Beyond the Point of No Return — Imminent Carbon Feedbacks Just Made the Stakes for Global Warming a Hell of a Lot Higher

“It’s fair to say we have passed the point of no return on global warming and we can’t reverse the effects, but certainly we can dampen them,” said biodiversity expert Dr. Thomas Crowther.

“I’m an optimist and still believe that it is not too late, but we urgently need to develop a global economy driven by sustainable energy sources and start using CO2, as a substrate, instead of a waste product.” — Prof Ivan Janssens, recognized as a godfather of the global ecology field.

“…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… we only have one planet, and we need to work together to protect it.” — Professor Stephen Hawking yesterday in The Guardian.

*****

The pathway for preventing catastrophic climate change just got a whole hell of a lot narrower.

For according to new, conservative estimates in a scientific study led by Dr. Thomas Crowther, increasing soil respiration alone is about to add between 0.45 and 0.71 parts per million of CO2 to the atmosphere every year between now and 2050.

(Thomas Crowther explains why rapidly reducing human greenhouse gas emissions is so important. Namely, you want to do everything you can to avoid a runaway into a hothouse environment that essentially occurs over just one Century. Video source: Netherlands Institute of Ecology.)

What this means is that even if all of human fossil fuel emissions stop, the Earth environment, from this single source, will generate about the same carbon emission as all of the world’s fossil fuel industry did during the middle of the 20th Century. And that, if human emissions do not stop, then the pace of global warming of the oceans, ice sheets, and atmosphere is set to accelerate in a runaway warming event over the next 85 years.

Global Warming Activates Soil Respiration Which Produces More CO2

This happens because as the world warms, carbon is baked out of previously inactive soils through a process known as respiration. As a basic explanation, micro-organisms called heterotrophs consume carbon in the soil and produce carbon dioxide as a bi-product. Warmth is required to fuel this process. And large sections of the world that were previously too cold to support large scale respiration and CO2 production by heterotrophs and other organisms are now warming up. The result is that places like Siberian Russia, Northern Europe, Canada, and Alaska are about to contribute a whole hell of a lot more CO2 (and methane) to the atmosphere than they did during the 20th Century.

When initial warming caused by fossil fuel burning pumps more carbon out of the global environment, we call this an amplifying feedback. It’s a critical climate tipping point when the global carbon system in the natural environment starts to run away from us.

Sadly, soil respiration is just one potential feedback mechanism that can produce added greenhouse gasses as the Earth warms. Warming oceans take in less carbon and are capable of producing their own carbon sources as they acidify and as methane seeps proliferate. Forests that burn due to heat and drought produce their own carbon sources. But increasing soil respiration, which has also been called the compost bomb, represents what is probably one of the most immediate and likely large sources of carbon feedback.

increase-in-carbon-dioxide-from-soils

(A new study finds that warming of 1 to 2 C by 2050 will increase soil respiration. The result is that between 30 and 55 billion tons of additional CO2 is likely to hit the Earth’s atmosphere over the next 35 years. Image source: Nature.)

And it is also worth noting that the study categorizes its own findings as conservative estimates. That the world could, as an outside risk, see as much as four times the amount of carbon feedback (or as much as 2.7 ppm of CO2 per year) coming from soil if respiration is more efficient and wide-ranging than expected. If a larger portion of the surface soil carbon in newly warmed regions becomes a part of the climate system as microbes activate.

Amplifying Feedbacks Starting to Happen Now

The study notes that it is most likely that about 0.45 parts per million of CO2 per year will be leached from mostly northern soils from the period of 2016 to 2050 under 1 C worth of global warming during the period. To this point, it’s worth noting that the world has already warmed by more than 1 C above preindustrial levels. So this amount of carbon feedback can already be considered locked in. The study finds that if the world continues to warm to 2 C by 2050 — which is likely to happen — then an average of around 0.71 parts per million of CO2 will be leached out of soils by respiration every year through 2050.

rates-of-soil-carbon-loss

(When soils lose carbon, it ends up in the atmosphere. According to a new study, soils around the world are starting to pump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This is caused by increased soil respiration as the Earth warms. Over the next 35 years, the amount of carbon dioxide being pumped out by the world’s soils is expected to dramatically increase. How much is determined by how warm the world becomes over the next 35 years. Image source: Nature.)

The upshot of this study is that amplifying carbon feedbacks from the Earth environment are probably starting to happen on a large scale now. And we may be seeing some evidence for this effect during 2016 as rates of atmospheric carbon dioxide accumulation are hitting above 3 parts per million per year for the second year in a row even as global rates of human emissions plateaued.

Beyond the Point of No Return

What this means is that the stakes for cutting human carbon emissions to zero as swiftly as possible just got a whole hell of a lot higher. If we fail to do this, we will easily be on track for 5-7 C or worse warming by the end of this Century. And this level of warming happening so soon and over so short a timeframe is an event that few, if any, current human civilizations are likely to survive. Furthermore, if we are to avoid terribly harmful warming over longer periods, we must not only rapidly transition to renewable energy sources. We must also somehow learn to pull carbon, on net, out of the atmosphere in rather high volumes.

Today, Professor Ivan Janssens of the University of Antwerp noted:

“This study is very important, because the response of soil carbon stocks to the ongoing warming, is one of the largest sources of uncertainty in our climate models. I’m an optimist and still believe that it is not too late, but we urgently need to develop a global economy driven by sustainable energy sources and start using CO2, as a substrate, instead of a waste product. If this happens by 2050, then we can avoid warming above 2C. If not, we will reach a point of no return and will probably exceed 5C.”

In other words, even the optimists at this time think that we are on the cusp of runaway catastrophic global warming. That the time to urgently act is now.

Links:

Quantifying Soil Carbon Losses in Response to Warming

Netherlands Institute of Ecology

Earth Warming to Climate Tipping Point

This is the Most Dangerous Time for Our Planet

Climate Change Escalating So Fast it is Beyond the Point of No Return

NOAA ESRL

Soil Respiration

Hat tip to TodaysGuestIs

Hat tip to Cate

Hat tip to Colorado Bob

Hat tip to Wili

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339 Comments

  1. DJ

     /  December 2, 2016

    More bad news – we’re getting to the point (or maybe have past the point) where we’re going to be counting on some future miracle carbon sequestration technology to save us, independent of the replacement of fossil fuels with clean alternatives.

    Reply
    • The replacement of fossil fuels with renewable energy is a must. The need for some kind of atmospheric carbon capture on a large scale is becoming a must very rapidly.

      Reply
      • DJ

         /  December 2, 2016

        The speed at which renewable energy sources are becoming superior options to the FF alternatives is cause for some optimism ( I think that ultimately, inability to compete is what’s going to do in the FF interests – alternatives will be chosen because they’re better in general, not because they’re better for the environment) but gambling on coming up with a magic carbon-sequestration bullet, just in the nick of time to save ourselves from disaster seems like a bad bet to be making. We don’t get a do-over if we screw this up…

        Reply
      • Leland Palmer

         /  December 3, 2016

        Yes, I agree with Robert.

        Fortunately we don’t have to wait for some miracle carbon capture technology to arise – plants already take carbon out of the atmosphere as CO2.

        Biomass Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) can have a huge impact on the problem. If done worldwide on an emergency basis I think it could likely save us, and put the genie back in the bottle.

        The coal fired power plants move a lot of carbon, maybe 5 billion tons of carbon per year, worldwide. Right now they move the carbon from the earth into the atmosphere. If they were converted to biomass power plants with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), they would move carbon from the atmosphere back underground, If the electricity generated was used to run electric vehicles, we could go from maybe 7 billion tons of carbon per year to -5 billion tons of carbon per year from the coal fired power plants and transportation- a swing of maybe 12 billion tons per year off of business as usual.

        We should fireproof the forests with firebreaks – strips of land maybe 50 feet wide with no vegetation. We should thin the forests by removing brush and undergrowth judiciously, and transport all of that carbon to the BECCS power plants as wood pellets or as charcoal. The charcoal could be produced from the biomass in distributed small bioprocessing centers, generating electricity at the same time, and use some of the hydrogen produced this way as an afterburner to burn up any polyaromatic hydrocarbons produced during the charcoal production process. We should also plant massive biomass plantations of fast growing trees, canes, and grasses upstream of the BECCS power plants on navigable rivers, and then transport the wood pellets or charcoal downstream to the BECCS converted coal power plants. Agricultural wastes should also be pelletized or carbonized, and added to the fuel for the BECCS power plants.

        The CO2 could be stored using the Icelandic CarbFix process as carbonated water, or as supercritical CO2. If pumped into basalt formations, sooner or later it will react with the calcium, magnesium, and iron in those rocks to become carbonate. In the CarbFix process, 95 percent of the CO2 they injected was converted to carbonate within two years. Water in the CarbFix process can be recycled – it comes back out of the basalt formation as drinkable water. Or, seawater can be used.

        It’s all doable, if not easy. Transport of biomass downhill can actually be done with a net energy gain, using electrical railways or electrical tramways, harvesting some ot the gravitational potential energy of the biomass by using regenerative braking.

        Working together cooperatively on an emergency basis, we could do this. Our electricity costs might rise by maybe 10 percent, but our transportation bills would go down, due to the increased efficiency of electrical vehicles.

        Using BECCS, we could actually move the climate back across tipping points, and do so relatively painlessly. But this solution is rate limited – if enough tipping points are crossed, BECCS will not be able to put enough carbon back underground, by itself, to completely stabilize the climate.

        We should of course install huge amounts of renewable energy power plants, at the same time.

        All we have to do is get rid of some of our prejudices and conceptual frames, and educate the population into doing things that are actually in their self-interest. We need a world wide WWII scale effort, and some luck, is all.

        Reply
        • Leland Palmer

           /  December 3, 2016

          Wikipedia BECCS:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bio-energy_with_carbon_capture_and_storage

          “Carbon capture and storage (CCS) (or carbon capture and sequestration) is the process of capturing waste carbon dioxide (CO2) from large point sources, such as fossil fuel power plants, transporting it to a storage site, and depositing it where it will not enter the atmosphere, normally an underground geological formation. “

        • Leland Palmer

           /  December 3, 2016

          Diagram of carbon flows in BECCS:

          In this diagram, up represents carbon flows into the atmosphere from the ground, and down represents carbon flows from the atmosphere into the ground. As can be seen, BECCS transfers most of the carbon it uses from the atmosphere, into the ground.

        • Leland Palmer

           /  December 3, 2016

          Read and Lermitt: Bio-Energy with Carbon Storage (BECS):a Sequential Decision Approach to the threat of Abrupt Climate Change

          https://www.iaee.org/documents/Prague/p03read.pdf

          Discusses biomass plantations, BECCS, and how the process is capable of returning the climate to a state of health – but is rate limited, and won’t work completely, by itself, if done too late.

        • Leland Palmer

           /  December 3, 2016

          I believe myself that all fossil fuel power plants worldwide should be nationalized – or better yet – internationalized, and converted on an emergency basis into BECCS power plants. The U.S. and China may or may not be able to come up with enough biomass easily – but it could be imported from overseas on ships as charcoal pellets or a charcoal slurry, in converted oil tankers.

          Oxyfuel combustion is one “bolt-on” technology that could convert coal fire power plants into BECCS power plants.

          One way or another, we have to break the power of the fossil fuel interests. If that means nationalizing huge banks and fossil fuel corporations, so be it.

        • Thanks for pointing out that there is a pathway, Leland. Whether we humans can get our shit together or the Trumpists and the fascists are going to cause too much delay is a whole other story that we get to watch unfold.

        • Hi Marcel-

          Yes. I think that many of the Trump supporters want Trump to fix the problem…without ever admitting the reality of global warming, and having to change their minds. How pathetic is that?

        • The link to the Read and Lermit paper I posted above was to a presentation with the same name, sorry. Here is the link to the full paper:

          Bio-energy with carbon storage (BECS): A sequential decision approach to the threat of abrupt climate change

          http://fulltext.study/preview/pdf/1736553.pdf

          “Abrupt climate change (ACC) is an issue that ‘haunts the climate change problem’ but has so far been neglected by policy makers. This may have been because of apparent lack of practicable measures for effective response, apart from risky geoengineering. If achieved on a sufficiently large scale, a portfolio of BioEnergy with Carbon Storage (BECS) technologies, yielding a negative-emissions energy system, may be seen not only as benign geoengineering, free of the risks associated with other geoengineering but also as one of the keys to being prepared for ACC.”

        • Damn, for the Read and Lermit article, that’s a disguised pay link.

          Here’s the article when it was in press, from the Met Office:

          http://stabilisation.metoffice.com/Read_Lermit.pdf

  2. bostonblorp

     /  December 2, 2016

    Terrifying. +7C would cause localized heat waves of around 140F in many parts of the Middle East. The migratory waves would make the current European refugee crisis look like an orderly ticket queue at the symphony. And of course that’s just one example among many.

    Meanwhile, looking out from my office window, Friday afternoon traffic is building, people mill about, shopping, wondering what to have for dinner. I’m not saying we should be running around in a panic but these articles fill my insides with dry ice. If humanity sleepwalks into oblivion we will be the epic fail of all epic fails. On the bright side anyone left alive will be too busy trying to survive to care.

    Reply
    • Josh

       /  December 5, 2016

      There is something darkly amusing about describing our predicament as an “epic fail”. 🙂 Where would we be without humour, eh?

      Reply
  3. Hatrack

     /  December 2, 2016

    Worthy of note – a busted jet stream sending lots of Siberian air next week

    http://images.dailykos.com/images/334250/story_image/2Dec16z12prog102hr_gfs_T2ma_nhem_18.png?1480700877
    Forecast map for Tuesday shows Siberian and polar air breaking out into western north America from Alaska to Texas. This is not a normal Arctic air outbreak. Siberian air will be driven into western north America by winds blowing across the north pole from Japan as the polar vortex is ejected from the Arctic ocean by warm Pacific ocean air. Temperatures over Siberia and the Arctic ocean region will be far above normal while western north America is brutalized by displaced Siberian and polar air.

    (Apologies if this doesn’t load properly!)

    Something is wrong in the Arctic. Winter just can’t establish itself over the Arctic ocean. In late November cold air finally started to build up over the American side of the Arctic ocean but now crazy jet stream winds are blowing all the way from subtropical waters east of Japan across Siberia, cross the Arctic ocean and into western north America. The Arctic just can’t hold in its cold air in this fall.

    The polar vortex that had strengthened over the Arctic ocean north of Alaska is going to be replaced by a dome of warm air that will be almost summer-like for the Arctic. As the polar air dives down the Rockies, the polar vortex will begin to reform near the U.S. Canadian border. The ridiculously warm temperatures that much of the U.S. has enjoyed will end shockingly with the southward and eastward advance of the Siberian air. Arctic air outbreaks are common in early December but they usually involve air from western Canada and Alaska. Alaska normally warms up as the cold air comes down the Rockies to the lower 48. Midweek, in this outbreak, the cold air will extend all the way from Texas to Alaska. And if the polar vortex begins to reform along the Canadian border, brutal winds will drive down the wind chill making temperatures in the northern plains feel like the Arctic.

    The brutal chill will spread all the way from Anchorage, Alaska to Jacksonville Florida by next Friday while the Pacific coast warm up. Extremely unseasonable warmth will continue in easternmost Siberia and the central Arctic. This is an absolutely bizarre weather pattern, with the kind of exaggerated waviness that Dr. Jennifer Francis and other scientists have linked to Arctic sea ice loss. This is an extreme example of the warm Arctic / cold continents pattern that Dr. Francis has written about in peer reviewed reports. The weather I am writing about this week direct follows the story I wrote 10 days ago about how warm water in the Barents and Kara seas, where sea ice used to be found this time of year, has destabilized the atmospheric circulation.

    http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/12/2/1606465/–Siberian-air-Will-Blow-to-U-S-as-Polar-Vortex-Breaks-Down-Jet-Stream-Crosses-North-Pole#comment_64657954

    Reply
  4. climatehawk1

     /  December 2, 2016

    Scheduling tweet.

    Reply
  5. Tigertown

     /  December 2, 2016

    Agree. Jetstream is all over the place, and just when everyone thought the temp. anomalies over the Arctic was about to let up.

    Reply
    • Hatrack

       /  December 2, 2016

      Silly question on my part – how did you get the image to replicate in your post?
      Thanks!

      Reply
      • Tigertown

         /  December 2, 2016

        Opened two windows and dragged it from one into the other, where the comment was started. Cursor was already in place for where I wanted it to post.

        Reply
        • Hatrack

           /  December 2, 2016

          Thank you! Too obviously easy – yeah, that’s the ticket . . .

    • Tigertown

       /  December 2, 2016

      I am in the South East U.S. and see the outlook is for us to get some of the Arctic air here by about next Friday.

      Reply
    • Note the large bows running up over the ocean zones. We get back to +3.3 C in GFS for Arctic by next week this time. Still not like the +7 C anomalies earlier, but pretty nasty nonetheless.

      Reply
      • DJ

         /  December 2, 2016

        looking at the 7 day forecast on Climate Reanalyzer there’s only a single 3 hour period in the next 7 days where the arctic anomaly drops below +2.0 C (and even then, it’s to +1.9 C). Still pretty early, but it seems possible that the arctic’s transitioned into a new steady state.

        Reply
      • Tigertown

         /  December 2, 2016

        I am not sure how they arrive at the average anomaly, but think maybe they are averaging over the entire Arctic circle. If so, the Siberian parts of the Arctic being so much in the negative would really pull the average down.I welcome a correction if I am reasoning wrongly on this. Just looking at the color chart, the center of the Arctic continues now and in the near future to be 10 and + Celsius above normal expectations.

        Reply
  6. Improbable Otherness

     /  December 2, 2016

    This is, perhaps, a bit off-topic but I think it’s relevant. At this link, Is Climate Change Affecting Life in the Deep Sea? Prof Peter Girguis (~52 min), you will learn (@~15:15) that the number of microbes in the ocean outweigh all of the humans on the planet and if those microbes were placed “end-to-end” they would span the entire Milky Way Galaxy. Then (@~30:15), Professor Girguis informs us that a deep-sea observatory (dubbed ALOHA), 4728 meters (2.94 miles) below the surface off the coast of Hawaii, has already detected decreasing pH levels (aka, acidification)! Of course, there is a lot more edifying and, dare I say, ominous information contained therein. The video was uploaded/posted yesterday (01.Dec).

    Reply
  7. Survivalist

     /  December 2, 2016

    I would suggest the situation is hopeless. Nothing will be done to alter course. In fact humanity will hit the accelerator and increase our pace towards famine and collapse. Given that scenario, as an emerging threat expert, which regions of the world do you feel will succumb to famine first? Which areas do you feel are more resilient? I have no hope for humanity. I’m prepping for the population bottleneck. Any advice?

    Reply
    • Loss of civilization support makes any long-term survival for the individual unlikely in a worst-case climate situation. Loss of structural civilization supports, by itself, reduces lifespans, opens individuals up to disease and predation, and reduces access to mass food production. Adding in the environmental hazards of a hostile hothouse world and survivalism isn’t a practical response. The best response is to support civilization by rapidly pivoting to deal with climate change. That said, individuals in modern countries will not be immediately injected into a harsh natural world turned into a mass extinction engine by climate change. What will instead happen over the 10-20 year horizon is that people in modern societies will experience increasing risk of loss of homes, livelihoods, jobs, and wealth. That pressure will increase to move to the remaining islands of productivity. If wealth is shared more equally under this situation, civilization can retain integrity. If, however, hoarding and concentration continues, what we see are civilizations tipping into destabilization and unrest. A survivalist can’t avoid the harmful social changes occurring in the country in which he/she lives. He/she will be swept up by social unrest and political distress where and if it occurs.

      Reply
      • My calculations put us at about 600 ppm of CO2e (645 w/o aerosols) at the middle of the century with this new carbon added and our current trajectory added in. That puts us precariously close to RCP 8.5, even with the INDCs being mostly followed and committed to.

        Reply
        • Hatrack

           /  December 5, 2016

          We’re already at 485 ppm CE per NOAA:

          DIT

          Increases in the abundance of atmospheric greenhouse gases since the industrial revolution are mainly the result of human activity and are largely responsible for the observed increases in global temperature . However, climate projections have model uncertainties that overwhelm the uncertainties in greenhouse gas measurements. We present here an index that is directly proportional to the direct warming influence (also know as climate forcing) supplied from these gases. Because it is based on the observed amounts of long-lived greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, this index contains relatively little uncertainty.

          The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defines climate forcing as “An externally imposed perturbation in the radiative energy budget of the Earth climate system, e.g. through changes in solar radiation, changes in the Earth albedo, or changes in atmospheric gases and aerosol particles.” Thus climate forcing is a “change” in the status quo. IPCC takes the pre-industrial era (chosen as the year 1750) as the baseline. The perturbation to direct climate forcing (also termed “radiative forcing”) that has the largest magnitude and the least scientific uncertainty is the forcing related to changes in long-lived, well mixed greenhouse gases, in particular carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and halogenated compounds (mainly CFCs).

          EDIT

          Weekly data are used to create a smoothed north-south latitude profile from which a global average is calculated (Figure 2). The atmospheric abundance of CO2 has increased by an average of 1.76 ppm per year over the past 37 years (1979-2015). The CO2 increase is accelerating: it averaged about 1.5 ppm per year in the 1980s and 1990s, and it was 2.0 ppm per year during the last decade (2006-2015). The annual CO2 increase during the past year was nearly 3 ppm for only the second time since 1979. The increase observed for global atmospheric CO2 has resulted in a 50% increase in its direct warming influence on climate since 1990 (Figure 3).

          The growth rate of methane declined from 1983 until 1999, consistent with an approach to steady-state. Superimposed on this decline is significant interannual variability in growth rates . From 1999 to 2006, the atmospheric CH4 burden was about constant, but since 2007, globally averaged CH4 has been increasing again. Causes for the increase during 2007-2008 included warm temperatures in the Arctic in 2007 and increased precipitation in the tropics in 2007 and 2008 . From 2014 to 2015 global methane increased substantially faster (11.5 ppb/yr) than it had from 2007 to 2013 (5.7 ± 1.2 ppb-1). Similarly, the atmospheric burden of nitrous oxide has increased at faster rates in recent years. Radiative forcing from the sum of observed CFC changes ceased increasing in about 2000 and is now declining . The latter is a response to decreased emissions related to the fully adjusted and amended Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

          EDIT

          http://esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/aggi/aggi.html

        • 485 CO2e is prelim for 2015. The value I’ve been using for 2016 is 490 CO2e approx.

    • My advice would be, don’t prep–or at least, don’t have any illusions about its effectiveness. There will be thousands or millions of people competing for every location or solution you come up with, and many will be armed. I believe we solve this solution together, or not at all.

      Many years ago, when I still attended church, the minister told a story about a prepper of his time, a European after WW I, who could see that the outlook in Europe was not good and who decided to escape to a location that would be safe from any wars. The place that he picked was Guadalcanal.

      Reply
      • Marcusblanc

         /  December 3, 2016

        Excellent post Climatehawk, couldn’t agree more.

        Reply
      • lesliegraham1

         /  December 4, 2016

        We have a similar syndrome here in New Zealand. Lot’s of rich people arriving and buying up ‘lifestyle’ plots under the illusion that New Zealand won’t be affected by climate change and won’t ever be invaded by tens of millions of starving Chinese (or whomever gets desperate first).
        No disrespect to them (as they do all kinds of sterling relief work abroad) but I can’t see our standing army of 6,500 brave chaps holding them off for long.

        Reply
      • Cate

         /  December 4, 2016

        “We solve this together or not at all.”

        Spot on, ch1.

        There will be no safe zones. Anyone who thinks homesteading is a solution is really not thinking clearly. This crisis will bring out the best and the worst in us, collectively as a species, and we have to make sure the best wins.

        Reply
        • Cate

           /  December 4, 2016

          Clarification: my comment about homesteading is in the context of mass migration and social breakdown. Not knocking folks who are choosing this as a lifestyle! just opining that as a hedge against mass dislocation, it will be ineffective.

        • I feel the same about prepping, just old boy scout habit that I enjoy. No longer have lawn and I have lots of strawberries, grapes, blueberries, apples, pears that end up canned and in our food room. If the shit hits the fan and the grocery stores become empty shelve buildings, we will have a bean and rice banquet meal at our place and will share with anyone who drops by. Homestead/prepping is a lovely way to live. It is not a plan for immortality or defense against folks who choose violence when stressed. Homestead/prepping works fine with gift economy philosophy, though I have heard of armed homesteader/preppers who may have a different take on things. Human beings are a strange/disastrous/ wondrous species.

    • Whenever you are from, stay there. If there is a population bottleneck and you´re a “gringo”, a foreign in the community, you´re the first scapegoat that´s going to be killed.

      Reply
    • Africa, the Arab penisula, and Asia. They’re already suffering food shortages in Africa. Severe malnutrition, especially for children in Syria and Yemen (though those places are suffering due to U.S. foreign policy as much as climate change).

      I don’t know where the best places to be are: I would guess the Scandinavian countries plus New Zealand.

      Reply
      • So in phase 1 to phase 2 climate change you do have some regions that are less impacted by conditions than others. The problem to society comes from collapse in the effected regions resulting in conflict over space and resources in the less effected regions. This increases collapse pressure and heightens the risk of extremist regimes in the less impacted regions. As a result, there’s really no ‘safe haven.’ If you don’t effectively mitigate climate change, the world becomes a rather ugly place. Some societies may counter this trend. But they have to be very conscious about turning away from hate and fear and actively working to help people. The present goals of monied interests to concentrate wealth continuously and to take from the poor and middle class only exaggerates the problem. Trump is a prime example of the kind of leader that can destabilize political systems through a negative set of reactions to ongoing changes. If you look at Trump, pretty much all his policies are reactionary — reacting to climate change by denying science, reacting to renewable energy by trying to bring back fossil fuels, reacting to migrants by building walls, reacting to the plight of workers by scape goating China. In addition, he’s doing everything he can to continue to concentrate wealth at the top of the economic spectrum — the proposed tax cuts and related cuts to social security amount to taxing the poor and the middle class to increase the wealth of the rich. This happens because each of us has money in a pension type fund called social security. The government ‘taxes’ us for our contribution. But it is technically our money that is to be given back to us when we retire. But if you cut taxes for the rich and then raid the social security fund to pay for it, what you’ve basically done is turn social security into a tax on the poor and the middle class. Turning a program that was meant to help alleviate poverty and inequality into one that enhances it.

        When this happens in the context of climate change, which already puts pressure on people by destroying base resources like homes, water security, and crops, then you add to the desperation and instability when you, like Trump and republicans, increase inequality.

        As an aside, it’s pretty clear that a number of people do not want me educating people on these matters. As a result, there’s a good deal of histrionics coming in from the usual suspects. Part of the issue is that some are attempting to push a hyper-focus on climate data in this blog to deflect attention away from what happens when you fail to address climate change or when climate change denial infests your politics — as it has now. And what I can say is that these forces that support climate change denial represent a clear and present danger to our way of life as Americans and to our continuation as an advanced liberal society. If we lose our integrity as such, then we will be less able to face the problems coming down the pipe from climate change. And we need to be keenly aware of our choices in this matter. So the above article is about impacts and it’s about what you can do to help the situation.

        And all the usual tricks — false equivalency and mischaracterization in a hundred separate forms are being used to distract from this clear moral and social justice imperative that I am presenting to you here. But there are two memes that I can warn you about that have presently cropped up — one is the ‘robertscribbler isn’t smart on politics’ meme that keeps circulating. To this, I call BS. For one, I’m analyzing and reporting on responses and trends that are harmful or beneficial to our society. The fact that one party, the democrats, have supported positive policy and that another party, republicans, have supported bad actor policies, is just an upshot of the current political dynamic. Me shining a light on that is simple truth telling. The second is what I like to call ‘the perfect is the enemy of the good’ meme. The notion is that we can’t support anyone who isn’t 100% perfect on energy and climate policy. In my view, if you’re attacking someone who’s 85% ‘perfect’ on energy and climate policy and turning a blind eye to someone who is attacking NASA and scientists and wants to bring back coal and completely kill renewables, then you’re part of the problem.

        Now because our politics have been moved so far to the right there is a lot of space for exploiting this form of divisiveness. On the one hand it is very difficult to put candidates in play that are pure climate hawks, for example, or who represent everything that needs to be done on a social justice angle. An excellent example here is Obama — who is pure as the driven snow when you compare him to republicans and Trump, but there are still areas where he could have been stronger and improved. In a perfect world Obama would have supported single payer healthcare, for example, and it might not have made it as a bill. In a perfect world, Obama might have done a lot more for renewables and climate. But we got a huge renewable energy boom that was largely due to his policies and we had a clear advocate for responses to climate change.

        Now, I have people attacking Jerry Brown b/c he supported some fracking projects in the state. OK. Fine. That’s an issue. But Jerry Brown is also pushing California rapidly toward 50 and 100 percent renewable electrical generation capacity. Jerry Brown is transitioning vehicle transport toward all electric and he’s supporting an off shore oil ban. Jerry Brown is closing coal plants like there’s no tomorrow. And Jerry Brown is absolutely doing the right thing if you’re looking at the broader picture and the direction in which California is heading.

        So I’m asking those of you here to be careful when you see reports that seek to tar climate champions with ‘fracking supporter’ or the like. I’m also you to do the adult thing and not react. I’m asking you to take a broader look at where their overall policies are heading — where the states they’re leading are heading. If you can’t do this, if we can’t generate this kind of perspective, then there is no way we will form an effective pro-climate, pro-renewable energy coalition in this political environment. And that’s exactly what people like Trump and the fossil fuel industries and special interests he supports wants.

        Reply
        • marcel_g

           /  December 16, 2016

          Once again RS, thanks for putting that into words. A very clear summation of the importance of the perfect being the enemy of the good. And that Obama did an enormous amount of good considering the political situation he was up against.

          Similar to the founding idea of dailykos, that you need more better democrats and you need them to win, rather than circular firing squads of perfect liberal candidates losing all the time.

        • Bingo. And we’ve had an awful lot of circular firing squads lately.

        • Ha, used the same phrase a few days ago, responding to McKibben, who was criticizing Gore for meeting w/ Trump. We should do whatever we can to try to alter Trump’s policies, then to resist them if they don’t moderate.

        • Excellent, fully agree. And I’ve been a political junkie for more than 60 years, so, not exactly a naif.

          BTW, Robert, my wife and daughters will be joining you at the women’s march.

          On the polar vortex front, here in east central Vermont, low last night was -8F. Definitely chilly, but not a record (record for today is -14F, set in 1943).

  8. coloradobob

     /  December 2, 2016

    Just exactly what will that first breakfast will we serve to Hell when it shows up ?
    Roaches , and toe nails, served with a brine salty broth ?
    Paired with a fine vinegar from last week ?

    To millions tonight this is hearty meal.

    Reply
    • Marcusblanc

       /  December 2, 2016

      I often think this place is a bit like the Restaurant at the End of the Universe (hat tip to Douglas Adams). Nice to see the first signs of a menu, but I think the starters are already being served!

      Anyone for Jellyfish?

      Reply
      • g. orwell

         /  December 3, 2016

        then you’ve already heard this is the newest sushi rage!?

        Reply
      • mulga mumblebrain

         /  December 4, 2016

        I always have a plate of jellyfish when we do yum cha. An acquired taste, and mostly for ‘texture’ only. Sort of like tripe, really. Now, deep fried intestines-they’re delicious!

        Reply
  9. Ryan in New England

     /  December 2, 2016

    Robert, this has to be one of the most terrifying posts I’ve ever read of yours. The soil carbon feedback would help to explain the very high rates of atmospheric CO2 increase we’ve been seeing persist, despite no longer experiencing El Nino. The numbers you quote are horrifying, because it means the emissions problem is rapidly spinning out of our control, before we’ve even really tried to control it. The soil feedback alone will likely negate any modest emissions reductions we may achieve in coming years, and with Trump and other lunatics in charge I think modest reductions is the best we could hope for right now.

    The situation is becoming critical, and we have a President-elect that denies it’s even happening. Now feedbacks are really starting to kick in. I honestly have never felt more vindicated about my decision to not reproduce. The future looks very grim, and I honestly have little hope left after the US presidential election.

    Reply
    • Funny that. It freaks me out too. But I tried to be more moderate and balanced in the writing of it. I guess it’s rough when even the optimists are concerned. I think what we’ve tended to see is that some of the concerns we’ve expressed here have moved from fringe to more mainstream.

      Reply
    • DJ

       /  December 2, 2016

      I saw a headline (http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/ivanka-trump-climate-czar-232031) that Ivanka Trump wants to champion the cause of addressing climate change in the new administration. If it’s true, she’ll have her hands full with the likes of Myron Ebell, but it’s at least cause for some hope. She has kids, maybe she can bring some vision that extends beyond short-term financial gain to the Trump table.

      Reply
      • Hmm. I wonder if Ivanka would take up causes like defending EPA, NASA, the Climate Summit and such. But what is equally an issue is that Ivanka somehow becomes a climate czar just simply due to the fact that she’s Trump’s daughter. The whole thing is just odd. What kind of expertise does Ivanka have? And why would people take her seriously? This is odd as odd can be. You’ve basically got wolves that have been fighting to gut climate policies and related institutions for years and the person who’s possibly defending them is Ivanka? Seems like a rather uneven playing field if you ask me.

        Reply
        • DJ

           /  December 2, 2016

          Agreed – just hoping the family tie gives her an inside track, and provides at least one voice of reason and sanity in the administration. Definitely an uneven playing field, but looks like all we’ve got right now.

        • Good point…

        • mulga mumblebrain

           /  December 3, 2016

          It’s the sort of governance you expect from Tajikistan, and they’re growing out of it, too. The really chilling development is the proliferation of mega-rich pluto/kleptocrats taking over sham ‘democracies’ that have been nothing but barely disguised oligarchies for decades. Creatures like Trump REQUIRE obsequiousness and total deference from their lackeys, or ‘You’re fired’. The life-support systems of the planet have just been fired. In more ways than one.

        • Leland Palmer

           /  December 5, 2016

          Oh, good for Ivanka.

          I was wondering if there were people who have has access to Donald Trump who might be concerned about climate change? It turns out that when Donald Trump signed on to the open letter published in the New York Times in 2009 in a full page ad, urging action on climate change, Trump/s three adult children all signed as well.

          http://www.salon.com/2016/11/17/donald-trump-president-obama-climate-change_partner/

          Ivanka’s husband Jared Kushner also seems sane, reasonable, and capable, like Ivanka. So the more reasonable people Trump has around him, the better.

          Somebody ought to tell Trump that Climategate was a case of cherry picking a huge population of emails for isolated incriminating sounding statements. Any huge collection of emails will likely have statements that sound sinister if taken out of context.

        • Which is why the email dredge is basically the new Spanish Inquisition.

      • Yeah, at least two or three articles appeared yesterday rebutting that (Ivanka as climate champ). I’m not sure what the upside is of throwing cold water on the idea at this point. Just MHO.

        Reply
        • Hatrack

           /  December 5, 2016

          Simple – one cannot believe anything any Trump – Ivanka, Donald, Melania – says about anything. Anything. He lies, all the time, about everything. With the exception of himself, his money, his awesomeness and (secondarily) his money, He. Does. Not. Care. Neither do they.

          Ivanka Trump has no record, no training, no experience and zero credibility on the topic, and has never uttered a word on the topic of climate before her little Aspen confab described in the articles referenced above.

          She’s greenwash in $4,000 shoes.

        • And so the upside is … ?

        • I think that’s a pretty good way of describing the situation…

        • Hatrack

           /  December 5, 2016

          The upside is calling out bullshit when you see it, rather than letting it masquerade as “policy” or “concern”, even in a vaguely defined,”who is His Majesty sleeping with now?” palace intrigue kind of way.

          T***p has said exactly what he believes on climate science, which is unmitigated crap. He has nominated deniers, hacks, liars and ideological loons for his Cabinet.

          His eldest daughter will have no official position, save that of White House hostess, and will have no legally constituted authority over any aspect of governance or regulation. So she’ll give a couple of speeches about how “concerned” her father is about rapid climate breakdown (a lie) and about how many great initiatives he’s planning to advance (which he won’t) and how much he cares about nature and the future (he doesn’t).

          And we’ll sit back in the rosy glow of knowing that someone very close to the new president really cares about climate issues. Hence my fondness for cold water.

        • The chance of Ivanka being helpful may be very small. But the fact is, she could be if she wanted to, and however small that chance is, dumping on her simply reduces it. Why is that a productive strategy? What’s the value in creating self-fulfilling negative prophecies?

        • I hear and understand the anger and frustration. We should be careful about letting the window dressers fool us about the actions of the policy makers. Trump is going to be awful and he will be proud of his willful disdain for global warming. Obama talked a good game and straddled the fence on occasion when it came to fossil fuels, but fossil fuel exports are at record levels under Obama. So we export fossil fuels and import consumer goods from China and play cute with the carbon emission numbers. This is a problem that is much larger than the games that the president plays with the electorate, it’s about the fundamentals of US and global economics. Gonna come back and bite us in the ass. Storm’s coming. Batten down the hatches.

        • I prefer this approach: Leonardo DiCaprio gives Ivanka Trump DVD of “Before the Flood”

          http://www.ibtimes.com.au/leonardo-dicaprio-gifts-ivanka-trump-dvd-climate-change-documentary-1535824

        • And this:

          So, that happened: Al Gore meets with Donald and Ivanka Trump on climate: mashable
          http://mashable.com/2016/12/05/al-gore-trump-meeting-climate/?utm_cid=hp-n-1#vcKEwmtxqOqA #ActOnClimate

      • mulga mumblebrain

         /  December 4, 2016

        I saw a picture of Myron Ebell the other day, and could not help thinking of ‘The Boys from Brazil’, but with Himmler cloned, not Hitler.

        Reply
    • mulga mumblebrain

       /  December 3, 2016

      Ryan, not only does Trump appear to be deranged, but he is also looking to pick a fight with China, whose efforts to make renewables cheaper and reduce its own fossil fuel use, although still inadequate, are a bright spot in a grim panorama. War between China and the USA would be the coup de grace, I reckon.

      Reply
      • mark ó dochartaigh

         /  December 4, 2016

        Interesting to think where we as a planet would be now if China had not instituted the one child policy. I guess an authoritarian political system which utilizes science as a basis for decisions has some advantage over a “democratic” political system in which the electorate is apathetic or ignorant.

        Reply
        • mulga mumblebrain

           /  December 4, 2016

          And, lets face it, mark, between ‘elections’ with their stunning array of talent from which to choose, the ‘democracies’ are rather dab hands at ‘authoritarianism’, too, as we can see in the current pipe-line fight. It’s all ‘ends and means’, and sometimes an ‘end’ like avoiding Near Term Human Extinction, justifies ANY ‘means’.

    • Spike

       /  December 6, 2016

      The natural world has always been the key IMO. We’ve played for two centuries believing foolishly that it had become a side issue, that we were somehow no longer a dependent part of it. Now we know we have to get to zero carbon emissions some time in the next few decades and it looks that Nature will decide to call in the Faustian bargain and take over what we have begun by releasing CO2 from its abundant storehouses, seasoned perhaps with a little methane and nitrous oxide.

      It was obvious this would happen for years (the deep past free of humans told us it would), but we stuck our heads in the sand, looked up briefly, and then put it back in deeper.

      Reply
  10. Keith Antonysen

     /  December 2, 2016

    In relation to climate change the question is … where has climate change not impacted?
    A couple of references which debunk the denier view on temperature:

    http://climate.nasa.gov/news/2521/study-sheds-new-insights-into-global-warming-trends/

    http://www-users.york.ac.uk/~kdc3/papers/crn2016/CRN%20Paper%20Revised.pdf

    A changing environment for humans, quote:

    “What do allergies, heart attacks, salmonella outbreaks, and depression have in common? Give up? Well, most Americans don’t know either, according to an October report from the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.

    The answer is that they’re all symptoms of a warming planet – just some of the health problems that experts say we can expect as temperatures rise.”

    From:

    https://thefern.org/2015/01/seven-ways-climate-change-kill-really/

    Reply
  11. labmonkey2

     /  December 2, 2016

    Interesting article. Most here are already tuned in to this. More evidence that the feedbacks will be important to the overall outcome.

    “The results indicate severe deepening of the active-layer permafrost in the watershed and release of previously frozen-lock soil carbon, which also implies enhanced microbial respiration of CO2 with important implications for carbon-climate feedback during climate warming,” said lead author Tommaso Tesi, a researcher at the Italian National Research Council. Oceans also release CO2 from organic carbon.

    http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/news-events/when-permafrost-melts-what-happens-all-stored-carbon

    Reply
  12. coloradobob

     /  December 2, 2016

    Hatrack –
    Winter is now a drunken Shanghaied sailor wandering in a far away port, and looking for a ship to go home.

    Reply
  13. coloradobob

     /  December 2, 2016

    Just exactly what will that first breakfast will we serve to Hell when it shows up ?
    Roaches , and toe nails, served with a brine salty broth ?
    Served with a fine vinegar from last week ?

    To millions tonight this is hearty meal.

    Reply
  14. coloradobob

     /  December 2, 2016

    It’s just my gut, but the next 4 years are about to clean Mr. Trumps climate clock.

    Reply
  15. Agriculture – which includes the majority of the worlds soils – can of course play a key part in helping combat this serious effect. Agricultural technique / approach can immensely affect soil carbon content and release. Annual ploughing for example releases large amounts of carbon to the atmosphere. Plus land conversion to farmland is a huge cause of carbon release…the process of converting carbon rich peatland in Southeast Asia to oil palm plantations has been estimated to release approximately 106 tonnes CO2 equivalent per hectare.
    Degradation of soil is hard to combat – when so many factors at play – including increased erosion from wind and flooding as well as modern industrial farming methods. In the EU alone soil degradation is estimated to cost 38bn Euros per year.
    There are many ways this can be mitigated. Using high yielding perennial crops that don’t require annual ploughing may aid carbon sequestration rather than emissions. Also avoidance of land use change for expansion of farmland is crucial… so less meat prduction would help as the least efficient use of farmland – esp. ruminants.
    Low till farming methods would also help. There are other greenhouse gas emissions from soil of course – including nitrous oxide (300 times as potent as CO2 as a greenhouse gas) linked to overuse of fertilisers…so lots of soily issues to tackle!

    Reply
    • Thanks for this Daniel and welcome! For everyone here — Daniel is a Masters student working on a thesis aimed at fighting soil degradation and helping to change agricultural practices in a way that sequesters more carbon in the soil. He has identified a number of opportunities and challenges related to his field of expertise in a very informative chat we had on facebook. I invited him to this forum to share his opinions and research. I may also be using his work in a follow-on post to the above. So please everyone give Daniel a warm welcome.

      Reply
      • Daniel Kieve

         /  December 5, 2016

        Thanks Robert! As I subsequently explained to Robert, I finished my MSc (in Environmental Technology) a while ago – and after working in 2 different environmental NGOs I am now working in a totally unrelated field – nevertheless I am still a soil and freshwater enthusiast – my MSc involved the study and analysis of both vital resources.

        Reply
    • Marcusblanc

       /  December 2, 2016

      Timely contribution Daniel, thank you. I did see one scientist making a similar point in one of the articles on this research, but in less detail.

      So much time and so little to do. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it.
      Willy Wonka

      Reply
      • mulga mumblebrain

         /  December 3, 2016

        Yes, Daniel -Seasons Greetings! What is your estimation of the usefulness of biochar? It seems to me to be potentially very prospective, and do you know if the power plants in the BECCS schemes can produce biochar as well as gases, and, no doubt, ash. I suppose Leland Palmer could also help answer that one.

        Reply
        • Daniel Kieve

           /  December 5, 2016

          Hi Mulga, Seasons greetings to you too. I haven’t researched biochar in depth (excuse the pun) – but from what I’ve studied, it would have a mixed bag of effects. From the carbon sequestration point of view it may have great potential, but there are indications it could have negative effects on some of the soil biota, particularly earthworms. Like many of these proposed solutions, there is no panacea for climate change or for soil erosion / damage / desertification. In the right place and the right quantity it can be very beneficial as part of a cocktail of carbon sequestration / soil enrichment measures , but to use it indiscriminately on a huge industrial scale would not be wise in my opinion.

        • mulga mumblebrain

           /  December 6, 2016

          Thanks, Daniel-pity about the worms. I guess it’s the old ‘Moderation in everything’ reality. I was much taken by the Amazon’s terra preta soils, and do use charcoal (purchased, not made myself) in my garden, and in pots. Worms are tough beggars-I couldn’t find any in March, after seven months hard, hot, drought, but after a good deal of rain, I’ve got them in abundance, even with the magpies etc feasting on them.

        • Hi mulga, Hi Daniel-

          It’s good to have somebody posting here that knows about soil science. I don’t know much about it, and should know more.

          About Biochar, it is another way to go carbon negative, and put carbon back underground and is an alternative to BECCS (Bio-Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage).The charcoal making process is called pyrolysis – slow combustion in the absence of oxygen. There are different types of pyrolysis – some of them involving lots of equipment, and some of them as simple as setting woody biomass on fire in a trench and then covering the trench with soil. The University of Hawaii has a flash pyrolysis process using compressed air, that looks useful:

          http://www.hnei.hawaii.edu/node/219

          Pyrolysis produces polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and some of these are carcinogenic. I don’t know how how much danger this would put the workers in. Risks from PAHs should be balanced against risks from a methane catastrophe. I think that risks from a methane catastrophe are almost infinitely greater than risks from PAHs.

          On the other hand, we should minimize risks from PAHs whenever possible. Afterburners are sometimes used to burn up the PAHs. A few days ago I was thinking about afterburners using hydrogen – it turns out that hydrogen itself is an indirect greenhouse gas with negative impacts on the hydroxyl radical (that oxidizes methane in the atmosphere). So, maybe an afterburner using light hydrocarbon fractions followed by a catalytic converter would be better, to clean up the exhaust. Or maybe a catalytic converter exists for hydrogen or could be developed for hydrogen. The University of Hawaii has experimented with catalytic converters to clean up exhaust from their Flash Pyrolysis Demonstration Reactor.

          People generally like Biochar better than they like BECCS. I think we should do both, but think BECCS has significant advantages. BECCS produces useful electricity that can generate revenue, making the process more viable. The electricity from BECCS can be used to displace more fossil fuel use if used to run electric vehicles. Storage of carbon using in situ mineral carbonation seems more secure than as soil carbon, and seems less likely to have unanticipated side effects, if the environmentally benign CarbFix process is used for BECCS. Biochar asks poor farmers to bury charcoal, a perfectly good fuel. So, maybe we should pay farmers to use biochar?

        • mulga mumblebrain

           /  December 7, 2016

          Thanks, Leland-some intriguing ideas to chew on there. I suspect we must try them all, and as fast as possible. Paying farmers to sequester carbon, or to let their land return to nature, or move to organic farming or agro-ecology and food forests etc, all seem sane to me. Unfortunately, in this country, both major parties and the MSM brainwashing system are all adherents of the Free Market cargo cult, which we, laughably, call ‘economic rationalism’. Of course every axiom of the Market Cult is more ludicrous than the one that comes before. We simply cannot even pay farmers to give up unsustainable water rights in the rapidly aridifying water-sheds because we MUST maximise production, no matter what, and those who would prefer the environment to survive are ‘rent-seekers’. I’m sure you know the drill. Our current Federal regime is hard, hard, Right, the children of forty years of Murdochisation of public discourse, and the collective IQ of the lot would not amount to that of an idiot. In a spooky reciprocity known only too well in the world today, their stupidity is matched by their fanatic certainty. ‘Passionate intensity’ as Yeats called it, that rejects science, rationality, evidence and commonsense for dogma. Dumb dogma, that fails to deliver, every time.

    • Native American activist Winona LaDuke offered an additional solution to the
      problem of soils. Restore the Great Plains with native prairie, and reintroduce the American bison. The idea was proposed in 1987 by Frank J. Popper and Deborah Popper; it is demographically feasible, and a restoration whose time has come. She gave the third annual D’Arcy McNickle Distinguished Lecture at the Newberry Library. Correcting agricultural bad
      practices in other countries would be great but it is here that we actually have agency.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo_Commons

      Winona LaDuke audio:
      http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/program/89665

      Reply
    • DJ

       /  December 3, 2016

      Thanks Daniel. Great to meet people who are actively working to provide solutions to our situation. So many different areas where opportunity exists. Robert, thanks for providing a forum where these can be shared and discussed.

      Reply
      • Spike

         /  December 6, 2016

        Always good to have professionals posting on here, where they won’t be besieged by a swarm of trolls and will receive an intelligent and polite hearing.

        Reply
  16. So many recent reports seem to be indicating catastrophic conditions by 2050 if not sooner that it’s hard to grasp the speed at which it’s all accelerating.

    “Military and national security experts are sounding the alarm about tens of millions of climate refugees.”
    http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/12/01/climate-change-and-coming-humanitarian-crisis-epic-proportions

    “As Forbes explained on Tuesday: Natural disasters displaced 36 million people in 2009, the year of the last full study. Of those, 20 million moved because of climate-change related factors. Scientists predict natural disaster-related refugees to increase to as many as 50 to 200 million in 2050. This will cause increasing social stress and violence, mostly in developing nations without the resources to cope, such as in poorer coastal countries in Asia, and in regions of Africa subject to desertification.”

    Reply
  17. Survivalist

     /  December 2, 2016

    Do you see a near term potential for massive global crop failure secondary to drought? It seems to me that a couple of bad annual harvests in a row and much will be lost; Hobbesian scramble, famine, mass migration etc. In terms of a risk analysis how would you rate the probability and frequency of large scale multiple consecutive agricultural failures secondary to drought?

    Reply
    • So there’s a lot of flex at the moment due to an over abundance of animal agriculture. The first thing to happen will be rising meat prices and a likely crunch in that sector if/when ag takes a hit from drought globally. That said, regions that are already marginal on food/water will experience more severe collapse pressure when the second food crunch arrives. Mitigating factors are indoor farming, conversion away from meat based ag, and conversion of remaining forest into agricultural lands. The latter, though, is a compounding factor for climate change. Without proper mitigation/response, global hunger begins to become a rather serious and widespread risk post 2030. But over-abundance of meat and its related high land use issue does provide a good deal of potential to transition crops used to feed livestock to crops used to feed people. If it becomes an issue just of purchase power funneling foods away from poorer countries, if indoor/vertical farming doesn’t take hold on a larger scale, and no transition away from high meat consumption occurs, then the hunger issue happens sooner rather than later.

