations of greater than 100,000 people sit on or near the coastline, at elevations below 220 feet, or near bodies of water that are vulnerable to sea level rise. Under the continued pressure of human-forced warming on global ocean levels, a good number (5-10 percent) of these cities may begin to succumb to rising tides in as little as a 10-30 years. And, long term, over 30-300 year time frames, pretty much all are threatened if the world continues burning fossil fuels.

Greenland Glacial Melt

(Glacial melt, like from this pond-riddled and melt-darkened section of Greenland as seen on July 8 of 2016, threatens many coastal cities this Century. With human warming of the Earth atmosphere approaching 2 C, the threat of large glacial outburst flood events that rapidly push sea levels higher is rising. But even gradual sea level rise is already disrupting cities and the infrastructure that supports them. Image source: LANCE MODIS.)

New Orleans, London, Sydney, Shanghai, Los Angeles, New York, Alexandria, Amsterdam, Miami, Norfolk, Washington DC, and Toyko are just a handful of the major cities that are mostly low-lying or that contain large low-lying sections. And all are below the 220 foot sea level rise line that current levels of fossil fuel burning will begin to put into long-term play before mid-Century.

Infrastructure is the First Vulnerability

While complete inundation by rising tides is the ultimate issue, cities do not have to face such drowning to fall under threat. Water supplies, transportation nodes and arteries, food supplies, and energy production and distribution facilities all represent lynch-pins that, if disrupted, can take down a city’s ability to effectively function. And sea level rise often threatens many or all of these critical supports well before the problem of total inundation becomes an issue.

Miami, for example, now faces a combination of these threats due to the presently emerging early outlier effects of human-forced sea level rise. There, just one foot of rising tides since the early 1870s has now put 2.4 million of Miami’s residents and 1.3 million homes within 4 feet of the high tide mark. By 2015, that relatively minor sea level rise had increased tidal flooding by 50 percent. Roadways and neighborhoods were more frequently cut off by the rising waters — which prompted the election of Philip Levine as Mayor of Miami Beach and the implementation of his 400 million dollar project to elevate roads and add pumps.

The city’s water supply, provided by a fresh water aquifer running through porous limestone, is protected from ocean salt water intrusion by a fresh water barrier of canals. A mere six additional inches of sea level rise will render the current system both ineffective and vulnerable to over-topping due to heavy rainfall events.

Power Stations, Roads, and Airports

By 2030, Miami is expected to see between 6-10 more inches of sea level rise. By the end of this Century, it will probably see at least 6 feet — and that’s if we don’t pursue business as usual fossil fuel burning and if the world’s glaciers mostly behave themselves by not giving us a big, angry melt pulse in response to our insults. The result is that not only Miami, but the far-flung critical infrastructure that supports it is also under threat.

In this context, Miami’s airport is just 8 feet above the high tide line. The nearby Turkey Point Nuclear facility which provides energy to the city and a big chunk of South Florida is about 6 feet above the high tide line. And though its reactors are elevated by another 20 feet of concrete buttressing, this Century’s predicted sea level rise would flood its grounds and surrounding roadways — likely rendering it inoperable.

Nuclear Stations Sea Level Rise

(Long term inland extent of sea level rise under 2 C and 4 C warming scenarios for US East and Gulf Coasts puts 13 nuclear facilities in the firing line. And an unexpected melt pulse or powerful storms riding on the top of sea level rise present a risk of flooded reactors. Such an inland rush of waters would also drown scores of coastal US cities, cut off roadways, flood aquifers, inundate crops, submerge airports, and sink conventional power stations. Image source: Nuclear Regulatory Commission, National Geographic, Climate Central.)

In the US, nine nuclear power stations are located on the coast. Another 13 are vulnerable to sea level rise. These sites are located near the ocean or along ocean fed rivers. They are ultimately vulnerable to sea level rise spurred by 2 or 4 degrees Celsius worth of warming. Without a herculean effort to not only reduce greenhouse gasses, but to recapture them from the atmosphere, 2 C warming is already locked in (this Century or longer term). The 4 C number is possible by late this Century under business as usual fossil fuel burning and is possible long term (500 year time scales) under the continuous 490 ppm CO2e forcing now in place.

Many large coal and gas power plants which also require heavy flows of water to support their operations are located near the coast. Oil refineries, which rely on shipping are often very close to sea level. Many major roadways are vulnerable to cut-off from sea level rise. And an amazingly large number of key airports are below a 20 foot elevation.  A small sampling includes San Diego International Airport at 13ft in elevation, Santa Barbara — 10 feet, Vancouver –14 feet, Portland 20 feet, JFK — 13 feet, La Guardia — runway elevations between 7 and 21 feet, Reagan National — 13 feet.

New York Also Armoring Against Rising Tides

In the northeastern US, another city has recently had a harsh global warming wake-up call. About a foot of east coast sea level rise added to the approximate 13 foot storm surge of Hurricane Sandy to flood Staten Island and large sections of lower Manhattan. The local power station flooded — propelling the city into darkness even as the subway system drowned and one neighborhood filled with water and burned at the same time.

Post Sandy responses have resulted in a flurry of activity. Fully 60 billion dollars has been spent to rebuild and a good chunk of that has gone to making the city more protected against both storms and rising sea levels. High rises are now required to lift critical infrastructure such as water pumps and spare generators into the upper stories should lower levels flood. A big flood resiliency effort, starting with the 3 billion dollar construction of a 10 foot high, two mile long flood barrier in 2017, is underway. One that may buttress much of lower Manhattan behind a U shaped wall meant to deflect both rising tides and worsening storms.  And a new park now features hills up to 70 feet above sea level.

Post-Glacial_Sea_Level

(At the end of the last ice age, as global temperatures approached 2 degrees Celsius above previous averages, large melt pulses from Antarctica and Northern Hemisphere Ice Sheets forced seas to rise by as much as 10 feet per Century. Human-forced warming is currently about 20 times faster than warming at the end of the last ice age. Current rates of warming and greenhouse gas emissions threaten to generate a 2 C warming by or even before the middle of this Century. Large melt pulses forced by such conditions would put cities like New York under risk of rapid inundation. Image source: Post-Glacial Sea Level Rise.)

These efforts appear to be aimed at facing off against another 1 foot of sea level rise for Manhattan by 2030 and a North Atlantic Ocean that is increasingly riled by powerful storms due to warming related climate instabilities. New York is digging in for the fight of its life. And for good reason. 10 percent of US gross domestic product funnels through this city of 8.5 million and over 100 billion dollars worth of real estate now sits in a high risk flood zone.

But build and buttress as it might, New York is hopeless in the long term if we can’t somehow stop human carbon emissions soon. If we can’t somehow start to draw carbon out of the air. If we can’t do these things, then New York, Miami and thousands of other coastal cities will ultimately face 25 feet of sea level rise or much, much worse. And the far flung infrastructures that they rely on will all, increasingly, need more and more costly and involved protections before they too succumb to the rising tides.

Links/Attribution/Statements:

Rising Seas Threat to Miami

Miami Nuisance Flooding Up by 50 Percent

As Waters Rise, Miami Beach Builds Higher Streets

Miami Herald — Sea Level Rise

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Sea Level Rise — Are Coastal Nuke Plants Ready?

Sea Level Rise Risk to Coastal Nuclear Plants

Can New York Be Saved in the Era of Global Warming?

Post-Glacial Sea Level Rise

New Park Built to Withstand Epic Storms

Global Cities Map

Ancient Civilization

Scientific hat tip to Dr. James Hansen

Scientific hat tip to Dr. Eric Rignot

Scientific hat tip to Dr. Jason Box

Hat tip to DT Lange

Hat tip to Scott

Hat tip to Genomik

Hat tip to Cate

Leave a comment

185 Comments

  1. LJR

     /  July 9, 2016

    I didn’t see any mention of seaports in your compendium of catastrophes. Seems to me that it’s mighty tough to move seaports inland. The amount of capital tied up in dock machinery is immense. World trade completely depends on the ability to move goods inexpensively with container ships. It’s not even remotely possible that container ships can be unloaded without the massive unloading cranes that are completely tied to existing seaports. Not to mention bulk goods. I suppose there will be interim measures that try to build retaining walls and locks so that some existing ports can remain in operation. But that’s pretty tough to imagine in deep water ports.

    Reply
  2. Jay M

     /  July 9, 2016

    The problem is that infrastructure can’t be built until the boundaries have shifted. How can you build a port for 20′ rise that may be unusable for 5 years? Not going to happen.
    Rebuild needs to be financed by nations getting aware.

    Reply
    • lracine

       /  July 9, 2016

      Where is the money coming from and how will it be paid back?

      Who is going to “eat” the loss from investments in infrastructure that is literally underwater??? The short list that Robert touched on is just the beginning.

      The implosion of an economy is enough to destroy a culture and civilization.

      Reply
  3. Colorado Bob

     /  July 9, 2016

    Just saw this At WU, no link with it tough :

    The hardest-hit areas were in Hubei Province, where up to 1,295 millimeters (4.24 feet) of rain have fallen since June 30.

    Reply
  4. Hmmmmm…. It’s a good hard fight against NIMLT (kind of line NIMBY).

    Reply
  5. Jay M

     /  July 9, 2016

    If you have a hammer, everything is a nail
    If you are water (rain) everything really is a nail

    Reply
  6. Colorado Bob

     /  July 9, 2016

    The taste of tea is changing—and generally for the worse if left unmanaged,” declares ethnobotanist Selena Ahmed, an assistant professor of sustainable food systems at Montana State University. Ahmed is the project lead of a research group from Tufts University in Massachusetts studying the effect of climate change on tea. And not only is flavor being compromised, but ultimately, due to erratic precipitation and extreme temperatures, “there are [fewer] areas suitable for [growing] high quality tea” around the world, she finishes. …………………………….

    Too Much Rain Is Dulling the Flavor of Tea

    Global warming has brought unseasonally high levels of rainfall in parts of the world. Because the atmosphere’s water-holding limit increases by about 4 percent for every one degree Fahrenheit rise in temperature, extreme precipitation is more likely when a storm passes through a warmer atmosphere holding more water. These places include major tea producing areas like Japan, China’s Yunnan province, and Assam and Darjeeling in India. Tea plants can only take a certain threshold of rain, and in all of these areas, plants are being pushed past their precipitation limits.

    “For tea, when there’s too much rain, there’s a dilution effect of the secondary metabolites,” Ahmed explains, referencing the compounds that tea drinkers value—like flavor, antioxidant properties, and caffeine levels.

    Link

    Reply
  7. climatehawk1

     /  July 9, 2016

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  8. CO2 has recently moved into the oceans. As we pull CO2 out of the atmosphere, much of that CO2 will come back out of oceans, returning to the atmosphere. Any carbon sequestration program to remove carbon from the air must consider the large amount of CO2 that will evolve from the ocean into the atmosphere, as atmospheric concentrations decline.

    In the climate science literature, I do not see a full and honest accounting of carbon stocks and likely carbon flows as the Earth warms . I do not see good analysis of how much CO2 will be released per degree of Arctic warming. I do not see good analysis of how much warming will trigger seafloor clathrate decomposition. In particular, I do not see analysis of potential Arctic wind events that could trigger ocean mixing.

    And worser and worser, I do not see good analysis of the behavior of ice sheets as they approach the ice reaches it’s local melting point. Right now we have 2 km thick ice sheets, sitting in liquid water, with melt water on their upper surface, and routinely forming moulins with liquid water hydrofracturing the ice.. However, these are not conditions we can model. Without such modeling, we have no idea what sea level rise will be. Even Hansen’s paleo analysis is based on lower rates of warming than we are currently seeing, so our near future sea level rise may be significantly greater than known past rates of sea level rise.

    While RS does an outstanding job of reporting current conditions, his projections of future conditions are infected by the IPCC projections, which are optimistic speculations from ignorance.

    The real problem right now is that we have too much confidence in IPCC projections. This is proved day-by-day as RS reports events that the IPCC projects to happen far, far in the future. This day-to-day reporting produces a cognitive dissonance between the IPCC Reports and today’s reality.

    Reality always wins. We should always cheer the winning team.

    Reply
    • It’s going to be difficult. But I think it’s something we’ll need to do alongside rapid cuts to zero GHG emissions. Some of the carbon will vent back out of the oceans if atmospheric CO2 drops — tending to keep atmospheric CO2 high, and we’ll have to deal with that too. But at least atmospheric draw down will also reduce ocean acidity.

      It’s worth noting that if we go to zero carbon emissions, that the human side of the methane overburden falls out pretty quickly and that helps to draw down CO2e. You also get a small 5-10 ppm dip in CO2 as the oceans draw down some of the excess. Under current states net zero would probably puts us down to 395 to 405 CO2e in about 15 years. After that, it’s a long tail slowly higher due to Earth System carbon feedbacks to warming. If you add in atmospheric capture, you have some opportunity to bend the tail downward.

      That’s a generational task and one we need to undertake.

      Reply
    • lracine

       /  July 9, 2016

      I share your insight.

      Reply
  9. Syd Bridges

     /  July 9, 2016

    As the coastal cities are threatened, so will a lot of low-lying but productive agricultural land be threatened too. Deltas like the Mekong and Nile deltas, and Bangladesh, as well as many alluvial plains will be inundated. Maybe the Dutch can ward off the sea longer than most, but the loss of some of the world’s most productive, and densely populated, land will only worsen matters further. These areas are likely to prove impossible to defend, and some, like the Mekong, are already suffering salt inundation from a combination of SLR and increased upstream irrigation.

    Reply
    • lracine

       /  July 9, 2016

      There is an excellent documentary on you tube called Climate Change in Bangladesh (2016 Documentary) it is excellent because it puts a visual of what the country and land looks like and puts human faces behind what this means.

      Reply
    • The Nile Delta is already reaching it’s breaking point, as the farmers and the residents pump the ground water out, causing subsidence and salt water intrusion, and as the dam on the Nile River prevents replenishing silt from adding onto the delta. It won’t take much sea level rise to render it infertile, and since it’s the main area of Egypt’s food production, they will soon be in a situation like Syria, with farmers abandoning their farms and no longer having any local food supply. Except Egypt has a much larger population than Syria did before their civil war started, so I find that situation really worrying.

      Reply
  10. Robert, as I live in The Netherlands at about -1.8m low, sea level rise has my particular attention. Sorry to say this doesn’t apply for the rest of my country. Most think we can simply fix it with higher dikes so it’s not their problem.
    So lately we’re trying to raise attention to the problem, and we don’t use as many words as you do. We simply use a sticker! The NAP is a Dutch thing for sea level. But I’m sure the sticker could be adapted to other languages as well.

    Reply
    • Great visual there, Leo. Do you think the Dutch Engineers could handle 5 meters of sea level rise? At what cost?

      Reply
      • wili

         /  July 9, 2016

        I think Dutch engineers will soon be among the most sought after (and therefore wealthiest) people in the world. They have been dealing with issues for centuries that now much of the rest of the coastal world will have to deal with.

        Reply
      • Hi Robert – I read in a recent NatGeo that the Netherlands sea defence planing is based on One in Ten Thousand year events … meanwhile in NZ (and most other places) a century is deemed sufficient

        Reply
    • wili

       /  July 9, 2016

      At what point is none of the Netherlands above sea level? Are there plans to negotiate migration to higher ground at some point?

      On a completely OT front, my daughter is about to move to Utrecht to study there for three years. Any suggestions on good environmental organizations for her to join, or other interesting groups or scenes for her to check out?

      Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  July 10, 2016

      With storm surges from strengthened North Atlantic storms, and flooding from Europe, I really don’t think Holland has a chance. Nor the Nile Delta, Bangladesh, Florida, East Anglia etc. I rather think that talk of ‘defence’ will waste resources and lead to great calamities when the defences are overwhelmed. Retreat seems the only rational option.

      Reply
  11. Colorado Bob

     /  July 9, 2016

    Los Angeles has chalked up yet another dreary milestone in its growing almanac of drought.

    On Wednesday, experts at the National Weather Service confirmed that the last five years have been the driest ever documented in downtown L.A. since official record keeping began almost 140 years ago.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-la-dry-rain-season-future-20160706-snap-story.html

    Reply
  12. Shawn Redmond

     /  July 9, 2016

    Looking at the Arctic ocean as a whole, the ice cap, which really is just an ice pack now, seems to be rotating clockwise out into the North Atlantic. Is this possible? Scrolling through the last few weeks day by day it appears that the ice in the ESS moves to the east following a pattern. As the ice on the Northeast coast of Greenland breaks away the ice further North moves down and out, pulling all behind it along. Or is it being crushed under the pressure of all behind it trying to exit the Arctic Ocean. The more I scroll back and forth the more it looks to be cartwheeling its way out.

    Reply
  13. Shawn Redmond

     /  July 9, 2016

    Opps that should have been ESS moving west!

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  July 9, 2016

      Shawn, I think you are referring to Arctic sea ice being exported through the Fram Strait?

      Reply
      • Shawn Redmond

         /  July 10, 2016

        Yes Cate but it looks like the whole cap is starting to turn in unison towards the strait.

        Reply
      • Cate

         /  July 10, 2016

        Yes, I see what you mean. It’s looking pretty dire for ice up there this year.

        Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  July 11, 2016

      As you may already know, the Fram Straight is the channel through which much Arctic ice has been discharged since 1979. When the years are viewed in time lapse fashion the ice cap comes to life and the entire mass seems to spin in a clock-wise fashion (when viewed from above) spinning ice out past Greenland and in to the North Atlantic.

      Reply
  14. Colorado Bob

     /  July 9, 2016

    China –

    The National Meteorological Center has issued another heavy rain alert, as a strong storm system moves inland along the Yangtze River. The weather system could trigger more flash floods in Sichuan province in southwest China. The region could get another 400 millimeters of rain in the next few days. That is twice the amount of rainfall that the region received during the same period last year.
    http://english.cctv.com/2016/07/08/VIDEofjd8HRnHe8X8zR1kQAo160708.shtml

    Reply
  15. Colorado Bob

     /  July 9, 2016

    The ice at the top of Greenland is barely hanging on –

    Aqua/MODIS
    2016/191
    07/09/2016
    07:20 UTC

    Reply
  16. Abel Adamski

     /  July 9, 2016

    https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/jul/07/madagascar-climate-change-plagues-poor-the-water-rose-so-fast

    Climate change plagues Madagascar’s poor: ‘The water rose so fast’

    Severe droughts and floods have had a devastating impact on the island’s rural poor, who are reliant on small-scale farming or fishing

    Reply
  17. Abel Adamski

     /  July 9, 2016

    https://sourceable.net/cities-have-potential-to-mitigate-climate-change/

    As the world urbanises rapidly, urban areas consume between 67 and 76 per cent of global energy and generate about three quarters of global carbon emissions according to the most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Emissions of greenhouse gasses are likely to increase as urban populations grow by two to three billion people over the course of this century.

    The study notes that “economic activity, transport costs, geographic factors, and urban form explain 37% of urban direct energy use and 88% of urban transport energy use.”

    Current trends are leading to urban energy use more than tripling in the span from 2005 to 2050, growing from 240 EJ (exajoules) to 730 EJ. However, planning and transportation strategies can make a substantial difference, potentially limiting the future increase in urban energy use to 540 EJ in 2050.

    Reply
  18. Abel Adamski

     /  July 9, 2016

    http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2016/07/a-vast-australian-underwater-forest-is-roasting-to-death/

    Science & Health
    A Vast Australian Underwater Forest Is Roasting To Death
    Maddie Stone
    Today 11:00 AM

    One of the largest kelp forests on Earth is dying because of climate change. Australia’s Great Southern Reef has lost 100km of coastline to a series of extreme heatwaves from 2011 to 2013, according to research published this week in Science — and the problem is getting worse.

    Rocky reefs off Australia’s western coast before (left) and after (right) a 2011 marine heatwave. Image: T. Wernberg

    You probably haven’t heard of the Great Southern Reef, which receives far less media attention than its ill-fated neighbour to the north, the Great Barrier Reef. But the Great Southern Reef is an equally important ecosystem for humans and marine life alike. Fringing some 71,000 square kilometres of Australia’s rocky southern coastline, this “biological powerhouse” harbours thousands of species of fish, crustaceans, mollusks and other marine invertebrates found nowhere else on Earth. It also contributes $10 billion to Australia’s annual economy through fishing and tourism.

    The Kelp forest around the normally cold oceans around Tasmania have been taking a beating and that is the farthest south you can get in Australia.

    And up north as well as the kelp forests, the mangrove forests have also been taking a beating due to heat

    Reply
  19. Colorado Bob

     /  July 9, 2016

    Watch Nepartak grow from thunderstorm to super typhoon in two minutes

    This video was created using imagery from Japan’s Himawari-8 satellite, which monitors weather over the West Pacific Ocean. In each frame, the typhoon is centered in the video, which provides a unique perspective on the storm’s formation and development.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2016/07/08/watch-nepartak-grow-from-thunderstorm-to-super-typhoon-in-two-minutes/

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 9, 2016

      Landfall in China –
      More than 100 trains had to be cancelled after 250 mm (10 inches) of rain fell in about four hours in the nearby city of Putian, where nearly 23,000 people have fanned out to check the overstrained waterworks, it added.

      Read more: Link

      Reply
    • John McCormick

       /  July 9, 2016

      CB what a rare experience. Many thanks to you.

      Reply
  20. wharf rat

     /  July 9, 2016

    Record Temps in Arctic Circle, New Jet Stream research
    On Tuesday, Kugluktuk, Nunavut, which is located in the Arctic Circle, nearly cracked the 30 degree mark.

    The area hit a high of 29.2°C, (84.5° F) smashing the previous record of 28.1°C (82.5° F) set back in 1994.
    https://climatecrocks.com/2016/07/09/record-temps-in-arctic-circle-new-jet-stream-research/

    Reply
  21. Colorado Bob

     /  July 9, 2016

    Randy Newman – Sail Away

    Reply
  22. Colorado Bob

     /  July 9, 2016

    The same events are happening elsewhere in the world. In Europe and Japan, kelp forests have also been pushed towards the poles by rising temperatures. “All over the world, organisms are migrating to stay within their preferred environmental conditions,” says Gretta Pecl from the University of Tasmania. “We are now experiencing the largest climate-driven redistribution of species since the last [Ice Age].” She adds that while scientists know a fair bit about how organisms move in response to gradually increasing temperatures, the kelp story reveals that a single extreme event can have a dramatic effect.

    “Wernberg and colleagues have captured the moment that shifting climate drove the kelp bus off the cliff, and charted the way into a brave new uncertain ocean future,” says Byrnes.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/07/australias-other-great-reef-is-also-screwed/490121/

    Reply
    • Genomik

       /  July 10, 2016

      Close to my home in San Francisco, Kelp forests in Northern California are being decimated. It breaks my heart, I grew up doing scuba and snorkel for years here (The article below shows beautiful pics of Abalone freedivibg there). The local marine life may be some of the most studied on Earth with prestigious institutions such and Monterey Bay Aquarium and California Academy of Sciences, UC Berkeley and Stanford all right here. All that and Cannery Row. This is the area of John Steinbecks ocean adventures!

      How is it that in the newest place on Earth with more innovation and smart people than about anywhere all we do is just sleep through this? Its happening here! This should be a story. I guess its arguably related to El Nino a bit but certainly not all.

      http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/5487602-181/collapse-of-kelp-forest-imperils?artslide=0

      Reply
  23. Kevin Jones

     /  July 9, 2016

    NOAA reports Alaska Jan-June in at 9F (5C) above average. Breaking 1981 record for same period by 2.5F. Lower 48 hottest June on record.

    Reply
  24. Colorado Bob

     /  July 9, 2016

    A rare “blob” of unusually warm water that did massive damage to California’s marine life has reemerged

    It’s not a creature from a horror flick, but it might as well be for marine scientists. The blob was first noticed on the surface of the Pacific in 2013 (pdf), and some weather experts declared it dead last December. But the blob isn’t dead—it’s just retreated to deeper parts of the ocean, according to recent findings.

