Another Global Warming Enhanced Heatwave is on the Way — 111 Degree (F) Temperatures Predicted For Central US

It was in the 80s along Alaska’s Arctic Ocean shores yesterday. Record hot temperatures for a far northern region facilitated by factors related to human caused climate change such as warming ocean surfaces, sea ice melt, and an increasingly wavy Jet Stream.

North Slope Temperatures

(Record hot temperatures in the lower to middle 80s F [26 to 28 C] spread into the North Slope region of Alaska along the shores of the Arctic Ocean yesterday. And according to Dr. Jeff Masters, the 66 F [19 C] reading at Barrow tied its all time record high. Image source: Brett Brettschneider.)

But extreme heat along the northern reaches of Alaska appears now to be ready to morph into another record heatwave for the lower 48. For the past two weeks, weather models have been consistently predicting severe heat for the Central US. And with each passing day, as the forecasts grow evermore certain, the development of yet one more period of record hot temperatures becomes more and more likely.

An extremely tall dome of hot and heavy air is expected to build up over Colorado, Oklahoma and Nebraska. Heat beneath the dome and near the surface is expected to intensify. By the middle of next week, temperatures over a continuous large swath from Northern Texas to Montana and the Dakotas is predicted to experience near or above 100 degree F (38 C) temperatures. By late week, some of these readings could peak at around 111 degrees Fahrenheit (44 C) for parts of Central Nebraska.

111 degree temperatures Central US

(Saturday, July 24 GFS model forecast shows severe heat settling over the Central US. It’s the kind of heatwave that is now more and more likely to occur due to human-forced climate change. Image source: Pivotal Weather.)

These temperatures are expected to range 18-25 F (10-14 C) or more above typical July averages. And if temperatures do hit so high, they will likely make a number of new record highs for this region of the US.

By Sunday, the heat is expected to sprawl both east and west. And high temperatures near or above the Century mark could ultimately stretch in a great triangle from Alabama west to the Central Valley of California and north to Montana’s Canadian Border.

Conditions in Context — Human-Caused Global Warming, Hot Ocean Surfaces

This extreme heat comes in the context of record hot global temperatures. During 2016, global surface temperatures are likely to range near 1.2 degrees Celsius above the late 19th Century average. These record temperatures have been spurred by greenhouse gasses spiking to levels not seen in millions of years. CO2 concentrations this year hit near 408 parts per million at the Mauna Loa Observatory — a level high enough to significantly further increase global temperatures, melt large glaciers, substantially raise sea levels, and prevent another ice age for thousands or tens of thousands of years. And continued burning of fossil fuels by human beings will likely push that number near or above 410 parts per million by May of 2017.

image

(A North America surrounded by sea surface temperatures in the range of 1-5 C above average is one that is more susceptible to extreme heat, heavy downpours, and drought. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

Closer to home, very warm sea surface temperatures surrounding the US are likely also aiding in the formation of the predicted heatwave. Hotter oceans surrounding continents can increase the prevalence of heat waves and droughts. And, in this case, 1-5 C above average sea surface temperatures encompass most of North America. In fact, the extent and extreme range of sea surface temperatures — which in the past have rarely exceeded 2 C above average — is notably pretty extraordinary.

These conditions, overall, are less and less impacted by El Nino which has now mostly faded in the Eastern Pacific. As ENSO neutral status now prevails, most temperature extremes are far more related to human-forced warming than El Nino. And, in any case, there’s practically zero chance than any given El Nino year would have resulted in global average temperatures hitting 1.2 C above 19th Century averages without the added heat forcing provided by human greenhouse gas emissions. So the truth of the matter is that the record heat we’re seeing is in greatest part the result of human-forced climate change.

Links:

Two Flavors of Record Heat: Dead Horse and Houston

Pivotal Weather

Earth Nullschool

NOAA El Nino

Brett Brettschneider

NASA GISS

Hat tip to Colorado Bob

Hat tip to DT Lange

Hat tip to Cate

Hat tip to Greg

 

Leave a comment

134 Comments

  1. In Phoenix weve been running on the high side of normal since our week or so of near 120.
    We’re up near 110 and 112 the next 4 or so days. We are going to break arecord for number of days over 110 and above this summer, 3mos. of June-august, I will bet for Phoenix. And our monsoon has been pretty nothingfor the matro area so far. We don’t have any clouds at all in the skies these days and we should have them at least on the horizons even if they don’t
    bbringany rain into the city. Just more anecdotal evidence …

    Reply
    • Thanks for the eyes on the ground in Phoenix, Sheri. Looks like there are a lot of record high lows around as well.

      Took a peek at the US Drought Monitor earlier today. Looks like drought is expanding in many regions. North Central US got hit hard by rains over past couple of days. NE drought expanding. Georgia drought expanding. Southern drought expanding. SW looks bad but not quite as bad as last year so far.

      Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 14, 2016

      Sheri –
      anecdotal evidence …
      These days, it’s another data point.
      We’ve crushed records here this past 2 weeks, 108F with 60F degree dew points. Night time temps near 80F degrees. We’re beating the 1933 records.

      This heat high has a lot of water under it. Our average over 100F is 10 days , we broke that today. But nothing like 2011 when we did 48 days. In 2011 the dew points were in the teens. This one is different .

