Significant Monsters: Climate Change Enhanced Wildfires Tear Widening Swath Through California

“We are facing some pretty significant monsters,” — Cal Fire incident commander Bret Couvea to a room of about 200 firefighters and law enforcement officials at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds on Wednesday morning.

“Think of the climate change issue as a closet, and behind the door are lurking all kinds of monsters — and there’s a long list of them,” — Steve Pacala.

*****

As of Wednesday, the massive fires blazing across California and concentrated in the north had consumed over 141,000 acres, resulted in the loss of 17 lives, and destroyed more than 2,000 structures. Approximately 50,000 people are now evacuated from the fire zones. And about 500 individuals are reported missing. A grim tally that is unfortunately likely to worsen as the hours and days progress.

This outbreak is now one of the worst fire disasters ever to strike California. One which may break all previous records for tragic loss of life and property when this terrible event finally winds down many days from now and all losses are counted.

Significant Monsters…

In total, eight major fires are still burning across the state. As all but one fire remains uncontained, the area consumed continues to expand. The seven large out of control fires presently range in size from 7,500 to 37,000 acres each and have burned approximately 40,000 additional acres in just the past 24 hours alone. Lighter winds and cooler weather have aided firefighting efforts. But the sudden large scale of the fires erupting Sunday through Tuesday and very dry and occasionally gusty conditions with no rain in sight have produced serious challenges for firefighters.

(The skies of northern California blanketed by smoke from massive blazes streaming like ‘liquid fire’ across Northern California on Tuesday, October 10. Image source: NASA Worldview.)

As of yet, no direct initial cause for the fires has been identified. But the co-location of some fires with downed power lines due to wind gusts up to hurricane force late Sunday night have provided one potential ignition source. Human error or malicious activity have not yet been ruled out.

… Fed by Climate Change …

Regardless of direct cause of ignition, the fires lit in vegetative growth that sprang up after an abnormally wet winter and spring. This growth has flash-dried over summer in a region that received 10-20 percent of its typical moisture allotment over that period. Northern California over recent years has experienced severe drought, extreme rains, and during summer of 2017 flash drying of new vegetative growth. This is a cycle of extremes consistent with human caused climate change. So as with the major hurricanes blowing up over the ocean this year we can definitely say that climate change has played a role in setting conditions that enabled this event to hit a much more fierce than usual intensity.

… Caused by Bad Energy and Environmental Policy Choices

Bad choices — primarily involved with continued policies promoting fossil fuel burning (#1), harmful agricultural practices (#2), and deforestation (#3) have brought us to this pass. Failure to rapidly enable a renewable energy transition and to produce policies that promote less harmful consumption and more sustainable land use will result in an ever-increasing tempo of extreme events.

We see this high tempo now in events that bear the names Harvey, Irma, Maria, California fires and so, so many more over the past few years. Let us hope and pray that it relents enough to give us the space to make the right choices for ourselves, the life supports of our planet, and our children.

RELATED STATEMENTS AND INFORMATION:

A recent climate study found that warming oceans have weakened the southwestern monsoon generating a prevalence for droughts and wildfires in the region. This is a direct result of human-caused climate change:

Links:

The National Interagency Fire Center

NASA Worldview

Some Pretty Significant Monsters

Pure Devastation

California Fires: Before and After Photos

How Did the California Fires Become so Devastating?

Hat tip to Eleggua

Hat tip to Genomik

 

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360 Comments

  1. Bill

     /  October 11, 2017

    Don’t expect any help from Trump/Pruitt to combat climate change…
    Scott Pruitt unveiled his plan to repeal the Clean Power Plan to loud applause in Hazard, Kentucky, a sleepy coal town in the state’s mountainous south-east. “The war on coal is over,” said Mr Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),
    https://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2017/10/up-smoke-0

    Reply
    • I think we’re pretty clear that Trump/republicans/Pruitt are completely in bed with the harmful fossil fuel interests that are causing this nightmare to unfold with increasing intensity and regularity.

      Reply
  2. bostonblorp

     /  October 11, 2017

    OT: Something to keep an eye on – the Weddell polynya (a giant hole in the middle of Antarctica) has returned. Not specifically tied to GW (yet) but if it grows or more of them appear then we’ll have yet another problem.

    “This is like opening a pressure relief valve – the ocean then releases a surplus of heat to the atmosphere for several consecutive winters until the heat reservoir is exhausted,” adds Professor Latif.

    https://phys.org/news/2017-09-antarctica-weddell-polynya-kiel-climate.html

    Pls delete if a repost.

    Reply
    • Thanks for this. Completely helpful. Not off topic at all.

      Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  October 14, 2017

      “Fortuitously, one of 200 biochemical robotic floats released by the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modelling program has surfaced within the polynya. It is sending back data on temperature, salinity and other measurements – potentially saving a costly mission by a research vessel.

      “It’s just amazing – fantastic news,” Jan Lieser, a sea ice scientist at the University of Tasmania, said of the float’s location.”

      http://www.smh.com.au/environment/return-of-ocean-chimney-the-size-of-tasmania-puzzles-antarctic-scientists-20171011-gyz9z1.html

      The becoming usual rubbish headline, the article itself isn’t too bad

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  October 16, 2017

        LInk for SOCCOM, the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling project.

        https://soccom.princeton.edu/

        “he Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling project (SOCCOM) is a multi-institutional program focused on unlocking the mysteries of the Southern Ocean and determining its influence on climate. Housed at Princeton University and administered by the Princeton Environmental Institute, SOCCOM is supported by the National Science Foundation (link is external) under NSF Award PLR-1425989.

        Reply
  3. wili

     /  October 11, 2017

    I heard someone on the radio who was an eye witness express the same thought that I had after seeing some of the descriptions of this horrific destruction…that it looks like a bomb had been dropped on these neighborhoods. I thought the same thing about pictures of Barbuda and elsewhere.

    This puts me in mind of the Hansen point that the amount of added energy we are adding to the system is on the order of a half-million atom bombs every single day. (Perhaps robert or others can update me on the latest numbers here?)

    Mostly this is just a handy way to get across what the energy equivalent is of the enormous imbalances we are throwing into our only home.

    But these images show that in a sense we are indeed dropping bomb-like destruction on our children and now clearly on ourselves.

    Basically, since we started burning fossil-death-fuels, we started a war on the future. A war we had be ‘winning.’

    But it is clear that now we have entered that future, we have switched over to the losing side. The bombs are now falling around our ears, seemingly on a weekly basis now, even in some of the most affluent parts of the most powerful country in the world.

    And yet we continue hurling those hundreds of millions of bombs on ourselves even as we sink ever more deeply into the losing side of history.

    Reply
    • paul

       /  October 12, 2017

      Nicely put. We do love our ‘wars’ don’t we?
      Perhaps we should declare war on climate change.

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  October 12, 2017

        I’m not into any sort of “war” and not really into playing games of any sort, however I do play team sports. What we’ve here is a team and the game we’re playing has only one outcome for our team:
        a big win. The game doesn’t end until we’ve won and we will win.

        At some point, all humans will realize they’re on that same team and get on with contributing to our collective win, along with our other teammates, the rest of the animal kingdom and the plant and fungi kingdoms. It’s an evolutionary inevitability.

        It’s been easier in the past for me to play with my teammates from those other kingdoms and non-human teammates of our own animal kingdom. I’m learning how to play better with my human teammates. Thanks for playing with me and for playing to win!

        Reply
    • Leland Palmer

       /  October 12, 2017

      I drove over to the Sacramento area (Woodland, CA) from South Santa Rosa yesterday, to buy an electrical generator. We want to keep the water pump going if the electrical power goes out and the sprinklers going when we leave, if that becomes necessary.

      To get there before the store closed, I used Google Maps, which took me down highway 121 through the Napa area, hard hit by the fires. One whole range of hills off to the left of the highway as I was going east had hundreds of columns of smoke going up – it looked like a disaster movie after the really mean aliens had landed, I swear. It looked like a war zone, complete with burned out structures close to the highway.

      I guess we all knew that the fire danger was high. But we never expected this. Climate change loads the dice, and makes local disaster more likely. With so many dice being loaded, and so many potential disasters, some are going to come to fruition, as all of us on this blog know.

      Reply
      • wpNSAlito

         /  October 12, 2017

        It’s so sad to hear of the die-hards who stay to water down their roofs from the garden hose in the face of dry, >30mph winds, not realizing that the spray in those conditions will evaporate very quickly.

        Reply
        • eleggua

           /  October 12, 2017

          Doesn’t it help at all? I’d thought and recall reading somewhere that it was useful to douse the house at least twice a day in those conditions. It’s definitely a good idea to keep the hose hooked up and ready to go, in case an ember lands on the roof. You can keep a fire from starting by putting out small igniters before they spark the blaze.

        • Leland Palmer

           /  October 12, 2017

          Well, our plan is to leave the sprinklers going and run like Hell. Sprinklers can’t hurt, and might help (we have our own well).

        • eleggua

           /  October 12, 2017

          Wishing you all the very best there and that the need to run does not occur. Sounds like you’ve prepared well. Take care, Leland.

      • Suzanne

         /  October 12, 2017

        Leland..take care of yourself. My heart is breaking for all of you living through this disaster.

        Reply
        • Leland Palmer

           /  October 13, 2017

          Thanks, Suzanne.

          It’s looking better and better for us, with new fires now many miles away, on the far side of burned out areas. We also have major geographic barriers like freeways and rivers between us and the new fires. So, we’re lucky, and I feel good about that, but feel bad that it’s at other peoples’ expense.

          Cities are supposed to be safer than living in the country, from fire. It’s strange, having to wrap my head around thoughts like that.

          We’re in for a rough ride, in the future, no matter what we do now, I think. We will adapt, I hope. We need to take a close look at fire fighting, for example, in my opinion. Remotely controlled fire fighting machines, that might be constructed like small armored tanks with water cannons, capable of laying down fire resistant hose, might be very helpful in situations like these. We need firebreaks between cities and forests, and more rapid response capability perhaps using remotely operated equipment, to keep these firestorms from spreading.

          We can’t go on spending tens and hundreds of billions of dollars to rebuild in the old way, I think. We need to look at fire and flood resistant structures, when we rebuild. We need to look at electrical systems that are not so dependent on the grid, and get rid of natural gas in urban neighborhoods, I think. For all their benefits, we need to look at the role of trees in urban areas, even though it pains my heart to think about removing them altogether.

        • Leland Palmer

           /  October 13, 2017

          Where were the Japanese fire fighting robots (and their orchestra) when we needed them?

          Just kidding. This was a staged test under ideal conditions. Still, maybe we ought to look at stuff like this, so that fire fighters don’t have to choose between evacuating the public and fighting the fire.

        • eleggua

           /  October 13, 2017

          ^^^ These ~are~ the droids we’re looking for.

          At least for urban use. They don’t look like they could handle forest terrain, or any sort of terrain with undergrowth and uneven ground. And they don’t carry their own water supply or retardant supply nor do they equipped to create firebreaks, to do axework.
          None-the-less and all the more, they are cool and would be very beneficial to urban firefighters.

          Looks like they’re being promoted for industrial use. That staging area looks like some sort of chemical plant or refinery. Just checked their website; yep, it’s targeting specific use in industry not residential firefighting.

          https://www.weistech.com.au/explosion-proof-extinguishing-and-s

          Description of the droid:
          “To assist firefighters in battling complex fires, specially used for Factory Fire, Warehouse Fire and Explosive environment, such as petrochemical, fuel/gas fire where is too dangerous for firefighters to go. ”

          From the manufacturer, WEI’S TECHNOLOGY PTY LTD:

          “Dedicated to enriching automation equipment options in Australia and New Zealand. Providing the country’s urgent need for Fire Fighting Robots, Industrial Inspection Robots, Underwater Search and Rescue Robots and variety in the other field. The company is located in Sydney, Australia, this advanced geographical location allows us to service the entire Oceania and south east Asia. We work closely with industry leading partners and customer base to deliver optimal and functional products that meet operator’s needs.”

          Thanks for sharing this one, Leland, and for the great points you make in the previous comment. Glad to hear things are looking for you right there at your spot.

        • eleggua

           /  October 13, 2017

          These guys have a good idea, and a good time testing it, too.

        • eleggua

           /  October 13, 2017

          Well, looks like I have to take back what I said about those droids not being able to handle tricky terrain. This vid is shot at the Palace Museum in Beijing, and the droids are apparently the same ones in the first video, the ones manufactured by Wei’s. They can climb stairs quite well; probably able to navigate hillsides.

          (Oddly, ^that^ video is censored in mainland China.)

        • Leland Palmer

           /  October 15, 2017

          I guess these remotely controlled fire fighting machines are Chinese, marketed mainly to Australia. Australia has huge fire risks, partially due to eucalyptus trees being evolved to use fire against other species, releasing volatile oils during fires.

          As eleggua points out, they can handle step climbing, it looks like. Thanks, eleggua, for researching these machines.

          Fire fighters have become increasingly risk adverse, I think, and no one can blame them for that. The fires are their workplace, and they are entitled to be reasonably safe on the job, and protected from hazards like smoke inhalation.

          But firestorms like this might be much less damaging if fought hard, early in the fire.

          We need to deal with reality, to adapt to climate change. We need systems in place to deal with current and increasing future hazards. So remotely controlled machines like this might really be a good idea, I think. Certainly, urban areas have streets, and these machines could handle most streets, assuming that downed trees or electrical poles don’t block the streets.

          With GPS, drone aircraft dumping fire retardant seems like a good idea.

          Dealing with the situation as it developed, with high winds carrying flaming embers would have been difficult with any equipment, I think. But these are the sorts of hazards that climate change is going to throw at us, in the future.

          We did not act proactively to cut fossil fuel use, and now we have to adapt to the consequences of that.

        • eleggua

           /  October 16, 2017

          You’re welcome.

          This prototype, the Fire Ox, is designed for use versus “wildland fire” and “situations where you have tricky winds”, as per the head of the program below. He addresses points you make above, Leland, e.g. protecting human firefighters.

    • T-rev

       /  October 15, 2017

      >This puts me in mind of the Hansen point that the amount of added energy we are adding to the system is on the order of a half-million atom bombs every single day. (Perhaps robert or others can update me on the latest numbers here?)

      4 Hiroshima Bombs per second

      http://4hiroshimas.com/

      My partner is in the volunteer Rural Fire Brigade here in Australia, she fights these things (albeit not to many that size where we live luckily) many times every year, all for zero pay, often at night after work. Which always amazes me, our Government will spend Billions on ‘terrorism’ and yet fires kill dozens of people every year and destroy millions in property and they won’t even pay the responders.

      But I think we can say with confidence most Governments seem complety unwilling to do genuine risk analysis, if the way they are dealing with climate change is an indicator of competence in that area. To be fair though, they’re voted back in regularly (both major parties in Australia are keen for the Carmichael Coal Mine to go ahead for example), so I guess we deserve it in some respects 😦

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  October 16, 2017

        Thanks to your partner for what she does down there.

        None of deserve the manipulations of the hidden persuaders and their marionettes.
        The major parties there and here, the US, and most other “civilized” countries are nothing more than sock puppets for the real powers that be.

        There’s a big change a-comin’, though. A lot more attention is being paid to “that man behind the curtain”, the real wizards of Oz and the US and elsewhere. For now, mostly in non-mainstream medias and soon, in the more main strream of the flow of information.

        Look how long it took to de-throne Harvey Weinstein, once the flow picked up. That’s the current nature of the media beast and that rough beast is slouching toward Bethlehem’s underbelly, toward the inevitable unseating of the powers that are beholden to “them” not us, toward the re-birth of the phoenix, the inevitable rising of the underclass.

        Reply
  4. wili

     /  October 11, 2017

    California fire official: 3,500 homes and businesses have been destroyed in deadly wine country wildfires.

    Reply
  5. Sarah

     /  October 11, 2017

    Unseasonal fires in Portugal as well, the last few days have been thick with smoke and massive blazes in the centre. Temperatures at 34-35c, way above normal, dry for months, little rain, some rivers and reservoirs almost bone dry. Its bad.

    Reply
  6. Sarah

     /  October 11, 2017

    Unseasonal fires in Portugal as well, the last few days have been thick with smoke and massive blazes in the centre. Temperatures at 34-35c, way above normal, dry for months, little rain, some rivers and reservoirs almost bone dry. Its bad.

    http://www.euronews.com/2017/10/09/fresh-fires-in-portugal-amid-unusually-high-temperatures

    Reply
  7. Suzanne

     /  October 11, 2017

    Pictures at the LA Times from the fires. Just horrific…
    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-fires-northern-california-20171011-story.html

    Reply
  8. Suzanne

     /  October 12, 2017

    What should have been…
    “Hillary Clinton links CC to recent hurricanes, wildfires in Speech”
    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/hillary-clinton-links-climate-change-recent-wildfires-hurricanes/story?id=50385107

    “It’s been a tough couple of weeks with hurricanes and earthquakes and now these terrible fires,” said Clinton. “So in addition to expressing our sympathy, we need to really come together to try to work to prevent and mitigate, and that starts with acknowledging climate change and the role that it plays in exacerbating such events,” Clinton said to applause.

    Reply
  9. Greg

     /  October 12, 2017

    Did this get posted? While the land burns the ice melts…just published–Research Letter:
    Channelized Melting Drives Thinning Under a Rapidly Melting Antarctic Ice Shelf
    “High-resolution altimetry measurements from 2010 to 2016 show that Dotson Ice Shelf (DIS), West Antarctica, thins in response to basal melting focused along a single 5 km-wide and 60 km-long channel extending from the ice shelf’s grounding zone to its calving front. If focused thinning continues at present rates, the channel will melt through, and the ice shelf collapse, within 40–50 years, almost two centuries before collapse is projected from the average thinning rate. Our findings provide evidence of basal melt-driven sub-ice shelf channel formation and its potential for accelerating the weakening of ice shelves.”
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2017GL074929/abstract

    Reply
  10. “Frontline”PBS expose’ re oil/gas /coal power and Scott Pruitt/Trump destroying the EPA http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/war-on-the-epa/

    Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  October 12, 2017

      Thanks for the link Jean. Scott Pruitt is as big a nightmare as Trump. He is the proverbial fox guarding the hen house. Like most of the cabinet of Trump….deplorable destroyers.

      Reply
  11. Loni

     /  October 12, 2017

    My heart goes out to my neighbors.

    In the past few months, we’ve witnessed an increase to a growing list, the affluent homeless.

    Reply
  12. redskylite

     /  October 12, 2017

    I am stunned and almost speechless at the scenes from California – reminding me of horrific photographs from post atom bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    Then I read and saw photos of deaths and destruction due to severe flooding in Vietnam, headlined by the B.B.C. The news article suggested it was quite common for a few to die each year.

    Then I saw a report in Asian media which suggested this was highly abnormal. The way events are reported matter tremendously.

    It is a traumatic period thanks for your continued and considerable fight and attention R.S.

    HANOI: Floods caused by a tropical depression in Vietnam killed 37 people, one of the highest death tolls recorded in the country from flooding, the disaster prevention agency said on Thursday.
    Forty people were missing and 21 others were injured after rains caused landslides and flooding, mostly in northern and central Vietnam.
    “Our entire village had sleepless nights…it’s impossible to fight against this water, it’s the strongest in years,” Ngo Thi Su, a resident in northwestern Hoa Binh province, was quoted as saying by state-run Vietnam Television (VTV).

    http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/floods–landslides-in-vietnam-kill-37-people–thousands-evacuated-9303314

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  October 13, 2017

      From ^that article.

      “Rising sea levels are also threatening Vietnam’s more than 3,260 km (2,000 mile) coastline, resulting in increased flooding of low lying coastal regions, erosion and salt water intrusion.”

      Reply
  13. Suzanne

     /  October 12, 2017

    Front page at WP tonight…
    “Why 2017 will go down as the beginning of the end of the combustion engine”
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2017/10/11/why-2017-will-go-down-as-the-beginning-of-the-end-of-the-internal-combustion-engine/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_combustion-11pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

    Electric vehicles no longer seem like a futuristic fever dream, but they remain a rarity on most American city streets, accounting for less than 1 percent of the nation’s auto sales, according to the automotive website Edmunds.com.

    Yet, when future auto historians look back, they may pinpoint 2017 as the year electric vehicles went from a promising progressive fad to an industry-wide inevitability.

    Reply
  14. Genomik

     /  October 12, 2017

    I keep meeting people who have been affected by the fires. Everybody knows somebody here in San Francisco.
    The smoke is so thick driving over the bay bridge I could barely see a mile. The newscaster said it’s the worst air quality ever. So there’s another dubious record.
    Most fires are away from cities so sort of abstract. These are very close to major metropolitan areas.

    One news report says some of the fires are joining and causing a giant mega fire. The wind is still uncertain. As I write this it’s supposed to be a little windy.

    There’s fear and emotion in most every bodies eyes. I went to the hardware store on Market st and so many people were buying masks it’s so bad in SF.

    It’s pretty somber. People in California are starting to get it but somehow I sense of climate fatigue. Unfortunately it’s reality and will get much more real.

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  October 12, 2017

      Fire smell very noticeable here again tonight, less than an hour’s drive south of the fires.
      As you noted, Genomik, lots of folks wearing masks around town the past few days. Important to keep the conversation going locally after the air’s cleared and begin the process of promoting and implementing social solutions, radical solutions. Podcast/radio show starting here imminently.

      Friends of friend waiting it out at home in Rosa, windows and doors sealed up due to smoke and particulates, air conditioner cranked up on high. Others fled days ago. Fire jumped 101 in several places, burnt down the Kmart, the Hilton across the highway, and other large businesses along that corridor. Santa Rosa’s not a town; it’s a city of nearly 200,000. For over 30 years, until just a few years ago, the Harmony aka Health and Harmony Fesitval took place in Rosa; lot of good times there. This is a major disaster.

      Charles Schultz lived in Sonoma Co. for the last 40+ years of his life, including 30+ years in Santa Rosa, where he died in his sleep. He’s buried nearby in Sebastopol. Many buildings in Rosa are named after him; the local airport was renamed in his honor. CalFire have a base there from where they stage firefighting plane operations. Not sure if those operations have been moved; the airport was shut down due to power failure and heavy smoke.

      (Thanks for the hat tip, Robert. Wish it were connected to better news, something positive, but this is the order of our day.)

      Reply
      • Suzanne

         /  October 12, 2017

        Genomik and Elegga….
        Really appreciate all your updates on the California fires. Worry about you and all the others in CA living with these terrible living conditions.

        Reply
        • eleggua

           /  October 12, 2017

          Thanks, Suzanne, and thanks for the defense below, too.

          I’m relatively ok here in SF, though the smoke isn’t healthy even in the quantities we’re experiencing here, as Genomik pointed out. The folks I’m concerned about are in the line of fire up north and east of here. That’s where I’ve been in the fires in the past, and where part of my heart lies.

          It doesn’t take much to set off a major fire. A couple of years ago, a woman blasted out of her mind on prescription drugs drove on a flat tire, the rim kicking up sparks that set off fires on both sides of the road. Fortunately, someone we know was driving behind her, got in front and cut her off, stopping forward her forward progress, preventing more fires from starting further down the road. He and others that he called came out and began to fight the spreading fires, and CalFire and local volunteers showed up and prevented the fires from connecting and becoming a maelstrom. CalFire sent out planes, dumping retardants. One couple lost their garage and their house was severly damaged but not destroyed, but thankfully no one was injured by the fire nor by fighting it.

          The driver nearly lost her life; the guy who cut her off pulled her from the burning car; she’d set the car on fire, too.

        • Suzanne

           /  October 12, 2017

          Wow..what a story. Just take care of yourself..and thanks for all your great research on our denier friend who is trolling here right now. That ICON group sounds like another one of those White Nationalist groups that are infiltrating our nation with fear and hate.
          I have a friend in Mountain View who says the air quality is pretty bad. I worry about all those with respiratory conditions having to endure the poor air quality….on top of everything else.

      • eleggua

         /  October 12, 2017

        Thanks so much. Smelling fires right now. I’ve heard it’s bad down there, too.

        Reading and refuting the trolling nonsense reminded me of an aphorism that came to me 30+ years ago and used to post in LARGE letters at events I produced.

        LOVE YOUR PLANET
        NOT THEIR PLAN FOR IT

        Thanks, daveburton, for inspiring that memory. Will begin to meme that one again right now!

        Reply
    • eleggua

       /  October 13, 2017

      Ash visible here today. Fine particulate, but noticeable. A grey coating on black tables at an outdoor eating area. Noticed them catching on the inside of my sunglasses; had to wipe them off a few times through the day.

      Many people wearing masks or bandanas. A one-legged houseless youth came by in his wheelchair, offering new masks from a box; handed out the last of them to folks at the table where I sat. Fires, smoke, grey skies and ash, a major topic of conversation during my travels today.

      Reply
  15. The wildfires are not caused or worsened by anthropogenic climate change. But when the Obama Administration crippled the USFS’s aerial firefighting capability it increased America’s vulnerability to wildfires. I told readers of this blog about that more than four years ago.

    In the summer of 2011 the Obama Administration abruptly canceled the contract for the U.S. Forest Service’s use of P-3 Orion firefighting planes, which were “the backbone of the aerial firefighting arsenal.” That irresponsible action gutted the U.S. Forest Service’s aerial firefighting capability.

    (long screed of nonsense and misinformation removed by moderator)

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  October 12, 2017

      “The wildfires are not caused or worsened by anthropogenic climate change. ”

      I must differ. These fires in the north Bay counties would not have happened if not for climate change-related conditons. They were caused by climate change and their severity is due to the current state of that changed climate. Extrapolating, we can expect worse fires in the region in the near future.

      The hurricanes weren’t caused by climate change, that’s true, though their power was amplified by climate change. These fires, though, totally climate change related in every regard. The conditions that enabled them are in every way climate change induced.

      Prolonged drought coupled with high heat, followed by a couple of unusually wet seasons promoting fresh undercover growth, followed by intensely hot, dry summer drying out said fresh growth which became tinder for the fires.

      Reply
      • eleggua, the conditions you described are normal for California. Here’s an article about the history of wildfires there:

        (intentional misdirection, blatant falsehood, false assertions removed by moderator)

        Reply
        • eleggiua

           /  October 12, 2017

          I’m not buying any of what you’ve written about the current fires in my area. These fires are absolutely not normal; there’s never been any fires here like these in our recorded history.
          The bit of research I’ve just done on Aero Union supports what Robert wrote not what you’re promoting.
          I’ll leave it to Robert to finish this up. Deletion of this nonsense wouldn’t be surprising.

        • eleggua

           /  October 12, 2017

          Dave, your covert but obvious agenda proves something we were discussing here earlier vis a vis intention being clear to those that live and inhabit simple truth. Your jive stunk from the first sentence and a few simple searches revealed enough to confirm your agendas.

          I wish you better; you’re not getting out of this mess any easier than me or any other living being here on our planet.

        • Bill h

           /  October 13, 2017

          Dave, the article to which you link makes no mention of the degree to which climate change is affecting fires in California. Therefore, despite writing at some length, you have provided no evidence whatsoever that the fires “are not caused or worsened by anthropogenic climate change” . Since this is a blog that seeks to advance scientific understanding it would be good if you could adopt a scientific approach in your comments

        • Here’s a report on ground by Juan Browne. Note his remarks at the end, that the current tinderbox conditions are normal for this time of year in California.

          (misinformation and false conclusions removed by moderator)

        • Bill h

           /  October 13, 2017

          And this Juan Browne individual’s track record in attribution studies is…..? references in peer reviewed journals……? Or has Youtube now supplanted the scientific literature as a source of scientific rigour?

        • eleggua

           /  October 13, 2017

          Dave, your colossal ignorance is glaringly obvious here at robertscribbler.

          Firstly, you ought to recongize by now that no regular reader / contributor to this blog is going to buy any of your bullsh!t, but apparently you don’t get that as per your pesty persistence in posting drivel.

          Secondly, none of what you’ve posted even remotely factors into the equation of what’s up with the climate. Juan Browne’s amateur journo video doesn’t confirm sh!t re: climate change. Tinderbox conditions are normal however the depth of the tinderbox and the amount of tinder are not normal. There’s never been any sort of fires like these in our recording history in this state, not even in the nation. These fires are affecting residential areas, as Leland notes above; Santa Rosa is a decent-sized city. No city in the US has ever experienced anything like what’s ongoing here.

          Thirdly

    • eleggua

       /  October 12, 2017

      As per this part of your comment:
      “In the summer of 2011 the Obama Administration abruptly canceled the contract for the U.S. Forest Service’s use of P-3 Orion firefighting planes, which were “the backbone of the aerial firefighting arsenal.” That irresponsible action gutted the U.S. Forest Service’s aerial firefighting capability….
      The Obama Administration’s action appeared to be timed to intentionally do maximum damage to Aero Union. They cancelled Aero Union’s contract on the very day that a seventh P-3 Orion, newly outfitted for firefighting, was scheduled to enter service.”

      Here’s a copy-and-paste of part of Robert’s response to your comment.

      ” robertscribbler / July 2, 2013
      …I have found absolutely no evidence that the Obama administration gutted the program. To the contrary, the constant efforts by conservatives to ‘reduce the size of government’ and remove ‘job killing tax increases’ have forced government to cut almost all programs via the current sequester.

      Efforts to blame the sequester on Obama are moot, as he continues to seek new revenues to support vital programs like this one. The republicans, on the other hand, appear to think the monies for such support will appear magically, despite their constant proposals to cut revenues. ”

      I don’t know if Robert’s perspective on that has changed in the past four+ years but it seems unlikely that’s it’s much or any different today. I await and will defer to and go with Robert’s current assessment of your past and current comments.

      Reply
      • My perspective has not changed. I’m actually surprised at how clear my previous statement was. It does not surprise me that Dave was intentionally mis-attributing my statement and attempting to claim that I stated something I did not. Typical attempt to sew confusion.

        Reply
        • eleggua

           /  October 16, 2017

          Thanks for confirming.

          He was foolish to think the link wouldn’t be checked. Every post he made was foolish.

    • eleggua

       /  October 12, 2017

      I live here and know that area well, intimately even. I’ve quite literally been in the middle of forest fires here in my state. These ones in the north Bay area have nothing to do with a supposed scuttling of firefighting planes nor anything to do with any supposed actions of Obama or his administration. They are climate change induced ~and~ amplified.

      Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  October 12, 2017

        Unfortunately the usual shift the blame, expect more and more of that

        Reply
        • eleggua

           /  October 12, 2017

          Indeed. See below.

        • Vaughn Anderson

           /  October 14, 2017

          eleggua, I would definitely struggle to say it better than the way you have stated the connection between the intensity of the fires and climate change. There are some additional human caused conditions that have made these fires worse as well:

          I live in the Pacific Northwest and have traveled through some of the areas where the fires are burning. Logging practices in the timbered areas have resulted in the larger trees being cut or all of the trees being cut in wide areas of this region. Due to light now reaching the forest floor, this typically allows regrowth of thickets of smaller trees and volatile non-native grasses such as cheat grass to become widespread. Cheat grass is a bit oily, grows along roadsides, and burns explosively when dry. Cheat grass is one of the earliest plants to dry out during the spring into summer. Fires started in cheat grass spread explosively into small trees and larger trees much more rapidly than when cheat grass is not present.

          Dead trees killed by insects/beetles and diseases due to human caused climate change and human transport of the insects/beetles and diseases also allow more light to the forest floor allowing cheat grass to become widespread in those areas as well.

          These conditions are also contributing to the intensity of the fires as well as stronger winds and higher temperatures and lower relative humidity. The result is what we are seeing now. This is like the adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” From the looks of things it is going to take a lot more than “a pound of cure.”

        • eleggua

           /  October 14, 2017

          Thanks for pointing out those additional causitve factors. The fires near Santa Rosa aren’t so much affected by poor forest management or logging, but most other fires in this state and the rest of the West Coast states and Idaho and Montana, B.C. and Alberta, are amplified by those factors.

          Spent a lot of time in the forests in the Pac NW, especially in the years when logging was rampant, back when driving the 101 around the Olympic Peninsula was an adventure in avoiding logging trucks filled with massive trees, rippig around curves, hustling their way to the mills. Same in Oregon, same in Montana, same in all the places noted in the paragraph above; trucks loaded with large logs, zipping along the roads and highways, one after another after another after another…. Those were also the Hayduke heydays of Earth First: No Compromise in the Defense of Mother Earth.

          http://earthfirstjournal.org/about/

          If you haven’t read Ed Abbey’s ‘The Monkey Wrench Gang’, it’s highly recommended for all readers of this blog, and for every other human on the planet.

        • eleggua

           /  October 14, 2017

          MIssing your voice here, Colorado Bob. I’m sure, you know Abbey’s works and Earth First and George Hayduke. Looking forward to your return to these pages.

        • eleggua

           /  October 14, 2017

          ” The fires near Santa Rosa aren’t so much affected by poor forest management or logging”

          I shouldn’t pose that as a definitive statement. There’s likelihood those are also factors around Rosa. Will have to check on it.

          Thanks again, Vaughn, for what you’ve brought attention to.

    • Genomik

       /  October 12, 2017

      Your statement is absurdly simply. Of course these fires were made worse by climate change.

      Record rainfall so bad it almost destroyed the dam near these fires

      Record heat last month breaking all time heat records.

      Dead trees all over the state due to 5 straight years of record breaking drought.

      Your unsubstantiated claim lacks any reason or rationality.

      Reply
    • wpNSAlito

       /  October 12, 2017

      Weren’t the Orions due to be replaced with the newer Poseidons?

      Reply
      • wili

         /  October 12, 2017

        People on the ground with years of experience are saying they have never seen fires spread the fast with this intensity. It’s the largest fire in state history.

        One wonders how many records, how many studies, and how much personal testimony is needed for some people to set aside their denial and face squarely the fact that we have created conditions that make fires, storms, rain bombs, droughts…more extreme, beyond anything experienced in memory and far beyond?

        Reply
        • eleggua

           /  October 12, 2017

          I was in Manhattan on September 11th, 2001 and saw and felt people change, their hearts and minds open, before my eyes, that day and over the next week that I was there. Even Rudy G had a momentary lapse of ugliness that morning, decrying anger and violence in a tv appearance mid-morning. That change didn’t last long for Rudy but it has for millions of other New Yorkers.

          Disaster is an effective agent of change and our common, inescapable, rapidly ever-worsing global disaster is going to catalyze profound, positive changes in our shared consciousness, in our collective unconscious and collective conscience.

        • eleggua

           /  October 12, 2017

          The smell of the smoke here in SF these past few daze does not compare to the smell that day and the rest of that week in Manhattan.

          The towers were a psychic ground zero that morning; the closer one was to them, the more likely one was to be changed inside forever.

      • wpNSAlito, I don’t know what Poseidons are. Are you thinking of the Lockheed P-2 Neptunes?

        (Taking links down to remove intentionally distracting subject matter)

        Reply
        • *** CORRECTION *** Although it is true that the P-3 Orions’ safety record is much better than the safety records of the P-2 Neptunes and C130s, it wasn’t perfect, I overlooked the fact that there was ONE P-3 Orion crash on that list.

          (removing more intentionally distracting subject matter)

        • And… url isolated and blacklisted. Note that the url in question — 98.26.64.108 — originates out of some weird locale in Kansas and has been flagged for suspicious activity. Congratulations, Dave, or whoever the hell you are. Now you can go spread lies for the fossil fuel industry somewhere else. But not on my forum.

        • eleggua

           /  October 16, 2017

          Thanks, Robert.

    • Seeing a comment like this in this blog (and sequels >_<), the only thing that comes into my mind is: Robert, are you okay?

      Reply
      • Suzanne

         /  October 12, 2017

        Umbrios, I am thinking Robert just hasn’t checked in today and is probably working. I don’t think the visiting denier will be here for long. 🙂

        Reply
        • Now, Suzanne, who was it that wrote, “You lost all credibility when you try to make a point by first resorting to name calling”?

        • Suzanne

           /  October 13, 2017

          Dave..You don’t get the nuance among friends…The comment was not directed or meant for you. It was written directly for Umbrios.
          So, for your eyes and comprehension…let me clarify it for you.
          ” I don’t think DaveBurton and his denial literature and propaganda will be here for long”.
          Hope that helps.

        • eleggua

           /  October 13, 2017

          ” I don’t think DaveBurton’s denial literature and propaganda will be here on Earth for long”.

          ^Fixed. (No prob with what your wrote, Suzanne; jus’ havin’ fun at the expanse of the denier’s cheap tricks’ expense.)

        • Suzanne

           /  October 13, 2017

          El 🙂

        • Perhaps Robert does not share umbrios27’s and Suzanne’s view that y’all’s point of view needs to be supported with censorship, to prevail.

          If so, that’s refreshing. Most blogs on the right / skeptical / lukewarmist side of the climate debate welcome participation by dissenters, at least as long as the dissenters are reasonably polite. So, for example, some prominent climate alarmists are “regulars” at WUWT. But most blogs on the left / alarmist side of the climate debate are strictly censored, to limit even polite dissent — and most climate activists support that censorship.

          Perhaps Robert is an exception.

          (RS comment: Actually, I regularly moderate out misinformation like that which you’ve posted here. You slipped the filter which was unfortunate considering how much time you’ve wasted simply by requiring others to go and track down the antidotes to all the various intentionally false statements you’ve posted. Comments to this blog must rise to a certain level of honesty and accuracy. You fail on both points. Which is why you have been banned from this forum.

          In other words, in order for actual free speech to exist, those who actively attempt to spread misinformation must be removed. Comments like yours tend to crowd out actual reader questions and concerns through active distraction.)

        • Abel Adamski

           /  October 14, 2017

          daveburton
          Most blogs on the right / skeptical / lukewarmist side of the climate debate welcome participation by dissenters, at least as long as the dissenters are reasonably polite. So, for example, some prominent climate alarmists are “regulars” at WUWT.

          Rubbish
          Breitbart blocked me years ago and I was quite polite, committed the sin of pointing out lies and distortions with evidence
          WUWT also blocked me years ago also, this was a year or so after Anthony had promised to put together an accurate temperature record with all his supportive scientist friends. I committed the cardinal sin of asking several times over about 6 months how that was progressing.
          They are not the only ones,

      • I was in Wilmington, NC with my wife. I managed to take the time off to also get some SLR and nuisance flooding research done at the time of astronomical high tide in the region.

        Reply
        • Ah! Time off is a good thing, I was worried because… well, your blog is one of the two most troll-free environments that I´ve ever met in the web, and with disasters happening all around, and hitting the US specially hard this year, change in pace, even if so slightly, seems worrying. Hope you had a good trip!

        • Thanks so much, Umbrios! I did have as relaxing a time as could be expected given present circumstances. I always feel like I should be doing more, though.

          As for the trolls… When I get a live one that is spreading known misinformation, I usually go after them pretty hard. I’ve reported Dave’s url to address trackers and black-hat trackers. This has become SOP for me if I think the misinformation rises to the level of targeted harassment. During the election, I even got a number originating from Eastern Europe that I listed as suspect Russian hacker/misinformation sites.

          For a general reference, pretty much all the sources Dave trashed were good ones. And a good number of those he elevated are well known to spew misinformation — Happer chief on the list.

    • redskylite

       /  October 12, 2017

      Well we could bother to waster precious time and debate with a person who still whinges about “Climategate”, provides articles and massaged stats to the Heartland Group, Wattsupwiththat, JudithCurry and that bastion of truth “Brietbart News”, and calls anyone who is concerned with climate change “a leftist”. Or we could listen to hardworking professionals who have slogged away and earnt honest credentials.

      I know who I’ll listen to on climate matters.

      Reply
    • I want to apologize, in advance, to everyone for missing what is an obvious troll and distraction. Unfortunately, it appears that there are ways for some folks on wordpress to circumvent basic forum rules (my rules are now set to approve first posts, but some posters manage to circumvent this).

      I’m placing Dave in moderation at this time. In other words, you won’t be seeing any more nonsense troll posts, agitation, or other inflammatory or outright untrue comments from him on this forum.

      I understand that Syd Bridges was recently targeted by Dave on another forum and it appears that this intentional harassment has continued here. My apologies to Syd and others for not acting sooner.

      Warmest regards to all.

      –R

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  October 16, 2017

        Welcome home, Robert. He was outed after his first post in this thread but I continued to engage, which isn’t wise and not warranted here. My apologies for continuing to engage rather than putting on ‘ignore’ after the outing.

        You’ve shut down Dave here before, and not allowed his comments in prior articles. He knew he wasn’t welcome. You’re no reason to apologize.

        Glad to see you back.

        Reply
        • You did just fine. Sometimes, you just have to reply. Letting lies and intentional misdirection stand can be misconstrued as tacit acknowledgement.

      • Suzanne

         /  October 16, 2017

        Glad to have you back Robert. Hope you got some much deserved R&R..which we all need to do occasionally to avoid burnout. 🙂 As for Dave…it was just so jarring to have a troll show up here, I know for me, I was not sure how to deal with him. All I could think to do was defend some of the Scribblers…post positive things..then just fly past his posts. Several others, I thought, handled his denier misinformation very well.

        Reply
        • Thanks, Suzanne. I think everyone did great, including you. We all respond to this kind of bullying in different ways. But we should be clear that this form of communication is not honest or acceptable and amounts to intentional bullying aimed at suppressing discourse rather than encouraging it. Usually the effect is to cause people to disengage rather than engage — or to only engage on the most basic of levels.

    • Jim

       /  October 16, 2017

      (long screed of nonsense and misinformation removed by moderator).

      LOL. Thanks Robert!

      (That’s what I did mentally when I saw it).

      Reply
  16. eleggua

     /  October 12, 2017

    ‘The agenda behind the sea level rise bill: from the Carolina coast to the Kochs
    Who is NC-20?’

    https://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/the-agenda-behind-the-sea-level-rise-bill-from-the-carolina-coast-to-the-kochs/Content?oid=3084685

    “Our grandkids will curse us. At a Senate committee hearing last week, David Rouzer, a Johnston County Republican, ignored the scientific consensus that by 2100, the sea level could—and most likely will—rise by at least an average of 3 feet on the North Carolina coast.

    Without the proper safeguards, such an increase could be catastrophic.

    Instead, Rouzer and his fellow Republicans passed House Bill 819, which restricts the ability of state agencies to accurately forecast and prepare for sea level rise. As a result, developers can continue to profit from building in vulnerable, low-lying coastal areas free of additional regulations that would apply if the state accounted for higher seas.

    “We have to include not only the science,” Rouzer said, “but to consider the reality that if you’re going to use the science but can’t validate it, there could be a negative impact on coastal economies.”

    However, the science of sea level rise and climate change is valid and sound. By dismissing the scientific consensus, bill proponents jeopardize the public health and safety of coastal communities, said Doug Rader, chief oceans scientist with the Environmental Defense Fund. “It is forcing the state to use junk science and puts the future of North Carolina’s economy and ecosystems at risk,” he said.

    This version of the bill made it to the committee after NC-20, a nonprofit governmental group stacked with coastal development and real estate interests (see “Who is NC-20?” below), successfully persuaded a science panel of the Coastal Resources Commission to significantly change its policy proposal. Those amendments included restricting state and local governments to using only select historical data to predict sea level rise. Under those conditions, the forecast is not 3 feet, but 8 inches. On Tuesday, the full Senate passed the bill, 35-12. It now goes to the House…..

    Who is NC-20?

    “If you want to preserve the beauty of the coastal counties while ensuring that we use our God-given assets to increase the quantity and quality of jobs, preserve and increase our tax base, and leave our children a legacy of prosperity, join NC-20.”

    NC-20 Board of Directors

    Dave Burton, board member; founder, Burton Systems Software, Cary”

    Nuff said.

    Reply
    • It is so typical that the immediate reaction of a leftist to disagreement is ad hominem.

      (BS climate change denial and misinformation removed by moderator. Dave Burton banned for attacking science through direct and intentional misrepresentation of the science.)

      Reply
      • Leland Palmer

         /  October 12, 2017

        But doesn’t the physics of the situation guarantee sea level rise? Admittedly, some locations will lag the general trend. But physics tells us that ice will melt, glaciers will accelerate, warming oceans will expand, and sea levels will rise. Numerous other measurements and peer reviewed scientific papers have shown sea level rise in many, many locations. Changing ocean currents and wind patterns may make some locations lag the trend, I think.

        Reply
        • Syd Bridges

           /  October 12, 2017

          I think, Dave, that there is just a scintilla of a possibility that you could be wrong about SLR not increasing. Also, simple physics tells us that, if the Earth warms. both ice will melt and water will expand, and both effects will raise sea levels. As there is a time lag between the addition of greenhouse gas and the Earth coming into equilibrium with the new levels, we are clearly going to see more of it before a new equilibrium is reached-that is, when the incoming solar radiation is again in balance with the outgoing radiation. We are not yet, and will not be in that position, for a long time to come. Tamino has recently done some articles on SLR. For example:

          https://tamino.wordpress.com/2017/07/25/sea-level-rise-has-accelerated/

          As for Happer, his mendacity is well known.

          n a 2015 undercover investigation by Greenpeace, Happer told Greenpeace reporters that he would be willing to produce research promoting the benefits of carbon dioxide for $250 per hour, while the funding sources could be similarly concealed by routing them through the CO2 Coalition. [8]
          https://www.desmogblog.com/william-happer

          As for his argument that we are in “a CO2 famine,” they are clearly ludicrous. Even during the last Ice Age, with CO2 levels around 180 PPM, rain forests thrived. Recent experiments have not confirmed CO2 fertilization Plants evolved over many millions of years to adjust to lower CO2 levels.

        • eleggua

           /  October 13, 2017

        • eleggua

           /  October 13, 2017

        • Bill H

           /  October 14, 2017

          Dave, re: Happer’s claims to be an Atmospheric Physicist: anyone can make a speech, or “colloquium if they’re being pretentious, about Atmospheric Physics. It does not make them an atomospheric physicist. I repeat my question : What’s his track record of peer reviewed publications in this field?

        • James Hansen sea level rise acceleration:

      • Suzanne

         /  October 12, 2017

        DaveBurton…Your first sentence response to Eleggua ……

        “It is so typical that the immediate reaction of a leftist to disagreement is ad hominem.”…is completely uncalled for IMO. You lost all credibility when you try to make a point by first resorting to name calling.

        Reply
        • eleggua

           /  October 12, 2017

          Dave Burton is essentially a denier. Click on the live link for his WordPress name and then click on the last link on his “My real web sites are these three links” page, the one regarding sea level rise. Note, the first post on his page touts
          “an ICON Lecture in Chapel Hill, NC, with my friend, Princeton physicist Will Happer. I’ll be there manning the info table.”

          Here’s a qucik bit about Will Happer, grabbed from Wikipedia and supported by the links the wikip page references.

          “Happer has stated that “Some small fraction of the 1° C warming during the past two centuries must have been due to increasing CO2, which is indeed a greenhouse gas”, but argues that “most of the warming has probably been due to natural causes.”[9] Other scientists dispute that view. Michael Oppenheimer, the lead author of the fourth report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said that Happer’s claims are “simply not true” and that the preponderance of evidence and majority of expert opinion points to a strong anthropogenic influence on rising global temperatures.[10] Climate Science Watch published a point-by-point rebuttal to one of Happer’s articles.[11] A petition that he coauthored to change the official position of the American Physical Society to a version that raised doubts about global warming was overwhelmingly rejected by its membership.”

          A quick bit about ICON, the group that Dave apparently belongs to and where he “manned” the info table for Happer’s “lecture”.

          “…a virulent anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant organizations called ICON (Issues Confronting Our Nation). In the past, ICON has invited bigoted speakers such as Roy Beck, Mark Krikorian, and John Guandolo.”

          Let’s not play this disagreement game with deniers here. Robert doesn’t recommend it; he’s specifically said it’s not worth the time and it’s why he deletes posts that promote distracting nonsense. I’d wager, daveburton will be totally filtered post haste.

          The five minutes I’ve spent here this morning retrieving and posting the info above could’ve been better spent eating corn flakes, rathar than outing “science” flakes.

        • Brian

           /  October 12, 2017

          eleggua, I appreciate your background research, even though it kept you from your corn flakes. +1

        • Suzanne

           /  October 12, 2017

          Ahhhh…now I see…Not only is he a denier..he is a hater, too.
          Thanks Eleggua for your diligent search on Dave’s ideology.
          I agree with Brian +1

        • eleggua

           /  October 12, 2017

          Thanks, Brian. Just finished the bowl! Great stuff; highly recommened and available in bulk at our local coop.

        • eleggua

           /  October 12, 2017

          ‘Sanders to Trump: ‘There are no nice Nazis’’
          August 23, 2017

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/08/23/sanders-to-trump-there-are-no-nice-nazis/

          “At a town hall meeting that occasionally had the feel of a campaign rally, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) opened a new line of attack against the president’s Charlottesville reaction, while urging activists to stay inside the Democratic Party.

          “We have a president who was equivocal — nice people on both sides!” said Sanders in a nighttime event at Fellowship Chapel Church. “No! There are no nice Nazis!”…”

        • Brian

           /  October 12, 2017

          Daveburton, you’ve described the professor’s professional accomplishments. That does not make him a nice guy. Harvey Weinstein produced a lot of movies; we now know he was a terrible guy.

          Don’t be so blinded by their right hand that you can’t see what they are doing with their left hand. (This is what scares me the most about President Trump, is that he’s doing so much harm with his right hand….)

        • eleggua

           /  October 12, 2017

          “he is a hater, too.”

          I’m sorry for allowing that implication; it wasn’t my intention. I don’t know Dave’s heart; some part of his mind is obvious, however.

          This old saw holds true and cuts clean.

        • eleggua

           /  October 12, 2017

          “Don’t be so blinded by their right hand that you can’t see what they are doing with their left hand. (This is what scares me the most about President Trump, is that he’s doing so much harm with his right hand….)”

        • eleggua

           /  October 13, 2017

          Oops.

        • eleggua

           /  October 13, 2017

          “I’ve seen no evidence that the ICON folks are “virulent” anything. I’ve never heard of the three speakers you mentioned, but I’m confident they are not “bigots.” I know ICON brings in wide variety of prominent speakers, but not, AFAIK, bigots.” – daveburton

          A bit about ICON’s (Issues Confronting Our Nation) choice speakers noted by and defended by Dave Burton. ICON cons, their speakers con and Dave cons, if you buy any of their b.s, if you believe their “confident” confidence games. I’m not buying it; it’s all vile, toxic, mean-spirited and unhealthy. Dave, you’re a conman. Every issue you’ve presented and defended here is full of lies.

          Would you invite any of these characters into your home, much less defend their character when you haven’t even taken the time to investigate their positions, as Dave Burton admitted above when he defended theiir character?!???

          ============================================================
          Roy Beck:

          “Beck was … the Washington DC editor of John Tanton’s magazine The Social Contract…
          Social Contract Press (SCP) published The Social Contract magazine.
          Due in part to the SCP’s publication and endorsement of the novel ‘The Camp of the Saints’, it has been described as a “hate group” which “publishes a number of racist works” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. In response, the Social Contract Press devoted its Spring 2010 issue criticizing the SPLC, calling them “profiteers of hate”. Tanton has responded to the SPLC’s characterization by saying that the SCP simply felt that the controversial novel should be available for those interested to read. The SPLC countered that those interested to read the novel tend to be American white supremacists.

          Roxanne Lynn Doty wrote that the SCP website included links to VDARE, FAIR, Numbers USA, the Center for Immigration Studies, American Renaissance and other groups. As of September 2013 these groups were still on their website, with the caveat “Listing a link does not imply endorsement of past, present or future material posted to that website.”

          According to the Washington Post, before Donald Trump’s election to President, Beck had “been marginalized in Washington as an eccentric figure whose views some consider xenophobic or even racist.”
          ============================================================

          Mark Krikorian

          Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies.
          Krikorian’s extremist affiliations, bigoted comments, and questionable actions should make any respectable institution or media outlet think twice before legitimizing him as an “expert” on U.S. immigration policy.