      Reply
      • I dream of a day when I travel through towns and neighborhoods and no longer see lawn type stuff around sidewalks and houses, when I no longer see people using gas-powered lawnmowers and leaf blowers, but instead see community garden space, fruit and nut trees everywhere. Imagine all the other things that would have changed by the time we get to that point (if we ever do).

        Reply
  18. Griffin

     /  December 2, 2016

    So yeah, this is a pretty sobering post. Thank you for putting this news into context so well (again) Robert.
    Just so I have this week straight, our carbon sinks are slowing down dramatically and the soil is poised to become a carbon source in dramatic fashion. This goes along with the news of East Antarctic surface melt becoming a thing as well as subsurface canyons and rifts in West Antarctica being discovered to be much more advanced than previously thought. I was listening when Dr. Alley explained the loss of the flying buttresses of the WAIS and the implications for SLR. Let’s not forget the video linked last night where a professor from the U of Maine was explaining that they now consider an abrupt climatic shift to have already taken place in the Arctic due to the crazy temp anomalies that we have seen this Fall. This, on top of the news this week that coal has found a resurgence in the Chinese economy over the last few months due to lifted restrictions as a means to provide economic stimulation. And of course the absolute cherry on top being the news that Rex Tillerson is being considered for Secretary of State in our newly elected administration from Hell. Damn, this sucks.
    What’s that song that Quint sings in “Jaws”? Farewell and to do…

    Reply
    • That about sums it up, Griff. As my wife just said about Rex T as a Secretary of State — ‘how is that a good idea?’ US as petrostate is what it looks like.

      Reply
    • Oh, and you can add this to the Butcher Board:

      Near 411 ppm hourly CO2 on the 28th.

      Reply
    • mulga mumblebrain

       /  December 4, 2016

      The grotesque truth, Griffin, is that these developments were predicted decades ago, and simply ignored or denied, by our real rulers, the rich, and their political and propaganda stooges. What has surprised is the rapidity, with these developments coming decades ahead of the most ‘pessimistic’ predictions, and the plethora of unsuspected crises now manifesting themselves-the ‘unknown unknowns’. And, exactly as one could have expected, in the face of a rapid deterioration, the denialists have simply doubled-down, as vicious fanatics always do, and now they have usurped the pinnacle of power in the USA.
      The next four years are the most crucial in all human history, I believe. If Trump succeeds and sabotages climate destabilisation action and wrecks ecological protection (privatisation of National Parks and other such insanity is on the wish-list of the worst Republican zealots)and opens up more fossil fuel use, we’re as stuffed as Christmas turkeys. If, however, he fails amid climate destabilisation carnage that finally wakes up the idiots, then we might just have a ‘finely sliced wafer’ of a chance left. Let’s hope that there isn’t another phony ‘hiatus’ after these record hot years for the omnicidists to exploit.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  December 4, 2016

        “.The next four years are the most crucial in all human history.” Exactly so, mm. A tipping point for our species and all life on earth, if not for climate.

        Reply
        • Griffin

           /  December 4, 2016

          I actually disagree. My feelings is that our most important time is now behind us. We had a shot with Obama. He chose pipelines over progress. He talked a good game but his pen signed for acceleration of destruction. His silence now regarding Dakota Access is only cementing his legacy as every much a phony as those who came before and after him.
          I am sorry to anyone that looks upon him with fondness but actually saving civilization required just a bit more from the most powerful position on earth.
          Feedbacks feeding on the time provided by ignorance are taking over now. Yes we are definitely screwed with Trump and he will only make the situation much worse but if we are talking about our most important time, to me it would have been when the political atmosphere in Washington was much more ready for progress.

        • mulga mumblebrain

           /  December 4, 2016

          The difference, Griffin, is that we cannot change the past. I agree that Obama was a disaster, but that’s all gone, now. No point crying over spilled milk. All we have is the eternal ‘Now’ and a hope for the future, even if that word has been thoroughly debased. Living in hope, and doing something, like the pipeline demonstrators, is better than sitting back and being, justifiably, miserable. We can fight back with that powerful weapon, self-delusion. Just pretend that we can always snatch Life from the jaws of Death, and you might just win. And, if not, at least its better to die happy than pissed off.

        • Griffin

           /  December 5, 2016

          Well said and very true mulga!

        • Beautiful words, Mulga!

    • Can I add one good news for the week? We´re having a public hearing here in Brasil this week about shifting the fuel used in flights in the country to biofuels. This is the second step (first were a few test flights) of what could be a program similar to the pro-alcool in the 70´s (the government program that estimulated the use of methanol instead of gasoline in Brasil. Even today 50% of the fuel sold for cars in Brasil is methanol). As the biofuel lobby here is huge and, unlike the petrol lobby, has not suffered from recent corruption charges and jailtime, I have high hopes for this:

      (In Portuguese) https://www12.senado.leg.br/ecidadania/visualizacaoaudiencia?id=10059

      Reply
      • Griffin

         /  December 6, 2016

        That is very good news umbrios!
        Aviation can make huge strides in emissions reduction if those reductions could be mandated. As for now, in the USA, biofuels remain available but not widely used due to cost. There have been recent efforts to expand their usage simply for the reduction in CO2 and associated positive image that this brings but nothing on the scale that could be done. Other examples involve electric motors in the wheels that will allow airliners to travel from the gate alll the way to the number one position for takeoff before starting the main engines. Most airlines already do this with one of the two engines but to take both off line and use only the small auxiliary engine in the back for air and electrical power would bring a tremendous health benefit to everyone in the vicinity of a large airport. Today’s jets spend a lot of time just sitting in line waiting and they generate a terrible amount of exhaust doing so. This would also help reduce ground level ozone as well.
        I hope to see more as airlines realize that if they don’t start reducing soon, business will be going down. Thanks for the good news!

        Reply
      • mulga mumblebrain

         /  December 7, 2016

        Thank-you umbrios. When you listed your trees I wondered if you have any Chrysophyllum imperiale? I had a nice little one growing in my parents’ garden in Sydney, years ago, from seed picked up from beneath a specimen in the Botanic Gardens there, planted in 1868, by the visiting Duke of Edinburgh (NOT Phil the Greek-he’s not quite that old)just before a Fenian shot him at Clontarf. It was always a favourite tree of mine from my first visits as a child. My current abode is a bit cold for much Brazilian flora, but I have nursed a few Chorisia speciosa and Jacarandas through winter and drought, but the future doesn’t bear much contemplation. Good luck to you.

        Reply
        • He, I don´t have Chrysophyllum imperiale right now, but I´ve just ordered a few more saplings three days ago (because the baby trees are still young I´ll receive them in February), and this was one of the species on my list. It´s a beautiful tree, and the fruit it bears is just delicious… the different kinds of “abius” (how the fruits of this genus are called here in Brasil) are my favorite fruits.

      • You mean ethanol, not methanol. Methanol is extremely toxic.

        Reply
        • No, I really mean methanol. It´s very toxic if you drink it (ironically, one of the possible treatments is to overload the person drinking with ethanol… and that´s why there are several stories of drunk idiots drinking car fuel in Brasil but still alive after the fact), but it´s a good alternative to burn in the car engine. Pollutants from this burning are less hazardous than the ones produced by gasoline burning (except for the higher production of ozone that methanol burning as car fuels make).

          Then again, I never heard an story about someone drinking gasoline and living afterwards, and I sadly known personally 3 idiots that drunk methanol and lived (plus knowing stories about 6 others), so, toxicity is overrated.

  19. coloradobob

     /  December 3, 2016

    Roaches and finger nails for breakfast,

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  December 3, 2016

      Funny how we all feel the pace is stepping up. Because it is. Funny how a snail is not last metaphor, but it is. Funny, how I failed , but it is.

      Reply
      • coloradobob

         /  December 3, 2016

        Funny , I don’t think your are much “brighter” than me . Because I have lived in some of the most shitty motels on God’s green earth.

        Reply
  20. we are gonna need direct air capture on a large scale. anybody have that penciled out yet?

    Reply
    • Bill H

       /  December 3, 2016

      SBM,

      It’s going to be very hard, but one idea might be to go for Liquid Air Energy Storage

      http://www.liquidair.org.uk/about-liquid-air#ql-history

      The idea has been around since the late 19th century, but made feasible through the efforts of a British inventor Peter Dearman, and now being commercialised by HIghview Power in the UK, Germany and elsewhere.

      You liquefy air, then generate power by letting it boil again. If it is successful, a gargantuan amount of air is going to be liquefied with the result that a lot of CO2 can be sequestered by being frozen. It will pay for itself from the sales of electricity generated.

      Reply
      • Ailsa

         /  December 3, 2016

        Interesting discussion here : Climate Geoengineering and its Governance COP22, UNFCCC

        Filmed at COP22 in Marrakesh, Morocco, this press conference features experts in the fields of engineering and climate governance research. This conversation explores the difficulties in discussing the complex subject of geoengineering, whilst also challenging the status quo to speak up and invest in the vital research required in order to protect humanity from the risks posed by catastrophic climate change.

        Reply
        • I was disappointed how tentative these guys sounded. They were talking about decades to develop BECCS, for example.

          We don’t have decades…we may not even have years before the situation gets totally out of hand.

          Throwing money at a problem is a perfectly good way to solve it, as is stepping beyond the bounds of capitalism and having the military run the program. We should just buy the coal fired power plants, or seize them through eminent domain:

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-federal-government-should-buy-coal-plants-shut-them-down-and-pay-to-retrain-their-employees/2016/06/03/eb08ebf4-0bdd-11e6-8ab8-9ad050f76d7d_story.html?utm_term=.a2f708238806

          Then, immediately and in parallel convert them into BECCS plants, with the different ways to do this competing to see which idea is the best one! Add a solar thermal assist to them, where that makes sense!

          We don’t have decades! Use the Manhattan project and the WWII development of the atomic bomb as a model, and get it done!

          Stop being such scientists! Damn!

          They are talking about all the policy and social constraints- remove them! Too many constraints can kill a good solution – demand that the process be reasonable in cost and put carbon back underground in an environmentally acceptable way, and that’s it. This is an emergency and there should be no other constraints on the problem.

      • thanks, reviewing Liquid Air.
        I have soundtrack picked out already!

        Reply
        • mulga mumblebrain

           /  December 4, 2016

          I can see you, Bob, ‘Sitting on a park bench…’

  21. coloradobob

     /  December 3, 2016

    Make no mistake, I am a 3 dollar bill ass hole. I have 50 years under my belt. I planned to die with all my teeth, and all my hair. I got neither. I have only my grit.

    Grit ……………. Grit not courage is at work here.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  December 3, 2016

      What is courage, what is grit ?

      Courage, Stands up in a hell bullets , and saves his buddy.

      Grit , has no friends. Like Travis at the Alamo.

      We need a whole lot grit.

      Reply
  22. Tigertown

     /  December 3, 2016

    Just made this and posted on Youtube. Hope to do some more as I learn and improve.

    Reply
    • Shawn Redmond

       /  December 3, 2016

      If we could get two minute runs like this on our national news casts regularly it might help with our plight. Keep at it TT !

      Reply
    • Cate

       /  December 3, 2016

      Excellent, Tigertown. Thank you for demonstrating in 2 minutes why this year 2016 has been so horrendous—with still a month to go. As cb said, something happened this year— something with the climate, and we all sense it.

      Reply
      • Tigertown

         /  December 5, 2016

        Just saw on BBC that Europe has been flooding recently, especially Spain and France. A high pressure system had set up over East Europe and had not allowed the rain to move out.
        Rescue video:
        http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-38203573

        Reply
        • Spike

           /  December 6, 2016

          Southern Europe has gone through the biblical deluges bit in recent days, Italy, Spain, Portugal. One of the worst hit places was Andalusia, which was in epic drought when I was there a few years ago with many dry river beds.

    • Raul M

       /  December 4, 2016

      Seems like you did the ratio right between the number of stories about human suffering of property and the number of stories about loss of natural worldlife. Others also point to the people playing on west coast beaches that have become littered with dead animal carcasses. Maybe it should be a moment of lasting consideration of lifestyle.

      Reply
  23. coloradobob

     /  December 3, 2016

    Ii’s a hell of a world. We are all of balance.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  December 3, 2016

      f

      Reply
    • Koyaanisqatsi Bob.

      Reply
      • Matt

         /  December 6, 2016

        Hey Life in Cork 🙂
        That is Grey Wolf’s footer on Neven’s Blog!! (I think I have seen him post here a few times also…) I love the term and read it every time he posts…
        ko.yaa.nis.katsi (from the Hopi language), n. 1. crazy life. 2. life in turmoil. 3. life disintegrating. 4. life out of balance. 5. a state of life that calls for another way of living.

        Reply
        • Paul PNW

           /  December 6, 2016

          Don’t forget about

          Powaqqatsi (coined by the director of the trilogy, which I didn’t realise) – Life in transformation, Parasitic way of life

          and

          Naqoyqatsi – Life as war, Civilized violence, a life of killing each other.

          I would argue humanity has been living a life increasingly out of balance for a couple of millennia, and we are clearly in a period of transformation brought about by our parasatic lifestyle and rapidly heading towards the third and presumably ultimate phase.

          The soundtracks are great too! 😀

        • Great viewing too, and I love Philip Glass’ score. Saw him play live once.

  24. John Jaroch

     /  December 3, 2016

    Tigertown,
    Check out Sott Media on youtube. I’ve been viewing what he offers for 3+years.
    You might get some ideas. Good video anywho.

    Thanks to everyone for your efforts. I draw from this well.

    John

    Reply
  25. coloradobob

     /  December 3, 2016

    Now back to work.

    Hitler, had his own army. . Trump does as well. The fascist
    mind never dies .

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  December 3, 2016

      The left wing thinks they “won”. Won what ? Gays can marry ? They are coming after us on every level. I hope the gays will stand up. We need them. Now more than ever.

      Reply
  26. coloradobob

     /  December 3, 2016

    Nobody lays down for anything. , ever.

    Reply
  27. coloradobob

     /  December 3, 2016

    If I was 20 years younger , all of you would be in deep shit. That’s grit.

    Reply
  28. coloradobob

     /  December 3, 2016

    Hell comes to breakfast ,

    Reply
  29. Vic

     /  December 3, 2016

    Looks like Malcolm Turnbull is about to go ahead and detonate the Carmichael carbon bomb in Queensland. He’s just given conditional approval for a billion dollar loan to help fund the required railway. So long Great Barrier Reef.

    “Gautam Adani is due to join the Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, for an announcement in Townsville on Tuesday, as well as the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, in a separate meeting.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/dec/03/adani-coal-mine-green-groups-fume-over-plan-for-1b-federal-loan

    Reply
    • mulga mumblebrain

       /  December 4, 2016

      Vic, that would be multi-millionaire bankster Turnbull, the alumnus of Goldman Sachs, the investor in ‘vulture funds’, the vilest type of exploitation of the poor, and who also attacked renewable energy, again, just the other day. The creature who once acknowledged the reality and danger of climate destabilisation, but sold his soul to the Trump fan club in his Party for power. The (expletive deleted) who parades with his little grandson while doing his worst to ensure that he will not live to old age, and perhaps not even to adult-hood. What a wonder ‘capitalist democracy’ is that it invariably produces ‘leaders’ like this, or worse.

      Reply
  30. coloradobob

     /  December 3, 2016

    Long about this time on Friday I post some music . Because we are all in a death spiral of despair. Some really old blues . The Electric Blues .

    Reply
  31. coloradobob

     /  December 3, 2016

    Reply
  32. coloradobob

     /  December 3, 2016

    I when to Austin as young man , there I became a leather artist. Soon I realized no one wears leather in Austin. Then I moved to Colorado . . And I became Colorado Bob , but before that I saw the greats , Live on stage . I was painting the Vulcan Gas Company. at 3 in the morning when “Big Momma Thorthone” came. I was in the light show when Johnny Winters got his first contract. I sold him weed , in Flyin’ Dutchman/s cans.

    The best of all that we dot this –

    The 13th Floor Elevators – The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators (Full Album)

    Reply
  33. Allan Barr

     /  December 3, 2016

    Air capture is going to be vital, its my opinion we had zero carbon budget once we passed thru 280 CO2.

    Reply
    • Spike

       /  December 6, 2016

      I’ve long thought this – it was implied when Hansen set the 350ppm target and the criminality in politics as usual since then.

      Reply
  34. Genomik

     /  December 3, 2016

    Make China Great Again! China to invest 174 Billion in hydro and wind next 4 years

    https://cleantechnica.com/2016/12/01/china-set-invest-174-billion-hydro-wind-next-4-years/

    Reply
  35. Genomik

     /  December 3, 2016

    Excellent new excellent SciFi show where climate change plays a significant part. It’s called incorporated and it’s produced by Matt Damon and Ben affleck. I found the pilot extremely compelling and well thought out. Many details I could totally see happening. It takes place in 2074 but I’d say it’s more like 2030 in many ways. The world is ravaged by climate change and all the terrible consequences yet some select humans live in beautiful cities like walled enclaves.
    It seems as tho it’s similar to the movie Elysium with Matt Damon which, while it had a lot of mindless violence, the world that was built in the first half seems possible even probable.

    It’s on wed on SyFy channel. It’s ironic I was scrolling thru the Comcast cable guide and I heard an ad that mentioned two shows featuring climate change! Finally! It was this and another documentary of NatGeo. I looked this one up and the pilot just started in real time. It’s destiney that I looked it up.

    http://www.syfy.com/incorporated/videos/incorporated-sneak-peek-season-1-episode-2

    http://www.syfy.com/incorporated/about

    Reply
  36. Geert

     /  December 3, 2016

    Hi Robert, thank you for this website. It makes clear a lot what’s going on on this planet.
    The Netherlands and Belgium have made a 6 part movie called ‘If the dikes break’, trying to have made a realistic view of what happens if by a superstorm the dykes/dikes in the Netherlands and Belgium (the low countries) break, and when a call for evacuation comes to late… Maybe it will be translated in English in future.

    I’ve seen the first 4 parts, and it is pretty scaring, realising what I know what will happen in soon future with coastal areas.
    Half of the Netherlands lays below Atlantic Sealevel, 10 million people live there (of Total population of 17 million).
    What came very nearby ‘home’ was what was Said in part three of the movie where it said ‘the village of Waddinxveen does not exist anymore’… the village of about 30,000 inhabitants, 4 to 7 meters below sealevel nowadays, the village where I also live at this moment…

    if sealevel will rise with 3 meters the Netherlands must withdraw and leave behind more than half of its country… and of course would be bankrupt, even as the whole world would be I suppose.

    Reply
    • wili

       /  December 3, 2016

      Thanks for this, Geert. I am trying to learn Dutch, but I can’t yet follow the dialogue. If you have any links to the series that include English subtitles or voice overs, I’m sure there would be a wide audience in the Anglophile world for it, and in any case, I would be interested.

      Reply
    • cushngtree

       /  December 3, 2016

      Here is an article in English about the show, with a map showing all the areas that would be inundated; I also would like to hear abt a translation/subtitled version when it becomes avail. Scary!
      https://chezlorraine.wordpress.com/2016/11/14/when-the-dikes-break/

      Reply
    • mulga mumblebrain

       /  December 4, 2016

      Geert, unfortunately it’s not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’ for Holland, and for Bangladesh and all the heavily populated great river deltas around the planet. If I lived below sea-level in Holland, I’d move, NOW, but I can imagine how hard that is. But if there is a little disaster, sometime soon, or a near-miss, I imagine that there will be a trickle, then a stream, then a raging torrent of people leaving while they can. It is, tragically, inevitable.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  December 4, 2016

        The translation of the title at cush’s site also is “When…” (Dutch ‘Als…)

        Reply
        • wili

           /  December 4, 2016

          On the other hand, the Dutch are amongst the most climate aware people and governments in the world, and especially sea-level-rise aware. Their engineering skills at building dikes will be in high demand around the world, so I think as a country, they’ll actually be doing well, even if they do have to cede some land eventually back to the deep.

  37. Shawn Redmond

     /  December 3, 2016

    Damn!

    Reply
  38. Shawn Redmond

     /  December 3, 2016

    Things seem to be snow balling out of any chance of control.

    As more Nova Scotia beaches are flooded with dead herring, cause remains mystery
    ‘What we see on the beach is just a partial window on what’s going on somewhere out on the water’

    A Department of Fisheries and Oceans lab in Moncton, N.B., will try to determine what killed the fish. The department said results could take three weeks. Dead fish have also been sent for testing to the Atlantic Veterinary College in P.E.I.

    Reply
  39. Cate

     /  December 3, 2016

    I am lost for words. RS, you wrote them all. Oh dear God. My heart breaks for small children and for all the “tiny bright blameless lives” of our fellow creatures.

    And now a major faux-pas: Trump has just congratulated the President of Taiwan. The US has not had diplomatic relations with Taiwan since 1979. Trump just re-established them, willy-nilly. China will not be pleased.

    As one senator tweeted, This is how wars start.

    To mash a famous quote, Will no-one rid us of this meddlesome fool?

    http://www.thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/davidbadash/breaking_trump_just_talked_to_president_of_taiwan_u_s_doesn_t_have_diplomatic_relations_with_taiwan_this_is_bad

    Reply
    • Shawn Redmond

       /  December 3, 2016

      Oooh Cate, how many ways can we be screwed at the same time? I don’t have any idea what it will take but the US best get this thing under control fast. And by thing I mean their president elect.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  December 3, 2016

        Shawn, he is clearly insane. I daresay that soon enough—-sooner than we think, but probably not sooner than we hope—-that he will be just a bad memory, a nightmare that we woke up from. Although that would leave us with something that’s probably worse?

        Gawd. Americans, eh?

        😉

        Reply
        • Suzanne

           /  December 3, 2016

          I have worried on so many levels about having that Lunatic in charge…in too many ways to count…but honestly, I think him using nuclear weapons to “settle a score”…is a real possibility. He is just so “clueless” about so many things. Again, I like to think I am a relatively rational person…but this man is truly dangerous..and a threat to the entire planet..IMO

    • Cate

       /  December 3, 2016

      Again—to clarify ( posting before cuppa #2, never a good idea): Trump spoke to the Pres of Taiwan on the phone, who congratulated him on his win. He then congratulated her in return for her recent victory at the polls. Eeeeek.

      Reply
      • Suzanne

         /  December 3, 2016

        Cate..I just found this…from November 18th…
        “Trump want to expand business in Taiwan”
        http://shanghaiist.com/2016/11/18/trump_taiwan_expand.php
        So this call to Taiwan was him..like everything he has been doing since becoming President Elect..is to make more money for him. He is using and will continue to use the Office of the President…as his own personal ATM.
        Sorry..I know this is not directly CC related…but if the Lunatic starts a war with China…it is game over.

        Reply
    • Jacob

       /  December 3, 2016

      Unfortunately a fair portion of the population will not recognize the significance of this. Enough folks don’t even recognize the terrible mistake they made in November.

      Reply
      • So many people only learn important lessons the hard way. I think that applies to both global warming and the electoral choices. It would have been great if Obama had been a really strong proponent for stepping away from fossil fuels (really strong in the way that Trump is going to be strong for business and deregulation). All of the above energy policy takes us over the cliff at a certain rate of speed. Trump takes us over the cliff at a higher rate of speed. This is the most important challenge our species has ever faced and we do not appear to be up to the challenge. A lot of folks will drop out of Trump University over the next four years, but our climate hole is getting deeper every day and it is already a very deep hole.

        thanks for copernicus cams link. bookmarked it.

        mike

        Reply
    • mulga mumblebrain

       /  December 4, 2016

      Cate, the USA attacking China, militarily or economically, would be the coup de grace. You can expect Trump to back-flip on the TPP, because its a recipe for economic war with China, as well as a TOTAL corporate take-over of societies. Then all your EPAs and such will be effectively rendered null and void.

      Reply
  40. Cate

     /  December 3, 2016

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/02/science/global-warming-daily-mail-breitbart.html

    From the article:
    Scientists on Friday debunked a widely circulated news media report suggesting that recent record-high global temperatures were unrelated to climate change.The report, which first appeared in the British tabloid The Daily Mail and was summarized in Breitbart News, the right-wing opinion and news site, cited incomplete data and drew incorrect conclusions, the scientists said.

    The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology posted about the Breitbart News report on Twitter on Thursday. The committee’s Republican chairman, Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, has accused the Obama administration of having a “suspect climate agenda.”

    The House committee’s Twitter post drew sharp rebukes from scientists and others, including Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who wrote on Twitter referring to an academic expert cited in the article, “Where’d you get your PhD? Trump University?”

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  December 3, 2016

      Tamino then proceeded to demolish that article in Breitbart and The Daily Mail, which was penned by one David Rose: “How stupid does David Rose think you are?” 🙂

      https://tamino.wordpress.com/2016/11/28/how-stupid-does-david-rose-think-you-are/

      Reply
      • June

         /  December 3, 2016

        The sad thing is, though, that “truth decay” is so far advanced that even when scientists respond to this disinformation, the far right echo chamber just dismisses this as the scientists just trying to cover up their fraud or protect their grants. As one of Trump’s spokespeople said (paraphrased), truth is what we can get the most people to believe.

        Reply
      • mulga mumblebrain

         /  December 4, 2016

        To say the very least, Rose, like Delingpole and the ‘Australian’ in this country, has form as the most extreme denialist disinformationists. Whenever I think of them, I recall the judgment at Nuremberg regarding propaganda’s role in genocide, and the, deserved, fate of Streicher.

        Reply
  41. The Big Lie technique certainly does work, doesn’t it? Who was it, the Nazi Goebbels that said all countries politicians use the same technique? Certainly worked for Reagan, certainly worked for HW Bush, then Bill Clinton mastered it and W Bush’s brains Cheney and Rove got their PhDs in Big Lie. And smooth-talking Obama the ‘peace president’ continued with even more ‘humanitarian’ wars that continued to break the Nuremberg Principles, the Geneva Convention, and US federal law just like the rest. Then H Clinton used Big Lies to trash Bernie Sanders in the primary but squealed like a pig when Trump turned that sword on her. We hear Trump squealing already but then so did all the other US ‘leaders’ over the last 36 years…and Trump is definitely a loose cannon but then to be perfectly honest they all were.

    I mean, really? Does anybody actually expect anything different? They are all horrible neoliberal warmongering corporate Oligarchy lying sacks of poo and yet they are the ONLY choices allowed on the ballot.

    We are all forced to eat poo. Hey CB, is that what’s for breakfast in Hell? Look at every country in the world. Look at all these so-called leaders. We ALL are forced to eat poo with the bullshit ‘lesser evil’ voting. Doesn’t taste very good, does it? So Trump will start a war with China. Clinton wants to start a war with Russia. It’s all neoliberal Oligarchy crap getting shoved down our throats.

    Re-watched Oliver Stone’s JFK movie the other night while sewing gear. Anybody remember that movie? Especially the end speech by the Louisiana DA? This has been going on a long-ass time, folks, and it’s always been about money and power. Climate doesn’t even count in the equation.

    Unless, of course, you are the one under the latest superstorm or drought or deluge or flood or other disaster. But the wealthy who continue to play all these games are…psychopathic. I often wonder if they actually believe they are immune to what is happening? That’s…unnerving to think about, isn’t it?

    So now we get to hear the optimists starting to freak out. I thought Prof Guy McPherson was the loony ‘alarmist’ dude that all the climate optimists decried. Well, looks like the optimists are starting to catch up and that does NOT bode well for the immediate future much less the long-term one. And isn’t McPherson down in NZ talking about ten years or something (who was it posted that?)…

    I’m waiting for the rain to start again tomorrow. Day 3 of December and it’s already been raining in these mountains. Still. The blast of incredible cold Yukon Express is expected to hit next week. A sudden drop to -30’F isn’t easy to deal with. Maybe I should start drinking coffee? Would it make me less sarcastic in the mornings?

    Do the best you can.

    Reply
    • Hilary

       /  December 3, 2016

      Yes he is in NZ but there has been some pushback, this is excellent & also covers all sorts things relevant to the conversations here:

      Q&A: No, climate change won’t kill us this decade
      “Guy McPherson, retired professor of conservation biology from the University of Arizona, has been on a speaking tour of New Zealand this month peddling a bleak message: we’re going to push the planet’s climate system over the edge and we’ve only got a decade to live.
      A prominent New Zealand climate scientist sees no basis for that claim and says such alarmism, which has already generated a slew of scary headlines, is counter-productive to the crucial effort of combating the worst potential effects of climate change while we still can.
      Science reporter Jamie Morton talked to James Renwick, a professor of physical geography at Victoria University of Wellington who served as a lead author on the last two IPCC reports and recently co-hosted a Royal Society of New Zealand-sponsored series of public talks on climate change……………”
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/science/news/article.cfm?c_id=82&objectid=11758397

      Reply
      • Scheduling tweet on this, thanks.

        Reply
      • mulga mumblebrain

         /  December 4, 2016

        Hilary, I have to say that, in my opinion, Renwick’s role as a ‘lead author’ on the ‘last two IPCC Reports’, is precisely why we should pay him NO heed, whatsoever. The IPCC Reports have long been ludicrously and tragically optimist and plain wrong in virtually all their predictive scenarios, a catastrophe usually attributed to the need for ‘consensus’ with fossil-fuel peddling thugs like Saudi Arabia and Australia. That no IPCC authors have yet, as far as I know, come out to openly acknowledge how greatly they have downplayed the seriousness of the situation, is, I believe, utterly deplorable. Is it cowardice, arrogance or something else, I wonder, but I know for sure that McPherson et al seem to me much closer to the truth that the IPCC, tragically.

        Reply
    • Dreamer

       /  December 3, 2016

      You are glossing over of the fact that McPherson advises people, point blank, to give up doing anything about climate change, and literally advises them to rejoin BAU. THAT’S the problem with McPherson. It’s a very sorry and very ‘me-centric’ attitude to have (if you can’t beat ’em, then join ’em.)

      His contribution is more than just useless, it’s demonstratively harmful.

      What makes me roll my eyes the most about McPherson is that he moans so very loudly about how critical it is that everyone hear his message … so that they can go back to doing exactly what they were doing before …. which is nothing. I just don’t get his logic there. Why even bother then (other than to jet set around the globe making a living maybe?)

      I’m just not the giver-upper type like McPherson is. It’s called having integrity and living your principles right to the (possibly, even most likely) bitter end. Who cares about McPherson and his quest to ‘be right.’ That’s just ego stuff. His advice is horrible.

      Reply
      • I think that’s a valid critique of Guy, Dreamer. I just tend to look at him as one of the outliers of the message that needs to be heard. I don’t buy the near term extinction theory, but what counts as norm in our society is so out of touch that we need some counterbalance. None of this helps though. Robert here seems like the most level headed, unbiased and fact-based reporters we have.

        Reply
      • I have been to McPherson talks on three occasions and I have never heard him say to give up or to continue with business as usual. I have heard him talk about living in the manner that we choose, to be the generous, friendly people that we want to be and to do it full-tilt, all the time and start it right now. At every event someone has asked, so why do anything given your bleak analysis? why not stick to business as usual? and each time I have heard him ask the questioner: is that really what you want to do? is that the kind of person you aspire to be? Do what you really want to do, be the kind of person that you really want to be. Recognize your amazing good fortune to be alive and use your time well and wisely.

        People love to bash GM and other folks like Wadhams because their analysis of our situation is more bleak than mainstream projections. Shoot the messenger? But, hey, what do I know. Do what you think is best. I am certainly hoping that our species will adjust the way it lives in the interest of peace, compassion and justice. I hope to aspire to that with every waking breath. That is my plan at present. Pretty simple-minded.

        Reply
        • Couldn’t agree more smallbluemike; I’ve also seen Guy McPherson three times and never once has he indicated that humans should just continue engaging in ‘business as usual.’ It’s a common misconception of him. Sure, his interpretation of the data is extremely bleak for complex life on Earth but it doesn’t mean he’s saying ‘buy a hummer and cram McDonald’s in all the time.’ But his points that industrial civilization being the heat engine itself for the massive amounts of predicaments we find ourselves in is spot on. Cambridge University Professor Emeritus of Ocean Physics Peter Wadhams, noted Arctic and Antarctic-region expert really isn’t far from McPherson’s views at all.

          I’m also in Western Washington btw!

        • Guy is not a cheery fellow, things have not gone well for him in many ways. I go mainly to throw a few bucks his way, give him a hug and have an evening out with gift economy friends in South Puget Sound. We live in Chehalis! where are you, Josh?

        • Dreamer

           /  December 4, 2016

          I couldn’t disagree more. I hung out (actively) on his blog for over a year, and have watched plenty more than just three of his lectures. You can’t disassociate him from the effect his influence has on people. I’m not ‘reacting’ to his message, as bluemike has erroneously assumed. I’m ‘reacting’ to his ardent followers calling for the election of Trump in an explicit attempt to hasten a worst case scenario as quickly as possible. His groupies ridicule even the notion of attempting to avert the consequences that McPherson predicts with impossible certainty. Bully’s hang out there.

          Influential people must always be mindful of the effects they are producing in their followers, and find a different way of delivering their material when they notice those effects taking a negative and counter productive course. I don’t care if we’re all guaranteed to die in two weeks. I won’t be bullied into giving up trying. That’s why I parted ways with his followers in disgust.

