2017’s Warming Climate Produces Unprecedented Floods Across the Globe

“A robust result, consistent across climate model projections, is that higher precipitation extremes in warmer climates are very likely to occur.” — IPCC

“As the climate has warmed… heat waves are longer and hotter. Heavy rains and flooding are more frequent. In a wide swing between extremes, drought, too, is more intense and more widespread.” — Climate Communications

*****

It’s a tough fact to get one’s head around. But a warming climate means that many regions will both experience more extreme droughts and more extreme floods. The cause for this new weather severity is that a warming planet produces higher rates of evaporation together with more intense atmospheric convection. Warmer air over land means that the moisture gets baked out of terrain, lakes and rivers faster. And this warming effect causes droughts to settle in more rapidly, to become more intense than we are used to, and to often last for longer periods.

(As the climate warms, instances of extreme weather — both droughts and floods — increase. Image source: NOAA/UCAR.)

On the flip side of this severe weather coin, more moisture evaporating from the world’s lands and oceans means that the atmosphere contains a greater volume of moisture overall. This heavier moisture load enters a hotter, thicker, taller lower atmosphere (troposphere). One that is becoming increasingly stingy about giving up that moisture in the form of precipitation much of the time. All that heat and added convective energy just serves as a big moisture trap. So the load of moisture has to be heavier, overall, to fall out. When the atmospheric moisture hoarding finally relents, it does so with a vengeance. Thicker clouds with higher tops drench lands and seas with heavier volumes of rain and snow. And when the rain does fall from these larger storms, it tends to come, more and more often, in torrents.

California Record Drought to Record Flood in Just 4 Years

A set of facts that were drawn into stark relief recently in California which over the past few years experienced one of its driest periods on record but, in 2017, is on tap to see its wettest year ever recorded for broad regions. In a section of hard-hit Northern California, the cumulative 2017 rainfall average had, as of yesterday (April 9), hit 87.5 inches. The record for the region in all of the past 122 years is 88.5 inches for the entire year.

(Cumulative precipitation in Northern California set to beat all time record during 2017. Data Source: California Department of Water Resources. Image source: The Sacramento Bee.)

It is just early April. But the region tends to receive most of its moisture from January through March. However, all it would take is a relatively minor storm system to tip the scales into record territory. And it now appears likely that this region will see in excess of 90 inches for the present year.

Infrastructure damage from this year’s flood for the state is likely to considerably exceed $1 billion. Damage to roads alone is nearly $700 million. And that does not include stresses to dams — like the one at Lake Oroville where an eroded spillway threatened structural integrity and forced 200,000 people to evacuate. Overall, the cost of the repairs combined with the cost of hardening California’s infrastructure to these new extreme weather events could top $50 billion.

New Zealand — Debbie Brings 500 Year Flood Event with More to Follow

In New Zealand, a Tropical Storm Debbie (which struck Australia as a Category 4 Hurricane and flooded 1,800 homes in the town of Rockhampton) engorged with the extraordinarily high volume of moisture evaporating from the very warm waters of the Pacific Ocean produced a rain event that, under normal climate conditions, would have occurred only once every 500 years. The storm blanketed much of New Zealand with strong winds and heavy rains — sparking flooding and power outages. On North Island, the system hit a new extreme as it dumped a record two months worth of rain (7.5 inches) in just two days upon the town of Edgecumbe. The torrent swelled the nearby Rangitaiki River, forced a levee breach, flooded the city, and spurred thousands of residents to evacuate.

(Cyclone Cook takes aim at New Zealand and a link-up with a trough dipping through the region. Image source: LANCE-MODIS.)

Across New Zealand, flooding damage estimates from the event are expected to considerably exceed 1 billion dollars and could track into the billions.

Meanwhile, Cyclone Cook, similarly engorged with moisture, is in the process of combining with a large trough extending down from the Southern Ocean and over New Zealand. Cook is predicted to track toward New Zealand across ocean waters that are 1-2 C warmer than normal over the next few days. It is expected to feed energy into a long frontal system extending up from the ocean region just north of Antarctica. Present model predictions indicate the potential for extremely high cloud moisture loading in the range of 3.5 kilograms of water per square meter over parts of North Island near Tauranga in the 26-30 hour time-frame. A worrisome potential extreme precipitation hot spot in a mated system that is expected to again blanket New Zealand with flooding rains over the next three days.

Peru, Colombia, Ecuador Floods

In isolation, each of these extreme events would be odd enough. But right now the issue is that the heightened frequency and widespread geographic dispersal of extreme flooding is a considerable concern. And to this trend of more widespread incidents, we can add the extraordinarily severe flooding that has impacted several South American nations during early 2017.

(Strong El Nino events are often associated with flooding in western South America. Though an El Nino is expected during 2017, it is predicted to be weak-to-moderate in intensity. So it is likely that the very warm waters feeding extreme rains in the region were given an assist by human-forced climate change. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

Very warm sea surface temperatures off South America this winter and spring have fed into record rains across Peru, Ecuador and Columbia. In Peru, what was arguably the worst flooding ever recorded for the state during March destroyed tens of thousands of buildings, rendered 700,000 people homeless, resulted in the loss of about 100 souls, and wrecked 6,000 miles of highway and scores of bridges. The number of people made homeless by this single series of extreme weather events is particularly staggering — amounting to about 1 out of every 40 people living in the state. For Peru alone, an estimated 9 billion dollars is now needed to recover.

Nearby Ecuador also experienced record rains. Tens of thousands of acres flooded as 20 people lost their lives and thousands of people were forced to evacuate. And in the Colombian town of Macoa near the Ecuador border, a severe, rain-bomb type, thunderstorm associated with this extraordinarily moist weather pattern unleashed mudslides and torrents of water so violent that 254 victims were unable to escape.

Conditions in Context

(Atmospheric rivers are often associated with extreme rainfall events as was the case with California this winter and spring. Global water vapor tracking enables us to track these atmospheric rivers streaming out from the moisture-rich Equatorial region. Image source: CIMSS.)

It is worth noting that each of these instances of severe rainfall around the globe rank as either the worst on record or nearly the worst on record for the impacted regions. They occur in a similar temporal space but over a widely varied geographical extent. In the instance of apparent cyclone flooding amplification in Australia and New Zealand — very warm and above average sea surface temperatures appear to have been involved. This is also the case with the severe rains seen in South America. In California, a shift in the weather pattern from extremely dry to extremely wet followed a receding of hot ocean conditions and an associated blocking pattern. The warm Pacific waters which pushed storms north into Alaska and Canada instead shifted to a cool-north, warm-south pattern that intensified the storm track and enabled the direction of record high atmospheric moisture plumes near the Equator toward California. All of these various patterns are consistent with what we would expect from a human-forced warming of our climate.

Links:

IPCC

NOAA/UCAR

California Drought Area

The Sacramento Bee

California Flood Damage Likely to Exceed $1 Billion

California Flood Control Price Tag $50 Billion

Catastrophic Floods From Debbie Force Thousands to Evacuate

LANCE-MODIS

Earth Nullschool

Cyclone Cook Could Bring Further Floods to New Zealand

Peru Floods

Peru Floods to Cost 9 Billion

Ecuador Floods Force Thousands to Evacuate

For Colombia, the Rain Bombs of Climate Change Fell in the Dark of Night

CIMSS

Hat tip to Vic

Hat tip to Climatehawk

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68 Comments

  1. “Extremely Hot Summers” (average summer temperatures at a particular place that are more than 3-sigma above the 1951-1980 baseline) are up 5000% percent (50X) in the past 50 years (that’s not a typo).
    http://climateplace.org/file/Summary.html

    Reply
    • lesliegraham1

       /  April 11, 2017

      I wish there was some method of standardising the base lines for all these climate charts and graphs.
      The one above showing a 50 fold increase in 3 sigma heatwaves is compared to the 50’s to 80’s.
      What would it be if compared to the pre-industrial figures?
      The pre-industrial comparison is the only one to make any sense to the layman I would suggest and all these different base lines just make it easy for the fossil fuel lobby to spread doubt and confusion.

