Warm Winds Take Aim at Chukchi as Arctic Sea Ice Volume Hits Record Lows

Temperatures over the Chukchi Sea are predicted to hit as high as 37 degrees Fahrenheit (2.9 C) on Wednesday and Thursday as a massive high pressure ridge building over Alaska pulls warm, moist Pacific air northward. These temperatures represent staggering warmth for this Arctic Ocean zone during March when temperatures are typically about 54 degrees F (30 degrees C) cooler.

Major Warm Wind Invasion for the Chukchi This Week

(Multi-day above freezing temperatures for the Chukchi sea predicted for later this week is not a normal event for early March. Unfortunately, warm wind invasions like this one have become more common as the globe has warmed up due to human fossil fuel emissions. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

This recent warm wind invasion is one of many observed over the past five years in which enormous bulges in the Jet Stream have pierced deep into what was once a mostly impenetrable pall of winter chill hanging over the Arctic. It’s a new atmospheric condition associated with rampant fossil fuel burning. One that has produced considerable damage to the Arctic environment by reducing sea ice coverage, threatening key species, melting glaciers and thawing permafrost.

Such incursions of extreme warmth bear the obvious marks of a failing of Arctic cold brought on by human-forced climate change and have tended to generate significant spikes in overall Arctic surface temperatures during fall, winter, and spring. This week’s warm air invasion of the Chukchi is expected to help push readings for the entire region above the 66 degree north latitude line to 4.5 C (8 F) above average for this time of year. That’s a strong departure for this region during the month of March when the typically more uniform advance of warmth in the lower latitudes tends to strengthen the Jet Stream — locking in Polar winter conditions in the far north through about the middle of April.

(The warm wind invasion of the Chukchi Sea is expected to help push overall Arctic temperatures considerably higher. Image source: Climate Reanalyzer.)

Far above average Arctic surface temperatures extending from October of 2016 through March of 2017 have been triggered again and again by these floods of warm air rising up from the south. And the net effect on Arctic sea ice volume has been little short of devastating.

Arctic Sea Ice Volume Lowest Ever Recorded During Winter, Comparable to Summer Volumes of the Early 80s

Arctic sea ice volume for both January and February of 2017 are now far below past record low trend lines for this time of year. Present record low monthly values for this past February are around 17,000 cubic kilometers vs previous record lows for the month during 2013 at around 19,500 cubic kilometers. Last February’s sea ice volume average of 17,000 cubic kilometers is about the same sea ice volume measured at the end of melt season in September of 1981. In other words, sea ice volume in winter now is comparable to sea ice volumes during the summers of the early 1980s.

(Arctic sea ice volume has never been this low during winter time. Image source: PIOMAS.)

All the record warmth flooding into the Arctic during 2016 and 2017 has undoubtedly contributed to these new record lows for sea ice volume. And a cooling of the Arctic surface relative to recent record warmth during March and April could soften this worrying trend somewhat. To this point, it is worth noting that sea ice extent measures are now closer to past record low trend lines. So there has been some slightly more hopeful inching back to slightly less ridiculously abnormal measures. A more positive movement that will likely take a hit as Arctic temperatures are predicted to significantly warm again this week.

Weather is Variable, But the Underlying Trend Looks Pretty Bad

Weather, as we should note, can be quite variable and may bring a more pleasant surprise later in the month. However, despite this potential, sea ice states are looking as bad or worse than they ever have at the end of freeze season. And it is worth noting that less ice coverage and volume leaves more dark water open to absorb the sun’s springtime and summer rays and less ice to reflect it. Furthermore, post La Nina periods, as we are now experiencing, tend to flush more atmospheric and ocean heat into the Arctic. So, despite the variable nature of weather overall, we’re in a bit of a situation where the systemic trend odds of a noteworthy sea ice recovery toward more rational trend lines pre-summer 2017 aren’t looking very good.

Links:

NSIDC

Arctic Sea Ice Graphs

Earth Nullschool

Climate Reanalyzer

PIOMAS

Wipneus

Tropical Tidbits

Chukchi Sea

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102 Comments

  1. Connecticut Gordon

     /  March 7, 2017

    Hi Robert

    Thanks for this.

    I also wanted to apologize. for giving the link to Andrew Slater’s site a couple of weeks ago. I had not known then of his tragic death a few months ago

    Reply
  2. Greg

     /  March 7, 2017

    As the annual Iditarod sled dog race was set to begin Sunday, the starting location and parts of the route had to be changed due to “inadequate snow.” This is the second time in three years that the course has been altered.

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/05/us/weather-iditarod-race-moved-north/index.html

    Reply
  3. climatehawk1

     /  March 7, 2017

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  4. Greg

     /  March 7, 2017

    Robert. My family and I met with our congressman today who surprisingly agreed despite cancelling a town hall meeting earlier this week (he was called away before our meeting but then had we had 1 hour with his chief of staff which was better in my opinion.) Very surprised he had no real position about renewables. Promised to follow up with information for him and connect him. Argued the levelized cost lower than coal and it would be a win for rural folks. Anyway, a dialogue started. Hard to hold my tongue but did and then on way out he saw my Volt. Another dialogue ensued. Small hope…

    Reply
    • Sounds great. Renewable energy has always been the no-brainer for Rs who don’t want to own up to climate change. If they’re not totally owned by Big Oil, that is.

      Reply
    • Well done, Greg! You set a good example. By lobbying Congress, you’ve become a part of an interest group. One that is working for the benefit of the U.S. Citizenry. Access to Congress is access to political and policy action. You’re now swimming in the same pond as the fossil fuel corps. You’ve become a voice.

      Maybe we should schedule an annual or bi-annual meeting with Congress among the various scribblers here. We could all meet our reps. My Senator is VanHollen. So I’d be preaching to the choir. But it would be great to get a diverse group going.

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  March 8, 2017

        Thanks Robert. Already sent him an email with plenty of fresh info re: renewables, jobs and coals economic demise and got response that was appreciative so at least a dialogue started. I would not think of meeting VanHollen as preaching to the choir. Think of yourself as a Choir Director! He needs your leadership and knowledge and ability to supply info as staff is often not up to speed. You may give his staff some good links and these meetings give one some very interesting insights into behind the current doors of power. Also, there is a group of Republicans who want to break through to their leadership re climate change. I know this firsthand. There is some relatively big money behind this as well – from wealthy Republicans. I hope to have more on this soon.

        Reply
    • Thank you! You are making a difference!

      Reply
  5. Andy Lee Robinson

     /  March 7, 2017

    Then and now. Really not looking good.

    Reply
    • Retweeted, thanks. Love it that it’s possible to RT something direct from its image here. 🙂

      Reply
      • Andy Lee Robinson

         /  March 7, 2017

        Thanks for the RTs! Yes, I thought it better this time to try posting a tweet than use the image on my server. It also saves me bandwidth.
        Last month @UNFCCC tweeted it, and it got over 1300 retweets, so I expect that was at least 100,000 eyeballs – hoping they’ll do the same this month.
        Deniers hate it! 🙂

        Reply
        • It’s a fantastic if rather stark visual. Perfect for twitter. Thanks for posting!

        • Andy Lee Robinson

           /  March 7, 2017

          I hope it does the job – such an unusual shape, it ought to stick in people’s minds like the hockey stick.
          Follow me to get updates every month as they are published.
          (I’ve completely automated the generation of the graph, with a cron job using Perl and Povray!)

    • wili

       /  March 7, 2017

      Wow. So it’s lower now at what should be the height of the freeze season than it used to be at the height of the thaw season. That about says it right there.

      I linked this rs post at neven’s site.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  March 7, 2017

        Well, I was eyeballing it, probably badly. Maybe not lower, but about the same. Still, bad news.

        Reply
        • +1. We’re in about the same volume range during winter now as we were during summer in the late 1970s and early 1980s. This happened in just 35-odd years. Same loss trend would render the Arctic ice free for 1/2 to 3/4 of the year by the 2040s.

    • Greg

       /  March 8, 2017

      Find this one poignant

      Reply
      • Andy Lee Robinson

         /  March 9, 2017

        Thanks for posting – yes, this is one of my favourites – I spent hundreds of hours making it using open source tools and a bunch of linux servers!

        Reply
  6. wili

     /  March 7, 2017

    We just had the earliest tornado on record in Minnesota, beating the old record by some ten days, iirc.

    Reply
  7. wili

     /  March 7, 2017

    Here’s what JDAllen had to say in response to a link to this post over at neven’s site:

    “Time to officially shift my focus from “Refreeze” to “Melt” I think.

    Scribbler’s got good support from the GFS. I’ve been watching the ensemble here, tracking 2M anomalies.

    http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/?model=gfs&region=nhem&pkg=T2ma&runtime=2017030618&fh=6&xpos=0&ypos=788

    While we can only be reasonably assured of stuff no more than 4-5 days out, what the implication of the later stages of the model suggest is a very high level of instablility in circulation, with major potential intrusions of heat from lower latitudes.

    It appears the CAA and nearby CAB will remain colder, but even short term, it looks like these areas – Okhotsk, Barents, Western Kara, Bering, Chukchi and Hudson’s Bay – are going to get hammered seriously by heat. If the long term trend holds, it will continue.”

    Reply
    • So I tried to soft pedal this analysis as we can see such wide variance in the weather patterns. But if the melt season is anything like the freeze season, then trouble is brewing.

      Reply
  8. Ryan in New England

     /  March 7, 2017

    This is a little off topic. A Trump administration press release has displayed how closely connected they are to the oil industry. Their press release copied entire paragraphs from an Exxon-Mobil press release. The lines between government and the fossil fuel industry have effectively been erased, and big oil is in charge of the US government. Big oil IS the government.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/white-house-exxon-mobil-press-release_us_58bdd143e4b0d8c45f45ad5c?nuhgtzi6ajljo47vi&

    Reply
    • With Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State and Pruitt as head of the EPA, can there be any doubt? I find this very disheartening. We used to have state legislators and governors doing this. Now it’s the President of the United States. With Trump, we’ll get to experience what it’s like to see petrostate policy at the Federal level. And given how most petrostates treat their people, we shouldn’t be happy to see this at all.

      One other bit that I find amazing is how much the media — even those at MSNBC — keep fawning over Rex Tillerson. Unlike Trump, the guy can manage to get both legs in the pants in the morning and manage to not destabilize all U.S. foreign and domestic policy come lunch. But these facts alone do not make him a good Secretary of State. He’ll undermine all our climate policies. The foxes are in the hen house.

      Reply
  9. Matthew Greenwood

     /  March 7, 2017

    Meanwhile the Trump Presidency’s draft budget proposes a 26 percent cut to the NOAA budget. Forget science when we have Nostrodamus, the Farmers’ Alamanac and the Book of Revelations ?

    Reply
  10. Cate

     /  March 7, 2017

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/yukon-species-list-walrus-cattails-biodiversity-1.4012151

    Yukon species list shows climate change in action: many new species of plants and animals are occurring in the Yukon.

    ‘In the North, things are changing so violently it’s amazing,’ says biologist Dave Mossop

    “The old idea that there is some kind of debate about climate change — there’s no debate in the North about climate change, there’s no question it’s happening. And some of these changes are actually quite troubling.” …..maintaining and updating the Yukon species list is crucial for tracking ongoing change, such as “shrubification, loss of lands, change of ranges, species using novel habitats.”

    A commenter notes that the fire season in Alberta has been advanced one month, from the traditional April 1 to March 1 “due to increasing dryness of the forests.”

    Reply
  11. Cate

     /  March 7, 2017

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/arctic-sea-ice-shrinking-paris-agreement-1.4012156

    The +2C limit may not be enough to save Arctic sea-ice.

    “The 2 degrees Celsius target may be insufficient to prevent an ice-free Arctic,” James Screen and Daniel Williamson of Exeter University in Britain wrote in the journal Nature Climate Change after a statistical review of ice projections….
    And they said they estimated a 73 per cent probability that the ice would disappear in summer unless governments make deeper cuts in emissions than their existing plans. They estimated temperatures will rise 3 C on current trends…..
    In March 2017, the extent of Arctic sea ice is rivaling 2016 and 2015 as the smallest for the time of year since satellite records began in the late 1970s. The ice reaches a winter maximum in March and a summer minimum in September.
    “In less than 40 years, we have almost halved the summer sea ice cover,” said Tor Eldevik, a professor at the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research at the University of Bergen in Norway, who was not involved in the study.
    He predicted that sea ice would vanish in the Arctic Ocean in about another 40 years, on current trends.”

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  March 7, 2017

      The Guardian is also reporting this story, as is phys.org here:

      https://phys.org/news/2017-03-arctic-sea-ice-doomed.html

      Reply
    • There seems to be a general cognitive dissonance process with most of the scientific community with respect to the ice/albedo tipping point in the Arctic when significant areas of open water open up during the summer months. Then it will be the Arctic driving temperature changes and further rapid ice loss. Seems their computer (and mental) models just can’t deal with the immediacy of discontinuous change in the Arctic. “In about 40 years” just does not equate to reality.

      A bit like the 2008 financial crash that “nobody saw coming” (apart from a small group of heterodox economists). There is a small group of scientists who see the reality in the Arctic while the rest just don’t seem to get it. I am waiting for the newspaper headlines of “ice free Arctic nobody saw it coming” within the next few years.

      Reply
      • Matt

         /  March 8, 2017

        Totally agree Roger!
        The main reason IMHO for this apparent blindness is a constant focus on extent rather than volume!
        One only has to eyeball ALR’s excellent graph above to see that the summer (Sept) VOLUME has decreased from approx. 17,000 cubic km to under 5,000 cubic km since 1979……so approx. 1000 cubic km per 3 years. Volume is the most important ice measure to consider (and hardest to calculate).
        So at best case scenario we have a tad less than 15 years if the loss was uniform, which as we all know… it isn’t.

        Reply
      • mulga mumblebrain

         /  March 8, 2017

        The mainstream scientific community have acted bizarrely, and now, disgracefully, by ignoring the reality of Arctic changes. It is truly mystifying. Are they frightened of being embarrassed that their predictions have proved so inaccurate? Are they frightened of vilification and vendettas by the Right? Are they frightened of losing their jobs or finance? The longer it lasts, the more unbelievable it all becomes.

        Reply
        • Matt

           /  March 9, 2017

          I am not sure of the answer to that one? Surely when publishing date ranges for the disappearance of Arctic ice in summer (BTW my back of table cloth estimations above were also conservative given the 1M Squ Km extent definition of ice free) a simple extrapolation of “observed” trend would make it into the models?
          Even if they were to ignore the actual trend and just go for a simple best fit trend line, there is no way we are looking at above 15 years……….
          Am I missing something? Wadhams predicted roughly around this date plus or minus a few years did he not? and he has been the butt of jokes from many. Why? Over on Neven’s forum there have been many calculations done recently showing that with even recent average melt this summer we will be not far off the “technical” ice free summer status.

        • Current trend seems to put the most likely near zero ice date sometime between 2020 and 2025. We could make it to the early 2030s if we are lucky and if we are very unlucky, we could see near zero sooner. I don’t see how we can make it beyond the early 2030s under present trends.

        • Matt

           /  March 9, 2017

          Thanks Robert
          That’s between 3-8 years….. which is what I would estimate, to me this year (given the state of the ice) could be one where we come close…. perhaps in the 1-2M range on both extent and volume? I know that’s wild, but this is the first year after a massive El Nino and with the ice in such poor condition anything is possible…..

        • With back to back El Ninos, it’s possible we see near zero this year or next. Long shot at this point. But there’s a lot of heat being driven north right now.

  12. Cate

     /  March 7, 2017

    Venice will drown, thanks to human failure to change, whether because of greed, stupidity, or fear. Human civilisation is at huge risk and the clock is ticking.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/venice-will-vanish-within-a-century-study-warns-a7614591.html

    Reply
  13. Cate

     /  March 7, 2017

    Waiting to see if CO2 levels at Mauna Loa will hit a new monthly high of 410ppm later in the spring….. The Mauna Loa levels make a kind of counter-graph to the DJI, reflecting in one measure the global physical effect on the planet of human economic activity.

    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/carbon-dioxide-410-ppm-21223

    Reply
  14. Magma

     /  March 7, 2017

    Last fall I was engaged in a ‘debate’ with a climate change denier on the Washington Post comment forum. He first claimed a non-existent recovery of both Arctic and Antarctic sea ice and then mocked my forecast that, even though September 2016 didn’t set a record for minimum Arctic sea ice area and extent, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a record low volume.

    I’d like to say this showed some great insight on my part, but that isn’t true. As Michael Mann said last June:

    “Fundamentally, I’m a climate scientist and have spent much of my career with my head buried in climate-model output and observational climate data trying to tease out the signal of human-caused climate change. What is disconcerting to me and so many of my colleagues is that these tools that we’ve spent years developing increasingly are unnecessary because we can see climate change, the impacts of climate change, now, playing out in real time, on our television screens, in the 24-hour news cycle.”

    Reply
  15. wili

     /  March 7, 2017

    More on theme of previous thread: UN: World must act to prevent famine in Somalia
    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/03/chief-world-act-avert-famine-somalia-170307064500288.html

    Reply
  16. wharf rat

     /  March 7, 2017

    Climate Denial Crock of the Week
    with Peter Sinclair
    Not Just California: Ohio a Solar Jobs Success Story

    WHEELING — West Virginia lost 7,296 coal mining jobs from 2012 to 2015, the same period during which the number working in the solar power industry across the U.S. nearly doubled….

    Ohio ranks 11th in the number of solar jobs, as it grew its total from 4,811 in 2015 to 5,831 in 2016. West Virginia, meanwhile, ranks 45th in the number of solar jobs, at only 349 in 2015 and 381 in 2016.

    Seemingly the polar opposite of California, West Virginia voted overwhelmingly in favor of Trump amid his promises of a coal renaissance.

    https://climatecrocks.com/2017/03/06/not-just-california-ohio-a-solar-jobs-success-story/

    Reply
    • Someone needs to go to West Virginia and start building solar farms while lobbying government to support the activity as a job creation measure.

      Reply
      • Well, I am no expert, but isn’t the power infrastructure in mountainous WV set up to move electrons from man-made reservoirs and coal burning power plants sited in water-rich river valleys to houses and businesses located not too far away from these same rivers, the historically common place for settlements in that region? Building sun-rich mountaintop solar farms entails not only taking out forests, building roads, and assembling solar panels, but also putting in new power distribution infrastructure in a rather sparsely settled state. There’s little incentive for such a substantial financial investment in such a poor area. WV will in all likelihood remain impoverished until a truly popular politician with strong ties to Appalachia makes it to the WH and makes that his or her top priority, and perhaps not even then. It will take a long time for the abandonment of the culture of coal in WV and surrounding regions without huge financial incentives to change. Jobs for out-of-work miners alone will not suffice. Maybe once the US’ coastal civilization is suffering the effects of multi-meter/decade sea level rise, people will “head for the hills” and spur a major economic renewal in the Appalachians?

        Reply
        • First line says it all…

          Quite a lot of barren mountain tops after the coal industry had its way. And solar is now cheaper than coal. Looks like an opportunity to me — esp with all those miners needing jobs.

        • According to the website of SEIA, WV is ranked 42nd in the 50 states in installed solar power capacity, so it might indeed be ripe for development considering the way mountain top removal has been so brazenly conducted there, thanks to a very corrupt political environment (so I’ve heard).

          There is net metering for state residents, and residential installations are by far the preferred way to collect solar energy, reflected in the nearly 10:1 ratio of home to utility power. However, the cost of electricity is the lowest in the nation, according to a statistic I found in Wikipedia. Grid party may therefore come last to WV.

          I’ll stand by my prior comments.

  17. coloradobob

     /  March 7, 2017

    Summer heat broke 205 records and more extreme weather is to come, Climate Council of Australia reports

    “If you look at the east of Australia, particularly New South Wales and Queensland, the records that have really been tumbling there are high temperatures, heatwave type records,” Professor Steffen said.

    “Over in the west in Perth and up in the Kimberley in the north-west, they’ve been setting extreme rainfall records, so we’ve seen extremes of all types across the continent in the past three months.

    Key findings:

    More than 205 temperature records were broken around Australia in 90 days
    The extreme heat in NSW was at least 50 times more likely to occur due to climate change
    Australia’s ageing energy system is inefficient and incapable of handling rising temperatures

    Reply
    • Mark in OZ

       /  March 7, 2017

      Australia is the world’s largest exporter of natural gas. Yet, due to rent-seeking behaviour and policy, there is a ‘shortage’ of this commodity in the retail market and electricity prices have risen by 300% in some places.

      Coal plants have been converted to gas operation but they sit idle as nat gas cannot be sourced as most heads off shore.

      A Gov’t policy wrt ‘energy provision’ is described by experts as ‘incoherent’ and ‘dysfunctional’ and these sum up the situation adequately. Artificially created chaos is a perfect cover for maintaining the status quo for the big coal investors who’ve captured the political system.

      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/07/energy-executives-say-gas-market-not-windfarms-to-blame-for-south-australias-woes

      Reply
      • mulga mumblebrain

         /  March 8, 2017

        Mark you left out the best bit-our exports of gas are so low taxed that Qatar will raise 26 billion from their slightly lesser exports in 2021, while we will garner a princely 800 million. Is it utter incompetence, corruption, or both. How a country can survive such ‘leadership’ is beyond me.

        Reply
        • Mark in OZ

           /  March 8, 2017

          A disaster that is unfolding, Mulga. Just wait until the VIC Hazelwood ‘coal burner’ closes end of this month and watch what happened in So Australia (blackouts) spread across the land.

          Soon, we’ll be back to the halcyon days of unfettered monopolies and oligarchies like days gone by where capital is ripped from the productive members of society. What’s different is that years back, govt’s did what they could to stymie and manacle the ‘beast’ where now, the gov’t is their ‘bestie’.

  18. Neven’s update on Arctic sea ice volume (PIOMAS) is now available.

    Reply
  19. coloradobob

     /  March 7, 2017

    Stephen Hawking: Technological advances ‘may destroy us all’

    Physicist Stephen Hawking is again raising the alarm that humankind needs to shape up if it hopes to survive.

    In an interview with The Times, Hawking reiterated that humankind faces a slew of threats ranging from climate change to mass species extinction. He noted that technological advances have helped humans achieve seemingly insurmountable feats, but may also lead to our demise.

    “Since civilization began, aggression has been useful inasmuch as it has definite survival advantages,” he told The Times. “It is hard-wired into our genes by Darwinian evolution. Now, however, technology has advanced at such a pace that this aggression may destroy us all by nuclear or biological war. We need to control this inherited instinct by our logic and reason.”

    Link

    Reply
    • labmonkey2

       /  March 7, 2017

      Thanks for this, CB. But the last sentence seems to me, to be the tell-all. Logic and reason just don’t seem strong enough. We need that 2×4 to the head.

      Reply
    • bostonblorp

       /  March 8, 2017

      Reminds me of a quote by some general whose name I forget.. “Man is basically a tool-making animal.” We sure like to use some more fanciful terms when describing ourselves but, at the end of the day, what will some prose, pigment on canvas or plucks of the strings really matter if our net effect was to make tools and plunder.

      Reply
  20. coloradobob

     /  March 7, 2017

    James Balog on climate change: ‘It’s a tragedy that it’s been politicized’

    “How do I keep from being depressed and upset?” Balog said. “That hits me often at 3 in the morning. But I believe that the only thing that does good is optimism.”

    Balog spoke to a full audience at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall as part of the Ringling College Library Association’s Town Hall Lecture Series. Much of his presentation focused on his work depicting the changes in glaciers over time. Starting in spring 2007, Balog set up stationary time-lapse cameras at 36 sites across the globe, including Alaska, Iceland and Antarctica. The result was 1.4 million pictures showing the deterioration of glaciers in an attempt to illuminate climate change in real time. The project also resulted in a documentary on Balog’s efforts, entitled “Chasing Ice.”

    Link

    Reply
    • So we had an economic interest (fossil fuels) opposed to responses to climate change. With that interest being so powerful and so politically connected, how were we to avoid politicization? That would take an amazing amount of restraint by the fossil fuel interests, no cheating by the fossil fuel interests, no bad actors. In this age, we’ve seen very little responsibility on the part of for profit agencies when it comes to politicization or simply agreeing on helpful policy without entering it into a contested public dialogue (or injecting various forms of intentionally deceptive language into that dialogue).

      Take, for example, Social Security. Social Security is basically a pension fund that takes individual wages as contributions and that provides a levelized benefit at retirement across broader society. The program is entirely self funded. But, despite this fact, you have numerous economic interests pushing politicians to raid the fund for short term corporate and individual gain. The arguments used to attack Social Security are politicized (and, even worse, polarized — often using deceptive language). The beneficial program is labeled ‘socialist’ with the implication being that it is somehow communist. And broad misinformation is continuously disseminated claiming that the program is bankrupt or a drain on the budget.

      We see a similar drama playing out with ObamaCare. From jump it was portrayed as a failure with the hope, from special interests, that such sentiment would become a self fulfilling prophecy.

      Climate change denial sprang up out of the misinformation campaigns funded by various fossil fuel special interests in an effort to merchant of doubt climate science information and to delay government action.

      Politicization of what should be uncontested issues comes from the economic interests who can’t just let public interest based government be. Who see government as the big bag of public cash they must corner in order to be profitable. But as we can see now, this kind of polarizing activity is highly corrosive to a functioning civilization. It’s an aspect of impulse to hoard wealth that has been so destructive to various civilizations throughout history. And we are swimming in it now.

      From the point of view of someone who wants to preserve civilization and the rule of law, such forces must be opposed. Otherwise things break down with increasing frequency. So you end up with the kinds of political conflict we have now. And the responsible thing to do is oppose deleterious interests politically. If we roll over, we end up facing some pretty bad consequences sooner or later. We still face them if we lose the political and economic fight. But at least we have a chance of making it through if we put up a fight. If we don’t, well, then various forms of collapse become inevitable.

      Long winded, I’m sure, but I want to meander on to one final point. We tend to feed the beast far more than we need to. In the case of Trump, he played the media back in 2009 by making the fallacious birther claim. He was like a loud celebrity cry-baby making a lot of noise. And the ratings hungry media invited him in to talk about it. That lent this narcissistic and fallacious activity a level of credibility it didn’t deserve. It created the picture of Trump as some kind of legitimate counter to Obama. So yeah, the media was too tempted by ratings not to keep inviting Trump back so that people would stand by watching the train wreck spectacle of it all. Now look where we are. Short term gain in ratings, long term chaos…

      Same thing is happening now with Trump surrogates. Chris Hayes on MSNBC keeps inviting Anthony S. (who will probably be working in the Trump Admin once he divests of business interests). Chris gives Anthony S. a big platform for spouting misinformation (we call them alternatives facts these days. But I don’t like the term because it implies that an alt fact is some kind of real fact — which it is not). Maybe this is good for ratings, but it basically lends legitimacy to lies.

      In a similar fashion, the term politicization, as it relates to climate change, doesn’t tell the whole story. It implies that both sides of the political argument are legit and unconsciously seems to serve the false equivalency fallacy. But the truth is that one side is serving special interests while the other side is serving the public. And, for the most part, the special interests are pushing harmful policies and often longer-term term devastation for their short term gain.

      Reply
      • “Alternate facts” are not misinformation – not alternate facts – they are just simply – LIES! (Often – Big Lies)

        Reply
        • One of these things is most certainly like the other:

          mis·in·for·ma·tion ˌmisinfərˈmāSH(ə)n/
          noun
          false or inaccurate information, especially that which is deliberately intended to deceive.

          Lie
          noun
          1. a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood.

          As for the origin of the term alternative facts:

          Alternative facts” is a phrase used by U.S. Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway during a Meet the Press interview on January 22, 2017, in which she defended White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s false statement about the attendance at Donald Trump’s inauguration as President of the United States.”

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

          In other words, the term was served up by Conway to lend an air of legitimacy to false statements with ‘deliberate intent to deceive.’

          Having dealt with climate change denial for so many years, I’ve come to understand that many of the proponents simply and falsely promote it as a legitimate alternate way of looking at the world. To that audience, the term alternative facts lends the source an air of legitimacy. And even to others, a lie as an ‘alternative fact’ may be promoted to the level of a false equivalency. A logical fallacy that has become endemic to the current political dialogue.

          False equivalence is a logical fallacy in which two opposing arguments appear to be logically equivalent when in fact they are not. This fallacy is categorized as a fallacy of inconsistency.”

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

          We need to use direct language — calling it a lie or misinformation. The primary purpose of these false statements being ‘deliberate intent to deceive.’

      • Joseph Goebbels, Nazi propagandist, is credited with saying:
        “If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.” This concept is behind much of the modern marketing business, and has increasingly encroached upon the political sphere.

        Interestingly enough, Goebbels is credited with a more expansive version of this quote:
        “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

        Sounds frightfully like our current state of affairs.

        Abraham Lincoln, in his time, said:
        “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. “

        I fear Lincoln was an optimist.

        Reply
        • po·lit·i·ci·za·tion
          pəˌlidisiˈzāSH(ə)n,pəˌlidiˌsīˈzāSH(ə)n/
          noun
          the action of causing an activity or event to become political in character.
          “the politicization of the Internet”

          Politicization is simply the act of making something political in character. Often this puts the issue into dispute. This tends to happen with anything related to a contested policy. Politicization absolutely happens outside of nefarious activity in a rational society and can result in legitimate discussion of the costs and benefits of government policy. However, it is more likely that a politicized subject will tend to become polarized as various opposing political interest groups take different sides of the issue.

          Comparing politicization with Nazis is a bit of an over-reach. Politicization is a regular part of the democratic process of policy making in cases where legitimate contest is needed to improve or hone policies to address the broad needs of society. What has happened in the U.S. and around the world RE climate change is that helpful policies have recieved a kind of mass contest of fallacious arguments coming from special interest groups. This form of politicization can make it difficult for constituents of nations to agree on key issues at times when views become more and more polarized. And in highly polarized societies failure to effectively address politicized issues can be a dysfunctional and destabilizing result. (and to this related point, it appears that the Russians are now celebrating the extreme level of dysfunction that has been the upshot of Trump’s election, which they so ardently supported.)

          Climate science was going to have a tough time avoiding politicization due to the fact that energy policy is so highly charged politically.

          All that said, the statement on Nazis and related Nazi intimidation and misinformation/propaganda and misinformation campaigns is sadly relevant to the present day.

          Trump’s false accusations against Obama this weekend RE wiretapping were classic intimidation in promotion of a misinformation campaign apparently aimed at covering up key aspects of Russian interference in the U.S. election and more importantly to remove the issue from the public dialogue.

  21. Allan Begg

     /  March 7, 2017

    It does not look good for Yellow Knife as it was regarded as one of the places in Canada….
    As for Polar Bears it looks dire…

    Reply
  22. coloradobob

     /  March 7, 2017

    Leading climatologist urges mass protest against Trump administration amid global warming denial

    A leading climatologist has warned US democracy is under attack from the “uninhibited use of lies, false statements and bad science”, as he urged people to take part in public demonstrations in support of science.

    In an article for the website Wired, Dr Peter Gleick, co-founder of the Pacific Institute in California, said leading members of Trump administration rejected the “undeniable reality of climate change”, evolution, the science about vaccines, and the need to study gun violence.

    And he said he had taken to carrying a copy of the US Constitution in his briefcase to help remind himself that it guarantees the right to peacefully protest.

    Link

    Reply
  23. coloradobob

     /  March 7, 2017

    6 dead in Texas, Kansas wildfires

    (CNN)Three ranchers trying to save their cattle died in a wildfire in Gray County, Texas, according to Sandi Martin, coordinator with Gray County Emergency Management.

    The three were among five people killed by wildfires in the Texas Panhandle as fires continue to scorch swaths of the Southwest and Great Plains.

    Over a million acres burned

    Reply
  24. kay

     /  March 7, 2017

    Wild fires in Texas, OK, NV, FL, KS, 29 tornadoes with baseball sized hail through the midwest. and spring like weather here in the northeast winter all at the same time. No, nothing unusual happening here. Our news barely reports it. Our President is in bed with Exxon and Koch and Russian oil deals, as he rams through orders to complete DAPL. Time for a Climate Revolution. Hope to see you all in DC in April.

    Reply
  25. Cate

     /  March 8, 2017

    https://newrepublic.com/article/141102/steve-bannon-used-believe-science-now-hes-americas-top-climate-villain

    Steve Bannon Used to Believe in Science. Now He’s America’s Top Climate Villain.
    From Biosphere 2 to Breitbart: the mysterious conversion of Donald Trump’s chief strategist.

    Reply
  26. redskylite

     /  March 8, 2017

    In my part of the planet we have just had another once in a 100 year flood/worst ever flood with poor heartbroken country folk watching livestock floating away. A scene that is getting far to regular and common worldwide.

    Clevedon residents are reporting huge stock losses as the town east of Auckland is hit by the worst floods in a generation.

    Local farmers and residents have spent the day saving what animals they could, but know when the waters eventually recede the full toll of the floods will be revealed.

    Resident Kay Hinds​ said there were ongoing efforts to rescue stranded stock, but there was “not a lot of high ground” available.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11814259

    Reply
  27. redskylite

     /  March 8, 2017

    If the attached story reaches everyday media, more people may understand that we are creating our own problems big time. Just hope it’s picked up by the regular media outlets.

    Most people don’t know climate change is entirely human-made
    If you think natural processes have played a big part, you are far from alone. Less than half of people in the UK (43 per cent), Germany (49 per cent) and Norway (just 34 per cent) think climate change is mainly or entirely due to human activities, according to a public opinion survey.

    In France, a slim majority (55 per cent) holds this view.

    The correct answer, by the way, is that more than 100 per cent of the warming over the past century is due to human actions. How can it be more than 100 per cent? Because without us the planet would likely have cooled very slightly thanks to natural factors such as volcanic emissions and orbital changes.

    Even fewer people understand that the overwhelmingly majority of scientists agree climate change is happening and is largely due to people. Only around a third of people in all four countries thought more than 80 per cent of scientists agree with this.

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/2123819-most-people-dont-know-climate-change-is-entirely-human-made/

    Reply
  28. Ryan in New England

     /  March 8, 2017

    And the effort to eliminate the EPA begins. The administration has released details of how their plan will eliminate jobs and funding.

    The plan reflects those past sentiments. As proposed, the EPA’s staff would be slashed from its current level of 15,000 to 12,000. Grants to states, as well as its air and water programs, would be cut by 30 percent. The massive Chesapeake Bay cleanup project would receive only $5 million in the next fiscal year, down from its current $73 million.

    In addition, 38 separate programs would be eliminated entirely. Grants to clean up brownfields, or abandoned industrial sites, would be gone. Also zeroed out: the radon program, climate change initiatives and funding for Alaskan native villages.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/03/01/white-house-proposes-cutting-epa-staff-by-one-fifth-eliminating-key-programs/?utm_term=.9fc6436e67ae

    Reply
  29. Ryan in New England

     /  March 8, 2017

    Devastating fires rip through the southern plains, claiming 6 lives so far. An unusual event to occur in early March, to say the least.

    https://www.wunderground.com/news/wildfires-plains-deadly-evacuations-early-march-2017

    Reply
  30. Abel Adamski

     /  March 8, 2017

    Slightly OT, but worth a mention
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-30/recyclable-solar-storage-battaries-to-take-on-giants-tesla/7284518

    From a year ago
    Australian company launches home solar storage battery to take on electronics giant Tesla

    Brisbane company Redflow says it has developed the ZCell battery that, unlike its competitors, does not use lithium and is more recyclable than its competitors.

    “The active parts are plastic, aluminium and steel, the fluid electrolyte can be removed and cleaned and put in the next battery so the whole thing is very recyclable,” executive chairman Simon Hackett said.

    The battery is designed to store 10kWh of electricity — enough to keep most homes running for a day or two.

    “It’s a very effective high capacity battery. It’s about the size of a bar-fridge on its side and it goes outside an external wall of your house.”

    The interesting bit is at the end

    “However another enterprising company in Victoria has seen a market opportunity.

    PF Metals has just opened a pilot lithium-ion battery recycling plant.

    The machine crunches down mobile phone and laptop batteries to their component parts and sells them to be remade into batteries.

    “That lithium-ion dust can go back into manufacturing new energy systems and that’s why we’re quite excited about the process because we’re creating something that can go back into all-new products,” the firm said.

    The chemistry of many large household batteries is similar to smaller batteries.

    So managing director Andrew Mackenzie is aiming to scale his facility up to handle the larger batteries. ”

    Little steps

    Reply
  31. coloradobob

     /  March 8, 2017

    MIT professor is wrong on climate change, his colleagues warn Trump

    MIT professor Richard Lindzen’s contrarian views have lent the appearance of credibility to those who deny human activity is causing the planet to warm, but have caused deep angst among his colleagues at the university’s vaunted program in atmospheres, oceans, and climate.

    Now, the retired professor has spurred the rest of the program’s faculty to write a letter to President Trump refuting Lindzen’s position that climate change doesn’t pose a threat worth addressing and informing him that their colleague doesn’t represent their views or those of the vast majority of other climate scientists.

    In interviews, some of the professors accused Lindzen, who acknowledges accepting thousands of dollars from the fossil fuel industry, of “intellectual dishonesty” that has tarred their program.

    Link

    Reply
  32. coloradobob

     /  March 8, 2017

    Southern California overdue for major earthquake, study says

    MARCH 8, 2017, 7:35 AM| Geologists are out with a startling warning that Southern California is overdue for a major and possibly catastrophic earthquake. A new study says it’s expected to hit along the San Andreas Fault north of Los Angeles. It could have a magnitude of 7.5 or higher. CBS News science and futurist contributor Michio Kaku, a physics professor at the City University of New York, joins “CBS This Morning” to discuss the threat.

    Link

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  March 9, 2017

      When the last group of quakes hit California, we were concerned, Wendy was advised with sorrow and sadness of the sequence that will precede the catastrophe and it will be a catastrophe.
      It will be when America’s conquerors stride the land, there will be six substantial quakes in succession followed by the big one

      Reply
  33. Jeremy in Wales

     /  March 8, 2017

    I know this is only a lump of rock, but feel I have lost a friend, saw this as a 8 yr old and took my own kids to see it a few years ago
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-39207196
    You may have seen it in Game of Thrones.
    The Mediterranean can be very stormy and this is a natural event but this sort of change will become more common as sea levels rise and seas get more stormy.

    Reply
  34. coloradobob

     /  March 8, 2017

    How women farmers are battling climate change in Zimbabwe

    “Climate change is really troubling us,” she said. “But we have nowhere to run to.”

    Link

    Reply
  35. coloradobob

     /  March 8, 2017

    By 2030, half the world’s oceans could be reeling from climate change, scientists say

    More than half the world’s oceans could suffer multiple symptoms of climate change over the next 15 years, including rising temperatures, acidification, lower oxygen levels and decreasing food supplies, new research suggests. By midcentury, without significant efforts to reduce warming, more than 80 percent could be ailing — and the fragile Arctic, already among the most rapidly warming parts of the planet, may be one of the regions most severely hit.

    The study, published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications uses computer models to examine how oceans would fare over the next century under a business-as-usual trajectory and a more moderate scenario in which the mitigation efforts promised under the Paris Agreement come into effect. In both scenarios, large swaths of the ocean will be altered by climate change.

    Link

    Reply
  36. coloradobob

     /  March 8, 2017

    ‘One morning we came in and everything was dead’: Climate change and Oregon oysters

    Link

    Reply
  37. coloradobob

     /  March 8, 2017

    Effects Of Global Warming On Display In Antarctica

    Listen· 3:47

    March 8, 20175:05 AM ET
    Heard on Morning Edition
    James McClintock, a marine biologist, talks with David Greene about how warming temperatures have had a dramatic impact on the glacier near the U.S. Palmer Station in Antarctica.

    Link

    Reply
  38. coloradobob

     /  March 8, 2017

    7 rescued from submerged cars in Maui flood

    Link

    Reply
  39. coloradobob

     /  March 8, 2017

    Second Warmest U.S. February on Record: Chalk It Up to Greenhouse Gases
    By: Bob Henson

    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3573

    Reply
  40. Suzanne

     /  March 8, 2017

    Trump Cuts Regulations as Oceanic Dead Zones Release Massive Amounts of Methane
    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/39752-trump-cuts-regulations-as-oceanic-dead-zones-release-massive-amounts-of-methane

    The second largest dead zone on the planet is in the Gulf of Mexico. It has consistently been measured at over 6,000 square miles, and is the result, largely, of the excessive use of chemical fertilizers by industrial agriculture in the US. The chemicals in the fertilizer cause an increase in algae in the water, which then starves other marine life of oxygen.

    Now, with oil and gas proponent Pruitt heading the EPA, all bets are off on how much larger the Gulf of Mexico dead zone — along with others near the US’s coasts — will grow.

    The most current estimates show more than 400 dead zones around the world, and the number is growing due to increasingly warm waters and ocean acidification, both direct byproducts of ACD. In 2003, there were 146 dead zones; by 2009, the number had more than doubled.

    Reply
  41. coloradobob

     /  March 8, 2017

    Powerful Photos Reveal a Nation in Crisis as Drought Hits

    Right now, the UN estimates nearly 3 million people in Somalia are in need of emergency assistance. A drought turns into a famine when there is no safety net, and Somalia, battered by decades of war and drought, has none. They worry that if rain doesn’t come this month, mass starvation will follow.

    There are two rainy seasons in Somalia: spring, known as Gu, and fall, called Deyr. In 2016, spring rainfall was weak and fall was disastrously dry. Now, the country waits to see if the Gu season beginning in March will bring rain.

    Last month, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, a consortium of climate scientists and humanitarian groups, warned that if rain doesn’t come famine is expected.

    Link

    Reply
  42. Hilary

     /  March 8, 2017

    Ok, I hope like all other Scribblers we need to find something to cheer us up now and again. CB provides us music but you might care to watch this live feed for a while, scientifically proven to make you feel a bit better!
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/well-good/teach-me/90201128/want-better-mental-health-get-outside-and-watch-some-birds

    NB NZ time is 21 hours ahead of the US west coast

    Reply
    • Hilary

       /  March 8, 2017

      Sorry that doesn’t seem to be the live feed, you can see the albatross chick on here:

      The parents are leaving it on its own quite a bit now as they head off to feed.

      Reply
      • Cliff

         /  March 8, 2017

        I haven’t seen a new post from Tamino since February 4th. Wondering if anybody here knows what’s up?

        Reply
      • coloradobob

         /  March 9, 2017

        Many thanks Hilary,
        I am watching my little morning dove sit on her nest , her mate sits in a branch near by, but they are no match for your albatross.
        In the background thousands of grackles are flying overhead to their evening roost. They water at sunset in a huge gang .
        Something else to my us all laugh …………..
        World’s oldest-known seabird lays an egg at age of 66 in Pacific refuge
        Wednesday 14 December 2016 09.09 EST First published on Friday 9 December 2016 21.55 EST
        Wisdom the albatross, the world’s oldest-known breeding bird in the wild, has laid an egg at 66 years of age after returning to a wildlife refuge in the Pacific Ocean, US wildlife officials have said.
        https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/dec/10/worlds-oldest-known-seabird-lays-an-egg-at-age-of-66

        Reply
  1. Warm Winds Take Aim at Chukchi as Arctic Sea Ice Volume Hits Record Lows – MI-VU

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