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Weird Polar Warming Appears to Have Made February of 2017 the Second Hottest Ever Recorded 

I think the scientific consensus will be that February probably should not have been so darn hot. But it was. And that’s pretty amazingly weird.

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Clocking in at 1.32 C above 1880s averages, the month was oddly and disturbingly warm. The strong equatorial Pacific Ocean surface warming that was the El Nino of 2015-2016 had long since passed. The effects of a weak La Nina cooling of the same waters during late 2016 still lingered. And the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) — a measure of ocean surface temperature oscillation in the Pacific that tends to help drive natural variability based warming and cooling cycles — showed a meager warming bias value of 0.08 (or barely positive).

All these factors pointed toward a climate system that should have been pulling the world into a cyclical short term cooling during 2017 and 2018 (relative to 2016 record warmth). Global temperatures under such conditions would have been expected to recede about 0.1 to 0.2 C off highs hit during 2016 of 1.2 C hotter than 1880s temperatures. Averaging in a still disturbingly warm range near 1 C above 1880s values but waiting for the next El Nino cycle for a run at new global record warmth.

Heat Heads Toward the Poles

But, so far, the expected cyclical cooling isn’t happening. Instead, January of 2017 showed up as 1.14 C hotter than 1880s while February was 1.32 C hotter. The combined average of these two months was 1.23 C warmer than the preindustrial baseline — or a hair warmer that the 2016 average. This shouldn’t have happened. But it did. And now there is some risk that 2017 may be yet another record hot year. The fourth in a row consecutively.

So what was the cause?

(February saw highest above average temperature readings centered near the poles — a signal that polar warming was the primary factor driving near record heat for the month. Image source: NASA.)

According to NASA, both polar zones experienced considerable above average temperatures during the month of February. Lower latitude temperatures were also well above average, but the highest temperature spikes appeared in the far north and the far south. At the 80 to 90 north and south latitude zones, temperatures were 4.5 and 2 C above average respectively. And the heat was particularly intense in the Northern Hemisphere Arctic and near Arctic between 60 and 90 north latitude with temperatures ranging from 3 to 4.5 C above average.

Polar Amplification Appears to Drive Weird 2017 Warmth

Such strong warming at the poles is indicative of a global warming related condition called polar amplification. The causes of polar amplification include increasing water vapor at the poles, high greenhouse gas overburdens in the Arctic, a darkening of the polar ice from particulates (wildfire and human-produced smoke), intensification of transport of heat from the lower and middle latitudes toward the poles, warming oceans and changes in ocean circulation, and loss of snow and ice cover at the poles. To this final point, sea ice coverage has been consistently at or near record lows for both the northern and southern polar regions.

(Global sea ice extent at record lows likely helped to contribute to extremely warm conditions at the poles during February of 2017. Less sea ice means more water vapor evaporating from oceans in the polar regions. Water vapor is a powerful greenhouse gas. In addition, warmth from the ocean can more readily ventilate into local atmospheres which aids in heat transport to the polar regions as the skein of sea ice retracts. Image source: Wipneus. Data Source: NSIDC.)

Polar amplification is not typically cited as a climate event that can overcome the transient cooling signal of a post El Nino period. However, given a first look at the evidence, this appears to be exactly what happened during early 2017. If this is the case, it is cause for serious concern. It is an indicator that a global tipping point has been reached in that warming at the poles (which is an upshot of the ridiculously high greenhouse gas levels we now see globally) is strong enough to drown out some of the traditional ENSO and PDO signals.

Links:

NASA

NSIDC

Polar Amplification

Pacific Decadal Oscillation

Hat tip to Colorado Bob

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73 Comments

  1. climatehawk1

     /  March 16, 2017

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  2. A source I have seen place this risk of record year at 65%.

    Reply
  3. Thank you Robert for all the information you give. That, and all the comments and links makes this site a treasure.
    I was just watching a portion of a White House news conference this afternoon, and was shocked to hear Mulvany talking about budget proposals, quote “we are not spending any money on climate change, we think it is a waste of your money”.
    Wow!

    Reply
    • I guess Mulvaney thinks that things like parachutes for sky divers are a waste of money too?

      It would seem a shockingly ignorant statement if we didn’t consider the context and the fact that pretty much everything coming out of this administration has been fallacious in one way or another. Trump land = bizzaro opposite world. Plus the fact that fossil fuels own this administration — lock, stock, and barrel.

      Really does make one miss the Obama Administration — which actually invested in and supported things like fuel efficiency, wind, solar and the EPA. I mean the Obama days look really, really good at this time.

      Reply
  4. Erik Frederiksen

     /  March 16, 2017

    Thanks for the article, you wrote that “But, so far, the expected cyclical cooling isn’t happening.” For the last 40 years, global temperature when averaged over several years, has gone up fairly linearly. But with increased climate forcing and amplifying feedbacks, we may be seeing a step change in the rate of warming.

    Increases in extreme weather and sea level rise are very non-linear however and will likely cause big changes over the next several decades.

    Reply
    • Transient cyclical cooling post El Nino has been a mainstay of the present trend for some time. This counter-trend cooling is incorportated into the larger warming dynamic. You can see the impact of La Nina on post El Nino years here:

      Temperatures back off a bit during post El Nino years. The two exceptions to this were 1988 (somewhat positive PDO generated a lag before La Nina set in) and 1994 (post Pinatubo). This is the transient cyclical cooling that I reference in the article. That said, such transient cooling does not blot out the larger long term warming trend (which is quite obvious).

      If transient cooling does not occur during La Nina/post El Nino years, then it’s an indicator that the rate of warming may be accelerating.

      Reply
  5. Erik Frederiksen

     /  March 16, 2017

    I just watched an interesting presentation by professor Jonathan Bamber, from April 2016. Bamber is professor of physical geography and director of the Bristol Glaciology Centre, University of Bristol, and president-elect of the European GeoSciences Union. In it he addresses current ice sheet science such as recent work on ice sheet models published by DeConto and Pollard.

    He noted that previously we thought that the total 20th century sea level rise (SLR) was around 20 cm, but recently that has been revised down to 12-15 cm. If that’s the case then the recent acceleration in SLR is higher than previously thought.

    This would mean that the rate that occurred in the last 25 years was more than double that of the 20th century.

    We hear about polar amplification often in the North with the melting of the Arctic Ice Cap and permafrost. But there’s another pole and the Antarctic Peninsula, where the Larsen C ice shelf is currently starting to break up, experienced the fastest warming observed anywhere on the planet. Half a degree per decade for the last 50 years and 8-10 ice shelves there broke up over the last 25-30 years. But there’s not much ice there. Most worrying is the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which is inherently unstable because it’s grounded up to 2.5km below sea level where it is bathed in warming waters.

    According to Bamber, the last IPCC report estimated that during the 21st century that thermal expansion would be the largest single contributor to sea level rise, as in the 20th century. He noted that that’s a little problematic since ice mass loss is already the single largest contributor. So projections may not be capturing all the physics of ice dynamics.

    Regarding ice dynamics, it’s been observed at Jakobshavn Glacier in Greenland that marine terminating ice cliffs over 100m in height collapse. The Thwaites Glacier in the WAIS can expose ice cliffs higher than El Capitan (1000m) to warming oceans and entrain the collapse of the entire ice sheet. When a calving front opens up at Thwaites Glacier the ocean can follow that front all the way to the Trans Antarctic Mountains.

    The thickest part of the much larger EAIS (4.8km thick) rests on ground as much as 1500m below sea level. The Totten Glacier there drains as much ice as the entire WAIS and its ice shelf is experiencing basal melt from warming circumpolar water at grounding depths of glaciers.

    Also regarding ice dynamics, when you remove ice shelves, the glaciers behind speed up. When the Larsen B ice shelf broke up on the Peninsula the glaciers behind sped up by a factor of eight.

    If we sped up all of Antarctica’s glaciers by a factor of eight the rate of sea level rise would reach several cms per year so we shouldn’t try to speed them up.

    https://www.antarcticreport.com/articles/jonathan-bamber-university-of-bristol-on-ice-sheets-and-sea-level-rise

    Reply
    • Thanks for the link and analysis. With thermal expansion probably accounting for about 1.5 mm per year of SLR, glacial ice losses probably now account for a little more than half. If the rate is closer to 4 mm per year as indicated by the possible revision, then you might be looking at 2.5 mm per year from glacial loss already.

      It would certainly be concerning if rates of SLR were accelerating faster than accepted consensus science indicates. However, even the acceleration we see from the broader research is along an upward curve (exponential).

      Reply
  6. Keith Antonysen

     /  March 16, 2017

    Thanks Robert.

    An article from the Guardian which shows the impact on China of Arctic amplification, smog:

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/15/airpocalypse-smog-events-linked-to-global-warming-research-reveals

    Reply
    • Thanks for this, Keith. Pretty instructive to anything market oriented and probably relevant to the healthcare debate in the U.S. right now.

      Reply
  7. Henry D

     /  March 16, 2017

    Is that supposed to be 1.10 C for Feb 2017? 1.32 C was for Feb 2016, from the link you had.

    Reply
    • The NASA departure from 20th Century baseline is 1.10 C. Adding in the difference between NASA’s 20th Century baseline and 1880s values and you get +1.32 C above 1880s for Feb 2017. The Feb 2016 departure from 1880s is therefore +1.54 (one month above 1.5 C warmer than preindustrial).

      Reply
  8. Bill H

     /  March 16, 2017

    The Australian climate blog, http://blog.hotwhopper.com/ , reports that the Aussie Bureau of Meteorology is already reporting “el Nino Watch” conditions for 2017.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the update, Bill. I’m sure it certainly feels like El Nino down there with all the crazy heat, weather, and coral bleaching going on.

      Reply
  9. DJ

     /  March 16, 2017

    Antarctic refreeze seems to be really lagging as well…

    https://ads.nipr.ac.jp/vishop/#/extent

    Reply
  10. Vic

     /  March 16, 2017

    As Queensland farmers count the costs of the recent record breaking crop-killing series of heatwaves while an unprecedentedly widespread drought grips almost the entire state and as tens of thousands of workers in the Great Barrier Reef tourism industry are forced to reconsider their futures, where is the state’s Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk ?

    https://mysunshinecoast.com.au/news/news-display/where-is-premier-palaszczuk,48360

    Reply
    • mulga mumblebrain

       /  March 17, 2017

      Why, pushing coal, of course. And she is ‘Labor’ ie the supposedly less rabidly pro-coal party. The death by bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef will kill a multi-billion dollar tourism industry stone dead, yet she still worships at the altar of coal. What drives these creatures? Fossil fuel cheques? Cowardice in the face of the omnicidal Right? Sheer stupidity and ignorance? Or some combination thereof? The Adani coal-mine ought to, and I hope will, unleash the greatest wave of passive resistance ever in this country.

      Reply
      • Matt

         /  March 17, 2017

        I agree Mulga, but we are talking of Queensland and the city of Brisvegas. The majority of the population there are in this life for themselves… pure and simple. They don’t give a rats about the environment, their future their kids future…period.
        Just look at the examples; what state is home for the majority of Pauline Hansen (right wing nut job Hitler would be) supporters? QLD. What state continues unabated with CSG fracking while the lifeblood farming community suffers and farmers are so desperate they are taking their own lives? QLD. What state barely voted in just 1 Green senator, while at the same time, the biggest tourism drawcard in the country dies before their eyes and the Greens were the only party to care? you guessed it QLD!

        Reply
        • Vic

           /  March 17, 2017

        • mulga mumblebrain

           /  March 18, 2017

          Matt, you forgot ‘Which State reinstituted widescale land-clearing when its reduction had been part of our generous Kyoto deal?’.

  11. Jeremy In Wales

     /  March 16, 2017

    A little story, but an optimistic one, that is probably being replicated around the world. A small Welsh company Cenin Renewables has just opened two small solar farms outside Cardiff, some 8MW but this is a firm that makes green cement, they have a wind turbine, another solar plant and an anaerobic digester on their production site to produce electricity and heat used in making their product. The bio-digester also produces a liquid fertiliser used on a neighbouring farm.
    It is ordinary people like this making the right choices that will generate the conditions that become a tidal wave sweeping the politicians before them.
    http://www.ceninrenewables.co.uk/

    Reply
  12. Greg

     /  March 17, 2017

    NY times and climate coverage: A newly formed team of journalists devoted entirely to climate issues — The climate team was formed to handle breaking news stories… The team, which has been around for a little longer than a month, exists as its own desk in the newsroom (just like, say, the national desk or the sports desk) and consists of editors and reporters in New York and Washington. The goal…is to produce visual, explanatory and investigative journalism at a time when, as today’s article indicates, the calamities caused by climate change seem to be intensifying.

    Reply
    • Erik Frederiksen

       /  March 17, 2017

      Great news indeed. When the NY Times runs an article on global warming it is generally excellent, but they haven’t given frequent enough coverage, and they haven’t displayed the news as prominently on their site as it deserves.

      Hopefully that will change for the better now.

      Reply
  13. Vic

     /  March 17, 2017

    Another round of unusually intense rainfall in Peru has killed at least a dozen people.

    The latest floods and mudslides over the past three days followed a series of other storms, and officials said a total of 62 people have died and 12,000 homes have been destroyed so far this year.

    Authorities said they expected the intense rains — caused by the warming of surface waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean — to continue for another two weeks.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-17/peru-floods-and-mudslides-kill-dozens/8362688

    Reply
  14. Greg

     /  March 17, 2017

    ‘Billion tree tsunami’ surges across northern Pakistan

    “it significantly contributes to the global efforts for sequestering carbon and mitigating climate change”, Khan said.
    An estimated 500,000 “green jobs” have been created through the effort, some of which have gone to rural women and unemployed youth, he said.
    The project has been recognised by the Bonn Challenge, a global partnership aiming to restore 150 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded lands by 2020.
    The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government – the only province to register under the Bonn Challenge, Pakistani officials said – has committed to restore 380,000 hectares of forests and has already achieved nearly 80 percent of that goal, Aslam said.
    To protect its forests, Khan’s provincial government has also enforced a complete ban on the cutting and felling of trees in reserved forests.
    The government says the activities of the powerful “timber mafia” have been curtailed through dismantling more than 600 illegal sawmills and arresting more than 300 timber cutters, as well as issuing heavy fines.
    “Two of our forest guards have been killed in timber encounters while many have braved injuries,” Aslam said. “All of these steps have forced the timber mafia on to the back foot and delivered a clear political message of ‘zero tolerance’ to the illicit cutting of wood.”
    http://news.trust.org/item/20170316002629-n6m1a/

    Reply
    • So this is what taking responsibility looks like. And we need to do the same thing with the fossil fuel mafia.

      Reply
    • lesliegraham1

       /  March 17, 2017

      From your link:

      “The aim of the programme is to plant 100 million trees all over the country over the next five years.”

      I’m presuming this is a typo and the actual figure is 100 Billion trees.
      Otherwise it’s just a joke.
      My little company of 7 employees (plus sub-contractors) planted a million and a half trees a year in northern Scotland alone so I certainly hope it’s a typo.

      Reply
    • mulga mumblebrain

       /  March 18, 2017

      That’s a great story, particularly coming from Pakistan, while it is beset by so many problems. It shows what can, and MUST be done. In contrast, here in Aust-failure, the far Right Tasmania regime has just voted to allow the loggers back into protected forests, despite even the forest industry being opposed to the move as it will cruel their chances of gaining accreditation from forest ‘stewardship’ organisations. It will also undermine the burgeoning tourist industry. With the Life-hating Right, we are dealing with true psychotics.

      Reply
  15. coloradobob

     /  March 17, 2017

    SATELLITE MARCHES
    Register to attend your local march

    On April 22, 2017, join us for an unprecedented gathering of people standing together to acknowledge and voice the critical role that science plays in each of our lives.

    Don’t see a march in your city? Please fill out this form ONLY if you are ready to host a march. Note, that we require a website or social media page to register.

    394 Satellite Marches

    Notice that there are no Satellite Marches in Russia.

    Reply
  16. coloradobob

     /  March 17, 2017

    The planet Donald Trump doesn’t want you to see

    NASA has a little program with a big view of Earth, but President Donald Trump wants to shut it down.

    If a new budget outline released by the Trump administration Thursday goes through, it will cancel funding for the instruments on the DSCOVR spacecraft that face our planet from 1 million miles away.

    It’s a relatively small budget cut — though it’s unclear how much would be saved — in a proposal to trim billions of dollars from many agencies, but Trump’s desire to cancel this one specific part of a mission speaks volumes.

    NASA’s Epic instrument on DSCOVR beams back a full view of the sunlit side of the Earth every day. The photos are made publicly available through a NASA-run website, and it’s a great place for any journalist or member of the public to go for a daily view of our home planet. These images allow climate scientists to get a good look at what the atmosphere is doing on any given day.

    Link

    Reply
    • Trump and his fossil fuel backers want to degrade our ability to track the climate crisis just as it starts to worsen. It’s this kind of corrupt behavior that wrecks civilizations. It’s like the king of Judea killing the messengers telling him the Babylonians were coming.

      Reply
  17. Robert E Prue

     /  March 17, 2017

    Ya know, September sea ice volume is down to 30%of what it was 40 years ago. 10 years, it’ll probably be zero. Or close to it. Then what?

    Reply
  18. redskylite

     /  March 17, 2017

    R.S Thanks for powerful and timely narrative on the NASA (which echoes the JMA) February anomaly figures. What struck me is the Southern Hemisphere equaled (exactly) the 2016 temperature anomaly. We know we are on an upwards ladder like climb, but the post 2016 El Nino is not a repeat of the post 1998 event, where many media outlets relaxed and went back into sleep mode and talked of hiatus.

    Possibly a tipping point has been stepped over. Yet still we are voting in blasé and indifferent governments. Can business’s and local governments and people overcome. Only time will tell, but terrible calamities are happening around the globe, with drought and starvation.

    Thanks for maintaining the posts, they are appreciated and will make a difference.

    Lets hope the next generation can act more swiftly when they sweep into power, and their court case does not get swallowed up. One thing is if the deniers and indifferent politicians think they can subdue the young’uns they are sadly mistaken.

    ‘Biggest Case on the Planet’ Pits Kids vs. Climate Change

    By 2050, Arctic sea ice will have virtually disappeared, and temperatures in the interior, surrounding Fairbanks, will have risen by an additional 2 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit, altering the boreal forest ecosystem. Nathan will be 48.

    “I can deal with a few days of rain in February when it’s supposed to be 40 below,” he says. “But I can’t deal with the idea that what my parents experienced and what I have experienced will not exist for my children. I am a winter person. I won’t sit idly by and watch winter vanish.”

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/03/kids-sue-us-government-climate-change/

    Reply
    • Thanks for this excellent article and these very salient thoughts, Redsky :). If we keep burning fossil fuels, there won’t be much of a winter left. And the world we try to eek out a living in will be both wrecked and weird.

      Reply
    • Steven Blaisdell

       /  March 19, 2017

      We have definite;y passed a tipping point. The indicators show this – three record hot years in a row, polar ice cratering (as per the Wipneus graph above), extreme polar amplification year after year, January and February so warm, in a putatively ‘cool’ year no less, that calling it anomalous doesn’t do it justice. Looking at the ENSO graph above, it looks as though the clustering of La Nina years since 1998 might represent extreme levels of atmospheric heat being ‘forced’ into cooler oceans, a kind of reverse or mirror image of what we’re experiencing now as all that heat is released back into the atmosphere, year after year. Of course the oceans are still heating, dramatically, so the years since 1998 might represent the last time we’ll see the oceans neutralize human activity to that extent.

      I don’t think it’s possible to look at the year to year temperature data, at the lag time for warming following emissions, at the rapidly melting ice caps and sheets (great article in Science recently about Greenland’s literally disintegrating ice), at the thawing permafrost, at population growth, at the Anglo countries’ reactionary responses to AGW, at the vast oil reserves in Russia that lie behind everything the Trump White House is doing, at Repsol’s discovery of 1.2 billion gallons of light crude in Alaska’s North Slope, at the wildly successful fossil fuel propaganda and disinformation campaign that has made open discussion of global warming, and most importantly solutions, impossible in this country, at the rapidly warming and acidifying oceans, at the disappearing rainforests; I don’t think it’s possible to look at all this, and much, much more, and honestly say that we’re not going to see some pretty harsh and serious changes to the biosphere and human civilization. It’s going to happen; it’s already happening, in a sense it’s already happened.

      There are some things you cannot take back – if you kill someone, they are dead, you cannot bring them back. If you melt the Earth’s ice – and it is melting and will continue to melt, at increasing rates – you cannot get it back, and you initiate massive disruption of global climate systems. If you cut and burn the world’s equatorial rainforest, and humans are doing exactly this, you not only remove Earth’s primary terrestrial carbon sink, you turn it into a carbon source. Double whammy. If you melt boreal permafrost – and it is melting, much faster, of course, than anyone predicted or expected – you release 100-200 Gt CO2e by 2040.

      You cannot take these phenomena back. They’re a done deal. Our children, my daughter, are going to be living on a very different Earth. Or as Bill McKibben calls it, Eaarth. We have indeed passed a tipping point, and as Americans and their like minded transnational brethren increasingly retreat into 24/7 air conditioned comfort, staring at their six foot HD screens with 5.1 home surround, and as they lose themselves almost every waking hour in the puerile narcissistic dreamworld of ubiquitous screens, and as industrialized humans continue to erase any real, day to day connection to or knowing of the planetary ecology from which we emerged, it’s hard to see how the cruise ship of fossil fueled comfort and convenience doesn’t hit the berg. One man’s opinion.

      Reply
      • Shawn Redmond

         /  March 19, 2017

        Sums up the opinion of more than one.

        Reply
      • Godfrey

         /  March 21, 2017

        I agree. I encourage those around me to practice support for each other and to reach out to all of those in trouble that we can. Thanks for taking the time to write.
        Some days it’s tough to keep going.
        Kind regards

        Reply
  19. Robert E Prue

     /  March 17, 2017

    Once that no ice cube is gone, the arctic is gonna be warmer during summer than it’s been for a long, long time.

    Reply
  20. Robert E Prue

     /  March 17, 2017

    Summer’s coming. The long,hot torrid summer that’s going to last 100,000 years

    Reply
  21. Robert E Prue

     /  March 17, 2017

    Too many amplifying feedbacks. Happening too fast. The bark beetle feedback seems to be destroying too much forest. Too fast for trees that are more tolerant to replace those that aren’t. The warming is happening way too rapidly for adaptation to deal with it. Spread out over 3000 years it wouldn’t be as big a problem. Over 100 years? It’s a crash.

    Reply
  22. Robert E Prue

     /  March 17, 2017

    What
    I’m saying is if we could level out the warming even if it was 2or3 degrees warmer. Over 3000 or 4000 years it probably won’t be that bad. That same warming in 100 years would be a disaster!

    Reply
    • Cliff

       /  March 17, 2017

      Yes, life is very adaptable and has thrived in a much warmer climate. The problem, I agree, is that our planet is warming to quickly. Consider this: we have freshwater lakes full of fish and salty oceans full of fish. But switch the two in a short period….?

      Reply
  23. Yesterday I posted a comment about the budget proposed by Mulvaney regarding climate change spending without an internet link. Today, my search discovered so many links, I just picked this one below. Apparently I wasn’t the only person to be appalled by what I had heard.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/03/16/mulvaney-defends-proposed-cuts-to-climate-research-poverty-programs-deeming-them-wasteful-or-ineffective/?utm_term=.d73fa7f4f047
    During my search I also found these comments:
    The UN said recently that the world is facing its worst humanitarian crisis since the end of World War II, with 20 million people in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia, and Nigeria facing starvation and famine
    At a briefing at the White House, Al Jazeera’s James Bays asked Trump’s budget director whether the administration was worried that some of the most vulnerable people on Earth would suffer as a result of proposed cuts to foreign aid.
    “We’re absolutely reducing funding to the UN and to the various foreign aid programs, including those run by the UN and other agencies. That should come as a surprise to no one who watched the [presidential] campaign,” Mick Mulvaney responded.
    “The president said specifically hundreds of times … ‘I’m going to spend less money on people overseas and more money on people back home’. And that’s exactly what we’re doing with this budget.”
    How could the most powerful nation on earth be so uncaring and lacking in compassion to the poorest people on earth? Are they really going to let these people starve?

    Reply
  24. wharf rat

     /  March 17, 2017

    Did California Figure Out How to Fix Global Warming?
    How the Golden State went green.

    …Today, California can claim first place in just about every renewable-energy category: It is home to the nation’s largest wind farm and the world’s largest solar thermal plant. It has the largest operating photovoltaic solar installation on Earth and more rooftop solar than any other state. (It helps to have a lot of roofs.) This new industry has been an economic boon as well. Solar companies now employ an estimated 64,000 people in the state, surpassing the number of people working for all the major utilities. California has attracted more venture capital investment for clean-energy technologies than the European Union and China combined. Even the state’s manufacturing base is experiencing a boost; one of California’s largest factories is Tesla Motors’ sprawling electric-vehicle assembly plant in the Bay Area.

    All of these advances have undercut a fundamental tenet of economics: that more growth equals more emissions. Between 2003 and 2013 (the most recent data), the Golden State decreased its greenhouse gas emissions by 5.5 percent while increasing its gross domestic product by 17 percent — and it did so under the thumb of the nation’s most stringent energy regulations.
    http://billmoyers.com/story/did-california-figure-out-how-to-fix-global-warming/%5Dbillmoyers.com

    Reply
  25. coloradobob

     /  March 17, 2017

    Reply
  26. coloradobob

     /  March 17, 2017

    Democrats Drive Rise in Concern About Global Warming

    66% of Democrats now worry a great deal, up nine points from 2016
    Independents are also more worried; Republicans are not
    Gap between parties significantly wider than on other issues

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A landmark year in 2016 for global warming politics has further deepened the already formidable divide between Republicans and Democrats on the issue. Two-thirds (66%) of Democrats say they worry about global warming a great deal, compared with 18% of Republicans.

    Gallup Poll

    Reply
    • Highest ever levels of concern among Dems and Independents:

      I find the jump among independents to be a bit reassuring as well. Worth noting that though republicans lag considerably, they have also experienced a bit of a bump. I attribute this both to events and to mainstream media more responsibly reporting the news on climate change. We’re getting much better coverage of the issue now. Probably not where it needs to be. But better.

      Reply
  27. wharf rat

     /  March 17, 2017

    This Group Is Trying To Replace The Most Anti-Science Members of Congress With Actual Scientists

    A new group called 314 Action is trying to get scientists to ditch their lab coats and run for office. But could scientists facing off against Republicans in Congress actually end up harming science?

    https://www.buzzfeed.com/azeenghorayshi/meet-the-scientists-who-want-to-run-for-office-in?utm_term=.qner32zOj#.bk0nJOQKE%5Dbuzzfeed.com%5B

    Reply
    • +1

      If they replace climate change deniers, it will certainly help. But to be effective, scientists will have to learn how to effectively counter misinformation, agitation, wedge issues, and subversion by fossil fuel industry proponents as legislators. They bring with them quite a lot of clout, though. And campaigning on science-based issues will help to include those issues more in the public discourse.

      Reply
  28. Robert
    Many thanks for the post. Supplies missing context. Should be required reading.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the kind words. It’s worth noting that over the past few decades the polar amplification signal has grown increasingly strong. But it’s not until recently that it seems to have blared out bits of the ENSO signal.

      It’s worth noting that my observations are preliminary. PDO has been positive recently and that’s probably also having an impact. But in February, the PDO signal was muted and the polar signal looked very, very strong.

      Reply
  29. Hilary

     /  March 18, 2017

    Thanks for this important post, Robert (and the comments from all the scribblers here).
    Off to feed a little bit to your Raven.
    Kia kaha!

    Hilary

    Reply
  1. NEWS UPDATE #134 - Ecologise

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