U.S. Climate of Troubles: Record Heat Out West, Severe Floods in the East

Yesterday a record heatwave affecting 40 million people cracked pavement, grounded flights, threatened power grids and risked serious injuries across the Southwestern U.S. Meanwhile, today, a heavily moisture laden tropical storm Cindy is threatening to dump 10 to 15 inches or more of rain on parts of the U.S. Southeast. A pair of opposite weather extremes of the kind we’ve come to expect more and more of in a world that’s warmed by about 1.2 C above 1880s averages.

(Very extreme weather conditions settled over the U.S. on June 20. Today, Cindy is expected to bring extraordinary rainfall totals to the U.S. Gulf Coast. Video source: ClimateState.)

Record-Shattering Western Heat

Yesterday, the mercury struck a scorching 127 degrees F in Death Valley California — the hottest June 20th ever recorded for that heat-blasted lowland. Meanwhile, Death Valley-like heat spilled out over a large swath of the southwest. Phoenix fell just shy of its daily record as temperatures struck 119 F. And Las Vegas tied its all-time record of 117 F (which was set just four years ago on June 30th). Needles, Daggett and Barstow in California joined Kingman in Arizona and Desert Rock in Nevada to also break previous heat records as temperatures soared to between 111 and 115 F across these cities and towns.

(Record heat hammered the U.S. West on Tuesday spiking fire hazards, grounding planes, causing power outages and increasing the risk of heat injury. Image source: National Weather Service.)

All these severe high temperatures took a serious toll as both cities and citizens fell under blast-furnace-like conditions. In Phoenix, 43 flights were grounded. Aircraft could not generate enough lift for a safe take-off in the thin, low-density hot air. Total number flights grounded since Monday now tops 50 for the city — with more expected Wednesday when temperatures are expected to hit 118 F.

As flights were grounded in Phoenix, fires began to spark across the Southwest. Several fires ignited in Southern California including a large 950 acre blaze near Big Bear. In Utah, hundreds of people were forced to evacuate a ski town when a weed-killing torch ignited a swiftly spreading fire. And in southwest Arizona, a wildfire burned 8 structures as more than 100 firefighters rushed to contain the blaze. Firefighters across the southwest struggled against some of the most difficult conditions imaginable — extreme heat, blustery southerly winds, and rapidly-drying vegetation.

Record heat also overwhelmed grids when customers cranked up air conditioning and high temperatures put a major strain on power lines and transformers. With California temperatures climbing to historic levels yesterday, power outages were reported across Central Valley and on into the Bay area. Extreme warming of road surfaces caused highways to buckle even as hospitals prepared for a surge of various heat-related injuries from burns, to heat exhaustion, to heat stroke.

(Recent warming of ocean surfaces to well above average ranges off the U.S. West Coast have likely boosted the development of the recent western heatwave. Ocean surface warming is a signature condition of human-caused climate change. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

A strong high pressure system and a large associated ridge aided by abnormally warm waters off the U.S. West Coast are the primary regional causes of the most recent heatwave. The pool of warm water in the Northeast Pacific — somewhat reminiscent of the Hot Blob that formed in the nearby ocean zones during 2014 and 2015 — appears to be boosting the development of upper level ridges and related surface heat over the region as temperatures climb to 10 to 25 F or more above normal for many locations. Despite recent record winter and spring rainfall for parts of the region, this new heatwave is starting to again advance drought conditions across the Southwest. Yet another hard shift in weather extremes from wet and cool to dry and hot that can likely be linked to climate change.

Cindy Ushers in Severe Flooding across the Gulf Coast

While the west scorches under extreme heat, the weather threat to the U.S. Southeast comes in the form of severe flooding. In the Gulf of Mexico, a sprawling Tropical Storm Cindy is interacting with a stalled frontal system to spike moisture levels in the atmosphere above the U.S. Gulf Coast. Already, between 3 and 9 inches of rain have fallen over parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and Alabama. But the slow-moving, heavy rain bearing Cindy is poised to dump still more.

(24 hour rainfall totals show that heavy precipitation in the range of 3 to 9 inches have already fallen across the Gulf Coast. Cindy is expected to bring even more over the coming days. Image source: NOAA.)

According to NOAA QPC predictions for the next week, as much as 8.5 additional inches of rainfall could impact already-flooded parts of SE Louisiana. And when all is said and done, the system is forecast to drop between 10 and 15 inches or more of rainfall over parts of the area. The storm is not presently expected to rival last year’s August rain event which dumped up to 30 inches over the same region. Of course, with climate change boosting rainfall potentials by warming the Gulf of Mexico and spiking atmospheric moisture and instability, the unexpected can certainly happen. Let’s just hope that’s not the case with Cindy. But 10-15 inch rainfall totals are certainly disruptive enough. And with some streets in New Orleans already seeing 2-3 feet of flooding as more storms rush in from the Gulf, this event is certainly far from finished.

Links/Credits:

National Weather Service

ClimateState

Earth Nullschool

NOAA

Tropical Storm Cindy Pushes Toward Central Gulf Coast

Hat tip to Suzanne

Hat tip to Greg

Hat tip to Tigertown

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139 Comments

  1. wili

     /  June 21, 2017

    Extremes all around us, it seems.

    Reply
  2. Sheri

     /  June 21, 2017

    Reporting from Phoenix. We didnt get to 120 on Tuesday,so no cigar there but we did hit 119and today is expected to be lessthan 120 but t may still break a record. For next week, it looks like still between 110 to 115. Our extreme heat emergency started last saturday mornng and has been extended through Sunday,june 25. That is the longest one i can remember
    .
    Some people who are having AC problems because of the heat are having to wait several days up to aweek or so for technicians to get to them. This is not unusual for summer but it would be hard to with these high temps. I feelfor those technicians!!

    I am doing errands before noon and gettig to my parttime work and driving as little extra as i can. the deal here is that the heat maximums are in the late afternoon and early evenng. Where I work called a heat day Tuesday, so they preferred us to work at home ifwe could. I couldn’t do that but I am putting in extra time tomorrow.

    my feral cats have shaded areas, plenty of water, which has to be changed 2times a day causeit getsvery warm. They get smaller meals of wet food to helpwith their liquid intake.One ofthe boys doesnt show upto eat until after 7 p.m. I also soak the ground i the flower bed and ground around one tree so they have cooler earth to be on at night nd early morning. I have 5 ofthese left after two litters from their mother 10 yrs ago whih made9 fera cats!

    All for now,
    Sheri

    Reply
  3. Sheri

     /  June 21, 2017

    one more phoenix comment: theworst disaster, natural or not, herewould be loss of electric power for a period oftime longer than 2-3 days this time of year.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the report, Sheri. Quite a bit more helpful than just a Fahrenheit temperature number.

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  June 22, 2017

      Thanks for the info, Sheri 🙂 Stay safe!

      Reply
    • My friend’s son has a small air conditioning business in Phoenix.He likes money too much and I hope he doesn’t takes unnecessary chances.He is a cooking planet denier.I think he should try the solar panel business(for backup)..thanks for the info take care.The cats are lucky..

      Reply
  4. climatehawk1

     /  June 22, 2017

    Tweeted.

    Reply
  5. annielittlehawk

     /  June 22, 2017

    written at 2:30 pm June 21, 2017 from The Middle of Nowhere, 90 minutes southeast of Phoenix in Pinal County, AZ

    I got in an hour ago after working outside for about an hour in 114 degree heat…that was TOUGH….it took me 30 minutes to stop sweating after I came back inside, sweat was still dripping into my eyes and I kept wiping sweat off of my body with an old t-shirt and I just kept sweating and sweating. (I am OK and now cooled off, don’t worry & drank lots of water and about to take electrolytes)
    I am not taking a lot of showers, in the effort to save water for the horses (and for my trees so hopefully they don’t die), and for the evaporative cooler which is ESSENTIAL for my dogs and cat! (I do not have an air conditioner)
    I would have to shower about 4 times a day if I was going to use that method to cool myself off…
    All my horses seem just fine, fortunately —even old Dolly who is very dark colored….I keep them in the shade by feeding them about 4 times a day, in the shade. ( I don’t have stalls with air conditioning, nor stalls at all…but do have shade trees.
    3 big water troughs, and 4 smaller ones, in various places, a lot to keep track of…clean of debris and algae and as cool as possible. That is time consuming and the most important time to deal with it is when it’s the hottest outside and most unpleasant and difficult for ME to do…but it’s for the horses, so I do it and endure the challenge.
    The humidity is only about 9% but that feels noticeably hotter to me than 5% humidity does at these temps…I now understand what “wet bulb’ temperature means and I know that there are places like in India where the temps go higher than mid-teens…120 and over in some places….and the humidity is MUCH higher at the same time…this is when people and animals can DIE (unless they are IN cool water, to keep their core temperature in a safe zone), because there is too much humidity coupled with high temperatures for sweat to evaporate even in a gale force wind!
    Welcome to the world of a changing climate.
    I don’t understand why everyone isn’t mobilized about this planetary situation. |
    IT’S NOT A SUBTLE SITUATION, IT’S OBVIOUS !
    One Love

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  June 22, 2017

      Thanks Annie for that report from the real world

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  June 22, 2017

      Thank you for the info Annie, stay safe 🙂

      Reply
    • Great job w the animals..I lost my oldest and biggest Hickory Tree bec of of too much rain (in Okla)..makes me very sad

      Reply
      • Suzanne

         /  June 22, 2017

        Jean, I understand. I lost a few huge, mature oaks & pines to hurricanes in 2005. It hurt to their magnificence brought down.

        Reply
  6. Sheri

     /  June 22, 2017

    Annie, take care of yourself and the animals.
    Sheri

    Reply
  7. Abel Adamski

     /  June 22, 2017

    Follow on from Ian Dunlop

    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/australia-deep-in-climate-changes-disaster-alley-shirks-its-moral-responsibility-20170621-gwvhs6.html
    Ian Dunlop was an international oil, gas and coal industry executive, chairman of the Australian Coal Association and chief executive of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. This is an extract from his report with David Spratt, Disaster alley: climate change, conflict and risk, released on Thursday.

    Australia, deep in climate change’s ‘disaster alley’, shirks its moral responsibility

    Ian Dunlop

    A government’s first responsibility is to safeguard the people and their future well-being. The ability to do this is threatened by human-induced climate change, the accelerating effects of which are driving political instability and conflict globally. Climate change poses an existential risk to humanity that, unless addressed as an emergency, will have catastrophic consequences.

    In military terms, Australia and the adjacent Asia-Pacific region is considered to be “disaster alley”, where the most extreme effects are being experienced. Australia’s leaders either misunderstand or wilfully ignore these risks, which is a profound failure of imagination, far worse than that which triggered the global financial crisis in 2008. Existential risk cannot be managed with conventional, reactive, learn-from-failure techniques. We only play this game once, so we must get it right first time.

    As the man said
    We only play this game once, so we must get it right first time.

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  June 22, 2017

      Link to the report where it can be downloaded
      https://www.breakthroughonline.org.au/disasteralley

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  June 22, 2017

        His past oil industry roles gives him added credibility. We need lots more like him.

        Reply
      • Mark in OZ

         /  June 23, 2017

        That’s good info AA!

        Slightly OT but pertinent (always) is the widespread use of taxpayer money to ‘grease the wheels’ of commerce.

        Here in Straya, though ‘help’ is not needed by the world’s biggest energy companies, officials are ‘happy to lend a hand’ (full of money) knowing that they ( the individual) will enjoy reciprocal treatment once their terms are concluded and they join the enterprise as a ‘consultant.’

        As these ‘gifts’ and ‘subsidized’ loans enhance profitability, it makes it that much more difficult for the renewable sector to compete. Note: many understand this but many more do not.
        Finally, beyond the future consultant/current official lies yet another often overlooked ‘player’ in the maintenance of the status quo or BAU- the global accounting firms. These enormous fee generating empires use the latest, most ingenious methods to ‘further’ enhance the energy companies’ profitability by finding ways to reduce or eliminate taxation. These tax ‘savings’ are happily deployed for ‘educational’ purposes which regularly accomplish their
        objectives of denial, deceit, obfuscate and inveigle

        From our terrific Michael West (Sydney)

        “As consumers open up their power bills this winter and stagger across the living room in “bill shock” to turn down the heater, they may well be reminded that the largest oil company in the US, Exxon, has paid almost no tax in three years on more than $25 billion in revenues. Meanwhile, domestic gas prices have tripled.”

        Our energy policies could not be more corrupt and this will get worse before thing get better.

        I just wanted to draw attention to the facilitators (beyond the energy organizations themselves) and the roles they play. It’s certainly not just energy firms that use the Big 4 (and others) accounting firms but they are intimate with energy. Big, global capital is very astute in findings ways to keep and enlarge it’s empire.

        It’s also harder to ‘reach’ them as they are privately held–no listed share and no AGM to attend. Ernst & Young, for example, a London based firm is the USA’s 11th largest private company.

        https://www.michaelwest.com.au/more-corporate-welfare-canavan-calls-for-taxpayer-funded-gas-exploration-in-south-east-australia/

        Reply
    • Thank you , great read .We need dozens or hundred more like him .

      Reply
    • Scheduling tweet on this, thanks.

      Reply
  8. Greg

     /  June 22, 2017

    California heat wave claims the lives of 2 Bay Area seniors
    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-heat-wave-death-san-jose-20170621-story.html

    Reply
  9. Andy_in_SD

     /  June 22, 2017

    I’ve been lucky, close enough to the ocean to not get scorched at my place. Just high 80’s. For those of you in Az and the extreme heat belts a bit of advice. Don’t slug down tons of water. Get some salt pills and take 1 or 2 a day. It helps your body retain water, and replaces lost salts through sweating.

    Reply
    • Sheri

       /  June 22, 2017

      It is not a good idea to take salt pills without your drs checking on it. You can disrupt kidney and electrolytes snd your heart by doing that. I have never heard of anyone taking salt pills for the heat, however that might be true for some because medically you should but not just over the counter.just something else to be cautious about with the heat.

      Hope it cools off for us all in the next few days, sheri

      Reply
      • wharf rat

         /  June 22, 2017

        “I have never heard of anyone taking salt pills for the heat, ”

        Rat did, during a summer job in a cannery. There were pill dispensers scattered around the building. IIRC, the only time I did it was while working on the baked bean line. I had to stand on a platform above two vats of near-boiling liquid, and it was during a hot spell.
        Made over half a million #10 cans of beans that week.

        I know when I’m low on salt; I start cramping. I just pour some salt in my hand and eat it. I can also tell when I’ve had enuf; the taste changes.

        Reply
        • Andy_in_SD

           /  June 23, 2017

          Spot on wharf, the cramping is the indicator. If one has not been in that situation, they are not familiar with it, thus it is difficult for them to understand.

      • Andy_in_SD

         /  June 23, 2017

        I’ve done so as a young guy working tough jobs in the sun and heat. I agree that it must be done in moderation (as anything else). The dangers of slugging water without replacing electrolytes that have been lost is very bad.

        I do not trust doctors 100% (they are just as human as I am). I take what they say “with a grain of salt” (no pun intended).

        I have spent 20 yrs in medical research.

        Reply
      • mr elastomeric

         /  June 24, 2017

        I eat them like skittles Sheri Drank 2 gallons of water by noon yesterday and had 3 sodium tablets and was fine In Ft lauderdale its not the temperature its the dew point

        Reply
      • Salt pills seem OK in moderation. That’s the message I take away from this link: http://www.drmirkin.com/weekly-ezine-page/salt-the-only-mineral-you-need-to-replace-during-exercise.html

        Mirkin is quite reputable, has been a physician advising on fitness for many years.

        Reply
        • If you’re in a dehydration situation, they can certainly be helpful. Long term consistent use can result in problems with blood pressure etc.

    • People running marathons have have died,bec it was thought they should drink a lot of water during the run too.Water dilutes the blood so to speak .

      Reply
      • Jacque

         /  June 22, 2017

        The Grand Canyon park service rangers have studied the issues of dehydration during high heat extensively over the years and determined that eating AND drinking electrolytes are both important to avoid: “over-hydration and lack of salty foods can be equally as dangerous, as this may lead to a life-threatening electrolyte disorder called hyponatremia.” They determined the best drink to be an electrolyte drink, diluted with water, with an added pinch of salt.

        Reply
      • Spike

         /  June 23, 2017

        I usually make up the WHO rehydration solution they advise for diarrheal illnesses in kids and drink that after profuse sweating, as I find homemade stuff more palatable than many of the commercial stuff. It got my kids through several bouts of acute gastro without hospital attention. Care is needed with the salt though.

        Sometimes if you lose more water than sodium,dehydration can be hypernatraemic rather than hyponatraemic, but this tends to produce raging thirst as it stimulates osmoreceptors in the hypothalamus. In general terms I usually think of what fluid I have lost and try and replace with similar.

        UK troops in Iraq were advised to drink enough to produce at least one almost colourless pee a day, a good rule of thumb in heat.

        Reply
  10. Doug

     /  June 22, 2017

    People are freaking out here in Albuquerque at the near the all time record temperatures, and now there’s a forest fire nearby blowing smoke over the city. The people here understand something is up, and many believe climate change has a role in it, but most don’t realize we are 100% responsible for it. I am doing my best to educate them.

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  June 22, 2017

      Arctic melt, slower jet stream then bigger and badder ass Ridges and Voila– nasty heat wave. Keep it simple and they begin to hear. I have met no one who doesn’t agree with less and less of that ice cube at the top in summer time –so good starting point even if oversimplification.

      Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  June 22, 2017

      I have said it many times..I fear that real CC “action” on a national level will only occur when millions are affected by catastrophic weather events on a regular basis. When there is just too many tragic events caused by weather/CC..to ignore it any longer. I hope I am wrong.

      Reply
      • bmilliot

         /  June 22, 2017

        Of course, the problem with that scenario is that by then the actions will be too late to have an effect. The climate will have transitioned into a run-away amplifying heat situation. We are literally on the brink of locking in a dystopian future for generations to come. IF we haven’t already.

        Reply
      • Spike

         /  June 23, 2017

        And by then it will be getting rather late.The victims will have to be in the rich countries too.

        Reply
        • Tigertown

           /  June 24, 2017

          Many in the S.E. United States consider the warmer winters quite cozy, instead of seeing that there is a problem.

    • +1. Teachable moment.

      Reply
  11. Andy_in_SD

     /  June 22, 2017

    Forest fires popping up by the Mackenzie delta in northern Canada.

    http://www.arctic.io/explorer/8/2017-06-20/8-N66.4748-W137.33418

    Reply
  12. Abel Adamski

     /  June 22, 2017

    Investment taken seriously and not by a group that could be labelled Green or Socialists or Environmentalists.
    The takeaway is that there is a corporate and investor demand for this service

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/21/why-this-leading-shareholder-advisory-firm-is-now-studying-climate-change.html

    Why this leading shareholder advisory firm is now studying climate change

    Institutional Shareholder Services is buying a climate change data analytics business.
    It provides data and analytics to asset owners and investment managers.
    It is the third environmental data firm ISS has bought in recent years.
    ISS has seen huge demand for climate change risk data among clients.

    A leading shareholder advisory firm is buying up environmental data and analytics companies, because its says investors are increasingly concerned about the impact climate change will have on their portfolios.

    Institutional Shareholder Services said it is buying the investment climate data division of South Pole Group, a Zurich-based environmental advisory firm on Monday.

    The division, formerly known as Climate Neutral Investments, provides data and analytics to asset owners and investment managers on the impact of climate change on portfolios.

    ISS said the company built the world’s largest database of company-level climate change data and pioneered investment carbon screening tools that can screening for climate change implications for more than $2 trillion of assets under management.

    Can I say Mainstreaming

    Reply
  13. Abel Adamski

     /  June 22, 2017

    Meanwhile back in the alternate dimension

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-22/donald-trump-solar-panels-would-see-mexico-wall-pay-for-itself/8642624

    Donald Trump says ‘beautiful’ solar panels would allow Mexico border wall to ‘pay for itself’

    Reply
    • Bill H

       /  June 22, 2017

      They should be south facing, so generally on the Mexican side. I’m sure the Mexicans have better uses for the money they can make than paying for Trump’s folly.

      Reply
  14. Spike

     /  June 22, 2017

    A Chinese province is planning a week long trial of 100% renewable power.

    http://reformchina.com/index.php/2017/06/19/china-qinghai-total-renewable-energy-trial/

    Reply
  15. Suzanne

     /  June 22, 2017

    Front page at NY Times this morning:

    Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  June 22, 2017

      Quote:
      Extremely hot days, when temperatures soar to 95 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, can be miserable. Crops wilt in the fields. Electric grids strain to keep pace with demand. People are at greater risk of dying. And those hot temperatures are expected to be much more frequent in the coming decades

      Reply
    • wili

       /  June 24, 2017

      Wow. Look at the Sahel!! They’ll have to shorten the name to just…Hell! :/

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

      I believe that area is also supposed to have increased rainfall as GW proceeds, which I thought was maybe one tiny bit of hopefulness, but it’s going to be pretty much unlivable, especially with increased humidity levels that go along with that rain.

      Reply
      • Suzanne

         /  June 24, 2017

        Yep…the poor will continue to pay first for our “privilege”…but ultimately, we will all pay.

        Reply
  16. Erik Frederiksen

     /  June 22, 2017

    At 36:45 in this presentation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsecTT1SIrg the glaciologist Richard Alley shows a map of the world http://images.slideplayer.com/25/7879892/slides/slide_17.jpg with red areas where he says that if we don’t change our ways, by the time his students are old the average summer would be hotter than anything yet experienced, with 90 percent confidence.

    And that we would lose 40 percent of the ability to work outside in the hot months, with some countries it’ll be closer to 100 percent. (unless you can afford an air-conditioned tractor)

    By late in this century you’d start to have places where it is projected to be too hot to survive outside, it’s like being locked in a hot car on a summer day with no air conditioning, you die.

    Reply
  17. Shawn Redmond

     /  June 22, 2017

    CB old boy, looks like hell has made it to the breakfast table. I’ll get the frying pan! It’s getting warm everywhere it would seem.
    Europe sizzled in a continent-wide heatwave on Wednesday, with London seeing Britain’s hottest June day since 1976 as Portugal battled to stamp out deadly forest fires.

    More than 1,000 firefighters were still fighting to control the flames that broke out in central Portugal at the weekend, killing 64 people.
    Cooler weather was aiding their efforts, but thermometers were still hovering around 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit)—a level matched across oven-like swathes of Europe, including Italy, Austria, the Netherlands and even alpine Switzerland.

    Well almost everywhere, at the end of the article…………….

    But at the other extreme, it was just one degree Celsius and snowing in Murmansk in northern Russia, the RIA Novosti news agency reported. Many residents are having to get by with no heating in their flats as centralised systems have been switched off for the summer.

    Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-06-heatwave-europe-london-siberia.html#jCp

    Reply
  18. Greg

     /  June 22, 2017

    World record lowest humidity 0.36% ( Iran) and highest low night time temperature 111F (44C)(Oman) were recorded this week.
    https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/world-record-low-humidity-116f-036-humidity-iran

    Reply
  19. wili

     /  June 23, 2017

    Oh, what the hell, while we’re at it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7awW5nrDHk

    Reply
  20. utoutback

     /  June 23, 2017

    DT gone but not forgotten. And where has Colorado Bob got to…. we miss your rants and music selections.
    Meanwhile the world keeps turning, not caring a wit about us puny sapiens.

    Reply
    • utoutback

       /  June 23, 2017

      So we have to care for ourselves and one another.

      Reply
    • Jacob

       /  June 24, 2017

      Pointlessly called out for a triviality and chased away. It makes absolutely no sense. I mostly miss CB’s salient points and blunt takes. The rest was endearing as well if also a little much.

      Reply
  21. Ryan in New England

     /  June 23, 2017

    The lunatic in charge of this country just went to Iowa (to hold a rally for his cult members) and bashed wind energy, with stupid denier talking points (as if anything out if his mouth is ever tethered to reality or supported by evidence). Thing is, Iowa produces a third of it’s energy from wind, more than any other state. It employs 8-9,000 people (far more than fossil fuels) and generates about $20 million annually for farmers and land owners.

    https://thinkprogress.org/trump-criticizes-wind-in-iowa-wind-capital-usa-76ee787e50c5

    Reply
  22. Ryan in New England

     /  June 23, 2017

    And our Energy Secretary Rick Perry recently dismissed any evidence that proves anthropogenic climate change is real. When challenged by senator Al Franken, Perry simply said he doesn’t believe it. When Franken pointed out the results of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature study, which was funded by the Kochs and performed by “skeptic” Richard Mueller, Perry said the conclusion that humans are warming the Earth is “indefensible”.

    We are ruled and governed by a cult of reality denying maniacs, who seem to be doing everything in their power to ensure that human civilization doesn’t survive this century.

    https://thinkprogress.org/al-franken-vs-rick-perry-climate-science-69fbc39619d4

    I just thank God I never had children. I weep for the future and the billions of innocent lives/animals that will be destroyed.

    Reply
    • John McCormick

       /  June 23, 2017

      Ryan, there is no role for our Congress, White Houseouse or Supreme Court regarding climate change. eg, Rick Pery. The only hope for our children and grandchildren is technology like 10 MW wind towers and acres of solar panels deployed everywhere, domestically produced and financed by the private sector.

      Reply
    • entropicman

       /  June 23, 2017

      I do not believe in God, therefore he does not exist.

      Would a Bible basher like Rick Perry agree with my logic?

      Reply
  23. Abel Adamski

     /  June 23, 2017

    The Curates egg

    https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2017/06/the-new-australian-discovery-that-could-replace-fossil-fuels/
    (Well not really though it could, it will just be used to extend fossil fuel use)

    Australian scientists have developed a new efficient catalyst that converts carbon dioxide from the air into synthetic natural gas in a “clean” process, using solar energy.

    Undertaken by University of Adelaide in collaboration with CSIRO, the research could make viable a process that has enormous potential to replace fossil fuels and continue to use existing carbon-based fuel technologies without increasing atmospheric CO2.

    The catalyst the researchers have developed effectively drives the process of combining CO2 with hydrogen to produce methane (the main component of the fossil fuel natural gas) and water. Currently, natural gas is one of the main fuels used for industrial activities.

    “Capturing carbon from the air and utilising it for industrial processes is one strategy for controlling CO2 emissions and reducing the need for fossil fuels,” says University of Adelaide PhD candidate Renata Lippi, first author of the research published online ahead of print in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A.

    “But for this to be economically viable, we need an energy efficient process that utilises CO2 as a carbon source.

    “Research has shown that the hydrogen can be produced efficiently with solar energy. But combining the hydrogen with CO2 to produce methane is a safer option than using hydrogen directly as an energy source and allows the use of existing natural gas infrastructure.

    Worth a read however.

    Note my earlier post re Ammonia as Hydrogen Storage medium (denser than liquid Hydrogen)

    Reply
  24. coloradobob

     /  June 23, 2017

    Italy gripped by drought
    State of emergency in Parma, Piacenza, Rome considering rations

    You are here:
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    Italy gripped by drought
    State of emergency in Parma, Piacenza, Rome considering rations
    23 JUNE, 12:34

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    (ANSAmed) – Rome, June 23 – Italy is gripped by drought as the summer heat continues with no sign of rain. Premier Paolo Gentiloni’s cabinet on Thursday declared a state of emergency for the northern provinces of Parma and Piacenza due to the shortage of water.

    Tuscan Governor Enrico Rossi has asked the government to call a state of emergency for this region too.

    Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi has told inhabitants to limit water use for gardens, filling swimming pools and washing cars and the city is studying a plan to ration water. The mighty River Po is little more that a 13 centimetre stream at 30 kilometres from the source. The water shortage has been running since autumn 2016 and has caused damaged to agriculture amounting to almost one billion euros so far.

    http://www.ansamed.info/ansamed/en/news/sections/generalnews/2017/06/23/italy-gripped-by-drought_da24082a-9d66-4ce1-bc79-0d0094f78a54.html

    Reply
  25. coloradobob

     /  June 23, 2017

    Italy’s prosciutto at risk in severe drought, water rationed

    Italy’s farm lobby is warning that agricultural production is plummeting nationwide because of prolonged heat and dry weather _ and authorities are now rationing water and declaring a state of emergency in some areas.
    Milk levels are down by 20 percent because cows are too hot to eat. Prosciutto and parmesan production is similarly at risk because animals in Parma are sweltering and the Po River that irrigates the area is 1.5 meters below normal. Rome’s mayor has signed an ordinance regulating water for gardens, pools and car washes.
    The farm lobby Coldiretti estimates farm losses of 1 billion euros for the first half of 2017, with June setting records for heat and dryness.
    Italy has declared a state of emergency for Parma and Piacenza. Sardinian shepherds protested Friday to demand similar.-AP

    http://www.thestandard.com.hk/breaking-news.php?id=92206

    Reply
  26. Greg

     /  June 24, 2017

    Senior US diplomat in China resigns after 27 years due to US leaving Paris accord and policy regarding climate change. In his own words:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-i-resigned-from-the-foreign-service-after-27-years/2017/06/23/6abee224-55ff-11e7-ba90-f5875b7d1876_story.html

    Reply
  27. Tigertown

     /  June 24, 2017

    Speaking of China. China landslide leaves 100 missing in Sichuan
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-40390642

    Reply
  28. Phoenix Report, our extreme heat warning extends to Monday. Middle of next week tempz dip below 110 to about mid100s…105, 106, etc. Yes, an improvement.

    Reply
  29. redskylite

     /  June 24, 2017

    It’s a sadder year with a change of government in the U.S.A, although I’m a long way away in the Southern Hemisphere. As The Scribbler points out it’s an unusual year, although this is becoming the normal. Sorry kids. Come back Colorado Bob, missing the music and commentary.

    The excellent news agency of Inter Press Service also point out the disarray, in explicit terms.

    The World Is Burning

    Record high temperatures are gripping much of the globe and more hot weather are to come. This implies more drought, more food insecurity, more famine and more massive human displacements.

    In fact, extremely high May and June temperatures have broken records in parts of Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and the United States, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported, adding that the heat-waves have arrived unusually early.

    At the same time, average global surface temperatures over land and sea are the second highest on record for the first five months of 2017, according to analyses by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA-Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting Copernicus Climate Change Service.

    http://www.ipsnews.net/2017/06/the-world-is-burning/

    Reply
  30. redskylite

     /  June 24, 2017

    John Mayall – The Devil Must Be Laughing (Album Talk About That, 2017)

    Reply
  31. Abel Adamski

     /  June 24, 2017

    Another one for the books

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/ski/news/shrinking-glacier-whistler-cancels-summer-ski-snowboard-camp/

    Global warming blamed as summer skiing on Whistler glacier is cancelled for first time in 30 years

    An annual coaching programme in Whistler has been cancelled for the first time in almost 30 years, with the founder commenting that “global warming has decimated the glacier and our ability to run a summer camp.”

    Ken Achenbach founded Camp of Champions in 1989, and has organised freestyle coaching sessions for skiers and snowboarders every summer at the Canadian resort. In a recent Facebook post, Achenbach said that conditions on Whistler’s Horstman glacier had made it impossible to build a terrain park to an acceptable standard. As a result, the 2017 camp has been cancelled and all bookings are being refunded. He says Camp of Champions is filing for bankruptcy.

    “Every year, the final pitch of the Horstman T-Bar shrinks more and more making it harder and harder for Whistler Blackcomb to maintain,” Achenbach said. “The giant pile of snow connecting the glacier to the top of the lift and the glacier itself is melting. This has accelerated over the last four summers. To give you an idea of how much melting has happened the last few years, in 2015 alone the glacier lost 35 vertical feet [10 metres] of ice.”

    The 2016/17 winter saw a prolonged cold spell – in fact, some hailed it as the best season ever for North American resorts – but it hasn’t been enough to make a difference to Camp of Champions’ prospects.

    “This year’s snow pack is less dense than usual because we enjoyed such a long cold winter,” Achenbach explained. “We didn’t get the wet cement spring snow that builds the snow pack we count on.

    “There isn’t enough snow to build intermediate or expert sized jumps. A huge portion of our campers are intermediate/expert level riders, and a park without those features will leave them unsatisfied. It wouldn’t have lasted to the end of the camp season either.

    “In a nutshell, there isn’t enough snow to deliver what we promised. For this to happen after such an exceptional winter makes this news even harder to take.”

    The Treeline summer camp in Whistler has also been cancelled. Other summer ski and snowboard camps are going ahead as usual.

    Reply
  32. Abel Adamski

     /  June 24, 2017

    https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/just-how-hot-_explore-150-years-of-global-warming-data-in-switzerland/43279510

    Explore 150 years of global warming data in Switzerland

    Jun 23, 2017 – 14:14

    Global warming naturally comes to mind as a topic for reflection while Switzerland swelters in a Europe-wide heatwave. To help inform our thinking about this, swissinfo.ch compiled more than 150 years of Swiss temperature data in graphics. It illustrates both the changing climate and hotter temperatures in Switzerland in recent decades.

    The Swiss meteorological office, MeteoSwiss, said it expected to record at least eight days of extraordinary temperatures in June 2017, compared to an average of two over recent past decades.

    The animated graphic below shows how the monthly average temperatures in Switzerland evolved over the past century and a half. An interactive graphic afterward lets users explore the data year by year.

    Reply
  33. Abel Adamski

     /  June 24, 2017

    http://miami.cbslocal.com/2017/06/23/mayors-meet-in-miami-beach-to-discuss-climate-change-immigration/

    On Warm Miami Beach Mayors Talk Global Warming
    June 23, 2017 6:20 PM By Gary Nelson
    MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) — Miami Beach’s Mayor Friday was showing New York City’s Mayor a massive pump station, part of a half billion dollar plan to deal with sea rise.

    But Beach Mayor Philip Levine, and New York City’s Bill De Blasio are not the only mayors on the beach this weekend.

    More than 250 mayors, the National Conference of Mayors, is holding its annual meeting at the Fontainebleau, on the water’s edge, with climate change topping their list of concerns.

    “This is not about right, this is not about left, this is about going forward and doing the right thing,” said Levine.

    President Donald Trump’s disavowal of global warming, and withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, leaves many of the mayors worried.

    “I’m extremely concerned because we can do all that we can as cities, and we still aren’t going to be able to accomplish what we need to really move the needle on this issue,” said Mayor Patrick Wojahn of College Park, MD

    Reply
  34. Something is starting to creep me out, and link up in ways I don’t like. I don’t know how significant all of this is. If it is real, it may be a new phenomenon, one of the unknown unknowns of climate change.

    The twin hot blobs close to Svalbard in the North Atlantic and Barents Sea are both areas of large scale active methane venting.

    The Barents Sea is the site of Roberts recent post about massive craters and sudden methane release of relic methane hydrate left over from the Latest Glacial Maximum of 20K years ago. The supplementary information from the original paper in Science confirms that the site of these massive craters and ongoing methane releases is partially under the Barents Sea hot blob to the east of Svalbard.

    These twin hot blobs are sea surface temperature anomalies, that have been pretty consistent for two years or so. So I have been wondering and speculating about the cause of these hot blobs.

    I have been thinking that the hot blob to the west of Svalbard might be due to the Gulf Stream being anomalously warm, and the West Spitsbergen current carrying this Gulf Stream water close to Svalbard, and then subducting under the fresher Arctic Ocean water, hiding its heat. This is part of the story of the hot blob to the west of Svalbard, I think.

    Now it turns out that the increased temperature of the West Spitsbergen current may be activating methane hydrate dissociation all along the coast of Svalbard. This has been happening for years, but may be ramping up. The Barents sea to the east of Svalbard is also a known site of craters and active methane venting partially under the Barents Sea hot blob.

    Do high methane concentrations in surface waters create hot blobs? If so, this may be a new phenomenon – it seems new to me. How would that work? Is this temperature increase due to dissolved methane directly absorbing sunlight? Is it due to CO2 from methane oxidation absorbing sunlight? Is the temperature increase due to the atmosphere over these blobs being warmer due to increased CO2 and methane concentrations? Some other mechanism?

    Reply
    • Fluxes and fate of dissolved methane released at the seafloor at the landward limit of the gas hydrate stability zone offshore western Svalbard

      https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281809683_Fluxes_and_fate_of_dissolved_methane_released_at_the_seafloor_at_the_landward_limit_of_the_gas_hydrate_stability_zone_offshore_western_Svalbard

      Reply
        • Mark in OZ

           /  June 25, 2017

          The volcanic eruptions in Siberia during the Permian extinction lasted for 100’s of 1,000’s of years. There is also fierce debate that a big object from space (asteroid / comet) caused all sorts of trouble but ‘evidence’ is hard to correlate with the understood dates. Elevated iridium and shocked quartz back the impact theory. Latest craters I’ve heard about are in W Australia and a pretty big one hidden under Antarctica.
          http://earthsci.org/fossils/space/craters/permian/permian.html

        • The only impact event that has been definitively linked to a major mass extinction is the K/T asteroid. And even that is coming under some doubt. There is far more prevalent evidence that most of the major mass extinctions were hothouse warming events (and not directly linked to impacts).

        • Hi Mark:
          Evidence for impacts is common, evidence for impacts coincident with mass extinctions is rare. Shocked quartz and iridium associated with the End Permian has not been confirmed, and many scientists have looked specifically for those indications of impact.

          Evidence of shocked quartz and iridium associated with the KT mass extinction of 66 million years ago is common, though, and has been confirmed many times, at many locations around the world.

          The images in your link are interesting, and certainly seem to show a big impact, not that I know anything about interpreting such results.

          The sources I read are Paul Wignall, Gordon Dickens, and Peter Ward. They have amassed a large amount of work tying mass extinctions to hyperthermal events associated with flood basalt eruptions. Here is a review of the associations between mass extinctions and flood basalt eruptions from Paul Wignall :

          Large igneous provinces and mass extinctions: An update

          http://specialpapers.gsapubs.org/content/early/2014/06/10/2014.2505_02.full.pdf

          Wignall lists the Frasnian-Famennian (Late Devonian), Capitanian
          (Middle Permian), end-Permian, end-Triassic, and Toarcian (Early Jurassic)
          extinctions in the above paper, and lists evidence tying them to flood basalt erruptions.

          Methane hydrate dissociation is much harder to prove, partially because methane oxidizes very quickly into CO2. Such events do leave a sudden Carbon Isotope Excursion directly coincident with the mass extinction events, and the carbon isotope ratio math is consistent with massive methane hydrate dissociation. There have been recent claims of elevated methane to CO2 ratios in carbonate rocks and fossils, crushed and tested for trapped gases by mass spectroscopy that point to massive methane releases from the methane hydrates during the End Permian, though.

        • Mark in OZ

           /  June 26, 2017

          Thanks LP! I look forward to examining that paper in more detail. A quick scroll had me stopping at the flow chart on 41 (13/48) where volcanic activity lead to So2, atmospheric darkening / cooling and photosynthetic collapse in both terrestrial and marine environments (global anoxic event).

          I’ve been adjacent to F5 tornados ( St Peter MN) and So Padre Island splitting hurricanes ( Allen) but none of these come close in earth transforming magnitude to when I lived in Spokane during Mt St Helens.

          I have no trouble at all imagining how fast things can change from displays like that. I’m of the school that believes nature wastes little time in restoring equilibrium; for all I know, these volcanic eruptions might be part of a pressure relief system to mitigate against rising oceanic and land temperatures.

          Another source for flood basalts:
          https://www.le.ac.uk/gl/ads/SiberianTraps/FBandME.html

        • So, to be clear, past volcanism is implicated in a number of warming events. These events took some time to elapse — thousands or tens of thousands of years. The human forcing is considerably faster in that the rate of atmospheric carbon buildup annually is considerably more than during past warming events. The rate of earth system response to warming is still a matter of debate — in much the same way that ice sheet response rates are still a matter of debate. Of course, for human civilization, it would be very prudent to err on the side of caution. You don’t want to lock Earth System feedbacks in that are difficult or impossible for human system responses to manage.

          As for the volcanism link to human caused climate change — loss of ice sheets do generate uplift pressure on a number of geological systems which may increase activity in certain regions. But I don’t think we can say with any confidence at all that a new age of volcanism is imminent as a result of human warming. Such a statement is highly speculative and would require considerable proofs. That said, we can certainly add it to the list of potential risks.

        • wili

           /  June 27, 2017

          Bill McGuire is one who has look into the possible influence of CC on geological system. Here’s a place to start, and note that the whole blog of prokaryotes that it’s in is full of excellent articles on this and other climate science stuff:

          http://climatestate.com/2016/09/19/waking-the-giant-climate-force-and-geological-hazards/

  35. Suzanne

     /  June 24, 2017

    I feel like we are living in some kind of “dystopian” novel or movie. First, with our leaving the Paris Climate Agreement…and now with this abomination called TrumpCare which is nothing but a “culling of the herd”…starting with the poor, the disabled and the elderly.

    Republican Climate Change Denial = Mad Max
    Republican Unfettered Capitalism and Deregulation = Hunger Games
    Republican Anti-women health and Pro Life Agenda = The Handmaid’s Tale

    We are rapidly defending into a dystopian future with the election of DJT and a Republican House/Senate. Dark, dark times.

    Reply
    • On the other hand, the other governments of the world are united in opposition to DJT on the climate issue. His stupid intransigence is generating lots of open discussion about climate change. Maybe the biggest danger is inattention and denial. Dunno.

      The lower cost of solar and wind might triumph over all. DJT will hurt the battle against climate change, but the reaction against DJT will help, I think.

      Stupid Obamacare repeal. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Trump railed against the special interests…and now he’s handing them everything they want.

      Reply
  36. Jacque in southern Utah

     /  June 24, 2017

    The southwestern Utah wildfire, the Brian Head Fire, started by a human using a weed burner a few days back, is now up to 38,000 acres and growing fast in a huge beetle-killed forest area. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DDFzIgTWsAATwZ1.jpg

    Reply
    • Jacque in southern Utah

       /  June 24, 2017

      Click on the above link to see a cool (hot) photo of the billowing smoke above the Bryce Canyon National Park orange cliffs.

      Reply
  37. DJ LX

     /  June 25, 2017

    We desperately need a significant tax on CO2 emissions. Fossil fuels need to be priced such that we leave them in the ground in favor of renewable energy and conservation.

    Reply
    • wili

       /  June 25, 2017

      I actually think it’s past time for that. We now need direct rationing of carbon fuels sources and other major contributors to GW. We have to start thinking of this as an existential threat, all out war, which it is. And we’re losing. We no longer have time to play economic games with this thing. Not that we will do either of these things. But we should be clear on what the actual situation currently actually requires.

      Reply
    • Have to say I agree with both of you.

      DJ’s point addresses the longer term picture. Economies will still function unless we have a larger collapse. And systemic solutions are certainly helpful.

      Of course, wili is right that this should be viewed as an emergency and we should be looking at solutions that are more direct action based.

      In my view — why argue? We should be adding everything helpful that we possibly can at this time and a carbon tax would certainly help to stop fossil fuel burning at a far faster rate than at present.

      Reply
  38. Tigertown

     /  June 25, 2017

    How do you stop people from using something that they are willing to die for?

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/25/asia/deadly-oil-tank-explosion-pakistan/index.html

    Reply
    • John McCormick

       /  June 26, 2017

      Fentinal!!!!!

      Reply
    • The resource is energy, Tiger. Just switch the energy base to democratic renewables and there’s no reason to die for it anymore as it becomes more universally available.

      Reply
  39. Matt

     /  June 26, 2017

    And from Portugal now to Spain……..
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-26/forest-fire-in-spain-threatens-unesco-world-heritage-site/8650812
    We cannot stop what we have put into action 😦

    Reply
    • That much warmer than normal Med is doing number on the European climate this Summer. Big heatwave last week over the region and now we have all these various fires as a result.

      Reply
  40. Jacque

     /  June 26, 2017

    Human-caused 42,000+ acre wildfire between Brian Head ski town and Panguitch Lake in SW Utah, is the largest fire in the US now. North of Zion National Park, NW of Bryce National Park, and about 70 crow-flying miles west of where I live. http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls?STREAMOID=9fypioLUqCpBxF8ZvTu5l8$daE2N3K4ZzOUsqbU5sYvcwIWu9_Pz86zEP5WDQuy_WCsjLu883Ygn4B49Lvm9bPe2QeMKQdVeZmXF$9l$4uCZ8QDXhaHEp3rvzXRJFdy0KqPHLoMevcTLo3h8xh70Y6N_U_CryOsw6FTOdKL_jpQ-&CONTENTTYPE=image/jpeg

    Reply
  41. wili

     /  June 26, 2017

    http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2017/06/code-red-fire-warning-for-northern-brabant-heaths-as-drought-continues/

    “Code red fire warning for northern Brabant heaths as drought continues”

    “Fire brigade officials on Wednesday issued a code red alert for Brabant and Zeeland, saying the risk of fire in the region’s forests and heathlands has become ‘extremely high’. Code red means that a fire could take hold and develop in an unpredictable fashion with considerable speed. Much of the rest of the country, including Utrecht and northern parts of Noord-Holland, remain on code amber, where the risk of fire remains high, according to website Natuurbrandrisico. Much of the Netherlands is extremely dry following weeks with little or no rain and high temperatures. The KNMI weather bureau is expecting the temperature to rise to as high as 36 degrees in the south on Thursday. “

    Reply
  42. bostonblorp

     /  June 26, 2017

    A sobering piece in the NYT today.

    Reply
    • What if the same process that is decimating insects (i.e. chemicals. No reason for micro-organisms to be immune, and being smaller, might even be more susceptible) is causing a commensurate decline in total earth micro-organisms, and more CO2 left due to their absence.
      I had this thought reading Andrew H. Knoll’s ‘Life on a Young Planet. The first three billion years of evolution on earth.’ (Princeton University Press)
      On page 21 in Ch. 2 he states: “The metabolic pathways of prokaryotes sustain the chemical cycles that maintain Earth as a habitable planet. Take carbon dioxide, for example. Volcanoes supply CO2 to the oceans and atmosphere, but photosynthetic organisms could strip the present-day atmosphere of its CO2 in little more than a decade. . . ”
      He appears to be saying that prokaryotes are the operative base, and unless there is a typo, that is an astounding rate of CO2 removal. Should there be a substantial decrease in prokaryotic mass then CO2 increases could be quite rapid. I don’t have the background to really evaluate this possibility, but the NYT article implies nobody knows, and talks about environmental ‘sponges’. What if it is the absence, rather than the saturation, of the sponge?

      Reply
  43. Thomas Rodgers

     /  June 30, 2017
    Reply
  1. U.S. Climate of Troubles: Record Heat Out West, Severe Floods in the East — robertscribbler – Online
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