      Reply
    • eleggua

       /  April 11, 2017

      No publication date on ^that page. Publication date is vital.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  April 11, 2017

        I agree that it’s important to know when something is published. Several of the references quoted in that “summary” are several years old, although not less useful for that, and certainly the author’s call to action is even more urgent now. But why don’t you ask the author of that site to put a date on his summary?. He is:

        “Dan Miller…..Managing Director of The Roda Group, a venture capital group focused on clean technology. Dan is on the board of carbon capture company Inventys Thermal Technologies, water efficiency company mOasis, and advanced battery company Gridtential, and he is a former member of the board of biofuel manufacturer Solazyme, all Roda Group affiliates. He was previously the president of Ask Jeeves, Inc. (now Ask.com), a former Roda Group affiliate company.”

        Reply
        • wili

           /  April 11, 2017

          It seems to be based mostly on Hansen’s 2012 PNAS study on the subject, so I’d guess it is from about that time.

  2. climatehawk1

     /  April 11, 2017

    Tweet scheduled. Thanks for the h/t.

    Reply
  3. Matt

     /  April 11, 2017

    Add to this list also cyclone Eddie in the south Indian Ocean. This cyclone went from tropical storm strength to Cat 5 BOM (or CAT 4 – UNISYS) within a 24 hour period from 18Z April 6 to 18Z April 7. It is amazing that these types of storms are given no coverage because they are not going to cross land. Imagine the utter devastation this would cause by taking a community off guard if this were to occur where Cyclone Debbie tracked for example. The communities need to be aware of this and understand the risks.
    Also that TPW animation above shows a massive river of water running down to the NE of New Zealand at the same time also…. can only hope that all three don’t merge at the same time on the North Island.

    Reply
    • That’s extraordinarily rapid intensification, especially when you consider that the baseline measure for rapid intensification is 30 kt per 24 hours. This looks like twice that or more.

      Reply
  4. Matt

     /  April 11, 2017

    Also you can watch Cyclone Cook in high-res on the Australian BOM site page via the Japanese Himawari – 8 satellite 🙂
    http://satview.bom.gov.au/
    You can also see the new cyclone develop just to the north of Darwin at present.

    Reply
    • lesliegraham1

       /  April 11, 2017

      Climate reanalyser now has Cyclone Cook heading east and missing New Zealand.
      I hope they are right – the roads where I live are still blocked from the floods and avalanches last week,

      Reply
    • The issue for Cook is more the associated trough effects. Overall, a pretty broad system. In any case, the GFS model run now shows the center of the storm making landfall directly over North Island and then tracking south over New Zealand. If the forecast holds, this is actually a worst-case for potential rainfall from this system.

      Reply
  5. Mark in OZ

     /  April 11, 2017

    Dovetailing with climateplace (above) “that’s not a typo” is the seemingly sudden awareness (astonishment?) and academic focus on the ‘rate’ of heat increases and what the ‘acceleration’ might mean.

    Some are now proposing these large ‘departures from normal’ (heat) especially in the polar areas, confirm that feared tipping points have been reached and suggest a ‘runaway’ system is already happening.

    Using helpful ‘risk analyses’ tools to determine the ‘what to do next ‘ action plan, Dr Bill Hall (U of Melb-AUS) examines the factual inputs and expected consequences which include a much hotter world and urges exploration into understanding what is coming and the need to find ways to abate/ mitigate the greenhouse gasses humanity has created before the time is reached when collapsing ecosystems caused by rapid heat rise cannot be prevented.

    http://www.orgs-evolution-knowledge.net/Index/Essays/ClimateEmergency/Start%20of%20Runaway%20Warming.html

    Reply
  6. Abel Adamski

     /  April 11, 2017

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-11/tiwi-islanders-brace-as-tropical-low-expected-to-become-cyclone/8433212

    Tiwi Islanders are buying up groceries and making other final preparations ahead of the expected arrival of a tropical low expected to form into a cyclone tomorrow.

    Strong winds are already buffeting the islands where about 3,100 people live, but they are forecast to intensify to around 100 kilometres per hour when the system forms into a category one cyclone, which may occur on Wednesday morning.

    If the cyclone does form it will be known as Tropical Cyclone Frances.

    Advice from the Bureau of Meteorology at 11:00am said the low was located close to the Coburg Peninsula and may form into a tropical cyclone southwest of the Tiwi Islands on Wednesday morning.

    “The Tropical Cyclone is forecast to strengthen slightly over the Timor Sea and approach the north Kimberley during Wednesday night and Thursday,” it read.

    A Cyclone Warning remained in place for Croker Island to Cape Fourcroy, including the Tiwi Islands, while the Watch Zone extended from Point Stuart to the Mitchell Plateau, including Darwin

    Reply
  7. Ryan in New England

     /  April 11, 2017

    This just breaks my heart. As many of us here know, the Great Barrier Reef is suffering its second bleaching event in many years. As a consequence large sections of the reef are dying right in front of our eyes. For me this serves as another glaring example that “we” don’t care enough about the Earth’s life support systems to preserve them…even when they affect humans. Coral reefs support a huge portion of ocean life (they’re the rainforests of the sea) which hundreds of millions of people rely on for food. And they’re dying right in front of our eyes, and you don’t hear a peep from the mainstream media.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/10/great-barrier-reef-terminal-stage-australia-scientists-despair-latest-coral-bleaching-data

    Reply
    • So I think the vast majority of us do care. The people who don’t care are often those who profit from the destructive enterprises that are causing the harm in the first place.

      Reply
  8. Ryan in New England

     /  April 11, 2017

    As with other parts of the world, a severe drought has left hundreds of thousands in Madagascar on the brink of famine.

    https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/nov/25/madagascar-drought-330000-one-step-from-famine-un-food-and-agriculture-organisation

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  April 11, 2017

      NY Times has a good article about droughts in four countries causing widespread famine.

      Another famine is about to tighten its grip on Somalia. And it’s not the only crisis that aid agencies are scrambling to address. For the first time since anyone can remember, there is a very real possibility of four famines — in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen — breaking out at once, endangering more than 20 million lives.

      International aid officials say they are facing one of the biggest humanitarian disasters since World War II. And they are determined not to repeat the mistakes of the past.

      At the same time, President Trump is urging Congress to cut foreign aid and assistance to the United Nations, which aid officials fear could multiply the deaths. The United States traditionally provides more disaster relief than anyone else.

      Reply
  9. Ryan in New England

     /  April 11, 2017
    Reply
  10. coloradobob

     /  April 11, 2017

    Rot –
    The BBC has seen evidence that top executives at Shell knew money paid to the Nigerian government for a vast oil field would be passed to a convicted money-launderer.
    It also had reason to believe that money would be used to pay political bribes.
    The deal was concluded while Shell was operating under a probation order for a separate corruption case in Nigeria.
    Shell said it did not believe its employees acted illegally.
    OPL 245 is an oilfield off the coast of Nigeria whose estimated nine billion barrels of oil are worth nearly half a trillion dollars at today’s prices. Shell has been active in Nigeria for nearly 60 years and was keen to acquire the field.
    New evidence shows just how far Shell was prepared to go to get its hands on it.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/business-39544761

    Reply
    • It’s all a vast maze of moral peril. From the supposed value of the oil in the ground, to the ends people are willing to go to access that imagined pile of wealth, to the very real hell on Earth that will result in the end if the stuff is burned.

      Reply
  11. coloradobob

     /  April 11, 2017

    MOUNT ROSE SUMMIT — A short but strenuous trek by snowshoe to a measuring station here on Monday confirmed what pretty much everyone expected: A record water year has been reached in this mountainous area west of Reno.
    After another 27-inch snowfall over the weekend, the water content of the snow at the “SNOTEL” measuring station stood at 89 inches, beating the record of 87.1 inches measured on May 17, 1995. That is more than 7 feet of water ready to melt in the coming thaw.

    https://www.reviewjournal.com/local/local-nevada/record-snow-year-in-sierras-ends-drought/

    Reply
    • The heat is predicted to settle in over the Eastern and Central sections of the U.S. this week. 10-15 C above average temperatures will be pretty common. Eventually, the trough in the West will start to fade out. When it does, that melt you allude to will be quite intense.

      Reply
  12. coloradobob

     /  April 11, 2017

    2017 Off to Destructive Start: Severe Weather Reports Tally 5,000+, More Than Double the Average
    This is more than than double the average of 2,274 for the same period of time during the past 10 years (2007-2016). In that decade, only 2008 had about the same number of severe weather reports by this point in the year with 5,242.

    The animation below shows how the occurrences of wind damage, large hail and tornadoes have piled up month-by-month this year. Portions of the South have been hit the hardest, but the Midwest has also seen a high concentration of severe weather reports.

    https://weather.com/storms/tornado/news/severe-weather-hail-tornado-wind-damage-2017-mid-april

    Reply
    • Thanks for this, Bob. Pretty intense and in no small part due to the Pacific storm track revving up combined with very warm SSTs in the Gulf of Mexico.

      Reply
  13. coloradobob

     /  April 11, 2017

    Atmospheric CO2 levels accelerate upwards, smashing records

    Out burping the ice age

    NOAA’s press release also provided some perspective on how historically extreme our atmosphere’s CO2 increases have been:

    “… the rate of CO2 growth over the last decade is 100 to 200 times faster than what the Earth experienced during the transition from the last Ice Age. This is a real shock to the atmosphere.”

    For context, during the last ice age all of Canada was buried beneath a massive northern ice cap. The ice was two miles thick over the Montreal region, and a mile thick over Vancouver. So much water was locked up in ice that global sea levels were 125 meters (410 feet) lower. We are talking a lot of ice and a radically different climate.

    Recent research reveals that:

    “… a giant ‘burp’ of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the North Pacific Ocean helped trigger the end of last ice age, around 17,000 years ago.”

    Just how big of a CO2 ‘burp’ did it take to help heat the frigid global climate, eliminate the continent-spanning ice sheets and raise sea levels by hundreds of feet? Around 80 to 100 ppm — the same amount we’ve belched into our atmosphere just since 1960. We did it 100 times faster than that so-called “burp” and we are still accelerating the rate we pump it out.

    http://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/04/10/opinion/atmospheric-co2-levels-accelerate-upwards-smashing-records

    Reply
    • Required reading here — twice over.

      Reply
      • Suzanne

         /  April 11, 2017

        Having a hard time wrapping my mind around all of this constant stream of “faster than expected” climate science news. I literally get a twist in my gut.

        Reply
        • bostonblorp

           /  April 11, 2017

          In my relatively short life so far climate change has gone from a problem for the grandchildren to a problem for the children to a problem I’ll duck by being dead in time to a real-time crisis.

          Like you, I am twisted up at how the pace seems to be accelerating. I tell myself “well you used to get yourself all worked up over peak oil…” but that’s not much comfort. The change is already upon us.

        • Peak oil would have been a godsend.

  14. coloradobob

     /  April 11, 2017

    Crushing records –
    Karachi, Pakistan

    Clear

    104 °F
    Feels Like 104 °F

    Wind from W
    Tomorrow is forecast to be NEARLY THE SAME temperature as today.
    Today
    High 105 | Low 75 °F
    0% Chance of Precip.
    https://www.wunderground.com/pk/karachi/zmw:00000.1.41780

    Reply
    • It’s really heating up in this large band from North Africa through the Middle East and South Asia. Looks like this year could be pretty rough for that region.

      Reply
  15. coloradobob

     /  April 11, 2017

    New Zealand:
    Rotorua braces for more flooding, slips as Cyclone Cook bears down on region
    NZH, 5:38 PM Tuesday Apr 11, 2017
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/n

    A state of emergency has been declared for the Bay of Plenty as the
    region braces for the arrival of Cyclone Cook – just days after the tail
    end of Cyclone Debbie caused widespread damage and destruction.

    A severe weather warning is in place with heavy rain expected from about
    midday tomorrow to midday Friday, said MetService meteorologist Sarah
    Sparks. She said 200 to 250mm was forecast to potentially accumulate over the 48 hours. “The maximum rainfall rate is 30 to 40mm [per hour] with thunderstorms possible.” …

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11836146

    Reply
  16. Bob

     /  April 11, 2017

    CO2 increases increasing. An excellent article and graphs from the National Observer in Vancouver. Barry is one of the best at representing information in expressive graphs that have a way of simplifying and showing what is happening. It is terrifying and surreal.
    http://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/04/10/opinion/atmospheric-co2-levels-accelerate-upwards-smashing-records

    Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  April 11, 2017

      Wow..that was eye opening. And that isn’t even taking in the other greenhouse gases like methane. It seems “faster than expected” will be the reoccurring theme in anything related to CC.

      Reply
    • Makes me sad to be a Canadian, our “pretty boy” Prime Minister is betting the shop on Big Oil & Gas while he hides behind a completely ineffective domestic carbon tax. Canada could easily be a renewables superpower, but instead we bet on dirty fossil fuels. When the world gets serious about cutting emissions there will be a massive industrial museum north of Edmonton.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  April 11, 2017

        Roger, agreed, ditto, and +1. JT is a total wipeout on climate action. But how could we ever have expected him not to be? He’s as flaky as his poor mother.

        Reply
        • JT was far better than the alternative — by miles. And that makes him a moderate on climate change. In other words — not doing enough.

        • Suzanne

           /  April 11, 2017

          JT is certainly a disappointment on CC …but at least he isn’t taking you backwards by decades!

        • Cate

           /  April 12, 2017

          RS and Suzanne, I think what disappoints me most about JT is the messaging—-okay, let’s call it what it is: the lie. His pet notion is a carefully-crafted and unconscionable lie, that we must build pipelines and develop other fossil fuel infrastructures in order to pay for the transition to green energy. In the context of a planet running to climate hell in a handbasket, this kind of wool-over-eyes nonsense from the PM of a nation that claims to be a “climate leader” is immoral and shameful.

          No, he may not be as bad as Trump or as his Conservative counterpart would be in taking action on climate, but at least with them we know where we stand. With Trudeau, it’s say one thing and do the opposite—two-faced, fork-tongued.

        • True, it’s a bit of greenwash for certain. But politics is the art of the possible. Something needs to change in Canada for us even to be able to get something better than JT.

        • In other words, because the fossil fuel interests have such a strong hold over Canadian policy (unlike the Norwegians, who have managed to gracefully slip the noose of the resource curse), there needs to be some kind of major public movement to change the political conversation between one of Harper insanity vs JT hypocrisy and incrementalism toward somewhat more beneficial climate policies. At some point, as Australia is learning now with coal, these politicians and business interests will realize that the imagined profits from oil are a fantasy. Either renewables save the world from devastating and destabilizing climate change or the fossil fuel burning results in so much catastrophe and calamity that it becomes difficult to imagine how Canada or Canadians or even the wealthy investors actually benefit, on net, from what is essentially and ultimately a suicide pact.

          How long do they expect these resources to be extracted? Over what horizon of time? 30, 40, 50 years? In one decade renewables take down the demand or in two decades, climate change impacts have become so terrible that everyone will hate these fuels and those that sell them. Under BAU fossil fuel burning, it’s tough to imagine a stable Canada in two decades in other words, or a stable anywhere for that matter. How stable are we now? We have Brexit and Trump and fear of immigrants and travel bans and Russian hacking and Syria and North Korea and islands in the Pacific already being buried by the waves. We have walls for Bangladesh and Famine in Africa because seas are rising and droughts are worsening. And we just barely passed 1 C.

          What I’m saying is that we can neither afford to let the perfect be the enemy of the halfway decent nor can we afford to continue to push social awareness forward to allow for the possibility of the good in Canada and elsewhere. But what I will say in the U.S. is that we lost a huge chance when we let the perfect be the enemy of the good with Hillary and we are now in an all-out social and legal battle just to try to contain Trump and all the madmen he has brought in to power. So when you look at Trudeau and think — wow this is bad — all you have to do is look across the border to see how much worse it could actually be.

  17. Suzanne

     /  April 11, 2017

    Global Warming Could Thaw Far More Permafrost than Expected…Study Finds..
    https://insideclimatenews.org/news/10042017/permafrost-climate-change-arctic-carbon-release

    More than 40 percent of the world’s permafrost—landscape covered in frozen soil—is at risk of thawing even if the world succeeds in limiting global warming to the international goal of 2 degrees Celsius, according to a new study.

    Currently, permafrost covers about nearly 5.8 million square miles, and scientists found as much as 2.5 million square miles of that could thaw—about twice the area of Alaska, California and Texas combined—in a 2 degree Celsius scenario. Thawing would be more limited if warming can be held to 1.5 degrees Celsius, but could still affect 1.8 million square miles.

    The new research was published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.

    Reply
  18. Spike

     /  April 11, 2017

    Hot and dry in the UK recently – my garden is needing water, I have sunburn, and local heathlands were burning in the midlands last night, which is usually a peak summer problem. Heaths in eastern England were also ablaze in some areas. Phil Garner from Norwich-based Weatherquest said the winter had been very dry – only February saw near-average rainfall. He said: “Over the winter as a whole we’ve seen about two thirds of the rainfall we would expect. March was a very dry month and we haven’t seen any rain in April so far.”

    http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/dry-spring-and-winter-has-put-suffolk-s-heaths-at-early-risk-of-blazes-1-4968794

    Reply
  19. Not about floods but drought and fire. A new study about fire in the Amazon illustrates the mechanisms that make the rainforest more prone to fires now, and where there’s more risk. Weirdly, it’s not in the Terra Firma forests, that stay dry year round. Those can withstand greater droughts and still resist fire. The floodplains of “Mata de Várzea” are more fire-prone, as the trees are more sparse and less thick. They’re also the areas more prone to savanization:
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/04/04/1617988114.full

    Reply
  20. June

     /  April 11, 2017

    More problems in South America.

    Argentina – 1 Dead, Thousands Evacuated After Floods in Chubut Province

    Rain has been falling in Chubut Province, Argentina, for more than 2 weeks, causing severe flooding in Comodoro Rivadavia and surrounding areas. The city of Comodoro Rivadavia received more than a year’s worth of rain in the space of a few days

    http://floodlist.com/america/argentina-1-dead-thousands-evacuated-floods-chubut-province

    Reply
  21. Spike

     /  April 11, 2017

    Bad news on permafrost, which I have long felt is the most threatening of the looming feedbacks. “More than 40 percent of the world’s permafrost is at risk of thawing even if the world succeeds in limiting global warming to the international goal of 2 degrees Celsius, according to a new study. Currently, permafrost covers about nearly 5.8 million square miles, and scientists found as much as 2.5 million square miles of that could thaw—about twice the area of Alaska, California and Texas combined—in a 2 degree Celsius scenario. Thawing would be more limited if warming can be held to 1.5 degrees Celsius, but could still affect 1.8 million square miles.”

    Reply
  22. coloradobob

     /  April 11, 2017

    Climate change a character in Discovery’s ‘Deadliest Catch’

    NEW YORK (AP) — Climate change is one of the main characters in the new season of “Deadliest Catch,” with the crab fishermen in one of Discovery’s most enduring and popular shows forced to deal with a sudden warming of the Bering Sea that chases their prey into deeper, more dangerous water.
    That leads the adventure series into its own uncharted waters. The show’s 13th season debuts Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET. ………………………. The waters off Alaska that provide the livelihood for the show’s real-life stars warmed by a dramatic 4 degrees in one year. The cold water-loving crab is depleted in the traditional fishing areas, so some of the boats strike out for new territory that is more dangerous because of fiercer storms and is further from rescue workers if something goes wrong, he said.

    http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/television/article/Climate-change-a-character-in-Discovery-s-11065716.php

    Reply
  23. coloradobob

     /  April 11, 2017

    ‘Very bad tick year’ expected for Alabama in 2017, and climate change a factor

    2017 could be a record year for ticks and tick-borne illnesses according to one researcher who studies the arachnids in Alabama.

    “I would say this is going to be a very bad tick year because it was a very mild winter,” said Tim Sellati, chair of Southern Research’s Infectious Diseases Department.

    The warm, wet winter and spring have created conditions for dense undergrowth in forests, which allows ticks to thrive.

    In addition, Sellati said a warming climate has let certain species of ticks expand their range and those changes are reflected in tick surveys in Alabama and other parts of the United States.

    http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2017/04/very_bad_tick_year_expected_fo.html

    Reply
  24. coloradobob

     /  April 11, 2017
    Reply
  25. coloradobob

     /  April 11, 2017

    Run-off pollution from Cyclone Debbie flooding sweeps into Great Barrier Reef
    Damage comes after many coral reefs in Whitsundays were pummelled and broken by extreme weather event

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/apr/11/run-off-pollution-from-cyclone-debbie-flooding-sweeps-into-great-barrier-reef

    Reply
    • From extreme precipitation to extreme heat to the impact of rough waves, the corals just can’t get a break from impacts related to climate change.

      Reply
  26. Keith Antonysen

     /  April 11, 2017

    On the weekend I witnessed a very simple experiment showing how warm water and atmosphere hold more moisture (8/04/2017). It consisted of two tea bags to represent clouds, two large glass bottles with tops, and a very sensitive scale. One bottle had cold water, the other had an equal amount of hot water placed in it (1/2 litre). The tea bags were weighed prior to placing in the bottles; they were placed equidistance from the water in each of the bottles with the tops screwed down.
    After forty minutes the tea bags were again weighed, the bag that had been placed in the bottle with hot water gained 6.8 times more weight (absorbed moisture) than the other tea bag.

    A very simple experiment that displays how warm oceans and seas along with a warm atmosphere allows for more water vapour to be carried.

    A good experiment to show young people and deniers.

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  April 12, 2017

      Oh, I think the deniers would want to see something rather more dramatic than this! Something with coloured smoke, flashing mirrors, rabbits popping out of hats, girls leaping out of cakes, showers of glitter—-you know, the sorts of things that look like science to flat-earthers. 😉

      Reply
      • Keith Antonysen

         /  April 12, 2017

        June, this experiment was conducted at the same time, no flashing mirrors; but, if understood should make people think.

        An experiment conducted at the same time as above which was conducted in an open air situation to display the greenhouse effect.

        The main experiment used as equipment a radiator, a thermometer, 5×2 litre bottles, and a hose to transfer CO2 created from two of the bottles. CO2 was created by mixing 2 table spoons of bi-carbonate of soda with 1/2 cup of vinegar. Two capped bottles one containing CO2 and the other plain air were placed equidistant from the radiator (about a 1/2 metre away); while the third bottle containing ice was placed about a centre meter equidistant behind the two other bottles. The bottles holding air and CO2 had probes connecting them to a sophisticated thermometer.

        The radiator represented Earth bouncing back infrared radiation, the bottles displayed two different atmospheres, and the bottle with ice represented outer space. The aim of the experiment was to demonstrate how CO2 retains warmth (energy). Warmth is pulled towards ice (outer space) when the concentration of CO2 (greenhouse gas) is lower. In the experiment conducted the bottle with CO2 was consistently 3C warmer than the bottle with air.

        Reply
        • Keith Antonysen

           /  April 12, 2017

          Sorry Cate, not sure how I came up with June.

  27. India experiencing unprecedented temperatures since end February and March. Temperatures associated with May. Peak summer temp arriving about 45 days earlier.

    In USA, Chicago had no snow on ground till March which is a record. Similarly northeast US had very mild winter till end February. Record high temps in March till cold weather returned. Spring flowers in many places about one month earlier, followed by snow!! Miami facing rising sea level.

    Climate change characterised by extreme heat, precipitation, floods, melting poles, seasons going topsy turvy, rivers drying up, acquifier levels going down, potable water scarcity, rising sea levels …..increasing in frequency, amplitude and intensity. Now climate change becoming geometrical. Climocalypse by 2030 to 50.

    Reply
  1. 2017’s Warming Climate Produces Unprecedented Floods Across the Globe | GarryRogers Nature Conservation

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