Delving Further into Uncharted Territory: Arctic Sea Ice Greatly Weakened at Start of Spring 2018

The story of Arctic sea ice is one of short term complexity overlying an inexorable long term trend of decline. It has thus been difficult for sea ice monitors to forecast seasonal ice growth and retreat, despite a larger and significant warming of the Arctic.

(New ice has formed north of Greenland following a massive polar warming event last week. This ice is thin and faces the warm up of spring and summer with uncertainty. Sitting over a region that is typically filled with thick ice, it could provide a back-door for melt into the Central Arctic come summer. As usual, weather will play a key role in this year’s melt, despite the undeniable longer term trend of loss. Image source: NASA.)

Undeterred by these facts, a number of key factors stand out in 2018 — following a winter in which the Arctic has suffered considerable warming and related impacts to the ice.

Lowest Sea Ice Extent; Warmest Freeze Season

Today, Arctic sea ice extent is at its lowest levels on record. Volume, is at the second lowest levels ever measured. And this year’s freeze season (October through February of 2017-2018) was the warmest ever recorded (see link below). Taken at face value, these are pretty stark statistics. But they don’t tell the whole story. Not by a long shot.

The Arctic is warming up twice as fast as the rest of the world. It has been doing so since around 2000 when Polar Amplification — the science-based expectation that the poles will warm faster than the globe as greenhouse gas levels rise — really began to kick in. So the present warm peak in the Arctic is on top of a record spate of accelerated warming. In the graphs it looks like a rocket ship taking off.

We should be clear that most of this warming has occurred during winter time. It’s warmth that has softened the ice, thinned it. Produced a big push toward thaw. But like a cup of water with a single cube of melting ice in it will resist surface temperatures above freezing, this thinning and melting has yet to have have a significant impact on summer-time temperatures in the high Arctic. That thinning skein of ice is still doing its duty keeping the Arctic summer close to freezing. But it’s a realistic question to ask — how much longer can it? What happens when the majority of the summer ice is gone?

Such radical warming has also had a number of environmental effects. It is pushing fisheries that rely on cold water northward. It is stressing key species like the Wright Whale, the Polar Bear, and the Puffin. It is causing the permafrost to thaw, which produces a number of environmental feedbacks. Not the least of which includes land subsidence, the release of mercury into the Arctic environment and global ocean, and the slow but rising expulsion of greenhouse gasses long locked away.

Multiyear Ice Has Pulled Away From Shore

The thicker ice floes of yore are now mostly a bare memory. A recollection of past cold blasted away by fossil fuel burning and inexorable thaw. This year, an LNG tanker crossed the thinning ice during winter time. Bearing with it a great load of climate change quickening gas destined to be burned in some nation still entangled by a heat-producing web of gas plants, coal mines, and diesel and gasoline cars.

The thick, multiyear ice is reduced to a phantom of its former girth and extent. It has drawn back, pulling away from shore. Increasingly sequestered to more and more remote regions. And on the run from the ocean swells, warmer storms, and increasing instances of liquid rain that fall across an Arctic that is facing violent transition.

Increasingly, it huddles closer to Greenland and the Canadian Archipelago. But as we can see in the image at the top of this post, even this region is no longer a reliable sanctuary.

Cold Pole Shift in Forecast — Canada/Alaska Predicted to See Abnormal Warmth

As late winter transitions into early spring, we enter the less certain time of melt and thaw season. During recent years, as warming bloomed in the lower latitudes, the Jet Stream which had slowed and meandered more during winter due to polar warming, snapped back into place. This seasonal flattening and speeding up of the upper level winds tended to harden and deepen the cold pole at the north of our world. Reducing relative temperature variance above normal averages even as melt season advanced.

This created a kind of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde relationship between winter and summer in which high Arctic winter temps seemed outrageously warmer than normal even as summer snapped back to more typical Arctic averages in the furthest north locations.

(As we enter spring and summer, high Arctic temperatures tend to regress back toward the mean following winter warming. This is largely due to the inertial cooling influence of ocean ice which will tend to keep temperatures closer to the freezing line even as net energy gain is ongoing. Loss of ice would result in the removal of this insulating effect and likely push summer anomalies for the region into the +1 to +5 C range. Image source: Zachary Labe. Data Source: DMI.)

But all is not well. The loss of winter climate norms have done their damage. And the summers, on balance, saw the edge ice retreat a bit further. Saw the boundaries of Arctic cold pull a bit tighter and saw the open, warmer, sunlight-capturing waters advance ever northward.

We don’t know if this return to more normal temperatures for the high Arctic during summer will save the ice from new record lows this year during melt season. But we can track how thaw season is predicted to advance against a greatly weakened Arctic sea ice pack. And this year, the cold pole appears to be expected to shift over the land mass of western Siberia during early March.

(A warm North America, cool west Siberia dipole appears to be developing during early March in the forecast models. If this trend reinforces, it could leave large areas of ice open to early thaw from the Alaskan and Canadian maritime to the Central Arctic. Note that residual energy transfer along ocean zones remains in play in this forecast. Image source: Climate Reanalyzer.)

Meanwhile, on the North American side, abnormal warmth is predicted to advance through Alaska, Western Canada, and the Hudson Bay region.

If this trending location of warm and cool extremes reinforces and holds through melt season start, we can expect the front of melt advance to begin on the North American side as the region near the Kara and Laptev seas resist melt advance longer. Meanwhile, latent warmth over the Bering Sea and Svalbard appear to be set to hold back late season refreeze in these two key zones.

How this weather dynamic plays out will determine if melt season 2018 begins on a record low ramp and how resilient the ice will be to the seasonal thaw that is on the way. We are presently in a situation where a record low start is possible even as reasonable concerns about a potential rapid summer melt progression are presently heightened.

Leave a comment


  1. Jeremy in Wales

     /  March 6, 2018

    Quite surprised that the sea ice thickness was also not a record low but these tweets from Stefan Hendricks suggests that the ice has a memory of last summers cooler temperatures, presumably reduced melt at surface.


    Very complicated interactions but possibly suggests for the preservation of ice that cooler summers are more important than incursions of warmth in the Arctic winter?

    Your firing out articles at a fantastic rate, thank you for keeping us informed.

    • The trend is one of winter warming and sea ice loss. Recent cool summers are a counter trend signal that will eventually be overcome barring a large flood of fresh water from Greenland. The question for me is when and how? We could see another cool summer. But that depends on weather more than climate. The warming of polar winter is climate change driven and it’s pretty inexorable.

    • In reference to this discussion:

      • The bounce back during 2018 to second lowest on record isn’t much of a bounce, in other words. Not in relation to the long term trend.

        • Jeremy in Wales

           /  March 6, 2018

          The trend is definetly downwards and of course as the ice gets more broken and thin it becomes harder to measure as ponding reduces the effectiveness of satelite monitoring especially in summer. A marginal increase in thickness will not be a great buffer to melting but it did seem counter-intuitive to me that the ice thickness was also not at a record low considering the conditions experienced, the polynya next to northern Greenland was totally unexpected.

        • It’s not really that counter-intuitive. Variance within trend is pretty expected.

        • Robert E Prue

           /  March 6, 2018

          Looking at any of those monthly grafts from 1979 to present shows a no brainier downward trend of the ice. It amazes me that certain people still writing articles suggesting there’s no problem with the arctic ice. They should write science fiction instead.

        • Brian

           /  March 7, 2018

          @ Robert E Prue – Please don’t poison the well of Science Fiction with these hacks!

    • Rob Dekker

       /  March 11, 2018

      Regarding Cryosat not recording a record, Neven at the ASIB notes that Cryosat may have a bias. Cryosat may see the extra snow cover over the ice as ice thickness, and PIOMAS is more accurate than Cryosat at this point. PIOMAS recorded second lowest volume at this point (after 2017).

      In a warming world, there is more moisture driving into the Arctic, and thus we can expect thicker snow, which may fool the Cryosat freeboard measurements into believing there is thicker ice (and thus more volume) than there really is.

      I think he has a point.

  2. Keith Antonysen

     /  March 6, 2018

    Hi Robert

    Thanks for another great article. I think you might mean “further” rather than “future” in “… saw the edge ice retreat a bit future. Saw the boundaries of Arctic cold pull a bit tighter and saw the …”

    On an extreme right wing site I wrote about the tanker travelling in winter. A denier challenged me by saying that the gas tanker was built as a ice breaker. But, to me that begs the question … 30 years ago was it possible for ice breakers to travel far into the multi year ice that was once found in the Arctic Ocean?




  3. wili

     /  March 6, 2018

    “Thousands of dead starfish have washed up on a beach in the United Kingdom”

    • Ocean creatures aren’t used to the high level of temperature variance presently being produced. They moved north due to warming from the south and then they were hit by this. Of course, there are other possible causes for the mass death including ocean anoxia. But temperature extremes are currently ID’d as the most likely cause.

      • Jeremy in Wales

         /  March 6, 2018

        Thousands of lobsters also washed up on North Sea coasts but fishermen have been collecting them and putting them in holding tanks were many revive. Bit of self-interest obviously but as they are mostly juviniles they will be put back in the sea.

        • You Brits seem to excel at this sort of thing – lobsters, frogs, humans. Hats off to you.

      • rhymeswithgoalie

         /  March 8, 2018

        “Ocean creatures aren’t used to the high level of temperature variance presently being produced. ”

        Here’s hoping for high genetic variability and/or short generation time to get temperature-resilient attributes in the various species.

  4. Jeremy in Wales

     /  March 6, 2018

    Some interesting articles in this magazine produced by the Alfred Wegener Institute // Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research. Some 88 pages but details current research on Ronne-Flicher ice shelf and learnt about Polynyas connecting to sea ice formation.

  5. wili

     /  March 6, 2018

    “Parts of northern Alaska were 43°F warmer than normal yesterday.
    This isn’t even that unusual anymore.
    Without sea ice to insulate the Arctic, a state-change is underway.

    The Arctic is a fundamentally different place now.”

  6. Pinning this here for the purpose of book-marking.

    • I subscribe to a financial advisory service, it tracks by the economic cycles and actions taken as well as debt etc.
      That type of action is to be expected (in fact a marker -similar done before) as attempts to prop up the huge debt and speculation bubble stretching it out for a few more years before the deck of cards collapses under it’s own weight and shearing and the harvest of the worlds wealth (the real asset type) begins.
      Due to debt levels (not Government – it can just print more money) private and business at the same time that mid and lower incomes are reduced with personal debt fueling tyhe necessary consumption.
      It won’t end well and the big concern for us is that there will be increasing action to prevent action against global warming on the basis of harming the economy

      • So presently we have a credit card debt problem that would probably be solvable given some decent monetary policy. Deregulation just makes matters worse by looking the other way in the event of predatory lending practices. The issue is that banking deregulation will generate bad debt that will, in turn, further stress financial systems.

        So, no, it’s not an inevitable. It’s basically an irresponsible action that makes matters worse. Boom and bust mentality that generates big market crashes that can take down whole industries requiring more public bail outs. Same idiotic republican policy that got us into the Great Recession.

  7. Extremely depressing news especially for the younger folks just starting life’s journey. Counterpunch had similar news on the warming event in what should be the dead dark cold northern winter. Will there ever be serious discussions by world leaders to address this totally existential threat. I wish I had something good to say, sorry I don’t. I don’t visit this site as much as I used to, too depressing. Peace be with you all. The Ol’ Hippy

  8. N.W.T. resident spots ‘awe-inspiring’ landslide that created a new lake

    Kokelj said data shows the level of activity and size of these “disturbances” are increasing in many parts of the lower Mackenzie Valley and throughout the N.W.T.

    “As the climate warms and permafrost temperatures rise and permafrost thaws, these types of phenomena will become more common,” he said. “We need to expect that and anticipate that.”

  9. Paul in WI

     /  March 7, 2018

    Good article in National Geographic Magazine from January about the arctic sea ice retreat: “Here’s Where the Arctic’s Wildlife Will Make Its Last Stand”

    Forecasters say the region’s sea ice will dwindle to a strip above Greenland and Canada. There, polar bears and others will fight to survive.

    Here’s an excerpt from the article:

    In 2010 Pfirman was part of a team that identified the most likely location for the Arctic’s last summer sea ice, work that has helped guide the Pristine Seas effort. Comparing a variety of computer models and satellite data, she and her colleagues found that winds and currents conspire to funnel drifting sea ice from all over the Arctic onto the northern edges of Greenland and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago—a region of spectacular fjords and more than 36,000 islands, including Ellesmere and Baffin. Year after year, massive ice floes stack up in that relatively calm zone. Some of the ice there is decades old and more than 80 feet thick.

    Pfirman and her colleagues realized that by mid-century, this frigid haven would hold the Arctic’s only year-round ice. Their discovery was far from obvious. In some earlier climate models, Pfirman says, the Arctic’s ice cover simply retreated evenly along its southern flank as the planet warmed, ultimately settling right around the North Pole. “That makes no sense at all, though,” she says. “There’s no reason for ice to congregate at the North Pole. It’s going to keep moving until it hits something.”

    Despite the steep decline in store over the next several decades, a long, narrow band of perennial ice will persist late into this century. If we can end our reliance on planet-heating fossil fuels, it could survive even longer—into a time when, just maybe, we’ll figure out how to remove enough carbon from the atmosphere to cool the planet again. “The ice models don’t drop down to zero,” Pfirman says. “Some people say it’s hopeless, because we’re on a trajectory where ice is going to be lost. But if you look at the climate models, it drops down precipitously, and then it has this long tail, which gives us some time to act and potentially mitigate the warming.”

    • Less ice generally leads to less ice resiliency. There’s an issue that’s sometimes been over-stated related to tipping points. But I think there’s one out there when it comes to summer sea ice. Which is why I’m personally a bit less inclined to put stock in long tail ice models.

      I hope this particular view is incorrect.

      Regardless, we need to urgently move to cut fossil fuel emissions as fast as possible. The Arctic environment and so much else is at serious risk now. Looking at that tiny sliver of ice in this 2050 model, it’s difficult for me to see how polar bears or much else that relies on the ice survives. And, in my opinion, this is a conservative model.

      • Kalypso

         /  March 7, 2018

        If we lose arctic sea ice in the summer, I wonder what further changes will occur in the planet’s climate? While climate change is already making extreme weather events more likely, will the loss of summer arctic sea ice dramatically increase extreme weather events? And will these changes set in immediately after arctic sea ice is gone in the summer, or will the changes be somewhat gradual (still dangerous of course)?

    • paul

       /  March 8, 2018

      Reminds me of the Neanderthal’s ‘last stand’ in the coastal caves of the Iberian peninsula in the face of increased competition from homo sapiens and climate change.

  10. Erik Frederiksen

     /  March 7, 2018

    From your article: “What happens when the majority of the summer ice is gone?”

    From PNAS in 2013. “Using satellite measurements, this analysis directly quantifies how much the Arctic as viewed from space has darkened in response to the recent sea ice retreat. We find that this decline has caused 6.4 ± 0.9 W/m2 of radiative heating since 1979, considerably larger than expectations from models and recent less direct estimates. Averaged globally, this albedo change is equivalent to 25% of the direct forcing from CO2 during the past 30 y.”

    The reduction in snow cover in the North adds a similar warming as the sea ice melt.

    The amplifying feedback of ice melt, already quite large according to the above, will increase significantly as Arctic summer ice largely disappears by mid-century or earlier.

    Ice melt and release of CO2 and methane by warming oceans and melting permafrost were amplifying feedbacks which caused ancient climate oscillations to be huge, despite the very weak orbital forcings operating on time scales of tens to hundreds of thousands of years.

    And now we have a strong and rapid forcing of rising atmospheric CO2 and ice melting all over the planet and methane beginning to escape the permafrost.

  11. – Scientists are expressing dismay over unprecedented warm temperatures in the Arctic. In recent days, temperatures at the North Pole have surged above freezing—even though the sun set last October and won’t rise again until later this month. On the northern tip of Greenland, a meteorological site has logged an unprecedented 61 hours of temperatures above freezing so far in 2018. The record-breaking temperatures are connected to an unusual retreat of sea ice in the sunless Arctic winter. Scientists suggest warming temperatures are eroding the polar vortex, the powerful winds that once cushioned the frozen north. The alarming heat wave is causing scientists to reconsider even their bleakest forecasts of climate change. According to a leaked draft of a scientific report by a United Nations panel of scientists, “The risk of an ice-free Arctic in summer is about 50 per cent or higher,” with warming of between 1.5 and 2.0 degrees Celsius. We speak with Jason Box, professor in glaciology at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland in Copenhagen.

  12. Lightweight solar cells, printed on plastic film and flexible on its way to you soon.
    Mate with flexible lightweight Graphene Super caps/batteries

    Printed solar is expected to be available commercially in about three years time – and it’s not just designed to go on roofs.

    “One of the things about these cells is that they’re not as sensitive to light intensity,” Professor Dastoor said.

    “Any part of the roof will generate electricity; even walls, windows, surfaces of vehicles, tents, lightweight structures, roofs that can’t take a heavy conventional silicone solar cells are now accessible to these modules.

    “We will massively increase the area of solar cells that we can produce and generate power from, so we think it’s going to be a big change to the way in which we think about power being generated renewably.”

    Affordability achieved through decades of research

    The research team has developed a product that’s also incredibly cheap to produce, according to Professor Dastoor.

    “It’s really low cost. We have done extensive economic modelling and our gauge is that we can produce these at scale for less than $10 a square metre — try buying carpet for less than $10 a square metre,” he said.

    • The solar learning curve is pretty amazing as are all the various energy producing applications that result. This is one of the clear trends that should lend strength to our resolve as we pursue an energy transition.

    • Brian

       /  March 7, 2018

      I really hope technology can help get us out of this mess, as I don’t think our societies are currently able to adapt to the changes required by us if we are to continue business as usual within the context of the technology we have available to us today.

      Of course, we must continue to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. And once the new tech is available, we have a moral obligation as a species to return the Earth to a usable & livable state of the past. We need to both hope we’re up to that challenge, and act to make it so.

    • Jim

       /  March 8, 2018

      Perovskite solar cells are also very interesting and are achieving efficiencies of up to 19%. The current products are sensitive to moisture and have other limitations, but the low-cost technology, if perfected, would allow PV solar layers to be applied to a broad range of building materials.

  13. And now for out in the wild wild west where Tonto – sorry wrong story
    The utility company proposed and trialled Solar/Battery in remote locations – cost of maintaining network far too high – Legislation will have to be passed to allow the pole and wire provider to also be an “energy Generator”

    Off-grid trial gives WA farming community cheaper, more reliable power

    Going off-grid could be the way forward for communities on the fringes of WA’s power network after a trial of solar units exceeded the expectations of those involved.
    Fed up with frequent outages and voltage spikes, six farming households in Ravensthorpe, 500 kilometres south of Perth, chose to take a leap of faith and try living off the sun and lithium batteries.
    “It has been just fantastic, it’s far exceeded our expectations, and it’s very good, clean power,” Ravensthorpe resident Ros Giles said.

    “Friends are often out [without power] for up to 24 hours and thinking, ‘we might come visit because you’ve got power and we haven’t’,” she said.

    WA’s energy utility Western Power offered the systems for free in the search for alternatives to the massive cost of replacing ageing poles and wires.

    The utility builds and maintains transmission lines in remote areas, but landowners wear the cost of the lines on their properties.

  14. kassy

     /  March 7, 2018

    Britain’s carbon emissions have sunk to the level last seen in 1890 – the year before penalties were first awarded in football.

    In 2017, CO₂ emissions from fossil fuels fell by 2.6%. This was mainly driven by a 19% decline in coal use.

    It follows a 5.8% fall in 2016, which saw a record 52% drop in coal use, according to the green website Carbon Brief.

    The figure is doubly striking as emissions from cars have been going up.

    The analysis is based on government energy-use figures. The government will publish its own CO₂ estimates later in March.

    Last year, Carbon Brief’s preliminary assessment of CO₂ proved accurate.

    This year’s shows that the UK’s total CO₂ emissions are currently 38% below 1990 levels.

    They have been decreasing steadily since 2012, with big falls in 2014 and 2016. The decline continued in 2017.

    Oil and petroleum use increased slightly, though not enough to offset the falls in CO₂ associated with other fuels.


    Tax incentives
    Alex Buttle, from the website, said: “Clearly, the government hasn’t thought through the environmental impact of their anti-diesel campaign.”

    He called for new tax breaks for electric and hydrogen cars.

    But Paul Morozzo, from Greenpeace, told BBC News: “SUV sales have had more of an impact on average CO₂ emissions than the shift away from diesel.

    “The industry just isn’t doing enough to tackle either carbon or air pollution from its vehicles.”

    Another key factor is a change in tax policy. Previously, low-emissions vehicles used to be rewarded by zero car tax, but in 2015 the then Chancellor George Osborne lumped everything but electric and hydrogen cars into the same tax band.

    That left the owner of a Porsche paying the same as the owner of a Toyota Prius.

    The head of the AA, Edmund King, forecast at the time: “This is really counter-productive. Drivers will not be given the same incentive to go for cleaner cars, so there won’t be the same pressure on manufacturers to produce those cleaner models.”

    It appears he was right.

    • Nice. Now let’s get it to zero.

      Wish the U.S. had the resolve to get carbon emissions to 1890 levels. We certainly have the capability. Unfortunately, the federal government under Trump right now is doing its best to re-establish business as usual fossil fuel burning. We should be clear that Pruitt EPA decisions like allowing coal ash dumping in streams is aimed at externalizing fossil fuel costs which would, in a vacuum, produce lower sales point electricity prices for coal. However, the systemic trend for coal is rising due to other factors.

      The positive learning curve for solar, wind and batteries is technology and mass production scaling driven. It is therefore not reliant on increasing environmental damage to reduce market prices. Quite the contrary, these systems dramatically reduce most externalities that come with generating energy.

      For example, if Capetown had a renewable grid, it would be far more resilient to the kind of climate change driven water shocks it has been seeing recently.

      • Robert McLachlan

         /  March 7, 2018

        US emissions from electricity fell 26% in the 9 years 2007 – 2016. Further falls of 2-3% annually are likely just due to wind & solar. That’s pretty good. Transport, industry, buildings, not so good, but then other countries (e.g. UK) aren’t doing so well in these areas either.

        What I’d like to see is some country or state setting a target for, say, transport emissions (-3%/year should do it) and then working backwards to the policies that will achieve it.

        • kassy

           /  March 7, 2018

          With these big steps we can go for the big targets. Transport is next and it would help if countries align their policies.

          If you sponsor all electric cars fed by a mainly renewable grid you can lose a bit on car tax because you will also gain a lot of money on health care savings just from the people living next to the roads.

          And the gains add to your Paris agreement credits.

          (And your children & grandchildren will appreciate it)

          I think transport is in the bag too if you factor in China phasing out most non electric cars and many other trends.

          What would be next? I would think food production?
          That one will be more complicated.

        • We made a lot of progress under Obama. It remains to be seen whether Trump can fully sabotage it. So far, he’s thrown wrenches in solar and with his new steel tariffs would take a bit of a chunk out of wind as well. This is serving to delay renewable energy deployment and related carbon emissions reductions. However, the larger clean energy revolution will be difficult to stop given global and regional synergies.

          The issue is that how fast renewables progress will determine, in large part, how much the world warms. So we should be pushing to counter the Trump Administration’s terrible policies at every turn.

      • Robert McLachlan

         /  March 7, 2018

        Speaking of Capetown, in South Africa they make gasoline from coal. Emissions are up to 400g/km compared to a regular ICE at 200g/km.

        • Vernon Hamilton

           /  March 8, 2018

          coal-to-liquids uses a ton of water too…

  15. Gary

     /  March 7, 2018

    Great post, I’m pretty sure most of the world’s population has no idea about this stuff. I’m going to check out the AWI climate magazine per Stefan Hendricks referral..

    • I think it’s generally more widely known these days than it has been in the past. Reporting on this issue has improved. But we still have a lot to do with regards to climate change communications.

  16. Keith Antonysen

     /  March 7, 2018

    Off topic, but Four Corners displays climate change as it is happening in Australia. Of particular note is that privately maintained data created by farmers showed changes that have been happening over decades.

  17. Robert E Prue

     /  March 7, 2018

    Brian….my apologies!

  18. Andy_in_SD

     /  March 8, 2018

    Have Fruits and Vegetables Become Less Nutritious?

    Because of soil depletion, crops grown decades ago were much richer in vitamins and minerals than the varieties most of us get today

  19. Hilary

     /  March 8, 2018

    from NZ:
    + interview on this link
    Forest and Bird has discovered a breeding season of little blue penguin chicks was swept away by huge waves in the Hauraki Gulf.
    The sweltering temperatures have been deadly for eels and are suspected to be the cause of a dismal albatross breeding season on the Otago Peninsula.
    Temperatures were so hot that many fertile albatross eggs did not hatch.
    Adelia Hallett from Forest & Bird told Morning Report these sorts of events will continue as our climate warms.
    “Nature is really inter-connected,” she said. “All of our species are evolved to deal with the conditions that are common.”
    “When we make a change to the climate, and we’re making that change faster than it’s ever happened, they haven’t got time to adjust.”
    “We really need to get our act together and think about what we’re doing
    “We need to keep the world healthy” – Adelia Hallett
    Ms Hallet said we’re in the midst of the sixth mass extinction and it’s up to us how severe it’s going to be.
    “We haven’t lived within the environmental limits,” she said.
    “We need to keep the world healthy.”

    And now here we are on alert for potentially another ex-tropical cyclone heading our way this weekend with Cyclone Hola…

  20. wharf rat

     /  March 8, 2018

    Cyclone Hola intensifies overnight
    8:02 am today

    Cyclone Hola is now moving away slowly from Vanuatu, but has now developed into a category 4 storm.

  21. Greg

     /  March 8, 2018

    So now we have to worry about being struck by lighting in the snow. That is just one more tragic thing before we don’t even see snow in winter.

  22. Jim

     /  March 8, 2018

    Tesla unveiled the Tesla semi on November 16, 2017. Here it is 111 days later on March 7th preparing to transport its first load of batteries from Gigafactory-1 to the Tesla assembly plant in California.

    I like the blue color 🙂

    • Jim

       /  March 8, 2018

      What do you think will happen when the Tesla Semi cruises up grades at 65 mph, past slow-moving semis? I can’t wait for the video.

    • Where is the streamlining deflector on the top of big blue boy (otherwise to be known as 3B)

      • Jim

         /  March 9, 2018

        Good point Frank. 3B (I like the proposed name) doesn’t have one, but check out the silver model. Is one truck a day cab and the other a sleeper?

    • While other automakers talk-talk, Tesla delivers.

  23. Some Good news

    U.S. loses bid to halt children’s climate change lawsuit
    (Reuters) – A federal appeals court on Wednesday rejected the U.S. government’s bid to halt a lawsuit by young people claiming that President Donald Trump and his administration are violating their constitutional rights by ignoring the harms caused by climate change.

    By a 3-0 vote, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said the administration had not met the “high bar” under federal law to dismiss the Oregon lawsuit, which was originally brought in 2015 against the administration of President Barack Obama.

  24. Vic

     /  March 8, 2018

    Volkswagen Group’s Chief monkey gasser Matthias Mūller at this week’s Geneva auto show…

    “Diesel will see a renaissance in the not-too-distant future because people who drove diesels will realize that it was a very comfortable drive concept,” the top executive told the crowd. “Once the knowledge that diesels are eco-friendly firms up in people’s minds, then for me there’s no reason not to buy one.”

    VW brand chief Herbert Diess backed up this assertion, implying that electric cars aren’t ready to fill the void. “We need diesel to get to the CO2 goals,” he said. “Electric vehicles in many cases won’t keep frequent drivers happy.”

    I wonder if they’d stoop as low as trying to sabotage their own EV sales years in advance.

    • Eco-friendly diesel is like clean coal and unicorns. No such beast.

    • The fact that this is coming from a VW CEO gives me doubts about their commitment to electrification. It lends credence to the worry that VW’s promised EVs are simply PR and vaporware. If this follows the typical automaker model, they’ll hold these ‘concepts’ out until people’s hope for actual progress begins to lag and then sock-’em with the new ‘clean diesels’ that just happen to be the same as the old diesels with a new coat of paint on them.

      All the more reason to shift support back to Tesla until VW can prove that they’re actually pursuing electrification.

  25. miles h

     /  March 8, 2018

    lots of charts and graphs on this thread… so here’s a few more regarding fossil fuel use. it seems the author compiled the charts himself, using BP data… any comments on how accurate a picture is painted?

    • This post has circulated here many times. There are enough mis-characterizations within it for it to classify as misinformation or, at the very least, as negative spin. It’s also about a year old now…


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