Hothouse 2090: Category 6 Hurricane A Grey Swansong For Tampa

Tampa. 2090. Late September.

The stiff wind running off the Gulf of Mexico felt like a blast furnace. Ocean surface temperatures near 100 degrees Fahrenheit; air temperatures of 113 F, high humidity, and a smell like rotten eggs added to the overall insufferability. Unpleasant was a better word from a better time. Mere unpleasantness had long since fallen away before the new deadly edge that Nature had adopted.

Tampa’s streets were packed with vehicles but featured only the rare transient foot and bike traffic. Just 15 minutes’ exposure to the brutal four p.m. heat and humidity could swiftly result in heat stroke as a body’s natural cooling systems were overwhelmed by conditions no human physiology could for long endure. The city had long since grown accustomed to the warnings. Anyone wanting to stay healthy remained indoors, huddling close to the blessed vents blasting machine-cooled, filtered air.

In the heat-scorched streets, elevated many times over to keep above the rising seas, a few diehards still roamed. They sported the latest in cooling accessories — thermal-bleeding fashions were all the rage and had been for at least three decades now. So too were the thin-film sulfur filtration masks, totem-like in their branding and individually styled in patterns of iridescent colors. These were the stylized provisional responses to the gigantic dead zones that regularly painted the Gulf’s waters purple-black with stinking, toxic-gas-spewing bacteria. But today, the waters were sickly green. The stink was merely unbearable and only somewhat unhealthy, thanks to the large and powerful storm now pushing in the bluer off-shore waters and flushing out some of the seaside dead zone.

RCP 8.5

(Under RCP 8.5 warming scenarios, the Earth is transformed into a hotter, more deadly place, capable of supporting storms of never-before-seen intensity. Image source: The European Environmental Agency.)

Great swells churned away – covered in gooey sludge. Some residents thought fondly of the December- to-February tourist season when temperatures fell, the waters cleared and, at times, swimming was safe. But such thoughts were quickly blasted away by the constant warnings now blaring through the local radio. Hot waves capped with frothy green foam were already roaring over the shoals of the old seaside districts and barrier islands before slamming into the defensive ring of sea walls. Ice melt in Greenland and Antarctica had long since forced a retreat from the bay and ocean, pushing an eight-foot rise in sea levels over the 90 years. The near-water residences, once premium real estate, had long since been relegated to tourist homes or the odd air and ocean monitoring station

Tampa Reeling in a Dangerous Climate Zone

Tampa had fared badly, but not so badly as Miami, or the huge chunk of South Florida now covered up by the Gulf and Atlantic Ocean. In the 2030s, large numbers of South Floridians and coastal residents began an exodus northbound and inland. Some stopped in Tampa, staking a claim on the increasingly-expensive higher elevations, but most just kept heading north — past drought-stricken Georgia, through the drying Mid-Atlantic states, and on north, even into Canada. But anywhere they went, there were problems. A big zone from the Mid-Atlantic on south and west was turning into desert. The Mississippi was becoming more and more an intermittent river –practically drying up most summers and then flooding like the dickens during February through April as gigantic storms cycle south out of the Arctic, driving massive swaths of hurricane-force winds before them. The West was even worse, with a large section of four states now experiencing temperatures that make early-century conditions at Death Valley seem tame.

It was tough to find a place of safety and security, much less comfort. Lives were shorter, harder than ever before. People scrambled from place to place. They hoarded food. Most were thin — Renaissance-era voluptuousness was making a comeback. Indoor and underground farming had exploded — saving the lives of millions in the parts of the world that adopted these methods — but the dead oceans, lost farmlands, and increasingly scarce fresh water sources resulted in a cascade of regional and global crises. Needless to say, there were less people. There was basically less of anything living anywhere. All the heating and burning and storming and putrefying had seen to that — the results of two centuries of fossil-fuel emissions that ebbed and flowed but never really stopped growing.

Tampa, like every other city still functioning, had seen her fair share of all this trouble. She was one of the lucky ones — still around, clinging to the higher elevations, still building up her sea walls, making and importing what food she could, finally casting off the corrupt fossil-fuel industries and enabling what economy that remained through all-renewable energy. You couldn’t call it sustainable — that ship had long since sailed. Some day, a big glacial outburst flood somewhere in Antarctica would push seas high enough to devour Tampa whole. Or some day, a giant city-killing storm could scour enough of Tampa from the face of the Earth that the resources and effort necessary to recover would simply become a mountain too high to climb.

Haiyan enhanced

(Under the hothouse-warming scenario that is RCP 8.5, hurricanes will have the potential to substantially exceed the strength of supertyphoons like Haiyan [enhanced satellite image above] which devastated the Philippines. Image source: NOAA.)

Category 6 Hurricane Raptor Sets Sights on Tampa

For Tampa, that day may well be the day after tomorrow, for monster storm Raptor now tore through the blue, green, and purple-black waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Gorging on sea-surface temperatures near 100 F, this enormous stack of lightning-wracked clouds reached 80,000 feet into the atmosphere. It ripped that hot air and moisture up from the surface, casting it in an enormous bellow toward space. In the wall of the resulting funnel, winds howled at 230 miles per hour. Minimum central pressures measured 835 millibars. Wave-height measures from some buoys — those whose sensors hadn’t been slammed into inoperability — were coming in at 100 feet.

A 20-mile-wide swath of these conditions formed an atmospheric axe along the right front quadrant of the storm as it turned toward Tampa. Crossing land, it would produce a 35-foot storm surge topped by 20- to 40-foot breaking waves. In areas not submerged by these churning, toxic waters, the winds would blow as strong as an EF 5 tornado — enough to strip the bark from trees. This combination of conditions would demolish any above-ground structures. The cone of destruction centering at the coast, then ripping 60 to 100 miles inland before the storm finally slaked its rage.

Taller Storms Climate Change

(Increasing global temperatures enlarges the zone in which storms can form, heightening cloud tops. Taller warm-air updrafts more heavily laden with moisture increases storm potential energy. In this way, climate change increases top potential storm intensity. Overshooting cloud top image provided by: Commons/NOAA.)

Similar nasty storms had helped to render the Persian Gulf region uninhabitable. Cairns, Australia had been ripped apart by such a beast five years earlier. The Phillipines, Taiwan, coastal China and Japan were visited ever more frequently by the monster category 4, 5, and 6 systems. And the thing barreling toward Tampa was among the strongest of a deadly new breed that meteorologists were now calling city killers.

The threat was not lost on residents. Those unresponsive to storms and extreme weather didn’t have a very high life expectancy. Roadways leading out of Tampa became packed with traffic. Inbound lanes were designated outbound. Trains, planes, hyperloops, and buses were all packed to the gills with those fleeing the path of Raptor. Lower populations after the migrations and mid-to-late Century crashes, in part, made the flight easier. As did the increased responsiveness. But the size of the storm swath, lower road and track resiliency due to the heat ahead of the storm, the more toxic air blowing off the ocean, and the increased population densities due to suburban abandonment created its own evacuation nightmares.

Higher populations of older persons suffering from increased rates of dementia and frailer organ systems due to toxin accumulation and disease proliferation were also less mobile. Moving this vulnerable group required a major effort on the part of Tampa volunteers and emergency responders. But after suffering decades of increased losses, lives and personal relationships were often considered all-the-more precious as people nostalgically clung to what connections remained or fought a crushing sense of fear and isolation by increasingly working to help others. The great ages of excess that preceded this period had left deep and enduring marks on the psyches of the people who’d survived through those times. And a quiet, defiant, never-again mentality had begun to emerge. In the face of such loss of beauty and safety, people were not only determined to live, they were determined to make the most of what meager lives remained to them by caring. By adding art and color to a world increasingly denuded of beauty. And by, most of all, attempting to preserve life.

The flight of Tampa’s populace from before the storm was, therefore, far more responsive, far more vigorous, than the responses of previous generations. And a vast majority heeded the warnings and left. As a result, the city became an empty shell with only about a hundred thousand die-hards and emergency personnel remaining.

With the big evacuation pulse now running inland and northbound, and with sections of Orlando evacuating while other portions hunkered down, the first outliers of Raptor began to encounter the coast. The green-white froth on the swells grew more vivid — almost looking neon in the light of dawn. Off-shore, an angry black stack of clouds thrown off from Raptor’s outer bands rushed toward shore. Gale-force gusts and a large accompanying swell pummeled Tampa’s seawalls and streets. The down-drafts and the first falling rain drove temperatures lower — into 90s (F). But the sensation was still one of oppressive heat due to the near 100 percent humidity.

The Storm Rushes In

Winds continued to rise and, over the next few hours, hot, driving rain steadily wrapped the Tampa region in a kind of stinking, hissing, steam. The continuously lifted sea walls and dikes never quite kept up with sea level rise. So even the early outliers of Raptor were enough to generate floods of putrid, green waters rushing through the lower-lying streets. Bridges and roads were quickly cut off and those remaining in town, and especially those on the newly dubbed Petersburg Island, were quickly cut off. Those poor souls remaining would have to face Raptor on their own and without the aid and comfort of an increasingly necessary emergency response force.

Current Tampa Bay Topographical Map

(Current Tampa Bay topographical map provided by the US Geological Survey. Under the 8 feet of sea level rise by 2090, most of the green sections would be below sea level. 8 feet of sea level rise plus 35 feet of storm surge plus 30-40 foot breaking waves would generate flooding in event some of the higher elevation areas [orange to brown]. Note that elevations in the map above are listed in meters. Image source: USGS.)

Raptor was moving rather swiftly and by early evening the storm’s eye wall was beginning to approach the coast. Off-shore, a great mound of water like a tsunami ran up from the waters of the shallow Gulf. Still taller waves rose atop it. Some of the rogue peaks stretched 150 feet above the base sea level. The net effect was one of an intense green-white mass taller than the tops of most buildings roaring in from the Ocean. The mass drowned St. Petersburg in a foundering break-water. It roared into Tampa Bay, and there it lifted the remaining ships and boats and hurled them bodily into buildings, across the shore line, and into rapidly flooding streets. Waters rushed into Tampa and on inland — in some places continuing for 10-20 miles before the great pulse of water was finally slaked by elevation.

Southwest winds rose up into a sound like a freight train. Debris was hurled into a great cloud over the flooded city. Everything from bits of sand and dirt, to paint chips, to flinders of bark from the few hardy trees remaining, to as large as vehicles and wall sections was lifted and hurled with lethal force. The churning vortex of 150 to 230 mph winds created a wall of moving air full of this shrapnel. Tampa was engulfed in a loud and angry blackness full of giant waves and flying teeth. In the above-water sections, it was impossible to see more than 10 feet outside clearly. And tens of thousands of structures were quickly ground down to their foundations by the combination of violent water and air.

These conditions covered a region stretching for 20 miles along the coast. With Raptor making landfall near Largo, this swath covered the mouth of Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg, Lealman, and Pinellas Park. With the storm running across the northern bay to make a second landfall about ten miles south and east of Safety Harbor, most of Tampa proper was affected by this zone. The raging storm surge, concentrated by the Bay and pulled along the arch of the storm’s vortex peaked to extreme heights where the bay narrowed into Tampa. And large sections of the nearby city simply drowned.

Then the storm passed inland, dumping torrential rain and cutting an 80 mile long, 20 mile wide swath of destruction through Central Florida. The wall of airborne shrapnel picked up more and more debris as it went. A few travelers on the road were forced to hunker down at a nearby recharging station’s convenience store — which subsequently collapsed. Their ordeal, recorded by portable devices which caught the hours-long images of flying cars, bits of transmission towers and other debris so damaged as to be rendered into an unrecognizable black grit across the sky, became a part of one more ‘new most violent’ storm record. A testimony to the worsening hazards and losses of the time.

As the next day dawned and rescue and disaster relief aircraft entered the storm zone, the epic destruction was more fully revealed. Observers from airplanes pointed out the swirling impressions upon the stripped land. One pilot noted that it looked like a thousand tornadoes had all gotten into a line 20 miles long and then run north and east inland. Another simply stated that it looked like the land had been pounded barren by the vast fists an angry god. Over a million structures had suffered at least moderate damage. Over 200,000 had been blown or knocked by waves down to their foundations. Despite the effective evacuation, the death count was tremendous. More than 35,000 in the Tampa region and points inland immediately lost their lives to the storm. Another 60,000 were estimated to have perished in the aftermath as a failure to restore power in time resulted in exposure to killing heat and near-shore airborne toxins. Considering comparable storm, fire or drought losses in three other US cities that year and the inevitable coming multi-meter sea level rise, government officials decided to add Tampa to the growing list of communities that would never be rebuilt.

Conditions in Context – Global Warming Increases the Top Potential Strength of the Most Powerful Storms

In 2016, Earth’s atmosphere isn’t yet capable of producing a storm like Raptor. But in a not-too-distant future, a 5-degree (Celsius) rise in global temperatures pushed on by 900 parts per million of atmospheric CO2 would result in heightened levels of heat and moisture fueling a great deal of instability. The Earth’s atmosphere would still be taking in huge amounts of heat at its top. The glaciers would likely be unzipping and sending out hordes of icebergs riding a pulse of cold surface water. As ever-more-dominant heat goes to war with dying cold, the amazing temperature differentials spawn equally terrible storms.

Seventy-four years from now, under business as usual warming scenarios, the tropics and subtropics are likely to be hundreds of miles to the north of their current geography. Rising troposphere heights will bring ever-taller thunderstorms. When these storms manage to organize into hurricanes, the results have the potential to be dramatically more powerful than today’s comparatively tame storms. Category 3, 4, and 5 storms would be more frequent. And a new category — 6 – may be needed for storms whose maximum sustained winds exceed a range near 200 miles per hour and whose minimum central pressure hits lower than around 880 mb (a range that starts out a bit more powerful, on balance, than the strongest storms that are capable of forming today).

Links/Statements/Attribution

The above scenario is a climate fiction portrayal of a potential category 6 hurricane impacting Tampa in the 2090s. The scenario incorporates recent scientific studies pointing toward projected increases in hurricane intensity due to human-forced warming of the Earth’s oceans and atmosphere. In particular, the work of Dr. Jeff Masters on emerging Grey Swan hurricanes driven by climate change proved very helpful in providing a groundline basis for potential category 6 hurricane strength and impacts. And it is worth noting that Dr. Masters is highlighting scientific work showing that under business as usual human warming it is possible that storms of never-before-seen intensity will hit the Tampa region.

The storm in this scenario, Raptor, is nearly as strong as the storm produced by one of the climate models Dr. Masters references. This extremely powerful storm hit Tampa in a physical computer model assessing hurricane strength under business as usual warming. The modeled storm achieved 235 mph maximum sustained winds and an 830 mb minimum pressure. It’s worth noting that we have no record of a storm of this strength ever forming on Earth. But, under greenhouse gas loads and temperatures that continued fossil fuel burning will establish by the end of this century, the Earth atmosphere becomes capable of supporting such extreme events.

To this point, it is absolutely also worth referencing Dr. James Hansen’s seminal Storms of My Grandchildren while making the very clear statement that the atmospheric brew we are pumping out will make never before seen monster storms a terrible and dangerous aspect of the world our children and grandchildren will inherit and try to survive in.

Tampa Bay Florida LANCE MODIS

(Tampa, Florida, seen in the center of this July 2016 satellite image, is currently one of many cities facing serious threats posed by human-caused climate change. Whether Tampa or any of these other cities survive depends on how well human beings respond and on how much we lessen the coming damage by reducing fossil fuel emissions now. RCP 8.5 is a bad climate scenario. The only problem is that all we have to do to get there is simply continue to burn oil, gas, and coal. Image source: LANCE MODIS.)

The scenario also takes into account various broader Earth System changes such as potential sea level rise due to melting glaciers, increased disruption of food and water supplies, loss of ocean health and increased anoxia and related water and local air toxicity (due to warming and increased nutrient run-off into the world ocean), model simulations and understandings of the increasing prevalence of extreme land and ocean surface heat and 2 meter humidity (wet bulb temperatures increasing into the lethal range of 35 C+), and expanding drought, disease and extreme weather zones.

This particular event and context follows closely to conditions projected under the IPCC’s business as usual fossil fuel emissions or RCP 8.5 warming scenario. For the purpose of this exercise, I have added climate conditions to the business as usual case that I see as plausible given that level of warming. Some of these additions are based on my own interpretation of scientific efforts that are currently not fully settled. However, I feel the overall portrayal is likely at least relatively accurate given various model projections and how the Earth System appears to have changed in response to past warming events.

It’s worth noting that RCP 8.5 does not assume zero renewable energy adoption. It simply assumes that fossil fuels will remain the dominant source of energy with consumption growing through the end of the 21st Century. As such it results in a catastrophic warming scenario over a less than one century time-frame. But such a warming would be achieved over longer time-frames so long as human carbon emissions are not rather swiftly brought to zero, Earth System feedbacks are strong enough, or elevated atmospheric greenhouse gas levels are not drawn down. Conditions similar to RCP 8.5 at 2100 could be achieved by approximately 500 ppm CO2 by around 2500. A reality that increases the necessary urgency of our current mitigation responses. Lower level warming and emissions scenarios are still dangerous, but do not result in the higher levels of harm evident in RCP 8.5.

Human impacts in the scenario such as loss of lives and lifespan reduction are based on my own understanding of how human beings are likely to adapt to such situations and how multiplied environmental stresses are likely to start to overwhelm human population growth in net by middle-to-end Century under the RCP 8.5 scenario. The writing above assumes that the civil system surrounding Tampa and this section of the United States remains at least partially intact due to cooperative effort on the part of individuals living in society at the time. Such a response is hopeful, but it is not guaranteed.

Leave a comment

313 Comments

  1. Brian

     /  July 29, 2016

    I keep saying this to people. Hotter temps->severe droughts->crop failure->food shortages->famine. All the stuff about sea level rise is irrelevant. We’re going to lose the ability to produce food long before sea level rise becomes an issue.

    Reply
    • The above scenario includes a drop in global population to approx 5 billion by 2090 due to impacts to food and water supplies, increasing environmental toxicity, increased heat deaths, increased extreme weather related mortality, human habitat loss, and other various support system losses. Adaptive responses in this scenario include some application of vertical farming, late transition to renewables, and a great reduction in meat consumption to optimize remaining aerable land use.

      You may keep saying ‘this’ to people. But your view is obviously greatly oversimplified. To this point, you need to understand given even present slow population growth it would take very severe famines to pull the curve even below net growth. Also, you have to cut net global food production by 60 percent or more to hit such high famine potentials when you realize that global industrial meat would become non economical and preferences would shift from inefficiently feeding livestock to efficiently feeding people. 5 C warming takes down approx 20 percent grain production in current models. I assume increased losses due to sea level rise, and extreme weather not currently modeled. In addition, I assume a 50-70 percent loss of ocean food production at 5 C due to combined stratification, acidification, and the last result impacts of overfishing.

      8 foot SLR may be slow or fast considering the melt rate doubling times. Right now, it seems a decent estimate considering what we know.

      Human access to high technology will remain as long as civilization retains enough organization to sustain advanced industry. This scenario assumes what I call a cooperative collapse.

      Reply
    • I used to believe this too, but the sea level rise picture turned out to be faster responding and more nuanced than I initially realised.

      Consider that portions of Florida are already now experiencing “nuisance flooding” from what are essentially regular high tides, yet the US population at large is nowhere near experiencing categorical failure of the food production system yet.

      In some cases, it’s clear to me that sea level rise actually can be abrupt and substantial enough to register as a concern – not reassuring as it’s one of several things I originally discounted myself as a key concern to include.

      One also has to consider multiple interconnections, for example a major amount of damage from sea level rise may have a disproportionate impact on food security, not just in terms of any direct damage to production but also arising from the diminished purchasing power of the adversely affected section of the population…

      Reply
    • Kalypso

       /  July 29, 2016

      Coastal storms erode natural defenses like marine wetlands that buffer the coast. Marine based storms like hurricanes can speed up erosion and leave an area more susceptible to sea level rise than it otherwise would be. Sea level rise could arguably be the death knell for civilization as far as climate change impacts go. The cities at the heart of our culture, historical heritage, and economy are coastal cities like Boston and New York. Also, these coastal cities have high population densities. Mass migration of people from these cities into surrounding areas will overwhelm social institutions and infrastructure.

      Reply
      • See the ‘sand’ link that’s down the tread list:

        – Global sand supplies are running low, sparking conflict and threatening ecosystems

        “… we are stripping riverbeds, floodplains and beaches.”

        Reply
  2. Here in HAWAII we’re cleaning up after tropical storm Darby. Lots of brown water advisories.

    http://khon2.com/2016/07/25/fort-street-mall-satellite-city-hall-temporarily-closed-due-to-flooding/

    In the midst of a Hepatitis A outbreak.

    http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2016/07/hawaii-hep-a-outbreak-nears-100-source-a-mystery/

    Oh, and in between native Hawaiian standards, the elderly man next to me on the bus is singing, ‘The Way We Were.’

    Reply
  3. Erik

     /  July 29, 2016

    According to a recent paper by James Hansen, there’s evidence that during the previous interglacial period, at temps less than 1C above today’s, there were extreme storms which moved boulders 10 times the size that current storms move.

    Anyone for category 7 hurricanes?

    Reply
  4. Jack Arnold

     /  July 29, 2016

    Robert, I think you are incredibly optimistic with your fictional story.

    Perhaps if you had called it, Hothouse 2030….

    Reply
    • 5 C warming by 2030? Very unlikely, Jack.

      Reply
    • To get a transient climate response of 5 C by that time you need a forcing on the order of 1,350 CO2e. In a realistic near worst case, we’ll hit 2 C by 2030 to 2040.

      Reply
      • Kalypso

         /  July 29, 2016

        Let’s say we hit 2 C by 2030, wouldn’t the increase of cat 4 and 5 hurricanes be enough to cause considerable damage? The cat 6 scenario sounds plausible in the future given that much warming occurs, but we’ve already seen hurricanes with 200 mph winds. Maybe we don’t need that much warming to get these stronger hurricanes? It’s looking like James Hansen is right about the boulder moving super storms.

        Reply
        • On average, top storm strength has been increasing by 2.2 mph per decade. The model studies coming out shows a clear strong storm frequency signal by end Century under BAU such that the most power hurricanes could mimick the above scenario.

          To be clear, this scenario is specifically focused on hurricanes and not other storms that, in my view, are likely to result from Greenland and Antarctic glacial melt ramp up. Such a melt based storm scenario is likely to come into play in the range of 1-2.5 C warming. We do have some model potentials for such storms. But those systems would spread their energies over a much larger area. These are the storms Hansen references in his more recent paper. But at this time it is a bit less clear how those storms may take shape. Hurricanes are easier to produce scenarios for due to the fact that we observe them now and we have a pretty well established theory and trend.

      • Kalypso

         /  July 29, 2016

        Another question I have is what happens if we get a Patricia strength storm with a track bringing it into a head on collision with Miami? From what I understand the state of Florida covers the flood insurance for coastal areas. Hundreds of billions of dollars are concentrated in real estate in the Miami area. Would this scenario bankrupt the state of Florida? Would the Federal government have to bail out Florida, so to speak? I ask because it seems that climate change already has the ability to severely impact the economy.

        Reply
        • A storm at Patricia’s top strength making landfall over Miami would have the potential for Katrina range economic impacts. In the 10-20 year timeframe, Florida and the US have the resources to bounce back. At the latter portion of this period, it becomes more likely that sections of Miami — particularly along Miami Beach — would be abandoned due to combined storm impacts and sea level rise in such a scenario.

          My opinion is that migration pressure in South Florida starts to become a widespread issue by the 2030s due to sea level rise and potential storm influence.

        • It’s very interesting that you mention Miami and all the costal real estate that will be threatened by sea level rise. On Netflix, “CSI Miami” has a lot of aerial views of big structures essentially on water’s edge. What exactly are these cities supposed to do when these waters rise? Even a few feet could spell disaster to a considerable number of expensive property. So to those that have Netflix, watch a few episodes and see what Miami looks like now because it won’t look like that in the near future. Also to Robert, nicely written piece on near future dystopia.

  5. Reply
  6. Other news — NA – CA/NV Sierras – Lake Tahoe
    -mercurynews.com/drought/ci_30181914/lake-tahoe-warmest-water-temp

    Lake Tahoe: Warmest water temperatures ever recorded threaten famed clarity, new study shows

    Lake Tahoe’s average surface temperature last year was the warmest ever recorded, the latest evidence that climate change is altering California’s iconic Sierra Nevada landmark.

    In a report released Thursday by UC Davis, scientists said that the lake’s waters in the past four years have been warming at 15 times their historic average.

    The air temperature at the lake is becoming steadily hotter too. The winter of 2014-15 saw just 24 days where the average temperature dropped below freezing at the lake, according to the report, and only 6 percent of last year’s precipitation fell as snow — both all-time lows.
    The ominous evidence threatens efforts in recent years to improve Lake Tahoe’s famed blue clarity by reducing pollution. That’s because the warming water will likely result in more algae growth, silt and invasive species, researchers said.

    Reply
  7. – Coastal California – Big Sur – July 2016

    CAL FIRE PIO Berlant Verified account ‏@CALFIRE_PIO 2h2 hours ago

    Fire departments from across CA working side by side fighting the nearly 30,000 acre #SoberanesFire in Monterey Co

    Reply
    • CALFIRE/Pebble Beach ‏@CALFIRE_PBCSD 2h2 hours ago

      Soberanes Fire Public Information Map 07/28/16

      Reply
  8. Greg

     /  July 29, 2016

    Robert, a mesmerizing narrative. Wow. Just the kind of storytelling that your genius lends itself to. Also, I have no idea how you retain so many facts or access them so quickly in your responses to comments but I am in awe. When I posted the grey swan storm piece from Masters I thought it maybe worthy of your attention and thought you would probably not feel you could add to Masters work but I’m eating that humble pie –you never fail to surprise. You’ve taken some otherwise dry (no pun intended) modeling work and woven such a compelling visual scenario, one that punches in the gut. I hope you do more such ‘fictional’ pieces as they serve as guideposts for a hell we must avoid.

    Reply
  9. Greg

     /  July 29, 2016

    Here’s a graph to have some fun with for us Americans. Hate to see this one for Australia or India or Africa… If we stick to a business-as-usual trajectory, in some of our lifetimes, and certainly that of our children, people in Chicago—and all of Illinois—will experience summers as hot as India today. Washington, DC will be even hotter than India. The hottest states like Texas, Mississippi and Florida will see hotter summers than Sudan today. Maine, the coldest state in the continental U.S., will continue being the coldest but will be hotter than Mexico’s summers.

    Reply
  10. Greg

     /  July 29, 2016

    Hopefully we see these kinds of graphs continue for coal, oil and gas:

    Reply
  11. Reply
  12. redskylite

     /  July 29, 2016

    Robert, many thanks for that excellent piece of writing in your pleasing and easy to read style, and a glimpse of where we may be and might expect in 70 or so years ahead, or in other words when many of today’s offspring are still around but aging. Science brought to life. Many mind boggling adaptions will be needed to survive this future with it’s mighty storms, with food and shelter problems. And perhaps coastal dwellers need to get used to the smell of rotten eggs sooner than later. . . .

    “They found evidence of hydrogen sulfide and water and airborne toxins at concerning levels. The report noted that the amount of hydrogen sulfide found may “be intolerable for individuals with respiratory conditions and asthmatics.” 

    Hydrogen sulfide is the cause of the “rotten egg” smell of decomposing algae and seaweed. Breathing it in can irritate the eyes, nose or throat. At high levels, it can cause headaches, poor memory, fatigue and balance problems.
    “Our takeaway is the people need to stay away from areas where blue-green algae has accumulated,”

    https://weather.com/science/environment/news/florida-martin-county-algae-toxic-air-particles-marina-rio

    Reply
  13. – The shock wave — I post this because it shows the power of exploding methane. This one was likely in a fairly enclosed space though.

    The Radio Poland main link has lots of info/graphics/ads and is slow to load — so this twitter is a reference link.

    Polish miner dies in methane explosion
    thenews.pl – ‎16 hours ago‎

    Based on a preliminary investigation, authorities have concluded that the man died as a result of shock waves following an explosion of methane in the shaft of the mine. Contact with the 49-year-old miner was lost after the explosion. In order to get …

    Reply
  14. – Hydrogen sulfide — This shouldn’t surprise us:

    Tests Reveal Florida’s Toxic Algae is Threatening Not Only The Water Quality but Also the Air

    Toxins from the blue-green algae blooms choking Florida waterways have now been found in the air, as well, officials say.

    Tests conducted by authorities in Martin County revealed that the toxin microcystin is in the air at sites along the St. Lucie River, which is coated with thick clumps of algae blooms. The blooms themselves contain toxic levels “I never dreamed we’d see,” county ecosystem manager Deborah Drum told the TC Palm.

    According to the report, the air was tested for hydrogen sulfide, species of algae, levels of toxin present and particles that could be inhaled. Water quality samples were also collected at two sites for algae species and toxin levels.

    They found evidence of hydrogen sulfide and water and airborne toxins at concerning levels. The report noted that the amount of hydrogen sulfide found may “be intolerable for individuals with respiratory conditions and asthmatics.”

    https://weather.com/science/environment/news/florida-martin-county-algae-toxic-air-particles-marina-rio

    Reply
    • how would a canfield ocean develop?

      Reply
      • wili

         /  July 29, 2016

        Greenland melts fast enough that the fresh water in the North Atlantic shuts down the Gulf Stream/AMOC. Now no oxygen gets into the deep waters and most aquatic life dies. What doesn’t die are microbes that ‘breath’ forms of sulfur rather than oxygen (sulfate-reducing bacteria https://www.google.com/search?q=hydrogen+sulfide+bacteria&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8). Instead of ‘breathing out’ CO2, they exude hydrogen sulfide, one of the deadliest gaseous poisons (and very bad smelling–it’s what gives rotten eggs their stink). Clouds of this stuff would kill pretty much anything they envelop (and also turn the sky green, hence the name of Peter Ward’s book on the subject: “Under a Green Sky”).

        Reply
      • So there are generally three ocean states in paleoclimate times when life has existed on Earth:

        1. Mixed, oxygen rich ocean
        2. Stratified, oxygen poor ocean
        3. Canfield/anoxic ocean

        Mixed oceans tend to occur so long as the Earth remains glaciated and support the most ocean life. Stratified oceans tend to occur as the Earth warms and large melt pulses from glaciers combine with increased heavy rainfall run off from land to put a fresh water lid on the ocean. Fresh water is lighter than salty water. It floats at the surface and prevents mixing. This lowers ocean oxygen content and results in a far less healthy ocean. As a result, hydrogen sulfide producing organisms began to proliferate in the bottom zone and in areas where mixing is poorest or run off creates a high nutrient flow to produce algae blooms and dead zones. A stratified ocean also loses oxygen due to warming since less oxygen can be held in warmer waters. Stratified oceans support less advanced life due to low oxygen and hydrogen sulfide production starting to take up marginal and deep ocean regions. Mass extinction of some sea life can result.

        The Canfield Ocean occurs during hothouse states and after a stratified ocean has taken hold. High nutrient run-off, high heat, stagnant airs, and a reversal and great weakening of bottom water formation all contribute. But the primary driver is warming in the range of 8-12 C above 1880s. A Canfield Ocean is a killing machine due to both anoxic conditions becoming nearly unbiquitous and due to hydrogen sulfide production being large enough to not just impact isolated coastal zones, but, it is theorized, the larger atmosphere to the point that even ozone may be impacted and land forms are greatly effected by toxins spewing from water sources (hydrogen sulfide being the chief agent).

        Peter Ward theorized that the Canfield Ocean state was the primary killing mechanism during the Permian extinction. I tend to agree.

        It is worth noting that One does not have to reach a Canfield Ocean stare to see increases in ocean hydrogen sulfide production. We would tend to see this on a sliding upward scale as oceans transitioned from mixed to stratified, which is what is starting to happen now. In addition, humans exaggerate the problem by pumping huge volumes of nutrients into rivers and oceans due to how our development results in increased erosion, due to nitrogen fallout from fossil fuel burning which fertile soil microbial growth in the ocean, and due to farm based fertilizers flushing down stream and into oceans which helps to generate dead zones.

        It’s the combination of warming and human water management and farming impacts that are producing the nasty algae blooms we see in Florida. This is not a Canfield Ocean environment. But it does provide a tiny window into that state. As warming continues, these kinds of conditions will grow more widespread. This is true even if we fix the farm runoff problem, a mitigation that will slow down the growth of anoxic waters but will not prevent it so long as warming continues.

        I reference Peter Ward with some of my own added analysis here: https://robertscribbler.com/2014/01/21/awakening-the-horrors-of-the-ancient-hothouse-hydrogen-sulfide-in-the-worlds-warming-oceans/

        Reply
    • Hi dt-

      I hadn’t heard about airborne toxins before. It seems obvious in retrospect. Living inland, on high ground, is looking better and better.

      Will things get a little better, for a short while, after this El Nino year passes? Or has Polar Amplification totally taken over the climate?

      So, this is the threat from one toxin. How many of these toxins do we have to worry about?

      We keep getting nasty surprises, and the ecological effects of global warming seem to be occurring first, with temperature effects like those on the bark beetle occurring with less than 1 degree C of warming. The algae blooms are getting very bad very quickly, I think.

      Reply
  15. Greg

     /  July 29, 2016

    2090? No need to wait. An image of Hurricane Andrew:

    Reply
    • A note: The destruction here was made much worse by pre Andrew weak and corrupt building codes.

      Reply
  16. Greg

     /  July 29, 2016

    A future Cat 6 on any one of these historic paths:

    Reply
  17. PNW — More algae blooms…

    NASA Satellite Spots More Green Water, This Time in Washington State

    Green-hued water has been appeared across the nation from Florida to Colorado, but this time a bloom has been spotted in Washington state.

    An image captured by NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) shows a phytoplankton bloom stretching across Hood Canal, a narrow inlet in the Puget Sound in Washington.

    A particularly large bloom of the phytoplankton was spotted in Hood Canal in July and August 2007, according to NASA. This month’s bloom is expected to coincide with oyster spawning in the canal.

    “We don’t believe there will be a problem with the spawn and the bloom,” King told NASA. “We are watching closely.”

    Reply
  18. Reply
  19. Cate

     /  July 29, 2016

    Robert, this is so compelling—and chilling. But not only that, for anyone following your blog, it is also completely plausible and comprehensible. This is not science fiction! You’ve put all the ducks in a row and created a terrifyingly realistic scenario of BAU, some decades on—when our grandchildren will be thinking of nothing but their own grandchildren’s future on this planet.

    Reply
  20. June

     /  July 29, 2016

    A Fracking Pipeline Puts Tim Kaine’s Fossil Fuel Industry Ties to the Test

    https://theintercept.com/2016/07/28/a-fracking-pipeline-puts-tim-kaines-fossil-fuel-industry-ties-to-the-test/

    Reply
  21. Reply
    • – Coastal mountains — The coastal mountains North America:

      Huge wildfire forces evacuations near Big Sur coastline in California

      The blaze spanning 42 square miles has destroyed 34 homes, forced the evacuation of 350 properties and put at least 2,000 buildings at risk

      Firefighters struggled on Thursday to get the upper hand on a huge wildfire along northern California’s picturesque Big Sur coastline, where anxious residents awaited word on their homes and popular parks and trails closed at the height of tourist season.

      The blaze spanning 42 square miles has destroyed 34 homes, forced the evacuation of 350 properties and put at least 2,000 buildings at risk. A 35-year-old father of two girls was also killed this week when the bulldozer he was operating rolled over on the fire lines.

      The California department of forestry and fire protection estimated it would take until the end of August to extinguish a blaze that also led to the rescue of 11 hikers, some of whom authorities suspected of tending to an illegal marijuana patch of 900 plants. No arrests were made.
      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/28/big-sure-wildfire-california-coastline?utm_term=Autofeed&CMP=twt_b-gdnnews#link_time=1469754371

      Reply
  22. This looks good. Will look closer, later.

    Reply
    • – There is favorite saying of mine by an Indigenous People’s chief, in the context of drinking (boozing):
      ” Remember your sorrows.”

      – Our sorrows are part of us. Be proud of one’s self — and engage life.
      DT

      Reply
  23. Reply
  24. – Los Alamos National Laboratory

    Turmoil at the Top of the World
    The Arctic tundra is being drained and dried by the warming climate.

    Subsurface ice wedges in Arctic permafrost create a distinct topography in the tundra that is disrupted when the ice wedges melt. Steadily rising average annual temperatures aren’t the only cause of ice-wedge melting; even brief periods of unusual warmth, such as what’s now regularly occurring in a single summer, can cause profound and irreversible ice-wedge degradation. The result is a draining and drying effect on the tundra, which can change how essential elements, like carbon and nitrogen, cycle through the system.

    – The Arctic tundra has a signature pattern of polygons due to complex interactions between soil and water—interactions that are being disrupted by the warming climate

    Reply
  25. – More on sand… a very important and elementary part of many ecosystems…

    Reply
    • “According to the United Nations Environment Program, in 2012 alone the world used enough concrete to build a wall 89 feet high and 89 feet wide around the Equator. From 2011 to 2013, China used more cement than the United States used in the entire 20th century.

      To build those cities, people are pulling untold amounts of sand out of the ground. Usable sand is a finite resource. Desert sand, shaped more by wind than by water, generally doesn’t work for construction. To get the sand we need, we are stripping riverbeds, floodplains and beaches.”

      Reply
      • Trump’s real estate scams/casinos, et al. require huge amounts of sand.
        We know how much FF generated heat is required to make, and build with, concrete.

        Reply
        • His (Trump) whining macho white ‘working’ redneck backers are big on anything that uses cement.
          Just as they are quite willing to drive their big pickups to some distant casino where ‘The House’ always wins — and lose a hefty portion of their paychecks.
          They blame anyone else for their failures.
          Most have guns, drive aggressively, smoke lethal cigarettes, drink bad tasting ice-cold beer, and whine like babies if any of the above has limits.
          I see them everyday.

      • Kalypso

         /  July 29, 2016

        Lovely. So we’re shooting ourselves in the foot when it comes to climate change induced sea level rise. Taking out natural ecosystems, for their sand, that would otherwise act as buffers to flooding.

        Reply
        • That’s correct — we use much of it to build concrete edifices in vulnerable seaside/flood plain locations.

          Plus these extreme deluges/flood events quickly bring down tons, or cubic meters, of topsoil and similar non-sand material.
          Let them try to build a protective berm with loess.

  26. climatehawk1

     /  July 29, 2016

    Now we’re talking!

    “Forget tornadoes. Rain bombs are coming for your town.” from Eric Roston at Bloomberg. Subhead: “Climate change is weaponizing the atmosphere.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-29/forget-tornadoes-rain-bombs-are-coming-for-your-town

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  July 29, 2016

      “When the faucet really flips on, air can blast out of the sky at more than 115 miles per hour. It deflects off the ground and pushes winds outward, at or near tornado strength. The Phoenix event below was actually a “macroburst,”

      Reply
      • Holy shit.

        Reply
      • We had a microburst, almost entirely sans rain, here last Saturday night. Power out for 36 hours, tree downed across driveway. Monday was chainsaw day in this area. I was actually surprised more trees weren’t taken out–winds were very intense.

        Can’t say it’s unusual for this area–we’ve had them before. But I’d hate to see an uptick in frequency.

        Reply
  27. Greg

     /  July 29, 2016

    A strong symbol and real shift. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the foundation divesting from the fossil-fuel industry it helped create, took its first direct stake in a renewable energy company in a move meant to bolster the fight against climate change.

    The New York City-based fund, founded in 1940 with the profits of Standard Oil Co., provided $10 million to Mainstream Renewable Power Ltd. to expand renewable energy in Africa. The investment was part of an $117.5 million funding round announced last month that included International Finance Corp. and other backers. The investment will help finance as much as $1.9 billion for green energy on the continent.

    “The opportunity is huge and for us it’s just absolutely in the sweet spot of what we’re trying to do with our impact investing,” Stephen Heintz, president of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, said in a telephone interview from New York. “It’s completely consistent and advances our philanthropic mission, but does so while supporting market-rate investment and business solutions to climate change.”

    The Rockefeller investment in the Lekela Power platform, a joint venture between Mainstream and Actis LLP founded in 2015, will help install more than 1.3 gigawatts of renewable electricity across Africa by 2018. Countries targeted by the initiative include South Africa, Ghana, Egypt and Senegal.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-27/rockefeller-fund-divesting-from-oil-takes-first-renewables-stake

    Reply
  28. Greg

     /  July 29, 2016

    There is a huge amount of waste throughout the world with heat generated by industrial processes in the 100-300 degrees C range and the reason it’s wasted is because it’s no longer hot enough to turn a turbine, or be useful in any other application. A startup has a solution and is getting big backing. Basically millions of extremely tiny antennae are created on a surface to capture the heat and channel it as electrons for electricity.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/bluesky/originals/ct-redwave-raises-5-5-million-series-b-bsi-20160721-story.html?platform=hootsuite

    Reply
  29. Greg

     /  July 29, 2016

    U.S. Press Coverage of the Climate Crisis: A Damning Betrayal of Public Trust By Ross Gelbspan ” A few years ago I asked a top editor at CNN why, given the increasing proportion of news budgets dedicated to extreme weather, they did not make this (climate) connection. He told me, “We did. Once.” It triggered a barrage of complaints from the Global Climate Coalition at the top executives at CNN. (The GCC was the main lobby group opposing action on global warming.) They argued that you can’t attribute any one extreme event to climate change — just as you can not attribute any one case of lung cancer to smoking. But even though the connection has been accepted as a given by mainstream science, nevertheless the industry intimidated CNN into dropping this connection from its coverage.”
    http://www.heatisonline.org/contentserver/objecthandlers/index.cfm?id=7743&method=full

    Reply
  30. Greg

     /  July 29, 2016

    Large hail driven by strong winds damaged virtually every home in a Wyoming town Wednesday evening, prompting help from the Wyoming National Guard.The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reported around 500 homes were damaged in the town of Pine Bluffs, about 40 miles east of Cheyenne near the Nebraska state line.

    Reply
  31. Greg

     /  July 29, 2016

    The troposphere is crapping on us:

    Reply
  32. Hi Robert-

    Great “thought experiment” article. Very well researched and thought out. I also feel that the time scale might be too long, though. The IPCC estimates come from a very conservative organization, very subject to political and energy corporation influence due to the way the panel members are appointed and the unanimous consent rule, as you know and have written about many times.

    A lot depends on what the methane hydrates do, and the seafloor gas of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. A lot depends, of course, on what we do – how aggressively we pursue clean energy and carbon negative energy production.

    My understanding is that a large methane release could take us to these 2090 conditions almost immediately, but to keep us there as the methane oxidizes amplifying feedbacks and atmospheric chemistry effects would have to kick in – as they would almost certainly do.

    I wonder what effect really large methane releases would have on hurricanes?

    Nobody that I know of is modeling really massive sudden releases of methane, or publishing their results if they are doing this modeling. Shouldn’t somebody at least be modeling these worst case scenarios? Just modeling it wouldn’t make it real, of course.

    Reply
    • All future scenarios have a degree of uncertainty added in. This particular exploration included an approx 100 ppm CO2 carbon dioxide feedback from the environment and an 80 ppm CO2e feedback from methane. Atmospheric methane in this case is approx 3,000 ppb due to FF burning other human issues and feedbacks. The scenario also includes the short atmospheric lifetime of methane. By the time of the scenario in which methane use from industry has dropped off, the annual addition from natural and feedback sources is in the range of 1 GT per year or (100 GT per Century) which is triple current. Many would not call this estimate conservative.

      Note that 900 ppm CO2 alone does not fully account for 5 C warming by 2090 under ECS. The more typical range would be closer to 4.2 C. Added methane in large part drives the additional 0.8 C.

      Reply
      • Speaking of Methane, Robert, LAST MESSAGES posted on YouTube a strange phenomenon coming out of the Yamal Peninsula and perhaps other places in Siberia… the ground has become FLEXIBLE due to methane bubbles caused by melting permafrost, because the temps up there are above 80F (26C).

        Looks like the positive feedbacks are coming in much faster than expected!

        Reply
    • “I wonder what effect really large methane releases would have on hurricanes?

      “Nobody that I know of is modeling really massive sudden releases of methane, or publishing their results if they are doing this modeling. Shouldn’t somebody at least be modeling these worst case scenarios? Just modeling it wouldn’t make it real, of course.”

      There’s a nice sci-fi novel about this, “Mother of Storms” by Robert Barnes. It concerns a catastrophic release due to deliberate nuking of the hydrates. The result is permanent, massive hurricanes wandering about the Atlantic and Pacific.

      Reply
  33. Colorado Bob

     /  July 29, 2016

    Here we go again –

    Aqua/MODIS
    2016/210
    07/28/2016
    20:55 UTC

    Fires in northern Canada

    Reply
  34. wili

     /  July 29, 2016

    He can say some pretty clever things, but basically, he’s a crypto-denialist.

    Reply
  35. This was a knockout scenario, Robert, thanks. I just finished Mark Lynas’ “Six Degrees”, so it fit right in.

    Reply
    • Cheers plenum. It’s a lot of work trying to connect the dots and add in likely environmental changes. This one took three days of pretty hard crunching and writing to get it in decent form. And that’s with a lot of the research already at hand.

      It’s worth noting that the cooperative collapse scenario that I’m using also implies a general response to manage related human infrastructure hazards. This includes moving nuke plants away from coastlines and transport of at least a good portion of the hazardous materials. Of course, we do assume added environmental toxins from various sources due to disruption — which is included in the reduced life expectancy statements above.

      Reply
      • Shawn Redmond

         /  July 30, 2016

        “This includes moving nuke plants away from coastlines and transport of at least a good portion of the hazardous materials.” This is something that should probably worry us a lot more. My understanding of it, from what I’ve read, it takes 5 to 6 decades to decommission a nuclear power plant. If this is accurate pitter patter lets get at her.

        Reply
  36. Colorado Bob

     /  July 29, 2016

    I’m re-posting this ………….

    An excellent indepth article in Nature –

    180,000 forgotten photos reveal the future of Greenland’s ice

    To tell whether the island’s glacial cap will melt away any time soon, researchers are poring over old pictures and drawings for clues to its past behaviour.

    Danish geologist Lauge Koch (centre) and colleagues on the open-cockpit Heinkel plane that his team used to survey East Greenland in 1932.
    ( Wearing polar bear flying suits )

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 29, 2016

      Algae are melting away the Greenland ice sheet

      Researchers are fanning out across the Greenland ice sheet this month to explore a crucial, but overlooked, influence on its future: red, green and brown-coloured algal blooms. These darken the snow and ice, causing it to absorb more sunlight and melt faster.

      The £3-million (US$4-million) Black and Bloom project aims to measure how algae are changing how much sunlight Greenland’s ice sheet bounces back into space. “We want to get a handle on just how much of the darkness is due to microbes and how much to other physical factors”, such as soot or mineral dust, says Martyn Tranter, a biogeochemist at the University of Bristol, UK, and the project’s principal investigator.

      Algae that live on snow and ice produce a kaleidoscope of colours.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  July 29, 2016

        Nature | News
        Sharing

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        Algae are melting away the Greenland ice sheet

        ‘Black and Bloom’ project explores how microorganisms help to determine the pace of Arctic melting.

        Alexandra Witze

        15 July 2016
        Article tools

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        Jason Edwards/NGC

        Algae that live on snow and ice produce a kaleidoscope of colours.

        Researchers are fanning out across the Greenland ice sheet this month to explore a crucial, but overlooked, influence on its future: red, green and brown-coloured algal blooms. These darken the snow and ice, causing it to absorb more sunlight and melt faster.

        The £3-million (US$4-million) Black and Bloom project aims to measure how algae are changing how much sunlight Greenland’s ice sheet bounces back into space. “We want to get a handle on just how much of the darkness is due to microbes and how much to other physical factors”, such as soot or mineral dust, says Martyn Tranter, a biogeochemist at the University of Bristol, UK, and the project’s principal investigator.

        Team scientists arrived near Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, this week for 6 weeks of observations. The work will continue for two more summers, exploring different parts of the ice sheet. Ultimately, the scientists hope to develop the first deep understanding of how biological processes affect Greenland’s reflectivity.
        Related stories

        Cold truths at the top of the world
        NASA launches mission to Greenland
        Rediscovered photos reveal Greenland’s glacier history

        More related stories

        From these results, climate modellers should be able to improve their estimates of how the ice sheet — which contains enough water to raise sea levels by seven metres — is likely to melt in the coming decades. The past several years, as well as the current one, have seen temperature and melting records set across Greenland.

        Black and Bloom will provide “a one-of-a-kind dataset” to help researchers better understand Greenland’s future, says Marco Tedesco, a geophysicist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York.

        Tranter adds that the work could also affect predictions of water supplies in other areas, such as the Himalayas, where algal blooms dot water-producing glaciers.
        Summer party

        For decades, most studies on Greenland microbiology focused on cryoconite holes, small pits on the surface of the ice sheet that are filled with dark organic matter and ice-adapted algae. But enormous blooms of photosynthetic algae also cover the snow-strewn ice sheet every summer1. Some, such as Chlamydomonas nivalis, spread first as greenish blooms as they begin to photosynthesize, and then turn a reddish colour as they produce carotenoid pigments to protect themselves from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

        “They’re extremely lazy algae — they sleep for nine months and then wake up and have a party,” says team member Liane Benning, a biogeochemist at the University of Leeds, UK, and the GeoForschungsZentrum research centre in Potsdam, Germany.

        The algae creates vast, colourful fields of what is popularly known as ‘watermelon snow’. Last month in Nature Communications, Benning and her team reported sampling watermelon snow at glaciers across the Arctic2. They found 6 types of algae living at 40 red-snow sites in Norway, Sweden, Greenland and Iceland. By comparing the optical properties of red snow to clean snow, they estimated that algal blooms could reduce reflectivity by 13% over the melting season. “Wherever we look, the impact is quite dramatic,” Benning says.

        Reply
  37. Colorado Bob

     /  July 29, 2016

    Sorry bad editing.

    Reply
  38. Eastern Greenland

    Reply
  39. wili

     /  July 29, 2016

    Is the beginning of this great piece a piece out of an upcoming novel by any chance? If so, when might we see more?

    I think that (besides keeping track of the disasters unfolding before us, as you do so well) one of the other most important intellectual and creative tasks before us is to start trying to imagine ourselves into some varieties of the futures we have now laid out for ourselves. This looks like it could be a good start on such a project!

    Reply
  40. – Lots going on – NA

    Reply
  41. PNW – Mt. Saint Helens July 2016

    Reply
  42. Vic

     /  July 29, 2016

    CSIRO researchers extracted ice bubbles in pre-industrial polar ice to measure the planet’s sensitivity to changes in temperature.

    They found that for every degree Celsius of global temperature rise, the equivalent of 20 parts per million less CO2 is stored by the land biosphere.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-29/global-warming-reduces-earth-co2-absorption-arctic-study/7673032

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 29, 2016

      The system is being over run, the deniers see Mother Earth as punching bag, as rape victim.

      That this 200 year march to now will go on forever. They have no clue of the cost of “Our fair sister” has paid, so we can drive ever bigger pickup trucks.

      Reply
    • Griffin

       /  July 29, 2016

      Interesting article but I would be very cautious with using this past data as any indicator of potential future warming.
      The biosphere of today in which these processes interact is radically different from that of the past. For instance, what was the pattern and strength of oceanic overturning currents then compared to now? The rate of oceanic heat uptake has profound ramifications for the rate of atmospheric temp rises as well as carbon sequestration. Then there is also the land mass differences to account for. Forest density, land use and farming practices and the effects of air pollution on the photosynthesis process. All of these things and more would be different so even if the rate of our emissions were to stabilize, we would have a hard time leaning on past data as a good indicator for expected carbon sequestration by our host.
      I am only saying this because they mentioned “giving global planners something to work with”.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  July 29, 2016

        Griffin and Greg –

        Welcome to the bonfire . We’ve been plowing this ground for years . Please don’t lecture us, or scold us. We’ve been plowing this ground for years

        Reply
        • Greg

           /  July 29, 2016

          Oh dear CB. Did I lecture you or scold? Where?

  43. Colorado Bob

     /  July 29, 2016

    When I was drilling on the “Over thrust belt” all those years ago , I knew it is was screwing the Earth. It made me feel big, she’s so big I’m so small. It gave me power,

    Men are like that.

    Men have over come her , she lays helpless before us.

    Reply
    • Kalypso

       /  July 29, 2016

      Oh, She’s not helpless as climate change shows. She’s pissed. The ultimate negative feedback cycle, if we continue to burn fossil fuels, will be the collapse of civilization. Nature’s response to increasing concentrations of pollution will be an increase in extreme weather events, sea level rise, and increased disease which will end civilization which is the source of those emissions. We’re transforming the life giving systems of the Earth into death dealing ones. After civilization is gone the Earth will begin the long road to recovery over thousands of years.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  July 30, 2016

        But large Ford pickup sales will fall in Texas ?

        Reply
      • From our (homo sap’s) point of view, the collapse of civilization might be the penultimate negative feedback – our extinction might be the ultimate. Not expecting, just saying, it’s in the cards unless we smarten up!

        Reply
  44. Colorado Bob

     /  July 29, 2016

    It’s rape, not progress.

    Reply
  45. Colorado Bob

     /  July 29, 2016

    Let’s all take a breath –

    J.J Cale / Call Me The Breeze

    Reply
  46. abeing

     /  July 29, 2016

    Hi Robert, thanks for your extraordinary dedication to keeping the rest of us updated on the terrifyingly rapid progression of climate change. I’m either reading about it or recovering from reading about it. We’re in Querétaro, Mexico; three hours northwest of Mexico City. Querétaro is in the central plateau at just under 6000 feet. Rainy season started early this year and there has been more rain than I have ever seen in the nine years I’ve lived in Mexico. The small mountains (extinct volcanoes) ringing the city are unusually green this summer. The few articles I’ve been able to find on global warming in Mexico indicate future drought but I wonder if that prediction ignores the strong storms that buffet both of our coasts and inevitably cause rain in the interior. Mexico is a narrow land mass and whatever is happening on the coasts affects us here. What do you think?

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 30, 2016

      As the system nears a tipping point, it moves to the extremes.

      Reply
  47. View from above:

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  July 29, 2016

      I hate to be a pedant, but it’s “ice floes”, although they do appear to flow in nice patterns.

      So you can see why the waters on our Atlantic coast are unswmimable and why no Newfoundland fishermen ever bothered to learn to swim: you last three minutes tops when you hit that water before full paralysis sets in.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  July 30, 2016

        Just wait Cate, the lion fish are coming.

        Reply
        • Cate

           /  July 30, 2016

          CB, the sharks are already here. The small sharks are taking cod on hand-lines, leaving only the head for you to haul up. Folks hesitate to put their hands over the gunwales now. Great whites have been tracked in our waters.

      • “unswmimable”? Some pedant you are. 🙂

        Reply
      • Ps — I thought of that but:
        The author is an astronaut watching ice flow in spiral patterns, and he describes it for us in a Tweet. A floe does tend to flow, you know.
        So cut him some slack, please.🙂

        Reply
        • I’m also sure he would correct if he had time…

        • Cate

           /  July 30, 2016

          dt, you make an A++ case. OTOH, I have no excuses—once an English teacher, always an English teacher.🙂

  48. Reply
  49. Ken Provost

     /  July 29, 2016

    From Nat’l Geo in mid-00’s: “If the world warms by five degrees the planet reaches a nightmare vision of life on Earth as traditional social systems break down”.

    Speaking of Mark Lynas, I seem to remember he said much the same thing for +5°.

    As the likelihood of these large deltas increases with the passing of (wasted) time, it seems the consequences of each additional degree are consistently portrayed as easier for society to bear with only minor inconvenience.

    Even Robert’s vision of +5° includes roads crowded with (functional?) vehicles, air conditioning, radio, consumer goods (clothes, at least) from apparently large-scale industrial operations, etc.

    To me, it looks like even 2-3° would be game over for human civilization, given the disruption already at <1.5°.

    Reply
    • Large scale industry will continue so long as society retains organization. The reason for this is that civilization requires industry to survive and this will be even more the case as climate change worsens. As a result, the fragments that do manage to weather the results of multiple collapse scenarios will also have managed to hold on to the tech.

      I’ve extensively studied collapse situations in modern times due to destructive pressure. The impacts of climate change could well be compared to those resulting from warfare. In Germany and Japan, industrial function continued despite an amazing level of resource loss and disruption. Island states would be established as collapse pressure rolled through. This, however, is not certain to take place. It requires a high level of cooperation.

      I think that it is niave to think that civilization will simply abandon its culture or technology. So it is likely that things will tend to be more similar to today than most futurists realize. The issue will tend to be that either cities and the structures they require will exist, or they won’t. In the cooperative scenario, poverty is alleviated or spread among everyone and a kind of materials rationing takes hold. Elements of past consumer culture would, ironically, and perhaps oddly remain.

      Reply
      • Kalypso

         /  July 29, 2016

        If we were to trigger a sea level rise rate of 1 ft/decade for centuries, you think civilization could survive that?

        Reply
      • Robert,
        Pretty sure any civilization will try to hang on to it’s culture & technology – but all of our civilization has been living on a knife-edge for years now… ‘Just-in-time’ inventory deliveries from the other side of the planet, no city with more than a few days supply of food, dwindling global food stockpiles… I’m not sure even ‘island state civilizations’ could survive for any length of time – we have lost the knowledge, skills, and resources to live in a local economy.

        Reply
  50. Ken Provost

     /  July 29, 2016

    Maybe it’s the “cooperative scenario” that’s throwing me for a loop. I know people can cooperate in emergencies very well, but in the slow, grinding dwindling of comforts and resources, I wonder……

    I might not be as optimistic as you🙂

    Reply
  51. Cate

     /  July 30, 2016

    Attn Robert— see ASIF, Arctic Sea ice topic, The 2016 melting season thread: check out Neven’s post #3703 for a link to a paper (PDF, a one-page summary) on the possible implications of the state of ice in Barents/Kara for a cold winter in Europe this year.

    Reply
  52. Colorado Bob

     /  July 30, 2016

    Donald Trump’s wife Melania forced to remove her biography from her website

    http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/14651735.Donald_Trump_s_wife_Melania_forced_to_remove_her_biography_from_her_website/

    Guess what , she’s not a rocket doctor.

    Reply
  53. Colorado Bob

     /  July 30, 2016

    Greg / July 29, 2016

    Oh dear CB. Did I lecture you or scold? Where?

    My folly.

    Reply
  54. Colorado Bob

     /  July 30, 2016

    Speculation immediately centered on a claim made on Ms Trump’s online biography that she obtained “a degree in design and architecture at University in Slovenia” shortly before embarking on her modeling career.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/29/melania-trump-website-take-down-donald-reputation

    Reply
  55. Colorado Bob

     /  July 30, 2016

    Ms, Trump’s online biography may be just be a beautiful woman marrying a rich man.

    Reply
  56. Colorado Bob

     /  July 30, 2016

    Before Ms, Trump, Hillary had passed the CHIP program . 8 million children got health insurance.

    Reply
  57. Colorado Bob

     /  July 30, 2016

    If there’s one thing America needs it’s a physopathic billionaire , and his brain dead wife

    Reply
  58. Kalypso

     /  July 30, 2016

    It’s essentially guaranteed that temperatures over land surfaces will pass 1.5 C of warming due to emissions already in the atmosphere.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160727090403.htm

    Reply
  59. – More than pedant:

    – From a thread up the list was: ” three hours northwest of Mexico City.” Which I take to mean travel time via the burning of fossil fuel.
    This kind of statement is central to our plight.
    FF is so ingrained into our modes of language and behavior, that we much too easily measure time and distance this way without factoring actual methods, or impacts.

    I hear ‘climate/enviro activists, without hesitation and unwittingly, use it all the time. I just shake my head in bewilderment.

    “Come to demonstration/hearing, it’s X units of carbon, Y units of heat, etc away.”

    You see where I’m going here?

    DT

    Reply
    • abeing

       /  July 30, 2016

      No need to try to humiliate someone who is as concerned about climate change as you are (especially over a point of common language usage without which communication would become more of a trial than it already is). Sorry that my statement “three hours away” was so terribly bewildering for you. You must be very special indeed to exist so completely outside of our language frame. Congratulations. If I decide to walk the distance between Querétaro and Mexico City I’ll be sure to let you know the outcome in walking hours. I do, however, understand your point; it’s just that you might make it with more kindness. There is a great public transportation system in Mexico that many people use to travel between cities instead of flying- it’s much better than in the States and much more popular. So by bus it is three hours from Querétaro to Mexico City. No, the buses are neither electric nor solar powered yet.
      Solar water heaters have become almost a standard feature within the last several years; we have one. Some entire neighborhoods are being built with solar water heaters. Heating and cooling are rarely used here (to my knowledge, only one or two restaurants in town, unfortunately trying to go US style, use ac). We personally have no ac and no heating system, nor does anyone else we know. If it is very cold, and it can be in winter with no heating, we use a small electric space heater and wear sweaters and coats in the house. In this regard we have a very low carbon footprint.
      Cars are the big problem. Because of corruption, people slide by on the emissions- so there are more cars that do more polluting. Electric cars are available but they’re very expensive. The two used ones I found are almost as expensive as the new ones.

      Reply
      • “Congratulations. If I decide to walk the distance between Querétaro and Mexico City I’ll be sure to let you know the outcome in walking hours. I do, however, understand your point; it’s just that you might make it with more kindness.”

        Agreed. Response could be kinder as well. It is my natural (or socialized) inclination to be snarky also, but action/reaction …

        Reply
      • I apologize, abeing, if I sounded unkind to you. That was not my object.

        Please help things along by just stating what you mean by your usage of ‘time equals distance’. Many usages like this are culture/media driven.
        If you meant three hours away ‘by bus, burro, hot air balloon, or whatever’ please say so. Otherwise I am left with my assumptions that may or may not be relevant.

        My focus is on any culture, anywhere, that makes overly broad assumptions about the meaning of distances that are really based on unstated methods of transport. This is usually done in a shorthand manner.

        Equally important are the unstated, or unrecognized ramifications of something as important as the climate damaging fuel used to do it. This, in a time of great emergency.

        Peace, please.
        DT

        Reply
        • abeing

           /  July 30, 2016

          Will try to remember to do that next time. Peace!

      • wili

         /  July 30, 2016

        It can be hard to detect tone in written form, but I didn’t read dt’s post above as trying to humiliate anyone. It’s just an uncomfortable reality that we are pretty much stuck in a system that pretty much forces us in participating in our own (and our children’s) destruction.

        Most people don’t want to even face this fact. Many of those of us who do, will try to minimize our contributions to the problem, but in some cases that is impossible or (seemingly?) impractical. I for one have pretty much given up all long distance (more than a few miles) travel powered by fossil fuels. It means stay-cations, occasional longish bike trips, and becoming more deeply a part of the place where I live. Few seem to be following my lead among my peers, friends and family, but most will have to become more like me if we are going to make it through this thing with any sort of livable world, it seems to me.

        Reply
        • Cate

           /  July 30, 2016

          I agree that time = fossil-fuelled distance is a learned, cultural construct that we must —I think as dt was suggesting—unpack and expose. After all, every feminist knows exactly how old attitudes hang around in fossilised language.🙂

          wili, I have joined you in volunarily limiting our own long-distance travel. The definited upside is learning greater appreciation for one’s own backyard, neighbourhood, and neck of the woods. Btw, may I recommend a reread of Walden? Thoreau makes for excellent reading in this project.

        • Cate, ‘Pilgrim at Tinker Creek’ by Annie Dillard is good one.

        • Cate

           /  July 30, 2016

          dt, agreed! Pilgrim is top of my love-to-read list. 🙂

  60. Andy_in_SD

     /  July 30, 2016

    Lake Tahoe: Warmest water temperatures ever recorded threaten famed clarity, new study shows

    http://www.mercurynews.com/drought/ci_30181914/lake-tahoe-warmest-water-temperatures-ever-recorded-threaten

    Reply
  61. Cate

     /  July 30, 2016

    https://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/brain-eating-amoeba-claims-3-lives-in-texas/70685/

    Three people in Texas have died after outdoor swimming in the past 12 months.

    The culprit is a “brain-eating amoeba” which is naturally found “around the world” in “warm freshwater” systems. “The organism thrives in temps up to 46C and is less likely found in cooler waters.” There were 133 cases reported in the US between 1962 and 2014. Mortality rate is 95%.

    “Most cases are reported during prolonged heat spells in July, August, and September.”

    No link with climate change link is mentioned, but this does sound like something to keep an eye on with regard to any changes in incidence, range, and so on. No doubt there are plenty of studies around…..

    Reply
    • Interesting odds:

      “While infection is exceptionally rare — Dr. Seth Sullivan told KWTX there are approximately 2.6 cases per million — it is most likely to occur in shallow bodies of water after a prolonged heat spell.

      Officials say this is the third case in the past twelve months.

      All three Texas residents died after inhaling water through the nose.

      Since 2005 there have been nine cases in Texas and eight were fatal, according to the Center for Disease Control.”

      Reply
  62. June

     /  July 30, 2016

    More commitment to FF infrastructure…another step closer to the cliff (apologies if this was posted earlier…you guys are so on top of things!)

    An Oil Pipeline Nearly As Long As Keystone XL Has Been Fully Approved

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/07/28/3802907/bakken-pipeline-gets-full-approval/

    Reply
  63. – USA _ SoCal:

    Reply
  64. From July 25 — I don’t recall a link to this AGU.

    Study identifies link between cold temperatures in New York, destructive storms in Spain

    Over the past few winters, Gabriele Messori and his colleagues have noticed an intriguing weather pattern: bitterly cold days in the eastern United States were often followed by extremely wet and windy weather in Europe.

    “We wondered whether this was a coincidence,” said Messori, a research scientist at the Met Office in the United Kingdom. “Most of the scientific efforts have looked at extreme events in a geographic region in isolation. We wanted to try and see if there was any obvious causal relationship between extreme events on the two sides of the Atlantic.”

    -A satellite image of Cyclone Klaus on Jan. 24, 2009 over the Bay of Biscay. A new study shows there is an atmospheric circulation pattern linking severe cold spells in the northeastern United States and strong storms in western Europe, like Cyclone Klaus.
    Credit: Naval European Meteorology and Oceanography Center – US Navy

    Reply
  65. Cate

     /  July 30, 2016

    I’m sure someone (CB?) has caught this but can’t for the life of me find it (can’t see forest for frees, probably) so apologies if this is duplicate:

    Fascinating article on how a treasure trove of photos from the 1930s are helping scientists track and understand melt in Greenland.

    http://www.nature.com/news/180-000-forgotten-photos-reveal-the-future-of-greenland-s-ice-1.20335

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  July 30, 2016

      CB, it WAS you. And you were reposting it—but this link was worth three posts, right.

      “…forest for frees….” Inner pedant clearly asleep on the job….😉

      Reply
  66. Reply
  67. Griffin

     /  July 30, 2016

    “On Monday, sport divers on the M/V Fling, diving in the Gulf of Mexico 100 miles offshore of Texas and Louisiana, were stunned to find green, hazy water, huge patches of ugly white mats coating corals and sponges, and dead animals littering the bottom on the East Flower Garden Bank, a reef normally filled with color and marine life.”

    http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/news/jul16/noaa-scientists-report-mass-die-off-of-invertebrates-at-east-flower-garden-bank.html

    Reply
  68. utoutback

     /  July 30, 2016

    Will being exposed to information on Climate change result in Republicans changing their attitudes? Take a guess. Yup!

    “What I found was that every single treatment condition failed to convince respondents. In fact treating Republicans with persuasive information made them more resistant to climate action regardless of the content or sourcing of that information. Overall, simply being exposed to pro-climate action communication appeared to polarize Republicans even further; they became more opposed to government action and less likely to take personal action compared with the control group. They also became more certain of their negative opinions on the issue, displaying significantly lower attitudinal ambivalence than the control group.”

    From:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2016/06/boomerangs-versus-javelins-the-impact-of-polarization-on-climate-change-communication/

    Why does my head feel like it wants to explode! (Speaking of that – has anyone been watching the series on CBS “Brain Dead)

    Carry on.

    Reply
    • And when the fossil fuel production peaks and declines, and the economy collapses. all due to climate change, you know these will be the first to go out looking for a scapegoat.

      Reply
    • Genomik

       /  August 1, 2016

      Wow, its like a Zombie movie of brain deadness. How to fight them? The psychology of this is very hard to figure out.

      Reply
      • Cranberries song – Zombie:

        May have helped stop the violence in Northern Ireland. Some say it was just expressing the popular mood – some say it guided and led the popular mood into effective action.

        Reply
  69. Andy_in_SD

     /  July 30, 2016

    Antarctic Carbon Dioxide Concentration Hits 400PPM for First Time in Four Million Years

    The title of the article states 440, which is a typo.

    http://www.envirotech-online.com/news/environmental-laboratory/7/breaking_news/antarctic_carbon_dioxide_concentration_hits_440ppm_for_first_time_in_four_million_years/39743/

    Reply
  70. Andy_in_SD

     /  July 30, 2016

    A newly-released report from the UN has found that extreme climate conditions around the world may be having a detrimental effect on our crops. In the face of elevated temperatures, certain crops are susceptible to produce more chemicals than normal in a bid to defend themselves. This accumulation of chemicals could be potentially harmful to humans ingesting the produce, causing a wide array of complications.

    http://www.envirotech-online.com/news/health-and-safety/10/breaking_news/is_climate_change_turning_the_worlds_crops_toxic/39359/

    Reply
  71. redskylite

     /  July 30, 2016

    Very inspiring and motivational video from the Tesla Gigafactory Grand Opening. Elon Musk creates a spirit that is much needed in the world today, wish there were a lot more people like him. I pray & wish Elon Musk, Tesla and the gigafactory project and all the stakeholders all success, as well as Earth’s Carbon balance in the near future.

    “This revolution is going to come from the people, powered by geothermal, wind and solar. . . . . . . ”

    https://www.tesla.com/videos/tesla-gigafactory-grand-opening

    Reply
  72. redskylite

     /  July 30, 2016

    A recent study in the Antarctica on polar warming and release of Carbon Dioxide brings less than encouraging news …

    “The research finds that for every 1C of warming, the Earth’s plants and soils – the “terrestrial biosphere” – will add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere to the tune of about 20 parts per million. Levels in the atmosphere continue to climb.

    But to arrive at this number, the scientific team went back to analyse bubbles trapped in the ice during the Little Ice Age (LIA) – a period which started around the year 1500 and lasted for about 250 years.

    The ice cores used in the study were drilled from the late 1980s to the mid 2000s and are stored near CSIRO’s Aspendale lab in Victoria and at the Australian Antarctic Division in Tasmania. The study also used data from ice cores drilled by the British Antarctic Survey 20 years ago. ”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2016/jul/29/antarctic-ice-core-study-has-probably-just-made-the-job-of-cutting-fossil-fuel-emissions-even-more-urgent

    Reply
  73. Reply
    • – Lots of action here in an area I have been watching:

      -WU

      Eighth Northeast Pacific storm of the month?
      We may yet set a record for the largest number of named storms on record to develop in the eastern Pacific Ocean in the month of July. Invest 91E was gathering its forces on Saturday about 800 miles southwest of the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, moving west-northwest at 10-15 mph. On this track, 91E should steer well clear of any major land areas, but in its tropical weather outlook issued at 2 PM EDT Saturday, NHC gave the system a 70% chance of development by Monday and a 90% chance by Thursday. If it manages to become Tropical Storm Howard before Monday, it will be the record-breaking eighth named storm this month. In the longer range, it’s possible that 91E will take a leftward-arcing path that would carry it or its remnants toward the Hawaiian Islands in about a week’s time.

      Reply
  74. – Meanwhile:Tropical Storm #Nida to unleash flooding downpours over Philippines before targeting China

    Reply
    • Jason Nicholls ‏@jnmet 4h4 hours ago

      Welcome TS #Nida; crosses Luzon Strait next couple of days. Threatens #HongKong as typhoon around Tuesday.
      #
      Strong winds & heavy rain from Tropical storm #Nida affecting the #Philippines, possibly impacting #HongKong Tuesday

      Reply
  75. – Wildfires around the globe — In a firestorm climate.

    Reply
  76. – Wildfire — Oregon USA Major transportation link closed.

    Reply
  77. redskylite

     /  July 31, 2016

    I visited Florida and the Keys in the mid 1970’s and thought I’d found paradise. Glad that I did. Sadly it seems the Florida of the 21st Century is not the Florida of my memories.

    Florida Residents Concerned Slimy Green Beaches Are Becoming the Norm,

    In addition to sunshine and warm weather, the norm in Florida may soon include a not so appealing feature. Toxic algae that has been plaguing the Sunshine State has residents wondering if this is what they should learn to expect.

    The clumped green slime that appeared on Florida’s beaches earlier this month marks the eighth time since 2004 that toxic algae has made its way onto the Sunshine State’s coastline, according to National Geographic. In 2013, the algae blooms were so widespread that the event was dubbed “Toxic Summer.”

    This year’s outbreak became such an issue that Florida officials declared a state of emergency in four counties.

    “This is absolutely the worst,” Citizens for Clean Water founder and Stuart, Florida, resident Evan Miller told National Geographic. “We’ve never seen algae so thick. You can see it from space. There are places in Stuart that are on their third and fourth cycle of blooms now.”

    https://weather.com/science/environment/news/toxic-blue-green-algae-cyanobacteria-algae-algal-blooms-florida-beaches

    Reply
  78. Oale

     /  July 31, 2016

    Linked here at http://erimaassa.blogspot.fi/2013/11/haiyan-scale.html commenting Raptor would be a 7. Let’s hope it won’t get to this.

    Reply
  79. redskylite

     /  July 31, 2016

    I visited several of New Zealand’s Southern Alps glaciers towards the end of the last century, sad to think that they will not be available for future generations to also enjoy . . .

    New Zealand glaciers on the retreat

    Are we surprised by all this? Perhaps not. Concerned? Saddened? Definitely. Clearly the cold wind blowing up off the south pole, like the one blowing down from the north, is no longer enough to secure those icy areas of New Zealand.

    Of course emissions reductions have to take place across the board. Local melting is not only caused by local actions. Still, countries who profit from their ice and snow, like New Zealand, where the alps are an important tourist attraction, can be expected to set a good example in implementing measures to halt the warming. The “Climate action tracker”, an independent science-based assessment of country’s emissions targets and actual action, rates New Zealand’s INDC 2030 target as “inadequate”. That means its commitment is not in line with a “fair” approach to reach a 2° C maximum temperature rise pathway.

    “If most other countries followed the New Zealand approach, global warming would exceed 3–4°C”, the website says.

    Maybe I better not wait too long for another visit to those New Zealand glaciers. At this rate, I will hardly even need my snow boots.

    http://blogs.dw.com/ice/?p=17418

    Reply
  80. – USA West Coast — Note that this very large fire is on coastal mountains — and below Monterey Bay which was somewhat of a cut-off point for most of the past El Nino storms. Most of the wet weather went north.
    It’s a big fire that grew quickly.

    Reply
  81. USA – Maryland- Serious under forecasted climatec hange downpour and flood:

    Reply
  82. State of Emergency declared in Ellicott City after major flooding

    Reply
  83. redskylite

     /  July 31, 2016

    And yet more concern and foul smells in Siberia as the best beach in the region fouls up . . .

    Lake Baikal’s ‘most beautiful beach’ hit by ‘foul smelling pollution’

    Concern over world’s oldest and deepest lake as nasty odour and green algae discourages sunbathers in Buryatia.

    Aerial pictures show a disturbing scene on Lake Baikal, the ‘jewel’ of Siberia, at a beach that is reputed to be the best in the region. Social networks were filled with comments like: ‘Does anyone have any idea what it is?’ And: ‘What is this pong?’

    The foul-smelling blot on Baikal appeared close to the Barguzin Nature Reserve in the Republic of Buryatia, on the southern shore of a lake which contains 20% of the globe’s unfrozen freshwater.

    Director of nearby Barguzin Nature Reserve Mikhail Ovdin said: ‘I think this is a mix of conifer pollen and algae. Honestly, I haven’t seen anything like it during my 33 years of working at Lake Baikal.’

    http://siberiantimes.com/other/others/news/n0692-lake-baikals-most-beautiful-beach-hit-by-foul-smelling-pollution/

    Reply
    • “Director of nearby Barguzin Nature Reserve Mikhail Ovdin said: ‘I think this is a mix of conifer pollen and algae.”
      This seems likely. Conifer pollen and be like a light, to heavy, dusting of yellow snow.

      Reply
  84. Powerful stuff, this atmosphere to earth lightning:

    Reply
  85. “Smog in our brains”
    A reminder.

    Is there any reason to emphasize that unhindered cognition is necessary for robust critical decision making when survival is at stake?
    All I can reinforce is that the worse the climate spins out of control — much human behavior has followed, or has lead, the way.

    Ever since 1973 when i noticed that something was ominously wrong with the climate I myself have watched keenly the behavior of people. The vast majority performed very well — especially where, or when, there is petroleum in use.

    For the most part, every molecule, other than H2o, resulting from the burning or partial burning of fossil fuel is toxic. This has been especially so since the ‘dawn’ of the automobile age.

    Even if you don’t ‘see’ smog, it is there in some form, or concentration. It is much, much worse when vehicle traffic is present — let alone industrial pollution.

    – American Psychological Association
    By Kirsten Weir
    July/August 2012, Vol 43, No. 7
    Print version: page 32

    Smog in our brains

    Researchers are identifying startling connections between air pollution and decreased cognition and well-being.

    That yellow haze of smog hovering over the skyline isn’t just a stain on the view. It may also leave a mark on your mind.

    Researchers have known since the 1970s that high levels of air pollution can harm both cardiovascular and respiratory health, increasing the risk of early death from heart and lung diseases. The effect of air pollution on cognition and mental well-being, however, has been less well understood. Now, evidence is mounting that dirty air is bad for your brain as well.

    Over the past decade, researchers have found that high levels of air pollution may damage children’s cognitive abilities, increase adults’ risk of cognitive decline and possibly even contribute to depression.

    “This should be taken seriously,” says Paul Mohai, PhD, a professor in the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment who has studied the link between air pollution and academic performance in children. “I don’t think the issue has gotten the visibility it deserves.”
    http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/07-08/smog.aspx

    Reply
  86. Reply
  87. NA USA – More flooding – Low and near the shore Toms River, NJ

    Reply
  88. India

    Reply
  89. Reply
  90. – With all of this weather/climate extremes and the resulting damage the big story on NPR is a recreational hot air (heavier than air) balloon going down.

    Reply
    • Syd Bridges

       /  July 31, 2016

      Yes, let’s get serious, dt. Who has the more authentic hair, Hilary or Drumpf? We shouldn’t concern ourselves with far away countries about which we know nothing. Like Canada or Mexico.

      Reply
      • – Or Maryland…

        Reply
        • No, we have to wait until Donald trump’s winter house in Mar-a-Lago, FL gets permanently flooded out by a sudden sea level rise. Then he’ll be screaming, “Ya STOOPID Republikins? Don’t you get it??? We have GLOBAL WARMING and it’s Y-U-U-U-UGE! IT”S TIME TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!”😡 :angry:

  91. Syd Bridges

     /  July 31, 2016

    Great post, Robert. Unfortunately, it is all too plausible and increasingly probable.

    I think that, as the crisis becomes increasingly obvious, the denial will ramp up further. The combination of overactive amygdala, and inadequate cingulate nucleus, which appears to be the hallmark of the Republican brain, means that many are psychologically incapable of admitting the truth, however obvious. To do so would mean admitting error, which these people cannot do. If the tiniest part of their worldview is invalidated, then the whole facade crumbles.

    Reply
  92. Darvince

     /  July 31, 2016

    You might want to replace the image you have of the typhoon – which is actually Typhoon Usagi, a Cat 5 equivalent typhoon of the same year, with an actual image of Haiyan. Here’s the most striking one IMO:

    This post is also inspiring me to write climate fiction of our worse scenarios, so thanks a lot for this!

    Reply
  93. – Note: the two columns at the far right are the July and August norms for Alaska.

    Reply
  94. – USA – FF Fracking – This, from a Democrat too…

    A Former Governor Admitted He Put Economics Ahead of Safety When Approving Fracking Projects

    Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, who presided over the state’s fracking boom of the mid-2000s, admitted the state’s fracking regulations favored economics over environmental safety during much of his tenure.

    “I made a mistake in the rush to get the economic part of fracking delivered to Pennsylvania,” said Rendell during an event at the Democrat National Convention Wednesday, State Impact reported. “We didn’t regulate well construction and….frack water as well as we should. We cured that in 2010 and we haven’t had any significant incidents since.”
    http://www.nationofchange.org/2016/07/31/former-governor-admitted-put-economics-ahead-safety-approving-fracking-projects/?platform=hootsuite

    Reply
  95. – Deluge in Maryland – Teamwork in action here — along with a lesson, and new found respect for nature and the force of hydrology, I’m sure.


    Published on Jul 30, 2016

    Unbelievable video as I and several other men rescue a woman from her car floating down Main St in Historic Ellicott City, Maryland, at about 8:30pm July 30th during the devastating flood.

    Reply
    • Listen to the audio…

      Reply
    • Hydrology in action — it looks like impermeable urban streets, thoroughfares lined with structures are quite efficient at channeling these modern deluges.

      Reply
    • Greg

       /  July 31, 2016

      Another video, after the flood, walking through a decimated Ellicott town, another tranquil suburb (of Baltimore) awakened to atmospheric steroids. One loss of life confirmed:

      Reply
  96. Reply
    • An example of a debris flow in a channelized location that shows the force and behavior of fluids and solids.

      Reply
  97. – In this time of modern deluges — a toxic coal ash/sludge reminder. There must be a multitude of the bermed pits in areas now prone to historic downpours.

    Reply
  98. – Number crunching wise: I wonder how many official “States of Emergency” declarations have been made this year vs an historical record.
    Also federal relief $$ sought.

    Reply
  99. Neil Gundel

     /  July 31, 2016

    There should be a lot more violence and breakdown of social order in a scenario where massive loss of life has already occurred.

    “Normal” functions like disaster relief aircraft might not be functioning the way we’re currently used to, and the willingness of others to accept Tampa’s refugees cannot be taken for granted.

    Reply
    • OK, but remember that we already have killed millions with air pollution and other emission related or caused climate ‘events’.

      Reply
    • Griffin

       /  July 31, 2016

      DT, I think he means killed in the same event. While your point on air pollution is certainly true, it’s not like we have seen a mass mortality event (with the kinds of loss that we would see in this scenario) from current levels of air pollution.
      I think that Neil makes a good point and it is something to ponder. Relief efforts would be challenging to say the least.

      Reply
    • OK Griffin, a single ‘event’ — I see what you mean.

      Reply
  100. Reply
  101. NA PNW WA

    Reply
    • NA USA California’s Central Valley Wildfire:

      Reply
    • 0731 – Tri-City Herald, Yakima Herald-Republic and Walla Walla Union-Bulletin

      A large wildfire is burning toward the Hanford nuclear reservation after spreading from Grant and Yakima counties into Benton County overnight Saturday.

      It was one of four wildfires burning Sunday in eastern Washington and Oregon.

      The Benton County fire, which is estimated to have burned 30,000 to 50,000 acres, was spreading Sunday morning in an unpopulated area between Highways 240 and 241, according to Benton County Emergency Services.

      Firefighters were working to stop the fire before it reached the large, wild land security zone maintained around the contaminated portion of the nuclear reservation. The security zone, which includes the peak of Rattlesnake Mountain, is part of the Hanford Reach National Monument
      http://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/hanford/article92931342.html

      Reply
  102. Andy_in_SD

     /  July 31, 2016

    1,500 reindeer dead, 40 humans hospitalized amid anthrax outbreak in Siberia

    At least 40 people from nomadic communities in northern Siberia have been hospitalized amid an anthrax outbreak that scientists believe was caused by thawing reindeer carcasses.

    Northern Siberia has been hit with a bout of weird weather, including a heatwave that has led to record-high temperatures. In the Yamal tundra, which sits above the Arctic Circle, temperatures soared to 95 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to the average of 77 degrees this time of the year. Scientists have linked the heatwave to climate change.

    https://news.vice.com/article/reindeer-dead-humans-hospitalized-anthrax-outbreak-russia-siberia

    Reply
  103. Syd Bridges

     /  July 31, 2016

    That deluge around Elliot City and the wildfires referred to above, are both reminders that warming the atmosphere both descicates the land and loads the atmosphere with more moisture. The Clausius-Clapeyron equation tells us that 1 degree Centigrade rise increases the vapor pressure of water by about 7 percent, causing deserts to expand, wildfires to increase and more intense rainfall to occur.

    One form of the equation is P2/P1 = exp((L/R)(1/T1 – 1/T2))
    where L is the latent heat of the phase change-in this case the heat of vaporization of water-and R is the gas constant for water. The rise of pressure and the atmospheric water vapor loading are therefore exponentially linked to the rise in temperature, hence what we are now witnessing worldwide.

    I realize that this 19th century equation is far too new-fangled for many politicians here, as well as being discovered-sorry, fabricated-by two Europeans. I think it’s time that Lamar Smith held hearings into this. Experts from wattsupwiththat, the Heartland Institute, and the Heritage Foundation should be called to show that it is an out and out lie. If either Clausius or Clapeyron fail to answer his subpoenas, then that will disprove it conclusively. The feeble excuse that they are dead can easily be overcome by a House Committee seance where they can have their say through a House-appointed medium. After that excursion forward to the 18th century, Smith & co can revert to their usual methods, like augury, astrology, and chiromancy. For a list of other investigative techniques that the noble truth-seeker can use see:

    http://phrontistery.info/divine.html

    Reply
  104. Interesting CO2 & CH4 Colorado River link re flooding a dry river bed.

    The Colorado River’s unexpected carbon footprint

    Flooding a dry riverbed restored vegetation, but released significant amounts of methane and carbon dioxide.

    When water rushed over the dry riverbed of the Colorado River Delta for the first time in two decades, thousands of bubbles popped up in the sand. Alongside the bank, a group of scientists stood in awe, theorizing that oxygen and nitrogen trapped in the sediment were the cause. But nearly two years later, in early 2016, the team discovered those bubbles were actually composed of greenhouse gases – methane and carbon dioxide – that dissolved into the water, traveled downstream, and eventually made their way into the air.

    http://www.hcn.org/articles/the-colorado-rivers-unexpected-carbon-footprint

    Reply
  105. Reply
    • – Same storm w/ different naming scheme heading for Hong Kong region:

      BBC Weather Verified account ‏@bbcweather 16h16 hours ago

      Tropical Storm #Nida, bringing downpours to N Philippines, will head for China, possibly Hong Kong by Tue. Tomasz S

      Reply
  106. Haze Air Pollution:

    Our National Parks Need a Breath of Fresh Air


    However, before you hit the trails, you might want to check the local air quality conditions. Much attention has been paid to the effects visitors can have on sensitive ecosystems. But often overlooked is the fact that visiting many of our parks might actually be bad for you, the visitor. That’s because, simply put, many parks have polluted air. As the National Parks Conservation Association reports, the air in many parks can be laden with haze and smog that is just as dirty—or dirtier—than air in big cities.

    Haze, largely the result of burning fossil fuels, is a dangerous mix of particulates and toxic gases. There is good reason to be concerned about breathing this dirty air. The EPA warns that exposure to particulates and ozone can cause lung irritation, breathing problems, asthma, heart attacks and even premature death. These public health risks are especially serious for vulnerable groups, such as children, senior citizens and people with breathing problems like asthma. Haze pollution can also do real damage to the parks themselves. Haze is comprised of the same pollutants that contribute to algal blooms that choke lakes and ponds; acid rain that damages plant life, buildings and monuments; diminished tree growth and increased susceptibility to pests; and birth defects and disease in wildlife.

    http://earthjustice.org/blog/2016-july/our-national-parks-need-a-breath-of-fresh-air

    Reply
  107. Jay M

     /  August 1, 2016

    water vapor image along US eastern littoral Sunday afternoon (7312016)

    Reply
  108. – Firestorms for You and Me — 2016 July — NA – West Coast — 165,00 Coastal Acres

    Reply
    • – Or 59 Sq miles — no quibbling… Bah…

      KTLA Verified account ‏@KTLA 4h4 hours ago

      #SoberanesFire: deadly and destructive blaze grows to 59 sq. miles, is just 15% contained

      Reply
      • Deluges and downpours in the South East — fire and hail storms in the West. The weather is BROKEN.

        Reply
        • Greg

           /  August 1, 2016

          It is seeking a new equilibrium, only it can’t keep up with 3-4 ppm/year increase in CO2.

  109. Greg

     /  August 1, 2016

    Ellicott City, happier times suc as Portalli’s and HorseSpirit Gallery and downtown in link below. Two confirmed dead now. I’ve spent some time on Google maps for this picturesque town and it us unnerving. Rain rates posted by DT above indicate more than 6 inches an hours for parts of the duration of the storm. Usually you can feel the closeness of the water but the river is way down the hill after the train tracks. I would have felt safe downtown. I can’t figure out yet if it was just the river’s rise or a hidden tributary:
    https://www.google.com/maps/place/HorseSpirit+Arts+Gallery/@39.2674529,-76.7962601,3a,60y,243.01h,76.14t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sv92vQ1NiO-77Hq8giYbmew!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4m13!1m7!3m6!1s0x89c81fa743f6628f:0xc2638ab598c3a0ad!2sPortalli's!3b1!8m2!3d39.267347!4d-76.7960993!3m4!1s0x0:0x12f0c837bd393647!8m2!3d39.2675356!4d-76.7963165!6m1!1e1

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  August 1, 2016

      Correction, at one point, incredible. .2″ of rain in 1 minute, .8″ in 5 minutes. That’s a firehose of water from above. https://twitter.com/NWS_BaltWash/status/759784866934353920

      Reply
    • It could be a multitude of ravines funneling into a more narrow locale.
      After that — part may be what I posted earlier: “Hydrology in action — it looks like impermeable urban streets, thoroughfares lined with structures are quite efficient at channeling these modern deluges.’
      Or any combination thereof.
      Who knows?

      Reply
    • Griffin

       /  August 1, 2016

      That’s a great point Greg. I looked at the area as well and couldn’t make the connection to the threat of a flood event like that. That was simply incredible.
      My own theory is that the river jumped its banks further upstream and was (as DT points out) funneled towards the town.
      I wonder about the state of the river and if it is in a similar condition to so many others here in the northeast. By this I mean choked with downed trees at frequent intervals along it’s length. The streams in my area are filled with natural dams that are waiting to happen. In an extreme rain event such as was seen in MD, the potential for many large logs to find their way into a position to create a backup is easy to see. If the backup were to occur in an area with the potential to allow the stream to jump it’s course, then this could lead to a “wall of water” situation very quickly.
      I have no idea if anything like this was a factor in the the tragedy in Elliot City. I have no idea if my theory even makes sense in the real world. This is only an observation from being in the woods and seeing so many downed trees that I just get the feeling that floods and jammed rivers is a dangerous combination.

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  August 1, 2016

        Griffin, took a look at FEMA flood map. Sure enough, this section of downtown falls within the possibility of flooding. I’d check any FEMA map going forward and assume that place will receive a once in a thousand year or worse flood event at some point in your lifetime. I’ve lived in, and now seen, 1-500-1000 year events in the last 20 years now in Boulder, Fort Collins, and Connecticut. Throw away the old stats. Any creek, gully or ravine is a sleeping bear now.

        Reply
      • Griffin

         /  August 1, 2016

        Thanks for that Greg! I will be checking those maps out for knowing where I stand from now on.

        Reply
    • – Forbes 0801

      The ‘Other’ Human Influences On The Maryland Floods You May Overlook

      As predictable as the sunrise, there will be the usual banter by the “what is the role of climate change” crowd and the “ floods always happened” crowd. I review some of the current science of extreme rainfall — climate change attribution — but that is not my point herein. My goal is to discuss two overlooked ways human-activity affect these floods: urban impervious surface and storm water management systems.

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/marshallshepherd/2016/08/01/the-other-human-influences-on-the-maryland-floods-you-may-overlook/#6bd76e4329be

      Reply
      • – Keep in mind that we have not only altered the atmosphere — we have altered the landscape at a reckless pace. We have done both at our peril.

        Reply
  110. – blogs.agu.org/wildwildscience/2016/08/01/third-severe-flash-flood-july-
    1 August 2016
    Third Severe Flash Flood In July Hits Maryland/Delaware

    The month of July brought 4 major flash flood events to my area. One was very close with over 5 inches of rain where I live in Salisbury,Md. and over 7 inches just to our west. The other was near Seaford in Delaware (and extended into Maryland), and another just south on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, where over 9 inches of rain fell in Accomack County. Then came Saturday night, across the Bay, in historic Ellicott City, just west of Baltimore. Extreme rain events are WAY up over the last 50 years across the Northeast U.S. and the fact that the oceans are the warmest ever measured, are an obvious factor.

    Reply
  111. Nida & 100 mph winds heading towards low laying Hong Kong — airport nearby, tall buildings, dense pop, a hub.

    Reply
  112. – NA West Coast Big Sur Soberanes fire — there have been a variety of estimated acres burned reported.
    This, a couple hours old:
    15:14 UTC
    #SoberanesFire N of Big Sur •40,000 acres •18% contained •5,292 personnel

    Reply
  113. Andy_in_SD

     /  August 1, 2016

    This is bad…..

    Toxins from the blue-green algae blooms choking Florida waterways have now been found in the air, as well, officials say.

    Tests conducted by authorities in Martin County revealed that the toxin microcystin is in the air at sites along the St. Lucie River, which is coated with thick clumps of algae blooms. The blooms themselves contain toxic levels “I never dreamed we’d see,” county ecosystem manager Deborah Drum told the TC Palm.

    https://weather.com/science/environment/news/florida-martin-county-algae-toxic-air-particles-marina-rio

    Reply
    • wili

       /  August 1, 2016

      ‘toxic levels “I never dreamed we’d see” ‘
      Likely to be a common refrain through the rest of the century, and beyond, if we make it that far. We’re turning the very air toxic. This is an area just a few miles north of the greater Miami Metro region–lots of people could get sick (or worse) very quickly if this develops further, it seems to me.

      Reply
  114. Shawn Redmond

     /  August 1, 2016

    Fort Mac is having some more climate pain. Darby Allen, director of emergency management for the municipality, said in an email that the region received around 85 millimetres in just two hours on Sunday.
    “With more rain expected overnight, core staff at the Regional Emergency Operations Centre will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation into the morning,” Allen wrote in the email.
    more climate pain. http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/fire-ravaged-fort-mcmurray-now-facing-flooding-1.3009894

    Reply
  115. – Nida expected to impact Hong Kong and nearby regions.

    Reply
    • People’s Daily,China Verified account ‏@PDChina 38m38 minutes ago

      People in S #China’s Guangzhou Mon stock up food as they brace for the approaching Typhoon #Nida

      Reply
    • Weather-In-The-News ‏@Weather_Posts 5h5 hours ago

      Hong Kong flights cancelled as typhoon Nida approaches

      Reply
  116. – Anchorage ended the string of consecutive days >= 55°F. The new record is twice the length of the old record

    Reply
    • – Warm and moist — just what you don’t want in the North if you want Polar ice — 2014 & 16.

      NWS Fairbanks ‏@NWSFairbanks 3h3 hours ago

      2016 was the 4th wettest July on record in Fairbanks. 4.97 inches of rain fell in July. The wettest July on record was 2014 (5.96 inches).

      Reply
  117. – 17:37 UTC
    NA USA West – Montana Wildfire

    Reply
  118. – Automobiles – NOX – France – Air Pollution

    French inquiry confirms widespread irregularities in diesel emissions data

    10-month investigation finds a large number of diesel cars emit much higher levels of pollution than their manufacturers claim

    According to the independent committee’s report, around a third of the 86 diesel vehicles tested produced levels of toxic nitrogen oxides (NOx) well above European limits. The results echo similar findings in tests by the UK’s Department for Transport.

    The worst offenders were the Fiat 500X, Volvo V40, the Renault Talisman and Espace models, the Nissan Qashqai and the Ford Kuga, Opel Astra and Mokka.

    The report found the Renault Talisman recorded 57.6mg NOx per kilometre in lab tests against a real world figure of 926.1mg/km. The worst offender, the Fiat 500X, was found to emit 1,354mg/km as opposed to 68.2mg/km, or almost 17 times the legal limit.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/aug/01/french-inquiry-confirms-widespread-irregularities-in-diesel-emissions-data

    Reply
    • Jay M

       /  August 1, 2016

      wow, that’s incredible, over a gram of NOX per km, which is a bit over .6 mile

      Reply
  119. – Not sure how to interpret but here it is:

    Reply
  120. Colorado Bob

     /  August 1, 2016

    “The blooms themselves contain toxic levels “I never dreamed we’d see,” county ecosystem manager Deborah Drum told the TC Palm.”

    It’s the small creatures that own the Earth , we serve at their pleasure.

    Reply
  121. Colorado Bob

     /  August 1, 2016

    Federal scientists say a massive die-off is taking place on a coral reef of a national marine sanctuary in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Steve Gittings, chief scientist with the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, reported this week that federal scientists are studying a large-scale mortality event of unknown cause taking place at the East Flower Garden Bank in Gulf of Mexico.

    The reef is part of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, about 100 miles off the coasts of Louisiana and Texas.

    http://www.nola.com/environment/index.ssf/2016/07/noaa_mass_die-off_at_marine_sa.html

    Reply
  122. Colorado Bob

     /  August 1, 2016

    Lizard Island reef has nearly “collapsed” due to coral bleaching

    THE coral reef around Lizard Island is not suffering a “total ecosystem collapse” but it is not far off, according to a ­marine scientist.

    James Cook University ­researcher Dr Bridie Allan has returned from surveying the waters of the island, about 260km north of Cairns, in the wake of mass bleaching that has killed off 22 per cent of the Great Barrier Reef’s coral.

    http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/lizard-island-reef-has-nearly-collapsed-due-to-coral-bleaching/news-story/1c73be5c5e9eaf76ce8c2a6d2ef5b3e2

    Reply
  123. Colorado Bob

     /  August 1, 2016

    NASA Sees Intense Fires around the World

    Published on Jul 29, 2016
    This year’s wildfire season is off to a blazing start. The United States had an early start to the season, with more than 29,000 wildfires burning more than 2.6 million acres of land. The driest season in 14 years has left the southern Amazon primed for heavy wildfire activity as well.

    Reply

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