Approaching the First Climate Tipping Point — On Track to Hit 1.5 C Before 2035

July 2016 was the hottest month ever recorded. That record lasted for all of one month as global temperatures remained at record-high levels through August, resulting in a tie with July during a period when the Earth typically cools.

Given natural variability, we might expect August to remain hot if an El Nino were forming in the Pacific, but at that time, with a weak La Nina struggling to fire off, the exact opposite was the case. In other words, the El Nino/La Nina cycle, which typically helps to drive global warm and cool periods, was pointed in the direction of ‘cool’, but the world remained near record-hot levels.

global-temperatures-through-august-of-2016

(2016 Climate Year continues to redefine global temperature boundaries as August ties July for hottest month ever recorded. Image source: NASA GISS.)

So what the heck was going on?

Rising Greenhouse Gasses are Steadily Rearranging How the Earth Balances Heat

We can’t answer this question without looking at the amazing overburden of greenhouse gasses that are trapping an enormous amount of heat in the Earth’s atmosphere and ocean. Due to decades of rampant fossil-fuel burning, 2016 will likely average around 404 parts per million CO2, which is the Earth’s primary heat-trapping gas that drives global climate. The last time levels of this gas were so high, more than 3 million years ago, the Earth was 2 to 3 degrees Celsius hotter than 1880s averages, seas were 25 to 75 feet higher, and the Earth was a remarkably different place.

CO2 isn’t the only gas adding heat-forcing to the Earth’s atmosphere. Human-emitted methane and other chemical compounds now add together with CO2 to produce a total CO2-equivalent forcing near 490 ppm. If this measure in any way remotely correlates to past climate forcings, then the Earth could well be on a path toward Middle Miocene climates that were around 4 C hotter than 1880s values.

Greenhouse Gas Accumulation Causes the Poles to Warm Faster than the Rest of the World

The way this extra heat — due to greenhouse gas forcing — emerges in the atmosphere is not even. In fact, science has long indicated that the poles warm faster than the rest of the world as the greenhouse gas overburden increases due to global burning of fossil fuels. Ever since the 1990s (and probably before), global climate models have shown that adding CO2 and other greenhouse gasses to the Earth’s climate system preferentially warms the far north and the far south.

This effect is due to the fact that greenhouse gasses more effectively trap and re-radiate the sun’s heat during periods of darkness. The long dark of polar night, lasting for the many months of polar winter, presents a period in which greenhouse gas warming has the opportunity to go into overdrive. In addition, oceans preferentially transfer heat toward the poles. Meanwhile, the melting of heat-reflecting ice coverage traps more heat in the local polar oceans (primarily in the Arctic) even as local carbon stores are increasingly vulnerable to release due to thaw. The result is that the polar regions of the world generate various amplifying feedbacks to the preferential heat forcing already in play. This can drive some big changes in atmospheric circulation patterns, which pull heat up from tropical regions and dump it over the frozen parts of our world.

Ridiculous Antarctic Warmth during Southern Hemisphere Winter

Coming back to El Nino and La Nina, it goes to reason that if the poles warm enough relative to the rest of the climate system, then such a global warming-related polar warm-up might eventually start to warp natural variability to the point that peak warming periods push a bit beyond the typical cycling.

antarctic-heat

(Polar amplification hit high gear during August as Southern Hemisphere winter saw extreme Antarctic warming. Image source: NASA GISS.)

This appears to have been the case during August 2016. As the Equator cooled, Antarctica warmed to a rather extreme degree. Though most of the globe saw above-average temperatures, the highest extreme anomalies were centered over Antarctica. There, the entire region above 75° South Latitude experienced temperatures greater than 3 C above average and a large region saw temperatures striking between 4 to 5.9 C above average for the entire month.

This heat came on the back of numerous high amplitude Jet Stream waves that delivered heat to the polar region during the Southern Hemisphere winter month of August. These waves, which have become a signature feature of Northern Hemisphere winter during recent years, bear with them the trappings of equator-to-pole energy transfer, a new climate effect playing havoc with traditional seasonal variability and possibly messing with some of the most well-established seasonal climate markers (such as the equatorially emerging quasi-biennial oscillation).

abnormal-august-heat

(No latitudinal zones saw below-average temperatures in August of 2016, another rather disturbing feature of this record-hot month. Image source: NASA GISS.)

As the South Pole saw repeated warm-air deliveries from the tropics, the Equatorial Pacific experienced only moderate negative departures below normal, a sign that the emerging La Nina was starting to splutter.

Overall, no latitudinal zone experienced below-average temperatures — another odd marker as the Southern Ocean (which pulls in an enormous amount of the Earth’s rising heat) tends to show below-normal departures in the region of 50° to 60° South Latitude.

We Appear to be on Track to Hit Above 1.5 C Within 15-25 Years

In total, global temperatures, according to NASA, hit 1.2 C above 1880s averages in the NASA measure (or about 0.98 C above NASA’s 20th-century baseline average). As a result, the first nine months of the December-to-November climate year are now averaging around 1.28 C above 1880s levels. And since the last three months of the year are unlikely to average below 1.05 C above 1880s, it appears that a 1.2 C departure or higher is now a lock for 2016.

With so much polar heat in place (this time shifting to the Arctic during September), it appears at least somewhat likely that the final three months for this climate year will tend to average closer to 1.05 to 1.20 C above 1880s averages. Consecutive months in this range or higher would push end-2016 values closer to 1.21 to 1.24 C above 1880s values. Notably, this is a range about 0.4 C higher than 1998 average temperatures. A similar period of warming occurring over the next 18 years would result in a year in which global temperatures exceeded 1.6 C above 1880s levels before 2035.

With global civilization continuing to burn massive volumes of fossil fuels and spewing greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere at a record rate, and with global temperatures so high, we are nearing a time when the first major climate threshold of 1.5 C (dangerous warming) is likely to be breached. Under current rates of fossil-fuel burning, this crossing will likely occur within the next 15 to 25 years. We know this because the Earth is now experiencing a rapid warming (0.15 to 0.2 C per decade), the likes of which has never been seen in human reckoning, and may have never been seen at all during any time of its deep past. It really all is, quite frankly, terrifying.

Links:

NASA GISS

NOAA El Nino

August Ties With July as Hottest Month on Record

An Unexpected Disruption of the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation

Pliocene Climate

Miocene Climate

Gigantic Gravity Waves to Mix Summer With Winter?

Scientific hat tip to Gavin Schmidt

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288 Comments

  1. redskylite

     /  September 16, 2016

    Going Up . . Hold on tight. Many thanks to the “scribbler” for that commentary on the global temperatures, as nature continues to shock and fascinate us. One mighty tough creature that has seen a lot of change and survived before us meddlesome humans entered the picture, looks to have to adapt once more.

    “With increasing sea levels, we may see the available habitat for American alligators disappear,” Whiting said.

    As Florida sinks underwater and global temperatures warm, the alligator may move north over centuries to perhaps as far north as modern-day South Dakota and Nebraska, where Alligator mississippiensis likely originated.

    “These things could be recolonizing parts of the United States that they haven’t occupied in millions of years,” Hastings said.

    http://mashable.com/2016/09/15/alligators-florida-8-million-years-old/#NS3BoTEk8qq6

    Reply
    • marcel_g

       /  September 16, 2016

      Yes, hold on tight because this is terrifying. Also, if Trump wins I think the climate fight setback will be too much, among other terrible things that’ll happen. Can’t do anything from here in Canada, so I just have to hope American under thirties don’t vote for third party candidates. Nerve wracking.

      Reply
      • marcel_g

         /  September 16, 2016

        Forgot to check subscribe, so also thanks for this blog RS!

        Reply
      • George W. Hayduke

         /  September 16, 2016

        http://commondreams.org/news/2016/09/15/trumps-dumpster-fire-energy-policy-roadmap-climate-calamity

        The thought of Trump terrifies me, more than any other issue climate and environment is #1 on my radar and voting conscience.

        Reply
      • Yes, it scares me too, the thought of a Trump Presidency. We don’t have time to educate such an idiot.

        It’s like we’re too stupid to live, as a species. And it’s the possibility of a methane catastrophe that scares me more than anything else.

        We don’t know how much methane hydrate is on the continental shelves. The only people with that information – the oil corporations – have every motive to lie to minimize the danger. The oil corporations also have no interest in doing mapping of thinly scattered, non-economic deposits.

        It’s like a tragic play – happening in real life. It’s horrible, like a slow motion train wreck.

        Reply
  2. Keith Antonysen

     /  September 16, 2016

    This paper suggests that 1.5C may be even closer than expected. Here in Australia the government pretends to have everything under control; but, they do everything possible to protect fossil fuel interests.

    http://media.wix.com/ugd/148cb0_9c80333f46ec4da8a2e8d7ba41886df6.pdf

    Reply
    • Sheri

       /  September 16, 2016

      Thanks for your courageous writing, Robert. I
      Would rather know than not, I hope you will keep on writing.

      Sheri

      Reply
  3. Greg

     /  September 16, 2016

    Thank you Robert for another well done warning. We need to deploy to scale existing tech and continue to innovate while applying political pressure. Technology and political activism. Here is a very cool design innovation for solving freshwater scarcity, paying for itself through creative use from the Land Art Generator Initiative biennial design competition, which asked teams to envision innovative site-specific public art projects that can harness clean energy and convert it into electricity or drinking water.

    Reply
  4. The way the current temperature line has seeminngly deserted the pack to head out on its own is almost a herald of transition to the infernal. Greater trepidation induced with the prospect of such imminence than with any other single piece of data.

    Sent from my iPad 🙏🏻تن من دھن سب کُچھ تیرا

    Reply
  5. Shawn Redmond

     /  September 16, 2016

    Bayer buys Monsanto “If all sounds vaguely threatening but you’re not sure why, it’s because there’s a chance these mergers could put additional pressure on farms, leading to higher food prices, or even threaten food security.” http://motherboard.vice.com/read/bayer-just-bought-monsanto-heres-why-you-should-care

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  September 16, 2016

      Shawn Redmond. You might be interested in The Crime and Punishment of I.G. Farben by Joseph Borken. “If it all sounds vaguely threatening but you’re not sure why….”

      Reply
    • Nancy

       /  September 16, 2016

      Terrifying. Americans are ignoring this threat to our food system. Does it remind anyone else of a 1950s Sci-Fi movie? Soylent green? Americans are getting fatter and unhealthier eating Corporate Food loaded with GMOs.

      It’s a good reason to stock up on heirloom seeds and grow your own food (and teach your kids how to grow food).

      Reply
    • Oklahoma will probably become the third state to pass a state Constitutional amendment enshrining the right of Monsanto / Cargill/ the Koch Brothers fertilizer companies to do what ever they want w Industrialized “agriculture”..they call the measure the “Right to Farm”..those of us fighting this call the measure the “Right to Harm” measure.I like the Wes Jackson of the Land Institute who believes farmers can save the planet by using perennial plants to sequester soil carbon

      Reply
      • Shawn Redmond

         /  September 16, 2016

        For those who may be unfamiliar with the mind set of these corporate interests in the past, which I don’t believe has changed much, just google
        “Union Carbide/Bhopal”. Side bar corn cannot be grown any more without FF inputs.

        Reply
  6. Kevin Jones

     /  September 16, 2016

    Another great write-up, Robert. Thanks again.

    Reply
  7. Spike

     /  September 16, 2016

    Good clear article Robert – Mann warned of 2C by 2036 not so long ago I recall. And still the cancer of denial inhibits our immune response to the crisis. I was shocked to see Sarkozy succumb to their lunacy

    http://artgoldhammer.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/sarkozy-climate-change-denier.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+FrenchPolitics+(French+Politics)

    We cannot afford an EU policy that is further weakened.

    Reply
    • Nancy

       /  September 16, 2016

      Very shocking. But Trump seems to have a large following here, and he says the same thing. I don’t follow French politics…..so please give us an update after their election and let us know if the climate denier wins.

      Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  September 16, 2016

        Climate change denialism is 99% a Rightwing phenomenon. ‘Rightwing’ is just a euphemism for moron, ignoramus, greed-head, racist etc. Their leaders are psychopaths and the concept of the common good is not just unknown to them but anathema. They destroy EVERYTHING in pursuit of money and power, even now, as total catastrophe begins to crash in on us. They do not care what happens to Life on Earth after their deaths-not one iota. And ‘democracy’s ‘peculiar genius has been to give the stupidest, most ignorant, most greedy (if only impotently)and most misanthropic a vote equal to their opposites, and we declare that glorious. We just elected a bozo to our Senate that declares that there is ‘no empirical evidence that greenhouse gases can or do warm the planet’, and the Rightwing MSM fawn over him. His party of Rightwing bogans (our ‘rednecks’) hold the balance of power, you see.

        Reply
        • Bill H

           /  September 17, 2016

          Are you sure the leaders are merely motivated by money and power. I fear they themselves are in thrall to a dogmatic hatred of environmentalism that leads them to oppose anything that environmentalists advocate. Frankly any entrepreneur worth his or her salt should be able to make money out of a green economy.

        • Good q. I suggest maybe, instead of “dogmatic hatred of environmentalists,” it’s just an extreme inability to accept limits (like, say, Trump has an inability to admit lying). Like the gun nuts and the folks who “roll coal” to show everyone they can do what they want.

        • John S

           /  September 18, 2016

          Psychopaths calling the shots…

          Al was wrong to title ” An Inconvenient Truth” it is more accurately “An Unpalatable Truth”.

          The psychopathic ruler bullies and their sycophants posses an hubristic and immutable sense of self-entitlement to a non-negotiable future.

          Their worldview is incapable of seeing their conclusions are self-serving and ridiculous.

          Without enlightened leaders we are lost

        • Cate

           /  September 18, 2016

          John S, I agree. In 1939, the free West was staring down a much less dangerous foe which was nevertheless correctly perceived as a threat to our very existence. Without hesitation, the leaders of the Allied nations took control of their economies and did what had to be done—dragging business kicking and screaming with them as necessary—in order to win the war. Churchill, FDR and their allies didn’t pussy-foot around, holding endless meetings and summits, devising elaborate voluntary market-driven solutions to defeating the Nazis. They took responsibility for leading their nations out of harm’s way, right away.

          2016 is the new 1939.

  8. Nancy

     /  September 16, 2016

    At this point in the Life and Times of a Climate Change Activist, I would have hoped that my relatives, friends and neighbors would start to show signs of changing their behaviors due to my influence. Sad to say, the opposite is true.

    The children (although generally aware of climate change) are still taking flights to visit friends, attend weddings, etc., Relatives are buying new SUVs and taking flights to vacation destinations. A few of them have spent money on insulation, but nobody has invested in solar panels.

    In conversations with acquaintances, I always bring up climate change and the need to take action. Sad to say, I am still met with silent stares and people backing away from me. (The crazy climate change lady!). In the 3 years that I’ve driven my Volt, only 3 people have asked about driving an electric car.

    What sad times we live in. Humans seem intent on Ignoring the problem, right up to the end. Ostriches, one and all!

    Reply
  9. hot, hot, hot. What are we doing about it? watching the CO2 and CO2e levels continue to rise at increasing rate. Current rate is over 3 ppm and has been now for a couple of years. Our situation is that the cause of warming is rising and the rate of rise is rising. When you are too warm at night, do you pull on another blanket?

    Reply
  10. Greg

     /  September 16, 2016

    3D Gif of Malakas closing in on N.Taiwan as a Cat 3. Will then move towards Japan

    Reply
  11. Greg

     /  September 16, 2016

    No information yet on Itbayat, which was hit directly by what the Philippinos called Ferdie (Meranti) earlier this week when it was a cat 5—no flights or boats have yet reached Itbayat to even assess. This plea just went out from a mainlander: NATIONAL GOVERNMENT, PLEASE, kailangan po ng ITBAYAT ISLAND ang tulong po ninyo.

    Reply
    • Ailsa

       /  September 16, 2016

      Yes, I have been looking for info on Itbayat, and have found nothing. Worried for them.

      Reply
  12. Greg

     /  September 16, 2016

    Our perceptions of danger do not comport with reality. I did not know this but this early release AMS paper shows that lightning has struck for as long as 7.74 seconds and has traveled as far as 199.5 miles.
    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0061.1

    Reply
  13. Greg

     /  September 16, 2016

    Rising temperatures mean more droughts and fires. California is textbook example. 13 of its 20 biggest fires are since 2010.

    Reply
  14. Greg

     /  September 16, 2016

    Remember last October, when a catastrophic rupture in the Aliso Canyon natural gas reservoir caused a methane gas spill that displaced more than 8,000 Californians and released an unprecedented 1.6 million pounds of methane into the atmosphere. Today, the Aliso Canyon leak is considered the worst in U.S. history, with aggregate greenhouse gas emissions said to outweigh those of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Tesla just issued a press release proudly showing they got a contract to build the world’s largest Lithium Ion battery energy storage as a response to the methane storage leak at the Southern California Edison Mira Loma substation.
    https://www.tesla.com/blog/addressing-peak-energy-demand-tesla-powerpack

    Reply
  15. Right, Robert — judging by the way things are going, and the near total lack of a survival response from the general public, the sleazy workings of the fossil fuel/political world — we’ll likely hit that 1.5 C mark with relative ‘ease’. It won’t be pretty.

    Keep connecting the ‘dots’ in your usual vibrant style.
    Thx

    Reply
  16. Robert in New Orleans

     /  September 16, 2016

    I am thinking that the Earth will hit 1.5 C in ten years or less. 😦 http://www.bitsofscience.org/do-the-math-climate-sensitivity-logarithmic-1-5-degrees-400-ppm-7237/

    Reply
    • It’s all approximation now.

      Reply
    • Agreed..Was going to post aniticipating by 2020.

      Exponential-factors renders a history of almost no value.

      It’s like a national budget, when an economy has overwhelming 200% GDP debt. At some point, the music stops.

      Reply
    • Griffin

       /  September 16, 2016

      I would agree. Although I have deep respect for the predictive prowess of RobertScribbler, I will go on record with 1.5 being reached not later than 8 years from now. 2024.
      It is not out of guesswork either. Careful consideration of what I have seen and know about emissions to date. Warming begets warming and we are seeing acceleration that is just getting started. As the oceans absorb less heat and our carbon sinks become overwhelmed, the incredible increase in the forcing driven by our emissions catching up with the inertial lag in temperatures will bring us further up the ramp with ease.
      Faster than expected. The mantra of our demise.

      Reply
  17. Gasoline:
    A few years ago I made a pact with myself not to cut my hair because it was a sign of life, and growth, while toxic killer gasoline was king. My hair still grows — gasoline still predominates.

    A big gasoline pipeline leak in Alabama USA.

    Reply
  18. Another Arctic ice weather event:

    Reply
  19. Better hope this doesn’t happen over a methane leak:

    Reply
    • Or a gasoline leak, or…

      Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  September 16, 2016

      The ‘unknown unknowns’, but quite predictable. We are in for some nasty shocks.

      Reply
    • A Tulsa news report,cheerfully reported that Oklahoma had achieved a remarkable record re lightening strike

      Reply
    • Wow. WTF?

      More greenhouse gases means higher temperatures, which creates more water vapor. More water vapor means more heat of condensation, that drives more convection, that creates more charged regions higher in the troposphere, that drives more lightning?

      We really don’t need more lightning storms over our tinder dry forests. Damn those ‘unknown unknowns’!

      The ecological unknowns are the ones that scare me the most, I think.

      Reply
      • Take this to its logical conclusion. Are we talking continent wide firestorms in the northern boreal forests in the summer in a decade or two, driven by firestorms that start as huge thunderstorms? Do such firestorms go on to create more lightning, like reportedly happened at the huge Fort McMurray fire in Canada?

        Reply
      • I think, at base, that there is a monumental amount of carbon forced energy now in the atmosphere. More gas/liquid heat energy (and releases) that keeps increasing…

        Reply
        • Hi dt-

          The paper below seems to look at CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy), like you said, but multiplied by the precipitation rate. So, more intense downpours means more heat of condensation delivered in a shorter time, leading to more intense convection, leading to more lightning?

      • This paper proposes a similar but better worked out mechanism. They project a 12 +/- 5% increase in lightning strikes per degree of warming, in the United States, especially in the South. So, 7 to 17 percent increase in lightning per degree of warming in the U.S., according to their models.

        http://www.atmos.albany.edu/facstaff/vollaro/pubs/Romps.et.al-SCI2014.pdf

        But, like other projections of global warming, are these numbers unrealistically conservative?

        Reply
        • Who knows…?
          Plenty of energy is in flux and heading positive.
          Newsworthy lightning related events sure seem to be on the increase.

          A ‘killer’ cut here:

        • Cate

           /  September 18, 2016

          Keith Relf. Often overlooked, discounted and dismissed. I never understood why, not when I was 13, and not now. Thanks, dt. This is one of my all-time favourite albums.

    • Robert In New Orleans

       /  September 18, 2016

      I would think that more lightning strikes would mean more hits on things such as airplanes flying through thunderstorms, oil refineries & associated infrastructure, and buildings of all kinds, which would then translate to more fires, explosions and possible crashes. I wonder if the energy of these bolts is increasing too. I would hate to see a superbolt fry a nuclear powerplant.

      Reply
  20. 15 September 2016
    Scientists investigate how atmospheric rivers may change as climate warms
    Pineapple Express could linger, become more intense

    A high-resolution climate model based at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is able to accurately capture the ribbons of moist air that sometimes escape the sodden tropics and flow toward the drier mid-latitudes, allowing scientists to investigate how “atmospheric rivers” may change as the climate warms.

    These rivers in the sky can unleash drenching rains when they crash onto land. Because these downpours can alleviate droughts and also cause damaging floods, scientists are keenly interested in how their frequency, intensity, or path may be altered with climate change. But standard-resolution climate models have had difficulty realistically simulating atmospheric rivers and their impacts.
    http://blogs.agu.org/geospace/2016/09/15/scientists-investigate-atmospheric-rivers-may-change-climate-warms/

    Reply
  21. Reply
  22. Some days I love the wild optimism on this site. Other days I just shake my head because there seems to be a mental disconnect at what people are posting and the connect-the-dots to a different conclusion. 1.5C by 2035? We will be lucky if that isn’t passed in the very near future; maybe five years at best. But that’s the 40+ years as an adult watching the planet drop into the environmental/climate toilet talking…

    Near 90’F on the thermometer Wednesday, it was HOT! Mid-80s yesterday which is at least 10’F above the used-to-be normal. According to wunderground record temperatures expected the last week of September going into October here. Decent, deep, winter snows are not looking too good just as they haven’t been for years now. Not with the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge and ocean Blob of heat being back off the coast again.

    And the logging contracts from Wall St. ‘investment firms’ are butchering the forests in every direction right through winters because it doesn’t snow enough to stop them any longer. The mountains here have the look of a dog with mange.

    As for our lovely ‘candidates,’ here’s a link to their closest advisors. As if either is going to do a damned thing in office as beholding to corporate/Wall St. as either are. Discouraging is the operating word here.

    http://www.citizen.org/documents/The Company They Keep report.pdf

    Reply
    • Shawn Redmond

       /  September 16, 2016

      Here, here, I get the same feeling at times.

      Reply
      • Shawn Redmond

         /  September 16, 2016

        The logging here when I was a kid in the sixties happened almost exclusively in the winter. Since somewhere about the eighties it went year round and some even round the clock. Right through the breeding and nesting season of most everything. The carnage has to be unimaginable. Loss of wild life never mind habitat just stunning if you think about it even a little.

        Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  September 16, 2016

      The capitalist cancer is running out of living tissue to consume. When it runs out of food, it will begin to die, and necrose, flooding its host, the Earth, with toxins.

      Reply
    • Heartily agree. We’re pushing a Woolly Mammoth up Everest.

      Who remembers what random economists forecast in 1928, regarding outlook for 1929?!

      Reply
    • g. orwell

       /  September 17, 2016

      “1.5C by 2035″…hotly disagree: gotta be sooner by what I’ve read/heard(only have 14 months on subject).
      RS is THE MAN, however, so I’m probably wrong- just wanted to be honest re. this temp topic.

      Reply
  23. Another plea for anyone who can to help SAVE THE MISSOURI, SAVE THE MISSISSIPPI. 350.org is continuing its protests, two in the next week in Raleigh no less. The reports above are terrible. We must stop the pipeline, and an eventual 250 million gal. pipeline leak into the Missouri River.
    https://350.org/campaigns/stop-keystone-xl/

    Reply
  24. New study confirms water vapor as global warming amplifier
    July 28, 2014

    A new study from scientists at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and colleagues confirms rising levels of water vapor in the upper troposphere – a key amplifier of global warming – will intensify climate change impacts over the next decades. The new study is the first to show that increased water vapor concentrations in the atmosphere are a direct result of human activities.

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-07-vapor-global-amplifier.html#jCp

    Reply
    • wili

       /  September 16, 2016

      I guess I should read the report, but I’m struggling to figure out why a study would be needed to ‘confirm’ that water vapor is a GW amplifier. Haven’t we known this for a long, long time? Doesn’t it just fall from the basic physics of the absorption spectrum of H2O and the from the even more basic fact that a hotter planet 3/4 covered in water will lead to more of that water entering the atmosphere?

      Reply
      • Yes. Well, it wasn’t mentioned anywhere in this particular essay so, I thought it worth mentioning in response to “CO2 isn’t the only gas adding heat-forcing to the Earth’s atmosphere…”

        Personally, I’m not optimistic. Especially when considering ALL of the information.

        Reply
      • More specifically: “Using the set of climate model experiments, the researchers showed that rising water vapor in the upper troposphere cannot be explained by natural forces, such as volcanoes and changes in solar activity, but can be explained by increased greenhouse gases, such as CO2.”

        Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-07-vapor-global-amplifier.html#jCp

        Reply
      • Many people think in a linear fashion. They do not comprehend positive feedback loops or exponential growth. They have probably never considered “the moistening of the upper troposphere” or even something as basic as how/where their food comes from (outside of maybe choosing a particular diet for personal or political reasons.)

        How many people were honestly surprised by the recent “discovery” that sugar is worse for humans than fat? How do you explain that if not for social conditioning? It can’t possibly be based on observation/empirical evidence. Hello Diabetes.

        I can’t tell you how I cringe to hear someone say, “not in my lifetime.”

        Reply
        • Mulga Mumblebrain

           /  September 16, 2016

          Hollie, if you remember ‘Pure, White and Deadly’ you will know that leading nutritional scientists and epidemiologists, like its author, John Yudkin, warned of sugar’s toxicity forty years ago, but that science was suppressed in favour of the ‘its all about fat’ school, with copious financing by the sugar industry, and vicious character assassination of the sugar researchers. Capitalists being capitalists. And don’t forget that diabetes is also highly profitable, and nicely chronic.

        • wili

           /  September 16, 2016

          Thanks, Hollie. It is certainly helpful to constantly bring these issues up and remind them of these types of feedbacks. I just hope a title like that doesn’t lead people to think that something as basic to all scientific understandings of climate change as water vapor feedback, is some kind of cutting edge newly discovered phenomenon that we don’t have a very clear grasp on. It’s been known and studied for a long, long time, as I understand the history of the issue.

        • Wili, Oh, understandable! I suppose I am a bit hypersensitive. I didn’t particularly understand the link to moisture vapor (especially upper troposphere moisture) until a few years ago, and lately the clouds have an ominous quality that wasn’t particularly noticeable before. Sunburns come faster, too. Here in Hawaii it’s been rain, heat, and humidity. Pretty stifling if we don’t have the Tradewinds coming through to cool us off, which has been the case this week. I think it puts everyone on edge, which is also a little scary.

        • NASA’s 2008 study doesn’t specifically mention the UPPER troposphere, so perhaps that is what was considered novel about the science? (I’m not a scientist. I don’t even play one on teevee.)

          For reference:
          http://phys.org/news/2008-11-vapor-major-player-climate.html#nRlv

          With new observations, the scientists confirmed experimentally what existing climate models had anticipated theoretically. The research team used novel data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite to measure precisely the humidity throughout the lowest 10 miles of the atmosphere. That information was combined with global observations of shifts in temperature, allowing researchers to build a comprehensive picture of the interplay between water vapor, carbon dioxide, and other atmosphere-warming gases. The NASA-funded research was published recently in the American Geophysical Union’s Geophysical Research Letters.

          “Everyone agrees that if you add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, then warming will result,” Dessler said. “So the real question is, how much warming?”

        • Mulga, I haven’t read that one. A bit before my time? I do remember exposes with phrases like “more addictive and toxic than cocaine” — just within the past several years. And the high-fructose corn syrup (et al.) campaigns that became mainstream consumer propaganda. In the 90s I also recall reading an article about the problems of a low/no-fat diet, including impairment of heart/lung/brain function. Apparently the marketing/PR is working exceptionally well, in part because people don’t know the percentage of their brain that is fat/cholesterol. Who’s ruining education?

          You’re absolutely right about the profitability of failed health/wellness/environmental education.

          I wasn’t raised with sugar. It was always a treat for us, so when I got old enough to buy my own “pop” and candy I was high on Coke and Mountain Dew. A few a day, depending. But when they switched the formula to HFCS, I couldn’t drink it anymore. Stomach pains and headaches. My brother still won’t eat sugar.

          There isn’t enough propaganda on the planet to convince me that there’s nothing wrong with mass fossil-fueled fertilization/production of a product (corn) that we have to find a use for (mostly livestock feed, sugar, and alcohol.)

        • Wili, FYI – I was in a bit of rush, so just cut and pasted the headline and date from article, along with the opening lines. I guess I sorta figured that I didn’t need to edit the title because the date was included.

          Sorry for the confusion.

      • – Anything that emphasizes, or reinforces an active/present tense, to me, is a positive.
        As for the water vapor itself — how did it get there, who put it there , or why so much?
        Those questions have answers.
        Remember too that there is a lot of misleading, or understated, info and posits out there that tend to slow us down.
        – This is what I think about.

        Reply
    • johnho

       /  September 17, 2016

      John Tyndall reported that in 1861.

      Reply
  25. Jimbot

     /  September 16, 2016

    The COP21 mission statement refers to the pre-industrial temperature without defining it. ( lost the formatting when copy/pasting )

    “Article 2
    1.
    This Agreement, in enhancing the implementation of the Convention, including its objective, aims to strengthen
    the global response to the threat of climate change,
    in the context of sustainable development and efforts to
    eradicate poverty,

    including by:
    (a)
    Holding
    the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and
    to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that
    this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change;
    (b)
    Increasing
    the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and
    low greenhouse gas emissions development, in a manner that does not threaten food production;
    (c)
    Making
    finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-
    resilient development.
    2.
    This Agreement will be implemented to reflect equity and the principle of common but differentiated
    responsibilities and respective capabilities,
    in the light of different national circumstances. ”

    Here’s a comment regarding the question of what is pre-industrial temperature from this site, quora.com ( https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-reference-temperature-of-pre-industrial-levels?share=1 ), which about sums it up I think:

    “Peter Webb
    Written 30 Nov 2015
    Well, its obviously intended to be ambiguous. If they meant something specific, they would have given a date or even better a temperature.

    It could mean anything back to the little Ice Age, they used coal back then, in which case we have blown it already, its already risen more than 2 degrees.

    Or they could mean before the car, electricity and airplanes in which case would mean about 1900, in which case the warming has been 0.7 degrees of the 2 degrees they want it limited to.

    If they intended to be clear about they wanted, they would have been.”

    From what I have read, the 2.0 C limit was proposed by a non-scientist as a political talking point target. Back in the early 1990’s the UN Panel on Climate Change ( or whatever it was called then ) statement said that 1.0C was the dangerous limit. So, it seems it’s a moving approximation of whatever it needs to be to keep from scaring the kiddies ( which includes about 97% of the adults in N America at least ).

    Reply
  26. wili

     /  September 16, 2016

    Let’s not forget that Siberia is still burning:
    http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2016/09/15/NASA-satellite-spots-dozens-of-Russian-wildfires/1101473968790/

    “NASA satellite spots dozens of Russian wildfires”

    “NASA’s Terra satellite recently spotted a cluster of wildfires burning in Siberia…

    Terra was able to make out several dozen fires and their plumes from an altitude of 440 miles.

    In July, the EPIC camera on NOAA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory spotted Siberian wildfires from more than one million miles away.

    Many of the fires continue to burn north of the Russian city of Ust-Kut. The string of fires snake to the northwest. On the day Terra captured the photo, winds from the north and east pushed the wildfire plumes westward.

    It’s been a busy wildfire season in Russia. Several million acres have burned, destroying forests that may take decades — and perhaps centuries — to regrow…”

    Reply
  27. – As the saying goes, “Nice…”

    Reply
    • Nancy

       /  September 17, 2016

      That is a wonderful photograph! Teepees and Solar Panels, a great combination.

      Reply
  28. 23:15 UTC

    Reply
  29. coloradobob

     /  September 16, 2016

    This is rattling some keys to distract the baby.

    Amazon burns as Brazil signs Paris pledge

    Forest fires in the Amazon region are reaching record levels as Brazil’s government fails to tackle the deforestation that fuels the country’s high rate of emissions.

    SÃO PAULO, 9 September, 2016 – Brazil’s new president, Michel Temer, will next week sign up to the Paris Agreement on climate change by committing Brazil to a reduction of 37% of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, and of 43% by 2030.

    But critics say that the commitment glosses over the government’s failure to address the legal and illegal forest clearance that is adding to global warming.

    Brazil’s emissions are the seventh highest in the world, and they come mostly from what is called land-use change − in other words, deforestation.

    Link

    Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  September 17, 2016

      The Temer regime is NOT the ‘Government’ of Brazil, being unelected and installed through a political coup orchestrated from the US. Its members are hard Right, so ANY chance of decent environmental policies emerging from them is ZERO. All the ingredients for a generalised global collapse ie repressive regimes dedicated to cancerous growth and rising inequality, social discord, repression and wars of aggression, massive refugee flight, economies over-burdened with unpayable debt, and a cascade of synergistic ecological crises,are in place, and the USA is about to choose between Trump (Ebola) and Clinton (walking pneumonia). Why do I find it difficult to sleep at night, and why does the sight of children bring me to the brink of tears?

      Reply
      • Shawn Redmond

         /  September 17, 2016

        Because you have a conscience. That’s what the hard right finds most distasteful about the left.

        Reply
        • Anger on the hard right comes from people trying to get their consciences to shut up by giving them a good whipping. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really work, which generates even more frustration and anger.

        • Jennifer

           /  September 17, 2016

          Well put.

        • John S

           /  September 18, 2016

          Fury at those who mention scruples, principles, ethics, morality, integrities, love

          “The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.”
          ― George Orwell

      • Mulga, sorry, but as a Brasilian, I have to disagree. Temer government IS the government of Brasil. Temer WAS elected. We don´t elect a president only, here in Brasil, we elect a president AND vice-president. Temer and Dilma were voted together, just like if you guys elect Hillary, you´ll also elect Tim Kaine.

        I known that PT is making a huge effort of propaganda, specially internationally, and they are trying to pose as the only true left in Brasil, even though their government wasn´t quite so leftist, unless you think Juan Peron was radically left too, then, ok.

        But in truth, whatever left inclinations PT had in its roots were abandonned far ago. Environment?! In the few months Temer has been the president, he has enabled more protected areas then Dilma in her two governments. His environmental minister, Sarney Filho, actually knowns what´s he is talking about, unlike Isabella Teixeira, and has rescued Parque National da Capivara with emergency money, stopped a ruralista atempt of opening a road inside Parque National do Iguaçu, and canceled the Tapajós megadams.

        By the way, Dilma fought tooth and nail for Belo Monte, for Jirau, for Santo Antonio and for the Tapajos dams. She fought for those not because they were needed, but because she was getting money at the side to construct them. If Dilma had been sacked sooner, maybe a few environmental disasters here in Brasil wouldn´t had happened.

        Dilma also undermined Arco de Fogo operation, approved the ruralist new Forest Code that gives amnesty for environmental crimes commited before 2008 in Brasil, DIMINISHED areas of national parks, and… hell, if a politician says she´s left, that´s DIFFERENT from saying she´s an environmentalist. In the environmental area Dilma is the worst president of Brasil I can remember, counting from Sarney (another vice-president that assumed the government. By the way, before that, we had a militar dictatorship in Brasil, so few people here may remember even older true presidents).

        But being a bad governor doesn´t take one´s right to govern. That´s true. But even here, president´s don´t have a carte blanche. Besides being incompetent, Dilma Roussef is a corrupt crook. She received money from corporations both for herself and for her campaign. She was caught live trying to obstruct justice (though I do concede that those recordings unfortunally, were the fruit of the poisoned tree and won´t be used as evidence in her next trials). AND she was not impeached by that, because as a President, she couldn´t be tried for it, here. Not while she was president.

        No. Presidents in Brasil can only be judged by a few specific crimes, called “responsability crimes” here. One of those crimes is to borrow money from banks irregularly, what is called here in Brasil as “pedaladas fiscais”. This is a recent crime in our law. It was established as a responsability crime, that could conduct to an impeachment, in Fernando Henrique Cardoso last year as president. Lula did a few of those, but to be tried by these crimes is not easy… the judgement is not only judicial, but political, done not only in courts, but in the Senate, and Lula had control of both the Senate and the Legislative Chamber. Dilma did “pedaladas fiscais” ten times and more bigger than all her predecessors, counting on her political strenght to quash any dissent, like Lula had. But she had not the political strenght she believed she had.

        Impeachment is a legal instrument in Brasil. It was used before, with Presidente Collor, who as a crook as well, though he moved far less money than Dilma did, at least during his stint as President (now, as a senator and one of Dilmas ALLIES… well he was impeached because of a Fiat Elba, and in the Lava-a-Jato investigations, now as a senator, he had a collection of Ferraris and Porches… ). Then, PT was one of the big forces behind the impeachment. Then PT wasn´t as bad as it become, also.

        Having Dilma back would be like if you americans decided to ask forgiveness to Nixon, here´s your Presidency back. Not going to happen.

        Reply
        • Whoa, thank you so much for the perspective! IMHO, U.S. reporting on Brazilian politics is abysmal.

        • He, this may be not fault of the US media… PT, Dilma & Lula´s party, has a small but *very* vocal minority that is shouting “Coup” for anyone who deigns to hear it. For years the party has spent specially in media, and it used money liberally for “cultural activities” (like financing the movie Aquarius… their protests weren´t hollow, where will their money come from now?). Some of that spending was legal (the government is one of the big movie financers here), some not (in portuguese: http://entretenimento.uol.com.br/noticias/agencia-estado/2016/06/28/pf-cumpre-14-mandados-de-prisao-por-fraude-na-lei-rouanet.htm ).

          We´re having municipal elections in Brasil in 03 of october. It will be easy to gauge how much support PT really has from the people in general (instead of from a few very loud militants) them. PT elected 636 mayors in the last election, in 2012 (PMDB, Temer´s party, elected 1022 mayors. He wasn´t just an decorative vice-president, his party added a lot of strenght to the campaign of Dilma.).

          I´ll be very surprised if PT elects half as much mayors this year.

          And, re-reading my last comment, I´m sorry if I was too forceful. It´s just so… I known that the news you guys receive overseas are probably very garbled. But seeing people defending Dilma, specially saying that anyone here can be worst for the environment than her (except maybe her bff, Kátia Abreu)… it feels like it must sound for you americans if someone said that Trump would be better for climate change policies than Hillary. It´s not like Temer is the best politician ever, no, he´s just a bad fix that´s pragmatically, the best we´ll get until 2018. But Dilma Roussef was so much worse…

      • And no, there was no “political coup with the aid of the US”. I´m not personally in the Lava a Jato´s team (my area is environment, not financial crimes), but a lot of my friends are. I´ve seen first hand (sometimes on ‘look at those photos’ still in the camera memory) the evidence for the corruption of Dilma, Lula, Marcelo Odebretch, and a lot of other crooks here in Brasil. These are criminals, who belong in prison, not saintly persecuted politicians.

        Reply
  30. coloradobob

     /  September 16, 2016

    Crystal Cruise Ship Completes Historic Northwest Passage Arctic Journey
    September 16, 2016

    (2:30 p.m. EDT) — Early this morning, Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Serenity sailed into New York City to a spectacular sunrise welcome, completing its historic 32-day Northwest Passage journey. The ship became the largest passenger vessel to sail the icy Arctic waters of Canada.

    Link

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  September 17, 2016

      According to the ship’s blog, they were all sooooo relieved to reach Bar Harbor—civilised food at last: lobsters for all!

      And now that they’re back in Manhattan, well. FINALLY, some decent shopping.

      Reply
      • coloradobob

         /  September 17, 2016

        For years the deniers pointed to Roald Amundsen in 1906 and his crew of 5 , It was a walk in the park, a 3 year walk . In a tiny boat with a round hull that would be squeezed out of the water when it froze.

        Reply
  31. June

     /  September 16, 2016

    I like Bob Henson’s characterization at Wunderground, ‘degraded and disheveled’ sea ice. I suspect it will be as interesting a freezing season as it was a melting season in the Arctic. Watching these real time experiments with the future of the planet at stake makes my stomach clench.

    Degraded and Disheveled, Arctic Sea Ice Ties for Second-Lowest Extent on Record

    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3433

    Reply
  32. coloradobob

     /  September 16, 2016

    Wili today’s pass-
    Aqua/MODIS
    2016/260
    09/16/2016
    05:55 UTC
    Fires and smoke in central Russia

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  September 17, 2016

      Yesterday’s pass South and East of the one above –

      Terra/MODIS
      2016/259
      09/15/2016
      04:55 UTC
      Fires and smoke in central Russia

      Reply
  33. Griffin

     /  September 17, 2016

    Off topic but this sure does suck.
    “About 980 million litres of radioactive water have leaked into Florida’s main underground source of drinking water, officials in the US state say.”
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-37390562?ocid=socialflow_twitter

    Reply
  34. coloradobob

     /  September 17, 2016

    Here’s the Western slice of Wili’s link –

    Reply
  35. Ailsa

     /  September 17, 2016

    The new prime minister of the UK has just approved the building of a new nuclear plant Hinkley Point C, an extremely controversial decision. Cost £18 billion (but will probably be considerably more). Ready in 2025 (but will probably run considerably over time).

    Keeping the lights on, new jobs… these are the arguments for. The investment is from the Chinese, and French company EDF – but they will only go for it because the UK govt are guaranteeing a price per kilowatt hour way in excess of current electricity prices. In effect, a massive subsidy, which might be better spent on true renewables.

    Here is a good compilation of the coverage from various news sites, some conservative (like the BBC) and some not so much:

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  September 17, 2016

      Looks like it’s to be built right on the coast—almost on the beach.

      Nuclear power stations at sea level: what could possibly go wrong?

      Reply
      • Marcusblanc

         /  September 17, 2016

        I think most are on the coast, at least in the UK (on the sites of previous generations of reactors), although I know France have some inland, on major rivers. Whatever, they aren’t going to look so clever surrounded by massive, expensive sea defences.

        Even pro-nuclear greens don’t want it at such a price.

        Shelley’s Ozymandius seems relevant…

        I met a traveller from an antique land
        Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
        Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
        Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
        And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
        Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
        Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
        The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
        And on the pedestal these words appear:
        ‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
        Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
        Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
        Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
        The lone and level sands stretch far away.

        Reply
    • Ailsa

       /  September 17, 2016

      As one commenter says “it could NEVER get built, like all the other similar projects have not yet completed, so why sign a deal with a shop that has let down all its previous customers”. Its a problematic situation, to say the least.

      Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  September 17, 2016

      Well, despicable racist depictions of the Chinese does not tend to invite optimism that the degree of unprecedented global co-operation required to save ourselves from climate destabilisation will be achieved.

      Reply
    • Spike

       /  September 17, 2016

      If future renewables bring down electricity prices this behemoth will get more in subsidy, assuming they ever manage to build and run it! So much for our pathetic governance in the UK, exposed to all by this and the Brexit debacle amongst many others.

      Reply
  36. coloradobob

     /  September 17, 2016

    Now, here’s Wili’s link –
    I haven’t been watching Russia much for days, the clouds, and the fires seemed to lay down there. But looking for these links . Wow they’re back. I keep asking myself, what’s the ignition source here ?
    My only answer, lighting.

    As for the topic of the thread, our projections about the future are meaningless as we watch one great carbon sink crippled, and crash ……………. one after another. And the Amazon , and the Tiga are crashing.

    Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  September 17, 2016

      Surely, with so much more energy stored in the atmosphere, there must be more energetic lightning, and more of it, and perhaps more of the devastating ‘positive’ type. I seem to recall reading of Indian farmers this summer who spoke of their fear of lightning as they went to the fields,

      Reply
  37. coloradobob

     /  September 17, 2016

    Here are 10 more conspiracy theories embraced by Donald Trump

    Link

    Reply
  38. Geert

     /  September 17, 2016

    New September heat-records broeken in the Netherlands and Belgium for september! Never before we had temperatures above 30C in the Netherlands in september. This month we have had not one but 2 days above 30C, and not in the first few days of the month, but half way (13 and 14th of September)… And 15th of september was Nearly 30C… Abnormally hot for our region!

    Reply
  39. Spike

     /  September 17, 2016

    UK starting to get intense storms already – we had a torrential downpour with intense lightning and flash floods in our village this week. Cornwall and Manchester, along with many areas in the SE were impacted.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-37358536

    Reply
  40. Cate

     /  September 17, 2016

    Word is that Canada will ratify COP21.

    There’s a catch. There’s no plan yet. And Canada does have a shameful history of making promises it never fulfills, no matter what colour the federal govt (Kyoto, Copenhagen).

    To be fair, poor Justin Trudeau is trying to come up with a strategy to meet CO2 emissions targets. He’s playing nice with the provinces, holding talks, setting up working groups, agreeing on deadlines. The problem is same-old-same-old Canada: the provinces are not playing nice. JT is going to have to get tough with them and order them about. That will get the knickers of everyone in Canada, from Little Voter to Big Oil, in a knot.

    “The previous Conservative government set a target of reducing Canada’s emissions 30 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030, a target adopted “as a floor” by the incoming Liberals. That 2030 target won’t be lowered in this round of climate planning, said Climate Minister McKenna’s spokeswoman Caitlin Workman….”Canada has a target right now,” said Workman. “It’s already going to be, quite frankly, very challenging to meet that target.”

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-ratify-paris-climate-deal-1.3766983

    Reply
    • Josh

       /  September 17, 2016

      “Canada has a target right now,” said Workman. “It’s already going to be, quite frankly, very challenging to meet that target.”

      Yes, but surely not enough. Scientists like Kevin Anderson would say we need more like zero emissions by 2035.

      The difference between that and a 30% reduction by 2030 is huge. Even if what we need to do isn’t possible, more ambition is needed!

      This what you get when action is delayed several decades. Imagine if we delay even more…

      Reply
      • Josh

         /  September 17, 2016

        Should add that if my understanding is correct, the zero by 2035 target Anderson suggests is for the Annex 1 nations.

        Reply
    • – Canada
      Philly SURJ ‏@PhillySurj 4h4 hours ago

      We’ve drawn a pipeline up to the doors of TD bank, since thats where pipeline funding starts. #phillynodapl

      Reply
    • Sitting ’round debating whether we should order some modern, folding deck chairs for the proverbial Titanic. Wonderful.

      Reply
  41. Shawn Redmond

     /  September 17, 2016

    Every once in awhile there is good news. The Fort Nelson First Nation has won a potentially precedent-setting decision from the B.C. Environmental Appeal Board that cancels the water licence of a natural gas fracking operation in northeast B.C.

    The appeal board — in a decision that took 20 months to deliver — concluded the science behind the licence was fundamentally flawed and the province did not consult the First Nation in good faith. http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/water+licence+northeast+fracking+operation+cancelled/11345870/story.html

    Reply
    • Shawn Redmond

       /  September 17, 2016

      Yeah it’s a year old but you have to dig up some reason for optimism now and again.

      Reply
  42. climatehawk1

     /  September 17, 2016

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  43. June

     /  September 17, 2016

    But hey, the company assures us nobody is at risk because groundwater moves slowly. Nothing to see here, move along. My mind doesn’t have too many neurons left to be boggled, but this…

    Florida sinkhole causes vast leak of wastewater into drinking water source

    More than 200m gallons of contaminated wastewater from a fertilizer plant in central Florida leaked into one of the state’s main underground sources of drinking water after a huge sinkhole opened up beneath a storage pond, a phosphate company said on Friday…

    The Floridan aquifer is a major source of drinking water in the state. One of the highest-producing aquifers in the world, it underlies all of Florida and extends into southern Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/17/florida-sinkhole-wastewater-leak-drinking-water

    Reply
    • June

       /  September 17, 2016

      The incident comes less than a year after Mosaic, one of the world’s largest fertilizer makers, settled a vast federal environmental lawsuit with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in which the company agreed to nearly $2bn in fixes, improvements and cleanups at its plants.

      “I wish we could say that watching an environmental tragedy unfolding at a Florida phosphate mining site was a new occurrence, but sadly it’s happened repeatedly,” said Tania Galloni, an attorney with the Florida office of Earthjustice.

      Reply
  44. – Something fungi for Bob to go with the peat (etc.) slumps and slides.

    Fungi make steep slopes more stable

    Fungi are fantastic. They give us beer, bread and cheese. And if those delicious reasons aren’t sufficient, then here’s another: a new study suggests some fungi can help prevent shallow landslides and surface erosion.

    The new study, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, tested mycorrhizal fungi’s ability to make steep and gravely slopes more stable and less prone to shallow landslides.

    Like clown fish and anemones, mycorrhizal fungi and plants share a symbiotic, or mutually beneficial, relationship. Mycorrhizal fungi grow around and sometimes inside a plant’s roots. Plants provide fungi with fuel. In return, fungi grow into the surrounding soil and fetch nutrients like phosphorous and nitrogen for the plant.

    http://blogs.agu.org/geospace/2016/09/13/fungi-make-steep-slopes-more-stable/

    Reply
  45. Atmospheric energy:

    Reply
  46. Reply
  47. Quincy Vagell ‏@stormchaserQ 45m45 minutes ago Carlsbad, NM

    Eddy County, NM supercell 4:59 p.m. #nmwx

    Reply
  48. Reply
    • Cate

       /  September 18, 2016

      Surely that will beat up any shore ice that’s forming? If there’s any there yet. It’s been so warm.

      Reply
  49. An appropriate backdrop, this:

    Reply
    • I look at his and note the rude GW awakening I felt 1973 (mid-spring). The following (L-R) falls right into place.
      My position at the time was 49.14 N and 122.19 W.

      Reply
  50. Greg

     /  September 18, 2016

    On the island of Itbayat, where the eye of Meranti passed directly over, communication lines were cut off from its 3,000 residents to the outside world. Rachel Ponce, a native of Itbayat who was staying in Manila when the storm hit the island, said in a Facebook post that she is desperate to hear from her family but still has not been able to reach them.

    “We are getting worried, we seldom do,” said Ponce. “It has been days since we last heard from them. We are so worried.”

    Ponce also said some families received texts during the storm from loved ones whose stone houses were swaying – something they said has never happened before. It’s not yet known if there were injuries or deaths on these islands stuck in the path of the monster storm.

    “We need a helicopter for Itbayat,” she said in the post. “We do not have a voice.”

    https://weather.com/news/news/super-typhoon-meranti-impacts

    Reply
  51. Jay M

     /  September 18, 2016

    Oz late winter jet:

    Reply
  52. Saudi Arabia Is Buying Up America’s Oil Assets

    Saudi Arabia is quietly amassing quite a portfolio of American energy assets. State-owned Saudi Aramco is already co-owner, with Royal Dutch Shell , of Motiva, the largest U.S. refinery. Under an already signed agreement, in April 2017, Aramco will take full ownership of the most valuable Motiva assets. Now comes news that Motiva is the leading candidate to purchase the Lyondell Basell Refinery in Houston. This would give Saudi Arabia control of two major Texas refineries proving, once again, that American energy independence is impossible.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/ellenrwald/2016/09/15/saudi-arabia-is-buying-up-americas-oil-assets/#2668d563cf29

    Reply
  53. wili

     /  September 18, 2016

    Apologies if this has already been posted here, and thanks to tigertown at neven’s site for the link:
    Wildfire in Peru Amazon.The Amazon used to be one of the word’s most dependable carbon sinks.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-peru-wildfire-idUSKCN11L2S6

    Reply
  54. wili

     /  September 18, 2016

    Ooops, let’s try that again:

    ” A wildfire burning in the Peruvian Amazon that has charred some 20,000 hectares (49,421 acres) of rainforest and destroyed crops planted by indigenous communities was raging toward a national park and another protected area, authorities said on Thursday.

    Firefighters battled hot-spots spanning 20 kilometers (12 miles) along the Ene River in the jungle region of Junin, said Julio Jeri, an official with Peru’s forest service SERFOR. He said the first rainfall in weeks did not appear to have contained the blaze.

    Some 14 hectares of native croplands have been destroyed and protected areas for the Ashaninka Amazonian tribe and the Otishi National Park were in the fire’s path, he said.

    About a tenth of the Amazonian rainforest is in Peru. Less rain due to climate change and last year’s El Nino weather pattern have made the Amazon drier than usual, scientists have said…”

    Reply
  55. wili

     /  September 18, 2016

    And then there’s: “Global warming making Calif. wildfire season longer, more severe”

    (Good to see that some media sources are naming the culprit here!)

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2016/09/14/global-warming-making-calif-wildfire-season-longer-more-severe/90364040/

    As Southern California firefighters battled the Blue Cut Fire last month, there was nothing they could do to fend off an unfortunate reality: Global warming is already lengthening wildfire season and increasing the likelihood of extreme fires across the West. And conditions will only get worse in the coming decades.

    California just suffered through its hottest summer on record: The Golden State’s average temperature from June through August was more than 3 degrees above the 20th century average, according to scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Globally, July and August 2016 tied for Earth’s hottest month on record, according to NASA. Last year was the planet’s hottest since reliable record-keeping began in 1880, and 2016 is virtually guaranteed to break that record because it’s been so warm thus far, scientists say.

    Global warming has had a profound impact on wildfire activity in the Western United States over the last few decades, according to several recent studies. And with more warming all but inevitable due to the climate-altering greenhouse gases humans have already put into the atmosphere, California and other Western states are likely to face ever-more-dangerous fire conditions going forward.

    “We’re moving to a different kind of landscape shaped by the changing climate,” said LeRoy Westerling, a fire ecologist from the University of California, Merced who has studied the link between climate change and wildfires. “What would be surprising is if you raised temperatures this much and didn’t see changes in fires.”…

    Reply
  56. coloradobob

     /  September 18, 2016

    TOKYO —
    Hundreds of horseshoe crabs—known as “living fossils” because they are among the Earth’s oldest creatures—have been found dead in southern Japan, confounding experts who study the alien-like sidewalkers.

    https://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/living-fossil-crabs-mysteriously-dying-in-japan

    Reply
  57. Daddy-o

     /  September 18, 2016

    I have often wondered how all this is going to play out as it becomes more apparent to the masses of the scale of the predicament. I am someone that holds the possibility that this offers humanity the chance to accept our fate with a level of grace that will more reflect our higher possibilities…..I come to this from the following analogy…..If we discovered that there was a huge meteor coming towards earth with certain impact expected in 3 years and no technology could prevent the cataclysm, how would we react? Being that there would be likely no survivors, I like to believe that the preppers would lay down their arms, the political infighters would find cooperation and that we would find our humanity and treat each other with compassion and go down gracefully as we embraced our little time left. With no incentive to compete with each other to continue our individual DNA, why not join together to mourn and celebrate what the earth has provided for us?
    It seems that the result of our radically changing climate is that meteor…we have just not yet realized it on a mass scale….this is likely to change soon and it is my hope that we follow the higher path during acceptance. We can start today by choosing love over fear as well as realizing that we have nothing to lose (and much to potentially gain) by giving up consumerism and allowing the existing system to crash. So many are worried that the level of change required to slow the Beast down will lead to the crashing of systems that we rely on. Obviously those systems are on their way out anyway, so the rational choice is to collapse early and embrace the time we have left….

    Reply
    • Thanks, Daddy-o. You hit the nail on the head.

      Reply
    • James

       /  September 18, 2016

      We’ve never followed the higher path, why start now? What if there is a lifeboat that can keep your children alive for a few decades longer while others perish? Will you fight to get your children on that lifeboat?

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  September 18, 2016

        If we could “find our humantiy” in coming together to accept apparent doom, so much the more should we be able to find it in coming together to fight it. I’m old-fashioned enough to believe that there is more power in a life-positive goal (uniting to resist a threat) than in a life-negative one (uniting to accept it).🙂

        Reply
        • Mulga Mumblebrain

           /  September 20, 2016

          Cate, there is no such thing as ‘common humanity’. Despite 99% of our behaviour from one end of the planet to the other being shared despite differences of race, religion, society etc, it has only taken a very tiny percentage of cuckoos in the human nest to send us careering towards catastrophe. The 1% or less who benefit massively from the destruction ie ‘the elites’. We still have a chance, but they must be disempowered once and forever, and soon. That will be difficult.

    • g. orwell

       /  September 18, 2016

      “…so the rational choice…”
      problem is: ain’t nuttin rational ’bout this whole thing.
      I support your ideals/ideas, but….

      Reply
      • g. orwell

         /  September 18, 2016

        clarifying: those aspects of the problem our world faces which could be rational are overwhelmed by the non-rational.

        Reply
    • Josh

       /  September 18, 2016

      “Accepting our fate” is something best saved for the inevitable. It is pretty clear that lots of people will die through the consequences of climate change, but I can’t see anything that implies *everybody* will die.

      Best to get people to realise as soon as possible, but we don’t need to sit down and accept something that we can still affect the outcome of.

      There is still a “much worse” that we can avoid.

      Reply
      • Shawn Redmond

         /  September 18, 2016

        The difference between a meteor strike and our present situation is the speed of demise. Yes we could celebrate humanity while we waited for the strike. It would then be over in a matter of days if not hours. Our situation as it stands today is most of us will starve to death over a course that may well be decades in length. This will provide more than ample time for our worst traits to manifest.

        Reply
        • Cate

           /  September 18, 2016

          Shawn, I agree—there is no comparison between this and an asteroid strike. The latter would be a “short sharp shock” (to quote my beloved Dark Side of the Moon). The climate catastrophe, if allowed to continue with BAU and barring catastropic methane explosions, would probably play out over generations in a world growing ever more miserable and dangerous. Back to sticks and stones, for a species that aspired to the stars…..But it doesn’t have to be that way—-if our leaders would only ACT. NOW.

        • Josh

           /  September 19, 2016

          I would dispute that “most of us will starve to death”. I suppose it depends what you mean by “us”, but plenty of people alive now will die before the worst effects kick in just from old age.

          Even if most of us are doomed to starve to death, while we can accept our fate I don’t think we have any moral right to give up fighting to stop the disaster as much as possible.

          People will survive. The more we do now, the more will survive. And resigning ourselves to our “fate” and limiting our actions as a result is profoundly unhelpful at anything other than a personal psychological level. As such it seems quite selfish to me.

        • I guess I am confused. When did anyone suggest we resign ourselves to our fate and limit our actions? Maybe I missed that part?

        • Josh

           /  September 20, 2016

          Sorry I was confusing you with Shawn – and actually he never said to limit our actions either, it was just the general jist of what he was saying. Apologies!

        • I accept and appreciate your apology. It’s not generally helpful to misconstrue the statements of others, but instead to read them carefully and be on the lookout for nuanced positions. I also think an apology is in order for labeling folks who firmly believe that global warming is happening and may now be unstoppable as “soft deniers.” If anything, we are the hardest of the hard believers in the science of global warming, but it’s a political discussion and mud gets slung. It was ever thus.

          My nuanced position is that acting as if our actions matter may have positive consequences for many species and may delay and/or reduce the impact of global warming and that is how we should act. I spent a good amount of effort in the past decade plus trying to persuade folks that it was time to block ports, roads and rail lines to interfere with the commerce of environmental destruction, but was unable to move sign-waving environmental protesters off the position on sidewalks of busy intersections into the street. During that time I have seen the level of CO2 go steadily up and I have watched the rate of increase rise and I have lived through 2 terms of Prez Obama and his endless wars and “all of the above” energy policy. And he is ostensibly “our” guy, a solid democrat, etc.

          I have given up on “our” guys and gals now. To see political movement on global warming, we should not even bother working with the establishment left, we should go straight to the hard right. When they come around, things may change. But, hey, what do I know?

          Here are the daily CO2 numbers from CO2.earth:

          Daily CO2

          September 18, 2016: 401.70 ppm

          September 18, 2015: 397.56 ppm

          Daily average is very noisy, but still, 4.14 ppm increase? when we need to be flat or negative? We continue to post disastrous numbers and experience climate disasters every day now. I guess looking hard and critically at the entire situation makes some folks label me as a soft denier of global warming. Go figure.

          Warm regards,

          Mike

        • No disrespect intended, but IMHO, “soft denier” term is appropriate for most anyone whose position/words may encourage others to not. Act. Immediately. This of course is a matter of interpretation (as saying goes, “Your mileage may vary”) and judgment. Still, behooves us all to think about what we post and do our best to ensure that it does not contribute to inaction through either willful dismissal or hopelessness.

        • Josh

           /  September 22, 2016

          Sorry Mike, I think you’re right. I’m quite prone at times to reading and replying too quickly. I certainly wouldn’t want to imply you or anybody else I’ve spoken to here is a soft denier.

          My own journey into climate awareness is rather short by comparison to yours – it was only about 6 months ago that I started reading about climate science.

          What you’re saying about getting protesters off the sidewalks into the street really resonates with me. Once I was done with spiralling into the rabbit hole of climate science and outlook, it was obvious that we needed real resistance. I’ve not had the courage so far myself, but its early days. I just missed the boat with the rather brilliant anti-coal action here in the UK that closed a large mine for a day.

          Sigh.. what a world we live in. And yet there is still beauty all around if you know where to look.

          Best wishes.

      • maybe we can mitigate the disaster, and maybe not. Most of us who think maybe it’s ‘game over’ still subscribe to an ethic that we should act as if our actions matter. There is nothing to lose with that approach and it is a gracious response to recognition of the toxicity of our species to much of the biota on the planet.

        Reply
        • Josh

           /  September 19, 2016

          I must say I do agree where it doesn’t stop people taking action. My fear though is that seeing complete doom and disaster as fundamentally inevitable is a great way to give up. I already see enough people writing such comments underneath climate change articles to make me think that it is not only the deniers who are the problem.

          I’m sure both you and Shawn are still trying to make a difference, but I don’t think that is the case for everyone.

          I don’t intend to blame individuals for that, since we are in a truely unprecedented situation and people will of course all react in different ways. But nevertheless I think we have a duty to encourage action wherever possible, and that should be the main message. Dealing with the crisis on a personal level – psychology and all that – is secondary, at least to me. Or perhaps my way of dealing with it is to keep challenging myself to do more to help the situation for the people alive now and who will be alive in the future.

        • Cate

           /  September 20, 2016

          Josh–yes, exactly. I posted an link here a few threads back to an article on “hard” and “soft” deniers, hard being those who deny human-caused climate change, and soft being those who deny that we can do anything to stop or slow it. The writer concluded that these soft deniers are increasing in numbers and will pose the major obstacle to any attempts to take effective action against climate change.

    • Well-stated, Daddy-O.

      Reply
    • Tom

       /  September 19, 2016

      Watch it Daddy-O, you’re approaching McPherson territory here and Robert doesn’t like that.

      Reply
  58. wharf rat

     /  September 18, 2016

    Is there a watchdog organization in the environmental movement, or on the political left, which uses FOIA requests like Judicial Watch does? I’d really like to see the emails of Lamar Smith, Ted Cruz, and the senator with the snowball. Who knows what Exxon, the Kochs, and Heartland, among others, have been telling them? I’d like to find out.

    Reply
    • Jennifer

       /  September 18, 2016

      Very good question! The best defense is a good offence.

      Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  September 20, 2016

      Just as was done with the tobacco harm denial industry. It will provide cogent evidence for the trials for Crimes against Humanity, too. And we ought to hope that someone hacks the bastards, too.

      Reply
  59. coloradobob

     /  September 18, 2016

    Never seen this one before –

    Reply
  60. Reply
  61. Reply
    • Cate

       /  September 18, 2016

      Proving Canada is governed—federally and provincially—-by a gang of corporate lackeys.

      Reply
      • We need to push the corporate lackeys harder. It’s the work we have to do. We can’t give up and let the lackeys get it wrong year after year. In the US we just need to keep working until folks like Donald Trump are ready to take on global warming.

        Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  September 20, 2016

      Meet the new boss-same as the old boss. Trudeau is the Canadian Obama, but surely this cannot come as a surprise. Democracy under capitalism is a dead-end where ‘divide and rule’ tactics and bare-faced lying ensure that nothing ever changes, even in the face of an unprecedented catastrophe. Trump is a complete disaster, but does anyone really believe that Clinton will go against the wishes of Big Business, who don’t want their wealth and assets lessened to any degree. We have to grovel before them and try to convince them that saving our children can be ‘profitable’ for them, otherwise they will NOT allow us to act.

      Reply
  62. Reply
  63. coloradobob

     /  September 18, 2016

    Today’s pass over Russia , some serious tundra burning going on ..

    Terra/MODIS
    2016/262
    09/18/2016
    05:25 UTC

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  September 18, 2016

      Farther South and East , above Lake Baikal –

      Aqua/MODIS
      2016/262
      09/18/2016
      05:35 UTC

      Reply
  64. – This fire burning on northern edge of the Southern California Bight is on a coastal military ‘reservation’ — a big fenced in area. The vegetation and biota there is relatively unspoiled by cattle grazing/agriculture/oil extraction, etc. It shares a shoreline with the Pacific Ocean.
    It is on fire.

    Nearby wildfire prompts delay in Atlas V launch
    – spaceflightinsider.com/organizations/ula/nearby-wildfire-prompts-delay

    The planned Sept. 18 launch of a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 401 rocket with the WorldView-4 satellite has been postponed due to a wildfire burning on Vandenberg Air Force Base south of the launch pad – Space Launch Complex 3E. The delay allows firefighters to remain in the area to try to put out the fire.

    “Our procedures require stand-by firefighting crews for every launch to ensure safety of our personnel and facility protection,” said Col. Paul Nosek, Emergency Operations Center commander.” We’ve delayed the launch in order to concentrate our resources on the situation at hand.”

    Reply
    • Genomik

       /  September 18, 2016

      I think California is now the worlds 6th largest economy and its in year 5 or 6 of a devastating drought. The cognitive dissonance is so thick here if it were water the drought would be over.

      Fortunately there are some smart, rich and influential people here and it’s not lost on them. If they can overwhelm the dark forces of oil remains to be seen.

      Reply
  65. Andy_in_SD

     /  September 19, 2016

    Toxic Algae Plaguing 40 California Waterways

    Toxic algae has shown up in more than 40 state lakes and waterways from Los Angeles to the northern reaches of California, the highest count in state history.

    http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2016/09/18/toxic-algae-plaguing-40-california-waterways/

    Reply
  66. – More busy weather up Beaufort way:

    Reply
  67. Next President Must Name Science Leaders Fast, Report Urges

    The report steers clear of providing guidance for how the next president should deal with specific science and technology issues, but it calls out climate change as a key policy area.

    “The next administration will need to address a number of public policy challenges necessitating immediate [science and technology] expertise.”
    https://eos.org/articles/next-president-must-name-science-leaders-fast-report-urges

    Reply
  68. Corrected lnk:
    Via climatehawk1:

    Climate change does ‘weird things’ to Canada’s Arctic glaciers: expert

    Scientists studying how climate change affects Arctic glaciers are increasingly seeing some “weird things happening,” says a Canadian researcher.

    University of Calgary geography professor Brian Moorman who studies glaciers in the Canadian territory of Nunavut says in the past few years he has seen things that has never seen before or that he would not have anticipated happening.

    “Like large lakes forming on top of glaciers because melting water is being produced so fast that it can’t escape, or lakes that are dammed up by glaciers catastrophically draining out and completely drying out a river valley or a lake basin in a matter of a couple of days, losing millions of cubic metres of water,” Moorman said speaking on the phone from his office in Calgary.

    (click to listen to the full interview with Brian Moorman)

    Radio Canada International
    Friday 16 September, 2016

    http://www.rcinet.ca/en/2016/09/16/climate-change-does-weird-things-to-canadas-arctic-glaciers-expert/

    Reply
    • ‘Dry’ calving is a major point. Baffin Island/Western Greenland is the area of study.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  September 19, 2016

        dt and climatehawk, wow, great link. Posting it over at ASIF, on the Glaciers board.

        Reply
        • Yes. He (Moorman) also stressed the “unexpected processes” encountered — lakes forming then draining, in very short times — glacier to lake, to dry valley…

        • Unexpected Processes, that’s a marker for our times.

  69. Fire on the Bight still burning;

    Reply
  70. Genomik

     /  September 19, 2016

    OAKLAND (AP) — Toxic algae has shown up in more than 40 state lakes and waterways from Los Angeles to the northern reaches of California, the highest count in state history.

    Water agencies have been caught off guard by the growing extent of the algae, which is triggering health warnings, the closing of swim areas and a reduction in park visitors and revenues, the East Bay Times reported Sunday.

    “The algae caught everyone by surprise, and it was difficult to get clear guidance and protocols on what to do about it,” said Carolyn Jones, an East Bay Regional Park District spokeswoman. “We went more than 80 years before we had a closure for this toxic substance in the drought.”

    The cyanobacterium, which occurs naturally, can cause gastrointestinal problems and allergic reactions in people and sickness and death among pets and wildlife. The cyanobacterium has blossomed during the state’s drought.

    The microbes are causing more trouble because nutrients that built up during the drought were washed off hills during this year’s rains.

    http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2016/09/18/toxic-algae-plaguing-40-california-waterways/

    Reply
  71. wili

     /  September 19, 2016

    http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/100000-deaths-from-indonesia-forest-fires-study/article9123948.ece

    “100,000 deaths from Indonesian forest fires”

    “It dwarfs Indonesia’s official toll of 19 that included deaths from illness and the deaths of firefighters

    Indonesian forest fires that choked a swath of Southeast Asia with a smoky haze for weeks last year may have caused more than 100,000 deaths, according to new research that will add to pressure on Indonesia’s government to tackle the annual crisis.

    The study by scientists from Harvard University and Columbia University to be published in the journal Environmental Research Letters is being welcomed by other researchers and Indonesia’s medical profession as an advance in quantifying the suspected serious public health effects of the fires, which are set to clear land for agriculture and forestry. The number of deaths is an estimate derived from a complex analysis that has not yet been validated by analysis of official data on mortality.

    The research has implications for land-use practices and Indonesia’s vast pulp and paper industry. The researchers showed that peatlands within timber concessions, and peatlands overall, were a much bigger proportion of the fires observed by satellite than in 2006, which was another particularly bad year for haze. The researchers surmise that draining of the peatlands to prepare them for pulpwood plantations and other uses made them more vulnerable to fires… “

    Reply
    • wili

       /  September 19, 2016

      And silkman at neven’s site sees significant forest fire action in Indonesia right now through MODIS, though I can’t find any news about it on the internets.

      Reply
  72. coloradobob

     /  September 19, 2016

    Consortium provided quick response to flower garden die-off

    “We don’t know completely (what caused the die-off),” Knap said. “All data has not been analyzed.”

    What has been determined so far is that heavy rains in the last few months caused a thick, “less salty” layer of water to settle on top of the flower garden. The layer kept oxygen from flowing naturally in that part of the Gulf.

    “It destroyed anything that could not move,” said Larry McKinney, the Harte Research Institute’s executive director. “It’s kind of shocking. I’ve been out (to the flower garden) since 1975, well over 100 times, and have never seen anything like that. It’s a first-time event as far as I’m concerned.”

    What’s yet to be determined is why and how the area became vulnerable to the water runoff.

    http://www.caller.com/news/education/local/consortium-provided-quick-response-to-flower-garden-die-off–3abfbb3e-79c0-32e1-e053-0100007fddbc-393904021.html

    Reply
  73. Abel Adamski

     /  September 19, 2016

    From my archives, a religious perspective well worth reading
    http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2014/05/02/3996703.htm
    Where is Wisdom Found? The Ingenious Folly of Climate Change
    Andrew Errington


    These kinds of predictions are not new. For some time now, scientists have been warning that continuing to burn fossil fuels at the current rate will lead to temperature rises far-exceeding the repeatedly agreed-upon target of two degrees, and that this will have far-reaching consequences. Sometimes predictions become frankly apocalyptic – quite simply the collapse of civilisation as we know it.

    The striking thing, however, is that although these scenarios are frightening, few of us are actually very frightened. The possibility of major changes in lifestyle, let alone civilisational collapse, is frequently brushed aside with a shrug. The doom-sayers, however eminent and credentialed, are dismissed as madmen; and we continue to burn our coal.

    Where does this nonchalance come from? No doubt it has a variety of sources, not least the fact that predictions such as these are notoriously uncertain, a fact seized upon with glee by those eager to find as much mud as they can in the scientific waters. However, there are also deeper reasons for our apathy towards these predictions of doom and gloom. Indeed, it is arguable that “climate sceptics” would not have achieved such prominence were it not for a much deeper confidence that everything is bound to turn out all right. That is, we are already fairly sure that predictions such as these couldn’t possibly be true, and so we are more willing to listen to those telling us they are not.

    One of the chief sources of this deeper confidence is our belief in human ingenuity. If it is anything at all, our age is an age of technology, an age in which the successes of science are being endlessly translated into products that improve human life. This is the grand story – for many the only story – of the last three hundred years: the story of the success of technology. It is a story of progress: we are moving forward, improving human life, bringing about a better world.
    .
    .
    .
    There is much that has been and is being said about the kind of action we should now be taking in relation to climate change. At one level, Job is not much help at all with these questions. Yet there is another level at which this poem could help us a great deal, for it holds out to us a hope that we may yet act wisely.

    There is an implicit promise here that wisdom is still possible; that, whatever our folly, we are still in a position to act wisely. And that is a profoundly liberating thought. In the face of a threat as dire as we apparently face, it is easy for it to seem as if wise action was no longer a possibility, and that our only options now are despair or desperation. In contrast, the prospect that we might still be able to act wisely, to do something good and meaningful in the time we have, is an inspiring thought.

    Reply
    • Shawn Redmond

       /  September 19, 2016

      I’m sorry but blindly following the interpreters of ancient story tellers didn’t keep the earth flat and it won’t help us to pass through ACD either.

      Reply
    • wili

       /  September 19, 2016

      McKibben actually a book about the kind of message Job may have for us today. He suggests that the main message of the book is one of radical anti-anthropocentrism. IIRC the name of the book is “The Comforting Whirlwind.”

      Reply
    • Cate

       /  September 19, 2016

      Abel, thanks so much for that link. As a person of faith, I find much food for thought there and much wisdom “for those who have ears to hear”, as the ancient storytellers always said, to light the way forward in this dark time for humanity.

      How we respond to the climate crisis from here on in is going to test–and to show–what humankind is made of.

      As an aside, couple religion-y things caught my eye of late:

      1. Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org, is a professing and committed Christian—-thereby proving that there is no automatic link between “being Christian” and being regressive, right-wing, or denialist on climate change.

      2 The similarities between the predictions of science on runaway climate change and the apocalypse dreamed up by the ancient storyteller who wrote the Book of Revelation are pretty striking: the earth on fire or shuddering with earthquake, masses drowning in floods, mass migrations and die-offs of species, mountains crashing into seas, huge storms at sea, and all accompanied by pestilence, famine, and war = terrible misery for all alive in those times. Yeah, that old guy kind of channelled Dr Hansen 2000 years early……😀

      Reply
  74. coloradobob

     /  September 19, 2016

    Today’s pass over central Russia is truly shocking ,
    Terra/MODIS
    2016/263
    09/19/2016
    04:30 UTC

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  September 19, 2016

      Aqua/MODIS
      2016/263
      09/19/2016
      06:20 UTC

      Reply
    • wili

       /  September 19, 2016

      Those links are broken for me, but I’ve seen similar images on other forums (fora??).

      I can’t help but note also that recent CO2 readings have been way up, with daily year-on-year increases over 5 ppm, and weekly ones over 4! Could be short term static, but it also could be carbon feedback like these fires, or failing sinks (which in this case amounts to about the same thing, I guess).

      I’d love to see rs pull all these pieces together for us with his perfect prose and excellent research and insight. It looks like he’s gone into his quiet mode now.

      (I kind of think of him as a lion on the veld: after a flurry of killing, they relax and digest for a long time before going out on another hunt. I do look forward with anticipation to his next hunt, whatever the prey!

      We all have our rhythms and patterns of productivity, except for those of us like myself who are rarely productive of anything at all!! ‘-) )

      Reply
    • Smoke layer so dense you could walk on it.
      Also:

      Reply
  75. The Rise of the Right and Climate Catastrophe

    In a year of record-setting heat on a blistered globe, with fast-warming oceans, fast-melting ice caps, and fast-rising sea levels, ratification of the December 2015 Paris climate summit agreement — already endorsed by most nations — should be a complete no-brainer. That it isn’t tells you a great deal about our world. Global geopolitics and the possible rightward lurch of many countries (including a potential deal-breaking election in the United States that could put a climate denier in the White House) spell bad news for the fate of the Earth. It’s worth exploring how this might come to be.

    http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176186/tomgram%3A_michael_klare%2C_the_rise_of_the_right_and_climate_catastrophe/

    Reply
    • g. orwell

       /  September 19, 2016

      ‘jus sayin’: Mr. T must know ’bout Climate Change; but he’s gotta ‘talk the talk’ of denier, politically speaking. Anyway, if elected, would highly likely be no more detrimental/harmful than Mrs. C. Presidents are fundamentally puppets of higher-ups.

      Reply
      • g. orwell, you’re bringing an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory into the discussion, so I suspect that you’re a troll. Regardless, you’re completely wrong that Trump wouldn’t be more harmful than Clinton. It’s not close. Trump would quickly reverse any gains made in the American climate fight, whereas Clinton has a fully developed platform. Her platform might not be enough, but it still goes in the right direction.

        Even as we’re still unable to grasp how much Trump lies about *everything* on a *daily* basis, and how corrupt he actually is, and how brazenly racist and fascist his campaign has become, we can’t comprehend how bad a Trump administration would be. It would be terrible for the environment and our climate because while everyone would be in a furor as Trump turns the police to putting immigrants in internment camps and installs judges who disdain human and civil rights, and allows the white nationalists to take over, and deregulates everything and breaks all the trade deals and tanks the global economy, all the republican state legislators and corporations will take advantage of the distraction to thumb their noses and overturn at any environmental regulations they deem a hindrance. A Trump win would be a complete and unequivocal disaster for not only the USA, but for the rest of the world too.

        Reply
  76. An American tragedy: why are millions of trees dying across the country?

    A quiet crisis playing out in US forests as huge numbers of trees succumb to drought, disease, insects and wildfire – much of it driven by climate change

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/19/tree-death-california-hawaii-sudden-oak

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  September 19, 2016

      11 years ago :

      Underlying Cause Of Massive Pinyon Pine Die-off Revealed

      Date:

      October 14, 2005

      Source:

      University of Arizona

      Summary:

      The high heat that accompanied the recent drought was the underlying cause of death for millions of pinyon pines throughout the Southwest, according to new research. The resulting landscape change will affect the ecosystem for decades. Hotter temperatures coupled with drought are the type of event predicted by global climate change models. The new finding suggests that big, fast changes in ecosystems may result from global climate change.

      https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051011073510.htm

      Reply
  77. June

     /  September 19, 2016

    Another serious consequence of humans destroying our oceans at a quickening pace. The ocean soundscape isn’t just being damaged by the noise that we add, but by the silence that we cause.

    The silencing of the seas: how our oceans are going quiet

    The oceans are filled with sounds produced by animals. However, a recent study shows that ocean sounds are diminishing due to nutrient pollution and ocean acidification.

    …Degraded habitat means fewer animals, which means less noise. For larvae that use sound as a navigational cue, this means that fewer larvae will be able to successfully locate their home. And fewer returning larvae means less replenishment of fish stocks.

    http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/topics/science-environment/2016/09/the-silencing-of-the-seas-how-our-oceans-are-going-quiet

    Reply
  78. Cate

     /  September 19, 2016

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/09/19/loss-of-planet-reflectivity-an-impending-catastrophe/

    Review of Peter Wadhams’ new book, A Farewell to Ice.

    Rather predictably, much of the review focuses on methane, but doesn’t ignore Wadhams’ habitual insistence that the only thing that can save us now is geo-engineering and carbon capture and storage. Needless to say, we don’t all agree with Dr W on this point.

    Reply
    • Hi Cate,

      I tend to agree with Wadhams assessment, but I am not inclined to argue with folks who think we have another way out of this mess. I am generally curious about the nuts and bolts of how we can resolve the global warming problem without geo-engineering/breakthroughs with carbon capture. What are your thoughts on how we resolve? I watch CO2 levels in the atmosphere on an almost daily basis and I base my concerns about our situation on my understanding or misunderstanding of this fundamental number, it’s fluctuations and trends. The rate of rise used to be under 1 ppm per annun, then 2 ppm per annum, and now we are breaking over 3 ppm for the past few years. I like decadal averages to confirm trends, but year to year is also useful, though a little noisy. The trend has been going in the wrong direction even as lots of us have done everything we can think of to reduce the carbon footprint of our species. And the rate of increase has been increasing.

      If the current level of atmospheric CO2 is a bad thing, (and I think it is) then we need to stop the rate of increase, then reduce the rate of increase, get to zero increase and then start driving this number back down. I think that is the ballgame for us and a lot of other species who are staring at the early centuries of the sixth great extinction.

      What is your plan to get the CO2 number headed in the downward direction?

      Warm regards,

      Mike

      Reply
      • mike
        A comment for the sake of discussion. CCS on an atmospheric scale is something that naturally requires continents/Himalayas of rock to weather. How could humans crush enough serpentine rock to make much difference? Technology may find a way to pull carbon out of the air and use it for fuel. If pan-implemented that might stop the CO2 rise, but would not itself decrease the carbon level. The only technology I have read about that seemed to indicate the scale necessary involved nanotechnology, and nano-things are biologically toxic.

        Reply
        • Mulga Mumblebrain

           /  September 20, 2016

          mlp, techno-fixes will be useful, but the priority must be to restore the planet’s biomass. We must reforest, restore grass-lands, protect and extend sea-grass meadows and mangroves and store carbon in soils, in bio-char (or ‘vegetable coal’, a charming alternative)and organic matter and restore wild-life populations. We could start that right away, and it doesn’t need political liars to give us permission.

        • Mulga
          I agree. I come from an agricultural state, and it is heart-breaking to see the played-out soil on the old farms.

      • Cate

         /  September 19, 2016

        Mike, I try to follow McKibben’s advice and lead—-to join with others to push for the systemic transformation of the global economy that is needed to bring our levels to carbon neutral.

        From there we can progressively reduce them. This can be done, but only with bold and committed political leadership of the kind we had in WW2, when govts were not afraid to offend industry in order to win the war and preserve “freedom”.

        While we can all make lifestyle changes, that’s not going to make that much difference to the big picture, as long as fossil fuels remain the basis of our industrial economy. What we need now is a much larger, comprehensive, co-ordinated, and co-operative strategy of energy transformation across all sectors of the global economy, from transportation and manufacturing to agriculture and all forms of land use. This will be neither easy nor cheap, but what is the alternative? I am urging my govts, provincial and federal, to organize for climate mobilisation on a global scale as it is too late now to rely on voluntary, market-driven solutions.

        That’s my plan. We CAN do it. Whether we WILL do it or not depends on how hard we all push our govts to ACT now.

        Reply
        • ok, sounds good. Maybe we can pass a modest carbon tax initiative in WA State this next election. The polling suggests it will be close. A lot of people have put a lot of effort into that initiative. I have worked on it. It seems like an important, if modest, step forward. It that fails, we will have to turn to a gridlocked state legislature to make the move. It sounds doable if we really commit to the hard work and push our governments to act. I think a lot of climate activists, myself included, have really not worked hard enough on green solutions since the first Earth Day way back when. We have not pushed our governments the way we need to. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and really get to work on that.

          CCS looks amazingly tough. It’s a pipe dream that relies on technology that does not exist being scaled up at a global level that dwarfs every other human endeavor ever undertaken. That looks like a long shot to be sure.

        • Cate

           /  September 20, 2016

          MIke–yep, it will be hard work to push our govts. First we have to believe that govts can and will DO the right thing for the planet in response to citizen demand, but in a democracy, if we don’t believe that premise, and act on it, the battle is lost before it’s begun.

          During the past 30 years, in my view, our democratically-elected govts in the West have been steadily undermined and taken over by what I call the corporatocracy, which has been effectively dictating tax, trade, and energy policies in particular to favour corporate agendas over those of the people or the planet.

          So acting for climate change is also about resisting corporate/govt agendas (case in point, Dakota) and insisting that our elected reps act on behalf of the people and our children, not of Big Oil & Friends.

  79. Reply
  80. Reply
  81. The So Cal Bight:

    Reply
  82. Democracy Now: Native American Activist Winona LaDuke at Standing Rock: It’s Time to Move On from Fossil Fuels

    In a powerful interview, Winona LaDuke links historic oil extraction on tribal land to intergenerational trauma among Native Americans: “90 percent of my community, generally, I would say, is just trying to survive.”

    This woman speaks the truth on so many levels. This video should be viral.

    http://www.democracynow.org/2016/9/12/native_american_activist_winona_laduke_at

    Reply
    • Ailsa

       /  September 19, 2016

      Wow, what an articulate, clued-up and inspiring woman. Thank you Patricia for posting this.

      Reply
    • Yes. She’s very good.

      Reply
    • Jimbot

       /  September 19, 2016

      She’s telling it like it is. It’s a rare event, in this society, to hear someone who actually knows and speaks the truth on a news broadcast, which is basically outlawed in the mainstream. Not surprising it’s from a native type person.

      As a result of truth ( and proper education standards ) suppression for many decades ( or centuries? ) only a small percentage of listeners are able to discern if they are hearing the truth or not.

      The confusers have done their job well, made much easier for them since newspapers, radio and television. Apparently that was in a recently famous statement from a former CIA director? Paraphrased as “We will have succeeded in our task when the general population is unable recognize the truth from lies.”

      Reply
    • Josh

       /  September 20, 2016

      Thanks for sharing this. Absolutely brilliant.

      Reply
  83. ‘New’ ice reforming:

    Reply
  84. Reply
  85. Cate

     /  September 20, 2016

    In case anyone missed it—this is an excellent film from 2015, presenting a good cross-section of views on implications of climate change into the future with a focus at the end on historical political context that I found quite eye-opening. Revolution, indeed. This one is a real thought-provoker. Bill McKibben, Jill Stein, Guy McP, Josh Willis and several others are interviewed, including the great Gary Snyder.🙂

    http://climatestate.com/2016/09/19/climate-documentary-the-cross-of-the-moment/

    Reply

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