La Nina Fizzles, Pacific Hot Blob Returns, Record Global Heat Likely to Remain

A change of three degrees [Celsius] is an “extraordinary deviation — something you would expect to happen once in a millennium.” — Richard Dewey, www.SkepticalScience.com, on ocean warming in the northeastern Pacific

*****

Four degrees Celsius. That’s the current deviation from the 1981 to 2010 average for sea-surface temperatures over a broad region of the northeastern Pacific, a deviation you typically wouldn’t see once in a thousand years.

During 2013 to 2015 a similar warm-up over this same region of water occurred. Such extreme heat at the ocean surface generated mass loss of sea life. Numerous species from plankton to krill to copepods to starfish and many more on up the food chain were impacted. This great ocean warming also sparked losses of ocean oxygen off Oregon and Washington, pushing waters there into low-oxygen and anoxic states. These states, though they do not support advanced ocean life, tend to support anaerobic microbes that produce various toxins (including hydrogen sulfide gas). At the same time, atmospheric circulation was also impacted, resulting in unprecedented drought conditions for California as a ridiculously resilient ridge of high pressure settled in.

noaa-sea-surface-temperatue-anomaly

(Region of the northeastern Pacific about the size of the state of Washington shows ridiculously hot sea-surface temperatures in the range of 4 C above average. Such once-in-a-thousand-years ocean-surface heat has now occurred for three out of the past five years. As end 2016 nears, this unprecedented blob of hot ocean-surface waters appears to be returning. Image source: NOAA ESRL.)

Such a terrible blow to ocean health combined with ever-more-extreme atmospheric conditions are the very hallmarks of a heating climate. As a result, the events associated with the 2013-2015 hot blob will likely, in future years, be seen as one of the warning shots across North America’s bow — an indication that climate change-related impacts were about to seriously worsen.

Hot Blob Re-Forms as La Nina Splutters

Now, after a one-year hiatus, the hot blob is back and northeastern Pacific sea-surface temperatures are again on the rise. A previously-predicted La Nina is abruptly spluttering out, apparently crushed by a periodic warming of the northeastern Pacific called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). This natural variability-related feature is combining with climate change-induced ocean warming to again push ocean surface temperatures into unprecedented ranges.

heat-fire-risk-california

(The northeastern Pacific hot blob is a climate change-related feature that contributes to record heat, drought and wildfire risk for California. Over the coming week, the re-formed hot blob appears ready to plunge the state into 90 to 1oo degree (F) conditions — which will intensify wildfire risk for the state. Image source: Pivotal Weather.)

With the PDO again firing up, the hot blob re-forming, and La Nina starting to splutter, we can expect global temperatures to remain closer to the record-hot levels achieved during 2015 and 2016. This is bad news in that 2017 through 2022 might see another record-hot year coordinate with El Nino, which would push even closer to 1.5 C and 2 C climate thresholds — a clear sign that the age of fossil fuel exploration and burning needs to end as swiftly as possible if livable climate conditions are to be maintained.

Nearer-term, if this heat in the northeastern Pacific remains in place, we can expect worsening hot and dry conditions for the U.S. west coast even as sea life in the affected region again falls under threat. With global temperatures now hitting a range of 1.2 C or more above 1880s averages, there is risk that this event could match or even exceed the related harmful impacts seen during the 2013 to 2015 timeframe.

high-amplitude-jet-stream-waves-rrr

(Unusual high-amplitude Jet Stream ridging over the U.S. west coast like that predicted for Sunday in the GFS model run is associated with both extreme sea-surface temperatures in the northeastern Pacific [the hot blob] and sea-ice loss in the Arctic, both caused by global warming due to fossil-fuel burning. Note the numerous additional powerful ridge and trough formations running downstream of this unusual Jet Stream feature. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

Climate Change Links Again Non-reported by Media

Despite an obvious relationship between global warming and extreme regional heating events like the hot blob, some prominent media sources continue to link the formation of the hot blob to natural variability without mention of climate change. To do so fails to tell the whole story. Without that 1.2 C warming of the Earth since the 1880s due to our rampant burning of fossil fuels, we would not be seeing so much heat piling up in the northeastern Pacific. As such, the PDO has been put into a kind of climate change hyperdrive. And that’s what’s creating conditions under which these big, dangerous ocean hot blobs continue to grow.

Links:

Skeptical Science

Ridiculously Resilient Ridge

NOAA ESRL

NOAA ENSO

Pivotal Weather

Earth Nullschool

The Weather Channel

Hat tip to DT Lange

Hat tip to Greg

Hat tip to Colorado Bob

Leave a comment

250 Comments

  1. Are you talking about the extreme ocean heat potentially driving another El Niño, back-to-back?

    Reply
    • If it is the ramp-up phase of the PDO… yet to be determined… multiple back-to-back El Niño events are possible; as in, have happened in the past: 1976 to 1983, four El Niño events back to back.

      Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  September 25, 2016

        I assume the ENSO pattern has been extant throughout the Holocene, but was there anything similar during previous glaciations and inter-glacials? And, with the climate already so obviously destabilised by the greenhouse gases forcing of the last 200 years, is it not possible that the ‘classic’ ENSO no longer exists?

        Reply
  2. Cate

     /  September 23, 2016

    Fall forecast and winter preview for Canada from The Weather Network.

    “Great Lakes running much warmer than normal.”
    “Ocean water temps off both coasts running considerably warmer than normal.”
    “Warmer than normal temps for much of the season…..”

    “We expect that the jet stream pattern during the second half of winter will resemble (without duplicating) what we saw during the winters of 2013-14 and 2014-15. This would bring frequent and persistent outbreaks to Arctic air to regions east of the Rockies.”

    https://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/canada-fall-forecast-winter-preview-2016/72000/

    Reply
  3. coloradobob

     /  September 23, 2016

    12 Extreme Weather Events of the Summer of 2016

    The summer of 2016 has lurched from one extreme weather disaster to another at great cost in lives and damages. Here are just some of the worst and weirdest, according to insurance statistics and meteorologists:

    Flooding in China’s Yangtze Basin from May through August killed at least 475 people and caused $28 billion in losses.
    A drought in India that started earlier in the year and stretched through June caused about $5 billion in damage.
    Flooding in West Virginia and the mid-Atlantic in June killed 23 people and damaged more than 5,500 buildings.
    Typhoon Nepartak hit the Phillipines, Taiwan and China in July, killing 111 people and causing at least $1.5 billion in damage.
    Flooding in northeast China in July killed 289 people and caused about $5 billion in damage.
    Temperatures reached 129 degrees (54 degrees Celsius) in Kuwait and Iraq in July.
    Flooding in Louisiana in August killed 13 people and caused around $15 billion in damage.
    Flooding in Sudan and South Sudan in July and August killed 129 people and damaged more than 41,000 buildings.
    A long heat wave coupled with high humidity afflicted the U.S. South and East. Savannah, Georgia, had 69 straight days when the temperature hit 90 or higher.
    Typhoon Lionrock hit Japan, China and Korea in August and killed 77 people while damaging more than 20,000 buildings.
    Spain set a record for the hottest September temperature recorded in Europe, with marks of 114 and 115 degrees.
    Localities in the United States broke nearly 15,000 daily records for hot nighttime minimum temperatures from May into September.

    http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2016/09/23/427368.htm

    Reply
  4. coloradobob

     /  September 23, 2016

    Greenland Is Losing More Ice Than Scientists Thought

    Willis and his colleagues turned to GPS sensors set up across Greenland. Comparing them to satellite data, they found that the Greenland ice sheet was losing mass 8 percent faster than previous estimates.

    The areas losing mass the fastest are spots where the ice sheet has a direct connection to the ocean. Rising ocean waters and air temperatures are essentially putting ice in a vise grip of warming and speeding up melt. Geology is also compounding the rapid loss of ice in those regions.

    “The ice sheet in these basins is also steeper than the average for the ice sheet, therefore the ice flows, on average, faster there, too,” Willis said. “Simply put, the shape of the ice sheet and the contact with the ocean makes it likely that these areas respond more pronouncedly to changes in climate boundary conditions — be they atmospheric, oceanic or glaciological.”

    http://www.livescience.com/56246-greenland-losing-more-ice-than-thought.html

    Reply
  5. Griffin

     /  September 23, 2016

    “Hopes that large amounts of planet-warming carbon dioxide could be buried in soils appear to be grossly misplaced, with new research finding that the ground will soak up far less carbon over the coming century than previously thought.