      Reply
    • Spike

       /  July 15, 2016

      “The climate dice are now loaded to a degree that a perceptive person old enough to remember the climate of 1951–1980 should recognize the existence of climate change, especially in summer.”

      Jim Hansen 2012

      Reply
      • Great quote there, Spike. I grew up in the 70s and 80s in VA Beach, VA. I now live in Gaithersburg, MD — which is about 200 miles to the north. Summers here are obviously hotter than in VA Beach when I was a kid. And VA Beach is obviously hotter.

        Being a surfer what you really tend to notice is ocean temperature change. Water has a much higher heat content than air and has a big impact on the body. 60 F water can feel cold — very cold — knifing into exposed flesh and making you shiver to stay warm after even just 5-10 minutes in the water. Just a 10 F difference makes the water bearable. And the difference between 60 F and 80 F is the difference between a difficult to deal with chill and comfort.

        So what I’ve really noticed is the rising ocean temps. I remember Junes when the sea surface temps started in the 60s and barely got into the low 70s (F) by end of month. SSTs hardly ever broke 75 (F) even by August. Winter SSTs were in the upper 30s to low 40s. And my Dad recalls a year in the 1950s when the ocean froze (never happened when I was a kid).

        Even by the late 90s, I’d really started to notice a difference in my lifetime. I recall one crazy night at OCS at Camp Pendleton in VA Beach. The tac officers thought they’d give us some Seal training and had us doing sugar cookies in the sand. Then, on a February night, they had us all run into the water and go for a swim in full battle gear. The thing I noticed most was the fact that the ocean didn’t feel very cold for February when SSTs are typically in the high 30s or low 40s. It felt more like the 50s. Cold, but not the kind of ice cream headache if you go under chill I remember as a kid and teenager.

        Current SSTs off Virginia Beach are 80 (F) and June started in the low 70s. That’s easily 4-5 F warmer than during the warmest summers when I was a kid. And more than enough to support a very strong hurricane. And that’s the last point — hurricanes tended to lose their oomph as they hit parallel with VA Beach due to falling SSTs. Now, they can maintain strength further north. Of course, there are other factors involved with hurricanes. But if we do get a strong storm moving in from the Atlantic, it will now tend to stay stronger for longer. So the opportunity for the Eastern Seaboard to get a powerful storm, at least as it relates to fuel for strong storms, appears to have been greatly enhanced.

        Reply
      • Greg

         /  July 15, 2016

        Went fishing there last summer and the waters were full of Jelly fish. Have you noticed changes in the biota Robert?

        Reply
        • Lots more jellies. Lots less of everything else. The Bay is a shadow of itself when it comes to everything from crabs to fish to oysters. The local coast is similarly changed.

  2. Colorado Bob

     /  July 14, 2016

    This one is gonna hit the corn and bean farmers hard.

    Reply
  3. Colorado Bob

     /  July 14, 2016

    The world’s decent into madness marches on –

    Climate change department killed off by Theresa May in ‘plain stupid’ and ‘deeply worrying’ move

    Campaigners called for ‘urgent reassurance from the new government’ that the fight against climate change and pollution will not be ‘abandoned’

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change-department-killed-off-by-theresa-may-in-plain-stupid-and-deeply-worrying-move-a7137166.html

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 14, 2016

      Government axes climate department
      http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-36788162

      Reply
      • Bill H

         /  July 15, 2016

        There are some grounds for hope here. What’s happened is that because of the current Brexit diversion a couple of cabinet posts are now more or less dedicated to this, meaning that the Energy and Climate Change brief has now been incorporated into the Department for Industry (equivalent to the US Commerce Dept). Fortunately, this Department is headed by Greg Clark, one of the more thoughtful and less ideologically blinkered members of the Conservative Party, who does actually understand the reality of climate change.

        Reply
      • Spike

         /  July 15, 2016

        Clark seems to be one of the few remaining adults in UK governance, and held the shadow climate brief for a period. I’m hoping he argues the case for sticking to the Climate Change Act vigorously.

        He will need to do so – the climate deniers in the GWPF are already crowing that Nick Timothy is Theresa May’s right-hand man and a key adviser. In April he wrote a hard-hitting attack on Britain’s “unilateral and monstrous act of self-harm – or rather, the act of harm inflicted upon industrial Britain by Parliament – that was the Climate Change Act.”

        Reply
      • Spike

         /  July 15, 2016

        DECC was a Department that struggled to resist the dead hand of Treasury interference. It also had Andrea Leadsom as Energy minister, a woman wholly unsuited for any office of any kind, who asked “is climate change real?” on getting the job.

        So we now have a bigger more powerful department headed by a man who is intelligent and perceptive enough to understand climate, and a political survivor of some skill. A lot hangs on PM May whose approach is as yet unknown, but who has some of the same attributes. I hope she trusts Clark enough to keep her adviser and the Treasury from scotching climate action. Hammond is now at the Treasury and he has intelligence and knowledge of climate threats from his time at the Foreign Office, and has supported climate action. But he supports Hinkley nuclear station, the costs of which have now quintupled to £30 billion. May has also put cheap energy/no blackouts foremost in her priorities, so that may imply all resources for action being sucked into the nuclear dead end and extended fossil fuel burning rather than a renewables revolution.