          When he’s creating that sort of reaction in his following, it’s incumbent upon him to correct such defeatist thinking. That’s my criticism of him. Forget what information he relays in his lectures (I’ve watched more then three of them, thanks.) I’m addressing the end result he instills in his followers. It’s a bad one, and yes, he’s responsible for the apathetic outcome he’s producing in people. He could add something to counter this if he wanted to, he’s not stupid. He obviously condones the attitudes displayed by his groupies, it’s there to see written between the lines even if it’s not explicitly stated in his lectures.

          Let’s all commit suicide by voting in Trump. Seriously? That’s what his followers were preaching this past year on his blog. What kind of irresponsible message is that? He didn’t step in to stop it. I have, however, watched him personally ridicule people for wanting to at least try to avert this disaster. That sort of attitude wasn’t met with much ‘peace or compassion’ at all over there at NBL.

          He makes no effort to correct the apathetic groundswell that he can obviously see he’s creating among his followers. Maybe he could do it by adding some better advice to his message than ‘fuck it.’

          You won’t convince me of his merit … I spent plenty of time observing his despondent crowd first hand. It’s them who I was observing … not his repetitive lectures.

          “S … S … S … Spot.” Really? Three times?

          He’s a bad influence. It’s all in the delivery and the advice he leaves people with … which is to live it up while you still can. That’s what most people take away from his message, semantics and word games aside. I’m not criticizing his information. I’m criticizing the effect he produces in people after they become fixated with him.

          McPherson has stated a desire to see humans go extinct as fast as possible, thinking that will possibly save some aspect of the planet. How is that not giving up? And his followers hang on his every word. Read (and watch) between the lines.

          Anyway. I thought this was a doomer free site. I guess I was wrong. I shall post no more then. I’ll just read Roberts excellent essays, and avoid the comment section entirely from now on. Peace brothers and especially sisters. Power to the matriarchy!

        • People react pretty differently to the same message. We should all listen and think about a lot of messages and then review messages against data. I don’t visit GM’s website. GM and I share a commitment to the gift economy and a hope that a lot of people may be persuaded to consider participation in the global gift economy. It’s a decommodification of the planet that incorporates meaningful response and action with regard to AGW.

          I think Trump as the end of the world is overblown. He embodies the problem and eschews the solution, that much is certain and his “leadership” will not be helpful, but demonizing Trump for his positions makes no sense to me unless you have been highly critical of Obama for his “all of the above” energy policy.

          But hey, what do I know? Probably best not to get too riled up. A discussion about working together, being our better selves has popped up numerous times in this thread and this thread starts with talk about “passing the point of no return on global warming” so Crowther sounds a little bleak. I like Crowther’s phrase about acting to dampen the effect. I think this post is about as gloomy as this site gets. Anybody seen the movie: looking for a friend for the end of the world? I have watched it a couple of times. It’s pretty sweet. Movie end is about comet impact, so avoids the political mire of AGW.

          Cheers and warm regards to all,

          Mike

        • I’m in Seattle Mike, got a little backyard garden but would like to leave the city eventually.

        • Paul PNW

           /  December 6, 2016

          Dreamer – I don’t think throwing your toys out of the pram (is that a thing Americans say?) is an appropriate response to a few posts you perceive as doomer, but you have to do what you feel is correct of course.

          I think it’s possible to argue that kind of withdrawal is indicative of a self defeatist, doomer if you will, kind of attitude…

        • Dreamer

           /  December 7, 2016

          PPNW – Thanks for finding me my coat. 😉

          Sp … sp … sp … spot. ( 😀 😀 😀 )

    • Amen, Seal. I was a little irritated with GM for shortening our time frame up. Used to be “we are toast by 2035.” This year he was talking about ten yr crash time frame. Hope he is wrong, but year after year the news gets worse and more folks (like Crowther) are using phrases like: passed the point of no return.. etc.

      I agree with Crowther that we can dampen the impact. I agree with McPherson that we should take on the work that gives our lives meaning. Those two ideas are not mutually exclusive. Finally getting a little chilly here on the west side of Cascades. Still have not had a hard freeze and it’s December. What could it mean?

      Warm regards

      Mike

      Reply
    • mulga mumblebrain

       /  December 4, 2016

      seal, the ‘optimists’ in the climate science establishment have a lot to answer for. They have, in my opinion, allowed themselves to be intimidated by Rightwing denialist thugs, not unsurprising as their jobs and research careers were under threat from evil fanatics. But now they MUST grow some spine, and come out swinging and telling the truth. The IPCC process needs to be euthanised, its leisurely ‘Reports’, dumbed-down by climate and fossil fuel thugs like Saudi Arabia and Australia, having proved ludicrously optimistic and simply incorrect. We need authoritative updates yearly, at longest, but preferably even more often. And countries like Australia that are climate destabilisation action saboteurs and fossil fuel death-peddlers need to face popular boycotts, of their products and of tourism. After all, all you’ll see if you visit the Great Barrier Reef now is dead coral festooned in algae, and you run the risk of death from an irukandji jellyfish sting, a most unpleasant, if relatively quick, way to go.

      Reply
      • Spike

         /  December 6, 2016

        I think you’re spot on MM. We have a few scientists in the UK who are very good at churning out great reports, often with quite serious messages hidden in their depths, who contribute to IPCC, but who seem to descend with fury on anyone who appears to raise the potential for rather more serious difficulties ahead. Some have even had dinner parties with deniers to “bridge the divide” with predictably dismal outcomes. Were they on the Titanic we would have had a superbly documented sinking, with great modelling, punctuated by chats about whether now was a good time to get a cold beer from the bar. It’s why I get most of my climate info from abroad.

        Reply
        • Yes, I had the same reaction to the “bridging the gap” efforts. They can succeed only if climate science deniers are sincere. There may be a few of those, but the bulk, IMHO, are simply in it for the money, and the likelihood of them changing their positions until the money dries up is essentially zero.

        • mulga mumblebrain

           /  December 7, 2016

          ‘Bridging the gap’ efforts with malignant imbeciles and hard Right fanatics is 99.9% certain, give or take, to end in farce, but I guess it’s worth the effort if only to prove just how dumb and zealous these creatures are. I’d expect the disappointed rationalists to re-double their efforts to expose the denialists for what they are, (multitudes of expletives deleted)after the effort was made. Secretly filming the encounter might be hilarious.

  42. Yeah. We’re fucked, aren’t we.

    Reply
  43. Geert

     /  December 3, 2016

    Hello Wili, unfortunately the series is only in Dutch availlable at the moment… Dutch is not that difficult for the English speakers (language halfway between German and English)… 🤓.
    But here in Europe also most people think all that climate stuff disaster scenario’s will not happen in their own lifetime… sticking their heads in the sand (is that an English saying?)… but that counts for many other subjects beside climate change, too… I think people only want to hear cosy things, nice for their ears… or they don’t want to hear it because they think nothing could be done, as the world is running crazier every decade… not much expecting from politics anymore…

    Reply
    • Yes Geert, exactly right. Same here two. People are wrapped up in bubbles and I expect this to grow as the world goes off kilter. We’ll collectively hit the bottle of consumerism so that we can’t even see what we have done.

      Reply
    • wili

       /  December 4, 2016

      My daughter, who is studying Dutch (and other things) in the Netherlands, just promised to watch it with me this summer and translate as it goes. Thanks for the recommendation. (And yes, sticking one’s head in the sand is both an English phrase and apparently a pretty much world-wide phenomenon!)

      I can read German a bit, and I was pleasantly surprised, when I picked up a book in Dutch, that I could make out quite a few passages fairly well. I hope to build from there.

      Reply
  44. Cate

     /  December 3, 2016

    http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/12/02/how-save-planet-president-trump

    Bill McKibben:

    How to Save the Planet From President Trump

    It’s quite possible that we’ve lost our best chance to combat climate change, but we must try to contain the damage.

    “….It’s very likely that by the time Trump is done we’ll have missed whatever opening still remains for slowing down the trajectory of global warming — we’ll have crossed thresholds from which there’s no return. In this case, the damage he’s promising will be permanent, for two reasons…..”.

    Reply
  45. June

     /  December 3, 2016

    Since today seems to be a good one for venting. Now they want to take away one of the few remaining havens from runaway consumerism…branding in some state parks and the National Park Service. I’ve always wanted to look at a giant redwood brought to me by Weyerhauser while I sit on the Walmart bench./sarc

    Mother Nature Is Brought to You By …

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/02/opinion/sunday/mother-nature-is-brought-to-you-by.html?smid=tw-nytopinion&smtyp=cur

    Reply
  46. Greg

     /  December 3, 2016

    Robert, I did my Masters thesis on the decomposition of organic C in soils. That is how I first learned about carbon and met scientists who were paying attention to it at Colorado State and CU Boulder and were talking about climate change in the 1990’s. I focused on agricultural soils and did my work out in Colorado where there are a lot of feed lots for beef cattle and therefore some research dollars on organic fertilizers. Much of the work was incubating soil samples mixed with different manures under ideal conditions for microorganisms, and doing so for many months and then modeling carbon dynamics. Of course that meant warm humid conditions. I never published, but should have, as it would have made a small contribution to today’s understanding about predicting carbon loss based on various organic properties. Somehow, I have let my optimism about the use of biochar and other carbon sequestering methods for soils to cloud my outlook about the future, one in which warmer soils, portend loss of carbon, no matter our use of agricultural best practices. It just makes it so much harder to sequester in a warming world. Your article is a sobering reminder that the recent loss of forests for their ability to sequester carbon is just the start. Like hair burned away from heat, the skin is next, logically. Trees, then soils. With the election too, I am feeling lost. Visiting here right now to feel part of a community that still has some sanity even if the truth hurts. Thank you.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  December 4, 2016

      Cracker Jack comment Greg, just simply Cracker Jack.

      Reply
    • Greg, could I bother you with a question? What do you think about the Voisin method of pasture managing (hope it has the same technical name in English), as far as carbon sequestering in the soil goes? I known it is not the miracle that Allan Savory paint´s it to be, but it stills shows good results in the “veterinary” overview (it´s far better than intensive lots in terms of animal welfare, and far better than extensive ranching in volume of meat-dairy-eggs produced and extention of land used).

      Voisin is being promoted here in Brasil as a way of restoring ailing pastures for production, sometimes as part of an agroforestry approach. The economic results are normally good after the first 2-3 years and as far as biodiversity goes, convincing farmers to use the lands already cleared instead of trying to mooch a bit more of public forest lands is always good too. But does that kind of pasture managing really translates in more carbon sequestering?

      Reply
  47. Cate

     /  December 4, 2016

    It’s the 40th anniversary of the Band’s “Last Waltz” concert. Filmed by Scorsese.

    Reply
  48. Greg

     /  December 4, 2016

    Dr.Jeff Masters reminds us of the increasingly binomial distribution of weather events, here with a study about tornadoes:
    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/more-tornadoes-in-the-biggest-us-outbreaksfor-an-unexpected-reason
    The system begins to rock towards the extremes.

    Reply
  49. Greg

     /  December 4, 2016

    Just how fast can we transition to renewable energy? India gives us some insight from the world’s largest solar PV plant:
    The entire 648 megawatts were installed in a startlingly fast eight months, despite monsoons and logistical hurdles. At one point there was a total of 8,500 workers with crews installing 40,000 panels per day in three shifts — up to 11 megawatts per day.
    https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/India-Holds-The-Crown-For-Worlds-Largest-Solar-PV-Project.-For-Now

    Reply
  50. Cate

     /  December 4, 2016

    Dateline Svalbard: Its annual average temp may be above freezing this year for the first time ever.

    http://icepeople.net/2016/11/26/positive-outlook-svalbards-average-temperature-for-year-may-be-above-freezing-for-first-time-ever/

    “Numerous monthly and daily heat and precipitation records were set this year, causing widespread problems for both people and wildlife. There was no sea ice in western Spitsbergen for polar bears to hunt from – which may have resulted in some encounters with humans as the animals were forced to search for food elsewhere. Expeditions hoping to reach the North Pole encountered their most disastrous year ever due to a mixture of politics and ice runways at the base camp that kept cracking.
    Erosion and softening permafrost have forced some Longyearbyen residents from their homes, including 30 residents of an apartment on unstable soil permanently evacuated in February and the owner of a coastal cabin who is among several who may be forced to move the structures inland save them. The worst landslides in more than 40 years hit Longyearbyen this fall due to heavy rain beginning in July and a failure of the mountains around town to solidify below the freezing point.”

    As someone pointed out here recently, Svalbard is the site of the Global Seed Vault, and was chosen for its lack of tectonic activity, height of land above sea level (it will apparently not be affected by sea level rise, according to Wiki), and—-permafrost.

    Reply
  51. Cate

     /  December 4, 2016

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161130134301.htm

    New study of permafrost thaw in the Yukon basin. From the article:

    “As the climate gets warmer,” said Toohey, “the thawing permafrost not only enables the release of more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, but our study shows that it also allows much more mineral-laden and nutrient-rich water to be transported to rivers, groundwater and eventually the Arctic Ocean. Changes to the chemistry of the Arctic Ocean could lead to changes in currents and weather patterns worldwide.”

    Another recent study by University of Alberta scientist Suzanne Tank documented similar changes on another major Arctic river, the Mackenzie River in Canada. With two of these rivers showing striking, long-term changes in their water chemistry, Toohey noted that “these trends strongly suggest that permafrost loss is leading to massive changes in hydrology within the arctic and boreal forest that may have consequences for the carbon cycle, fish and wildlife habitat and other ecosystem services.”

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  December 5, 2016

      This study, and the topic of this post go hand in hand. Our little friends in the micro world are working over time to adjust to our reordering of the Earth. I think the “We are the asteroid” is a good metaphor, but it’s like being on the beach in Yucatan , and watching the impact in stop motion. Frame by frame.

      Reply
      • mulga mumblebrain

         /  December 7, 2016

        We ourselves are nothing much more than a carrying case for micro-organisms, Bob. And I know mine are very annoyed at our destructiveness and profligacy.

        Reply
  52. Cate

     /  December 4, 2016

    Not about climate change per se: this article details the production of plastic toys—and by extension, all the gewgaws- which require dangerous petrochemicals for manufacture, which is carried out by poor people working in Dickensian-type workplaces out of sight and mind of the spoiled and wealthy market which demands a constant flow of these useless overpriced plastic products…..most of which will end up in landfills or the ocean…..

    Guess it is about climate change, in a way.

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/dec/04/the-grim-truth-of-chinese-factories-producing-the-wests-christmas-toys

    Reply
  53. June

     /  December 4, 2016

    Globally, the renewables industry will continue to expand rapidly, but the U.S. will be left in the dust if the Koch Bros and their ideological ilk succeed. In the old days being a political conservative in the U.S. meant promoting the growth and expansion of new businesses and industries not thwarting them.

    The trolling of Elon Musk: how US conservatives are attacking green tech

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/dec/04/elon-musk-trolling-us-conservatives-green-tech

    Reply
    • Saw that, but my tweet will read “[fossil fuels shills]” instead of “US conservatives.” Certainly would help if Guardian could be a bit more sensitive to word choices. Maybe they can’t say shills, but they could at least say advocates.

      Reply
    • mulga mumblebrain

       /  December 5, 2016

      June, the attacks on Musk and his efforts are simply yet another illustration of the sheer Evil of Rightwing fanatics. At root the battle to save humanity from a climate destabisation Holocaust is the eternal battle between Good and Evil, but never before so starkly apparent. The denialists, and their ideologues behind them, are Evil. Whether intractably, irredeemably, Evil, we will see, but this is no tea-party (in Mao’s dictum, not the Kochs’)-it’s a struggle for continued human existence against those who either hate Life so much that they wish to destroy it, or who just don’t give a stuff what happens after their death. And if Musk is destroyed, the Chinese, Germans and Indians will just have to do the work.

      Reply
      • Eric Thurston

         /  December 5, 2016

        Mulga, while I can sympathize with your sentiments wrt rightwing denialists et. al., the demonization of whole groups of humans makes me very uneasy. If you actually get to talk to many of these people they are actually sincere in their beliefs, even though we may find it hard to conceive of anyone holding these kinds of beliefs and considering themselves good Christians or good citizens.

        I think we need to be very careful not to go down this slippery slope and risk becoming the monster we seek to destroy. It’s hard sometimes, but I try to maintain an open mind and a sense of compassion for my fellow humans, even while remaining wary of the damage their beliefs can do to each of us and to society as a whole.

        “The battle line between good and evil runs through the heart of every man.”
        Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

        Reply
        • mulga mumblebrain

           /  December 6, 2016

          Of course you are correct Eric, up to a point. By ‘the Right’ I mean both the elite rulers, and their brainwashed, ignorant and stupid followers. I well know from meeting many, many, hundreds of the type at work, that they are as varied as any group. They are generally fanatical because ignorant, seeing stubbornness as strength. They are easily manipulated, and the entire MSM has been brainwashing them for decades in the religion of self-interest and greed, and hatred of others.
          I regard them as dangerous and destructive, but victims, too, because they in their ignorance, are destroying their own children, too. However, I do feel very uncomfortable feeling this way, because I see negative feeling towards others as dangerous and certain to rebound on oneself. As you observe, compassion is absolutely vital, as is its comrade empathy. Generally, where I can, I do try to reason with people, not enjoying confrontation, and it being pretty near certain to fail.
          Unfortunately stupid people generally hate admitting error. You get versions of the Dunning-Kruger phenomenon where, in their stupidity, they imagine themselves clever, and refute evidence based on nothing but their brainwashed ‘opinions’ that they get from their Thought Controllers. So, progress is pitifully slow, and we need quick results.
          Now I have spent years watching the Right, ie the rich, their political stooges and the greedy, stupid, xenophobic members of the public, taking over society entirely. That, I must admit, has enraged and depressed me. The growth in poverty, inequality and elite arrogance and display is bad enough, but tolerable, barely, but when it comes to climate destabilisation denial, their actions have passed my point of tolerance. When I contemplate how the lumpen idiots, and the controlling psychopaths, are, in this case, causing our extinction, ie billions of deaths, what else can one do but be infuriated? I am absolutely prepared to argue, cajole and celebrate any Rightist who sees the light, but the others? What can you do in this case? It is exactly alike to being in a concentration camp, and being asked to forgive and forget the crimes of the guards and the monsters who created the system.
          Believe me, I understand how becoming a monster when fighting monsters is a proverbial error, but this, I believe, is an absolutely unique situation in history. No-one before, not Mongol, Nazi, imperialist or slave-driver, threatened the existence of ALL mankind. That makes this crisis unique, and a proper moral response to it so wretchedly complex. Thanks for your enlightened contribution.

        • Spike

           /  December 6, 2016

          Eric your comment speaks volumes about your decency. i have spent decades fighting reactionary forces in the UK on climate, ecology, animal welfare and human decency grounds. I have spent time talking to them, often many hours trying to reason and explain, most recently with Brexit.

          But just as you think you are making progress the playtime bell rings and they start moaning about immigrants and the need to reopen the coal mines and defend our borders.

        • Suzanne

           /  December 6, 2016

          Eric,
          I love your perspective and kindness…and agree we should refrain from demonizing an entire group. However, where I struggle..and I mean struggle..is with those in my orbit..who have EVERYTHING life offers….More money than they could ever spend…great health…every advantage…and YET…knowingly want to deny “the least of their brethren”….by voting for the Lunatic and every Republican. Some, even believe in CC…yet voted for the Lunatic Denier. And ALL of them live in Florida!!
          What I just described is my immediate family…and all are part of the “1% Club”…I am the only one who is a Progressive. They see me as some kind of freak. They truly believe…as they live in their Priveleged Bubble…that just because they give to Charities..that this totally exonerates them of any damage they do when they vote Republican…to save a few tax dollars…on wealth..that most can only imagine.

          So…I struggle….hard not to stand in judgement …but trust me when I say…after November 8th…I cannot even look at them. I have cancelled all Holiday events..and pray everyday to “let go” of this anger I am feeling…but it has been difficult.

        • Suzanne, check out the section on this web page entitled “The Power to Choose” and give it a slow, careful reading. It may be helpful. Best to you. Contact me on gmail if you want to discuss further. http://www.grandtimes.com/Transforming_Illness.html

        • Cate

           /  December 6, 2016

          “When I contemplate how….the controlling psychopaths….are causing our extinction….”

          Denialist beliefs are not simply damaging. They may very well be destructive not only of our species but of all life on earth, unless we work harder than ever to get the message out. As Dr Crowther suggests, yes, the outlook is bad, but it’s going to be a whole lot worse if we do nothing, and doing nothing is what will happen if we allow deniers to control and direct public policy.

    • coloradobob

       /  December 5, 2016

      I saw a comment a few days back, about how this has brought all the tribes across the country together. Fueled in part, because the leadership at Standing Rock stood with the protesters. In the past, they usually got peeled off by government . Not this time.

      It’s about to get really cold at Standing Rock , is there a support page somewhere ?

      These first Americans need our support.

      Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  December 5, 2016

      My husband and I wept when we heard the news. A victory for the Standing Rock Sioux…and for “We the people”…..
      I find it hard to look down the road….based on what happened on November 8th….but for this moment…..today..December 4th…..I am filled with joy and hope.

      Reply
  54. coloradobob

     /  December 5, 2016

    “Make American Great Again” …………….. “Let’s give it back to the Indians”

    I have a bumper sticker brain.

    Reply
  55. coloradobob

     /  December 5, 2016

    Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  December 5, 2016

      Thank you so much for this Bob…If we all lived these truths it would truly be a beautiful, peaceful and healthy planet.

      Reply
  56. coloradobob

     /  December 5, 2016

    Hudson Bay still ice free, that means bears at Churchill are really , really thin. And their prey are in the same boat.

    All the focus is on the bear , but seals need the ice as well . As the ice melts the seals nursery melts. Like the walrus, they both need the ice to rear their young.

    Reply
  57. Barbara Burnett

     /  December 5, 2016

    The official donation site for the Standing Rock Sioux camp is:
    http://www.ocetisakowincamp.org/donate

    “Cash donations are acceptable, and will be used for needs at the camp fairly and equitably. This is a traditional Lakota Camp, everyone’s needs are shared and met by all. You may donate cash the following ways”:

    PayPal: http://www.paypal.me/ocetisakowincamp

    Checks or cash may be sent to:
    Oceti Sakowin Camp
    P.O. Box 298
    Cannon Ball, ND 58528

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  December 5, 2016

      Thank you dear, for that bit of work. My brain is stuck at Hudson Bay. We’ve never seen this before. Freezing Indians yes, No ice on Hudson Bay in Dec. never.

      Reply
  58. Barbara Burnett

     /  December 5, 2016

    To make donations for medical assistance go to:
    https://medichealercouncil.com

    Follow the “donate” link to their donation site.

    Reply
  59. Barbara Burnett

     /  December 5, 2016

    Sacred Stone camp is the original camp; Oceti Sakowin camp is now much larger. Go to:
    http://sacredstonecamp.org
    To donate, go to: https://www.gofundme.com/sacredstonecamp

    To donate to the legal defense fund go to: https://fundrazr.com/d19fAf?ref=sh_25rPQa

    Reply
  60. Barbara Burnett

     /  December 5, 2016

    For some reason, my post about the donation sites for Sacred Stone camp don’t post….

    Reply
  61. coloradobob

     /  December 5, 2016

    There is no ice on Hudson Bay.

    Reply
  62. Suzanne

     /  December 5, 2016

    This is how “We the People”…should look:

    ‘Shoot at Us First’: Veterans Form Literal ‘Human Shield’ to Protect Standing Rock Protesters from Cops
    Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/u-s-veterans-form-human-shield/#lv28PGrURKOOsgov.99

    Cannon Ball, ND – A steady stream of U.S. military veterans continued to pour into the Standing Rock protest camps over the weekend, with our sources on the ground estimating nearly 5,000 vets already there, and more arriving throughout the night to take part in the “Veterans Stand for Standing Rock” movement.

    The newly arrived veterans wasted no time in making their presence felt as a contingent of vets and water protectors made their way to the bridge, a strategic point that controls access between the encampments and the construction area. The bridge was the scene of an earlier confrontation that saw militarized police assault viciously attack the non-violent protestors with less-than-lethal weapons.

    Wes Clark Jr., a key organizer of the “Veterans for Standing Rock,” met with various law enforcement representatives, including the Cass Country Sheriff, an Army general, a veterans representative spokesperson, and a rep for the TigerSwan private security firm coordinating intelligence for law enforcement on the police held side of the bridge.

    Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/u-s-veterans-form-human-shield/#lv28PGrURKOOsgov.99

    Reply
  63. coloradobob

     /  December 5, 2016

    Hell comes to breakfast.

    Reply
  64. Suzanne

     /  December 5, 2016

    This is what true humanity looks like..and how we all should aspire to behave…..even towards those who persecute us:

    Standing Rock Sioux Offer Amazing Lesson in Compassion — Donate Supplies to Law Enforcement
    Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/standing-rock-sioux-offer-amazing-lesson-compassion-donate-supplies-law-enforcement/#FL1876URQGq3AGqc.99

    Mandan, ND – In an amazing display of humanity and compasson, water protectors from the Oceti Sakowin camp, on Friday, donated various supplies to the Morton County Sheriff’s Department in Mandan after the department posted a request for donations late last month.

    In spite of widespread brutality and violent actions directed at non-violent unarmed water protectors by law enforcement, the Oceti Sakowin headsman, joined by Leonard Crow Dog and a number of youth and women leaders, delivered the requested donations to their oppressors.

    Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/standing-rock-sioux-offer-amazing-lesson-compassion-donate-supplies-law-enforcement/#FL1876URQGq3AGqc.99

    Reply
    • This is an astonishing story and a great victory. An historic victory. I was elated when I read it. I hope this is the turning point. But please everyone keep up vigilance and what support you can until that is without doubt. The Corps has denied access for yet another impact study, after other impact studies (I have copies of several) that also indicated a need for assessment of alternative routes. I don’t mean to diminish the moment of glory, but things so far have had a way of not going according to the press. We need to be sure they are going to this time.

      Reply
      • And the forecast temperatures for Cannon Ball on Tuesday 12/13, according to Wunderground, are hi 7, low 1, with snow showers the next day.

        Reply
  65. coloradobob

     /  December 5, 2016

    “Make American Great Again” …………….. “Let’s give it back to the Indians”

    Reply
  66. Andy_in_SD

     /  December 5, 2016

    Odd Rifts in Antarctic Ice Could Mean ‘Sayonara, Glacier’

    In August of 2015, a large iceberg broke off from the floating section of Antarctica’s massive Pine Island Glacier. While such an event is part of the natural life cycle of glaciers, this one was precipitated by an unusual rift in the middle of the ice that could point to a new mechanism for the collapse of this and potentially other glaciers, accelerating their contributions to global sea level rise.

    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/rifts-antarctic-ice-sayonara-glacier-20923

    Reply
    • Shawn Redmond

       /  December 5, 2016

      It is simply awesome to watch the speed of the glacier moving out from the coast leading up to the breaking point. I have never set foot on an ocean glacier but I have stood on land based ones. The size of which would be dwarfed by such as those in the series. To think of the mass on the move is stunning.

      Reply
  67. meljay14

     /  December 5, 2016

    For a bit of light relief. This is the next big fight for some of us. Hope the link works…

    Reply
    • Matt

       /  December 6, 2016

      Excellent meljay!!!
      This is the kind of thing that needs to go viral, and fast. Education through comedy, a great way to educate the masses. BTW they have one on standing rock also…..

      Reply
  68. Suzanne

     /  December 5, 2016

    “The Victory at Standing Rock could mark a Turning Point” an OpEd by Bill McKibben:
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/04/standing-rock-victory-turning-point

    The news that the US federal government has refused to issue the permit needed to run a pipeline under the Missouri river means many things – including that indigenous activists have won a smashing victory, one that shows what nonviolent unity can accomplish.

    Reply
    • This is great news! Been reading about this all morning and I must say that it’s a validation of what can be done with protest action. But I also think that we shouldn’t see this as Waterloo for the fossil fuel special interests. But it certainly is a victory we should celebrate and learn from. Finally, this kind of decision almost certainly would not have happened with Trump as US President. Obama has always been open to responses to environmental and protest action. He may have taken his bloody time to make the right decision. But, on many occasions, he has. I do not think that we can expect the same constraint and moderation from Trump.

      Reply
  69. Cate

     /  December 5, 2016

    http://www.citylab.com/politics/2016/12/immediate-climate-action-falls-on-mayors

    From the article:
    “At this week’s annual C40 Mayors Summit in Mexico City, a coalition of 90 cities at the forefront of the fight against climate change detailed everything cities have to accomplish in order to meet the agreement’s long-term goals. Their report, written with the engineering firm Arup, lays out an action plan to deliver on the promise of limiting the rise of global temperatures to less than 2 degrees Celsius, and critical progress must be made by 2020.”

    “The big takeaway: Wealthier cities will have to shoulder much more of the burden than their developing neighbors, a point of contention that has often stalled international climate negotiations.”

    “If we do nothing, [the average emission per person] is going to go up to 9.5 metric tons by 2030,” he says, “So actually it’s not just about making it to go down, it’s to avoid having it go dramatically up.”

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  December 5, 2016

      Download the text of the Deadline 2020 report here.

      http://www.arup.com/deadline

      “Deadline 2020: How cities will get the job done provides an analysis of the contribution that the 84 global C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) cities need to make to convert the agreement from aspiration into reality.

      Taking action will require approximately $375 billion in investment by national governments and the private sector over the next four years. Sharing this investment will transform and improve entire economies, creating jobs, bolstering infrastructure, and improving public health. Through this action and investment, we have the opportunity to deliver climate-ready cities that are efficient, resilient and liveable.”

      Reply
  70. June

     /  December 5, 2016

    We in the U.S. will all need to summon the same level of commitment and courage shown by the water protectors at Standing Rock if we are going to resist successfully the assaults on climate action and renewable energy. The latest is Trump’s selection for heading the transition team for the Energy Dept…another Koch Bros. tool.

    Trump brings Koch network’s anti-green-energy stance from the fringe to the center of power

    http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-kochs-climate-20161205-story.html

    Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  December 6, 2016

      Exactly. The only way to survive the Lunatic and his Regime..will be through staying ACTIVE and RESISTANCE. Our local Sierra Club will be holding a rally here on Thursday…standing up against the discharges coming from Lake Okeechobee..which are causing huge environmental damage to our waterways. We are hoping to get the attention of our CC Denier Governor….Voldemort..errr I mean….Rick Scott.
      Participating in as many of these kinds of events…is going to be the only way ,IMO ,we have to mitigate as much damage as possible.

      Reply
  71. June

     /  December 5, 2016

    As mulga and our other scribblers from Australia have been telling us, they continue to face a similar fight.

    Australia is blowing its carbon budget, projections reveal

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/dec/05/australia-is-blowing-its-carbon-budget-projections-reveal

    Reply
    • mulga mumblebrain

       /  December 6, 2016

      Ah, June, the lies and idiocies spread by our ruling hard Right, denialist, Federal regime regarding our ‘carbon budget’ are so base and moronic that it invites derision as well as contempt. When I contemplate the passing parade of beetroot-faced, squinty eyed, buffoons that comprise that regime, I despair. The ‘Opposition’ is barely better, refusing to EVER state the reality of our precarious position, if they understand it. They all, and the MSM that is not ferociously denialist (eg the Murdoch cancer)keep waffling about ‘2100’, or ‘28% reductions in emissions by 2030’, or ‘energy prices (but never costs)’ or ‘keeping increases under 2 degrees Celsius’, as if they have no idea whatsoever of melting Arctic sea ice, destabilising Antarctic glaciers etc. Utter catastrophes like the Great Barrier Reef bleaching are denied, ignored, downplayed or completely forgotten after a few weeks, to concentrate on the cricket. We seem totally stuck in some juvenile development stage, where closing our eyes to the boogey-man will make him magically disappear. The truth-teller is the most despised creature of all, because he threatens to ruin the party and take away the plasma TV, SUVs and McMansions.

      Reply
  72. Cate

     /  December 5, 2016

    I wish DT was here.

    Reply
    • Mark in OZ

       /  December 5, 2016

      Hi Cate
      Me too!
      But, in a very enduring way, DT ‘is’ here and still contributing to our (my) knowledge and ‘common sense’; his teachings are so thoughtful and earnest and thus, continue to influence this very special place.

      From Robt Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and his observations on ‘ghosts’ and how we find our way.

      “They are just looking at me so I continue: “Laws of nature are human inventions, like ghosts. Laws of logic, of mathematics are also human inventions, like ghosts. The whole blessed thing is a human invention, including the idea that it isn’t a human invention. The world has no existence whatsoever outside the human imagination. It’s all a ghost, and in antiquity was so recognized as a ghost, the whole blessed world we live in. It’s run by ghosts. We see what we see because these ghosts show it to us, ghosts of Moses and Christ and the Buddha, and Plato, and Descartes, and Rousseau and Jefferson and Lincoln, on and on and on. Isaac Newton is a very good ghost. One of the best. Your common sense is nothing more than the voices of thousands and thousands of these ghosts from the past. Ghosts and more ghosts. Ghosts trying to find their place among the living.”

      Reply
  73. Yeah Cate, I miss DT’s writings, too. Losing a bright voice in this wilderness hurts.

    Weather here switched to single digits at night, below freezing days. Incredible brilliant stars last night after moonset in a dark washed-clear sky. Don’t forget to look for the beauty in the midst of the ugly.

    DAPL: Local Colville Tribal vets headed to Standing Rock last week. It continues to grow. The friend’s friend in SLC just paid for and sent her 6th semi-load of firewood to Standing Rock.

    And then this popped up today which was an interesting read on cognitive dissonance:

    Standing Rock and the Ideology of Oppressors: Conversations with a Morton County Commissioner

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/12/05/standing-rock-and-the-ideology-of-oppressors-conversations-with-a-morton-county-commissioner/

    …we practice double-think, consciously opposing ecological destruction while allowing the free market to profit on it and purchasing the products built on such destruction. Recycling isn’t going to prevent the Dakota Access pipeline, and stopping the pipeline isn’t going to change the fact that massive oil companies lobby Congress to keep profiting from oil production in states like North Dakota.

    Reply
  74. coloradobob

     /  December 5, 2016

    Reply
  75. coloradobob

     /  December 5, 2016

    During last warming period, Antarctica heated up two to three times more than planet average

    http://phys.org/news/2016-12-period-antarctica-planet-average.html

    Reply
  76. coloradobob

     /  December 5, 2016

    Extreme rainfall risks could triple in the U.S. under climate change, scientists warn

    U.S. residents may want to start preparing for a stormier future, scientists say. According to a new study, future climate change could cause an increase in extreme precipitation events throughout much of the country — in fact, these events could become up to five times more frequent in some areas.

    It’s an outcome many climate scientists have already predicted for the planet as a whole, according to Andreas Prein, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the new study’s lead author.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/12/05/extreme-rainfall-risks-could-triple-in-the-u-s-under-climate-change-scientists-warn/?utm_term=.19549c502680#comments

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  December 6, 2016

      The little things.
      We are having an effect on the biome, strangely the biome is having an effect on us sort of what goes around comes around.
      http://www.cnbc.com/2016/12/01/parkinsons-linked-to-gut-bacteria.html

      Plus M.S and a whole raft of disorders

      One example of the effect of biome on life, is a tribe that was first contacted in 2009 in the Venezuelan jungle. Interesting article from the past as humanity trashes the Amazon and the radiation from Nuclear mining, processing, and waste , not to mention the disasters, instigates and accelerates mutation especially in the tiny things with short life spans such as bacteria and virii and yeasts.

      Amazonian tribe study shows how human bodily bacteria is changing
      By Reuters 118 Apr, 2015. 03.1 2PM 1ST • 0 comments I Post a Comment
      READ MORE ON . Yanomami villagers I Yanomami I Washinaton University I Science Advances I microbiota I microbes I Malawlans

      A study looking at the microbes in people from an isolated tnbe in Amazonian jungles shows just how much modern lie may be altering humankind’s bodily’ bacteria.

      Reply
  77. Griffin

     /  December 6, 2016

    Given the recent mass Herring death on this side of the Atlantic that was just linked here last week, this is a little concerning.
    “Visitors to Pentewan Sands, Cornwall, said the beach was covered in herring, sardine and mackerel on Saturday.”
    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cornwall-38201220

    Reply
  78. Marcusblanc

     /  December 6, 2016

    I don’t know if anyone else has posted this already, but I picked up this interview with important climatologist Jennifer Francis. There is quite a lot to it, but here is a sample about this year…

    e360: This lessening of the temperature difference between the polar regions and the mid-latitudes, is that a key factor in the northward flow of warmer air into the Arctic? In essence, the jet stream is no longer the barrier it once was?

    Francis: Yes. This is an interesting new piece of the story that seems to be unfolding this year, particularly. The jet stream has been very wavy and there have been these big ridges — northward swings into the Arctic that have transported a lot of heat there. The warm Arctic probably had a role in making those bigger waves in the jet stream last winter and on into the summer, which perpetuated and intensified the warming of the Arctic, which then fed back to weakening this temperature difference and making the jet stream perhaps even wavier. This year was not unexpected — it was a continuation in the losses of ice and the warming in the Arctic.” Again, it’s another one of these vicious cycles that involves the Arctic and the mid-latitudes through the jet stream.

    http://e360.yale.edu/feature/unusually_warm_arctic_climate_turmoil_jennifer_francis/3060/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+YaleEnvironment360+%28Yale+Environment+360%29

    Reply
    • Tigertown

       /  December 6, 2016

      Yale always has good articles that are well worded. I reposted on ASIF and passed on to others who will repost on FB and elsewhere.

      One excerpt that I found to be quite the point:
      “Francis: Yes, it’s hard to get your head around it. I’m sure there will be more surprises coming our way. This year was not unexpected. It was a continuation in the losses of the ice and the warming in the Arctic. I would say it’s certainly a bigger, stronger, and more alarming event than probably anybody was expecting to see this year. As we look into the future, are these kinds of spikes in temperature and sea ice loss going to continue? Are we going to perhaps see the sea ice disappear even faster than we expect? I hate to think it, but it’s probably likely. Pretty much all of the changes that we expect to see happen in the climate system have been occurring more rapidly than we expected.”

      Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  December 6, 2016

      Great interview…thanks for posting.

      Reply
  79. Raul M

     /  December 6, 2016

    There is the concept that people will have to abide by the laws of nature and physics. I think that the better way is to do so by choice of habit before the lack of choice occurs. Lack of choice is starting to become more evident and common. The trends of nature make the abidence to the laws more probable as time goes on. So if the coast will flood someone’s home regularly before it becomes a constant flood, shouldn’t that someone move before all the other possessions get constant flooding too. Course there is the rubber raft idea. That it might be better to get a rubber raft as the living room furniture. Then there would be a sort of dry area in the room. Somehow, lots of people won’t go for that attempt to stay with the BAU. Humm what to do.

    Reply
    • entropicman

       /  December 6, 2016

      There are thousands of laws legislators have spoken,
      A few that the Creator sent.
      The former are rquently broken,
      The latter can’t even be bent!

      Reply
    • g. orwell

       /  December 6, 2016

      RM: “Humm what to do”
      let it go; if there were an answer, we’d know it by now, I guess….

      Reply
  80. Matt

     /  December 6, 2016

    Noticed that IJIS extent has dropped back to a gain of only 30K. Another plateau this freezing season?
    We really needed some 200K+ gains 😦

    Reply
  81. Raul M

     /  December 6, 2016

    Won’t stay for that attempt to go with the BAU.

    Reply
  82. Vic

     /  December 6, 2016

    Queensland Lala-land

    Queensland’s Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk – “The life of this project will be anywhere between 50 and 60 years. That means generational jobs,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
    “That means that you can work on this project and your son or daughter may have the opportunity to also work on this project.”

    Adani Australia’s CEO Jeyakumar Janakaraj deflected questions about the mega-mine’s impact on the environment, saying the project would be “a net positive on climate change in the world.”
    He clarified that India is a massive consumer of coal, and they need to get it from somewhere.
    “So if Australia doesn’t produce and give India high-quality, highly sustainable mining, it is going to rely on coal that will come from lesser reliable geographies,” Mr Janakaraj said.

    “Australia has this moral responsibility to be a part of the solution and not just be a part of the problem.”

    Reply
  83. As Matt mentioned – JAXA extent is slowing again – it is December and ice formation is slowing – not catching up to past years – not paralleling past years – but diverging towards less…

    Link to graph.

    Reply
  84. Tigertown

     /  December 6, 2016

    SST’s hindering Arctic SIE again. A very nominal growth of 18,335 km2 posted by JAXA today. I, and I noticed many others, had that gut feeling we were headed for another stall or slowdown.

    Reply
    • Tigertown

       /  December 6, 2016

      NSIDC numbers for Arctic SIE between Dec. 2nd and 4th also indicate a stall.
      (x 1000 km2) Units.

      2016, 12, 02, 10.380,
      2016, 12, 03, 10.362,
      2016, 12, 04, 10.362

      Reply
      • Tigertown

         /  December 6, 2016

        Sorry, that would be 10 to the 6th units.

        Reply
        • Matt

           /  December 6, 2016

          Still to early, but may be getting ready for utter devastation in next years melt season?
          I would expect some recovery in extent during Feb/March when ice extent is usually at its maximum as there will still be significant refreeze potential in areas of darkness. However not much time for the ice to thicken enough for the summer onslaught?
          Just noticed today’s minor re freeze (thanks TT), just bewildering.

        • Tigertown

           /  December 6, 2016

          Just posted today by Wipneus.

          http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=119.0;attach=38943;image

          He has used the PIOMAS thickness data to estimate Nov. volume at 9,515 km3, which is about a thousand cubic km below Cryosat’s Nov. volume estimate. Not going to hold up well in melt season.

  85. The graph at JAXA is getting very scary.

    Reply
  86. And to take the focus back south:

    Huge Antarctica Glacier in Serious Trouble
    by Robert Hunziker

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/12/05/huge-antarctica-glacier-in-serious-trouble/

    The global warming crisis seems to get worse and worse, faster and faster. Now, Antarctica is in the spotlight with brand-new shocking research of a spine-chilling development.

    The whole of Antarctica, if melted in its entirety, equates to a sea level rise of 200’, but that will not happen during current lifetimes. It’s too big and would require way too much heating for way too long. But, a meltdown of a significant part of Antarctica, like West Antarctica, has the potential, according to new research, to submerge Miami and New York during current lifetimes. This is the first time scientific observation has officially come to the conclusion that such a horrendous meltdown is probable so soon!

    Reply
  87. coloradobob

     /  December 6, 2016

    Flooding across parts of the UK last winter was the most extreme on record, experts have said.
    Gales and heavy rain swept across large parts of the UK, causing devastating flooding in Cumbria and Lancashire, as well as parts of southern Scotland.
    On the first anniversary of Storm Desmond, experts say November to January were the wettest three months since UK records began in 1910.
    Review author Terry Marsh said flooding was “extensive and repetitive”.
    Storm Desmond began battering parts of the UK on 5 December, depositing a record month’s worth of rain on Cumbria in just one day.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-38204334

    Reply
  88. Abel Adamski

     /  December 6, 2016

    Interesting

    http://www.afr.com/news/policy/climate/al-gore-has-extremely-interesting-chat-with-trump-about-climate-change-20161206-gt4upi

    Mr Gore was originally scheduled to meet only with Mr Trump’s oldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, who is not registered with a political party and has already pushed her father to adopt positions usually promoted by Democrats.

    Mr Gore said that after that meeting, he then had “an extremely interesting conversation” with the President-elect.

    “I had a lengthy and very productive session with the President-elect. It was a sincere search for areas of common ground,” Mr Gore said after spending about 90 minutes at Trump Tower in Manhattan.

    “I had a meeting beforehand with Ivanka Trump. The bulk of the time was with the President-elect, Donald Trump. I found it an extremely interesting conversation, and to be continued, and I’m just going to leave it at that.”

    Reply
  89. Suzanne

     /  December 6, 2016

    “24 hours of Reality”
    As the threat to the planet worsens, Al Gore and the Climate Reality Project present “24 Hours of Reality,” a livestreamed world tour of the climate crisis
    (Live Now at the below link)

    Al Gore: The Road Forward on Climate at Scientific American
    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/al-gore-the-road-forward-on-climate/

    Reply
  90. Spike

     /  December 6, 2016

    Floods in Thailand kill 14. Nakhon Si Thammarat has had 447 mm of precipitation in the past 7 days, 380 mm more than the average for this time of year. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-thailand-floods-idUSKBN13V0DB

    Reply
  91. coloradobob

     /  December 6, 2016

    WASHINGTON, ARLINGTON, Va., SCHAUMBURG, Ill. and OTTAWA, Nov. 30, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Today, organizations representing the actuarial profession in the United States and Canada launched the Actuaries Climate Index™ (ACI), which provides a quarterly measure of changes in extreme weather events and sea levels, available online at http://www.ActuariesClimateIndex.org. This index is based on analysis of quarterly seasonal data for six different index components collected from 1961 to winter 2016, compared to the thirty-year reference period of 1961 to 1990. The Actuaries Climate Index™ is an educational tool designed to help inform actuaries, public policymakers, and the general public about climate trends and their potential impact.

    The Actuaries Climate Index™ looks at the continental United States and Canada, placed into 12 regions. Higher index values indicate an increase in the occurrence of extreme weather events. The latest Actuaries Climate Index™ values show an increase in the impact of extreme weather events, such as high temperature, heavy precipitation and drought.

    Reply
  92. coloradobob

     /  December 6, 2016

    Himalayas at increased risk of Glacial Lake Outburst Floods

    Rising temperatures have led to the melting of glaciers and the significant growth of the area of glacier lakes on the world’s highest mountain range, according to researchers at the Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

    Recent research showed that a total of 401 new glacier lakes have been formed from 1990 to 2015, and the area of glacier lakes has increased by 14.1 percent, raising the possibility of GLOF that endangers the lives of people living downstream in Nepal and China’s Tibetan Autonomous Region.

    Scientists said that among the over 5,000 glacier lakes in the Himalayas, around 118 are expanding at high speeds, including 69 located in Tibet Autonomous Region, where dozens of GLOF events have already taken place since the beginning of the 20th century.

    Reply
  93. coloradobob

     /  December 6, 2016

    Global Warming May Send More Hurricanes to Northeast U.S.

    New research says storm tracks are shifting northward, making devastating catastrophes like Sandy and Irene even more common.

    Link

    Reply
  94. coloradobob

     /  December 6, 2016

    Climate Change Won’t Stop in 2016, Despite Misleading Reports

    With just three years left to go, it’s virtually certain that the 2010s will be warmer than any decade on record, barring a massive volcanic eruption. As greenhouse gases produced by human activity continue to build up in the atmosphere, it’s also a very good bet–again barring a volcanic or geopolitical cataclysm–that the 2020s will be warmer than the 2010s. You wouldn’t know about these perfectly reasonable, science-based inferences if all you had to go by was this article published by Breitbart.com on November 30: “Global Temperatures Plunge. Icy Silence from Climate Alarmists.” The article includes this statement: “The last three years may eventually come to be seen as the final death rattle of the global warming scare.”

    Along with its presence on the high-profile Breitbart site, this article drew even more attention after a link to it was retweeted by the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Fortunately, the article has been effectively rebutted by several excellent bloggers (see links below). Though we’d prefer to focus on our usual coverage of weather and climate science, in this case we felt it was important to add our two cents—especially because a video clip from weather.com (“La Niña in Pacific Affects Weather in New England”) was prominently featured at the top of the Breitbart article. Breitbart had the legal right to use this clip as part of a content-sharing agreement, but there should be no assumption that The Weather Company endorses the article associated with it.

    Link

    Reply
  95. Polar ice the size of India has now vanished:

    “NSIDC satellite measurements show that on Dec. 4, the extent of polar sea ice was 1.48 million square miles below the 1981-2010 average. That amounts to about the size of India, or for another point of reference, two Alaskas.”

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/climate-scientists-polar-ice-the-size-of-india-has-melted-into-the-sea/

    Reply
  96. November CO2

    November 2016: 403.64 ppm
    November 2015: 400.24 ppm

    3.4 ppm increase in month on month. I was watching for increase of 2.9 ppm that would be similar to the month on month from April 1999 when rise from a non-EN month was compared with an EN month and came in flat at 2.35 ppm. The rest of 1999 monthly averages fell under 2 ppm because review of a LN year with same month the year before in EL trend was significantly elevated. I can post the monthly averages for the years if anyone wants to see the raw data. It’s available from NOAA/ESRL et al. I cut and paste the data to spreadsheet so that I can do simple formula work with the data. I am willing to send my spreadsheet to anyone who wants to save a few steps.

    So far, no flat month and fall-off pattern developing. We continue to see monthly average increases in excess of 3 ppm over the EN-elevated monthly number from previous year. Current increase rates should be near or under 2 ppm because of the EL bump and recession of same. Not happening yet, we remain in 3 plus ppm increase monthly average. Ugly numbers.

    My concern is with state changes brought on by elevated CO2 numbers and related temps. Crowther’s study and rsults fit that concern with a cyclical EN heat wave (not just EN, AGW exacerbated by EN and random weather fluctuations) potentially creating a significant new source of CO2 to the atmosphere.

    I think we are on track to post 3.36 ppm increase for 2016 annual rate. This also puts on a trajectory that could post April/May monthly average numbers in the 411 ppm range. We should drop into 409.5 range for those months if the EL bump ever disappears.

    CO2 in atmosphere continues to rise and the rate of that rise is not static, it is rising. The rate of increase continues to rise as it has now for decades. Our species emissions numbers are down according to global reports and CO2 numbers continue to rise and are picking up speed. You can take it to the bank, amigos y amigas.

    Warm regards,

    Mike

    Mike

    Reply
  97. Starting to feel as if the title of this post says it all – “Beyond the point of no return”. 2016 seems to be a step change / tipping point on a number of fronts.

    Reply
  1. Beyond the Point of No Return — Imminent Carbon Feedbacks | GarryRogers Nature Conservation
  2. Beyond the Point of No Return | Damn the Matrix
  3. Para Além do Ponto de Não-Retorno — Feedbacks de Carbono Iminentes
  4. NOAA’s 2016 Report Card: The Arctic is Shouting Change | robertscribbler

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