India Already Facing Water Shortages Ahead of Dry Season

Spring in India can be a rough time for farmers in a warming world.

The vast, flat lands that compose much of India depend on waters flowing down from snow melting in the Himalayas. And a reliable influx of moisture in the form of the Southeast Asian Monsoon is a much-needed backstop to the heat and dryness of April, May, and early June.

But the warming of our world through fossil fuel burning and related greenhouse gas emissions is causing the glaciers of the Himalayas to melt. It is causing temperatures during spring to increase — which more rapidly dries the rivers and wells of India’s plains. It is creating a hot, dry atmospheric barrier that increasingly delays the onset of India’s monsoon. And since the 1950s India’s rainfall rates have been decreasing.

(NOAA rainfall anomaly map for the past six months showing a severe deficit for southern India. With April, May, and June being India’s hottest, driest months, and with climate change producing a worsening water security situation for the state, the risk for yet one more serious water crisis emerging over the coming weeks is high. Image source: NOAA CPC.)

All of these effects are related to human-caused climate change. However, what since the mid-20th Century had been a steadily worsening state of affairs has, over recent years, tipped into a more difficult to manage set of events.

During 2015, a delayed monsoon resulted in India receiving about 14 percent less rain than expected. During 2016, severe heatwaves exacerbated a drought that put 330 million people under water rationing. The 2016 monsoons finally halted this severe water crisis. But underlying shortages persisted through March of 2017.

Today, sections of South India in a region with a combined population of about 145 million continue to see severe water stress. The state of Kerala is experiencing its worst drought in over a Century. Tamil Nadu, which slipped into drought on January 10th, now shows all 32 districts reporting water shortages. And in Karnataka, reservoir levels have now dipped below 20 percent as almost all districts were reporting drought conditions. Farmer suicides from these regions remained high throughout the year. And reports indicate that inability to grow staple crops in these regions has resulted in reports of people relying on eating rats for food.

(Sea surface temperature anomaly map by Earth Nullschool. Warm sea surface temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific can help to delay India’s monsoon — extending the hot, dry period of April, May and June. This year, NOAA predicts that a weak to moderate El Nino may form which would further exacerbate climate change driven water stresses in India.)

These are tough conditions. But the worst may be yet to come for 2017.

April, May and June is the hottest, driest period for India. And the state is entering this season with almost a 150 million people already facing water stress. Moreover, the warming of Equatorial waters in the Pacific as another El Nino is again expected to emerge increases the risk that the 2017 monsoon could be delayed or weakened. So with a water crisis now ongoing in the south, conditions are likely set to worsen soon.

Links:

Farmers Despair Amid Low Rainfall

Climate Change Key Suspect in Case of India’s Disappearing Ground Water

India Drought Affecting 330 Million People After Two Weak Monsoons

NOAA CPC

Earth Nullschool

Himalayan Glaciers are Melting More Rapidly

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122 Comments

  1. Erik Frederiksen

     /  March 21, 2017

    Melting glaciers presents a global water supply problem. From the NY Times 12/15

    “Last weekend, Chinese scientists released a separate report that said the surface area of glaciers on Mount Everest, which straddles the Tibet-Nepal border, have shrunk nearly 30 percent in the last 40 years.

    Vanishing glaciers raise urgent concerns beyond Tibet and China.

    By one estimate, the 46,000 glaciers of the Third Pole region help sustain 1.5 billion people in 10 countries — its waters flowing to places as distant as the tropical Mekong Delta of Vietnam, the hills of eastern Myanmar and the southern plains of Bangladesh. Scattered across nearly two million square miles, these glaciers are receding at an ever-quickening pace, producing a rise in levels of rivers and lakes in the short term and threatening Asia’s water supply in the long run.

    A paper published this year by The Journal of Glaciology said the retreat of Asian glaciers was emblematic of a “historically unprecedented global glacier decline.”

    Reply
  2. Suzanne

     /  March 21, 2017

    Front page on NY Times today…

    Americans overwhelmingly believe that global warming is happening, and that carbon emissions should be scaled back. But fewer are sure that the changes will harm them personally. New data released by Yale researchers gives the most detailed view yet of public opinion on global warming.
    ______________________________
    Happy that I am seeing more and more of these stories. What caught me eye though is this sentence “But fewer are sure that the changes will harm them personally”.
    And that is the biggest problem…I see. While many of the privileged think CC is real..many still don’t get it. It is why, IMO..stories like the one RS just posted, doesn’t sink in. People read about it, but don’t connect the dots.

    Reply
    • I think it’s natural to believe one’s own bubble of safety won’t be pierced. That’s a tough impulse to overcome. I’m mostly heartened by the new studies. And, unfortunately, I think we’ll tend to feel less safe (personally) RE climate change as time progresses.

      Reply
    • Erik Frederiksen

       /  March 21, 2017

      “But fewer are sure that the changes will harm them personally.” The media has really fallen down on their responsibility to inform the public.

      As James Hansen said in a 2016 interview in The Guardian, “There’s no argument about the fact that we will lose the coastal areas, now occupied by most of the large cities of the world. It’s only a question of how soon. That message, I don’t think, has been clearly brought to the policymakers and the public.”
      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/apr/12/climate-scientist-james-hansen-i-dont-think-im-an-alarmist

      Reply
      • Good point. But I honestly don’t think the media has fully gotten their arms around the problem. It’s difficult to discuss an issue that basically changes the background context for such a large variety of issues. It’s like talking about living in a different world.

        Reply
        • Erik Frederiksen

           /  March 21, 2017

          Yes, the media isn’t the only one to blame, but for a number of reasons, for decades the message hasn’t gotten across to the public, so lawmakers have less pressure to ignore the interests of the fossil fuel companies.

        • I think they need to continue to improve their messaging. I think we really need a sense of urgency.

        • Erik Frederiksen

           /  March 21, 2017

          Regarding urgency, yes, for all we know tipping points towards unsurmountable impacts may already be in the rear-view mirror. Uncertainty is not our friend here and as Alley said, the less one trusts scientists the more worried one should be.

          I’m worried because we have a global emergency that we’re not responding to meaningfully as yet and the planet has a lot of momentum in its energy system.

        • If we turn inward, eventually the stresses become too high and we collapse into conflict. That’s why climate change denial is so harmful and caustic. It’s hijacked rational responses and guarantees bad outcomes.

      • Cate

         /  March 22, 2017

        Food supply, food supply, food supply.

        The message will come home to people when it hits their dinner table in the form of staple food shortages and skyrocketing prices.

        That is when the vast majority of people, even people who live far away from the coast and think they have nothing to worry about because climate change is all about SLR, will suddenly realise that this crisis will touch everyone. Everyone. Everywhere.

        Reply
        • Nailed it. Hits to food supply hurt everyone from the working folks on the street and in the fields to the top execs facing worsening social unrest and anger toward those in privileged, seemingly more secure, positions.

    • mulga mumblebrain

       /  March 22, 2017

      It’s just another manifestation of the denial of death. If you can spend a lifetime not contemplating your own mortality, putting the end of other human beings out of mind is a doddle.

      Reply
  3. This is about the point where brainless, heartless, soulless climate change denying shills slip quietly out of sight after many years of chirping “assuming global warming is even real we’ll just adapt, no big deal.”

    Reply
    • I hope so. Unfortunately, it seems to me that as long as there is oil, or gas, or coal to sell then there’s a climate change denier available to make a false claim. The only thing that will prevent deniers from continuing to clog the present discourse, in my view, is either wholesale public shaming (debatable whether this will work, because they seem to have no shame), or action by governments to provide mass public information campaigns on the issue while making it illegal for fossil fuel companies to donate to campaigns or buy advertising space without a warning label.

      It does appear that the public awareness has shifted in the right direction. But considering who holds power in the U.S. Congress and Executive Branch, it’s still clearly not enough.

      Reply
    • mulga mumblebrain

       /  March 22, 2017

      They will NEVER disappear. Even now they still rant and rave and are welcome throughout the Rightwing fake-stream media. Here they still totally dominate the Murdoch fakestream infestation, and the other business press, plus talk-back radio, and other sections of the media. Where they are not dominant, the subject of climate destabilisation and manifestations like the mere death of the Great Barrier Reef, are simply ignored. The latest bleaching was reported a couple of weeks ago, and now is forgotten. No politician raises it, let alone screams it from the roof-tops as it ought to be. Down the Memory Hole. Simply astounding, really.

      Reply
      • Matt

         /  March 22, 2017

        😦 so true Mulga

        Reply
      • Mark in OZ

         /  March 22, 2017

        Spot on mulga. The same neo-con philosophy that deifies ‘the market’ i.e. profit, dividends, ROI, shareholder value has been injected into the Strayan people via house prices that have been engineered to astronomical levels with a complicit (captured) government, global debt merchants and an very unhealthy sector of rentier businesses.

        Paralysed, stressed and fearful and thus emotionally traumatized by their astounding levels of debt (servitude) there’s not much space for ‘speaking out’ like the Aussies of yesteryear who had no such compunction about ‘giving an earful’ to those that need it.

        Our opponents in ‘Empire’ have partly succeeded in equating ‘renewable’ energy with a threat to house prices; which would mean an economic detonation that would scorch the eastern seaboard–where most reside, including the viability of the banking sector. Must avoid this !(sarc)

        However, despite the forces against, the number of environmentally concerned / active continues to grow (younger gen) and there’s a lot of pressure at local level being supplied to ‘keep it in the ground’ wrt the threatening Adani coal mine which has been ‘given’ $900 mill of taxpayer money to develop the project.

        The ‘fight’ is far from over.

        “A new environmental campaign to stop the development of Adani Group’s $16.5 billion coal mine in Queensland will be launched Wednesday with the high-profile backing of former Australian Greens party leader Bob Brown.”

        https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-21/adani-coal-mine-in-australia-faces-fresh-wave-of-protests

        Reply
      • unnaturalfx

         /  March 22, 2017

        So true , so saddening . Tell lies long enough , hard enough and many will see them as true.

        Reply
      • You’re probably right. This darkness has been with us since the beginning. It’s just that the societies that are successful at facing it down tend to last.

        Reply
    • Cate

       /  March 22, 2017

      Well, we may adapt, but whether our staple foods like cereal crops can adapt is still very much an open question.

      Reply
      • Staple food crops will take a hit. There’s flex in the system, if we’re wise enough to change our habits and eat less meat while transitioning to vertical and indoor farming. But the issue is that it takes a bit of time for food systems to adapt. Tipping points can hit food systems fast and hard once they’re reached. I think we definitely need to be more aware of the situation. But mitigation is clearly the best way to reduce the impacts that are coming. One way or another, we’re going to have to adapt. It’s just how hard we make it and how high a barrier we set. Some barriers are probably too high to cross.

        Reply
  4. coloradobob

     /  March 21, 2017

    Peru floods in line with climate change models, says climatologist Mojib Latif
    Peru is being hit by devastating flooding. Is it a natural weather cycle or an impact of climate change?

    http://www.dw.com/en/peru-floods-in-line-with-climate-change-models-says-climatologist-mojib-latif/a-38045642

    Reply
  5. coloradobob

     /  March 21, 2017

    The Extreme Temperature Index: Identifying Which Records are Most Significant

    In 2007, when Bob Henson and I were first discussing the potential for a new climate study based on U.S. ratios of record surface highs to lows, we thought that it would be fantastic to engineer an index that would allow for ranking, rating, and comparing individual tallies.

    Up to now, I’ve carried out my research without such an index. My most recent analysis uses record ratios to show that U.S. nights are actually warming faster than days, most likely due to carbon pollution interacting with moisture.

    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3583#commenttop

    Reply
  6. Erik Frederiksen

     /  March 21, 2017

    Speaking of water shortages, the graph linked to below is the most terrifying graph I’ve ever seen. It’s of Western N America precipitation for 1900-2000 and IPCC model projections for 2000-2100.

    It makes the recent drought in California, which was reported to be the worst in 1200 years, look like a rainforest by comparison.

    Reply
    • So this is the kind of thing I mean when I talk about early, easy outliers. What’s coming is like nothing we’ve ever seen before. So much so that it is difficult to imagine. The world doesn’t just change if you keep burning fossil fuels, it radically changes for the worst.

      Reply
      • Suzanne

         /  March 22, 2017

        Maybe if the media showed a chart like this one one…people would “finally” connect the dots and realize CC is not something that happens only to other people and places?
        Or will it take a huge human tragedy here for people to finally get that CC is real?

        Reply
  7. Keith Antonysen

     /  March 21, 2017

    The ABC (Australia) had a program about climate change and security on Monday night; an issue which is global.

    Quote from promo to The Age of Consequences”:

    “Four Corners brings you the views of distinguished former members of the US military and senior policy makers who warn that climate change is not only real, it’s a threat to global security.”

    Climate change is seen to be a background issue among others creating conflict within Nations.

    http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/four-corners/NC1704H007S00#playing

    Reply
    • Erik Frederiksen

       /  March 21, 2017

      “threat to global security” indeed. Here’s an interesting article on a ramification of that.

      “planners at the Pentagon have been quietly preparing to take charge of a planet shaken by climate chaos. Predicting ever more extreme weather, famine, and social collapse around the globe, high-level experts like former CIA director James Woolsey and former U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gordon Sullivan outline a chilling vision of endemic violence and “militarized adaptation” to disaster. As hunger and disease turn to conflict in the Global South, planners inside and outside the Pentagon are preparing to shut borders, control population movements, and intensify U.S. intervention abroad.”
      http://www.utne.com/politics/natural-disaster-zm0z13sozros

      Reply
    • mulga mumblebrain

       /  March 22, 2017

      Time to moveIn fact, climate destabilisation is seen the US military as a ‘force multiplier’ in destroying target states. Syria is the perfect example. The USA has been trying to install a puppet regime there since 1949, or divide the country into three or four pieces, and US sanctions and subversion were in place from 2005-6, long before the drought. The Four Corners program was black propaganda in my opinion, and paiting the Pentagon as some sort of saviour in the face of climate destabilisation is, I believe, ludicrous.

      Reply
      • Keith Antonysen

         /  March 22, 2017

        mulga
        My interpretation was that the program provided some credence to the view that climate change was instrumental in creating huge unrest in a number of countries . Retired Admiral Titley was one of the persons interviewed; he makes himself available, and talks much sense in my opinion. The focus was on drought, and not so much on political matters.

        Reply
      • Sorry Mulga, but the U.S. military is very concerned about climate change for a number of reasons. It’s worth noting that I worked as an intel analyst and never once saw a plan to use climate change as a weapon to destabilize other countries. We were very concerned about maintaining stability and global trade. And anything like a severe drought in Africa or the Middle East or a devastating hurricane in the Pacific that basically wrecked the ability of nations to function was seen as a threat.

        I did an assessment of the 2003 climate risks paper while I was working at Janes and it really crystallized a lot of issues that occurred during my time from Andrew to Fran to Somalia.

        Reply
      • Would add that the U.S. military does promote U.S. interests. And that it has been the view of the U.S. military for some time now that it is in the U.S. interest to respond to climate change and to mitigate it as rapidly as possible. The U.S. military under Obama asked for funds for developing renewable energy and biofuels and saw non-dependence on fossil fuels as a strategic goal. The U.S. military is definitely a group that you want to have on your side RE climate change. A lot of R&D funding goes their way and can be put to good use as we saw under Obama.

        I will say that you seem far too sympathetic to anti-American (often Russian sourced) misinformation for my taste. I am very sensitive to these issues right now considering the fact that my country, a country I have served for years, a country I love, was attacked by a dictatorial petrostate promoting fossil fuel burning and climate destruction for its own perceived profit in world affairs this year. And that they appear to have succeeded in seating a madman at the helm of our country who, if he has his way, will do great harm to us all.

        Reply
        • Bill H

           /  March 22, 2017

          Eloquently expressed, Robert. What do we know about James Mattis’ views on climate change. For all his obnoxious traits it does seem that Trump pays attention to the military figures around him, and now that the execrable Flynn has gone I would guess Mattis will play a key role as link with the military.

        • So Mattis is probably not the military’s most strident climate hawk. But he’s not an idiot. From his recent briefing to Congress:

          “Climate change is impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today,” and “It is appropriate for the Combatant Commands to incorporate drivers of instability that impact the security environment in their areas into their planning.” And “Climate change can be a driver of instability and the Department of Defense must pay attention to potential adverse impacts generated by this phenomenon.”

          It’s worth noting that a broad spectrum of military leaders concerned about climate change applauded Mattis’ comment:

          https://climateandsecurity.org/2017/03/16/release-u-s-military-leaders-applaud-secretary-mattis-clear-eyed-view-on-climate-change-and-security/

    • This was an excellent analysis of climate change as an emerging threat. You have to look at synergistic and systemic effects to get a full scope of the problem. And once you start looking at the problem in that light, it becomes quite urgent. It’s ironic that the military would be so good at threat ID for this problem. But it’s not a surprise to me considering threat analysis is my background.

      If you’re going to look at climate change, you’re basically looking at global system change, resource base degradation and destruction, infrastructure destruction and forced mass migration of desperate populations. In other words, climate change directly threatens the fabric of global civilization. This is arguably as damaging or more damaging than nuclear warfare in the more extreme emissions scenarios. Especially when you consider the fact that the problem just keeps getting worse (unless you halt fossil fuel burning) and lasts for decades, centuries and up to millenia.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  March 22, 2017

        Don’t recall if this got linked here when it came out. Still relevant: http://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-say-it-could-already-be-game-over-for-climate-change

        “…it might already be too late to avoid a temperature rise of up to 7.36 degrees Celsius (13.25 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels by 2100.”

        Reply
        • That may well be the potential under BAU fossil fuel burning for end century and RCP 8.5 (as a higher range). But we’re not near that at 490 CO2e (closer to 2 C this century and 4 C long term). There appears to be an awful lot of double counting here.

        • “Scientists from the US and Germany analysed global mean temperatures on our planet for the last 784,000 years in an attempt to predict how warm conditions will get by 2100.”

          Ah, they used the interglacial period as a basis. That doesn’t work out very well if you move beyond the shift from ice age to in between periods. 490 CO2e corresponds to the middle Miocene at 490 ppm CO2e and 4 C approx over a much longer term than one century.

          Worth noting that ECS sensitivity models (IPCC) are working very well for this Century so far. Also worth noting that Hansen has been spot on:

        • Bill H

           /  March 22, 2017

          Robert, I’ve never seen that particular graphic. It’s an excellent testimony to the quality of Hansen’s work. Extrapolating to the present he’s proved to be spot on. Unlike the deniers’ darling.

        • He has. And we should note that the 2016 0.98 C departure from NASA’s 20th Century benchmark (+1.2 C 1880s) is spot on in line with the later dates not represented in the graph above.

  8. coloradobob

     /  March 22, 2017

    Xcel announces $1.6 billion investment in wind energy from South Plains, N.M.

    AMARILLO – Xcel Energy filed to build two new wind energy developments on Tuesday, as well entering a long-term contract with two existing sites on the South Plains and Eastern New Mexico, adding 1,230 megawatts — enough energy to power 440,000 homes — to its regional system. ……………… Thanks to what seems like a never-ending supply of wind blowing across the plains, federal tax credits, and reduced construction costs for turbines, Xcel is expecting to save $2.8 billion on electricity costs after paying back the $1.6 billion investment, regional president David Hudson said.

    “We are getting this wind energy on an aggregate basis so inexpensively that it’s going to be comparable to coal fuel costs,” Hudson said. “That’s how inexpensive this is.”

    Link

    Reply
    • This is very good news. And it seems like this year will be another banner year globally for wind and solar. IEA and IRENA also just produced a study that’s trying to push the G-20 to adopt a 75 percent carbon emissions reduction policy target for 2050 (100 percent by 2060). These reductions are achieved through rapid deployment of renewable energy and efficiency related tech. It also achieves the stated 2 C warming limit goals (debatable that it would actually limit warming to 2 C this Century). The best renewable energy policy study I’ve seen yet.

      Worth noting that the U.S. is now acting like a Petrostate under Tillerson’s foriegn policy directives. Tillerson will take heat for this from a good chunk of the G-20 as well as from renewable energy and climate response proponents at home. So we’ll see how long they can hold up under the fusillade.

      Reply
  9. coloradobob

     /  March 22, 2017

    Now, California’s Almonds Are Getting Destroyed by Too Much Rain

    California’s poor produce cannot catch a break. Just months ago, severe drought had wine grapes withering on the vine, and Americans were worried they’d eaten their last avocado. But now? Record rainfall is killing the state’s almonds and salad greens, two foods it’s a top producer of. More than 27 inches of rain have fallen this winter, the most ever recorded. Among other problems, that’s kept bees from pollinating almond trees like they normally would during the nut’s short bloom period. …………… The country’s biggest artichoke producer also warns that everybody should brace now for “supply gaps,” and costs on the produce aisle are getting out of whack already: Cauliflower prices have almost quadrupled over the weird winter, and the going rate for a case of romaine is now $50 instead of $12.

    Link

    Reply
  10. coloradobob

     /  March 22, 2017

    Ice cap in place for millions of years is on track to vanish

    The current rate of warming in the Arctic is unprecedented in the last 2.5 million years, a new study has found.

    Global warming is causing significant melting throughout the region and will claim the last remnants of a massive ice sheet that once covered all of North America and that remained stable for 2,000 years, according to findings published yesterday in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union. The Barnes Ice Cap, which is about the size of Delaware and is located on Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic, is likely to disappear even if humanity curtails its combustion of fossil fuels at levels not currently expected, even under the most conservative estimations. ……………. “It really says we’re looking at a fundamentally new climate state that we’re moving into that we probably haven’t seen at all in the last 2 million years, at least the last million years, which gives more urgency to trying to understand what the eventual expectations are for loss of ice mass in the Arctic,” he said.

    The Laurentide ice sheet covered North American for more than 2 million years, shrinking and growing due to climatic changes. About 14,000 years ago, it retreated as the Earth warmed, then stabilized about 2,000 years ago. In that time, the one section that essentially remained covered for millions of years was the Barnes Ice Cap. The disappearance of the cap, which is now 1,600 feet thick, will be accompanied by melting at much larger glaciers in the Arctic, including those that will be accompanied by sea ice loss.

    “In the short term, these little glaciers are contributing as much as the big ones, but very soon, the big ice caps will take over as being the dominant source of sea level as we move into the next decade or two,” he said.

    Reply
  11. climatehawk1

     /  March 22, 2017

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  12. coloradobob

     /  March 22, 2017

    7,000 underground gas bubbles poised to ‘explode’ in Arctic
    By The Siberian Times reporter20 March 2017
    Bulging bumps in the Yamal and Gydan peninsulas believed to be caused by thawing permafrost releasing methane.

    Scientists have discovered as many as 7,000 gas-filled ‘bubbles’ expected to explode in Actic regions of Siberia after an exercise involving field expeditions and satellite surveillance, TASS reported.
    A number of large craters – seen on our images here – have appeared on the landscape in northern Siberia in recent years and they are being carefully studied by scientists who believe they were formed when pingos exploded.
    Alexey Titovsky, director of Yamal department for science and innovation, said: ‘At first such a bump is a bubble, or ‘bulgunyakh’ in the local Yakut language.
    ‘With time the bubble explodes, releasing gas. This is how gigantic funnels form.’

    Link

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  March 22, 2017

      ‘An abnormally warm summer in 2016 on the Yamal peninsula must have added to the process.’
      Analysis last year of the Bely island underground gas pockets – or jelly-like bubbles – showed multiple excesses of greenhouse gas content compared with average levels in the atmosphere.
      Methane exceeded the norm 1,000 times, while carbon dioxide was 25 times above the norm. Initial measurements had suggest methane levels 200 times above usual levels.

      Reply
    • So, yeah. This is a dramatic geophysical change and evidence of a level of carbon feedback that’s likely to be kicking in as the Arctic thaws. I’d like to see some kind of independent assessment of how much gas we’re talking about here. But it’s likely a rather small fraction of the total potential from permafrost thaw as a whole. I guess the larger concern would be if some of these seeps and blow holes linked down to larger gas structures.

      A little suspicious in that the oil and gas company line tends to be — ‘it’s going to blow so we should try to burn it anyway.’ I’d call this the carbon feedback mitigation through fossil fuel burning fallacy.

      Reply
    • unnaturalfx

       /  March 22, 2017

      Read this earlier today , implications ? My son ? I guess anybody who knows anything about this issue still wants to be wrong . I hope I’m wrong but it sure isn’t looking that way … http://siberiantimes.com/ecology/others/news/n0760-arctic-methane-gas-emission-significantly-increased-since-2014-major-new-research/ ….Damn, I love that kid of mine ! !! Live well Love lots !

      Reply
      • So it’s worth noting that under a rapid mitigation strategy (transition away from fossil fuel burning) we probably end up with a feedback in the Arctic equal to around 10 percent of present fossil fuel burning. This is pretty bad but can probably be managed by atmospheric carbon capture. Under BAU burning, the feedback may be closer to 30 percent or more by end Century. That would be really bad.

        Reply
  13. coloradobob

     /  March 22, 2017

    World abandoning coal in dramatic style raises hope of avoiding dangerous global warming, says report
    Donald Trump may be planning a revival of the dirtiest of the fossil fuels, but the rest of the planet appears to be going green insteadLauri Myllyvirta, senior global coal and air polliution campaigner at Greenpeace, said: “China all but stopped new coal projects after astonishing clean energy growth has made new coal-fired power plants redundant, with all additional power needs covered from non-fossil sources since 2013.

    “Closures of old coal plants drove major emission reductions especially in the US and UK, while Belgium and Ontario became entirely coal-free and three G8 countries announced deadlines for coal phase-outs.”

    Link

    Reply
    • Andy_in_SD

       /  March 22, 2017

      Once past the empty promises at rallies, the rubber meets the road.

      Coal miners, I feel sorry for them. They are just hard working people who are desperate for work. They were told coal is not selling due to Obama, Environmentalists, Green Peace, etc… etc… But nobody told them the truth (because then they won’t vote for you).

      People are not using coal like they used to. Usage is dropping.

      Trump promised that he’ll make their jobs reappear so they voted for him, and never checked the fine print.

      Now, their jobs are still gone, they will now lose their health care (seems they now like that Obamacare), and also their vocational retraining so they can find work (one of those things killed in the budget).

      These are simple, hard working people. I don’t expect them to understand the devil in the details, they just want to work. They were singled out for that, and taken advantage of, lied to, manipulated, and then discarded when of no further use. There never was any intention of making those jobs reappear, they were just told what they wanted to hear.

      http://wkms.org/post/after-obamacare-retired-miners-face-losses-if-affordable-care-act-ends

      Reply
      • So sad, we really should be working to get these people new jobs in other industries. All Trump saw was a constituency he could dupe for political profit. He didn’t see the people or their plight.

        Reply
      • coloradobob

         /  March 22, 2017

        Andy , and out West watch for the self driving haul trucks.

        Reply
        • coloradobob

           /  March 22, 2017

          Those poor suckers in West Virginia, I’ve learned a little over years about that state. That state government was bought and paid for a long time ago.
          Then the future showed-up, along with the biggest opioid habit in the US.

          Many there still believe if they cut the top of their mountains off to get that last lump of coal , and chainsaw their forests everything will be “Oakly Dokly”.

          They really are some sort of poster child, but they’ve always been a poster child.

          “Hot ashes for trees” .

        • The extraction industry just keeps automating more and more. It seems like many of the jobs they proport are now mythical anyway. The industry flagged the Keystone Pipeline as a big job creator. Truth is that it basically produced what amounts to handful of long term jobs. Jobs aren’t a priority for the industry. They go after the oil and gas and coal because it’s easy to monopolize and profit from. Not because it produces much in the way of broader economic benefit as we now see with renewables.

    • unnaturalfx

       /  March 22, 2017

      Lets just hope pulling all those particulates out of the air doesn’t cause more problems . Yet we must try .

      Reply
      • 0.5 to 0.6 Watts per meter squared vs 4 or 5 from continued coal burning. I’ll take the former.

        Reply
        • unnaturalfx

           /  March 22, 2017

          Agreed

        • Robert E Prue

           /  March 22, 2017

          Yes. Hansens’ ” Faustian Bargain” chapter 6 Storms of My Grandchildren

        • Hansen’s faustian bargain can be overstated. And it has been. Hansen, just like every other rational person out there, is fighting to cut coal burning. He knows that all that carbon in the ground being burned would result in far worse warming than the warming resulting from aerosol fallout.

        • Hansen’s warning was with regards to tipping points. At the time, there was still some hope that we could avoid them. And the aerosols falling out may have pushed us over the threshold of a few global climate tipping points in 2008 or 2009 when the book was written.

          I think we understand now that we’ve crossed some of the global climate tipping points. Not all of them. But a few. At this point, Hansen’s faustian bargain argument becomes less of an issue. We know that we’re going to suffer some bad impacts. The issue now is how can we most rapidly limit the damage — and that’s by cutting fossil fuel emissions as swiftly as possible.

  14. Andy_in_SD

     /  March 22, 2017

    I very highly recommend taking a spin on this interactive water stress map for further details on this subject. You can zoom / scroll and select inputs and make observations.

    Courtesy of the World Resource Institute

    http://www.wri.org/our-work/project/aqueduct

    Reply
  15. Andy_in_SD

     /  March 22, 2017

    Ground water depletion is the other book end in this situation in India.

    The effort to grow crops based on pumping water from the ground has led to desertification. India is in the top 10 for man made ground water crisis creation unfortunately.

    http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/v4nXpXNxSJtxQNlEbvtJFL/Indias-groundwater-crisis.html

    Reply
    • So one of the studies I cited above linked to ground water depletion as an upshot of climate change.

      Reply
      • Robert E Prue

         /  March 22, 2017

        The August 2016 issue of National Geographic has a great article about the depletion of the Ogallala aquifer. Being a Kansan,it caught my attention.

        Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  March 22, 2017

      Andy , as your map shows , when the center pivot was developed , it was hailed as a way the save water on the Ogallala . But the Nebraska sand hills showed it was just a better way to stick more straws into the glass.
      A side note, back in the 80’s when I was screen printing . I got a job for printing stickers to go on center pivots heading to Saudi Arabia. Today those pivots are being shut down , they drained that groundwater 30 years.
      As Ms. Crow said
      “But The brochure looks nice” –

      Reply
      • coloradobob

         /  March 22, 2017

        Center Pivot Irrigation ( Saudi Arabia )

        Reply
      • Andy_in_SD

         /  March 22, 2017

        Quoted from Nat Geo.

        “Forty years ago, when intensive modern farming started, there was a staggering 120 cubic miles (500 cubic kilometers) of water beneath the Saudi desert, enough to fill Lake Erie. But in recent years, up to 5 cubic miles (21 cubic kilometers) has been pumped to the surface annually for use on the farms. Virtually none of it is replaced by the rains, because there effectively are no rains. Based on extraction rates detailed in a 2004 paper from the University of London, the Saudis were on track to use up at least 96 cubic miles (400 cubic kilometers) of their aquifers by 2008. And so experts estimate that four-fifths of the Saudis’ “fossil” water is now gone. One of the planet’s greatest and oldest freshwater resources, in one of its hottest and most parched places, has been all but emptied in little more than a generation.”

        Reply
      • The very definition of unsustainable resource use…

        Reply
    • wili

       /  March 22, 2017

      Five years ago, ground water levels in India were dropping at about 5 feet per year. I wonder what that rate is now. If anyone finds more recent data, please let me know. http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2015/02/03/indias-food-security-threatened-by-groundwater-depletion/

      Reply
  16. Andy_in_SD

     /  March 22, 2017

    Exporting drought:

    When you don’t have the water, but want to suck the ground dry for your use, do it on someone else’s land.

    Part 1.

    Saudi Arabia owning land in Arizona, to grow hay to transport back for their cows.

    http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/11/02/453885642/saudi-hay-farm-in-arizona-tests-states-supply-of-groundwater

    Reply
    • Andy_in_SD

       /  March 22, 2017

      Part 2.

      Saudi Arabia renting a chunk of Ethiopia to grow food including rice (water intensive).

      https://www.pri.org/stories/2011-12-27/saudi-company-leases-ethiopian-land-rice-export

      Reply
      • Andy_in_SD

         /  March 22, 2017

        Part 3.

        If Ethiopia can be rented by Saudi, then the rest of us want to get some of that too. And it’s a sweet deal.

        It’s the deal of the century: £150 a week to lease more than 2,500 sq km (1,000 sq miles) of virgin, fertile land – an area the size of Dorset – for 50 years.

        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/mar/21/ethiopia-centre-global-farmland-rush

        Reply
        • Andy_in_SD

           /  March 22, 2017

          Part 4.

          Yes, and not only Ethiopia. Lets buy up all the land in the poor countries, kick the farmers out so they can turn into cheap manual labor. Then run mega farms to ship food back home.

          A big land deal used to be around 100,000 hectares (240,000 acres). Now the largest ones are many times that. In Sudan alone, South Korea has signed deals for 690,000 hectares, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for 400,000 hectares and Egypt has secured a similar deal to grow wheat. An official in Sudan says his country will set aside for Arab governments roughly a fifth of the cultivated land in Africa’s largest country (traditionally known as the breadbasket of the Arab world).

          It is not just Gulf states that are buying up farms. China secured the right to grow palm oil for biofuel on 2.8m hectares of Congo, which would be the world’s largest palm-oil plantation. It is negotiating to grow biofuels on 2m hectares in Zambia, a country where Chinese farms are said to produce a quarter of the eggs sold in the capital, Lusaka. According to one estimate, 1m Chinese farm labourers will be working in Africa this year, a number one African leader called “catastrophic”.

          15 to 20 million hectares so far and counting….

          http://www.economist.com/node/13692889

        • Cate

           /  March 22, 2017

          I do believe the Saudis own a big chunk of the Canadian Wheat Board as well, which was sold off by Harper.

        • Cate

           /  March 22, 2017

          http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/us-saudi-firms-to-buy-former-canadian-wheat-board/article23966156/

          The Canadian Wheat Board, established in 1935 to market grain for Canadian farmers, was privatised and a 50.1% stake taken over by foreign (US/Saudi) interests.

          “This is a strategic industry for Canada. It might be different if they sold the wheat board for billions of dollars. But they didn’t. They’re handing it over free of charge,” he said in an interview. “All the assets – we’re talking the thousands of rail cars, the port terminals, the ships on the Great Lakes. They have handed over the keys to these guys with a promissory note that they’ll invest $250-million in the future….you really have to question what kind of a business model it is to hand it over to an American agrifood giant and a Saudi agrifood giant who until recently were your greatest competitors.”

        • The term for this is conflict nexus generation.

          If you have corporate colonialism of the food supply of some countries by others, inequality worsens and trigger points for conflict move that much closer.

  17. coloradobob

     /  March 22, 2017

    When I was shot hole driller, there was something animal about drilling hole in the Mother Earth. Our holes were only 30 feet deep, but we put 30 lbs. of 60% high velocity nitropel at the bottom of those holes. And it made the Earth jump 5 feet around those holes.

    Sounds violent don’t it ? We replaced setting off a 100 lbs in a diamond formation on 3 foot grade stakes on the surface.

    Water, iron, coal, gold, or oil ………….. we’ll never drill our way out of this problem.

    Everyday , I wake up and stare into a Greek Myth. And Pandora’s black box spews out more troubles. I comfort myself , by thinking I am watching the greatest events man has seen. But I have rotten dreams , about my ability to change, to change one gram of any of it. Knowing I am not Trump, and I cannot move the needle.

    This bleeding helplessness is a real bitch.

    Reply
  18. coloradobob

     /  March 22, 2017

    I am spent, I am lost . I am at a world changing cross.

    Reply
  19. Shawn Redmond

     /  March 22, 2017

    O/T as usual but has water as the centre piece:

    Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, the massive swath of vegetation that accounts for 10 percent of the world’s known species, is again under siege. Last year alone, over 3,000 square miles were deforested, and if Brazilian President Michel Temer gets his way, a host of new infrastructure projects — dams, man-made waterways, mines — will only accelerate the degradation.
    https://news.vice.com/story/brazil-is-handing-over-the-amazon-rainforest-to-mining-companies-and-big-agriculture

    Reply
  20. wili

     /  March 22, 2017

    Perspectives on water scarcity and conflict from various places around the world, from Al Jazeera: http://interactive.aljazeera.com/aje/2017/watergrabbing/index.html

    Reply
  21. wharf rat

     /  March 22, 2017

    Record precipitation, snowpack in California expected to increase hydro generation in 2017

    Snowpack levels have increased significantly from the near-zero levels measured in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in April 2015. As of March 21, 2017, the California Department of Water Resources reported that statewide snowpack was 158% of normal for that date. A more important metric when considering snowpack is the snow water equivalent (SWE)—the total amount of water contained within the snowpack. California’s SWE levels have noticeably increased this year, and as of March 21, the California Department of Water Resources reported that the statewide snow water equivalent was also 158% of average for that date.

    https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=30452&src=email#

    Reply
    • unnaturalfx

       /  March 22, 2017

      Makes me wonder what kind of red tides they will have or if “sea sparkles ” we be prevailent.
      At the least this will put a lot of stress on the sea life there…Usher in some more oil rigs ,that should do the trick (sarc)

      Reply
  22. Robert E Prue

     /  March 22, 2017

    RS,. I agree! A little less global dimming now and a lot less co2 buildup long term is definitely the way to go. Hansens’​ idea of a carbon tax that’s revenue neutral would be nice.

    Reply
  23. wharf rat

     /  March 22, 2017

    It’s Time to Give Air Quality the Attention It Deserves
    By: Bob Henson

    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/its-time-to-give-air-quality-the-attention-it-deserves

    Reply
  1. Climate, nuclear, news to 24 March | Nuclear Australia
  2. The week in nuclear and climate news « nuclear-news

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