Giant Gravity Waves Smashed Key Atmospheric Clock During Winter of 2016 — Possible Climate Change Link

Two [climate change] effects [of Arctic warming] are identified … : 1) weakened zonal winds, and 2) increased [Rossby] wave amplitude. These effects are particularly evident in autumn and winter consistent with sea-ice loss… Slower progression of upper-level waves would cause associated weather patterns in mid-latitudes to be more persistent, which may lead to an increased probability of extreme weather events — Evidence linking Arctic amplification to extreme weather in mid-latitudes, Dr. Jennifer Francis and Dr. Stephen Vavrus, Geophysical Research Letters (emphasis added)

The recent disruption in the quasi-biennial oscillation was not predicted, not even one month ahead. — Dr. Scott Osprey

This unexpected disruption to the climate system switches the cycling of the quasi-biennial oscillation forever. — Professor Adam Scaife

scientists believe that the quasi-biennial oscillation could become more susceptible to similar disruptions as the climate warms. — Physics.org (emphasis added)

jet-stream-crossing-equator-on-february-18-of-2016

(During February of 2016, high-amplitude Jet Stream waves or gravity waves interfered with the upper-level Equatorial Winds. This disruption was so significant that it caused a seasonal upper-level wind pattern near the Equator to change direction, a shift that was unprecedented in modern observation. Note how the upper-level wind flow frequently intersects with and even appears to cross the Equator at some points. Image source: Earth Nullschool global 250 hPa capture for February 18, 2016.)

*****

I’ve said it before, and I’m going to say it again — loss of predictable seasons, or seasonality, due to human-forced climate change is very big deal. And regardless of how all the scientific details specifically pan out, there are now observed changes to Northern Hemisphere winter, possibly due to human-forced warming, that are apparently starting to undermine its traditional seasonal climate behaviors. As a result, weather patterns appear to be shifting toward greater extremes and lower levels of predictability.

QBO — One of Our Most Predictable Atmospheric Clocks…

For decades now, scientists have been observing a kind of atmospheric clock tick-tocking high above the Equator. Up in the stratosphere, 10 to 13 kilometers above the Earth, winds tend to flow either east to west or west to east. These air flows change direction about every 28 to 29 months. This feature, called the quasi-biennial oscillation or QBO, has never significantly varied. It has always flowed in one direction for a predictable period of time and then switched to flow in the other direction.

Winds flowing at this level of the atmosphere over the Equator have a far-reaching effect, particularly on the winter climate of northern Europe. There, westerly high-level Equatorial winds are known to bring warmer, wetter winters. Easterlies in the stratosphere over the Equator are known to bring cooler, drier winters. The key to remember is that the QBO has always been both amazingly predictable itself, and had equally predictable climate effects. As a result, meteorological observation of the QBO natural-variability pattern enabled forecasters to get an idea of what weather trend to expect for winter — not just during a single year, but also over a longer time horizon.

…and Climate Change May Now Be in the Process of Breaking It

What happens if the QBO becomes less predictable due to influences such as human-forced polar warming? What happens if the big meanders in the Jet Stream produced by this warming dig down all the way to the Equator during Northern Hemisphere winters and start to shove at the upper-level Equatorial wind field, causing the QBO to switch? If that happens, then a major aspect of Northern Hemisphere winter seasonal variability will have been fundamentally altered by climate change. Winter would become less like it is now and more like some strange, difficult-to-predict, climate-change-morphed hybrid of a thing.

Over the past decade, scientists like Dr. Jennifer Francis have observed strange changes to the Northern Hemisphere Jet Stream. In winter, the North Pole has tended to exhibit extreme relative warming versus the rest of the Northern Hemisphere. This warming has created less difference in temperature from north to south during this season. As a result, it appears that the Jet Stream has slowed and is generating very large atmospheric waves, known as gravity waves or Rossby waves. At times, these waves have linked upper-level air flows between the Tropics and the North Pole.

(For years now, Dr. Jennifer Francis has warned that polar amplification could lead to some weird and extreme weather, especially during winter. However, no one initially predicted that the large Jet Stream waves apparently resulting from polar warming would completely disrupt the upper-level Equatorial winds as appears to have happened last February.)

Such strong polar warming during winter is called polar amplification, an effect produced by climate change. Polar amplification happens because greenhouse gasses resulting from fossil-fuel burning (like carbon dioxide and methane) preferentially trap heat during times of darkness. During December through March, large sections of the North Pole are blanketed in the dim of Polar Night. During this time the heat-trapping effects of these gasses really go to work. Additionally, heat from the ocean is transferred through the thinning veil of sea ice over the Arctic Ocean even as local carbon stores add to the overburden of the heat-trapping gasses already in place. The net effect is a much warmer-than-normal Arctic during winter. This warming appears to be doing a serious number on the Jet Stream and, apparently, even Equatorial atmospheric circulation.

Unprecedented QBO Switch in February 2016

During the most recent winter, scientists observed these high-amplitude Jet Stream waves reaching all the way into the Equatorial upper-level wind field with enough oomph to switch an east-west wind pattern to west-east. This switch was entirely unpredicted and unprecedented. No one expected it and it has never before been observed.

The weather pattern for a big swath of Europe was, as a result, flipped from the expected cool and dry to warm and wet. If you had told any atmospheric scientist that such a set of changes would happen, they might have categorically dismissed these claims. But now, some scientists are starting to look at the possibility that the recent QBO flip was due to a climate warming-related influence.

geographical-pattern-of-surface-warming

(Geographic pattern of surface warming as provided by the IPCC. Uneven relative warming of the surface of the Earth may result in some unexpected changes to larger atmospheric circulation patterns. Scientists now indicate that future flips in Equatorial wind patterns, like the big switch that occurred this past winter, may be driven by such atmospheric warming. Image source: IPCC.)

There is a possibility that the recent flip was related to large atmospheric waves which are potentially a result of polar amplification. These waves appear to have impacted the upper-level Equatorial winds, and so are not necessarily related to natural climate variability.

To initiate such a big atmospheric change requires a great deal of force. The equatorial wind field and atmospheric mass is generally the heaviest, is typically the region with the greatest atmospheric inertia. Having an outside influence, like polar warming and associated gravity waves, generating a flip in its flow is about the meteorological equivalent to rivers running up hill. Apparently, due to climate change, atmospheric ‘rivers’ in the Jet Stream may now be capable of doing just that, and that’s pretty disturbing.

Links/Statements/Hat tips:

Scientific hat tip to Dr. Jennifer Francis

Scientific hat tip to Dr. Scott Osprey

Scientific hat tip to Professor Adam Scaife

Evidence linking Arctic amplification to extreme weather in mid-latitudes

Unprecedented atmospheric behavior disrupts one of Earth’s most regular climate cycles

An unexpected disruption of the atmospheric quasi-biennial oscillation

Earth Nullschool

Note: Paul Beckwith again appears to be using this issue as a means self-promotion — bragging about ‘vindication’ and his video ‘that went viral.’ First, this issue is a matter of concern (not petty personal score-keeping). And it is probably one that remains uncertain given that the MET study is the first to touch on it in the peer reviewed science. So any definite claims at this point are both unwarranted and premature. Caution and humility should be the watch-words here. Not active grasping for credit or media attention. Further, I did not work with Paul Beckwith on his first ‘viral’ video — which was an independent response to my initial gravity waves article here. So responsible sources will not conflate my work with that of Paul’s even though he appears to agree with my (admittedly evolving) analysis in some (but not all) instances. For my part, this work is an attempt to open the issue. Not to close it or to support someone attempting to claim credit of first discovery.

Finally, I absolutely respect and admire the work and opinions of scientists like Gavin Schmidt, Stefan Rahmstorf, Jennifer Francis, the IPCC, the MET Office and others who have helped to build a powerful and compelling consensus on climate change as a critical issue for the 21st Century. Sometimes the process of threat identification will highlight instances that are outside of that consensus currently. And such identifications will, at times, result in strong reactions. I understand that this is part of the process and even if views differ, I will endeavor to read, and where I am able, incorporate them into my ongoing study here.

Leave a comment

366 Comments

  1. Witchee

     /  September 20, 2016

    In other words, you were right.

    Reply
    • The MET’s observational findings appear to be pointing that way at this time. My concern is that climate weirding is not just related to more persistent weather patterns due to high amplitude waves. But that the Jet Stream — equatorial and polar interactions are enhanced by polar amplification. This results in the potential for the wrecking of traditional seasonal weather patterns.

      In my previous article, I attempted to write these potentials in a way so that the greatest number of people would be reached. If I simply focus on grindy scientific detail, then you end up losing a lot of people. You kind of have to tell the science as a story in order for it to really grab. This pisses some scientists (and grad students) off, apparently, and seems to generate a knee jerk reaction.

      But my thought is that we have to tell the story somehow. We have to try to do it before the fact. And we have to be open and willing to admit when we are wrong, because prognostication is a tricky business.

      This is as absolutely honest as I am capable of being. Claims that I’ve been ‘seeming true but false’ or ‘specious’ are vastly unfair considering my effort here. An appropriate and professional approach to science doesn’t lean too hard on assertions and instead relies on observational methods to achieve final results.

      Reply
      • Witchee

         /  September 22, 2016

        I agree, we have to make the story accessible. You do that. I have nothing but the greatest respect for what you do here, and admire your ability to withstand not only attacks against you personally, but the grim nature of what you are writing about. Specialists in any field are generally resentful of people not ‘members of the club’ who have the nerve to have an opinion, and yet sometimes those are the people who see most clearly, unburdened by anxieties about status or reputation. Thank you for what you do.

        Reply
        • This is not about me. Burn me in effigy. I don’t care. Sometimes you’ve just got to do the right thing and say the things that others are afraid of saying. This particular dynamic is worth a serious look. It’s one of those out of context issues that can really cause trouble.

  2. June

     /  September 20, 2016

    Great post, Robert. How do sudden stratospheric warming events fit into the QBO pattern?

    Reply
    • WebHubTelescope

       /  September 21, 2016

      June,
      There is a bit on Wikipedia on how QBO interacts with the SSW en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudden_stratospheric_warming#Dynamics

      Ultimately, the reason that QBO can be modeled is that it sits on the equator and behaves with a reduced dimensionality inside what amounts to a waveguide. Right at the equator, the Coriolis forces precisely cancel and the system of equations that govern fluid flow on a rotating sphere can be simplified and thus analyzed in closed form. These equations were originally formulated by the mathematician Pierre Laplace in the late 1700’s to try to understand the dynamics of ocean tides.

      In fact, the QBO is essentially an atmospheric tide governed by external forces — the current consensus is that gravity waves are responsible. Yet, on close examination these gravity waves happen to be perfectly aligned with the gravitational tractive forcing of the lunar nodal cycle. The pull of the moon as it crosses the equator latitudinally then controls the direction of the QBO longitudinal wind.

      The nodal lunar cycle is 27.212 days, so how does the 28 month period of the QBO cycle come about? That’s actually quite straightforward to understand. The cycle “beats” with the solar seasonal cycle creating a stronger pulse that occurs every 2.369 years or approximately 28 months. These are pulses of acceleration, which when integrated become a velocity and turn into these almost squared-off sinusoidal oscillations that are characteristic of the QBO wind. Anyone that has done any signal processing knows that the integral of a sequence of delta spikes results in a square wave.

      That’s the key observation that the AGW-denier Richard Lindzen missed when he formulated his original QBO theory over 40 years ago. He didn’t see the lunar tidal connection nor did he use the acceleration, and so created his own half-baked explanation of what drove the oscillations. Everyone seemed to follow his lead and so we have gone down a deep rabbit hole of complexity to try to understand QBO ever since.

      What happens outside of the equatorial latitudes is that the Coriolis forces start to exert themselves, which then will create the twisting vortices in the jet stream which are much more difficult to analyze. We do know that the polar vortex has shown correlation with the direction of the QBO.

      But we really have to start somewhere and the best place is to work the foundational models from scratch. It will take a while to unwind from what Lindzen inflicted on us with his botched QBO theory over 40 years ago.

      Reply
  3. WebHubTelescope

     /  September 20, 2016

    Strange that QBO is considered one of the “Most Predictable Atmospheric Clocks”, yet no one really understands how it works. The consensus model is a variation of one created by the AGW denier Richard Lindzen back in the 1960’s. Its really about as kooky as any of Lindzen’s other theories.

    We are working on a replacement for QBO that is simple and concise
    http://contextEarth.com/2016/08/23/qbo-model-final-stretch/

    Lindzen made a big mistake in plotting the velocity of QBO winds instead of acceleration. If one uses the acceleration, the model comes out naturally from the primitive equations of atmospheric flow.

    I will present this research at the AGU meeting this December.

    Reply
    • Great work WHT!

      And how is your oil shock model doing?😉

      best,

      Alex

      Reply
      • WebHubTelescope

         /  September 20, 2016

        “And how is your oil shock model doing?”

        Thanks, its hanging in there. Geology always rules over what fossil fuel cornucopians imagine in their fevered brains.

        Reply
        • Greg

           /  September 20, 2016

          JUST IN: Vandenberg Says Canyon Fire Grows to 10,000 Acres
          http://m.keyt.com/news/brush-fire-fight-at-vandenberg/41715568

        • Geology and Finance both, IMO. Yesterday the Automatic Earth linked an article indicating that both Bakken and Eagle Ford are playing out Peak Oil script for individual fields. Time will tell, though, whether the trend will continue down at those places or not.

        • China is also peaking. They will probably go on shale oil to stay afloat. Still oil, worth nothing those days. This might shift unless the world economy never recover.

        • WebHubTelescope

           /  September 21, 2016

          Ivan said :
          “. Time will tell, though, whether the trend will continue down at those places or not.”

