Warm, Storm-Force Winds Blowing From the Equator Flip West Antarctic Winter to Summer

In a record-hot world, there’s a lot of lower-latitude heat just waiting for a weakness in the increasingly feeble Jet Stream to make a big poleward rush. Such was the case today as an intense wave of warmth exploded up from the Equatorial region and began to spread summertime temperatures over sections of West Antarctica — technically still in the grips of the Southern Hemisphere’s winter season.

image

(A surge of heat breaks over West Antarctica on September 2nd, 2016, pushing air temperatures over vulnerable coastal glaciers and ice shelves near or above the melting point [0 degrees Celsius]. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

The warm winds began their southward turn about a thousand miles west of coastal South American and along the 20 degrees south latitude line. Tapping hot, tropical air, the winds then ran over hundreds of miles of open ocean — following the arch of a bulging ridge in the Jet Stream. These winds then gathered, howling through the Southern Ocean with storm force gusts of 50 to 65 mph before delivering their payload of abnormal warmth to West Antarctica.

Larsen C Ice Shelf Experiencing Above-Freezing Temperatures in Winter

Along the coast of Ellsworth Land, temperatures have risen to near the thawing point (0 degrees C), in winter, in a region that typically sees -2 to -3 C readings during summer. Temperatures that are 15 to 23 C above average (27 to 40 F) now range all over the Antarctic Peninsula and nearby areas of West Antarctica. Perhaps most dramatic are the 1.5 C readings coming from sections of the C region of the Larsen Ice Shelf bordering the Weddell Sea. There, downslope hurricane-force winds howling over the shelf are helping to spike local temperatures even as sea ice in the Weddell is splintered and shoved away from the Larsen C edge.

West Antarctic Heatwave

(A wave of 20+ C [36+ F] above-average temperatures blankets the vulnerable glaciers of West Antarctica on Friday, September 2nd. This pulse of tropical warmth is enough to drive readings over Antarctica to summertime or warmer ranges during winter, with some regions that typically experience below-freezing temperatures year-round nearing or exceeding the thawing point. Image source: Climate Reanalyzer.)

Larsen C is of particular interest due to a large crack spreading through its main body, threatening to break off a Connecticut-sized chunk of ice and disrupt the stability of the larger ice shelf. The most northerly of the remaining large Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves, this towering mass of frozen water serves to buttress a number of large Antarctic glaciers. Its loss or destabilization would allow these glaciers to increase their speed of ocean discharge and in turn, speed the rate of global sea-level rise. Needless to say, this combination of above-freezing temperatures during winter and hurricane-force winds won’t help to stabilize this now more than 120-kilometer long and hundreds-of-feet-deep crack.

Antarctic_surface_temperature

(Differences between average summer and winter temperatures over Antarctica. For sections of West Antarctica near the Antarctic Peninsula, Friday through Sunday will see temperatures more typical to Antarctic summer — during late winter. Image source: European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts.)

A Winter of West Antarctic Heat — Larger South Pole Warm-up on the Way?

More broadly, warming this region to above freezing for extended periods is a concern among glaciologists. In the past (during the Pliocene and Miocene), when atmospheric CO2 levels have hit a range of 390-405 parts per million or above, West Antarctica (and ultimately East Antarctica) experienced warmth which resulted in seas that were many feet and meters higher than today. With atmospheric CO2 readings likely to average near 405 ppm during 2016 (or total greenhouse gas levels in the range of 490 ppm CO2e), it appears that frequent periods of summer-like temperatures and related increasing melt pressure are now possible during polar winter.

Over recent months, this section of Antarctica has been clobbered repeatedly by such spates of above-normal temperatures. Back in June, an odd Jet Stream excursion (gravity wave) pulled a big pulse of Equatorial heat over West Antarctica. Today’s event is just one of a number of recent big warm air invasions into this highly vulnerable zone.

CFSv2 Hot South Pole Summer

(More severe melt stress for Antarctic glaciers? NOAA’s CFSv2 model shows a ridiculously hot South Pole summer may be on the way. Side note — over the past year or so this forecast model has run somewhat cooler than actual temperatures for the Arctic region. Image source: NOAA.)

Taking this most recent warming event into context and looking forward into late 2016 and early 2017, at least one global forecast model is predicting a period of severe Antarctic warming during this time. NOAA’s CFSv2 model, for example, finds a very extreme Antarctic temperature spike emerging over pretty much all of Antarctica during the late Southern Hemisphere summer and early fall months of 2017.

Links:

Earth Nullschool

Climate Reanalyzer

European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts

Another Blow to Glacial Stability

NOAA

Weather data provided by the Global Forecast System Model

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232 Comments

  1. miles h

     /  September 2, 2016

    thanks for this Rob… i have a bit of a ‘thing’ for the antarctic and whilst i do appreciate news from the north, a bit of southern news is also of great interest. the temps you quote are astonishingly way off what is expected – its winter there and near zero temps are mind blowing!
    ….larsen c crack is kind of ‘old news’ now (a whole week ago!😉 ) but this article was among the best i read – http://www.firstpost.com/world/rapid-growth-in-larsen-c-ice-shelfs-huge-crack-may-soon-destabilise-antarctics-largest-structure-2973782.html

    Reply
    • Thanks for the update on the crack’s rapid growth. Been following it here since Feb of 2015. The big jump to 120 kilometers approx is pretty shocking. Good article here.

      Reply
  2. Dan Helfrich

     /  September 2, 2016

    Go North, young man.

    Reply
  3. JPL

     /  September 2, 2016

    Hey DT, check this out, if you haven’t already seen it:

    http://www.lar.wsu.edu/airpact/gmap/ap5/ap5smoke.html

    PNW Air quality forecasting and visualization tool. Click ‘Layers’ in the upper left map corner for a pull out menu that lets you select, among other things, emissions.

    John

    P.S. – RS, I LOL every time I see the Trump adds show on your blog. Man are they barking up the wrong tree!

    Reply
    • Wish I had some way to approve or disapprove individual ads. Would rather see stuff for wind and solar than this numbskull. I could take the adds down entirely but that’s a wordpress feature I have to pay for. Maybe worth the investment.

      Reply
      • coloradobob

         /  September 2, 2016

        Lets open a dot com . platform. You break out of this And we can get edit bad comments. Lot’s of people will help you.

        Trust me , unless you don’t own Robert Scribbler. Co?

        You do don’t you ?

        Reply
      • JPL

         /  September 2, 2016

        Just had a quick meeting with your onyx avian banker in the upper right corner. Perhaps some of that can go into a no-ads bucket.🙂
        Thanks for all of your hard work – this blog is amazing!

        John

        Reply
      • Running Firefox on Win 7 — I have yet to receive a single ad here at RS.

        Reply
        • I don’t see them either. If you’re logged into WordPress, you shouldn’t see them as that’s a setting I’m able to apply. It’s really only just visible to those using open form in some browsers.

        • Abel Adamski

           /  September 3, 2016

          Ad blockers do the trick

    • George W. Hayduke

       /  September 2, 2016

      You can add Ghostery or Disconnect to Chrome or Firefox and these ads won’t pop up. Didn’t even know there were ads on here until this post. Another advantage to these add ons are that websites can’t track you.

      Reply
    • Jacob

       /  September 4, 2016

      I’m usually using IE on my desktop and laptop, and Silk on my tablet, I’ve never seen such ads (lucky for me, I suppose).

      Reply
    • JPL/everyone — just to let you guys know, I’ve paid for the wordpress feature that allows me to block advertising. I’ve selected it — so for now, you guys shouldn’t see any more nasty Trump ads. It also provides me with the option to generate revenue for this site by allowing sponsored ads. I’ll see if I can work something out with wordpress where the space is used to promote positive options like wind and solar. Otherwise, I don’t feel comfortable with the possibility of conflict of interest ads running on this site.

      I also want to give a heartfelt thanks everyone who has donated to the site for helping to provide me with the opportunity to make this choice. There has been such a great amount of personal effort involved both in comments and in supporting the broader message we are trying to sustain here. So I must also say that all these various actions have really meant a lot to me. That your voices have been a huge inspiration keeping me writing on this critical subject.

      Gratitude.

      Reply
  4. Andy_in_SD

     /  September 2, 2016

    Any idea if these winds are pushing warmer water down as well?

    Reply
  5. coloradobob

     /  September 2, 2016

    You dog, and your of family dogs. What merry pack of mischief, we are .

    Still trying to post my best clip.

    Pickin’ With Buddy – Drew Pennington.

    Reply
    • It’s easy to grimace at the critics so long as you have patience and the confident knowledge that, in the end, you’ll be vindicated by reality. Problem is, reality these days is harsh. I wish the critics turned up right more often than they do tend to.

      Reply
      • coloradobob

         /  September 2, 2016

        Then let’s start with RS.com. do you own that ?

        We are saying in Texas. } You’re bigger than Texas.

        Get on the stick amigo. Build a real platform.

        You have a deep pool of help. Tell every one what you need it.

        Time to fly.

        Reply
  6. coloradobob

     /  September 2, 2016

    Bear #339 and The Bear A Tones Join Dona Nobis Pacem

    Reply
  7. Reply
  8. jeremy in Wales

     /  September 2, 2016

    Larsen Ice Shelf is not the only one with lengthening cracks. The British Antarctic Base at Halley is being moved on the Brunt Ice Sheet some 23km to avoid an extending crack threatening to break of a huge chunk of Ice.
    https://www.bas.ac.uk/project/moving-halley/
    Wish I could find the clip from a BBC programme showing the presenter abseiling down into the crack and quickly digging and finding salt water.

    Reply
  9. “Solidly warming poles with confused equatorial winds spreading in the middle.”

    An accurate (?) synopsis on the ‘CLIMATE CHANNEL’ ?

    Reply
  10. Erik

     /  September 2, 2016

    This is worrisome. If Thwaites Glacier opens up a calving front the ocean can follow it all the way to the transatlantic mountains, dumping an insane amount of ice quite abruptly.

    Reply
    • Erik

       /  September 2, 2016

      Transantarctic mountains, spellchecker does it again.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  September 3, 2016

        Yup. Richard Alley discusses that here starting especially at about 36:40 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4oMsfa_30Q
        At a bit after 38 minutes, he seems to be saying that we could get 3m of sea level rise in a year when that thing goes. Did I hear that right?

        Reply
        • If I understand correctly, he’s saying (a) the ice retreat for this glacier will proceed in jumps due to the underlying topography (and they assert they’d be able to identify a 1-year pause in the sediment records left by a past ice retreat, but they don’t find one, thus it can happen on that short a time scale), and (b) the amount of ice they expect from this particular calving will raise sea level 3 m. But I don’t think he said that the calved ice will actually melt within 1 year. The lag between calving and melting means the 3m SLR would occur more slowly. Google says icebergs melt in 2-3 years. Whatever it really is, the take-home is still essentially the same: 3m of SLR in a really short amount of time!

        • wili

           /  September 3, 2016

          Thanks, David. But once the ice has calved and in the water, doesn’t it already raise the sea level. The iceberg doesn’t have to melt, as long as it’s in the ocean, right?

          All I can think is that when he mentioned the glacier melting in such a way that it did not leave any annual deposits, maybe he didn’t mean melt all the way back to the mountains??

          Certainly, 3 m in a year is faster than I’ve ever heard about from any other source, but then this guy is kind of the king of glaciology, so if anyone would know it would be him. I’m going to assume for my own peace of mind for now that somehow I missed something here and that 3m slr/yr is not possible, but any more light anyone can throw on it either way would be much appreciated.

        • Good point. I don’t know what the answer is – but certainly I wasn’t thinking straight about once the ice being in the ocean it doesn’t have to melt to raise SLR. I sit corrected.

        • Bill H

           /  September 3, 2016

          Wili,

          Agreed re icebergs. Sea ice melting doesn’t affect sea level (thank Archimedes for that insight!) But when land ice becomes sea ice then it does raise sea level, as there’s more H2O in the sea.

        • Perhaps the SLR occurs right at the calving event? i.e., once the ice is no longer supported by land? I think that the jumps that he’s talking about refer to the retreat of the ice-ocean interface underneath the ice sheet – not clear (to me, anyway) how long it takes after such a retreat for the ice above to split (and thereby raise sea level, in this scenario.) Probably not that long, I imagine. But someone here probably knows for sure…

        • Bill H

           /  September 3, 2016

          David, things are certainly complicated on the WAIS, not least because much of the land supporting the ice is below sea level, that is to say the ice is anchored to the land, and therefore counts as land ice, even though that land is below sea level. We can expect warming seas to attack the ice “from below”, eventually severing the “anchor”, at which point the land ice becomes sea ice. At the point it becomes sea ice I guess it would promptly topple over in order to achieve the required “90% below sea level” that Archimedes’ Principle dictates.

        • wili

           /  September 4, 2016

          Thanks. my feeble understanding is that any kind of ice cliff higher than 100m will be unstable and quickly crumple, whether under or above water. So once this moves of the ‘ledge’ you have basically nothing but 100m cliffs all the way back to the mountains…so…they just keep collapsing continuously till their all the way back to teh mountains. No whether all of this translates instantly into srl is another question I suppose. But it seems to me that most of everything that started out above the sea level would, sooner (mostly) or later, contribute to slr///

          Some one please…just tell me please…how many ways are we totally and uttlery fu’d a at this point….(please forgive the profanity…But really all of this simply buggers the mind and imagination…)….

        • wili

           /  September 4, 2016

          Sorry about all the typos there…note to self–don’t try to type late at night after a few drinks!!

        • Improbable Otherness

           /  September 4, 2016

          First, thanks, wili, for that link. Amazing that it has so few views over nearly 4 years. I liked Alley’s comparison of melt “ponds/lakes” and resultant moulins to “upside-down volcanoes.”🙂 Regardless, if one looks at the most recent Antarctic basal-topography maps, it appears that more than half the WAIS sits on “bedrock” that is a few hundred to a few thousand meters below current sea-level. The ice that is below sea-level does/will not have much effect on sea-level. However, all of that ice has more ice sitting on top of it, above sea-level, in some places, a thousand meters or more. That ice will significantly increase sea-level whether it’s liquid or solid. Moreover, since it is sitting on ice below sea-level, it is more “sensitive” to warming water temperatures, especially considering how much more efficiently water conducts thermal energy than air. Dr. Alley also seemed to say that “taller” calving fronts will be more unstable which may increase the rate at which a glacier disintegrates. Therefore, sea-level rise of 1-3 meters per year is a possibility over a span of a few years but unlikely to continue over a longer period. In other words, while sea-level rise has been increasing “slowly,” but seems to be accelerating, “significant rise” will happen in “pulses.”

  11. Kalypso

     /  September 2, 2016

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Larsen c ice shelf undergoes a partial or full collapse within the next couple of years. John Mercer made some bold predictions and I think he’s been vindicated. The ice behind Larsen c is enough to raise sea level 4 inches. Obviously the sea level rise won’t be instantaneous at the time of disintegration, but even still. Average global sea level has risen roughly 8 inches over the course of the past century or so. With a Larsen c break up the ocean will be a full foot higher. And the break up of ice shelves will march down through the west Antarctic ice sheet. If west Antarctica goes, our civilization will probably go with it. If we don’t change course now, I think humanity’s time on the earth will come to a close.

    Reply
    • Steven Blaisdell

       /  September 6, 2016

      “If we don’t change course now, I think humanity’s time on the earth will come to a close.”

      A tad exaggerated, that. Catastrophic destruction and dislocation in Guangzhou Mumbai, Kolkata, Guayaquil, Shenzen, Miami, Tianjin, NYC., Newark, N.J., Ho Chi Minh City, New Orleans, Jakarta, Abidjan, Chennai, Surat, Zhanjiang, Tampa—St. Petersburg, Boston, Bangkok, Xiamen, Nagoya? No exaggeration. I think that’s scary enough.

      Reply
      • Kalypso

         /  September 6, 2016

        My earlier comment was dramatic I’ll admit. But in my defense, Stephen Hawking thinks if we don’t get our collective butts in gear we will turn Earth into Venus. I don’t entirely buy that, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.

        Reply
  12. Greg

     /  September 2, 2016

    Another Freak Storm for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast
    By: Bryan Norcross , 7:38 PM GMT on September 02, 2016
    Hermine is just getting started. All of the drama last night in Florida with Gulf water rising up and pushing into coastal communities, and the rain and wind in the Carolinas today, were just a preview. All indications are that Hermine is going to be another epic storm that breaks all the rules for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/bnorcross/another-freak-storm-for-the-midatlantic-and-northeast

    Reply
    • Bill H

       /  September 3, 2016

      And yet the climate septics continue to cite the absence of major hurricanes hitting the US as a sign that AGW is not happening to a significant extent. Problem is: minor hurricanes and “mere” storms now cause at least as much mayhem.

      Reply
  13. Erik

     /  September 2, 2016

    Two independent teams of scientists reported in 2014 that the WAIS was irreversibly collapsing.

    There’s 20m of sea level rise equivalent of ice in East Antarctica sitting in reverse sloped submarine basins leading to Marine Ice Sheet Instability.

    Are we waiting for news we’ve destabilized part of the East as well before we act?

    Reply
    • Kalypso

       /  September 3, 2016

      Probably. People will only recognize the threat until it’s at the front door. Basically we would have to have very notable sea level rise at high rates for people to actually sense the danger enough to do anything about it. Sadly, scientists and the science around climate change is not respected in the USA.

      Reply
      • Steven Blaisdell

         /  September 6, 2016

        Yup. As evidenced here:
        “Flooding of Coast, Caused by Global Warming, Has Already Begun” NYT 9/3/2016
        From the article:
        “One night eight years ago, Karen Speights, a Norfolk resident, was sitting at the dinner table with her mother, eating crab legs dipped in butter and a tangy sauce. She felt a tingle. “Ma!” she cried. “My feet are wet!” Her mother laughed, but then she felt it, too: a house that had not flooded since the family moved there in 1964 was soon awash in saltwater. Ms. Speights initially hoped that flood was a fluke. Instead, it turned out to be the first of three to hit their home in less than a decade.
        Nowadays, Ms. Speights….is wondering how to get her and her mother out of the neighborhood before the water comes again, without taking too much of a financial hit. And she pays more attention to problems that once seemed remote, like warnings from scientists about the rising sea. ‘I believe it because we’re living it,” Ms. Speights said as she sat on her sofa, nodding toward the nearby tidal marsh that sent water into her living room. “The water has to be rising if we never flooded, and all of a sudden we’ve flooded three times in eight years.'”

        Welcome to our new reality, Ms. Speights. Good to have you on board. And when the criminal prosecutions of the malevolent actors begin I hope you, and all those negatively affected by their intentional, criminal malfeasance, give your whole hearted support.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/04/science/flooding-of-coast-caused-by-global-warming-has-already-begun.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fscience&action=click&contentCollection=science&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront&_r=0

        Reply
  14. Greg

     /  September 3, 2016

    Wxrisk, out your area RS, a very good meteorologist, has some sobering modeling work and analysis for after Sunday with Hermine all the down to Hampton Roads.

    https://www.wxrisk.com/historic-ocean-storm-record-smashing-flood-for-delmarva-south-nj-now-likely/

    Reply
  15. Cate

     /  September 3, 2016

    Robert, ICYMI, for your files:

    This is from John Batteen posting at ASIF about a presentation by Dr. Bill Langford at the Uni of Guelph, Ontario, on Hadley cell expansion. The PDF of the PPT is here:

    https://www.fields.utoronto.ca/programs/scientific/10-11/biomathstat/Langford_W.pdf

    “Basically, their mathematical model predicts that in Hothouse Earth paleoclimates there was a single Hadley cell going all the way from equator to pole, keeping temperatures relatively similar the whole way. Interestingly, the model also predicts hysteresis bifurcation, “a nonlinear phenomenon in which there is co-existence of two different stable states (or modes), with abrupt jumps from either state to the other state.”

    Vid of Dr Langford’s presentation is there:

    http://www.birs.ca/events/2012/5-day-workshops/12w5073/videos/watch/201211061638-Langford.html

    Reply
  16. Good to see this nice piece prominently displayed on nytimes.com right now, even if it is a rather quiet news day here:

    “Flooding of Coast, Caused by Global Warming, Has Already Begun”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/04/science/flooding-of-coast-caused-by-global-warming-has-already-begun.html

    Reply
  17. wharf rat

     /  September 3, 2016

    Creedence on Why the South Needs more Wind Turbines

    Wind farm development in the south has been slow. At one time, the sauntering southern breezes seemed too sluggish to harness for wind farm development. Research, meteorology and advanced wind turbine technology have finally enabled economic wind farm development in the south. Two southern cultural references, mixed with some new science, help explain why wind power is suddenly a smart strategy.
    https://climatecrocks.com/2016/09/02/creedence-on-why-the-south-needs-more-wind-turbines/

    Reply
  18. Oh. Shit.

    That said (and not for the first time) I am provoked to ask help in enunciating a metric that is, if anything, excessively informed by the work RS is doing and the attendant citations.

    Viz, I am groping for “the rate of change in the rate of change”, (the differential, if you will) of the worst case scenario SLR projections.

    Put simply, I imagine a number indicating the diminishing time that it takes for another foot of rise to be embraced by the worst case scenario…It seems to my relatively uneducated observation that (reaches back to pull data from research department upon which he is seated…) this interval has shrunk in just this century from decades to maybe under a year.

    I don’t really know what practical benefit would result from such a calculation, other than factoring into an overall pessimism index that is obviously already oversupplied by a hurricane (see what I did there…?) of data points.

    I’m willing to bet that RS or his compadres here could generate the number without really even breaking out their slide rules (wait, their WHAT?).

    Reply
    • Current rate of rise is 3.4 mm per year. The issue right now is how fast will a doubling occur. Hansen and others have indicated that current levels ghg + ongoing fossil fuel burning could push doubling times to ten years. It’s also worth noting that warming can generate large melt spikes in single events. My opinion is that there’s a high risk that we start seeing 10 year doubling times, or thereabouts, in the 2020 to 2040 time period.

      Reply
  19. June

     /  September 3, 2016

    Not surprising, just a reminder of the challenge ahead, and the importance of this election.

    Americans Now More Politically Polarized On Climate Change Than Ever Before, Analysis Finds

    In 2001, 53 percent of Republican voters agreed that global warming was caused by humans, compared with 70 percent of Democrats — a gap of 17 percentage points. But by 2016, this gap had blown out to 41 percentage points, with only 43 percent of Republican voters accepting climate change is human-caused…

    Even when Republicans experience extreme weather events, there was little evidence that this was enough for those voters to change their views.

    http://www.desmogblog.com/2016/08/31/americans-now-more-politically-polarized-climate-change-ever-analysis-finds

    Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  September 3, 2016

      This, dear June, is what happens when the sub-median 50% of the intelligence distribution are ruthlessly brainwashed by monstrosities like the Murdoch apparatus, and Groupthink and one’s group identity depend on ignorant and complacent acquiescence. Even more disturbing is that more highly educated members of this group also share what is basically an ideological psychosis born of hatred of ‘the Left’. ‘Democratic’ adversarial politics has created monstrous ignorance out of political contestation between Parties that actually agree on most things, including the centrality of elite rule, behind a facade of ‘democracy’. So long as enough billionaires see it as in their interests, however narrowly defined, to finance the denialist industry, the USA and the Anglosphere (believe me, it’s every bit as bad and mad here in Australia)will hold the world back, until it is too late, which it may even be already. The prospect of Trump and the morally insane and ludicrously stupid Republican platform triumphing in November is chilling, and tragi-comic.

      Reply
  20. 19:45 UTC

    Reply
  21. UK – Devon – I’m being ‘cheeky’ here to make point by pairing these two Tweets:

    #1

    Reply
  22. A view from orbit:

    Reply
  23. Reply
    • Jacob

       /  September 4, 2016

      Republicans are threatening national security and managing to get away with it. How is that possible?

      Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  September 4, 2016

        They don’t care as long as their military industrial complex contractors make buckets of money, which in this case they will do. See the satellite sitting in the warehouse (a military one that also does weather and climate, happy to fund development and construction, but denying the Navy funds to launch it)

        Reply
      • It’s pure seditious behavior — and so far, they are getting away with it.
        They have hobbled, vandalized, or corrupted almost every government function — all the way from the Presidency, to the Supreme Court, to the EPA.
        They have been as purposeful as they have been destructive.

        Seditious — sample definitions:

        ‘inciting or causing people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch.’

        ‘incitement of discontent or rebellion against a government. ‘

        ‘Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent (or resistance) to lawful authority.’

        Reply
      • Steven Blaisdell

         /  September 6, 2016

        IOKIYAR

        Reply
  24. The electrical grid got pounded — comparable to Katrina:

    Reply
  25. Reply
  26. USA – ‘Terra shake-a’ Oklahoma

    The Associated Press Verified account ‏@AP 2h2 hours ago

    Oklahoma shuts down dozens of disposal wells for wastewater from oil and gas production following earthquake
    ##

    Reply
  27. Cate

     /  September 3, 2016

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/09/04/science/flooding-of-coast-caused-by-global-warming-has-already-begun.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=0&referer

    Shared by Jason Box today. Sea level rise isn’t 100 years off. It’s here and now. Excellent long must-read piece from the NYT on east coast erosion.

    Reply
  28. Reply
  29. Jay M

     /  September 4, 2016

    a mild lashing of GB (09016)

    Reply
  30. Jay M

     /  September 4, 2016

    Hawaii gets grazed northerly, immense territory the Pacific Ocean

    Reply
  31. Vince O

     /  September 4, 2016

    Hi there, I don’t usually go on many forums but I find yours encapsulating and On-The-Ball as it were, maybe you would find this link interesting with regard global weather patterns and new phenomena

    http://thewatchers.adorraeli.com/2016/09/02/mysterious-anomaly-interrupts-stratospheric-wind-pattern/

    Reply
  32. Storm Hermine’s damage fueled by global warming, scientists say

    Michael Mann of the Pennsylvania State University noted that this century’s one-foot sea-level rise in New York City meant 25 more square miles flooded during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, causing billions more in damage.

    “We are already experiencing more and more flooding due to climate change in every storm,” said Michael Oppenheimer, a geosciences professor at Princeton University. “And it’s only the beginning.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/04/storm-hermine-damage-global-warming

    Reply
  33. Geert

     /  September 4, 2016

    Hi Robert, are there models or is there anybody good in calculating how much sealevel globally will rise if indeed in ten years the global Temp has risen 10C (see arctic sea iceblog from Neven)? I live in the Netherlands now at minus 5.5meter, half of the Dutch (half of 17 Million people) live below sealevel…

    Reply
    • So we will almost certainly not see a 10 C rise in temperatures over the next ten years. If we do, then the science (that has proven pretty amazingly reliable so far except for a few noted caveats) will have been way off.

      Current rate of sea level rise is 3.4 mm per year. This is basically twice the rate it was about 40 years ago. And the issue we are looking at now is what are some plausible doubling times. Hansen and others have indicated the possibility of 10 or 15 year doubling times as warming advances into the 1-2 C above 1880s range. These temperatures are comparable to the Eemian when global oceans were 10-20 feet higher than they are today. So such temperatures will almost certainly see added stress to glaciers (especially in places like Greenland and Antarctica) and we are seeing this start to ramp up now.

      IPCC expects as much as 1 meter of global sea level rise by 2100, but this number is likely to be conservative, even if we stop burning fossil fuels pretty quickly. Hansen and others (Deconte) indicate a risk of multi-meter sea level rise by the end of this Century. Over the next decade, though, the Netherlands may, at worst, see half a foot. The 2030 to 2050 time scale appears to be when the risk of large glacial outflows really start to ramp up. So what we’re seeing now is just what I’m calling early easy fringe events.

      That said, we don’t really know how rapidly glaciers can respond and the indicators are that severe warming spells have the capacity to generate extreme melt pulses. So while forecasts tend to follow neat curves, glacial melt is likely to proceed in the form of large spike events. As a result, we could see a lot of sea level rise in a short period of time once the heat really starts to settle in.

      I hope this response isn’t too complex. Unfortunately, it’s the best (most honest) assessment I can give at this time both based on my own observations and my reading of the science.

      Reply
  34. June

     /  September 4, 2016

    It was a struggle for me to follow all this, but the methodology allowed the NREL to develop scenarios with a precision that wasn’t possible before. So it comes down to adoption of renewables being a people problem not a technological problem.

    The Eastern US could get a third of its power from renewables within 10 years. Theoretically.

    The study is a remarkable technical achievement, marrying enormous datasets with enormous computing power to produce incredibly rich scenarios…

    There are plenty of arguments to be had about the costs of quickly ramping up renewables, or the right policies to get there. But anyone who says that the densely populated eastern US can’t do it without threatening service and reliability is, according to the best available research, simply wrong.

    http://www.vox.com/2016/8/31/12721206/eastern-us-30-percent-renewables

    Reply
  35. Reply
  36. Reply
    • Andy_in_SD

       /  September 4, 2016

      If you compare that to NSIDC extent you can see that extent really includes fractured messes. If one were to reference extent as contiguous ice (like it used to be 30, 40 years ago) as opposed to floating pieces, what would the extent really be?

      If we qualified multiyear ice as extent and measured that, the single year ice really just being seasonal one would get a more decent picture of decline and some multi seasonal variability may get removed making the result more quantitative over the short and long term.

      Reply
    • Note the huge polynya on the Barents side. I’ve never seen a feature this large so far to the north on that side of the Arctic. And that included the ridiculous thinning years of 2010 and 2013.

      Reply
  37. Dakota — fossil fuel violent thugs at work

    Reply
    • Hold on — there’s a private company using force in an attempt to disperse protestors? Sounds illegal to me.

      In any case, this brings to mind the unconscionable violent acts against racial equality activists back during the civil rights movement in the 60s. But, in the case of climate change, violent action against pipeline protestors is violent action against everyone living on the Earth.

      Reply
  38. “sunny day” flooding

    Reply
  39. Reply
  40. Bill H

     /  September 4, 2016

    It’s official: sea ice extent (JAXA measurement) now lower than all previous years bar 2012, and it’s still declining. (Sea ice area has been lowest bar 2012 for some time now).
    https://ads.nipr.ac.jp/vishop/#/extent
    Also, sea ice volume as measured by PIOMAS now equal 2nd lowest with 2011. Only 2012 is lower.
    http://neven1.typepad.com/.a/6a0133f03a1e37970b01bb0932606a970d-pi

    Reply
    • We had a decent notion that this year would be pretty bad. Thank goodness it didn’t shape into something worse than it was. 1-3 more weeks of losses ahead with some measures likely to challenge 2012 — especially area. Overall yearly averages on track for new record lows even though the annual minimum, overall, seems unlikely to exceed 2012.

      La Niña to be weak or nonexistent — means atmospheric temps will tend to range closer to new record highs through the rest of 2016 and 2017. There may be a silver lining for sea ice in that NAO would tend to be weaker, transporting less heat into the Arctic. But with so much already in place, and with El Niño years +1 and +2 tending to see the greatest losses, the best thing we might say is that the signal is a little mixed. Not very optimistic for 2017, for my own part.

      Reply
  41. coloradobob

     /  September 4, 2016

    Reply
  42. coloradobob

     /  September 4, 2016

    The API fall campaign has been up for a few days. The legged blonde in the suit is gone.

    Replaced by “energy voters”, they are urged by them , to vote for their children, and grandchildren.

    The same weekend sandstone was falling off buildings in Oklahoma. Because , unleashed oil development there has made it the “New Earthquake Capital of America”.
    The irony knob has been turned up to 11.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  September 4, 2016

      DRILL BABY DRILL.

      Until the next bust .
      Then you’re on the end of a swap buggy in Miss. Broke, with a motel bill. And no work.

      Reply
      • coloradobob

         /  September 4, 2016

        Using Trump Playbook, Chamber Of Commerce Invents Absurd Fossil Fuel Claims
        The industry trade group uses faulty economic analysis.

        The U.S. Chamber of Commerce last week launched a new attack on Hillary Clinton that aims to stoke fear in western states that the presidential candidate intends to fully halt the production of all oil, gas, and coal on federal lands and waters. The attack, which is based on both a false claim about Clinton’s policy positions and faulty economic analysis, seems to draw from Donald Trump’s playbook of presenting fictional scenarios as fact.

        https://thinkprogress.org/chamber-of-commerce-invents-absurd-oil-and-gas-claims-a503c5ebc3eb#.s0wepykkk

        Reply
        • Well, if she did plan for this in the middle to long term, it wouldn’t really be a bad thing. We need to do it if we’re going to prevent some really terrible outcomes. Think climate change is bad now? Just keep burning oil, gas, and coal..

          In my view, the CoC fear is the rest of the world’s hope. But, yeah, it’s not really an accurate description of the Clinton policy position.

    • Some things to think about–

      1. Since the end of the last ice age, a big magma plume rising up from below has been trying to generate a new fault zone in this region.
      2. Fracking may well be helping that process along.

      New earthquake capital of the world, indeed.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  September 5, 2016

        The Yorkton area in SE Saskatchewan had a 3.8 quake today.

        “There have been five others of a similar magnitude in the Yorkton-Esterhazy area in the past 16 years, and 11 since 1981.”

        http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/saskatchewan-news-earlthquake-yorkton-1.3748661

        Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  September 6, 2016

        A very relevant point Robert.
        One I see That could be a factor where micro fractures are caused whether by underground Nuke testing over many years or by myriad small regularly applied microfractures such as fracking etc.

        https://weather.com/safety/earthquake/news/earthquake-southeast-us-north-american-plate

        Scientists May Have Found Reason Behind Unusual Earthquakes in Southeastern U.S.

        Rather than originating from plate boundaries, as earthquakes in more active regions do, they key to these quakes is beneath the plates and in the Earth’s mantle, researchers found. Their theory is that pieces of the mantle are breaking off, weakening the plate above. And they found that the 2011 earthquake is one of many that are likely to come.

        “Our idea supports the view that this seismicity will continue due to unbalanced stresses in the plate,” Biryol said. “The [seismic] zones that are active will continue to be active for some time.”

        Researchers used a 3D map of the mantle and found something unexpected: the thickness of the plate in the southeast was uneven, a mixture of young and old rock. Pieces of the mantle were breaking off and letting gravity do its job. Thinner plates are more likely to slip along the fault lines.

        That instability explained why quakes had occurred in the past, and hints at more to come in the future. .

        Add in the rotational stresses from changes in surface mass distribution, interesting times ahead

        Reply
  43. coloradobob

     /  September 4, 2016

    The Energy Issue is huge this cycle. I need not tell that here. Let’s hope the green people see that. It’s the dart into Trump’s heart.

    Reply
  44. coloradobob

     /  September 4, 2016

    We need an effort that spots every parking lot in America. And we install solar panels over everyone.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  September 4, 2016

      We fuel your electric car, we run the building.

      Reply
    • So I notice this site today called pluggedsolar.com that offers full do it yourself installation kits for a little more than 2 dollar per kilowatt hour installed. Comes to less than 2 dollars after government incentives.

      Reply
  45. coloradobob

     /  September 4, 2016

    This is not hard.

    Reply
  46. Cate

     /  September 4, 2016

    A “thought experiment” on a post-apocalyptic revival of an industrial-based civilisation. How could it be done–if indeed it could be done at all—without fossil fuels?

    ” It’s easy to underestimate our current dependence on fossil fuels. In everyday life, their most visible use is the petrol or diesel pumped into the vehicles that fill our roads, and the coal and natural gas which fire the power stations that electrify our modern lives. But we also rely on a range of different industrial materials, and in most cases, high temperatures are required to transform the stuff we dig out of the ground or harvest from the landscape into something useful. You can’t smelt metal, make glass, roast the ingredients of concrete, or synthesise artificial fertiliser without a lot of heat. It is fossil fuels – coal, gas and oil – that provide most of this thermal energy.”

    https://aeon.co/essays/could-we-reboot-a-modern-civilisation-without-fossil-fuels

    Reply
    • Cate –
      Was thinking on this 30 years ago or more. Our civilization is balanced on a knife-edge, and totally dependent on fossil fuels and a whole bunch of other stuff – mineral ores for metal, etc.

      We long ago used up all the “low-hanging fruit” – the easy-to-get-at oil and coal and ores – lead, tin, iron, copper, gold – you name it!

      These easy-access resources made possible the early stages of our bronze age / iron age / industrial revolution development. Non of these resources will be available to a lower-than-present technology for a very, very long time – until major moves by tectonic plates create new easy-access supplies.

      Gives one pause, doesn’t it?

      Reply
      • Aren´t we stocking lots of easy-acess metals and materials (coal is being burned and is destroyed, but other materials aren´t) in huge stockpiles we call landfills? It´s possible (not sure if wise) to make a forge at home that can smelt aluminium, silver and tin, easy even, and vegetable coal, though it can´t reach the temps mineral coal gets, is way too easy to produce (seriously, that´s a criminal problem here in Brasil, because it´s an easy way for any idiot to monetize deforestation).

        While unsanitary, taboo and dangerous, searching for materials in landfills can yeld enough to pay for lunch in our days of plenty. Desperate people already do it: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/world/story/2012-06-03/rio-de-janeiro-jardim-gramacho-dump-closing/55352142/1 . If civilization collapses and metals are considered as valuable as they were in the Middle Ages, for example (not even going to think about the Iron Ages, Middle Ages had better documentation), that´s where our descendants will be looking for ores.

        Reply
  47. coloradobob

     /  September 4, 2016

    Too Many People.

    Reply
  48. coloradobob

     /  September 4, 2016

    ” It’s easy to underestimate our current dependence on fossil fuels”

    That’s easy, burn one gallon of gas in your car, now push it home.

    Reply
  49. Robert M

     /  September 5, 2016

    This could be related to the apparently unprecedented drop in antarctic sea ice extent, 3 million km^2 gone in just 4 days, taking sea ice into territory not normally seen until early November (if the Bremen data are reliable)

    Reply
  50. Could be related to the apparently unprecedented decrease in antarctic sea ice: the melting doesn’t normally start until late September, but 3 million km^2 has gone in just a few days:

    Reply
  51. – A dark and ugly aspect of the American character is on display here.

    NYT
    ‘Rolling Coal’ in Diesel Trucks…

    MONTROSE, Colo. — There is a new menace on America’s roads: diesel truck drivers who soup up their engines and remove their emissions controls to “roll coal,” or belch black smoke, at pedestrians, cyclists and unsuspecting Prius drivers.

    Sgt. Chris Worthington of the Montrose Police Department here is out to stop them.

    And while official tallies of coal rolling do not exist, there are signs that smoke, whether from intentional belching or not, is a growing public nuisance. In Colorado, complaints over diesel smoke have risen 5 percent over the last two years. In California, complaints about smoking vehicles to the California Air Resources Board have jumped from under 700 a month, on average, two years ago to more than 1,000 now.

    Reply
  52. – A sensible solar array resembling a tree.

    Reply
  53. Greg

     /  September 5, 2016

    John Morales ‏@JohnMoralesNBC6
    China & U.S. set tensions aside to formally commit to the #ParisClimateDeal. http://nyti.ms/2bQtOw2

    Reply
  54. Greg

     /  September 5, 2016

    As of Sunday evening, Post-Tropical Cyclone Hermine’s predicted coastal flooding impact in the Mid-Atlantic has diminished based on what seemed to be an imminent catastrophe about 36 hours ago. Here’s why:

    Reply
  55. redskylite

     /  September 5, 2016

    RS -Thanks for that analysis and reminder that not all the drama is happening North in the Arctic. Many people remain blinkered and self absorbed, it is hard to continue to try and draw attention to the problem and RS deserves a medal at least.

    Take out the negative human and ecological considerations, the Earth Science is extremely interesting on a scale unimaginable. But what saddens and flattens me is the tragedy of people forced to migrate. It is becoming obvious our race is still largely based on close group/tribal instincts and there is plenty of resistance to accepting new comers who speak and/or look different to our own societies.

    Recent elections in U.K and Germany seem to suggest increased nationalistic feelings and I fear it will spread to France and beyond .

    The pathos of the Jungle in Calais and what I see and read brings me to tears. What is going to happen in a few decades time when large swathes of coastal land in distant and poor communities (like Bangladesh) start to occur.

    Few welcoming, sympathetic arms appear to exist for the anxious fleeing populace. We must prepare for it or see a complete breakdown of societies.

    Where will the residents of the jungle go, when it is disassembled ? who will help those unfortunate souls.

    EU migrant crisis: Calais protest to demand Jungle closure

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37273020

    Reply
    • Shawn Redmond

       /  September 5, 2016

      Migration is the wrong term as it implies that they will be returning in mass. Not likely to happen in any meaningful time frame.

      Reply
      • redskylite

         /  September 6, 2016

        Agreed many of those people should be defined as refugees – there was a petition to the BBC (which I signed) requesting they started referring to those people as refugees, but they stuck by the name “migrants”, not seeming to wish to acknowledge that people might seek to take refuge against death by indiscriminate bombings and even worse death by indiscriminate Climate Change. I feel so pissed and angry and useless.

        Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  September 5, 2016

      We been down this road before.
      Note Australian Abriginals when European’s arrived were nomads within their tribal zones, and most surely did not build stone dwellings.
      https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/sep/05/evidence-of-9000-year-old-stone-houses-found-on-australian-island

      Archeologists working on the Dampier archipelago off Australia’s north-west coast have found evidence of stone houses dating back 9,000 years – to the end of the last ice age – building the case for the area to get a world heritage listing.

      Circular stone foundations were discovered in a cave floor on Rosemary Island, the outermost of 42 islands that make up the archipelago. The islands and the nearby Burrup peninsula are known as Murujuga – a word meaning “hip bones sticking out” – in the language of the Ngarluma people.

      Prof Jo Mcdonald, director of the Centre for Rock Art Research and Management at the University of Western Australia, said the excavations showed occupation was maintained throughout the ice age and the period of rapid sea level rise that followed.
      Race to protect Australia’s rock art: ‘I don’t know if we need to do an ice bucket challenge or what’
      Read more

      “Around 8,000 years ago, it would have been on the coast,” McDonald told Guardian Australia. “This is the time that the islands were starting to be cut off and it’s a time when people were starting to rearrange themselves.”

      The sea level on Australia’s north-west coast rose 130 metres after the end of the ice age, at a rate of about a metre every five to 10 years. “In people’s lifetimes they would have seen loss of territory and would have had to renegotiate – a bit like Miami these days,” McDonald said.

      Earlier research on Barrow Island, about 100km west, found evidence of human occupation dating back 50,000 years.

      Reply
      • June

         /  September 5, 2016

        It is disturbing but not surprising that the WA premier is dragging his feet about formally applying for World Heritage status for this area in order to protect development. From the story: The area is also home to the US$2bn North West Shelf gas project, the largest oil and gas development in Australia.
        The entry to the largest heritage site, a valley containing close to a million rock carvings dating back 40,000 years, is within a kilometre of a fertiliser plant. Last year the WA government removed a large umbrella heritage listing for the peninsula because it complicated development applications.

        Reply
      • June

         /  September 5, 2016

        Something else mentioned in the article startled me, and I wonder if it was a misquote. If not, the fact that such an extreme amount of local sea level rise in such a short period is even physically possible is alarming.

        “The sea level on Australia’s north-west coast rose 130 metres after the end of the ice age, at a rate of about a metre every five to 10 years.”

        Reply
        • Marcusblanc

           /  September 5, 2016

          I don’t think it is a misquote, I’m afraid, there are other examples of such rapid rises, especially coming out of ice ages, when greater amounts of land ice were available than today.

  56. June

     /  September 5, 2016

    Asian typhoons becoming more intense, study finds

    Giant storms that wreak havoc across China, Japan, Korea and the Philippines have grown 50% stronger in the past 40 years due to warming seas

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/05/asian-typhoons-becoming-more-intense-study-finds

    Reply
    • wili

       /  September 5, 2016

      50% is a lot. This should be the headline of every newspaper, but with even more dot-connecting. Basically, Haiyan and many other deadly storms would have been much less deadly without our extra juicing of the atmosphere with heat and heat-caused evaporation, not to mention increased sea levels adding to storm surge damage.

      Basically, all of us have some of the blood from these deaths on our hands, but of course those who use the most (and especially those who actively profit from ffs and influence congress and the public to do nothing to stop emissions) are the most responsible.

      But no one short of the bottom most in world society are completely off the hook. We all have choices around how much we fly, drive, eat meat and dairy, eat locally…And of course we can all be more active in climate activism and climate communication (though it’s hard to imagine anyone doing more on the communication side than does our intrepid rs!!).

      People have to have these dots connected for them and put in their face, multiple times, day after day, and in a variety of effective media and formats and forms so that everyone can find a way to understand and connect and start to change and to change others.

      After rs’s heartfelt entreaty the other day, I would like to suggest that a sub-theme in these topics is that we use this space to share what we have tried to do, what seems to be effective, what our frustrations are…

      I certainly could give you an earful on the frustrations side, but for now, I’ll just say that my city just started a land lease program to encourage community gardens, which I have taken advantage of. Most of the food right now is going to a soup kitchen for the homeless and for others. Unfortunately, this has necessitated doing a bit more driving than I am used to (which is usually almost none). But I hope that some of the native plants that I have also established will do a little sequestering work to off set some of that.

      I stopped flying about 12 years ago, and am mostly vegan and shop mostly locally…I don’t really know anyone else personally (besides a few online acquaintances) who have taken the step of not flying, and I don’t seem to have inspired any friends or family to reduce this major part of their footprint. (Not to brag, but on http://www.myfootprint.org, I’m down to below one ‘earth,’ again, not something that I know anyone else who has achieved.)

      Any similar experiences? Thoughts? Suggestions? Strategies…?

      Reply
      • oldhippie

         /  September 5, 2016

        If you are or ever were politically active there is no choice to make, you are on the no-fly list.
        If you are still afforded the option of flying you are much too well behaved. Try harder.

        Reply
        • If you want to have the strongest possible independent impact, you’ll forego fossil fuel vehicle use (drive an EV or just bike), non renewable based flights (pretty much all flights these days), cut your meat/dairy consumption to zero, use the bike or walk, install rooftop solar, plant a garden, and buy local. If you want to have the strongest possible systemic influence, you’ll become politically active to support strong policies to deal with climate change, fully divest all funds from fossil fuels, and involve yourself in an agency like 350.org and the Sierra Club — taking part in actions to block fracking or existing or new pipelines, invest in companies that produce non fossil fuel energy, become involved in a local climate action group, and donate to climate change action funds. One sets the example. The other helps everyone by making the right choices easier and more accessible and the wrong choices harder and less accessible.

        • wili

           /  September 5, 2016

          “If you are or ever were politically active there is no choice to make, you are on the no-fly list.” Well, that’s one of a number of other reasons why I’m mostly just fine with not flying these days. Outside of, say, prison or the military, it is about the most humiliating and basic-rights-ignoring institution in the country.

          I used to be a bit more politically active than I am now. I find it a bit hard to work with some “Green BAU” types. We definitely need both, but at different stages in our lives, we may be more effective in one part of the equation than the other.

          Well put, as usual, rs!

        • Cheers, Wili🙂. Thanks for your activism in this regard. BAU Green is a new term for me. I crave a definition.

      • wili

         /  September 5, 2016

        So, I also have questions about the science of this study. I had always heard that GW was not going to increase the _frequency_ of hurricanes (though it may increase _intensity_) because GW also tends to increase the amount and intensity of windshear–high winds that have the effect of slicing up circling storms from the side before they can really get established.

        So why isn’t that also the case for typhoons?

        I’m guessing it has something to do with the topography to the west. My understanding (and please correct me where I’m wrong) is that in the W Hemisphere, windshear develops in the east Pacific and crosses over the Panamanian isthmus before slicing up tropical storms.

        Does windshear not similarly develop in the Indian Ocean, for some reason? Or not at the right latitude or something? Can windshear not develop over land?

        Anyway, if I may be so bold, I think this development is a big enough deal that I am going to ask rs if might consider working it up as a fuller, dot-connecting story. For me, at least, it really helps hit home how GW is not just some future looming threat, but something taking lives now, every year, probably every month somewhere. Thanks, either way.

        Reply
        • wili

           /  September 6, 2016

          “BAU Green” as I understand it, is a kind of environmentalism that assumes that we can keep the rest of our terra-cidal consumerist industrial society on a rapid growth tragectory, and just tweek the source of the energy for that model (to alternatives), and everything will be just fine. JimD at neven’s forums uses the term quite a bit, if you want to search his posts. It is certainly not original with me, but it is certainly going to be controversial in some circles.

        • My notion is to try to be inclusive and not divisive. This term seems to encapsulate a number of false assumptions that have for so long been deeply divisive within the environmental movement. The notion of understanding limits to growth has long been about transforming society to a more sustainable system that uses different bases for industry and agriculture — not into a society that does not employ any kind of industry at all. Into a society lowers materials throughput while enhancing prosperity by both increasing efficiency, reducing net materials consumption, and engaging in a full-on energy switch.

          I can see this term being used to label anyone who supports the energy switch at all. I hope I’m wrong, but given what I’ve seen in this forum, that’s what I expect to come from it.

  57. Robert, polynyas…

    Reply
  58. – Greenland — ‘dark anomalies’

    Reply
  59. – 1950 — Definitely in my line of thinking…

    The Anthropocene epoch: scientists declare dawn of human-influenced age

    Experts say human impact on Earth so profound that Holocene must give way to epoch defined by nuclear tests, plastic pollution and domesticated chicken

    Humanity’s impact on the Earth is now so profound that a new geological epoch – the Anthropocene – needs to be declared, according to an official expert group who presented the recommendation to the International Geological Congress in Cape Town on Monday.

    The new epoch should begin about 1950, the experts said, and was likely to be defined by the radioactive elements dispersed across the planet by nuclear bomb tests, although an array of other signals, including plastic pollution, soot from power stations, concrete…

    “The significance of the Anthropocene is that it sets a different trajectory for the Earth system, of which we of course are part,” said Prof Jan Zalasiewicz, a geologist at the University of Leicester and chair of the Working Group on the Anthropocene (WGA), which started work in 2009.

    “If our recommendation is accepted, the Anthropocene will have started just a little before I was born,” he said. “We have lived most of our lives in something called the Anthropocene and are just realising the scale and permanence of the change.”

    Prof Colin Waters, principal geologist at the British Geological Survey and WGA secretary, said: “Being able to pinpoint an interval of time is saying something about how we have had an incredible impact on the environment of our planet. The concept of the Anthropocene manages to pull all these ideas of environmental change together.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/aug/29/declare-anthropocene-epoch-experts-urge-geological-congress-human-impact-earth?CMP=soc_567

    Reply
    • – ‘Human activity has left a permanent layer of airborne particulates in sediment and glacial ice. ‘ – Guardian Photo caption

      On a daily basis much is still in suspension in the atmosphere — as we continue adding to it.

      Reply
  60. With ‘Time Running Out,’ G20 Fails on Fossil Fuel Subsidies
    ‘Handing out money to the fossil fuel industry is simply not compatible with the Paris agreement’

    http://commondreams.org/news/2016/09/05/time-running-out-g20-fails-fossil-fuel-subsidies

    …German press agency DPA reported Monday that a late draft of the G20 Leaders’ Communique “did not mention plans to fulfill a promise the G20 made seven years ago to put an end to controversial fossil fuel subsidies.”

    …warning that the estimated $444 billion in G20 subsidies to the fossil fuels industry “are locking in long­-lived, high-­emitting infrastructure and unlocking new fossil fuel reserves.”

    Excuse me? Four Hundred Forty-four BILLION dollars in subsidies and people think the extremely wealthy beneficiaries of all those taxpayer dollars are going to let it end? And just how much of those subsidies go directly into politicians’ pockets in the form of ‘campaign contributions?’ How do we compete with that???

    This is a bit discouraging.

    Then I read yesterday:

    …that Obama’s BLM has moved all onshore oil/fracking leases to online auctions only to stop protests at the behest of Western Energy Alliance…no more protests allowed.

    …the XL Pipeline has been renamed and is in a Texas courtroom for a decision on continuing to finish it (any guesses how that will turn out?) before it goes to the NAFTA/GATT corporate lawyers ‘arbitration’ for their decision on if the USA owes billions in ‘lost profits’ due to Obama supposedly shutting it off. Guess ‘we’ didn’t beat the XL after all.

    How about some good news on this site for a change? Anybody have any? There are days I can’t take any more bad freaking news.

    Latest news from this tiny spot in the Selkirks: Lightning Storm #20 roared in on Friday with bolts slamming the ground (count of 2-4 seconds before soundwave hit) and buckets of water falling for a couple of hours. The last two days since have been under 80’F for a change. This forest really needed the rain-but not the lightning.

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  September 5, 2016

      Further to seal’s comment on FF subsidies: can someone explain how carbon pricing works in this context, that is, against a background of such huge public economic support for FF industries and infrastructure?

      Reply
      • FF are on shaky ground due to competition from renewables at this time. However, the subsidies lengthen the time during which fossil fuel legacy assets will be maintained even as more marketable reserves are opened up. Subsidies of this kind help to drive us along down the path of BAU emissions — and this is a pretty big deal.

        Adding a carbon price on top of a subsidy kind of produces a policy tug of war. If the price is high enough, and the markets are well enough regulated, then the carbon price can help to speed shifts to renewable energy resources. However, in poorly regulated markets and at low carbon prices, the pricing regime can actually act as a stealth FF subsidy.

        IF you want to use market tools to rapidly reduce fossil fuel dependency, then the best combo is a complete cut to FF subsidies combined with a carbon tax while shifting and increasing subsidy support to renewables. This should come as a pretty simple no-brainer. But western policymakers have yet to get the calculus fully right.

        Part of the issue is due to still strong political backing for the fossil fuel industry by parties like the Republican Party in the US who vehemently oppose such actions. Part of it comes from a systemic inertia related to fears of disruption that would result from a rapid transition away from oil, gas, and coal. Of course, disruption like loss of coal miner jobs can also be dealt with if proper policy measures are put in place, which parties like the democrats tend to support and parties like the republicans tend to oppose.

        When I last looked, a carbon tax/carbon pricing and removal of fossil fuel subsidies were part of the Democratic Party platform. Hints by Seal — through hyper focus on certain single issues without taking the broader sweep of democratic policies into context — that this is not the case is a kind of misinformation. So I’d be careful when dealing with these kinds of statements as they mix truth with fiction in a highly misleading fashion. Not saying that it’s necessarily intentional, but even if unintended, it can still generate an inaccurate overall impression. And the comments section of this blog has for too long been targeted by such wedge issues for me to remain silent when they again pop up.

        Reply
        • Cate

           /  September 5, 2016

          Thanks for this, Robert.

          In your first paragraph, I think you have put your finger on the problem for Canada’s govts: how to jive a carbon tax with FF subsidies.

          BC has recently–and disastrously— pulled back from an earlier promise to raise its carbon tax. It certainly appears that they have moved into “stealth subsidy” territory, which I’m afraid is where most if not all carbon pricing in Canada is going to end up. Carbon pricing, while FF subsidies are in full flow, allows Big Oil, in concert with a govt, to pull the wool over the public’s eyes on the issue of climate change action: to appear to be doing something while doing exactly nothing but padding their own coffers—and in the longer term completely trashing the concept of carbon pricing as an impetus towards emissions reduction. In short, BIg Oil gets to kill two birds with one stone.

          This is why I think our most pressing priority, in Canada at least, is to stop the subsidies. Bring in carbon tax, fine and dandy, but only if and as subsidies to Big Oil are phased out—-while at the same time equal or greater subsidies are poured into renewables.

          Not rocket science. No brainer, as you say.

    • More than 90 percent of all new generating capacity this year has come from wind and solar. Attempts and re-attempts to restart the Keystone Pipeline under a new name will probably fail and even if they don’t will cost the industry billions of dollars in added costs. In my view, any new pipeline will draw the same level of protest and blocking pressure. Wind + Solar will equal about 10 percent of US generating capacity by 2021 on the current path. NREL identifies that 30 percent is achievable by 2026.

      G 20’s legacy fossil fuel subsidies remain a serious problem. That’s pretty bad news, which you re-introduced, after all. How does one deal with that level of institutional inertia? Persistence. We’ve got to keep fighting, Seal. Obama and the dems for the most part push far more positive policies on climate change. And their stances on climate change are moving in the right direction. It’s part of the party platform to support cuts to FF subsidies and the enactment of a carbon price or carbon tax. These are positive developments. But if we operate under the notion that they do not require outside groups to keep them moving in a more and more positive direction, then we delude ourselves. Fossil fuel influence remains strong in political bodies and every hand on deck is needed now to counter that influence. We’ve got a shot. But to do it, we’ve got to remain clear minded, unified, and positive.

      Honesty is helpful as well…

      Reply
    • Now with regards to drilling in the Gulf, I absolutely support the protest action that is now ongoing there:

      http://www.nonewleases.org/think-progress-four-arrested-in-protest-but-feds-continue-with-plan-to-sell-the-gulf-to-oil-interests/

      I also hope that Obama will reverse his decision to open up leasing to oil and gas companies and to halt these auctions (as he did with the Atlantic region back during spring of 2016). The protestors have it right — we can’t open up more areas for drilling and deal with climate change at the same time. The amount of fossil fuels currently on the books is more than enough to push the world into catastrophic climate change. We shouldn’t be opening any new aeas at this time. We should be working as hard as possible to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

      Reply
  61. Reply
  62. – I’ve been jabbering about the likelihood of this sort of thing for quite a while…

    Toxic air pollution particles found in human brains

    Detection of ‘abundant’ magnetite particles raises concerns because of suggested links to Alzheimer’s disease

    Toxic nanoparticles from air pollution have been discovered in human brains in “abundant” quantities, a newly published study reveals.

    The detection of the particles, in brain tissue from 37 people, raises concerns because recent research has suggested links between these magnetite particles and Alzheimer’s disease, while air pollution has been shown to significantly increase the risk of the disease.

    However the new work remains a long way from proving the air pollution particles cause or exacerbate Alzheimer’s.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/05/toxic-air-pollution-particles-found-in-human-brains-links-alzheimers?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

    Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  September 6, 2016

      Alzheimers and other dementias often hit those with no known risk factors, so there must be other contributors at work. Pollution of every type is assailing humanity today in ways never known before, yet the parasites refuse to ever apply the ‘precautionary principle’ if profits are thereby put at risk.

      Reply
      • Keep in mind that fossil fuel emissions and attendant activities are extremely toxic. Most end up either, as gas, or solid particulate matter.

        The small Pm (2.5 to 10 micrometers in diameter) go deep into the lungs. Anything deep in the lungs can end up in the blood stream. The same blood stream that feeds the brain and its neurological functions.

        Fresh clean oxygen rich air will do wonders to ‘clear’ one’s mind.
        I say his knowing that fresh clean air is hard to find — yet toxic Pm is in abundance.

        AirNow:
        ‘ Fine particles (PM2.5) are 2.5 micrometers in diameter or smaller, and can only be seen with an electron microscope. Fine particles are produced from all types of combustion, including motor vehicles, power plants, residential wood burning, forest fires, agricultural burning, and some industrial processes’

        Reply
      • Not only Alzheimer’s. Such as likely contribute to Parkinson/Parkinson plus and the whole gamut of neurodegenerative diseases. Might not be a bad idea to live where the air is, as described by John McPhee, like “pure gin”.

        Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  September 6, 2016

      But wait, there is more.
      http://www.techtimes.com/articles/98462/20151022/carbon-nanotubes-found-in-lungs-of-french-children-what-you-need-to-know-about-this-potentially-harmful-material.htm

      Carbon Nanotubes Found In Lungs Of French Children: What You Need To Know About This Potentially Harmful Material

      Reply
  63. Reply
  64. Near 120W 40N

     /  September 5, 2016

    Burning Man just concluded. Has it been pointed out that the Burning Man festival is not very Earth friendly? The burning of the massive lumber structure plus the exhaust of tens of thousands of cars being driven hundreds of miles round trip must generate quite a few tons of CO2. I bet if the artistic community there were asked to celebrate in a more eco-friendly way they would welcome the challenge.

    Reply
    • Planting trees festival instead? Ride out on bikes or EVs. Hold at numerous locations simultaneously around the world. Or maybe — a pipeline blocking festival.

      Reply
      • I ride a bike to my work. Live in colder temperatures in winter than 99,9 % of population in the Czech Republic, I rarely use car (though i DO use it sometimes). I almost dont buy stuff and almost stop travelling for vacations outside country. Well, I am not really sure I bring children to this insane world. Of course, almost no one cares what and why I do…

        Alex

        Reply
    • Genomik

       /  September 6, 2016

      That’s not lost on the Burning Man community. It’s sort of inherently a challenge as in some ways BM is an experiment at building new societies free from legacy ideas.

      I hope that increasing amounts of prototyping of new tech will happen at BM and can help foster innovation.

      It’s a great opportunity to try rebel ware solar!

      Reply
  65. Cate

     /  September 5, 2016

    More from Northabout (Polar Ocean Challenge).

    They spent a couple of days R&R in Tuktoyaktuk. This is from their FB post about Rick, a Tuk local—caps are Northabout’s:

    “Rick was the Oracle of everything this trip is about. He was born in Tuk, and has gradually seen the climate change. summers earlier by a month and winters later by a month, resulting in a huge change of lifestyle for the hunters in this area. FASCINATING AND ABSOLUTELY TERRIFYING CHANGE IN SUCH A SHORT TIME.”

    Reply
  66. Cate

     /  September 5, 2016

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/05/soaring-ocean-temperature-is-greatest-hidden-challenge-of-our-generation

    Quoting from the article:
    The scale of warming in the ocean, which covers around 70% of the planet, is “truly staggering”, the report states. The upper few metres of ocean have warmed by around 0.13C a decade since the start of the 20th century, with a 1-4C increase in global ocean warming by the end of this century.
    Dan Laffoley, IUCN marine adviser and one of the report’s lead authors, said: “What we are seeing now is running well ahead of what we can cope with. The overall outlook is pretty gloomy.
    “The only way to preserve the rich diversity of marine life, and to safeguard the protection and resources the ocean provides us with, is to cut greenhouse gas emissions rapidly and substantially,” said Inger Andersen, director general of the IUCN.

    Reply
    • Shawn Redmond

       /  September 5, 2016

      Cate one word “inertia”. Get the heat out of water without ice?

      Reply
      • Shawn Redmond

         /  September 6, 2016

        “enough ice”

        Reply
        • Shawn Redmond

           /  September 6, 2016

          The models are not going to help.
          http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs40641-016-0039-5 The work highlighted in this review article illustrates the progress that has been made in measuring and interpreting the outgoing energy spectrum of the Earth across both the shortwave and longwave domains over the last five decades. A key advance concerns the direct use of spectral observations to quantitatively evaluate climate models. These comparisons have identified inadequacies in climate model representations of processes relating to the response of cloud, water vapour and temperature that could not be diagnosed from broadband, spectrally integrated measurements because of compensating effects across the spectrum. As such, they provide an illustration of why such measurements could prove invaluable in reducing the uncertainty range that is currently associated with projections of future climate change [74].

    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  September 6, 2016

      The heating of the oceans during the phony ‘hiatus’ from 1998 does look like the proverbial straw that broke climate stability’s back. Even if we miraculously decarbonised overnight, how do we rid ourselves of this turbulent heat?

      Reply
    • June

       /  September 6, 2016

      Somebody should read this report to the G20 meeting. But Wait – they’re too busy finding ways to delay setting a time frame for eliminating FF subsidies.

      Reply
  67. Reply
  68. Future Climate Change Field Test Doesn’t Make Earth Greener

    In the course of a 17-year experiment on more than 1 million plants, scientists put future global warming to a real world test — growing California flowers and grasslands with extra heat, carbon dioxide and nitrogen to mimic a not-so-distant, hotter future.

    The results, simulating a post-2050 world, aren’t pretty. And they contradict those who insist that because plants like carbon dioxide — the main heat-trapping gas spewed by the burning of fossil fuels — climate change isn’t so bad, and will result in a greener Earth.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/future-climate-change-field-test-make-earth-greener-41877606

    Reply
    • – Included in same article:

      It’s not just plants that will suffer in a hotter world. Biologists have warned that about 20 percent of the world’s lizard species could go extinct by 2080 if current warming trends continue. In a separate study published in the journal, a team led by Clemson University found that the distribution of shade in a lizard’s surroundings matters in preventing overheating.

      For two consecutive summers, researchers used the New Mexico desert to study the behavior of spiny lizards by setting up different environments with varying amount of shade. Lizards were much better at regulating their body temperature when they had access to many evenly spaced small patches of shade than large swaths of shade far apart, researchers found.

      The two studies “highlight how complex the responses of plants and animals can be to climate change,” said Camille Parmesan, a climate scientist at Plymouth University, who wasn’t part of either study.

      Reply
    • June

       /  September 6, 2016

      Another study illustrating that complexity of plant responses to climate change mentioned above.

      During drought, dry air can stress plants more than dry soil

      And as these humidity levels fall, plants may become less effective at removing carbon from the atmosphere, reducing their ability to offset climate change. At the same time, agricultural management strategies like irrigation, which improve soil moisture but have a smaller effect on humidity, may become less effective in the future.

      https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160905114521.htm

      Reply
  69. Reply
  70. – History — ‘Brighter Than a Thousand Suns’ has roots in ‘The Heart of Darkness’.

    The Link Between Uranium From the Congo and Hiroshima: A Story of Twin Tragedies

    … the uranium used to build the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima came from the Shinkolobwe mine in the province of Katanga.

    This was the richest uranium in the world. Its ore had an average of 65% uranium oxide compared with American or Canadian ore, which contained less than 1%.

    The mine is now closed, but its existence put it at the centre of the Manhattan Project in the second world war. The Congo was a Belgian colony at the time and the Congolese suffered from the harsh colonial reality of racism, segregation and extreme inequities.

    Following the war, the mine became a focus for the Cold War conflict between the superpowers. Today, freelance miners, desperate to earn a living and at severe risk to their health, still go to the site to dig out uranium and cobalt.

    The US arranged for its wartime intelligence agency, the Office of Strategic Services, to send agents to the Congo to protect the transit of the ore and to prevent smuggling to Germany.

    The story of these courageous agents — and the dangers they encountered from Nazi sympathisers in the mining multinationals and the Belgian colonial administration — has been secret until now.
    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/37494-the-link-between-uranium-from-the-congo-and-hiroshima-a-story-of-twin-tragedies

    Reply
    • ‘when a miner went near a television, he caused severe interference with reception.’
      – Same article

      Reply
  71. Greg

     /  September 6, 2016

    Newton headed for Baja and the Southwest U.S. and the models failed yesterday badly. Failed in many regards with Hermine as well.
    Eric Blake ‏@EricBlake12
    Here was the #Newton guidance 1 day ago & the prelim wind speeds are in red- nothing even close to this strong!

    Reply
  72. Here’s something new to me. ‘Von Kármán vortex’ West of Baja — south of San Diego, CA:

    Reply
  73. Reply
  74. – 38-45C (100-113)

    Reply
  75. Reply
  76. Reply
  77. Hilary

     /  September 6, 2016

    Need cheering up for a moment??
    I’ve been watching the webcam for this albatross chick for the past 8 months, it always cheered me up just watching it! Now I will have to find something else because today she fledged & is now off flying over the southern ocean for the next 4-10 years. The staff have assembled a short video off highlights from the webcam & there are numerous other short clips on this site too:

    And if you would like to read a bit more about this colony you can here from Royal Albatross Centre – Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, New Zealand:
    http://albatross.org.nz/

    Reply
    • Josh

       /  September 6, 2016

      Certainly cheered me up! Plenty wrong with the world, but also so much to be inspired and lifted by🙂

      Reply
  78. Cate

     /  September 6, 2016

    The race is on to save the vital earth history information stored in Alpine glaciers, which will all melt out below 3500 metres by 2100. Ice cores will be transported down the mountains to temporary freezers in Grenoble until they can be permanently stowed in an ice library under construction in Antarctica.

    Melting of Alpine glaciers is already causing contamination, “mixing up information” as water percolates from upper through lower layers.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-37245768

    Reply
  79. Cate

     /  September 6, 2016

    Study, previously discussed, now published today:

    “The Greenland ice sheet has recently become a major source of global mean sea level rise.”

    http://www.the-cryosphere.net/10/1933/2016/

    Reply
  80. coloradobob

     /  September 6, 2016

    Intensification of landfalling typhoons over the northwest Pacific since the late 1970s

    Intensity changes in landfalling typhoons are of great concern to East and Southeast Asian countries1. Regional changes in typhoon intensity, however, are poorly known owing to inconsistencies among different data sets2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Here, we apply cluster analysis to bias-corrected data and show that, over the past 37 years, typhoons that strike East and Southeast Asia have intensified by 12–15%, with the proportion of storms of categories 4 and 5 having doubled or even tripled. In contrast, typhoons that stay over the open ocean have experienced only modest changes. These regional changes are consistent between operational data sets. To identify the physical mechanisms, we decompose intensity changes into contributions from intensification rate and intensification duration. We find that the increased intensity of landfalling typhoons is due to strengthened intensification rates, which in turn are tied to locally enhanced ocean surface warming on the rim of East and Southeast Asia. The projected ocean surface warming pattern under increasing greenhouse gas forcing suggests that typhoons striking eastern mainland China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan will intensify further. Given disproportionate damages by intense typhoons1, this represents a heightened threat to people and properties in the region.

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2792.html

    Reply
  81. June

     /  September 6, 2016

    August CO2 levels.

    August 2016: 402.24 ppm
    August 2015: 399.00 ppm

    https://www.co2.earth/

    Reply
  82. Reply
  83. JPL

     /  September 6, 2016

    This lawsuit is a big deal. Ruling coming down by Friday.

    “A ruling in the request by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to stop a four-state oil pipeline under construction near their reservation will come by Sept. 9, a federal judge said Wednesday.

    The tribe is challenging the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to grant permits for Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners’ $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline, which crosses through four states, including near the reservation that straddles the North Dakota-South Dakota border. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg listened to arguments and said he’d rule next month.”

    From http://www.wyomingnews.com/news/judge-to-rule-on-the-standing-rock-sioux-tribe-s/article_83955dcc-6a47-11e6-b52b-87440fe5ec17.html

    Reply
  1. Scientists Sound Alarm on Climate but US Still Toys With Skepticism | We Seek the Truth!

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