    Radiocarbon dating of soils, when combined with previous models of carbon uptake, has shown the widely assumed potential for carbon sequestration to combat climate change has been overestimated by as much as 40%.

    Scientists from the University of California, Irvine (UCI) found that models used by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assume a much faster cycling of carbon through soils than is actually the case. Data taken from 157 soil samples taken from around the world show the average age of soil carbon is more than six times older than previously thought.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/22/soil-carbon-storage-not-the-climate-change-fix-it-was-thought-research-finds

    Reply
  6. WebHubTelescope

     /  September 23, 2016

    Interesting that ENSO is much more deterministic (in other words potentially predictable) than is commonly believed. The following just-published paper demonstrates that there has been only one disturbance in ENSO since 1900, otherwise the behavior of each event can be extracted based on previous behavior.

    “Long-term potential nonlinear predictability of El Niño–La Niña events”, Astudillo, H.F., Abarca-del-Río, R. & Borotto, F.A. Climate Dynamics (2016). link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00382-016-3330-1

    The disturbance happened in 1982-1983, which I have been able to duplicate in my own model for ENSO. This is some deep signal processing that goes into this analysis and is definitely not for the faint-of-heart. Astudillo et al are very astute and have lots of experience with geophysics. I got a hold of an early pre-print and hoped that it would pass peer-review, which it did.

    The North Pacific blob is not tightly associated with ENSO as it is not part of the equatorial dipole but there may be some influence.

    Reply
  7. coloradobob

     /  September 24, 2016

    Study shows Indian Ocean sea level on the rise

    “What we are learning is that the interaction between the ocean and atmosphere causes sea level to rise like a staircase instead of a straight line – starting and stopping for many years at a time. What we’ve done here is described one stair, which will help us better understand and plan for the future,” said Thompson.

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-09-indian-ocean-sea.html#jCp

    Reply
  8. coloradobob

     /  September 24, 2016

    Yet another typhoon threat for Taiwan
    Tropical Storm Megi is gaining strength in the Northwest Pacific and will be approaching Taiwan as an intensifying typhoon by early next week. The island has already dealt with the close approaches of Super Typhoon Meranti to its southwest (which killed two residents and left nearly a million without power) and Typhoon Malakas to its northeast, and it’s quite possible that Megi will strike the island head on. As of 15Z Friday (11:00 am EDT), Megi was located about 1100 miles east-southeast of Taipei, Taiwan, moving west-northwest at about 16 mph. Top sustained winds were just 40 mph, but Megi has the potential to become a powerful typhoon. Sea surface temperatures of around 29-30°C (84-86°F) along Megi’s near-term path are at near-record highs–“exceptionally warm,” according to JTWC’s Friday morning update. Wind shear will be very light over the next several days, below 10 knots, and the atmosphere will be fairly moist, with relative humidity of around 70-75% at middle levels of the atmosphere.

    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/karl-approaches-bermuda-trouble-in-the-caribbean-next-week

    Reply
  9. coloradobob

     /  September 24, 2016

    Tribes in Canada and U.S. join forces against tar sands pipeline development
    Treaty signals a coordinated opposition to crude oil transport.

    Dozens of native tribes from Canada and the United States have joined forces against Alberta’s tar sands crude oil transport with the signing of a treaty Thursday.
    Calling for a clean and sustainable economy, tribes said any further pipeline or rail development for Canadian tar sands puts indigenous territories and waterways at serious risk to toxic spills. In the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion, tribes also said development “will unquestionably fuel catastrophic climate change.”

    https://thinkprogress.org/tribes-join-forces-against-tar-sands-15955ea90f72#.f2ngznjph

    Reply
  10. climatehawk1

     /  September 24, 2016

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  11. Jay M

     /  September 24, 2016

    another wave in PNW this week

    Reply
  12. coloradobob

     /  September 24, 2016

    We keep you to serve this ship so row well and live.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  September 24, 2016

      Ben Hur

      Reply
      • Anyone, what ” high amplitude jet stream” mean? Does it mean height in the atmosphere?
        I have been learning about all the levels of atmosphere the past few months here–troposphere, stratosphere, etc.
        Thanks to Robert for the info here and everyone else for comments.
        anyone else notice the longer between Robert’s posts, the bigger the mesaage he puts in the next post?

        Bsat to all

        Reply
        • I believe it means it has big north/south variability, big loops. This happens more because the jet has slown down due to Arctic heat increase.

    • wharf rat

       /  September 24, 2016

      Reply
    • George W. Hayduke

       /  September 24, 2016

      I like this, it reminded me of an Abbey quote I’ve been reading more often lately;

      One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am – a reluctant enthusiast….a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.

      I find myself getting a bit down with all these rapidfire changes to the planet. But We need to keep these points in mind; keep fighting and make sure to take time to enjoy wild places (while they are still here, as well as us!)

      Reply
  13. – ‘oh my God what is going on with the wildlife?’
    – A big “Ditto” here from me.

    – Via climatehawk1:

    Terns follow record warm temperatures in ‘shock’ migration to north of Alaska

    Researchers on north-west coast of Alaska startled to discover Caspian terns 1,000 miles farther north than species had been previously recorded

    Eyebrows would be raised if American crocodiles, found on the southern tip of Florida, decided to relocate to New York’s Fifth Avenue or Moroccan camels suddenly joined the tourist throng outside Buckingham Palace in London. Yet this is the scale of species shift that appears to be under way in Alaska.

    In July, researchers in Cape Krusenstern national monument on the north-west coast of Alaska were startled to discover a nest containing Caspian terns on the gravelly beach of a lagoon. The birds were an incredible 1,000 miles further north than the species had been previously recorded.

    “There was plenty of shock, it is a very unusual situation,” said Dr Martin Robards, Arctic program director at the Wildlife Conservation Society, which found the nest. “We checked with Caspian tern experts and they were all very surprised they were this far north. We get Arctic terns here but these terns are much bigger, they really stand out.”

    The terns, usually found in Washington state, successfully bred and chicks have now flown the nest.
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/23/terns-migration-alaska?CMP=share_btn_tw

    Reply
    • – The reason to “ditto”:


      “I’ve been up here 25 years and the amount of change that has occurred in Alaska is shocking,” said Robards. “We’ve been focusing on things such as the temperature and sea ice here but now we are thinking ‘oh my God what is going on with the wildlife?’”

      Alaska is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the US, with the winter temperature 6F (3.3C) warmer than it was 60 years ago. Snow and ice has retreated, spring is coming earlier. The landscape is changing and so are its residents.

      “To be 1,000 miles further north attests to how much the globe has warmed,” said Terry Root, a biologist and senior fellow at Stanford University. “Birds follow their physiology, nothing else…

      Reply
  14. Mankind may just be irrational enough to let this go until it is way too late. I see nothing that encourages me.

    Reply
  15. coloradobob

     /  September 24, 2016

    We’ve seen this over and over –

    Record rainfall in some areas of central, southern Minnesota this week

    Many observers reported from 1 to 2 inches, and several places reported new record daily amounts of up to 7 to 8 inches. Dew points spiked in the low 70s at a number of locations just ahead of the storm indicating a high water vapor content.

    https://www.mprnews.org/story/2016/09/23/seeley_9_23

    Reply
  16. If the warm blob is a gyre, maybe it’s also full of radioactive garbage?

    Reply
  17. coloradobob

     /  September 24, 2016

    I wish there was a graph of water logged cars, there must be hundreds of thousands.

    Reply
    • Time to invest in wheeled submarine manufacture.

      Reply
      • Andy_in_SD

         /  September 24, 2016

        and time to avoid used car lots in other states (that’s how they resell flood cars, truck em to unsuspecting states and auction them to used car lots).

        Reply
  18. *to Miep, thank you for answer.

    Reply
    • There are a lot of commenters here much more technically sophisticated than myself, but I believe that’s the general idea.

      The slowing of the jet also gets weather systems stuck, which increases the likelihood of flooding and dangerous heat waves. So the slowing combined with the big north/south meanders makes for some really extreme and unusual weather.

      Reply
  19. coloradobob

     /  September 24, 2016

    As dark as I get . I never abandon the courage we have to change our ways.

    Reply
    • Steven Blaisdell

       /  September 25, 2016

      It’s going to be critical to carry forward the knowledge, skills, mindset, worldview, and technology that can allow the emergence of a much more cooperative and sustainable global system. Humans will have to create social and moral frameworks that disallow unsustainable behaviors; hunter gatherer and pre-agricultural societies hold the keys here. Many or most of the unquestioned core beliefs, or more accurately schemas, that determine what we think of as “right” in human activity as we now know it will by necessity be seen in the future as “wrong.” For one, there will be no individual or tribal accumulation of material wealth, not anything like we now know it; because humans will have seared into their collective consciousness the consequences of biosphere destruction, implicit and explicit cultural mores will emerge that unequivocally restrict ecologically exploitive behaviors. The proscriptive power of these mores will be on the scale of the Ten Commandments in our time. I think that as important as knowledge, skills, and technology are and will be in maintaining our species as one part of a sustainable global ecology, it will be the internal working models, the schemas, of acceptable behavior that will ultimately determine the success or failure of this project. Having an idea of what these schemas will look like will be necessary in order to avoid worst outcomes – most humans are not terribly far up Maslow’s pyramid or past Kohlbreg’s fourth stage of moral development (even deeply entitled First Worlders), and will by necessity require explicit structuring of behavior. At this point, I think it’s necessary to think five to ten generations down the road – we know what’s coming, we know (generally) what the outcome’s going to be, we know with some certainty what future generations will be facing. For myself, the piece I haven’t seen addressed in substance (although there are probably ecological theorists and philosophers already on it) is an easily and viscerally understood moral and ethical framework that will delimit human resource consumption in a necessarily very different world.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  September 25, 2016

        I suspect that the moral and ethical framework that will delimit human resource consumption in the world of the future will look pretty much like is it today—human nature being what it is. IF we fail to act, the survivors of the farther future will have little time to sit around pondering where they are on Maslow’s hierarchy. They’ll be too busy scratching a subsistence from a very badly damaged and depleted planet.

        Reply
  20. Reply
  21. – Santa Barbara, CA — The winds come up — the ash blows.
    John Palminteri ‏@KEYTNC3JohnP 4h4 hours ago

    NOT A SANTA BARBARA FIRE-ash from the recent Rey fire is blowing over San Marcos Pass – Sundowner winds #cawx.

    Reply
    • – Context, perspective and composition in photography:

      CBS Los Angeles Verified account ‏@CBSLA Sep 22

      Fire crews have stopped the advance of a wildfire threatening Vandenberg Air Force Base

      Reply
    • Witchee

       /  September 24, 2016

      I remember waking up with ash on the car when I lived in Ventura.

      Reply
  22. Reply
  23. – Not an outright endorsement of HRC but BEWARE of everything Trump.

    Reply
  24. Reply
  25. Bob Henson Retweeted

    Kevin Scharfenberg ‏@wxkev 5h5 hours ago

    #Miami #lightning #storm #nofilter

    Reply
  26. India – Hyderabad/Telangana – Dinner time:

    Reply
  27. redskylite

     /  September 24, 2016

    Many thanks R.S for the early warning (on the return of the warm blob anomaly) and giving this topic the gravity it merits, once again I read it first on this excellent post. Also when the careful Russians start petitioning to Putin and the Kremlin you can be sure something is seriously wrong.

    People in Bratsk petition Kremlin over pollution from forest fires. . .

    So far more than 3,000 residents have signed a petition to President Vladimir Putin and Emergencies’ Minister Vladimir Puchkov on website Change.org under the headline ‘City of Bratsk is choking from smoke!’

    ‘For one month we are suffocating from the smoke,’ the petition reads. ‘The weather is hot, and there is a strong smell of burning and smoke. It is not possible to open windows, we cannot go out because we soon feel dizziness…

    ‘Some adults and children are in hospital with severe carbon monoxide poisoning. We are for clean air! We want to breathe. We have that right. Do not remain indifferent to our health and our future!’

    http://siberiantimes.com/ecology/others/news/n0745-people-in-bratsk-petition-kremlin-over-pollution-from-forest-fires/

    Reply
    • John McCormick

       /  September 24, 2016

      redskylite, many thanks for this information that can only be found here.

      Please keep us informed as — or if — anything develops.

      Reply
    • Reminder: there is not much one can do without access to fresh and clean air.
      Not much at all — which is why I have focused on ‘air pollution’ as a major threat.
      And, keep in mind that our air (atmosphere) was the first thing (survival system) to suffer when we decided to burn FF as freely as we have.

      Reply
  28. Cate

     /  September 24, 2016

    Dr Hansen at the UN—published today on YouTube. He talks about carbon tax, fracking, nuclear energy and carbon capture, climate justice for poorer countries, and the power and responsibility of young people to meet this challenge.

    We are almost out of time and need “dramatic” policy changes now to forestall what he sees as the greatest and most imminent threats: runaway Antarctic collapse and catastrophic rises in sea level.

    Note his repeated emphasis on “young people” taking action. Chomsky says the same thing.

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  September 24, 2016

      And this is Chomsky from earlier this year. He has a few choice words for Canada’s response to climate change, and deservedly so.

      Reply
      • Beautiful comments here by Chomsky.

        I also wholeheartedly agree with much of what Hansen says here. The big point is the carbon tax, which is absolutely necessary.

        We should be clear, though, that we have never achieved the kind of positive learning curve he suggests is possible with nuclear. To achieve such economies of scale would require common design and much more efficient ways of handling radioactive, weaponizable materials. These constraints have historically placed unique and difficult to overcome economic barriers on achieving economies of scale and related reduced costs for nuclear power sources.

        Renewables, on the other hand, are achieving such economies of scale right now and are cheaper than new natural gas sources and some coal for power generation — which has greatly contributed to their rapidly increasing pace of adoption despite stiff resistance from fossil fuel energy interests.

        Reply
    • the guy’s a genius. I loved his early muppet work

      Reply
  29. Genomik

     /  September 24, 2016

    Conspiracy theorists on the left and the right are the enemy of rational progress.

    New research claims psychological traits could help explain why climate science deniers often make contradictory arguments. According to the authors, their examples of “incoherence” only hold together in the minds of the deniers if you apply types of glue known as conspiracy thinking and “identity-protective cognition.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2016/sep/23/how-climate-science-deniers-can-accept-so-many-impossible-things-all-at-once?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Google

    Reply
    • Both seem to arise as the result of cognitive dissonance due to belief in what simply amounts to myths. Comfortable, self-affirming myths — which makes them very difficult to deconstruct.

      Reply
  30. Minor quibble… the 2016 La Niña cannot fizzle as there hasn’t been a 2016 La Niña; its possibility is fizzling, but it is not quite roadkill-level fizzle.

    Reply
  31. Genomik

     /  September 24, 2016

    Getting cheaper faster!

    Preliminary results show that nearly five terawatt-hours, more than half of the volume, was awarded to solar projects. The median price for the combination of electricity and CEL in the auction is around US$ 33.47 per megawatt-hour.

    http://m.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/renewables-come-in-at-3347-mwh-in-mexicos-second-auction_100026238/#ixzz4L5drFzuU

    Reply
  32. Genomik

     /  September 24, 2016

    How big of a solar farm would you need to power the entire world with renewable energy? That’s a question addressed recently on Quora, the website that specializes in providing in depth, well researched answers to important questions. Actually, the original question was quite different. The discussion started this way. “Could the world feasibly switch to all-nuclear power generation? If so, would that be a good counter to global warming?” For an answer, Quora turned to Mehran Moalem, PhD, a professor at UC Berkeley and expert on nuclear materials and the nuclear fuel cycle
    ……
    Moalem puts the price of such a system at $5 trillion dollars. Wow! That’s a lot of money, right? Actually, no it’s not, the professors says. Its less than the US spent to bail out banks 8 years ago. It’s about 10% of world GDP. The cost of building a nuclear power plant with a similar capacity would be more than 10 times as much.

    He points out that this is a one time cost. Once such a facility gets built, the energy it produces is free. There are no ongoing costs for fuel, no generators to spin, to boilers to make steam. Moalen thinks that’s a pretty cheap price for something that could replace every other power source on earth, especially those that spew deadly pollution into the air.

    http://solarlove.org/sahara-desert-power-world-solar-energy/

    Reply
    • I believe in climate change and the emergency need to move away from fossil fuels as fast as possible, but this kind of “eco-optimism” does not help. What’s the cost of converting the global energy system to be able to use the power (many multiples of the cost of the pv installation), the cost of the battery storage to overcome the intermittency, the cost of maintenance (yes, there is maintenance), etc. etc. We need to accept that we have to use radically less power, as well as that power being from clean sources. Otherwise, we just pander to the BAU crowd.

      Reply
      • There is some cause for cautious optimism in that the economics for renewables continue to improve. However, there is, in my view, an added necessity for consumption based policies like a carbon tax to fully get us off the BAU track. Add to that the need to remove FF subsidies and you get a decent understanding of the kinds of approaches that’ll be necessary for a rapid response to climate change.

        Reply
      • When you compare the per capita annual energy consumption of say U.S. citizens vs other live beings in other nations… yeah, there is an absolutely clear need for the leading consumption nations to focus HEAVILY on reducing consumption.

        Reply
  33. Hansen et al…

    Young People’s Burden: Requirement of Negative CO2 Emissions

    The rapid rise of global temperature that began about 1975 continues at a mean rate of about 0.18 degC/decade, with the current annual temperature exceeding 1.25 degC relative to 1880-1920. Global temperature has just reached a level similar to the mean level in the prior interglacial (Eemian) period, when sea level was several meters higher than today, and if it long remains at this level, slow amplifying feedbacks will lead to greater climate change and consequences. The growth rate of climate forcing due to human-caused greenhouse gases (GHGs) increased over 20% in the past decade mainly due to resurging growth of CH4, thus making it increasingly difficult to achieve targets such as limiting global warming to 1.5 degC or reducing atmospheric CO2 below 350 ppm. Such targets now require “negative emissions”, i.e., extraction of CO2 from the atmosphere. If rapid phasedown of fossil fuel emissions begins soon, most of the necessary CO2 extraction can take place via improved agricultural and forestry practices, including reforestation and steps to improve soil fertility and increase its carbon content. In this case, the magnitude and duration of global temperature excursion above the natural range of the current interglacial (Holocene) could be limited and irreversible climate impacts could be minimized. In contrast, continued high fossil fuel emissions by the current generation would place a burden on young people to undertake massive technological CO2 extraction, if they are to limit climate change. Proposed methods of extraction such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) or air capture of CO2 imply minimal estimated costs of 104-570 trillion dollars this century, with large risks and uncertain feasibility. Continued high fossil fuel emissions unarguably sentences young people to either a massive, possibly implausible cleanup or growing deleterious climate impacts or both.

    http://arxiv.org/abs/1609.05878

    Reply
    • Hansen’s proposals for enhanced weathering may end up as the most doable geo-engineering approach. It’s simple, but huge in scale – crush huge amounts of rocks of the types that capture CO2 when exposed to water and spread the resulting dust around the most appropriate areas. A major side benefit is that the alkali run-off will combat ocean acidification and may also promote the growth of CO2 capturing life in the oceans. Less risky than sulphate aerosols and doesn’t need the unproven technological carbon capture assumptions and land use of BECCS.

      If we can also rapidly cut carbon emissions, then we may just have a chance of dodging accelerating climate change.

      https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151214130625.htm

      Reply
      • labmonkey2

         /  September 24, 2016

        Not to sound facetious, but breaking [that many] rocks sound a tad bit much. And then there’s this:

        Reply
  34. Cate

     /  September 24, 2016

    Hypothetical and probably stupid question arising from the notion of the total reliance of our modern civilisation on synthetic materials made from fossil fuels:

    Since major components of both vehicle tires and road asphalt are sourced from hydrocarbons, what will tires and many roads be made of if fossil fuel extraction ever does go to zero?

    Reply
    • So there are various replacement materials. In any case, if you stop fossil fuel burning for energy use, the rate of extraction falls by more than 90 percent.

      Reply
  35. Reply
  36. Reply
  37. USA CA — The ‘coastal plain’.

    Temps will rise to near 100°F along the coastal plain in #CAwx tomorrow w/ humidity <15% & gusty winds…

    Reply
  38. Reply
    • NWSWGRFC Verified account ‏@NWSWGRFC 4h4 hours ago

      Locally heavy rainfall is expected late Sun through Mon for W TX.

      Reply
  39. Big sigh. These mountains were officially shifted from a cold Zone 4 to a warmer Zone 5 climate a few years ago. We just don’t get the normal -30’F weeks any longer.

    With the Hot Blob’s return another winter of zero snow is coming to the West Coast. I thought this would happen after the El Nino broke down. Hate being correct. Wait until the ‘Polar Vortex’ gets going again this winter.

    The 2014/15 season the local ski hill 49’N opened with 5″ of snow 22 Dec and closed 18 Feb with zero snowpack; and in between those dates it rained, froze, iced, rained some more and hardly snowed at all on top of the hill. Can you imagine going to a ski resort and there being 5″ of snow? Insanely dangerous. The year my season pass only hung on my boarding pants.

    There was almost no snow here at the house at 2,000 foot elevation that year. Not that it snows much around here anymore anyway. Actually, there was almost no snow below 4,000 feet on any of the mountains. It was barren, spooky, and the animals were acting very strange. First robins showed up in early Feb, swallows shortly afterward, hummingbirds came too early for flowers to be out. The birds all died since there weren’t any bugs to eat. I did get the feeders out for the hummingbirds at least. This is a nesting zone, 72 species of birds right here every year counted by my biologist neighbor. I’m sure many of the birds that died were ones that I watched grow from eggs…

    I have a hard time with Dr. Hansen and his nuclear push, though. Isn’t anybody paying attention to the lies surrounding Fukushima about radiation and the need for a massive ‘exclusion zone’ just like around Chernobyl? Greenpeace is measuring and it’s really, really bad. There are enormous costs and dangers, and if nuclear power is so safe then the federal government should not be ‘insuring’ the plants since private insurance would be jumping to sign them up. Which obviously they aren’t doing. Notice nobody that owns them lives by them?

    Article cuts below popped up today. Why is it that every couple of months another ‘we’ve only got x amount of years to change’ comes out? To be honest, I got the feeling years ago that we were already far beyond the ‘critical threshold’ and everything I’ve read since continues to contribute to that thought including what is posted on this site.

    Some good news for a change; my solar is in the process of being re-wired…for free!! I’m building a new battery box outside against the solar room wall that holds the Outback inverter that the electrician wants done to get them out of the building. Got the concrete pad down the other day for the 16 deep cycles. One step at a time.

    Do something fun every day, people.

    Earth Could Reach Critical Climate Threshold in Decade, Scientists Warn

    Meanwhile, new research discovers soil may not be trapping carbon as fast as we hoped

    http://commondreams.org/news/2016/09/23/earth-could-reach-critical-climate-threshold-decade-scientists-warn

    The planet could pass the critical 1.5°C global temperature threshold in a decade—and is already two-thirds of the way to hit that warming limit, climate scientists warned on Thursday.

    Speaking at a University of Oxford conference this week, led by leading U.K. climate researcher Richard Betts, scientists said global greenhouse gas emissions are not likely to slow down quickly enough to avoid passing the 1.5°C target.

    …The warning came the same day that Oil Change International released a report that found we have 17 years left to get off fossil fuels, or else face unprecedented and irreversible climate catastrophe.

    Yet more bad news also emerged Thursday as a new study published in the journal Science found that the Earth is soaking up carbon at a far slower rate than previously estimated—which could mean a massive setback for environmental efforts.

    …As Jim Hall, director of the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford, put it at the conference, “We need to get ready to deal with surprise.”

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  September 24, 2016

      Reading whatever I can get my hands on about that Oxford conference, I found Jim Hall’s comment utterly blood-chilling—-“We need to get ready to deal with surprise.” Climate surprises are not going to be good news.

      Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  September 25, 2016

        Cate, I think the trouble is that the global climate has been stable during the Holocene, allowing our ‘civilization’ to grow to its current hypertrophied state. But the climate is also potentially prone to chaotic changes, and these can be caused by even small changes in initial conditions, the notorious ‘butterfly effect’. And the forcing of rapidly increased global greenhouse gas concentrations (plus sundry other feed-backs like the loss of Arctic summer sea ice coverage)is no minor perturbation, so we can expect truly chaotic changes, starting now. We really have no idea what will happen, but it is almost certain to be difficult, if not impossible, to ‘adapt’ to.

        Reply
        • exactly right, MM. We have pumped an amazing amount of CO2 into the atmosphere in a shockingly small period of time. The earth is a big system and it takes a little time for that system to respond to that change in the atmosphere, but it is happening. We are in uncharted territory in terms of how the environment will change now, but the signs are pretty ominous. I like the idea of living locally and creating local resilience because it incorporates changes in life style that reduce our footprint and create some permaculture-style agricultural systems that might buffer some impacts slightly. I think our species’ ability to respond appropriately and reverse the damage we have done is negligible, but we can try, I think political leaders with large security details and the ability to launch military strikes are extremely poorly situated to comprehend and respond appropriately to our situation. These folks are surrounded by advisors who think the big threat we face is exercise of geopolitical power by similarly situated political leaders at other points on the planet. How foolish when the big threat is the accumulation of ghg in the atmosphere. Everything is secondary to that.

          Daily CO2

          September 24, 2016: 400.52 ppm
          September 24, 2015: 397.37 ppm

          3.15 ppm increase over same date, last year.

          That is the ballgame friends. That number is going the wrong direction and picking up speed.

          Warm regards,

          Mike

    • Thanks, Seal.
      I hear your heartfelt sigh.
      Thanks for caring about the birds, etc, and feeding the hummers.
      I have seen much of the same sort of nature being out of cycle — and have been worried for some time now.
      Dahr Jamail wrote with some of the same pain while describing his familiar places in Alaska.

      As far as, “We need to get ready to deal with surprise.” — I’ve seen too many already.
      The only thing that surprises me is our society’s (and culture) ability to selfishly ignore them.

      Keep sighing… keep fighting and talking about it.

      Reply
      • I am seeing a lot of mourning doves in South Puget Sound this year. I don’t recall seeing that many of these lovely birds here in the past 30 plus years. are things changing?

        Reply
    • 44 south

       /  September 25, 2016

      You’ve got to be fucking kidding me!
      16 deep cycle batteries on a concrete pad, and you are telling us your “alternative” and fighting the good fight!
      Sweet Jesus you energy sucking yanks all need shooting.
      Or did you weave those puppies out of spider webs and hemp?
      The alternatives to oil based are BS when extrapolated out for 7+ billion, even in the short term. AND EVERYTHING wears out.
      Get ready for mass extinction.

      Reply
      • Tom

         /  September 25, 2016

        How is it that I said the very same thing (in effect) and got banned from this site. Is Robert finally conceding that humanity is killing itself?

        Reply
      • Shawn Redmond

         /  September 25, 2016

        Easy there 44S I think everyone here sees the dire situation we’re in. The only point of contention is the time line for things to go wrong. We didn’t get from Watts steam engine to here over night. The journey back may well be quick and brutal. However it may be slow enough that some will have a shot at getting us ( human race) through. Having at least some people setting up shop that will run with little or no grid may help through the transition if one is even possible.

        Reply
      • This ugly and vulgar talk is of no use here. Such talk is undignified, and is distracting.
        Keep it to your self, please.

        Reply
  40. “The Blob” is smaller now, with some strange temps in the Epipelagic and deeper zones (Epipelagic Magic).

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  September 24, 2016

      I know. I can’t help myself

      Reply
      • FYI, Greg.
        This is a re-appearance of the ‘blob’ — which in the past (and along with a ‘Godzilla’ El Nino) got lots, and lots, of play and exaggeration.

        Reply
  41. U.S. Energy Secretary predicts #climate law within decade http://phys.org/news/2016-09-climate-law-decade.html

    Reply
  42. Disastrous for India to break Indus Waters Treaty over Uri attack

    It is true that scarcity of water is fast deteriorating the Indus basin. Any prospect of the best possible use of the waters – the only long-term answer to the basin’s growing thirst – has not materialised under the 1960 treaty.

    Thus, it is necessary to work for a new Indus treaty that can address fast-evolving water-sharing challenges in the basin. The new treaty might also open up possibilities for Afghanistan and China, the two other riparian countries of the Indus waters that would be part of the new arrangement.

    While it is necessary to work for its revision to pave the way for greater cooperation, it will be imprudent on India’s part to unilaterally decide to disregard the1960 Indus Waters Treaty. In many ways, this will be an act of desperation in finding ways for retribution against Pakistan

    http://www.dailyo.in/politics/indus-waters-treaty-pakistan-world-bank-uri-attack/story/1/13068.html

    Reply
  43. Reply
  44. Jay M

     /  September 25, 2016

    austere line of disturbance over mid America

    Reply
  45. Shawn Redmond

     /  September 25, 2016

    The CBC starts to open its eyes, maybe.

    An island crumbling into the ocean. A city that could go up in flames. A traditional lifestyle at risk.

    Climate change is already having an impact in cities and towns across Canada. In this series, Day 6 zooms in on five communities that are already feeling the consequences as the planet heats up.

    We chose communities in vastly different parts of the country — a mix of large urban centres, mid-size cities and remote villages.

    For the people who call these places home, climate change isn’t just a vague threat; it’s a daily reality.
    http://www.cbc.ca/radio/day6/five-canadian-communities-threatened-by-climate-change-now-1.3776341

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  September 25, 2016

      Shawn, great article. Horrendous comments. Canadians are worried about one thing only: carbon tax. They do NOT want to pay more to drive, to heat their homes, and to fly to some beach resort for their holidays.

      As one commenter Mary Nokleby observes:

      “Have to say I’m appalled by the majority of the comments i’ve read on this article…..can’t believe so many of my fellow Canadians have become money grubbers to the extent that they believe any proposals to combat climate change are…just after their money.
      How miserable life must be, if money worship and a generalized paranoia is all that’s left. 98% of our planets scientists tell us climate change is a reality, and that left unchecked it will likely mean the end of much life on earth by 2100…and the bulk of the responses are sneering, denying, or worrying about tax grabs?? “

      Reply
      • Griffin

         /  September 25, 2016

        Hi Cate. It is my own humble opinion that before becoming despondent regarding the perceived attitude of the general Canadian public as derived from the comments section of a climate article, it is good to remember that there is an army out there that is fighting us. The army sits and waits daily for each new article to hit the net. When it does, the army strikes swiftly and blasts the comments section with vitriol and doubt.
        The really terrible thing is, the frickin tactic works. But they don’t (hopefully) really represent the general attitude of the public.
        “Did you ever wonder why so many websites and comment threads are crawling with right wing climate denying trolls? There’s a reason. They are an organized movement, promoting ignorance, and hatred for curiosity, knowledge, and expertise.”
        https://climatecrocks.com/2011/01/28/climate-denying-trolls-trained-to-disrupt-internet/

        Reply
        • Add apathy…

          Griff is 100 percent right on this point. But it doesn’t make it any easier to look at the nonsense. Think of it as a kind of psychic bullying and you get the gist of what’s happening. The fact that it’s mascaraing as an ‘advertising campaign’ makes it even more ridiculous and obnoxious.

          The Exxon Knew campaign is really just the tip of the ice berg…

      • Shawn Redmond

         /  September 25, 2016

        Cate you just have to stay off the comment threads on most sites. They are just to depressing. I look at the first few and if they aren’t constructive or informative I move on. Let the deniers polish each others egos. Getting angry over their bullying tactics will only give you a stroke. Time is better spent playing in the garden or having a nap.

        Reply
        • Cate

           /  September 25, 2016

          Shawn and Griff, haha, yes, agree absolutely, and to clarify, I long ago stopped taking comments seriously on news sites as most of it is troll-nonsense—especially at the CBC, for some reason. Public broadcasters are particular targets for the right-wing haters, I suppose.

          But I commented about the comments on that article mainly because those comments echo what I’m hearing people in my area actually say—carbon tax is going to be a hard sell. Canadians are married to their huge carbon footprint and are not going to take kindly to either reducing it or paying more for it. So in this case, I felt that the comments pretty much reflect the opinions of a large sector of the population of this country—maybe not the largest sector, granted. But the unpopularity of this measure has our political leaders completely spooked.

        • How about the Socratic approach? Maybe ask some of them what they think we should do about it? I personally don’t mind paying taxes, but I know lots and lots of people do. I guess they think the government money fairy takes care of health care, roads, and so on.

      • Mary Nokleby’s Facebook bio says she is an NDP rep from Calgary West.

        Reply
        • Cate

           /  September 25, 2016

          Climatehawk, excellent, so she is part of Rachel Notley’s NDP govt. Here is their carbon pricing plan for the province of Alberta.

          http://www.alberta.ca/climate-carbon-pricing.aspx

        • Yes. thanks. I “liked” her FB page, maybe you should too (probably counts more coming from a Canadian)?

        • Cate

           /  September 25, 2016

          Thinking about Dr Hansen’s remarks on carbon pricing, how it can only work as intended—to reduce emissions— if it is rebated to all consumers and not withheld by govts.

          Well, call me math-challenged, but it looks to me as if the Alberta plan withholds most of the carbon tax for various (laudatory) govt purposes, rebating only a fraction to some consumers. Will a few bucks be enough to encourage folks to use less FF?

          The extensive list of exemptions from the Alberta plan is food for thought as well. And of course, Big Oil in Alberta enjoys huge subsidies from the Canadian taxpayer.

          Bit of a mug’s game going on here?

  46. Oale

     /  September 25, 2016

    entering a side note on the hot blob of North Pacific (‘local start of Anthropocene weather?’) and a side note on the cold blob of North Atlantic (‘start of the transition to Anthropocene?’)

    Reply
  47. coloradobob

     /  September 25, 2016

    ‘We are thirsty’, say Tunisians as drought creates tensions

    TUNIS: Struggling with extremism and economic woes, Tunisia now faces another menace: persistent drought across several regions that is creating new social tensions and threatening farming, a pillar of the economy. Farmland is too parched to cultivate crops and rural protesters have tried disrupting water supplies to the capital, while one legislator is calling for a “thirst revolt.”

    A lack of rain, combined with years of bad resource management, has left reservoirs and dams at exceptionally low levels that could lead to a “catastrophic situation,” said Saad Seddik, who was agriculture minister until last month. With municipal water supplies periodically cut off, residents of some towns are walking several kilometers (miles) to fetch water from public fountains, loading up donkeys with water canisters – if there’s any left.

    http://dailytimes.com.pk/world/25-Sep-16/we-are-thirsty-say-tunisians-as-drought-creates-tensions

    Reply
    • Scheduling tweet on this, thanks.

      Reply
    • A ‘thirst revolt.’ Wow. This is where we’re heading at geological light speed folks. People complaining about a carbon tax now apparently aren’t aware of the nasty beast tearing down the pipe toward us.

      Reply
      • Genomik

         /  September 26, 2016

        I saw an article in STRATFOR, a intelligence website about 4 years ago that said Yemen was rapidly running low on water and even then it had lowest per capita amount of water of any country.

        The brief went on to forecast that the drought should be expected to increase volatility and it seems as tho they were correct, Yemen has essentially been in a civil war ever since, made worse by thirst and drought.

        Let’s hope Tunis doesn’t destabilize in the same way. Europeans should be particularly concerned.

        Reply
  48. Cate

     /  September 25, 2016

    CarbonBrief does a good summary of the Oxford conference on 1.5C here. There is a page for each day of the two-day conference, including notes on the presentations and video interviews with the scientists.

    https://www.carbonbrief.org/day-one-at-the-1-5-c-conference-on-climate-change-in-oxford

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  September 25, 2016

      That is a great article and thank you for linking it Cate.

      Reply
    • Ditto – thanks for the link. Meeting these temperature limits will be challenging, to put it mildly:

      http://i.huffpost.com/gen/4598072/thumbs/o-CLIMATE-CHANGE-MITIGATION-570.jpg?5

      Reply
      • I don’t know why I keep messing up image links. Here’s what I intended the first time:

        Reply
        • There we go! Finally a realistic model on this. In other words, to have a reasonable chance of staying below 1.5 C THIS CENTURY emissions cuts need to start this year and ramp rapidly to net negative carbon emissions by 2050. To have a reasonable chance of a staying below 2 C this century emissions cuts need to start now and we need to figure out how to be net carbon negative by the 2080s or 2090s. Atmospheric carbon removal needs to start soon to hit these goals — 2020s to 2030s.

          That’s a heck of challenge. One we should all be taking very seriously. And its difficulty gives us an idea how far along the path toward serious climate disruption we’ve come.

        • Indeed. In fact I’d say you’ve put it mildly!😉

          I haven’t yet found the source for this graph at mcc-berlin.net, so I don’t know how they defined their ‘paths’ to 1.5 and 2C. A ‘reasonable chance’ could very well mean 50% probability – that probability is sometimes assumed in the IPCC reports, for example. Also, keep in mind that practical negative carbon emissions technologies don’t yet exist, so their deployment by the 2020s/2030s on a scale that would have a measurable impact will be quite an achievement! (Not saying it can’t be done, just don’t yet see how.) In any case, we’re definitely facing a huge challenge, and we need to start yesterday, no question.

  49. Syd Bridges

     /  September 25, 2016

    Thank you, Robert, for keeping us up to date on this most unwelcome, though expected, development. And thank you to everybody who contributes further stories from around the world.

    I noticed last week, a jump in the Mauna Loa CO2 readings, but waited until this week to comment. This week was, fortunately, somewhat lower than last week-400.87 vs 401.33 ppm-, but with October fast approaching, it seems extremely unlikely that we will ever see a value below 400 ppm again. The Gadarene Swine are gaining momentum and their leaders are denying that there is a cliff ahead, and, instead, are claiming that the herd is in a deep hollow with only higher ground for many miles around.

    Reply
    • Hi Syd,
      Nice to see someone else watching the MLO numbers. I saw the 5 ppm daily spike last week, too, but I don’t pay much attention to anything shorter than weekly and anything less than decadal numbers are pretty noisy. All that said, watching these numbers on a daily basis does allow a person to get a distinct read on the trends and fluctuations in CO2. I watch primarily at co2.earth, but also go to ESRL NOAA for numbers.
      Ugly numbers and there is no bailout on this bubble.
      Mike

      Reply
    • Improbable Otherness

       /  September 25, 2016

      I’d not heard/seen the term “Gadarene Swine” before and pasted those 2 words into a Google search. The first “encyclopedic” result (4th overall in my list) and the first “philosophical” one (6th in list) were informative. However, those two “answers” seem to make the other “top” results comically amusing, at least to me. So, thanks for that.

      Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  September 26, 2016

        Dostoevsky quotes the story of the Gadarene swine in the preface to ‘The Devils’, aka ‘The Possessed’. The world is certainly possessed by Gadarene Devils, today.

        Reply
    • Thanks Syd. Looks like September is on track to eek out a 401 ppm approx reading. That would make the final month below 400 ppm with a 401 ppm September continuing the trend of +3 or higher monthly ppm values.

      Reply
  50. Griffin

     /  September 25, 2016

    Recent statement from Ralph Keeling.

    “Is it possible that October 2016 will yield a lower monthly value than September and dip below 400 ppm? Almost impossible. Over the past two decades, there were four years (2002, 2008, 2009, and 2012) in which the monthly value for October was LOWER than September. But in those years, the decrease from September to October was at most 0.45 ppm – which would not seem to be enough to push October values below 400 ppm this year. The monthly value for October will therefore almost certainly also stay above 400 ppm and probably will be higher than 401 ppm. By November, we will be marching up the rising half of the cycle, pushing towards new highs and perhaps even breaking the 410 ppm barrier.”
    https://scripps.ucsd.edu/programs/keelingcurve/2016/09/23/note-on-reaching-the-annual-low-point/

    Reply
    • JPL

       /  September 26, 2016

      Thanks for this Griffin. The possibility of 410 by November is a shock to even consider.

      Reply
      • He’s talking about the potential to break 410 by April-May 2017. In any case, that’s a pretty grim number to be hitting. Well past Pliocene climate ranges.

        Reply
        • JPL

           /  September 26, 2016

          Gotcha – 410 by the 2017 peak. Misread that. That would be a remarkable milestone. So we’re potentially talking ~ 500 CO2e next year?

        • I think we should be talking about how to get carbon neutral and then how to take that trend and head in the carbon negative direction. We really need to drive the number down under 400 and keep it going down. Talking about getting carbon neutral immediately or sooner and getting carbon negative within 10 years might make sense. I think we shoot ourselves in the foot when we talk about ten or twenty years to make changes. We need to set the agenda by talking about slamming the brakes on the increase now. People will say, “how will we do that?” Well, that is the right question to be asking.

  51. Cate

     /  September 25, 2016

    We have ten years left. And now the spectre of geo-engineering has raised its ugly head again—to add to Dr Hansen’s rather unsettling advocacy of nuclear earlier this week. Both scare the hell out of me. Can we just stop burning fossil fuels please, and stop burning down forests, and start farming sustainably? We know how to do all these things!

    https://cleantechnica.com/2016/09/25/1-decade-left-keep-global-warming-1-5c/

    “World experts increasingly see only 10 years left to adjust the carbon regime before it makes huge ecological changes inevitable….the Oxford scientists have concluded that some massive policy changes and even geoengineering may become necessary to decarbonize enough to stabilize the planet. The latter measures, like attempting to block some of the sunlight that reaches the planet and changing the chemical composition of the ocean, have previously been downplayed by other experts.
    Turning to cleaner energies and speeding the demise of fossil fuels are currently approved strategies. We can go much farther, though, by adopting mitigation in agriculture, food systems, forestry, and land use. Some relatively simple changes in lifestyle include reducing food waste and adopting more sustainable diets (less beef and imported produce). Changes on this order would greatly lower the risks of setting untested geoengineering schemes against changes whose scale, timing, and cumulative effects remain elusive.”

    Reply
    • danabanana

       /  September 26, 2016

      “Can we just stop burning fossil fuels please,”

      well, clearly we can’t… and is not just fossil fuels, is CO2 in your bottle of pop, Cement production, plastics and a myriad other hydrocarbon derivatives we currently use and ‘love’.

      Reply
    • I agree with your plea, Cate. Huge ecological changes, though, are already happening. They’re not ten years in the future. They’re now.

      Reply
      • I agree with RS. We are out of time. I flinch when I hear we have 10 years, or 17 years, or some number. We should be doing everything we can think of right now. The powers of delay and denial are one and the same for all practical purposes.

        Reply
  52. Reply
  53. Reply
  54. So Cal gets hot and dry with wind switch.

    Reply
  55. USA — NE — Connecticut

    Drought Drains Reservoirs, Forces Statewide Water Restrictions

    Ongoing drought conditions have now forced at least half a dozen Connecticut communities and the University of Connecticut to impose mandatory outdoor water restrictions. Numerous other towns have asked for voluntary conservation, and the impact of months of inadequate rainfall goes far beyond those actions.

    Between March and mid-August, Hartford County received 8.7 inches less rainfall than normal, according to the National Weather Service. Ground- and well-water levels have been below normal for four consecutive months. Water flows have hit all-time record lows in some state rivers. For the first time in history, the state temporarily halted fishing in portions of the Farmington River because of fears for over-stressed fish.

    Experts say the lack of rain may shorten New England’s fall foliage season, and Connecticut’s farmers are dealing with withered crops and face higher feed costs for their animals. Many homeowners with shallow, private wells across this state and in much of New England are experiencing shortages and relying on bottled water.
    http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-ct-drought-impact-20160925-story.html

    Reply
    • Scheduling tweet on this, thanks.

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  September 26, 2016

      I live right in the heart of Connecticut, and can say that this drought is one of the worst I can ever remember. Some of the local streams have stopped flowing or dried up all together. It’s also expected that the lack of rain will have an effect on the usually vibrant colors of the fall foliage.

      It’s been extremely warm here, with nighttime lows often staying in the 60s or 70s. Until just a day ago it felt like summer still.

      Reply
  56. Reply
  57. coloradobob

     /  September 25, 2016

    See it before it’s gone: The paradox of ‘last chance tourism’ on the Great Barrier Reef
    Date:
    September 22, 2016
    Source:
    Taylor & Francis
    Summary:
    Many of the tourists now flocking to see Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GBR) are hoping to ‘see it before it’s gone’ in the latest example of what’s come to be known as ‘Last Chance Tourism (LCT)’.

    Link

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  September 25, 2016

      CB, this article is similar—-on the morality of “extinction tourism” or “last chance tourism.”

      “How do we weigh the benefits of travel with the consequences of adding harmful emissions to the atmosphere?”

      http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/visiting-melting-glaciers-can-be-profound-it-morally-wrong-180960514/

      “When it comes to such journeys, ethicists have to weigh actual climate effects with impacts on personal behavior. They ask: Is it worth burning the fossil fuels to travel to a remote or threatened part of the world, and open that area up to more travel and human activity, just to see the impacts of climate change first hand? Will seeing a receding glacier have enough of a personal impact on you, as a traveler, to make the consequences of your visit worth it?”

      Reply
  58. coloradobob

     /  September 25, 2016

    Gary Johnson’s Solution For Climate Change Involves Moving to Other Planets

    Libertarian nominee for president Gary Johnson got a lot of heat recently for comments he made in 2011 about not having to worry about climate change because the sun was eventually going to destroy Earth anyway. So Johnson went on ABC’s This Week today to tell everyone to lighten up and explain his real solution for climate change: moving to other planets.

    Link

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  September 25, 2016

      Reply
      • coloradobob

         /  September 25, 2016

        “Climate change aside, if Donald Trump is elected president, you can bet that there will be plenty of humans stuck on Earth looking for ways to get blasted into space.”

        Reply
    • Does he even know what he’s talking about? We can’t currently put one more woman or man on the moon, much less rocket a single living person to Mars. Advanced life of the kind we need to support human civilization has never existed on Mars. Meanwhile, the kind of government programs necessary to achieve such an amazing goal is anethema to the libertarian/republican party platforms. And this doesn’t even start to mention the moral and economic bankruptcy of this notion of ‘abandoning Earth to climate destruction.’

      Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  September 25, 2016

      This is a good one folks Watch it if you’re not familiar.

      Reply
      • coloradobob

         /  September 25, 2016

        If you watch this, notice how black the ice surfaces are , and how rough and spikey the surfaces are . The ice is suffering it’s own “Black Death”.

        Reply
  59. Nice: From coal to climate: the evolution of an activist: San Diego Free Press http://sandiegofreepress.org/2016/09/coal-to-climate-evolution-of-an-activist/

    Reply
  60. Soaring temperatures bring increased risk of wildfires to Southern California

    Red flag warnings are in effect through Monday afternoon, as soaring temperatures and the first major Santa Ana winds of the season are expected to sweep through an already parched Southern California.

    “I’d say the tinder box would be Southern California itself,” said David Sweet, a metereologist with the National Weather Service. “All areas in Ventura County and Los Angeles County are being subjected to gusty winds, high temperatures and low humidities.”

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-weather-20160925-snap-story.html

    Reply
  61. coloradobob

     /  September 25, 2016

    Asset managers accused of climate change hypocrisy
    Asset managers fail to back disclosure at ExxonMobil and Chevron

    Four of the world’s largest fund houses have been accused of playing “games” with their investors after failing to back motions that sought greater climate change disclosure at ExxonMobil and Chevron.

    BlackRock, Invesco, BNY Mellon and Vanguard all voted against an investor-led climate change resolution at the annual meetings of the two US oil companies in May, according to data shared exclusively with FTfm by Fund Votes, a project that tracks proxy voting.

    Aberdeen, the UK-listed fund house, voted against the climate resolution at Chevron, but not at Exxon.

    The investment houses backed similar resolutions in Europe during the 2015 AGMs of BP and Shell, triggering concerns that fund companies are voting inconsistently and are afraid to take companies on over controversial issues.

    Link

    Reply
  62. ‘Augury’ — a term new to me. I like it.

    a sign of what will happen in the future; an omen.
    “they heard the sound as an augury of death”
    synonyms: omen, portent, sign, danger sign, foretoken
    “you draw very blurry lines between what is coincidence and what is augury”
    the work of an augur; the interpretation of omens.
    -google.com

    Reply
  63. Tom

     /  September 25, 2016

    Friday, September 23, 2016
    The Threat Of Arctic Albedo Change
    http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2016/09/the-threat-of-arctic-albedo-change.html

    Arctic sea ice extent in 2016 was the lowest since satellite measurements started, when extent is averaged over the period from March 20 to September 22
    . . .
    As the added trend also illustrates, this decline in Arctic sea ice extent looks set to further accelerate and result in a dramatic fall in albedo. The trend points at zero sea ice over this entire period in less than two decades from now.
    . . .
    As Professor Peter Wadhams, University of Cambridge, once calculated, a collapse of the sea ice would go hand in hand with dramatic loss of snow and ice cover on land in the Arctic. The albedo change resulting from the snowline retreat on land is similarly large as the retreat of sea ice, so the combined impact could be well over 2 W/sq m. To put this in context, albedo changes in the Arctic alone could more than double the net radiative forcing resulting from the emissions caused by all people of the world, estimated by the IPCC to be 1.6 W/sq m in 2007 and 2.29 W/sq m in 2013.

    Reply
  64. – More on the deer swimming in the flooding Cedar River:

    Reply
  65. coloradobob

     /  September 25, 2016

    Cate –
    The comments drive me crazy as well. I used to bring up a point by point rebuttal. Usually beginning with , “Mean while in the real world”………………. Then a real world observation of why the denier was full of crap. I searched the web for in depth answers.

    Now, I just rely with a few bullet comments:

    Only on the wing nut planet
    Thank-you for hacking-up that right wing fur ball
    Lie, deny, rinse. repeat.
    Lie, deny, rinse. repeat.
    Lie, deny, rinse. repeat.
    You have a 5th grade understanding of physics.
    Thank-you for putting the Moe, back in Moron.

    Cate, roll with the punches girl, roll with the punches.

    Reply
  66. coloradobob

     /  September 25, 2016

    I hear the youngest voters don’t like Clinton. Vote for Trump kids. and watch your future die in minutes.

    Reply
  67. coloradobob

     /  September 25, 2016

    If we elect Trump, America has voted for dicator.

    Reply
    • Can’t get much worse than Trump. Makes Bush-Cheney look like a walk in the park by comparison.

      Reply
    • Jacob

       /  September 26, 2016

      On my way home from work over the past week I’ve seen a Trump supporter stand hocking his crap and far too many people patronizing the setup. I am increasingly concerned that we are collectively stupid enough to elect Trump, though, I will do what I can to prevent it with my own vote. For my part Republicans are disqualified based solely on their environmental stance. I am alarmed that at this late stage people don’t seem to care that such an anti-environment stance is exceedingly dangerous.

      Reply
  68. Reply
  69. coloradobob

     /  September 25, 2016

    Reply
  70. Ailsa

     /  September 25, 2016

    Current Global Warming Index – a running count just set up by the Oxford Uni Environmental Change Institute, as part of the conference mentioned up thread:

    http://globalwarmingindex.org/

    I’m not really qualified to tell, but does this seem to be rather a conservative temperature to people here?

    Reply
  71. coloradobob

     /  September 25, 2016

    Reply
  72. – India — Algae:

    Algae deposition around intake well could disturb water supply to Surat

    Surat: Large mass of algae of different kind have formed layers around the intake wells that pump water for 50 lakh people of Surat city. These algae could cause problems in pumping water in intake wells and as a result, despite having sufficient water , people of Surat might have to go without water in coming days, if these algae is not cleared quickly.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/surat/Algae-deposition-around-intake-well-could-disturb-water-supply-to-Surat/articleshow/54513457.cms

    Reply
  73. Greg

     /  September 26, 2016

    I used to love Sakura viewing (Hanami) in Japan when I was an English teacher there. I loved Miyazaki and this particular group of trees. I worry that Climate Change will bring this slow inexorable kind of loss rather than outright death. Like a night sky we see today that is an opaque filter with only the brightest stars still seen, unlike the jeweled night sky our great grandparents saw. We will lose the sacred and beautiful in such a way as to not fully realize the extent of our losses as they fall one by one. This is just one small example.
    Typhoon Malakas left a trail of destruction last week including in Miyazaki where a popular line of Sakura (Cherry Blossoms) were destroyed

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  September 26, 2016

      Same road before:

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  September 26, 2016

        Alaska Native youth view warmer weather as the norm.

        In interviews with members of four indigenous communities in Alaska’s Yukon River Basin, U.S. Geological Service researchers found differences in how older and younger generations experienced climatic change. Younger generations noticed change in their landscape, but viewed the warm winters, little snow, and other seasonal shifts as normal, “likely because that is all they have ever known,” according to the study.
        https://grist.org/briefly/alaska-native-youth-view-warmer-weather-as-the-norm/

        Reply
        • Cate

           /  September 26, 2016

          …which means that a huge effort of education will be needed to give younger generations a realistic perspective on climate change and the future of the planet.

          This climate change education needs to be happening in primary and elementary schools now, by teachers who are themselves fully aware of the science and the implications. Perhaps this is another avenue where we climate warriors might become active locally, meeting with teachers, visiting classes, libraries, youth groups, etc., to get the message across.

        • wili

           /  September 26, 2016

          Cate, I agree. But as always, it’s rather a hard sell. “Hi, I want to to tell you how to teach your young students how utterly hopeless their lives are going to be.” Not likely to get a rousing welcome. Of course, you could come across differently, but if you go too far from this truth, soon you find yourself perpetuating false memes. It’s a tough conundrum.

          One approach is to just work on getting kids outside more so that they may be able to notice changes. There was a group called No Child Left Inside a few years back, iirc, but I haven’t heard anything from them recently. Getting kids to talk to their grandparents about what climate was like 50+ years ago would be another worthwhile approach, unless their grandfolks are adamant denialists, of course.

        • Cate

           /  September 26, 2016

          wili, absolutely. I love the idea of getting the grandparents involved, making it a community project. Outdoor education as part of the school day is an idea whose time has come, I think. Children need to connect with the planet as a living organism and learn to appreciate and, yes, love it. I’m a retired teacher and I would never advocate a hard sell on the doom and gloom of climate change! Children—and people of all ages, I think—-do best when they have accurate knowledge and are inspired and empowered to act on it.

        • Cate

           /  September 26, 2016

          Forgot to add—as for teachers, I think it’s essential for teachers at all levels to be familiar with the *current* mainstream science. They need to get rid of the discourse of faith (“do you believe…..etc”) and start explaining human-caused climate change as a fact of science.

      • Greg,
        An eloquent statement of incalculable grief. What an impoverished world out grandchildren will see.

        Reply
    • Griffin

       /  September 26, 2016

      The rotten core of the tree in the top photo jumps out at me. It is a very common sight with storm damage these days.

      Reply
  74. Greg

     /  September 26, 2016

    Fighting fire in California with what looks like blood to me. We just don’t realize slowly being sucked dry.
    Kent Porter ‏@kentphotos
    #VLAT makes a drop on the 1500 acre #SawmillFire in #SonomaCounty/#LakeCounty #Geysers @NorthBayNews @CAL_FIRE @CALFIRE_PIO #cawx #cadrought

    Reply
  75. Reply
  76. Reply
  77. Links to a better map and info.

    Reply
  78. Reply
  79. wharf rat

     /  September 26, 2016

    Media Matters for America analyzed the 1,477 questions asked during the first 20 debates of this year’s primary season and found that only 22, or 1.5 percent, covered climate.

    https://climatecrocks.com/2016/09/26/climate-people-to-debate-moderators-survival-matters/

    Reply
  80. Jimbot

     /  September 26, 2016

    Thanks R.S., another article right on point, at the leading edge of the forward looking developments.

    Thinking of the Pacific Ocean heat death, we can add in the Great Pacific Gyre ( toxic plastic debris ), ongoing Fukushima horror show (

    http://wakeup-world.com/2016/09/25/are-we-already-living-in-a-post-apocalyptic-world/?utm_content=buffer2b34f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    ) and imagine some pretty nasty jelly fish arising out of the soup ( haha ). And they’re coming to get us..

    Reply
  81. Reply
  82. – Dahr Jamail’s latest:

    Our Changing World: Readers Share Their Climate Stories

    For years, Truthout readers have been sharing stories with me about climate anomalies they are witnessing where they live. Today, I’m bringing together your observations to provide a snapshot of what people are seeing in their hometowns, states, and regions in the US and abroad, as anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) continues apace.

    Major Temperature Shifts

    Major Temperature Shifts

    Drought, Flooding and Record Temperatures

    Species Shift, Coastal Erosion

    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/37740-our-changing-world-readers-share-their-climate-stories

    Reply
  83. Reply
  84. Reply
  85. Reply
    • The Weather Channel Verified account ‏@weatherchannel 7h7 hours ago

      Thousands evacuated in Waterloo, #Iowa as flood water spills out of the Cedar River, latest on the flooding

      Reply
  86. Reply
    • August was the biggest month ever for U.S. gasoline consumption. Americans used a staggering 9.7 million barrels per day. That’s more than a gallon per day for every U.S. man, woman and child.

      Reply
      • The EV revolution couldn’t come soon enough. We’re unlikely to see it if Trump wins.

        Reply
        • labmonkey2

           /  September 26, 2016

          Especially if THIS GUY is HMFIC of the EPA:

          And I’m quoting from article here:
          “One of the most odious, rabid, brainworm-infected rotting zombie skunk-weasels in a nest full of diseased, vermin-encrusted rabid, brainworm-infected rotting zombie skunk-weasels is Myron Ebell.
          He now will head Donald Trump’s EPA “transition” team.
          For those of you that think voting for a third party is a cute way to express your inner child, shake it off and get real. We are in the fight of our lives. These people want it all and will take it.”

          https://climatecrocks.com/2016/09/26/uber-climate-denier-to-head-trump-transition-for-epa/

    • Griffin

       /  September 26, 2016

      Oh. That sucks.

      Reply
  87. – It may be that ‘size’ matters to Taiwan.

    Reply
  88. FYI NA

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: