Area Burned in Severe Northwest Territory Wildfires Doubles in Just One Day

In just one day, an area of land covering 1,860 square miles of the Northwest Territory has burned. That’s a zone 50 percent larger than the entire state of Rhode Island going up in smoke over just one 24 hour period. And as you can see from the GOES satellite animation below, the volume of smoke being produced by fires burning in a permafrost thaw region is quite extreme:

*****

Over the past week, the Arctic and sub-Arctic Northwest Territories (NWT) of Canada have been baking under an intense late-summer heatwave. At a time when NWT temperatures should be cooling down from July peaks, most days of the past seven have seen the mercury rise into the upper 80s and lower-to-middle 90s (Fahrenheit).

These 10-35 degree (F) above average temperatures sweltered coniferous forests, peat bogs and thawing permafrost. The high temperatures also unleashed Arctic and sub-Arctic thunderstorms. A new breed of weather for this typically cool zone. One that has been enabled by a human-forced warming of our world through fossil fuel burning — causing temperatures in the Arctic to warm twice as fast as the rest of the globe.

(Extreme heat in the range of 95 degrees F [35 C] blankets the Northwest Territories on August 11, 2017 — drying vegetation and promoting wildfire producing lightning strikes. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

As lightning strikes rained down over forests and peatlands unprepared for such intense warmth and energy, large fires began to spark. These fires were not yet as visible from the satellite as their, at the time, larger British Columbia brethren (lower left in the image below). But they were in a far northern region that has a recent if rather anomalous history of rapid fire expansion. And already, wispy plumes of smoke were becoming visible even in the wider-angle satellite shots.

Up until August 7th, fires in the Northwest Territory region of Canada had been a bit moderate compared to recent years. In total, about 330,000 hectares had burned throughout 2017. This put the region slightly above the 25 year average for fires, but well behind the more intense rates of burning seen in recent years. As of yesterday (August 14th), this number had climbed to 442,000 acres — exceeding the 15 year average, but still behind the more intense 5 year average.

(Intense Northwest Territory Wildfires begin to spark on August 7th of 2017. These fires are visible near center frame. Note intense fires burning in British Columbia at lower left. For reference, bottom edge of frame is approx 1,200 miles. Image Source: NASA Worldview.)

At this time, however, the satellite imagery was starting to look quite ominous (see image below). Very large and intense rings of fire were starting to expand north of Uranium City. And these fires were casting vast thick and inky plumes of smoke up and over much of Northern Canada. Their visible size and intensity hinted that something pretty extreme was happening on the ground.

As the fires appeared to explode in size, the various wildfire monitors began to check in. In just one day, according to the most recent NWT Current Fire Situation Report, these massive fires more than doubled the total amount of land burned with 924,000 hectares now listed as consumed. This is roughly 3,565 square miles — or about the size of Delaware and Rhode Island combined. With an area fifty percent larger than the size of Rhode Island (1,860 square miles) being consumed in just one day.

(Very intense wildfires burning on August 14 rapidly expanded to consume a section of territory larger than Rhode Island in just one day. For reference, bottom edge of frame is approx. 1,000 miles. Image source: NASA Worldview.)

Meanwhile, land area burned for the Northwest Territory is now above the 5 year average. With these fires burning so intensely, and with hot conditions still on tap for next 48 hours, this already large burn area could continue to rapidly expand.

Much of this burning is occurring along a vast line of wildfires stretching for 200 miles south of Great Slave Lake. In other words, this is a fire line long enough to stretch the distance between Norfolk, Virginia and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. And the very dense smoke plumes being emitted by these amazingly large fires are likely to ultimately encircle the globe.

(Two hundred mile line of fires south of Great Slave Lake has completely blocked out satellite visual of the lake from orbit. Image source: NASA Worldview.)

Rainfall and cooler conditions by Friday might tamp down these blazes. But the situation at this time appears to be quite severe. Thankfully, unlike the terrible fires that have consumed hundreds of homes and forced tens of thousands to evacuate in British Columbia this summer or the Fort McMurray Fire of 2016 which forced the emptying of an entire city, these massive Northwest Territory fires are presently burning in remote areas.

However, the rapid expansion, large size and vast smoke plumes of these fires bear a grim testament to the fact that the fire regime has vastly changed for the worse in the Arctic nation of Canada. A situation that will continue to dramatically intensify so long as fossil fuels keep being burned.

(UPDATED)

Links:

Earth Nullschool

NASA Worldview

Canadian Interagency Fire Center Situation Report

NWT Current Fire Situation Report

Hat tip to Shawn Redmond

Hat tip to Spike

Advertisements
Leave a comment

68 Comments

  1. wili

     /  August 15, 2017

    I was about to post on this. The taiga is on fire. We are watching feedbacks kick in as we type.

    Reply
    • wili

       /  August 15, 2017

      It looks like the prevailing winds at various altitudes in the area are NNW, so at least some of that ash is likely to land on ice in the Arctic Ocean and the Canadian Archipelago, darkening the albedo and leading to further ice loss, even as the days are getting shorter rapidly up there.

      Reply
    • Good catch.

      For those lurking — Taiga comes from an old word meaning ‘snow forest.’ In other words, the snow forest is burning.

      Reply
  2. Andy_in_SD

     /  August 15, 2017

    That is crazy, check this Sat shot, then zoom out to see the smoke coverage.

    It is a terrible place to fight fires, no roads, little resources to battle those blazes. Likely they will wind up having to burn themselves out as we head into the fall.

    http://www.arctic.io/explorer/8/2017-08-14/9-N61.71869-W109.31558

    Reply
    • A big jump in activity and relatively late in the season. There’s just so much in the way of intense fires this year it’s tough to keep track of it all.

      Reply
    • paul

       /  August 16, 2017

      Is there a good reason to fight the fires except to save lives? Covering forests with precious water and chemical fire retardants, when ongoing climactic conditions mean the fires will likely start up again, is wasteful, isn’t it? Or am I missing something?

      Reply
  3. Andy_in_SD

     /  August 15, 2017

    And here on the other side of the Arctic Ocean, things are burning up as well.

    http://www.arctic.io/explorer/8/2017-08-14/7-N64.03038-E117.18774

    Reply
  4. Dear Robert

    First of all. Thank you so much for the work you do. As you know the future depends on us.

    I hope I can convey the importance of a new economic development and discovery that may have the power to restructure our economy for the benefit of the living planet.

    Finding an answer is often a matter of defining the problem in a new way.

    If we realize that we are becoming the victims of our own success will humans figure it out in time?

    The thermodynamics of civilization and Dr. Tim Garrett’s “No Way Out?” Is the best paper I know that lays out this predicament.

    It’s the problem that I believe needs to be addressed for us to have a chance of survival.

    I believe there is a solution and the man proposing it is Dr. Delton Chen.

    This was quote written about Steve Jobs. But this time is not just about widgets.

    “Few humans have the prophetic capacity to reinvent entire worlds, to feel into the point where future desires and technological bandwidth intersect with habituated behavior, and then invent the perfect thing to meet that exact need”

    I know you are a man of imagination, of passion and compassion.

    Please imagine restoration/preservation as the economic engine/wealth creator.

    What would a rational system look like?

    What would planetary abundance look like?

    What would full restorative employment look like?

    What would a socially equitable ecological/economic system look like?

    And maybe most importantly is this future achievable in time, without political debate, and in a globally fair and distributed way?

    I wish I was better at this. At sharing my passion for an idea, a perspective that has provided me with hope and direction.

    My introduction to the idea, the one that that hooked me, can be found on YouTube:

    Global 4C Presentation #1 – Australian National University, 2015

    Since then I’ve kept up on the project and there’s much more available.

    I hope you have a chance to check into this. I believe this is an idea that allows planetary transformation.

    I’d love to talk to you someday.

    My Best Wishes to You,
    James McGreen

    Board Member
    Center for Climate Protection

    ClimateProtection.org

    Reply
    • Hello James

      I understand you intended this as a private communique. However, I’d like to get in contact with you to discuss your project. Can you send me your contact information via email to mithorden@yahoo.com? I’ll take down these comments when I receive reply.

      Thank you for your positive efforts in attempting to build a better future.

      –R

      Reply
  5. Entropic man

     /  August 15, 2017

    This is not unexpected. As the continental North warms the boundary between the Taiga and the prairie grassland should move North as well.

    What would the transition look like? Perhaps wildfires burning the trees, followed by a failure to regenerate. Grasses grow instead.

    Nearer the coasts the transition would be from Taiga to temperate woodland. Perhaps we will one day visit Canada to see the Autumn colours as people now visit Maine.

    Reply
    • Brian

       /  August 16, 2017

      Unfortunately, I think you have it backwards here. The treeline is not where the northern forests start; it is where it ends. The forests burning will be covered by new growth.

      I believe that there was a study were more trees grew when there was more CO2 in the atmosphere, and conversely more grasslands when there was less CO2, but I can’t remember more than that for the purpose of citation (and if i remember correctly, too much CO2 poisoned the trees and stunted that growth too).

      Reply
    • Andy_in_SD

       /  August 16, 2017

      Also, when fir trees are cut or burned, there is a high probability of them being replaced by deciduous trees (which grow faster). Definitely ecological zones are in transition.

      Reply
    • paul

       /  August 16, 2017

      Entropic man, I doubt we’ll have the luxury of sightseeing should it come to that.

      Reply
    • Your postulation that grasslands may follow forest makes sense. But the notion that such a future will include “sightseeing” is something we need to get over. Its very unlikely human society will go on as usual only with different “sight.” We will be mostly trying to stay alive amidst broad scale collapse.

      Reply
  6. PlazaRed

     /  August 15, 2017

    This vast area of black burn matter is going to absorb a lot of extra sun heat and transmit it lower into the ground than it ever would get from grassland. More permafrost to melt and release more gases, etc, etc.
    Strange how until its in the public eye very little gets noticed, I hope this all gets some coverage globally.
    Amazing article and photos.

    Meanwhile there are today 148 wildfires burning in Portugal, with help to control them not only from other European countries but also from Moroccan firefighters. Terrible pictures of the damage on the Spanish TV news.

    Reply
    • The heat has shifted into the middle latitudes and Equatorial regions during July. We’re getting a little foretaste of what’s to come. Note that overall temperatures were 1.05 C above 1880s in July.

      Reply
  7. PlazaRed

     /  August 15, 2017

    If you can zoom in on this link to the image, then you can see that there are probably over a 1000 fire points in central Canada.

    https://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov/?p=geographic&l=VIIRS_SNPP_CorrectedReflectance_TrueColor(hidden),MODIS_Aqua_CorrectedReflectance_TrueColor(hidden),MODIS_Terra_CorrectedReflectance_TrueColor,VIIRS_SNPP_Fires_375m_Night(hidden),VIIRS_SNPP_Fires_375m_Day(hidden),MODIS_Fires_Aqua(hidden),MODIS_Fires_Terra,Reference_Labels,Reference_Features,Coastlines(hidden)&t=2017-08-14&z=3&v=-118.06245308696285,58.13308984387021,-106.61909371196285,63.87234765637021&e=t

    Reply
  8. Jimbot

     /  August 16, 2017

    It’s a slow growing forest at that latitude. It takes about 80 years to get 8-12″ diameter trees to regrow. More carbon sink going away.

    Reply
  9. This is awful news. Here, all the news is political. Rage against our racist president.

    Reply
    • Tigertown

       /  August 16, 2017

      All the news channels are now campaign channels. You have to dig through the internet sites to find out what is really going on. For example, stumbled on this today.
      “At least 221 people have died, and more than 1.5 million have been displaced by monsoon flooding across the South Asian countries of India, Nepal and Bangladesh.” From, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/08/200-dead-india-bangladesh-nepal-floods-170815151106159.html
      That and too many other items to list.

      Reply
      • PlazaRed

         /  August 16, 2017

        Over 600 dead so far in flooding and landslide in Sierra Leona, west coast of Africa. Many most missing feared dead.
        Over 50 wildfires raging in Greece about 300 miles from Athens.
        Massive flooding in parts of northern India and Nepal, vast areas under water, many dead.
        Many inflatable boats bringing migrants to Europe are being rescued every day in the Mediterranean.

        Not much politics on the news here in Spain as everybody is on holiday in August so plenty of real NEWS.
        Drought in Spain has reduced water reserves in some areas to only 18% of capacity.
        41/C today in Cordoba.
        Areas of hardy almond and olive groves are nearly all dead from drought in some areas in the south of Spain.
        So it goes on!

        Reply
      • I am happy to see other news, even sad news, because our government should not be consuming people’s time and attention like this. It’s out of control. I can’t even imagine 1.5 million displaced people here. We are upset about one rally and its aftermath.

        Reply
    • Well, considering that we have a President that’s essentially at war with the broader media, it’s no surprise that much of the coverage is focused on Trump. It is sad, however. And the response to Charlottesville from him has been about as ugly as ugly can be. If his support doesn’t melt further because of this, we’ll know that the problem is much bigger than just his brand of Nazi and white supremacist sympathy.

      Would also like to point out that Putin is also supporting white nationalists around the world in an effort to destabilize the west:

      http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-putin-connections-to-american-alt-right-and-white-nationalists-2017-8

      Dark days politically. We’re embroiled in a struggle that’s deeper than what happened in the 50s and 60s. And unlike during that time, there is very serious risk that we are moving backwards. We’ve never had a sitting President in the modern day that openly expressed sympathy for what amounts to one of the darkest political forces the world has ever known.

      Reply
  10. climatehawk1

     /  August 16, 2017

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  11. redskylite

     /  August 16, 2017

    When I was a small child, my family took me to the Christmas pantomime, every time that a danger appeared unseen (outside of the performers vision) we kids used to shout out a warning. “Look behind you!”.

    First thing I read today was the NASA GISS anomaly for July 2017: global land/sea at +0.83°C (a record high for July, since records began in 1880). Second thing I read was “The number of forest fires in the EU has nearly trebled so far this year” in Euronews (attached link). Third thing I read was Robert Scribbler. I feel I need to shout a warning, very loud.

    “Experts have blamed climate change for the rise, saying it has extended the traditional wildfire season and increased the frequency of blazes.

    They have warned Europe’s forest fires will rage more often in the future and engulf new areas.

    Portugal, Italy and Croatia have battled blazes in recent days amid high temperatures and lower-than-normal rainfall.

    It comes less than a month since 64 people died in a forest fire in Portugal, with many victims caught in their cars as they tried to flee.”

    http://www.euronews.com/2017/08/15/how-europe-s-wildfires-have-more-than-trebled-in-2017

    Reply
    • redskylite

       /  August 16, 2017

      NASA shocker: Last month was hottest July, and hottest month, on record
      It’s the first time we’ve seen such a record month in the absence of an El Niño boost.
      JOE ROMM

      AUG 15, 2017, 4:30 PM

      What’s so surprising here is that records for warmest month or year almost invariably occur when the underlying human-caused global warming trend gets a temporary boost from an El Niño’s enhanced warming in the tropical Pacific.

      But whereas 2016 set its temperature records boosted by one of the strongest El Niño’s on record, 2017 is setting records in the absence of any El Niño at all.

      https://thinkprogress.org/hottest-july-on-record-369505237992/

      Reply
      • Leland Palmer

         /  August 16, 2017

        Let’s hope that these record temps absent an El Nino are an anomaly, not a trend.

        Chances are, it’s a trend. Perhaps it’s due to carbon sinks transitioning into carbon sources, combined with our huge (but stabilizing?) CO2 output.

        Sound of egg frying…this is your planet on CO2…

        Reply
      • A tiny bit of good news (?) is that I saw this article in my Yahoo news daily digest. I have been seeing a lot of climate news through Yahoo. Not exactly MSM, but since so many people get their news from the internet anyway, it is good to see climate change showing up in my Yahoo top stories email. There is at least one article on climate change every day lately, sometimes two or three.

        Reply
  12. Shawn Redmond

     /  August 16, 2017

    Thanks for the hat tip RS.
    Jim Hansen discussing AMOC and model sensitivity that plays to our intuitive sense about what we are seeing. Floods followed by droughts/fires are becoming the norm. Wars are and have been raging, hopefully we can, at least, stave off pestilence.

    Reply
  13. Shawn Redmond

     /  August 16, 2017

    This shot from yesterday (Aug.15) shows the smoke from these fires stretching from well out in the Beaufort Sea to the centre of Hudson’s Bay a distance of about 1600kms (1000 miles).
    http://www.arctic.io/explorer/4Xa5A//4-N90-E0

    Reply
  14. Abel Adamski

     /  August 16, 2017

    Just for some digression to earlier subjects
    First food
    http://www.haaretz.com/science-and-health/1.807177

    Global Warming Will Sear Three of Four Major Grain Crops, Says New Meta-study

    Maize and wheat especially vulnerable, rice will hurt and only soybeans seem relatively impervious to rising temperatures

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  August 16, 2017

      EV’s
      China is kicking goals
      BYD Song Is China’s Tesla Model Y (China Electric Car Sales Report)

      Some 44,700 new electric cars started zooming the Chinese streets last month, which made July the second best month ever for the segment. The electric car market grew 37% compared to the same month last year. The sales also pulled the YTD count to over 227,000 units, up 40% year over year (YoY). Additionally, regarding overall stock, a notable milestone has been reached — over one million plug-in cars are now registered in China (from 2009 until now), making it the first market to reach a 7-digit figure. Chinese electric cars now represent 40% of all plug-car stock in the world (which is up to around 2.6 millions).

      As consequence of all this, the plug-in car market share grew once again, this time to 1.6%, beating last year’s record (1.45%). As the year progresses and sales expand, expect the Chinese plug-in car market to surpass the 2% share.

      In July, the much awaited BYD Song PHEV won its first best-selling award, with over 5,000 deliveries, beating both the Zhidou D2 EV and the BAIC EC-Series. With that boost, BYD itself has beaten for the second time in a row the all-time manufacturer sales record, registering 11,207 units in the month. Stepping up the pace, it is increasing the distance between it and runner-up Beijing Auto.

      This is a disruptive model. Why? It’s a plug-in SUV that goes 0–100 km/h in 4.9 seconds, and has a price tag of only $41,300 USD. … I believe the full potential of this version should be around 5,000–6,000 units/month. Adding some 3,000–4,000 units from the BEV version, it should be enough to have the Song reach the tune of 10,000 units/month, both versions counted. And these are 2017 targets

      Reply
      • Thanks for this, Abel. Working on a related article. In short, at 44,000 per month for the next 5, China hits 450,000 new EVs sold this year.

        Worth noting that China wants to have 20 percent of all cars on its markets sold as EVs by 2025. If there’s any country that has the will and the means to achieve this, it’s China. With Trump at the helm in the U.S., I’m afraid we are going to wallow more than a little bit. He’s attacking the renewable revolution in any and every way possible. That hurts everyone. Not just Americans. But it does hurt our economic competitiveness and national/international moral leadership and standing going forward.

        Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  August 16, 2017

      Multiplicity of valuable uses
      https://cleantechnica.com/2017/08/15/researchers-create-new-passive-cooling-material-uses-no-energy-water/

      Researchers Create New Passive Cooling Material That Uses No Energy Or Water
      Okay, it sounds too good to be true. But researchers at the University of Colorado–Boulder claim they have invented a new passive cooling material that can reduce temperatures even in direct sunlight while using no energy and no water. The breakthrough could be applied to power plants, which traditionally generate tremendous amounts of heat and use large quantities of water for cooling. It could also help reduce temperatures of solar panels, which suffer a fall-off in efficiency if they get too hot. “Just by applying this material to the surface of a solar panel, we can cool the panel and recover an additional one to two percent of solar efficiency,” said Yin. “That makes a big difference at scale.”

      “Just 10 to 20 square meters of this material on the rooftop could nicely cool down a single family house in summer,” says Gang Tan, an associate professor in the University of Wyoming’s department of civil and architectural engineering and a co-author of the paper.

      Reply
      • Leland Palmer

         /  August 16, 2017

        Oh, wow. Apply this material to louvered blinds on the southern wall of a house, with one side painted black and the other side made of this reflective/ high emissivity material. Then, by just rotating the blinds, you’ve got either a heat collector or a heat radiator.

        Heating or cooling with almost no energy input- seriously cool.

        Reply
    • Allan Barr

       /  August 16, 2017

      As usual these mainstream scientists are significantly underestimating the effects of increased heat. For a start the effect is not straight line but rather exponential. With 238,000 births each day its only a matter of time before food issues become significant.

      Reply
      • There is some flex in the global food system in that it’s very heavily weighted toward industrial meat — which takes a huge grain and energy resource allotment. If the shift is away from industrial meat, then the available calories for human beings increases considerably. Population growth does slowly generate a higher overall resource demand. However, if you take industrial meat out of the equation, you’re looking at easily double the available food resource overall. Climate change hits the base production rather hard and the effects are starting to pile up. So systemically, if you’re looking toward adaptation, you’re looking for a combined shift away from industrial meat, toward various other sustainable farming practices including indoor vertical farming as a backstop, and toward continuing to make population restraint policies like making family and birth control widely available and continuing to liberate women into the work force. Population restraint should be seen as part of the broader picture of sustainability, though. And, long term, the world can’t handle compound population growth. So you either level that off, or you get billions of people living in space and on Mars. It doesn’t all just hinge on population, though. And there is flexibility in the form of excesses and harms in the current system that can and should be removed.

        Reply
    • Well, these other three crops are certainly more sensitive. Soy tends to take a hit in the higher ranges (3-7 C) due to growing desertification. But it’s definitely more resilient.

      Reply
  15. Abel Adamski

     /  August 16, 2017

    Before jumping to conclusions, read the article

    My disclaimer – as long as civilisation and social order survive

    https://cleantechnica.com/2017/08/16/global-warming-will-good-humanity/

    Global Warming Will Be Good For Humanity

    Reply
    • From the article:

      “There is a nuanced answer about how global warming will be good for us collectively, although not individually. Global warming will be bad for the environment and bad for many segments of the economy. Far too many individual humans will suffer and die as a result of it.

      But humanity has to grow to embrace and balance the environment with the economy. This is a step, an unfortunate one, on our path to greater maturity of global governance, international cooperation, and sustainable development.”

      The assumption appears to be that humanity is so apathetic that we require a crisis in order to be pushed to do the right thing. I find this particular brand of thinking to be a bit too harsh. However, we can take climate change as an opportunity for much-needed improvement. If we do. If we learn to bring the Earth back into balance and to remove the harm generated by human systems and replace them with life-supporting ways of doing business, then we will, indeed, have risen to the occasion.

      Reply
  16. Vic

     /  August 16, 2017

    Organisers of Toowoomba’s ‘Carnival of Flowers’ are scrambling to pinch out hundreds of thousands of flower buds as the famous flower displays are breaking out into full bloom one month before the carnival is due to begin. It’s hardly surprising given that last month was Queensland’s warmest July on record and August’s temperatures are currently hitting around 10C above average.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-16/ekka-enthusiasts-brace-for-hot-weather/8809136

    Reply
  17. Shawn Redmond

     /  August 16, 2017

    When I get some time these days to look around the world it is just unbelievable. The extremes that is, in both climate and social disruptions. Do you think they are connected?
    http://floodlist.com/asia/bangladesh-floods-august-2017
    Authorities in Bangladesh say that 1.3 million people have been affected by flooding over the last 2 days. Twenty-seven people have died and around 368,000 people have been displaced and are staying in 970 temporary camps set up by the authorities.

    Rivers were more than 1 metre above danger levels at 6 different points, as of 15 August. The Jamuneswari river at Badarganj and the Jamuna at Bahadurabad both recorded their highest ever levels.

    River levels increased after heavy rain in catchment areas in north eastern India and Nepal (these areas are also currently affected by flooding – see Nepal floods and landslides, Assam floods, Bihar floods), as well as high levels of rainfall in parts of Bangladesh. On 15 August, Chandpur recorded 255.2mm of rain in 24 hours. Lourergorh recorded almost 400mm of rain in 48 hours from 13 to 15 August. On 13 August 198.7 mm of rain fell in 24 hours in Dinajpur and 188 mm fell in Durgapur during the same period.

    Reply
  18. Shawn Redmond

     /  August 16, 2017

    Hi Robert, I’m guessing you’ve flagged me. I’m expect it has to do with a difference of opinion that showed up a few posts back. Rock throwing or some such. Didn’t mean to piss you off. I was pointing to possible pot holes not rock throwing. I’ll keep my opinions to myself. As for the links I’m never sure if they’re up to snuff or not? Anyhow please scrub this post as it is the only way I have to contact you directly, which is fine.

    Reply
    • So I’m looking at it from the point of view of options available, actual possible paths forward, and what’s presently achievable politically. There appears to be this notion that we can keep 1 billion people from driving in a very short timeframe. Since this is a behavior related issue that’s enabled by infrastructure, you’re talking generational timeframes. Something on the order of 40-80 or even a hundred years. Ironically, it’s easier to change the vehicle fleet than to remove it entirely. And here is where the good intentions of some environmentalists appear to have gone awry. Further, the EV is a necessary part of the present transition in that the large battery build out provides a massive volume of available storage which rapidly enables us to replace coal and gas based generation with wind and solar + storage. This is the hail mary pass. And we kind of have to get it right. We don’t have the time at this time to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. We let that happen with biofuels. And there were notable issues there. However, the wind+solar+EV paradigm is much, much less harmful than even biofuels. And the fossil fuels they replace are driving us into this climate hell in the first place. The prize we need to keep our eyes on right now is removing fossil fuel burning from the energy equation. That’s the big jump. And we’ve designed an economy of scale that is enabling it. Sabotaging that now will sabotage climate change response. Good intentions or no. This is why I’ve drawn a hard line here. That said, I appreciate your restraint and will completely open the forum again. I just ask that you add a bit more perspective.

      Best

      –R

      Reply
      • Shawn Redmond

         /  August 16, 2017

        Will do my best RS. I am no wordsmith however and that is to my disadvantage, always. Keep up the good fight! Be careful of burnout :).

        Reply
    • Regarding links. I do my best to investigate them all. I’ve never had a problem with floodlist. In any case, we should be clear now. Thank you, as always, for your thoughts and contributions.

      Reply
  19. Shawn Redmond

     /  August 16, 2017

    The five “breaking news” headlines at FloodList all within the last two days. Just nuts!
    http://floodlist.com
    Bangladesh – Rivers at Record High, Floods Affect 1.3 Million
    Sierra Leone – Over 300 Dead After Mudslide and Floods in Freetown
    India – Over 40 Killed in Himachal Pradesh Landslide
    Nepal – Dozens Dead After Torrential Rain Triggers Floods and Landslides
    India – Third Wave of Flooding Hits Assam, 2 Million Affected

    Reply
  20. 12volt dan

     /  August 16, 2017

    Good piece on Canadian governmental response to these increasing numbers of fires and their impact.
    https://www.desmog.ca/2017/07/17/bigger-hotter-faster-canada-s-wildfires-are-changing-and-we-re-not-ready

    it’s a month old but pertinent and it’s not much of a response. there will probably be some kind of real disaster in the future before anything substantial is done

    Reply
  21. Bobinspain

     /  August 17, 2017

    Thank you for the highly informative, if horrifying, articles. It’s a wake up call to scroll through NASA.gov’s ‘Fire and Smoke’ section. This should be a link to an article about the Sakha Republic in Russia, what staggers me is the total of incidences so far this year – over 140,000 wildfires, which evidently is nothing compared to 2012’s total which exceeded 450,000. It’s a big place, of course, but I wonder where this is all going in terms of annual or five year increases globally. I live in Spain. So far this year we’ve had one small fire at the entrance to the estate where I live, but the season is far from over and I’m disinclined to wander far from home. Then of course we’ll get the ‘gotta fría’ storms in the autumn. No one is spared from this. If you happen to get off lightly one year, then you can breathe a sigh of relief for the moment, whilst agonizing over the carnage going on in the rest of the world, if you have any sensitivity, which I’m sure you all do, otherwise you wouldn’t be on this page. However, the chances of getting off lightly will, I fear, very soon start to diminish at an exponential rate. What concerns me you try to expound on the situation to friends, most people look at you as if you’re crazy, or just hush up. The mammoth in the room, indeed.
    https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/goddard/2017/fires-in-algeria-and-tunisia
    Well, it should have been a link about Russia, but you’ll need to scroll your way down through the other horror stories, as I can’t find a copy / share link to the specific article.

    Reply
    • “What concerns me you try to expound on the situation to friends, most people look at you as if you’re crazy, or just hush up. The mammoth in the room, indeed.”

      Have you tried Socratic questioning instead? Just curious.

      Reply
      • Bobinspain

         /  August 22, 2017

        I sense some irony, which I can relate to, lol. The fundamental problem is that there are many who don’t really want to learn, for a variety of reasons. This is worth quoting in full (from: ‘What are the weaknesses of Socratic Method’)
        ‘(1) because the interlocutor is not motivated to go through or to internalize the process (this usually happens to young wealthy people, like Alcibiades or Clitophon – they end up being reactionary toward Socrates),

        (2) or because the interlocutor is not willing to, or used to, be questioned on important issues (this typically happens with rich conservative folk like Cephalus who has a superficial respect for Socrates, or adults already having high reputation or power, like Thrasymachus or Callicles – they already hate or despise Socrates),

        (3) or because the “teacher” is not experienced with the ways in which the interaction may go (this happens to Socrates not in Plato’s dialogues, but in Aristophanes’ “Clouds”).

        So what kind of person **does** the Socratic method best work on? On young people capable of assuming the responsibility to inquire – presumably, people like Plato or almost all the adepts of the later schools (Cyrenaic, Stoic, Cynic, etc.) insofar as they all openly lay claim to the Socratic legacy – except the Epicureans.

        The last type of people on which the method may work best are those who are not invested financially, socially or psychologically in the subject discussed – such as a slave boy interrogated on the so-called Pythagorean theorem.’
        https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-weaknesses-of-the-Socratic-Method

        Reply
  1. Area Burned in Severe Northwest Territory Wildfires Doubles in Just One Day — robertscribbler – Online
  2. Amid 100-year heatwave, British Columbia sets wildfire record
  3. Amid 100-year heatwave, British Columbia sets wildfire record – Find Climate Answers
  4. More fire, more fury: Canada is ablaze amid record heatwave
  5. More fire, more fury: Canada is ablaze amid record heatwave | Alt Left Press
  6. Canada is ablaze amid record heatwave – ThinkProgress
  7. To 19th August nuclear and climate news | Nuclear Australia
  8. The week that has been: nuclear and climate news to 19 August « nuclear-news
  9. More fire, more fury: Canada is ablaze amid record heatwave. - EnviroLink Network

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: