From the Arctic to Africa to the Amazon, More Troubling Signs of Earth Carbon Store Instability

The time for debate is over. The time for rapid response is now. The Earth System just can’t take our fossil-fueled insults to her any longer.

*****

Arctic Wildfires

(These Arctic and Siberian wildfires just keep getting worse and worse, but what’s really concerning is they’re burning a big hole through one of the Earth’s largest carbon sinks, and as they do it, they’re belching out huge plumes of greenhouse gasses. Image source: LANCE MODIS.)

Carbon Spikes over the Arctic, Africa, and the Amazon

Today, climate change-enhanced wildfires in Siberia and Africa are belching out two hellaciously huge smoke clouds (see images below). They’re also spewing large plumes of methane and carbon dioxide, plainly visible in the global atmospheric monitors. Surface methane readings in these zones exceed 2,000 parts per billion, well above the global atmospheric average.

Even as the fires rage, bubbles of methane and carbon dioxide are reportedly seeping up from beneath the tundra — generating big blisters of these heat-trapping gasses that are causing sections of the Arctic soil to jiggle like jelly. Greenhouse gas content in the blisters is, according to this Siberian Times report, 7,500 parts per million CO2 and 375 parts per million methane. That’s about 19 times current atmospheric CO2 levels and 200 times current atmospheric methane levels. Overall, these carbon jiggle mats add to reports of methane bubbling up from Arctic lakes, methane blowholes, and methane bubbling up from the Arctic Ocean in a context of very rapid Arctic warming.

Surface Methane

(Methane spikes over Siberia, Africa and the Amazon correlate with wildfires and extreme drought conditions associated with human-forced climate change. Add in carbon dioxide spikes over the same regions of Africa and the Amazon and it begins to look like a visible amplifying feedback signal. Image source: The Copernicus Observatory.)

Meanwhile, a global warming-enhanced drying of the Amazon rainforest appears to be squeezing a substantial amount of these hothouse gasses into the Earth’s atmosphere. Copernicus Observatory surface monitors indicate pools of 600 to 800 parts per million CO2 concentrations near and around the Amazon rainforest. These 100- to 200-mile-wide spikes in CO2 concentration are 1.5 to 2 times current atmospheric concentrations. These very high CO2 levels occur even as methane readings over the Amazon are also abnormally high, a possible precursor signal that the NASA-predicted Amazon rainforest wildfires this summer may be starting to ignite.

Any one of these instances might be cause for some concern. Taking all these various observations together looks like a clear signal that the Earth is starting to produce an increasingly strong carbon feedback response to human-forced warming. If true, that’s some pretty terrible news.

Human-Forced Warming Warps the Carbon Cycle

Each summer, the boreal forests of the Northern Hemisphere take a big breath. In the warmer airs, leaves unfurl, grasses grow, and all kinds of CO2-respiring organisms take hold. Together, they produce a frenzy of activity, a riot of life gathering great stores of energy for the next plunge into winter. Over time, this natural capture of CO2 stores this atmospheric carbon in plant matter that ultimately becomes soil, permafrost, or is buried in the Earth in the form of various hydrocarbon stores.

It’s this annual great growth and greening that, in large part, drives the seasonal up-and-down swings of the global carbon cycle — a cycle that, under stable conditions, would generate an annual wave in atmospheric CO2 concentrations running over a long-term flat line.

Surface carbon dioxide

(Surface CO2 readings show boreal forest uptake of CO2 over Siberia, Scandinavia, and parts of North America. Note the CO2 surface hot-spots over the fire zones in Central Africa and over the drought-stricken Amazon rainforest. Image source: Copernicus Observatory.)

Ever since the advent of the Industrial Revolution, human fossil-fuel burning has been adding carbon to the atmosphere. The result is that these seasonal swings, driven by plant respiration, have overlaid a significant upward trend in atmospheric carbon, one that this year pushed peak atmospheric CO2 values to near 408 parts per million. This is a level not seen in about 15 million years.

That increase in its turn has dramatically warmed the Earth — a result that has its own larger impact on plants, on the cycles that influence their ability to take in carbon, and even on the older carbon that was long ago stored in plants but is now sequestered in the soil, permafrost and oceans.

Amazon Drought Africa and Siberia Burning

(LANCE MODIS satellite shot shows extensive wildfires spewing large plumes of smoke over Siberia and Africa. Meanwhile, very dry conditions in the Amazon appear to be generating understory fires even as carbon is baked out of the Equatorial soil. Click image to zoom in.)

Warm the world up, as humans have, and you generate what, in scientific parlance, is a carbon feedback. Overall, the ocean can take in less atmospheric carbon and increasingly bubbles with thawing methane, the soils can store less carbon even as more is baked out in the heat, the plants and peats on balance burn more than grow, permafrost thaws and releases its own carbon. It is this carbon-cycle response to warming that is expected to add more carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere on top of that already being released through the harmful processes of fossil-fuel extraction and burning.

Warming Forces More Carbon Out of Lands and Seas, Keeps More in the Atmosphere — But How Much is Still Pretty Uncertain

How much heat-trapping carbon the Earth System will ultimately add to human fossil-fuel emissions is kind of a big scientific question, which is answered in large part by how much fossil fuels humans ultimately burn and how much heat is ultimately added to the Earth’s oceans, glaciers, and atmosphere.

Climate Change Impact on CO2 Simulations

(A sampling of climate model-projected Earth System CO2 feedbacks to human-forced climate change. Note the high level of variation in the model projections. It’s also worth noting that these model projections did not include difficult-to-assess permafrost and hydrate responses to warming over the period through 2100. Image source: IPCC AR 4 — Coupled Climate-Carbon Cycle Projections.)

Back in 2007, the IPCC estimated that around 87 parts per million of additional CO2 would be added to the world’s airs by 2100 (under an apparent assumed final human-driven CO2 accumulation of 700 ppm) as a result of this kind of carbon feedback to human warming. This implied about a 20-percent positive CO2 feedback to warming. However, the model projections were wide-ranging (from 4 to 44 percent) and the overall assessment drew criticism due to a lack of inclusion of permafrost and hydrate feedback estimates.

In 2012, the IPCC produced a more uncertain, complex, and unclear set of projections that notably didn’t include permafrost carbon feedback or methane hydrate feedback model projections, the scientific understanding of which is apparently still developing. But despite a good deal of specific-issue uncertainty, the consensus appeared to state that over the medium- (21st century) and long-terms (multi-century), we’d have a significant amount of extra carbon coming from the Earth System as a result of responses to a human-warmed atmosphere and ocean.

Smoke From African Wildfires

(African wildfires, whose smoke plumes are visible here, are just one of many sources of carbon spikes around the globe triggered by human-forced climate change. Amazon rainforest next? NASA seems to think so. Image source: LANCE MODIS.)

Overall, there’s a decent amount of support for the notion that the Earth System is pretty sensitive to warming, that it tends to respond to even a relatively small amount of initial incoming heat in ways that produce a good deal of extra carbon in the atmosphere. After all, only a small change in the way sunlight hits the Earth is enough to end an ice age and pump an additional 100 parts per million of CO2 out of the Earth’s carbon stores as a result. The added heat forcing provided by the current human fossil-fuel emission is far, far greater than the one that ended the last ice age.

It is in this understanding and context that we should consider what appears to be an increasing number of Earth System responses to a human-forced warming that has currently exceeded 1 degree Celsius above 1880s averages. It’s easy to envision that these responses would grow in number and intensity as the Earth continues to warm toward 2 C above 19th-century averages.

Links/Attribution/Statements

LANCE MODIS

Coupled Carbon Climate Cycle Projections

Carbon and Other Biogeochemical Cycles

Arctic Methane Bubbles are Leaking 200 Times Above Normal

The Copernicus Observatory

The Keeling Curve

Hat tip to TodaysGuestis

Hat tip to Colorado Bob

Hat tip to DT Lange

Hat tip to Andy in San Diego

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246 Comments

  1. Drought ‘shuts down Amazon carbon sink’

    A recent drought shut down the Amazon Basin’s carbon sink by killing trees and slowing trees’ growth rates, a study has shown.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36856428

    Reply
  2. Greg

     /  July 22, 2016

    Robert, you are delivering these on steroids. The Elon Musk of climate blogs. Segway to Elon’s Master plan, delivered this week some 10 years after his first Master Plan. Some surprises regarding trucks, buses and transportation in general. A vision that offers a substantial contribution towards our Hail Mary to get out from absolute catastrophe. Worth reading. Genius makes the complex simple.

    (https://www.tesla.com/blog/master-plan-part-deux)

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  July 23, 2016

      By definition, we must at some point achieve a sustainable energy economy or we will run out of fossil fuels to burn and civilization will collapse. Given that we must get off fossil fuels anyway and that virtually all scientists agree that dramatically increasing atmospheric and oceanic carbon levels is insane, the faster we achieve sustainability, the better – Elon Musk

      Reply
    • Cheers, Greg. Thanks for the kind words here. And, yeah, there appears to be quite a lot of work to go around here between writing and research and honing the message.

      RE Elon. Seems like he has a lot on his plate with Tesla, Solar City, Space X and others. I honestly wish we had more investors, industrialists, market guys who thought as progressively as Elon. He’s a real Henry Ford of renewables/new tech and is really one of the few out there cutting against the grain of established fossil fuel related money flows and institutional powers. Tesla’s basically the only big western auto company that’s all-electric and, at the point where we are now RE climate change, that’s a pretty sad state of affairs. It’s also sad in the sense that there aren’t more organizations pulling for a Tesla-style Hail Mary.

      I do wish we’d create more space and opportunities for the kinds of innovations Elon’s pushing by getting government policy right while also ensuring that access to mitigation tech like EVs, solar, wind, and battery storage keeps expanding. Obama has done a good job with this. But the scale, in my view, is not up to par with threats. And I think we’d be much further along if we didn’t have republicans in Congress killing good policies or preventing their emergence at every opportunity.

      Tesla and Solar City’s own struggle with negative media, auto dealers, attempts by various republican-led states to use legislature to limit access to EVs, solar, and batteries, battles with established utilities, and outright market dominance related struggles like those seen in Nevada are a microcosm to this larger whole. And, in this context, I think we should be very clear that there’s this big effort by fossil fuel interests to re-assert fossil fuel monopolies by killing off entities like Tesla and Solar City. The results of which would be a terrible scaling back of clean energy access, and net increases in carbon emissions overall.

      We’ve seen this game again and again (‘clean coal,’ the fossil fuel industry’s support of prohibition to kill off ethanol in its infancy, the fossil fuel industry’s campaign against street cars or any kind of transport other than roads, the fossil fuel industry’s multiple past attempts to kill off the electric vehicle and on and on and on). But at this point, the conflict is far more dire with far greater consequences than just single entity (fuel) monopolization of energy markets. At this point it’s a conflict of renewables against the resource curse writ epic.

      I think Elon’s master plan goes in the right direction and will ultimately result in expanding access to EVs in the upper middle and upper market segments, hopefully an expansion of public transport and shared transport, integrated home/energy/transport systems, and a hopeful continuation of driving down the price curve for wind, battery, and solar tech. I also think it’s probably smart from the standpoint of continuing to keep capital flows open to Tesla and Solar City.

      Overall, though, I think we need a fully comprehensive plan to provide renewable energy and transport access to all income levels and all people. The cost of renewable energy is now competitive with traditional sources. Yet utilities and businesses continue to attempt to charge a premium for an energy source that should be incentivized by price. As an example, in MD, the primary utility offers renewable energy to condo and apartment dwellers for 2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour more than traditional energy sources. The cost should, at this point, be the same as for traditional energy — especially when we consider the fact that renewables are peaking sources (most available when demand is highest), the current lower costs to provide that energy, and the various government incentives that are in place or should be in place. In addition, with battery prices falling, the opportunity for more affordable EVs grows.

      So I though I think that the master plan is a great strategy, I also think that there are still considerable challenges to the Hail Mary option (and the examples above are just a few).

      In any case, it’s gotta be tough balancing the needs of a business with the needs of a rapid transition to sustainability. Elon’s top-down methodology (high quality/high price as a start) generated capital flows and interest that few other renewable energy corps were able to establish. It protected a market segment that fell under numerous attacks by established industries and in a very adversarial political environment. And it enabled a beach-head for greater EV and solar energy access down market. Of course, the trick now is how to drive continued expansion of access in such a way that sufficiently drives down net carbon emissions to aid in a rapid mitigation effort. And I think that Elon’s master plan 2 is a great second step in that direction and I do have great hope for its success.

      Reply
  3. Greg

     /  July 22, 2016

    Robert, when I worked at a climate change focused foundation in 2010, our two scientists made investment decisions based on the end of the Amazon as we know it. We focused on providing climate change refugee flora and fauna safe areas with significant altitudes available to allow their survival through adaptable movement upwards in altitudes. This was based on a 300 year timeline.

    Reply
    • Interesting. Although it’s pretty tough to achieve effective refuges over such long time scales and under such increasingly brutal overall environmental, resource, and (likely) political conditions. What RCP scenarios did you guys look at for context in establishing these terrestrial climate safe havens?

      Reply
  4. eric smith

     /  July 22, 2016

    Robert,
    I am a permaculture course graduate. I know the Quakers and the Amish.
    I have a true father.
    Please listen.
    There is a way.
    Regards, Eric

    Reply
  5. – Damn, you’re fast Robert.🙂
    You would have been a whiz telegrapher tapping out Morse.
    Did you ever do any Morse, or other rapid signaling?
    .
    .
    .
    – Also, it really is ‘criminal’ that there is so much to report.
    But, report, we must….

    Reply
  6. – Wildfires USA – California – 22:57 UTC

    – U.S. Fire Aviation ‏@USWFAMEDIA 13m13 minutes ago

    Wildfire grows to 3 square miles at Camp Pendleton

    – U.S. Fire Aviation ‏@USWFAMEDIA 14m14 minutes ago

    Crews fighting wildfire in Big Sur

    – NWS Los Angeles Verified account ‏@NWSLosAngeles 5h5 hours ago

    Red Flag Warning in effect for SBA county south coast and mtns due to gusty #sundowner winds, hot temps and low humidities. #SBAWeather

    – [ In the PM as humidity drops winds expected to shift to NE resulting in off-shore and down-slope winds.]

    Reply
  7. – These 58 F minimum temps. are more fitting for PDX than Anchorage.

    Reply
  8. Colorado Bob

     /  July 22, 2016

    What have they done to the earth?
    What have they done to our fair sister?
    Ravaged and plundered and ripped her and bit her
    Stuck her with knives in the side of the dawn
    And tied her with fences and dragged her down

    The Doors

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 22, 2016

      Cancel my subscription to the Resurrection
      Send my credentials to the House of Detention
      I got some friends inside

      Reply
  9. Griffin

     /  July 22, 2016

    A great post here Robert. Very thought provoking. You continue to report on what the world should be talking about today. Unfortunately the masses are all caught up hanging on the words of the village idiot this week.
    Anyway, I have a question. It is of interest of all of us to wonder just how accurate the forecast models are in predicting the future balance of sinks and stores. The time we have remaining to enjoy the hospitality of our host planet is heavily dependent upon that balance. It is natural for humans, when making a judgment as to the validity of a prediction made by a fellow human, to look back at the past performance of prior predictions. For example, if my buddy repeatedly says that he will be over in fifteen minutes, but actually shows up in an hour, I will tend to question future statements of timing.
    If I have learned anything from following this blog over the last couple years, it is to expect the phrase “faster than expected” to pop up when discussing the difference between the predicted and actual earth system response to our continued atmospheric pollution.
    Be it sea ice loss, ice sheet mass balance loss, sea level rise, ice shelf instability, permafrost melting, warming of inland lakes or the ocean itself, storm strength, the speed up of the hydrological cycle, you get my point, the observed reality has repeatedly been expressed as showing a response to warming that is “faster than expected”.
    So my question is, do we have much hope that the carbon store feedbacks will ultimately play out to respond “slower than expected”?
    I hope so.
    Thanks for a great post.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 22, 2016

      Griffin –
      As we are all seeing, and as the record shows , in a word No.
      As every major event in Earth’s history shows, it’s been a series of experiments from left field, after chugging along for great blocks of time, Mount Everest lands in the Gulf of Mexico, India unzips, and spews out 3,000 feet of basalt.

      Now it is our turn in left field. We poked the dragon , and it’s a wake. The models won’t handle the deck of cards being spewed into the air very well. That butterfly in the Amazon flapping it’s wings, Now weights 700 pounds.

      Reply
    • Hey Griff… Sorry for the delay in reply. Been hopping around a lot lately.

      So the model uncertainty is pretty high when it comes to projecting carbon feedbacks. Part of the issue is that there are so many systems to model. You’ve got ocean carbon feedbacks which include —

      1. Saturation of the carbon sink
      2. Potential ocean carbon sink to source reversal due to saturation
      3. Potential ocean carbon store release (hydrates etc)

      You’ve got land carbon feedbacks which include —

      1. Forest sink instability or transition to sources
      2. Soil sink instability or transition to sources
      3. Peatland sink instability or transition to sources
      4. Permafrost carbon sink/store transition to sources
      5. Land clathrate carbon sinks to sources

      And then on top of that you have all the various potential mechanisms at play to consider.

      Also, unlike temperatures vs CO2, we don’t really have a good corollary for carbon feedbacks in paleoclimate to fall back on. We know, for example, that we added 100 ppm CO2 at the end of the last ice age due to warming related feedbacks. And we have some decent notion of what may have been worst case feedbacks (methane etc) during PETM and other hothouse events. But the data is a bit sketchy and contradictory.

      One thing that concerns me more than a bit is this issue where longer term warming trends do appear to be self-reinforcing. In other words, once a decent trend for warming gets set in place it does tend to run along for quite a bit — generating these spikes as time progresses. That and the particular carbon sensitivity in the glacial to interglacial period seems to imply that carbon stores are pretty sensitive to forcings.

      Overall, I think it’s pretty fair to say that the model understanding of carbon stores is not as well developed as the model understanding of glaciers at this time. And given the big uncertainty with glaciers, that gives you some idea RE the model uncertainty in reference to carbon stores.

      It’s also worth noting that there’s a general view that many models have been rather conservative on glacier responses to warming. So a model understanding of an even more opaque and complex system like carbon is probably likely to tilt conservative once it does develop.

      Last point to note is that we may well see carbon store responses before accurate models can be developed. So, in my view, the cautionary principle is writ pretty large here. Especially when the ice age to interglacial time-frame gives you what amounts to a big, red carbon sensitivity flashing light.

      Reply
      • Griffin

         /  July 25, 2016

        Thank you for the response Robert!
        I very much agree with your assessment. Positive feedbacks is one of those things that keeps me up at night. I think sometimes that the danger from them is taken to the far extreme too soon in conversations about them. It’s not all about “runaway” warming in my eyes. I think that we face a danger from them even if they contribute nowhere near the forcing attributed to our fossil fuel emissions. The reason is that any contribution to warming that is from positive feedbacks is simply not part of the current accepted projections of future temperature increases. Any additional forcing from the earth system feedbacks means less carbon available in our budget. Given our present struggles with achieving massive emissions reductions, having an even somewhat smaller budget would mean an even greater urgency applied to our transition to clean energy.
        It is very important that we have an accurate picture of what is taking place across the globe. Your point regarding the possibility of releases before models can be developed is especially prescient and troubling given the present struggles with finding funding to launch a mothballed replacement weather satellite for our military (DSMP F19). If the Oil Senators continue to block funding and inhibit meaningful research, we may miss the starting point of feedbacks that have very real consequences for us.
        As I mentioned in my original comment, there have been responses (ice shelves for example) already that are well ahead of previous estimations of timing.
        (I also know that I am preaching to the Pastor as I have learned pretty much everything I just said from reading this blog!)

        Reply
  10. Andy_in_SD

     /  July 23, 2016

    A great read Robert, it really leaves no wiggle room to pretend “it is not so” or to word smith a deliberate misinterpretation. And most anyone should be able to connect those dots.

    Reply
  11. Andy_in_SD

     /  July 23, 2016

    Looking at the nsidc sea ice extent, then comparing to the current satellite images, I wonder how lax our criteria is to call something contiguous sea ice. It is nothing more than a collection of smashed chunks, yet it calcs into the extent (which too many people reference).

    The % concentration seems to provide a more realistic summary.

    Reply
    • Syd Bridges

       /  July 26, 2016

      Looking at the Uni-Bremen ice maps, which I now download in preference to nsidc, I think that you are right, Andy. It has consistently shown less and less solid ice this year. See

      Even the deep purple shows little consistency over time, leaving me to suspect that winds are more responsible for the “solid” areas rather than cohesion of the pack. The other thing that has really surprised me this year has been the fractured state of the ice north of Greenland and Ellesmere Island-once expected to be the “last redoubt” of the Arctic ice.

      Reply
  12. Colorado Bob

     /  July 23, 2016

    The fires in Russia are getting bigger and marching South .

    Terra/MODIS
    2016/204
    07/22/2016
    04:50 UTC

    Reply
  13. Colorado Bob

     /  July 23, 2016

    The Great Rift Valley –

    Terra/MODIS
    2016/204
    07/22/2016
    08:25 UTC

    Reply
  14. Colorado Bob

     /  July 23, 2016

    Burning right to the beach in Russia . Go down to the 250 meter resolution , these fires are burning with a lot of fuel , This is not the tiaga burning , This is tundra on fire , and really burning like the Chapparel in SoCal.

    There’s no one up there setting fires, so whats the ignition source ? Dry lighting. Look closely at the pattern . A cloud comes over several bolts land, bingo a complex of fires.

    This is an important shot of a moment in time.

    Nobody in 2007 ever dreamed the Russian tundra would be burning like that dumpster fire by lake Erie.

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  July 23, 2016

      They look like an agricultural burn pattern in Central Africa. Chicken pox. Yikes.

      Reply
      • Yes, I was wrong in assuming that these African fires are wildfires.

        Agricultural burning season in Central Africa runs from May to August. A similar pattern of burning has been observed in Africa for decades by NASA:

        http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=5800

        Global warming might be affecting this pattern, but agricultural burning seems to be the main driver of this. Temperatures in Africa don’t seem out of the ordinary, either.

        So, I apologize to the board for not fact checking more thoroughly.

        Reply
      • Greg

         /  July 25, 2016

        Leland, my apologies as well. I meant that the agricultural Pattern in Africa of chicken Pox looking fires was showing up in Russia, lightning being the cause, which is frightening.

        Reply
  15. redskylite

     /  July 23, 2016

    Thanks for this well-focused article that really does join the dots on the picture we find ourselves with in mid 2016.

    The global resolve to move away from fossil fuels is happening at frustratingly slow pace, although we must thank those in the renewable energy business for all of the ongoing progress today.

    A simple measure of how we are doing takes place daily at Mauna Loa, and there is still not the slightest sign of abatement in rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

    Just more wildfire, uncertainty and apathy, mixed with war and xenophobia. I guess we should at least be thankful for the foresight of the pioneer at giving us a tool to measure our disruption to the natural carbon cycle, and hopefully, one day, a measure of our success at bringing it under control again.

    “About 60 years ago, David Keeling began to wind his way up the side of Mauna Loa. At 11,135 feet above sea level, he stopped at a small, gray concrete building—the only sign of human life among miles and miles of lava rock, aside from an outhouse some 50 yards from the building. Keeling, a 30-year old scientist from California, had initially made a name for himself in the science community by devising a unique method of sampling of carbon dioxide, which had revealed some intriguing patterns—namely, that the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide was relatively uniform throughout the entire northern hemisphere, averaging about 310 parts per million. Now, he came to the top of the world’s largest volcano to check in on a new project that he hoped would change the way that the scientific community measured atmospheric carbon dioxide.”

    The Enduring Climate Legacy of Mauna Loa

    . http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/enduring-climate-legacy-mauna-loa-180959859/?no-ist

    Reply
  16. Keith Antonysen

     /  July 23, 2016

    While Trump delivered his seemingly magnanimous acceptance speech in relation to accepting nomination for Presidential candidate; the Republican Party has created policies which are the death sentence for many innocent people in relation to climate change.

    Here in Australia we have Ministers recently chosen for portfolios that cover climate change; it appears as though we have lost the next 3 years as the new Ministers support coal interests.

    Politicians represent in some cases positive feedbacks, through taking no action and/or supporting fossil fuel companies.

    Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  July 23, 2016

      Keith spared you the wisdom of our only new Minister, Matthew Canavan, a troglodyte from our version of Mississippi-Queensland. Last year, in Murdoch’s denialist flag-shit, the ‘Australian’, an article appeared under his name where he compared the belief that CO2 levels affect the climate to the medieval belief that witches cause storms. Nowadays he feigns sanity, admitting that greenhouses gases cause warming, but asserting that it’s no big deal. He loves coal-mining, the more the better, because without it, people would be poor. He is considered quite an ‘innerleckewell’ in his Party. I wonder if our morons, or yours, are the world champions.

      Reply
  17. Colorado Bob

     /  July 23, 2016

    Major flooding in Beijing after the heaviest rain storm in 60 years – YouTube

    Non-stop rains pour more misery on China

    It seems that the Chinese “hoax” ain’t working out for them.

    Reply
  18. For years i have read comments about our responses to climate change, about 15 yrs I think, onvarious forums and they often mention what will future generstions thimk of us or what future historians will write about us. Well, what future human generations and what historians? Even then I wondered if there would any humans left at all much less historians!

    I do not subscribe to what Guy Macpherson believes–yes Dr.Doom from University of Arizona–but he certainly isn’t as whacko as he seemed to be 10 years ago.

    Thank you for the blog, Robert.

    Sheri

    Reply
    • g. orwell

       /  July 23, 2016

      Sheri
      After one year of following topic of climate change and abrupt climate change, I gotta have some deference for McPherson’s view; I cannot use “whacko’ as a descriptor: I’ll ponder, and I guess RS already has, how to incorporate to this AZ Phd.’s info/opinion into the ’matter at hand’ .
      g.orwell

      Reply
      • No. The responsible path is to continue to push for broadening climate action, increasing reduction of fossil fuel use, and initiating carbon reduction response efforts. The responsible action is to fight off the climate change deniers who hold a death grip on certain media and political entities, and to push for escalating policy responses. The responsible action is to ignore various appeals to apathy like those put forward by GM.

        Reply
        • In other words, if you have any doubts about the clairity and urgency and direction of my message, then read the first few lines of this blog again.

    • As we’ve discussed here before, Guy McPherson makes heavy use of the inevitability fallacy. His message is one that inspires hopelessness and inaction — which is exactly the opposite of what we necessarily must achieve.

      We’re in a situation now where more and more harm is getting locked in. But there is still a lot of terrible damage that we can prevent through mitigation and response (rapid reduction of fossil fuel use, work to pull carbon out of atmosphere/oceans).

      The message we need to be sending is one of the dire urgency of now. We’re losing life, beauty, natural wealth, food and water security, biodiversity, stable coastlines, and we’re egging on a new mass extinction as we speak. The time to act is yesterday. But since we only have today, we should use it and not waste it. Each day wasted means more harm gets locked in.

      That’s the message we need to be sending.

      Reply
      • Shawn Redmond

         /  July 23, 2016

        I totally agree Robert. My rant further down is just that a rant caused mostly by the seeming lack of understanding by our so called leaders. Stuck in the fallacy of infinite growth in a finite space. War measures are what’s needed for sure but we also need leadership to steer this ship. We don’t seem to have any real leaders. To start a new course without real leadership is a non starter. We need some one with a lot of charisma on the world stage that can mobilize the masses against the ingrained status quo. We have to change everything. Everything. The way we think probably has to be first.

        Reply
      • Cate

         /  July 24, 2016

        Re the message of dire urgency: the thing is, we know exactly how do to this, in the West.

        We’ve done it before. We faced a huge and terrifying threat, we understood the danger, and we threw everything we had at it. And we won.

        That was back in 1939, when the UK, Canada, Australia, and other Allied nations, including the US from 1941, mobilised their entire economies to fight WW2. With the country on a war footing, the requirements of the war took precedence over everything else in the economy. Everything that could be transitioned or recruited into war service was done so, and as quickly as possible because there was no time to lose.

        This is what we need to do again, but on a global scale: govts must agree to put the nations of the world on a “war” footing with climate change. Only govts have the ability to plan and implement the global mobilisation response that is now necessary—to commandeer and organise all political, social, human and economic resources towards getting our emissions to zero and preventing the worst effects of climate change becoming locked in for future generations.

        Reply
    • g. orwell

       /  July 23, 2016

      To Shawn,
      “… The way we think probably has to be first.”
      Yup; a tough one.

      Reply
  19. Greg

     /  July 23, 2016

    Alright CB, here is something to give you goosebumps. New from the Siberian times, here are methane bubbles trapped below the sod from permafrost.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 23, 2016

      Greg /
      I posted it here 2 days ago,

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  July 23, 2016

        “On whether climate change is behind the gas release, he told The Siberian Times: ‘It is worth mentioning global warming. ‘There is neither warming nor cooling in the Belyy island if you look at the average temperatures. But this figure isn’t very representative.

        ‘It’s just like in a famous joke about average temperature in a hospital: some people have fever, some are dead, this number doesn’t really make sense. 
        ‘Yet it is likely that 10 days of extraordinary heat could have started some mechanisms, (and the) higher level of permafrost could have thawed and released a huge amount of gases. Geologists suppose that there might be some gas leaking from the underground but it’s unlikely. There is solid permafrost under the bubbles.’

        Alexander Sokolov’s view is that the gas release if from thawing ground immediately below the surface to a depth of around one metre. He is concerned about the consequences of the gas release. 

        ‘It is evident even to amateurs that this is a very serious alarm. As for the future, we are interested in further study of the bubbles.

        Reply
    • Spike

       /  July 23, 2016

      Who switched the freezer off?

      Reply
  20. Colorado Bob

     /  July 23, 2016

    This debate on how it will all shake out means zero.

    “Get ready little lady, Hell is coming to breakfast”

    Reply
  21. redskylite

     /  July 23, 2016

    Colorado Bob raised the subject of increased dry lightning in the Taiga fires earlier , also highlighted in this recent Japan Times/AFP report . . hope the world leaders are listening too (but not holding my breath).

    Russian wildfires put key climate change resource at risk . . . . . . . . .

    A drier climate has led to more dry thunderstorms that cause fires in remote areas, according to Russia’s Aerial Forest Protection Service that commands some 3,500 smokejumpers, highly trained wildland firefighters who parachute into the blazing wilderness.

    “The number of dry thunderstorms has grown in the past decade,” service chief Vladimir Grishin told a press conference. “This time this year it’s 10 times greater than last year.”

    The forest agency is introducing new techniques to contain fires in remote areas, including cloud seeding with silver iodide, which was tried out successfully this month, Grishin said.

    Russia’s forestry agency chief Ivan Valentik said however that most wildfires that don’t threaten people will likely only be monitored not extinguished.

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/07/22/world/science-health-world/russian-wildfires-put-key-climate-change-resource-risk/

    Reply
    • Spike

       /  July 23, 2016

      “Not a single country has any desire or capability to stop natural fires that don’t threaten towns or economic infrastructure … there is not a single reason to attend to them,” he said.

      Ladies and genl’men I give you the Russian brand of denialism. Trump would be damn proud of him – they could bread and drink Vodka as the smoke enclosed them.

      Reply
      • Spike

         /  July 23, 2016

        “break bread” . Edit button on my Christmas wish list😉

        Reply
  22. FYI: In her ‘ Weather and Climate Summit’ presentation Jennifer Francis referenced the Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER) as a source of valuable data, etc.

    She said that the AER has additional data points that NOAA doesn’t use.
    She stressed that Siberian snow cover was an important factor. And possibly NH snowpack in general.
    Also that loss of snowpack albedo aided the warming of soil/rock etc. which gave any warming trend a ‘head-start’. (This has been a concern of mine as well.)

    JF gave a great inclusive talk — first rate. Wish I had been there…

    Here is some AER:
    Arctic Oscillation Analysis and Forecasts April 21, 2016
    Special recap of this past winter
    http://www.aer.com/winter2016

    Reply
  23. – Crude in the river Canada

    Associated Press

    MAIDSTONE, Saskatchewan (AP) — Canadian energy company Husky Energy says between 52,834 gallons (200,000 liters) and 66,043 gallons (250,000 liters) of crude oil and other material has leaked into the North Saskatchewan River in west-central Canada.

    Husky Energy said Friday that booms are being used in an effort to contain the spill, which leaked Thursday morning near Maidstone, Saskatchewan.

    Saskatchewan Mayor Ian Hamilton says in the event any oil makes it through to North Battleford, the city will shut down its water treatment plant, which draws its supply from the North Saskatchewan River.
    http://bakken.com/news/id/256333/canadian-energy-company-says-crude-oil-leaked-river/

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  July 23, 2016

      Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall both all over the morning news here, insisting that pipelines are “still the safest way to transport oil.”

      The point to note is that in Canada, the main environmental debate is still about pipelines vs rail.

      The “No Pipelines” lobby is considered silly, pathetic, fringe, leftist, aboriginal, and possibly, in some areas, even dangerously anti-Canadian. We will not be getting to #NoPipelines anytime soon in the Great White North.

      “Ici Farce Canada” indeed.😉

      Reply
      • Andy_in_SD

         /  July 23, 2016

        The Athebasca, River and Lake are destroyed. The Native folks who live there are suffering quite horribly.

        But on a good note, the executives are making bank!!!!!!

        Reply
      • A horrible distortion of the concept of relativity: “pipelines are “still the safest way to transport oil.”

        Reply
  24. So. Cal. Wildfire 0722 — 06:08 UTC
    LA area:
    (It’s only July.)

    Kevin M. Gill ‏@kevinmgill 2h2 hours ago

    Current view of the #SandFire in #SantaClarita (2 sec. exposure)

    Reply
    • Reply
    • stu mundel ‏@StringerLA 19m19 minutes ago

      #SandFire with San Fernando Valley behind. Fire Fight continues through the night. @CBSLA

      Reply
    • Ed Joyce ‏@EdJoyce 4h4 hours ago California, USA

      “Smoky skies in #DTLA tonight,” tweets @laura_nelson with photo.

      Reply
    • LAC Incident Alert ‏@lacfd 2h2 hours ago

      *#SandFire* COPT15 & COPT19 are currently flying night operations over the fire. Night Air Attack is on station coordinating drops.

      Reply
    • 18:40 UTC
      Fire Weather/Fire Climate July, 2016 –So. Cal. — Santa Clarita fire now over 5K acres.

      Reply
    • – I recommend.a N95 dust mask.

      NBC Los Angeles Verified account ‏@NBCLA 13m13 minutes ago

      Unhealthy air quality declared for parts of SoCal due to smoke from Santa Clarita fire

      Reply
      • – N95 mask is no protection from Ozone:
        (The GOP controlled US Congress hinders all attempts to protect Americans from ozone. Be sure of that.)
        AirAlert SantClarita ‏@AirAlertSCV 7m7 minutes ago

        Current Air Quality for Santa Clarita Vly, CA: At 12 PM PDT Ozone reached Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

        Reply
    • – 11K acres now:
      NBC Los Angeles Verified account ‏@NBCLA 49m49 minutes ago

      UPDATE: #SandFire in Santa Clarita expands to 11,000 acres and is 10 percent contained, fire officials say.

      Reply
  25. 44 south

     /  July 23, 2016

    Increasingly it breaks my heart to read the comments here.
    The inexorable dawning of the realisation of the terminal nature of our predicament is just so painful.
    I turned 66 recently and I’ve had a long time to get used to the idea, the human experiment was going to end badly.
    I’ve also admired our host’s dedication and persistence and have recommended this blog in a number of letters to the editor, in my battles with denialist factions.
    Now I simply wish you all strength and courage in dealing with what we must all now endure.

    Reply
    • Spike

       /  July 23, 2016

      The Greatest Story Never Told.

      Or would be but for the writing of RS and a few other far sighted folk out there.

      Reply
    • Well said, 44 south. I have been following climate seriously a couple of years now, enough to see the ramp up and have my thoughts begin to gell. That’s a lot of time and effort not afforded everyone.

      Reply
  26. Shawn Redmond

     /  July 23, 2016

    There’s a lot of talk about FF energy use levelling off, yet the CO2 readings are consistently double that of last years. DOUBLE! WTF, are we just fiddling while Rome burns or what. Economics based on growth is not working. As a matter of fact it is killing us. A steady state of economics is needed yesterday. I’m afraid that is probably not going to work either, for 7.4 billion of us. Hence the elephant in the room. 7.4 billion vegetarians? In a warming world? 1.4 maybe. I’ve done subsistence farming for over two decades, chickens, goats ,gardens etc. You can’t grow any amount of food without acreage or FF. For 7.4 billion we haven’t enough of one and can’t use anymore of the other. We need some new ways of thinking. For centuries we were told the earth was flat. We all know how that worked out, ( most of us anyway). I’ve checked out stuff like the transition movement and FF play a big part. Where are the think tanks that would address this? Sorry for the rant. I love you guys here at the RS blog, best up to date all inclusive info anywhere.

    Reply
    • Shawn Redmond

       /  July 23, 2016

      By “double” I mean increase year over year. Instead of a point or two it’s 4ppm more!

      Reply
    • Through Desdemona Despair – a scary article on the probable growth of FF use:
      Hooked! The Unyielding Grip of Fossil Fuels on Global Life

      Links to more detail in the DD article.

      Reply
      • Shawn Redmond

         /  July 23, 2016

        Says a lot doesn’t it.

        Reply
      • That’s the challenge. We must shrink fossil fuel use, we must pry its death grip off our economies, we must come up with new ways of doing things. Otherwise, the future is pretty terrible, even if there’s a future at all.

        The issue brought up in this article is, however, a bit distorted. Loss of legacy fossil fuels can generate market instability so long as people have malinvestment in those entities (which is the case now). But if you deflate that bubble before it bursts there is far less economic damage. And that’s one of many reasons why policies like a carbon tax are so important. It provides the needed top-down direction to markets and money flows.

        If fossil fuels, as is, crash, then it’s an economic hit. But one we can survive. We probably can’t survive worst case climate change. But if we are wise (which we, on balance, haven’t been so far with — noted exceptions being Paris, China coal policy, clean power plan, push for solar, wind, and EVs from some market leaders) we can shift away from this laissez faire nonsense now governing markets and direct them toward an orderly and much-needed retreat from the destructive FF investments.

        Original article here (link above not working) basically makes these points as well:

        http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176164/tomgram%3A_michael_klare%2C_fossil_fuels_forever/#more

        Reply
    • Coal use is declining rapidly. This is bringing the overall fossil fuel growth curve down along with slower growth in oil and gas. That said, net FF use is still growing. Coal was the first to start falling. Now the next challenge is to bring global net FF use into decline. This is achievable with the renewable energy sources we have now. As solar, wind, battery, concentrated solar, and advanced biofuels continue to progress along a positive learning curve, opportunities to reduce net fossil fuel use will continue to expand.

      However, as noted above, the pace and timing of this necessary change will be governed by policy. If, for example, we continue to subsidize fossil fuels, continue to elect conservatives and republicans, and reduce positive renewable energy policies, then fossil fuel growth will continue for a longer timeframe and carbon emissions will peak later, resulting in significantly more harm.

      If we elect officials that are pro renewables, we remove fossil subsidies, and we enact a carbon tax and like supportive policies, then the decline of fossil fuel use will hasten and we will hit the desired downward curve swiftly. It’s really as simple and direct as that. The issue is, more than ever, determined by the direction of policy and by the stances of those in leadership positions — political, media, and economic.

      Reply
  27. Spike

     /  July 23, 2016

    NASA article on fires confirming tundra involvement

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=88430&src=eorss-iotd

    Reply
    • “The northernmost hotspots are likely peat fires. Peatlands cover between two to three percent of the planet’s land surface, but store 25 percent of the planet’s soil carbon, according to a paper in Nature Geoscience.”

      Reply
    • ““In order to know what’s going on in the entire Arctic, you can’t leave out Russia, because Russia is one ninth of world’s landmasses,” said McCarty-Kern. Russia spans a much larger Arctic area than Alaska, Canada’s Nunavut and Northwest Territories.

      Fires hinder the ecosystem’s ability to hold carbon. The blaze produces huge quantities of CO2 and methane (a potent greenhouse gas) into the air. Instead of holding carbon, the ground releases it, further warming the earth.

      The area is also a petrostate with massive gas and oil reserves, much like the North Slope of Alaska. Resource extraction in this area is lucrative, but it alters the landscape. Infrastructure like roads and pipelines can reduce the amount of soil moisture, making the ground more vulnerable to peat fires.”

      Reply
      • “Infrastructure like roads and pipelines can reduce the amount of soil moisture, making the ground more vulnerable to peat fires.”

        – Seemingly small intrusions like the above have large impacts on any natural system.
        Glad to see this stressed in the article.

        Reply
    • redskylite

       /  July 23, 2016

      I haven’t seen any reporting of this in Russian media, not even in the Siberian Times, that has been talking about pockets of ch4/co2 and trembling earth. Thank god for satellites/spacecraft and Robert Scribbler to keep us informed.

      A blanket of smoke from fires in Siberia is so huge it can be seen from nearly 1 million miles away in space

      http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/imageo/2016/07/22/blanket-of-smoke-from-siberia-fires-can-be-seen-from-1-million-miles-away-in-space/#.V5MKxTWrM0w

      Reply
    • Fantastic article here by EO.

      Reply
  28. utoutback

     /  July 23, 2016

    New study by NASA reveals why the models have indicated faster global warming than the historical data support.
    http://scitechdaily.com/nasa-study-reveals-that-historical-records-miss-a-fifth-of-global-warming/?ref=yfp

    Reply
  29. Spike

     /  July 23, 2016

    This sensitive empathic soul feels the pain we all share.

    https://seasonalight.wordpress.com/2016/07/21/has-the-world-gone-mad/

    Reply
  30. robspear

     /  July 23, 2016

    I saw that top Modis image of the smoke a day or so ago, and I couldn’t help but “see” the deathly figure: horns upper left, flowing robes of smoke, skeletal hand made by the snowy ridges…or maybe I was the one who was “smokin'”…

    Reply
  31. climatehawk1

     /  July 23, 2016

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  32. Think you’re hot? Spare a thought for Kuwait, as mercury hits record 54C

    Weather station in unmapped northern part of nation records what might be the world’s highest ever temperature

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jul/23/think-youre-hot-spare-a-thought-for-kuwait-as-mercury-hits-record-54c

    Reply
  33. Massive lightning storm hit yesterday for 9+ hours, huge bolts from the sky with deluge rain. 40 miles south it was hailing in Spokane. From 95’F 70% humidity the day before (wet bulb was miserable) to this…exactly one week after a similar storm hit 30 miles north when I was in Colville.

    This morning:

    Scorching Middle East Beats All-Time Heat Records for Eastern Hemisphere
    “I’ve never seen Celsius temps like these on a weather map before,” climate scientist Michael Mann said on Twitter.

    http://commondreams.org/news/2016/07/22/scorching-middle-east-beats-all-time-heat-records-eastern-hemisphere

    Reply
  34. California – Coastal mountains – South of Monterey – Big Sur

    Reply
  35. Reply
  36. Reply
  37. Reply
    • NWSHonolulu ‏@NWSHonolulu 1h1 hour ago

      Flash Flood Warning for Big Island, including Hamakua, Hilo, Volcanoes until 1130am. Kapuna Road in Hamakua is close

      Reply
    • Reply
      • – NHC E. Pacific Ops ‏@NHC_Pacific 56m56 minutes ago

        – Tropical Storm #Frank advisory 9 issued. #Frank has not strengthened, , passing north of socorro island

        – NHC E. Pacific Ops ‏@NHC_Pacific 56m56 minutes ago

        Tropical Storm #Georgette advisory 9 issued. #Georgette a little stronger.

        Reply
  38. – It’s only July… (Goes for wildfires too.)

    Reply
  39. Andy_in_SD

     /  July 23, 2016

    No fires here, fortunately. I have a very dry hill behind me that I’ve been cleaning up for months.

    My father (retired civil engineer) told me on Skype, put down 200′ of zig zagged black landscape hose (100 bucks) peppered with 1/4″ sprinklers. Leave it there unused unless you need it.

    Sound advice, and it was followed.

    Reply
    • Vic

       /  July 24, 2016

      Be aware that in a fire emergency, mains water pressure can be significantly compromised if all your neighbours have their hoses going at the same time, which is why some fire fighting trucks have pumps that actually suck the water out of the mains supply, which further compounds the issue. You could guarantee a water supply by installing a water storage tank (non-plastic) but you’d also need a pump – preferably a petrol powered one as the electricity supply is often one of the first things to go.

      Also beware that plastic hoses can melt when exposed to flames and that ants seeking a water supply can block small sprinklers.

      Here in Oz, a decade or so ago it used to be common for home owners to stay and defend their properties during a bushfire. These days though, most choose to evacuate – which can be deadly if they leave it too late.

      Reply
  40. ack Labe ‏@ZLabe 1h1 hour ago

    Large amounts of smoke across #LA and #SoCal from the #SandFire as it grows to 11,000 acres (MODIS, 250 m Terra)

    Reply
    • Am listening to fire air traffic broadcast. Much going on. Keeping roads clear for evacs and firefighter safety. Hard work. Flames near structures. Busy… Busy…

      http://www.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/829/web

      Reply
      • – Sorry for clutter of this fire but is developing into a ‘big deal’ — a harbinger AGW for sure too.

        Reply
      • 01:48 UTC 0723

        Angeles_NF Verified account ‏@Angeles_NF 25m25 minutes ago

        *#SandFire Update* The fire has grown to 20,000 acres and still 10%. Aircraft will continue to drop water and fire retardant.
        ###
        They’re now bringing in aircraft from the air attack base at Santa Maria (the SBA area).

        Reply
  41. Reply
  42. johnho

     /  July 23, 2016

    A nurseryman in Portland, Oregon notes that all kinds of fruits are ripening earlier this year

    https://col129.mail.live.com/?tid=cm5VUUcm9Q5hGErQAhWtlllA2&fid=flinbox

    Reply
    • Witchee

       /  July 25, 2016

      My black raspberries here in IL, 9 miles due west of Lake Michigan, were a month early.

      Reply
  43. johnho

     /  July 23, 2016

    I incorrectly posted my comment. Please delete or edit.

    Reply
  44. Colorado Bob

     /  July 23, 2016

    Wildlife Dying En Masse as South American River Runs Dry

    The Pilcomayo River in Paraguay is littered with dead caiman and fish carcasses as the government scrambles to find a solution.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/07/pilcomayo-river-paraguay-caiman-capybara-fish-drought-death-water/?google_editors_picks=true

    Reply
  45. 24:00 UTC

    Updated 2 hrs ago

    BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A wildfire burning south of Billings has destroyed a home and a garage and forced people out of their homes.

    The fire began Friday afternoon and scorched 2 square miles by Saturday.

    According to the Billings Gazette (http://tinyurl.com/jxez83l ), residents around the Duck Creek area remained evacuated.

    The fire started in wheat fields and crossed over the Yellowstone River Friday night.

    Reply
  46. Reply
  47. Reply
  48. Ryan in New England

     /  July 24, 2016

    Not sure if this had been posted yet, but Kuwait just experienced the hottest reliably measured temperature on Earth, 129F.

    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/weatherhistorian/hottest-reliably-measured-air-temperatures-on-earth

    Reply
  49. Shawn Redmond

     /  July 24, 2016

    July 22, 2016

    404.38 ppm

    NOAA-ESRL

    July 22, 2015

    400.82 ppm

    Scripps CO2 UCSD
    Still almost 4ppm above last years numbers. If FF use has been flat since the end of 2014 where is the new daily and in all likelihood yearly spike coming from. I find this most disturbing for reasons that the regulars here are all to aware of. If it is thought to be the ongoing fire behind it that would ease my concerns somewhat. The global fire situation is very disturbing in and of itself, is it huge enough to account for this rise in the number? Or is this the point when exponential starts to become painfully obvious.” Exponential” is a term that could well be used to describe our collective lack of understanding of its implications.
    I watch this presentation on Utube from time to time to help keep the perspective. I’ve always loved math, not that stuff used by economists and bankers where you start with the answer you want and build an equation to make it look correct. An equation that when you remove the answer not even the architect can navigate to an accurate conclusion.
    Arithmetic, Population, and Energy
    SeanKennedyTheFucMan
    23,949 views
    Originals: http://tinyurl.com/3eocl3l

    Reply
    • So we should be very clear that the human emission is so strong now that it’s tough to find any corollary carbon spike in the geological record. The PETM was ten times slower, for example. So if the Earth System starts responding on a scale that is even an order of magnitude slower than the human emission, it’s still enough to set off a hothouse mass extinction event long-term.

      So the context to consider here is likely not so much one in which Earth System carbon feedbacks become significantly greater than the human emission (except for in the absolutely most nasty worst case), but more likely one in which such feedbacks help to further dig the warming hole we’re already in. Feedbacks that put us behind the curve when it comes to mitigation and response.

      I think this danger here is very real and very strong in that we keep getting further and further behind the 8 ball and keep locking in worsening climate situations. Ones that become tougher and tougher for modern civilization to deal with. And you don’t have to go exponential for that. You don’t even have to go geometric. An Earth System response equal to 50 percent of the human emission over any timescale significant to Earth geology would be catastrophic in the middle to long term without some kind of amazing atmospheric carbon capture techiques. And 10 percent is a new PETM long term without those atmospheric carbon capture methods.

      So the notion here is to stop digging a bigger hole to put global civilization. In other words, we don’t want human fossil fuel emissions at all now. And we don’t want those emissions paid back in interest by the Earth System.

      Reply
  50. Spike

     /  July 24, 2016

    Reply
    • Ten times average July rainfall… I don’t know what’s worse — the figure or the fact that we just accept it as a face value typical event these days.

      Reply
  51. Erik

     /  July 24, 2016

    I read a recent study which indicated that the permafrost region will become a net carbon emitter by 2100, regardless of warming scenario.

    At that point, it’s an unstoppable cycle of further warming melting more permafrost releasing more GHGs.

    And the permafrost contains more than twice the carbon in the atmosphere.

    Reply
    • Erik

       /  July 24, 2016

      From the NSIDC
      But if the Earth continues to warm, and a lot of permafrost thaws out, the Arctic could become an overall source of carbon to the atmosphere, instead of a sink. This is what scientists refer to as a “tipping point.” We say that something has reached a tipping point when it switches from a relatively stable state to an unstoppable cycle. In this case, the Arctic would change from a carbon sink to a carbon source. If the Arctic permafrost releases more carbon than it absorbs, it would start a cycle where the extra carbon in the atmosphere leads to increased warming. The increased warming means more permafrost thawing and methane release.”
      https://nsidc.org/cryosphere/frozenground/methane.html

      Reply
  52. 15:40 UTC 0724

    KTLA Verified account ‏@KTLA 30m30 minutes ago

    Evacuations remain in effect after multiple homes destroyed in 34-square mile
    ###
    Angeles_NF Verified account ‏@Angeles_NF 2h2 hours ago

    *#SandFire Update* The fire has grown to 22,000 acres and is 10% contained.

    Reply
  53. Official Bureau of Meteorology (Western Australia)

    Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  July 25, 2016

      Kimberley is the size of France, and the ‘heat engine’ of the continent. The blackfellas up there know their climate, and they’ve been declaring things crazy for some years, but no-one listens to …… in this country. We very much prefer locking them up.

      Reply
  54. Joint Cyclone Center ‏@JointCyclone 5h5 hours ago

    Ex-tropical Cyclones could be form to be aggressive hurricane strength storms anywhere in the world for this year

    Joint Cyclone Center ‏@JointCyclone 5h5 hours ago

    Ex-tropical cyclones could bring fuel hurricane strength storms toward NW Europe with bands of T-storms Aug/Sep/Oct

    Reply
  55. Colorado Bob

     /  July 24, 2016

    Today’s pass over Russia, looks like they stitched 2 images together.

    Terra/MODIS
    2016/206
    07/24/2016
    09:35 UTC

    Fires and smoke in central Russia

    Reply
  56. Anybody use to read Arctic Methane Emergency Group? This in Russia is exactly what they feared. Their scientists gave a press conference at COP20 in Lima that warned of this, they were considered too far over the edge and the info was dismissed out of hand. At that point I think they just gave up.

    The website is still up with that latest info but hasn’t been added to since 12/2014. What was the point, nobody was listening. RS or anybody else read this 2 yrs ago? It certainly applies to current trends.

    http://ameg.me/

    On another note, neighbors ran out of LA yesterday called last night (little kids 1st time at Disneyland) because their kids were hacking and getting lung sick and wanted to go home. They are on their way back to these mountains…

    Reply
    • Andy_in_SD

       /  July 24, 2016

      It’s a shame they shut down, was a good read (never saw the site before).

      There was a daily methane tracker as well which shut down, I think it was budget issues that killed it if I remember correctly.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  July 24, 2016

        The AMEG FB page was still being updated until recently. Paul Beckwith is part of this group, I think?😉

        Reply
      • Yes, Andy in SD, very sharp science site and was always full of what’s going on up north. I’ve missed it.

        Cate: don’t do FB so had no idea AMEG was still going. Good for them.

        These fires are scary. 4 miles from the Carpenter Rd. fire last year, downwind, in Stage 2 Evac watching it come. Lightning caused of course, instant overnight to pack what you want to save. Masks & swim goggles, burning ash from the sky. We are very nervous in these mountains…

        Everybody read this. It’s dead-on (pun intended). This guy was amazing prescient:

        Kurt Vonnegut’s 1988 Letter to the Future More Relevant Today Than Ever Before

        http://www.truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/kurt-vonnegut-s-1988-letter-to-the-future-more-relevant-today-than-ever-before

        Reply
    • Did AMEG morph into Arctic News? Many are the same staff and the outlook seems identical.
      http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/

      Reply
      • Mostly, yes. These guys are the main proponents of an absolute worst case methane scenario that rapidly heats the Earth in an exponential fashion over a just a couple of decades to hothouse extinction levels. PB is one of the them. Their methane scenario is kind of a domino effect theory of carbon feedbacks. IPCC is probably right in that it’s really tough to find paleoclimate evidence for such a scenario playing out at current temperatures.

        That said, it doesn’t obliviate the risk of carbon feedbacks. It’s just that carbon feedbacks are unlikely to ramp up anywhere near as quickly as AMEG fears. That said, even a 10 percent (current fossil fuel emission equivalent) carbon feedback from the Arctic alone by end century would be rather bad — especially when you add in a degradation of the ocean carbon sink and turning the ocean into a carbon source, increasing carbon feedbacks from boreal and rain forests, and increasing carbon feedbacks due to expanding deserts globally.

        In the end, it is entirely plausible that we see 0.3 to 3 or more ppm CO2e per year coming as a feedback response to middle and high range fossil-fuel based initial warming scenarios. And such a response, at even a 1 ppm CO2e per year range, would basically continue to rather swiftly propel the world into more harmful climate states.

        So we really need to get a handle on the current emission very swiftly in order to prevent a situation where we keep hitting these climate points of no return faster and faster. In other words, the issue of the carbon feedback situation spiraling out of control doesn’t need to be an AMEG scale issue to be a serious problem. And this lends serious urgency to drawing down fossil fuel and human based carbon emissions as swiftly as possible.

        Reply
      • They are probably wrong about the abrupt release of CO2e leading to a rather sudden extinction event, but the smart response to that catastrophic bad possibility is to move very fast to make sure we don’t get to find out that they are right about massive methane release. The downside of moving very fast is that we fix the problem more quickly than we might absolutely have to. That is a downside that I can live with.

        Reply
  57. Colorado Bob

     /  July 24, 2016

    Shocking footage shows cars being sucked into massive pothole vortex during floods

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/shocking-footage-shows-cars-being-8478733

    Reply
  58. Andy_in_SD

     /  July 24, 2016

    An observation:

    If you look at this satellite image of western Greenland, your eye instinctively goes to the dark ice and melt ponds. But here is another item to add to that viewing.

    Look at the sediment flushing out of the fjords. The volume and distance it flows. This may be some form of a proxy indicator of surface and sub glacial outflows.

    http://www.arctic.io/explorer/8/2016-07-23/9-N67.91293-W51.04119

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 24, 2016

      Andy_in_SD

      I’ve been watching Greenland as well. It’s just about to be melted out all the way around the island. Just the very top has sea ice in close to shore, and it’s shattered into a thousand bergs. And the same aqua glacier milk is in the fjords in the North East quadrant.

      I’m sure a time lapse clip would answer that question.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  July 24, 2016

        North East quadrant. I saw melt ponds , and dark snow up there today
        Another thing , about it all the bare rock showing . One gets the feeling these rocks haven’t seen sun light in a very very long time. It’s a strange looking place.

        Here it is melt ponds and dark snow .

        Terra/MODIS
        2016/206
        07/24/2016
        17:40 UTC

        Reply
      • Cate

         /  July 24, 2016

        CB, “glacier milk”—dunno if you made that up but it’s the first I’ve heard it and I love it.

        Andy, I have to thank you for pointing me to arctic io explorer– what a fab site, so easy to use! I pass pleasant hours now satellite-sailing the coasts of Greenland and the CAA, revelling in its primeval presence, picking up the names of the fjords and straits, watching the changes from day to day in the Far North, eavesdropping on all the guys who hang out at the ASIF bar, and just generally learning a hell of a lot about my nearest and most incredible neighbour.

        Favourite Greenland thing: how the aqua milk in the fjords grades to deep-sea navy, and all of it studied with icebergs like stars.

        Reply
      • Cate

         /  July 24, 2016

        …that would be *studded*…..

        Reply
  59. From WXGeeks – Fascinating time-lapse video of the development of Typhoon Nepartak.
    ( Tested the link this time🙂 )

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 24, 2016

      DW –
      Saw that one, “boiling cauldron” comes to mind as she gets herself together. Not unlike the tops of these big fire clouds.

      Reply
  60. Colorado Bob

     /  July 24, 2016

    An observation:

    The giant algae bloom north of Finland , been hoping to see it cloudless, but it’s so huge , I haven’t been able to catch all of it yet. If one what’s to do some real sat 101 geeking , note it’s color and the glacier milk colors, Both are aqua, but this says, “Hello I’m a living thing”.

    Terra/MODIS
    2016/206
    07/24/2016
    09:30 UTC

    Reply
  61. Colorado Bob

     /  July 24, 2016

    Here’s a nice clear shot, the melt ponds are growing like mushrooms, on a pile of rotten Republican horse shit –
    Lot’s of glacial milk flowing.

    Aqua/MODIS
    2016/206
    07/24/2016
    14:45 UTC

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 24, 2016

      There’s a really telling story in this image .

      Click the 250 meter setting.
      Move the bottom slider over about 2 inches, to the right.
      Move the right slider down about 2 inches from the bottom .

      Several long skinny fjords appear , with weak looking chocolate milk in them coming off the ice pack , then they turn into the aqua color. That is the interface where seawater meets fresh water. Where all that ground up Greenland meets a living soup of life.

      Greenland is turning into a fertilizer factory for the North Atlantic as well. I suspect the fires are feeding that Bloom North of Finland as well. If I am right, then this is an all new set of cards in the “52 Card Pick-up” we are playing. That mass above Finland must zillions of animals feeding in it.

      There was an ocean internet long before we discovered the electron. And how to smelt copper.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  July 24, 2016

        CB, yeah wow, great post, lots to chew over there, thanks.🙂

        Reply
  62. – G – We seem to be rapidly working our way through the alphabet in the E. Pacific.

    Reply
  63. For RS:

    ‘Seven Things You Need to Know about Non-Profit Journalism’

    Why Non-Profit Journalism Works
    1) The enterprise has no other mission than the practice of journalism.
    Serving the public interest is its sole function, the practice of journalism in its noblest expression.
    2) Non-profits use resources efficiently, often with spectacular results.
    3) Non-profit journalism is immune to external pressures that can compromise editorial independence.
    4) Non-profit outlets have to be good to survive, excellent to thrive.
    5) It’s harder to fool a non-profit media outlet, especially one that has subject matter expertise.
    6) Non-Profits Need Reader Support

    View story at Medium.com

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 24, 2016

      A FUCKING MEN

      Reply
      • ‘1) The enterprise has no other mission than the practice of journalism.
        Serving the public interest is its sole function, the practice of journalism in its noblest expression.’

        Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 24, 2016

      Exhibit A –

      Meet the Press this morning , In the middle of Bernie Sanders interview, a commercial break . First ad, the Koch brothers , assure us that we can feed an over run world with just a few more hat tricks in their labs.

      Reply
      • Koch brothers and FF/auto makers are everywhere in the media. They seem to guide every syllable and every nuance on NPR as well.

        Reply
    • Bingo. For-profit journalism is far more likely to generate an inherent conflict of interest. Although it’s worth noting that donations to non-profits can also have generate a similar effect. I think what’s most important is refusing money flows that would result in just such a conflict of interest. And it’s much easier to do this as a non-profit. However, as we’ve seen with NPR and the Kochs donations, non profits aren’t a guaranteed immunity either. It’s just that they’re much tougher to influence and that their messaging is more difficult to pollute due to the fact that confusing counter-message ads aren’t always popping up all over them.

      Reply
  64. Colorado Bob

     /  July 24, 2016

    Cate –
    CB, “glacier milk”—dunno if you made that up but it’s the first I’ve heard it and I love it.

    It’s a real scientific term used to describe the ground up rock mixed with melt water. And that rock is ground to consistence of flour . Which means it’s been under that ice for a very very long time.

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  July 24, 2016

      Cool! thanks, CB.🙂

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  July 24, 2016

        Cate –

        The rocks under ice aren’t being pushed, unless the ice drags them forward.
        And this layer is really thick. Several hundred meters. As we near the bottom , the ice gets pushed out and the ricks grind on each other. This makes the “rock flour”. Another scientific term .

        The melt water at the bottom is flushing all the tiny parts with it. And I mean tiny , not gravel but pure “rock flour”. Saved up over 10’s of thousands of years. When these melts ponds bottoms open up, and melt their way to the bottom they flush this “rock flour” at the end of their trip as they make their way through the boulder field at the bottom .

        This is what Andy was wondering about up thread. Are seeing an increase in this whole cycle ?

        I vote yes.

        The glaciers don’t have to speed up but if their glacial mike does , that’s bad news.

        It’s a leading indicator , and Andy was right to ask the question.

        Reply
      • Cate

         /  July 24, 2016

        http://www.arctic.io/explorer/8/2016-07-23/9-N70.04547-W50.77511

        CB, Andy, anyone else—okay, there is a cluster of fjord channels at the centre of this shot. Toggle back and forth 2016 July 21 to 23, and in two of the fjords, you notice a big white something appears, right where the glaciers meet the water. I don’t think it’s clouds in an otherwise clear sky. It looks like something–a lot of something—spews out….would this be an outflow, from under the glaciers? The profiles of the glaciers themselves across their channels barely change so I don’t think it’s calving.

        This probably is pretty ho-hum to veteran ice-watchers, but it looked interesting to me and I just wanted to know what it is.🙂

        Reply
      • Andy_in_SD

         /  July 25, 2016

        Cate,

        To me that looks like a calving face collapsed. If it is just an event, that was a HUGE collapse, and a tremendous catch!

        Can someone else look and verify / or give a differing opinion? CB, dt, etc??

        Reply
      • Cate

         /  July 25, 2016

        Andy, I really don’t know if it’s calving? The reason I hesitate is that the profile of the edge of the glacier doesn’t change at all. Whatever it is, it seems to happen in two channels or fjords at the same time, both of which are outlets for the same glacier. It’s like two big spurts coming out at once! We really have to get a closer look.

        And yes, whatever it was, it looks like it was huge.

        Reply
  65. 22:07 UTC

    Sand Fire — The wind and the weather are in control. Everyone is reacting. Explosive fire and response activity.
    Air attack slowed by ‘drones’ — maybe wind too. Radio transmissions mostly ground activity — strike-teams, evacs and FWY closures.
    Very busy…

    Reply
    • 22:22 UTC
      200 structures threatened. Call out for fixed wing air attack. Smoke a big visibility problem for aircraft.

      Reply
    • LAC Incident Alert ‏@lacfd 2h2 hours ago
      *#SandFire* Acton Structure Protection Group being established. 7 Type I Strike Teams requested + aircraft, dozers & add’l Engines. #LACoFD
      *#SandFire* Air Attack putting a hold on all Fixed-Wing aircraft. Conditions have deteriorated and are not conducive to Fixed-Wing Ops.
      ###
      All com-radios being ‘cloned’. I suppose for new command and communication frequencies, etc. as things have changed.

      Reply
    • CA Scanner ‏@CAScanner 16m16 minutes ago

      #SandFire – Priority air support requested to the Acton branch of the fire, fixed wing if possible, trying to keep fire S/O the 14 Fwy.
      ###
      TRAs being stressed to some strike-teams.

      Temporary Refuge Area Considerations and Options
      The temporary refuge area offers crucial, short-term safety to firefighters in the WUI
      http://www.firefighternation.com/article/firefighter-safety/temporary-refuge-area-considerations-and-options

      Reply
    • AM-1220 KHTS ‏@KHTSam1220 3m3 minutes ago

      #SandFire: All northbound traffic is being diverted onto the 5 freeway & all southbound traffic must get off onto Lancaster surface streets
      ###
      Bryan Herbert ‏@KE6ZGP 4m4 minutes ago

      Holy hell — CHP has closed nearly a 40-mile stretch of the 14 freeway due to the #SandFire

      Reply
  66. Colorado Bob

     /  July 24, 2016

    Milk not Mike.

    Reply
  67. Colorado Bob

     /  July 24, 2016

    Time for music

    Talking Heads-Burning down the house

    Reply
  68. Drought hits Northeastern US, could last months

    National weather experts predict the drought will persist at least through the end of October.

    CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — At Lavoie’s Farm in New Hampshire, beans and corn haven’t broken through the ground yet and fields of strawberries are stunted.
    http://wtop.com/science/2016/07/west-coast-style-weather-strikes-northeastern-us/slide/1/

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 24, 2016

      As the system moves to the tipping point , it tends to move to the extremes. There it gets stuck There it gets stuck before wildly swinging back to the other extreme.

      When the system changes it is at the extremes.

      Reply
  69. – A picture worth a thousand US Congressmen/women:

    Reply
    • – It’s only July:
      “… it’s the most extreme fire behavior he’s seen so early in the fire season in his three-decade career.”

      By Associated Press July 24 at 8:22 PM

      LOS ANGELES — The Latest on California wildfires (all times local):

      5:20 p.m.

      A wildfire in northern Los Angeles County is gaining ferocious new power two days after it broke out, sending so much smoke in the air that planes making drops on it had to be grounded.

      County fire chief Daryl Osby says Sunday afternoon it’s the most extreme fire behavior he’s seen so early in the fire season in his three-decade career.

      The blaze has forced the closure of a 40-mile stretch of State Route 14, known as the Antelope Valley Freeway.

      Planes have been unable to make drops over the fire, but helicopters are releasing retardant around the perimeter of the blaze.

      The fire has destroyed 18 homes and burned 34 square miles, but Osby says the size might have doubled in the past few hours.

      It is 10 percent contained, and thousands of homes are under threat.

      – Los Angeles County firefighters pause to fight the flames due to erratic winds in Placenta Caynon Road in Santa Clarita, Calif., Sunday, July 24, 2016. Flames raced down a steep hillside “like a freight train,” leaving smoldering remains of homes and warnings that more communities should be ready to flee the wildfire churning through tinder-dry canyons in Southern California, authorities said Sunday. (Matt Hartman/Associated Press)

      Reply
      • Air attack back in force.
        Sand Fire air attack command/spotters radio verbal communal skills are just incredible.
        Spotters give ‘SHOW ME’ approaches for retardant drops for many types/abilities of aircraft — at various locations, over varied terrain, during changing weather/wind conditions.
        Ground forces often tied in as well.

        Reply
  70. Colorado Bob

     /  July 24, 2016

    Some time a beer ad is just what we need –

    The Asteroids Galaxy Tour – “The Golden Age”.

    Reply
  71. Colorado Bob

     /  July 24, 2016

    Jefferson Airplane – White Rabbit

    Reply
  72. Andy_in_SD

     /  July 25, 2016

    All,

    If you can, take a look at what Cate caught on the west side of Greenland about 4 or 5 main posts up.

    I copied the image subsection for the outlet on the 16th, and 24th. I then zoomed those small sections up 1000x.

    You can see clear as day that the lower outlet glacier suffered a calving face collapse. Significant loss on the northern edge. The upper outlet lost a good chunk as well on it’s eastern side.

    Amazing catch Cate!

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  July 25, 2016

      Andy, oh wow, thanks! What an incredible sight that would be!🙂

      Reply
      • Shawn Redmond

         /  July 25, 2016

        Cate and Andy I’ve been watching the arctic explorer every day since early March. The Peterman and Zachariah Isstrom hold my attention. If you spot the screen on the close up of ZI and start at July 23 scrolling the other side back about 10 days watch the melt ponds appeared and disappear. Ponds about 4 to 5 kilometres across and bigger appear and disappear in that short time. Judging by the deep blue of some of them they are also quite deep. Its fascinating and troubling at the same time. The slow motion train wreck only maybe not so slow!

        Reply
      • Shawn Redmond

         /  July 25, 2016

        That should be “split”

        Reply
  73. WU 0724 – USA

    – Winds gusted to 74 mph at Denver International Airport, and a greenhouse was flattened due to the strong winds in Byers, Colorado.

    – Ridge Rider Pattern Triggers Storms

    A massive ridge of high pressure aloft (bulge in the jet stream) is anchored across a large portion of the nation. Locations underneath this ridge will have a low chance for thunderstorms.

    A couple of strong disturbances often called “ridge riders” by meteorologists will move across the top of this ridge, however, and they will produce thunderstorms and some will turn severe.

    – Disturbances in the middle portion of the atmosphere ride along the northern periphery of the hot high-pressure system.

    Reply
  74. 02:50 UTC

    NHC E. Pacific Ops ‏@NHC_Pacific 16s16 seconds ago

    Hurricane #Georgette advisory 14 issued. #Georgette rapidly strengthens to a category 4 hurricane. http://go.usa.gov/W3H

    Reply
  75. Reply
  76. The power of fire and heat — Impressive footage here:

    Reply
  77. 24 July 2016

    -American Geophysical Union.
    The Heat, the Floods, and the Danger of Underestimating How to Handle it.

    – Extreme heat, and very high water vapor content in the atmosphere, pushed the heat index to brutal levels across much of the Eastern half of the U.S. Saturday afternoon. Click image for larger size- map ctsy. WX Bell

    Reply
  78. Cate

     /  July 25, 2016

    A UN report says global natural resource extraction, driven by rising consumption and a growing middle class, has tripled in 40 years. Included are biomass, fossil fuels, metals, and non-metallic minerals. At this rate of use, the planet’s resources may become “irreversibly depleted”, leading to shortages and conflicts.

    “Growing primary material consumption will affect climate change mainly because of the large amounts of energy involved in extraction, use, transport and disposal….We urgently need to address this problem before we have irreversibly depleted the resources that power our economies and lift people out of poverty. This deeply complex problem, one of humanity’s biggest tests yet, calls for a rethink of the governance of natural resource extraction.”

    http://climatenewsnetwork.net/rise-in-plunder-of-earths-natural-resources/

    Reply
  79. Ryan in New England

     /  July 25, 2016

    Humanity’s plundering of nature has increased three fold in recent decades. It’s like we are trying to destroy the biosphere as quickly as possible😦

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/humanitys_plunder_of_earths_resources_is_intensifying_20160723

    Reply
    • – A socio-economic theme here. (Pope Francis also stressed detrimental effects of consumerism on the climate and climate justice.)

      Reply
      • – Unprecedented amounts

        Global material use has rapidly accelerated since 2000, the report says, as emerging economies such as China undergo industrial and urban transformation that requires unprecedented amounts of iron, steel, cement, energy and building materials.

        Compounding the problems, there has been little improvement in global material efficiency since 1990. The global economy now needs more material per unit of GDP than it did at the turn of the century, the IRP says, because production has moved from material-efficient economies such as Japan, South Korea and Europe to far less materially-efficient countries such as China, India and some in south-east Asia.

        The report says uncoupling the increasing material use from economic growth is the “imperative of modern environmental policy and essential for the prosperity of human society and a healthy natural environment”.
        -truthdig

        Reply
  80. The African pattern of burning we are seeing on for example earth.nullschool is apparently actually an agricultural burning pattern:

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=5800

    Controlled burning in the local cool season might be what we want to see, rather than uncontrolled burning during the local hot season.

    So, the African (and possibly South American?) burning is not as out of control as I thought it was, apparently.

    Should the Russians be controlled burning Siberia in the winter and spring?

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  July 25, 2016

      Leland, responded to your original agricultural comment way above. CB pointed out that lighting provides explanation for Siberian fires currently. This is new, I believe, to see these kinds of significant lighting strikes this far north, as they require heat in the atmosphere. Any ag burns would be in early Spring or later in Fall but this is relatively unpopulated tundra. No ag.

      Reply
      • Hi Greg-

        Yes I think it’s likely Bob is right about the Siberian fires – it could easily be dry lightning setting those off. Or, it could just be really, really bad fire conditions, maybe – it is summer up there, with high temperatures in the 80’s F-very high for Siberia.

        To me, the African fires look just like an extension of the pattern that NASA was seeing from agricultural fires at least as far back as 2005. Temperatures are pretty representative of average – maybe a little high.

        If the primary cause of the African fires is agricultural burning, this is good, and makes me slightly relieved. Human behavior is at least potentially under some sort of control. If the Africans are practicing slash and burn agriculture by burning off fields, that’s the traditional way they’ve practiced agriculture there. But at least the African fires may not be primarily due to global warming driven positive feedback.

        Reply
  81. July 17 – 23, 2016 403.39 ppm
    July 17 – 23, 2015 400.96 ppm (2.43 ppm increase pretty noisy number)

    June CO2

    June 2016: 406.81 ppm
    June 2015: 402.80 ppm (whopping 4.01 ppm increase in pretty noisy number)

    per CO2.earth.

    My projection of 405.3 for July monthly average is looking high.
    My projection for 2016 is annual average of 404.66 ppm, a very ugly number. Hope I have that wrong.

    Warm regards

    Mike

    Reply
  82. – For a while now I’ve been watching/expecting this sort strong weather trending towards this region. It is definitely manifesting itself…🙂

    Darby Makes the Closest Pass to Honolulu by a Tropical Storm in Recorded History

    By: Jeff Masters , 3:34 PM GMT on July 25, 2016

    The closest approach on record by a tropical storm to the island of Oahu resulted in torrential rains in excess of ten inches there as Tropical Storm Darby passed just 40 miles to the south and west of Honolulu, Oahu on Sunday with sustained winds of 40 mph. No other named storm on record has passed that close to Honolulu or Oahu since accurate records began in 1949. Rainfall amounts of over ten inches in the 24 hours ending at 3:45 am HST Monday were reported at five locations on the eastern half of Oahu from Darby:

    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/darby-makes-the-closest-pass-to-honolulu-by-a-tropical-storm-in-record

    Reply
  83. Reply
  84. – Sand Fire:
    KTLA Verified account ‏@KTLA 3h3 hours ago

    Firefighters have saved 2,000 homes that were in the path of the #SandFire: deputy chief.
    ###

    Reply
    • – latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-sand-fire

      ‘There was nothing stopping it’: 10,000 homes evacuated as Sand fire rages in Santa Clarita Valley

      Wind-whipped flames raged overnight in the steep, rugged mountains of the Santa Clarita Valley, charring more than 33,000 acres and threatening thousands of homes.

      The Sand fire, named for Sand Canyon, continued to burn Monday in the hills toward Acton, prompting the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to order the evacuation of at least 10,000 homes…

      ###
      – dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3706427/LA-ho
      – AP Photo

      The chemical retardant, a mixture of 85 percent water that also includes 10 percent fertilizer, is known by the brand name Phos-Check, Picutred is a car covered in aerially-applied fire retardant remains parked in Ruthspring Drive, in Santa Clarita

      Reply
      • – Air Attack radio traffic wise — it sounds like they now have a ‘portable retardant plant’ at the small nearby Agua Dulce Airport. Most likely Helos.
        Some, probably large DC-10, flying back to Santa Maria Air Attack to reload/refuel rather than the usual nearby San Berdo Airport.

        – Busy stuff this AGW.
        – Physical fitness very important.

        Reply
  85. – The thirsty bird in the photo:

    Reply
  86. – Fire Weather – Wyoming – USA

    Reply
  87. Reply
  88. – Weather USA NJ and East Coast

    Reply
  89. Reply
  90. In general, RS tends to be accurate. However, with respect to methane in the atmosphere, and the sources and flows that deliver CH4 into the atmosphere he is too close to the conventional wisdom that understates the potential timing, effects and impacts of clathrate decomposition.

    I first made clathrates in Eric Allen’s lab at NCAR circa 1964. Thirty years later, I was reviewing North Slope / Arctic Ocean geology as we developed basis of engineering for Arctic Oil Facilities. I believe all the source documents are proprietary and confidential to various oil/gas drilling and development corporations.

    By and large, I consider the worries of the AMEG to be rational and reasonable. They are prudent, not alarmist or Some of my models produce more rapid and/or larger CH4 emissions than have been suggested by AMEG.

    My conclusions are that there is enough there is enough methane to be a real problem, in the context of current Arctic weather patterns. Arctic sea floor methane could be released with breathtaking suddenness. AMEG did not do a full analysis of some the mechanisms that most concen me. I do not need to layout the details here, because Feynman discussed them in Physics X.

    We acquire merit by the anticipation of adversity, and responding with prudence and diligence. On the other hand, I have a little gray towel that was issued to us in the UAE, that I keep to remind me that no matter how bad things are, they can always get worse, fast. When things get bad, one must be more prudent and more diligent, because there is less margin for error.

    Reply
    • In general, RS tends to consider a number of potential future warming scenarios and lists the significant methane release issue into the high impact, high uncertainty, low confidence category. This accurate risk descriptor has nonetheless resulted in much consternation among those who are single minded and inflexible to the point of not considering the noted lack of accurate scientific methane feedback forecasting now available.

      RS has also tended to be critical of AMEG for their noted lack of support of mitigation policies, their unhelpful attacks on Paris, and their repeated calls for expensive and dangerous solar radiation management deployments.

      RS has also been critical of PB and other AMEG members for making outrageous and unsupported scientific statements and, after being proven incorrect, failing to recognize errors and, instead, doubling down on them.

      RS continues to constantly monitor atmospheric methane concentration, methane sources, spikes and plumes in an attempt to provide accurate carbon feedback risk analysis.
      😉

      Also please see: https://robertscribbler.com/2015/03/09/cause-for-appropriate-concern-over-arctic-methane-overburden-plumes-eruptions-and-large-ocean-craters/

      Reply
    • Aaron Lewis
      “AMEG did not do a full analysis of some the mechanisms that most concen me. I do not need to layout the details here, because Feynman discussed them in Physics X.”
      Maybe not the details, but I personally wouldn’t mind a brief outline, or chapter headings maybe.

      Reply
  91. Reblogged this on Don't look now.

    Reply
  92. docgee

     /  July 28, 2016

    Looks like we don’t need to bother with man-made CO2 anymore. Now that Pandora’s box has been opened, we’re going to Hell in a handbasket no matter what.

    Reply
  1. Extreme Events Escalating World Wide – Food Assets Blog
  2. flassbeck economics international - Economics and politics - comment and analysis

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