    The Canadian Coast Guard regularly measures the ocean’s temperature at different depths off the coast of British Columbia, and found that rather than sitting at the surface of the water, the blob is now hovering between 150 and 200 meters (about 500 to 650 feet) below. “The residual effect of the blob is still there,” Canadian scientist Ian Perry told CBC News this week.

    Link

    Reply
  25. Colorado Bob

     /  July 9, 2016

    Hong Kong records hottest day in almost half a century as Typhoon Nepartak nears
    Several districts including Shau Kei Wan, Wong Tai Sin and Sha Tin see the mercury climb to over 37 degrees on Saturday, with Happy Valley the hottest, at 37.9

    http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/1987686/hong-kong-records-hottest-day-almost-half-century?utm_source=&utm_medium=&utm_campaign=SCMPSocialNewsfeed

    Reply
  26. – NA – USA – W & SW – Heat/climate change – There’s a nice wrap up here:

    – Climate Signals Beta
    Last updated July 5, 2016

    – Southwest US Extreme Heat June 2016

    – Global warming dramatically increases frequency of the most extreme heat events

    Due to global warming, the most extreme heat events now impact a global area 10 times greater than in the period 1951-1980.[2]

    The impact on moderate heat waves is also dramatic, with a seventy-five percent share of moderate heat events now attributed to climate change.[4]

    – Dangerous” high temperatures reported across the Southwest

    Southwestern states are experiencing record-breaking heat over the extended weekend, with the worst impacts in Arizona and southeastern California.[7]

    – The high pressure system over the Southwest in mid-June 2016 was record-breaking

    Usually the 500mb level is around 18,000 feet (5500m). On June 19, above Arizona, 500mb was reached at above 19,500 feet (almost 6000m), a daily record.[13]

    …Looking through records back to 1958, researchers have found that almost all of the high-intensity heat domes have occurred since 1983 — with the overwhelming majority of them occurring since 1990.[14]

    – Climate change driving humid heat waves, elevating the risk of heat stress

    Climate change is amplifying the intensity of extreme heat through increased humidity. A warmer atmosphere can hold more water vapor, and the global atmosphere has become moister due to warming.

    The fingerprint of climate change has been found in the increase of wet bulb temperature since 1973…

    Coastal waters in the Eastern Pacific are an important source for this humid air, and these waters have become unusually warm in recent decades as part of a global warming pattern.[12]

    This ocean warming has been partially responsible for bringing warmer, more humid air into the weather patterns associated with great California heat waves.

    Reply
  27. – I like this direct synoptic phrase:

    ‘ Records tend to be broken when natural variation runs in the same direction as #climatechange ‘

    Reply
  28. – Without insects we are nothing — a skeletal non entity…

    – Vanishing Act: Why Insects Are
    Declining and Why It Matters

    Insect populations are declining dramatically in many parts of the world, recent studies show. Researchers say various factors, from monoculture farming to habitat loss, are to blame for the plight of insects, which are essential to agriculture and ecosystems.

    Every spring since 1989, entomologists have set up tents in the meadows and woodlands of the Orbroicher Bruch nature reserve and 87 other areas in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The tents act as insect traps and enable the scientists to calculate how many bugs live in an area over a full summer period. Recently, researchers presented the results of their work to parliamentarians from the German Bundestag, and the findings were alarming: The average biomass of insects caught between May and October has steadily decreased from 1.6 kilograms (3.5 pounds) per trap in 1989 to just 300 grams (10.6 ounces) in 2014.

    “The decline is dramatic and depressing and it affects all kinds of insects, including butterflies, wild bees, and hoverflies,” says Martin Sorg, an entomologist from the Krefeld Entomological Association involved in running the monitoring project. …

    http://e360.yale.edu/feature/insect_numbers_declining_why_it_matters/3012/

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 9, 2016

      The crash of Nature.

      Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  July 9, 2016

        This summer is unprecedented in memory for the lack of black fly, mosquito and deer fly bites I’ve received. Rural SW New Hampshire. Truly eerie.

        Reply
        • “This summer is unprecedented in memory for the lack of black fly, mosquito and deer fly bites I’ve received. Rural SW New Hampshire. Truly eerie.”

          Huh. Cannot say I’ve noticed much change in east central VT. I’ve been slathering up with DEET, though, due to West Nile, Lyme, babesiosis et al.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  July 10, 2016

        More like the Murder of Nature, by Homo destructans.

        Reply
  29. Colorado Bob

     /  July 9, 2016

    DTL –
    ‘ Records tend to be broken when natural variation runs in the same direction as #climatechange ‘

    Several bits of info these last 2 or 3 days. Your Vegas heat report, the LA report that the last 5 years were the driest in 140 years, and ” Coachella Valley experiencing the worst drought on record “.
    All of them made me think of the Joshua Trees .

    PUBLISHED October 28, 2015

    At Joshua Tree National Park in California’s Mojave Desert, these tough, gnarled plants are threatened by climate change. A survey of the park found few or no young trees in roughly 30 percent of their range.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/10/151028-joshua-tree-climate-change-mojave-desert/

    Much like the kelp story from Australia.

    Reply
  30. Colorado Bob

     /  July 9, 2016

    I forgot –
    Lake Mead hits it’s lowest pool ever

    Reply
  31. – NA – PNW – It’s been on the cool comfortable side the past few weeks, The April weather we didn’t get in April — which was hot.

    Reply
  32. – USA – Cal NE of L A:

    Reply
    • NWS Los Angeles Verified account ‏@NWSLosAngeles 8m8 minutes ago

      At 4 pm, Newhall Pass (near #SageFire) reporting S winds 14 gusting 25 mph with 91° and 24%RH. #LAWeather #cawx.

      Reply
  33. Colorado Bob

     /  July 9, 2016

    The dead pool at Lake Meade , and all these intense heat and drought reports.
    Makes me think Vegas has a new straw to the bottom of the glass, But no power to keep the bathroom lights on.

    Reply
    • – A note re: adding water to Lake Mead by taking it from from Lake Powell.
      Besides the water itself, water must be moved via the powered pumps in the Central Arizona Project.
      I don’t know what the critical water level for intake is for Powell is but here are some issues in the Lake Mead/Lake Powell matrix.

      As I have alluded to in past comments, any decision dealing with moderating water levels at Lake Mead by draining water from Lake Powell will have to take into account the Navajo Generating Plant.

      – Navajo Generating Station
      Central Arizona Project (CAP) delivers and manages the single largest source of renewable water supplies in the State of Arizona from the Colorado River. Simultaneously, CAP is the largest single end-user of power in the state. The Navajo Generating Station (NGS), located near Lake Powell on the Navajo Reservation, provides more than 90% of the power CAP needs to deliver water.

      ###
      – Mapping drought’s impact on electricity generation
      The water-energy nexus spans the world of electricity generation and water movement, particularly in Western states. It takes water to produce steam for coal, natural gas and nuclear power plants, and they usually need water to cool them down. Huge amounts of electricity are needed to pump water across the desert; the Southern Nevada Water Authority is Nevada’s biggest user of electricity, and the Central Arizona Project relies heavily on the Navajo Generating Station to keep water moving through the canals. Surely the most obvious link between water and energy, and between climate and electricity generation, though, is found at the West’s numerous hydroelectric generation stations…

      … Lake Mead and Lake Powell, backed up behind the Southwest’s two biggest hydropower plants, are at critically low levels. This is impacting electricity generation, without a doubt, and doing so during the hottest months of summer, when the grid is already stressed.
      https://www.hcn.org/articles/hydropower-california-drought-water-energy-electricity-dams

      Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 9, 2016

      Just a guess, bur Vegas solar panel numbers suck.

      Reply
  34. Colorado Bob

     /  July 9, 2016

    dtlange / July 9, 2016

    – Most definitely, Bob.
    Thanks

    Music makes the shovel lighter.

    Reply
  35. NA -Colorado

    Reply
    • The entire town of Nederland is without power…. went out about 2 hours ago.

      Reply
      • Reply
      • Greg

         /  July 10, 2016

        Was there a few weeks back DT. Got married just up the road off 119 almost 20 years ago. It was uncomfortably hot on our anniversary visit and we waited until the afternoon for thunderstorms to cool things off before hiking. Lots of shots and video of elk sitting in mountain wetlands to cool off. Fires seemed likely this summer.

        Reply
  36. Colorado Bob

     /  July 10, 2016

    The Green River flows into the Yampa River ,

    I water skied under a helicopter on the Yampa River. , I had my boots around my neck.

    Charlie Blaze still dumped my ass in the river,

    One of the best days of my life. . It made me ………………… me/

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 10, 2016

      We were destroying the Earth at the time, but Mormon girls were our only after hours thought.

      Reply
  37. Colorado Bob

     /  July 10, 2016

    This is how it works,

    Reply
  38. Colorado Bob

     /  July 10, 2016

    This is not a slogan, it;s a fact. Hell is really coming to breakfast.

    Reply
  39. Colorado Bob

     /  July 10, 2016

    Buckle your chin strap kids.

    Reply
  40. Vic

     /  July 10, 2016

    The crash of nature…

    International mangroves expert Dr Norm Duke on the recent mass mangrove dieback event in Australia’s Gulf of Carpenteria.

    “We’re talking about 10,000 hectares of mangroves were lost across this whole 700 kilometre span,”

    “It’s not only unprecedented, it’s extensive, it’s severe and it’s noticeable.

    “I have not seen such imagery anywhere before, from all over the world. I work in many places around the world and I look at damaged mangroves as part of my work all the time. These are the most shocking images of dieback I’ve ever seen.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-10/unprecedented-10000-hectares-of-mangroves-die/7552968

    Reply
    • Vic

       /  July 10, 2016

      Reply
    • Vic

       /  July 10, 2016

      Reply
    • Vic

       /  July 10, 2016

      Reply
    • Vic

       /  July 10, 2016

      Professor Norm Duke again,

      The death of 7000 hectares of mangrove trees is a large event, but it may be just the beginning of a chain of events caused by the rotting of the trees’ roots.

      “One of the mangroves roles is that they prevent erosion of mud banks and as they’ve died, a lot of the sediment is going to be released and make the water dirtier and that will kill seagrass and coral.

      “If it involves seagrass then the implications extend much more broadly, you’re talking about turtles and dugongs, but we don’t know for sure.

      “One report from indigenous rangers in the area on the Northern Territory side at least, there was lots of dead seagrass floating up that has never done that before – it needs to be checked.

      “There could be other repercussions on other habitats that we have even less of an idea of.”

      “I’ve been talking to the rangers who are observing locally what’s going on, they’re telling me they’ve seen lots of dead leaves and the shellfish living under the trees are now dying or dead.”

      http://www.smh.com.au/environment/gulf-mangroves-remote-ecosystem-suffers-7000-hectare-dieback-20160709-gq22a1.html

      Reply
      • Vic

         /  July 10, 2016

        Note this Sydney Morning Herald “journalist” asserting that the dieback was the result of El Nino conditions, even while quoting the expert saying something entirely different. He then quickly shifts focus to the scientist’s need for funding.

        He’ll probably live his entire life never realising that it’s people like him who are enabling events like this.

        Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  July 12, 2016

        And this is occurring in a country that just had an election where the ecological crises were COMPLETELY ignored, and all the winning denialists of the ‘Liberal’ Party (actually hard Right)offered was MASSIVE tax cuts for business ie the rich, and more cancerous ‘growth’. As if nothing at all was amiss. When it hits home, in the next few years, the fury and consternation of the ‘walking dead’ will not be pretty, I’m sure of that.

        Reply
    • A headline for our times:

      “It’s not only unprecedented, it’s extensive, it’s severe and it’s noticeable.”

      Reply
    • “We’re talking about 10,000 hectares of mangroves were lost across this whole 700 kilometre span,”

      Scheduling tweet on this, thanks.

      Reply
  41. The critical figure for sea level rise is just one metre as that will flood so much infrastructure that it will bankrupt the economies of most countries. The USA, UK,China, Holland and many more will all be devastated and millions of people will be on the move looking for a new home. It will make the Syrian refugee problem look like a Sunday school outing. This is a good video and very well made explaining Bangladesh. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVK0dHVLdKk&list=FLiUwiBc_bp0xCGnsJ2LL2Tg&index=1

    Reply
  42. Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  July 10, 2016

      Arctic Ocean Lightning? (wtf)

      Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  July 10, 2016

        Did a little research. Seems they do occur at less than .1 per sq. km. per year. Central equatorial Africa seems to be the hottest spot for lightning strikes at ~70 per sq. km. per year.

        Reply
    • wili

       /  July 10, 2016

      Lightening strikes are predicted to increase with GW, iirc–another exacerbating feedback loop.

      Reply
  43. Jeremy

     /  July 10, 2016

    Reply
  44. Jeremy

     /  July 10, 2016

    Reply
  45. Jeremy

     /  July 10, 2016

    The video above was filmed by Yann Arthus-Bertrand one of the world’s foremost arial photographers of the world.
    It is the most extraordinary view of Bangladesh you will ever see!
    Stunning, and tragic.

    Reply
  46. E. Pacific:

    Reply
    • Rob Carlmark Verified account ‏@rcarlmark 1h1 hour ago

      #Celia impacts heading to Hawaii in coming days. Can’t determine strength yet. Just a heads up

      Reply
  47. Reply
  48. – Lamar Smith – GOP – Destructive impulses.

    Reply
  49. RAPID: monitoring the Atlantic Meridional
    Overturning Circulation at 26.5°N since 2004

    Reply
  50. ‘Climate Change to Blame for Deaths in 2003 Heat Wave, New Study Says’

    Researchers tie deaths in London and Paris to global warming, the first model to determine a direct climate tie to deaths.

    The first attempt by scientists to assess the role of climate change in the deadly European heat waves of 2003 has attributed about half of the 1,050 deaths in Paris and London that summer to the effects of global warming.

    Tens of thousands of people, many of them elderly, died in France and other European nations in one of the most notable extreme weather events since the turn of the century. The implication of the study, published Thursday in the journal Environmental Research Letters, is that manmade climate change was largely responsible for the disaster.

    One novel element in the analysis was its crowd-sourcing of computer power. Researchers in this study were able to run simulations of more than 2,000 years by partnering with Weather@home, a civic science site. The site allowed the researchers to borrow computing time and run simulations while volunteers’ computers were idling. Often researchers are limited to a handful of simulations.

    Comparing the two scenarios, the researchers discerned how climate change had affected that summer’s temperatures. In London, the likelihood of a summer as scorching as 2003 has shifted from a 1-in-10-year event to a 1-in-3-year event. In Paris, such soaring temperatures had moved from a 1-in-92-year event to a 1-in-30-year event.

    https://insideclimatenews.org/news/07072016/climate-change-blame-deadliness-2003-heat-wave-new-study-paris-london

    Reply
  51. Cate

     /  July 10, 2016

    In my newsfeed, “climate mobilization” added to Democrat party national platform. This sounds like a big step? The wording of the policy statement is certainly powerful. Context please, for those of us watching the US election process from outside? How significant is this?

    The full text of the amendment:

    “Democrats believe it would be a grave mistake for the United States to wait for another nation to lead the world in combating the global climate emergency. In fact, we must move first in launching a green industrial revolution, because that is the key to getting others to follow; and because it is in our own national interest to do so. Just as America’s greatest generation led the effort to defeat the Axis Powers during World War II, so must our generation now lead a World War II-type national mobilization to save civilization from catastrophic consequences. We must think beyond Paris. In the first 100 days of the next administration, the President will convene a summit of the world’s best engineers, climate scientists, climate experts, policy experts, activists and indigenous communities to chart a course toward the healthy future we all want for our families and communities.”

