California Drought To Enter 6th Year, Colorado River States Struggle to Avert Water Crisis, Southeast Drought Worsens

Around the world, global warming is starting to have a serious impact on rainfall in the subtropics and middle latitudes. The tropical atmospheric circulation known as the Hadley Cell is expanding toward the poles. This expansion is causing clouds and storms to move further north. And as a result, regions in the middle latitudes are starting to dry out.

According to The World Resources Institute:

A changing climate means less rain and lower water supplies in regions where many people live and much of the planet’s food is produced: the mid-latitudes of the Northern and Southern hemispheres, including the U.S. Southwest, southern Europe and parts of the Middle East, southern Africa, Australia and Chile.

Such a fundamental shift in global weather patterns due to human-caused climate change is expected to reduce the food and water security of numerous nations. The World Resources Institute recently warned that food and water crises were imminent as a result. And, apparently, these kinds of changes to the world’s weather are already generating profound shocks in parts of the U.S.

Colorado River and California Droughts Expected to Persist

For the Colorado River, this combined warming and movement of clouds northward has produced a 16-year-long drought. Hotter average seasons result in greater rates of evaporation. So even if rainfall averages remain, grounds, lands and rivers are drier. But the Hadley Cell’s expansion has also moved rain bearing weather systems north.

It’s a compounding drying influence that has pushed Lake Mead, the nation’s largest reservoir, to record low levels. And states dependent on the great river’s water supply for farming and industry are now involved in negotiations to avert a water crisis in 2018. Forecasts predict a 50 percent possibility that Lake Mead’s water levels will fall below its mandatory rationing line. Such an event would result in water cut-offs for Arizona and Nevada.

us-drought-map-current

(Over recent years, the U.S. has experienced numerous severe and long-running droughts. These worsening drought conditions have impacted everything from Colorado River levels to wildfires, to the health of forests, to commerce on the Mississippi River, to the productivity of state agriculture. As human fossil fuel burning continues, atmospheric changes will force rainfall toward the poles which will tend to further worsen drought conditions in middle-latitude regions like the lower 48 states of the U.S. Image source: Drought Monitor.)

In an attempt to prevent crisis in the coming months, California and other Colorado River states are attempting to cut water consumption now. Such a planned regional belt-tightening would help to avert conflict over the Colorado River’s dwindling stores and smooth out any losses over time. But, sadly, climate conditions are only likely to continue to worsen — increasing the risk of mandatory rationing for 2019, 2020 and beyond.

In California, a five-year-long drought that is the worst in state history now threatens to enter its 6th year. Rains during 2016 did help to reduce the severity of drought conditions for some parts of the state. And during recent days, a series of Pacific storms has helped to deliver moisture to some northern and central regions. However, with record warmth settling in over the Arctic and with a La Nina developing in the Pacific, long range forecasts indicate a high risk that California will experience a warm, dry winter. Such predicted conditions would result in a persistence of the present drought with continued impacts to the state’s forests and agriculture.

Southeastern Drought Expected to Expand

seasonal-drought-outlook-cpc

(Drought conditions are expected to worsen across the US Southeast this fall and winter. Drought in the Colorado River region is expected to persist or worsen. Drought in California and in parts of the US Northeast is expected to persist. Image Source: Climate Prediction Center.)

Further east, a flash drought that has settled into the US south is expected to worsen over the coming months. Abnormal warmth in the range of 5-15 degrees (F) above average for the region during the past month has combined with dry weather to spur severe to extreme drought conditions over a six state area. Now, parts of Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi are under the gun — with drought zones expected to persist or expand through at least early February.

US Drought Conditions to Worsen as the Globe Warms

In total, more than 120 million people in the lower 48 states are experiencing drought. And the systemic impacts of multi-year, persistent droughts are widespread and growing. This drying is consistent with the impacts associated with a warming climate. And, unfortunately, such worsening of droughts is likely to continue until atmospheric warming is halted and/or reversed.

Links:

The Tropics are Pushing High Altitude Clouds Toward the Poles

As Clouds Head Toward Poles, it’s Time to Prepare for Food and Water Shocks

Drought Monitor

Climate Prediction Center

States Plan to Avert River Crash

Why is Southern California so Dry?

Droughts in California

Hat tip to Wili

Leave a comment

154 Comments

  1. wili

     /  October 27, 2016

    Great post. It should be emphasized that the warmer than average conditions for much of the drought period has greatly exacerbated the damage, far beyond what drought by itself would have done, bad as that might have been.

    Reply
    • Good point, Wili. The higher temperatures increase evaporation rates which speed the rate at which droughts can develop and intensify the droughts that do form.

      Reply
  2. coloradobob

     /  October 27, 2016

    RE: The last thread –
    That warm ocean water licking at the bottom of the marine glaciers .

    Australia set for more heatwaves amid climate change: study

    “As land temperatures increase, so do ocean temperatures and the report shows that the deep ocean is also impacted, with warming now recorded at least 2,000 metres (1.24 miles) below the sea surface.”

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-10-australia-heatwaves-climate.html#jCp

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  October 27, 2016

      Cleugh said changes in the climate was due to an increase in greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, which were keeping heat in Earth’s lower atmosphere.
      She added that this year CO2 levels would reach a global annual average of over 400ppm (parts per million)—the highest in two million years.
      Australia has warmed by approximately 1.0 degree Celsius (1.8 Fahrenheit) since 1910, with the number of days each year that post temperatures of more than 35C increasing in recent decades except in northern Australia, the report said.
      Meanwhile, rainfall has reduced by 19 percent between May to July in southwestern Australia since 1970.

      Reply
    • Huge amount of latent heat contained in those waters. Water has an exceptional ability to transfer heat to other substances. And that’s one very fine reason why we shouldn’t take our eyes off carbon stores.

      Reply
  3. coloradobob

     /  October 27, 2016

    Once again, Africa invades Iberia , but this time it ain’t the Moores , it’s the largest desert on Earth.

    Study predicts deserts in Spain if global warming continues

    Southern Spain will become desert and deciduous forests will vanish from much of the Mediterranean basin unless global warming is reined in sharply, according to a study released Thursday.

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-10-spain-global.html#jCp

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  October 27, 2016

      “If anything, human action will exacerbate what the study projects, and it could turn out to be too optimistic,” Guiot said.
      The Paris climate agreement comes into effect next week.

      Reply
    • The Sahara is marching north into Europe…

      Reply
      • Jeremy in Wales

         /  October 31, 2016

        October in Wales and only 30% of the normal rainfall and looks like another warm and dry, if foggy week ahead. So maybe the Sahara is marching ahead of time. My son works for a local water company and they are supplying bottled water to a farm dependent on a spring which has run dry (so they are not even a customer, but they obviously have a sense of social responsiblity).
        http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/2016/end-of-october-2016-stats
        Feel we will pay for this in a few weeks time.

        Reply
  4. coloradobob

     /  October 27, 2016

    DTL ? Phone home.

    Reply
    • I contacted him on twitter. He’s still recovering from his recent bought. Says it’s still a little touch and go but he’s OK. Wants to rest up and make sure he’s 100 percent.

      Reply
      • coloradobob

         /  October 27, 2016

        Many thanks for this .

        The world seems to think that the Web is full of young people, but it’s much more than that. I gave my mother my Apple IIC in 1997. She was a genealogist . Before that I gave her stamps for Christmas. She went on line, as did all her friends with just e-mail. It changed their world long before TMZ was sniffing was the Kardasian’s butt every second od everyday.

        Reply
        • Marcusblanc

           /  October 28, 2016

          Good to hear DT is focusing on conserving his energy for the moment. Best wishes again.

      • Ryan in New England

         /  October 28, 2016

        Glad to hear DT is alright. Rest up my friend, we all miss you!

        Reply
  5. coloradobob

     /  October 27, 2016

    How Is A 1,600-Year-Old Tree Weathering California’s Drought?

    Todd Dawson, the plant ecologist from UC Berkeley who is in charge of the expedition, says what’s happening to these forests is shocking and abnormal.

    “There are a lot more dead trees in this forest than I’ve ever seen since we’ve been working here — since 2008,” Dawson says.

    http://www.npr.org/2016/10/27/499453623/a-1-600-year-old-tree-may-hold-the-secret-to-surviving-california-s-drought

    Reply
  6. coloradobob

     /  October 27, 2016

    What have they done to the earth?
    What have they done to our fair sister?
    Ravaged and plundered and ripped her and bit her
    Stuck her with knives in the side of the dawn
    And tied her with fences and dragged her down

    Reply
  7. coloradobob

     /  October 27, 2016

    In a loss for ExxonMobil, NY Supreme Court orders oil giant to produce climate documents

    Nigeria Oil Discovery 2016: Exxon Mobil Finds Billion-Barrel Reserve In Africa

    Reply
    • Jeremy in Wales

       /  October 28, 2016

      A billion barrels – assuming an American Billion then that is only 12 days worldwide consumption (83 million barrels a day) but of course not even Exxon can get it out of the ground that quickly.

      Reply
  8. June

     /  October 27, 2016

    If this does turn out to be a warm,dry winter, they may need to go back to mandatory restrictions.

    As California Water Use Rises, Some Ask: Were Limits Eased Too Soon

    …But this year, after regulators lifted the mandatory 25 percent statewide cut following a relatively wet winter, water use is up again, a slide in behavior that has stirred concern among state officials and drawn criticism that California abandoned the restrictions too quickly. In August, water conservation dropped below 18 percent compared with August 2013, the third consecutive month of decline.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/20/us/as-drought-california-water-use-rises-some-ask-were-limits-eased-too-soon.html?rref=collection%2Fbyline%2Fadam-nagourney&action=click&contentCollection=undefined&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection&_r=0

    Reply
  9. coloradobob

     /  October 27, 2016

    June –
    And we’ll have fun, fun, fun till daddy takes the T-Bird away.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  October 27, 2016

      This hang over , is on going. As a teen I loved the whole myth. Cool cars, and tan girls. Look at that myth today. Fat old guys with cars. They never left the 60’s .
      America never left the 60’s.

      Reply
  10. June

     /  October 27, 2016

    This was happening today. Maybe someone who is on twitter (I’m not) has some updated information? It is really chilling.

    Armed With Riot Gear, Militarized Police Begin Forcibly Clearing DAPL Protest Camp

    Arrests have begun at the recently erected frontline camp in the path of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), as police and military move in on Indigenous water protectors and their allies in North Dakota.

    http://commondreams.org/news/2016/10/27/armed-riot-gear-militarized-police-begin-forcibly-clearing-dapl-protest-camp

    Reply
  11. coloradobob

     /  October 27, 2016

    She’s real fine my 409

    This happen when NASCAR was a bunch hillbillies.

    Reply
  12. coloradobob

     /  October 27, 2016

    It goes on . we all loved this

    Reply
  13. coloradobob

     /  October 27, 2016

    Reply
  14. coloradobob

     /  October 27, 2016

    This hangover is part of our fabric. How we change all this . I have no idea.

    Reply
  15. June

     /  October 27, 2016

    This was happening this afternoon. Chilling. They used pepper spray and fired bean bags at the water protectors.

    Sheriff’s Office Removes Protesters From Dakota Access Pipeline Site

    …Officers were dressed in riot gear and some carried arms, The Associated Press reported. Authorities moved in with trucks, police cars, Humvees and buses, the AP said, while helicopters and a fixed-wing airplane monitored from above.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/dakota-access-pipeline-protesters-removed_us_58123b0ee4b0990edc2fb009

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  October 27, 2016

      I watched Vietnam protesters pushed off bridges in LA. In 67′.

      Reply
    • “. . . many of us were arrested”. . .
      Part of a recent post on the Sacred Stone website. On the pics in June’s post, I see a pathetic number of protesters. There are not enough bodies. They are going to lose.

      Reply
  16. Andy_in_SD

     /  October 27, 2016

    I found this fascinating, it reminds me in a small way of the movie Avatar.

    Mysterious ‘ghost redwoods’ may survive to help nearby trees

    http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/mysterious-ghost-redwoods-may-survive-help-nearby-trees.html

    Reply
    • Marcusblanc

       /  October 28, 2016

      you might like this then, it sounds like a mighty book, written by a German forester.

      ‘Trees have friends, feel loneliness, scream with pain and communicate underground via the “woodwide web”. Some act as parents and good neighbours. Others do more than just throw shade – they’re brutal bullies to rival species. The young ones take risks with their drinking and leaf-dropping then remember the hard lessons from their mistakes. It’s a hard-knock life.

      A book called The Hidden Life of Trees is not an obvious bestseller but it’s easy to see the popular appeal of German forester Peter Wohlleben’s claims – they are so anthropomorphic. Certainly, a walk in the park feels different when you imagine the network of roots crackling with sappy chat beneath your feet. We don’t know the half of what’s going on underground and beneath the bark, he says: “We have been looking at nature for the last 100 years like [it is] a machine.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/12/peter-wohlleben-man-who-believes-trees-talk-to-each-other

      Reply
  17. coloradobob

     /  October 27, 2016

    nsalito / October 27, 2016
    The horsepower junkies are driving Teslas now.

    Bingo.

    Reply
  18. coloradobob

     /  October 28, 2016

    The first eclectic car in NASCAR is coming.

    Reply
  19. coloradobob

     /  October 28, 2016

    Let’s all drink beer and forget our troubles .

    Reply
  20. coloradobob

     /  October 28, 2016

    Let’s all drink beer and forget our troubles .

    Reply
  21. redskylite

     /  October 28, 2016

    not a bad idea, you’ve made my night – cheers Bob and thanks for the music.

    Reply
  22. redskylite

     /  October 28, 2016

    On some social network sites I visit I’ve seen people cheaply, joking about muscular and elderly refugees pretending to be children in order to get into the U.K from Calais.

    The photo’s of dead drowned kids on the beaches of Greek Islands haven’t impacted them, neither the T.V news of horribly injured children in Syria and Iraq. Some U.K tabloids are stirring up the point, and yet this may be nothing for what may come later. . .

    ““Imagine, with an international community unable to cope with a few thousand Syrian refugees, what will happen when millions of people are on the move,”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change-wars-global-warming-conflict-refugees-walls-wont-help-general-warns-a7381031.html

    Reply
  23. redskylite

     /  October 28, 2016

    The Pope and Catholic Church is saying the same. It has nothing to do with being a “leftie” or being a “rightie”. It has to do with being a good decent homo sapien rather than a psychopath.

    “While voluntary or forced migration has been part of human history, the call to welcome the stranger is even more necessary than ever given that so many people today are on the move because of economic crises, armed conflict and climate change, he said.”

    http://www.catholicnews.com/services/englishnews/2016/walls-arent-answer-to-people-fleeing-war-climate-change.cfm

    Reply
  24. BJD

     /  October 28, 2016

    Sorry to go a bit off topic, but do you think this means anything or are just outlier events:

    http://www.pireport.org/articles/2016/10/11/rare-hailstorm-hits-vanuatus-shepherd-group-islands

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/19/samoa-hit-by-hail-storm-so-rare-residents-thought-it-was-a-hoax

    “Samoa has been hit by a hail storm so rare that it was believed to be a hoax by many of the island’s inhabitants.

    The tropical nation of Samoa lies in the Pacific Ocean, where the average temperature at this time of year is 29C.

    But on Friday evening an unexpected hail storm struck the eastern side of the island of Savai’i, accompanied by heavy rain and strong wind gusts.

    It was only the second time since records began that hail has fallen on Samoa, the first was in 2011.”

    http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/196175/hailstorm-in-hot-tropics

    Cebu Daily News / 07:16 AM May 19, 2012
    “THE hail storm in Pinamungajan was a first in Cebu,” said Al Quiblat, senior weather specialist in Mactan.

    “Everyone was shocked because a hail storm seldom happens in a tropical country.”

    Given that hailstorms are rare in the tropics, perhaps this means something. But I guess it would help to keep track of the actual incidence, deviations from the mean and observable trends. before making a firm judgement.

    Reply
  25. climatehawk1

     /  October 28, 2016

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  26. Nancy

     /  October 28, 2016

    141 pipeline protesters were arrested this morning. This is what happens when you try to fight the fossil fuel industry. Compare to the Oregon domestic terrorists who were acquitted yesterday. Will the pipeline protesters be tried and acquitted? Or will the fossil fuel industry spend millions to convict them? To be seen.

    Reply
    • wili

       /  October 28, 2016

      Oh well. If somebody else can get this graph to show up as such in a post, I’d appreciate it.

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  October 28, 2016

        Always end with .jpg or .png, etc.and delete the referral and sizing junk at the end

        Reply
  27. June

     /  October 28, 2016

    Strange Pumping Effect above Asia Threatens the Ozone Layer

    A weird phenomenon is happening high above the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalayas that could prove to be an atmospheric nightmare. Pollutants that gather from India and China in the lowlands around the mountains can be boosted as high as 18 kilometers, reaching the stratosphere…Special tests reported in September confirm the aerosols continue to collect over India, and the work reveals fresh insights into their composition.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/strange-pumping-effect-above-asia-threatens-the-ozone-layer/

    Reply
    • June

       /  October 28, 2016

      I knew the tibetan plateau area was an important one, and Robert has mentioned it in the past but there is a good explanation here of the reasons for it that I wasn’t clear about before.

      Reply
    • redskylite

       /  October 28, 2016

      Many thanks June for sharing that interesting and fascinating research article so many people seem to think once in the atmosphere pollutants all blow away and vanish. Out of sight out of mind.

      Reply
  28. Shawn Redmond

     /  October 28, 2016

    Nevada might lose some water. Do you think the NFL and the NHL might bring some pressure to this old contract. The Raiders are looking hard at the city and the NHL are going there with an expansion team for the ’17/’18 season. These types of moves in the world of professional sports include massive amounts of public money and water. As I understand it the NFL hasn’t built a single stadium maybe ever and Gary Bettman is even tighter with money, tight as a frogs ass and that’s water tight. Could be interesting.

    Reply
  29. Cate

     /  October 29, 2016

    Dr Hansen, responding to criticisms about Washington state’s I-732 carbon tax, clarifies how the carbon fee-and-dividend must work, if it is to bring down CO2 emissions.

    “Bottom line: In every country and state where I have tried to make the case for a simple, honest carbon fee-and-dividend the politicians respond that they want part of the money to spend on “this and that” (Sophie’s words) or any politically-favored programs. However, when the government grabs the money, rather than returning 100% to the public, it becomes a tax. That renders the measure toxic to conservatives, who do not want to see larger government and higher taxes. It depresses the economy. It loses the economic benefits that would accrue especially to low income people. And it prevents us from achieving the most rapid reductions of fossil fuels and associated pollution.

    Perhaps the most crucial lesson in the cautionary tale is this: if you open up the funds from the carbon fee to one special interest group, the game may be lost. You will be descended upon by many special interests, each demanding a share. It becomes a tax, just another tax.”

    http://csas.ei.columbia.edu/2016/10/28/carbon-pricing-a-useful-cautionary-tale/

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  October 29, 2016

      A quick refresher on how to spot carbon fee-and-dividend:

      1. brings down emissions
      2. is revenue neutral and is returned in its entirety to households

      Anything else is a tax.

      http://citizensclimatelobby.org/basics-carbon-fee-dividend/

      Reply
      • Note that it will still, IMHO, be framed as a tax by the right, and misrepresented as being especially onerous on poor people who have to drive to work. But if the sort of orthodoxy CCL proposes actually is shown to work in practice, I’m all for it.

        Reply
    • Dan Borroff

       /  October 29, 2016

      Cate; I worked with Yoram Baumann / Carbon Washington when it first started and then with Got Green (the key social justice group opposed to I 732 (the carbon tax initiative). Yoram consulted with the Discovery Institute, a conservative organization headquartered in Seattle (look them up, they’re creepy). The Discovery Institute folks were not opposed to a tax that reduced other taxes. I 732 reduces the sales tax and the Business and Occupation tax. Both of these are extremely regressive taxes. Since there’s no income tax in Washington State we have the most regressive tax structure in the nation. The B&O tax is also regressive. You pay it whether or not you make any profit. It stifles small businesses and startups. I 732 has a social justice component since it benefits the pocketbooks of low income people.
      At the same time I understand Got Green’s desire to have an income stream that benefits poor and minority folks. They’re the people most likely to suffer from climate change. They’re also the people who have opposed new taxes that don’t benefit them. This was Van Jones’ experience in California. A tax was proposed on the profits (as I recall – don’t quote me) of petroleum extraction in the state. Fossil fuel and conservative org’s ran a PR campaign that stated “It will raise the cost of gasoline.” Minority support went from 80% to 20% in a few weeks and the measure failed.
      I understand both viewpoints but still support the initiative. I believe we can run another initiative to add training programs for low income people and small businesses in the green economy. This would need to be promoted among minority communities, particularly latinx communities in the easter half of the state and among low income white people in depressed logging communities in the western half.
      I don’t have much confidence that I 732 will pass but remain hopeful. The right / GOP has not put up much resistance. We’ll see soon enough.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  October 30, 2016

        Dan, thanks so much for your take on this and for providing essential context—-very much appreciated. I think it’s worth emphasising, that whatever its faults may be, Dr Hansen is still urging support for I-732.

        Reply
  30. Cate

     /  October 29, 2016

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change-wars-global-warming-conflict-refugees-walls-wont-help-general-warns-a7381031.html

    “The Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change says that “Climate change is threatening to force millions of people to become refugees and spark major wars that could “completely destabilise” the world…….”
    And countries which attempted to deal with the coming crisis by resorting to “narrow nationalistic instincts” – for example, by building walls to keep out refugees – will only make the problem worse, according to Major General Munir Muniruzzaman, chairman of the GMACCC…..
    Instead of trying to hold back the tide of climate refugees, General Muniruzzaman said it would be better for the world to work out “international understanding and mechanisms” to enable mass movements of people to take place peacefully.
    But the solution might need a significant rethink of the whole concept of the modern nation……”

    In other words, in addition to requiring transformation of our global economic system, climate change may well transform our basic concepts of “nation” and “country” as we rise to the challenge of accommodating the millions of refugees who will be fleeing desertification—already well underway in the case of Syria, for example.

    Reply
  31. Cate

     /  October 29, 2016

    https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/arctic-sea-ice-is-losing-its-bulwark-against-warming-summers

    Old or multi-year ice is vanishing in the Arctic. Excellent update and analysis from NASA.

    “What we’ve seen over the years is that the older ice is disappearing,” said Walt Meier, a sea ice researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “This older, thicker ice is like the bulwark of sea ice: a warm summer will melt all the young, thin ice away but it can’t completely get rid of the older ice. But this older ice is becoming weaker because there’s less of it and the remaining old ice is more broken up and thinner, so that bulwark is not as good as it used to be…..”
    “We’ve lost most of the older ice: In the 1980s, multiyear ice made up 20 percent of the sea ice cover. Now it’s only about 3 percent,” Meier said. “The older ice was like the insurance policy of the Arctic sea ice pack: as we lose it, the likelihood for a largely ice-free summer in the Arctic increases.”

    Reply
    • Scheduling tweet on this, thanks.

      Reply
    • Improbable Otherness

       /  October 29, 2016

      So, that’s 85% of the “old” ice gone since the 1980s. If we use 30 yrs as a probable time span (1986-2016), a linear rate equates to 2.8% per year. Therefore, even mistakenly assuming that rate continues (but we “know” it’s accelerating), the remaining 15% of “old” ice will be gone in about 5 yrs… but probably 3-4.

      Reply
  32. wili

     /  October 29, 2016

    http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/10/28/how-contact-17-banks-funding-dakota-access-pipeline

    “How to Contact the 17 Banks Funding the Dakota Access Pipeline

    Here are CEO names, emails, and phone numbers—because banks have choices when it comes to what projects they give loans to.”

    Reply
  33. Arctic refreeze this year is amazingly slowArctic Sea Ice Extent

    Reply
    • DaveW,
      Went and checked Earth Nullschool. SST/SSTA Celsius: Bering Strait 5.7/3.5, Barrow 2.0/1.1, Barents Sea near Svalbard 14.16/10.3 (!), Norwegian Sea 9.0/2.0. Just a reminder that a yearly Polar Bear plunge takes place in Resurrection Bay each year. Water there is currently 8C/46.4F.

      Reply
    • Henri

       /  October 30, 2016

      This isn’t unequivocally a bad thing for next year’s minimum. With such an early start for the melting this year we no doubt have a lot of heat stored in the arctic ocean. Now the slow refreeze allows to suck more of it out so it doesn’t come back to haunt us next year. The worst thing would be a quick but shallow freeze and a good snow cover on top which would insulate the heat down.

      As long as the maximum extent won’t be dramatically lower than previous years i hold this slow refreeze as the main reason we have a good chance of dodging the 2012 record next summer. All we need is get lucky again with the summer weather over arctic. Of course in the long run we all know where we are heading with the arctic sea ice extent but as long as nothing devastating happens in the next few summers we could have another false recovery akin to 2013-14.

      Reply
  34. If you haven’t yet – you have to see this Pure, Sweet, Terrifying Genius. Trump v Dinosaurs

    A hat tip to Peter Sinclair🙂

    Reply
    • Brilliant! And the fact that he’s creeping up in the polls is quite frankly terrifying. Just goes to show how soft the media really is on the guy. Trump says they’ve been too harsh. I think they’ve mostly given him a pass — treating some pretty terrible stuff with what amounts to kids gloves.

      Reply
  35. Ryan in New England

     /  October 29, 2016

    The country is experiencing a Halloween heatwave, with records set to be broken.

    Trick-or-treaters and adult partygoers will be doing their best to keep their cool over the next several days. It’s been seasonally chilly and even snowy across parts of the Northeast, but Phoenix saw its latest-in-any-year 100°F reading on Thursday. Over much of the central and eastern U.S., temperatures will soar to unusually warm heights as we roll through All Hallows’ Eve and into the first several days of November. Temperatures on Halloween (Monday, October 31) are projected to reach the 70s from South Dakota to West Virginia and the 80s from Kansas to the Carolinas. As a very strong Pacific jet continues to pump mild air into the nation, we could see a few all-time monthly records for November threatened later next week, especially across the U.S. South. Here’s a day-by-day guide from weather.com on the warmth next week could bring.

    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/scary-warm-welcome-to-the-halloween-heat-wave-of-2016

    Reply
  36. coloradobob

     /  October 29, 2016

    Scientist Goes It Alone on Climate Change to Save His State
    Facing opposition from politicians, this North Carolina scientist is urging coastal communities to get ready for rising water.

    When Stan Riggs, a coastal geologist, visited here two weeks after Hurricane Matthew blew through, Swan Quarter was dry behind its barricade. But the surrounding landscape remained sodden, and the signs of saltwater intrusion from storm surges and rising tides that Riggs likens to “a creeping disease” are visible all across the plain. Whole “ghost forests” poisoned by saltwater stand sentinel to rising tides.

    “We cannot engineer our way out of this,” he says. “We can build bigger and bigger dikes, but the net changes are driven by ocean dynamics, and it’s on a one-way track right now.”

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/10/saving-north-carolina-from-coastal-erosion-sea-level-rise-climate-change-btf/

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  October 29, 2016

      “The question for North Carolina is what do you want with this coastal system? If we are smart, we can learn to live with it,” Riggs says. “But we have 127 miles of barrier island beaches that are looking for sand right now in order to have a summer economy. The average cost is $3 million a mile. It only lasts for an average of two years.”

      Reply
    • This brave man is absolutely right. We need more voices like his speaking out.

      Reply
  37. coloradobob

     /  October 29, 2016

    Watch Before the Flood on National Geographic channels on October 30 at 9 pm ET/10 CT, or online for free.
    http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/before-the-flood/videos/watch-before-the-flood-for-free-everywhere/

    Reply
  38. coloradobob

     /  October 29, 2016

    Here Comes The Sun: Elon Musk Wants to Raze The Roofing Industry

    The U.S. has more than 70 million single-family homes and nearly all have something in common: They are covered by some kind of roof. If Elon Musk has his way, those rooftops will all be generating solar power using technology provided by a combined Tesla and SolarCity. He showed off his new vision at an event yesterday, with prototypes of a new roof combining shingles and solar cells. Musk says it will cost homeowners less than a traditional roof plus typical electrical costs.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/markrogowsky/2016/10/29/here-comes-the-sun-elon-musk-wants-to-raze-the-roofing-industry/#6efdd19318fa

    Reply
    • Musk turns traditional capitalism on its head. His first goal always appears to be to produce products that benefit the public and that help the world. He makes money doing it, but this appears to be more an endeavor to provide capital for visionary projects than to concentrate personal wealth. Would that we had more like him.

      Reply
    • Greg

       /  October 29, 2016

      On a hike at Big Meadows in the Blue Ridge and caught reception. Couldn’t help myself. These silar systems are gorgeous and note the huge improvement in the battery storage too.

      http://insideevs.com/tesla-solar-roof-and-powerwall-2-reveal-details/

      Reply
      • 12volt dan

         /  October 31, 2016

        14 kw powerwall. ooooohhhh I want one.

        Reply
        • Nice! Apparently they’re setting multiple stacks of these things up for micro-grids and large office buildings as well. I really like the modular design. Forward thinking.

  39. June

     /  October 29, 2016

    I hope this isn’t inappropriate to post, but it concerns the response to the indigenous Dakota pipeline water protectors doing peaceful civil disobedience versus the response to the Bundy gang.

    Criming While White Vs. Saving What Is Truly Sacred In This World

    …the week still afforded an appalling view of the ongoing charade of American “justice” in all its enduring white privilege and stubborn cognitive dissonance

    http://commondreams.org/further/2016/10/28/criming-while-white-vs-saving-what-truly-sacred-world

    Reply
    • Actually, I really appreciate the continued updates. It’s terrible and unconscionable what’s happening to both Native Americans and climate activists in North Dakota. And the actions to roll-back free speech are dramatically anti-American. Make no mistake, these aggressive actions and abuses are happening due to the unjust influence of fossil fuels in North Dakota. An influence that is not only serving to motivate abuses against Americans, journalists, and climate activists, but also against everyone and everything living on the Earth. This pipeline expands access to fossil fuels at a time when it is necessary to draw those sources down.

      Reply
  40. Dave McGinnis

     /  October 29, 2016

    The Hadley cell may well be expanding. Here in Key West it is overhead in April ordinarily, and brings extraordinarily fine weather with deep blue skies and six weeks w/o rain. This year we experienced these conditions beginning in mid-March and our first day with 1+ inch of rain did not occur until August.

    Reply
  41. coloradobob

     /  October 30, 2016

    Greg / October 29, 2016
    The first working EV unit I ever saw was at “Handsome Dick Stalder’s Cabin” at Slaughterhouse Creek in about 1973. It was at 10,600 ft. He used it for light, so he could make jewellery, in a tiny corner of of his cabin. A couple of lead car batteries, and tiny DC spot light.
    His collector was like a NASA surplus thing, about the size of a big checker board. Bought through the “Whole Earth Catalog”. So that was, “State of the Art” 43 years ago . Now your link gives us this :

    These are Solar panels.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  October 30, 2016

      I’m really, really glad I lived to see this . That the home has been turned into it’s own power plant. And the car has been turned into backup. Now if Walmart will just put up car ports in it’s parking lots with the same idea. we can fuel our cars , and run the store at the same time.

      I am bipolar dark thinker, but this is really bending the curve.

      Reply
    • This is an amazing innovation by Tesla/Solar City. Stopped by a Tesla store on the weekend and the salespeople are already talking it up. I hope they’re able to make them affordable. They look fantastic.

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  October 31, 2016

        What stuck for me in his usual understated unveiling is the following: we transit to an electric civilization and electric generation will triple. Utilities will still be very successful and own two thirds of the new pie which will be now 1/3 transportation, 1/3 heat and 1/3 light/and other. The homes needs will largely be met by individual owners. Utilities don’t need to battle against this transition. We all will be winners. Another cool feature of the cells. From below they look like this but from above they are transparent.

        Reply
        • The other aspect of this win scenario is that as power costs decrease, you can do things like produce rocket fuel for less (lower cost electrolysis and and refrigeration costs), run electric based industrial furnaces for less, anything that uses electricity to produce heat or convert materials and molecules becomes more cost efficient. If you have a lowering scale of energy prices at the base of an economy it becomes easier to do productive work with that energy. And that includes a number of sustainability measures like possible atmospheric carbon capture arrangements.

  42. coloradobob

     /  October 30, 2016

    “Whole Earth Catalog”

    This was the world wide web’s mother. Stuart Brand needs a Nobel Prize as well. The same year Handsome Dick Stalder was installing his solar lighting, I was selling teepees at 940 Pearl St. in Boulder.
    This one effort , changed America forever. I’m certain it changed Steve Jobs.

    And today , we have never heard one word about it.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  October 30, 2016

      It’s the most important nonfiction book of the late 20th century.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  October 30, 2016

        Agreed, cb—-certainly for North America. The Whole Earth Catalog shaped the mindset of a generation, even if they didn’t know it.

        Reply
      • Greg

         /  October 31, 2016

        Your Pearl street has changed but your shop is still a bookstore and cafe and the whole earth catalog has become the internet and humanity’s collective wisdom. We just have to follow it.

        Reply
    • Genomik

       /  October 30, 2016

      Stuart Brand is still doing great things with his Long Now foundation in San Francisco. They hold monthly talks by excellent speakers. Their goal is for earth (and relevantly, humans and nature too) to be here in 10,000 years from now.
      They have a bar at ft mason with a library as well. Modeled like a Jules Verne/Explorers club it’s really nice. Never know who you will meet there or at the talks.
      There’s lots of videos and you can join his group to continue to support their group.
      I don’t always agree w him on everything but I’m very happy he’s bringing together thinkers with long term vision.

      http://longnow.org/

      Reply
  43. coloradobob

     /  October 30, 2016

    Back then, we all bought crazy things we had never heard of.
    My girlfriend and I bought 2 pairs of “White Smoke Jumpers” made in Spokane Washington. This are boots loggers and wild land firefighters wear. They have brass screws on the bottom holding a vibram sole on to the boot. They do not welt , or melt in a fire . Their leather does not get cut by the pasting parade. They are best boots you will ever buy.

    They still make boots for every smoke jumper in America.

    Back then we paid about , 80 bucks. Get really for sticker shocker today.

    Reply
  44. coloradobob

     /  October 30, 2016

    The past is prolong –

    Reply
  45. coloradobob

     /  October 30, 2016

    What ever happens on Nov. 8th., “Grab them by the pussy” is something straight put of Pandora’s Box.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  October 30, 2016

      Hell comes to court.

      Reply
    • Jacob

       /  October 30, 2016

      And somehow (ultimately trivial) emails are the topic of the day. Who gives a damn about any emails as compared to the continued and unobstructed destruction of the planet?

      When a party denies established climate science and promotes ignorance they have no business holding any elected offices. Yet far too many people focus on emails as an issue as if the climate does not matter. As ballots go I have done my part with my vote. Holding my fingers crossed that the majority of the people vote the same way. I would prefer a candidate unaffiliated with the two main parties (or the corporate/fossil-fuel powers that be), but at this point in order to stop the GOP I have to reluctantly vote for Clinton. The alternative is just far too frightening.

      Reply
  46. McKibben has a new DAPL post at commondreams this morning. He’s calling us all out.

    Nothing but lies coming from the MSM, believe nothing the media says.

    Dakota Access Pipeline Shooting Victim Was An Armed Instigator, Protesters Claim
    Standing Rock Sioux tribe members say the man is linked to the pipeline company.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/dakota-access-pipeline-shooting_us_5813b711e4b064e1b4b28f41

    Standing Rock Sioux

    The Standing Rock Sioux claim the alleged victim of a shooting was actually an armed man instigating a confrontation with protesters.
    A man who North Dakota authorities had said was shot by Dakota Access Pipeline protesters was actually an armed instigator linked to the pipeline company, Standing Rock Sioux tribe members said Friday.

    The sheriff’s office, which said Thursday the man was shot in one of two incidents involving gunfire during tumultuous protests against the pipeline, backpedaled on Friday and said the man wasn’t shot.

    The conflicting new claims called into question accounts of Thursday’s chaotic demonstration, in which 142 people were arrested as police in riot gear removed protesters from an encampment blocking the pipeline’s path.

    The Standing Rock Sioux tribe claimed Friday that the supposed shooting victim drove a truck through a highway barricade set up by protesters, who gave chase and forced him off the road. He then got out of the vehicle and “fired several shots from his assault rifle,” the tribe said in a statement posted to Facebook.

    Bureau of Indian Affairs agents detained the man, whose name has not been released, and turned him over to the FBI, according to BIA spokeswoman Nedra Darling. The FBI did not respond to The Huffington Post’s inquiries.

    Documents found in the man’s Chevy Silverado pickup suggest he was a Dakota Access Pipeline security guard in a company-owned truck, the Standing Rock Sioux statement said. The tribe posted photos of insurance papers linking the vehicle to the pipeline. Mother Jones reported there was an employee ID badge in the pickup. Protesters later set the vehicle on fire, according to Mother Jones.

    Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier on Friday said the man, a contractor providing security, was indeed armed, but “that was more or less in self defense.” The man fired no shots, Kirchmeier said during a press conference, and was not wounded by gunfire.

    Friday’s accounts differ in several respects from what authorities said on Thursday. The North Dakota Department of Emergency Services had said the man was a “private individual” who was shot in the hand by protesters. The department’s spokesman said the man was armed, but didn’t indicate whether he’d fired any shots.

    Friday’s protest was noticeably calmer than the previous day’s, when police clashed for hours with Native Americans and environmental activists who oppose construction of the 1,172-mile pipeline. Police used pepper spray, bean bag rounds, a taser and other non-lethal weapons against protesters, Kirchmeier said. No shots were fired by law enforcement, he added.

    A woman who was later arrested fired three shots on Thursday that narrowly missed a law enforcement officer, authorities said. Protesters threw feces, water bottles, logs and other debris at officers during the conflict, authorities said.

    The tumult that unfolded Thursday prompted some calls to safeguard protesters who remain in a separate camp on federal land, where they’ve been for months.

    Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called on President Barack Obama to send Department of Justice personnel to guarantee safety and First Amendment rights for protesters, and to suspend all federal permits for the pipeline project until the outcome of a “full cultural and environmental review.”

    Amnesty International announced it had deployed a team of human rights observers to the area.

    Even before Thursday’s clashes, Standing Rock Sioux members had accused local and state law enforcement of civil rights violations.

    The tribe opposes the pipeline, saying it could pollute the Missouri River, the source of their drinking water, and will disturb burial grounds and sites of cultural importance. The Obama administration has withheld a permit that would allow Energy Transfer Partners to build across the river while the government reviews its approval of the largely completed pipeline.

    Reply
    • This is getting way out of hand. In my opinion, the Federal Government needs to intervene to set up a buffer area between Dakota Access and the protesters. All pipeline operations should be suspended. They way North Dakota and the pipeline company are handling this presents a dire threat to public safety.

      Reply
    • I just wanted to drop by again to thank you for this, Seal. I will write on this if I can manage to get the climate related stuff off my plate fast enough. What’s happening up there is just flat wrong, in my opinion.

      Reply
  47. John Trudell, poet

    Reply
  48. June

     /  October 30, 2016

    As models predicted, the temperature anomaly in the arctic reaches 6.03!

    http://cci-reanalyzer.org/DailySummary/#T2_anom

    Reply
  49. June

     /  October 30, 2016

    This is a good, in-depth report on the impact of super polluters on people, using Indiana as an example. It is done by the Center for Public Integrity and was linked to from Weather.com, which is a welcome surprise.

    http://superpolluters.com/

    Reply
  50. June

     /  October 30, 2016

    As predicted, the temperature anomaly in the arctic has reached 6.03 degrees.

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  October 30, 2016

      Yikes, June. + 6C anomaly. Unreal. And the water temps are staying warm too. Over at the ASIF, the 2016/2017 freezing thread, you can hear the concern in the posts, as folks try to work out what on earth is happening in the Arctic this year.

      Meanwhile, that yo-yo daily mean Arctic temp north of 80, graphed over at DMI, is headed up again.

      Reply
  51. Cate

     /  October 30, 2016

    Commonwealth countries met in London to “brainstorm climate change reversal” in preparation for Marrakech COP 22 in November.

    http://www.france24.com/en/20161029-commonwealth-brainstorms-climate-change-reversal

    The focus was carbon capture and storage. “At a two-day gathering on Friday and Saturday at the 52-country organisation’s headquarters in London, a diverse band of experts in fields such as biomimicry, carbon sequestration, design and regeneration traded ideas for practical schemes that could pull carbon out of the air and put it back into the Earth.” The emphasis is on practical and workable solutions: “….many intriguing proposals get ditched on the grounds of cost, practicality or fears that they could end up inflicting environmental damage.”

    Ideas and outcomes from this London session will be brought forward to the Marrakech conference.

    Reply
  52. Abel Adamski

     /  October 30, 2016

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/company-directors-to-face-penalties-for-ignoring-climate-change-20161030-gsdwha.html

    Cats and pigeons

    Legal liability providing grounds for corporate and individual liabity for loss and damages

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  October 31, 2016

      This was a good film. I suggest that everyone recommend that their friends and family watch it. Sometimes films have a way of convincing people better than “boring” facts and data. Something about the images makes the experience more visceral for the average viewer than an explanation climate change would. Seeing people who are right now dealing with dramatic effects of climate change makes the information really hit home. This is not a hypothetical problem that will occur in the future. It’s here right now, and it’s only going to get worse. Much, much worse.

      Reply
  53. Ryan in New England

     /  October 31, 2016

    Enlightening story about bribery and corruption in the oil industry from from an insider who was there.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/unaoil-employee-admits-bribery_us_5813d11ae4b064e1b4b2a940

    Reply
  54. Cate

     /  October 31, 2016

    Apologies if this was posted before—dated 4 October. I haven’t seen Before the Flood yet, but perhaps this would make a useful companion thought-piece to that film.

    http://www.vox.com/2016/10/4/13118594/2-degrees-no-more-fossil-fuels

    David Roberts goes through the math, interrogates the dream that BECCS will save us all, and explains the three rather grim options we face at the moment, as indicated by Kevin Anderson. Yes, we can make the transformations needed, and for that we need political will, but—-

    “….think about the political will we need: to immediately cease fossil fuel exploration, start shutting down coal mines, and put in place a plan for managed decline of the fossil fuel industry; to double or triple the global budget for clean energy research, development, and deployment; to transfer billions of dollars from wealthy countries to poorer ones, to protect them from climate impacts they are most vulnerable to but least responsible for; and quite possibly, if it comes to it, to limit the consumptive choices of the globe’s wealthiest and most carbon-intensive citizens. That level of political will is nowhere in evidence, in any country.”

    Limiting consumptive choices. This is not a concept coming to any mainstream media or politician’s stump anywhere in the first world, anytime soon.

    Reply
  55. Cate

     /  October 31, 2016

    Do not miss the intense discussion over at ASIF, Arctic Sea Ice section, “2016/2017 freezing season” thread. A-Team’s post #435 is mandatory reading.

    http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1611.0.html

    Reply
    • June

       /  October 31, 2016

      Really interesting references A-Team included. It seems that the whole dynamic of the fall/winter refreeze season is changing, for example a greater impact of wind/wave action, and heat inflow through the Bering Strait into the Chukchi. Some other commenters remarked that the slow refreeze in October, which is happening despite the fact that low summer minimums usually lead to quicker refreezes in the fall, seems to be another indicator of the rapidly changing Arctic regime.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  October 31, 2016

        June, exactly. The seasoned Arctic-watchers are using words like “system change”—-which my Eng lit brain aligns with Shakespeare’s “sea change”. That is, something utterly new and different, and full of portent.

        Reply
        • It really hasn’t taken much to tip the Arctic into its current spiral. A caution, really. If the Arctic sea ice is far more sensitive than we thought it would otherwise be, then what other systems will act in a similar fashion? It’s questions like these that keep one awake at night. And they should!

        • Off the top of my head:
          – Antarctic ice sheets.
          – Permafrost melt.
          – Rain bombs.
          – Pacific Ocean (blob).

          And we are just starting to get into the serious stuff.

        • Good points. We’re at 1.2 C approx for 2016 now. A level of heat that will probably back-fill for at least the next few years. 1.5 C by 2030s is very likely.

          As bad as things have been, they’re about to hit a new ramp higher. Not the kind of onward and upward we like to see.

      • Today’s sideways movement of the sea ice measure is particularly concerning…

        Reply
  56. Abel Adamski

     /  October 31, 2016

    Back to coral
    A new positive feedback twist
    http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2016/10/the-role-coral-plays-in-climate-change/

    Corals are inherently connected to atmospheric climates, and are especially influenced by climate change.

    Now, new research in collaboration with University of Technology Sydney shows that corals themselves play key roles in contributing to processes that influence their immediate climate.

    The research showed that tropical reef building corals exposed at low tide emit unprecedented amounts of the important climate gas dimethylsulfide (DMS) directly to the atmosphere. DMS provides a key step in cloud formation and may offer a means to locally reduce transient light and heat stress to reefs. They conclude that this source, which has so far been overlooked by climate models, may be critically important to regulation of the tropical atmosphere.

    Reply
  57. Abel Adamski

     /  October 31, 2016

    Another one from downunder

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-31/climate-scientists-feel-weight-of-world-on-their-shoulders/7972452

    The human perspective from those at the front line

    Reply
  58. coloradobob

     /  October 31, 2016

    PHOTOS: After Diwali Fireworks, Toxic Smog Shrouds New Delhi

    On Sunday, India celebrated Diwali with lamps, candles, feasting and fireworks. Now, a day after fireworks for the festival of lights, New Delhi is choked with a thick, dark smog.

    The celebrations sharply exacerbated the city’s perpetual pollution problems — the BBC reports that in the wake of the fireworks, levels of extremely small particulate matter more than doubled over the course of a few hours.

    Link

    Reply
  59. coloradobob

     /  October 31, 2016

    Leonardo DiCaprio’s Before the Flood: A Movie Review
    By: Jeff Masters ,
    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3492#commenttop

    Reply
  60. coloradobob

     /  October 31, 2016

    Fall Heat Wave Will Smash Records From Halloween Into the First Days of November

    Record warmth will continue to give a summer feel into the first days of November this week, with hundreds of daily record highs and warm lows likely to be set and also some monthly record highs expected in parts of the heat-weary South and Plains states.

    Link

    Reply
  61. June

     /  October 31, 2016

    Deja Vu.

    Iraq’s skies darken as Isis torches oil

    http://climatenewsnetwork.net/iraqs-skies-darken-as-isis-torches-oil/

    Reply
  62. June

     /  October 31, 2016

    An article about the rise of large, densely populated urban centers. The statistics are eye opening, and have huge implications for the future.

    Population boom adds to city threats
    …Whatever problems these new city-dwellers have will be compounded, other researchers warn, by climate change

    http://climatenewsnetwork.net/population-boom-adds-to-city-threats/

    Reply
    • Population has always been a compounding factor for environmental problems. And failing to deal with it long-term really comes back to haunt us. The big factors are lowering consumption, lowering the impact of consumption, and lowering the total numbers. If you’re going to have much hope for helpfully managing population, policies like access to birth control, family planning, and women’s equality are key factors. Together these help to form one of the major pillars of sustainability.

      Reply
  63. coloradobob

     /  October 31, 2016

    Before the Flood (full movie)

    Reply
  1. Your Friday Morning Collapse (With Linky Links) | Loki's Revenge

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