North Atlantic May Cough up Another Out of Season Tropical Cyclone this Week

Like pretty much everywhere else in the world ocean these days, and due primarily to a rampant injection of greenhouse gasses into the Earth’s atmosphere through fossil fuel burning, the North Atlantic is now considerably warmer than during the 19th and 20th Centuries…

Warming Waters and An Angry Jet Stream

That extra heat provides more available fuel for tropical storm and hurricane formation. It increases the top potential peak intensity of the most powerful storms. And it extends the period in which such tropical cyclones are capable of forming — for sea surface temperatures of at least 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit are often necessary to fuel such systems (please also see the present science on how climate change is impacting tropical cyclones).

(Sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic now range between 1 and 7 degrees Celsius above average for most regions. These warmer than normal sea surfaces provide more fuel for storms even as they extend the period during which tropical storm and hurricane formation is possible. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

But it’s worth noting that warm ocean waters are not the only ingredient that add to the potential for the formation and strengthening of these powerful storms. Instability and cloud formation are often necessary to seed such systems. And the more extreme warm and cold temperature anomalies associated with wavier Jet Stream patterns inject exactly this form of instability into the middle latitudes at a higher rate than was witnessed during past decades.

Due to its proximity both to a melting Greenland and to a rapidly warming Arctic, the North Atlantic is particularly vulnerable to the production of powerful swirls of warm and cold air. Warming tropics collide with the cold air producing pools of glacial freshwater melt and the enlarging meanders of the Northern Hemisphere Jet Stream. And it’s the proliferation of these unstable vortices forming over warming waters throughout the North Atlantic that may start to generate a more and more noticeable higher incidence of both out of season cyclones and stronger storm systems.

(A persistent swirl of disorganized clouds in the Central North Atlantic — continuously re-charged by frontal systems sweeping down from Baffin Bay and feeding on warmer than normal sea surface temperatures may become the first tropical cyclone of 2017. If it later forms into a tropical storm, it will become the third out-of-season named storm to form in the Atlantic over the last 15 months. Image source: LANCE MODIS.)

Last year, extremely warm sea surface temperatures combined with this kind of observed instability to spur the formation of Hurricane Alex during January. Tropical storm Bonnie also formed out of season during May. Similar very warm ocean conditions then helped to kick-start the late November formation of Category 3 Hurricane Otto (though November is still technically hurricane season, it’s supposed to be very rare to see so strong a storm form so late in the year).

Possible April Cyclone Underlines Recent High Incidence of Out of Season Storms

Fast forward to April of 2017. According to the National Hurricane Center, there’s now a 30 percent chance that a tropical depression may form in the Central Atlantic over the next 48 hours. Ultimately, such a system could gather into the first Atlantic named storm of 2017 — Arlene. Such an event would mark the third time in just 15 months that the Atlantic basin had produced an out-of-season tropical storm or hurricane.

(A vast majority — 97 percent — of tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic form during hurricane season from June 1 to November 30. That said, human forced climate change may now be in the process of providing more fuel for the formation of out-of-season storms. Image source: North Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Climatology.)

Incidence of out-of-season tropical storms or hurricanes in the Atlantic is rather rare. Over 158 years from 1851 to 2009, perhaps one such system formed, on average, each year. Moreover, these storms primarily formed during May — which by itself produced more out-of-season storms than December through April combined. And a vast majority of these systems were tropical storms — not hurricanes or major hurricanes.

In 2016 and 2017, Alex formed as a hurricane during January — which is practically unheard of. Bonnie formed during late May, which was less unusual but still out-of-season. Otto formed as a category 3 major hurricane during late November — another anomalous event. Meanwhile, if Arlene forms this April it will represent 1 out of only about 20 such systems that formed during the month in the period of 1851 through 2009.

But even if we don’t get a tropical cyclone in the middle of the North Atlantic during April of 2017, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that conditions have changed. That forecasters now need to be more alert for out-of-season tropical cyclones and to the various new weather phenomena that are now being precipitated by a warming climate.

Links:

The National Hurricane Center

Hurricanes and Climate Change

Earth Nullschool

LANCE MODIS

Extreme Weather Events Linked to Climate Change Impact on Jet Stream

North Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Climatology

Hat tip to Vaughn

Hat tip to Hilary

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143 Comments

  1. coloradobob

     /  April 18, 2017

    Faster and faster.

    Reply
  2. coloradobob

     /  April 18, 2017

    How the First Earth Day Happened

    Bob Henson

    https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/how-first-earth-day-happened

    Reply
  3. coloradobob

     /  April 18, 2017

    Deadly garbage landslide in Sri Lanka

    A police officer inspects a damaged house for victims during a rescue mission after a garbage dump collapsed and buried dozens of houses in Colombo.

    http://www.reuters.com/news/picture/deadly-garbage-landslide-in-sri-lanka?articleId=USRTS12OF4

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  April 18, 2017

      As Trash Avalanche Toll Rises in Ethiopia, Survivors Ask Why
      By HADRA AHMED and JACEY FORTIN
      MARCH 20, 2017

      Reply
      • WTH? High incident rate of deadly refuse pile landslides… People are getting crushed by middens. Now if that’s not a tragic metaphor for consumption gone wrong, I don’t know what is.

        Reply
        • People can scavenge those piles of trash. They’ll do it to earn enough money to buy food, or other things. They’re the hard core version of the bottle collectors in North America.

  4. coloradobob

     /  April 18, 2017

    Our rivers may been burning back in 1970, and you had to chew to air before inhaling. But I can’t recall landslides of trash burying dozens of poor people, who work these mountains of the modern world for a living.

    The Anthropocene has a whole host of new horrors in store for us.

    Reply
    • We get a lot of dystopian fiction about some far off future. The more I learn, the more it appears that the dystopia is present day — now.

      Reply
      • coloradobob

         /  April 18, 2017

        Roger that , there’s an ” Independent Lens ” on tonight on PBS about the seed companies.

        Reply
        • Hmm? Is this a false balance kind of thing? Like that new climate change denier for the NYT editorial page?

          Edit: Got it. Checking the program out now. I hadn’t heard of it before.

      • coloradobob

         /  April 18, 2017

        ” We get a lot of dystopian fiction about some far off future.”

        Yeah, plenty of rooster feathers , and our butt cheeks hanging out of a pair of stylish, perfectly tanned black leather chaps. We still have superchargers , and tires, but we all use crossbows.
        The key word here is “Fiction”.

        Reply
        • Gotta love the supercharger + crossbow analogy. Just about sums it up.

        • coloradobob

           /  April 18, 2017

          ” Hmm? Is this a false balance kind of thing? Like that new climate change denier for the NYT editorial page? ”

          Not from tease , It appears to be real sober account about our food supply

        • Got it. Not pretty I bet. What’s the name of the program.

      • Cate

         /  April 18, 2017

        On dystopian fiction being here and now: yep, absolutely. Margaret Atwood pointed out that she can back up everything in her very dystopian “Handmaid’s Tale” with contemporary news stories or history: in other words, it’s all happened, already. I got the same sense from The Road. I guess that’s what makes this kind of fiction so terrifying, the sense that it CAN happen, because it has happened.

        Reply
        • So in my various social circles I suppose what gets to me is a general sense of malaise. A sense that things are pretty good and that whatever harm may be out there is rather remote and that there is no urgency to confront present injustices or even a decent awareness that they exist. Moreover, the various cries for help that may bubble up through this filter seem to come to some as a novelty or a curiosity.

          I guess what I’m saying is that it’s very important for me to try to emphasize the need for people to get involved and to work directly to promote environmental and economic justice in our world. My mother, for example, is a member of an Episcopal leadership council. For the past two weeks, they talked about climate change. And, at the end, they were at a loss as to what they could do. But the reality is that there is quite a lot that each person can do from political action to individual action to even working with the Church to add sustainability (adding solar panels, teaching people how to live more sustainable lives etc).

          Awareness is a first step, but it needs to proceed to action. And I can say that despite times when this transition has failed to occur, I have been inspired by various people in various organizations forming action groups that focus on a specific project with specific goals. The issue is that if we claim to have values, then we need to look at various actions and plans we need to achieve goals to support them. And when we see an injustice in the world, then it’s not just a point of discussion — but a point that should inspire an active response.

          Reducing harm is a mission. One that requires an active mobilization. This is life, not just some tale to be told.

  5. bostonblorp

     /  April 18, 2017

    Appropriately enough Hansen’s “Storms of My Grandchildren” arrived in the mail yesterday. The title almost seems optimistic but I imagine he’s writing about worse things than an out-of-season storm.

    The wider the Pandora’s Box of CC opens, the larger and nastier the consequence is that comes flapping out. May we find the resolve to slam it shut.

    Reply
  6. Erik Frederiksen

     /  April 18, 2017

    I got hit by a late season hurricane in a 55 foot sailboat N of Bermuda, this was back in the early 80s, late October. That was considered late back then.

    Reply
    • Originally, hurricane season was from June 1 to October 31. The present hurricane season of June 1 to November 31 has been in place since 1965. May should probably now be added considering the fact that tropical cyclone incidence in May is now about as frequent as November.

      Worth noting that the lengthening of periods for storm formation have been observed for some time now in conjunction with the expansion of and longer duration of the North Atlantic warm water pool:

      http://www.livescience.com/2686-hurricane-season-longer.html

      Reply
      • coloradobob

         /  April 18, 2017

        Years ago, I mean over a decade ago, I remember this quote from 60 Minutes /

        ” We used to have a fire season in California , we burn year round now. ”

        This was the chief wildland firefighter in California.

        The death of seasons of all kinds plays out before us. From the smallest bird , to largest storms .

        Reply
      • Erik Frederiksen

         /  April 18, 2017

        Yes, although the official hurricane season ends late November, back in the 80s it was considered fairly safe to head out in late October from New England to the Caribbean.

        Reply
        • Good point. Worth noting that Sandy was a late October/early November storm as well. And one that was large enough to impact the whole basin.

  7. Hilary

     /  April 18, 2017

    ? typo under 2nd ‘swirl’ image, should 2016 be 2017?
    Regards
    Hilary

    Reply
  8. coloradobob

     /  April 18, 2017

    Reply
  9. coloradobob

     /  April 18, 2017

    Each year, Earth Day—April 22—marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970.

    The height of counterculture in the United States, 1970 brought the death of Jimi Hendrix, the last Beatles album, and Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” War raged in Vietnam and students nationwide overwhelmingly opposed it.

    At the time, Americans were slurping leaded gas through massive V8 sedans. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of legal consequences or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. “Environment” was a word that appeared more often in spelling bees than on the evening news.

    http://www.earthday.org/about/the-history-of-earth-day/

    Reply
  10. coloradobob

     /  April 18, 2017

    ” The death of seasons of all kinds plays out before us. ”

    My last freeze is March 2nd this year . A new record .
    The murder of winter marches on.

    Our old average was April 15th.

    Reply
  11. coloradobob

     /  April 18, 2017

    This is NOT what is coming –

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  April 18, 2017

      Thanks Andy, interesting article with a quote that is something the astute have been seeing unfolding before our eyes

      “Prof Lonnie Thompson, a paleoclimatologist at Ohio State University who was not involved in the work, said the observations highlight how incremental temperature increases can produce sudden and drastic environmental impacts. “There are definitely thresholds which, once passed in nature, everything abruptly changes,” he said”

      Reply
      • Spike

         /  April 19, 2017

        Great quote which also hit me between the eyes as Thompson has a great knack of doing. And the thing about climate change that makes it so suitable as a WMD given our current inept “leaders” is that we can pass those thresholds without realising it at the time because of the inertia in the system. Years to decades later when the sheeple wake up and call for action all we’ll be able to do is palliation.

        Reply
  12. Andy_in_SD

     /  April 18, 2017

    Mysterious New Crack in Greenland Glacier Revealed in NASA Photos

    http://www.livescience.com/58715-mysterious-new-crack-in-greeland-glacier.html

    Reply
    • It’s not just that it’s getting hotter — it’s the fact that there’s more latent heat in the atmosphere as well. This generally adds to overall heat stress even if base temperatures don’t considerably change. But, in many cases (as we see in India now, for example), the base temperatures are increasing even as the hot seasons are lengthening.

      Reply
  13. Andy_in_SD

     /  April 18, 2017

    Reclaiming native ground: Can Louisiana’s tribes restore their traditional diets as waters rise?
    Native Americans are losing their ability to live off the land as it has crumbled into the Gulf of Mexico. Some of them are trying to figure out how to survive on what’s left.

    https://thefern.org/2017/02/reclaiming-native-ground-can-louisianas-tribes-restore-traditional-diets-waters-rise/

    Reply
  14. Andy_in_SD

     /  April 18, 2017

    For anyone who has not seen this, it is a very sobering look at what is occurring, and has occurred. It is a superb interactive on the crisis of land loss Louisiana. There is a 13 billion dollar project to create levees in order to stave off the inevitable, the project will not succeed.

    http://projects.propublica.org/louisiana/#

    Reply
    • Erik Frederiksen

       /  April 18, 2017

      New Orleans is sinking, the protective delta is eroding, sea level rise is accelerating and maximum storm strength may be increasing. It is an important port which could be run by workers on elevated steel structures.

      But people really shouldn’t be living in places like that much longer. There’s one narrow road leading out of the Florida Keys and when people finally get scared and decide not to ride out the strong hurricane rolling ashore it will become a parking lot.

      Reply
  15. coloradobob

     /  April 18, 2017

    Just watched …………… Seed, The Untold Story

    The quote from it :
    “Either stand up or die.”

    http://www.seedthemovie.com/

    Reply
  16. coloradobob

     /  April 18, 2017

    I know I am a goofball old hippy , but after seeing this . I feel better , because once before I became a complete mess . I did this –

    Colorado Bob’s Hopi Blue Corn Experiment
    An Experiment in Small Things

    http://cbhopibluecornexperiment.blogspot.com/2009/05/hopi-blue-corn-project-reporting-in.html

    I mailed blue corn seeds to people for free.

    Reply
    • So this is exactly the type of action I’m talking about. I’ve got to say thanks for this, Bob.
      (Still trying to figure out why this tripped the spam filter…)

      Reply
  17. coloradobob

     /  April 18, 2017

    RS
    I am in the spam.

    Reply
  18. Andy_in_SD

     /  April 18, 2017

    In 2012, Gail Fuller’s 2,000-acre farm was at ground zero for the drought that decimated corn production throughout the Midwest. His corn and soybeans had barely squeaked through the previous dry summer, even as many of his neighbors in Lyon County, Kansas, saw their crops desiccate and fail in the unrelenting sun. But when the drought persisted into 2012, Fuller joined the ranks of farmers who told the companies that administered their federally funded crop insurance they needed compensation for ruined acres.

    Sure enough, the insurance company withheld a six-figure payout and canceled coverage on some of his fields. Stunned and panicked, Fuller called his partner, Lynette Miller, and blurted, “I’ve lost my insurance!”

    https://thefern.org/2016/12/regenerative-ag/

    Reply
  19. Interesting supplement – with additional information – to Cate’s comment on previous post –

    Receding glacier causes immense Canadian river to vanish in four days

    Reply
  20. coloradobob

     /  April 18, 2017

    My crazy experiment –
    Sunday, April 3, 2011
    A new addition to the Blue Corn list of planters: a handfull of seeds went to Sidi Limehouse at:

    Rosebank Farms
    Johns Island, SC

    http://cbhopibluecornexperiment.blogspot.com/

    Reply
  21. coloradobob

     /  April 18, 2017

    Reply
  22. coloradobob

     /  April 18, 2017

    One of my best ever …..

    Bear in the Rotunda

    Reply
  23. coloradobob

     /  April 18, 2017

    Bear #339 and The Bear-A-Tones on California Prop #23

    Reply
  24. coloradobob

     /  April 18, 2017

    This one took weeks –

    Reply
  25. coloradobob

     /  April 18, 2017

    Bear #339 Arctic Drilling Op-Ed

    Reply
  26. coloradobob

     /  April 18, 2017

    Life in a day

    Reply
  27. coloradobob

     /  April 18, 2017

    Pickin’ With Buddy – Drew Pennington

    Reply
  28. coloradobob

     /  April 18, 2017

    In a world of mad men online, an old man looks back Another one of my bests =

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  April 18, 2017

      That old hippy was Micheal Jackson’s court painter.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  April 18, 2017

        Wow, just wow.That’s a stunner, Bob, and you are a true artist.

        Reply
  29. coloradobob

     /  April 18, 2017

    One last clip –

    550 Seedlings

    Reply
  30. coloradobob

     /  April 18, 2017

    Now back to grinding bones –

    Climate change is turning dehydration into a deadly disease
    A mysterious kidney disease is striking down labourers across the world and climate change is making it worse. Jane Palmer meets the doctors who are trying to understand it and stop it

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/climate-change-is-turning-dehydration-into-a-deadly-disease-a7680856.html

    Reply
    • Proliferating kidney illness is not just due to dehydration. Heat stress increases stress on these organs and, over time, can result in renal failure. Dehydration is a part of the problem, but it’s constant exposure to high heat and high wet bulbs without necessary rest and recovery that produce this kind of organ failure stress.

      Reply
  31. Shawn Redmond

     /  April 18, 2017

    Hmm… seems the worlds lakes may hold another surprise for us as if we need another one.
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170413084834.htm
    What is the volume of water in lakes on Earth? Using a mathematical analysis, researcher David Seekell, at Umeå University in Sweden, and his American collaborators now suggest that the mean depth of lakes is 30 per cent lower than previously estimated. Shallower lakes implies less fresh water and has consequences for our understanding of climate change and the carbon cycle. The results have been published in Geophysical Research Letters.

    “Our estimations measure around 190,000 km3, which is a very small amount of water. In comparison, the ocean contains 1.3 billion km3 of water. If we poured the water of all lakes on Earth together into one big lake, the mean depth of the lake would be 42 metres. The mean depth of the ocean is 3,682 metres,” says David Seekell, associate professor at the Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences and the Climate Impacts Research Centre (CIRC) at Umeå University in Sweden.

    A possible conclusion is if lakes are shallower, they release more methane into the atmosphere than previously estimated

    Reply
    • Certainly an important study from a sustainability and water security perspective. Fresh water was already a relatively thin thread. But add in loss to glaciers, increasing rates of evaporation, and the fact that rainfall will tend to come heavier but less frequently and this really looks like a problem for human civilization even in the context of present warming.

      Reply
    • Spike

       /  April 19, 2017

      Yes and in Europe the great glaciers of the Alps, like the corals, are vanishing before our eyes. “As a child, I never would have thought they could vanish. Even 20 years ago there were still patches of ice up there on those north-facing slopes. I’ve watched, we’ve all watched the glaciers shrink here and across the country,” he said.

      http://www.dw.com/en/climate-change-taking-big-bite-out-of-alpine-glaciers/a-38416950

      Reply
  32. Abel Adamski

     /  April 18, 2017

    The Caribou and the Moose, even Grouse take a hit from AGW for different reasons
    http://www.telegram.com/sports/20170417/mark-blazis-global-warming-exerts-affect-on-herds

    The caribou on the tundra, like the canary in the coal mine, is a sensitive barometer of changing habitat conditions. Caribou are now demonstrating how global warming has been catastrophically devastating one of the greatest migrating herds the planet has ever seen.

    The effects of warming temperatures on moose health are being noted throughout the moose’s southern range. Moose are being stressed by warmer weather, which causes them to feed less, and early spring snow melt, which results in higher winter tick loads and great blood loss the following year.

    Grouse populations up north also are being impacted by global warming. For grouse, snow is fine; freezing rain can be catastrophic.

    Climate warming is producing more ice storms and fewer snowstorms. Last year, grouse in numerous areas of Maine were hammered by it. One logger reported finding 50 dead grouse in the spring. They were trapped in the snow that they had dived into and burrowed in overnight for protection from the cold. If ever sportsmen should support efforts to help stop global warming, it’s now.

    A broad spectrum of individuals each with their own reasons and viewpoints, but with one common purpose, halt Global Warming is slowly building

    http://www.telegram.com/sports/20170417/mark-blazis-global-warming-exerts-affect-on-herds

    Reply
    • With warming oceans producing more convective lift, the warm air masses will tend to be more mobile and to over-ride the colder air masses at the surface during the winter in northern regions. This increasing prevalence toward inversion will tend to preferentially enable ice storms — which will have harmful impacts to numerous species from Caribou to the Grouse mentioned in this article to practically any other northern creature that relies on access to the ground for forage, sustenance, or shelter.

      Reply
  33. climatehawk1

     /  April 18, 2017

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  34. Suzanne

     /  April 18, 2017

    I’m a Tea Party conservative. Here’s how to win over Republicans on renewable energy.

    Reply
  35. June

     /  April 18, 2017

    Just before Earth Day and the March for Science…another serious blow to EPA.

    Leaked Trump administration plan to close Chicago EPA office puts 1,000 jobs at risk

    Trump’s budget chief Mick Mulvaney singled out the EPA as a target for budget cuts and the agency, under the leadership of former Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt, was tasked with choosing two regional office for closure by June 15. The identity of the other regional office has yet to be disclosed.

    …Cantello, who also works as a lawyer in the EPA Region 5 office, added: “If you wanted to drive a stake through the heart of EPA enforcement and EPA’s ability to protect the country, this would be one way of doing it.”

    https://thinkprogress.org/trump-targeting-chicago-epa-office-e722bdaedac5

    Reply
    • So this is also a big job killer. But the kinds of jobs being cut are the type that keep people safe from poisoned air and water. That under the Obama Administration had come to fight to prevent climate harms as well. The attack on the EPA is an attack on public safety. But it is also increasing the unemployment rolls even as it is helping to increase the risks of contracting cancer, heart, and lung disease in the U.S. Like so many things from the leaders of the republican party of late, this is made of epic fail followed by endlessly cascading harms.

      Reply
  36. Suzanne

     /  April 18, 2017

    Trump may be about to break another big promise..and that is very good news:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2017/04/18/trump-may-be-about-to-break-another-big-promise-thats-very-good-news/?tid=pm_pop

    President Trump has reversed himself on a lot of campaign promises lately, and some have rushed to credit him with learning on the job. While one hopes he is capable of this, his reversals also reflect the less admirable factor that his original campaign agenda was mostly fraudulent — and is now colliding violently with reality.

    One excellent illustration of this is Trump’s vow to pull the United States out of the Paris climate deal. And that’s why it’s good news that Trump is now seriously considering remaining in the accord, now that some of his most senior advisers are apprising him of the folly of withdrawing from it.

    Reply
    • I think Trump has shifted from a stance of directly supporting a harmful agenda to working to undermine and sabotage helpful policies. For example, the withdrawal from the harmful Obamacare repeal and replace with a big ejection of people from access to medical care has turned into motions to try to slowly sabotage Obamacare through executive action (insurance subsidy removal). I think that the issue with Paris is similar. Outright withdrawal will offend our allies. So the shift is more to the old oil company model of trying to sabotage these international treaties from the inside while promoting public relations (climate change denial, sewing division among environmentalists and renewable energy supporters etc) campaigns to drain public support. In other words, more Rex Tillerson and less Steve Bannon. Both are bad. It’s just that one is a shade of black darker than the other — subversion and sabotage of liberal democratic institutions rather than outright destruction.

      Reply
  37. Maxwell Little

     /  April 18, 2017

    I keep running into intelligent, educated people who believe climate change is exaggerated for political reasons. They believe that civilization will hang on until the end of their lifetime – they don’t care what happens afterwards. How do we convince these people that climate change is a real, serious issue which has already significantly influenced people’s quality of life?

    Reply
    • Climate change threatens your wealth, your life, and your well being. It will remove access to the beautiful places you love, remove your enjoyment of a nature that is beneficial to the human experience, may wreck your house, and will flood your world with increasing numbers of desperate people in need of help. A number in which you are at increasing risk of being included. It may force you to move many times. It may wreck your savings many times. It will make your politics more dire, the wars you may become involved in more dire. It will reduce your options and will narrow the skein of your good experiences while proliferating your periods of experiencing desperation, helplessness, and terror. It will inflame divisions between you and those around you. And it will increase the likelihood that your life becomes a desperate struggle for survival. Who wants to live in a world that is becoming more and more like this with each passing year?

      Reply
      • Erik Frederiksen

         /  April 18, 2017

        Well said. There’s an article in the NY Times today, talking about rising sea levels on the US East coast already increasing flood insurance premiums which in turn depress property values.

        Those coastal properties will be valueless once the banks see the writing on the wall.

        Reply
        • coloradobob

           /  April 18, 2017

          A must read –
          More losses loom. A single major storm-and-flooding event could cause $10 billion in damage in Hampton Roads alone, according to one planning report. AIR Worldwide, which models the risks of catastrophic events for insurance companies and governments, found that $1.1 trillion in property assets along the Eastern Seaboard lie within the path of a hundred-year storm surge. “That’s a very staggering number,” says AIR’s chief research officer, Jayanta Guin — and it represents only the risk on that coast, and only under current sea levels. By the 2030s, according to a 2008 analysis by Risk Management Solutions (R.M.S.) and Lloyd’s of London, annual losses from storm surges in coastal areas around the world could double.

        • So this year, HR experienced unprecedented flooding from a glancing blow by Matthew and this spring we saw EF 2 tornadoes. With Matthew, we could well say that HR was relatively lucky (as was Florida). But the chance for these kinds of storms, and the kinds of impacts we’ve never seen before, are on the rise due to worsening weather trends in the North Atlantic, due to changes to extreme weather caused by climate change, and due to sea level rise itself.

        • Good follow-on for discussion that matters to people and their lives now. Think of how risky and potentially wealth-wrecking it is to invest in a region (such as Florida in the past) where a few major storms have caused insurers to pull out en masse. With climate change there are many, many more places where such pull-outs are likely. And this is just one impact. Add in diseases moving into your area that can wreck your day, various weather extremes that push you indoors, affect your health in a negative fashion, and promote less healthy and enjoyable lifestyles. And overarching all of this you have an increasing risk of various economic, social, city and civilization collapses that have a further negative impact your life. Who wants to live a life that is just one harsh struggle after another? Where the beach or forest or mountain you loved to visit is now flooded away or a putrefying ocean dead zone or burned to stumps or over-run with disease carrying insects or whose pristine white snows are now rolled back to reveal only ugly gray waste? But that’s what happens more and more with climate change. Your prospects narrow with each tenth of a degree C of warming. Your interactions with the natural world become more adversarial. You become more reliant on technology and increasingly complex and faltering structures and if those systems fail you are ejected into an increasingly harsh world.

        • Shawn Redmond

           /  April 18, 2017

          Well that’s uplifting RS. I’m only too aware, it just sucks every time I read it written by someone who’s knowledge of the situation demands respect. Tough stuff to immerse ones self in daily. Thanks for caring.

        • Greg

           /  April 19, 2017

        • hatrack

           /  April 19, 2017

          Great job, NYT – considering that you just added a well-known climate liar from the WSJ to your editorial board, because “millions agree with him”:

          https://thinkprogress.org/new-york-times-defends-hiring-extreme-climate-denier-millions-agree-with-him-1655c23a524c

          Oh, and considering that you just in the past few months reconstituted a climate reporting team dissolved back in 2013:

          The Gray Lady steadfastly refusing to take her Ritalin . . .

        • The NYT is being pulled in two directions and is trying to cultivate both sides. This broadens their potential audience but reduces their credibility.

  38. coloradobob

     /  April 18, 2017

    The catastrophic coral bleaching at the Great Barrier Reef, in one map
    Two-thirds of the reef have bleached in the past two years.
    http://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/4/18/15272634/catastrophic-coral-bleaching-great-barrier-reef-map

    Reply
  39. phil s

     /  April 18, 2017

    Big thankyou to Robert and team for all the important work that you do, from an avid follower and very infrequent contributor to the comments section.

    Local ABC radio Sunshine Coast, Qld, has just announced the biggest solar farm project in Aus. I’m sure others will find the links with more details, but so far:

    800 gigawatt with battery storage,
    3 million panels capable of supplying power to 15% of SE Qld,
    Covering 17sq km in Gympie Shire.

    Yippee

    Reply
    • phil s

       /  April 19, 2017

      You just can’t trust what you read these days can you. Make that 800MW above, not 800 gig…

      What I heard on radio was for the completed 3rd stage. The info on SolarQ’s website is not so ambitious.

      http://www.solarq.com.au/project/

      350MW and 1,300,000 panels

      Reply
      • phil s

         /  April 19, 2017

        …and the link to the article…

        A company proposing to build Australia’s largest solar farm near Gympie says the $2 billion facility will eventually supply about 15 per cent of south-east Queensland’s power needs.

        Queensland company Solar Q has lodged a development application with the Gympie Council to build a solar farm and battery storage facility 30 kilometres north-west of the city.

        The project will be built in stages, with initial approval being sought for a 350-megawatt facility, but within four years it is proposed to increase this to 800 megawatts or enough electricity to power about 315,000 homes.

        http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-19/mega-solar-farm-planned-for-gympie-qld/8451774?pfmredir=sm

        Reply
    • Spike

       /  April 19, 2017

      It’s good that you have some strong state governments pushing clean energy forwards, and I guess the same applies to the US under the Mango one. Here in the UK the deadly centralism of Whitehall, and the emasculation of local government and Parliament, has killed off much new onshore renewable development.

      Reply
      • phil s

         /  April 19, 2017

        I’m pretty sure this has nothing to do with a strong state government Spike. This is the same Queensland government that is supporting the Adani Carmichael mega coal mine. They just recently gifted them a huge, no questions asked, water license , essentially throwing the states water management plan out the window.

        These big renewable projects are going ahead in spite of governments because they’re beginning to be price competitive, as emphasised often by Robert and others here

        Reply
        • Spike

           /  April 19, 2017

          I was thinking more of ACT and South Australia – take your point about Queensland.

        • phil s

           /  April 19, 2017

          Yep. ACT and SA are beacons in a dark place. More and more local councils are beginning to recognise the urgency of the situation as well.

        • Spike

           /  April 19, 2017

          And I absolutely get your point about renewables economics – see my coal post further down.

  40. coloradobob

     /  April 18, 2017

    Sea level rise could send U.S. ‘climate migrants’ fleeing to Austin, Atlanta

    Sea level rise is typically thought of as a coastal problem, with cities from New York to San Francisco pondering new coastal defenses such as sea walls and sturdier buildings.

    However, by making large swaths of the U.S. shoreline uninhabitable by the end of this century, sea level rise could reverberate far inland, too. In fact, every single U.S. state will be affected by climate change-induced sea level rise, a new study found..

    If the global average sea level rises by 1.8 meters, or nearly 6 feet, by 2100 — which is well within the mainstream projections from recent studies — 13.1 million Americans could migrate away from coastal areas during this time period, according to research published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change

    http://mashable.com/2017/04/17/sea-level-rise-climate-migration-austin/#vWrRvomkOiqn

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  April 18, 2017

      The Domino Theory on steroids.

      Reply
    • Spike

       /  April 19, 2017

      Great read – many thanks! “Phoenix and Las Vegas, both of which are already struggling to keep up with water and electricity demand, could also see an influx of people.” i think by the time SLR has got to 1.8m those places will not be suitable for any inwards migration for other reasons, mainly water and heat.

      Reply
  41. Vaughn Anderson

     /  April 19, 2017

    Robert, Thanks for the “Hat Tip.” The NHC still is giving that storm a 30% to develop. Still unusual even considering a storm to develop in that area.

    I too find it difficult to explain the “greenhouse effect” to many people in my world. I recently read a book by Gary Zukav, The Dancing Wu Li Masters,” which gave me an enhanced understanding of quantum physics(as I am not a physicist.) I highly recommend the book. It has given me an added dimension to better explain how human caused global warming and climate change works so those who do not really “get it” finally better understand. Here is a link to his Facebook page:

    https://www.facebook.com/GaryZukav/

    He has written about a number of topics, somewhat related to quantum physics. An enlightened person.

    Reply
  42. Abel Adamski

     /  April 19, 2017

    An interesting aside
    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/18/amazon-cto-werner-vogels-climate-change-driving-cloud-shift.html

    Amazon Web Services has been winning business worldwide from companies that are stripping down their data centers and taking advantage of emerging cloud technologies.

    Some clients are signing on for a different reason: climate change.

    From New Jersey to Japan, massive storms and earthquakes in recent years have instantly wiped out technical infrastructures, leaving businesses unable to retrieve critical data. Amazon Chief Technology Officer Werner Vogels told CNBC on Tuesday that companies are turning to the cloud to make sure their data is backed up and always accessible

    Reply
  43. Abel Adamski

     /  April 19, 2017

    Disruption is the word
    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/18/tesla-semi-leads-analyst-to-start-downgrading-truck-stocks.html

    Regardless of the Nikola, Mercedes is already well advanced

    Reply
    • A more balanced view from MIT. The potential for electrification is vast, but the hype-factor is hitting the stratosphere right now. Reminds me of the .com days. Stock picking by tweet, crazy.

      https://www.technologyreview.com/s/539741/can-tractor-trailers-go-electric-along-with-cars/

      Reply
      • I think there’s a bit of a difference here between dot.coms and the energy transition. First, the dot.com boom was based on a telecommunications advance. And in many ways it was a soft advancement. Sure, there were new cables that had to be laid down. Bits of new infrastructure that needed to be constructed. But the internet basically piggy-backed on the old phone lines — enhancing that existing network.

        The energy transition is the first truly physically transformative revolution we’ve had in decades. And in scope, it can be compared to the industrial revolution to the degree to which it produces fundamental changes.

        Public interest investment in this case also coincides with moral interest and survival/sustainability interest. This sentiment, too, is quite different from the dot.com sentimentality which was primarily governed by traditional profit interest. Not to say that profit motive does not also drive presently high spirits. But I think it’s more a generally rising recognition that fossil fuels cannot continue and that these new energy systems are necessary now.

        Reply
  44. Spike

     /  April 19, 2017

    The pace of coal-plant closures means that this year solar capacity will overtake coal for the first time in Western Europe, according to Pira Energy, a unit of S&P Global Inc. At least another 4.3 gigawatts will be closed, placed on standby or converted to natural gas this year, according to Sandbag, a London-based environmental charity.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-19/europe-s-coal-power-is-disappearing-quicker-than-anyone-thought

    Reply
  45. Spike

     /  April 19, 2017

    As I mentioned recently we’ve been very dry in the UK, and the first stirrings of concern are emerging.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/18/water-companies-warn-parts-uk-could-see-drought-summer-driest/

    Reply
  46. coloradobob

     /  April 19, 2017

    Historic Calif. Drought Wreaked Irreversible, Bizarre Damage
    Central Valley sank 3 feet—and won’t be rebounding
    Snowmelt and rain are in abundance for the first time in years in Central Valley, Calif., which boasts so much farmland it helps feed much of the world. But the state’s five-year drought was so bad that all those farms sucked up enough groundwater to sink a solid three feet, thereby reducing the region’s water storage capacity, reports a new study out of Stanford University. “California is getting all of this rain, but in the Central Valley, there has been a loss of space to store it,” says a researcher tells Courthouse News; they used satellite technology to precisely calculate the changes in elevation. “When too much water is taken out of clay, its structure is rearranged at the microscopic level and it settles into a new configuration that has less storage space.”
    http://www.newser.com/story/241443/calif-valley-sank-3-feet-in-historic-drought.html

    Reply
    • John McCormick

       /  April 19, 2017

      ColoradoBob,I see a collapse of water intensive agriculture in the Great Central Valley. I don’t know what goes first but I suspect leafy vegetables, (cotton??) and almonds are on the short list. No Plan B. Higher prices will sort this out at the risk of malnutrition among the poor and fixed income elderly population.

      Reply
  47. coloradobob

     /  April 19, 2017

    Larkana, Pakistan

    Elev 190 ft 27.72 °N, 68.78 °E | Updated 33 min ago

    Clear
    Clear
    113 °F
    Feels Like 119 °F
    N12
    Wind from SSW
    Tomorrow is forecast to be NEARLY THE SAME temperature as today.
    Today
    High 116 | Low 84 °F
    0% Chance of Precip.
    Yesterday
    High 113 | Low 79 °F
    Precip. 0 in

    https://www.wunderground.com/q/zmw:00000.1371.41748

    Reply
  48. Vaughn Anderson

     /  April 19, 2017

    The NHC now has the probability of at least a tropical depression at 70%:

    Atlantic Tropical Weather Outlook

    000
    ABNT20 KNHC 191222
    TWOAT

    Special Tropical Weather Outlook
    NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL
    825 AM EDT Wed Apr 19 2017

    For the North Atlantic…Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico:

    A non-tropical low pressure system is located over the central
    Atlantic a little more than 700 miles southwest of the Azores.
    There has been a small increase in organization during the past few
    hours, and a subtropical depression is likely to form later today
    before the system becomes absorbed by a larger extratropical
    cyclone on Thursday. The next Special Tropical Weather Outlook will
    be issued by 2 PM EDT this afternoon unless advisories have already
    been initiated. For additional information on this system, please
    see High Seas Forecasts issued by the National Weather Service.
    * Formation chance through 48 hours…high…70 percent
    * Formation chance through 5 days…high…70 percent

    High Seas Forecasts issued by the National Weather Service can be
    found under AWIPS header NFDHSFAT1, WMO header FZNT01 KWBC, and on
    the Web at http://www.opc.ncep.noaa.gov/shtml/NFDHSFAT1.shtml.

    $$
    Forecaster Avila

    Reply
  49. coloradobob

     /  April 19, 2017

    Weather disasters from climate change are pushing some companies to Amazon’s cloud, says CTO

    From New Jersey to Japan, massive storms and earthquakes in recent years have instantly wiped out technical infrastructures, leaving businesses unable to retrieve critical data. Amazon Chief Technology Officer Werner Vogels told CNBC on Tuesday that companies are turning to the cloud to make sure their data is backed up and always accessible.

    Speaking in an interview from the AWS Summit in San Francisco, Vogels said that banks and telecommunications companies in the Philippines have been swarming into AWS facilities in Singapore of late, “given the massive typhoons that have hit the country time after time.”
    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/18/amazon-cto-werner-vogels-climate-change-driving-cloud-shift.html

    Reply
  50. coloradobob

     /  April 19, 2017

    Climate change preceded Ice Age megafauna extinction
    Melting glaciers and permafrost may have destroyed the grasslands that fed the giant prehistoric beasts of Eurasia and the Americas, writes Tim Wallace.

    https://cosmosmagazine.com/palaeontology/climate-change-preceded-ice-age-megafauna-extinction

    Reply
  51. coloradobob

     /  April 19, 2017

    Boiseans take lawmakers to task for pulling climate change from school science standards

    Eighty Treasure Valley residents turned out to the Red Lion Downtowner on Tuesday night, most to object to the Idaho Legislature’s removal earlier this year of human impacts on climate change from the first attempt to update education science standards in the state since 2000.

    People criticized the Legislature and demanded lawmakers put climate change back into the proposed standards when they return to the Statehouse to reconsider them again next January.

    Boise’s meeting was the fourth in a series of statewide hearings that began last week. Virtually no one has come forward to speak in support of the lawmakers’ action, hearing officers told the Idaho Statesman.

    Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/local/education/article145397139.html#storylink=cpy

    Reply
  52. Vaughn Anderson

     /  April 19, 2017

    According to the NHC a subtropical depression has formed in the North Atlantic but that it is not likely to intensify into a subtropical storm. i guess we will wait and see.

    Reply
  53. phil s

     /  April 19, 2017

    SolarQ’s Scott Armstrong is saying that solar is already easily beating gas-fired generation, and so too will the combination with battery storage.

    “If you asked me three months ago about battery storage, I would have said it was three-to-five years away,” Armstrong told RenewEconomy. “But the prices are falling so significantly and so quickly, that it now one year away.”

    So much so, that Armstrong is targeting battery storage by the third quarter of 2018, with a well known “tier 1” battery storage provider.

    Armstrong’s vision is to create a solar-storage “peaking plant”, that will take advantage of the huge “flex” in demand profiles in the local region.

    This is a classic case of a fossil fuel industry veteran – Armstrong spent years maintaining coal plants and was a trader for Braemer gas generator and the Wivenhoe pumped hydro – seeing new solutions to old problems. “I’m calling it a solid-state peaking plant,” he says. Hence his need for a large amount of storage.

    “In my old job I’d build a gas peaking plant,” Armstrong says. “You don’t want to have a baseload power plant in this environment. What you need is flex assets, because it has a large flexing customer base.”

    https://reneweconomy.com.au/solarq-plans-350mw-solar-farm-storage-south-east-queensland-67103/

    Reply
  54. coloradobob

     /  April 19, 2017

    March set a remarkable new record for global warming, NOAA reports
    First time any month was more than 1.8°F warmer than normal “in the absence of an El Niño episode.”

    https://thinkprogress.org/march-set-remarkable-global-warming-record-dfa2349c84c5

    Reply
  55. coloradobob

     /  April 19, 2017

    Record rainfall across New Zealand after country battered by wild weather

    NIWA reported from January 1 to April 17, 2017, Kaitaia, Auckland, Whatawhata, Hamilton, Rotorua, Lower Retaruke and Waipawa in the North Island and Arapito in the South Island have recorded their wettest start to a year on record.
    Last year, New Zealand had one of the hottest starts to the year.
    The country has been pummeled with the remnants of cyclones Debbie and Cook, as well as the Tasman Tempest which has contributed to the high rain records.

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/record-rainfall-across-new-zealand-after-country-battered-wild-weather

    Reply
  56. coloradobob

     /  April 19, 2017

    Reply
  57. coloradobob

     /  April 19, 2017

    Bill O’Reilly is officially out at Fox News

    Reply
  58. coloradobob

     /  April 19, 2017

    Bill O’Reilly is officially out at Fox News

    Not so fake news.

    Reply
    • Thank goodness. I wonder if other advertisers will start to generally pull their revenue away from Fox due to their numerous immoralities and distortions as well. In any case, this is a good turn.

      Reply
  59. coloradobob

     /  April 19, 2017

    Bending the curve –
    Demand for electric vehicles bucks low gas prices, says AAA

    Lower gas prices have not dampened enthusiasm for electric cars, according to a new report from the Automobile Association of America.

    More than 30 million Americans are likely to buy an electric vehicle as their next car, and demand among millennials is especially high.

    In fact, demand for electric cars may be as robust as it is for pickup trucks, according to the report, which was based on a survey of 1,004 adults from Feb. 16-19.

    Reasons for interest in electric cars vary, with 87 percent citing a concern for the environment, 62 percent citing lower long‐term costs, 52 percent wanting cutting‐edge technology, 29 percent wanting car pool lane access, and 12 percent giving “other reasons.”

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/17/demand-for-electric-vehicles-bucks-low-gas-prices-says-aaa.html

    Reply
    • It’s definitely defying past market norms for the sector. An indication that electrical vehicles offer other real and perceived values than simply saving on fuel prices.

      Reply
  60. So true Robert, here in NZ we are experiencing very odd weather systems which are almost tropical in their features (and temperatures) during our winter/ autumn months where traditionally we should be receiving cooler weather and fronts from the south – coming up from the Arctic. In the last 2 weeks the middle of our North Island was pounced by 2 big cyclones, one of which in particular caused wide spread, massive, record breaking flash flooding destroying homes and making semi-rural towns uninhabitable and unsafe for some time. Interesting to note too that whilst all this has been going on here, my parents in law are dealing with the other end of the spectrum email. Good severe and again record breaking droughts in southern Africa near Capetown! Not a drop of water in sight over there. You’re right in that these things are getting to be the new norm unfortunately……

    Reply
  61. Vaughn Anderson

     /  April 21, 2017

    We have Arlene…short lived and expected to dissipate Friday. Still a rarity for April and not a good sign. Peaked around 50mph on Thursday according to the NHC.

    Reply
  62. mr elastomeric

     /  April 21, 2017

    hello robert just watched avideo on weather channel nansen ice sheet 400 foot wide waterfall of water

    Reply
  1. Early Beginning to the Atlantic Hurricane Season | Saving our Changing World

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