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  July 10, 2016

      Further reading re Democratic policy on climate change, a paper dated 8 July 2016 by Michael Hoexter, PhD:

      http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2016/07/democratic-party-platform-7116-draft-lock-catastrophic-climate-change.html

      “What is required now of government leaders is a full-scale, society-wide mobilization of economic, social and political resources to rapidly (within a decade) change the energy basis of civilizations, all of this led and supervised by governments. A government-organized and –financed multi-year mobilization has always been the option that was necessary at some point to transform our societies away from our increasingly deadly dependence on fossil fuels. Yet in the fog of neoliberal economic and political reasoning, government leaders and non-governmental organizations have not been able to conceive of, let alone undertake the transition away from a fossil-fueled to a largely or completely renewable energy powered society.”

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  July 10, 2016

        Cate,
        And one of his recommendations for the platforespite progress in some areas over the past 8 years, we are faced with twin challenges: not only are many Americans falling behind or left out of prosperity and a sense of social belonging but also we have not yet fully faced our greatest challenge: the imminent danger of catastrophic climate change.  We Democrats think though, as in facing the Great Depression, World War II and the superpower competition with the Soviet Union, the fundamental solutions to our multiple large-scale social problems should and must be addressed through the work of Americans and government together.  We Democrats believe that the best solution to our multiple sustainability dilemmas involves creating by government financial instruments, which have always been at our disposal, a full employment economy that pushes our society within a decade to a post-fossil fuel economy where everybody participates in just, equitable reward and also, for a time, shared sacrifice. 

        As part of a great mobilization to save our American civilization from likely destruction from eventual famine, flood, drought, or other climate-related calamities, we must via a combination of replacing fossil energy with renewable energy, energy efficiency improvements, and conservation reduce annually our global warming emissions by 10% or more per year until they are at zero within less than a decade.  We can do this by building an all-electric energy infrastructure powered by renewable energy that also uses energy and resources wisely.  As we have done in the past, government initiative and finance will help individuals, families, businesses and nonprofit public service agencies create together a livable prosperous future for all Americans.  Government leaders will also ask for reasonable sacrifices or conservation efforts such as choosing to ride bicycles on safe bike routes rather than drive, which may also function as life enhancing options.  The achievement of targets of a 10% reduction in emissions per year over a period of 10 years will create a net zero emissions society.  A list of some initiatives follows: 

        Declaration of a national climate emergency and an accompanying national discussion of climate solutions and sacrifices for the benefit of the young and future generations.A renewable energy smart supergrid to enable renewable energy to replace 24/7 fossil fuel electricity generation and tap into a wide variety of energy sources from the Atlantic to the Pacific.Electric roadways and electric vehicle charging infrastructure to enable our vehicles to use renewable energy to move aboutA continental high-speed rail and maglev rail system to enable an emissions-free long-distance travel across North AmericaRetrofitting existing buildings and building new buildings that require little energy input to remain comfortable in heat and coldCreating an electric-bus, electric-rail and safe bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in urban and suburban areas to create mobility options beyond the personal (electric) vehicle, reduce congestion and increase overall health.Creating an agricultural and forestry system that pulls more carbon out of the air while providing nourishing foods and useful sustainable materials for a variety of uses.A Job Guarantee that enables all Americans to work in the transition to a sustainable energy economy or in supplying necessary services during that transitionShape markets and business decisions by a stable carbon tax starting at $80 per metric tonne and rising $10/year 

        We as Democrats believe that we will build on our tradition of working together to help ensure that our children and grandchildren will enjoy the same or better prospects that we have enjoyed.  That starts now with ensuring that the natural basis of our wealth is not destroyed by our current dependence on fossil fuels.   

        Reply
      • Cate

         /  July 10, 2016

        I think the concept of universal mobilisation is helpful in that people understand what it means and entails, and what it might look like in 2016, from our experience (in the West, at least) with WW2, which if we can’t remember, we can at least learn about. At the declaration of WW2, the entire economy of a country (eg, US, Canada, UK etc etc) was effectively commandeered by govt with the sole aim of engaging in and winning the war. Everything else went by the wayside until the objective of winning and ending the war was achieved. Govt leadership in the process was universal and unquestionable: every individual and every group in society was to all intents and purposes enlisted to help in the war effort, whatever way they could. Even children assisted.

        I like that this article spells out some of the solutions in very concrete terms. Once people see what can be done, they will be more inclined to do what must be done. But it won’t happen until govts lead the way, with their superior resources for planning and implementation on a national level. Piecemeal and volunteer is not working fast enough. We have to move to a war footing: mobilisation.

        In my opinion, this is the scale of the economic and social effort that will be needed to address climate change. And this is the extent of government leadership—not a popular prospect, for sure, which is why govts are loath to take this step—-that will be necessary to keep us on track to achieve the goal of zero emissions. And every country in the world will have to pitch in, with real action.

        Reply
      • Greg

         /  July 11, 2016

        A government declared climate emergency. No doubt it will happen in my humble opinion. The question is what precipitates it. Military requirement? Unprecedented natural disaster?

        Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  July 12, 2016

      More jingoistic cant about the USA ‘leading’ the world. The thought of global co-operation to save humanity is, naturally, anathema to these ‘Exceptionalists’. PS: It will almost certainly turn out to be a lie, too, once power is achieved and the proles can be safely ignored, as usual.

      Reply
  52. – NA – USA – Heat – Fire weather for the Rockies:

    Red flag fire warning issued for Larimer County

    … northeastern Colorado, including Larimer County. A red flag warning indicates high wind speeds, hot temperatures and low relative humidity, a cocktail of weather … “extreme fire behavior.”

    The warning also included Jefferson and West Douglas counties above 6,000 feet; Gilpin, Clear Creek and Northeast Park counties below 9,000 feet; and Larimer and Boulder counties between 6,000 and 9,000 feet.

    Temperatures are expected to rise to 97 degrees Sunday, and a southwest flow will bring windy conditions and gusts of up to 40 mph in the mountains and 35 mph along the Front Range.

    Temperatures are predicted to hover in the high 80s and low 90s throughout the week.
    http://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/2016/07/10/red-flag-fire-warning-issued-larimer-county/86917790/

    Reply
  53. wili

     /  July 10, 2016

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jul/07/global-fish-production-approaching-sustainable-limit-un-warns

    “Global fish production is approaching its sustainable limit, with around 90% of the world’s stocks now fully or overfished and a 17% increase in production forecast by 2025, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

    Overexploitation of the planet’s fish has more than tripled since the 1970s, with 40% of popular species like tuna now being caught unsustainably, the UN FAO’s biannual State of the world’s fisheries report says.

    Manuel Barange, the UN FAO’s fisheries director, told the Guardian that overfishing rates of around 60% in the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions were “particularly worrying”.

    He said: “There is an absolute limit to what we can extract from the sea and it is possibly very close to current production levels, which have stabilised over last few years. They have grown a little in recent years but we don’t expect much more growth because of the rampant increase in aquaculture production.”

    “We now have a fifth more of global fish stocks at worrying levels than we did in 2000,” he said. “The global environmental impact of overfishing is incalculable and the knock-on impact for coastal economies is simply too great for this to be swept under the rug any more.””

    Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  July 12, 2016

      How in the name of Beelzebub are fisheries merely ‘approaching’ the limits of ‘sustainability’, when 90% of stocks are fully fished or over-finished? More denialist cant from a UN organ hopelessly corrupted by power politics and Big Business control.

      Reply
  54. wili

     /  July 10, 2016

    When will real estate, mortgage and insurance markets and pricing start to go haywire as people start to realize that most oceanside properties near or at sea level are not going to outlast their 30 year mortgages? As rs astutely points out, not just because they will be physically under water, but most long before that will be cut off because roads and other infrastructure will be inundated.

    Anyone with such property who is not actively selling now is essentially placing a risky bet that the moment is still long off for such a panicked mass exodus from shore-line property.

    And speaking of bets, we are all of course, basically making some kind of bet or other wrt to GW, but here are folks that are interested in talking about that aspect of the situation more directly:

    Mark Boslough: “Interested in betting on climate change? We are convening a session to discuss at AGU.”

    “Betting on Climate Change: Prediction Markets, Risk Assessment, Insurance, Scientific Consensus, and Policy Decisions”

    Session Description:
    “The climate is changing. Human activities are the primary cause, but many individuals reject expert scientific knowledge for political or ideological reasons. Opponents of science-informed policy cite uncertainty as a reason to delay action. Mainstream science acknowledges and objectively quantifies uncertainty, whereas opponents often use the language of certainty. Because communication is typically more persuasive when a message is conveyed with certitude, contrary voices may appear stronger than scientific voices to the public. To redress this imbalance, we must find a way to determine whether expressed opinions represent true opinions. One longstanding method is through wagering, and this session will examine the role of bets in exposing actual beliefs related to climate change and associated risk. “Betting” can take on many forms, including prediction market contracts, risk management policies, economic decisions, and insurance costs versus expected benefits. We seek abstracts that explore all these forms of betting on climate change”

    https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm16/preliminaryview.cgi/Session12548

    (Thanks to Sigmetnow at neven’s forum for this, and to ASLR for the previous.)

    Reply
    • “… many individuals reject expert scientific knowledge for political or ideological reasons.”

      Would it help to remind them that they can’t eat, drink, inhabit, or breath politics, or ideology. And neither can their children.

      Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  July 12, 2016

        dt, which is why denialism is 99% a Rightwing phenomenon, and why they will NEVER accept reality. They ‘create reality’, if you recall your Karl Rove. We are dealing with low intellects, corrupted morality and relentless brainwashing.

        Reply
  55. Cate

     /  July 10, 2016

    Prof David Barber at the University of Manitoba compares Arctic sea ice to rainforests.

    Further to Shawn’s observation above, the prof mentions the increase in export of ice from the Arctic as one of the factors contributing to ice loss.

    http://climatestate.com/2016/07/10/david-barber-on-arctic-sea-ice/

    Reply
  56. This blog has been extremely important to report all the news on the effects of climate change due to overall ‘global warming’. Thank you, Robert. Now we need to find a blogger to report the even closer at hand crisis of ‘global poisoning’. Along with the oceans dying by increased acidification they are being poisoned by plastic, chemical runoff from agricultural fields, dumping toxic waste from third world manufacturing, and general human waste. The oceans have become human garbage dumps. For just one example now in the growing spotlight is Rio de Janeiro, the site of the upcoming Olympics. This is just one place that is a human garbage dump of disgusting trash and filth killing all our seas. We have several major crisis’s unfolding and the politicians are calling each other lying and crooked; acting like children instead of addressing major threats to humanity. So if anyone is out there that has real credentials and a desire to set a site up to also report on all the toxic waste that’s killing the oceans and most of the life we depend on, now’s the time to step up and let the world know what’s being done to our Oceans and Terran environment we depend on to live.

    Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  July 12, 2016

      John, the Club of Rome’s ‘Limits to Growth’ Report, that predicted the current crisis forty years ago with admirable accuracy, saw pollution as just as limiting as resource depletion. Indeed we have so thoroughly toxified the planet with our excrement that it will take millions of years to recover.

      Reply
  57. redskylite

     /  July 10, 2016

    Still no news of any internationally agreed rights for unfortunate populations already affected by Climate Change, and we have seen how unsympathetic many people are to their plight. More and more people will be affected as time goes by.

    “The Marshall Islanders seem destined to become climate refugees as the whole country threatens to disappear below sea level by the end of the century. And the seas are rising faster than international law can adapt. There is no international recognition of people displaced by climate change as refugees, leaving them without legal protection or rights.

    The average elevation in the Marshall Islands is six feet, with many areas just above sea level. In recent years the “king tides” – two especially high tides that come each year at around the same time – have swept through the streets of the capital, Majuro. King tides never used to swamp the atoll; now they do.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/marshall-islands-climate-refugees_us_577e7996e4b01edea78cc4bc?utm_hp_ref=climate-change

    Reply
  58. redskylite

     /  July 10, 2016

    Bangladesh also trying to adapt to a worsening situation.

    The 150 million inhabitants of Bangladesh adapt, cope and innovate in the face of this change. Many have migrated to the capital Dhaka and other cities further inland, which has caused the population in these cities to swell and living conditions to deteriorate.

    Others have gone to work in neighbouring India, Malaysia or countries in the Arabian Gulf.

    In Khulna, Mongla and Satkhira, and on the island of Bhola, and other parts of southern Bangladesh, families are adjusting to the challenges natures presents.

    They rebuild homes that were taken away by the rivers. They grow rice and vegetables in new ways. They try new methods of small-scale farming, despite the threat salty water brings to their lands. Or they too find no other option but to leave and seek a new life in the city.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/2016/07/surviving-climate-change-bangladesh-160702110256889.html

    Reply
  59. Reply
  60. NA – East side of Rockies SW of Colorado Springs: Wildfire

    Colorado ARES R5D1 ‏@COARES_R5D1 2h2 hours ago

    View of #HaydenPathFire from the Copper Gulch area of Fremont County.

    Reply
    • – More ‘explosive’ fire behavior:

      01:30 UTC
      Tom Roeder ‏@xroederx 8m8 minutes ago

      #HaydenPassFire explodes over 5,000 acres west of Canon City. View of Pikes Peak obscured by smoke in #CoSprings

      Reply
  61. Peter Malsin

     /  July 11, 2016

    Robert, a clarification: Philip Levine is the mayor of Miami Beach, not Miami. Miami Beach is the glitzy sandbar that runs parallel to coastal Miami, so it is that much further into the deep blue sea. Levine has been nobly out front on what the city is facing (check out his iconic campaign commercial– https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9niAnh9KZw –) but it is unclear how much time his plans will buy, even as the pumps being installed are dumping polluted “storm” water back into Biscayne Bay. Also the infrastructure is being funded by a real estate tax as the city pumps yet another real estate boom.
    That’s just the beginning of the story, which is phenomenally complex and horribly fascinating.

    Reply
  62. Greg

     /  July 11, 2016

    Should the United States Save Tangier Island From Oblivion?
    It’s the kind of choice that climate change will be forcing over and over.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/10/magazine/should-the-united-states-save-tangier-island-from-oblivion.html

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  July 11, 2016

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  July 11, 2016

        “Carol Moore-Pruitt, a native of Tangier.. told him: “I don’t know anything about climate change. But if calling me a climate-change refugee gets me a sea wall, then go ahead, call me a climate-change refugee.”

        Reply
      • Shawn Redmond

         /  July 11, 2016

        “Schulte’s study of Tangier, published online in the journal Nature last year, concluded that the island might have 50 years left and that its residents were likely to become some of the first climate-change refugees in the continental United States.” I think that rosy distinction has already been awarded to the sixty residents of Isle de Jean Charles at a cost of forty eight million.

        Reply
  63. Colorado Bob

     /  July 11, 2016

    Australian mangrove die-off blamed on climate change

    Thousands of hectares of mangroves in Australia’s remote north have died, scientists said Monday, with climate change the likely cause.

    Some 7,000 hectares (17,300 acres), or nine percent of the mangroves in the Gulf of Carpentaria, perished in just one month according to researchers from Australia’s James Cook University, the first time such an event has been recorded.

    The so-called dieback — where mangroves are either dead or defoliated — was confirmed by aerial and satellite surveys and was likely to have been the result of an extended drought period, said Norm Duke, a mangrove ecologist from James Cook University.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-3684044/Australian-mangrove-die-blamed-climate-change.html

    Reply
  64. Colorado Bob

     /  July 11, 2016

    Nashik, July 11: As monsoons continue to ravage North India and parts of western and eastern India, Assam and Madhya Pradesh are reeling under the floods, while in Maharashtra, Nashik has recorded unprecedented rainfall in the past 12 hours. The city has recorded 115 Mm of rainfall, which is reportedly the highest rainfall recorded there, in the past 10 years! The above average rainfall is good news for the farmers in the state, especially after the long spell of severe drought that plagued several districts like Osmanabad and Beed, here.

    July is expected to be especially benevolent, with rains fast picking up pace, said a report by Skymet Weather. In the last two days, Nashik has been recording high rainfall. On Sunday, the city received as a high as 79 Mm of rainfall, making it reach its monthly target in a matter of just 10 days. However, between 8.30 am on Sunday and 5.30 am on Monday, the city recorded as high as a whopping 115 Mm of rainfall, making the city reach a record rainfall of 351 Mm for the month.

    http://www.india.com/news/india/monsoons-2016-nashik-highest-rainfall-in-10-year-chennai-heavy-showers-48-hours-1322880/

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 11, 2016

      Floods kill 22 people in Madhya Pradesh and Assam, 170,000 homeless

      Flash floods triggered by torrential rain in Madhya Pradesh and Assam have killed at least 22 people and forced more than 170,000 from their homes, officials said on Monday, as forecasters predicted more downpours in coming days.

      India’s monsoon rains, though vital for agriculture, regularly bring death and destruction. The rain was 35 percent above average in the week that ended on July 6, the weather office said

      http://in.reuters.com/article/india-floods-madhya-pradesh-bhopal-assam-idINKCN0ZR0MW

      Reply
  65. Vic

     /  July 11, 2016

    Uttar Pradesh – Going for Gold

    More than 800,000 people in India’s most populous state jostled for space Monday as they attempted to plant 50 million trees in 24 hours in the hopes of shattering the world record.

    Reply
  66. Colorado Bob

     /  July 11, 2016

    Florida’s algae problem stems from decades of Lake Okeechobee pollution

    The algae fouling South Florida beaches traces its origin to cattle ranches, farms and neighborhoods as far north as Orlando.

    A vast area drains into Lake Okeechobee, where water laden with phosphorus has fertilized the growth of horrific algae blooms that have been discharged to the ocean. The target phosphorus level for the lake is 105 metric tons a year. Last year, the lake received 450.

    Read more at: Link

    Reply
  67. Greg

     /  July 11, 2016

    Another one of these shelf clouds popping up everywhere.

    Reply
  68. Colorado Bob

     /  July 11, 2016

    Some really clear shots of Greenland coming in today , the Northeast coast , blue water every where with lots of glacial milk in fjords …………….

    Aqua/MODIS
    2016/193
    07/11/2016
    05:30 UTC

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 11, 2016

      Huge algae bloom North of Russia

      Aqua/MODIS
      2016/193
      07/11/2016
      08:40 UTC

      Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 11, 2016

      The top half of Greenland , truly amazing images –
      Aqua/MODIS
      2016/193
      07/11/2016
      08:45 UTC

      Reply
  69. Colorado Bob

     /  July 11, 2016

    The Great Barrier Reef’s future is as uncertain as the Australian Prime Minister’s

    The Great Barrier Reef was a key talking point in the run up to Australia’s federal election as politicians promised billions to improve water quality, whilst talking down coral bleaching and report rigging. Ecologist writer, Maxine Newlands, reports…

    http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2987894/the_great_barrier_reefs_future_is_as_uncertain_as_the_australian_prime_ministers.html

    Reply
  70. Greg

     /  July 11, 2016

    Here comes the heat:

    Reply
  71. Near 120W 40N

     /  July 11, 2016

    What’s the carbon footprint of Pokemon Go? How many people are mindlessly getting in their cars to drive to some character location just to play the silly game. I’d like to see the EIR for Pokemon Go. 😉

    Reply
  72. Greg

     /  July 11, 2016

    And the Eastern Pacific thanks to the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) is firing up continuously.

    Reply
  73. – Clouds – Lately, I’ve been struck by the sight of many cloud shapes, and at varying altitudes. Many look disorganized like so much atmospheric flotsam. This, I take to be more of a symptom of an atmosphere rendered dysfunctional.

    – The time frame mentioned in the lead paragraph on clouds influencing global warming caught my eye.

    ‘Cloud patterns have been shifting over the past 30 years in ways that a new study says are possibly due to global warming––and may even lead to more warming in the future.’

    Climate scientists believe cloud changes are one of the biggest sources of uncertainty in climate models and understanding how cloud patterns respond to rising greenhouse gas levels is critical to determining how much and how quickly global temperatures will rise.

    This new study, published Monday in the journal Nature, provides for the first time a reliable record of past cloud changes spanning nearly three decades and a comparison of those changes with climate models. This brings researchers much closer to solving the mysterious cloud-climate relationship.

    The new findings offer “more evidence that clouds are going to be … [an] exacerbating factor” on climate change and not a mitigating one, lead author Joel Norris told InsideClimate News.
    https://insideclimatenews.org/news/09072016/clouds-patterns-could-contribute-global-warming-climate

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 11, 2016

      Climate Change May Already Be Shifting Clouds Toward The Poles

      The way clouds cover the Earth may be changing because of global warming, according to a study published Monday that used satellite data to track cloud patterns across about two decades, starting in the 1980s.

      Clouds in the mid-latitudes shifted toward the poles during that period, as the subtropical dry zones expanded and the highest cloud-tops got higher.

      These changes are predicted by most climate models of global warming, even though those models disag”ree on a lot of other things related to clouds, says Joel Norris, a climate scientist at the University of California, San Diego.

      “I guess what was surprising is that a lot of times we think of climate change as something that’s going to occur in the future,” says Norris. “This is happening right now. It’s happened during my lifetime — it was a bit startling.

      NPR

      Reply
      • – That usually means a lot of warm moisture air at the poles — just where we don’t need it.

        – When I look up at a sky that is a lacy curtain of white — I see what I call ‘unorganized moisture in transition.’ This now a chronic situation.

        Reply
      • NPR piece based on this:

        Clouds Are Moving Higher, Subtropical Dry Zones Expanding, According to Satellite Analysis
        Scripps-led study confirms computerized climate simulations projecting effects of global warming

        https://scripps.ucsd.edu/news/clouds-are-moving-higher-subtropical-dry-zones-expanding-according-satellite-analysis

        Reply
      • Cate

         /  July 12, 2016

        dt, thanks for this. So far this summer, our skies out here in Newfoundland have been more or less been alternating between cloudless blue and thick overcast conditions that usually bring downpours. On sunny days, there’s lots of that milky-metallic sheen around, high cirrus and thin mackerel that dissipates.

        I can’t remember the last time I saw a blue sky full of those lovely puffy floaty fair-weather cumulus, the sort of typical summer’s afternoon cloud.

        Btw, cloudless skies also mean that sunny days are hot hot hot. It seems that whenever the sun shines now, the mercury hits 28C as a matter of course.

        Reply
  74. Reply
  75. June

     /  July 11, 2016

    TTP’s evil twin the TTIP, the proposed trade deal between EU and US. If these two trade deals happen, then hope for effective climate action will dim quickly.

    Leaked TTIP energy proposal could ‘sabotage’ EU climate policy

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jul/11/leaked-ttip-energy-proposal-could-sabotage-eu-climate-policy

    Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  July 12, 2016

      The TTIP and TPP are Surrender of Sovereignty ‘Agreements’ where the US corporate aristocracy will basically take over the countries coerced and bullied into joining. The deliberate sabotage of all ecological law and protections tells you all you need to know about the real character of Barack Obama, the consummate confidence-trickster and corporate stooge.

      Reply
  76. Colorado Bob

     /  July 11, 2016

    Fossil Fuel Industry Risks Losing $33 Trillion to Climate Change

    Link

    Reply
  77. wili

     /  July 12, 2016

    More on CC and infrastructure here: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-36765925

    “Advisers warn of climate change domino effect…Climate change could have a domino effect on key infrastructure in the UK”

    “In a 2,000-page report, the Climate Change Committee says flooding will destroy bridges – wrecking electricity, gas and IT connections carried on them.

    The committee also warns that poor farming means the most fertile soils will be badly degraded by mid-century.

    And heat-related deaths among the elderly will triple to 7,000 a year by the 2050s as summer temperatures rise.

    The UK is not prepared, the committee says, for the risks posed by climate change from flooding and changing coasts, heatwaves, water shortages, ecosystem damage and shocks to the global food system.

    The projections are based on the supposition that governments keep promises made at the Paris climate conference to cut emissions – a pledge that is in doubt.

    The committee says if emissions are allowed to spiral, London summer temperatures could hit 48C (118F) in an extreme scenario, although the advisers say they don’t expect that to happen.

    The report from 80 authors is the most comprehensive yet on the potential impact of climate change on the UK. “

    Reply
  1. Today in climate change (11 July 2016) – Climate Change Update

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