Endless Hot Summer of 2016 — Heavy Arctic Sea Ice Losses, Record Temps for Alaska and Hermine’s Rains Barreling In

From the Arctic leveling yet another challenge to all-time record lows for sea ice, to a ridiculously long spate of hotter-than-normal temperatures for Alaska, to Hermine — which appears to be readying to drop 20 inches of rain over parts of the Southeast — there’s a ton of concerning climate news today. Let’s get to it.

Storms, Mega-Dipoles, and Shattered Sea Ice

A few weeks ago, big storms of near-record intensity started ripping through the Arctic. These storms saw numerous pressure dips into the 960-millibar range. These severe systems raked the ice with gale-force winds, heavy seas, and rainfall. A vulnerable ‘arm’ of ice extending out from the central Arctic toward Wrangel Island began to disintegrate under these multiple insults.

Melt Lobes

(The two frames above provide a good visual of the most vulnerable Arctic Ocean melt regions for early to mid-September. These primarily compose the Siberian side of the Arctic and run on toward the Pole. A mostly detached and storm-battered region of sea ice north of Wrangel Island [left frame] is likely to see continued losses through mid-September. At the same time, another vulnerable lobe of ice extending from the Pole to the Laptev Sea [right frame] is seeing substantial thinning. As southerly winds pick up later this week over the Barents and Greenland Seas, the Atlantic side of the Arctic [lower right portion of right-hand image] may also take a final blow or two before refreeze starts to kick in. Images provided by: LANCE-MODIS. Date for images: September 1, 2016.)

Meanwhile, another melting wedge running out from the Pole toward the Laptev Sea was increasingly wracked, showing severe losses along the ice edge even as large openings expanded, stretching in toward the Pole. As a result, major late-season drops in Arctic sea ice area and extent measures began to show. Unfortunately, the damage had only just begun.

Last week, this stormy pattern saw the added wrinkle of a strong high-pressure system in the range of 1040 mb intensity forming over the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. This new system created an extreme pressure gradient between itself and the storms raging near the Pole and on the Atlantic side. Expert Arctic sea ice observer Neven aptly coined this condition the 2016 Mega-Dipole.

Neven's Mega-Dipole

(Neven’s Mega-Dipole featured a burly high-pressure system over the Pacific side of the Arctic as strong storms continued to rage across the Atlantic side on August 29th. The combined force of these systems helped further damage the already weakened sea ice as warm winds blowing between them pulled heat up from Siberia, generating a late-season temperature spike over the Arctic Ocean. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

Strong winds blew between the juxtaposed low- and high-pressure systems. This convergence sucked an intense pulse of warm air up from the south, not only providing a severe blow to the ice from gales and waves, but also injecting a surge of late-season heat into the High Arctic. In addition to the damage being done to the two melt arms, the whole of the remaining contiguous ice was driven in one big push toward the Canadian Arctic Archipelago — a shove that has now likely resulted in the complete separation of the thinned near-Wrangel ice from the pack even as large polynya (or holes) opened up within 10 kilometers of the Pole.

Late Season Arctic Heat Spike

(A late-season temperature spike in the region above 80° North Latitude is helping to generate a surge in ice losses during early September. Image source: DMI.)

All this pushing and shoving and storming and low and high pressuring in the context of never-before-seen Arctic warmth has brought most of the major measures within range of beating out 2007 as second-lowest extent on record by mid-September. Meanwhile, a few of the measures are now making serious challenges to the 2012 record-low marks.

Over the coming days, the various high-pressure systems are predicted to shift more toward the Siberian side of the Arctic. Meanwhile, storms are expected to gather around Greenland, with some hitting the 970 to 980 mb range as they circulate up from the North Atlantic. Warm air is expected to funnel in from the Barents and Greenland Seas even as the region north of Greenland starts a cooling trend.

Sea Ice Extent Measures

SSMI

(Japan’s JAXA monitor shows [top left] sea ice extent beating out 2007 in the daily extent measure. Meanwhile, DMI’s EUMETSAT-based monitor shows [top right] extent falling to near the 2012 line. Sea ice area in NERSC’s SSMI monitor [bottom] over recent days comes uncomfortably close to the 2012 line.)

This hot-cold juxtaposition combined with ongoing pressure from storms, winds, and waves should continue to damage and expel the most vulnerable sections of ice in the near-Pole region and on toward the Laptev as well as the detached ice floes near Wrangel Island. Additional losses in the range of 150,000 to 300,000 square kilometers or more over the coming seven days are entirely possible. If this happens, it would be a rather severe rate of loss for early September all on top of a year that, on average so far, has seen lowest-recorded sea ice extents for the January-to-August timeframe and remains on track to hold that low mark through year-end.

An Amazingly Hot Year for Alaska

We should be very clear that despite all the storms and other weather drama going on over the Arctic Ocean, the primary cause for severe sea-ice losses is a record-hot world in which a lion’s share of the temperature rise is occurring over the far northern latitudes. And not too far from the melting Arctic sea ice, another Arctic region is also getting a big dose of this record heat.

This year, Alaska appears set to exceed all previous marks for warmest temperatures ever recorded during an annual period for the state:

(Through August 27, Alaska had experienced zero cooler-than-typical days, 22 days of relatively normal temperatures, and 218 days in which temperatures were in the top third of all daily averages. It’s a record that makes previous all-time hot years 2014 and 2015 look somewhat cool by comparison. Image source: Climatologist Brian Brettschneider.)

As climatologist Brian Brettschneider recently found, above, the number of days featuring temperatures in the top third of measurements included nearly nine out of ten of all days so far during 2016 and through August 27th. This extreme Alaskan heat has already exceeded the number of warmer-than-normal days during record-hot years 2014 and 2015. With four months in 2016 still remaining, and with the Arctic Ocean opening up to its north, it appears that Alaska is about to blow these previous record years out of the water.

Alaska in hot water

(Sea-surface temperatures surrounding Alaska are between 3 and 5 degrees Celsius above average. Such extreme ocean heat should help keep temperatures abnormally warm over the state for at least the next couple of months and continue to add to a period of record heat during 2016. Note that the graphic above shows temperature departures from normal ranges, not absolute temperature values. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

La Niña is settling in, though. This would normally provide some hope that temperatures in Alaska might start to fall off a bit, but right now, the local ocean waters surrounding Alaska are extraordinarily warm. It’s as if the Pacific ‘hot blob’ that plagued the U.S. west coast in 2014 and 2015 has shifted north toward Alaska in 2016. This climate change-related warm-water feature is likely to continue to create a warm surface temperature bias for the state over the next couple of months.

20 Inches of Rain Possible for Parts of the Southeast

Moving south and away from the various heating and melting in the Arctic, we find yet another big rainstorm brewing in the moisture-stacked atmosphere of the Gulf of Mexico. In this case, unlike the big deluge that roared through Louisiana during early August, this collection of towering thunderheads has a name — Hermine.

Hermine 4

(Hermine, which may produce severe flooding over the U.S. southeast in the coming days, barrels toward Florida in this National Hurricane Center satellite animation.)

Punching up to minimal hurricane status early in the afternoon (EST) on Thursday, Hermine is predicted to make landfall along the big bend of Florida (pushing in 3-8 foot storm surges), track north into Georgia and then run up along coastal South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. Along this path, 4-10 inches of rainfall are expected with local amounts hitting as high as 20 inches.

To this point, The National Hurricane Center notes:

Hermine is expected to produce storm total rainfall accumulations of 5 to 10 inches over portions of northwest Florida and southern Georgia through Friday, with possible isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches. On Friday and Saturday, Hermine is expected to produce totals of 4 to 8 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 10 inches possible across portions of eastern Georgia, South Carolina, and eastern North Carolina through Saturday. These rains may cause life-threatening flash flooding.

As with past rain-bomb events this year, Hermine is churning through a record-hot atmosphere and feeding on overall record-high moisture levels. Sea-surface temperatures over the Gulf of Mexico and particularly over the Gulf Stream region of the Atlantic near the eastern seaboard are extraordinarily hot. Ocean surfaces off coastal Virginia, for example, now rival those along the eastern Gulf at near 30 degrees Celsius (86 F). The result is that a ton of storm energy in the form of heat and moisture is blanketing a big swath from Florida to the U.S. northeast. In this heat- and moisture-rich environment, even the high forecast rainfall amounts have a potential to be exceeded.

Hot Water Gulf Stream

(Ocean temperature and currents map for 8/30/16. Water temperatures in the Gulf Stream off the U.S. east coast are near 30 C [86 F] or about 4 C hotter than normal. This means there’s almost as much potential storm fuel for a hurricane off the eastern seaboard as there is in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico — fuel that can both provide energy for extreme rainfall events related to Hermine and for a possible rapid reintensification. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

Moreover, Hermine is predicted retain a degree of strength over land due to this fuel even as it is expected re-emerge over water along the North Carolina sounds and then track toward the hot Gulf Stream. Along this track, the storm is expected to restrengthen and lash coastal North Carolina, Virginia, Delaware and New Jersey before it skirts Long Island and Massachusetts. Given the hot ocean waters, some models even show Hermine bombing into a significant storm with ECMWF model runs earlier today highlighting a potential for a 969 mb storm center off Delaware on late Saturday.

Fortunately, the storm center is currently predicted to remain offshore after re-emerging over open waters on Saturday. However, the large circulation of the system means that any reintensification will likely see some of the storm’s related rain bands swirling out over the mid-Atlantic and northeast coasts.

******

So from big sea ice losses to record heat in Alaska, to what’s shaping up to be another extreme rain event for the U.S. southeast, the climate hits just keep on coming. It’s all a part of the context of climate change that’s been steadily settling in over the past few decades, which paints a rather obvious picture of ongoing climate shifts and alterations to expected weather patterns — to include the loss of sea ice, the intensity of heat over Alaska and the severity of rains falling out during storms like Hermine.

Links:

Warm Arctic Storm Tears Sea Ice to Shreds

LANCE-MODIS

2016’s Mega-Dipole

Earth Nullschool

DMI

JAXA

SSMI

Brian Brettschneider

The National Hurricane Center

Dan Leonard

Hat tip to Colorado Bob

Hat tip to DT Lange

Hat tip to DavidlWindt

Hat tip to Jay M

Hat tip to the Arctic Sea Ice Forum

Hat tip to Greg

Leave a comment

105 Comments

  1. A recent talk by Prof. David Batistii on how climate change will affect global food security.

    (Skip to around 35 mins in if you are already very familiar with climate basics)

    Reply
  2. – In the spirit of these very busy times…

    – Kinetic energy and intensity — cyclonic.

    Reply
  3. – The “Sandy rule”…

    – WU
    Hurricane Hermine Poised to Make First Hurricane Strike on Florida in 11 Years

    By: Jeff Masters

    Fortunately, there is no sign of any major feature that would drive Hermine back onshore, such as the strong upper trough that pulled Hurricane Sandy into New Jersey and Pennsylvania in 2012. After Hermine dawdles offshore during the holiday weekend, models agree that it will begin moving out to sea by around Tuesday, although the ridging to its north may keep that seaward motion fairly gradual.

    The “Sandy rule” to be invoked for Hermine
    Some confusion emerged when Hurricane Sandy was declared post-tropical just an hour before it moved onto the New Jersey coast. Post-tropical cyclones are handled through a different part of the National Weather Service (the Weather Prediction Center, rather than NHC). After reviewing the Sandy situation, NHC decided to revise its policy and allow post-tropical storms to be covered through NHC bulletins that include the tropical cyclone name. The policy means that we can look to NHC advisories to continue for as long as Hermine remains a significant threat to land, regardless of whether it’s classified as tropical or post-tropical.

    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/hurricane-hermine-poised-to-make-first-hurricane-strike-on-florida-in-

    Reply
  4. coloradobob

     /  September 1, 2016

    Terra/MODIS
    2016/244
    08/31/2016
    22:10 UTC

    Southwestern Alaska

    One hell of a lot of silt in the Yukon River.

    Reply
    • And look at that big algae bloom to the south. Might be hearing more about marine life die offs in the region before all is said and done.

      Reply
    • CB
      Glad you brought it up I have been paying attention since. Pulled back and saw large algae blooms all along the coast of AK. Horrifying. Even on Google Earth I can see huge amounts of silt in the parts of the Stikine River that drain the glacier fields and at the mouth of the river.

      Reply
  5. coloradobob

     /  September 2, 2016

    Extreme-weather winters are becoming more common in U.S., Stanford research shows
    The simultaneous occurrence of warm winters in the West and cold winters in the East has significantly increased in recent decades. The damaging and costly phenomenon is very likely attributable to human-caused climate change, according to a new study.

    http://news.stanford.edu/2016/09/01/extreme-weather-winters-becoming-common/

    Reply
  6. June

     /  September 2, 2016

    Great post, Robert. (I believe the correct spelling is Wrangel Island). Once again putting things together in a way the MSM doesn’t.

    Reply
  7. Jay M

     /  September 2, 2016

    Gaston barrels into Europe, 090116:

    Reply
  8. Andy_in_SD

     /  September 2, 2016

    Melting Glaciers Are Wreaking Havoc on Earth’s Crust
    Sea levels are dropping, earthquakes and volcanoes are waking up, and even the earth’s axis is moving—all because of melting ice

    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/melting-glaciers-are-wreaking-havoc-earths-crust-180960226/?no-ist

    Reply
    • Thanks for this, Andy. Looks like it’s time for an update on this issue.

      Reply
    • Good one, indeed.
      Ditto for an update…

      Reply
    • So a few points here:

      1. The article focuses heavily on impacts due to the end of the last ice age — which are pretty well understood. Impacts due to climate change were pretty murky in the article and some appear to have been somewhat downplayed (intentionally or unintentionally).
      2. The article appears to give equal weight to isostatic rebound vs sea level rise which could cause some confusion for the reader. The truth of the matter is that most of the highly populated regions of the world see zero or negative coastal lift from isostatic rebound. This is true, particularly, for the US East Coast where continental subsidence effectively doubles the current rate of sea level rise for places like DC, Norfolk, the Outer Banks and Florida. The only regions that see rise are remote northern locations in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Scotland and other parts of Northern Europe (basically Scotland northward) in the Northern Hemisphere and places near Antarctica in the Southern Hemisphere.
      3. 3.4 mm per year rate of SLR is currently enough overcome a decent portion of the isostatic rebound effect in certain regions. IPCC predicts this rate will double at least twice by the end of this Century. Other researchers see annual rates of sea level rise hitting as much as 5 centimeters per year or more by Century end. This would overwhelm the impacts of isostatic rebound pretty much everywhere.
      4. Loss of ice absolutely has an impact on local and regional geology. And there’s reasonable concern that loss of glaciers near volcanoes increases activity by helping to unzip magma chambers. Similar impacts provide risk that some fault lines may also see increased stress as large glaciers melt. Finally, the added weight of oceans pressing down on underwater geological features provides its own added geophysical stress that was absent prior to melt. The article only touched on these issues sparsely and briefly at the very end.

      Reply
      • Thanks, Robert — for ‘fleshing’ out some points there.

        Big point applicable elsewhere “… stress that was absent prior to…”

        Take care during any storm activity your way.

        Reply
      • jeremy in Wales

         /  September 2, 2016

        The article also leaves out an important factor – the gravitational pull of the ice caps themselves on the sea. If only Greenland melted leaving Antarctica intact then sea level could in theory fall as far away as the UK with the greatest rise confined to the southern oceans –
        http://harvardmagazine.com/2010/05/gravity-of-glacial-melt

        Reply
  9. Erik

     /  September 2, 2016

    Speaking of ice loss, Very recent improvements in ice sheet models—see video below by the ice sheet modeler Prof Rob DeConto of the University of Massachusetts—which incorporated the physics of high unstable marine-terminating ice cliffs, have finally been able to replicate past fast sea level rise events, so they appear to be more useful than previous models.

    The problem, according to Rob is the new models are showing continued burning of fossil fuels leading to several meters of sea level rise in 100 years and more than 10m in 500 years.

    Given the way we keep revising upwards estimates of potential sea level rise, I wouldn’t be surprised to see further upward revisions, perhaps even to the 5m Hansen says we could see by the end of the century or shortly thereafter.

    Hansen has been ahead of the curve so many times and now he appears to be doing it again.

    Reply
    • This is an excellent summary. I think, though, that the models still haven’t caught up to paleoclimate. RCP 2.6 is roughly a 400 ppm CO2 world. In paleoclimate, that world saw ocean levels that were approximately 25-65 feet higher than today. If we’re unable to not just halt carbon emissions, but to also reduce their concentration significantly, then we’ll almost certainly see that amount of rise over the long term.

      The task before us is, therefore, much more challenging than even these advanced models indicate. Glacial melt and sea level rise does not stop at 2100 if CO2 is simply maintained at 400 ppm approx. And it probably doesn’t stop entirely even if we get back down to 350 ppm approx. Although that would be a much better world. Moreover, paleoclimate points to BAU type burning scenarios being absolutely catastrophic for sea level rise. And a level at around 550 to 650 ppm CO2, when maintained over long timeframes, is enough to melt about all the ice on Earth.

      So when I say that the models have some catching up to do this is what I mean — the models can’t yet capture what we already have a decent understanding of from paleoclimate. And because we focus on incomplete physical models, we have a more confused understanding of the potential risks than we otherwise would if we simply used paleoclimate ranges as our baseline understanding. This is not to say that paleoclimate is full certainty either. But the proxy information we obtain is now likely far more clear (and a more compelling cause for swift action) than the admittedly advancing model understanding. Nor is this to say that we shouldn’t continue to work to advance the physical models. For they’re our best chance at getting a high resolution forecast on what may ultimately occur. It’s just that while the models are still evolving, we need to look back to reality — as we have a decent ideal of what’s happened in the past — from time to time.

      Reply
  10. Syd Bridges

     /  September 2, 2016

    Thank you for this post, Robert. The news is not good, though it is all too predictable. That is, unless you are Florida’s Governor. It’s so strange how banning state employees from talking about global warming isn’t stopping these things in their tracks. And if this turns into a costly disaster, it won’t stop him asking for Federal disaster funds.

    Reply
  11. Reply
  12. – Our avian friends ride it out.
    Just ‘living’ inside that low pressure zone must play hell with one’s physical sensations — never mind the aerodynamics.
    I’m dumbfounded just imaging that…

    Reply
  13. 05:06 UTC
    Interesting visual

    Reply
    • Same here: two data/views side by side

      Reply
    • – I’m keenly interested in ‘ The Visual Display of Quantitative Information’ as a tool.
      Most of my photography is devoted to this theme.

      – Also the title of a ‘favorite book I have yet to read’. I think I’m afraid I get inside of it to never come out.🙂 Working in a well stocked independent bookstore I would look at and marvel but did not read.

      The Visual Display of Quantitative Information

      The classic book on statistical graphics, charts, tables. Theory and practice in the design of data graphics, 250 illustrations of the best (and a few of the worst) statistical graphics, with detailed analysis of how to display data for precise, effective, quick analysis. Design of the high-resolution displays, small multiples. Editing and improving graphics. The data-ink ratio. Time-series, relational graphics, data maps, multivariate designs. Detection of graphical deception: design variation vs. data variation. Sources of deception. Aesthetics and data graphical displays.

      This is the second edition of The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Recently published, this new edition provides excellent color reproductions of the many graphics of William Playfair, adds color to other images, and includes all the changes and corrections accumulated during 17 printings of the first edition.
      -edwardtufte.com/tufte/books_vdqi

      Reply
    • wharf rat

       /  September 2, 2016

      “Baramometer down to 985hPa. In the western eyewall again”

      Not as low as the Arctic storms Robert just wrote about…
      “storms are expected to gather around Greenland, with some hitting the 970 to 980 mb range as they circulate up from the North Atlantic. “

      Reply
  14. Greg

     /  September 2, 2016

    From Jeff Masters showing storm surge which isn’t over for a number of hours yet:

    Reply
  15. 05:35 UTC

    – Meanwhile — unusual weather in that other ocean:

    Reply
  16. Greg

     /  September 2, 2016

    The Salton Sea’s geothermal potential to replace Glen Canyon Dam? Obama announces the project

    Reply
  17. Greg

     /  September 2, 2016

    KH / Gay Leftist ‏@jaycamikenGL 4m4 minutes ago
    Flash Flood Warning for Tallahassee FL; intense band from #Hermine brings rain rates of more than 4 inches per hour – @NWSTallahassee

    Reply
  18. Spike

     /  September 2, 2016

    RS “We should be very clear that despite all the storms and other weather drama going on over the Arctic Ocean, the primary cause for severe sea-ice losses is a record-hot world in which a lion’s share of the temperature rise is occurring over the far northern latitudes. And not too far from the melting Arctic sea ice, another Arctic region is also getting a big dose of this record heat.”

    That comment brought this summary from 2014 to mind – Arctic warming 3.5 times quicker than global temperature. Shockingly fast perennial ice loss.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/wcc.277/abstract

    Reply
  19. Spike

     /  September 2, 2016

    Due to high level of infection in the past “almost the entire territory of Yamal district is dangerous in terms of anthrax.” Turns out there were 3 separate outbreaks some distance apart.

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/arctic-thaw-blamed-three-new-8750972

    Reply
  20. Spike

     /  September 2, 2016

    Reply
  21. coloradobob

     /  September 2, 2016

    World’s Oldest Fossils Discovered Due to Climate Change
    Ancient microbes from 3.7 billion years ago were only found due to melting ice in Greenland. What else is out there?

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/09/worlds-oldest-fossils-stromatolites-discovered-climate-change/

    Reply
  22. Cate

     /  September 2, 2016

    “…pessimistic…..very concerned….” Elon Musk on responses to climate change: how replacing hydro-carbon based infrastructure will take longer than we expect, and how carbon pricing can rebalance the energy market.

    “Speaking with MSNBC host Chris Hayes recently. Elon Musk said he is pessimistic about slowing or reversing the effects of carbon pollution on global climate change. Doing so will require an effective means of pricing carbon emissions agreed to and implemented by all nations, he told Hayes. In his remarks, Musk made reference to what economists call “the tragedy of the commons.”…..
    Many people believe that mankind can innovate its way out of the coming crisis. Musk agrees the free market can work wonders but only if the game is not rigged. By failing to put a market price on carbon, people and corporations are free to spew as much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as they wish without any financial penalty…..
    There is not a moment to lose, Musk believes. With several billion fossil-fueled vehicles on the roads worldwide and with 100,000,000 more new ones sold every year, he says if every new car was electric today, it would still take two decades to replace all the existing vehicles with zero emissions transportation.”

    https://cleantechnica.com/2016/08/31/elon-musk-yep-weve-ordered-extreme-disaster-must-go-war-get-asses-mars/

    Reply
  23. coloradobob

     /  September 2, 2016

    Reply
  24. coloradobob

     /  September 2, 2016

    5 alarming facts about Amazon forest fires

    Here are five alarming facts you should know about fires in the Amazon rainforest:
    1. In the first half of this year, 27,814 fires were detected in the Amazon. That’s the largest number ever recorded for the period and 81 percent above the historical average. Most of these fires were started by people.

    Link

    Reply
    • I’m listening to Annie Proulx’s new Book, Barkskins. It’s about the forests and human greed and what happens when humans are given the opportunity to despoil nature for profit (and more). It reads like history and is based on it. Given the opportunity there of some of us who would burn down the whole world for personal gain.

      Reply
  25. Greg

     /  September 2, 2016
    Reply
  26. Greg

     /  September 2, 2016

    Modeling still shows Hermine at its strongest this Sunday after raking the East Coast:

    Reply
  27. Greg

     /  September 2, 2016

    House lost to a probable tornado from Hermine this morning in the state of Georgia. A footnote in this story. This won’t be told as a loss from climate change but would this tornado have occurred if the waters had not been so warm…

    Reply
  28. Greg

     /  September 2, 2016

    For you CB, good morning with some Iraqi oil fires

    Reply
  29. Greg

     /  September 2, 2016

    Potential intensity map: thermo conditions could support cat 3+ just off NJ.

    Reply
  30. Greg

     /  September 2, 2016

    412. 900MB
    2:19 PM GMT on September 02, 2016
    “And that is the GFS, not a crazy model. What is crazy is that I have never seen a model have a tropical storm (Hermine) park off the coast of NYC for 5 days. Wow!”

    Reply
  31. Greg

     /  September 2, 2016

    For RS and DT. Surfers now water chemistry researchers for NOAA

    Reply
  32. utoutback

     /  September 2, 2016

    Somewhat off topic:
    I’m thinking about the loss of habitat for the Pika a relative of rabbits that live at high altitudes. These wonderful critters are harmless herbivores who live on “sky islands”, isolated high altitude ecosystems that have begun to shrink due to increasing temps. This is sort of like the loss of atolls and ocean islands due to SLR.
    I’m wondering if humans of the future will begin to seek out “climate islands” in an increasingly inhospitable world. There was a sci-fi book back in the 70’s – Stand on Zanzibar – where the population was crowded right up to the edge of the sea. I can imagine certain high altitude and polar regions crowded with climate refugees.

    Reply
    • Marcusblanc

       /  September 2, 2016

      ‘Islandisation’ is a big part of the rather brutal story of evolution, as are refuges for species during periods of climate stress (eg european forests during the ice ages, the Toba eruption in -73k bp and the subsequent human population bottleneck). The idea of polar refuges for humanity has been heavily pushed by the controversial but brilliant James Lovelock, who envisages surviving populations heading north in search of tolerable conditions.

      Pity the poor pika when it gets to the top of its mountain, and has nowhere left to go.

      Reply
  33. Greg

     /  September 2, 2016

    Jared Allen ‏@Jarallen 12h12 hours ago
    NCAR 48-hr ensemble rainfall accumulation totals – Close to maxing out the scale over FL and near GA/SC coast!

    Reply
  34. Greg

     /  September 2, 2016

    Big picture concern here.
    A Strange Thing Happened in the Stratosphere

    High above Earth’s tropics, a pattern of winds changed recently in a way that scientists had never seen in more than 60 years of consistent measurements.

    This disruption to the wind pattern – called the “quasi-biennial oscillation” – did not have any immediate impact on weather or climate as we experience it on Earth’s surface. But it does raise interesting questions for the NASA scientists who observed it: If a pattern holds for six decades and then suddenly changes, what caused that to happen? Will it happen again? What effects might it have?

    “The quasi-biennial oscillation is the stratosphere’s Old Faithful,” said Paul Newman, Chief Scientist for Earth Sciences at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, and lead author on a new paper about the event published online in Geophysical Research Letters. “If Old Faithful stopped for a day, you’d begin to wonder about what was happening under the ground.”

    With this disruption now documented, Newman and colleagues are currently focused on studying both its causes and potential implications. They have two hypotheses for what could have triggered it – the particularly strong El Niño in 2015-16 or the long-term trend of rising global temperatures. Newman said the scientists are conducting further research now to figure out if the event was a “black swan,” a once-in-a-generation event, or a “canary in the coal mine,” a shift with unforeseen circumstances, caused by climate change.
    https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/a-strange-thing-happened-in-the-stratosphere

    Reply
    • So I wrote a bit about this in my controversial gravity waves piece… My opinion on this admittedly murky issue is that they probably need to take polar amplification and related impacts on atmospheric slope into account when looking at solving the equation.

      Reply
      • coloradobob

         /  September 2, 2016

        Nobody ever heard of this, until you spotted it. It would seem that it is more rare than we were told.

        Reply
        • danabanana

           /  September 3, 2016

          “Effects of the QBO include mixing of stratospheric ozone by the secondary circulation caused by the QBO, modification of monsoon precipitation, and an influence on stratospheric circulation in northern hemisphere winter (mediated partly by a change in the frequency of sudden stratospheric warmings). Westward phases of the QBO often coincide with more sudden stratospheric warmings, a weaker Atlantic jet stream and cold winters in Northern Europe and eastern USA whereas eastward phases of the QBO often coincide with mild winters in eastern USA and a strong Atlantic jet stream with mild, wet stormy winters in northern Europe (Ebdon 1975).”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quasi-biennial_oscillation

      • Greg

         /  September 2, 2016

        +1

        Reply
  35. Greg

     /  September 2, 2016

    30 million now under watches and warnings:

    Reply
  36. coloradobob

     /  September 2, 2016

    Greg –
    You’re on a roll.
    Here’s Yer “Atta Boy”.

    Reply
  37. coloradobob

     /  September 2, 2016

    Greg / September 2, 2016
    For you CB, good morning with some Iraqi oil fires.

    I looked at same shot about 3 weeks back, there was one long plum when. This is completely different . This is bad , it appears there’s little fire fighting going on.

    Ain’t No Boots and Coots in that oilfield.

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  September 2, 2016

      One more for you CB (and all) from my sister and her husband who is a pitifully compensated national treasure of a guitarist and songwriter who is trying to stop Dominion power from building a huge natural gas pipeline in the mid-Atlantic:

      Reply
  38. Greg

     /  September 2, 2016

    Ok, last Hermine post before the caffeine wears off. Modeling still but all coastal areas need to be paying close attention:

    Reply
  39. coloradobob

     /  September 2, 2016

    Why the water off the Jersey shore is the warmest it’s ever been
    By DAN SKELDON, Press meteorologist Aug 11, 2016

    Link

    Reply
  40. phil

     /  September 2, 2016

    Seems our courts are as out of touch as our politicians:

    Health experts have slammed today’s ruling in the Federal Court which approved Adani’s Carmichael mine, Australia’s biggest coal mine project, saying it would harm the health of millions of people in Australia and around the world.

    Medical advocacy group Doctors for the Environment Australia says the decision will lead to 4.7 billion tonnes of climate pollution over the mine’s lifetime.

    Coal combustion releases mercury, particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and dozens of other substances known to cause cancers, heart and lung disease and death.

    The decision will also harm the Great Barrier Reef – one of our most important ecological support systems.

    Spokesperson, Dr David King, says the approval process for the Carmichael mine development was grossly deficient in overlooking health costs, and that the Court’s decision puts financial interests ahead of public health.

    DEA’s call to include health in Environmental Impact Assessments, both on coastal waters, which are used for fishing, and the Great Barrier Reef was ignored by State and Federal governments who were keen on focusing only on short-term economic considerations.

    However Dr King says, “A narrow economic focus is insufficient for decision-making about sustainable health and wellbeing. After all, what good is short-term profit if we damage human and environmental health in the process?”

    Dr King says that Australia’s sale of coal overseas from the mine is unconscionable.

    “With this mine proceeding, it alone will create enough emissions to produce a rise in world emissions, jeopardizing global targets – and everything that means, particularly an increase in extreme weather events and their health consequences

    http://dea.org.au/news/article/media-release-doctors-slam-adani-mine-decision

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  September 2, 2016

      Like when Anaconda Copper ran Montana.

      Reply
    • Good for the doctors and medical professionals speaking up.
      They (all professionals) all need to.

      That which is burned and changes the climate has already done terrible damage to the locals. My dealing with air/atmospheric pollution has shown this time, and time again.

      Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  September 3, 2016

      Phil, Australia is now just about the most recalcitrant state on the planet re. anthropogenic climate destabilisation. We were judged stone, motherless, last of all the G20 countries in relation to climate destabilisation action and renewable energy progress. We are dedicated to coal-mining, our Federal regime is an enemy of renewable energy, our MSM, dominated by Murdoch, is ferociously denialist, and the environment raised no mentions whatsoever during our recent election farce. The two parties debate whether to cut 1 billion or 1.3 billion from the Renewable Energy research authority, either of which will kill innovation and research in this country stone dead. And the plebs go on, unconcerned, even as the Great Barrier Reef dies in front of their eyes(which reality the Murdoch machine flatly denies is even happening). I’m no jingo, but once being born here was a sort of some little satisfaction, but now it just brings excruciating embarrassment and dismay.

      Reply
  41. coloradobob

     /  September 2, 2016

    Wow, have a look at this –
    Larger Animation: NCEP Ensemble 500 mb Spaghetti Plots

    NH plots were updated Sep 02 10:26 MDT

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/map/images/ens/spag_nhbg_animation.html

    Reply
  42. coloradobob

     /  September 2, 2016

    Reply
  43. Greg

     /  September 2, 2016

    Great, just great. Sheesh

    Reply
  44. coloradobob

     /  September 2, 2016

    One wonder’s how much sand the State of New Jersey moved after Sandy, and that fetch into N.J. with that stall . a real beach eater.

    Reply
  45. coloradobob

     /  September 2, 2016

    Tropical Storm Hermine batters Georgia, forecasters warn of ‘life-threatening floods’ along the East Coast

    Authorities warned Friday of powerful winds as the storm was expected to move through Georgia and into South Carolina and North Carolina on Friday. A tropical storm warning was issued from North Carolina to Delaware, while tropical storm watches were issued as far north as New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island.

    “The combination of a storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline,” the National Hurricane Center said Friday.

    The center also warned of “the possibility of life-threatening inundation” through Sunday morning around the North Carolina-Virginia border and in Bridgeport, Conn. In addition, it said heavy rains across the Southeast as well as along the coast from Georgia to Maryland could “cause life-threatening floods and flash floods.”

    Wapo

    Reply
  46. Greg

     /  September 2, 2016

    Ok, one more:
    The HRRR basically ingests the Atlantic, and then dumps it on coastal North Carolina. 15-20″+ of rain in 12 hours.

    Reply
  47. Greg

     /  September 2, 2016

    Alligator Point Florida. Power of storm surge in even a Cat 1 Hurricane

    Reply
  48. Another side by side visual — propaganda wise WSJ:

    Reply
  49. Greg

     /  September 2, 2016

    Matt Lanza ‏@mattlanza 58m58 minutes ago
    I’m an anti-hype meteorologist & south Jersey native. This is what I just posted for my friends & family.

    Reply
  50. – Via: Pulitzer Center ‏@pulitzercenter
    Watch: How did the War on Terror influence the Bush administration’s response to Katrina?

    – This is a revealing point about effects of GW Bush, et al. deploying National Guard to a foreign land – Iraq, and unavailable for Katrina disaster duty here at home (The national part National Guard.)

    Reply
  51. jeremy in Wales

     /  September 2, 2016

    Reply
    • jeremy in Wales

       /  September 2, 2016

      Just trying to beat CB to posting some music – Y Niwl (fog or mist) undegpedwar (14) filmed in mist on Cardiff Bay barrage, Penarth Head in backround.

      Reply
  52. coloradobob

     /  September 2, 2016

    Reply
  53. coloradobob

     /  September 2, 2016

    My best friends ever, are on the corner of Buddy Holly, Ave. and 19th Street, in the A.B. Greer Iron Works building. They are sign makers, neon benders, glass blowers, and art farmers . They founded our farmers market. They are the “Silicone Valley” of Lubbock.
    One of them fell gravely ill this week, He’s doing better, and my toes are crossed. My happiest moments were makings clips of their work , I have dozens of them .

    Here’s one-

    Reply
  54. Waiting to hear from my longest time best friend/old surf partner on Windward Side of Oah’u (Ka’a’ava area). Not a word since yesterday morning but that entire side of the island was in panic mode. Gi-freaking-gantic waves on the outer reefs in front of their place already, the outside reefs were going off.

    Kam Hwy below their complex was in danger of serious flooding which means if Lester turns even slightly tonight (and it’ll be only 100 miles off the coast) they are going to get seriously smacked with no way out since that’s the only road. Category 3? They do have a place to bug-out to and I suggested maybe they should do that early. His Island-born wife is pretty shocked at seeing two hurricanes coming at the same time. That’s never happened before in her lifetime… They were trying to plywood sheet the upstairs windows but the winds were already making that hard to do. Local stores were stripped of water and supplies as the last ‘weather event’ a few weeks ago blew out water supplies all over that side of the island and turn what did trickle out of pipes into brown smelly stuff that nobody wanted to (or should) drink.

    So much going on worldwide that it is overwhelming to follow even part. Every single measurement is going off the expected/predicted scale, and far beyond what the very conservative estimates of the IPCC blathered about years ago.

    I’ve got cousins in Va Beach and Chesapeake that I haven’t heard from yet, either, but I bet they are doing the same thing as my partner is with that monster blob of 86’F ocean right off the coast and Hermine coming…

    Reply
  55. coloradobob

     /  September 2, 2016

    i made a,lot clips one of my best is burying one very old friend.

    Reply
  56. coloradobob

     /  September 2, 2016

    Damn !!!!

    Reply
  57. Melissa Etheridge had a concert at Sonoma State University, Friday.

    I’d forgotten this 2006 song she wrote for Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth:

    Reply

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