        Reply
      • 30 billion pounds is about 40 billion dollars.

        Reply
        • So increase my previous estimates by 30 percent.

        • Wow, that’s just nuts. Talk about wasting resources.

        • I don’t know the current figures but I remember reading during the 2nd USian war on Iraq that we were spending over 30 billion per month. Speaking of doing stupid things with large quantities of money.

          War is a major driver of climate disruption just because of all the fuel used, let alone its other immediate horrors and ongoing systemic problems (social change goes backwards during and after wars, and then there is just plain land poisoning).

          The ongoing collapse of south central Asia has such potential to drive further warfare, it’s hard to imagine how to keep this from happening. The Middle East alone is a nightmare, but there are well over a billion people in India, which appears to be en route to becoming unlivable.

      • “So we now have a bigger more powerful department headed by a man who is intelligent and perceptive enough to understand climate, and a political survivor of some skill. A lot hangs on PM May whose approach is as yet unknown, but who has some of the same attributes. ”

        Hope you’re right, Spike. Optics are terrible, perhaps more appeasement of the Brexit-heads?

        Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  July 16, 2016

      Bob, the madness is more or less confined to the Anglosphere Right. In China, India, the more sane and less Atlanticised parts of Europe and throughout the rest of the world the denialist death-cult is virtually unknown.

      Reply
  4. Colorado Bob

     /  July 14, 2016

    Madness… Madness

    Reply
  5. Colorado Bob

     /  July 15, 2016

    The Boston Globe

    Britain’s new foreign secretary often lacks diplomacy

    Buckle your chin straps . Ignorance , and fear are coming to place near you.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 15, 2016

      Somewhere Hitler is smiling about this new British government.

      Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  July 16, 2016

        Not Hitler, Bob-he was a Green, of sorts. Perhaps his only redeeming feature. No I rather imagine Emperor Rupert Murdoch, the ‘Man Behind the Curtain’ of global denialism would be smiling, broadly.

        Reply
    • It’s amazing to me how bad conservative social policy has met with bad conservative monetary and energy policy to create this perfect storm of awful.

      Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  July 17, 2016

        I remember hearing Chomsky on the radio saying that calling these Rightwingers ‘conservatives’ was mad, because they destroy everything good in their lust for money. He quoted Adam Smith and his ‘Vile Maxim of the Masters of Mankind’- ‘Everything for me and nothing for anybody else’.

        Reply
  6. Cate

     /  July 15, 2016

    Just for the record: while you’ve all been sweltering, we’ve been shivering out here on the Eastern Edge. Frost warnings two nights in a row this week, daytime windchill temps down to 2C in onshore (NE) winds, and rain rain rain. Way too cold and wet for July, but then suddenly, in this wacky new pattern of hot/cold/hot/cold, the high pushes in with the milky-blue cloudless skies and steamy humidexes to the mid-30s. Until the next stationary low parks over us. It’s summer, Jim, but not as we know it.

    Thanks for the hat tips of late, RS, not sure what I’m doing to deserve them, though! You OTOH are doing yeoman work in gathering all this varied info from so many sources, placing it all in order, and communicating it to a general audience in these pointed, concise essays with a really engagingly robust and muscular style.

    Getting the message damn straight and out: you make it look easy. It is so not. Thank you.🙂

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 15, 2016

      anecdotal evidence …
      These days, it’s another data point.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  July 15, 2016

        We love you Cate. Your perch in this world matters. As we love everyone from around the world here. It’s a rich mix of reports. This world wide web matters. I am amazed by the readers that come here everyday.

        As i told my step son , “Your head won’t explode from learning too much”.

        Reply
      • Cate

         /  July 15, 2016

        Aw shucks CB. And may I say ditto. It’s cool here, everyone sitting out there all over the planet and checking in here every day. There’s music too.😀

        Reply
    • Thanks Cate. I try to do my best to track down where all my ideas for each article came from. It’s possible that I miss someone sometimes, though. I don’t really like it when that happens.

      As for the the Newfoundland weather weirdness. So this year, you guys have been stuck in the trough zone. It’s pulled air down from the Arctic over your region under that crazy, wavy Jet Stream we’ve become so familiar with of late. And its been stuck over your area. Just to the south is this strong dividing line — a battle line, if you will — between hot and cold. When that does nudge north over you guys, you get that big, crazy flip you’ve described.

      The ridge this year has mostly parked over the Central Continent and westward over Alaska. It looks like we’re in for a weak La Nina come Fall/Winter. If that holds the ridge should shift west toward Alaska and the trough should tend to impact Central Canada more. This pattern provides a good example. Although with human warming you may want to consider a more northern progression of the pattern combined with increased amplitude of the Jet Stream wave pattern.

      Of course, this La Nina could be a dud. In which case we’d be more in a neutral state for Fall/Winter.

      Reply
  7. Colorado Bob

     /  July 15, 2016

    Trump’s Perspective on Climate Change Is Ridiculous, But Democrats Aren’t Much Better

    Unfortunately, Democrats are ignoring the one thing that could really help curb carbon emissions.

    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/601906/trumps-perspective-on-climate-change-is-ridiculous-but-democrats-arent-much-better/

    Reply
    • “But Clinton’s climate platform leaves out one big thing: a carbon tax.”

      Hear, hear.

      I like this article because it strikes a good, honest balance. The American people are in a tough spot because we can choose between one party whose platform makes climate progress, but doesn’t do it fast enough, or the other party whose platform just basically scraps any climate progress whatsoever and doubles down on bad policies that will ruin us. There’s no viable third choice as yet. Bernie was fantastic and put up a great fight against Hillary and even secured some concessions from the Democratic Party. But Bernie also had to walk a tight-rope between getting his message out and fracturing a (somewhat positive) democratic party in the face of an absolutely horrible Trump and handing the reigns of power over to the increasingly harmful republicans.

      That said, if Clinton really wants to represent an unambiguously positive policy stance on climate change, she will support a carbon tax. It’s not just about removing subsidy supports to fossil fuels and incentivizing renewables. If you want to bust down the institutional inertia that’s holding back rapid cuts to carbon emissions, you need to price in the terrible externalities that result from fossil fuel burning. And a carbon tax is the most effective lever for doing that. Market-based carbon pricing has been subject to corruption in the past and has sometimes incentivized more fossil fuel burning (not less). A tax would send to right signal to the markets — that being that fossil fuels are on their way out and that the reigns of monetary power have been taken out of the hands of the fossil fuel bad actor corporations.

      Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  July 16, 2016

        You are exactly right, in my opinion, about a carbon tax being preferable to the Market Fundamentalist Cargo Cultists’ preference for ‘carbon trading’. A carbon tax, rising from a low base at a set rate, would give the Big Business Bosses the ‘certainty’ that they always demand (while removing it from the workers they exploit whose working conditions grow ever more precarious and contingent). The proceeds should be hypothecated to income relief for the poor and middle classes, renewable energy installation, research and production and general ecological repair, particularly the restoration of planetary biomass.
        Carbon trading, in contrast, is a racket that WILL be exploited by the financial Moloch that only cares for profit maximisation. Emission reduction WILL be a secondary concern, and the ‘market’ will, as they all are, be distorted by speculation, malfeasance and outright fraud. The disaster of the European emissions trading scheme, so far, tells you where we would be headed.

        Reply
  8. Colorado Bob

     /  July 15, 2016

    We need a plan. The forces of darkness are on the move.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 15, 2016

      Truck rams Bastille Day crowd in Nice, France; at least 70 reported killed

      Reply
    • Absent political power, we need a stronger protest movement. We need to pump membership in orgs like 350.org, the Sierra Club and Greenpeace. These organizations have done great work to block pipelines, fight coal plants, and support positive policy measures. They need to be enlivened.

      In addition, we need to work as hard as we can to take back the Congress. Hillary’s climate policies alone are too weak. We need added push from other areas.

      Reply
      • I agree, Robert, that Clinton’s policy stances are too weak. But she is a pragmatist and would go bold if she had the votes in Congress. She believes climate change is a threat, just as Obama does. The president has done a lot that has been under the radar for climate policies. I voted for Bernie, and he won significant victories on the Dem platform. But now I support Hillary 100%. As Robert continues to point out, solar and wind prices are dropping significantly, and uptake will get better and better under the umbrella of a sympathetic administration. Trump would doom us for 4 years of destructive policies and take us backwards in a big way, no doubt about it. My plea to Bernie supporters, go Green if you can in safe blue states (like CA, NY) but vote Dem in FL, OH, PA, CO, NV, NC, VA, IA.

        Reply
  9. Colorado Bob

     /  July 15, 2016

    Guts and courage .

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  July 15, 2016

      “Aux armes, citoyens. Formez vos batailions.”

      Heart breaking here.

      Reply
    • We need to execute the political equivalent of an envelopment. Give ground at the center, bring the left (climate action, social justice) and right (populist, workers rights) flanks of the movement forward.

      Reply
  10. Reply
    • Cate

       /  July 15, 2016

      That big block just kind of hangs up on the island and then goes to pieces with the force of the current. Can’t be very thick, to shatter like that?

      Reply
    • You’ve got new ice export channels in play. Fram is traditional. But Nares is a new one. Now ice also exports from CAB into the Beaufort.

      Reply
  11. Reply
  12. Colorado Bob

     /  July 15, 2016

    The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

    Reply
  13. Jay M

     /  July 15, 2016

    Waves sweep across Europe unceasingly . (clouds)

    Reply
  14. Colorado Bob

     /  July 15, 2016

    A lesson how good people go bad.

    Reply
  15. NWS Hanford CA Central Valley S of Fresno

    Reply
  16. wili

     /  July 15, 2016

    https://www.thenation.com/article/bad-news-were-actually-using-more-fossil-fuels-than-ever/

     “We’re Actually Using More Fossil Fuels Than Ever:

    Renewable forms of energy are growing far faster than anyone expected. But so is the use of oil, coal, and natural gas”

    “ Not so long ago, energy analysts were reporting that wind and solar systems were too costly to compete with oil, coal, and natural gas in the global marketplace. Renewables would, it was then assumed, require pricey subsidies that might not always be available. That was then and this is now. Today, remarkably enough, wind and solar are already competitive with fossil fuels for many uses and in many markets.

    If that wasn’t predicted, however, neither was this: Despite such advances, the allure of fossil fuels hasn’t dissipated. Individuals, governments, whole societies continue to opt for such fuels even when they gain no significant economic advantage from that choice and risk causing severe planetary harm. Clearly, something irrational is at play. Think of it as the fossil-fuel equivalent of an addictive inclination writ large. “

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  July 15, 2016

      Note that dispute in the South China Seas between China and the Phillipines and others is all about the $Trillions in Oil and Gas reserves there..
      Prepared to risk war for those assets which will just kill us all off

      Reply
    • So the irrational thing is this — monetary and institutional inertia.

      Over the past two years as solar and wind prices have fallen I’ve seen utilities recoil to protect legacy fossil fuel assets, big money investors do the same, political parties that have long served these interests do the same.

      That said, the article is incorrect in that this response was predicted. And, in fact, it’s the same response we’ve seen in climate change denial and in the various watering down of climate response policies since the 80s and before. It’s a historic and generational response based on market dominance. If we cannot address this as a civilization, then we will fail to deal with climate change. It’s as simple and as difficult as saying no to many of the wealthiest entities in the world. That’s the problem we face. And it’s the one we’ve faced from the beginning. At its heart, it’s a problem of entire economic systems now that are jury-rigged to pander to wealthy interests. As long as that’s the case, you’re going to see this irrational defense of fossil fuels. The kings and petty lords don’t want to give up the perceived hoard of wealth that fossil fuels represent. And, sadly, we need what amounts to a global revolution to make that happen.

      One last point — The article fails to mention that the campaign against coal has made large gains and that support for oil and gas appears to be faltering. Renewables have made huge inroads. The battle now is for turning the fossil fuel demand curve (across the board and not just for coal) down.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  July 15, 2016

        “campaign against coal has made large gains and that support for oil and gas appears to be faltering”

        Good point. It was my pleasure to be part of the movement that helped prevent massive planned increases in coal plants in the US. Klare is a pretty good analyst, imho, but like any of us, he does have some blind spots. Thanks for helping illuminate them.

        Reply
        • It’s a good article overall and marks the broader shift that’s ongoing, if difficult to clearly mark out at this time. Of course, we could have a bunch of political victories by fossil fuel special interests and this could all get rolled back ala Australia or, to a lesser degree, the UK.

          The irony of all ironies is that market forces appear to have turned against so-called free market advocates. They are now relying on government policy to delay a transition away from fossil fuels. I find this to be a pretty bitter pill.

  17. wili

     /  July 15, 2016

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/07/14/the-most-singular-of-all-the-things-that-we-have-found-clouds-study-alarms-top-scientist/?postshare=1701468515940306&tid=ss_tw

    “‘The most singular of all the things that we have found’: Clouds study alarms top scientist”

    “The study was led by Ramanathan’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography colleague Joel Norris, though Ramanathan said he was not involved in the work and didn’t know about it until shortly before publication. But Ramanathan said that the study basically confirms that

    ****there’s nothing to prevent the world from reaching the high levels of warming that have long been feared ****

    — except for our own swift policy actions, that is.”

    Reply
    • wili

       /  July 15, 2016

      Any chance of seeing a main post on this troubling new development?

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  July 15, 2016

        ““I consider this as the most singular of all the things that we have found, because many of us had been thinking the cloud changes might help us out, by having a strong feedback which is going the other way instead of amplifying it,” Ramanathan said. “The uncertainty is narrowing down,” he continued later. “I used to say, if I made a 50 percent overestimation of the global warming, it was due to the clouds. But we are running out of that excuse now.”

        “we see robust additional, independent evidence for the predictions of climate models,” Michael Mann said

        Reply
      • So, um, hello paleoclimate???

        Clouds are important in pinning down climate sensitivity. However, I think it’s pretty clear we’ve had ample warning from our geological past that climate sensitivity was about as bad or possibly worse than we feared.

        I’ll read into this more. But one of the main lines of this blog has been to not take into account various hopeful and unlikely scenarios such as this notion that increased cloud formation puts a break on warming. When in paleoclimate has this ever happened?

        Reply
      • Greg

         /  July 15, 2016

        One of the more ‘successful’ narratives of the deniers has been “uncertainty” in the climate models, with clouds a major focus, even quoting the uncertainty of climate scientists (both in and deliberately out of context). This is an important paper because it significantly reduces a major narrative gap, a crutch, if you will, for counter arguments, does it not? This is the obvious movement of the ITCZ. Also, it’s more than 30 years of quantifiable visual data that show, on a planetary scale, the tremendous changes taking place which people can wrap their heads around. Deniers may claw at anything but the average Joe may say, “What, we’re changing the clouds?!” WTF?

        Reply
        • Absolutely true.

          And the paper provides a picture of larger planetary changes that are even more compelling. It’s not just a clouds paper. It’s a multi-variable record of climate change over the past decades that visibly shows wrenching changes to the Earth atmosphere.

      • OK. I’ve read the paper and it has a much broader contextual merit RE the overall climate situation.

        It does appear to confirm an approx 3 C ECS and 6 C ESS range. The findings RE mid latitude cloud loss and increased upper level cloud formation are stark reminders of the various weather hazards due to warming that we face as well as an ominous confirmation that strong carbon emissions cuts are really our best approach to mitigating catastrophic climate change. In other words — the clouds aren’t going to save us.

        My earlier comment was due to the fact that my own view on the issue is pretty settled. I understand that the science is still working out the details necessary to provide a stronger confirmation. And this is a part of that process. I’d say we’ve moved from a 70 percent approximate certainty of a 3 C ECS, 6 C ESS, 1.5 C TCS to something like a 75 to 85 percent certainty with this paper depending on how the scientific community responds overall.

        That said, this blog has used that range for some time now and the evidence keeps running in that direction. The uncertainties, in my view, are carbon system response related, not really in the issue of having this wide range of possible climate sensitivities. Paleoclimate and models are coming into agreement on the issue of ECS, it seems. ESS hasn’t really been broadly modeled as a lot of focus for work has been on warming this Century. But paleoclimate stands pretty strong there as well. In my view, more long range work might be helpful. History, hopefully, doesn’t end this Century.

        Reply
      • wili

         /  July 15, 2016

        Thanks Greg and rs. IIRC, one of the last counter-theories to have any (temporary) scientific traction was Lindzen’s Cloud Iris idea (or some such name) whereby, as the earth warmed, more clouds would form blocking out more sun, thus cooling more of the earth down.

        That was already disproved a couple decades ago, I think, but this study does seem to help rule out the uncertainties on the lower end for sensitivity values. The lower-end estimates for sensitivity always struck me as grasping at straws a bit anyway (though it would have been great if they actually had panned out, of course).

        So more and more ‘luke warmers’ seem to have fewer and fewer legs to stand on, so to speak.

        As important as they are, the more ‘in your face’ tragedies and assaults–the latest being Nice–distract attention from the larger and more total, but slower moving and harder-to-connect-the-dots global assault of GW.

        Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  July 15, 2016

      Well wili,Greg,Robert. No rocket scientist here but for me it has long been something about Venus. After the Sun and Moon the third brightest object in our nighttime sky. On the albedo scale 0 is black and 1 is white. Earth’s albedo is 0.306. Venus’s 0.77….2.52 times brighter. And yet the surface temp of Venus is 482C. Earth (average)~ 15C. Even though Venus is 30% closer to the Sun (think sitting 7 feet from a campfire instead of ten) only its’ huge CO2 content atmosphere can do the hot-enough-to-melt-lead trick. Especially when realizing how much solar radiation is reflected from it’s bright SO2 clouds and thus never reaches the surface. This discovery is what caused Dr. James Hansen to look homeward….

      Reply
      • Increases in high level cloud cover trap more solar radiation here on Earth. Albedo is a part of the equation. But not all of it.

        Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  July 15, 2016

        But isn’t that outgoing infrared which escapes our weakish greenhouse? Just discovered that a mere 50 km above the Venusian hellscape temps approximate Earth’s surface. NASA planetary fact sheet source.

        Reply
        • Yes. Atmosphere is comparatively thin. 50 km above Earth is half-way to space (Earth atmosphere space boundary at 100 kilometers).

          On Venus, the space atmosphere boundary is 250 kilometers. Cloud heights are much higher and much of the solar radiation coming in is trapped by a raging greenhouse effect. A 50 km altitude on Venus roughly corresponds to a 20 km altitude on Earth. Earth’s atmospheric temperature at 60,000 (approx 20 km) feet is -70 F.

      • Kevin Jones

         /  July 15, 2016

        Ha! My only point was to enhance your remark regarding a magic bullet negative feedback from cloud changes. We know what paleoclimate tells us. We know how the surface of Venus compares with the surface of Earth. Our fossil fueled warming to date of, say 2F is already 1/400th of the difference and already humanity and flora and fauna are suffering.

        Reply
  18. Andy_in_SD

     /  July 15, 2016

    My parents in Europe are saying it is sweltering. Toasty there as well.

    Reply
  19. Here in Hawaii, it’s been very hot and humid. LOTS of moisture in the air. I am consistently seeing the high, heavy anvil clouds. Flat on the bottom and billowing up to another flat head and sometimes bursting through. Despite almost daily rainfall on my ridge, the forest stays dry. We’re also having great difficulty battling fungus. We’ve lost something like 34,000 acres of native Ohia trees. There are different plants growing in my backyard than just a year ago, and I find it nearly impossible to grow even an herb garden.

    I imagine we all have some idea about the impacts of climate change on food security. I’m not a scientist, but it doesn’t seem to be looking good at the moment. I wanted to share a few links below for anyone else who is interested.

    http://hawaiipublicradio.org/post/scenes-devastation-chasing-hawaiis-deadly-ohia-fungus

    http://thetandd.com/business/agriculture/heat-wave-threatens-another-disastrous-year/article_7eaea061-ebe0-5698-941a-53cb87a64ee8.html

    http://www.weathertrends360.com/Blog/Post/US-Corn-Yields-About-to-Plummet-Like-2011-3488

    Reply
  20. Greg

     /  July 15, 2016

    Water, not wind, was the destructive force in Typhoon Nepartak in China:


    Residents gingerly walking over a bridge mounded with debris in Bandong Town in China’s Fujian province after Typhoon Nepartak.STR/AFP/Getty Images

    Reply
  21. Greg

     /  July 15, 2016

    The Blue Tears of Taiwan’s Matsu islands. No, not pollution.This represents a kind of ecological balance, and the appearance of noctiluca scintillans is not an indication of environmental deterioration. Just a beautiful reminder of what we have to protect

    Reply
    • Bio-luminescence is just a stunning thing.

      When I was a teen, I used to love to run along the ocean in the evening time. The various microbes in my path would light up as my feet fell, leaving a track of light behind me. They’re not there anymore.

      Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  July 16, 2016

        There was a very interesting program from the BBC introduced by Attenborough recently, about bio-luminescence. Numerous fascinating, beautiful examples, but the dolphins swimming through bio-luminescent waters in the Sea of Cortes like ghostly apparitions or some sort of spirit creatures come to visit us, was quite indescribably awe-inspiring. What an amazing world we are stuffing up.

        Reply
  22. Cate

     /  July 15, 2016

    Jason Box: methane risk does represent a “possible global high impact event”, which is why we need to get up there and find out all we can about it.

    https://climatecrocks.com/2016/07/14/jason-box-urges-care-caution-on-arctic-methane-risk/

    “…. Dr. Jason Box offers some welcome buffering to some of the overly hyped Arctic methane-bomb rhetoric on the internet…..There is indeed reason for concern, and nobody is more concerned than scientists like Dr. Box who follow the issue, and importantly, have children.But, data does not show a Methane melt-down currently in progress, despite what you may have seen on various heavy breathing you-tubes and websites from the “imminent human extinction” crowd. Still, the risk is real, and represents a possible global high impact event that needs more study, which it is starting to get, with serious resources being deployed by several Arctic nations, as Dr. Box relates above.”

    Reply
    • Box and company tend to tell us what has happened, not what will be. By the time we see evidence of clathrate decomposition, it will be 50 years too late for adaption, and 100 years too late for mitigation. Add up policy, planning, and implementation delays, and we need to be looking well over a hundred years into the future, if we are to have an effective response to climate change.

      As the ocean’s bottom waters gradually warm, the transition from stable clathrates to decomposing clathrates will be very abrupt. Here, “abrupt” means a few decades! How long have we been seeing new, and increasing evidence of CH4 evolving from clathrates? Maybe 25 years?) Loss of Arctic sea ice opens up the possibility of cyclone driven vertical mixing of the water column over the ESS. Once we lose Arctic sea ice, vertical mixing (warming ESS bottom waters) is a matter of when, not if. Now, what was Box saying about Arctic sea ice circa 2005??? How far ahead does Box look?

      Your Loyal Alarmist
      ps, I did modeling to support Limits to Growth by Meadows, 1972

      Reply
      • It’s also worth noting that Box first spoke out on methane (Dragon’s Breath blog), then attacked people who were concerned about methane, now he appears to have done a third rethink.

        The point to remember here is that we are all human, no one has a perfect crystal ball, and we should maybe be a little less harsh with people who are actually concerned about real threats here.

        Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  July 16, 2016

        The actual experts in the Arctic Methane Emergency Group are not as sanguine as Box.

        Reply
    • Message to Box — exploring potential high risk outcomes due to climate change is not hype. It’s threat analysis.

      Reply
  23. Greg

     /  July 15, 2016

    Less than one week now and it is time to comment on a cultural tsunami sweeping the developed world and make a connection to this blog. I am witnessing changes in human behavior overnight that are staggering and worthy of a Doctoral Thesis. I have a close friend, for example, who has quite literally been on a couch for the 3 years that I have known him, ordering food for delivery and not responding to every order of human intervention I know of. This week he has wondered the countryside in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, on average, for10 kilometers a day before returning exhausted to eat. All of this to chase virtual Pokemon characters on his phone. I surveyed 4 of the people I work with who are all in the 20’s and they all are doing the same thing. The cynic says write this generation off and dismisses the hopelessness of humanity. I say holy cow, we just have to get this right and we can change the young with the right App. Please, silicon valley, lets figure out how to get a whole generation demanding action against climate change. Make the Capitol a Pokemon gym, have 10 million young people arrive to capture a Bulbasaur and stage a sit-in.

    Reply
  24. climatehawk1

     /  July 15, 2016

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  25. Long line of 99+ weather here in SW New Mexico. No monsoons either..we had one day of sprinkles. We are at 5,000 foot elevation.

    Reply
  26. June

     /  July 15, 2016

    From Jeff Masters and Bob Henson.

    Earth’s 5th Costliest Non-U.S. Weather Disaster on Record: China’s $22 Billion Flood

    Some 147,200 houses have been destroyed by this summer’s floods in China, and over 21,000 square miles of farmland had been inundated–an area the size of Massachusetts and Vermont combined. An additional $1.3 billion in flood damage from Typhoon Nepartak occurred in China in July.

    …In the 2015 book “The Monsoons and Climate Change: Observations and Modeling,” Hirokazu Endo (MRI) and Akio Kitoh (University of Tsukuba, Japan) conclude: “State-of-the-art climate models project that both the amount and intensity of Asian summer monsoon rainfall are likely to increase under global warming, and that the rates of increase will be higher than those in other monsoon regions…Considering the improvements in CMIP5 (climate models) compared to CMIP3 in simulating present-day characteristics, we now have more confidence in future projections.”

    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3355

    Reply
  27. June

     /  July 15, 2016

    Dangerous algae contaminates Shasta Lake

    …A similar algae warning was issued for Pyramid Lake in Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles Times reported.

    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Dangerous-algae-contaminates-Shasta-Lake-8380236.php

    Reply
  28. – These sort of changes/adaptations have to be taking place in many biotic communities.

    – The ‘climate’ has changed micro-climate by micro-climate. One side of a tree to the other side. One side of a valley or mountain to the other side… All in plain sight for anyone to see and feel.

    – Have also to wonder about homo saps that have lived in a contaminated atmosphere and a changing climate for quite a few decades now…

    – Climate Change Effects on Rocky Mountain Plant Driven by Sex

    DENVER – Scientists at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory near Crested Butte have documented sex-specific responses to climate change for the first time. The study, published in the journal Science, shows changes in the valerian plant’s growth patterns over 40 years of research.

    Kailen Mooney, the report’s co-author and a professor at the University of California Irvine, said a warming planet has already affected where the plant grows at different elevations.

    “Just like in humans, where where males and females are different, in plants, males and females are different and they have responded to climate change differently,” he said. “Specifically, what we found is that over the last 40 years, males have been increasing in abundance.”

    He explained male plants have traditionally grown at lower elevations, where it’s hot and dry, and females grow higher up, in cooler, wetter areas. Mooney said warmer conditions have allowed more males to settle into female territory. Unlike most flowering plants, valerian, like asparagus, papaya, spinach, and aspen, can’t self-fertilize.
    http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2016-07-15/climate-change-air-quality/climate-change-effects-on-rocky-mountain-plant-driven-by-sex/a52973-1

    Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  July 16, 2016

      dt, that surely qualifies as yet another ‘unpleasant surprise’, a Rumsfeldian ‘unknown unknown’. Man is the Master of Nature, is he? Hubris.

      Reply
  29. Reply
  30. Map left = 0715 — right = 0814:

    Reply
  31. Clouds are changing and storm tracks shifting poleward — I caught a Wshington Post article on it and made my summations and comments on Fin des Voies Rapides.

    Reply
  32. Kevin Jones

     /  July 15, 2016

    For all, but especially Colorado Bob: It ain’t the clusterfuck but the clusterfucksters

    Reply
    • So the question is why is this such a charlie foxtrot? And I think part of the answer is due to the fact that there is such a huge amount of resistance that you basically have to shout to get anyone’s attention RE human-caused climate change.

      Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  July 16, 2016

      Here we’d call them ‘clusterfuckwits’. My God-the Government!

      Reply
  33. Highs of 107-110 first five days of this week in SE NM, 10-15° above average. Back down to around 100 today. 100 is looking good at this point.

    Reply
  34. Kevin Jones

     /  July 15, 2016

    Oh,just checkin’ in to what GISTEMP has to say about June. 2nd Friday of the following month has been their recent habit.Nothing yet. JMA reported a couple days ago that their data made it a record hot June (barely beating 2015).

    Reply
  35. Frank’s words are even more on point today than they were 50 years ago:

    Reply
  36. Darvince

     /  July 15, 2016

    Wetbulb calculator gives, for that searing heat index, 95.7F. We’ve hit fatal wet bulb temperatures once again in 2016, it seems:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2015/07/30/iran-city-hits-suffocating-heat-index-of-154-degrees-near-world-record/

    Reply
  37. EV-LO

     /  July 15, 2016

    Hi Robert
    Very grateful for your work. I have been trying to sort through the feedback roles of clouds, the urgency of Arctic methane, etc, and I am finding you to be a balanced source.
    Small detail: I think it’s “sowing doubt” as in sowing seed.
    Aloha
    Jerry

    Reply
  38. Spike

     /  July 15, 2016

    Going back to the nuke issue it is interesting to see the French waking up to renewables with a very aggressive plan to more than triple solar in 5 years.

    http://www.solarpowereurope.org/newsletter-may-2016/our-news/france-to-install-20-gw-by-2023/

    Reply
  39. Spike

     /  July 15, 2016

    My bad – triple in 7 years. It’s late here 💤💤

    Reply
  40. – Stanford is part of an effort to inform the public about climate impacts:

    Reply
  41. Kevin Jones

     /  July 15, 2016

    Thanks Robert. One heatwave at a time!

    Reply
  42. Genomik

     /  July 17, 2016

    All rivers vary from year to year. What worries federal wildlife officials, state biologists and a growing number of devoted anglers across the mountain West, is that, for the past 15 years, some of America’s finest fishing rivers keep breaking records for early snowmelts, too-warm water and low flows. Mr Vermillion is also chairman of the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission, a government body. To his dismay he has just approved some of the earliest fishing closures ever recorded, closing legendary trout waters on such rivers as the Gallatin, Beaverhead and Jefferson every afternoon with effect from July 1st, after water temperatures hit 73°F (22.8°C) on three consecutive days.

    http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21702220-montanas-rivers-are-warmer-they-should-be-which-bad-news-trout-all-about

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: