“We are Suffocating from Smoke” — For Russia, Climate Change is Already Producing Fires that are Too Big to Fight

“For one month we are suffocating from the smoke. The weather is hot, and there is a strong smell of burning…” — Residents of Bratsk, northwest of Lake Baikal, in a petition to Vladimir Putin pleading him to fight the fires now raging there.

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Let’s take a snapshot of the current moment from the climate change perspective: This year, global temperatures will probably hit between 1.2 and 1.25 degrees Celsius hotter than 1880s averages. This new heat, in a range likely not seen for 115,000 years, is catapulting us into dangerous new climate states. We’re starting to see the hard changes happen. Weather is growing more extreme, wildfires are worsening, the seas are rising, the glaciers are melting, and ocean health is declining. Threats of destabilization and disruption are ramping up. But compared to what we will see in the future if the world continues to warm, if we continue to burn fossil fuels, the seemingly rough changes we are experiencing now are minor and easy to manage.

These are the early, easy outliers of human-forced climate change. But for some, even for a nation as powerful as Russia, certain events have already overwhelmed emergency response capabilities.

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lake-baikal-wildfires-september-28-2016

(Fire season should have ended by late August around the region of Lake Baikal in Russia. However, due to climate change-related influences, massive fires continue to burn through September. The above image is from today, September 28. Bottom edge of frame represents approximately 600 miles. Lake Baikal is visible in the right side of frame. Smoke from large fires currently covering approximately 2.5 million acres is visible throughout the shot. Image source: LANCE MODIS.)

Climate Change Spikes Fire Incidence in Siberia

Over the past decade or so, a rapid warming of Siberia has resulted in a dramatic increase in fire incidence. The vast boreal forests were thrust into hotter, dryer conditions by a human-forced warming of the globe. Meanwhile, permafrost thaw added its own massive and growing volumes of peat-like fuel for burning. As the years progressed, very large fires have erupted with rising frequency. Mostly underreported, according to Greenpeace and independent satellite analysis by experts, these fires have covered millions of acres year after year after year:

“If you look at the whole area over the past 30 years, there’s a significant increase in burned area that is very clear by the early 2000s,” Susan Conrad, a former U.S. Forest Service scientist who has spent decades researching the impact of fire on Siberia, told ClimateWire.

Often, fighting such fires has required the effort of thousands of emergency responders supported by hundreds of pieces of equipment. As a result, the growing size of these fires and the lengthening of the season in which they burn has put a strain on the coffers of an already cash-strapped Russia. Firefighting has thus been cut or set aside for instances when a city, town or vital piece of infrastructure requires defending. More and more, these great fires have been abandoned to burn on, uncontrolled.

2016 Lake Baikal Fires Too Dangerous to Fight

This year around the region of Lake Baikal, an unrelenting (climate change-related) drought combined with abnormal heat to produce massive fires. The fires raged and flared throughout the summer. As the typical wildfire season came to an end during late August, the fires continued to burn and spread. According to Greenpeace, the fires burning during September in this region alone covered nearly 5 million acres. That’s an area about the size of Massachusetts. Satellite shots of the massive fires were dramatic, revealing plumes of dense smoke spewing out over hundreds or even thousands of miles. Residents of cities and towns around Lake Baikal experienced terrible conditions due to a suffocating pall of dense smoke covering the area.

Despite the risk to public health and increasing cases where schools, communities and infrastructure were threatened by the fires, the Russian Emergencies Ministry has claimed that such large fires are increasingly uncontrollable. Spokespeople with the agency note that the fires are so intense that they present a danger to firefighting personnel. According to Radio Free Europe:

Aleksandr Bruykhanov, senior researcher at the Forestry Institute in Krasnoyarsk, told the Siberian Times that massive wildfires have become more frequent and cannot be fully controlled by the government. He said they will only be extinguished when rain returns to the region. …”The Emergencies Ministry won’t be able to help here but will only cause some extra work for foresters, who will have to rescue rescuers.” [emphasis added]

For One Month We are Suffocating From Smoke

Hundreds of firefighters have been deployed throughout the region in isolated efforts to stem the more eminent blazes. Near the city of Bratsk, 600 firefighters and about 123 pieces of heavy equipment were reported to be engaged with the fires on September 23. Unfortunately the firefighting has, thus far, been mostly unsuccessful.

lake-baikal-carbon-monoxide-spike

(High carbon monoxide readings north and west of Lake Baikal, Russia on September 28. This expansive plume of carbon monoxide is coming from very large fires burning in the region. Residents in a nearby city recently complained of carbon monoxide poisoning in a petition to Vladimir Putin to fight the fires. Emergencies Ministry spokespersons have claimed that the fires are increasingly uncontainable and that the best hope for stopping the fires is when rains return to the area. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

Failure to control the massive burning has resulted in abysmal air quality for the region. In some cases, life-threatening conditions have been reported, with adults and children hospitalized. In Bratsk, a city of 250,000 people, thousands of residents are complaining of stifling smoke and incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning. A heavy pall of dense smoke has hung over the city for more than a month. The conditions there are so bad that 3,000 people have signed a petition to Vladimir Putin, urging him to deploy more resources to fight the fires, and stating that:

For one month we are suffocating from the smoke. 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!

Signs of Exhaustion at the Start of a Rough Climate Future

Exhaustion of emergency response resources is one of the big threats posed by climate change. In instances where entire regions see extreme weather conditions that are far outside the norm for an extended period of time, such as as severe droughts, floods, and fires, instances of exhaustion are more likely to occur. Exhaustion also occurs when events appear that are too large or intense to manage. It appears that firefighting efforts in Russia are starting to show some signs of exhaustion. Not good, especially considering the fact that these conditions are tame compared to what will happen in future years without some very serious climate change mitigation and response efforts now.

Whether they realize it or not, the residents of Bratsk are living at the start of a much rougher climate future. And they are just now starting to see a hint of bad conditions that will get worse as the world continues to warm and Siberia becomes one of the places to see the worst of it. It’s a situation caused by the very fossil-fuel burning that Putin currently promotes. This crisis of warming will cause more forests to burn, the fires to continue to enlarge, and the peat-like permafrost to become a fuel as it thaws.

The only way to stop this trend is to halt global temperature rise. That requires a very heavy lift, an international effort on a scale which the world has not yet fully committed to — an effort that would result in the fossil fuels Putin seeks to exploit being left in the ground in favor of far more benevolent energy sources.

Links:

Wildfires Increasingly Consuming Siberian Forests, Scientists Warn

People in Bratsk Petition Kremlin over Pollution from Forest Fires

LANCE MODIS

Wildfires Scorch World’s Largest Freshwater Lake

Oil Pipelines Threatened by Wildfires Amid Disputes over the Scale of the Destruction

Earth Nullschool

Hat tip to mlparrish

Hat tip to Colorado Bob

 

Leave a comment

301 Comments

  1. Sounds like the beginnings of a serious positive carbon feedback to me. It would be interesting to know what a boreal forest tipping point looks like. Maybe this, eh?

    Reply
  2. Andy_in_SD

     /  September 29, 2016

    This takes me back to our brief conversations in March / April when the fires were starting up in the area. It has been ~1/2 year of continuous fire in that region this year so far. Forest can not recover at the rate required to remain.

    This is a wholesale ecological shift covering a huge area.

    We will see what opportunistic species migrate in over the next few years (plant / animal / insect ), and then how they will fare.

    Reply
    • Good point, Andy. We’ve seen nearly continuous burning in this region for about 6 months. The question is — when does it stop?

      Reply
      • Good question, Robert. It may be the burning will not stop until the flames reach bedrock! That actually happened in some place(s) along the US-Canadian border in Minnesota and Ontario.

        Reply
  3. John Peter

     /  September 29, 2016

    First. Thank you everyone for the treasure trove that this blog site is.

    It is easy to look up. Siberia is just considered as a place to plunder by both Russia and China. About 3 months ago, I read that Putin will just let Siberia burn. Tragic really tragic.

    Reply
  4. Andy_in_SD

     /  September 29, 2016
    Reply
  5. Greg

     /  September 29, 2016

    Here is some more smoke coming out of Russia. Guess where the #TrumpWon hashtag starting location is?
    Dusty ‏@DustinGiebel Sep 27

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  September 29, 2016

      Maybe after the election they will flee the country and assist Russia in its return to its Czarist roots. Breaking story later this morning in Newsweek regarding illegal dealings in Cuba

      Reply
      • Suzanne

         /  September 29, 2016

        OMG…that picture. Talk about one picture saying a million words.
        I can’t believe anyone who is so angry about the “greed” of the 1%…would vote for a man who would be more than willing to turn our nation into a dictatorship or aristocracy….with him as the new King.

        Reply
        • Mulga Mumblebrain

           /  October 4, 2016

          It makes me think of Liberace’s bath-room.

  6. redskylite

     /  September 29, 2016

    Siberian Times getting stronger in criticism (and urgency). guess they won’t be sent to Siberia for dissent . . . .

    Disturbing new pictures show the raging Siberian wildfires that (officially) do not exist

    “For weeks there have been reports of major fires burning in remote districts but unregistered by the authorities. Hard evidence was lacking but now it has been produced by two pro-Kremlin groups which made a joint mission to check out the claims.

    These pictures show the fires in Irkutsk region, with one claim that locals have been subjected to smoke fumes for as long as six months from blazes that officially were not burning.”

    http://siberiantimes.com/ecology/others/news/n0750-disturbing-new-pictures-show-the-raging-siberian-wildfires-that-officially-do-not-exist/

    Reply
    • Expect Global Warming deniers in this country to say the same things about Alaska and Canadian wildfires, too. (The Russian authorities are deep into Climate Change Denial.)

      Reply
    • climatehawk1

       /  September 30, 2016

      Scheduling tweet on this, thanks.

      Reply
    • Robert in New Orleans

       /  September 30, 2016

      Comrade Putin will not act until the smoke blankets Moscow and his toady supporters start dropping like flies.

      Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  October 2, 2016

        Robert, Putin’s supporters, amphibian and otherwise, are over 80% of the population, on all polling. We need to stop this habit of demonising people because they won’t obey orders. We need every Government on Earth to wake the eff up, particularly Russia. Pushing Russia, where any successor to Putin is likely to be more nationalistic, into a corner is not a wise move.

        Reply
        • Bill H

           /  October 2, 2016

          Mulga, so what would “not pushing Russia” actually look like? Giving them a free hand to bomb/ collude in the bombing, including chemical weapons, of civilians and aid convoys in Syria?

          Also, if Trump wins next month will you be calling on us not to “demonise” those who voted for him on the grounds that they too haven’t, as you enigmatically put it, “obeyed orders”, but rather that we environmentalists should hold off “pushing” Trump’s administration on the grounds that something worse might replace it?

          Finally, I find your suggestion that the Russian people appear to be incapable of choosing a leader any less nationalistic than Putin highly insulting to the Russian people.

        • Mulga Mumblebrain

           /  October 4, 2016

          Bill, the approval figures for Putin are attested to by all opinion polls, even those carried out by those antagonistic to Putin. My point remains that aggressive belligerence towards one of the two countries that could obliterate humanity, by the other, is not a wise course at the moment. The USA is needling China, too, but at least the two countries have the sense to co-operate on climate destabilisation mitigation efforts. Russia must come on board with that effort, and ringing it with NATO bases and sanctioning it will not aid in that process. As for Trump’s supporters-they thrive on antagonism. To get them to see sense is a crazily difficult operation, but only forebearance and constant appeals to their decency, however much they possess, will work. The other course, of continued abuse as ‘deplorables’, (even though many are, in my opinion, quite deplorable)will only lead to social conflict, once again not what we need.

  7. Greg

     /  September 29, 2016

    Possibly historic rain event now taking place in Mid-Atlantic covered in previous post. Just started and rain accumulation already high:
    TerpWeather ‏@TerpWeather
    Estimated precip so far (up to 8pm EST)

    Reply
  8. Spike

     /  September 29, 2016

    So we have a dictator of a belligerent nation, raising cash from coal,oil and gas sales, using it to destroy Syrian men,women, children, hospitals and cities, whilst saying it’s too expensive and difficult to stop his own forests burning to the ground. As an example of human folly it’s hard to beat, though no doubt his admirer Trump would make a grand effort.

    Reply
    • Have to agree with you on this one, Spike. Not to mention attempting to foment political instability in the US — infowars etc. But my heart goes out to the people of Russia nonetheless. I think it would be rather unjust to blame them for Putin’s bad actor policies.

      Reply
    • Don’t forget China building artificial islands to advance its “strategic interests,” India in showdown with Pakistan over Kashmir, etc. Many, many examples.

      Reply
  9. Tom

     /  September 29, 2016

    Spike: (….)

    meanwhile, on topic:

    Thursday, 29 September 2016
    High methane readings

    Methane at 2629 ppb

    Keep in mind that 1250 ppb is the energy balance for methane. Anything over this and the atmosphere absorbs more heat than it disapates [sic].

    Reply
    • uai

       /  September 29, 2016

      Tom, I’m no flag waving patriot but damn if I will let this one slide. America deserves a lot of criticism for a lot of things but our President is under enormous political pressure to do more in Syria to stop the spread of ISIS which is a legitimate threat to us all and for its human rights disaster which we have a history of responding to. Period. Gas? We are producing more than we need which is driving the price down to unprofitable levels. Mothers of special forces soldiers deploying out of Virginia Beach/Norfolk are, I assure you, would have a thing or two to say about this. Putin has the strategic interest in Syria.

      Reply
  10. Cate

     /  September 29, 2016

    More on climate sensitivity—link via Stefan Rahmstorf.

    http://www.corporateknights.com/channels/climate-and-carbon/sensitivity-training-14750388/

    “Uncertainty about the degree of future climate that we will get over coming decades provides no comfort. We know that the effects of climate change will range from bad to very bad. If we are lucky and the climate sensitivity turns out to be low, the worst effects will be delayed for a while. But the sensitivity is just as likely to be higher than the mean figure and the consequences of a 4-degree rise will be more than twice as bad as of a 2-degree rise. The only way to control the outcome is to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible, as soon as possible.”

    Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  October 2, 2016

      The Right are actively pretending that climate sensitivity is low, on NO evidence of course. When the ‘precautionary principle’ that it is not good to play Russian roulette with humanity’s future, is brought up, the Murdoch apparatus here, and its flag-shit the ‘Australian’ in particular, used to argue that if there was any chance of harming the precious economy, then we should not act on climate destabilisation. Inverting the whole argument. That was about the time they adopted Lomborg, gave Plimer space to parade his senility and declared peer review in science a racket. When I think that Murdoch will probably escape justice, I do get somewhat annoyed.

      Reply
  11. Cate

     /  September 29, 2016

    28 Sept: the Arctic is the focus as scientists and science ministers from around the world meet in Washington to discuss a new white paper (link in my reply).

    http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2016/09/28/red-flags-over-the-arctics-future/

    “The meeting will be attended by officials from Canada, China, Denmark,Finland, France, Germany, Greenland, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the European Union. The white paper is the product of a July 2016 workshop at Columbia University, organized by the Columbia Climate Center in collaboration with World Wildlife Fund and the group Arctic 21.”

    “The paper reviews climate impacts already underway in the Arctic, and examines further changes expected to take place even if the world meets the goals of the Paris Agreement. The authors find that Arctic temperatures could still increase by as much as 5 degrees C (9 F) if global temperatures rise by two degrees C, the ceiling set by the agreement. This rise could drive consequences for people, weather systems, landscapes and economies in the Arctic and far beyond.”

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  September 29, 2016

      White paper discussed at Washington meeting is here with further links to summary and download:

      https://www.worldwildlife.org/publications/a-5-c-arctic-in-a-2-c-world

      “Climate change is already changing the Arctic, and current carbon reduction commitments will not be enough to stop this transformation cold. Instead, world leaders must focus on helping the region adapt and accelerate a reduction in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. That’s the finding of an expert workshop held in July 2016 at The Columbia Climate Center, in partnership with World Wildlife Fund, Woods Hole Research Center, and Arctic 21. This paper summarizes the outcomes of this workshop and highlights how world leaders can move forward.”

      …..current reduction commitments not enough to stop this transformation…….focus on helping the region adapt…….accelerate reduction in CO2 in atmosphere……

      PS All this, while at least one govt attending the meeting is clearly showing its two faces. Canada has just given the green light to a new filthy fuel project, which will frack gas for liquification and export. The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency…said the LNG project would result in roughly 6.5 to 8.7 megatonnes of GHG pollution each year, a marked increase in emission…(making it) one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters in Canada.”

      Reply
      • Leland Palmer

         /  September 29, 2016

        Hi Cate-
        I worry about the funding for the groups writing that white paper – too many links to the Rockefellers and through them to ExxonMobil, I think. The attitude that the Arctic is going to inevitably melt, and so it must adapt (allowing access to Arctic oil and gas) is a constant theme of the Rockefeller supported Council on Foreign Relations, too.

        Columbia sold the land under Rockefeller Center to the Rockefellers for 400 million dollars, doubling its financial endowment, for one thing. ExxonMobil is still arguably controlled by the Rockefellers and is the union of two of the fragments of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil monopoly. The Rockefellers are known to retain control over the corporations in their financial empire by controlling the votes of university endowments, banks, and other large institutions that invest in those corporations.

        Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute was founded by the Rockefeller Foundation, with a 2.5 million dollar grant in the 1930s. It has conducted numerous studies with the Navy, including antifouling paints for ships and improvement of Sonar for various uses including oil exploration.

        One of the founders of the World Wildlife Fund was Godfrey A. Rockefeller, a member of the Stillman Rockefeller’s.

        I have to go to work, and haven’t had time to Google the Arctic 21 group, but they seem to have common members with the Arctic Council, another group that I think promotes a regulated and orderly exploitation of Arctic “resources” including oil and gas.

        This whole “the Arctic is melting so we might as well go up there and drill for oil and gas” meme is very disturbing, I think.

        Reply
        • Cate

           /  September 29, 2016

          Agreed. This meeting looks like nothing so much as jockeying for position and feeling each other out for intentions and influence. The phrase “focus on helping the region adapt” is the key. That “helping” is going to translate into a whole lot of intervention, methinks. Gonna get really crowded north of 60.

        • Leland Palmer

           /  September 30, 2016

          Hi Cate-

          Like Richard Alley has said, it this was a video game, it would be fascinating. The whole Rockefeller / ExxonMobil / Council on Foreign Relations situation appears to be a fascinating lesson in how financial elites covertly create public policy that benefits them. Unfortunately, policy that benefits ExxonMobil and the Rockefeller financial empire in this case appears to be a real threat to the biosphere itself if these efforts to exploit Arctic oil set off a methane catastrophe and a hothouse mass extinction event.

          The key to understanding what is going on is history, I think, particularly the history of the Rockefeller family and John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil monopoly. Our financial elites can hide from us using a web of deceptive conceptual or semantic frames that they have covertly inserted into the mass consciousness through a covertly controlled mass media, in my opinion. But they have a harder time hiding from history. Many of the relationships that appear to me to be working to melt and exploit the Arctic appear to go back decades or more than a century to Standard Oil.

          The plan appears to be to melt the Arctic sea ice, deliberately, so that our financial elites can exploit Arctic oil and gas. The plan appears to be revealed by the output of Scott Borgerson, a David Rockefeller Visiting Fellow at the Rockefeller supported Council on Foreign Relations. He wrote a series of articles for Foreign Relations (the official magazine of the CFR) claiming fabulous benefits of a melting Arctic. He took this message to Congress, testifying before both branches of Congress, and engaging in round table discussions with Senator John Kerry. Fellow CFR member Dan Rather inteviewed him for CBS news, and he wrote a series of op-ed articles in major newspapers.

          http://library.arcticportal.org/1570/1/BorgersonForeignAffairsarticle.pdf

          Arctic Meltdown
          The Economic and Security
          Implications of Global Warming
          Scott G. Borgerson

          “The Arctic Ocean is melting, and it is melting fast. This past
          summer, the area covered by sea ice shrank by more than one million
          square miles, reducing the Arctic icecap to only half the size it was
          50 years ago. For the first time, the Northwest Passage—a fabled sea
          route to Asia that European explorers sought in vain for centuries—
          opened for shipping. Even if the international community manages
          to slow the pace of climate change immediately and dramatically, a
          certain amount of warming is irreversible. It is no longer a matter of if,
          but when,the Arctic Ocean will open to regular marine transportation
          and exploration of its lucrative natural-resource deposits.
          Global warming has given birth to a new scramble for territory and
          resources among the five Arctic powers.”

          The article goes on to wax poetic about the financial opportunities presented by this new Arctic gold rush. It talks about the Arctic Ocean becoming a new Mediterranean Sea, surrounded by well managed and financially sound countries. It neglects to mention the catastrophic costs incurred by the rest of the economy to implement this plan, and does not mention the possibility of a methane catastrophe creating a hothouse mass extinction event, killing off a big portion of the biosphere. The article also neglects to mention that the Arctic Ocean could become an anoxic cesspool, covered with mats of green and purple bacteria, evolving clouds of toxic hydrogen sulfide gas, punctuated by methane geysers from dissociating methane hydrates. Onshore will likely be clouds of ravenous mosquitoes, continent wide firestorms in the boreal forests, and diseases like zombie anthrax coming out of the melting permafrost.

          There also appears to be a eugenics agenda going on here. The implication of these articles is that the rich will end up living happily in countries surrounding the Arctic Ocean while the dark skinned races die off. There is talk of a “fabulous methane age” in other sources, in which we exploit the huge energy reserves of the methane hydrates. The article neglects to mention the possibility of nuclear and biological warfare set off by this vicious plan.

          This is propaganda aimed at financial and political elites, and it appears to be effective. This conference and this white paper, Cate, appear to be a continuation of this plan to melt the Arctic to provide access to Arctic “resources”.

        • Leland,
          Not only zombie antrax et al, but we will be surprised by other weird and unexpected medical complications. For example, one not usually lethal but which certainly diminishes enjoyment of life is alpha-gal allergy triggered by tick bites. Details can be found in wiki, but what happens is an allergic reaction, that can be severe, when the patient eats mammalian meat. Incident reports in some areas quite frightening. And in the believe it or not category, a similar mechanism causes allergic reactions in Japan when swimmers stung by jellyfish eat natto, a type of fermented soy.
          http://en.rocketnews24.com/2015/05/27/natto-allergy-is-caused-by-jellyfish-stings-says-surprising-japanese-study/

        • PS.
          These are very nasty allergic reactions.

        • Hi mlparrish-

          Damn those “unknown unknowns”. God only knows what mischief sensitive ecological trigger effects will produce, like you say. Look at the damage that three generations per year of bark beetle under global warming has done, versus two generations per year before. The spread of diseases, for example mosquito borne tropical diseases, into the temperate zones and eventually maybe into the Arctic seems to be almost certain. Asthma and allergic reactions increasing seems almost certain , like you say.

        • Leland,
          Yes, the devastating scenario you describe seems all too likely. I couldn’t help but think of all those partying mosquitos (the mosquito is Alaska’s state bird) and what strange things those millions and billions of bites might do. I never thought I would one day be wishing for a boring life.

  12. One of the fallback positions that the contrarian rogues and fools often take when their claims that AGW isn’t happening become indefensible is “No problem, we’ll just adapt.” As if drought, flood and fire lead to a neat, orderly change of affairs rather than chaos, misery and loss.

    The wave of refugees and migrants from the Middle East and central/north/eastern Africa that has placed the EU under such strain is driven in large part by climate-related agricultural and economic collapses that pushed over-stressed local political systems past their breaking points. And it may be just a small taste of what the future holds. (Not to mention that even in the developed world, a billion-dollar fire here, a billion-dollar flood there, and soon you’re talking real money. Eventually it might even be enough to get a Republican to notice.)

    Given that climate change denial so often comes bundled with a harshly right-wing ideological worldview, I can’t help but suspect that the ‘adaptation’ many contrarians inwardly hope for is that Syrians and Sudanese and Eritreans and Bangladeshis peacefully resign themselves to a quiet, dignified death without rudely inconveniencing the West.

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  September 29, 2016

      I fear you may be right in your last point, Magma, although I doubt that the West will escape being “inconvenienced”, and very rudely indeed. But it always makes me laugh when people talk cavalierly about how we will “adapt”. They clearly know nothing about adaptation in the natural world, how it takes thousands upon thousands of years. It may well be that some of us—the privileged, the advantaged, many of us in favoured locations and in the West—may be able to find the money and energy to cope with what’s coming, but we can be pretty certain that all other living beings on this planet—including the staple plants upon which we rely for food, such as wheat—will have much more trouble “adapting.”

      Reply
    • Andy_in_SD

       /  September 29, 2016

      Their today is our tomorrow.

      Once the crop yield falls below demand, it begins. The further the yield falls, the further we become what we see in those lands today.

      Reply
  13. izzy

     /  September 29, 2016

    California, for one example, is not far behind.

    Reply
  14. Loni

     /  September 29, 2016

    And as we all realize, Russia’s uncontrolled fires, and China’s coal emissions are OUR uncontrolled fires and coal emissions. Not to mention our own, (the U.S.) emissions, means our thin atmosphere is taking a real beating.

    In a better world, there would be no borders in fighting these huge
    wild fires.

    Thank you for the post, Robert.

    Reply
    • June

       /  September 29, 2016

      Agreed. It is as if the universe is giving the human species a final exam…find a way to cooperate and act for the good of everyone and everything and we pass, and get to the next level of a livable planet and maybe even a world without wars. If we fail, we do not advance, and will remain in the school of greed, hardship and endless war.

      Reply
  15. More on the Dakota Access Pipeline. Yes June, school of greed hardship and endless war no doubt. Go USA, God is on your side. The god with the horns and cloven hoofs, maybe?

    Over 20 Arrested After Militarized Police Raid #NoDAPL Prayer Ceremony

    Water protectors say that “with state police protecting Dakota Access Pipeline,” President Obama’s “words are meaningless.”

    http://commondreams.org/news/2016/09/29/over-20-arrested-after-militarized-police-raid-nodapl-prayer-ceremony

    …Dozens of militarized police with shotguns appeared with a Bearcat armored vehicle as well as a [Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, also known as an MRAP]. The Bearcat was also brought out by police at yesterday’s action, but the MRAP, a larger tan colored armored vehicle, had not been seen at any DAPL sites until today.

    …Several arrests were made, as police brandished loaded shotguns, and assault rifles…no corporate media coverage of the arrests…All of Unicorn Riot’s videos and their live stream have been blocked on YouTube.

    …That MRAP appears to have a millimeter wave Active Denial System (ADS) mounted on it! If so, it is designed to make a human feel like they are being burned alive…

    Obama certainly does give better speeches than W bush but that’s about all he does differently. Pictures at link are ugly.

    Reply
    • June

       /  September 29, 2016

      The powerful photos show the increasing militarization of the police, and the lengths that governments who partner with fossil fuel companies are willing to go to prevent disruption of their activities. I expect that we’ll start hearing the protectors (I like the word the article used instead of protesters) referred to as ecoterrorists in the corporate media soon, instead of the courageous, committed people they are.

      Reply
    • Seal,
      I am glad you keep DAPL in the fore. It is not just an Indian problem, no pipeline must be allowed anywhere near the Missouri River. The protests have become international. I cannot travel to join the troops on the line, but I have joined protests here and sent letters and postcards to officials, for whatever good it may do. Again, please do what you can. For example, here is a site of one postcard writing blitz. https://www.facebook.com/events/1655896384701397/#
      SAVE THE MISSOURI!

      Reply
    • Griffin

       /  September 29, 2016

      That is disgusting to see.

      Reply
    • Thanks for this, Seal. It’s pretty clear that the state of North Dakota has seen its politics twisted by fossil fuel special interests. This behavior is more in line with that of an oppressive petro-state than anything else. Sad to see that efforts are so out of line with the will and ultimate safety of the people whom this state is helping amoral corporate interests to abuse.

      Reply
  16. coloradobob

     /  September 29, 2016

    Recent forest fires ‘destroyed’ 2 million hectares – ‘an unprecedented catastrophe in Siberia’
    By The Siberian Times reporter29 September 2016
    Oilmen forced to stop work after being trapped in ‘horseshoe’ of burning taiga, as pall of smoke smothers Irkutsk region where state of emergency imposed.
    http://siberiantimes.com/ecology/casestudy/features/f0259-recent-forest-fires-destroyed-2-million-hectares-an-unprecedented-catastrophe-in-siberia/

    Reply
  17. coloradobob

     /  September 29, 2016

    Yukon’s climate, notoriously cold in Gold Rush days, is transforming

    But by the end of this century, expect the Yukon to feel less like the Arctic and more like the northern Rocky Mountain and prairie regions, according to a new study that examines “cliomes,” the term used to describe localized climates that support distinct habitats.

    Of 17 existing Yukon cliomes, seven will probably disappear by 2100, and one new one — favorable to prairie grasslands — will spread from the south, according to the study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Global Ecology and Conservation.

    https://www.adn.com/arctic/2016/09/27/yukons-climate-notoriously-cold-in-gold-rush-days-expected-to-transform-in-coming-decades/

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  September 29, 2016

      After Interior Alaska fire, permafrost disappears

      When severe wildfire sweeps into the boreal forest, the permafrost goes away.

      That is the lesson in a new study that examined wildfire-hit portions of the White Mountains in Interior Alaska. The study, by scientists based in Fairbanks and Anchorage and published in the Switzerland-based journal Remote Sensing, used measurements at 30 field sites where severe fires burned a decade prior.

      The scientists pushed probes into the ground to search for the hard-frozen permafrost layer in an area badly scorched in 2004, the all-time record Alaska fire season. At 90 percent of those sites, examined in 2014, there was no permafrost, they found.

      Reply
  18. Not news to this crowd, but nevertheless another helpful article.

    Earth CO2 levels: Are we at the point of no return?

    “The last time our planet saw 400 ppm carbon dioxide in our atmosphere was about 3.5 million years ago, and global climate was distinctly different than today,” David Black, associate professor in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University in New York, tells The Christian Science Monitor in an email.

    “In particular, the Arctic (north of 60°) was substantially warmer than present, and global sea level was anywhere between 15 and 90 feet higher than today,” Professor Black says.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2016/0928/Earth-CO2-levels-Are-we-at-the-point-of-no-return

    Reply
  19. coloradobob

     /  September 29, 2016

    SNPP/VIIRS
    2016/272
    09/28/2016
    05:35 UTC
    Smoke and fires in central Russia

    Reply
  20. Cate

     /  September 29, 2016

    http://climatenewsnetwork.net/speed-of-arctic-changes-defies-scientists/

    “LONDON, 29 September, 2016 – In an unusually stark warning a leading international scientific body says the Arctic climate is changing so fast that researchers are struggling to keep up. The changes happening there, it says, are affecting the weather worldwide.
    The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) says: “Dramatic and unprecedented warming in the Arctic is driving sea level rise, affecting weather patterns around the world and may trigger even more changes in the climate system.
    Its president, David Grimes, said: “The Arctic is a principal, global driver of the climate system and is undergoing an unprecedented rate of change with consequences far beyond its boundaries…..”

    Reply
    • g. orwell

       /  September 29, 2016

      “…changing so fast that researchers are struggling to keep up.”
      difficult to understand what is meant

      Reply
      • coloradobob

         /  September 29, 2016

        Human ignorance has only been overcome by measuring devices, our measuring of the poles is still just a tear drop in the oceans.

        Reply
        • g. orwell

           /  September 29, 2016

          I remember something M>Mann said ’bout models: they already indicate, well enough, that it’s time to act, and to not primarily focus on model refinements.

  21. coloradobob

     /  September 29, 2016

    After watching these Russian fires for months, and seeing that they are not “laying down” at the end of September, a full month later than was the old norm , one gets an idea of just how hot and dry it was there this summer. For the last few weeks a cloud deck has covered them . I was thinking maybe rain was failing.

    But as yesterday’s pass confirms, the clouds probably just made the smoke hug the ground even closer.

    Reply
  22. coloradobob

     /  September 29, 2016

    I got to think that the amount of carbon products coming off the world’s forests, is surely a new component of the world’s weather now. We know that water vapor needs something solid to latch on to, so a rain drop can form. We know that water vapor is increasing.

    From the “Known Unknown Files”.

    Reply
  23. coloradobob

     /  September 29, 2016

    Driving the message –

    Trump denies climate change as scientists fear we may soon cross the red line

    A new scientific statement released Thursday that underscores the urgency of grappling with global warming presented a staggering contrast with the state of public discussion of the subject in the United States.

    Here, in the wake of the first presidential debate, the media skewered Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for denying his prior Twitter claim that “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese” — even as Trump’s surrogates continued to bluntly advance positions that reject modern scientific knowledge on the subject. His campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, for instance, asserted on CNN that Trump believes the current climate swing is “naturally occurring,” a view amounting to yet another denial of mainstream science.

    Link

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  September 29, 2016

      Well climate change is rising up the list tonight on the google news feed. Clinton poked, and people are speaking up. Let us hope she has the good sense to drive this message to young voters.

      American immigrants helped invent solar power.
      You want a good job? Let’s build the cleanest energy infrastructure in the world. The future is not working on a smoke choked drilling rig in Siberia. It’s catching the sun every day .

      Reply
    • Jeremy in Wales

       /  September 29, 2016

      Here in the UK not a mention is made of Global Warming, all politicians continue to go on about Brexit with no idea how to implement it, which is not helped locally by a very average summer. However coal use in the UK continues to fall;
      https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/d4420f0fa43b582710d76aaa914da4fb4d005757/0_0_756_577/master/756.jpg?w=620&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=1eff3af983a7380940f0cc4703202a96
      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/29/coal-electricity-generation-falls-to-record-uk-low-this-spring

      To keep Bob happy you need some sunny spells (ysbediau heulog – strictly spells sunny)by the Super Furry Animals,

      Reply
    • Trump…

      Reply
      • Reply
        • Mulga Mumblebrain

           /  September 30, 2016

          I got the distinct impression that Trump was a joke candidate, designed to lead the white, middle-class, older ‘losers’ up the garden-path, as Sanders was designed to neutralise the young, ‘Left’ insurgents. All designed to get the elites’ preference, Clinton (aka the Obama third and Bush fifth term), over the line. While Clinton, on paper, is vastly superior to Trump, it does look as if the depth of anti-elite feeling is so great that Trump may just get elected (a catastrophe)particularly if the turn-out of the disaffected former Hope Fiends and Bern-outs is low. Whichever way, it seems as if the next four years will present all world leaders with undeniable climate catastrophes, that even the likes of Trump will find impossible to ignore.

        • A little too conspiratorial for my taste, Mulga. Trump, I think, was more the end result of the right’s own bad info stream. The culmination of the giant reaction to Obama, which in many ways had underlying racism at its roots. Though it is true that some of the so-called elites like Clinton, I don’t think you can, with full honesty say that’s true with all the elites. The Bloomberg types, for example, obviously support Clinton. The Kochs, Exxon, and the other fossil fuel interests — not so much.

          Just as the left can’t really be viewed as a singular unit, it’s a bit too pat to paint ‘elites’ with such a broad brush. The interests of Elon Musk, Warren Buffet, and the Koch Brothers, for example, are all quite different and pretty diverse.

  24. Of course, all these fires pump more CO2 into the atmosphere…

    Reply
  25. Reply
  26. Tide Gauge Records May Underestimate 20th Century Sea Level Rise

    Tide gauges can help measure sea level change, but their limited locations and short records make it hard to pinpoint trends. Now researchers are evaluating the instruments’ limitations.

    Source: Geophysical Research Letters

    A new study by Thompson et al. evaluates how local and regional processes affect the amount of historical global sea level rise inferred from tide gauge records. They conclude that the best tide gauge records tend to underestimate the average rate of 20th century global sea level rise.

    The scientists used a sample of the 15 longest, highest-quality tide gauge records—the records that are used most often by researchers when estimating global changes in sea level. To determine the potential for bias in their sample, the team used “ice melt fingerprints” from a global set of glaciers and ice caps, as well as the Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets. These fingerprints describe the unique global pattern of sea level change caused by deviations in local gravity and Earth’s rotation when a large ice mass melts. They also utilized simulated patterns of dynamic sea level change due to variability in winds and ocean circulation. Finally, using the uncertainty in these patterns as a guide, they generated 10 million possible combinations of the ice melt fingerprints and dynamic patterns to determine how the locations of the gauges within these patterns affected the ability to estimate global average sea level rise…
    https://eos.org/research-spotlights/tide-gauge-records-may-underestimate-20th-century-sea-level-rise

    Reply
    • – Comment: Steve Case • 4 hours ago

      “The historical data held by the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level is not routinely adjusted corrected homogenized or otherwise rewritten on a regular basis. That cannot be said for the satellite data. Jason 3 data will soon be reported. Will the historical data be rewritten again? Only time will tell.”

      Reply
  27. coloradobob

     /  September 29, 2016

    Climate change is the best jobs issue ever. You want to all those coal miners to work ?

    We’re going to rebuild our grid. And it’s going to be clean.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  September 29, 2016

      For 200 years brave men went into dark pits to mine the ancient sun , to power our modern world. Those days are gone forever. We have the power to change this , we just need the will.

      Reply
  28. Reply
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  32. RS
    I am honored by the hat tip. Superb posts you have been giving us, irreplaceable.

    Reply
  33. China may be stockpiling more oil than anyone realized

    One of the mysteries of the oil market is the question of how much crude oil China has squirreled away in commercial and strategic stockpiles.

    Now a satellite-imaging firm called Orbital Insight claims to have an answer. It says Chinese inventories in May stood at 600 million barrels, substantially more than commonly thought and nearly as much as the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Chinese storage capacity, which includes working inventory, is four times widely used estimates, Orbital Insight says, adding that the firm has not only counted storage tanks but has also used imaging techniques to figure out how much oil is in the tanks.

    The issue could influence expectations in oil markets. If China has built larger reserves than previously estimated, that means much of what looked like oil demand over the past couple of years was not a result of higher consumption but of strategic planning…

    – Orbital Insight uses algorithms to calculate how much oil is in tanks by examining roofs, which rise and fall depending on how much oil is being stored. (Orbital Insight/ satellite imagery: DigitalGlobe/Orbital Insight/ satellite imagery: DigitalGlobe)

    Reply
  34. coloradobob

     /  September 29, 2016

    The Clinton campaign has a money filter. You can’t enter their web site, unless you hack up 5 bucks.

    This is one of the most stupid ideas in the history of American politics.
    Although with Trump, you have to hack up a diamond ring.

    Reply
    • wharf rat

       /  September 30, 2016

      click on “Continue to hillaryclinton.com” in the upper right corner; no charge.

      Reply
  35. climatehawk1

     /  September 30, 2016

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  36. coloradobob

     /  September 30, 2016

    Hell is coming breakfast.

    Reply
  37. coloradobob

     /  September 30, 2016

    This is a much larger term . ” Hell is coming to breakfast” over our entire planet. I choose it because it means so much.

    Reply
  38. coloradobob

     /  September 30, 2016

    ” Hell is coming to breakfast”
    Buckle your chin straps kids.

    Reply
  39. Canada
    Q&A
    Rising sea levels a threat to Metro Vancouver, prof says
    Rising sea levels and shoreline erosion need to be dealt with over course of century

    People call him “Dr. Doom,” but Simon Fraser University earth sciences professor John Clague says the Lower Mainland needs to prepare for the effects of climate change in the region.

    Clague says sea levels are already rising, and unless action is taken now, the costs could be massive in the coming decades.

    He says sea level rise and shore erosion could cost the region billions, and some people could lose their homes.

    Ahead of a panel discussion on the topic, Clague spoke with On The Coast host Stephen Quinn about how rising sea levels will impact the Lower Mainland.

    Five Canadian communities threatened by climate change now
    National climate change report warns of risk of storm surges on B.C.’s coast
    Richmond flood protection gets provincial boost

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/vancouver-sea-level-1.3783440

    Reply
  40. 05:43 UTC

    Reply
  41. wili

     /  September 30, 2016

    Looks like some…interesting weather is coming your general direction, rs. As tigertown put it at neven’s forum: “The D.C. area of the U.S. is about to have a meet and greet with a weather blocking pattern caused by a messed up jet steam.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2016/09/28/this-is-why-the-d-c-region-could-see-torrential-flooding-rain-this-week/

    Reply
  42. Ailsa

     /  September 30, 2016

    Complete ban on fracking announced at UK Labour Party Conference as part of their policy, made by Barry Gardiner MP, Shadow Sec of State for International Trade, Energy, Climate Change and Europe.

    Interesting interview with Andrew Neil (gets a bit hot at times!)

    from around 15.00 to 32.00

    Reply
    • Ailsa

       /  September 30, 2016

      Sorry, relevant interview is from around 15.00 to 20.00

      Reply
      • Ailsa

         /  September 30, 2016

        And (again sorry!) Andrew Neil does an update of UK gas net export figures, which contradict those quoted by Gardiner. See this at the end, around 30.00.

        Reply
  43. Kevin Jones

     /  September 30, 2016

    “We’ve really got a problem.” Dr. Robert Watson Former head of IPCC Several top scientists have announced we hit 2C by 2050. I can’t get this machine to link but this is being reported widely this morning. Phys Org, Reuters, The Independent, Deutsch Welle, etc:

    Reply
    • Andy_in_SD

       /  September 30, 2016

      I see a big part of the “woops” moments being due to Pinatubo in 1991. That long lasting damping of the trend allowed GHG’s to accumulate “under the radar”.

      As that dampening effect dissipated, I see an analogy. It is like a car doing a burn out, there is tremendous potential forward thrust, however the tires are spinning, thus one is not moving. But once that traction takes hold….

      Had that volcano not created such a short term global trend skew, we would have seen a much clearer trend line, providing less ammo for creating doubt (by the merchants of doubt). We would have reached where are today in global temp rise sooner, and may have reacted to our folly sooner. Instead, more future damage was baked into the cake.

      Reply
    • Robert in New Orleans

       /  September 30, 2016

      If I were a betting man I would say 2C by 2040 if not sooner. Once again in my opinion, this announcement is way to conservative for what we are seeing with our own eyes.

      http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/propaganda_has_hidden_climate_change_from_the_public_20160930

      Reply
      • Nobody ever remembers the face of who made erroneously conservative predictions; only that they always dressed in outdated-fashion.

        Reply
      • g. orwell

         /  October 1, 2016

        “…2C by 2040 if not sooner…”
        I second that.

        Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  October 2, 2016

        Robert, it’s just … (climate scientists) … still erring on the side of downplaying the situation. I imagine they do not wish a Rightwing political and MSM lynch-mob on their heels.

        Reply
  44. JPL

     /  September 30, 2016

    McKibben had a great and wide-ranging conversation on Democracy Now this morning, including DAPL and public transit and more:

    AMY GOODMAN: Bill, you’ve talked in The New York Times about you, yourself, being persecuted. Can you talk about who has been going after you, photographing you, and what this is all about?

    BILL McKIBBEN: There’s an outfit called America Rising Squared, or something, some kind of right-wing GOP fossil fuel industry sort of thing—no one quite knows where their money comes from. And they announced earlier in the year that they were going to do opposition research and video tracking on a level that previously had been reserved, as they said, for presidential candidates. So, yes, sometimes now, often now in public, there are people following me everywhere with cameras and stuff. I don’t—I mean, look, it’s not a lot of fun, but compared to what’s happening to people in other places, I can live with it. It’s not like, you know—

    AMY GOODMAN: But what are they doing exactly?

    BILL McKIBBEN: Well, they’re tracking me everywhere I go.

    AMY GOODMAN: This isn’t just when you’re at a public protest.

    BILL McKIBBEN: No, it’s—I give a speech, or I’m in the—you know, they follow me. And, you know, so once or twice I’ve had to sort of go into the men’s room to try and, you know—it’s just designed to get in one’s head, I guess. And frankly, sometimes it does a little bit. But I don’t—I really want to say, look, there are environmental activists who are now getting shot in this world on a weekly basis, people in countries that are trying to stop mines, stop pipelines. I mean, it’s a great luxury to be in America, at least until we elect Donald Trump, that we don’t have to worry quite in those ways. The real point is that the fossil fuel industry will do anything—anything—to avoid actually talking about the issue. And the issue is that if they keep their business model going, then the planet tanks. That’s where we are.

    Reply
    • Of course the fossil fuel interests are targeting Bill. He gave that whole pack of trolls a bloody nose. Now they’ve taken away his right to privacy as a form of political harassment. Not surprising. But it just goes to show you how oppressive the fossil fuel industry influence has become.

      Reply
  45. Genomik

     /  September 30, 2016

    Tesla maintenance costs are cheap, cheap, cheap!

    The electric vehicle long-distance taxi firm Tesloop (which uses Teslas, as you might guess) recently released data that reiterates this point. After having run a Tesla Model S for over 200,000 miles (with frequent deep charging to 100% and deep discharging), the vehicle in question only suffered a 6% loss in max battery pack capacity/range. (Tip of the hat to “ApauloThirteen” on the Tesla Motors Club forum.)

    Notably, the brakes never needed to be replaced during these 200,000 miles, and there were also no other major maintenance issues. Another note to make, the Model S in question was a 2015.

    http://cleantechnica.com/2016/09/30/tesloop-ran-model-s-200000-miles-learn-no-brake-replacement-no-major-maintenance-issues-6-battery-degradation/

    Reply
  46. Greg

     /  September 30, 2016

    Follow the water. This is Minnesota River

    Reply
  47. Greg

     /  September 30, 2016

    The models had Maryland/D.C as the target of the cutoff low but looks like it was further east in Delmarva Peninsula. Some areas have gotten over 10 inches (25 cm).

    Reply
    • Yep. All the big stuff tracked off to the east of where NOAA had painted the bull’s eye. Still pretty close to the forecast with max totals exceeding it about around 2 inches.

      Reply
  48. Greg

     /  September 30, 2016

    Same area of Mid-Atlantic could get huge amounts of rain in one week from Hurricane Mathew

    Reply
    • The forecast maps have varied quite a bit over the past few days. Currently GFS and CMC have the storm coming on shore in the Carolinas. Meanwhile, ECMWF has it doing a big button hook just off the US East Coast while staying in the 935 to 950 mb range.

      Reply
  49. Greg

     /  September 30, 2016

    Eric Holthaus Verified account
    ‏@EricHolthaus
    Just four hurricanes have made landfall in Jamaica at Category 3+ strength since records begin in 1851. #Matthew could be the fifth.

    Reply
  50. Greg

     /  September 30, 2016

    Midwest U.S. Floods September 2016 linked to Climate Change:
    http://www.climatesignals.org/headlines/events/midwest-floods-september-2016

    Reply
  51. Genomik

     /  September 30, 2016

    Lima fire in Santa Cruz mountains at 4,000 acres. This is very very close to Silicon Valley in Santa Clara/Santa Cruz counties.

    It’s in eastern side of Santa Cruz mountains which loosely go from Monterey to Santa Cruz to San Francisco to San Jose and have spectacular forests including lots of redwoods.

    I’ve been hiking there recently and seeing very dry conditions and fires like this are mortifying. There’s been fires out here before but with many years of drought they are becoming a tinder box. There’s 10’s of thousands of homes in these mountains including many Silicon Valley mansions. The whole area bordered by Hiway 17 to SF is about 60 miles long and 30 wide at the bottom and filled with massive redwood forests.

    I always dreamed of living there but not any more. Now I’m happy to live in San Francisco (at least from fire perspective).

    http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2016/09/29/loma-fire-santa-cruz-mountains-4000-acres/

    Reply
    • Genomik

       /  September 30, 2016

      BTW This Loma fire is only about 60 miles away from the massive Sobranes Fire south of Monterey that’s been burning for over two months and 130,000 acres! These fires should be a wake up call for any locals still asleep to the enormous threat California coastal forests (and all others) face due to fire and climate change.

      Reply
  52. Spike

     /  September 30, 2016

    Interesting to see Watson quoted above talking of 1.5C by 2050. I recall Mann saying 2036 but presume they are using differing baselines for “pre- industrial”.

    Reply
    • We’re seeing different estimates from different scientific sources. At 0.15 C decadal warming rates, we’ll see a year that hits 1.5 C by the 2030s. That’s the current path and the one that Mann was projecting. A strong mitigation response might slow that warming down enough to achieve 1.5 C by 2050. But that intense mitigation would have to start now.

      Noting some of Watson’s recent media commentary, though, I think he was highlighting the fact that hitting 2 C by 2050 was likely on the current emissions path.

      Reply
  53. Reply
    • Hah! Just posted about this.

      DT — Just going through my old facebook mail and found that you had a request to use one of my poems in a book you’re working on (the mail is old, from months ago). I just want to let you know that I’m fine with that so long as it’s attributed. Sorry if you already got a reply. I just don’t recall discussing it with you.

      Best, –R

      Reply
  54. Greg

     /  September 30, 2016

    Mathew now a solid Cat 4

    Reply
  55. coloradobob

     /  September 30, 2016

    Another great photo spread –

    Vanishing Arctic: how warming climate leaves remote permafrost islands on the precipice
    By Olga Gertcyk30 September 2016
    Across the Russian polar regions, these eye-catching pictures show how thawing soil leads to territories being washed away.
    http://siberiantimes.com/other/others/news/n0753-vanishing-arctic-how-warming-climate-leaves-remote-permafrost-islands-on-the-precipice/

    Reply
  56. JPL

     /  September 30, 2016

    DISOBEDIENCE – The rise of the global fossil fuel resistance

    Posted to youtube yesterday. Great!

    Reply
  57. Greg

     /  September 30, 2016

    Ginger Zee ‏@Ginger_Zee
    10-15″ of rain(Max of 25″)expected in Jamaica & southern Haiti. Life-threatening flash floods & mud slides possible

    Reply
  58. Greg

     /  September 30, 2016

    The cutoff low dropping copious amounts of rain in the Mid-Atlantic states looks rather dramatic from GEOS:

    Reply
  59. Jay M

     /  October 1, 2016

    getting some new seasonal moisture patterns?

    Reply
  60. Reply
  61. *Aghast in Japan: It’s really too bad that we don’t, isn’t it? Because then people would notice that it is still the same people behind-the-figureheads in power that are in control of government policies.And that’s worldwide, not just USA and over where you are with old ‘honest’ ABE the Nuclear PM… What Fukushima is doing is so much worse than Chernobyl that has that gigantic exclusion zone forever and he’s doing exactly what? Making people move back?

    On another note; Lightning Storm # 21 hit today 30 Sept at 2:30pm with air temp nearing 80’F. First drop hit the windshield as I got back in the truck after closing the gate with bolts like tridents going sideways in the huge black t-cloud mass that blew in from the sw to right overhead. Bolts grounded but I don’t know where. Within a mile or less from the count from the flash.

    The sky faucet opened. Drops pounding within a minute as I jumped out to get the garden moved into the shop; then it switched to hail that was also hitting very very hard. Big rocks of ice, size of my pinkie nail or so. They hurt! Temp dropped 15′ or so within minutes, also. Totally unexpected, no prediction for thunderheads to be here today.

    I was in chainsaw gear, ballcap & chaps over jeans and boots & longsleeve t, and it rained so hard that I was instantly soaked completely through with water just sloshing off. It was so intense that I put my safety glasses back on. No kidding. And chainsaw chaps are really thick tough material but not against this deluge. Bent some of the garden the poor dears but no lasting damage.

    The storm lasted no more than 15 minutes. Hot sunny sky with warm wind blowing and cloud masses floating by, then BOOM right on the head. Very localized.

    DAPL:

    Citing Environmental Risks, Scientists Back Tribes in Dakota Access Fight
    Meanwhile, a Reuters investigation finds pipeline spill detection system severely flawed

    http://commondreams.org/news/2016/09/30/citing-environmental-risks-scientists-back-tribes-dakota-access-fight

    Close to 100 scientists have signed onto a letter decrying “inadequate environmental and cultural impact assessments” for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), and calling for a halt to construction until such tests have been carried out as requested by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

    Lead signatories Stephanie Januchowski-Hartley, Anne Hilborn, Katherine Crocker, and Asia Murphy drew attention to the missive in a letter to the journal Science published Friday.

    “The DAPL project is just one of many haphazard approaches to natural resource extraction that overlook broader consequences of oil development,” they wrote.

    Furthermore, the open letter (AT LINK ABOVE: pdf) states, “We as scientists are concerned about the potential local and regional impacts from the DAPL, which is symptomatic of the United States’ continued dependence on fossil fuels in the face of predicted broad-scale social and ecological impacts from global climate change.” Specifically, they cite the Standing Rock Sioux’s concerns that the pipeline project threatens biodiversity and clean water.

    Underscoring those concerns, a Reuters investigation into the nation’s pipeline system published Friday reveals that “sensitive technology designed to pick up possible spills is about as successful as a random member of the public…finding it, despite efforts from pipeline operators.”

    In fact, according to the Reuters analysis of U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) data, “[o]ver the last six years, there have been 466 incidents where a pipeline carrying crude oil or refined products has leaked. Of those, 105, or 22 percent, were detected by an advanced detection system.”

    Even more troubling, the data “shows the leak detection systems have caught small leaks and missed some of the largest,” Reuters reports, with six out of the largest 10 pipeline spills in the U.S. since 2010 going undetected by these systems.

    Beyond its potential for local devastation, DAPL will make it nigh impossible for the U.S. to meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement to limit global warming, the scientists said in their letter.

    As Bill McKibben said Friday on Democracy Now! of the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies: “They’re holding the line against something that threatens not only their reservation, but threatens the whole planet. We do not—we cannot pump more oil. We’ve got to stop opening up new reserves.”

    Reply
    • Yeah Selkirk Seal, it is. Reminds me of Taleb’s “Black Swan”. One chapter he verbally castigates gov’t economists with their lame, endlessly-revised, & utterly redundant GDP projections.

      Seems literally NO point in making the damn things, except of course, service for their master’s propaganda-machine.

      What information can be trusted in today’s world?..particularly in the so-called “developed” world. If they stash gold behind locked safe, where is truth stored, if it exists?

      Reply
  62. Greg

     /  October 1, 2016

    Jeff Masters newest blog re: Hurricane Mathew “Vertical wind shear of up to 20 knots has plagued Matthew for most of the last two days, yet the storm has not only maintained its structure but grown at a ferocious rate. Dissertations may be written on how this happened! Working in Matthew’s favor has been a steadily moistening atmosphere along its westward path, which means that the shearing winds didn’t push too much dry air into Matthew. Once it developed a central core, Matthew was able to fend off the wind shear much more effectively. In addition, water temperatures are unusually warm throughout the Caribbean (and the entire western North Atlantic), with an area of high oceanic heat content directly beneath Matthew’s path. Such deep oceanic heat allows a storm to strengthen without churning up cooler waters from below that could blunt the intensification.
    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3453#commenttop

    Reply
  63. Greg

     /  October 1, 2016

    A tropical depression just a couple of days ago and now a Cat 5!

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  October 1, 2016

      Reply
      • wili

         /  October 1, 2016

        Seems to have weakened back to a 4 now, and they expect further weakening as it passes over Jamaica.

        Reply
        • Greg

           /  October 1, 2016

          The story on this hurricane has barely begun. This week will bring a lot of sad news. Cat1, 2, or 3 or tropical depression. It carries a lot of energy and water north.

        • Greg

           /  October 1, 2016

          This is Kingston, Jamaica at 1:00 a.m. this morning. They are stocking up as they are taking this storm seriously:

      • An abnormal storm from the start. This thing keeps coming up with surprises. Let’s hope the folks in Haiti, Cuba and Jamaica fare well over the next 24-48 hours. Real beast rolling in.

        Reply
  64. 44 south

     /  October 1, 2016

    What is wrong with you people? Are you all so divorced from the natural world that you don’t know how food is produced anymore?
    It’s not going to need anything extreme or dramatic to end the current arrangements.
    All it needs is a spring too wet to work the ground, and/or a summer too dry to grow a crop, and/or an autumn too damp to bring in that crop, (or some wind, hail, snow event), x 2 or 3; and suddenly there’s no harvest or seed left to plant.
    No alternative energy setup or electric car saves you in that scenario, only a diverse food source and the means to “secure” it.
    My advice is to spend less time on a computer, and more time in the garden and putting holes in targets.

    Reply
    • Andy_in_SD

       /  October 1, 2016

      Some incorrect assumptions there 44 south. Some of us grew up learning everything you mention. Just because I know how to use a computer doesn’t mean I do not know how to live off the land.

      Reply
    • wili

       /  October 1, 2016

      What is wrong with you…? Are you all so divorced from the … world that you don’t know how food is _transported_ anymore?

      (Fixed that for ya! ‘-) )

      “a spring too wet to work the ground, and/or a summer too dry to grow a crop, and/or an autumn too damp to bring in that crop, (or some wind, hail, snow event)”

      Of course, all those happen, and are happening more and more, and in more and more places. Right now most are being saved by the fact that it is not happening everywhere all the time, so food is being transported.

      And as Andy points out, it is rather obnoxious to assume that because someone posts occasionally on a forum that they are ignorant of and incompetent in everything else. I happen to have established an urban farm this year, and have been growing at least some food for my family an for the community pretty much every year of my adult life. But I don’t think we all should have to trot out our bona fides because you came in here assuming the worst of us, do you?

      Reply
    • Griffin

       /  October 1, 2016

      I appreciate the advice. After visiting this forum several times a day every day for the last few years, I didn’t quite have a good handle on the projected future state of our threat environment. Yep, reading every day about the impacts that our energy imbalance has brought to our planet has indeed left me “disconnected from the natural world”. Holes in targets”. Got it. I am good now. Thanks. 😉

      Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  October 1, 2016

      What is wrong with you…?

      In my case, blunt force trauma to the head, what’s your excuse ?

      Reply
    • Edward

       /  October 1, 2016

      “What is wrong with you people?”

      I’m just waiting for Hell to come to breakfast!!!

      Reply
    • Greg

       /  October 1, 2016

      44 South,
      This is not a doomer site, even if we all get down now and then. We respect each other here and focus on sharing accurate information regarding climate change and related social justice impacts and correct our information when warranted, though most is excellent. We, as a whole, are not a community interested in retreating to our holes and practicing only self absorbed survival skills that will not have any real value to our sense of our humanity or give us any meaning. The loss of the natural and human beauty around us motivates us. Many of us do have significant experience, should we need it, for self-sufficiency. I am a soils scientist by training and have done numerous survival trainings, vision quests in the Rockies, backpacked/lived in and throughout some of the worst failed states in Asia and Africa and lived among remote tribes, etc, blah, blah, blah. We all have or had rich lives full of experience and we share each other’s wisdom. The only thing “wrong” with us is our addiction to caring. Robert keeps us on track and if you have something to contribute you are welcome here to do so. Otherwise, listen in and keep telling the world that absolute catastrophe is not a foregone conclusion and we need to fight for our collective future in any way we can. Stopping Fossil fueled based economy will, without question, be the best thing we can all do. We can survive eating crickets we grow in our basements, if we have to. I for one hope to avoid that, though they do actually not taste so bad.

      Reply
      • Shucks. I take a break moderating for a couple of days and here you guys are making me proud. Fantastic replies to the rant above. I don’t think I need to add one thing.

        Reply
  65. Haven’t watched endless supplies of dystopian movies. That said…

    – The Road
    – Children Of Men

    Sometimes wonder which flick will prove more prescient? Bills are certainly coming due.
    Food supplies? Lotsa’ good folk will be left holding the proverbial bag.
    Hard truths that many are afraid to confront.

    Reply
  66. coloradobob

     /  October 1, 2016

    Red Tide: Fish Kills Reported in Pinellas, Sarasota and Manatee Counties

    SARASOTA, FL — The red tide bloom that has been causing fish kills and respiratory irritation in Sarasota and Manatee counties has made itself known in Pinellas County. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, a report of a fish kill came in from St. Pete Beach over the past few days.

    Florida’s Gulf Coast has been dealing with on-again, off-again red tide issues for a few weeks. Red tide, also known as Karena brevis, is a naturally occurring organism found in Gulf waters. When it accumulates in large amounts, it can kill fish and lead to respiratory irritation in people and animals.

    http://patch.com/florida/sarasota/red-tide-fish-kills-reported-pinellas-sarasota-manatee-counties

    Reply
  67. June

     /  October 1, 2016

    update on Larsen C fissure.

    Rift Speeds Up Across Antarctic Ice Shelf

    As the sun reemerged over the Antarctic horizon in August after the long, dark austral winter, satellites could once again peer at a rift that has been wending its way across the white expanse of the Larsen C Ice Shelf on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula.

    To the surprise of scientists, satellite images revealed that the fissure had grown by about 13 miles over just a few months — much faster than its previous pace.

    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/rift-speeds-up-across-antarctic-ice-shelf-20752

    Reply
  68. Greg

     /  October 1, 2016

    New York Daily News has earned Donald’s wrath. Headline “Donald’s tiny part in Playboy video” This election is a complete farce. If it were not so critical to our future, I would laugh.
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/donald-trump-appears-unearthed-2000-playboy-porn-video-article-1.2813554

    Reply
    • wili

       /  October 1, 2016

      “Donald’s tiny part”

      Yeah, how much more do we have to hear about how big his ‘part’ is.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  October 1, 2016

        Or how tiny, in this case, apparently.

        Reply
        • Abel Adamski

           /  October 2, 2016

          That is the source I suspect of his bringing up porn in his attack on the miss Universe winner.
          He really wanted to be a porn star, but wasn’t fir for the role, lets say his little fingers, and his one role in a Playboy “Epic” he kept his clothes on.
          So just pure jealousy

    • Wow! Really? How cow!

      Reply
  69. Greg

     /  October 1, 2016

    Matthew Rain projections. Some very big numbers. 20 inches (50 cm) plus

    Reply
  70. Josh

     /  October 1, 2016

    hope this is of interest and not too off topic:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/heathrow-airport-die-in-stay-grounded_uk_57efb3d3e4b0397f73b9b00d

    “Heathrow Airport ‘Mass Die-In’ Protests Against Climate Impact Of Expansion Plans

    Hundreds of people have ‘dropped dead’ at London’s Heathrow airport in a series of mass demonstrations against climate change and airport expansion.

    The protest on Saturday afternoon saw a mass bicycle ‘blockade’ as well as hundreds of activists wearing gas masks lying in a terminal to protest against airport expansion.”

    I am immensely proud to have played a very small role in this myself. Even if aviation is a small part of our emissions overall, letting it expand really sends all the wrong signals – that we only need small changes to our way of life, that offsetting is a viable way to mitigate all the emissions from an industry (the new ICAO plan, it seems)

    Not to mention that a key report justifying the expansion in the context of existing climate targets in the UK relies on a new tax being introduced to reduce flights. To which a simple retort is: “If there will be fewer flights why build a new runway”.

    This in the UK, a country that already has very high rates of air travel per capita. It comes down to priorities. Flying, construction, heating, other transport…. What do we want to prioritise of we have to limit emissions? It doesn’t help that flying can’t be easily greened.

    Reply
  71. 18:26 UTC

    Reply
  72. Cate

     /  October 1, 2016

    A new study lead-authored by tee ex-IPCC chair Dr Robert Watson says we are on track to hit 2C by 2050.

    “Global GHG emissions are not projected to decrease fast enough, even if all the pledges are fully implemented. Full implementation of the pledges will require the promised US$100 billion per year in financial assistance for developing countries to be realized. As a result, the 1.5°C target could be reached by the early 2030s and the 2°C target by 2050.”

    http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/09/30/forget-paris-scientists-say-radical-change-only-way-stay-below-2-degrees

    Reply
  73. Cate

     /  October 1, 2016

    https://www.carbonbrief.org/what-technologies-are-available-for-meeting-1-point-5-degrees

    This is a pretty concise yet comprehensive summary of carbon capture and storage technologies that were discussed at the “Oxford conference” last week.

    It’s interesting, as well as instructive, to see that the specialists in this field by no means agree with each other on just about any aspect of CCS—except that it’s going to cost. A lot.

    Reply
  74. coloradobob

     /  October 1, 2016

    Greg / October 1, 2016
    44 South,

    Well said there amigo , very well said.

    44 South
    After the Haitian Earthquake , I led an effort online that bought nearly $70,000 of “Shelter Boxes “. Don Imus gave us $ 10,000, and it just took off. I’ll go get our box list .
    Sitting at computer is the greatest revolution since Gutenberg started pouring lead type. Why would I want to miss it ?

    And, has been so thoughtfully pointed out by others, many of us can walk and chew gum at the same time.

    “Shelter Boxes ”
    https://www.shelterbox.org/

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  October 1, 2016

      Since ShelterBox began in 2000, your support has helped us provide shelter for more than 1 million people. A million people who not only have protection from the elements, but a place to call home.

      Reply
  75. coloradobob

     /  October 1, 2016

    44 South

    My horse is “higher than yours”. And since you rode by on your “high horse”. Here’s mine –

    BOXES DONATED BY MR COLORADO BOB, USA

    http://www.shelterboxaustralia.com.au/trackbox.php?ClientName=Mr+Colorado+Bob&Country=USA

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  October 1, 2016

      I tried to count them , but the old “Blunt Force Trauma” keeps me from counting above 50, and “knowing my elbow from a hot rock”.

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  October 1, 2016

        Bless you CB, what a difference this has made for so many people in their time of need. You are a Jack ass with a serious ability to carry more than your own weight.

        Reply
      • Ailsa

         /  October 1, 2016

        CB, a beautiful surprise to learn what you have done with this. I took a look at the Shelterbox site and… just thank you to all involved.

        Reply
    • 44 south

       /  October 1, 2016

      No high horse involved Bob or I would probably have fallen off it.
      The feedback deserved and taken on board. I vacillate between great sympathy for my fellow humans and huge anger towards them and am deep in the latter state at present.
      My part of the world has been shrouded in low cloud for 30+ days now and only one of the next ten forecast sunny. That is starting to look Biblical.
      My neighbour’s 3 solar panels and 9 batteries all but useless. You would go broke trying to sell solar or wind down here based on the last month in South Canterbury. My drunken last comment was an ill advised attempt to illustrate how undramatic events may undermine all your best intentions. But I wish you luck anyway.

      Reply
      • Lindsay Berge

         /  October 2, 2016

        Despair is a reasonable but not a helpful response to our current situation. Objectively, the chances of the people of the world collectively managing their resources wisely and accepting appropriate limitations on things like travel and energy consumption are slim. At least until there is obviously no choice and the good options are long gone.
        The is no choice but to make every effort to stave off disaster or to minimize the impact no matter how small the probability of success. Our descendants may live a life of apocalyptic horror and may curse our memory but that should be despite the best efforts of all who could bring themselves to face the issues. If a critical mass of people recognize the danger, a global response of the magnitude of the Second World War is possible. That level of sacrifice at every level: rationing, travel restrictions, civilian manufacturing committed entirely to war production, forced mobilization of workers, and total focus of government resources may fend of the worst outcomes.
        In the meantime, solar panels, recycling, energy conservation, support for renewable energy and political activism may be the only tools available to the individual in western societies.

        Reply
        • Well said.

          So it appears that storms have played havoc with South Australia’s infrastructure over the past weeks. The grid has taken a hit and pro fossil fuel forces are, as usual, trying to blame renewable energy. However, the intensity of these storms could well be linked to the climate change. And the increasingly distributed grid in Australia is actually more resilient to these kinds of impacts despite what some of the current pro-fossil fuel misinformation is stating.

  76. Griffin

     /  October 1, 2016

    Two weeks ago the shoreline at Barrow was lined with chunks of ice and floes were numerous offshore.
    Today the ice is gone. I have no idea how common that is but it does seem to show just how much heat that water gathered over the course of the open summer.
    http://seaice.alaska.edu/gi/observatories/barrow_webcam

    Reply
  77. coloradobob

     /  October 1, 2016

    44 South

    My high horse is higher than yours.

    And you put you the bit in my teeth.

    One more thing , my mothers garden on Buddy Holly Ave.

    It’s about 75 yards due West of his statue.

    It has a 700 gal Demo water harvester , we harvest half of of the rain falling on the Cactus Theater.

    A bit of documentation
    Friday, March 16, 2012
    The Monarch Way Station
    I bought the seeds and paid the fee, to become member of the Monarch Watch The Monarch Way Station project.

    http://peggychapmansgarden.blogspot.com/

    Reply
  78. coloradobob

     /  October 1, 2016

    The year I founded this garden , I made a clip about it.

    Peggy Chapman’s Garden

    So , zippy don’t lecture me, or my friends about virtue.

    Reply
  79. coloradobob

     /  October 1, 2016

    44 south

    Salt in the wound –

    The largest mobile solar food oven ever built.

    Colorado Bob’s Solar Oven – 6-4-09 Sheet metal work begins

    I shot the entire process in U-Tube clips

    Reply
  80. coloradobob

     /  October 1, 2016

    It really offends me , when me and friends are told that we are somehow , “Wrong” .

    My site for entire project
    Colorado Bob’s Solar Oven

    This is the end of site.

    http://cbsolaroven.blogspot.com/

    44 south

    I named this beast the Maria Telkes, because I was a clerk in a Whole Earth Store In Boulder in !971 . I don’t remember your ass at all.

    Go pick on some one else, you stepped in it. Here. But as that crazy Church of Christ sez –
    “WE love you+

    Reply
  81. coloradobob

     /  October 1, 2016

    This is not a pool of fools.

    Reply
  82. coloradobob

     /  October 1, 2016

    44 south / October 1, 2016
    No high horse involved Bob or I would probably have fallen off it.

    You did.
    Don’t poke people in the eye , I did it nearly everyday of my life. I did not move up the food chain very fast.

    Reply
  83. coloradobob

     /  October 1, 2016

    44 south
    Thank-you for letting me pick on you. I am in the fading into the old man phase,

    I am sorry my shit don’t sink.

    Reply
  84. Greg

     /  October 1, 2016

    For the deniers out there share this unequivocal indicator of climate change. Both poles (Greenland and Antarctica) land ice is declining:

    Reply
  85. Greg

     /  October 1, 2016

    Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. They don’t deserve this from Matthew or any other event.

    Reply
  86. Greg

     /  October 1, 2016

    Sprites are large-scale electrical discharges that occur high above thunderstorm clouds, or cumulonimbus, giving rise to a quite varied range of visual shapes flickering in the night sky. They are triggered by the discharges of positive lightning between an underlying thundercloud and the ground. Picture of Sprites taken by Frankie Lucena from a distance in Puerto Rico of Hurricane Matthew

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  October 2, 2016

      A really great photo of a rather hard to capture phenomenon!

      Reply
  87. coloradobob

     /  October 1, 2016

    44 south
    TS ann0r lp;sz. s9cct golss. s

    Reply
  88. coloradobob

     /  October 1, 2016

    Let’s 0wn lke s0gs.

    Reply
  89. *Aghast in Japan: Shades of gray everywhere, some really black areas, too, with very very ugly people living in them. Let me know if you get it figured out where most truth got buried. I’m guessing we already know some of who’ve been doing the burying!

    *44south, “drunken last comment?” Really? We all have those ‘holy shit what the F now are you kidding me?’ days. I try not to take it out on people and dogs. Dogs especially, as they are better people than most people. I would also suggest to avoid alcohol like the plague because drinking the most widely used poison/depressant and arguably the worst drug humans could possibly ingest (in my opinion) while watching/reading the world’s climate falling apart around our ears on a daily basis is probably not the best idea you could come up with for dealing with reality. Never seen anything good come from booze use…

    And I excused you for the rant you threw at me a while back over solar because, as I said, I have those days, too.

    *CB: My take on the term ‘doomers’ is that it should only be applied to those that are directly linked to pushing the policies that are CREATING this coming climate doom! Even Dr. ex-Prof Guy McPherson’s NatureBatsLast site isn’t pushing for more fossil fuel extraction so, even as emotionally black as it tends to be, it really isn’t a ‘doomer’ site. Just a very, very frightened one.

    Exxon, Halliburton, Shell, Koch brothers, the bankers backing the DAPL, everyone in the Heartland Institute or ALEC, Wall Street and anybody involved with making money off it all; the list gets big when you follow the money and power. Those people are the genuine freaking doomers!

    Reply
    • 44 south

       /  October 2, 2016

      Thanks for that. I agree with you on the booze and definitely re the dogs, I would be an even more obnoxious drunken jerk were it not for the mellowing influence of mine.
      But I have to confess that I am an unrepentant doomer, and have be since I read Lovelock’s book in 2006.
      BUT I wrote the first of many letters to the editor re climate change, immediately after that, and have always resented the inference here, that accepting we are toast means giving up.
      I step directly from a paddock into a home that is a real low tec converted bus. My water supply is a rain water tank from which I fill a 20lt container. Average power bill $35 a month. 9kg LPG lasts about 3 months.
      I haven’t “given up”.
      Except maybe on combining alcohol and the internet.
      Best to all.

      Reply
      • Lindsay Berge

         /  October 2, 2016

        44 south: I think I understand you better now and hope my reply did not come across as condescending.
        It appears you are doing everything you can to minimize your carbon footprint and remain painfully aware of the limitations of your approach. You hear people talking optimistically about solar panels and batteries and electric cars and it appears delusional.
        I think the issue is partly cultural. Americans seem to have a can-do attitude and faith (in technology or markets or God) which to other nationalities appears completely misplaced. I suppose everyone else seems negative and gloomy to them.
        Perhaps if other commenters spend a little time on Google checking out pictures of South Canterbury in New Zealand they may better understand the emotions which provoked your outburst. The idea of a place of such natural beauty being destroyed by climate change makes me a bit unhinged too.
        (from a neighbour 6 deg North and 27 deg West of you where the winter is over much earlier than it should be)

        Reply
    • Strongly agree with para on GM. Lots of hypocrites & vested interests playing shoot the messenger.

      Reply
  90. wili

     /  October 2, 2016

    Not enough tunes on this thread. This one pretty much says it all, for me, and with the requisite fervor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4625W-qXI0o

    Reply
  91. Ailsa

     /  October 2, 2016

    Thought about trying to suggest songs for each of the 5 stages of grief, but just ended up with this one.

    Stevie Wonder

    Reply
    • Ailsa

       /  October 2, 2016

      Actually I lied – here’s a masterpiece for those desperately angry times

      Reply
  92. Ailsa

     /  October 2, 2016

    You could even try this if its to your taste

    Reply
  93. Jacob

     /  October 2, 2016

    Here’s a song and an artist I like.

    Reply
  94. Greg

     /  October 2, 2016

    How come all the old and serious farts get to cry out the world’s emotions. Time for some yunglings. Grace has my heart right now:

    Reply
  95. 06:24 UTC

    Reply
    • Bob Henson ‏@bhensonweather 2h2 hours ago

      Tonight’s media coverage of Matthew is focused mainly on Jamaica and Cuba, but the suffering in Haiti may end up being far, far greater.

      Reply
      • Tony Lyza ‏@tlyzawx 3h3 hours ago

        Jeanne killed 3000 people in Haiti in 2004 as a TS simply from flooding. The potential for a catastrophe from #Matthew is unimaginable.

        Reply
  96. FYI: Chaba is heading for Japan.

    Reply
  97. Reply
    • wili

       /  October 3, 2016

      It’s not surprising that Trump doesn’t understand much about science, but 7 out of 100 is truly embarrassing. I have to say, though, that the pro-nuke and pro-GMO biases of the judges were largely responsible for Stein doing worse than Clinton. There are very good, science-based reasons to be against or wary of both nukes and GMOs.

      Reply
    • So Trump showed up to the exam and scored a 7? That sounds pretty unprecedented to me. I don’t think, even if we went back to the 18th Century, we could find a Presidential candidate who possessed such a stunning degree of ignorance.

      Reply
  98. Cate

     /  October 2, 2016

    Say you are doing something that science has proved will destroy all life on earth, including your own grandchildren, if you keep doing it. Say you keep doing it anyway.

    What does that make you?

    That’s what the world and corporate leaders are who are pushing business as usual.

    What is to be done about them?

    Reply
    • Leaders can only lead those who are willing to follow and my personal experience is that most people, including those who say Donald Trump is a national disgrace, continue to live in their American dreamworld, content in the belief that the right president, some new technology, an omnipotent higher power, will keep them comfy.

      Reply
    • wili

       /  October 2, 2016

      When will people start seeing them as terrorist?

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  October 2, 2016

        wili, yeah. Nailed it.

        marcy, leaders can manipulate—-okay, brainwash—–the population to do whatever the leaders want: for proof, look at the rise or Hitler, or closer to our own time, the wholesale acceptance of neo-liberal ideology. Given that power, and in view of the science which is ever more dire, world leaders MAY choose to manipulate public opinion to accept the sacrifices and transformations needed for the long-term good of the planet. I’m lamenting the fact that they are choosing NOT to do this.

        Reply
        • I’m not referring to people who have been brainwashed. I’m referring to the people with whom I come in contact, people who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo or “business as usual”: attorneys who are managing partners, CPAs and MBAs in firms with clients such as corporations like Citibank, university faculty who live off a system that depends on student debt, government bureaucrats that work for the IRS or the agriculture department… You mention Nazi Germany so I would describe the people I’m talking about as “little Eichmanns”, all the enablers who prop up the system and it’s current leaders.

    • That they have chosen to inflict the most profound and devastating form of violence on themselves, life on Earth, and their progeny.

      Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  October 4, 2016

      Cate, they must be disempowered and human beings empowered in their place. If they go quietly, and the world and humanity is not too greatly harmed, we ought to treat them humanely, by making them work, for once in their lives, say planting trees and the like. We can’t think of violent or cruel retribution, because violence is THEIR preference.

      Reply
      • And they, especially those controlling the Military Industrial Complex, are better at dishing out the violence than anybody. Not only that, they can get half of us proles to kill off the other half for their (the leaders’ not the proles’) benefit. Rinse and repeat till all the proles are gone.

        Reply
  99. Cate

     /  October 2, 2016

    I’m feeling a little distressed for young people lately. Someone shared the story about reaching 2C by 2050 and a comment went, “WHAT?? I’m 17…” It’s easy—or hard—enough for the old hippies among us to contemplate mortality and yes, even apocalypse, in the final third of life, but can you imagine being 17, and reading all this stuff, when you should be looking forward with stars in your eyes to career, adventures, life in full? This has to be another huge and invisible casualty of climate change—this terrible theft from youth of their natural confidence in the future.

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  October 2, 2016

      “Huge and invisible casualty”. Very well said Cate.
      I could not agree more with your entire point.

      Reply
  100. Cate

     /  October 2, 2016

    One more little Sunday morning thought—I expect the US military, at least, has a plan, that is, a plan for when domestic panic strikes (eg, when food shortages kick in) and martial law will be required. Armed personnel would be deployed among the population, civil rights suspended, and rule by force would become the new normal for an indefinite period.

    This happened in Canada in 1970, for only a few months, when Pierre Trudeau imposed a country-wide “War Measures Act” in response to an FLQ attack. It’s easy enough for a government to do, if civil disorder threatens. With this trump (accidental pun) card, no wonder our leaders are so blasé. They will be safe behind the wall.

    And to clarify: I am not a doomer. I think—I know—-we CAN forestall the worst. We do have the technology and many people are ready to dive in and start working. But I just don’t see many signs of the political WILL to do what must be done.

    Reply
    • wili

       /  October 2, 2016

      Most police forces have already been fully militarized in the US. Why people (beyond BLM and the like) don’t see that as deeply problematic to our democracy is beyond me. Legally, the army is not supposed to be used directly against US citizens on our soil. But drones and police militarization are pointing out some of the ways the US gov will get around that.

      Reply
    • Andy_in_SD

       /  October 2, 2016

      One more little Sunday morning thought—I expect the US military, at least, has a plan, that is, a plan for when domestic panic strikes (eg, when food shortages kick in) and martial law will be required.

      The answer is yes.

      Reply
    • As I recall, P.E.T. called it “apprehended insurrection”.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  October 3, 2016

        dt, yes, and his response was then and still is controversial, but in the end, no harm was done and the FLQ threat was emasculated. He called their bluff. PET understood that some foes are only strengthened by pussy-footing around. He knew from history how leaders deal successfully with those kinds of threats, that is, threats to the existence of a society or a nation—or a planet.

        I can only wish that the son had a fraction of the father’s backbone.

        Reply
    • Cate — wonderfully profound statements coming from you as usual. I just want to let you know how much I enjoyed reading them.

      Reply
  101. Genomik

     /  October 2, 2016

    Leonardo DiCaprio is my new favorite Hollywood person. Such an Eco-warrior. He’s getting the word out! Movie trailer embedded in link.

    We obviously follow the climate change ‘debate’ pretty closely here and as the cause moves into popular culture, we’re here to cheer it on. Leonardo DiCaprio’s documentary Before the Flood will hit the National Geographic Channel on October 31st,

    In the clip screenshot above and embedded below, it appears that DiCaprio is touring the Tesla Gigafactory 1 outside of Reno Nevada. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is tells him that 100 of these factories are needed to remove fossil fuels from the global energy equation and move to sustainable energy.

    Also making appearances in the movie are Barack Obama, Pope Francis, Bill Clinton and John Kerry, among others.

    https://electrek.co/2016/10/01/leonardo-dicaprioelon-musk-gigafactory/

    Reply
  102. Greg

     /  October 2, 2016

    Matthew is heading north and soon will be hitting warmer waters (see below) before it hits land. Haiti is a prime target.

    Reply
  103. wharf rat

     /  October 2, 2016

    Of the 2 leading presidential candidates, the “poor” crooked one paid more in taxes last year than the rich one has paid in an entire lifetime, which no doubt is longer cuz he got 5 deferments for Nam.

    Reply
  104. Genomik

     /  October 2, 2016

    Very insightful article about how to get political traction on climate change which Is to talk about clean energy instead. Polls show many more Americans, especially republicans are more open to spending money on clean energy rather than climate change.

    I’ll take it! I’ll run with this strategy more as its optimistic as well. Already clean energy promises to be a massive wealth creator. Fundamentally a positive message about opportunity rather than horrors of climate change will probably be better received by my friends (who I can depress pretty quickly by showing climate reality)!

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2016/10/02/climate-change-cant-get-any-traction-in-this-election-but-clean-energy-can/#5005e26e2eed

    Reply
    • Both are necessary — carrot = clean energy, stick = climate change. Climate change is the why. Of course Jeff and Forbes appear to have forgotten that a long, long time ago.

      Reply
  105. Syd Bridges

     /  October 2, 2016

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/weekly.htm

    Week beginning on September 25, 2016: 400.72 ppm
    Weekly value from 1 year ago: 397.25 ppm
    Weekly value from 10 years ago: 378.94 ppm

    The rise over one year ago is 3.47 ppm of CO2. Some of that must come from fossil fuels. The El Nino may have outgassed some from the oceans, but these fires and the melting permafrost must be adding significantly to that increase. If increases of 3 ppm is to be the new yearly norm, which seems plausible, we will need massive emissions reductions to avoid catastrophe.

    I heard a joke (or is it?) today about the US and the UK being in a race to see which country can totally screw itself the fastest. My country, the UK, has leapt into the lead with the Brexit, vote but their are growing fears that we will lose when the US plays its Trump card.
    .
    (Apologies to Cate and MM, as this is probably at least a four horse race).

    Reply
    • Syd Bridges

       /  October 2, 2016

      Thinking further on the topic of this post, it must be at least a five horse race, as Vlad the Impaler is clearly in with a shout here.

      Reply
  106. Syd Bridges

     /  October 2, 2016

    When looking at today’s MLO CO2 figures, I remembered that I had not checked the ENSO update from last Monday. The values for 26-09-2016 are:

    The latest weekly SST
    departures are:
    Niño 4 – 0.2ºC
    Niño 3.4 -0.4ºC
    Niño 3 -0.1ºC
    Niño 1+2 0.8ºC

    It will be interesting to see tomorrow’s update, but it looks as though your prediction that La Nina would fizzle out is coming true, Robert.

    Reply
  107. Inspiration from famous poet, BTD

    So many I’ve met, labeled me as a doomer
    Now that one’s blase – oh he’s a rich boomer
    Proclaimin’ that tech
    Makes sea-worthy, our wreck
    & a certain collapse, is just merely a rumour

    Reply
  108. Greg

     /  October 3, 2016

    These are huge 30+ (75+cm) inches of rain models now of Haiti near Port-Au-Prince for Hurricane Matthew. I have heard/read nothing to show they can/have prepared. Mon Dieu.

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  October 3, 2016

      A geography that lends itself to catching lots of rain and they’ve denuded the vegetation and soils

      Reply
    • g. orwell

       /  October 3, 2016

      “…I have heard/read nothing to show they can/have prepared….”
      What protocols are typical, anyway?

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  October 3, 2016

        Last minute preparations include successfully evacuating people to concrete structures. No news of this in Haiti. Here is a picture of long term ill-preparation. Slopes in Haiti without trees and roots to protect soils. Poverty, plain and simple

        Reply
        • Haiti is a deforested land featuring rugged, steep terrain. Heavy rains will produce vicious flash floods and terrible mudslides in that state. Long years of exploitation and abuse of the environment there has produced what could best be described as a death trap for human beings and animals. It’s a harsh environment akin to a moonscape. A good example of what happens when lands and people aren’t taken care of.

  109. Cate

     /  October 3, 2016

    The great Eskimo Blue Day. It’s always time for Gracie.

    Reply
  110. Jay M

     /  October 3, 2016

    Moisture highway:

    Reply
  111. Cate: Read the (un)PATRIOT Act, then peruse the Military Commissions Act of 2006. What a piece of work those two documents are. They are very close to the 1934 German ‘Enabling Act’ document in fact. Between the two they took care of ‘that piece of paper’ as W Bush called the Constitution. Then Google what ex-Pres. Jimmy Carter is saying at meetings in Europe about the US.

    You BET the vicious ruling class has a plan along with somewhere to be safe (as if there is such a place if the climate goes…). They also have made sure the ‘legal mechanisms’ are in place for it. Remember, everything any totalitarian state does is legal since they just change the laws. EASY!

    NEWS on DAPL: Natives continue to stand up in support of other tribes:

    Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians Donates $250,000 to Standing Rock Legal Fund

    http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/09/29/agua-caliente-band-cahuilla-indians-donates-250000-standing-rock-legal-fund-165943

    The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians is donating $250,000 to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s legal fund, citing the need to keep pushing for proper consultation even after the Dakota Access oil pipeline issue is decided.

    “We support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s effort to ensure the United States Army Corps of Engineers, or any other agency or department of the United States, strictly adheres to federal environmental review and tribal consultation requirements prior to authorizing any projects that may damage the environment or any sites that are of historic, religious, and cultural significance to any Indian tribe,” said Agua Caliente Chairman Jeff L. Grubbe in a statement on September 27, calling on President Barack Obama to make sure consultation is thorough. “We are calling on the Administration not only to follow the clear requirements of the law in this case and rescind the permit and require a full EIS, but to do what is morally right in protecting these lands that are sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux. Like the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and the hundreds of tribes across the United States, we are stewards of the land, and we must be ever vigilant to protect our ancestral lands and all of the resources therein for the many generations to come.”

    The 400-member band owns two casino-spas near Palm Springs, as well as hosts visitors at famed Indian Canyon, Tahitz Canyon and other sites of historical and spiritual interest.

    The Agua Caliente also encouraged other tribes and organizations to donate or provide political support to ongoing efforts to put in place “thorough government-to-government consultation related to federal decision making on all projects that incorporates tribal input in a meaningful way,” the band said in its statement.

    The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has received support from more than 200 tribes and indigenous organizations in the United States alone, in addition to cities and municipalities, and from Indigenous Peoples worldwide who recognize the threat to, and essential nature of, water. The 1,172-mile-long pipeline would carry about half a billion barrels of oil daily from the Bakken oil fields in northwestern North Dakota, through four states to refineries in Patoka, Illinois.

    Standing Rock has sued pipeline builder Dakota Access LLC and is facing numerous associated legal costs as its leaders fight to keep parent company Energy Transfer Partners from routing the pipeline under the Missouri River a half-mile from the reservation.

    The Agua Caliente had already sent a letter of support to the Standing Rock Sioux on September 9, stating, “Specifically, we support your effort to ensure that the United States Army Corps of Engineers, or any other agency or department of the United States, strictly adheres to federal environmental review and tribal consultation requirements prior to authorizing any projects that may damage the environment or any sites that are of historic, religious, and cultural significance to any Indian tribe.”

    Reply
  112. Greg

     /  October 3, 2016

    Dr. Masters’ update Hurricane Matthew.
    It is not out of the question that Matthew could regain Category 5 strength en route to Jamaica and Haiti, a truly frightening prospect. Assuming Matthew largely avoids the high mountains of Jamaica and Haiti, it is likely to hit eastern Cuba as one of the region’s most intense landfalling hurricanes in decades.
    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/category-4-hurricane-matthew-continues-northwest-toward-greater-antill

    Reply
  113. wili

     /  October 3, 2016

    Thanks, as often, to ASLR at neven’s site for this:

    Xuhui Wang, Shilong Piao, Philippe Ciais, Pierre Friedlingstein, Ranga B. Myneni, Peter Cox, Martin Heimann, John Miller, Shushi Peng, Tao Wang, Hui Yang & Anping Chen, (2014),

    “A two-fold increase of carbon cycle sensitivity to tropical temperature variations”,

    Nature, 506, 212–215, doi:10.1038/nature12915

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v506/n7487/full/nature12915.html#extended-data

    Abstract: “Earth system models project that the tropical land carbon sink will decrease in size in response to an increase in warming and drought during this century, probably causing a positive climate feedback. But available data are too limited at present to test the predicted changes in the tropical carbon balance in response to climate change. Long-term atmospheric carbon dioxide data provide a global record that integrates the interannual variability of the global carbon balance. Multiple lines of evidence demonstrate that most of this variability originates in the terrestrial biosphere. In particular, the year-to-year variations in the atmospheric carbon dioxide growth rate (CGR) are thought to be the result of fluctuations in the carbon fluxes of tropical land areas. Recently, the response of CGR to tropical climate interannual variability was used to put a constraint on the sensitivity of tropical land carbon to climate change.

    Here we use the long-term CGR record from Mauna Loa and the South Pole to show that the sensitivity of CGR to tropical temperature interannual variability has increased by a factor of 1.9 ± 0.3 in the past five decades. We find that this sensitivity was greater when tropical land regions experienced drier conditions. This suggests that the sensitivity of CGR to interannual temperature variations is regulated by moisture conditions, even though the direct correlation between CGR and tropical precipitation is weak. We also find that present terrestrial carbon cycle models do not capture the observed enhancement in CGR sensitivity in the past five decades. More realistic model predictions of future carbon cycle and climate feedbacks require a better understanding of the processes driving the response of tropical ecosystems to drought and warming.”

    The last bit really is pointing out how little we know still about carbon cycle response to GW, and how models so far seem to be underestimating carbon feedbacks.

    Reply
    • Also the interplay and the why —

      Drought results in more CO2 beings squeezed out of decaying plant matter and lands and soils. But it also means more wildfires… If the wildfires and droughts are taking down the tropical rainforests to a greater extent as Earth warms then that has an interplay that could explain some of the growth in sensitivity over recent years.

      Reply
  114. 03:57 UTC

    Reply
  115. Reply
    • VERONICA DESMOND

       /  October 3, 2016

      During last week a large number of Portugese Man of War jellyfish have been reported in some area’s of Southwest and Eastern Ireland. A biologist interviewed on tv said it was a rare occurence to come across even one of this type of jellyfish in a year in these waters. Now there is an alert for bathers to keep a lookout for them, not that we get too many bathers in October in Ireland.

      Reply
  116. Greg

     /  October 3, 2016

    Cubans know how to prepare for a Hurricane. Dismantling a traffic light before Matthew

    Reply
  117. Greg

     /  October 3, 2016

    Kingston, Jamaica already showing heavy rain

    Reply
  118. Greg

     /  October 3, 2016

    Meanwhile Super typhoon Chaba hitting Okinawa and islands to the West and then on to Kyushu and Honshu main islands of Japan

    Reply
  119. Syd Bridges

     /  October 3, 2016

    I hope I was too pessimistic yesterday on the fate of La Nina. Today’s figures show it strengthening somewhat.

    The latest weekly SST
    departures are:
    Niño 4 -0.5ºC
    Niño 3.4 -0.8ºC
    Niño 3 -0.2ºC
    Niño 1+2 0.6ºC

    Reply
  120. wharf rat

     /  October 3, 2016

    Reanalysis index up 0.047°C in September

    The Moyhu NCEP/NCAR index rose in September to 0.475°C, up from 0.428 in August. This brings it back to about the level of May. There was then a drop to June, followed by a gradual increase to now. This seems to be associated with ENSO-neutral conditions. And as usual recently, it was the hottest month of its kind in the record. Next month will test this trend of records, since Oct 2015 was very warm.

    https://moyhu.blogspot.com/2016/10/reanalysis-index-up-0047-in-september.html

    Reply
  121. Cate

     /  October 3, 2016

    Well, well.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-trudeau-climate-change-1.3788825

    Canadian PM Trudeau announced today that the federal govt wants all provinces to bring in carbon pricing regimes, either cap-and-trade or “direct pricing”, whatever that means, by 2018. If nothing is done by then, the federal govt will impose a price. Carbon pricing will start at $10 per tonne in 2018 and rise $10 each year thereafter to $50 per tonne in 2022.

    “Whatever model a province chooses, Trudeau said it will be revenue neutral for the federal government, with any revenues generated under the system staying in the province or territory where they are generated.”

    Reply
    • Should go back to the people or directly to subsidizing clean energy systems.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  October 3, 2016

        Agreed, but as my province is nearly bankrupt, the provincial govt may see this as a nice little cash cow. We’ll see.

        Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  October 4, 2016

      If Trudeau sticks to it, that will be a good start. Hypothecating the proceeds to renewable energy, public, electrified, transport, building insulation and ecological repair (particularly biomass restoration) would be good, too.

      Reply
  122. See next week’s Radio Ecoshock show (published Wed October 5) for an interview with Alexey Yaroshenko of Greenpeace Russia. He’s a botanist who says the Russian government has hidden the true expanse of fires there, and describes conditions. 15 minute interview well worth your time. Blog at ecoshock.info

    Reply

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