Hot Climate Conjures Trio of Nasty Halloween Tricks — Heatwaves, Record-Low Sea Ice, Fall Greenland Melt

With each passing year, the effects of human-caused climate change become more and more visible. But for some reason, Halloween appears to be a preferred time for the emergence of various hothouse hobgoblins. In 2012, the Atlantic seaboard was reeling after a vicious strike from Hurricane Sandy. Over the past three years, powerful North Atlantic storms had begun to build at this time of year, setting sights on the UK and Europe. This year, as a hurricane-force low roars toward the Aleutians, the nastiness comes in the form of weird heatwaves, record-low global sea ice coverage, and hints of odd late-fall Greenland melt.

Record Heat Strikes Arctic, U.S.

NASA’s Gavin Schmidt has been warning for months that 2016 will be a global scorcher for the record books. Nowhere has this heat been more apparent than in the Arctic. Halloween only serves to reinforce the rule as today’s temperature departure for the entire region above 66 degrees north latitude hit 5.94 degrees Celsius above average:

global-anomaly-map-halloween

(The extreme Arctic warmth that has already caused so much in the way of climate disruption remains firmly entrenched on Halloween. Image source: Climate Reanalyzer.)

Yesterday, those temperatures exceeded the 6-C-above-normal mark. And later this week, temperatures for the region could approach 6.3 to 6.5 C above average.

These are the average departure ranges for the entire area above the Arctic Circle. Localities within that broader region are hitting as much as 20 C (36 Fahrenheit) or more above average on an almost daily basis, bringing temperatures more typical of the Arctic during late summer than in the middle of fall.

In Barrow, Alaska, Jonathan Erdman reports that Saturday saw the proverbial mercury hit 41 F. This temperature, at about 26 degrees above average, smashed the previous daily high and pushed the latest day Barrow has ever seen a reading above 40 F fully one week forward.

record-temperatures-us

(Daily high and high min temperature records for the U.S. were broken at an alarming rate over the past week, producing a Halloween heatwave. Image source:  NOAA.)

Farther south, the lower 48 is experiencing what Bob Henson over at Weather Underground is calling the Halloween Heatwave. Over the past week alone, nearly 300 daytime high marks were broken. But the measure of record-high minimum temperatures — a key indicator of human-forced warming — is off the charts with 639 total records smashed over the past seven days.

What’s even more odd is a near-total lack of cool temperatures. Bob Henson finds that:

Even more noteworthy than the degree of warmth is the lack of widespread autumn chill. For example, Minneapolis has yet to dip below 36°F as of Friday, October 28. That doesn’t look likely to happen before at least next weekend (November 5 – 6). In records going back to 1873, the latest Minneapolis has ever gone before seeing its first 35°F of the autumn is November 1, way back in 1931. The city’s latest first freeze was on Nov. 7, 1900.

Reinforcing this point, NOAA finds that over the past week just 40 record low high temperatures were achieved (about one-seventh the number of record highs). Meanwhile, record low nighttime temperatures were only achieved in six instances, about one-one-hundredth the rate of record high minimum temperatures! Furthermore, at no location in the U.S. for this week, this month, or even this past year has snow depth achieved a new record high. That’s a pretty ridiculous indicator that the U.S. has reached a rather disturbing climate threshold for heat overall.

Record Low Global Sea Ice Coverage

Even as new warm temperature records were being set with amazing frequency across parts of the Northern Hemisphere, another duo of worrisome indicators were popping up in the Arctic and Antarctic. In the Arctic, the ocean has been loaded up with a ridiculous amount of heat. This heat is preventing the ocean from refreezing, creating various regional barriers to ice formation as the waters ventilate this excess heat into the atmosphere. As a result, Arctic sea-ice extent record lows continue to deepen.

Fall 2016 sea ice extent values — which have consistently lagged behind average daily refreeze rates for most of the season — are now more than 600,000 square kilometers below the previous record set during 2012. It’s, quite frankly, an insane shattering of the previous record low value; a warming-spurred melt that has erased an area of sea ice coverage nearly the size of Texas in just four years.

arctic-sea-ice-jaxa

(Current Arctic sea ice extent values are 6.92 million square kilometers [October 30]. This is 600,000 square kilometers below the previous record low set on the same day during 2012. It is also about 3 million square kilometers below average values seen for this day back during the 1980s. Image source: JAXA.)

The Washington Post this past Friday provided a good article explaining the dynamics involved and highlighted predictions by prominent Arctic researchers that ice-free summers could occur by the 2030s. This is a marked departure from earlier estimates that had put off ice-free summers until the 2050s or even the 2080s. However, it’s worth noting that there’s a decent risk that even these more advanced predictions may prove conservative in the end. Under current trends, ice-free periods for the Arctic Ocean during summer become statistically possible as soon as the early to mid 2020s, and a strong outlier year — where an abnormally warm winter is followed by an abnormally warm summer — could produce such a result even sooner.

On the other side of the world, the Antarctic is also experiencing record-low ranges for sea ice extents. There, regional temperatures are near 4 C above average for the entire Antarctic. Though these departures are not as extreme as those currently seen in the Arctic, they are certainly enough to impact sea ice. Now, sea ice extent values there are at their second lowest ever recorded in the daily measure.

Over recent years, storminess in the Southern Ocean and an expanding fresh water lens running out from Antarctica due to glacial melt have generated a seemingly contradictory expansion of sea ice near Antarctica. This happens because fresh water at the ocean’s surface acts to deflect heat toward the ocean bottom, a feature that has enabled the melting of various glacier undersides in Antarctica. But as the global ocean and atmosphere warm in general, larger melt outflows are necessary to reinforce this surface freshwater lens effect. As a result, we appear to be experiencing a seesaw in Antarctic sea ice extent as a pulse of atmospheric and ocean warming overrides the impact of initial fresh water lensing.

global_sea_ice_extent_zoomed_2016_day_301_1981-2010

(MASIE global sea ice extent shows a severe negative departure through October 28, 2016. Image source: Sunshine Hours.)

The combination of significant sea ice losses in the north and second-lowest sea ice extents in the south has resulted in a global sea-ice measure that is well below anything seen in the past for this time of year. It is also one of the largest global negative sea-ice departures seen for any part of the record for any time of year — even when compared to the extreme period of Arctic sea ice loss during September of 2012.

Halloween Greenland Melt?

In addition to producing heatwaves, new temperature records, and ever more extreme sea ice melt, the odd Halloween warmth appears to also be generating flashes of surface melt over parts of northeastern Greenland. There, over the past few days, temperatures have approached or even exceeded the freezing point as warm winds have blown in from the heating Greenland Strait.

(A warm front crosses over northeastern Greenland on October 27, 2016. The associated warm winds blowing off the heating waters of the Greenland Strait produced near or above freezing temperatures for isolated parts of this section of Greenland. This abnormal warmth appears to have tripped NSIDC’s melt sensor, producing a possible odd late-season melt event for sections of this frozen island. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

This heat has been enough to trip NSIDC’s Greenland melt indicators for the region of the Zachariæ Isstrøm glacier. These indicators, over the past couple of days, have shown relatively extensive melt in this sector of Greenland. During summer 2016, northeastern Greenland was one of the regions that saw strongest indications of surface melt. Typically isolated by sea ice from warm ocean breezes, northeast Greenland does not usually see such long-lasting periods of surface melt. This is especially true for late October as melt during this time for any portion of the Greenland Ice Sheet is practically unheard of. However, as warm ocean water has advanced further and further north, this region has become more vulnerable to invasions of warm air. And it appears that the melt-forcing effect of this ocean warming for nearby Greenland glaciers may well be extending into fall.

Though unconfirmed by NSIDC, these periods of possible melt have occurred coincident with temperature departures in the range of 10-20 degrees C above average. However, since near or above freezing temperatures have mostly been isolated to the very far northeastern sections of Zachariæ Isstrøm near the coast, it’s likely that any potential and brief periods of melt were located in a more limited band than what has shown up on the NSIDC melt maps for October 27, 28, and 29. That said, as noted above, any surface melt over glaicers in Greenland for this time of year would be very odd and concerning — no matter how isolated.

Nasty Global Warming Tricks for Halloween

Halloween heatwaves, record-low sea ice extents and possible periods of fall Greenland melt are all indicators that human-forced climate change is starting to generate more and more obvious effects. Though the most extreme impacts are hitting remote regions like Greenland, the Arctic and the Antarctic, the related abnormal warmth has filtered into the middle latitudes and is now affecting millions of people across the U.S. And what’s happening in the U.S. is linked to these related warming events on a global scale.

So happy Halloween, everyone. Enjoy the holiday. But remember that if it’s oddly warm where you are, it’s not just a freak warm weather treat, but one of the many and worsening tricks conjured up by global climate change.

Links:

NOAA

The Climate of Gavin

Climate Reanalyzer

Jonathan Erdman

Zack Labe

Earth Nullschool

NSIDC

Sunshine Hours

Half a Kilometer of Ice Gone in Just 7 Years

JAXA

Hat tip to Colorado Bob

Hat tip to DT Lange

Hat tip to June

Leave a comment

101 Comments

  1. October 23 – 29, 2016 402.07 ppm
    October 23 – 29, 2015 398.50 ppm

    weekly average numbers show 3.57 ppm increase from one year ago. Source: co2.earth

    why are things heating up? Maybe it’s the CO2.

    Warm regards

    Mike

    Reply
  2. coloradobob

     /  October 31, 2016

    Before the Flood
    The votes @ Utube for the movie read like the new high vs new low temperature records –
    91,028 thumbs up
    4,461 thumbs down

    Reply
    • Fantastic. Have you watched it yet?

      Reply
      • coloradobob

         /  October 31, 2016

        I sure have, it’s fantastic.

        Reply
        • Will be writing a review this week if I can get a few other things off my plate. If anyone wants to take a crack at it, feel free and I’ll edit/post.

    • coloradobob

       /  October 31, 2016

      1,990,229 views

      Reply
      • coloradobob

         /  October 31, 2016

        2,119,884 views

        Reply
        • miles h

           /  October 31, 2016

          after watching Naomi Kleins ‘this changes everything’ (which is rubbish) i was primed for disappointment, but thought ‘before the flood’ was pretty good. very few punches pulled (though Obama got an overly easy ride imo) and some well-presented info. being a bit geeky, id have liked a bit more data included, but hey, cant have everything! all in all, well worth the watch.

        • Thanks for the review, Miles. Best.

        • I will say that I enjoyed Kleins book, but haven’t seen the movie as yet.

        • miles h

           /  November 1, 2016

          lol… dont bother. shes a better writer than a film maker. ( a group of 9 of us went to see it, and all of us agreed we’d have been better off spending the money on a drink in the pub!)

        • Fair enough. I’ll stick to the book, then😉

      • Spike

         /  October 31, 2016

        Watched it this evening – a work of art, informed by science, beautifully filmed and at times very poignant.

        Reply
        • coloradobob

           /  October 31, 2016

          It sure is Spike. And blunt where it needs to be , like the rain forest segment. And the cable on the Greenland ice sheet.

        • Thanks for the review, Spike. I will definitely be watching it this evening.

      • June

         /  October 31, 2016

        I also thought Before the Flood was well done. I think coming at it from the personal point of view of his developing views on climate change was a good choice. Using the Bosch painting to bookend it was great (if true, one wonders about the wisdom of having that hanging over a child’s bed!). The mix of visuals, data, impacts on people was appropriate for the general audience. I liked his frankness when he spoke at the U.N. towards the end, putting the responsibility squarely in their hands.

        Reply
      • Watched this last night. Very well done. I think there could have been a bit more clarity about where carbon emissions are coming from. For example, fossil fuels account for more than 60 percent of total carbon emissions and represent pretty much all (100 percent) of the old carbon emissions. Land use and agriculture are a big share. And we can certainly help matters by eating less beef, and meat in general, which is one of the reasons I promote veganism as a sustainability measure. And Leo is absolutely right that it would help with our land use problem as well — freeing up more land for forest and helping us to sequester more carbon in the biosphere so long as the biosphere remains healthy enough to take down excess carbon.

        That said, the center of gravity for the whole problem is fossil fuels and, particularly, our burning and extraction of those fuels. If we can manage an energy transition, then we’ve dealt with a big part of the problem. The lions share. That said, we will absolutely have to figure out better farming practices, better consumption practices, and better land management practices if we are to deal with the climate change problem fully. Both actions are necessary, but the primary action needed is dealing with fossil fuel burning and providing a path for an energy transition.

        I think the film did make these points in its broader arc. But it might have helped if there was a simple statistical comparison between fossil fuel burning carbon emissions and the GWP (global warming potential) of all other gasses coming from agriculture and land use.

        In addition, it would have been helpful to break down the amplifying feedbacks problem as a separate but related issue. The film seemed to indicate that amplifying feedbacks were only a problem under business as usual fossil fuel burning. And I don’t think we can say that with full confidence. I think what we can say is that we’ll probably have some amplifying feedbacks under even 1.5 to 2.0 C warming scenarios. In fact, I think we’re seeing evidence of some feedback now. That feedback is likely to be far milder than what we’d tend to see under BAU warming. But any feedback at all is additive and creates less time in which to deal with the problem. As an example, the fires we’re seeing in the equatorial forests are occurring as a result of human clear cutting for agriculture even as they are exasperated by warming. If the world hits 2-4 C warming (or approx 0.9 to 1.9 C more warming than today) then it’s unlikely that the equatorial rainforests survive the added heat pressure. This is the case even without clear cutting and farming pressure. And if a good portion of the carbon in those forests hits the atmosphere even as their carbon uptake services are lost, then that’s a pretty big amplifying feedback. In other words, carbon stores can turn to carbon sources even as their ability to take down atmospheric carbon is removed. The same can be said for the oceans and pretty much any land form under warming and drying. The potential impacts have not been very well quantified in the sciences. And this particular gray area should be cause for concern. But it’s worth noting that the end of the last ice age at 4 C warming saw about 100 ppm global increase in CO2 due to changes in the carbon cycle as an amplifying feedback to a relatively small, when compared to human impacts, orbital forcing.

        The film clearly took a long time to develop and it appears that some of the data is a bit older. In particular, the 0.85 C warming figure is now behind current warming. Taking into account the past few years, the five year average is now at or above 1 C above 1880s levels. We’ve taken a bit step up when it comes to warming and as a result we’ll be seeing the cascading impacts of that warming on the Earth System over the next decade or so. In other words, though we currently have 1 C warming approx, we haven’t seen anywhere near all the impacts from that initial warming so far. And given the rate at which CO2 concentrations are rising, there is cause for serious concern about additional and relatively swift warming if we really don’t work to mitigate the problem of climate change soon.

        RE Paris — I very much appreciate the balanced portrayal of the agreement. I think it’s critical that we have policies like Paris but that we don’t look at them as cure-alls individually but as part of an evolving policy framework that will need continuous additional international support to effectively deal with the problem of climate change. The same can be said for Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Some policy is better than no policy but it’s pretty clear that the current policy frameworks are not enough and will need rapid escalation to deal with the problem effectively.

        I especially appreciated both the inclusion of the Pope’s Encyclical and the vivid and compelling interpretation of the visual masterpiece that is Before the Flood. As a metaphor, Before the Flood is entirely appropriate to the very serious harm we are bringing upon our civilizations, our people, and upon the creatures living on the Earth. Fossil fuel burning dumps hothouse gasses into the world’s atmosphere and it was during past hothouses that a majority of the mass extinction events of the deep history of Earth occurred. Some have said that human burning of fossil fuels is equivalent to an asteroid strike. But I would just like to point out that the Earth and the human beings living upon it would be better off with an asteroid strike than dealing with what happens if we continue to burn fossil fuels. Middle to worse case climate change is a catastrophe that confounds the human imagination. It is a great wasting of the world’s ability to support its current rich variety life. And we depend on that vital tapestry for our own survival. Middle to worst case climate change is to beg not one catastrophe but a series of ever-worsening catastrophes. And it is this kind of combined insult that has been so devastating to life in the past. The Pope is right. Everyone should do everything possible to stop this harm now. We are already facing trouble — and it will be enough to test the integrity of current civilization this century even if we stopped burning fossil fuels today. But it is guaranteed to wreck us if we don’t stop burning. We are already suffering heartbreak, loss, and dislocation. Already, waves of refugees are moving across the globe due to climate change’s varied impacts. Sea level rise, Syria, the loss of arable land in various regions, harm to corals and fisheries, increasingly severe rain and drought events all present a mass migration pressure that is becoming more and more visible. But these impacts are mild compared to what will come if we don’t listen to the small voice in our hearts telling us to stop this madness before it is too late.

        Reply
        • Cate

           /  November 1, 2016

          Excellent review, RS, both fair and heart-felt, very moving. You have such a gift for articulating what others may only sense, and for explaining the context and the implications. Thank you.

        • My thought on criticism of a work so obviously heartfelt as this one is that it should be additive and complimentary. To fill in whatever opportunities might have been missed rather than jumping on perceived flaws. I think this was a very important work. Well done even as it extends the reach of all of us who speak out on climate issues.

  3. Thank you for your in depth research! Gratitude Dance for you. :~)

    Reply
    • Warmest regards, Happiness. It was another day when the old noodle felt like it was about to explode. There’s a lot going on right now and the pace of change is just absolutely insane. So it’s tough to keep up with everything.

      Reply
  4. DJ

     /  October 31, 2016

    Thanks for this. I’ve been watching the persistent arctic temperature anomaly with particular amazement/alarm since September. This seems to raise the possibility that we’re now being presented the tab for storing all that heat in the oceans for so long.

    I wonder how hard-core climate change deniers process this. You would think that at some point past 15 degrees C/25 degrees F, at least some degree of warming would have to be acknowledged.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the kind words, DJ. And I like how you allude to us getting the tab after a long binge. Very appropriate metaphor.

      You can see the tab pretty well here, I think:

      http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=1611.0;attach=37817;image

      I think the deniers are in the process of CPU shutdown and reboot. They do this every time something doesn’t compute. The shutdown and reboot cycles are getting to be pretty constant, though. And some of the deniers are even dropping out.

      I think the emphasis will shift more and more toward niddling over response details (promoting CCS vs renewables) and muddling more with causes (trying to shift blame away from fossil fuels). Blanket climate change deniers are looking more and more like the flat earthers of the world. It boils down to this — if you’re dealing with reality and in real terms, then you’re basically staring climate change in the face.

      To mix metaphors, it’s not like an elephant that sits quietly in the room — but more an unruly thing that tramples all your furniture before sitting plop down on your family members and guests as well.

      Reply
    • Oh, and never forget — the ‘we should all just give up because it’s pointless’ meme will probably be generally reinforced among the climate denier supporting community.

      Reply
      • DJ

         /  October 31, 2016

        Been watching the sea ice extent (the forum post is a zoom-in I think) with alarm as well. 500K sq km below the previous record, and that delta’s been increasing daily. I continue to try to find metaphors that describe what’s happening and convey the urgency for immediate action.

        Most people I talk to don’t deny, and to say they’re apathetic isn’t the right description – but they just don’t see it as an immediate concern. I direct them here, to neven’s site, to nsidc and tamino, but it’s hard to get people interested. I have a friend who thinks the best hope is that the combination of price and trendiness will ultimately drive widespread adoption of solar technology. I think he might be right – I hope he is right.

        Reply
        • 600 K in the JAXA measure…

        • We need a faster market adoption for wind, solar, batteries in order to have effective climate change mitigation. The current trendlines are good. But it’s not certain they will hold.They can be blown of their baseline rate of increase by bad policy choices, for example. The other issue is that we have to get to near 0 fossil fuel burning and net negative carbon emissions pretty quickly to avoid 2 C warming this Century. That’s a very high bar to cross. And it’s questionable if its achievable even with a set of responses that are much stronger than what we are currently seeing. In other words, we’re looking at outcomes that range from pretty bad if we do our best to absolutely terrible if we do nothing. That said, pretty bad is quite a bit better than absolutely terrible.

          As for apathy. I hear you. A friend of mine recently bought a house on the water in Virginia Beach. It was near an inland body of water that connected to the Lynnhaven River which is a tidal estuary. His property is just about 6 feet above sea level. I told him that he might want to think about selling pretty soon and not make this a permanent home for his wife and two children — due to climate change related impacts. He asked — how long? I said that any big storm could cause trouble now and that such storms were more likely. But even base sea level would probably rise by 2 feet over the next two decades due to sea level rise, subsidence, and changes to the Gulf Stream. He basically ignored me. Then Matthew hit and caused all sorts of trouble – flooding his house.

          I don’t really know what to say in instance like that. If you push too hard, you feel like a jerk. If you don’t say anything at all, you feel like a jerk. Social catch 22. So I say something that most people usually ignore and remind myself that I’m not responsible for them even though it sucks and I wish I could help.

        • Marcusblanc

           /  November 1, 2016

          As my mum often says, damned if you do, damned if you don’t!

          It takes a fine diplomat to tell people that their location is unsustainable, without upsetting them, I’ve tried it with a close family member. In this case he isn’t going to be permanently under water, but persistent flooding is my concern.

          Wasn’t really having it, but at least I tried. Maybe someone else will tell him the same one day, and he might start to listen.

        • Shawn Redmond

           /  November 1, 2016

          Concerning the remnants of Matthew in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.Some people are starting to get it. Retreat is going to be the best of all moves. Stop rebuilding in these areas. The costs to the planet are just being redoubled. Using up resources only to have them swept away again is nothing short of a brain dead maneuver. A lack of money combined with a little foresight seems to be a good cure for apathy.

          “To do a relocation plan you would be in the $4-5 million or so to do that from initial estimates that have been done. But right now we have to get those detailed estimates in place, work with the families,” Clarke said.
          “We’ve got to be very clear,” Clarke said. “If you’re moving people on, you’re not going to move anyone else into an area that has been devastated like this one has been.”

          When asked what the site could be in the future, he suggested some kind of recreation space like a soccer field, “that can easily be dealt with in the case of other water overflows in those areas.”

        • Marcus —

          Thanks for the commiseration. Part of the issue is that the place represents a community of people. Moving from that place would generate isolation unless the community moves entirely together. And that’s depressing and tough to deal with for pretty much anyone who values their connections with others in a community. That’s the issue with my family. It’s about the relationships that hold people together which create a kind of gravity that keeps people in one place. To face losing your home is a tough, tough thing.

          Shawn —

          I agree in that if we are going to effectively deal with sea level rise we need to find new homes for not just people but for entire communities. We need a withdrawal and renewal strategy. Standing and fighting isn’t going to cut it for pretty much every low-lying coastal community if we’re facing more than a few feet of sea level rise as appears to be the case. I don’t yet see this clarity coming from leaders yet in general. But it’s good to see that some are talking about it. Hopefully, this way of thinking will spread.

          One bit to be cautious about is that movement is enough to prevent the need for movement in the future. You don’t want to get into a situation where you’re moving again and again and again. Expending resources with each hop. You want to try to find a pretty resilient location from the sea level rise perspective to move back to.

          If we are going to keep burning fossil fuels, you have so much disruption that it becomes nearly impossible to find safe havens. But if we can limit warming, then we can probably still establish safe havens for people and plan effectively if we are very wise. I don’t see this level of planning and preparedness generally yet. More just stopgaps and short term thinking.

          RE Before the Flood, it’s worth noting that current Sea Level Rise adaptations for Miami are predicted to last til 2050. I think that may be optimistic. But even so, you’re looking at a city living in a very short time window. What happens after these adaptations fail in 10, 15, 20 or 30 years? Then Miami just hits a wall? That’s not acceptable. We need to be honest about these problems and deal with them both locally and globally if we’re not going to suffer a disintegration of our social structures due to the insults that are already apparent and are about to get even worse.

  5. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Average Planet temperature for October turns out to be a real brain-popper.

    Reply
    • Probably not as bad as Oct 2015. That said, there is a lot of heat in the Arctic and Antarctic and that will tend to keep temperatures near the 0.95 to 1.1 C above 1880s departure range.

      Reply
  6. PlazaRed

     /  October 31, 2016

    Scare of the Day here in Spain.
    Madrid is so polluted this week that car parking in the city has been banned and there is a 70KPH or about 45MPH speed limit on the free-ways. They really don’t know what to do about it and its going to be continuing all week at least. They are even talking about banning odd or even number plated cars on alternate days.
    There will be all sorts of screamers coming out of the closets about how its not necessary but then again that’s human nature, if you inconvenience them, then after all they always say, “its not really my problem,”
    So I’ll keep an eye on the situation.
    I Tried talking to a local University graduate of 60 years old about the heat problems in the Polar areas and the climate fatality as of on this blog and his comment was, “things will just have to move to other areas.”
    When I asked where; his answer was, “away from the dangers.”
    So much for today’s attempt.
    Day of the Dead here in Spain tomorrow millions of displaced people travelling millions of miles, all over the country to put flowers on Graves

    Reply
  7. coloradobob

     /  November 1, 2016

    An exchange with one of the trolls on Cat 6 over Dr Masters review of the movie –
    (They’ll probably give me a time out for this one)

    60. RobertWC
    12:02 AM GMT on November 01, 2016
    Quoting 22. NativeSun:

    Who cares.

    Had you watched the movie there’s a rather long list, basically everyone with an IQ greater than a 40 watt light bulb.

    Reply
  8. Our officials are blink to the facts. We can’t continue on this path much longer and have life as we once enjoyed, so be it , I have no children to worry about which is what sensible folks would be doing about now. Oh well this is nothing new and has been coming sice the 70’s at least. It’s just sad to see a beautiful plant destroyed by capitalists.

    Reply
    • I think some of them are slowly waking up. There’s a sluggishness that comes from being pulled in so many directions by so many competing interests. That’s why we all need to lift our voices and shout it from the hills as loudly as we can.

      Reply
  9. Weaher here in Phoenix is very wierdly very warm in the upper 80s to upper 90s. AC units still running in daytime, should be off by now. We had 1 day last week at 100 degrees, record latest day with that temp. 95 degrees is the temp I go by to turn on AC in April usually.

    I find this terrifying, personally, one of my friends does, too. Everyone has been rather wierd about tne wzrmth and many I suspect about the election and aftemath. I suspect we will have less winter than we had last year, what we call winter here anyway. I cannot believe how hot it is in the Arcric.

    One more thing, watching the original Blob movie with Steve MacQueen from the early 1960s, one line near the end stunned me. They have just frozen the great blob with lots of a certain kind of fire extinguishers and the sheriff has called the Air Force to come get it from the air and take it to the Arctic where it will never thaw! Last scene is it falling onto a plain of solid ice. Thats more horror movie than even I can take, fan that I am. IRONY to say the least.

    Thanks as always foryour work, Sheri

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  November 1, 2016

      Great movie catch there Sheri, Steve Mcqueen’s breakout roll .
      Vin Tanner came next …………..
      Best line: ” I’ve always had a hard time telling my elbow from a hot rock “.

      Reply
      • mulga mumblebrain

         /  November 1, 2016

        My favourite prescient and insightful film dialogue, apropos this disaster, is from ‘Five Million Years to Earth’. The two scientist heroes of the tale, Quatermass and Roney, are discussing the political response to the discovery of an alien space-ship in London. Quatermass asks Roney, ‘,,if we found out our own world was doomed, say by climatic changes, what would we do about it?’ Roney replies, ‘Nothing, just go on squabbling like usual’. I first saw the movie in 1981, on TV with the volume loud (as I had bad tinnitus from sitting in front of the speakers at a concert with Ian Drury and the Blockheads)and that conversation sent a shiver up my spine. The movie was from 1967, by the way. God having been so generous as to have spared me since, I can now see what that shiver was all about.

        Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  November 1, 2016

      We’ve just booked the hottest Oct. here on record. (Lubbock, Texas) Our numbers have been 10 to 15 degrees above “normal” all month. Everyday. All the trees are still green , our average first frost here, …… is today. Our average last freeze is tax day April 15th.
      A cold front is coming , it will knock us down to “normal”. But tomorrow, we set new daily records, and probably a new monthly one for November.

      So Sheri , you’re not the “Lone Ranger”:.

      Reply
      • The fall here has been odd as well. The trees don’t know what to do. Some of them are even producing pollen… Mountain fall foliage isn’t anywhere near as vivid as it typically is for this time of year. We’ve had a hybrid fall. Not a real fall. Just something similar enough to feel strange — like a dream where something is always a little off but you can’t put your finger on what it is.

        Reply
    • That is scary, Sheri. I can’t believe you guys are still getting days in the 90s and 100s this late in the year. Well, I can believe it. Just don’t want to.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  November 1, 2016

        We’re still having days in the 60s predicted through the first 10 days or so of November in Minneapolis, and one of the latest falls with no freezing temperatures in the city yet.

        Reply
        • It’s nuts. But what just kills me is the fact that though this warm weather seems pretty extreme on the ground here in the US, it’s just nothing compared to what’s happening now in the Arctic.

  10. coloradobob

     /  November 1, 2016

    A cold front is coming , it will knock us down to “normal”.

    A word about the death of winter.

    Winter can be seen has having a serious illness. Like Hawking’s, every year it get’s weaker and some years it stops, but still in it’s decline. But climate change is murdering fall and spring, …. winter’s sisters , and it’s coming after winter.
    Oh sure it’s still gonna snow like hell , but big snows come at just below freezing , not at minus 50. I spent a week at that number once. every water droplet is banished from the air. Your lips crack when you step outside. The biggest snow I ever saw , was on May 15th at Estes Park, Just below freezing, it snowed 30 inches. Then the Zephyr came, and and melted the whole mess right before our eyes.

    Snow is last metric to measure “cold”.
    But ice storms , and hail storms are the new metric. As the system changes ice storms are going to eat our lunch. , a thin cold layer at the surface with a tropical air mass making rain over head.

    If your a musk ox, caribou, wolf, or a moose your screwed. If your electric company, your’re screwed too. ,

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  November 1, 2016

      This what Leo saw in the film , and RS had been saying, as the rain bands move to the poles. Ice storms , not rain, not snow, become the the new player. It’s one of those “Monsters Behind the Door ”

      Side bar –
      I was looking for cool graphic to make my point about monsters, and I found this –

      Reply
      • coloradobob

         /  November 1, 2016

        Yes, this me at 29. Notice the leather on my jeans. I did that. This was my first week as a dinosaur hunter. I had just had my helicopter safety lesson .

        Lesson one………… This is not a chopper. it is a ship, a helo, a helicopter, aircraft, it is not a chopper.
        Lesson two ,,,,,,,,,,, Never walk up hill into the main rotor blades.
        Lesson three ………..Never walk near the tail rotor.
        Lesson four …………. Always wear cotton. it does not burn as fast .

        Reply
      • Ingredients for freezing rain/ice — warm air aloft, cold air at the surface.

        Reply
        • 12volt dan

           /  November 1, 2016

          Back in the 70’s I used to work as an edger in a small sawmill. I get the need for leather on the jeans. last thursday we got our first look at snowfall for this season. We were forecast for 2-4 cm and ended up with close to 15 cm of the wet heavy crap that turns to slush on the roads. I’m employed by a local township to keep trucks in shape and needless to say we were caught with our pants down, everybody was it was a real mess out there I ended up spending the night at the shop, there was no point in trying to drive through this crap.

          One thing I have noticed is our winters are not only shorter but warmer which is harder on all the rigging now since the roads are not frozen for any real length of time. bottom line is it’s costing this township more to keep the roads clear and more and more sand is required to keep them safe. the general public thinks it’s easier to do the job now when the exact opposite is true

          It’s only going to get harder to do the same job and more expensive. just a mechanics view of the costs in a little known activity that’s affecting our northern lifestyle here in central Ontario

      • That’s a great shot, Bob!

        Reply
      • Cate

         /  November 1, 2016

        cb, those were the days, my friend.

        Reply
  11. More on DAPL.
    Again I was surprised to receive a packet from the EPA in response to my letter of concern. It contained a thoughtful letter from the director of the NEPA Compliance and Review Program, as well as a full five EPA reports from 2/11/15 – 3/11/16 (the last). The last one indicated that EPA concerns were not satisfied, and, while the risk of an oil spill was considered minimal, they recommended additional planning, tribal consultation, and route alternatives. In particular the rather extensive discussion of a potential oil spill into the Missouri River terrified me.

    All this is above my pay grade, but something weird seems to be going on. Despite the EPA, at least of 3/11/16, and the letter from my senator on 10/7/16 stating “Energy Transfer Partners, the pipeline’s developer, has also announced they will suspend construction while these consultations are taking place.”, pipeline construction continues apace. Yesterday’s report from Indian Country Media said “Despite the order to halt construction by three federal agencies, DAPL construction has encroached approximately 17 miles into the 20-mile voluntary exclusion zone. Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/10/27/clinton-campaign-responds-dapl-face-166252.

    Reply
  12. coloradobob

     /  November 1, 2016

    mlparrish /

    You have a heart I only dreamed of, please understand, to change is not , to die. The WORLD NEEDS YOU.

    Sometimes the mule spits the bit out of it;s teeth.

    Reply
  13. coloradobob

     /  November 1, 2016

    Hell comes to breakfast…………………

    Reply
  14. coloradobob

     /  November 1, 2016

    Sweet Jesus, if I just as dumb as turnip. I’b be happy as clam. .

    Reply
  15. coloradobob

     /  November 1, 2016

    Here we go kids. Buckle your chin straps

    Reply
  16. coloradobob

     /  November 1, 2016

    When one reaches the end of the world, assuming that drug gangs , don’t want to shoot you in the forehead. You curl your toes over the edge of the tip of the board.
    I am there tonight. Like being in the eye of storm .

    Reply
  17. coloradobob

     /  November 1, 2016

    Reply
  18. coloradobob

     /  November 1, 2016

    And yet I am standing at –

    Waiting with my baggage.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  November 1, 2016

      Me and, DTL standing at the station with all our baggage.
      We’re going to need a porter. They were laid off 40 years ago.

      Reply
  19. coloradobob

     /  November 1, 2016

    Being old and alone is the hardest job you will ever face.

    Reply
    • I’m kind of a loner myself. There’s a small circle of people that keep me insulated from the darkness beyond. Part of it comes from being a thinker and living in my head most of the time. Ideas keep company. But they aren’t people.

      Reply
  20. coloradobob

     /  November 1, 2016

    Neven made a comment today he’s gone dark because his plate is so full . A wise man, like our host. I will follow their example.

    If you forget everything I’ve taught you. Remember this …………….. “Shiny side up, rubber side down”.

    Reply
    • Marcusblanc

       /  November 1, 2016

      eek, that sounds ominous, off to his blog to have a look.

      Shiny side up, rubber side down… got it!🙂

      Reply
  21. coloradobob

     /  November 1, 2016

    3,511,469 views

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  November 1, 2016

      3,588,883 views
      124,565 likes 5,955 not so much.
      I find these numbers rather amazing.
      Remember this is a documentary That’s a lot of eyeballs .

      Reply
    • Wow. It really seems to be having a broad impact. I wonder what’s the most viewed video on YouTube?

      Reply
  22. Interesting study on methane and other greenhouse gases emissions from hydropower reservoirs. Seems that the biggest factor on the emissions is not the latitude (tropical reservoirs were thought to produce more methane than boreal ones), but the eutrophication. I don´t known why, but I thought about DTLange when reading the article… one more instance of the effects of our widespread nitrogen pollution showing its claws…

    http://bioscience.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2016/10/02/biosci.biw117.full

    Reply
    • Higher temperatures and nutrient loading increase eutrophication rates. So with climate change adding runoff and heat, this becomes a greater and greater impact. Ocean eutrophication is a huge problem. We push that timeframe forward by adding nitrogen loading. But climate change is adding to the pressure and would do it in the end.

      Reply
  23. June

     /  November 1, 2016

    6.32C Arctic temp anomaly on Climate Reanalyzer today. Nothing else to say.

    Reply
  24. June

     /  November 1, 2016

    1 dead, 5 injured in gas pipeline explosion

    The explosion took place roughly a mile from the site of a massive fuel leak last month.

    https://thinkprogress.org/1-killed-5-injured-alabama-gas-explosion-857246ebaea#.1kvbif4in

    Reply
    • June

       /  November 1, 2016

      32 acres of nearby woodland burned.

      “Alabama is also in the midst of a drought, which is making the region more vulnerable to wildfires…a representative from the Alabama Forestry Service told local news, “the drought is serious,” and that the agency was spending all its time fighting forest fires. There were more than 1,000 fires in Alabama last month.

      Reply
      • Fossil fuels causing droughts and fires due to climate change, fires due to leaky pipes, explosions, poor Alabama can’t catch a break.

        Reply
  25. any thoughts on the carbon fee and dividend initiative on ballot in Middleton WI?
    https://thinkprogress.org/middleton-climate-vote-c48e889e9752#.libv6hy9y

    Reply
    • Good news. I hope more communities take up similar initiatives. Even if the first iterations aren’t perfect, they’re better than nothing. What we need is a wave of these kinds of adoptions. It creates regional islands where fossil fuels are discouraged. While not as good as a national policy, it’s certainly better than nothing. Equivalent to no smoking areas popping up during the 70s and 80s.

      Reply
  26. PlazaRed

     /  November 1, 2016

    On the Spanish TV news this afternoon.
    As of tomorrow 2nd, only cars with even number ending number plates allowed into Madrid, the day after, the 3rd only odd ending number plates allowed in. so on until the pollution clears.
    This is expected to carry on until the end of the week at least, also no street parking allowed. Exemptions for electric and some other vehicles.
    A normal background level of Chaos is expected of course.
    This “brown sky scenario,” seems to have been becoming more frequent recently.

    Reply
    • Probably due to heat in the region exacerbating Madrid’s natural geography. There may be other heat-related impacts. Of course having so many cars doesn’t help and the anti-petrol vehicle policies become necessary at this point.

      Reply
  27. Genomik

     /  November 1, 2016

    In rare move, China criticizes Trump plan to exit climate change pact.

    China on Tuesday rejected a plan by U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to back out of a global climate change pact, saying a wise political leader should make policy in line with global trends, a rare comment on a foreign election.

    The world is moving towards balancing environmental protection and economic growth, China’s top climate change negotiator told reporters, in response to a query on how China would work with a Trump administration on climate change. . .

    “If they resist this trend, I don’t think they’ll win the support of their people, and their country’s economic and social progress will also be affected,” Xie Zhenhua said.

    “I believe a wise political leader should take policy stances that conform with global trends,” China’s veteran climate chief said.

    http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN12W349

    Reply
    • Trump’s belligerant climate change denial would be a danger both to the US and to the world. The republican party has already generated untold damage due to its own climate change denial. And this is a story that much of the media just decided to ignore — much to the great loss of the American people. But Trump is among the worst of the worst when it comes to climate change. So we should do everything we can to keep him out of power.

      Reply
  28. Halloween night in the Selkirks, 59’F and pouring rain at dark. Zero trick or treaters. 19 days/nights of rain on the calendar for October. Wettest on record and I’m on the dry side of the state.

    A friend in Utah emailed and she said it’s too hot to sleep in SLC. Also that a mutual friend just paid for and sent TWO 18 wheelers full of firewood to the Water Protectors! Very cool.

    Bad news that went under the radar. Obama approved 2 new pipelines owned by the Owners of DAPL:

    Obama Approved 2 Pipelines to Mexico Amid Dakota Access Pipeline Protests

    http://www.ecowatch.com/dakota-access-pipeline-mexico-2010316045.html
    On Sept. 9, the Obama administration revoked authorization for construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) on federally controlled lands and asked the pipeline’s owners, led by Energy Transfer Partners, to voluntarily halt construction on adjacent areas at the center of protests by Native Americans and supporters.

    However, at the same time the pipeline and protests surrounding it were galvanizing an international swell of solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and its Sacred Stone Camp, another federal move on two key pipelines has flown under the radar.

    In May, the federal government quietly approved permits for two Texas pipelines—the Trans-Pecos and Comanche Trail—also owned by Energy Transfer Partners. This action and related moves will ensure that U.S. fracked gas will be flooding the energy grid in Mexico.

    The Dakota Access Pipeline is also set to carry oil obtained via hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), but in the northern U.S., from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale Formation through several Great Plains states to Illinois.

    Within a two-week span in May 2016, as the Sacred Stone Camp was getting off the ground as the center of protests, the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued presidential permits for the Trans-Pecos and Comanche Trail pipelines. Together, the pipelines will take natural gas obtained from fracking in Texas’ Permian Basin and ship it in different directions across the U.S.-Mexico border, with both starting at the Waha Oil Field.

    Similar to the case of North Dakota oil wells whose oil will likely be transported via Dakota Access and like the name Dakota itself, the Comanche Trail Pipeline’s nomenclature originates from a Native American tribe.

    Today the Comanche Nation is headquartered in the southwestern part of Oklahoma in Lawton and was removed from Texas in the aftermath of the Comanche Wars. As part of those wars, this nomadic tribe used the Comanche Trail which crossed West Texas and through what is now Big Bend National Park.

    Like many other tribes, the Comanche Nation has come out in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. Some members have formed a support group called Comanches on the Move, which has taken caravans on the road from Oklahoma to the Sacred Stone Camp in North Dakota.

    U.S.-Mexico Energy Business Council

    The same month the Obama administration permitted the Comanche Trail and Trans-Pecos pipelines, the U.S. and Mexican governments announced the signing of an agreement creating the U.S.-Mexico Energy Business Council. This council’s objective is “to bring together representatives of the energy industries of the United States and Mexico to discuss issues of mutual interest.” Its membership list is a who’s who of major oil and gas players.

    The list includes a senior-level lobbyist for Halliburton; the president of oil and gas industry services giant Honeywell Mexico; the CEO of Hunt Consolidated Energy (and former energy policy adviser for George W. Bush’s 2000 campaign); the CFO of Sempra Energy’s Mexican subsidiary, IEnova; and the president of the Petroleum Equipment Suppliers Association (PESA), who worked on the press team in the George W. Bush White House and 2000 presidential campaign.

    AT LINK: List of US-appointed members to US/Mexico Energy Business Council (Halliburton, GE, Hunt Con., Petroleum Equip.)

    PESA members—including Halliburton (Halliburton’s Robert Moran, a councilmember, serves on PESA’s Board of Directors) and other oil and gas industry services companies—will serve as among the biggest winners of Mexico’s ongoing energy sector privatization.

    IEnova, the Sempra Energy subsidiary, owns numerous pipeline assets throughout Mexico and also owns the Energía Costa Azul LNG terminal on Mexico’s west coast. The Trans-Pecos Pipeline is set to connect to IEnova’s Ojinaga-El Encino Pipeline at the U.S.-Mexico border.

    Hunt, meanwhile, serves as a symbol of the contradiction existing between U.S.-Mexico energy relations and U.S.-Mexico immigration policy. Prior to its involvement in the U.S.-Mexico Energy Business Council, Hunt was actually the first company to have a “holes in the wall” open border policy. Under the George W. Bush administration, this policy allowed energy to flow between borders, with gas flowing to real estate owned by the powerful and wealthy Hunt family.

    “Over the years, Hunt has transformed his 6,000-acre property, called the Sharyland Plantation, from acres of onions and vegetables into swathes of exclusive, gated communities where houses sell from $650,000 to $1 million and residents enjoy golf courses, elementary schools and a sports park,” wrote the Texas Observer in 2008. “The plantation contains an 1,800-acre business park and Sharyland Utilities, run by Hunt’s son Hunter, which delivers electricity to plantation residents and Mexican factories.”

    Hunt was also one of the companies recently approved to bid on offshore oil parcels on the Mexico side of the Gulf of Mexico.

    Wall Won’t Block Pipelines

    The creation of the U.S.-Mexico Energy Business Council comes as Mexico continues to make its push to privatize its energy sector under the auspices of constitutional amendments signed into law in 2013 and move away from the state-owned system run by Pemex (Petróleos Mexicanos). Under then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as first reported by DeSmog, the U.S. State Department helped spearhead those privatization efforts.

    “The council, comprised of private sector representatives from both countries, is expected to exchange information and industry best practices in order to provide actionable, non-binding recommendations to both governments on ways to strengthen the U.S.-Mexico relationship on trade, investment and competitiveness in the energy sector,” read the press release announcing the council’s launch.

    At a joint press conference featuring Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto and President Obama held at the White House on July 22, Obama mentioned the council and its looming first meeting.

    “This fall, our new U.S.-Mexico Energy Business Council will meet for the very first time to strengthen the ties between our energy industries,” said Obama. “And, Mr. President, I want to thank you for your vision and your leadership in reforming Mexico’s energy industry.”

    With most eyes on the immigration debate and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s grandiose claims about building a “beautiful wall” on the U.S.-Mexico border, it’s easy to forget that proverbial walls are coming down when it comes to energy, and in particular, the flow of oil and gas across the border.

    “As long as the wall doesn’t go below ground,” one industry executive recently told Financial Times, “I think we’ll be OK.”

    Thanks to the regulatory blessing of the Obama administration, Energy Transfer Partners may be the first beneficiary to go “under the wall” with its Trans-Pecos and Comanche Trail pipelines.

    Reply
    • You’ve got to be kidding me!

      Reply
    • Just pulled the data. These kinds of cyclones tend to happen in late summer, fall, and even winter. They tend to be weaker than typical tropical cyclones. But Jeff Masters notes that 3 C worth of ocean surface warming in the Med could produce a storm similar to those seen in the Atlantic or Pacific. A testament to the heat potential energy that comes from ocean surface warming.

      Reply
  29. Vaughn Anderson

     /  November 2, 2016

    Robert, firstly thank you for writing such informative and well written and well referenced articles.
    Secondly I have a question(s). The ice avalanches in Tibet seem to have attracted quite a bit of attention. What are the possibilities of ice avalanches happening in Antarctica like these only on a much larger scale? I remember reading an article in Scientific American in the early-mid 1990s where they discussed such a possibility in perhaps a hundred to two hundred years in which an ice avalanche generated tsunami could propagate from Antarctica over 1000 meters high(no that is not a typo.) Well, here we are in 2016 100 years later in climate change terms. What are your thoughts about such a scenario? Has anyone else been considering this possibility?
    Thanks again for your many informative essays.

    Reply
    • It’s one of the worst climate monsters in the closet that no-one really wants to talk about. If enough ice moves suddenly at an oblique angle and displaces enough water, then you’ll end up getting a ridiculously large tsunami type wave. I’ve been writing about it under glacial outburst flood events. It tends to generate a good deal of incredulity among the mainstream scientists. However, it’s one of those so-called low probability, worst case scenarios you don’t want to ignore.

      Given the Tibet collapses, maybe it’s time for an update. Thanks for the question. I have an endorsement to write. After that, will get to it.

      Reply
    • g. orwell

       /  November 2, 2016

      Hollywood would love your research/idea! Get a script going FAST!

      Reply

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