          The policies Krikorian, advocates for are even more despicable. Krikorian knows you can’t deport 10.8 million unauthorized migrants so instead he advocates for what he calls “attrition through enforcement.” Attrition is a military term. It means to wear down your enemy to the point of collapse. Instead of deporting millions of people, Krikorian’s solution is to make them so miserable that they leave on their own. Krikorian wants to make conditions for unauthorized migrants in the U.S. worse than those they are fleeing from.

          The Southern Poverty Law Center…recently branded CIS a hate group. For years, the SPLC has sought to expose what it considers the white nationalist views of John Tanton, the Michigan doctor who helped create CIS and other groups. Krikorian says Tanton is no longer affiliated with CIS.

          CIS puts out a weekly newsletter that links to articles the law center considers racist and anti-Semitic.

          KRIKORIAN: In a sense, our mission is to make immigration skepticism intellectually respectable.
          SPLC: It’s a mission that has put Mark Krikorian in the crosshairs. But it’s also one that’s finally earned him an audience in the Trump administration.
          ============================================================

          John Guandolo:

          Guandolo, who runs a “strategic and operational training & consulting” group named Understanding the Threat, travels the country ostensibly teaching LEOs at every level of government how to seek out terrorist cells in their area. Guandolo’s trainings instead serve as anti-Muslim witch-hunts, often times targeting and vilifying local Muslim leaders.

          Guandolo’s visit was first reported by the Center for New Community in a timeline it keeps of Guandolo’s speaking engagements. This training came at the invitation of the District Attorney’s office, Guandolo has made a career out of demonizing Muslims and promoting ludicrous Islamophobic conspiracy theories…

          At an event in 2011, Guandolo claimed mosques were fronts for the Muslim Brotherhood, and that mosques in general, “do not have a First Amendment right to do anything.” More recently, in a 2016 radio interview, Guandolo said Americans would soon see “dozens of jihadis doing multiple operations in conjunction with the Marxist and socialist groups like Black Lives Matter, which will be, you know, burning and looting cities like they did in Ferguson [Mo.] and Baltimore.”

          Guandolo was dismissed from the FBI for a number of ethical breaches and bizarre conduct which included admitting to having affairs with female FBI agents and a confidential source he was assigned to protect during the corruption case of former U.S. Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.); he also solicited that witness for a $75,000 donation for an anti-terrorism group. Since his departure, Guandolo has devoted himself to a rabid brand of anti-Muslim activism, working closely with some of the most powerful and influential anti-Muslim groups in the U.S., on a flurry of accusations against government officials Guandolo says have ties to terrorist organizations.”

        • Bill h

           /  October 13, 2017

          Dave, Wil Happer is not an atmospheric physicist. His specialism is Adaptive Optics. His soi-disant Climate “Skepticism” is very much a retirement pursuit. Can I suggest that you spend less time writing these very long posts and more time checking your facts?

        • Bill h

           /  October 13, 2017

          This is hilarious. Because someone writes in Scientific American in 1920 that CO2 is “the precious air fertilizer”, we are to conclude it’s “established science” that we have been experiencing a CO2 famine. Yet again, endless cuts and pastes, often of a tangential nature, from Dave, yet journal references come there none.

        • Bill h, did you post the ridiculous claim that Prof. Happer is not really an atmospheric physicist without even bothering to watch his UNC Physics colloquium, or did you try to watch it and just not understand it at all?

        • Bill H

           /  October 14, 2017

          Dave, re: Happer’s claims to be an Atmospheric Physicist: anyone can make a speech, or “colloquium if they’re being pretentious, about Atmospheric Physics. It does not make them an atmospheric physicist. I repeat my question : What’s his track record of peer reviewed publications in this field?

        • Syd Bridges

           /  October 15, 2017

          I’m sorry for the length of this post, Robert, but I feel that I have to defend myself after being “savaged by a sheep” (Quote Dennis Healey). Feel free to delete it if you think it is inappropriate or too long.

          A HUMBLE NOBODY RESPONDS TO AN INTELLECTUAL GIANT OF THE HEARTLAND INSTITUTE

          SYD It is interesting to see that Dave’s bombastic arrogance is so appositely matched by his abysmal ignorance. He’s an economist who dabbles in science and clearly understands very little of it. Did he think that a 5 minute tutorial from Happer-a conspiracy theorist-made him an expert on science?

          • Syd wrote, “simple physics tells us that, if the Earth warms. both ice will melt and water will expand, and both effects will raise sea levels.”

          No, Syd, physics does not tell us that.
          In the first place, If you warm ice, for example, from –45°C to –35°C, how much of it will melt?

          SYD Nobody, except apparently Dave, thinks that the ice sheets will just sit there and slowly melt. That would take thousands of years. But ice sheets are dynamic and glaciers flow. This is how most of the water is discharged from ice sheets into the oceans. He could ask a glaciologist like Richard Alley for advice on that.
          A rise of 10 degrees from -45 C to -35 C will increase the rate at which ice flows from the ice caps into the sea. Viscosity goes down with temperature, and this is indeed simple physics. For everyone’s benefit, I will include the Ice Flow Equation normally used to calculate this.
          . A common form for the flow law for creep of crystalline materials at high temperature, and the one we take for the creep of ice, is

          ε = Ad-Pσ ne-(.E* + PV*)/RT

          Where P is pressure, or more accurately the mean stress (Equation 2), d is grain size,
          T is temperature, R is the gas constant, and A p ,n,E*, and V* are flow constants. See here

          http://web.mit.edu/wbdurham/www/papers/71-Durham-and-Stern-2001.pdf

          Please note the e-(.E* + PV*)/RT term, which implies that the rate of flow will rise exponentially with temperature. I’m sure that, as an economist, Dave is familiar with exponentials, as most economic fantasies are based on exponential growth-unlike reality.
          There will also be some SLR from thermal expansion of water in the oceans, though land-based ice will add far more. \END SYD

          In the second place, ice melting is a relatively minor factor w/r/t ice mass balance. I just covered that topic, here:
          https://robertscribbler.com/2017/10/11/significant-monsters-climate-change-enhanced-wildfires-tear-widening-swath-through-california/#comment-126683

          SYD Quoting a real expert there, isn’t he? Perhaps he should read about how warm deep seawater is undermining the Totten and other ice shelves. Quoting people at
          http://www.antarcticglaciers.org/glaciers-and-climate/antarctic-ice-sheet-surface-mass-balance/

          Surface mass balance of Antarctica in the future
          Climate models predict that, for a generally warmer climate, snowfall will increase over Antarctica7. Surface melt will increase around the more northerly Antarctic Peninsula, and dynamic changes such as increased ice discharge12, ice-shelf collapse and grounding line recession13, and marine ice-sheet instability are likely to offset any increases in precipitation7. However, if no dynamical ice response is assumed, then increases in snowfall over the entire continent of 6-16% to 2100 AD and 8-25% to 2200 AD are likely to result in a drop in sea level of 20-43 mm in 2100 and 73-163 in 2200, compared with today14. However, it is more likely that the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets will lose mass over the next century, with rapid coastal changes, increases in ice flow and ice-shelf collapse all likely4. As a result of these complex expected changes, there are a number of uncertainties in past, present and future ice sheet mass balance.

          I think we can look forward to that 43 mm drop. There’s an opportunity for the good folks at Heartland to make a killing on low-lying Florida real estate. They can ignore the second to last alarmist sentence, but they should show it to would-be vendors.

          Syd wrote, “…there is a time lag between the addition of greenhouse gas and the Earth coming into equilibrium with the new levels…”
          That’s true. ECS (equilibrium climate sensitivity) is generally estimated to be about 1.5× TCR (transient climate response).
          Mankind has been driving up GHG levels pretty dramtically for nearly fifty years. We’ve already seen most of the TCR-warming from that increase. But ECS is defined to be the warming after GHG levels have been maintained for several hundred years, so we obviously haven’t seen that.

          SYD About half the CO2 has been added since 1983. NASA gives 342.55 PPM as the average for that year. I guess that this year will average about 405 PPM. Values have been as high as 410 PPM and this week’s MLO reading is a little above the minimum at 403.42. (See https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/weekly.html
          We really don’t know what the short-term equilibrium change of temperature will be or when it will be reached. Therefore, to assume we have seen most of it is totally unjustified.

          Syd wrote, “Tamino has recently done some articles on SLR…”
          Grant Foster (Tamino) gets a lot of things wrong. His blog is heavily censored to stifle even polite dissent, and especially to prevent corrections of his own errors. That conclusion is the result of my personal experience — coincidentally, from trying to comment on his blog about this very topic.

          SYD Grant Foster knows as well as I do that no one from the Heartland Institute has any intention of commenting honestly on any climate related topic. His forum is for serious discussion, not fossil fuel shills’ propaganda.

          Prof. Happer is a mensch. He’s a kind, generous, thoughtful man, of tremendous intellect and exceptional character, and he’s a leading expert on atmospheric physics and climate science. When someone trashes him with vicious, blatant, intentional lies, by suggesting that he would ever misrepresent his honest scientific assessment, or by claiming that his generous donations of his speaking fees to charities were money laundering, as Greenpeace and DeSmogBlog did, it infuriates me.
          Such behavior should cause anyone of good character to end his or her association with those despicable organizations. But to the best of my knowledge, not a single person associated with Greenpeace or DeSmogBlog has ended that association, because of their defamation of Prof. Happer. That tells me all I need to know about those people.

          Syd wrote, “As for his argument that we are in ‘a CO2 famine,’ they are clearly ludicrous.”
          You’re wrong, he’s right, and it’s not even controversial.
          It has been known to science for a century. That’s why, in 1920, Scientific American called anthropogenic CO2 (from blast furnace exhaust) “the precious air fertilizer.” (If you google that phrase you’ll find that article.)
          AR5 estimates that, already, with CO2 levels only about 120 ppmv above “natural” levels, CO2 fertilization (greening) is removing 27–29% of human CO2 emissions from the atmosphere, because even that small increase in CO2 level has been very beneficial for plants.
          But more would be better yet. That’s why most commercial greenhouses use CO2 generators to maintain CO2 levels at 1200–1500 ppmv: because it is very dramatically helpful for most plants, including all fruits, nuts & vegetables.

          SYD Garbage. The IPCC also found that plants grown under higher CO2 levels contained less nitrogen, even if some of them had more carbohydrate. Levels of other minerals also declined.
          I think that these two articles tell us that I am right and his Emeritus friend is wrong.

          https://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2017/feb/21/trumps-potential-science-adviser-william-happer-hanging-around-with-conspiracy-theorists

          And who will pay the price for this CO2 fertilization nonsense? Why, the poor, of course.

          https://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2015/jun/17/how-fossil-fuel-emissions-could-take-protein-from-the-diets-of-the-worlds-poorest-people

          I’m not including these references for Dave’s benefit, but as an antidote for anyone who might think he has the scientific authority he pretends to have.

        • After reading through the thread, this comment makes more sense to me. So I’m going to go ahead and approve it.

          For reference, Happer is a know climate change denier who has published very little in the way of actual peer reviewed climate science. Anyone supporting him should be highly suspect.

          Dave Burton has been banned from this forum and should not trouble anyone here with his histrionics or nonsense any longer.

      • eleggua

         /  October 12, 2017

        “a leftist ”

        Not a leftist, not a rightist. I’m only human.

        Outing you here isn’t an ad hominem. There’s no truth to what yoiu’ve presented. You wonder why other attempts at posting comments here didn’t work? I don’t; it obvious, as I said and shown by displaying your own history, that you’ve an agenda. As stated here before by our host, the author of these articles that we comment on, there’s no time left for playing the “disagreement” game with deniers.

        Reply
      • wpNSAlito

         /  October 12, 2017

        All sea level is local. Let’s see that again: ALL SEA LEVEL IS LOCAL.
        There is high local variability for factors in sea level at any part of coasts. Comparing CO2 to one point on the coastline (as with the Hilo, HI curve) is cynical cherry-picking.

        Parts of Scandinavia, for instance, has for centuries shown sea level “falling” due to its post-glaciation isostatic rebound. One part of the coast of Italy is over a large magma chamber, making it geologically akin to a trampoline over its history. Mass loss from Antarctica and Greenland melt lowers the gravitational pull of oceans locally, which is a factor to *lower* sea level in the region. Conversely, over canalization of south Louisiana has accelerated land subsidence there, contributing to local sea level rise.

        The only valid comparison to *global* temperature is Global Mean Sea Level Rise, whereby the oceans are treated–on average–as (fluid expansion) thermometers.

        Here’s an example of the variety of influences on one stretch of US coastline:

        Reply
      • Bill h

         /  October 13, 2017

        Oh, dear, sea level at a place called Duck is to be taken as a proxy for global average sea level. This really is dismal, Dave.

        Reply
        • Bill h

           /  October 13, 2017

          Dave, Why are you only quoting individual tide gauge measurements when satellite altimetry gives us the trends for sea level rise everywhere?

  17. Kassy

     /  October 12, 2017

    Here’s How Hot The United States Will Be Every Decade From Now Until 2090

    Ever wonder how hot your city or town will be when your kids are grown? With the use of an intuitive and useful tool by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric and Organization (NOAA), you can zoom into your address and track how hot it will likely get over the coming decades.

    With NOAA’s Climate Explorer you’re able to toggle through a number of different variables, move between decades, and compare a low vs high carbon emission future.

    The tool uses the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change future climate models, the most advanced models in the world for predicting future conditions. There are two model runs, one with a slight reduction in global emissions and one that captures a business as usual scenario.

    more + link to the app on:
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2017/10/12/hot-united-states-every-decade-2090/#23e2faba3885

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  October 13, 2017

      Forbes doesn’t allow non-cookie reading. No Forbes here; no Forbes cookies allowed here.

      Reply
      • Thanks for the info!!re polynya.

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  October 12, 2017

        “who knows nothing about science ”

        Yes, who would that be?

        ‘ The State That ‘Outlawed Climate Change’ Accepts Latest Sea-Level Rise Report’
        By Dave DeWitt • May 4, 2015

        http://wunc.org/post/state-outlawed-climate-change-accepts-latest-sea-level-rise-report

        “…On the other side of the spectrum, some are still not yet ready to accept overwhelming scientific consensus.

        “The most important fact that everyone needs to understand about sea-level is that it has not accelerated at all in response to human greenhouse gas emissions,” said Dave Burton, a frequent critic of the Science Panel.”

        Reply
        • eleggua

           /  October 12, 2017

        • eleggua

           /  October 12, 2017

          To wit, don’t know Dave DeWitt yet but will check him out thanks to the backwards recommendation. Don’t watch tv including Colbert however he is quite funny, using facts to flay the fat and the fake.

      • eleggua

         /  October 12, 2017

        Here’s a better, more informative article than the one you linked, Jean.
        It does state that the polyna is in Antarctica, in the Weddell Sea, part of the Southern Ocean. Due to it’s being ice covered where the polyna occured, the Weddell Sea is considered by governing nations to be a part of Antarctica.

        “Much of the southern part of the sea is covered by a permanent, massive ice shelf field, the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf (not pack ice). The sea is contained within the two overlapping Antarctic territorial claims of Argentina, (Argentine Antarctica) and Britain (British Antarctic Territory), and also resides partially within the territorial claim of Chile (Antarctic Chilean Territory).”

        Antarctica: Return of the Weddell polynya supports Kiel climate model
        September 29, 2017

        https://phys.org/news/2017-09-antarctica-weddell-polynya-kiel-climate.html

        “In the mid-1970s a large ice-free area in the Weddell Sea east of the Antarctic Peninsula was observed by satellites during winter. Now, 40 years later, the phenomenon shows up again. Its recurrence supports climate model studies by a research group at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, who identified the so-called polynya as part of natural climate variability and explained its causes and effects in several publications in recent years….

        ….two major questions remain: how often does the polynya occur and does climate change influence this process? “If there are hardly any observations, computer models help to simulate the interactions between the ocean, the atmosphere and the sea ice,” explains Dr. Annika Reintges, first author of the most recent study by the Kiel group about this topic. The models apply fundamental physical laws to simulate climate. Real data such as the bathymetry and actual climate observations used as a starting point provide a framework in which the models run.”….

        In general, the climate scientists at GEOMAR, like many colleagues around the world, are keen to differentiate natural climate variability from manmade changes. “Global warming is not a linear process and happens on top of internal variability inherent to the climate system. The better we understand these natural processes, the better we can identify the anthropogenic impact on the climate system”, resumes Professor Latif.”

        Reply
      • Chuck

         /  October 13, 2017

        Dave Burton, are you a paid troll or a hapless idiot? Either way you’re going to a lot of trouble to post bullshit and clog up the thread. We have a Climate emergency to deal with and you’re intentionally staying off topic so people will respond to your nonsense. Most people here already understand the Science AND don’t have to educate a MORON like yourself.

        Reply
    • eleggua

       /  October 12, 2017

      Jean, bostonblorp posted about the polyna up above, third comment on this article. Robert responded up there, too.

      Reply
  18. Leland Palmer

     /  October 12, 2017

    One factor I hadn’t previously considered in the strength and ferocity of these fires are the dead trees left over from the 2011-2017 drought. According to Wikipedia, about 100 million trees died in the drought with 60 million dead in 2016 alone.

    Then in 2017, we had an extremely wet year, leading to massive growth of grass and brush. Then we had hot conditions, drying out the undergrowth. So, the dead trees were fuel, the undergrowth was the kindling, and the Red Flag warning abnormal humidity conditions from an influx of desert air back over the Sierras may have created the spark.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/california-fire-risk-drought-weather-1.4180925

    “No one joins the California Conservation Corps. to cut down trees. But where visitors to Sequoia National Forest see grey trunks and leafless branches, forestry worker Jose Castaneda sees kindling.

    “It feels really sad to see so many dead trees,” he says. “But at the same time we’re saving other trees’ lives.”

    Then he slips on his safety glasses and fires up his chainsaw. The race is on. Hundreds of workers deployed in forests across the state have to remove as many dead trees as they can before lightning or a match set California’s forests alight.

    Even though it’s only the start of the fire season, it already looks like it’s going to be a bad one. California hasn’t been hit by anything as big as the Brian Head fire currently raging in Utah, but what this year’s fires have lacked in size, they’ve more than made up for in number.

    Together, they have already burned three times as much territory as this time last year, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.”

    It would be interesting to look at the dead tree numbers in Sonoma and Napa specifically.

    But there is ample indication of influence of climate change on this disaster, I think.

    Reply
    • Genomik

       /  October 12, 2017

      Yeah the dead trees are all over the state. My friend was recently thinking of moving to the Sierra foothills. He went there and looked around and many trees were dead and the forests looked unhealthy and stressed and felt like death so he decided to not go that way.

      Spoke to a tree guy and he said they folks are cutting so many trees down around their homes in California. As an eaxample my friend bought a property at about 4000ft elevation 20 years ago. The first 15 years it was great then the drought started 6 years ago. Last year he told me he had 30 dead trees killed by drought/beetles. The cost was $30,000 so he got this unexpected bill and he had to take them down by law and by common sense.
      This winter really dropped enormous rain. Lake oroville that almost broke from rain this winter is due east of these fires. There’s soooo much scrub and chaparral around there it’s crazy.
      The last 6 years drought has really damaged the state. I knew when we had the record heat last month things would be bad. It was sooooo hot and dry last month that California’s ag crops really took a hit. The grapes grown in napa were damaged by the heat. It made the grapes ripen rapidly and wineries cut grapes soon. Many other crops as well. This was all a harbinger of a terrible summer.

      Reply
      • Genomik

         /  October 12, 2017

        The tree guy noted that while you can take trees out of defensible perimeters by just spending $$$$ it’s very difficult to easily thin deep inaccessible forests.

        Once the trees die they are not as valuable as lumber. Over time the dead wood can crack and bugs and microbes start to move in, especially softwoods which are common in California. Each year a dead tree sits there it, particularly during winter, bugs bacteria and fungus likely goes up it.

        Furthermore it’s hard to literally get the dead trees out of forests. Helicopters don’t make sense in general.

        So the entire state is filled with dead trees. So that’s a climate change induced additional cause to why these fires are so serious and will continue to be so until they burn down or rot to the ground.

        Reply
        • eleggua

           /  October 12, 2017

          Yep, and yep to what your friend noted re: the Sierra Foothills. In the middle of a major fire there a couple of years ago, orange skies, ash snowing down, evacuating properties, watching dry trees explode. The beetles are devasting out there, too, contributing to the problem of quick-spreading fires.

          It is still beautiful out there, in the heart of Gold Country, and local communities are filled with great folks, welcoming folks. Your friend might give it another look, if they haven’t already settled on somewhere else. It’s a home-away-from-home for me.

        • paul

           /  October 13, 2017

          Expect future landslides with the increasingly concentrated precipitation events and, now, treeless ground.

      • Genomik

         /  October 12, 2017

        Here’s a link about using dead trees for lumber.
        http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/#/topics/13735?page=2

        Reply
  19. Leland Palmer

     /  October 12, 2017

    Another good constantly updated topographic map:

    https://caltopo.com/map.html#ll=38.47743,-122.71783&z=12&b=oo&a=modis_mp

    This one can be easily be zoomed down to the street level.

    Reply
  20. Greg

     /  October 12, 2017

    a GIF that shows the fires and the smoke coverage time lapsed:

    Reply
  21. wili

     /  October 12, 2017

    Mid-Thursday update. Several of the fires have merged. The winds have eased a bit, but are expected to pick back up this weekend.

    NWS: On Tuesday, our air quality monitors nearest the fires measured the highest PM 2.5 concentrations on record in the Bay Area since hourly monitoring began in 2009.

    At least 24 dead in horrific California wildfires, hundreds missing

    Firefighters were still battling 22 wildfires in multiple counties as of Thursday morning. Intensified by strong winds, the flames have charred more than 180,000 acres of land, damaged or destroyed at least 3,500 structures and forced nearly 20,000 residents to evacuate, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. …

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/thousands-flee-wildfires-ravage-california-23-killed/story

    Reply
  22. wili

     /  October 12, 2017

    California just finished its hottest summer in history — these record-breaking fires are no coincidence.

    Reply
  23. Erik Frederiksen

     /  October 12, 2017

    From an article by Mark Lynas, author of the book 6 degrees, which looked at 6 scenarios of what the Earth might look like at 1-6 degrees C above pre-industrial temperature.

    “3C may be the “tipping point” where global warming could run out of control, leaving us powerless to intervene as planetary temperatures soar.

    The centre of this predicted disaster is the Amazon, where the tropical rainforest, which today extends over millions of square kilometres, would burn down in a firestorm of epic proportions.

    Computer model projections show worsening droughts making Amazonian trees, which have no evolved resistance to fire, much more susceptible to burning.

    Once this drying trend passes a critical threshold, any spark could light the firestorm which destroys almost the entire rainforest ecosystem.

    Once the trees have gone, desert will appear and the carbon released by the forests’ burning will be joined by still more from the world’s soils.

    This could boost global temperatures by a further 1.5ºC – tippping us straight into the four-degree world.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2007/apr/23/scienceandnature.climatechange

    Reply
    • Please note that the article is dated in 2007–over 10 years ago. Later in that same article it states that we have at most “10 years” to avoid the worst case scenarios…Well, we’ve blown by those 10 years, folks–and we are no closer to severely curtailing much less stopping any additional fossil fuel emissions into our atmosphere. Ouch!

      Reply
  24. eleggua

     /  October 12, 2017

    Laura and Jorge Posada just updated the YouCaring page for their Puerto Rico relief effort.

    ‘Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief Fund
    For: Families and kids devastated by Hurricane Maria San Juan, San Juan, Puerto Rico’
    https://www.youcaring.com/familiesandkidsdevastatedbyhurricanemaria-956568

    They linked to a piece on TMZ, from which I’ll c’n’p a bit here.

    “TMZ Sports spoke with Jorge and his wife Laura — who just got back from another humanitarian mission to P.R. — where they brought food, supplies, water and more to people in need.

    But they’re not going at it alone — the Posadas joined forces with superstars like Gloria Estefan, Ray Allen, Luis Fonsi (the “Despacito” guy!), Ricky Martin, Carlos Arroyo, Bernie Williams, Ivan Rodriguez and more.

    The gang has flown into P.R. together to distribute aid to residents. They’ve also raised more than $300,000 in their YouCaring page.

    Laura Posada says she and Jorge have personally flown to P.R. three times already — “We’ve brought back in each plane 50 people. And this Friday, we’re going to do that again.”

    “We’re gonna send a plane with 10,000 pounds and we’re gonna to bring back 15 patients. And these are patients that are critically in need of medical treatment.””

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  October 12, 2017

      Agent Orange strikes again.

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  October 12, 2017

        “The threat may mean less than it appears — federal government officials quickly said that they were not pulling out of Puerto Rico anytime soon. But it provoked another wave of criticism from the island and its supporters who expressed astonishment that the president would assail the very people he was supposed to be assisting.

        Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of the capital of San Juan who has been critical of Mr. Trump’s response and blasted by him in return, condemned his latest message as adding “insult to injury” and called on international organizations to step in to prevent “the genocide that will result from” Mr. Trump’s inaction.
        Continue reading the main story

        “Tweet away your hate to mask your administration’s mishandling of this humanitarian crisis,” she said, addressing the president. “While you are amusing yourself throwing paper towels at us, your compatriots and the world are sending love and help our way. Condemn us to a slow death of nondrinkable water, lack of food, lack of medicine while you keep others eager to help from reaching us.””

        Reply
  25. Droughts and wildfires: How global warming is drying up the North American monsoon
    New insights into the droughts and wildfires of the southwestern US and northwestern Mexico.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171009123151.htm

    Reply
  26. wili

     /  October 12, 2017

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/california-wildfires-getting-worse_us_59deb019e4b0eb18af06162b?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

    ••• California Authorities Say Wildfires Are Only Getting Worse •••

    “I’ve been in the fire service for over 30 years, and I’m horrified at what I’ve seen,” said Cal Fire public information officer Jerry Fernandez.

    “Three days after catastrophic wildfires first began scorching Northern California’s wine country, authorities say the conditions are likely to deteriorate still further.

    “It’s actually getting worse,” Sonoma Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Spencer Crum said on Wednesday afternoon. “The winds have picked up today, and we have more evacuations.”

    Since late Sunday evening, wildfires in Sonoma, Napa and neighboring counties have spread rapidly, killing at least 23 people, injuring more than 100 and leaving hundreds missing, according to the Sonoma Sheriff’s Office. Thousands have been forced to flee their homes after mandatory evacuations.

    Worsening wind conditions on Wednesday caused flames to spread further, leading authorities to issue more evacuation orders and warn that some of the smaller fires might merge into one large fire…”

    Reply
  27. Greg

     /  October 12, 2017

    Ophelia has already set records in the Atlantic and may be getting bigger headlines this weekend/Monday when it likely directly impacts Europe.

    Reply
    • wili

       /  October 12, 2017

      How many hurricane-related records does that make that we broke just in the last few weeks??

      Reply
    • eleggua

       /  October 13, 2017

      Current track prediction shows it hitting Ireland as a hurricane.

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  October 13, 2017

        Met Éireann Weather Warning System
        ‘Weather Advisory for Ireland’
        Issued: Thursday 12 October 2017 14:00
        Valid: Thursday 12 October 2017 14:00 to Tuesday 17 October 2017 06:00

        https://www.met.ie/nationalwarnings/default.asp

        “A combination of a vigorous Atlantic weather system and the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia will pass close to Ireland on Monday, and has the potential to be a high-impact event in parts of the country. There is a lot of uncertainty as to the exact evolution and movement of this weather system during the coming four days, but storm-force winds, outbreaks of heavy rain, and very high seas are threatened. Met Eireann will maintain a close watch on the evolution and issue further advisories and warnings as these are warranted.”

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  October 13, 2017

        “Current track prediction shows it hitting Ireland as a hurricane.”

        Correction. Current track shows it weakening and downgrading to tropical storm just before reaching the Emerald Isle. (Not the one in North Carolina, of course.)

        http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCPAT2+shtml/130850.shtml

        Reply
    • eleggua

       /  October 13, 2017

      ‘Ophelia becomes record 10th straight hurricane, heads towards Europe’
      Thu October 12, 2017

      http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/12/world/hurricane-ophelia-ireland/index.html

      “Tropical Storm Ophelia strengthened Wednesday into a hurricane, becoming the 10th consecutive named storm in the Atlantic to reach hurricane intensity.
      But the storm’s more lasting legacy may be its unusual northeasterly track towards Europe.
      Hurricane Ophelia’s projected path will take the storm very close to Ireland and the United Kingdom on Monday and Tuesday. And while cooler northern waters mean Ophelia won’t have the intensity of recent storms that have slammed the US, it is still likely to pack hurricane-force winds….

      The fact that 10 consecutive storms have reached hurricane status speaks to the unrelenting nature of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. Seemingly every thunderstorm complex in the basin turned into a hurricane over the past two months, with many undergoing “rapid intensification” and reaching the top levels of the Saffir-Simpson scale.

      Such a record streak hasn’t happened since 1893. It actually has happened four times (in 1878, 1886, 1893 and 2017), but named storms were much more likely to be hurricanes back in the 1800s because a lack of satellites and other technology meant only the strongest storms and those making landfall would be noticed. This makes 10 straight hurricanes in the modern era an even more impressive feat…..”

      Reply
    • eleggua

       /  October 13, 2017

      Won’t be the first-ever hurricane to hit Ireland, if it does make landfall there, and not likely to be the strongest ever there either.
      However, it’s an unusual occurance.

      ‘Hurricane Ophelia set to batter Ireland with 120kmh winds’
      October 13 2017 2:30 AM

      http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/hurricane-ophelia-set-to-batter-ireland-with-120kmh-winds-36222719.html

      “Winds of over 120km/h are set to batter the country when Hurricane Ophelia reaches Ireland early next week, Met Eireann has warned.
      Ophelia is currently picking up speed as it crosses the Atlantic and we are expected to feel the effects of it on Monday and Tuesday.

      Met Eireann forecaster Liz Walsh told the Irish Independent: “It is coming towards Ireland, basically the hurricane is south-west of the Azores right now and it is tracking towards Portugal.
      “As it comes north over the weekend it will change into an extra-tropical cyclone and it is tracking towards Ireland and the UK.
      “At the moment the track is very uncertain and it is therefore quite difficult to decipher where the strongest winds will be.
      “It does look like it will hit Ireland on Monday, and heading into Tuesday it will be very stormy.”
      She said that Met Eireann has predicted gusts in “excess of 120km/h”.

      Ms Walsh also warned that Ophelia could also cause heavy showers here.
      She said: “At the moment this is more of a wind event than a rain event but of course the possibility of heavy rainfall with an extra-tropical cyclone cannot be ruled out.”

      The UK Met Office has also revealed they are closely monitoring the situation.
      Forecaster Alex Burkhill said: “It’s definitely something that we are keeping an eye on, for the possibility of some disruptive weather early next week.”

      Ophelia is the tenth consecutive storm to reach hurricane level strength in the Atlantic so far this year, it is also the 15th named storm.

      The high-speed winds set to hit Ireland early next week are still significantly less than the 180km/h gales that battered the Irish coast during Hurricane Debbie in 1961.
      Winds of up to 181kmph were measured at Malin Head that day, one of the highest on record in Ireland.
      The same gust speed had previously been measured in Foynes, Co Limerick, on January 18, 1945 before the instrument pen went off the chart.
      In total 11 deaths were attributed to Hurricane Debbie and extensive damage to property was recorded across the Western half of the country.”

      Reply
  28. Kassy

     /  October 12, 2017

    NASA reveals El Niño is to blame for record breaking jump in carbon dioxide levels

    The 2015-2016 El Niño led to the biggest one-year jump in carbon dioxide concentrations 2,000 years
    El Niño is the natural warming of parts of the central Pacific that affects weather around the world
    El Niño-related heat and drought in tropical regions of South America, Africa and Indonesia were responsible
    El Niño made it more difficult for plants to suck up man-made carbon emissions and sparked fires that released more carbon into the atmosphere

    ‘OCO-2 has given us two revolutionary new ways to understand the effects of drought and heat on tropical forests: directly measuring carbon dioxide over these regions thousands of times a day; and sensing the rate of photosynthesis by detecting fluorescence from chlorophyll in the trees themselves,’ said Dr Denning.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4975036/Another-El-Nino-problem-More-carbon-dioxide-air.html

    Reply
    • wili

       /  October 12, 2017

      Wellll, El Nino _and_ industrial society’s addiction to belching some 40 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year, not to mention tipping points falling, exacerbating feedbacks kicking in, carbon sinks turning into carbon sources…

      Reply
        • Allan Barr

           /  October 13, 2017

          One trillion tons of Carbon in the top three metres of continuous arctic permafrost. Am highlighting an old comment from 2012.
          Appears to me 50 billion tons coming out abruptly from the East Siberian Arctic shelf is just peanuts compared to what is currently stirring. Its also interesting that Alan says CO2e of CH4 is 100X. Its my opinion that as long as CH4 levels continue to rise we should use the 100X.
          Appears pretty clear that its going to get far hotter than most suspect as this permafrost rapidly melts.
          Alan D. Roth says:
          8 Jan 2012 at 12:28 AM
          I find it encouraging to see so many comments mentioning possible very nasty surprises ahead. I’ll throw some numbers into the mix here to show that we do indeed have a black swan in the making.
          Ted Shuur (http://www.biology.ufl.edu/ecosystemdynamics/Schuur.html) is one of the leading researchers on carbon in permafrost. He estimates that there are about 1,000 Pg (1 trillion tons) of carbon in the top 3 meters of the continuous Arctic permafrost. Back in 2005, using the NCAR CCSM3 model, Lawrence & Slater (GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 32, L24401, 5 PP., 2005) estimated that about 90% of the continuous permafrost down to the model’s depth of 3.43 meters would thaw this century.
          This was before we saw the disappearance of so much Arctic sea ice that has dramatically increased the thermal energy in the Arctic Ocean. Simulations executed by the NCAR suggest that the warming can penetrate as far as 900 miles inland (over the permafrost). By the way, much of the continuous permafrost is ice-laden (Shuur). It is difficult to say how long the soil would remain wet.
          So we have about 900 billion tons of carbon going into the atmosphere this century. I haven’t seen any mention of this anywhere but perhaps others have. Early on much of it will be in the form of methane. The IPCC dictum to use 25 as the Global Warming Potential for CH4 is ridiculous. Its perturbation lifetime is 12 years so let’s look at what it does early on. A few years ago when I first realized the potential scenario in the Arctic, I asked Dan Lashof, an environmentalist at NRDC who is also a mathematician and was involved with establishing the first round of GWPs in the early ’90s, how strong is CH4 compared to CO2 during CH4’s lifetime? He came up with a number of 100 times stronger when a batch is first emitted. We know that it diminishes to 72 after 20 years. We didn’t graph it but it’s clear that CH4 will be seriously radiating back onto the permafrost at that level before it spreads to lower latitudes. Add to this the thermal energy from the Arctic waters and you have a dangerous concoction.
          Richard Alley found in ice core samples 23 abrupt climate changes over the past 100,000 years (Two Mile Time Machine). The temperature increased 14 to 18 degrees F each time and while many took 10 to 20 years, even more took only 3 years. Even though conditions were different then, we know that abrupt climate change in the Arctic can happen. How long will it be before methane emissions reach a critical mass and, with help from the thermal energy of the Arctic Ocean, create a cascade of rapidly thawing permafrost and rising temperature? Ten years from now? Twenty years?
          David’s worst case scenario is paltry compared to what I believe is a very rational scenario that I’ve presented. I can take it further looking at how the abrupt change in the Arctic would affect global climate. With so much more methane in the atmosphere, OH would be diminished, adding to methane’s lifetime. And when the methane is broken down eventually by OH, we have CO2 with its long life and the more immediate effects of the added water vapor.
          CO2e could be far above 1,000 ppm by the end of the century but by 2050 or even 2030 it could already be untenable. People want to think that somehow we can turn this around but it may already be out of our control. Perhaps that’s why we don’t see anyone putting two and two together. We hear “Ah! There’s always the tundra!” as if that is enough said about this threat. I’m glad to see this discussion started.
          I have a lot more written material on the permafrost and I’ve thought about publishing an article on it. Maybe the time has come.

        • wili

           /  October 13, 2017

          Thanks, AB. I generally ignore trolls these days. But thanks for the well informed post.

        • eleggua

           /  October 13, 2017

          Yay, Allan! Great stuff; thanks for the cogent, extremely knowlegable rebuttal. Looking forward to your article.

        • Mark in New England

           /  October 13, 2017

          Dave Burton – ever hear about ‘ocean acidification’? No theory there – it’s being measured in real time. Yes, it’s great in the short-term that the ocean is such a great carbon sink – but at what future cost? Better to reduce emissions than risk a mass extinction of marine life and the Canfield ocean that we may face in a few centuries.

        • You do realize just about everyone on here reads peer reviewed papers rigght ? I myself have been reading sciences since I was 15 ….We also know how to research , that includes the characters you list ? Happer ? haha , If I made a list of accomplishments made by ….James Hanson ? how about Guy McPherson ? Won highest honors there are twice at U.Arizona and tenured at age 39 before speaking out against the carnage and pollution of industrializing the world ? Have you ever read his 30000 word essay AND read through the links at N B L ? …Anyway I m glad you FEEL GOD about finding your predetermined outcome to a problem …..please go back to the B S show at Brietbart or WUWT …..Take care Dave , but hope your gone soon , I read here to avoid your type !! Dont bother responding , be a waste of time for you. .

        • Bill H

           /  October 13, 2017

          Dave continues his stream of claims unsupported by evidence. Now he’s on to the non-existence of positive feedbacks arising from CO2-forced warming. Dave, did you know that (i) the specific vapour pressure of water increases with temperature, (ii) water vapour is a greenhouse gas? Ergo: water vapour is a positive feedback, not just for CO2 but for any other forcing.

          Dave: nil, Climate Science: 4.

  29. g. orwell

     /  October 12, 2017

    climate change “elephant in room”; just 11 minutes for an intro to a critical aspect

    Reply
  30. Vernon Hamilton

     /  October 12, 2017

    can you feel your soul burning away as you type?
    for whose benefit? are you being cut in appropriately? or are they laughing at you when you are working so hard?

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  October 13, 2017

      Reply
      • Jim

         /  October 13, 2017

        +10 Eleggua, Wili, Suzanne, Vernon and many others,

        Thanks to all of you that contribute to the richness of the conversation here on Robert’s blog. I’ve always found your comments to be well reasoned, balanced, and substantive.

        With regards to the visit from the well known climate change denier this evening, and the download of data related to his “hobby” of ocean level rises, his reputation is well known.
        While it may be true that North Carolina’s, as well as New Orleans’ sea level rise are due to a combination of subsidence and sea level rise, and that this fact may be locally under-appreciated, it does nothing to the fact that global sea level rises are accelerating according to well vetted NOAA data. Those areas experiencing simultaneous subsidence will fare worse than other non-subsidence “high quality data” areas. There’s no mystery to this.

        It’s not that everything he says is inaccurate. It’s worse than that. It’s that he uses tidbits of real data to try to lead people to an incorrect conclusion. Fortunately most here can easily see through such prevarication quite easily. It’s an issue of being able to see the forest for the trees.

        It’s a real shame that this “conversation” occurred on an article about the destruction accentuated – yes, most likely by climate change – of increasingly intense alternating cycles of drought, rainfall, and overall increasing temperatures – leading to massive loss of life, home and livelihood. My prayers go out to all affected, and my thanks go out to all of those here trying to ensure a better environment for future generations.

        ~ Jim

        Reply
        • eleggua

           /  October 13, 2017

          Well said, Jim. Thank you.

        • Suzanne

           /  October 13, 2017

          Jim, thank you.

        • Bill H

           /  October 13, 2017

          Jim, The writer, Rebecca West, in a particularly cynical mood, claimed that there was no such things as conversations, merely intersections of monologues. Viewing Dave’s efforts I feel she had a point.

        • Dave came here with the expectation to shrink minds and obfuscate facts. You can’t have a conversation with someone who comes to a forum with such a-priori bad intentions. The best outcome is to isolate and remove.

    • Allan Barr

       /  October 13, 2017

      Deniers do not have souls, they exchanged them for trillions of dollars income each year. Their goal is simple, delay for as long as possible via obfuscation. They care nothing about their souls nor our biosphere. They care nothing about the science either, majority of them already know what they are doing is immoral and likely consequences deadly for humanity and all apex lifeforms. Interacting with them is pointless. They actually deserve to be prosecuted and have little doubt sometime in the future many of them will have to answer for their crimes.

      http://insideclimatenews.org/sites/default/files/documents/1982%20Exxon%20Primer%20on%20CO2%20Greenhouse%20Effect.pdf

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  October 13, 2017

        Indeed.

        The current global struggle is more about the struggle for the soul than it is about climate change, at least at this moment in our time. We humans will surmount that struggle for there’s no other way to go forward, and there’s no other way to exist than to resolve the struggle to survive our self.

        Love your planet, not their plan for it.
        Love your soul; love yourself; love your self.
        It’s all one and the same; we’re all one and the same.

        You, too, Dave Burton, whether you love it or not.

        Reply
      • Bill H

         /  October 13, 2017

        Allan, I disagree with you on that. Sure a lot are in it for the money, but there are many who do it for “love”, or rather out of hate for environmentalists, “leftists”, etc. etc. There’s a lot of tribal hate about at the moment.Wish I knew how to defuse it.

        Reply
        • eleggua

           /  October 14, 2017

          Yep. It is emotion-driven for many. Again, it’s a struggle for the soul of our species.
          Love is the answer, the defuser, and that’s not easy to activate until we make it easy.
          Even then, applying love effectively is tricky when interacting with hate and ignorance.

  31. Syd Bridges

     /  October 13, 2017

    Thank you for keeping us up-to-date on this tragedy. Robert. The latest I have seen is 29 dead and over 190, acres burned. Unfortunately, this is just the beginning of the price that will be paid for not heeding the warnings of the climate scientists, and for tolerating the climate whores of Congress and the “think tanks.” As in Norse mythology, when Odin and the other gods tolerated the evil of Loki for two long, so we may yet pay with our own climate Ragnarok.

    The suffering of the victims of all these disasters is heart-breaking, but knowing that much of it is due to cynical greed is infuriating. I am reminded of two lines from Mark Antony’s speech in Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”

    “O judgement, thou art fled to brutish beasts
    And men have lost their reason.”

    Reply
  32. Jonathan Davies

     /  October 13, 2017

    I saw this and thought you might be interested. Ties up nicely with Hansens warning on superstorms a few years ago which is worrying. At the time he was criticised for what was seen as speculative science!
    https://scienmag.com/geologic-evidence-is-the-forerunner-of-ominous-prospects-for-a-warming-earth/

    Reply
  33. eleggua

     /  October 13, 2017

    ‘A Federal Court Just Threw A Wrench In Trump’s Energy Plans’
    10/04/2017

    http://dailycaller.com/2017/10/04/a-federal-court-just-threw-a-wrench-in-trumps-energy-plans/

    “…Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Laporte said the Interior Department violated the Administrative Procedures Act by indefinitely delaying parts of the methane rule from being implemented. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke delayed the rule in June.

    Laporte’s ruling means the methane rule will go into effect. The rule requires oil and gas producers operating on federal land to install equipment to stop leaks and capture methane that would otherwise be vented or flared.

    The Obama administration finalized the $1.8 billion rule in late 2016. It was one of many “midnight” regulations finalized in the weeks before President Donald Trump took office….”

    Reply
  34. daveburton
    I have noticed that Happer and several other scientists who doubt climate danger have much in common. They are physicists, respected and accomplished at high levels in their profession. More than one has been involved in atomic physics. My guess is this type of research requires such precision, that they are horrified by the (relative) variability and contradictions of climate science, I would further guess none of them frequently indulge in hiking or road trips.
    I remember once arguing a point with colleagues. After a bit, the five of them smiled and went on about the work at hand. I was a little taken aback, and it was later proven quite decisively that they were correct.

    Reply
    • daveburton
      PS. Case in point. Here is a recent study of CO2 levels in the Eocene. Estimates range from 1000 to 2000 ppm. That is pretty broad.
      “The study found that carbon dioxide may have been less than 1000 parts per million, or ppm, during the Earth’s early Eocene period. This runs counter to thinking that concentration levels were as high as 2000 ppm in the same time frame.”
      https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171012103737.htm

      Reply
    • eleggua

       /  October 13, 2017

      “I would further guess none of them frequently indulge in hiking or road trips.”

      That’s a great point, mlp. Divorced and disconnected physically from the rest of nature, it’s difficult for most to understand it and one’s part in it.

      Please don’t eat the daisies or the amanita phalloides but please, check them out.
      Take time to smell the flowers; observe the birds, the bugs and the trees; examine a shelf fungus, touch it.
      Join a local nature club and go on walks with learned folks, soak up the knowledge.
      Join a mycological society and learn what mushrooms are okay to eat and what ones not to eat, then eat some fresh mushrooms that you’ve identified and foraged. Birdwatch in the city or the country.
      Pick up a rock in the backyard and see what’s crawling around underneath, then carefully replace the rock.
      Talk to the animals, learn their languages; what a neat achievement that would be.
      Watch a sunset; watch the sunrise. Watch the moon move across the night sky. Learn to identify the visible planets, and then recognize them when them make an appearance.

      These things are real. They’re not news. They’re not manufactured.
      They move and change, just like us. They’re born, they live, they create, and they die, just like us.
      They’re moving all around us, and they can deeply move us and within us when we’re willing to know them better.

      “Cast a wide net, find a common thread, let life flourish inside your head,
      don’t panic, keep it organic.
      Learn to love, love to learn, this never ends.” – Diamond Dave Whitaker

      Reply
  35. Another way to keep an eye on the health of the Amazon.

    Satellites map photosynthesis at high resolution.
    Precise measurement of the solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence enables scientists to quantify gross primary production. Oct 12, 2017. GFZ GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam, Helmholtz Centre. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171012143407.htm

    Reply
  36. More research related to superstorms in the Atlantic at the last interglacial, and Hansen’s megaboulders on Eleuthera. That CO2 was only about 275 is pretty sobering.

    Geologic evidence is the forerunner of ominous prospects for a warming earth.
    A new review in Marine Geology shows how slightly warmer temperatures and moderate CO2 concentrations over a hundred thousand years ago led to dramatic superstorms and sea-level rise in the western Atlantic Ocean. Elsevier. 12-Oct-2017
    https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-10/e-gei101217.php

    “During the last interglacial, sea levels were about 3-9 meters higher than they are now. The geologic evidence indicates that the higher sea-levels were accompanied by intense “superstorms,” which deposited giant wave-transported boulders at the top of cliffed coastlines, formed chevron-shaped, storm beach ridges in lowland areas, and left wave runup deposits on older dunes more than 30 meters above sea level. These events occurred at a time of only slightly warmer global climate and CO2 (about 275 ppm) was much lower than today.

    The authors emphasize “the LIG record reveals that strong climate forcing is not required to yield major impacts on the ocean and ice caps.” . . .

    Reply
  37. redskylite

     /  October 13, 2017

    I guess that the HeartlandGroup and the WUWT brigade must be getting worried to roll out their despicable and bellicose man Burton on this blog. Seems their desperate tactics are wearing thin with the succession of extremes being experienced . . .

    Poll: Americans blame wild weather on global warming

    A new poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds that 68 percent of Americans think weather disasters seem to be worsening, compared to 28 percent who think they are staying the same and only 4 percent who say they are less severe.
    And 46 percent of those who think it’s getting worse blame man-made climate change mostly or solely for the wild weather, while another 39 percent say it’s a combination of global warming and natural variability.

    https://phys.org/news/2017-10-poll-americans-blame-wild-weather.html

    Reply
  38. redskylite

     /  October 13, 2017

    Did Climate Change Fuel California’s Devastating Fires? Probably.

    A long drought and a record hot summer set the conditions for a brutal wildfire season.

    Regardless of what produced the initial sparks, however, there’s a good chance that human-induced climate change made it easier for those fires to spread.

    The clearest way in which global warming increases wildfire risk—one supported by a growing body of peer-reviewed literature—is higher temperatures. Warmer air draws moisture from plants, trees, and soil, increasing what’s known as fuel aridity. This provides the dry fuel and conditions that feed wildfires. Other climatic factors can also contribute, including decreased rainfall and reduced or earlier-melting mountain snowpack.

    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/609111/did-climate-change-worsen-californias-devastating-fires-probably/

    Reply
  39. redskylite

     /  October 13, 2017

    Scientists See Climate Change in California’s Wildfires

    Scientists typically hesitate to say any specific event happened because of climate change, Westerling said. Yet, he said, “we know that these events are affected by the weather and the climate and how dry it is. The climate system has been altered by people … all the weather we’re experiencing and what’s driving these wildfire events is climate change.”
    While this fire devastated part of the San Francisco Bay Area, wildfire is creating growing problems across the West, Westerling said.
    “Everywhere, including California, the number of large fires has been increasing, and the area burned in them has been increasing, as well,” he said. Climate models indicate California in years ahead could experience cycles of droughts followed by heavy rains. That could mean more destructive fires, the experts said.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/scientists-see-climate-change-in-californias-wildfires/

    Reply
  40. Genomik

     /  October 13, 2017

    Met two more people today who lost their homes. Over 3000 homes now. it’s just destroying these legendary local hills. This is in the world famous Napa and Sonoma winemaking areas that are being obliterated.

    The weather is good for fighting from Thur to Sat and then wind will come up to maybe 45 mph which could really cause some flare ups. Its actually forecast to rain in a week so its very possible the rains will solve it in the end. But these fires are still insanely dangerous.

    In downtown SF today I saw people all over wearing filter masks. Many local stores are sold out. This aspect of the fire that the smoke has mostly came right down into the bay and the 7 million people living here giving everything an orange hue. How surreal. Its sort of apocalyptic. Ive been here my whole life and have never seen such a thing as prolonged severe ash and smoke blanketing San Francisco. The more I think about it thats very surreal. Its got to leave all 7 million folks with a lasting impression.

    I see alot of folks getting upset at the “cause” of these fires. Is it PG&E the local utility? IS it arson? Is it BBQ’s left with embers when the wind came up? The calistoga fire?

    To me the cause is climate change. Those are just straws that break the back of our drought stressed ecosystems. We could sue PG&E until we customers double our own rates and still there would be fires as the weather will just get more extreme.

    Maybe this is part of what is missing here. If folks think the cause of these fires is the local utility they wont try to solve climate change. This seems important. The Koch Bros and Faux try to sow uncertainty in their minions which has created thie false equivalence. So i want to increase certainty that these insane events are related to our consumption of fossil fuels. And don’t need to happen.

    Reply
  41. Mark in New England

     /  October 13, 2017

    A bit off topic, by I was aghast to see the new rightward tilt in my local paper when it penned an editorial defending Scott Pruitt’s decision to undo President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. The editor lamented the job losses resulting from Obama’s so called personal vendetta against coal. So I just had to write a reply, of course. We’ll see if it’s published:

    “The Nashua Telegraph’s October 11 editorial, “The War on Coal is Over”, fails to mention several pertinent facts about former President Obama’s so-called War on Coal. First, the president’s primary motivation was not to kill an industry he had a personal vendetta against, but to help fight global warming, which is not mentioned once in the editorial. It is beyond dispute that increasing carbon dioxide and methane levels in the atmosphere, mainly from human sources, is the primary driver of the rapid increase in temperatures, as well as extreme weather events, worldwide. Second, coal as a primary source of electricity was going the way of the dinosaurs all on its own due to a drop in natural gas prices and the increasing competitiveness of alternative energy, mainly wind and solar. Most of the job losses in the coal industry come not from new regulations but by the replacement of traditional mining by mechanized mountaintop removal practices. The federal subsidies these alternatives receive pale in comparison to those received by fossil fuel industries. Burning coal also contributes to asthma and other health risks not shared by even other fossil fuel sources. The editor may lament job losses in coal, but the nation’s future economy will be placed at far greater risk from global warming enhanced extreme weather events such as the string of major hurricanes we’ve just seen, increasingly severe wildfires, the spread of insect borne diseases and losses in food production. The warming seen so far is just a taste of what’s to come if we as a nation and the world don’t begin to address this crisis. Obama’s Clean Power Plan was a necessary step in the right direction, far better than Pruitt’s destructive actions coming out of the Environmental Prevention Agency. That the Telegraph has taken coal industry propaganda at its word is, as Trump would say – sad.

    Mark Archambault
    Nashua, NH

    Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  October 13, 2017

      +1 I hope it is published..well done, Mark.

      Reply
      • Mark in New England

         /  October 13, 2017

        Thanks Suzanne. My activist anger is being fired up!

        Reply
        • Kassy

           /  October 13, 2017

          The one thing you could have added that there are actually quite a lot of jobs in the renewable energy sector.

  42. eleggua

     /  October 13, 2017

    It’s grim up north.
    Lengthy article; several excerpts below the embedded box.

    ’31 Dead, a Vast Landscape Charred, and a Sky Full of Soot’
    Oct. 12, 2017

    “…Air-quality, based on levels of tiny particles that can flow deep into the lungs, is rated “unhealthy” across much of Northern California, and smoke has traveled as far as Fresno, more than 200 miles to the south. The effects are many: schoolchildren are being kept inside during recess, the Oakland Raiders canceled their outdoor practice on Thursday to prevent players from breathing in the bad air, and doctors are reporting an increase in visits and calls from people with lung and heart trouble.

    It is the 31 deaths, however, a toll that surpasses the official number of people killed by the single deadliest wildfire in state history, that has horrified Californians. The Griffith Park fire of 1933, in Los Angeles, killed 29 people despite burning a mere 47 acres, according to officials.

    Late Thursday, the authorities said they had identified 10 of 17 people who were killed in Sonoma County. Most were in their 70s and 80s, and most were found in houses. One was found next to a vehicle.
    Continue reading the main story

    “We have found bodies that were nothing more than ash and bones,” said Robert Giordano, the Sonoma County sheriff. In some cases, he said, the only way to identify the victims was by the serial numbers stamped on artificial joints and other medical devices that were in their bodies.

    …Officials said they had confirmed the locations and safety of 437 people and were still looking for the other 463….

    Health officials were particularly focused on young children, who are at a higher risk than adults from dirty air. They breathe faster and take in more air than adults because they run around more. They also have smaller airways, so irritation in those narrower pipes is more prone to cause breathing trouble.

    “People with pre-existing heart and lung disease, the elderly and young children should stay in the house with the windows closed,” said Dr. John Balmes, an expert on the respiratory effects of air pollutants at the University of California, in both Berkeley and San Francisco….

    “I’ve lived here 50 years — I’ve never seen it this bad,” said Paul Ackerley, a 90-year-old World War II veteran.
    Mr. Ackerley was walking through his neighborhood Wednesday when a woman stopped her car and offered him a mask….”

    Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  October 13, 2017

      This ongoing disaster continues to just break my heart.

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  October 13, 2017

        Yes. And we mend it and thn it breaks again, and then again, we mend it. Never give up. Thanks for being here, Suzanne.

        “They’re still full of life
        And healing, but it has a different feeling and only for the few that seek
        Their sort of pain and pleasure when they merge and give into insistent
        Urgency that lives for seconds at a time. For pain and pleasure are the
        Twins that slightly out of focus spin around us till we finally understand
        That everything that gives us pleasure also gives us pain to measure it
        By, and I also realize… That all our lives we love illusion, neatly
        Caught between confusion and the need to know we are alive.” – The Residents

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  October 13, 2017

        Reply
  43. Suzanne

     /  October 13, 2017

    At the L.A. Times…”They survived six hours in a pool as a wildfire burned their neighborhood to the ground”.
    http://www.latimes.com/local/abcarian/la-me-abcarian-sonoma-fire-20171012-htmlstory.html

    She was wearing a thin tank top and lightweight pajama bottoms. Her glasses had disappeared.

    They submerged themselves in the blackened, debris-filled water. They had grabbed T-shirts to hold over their faces to protect themselves from embers when they surfaced for air.

    They moved to the part of the pool farthest from the house. John was worried about having to tread water, or hanging on to the side, which could be dangerous with all the burning objects flying around. Blessedly, the pool had no deep end. It was about 4 feet deep all the way across.

    To stay warm, they held each other. They stood back to back. They spoke about their deep love for each other and their family.

    Jan watched the moon for clues about time passing. It didn’t move.

    She waited for the house to burn to the ground, for the fire to pass so they could warm themselves on the concrete steps. The wind howled and the sound of explosions filled the air. Propane tanks? Ammunition? They had no idea.

    “I just kept going under,” she said. It was the only way to survive. “And I kept saying, ‘How long does it take for a house to burn down?’ We were freezing.”

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  October 13, 2017

      Know of some folks that survived a fire out here a couple of years ago by laying down in a cleared, mown field and waiting for the fire to pass over. It burned all of the surrounding trees and their home, but they made it. Firefighters tried to get them to evacuate before the flames reached their property but they stubbornly refused to believe it would arrive there.
      They were devastated but alive.

      Photos and drone footage of neighborhoods in Santa Rosa, houses competely gone, only chimneys left standing, backyard pools are still filled with water. Good thing to keep in mind.
      If you live in a residential fire danger zone and don’t have a pool, find out where nearby neighbors have pools and memorize an escape route to them before you need to use it.
      When the smoke’s thick in the air and ash is blizzarding down, you’re not going to be able to find one without some idea of where to go ahead of that time.

      Reply
    • eleggua

       /  October 14, 2017

      Yet another tragic ending this past week up north. The swimming was a safe refuge but this courageous woman’s cardiovascular system couldn’t take the pressure.

      ‘Huddled in pool amid blaze, wife dies in husband’s arms’
      October 13, 2017

      http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Forced-by-Wine-Country-fire-into-a-swimming-pool-12274789.php

      “…Carmen and Armando Berriz had no choice but to cling to one another while immersed in a swimming pool behind their rented house on the north edge of Santa Rosa.

      They held on through the long hours of the night, until the flames that had destroyed the house on the forested cul-de-sac finally began to recede, until the heat was no longer unbearable. And just before daybreak, just as the worst of the inferno had passed, Carmen Berriz stopped breathing. She died in the arms of her husband of 55 years….

      “Everything they did was as a team,” said daughter Monica Ocon in an interview Thursday, after the Sonoma County coroner’s office began to release names of some of the dead. “They had this bond and this strength that literally lasted a lifetime.”…

      It was around 1 a.m. Monday that Luis Ocon was awakened by something outside, maybe the wind. He looked out the window and saw, among the swaying trees, a glowing red ember falling to the ground.

      “It blew up,” he said. “It hit the ground and just blew up.”
      Instantly, flames licked toward the sky, lighting up trees and encircling the house….

      The flames, Armando Berriz later told his daughter and son-in-law, were climbing 30 feet high. They engulfed the house and all the trees around it. The fire burned so hot it melted the chaise longues around the pool, and the wind whipped so hard that the furniture soared over their heads….

      When his wife stopped breathing, Armando Berriz held her still. He held her for hours, he later told his daughter and son-in-law.

      The flames had burned out, and the smoke was clearing, when he let go. He carried her as best he could to the shallow water at the steps to the pool, and he crossed her arms over her chest. He’d lost a shoe at some point, and he quietly asked his wife’s permission to borrow one of hers.

      He walked 2 miles down the hill, past shells of houses and cars and the blackened stakes of trees, until he was found by firefighters who called his family and took him to safety….”

      Reply
    • eleggua

       /  October 14, 2017

      The third such story to emerge from the flames. This couple took refuge in a swimming pool.
      Both made it out alive. This dramatic recounting is very long and worth the read in its entirety. Excerpts below.

      ‘‘We’ve got to go!’ A California couple awoke to flames crackling. They couldn’t flee. So they jumped in their pool.’
      October 13, 2017

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/weve-got-to-go-a-california-couple-awoke-to-flames-crackling-they-couldnt-flee-so-they-jumped-in-their-pool/2017/10/13/ba1aad7c-b01c-11e7-9e58-e6288544af98_story.html

      “…They had been fast asleep, and Daniel and his wife, Cindy, had missed the warnings. The residents of Santa Rosa, Calif., had been evacuating for more than three hours already as the rapidly spreading wildfire approached. The red glow through the window told Daniel it was too late. The fire was here.

      “Cindy! Wake up!” Pomplun, 54, shouted, shaking her. “We’ve got to go!”

      …After Daniel’s frantic fingers found the knob of the front door and pulled it open, he saw the fire had leapt over the driveway. The only pathway to safety was blocked by the flames surging toward them….

      Daniel carried their passports, a bottle of water and a pair of kitchen towels. Cindy clutched the cat tight against her chest. They slid open the sunroom door and began to run….

      To the left, they could see flames on the roof. To the right, red dots speckling the far-off hills seemed to be leaping closer. The cat shed was a pile of ash. Sishi wriggled her way from Cindy’s arm, leaping to the ground and disappearing into the darkness….

      They reached the edge of the swimming pool. They stuck one foot after the other into the cold water. Once they were shoulder-deep, they draped wet towels over their heads.

      The flames danced across the roof and rolled down the sides of their home.

      Then came the popping, as the fire reached the 100 rounds of shotgun and rifle ammunition in one of the upstairs bedrooms. The oak tree just to the north of the pool became a bouquet of fire. Then the pine tree to the west did too. Both trees loomed overhead, the flames licking the darkness.

      They stayed as far away from the burning home as they could, but they didn’t want to wander deeper into the pool than where they could stand.

      After about 30 minutes in the water — the height of the fire around them — the back wall of the house was fully engulfed in flames, pounding their faces with cruel, raw heat. Their heads were burning, faces blistering. Their bodies shivered, shaking uncontrollably beneath the cold water.

      During the worst moments, they completely submerged under the cold water, holding their breath for as long as they could, bobbing up for air.

      They discussed the things they were losing, watching as room after room of their five-bedroom home burned. The reality of what couldn’t be recovered — the photographs, the mementos from college, the souvenirs from family vacations — settled in. But for most of their time in the water, the adrenaline robbed them of any focus other than staying alive.

      The house collapsed, and the fire moved on. Their melted and sagging cars sat where the garage had been. A single surviving squirrel ventured down from an untouched tree branch and approached what remained of the Pompluns’ home before retreating. Maybe, Daniel suggested to Cindy, it was time they came out of hiding, too.

      As the songs of a few returning birds marked the sunrise, the shivering Pompluns slowly emerged from the water. The concrete path was still warm, the ruins around them smoldering. They lay down together and embraced for warmth as their clothes hung from the metal frame of what was once a poolside table.

      Occasionally a helicopter or plane would fly overhead, so Daniel arranged stones on the patio to send a message: “NEED EVAC.” Cindy went searching for Sishi, finding her snuggled beneath a juniper bush. She came out to cuddle for a few moments before sneaking back under the bush, refusing to budge.

      Daniel decided it was time to start walking, but they both needed to find shoes. As he surveyed the neighborhood, he spotted a single house that seemed untouched. The back screen door was open, so they let themselves in. They found two pairs of flip-flops that fit, and a hat to cover Cindy’s head from the sun. They took a few pieces of paper, and a pen, and shoved a couple of bottles of water into a brown paper bag.

      Daniel left a note on the floor, apologizing for what he’d taken and promising it would be returned. Around noon they started walking, changing the message in stones outside their home to: “WALK OUT.” ….

      About a mile farther up the road they found a sheriff’s deputy.

      “Come on,” the deputy shouted out to them. “I’ll get you to the shelter.”

      …They said they think their cat Tabitha didn’t make it, probably succumbing to the fire in the shed. But they have called animal control, hoping that Sishi is still out there, nestled beneath the juniper bush.”

      Reply
  44. Climate Refugee Seth

     /  October 13, 2017

    Dear Friends,

    I’ve been a reader of Robert’s excellent blog for a while now, haven’t felt that I had something special to add to the comments.

    We were burned out of our house Monday morning about 2:45. We lived just East of Santa Rosa in a small group of tens of houses in some hills. Before I go on, I apologize for the length of this post, and also for any redundancy in the comments. I can’t seem to read much detail about the fire online because it’s still too traumatic; I just start crying.

    Having lived in other disaster areas (tornado, hurricane, etc.,) I wanted to note what seem like differences between a climate-caused disaster and some of the other kinds. I hope to develop this information and use it to change policy, which sounds pig-headed but I’m in a fever about this stuff as you would expect.

    The day was hot and windy. The wind was extremely dry out of the North East all day and felt hot and smelled aromatic like dry firewood freshly stacked by a waiting fireplace. I usually saw a lot of birds around the house (fed them, took pictures, watched, talked) but there were few bird sounds. My partner and I knew of and discussed the risk of fire during the day.

    Late in the evening the smell of smoke became incredibly oppressive and we were very conscious of it. We closed the house and ran air filters full speed. We worried. We didn’t know what to do. We talked about leaving early because we had only one way out (!) and don’t like making jams worse.

    1) When it came down, we had no warning. There are no sirens, no sensor network, no command center, no police presence, no cars w/sirens, no sheriff, no phone tree, no pager alerts. You will not be warned, your phone will not beep and you will not know what is going on. You will have to save yourself and your neighbors and people who cannot save themselves or they will be incinerated days before anyone even knows. Daaaaayyyyyys.

    We knew of a fire at Atlas Peak which was what seemed like tens of miles away. And we could see a glow. But very late, 2am, all at once, we could see what looked like giant waves of sparks updrafting in the distance. And some objects kept exploding – propane tanks? – boom, boom, boom. At first it sounded like trees cracking from ice in the winter, but it became much louder.

    I went outside and saw a lone, steady orange ember at what looked like 100-200 feet, moving across the sky to the South West. It didn’t dim or brighten and took forever to cross the sky and it was clear to us that it was the first of many, Within a few minutes we were literally surrounded by flames and drove out through sheets of wind-driven embers. I remember that first ember and it seems to me now like some kind of horrible roving eye, scanning the ground looking for a place to destroy. (I am not generally superstitious.)

    2) One way or another humans seem responsible for this particular mess. By that I mean we made it worse. While the high winds are not likely to be directly attributed to warming, there is some evidence PG&E has failed to maintain right-of-ways near power lines, and failed to de-energize power lines in a timely way. Too, we smelled fire faintly on and off many hours earlier in the day. The lack of a systematic method of reporting the fires, and the lack of an automatic sensor system doomed us and many others.

    More generally, nighttimes have become drastically hotter and dryer here; some years ago we had fog every single night with rain from the trees to the ground. It was always cool at night (40’s to 50’s). In recent years the nighttime temp frequently is much warmer, the fog much less if at all, and the whole system seemed like a giant box of kindling.

    3) Our infrastructure is not correctly designed, the design limits are incorrectly specified and the system designs are not adequate. Cell systems failed, power phone and network systems are single-point-of failure at the community level.

    The next day, and subsequently, large parts of the Santa Rosa infrastructure failed, and what should have been operational pharmacies, stores, etc., had to operate cash-only or not at all because they had no information connections. Many, many calls were dropped and cell-tower handoffs failed. Cell system backhauls seem not *really* redundantly designed and the system itself degrades gracelessly in a regional disaster.

    4) Our social systems (community-scale, multi-block scale, city-scale) are not at all functional. Imagine it was the 1930’s. We would implement a call-tree, or a party-line phone system, or a person-to-person system to warn people if a fire was coming. There is absolutely no reason why we can’t do this today; just a lack of organization.

    5) The fire-fighting system is broken. Firefighters are reported to have been working 80 hours at a time, and are so overloaded/understaffed they had to just stand by for the first few days (DAYS) of this event until equipment and people arrived.

    It becomes more clear having been inside the fire that the fire-fighting command and control system is set up like the US army after World War II; regiments and set-piece planning with attacks and defenses and intentionally little flexibility.

    It makes sense to have this sort of force, but it also makes sense to have Special Operations type firefighting forces to put down transformer fires. Otherwise you wait until you have adequate equipment and people and in a 75-mile an hour breeze you’re going to have a Bad Day with a half a US city burned out.

    Despite the fire, we’ve been supremely lucky; our family and 20 year old kitty survived and we have the best friends I’ve ever seen. But too, we have just our clothes and cell phones and not anything else, and every paper, book, recording, art-work, musical instrument, momento, photo is gone. And thousands of our neighbors are in the same boat it seems. Everything is a whitish dust or pool of metal. It really is dust-to-dust.

    There’s a lot of text, time to stop. Learned a lot of lessons. Godspeed my friends, and fellow climate travelers. We’ve got quite an adventure ahead of us. Let’s make the best of it.

    Climate Refugee Seth

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  October 16, 2017

      Seth, I am so sorry. Thank you for taking the time right now, when you must be trying to figure out the next move forward, to share your story in such clear detail. Thank you for delineating the factors involved in your personal tragedy and the tragedy the area has suffered.

      Sounds like you’ve good support network helping right now. I’m in SF and maybe up there later in the week with a friend that grew up there, visiting his mother and taking a look at where he spent childhood, places that no longer exist after last week. If there’s anything I might be able to help you out with, let me know here and we can figure out a way to connect. If there’s anything I can bring up, let me know.

      So sorry for your loss there and so glad to here that you, your partner, family and your cat are alive and moving forward.

      Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  October 16, 2017

      Oh Seth…I am so, so very sorry to hear what you are going through..for your losses. Is there anything we can do to help?

      Reply
    • Seth, I´m sorry. I hope that all of your family is well of health. Is there anything that can be done to help, from strangers afar?

      Reply
    • Welcome, Seth. I am so, so sorry for your loss. The mission at this blog has been to try to help prevent these kinds of events. Of course, we were so far along that response now would only lessen the damage. And it’s an all-too-personal kind of harm. You’ve made that very clear.

      People think that climate change is for places like Bangladesh or some other far off locale. It’s everywhere and ultimately impacts everyone. If you enable climate change, you enable harm to yourself.

      I sincerely hope that you and your family find a safe way out of this mess. That you are able to rebuild your lives and reclaim lost memories and treasures. I promise to, in my own way, keep doing my best for people like you.

      Thank you for reaching out. We are here for you.

      Reply
  45. bostonblorp

     /  October 13, 2017

    I guess carbon capture has to start somewhere. Now they just need to scale it by a factor of, literally, ten billion.

    https://qz.com/1100221/the-worlds-first-negative-emissions-plant-has-opened-in-iceland-turning-carbon-dioxide-into-stone/

    Reply
  46. Genomik

     /  October 13, 2017

    I’m very proud our governor, Jerry Brown, has the guts to say this truth even as GOP lies and sows doubt. Go Jerry!

    “Experts say fires like those burning up California wine country will be more frequent, more intense and last longer as global temperatures rise. While no single fire can be said to have been caused by climate change, variations in temperature and precipitation are already affecting the complex dynamics that determine how wildfires develop and spread.

    California Gov. Jerry Brown laid the blame squarely at the feet of climate change on Wednesday.

    “With a warming climate, dry weather and reducing moisture, these kinds of catastrophes have happened and will continue to happen and we have to be ready to mitigate, and it’s going to cost a lot of money,” Brown said.”

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/california-wildfires-effects-of-climate-change/

    Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  October 13, 2017

      I am so envious that you have such informed, forward leadership in your state. All we have is Governor Voldemort..and his climate denialism…despite the damage SLR is already bringing to our state. 😦

      Reply
  47. Suzanne

     /  October 13, 2017

    At WP this morning…’Trump taps Climate Change Skeptic for top W.H. environmental post”
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/10/13/trump-taps-climate-skeptic-for-top-white-house-environmental-post/?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories_ee-harnettwhite-756am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

    Of course he did. The wall of denial continues to build in this Regime.

    Reply
  48. Robert in New Orleans

     /  October 13, 2017

    First Rule of Blogging:

    Do Not Feed The Troll

    Second Rule of Blogging

    Do Not Feed The Troll

    Third Rule of Blogging

    ” ” ” ” “

    Reply
    • Genomik

       /  October 13, 2017

      Rule before first rule.
      Always moderate your blog daily!

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  October 13, 2017

        Robert does an extraordinary amount of work here and elsewhere, and he’s a one-man band with no outside financing save for a pittance of paypal donations. If he’s taking a break, let’s give him a break and follow rule number one, two, three, etc, as per Robert in New Orleans’ wise reminder.

        ahem, ahem: paypal donation link up above at the top right box, if readers weren’t aware.
        Click on the raven and help our friend, host and cohort, Robert Scribbler.

        Reply
        • Just made my first donation to Robert, thanks in part to the troll. I got upset having to scroll past all of his BS, so Robert got a tip to clean up the mess he left…

        • Genomik

           /  October 14, 2017

          I appreciate him running this and all the work and wisdom. yet he sometimes takes off for awhile and just for reasons like this its good to take a quick look and say hi periodically. I ran blogs in the past and trolls can get in and do this exact thing so I got in the habit of checking briefly often.

          Great suggestions of paypal donations. I think its tough to run this site for free.

        • Genomik

           /  October 14, 2017

          Perhaps the font for donations should b made a bit more obvious. Its sort of subtle which is good but its also the case that this site isnt free. perhaps a graphic with the words DONATE HERE overlaid on the crow so its a bit more obvious.

        • eleggua

           /  October 14, 2017

          Not arguing with you, just pointing out, we don’t know if he has internet access or not during these breaks. He might not be able to check in.

          Robert doesn’t want to make a big deal out the donation button; he doesn’t want to promote it, thus the subtlety. I’ve called attention to it before and he’s said as much. Here’s something he said in the comments on the previous article that might illustrate where he’s coming from, from a good, decent place. Note, he didn’t mention the donation box in the comment. (It’s not the full comment but anyone’s welcome to check it and see, there’s nothing mentioned re: donations there.)

          “Nothing I do here is for the money. The blog is not monetized. I pay to have ads taken down. I’ve refused offers to write for major pubs due to concerns over conflicts of interest. And due to the fact that I don’t make a huge sum of money, the number of shares I hold in Tesla is small”

        • eleggua

           /  October 14, 2017

          btw, as you probably know, Genomik, another grey, ash-filled day in the Bay today. Not healthly; lots more folks wearing masks and talking about the air quality today than the past few days. Not any of them talking about climate change, though, unless I introduced the topic.

          Often, the folks more recepetive to that conversation are ones that live on the street, folks that live a traveller lifestyle. They’re demonized and even criminalized in SF but many are a lot more hip to what’s up than folks that enjoy the benefits of the most expensive city in the US and contribute to its incredibly rising cost of living and economic disparity, ones that drive the engine of gentrification here in SF.

          Important to raise the level of conversation everywhere, with everyone. Our lives are being threatened right now. Time to tell the ones holding the climate change gun, we are not going to be victimized any longer. Time for them to step down; time to step up and force the conversation onto the main stage, make it the headline act. All the world’s a stage…

        • eleggua

           /  October 14, 2017

          “the crow”

          The photo on the donation box is tagged “crow” however that bird is a raven.
          They are two different species of corvid, with distinct physical differences.
          The beak of the bird in that photo is the easy tell.

          Crow = Corvus brachyrhynchosthe
          Raven = Corvus corax

          All in service of reminding readers, humble host RobertScribbler does not actively solicit donations but he can accept them via Paypal via the donation box in
          the top right corner of every page, the one with the image of the
          Raven.

          “Please Help Support Our Ongoing Efforts”

          Your support of Robert is truly supporting “our efforts”, as we readers and commenters and RobertScribbler are obviously all in this together here at this blog and in its comments sections. Support our teammate and support the team!

          Join a local birdwatching club; observe and learn about birds and have fun!
          Or get ahold of a good nature guide about birds and go at it on your own; that’s fun, too!

        • eleggua

           /  October 14, 2017

          Highly recommended.

      • Thanks so much for the kind words, everyone. Though dedicated, I am not chained to my desk at all times. And I’m the only one here doing this. I very much appreciate all the amazing fact checking and myth debunking RE Dave. Excellent job everyone.

        Reply
    • eleggua

       /  October 13, 2017

      Yep. Thanks for the reminder. Fun and games are over; no more responses in that direction. Sent a message to Robert, too.

      Reply
  49. Kassy

     /  October 13, 2017

    Santa Rosa and Napa wildfire destruction from above

    See the pictures at:
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-41603474

    Reply
  50. Kassy

     /  October 13, 2017

    Nasa carbon space observatory ‘watches Earth breathe’

    A Nasa satellite has provided remarkable new insights on how CO2 is moved through the Earth’s atmosphere.

    The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) tracked the behaviour of the gas in 2015/2016 – a period when the planet experienced a major El Niño event.

    This climate phenomenon boosts the amount of CO2 in the air.

    The US space agency’s OCO satellite was able to show how that increase was controlled by the response of tropical forests to heat and drought.

    The forests’ ability to draw down carbon dioxide, some of it produced by human activity, was severely curtailed.

    The science has significant implications because the kind of conditions associated with El Niños are expected to become much more common under global warming.

    “If future climate is more like this recent El Niño, the trouble is the Earth may actually lose some of the carbon removal services we get from these tropical forests, and then CO2 will increase even faster in the atmosphere,” explained Scott Denning, an OCO science team member from Colorado State University in Fort Collins. That would amplify warming, he told reporters.

    Normally, the concentration of the gas in the atmosphere goes up each year by about two parts per million by volume (ppmv) of air molecules (the current level is just over 400ppmv) – the equivalent of four gigatonnes of extra CO2.

    But in this extraordinary period, the jump was 3ppmv, per year – or six gigatonnes.

    It is a rate of increase not seen on Earth in at least 2,000 years.

    What was remarkable, however, was that human emissions of carbon dioxide were thought to have been relatively static over the same period, meaning something strikingly went wrong with the processes that would normally scrub CO2 from the atmosphere.

    OCO’s ability to track the gas and sense the rate of photosynthesis in plants provided the answers.

    In South America, it could show that the biggest drought in 30 years limited vegetation’s ability to consume CO2.

    In Africa, hotter than average temperatures increased decomposition of plant material, releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

    And in Asia, tinder-dry conditions fed rampant fires, particularly in Indonesia. “The fires released peat carbon that had accumulated over thousands of years,” said Junjie Liu, an OCO research scientist at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

    “This is the gold star for OCO: we wanted to understand what happened in different regions of the world,” said Nasa deputy project scientist Annmarie Eldering.

    “We used to think of the tropics in a monolithic way, but now we can say one region behaved this way and another region behaved in a different way; and together they created this effect of more carbon in the atmosphere,” she told this week’s Science In Action programme on the BBC World Service.

    more on:
    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-41604760

    Reply
    • Allan Barr

       /  October 13, 2017

      BBC numbers for CO2 and its relationship to ppm increase are way off.

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  October 14, 2017

        How so, Allan? Do mean from this paragraph in the article?

        “Normally, the concentration of the gas in the atmosphere goes up each year by about two parts per million by volume (ppmv) of air molecules – the equivalent of four gigatonnes of extra CO2. The current total is just over 400ppmv.

        But in this extraordinary El Niño period, the jump was 3ppmv, per year – or six gigatonnes. “

        Reply
        • Burton: You don’t understand physics. Only half gets sequestered because diffusion is a random walk. At any moment half of the CO2 goes deeper into the ocean and half goes shallower. This is exactly how diffusion works in doping of semiconductors, but maybe they never taught that in your software programming classes.

          The problem with you skeptics is that you flood the internet with questionable physics. Then whenever one tries to Google anything, all you get is this garbage from sites such as WUWT, Talkshop, etc. Yes, you have the freedom to say whatever you want, but you guys certainly leave a mess behind.

    • eleggua

       /  October 14, 2017

      Reply
  51. Vaughn Anderson

     /  October 14, 2017

    eleggua, FYI: I replied to a comment you made up towards the top of the comment list about logging practices and cheat grass contributing to the fires in case you missed my belated reply.

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  October 14, 2017

      Thanks again, Vaughn. I saw and responded. Thanks so much. Great points, all valid and crucial to recognize.

      Thanks again, Robert, for all that you, including providing and maintaining this beautiful place for positive interaction with wonderful beings, these comments sections on your articles.

      Reply
      • Vaughn Anderson

         /  October 14, 2017

        Also, thanks eleggua and to Robert and others for all the contributions. The US Forest Service and the western states have recently made some effort to control the denser thickets of small trees and brush by cutting and burning them during times of low fire danger. This may help some, however, cheat grass is extremely difficult to control and the seeds spread quickly by various means to new areas. If cheat burns in an area one year it can burn the next year and so on. Trees at least take several years to grow and density can be controlled by thinning until they are large enough to shade the ground. This is difficult where cheat grass is pervasive.

        http://www.npr.org/2012/12/05/166574589/in-arid-west-cheatgrass-turns-fires-into-infernos

        Reply
        • nwkilt

           /  October 14, 2017

          Cheat Grass (Drooping Brome)

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

          Drooping brome has demonstrated a quantitative and qualitative response to recent and near-term changes in the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Laboratory experiments have shown that above-ground biomass increased 1.5–2.7 gram per plant for every 10 part per million (ppm) increase above the 270 ppm pre-industrial baseline. On the qualitative side, rising carbon dioxide decreased the digestibility and potential decomposition of drooping brome. In addition to stimulation of biomass, rising carbon dioxide may also increase the above ground retention of drooping brome biomass by decreasing removal by animals or bacteria. Ongoing increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide may contribute significantly to drooping brome productivity and fuel load with subsequent effects on wildfire frequency and intensity.[11][12]

          B. tectorum has been shown to benefit from endophytic colonization by morels (Morchella sextelata, M. snyderi) in western North America.[13]

          …eat all the morels you can find!

        • eleggua

           /  October 16, 2017

          I’d eat some of those morels if you wanted to share!

          First comes fire, then come morels. Morchella sp. benefit from fires, too, in case you and others weren’t already aware.

          ‘After Fires In West, Mushroom Hunters ‘Chase The Burn”
          April 20, 2016

          http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/04/20/474971439/after-fires-in-west-mushroom-hunters-chase-the-burn

          “Right now, and in the coming weeks, from Northern California to Alaska, commercial and amateur mushroom hunters will be scouring hills that were ravaged by fires last summer and fall. Their prey? Morel mushrooms.

          “Sometimes we call it ‘chasing the burns,’ ” mushroom enthusiast Kevin Sadlier says, in search of the black morel mushrooms that grow in the springtime after a forest fire.

          He’s exploring Lake County, Calif., a couple of hours northeast of San Francisco. Last September’s Valley Fire – one of the most destructive in California history – changed the face of these hills, once thick with pine and fir trees….

          Mushroom Joe and I spend the afternoon in a couple of burn areas hunting for morels: no luck today. So, he’ll keep looking. But he skipped porcini season last winter … his heart just wasn’t in it. He says he feels a tension between his mushroom-hunting passion and his love of these now-scorched hills.

          “It’s what you loved and now it’s all black,” he says. “It’s not so bad because right now we’re looking for mushrooms, so I don’t have to look up that often. I’m looking down at the ground, like you’re blocking it out of your mind that it’s not there. It’s sad. It’s just real sad.”

          Because, Mushroom Joe Guardado says, chasing the burn for morels hurts a little, if it’s in your own backyard.”

        • eleggua

           /  October 16, 2017

          If you’re interesting in morel foraging in fire-blasted zones or mushroom hunting or any sort anywhere in the Western US, along with books by Paul Stamets, this wonderfully book by David Arora is a gem of a guide. It’s hip alright, with a fun cover photo, too!

          ‘All That the Rain Promises and More: A Hip Pocket Guide to Western Mushrooms’
          by David Arora (1991)

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

          “All That the Rain Promises, and More… is a wild mushroom identification and field guide by American mycologist David Arora and published in 1991 by Ten Speed Press in Berkeley, California. The book includes detailed descriptions of more than 200 edible and poisonous mushroom species, as well as recipes, stories, and information on uses of various species such as for dying hair and clothing or playing games. In the preface, Arora writes, “In leafing through these pages, you may wonder what all the ‘fanciful,’ ‘foolish,’ or (shudder) ‘extraneous’ material is doing in a factual guide. After all, it is the practical, hands-on, how-to-identify information that makes this book useful and gives it substance. But I ask: is it any stranger or less desirable to sprinkle the facts with flakes of fancy than it is to liven up solemn, substantial fare like potatoes with something fancier and more flavorful, like wild mushrooms?”

          The title comes from a Jorge Luis Borges story, “Deutsches Requiem”, wherein the protagonist left his home one morning “looking for all that the rain promises; and more-he sought the very essence of the lunar tides in his precarious life”…

          The book is the second major work by David Arora. Mushrooms Demystified was published in 1979, also by Ten Speed Press.

          The book was generally well received among critics. Writing for the New York Times, critic Roger McKnight wrote that the book “is certainly the best guide to fungi, and may in fact be a long lasting masterpiece in guide writing for all subjects.””

          ‘Mushrooms Demystified: A Comprehensive Guide to the Fleshy Fungi’ is very hip, too, however that weighty, near-1000 page tome is unlikely to fit in a pants’ hip pocket!

    • eleggua

       /  October 16, 2017

      Ok did a small bit of digging and found this article that exposes reasons why fire hazard mis-management contributed to the maelstrom in at least one part of Santa Rosa.
      Excerpts below the link.

      ‘Despite clear risks, Santa Rosa neighborhood that burned down was exempt from fire regulations’
      10.15.17

      http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-coffey-park-explainer-20171011-story.html

      ‘Coffey Park was built on city streets, not forested country lanes.
      The Santa Rosa suburb was a planned development laid out on a typical grid with sidewalks and landscaped yards. The fire hazard zone shown on city and state maps was to the north and east, on the other side of the 101 Freeway.
      Yet when the Tubbs fire swept down the mountain, Coffey Park proved defenseless in its path. In a matter of hours, the neighborhood was almost totally consumed, leaving hundreds of houses burned to the ground and residents in disbelief.

      Surprising as it was to residents, the destruction of Coffey Park wasn’t a mystery to fire scientists. They view it as a rare, but predictable, event that has exposed flaws in the way fire risk is measured and mitigated in California. Because it was outside the officially mapped “very severe” hazard zone, more than five miles to the east, Coffey Park was exempt from regulations designed to make buildings fire resistant in high-risk areas.

      California fire officials developed hazard maps in the 2000s that for the first time, tied building codes to geographies based on risk. Max Moritz, a fire specialist with the University of California’s Cooperative Extension, said the maps were an important step forward in assessing fire danger.

      The fire hazard zones now need to be recast with more consideration for the impact of wildland fire on developed areas, Moritz said.

      Revisions of the hazard maps are in the works and will incorporate lessons from the Tubbs fire, said Dave Sapsis, Research Program Specialist with the state’s Fire and Resource Assessment Program, the unit of Cal Fire that maps fire hazard zones.

      “I do believe when we remap we are going to be looking at new data that could potentially expand these very high zones into areas that were not mapped.” Sapsis said.

      Though a forensic examination will be required to understand exactly what happened at Coffey Park, the unburned trees still standing in the neighborhood tell wildland fire experts that the cause was not a giant front of flames sweeping out of the nearby hills and fields.

      Most likely, the fire was touched off by embers blown from a distance. Firebrands capable of igniting a house can travel more than a mile….

      Fire experts surmise that most of the damage was caused by fire spreading from house to house, leaving some parkway trees and things like trash cans oddly unscathed.

      “Those houses are like highly concentrated energy packages just waiting to ignite,” said Donald Falk, a wildland fire researcher in the University of Arizona School of Natural Resources and the Environment. “In that wind-driven situation, I think the predictions of what’s fire-safe and what’s not kind of go out the window.”

      Similar urban conflagrations have been seen before. In 1982, exposed electrical wire touched off a fire that was driven by Santa Ana winds through a four-block area of Anaheim, destroying 40 apartment buildings.

      And when the Boles fire tore through the Siskiyou County town of Weed in 2014, more than 150 buildings were destroyed or damaged.

      “We are seeing it happen more often,” Moritz, the UC researcher, said……

      The problem for fire risk management is balancing the huge losses from urban conflagrations with their infrequent occurrence.

      The weather events that underlie them — high wind and temperature, low humidity and parched vegetation — are rare in the historical record, said Mark A. Finney, research forester with the U.S. Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station.

      “It’s not as though this stuff is unprecedented,” Finney said. “It’s just rare in any one given spot.”…..

      Falk, the University of Arizona fire researcher, agreed that the effect of stiffer building codes would be hard to predict, but could only have helped.

      And he hopes that officials move quickly.

      “The shelf life of an event like this, as devastating as it seems now, eventually will dissipate,” Falk said. “Now is the time to have that dialogue.””

      There’s a lot more in the article that’s worth reading; those excerpts are just the ones I found a bit pertinent. One inportant takeaway for me from the bits c’n’p-ed above:
      “The weather events that underlie them — high wind and temperature, low humidity and parched vegetation — are rare in the historical record”

      Those weather events ~were~ rare but are certain to become less rare, here and elsewhere around the planet.

      Reply
  52. Leland Palmer

     /  October 14, 2017

    New interactive image showing individual burned out houses. Red color is vegetation, gray blobs are burned out houses and mobile homes.

    Fountaingrove, housing tracts close to Barnes Road – the list goes on:

    https://api.mapbox.com/styles/v1/robinkraft/cj8nn4lvp7yoq2ro1klhjltw8.html?fresh=true&title=true&access_token=pk.eyJ1Ijoicm9iaW5rcmFmdCIsImEiOiJQLUp2RU9NIn0.B20c6fiHx0NCgfSOE3HYbw#13.67/38.4757/-122.7258

    Reply
  53. Genomik

     /  October 14, 2017

    Here’s a positive story about a guy who saved his wildlife farm instead of his house.

    http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/local/7512550-181/safari-west-owner-had-a

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  October 14, 2017

      It’s positive that he chose their welfare over concern for his property. It’s not positive that those beings were in capitivity for the purpose of profit.
      Safari West is not an ark, it’s an amusement park.

      Before one says anything about the Safari West’s captive breeding program and the supposed good it’s doing for endangered species, please read this:

      “”Despite zoos’ claims that their breeding programs have an intent to save species,” said Lisa Wathne, the captive exotic animals specialist of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, “the fact is zoos breed animals because baby animals bring paying visitors to the gate.””

      And Safari West’s captive breeding program is just another profit center for them.

      “Visitors to the El Paso Zoo may be able to see 17 new animals this summer.
      The City Council on Tuesday will consider spending $70,000 to buy the animals, pay for medical screenings and relocate them to El Paso.
      The zoo would get six zebras, two greater kudus, five Thomson’s gazelles, two African ostriches and two East African crowned cranes. It does not have these species now.
      The animals will be purchased from Safari West of Santa Rosa.”

      From an NYT Travel Section article about Safari West:

      “Philosophically, of course, there are some profound problems with simulating Africa, a wild place where animals roam free, encounter predators and kill one another (and potentially you). But if you are willing to click your heels three times and suspend rational judgment, the experience of spending the night en famille in a tented cabin and the day rumbling through muddy puddles to observe wildlife from an open-air jeep has a certain weird, campy charm.”

      Suspend rational judgement, i.e. go insane to justify amusement.

      Safari West is not ethical; they’re exploitative, and they’ve been charged with animal cruelty at least once.

      “….on or about June 8, 1994, Peter A. Lang, d/b/a Safari West [hereinafter Respondent], transported three lechwes in a manner that caused trauma, behavioral stress, and physical harm and resulted in the death of one of the lechwes, in violation of section 2.131(a)(1) of the Regulations (9 C.F.R. § 2.131(a)(1)) (Compl. ¶ 3); (2) on or about June 9, 1994, Respondent failed to ensure that animals that were being transported were observed at least once every 4 hours, in willful violation of section 2.100(a) of the Regulations (9 C.F.R. § 2.100(a)) and section 3.140(a) of the Standards (9 C.F.R. § 3.140(a)) (Compl. ¶ 4); and (3) on or about June 10, 1994, Respondent handled two lechwes in a manner that caused trauma, behavioral stress, and physical harm and resulted in the death of one of the lechwes, in violation of section 2.131(a)(1) of the Regulations (9 C.F.R. § 2.131(a)(1)) (Compl. ¶ 5).”

      A sandhill crane shouldn’t be in Santa Rosa unless it flies there on its own, of its own free will. The idea that we are being educated about “exotic” animals when they’re in captivity is bunk. One can be educated about critters from other parts of the planet by watching a David Attenborough documentary.

      What happens if the owner dies in a disaster and the animals escape? Or if they escape because that’s their natural inclination, to be free (just like our own incliination)?
      There’re enough articles one can find online regarding instances where animals from other continents and from North America escape captivity here in the US and elsewhere. Most end up dead, hit by cars, die by starvation, or executed by police or wildlife control professionals for fear of their causing harm to humans. Those animals should never be put in those situations, to have to make those exotic choices, whether wild-caught or captive-bred. They don’t belong to us; they belong to themselves.

      What’s going on in and around Santa Rosa right now is tragic. There are too many, many heartbreaking stories and some heartwarming stories, like ones about couples surviving the conflagration by immersing in a backyard swimming pool.

      This story doesn’t really warm my heart, though, for the reasons stated above.

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  October 14, 2017

        Slightly tangential but pertinent to the above. We should not underestimate the intelligence and the awareness, the self-awareness of other members of the animal kingdom.
        “If we could talk to the animals, learn their languages think of all the things we could discuss.” – Doctor Dolittle

        Here’s something to think about before visiting a zoo or wildlife park; think about what the captives are thinking about you!

        ‘Family Saves Stranded Octopus – The Next Day, He Returns To Thank Them In Remarkable Fashion ‘
        October 11th, 2017

        http://animalchannel.co/octopus-thanks-family-saved/

        “…The emotional intelligence of an octopus has been confirmed by scientists and their studies.

        …“We spent our Holidays at the Red Sea…While walking along a lonely beach we saw a stranded octopus in the sand. We were not sure if he is already dead. So we pushed him back into the water.”

        “He needed some minutes to recover, then he swam away. Next day we went to the same beach for a walk,” the caption reads. “While walking along the beach we saw a shadow in the water coming very quickly to us. It was our octopus we rescued yesterday! He recognized us!”

        “He accompanied with us a long time while we walked along the beach, all the time tried to touch our feet,” the caption reads. “We are sure that this Octopus came back to thank us for saving his life. It’s amazing how intelligent animals are.”

        Reply
      • Eleggua, I don´t known the case of Safari West specifically (though I do doubt that a man that stayed with his animals riscking life & home for them will mistreat them _ not considering “keeping in captivity” as mistreat per si here). But zoos really are a vital and needed part of animal conservation, and the anti-zoo propaganda doesn´t help keeping species from extinction.

        Yes, baby animals attract visitors. But breeding programs ex-situ are also one of the ways to help an species recover. Some times, they change everything… like the Mexican Wolf breeding program did there in the USA, or as the Mutum program is doing here in Brasil _ just heard the news today. A former extinct in the wild species may move to “critically endangered” but extant in the wild in the next month:
        http://www.oeco.org.br/reportagens/reintroducao-do-mutum-de-alagoas-esta-proxima-da-realidade/?utm_source=wysija&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Newsletter+Diaria . This has been possible because of breeding programs ex-situ, and no, not by “sanctuaries”. By ZOOs. With visitation and everything. Parque das Aves is one of the most visited zoos of Brasil. Frankly, when a keeper of captive wild animals sells visitation tickets, at least you known where its money is coming from. My experience in fighting animal smuggling thus far has taught me that places calling themselves “santuaries” are the ones to look twice).

        The Mexican wolf, the Mutum-of- Alagoas, they´re not the only examples of ex-situ conservation going right. Ones in Brasil roll from my tongue easily: the golden-tamarin, the bicudo, the Lear-macaw, Howler monkeys in Rio de Janeiro (the reintroduced monkeys in Tijuca Park had their first wild-born baby last month).

        In an utopic world, there would be no need for ex-situ conservation or zoos, and we would protect each and every species in their own habitat, leaving at least half the Earth for nature. We don´t live in an utopic world. We live in a real one, were sometimes captive breeding is the only thing that keeps a species from going extinct.

        That alone would be a reason for zoos to exist. The environmental education part is other. Seeing a live animal instills empathy in a way that a pixel animal never will. Hey, I grew up watching Pokemon, I still play Pokemon Go, if I had learned how to treat animals from pixels, I´d be a walking menace to them. Documentaries are nice, but anything can be show in a screen. Seeing animals in their own habitat would be nicer? Of course! But we need to instill empathy to wild animals to all children, not just the rich 10% that is able to travel. Most kids now are urban, not rural, and the few wild animals they meet around their houses are called “vermins” by many of the nearest adults. People saying that zoos don´t teach environmental empathy have never watched a school-load of favela kids meeting those animals they thought mythological live and near for the first time.

        And let´s not forget education of another kind… not just the kids, but the staff. I have yet to meet a competent wild-life veterinarian or biologist that hasn´t had at least a part of their education in a zoo. Zoo animals are acessible, in great number, near a vet-hospital and near more competent, experienced profissionals that can take the reigns if the student does something wrong. Work with animals in the wild, there´s no time for basic, beggining student mistakes, those will cost an animal´s life.

        And there´s a third reason for Zoos to exist. That one, utopic dreamers always forget, because it wouldn´t exist at all in an utopic world, with its ugly face. Animal smuggling. Animals are rescued from it. Some of them can be rehabilited and return to the wild. Here, about 80% do. That leaves 20%. Of those, about 15% don´t have a chance: they are the ones that, even after being rescued and receiving veterinary care, die. But that still leaves 5%. Animals that have been mutilated, animals that have been too traumatized to behave naturally, animals that are carriers of infectious diseases that could risk a wild population. Those animals go to Zoos. The alternative to zoos would be euthanasia, but no one in wildlife conservation wants to euthanize an animal that can live… just not in the wild.

        Zoos that mistreat animals need to be shut down, no one will dispute that. And some species (like whales, dolphins, and other highly intelligent, needing of large environments for confort animals) should not be kept at zoos. But that´s not every Zoo that mistreats its animals, and the war on them doesn´t help environmental conservation. It hinders.

        Reply
        • eleggua

           /  October 16, 2017

          Some of what you say, I agree with, but not with anything to do with keeping animals in captivity for profit. Been there, done that. It’s wrong, and I know and feel that better than most because of my experiences.

          I’ve done a bit of reseach on Safari West and came up with an assortment of problematic practices, not limited to animal welfare and treatement, and judgements rendered against them for some of those practices. Not going to link and detail them here now; you can do the same searching and discover the same info; it’s out there in cyberspace and easy to find.

          From one judgement:
          “Proof of willfulness is not prerequisite to concluding that respondent violated Animal Welfare Act or assessing civil penalty or issuing cease and desist order. ”

          There are genuine ark projects, where endangered and threatened animals are kept in captivity for the purpose of breeding and maintaining species. Those places do not offer viewings of the animals for a profit. Zoos are not necessary part of animal conservation. They’re an extension, at least in Western society, of colonialism. Frank Buck’s ‘Bring ‘Em Back Alive’: an extension of the “Great White Hunter” trope.

          Animal rehab centers and rescue centers don’t have to charge a viewing fee; they don’t have to put the animals on display for profit or otherwise.

          Not involved in any war of any sort and don’t want to be involved with “war” of any sort. I don’t agree with you that zoos are necessary. I don’t agree that doing away with zoos will hinder conservation. Let’s do it all; capture carbon and release aka repatriate wild beings.

          Not going further into it here right now. Will leave it at this: I’ve experience in that world and due to willful ignorance have inherited karmic debt. Speaking the truth as I know it is paying back some of what’s owed.

          “We don´t live in an utopic world. We live in a real one,”

          I live in me. What’s the world? It’s a story, a story we tell ourselves, made up of parts of stories we’re told and how we decide to process them, including the ones we tell ourselves about our experiences in the “real one”, the meta-story we sort of co-inhabit with others. You live in you; the world you live in, inside of you, is like a Venn Diagram, overlapping with many other worlds i.e. other people and other beings here on this planet (and possibly elsewhere in the universe).

          Don’t you want to inhabit a better world than this one, to live in that world right here on this planet? I gather, from reading your posts and conversing with you here that you do. So, let’s believe that we can live in that world and encourage each and every one of us, here and elsewhere, to believe that same thing. It won’t happen unless we believe it can, unless we create it from that belief. A better “world” is one where all beings are free, and I believe that we are due to inhabit that place here on Earth relatively soon. We humans are all one with each other and with the rest of life here on the meta-being, Gaia.

  54. Abel Adamski

     /  October 14, 2017

    http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-14/dubai-police-announce-star-wars-style-hoverbikes-for-officers/9049860
    Electric Police hoverbikes. Can fly over traffic jams and obstructions and flooded roads etc

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  October 14, 2017

      The way that vid is edited makes it difficult to discern how well they handle. There’s no shot of it taking off, flying along and then landing. The edits are crafted to conceal its actual performance, from what I’m seeing there. Whenever extended bits are shown, that rig doesn’t seem to perform very well. Skittish and difficult to control.

      If that rig were viable right now, the vid would show it from start to finish, takeoff to landing.

      Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  October 15, 2017

        Exactly.
        a) the rotors should be enclosed for safety reasons in the environment it is intended to be used in.

        However the reason I linked to it is highlighting that really it is the electric aspect that makes it at all feasible

        Reply
        • eleggua

           /  October 16, 2017

          Other reasons that it’s not a feasible rig at this time.

          ‘Piloted hoverbike redefines ‘dangerous’
          One false move and you’ll lose a leg.’
          02.20.17

          https://www.engadget.com/2017/02/20/hoversurf-scorpion-3-hoverbike/

          “…ou may want to take a pass on this one. Hoversurf has teased an electric quadcopter bike that offers both automated and manual control. It’s marketed as safe thanks to “state of the art flight controllers” that keep checks on parameters like altitude and speed, and those are no doubt true. But, well, look at it — you’re one jolt away from losing your legs to those unprotected blades. And did we mention how easy it would be to fall off with that unrestrained, motorcycle-style seating?….”

          That other article’s basically a promo piece touting Russia-based Hoversurf’s marriage with Dubai financing. Hoversurf know it’s not feasible for even recreational riding right now. Dubai loves to appear cutting-edge and futuristic. Socially and in other ways, it’s mostly Los Angeles 2049 ala the new Blade Runner film, though.

          “…the company and Dubai police had signed a memorandum of understanding to mass produce the craft in the Dubai area.”

  55. Andy_in_SD

     /  October 14, 2017

    People say it is could never happen here. Doe this remind you of recent rallies you have observed on TV?

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  October 15, 2017

      Try oomph of the shrill.

      Reply
    • eleggua

       /  October 15, 2017

      “What can we do? Well, again, looking back, probably not much. The liberal intellectuals are always in the minority. See Clay Shirky’s Twitter Storm on this point. The people who see that open societies, being nice to other people, not being racist, not fighting wars, is a better way to live, they generally end up losing these fights. They don’t fight dirty. They are terrible at appealing to the populace. They are less violent, so end up in prisons, camps, and graves. We need to beware not to become divided (see: Labour party), we need to avoid getting lost in arguing through facts and logic, and counter the populist messages of passion and anger with our own similar messages. We need to understand and use social media. We need to harness a different fear. Fear of another World War nearly stopped World War 2, but didn’t. We need to avoid our own echo chambers. Trump and Putin supporters don’t read the Guardian, so writing there is just reassuring our friends. We need to find a way to bridge from our closed groups to other closed groups, try to cross the ever widening social divides.

      (Perhaps I’m just writing this so I can be remembered by history as one of the people who saw it coming.)”

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  October 16, 2017

        Post that was supposed to appear before the one above didn’t land. Here’s the Tobias Stone piece from where ^that excerpt came. It was written several months before the 2016 US prez election. It’s a long piece and it’s extremely worthwhile, even though parts are now in the rear view mirrror of his-story.

        ‘History tells us what may happen next with Brexit & Trump’
        Tobias Stone Jul 23, 2016

        View story at Medium.com

        “….At a local level in time people think things are fine, then things rapidly spiral out of control until they become unstoppable, and we wreak massive destruction on ourselves. For the people living in the midst of this it is hard to see happening and hard to understand. To historians later it all makes sense and we see clearly how one thing led to another. During the Centenary of the Battle of the Somme I was struck that it was a direct outcome of the assassination of an Austrian Arch Duke in Bosnia. I very much doubt anyone at the time thought the killing of a European royal would lead to the death of 17 million people.

        My point is that this is a cycle. It happens again and again, but as most people only have a 50–100 year historical perspective they don’t see that it’s happening again. As the events that led to the First World War unfolded, there were a few brilliant minds who started to warn that something big was wrong, that the web of treaties across Europe could lead to a war, but they were dismissed as hysterical, mad, or fools, as is always the way, and as people who worry about Putin, Brexit, and Trump are dismissed now.

        Then after the War to end all Wars, we went and had another one. Again, for a historian it was quite predictable. Lead people to feel they have lost control of their country and destiny, people look for scapegoats, a charismatic leader captures the popular mood, and singles out that scapegoat. He talks in rhetoric that has no detail, and drums up anger and hatred. Soon the masses start to move as one, without any logic driving their actions, and the whole becomes unstoppable.

        That was Hitler, but it was also Mussolini, Stalin, Putin, Mugabe, and so many more. Mugabe is a very good case in point. He whipped up national anger and hatred towards the land owning white minority (who happened to know how to run farms), and seized their land to redistribute to the people, in a great populist move which in the end unravelled the economy and farming industry and left the people in possession of land, but starving. See also the famines created by the Soviet Union, and the one caused by the Chinese Communists last century in which 20–40 million people died. It seems inconceivable that people could create a situation in which tens of millions of people die without reason, but we do it again and again.

        But at the time people don’t realise they’re embarking on a route that will lead to a destruction period. They think they’re right, they’re cheered on by jeering angry mobs, their critics are mocked. This cycle, the one we saw for example from the Treaty of Versaille, to the rise of Hitler, to the Second World War, appears to be happening again. But as with before, most people cannot see it because:

        1. They are only looking at the present, not the past or future

        2. They are only looking immediately around them, not at how events connect globally

        3. Most people don’t read, think, challenge, or hear opposing views

        Trump is doing this in America. Those of us with some oversight from history can see it happening. …..”

        Reply
  56. eleggua

     /  October 14, 2017

    When in doubt, take an early exit and don’t look back; something might be gaining on you.

    Reply
  57. wili

     /  October 14, 2017

    The linked reference concludes: “… the specific equilibrium climate sensitivity which considers radiative forcing of CO2 and land ice sheet (LI) albedo, S[CO2,LI], is larger during interglacial states than during glacial conditions by more than a factor two.” This is not good news as consensus climate science typically assumes the modern ECS is essentially the same as that during the last glacial period. Thus is it conceivable that before 2100 the effective ECS (S[X) could be as high as 6C.

    Peter Koehler, Lennert Stap, Anna von der Heydt, Bas de Boer, Roderik, S. W. van de Wal & Jonah Bloch-Johnson (4 October 2017), “A state-dependent quantification of climate sensitivity based on paleo data of the last 2.1 million years”, Paleoceanography, DOI: 10.1002/2017PA003190

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2017PA003190/abstract

    Abstract: “The evidence from both data and models indicates that specific equilibrium climate sensitivity S[X] — the global annual mean surface temperature change (ΔTg) as a response to a change in radiative forcing X (ΔR[X]) — is state-dependent. Such a state dependency implies that the best fit in the scatter plot of ΔTg versus ΔR[X] is not a linear regression, but can be some non-linear or even non-smooth function. While for the conventional linear case the slope (gradient) of the regression is correctly interpreted as the specific equilibrium climate sensitivity S[X], the interpretation is not straightforward in the non-linear case. We here explain how such a state-dependent scatter plot needs to be interpreted, and provide a theoretical understanding — or generalization — how to quantify S[X] in the non-linear case. Finally, from data covering the last 2.1 Myr we show that — due to state dependency — the specific equilibrium climate sensitivity which considers radiative forcing of CO2 and land ice sheet (LI) albedo, , is larger during interglacial states than during glacial conditions by more than a factor two.”

    thanks again to aslr at asif for this.

    Reply
  58. Genomik

     /  October 14, 2017

    The latest. It’s looking better there’s so many people fighting the fire. I don’t think the winds made much spread. It’s going to get warmer for a few days but rain is in the forecast.

    “The scale of the disaster also became clearer as authorities said the fires had chased an estimated 90,000 people from their homes and destroyed at least 5,700 homes and businesses. The death toll rose to 35, making this the deadliest and most destructive series of wildfires in California history. The deaths were briefly tallied at 36, but authorities said one was double-counted.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-california-wildfires-20171013-story.html

    Reply
  59. Combustion properties of Bromus tectorum L.: influence of ecotype and growth under four CO2 concentrations.

    I found this a while back, the research has gone further but this paper is more succinct – also it’s an aspect the deniers cannot deny. (my rewording of their abstract)

    Lignin content falls in cheatgrass in reponse to elevated CO2 leading to increased flammability. Sixteen natural strains of cheatgrass were grown at four different CO2 levels; 270, 320, 370 and 420 ppm CO2. Lignin (which, which at 270ppm tends to be high and reduce flammability) was shown to have dropped significantly at higher CO2 levels. In laboratory burn tests eCo2 samples burned faster and more furiously than 270ppm samples.

    “Without a modeling effort, however, it is perilous to extrapolate our results to real field environments.” They shouldn’t need any models after this.

    https://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/pdf2006/fpl_2006_blank001.pdf

    Reply
    • bill h

       /  October 15, 2017

      Good catch, Nigel, this is important work. For readers who are not aware most plant cells have a cellulose cell wall, which survives after the cells have died, providing plants with strength and rigidity. The cellulose is further strengthened through being combined with a substance called lignin. The resultant substance, lignified cellulose has the common name of ….. WOOD. So, wood is actually more resistant to fire than cellulose. My guess is that this has to do with increased water retention in lignified cellulose. The implications of this paper are that we can expect more forest/grass/tundra fires with increasing CO2. While CO2 may be, AGW theory haters love to say “plant food”, it is also the bringer of plant death.

      Reply
      • As far as I’m aware it is simply an increase in the ratio of flammable (cellulose and hemicellulose – 70% Dry Matter) to non-flammable components (Lignin and minerals – 30% Dry Matter), rather than the cellulose matrix containing more water. Lignin in effect acts as a fire retardant by reducing the flammability of the fuel.

        But yes, fires will get worse and worse I’m afraid.

        Reply
  60. Genomik

     /  October 14, 2017

    Another latest. Seems the Nun fire is still going and the atlas is as well. What an enormous fire.

    https://ww2.kqed.org/news/2017/10/14/wildfires-in-northern-california-continue-to-burn-over-weekend/

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  October 14, 2017

      Heartbreaking. All of fourteen of the listed dead in that article are over the age of the age of 72 except for two, ages 57 and 67. Included are several couples, including the Rippeys, 100 and 98 years of age, and the Grants, him 95 and her 75. That’s a common pattern in disasters; the elderly and the infirmed at the most at-risk.

      ‘California firestorm takes deadly toll on elderly; average age of victims identified so far is 79’
      Oct. 13, 2017

      http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-norcal-fires-elderly-20171012-story.html

      “As authorities begin to identify those killed in the wildfires raging across Northern California, a grim pattern is emerging.

      Among the dozen people identified by Sonoma and Napa county officials as of late Thursday, the average age of those who died was 79. The youngest victim was 57, the oldest 100.

      “The bulk of them are in their 70s and 80s, so there is that commonality,” Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano told reporters at a news briefing.

      A majority were found inside their homes, unable to escape as the fire bore down. At least one was confined to a wheelchair. Another was lying next to a vehicle.

      The trend highlights a risk for elderly people when a natural disaster strikes: Health problems may limit mobility. They may no longer drive, and often live in areas with unreliable cellphone service…..”

      Reply
  61. Greg

     /  October 14, 2017

    Bob Henson -“With Ophelia strengthening even more than predicted, a destructive windstorm in Ireland on par with some of the most damaging in the nation’s history is becoming increasingly likely…To call Ophelia unusual would be an understatement. For one thing, it became a major hurricane at longitude 26.6°W, further east than any other formation of a Category 3 in the Atlantic. In data going back to 1851, no other major hurricane is known to have formed anywhere close to as far northeast as Ophelia. The runner-up at Ophelia’s latitude range, Michael (2012), developed some 900 miles further west.
    https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/ophelia-hits-category-3-destructive-winds-tap-ireland

    Reply
    • I just read this at Cat 6 and felt very alarmed.Lots of kindred spirits at this blog

      Reply
      • wili

         /  October 15, 2017

        It is stunning to me that, in spite of record after record being broken in the last couple months, some people persist in thinking that nothing deep has shifted in the nature of the planetary climate.

        Reply
  62. Ireland braces for a major windstorm on Monday
    With Ophelia strengthening even more than predicted, a destructive windstorm in Ireland on par with some of the most damaging in the nation’s history is becoming increasingly likely.

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  October 15, 2017

      Bigger but weaker when it hits:

      Reply
    • bill h

       /  October 15, 2017

      The latest forecasts indicate that the worst winds may be for Wales, the west coast of England and SW Scotland. The English county of Cumbria, clobbered by floods last winter, will be in the firing line.

      Reply
  63. ri

     /  October 15, 2017

    ‘300,000-plus gallons of oil spilled in Gulf of Mexico, authorities say ‘
    Oct 14, 2017
    http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/article_32c80288-b108-11e7-8bfe-bff617fed9de.html

    “The U.S. Coast Guard said Saturday that aircraft and vessels were investigating a crude oil spill caused by a damaged pipeline that released an estimated 334,000 to 393,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coast.

    The Coast Guard’s New Orleans office received a report at 1:30 p.m. Friday about the spill, which came from a pipeline connected to a subsea well in the Gulf about 40 miles southeast of Venice.
    The pipeline, which is operated by LLOG Exploration, has been secured. …”

    Reply
  64. Vic

     /  October 15, 2017

    China’s government pulls off the gloves in an unprecedented crackdown on air pollution.

    http://www.smh.com.au/world/in-china-the-war-on-coal-just-got-serious-20171011-gyyvi6.html

    “So now the Chinese government has brought out the “iron fist”.
    That was the phrase used by the environment protection bureau in China’s most polluted province, Hebei, as 69 government officials were sacked and 154 handed over to police for investigation last month for failing to implement pollution control measures.”

    “A battle plan has been drawn up by the ministry to cover 28 northern cities, including Beijing and Tianjin, where 7000 pollution inspectors will be deployed to expose violations and look for data fraud.”

    “176,000 companies who failed to meet emission targets were to be closed by October 1.”

    “Party chiefs will be accountable if a district fails to meet air pollution goals, and will be summoned to Beijing. If major media report more than five times that a province has failed to implement pollution controls, the party chief will be charged with dereliction of duty and punished.”


    Beijing Oriental Petrochemical Plant is demolished on September 27, 2017, as part of a pollution crackdown.  Photo: Sanghee Liu

    Reply
      • Robert in New Orleans

         /  October 16, 2017

        Iron Fist sounds like a prostate exam gone bad. 🙂

        But on a serious note, the Chinese government must realize that the course of business as usual regarding air pollution is a recipe for turmoil. An aroused and angry population leads to civil unrest which is what the ruling cliques fear the most as a direct threat to their power and thus control of the state.

        Reply
        • eleggua

           /  October 16, 2017

          They do realize it and recognize the probablility that climate change activsm will lead to genuine democracy there.

          Chai Jing’s ‘Under the Dome’ documentary from 2015.

          From wikipedia:

          “Under the Dome is a 2015 self-financed, Chinese documentary film by Chai Jing, a former China Central Television journalist, concerning air pollution in China. It was viewed over 150 million times on Tencent within three days of its release, and had been viewed a further 150 million times (total 300 million views) by the time it was taken offline four days later….

          The film openly criticises state-owned energy companies, steel producers and coal factories, as well as showing the inability of the Ministry of Environmental Protection to act against the big polluters.

          Despite demonstrating the failure of China’s regulations on pollution, the Chinese government at first did not censor the film. Instead, the People’s Daily reposted the film alongside an interview with Chai, while Chen Jining, the recently appointed minister for environmental protection, praised the film, comparing its significance with Silent Spring, the 1962 book by US environmentalist Rachel Carson. However, within a week, the Communist Party’s publicity department confidentially ordered the film to be removed. An employee of China Business News was suspended for leaking the order….

          On 2 March, the first weekday after the film’s release, the stocks of several environmental companies traded up to ten percent higher. The stocks were in companies involved in pollutant treatment, air quality monitoring and green technology, including Sail Hero, Top Resource Conservation Engineering, LongKing Environmental and Create Technology & Science. In Hong Kong, the shares of BYD Company, a maker of electric vehicles, rose nearly seven percent.”

  65. Abel Adamski

     /  October 15, 2017

    https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/37466859/man-films-tree-burning-from-inside-out-in-california-wildfires/

    Matthew McDermott from Sonoma in Northern California was searching for an escape route from the fires when he came to a nearby town and found a tree being consumed by fire.

    But this tree was burning from the inside out – all the way up the trunk. Smoke billows from the top of it.

    Reply
  66. Hilary

     /  October 15, 2017

    “Return of ‘ocean chimney’ the size of Tasmania puzzles Antarctic scientists”
    Good explanatory article + video clip about the polyna here:
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/97886407/return-of-ocean-chimney-the-size-of-tasmania-puzzles-antarctic-scientists

    Reply
    • It is good.I wish scientists did not have to say,not sure if global warming has anything to do with it..makes my eyes glaze over and I feel a bit reassured

      Reply
    • The use of ‘ocean chimney’ is a little misleading. It was used before to indicate the huge vortices in the North Atlantic that mixed ocean water all the way from top to bottom (first described by Dr. Peter Wadhams, who doesn’t get near as much respect as he should, IMHO). In this article the term appears to be used for a polynya caused by local concentration of warm ocean water, not surprising in the warming Antarctic currents, and a totally different mechanism.

      However, that a float fortuitously popped up in the middle is just wonderful, like all the little rubber duckies in the Pacific. Figures given are : “Moore said the polynya was releasing about 800 watts of energy per square metre – equivalent to about 14 60-watt light bulbs blazing away day and night.” I tried to compare this amount to the solar constant, but found some difficulty with measurements quoted in watts, kW, or W/m2. However, the solar constant seems to be1361 watts/m2, so 800 watts/m2 is a little more than half solar radiance, which is rather toasty in that location.

      Reply
    • eleggua

       /  October 16, 2017

      Interesting instance of paradolia here.

      “The polynya is located east of the Antarctic Peninsula, and even resembles an Orca. ”

      Reply
  67. Vic

     /  October 15, 2017

    Chevron abandons plans for drilling in the Great Australian Bight.

    It follows BP who pulled out of the region in October last year.

    Statoil, it’s your turn next.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-13/chevron-abandons-oil-drilling-on-great-australian-bight/9045870

    Reply
  68. Vic

     /  October 15, 2017

    This is the “Stella Vie”, one of the contestants in the recent Solar Challenge race across Australia in sunlight powered vehicles. Her average speed of 69kmh (43mph) was not enough to win the race, but she did take a driver and four passengers along for the ride.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/15/this-is-the-future-solar-powered-family-car-hailed-by-experts

    Reply
  69. Genomik

     /  October 15, 2017

    Trump is giving California the finger by barely mentioning a catastrophe california and America will never forget. These are not regular fires, these are game changers.
    These are Americans losing everything. Insurance companies paying out enormous values.

    He deserves to lose everything.
    Hold him and the GOP accountable in the 18 and 20 elections.

    http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Editorial-California-burns-Where-s-the-12278654.php

    Reply
  70. wili

     /  October 15, 2017

    http://www.worldpolicy.org/blog/2017/10/12/arctic-fire

    The Arctic is on Fire

    “Although we cannot assume that climate change is a significant factor in every wildfire scenario, these Arctic fire seasons showed clear indications of such influence. Along with 12 other scientists, Scott Rupp, a wildfire ecologist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and university director of the Interior Department’s Alaska Climate Science Center, spent months poring over data that may theoretically link the wildfires of 2015 to anthropogenic climate change. Remove regional warming from the picture, they concluded, and the forests of Alaska would very likely not have burned as severely as they did.”

    Reply
    • wili

       /  October 15, 2017

      And on the same theme but in a very different part of the world:

      “Record Amazon fires stun scientists; sign of sick, degraded forests”

      https://www.skepticalscience.com/2017-SkS-Weekly-News-Roundup_41.html

      Extract: “- With the fire season still on-going, Brazil has seen 208,278 fires this year, putting 2017 on track to beat 2004’s record 270,295 fires. While drought (likely exacerbated by climate change) worsens the fires, experts say that nearly every blaze this year is human-caused.

      – The highest concentration of fires in the Amazon biome in September was in the São Félix do Xingu and Altamira regions. Fires in Pará state in September numbered 24,949, an astonishing six-fold increase compared with 3,944 recorded in the same month last year.

      – The Amazon areas seeing the most wildfires have also seen rapid change and development in recent years, with high levels of deforestation, and especially forest degradation, as loggers, cattle ranchers, agribusiness and dam builders move in.

      – Scientists warn of a dangerous synergy: forest degradation has turned the Amazon from carbon sink to carbon source; while globally, humanity’s carbon emissions are worsening drought and fires. Brazil’s rapid Amazon development deepens the problem. Researchers warn that mega-fires could be coming, unless trends are reversed.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  October 15, 2017

        Arctic, Tropics, and mid latitutudes…I guess we should just say it: The Whole World Is On Fire!

        Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  October 16, 2017

        Desertification is on the way

        Reply
      • A recent article found that the carbon footprint of Amazon´s deforestation & degradation is going to rise 90% in the next 50 years if “business as usual” keeps going. 😦 http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aa69ce

        And at least for now, things seem to be changing for worst instead of better, with ruralistas in control of the current government (and the last. And the last before it. And trying to change electoral laws to keep their grip tighter). Not on topic, but today one important anti-slavery tool in Brasil was gutted, the list of enterprises found guilty of using slave-labor (now it can only be published after being “reviewed” by the Agriculture Minister). An ashaming act, and a show of force of the ruralistas.

        Reply
    • eleggua

       /  October 16, 2017

      Great piece, wili; thanks for posting it. A bit more from that one.

      “……It’s not just trees that are burning in the Arctic and sub-Arctic world, either. In 2007, the Anaktuvuk fire burned ferociously on the traditionally soggy tundra along the north slope of Alaska. It released 2.3 tons of carbon into the atmosphere and accounted for 40 percent of the area that burned in the state that year. Paleoecologist Phil Higuera said this region hadn’t burned in any significant way in 5,000 years.

      As climate continues to play a role in the way fires burn bigger, faster, hotter, and with greater frequency in the north, it is becoming increasingly clear that the conifers of the boreal forest in the sub-Arctic, the sedge meadows, and lichens of the tundra are not responding well to the changes. Variations in hydrology, soil acidity, permafrost thawing, and slumping come when the severe wildfires join forces with warmer, earlier springs; summers; and extended droughts. The frozen landscapes that once favored millions of free-roaming caribou are morphing into shrubbier tundra and aspen-dominated forest favored by moose, bison, and invasive species such as deer.

      This is likely to be bad news for indigenous people who see caribou in much the way southerners see cattle. Unable to afford the high cost of beef and other meat products that have to be flown in at great expense, they, as well as non-native people in the north, hunt these animals in large numbers to put food on the table. Some studies suggest that five caribou, enough to provide the protein a family needs to get through a fall and winter, are equal to about $5,000 in grocery bills…..

      …With sea ice melting, glaciers thinning, sea levels rising, and Arctic storms picking up steam, it is clear that the Arctic environment we once knew is disappearing. Rampant wildfires will only accelerate this demise. In its place, a new Arctic is unfolding, and with a better understanding of fire and fire management, we have an opportunity to shape the future.”

      Reply
  71. Leland Palmer

     /  October 15, 2017

    This paper shows severe loss of water content in trees due to the California drought of 2011 -2017 (this paper was published in 2016, and shows data ending in 2015). It has some really good maps of water stressed trees, and shows that Napa and Sonoma counties were hard hit by the drought, with lots of dead or dying trees. Conditions worsened during 2016, then we got massive rain in the winter of 2016-2017, and huge growth of grass and brush.

    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Gregory_Asner/publication/288686026_Progressive_forest_canopy_water_loss_during_the_2012-2015_California_drought/links/5684bbd508ae19758393895e.pdf

    Reply
  72. wili

     /  October 15, 2017

    Music needed. Playing The Band’s Ophelia a lot as it approaches Ireland, first red alert issued there ever. Got me to listen to another of their gems…the takeaway line for the world:

    And the dawn
    don’t rescue me
    no more…

    Reply
  73. wili

     /  October 16, 2017

    And again…let’s hope the luck of the Irish holds over then next 24 hours!

    Reply
  74. eleggua

     /  October 16, 2017

    ‘Ferocious fires like California’s are possible in Florida, experts say’
    Oct. 13, 2017

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/os-florida-chief-california-fires-20171012-story.html

    “….Will May, retired Alachua County fire chief and now National Wildfire Coordinating Group board member, said Florida newcomers can be perplexed by wildfire risks, asking “why should we worry when everything is green here?”

    The answer is that ubiquitous vegetation such as gallberry and palmetto are torches waiting for a light…..

    …“They contain waxes or oils that began to evaporate from the radiant heat of flames,” May said. “That becomes an airborne fuel that causes a fire to spread more intensely.”

    Florida blazes play out differently than those in California.

    In the flatter state of Florida, bulldozers and plows routinely attack wildfires by carving wide lanes of raw earth around them…..

    Forecasters are warning of a La Nina climate this winter, which typically brings drier, warmer weather to the Southeast and Florida.
    That’s coupled with a massive amount of fallen branches and dead trees across Florida’s peninsula, thanks to Hurricane Irma, which are drying out and becoming prime tinder.

    “We are going to be looking at a tough year, with much higher chances of extreme fire,” Karels said…..

    …Karels said disaster can happen suddenly where it was least expected; a wildfire in Gatlinburg, Tenn., last year killed more than a dozen people and burned nearly 2,000 homes and businesses.
    “From a firefighter standpoint, that area has a very low probability of catastrophic fire,” Karels said. “Florida is much more prone to large fires.””

    Reply
  75. eleggua

     /  October 16, 2017

    Gross, and obviously gross negligence.

    ‘300,000-plus gallons of oil spilled in Gulf of Mexico, authorities say’
    Oct 14, 2017

    http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/article_32c80288-b108-11e7-8bfe-bff617fed9de.html

    “The U.S. Coast Guard said Saturday that aircraft and vessels were investigating a crude oil spill caused by a damaged pipeline that released an estimated 334,000 to 393,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coast.

    The Coast Guard’s New Orleans office received a report at 1:30 p.m. Friday about the spill, which came from a pipeline connected to a subsea well in the Gulf about 40 miles southeast of Venice.

    The pipeline, which is operated by LLOG Exploration, has been secured. ….

    The Coast Guard statement said no crude oil is expected to wash up on the Louisiana shore.

    “Initial trajectory models calculated by the responsible party and NOAA indicate that any surface oil is expected to move in a southwesterly direction and is not expected to impact the shoreline,” the statement read.”

    Reply
    • Fish , wildlife, live everywhere Gulf has taken such a hit the last ten years , after what happened with flooding in Texas , I wouldn’t eat a mini shrimp out of that human polluted cancer clinic , such a sad thought for what was a paradise on earth .

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  October 16, 2017

        Indeed, Jeff. Diane Wilson, activist and former Gulf Coast shrimper.

        “Diane Wilson, a Texas shrimper and activist, has been arrested for pouring oil on herself during a senate energy hearing. Wilson was voicing her anger over the issue of BP’s liability in the catastrophic spill that has devastated the shrimping industry along the Gulf coast. She was specifically protesting Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s blocking of a bill that would have lifted the oil giant’s liability cap. Wilson was promptly removed from the hearing and arrested and charged with unlawful conduct disruption of Congress…

        “I am seeing the destruction of my community and I am outraged,” Wilson said in a statement released by Codepink following her arrest. “I am also seeing elected representatives like Senator Lisa Murkowski blocking BP from being legally responsible to pay for this catastrophe…. This is outrageous. How dare she side with big oil over the American people who have been so devastated by this manmade disaster?” ”

        From wikip:
        “Diane Wilson is an American environmental activist, anti-war activist, and author. In 1989 she was a shrimp boat captain in Calhoun County, Texas, and she saw an Associated Press article saying that the county had the most toxic waste disposal of all counties in America.
        Wilson began a campaign against Formosa Plastics, a Taiwanese chemical company then building a PVC (polyvinyl chloride) facility near her town, with tactics including several hunger strikes and sinking her own boat to draw attention to the matter.[
        In 1994 she won “zero discharge” agreements (meaning no liquid effluent discharge into the environment) from Formosa and Alcoa.”

        Reply
  76. eleggua

     /  October 16, 2017

    ‘Puerto Rico’s Medical Marijuana Industry Takes a Hit From Hurricane’
    Oct 14 2017

    https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/puerto-rico-crisis/puerto-rico-s-medical-marjuana-industry-takes-hit-due-hurricane-n810621

    “…Its government legalized medical marijuana at the end of December, and the American territory had only just gotten its sea legs in the competitive industry when Hurricane Maria crippled what could have been a potential economic savior for an island $74 billion in debt.

    “Big manufacturing and grow facilities have had their roof blown off, there is water in their manufacturing rooms, equipment damaged, no light for plants and most are dead,” said Goodwin Aldarondo, the president and CEO of Puerto Rico Legal Marijuana.

    “You’re talking about millions of dollars of damage and we just started as an industry,” he added….

    …its importance is particularly stark, as medical marijuana grew to be a symbol of the potential for economic prosperity for cash-strapped Puerto Rico.

    “We were expecting a lot from this industry,” Ingrid Schmidt, the president of the Puerto Rico Medical Cannabis Association, said over the phone. “It’s the only industry that was creating jobs and a lot of hope was put into this industry because it was critical to the financial circumstance that our island is going through.”

    But the island’s medical marijuana companies are starting to make a comeback; 20 of 29 medical marijuana dispensaries have reopened, according to the association. In the first two weeks after the storm, only four dispensaries could fill prescriptions….

    The cannabis association says 90 percent of grow houses in Puerto Rico are indoors, and the plants require constant artificial light and watering.

    The dispensaries and manufacturing sites that are operational have become dependent on generators, and so they require a huge amount of diesel to stay afloat — which they say triples their monthly electricity bill. Nevertheless, industry leaders on the island agree that acquiring diesel has become less of an issue in the past week, but clean water, particularly enough to irrigate plants, is still a huge issue…..

    ….those in the industry are careful to make sure that they follow all the rules and deliver a quality product, as they worry this could be a sink-or-swim moment in Puerto Rico’s medical marijuana history. ….”

    Reply
  77. eleggua

     /  October 16, 2017

    Puerto Rico, water; Northern California, fire. Similar problem, different direct cause.

    ‘North Bay Marijuana Harvest Ravaged By Fire’
    Oct 12, 2017

    https://sf.eater.com/2017/10/12/16465232/marijuana-industry-santa-rosa-sonoma-fires

    “.It’s not just vines that grow in Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino counties, and marijuana cultivators, like vintners and farmers, are reeling from the still-burning Tubbs and Atlas Peak Fires. According to the marijuana advocacy group the California Growers Association and industry leaders like Erich Pearson, co-founder of local dispensary SPARC, the growing industry is also one of the most precarious in the disaster, with farmers in legal limbo unable to recoup crop or fire insurance….

    ..“I went to bed Sunday with all these high winds, and I was concerned because I thought the plastic greenhouses would rip,” Pearson recalls. “When I woke up at 1:30 a.m., and I saw all that smoke and fire, I knew there were problems.”

    By the time Pearson drove down the road to the farm, it was essentially gone. “The barn where we store and cure our cannabis was on fire — and people live in there.” They escaped, as did Pearson, and later, by cutting a fire line with a chainsaw, he was able to save his residence….

    The timing couldn’t be worse. SPARC and other cultivators are in the middle of their harvest, and their losses will be major. Pearson may be able to save some of his crop through CO2 extraction for oils, he says. And as far as his dispensary’s supply chain, “there’s plenty of cannabis in California.” The dispensary has made arrangements to stock up from other providers, and both locations remain open for business as usual.

    But Pearson is a big fish, and his concern, from an industry perspective, is for the small farmers. In Sonoma, hundreds of them are transitioning from an unregulated market to a regulated one, and this year in particular, they’ve spent money on biological impact reports for their land, on application fees, and on other investments to enter the legal fray.

    They’ve also grown more supply than ever before, according to Pearson, to keep up with the tumbling price of cannabis. “You’ve got folks who have, more often than not, put their life savings into this year,” he says.

    A California Growers association leader puts the losses to farmers, including property damage, in the millions. An estimated 3,000 to 7,000 cannabis farmers operate in Sonoma alone, while Mendocino, also in the path of fire, is home to 7,000 to 10,000 farms….

    Some cultivators who have emerged unscathed, like Santa Rosa’s CannaCraft, are chipping in as well. “Effective immediately, a portion of all CannaCraft sales will be donated to assist in local relief and rebuilding efforts,” the company wrote earlier this week.

    They’re also donating in trade, so to speak. “CannaCraft’s brands, AbsoluteXtracts and Be Kind Flower, are donating over $50,000 of medical cannabis products to patients who have been displaced or evacuated due to the Northern California fires,” the company wrote today, listing dispensary partners in Santa Rosa and Sebastapol for pickup.”

    Reply
  78. eleggua

     /  October 16, 2017

    Article from the San Jose Mercury News, a paper founded in 1851. Due to its proximity to Sillycon Valley, its reporting on issues there is valid and mostly spot-on.

    I’ve no idea what’s going on inside the factories and offices at Tesla, only what I’m reading here at the Merc. Musk and Tesla have a lot of good things going, however this seems like a good time for them to take an in-depth look at what’s causing the employee problems, rather than executing wholescale dismissals.

    ‘Tesla fires hundreds after company-wide performance reviews
    Company says it will replace most workers’
    October 13, 2017 at 4:00 pm | UPDATED: October 14, 2017 at 8:00 am

    http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/10/13/4819750/

    “Tesla fired hundreds of workers this week, including engineers, managers and factory workers, even as the company struggles to expand its manufacturing and product line…..

    The company said this week’s dismissals were the result of a company-wide annual review, and insisted they were not layoffs. Some workers received promotions and bonuses, and the company expects to hire for the “vast majority” of new vacancies, a spokesman said….

    In multiple interviews, former and current employees told this news organization little or no warning preceded the dismissals. The workers interviewed include trained engineers working on vehicle design and production, a supervisor and factory employees.

    Workers estimated between 400 and 700 employees have been fired. Tesla refused to say how many employees were let go, although the company expects employee turnover to be similar to last year’s attrition….

    Workers spoke on the condition of anonymity because they feared reprisals from the company. Employees said the firings have lowered morale through many departments. Several said Model X, Model S and former SolarCity operations seemed to be targeted….

    Musk has told investors the company is focused on Model 3 production and expects to eventually build 10,000 cars a week. The manufacturing will become highly automated, but Musk told investors during the early ramp up he expected high overtime costs.

    He also joked to employees they would be going through “production hell” to meet demand for the new car. The company said recently a manufacturing bottleneck caused it to fall far short of its goal to produce 1,500 Model 3s in the quarter….

    This week’s dismissals have not been reported to the state Employment Development Department, a spokeswoman said. The state generally requires companies to report layoffs of more than 50 employees in a 30-day period.

    Tesla said the performance-based departures were not considered layoffs and not subject to state notifications. It also said the moves have generally boosted worker morale, as high-performing employees have been rewarded….

    Tesla has faced ongoing discontent from some factory workers, who have complained about work conditions and wages below the auto industry average.

    Tesla has a hearing before the National Labor Relations Board in November for charges that company supervisors and security guards harassed workers distributing union literature. Tesla denied the accusations.

    Openly pro-union workers were among those fired this week. Some believe they were targeted.

    The company denied union activities played a role in the dismissals.

    Michael Harley, managing editor at Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader, thought the dismissals could be an effort to improve vehicle production.

    “It’s no secret that Tesla’s Model 3 development and ramp-up for production has been derailed,” Harley said. “A major change in staff – whether dismissal or layoff – is an indication that there is an upper level movement to put the train back on the tracks.””

    Reply
  79. eleggua

     /  October 16, 2017

    ‘A Surprise From the Supervolcano Under Yellowstone’
    By SHANNON HALL OCT. 10, 2017

    “Beneath Yellowstone National Park lies a supervolcano, a behemoth far more powerful than your average volcano. It has the ability to expel more than 1,000 cubic kilometers of rock and ash at once — 2,500 times more material than erupted from Mount St. Helens in 1980, which killed 57 people. That could blanket most of the United States in a thick layer of ash and even plunge the Earth into a volcanic winter.

    Yellowstone’s last supereruption occurred 631,000 years ago. And it’s not the planet’s only buried supervolcano. Scientists suspect that a supereruption scars the planet every 100,000 years, causing many to ask when we can next expect such an explosive planet-changing event.

    To answer that question, scientists are seeking lessons from Yellowstone’s past. And the results have been surprising. They show that the forces that drive these rare and violent events can move much more rapidly than volcanologists previously anticipated.

    The early evidence, presented at a recent volcanology conference, shows that Yellowstone’s most recent supereruption was sparked when new magma moved into the system only decades before the eruption. Previous estimates assumed that the geological process that led to the event took millenniums to occur…..

    ….scientists are just now starting to realize that the conditions that lead to supereruptions might emerge within a human lifetime.

    “It’s shocking how little time is required to take a volcanic system from being quiet and sitting there to the edge of an eruption,” said Ms. Shamloo, though she warned that there’s more work to do before scientists can verify a precise time scale…..”

    Reply
    • Robert in New Orleans

       /  October 16, 2017

      The question is thus becomes will AGW became that added little push that awakens the giant?
      https://www.yellowstonepark.com/things-to-do/yellowstones-geothermal-energy

      Reply
    • Brian

       /  October 16, 2017

      Great article in Ars Technica today about New Zealand’s volcanoes. One of the highlights was that watching a volcano wake up for 20 years gave only 27-HOURS of notice prior to eruption.

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  October 16, 2017

        Would love to get a link to that one, Robert.

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  October 16, 2017

        Got it. The volcano you mention above is in Papua New Guinea, not N.Z.

        ‘How to harden a country that sits on a fault line
        Life in the crater of a volcano whose ash once covered the world.’
        Chris Lee – 10/16/2017

        https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/10/how-to-harden-a-country-that-sits-on-a-fault-line/

        “Approximately half of the population of New Zealand lives in the shadow of one or more volcanoes, built by the conjunction of the Pacific and Australian plates. And that makes understanding volcanoes and knowing how to live with them kind of important. ….

        …the development of a caldera eruption in Papua New Guinea. The volcano started waking up in 1972. The country was recording 1200 earthquakes a month by 1984. Over a period of 20 years, the ground rose 2.5 meters. Then, in the last 27 hours, the ground rose six meters, before the volcano blew in 1994. So, over a 20-year period, volcanologists had about 27 hours of warning that the eruption was imminent.”….

        Finally, I think New Zealand offers a salutary view of what realistic disaster preparedness looks like. Preparedness is not top-down, but, at the same time, individual agencies and utilities should not be left to keep their houses in order. Instead, everyone seems to have realized that their best interests involve an infrastructure that fails in the right way—ways that can be quickly fixed. Private companies and government agencies are basing their decisions more closely on risk assessments that are drawn from evidence and balance of probabilities, rather than leaving them to chance.”

        Reply
  80. eleggua

     /  October 16, 2017

    The latest on Opehlia from Met Éireann, Meteorological Service in Ireland.

    https://www.met.ie/default.asp

    “A STATUS RED WARNING IS IN OPERATION COUNTRYWIDE FOR TODAY.

    Today will be stormy with spells of heavy rain and widespread gales. Winds mainly from the southeast during the morning will give some severe and damaging gusts, before veering southwest later. Top temperatures of 15 to 18 degrees. Some violent gusts up to 150 km/h, and storm surges near coasts may give local flooding.

    Tonight
    Continuing stormy this evening with occasional showers, but winds from the southwest decreasing strong overnight. Showers becoming well scattered. Mainly dry later tonight – especially in the south. Minimum temperatures 7 to 9 degrees.

    Ex-Hurricane Ophelia: Key Public Safety & Information Messages
    16 October 2017

    People should remain indoors for the duration of the storm.
    All unnecessary travel should be avoided on Monday 16thOct 2017, while the storm is passing.
    Don’t travel during the height of the storm unless absolutely necessary. Listen to local radio and national media broadcasts for Met Éireann updates on the current weather situation.
    High seas are predicted, the public are advised to stay away from coastal areas during this period.
    Very strong winds are predicted making driving conditions hazardous, especially for the more vulnerable road users, e.g., cyclists, pedestrian’s, motorcyclist and high sided vehicles. Road users should pay particular attention to the risk posed by fallen trees and flying debris.
    Given anticipated weather conditions, Mon 16thOct 2017 should be a no bike day.
    Power outages are likely to occur in certain parts of the country, with contingency planning activated by the ESB. The ESB is advising the public to stay away from fallen cables that may have broken due to the high winds. ESB Emergency Services can be contacted at 1850372999.
    All Schools and Colleges Closed Tomorrow: In response to the imminent Ex-Hurricane Ophelia, the Department of Education and Skills has publicly informing all schools, colleges and other education institutions that they are to remain closed tomorrow, Monday 16 October. This decision has been made following discussions with members of the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning and in light of the advice from Met Éireann on this unprecedented storm. Crèches and Montessori facilities should also remain closed tomorrow.
    Many public transport services and aviation services will not operate tomorrow – please with providers before embarking on any journeys.
    People are asked to check in on isolated and vulnerable neighbours in advance of the oncoming severe weather conditions and again after the worst of the event has passed.
    People are advised to remove patio furniture, rubbish bins and any loose items from around buildings, which can be turned into missiles by the wind.”

    Reply
  81. eleggua

     /  October 16, 2017

    Obviously the answer, “NO!”

    ‘Australia Debates: Does a Warming Planet Really Need More Coal?’
    OCT. 14, 2017

    Reply
  82. Genomik

     /  October 16, 2017

    In light of the fires many communities are going to ask this question. Should you cut down large established invasive (or native) trees to have less fire risk?

    But if you do you may get lots of scrub brush that can make explosive fires in a different way.

    Southern California has had some pretty bad fires even when there are few trees.

    http://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Conflict-as-heated-as-the-flames-over-Oakland-12267980.php

    Reply
    • What we’re (all humans) going to have to do is start managing (repairing) the the planet at all scales – planning, plant selection (and culling) and maintenance – stewardship.

      Reply
      • James Hansen recently wrote about the task of removing carbon from the atmosphere:

        Let us first note the estimated cost of negative emissions. Smith et al. (2016) [5] review estimated costs for a wide range of proposed methods of extracting CO2, concluding that costs are at least $150-350/tC, where tC is a ton of carbon. Thus the cost of extracting 100 PgC is $15-35 trillion. Let’s assume the emitting nations agree to cover this cost, spread over the last 75 years of this century. The bill would be $200-467 billion/year. The United States is responsible for 25% of the excess CO2 in the air from fossil fuel use, so the proportionate U.S. annual bill is $50-117 billion/year for each 100 PgC of extraction.

        However, carbon extraction needed to stabilize climate is likely to be much more than 100 PgC. If fossil fuel emissions remain constant, the extraction requirement is 695 PgC (Fig. 2). Thus the cost of removing the CO2 from the air would be about a factor of seven larger than for 100 PgC. I am not saying that young people will actually be able to come up with the resources to clean up this mess. Our “Young People’s Burden” paper [2] concluded that “Continued high fossil fuel emissions unarguably sentences young people to either a massive, implausible cleanup or growing deleterious climate impacts or both.”

        That’s quite the bill.

        Reply
    • That probably changes a lot depending on the environment. Different kinds of trees react to fire differently. We had a lot of fire here in Brasil this year, but little human life loss or fires going from forest to houses (fires starting in houses, markets or other human buildings is another matter).

      For example, fires burned at 500m from my house last week, but I had no fear at all that anything but the smoke would reach me (ok, that and the fact that eletricity poles made of lumber burned at the fire too, leaving us without eletricity for 3 days), as we´ve been irrigating the nearest forest (first with watering cans, and for the last month with micro-perfurated irrigation hoses, at least 50m to each side of the house) during these driest months (spending $150 in two truckloads of water delivery instead of losing all the new baby-trees planted this year and the last to unusual drought was a no-brainer), and healthy Mata Atlantica rain-forest simply doesn´t burn (even the soil litter keeps wet enough to resist ignition).

      The flames on my neighboor´s eucaliptus plantation (a pyrophile tree species) did singe a few of the peripherical trees on the forest I take care, but went off at the border. Even though the border was already outside the area we had been irrigating, it was downhill from the irrigated area, so, benefiting from it too (yes, the fires were downhill from me, that´s how I known it was the forest, not lucky winds, that stopped them). Firefighters were instrumental in saving my neighboor´s home (it´s walls got more than singed), but the forest itself was enough to stop flames at my border.

      If the neighbooring vegetation was Cerrado, not Atlantic Rainforest, I wouldn´t be able to trust it to damp the fires, as Cerrado is pirophile like Eucaliptus, with trees that lose leafs easily in dry times, bark made to burn while the center of the tree withstands, and seeds that sprout easier after fires. If I had let the trees go dry in this last drought and they were already weakened, it wouldn´t help either. And I´ll probably have to change my strategy for water (right now, truckloads of water were cheap, if a new rationing happens, and I´m expecting it will, they might not be available. My idea is to add rain-catching cisterns… we have one now, that lasts 1,5 months, will probably add 3, in order to be able to irrigate a bigger area and not worry about lacking water before the dry season ends).

      But piro-resistent vegetation & irrigation can be an alternative to cutting trees down.

      Reply
  83. Syd Bridges

     /  October 16, 2017

    An article on thawing Alaskan permafrost from the BBC. It’s a huge carbon bomb, and I know Robert has discussed it before.

    http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20171016-the-great-thaw-of-americas-north-is-coming

    Reply
    • Hello Syd —

      Your previous comment was held in moderation automatically due to a high number of links. However, I’m going to keep holding it for now and ask you to do me a few favors:

      I’m not clear who is on what side of the apparent argument presented. So if you could please clarify (copy, paste, edit, use quotes), it might help me and others actually understand what’s being written and asserted.

      With regards to William Happer, the criticism appears more than justified. Am I to understand that someone from Heartland is trashing Desmogblog and Greenpeace? If so, no surprise.

      https://www.desmogblog.com/william-happer

      With regards to Dave Burton — he is a known intentional misinformer. I had previously listed his comments as Spam, but he somehow got through the filter. I’m blocking his url at this time. My apologies for his targeted harrassment of you and others.

      Reply
  84. Robert in New Orleans

     /  October 16, 2017

    What Mr. Burton is doing on this blog is referred to as “Gish Gallop” just for reference purposes.

    From Wikipedia:
    Gish gallop is a term for a debating method that focusses on overwhelming one’s opponent with as many arguments as possible, without regard for accuracy or strength of the arguments; it is considered a fallacious technique.[1] The term was coined by Eugenie C. Scott and named after the creationist Duane T. Gish.[2][3]

    The Gish gallop allows a debater to hit their opponent with a rapid series of many specious arguments, half-truths and misrepresentations in a short space of time, which makes it impossible for the opponent to refute all of them within the format of a formal debate. In practice, each point raised by the “Gish galloper” takes considerably more time to refute or fact-check than it did to state in the first place,[4] which wastes the opponent’s time and can cast doubt about their debating ability in an audience unfamiliar with the technique, especially if no independent fact-checking is involved.[5]

    It is generally more difficult to use the Gish gallop in a structured debate than a free-form one.[6] If one is familiar with an opponent who is known to use the Gish gallop, the technique can be countered somewhat by preempting and refuting their commonly used arguments before they have the chance.[7]

    Reply
  85. Robert in New Orleans

     /  October 16, 2017

    One of the more famous if not the most famous example of Gish Gallop is the 2012 Election debate between then President Obama and mitt romney.

    Reply
  86. Genomik

     /  October 16, 2017
    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  October 16, 2017

      ‘At least 30 killed as Ophelia winds fan wildfires in Portugal and Spain
      Portuguese government says most of the fires that have destroyed homes and businesses across Iberia were started deliberately’
      16 October 2017

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/16/portugal-spain-wildfires-forest-fires-ophelia-villages-evacuated

      “At least 32 people including a one-month-old baby have been killed in northern Portugal and Spain, where hundreds of wildfires have forced residents to flee from towns and villages.

      Portugal’s national civil protection authority said the infant had been missing after a wildfire near Tabua, 120 miles (200km) north of Lisbon. Seven people were missing and 56 people were injured – 16 of them seriously, the agency said…..

      The fires were fanned by strong winds as remnants of Hurricane Ophelia brushed the Iberian coast. They spread quickly over the weekend across a landscape left tinder dry by a hot summer….

      Last week, an independent investigation into Portugal’s June wildfires found that authorities failed to evacuate villages in time. The fires destroyed about 29,000 hectares (72,000 acres) of land.”

      Reply
    • eleggua

       /  October 16, 2017

      Deathtoll creeping upward.

      “…the fires are certain to revive the debate over whether the authorities have allocated sufficient resources to forestry management, as well as Portugal’s reliance on volunteer firefighters and its failure to punish landowners who leave forests abandoned.

      The situation in Portugal is complicated by the fact that the state owns about 3 percent of the country’s forests and does not have a proper registry of forest landowners. Forest management has been further weakened by budget cuts during the recent financial crisis.

      Two weeks ago, Galicia dismissed 436 forest rangers who had been hired on temporary contracts over the summer months. Asked to justify the decision, Mr. Feijóo had said at a news conference that the risk of fire along the Atlantic coast had “lowered significantly.”

      Portugal’s forests have been burning repeatedly during an unusually dry and warm summer. In June, 64 people were killed near the town of Pedrógão Grande, many of them trapped in their cars as they tried to escape the flames. It was the country’s most deadly fire.

      The effects of the fires could be seen as far as Britain. The dust from the blazes, combined with the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia, gave the sky a reddish hue that is normally seen only at sunrise or sunset, the Met office said.”

      ^^^^What Jeremy noted in his comment just below.

      Reply
  87. Jeremy in Wales

     /  October 16, 2017

    While 300 miles from the centre of the storm over western Ireland the sky this morning was really odd, a red sun all morning and the sky cloud a yellow/green shade. It seems that Ophelia dragged dust up from the Sahara and smoke from the fires in Portugal/Spain.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-41635906

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  October 16, 2017

      ‘Update on Storm Ophelia. Issued 2pm Monday October 16th’ from Met Éireann.

      https://www.met.ie/news/display.asp?ID=458

      Strongest gusts to date:
      – 191km/h at Fastnet Rock (6.5km SW of Cape Clear Co. Cork, at a height of 200ft)
      – 156km/h at Roches Point
      – 135km/h at Sherkin Island (before the weather station lost power)
      – 126km/h at Cork Airport (before a loss of power)
      – 122km/h at Shannon Airport

      Rainfall:
      – 17mm at Valentia, including 9mm in one hour
      – 17mm at Mace Head, including 8mm in the past hour

      Reply
    • eleggua

       /  October 16, 2017

      ‘Former Hurricane Ophelia rocks Ireland with 100-mph wind gusts’
      10.16.2017

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2017/10/16/former-hurricane-ophelia-rocks-ireland-with-100-mph-wind-gusts/

      “…If the 119 mph gust at Fastnet Rock is verified and considered official, it would break the record for Ireland’s strongest wind gust of 113 mph set at Malin Head, at Ireland’s northern tip, during Hurricane Debbie in 1961.

      Wind gusts of at least tropical storm-force (39 mph and higher) affected much of Ireland. Dublin recorded a gust of 65 mph.

      Images from social media showed roofs sheared off a school gym and soccer stadium in Cork, a university city just inland from Ireland’s southwest coast, where wind gusts reached hurricane strength….

      While destructive, the storm was moving very quickly and was expected to exit southern areas by 4 to 6 p.m. Monday local time, and northern areas by around midnight…..

      Wind gusts to hurricane force reached west Wales, where a 90-mph gust was clocked in Aberdaron, a former fishing village. Belfast, in northern Ireland, logged a gust of 53 mph.

      hese southerly winds were also carrying dust from the Sahara over the United Kingdom, causing the sun to appear red…

      When Ophelia became a major — Category 3 (or higher) — hurricane Saturday, it marked the sixth such storm to form in the Atlantic this year, tied with 1933, 1961, 1964 and 2004 for the most through Oct. 14, according to Phil Klotzbach, tropical weather researcher at Colorado State University.

      The storm is most remarkable, however, for where it reached such strength — becoming the first storm to reach Category 3 strength so far east.
      Much-above-normal water temperatures and light upper-level winds helped the storm reach such unusual intensity so far north and east in the Atlantic Ocean.”

      Reply
    • eleggua

       /  October 16, 2017

      Reply
  88. eleggua

     /  October 16, 2017

    ‘Projected asymmetric response of Adélie penguins to Antarctic climate change’
    Published online: 29 June 2016

    https://www.nature.com/articles/srep28785

    “Abstract

    The contribution of climate change to shifts in a species’ geographic distribution is a critical and often unresolved ecological question. Climate change in Antarctica is asymmetric, with cooling in parts of the continent and warming along the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP).

    The Adélie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) is a circumpolar meso-predator exposed to the full range of Antarctic climate and is undergoing dramatic population shifts coincident with climate change.

    We used true presence-absence data on Adélie penguin breeding colonies to estimate past and future changes in habitat suitability during the chick-rearing period based on historic satellite observations and future climate model projections. During the contemporary period, declining Adélie penguin populations experienced more years with warm sea surface temperature compared to populations that are increasing.

    Based on this relationship, we project that one-third of current Adélie penguin colonies, representing ~20% of their current population, may be in decline by 2060. However, climate model projections suggest refugia may exist in continental Antarctica beyond 2099, buffering species-wide declines. Climate change impacts on penguins in the Antarctic will likely be highly site specific based on regional climate trends, and a southward contraction in the range of Adélie penguins is likely over the next century.”

    Reply
  89. eleggua

     /  October 16, 2017

    “Marine biologist Johnny Gaskell was recently perusing online satellite imagery of a stretch of reef off Queensland when he came across an intriguing anomaly of deep, dark blue.

    “What we found inside was hard to believe considering 5 months ago a Cat 4 cyclone went straight over the top of it.”

    At depths of 50-60 feet, Gaskell discovered pristine colonies of giant birdsnest corals and extremely long Staghorn corals. All appeared to have been completely unaffected by Cyclone Debbie, which slammed into the region as a Category 4 storm in late March.

    We may very well be the first to ever dive Gaskell’s Blue Hole as it was so far offshore and hidden deep within one of the Great Barrier Reef’s biggest lagoons…” “

    Reply
  90. Vaughn Anderson

     /  October 17, 2017

    I have read Cliff Mass’ Weather Blog for a number of years. Here he provides a relatively in-depth analysis of the California fires being discussed. Worth a read:

    http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2017/10/the-real-story-behind-california.html

    Reply

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