Clouds of Denial Clear as Rising Storm Tops, Middle Latitude Drying Found to Speed Global Warming

“The data shows major reorganization of the cloud system… 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.”climate scientist Veerabhadran Ramanathan

“Our results suggest that radiative forcing by a combination of anthropogenic greenhouse gases and volcanic aerosol has produced observed cloud changes during the past several decades that exert positive feedbacks on the climate system. We expect that increasing greenhouse gases will cause these cloud trends to continue in the future, unless offset by unpredictable large volcanic eruptions.”Evidence for Climate Change in the Cloud Satellite Record (emphasis added).

Scientists now have a satellite record of cloud behavior over the past few decades. What they’ve found is that, in response to Earth warming, cloud tops are rising even as clouds are forming at higher altitudes. This traps even more heat at the Earth’s surface. In addition, storms are moving north toward the poles, which means more sunlight hits the temperate regions near 40 degrees latitude both in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. This northward movement of storms also causes the Earth to warm more rapidly. In the past, scientists had hoped that changes in clouds would shelter the Earth from some of the greenhouse gas warming caused by fossil fuel emissions. What we are finding now is that the opposite is true. The way clouds change as the Earth warms appears to be increasing the intensity of greenhouse gas warming.

Sowing the Clouds With Doubt, Denial and False Hope

Will the impacts of human-caused climate change be as bad or even worse than we feared? Will the Earth warm as rapidly or more rapidly than climate models suggest?

These are critical questions. Ones that revolve around the issue of how sensitive the Earth is to the added heat build-up initiated by a large and growing pulse of human-emitted greenhouse gasses. One whose answer will have lasting consequences for all those currently alive today and for many of the generations to follow. For if the answer to this question is yes, then we have responded too slowly to what is now a swiftly worsening global climate crisis (and, according to a new observational study, that answer appears to be, with growing certainty, YES).

Storm Track Heading North

(A new study has found that human forced warming drives the storm track toward the poles. This increases drought risk for places like the US Southwest. It is also a part of a larger cloud feedback that is found to have caused the Earth to warm more rapidly. Image source: LANCE MODIS.)

In relation to these questions is a noted relevant scientific uncertainty over the behavior of clouds in response to warming. Mainstream science has long produced state of the art climate models showing that changes in clouds due to Earth’s warming was likely a heat-enhancing (positive) feedback overall. And paleoclimate studies have tended to support the kinds of Earth System sensitivity to heat forcing that would result. But due to the fact that cloud behavior is difficult to model (and confirm through observation), there was a decent level of uncertainty in the science over the issue. And it is this seeming gap in our physical understanding that has spurred a big controversy circulating among climate change skeptics/deniers and the mainstream scientific community.

On the deniers side are people like Judith Curry, Roy Spencer, Richard Lindzen, and Anthony Watts (and their fossil fuel backers) who have broadly asserted that clouds respond to warming in a way that alleviates some of the added heat. The group also claimed that the cooling impact of clouds (negative feedback) was strong enough to reduce the Earth’s overall sensitivity to human greenhouse gas forcing to significantly less than the widely accepted 3 C Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity range (ECS — or about a 3 C warming over an approximate 100 year period for each doubling of CO2, or approximately double that warming over the long term). On the other side are the mainstream scientific heavy weights — including notables like NASA GISS’s Gavin Schmidt and Michael Mann of Hockey Stick notoriety — along with a large and growing body of studies producing evidence to support the cloud model essays.

The upshot has produced what could best be called a debate enabled to sow doubt (climate skeptics/deniers tend to receive funding from fossil fuel think tanks and other political bodies, which is a marked and glaring conflict of interest) between actual science and what might well be characterized as an intentionally misleading industry PR campaign.

Climate change gallup serious threat

(Climate change is a very serious threat. It threatens the existence of coastal communities like Miami, Norfolk, and New York City, it’s putting the US Southwest into an increasingly dangerous drought and water shortage situation, it’s driving vector driven illnesses like Zika out of their tropical zones, it’s threatening the stability of global food supplies, it’s forcing mass migration on a scale worse than warfare and conflict, and it’s pumping up the intensity of the most extreme weather events. Despite glaringly obvious trends revealing worsening climate states, just 41 percent of the American public views climate change as a serious threat. This is in large part due to confusion sown by climate change skeptics and deniers. Image source: Gallup.)

Wrapped up by this doubt-sowing were a number of scientists who simply seemed to hope that something (even changes in clouds) would give humankind enough time to make the tough policy choices needed to respond to human-forced warming. This group included a number of well-intending individual scientists who simply appeared unwilling to unequivocally accept the stark implications coming from the model assessments and from the paleoclimate proxy data.

Unfortunately, uncertain understanding of how clouds respond to warming has served either as false comfort or fed into yet one more climate change skeptic/denier based doubt-sowing delaying tactic for much-needed global policy action on climate change.

High Clouds, Middle Latitude Drying Enhance Human-Forced Warming

Now, a new observational study headed by Joel Norris has helped to clear up some of this uncertainty. The study used satellite based observation of cloud behavior over the past 25 years to confirm that alterations in Earth’s cloud  cover is producing an amplifying feedback to human caused climate change. In other words, the heat provided by human fossil fuel emissions is forcing the clouds to respond in ways that warm the Earth even faster.

At issue are two big mechanisms. The first is that warming up the Earth’s atmosphere is observed to be forcing the storm tracks toward the poles. This pole-ward movement is resulting in less overall cloud cover for the middle latitudes. Less cloud cover in this region reduces the coverage of bright, reflective clouds which, in turn, generates a loss of Earth reflectivity (albedo). As a result, more of the sun’s rays enter the Earth’s lower atmosphere in this zone which causes the atmosphere to heat up.

The second big cloud feedback mechanism was an observed increase in upper level cloud formation. This is important because high level clouds act as a blanket, trapping more of the Sun’s heat in the atmosphere. What the study found was that cloud tops were both rising even as the number of clouds at higher altitudes was increasing.

All Cloud Trend

(Higher cloud tops and less cloud cover in the middle latitudes means that the Earth warms faster due to human greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, a poleward movement of the storm track facilitates drying across many continental regions including Brazil, the US Southwest, Europe, and parts of Africa, Asia, and Australia. Image source: Evidence for Climate Change in the Cloud Satellite Record.)

This combination resulted in an observed increase in radiative forcing on the order of 0.39 Watts per meter squared. That’s about a 12 percent increase above and beyond the base additional greenhouse gas forcing currently provided by human beings. In other words, the way clouds respond to human greenhouse gas emissions caused the world to warm up even faster.

In addition to these changes that add heat to the Earth System, there is one noted significant knock-on effect. Loss of clouds in the middle latitudes results in less rainfall for places like the Amazon Rainforest, the US Southwest, and large parts of Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. In this way, shifting storm tracks are an enabler not only to amplified global warming, but also to the increasingly prevalent and severe droughts and wildfires that we are now seeing in many of the most highly populated parts of the world.

The new study appears to be robust and has received support from a number of scientists including Dr. Michael Mann, and Veerabhadran Ramanathan. And in response to those sitting on cloud fences, Ramanthan notes in the Washington Post:

“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… The uncertainty is narrowing down. 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.”

(UPDATED July 16, 2016)

Links/Attribution/Statements

Evidence for Climate Change in the Cloud Satellite Record

Clouds Study Alarms Scientists

LANCE MODIS

Gavin Schmidt

Michael Mann

Gallup

Hat tip to Wili

Hat tip to Greg

Hat tip to Miep

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173 Comments

  1. Kevin Jones

     /  July 15, 2016

    When I hear the name Richard Lindzen, the skin on the back of my neck crawls as if a venomous lizard was attaching itself. My childhood consciousness was informed by Ann Frank. Later by Ellie Weisel. Then Etta Hillisaum. Then Victor Frankle. Then my blood brother Mitch Snyder. All of Jewish history. Because of the fact of the Holocaust, the great survivors rose up. The broken ones did not. And yet they still seem in charge of somebody’s casino.

    v

    Reply
    • Jean

       /  July 16, 2016

      I have a new favorite book:”Mr Rosenblum Dreams in English” By Natasha Solomon..About forgetting and not forgetting..gardens and Permaculture and golf courses and a woolly-pig

      Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  July 16, 2016

        Thanks, Jean. Just ran through a bunch of goodreads reviews. Can’t remember such a ‘I hated it/ I loved it’ assortment of responses. A concerned aunt of a dear friend of mine once asked him how many books he read. He answered one,two three a week. She replied, “Well then,there is no hope for you!”

        Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  July 16, 2016

        Ah, jeeze Jean. Three years ago I was contacted & then interviewed by a man who convinced Mitch Snyder’s survivors to become his family authorized biographer. He visited. I put him up for the weekend in a hospitalized friends’ vacant house. I spent two 12 hour sessions being severely interrogated by him. Motivated by nothing but a deep sad loving remembrance of a feisty, brilliant, charismatic, brutal and self-loathing saint. I’ll read that book it it ever gets published. Possible I wouldn’t appear in as good a light as I did attempt…. If unfamiliar with Mitch, he’s readily google-able.

        Reply
  2. labmonkey2

     /  July 15, 2016

    Thanks for the great explanation. I am concerned that as the various levels of our pre-industrial atmosphere loose their boundaries and mix with adjacent levels, will this bring higher speeds to the lower reaches? Wunderground folks have been very focused of late on the in-line wind speeds associated with many of the midwest storms the past few days.
    And is rotational inertia transfer of the air mass part of the equation as it loads more and more moisture as it warms?

    Reply
  3. Colorado Bob

     /  July 16, 2016

    What You Need to Know About the World’s Water Wars

    Beijing is sinking.

    In some neighborhoods, the ground is giving way at a rate of four inches a year as water in the giant aquifer below it is pumped.

    The groundwater has been so depleted that China’s capital city, home to more than 20 million people, could face serious disruptions in its rail system, roadways, and building foundations, an international team of scientists concluded earlier this year. Beijing, despite tapping into the gigantic North China Plain aquifer, is the world’s fifth most water-stressed city and its water problems are likely to get even worse.

    Beijing isn’t the only place experiencing subsidence, or sinking, as soil collapses into space created as groundwater is depleted. Parts of Shanghai, Mexico City, and other cities are sinking, too. Sections of California’s Central Valley have dropped by a foot, and in some localized areas, by as much as 28 feet.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/07/world-aquifers-water-wars/?google_editors_picks=true

    Reply
  4. climatehawk1

     /  July 16, 2016

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  5. Syd Bridges

     /  July 16, 2016

    Ah yes, Richard Lindzen and the “iris effect,” which was going to close off the world from most of the heat. It appears that the good doctor has given the Earth a drug that has dilated rather than contracted the Earth’s iris. Did he confuse his atropine with his eserine?

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  July 17, 2016

      I think he looked through his telescope from the other end. Should have called it The Burning Glass Effect. CATO $$$ and his cowardly self-loathing blinded him.

      Reply
  6. Reply
    • mmm, wild blueberries! not to make light of the climate mess, but wild blueberries are one of my favourite memories from my forestry working days. the in situ pic makes me happy.

      Reply
  7. – 0715 Headlines – Algae

    – Utah Lake, covered in dangerous algae, closed to public

    Authorities warned the public about potential danger from algal blooms Thursday, closing the eastern shore of the lake. By Friday, tests indicated the entire lake should be closed.
    [No mention of cause, or source, of algae.]
    -kutv.com/news/local/utah-lake-covered-in-dangerous-algae-closed-

    – California:
    – Dangerous algae contaminates Shasta Lake

    At Lake Shasta, a toxic algae bloom has prompted the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board to issue a warning against using the Pit River Arm of of the lake for recreation activities.

    Shasta Lake is the largest reservoir, in terms of area and depth, in California.

    A similar algae warning was issued for Pyramid Lake in Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles Times reported.
    [No mention of cause, or source, of algae.]
    sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Dangerous-algae-contaminates-Shasta

    Reply
    • – Florida:

      Toxic algae lurks in Florida’s lakes, threatening eagles and other birds

      First it drives them insane. Then it kills them.
      A toxic algae has been poisoning birds throughout the South. Now it’s lurking in Florida’s freshwater lakes.

      This is not the same as the slimy, toxic blue-green algae plaguing Florida’s east coast, its stench driving tourists away and forcing residents to stay indoors.
      This one could be worse.

      So far it has been blamed for killing thousands of birds.
      No birds killed by the algae’s poisons have been found in Florida, but to the top expert on the subject, it’s only a matter of time. The stuff has already turned up in several lakes here.

      It hides on an invasive aquatic plant called hydrilla.

      http://www.tampabay.com/news/environment/wildlife/toxic-algae-lurks-in-hydrilla-covered-lakes-threatening-eagles-and-other/2285362

      Reply
      • “Florida has more invasive plants and animals than any other state — from pythons to giant African land snails, from melaleuca to Brazilian pepper.

        Of all the invasive plants in Florida’s waterways, hydrilla costs the most to contain. The state has spent $66 million over the past seven years, just trying to hold it back from spreading, according to a recent University of Florida study.

        Hydrilla is native to Africa and Southeast Asia, but then Florida fish collectors discovered it looked nice in their aquariums. In the 1950s, some aquarium plant dealers tossed a few plants into Florida’s canals. It spread rapidly and began clogging lakes and rivers.”

        Reply
      • Thanks for that link, dtlange. I’ve often wondered what a few degrees might mean for bacterial growth/evolution, given what we know about the way plants are trying to adapt.

        Aside: I was at Blue Springs Florida a few years ago and there was a team of scientists, researchers, and volunteers catching the “armored catfish,” another invasive. (Most people with aquariums know them as “algae eaters” or plecostomas. Those things that suck onto the side of a dirty fish tank and clean up all the algae.) They wore SCUBA gear, and they would hunt/spear them underwater then bring them up and throw them in the rowboat. Those suckers fought like the dickens once tossed into the hull. All this ruckus and violent slamming around. A couple actually escaped. Tough buggers.

        http://bluespringgroup.blogspot.com/p/resource-management.html

        Reply
  8. Andy_in_SD

     /  July 16, 2016

    Global Warming: What We Knew in 82

    Reply
  9. Reply
    • Cate

       /  July 17, 2016

      I know it’s not funny.

      But I have to admit the first thing that, um, sprang to mind was “The Celebrated Jumping Frog…” etc Grow-op wildfires—perfect grist for Twain’s mill, I daresay. 😉

      Reply
  10. Colorado Bob

     /  July 16, 2016

    Watch The Climate Change Ad Fox News Didn’t Want Its Viewers To See

    Reply
  11. Colorado Bob

     /  July 16, 2016

    Fires burning in Northern Canada –

    Terra/MODIS
    2016/197
    07/15/2016
    19:30 UTC

    Reply
  12. Colorado Bob

     /  July 16, 2016

    Emails Show Some Florida Building Officials Still in Denial About Climate Change

    Late last month, Anthony Apfelbeck, a fire marshal and building official in the Central Florida city of Altamonte Springs, sent a link to a ClimateWire story about sea-level rise to a listserve for the Building Officials Association of Florida, an email group where contractors, architects, and building officials connect to answer one another’s questions or pass along helpful resources.

    http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/emails-show-some-florida-building-officials-still-in-denial-about-climate-change-8600355

    Reply
    • – Be sure that this sort of stupidity is often rigorously enforced in many civil/agency jurisdictions.
      If this weren’t so then things would surely be much better, and everyone would stand a better chance of survival.

      Reply
      • “Then came Randy Jones, a code compliance supervisor with Santa Rosa County in the Panhandle: “I wasn’t going to chime in on this but now I will. Just want to say I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one that doesn’t believe the climate change crap, oops theory.”

        ‘The emails were troubling to at least one other member of the listserve — construction consultant Jerry Peck, who wrote in the email chain that it “shows the open-mindedness (lack thereof) of what should be open-minded building officials

        “No wonder the code is always playing catch-up for so long after the fact,” he wrote.’

        Reply
    • – This is the same broken real estate world Trump inhabits.

      Reply
  13. Colorado Bob

     /  July 16, 2016

    The flooding is particularly troublesome along the Snake River in Kanabec County, in the small town of Grasston, where homeowners are fighting a 24-hour battle.

    The high floodwaters forced many bridges and highways to close. The Snake River drains a huge part of central Minnesota, which is now swollen by the 5 to 11 inches of rain that fell Monday night.
    http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2016/07/15/flooding-grasston-kanabect-county/

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 16, 2016

      The towns of Carrot River, Sask., Arborfield, the rural municipality of Arborfield and Shoal Lake First Nation have all been impacted by heavy rain and flooding.

      Approximately 100 mm of rain fell in two hours in the northeastern community of Carrot River on Tuesday, while Estevan picked up 130 mm of rain in less than three hours last Sunday, where a state of emergency was declared as well.

      https://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/stormy-day-looms-for-alberta-details-here/69583/

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  July 16, 2016

        When this heat dome sets up this coming week , these folks up North are in for a real bad time.

        Reply
      • ‘When this heat dome sets up this coming week , these folks up North are in for a real bad time.’
        Right – and In relation to a map of the heat, Robert said the edges of the heat dome would get some extra precip.

        Reply
  14. Colorado Bob

     /  July 16, 2016

    Deadhorse, Alaska, Sets State Record High For Any Arctic Ocean Location

    This was not only an all-time record high in Deadhorse, dating to 1968, topping a high of 83 degrees from June 21, 1991. More impressive, however, is was also the hottest temperature on record anywhere in the state within 50 miles of the Arctic Ocean, according to Alaska-based climatologist, Dr. Brian Brettschneider.

    Deadhorse is a mere 6 miles from the Arctic coast at Prudhoe Bay and about 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

    https://www.wunderground.com/news/deadhorse-alaska-record-high-arctic-ocean-july2016

    Reply
  15. Colorado Bob

     /  July 16, 2016

    Tropical cyclones on track to grow more intense as temperatures rise
    Aerosols have compensated for greenhouse gases, but won’t in future
    Date:
    July 14, 2016
    Source:
    Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University
    Summary:
    Powerful tropical cyclones like the super typhoon that lashed Taiwan with 150-mile-per-hour winds last week and then flooded parts of China are expected to become even stronger as the planet warms. That trend hasn’t become evident yet, but it will, scientists say.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160714151858.htm

    Reply
  16. Colorado Bob

     /  July 16, 2016

    WELCOME TO ORGANIC TRANSIT
    The ELF is a solar and pedal hybrid vehicle powered by you and the sun. “The most efficient vehicle on the planet”, it is a revolution in transportation and gets the equivalent of 1800 MPG.

    http://organictransit.com/

    Reply
    • Very well done. If you lived in a city, this could easily handle an individual’s transport needs. Easier to park. No need to plug in to recharge w/solar. Best of both worlds of renewables + bike. Great stuff here.

      Reply
  17. wili

     /  July 16, 2016

    Thanks for the hat tip and the excellent (as usual) article.

    One point: In the sentence below (right above the cloud trend map in your piece), should the word ‘both’ be dropped, or am I misreading it?

    “What the study found was that cloud tops were both rising even as the number of clouds at higher altitudes was increasing.”

    Reply
  18. Colorado Bob

     /  July 16, 2016

    More Than 100 Tech Leaders Say Trump Is a ‘Disaster for Innovation’
    Endorsed Letter Written by Twitter’s Former VP-Global Media

    http://adage.com/article/campaign-trail/tech-leaders-trump-a-disaster-innovation/304982/

    Reply
  19. June

     /  July 16, 2016

    Some good news…not really climate-related but I’ll take any good news these days.

    US Navy banned from using sonar that harms dolphins and walruses

    A federal appeals court ruled on Friday that the US Navy was wrongly allowed to use sonar in the nation’s oceans that could harm whales and other marine life.

    Reply
  20. Colorado Bob

     /  July 16, 2016

    Climate change a ‘grim reality’ at Coronet Peak (+ video)

    On what should have been the coldest part of the coldest month of the year, Coronet Peak Ski Area manager Ross Copland was looking out his office window at torrential rain. Climate change has the ability to alter the way New Zealand’s lowest skifield operates, he tells business editor Dene Mackenzie.

    The impact of climate change is a reality for Coronet Peak Ski Area manager Ross Copland.

    Instead of watching 40cm of snow float down on Wednesday, he was instead watching torrential rain washing the snow away, leaving up to 4000 potential skiers at the bottom of the hill instead of enjoying the slopes and trails.

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/business/390533/climate-change-grim-reality-coronet-peak-video

    Reply
    • I find it ironic indeed that many areas noticing a serious effect of climate change / FF burning first moan about the effects of the change – then moan about the effect on their tourist business!

      Here we have skiing in New Zealand – and of course all the recent news about the Great Barrier Reef – from down under.

      Does no-one realize that all those happy tourists flying madly about the planet to indulge their peripatetic urges are a major cause of the AGW effects they are moaning about? That in a world where we seriously try to do something to save our civilization, air travel and tourism will have to be cut back greatly, until such time (if ever) these things can be done with very little, or no FF consumption at all?

      Reply
  21. – I don’t recall if this July 11 piece has been referred to:

    11 July 2016
    Climate tipping points: What do they mean for society?

    In a new study, scientists lay out strategy for investigating societal consequences


    Scientists at Rutgers University and Harvard University tackle the terminology and outline a strategy for investigating the consequences of climate tipping points in a study published today in the journal Earth’s Future, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

    “I hear from a lot of people in the general public who wonder whether we’ve passed a tipping point with respect to the climate, but frequently they don’t know precisely what the term means,” said Robert E. Kopp, associate professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and lead author of the new study. “And that’s on the scientific community. Oftentimes, we use the term in a way that doesn’t quite jive with popular understanding.”

    http://blogs.agu.org/geospace/2016/07/11/climate-tipping-points-mean-society/

    Reply
  22. – “… greenhouse gas emissions are released into the air, causing air temperatures to increase, more moisture evaporates from land and lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water.”
    – A simple and direct statement that encompasses what’s going on.

    June 15, 2016 | 12:42 PM

    The Facts About Climate Change and Drought
    What’s the link between climate change and drought? Find out the key facts in this post.

    Of all the ways climate change inflicts harm, drought is the one people worry about most, according to a Pew Research Center survey. And it’s not surprising – droughts have been drier and lasting longer in recent years thanks in part to climate change. In 2012, the central and western US was hit particularly hard when 81 percent of the country was living in abnormally dry conditions, causing $30 billion in damages and putting the health and safety of many Americans at risk.

    But droughts aren’t only hitting the US hard. Many regions in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa are also experiencing higher air temperatures, drier air, and more severe or frequent droughts.

    What’s the link between climate change and drought?

    While droughts can have different causes depending on the area of the world and other natural factors, the majority of scientists have started to link more intense droughts to climate change. That’s because as more greenhouse gas emissions are released into the air, causing air temperatures to increase, more moisture evaporates from land and lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water. Warmer temperatures also increase evaporation in plant soils, which affects plant life and can reduce rainfall even more. And when rainfall does come to drought-stricken areas, the drier soils it hits are less able to absorb the water, increasing the likelihood of flooding – a lose-lose situation.

    https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/facts-about-climate-change-and-drought?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=General

    Reply
  23. Reply
  24. Colorado Bob

     /  July 16, 2016

    Chile Has Generated So Much Solar Power It’s Giving It Away For Free

    Chile’s solar power industry has been pumping out electricity like no tomorrow. So much so, they’re giving it away for free. But while consumers might rejoice at this news, big money investors aren’t so pleased.

    Chile has rapidly expanded their solar industry over the past few years. Along with the massive Atacama 1 solar complex in the sun-drenched north, Chile is home to 28 other solar power plants, with plans to build 15 more. Bloomberg reports this recent influx of solar power has created a surplus that’s resulted in spot prices of zero for 113 days between January and April in many parts of the country.

    Apart from Europe, Chile has some of the world’s most progressive and ambitious plans for clean energy. There have been discussions to make “non-conventional renewable sources” account for about 70 percent of Chile’s energy supply by 2050. A large chunk of this percentage will come from solar power. Since 2013, the country’s power grid has already quadrupled its solar capacity to 770 megawatts.

    http://www.iflscience.com/environment/chile-has-generated-so-much-solar-power-its-giving-it-away-for-free/?__prclt=8DT9ZCMV

    Reply
  25. Reply
  26. Reply
    • Reply
    • – wqad.com/2016/07/15/drought-makes-lake-mead-drop-to-lowest-levels

      New imagery released by NASA shows the effect of extreme drought on Lake Mead. The lake is actually a reservoir, and is the largest in the United States. It was created with the construction of the Hoover Dam in the 1930s. 16 consecutive years of drought due to climate change have caused the water level to fall to record low levels.

      Of note in the before-after pictures is the change in size of the Las Vegas Metropolitan area. The population of the city of Las Vegas has grown from 160,000 to 670,000 in just the past thirty years. Not only does the reservoir supply that entire population with water, it is pumped to many cities in Arizona, California, Nevada, and northern Mexico.

      Reply
      • Also of note – all the green in Vegas – original and expanded – England / New England residential traditions of lawn & garden – most inappropriate for the desert location!

        Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  July 16, 2016

        DTL –
        I got “promoted” to Vegas when I worked for Tandy leather . (Worst choice I ever made) First week there the junkies stole my sound system right out from under my nose in broad daylight.
        The next day a customer at the counter gave me a knowing grin, and said, “Well how do you like Vegas ?”

        I said, “Mr. I’ve lived in some shit holes, but this is biggest, and shiniest”.

        Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  July 16, 2016

        Somehow, dt, I’m reminded of the scene in Catch-22 where the wounded veteran is in a full body cast and the nurse arrives to check on his hydration bottle & urine bag. Noticing the former is empty and the latter is full, she simply switches them.

        Reply
  27. Greg

     /  July 16, 2016

    Thank you Robert. Well written. One more piece to add to the history books. We were warned and educated.

    Reply
  28. Colorado Bob

     /  July 16, 2016

    Kevin Jones
    Exactly.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 16, 2016

      This is why Trump has voters.

      Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  July 16, 2016

      Gawd,CB. It’s more perfectly awful than I remember. Catch 22 Hospital Scene-YouTube (45sec.) Saw it in the Big House in ’71 or ’72….

      Reply
  29. Colorado Bob

     /  July 16, 2016

    You lay down with “birthers’ , you get up with fleas .

    Reply
  30. Colorado Bob

     /  July 16, 2016

    No Palin this week , how strange is that ? Is she too mental for even Trump ?

    Reply
  31. Colorado Bob

     /  July 16, 2016

    This year’s Republican National Convention will be super weird and super white

    But this year, we’ve got Natalie Gulbis, better known for her appearance in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue than for being the 484th-ranked female golfer in the world. Now, before you decry sexism, Italian American hunk Antonio Sabàto Jr. will also be speaking, and let us not forget that before he was a daytime television star and reality television contestant, he was an underwear model for Calvin Klein. So equal scores there. Then we’ve got controversial PayPal co-founder and Gawker lawsuit backer Peter Thiel. We’ve got Kimberlin Brown, who was a soap opera actress until she retired in 2003 and started an avocado farm. I don’t totally get what these people mean to the Republican Party, but we’re about to find out.

    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-republican-national-convention-white-latino-black-america-donald-trump-20160715-snap-story.html

    Reply
    • – Think Wiemar Germany — only worse with much more at stake.
      Not a pretty picture but here we are in 2016.

      Reply
  32. Colorado Bob

     /  July 16, 2016

    Buy more pop corn folks.

    Reply
  33. Colorado Bob

     /  July 16, 2016

    50 Years Ago Today – Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker Form Cream

    Cream – Politician

    Reply
  34. Colorado Bob

     /  July 16, 2016

    Their first album –

    Cream – Fresh Cream (Full Mono Album)

    Reply
  35. Colorado Bob

     /  July 16, 2016

    We heard this on the underground radio , and the Stones released that trippy 3-D cover with 2.000 Light Years From Home. We had saw “Mother Earth, HP Lovecraft, and Donovan” at the Fillmore.

    http://www.concertposterauction.com/detail.asp?id=5834&bigpic=0#img

    Reply
  36. Colorado Bob

     /  July 16, 2016

    HP Lovecraft, a one hit wonder .

    Reply
  37. Colorado Bob

     /  July 16, 2016

    We were there for Sunshine Super Man.

    You have no idea how magic this time was. It male me the jackass I am today.

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  July 16, 2016

      Request! Request! CB our DJ: GORDON LIGHTFOOT ~The Pride Of Man~

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  July 16, 2016

        Kevin Jones –
        You can do the search –

        What man.

        Reply
  38. From The Guardian, interesting take on how much more we need to do than just transition to “clean” energy-
    Clean energy won’t save us – only a new economic system can do that

    Reply
    • Genomik

       /  July 17, 2016

      I’ve always thought this exact thing. Japan for example is said to be in a terrible place because their birth rate is leveled off. Everybody seems to agree but to me if your birth rate levels off that’s a GREAT goal. If all the worlds countries birth rates leveled off and we abandoned the growth at any cost mentality we as a species could coexist with everything else.

      Unfortunately to a great extent it’s American capitalism that’s at fault and we Americans rarely question all this. If another country slows down they risk being surpassed by America with their progres at any cost mentality.

      I’ve always thought capitalism was for growth. Now the world is mature and we don’t need growth. We need a new system for mature times.

      Reply
    • To me, this is perhaps not the best way to frame the issue. Especially for those who’ve actually read Limits to Growth. In short, the study found that renewable energy and sustainable systems were basically required to make it through the 21st Century. In addition, it noted (to paraphrase) that economic systems should not be optimized for exploitation of the disadvantaged and externalization of harm.

      To put this in plain terms, economic systems optimized for exploitation and externalization of harm almost invariably use fossil fuels as their energy base. If you’re going to optimize for sustainability, reduction of harm and democratization of energy sources, then you need renewables — otherwise the transition is a no-go.

      As for climate change, you can knock out about 80-90 percent of greenhouse gas emissions by transitioning to a full renewables based economy. You still get some of the issues with ruminants and other carbon sources like landfills. And you still have to deal with the old legacy mine and fracking carbon leaks. But you’ve done the lion’s share of the work getting to near zero.

      Humankind, on the other hand, will need less exploitative systems going forward and just simply switching to renewables can’t fully provide that part of the equation. In addition, the very destructive economic and political systems that the Guardian highlights actively protects the legacy fossil fuel infrastructure that needs to go.

      So it’s a chicken and egg kind of problem really. The less laissez faire, free market, anti-regulation, pure capitalist, privatize everything, government systems are, the more enabled they are to make the necessary transition to renewable energy. This due to the fact that they are not ideologically hobbled to refuse necessary policies like a carbon tax. So I think what we should probably be saying is that the free market ideology and related conservative policies failed us in that they first ignored the problem of global warming. They failed us because they actively resisted necessary government-driven changes to energy systems, carbon emissions, and consumption. They failed us because the protected legacy fossil fuel assets. They failed us because they assumed that accumulation of wealth by corporations was the chief goal of a governing body. They failed us because they enabled the kind of bad actor behavior among corporations that made the situation worse.

      We should state plainly that these policies are creating more problems than they are solving. That the current form of the international economic system they support is harmful to civilization. That the advocates of this form of economic operation need to go. And that governments need to do a big re-think on how economies are managed so that the kind of harmful economic behavior that has been in place for so long is removed.

      The other point to mention is that the pure growth based economic thinking fails every time due to exhaustion, increasing inequality, and the externalization of harms. Pure growth thinking led to the great depression, the great recession, and a hundred other smaller collapses. But, in this case, a growth only mindset is both driving and enforcing environmental devastation on the scale of a hothouse mass extinction event that threatens not just economic collapse, but civilization collapse. And that continuation of policies that promote this path are amoral, unconscionable, and wrong to the point of being basically insane.

      Reply
  39. Reply
  40. Reply
  41. Colorado Bob

     /  July 16, 2016

    Kevin Jones

    GORDON LIGHTFOOT is on tour.

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  July 16, 2016

      Had the great pleasure & honor of seeing him 3 or so years ago in my hometown. Dylan said “Whenever I hear a Gordon Lightfoot song I wish it would never end.” which I find hilarious ’cause they never do!

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  July 17, 2016

        Good one, Kevin….Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald….Canadian Railroad Trilogy…etc etc. Yeah, let them go on forever.😀

        Reply
  42. Colorado Bob

     /  July 16, 2016

    The Rolling Stones – 2000 Light Years from Home (US Vinyl Mono LP Mix

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  July 17, 2016

      When I got this album, I felt like I was in possession of All the Knowledge.

      Reply
  43. Colorado Bob

     /  July 16, 2016

    The end of the world, ………………………….The Rolling Stones perform (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

    https://www.theguardian.com/music/video/2012/nov/05/rolling-stones-perform-satisfaction-video

    Reply
  44. Colorado Bob

     /  July 16, 2016

    Now back to the horrible depressing grid.

    Reply
  45. Colorado Bob

     /  July 17, 2016

    I forgot the Nashville Teens.

    Reply
  46. – Sensible words I like to hear:

    Reply
    • Reply
    • U.S. Fire Aviation ‏@USWFAMEDIA 6h6 hours ago

      CAL FIRE is assisting Redding Firefighters with a 20 acre wildfire off Quartz Hill Rd, west Redding City (Shasta.

      U.S. Fire Aviation ‏@USWFAMEDIA 6h6 hours ago

      Firefighters are battling a 10 acre fire off Evergreen Street in Lakeland Village near Lake Elsinore (Riverside.

      Reply
  47. Abel Adamski

     /  July 17, 2016

    https://ww2.kqed.org/science/2016/07/15/oceans-eating-away-at-yet-another-part-of-antarctica/

    Oceans Eating Away at Yet Another Part of Antarctica

    By Andrea Thompson
    Climate Central
    July 15, 2016

    The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the fastest warming spots on the planet, and it was thought that the rising air temperature was driving the melt of the glaciers along its fringes. But it is actually warm ocean waters that are eating away at the ice along part of its western side, a group of scientists reported Thursday in the journal Science.

    ‘Ice losses from around Antarctica owe as much to warmer ocean temperatures … as to rises in air temperature.’
    Robert Bingham, University of Edinburgh

    The study adds to a spate of research in the last few years that have pointed the finger at warm ocean currents as the key culprit in undercutting the glaciers that serve as doorstops to Antarctica’s massive ice sheets. As those glaciers wilt away, the land-bound ice behind them can flow faster to the sea, with the potential to significantly raise global sea levels. Coastal areas around the world will be swamped, putting millions of people and billions of dollars of infrastructure in peril.

    Reply
  48. Cate

     /  July 17, 2016

    Not a sign of climate crisis afaik, more a curiosity, seen on satellite as well as in photos taken during a transatlantic flight over the NE coast of Newfoundland.

    An eddy in the sea ice.

    https://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/sea-ice-hurricane-spotted-off-the-coast-of-newfoundland/70158/

    Reply
  49. Reply
  50. Reply
  51. Jet stream 0617

    Reply
  52. jimbenison

     /  July 17, 2016

    Robert,

    The tundra/thermokarst in Russia’s largest natural gas producing region is an inferno. Fires started days ago. No media coverage yet. Seems like an event of international significance.

    Reply
  53. Kevin Jones

     /  July 17, 2016

    Our great Nevin over at Arctic Sea Ice Blog has a most interesting piece on the increase of lightning over the northern polar region.

    Reply
    • “In the Arctic, the harbinger of climate change, anthropogenic global warming is causing another natural phenomenon to occur more frequently (besides coastal erosion, permafrost degradation, wild fires, etc), especially along the northern coasts. In the past, sea water would keep air temperatures too cool for thunderstorms to develop, but this is obviously changing.”

      Reply
  54. – Bob. More on the fires in Russia.

    Reply
  55. Reply
  56. Reply
  57. An arctic methane summary. Nothing new to readers here, but a lot of information drawn together in one place.

    DRAGON WATCH
    Part I – Is the warming Arctic incubating a methane monster that could unleash mass extinction on Earth? By Ronald L. Shimek, Ph.D.
    Excerpted in Full from CORAL Magazine, Volume 13, Number 3
    May/June 2016 http://www.reef2rainforest.com/2016/04/22/dragon-watch/

    Some interesting bits:
    “Dr. Natalia E. Shakhova . . .estimates the clathrate deposits in the ESAS to be between hundreds and thousands of gigatons. This is not easy to visualize, but the total mass of carbon in living plants and animals on Earth has been estimated at 500 gigatons, making these buried deposits of solidified methane unimaginably huge in the true sense of the word.”
    Re the Laptev sea methane plumes – “No data have yet been published detailing conditions in the summer of 2015. “

    Reply
  58. Reply
  59. Reply
  60. – USA SW

    ‘… in the 19th century, the Great Salt Lake was one of the largest salt lakes in the world — a shallow body of water that naturally ranged from 990 to 2,340 square miles.

    It’s now near its lowest point. Diversions that have taken 39 percent of the lake’s inflows have caused the lake level to drop 11 feet, and it has lost 48 percent of its volume.’

    Reply
    • [Dangerous aerosols you probably don’t want to know about. The GOP or Trump sure won’t warn you.]

      ‘Dust storms occur regularly in the Great Salt Lake region, and research suggests the lake breathes contaminants — inhaling filthy air from cities, adding to it and then exhaling it right back at population centers.

      The public health consequences of that pollution will be worse than what has occurred at California’s imperiled salt lakes, experts say. More than two-thirds of Utah’s rapidly growing population — 2 million people — breathes that pollution.

      Geography, atmospheric conditions and the desert landscape are a perfect recipe for dust in an area that already regularly exceeds federal pollution standards.

      And research suggests the Great Salt Lake isn’t even emitting that much dust yet. That may change the longer the lake’s crusts dry out, causing the wind to blow dust that — like dust from California’s Salton Sea — could carry heavy metals and other toxins dumped by mines and smelters.’

      Reply
  61. Climate Central ‏@ClimateCentral Jul 15

    These are the 25 cities with the highest dew point increase

    Reply
  62. Colorado Bob

     /  July 18, 2016

    Here we go, & note all the silt in the Mackenzie river, and delta.

    Fires and smoke in northern Alaska

    SNPP/VIIRS
    2016/197
    07/15/2016
    21:00 UTC

    Reply
  63. Colorado Bob

     /  July 18, 2016

    Yesterday’s passes, fires burning right next to Arctic Ocean in Russia –
    Terra/MODIS
    2016/199
    07/17/2016
    07:45 UTC

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  July 18, 2016

      I do wonder, I note that with the increase in smoke over the Arctic, the rate of sea ice loss slows down.
      Noted this the last few years.
      I know it increases the blanket and actually absorbs heat, but as is is dispersed out of the Arctic it takes that heat with it.
      In the meantime the solar energy impacting the ice and open ocean is decreased..
      Am I reading it wrong.?

      Reply
      • danabanana

         /  July 18, 2016

        “I note that with the increase in smoke over the Arctic, the rate of sea ice loss slows down.”

        So have I and also mentioned now 3 melt seasons in a row but guess what, I’m told by other posters that it has no effect on melting at all.

        I totally disagree with their opinion. My brain is one of those wired to see patterns that most people (Neurotypicals) won’t see and this is a pattern that is now sticking out like a sore thumb. The heat in both air and sea will eventually override any slow down caused by smoke anyway so I’m saying that this is only something to be observed until the ice is gone.

        Reply
      • Brown/black carbon aerosol aloft actually amplifies heat uptake. If the fires aid in white cloud top formation and increase low cloud formation, there may be a bit of a negative feedback. But darkening clouds and increasing higher clouds make this look like a positive feedback to me. It’s worth noting that powerful wildfires during 2012 did little to alleviate new record lows for sea ice come end of melt season.

        Reply
  64. Abel Adamski

     /  July 18, 2016

    Doubling down on stupidity and venality
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/energy/energy-industry-cheers-frydenbergs-holy-grail-portfolio-20160718-gq89xx.html

    The Australian energy industry has welcomed the Turnbull government’s decision to give one minister control of both the environment and energy portfolios, with Josh Frydenberg given the challenging gig on Monday.

    The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association chief, Dr Malcolm Roberts, said combining the two portfolios was the “holy grail” of policy development.
    “The holy grail of policy is integrated environment and energy policies, which can deliver lower emissions and affordable energy security,” he said.

    “Environmental policy is often energy policy and vice-a-versa.”

    Reply
    • If the energy is fossil fuels, then, well, there tends to be a pretty big conflict of interest.

      Reply
      • – Devious trickery”…both the environment and energy portfolios” — this pairing, which is prevalent in many civil-gov entities, is a major impediment to a sustainable ecology. We are reminded of this everyday.
        They are mutually exclusive –and ‘energy/commerce’ is capable of destroying the ‘environment’ that keeps us, and all life, alive.
        This is part of the juggernaut we face. And it has worked against us for a very long time.

        Reply
        • It’s interesting in that if you shift your energy supplies away from fossil fuels, then you can help to protect things important to Australia like, well, the Great Barrier Reef, stable growing seasons, and stable coastlines.

  65. Abel Adamski

     /  July 18, 2016
    Reply
      • Bill sees hopelessness, but why not make it into an opportunity. Anti gerrymandering as a ballot issue.

        In any case, the Dems can absolutely gain ground in the House even if they do not take back control. In my opinion, it’s entirely likely that republicans demoralized by Trump will not show up in large numbers. This is a huge opportunity and we should absolutely capitalize on it.

        Reply
  66. Cate

     /  July 18, 2016

    Taking a step back and considering a wider perspective.

    I do NOT agree with everything this guy says—he argues from blanket premise statements, which is not helpful at all. However, there is no doubt in my mind that as we go forward in developing green energy, we definitely have to rethink and repurpose the ways in which we use and consume energy in the various economic sectors and throughout our civilisation. This will mean changes—-perhaps transformational changes—in our daily lives.

    So, we need to be asking not only, what kind of energy? but energy for what, and why?

    https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2016/jul/15/clean-energy-wont-save-us-economic-system-can

    “When it comes to climate change, the problem is not just the type of energy we are using, it’s what we’re doing with it. What would we do with 100% clean energy? Exactly what we are doing with fossil fuels: raze more forests, build more meat farms, expand industrial agriculture, produce more cement, and fill more landfill sites, all of which will pump deadly amounts of greenhouse gas into the air. We will do these things because our economic system demands endless compound growth, and for some reason we have not thought to question this.”

    Reply
    • The article is pretty narrow and very far off-base. May as well run as a fossil fuel promo advertisement.

      Wind and solar have no requirement for any of these. This guy writes as if these two clean energy technologies never existed.

      Reply
      • Well … pretty sure wind does require cement (for turbine foundations). However, there may well be technology fixes for that. I think it’s important not to hobble the concept of a clean-energy economy by assuming it’s limited to today’s technology (and I know you don’t do this, Robert). The costs of both wind and solar have dropped far below previous projections, and I expect continued improvement in balance-of-system costs.

        Reply
        • A lion’s share of cement’s GHG emission comes from fossil fuel burning to create the thermal capacity to generate the cement. Use something else and you cut it by more than half. In any case, cement used to anchor wind turbines is a vanishingly small portion of the global greenhouse gas emission.

          The article, of course, fails to take in wind and solar. And basically pretends they do not exist.

      • – A cement sidenote: Once in place as slab, or structure, it will absorb and store heat as an urban heat island. And this, just as the daily minimum temps keep getting hotter.

        Reply
  67. Abel Adamski

     /  July 18, 2016

    OK it is a promo/media release, but showing the activity and improvements in storage
    http://www.cso.com.au/mediareleases/27709/lg-chem-introduces-new-home-storage-series-with/

    Reply
  68. June

     /  July 18, 2016

    From Jeff Masters and Bob Henson at Weather Underground:

    Eastern Pacific Hurricane Parade Continues; Record Ocean Heat Energy in the Atlantic

    …Don’t expect to see much activity in the Atlantic until the Eastern Pacific’s burst of activity slows down. When we finally do get the surface low pressure, rising air, low wind shear, plentiful low to mid-level moisture and an African tropical wave needed to spawn an Atlantic hurricane, watch out. Record to near-record levels of heat energy are in the Atlantic in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and waters surrounding the Bahamas (Figure 2), exceeding even the heat energy that was available during the notorious Hurricane Season of 2005. This year’s high levels of ocean heat content in the Atlantic increases the odds of dangerous rapidly-intensifying major hurricanes if the other conditions needed for intensification are present.

    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3356

    Reply
    • – Yes.
      And I’ve been following the unusual exhibition of energy in the E. Pacific:

      “The Eastern Pacific’s unending parade of tropical cyclones continues. The latest member of the show is Hurricane Estelle, which got its name Friday night. Joining the party Tropical Storm Agatha started on July 2 have been Category 4 Hurricane Blas, Category 2 Hurricane Celia, Category 3 Hurricane Darby, and soon-to-be Category 1 Hurricane Estelle (Estelle was a high-end tropical storm with 70 mph winds at 11 am EDT Monday.) This puts us well ahead of climatology: the Eastern Pacific usually does not see its fifth named storm until July 22, its fourth hurricane until August 12, and its second major hurricane until August 19.”

      – JM/BH WU

      Reply
  69. Colorado Bob

     /  July 18, 2016

    Current coral bleaching event is the longest known

    Coral reefs won’t be out of hot water for quite a while. These normally colorful undersea ecosystems are under increasing stress, mostly because of warming oceans. Now, researchers report that a global coral bleaching event began in June 2014. The longest on record, it has sapped the color out of vast areas of coral — and now threatens their health. The reefs affected cover a larger area than ever before. What’s worse, the bleaching shows no signs of ending.

    Corals are tiny animals that dwell mainly in tropical oceans. They live in colonies, on structures made up of the hard exoskeletons of dead corals. These are called reefs. Corals depend on algae that live inside their tissues. Those algae are a source of food and give corals their vibrant colors. But when stressed by heat, corals may eject the colorful algae living inside them and turn a ghostly white. With their major food source gone, reef corals are at risk of dying.

    https://student.societyforscience.org/article/current-coral-bleaching-event-longest-known

    Reply
  70. Genomik

     /  July 18, 2016

    Solar-powered desalination produces energy. ‘This work defines the forefront of plasmonic photothermic technology, which is vastly untapped and has broad implications in other fields.’

    “Over 300 million people worldwide rely on the desalination of seawater for their daily water needs, even though it is an energy-intensive and expensive process. But what if you could use desalination to make energy instead of consume it? A research team from Singapore has done just this, designing a prototype solar-powered reactor that converts seawater into clean drinking water and hydrogen fuel.
    Desalination is up to 10 times more energy intensive than obtaining drinking water from local fresh water supplies, but in dry coastal regions it is a necessary option. Current methods involve heating water under vacuum to evaporate and distil clean water, or reverse osmosis, which involves driving pressurised salt water through an ion-blocking membrane. If we could desalinate seawater at a lower energy cost, our oceans could become an almost infinite source of clean water, as they contain 97% of the world’s water.”

    http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/2016/06/solar-powered-desalination-produces-pure-water-hydrogen

    Reply
  71. Colorado Bob

     /  July 18, 2016

    Study finds Greenland lost 1 trillion tons of ice in just 4 years
    Date:
    July 12, 2016
    Source:
    Reuters – Innovations Video Online / Powered by NewsLook.com
    Summary:
    Greenland ice loss has recently contributed to twice as much sea-level rise than in the preceding two decades. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters

    Reply
  72. Colorado Bob

     /  July 18, 2016

    Energy Use by Water Supply in a Changing Climate
    Dr. Weiwei Mo
    Published: July 18, 2016

    Modern water and energy supplies are inextricably intertwined. Providing one resource requires a substantial amount of the other. This interrelationship is commonly referred to as the “water-energy nexus.” In the U.S., treating and pumping water alone represents an average of 4% of the total electricity consumption with vast variance among regions (e.g. >20% of total electricity use in California). Additionally, energy flows associated with providing chemicals and services to water systems ranges from 25 to 200% of the direct energy demands. These energy consumptions are heavily dependent on fossil fuels – about 82% of the total energy use – producing large amounts of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and other air pollutants.

    Link

    Reply
    • – “Bodies of water react to climate change almost immediately by increasing water temperature. ”

      “…Climate change influences water quality in a number of ways, including increased flooding or storm events, elevated water temperature, stimulated algal blooms and sea level rise. Increased storm events and flooding can cause increases in suspended solids, as well as nutrient and pollutant fluxes and incidences of combined sewer overflow. Bodies of water react to climate change almost immediately by increasing water temperature. Collectively, these physical and chemical changes in the water can lead to enhanced growth of algae and cyanobacteria, lowering water quality and increasing energy use and costs during treatment. Seawater intrusion resulting from sea level rise has already occurred in coastal communities…”

      -Energy Use by Water Supply in a Changing Climate
      Dr. Weiwei Mo

      Reply
  73. – Here’s an interesting article via Michael E. Mann:

    – [Who owns the ‘media’?]

    Between Skeptic And Denier: Has The Media Contributed To Public Skepticism On Climate Change?

    A falsely balanced discourse between public opinion and climate science in the US has allowed decision-makers to take little action in addressing the very real dangers of climate change, says Emily Lundberg, a Ph.D. communications researcher. Here, she charts this issue from its origins, taking a close look at the media’s role in propelling doubt and stalling change.

    18 July 2016 | In the United States the issue of global warming is marked by a divergence between scientific and public opinion. While the vast majority of scientists have concluded that global warming is occurring and a major proportion of the cause is assignable to human activities, only half of the American public agrees. “Between Skeptic and Denier” explores how the media have contributed to public skepticism toward climate change…

    http://www.ecosystemmarketplace.com/articles/14522/

    Reply
    • – Propaganda at its finest/worst: “determined opposition” .

      “… did not address lay public opinion and the studies showing a divergence between it and scientific opinion, many of which suggest that “determined opposition” successfully created doubt in the American lay public’s minds and diminished their perception of the degree of scientific consensus behind man-made climate change.”

      Reply
    • Very well done. We need more of this.

      Reply
  74. Reply
  75. Colorado Bob

     /  July 18, 2016

    Philippines won’t honour UN climate deal, says president
    Published on 18/07/2016, 12:13pm

    Duterte says Paris deal seeks to limit economic growth of developing countries, accuses rich nation of trying to dictate country’s destiny

    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/07/18/philippines-wont-honour-un-climate-deal-says-president/

    Reply
    • Island nation won’t support Paris? Dictate future? Unlikely the Philippines has a future unless someone can do something about climate change fast.

      Reply
  76. Amazon could face intense wildfire season this year, Nasa warns

    The Amazon is the driest it has been at the start of the dry season since 2002 — and that probably means the rainforest is in for a particularly nasty wildfire season, reports Mongabay
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jul/18/amazon-could-face-intense-wildfire-season-this-year-nasa-warns?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+USA+-+morning+briefing+2016&utm_term=182212&subid=8553955&CMP=ema_a-morning-briefing_b-morning-briefing_c-US_d-1

    Reply
  77. New research continues to clear the “clouds of denial.”

    When Kosaka and Xie removed as a variable the natural warming and cooling of the Pacific Ocean, the rise of global mean surface temperature became a more linear increase, one that began to accelerate more sharply in the 1960s. It had been natural Pacific decadal variations that temporarily slowed down or speeded up the warming trend, leading to the staircase pattern.

    For example, global mean surface temperature has not changed much for 1998-2014, a time period known as the hiatus that has been tied to naturally occurring tropical Pacific cooling. Raw data show a warming of 0.9° C for the recent five-year period of 2010-2014 relative to 1900 while Kosaka and Xie’s calculation yields a much higher anthropogenic warming of 1.2° C after correcting for the natural variability effect.

    “Most of the difference between the raw data and new estimates is found during the recent 18 years since 1998,” said Xie. “Because of the hiatus, the raw data underestimate the greenhouse warming.”

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-07-anthropogenic-global-real.html#jCp

    Reply
  1. flassbeck economics international - Economics and politics - comment and analysis

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