          I worked on oil depletion analysis a few years ago after I noticed flaws in how the numbers were being crunched. No one could reliably figure out how long production would flow, and peak oil guys were always short-sheeting the duration of adequate production. It turned out that one could use different mathematical techniques to estimate the flow of oil in places like the Bakken. There are really only 2 premises that one has to keep in mind (1) fossil fuels are a finite resource and (2) they are not renewable.

          Over the last few years, I have started look at climate science since the math of FF depletion became kind of limiting. The complexity of the details were intertwined with economics and since that’s all based on impossible-to-predict game theory assumptions I switched to climate modeling. Even though the math is more challenging, psychological decision-making don’t play into climate models. That means that you can keep going as long as the physics holds up.

          On something like QBO, you start with the basics, building from Laplace’s tidal equations originally developed around 1770 and see what happens. Contrary to what Lindzen has said QBO is actually quite predictable, and one can go back in time and reconstruct the oscillations before measurements were performed.

    • This blog has the greatest articles and the greatest people who make comments Great site to inform yourself would say for all levels Wow

      Reply
  4. RS
    Appreciate the update.

    Reply
  5. OT Fire still burning just north the So Cal Bight:

    Reply
  6. Imagine deniers will keep playing these games, up to the very second that BAU blows up in everyone’s face.

    Reply
    • Yup. There will always be those frogs-in-the-pot who deny the reality of AGW until their very last breath, because there won’t ever be a moment when BAU “blows up” both literally and figuratively (or so we can hope). Some others of course believe that the time of Armageddon will usher in a new and beautiful “reality” for the righteous, so they just say “Bring it on!”. And then there are the many complicit bystanders who just want their tea or their beer, and as long as there’s food on the shelves, and enough cash in their accounts, and sports on the tube, they will put up with just about any injustice to humans or non-humans. That there is a large and growing vocal minority that stands up to end BAU, and for the badly-needed changes needed to salvage our climate, and is willing to lay their bodies on the line, that is what gives me hope.

      Reply
      • Of course, for millions of people, BAU has already blown up in their faces–from the Phillipines to Alberta, to Syria–the lives of both the innocent and not-so-innocent have been thrown into chaos. Their suffering is in turn what motivates the fight to turn away from BAU. That’s a debt we should all strive to repay.

        Reply
    • Probably even longer:

      Reply
  7. coloradobob

     /  September 20, 2016

    Great Barrier Reef coral dead, damaged from bleaching event, survey finds

    New images of the northern Great Barrier Reef have revealed more evidence of the long-term impact of this year’s coral bleaching event.

    It has been nearly four months since aerial and underwater surveys revealed bleaching had killed 35 per cent of coral in central and northern parts of the Great Barrier Reef.

    The Climate Council’s Tim Flannery was part of a team that has visited a popular offshore reef about 54 kilometres from Port Douglas.

    “We wanted to see how much repair there’d been, but the coral we saw bleached and in danger a few months back has now mostly died,” Professor Flannery said.
    “On top of that we’ve seen a whole lot of new damage, a whole lot of white coral out there that’s been killed by Crown of Thorns starfish because it was too weak to defend itself.

    “I think it’s going to take years to recover.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-20/great-barrier-reef-coral-bleaching-dead-damaged-survey-finds/7859544

    Reply
    • “I think it’s going to take years to recover.”

      My guess is, those would have to be years in which it isn’t slammed again. But that’s not going to happen, so …

      Reply
      • June

         /  September 20, 2016

        Exactly. With the overall increasing SST, acidification, and the el niño slams, it is not likely there will be long enough periods for recovery to take place.

        Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  September 21, 2016

        Tim Flannery is a fine fellow, subjected over the years to RELENTLESS abuse and vilification by the denialist Right in this country, led by the Murdoch cancer. But he shoots off at the mouth at times, giving the Right ammunition to misrepresent the science. The truth of the GBR is that it is HISTORY, because the seas will continue warming for centuries, acidification will kick in, deforestation and vegetation clearing is worsening in Queensland (driven by the farming lobby) which leads to nutrient outflows and sediment deposition and Coal remains King in our politics. Sea level rise will shortly drown it all, and by 2050 it will be totally kaput. Flannery apparently cannot bring himself to say that, for understandable reasons, I imagine. The Reef will be back in some thousands of years, but who knows if any Homo destructans will be left to see the re-birth.

        Reply
  8. climatehawk1

     /  September 20, 2016

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  9. Greg

     /  September 20, 2016

    A wildfire burning for nearly two months on California’s scenic Big Sur coast has surpassed $200 million in firefighting costs, becoming the costliest to fight in U.S. history, according to date released Monday.
    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/california-wildfire-costliest-fight-200m-42209768

    Reply
  10. Greg

     /  September 20, 2016

    It’s possible to both plainly and carefully communicate how climate change is affecting extreme weather while also stressing the importance of extreme weather preparedness, irrespective of climate change. Washington Post take on two British scholars recent argument about so-called media “atmosfear”
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2016/09/19/is-the-media-scaring-the-pubic-too-much-about-climate-change-and-extreme-weather/

    Reply
  11. Greg

     /  September 20, 2016

    A clear signal of climate change is consistently rising minimum temperatures. From Texas:

    Reply
  12. Greg

     /  September 20, 2016

    Just released from NOAA. August world temperatures. Drum roll please. No surprises. Hot, hot, hot.

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  September 20, 2016

      Note the cool spot off Greenland missing this month.

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  September 20, 2016

        NOAA:
        August 2016 avg global temperature was record warm at 1.66°F above avg
        August 2016 global sea surface temp was 2nd warmest at 1.39°F above avg

        Reply
      • June

         /  September 20, 2016

        I wonder why that is. Could it be warmer water below churned up from storms?

        Reply
  13. Greg

     /  September 20, 2016

    Parched or waterboarded. Extremes:

    Reply
  14. Shawn Redmond

     /  September 20, 2016

    And as Dr. Seuss used to say, that is not all, oh no, that is not all! Don’t forget Energy Transfer Partners, part of the Energy Transfer Equity empire. It’s building the embattled Dakota Access Pipeline, which is supposed to bring fracked oil from North Dakota to the Gulf Coast. Through a PAC, it has given at least $288,000 to a bevy of Republican House and Senate candidates. In other words, election 2016 will, among other things, be an oil spill of an election. And should Donald Trump, a man who gives “conflict of interest” new meaning, take the Oval Office by storm and so ride to the rescue of the oil and coal magnates of America with his drill-baby-drill environmental policies, that “investment” will matter even more. http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176188/tomgram%3A_chip_ward%2C_peace_pipes%2C_not_oil_pipes/#more

    Reply
  15. Greg

     /  September 20, 2016

    A new NOAA graphic which clearly shows this year’s arctic melt minimum (Sept 10th) in recent historical context. Would be nice to see that with older timeline averages too.

    Reply
  16. Jimbot

     /  September 20, 2016

    Great Article RS,

    Is this the same issue that you and Paul Beckwith got called out for by the Washington Post for using the word “unprecedented” back in June? It looks like the same Jetstream disruption over the equator being referenced.

    Reply
    • WebHubTelescope

       /  September 20, 2016

      Jimbot,
      It really is the same issue. They got backlash back then because there truly is a lack of understanding with respect to these jet-stream patterns. As an example, you won’t find anywhere a simple derivation of the 28-month period of the full QBO cycle. The closest you will find is that it “emerges” from the results of climate simulations. That should not be the case. Anything with this obvious a period should be solvable from basic physics.

      I think the backlash was really undeserved. Instead we have to go after Richard Lindzen for claiming that he had it all figured out and convincing everybody else that this was the case.

      Reply
      • From my perspective — Yes. Exactly. Etc. Indeed. Pretty much the same alarm over a possibly odd looking signal.
        I say this because I sent out the Tweet that pointed to ‘something’ unusual may be taking place. That was my thought but I didn’t know what of significance it meant. Robert posted what he could figure out.
        Onward…

        Reply
        • There is a great deal of ‘push and pull’ forces going on in the oceans and atmosphere — and lots of surprises.
          And as a scientist now studying glacial dry calving put it lots of “unexpected processes”.

        • WebHubTelescope

           /  September 21, 2016

          The cranky AGW denialist Richard Lindzen came up with the original QBO model and couldn’t figure out that it was driven by a lunar gravitational forcing even though the evidence was looking at him right in the face! Just go through all the papers he wrote on the subject and you can see his ineptitude.

        • WebHubTelescope

           /  September 21, 2016

          Lindzen was such a blowhard when he was actively researching QBO and still is.

          These are actual quotes from his papers where he was tantalizingly close to figuring out the source of QBO but crashed and burned.

        • WebHubTelescope

           /  September 21, 2016

          Sorry, I can’t help it. Lindzen is such an unctuous blowhard. Apologies to Yoda.

    • WebHubTelescope

       /  September 21, 2016

      Jimbot said:
      “Is this the same issue that you and Paul Beckwith got called out for by the Washington Post for using the word “unprecedented” back in June?”

      What was also maddening were the little Twitter wars that broke out. There are a bunch of budding meteorology grad students or undergrads who like to Tweet charts on the QBO dynamics. I chipped in a few times with some thoughts and got them agitated enough so that at least one punk student (class of 2018) blocked me!

      It really is the wild west when it comes to discussing odd climate phenomena.

      Reply
  17. June

     /  September 20, 2016

    Kerry Emanuel and Ben Santer have an open letter in the Washington Post today. With Trump polling so close to Clinton I’m glad some prominent climate scientists are wading into the fray. Unfortunately, climate change has yet to register as an issue that would sway votes, but one can hope…

    Scientists know climate change is a threat. Politicians need to realize it, too.

    That’s why we and 373 other scientists have written a letter about what’s at risk…Of special and immediate concern is the stated intent of the current Republican Party platform and presidential nominee Donald Trump to promote the extraction and use of the most carbon-intensive fossil fuels, to withdraw the United States from the Paris agreement and to rescind President Obama’s executive actions designed to reduce climate risk.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/09/20/scientists-know-climate-change-is-a-threat-politicians-need-to-realize-it-too/?utm_term=.823f181d90d4

    Reply
  18. Greg

     /  September 20, 2016

    Not sure if this was highlighted in previous post or not but is on topic for this post:
    Recent amplification of the North American winter temperature dipole
    We find that, historically, warm-West/cool-East dipole conditions have been associated with anomalous mid-tropospheric ridging over western North America and downstream troughing over eastern North America. We also find that the occurrence and severity of warm-West/cool-East events have increased significantly between 1980 and 2015, driven largely by an increase in the frequency with which high-amplitude “ridge-trough” wave patterns result in simultaneous severe temperature conditions in both the West and East.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016JD025116/full

    Reply
  19. Greg

     /  September 20, 2016

    Dark Sky weather App is now a website. One more tool for precise weather information. Very nice graphics which we become accustomed to on RS blog. Today worldview 3-D:
    https://maps.darksky.net/@temperature,66.336,-35.956,9909527?3d

    Reply
  20. Greg

     /  September 20, 2016

    Bill Clinton takes a small victory lap yesterday to highlight just what the Clinton foundation has done. It’s evidence of what a difference a foundation can make, (In regards to pure Climate change foundations one of my favorites is bluemoonfund.org):
    3,600: That’s how many public commitments the Clinton Initiative’s attendees have made on stage over the last 12 years. 435 million: That’s how many people those commitments have helped. 52 million: That’s how many children have received access to education as a result of those commitments. 114 million: That’s how many people can drink clean water because of the Initiative. The list goes on.
    https://www.wired.com/2016/09/unlike-trump-foundation-clinton-global-initiative-numbers-prove-worth/

    Reply
  21. coloradobob

     /  September 20, 2016

    From May 1 to Sept. 12, nearly 15,000 daily records for warmest nighttime lows were set in the United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data .

    “This is one of the clearest signals we expect for climate change,” said Mark Bove, a New Jersey-based senior research meteorologist for re-insurance giant Munich RE, which tracks natural disasters . “It keeps a blanket on you particularly at night. We cannot radiate the heat away at night as the planet used to.”

    https://www.abqjournal.com/849112/2016s-hellish-summer-weather-a-told-you-so-climate-moment.html

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  September 20, 2016

      “we can not radiate the heat away” our guest will not leave breakfast.

      Reply
    • – Right, this is a very significant marker. It also must include humans adding to it with increasing cement, carbon black asphalt, etc.

      ‘ … the “sneaky” thing about the summer was heat that did not even ease at night, said Deke Arndt, climate monitoring chief at the federal National Centers for Environmental Information in Asheville, North Carolina. When temperatures drop to below 72 (22.22 Celsius) at night it allows the body to recharge, plants to grow and air conditioners to be shut off. But this year that didn’t happen enough.

      The U.S. as a nation set a record for the hottest nighttime temperatures on average this summer, Arndt said. Tallahassee, Florida, for example, went 74 consecutive days where the nighttime temperature didn’t dip below 72.’

      Reply
    • It’s a good wrap up piece by Seth Borenstein of the Associated Press.

      Reply
    • Scheduling tweet on this, thanks. And, happy birthday here, too! (youngster :))

      Reply
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  24. Chickens coming home to roost? Let’s hope so.

    Federal investment watchdog agency reportedly investigating #ExxonKnew thinkprogress.org/sec-exxonknew-… #climate #globalwarming

    Reply
  25. Heatwaves in the ocean: Risk to ecosystems?

    Heatwaves in the Northeast Pacific…had far-reaching consequences for marine organisms and ecosystems: the growth of PHYTOPLANKTON decreased due to the reduced supply of nutrients, and some ZOOPLANKTON and fish species migrated from the warm and nutrient-poor water to cooler regions….

    A stronger but shorter heatwave hit Australia’s west coast at the turn of the year 2010/2011, with sea temperatures of up to 6 degrees Celsius above normal levels for that time of year. The seabed along the coast of Western Australia is known for its high concentration of brown algae. These marine ‘kelp forests’ have similar functions as terrestrial forests: they provide habitat and food resource to numerous species; in particular a large number of fish. Australian researchers demonstrated that MOST OF THE KELP FOREST STOCKS RAPIDLY DISAPPEARED DURING THIS HEATWAVE….

    (Emphasis added. Marine plants produce over half of the planet’s oxygen.)

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160919131958.htm

    Reply
    • The atmosphere is around 21 percent oxygen, equal to 210,000 ppm.

      CO2 is around 400 ppm.

      There is so much oxygen in the air we won’t see any major differences for hundreds or thousands of years. Even if the methane hydrates dissociate and the resulting methane ends up being oxidized to CO2, we’re talking reductions in oxygen concentration equal to living at 3000 feet. The resulting CO2 and methane would kill us from global warming long before the oxygen reduction becomes a problem.

      If oxygen reduction was that much of a behavioral problem, we’d all be living a sea level. But as a species we are just fine living at thousands of feet above sea level.

      Having said that, acidic and anoxic oceans are a really bad idea.

      Reply
      • How much oxygen we lose in a methane catastrophe depends on the global inventory of methane hydrate. We’d have to have about three times as much methane as the highest recent published estimate of up to 75 trillion tons of carbon as methane (Klauda and Sandler) before oxygen loss gets really critical.

        That’s possible but seems unlikely. And long before we get to that point we would likely all be dead from low level runaway global warming

        Still, oil corporations are looking for economic concentrations of methane hydrate, while large scale acidification and anoxia from methane could come from thinly scattered hydrate deposits as well.

        Here’s a paper that says that some of the recent estimates for total methane hydrate inventory are low by roughly a factor of three, using a new imaging technique that picks up more hydrate deposits, previously not detected.

        http://www.geomar.de/fileadmin/personal/fb4/gdy/cberndt/hornbach-12-scan.pdf

        They are still only talking about 7.5 trillion tons of hydrate, assuming they are saying that Milkov’s estimates are a factor of 3 low. By the way, Milkov worked for British Petroleum at the time he made those estimates, and oil corporations have multiple motives for publishing low numbers, as is commonly done among oil and mining corporations.

        This new imaging technique should be employed on a worldwide emergency basis to spot check the hydrates and come up with better estimates of the global methane hydrate inventory, I think.

        Reply
      • I’m curious about how water vapor changes that equation. Is it possible that water in the atmosphere could create a… striation(?) of the atmosphere? What about rising sea levels? We’re loosing so many trees and carbon sinks… With the increasing wildfires, how long before we hit 450ppm? 500?

        I know we tend to think of underwater and over land as different atmospheres, but aren’t they essentially the same, with different density?

        Reply
      • Is it also worth considering the stifling effects of extreme heat and humidity in the oxygen factor? There are some afternoons it is so hot and humid here in Hawaii (i.e., sea level) that breathing/respiration changes. There may be the same amount of oxygen in the air, but it doesn’t *feel* like it. If that makes sense.

        Reply
      • Variations in the amount of oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere significantly altered global climate throughout the planet’s history….

        Oxygen currently comprises about 21 percent of Earth’s atmosphere by volume but has varied between 10 percent and 35 percent over the past 541 million years.
        In periods when oxygen levels declined, the resulting drop in atmospheric density led to increased surface evaporation, which in turn led to precipitation increases and warmer temperatures, according to University of Michigan paleoclimatologist Christopher Poulsen.

        Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-06-variations-atmospheric-oxygen-earth-climate.html#jCphttp://phys.org/news/2015-06-variations-atmospheric-oxygen-earth-climate.html

        Reply
      • Seafloor sediment cores reveal abrupt, extensive loss of oxygen in the ocean when ice sheets melted roughly 10,000-17,000 years ago….

        From the subarctic Pacific to the Chilean margins, they found evidence of extreme oxygen loss stretching from the upper ocean to about 3,000 meters deep. In some oceanic regions, such loss took place over a time period of 100 years or less.

        “This is a global story that knits these regions together and shows that when you warm the planet rapidly, whole ocean basins can lose oxygen very abruptly and very extensively,” said lead author Sarah Moffitt, a postdoctoral scholar with the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory and formerly a Ph.D. student with the Graduate Group in Ecology.

        Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-01-smothered-oceans-extreme-oxygen-loss.html#jCp

        Reply
        • Now that’s interesting. My guess is that global ocean circulation was slowing down, as is predicted from global warming, and maybe some hydrates were dissociating, too. Really interesting. Doesn’t say much about atmospheric O2 concentration, though, since these were anoxic ocean basins, and that has more to do with ocean circulation and methane hydrate dissociation than with atmospheric O2 concentration.

          Atmospheric O2 concentration changes have occurred in the past, but so far as I know these have taken place rather slowly on a human time scale – generally tens of thousands or millions of years, I think. Thanks for the links, I’ll read them this weekend with interest.

      • Odd coincidence, this just popped up as “trending” on my Facebook feed:

        “Our Atmosphere Is Leaking Oxygen and Scientists Don’t Know Why”

        To do that, they turned to one of the best oxygen records we have—ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica, which contain trapped air bubbles representing snapshots of our atmosphere over the past million-odd years. By examining the ratio of oxygen to nitrogen isotopes within these cores, the researchers were able to pull out a trend: oxygen levels have fallen by 0.7 percent over the past 800,000 years, meaning sinks are roughly 2 percent larger than sources….

        Stolper’s analysis excluded one very unusual part of the record: the last 200 years of industrial human society.

        “We are consuming O2 at a rate a factor of a thousand times faster than before,” Stolper said. “Humankind has completely short-circuited the cycle by burning tons of carbon.”

        http://gizmodo.com/our-atmosphere-is-leaking-oxygen-and-scientists-dont-kn-1786948116

        Reply
        • There are about 1200 trillion tons of O2 in the atmosphere, according to Oak
          Ridge National Lab. The total amount of all the fossil fuels is generally given as around 10 trillion tons of carbon. The highest modern estimate of total mass of carbon in the global methane hydrate inventory is that of Klauda and Sandler, and is about 75 trillion tons.

          If all of the fossil fuels are burned and there are 10 trillion tons of carbon in the fossil fuels, that would equal about 37 trillion tons of CO2, and would consume about 27 trillion tons of O2, or roughly 3 percent of the oxygen in the atmosphere. Oak Ridge (ORNL) calculates a 3.3% percent loss in O2, adding in the O2 necessary to oxidize the hydrogen in the fossil fuels, see the quote below.

          If there are 75 trillion tons of carbon in the methane hydrates, that equals about 100 trillion tons of methane. If all of that is oxidized into CO2 and H2O, that would use up about 200 trillion tons of O2 to oxidize the carbon and about 200 trillion tons of O2 to oxidize the hydrogen into water. So, that would use up about 33 percent of the oxygen in the atmosphere, and would be the equivalent of living at 11,500 feet. So, that would be significant, and likely deadly to people who had no access to air compressors and positive pressure houses.

          From Oak Ridge:

          http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/oxygen/modern_records.html

          “If we take the worlds supply of fossil fuel to be 10,000 billion metric tons of carbon, and we oxidize all of it we would get about 37,000 billion metric tons of CO2, and about 27,000 billion metric tons of O2 would have been consumed. Some additional O2 would have also been consumed by oxidation of hydrogen in the (hydrocarbon) fuel, so that roughly 38,000 billion metric tons of oxygen would have been consumed. This is about 3.3 percent of the atmosphere’s oxygen. Such a loss would be equivalent to increasing your elevation from sea level to about 330 meters, or about 1100 feet.”

          There is a lot of oxygen in the oceans, though, and in the oxide minerals of the earth’s crust.

          If we release any large fraction of that methane in our lifetimes, we’re dead from a hothouse mass extinction event, long before the loss of oxygen gets us, I think.

        • One thing I should have said straight out – up until this point in doing my “back of the envelope” estimates for oxygen use during a methane catastrophe I have been neglecting the hydrogen content in the methane. The hydrogen also ends up oxidized to water, consuming oxygen. I’ll remember to include that in the future – it turns out to be just as significant as the carbon in the methane.

          Given enough time and a functioning civilization, we could make oxygen from water by hydrolysis, from oxides in the crust of the earth, or by photosynthesis – perhaps sequestering the subsequent carbon and hydrogen as hydrocarbons, interestingly enough.. I still think that the big threat is from global warming itself, and the subsequent wars and disruptions associated with migrating toward the poles to escape its effects. Oxygen loss is far down the list of threats, I think.

  26. To spare you the ads, I copied the text in addition to the link.

    Voices: Our oxygen is being reduced
    Letters to the editor 9:37 a.m. CDT September 14, 2016

    A Louisiana teacher told of his son on a U.S. Navy submarine somewhere in the world. When the crew became irritable, they know oxygen is running low.

    Submarines produce their own oxygen from abundant ocean water by splitting water molecules and retaining only oxygen atoms. After the commander gives an order to increase oxygen in the vessel, everybody gradually calms down.

    Everyone else does not have that luxury. Our ocean, covering more than 70 percent of the Earth, is the planet’s life blood. Tiny organisms known as plankton are the red blood cells producing half of the Earth’s oxygen.

    Humans cannot perceive that plankton are dying off as an estimated 200 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide have been released into our atmosphere over the decades.

    Increasing carbon dioxide and declining oxygen are conditions that are not good for our children.

    Are we paying sufficient attention to ocean prophets like Sylvia Earle, Marcus Eriksen and others who plead on behalf of a dying body of water that Earth’s oxygen supply not be cut off by corporations seeking big profits?

    — Vic Hummert
    Lafayette

    http://www.theadvertiser.com/story/opinion/2016/09/14/voices-our-oxygen-being-reduced/90350188/

    Reply
    • Improbable Otherness

       /  September 20, 2016

      A truly outstanding comment, Hollie!!! This addresses a “problem” with which way too few are aware. Alas, it’s not just the reduction of oxygen (O2), more than half of which [previously] is/was supplied by the micro-organisms in the oceans but also from arboreal sources (like the Amazon rain forest, once denoted as the “lungs of the planet“), that affect “brain function.” (As an aside, there isn’t even ONE indication from your comments that indicates anything remotely akin to “spaz”!!) Regardless, when one considers the decreasing oxygen and the increasing particulates (in just the air that we all breathe), AND the insufficiently [inappropriately?] tested compounds from “cleansers,” “cosmetics,” “fertilizers,” “insecticides” and “pharmaceuticals,” it’s no wonder WHY the preponderance of the global population is [going] bat-shit insane! This isn’t going to end well!

      Reply
      • “… when one considers the decreasing oxygen and the increasing particulates (in just the air that we all breathe), AND the insufficiently [inappropriately?] tested compounds…”
        – That’s right, IO. I’ve pointed to this before. Not a good sign public engagement either — as more and more contaminants are created.

        Reply
      • “As an aside, there isn’t even ONE indication from your comments that indicates anything remotely akin to ‘spaz’!!”

        hahaha – I guess a lot changes in nearly 30 years. When I signed up for Twitter, a friend was reading my old yearbooks. Someone had written in one “a real spaz chic.” It seemed like a fun idea at the time.

        Reply
      • dt
        I agree a reasonable and adequate explanation. Have had similar thoughts. Glad to know I’m not the only one.

        Reply
    • Altered brain ion gradients following compensation for elevated CO2 are linked to behavioural alterations in a coral reef fish (Published online: 13 September 2016)

      Neurosensory and behavioural disruptions are some of the most consistently reported responses upon exposure to ocean acidification-relevant CO2 levels, especially in coral reef fishes…. As expected, high CO2 exposed damselfish spent significantly more time in a chemical alarm cue (CAC) than control fish, supporting a potential link between behavioural disruption and CO2 compensation.

      Concerns about the impact of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems has led to a growing number of studies examining the effects of elevated CO2 exposure on fish. While some investigated endpoints such as survival and growth appear to be relatively insensitive to projected future CO2 levels, significant effects of elevated CO2 include alterations to mitochondrial function, metabolic rate, otolith growth, reproduction, and acid-base balance. Perhaps the most frequently reported and consistently adverse response to elevated CO2 exposure in fish is disruption to sensory or cognitive function. Impairments to olfaction, hearing, vision, lateralization, and learning in fish at ocean acidification relevant CO2 levels demonstrate that CO2 broadly affects central neuronal processing. Neurosensory impacts are particularly concerning since these traits appear to show limited capacity for acclimation. Furthermore, fish living near highly acidic natural CO2 vent systems that presumably experience high CO2 on a regular basis also exhibit abnormal behavioural responses….

      http://www.nature.com/articles/srep33216

      Reply
    • Hollie
      Fascinating detail about oxygen concentration and subs. ‘Irritable sharks’, what a thought.

      Reply
      • HR — We’ve got to remember that the neurological command center that occupies our vaunted brain pan is the final repository of most of which enters our blood stream via our airways.

        ICYMI I have been pointing to Keeling CO2 Curve as also being a historical record of very poor human decision making.
        Spaz on…🙂

        Reply
        • For the skeptics out there, the thought that global human insanity is linked to global toxic pollutants is not simply idle speculation. Studying PCBs, an industrial, and fat soluble, chemical, in the 1980’s I found it has been detected in every organism on earth that has been tested. For example, even then it was found in the fat of zebras on the African veldt, thousands of miles from any industry. I don’t have any reference from all that time ago, except that the information made a powerful impression on me.

        • Have you heard about Michigan’s PBB crisis?

          The disaster started in the early 1970s, when a man-made chemical fire retardant, Firemaster BP-6, produced by the Michigan Chemical Company of St. Louis, Mich. was accidentally mis-bagged and distributed by the Michigan Farm Bureau as livestock feed. The product was then unknowingly distributed to farms across the state and Midwest.

          http://bridgemi.com/2015/01/after-40-years-effect-of-michigans-pbb-crisis-still-not-fully-known/

  27. Once again Kevin Anderson concisely explains the stark choice we now face:

    Reply
    • Reducing CO2 emissions to those of the average EU citizen (8,6 tons/year in Wikipedia) would be enough?! I was using 1,5ton/year/person as a reasonable target (closer to what carbon sinks can absorb, at least for now, as far as I´ve read). Ok, the 1%s have a far bigger footprint, but… 8,6tons/year/person isn´t still inside that 10% line?

      Sorry, this is a hockey stick graphic that´s hard to follow and imagine… but these numbers aren´t just theory, they can be used to consciously plan life and curb excess emissions.

      Then again, maybe the idea is that the 10% worst emmiters curb their emissions to 8,6 tons/person/year, and the rest of the world keeps their emissions as low as they are. But I firmly believe in a world where the average Mali citizen can have a better (which for them includes more consuming) life.

      Reply
      • Josh

         /  September 21, 2016

        It isn’t intended to be enough on its own. He’s saying that would be a 33% cut in overall emissions of CO2.
        Elsewhere he is clear that we need zero emissions – I think by 2035 for wealthy nations.

        Reply
      • Evidently Anderson’s abstract was not accepted for presentation at the conference going on right now, but he’s just posted it on his blog, “in the hope that it may catalyse a wider discourse”, as he says.

        http://kevinanderson.info/blog/is-the-climate-change-academic-community-reluctant-to-voice-issues-that-question-the-economic-growth-paradigm/

        ABSTRACT

        Paris, carbon budgets and 1.5°C: is there an alternative to Dr Strangelove’s beguiling NETs?

        The Paris Agreement’s inclusion of 1.5°C has catalysed fervent activity amongst many within the scientific community keen to understand what this more ambitious objective implies for mitigation. However, this activity has demonstrated little in the way of plurality of responses. Instead there remains an almost exclusive focus on how future ‘negative emissions technologies’ (NETs) may offer a beguiling and almost free “get out of jail card”. This presentation argues that such a dominant focus, evident for 2 and 1.5°C, reveals an endemic bias across much of the academic climate change community determined to voice a politically palatable framing of the mitigation landscape – almost regardless of scientific credibility.

        The inclusion of carbon budgets within the IPCC’s AR5 reveals just how few years remain within which to meet both the 1.5°C and “well below 2°C” objectives. Making optimistic assumptions on the rapid cessation of deforestation and uptake of carbon capture technologies on cement/steel production, leaves between 3 and 13 years of current energy emissions before the 50% and 66% budgets of exceeding 1.5°C are surpassed. To put this in context, the INDC’s are not scheduled to undergo major review until 2023 – eight years, or 300 billion tonnes of CO2, after the Paris Agreement.

        Despite the enormity and urgency of the 1.5°C and “well below 2°C” mitigation challenges, the academic community has barely considered delivering deep and early reductions in emissions through the rapid penetration of existing end-use technologies and profound social change. At best it dismisses such options as too expensive compared to the discounted future costs of a technology that does not yet exist. At worst, it has simply been unprepared to countenance approaches that risk destabilising the political hegemony.

        Ignoring such sensibilities, the presentation finishes by offering a draft vision of what an alternative mitigation agenda may comprise.

        Reply
    • Option 3: We desperately need to implement Option 2 even while we should do the best we can to make Option 1 possible. Furthermore, we need to reach zero and then net negative carbon emissions as soon as possible.

      Reply
  28. Scientists may have solved a key riddle about Antarctica — and you’re not going to like the answer

    [Prof. Richard Alley] “If humans continue to warm the climate, we are likely to commit to large and perhaps rapid sea-level rise that could be very costly”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/09/20/scientists-may-have-just-solved-a-riddle-about-antarctica-and-youre-not-going-to-like-the-answer

    Reply
    • Shawn Redmond

       /  September 21, 2016

      “In the Pliocene — and especially the mid-Pliocene warm period, when atmospheric carbon dioxide was at about the level where it is now, 400 parts per million, but global temperatures were 1 or 2 degrees Celsius warmer than at present — the model not only collapses the entirety of West Antarctica (driving some 10 feet of global sea-level rise) but also shows the oceans eating substantially into key parts of East Antarctica.”

      Why should we think that the response of the planet will be any different this time around. Other than the fact that the introduction of the gases are faster this time round. It stands to reason, so to will the corresponding shifts be faster i.e. SLR and average temperature. We are the primary cause of a lot of of the environmental degradation that would have take many millennium in the past. These are the little extras that probably slowly brought on the tipping points of dramatic change. On the micro level we’ve brought about changes in a couple of centuries that appear to have took many millennium in the past. Just thought experiments folks based on what I see around me and what we read here and the places like this. Any thoughts?

      Reply
  29. Alaska gets my eye.

    Reply
  30. Scripps at the forefront in California.

    Reply

  31. SEC probes Exxon’s climate, reserves accounting: report

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating how Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) has valued its oil reserves in the wake of low prices and potential curbs on carbon emissions, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

    Exxon, which has not flagged the inquiry in regulatory filings, did not respond to requests for comment. The SEC did not confirm or deny any ongoing investigation.

    The company’s shares fell about 1.5 percent to close Tuesday trading at $82.54.

    The regulator sought information from Exxon and its auditor, PwC, in August, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people it said were familiar with the matter.

    PwC did not respond to requests for comment.

    The SEC inquiry mirrors one started last year by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, whom Exxon has criticized for overreaching in a politically driven push against fossil fuel companies.

    Historically, investigations by New York’s attorney general have prodded the SEC to act, including a multi-year investigation into coal producer Peabody Energy that the company settled last year.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-exxon-mobil-probe-sec-idUSKCN11Q2EC

    Reply
  32. coloradobob

     /  September 21, 2016

    Yesterday’s pass –

    SNPP/VIIRS
    2016/263
    09/19/2016
    06:50 UTC
    Smoke and fires in central Russia

    Reply
  33. coloradobob

     /  September 21, 2016

    RE :
    Disaster dollar estimates . 2 or 3 day’s after one of these events a number from some unknown source pops up in the aftermath . They are always wrong, and too low. Case in point –

    The following is a news release from Louisiana Economic Developmen:

    LED estimates August flooding caused $8.7B in damages to Louisiana

    BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana Economic Development estimates the August 2016 Louisiana Flood caused $8.7 billion in damage to Louisiana residential and commercial properties, with damage to businesses in the state exceeding $2 billion. Those figures do not include damage to the state’s public infrastructure.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  September 21, 2016

      The first numbers were way, way lower than this latest one. And there are so many other costs still not on the list. Like long term farm losses, and as the release says, “damage to the state’s public infrastructure.” The storm with no name, is turning into a real blockbuster at the box office. Like the old Clint Eastwood movies. “The Spaghetti Storm , ……. The storm with no name”

      Reply
      • coloradobob

         /  September 21, 2016

        Reply
        • CB
          Thought (hope) you might like this version of ‘The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly”. Ukelele orchestra of Great Britain.

        • Improbable Otherness

           /  September 21, 2016

          Thanks, CB, the Sergio Leone films were some of the “best” (in an outre kind of way) from my “youth.” Ditto for Clint… damn shame about his dementia/Alzheimer’s and resultant stupidity! Beyond that, I know a guy, used to be a “friend” (hack, cough, more fool me), that could easily pass for Lee van Cleef’s brother… or “twin”… or son! I mean in appearance as well as narcissistic asshole-ishness! Hence, “used to be a ‘friend.'”

        • coloradobob

           /  September 21, 2016

          Cheery little tune isn’t it ?

      • – desmogblog.com/2016/09/17/environmental-concerns-and-anger-grow-month-after-thousand-year-flood

        Environmental Concerns — and Anger — Grow in Month After Thousand-Year Flood Strikes Louisiana

        In the aftermath of the 1000-year flood that hit southern Louisiana in August, environmental and public health concerns are mounting as the waters recede.

        Residents want to know why many areas that never flooded before were left in ruin this time, raising questions about the role water management played in potentially exacerbating the flood. The smell of mold lingers on streets where the contents from flooded homes and businesses are stacked in piles along the curbside, as well as in neighborhoods next to landfills where storm debris is taken.

        …the Honeywell Geismar chemical plant near Saint Gabriel, where workers were dumping soda ash into standing floodwater next to the plant. The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) explained via email that the workers were adding soda ash to the water and circulating it with pumps to raise the pH following a release of sulfuric acid and oleum that occurred during an August 13 rainstorm.

        Reply
        • DRC Emergency Services, the contractor charged with removing debris in Baton Rouge, expects it could take until the end of October to complete. The company has quadrupled its estimate of flood debris to 1.3 million cubic yards, according to the Baton Rouge Advocate.

          When it comes to debris removal, we are doing the same stuff wrong we did after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Subra told me. “We are still not providing the workers with the proper protection,” she said. “Respirators are needed to protect them from particulates.”

          After Katrina, officials were supposed to develop contingency plans to direct the disposal of hurricane debris, so it wouldn’t end up next to residential areas again. But that is exactly what is happening: After August’s flood, LDEQ permitted a temporary landfill next to Monticello — a predominantly African-American neighborhood in east Baton Rouge, where Katrina debris was dumped 11 years earlier.
          http://www.desmogblog.com/2016/09/17/environmental-concerns-and-anger-grow-month-after-thousand-year-flood-strikes-louisiana

        • The whole article is — narratives, photos, videos.

        • Scheduling tweet on this, thanks. Link contains more words, but DeSmogBlog’s search function pulled it up anyway with a single click. Impressive.

  34. coloradobob

     /  September 21, 2016

    Climate change means land use will need to change to keep up with global food demand, say scientists

    Date:
    September 20, 2016
    Source:
    University of Birmingham
    Summary:
    Without significant improvements in technology, global crop yields are likely to fall in the areas currently used for production of the world’s three major cereal crops, forcing production to move to new areas, new research suggests.

    Of course, climate is just one factor when looking at the future of global agricultural practices,’ adds Pugh.

    ‘Local factors such as soil quality and water availability also have a very important effect on crop yields in real terms. But production of the world’s three major cereal crops needs to keep up with demand, and if we can’t do that by making our existing land more efficient, then the only other option is to increase the amount of land that we use.’

    Reply
    • Shawn Redmond

       /  September 21, 2016

      “then the only other option is to increase the amount of land that we use.”

      That’s BAU, we have to change we think.

      Reply
      • Shawn Redmond

         /  September 21, 2016

        the way we think

        Reply
        • we can sequester a lot of carbon and rebuild soil with changes in farming practices. The change would also reduce petrochemical use in food production. Garden more, drive less. Lawns? Lawnmowers? Leafblowers? Tools of ignorance and indifference.

  35. coloradobob

     /  September 21, 2016

    Atmospheric rivers come into focus with high-res climate model
    Pineapple Express could linger, become more intense

    Summary:
    A high-resolution climate model 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.

    Link

    Reply
  36. coloradobob

     /  September 21, 2016

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  September 21, 2016

      This one quote shows what angry white guys mean when they talk about government overreach
      Which brings us to our quote.

      But to diesel owners like Corey Blue of Roanoke, Ill., the very efforts to ban coal rolling represent the worst of government overreach and environmental activism. “Your bill will not stop us!” Mr. Blue wrote to Will Guzzardi, a state representative who has proposed a $5,000 fine on anyone who removes or alters emissions equipment.

      “Why don’t you go live in Sweden and get the heck out of our country,” Mr. Blue wrote. “I will continue to roll coal anytime I feel like and fog your stupid eco-cars.”

      http://www.vox.com/2016/9/9/12843120/rolling-coal-government-overreach

      Reply
      • Mr. Blue and his intentional and aggressive blasts of poison into his is more like a low rent terrorist but he part of the darkest underbelly of mechanical America. A truly dangerous segment.

        Reply
        • I shouldn’t eat and type at the same time: “blasts of poison into his community…”.

      • Josh

         /  September 21, 2016

        “I will continue to throw all my garbage over my neighbour’s fence anytime I feel like and fog your stupid fly tipping laws”.

        Attitude shift needed.

        Reply
      • wharf rat

         /  September 21, 2016

        Reply
  37. coloradobob

     /  September 21, 2016

    Leonardo DiCaprio Is Tracking 35,000 of the World’s Fishing Boats

    A number of surprising things happened at the Our Oceans Conference, a meeting that took place in Washington, DC last week in which scientists, conservationists, and politicians met to discuss how to better safeguard our oceans from pollution, fraud, climate change, slavery, and overfishing.

    Last week, we told you about President Obama’s surprising announcement—well, it was certainly a surprise to the fishermen of New England—that he was designating by executive order the creation of the first national marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean.

    And now, get this: Leonardo DiCaprio showed up at the same conference to announce that a new online technology platform using data from satellites should be able to track the world’s 35,000 commercial fishing vessels. That’s damn good news for anyone who has ever tried to take on the monumental task of cracking down on illegal fishing and overharvesting in global waters.

    https://munchies.vice.com/en/articles/leonardo-dicaprio-is-tracking-35000-of-the-worlds-fishermen

    Reply
  38. labmonkey2

     /  September 21, 2016

    Spotted short vid on weather dot com about the ‘Blob’ making a comeback (sigh). Not the news we in SoCal want to hear. We did get some traces of rain up from the south today…but only enough to cause the dust on my awnings to turn to mud (dust from a new development going in where there once was an AM broadcast antenna array).
    And in viewing nullschool I can see that the RRR is back, too. The midwest weather will be wild this winter.
    https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/ocean/primary/waves/overlay=sea_surface_temp_anomaly/orthographic=-151.88,24.68,542

    Reply
    • Jacob

       /  September 21, 2016

      Not the news anyone in California wants to hear. I’m in NorCal myself. Travelling anywhere just in this part of the state you can see the effect that the drought conditions are having on the land. It’s so parched. Perhaps as has been noted previously, this “blob” and RRR have become permanent fixtures in the Pacific. The change is palpable. I’m wondering if we’re ever going to get one of these “rain bomb” events here. We could surely use one, or more importantly rather a “snow bombing” of the Sierras.

      Reply
    • Poopy blob.

      I’m just hoping for increased moisture from storms coming in from the south and west, like the “Pineapple Express” from Hawaii.

      Reply
  39. More Alaska — Gulf of too:

    Reply
  40. coloradobob

     /  September 21, 2016

    All those Russian fire and smoke images we’ve been seeing , well the Siberian Times has a new report up, and it ain’t good –

    Oil pipes threatened by forest fires amid disputes over the scale of destruction

    By The Siberian Times reporter 20 September 2016

    Greenpeace claims up to 300 times more territory in Siberia is ablaze than officially acknowledged.

    Officials on Tuesday acknowledged a 20% rise in forest fires in the past 24 hours but campaigning group Greenpeace alleged that state agencies are hugely underestimating the scope of the problem.
    It was hard to independently verify the contradictory claims but a fire threat to the Eastern Siberia – Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline led Irkutsk Oil Company to suspend supplies of oil, said the official representative of Transneft, Igor Demin.
    ‘The situation with the fires in Irkutsk region and the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) remains difficult,’ he said. ‘There are six wildfires less than in five kilometres from the ESPO facilities. Fires were as close as 300 metres from key pipeline facilities, he said.
    Social media pictures show the worrying impact of forest fires in remote areas.

    Link

    Reply
  41. coloradobob

     /  September 21, 2016

    World’s largest sawdust dump is on fire ‘and will burn for years’
    By The Siberian Times reporter25 July 2016
    Greenpeace concern as firefighters say they cannot extinguish 3 year blaze with smoke visible from space.
    http://siberiantimes.com/ecology/others/news/n0685-worlds-largest-sawdust-dump-is-on-fire-and-will-burn-for-years/

    Reply
  42. Shawn Redmond

     /  September 21, 2016

    Limiting global temperature rise to 1.5C has long been the goal of developing countries and those most at risk from climate change. Since becoming enshrined in the Paris Agreement last December, the 1.5C goal has come under increased scrutiny and examination.

    https://www.carbonbrief.org/scientists-new-focus-1-5c-reshaping-climate-research

    Reply
    • This is quite strange, since we are not on track to go even for 2 °C… it may even be we already crossed 2 °C – given feedbacks and aerosols…

      Alex

      Reply
    • entropicman

       /  September 21, 2016

      Regrettably it is too late. The physics suggests that the CO2 already released is enough to push us past 1.5C.

      CO2 has increased from 280ppm to 405ppm. IPCC estimate climate sensitivity of 3 and forcing of 3.7W/Centigrade.

      The warming due to industrial CO2 becomes 5.35ln(C/Co)×sensitivity/forcing

      5.35ln(405/280)3/3.7 = 1.6C

      If we are to stay under 1.5C we need both drastic emission reductions and geoengineering to pull atmospheric CO2 back below 390ppm.

      Neither are likely outcomes.

      Reply
      • entropicman is correct. We are continuing to increase CO2 in the atmosphere and the rate of increase is rising. We are likely to push 3 ppm plus into the atmosphere this year. We really don’t have a good idea what the “sudden” pulse of CO2 and CO2e can do to our ecosystem. We are turbocharging the atmosphere with GHGs. We really have to stop the rate of increase by any means necessary and then we have to figure out how to drive the number back down. I see no sign that we are figuring any of that out so far. Sept 20th daily average mlo 400.62 3.3 ppm over same date 2015

        ugly numbers.

        Reply
  43. coloradobob

     /  September 21, 2016

    SEC investigates Exxon Mobil’s accounting practices
    Inquiry into accounting practices steps up pressure on oil giant to tell of climate change effects

    http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/article/SEC-investigates-Exxon-Mobil-s-accounting-9235374.php

    Reply
  44. coloradobob

     /  September 21, 2016

    375 top scientists warn of ‘real, serious, immediate’ climate threat
    375 National Academy of Sciences members sign an open letter expressing frustration at political inaction on climate change

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2016/sep/21/375-top-scientists-warn-of-real-serious-immediate-climate-threat

    Reply
  45. coloradobob

     /  September 21, 2016

    NASA’s CORAL Mission Turns Its Eyes to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

    NASA has turned one of its aerial instruments toward Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, in an effort to study the destruction of this natural wonder and other coral reefs around the world.

    The agency’s aptly titled CORAL mission (short for COral Reef Airborne Laboratory) will study four major coral-reef systems using data gathered by an instrument mounted in the belly of an airplane.

    The CORAL team set up camp in Australia earlier this month, and after some bad-weather days, the first science flights over the Great Barrier Reef took place Sept. 9, a NASA representative told Space.com.

    Link

    Reply
  46. wharf rat

     /  September 21, 2016

    California might finally be cracking down on cow farts
    The state passed a bill to regulate “super pollutants” like black carbon and methane.

    so far, the proposed strategy for combating the pollutants leans heavily on voluntary measures, like incentivizing the installation of anaerobic digesters on dairy farms across the state. And while that might help staunch some methane emissions, anaerobic digesters come with their own set of pollution issues, from potentially noxious compounds in the biogas itself to the local air pollution created from the motors that run the digesters.
    The new legislation sets aside $50 million for the state’s dairy farmers, which could help them finance digesters for their operations. But the bill also gives the Air Resources Board the authority to regulate any industry that isn’t achieving deep enough reductions through incentivized measures. The Air Resources Board will have until the beginning of 2018 to decide how the reduction goals will be met.

    https://thinkprogress.org/california-super-pollutant-law-a71f30642543#.83tg57r7x

    Reply
  47. WebHubTelescope

     /  September 21, 2016

    A point to consider with the QBO anomaly. I believe that the cycles of the QBO are associated with lunisolar tides, something that Lindzen considered for his original model of QBO but then prematurely dismissed.

    But if you look at ocean tides, the occasional anomaly will occasionally happen. The tides will follow lunisolar cycles until some disturbance temporarily generates a glitch in the readings. No one gets to upset with this because it is most likely due to the swells caused by a passing hurricane. When it is out-of-range, the cycles continue on as if nothing happened and they are back in sync with the moon and sun.

    So, for QBO, this anomaly could be a glitch caused by the recent El Nino activity and we will know in another couple of years whether it is back in sync with the 28 month aliased lunar Draconic period.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  September 21, 2016

      Web –
      Many thanks for your observations , as this topic is WAY above my pay grade. Your graph reminds me of the butterfly flapping it’s wings.

      And a case in point about this post has real world obeserved results –

      At least 1.5 million Monarch butterflies perish in deadly ice storm in Michoacán
      Posted on March 13, 2016 by Monika Maeckle
      At least 1.5 million Monarch butterflies were hit with a deadly freeze this weekend as an unusual ice and wind storm moved through the mountains of Michoacán where the butterflies roost for the winter. The storm hit just as the spring migration was beginning. Luckily, many butterflies exited the mountains before the freeze arrived.

      Link

      The timing of this event adds a rather creepy bit of proof about just what these big loops in the jet stream mean. Note the butterflies died in an ice storm, and ice storms always have a warm component to them. They are not like any other precipitation event .
      As the climate warms, ice storms are marching to the poles. The decline in caribou herds is thought to be linked to them occurring more, and more. Caribou can paw through snow, they cannot paw through ice.

      ( A tip for driving in an ice storm : As you near the tipping point were ice begins to form, watch the “rooster tails” of water coming off the other vehicles tires. When they disappear , pull over !! You’re done for the day. )

      Reply
      • WebHubTelescope

         /  September 21, 2016

        CB, Shouldn’t be above anyone’s paygrade. We all understand the reality of ocean tides. Yet we aren’t going to necessarily calculate the tidal charts ourselves. What we will do is rely on someone to generate a set of charts for a certain location and then look up when the tides will come in and go out. Anybody that can look up a bus schedule can do that.

        That’s where we should be at with respect to the QBO oscillations. If you look carefully at the QBO cycles, they are perfectly aligned with the lunar and solar periods. So all we have to do is agree that this is the case and then anyone can tell when the QBO winds will reverse direction.

        But because of the inability of the AGW-denier Richard Lindzen to model the QBO, we are not there yet. It will take time and effort to convince other climate scientists what a mess he made out of the QBO model, and then we can make progress again in explaining any anomalies.

        Reply
        • coloradobob

           /  September 21, 2016

          “CB, Shouldn’t be above anyone’s paygrade.”

          Web-
          Half of America can’t name the branches of our government , let alone tell you how many there are.

          When it come to the QBO, my turnip wagon is parked is parked just outside this bar.

        • coloradobob

           /  September 21, 2016

          As for Richard Lindzen-
          I’ve known him to be a paid whore for years. Thanks for fleshing out the bordello he been working in.

        • Lindzen was still sticking up for Big Tobacco last I heard, which says something about his personality (and perhaps ethics as well).

        • WebHubTelescope

           /  September 21, 2016

          I have counted that Lindzen has whiffed three times now. The first time was when he tried to prove that AGW was not real. The second strike was when he claimed that an “iris” cloud effect controlled the climate. And if this last one is debunked, he has struck out with his botched QBO theory. And that is the one he built his reputation on.

        • wili

           /  September 22, 2016

          Was Lindzen also behind the “It’s the cosmic rays” thing, too?

        • WebHubTelescope

           /  September 22, 2016

          wili,
          I am sure Lindzen backed the cosmic ray explanation, which would support his iris theory.

          If you look at his Wikipedia entry, Lindzen is known as a contrarian by everyone that has worked with him, including his graduate students. So I wouldn’t trust a thing he has written, including his QBO theory.

    • – Just following a thread here… well if about 70 % of the Earth is water — and about 95 % of that is ocean water — and lunar cycles exert strong gravitational forces on this water… and carbon heat is putting more and more of that water into the atmosphere…

      – Then the solar cycles casts their effect on weather/climate cycles…

      – At any rate it makes for exciting times.

      Reply
      • coloradobob

         /  September 21, 2016

        There was earthquake article last week about these very cycles. King tides and big earth quakes.

        Which , reminds me about the 5th grade denier comment about “It’s all Cycles” . And not one of them ever names one cycle that our planet goes through.

        Next time one crosses this comment, ask them to name these “It’s all Cycles”. Remember these are the people that don’t know we have 3 branches in our government.

        Reply
        • WebHubTelescope

           /  September 21, 2016

          B, You are exactly right.

          There are actually two very recent research articles on lunar forces effecting earthquakes, one by a USGS team and the second by Japanese researchers.

          — Nicholas J. van der Elst, Andrew A. Delorey, David R. Shelly, and Paul A. Johnson
          Fortnightly modulation of San Andreas tremor and low-frequency earthquakes
          PNAS 2016 113 (31) 8601-8605; doi:10.1073/pnas.1524316113

          — Ide, S., Yabe, S. & Tanaka, Y. Nat. Geosci. doi:10.1038/ngeo2796 (2016).

          This is significant stuff because the effects have long been ignored. There are actually other articles that predate these but I believe were considered outside of the mainstream.

        • WebHubTelescope

           /  September 21, 2016

          What also may have shifted the tide (so to speak🙂 ) in considering that lunar forces may impact earthquakes is the number of earthquakes caused by gas fracking around Oklahoma.

          If something as puny and insignificant as man forcing water underground can set off an earthquake, why can’t the moon’s gravitational pull do so as well?

          So in this case, the effects of fracking may have opened up a new area of scientific research. There were virtually no research studies on lunar-earthquake interactions before this year.

          And so the logical conclusion, why can’t lunar forces effect the QBO and even El Nino? That last one is another topic I am looking at. If we can crack that, we may be able to predict future El Ninos.

        • Marcusblanc

           /  September 21, 2016

          Saw this posted in a realclimate comment and thought I would share it here since earthquakes came up. It is a lecture given by Prof Bill McGuire, a vulcanologist and geophysical hazard specialist of the same name of his book, ‘Waking the Giant: Climate forcing of geological hazards’.

          http://climatestate.com/2016/09/19/waking-the-giant-climate-force-and-geological-hazards/

          I’ve been following this guys work for over a decade, and he is not afraid of being at the leading edge in his specialised area. This presentation references papers presented after the publication of his book in 2010, so is the newest version of this work that I have seen.

          Check it out. If you don’t want to sit through it, his rough conclusion is that what he expects (at 2deg of warming) is a progressive response, but not a massive one. Above 2deg, things could be quite bad, although we will have plenty other of things to cope with by then, so a significant increase of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunami’s might still be seen as relatively small beer, in comparison.

  48. Spike

     /  September 21, 2016

    Fires near Lake Baikal in ESA satellite view
    http://earthsky.org/todays-image/wildfires-in-siberia-september-2016

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  September 21, 2016

      What a “bookend” to this season, Canada burned early , early, and Russia burned late , late.
      Both threatening oil infrastructure. But the Fort McMurray fires were a Bic lighter compared to these in Siberia. As DTL said, “Smoke so thick you can walk on it..”

      Reply
  49. Greg

     /  September 21, 2016

    An update on Itbayat. The small northernmost Philippines island was hit directly by both sides of the eyewall (dramatic images of the island in the eye of the storm were posted) of Super Typhoon Meranti, the strongest storm of the year, more than a week ago. Nothing was heard from the island since then. Turns out no one was killed. Some lessons from them.
    For the people of these islands have learned to withstand the strongest of storms. Many of the islands’ residents live in houses with sturdy limestone walls that are several feet thick, and they don’t build the houses facing north because that’s where the strongest winds typically come from when these typhoons threaten.”For the Ivatan people, to die in a storm is so unnecessary, it’s nearly shameful” even though “The coconut trees have no more coconuts. The banana plants are all down.”

    https://weather.com/news/news/typhoon-meranti-itbayat-island-northern-philippines

    Reply
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  52. coloradobob

     /  September 21, 2016

    I’ve been on these threads for years. This is a good one, And it’s all because RS has the most amazing flea collar on the web.

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  September 21, 2016

      Yes, amen. Thank you RS for keeping not only the little ones but the big biters too.

      Reply
  53. Greg

     /  September 21, 2016

    Oh please tell me this is not part of my humanity, my people, and my country. Ignorance is like a cancer.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  September 21, 2016

      This is the guy that can’t name our branches of government, he also has his head stuck in that diesel exhaust up thread. Clinton was right , a basket not of “deplorables”, but as that great American said, “Maroons”

      Buggs Bunny

      Which to that I would add ,

      “Thank-you for putting the, Moe back in Moron.”

      Reply
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  57. Greg

     /  September 21, 2016

    A Single Migration From Africa Populated the World, Studies Find. “In a series of unprecedented genetic analyses published on Wednesday in the journal Nature, three separate teams of researchers conclude that all non-Africans today trace their ancestry to a single population emerging from Africa between 50,000 and 80,000 years ago” and we’ve shown dominion over the locusts ever since.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/22/science/ancient-dna-human-history.html

    Reply
  58. coloradobob

     /  September 21, 2016

    “a single population emerging from Africa between 50,000 and 80,000 years ago” and we’ve shown dominion over the locusts ever since.”

    Prime example –

    Wernher von Braun

    In Trump’s world, we would have never let him , and them in. “All Germans are Bad”.
    We may be beasts, but some of us are not stupid. We smuggled the rocket doctors across the border at El Paso. After a time at White Sands, from there they when the Alabama. They all walked into the public library at Huntsville at same time and got library cards. This why one sees a forest of rockets driving South from Tenn. into Alabama.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  September 21, 2016

      Reply
      • coloradobob

         /  September 21, 2016

        German Rocket Doctors, were fueled by .Dr. Robert H. Goddard. The brightest mind in the field since the Chinese invented fire crackers.

        Reply
        • coloradobob

           /  September 21, 2016

          His rocket remains are at one of American’s best museums anywhere in the world , at Roswell , New Mexico.

      • – As in most things ‘homo sap’ there is a darker side:

        Site Name: Mittelwerk V2 underground assembly plant and the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp
        The main German V2 rocket production and assembly facility was at Peenemünde on the north east coast where, since July 1943 the main workforce consisted of concentration camp inmates, a ratio of up to 15 detainees to 1 lowly paid German worker. In order to maintain this workforce the SS set up a small concentration camp within the Peenemünde site.

        Following a devastating air attack by the Royal Air Force on Peenemünde on 17th August 1943, it soon became clear to the German High Command that missile assembly would need to be moved to protected underground sites.

        One of the sites chosen was the former Wifo gypsum mine in the Kohnstein Hill on the southern border of the Harz mountains close to Nordhausen.

        The mine had opened in 1917 and having been abandoned it was commandeered by the Wehrmacht in 1936 for the storage of fuel and poison gas; by mid 1943, the complex was the largest fuel and oil depot in Germany
        http://www.subbrit.org.uk/sb-sites/sites/n/nordhausen/index.shtml

        Reply
  59. coloradobob

     /  September 21, 2016

    Knowledge doesn’t have a nationally. Trump doesn’t know that, and walls have never .succeeded, in the end , after the “Greatest Wall”. The Mongols bribed the gate keepers, took China anyway.

    Reply
  60. coloradobob

     /  September 21, 2016

    Now let’s all listen to the past to Tom Jones.

    Before all this bill came due, when we thought the Moon was our first step.

    Reply
  61. coloradobob

     /  September 21, 2016

    I watched “Defying the Nazis:” . On PBS last night.

    Courage, folks Courage.

    Reply
  62. Greenland ice loss 40 trillion pounds bigger than thought

    https://apnews.com/df66b9585fb44d28a7bc6e18f0a1ee77/Greenland-ice-loss-40-trillion-pounds-bigger-than-thought

    [ Pounds?! Who uses pounds???? ]

    Reply
  63. coloradobob

     /  September 21, 2016

    This is a battle between the light and the dark. To sit on the side lines is waste our future, and all the small things that we know and love.

    Reply
  64. Greenland’s huge annual ice loss is even worse than thought

    Dr Christopher Harig, at the University of Arizona, who was not involved in the study. “The new research happening now really speaks to the question: ‘How fast or how much ice can or will melt by the end of the century?’ As we understand more the complexity of the ice sheets, these estimates have tended to go up. In my mind, the time for urgency about climate change [action] really arrived years ago, and it’s past time our policy reflected that urgency.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/21/greenlands-huge-annual-ice-loss-is-even-worse-than-thought

    Reply
  65. coloradobob

     /  September 21, 2016

    This is a battle between the light and the dark.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  September 21, 2016

      The Earth hangs in the balance.

      Reply
      • coloradobob

         /  September 21, 2016

        This is why I’m nutty as a fruit bat. Who fell in their thousands in Australia just before “Black Saturday”.
        Just before the the fires, (It was 114F degrees), the bats fell out of the trees. Bats lick their wrist to keep cool.
        Then the fires came.

        Reply
        • coloradobob

           /  September 21, 2016

          The bats hit the ground “dead”.

        • John S

           /  September 22, 2016

          There were also birds ‘dying on the wing’, falling to the ground dead.

  66. coloradobob

     /  September 21, 2016

    One more thing about fire.
    Don’t take little 2 lane roads, ever. Better to die fighting , than be be swallowed up by fire on some tiny 2 lane road.

    Reply
  67. Cate

     /  September 21, 2016

    High time we skipped the light fandango.

    Reply
  68. IPAM has released an article on what would be needed to zero deforestation in the Amazon. Its in: https://elementascience.org/articles/125 And this one is in English🙂

    Reply
  69. Growing more skeptical by the day. Sure Trump’s lousy..but people are given two lousy alternatives, & must look for hope from the least cringe-worthy, lesser evil?

    Almost everyone is complicit in producing such “leaders”. The very system that’s evolved, is rotten to the core. LOTS of people wanna be Gordon Gecko(or do biz with such types).

    Watch John Pilger’s “The War We Don’t See”. Consider how media/Hollywood propaganda has conditioned almost all of us. Is NA the last bastion of all that is good; or a culprit of a lousy predatory, industrialized system, seeking energy sources, with the desperation of a junkie needing a fix? A few peripheral, environmentally-motivated conscientious-objectors, to an existential war we wage with ourselves. Does that serve some awkward purpose of an absolution of our excessively greedy, consumptive lifestyle?

    Contrast today with the late 70’s, early 1980’s. World was comparatively stable then. IF we had the IT society then(that we have now), would there have been so much consternation & societal criticism? Is this(social technology) the ONLY aspect that distinguishes our current society, from that period? Or would we have all been backslapping ourselves over the prosperous society we’d created?

    Don’t think we’ve evolved(or progressed) at all over these last few decades. Just more cameras about, enabling us to see under tables where dirty money changes hands.

    To progress, we’d likely need to time-travel back centuries, & study how to live simply from indigenous peoples.

    Almost all we’ve built is, quite simply, f*ckin’ ugly.

    Look honestly at what we’ve become.

    Reply
    • I’m reading “Barkskins” by Annie Proulx. She describes these same dichotomies in colonial North America at the turn of the 17th century. It has been ever thus and it seems clear where it’s all headed.

      Reply
      • Thank you. Will keep my eyes open for this writer. Cheers.

        Reply
        • Cate

           /  September 22, 2016

          She’s a good writer but beware The Shipping News. People think it’s about Newfoundland but it’s not. She made it all up, right down to the way the characters talk.😉

  70. Reply
  71. – ‘while pollution-related deaths strike mainly young children and the elderly,’

    ‘Air pollution fourth leading factor for premature death’

    Air pollution has emerged as the fourth leading risk factor for premature deaths worldwide, reports BSS.

    The study, released early this month, discovers that while pollution-related deaths strike mainly young children and the elderly, premature deaths also result in lost labour income for working-age men and women.
    http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/2016/09/19/46445/%E2%80%98Air-pollution-fourth-leading-factor-for-premature-death%E2%80%99

    Reply
  72. Reply
    • BJD

       /  September 23, 2016

      Oh. Great. I live in the Southern Hemisphere, not far from the lower arm of the hotter part of the ocean over in the Western Pacific, the part that starts in the west near Papua New Guinea.

      Early last year our island home was partially overrun by Tropical Cyclone Pam. It was really bad. I don’t want to go through that again. It was the sort of event that only happens every 25 years ago. Does the heat content displayed here portend a greater frequency of such meteorological beasts? That this forthcoming southern summer could be bad again?

      Reply
  73. – MN USA

    Reply
    • Rebecca Kopelman ‏@KopelmanWX 55m55 minutes ago

      @StuOstro this is a spot that has been hammered this year – since August 1 some parts of northern Iowa have gotten 20″ of rain.

      Reply
  74. Vic

     /  September 22, 2016

    Antarctic Sea Ice Extent appears to have a bad case of the wobbles.
    In 2014 it was at record highs. Now, two years later it’s close to record lows.

    Reply
  75. Greg

     /  September 22, 2016

    Julia’s remnant circulation and moisture, in combination with an area of low pressure aloft, led to persistent rainfall in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina since Tuesday…Parts of the region had seen 5 to 10 inches of rain in the 24 hours ending Wednesday morning, and one location in southeast Virginia saw nearly 14 inches in the last 72 hours, he added.
    https://weather.com/news/news/julia-flooding-virginia-north-carolina

    Reply
  76. Ryan in New England

     /  September 22, 2016

    Peter Wadhams thinks we can reach zero Arctic sea ice in a couple more years. Whether it’s next year or ten years from now, it’s a foregone conclusion (as we all know).

    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/37686-arctic-expert-on-sea-ice-we-could-reach-zero-within-two-years

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  September 22, 2016

      “Why do you suppose more scientists aren’t being as outspoken in their alarm and concern over what is happening there and what it means to the planet?
      Career considerations: If they speak out, they fear that it will upset their promotion prospects, so they keep their heads down.”

      Reply
  77. Cate

     /  September 22, 2016

    Bill McKibben today:

    The new math on climate change is out. It’s much worse than previously thought. We have to keep it all in the ground.

    “If we’re serious about preventing catastrophic warming, the new study shows, we can’t dig any new coal mines, drill any new fields, build any more pipelines. Not a single one. We’re done expanding the fossil fuel frontier. Our only hope is a swift, managed decline in the production of all carbon-based energy from the fields we’ve already put in production.”

    https://newrepublic.com/article/136987/recalculating-climate-math?utm_content=bufferd0a94&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    Reply
  78. Every little bit helps:
    We’re not in Kansas anymore: Fluorescent ruby red roofs stay as cool as white. September 21, 2016 Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
    “If the product were to be commercialized, Berdahl said that the cost is not expected to be substantial and its durability is expected to be similar to other coatings. “Rubies have a reputation for being expensive, but they’re mostly aluminum oxide, which sells for about 70 cents per kilogram (or about 30 cents per pound),” he said.
    In follow-up work Berdahl has identified blue materials that also fluoresce and showed that they can be combined with other colors to yield green and even black materials that stay cool.”
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160921140440.htm

    Reply
  79. Greg

     /  September 22, 2016

    As a complementary publication to the single migration out of Africa study posted in the threads above, an extensive DNA study “confirms what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have always believed: they’re the oldest living civilization on the planet. The results also show that Indigenous ancestors migrated from Africa 72,000 years ago as part of a “single migration” of the world’s first people. The findings debunk a number of previous theories. They include the idea (often used to delegitimize First Nations sovereignty) that Indigenous Australians may not be the first group to occupy Australia; that modern day humans spread from Africa over multiple migrations; and that the Aboriginal people’s connection to the land wasn’t as old as it’s now known to be. Your genome contains the history of every ancestor you ever had.”
    That genome, if it could speak would be screaming at us right now to stop it. Just stop it. And reconnect. Maybe it is screaming just with a muted voice of the First Nations.
    http://mashable.com/2016/09/21/aboriginal-australians-oldest-on-earth.amp

    Reply
  80. Greg

     /  September 22, 2016

    Pre-Human ‘Lucy’ Fell From a Tree, Study Finds. Well. now we know how we really got into this conundrum

    Reply
  81. Reply
    • Cate

       /  September 22, 2016

      Always a thrilling sight to see. We get this a lot in our waters through the summer. Tour boat operators will often go as close as possible, even though they know it’s foolhardy, because when these things go over, bits can break off and pop up anywhere—-90% of an iceberg is underwater and there is no predicting how they will roll and break up. I prefer to watch them from a nearby cliff—-the big ones rumble like thunder and generate mini-tsunamis.

      Reply
  82. Carol

     /  September 22, 2016

    The bull’s eye of the recent precipitation in WI, MN, and IA appears to have been my backyard, about 30 miles S. of La Crosse. We had 9 inches in the past 48 hours, and well over 20 inches since Aug 23. And the forecast is more rain. I’ve never seen anything like this – mudslides, flooding, roads washed out, and a freight train derailed 2 miles from me (Why were they running trains, right along the Mississippi River, in last night’s deluge after all the rain we’ve been having??).
    I’m reminded of Credence Clearwater Revival’s “Who’ll stop the rain?”

    Reply
    • – Wow. Any end in sight?

      – Ps Some sample current headlines via Google News:

      Hampton Roads picks up over a foot of rain this week

      NORFOLK, Va. – Some schools remain closed for a second day because of flooding in parts of North Carolina and Virginia

      Waseca Area Receives 13+ Inches Of Rain In 2 Days

      Heavy rain swamps portions of several Midwestern states

      Roads closed, motorists stranded by overnight rain; more possible …

      Heavy rain creates flash flooding in Maple Grove

      Rounds of wind and rain to batter northern, western UK this weekend

      Overnight rains create dangerous flooding in Vernon County
      La Crosse Tribune-8 hours ago
      Rain fell in Vernon County overnight at rates of 1-to-2 inches per hour, Wednesday into Thursday, creating significant flash flooding

      Reply
  83. Greg

     /  September 22, 2016

    On a more sunny note, Meet SolPad, an Integrated Solar-Plus-Storage Solution fresh out of stealth mode. This is the kind of kick in the solar industry we need right now to scale as it very nicely integrates solar and storage and hugely simplifies and monitors your electric system, and does more. Worth reading to the bottom of the article as it shows up to 50% total cost reductions (taking $40k+- down to $20K+-), the solving of net-metering and regulatory issues, and more. Can’t wait to see this and similar in the marketplace soon.
    http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/meet-solpad-a-truly-integrated-solar-plus-storage-solution-fresh-out

    Reply
    • Shawn Redmond

       /  September 23, 2016

      Shaving 20k off the price of a contemporary system is amazing. All though I don’t know what they consider contemporary. My entire system cost me 20k Canadian. So free is really interesting.

      Reply
  84. This is worth a view — its pace is nice and methodical.

    Reply
  85. coloradobob

     /  September 22, 2016

    A major fire event is threatening natives and wildlife in the central Amazon region of Peru. According to the National Civil Defense Institute, the fire broke out on September 10 in an indigenous community called Pitsiquia, in the heart of Peruvian Amazon, and is still not under control.

    Since then, the fires destroyed more than 20 000 hectares (49 400 acres / 200 km2 / 77 mi2) of forest and more than 200 hectares (494 acres) of farmland in the Junin region.

    https://watchers.news/2016/09/22/major-fire-event-in-peruvian-amazon-threatens-natives-and-wildlife/

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  September 22, 2016

      But wildfires are not localized to the Junin region. They are burning all over the Peruvian Amazon, the Mongabay Latam said.

      Reply
  86. coloradobob

     /  September 22, 2016

    RS’s folks live in Virginia Beach, here’s hoping all is well –

    Julia’s remnants feed massive rains across Hampton Roads area
    A slow-moving slug of atmospheric moisture associated with former Tropical Storm Julia took up residence this week across the Mid-Atlantic. Together with a lingering front, the moisture has fueled several days of heavy rainfall in southeast Virginia and northeast North Carolina. Preliminary rainfall totals for the period from Sunday through Wednesday night included 13.73” near the Kempsville area of Virginia Beach, VA. By and large, the rains have been prolonged but not extremely intense, producing mainly widespread road closures.

    The hardest-hit metropolitan area is Hampton Roads, VA, including Norfolk and Portsmouth. In the 72 hours ending at midnight Wednesday night, Norfolk International Airport picked up 9.35” of rain. That includes three consecutive days of daily-record precipitation: 3.04” on Monday, 2.38” on Tuesday, and 3.93” on Wednesday. As noted by Capital Weather Gang, this is the only instance of three consecutive daily precipitation records in Norfolk data going back to 1874, according to local weathercaster Tim Pandajis. The city’s wettest September–13.80”–occurred in 1979, when Norfolk experienced deluges from Hurricane David as well as a tropical depression later that month. As of this morning, Norfolk’s total for this September was up to around 13”. With showers still in the area today, the September 1979 record is in striking distance.
    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/td-karl-headed-towards-bermuda-record-rains-in-norfolk-from-julias-r

    Reply
      • Serious flooding near my parents place. Thank goodness it wasn’t worse. No word on water rescues as we’ve tended to see in other places (North Carolina saw 60). HR tends to be pretty good about closing roads off when flooding occurs — which tends to happen more and more now due to high tides or inability of rain to drain off rapidly enough due to increasing heavy precip and sea level rise making drainage less efficient. 18 inches could have been a heck of a lot worse. The disaster officials really did a good job on this one for the region.

        Reply
  87. Reply
    • I wonder what Wes Jackson of the Land Institute would say about this study..Now that he has retired,maybe he would have time to answer such questions..

      Reply
  88. For the first time, Obama requires U.S. government to factor climate into national security policy

    The move signals Obama’s determination to exercise his executive authority during his final months in office to elevate the issue of climate in federal decision-making, even though it remains unclear whether his successor will embrace this approach.

    Under the directive, 20 federal agencies and offices that work on climate science, intelligence and national security must “collaborate to ensure the best information on climate impacts is available to strengthen our national security” through the new Federal Climate and National Security Working Group. That group must release a climate change and national security action plan in 90 days. All the relevant agencies must then identify steps to implement it.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/09/21/for-the-first-time-obama-requires-u-s-government-to-factor-climate-into-national-security-policy/?postshare=3271474517475069&tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.9caef403eb01

    Reply
  89. coloradobob

     /  September 22, 2016

    5 alarming facts about Amazon forest fires

    1. In the first half of this year, 27,814 fires were detected in the Amazon. That’s the largest number ever recorded for the period and 81 percent above the historical average. Most of these fires were started by people.
    2. Each year the Amazon fire season gets longer. Between 1979 to 2013, the annual fire season increased by 18.7 percent.

    http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/5-alarming-facts-about-amazon-forest-fires-deforestation/blog/57406/

    Reply
  90. Reply
  91. coloradobob

     /  September 22, 2016

    The alarming number of fires in the Brazilian Amazon
    8 September 2016 / Commentary by Natália Girão Rodrigues de Mello
    For three months, from September to December 2015, Manaus was engulfed in smoke, resembling Beijing. That was an unusual scene, and an undeniable sign that predatory exploration in the Brazilian Amazon has not yet been properly tackled.
    https://news.mongabay.com/2016/09/the-alarming-number-of-fires-in-the-brazilian-amazon/

    Reply
  92. coloradobob

     /  September 22, 2016

    Raging Amazon Forest Fires Threaten Uncontacted Indigenous Tribe
    According to Survival International, fires are “raging” in Awá territory on the edge of the Brazilian Amazon and “threatening to wipe out uncontacted members of the Awá tribe.”

    http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/08/28/raging-amazon-forest-fires-threaten-uncontacted-indigenous-tribe

    Reply
  93. coloradobob

     /  September 22, 2016

    Brazil’s raging forest fires threaten indigenous land, uncontacted tribes

    It is not known exactly how many people have been forced off the land by fires in Maranhao this year, Guajajara said.

    Last year, she said, fires destroyed more than half of the 413,000 hectare territory known as Arariboia, which her tribe calls home.

    http://news.trust.org/item/20160921171434-zkn2i/

    Reply
  94. coloradobob

     /  September 22, 2016

    The grim irony of people who have no idea what an I-phone is, are being chased off their land by a world that is chasing the next bright shiny object.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  September 22, 2016

      ” The number of forest fires in Latin America’s largest country rose by 65 percent last year to hit more than 53,000 outbreaks for the period ending on Aug. 5, Brazil’s National Space Research Institute (INPE) reported this month.”

      We are burning down the future , for hamburgers today.

      Reply
  95. coloradobob

     /  September 22, 2016

    DTL –
    I tried to watch the clip above, but when I saw a guy putting on his polar bear suit, I moved on. I was part of the theater of change low these many years ago. I was at the gates of Rocky Flats where we made our plutonium spheres for H-bombs.
    Back then, it gained attention , but now, people beating drums, and yelling in bullhorns. They gain zip.

    We need a new form of protest. What that is I have no idea, but back then the Pope was not on our side, today he is. So that means something.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  September 22, 2016

      Case in point –

      On Wednesday’s Late Night, Meyers reasoned that Trump likely survives such scandals because he “has no shame. When confronted, he doubles down. He’s like a dog who pees in the house and when you rub his nose in it, he goes, ‘Mmm, I love the smell of my own urine.'”

      Reply
      • But, think about it Bob — we acquire a canine, usually with its canine instincts bred out of it. Then we confine it to an enclosed box of a room, or house, then we punish it if its bodily functions do not follow our schedule.

        Reply
  96. coloradobob

     /  September 22, 2016

    Other dark times …………..

    Battle of Britain Suite –

    Reply
  97. JPL

     /  September 22, 2016

    RETURN OF THE BLOB…. dun dun dunnnnn!

    There was mention of this upthread, but here is a piece from yesterday indicating that the blob has returned in the eastern pacific.

    https://weather.com/news/climate/news/the-blob-pacific-ocean-temperatures

    Reply
  98. coloradobob

     /  September 22, 2016

    Sink The Bismarck (1960)

    Reply
  99. Now things are getting really serious:

    Climate Change Threatens World’s Coffee Supply, Report Says

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/23/science/climate-change-threatens-worlds-coffee-supply-report-says.html

    Reply
  100. coloradobob

     /  September 22, 2016

    All of our forecasting is mute. Because we have unleashed every creature on Earth, some will win many will die. The greatest engineering experiment in history.

    Reply
  101. coloradobob

     /  September 22, 2016

    Bust Hits America’s Cowboy Coal Basin After 40 Years of Boom

    Through Sept. 10, coal output in Wyoming, the biggest U.S. producer, is down 25 percent from a year earlier, while Montana is down 26 percent, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Ted O’Brien, chief executive officer of Doyle Trading Consultants in New York, estimates that the output may drop to 332 million tons this year, from 418 million tons in 2015. Preston is even less positive, foreseeing a possible slide to 307 million tons.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2016-09-20/bust-hits-america-s-cowboy-coal-basin-after-40-years-of-boom

    Reply
  102. coloradobob

     /  September 22, 2016

    Fossil fuels investment takes nosedive

    Energy experts say global investment patterns show a spectacular shift, with renewables on the rise and support for fossil fuels in sharp decline.

    LONDON, 17 September, 2016 – A revolution is taking place in the global energy sector, with investments in oil and gas declining by 25% in 2015 while energy produced from renewables rose by more than 30%.

    http://climatenewsnetwork.net/fossil-fuels-investment-nosedive/

    Reply
  103. coloradobob

     /  September 22, 2016

    Fallow the money.

    Reply
  104. coloradobob

     /  September 22, 2016

    Never let the perfect be the enemy of the possible.

    Reply
  105. Ryan in New England

     /  September 22, 2016

    So today, the first day of fall, saw temps of 85-90 across my home state of Connecticut, which is about 15-20 degrees above normal. It’s been in the upper 80s for the better part of a week now, with lows last week in the upper 70s with high humidity. I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt, sweating at work at 7 am in late September, when I should be wearing jeans and a sweatshirt. My relative from Florida said it felt like home for him.

    What makes me furious, and inspired this mini-rant. is the fact that every local meteorologist is talking about how amazing, incredible, perfect, etc this weather is. And it doesn’t stop with the weathermen, there were multiple news stories that consisted of interviews of people in shorts wishing this weather would stay around, saying how lucky we are, and lamenting “cold” temperatures that we should be having. Then it was a story about all the people soaking up the sun and enjoying the “awesome” temperatures at the beach…which closed three weeks ago because that’s when it used to become too cold to go to the beaches around here. Not a single person made any kind of reference to the fact that these are simply more signs that our climate is rapidly shifting to a different state.

    I feel like I’m watching the world burn and everyone is busy toasting marshmallows on the flames, and attacking anyone who dare suggest we try and put out the flames.

    Reply
  106. coloradobob

     /  September 23, 2016

    Ryan in New England
    There is a valid reason why science ignores your comment.

    I am of the school, that all these on the ground observations matter. We all know how out of place we are. These first hand matter.

    Reply
  107. – Methane Straws

    Warmer conditions in the Arctic don’t lead to increased methane flux on their own. The new study confirmed that aquatic grasses and sedges act like straws, drawing methane up from the anoxic muck at the bottom of a pond and releasing it through their leaves before it can be converted to carbon dioxide.

    – eos.org/articles/aquatic-plants-may-accelerate-arctic-methane-emissions

    – Aquatic Plants May Accelerate Arctic Methane Emissions

    About two thirds of the gas produced by a study area near Barrow, Alaska, came from increasingly abundant greenery covering only 5% of the landscape, researchers estimate.

    Reply
  108. Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  September 23, 2016

      I have no idea what this means.

      Reply
      • Jay M

         /  September 23, 2016

        dtl wow

        Reply
      • Yeah, Iceland (Greenland is also in the neighborhood) is the northern boundary (which caught my eye.) — The Azores and Lisbon, Portugal is at he south end. I had to look it up as A.M. can be cryptic in his text but he’s like a laser when he focuses on a subject.

        NCAR/UCAR

        Climate Data
        Hurrell North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) Index (station-based)

        The winter (December thru March) station-based index of the NAO is based on the difference of normalized sea level pressure (SLP) between Lisbon, Portugal and Stykkisholmur/Reykjavik, Iceland since 1864. Positive values of the NAO index are typically associated with stronger-than-average westerlies over the middle latitudes, more intense weather systems over the North Atlantic and wetter/milder weather over western Europe. Monthly, seasonal and annual indices using slightly different data sources for the southern station are also available.

        https://climatedataguide.ucar.edu/climate-data/hurrell-north-atlantic-oscillation-nao-index-station-based

        Reply
      • A positive NAO tends to pump more heat into the Arctic. Oddly, such a set up tends to also occur with La Nina, not El Nino. So this is an odd situation.

        Reply
  109. coloradobob

     /  September 23, 2016

    Reply
  110. Cate

     /  September 23, 2016

    Scientists met in Oxford in preparation for the IPCC mid-2018 review mandated by COP21.

    “The findings from our conference are going to lead directly into the evidence base for the IPCC special report on 1.5C,” Hall said.
    “The bad news is that we are already two-thirds of the way there,” he added, noting that average global temperatures in 2015 – the hottest year on record – were a full degree higher than 150 years ago.
    A 2C cap on warming was already seen as hugely ambitious, both technically and politically.”

    Kevin Anderson expressed concern that a focus on such rather arbitrary targets would encourage attempts at “quick fixes” through geoengineering rather than a focus on the “deep decarbonisation” that is needed.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/22/paris-climate-goal-will-de-difficult-if-not-impossible-to-hit

    Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  September 23, 2016

      As ever the IPCC proceeds at leisurely pace, not wishing to ‘alarm’ anybody, then its dumbed-down ‘forecasts’, so thoroughly wrong for so long, get gutted some more by Saudi Arabia and Australia and the other fossil fuel omnicidists. 2018? It is to laugh!

      Reply
    • So MANY scientists from around the world – all working together too! Let’s give’em ANOTHER Nobel, dammitall.

      Reply
    • 2/3 of the way there? I thought 2015 was over 1.1, and 2016 is looking like 1.25+…They should save themselves the long-haul flights, and make the report 4 words: “It’s already too late.”

      Reply
  111. Greg

     /  September 23, 2016

    It’s been the summer of flooding, three 1:1000 year events in the U.S. alone

    Reply
    • John McCormick

       /  September 23, 2016

      That photo of the woman standing knee deep in water on her sunroom floor is heartbreaking. We will end by many millions of paper cuts..

      Reply
  112. Greg

     /  September 23, 2016

    Maximum 22.8 cm rainfall recorded at #Moulali area in #Hyderabad till 7 a.m this morning since last evening

    Reply
  113. Greg

     /  September 23, 2016

    Deja Vu this coming Tuesday:

    Reply
  114. Greg

     /  September 23, 2016

    Drought up the East Coast, U.S. set up quickly this summer

    Reply
    • labtekjen

       /  September 23, 2016

      I’m in the red zone in NH. We have a shallow dug well so despite the extensive garden we always hand water from rain barrels. Despite our best efforts the well went dry 3 weeks ago. We get enough refill over a day for 3 min showers and dishes. Rain barrel water for everything else brought in by the bucket load. Still on a wait list for the drill company because they are having a hard time hitting any water this week.. even at 400 ft. Thankfully we had a good day long rain event on Monday so we still have the barrel water.

      I wonder how severe it will get before more people start to look for the “why”. With all the events, be they drought or floods, how long before the masses start seriously asking questions? Thank you to all the posters here for being a community that doesn’t ignore and feels like saneville compared to my day to day.

      Reply
      • Ooo, sorry to hear that. We are just in the “abnormally dry” (least severe drought level) area here in south central VT and have a deep well. We’ve been cutting back some on water consumption just in case. My sympathies.

        Reply
  115. Greg

     /  September 23, 2016

    Hurricane? No, thunderstorm today in Utah:

    Reply
  116. Greg

     /  September 23, 2016

    No hurricanes in two years in Atlantic so far in September. No precedence since 1851. Has anyone posted a paper on the dichotomy between the Pacific and Atlantic in recent years. Did RS do a post on it?

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  September 23, 2016

      Philip Klotzbach@philklotzbach
      Why the anemic Atlantic hurricane season? Air is going up in NE Pacific & sinking in Atlantic – causing subsidence and mid-level drying.

      Reply
    • WebHubTelescope

       /  September 23, 2016

      Greg said:
      “No hurricanes in two years in Atlantic so far in September.”

      One of the most cited QBO papers is this :
      Gray, William M. “Atlantic seasonal hurricane frequency. Part I: El Nino and 30 mb quasi-biennial oscillation influences.” Monthly Weather Review 112.9 (1984): 1649-1668.

      Of course, Gray is the late AGW denier who hated any kind of mathematical modeling, and was old-school in the way he approached science.

      What I believe is that the science of Lindzen and Gray is no longer relevant. We need to have a clean sweep and inject new ideas into this area of climate research. Robert and Greg are making observations that really indicate how much we do not understand.

      I wrote this paper yesterday which provides a very concise explanation of the physical mechanisms behind QBO within a mathematical context:

      http://contextearth.com/2016/09/23/compact-qbo-derviation/

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  September 23, 2016

        The visualization of the QBO gives readers a great place to begin to wrap our heads around this as few if any of us will get the math or nuances. Thank you for the links and your work!

        Reply
        • Greg

           /  September 23, 2016

        • Ailsa

           /  September 23, 2016

          Thank you Greg for this – its somehow very beautiful. We live embedded in such wonder. Simple, yet complex. Sometimes I find myself awestruck by life.

        • WebHubTelescope

           /  September 23, 2016

          The QBO has been like clockwork. Note that RS got beat up discussing the unusual behavior a few months ago, yet one of the most cited experts on QBO, Timothy Dunkerton has now written an article titled “The Quasi-Biennial Oscillation of 2015-16: Hiccup or Death Spiral?” in Geophys. Res. Lett.

          That seems foreboding and almost alarmist. At the end of the paper Dunkerton asks a rhetorical question: “What about a tipping point?” He doesn’t really answer it. I think he doesn’t have an answer because he doesn’t really know. But since he is an expert he is expected to give some sort of opinion.

        • WebHub,
          I read the article cited. The physics is, as CB said, above my pay grade, but I would like to ask a question. That is, is it possible to estimate how much energy it would take to disrupt the QBO?
          Robert mentioned it would take a great deal of force. Since stratospheric wind speeds are increasing due to trophospheric warming, that is ever more of a great deal. El Nino has been suggested, but per the graph there does not seem to be a relation to other El Ninos, and the other time the QBO waffled a llitle, 1960, the cycle was in neutral.

        • WebHubTelescope

           /  September 24, 2016

          mlp, Takes less to temporarily disrupt QBO then something like ENSO, since the stratosphere is not very dense and so has much less inertial mass than the ocean.

          The important observation will occur in a few years when we find out if the QBO is still in sync with the 28 month cycle. I think it will stay in sync.

        • Many thanks for the explanation.

  117. – Movie

    I made this 6 min. video five years ago, and posted it to YouTube .
    It is a ‘Guernica’ inspired mix, or assemblage, of my video, my music and sound effects — mixed with some current and historical bits used in-and-out of context but highly relevant to me and out plight.

    ‘ The True Price of Gas: A Judgement Killing: Part One’

    Reply
    • Ailsa

       /  September 23, 2016

      And this is really full on dt, made me weep and my heart stop. Thank you.

      Reply
      • You bet, Ailsa. You’re welcome.
        Decisions, or ‘judgements’, are made that have profound consequences.
        I just tried to show how we got here. That is the path we must now veer from.
        DT

        Reply
  118. Shawn Redmond

     /  September 23, 2016

    This has been empirically observed. In the southwestern United States, as well as the interior of Canada and Alaska, forests could see up to a 75 percent slower growth rate thanks to higher summer temperatures. The vast boreal forests of Alaska had been projected in major climate models to flourish and become greener as the planet warms. Instead, they are browning. The previously assumed positive influence of warmer temperatures on boreal forests is nowhere to be seen (see here). http://www.flassbeck-economics.com/how-climate-change-is-creating-ecological-social-and-political-crises-the-californian-drought-and-the-fate-of-the-american-forests/

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  September 23, 2016

      Shawn, there was a piece on the CBC website a few days ago (can’t find it now for the life of me) about climate change effects in New Brunswick’s boreal. The conclusion: not good. They are predicting browning and drying. And btw, is the NS drought affecting you at all?

      Reply
      • Shawn Redmond

         /  September 23, 2016

        Not directly Cate. Yet. It is the driest I can ever remember. Rivers are the lowest I’ve seen in my lifetime and have been for a couple of months now. Our forests here are showing visual signs of stress. I’m pleasantly amazed at the lack of forrest fires here in these conditions. Rain fall totals for the summer are down from average slightly. However they aren’t coming in any meaningful way: Historical average Aug. 93.5 mil, actual 44 mil, highest single 24hrs 24 mil on the 17th. July 95.5mil, 73.4mil, 22mil on the 7th, June 96.2mil, 72.5mil, 37.4mil on the 8th. These numbers are for Halifax, N.S.

        Reply
        • Cate

           /  September 23, 2016

          Shawn, glad you are weathering the drought so far. Here in central NL we’ve had what felt like a hot dry summer but as with NS, thankfully no major fires. I think this is because it did rain—although the pattern was different: long spells of settled weather followed by a day or two of drenching downpours. That’s new normal for here, for sure.

  119. Shawn Redmond

     /  September 23, 2016

    http://www.climatecodered.org/2016/09/why-is-emergency-scale-action-necessary.html
    The world now faces a climate emergency. Our scientists tell us. We know it. Slowly the political elite are realising that the current international climate policy-making paradigm is dying of failure. Recognition of the climate emergency is now written into the platform for the Democratic Party for the 2016 US presidential election.

    So how does our scientific understanding guide as to constructing a new way of looking at the challenge, as to what is happening, what is safe, and how we should respond? The Victorian Climate Action Network held a workshop on these questions on 11 September 2016. The slides below were the contribution by David Spratt to the first session, which asked the question ‘Why is emergency-scale action necessary?’

    Reply
  120. Shawn Redmond

     /  September 23, 2016

    Why did leaderships appear to be not just ailing but in freefall as they tried to respond belatedly to ‘unthinkables’ like these? Why have corporate and government responses appeared to be so inadequate? In response to our questioning on why it remains so dif cult to think the unthinkable, nine key words and phrases kept being repeated during the con dential interviews:
    1. BEING OVERWHELMED BY MULTIPLE, INTENSE PRESSURES
    2. INSTITUTIONALCONFORMITY
    3. WILFUL BLINDNESS
    4. GROUPTHINK
    5. RISKAVERSION
    6. FEAR OF CAREER LIMITING MOVES (CLMs)
    7. REACTIONARY MIND-SETS
    8. DENIAL
    9. COGNITIVE OVERLOAD AND DISSONANCE
    http://thinkunthinkable.org/downloads/Thinking-The-Unthinkable-Report.pdf

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  September 23, 2016

      I think they must have left out the most important phrase:

      FEAR OF LOWER PROFIT LEVELS

      Reply
      • All of the above.

        To be honest, I have a high tolerance for tough information. But at this point, even I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. The best thing we can do at this time is to call for rapid action. And the key issue, the center of gravity to the whole problem, is how much fossil fuels we currently burn and how much we will burn in the future. Everything else is a side note. We’ve got to keep it in the ground. We’ve got to transition to a renewable society. And we’ve got to do it quickly. That’s the clear message we should be sending. That people need to hear. There is no time now for any delay. We need every policy in place to make the energy switch happen as soon as possible. Better yesterday. But today will have to do.

        Reply
        • Shawn Redmond

           /  September 23, 2016

          RS I’d say your impervious to it. Tough spot we’re in just the same. Seems we’ve been pushed off the cliff and can’t get the dam blindfold off for a look at the bottom!

        • Greg

           /  September 23, 2016

          Hang in there RS, we’ve got your back! Remember ignorance is the real killer, curiosity was only framed.

        • 😉 Much appreciated, Greg.

        • Ailsa

           /  September 23, 2016

          Hang on in there Robert. We need your skill and insight.

        • Greg

           /  September 23, 2016

          Breathe deep and stay on the accelerator

        • It’s scary. But it would be worse doing this thing alone.

        • Right, Robert.
          In parallel, we need to inventory, and point out, the many reasons we burn, or think we need to burn, so much FF.
          At least that is what I try to do.

          Glad to hear you and your family is doing OK during the extreme weather in your region.
          DT

  121. Shawn Redmond

     /  September 23, 2016

    Sorry OT but I think this speaks to our troubled times on many levels. “The Well-Oiled Machinery of Privatized War: And speaking of drones, as the New York Times reported on September 5th, the U.S. drone program does have one problem: a lack of pilots. It has ramped up quickly in these years and, in the process, the pressures on its pilots and other personnel have only grown, including post-traumatic stress over killing civilians thousands of miles away via computer screen. As a result, the Air Force has been losing those pilots fast. Fortunately, a solution is on the horizon. That service has begun filling its pilot gap by going the route of the rest of the military in these years — turning to private contractors for help. Such pilots and other personnel are, however, paid higher salaries and cost more money. The contractors, in turn, have been hiring the only available personnel around, the ones trained by… yep, you guessed it, the Air Force. The result may be an even greater drain on Air Force drone pilots eager for increased pay for grim work and… well, I think you can see just how the well-oiled machinery of privatized war is likely to work here and who’s going to pay for it.” http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176189/tomgram%3A_engelhardt%2C_war%2C_peace%2C_and_absurdity/#more

    Reply
  122. Greg

     /  September 23, 2016

    Have to share this so the world knows all the messaging we are getting in this campaign and what GREAT messaging looks like and after seeing what our other choices are this is who I will vote for and will pressure to be a climate Hawk before and after the election. This is the kind of political ad that we need in the climate campaign. Same music, our young in perhaps both the comfort of their homes and lives with home video and then in extreme climate induced loss (Louisiana anyone?), quotes from well known deniers that make anyone cringe and then segway to what we need to do about it as preparation for a challenging policy change such as a carbon tax and refund:

    Reply
  123. Kevin Jones

     /  September 23, 2016

    AGU votes yet again to accept Exxon bribery.

    Reply
  124. Reply
  125. Cate

     /  September 23, 2016

    Stay with us, RS. More than ever we need the clear messaging you insist on: keep it in the ground now, stop burning it yesterday, and warp speed ahead on the transformation of our economic and energy systems on renewable, sustainable, planet-friendly principles.

    On a lighter note: how to tell when you’re overwhelmed—when you read a story like this and immediately think “clathrate gun!!!” ….or maybe a permafrost blow-hole??

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/loud-bang-mystifies-labradorians-1.3773695

    Reply

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