‘Everything is Burning Around Us’ — You Just Can’t Normalize Gatlinburg’s Freakish Fall Firestorm

There’s nothing normal about what happened to Gatlinburg, Tennessee on Monday.

Sitting at the epicenter of a freakish fall warmth and drought, the scores of fires that raged throughout the southeast into late November had, until recently, spared this sleepy tourist town resting on the slopes of the Great Smoky Mountains. But as winds roared out of the south at up to 87 miles per hour ahead of an approaching cold front on the 28th, the little city’s luck ran out.

gatlinburg-fire

(Fire on the mountains near Gatlinburg captured in this photo by a local resident. Image source: Twitter.)

Somewhere, a spark lit. And the bone-dry hillsides filled with ready fuels combined with hurricane force gusts to do the rest. By early evening, the skies over Gatlinburg had been painted orange. Ash and embers were carried aloft by the winds. And all around the city, mountains caught fire and burned.

As fires raged, 14,000 people were forced to flee. Home after home was consumed. Now, at least 400 residences are thought to have been lost. Smoke and swiftly moving flames injured 45 while taking the lives of seven people who were tragically unable to escape the rapid onrush. And as neighborhoods were reduced to their foundations, 2,000 residents have been left stranded in Red Cross evacuation shelters.

Rains on Tuesday and Wednesday have, blessedly, tamped down many of the fires around Gatlinburg. That said, reports from CBC and the National Interagency Fire Center show that the (Chimney 2) blaze remains mostly uncontained, if rather less intense. So risks from the fire remain. Even more sadly, it appears that the full extent of the tragic damage and loss, as of Thursday morning, had not yet been fully realized. Estimates for destroyed or damaged homes continues to climb even as the number of persons lost to the flames keeps rising.

Largest Tennesee Fire in 100 (+) Years, Hottest Year on Record Globally

The Gatlinburg Fire was the largest fire to strike Tennessee in one hundred years. And when records for fires only go back about 100 years, you have to wonder if this isn’t another one of those 500 or 1,000 year climate/weather events that have been sparking off with increasing frequency across the U.S. and the world during the recent warm period. For like the Fort McMurray wildfire that forced an entire Canadian city to empty this spring, the Gatlinburg fire cannot be separated from the larger context of human caused climate change.

The fire erupted during the hottest year, globally, on record. It happened at a time when the Southeast was experiencing its own very abnormal drought. It lit, not during the peak of annual heat that is summer, but during the fall. And it happened in conjunction with an equally unusual mass after-season wildfire outbreak in the Smoky Mountains.

(Everything is Burning Around Us. In an escape attempt that is eerily similar to the flight of Trans Baikal natives half a world away just last year, a Gatlinburg resident attempts to flee a freakish fall firestorm spurred by conditions related to human caused climate change. Video source: Here.)

Though this is the largest fire to strike Tennessee in one hundred years, it can practically be said that what locals affectionately call ‘the volunteer state’ has never experienced conditions like those that led up to the Gatlinburg Fire. The Smoky Mountains where the fire burned get their name from the moist mists and fogs that tend to hang in the air and above the tree tops. It is a place known and named for its wet environment. So fires are rare and typically only happen during summer time.

But the added heat from climate change has altered the mountains. It has dried the landscape — turning the entire region into a firetrap during recent months. This extreme dry period is part of a new set of weather potentials for the region that are not normal. And as human fossil fuel burning forces the atmosphere to warm further, the intensity of droughts and wildfires that do occur in the south will continue to worsen.

(UPDATED)

Links:

Tennessee Wildfire Unlike Anything We’ve Ever Seen

Surreal Southeast Wildfires Should Not Be Burning in Mid November

It Was Like Driving Through Hell

Everything is Burning Around Us

No End in Sight as Forest Fires Rage Through NC, Tennessee

Gatlinburg Fire — Four Dead, Crews Search for Missing

Hat tip to Suzanne

Hat tip to Wili

Hat tip to Cate

Hat tip to Colorado Bob

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202 Comments

  1. Amazing lecture: “Abrupt Climate Change and Extreme Events” by Prof Paul Mayewski of the University of Maine. Connects all the dots using recent ice core sampling. Well worth the 50 minutes IMO.

    Reply
  2. wili

     /  November 30, 2016

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/30/us/gatlinburg-fires/

    4 dead so far. Couldn’t find here how many are still missing.

    Reply
    • Thanks Wili. Update pending due to new information.

      Reply
    • wili

       /  November 30, 2016

      This guys wife and daughters are still missing as of an hours ago. This story may require a bit of updating! Very grim and sad. And yes, a picture of what’s to come.

      Reply
      • It’s crazy. Our cities are now under a new threat due to the increased intensity of these fires. If we just focus on the ignition source, we’re not telling the whole story. A campfire or match or stove left burning would not have caused this fire under normal conditions. Climate change made this fire as bad as it was. The heat and dryness is just unprecedented for this region at this time of year.

        Reply
        • Not to mention commentary by a very informed source on Forbes who bent over backward to say he wasn’t saying the fire was connected to climate change. That kind of caution is going to wind up leading to the unnecessary deaths of many, IMHO.

          I know folks here know it, but: God is not going to write in the sky that the climate is changing, nor are we going to be given a “control planet” to run an experiment on with no fossil fuels to see the outcome. What’s going to happen is just that the weather is going to keep getting more and more extreme until all the actual doubters (not the paid shills) decide there’s no way to ignore the evidence any longer.

        • Were there other factors. Sure. There are always other factors. But if you get stage 1 lung cancer and you’re relying on ‘other factors’ as an excuse not to quit smoking before it’s too late, then you’d be pretty amazingly uninformed. That’s what these people denying climate impacts related to this fire are doing right now. Some may wake up at the end and regret. Some will go down denying to the very end. But, ultimately, it doesn’t make one damn bit of difference what kind of sentimentality or lack thereof happens after the fact. People need to recognize what’s happening and respond now.

        • Ailsa

           /  December 1, 2016

          There’s some good compilation work of news items from around the world being done at this site, below is link to his ninth compilation, and the tenth includes the dramatic one posted up thread. I’m pleased to say that some of the news clips include explicit mentions of climate change. There’s also a short update of COP22 progress (or lack thereof):

          Climate & Extreme Weather News #9 (November 9th-24th 2016)

    • Fantastic and well deserved!

      Reply
      • lesliegraham1

         /  November 30, 2016

        I like that he has become so will known in climate science circles that you just have to mention ‘Neven’s blog’ and everyone knows who you mean.
        I’ve been reading it for about 5 years now. It is without a doubt the best information source on the web for Arctic news – and that includes NASA and the rest.

        Reply
    • From the article:

      Curlin is, in the end, a creature of our saddening climate times — in which we have unprecedented volumes of data and analysis available, for the expert and for the amateur alike, allowing us to watch at high resolution as the world burns. It’s fascinating, it’s all-consuming — and sometimes, it’s also devastating. You can be a good analyst, you can even help scientists themselves think about things in a new way — but then, sometimes you also have to stop and feel.

      Mooney nails this. Neven could well be any of us — geeks, gen Xers who simultaneously love science and who yet are terrified and saddened by the destruction of the natural world. He’s a great guy who totally deserved this expose and I really admire Mooney for doing it.

      Reply
    • Cate

       /  November 30, 2016

      So great to actually see Neven! I wish him all the best. What a wonderful article. I hope he will be back when he can see his way clear, because he certainly will be missed. Meanwhile, his ASIF continues, thank goodness, and remains the best place to hang out and watch guys pick one another’s brains about the Arctic.🙂

      Not to be missed: A-Team’s extended analogy on the 2016-2017 refreeze thread between stroke/heart attack and Arctic sea-ice loss.

      Reply
  3. Richard J.

     /  November 30, 2016

    Thanks for your as usual thoughtful comments. My family and I have visited the Smokies and Gatlinburg many, many times. We were in the choking smoke plume, a couple of counties to the NE. All the area FDs have sent trucks and crews to Gatlinburg, despite numerous (much smaller) local brush fires.

    You and Bob Henson (Wunderground) are the only writers I have seen so far, who mention the obvious relationship of this fire event to global heating. Additional factors, besides heat, wind and drought, probably include loss of the more fire resistant virgin forest to clear cutting, prior to establishment of the national park, and effective fire suppression since the park was established, leading to accumulation of flammable brush. There are also many standing dead pine and hemlock trees in the forest, due to epidemics of pine beetles and adelgids (climate influenced pests).

    As I write this, torrential rains in the fire area must be creating risks of mudslides.

    Reply
    • Thank you for your heartfelt testimony, Richard. And thanks as well for your report of regional conditions. IMO, Bob produces excellent, well researched work and his blogs have always enriched my understanding. So the comparison really means a lot to me.

      As for the landslide threat — that’s a big deal. One that we’ve seen recently with very hot burning western fires that have tended to take out root systems as well as top growth. If you have numerous denuded hillsides it’s really something to watch out for.

      Reply
      • I’m pretty sure Andrew Freedman at Mashable also made the connection.

        Reply
      • Oh, and others, like Climate Central, have been talking about how the Southeast’s future is likely to contain more droughts and wildfires.

        What a warmer future means for Southeastern wildfires:
        http://www.climatecentral.org/news/warmer-future-southeastern-wildfires-20912

        Reply
        • Good number of climate models show this region of the SE drying out. We’ve seen two major anomalous droughts — one in the mid 2000s and the recent one — that appear to match a climate change signal. The present flash drought is more easy to pin on climate change due to its out of season context, due to speed of assertion, and due to coordinate wildfire outbreaks. But Climate Central is right — there’s a very strong case for droughts worsening when they do occur and for wildfires similarly worsening when they crop up. What could also be said is that there’s a not insignificant risk that drought becomes more general in the southeast as well. That the drought problem becomes endemic to much of the US by end-century. Just because we are uncertain doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be concerned about what could happen and has a decent likelihood of happening.

          In other words, the bar for proof necessary in order to talk about the problem has become too high. The perfect, in this case, isn’t the enemy of the good, it’s the enemy of survival.

        • Scott

           /  December 1, 2016

          I remember that mid 2000s drought. My old employer was based in Atlanta, we were there for training, in early-winter. Lake Lanier, a man-made lake and the source of Atlanta’s drinking water, was within six to eight weeks of reaching dead-pool, at then current rates of decline, without additional rainfall. Reaching that level would likely have meant Atlanta’s intake pipe, just below the lake in the ‘hooch (Chattahoochee River) would rise above the river’s water level — no more domestic water for Atlanta.

          We were departing for our flight home to Minnesota, and got some ribbing about having to go back to the cold. My Minnesota colleague ribbed back, “when you run out of water next month, I’ll let you come to Minnesota and sleep on my couch.” He got mostly stunned silence in return…it just wasn’t something discussed in polite company.

          The rains came just in time, and now everybody has forgotten the bullet that Atlanta dodged.

    • Joni Grady

       /  December 3, 2016

      And wasn’t there a bug that attacked and killed the spruce 20 some odd years ago?

      Reply
  4. West Antarctic ice shelf breaking up from the inside out

    https://news.osu.edu/news/2016/11/28/pineisland/

    Reply
  5. Quantifying global soil carbon losses in response to warming

    The majority of the Earth’s terrestrial carbon is stored in the soil. If anthropogenic warming stimulates the loss of this carbon to the atmosphere, it could drive further planetary warming1–4. Despite evidence that warming enhances carbon fluxes to and from the soil5,6, the net global balance between these responses remains uncertain. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of warming-induced changes in soil carbon stocks by assembling data from 49 field experiments located across North America, Europe and Asia. We find that the effects of warming are contingent on the size of the initial soil carbon stock, with considerable losses occurring in high-latitude areas. By extrapolating this empirical relationship to the global scale, we provide estimates of soil carbon sensitivity to warming that may help to constrain Earth system model projections. Our empirical relationship suggests that global soil carbon stocks in the upper soil horizons will fall by 30 ± 30petagrams of carbon to 203 ± 161petagrams of carbon under one degree of warming, depending on the rate at which the effects of warming are realized. Under the conservative assumption that the response of soil carbon to warming occurs within a year, a business-as-usual climate scenario would drive the loss of 55 ± 50petagrams of carbon from the upper soil horizons by 2050. This value is around 12–17 per cent of the expected anthropogenic emissions over this period7,8. Despite the considerable uncertainty in our estimates, the direction of the global soil carbon response is consistent across all scenarios. This provides strong empirical support for the idea that rising temperatures will stimulate the net loss of soil carbon to the atmosphere, driving a positive land carbon–climate feedback that could accelerate climate change.

    http://www.nature.com/articles/nature20150.epdf

    Reply
  6. climatehawk1

     /  November 30, 2016

    Tweeting.

    Reply
  7. Hatrack

     /  November 30, 2016

    Robert, you’ll be glad to know that you’re the first site I go to each morning. I’m a long-timer on Democratic Underground, and have posted something like 30,000 articles on environmental and climate-related stories in the past decade – many of which I cross-post from here.

    I would like to think that I am free of illusions about what the future holds (the last and greatest illusion!) I can’t see anything but the Scylla of bad government, well-funded denial and lies on one side, and the Charybdis of rapidly destabilizing climate on the other. Odysseus steered his ship to Scylla’s side of the strait, as you’ll likely remember, so that he only lost half his crew to the monster. It looks increasingly likely that we won’t have that option.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the kind words and keen insights, Hatrack. My view is to keep fighting until there’s no ability to fight any longer. But to use your metaphor, with republicans in office you end up with a situation of Charybdis being on both sides.

      Reply
  8. coloradobob

     /  November 30, 2016

    The WaPo has more on the Bolivia story –

    In what might seem like a paradox, in a new study published recently in the journal The Cryosphere, Simon Cook of Manchester Metropolitan University in the U.K. and British and Bolivian researchers found that the area of of the Bolivian Andes covered by glaciers shrunk by 43 percent between the years 1986 and 2014. That means about 88 square miles worth of glaciers has disappeared.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/11/30/prepared-for-the-worst-bolivians-face-historic-drought-and-global-warming-could-intensify-it/?utm_term=.1ad13367f411#comments

    Reply
    • Could intensify it? The glacier that supplied 30 percent of the water to the seat of government in Bolivia has already melted due to climate change. We have studies showing that warming enhanced evaporation is drying up some of Bolivia’s biggest lakes…

      Reply
      • coloradobob

         /  November 30, 2016

        California drought: Wealthy Hillsborough residents sue, saying water rates are too high

        In a case that could have statewide ramifications, a group of multimillionaire Hillsborough residents, including an early funder of Microsoft, has sued the town claiming that its drought rules and penalties intended to keep people from over-watering big lawns are illegal.

        The nine residents who are taking the town to court say that by imposing tiered water rates, and a $30 penalty for each unit of water used over the allotted amount, Hillsborough water officials violated Proposition 218, a state law that makes it illegal for government to charge more for a service than it costs to provide.

        http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/11/30/california-drought-wealthy-hillsborough-residents-sue-saying-water-rates-are-too-high/

        Reply
    • “In what might seem like a paradox … ” Hmmm, I don’t see any paradox here, wonder what the writer intended.

      Reply
    • RE wealthy suing state for water fees above… Seems to me like it’s time to change the law. It’s one thing to protect people’s access to water for drinking and personal use, it’s another thing entirely to protect excessive consumption by the wealthy during a time of drought. In other words, using water to green multi-acre laws during droughts when inviduals are seeing wells run dry and are becoming dependent on water re-supply trucks is the very definition of harmful use.

      Reply
  9. coloradobob

     /  November 30, 2016

    As a system nears a tipping point, it moves to the extremes, there it gets stuck, before wildly swing to the other extreme. ………….

    “ATLANTA (CBS46) –
    After going a record 43 days without measurable precipitation, a single-day rain record was set in Atlanta.

    A total of 2.32 inches of rain fell in Atlanta on Tuesday, which broke the previous record for Nov. 29 of 1.68 inches set all the way back in 1914.”

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  November 30, 2016

      Details from the Minnesota DNR: “Waseca, in south central Minnesota, has set the official state precipitation record, coming in with the highest annual precipitation total for a National Weather Service Cooperative Observation site. As of November 28, 2016 Waseca had a total of 53.78 inches with more precipitation on the way. The old statewide annual record was 53.52 inches of precipitation at St. Francis in Anoka County in 1991…”

      Reply
      • coloradobob

         /  November 30, 2016

        Saudi Gazette, Jeddah Wednesday, 30 November 2016

        At least seven people died and many others were injured or trapped by heavy rain and floods that swept various regions of Saudi Arabia, press reports said on Tuesday.

        The dead included three young Saudi men in Bisha, two others in Baha and two expatriates who were struck by a thunderbolt in Qunfudah.

        Torrential floods also destroyed a number of houses, blocked roads and overturned vehicles. The rain and floods in the last few days uncovered the ineffective drainage systems in many parts of the country.
        http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2016/11/30/Heavy-rain-floods-in-Saudi-Arabia-leave-seven-dead.html

        I find it rather telling that the Saudi’s infrastructure isn’t designed to meet extreme rain events.

        Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  December 1, 2016

      That’s remarkable. A record dry spell ended by the most rainfall in a single day!? Exactly like you said, Bob. Our system is swinging between extremes on it’s way to something completely different.

      Reply
    • “A warmer climate, with its increased climate variability, will increase the risk of both floods and droughts (Wetherald and Manabe, 2002; Table SPM2 in IPCC, 2007).”

      Reply
    • bostonblorp

       /  December 1, 2016

      “Five other cities face severe water shortages. Bread, a key staple here, is increasingly scarce and many hospitals are working at half capacity, suspending non-emergency surgeries and dialysis. In the poor neighborhoods of southern Sucre, taps have run dry for three weeks.”

      This is what’s coming. We are going to look at the Middle Ages as a period of lazy indulgence in petty squabbles.

      Reply
    • Bolivia is at risk of becoming a failed state right now. The trend of resource scarcity has to change for it. Five more years under similar stress produces a high risk of collapse. Some rains may return post El Nino. But they will be lagged by the warming that is already in place. Furthermore, loss of mountain glaciers produces a constant stress for this region.

      It wouldn’t be so bad if it was just Bolivia, but neighboring states are experiencing drought as well. And the Amazon is falling into pretty severe drought stress.

      Reply
  10. coloradobob

     /  November 30, 2016

    This may be already up on the last thread,( I have not eye balled the comments yet.) But this needs to be spread far and wide :
    On Giving Tuesday, Support Increasingly Embattled Climate Scientists
    By: Jeff Masters

    Climate science and climate scientists in the United States are likely to be under unprecedented assault by powerful politicians in the coming four years. Climate-change-denying politicians are already in high positions in Congress, and soon we will have a president who has publicly denied climate change science. On Giving Tuesday, November 29, I urge you to make a tax-deductible donation to the nonprofit Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) to help protect the crucial research of climate scientists from political interference.

    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3516#commenttop

    Reply
    • mulga mumblebrain

       /  December 1, 2016

      Bob, why do you think we are allowing evil imbeciles to drive us, and our children, to destruction? I can’t explain it. We fret and strut, while those incendiaries set fire to our very dwelling-places. I mean, it’s orders of magnitude worse than the Civil War, all the Depressions, WW1 and WW2 etc, put together. Perhaps the Native American resistance might start something. It’s getting awfully late.

      Reply
      • 0000

         /  December 1, 2016

        Mulga, I have seen a glimmer of hope for the Standing Rock protest. There are quite a few convoys departing from just our little neck of the woods. Two thousand vets are descending to help. I can only hope the aid continues to swell. Even the Diane Rehm show this morning had a full hour on the situation. There was a mention of some decision (exactly what slipped by me) to be made Dec. 5.
        I mentioned this before but it bears repeating. DAPL is planned to cross near the inlet of the fourth largest reservoir in the US. Lake Oahe is nearly the size of Lake Mead. Would anyone allow such a thing there?

        Reply
        • Sorry, wrong click.

        • mulga mumblebrain

           /  December 2, 2016

          OOOO, oh yes they would, in a trice, if there is a buck in it, and, crucially, if doing so would piss off the ‘Greens’ that they hate with some intensity.

    • I absolutely support this sentiment. We need to donate and more. We are going to have to actively defend scientists and science on a number of levels.

      Reply
  11. coloradobob

     /  November 30, 2016

    From Dr. Master’s recap of the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season ……………

    42. NNYer
    11:14 PM GMT on November 30, 2016
    4 +
    Saw a frog crossing the road tonight while driving around. I live 6 miles from the Canadian border in New York. It’s way too late to be seeing frogs here.

    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3517#commenttop

    Truly scary.

    Reply
    • It was 16 F warmer than normal at Niagra Falls yesterday. Temps more similar to mid to late October rather than late Nov, early Dec. The cooling into winter is about a month or more behind.

      Reply
  12. coloradobob

     /  November 30, 2016

    It’s not an either or problem , it’s like Medusa’s hair , there’s a lot snakes on that girl’s head.

    http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/epicrapbattlesofhistory/images/b/b1/Medusa_Based_On.png/revision/latest?cb=20160218161840

    Reply
  13. coloradobob

     /  December 1, 2016

    The story about Neven has me worried , I have read him for several years, and chimed in, once in a while. His readers are some of the most knowledgeable , talented , interesting people on any thread anywhere. Interestingly, he has always thrown the trolls off his site. That’s a full time job right there. As a result, those threads never plowed the same old ground. They are always deep, and insightful . And I always learned there. Even if at first, I had no clue what I was learning. Neven has donate page , give him some love.

    Link

    Reply
    • I agree with this sentiment. In my experience, Neven is a sensitive, if quite rational, fellow. And running a blog like his has got to be a pretty tough uphill slog in today’s media environment.

      On the one hand, you have some very serious information coming in on climate change. And that is pretty shocking. Many climate bloggers have simply just burnt out because the bad news is very tough to handle. On the other, you face this constant stream of chicanery coming from climate change deniers and various persons who are just simply jumping on the troll bandwagon and you kind of set yourself up between hammer and anvil.

      For example, just two minutes ago, I deleted this fake comment from an obvious fake account by ‘Ben Dover’ who produced this self-contradictory rant about how the Gatlinburg fire was completely normal and you had to ‘look beyond the 50 year timeframe’ to see it. By definition, the worst fire in Tennessee in at least 100 years is not normal by any frame of reference here in the US. And this year it occurs in the context of at least three city-threatening wildfires here in the North America. Add in the facts that pretty much every major scientific organization plainly states that climate change increases the risk of extreme droughts and extreme wildfires, that 2016 is 1.2 C hotter than normal, and that we are experiencing these events the world over — you get a pretty obvious set of links beyond mere coincidence.

      As Bob alludes to above, if I didn’t delete these comments, which appear over and over and over again as a kind of repeat stream of misinformation based talking points, I (or some other responsible poster here) would have to restate the same argument time and time again. This would prevent discussion and analysis of the actual issue at hand, throwing attention on a fake debate rather than the increasingly extreme situation that is now ongoing. But weeding that stuff out can be exhausting.

      Sitting on the receiving end, it can appear pretty hopeless. Psychologically, it’s brutal. And Neven’s been at this for nearly ten years. I think a break is probably in order. He’s basically on the front line of the climate wars. He volunteered to fight. It’s not something he chose as a career or out of some drive for personal advancement. He was concerned and so he did the responsible thing. He worked honestly to try to raise awareness.

      And I want to add that all of you, by joining the conversation, by adding your own thoughts and analysis, by rolling the ball forward and sharing observations, opinions, and science are contributing. We are creating the conversation that has been blotted out by fake arguments. We are having the real discussions and arguments that need to be had — what’s the level of risk, how bad are things going to be, and what is both science and observation telling us now? There are just a few safe havens for this necessary exchange. And Neven’s is one of the best.

      Reply
  14. Ryan in New England

     /  December 1, 2016

    This is becoming a regular story, (insert species here) will likely go extinct unless action is taken to limit climate change. This time it’s Orcas.

    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/38543-without-major-interventions-the-orca-s-days-are-numbered

    Reply
    • bostonblorp

       /  December 1, 2016

      Damn it.. I pray that article is wrong. Orcas, dolphins, and others are our closest cousins in the sea. They are so much like us – cruel, playful, kind, intelligent and so on. They just don’t have the time or means to adapt.

      Interesting thing about Orcas, though they could easily kill and eat humans (which they do when we torture them in places like Sea World) they simply ignore us as a food source when they find them in the wild. As one marine biologist put it, “We just aren’t on their menu.”

      Reply
      • The list is now quite long. So many creatures are now stressed due to climate change. And the ocean related ecosystems get hit very hard by warming. We are basically throwing a big wrench into the life support system of spaceship Earth.

        As an aside, from the predator-prey standpoint, orcas and dolphins treat humans better than other humans treat humans…

        Reply
        • bostonblorp

           /  December 1, 2016

          Unquestionably true. One of my favorite memories is from diving in the Florida Keys. A ways away from the boat, all the barracuda around suddenly darted away.. seconds later these black shapes started moving in .. a family of dolphins. The way they moved through the water, everything was play. A lazy somersault, a barrel roll, just a joy to watch. Now, sadly, I don’t know that I could justify the carbon expenditure to travel there for my own enjoyment.

          Fascinating if gruesome tale of an Orca collaborating with whalers way back when.
          https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/running-ponies/the-legend-of-old-tom-and-the-gruesome-law-of-the-tongue/

    • mulga mumblebrain

       /  December 2, 2016

      boston, Old Tom is still a legend in Eden. I recommend you see David Attenborough’s documentary on bio-luminescence. The part where the dolphins swim through the surface bio-luminescence created by plankton, and appear just like electric discharges in the shape of dolphins, is simply amazing.

      Reply
  15. Earth warming to climate tipping point, warns study – @BBCNews
    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-38146248

    Reply
    • Jimbot

       /  December 1, 2016

      Nothing to see here, it’s not happening yet. Move along folks…

      Reply
    • From the article:

      “Writing in journal Nature, they project that an increase of 1C (1.8F) will release an additional 55 billion tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere by 2050. This could trigger a “positive feedback” and push the planet’s climate system past the point of no-return.

      Previous assessments have not taken carbon released by soil into account.

      In their Nature paper, an international team of scientists said that the majority of the Earth’s terrestrial store of carbon was in the soil. They warned that as the world warmed, organisms living in the planet’s soils would become more active, resulting in more carbon being released into the atmosphere – exacerbating warming.”

      It’s worth noting that ‘soils’ in this paper includes permafrost regions. And that a good portion of the carbon feedback from soils is coming from regions above the 45 degree north latitude line.

      It’s also worth noting that 55 billion tons of carbon is roughly equal to 25 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere. So adding that much over the next 35 years basically increases the net atmospheric CO2 accumulation rate by 0.7 ppm each year. This does not include the effect produced by a warming ocean or by loss of forests like the Amazon, African rainforests, Indonesian rainforests, and boreal forests due to the impacts of drought, fire, clear cutting, and encroachment.

      Continuing to burn fossil fuels has put us in a bad situation where Earth’s own carbon responses are being locked in. We can still reduce the force of these responses by cutting back fossil fuel burning rapidly. And though it appears now that some carbon feedbacks are locked in, what we lock in by continuing on the BAU or near BAU path is an absolutely catastrophic situation. The urgency to halt emissions now could not be sharper.

      Reply
  16. coloradobob

     /  December 1, 2016

    Up in other worlds –

    A word about the Scribblers, he like Neven, he runs a troll free site. He like Neven , goes dark every now and then , even more than Neven. And like Neven, his readers are some of the smartest most interesting people one will ever read.

    If one cares about climate change . He’s at it everyday hammer and thongs. And when I stumbled across him years ago , I gave up my own efforts to join him . Now he has world wide readership.
    His threads are a deep insight being on the ground .

    Why ? Because he throw’s the trolls too.

    The US free speech idea , ends at the government printing office, and the county courthouse. A blog on the web is a private space. I don’t have to listen to the same endless gibberish , over and over, and over.

    Or as I have come call them , “Right wing fur balls” ………….. Thank-you for hacking up that right wing fur ball. From the same tiny incestuous pod of the old white men for a decade. Who believe that Jesus could have rode a dinosaur.

    Neven , many have ended all this . His site was full of things I have never seen , his readers knew what they were doing. his site is a world treasure.

    Reply
    • Jimbot

       /  December 1, 2016

      Maybe Neven got infected with the doomer virus after he allowed the excellent sea ice graph artist and hard core realist “viddaloo” back on his site. Viddaloo and one or two others there called this current late season slow refreeze scenario back in September. In hindsight it was pretty evident this was a strong possibility. This will be the set up for 2017. Seems likely next summer will be the big event. This will probably get covered up as just another climate change item, not even headline material, and not a big enough deal to wake up the masses.

      Reply
      • Henri

         /  December 1, 2016

        I have strongly mixed premonitions about 2017 melt season. As per Notz & Marotzke (2012) strong melt year is likely to be followed by a strong freeze year regarding the september minimum extent with the overall trend being negative. Having said that this melt season had the ‘feel’ of 2011 which set the stage to the still holding record of 2012 in a way i can’t quite quantify.

        If the increased evaporation produces another cloudy arctic summer we should stay out of the record territory. We might even see some recovery if in addition there won’t be any late summer storms. The important thing is not to get a surface melt rivaling 2012 because that won’t be pretty.

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2012GL051094/full

        Reply
        • In the current context, summer 2016 can’t really be placed under the ‘strong melt year’ header. That category is probably now reserved for a year in which extent and area values fall significantly below the 2012 end season line. Further, we are under La Nina-like conditions now which would tend to keep driving heat into the Arctic and produce risk for a strong melt year in 2017.

          In addition, you have to wonder if at some point the heat balance in the Arctic Ocean region doesn’t just do a flip — in which non ice covered states are preferred to ice covered states.

          Final point — Greenland melt waiting in the wings adds more chaos to the mix and could cause a radical swing post ice-free years.

        • Jimbot

           /  December 1, 2016

          The report linked to was published April 2012. Had they written it in October 2012 the conclusions might have been different regarding evidence of tipping points. The statistical analyses regression series used are highly mathematical. What I noticed is they don’t mention volume at all, only extent. Extent is defined as that part of the ocean which has at least 15% ice cover ( or slush ). A very thin remaining ice cover can disappear very fast, this is highly weather dependent. Volume is currently less than one fourth of what it was in 1978, according to the satellite record. I think RS has previously linked to the wonderful animation of this.

          http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2016/10/arctic-sea-ice-minimum-volume-1979-2016-.html

          Another oversight from that early 2012 ( 2011 data ) report would seem to be no mention of atmospheric methane in the Arctic. In one paragraph they refer to greenhouse gases and in another only CO2. 2007 was the when anomalously significant amounts of atmospheric methane started to show up in the Arctic I think?

          They seem to assume linear change regimes were still in effect at that time, no significant reduction from loss of albedo apparently ( if we disregard volume ). Things seem to have gone non-linear now. CO2 induced temperature increase is the overall driver they conclude. Several factors can contribute to Arctic temperature changes now, not only directly from CO2.

          Not mentioning total arctic sea ice volume decline makes the whole thing seem like a bit of a red herring, although they do make the case that this is an anthropogenic event. Hardly a new idea in 2012. By the time they get around to a paper on methane it’ll be 20C above at the North Pole ( and the models will still be predicting an ice free Arctic by 2080 ).

  17. coloradobob

     /  December 1, 2016

    A confession
    I am running 5 comment threads tonight. All at once. All with the same theme.

    The Arctic Sea Ice is great place to be.

    Reply
  18. coloradobob

     /  December 1, 2016

    The right song for a broken heart –

    Reply
  19. coloradobob

     /  December 1, 2016

    It was a different world , but it saw the future.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  December 1, 2016

      Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  December 1, 2016

      I post this crap because all those years ago , these people saw our future.

      ” You feeling alright ? I’m not feeling good myself.”

      Reply
  20. coloradobob

     /  December 1, 2016

    ” You feeling alright ? I’m not feeling good myself.”

    Reply
  21. coloradobob

     /  December 1, 2016

    The we’ve near seen this before ……….. file.

    Over 10 years ago I came across this comment. It was in California.
    The head of wild land fire fighting said back then :

    “We used to have a fire season. that is gone we now burn year round.”

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  December 1, 2016

      we’ve near seen this before

      Reply
    • Ever since the 80s, the fire situation for the US has been getting worse. California’s impacts started to really get nasty during the 2000s (the 90s were bad, 2000s, worse). Now they have over 100 million dead trees…

      So this is the North American fire situation on November 23rd. SE wildfires, fires in California, fires along the Gulf Coast, in Texas and through Mexico, and fires in British Columbia of all places.

      North America wildfires November 23rd

      (the tiny red dots in the image above are hot spots/fires)

      Reply
  22. Cate

     /  December 1, 2016

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/tennessee-wildfires-1.3874189

    Tennessee fire deaths now total 7.

    “There was fire everywhere. It was like we were in hell,” said Linda Monholland, who was working at Park View Inn in Gatlinburg when she and five other people fled on foot. “Walking through hell, that’s what it was. I can’t believe it. I never want to see something like that again in my life, ever.”

    Time to buckle those chinstraps, like cb keeps telling us.

    Reply
  23. coloradobob

     /  December 1, 2016

    This fire in Tenn. brings up an important fact , Namely , this a 100 year number. I can assure you the records begin 100 years ago, This fire is far bigger than man has been keeping records. We will have to wait for answers. This fire is far more more than just 100 years.

    Which brings up the sand in my craw. 2 years later , we see will that Tenn. hasn’t seen a fire like this ever.

    Reply
  24. Cate

     /  December 1, 2016

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/29/business/energy-environment/china-coal-climate-change.html

    NY Times, 29 Nov 2016

    Now is the “springtime of coal” in China.

    “Coal still produces almost three-quarters of China’s electricity, despite ambitious hydroelectric dam projects and the world’s largest program to install solar panels and build wind turbines. Coal use in China also produces more emissions than all the oil, coal and gas consumed in the United States.
    “I get a kick out of people in the West who think China is decarbonizing, because I see no sign of it whatsoever,” said Brock Silvers, a Shanghai banker who has previously served on the boards of two Chinese coal companies….
    IHS Energy forecasts that Chinese coal demand will not peak until 2026.”

    Reply
    • mulga mumblebrain

       /  December 1, 2016

      Silvers might just have a personal pecuniary interest, don’t you think, and when a capitalist smells MONEY, they don’t give a stuff what needs destroying to get their snout into the trough. As far as I know Chinese coal use peaked in 2013, and Silvers is probably just looking for patsies as investors.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  December 1, 2016

        mm, well of course investors like Silvers are flocking to coal. That’s the whole gist of the article, which explains China’s current “coal problem”. In essence, coal production in China is still a fall-back as it struggles to transition to a modern industrial capital-based economy.

        Reply
        • Cate

           /  December 1, 2016

          And not to forget that being a totalitarian state and a dictatorship, China can pretty much change its direction almost overnight. As someone (who?) pointed out, that ability to turn on a dime can give China a huge competitive advantage over our western democracies, which for all our faults still have various time-consuming regulatory processes, structures, and policies in place wrt industrial development (which is another reason why corporations want all these “free trade” —really corporate rights—-agreements from NAFTA to the TPP, as they aim to subvert all those annoying regulations designed to protect workers, environment, etc).

        • mulga mumblebrain

           /  December 2, 2016

          Cate, I don’t think that terms like ‘totalitarian’ and ‘dictatorship’ are germane to China. They are, after all, Western terms, deriving from Greek concepts. China is a different civilization entirely, with a different relationship between governors and governed. In China today the system is rather like the old Chinese Imperial system, ie centralised, authoritarian and utilitarian, concentrating on improving the people’s lot. If you are not actively attacking the system and working for regime change, you are left pretty much alone.
          Where the old system was administered by the mandarinate, today it is the Communist Party, which, since Mao’s time, has been more nationalistic and Chinese that strictly Marxian. You can join the party of power and rise according to your merits, and the results are clearly better that in the West, particularly from the point of view of reducing the cost of renewable energy.
          Ironically, the West these days is rather more ‘totalitarian’ than China, power being centralised in politics that are COMPLETELY controlled by the rich through their money power. Hence monstrous phenomena like the fossil fuel financed denialist industry. Moreover the economic power, increasingly concentrated and financialised, is also completely in the hands of the rich, and a dictatorship, of money power, also prevails in all the facets of the indoctrination system, save the Internet, which is now coming under attack in a McCarthyite smear and intimidation campaign. Behind the facade of elections that only produce identical pro-rich regimes in the hands of confidence-men like Obama or lunatics like Trump, real power resides with a mostly hereditary caste of ruthless parasites.

        • Cate

           /  December 2, 2016

          mm, I agree that democracy is dead, certainly in Canada and the US, and perhaps elsewhere in the West as far as I know. I see a tendency these days to set China up as some kind of positive example–and not only on climate matters, I might add. Our PM is courting Chinese billionaires like mad and they are buying up huge swathes of Canadian business and property with the active help of our government, while our first peoples live in terrible squalor and poverty on 19th-century reserves. Hey ho. I’m just not a fan of any governments these days, now that the Davos Gang is clearly in charge everywhere.

  25. coloradobob

     /  December 1, 2016

    Cate –

    Karma.
    The world has a way of making us all fools.

    Reply
  26. coloradobob

     /  December 1, 2016

    After these record numbers, remember this is always , “young”. After that we plow into deep science,

    My bet , these forests haven’t burnt like this in a very, very long time.

    Reply
  27. coloradobob

     /  December 1, 2016

    Here we are , with our toes over the nose. All of us, Everyone take a deep breath .

    Welcome to the 21 st century.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  December 1, 2016

      I never dreamed I could type this. I am in stunned state of amazement . That I would ever live to see this.

      Reply
  28. coloradobob

     /  December 1, 2016

    You all have have to be like this guy………………….

    Reply
  29. coloradobob

     /  December 1, 2016

    And this guy ……………

    Reply
  30. coloradobob

     /  December 1, 2016

    Everyone of us will have to find courage that we all never dreamed we have.

    Reply
  31. coloradobob

     /  December 1, 2016

    Tombstone …’ You Tell Em I’m Commin ,And Hell’s Commin With Me

    Reply
  32. Below is the conclusion of my essay “Apocaplypse Now,” written in the summer of 2015: http://blog.edsuom.com/2015/08/apocalypse-now.html

    Thankfully, this past summer was much cooler and wetter, with almost no fire problems. But the dragon is lurking out there, growing ever bigger and nastier, and he won’t stay quiet for long. Meanwhile, I look out at my majestic hundred-year old pines with affection and worry for their long-term future.


    After attending a community meeting a few days ago about the monster of a fire near us, I realized that yet another nasty feedback mechanism is at work in the forests of Eastern Washington. It involves bad consequences of over-stressed resources, system collapse.

    When lightning sparked a small fire in the Huckleberry mountains west of here, thousands of acres were already burning to the north. Our local fire chief had lent out resources for other fire districts to help fight those. That’s just what you do. It was a terrible night, with dry lightning sparking fires seemingly all around us and then strong winds fanning the flames.

    Unfortunately, when yet another chief called him for help with a few acres burning in the Huckleberry Mountains, he was forced to decline. It pained him to do that, he said, both personally and professionally, but there was no choice. He couldn’t leave his own fire district defenseless, especially on such a night as that. The whole state–indeed the entire American West–was stretched to the breaking point. Yet if he had been able to answer that call, the fire might have been stopped with just dozens of acres burned instead of thousands.

    And so another tipping point was reached. The local fire fighting system was overwhelmed and the Carpenter Road fire has burned forty thousand acres of forest near our home. What else is in store for us, this year, and next year, and the one after that?

    It’s stressful enough just thinking about next week. Despite aggressive efforts and over four hundred personnel working the fire, the monster has just jumped its main fire line, Springdale-Hunters Road. And there is yet another “red flag warning” heading our way tomorrow. “CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE LIKELY,” shouts the all-caps message from the National Weather Service. “A COMBINATION OF GUSTY WINDS, LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY, AND WARM TEMPERATURES WILL CREATE HIGH FIRE GROWTH POTENTIAL.”

    They might as well just extend a red flag warning to the entire planet, from this point on.

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  December 2, 2016

      A very sad situation. If we don’t have the resources to deal with the increasingly extreme events now, then we have no chance of success when things become much worse. Fires, droughts, floods, storms, and wild extremes in temperature are all going to get much worse.

      Reply
  33. Suzanne

     /  December 1, 2016

    “How the Active Many can Overcome the Ruthless Few” by Bill McKibben at The Nation:
    https://www.thenation.com/article/how-the-active-many-can-overcome-the-ruthless-few/

    I know what you want from me—what we all want—which is some small solace after the events of Election Day. My wife Sue Halpern and I have been talking nonstop for days, trying to cope with the emotions. I fear I may not be able to provide that balm, but I do offer these remarks in the spirit of resistance to that which we know is coming. We need to figure out how to keep the lights on, literally and figuratively, and all kinds of darkness at bay.

    Reply
  34. Cate

     /  December 1, 2016

    A new piece of not-so-new news from the Guardian: mass migration from climate change will beome the “new normal” and represents a huge security threat in the 21st century. BAU will multiply this threat, cutting GHGs will mitigate it.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/dec/01/climate-change-trigger-unimaginable-refugee-crisis-senior-military

    “Brig Gen Stephen Cheney, a member of the US Department of State’s foreign affairs policy board and CEO of the American Security Project, said: “Climate change could lead to a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions. We’re already seeing migration of large numbers of people around the world because of food scarcity, water insecurity and extreme weather, and this is set to become the new normal….
    “Countries are going to pay for climate change one way or another,” said Cheney. “The best way to pay for it is by tackling the root causes of climate change and cutting greenhouse gas emissions. If we do not, the national security impacts will be increasingly costly and challenging.”

    Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  December 1, 2016

      This is something I have been trying my best to get out there to those in my orbit since the Syrian refugee crisis began. Warning people that the Syrian refugee crisis would look like a nice stroll in the park…compared to all the Climate Change refugees we were going to be seeing in the next few decades. I worked as hard as I could…to get people to understand that this all would be made much, much worse if the Lunatic should win the election..because of his CC denial…and his White Nationalist beliefs. It became apparent to me over the last 18 months…that people…even smart people just “did not want to hear or believe this from me. Denial and entropy are incredibly strong mechanisms.

      I am usually a rational..and optimistic person for the most part…but have been fighting against an intense and persistent feeling of dread since November 9th. I am not a religious person (at all)…but boy oh boy….it is beginning to feel like some kind of End Times between all the really, really bad CC news…and with the results of the election. The only thing that has kept me from staying in a fetal position in my bed…is knowing how important it will be, now more than ever, to RESIST and stay ACTIVE….to try to mitigate as much damage as possible that is already coming from the Lunatic and his Minions.

      Reply
    • A very important update here by the Guardian.

      Reply
      • I’m deeply troubled by the narrative which paints refugees as a ‘threat’. I think we need to be very careful about the framing that we’re using here. Refugees need our help not our fear.

        I think this article pauses to ask the right questions…

        Trump and climate change: why not talk about threat multipliers?
        https://www.opendemocracy.net/alex-randall/trump-and-climate-change-why-not-talk-about-threat-multipliers

        Reply
        • Cate

           /  December 2, 2016

          To clarify: the Guardian article characterises climate change as the major threat to national security, and that climate change would cause mass migration. The rather careless wording of my sentence managed to confuse the sense of the article—-so my apologies for that.

        • Absolutely right. Displaced persons are victims of climate change. The threat comes when refugees are not taken care of — which results in mass destabilization and opens the door to extremism/ultra-nationalism/racism etc.

  35. Suzanne

     /  December 1, 2016

    Thank you for the Hat Tip Robert….but all the thanks go to you. Thank you for all your incredible work to keep us all up to date with the latest CC news. I fear we are at a critical juncture…and in dangerous times…and now more than ever we need your wisdom and the community you provide as we do all we can to RESIST…the evil Lunatic and his Regime.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your astute contributions. You’ve helped me to refine my message. Right now, it’s a pretty intense effort just to cover the tip of the iceberg.

      Reply
  36. dmf

     /  December 1, 2016

    Reblogged this on synthetic zero.

    Reply
  37. Arctic tipping points put planet at risk

    Change – often rapid – is the norm in the Arctic, they write. But environmental, ecological and social changes are happening faster than ever, and accelerating. They are also more extreme, well beyond what has been seen before. And while some changes are gradual, others, such as the collapse of ice sheets, can be not only abrupt but also irreversible.

    The report identifies 19 Arctic tipping points (which it calls regime shifts) that can and have occurred in the region’s ecosystems. These shifts affect the stability of the climate and landscape, plant and animal species’ ability to survive, and indigenous people’s subsistence and ways of life.

    http://climatenewsnetwork.net/arctic-tipping-points-planet-risk/

    Reply
  38. It was so sudden, so unexpected. The mayor’s house was consumed too.

    Meanwhile, water was lapping on the land around Trumposphere HQ (The Bathtub Model Doesn’t Hold Water – 4).

    Reply
  39. meansnecessary

     /  December 1, 2016

    Hi there, RS. I’ve lurked on Nevin’s site and on yours for years – though I haven’t delved into the comment section before, and now that I have I’m quite impressed with all these folks to whom you keep tipping your hat. Nevin says “the depression that comes with watching this steamroller just plow forward is taking its toll.” I know the feeling. Do I ever.

    Speaking of gloomy astonishment, I’m blown away by Wipneus’ global sea ice chart:

    It looks like Earth’s tenuous grasp on the previous equilibrium just slipped three months ago, and keeps slipping. Please hang on, RS, if you possibly can. You and Elizabeth Kolbert are my top two favorite science writers. My gratitude for your hard work is boundless.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the kind words, Means. I owe a huge level of gratitude to so many people in the amazing community we’ve developed here. It’s my pleasure to welcome you.

      And, yes, as you so astutely point out — from the cryosphere to the biosphere to the carbon stores to the oceans to human society at large, the states have shifted from equilibrium to erratic.

      RE the image :

      Record lowest sea ice extent on record for the Arctic for the whole of 2016 appears to be a strong lock. Record lowest globally a lock as well. Antarctic possible, but that’s a bit more up in the air.

      Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  December 1, 2016

      Wow. He is right this is an existential threat we are facing. Thanks for posting.

      Reply
  40. A good article on Trudeau’s pipelines decisions posted on SKS by Andy Skuce.

    Reply
  41. June

     /  December 1, 2016

    City and state level climate action will be crucial in working around Trump and his gang of life-destroying power addicts. The new report referenced in the article states that cities represent about 70% of global carbon emissions, so supporting these efforts will be a positive way forward.

    ‘There is no cavalry left’: Cities prepare to lead the way on climate action

    …“I think cities are the perfect place because you can make very direct connections between investments that have pay back that people can see,” Nurse said. “There seem to be an endless number of things that cities can do that make economic sense, that are long-term money savers.”

    A new report released Thursday by the C40 network — a coalition of more than 80 of the world’s largest cities working together on climate change — underscores the critical role cities will play in confronting the climate crisis in the immediate future. According to the report, released during the C40 Mayors Summit in Mexico City, the world has about five years for greenhouse gas emissions to peak before it is locked into a path of warming above 2ºC (3.6ºF). That means actions taken before 2020 — the same time frame of climate-denier Donald Trump’s first term as president of the United States — are crucial to helping stave off the worst impacts of climate change.

    https://thinkprogress.org/st-petersburg-renewable-cities-climate-action-965d95c5c16e#.kub2fyoo5

    Reply
  42. Stilgar Wilcox

     /  December 1, 2016

    However, it there is information in news stories suggesting this fire was deliberate. We live in CA where there was the Valley Fire which burned ~1950 structures and it turned out that was by way of arson. They later caught him and all the fires in our area suddenly stopped being started even though it was extremely hot in summer, even at night. The thing is a human can use it’s big brain to choose the absolute worst time and location to start a fire. In the case of this fire in Tennessee and here in CA, the fires were started when there were strong winds blowing towards the structures.

    We seem to be entering a time when people are more willing to be arsonists. Why that is I have no idea, but maybe it goes along with the current attitude that anything goes and nothing matters. People seem not to have the same moral, ethical fiber they once did. Everything is considered a sickness and the culprits if ever caught are simply incarcerated while millions or even billions of dollars of damage has occurred, countless animals and some people have perished. So go ahead and coddle them but do so knowing the punishment does not meet the crime. We have gotten too civilized in how we handle idiots that start fires. – that’s my opinion.

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  December 1, 2016

      I’m not aware that there is any proof yet that wildfires anywhere have been deliberately set, but even if that is the immediate cause, to my mind it is beside the point.

      The point is that wildfires are able to take hold, move fast, grow exponentially, burn out of control, create their own weather systems, and destroy property into the billions of dollars because the forests—-and more crucially the ground beneath them—-are tinder dry due to drought, which has been at least exacerbated and most likely directly caused by climate change.

      In short, the problem is not moral depravity (unless you want to talk about the psychopathic corporations who have led us into this terrible darkness). The problem is warming, which is a manifestation of climate change.

      Reply
  43. Ed Suominen: You must be within a few miles of me I think. I’m north of Springdale on the ridgeline towards Jump Off Joe and I also look at my 100 foot pines and red firs and wonder if anything will survive the next fire. Will I? We dodged the bullet this summer but the soil is so freaking dry even with all the rain last month. I’m sure you’ve also noticed that it doesn’t really snow here anymore, no deep snowpacks at this elevation like there always used to be. No snowpacks for years at the higher elevations that start early and last through Spring any longer, either, for that matter.

    I am currently listening to the giant machines at a logging op going on two miles south thinking not many get it around here…but hey, at least there won’t be anything to burn, right? Except the debris and rubble crushed under the tracks of the machines…so much for natural carbon storage I’m afraid.

    Red Flag the entire planet? Yep.

    Suzanne: Nobody wants to hear about it is exactly right. Do you notice the walls that come down behind people’s eyes when you start talking about climate also? And the Lunatic is proposing to strip citizenship from protesters that disagree with the government. And Google is pushing for total censorship of all internet media to stop so-called “fake news” sites. Like THIS site I’m assuming since none of this is actually happening according to our dear leaders who are truthfully bat-shit crazy….along with a majority of the citizens…oops excuse me…consumers of this country.

    And how was your Black Friday shopping spree?

    Really big sigh.

    Reply
    • When was Black Friday? Damn, I missed it again.🙂

      Reply
    • Hello neighbor! Send me an email (the address is on my blog near the bottom). It would be a pleasure to get to know someone sensible in the deeply Republican wilds of our beautiful (thus far) region.

      The lack of lowland snow, the higher snowline altitudes, the dry weather (except this year; this October was the wettest month ever), the earlier melts—all sad and true.

      The one positive thing I can say in response to your thoughtful comment is that logging seems to be mostly done pretty sensibly here. There aren’t so many clear cuts as on the west side of the state. The thinning jobs tend to leave the woods healthier and more resistant to fire and disease than they were before the diesel feller-bunchers came clanking through. There really is supposed to be quite a bit of spacing between the big trees in these drier woods; in the old days, the Native Americans maintained that by torching the undergrowth. I’ve been to some publicly accessible logging sites and have been impressed with all the varied new growth sprouting up between the stumps and seed trees left standing.

      Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  December 2, 2016

      Seal…I just want you to know when I read your comments…I feel your frustration and pain. If I had to listen and see logging trucks all day long…I don’t know if I could hold on to my sanity…or resolve to keep resisting. Glad you are here where hopefully you can feel the support of like minded people…and know you are not alone. That would be great if you and Ed could hook up in person!!🙂

      Reply
  44. coloradobob

     /  December 1, 2016

    Global warming blowout: Record highs beat record lows by 51-to-1 ratio in November

    http://mashable.com/2016/12/01/temperature-records-ratio-november/#ctx4cTMNOaqE

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  December 2, 2016

      That is absolutely insane! I didn’t think that a 51-to-1 ratio was even possible…yet. Eventually cold records will stop happening altogether.

      Reply
  45. coloradobob

     /  December 1, 2016

    Liquified aluminum rims dramatically display power of Tennessee wildfires

    THE MELTING POINT OF ALUMINUM IS 1,221 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT …

    Read more: Link

    Reply
  46. Ailsa

     /  December 1, 2016

    Great report here, on how common struggle can bring out the best in us. NO DAPL is becoming such a fantastic rallying call. I need to read stuff like this to help me keep balance and some sense of affirmation in the face of all the dreadful news.

    http://www.resilience.org/stories/2016-12-01/moving-slowly-and-deliberately-at-standing-rock-a-report-on-life-in-the-camp

    Many stories here, such as –

    ‘I spoke with Joe, a part Lakota from Colorado who had been raised Catholic and attended Indian residential schools, taken from his parents by the state because they doubted the ability of the native community to raise their own kids. He said it was brutal. When asked why he was here, he replied, “This is the first time since Little Big Horn that all the tribes are uniting against a common enemy—the black snake—the pipeline that will harm our water, our people. This unity is making us whole.”’

    Reply
    • Ailsa

       /  December 1, 2016

      By the way, thank you again Robert for your work and this place – you help me (and clearly many others) keep somewhat sane, and able to put one foot in front of another, as we negotiate the current insanity.

      Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  December 2, 2016

      Thank you for this post Ailsa at Resilience.org it gives me hope of what people can do when they work together from a place of unity and caring. I needed that.

      Reply
  47. Meljay14

     /  December 1, 2016

    Hi Robert and everyone, I tried to post a comment about a week ago, but somehow it didn’t make it through. I have only recently discovered your blog, but just want to add my thanks for all you are doing. I especially appreciate your blocking of denier trolls, as I am SO TIRED of them. It is so emotionally nourishing to read a comment section where everyone is thinking and feeling the same as me. Suzanne, June, Colorado Bob, everyone. And where the tone is anguished, yes, but also so courteous and warm. I visit here almost every day now.

    Reply
    • June

       /  December 2, 2016

      I share your sentiments, Meljay. This is a wonderful “neighborhood”.

      Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  December 2, 2016

      Glad to have you here. Yes, coming here gives me the nourishment and support to continue to “go out there” and fight against ignorance and denial. IMO the community here is a gift.

      Reply
    • lesliegraham1

       /  December 2, 2016

      Know what you mean.
      It’s a place where sanity prevails.
      Well – there are a few nutters too I suppose. But nuts in a nice way.
      : )

      Reply
    • I think I found your post late, Meljay. I approve all new posts just to weed out said trolls, so the first post waiting period can be hours or more. My apologies if I missed it in the turmoil.

      I’d just like to take the chance to welcome you and I look forward to seeing your insights and contributions.

      Reply
  48. Abel Adamski

     /  December 1, 2016

    Back to the consequences of the fire
    http://perezhilton.com/2016-12-01-dolly-parton-my-people-fund-tennessee-wildfires#.WECs9Ln6na8

    Miz Parton said:

    “As you may know by now, there have been terrible wildfires in the Great Smoky Mountains, the same mountains where I grew up and where my people call home. I have always believed that charity begins at home. That’s why I’ve asked my Dollywood Companies – Including the Dollywood Theme Park, and DreamMore Resort; My dinner theater attractions including Dixie Stampede and Lumberjack Adventure; and my Dollywood Foundation to help me establish the “My People Fund.”

    She added:

    “We want to provide a hand up to those families who have lost everything in the fires. To aid in their recovery effort, the Dollywood Foundation will provide $1,000 a month to all of those families who lost their homes in the fires for six months so that they can get back on their feet.”

    Amazing!

    Watch the always-adorable singer detail her efforts (below)!

    Help those who lost their homes in the Tennessee wildfires. Donate to the My People Fund by visiting https://t.co/Uydp1gDCwJ . #mypeoplefund pic.twitter.com/xyvXoCeIE1

    Pity she is not addressing the cause

    Reply
  49. Link to “The Intercept” article profiling Trump’s first NASA transition pick, Christopher Shank, a climate skeptic who formerly worked as a staff member of Lamar Smith. Ugh.

    https://theintercept.com/2016/12/01/global-warming-research-in-danger-as-trump-appoints-climate-skeptic-to-nasa-team/

    Reply
  50. Abel Adamski

     /  December 2, 2016

    https://au.news.yahoo.com/video/watch/33384449/queensland-summer-beings-with-a-bang-summer-storm/#page1

    SE Qld. Multiple storms with heavy rain and hail up to golf ball and larger size.

    To be followed by a heatwave

    Wonder what that will do to humidity

    Reply
    • John S

       /  December 2, 2016

      The warm air is coming in from the west so will be dry. Western Qld currently at 46C (115F) and 5% humidity.
      That would indicate dehydration risk rather than wet bulb risk. Also fire risk after a warm and wet winter (2nd wettest on record) the fuel load is quite high. A week of 40C will dry that out nicely.

      Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  December 2, 2016

        I was thinking more in terms of the areas that have heavy storms that will then face that hot air that will just drag that surface water back up again as the west has the dry heat that will be boosting drought.

        A tale of two extremes

        Reply
        • John S

           /  December 2, 2016

          Yes there is that. As you noted the last couple of days here in SE Qld have had an early taste of typical summer afternoon storms (I think it is morning onshore winds bring in the moisture, hot day adds the energy, afternoon comes back as offshore high wind and hail). Usually rough the place up a bit as they pass through, ripping off roofs and flattening trees. Couple of weeks ago one toppled most of the stacks of containers at the port, rendering the robots inoperable. They are still manually sorting that out and re-stacking. Wonder how many times that happens before the cost bites.

          The forecasts have temp zones dropping 10C in the last 10-20km before the coast – you’re right, that is a lot of energy transfer as the heat meets the moisture.

        • Abel Adamski

           /  December 2, 2016

          JS
          Maybe an education in Global Warming for the schoolies at Surfers

        • Vic

           /  December 2, 2016

          A relatively chilly 35C here in my neck of the woods in the north east corner of NSW. Very dry though. Big cracks have been opening up in the dried out clay soils and creeks on my property have stopped running for the first time I’ve seen in the three years I’ve been living here.
          As I type this I’m breathing in smoke and watching the water-bomber choppers fighting an out of control bushfire about three kilometres away. This area is subtropical rainforest noted for the highest levels of rainfall in all of NSW. But today it’s burning.

  51. Town-destroying firestorms in Tennessee at the end of November, town destroying firestorms in northern Alberta at the beginning of May…

    Move along, nothing to see here, right?

    And meanwhile Trump muses about nominating the CEO of Exxon as Secretary of State. Fun times.

    Reply
  52. Vic

     /  December 2, 2016

    Australia’s offshore oil regulator is censoring documents about BP’s plans to drill in the Great Australian Bight on the grounds that environmental campaigners could use the information to “oppose all drilling activities” there – and that the plans are too “technical” for the public to understand.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/dec/02/great-australian-bight-oil-drilling-plans-too-technical-for-foi-release-says-regulator

    Reply
    • John S

       /  December 2, 2016

      National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority are responsible for this utterly corrupt response

      Some of the 6 member NOPSEMA Board:
      Chair: Keith Spence – “With more than 30 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry, including 18 years working for Shell”;
      Member: Ken Fitzpatrick – “has worked in senior positions in Ampolex, Mobil, Nexen and Woodside. He is a past WA State Chairman for Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) and was a member of the APPEA Montara/Macondo task force steering committee”.
      Member – Erica Smyth “has over 40 years experience in the mineral and petroleum industries, initially as a minerals exploration geologist and later in government approvals, corporate affairs and community interactions for BHP and Woodside. She worked for 10 years in the oil and gas industry managing government and environmental approvals for offshore facilities, LNG and methanol facilities in Australia…

      https://www.nopsema.gov.au/about/nopsema-advisory-board/

      Furthermore FoI Act explicitly states that government agencies cannot consider whether releasing information “could result in confusion or unnecessary debate”.

      Reply
  53. Abel Adamski

     /  December 2, 2016

    A refresher from a couple of years ago.
    Both Poles warmer. ?

    http://www.sciencecodex.com/synchronization_of_north_atlantic_north_pacific_preceded_abrupt_warming_end_of_ice_age-138255

    “Synchronization of two major ocean systems can amplify the transport of heat toward the polar regions and cause larger fluctuations in northern hemisphere climate,” said Summer Praetorius, a doctoral student in marine geology at Oregon State and lead author on the Science paper. “This is consistent with theoretical predictions of what happens when Earth’s climate reaches a tipping point.”

    “That doesn’t necessarily mean that the same thing will happen in the future,” she pointed out, “but we cannot rule out that possibility.”

    The study found that synchronization of the two regional systems began as climate was gradually warming. After synchronization, the researchers detected wild variability that amplified the changes and accelerated into an abrupt warming event of several degrees within a few decades.

    Reply
  54. Shawn Redmond

     /  December 2, 2016

    I don’t know how to comment on an analysis such as this…

    http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176216/tomgram%3A_engelhardt%2C_the_most_dangerous_country_on_earth/#more

    It’s not a pretty picture. And yet it’s just a lead-in to what, undoubtedly, should be considered the ultimate question in Donald Trump’s America: With both the CIA’s coup-making and the military’s regime-change traditions in mind, could the United States also overthrow a planet? If, as the head of what’s already the world’s second largest greenhouse gas emitter, Trump carries out the future energy policies he promised during the election campaign — climate-science funding torn up, climate agreements denounced or ignored, alternative energy development downplayed, pipelines green-lighted, fracking and other forms of fossil-fuel extraction further encouraged, and the U.S. fully reimagined as the Saudi Arabia of North America — he will, in effect, be launching a regime-change action against Planet Earth.

    All the rest of what a Trump administration might do, including ushering in a period of American autocracy, would be just part and parcel of human history. Autocracies come and go. Autocrats rise and die. Rebellions break out and fail. Democracies work and then don’t. Life goes on. Climate change is, however, none of that. It may be part of planetary history, but not of human history. It is instead history’s potential deal-breaker. What the Trump administration does to us in the years to come could prove a grim period to live through but a passing matter, at least when compared to the possible full-scale destabilization of life on Earth and of history as we’ve known it these last thousands of years.

    This would, of course, put 9/11 in the shade. The election victory of 11/8 might ultimately prove the shock of a lifetime, of any lifetime, for eons to come. That’s the danger we’ve faced since 11/8, and make no mistake, it could be devastating.

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  December 2, 2016

      Shawn, thanks for that link, and I’m sure I can’t make a sensible comment on it. I did notice that all of the examples of violent regime changes mentioned in the first paragraph precede what some observers call the global corporate coup. This began in earnest in the 1980s and now seems to have reached a peak of power with the supremacy of the Davos Gang and their domination of global public policy.

      Perhaps all those little coups still happen but are now subsumed under the guise of “free trade” (corporate rights) agreements? Much cleaner, much easier to manage, much easier to massage the message to the sheeple as well? Who isn’t for “FREE” trade!

      But I digress. Wrt this article, it would now make sense that America would ensure that it, in turn, dominates the Davos Gang and becomes in effect the ruler of the world. Hail to the Trumperor.

      Btw, have you checked out the “Global Redesign Initiative”?

      http://www.lowimpact.org/read-this-report-to-understand-how-banks-and-corporations-are-planning-to-assume-global-governance/

      Reply
      • Shawn Redmond

         /  December 2, 2016

        Interesting stuff I’ve always found sociology fascinating especially on the macro level. This has lead me to the climate issue long ago. Joe Romm has some advice for moving forward that seems spot on.

        https://thinkprogress.org/9-things-you-can-do-right-now-to-fight-trumps-war-on-climate-and-democracy-21dd37a775c#.d97jmudky

        Given the result of the presidential election, a lot of people have been asking me: “What can I do?”
        I have a feeling many of you reading this are still going through the famous five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Maybe all at once.
        After a lot of listening and reading, here’s my take: Activism is the sixth stage of grief. Major environmental groups are reporting “exponential increases” in post-election activism and support. If you are not part of this movement, it is time to join.
        President-elect Donald Trump and his den of deniers pose an existential threat to America, the world, and, sadly, the next 50 generations. Whatever warming, sea level rise, ocean acidification, and Dust-Bowlification that we commit to because of his anti-science, pro-pollution policies will be irreversible on a timescale of a thousand years.
        I also agree with those who argue Trump is an existential threat to American democracy and the core values that make it possible, such as pluralism and freedom of the press. If you agree, that is yet more motivation to act.
        This list naturally has a climate focus, and it is not exhaustive, but here goes:

        a

        Reply
  55. Cate

     /  December 2, 2016

    By now everyone will have heard about that study of soil carbon led by Dr Crowther and just published in Nature.

    30-year-old Dr Thomas Crowther headed up a massive study at Yale Climate and Energy Institute that looked at 49 field experiments over the last 20 years. Their conclusion is that 1C extra of warming to 2050 is already locked in. This is on top of where we are now, at about +1.2C, which means that by 2050 we will have blown past +2C, no matter what we do with CO2 emissions in the meantime.

    The Independent in the UK interviewed Dr Crowther—the only journal so far which I’ve seen that actually spoke to the man—and I find his language interesting. I wondered if his youth is a factor in this—a young person has a huge personal stake in the future, after all. He is clearly not afraid to spell out the consequences of his findings in very stark terms indeed.

    This may not be how scientists have traditionally communicated (with a few notable exceptions that we can all name), but it seems to me that this is what they should all be doing more of now. It can’t be easy, when your career is on the line, but we are in climate emergency now.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/donald-trump-climate-change-policy-global-warming-expert-thomas-crowther-a7450236.html

    Reply
    • Scheduling tweet on this, thanks. Nice find, and you are right about the language, it’s refreshingly blunt.

      Reply
      • Also, I decided to try an experiment on Facebook–posted a cute picture of our two cats, and then added the Independent story below it as a comment, noting that of course it is much more trivial news. I’m curious to see how Facebook’s algorithms react–in the past, the few homey items I’ve posted have gotten many times as many “likes” as the policy/science stuff.

        Reply
        • Cate

           /  December 2, 2016

          hehe! Love the idea of messing with Mr Facebonk’s algorithmic mind. Serves him right!😀

    • Shawn Redmond

       /  December 2, 2016

      We definitely need more of this sort of openness and what will likely be considered confrontational opinions, ( real science ) now! There seems to be some worry that pay cheques are dependent on keeping the warning off in the obscure distance. There will be no “pay cheques” to worry about in the near future, at the present rate, due to denial. It would seem war is upon us. We have two fronts already, one denial and the other is the rapidly changing biosphere.

      Reply
  56. Cate

     /  December 2, 2016

    Hawking, in the Guardian yesterday. Words to the wise.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/01/stephen-hawking-dangerous-time-planet-inequality

    “…..we are at the most dangerous moment in the development of humanity. We now have the technology to destroy the planet on which we live, but have not yet developed the ability to escape it. Perhaps in a few hundred years, we will have established human colonies amid the stars, but right now we only have one planet, and we need to work together to protect it.

    To do that, we need to break down, not build up, barriers within and between nations. If we are to stand a chance of doing that, the world’s leaders need to acknowledge that they have failed and are failing the many. With resources increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few, we are going to have to learn to share far more than at present….”

    Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  December 2, 2016

      Cate…great op-ed by Hawking. IMO he sums up the current global “mood” very well. People are angry and frustrated…I get that…but I am not sure most people get that “nationalism” is not going to fix what is broken. Crony capitalism (greed) is at the center of much of these issues.

      Reply
      • Shawn Redmond

         /  December 2, 2016

        The Donald’s new approach is to protect industry inside your country to save jobs. This is protectionism and that is anti free trade. Free trade is the golden fleece of capitalism. The paradox that is so apparent here is astonishing. Something is going to get broken. Remember it’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye, or biosphere.

        Reply
        • So protectionism during the early 20th century was one of the primary circumstances that led to the great depression. Protectionism, lack of the ability of a state to produce monetary policy, lack of regulation to prevent harmful action/malinvestment on Wall Street, overproduction as markets were lost due to protectionism, the harmful impact of abolition on US farming and biofuels, and lack of a social safety net were all compounding factors. Republican policy is moving more and more this way. Another Great Recession would likely end up being a great depression under similar circumstances in which added impacts include the social safety net being lost at exactly the same time that climate change and automization bring wealth destruction and more job loss to the middle class.

    • A kind thank you to Dr Hawking for this particularly salient thought.

      Reply
  57. The forest in the Appalachian mountains has been in decline for years, long before the recent drought. In fact, trees are dying all over the world and this is the primary reason that wildfires have been raging with unprecedented frequency and ferocity.

    Few people are aware that the background concentration of ozone is increasing, because it’s invisible. Ozone is produced by chemical reactions between gases released by humans and both anthropogenica and naturally occurring volatile organic compounds. Ozone is highly toxic to humans, causing cancer, asthma, emphysema and heart disease – but it’s even more poisonous to plants. Experts in agriculture have known for decades that ozone decreases annual crop yield and quality. Damage to trees is cumulative and even more serious. Over time it causes them to be more vulnerable to biotic attacks from fungus, disease and insects, now epidemics all over the world. So the idea that excess COs is good for forest, while dubious, is more than obviated by the damage being done by pollution. This is an enormous cause for alarm, because it’s another amplifying feedback loop that is accelerating heating, and causing drought as well by interfering with the evapotranspiration of water through roots and foliage.

    Reply
    • The major factors for tree death include heat and drought (loss of soil moisture), invasives (pine beetle ect), human encroachment, and harmful changes to atmospheric chemistry (ozone). The source of invasive species in this case is either due to human transport or changing climate zones related to warming, the source of increasing heat and drought prevalence for a majority of regions is climate change, the source of atmospheric chemistry change is fossil fuel emissions and land use. In other words, the problem is caused in vast majority by fossil fuel burning and climate change is a major factor in many of these instances in that added heat compounds the impacts posed by atmospheric chemistry change, invasive species, and human encroachment.

      Reply
  58. Cate

     /  December 2, 2016

    http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/2050881/why-china-hesitates-take-global-climate-leadership-role

    Why China hesitates to take on global climate ‘leadership’ role

    “Hopes are building that China will take the key role in tackling climate change amid the policy uncertainties of the Trump presidency in the US, but a veteran Chinese climate diplomat has warned Beijing might have a different understanding of what “leadership” means.” This is according to COP21 negotiator Zou Ji.

    “Zou was a key member of the Chinese climate negotiation delegation for more than a decade until last year. He did not take part in this year’s negotiations in Marrakech, Morocco last month, and his views do not represent the official stance….China still saw itself as a developing nation and was not likely to take on the obligations of industrialised nations, such as contributing to the green fund, he said.”

    Reply
  59. Suzanne

     /  December 2, 2016

    Not sure if this video has already been linked on an earlier post..but I just came across it and thought it was fascinating.
    Flying low over the Earth’s southernmost continent, Operation IceBridge is wrapping up its eighth consecutive field season of mapping the ice sheet and glaciers of Antarctica, as well as the surrounding sea ice. With more than 300 hours logged in the air over 24 science flights, the mission is considering 2016 one of the most successful seasons yet.

    Reply
  60. This year were fires all around the world. In Greece too! We saw it at the news during the vacation! Hottest year!

    Reply
  61. Thawing permafrost altering chemistry of northern rivers, researchers say | CBC News
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/melting-permafrost-yukon-river-usgs-study-1.3875594

    Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  December 2, 2016

      The current “Republican led House Science Committee” ..is an oxymoron. The anti-science sentiment B.S. that Republicans have been promoting now for decades…is what has brought us to where we are in terms of the “dumbing down of America”. I see it all the time…and the internet has not helped with the promotion of “fake news” sites.
      I think us ….Homo Sapiens…are not so “clever” after all.

      Reply
  62. OT, but a recent study on methane release from tectonic faults.
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161201092817.htm

    “Active methane seepage happening frequently This is what makes brittle faults particularly alluring for CAGE/NGU researcher Jochen Knies. He is one of the coauthors of a new study in Nature Communications that, for the first time, precisely dates the evolution of a brittle fault from its initial formation to its later reactivation.

    Brittle faults may be important because they open up pathways along which methane, released from the reservoirs deep under Earth’s crust, can migrate to shallower depths or even into the ocean itself.

    “Active methane leakage from the sea floor happens episodically, and frequently. Some seeps activate annually, others become active on a millennial scale. We need to better identify and characterize timing and duration of these leaks. It is critical for our understanding of the role the natural gas emissions play on global climate.” says Jochen Knies, researcher at CAGE/NGU.”

    Reply
  63. Suzanne

     /  December 2, 2016

    I personally feel that what is going on at Standing Rock is an incredibly important issue that all of us can actually take action on now… I just got an email from MoveOn.org asking that I call President Obama on this issue “right now”.
    I am sharing it here for anyone that might like to call…and help out. This is a CC issue and human rights issue. I feel it is also a “line in the sand” moment…as we face the new CC Denial-ism of the incoming regime….we must unite and show strength now to show we won’t be backed down.
    President Obama has the power to stop the pipeline and deny the Army Corps of Engineers’ easement on our land. He must take action immediately. Will you call President Obama now?

    Here’s where to call: 1-855-411-0302

    You can say this:

    I stand with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and water protectors defending their land and water and Mother Earth against the Dakota Access Pipeline. President Obama must take action now to ensure the safety of the water protectors and reject this pipeline.

    Reply
  64. Hatrack

     /  December 2, 2016

    Don’t worry! Ivanka is going to “speak out” on climate change!

    In September, as Donald Trump railed against the media and sold himself as the candidate of the forgotten man, Ivanka Trump ventured into the lair of the liberal media and power elite that was laughing at her father.

    She jetted off to Aspen with her husband, Jared Kushner, to attend “Weekend with Charlie Rose,” an off-the-record gathering at which 90 percent of invitees were Trump haters. The annual event is typically filled with Nobel laureates, former government officials, royalty from abroad, business moguls and celebrity chefs who engage in intimate foreign- and economic-policy discussions, coupled with outdoor bonding activities like tennis and fly fishing. Harvey Weinstein, who hosts the Clintons in the Hamptons, added a Hollywood touch this year.

    EDIT

    And the ambitious daughter, who once plotted her career around international brand domination, is planning to take on an even heavier lift. Ivanka wants to make climate change — which her father has called a hoax perpetuated by the Chinese — one of her signature issues, a source close to her told Politico. The source said Ivanka is in the early stages of exploring how to use her spotlight to speak out on the issue. Advocating opposition to CO2 emissions and fossil fuels will inevitably create another warring sphere of influence in Trump’s orbit: Incoming Chief of staff Reince Priebus has clarified in recent days that Trump’s “default position” on climate change is that “most of it is a bunch of bunk.”

    But no one is closer to Trump than his eldest daughter, and it would not be the first traditionally liberal position she has tried preaching to conservatives. At the Republican National Convention in July, Ivanka championed pay equity and parental leave, family issues she intends to continue pushing from what will likely be a unique platform that represents her role as an adviser, a surrogate and functional first lady. “The issues she’s talking about are ones she’s always talked about,” said a source close to Ivanka. “These are totally consistent with what she’s developed with her brand. She is playing a critical role in being able to have issues that moderate and liberal women care about — and creating a bridge to the other side.”

    EDIT

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/donald-trump-administration/2016/11/wrestling-exec-linda-mcmahon-a-top-choice-for-trumps-small-business-chief-232039

    This doesn’t even rise to the level of “pathetic”.

    Reply
  65. Greg

     /  December 2, 2016

    Way too busy, unfortunately, with new job so little time lately for research but link here to the reveal yesterday of the Nikola truck. Hydrogen fuel cells and Lithium batteries and lots of innovations for replacement of diesel. Game changer if they pull it off successfully:

    http://insideevs.com/nikola-one-unveiled-hydrogen-electric-semi-truck-with-320-kwh-battery-pack-is-production-bound-in-2020/

    Reply
  66. coloradobob

     /  December 2, 2016

    Is Florida’s climate change model — denial at the Capitol, frantic action at the beach — in store for the U.S. under Trump?

    When Floridians narrowly voted for Donald Trump on Nov. 8, they might as well have elected to drown themselves. Rising seas and accelerating storms are inundating this low-lying state, but a majority of its citizens still chose a presidential candidate who calls climate change a hoax.

    A disconnect between its political choices and climate reality is all too familiar in the Sunshine State. Florida’s newly re-elected U.S. senator, Marco Rubio, and its two-term governor, Rick Scott, are both climate-change dodgers. They shrug off the science that indicates 1 in 8 houses in their state will be lost to rising seas by the end of the century. They endorsed Trump, and they’re famed for responding to global warming questions with “I am not a scientist.”

    Meanwhile, an octopus swam into a Miami Beach parking garage in November during one of the city’s periodic “sunny day floods.”

    Link

    Reply
  67. Need a link to CO2 readings in proximity to Amazon forest. Help please? something with real time or near real time measurements and updates? Have been searching NOAA and ESRL without finding exactly what I am seeking.
    Thanks
    Mike

    Reply
  68. Shawn Redmond: To what is going on in North Dakota with DAPL and corporate ‘Free’ trade and what the hopey-changy Obama Democrats did to the Occupy Movement (Police State attacks) to what Obama will NOT stop the militarized cops beating down the water protectors…and now Trumpette has all this power built at his fingertips to…do whatever the hell he wants. Notice his cabinet picks? As ex-President Jimmy Carter says “not a functioning democracy but an Oligarchy.”

    It’s worse than scary because, truthfully, this is Jack London’s ‘Iron Heel’ pub 1905 in a current vision mixed with Marine Brig. Gen Smedley Butler’s ‘War is a Racket’ pub 1935, both of which are on my shelves.

    The Iron Heel at Home: Force Matters
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/12/02/the-iron-heel-at-home-force-matters/

    Soft Power, Hard Power

    I’ve long been taken aback by the readiness of some leading left intellectuals to downplay the role of state violence in the enforcement of social hierarchy and class rule inside the United States. Perhaps you know the argument: thanks to the relative strength of the free speech tradition, outwardly democratic politics, and the related heroic struggles of activists from the abolitionists of the 19th century through the trade union and Civil Rights militants of the last century, the American power elite relies less on force than on “the manufacture of consent” to keep to the citizenry down. It’s called “taking the risk out of democracy” through the “soft power” of propaganda, spectacle, messaging, diversion and illusion: thought control. It comes with a great and brilliant irony: free speech, “democracy” – insofar as it can meaningfully exist under capitalism (which is not very far) – and civil liberties are mixed blessings in hierarchical and imperial societies like the United States because they incentivize those who hold wealth and power to invest heavily in the sinister manipulation of popular hearts and minds. And where else have the art and science of mass consent-manufacture been more advanced than in the nation that first and most powerfully developed modern advertising to advance monopoly capitalist mass consumerism – the United States?

    Article continues at link (it’s good but scary).

    Reply
  69. Another that connects with the other article I just posted, Most people do NOT know this about this so-called election:

    … the TV reality show, Election 2016: first woman POTUS, and to prove it, only one piece of evidence is enough: the man hired to be Trump’s initial campaign manager was none other than Tony Podesta, partner in political intrigues of his brother, John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign manager and her lead handler on behalf of George Soros.

    Trump Win: Paradigm Shift or Status Quo?
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/12/02/trump-win-paradigm-shift-or-status-quo/

    The accidental president.

    Reply

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