Warm Atmospheric River Aims Parade of Storms at U.S. West During La Nina Year of 2017

A river of moisture arises from the Pacific Ocean and links up with a procession of enormous storms that bring heavy surf, flooding rains, and mountain snows to the U.S. West. It’s a weather narrative that one usually associates with a strong El Nino during winter time. But the powerful El Nino ended last year and it failed to bring the expected rains. Meanwhile, in early 2017, during a La Nina year in which typical trends would tend to point to drier conditions for the U.S. West, a procession of severe storms is now slamming into California.

El Nino Pattern During a La Nina Year

So what the heck happened? What could possibly cause such a crazy weather flip-flop in which record drought conditions extend through a time of El Nino but severe and extreme rains come with the onset of La Nina?

The answer appears to be that a record warm ocean combined with a strongly positive Pacific Decadal Oscillation to produce a powerful river of moisture aimed directly at California. And when the associated storms arrived it was with an extreme intensity — setting off numerous flash flood events.

atmospheric-river-pacific

(Water vapor models show an atmospheric river running out of the Western Pacific — crossing that vast ocean before engorging storms slamming into the U.S. West Coast on January 17 of 2017. This is a severe weather feature more typical of an El Nino year that is now occurring during a period of weak La Nina conditions. The difference being that rivers of moisture running into California typically issue over Hawaii. The present ‘Pineapple Express’ is coming all the way from the Philippines. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

An almost continuous spate of heavy downpours since the first week of January has now unloaded enough moisture to fully slake severe drought conditions over Northern California and to considerably reduce the drought in the south. Overall, precipitation totals for the past 30 days have been as much as 2.5 times above the normal amount for California.

Another Batch of Heavy Rain on the Way

This week, NOAA expects another batch of powerful storms to come blasting out of the Pacific. Sections of Southern California are predicted to get hit with around 9-13 inches of rain over the next seven days while the north receives another 10 to 15 inches. These are notably severe rainfall totals for California. And NOAA model predictions have tended to range higher over the past 24 hours.

 

noaa-extremely-heavy-precipitation

(NOAA 7-day precipitation forecast indicates a severe rainfall event for the U.S. West Coast with heaviest amounts hitting parts of Northern California. Image source: NOAA.)

According to Accuweather, the heavy rains are expected to spur flash flooding, increase the risk of mudslides and to possibly push some rivers over their banks. However, since many rivers are still at low levels following persistent drought during the last five years, over-topping is less of a risk than it otherwise would have been.

Storms tend to bring cooler weather to this region and the Western U.S. has cooled somewhat during 2017 compared to past years. However, the conditions in which these storms are firing are warmer than they have been in the past. As a result, mountain snowfall has occurred higher up on the slopes. Consistent with the warmer than normal storms, Accuweather predicts this week’s storm system will not produce big snowfall totals for the Cascades as snow levels are driven above 7,000 feet by the warmer than usual temperatures.

Very Warm, Moist Pacific; Positive Pacific Decadal Oscillation

There’s been very little weather and climate discussion as to why heavy rains are falling in California during a year when the odds stacked against such an event would tend to be higher due to La Nina. The elephant in the room at this time is a major excursion of global surface temperatures in the range of 1.2 C above normal during 2016. A notably severe climate change related insult to the Earth system. Such extreme atmospheric warmth will tend to hold more water vapor aloft in suspension. As a result, when the rains do fall, they will tend to be heavier and come more in the form of downpours and deluges than as moderate or lighter precipitation.

sea-surface-temperature-anomalies-pacific

(This sea surface temperature anomaly map shows that despite La Nina, the Pacific Ocean, on balance, is much warmer than normal. These warmer than normal sea surfaces are pumping out a considerable amount of moisture — which is helping to feed the powerful storm systems running into the U.S. West Coast. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

To this point, despite a La Nina blanketing the Pacific’s central Equatorial region in cooler than normal waters, most of the Northern Pacific is considerably warmer than normal. And all this extra warmth is helping to pump a lot of water vapor into the atmosphere above the ocean zone. A feature that is not typically consistent with La Nina, but one that is consistent with a considerably positive Pacific Decadal Oscillation acting in conjunction with overall global warming. Positive Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) values are associated with above normal sea surface temperatures in the Eastern and South-Central Pacific. Positive PDO tends to produce longer and strong El Nino events. And it is also associated with strong storm tracks running from west to east along the 40 N latitude line.

Storm Track Runs All the Way to U.S. West Coast

To this  point, it’s worth noting that PDO has been in a positive range for the past three years running. But it wasn’t until recently that a persistently strong storm track stretching all the way to the U.S. West Coast has developed. During past years, strong storms veered north into Alaska and Canada, deflected by powerful ridges over the U.S. West.

crazy-wavy-jet-stream-u-s-canada

(The crazy, wavy jet stream with a strong storm track hitting California and a ridge riding up into Central Canada is rather changed from the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge blocking pattern that helped to spark severe droughts along the U.S. West Coast during 2013-2015. Now, severe flooding rains are the rule of the day. Under human-caused climate change, we can expect weather patterns to tend more toward extremes. For the U.S. West Coast extreme drought has been replaced by heavy rains. Image source: Climate Reanalyzer.)

Assisting the process of storms running toward the U.S. West Coast was the removal of a hot blob of water off coastal Washington and Oregon as a zone of somewhat cooler than normal waters formed. These cooler waters extended from just off Northern Japan to south of the Aleutians and on toward the U.S. West Coast. This zone is providing a dipole temperature anomaly between the cooler than normal surface waters in the north and the warmer than normal waters in the south. As a result, the Jet Stream has a nice slot along which to produce a powerful, flat storm track. These two features — a strong temperature dipole between the 40 and 50 degree latitude lines and a very warm Pacific producing copious amounts of moisture south of the 40 degree latitude line — are the key ingredients that appear to be fueling the powerful West Coast storms in a counter-La Nina fashion.

In contrast to the 2013 to 2015 period, high pressure ridging along the U.S. West Coast is not now strong enough to deflect the storms running across the Northern Pacific. In other words, it appears that the influence of the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge and hot Ocean blobs off Washington and Oregon during 2013 to 2015 is has now faded out. However, the new climate and weather trends driving this most recent influx of heavy rainfall to the U.S. West Coast are almost as odd and notable.

Links:

Threat of Flooding For U.S. West Coast

West Coast Storms Cause Dangerous Flooding in California

U.S. Drought Monitor

Climate Reanalyzer

GISS Temperature Data

Climate Reanalyzer

Pacific Decadal Oscillation

Hat tip to Colorado Bob

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132 Comments

  1. wili

     /  January 17, 2017

    I guess this might finally end the drought in southern Cal, just as the atmospheric river from a couple weeks ago ended the drought in the north. And the South certainly needs precipitation badly. But I wonder how much well be destroyed by flooding and mudslides…

    Reply
  2. wili

     /  January 17, 2017

    Meanwhile, the milestones just keep falling:
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2017/01/16/global-sea-ice-at-lowest-area-ever-recorded/

    “Global sea ice at lowest area ever recorded “

    Reply
      • bostonblorp

         /  January 18, 2017

        > “Disappearance of Arctic sea ice increases the risk of huge methane releases from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean. The outlook is terrifying. As I calculated last year, surface temperatures of the atmosphere could rise by some 10°C or 18°F within a decade, i.e. by 2026.”

        Well that made me choke on my morning coffee. Anyone want to offer a counter-point before I head out to the window ledge?

        Reply
        • wili

           /  January 18, 2017

          That’s why I always hesitate to post anything from Arctic News: even though 80 – 90% of what they report is accurate, they always seem to end with what I understand to be unrealistically rapid rates of heating. The situation is bad enough. Putting such figures out there just reduces their credibility. (And then there’s their whole geo-engineering thing which…don’t get me started…)

          So mop up the coffee and stay away from the ledge. But yeah, the situation is really bad. So instead, call your representatives and tell them to vigorously oppose Tillerson as Secretary of State. 🙂

        • mulga mumblebrain

           /  January 19, 2017

          The problem, wili, with that self-reassurance is that the climate destabilisation science Establishment’s prognostications, such as the laughable IPCC Reports, have been greatly underestimating the rapidity and depth of climate destabilisation changes for decades. The actual experts on the Arctic and methane releases, like the AMEG, are not very optimistic I fear. Exactly what mechanism would STOP massive releases of submarine clathrate methane if Arctic summer sea ice disappears, Arctic waters rapidly warm, and water from boreal rivers like the Ob, Lena, Yenisei etc, also warm?

        • IPCC reports have been accurate in many measures. Arctic sea ice, which was difficult to model, responded far more rapidly than expected. I think the case will be the same with glaciers. Carbon feedback science is particularly new. But I think that feedbacks in the range of 25 to 100 ppm CO2e by end century are certainly a plausible conservative prediction given the range of scenarios at play. IPCC has been under considerable attack from many sides. My personal opinion is that they’ve tended to put together strong science, regardless. Rational criticism is sometimes warranted. But it should not turn into irrational attacks.

        • I think mulga has a good point. Ice melts when exposed to heat. What’s to stop a methane burp from occurring?

          We can hope that the fact that ice melting is an endothermic process that requires heat will make this melting a slow, uniform process. But mass flow mechanisms may exist to make the undersea permafrost and hydrates more vulnerable to melting than we hope. Shakova and Simeletov talk about the formation of taliks, melted areas within the permafrost, for example.

          It’s hard to believe that a methane burp would make that much difference – but the physics tells us it would. I’m not aware of any published modeling on the effects of such a methane gigaburp on hurricane formation – maybe this is so hard to model that scientists are reluctant to publish, don’t know. Maybe the peer review process is working against us, in this case, don’t know. But even if the probability of a methane burp is small, the effects could be astronomical, so the risk to humanity is likely very large. This is something that urgently needs to be modeled and those models and data released to the public, I think.

          I will look and see if the IMPACTS group of national labs and universities did any work on this before they were quietly defunded by the Department of Energy a couple of years ago.

        • Here is the list of IMPACTS (Impacts of Abrupt Climate Change) group publications listed on the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory Impacts webpage:

          http://esd1.lbl.gov/research/projects/abrupt_climate_change/impacts/publications.html

          Interesting stuff, lots of stuff on methane, nothing on methane burps that I could see.

        • So the IMPACTS studies were an excellent look into harms caused by climate change. I didn’t see one study from that group, however, that provided a solid basis for how 5-10 C warming was inevitable in the 1-2 decade timeframe. In other words, IMPACTS produced real science on the issue. 5-10 C warming in 1-2 decades, at this point, is basically a rumor.

        • Here’s an abstract of some of the work they were doing, with no

        • Whoops, lets try that again-

          Here’s an abstract of some of the work they were doing there before their funding was cut:

          http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2009AGUFM.A53C0271B

          Don’t know whether they ever got to the “modeling of the total system response” to large methane releases or not.

        • There’s too little information available to reliably make the kind of predictions posted on the Arctic News Page. If there is a model that supports this data, then someone should report it. Otherwise it’s a shot in the dark at very extreme consequences. There is nothing that I’m looking at now that indicates a rational possibility for 5-10 C warming in the next 10-20 years as indicated by the site. If large methane releases were to trigger such an event so soon, we would think that the atmosphere would already be seeing some hint of it. But though atmospheric methane is rising it is still rising at below the peak annual rate of 14 ppb during the mid 90s and well below any range that would support a build-up to this kind of feedback.

          Loss of sea ice does support polar amplification and overall global warming. But the feedback from albedo loss on the global scale is in tenths of a degree C over the course of decades — not just 10-20 years. This does add stress to various carbon stores, but to get to 10 C so soon, you need something on the order of 4000 ppm CO2e forcing or the equivalent of RCP 25 approx. Given the atmospheric lifetime of methane, you’re talking scores to hundreds of gigatons suddenly releasing under present levels and predicted levels of polar forcing. And I don’t think we have any model or anything in paleoclimate that would indicate a decent likelihood that such a large-scale event is on the way in the next 1-2 decades. Possibly as forcing levels climb higher under BAU by middle to end century. But you need a good deal of proof to even make that kind of statement. And without an amazing amount of proof, it is very difficult to take the hypothesis of an inevitable 5-10 C warming in 1-2 decades seriously.

          To be very clear, the world is in trouble at 1.2 C with the potential to hit as high as 2 C by the mid 2030s in the most rational worst case scenarios. This is a serious problem. And, in addition, we may see some unexpected carbon feedbacks that make our present situation worse. But 10 C is overstating the problem, given best current evidence, to the point that it seems implausible. I don’t think this helps any of us who are interested in trying to deal with global climate change.

          All that said, Arctic News is right to be continuing the discussion on Arctic methane and continuing to try to monitor it. But it would be more helpful if the site moved toward direct observation and away from prognostications that include a good deal of triple-counting. I’m also somewhat concerned by AMEG’s continued push for geo-engineering in the form of solar radiation management. My sense is that AMEG has tended to overstate potential feedbacks in order to sell harmful solar radiation management. I think this may represent a conflict of interest that provides a disincentive for accurate reporting.

          To be very clear, paleoclimate does show some periods in which warming was very rapid. And this may have been due to methane release. However, these scenarios did not occur when the globe was still significantly glaciated. Ice sheet response to warming tends to cool the ocean surface through the fresh water lens effect and to re-invigorate sea ice. As the glaciers go down, there tends to be a see-saw at the surface in the near polar waters. Once warming hits a range of 1.5 to 2.0 C glacier response is likely to become quite vigorous. At which point you start to begin to see strongly negative feedbacks at the surface. To be clear, ocean heat uptake continues to rise and this does affect ocean bottom zones. But these deeper methane seeps would have much further to go to generate an atmospheric release. The net effect, instead, would tend to be a worsening of anoxic and acidic conditions at the ocean bottom and at the pole and a great reduction in the ocean’s ability to draw down atmospheric carbon. Shelf zones may or may not produce significant carbon feedbacks during the transient periods of near surface warming as the glaciers start to pulse. But, again, the science on this is still pretty thin and past research on previous ice melt periods points more toward smaller releases than what would be necessary to raise atmospheric temperatures by 5-10 C over just a couple of decades, if they do occur.

          Methane release is a concern, as is any carbon feedback. But lets try to look at it in a scientific fashion — in a manner similar to the way in which we perform investigations about potential glacier losses and destabilization currently. In a way that attempts to broaden the science through observation and more and more well defined physical model based research. In this we can say that the big problem with feedbacks research is that it’s still such a gray area. That we need more hard science to get a better picture of what’s actually going on.

        • Hi Robert-

          Oh, I should have read that more carefully. No, there’s nothing inevitable about huge temperature increases, I think, that depends on whether there is a huge sudden methane burp, which is probably unlikely.

          Semiletov and Shakhova claimed a few years ago that a 50 gigaton sudden methane burp was possible, with the release occurring within 5 years, mostly from the free methane gas underneath the subsea permafrost of the Siberian Arctic Shelf, I think. They got a lot of criticism for that claim, but so far as I know they have not retracted it.

          We have about 5 billion tons of methane in the atmosphere right now, so a sudden 50 gigaton burp could increase methane concentrations in the atmosphere by roughly 10 times, for a few years.

          This is pretty close to Isaksen’s 13X methane concentration modeling scenario. Isaksen claims that radiative forcing from methane and its secondary effects would total about 5.4 W/m2 versus about 0.5 W/m2 now from methane. I think that would be a total forcing of something like 7.8 W/m2.

          Strong atmospheric chemistry feedback to climate warming from Arctic methane emissions

          http://www.atmos.washington.edu/academics/classes/2011Q2/558/IsaksenGB2011.pdf

          These figures are from Table 2.

          Don’t know what that would be in global temperature increase, depends on the climate sensitivity, I guess, but I think it would be in the neighborhood of 10 degrees C.

          Methane emissions to the atmosphere from the hydrates are now pretty insignificant so there would have to be really huge increases, in a really short time. But if there is such a huge methane burp, what would the feedback effects on the ice sheets, etc. from that burp? What sort of extreme weather would that create? Would that activate the shallow oceanic hydrates? How many years would it take us to get back to normal?

        • Chances are, the melting ice sheets would provide a strongly negative feedback. What worries me is that the East Siberian Arctic Shelf is a long way away from Greenland. Don’t know if there are ocean currents that would spread the Greenland melt water in that direction or not.

        • Leland Palmer

           /  January 22, 2017

          This is my nightmare. Don’t know how likely it is. Hopefully, it’s mostly BS:

          (1) CO2 from fossil fuels.
          (2) Methane burp plus secondary atmospheric chemistry effects. Hydroxyl radical moderately affected by CH4. Methane lifetime maybe 20 years. Melting icecaps slow temperature increase…except over East Siberian Arctic Shelf. Global temp. +~10C.
          (3) Shallow methane hydrate, triple point methane hydrate, permafrost bomb activation, CO2 from oceans sustain temperature increase. Turns out, we have 20 trillion tons of C in the methane hydrates, instead of 5 trillion tons. Who knew? Slight mistake, sorry. Global temp. +~10C.
          (4) Canfield ocean in some ocean basins, hydrogen sulfide chemocline breakthrough. Hydroxyl radical severely affected by CH4 and H2S. Methane lifetime maybe 50 years. Methane concentration maybe 100 ppm. Massive water vapor in atmosphere. Global temp +~20C?
          (5) H2S and combined heat/humidity mass extinction. Oceans boil? Game over?
          (6) Looking up from Hell, financial elites decide poking mean dog climate with sticks bad idea. Sincere apology.

        • mulga mumblebrain

           /  January 23, 2017

          My problem with the IPCC Reports is not the science therein. That, apparently, is the best that the community has to offer, and I have no problem with their integrity or competence, if you’ll forgive the presumption. However, what does concern me, is the manipulation of the data.
          Now, I am arguing using second-hand sources, but I believe it is true that IPCC Reports, and their summaries of the global situation, must pass a test of ‘consensus’, ie they must be approved by ALL the signatory states, which include Saudi Arabia and Australia, and now, alas, Trumpetstan aka the USA. And hence, the predictions are ‘dumbed down’ to make the situation seems less dire, although this doesn’t stop the denialist industry from labeling them ‘alarmist’ even when reality outstrips even the worst-case scenarios.
          I think it is unarguable that various parameters of climate destabilisation have far outstripped the IPCC predictions. In fact the predictions of Arctic summer sea ice extent were shown to be quite ‘optimistic’ with months of the last Report, but still we must wait four years, for the next Report, itself having to meet the approval of a growing list of climate destabilisation denying or prevaricating, states. The long gap between Reports is definitely problematic.
          Not being an expert in the field I need to rely on the real experts, and read widely. I know that human beings come in all types, scientists included. One will see a pile of data indicating such and such a catastrophic outcome, whereas another, perhaps more sanguine, will see those data as indicating no great danger, in the short or medium term, at least. However I do fear that a form of soft denialist prevarication is at work when very many MSM reports routinely speak of dire consequences ‘by 2100’, ie never, for all intents and purposes, often in direct contradiction to facts that we can see with our own eyes eg Arctic sea ice extent. And major discontinuities, like the current and recent Arctic temperatures are reported, once, without any illuminating discussion, in the MSM, then utterly forgotten.
          Of course there is a vile dilemma here. Too much complacency will lead to action that is too little, too late, which I would say is the situation now, when either outright denial, worship of fossil fuels and attacks on renewables are seen in the Anglosphere lunatic asylums, or action in the more sane world proceeds at leisurely pace. Seemingly only China and India and a few others are working anywhere near as rapidly as required, and even they must do more. And too much doom and gloom only encourages the denialists, and aids them (as people instinctively do NOT like to hear that humanity is doomed) in their propaganda, and diverts our energy from looking for ways out of our predicament. Of course it is harder for climate destabilisation realists because, unlike the denialist industry, they have consciences and a respect for the truth and the lives of others, particularly future generations. This is, after all, at root a moral struggle, between Good and Evil.

        • Hi Mulga-

          Yes, the structure of the IPCC biases the reports toward the low end. Likely it was deliberately set up that way, and oil corporation influence probably had something to do with the structure of the IPCC, making it necessary that the report be unanimous. I wouldn’t be surprised if ExxonMobil was involved -therein likely lies a fascinating untold story. Certainly, there were news stories that an ExxonMobil letter to the Dubya Administration was involved in the firing of Bob Watson, the former head of the IPCC, and the installation of Pachuri as the director. Pachuri resigned in 2015 amid charges of sexual harassment, and there is a new director I know nothing about.

          https://www.nrdc.org/media/2002/020403

          I come at it from a different angle. While I don’t have climate science background, I do have analytical chemistry method development and R&D background. My laboratory experience tells me that the unifying, explanatory, and predictive characteristics of the methane catastrophe general theory of mass extinctions means that it is very likely correct. When a hypothesis starts making good quantitative predictions, it is likely correct. The evidence from the fossil record, the theoretical predictions, and the results obtained when the scientists actually dig into the fossil record all line up in a way I have seen before in the lab when a hypothesis was correct.

          Unfortunately, the scariest theory is the correct one, I think. We’re dicking around with triggering a mass extinction event – and we actually have no idea how quickly it will proceed, IMO. The real world situation is so complex, so difficult to model, the human introduction of greenhouse gases so rapid and nonrandom, and there are so many interacting positive and negative feedback loops mean that we have very little idea how rapidly the system will destabilize, IMO.

  3. DrTskoul

     /  January 17, 2017

    You mean La nada. Look for another – weaker – El nino, this summer or one stronger next year.

    Reply
    • NOAA is stating the we are in La Nina conditions now. Peak negative SST departure for Nino 3.4 appears to be -0.8 C which is a weak event. Not La Nada, though.

      Present long range models are tracking for ENSO neutral by summer. We do have a warm Kelvin wave coming in. But so far it’s not too strong.

      http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_update/wkxzteq.shtml

      PS Please only post relevant links. Links to profile pages just clutter up the forum.

      Reply
      • Australia’s BoM calls this a neutral year. This may be the weakest La Niña year on record by NOAA’s criteria. It may barely meet NOAA’s minimum criteria of 5 months consecutive of a 3 month average of 0.5 C above average for the Niño 3.4 region, but the equatorial Pacific ocean heat negative anomaly is already gone.

        Early Siberian snow linked to the absence of sea ice on the Atlantic side of the Arctic combined with the positive PDO may have brought on the cooling in the blob region of the Pacific, helping bring the storm track into California.

        Reply
        • So I’m using NOAA data at this time.

          According to NOAA, the past five month period for Nino 3.4 is JAS -0.6 C, ASO -0.8 C, SON -0.8 C, OND -0.8 C and we’ll likely see around -0.6 C for NDJ. This is definitely a weak La Nina by these standards. The weakest was during 1968 at -0.5, -0.7, -0.8, -0.7, -0.5.

          BoM data is worth commenting on in that it does show ENSO neutral with Nino 3.4 flirting with the -0.5 C line through the period:

          Bom also notes:

          “…cloudiness near the Date Line continues to show a weak La Niña-like pattern.”

          So to be clear, we have one major monitor showing La Nina and another major monitor showing near-La Nina with La Nina like cloud patterns. To me, this points to a La Nina Equatorial influence — if a weak event. By contrast, we have conditions that we would expect coming from a strong El Nino hitting the U.S. West Coast. And it seems clear that the PDO pattern and overall Pacific Ocean surface warming is an over-riding influence at this time.

          In the long range, NOAA forecast models are showing that we are trending more toward warm-neutral conditions:

          The BoM model above appears to be pointing toward the potential for a weak El Nino. In any case, BoM appears to be running slightly hotter than NOAA. But for the above analysis, NOAA is the measure I am presently using.

          Continued positive PDO may well point to a new El Nino coming along — as that has been the tendency during past positive PDO periods. And this would be bad news for global surface temperatures in that we won’t get too much respite from a strong El Nino followed by a weak La Nina/La Nina tending toward neutral transitioning to weak El Nino, or El Nino like neutral pattern come NH summer of 2017.

  4. climatehawk1

     /  January 18, 2017

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  5. Vic

     /  January 18, 2017

    Daily updates of this chart, plus a plethora of others can be found here…
    https://sites.google.com/site/arcticseaicegraphs/

    Reply
  6. Andy_in_SD

     /  January 18, 2017

    The rains have been abundant since mid December. This past weekend gave us a break so I could take care of outdoor things, but they’ll be back Thursday with a vengeance.

    Reply
  7. Thanks, this answers questions that have been piling up in my head.
    sheri

    Reply
  8. wili

     /  January 18, 2017

    This thread over at neven’s site might help put a few more pieces in place:

    “Arctic Sea Ice Collapse Has Disrupted Stratospheric Circulation”

    http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1783.msg99635/topicseen.html#msg99635

    “Warm water in Eurasian Arctic seas normally covered by ice has perturbed the atmospheric circulation. A dome of warm air has risen up over the warm water pushing moisture, snow, and the jet stream south over Siberia. Siberian air has been driven out over the north Pacific causing intense storms, cooling the waters of the far north Pacific, entrenching the jet stream pattern for the coming winter.”

    Or as robert put it more succinctly above: “The polar signal…is messing with the weather patterns…”

    More ‘messing’ to come, I’m afraid!

    Reply
  9. George W. Hayduke

     /  January 18, 2017

    NW Montana this winter has had a winter like we used to have 40 years ago, 2016-17 set a snow record and is 3rd coldest average on record (14 degrees since 12/1). Previous years have been brown and rainy, currently have about 18″ of snow on the ground. But the rain moves in tonight and may cause ice jams and flooding…

    Reply
  10. Suzanne

     /  January 18, 2017

    Good News…
    President Obama transfers $500 million to Green Climate Fund in an attempt to Protect the Paris Agreement:
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/18/barack-obama-transfers-500m-to-green-climate-fund-in-attempt-to-protect-paris-deal

    Barack Obama has heeded calls to help secure the future of the historic Paris agreement by transferring a second $500m instalment to the Green Climate Fund, just three days before he leaves office.

    The fund was a key aspect of the Paris agreement signed in 2015, which aims to keep global warming “well below” 2C and aspires to keep warming to 1.5C.

    Established in 2010, it is financed by wealthy countries and used to assist developing countries with adaptation and mitigation. It was widely seen as a key measure to bring both rich and poor countries to the negotiating table.

    Reply
  11. Spike

     /  January 18, 2017

    Al Jazeera covers the Phillipine’s latest extreme rainfall event http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/01/floods-leave-dead-philippines-170117102042199.html

    Reply
  12. Suzanne

     /  January 18, 2017

    At Reuters…”In latest move, China halts over 100 coal power projects:
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-coal-idUSKBN151090
    Putting the power projects on hold is a major step towards the government’s effort to produce power from renewable sources such as solar and wind, and wean the country off coal, which accounts for the majority of the nation’s power supply.
    _______________
    Our nation can either get on board with renewable energy or be left behind.

    Reply
  13. Suzanne

     /  January 18, 2017

    “Warmest Week Ahead in Decades…World Ice Cover Plummets” at Weather Underground
    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/SteveGregory/warmest-week-ahead-in-decades–world-ice-cover-plummets

    Reply
  14. wili

     /  January 18, 2017

    CO2 levels:
    Week beginning on January 8, 2017: 405.98 ppm
    Weekly value from 1 year ago: 402.35 ppm

    so now rising at a rate of 3.7+ per year.

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  January 18, 2017

      So the rate at which CO2 is rising is itself rising.

      Reply
    • wili

       /  January 18, 2017

      Oops. That should be 3.6+ of course…still working on that math thing :/

      Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  January 19, 2017

      Actually if I put in my 2 bobs worth , IMO what the official figure is is a GLOBAL figure including Southern Hemisphere and Antarctic region, Antarctica just registered 400ppm this year for the first time in 4Mill years according to the cores. The Northern Hemisphere is the greatest CO2 generator and Scripps reflects that.

      Reply
  15. wili

     /  January 18, 2017

    Arctic temps on the rise again!

    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

    Reply
  16. Edward

     /  January 18, 2017

    NOAA Annual Global Analysis is out; I think they had a press conference today. I took a quick look at the data and 9 of the last 10 years are in the 12 warmest years on record. Last year, 2016, beat 2015 by 0.4 Centigrade.

    Here is the link:
    https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201613

    Edward

    Reply
    • Shawn Redmond

       /  January 18, 2017

      Just looking at the instability globally something is off. Either the way these numbers are created isn’t right or the ECS is out by a couple of sigma. Just saying the two don’t seem to line up. Sniff test!

      Reply
  17. Suzanne

     /  January 18, 2017

    “Why Greenpeace is Joining the Women’s March on Washington” statement:
    http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/why-greenpeace-is-joining-the-womens-march-on-washington/

    Reply
  18. Suzanne

     /  January 18, 2017

    Just posted by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson at Weather Underground:
    “Confirmed: 2016 the Warmest in History of Global Record Keeping”
    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3544#commenttop

    For the third year in a row, Earth has experienced the warmest surface temperatures in global data extending back to 1880. In its annual climate summary released on Wednesday, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) calculated that the average global temperature across both land and ocean surfaces for 2015 was 1.69°F (0.94°C) above the 20th-century average of 13.9°C (57.0°F). This made 2016 the warmest calendar year on record, coming in 0.07°F (0.04°C) ahead of the record set just last year. Using a slightly different technique, NASA also confirmed that 2016 was the warmest year in this 136-year period.

    Reply
  19. Suzanne

     /  January 18, 2017

    At CNN today:
    Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, broke with the President-elect Wednesday and said he doesn’t believe climate change is a “hoax.”
    But in testimony before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Pruitt didn’t indicate he would take swift action to address environmental issues that may contribute to climate change. Instead, the Oklahoma attorney general said there is still debate over how to respond.

    “Science tells us the climate is changing and human activity in some matter impacts that change,” Pruitt said. “The ability to measure and pursue the degree and the extent of that impact and what to do about it are subject to continuing debate and dialogue.”
    ____________________
    IMO:
    When they say “continuing debate and dialogue” it is just more “double speak” to delay action on CC. They are all so bad with their records on the environment and CC…but this guy I think could be the worse. He is going to lead the EPA…and he doesn’t even believe in the EPA. Makes my blood boil.
    _________________________
    Great Op-Ed at the NY Times by Eric Schaeffer…”Reject Scott Pruitt for the E.P.A”

    Reply
    • Following in the spirit of Suzanne´s comment, but not the same situation:

      Here in Brasil we (this action is being driven by the NGO “Divers for Sharks” and the “Instituto Baleia Jubarte”, two marine protection NGOs) are going to make a “social media protest” today for the current government to * KEEP* it´s Environmental Minister, José Sarney Filho, who´s doing a great job so far:

      He has stopped some very environmental damaging laws from being voted in our Congress, has secured money to re-open Arco de Fogo – Arch of Fire and Arco Verde – Green Arch (Arch of Fire is the punitive policial operation to arrest deforesters in Amazonia, and Green Arch is the educative operation to show Amazon´s poor people economical alternatives to deforestation and land-grabbing), has secured finnancial support to keep open Parque da Capivara, which had been defunded and was almost closing, has managed to bring the next gathering of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to Brasil, which should make it easier to approve the South Atlantic Whale Santuary that´s being sponsered by Brasil, Argentina and Uruguay, has made public the CAR (rural property database – where it can be checked wheter a property is or isn´t following environmental laws in Brasil – http://www.car.gov.br/publico/imoveis/index ), is beginning an huge incentive project to change aviation fuels used in Brasil to bio-kerosene… all of this in less than an year.

      The powerful ruralist lobby (our biggest anti-environmental lobby) here in Brasil is trying to take the ministery from José Sarney Filho, and place Aldo Rebelo (the guy that sponsered the “New Forest Code” of Brasil, one of the main reasons for the uptick in deforestation in the country) in his place.

      We´re trying to stop that, by showing that Sarney Filho is popular. President Temer´s government is grasping at every possible straw to get popularity, so there´s a good chance that he´ll keep it´s Minister if he thinks he´s popular.

      I´m going to join the “Twitter” part of the manifestations later (right now, I´m in a computer in my workplace, with no Twitter), with tweets with the hashtags #ApoioSarneyFilho and #FicaZequinha , and a set of “meme figures” that the NGO Divers for Sharks created. They´ll be posting those on Facebook too (I only won´t, because I don´t have a Facebook). If anyone can help by reposting an/or retweeting those #FicaZequinha posts, I´d be very grateful.

      I believe I´ve found most of you in Twitter already, but if not, I´m @umbrios there.

      Reply
      • Suzanne

         /  January 18, 2017

        Thanks Umbrios for letting us know what you all are doing to take action to protect the position of a man who cares about the environment. Keep us posted on how it goes.
        I always enjoy your great posts.

        Reply
  20. Didn’t see this on the news! Love your work!

    Reply
  21. coloradobob

     /  January 18, 2017

    Hundreds of articles have been written about the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history, at Indonesia’s Mt. Tambora just over 200 years ago. But for a small group of New England-based researchers, one more Tambora story needed to be told, one related to its catastrophic effects in the Gulf of Maine that may carry lessons for intertwined human-natural systems facing climate change around the world today. …………………………………
    Alex Bryan, a U.S. Geological Survey climate scientist and co-author, says studying a 200-year-old event was a challenge. “Long-term temperature records don’t begin until the turn of the 20th century. Fortunately, we found the weather journal of a physician residing in Salem, Mass., who recorded the air temperature four times a day from the 1780s to the 1820s. Without his devotion to monitoring the weather, this study would not have been possible.”

    Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-01-england-mackerel-year-climate-today.html#jCp

    Reply
  22. coloradobob

     /  January 18, 2017

    Climate change prompts Alaska fish to change breeding behavior

    “The exciting thing about this paper is that it shows, for the first time, the emergence of multiple breeding in a vertebrate as a response to climate change,” Hovel said. “Climate change literature features many predictions and vulnerability assessments, but we don’t have many opportunities to actually observe species’ responses over time, as this is very data-intensive. Our ability to detect multiple breeding in fish is attributed to our comprehensive and high-quality long-term dataset.”

    The data were collected from 1963 to 2015 in Alaska’s Lake Aleknagik, home to one of the UW’s Alaska Salmon Program research stations. The research program has for decades recorded the abundance of juvenile sockeye salmon and other fish that live in the region’s freshwater lakes. For 52 years, fish were captured in nets along the lakeshore at 10 different sites every seven days between June and September. All fish were identified and measured.

    http://www.washington.edu/news/2017/01/18/climate-change-prompts-alaska-fish-to-change-breeding-behavior/

    Reply
  23. Griffin

     /  January 18, 2017

    No comment necessary for this.

    Reply
  24. Jeremy in Wales

     /  January 18, 2017

    Just been watching a Fully Charged video about the new Renault Zoe by Robert Llewellyn. The battery size has double in capacity to 41KW but is the same physical size as the orginal 21KW launched 3 years ago – giving a real life range of 120-180 miles (dependent on hot or cold climate/weather).
    What I find fascinating is the rapid rate of increasing battery performance in what is a everyday car (in Europe at least). It covers the longest journey I regularly undertake to see the parents. Just have to wait for the second hand price to come in line with my budget! Only 20 years to go then!

    Reply
  25. coloradobob

     /  January 19, 2017

    Re :
    The NASA/NOAA numbers out today. …….. The Met Office last week –

    Provisional full-year figures for global average near-surface temperatures confirm that last year, 2016, was one of the warmest two years on record, nominally exceeding the record temperature of 2015.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/2017/2016-record-breaking-year-for-global-temperature

    That leaves the Japanese report on 2016. Anybody see it, post it here. These are the top 4 data sets.
    OP ed –
    If they all agree , then the hoax is far larger than we thought. Some group would have to have infiltrated 2 large federal agencies, a British one, and read & write Japanese.
    Who could do this ? The Chinese !
    That’s a 3rd language , in this cabal.
    So climate scientists can drive Bentlys, and jet around the world.
    While our oil companies wander the world with their beggers cups, looking for tax breaks.

    Reply
  26. coloradobob

     /  January 19, 2017

    These Trump hearings are telling , They are all changing their tack. But not their tactic.
    Which is spitting hairs.
    The new fall back position ,…………….. “Man has a hand, but we have little idea of just how much”
    Clever.
    The next 4 years of spitting hairs, …………. the marching orders

    Reply
  27. coloradobob

     /  January 19, 2017

    Escalator
    (A metaphor , how to tell a larger story )
    This metaphor has been used for years to describe what we are seeing .
    Well, the last 3-4 years are that vertical part of the Escalator. But the Escalator moves the steps even taller .

    It would seem climate change has “goosed” the Escalator.

    Reply
  28. coloradobob

     /  January 19, 2017

    My current reply –

    “Thank-you for putting the ‘Moe’ back in Moron”

    Reply
    • Jeremy in Wales

       /  January 19, 2017

      In Welsh moron = carrot (not pronounced the same but gives me a chuckle all the same)

      Reply
  29. coloradobob

     /  January 19, 2017

    Back to the Noaa/Nasa numbers.

    I read Mooney’s article in the Wapo. 2hrs. old, 2,500 comments They were down to butt plugs in the thread. Apparently Mr. Trump just saved us from wearing butt plugs to fight Climate Change.
    WOW, I mean WOW !

    Reply
  30. coloradobob

     /  January 19, 2017

    Reply
  31. islandraider

     /  January 19, 2017

    Regarding the 2016 temperature records & storytelling, I hope RS & others are consistent in choosing the right benchmark. The IPCC uses ‘pre-industrial’, while the NOAA report compares 2016 temperatures to the ’20th Century Average’. Various others seem to pick various other benchmarks.

    From the IPCC glossary: “In this report the terms pre-industrial and industrial refer, somewhat arbitrarily, to the periods before and after 1750, respectively.”

    The CO2.earth website states: “The 1880-1920 average is used as best available base for pre-industrial global average temperatures.”

    NOAA ignores ‘pre-industrial’ & compares to the ’20th century average’.

    The result is confusion.

    For the story to be understood by people, the benchmark needs to be consistent and it needs to be the benchmark chosen by the international climate body. It is confusing (intentionally?) to throw around other benchmarks. Somebody hears that NASA says temperature has risen about 0.99C. Wow, no big deal, right? Not even 1/2 way to the 2C danger point. This is incorrect! The goal is to stay under 2C above pre-industrial. The likely number for 2016 is around 1.3C above pre-industrial.

    If we learn anything (nothing) from our dear leaders: tell a lie over & over and it becomes the truth. If could just tell the truth over & over & over & over, and be consistent about how we tell the story maybe, just maybe, we might make some headway with the message. Right now, the thing is damn confusing. Apples. Oranges. Clear communication is desperately needed. Desperately.

    Frustrated.
    IR out.

    Reply
    • wili

       /  January 19, 2017

      That sh!t drives me crazy, too!

      Reply
    • I use 1880 as the benchmark. The 1880 benchmark is about 0.1 C below the Holocene average. 1750 is not a good benchmark as it is closer to the Little Ice Age and trends further below the Holocene average range.

      I agree that the science should develop a consensus. Until that time, I’ll continue to use the 1880 benchmark as I think it’s most accurate relative to typical Holocene ranges.

      Reply
  32. coloradobob

     /  January 19, 2017

    “I’ve been living in a sea of anarchy , I’ve been livin’ on coffee, and nicotine.”

    Reply
  33. coloradobob

     /  January 19, 2017

    Back to BOOKENDS

    More wisdom ………………

    Reply
  34. coloradobob

     /  January 19, 2017

    Reply
  35. coloradobob

     /  January 19, 2017

    I’ve entered a new world.
    And all the old things that forewarned us. The 1970’s foretold our world.

    What a whirl wind, what a place in time.

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  January 19, 2017

      Bob, yes. We saw it coming, we felt it in our bones. All this happened in one generation.

      Reply
  36. coloradobob

     /  January 19, 2017

    “We blew gasket on the grapevine, and 80 dollars in repair. ”

    Reply
  37. coloradobob

     /  January 19, 2017

    The Gapevine,

    Reply
  38. coloradobob

     /  January 19, 2017

    Reply
  39. coloradobob

     /  January 19, 2017

    Metaphors .

    Reply
  40. coloradobob

     /  January 19, 2017

    Reply
  41. coloradobob

     /  January 19, 2017

    Reply
  42. coloradobob

     /  January 19, 2017

    This is us –

    Reply
  43. coloradobob

     /  January 19, 2017

    Reply
  44. coloradobob

     /  January 19, 2017

    To die, to stop hearing . to down like a dog.

    Reply
  45. coloradobob

     /  January 19, 2017

    Reply
  46. coloradobob

     /  January 19, 2017

    To die, to stop hearing . to lay down like a dog.

    Reply
  47. coloradobob

     /  January 19, 2017

    America.

    Reply
  48. Greg

     /  January 19, 2017

    Hell or High Water

    Reply
  49. coloradobob

     /  January 19, 2017

    Make sure your seat back trays are in their up right and locked position .

    Reply
  50. coloradobob

     /  January 19, 2017

    A word about slave sales. They were naked.

    Reply
  51. Nick F

     /  January 19, 2017

    As a resident of Northern California, I really wonder what the future has in store for this part of the state. I just assume the southern half of the Sierra will slowly become chapparel, but up here we really haven’t been that affected by the drought. Will this stay a consistent rainforest, or will we experience extreme droughts and storms, like the rest of the state? Any predictions?

    Reply
    • The southern climate zone will continue to shift northward. Arctic changes will also tend to make the weather less stable overall. Many nearer term climate models show considerable drying for your region as the world warms:

      Reply
  52. coloradobob

     /  January 19, 2017

    The American south , owes us so much… The selling of human beings

    Reply
  53. coloradobob

     /  January 19, 2017

    Why did early whites hate blacks ?
    Every sale showed their weakness. . These men are better .

    Reply
  54. coloradobob

     /  January 19, 2017

    The end of the world.

    Reply
  55. Shawn Redmond

     /  January 19, 2017

    O/T again but a very interesting read:

    Standard economic ideology insists that the real problem is that wages have not fallen enough! Consistent with that, the Federal Reserve released a paper in 2015 claiming that “rigidities” “prevent businesses from reducing wages as much as they would like” during economic downturns.

    Oh yes, falling wages instead of stagnant wages will bring happy times! Never mind that productivity has soared over the past four decades, while wages have consistently not kept pace. The average Canadian and U.S. household would earn hundreds of dollars per week more if wages had kept up with rising productivity, while wages in Britain and many other countries are also lagging.

    What to do? The Oxfam report, in its conclusions, advocates a switch to a “human economy,” one in which governments are “accountable to the 99%,” businesses would be oriented toward policies that “increase prosperity for all,” and sustainability and equality would be paramount.

    “Oxfam firmly believes humanity can do better,” its report concludes. Surely we can do better. But not under capitalism. Does anyone believe that the world’s elites, who profit so enormously and believe they can build a wall high enough to keep the world’s environmental and social problems away, are going to suddenly accept business as usual can no longer go on and willingly give up their enormous privileges?
    https://systemicdisorder.wordpress.com

    Reply
    • Shawn Redmond

       /  January 19, 2017

      Hmm… my previous post seems to have disappeared. I’ll give it another go.

      Reply
    • A shift in this direction would definitely be helpful. The increase in inequality over the past 40+ years is driving so much harm at this time. If the trend doesn’t reverse, the fractures in our societies will continue to widen.

      Reply
  56. Shawn Redmond

     /  January 19, 2017

    Just looking for input from the folks here on this one:

    The position held by Schwartz is a Presidential appointment, and Schwartz was originally appointed by President George W. Bush. President Obama has continued to appoint him. Where Governors generally appoint the head of the Guard, in DC there is no Governor, so it falls to the President.

    Also, it is customary for all Presidential appointees to submit their resignations for 12:01 on the day of inauguration. In this case, the Trump transition team decided to accept the resignation – as is. In other words, Mjr. General Schwartz will be relieved of duty at 12:01, just at Trump is sworn into office.

    http://www.uncommonthought.com/mtblog/archives/2017/01/19/the-strange-firing-of-maj-gen-errol-r-schwartz.php#more-22087

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  January 19, 2017

      Maybe someone more authoritarian that will be prepared to be brutal to protestors and to give orders permitting lethal force, for example DAPL and Keystone.
      Be prepared to follow the example of the Early Christians who were slaughtered in the Roman spectacles

      Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  January 19, 2017

      Shawn, I read in the WP the other day that the Trump transition team took heat for this, and changed there minds on him leaving at 12:01 tomorrow.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/whitehouse/head-of-dc-national-guard-asked-to-stay-through-inauguration/2017/01/15/c99eb522-db56-11e6-8902-610fe486791c_story.html
      The departing head of the District of Columbia National Guard says he was asked to stay in his job a bit longer after reports that he would leave in the middle of Inauguration Day ceremonies generated negative attention.

      Maj. Gen. Errol Schwartz told The Washington Post (http://wapo.st/2iqYd9t ) for a story published Saturday that President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team asked him to continue for a few additional days after initially ordering him to step down just after Trump is sworn in.

      Schwartz says he turned down the offer.
      ________________________________________
      What do I think about this dust up? I think we will see a lot..and I mean a lot of this kind of chaos and bigotry coming out of this new Regime. Apparently, as long as you are a millionaire or billionaire…ignorant about the office you are being handed….part of Wall Street…willing to “deregulate” everything you can lay your hands on….you will get a job in this Regime. It is beyond depressing.

      All of us down here in the U.S. of A have left is ACTIVE RESISTANCE to DEFY all of the garbage that is going to be thrown at us.

      Reply
      • Suzanne

         /  January 19, 2017

        Oh, I forgot two of the most important prerequisites to be eligible for the Regime….
        1. Be a part of big oil…and agree with their goal to take every ounce of oil and gas out of the ground..even if it means displacing Native Americans and raping the land.
        2. Be willing to kiss the ring of Hair Trump…

        Reply
      • You’re absolutely right that the next four years are going to be absolute and utter chaos. Obama was amazing. Trump will continue to provide us evidence of how many great things we are losing.

        To this point, today is the last day of Obama’s Presidency… I already miss the guy. Best U.S. leader in my lifetime.

        Reply
        • Suzanne

           /  January 19, 2017

          I am a lot older than you Robert..and I would agree 100% . Best President in my lifetime too. My heart is breaking today. I am so glad I will be on a bus ALL day tomorrow with like minded people heading to D.C..so I won’t have to see or hear about the Inauguration.
          I know this is petty…but I sure hope the forecast is right..and there is a TON of rain during the Inauguration. Tears from heaven…

        • It’s coming:

          I will be at the march as well. My wife has the flu but she hopes to attend along with her sister, her sister’s wife and her dad. They’re all pretty active politically. I’m proud to be a part of their family.

          No post yesterday due to a radio interview for Radio Ecoshock. I’ve got another one tomorrow with Hal Ginsberg for Progressive Maryland. Will try to get a post out today and tomorrow. Still waiting on GISS results for December. Otherwise trying to work in something positive for the week.

        • My wife is saying the same about the rain :), so you are not alone.

  57. Cate

     /  January 19, 2017

    https://theconversation.com/60-of-primate-species-now-threatened-with-extinction-says-major-new-study-71441

    “60% of primate species now threatened with extinction

    The threat to primates is a result of political uncertainty, socio-economic instability, organised crime, corruption, and policies that favour short-term profit over long-term sustainability.
    To reduce the pressure on primates and their habitats we must decrease demand for tropical hardwood, beef, palm oil, soy, rubber, minerals and fossil fuels, and promote sustainable resources. This is not news, but we must make it unacceptable to prioritise excessive and unnecessary consumption over the persistence of other species. Every consumer decision we make has global implications. Moreover, we must understand that wild animals are not suitable pets (the clue is in the word “wild”).”

    Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  January 19, 2017

      Cate…so many “canary in the coal mine” events happening now it blows my mind that there aren’t millions taking to the streets demanding action on CC. Thanks for the link.

      Reply
  58. Suzanne

     /  January 19, 2017

    At the Guardian….”24 hours of covering Climate Science”
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/live/2017/jan/19/global-warning-live-from-the-climate-change-frontline-as-trump-becomes-president
    With climate sceptics moving into the White House, the Guardian is spending 24 hours focusing on climate change – and what we can all do to help save the planet

    (Just love it!…If you are not already, please consider becoming a supporter of the Guardian)

    Reply
  59. Shawn Redmond

     /  January 19, 2017

    O/T again! This is from last May never the less, J.C. what the hell is running through the minds of these executives. Our little hole won’t much matter. Sand is starting to run low globally as well as decent farm land. Since it’s the fracking industry that is involved we’ll three birds with one stone.

    At the end of 2015, there were 129 industrial sand facilities — including mines, processing plants and rail heads — operating in Wisconsin, up from just five mines and five processing plants in 2010. At the center of Illinois’s sand rush, in LaSalle County, where I am counsel to a group of farmers that is challenging one mine’s location, The Chicago Tribune found that mining companies had acquired at least 3,100 acres of prime farmland from 2005 to 2014.

    In the jargon of the fracking industry, the farmland above the sand is “overburden.” Instead of growing crops that feed people, it becomes berms, walls of subsoil and topsoil piled up to 30 feet high to hide the mines.

    Okay I’ll stop now, take the dogs for hike in the woods. Cool off a bit.

    Reply
  60. Suzanne

     /  January 19, 2017

    I hope you all will indulge me for a moment on this last day of President Obama and Mrs. Obama in the WH. I am feeling quite melancholy.

    I had the honor of meeting, then Senator Obama, in 2008 during the campaign. I was what they called a “super volunteer”, and got to meet him at the end of a rally that my husband and I were working. It was at the end of a very, very long day..and yet Senator Obama was gracious, warm and took his time to meet with each of us volunteers to thank us, for all of our work. All I can tell you is both my husband and I were struck by how genuine and warm he seemed. We are both old enough, that it is easy to be skeptical and cynical about politicians..but we just didn’t get that “faux” politician persona from him. He was “real”.

    Now, let me say…I have been frustrated with many of his policies and decisions a lot over the past 8 years. I am in no way a cheerleader with blinders on when it comes to him. I wish he had done many things differently…and been better at messaging. I wish he had done more on CC. But I do think he served this country with dignity, intelligence and grace. I think he will be remembered favorably by historians for getting a lot done considering the obstructionism, disrespect and covert racism he encountered. He never once lost his cool…or disrespected the Office of the President. He did his best to serve “all” Americans…even the ones that hated him. He is leaving after 8 years without any scandals..and with a 60% approval rating.

    Knowing how all of that will dramatically change tomorrow makes me miss him and Michelle Obama even more. I have never, and I mean never felt fear about an incoming President. I still can’t believe that this corrupt, hate filled, racist Narcissist is going to be sworn in tomorrow. It makes the leaving of President Obama and his family that much more heartbreaking. I weep for our country for what we are losing.

    This video of the new First Couple dancing at the 2009 Inauguration ..in my opinion…is a sample of us, as a country, at our best. Just look at the people on that stage watching this beautiful First Couple….the diversity..the joy….the hope…the belief that we were finally a country of “WE THE PEOPLE”…

    Reply
  61. Nancy

     /  January 19, 2017

    An EPA employee sent me this headline dated 1/17. Sorry that you have to subscribe to read the entire article, but you get the gist. The new administration is going to scrub climate change data from the EPA website.
    https://insideepa.com/daily-news/trump-transition-preparing-scrub-some-climate-data-epa-website

    DAILY NEWS
    Trump Transition Preparing To Scrub Some Climate Data From EPA Website
    January 17, 2017
    The incoming Trump administration’s EPA transition team intends to remove non-regulatory climate data from the agency’s website, including references to President Barack Obama’s June 2013 Climate Action Plan, the strategies for 2014 and 2015 to cut methane and other data, according to a source familiar with the transition team. Additionally, Obama’s 2013 memo ordering EPA to establish its power sector carbon pollution standards “will not survive the first day,” the source says, a step that rule opponents say is integral…’

    I will be turning off all news tomorrow and taking the day to prepare for the march in Boston. I am going with two sisters, a few friends and my daughter. My youngest sister is traveling to Washington with a group of friends. We will all be wearing our pink ‘pussy’ hats.

    Reply
  62. Nancy

     /  January 19, 2017

    Here’s the entire article if anyone is interested. EPA employees will be working for a new administration as of tomorrow afternoon and they are not anticipating a smooth transition.

    Trump Transition Preparing To Scrub Some Climate Data From EPA Website

    January 17, 2017
    The incoming Trump administration’s EPA transition team intends to remove non-regulatory climate data from the agency’s website, including references to President Barack Obama’s June 2013 Climate Action Plan, the strategies for 2014 and 2015 to cut methane and other data, according to a source familiar with the transition team.

    Additionally, Obama’s 2013 memo ordering EPA to establish its power sector carbon pollution standards “will not survive the first day,” the source says, a step that rule opponents say is integral to the incoming administration’s pledge to roll back the Clean Power Plan and new source power plant rules.

    The Climate Action Plan has been the Obama administration’s government-wide blueprint for addressing climate change and includes information on cutting domestic greenhouse gas (GHG)emissions, including both regulatory and voluntary approaches; information on preparing for the impacts of climate change; and information on leading international efforts.

    The removal of such information from EPA’s website — as well as likely removal of references to such programs that link to the White House and other agency websites — is being prepped now.

    The transition team’s preparations fortify concerns from agency staff, environmentalists and many scientists that the Trump administration is going to destroy reams of EPA and other agencies’ climate data. Scientists have been preparing for this possibility for months, with many working to preserve key data on private websites.

    Environmentalists are also stepping up their efforts to preserve the data. The Sierra Club Jan. 13 filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking reams of climate-related data from EPA and the Department of Energy (DOE), including power plant GHG data. Even if the request is denied, the group said it should buy them some time.

    “We’re interested in trying to download and preserve the information, but it’s going to take some time,” Andrea Issod, a senior attorney with the Sierra Club, told Bloomberg. “We hope our request will be a counterweight to the coming assault on this critical pollution and climate data.”

    While Trump has pledged to take a host of steps to roll back Obama EPA climate and other high-profile actions actions on his first day in office, transition and other officials say the date may slip.

    “In truth, it might not [happen] on the first day, it might be a week,” the source close to the transition says of the removal of climate information from EPA’s website. The source adds that in addition to EPA, the transition team is also looking at such information on the websites of DOE and the Interior Department.

    Additionally, incoming Trump press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters Jan. 17 that not much may happen on Inauguration Day itself, but to expect major developments the following Monday, Jan. 23. “I think on [Jan. 23] you’re going to see a big flurry of activity” that is expected to include the disappearance of at least some EPA climate references.

    Until Trump is inaugurated on Jan. 20, the transition team cannot tell agency staff what to do, and the source familiar with the transition team’s work is unaware of any communications requiring language removal or beta testing of websites happening now, though it appears that some of this work is occurring.

    “We can only ask for information at this point until we are in charge. On [Jan. 20] at about 2 o’clock, then they can ask [staff] to” take actions, the source adds.

    Scope & Breadth

    The scope and breadth of the information to be removed is unclear. While it is likely to include executive actions on climate, it does not appear that the reams of climate science information, including models, tools and databases on the EPA Office of Research & Development’s (ORD) website will be impacted, at least not immediately.

    ORD also has published climate, air and energy strategic research action plans, including one for 2016-2019 that includes research to assess impacts; prevent and reduce emissions; and prepare for and respond to changes in climate and air quality.

    But other EPA information maintained on its websites including its climate change page and its “What is EPA doing about climate change” page that references the Climate Action Plan, the 2014 methane strategy and a 2015 oil and gas methane reduction strategy are expected targets.

    Another possible target is new information EPA just compiled — and hosted a Jan. 17 webinar to discuss — on climate change impacts to vulnerable communities.

    One former EPA official who has experience with transitions says it is unlikely that any top Obama EPA official is on board with this. “I would think they would be violently against this. . . I would think that the last thing [EPA Administrator] Gina McCarthy would want to do would to be complicit in Trump’s effort to purge the website” of climate-related work, and that if she knew she would “go ballistic.”

    But the former official, the source close to the transition team and others note that EPA career staff is fearful and may be undertaking such prep work “as a defensive maneuver to avoid getting targeted,” the official says, adding that any directive would likely be coming from mid-level managers rather than political appointees or senior level officials.

    But while the former official was surprised that such work might be happening now, the fact that it is only said to be targeting voluntary efforts “has a certain ring of truth to it. Someone who is knowledgeable would draw that distinction.”

    Additionally, one science advocate says, “The people who are running the EPA transition have a long history of sowing misunderstanding about climate change and they tend to believe in a vast conspiracy in the scientific community to lie to the public. If they think the information is truly fraudulent, it would make sense they would try to scrub it. . . . But the role of the agency is to inform the public . . . [and not to satisfy] the musings of a band of conspiracy theorists.”

    The source was referring to EPA transition team leader Myron Ebell, a long-time climate skeptic at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, along with David Schnare, another opponent of climate action, who is at the Energy & Environment Legal Institute.

    And while “a new administration has the right to change information about policy, what they don’t have the right to do is change the scientific information about policies they wish to put forward and that includes removing resources on science that serve the public.”

    The advocate adds that many state and local governments rely on EPA climate information.

    EPA Concern

    But there has been plenty of concern that such a move would take place, especially after transition team officials last month sought the names of DOE employees who worked on climate change, raising alarms and cries of a “political witch hunt” along with a Dec. 13 letter from Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) that prompted the transition team to disavow the memo.

    Since then, scientists have been scrambling to preserve government data.

    On Jan. 10, High Country News reported that on a Saturday last month, 150 technology specialists, hackers, scholars and activists assembled in Toronto for the “Guerrilla Archiving Event: Saving Environmental Data from Trump” where the group combed the internet for key climate and environmental data from EPA’s website.

    “A giant computer program would then copy the information onto an independent server, where it will remain publicly accessible — and safe from potential government interference.”

    The organizer of the event, Henry Warwick, said, “Say Trump firewalls the EPA,” pulling reams of information from public access. “No one will have access to the data in these papers” unless the archiving took place.

    Additionally, the Union of Concerned Scientists released a Jan. 17 report, “Preserving Scientific Integrity in Federal Policy Making,” urging the Trump administration to retain scientific integrity. It wrote in a related blog post, “So how will government science fare under Trump? Scientists are not just going to wait and see. More than 5,500 scientists have now signed onto a letter asking the president-elect to uphold scientific integrity in his administration. . . . We know what’s at stake. We’ve come too far with scientific integrity to see it unraveled by an anti-science president. It’s worth fighting for.” — Dawn Reeves (dreeves@iwpnews.com)

    Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  January 19, 2017

      Thank you for sharing this Nancy. I am running out of adjectives to describe the incoming Regime. I am so glad that the data was protected, but that they had to it in the first place is hard to even believe.
      Reading about this “literally” had me feeling ill.
      So glad you and yours are joining the March in D.C and Boston. Maybe there will be a place online where we can all go to share our experiences. Good luck..be safe.

      Reply
  63. Vic

     /  January 19, 2017

    Pineapple farmers in South East Queensland are applying various forms of sunscreens to their fruits in an attempt to protect them from excessive heatwave conditions.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-20/pineapple-farmers-apply-sunblock-to-pineapples-in-heatwave/8196914

    Reply
  64. Thanks for scribbling some sanity on this highly “Undercovers” story. Searched long time for some reason for this nonstop pineapple Express during counter intuitive La Nina. Sanity feels good in such strange times.

    Reply
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