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Climate Change Ignores all Borders as Rain Bombs Fall on Kauai and the Middle East Alike

The weaponization of weather language has long been a topic of some controversy in the meteorological press. Peace-loving people the world over rightly try to communicate in a manner that discourages violent conflict. And the term ‘rain bomb’ has taken quite a lot of flak from those with thus-stated good intentions.

However, whether or not the language itself bristles with perceived warlike phrases, the weather itself is steadily being weaponized against everyone and everything living on the face of planet Earth by the greenhouse gasses fossil fuel related industries and technologies continue pumping into the air.

(Bruce Haffner snapped this photo of an extreme heavy rainfall event over Phoenix, AZ during 2016. Climate change has been increasing the intensity of the most severe storms. So we see historic an unusually strong events more and more frequently.)

So I’ll add this brief appeal before going into another climate change related extreme weather analysis — fight climate change, not wars. The opportunity for a peaceful, hopeful, prosperous future for basically everyone depends on it.

*****

Whether you like the phrase or not, more rain-bombs — or extreme heavy rainfall events far outside the range of usual weather norms — keep falling. And most recently the all-time record for the most rain to fall within a 24 hour period was shattered on April 14-15 as nearly 50 inches inundated Kauai, Hawaii. In a separate instance half a world away, late April and early May has seen extreme drought giving way to extreme flooding over parts of the Middle East. Both increasingly extreme drought events and much heavier than usual precipitation events are signals of human-caused climate change. And, lately, these signals have been proliferating.

Rainfall Records Shattered in the World’s Rainiest Place

For the Kauai event, the Washington Post reports that 49.69 inches of rain accumulated at the Waipa rain gauge on Kauai in just one 24-hour period. Though Kauai is the rainiest place on Earth — receiving some 400 inches per year with rain on most days — this single day rainfall was far in excess of even that soggy norm. In total, it amounted to about one and a half months of precipitation for the world’s wettest location falling in just one day.

The previous all-time record for single day rainfall in the U.S. occurred in 1979 in Alvin, Texas during Tropical Storm Claudette. This storm dumped 43 inches over a 24-hour period. The recent Kauai event shattered this record. And it involved no tropical cyclone — just historically high moisture levels over the Pacific colliding with unstable air masses streaming down from the north. In this case, warming ocean surfaces are generating higher levels of evaporation which in turn are feeding extreme thunderstorms all across the Pacific and over adjacent land masses.

(Historically heavy rains flip cars and wreck structures in Kauai on April 14-15. Image source: Lace Anderson and Hawaii News Now.)

Chip Fletcher, an expert on the impact of climate change on Pacific island communities, told the Los Angeles Times:

“The flooding on Kauai is consistent with an extreme rainfall that comes with a warmer atmosphere. Just recognize that we’re moving into a new climate, and our communities are scaled and built for a climate that no longer exists.”

The present record Kauai event has been classified as a 1 in 100 year instance in the context of past climatology. But given present conditions and ever-increasing Earth surface temperatures, this new record may fall within a decade or less as the atmosphere continues to load more moisture and as evaporation and extreme precipitation events steadily increase.

Middle East Hammered by Extremes of Drought and Storm

Half a world away, the Middle East is seeing its own series of weather and climate shocks. The nations of Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, and Saudi Arabia have been experiencing widespread and long term drought. This drought has, as with the recent Central U.S. event, in large part been driven by rising temperatures. Evaporation plays its role here too as lands dry out more swiftly when temperatures rise.

(A storm sweeping in from the Med brings heavy rains and havoc to a drought-stricken Middle East. Image source: Tropical Tidbits and The Washington Post.)

However, with climate change, you can never discount the hard swing back to heavy rain despite prolonged drying as weather chaos ensues. Such was the situation during the recent week as an intense weather disturbance crossed the Mediterranean and entered the Middle East on April 26th and 27th. The colder air mass tapped high levels of moisture bleeding off the, again, much warmer than normal sea surfaces in the Med. It then dumped this moisture in the form of extreme precipitation over the Middle East.

In Israel, the resulting flash floods swept away ten teenagers as street flooding that was described as ‘epic’ ran through the country’s cities. Waters over-topped sidewalks and rushed into homes and businesses as the heavens unleashed. One to two inch per hour rainfall rates were reported. Meanwhile, in Syria, heavy hail pelted down. Jordan and Egypt were also inundated — with many streets described as impassable due to flood waters. The leading edge of cooler air kicked up a massive haboob — which spread its immense cloud of dust over Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Over recent days, the stormy pattern continued. Heavy rains overtook parts of Yemen — forcing a dam to burst and washing away dozens of homes and farms.

Two More in a Lengthening Tally

These two events are just the most recent affairs in a much larger and far more widespread pattern of ramping extreme global weather events. Events that will continue to proliferate so long as the world continues to warm. This is the state of affairs that continued fossil fuel burning has brought about. The rain bombs are hanging, enlarging, above us. They are waiting to fall. And the politically-charged denials of their chief manufacturers — oil, gas, and coal — only make the situation worse for us all.

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94 Comments

  1. Keith Antonysen

     /  May 2, 2018

    In Australia we talk about calling “a spade a spade”, which means “rain bombs” is a very apt term for extreme rainfall events.

    Liked by 2 people

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  2. redskylite

     /  May 2, 2018

    Now periods of extreme (record breaking) rainfall are the new normal nearly everywhere, what will it be like in the future. Here in New Zealand we are used to heavy rain, but lately it’s been nuts.

    Giant sinkhole opens up after record rain in Rotorua

    A giant sinkhole has opened up on a farm near Rotorua following Sunday’s record breaking rainfall in the region.

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/2018643000/giant-sinkhole-opens-up-after-record-rain-in-rotorua

    Liked by 4 people

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  3. redskylite

     /  May 3, 2018

    Still surprises from the Southern Polar region’s dark cold winters. . .

    When warm winds blow in Antarctica’s dark, freezing winter

    Scientists have been alarmed to discover an intriguing process capable of melting massive floating Antarctic glacier from above – even during the frozen continent’s dark and wild winters.

    And the winds at the centre of the surprise finding were just the same type that help keep Canterbury dry over summer.

    In New Zealand, what are called Foehn winds occur when westerlies arrive at the South Island’s West Coast and have to climb over the Southern Alps.

    As they go, they cool and lose water before descending down the eastern side much drier and warmer, and eventually helping brown the plains of Canterbury.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12044413

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  4. Spike

     /  May 3, 2018

    I can’t get my head around how some intelligent people argue about the precise language that is used in climate comms, as though they alone are qualified to talk to the public. As long as you avoid exagerration or hyperbole, which isn’t necessary as reality is adequate, and stick to the truth it doesn’t really matter if it gets the essential kernels of truth across to the public. To me it has a slightly snooty whiff to it when people hold their noses about popular terminology or plain language, or complain about some writer or journalist giving honest and broadly correct opinions on the subject to try and awaken the public from their slumbering shuffle towards disaster. To use complex scientific terminology or words talking to the public means there is little understanding and therefore the public fail to understand the looming threat and support responsible action. The medical profession has long had to realise this, and I’m pleased to see some science journals including plain language summaries of their abstracts.All should follow, and take down those damn paywalls for at least some crucial content.

    Liked by 5 people

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    • redskylite

       /  May 3, 2018

      I agree, it is “ordinary” working people that need to know the basics of “Climate Change” as they are the main voters and influencers in society. They tend to be busy earning a living and caring for their families. So how information (especially the language) is presented is critical. Academic arguments, bickering and overwhelming scientific terms should be kept to the minimum, as this is what the professional denial business preys on. Save the paywalls for financial advice and the like but open up on critical science matters, that we all should know.

      Liked by 1 person

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  5. Spike

     /  May 3, 2018

    And very active storms for April in Europe https://twitter.com/severeweatherEU/status/991930910663639041

    Liked by 1 person

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  6. Spike

     /  May 3, 2018

    And a great picture similar to the Phoenix one above https://twitter.com/severeweatherEU/status/991667319645573123

    Like

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  7. redskylite

     /  May 3, 2018

    I regularly read about the importance of mangroves in storing CO2 – I read two very relevant articles today, which I would like to share.

    Sea level
    Everglades under threat as Florida’s mangroves face death by rising sea level
    The ‘river of grass’ wilderness and coastal communities are in peril, with the buffer coastal ecosystems on a ‘death march’ inland

    Florida’s mangroves have been forced into a hasty retreat by sea level rise and now face being drowned, imperiling coastal communities and the prized Everglades wetlands, researchers have found.

    Mangroves in south-east Florida in an area studied by the researchers have been on a “death march” inland as they edge away from the swelling ocean but have now hit a manmade levee and are likely to be submerged by water within 30 years, according to the Florida International University analysis.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/may/02/mangroves-everglades-florida-rising-sea-level

    Liked by 1 person

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    • redskylite

       /  May 3, 2018

      New study finds mangroves may store way more carbon than we thought.

      Straddling the interface of land and sea, mangrove forests are of two worlds. Their branches provide homes for lizards, snakes and nesting birds, while their roots, when submerged, become protective nurseries for baby fish and sanctuaries for marine mammals.

      Mangroves also provide a slew of benefits for coastal human communities. They act as storm barriers, protecting inland areas from flooding and erosion by dissipating the energy of big waves. They help filter river water of pollutants and trap excess sediment before it reaches the ocean. Their role as fish nurseries can have big impacts on local economies and food production.

      Zooming out, mangroves also have a big impact on climate. Although they’re only found in tropical areas and cover an estimated 140,000 square kilometers – less than 3 percent the extent of the Amazon rainforest – mangroves are powerhouses when it comes to carbon storage. Studies indicate that, pound for pound, mangroves can sequester four times more carbon than rainforests can. Most of this carbon is stored in the soil beneath mangrove trees.

      https://news.mongabay.com/2018/05/new-study-finds-mangroves-may-store-way-more-carbon-than-we-thought/

      Liked by 1 person

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  8. Shawn Redmond

     /  May 3, 2018

    https://globalnews.ca/news/4182772/nb-premier-flood/
    Premier Brian Gallant is urging residents to “take action,” saying water levels south of Fredericton are expected to rise over the coming days, exceeding record levels in 2008 and potentially topping all-time highs from 1973.

    Some video and more info here:
    https://globalnews.ca/news/4181494/n-b-officials-urge-people-to-evacuate-their-neighbourhoods-as-floodwaters-rise/
    Waters were so high Saint John’s famous Reversing Falls were not reversing because of the volume of water rushing toward the Bay of Fundy. A tour operator said high tide was unable to push the water back as it typically does.

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  9. kassy

     /  May 3, 2018

    So 49,69 inch is 124,46 cm. That’s really impressive.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • We seriously broke the U.S. record for 24 hour rainfall. This is probably also one of the heaviest daily global events for the world as well.

      Like

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  10. wili

     /  May 3, 2018

    “New Brunswick floods: ‘This could get very uncomfortable,’ officials warn

    http://www.ckom.com/2018/05/02/new-brunswick-floods-this-could-get-very-uncomfortable-officials-warn/

    “We’re very concerned that the flooding will be unprecedented beyond even the 2008 and 1973 floods,” Clifford said in an interview. “So we’ve issued a recommended evacuation … The evidence suggests that this is going to be worse (flooding) and longer.”

    Liked by 1 person

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  11. wili

     /  May 3, 2018

    OT, but the title is just too perfect!

    “Marco Rubio’s Body Rejects News Spine”

    https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/05/marco-rubio-tax-bill-flip-flop

    “The senator suddenly loves the tax plan he trashed just two days ago.”

    Liked by 2 people

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  12. kassy

     /  May 3, 2018

    Mars Today – A ‘Business-As-Usual’ Model for Earth Tomorrow

    Abstract
    Methanogenic explosion of Siberian permafrost-mounds over the last three years questions whether this new phenomenon is the first sign of cascading release under climatic warming. Identical mounds occur in their millions on Mars but are uniformly interpreted as ancient volcanic structures, a geomorphic paradigm whose geological basis continues to escape objective observation. Here I show that thousands of Mars’ mounds have recently exploded onto overlying aeolian dunes and are thus active and climatogenic, the time-lag between formation and synchronous explosion naturally explained by a trigger of climatic origin. Time-transgressive, mass explosion of a multi-billion-year-aged source has no parallel in rock-forming processes and points to regional-scale mobilisation of volatiles, this abrupt destabilisation event having immediate implications for hypothesised cascading releases from terrestrial clathrate reservoirs. Whether the Siberian explosions are new, or simply newly discovered, is uncertain but their spatial density is 20,000 times lower than on Mars, inconsistent with ongoing, multi-millennial-scale process. We should therefore consider the possibility that they are just beginning and, irrespective of volatile involved, we now have a scaleable example of how they might end. Were the clathrates of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf to degas on the density and frequency of Mars, then the entire reservoir would be depleted and unstoppable runaway warming initiated.

    Parallels between methane explosions in the Yamal and on Mars – by Dr. David Page

    What Mars shows is that once a certain permafrost stability threshold is passed, either through increasing temperature or decreasing pressure, the explosive ‘reaction’ appears to cascade.

    It is important to place this statement in observational context, as those who set store by the solutions of numerical models will say that such cascading devolatilisation is not likely (and perhaps even irresponsible to voice) in regard to the Earth. Yet the martian observations are quite unambiguous, so let us list those elements that are factual:
    -Thousands of mounds have exploded on a regional scale at a single geological horizon on Mars and with a significant degree of synchrony;
    -This synchrony has operated, certainly partially and potentially completely, on a human timescale;
    -The devolatilisation was effectively complete, with > 99% of mounds exploded, the entire reservoir (at least as expressed at the surface) depleting in non-linear fashion.

    This explosive-totality and -frequency are measured – they are not, inasmuch as anything can be otherwise when dealing with the geological past and non-terrestrial phenomena, an ‘interpretation’. The volatile degassed from these mounds is interpreted to be methane based on the continuing seasonal methane detections in this region and the widespread evidence for freeze-thaw activity here (e.g., Page, 2007, 2008; Balme et al., 2009; Page, 2018), but it doesn’t really matter if it’s methane- or CO₂-clathrate that was degassed – the mechanism is the same.

    http://arctic-news.blogspot.nl/2018/04/mars-today-a-business-as-usual-model-for-earth-tomorrow.html

    This (alongside catastrophic antarctic glacier collapse) is a pretty good reason to go to zero emissions ASAP.

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  13. Andy_in_SD

     /  May 3, 2018

    At least 97 people have been killed and more than 205 injured in the deadly dust storm which hit several parts of western and northern India on Wednesday.

    http://indianexpress.com/article/india/live-updates-at-least-people-killed-in-deadly-dust-storm-up-rajasthan-badly-affected-5161649/

    Liked by 2 people

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  14. Reblogged this on Wild Voices.

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  15. redskylite

     /  May 3, 2018

    Sea ice raririty in the Bering Sea – a record low, bad news for Walrus and Walrus hunters.

    At the end of April the Bering Sea was nearly ice-free—four weeks ahead of schedule. With the sun shining on the Arctic again, the open ocean is soaking up heat that could set up another delayed freeze-up again next fall. Because of the role the weather plays, though, “every year is not going to be like this,” Thoman says. “Next year will almost certainly not be this low.” But as temperatures continue to rise, he says, “odds are very strong that we will not go another 160 years before we see something like this” happen again.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/shock-and-thaw-alaskan-sea-ice-just-took-a-steep-unprecedented-dive/

    Liked by 2 people

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    • redskylite

       /  May 3, 2018

      Sea ice extent in the Bering Sea remains at record low levels for this time of year. Total ice extent over the Arctic Ocean also remains low and consists of a record-high amount of first-year ice. This means the ice cover is unusually thin and large areas are susceptible to melting out in this coming summer.

      http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2018/05/arctic-winter-warms-up-to-a-low-summer-ice-season/

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    • redskylite

       /  May 4, 2018

      Historic low sea ice in the Bering Sea
      By Kathryn Hansen,
      NASA’s Earth Observatory

      “It’s the end of April and basically the Bering Sea is ice-free, when normally there would be more than 500,000 square kilometers of ice,” said Walt Meier, a scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center. “That’s about two Texases worth of ice that is missing this year. It is at a record low extent for most of 2018, and has continuously been a record low since February 12.”

      https://climate.nasa.gov/news/2726/historic-low-sea-ice-in-the-bering-sea/

      Liked by 2 people

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      • PlazaRed

         /  May 4, 2018

        To Describe things of area in Texas worth’s is to me a really good idea as almost everybody in North America knows that Texas is a big place, so 2 of it is certainly big.
        To add to this Texas is also about the size of the Iberian peninsular, Spain and Portugal combined, or France, so Europeans will also grasp how big an area is being talked about if the term is used.
        I will certainly start using the term immediately!

        Liked by 2 people

        Reply
  16. Andy_in_SD

     /  May 4, 2018

    “We’re doomed,” says Mayer Hillman with such a beaming smile that it takes a moment for the words to sink in. “The outcome is death, and it’s the end of most life on the planet because we’re so dependent on the burning of fossil fuels. There are no means of reversing the process which is melting the polar ice caps. And very few appear to be prepared to say so.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/26/were-doomed-mayer-hillman-on-the-climate-reality-no-one-else-will-dare-mention

    Liked by 1 person

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    • Jim

       /  May 4, 2018

      Thanks for this Andy. From the article: “Our children and grandchildren are going to be extraordinarily critical.”

      That’s certainly an understatement and a damning one at that as I assume at least some of the FF proponents know the truth but choose profit over people even if those people are their children.

      Liked by 2 people

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    • bostonblorp

       /  May 4, 2018

      It is indeed pretty staggering how limp-wristed our response has been to climate change so far. Hillman is exactly right – next to nobody is going to give up air travel or become vegan. We hope technology will let us have our cake and eat it too. We hope “they” will think of something.

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      • wili

         /  May 4, 2018

        “next to nobody is going to give up air travel or become vegan” I guess that makes me and a few of my friends nobodies? 🙂

        Basically, I agree, but the number of vegans (and near vegans/vegetarians…) has been on the rise recently. ” Britain’s vegan population had increased from 150,000 to 542,000 in the space of a decade (alongside a vegetarian population of 1.14 million)” And I’ve seen similar increases for the US. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/apr/01/vegans-are-coming-millennials-health-climate-change-animal-welfare

        But, yeah, not much of a mass movement away from flying for those who can afford it. :/

        Liked by 1 person

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        • Paul

           /  May 5, 2018

          We need drastic, fundamental and immediate changes to the way we lead our lives, not fashionable movements.
          This just isn’t happening in any meaningful way I’m afraid.

          Like

        • We have meaningful change in the form of a clean energy revolution and other synergistic sustainability movements. But there are those fighting against it and downplaying it and delaying it. This is decidedly unhelpful.

          Like

        • Abel Adamski

           /  May 5, 2018

          Nature has intervened, trying to save our butts.
          https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/meet-the-tick-thats-forcing-americans-to-give-up-their-meat_us_5aeb47a9e4b041fd2d244a19

          Meet The Tick That’s Forcing Americans To Give Up Their Meat
          Lone star ticks hunt in packs and spread an allergy to beef and pork. Thanks to climate change, they’re spreading.

          As you read this, millions of tiny, black-and-brown-legged creatures are beginning to reawaken after laying dormant underneath layers of last year’s leaf cover.

          Ticks are only second to mosquitoes as vectors for human disease. This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a report showing illnesses from ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes are on the rise. Disease cases in the U.S. more than tripled between 2004 and 2016, and the report found that we’re ill-equipped to tackle the growing problem.

          Large swaths of the eastern U.S. are already dealing with an epidemic of Lyme disease, an illness that can rob you of your short-term memory, your motor functions, and, very rarely, even your life.

          And every so often, it seems, the ticks that rouse themselves from the leaf litter are armed with unexpected and mysterious pathogens, like the resurfaced Powassan virus or Pacific Coast tick fever. The CDC report says seven new tick-borne infections have been recorded since 2004. The organization hasn’t recognized alpha-gal allergies yet.

          “It’s scary,” says Graham Hickling, the director of the University of Tennessee’s Center for Wildlife Health. “Pretty much every year, we’re finding something new.”

          Already, at least 600 known cases of alpha-gal have occured north of the Mason-Dixon line, according to University of North Carolina allergist Scott Commins, one of the researchers who discovered the connection between ticks and alpha-gal. But that’s probably only a fraction of the incidences. It’s a difficult pathology to diagnose, and doctors aren’t required to report alpha-gal to the CDC.

          Lone stars, on the other hand, hunt in packs and travel at surprising speeds, emerging from the leaf litter like a swarm of thirsty, galloping lentils.

          “If you sit in the middle of the woods breathing out CO2, you’ll get a fan club of lone stars pretty quickly,” Hickling says.

          On top of lone stars’ rapacious mentality, Old Dominion’s Gaff says that after conducting a series of experiments, the bugs “seem to be invincible.”

          She’s tried freezing them — but they came crawling out of the freezer after seven days on ice. Next, she tried drowning them, figuring that sea-level rise on Virginia’s coast could end up doing humanity a favor by drowning out tick populations. Her team submerged lone stars in salt, fresh, and brackish water. Every single tick lasted for at least 30 days in each condition — the last lone star died after 74 days.

          They are attracted to higher CO2 concentrations.

          It only takes one bite from a lone star tick for an unsuspecting victim to develop a meat allergy that can last months, years, or even an entire lifetime.

          I suggest read the article and how victims got bitten

          Like

        • Interesting. Well, nature is smarter than republicans any day of the week in my book. Never thought I’d be cheering for the ticks.

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        • Every responsible action helps. Mass action, enabled by leaders, governments, and white hat corporations will result in the primary solutions, however.

          Like

        • Veganism certainly helps. In my opinion, there should be tax breaks and medical expense breaks for low meat consumers. It reduces both environmental and healthcare costs to reduce meat consumption rates.

          Like

      • Systemic responses like green energy development and policy that speeds that development is exactly the key to dealing with climate change. We also need policy that dis-incentivizes fossil fuel use, which is also key.

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    • It’s this illusory view that we are dependent on fossil fuels that’s the problem. We are not dependent on fossil fuels. They’ve been crammed down our collective throats.

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  17. Reblogged this on nuclear-news.

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  18. redskylite

     /  May 4, 2018

    More disruption to ecosystems . . . .

    Extreme weather ‘potentially catastrophic’ for bats

    Extreme weather appears to be disrupting the life cycle of Europe’s bats.

    Scientists were alarmed to find that some bats in Portugal skipped winter hibernation altogether this year while others gave birth early.

    The findings add to growing fears that rising temperatures are having unpredictable effects on bats, birds and other wildlife.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-43812484

    Liked by 1 person

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    • PlazaRed

       /  May 4, 2018

      Been warm here in Spain, Portugal more or less all winter, lots of rain up to 52 inches in my area just south of Seville. That’s about 1.3 meters of rain!
      Lots of things out of sync with normal whatever normal used to be.
      Now its cooler than usual in May and still snowing is some areas, the ski season is the 2nd longest on record.
      I would say we are about 5/C below what the temps usually are at this time of year now.
      Added to this of course the vegetation is a lot thicker and higher than usual, so come the end of May when things get seriously warm here the fire danger will be terrible.

      Liked by 2 people

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      • The storms have been backing in through the region along some rather odd tracks for this time of year. The N. Atlantic influence appears strong for spring of 2018.

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  19. redskylite

     /  May 4, 2018

    Ireland throwing money at mitigation of extreme events – will they succeed ?

    Extreme weather events, such as the recent storms Emma and Ophelia, invariably expose critical weakness in infrastructure, especially in the most populated cities and towns. Nowhere is that more obvious than in dealing with widespread flooding.

    The programme of flood defence works announced by the Government on Thursday is the first time a national co-ordinated response to that threat has been put in place.

    It will see an estimated €1 billion spent on 118 flood-risk management schemes, including 50 priority flood-defence schemes in some of the country’s at-risk locations. It’s the culmination of almost 10 years’ work, and begins a process of ensuring the most vulnerable areas are protected.

    Such a strategy is urgently required as the climate change clock is ticking at an accelerating rate. Devastation caused by recent flooding prompted two immediate priorities, according to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: improve the co-ordinated response to flood events, and ensure better long-term planning in assessing and managing flood risk.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/will-ireland-s-1bn-flood-defence-plan-beat-effects-of-climate-change-1.3483367

    Liked by 1 person

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    • Jeremy in Wales

       /  May 4, 2018

      Well they just agreed the time frame for Apple paying them 13billion Euros, glad to see them spending the money wisely.

      Liked by 3 people

      Reply
      • Is Apple paying to mitigate climate change? I was aware that Volkswagen had been forced to pay due to dieselgate. But hadn’t heard any word on Apple.

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    • So, in my opinion, this should be called ‘adaptation.’ Mitigation involves reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

      It always costs more to adapt (try to build for stronger storms, worse droughts and floods) than it does to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  20. kassy

     /  May 4, 2018

    Ticks and allergies….

    Political allergy:

    Mosquito- And Tick-Borne Diseases Have Tripled, But The CDC Won’t Say It’s Climate Change

    We’re totally unprepared to address what comes next.

    The number of Americans who have gotten sick from mosquito, tick and flea bites more than tripled between 2004 to 2016, according to new figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study also said that local and state public health departments are unequipped to properly combat the surge of disease from insects.

    Experts have long warned that warmer weather and other events associated with climate change contribute to longer insect seasons, increased populations and larger habitat areas for mosquitoes, ticks and fleas.

    But the CDC report stopped short of citing climate change as a cause.

    Lead study author Dr. Lyle Petersen, the CDC’s director of vector-borne diseases, avoided that term in an interview. Instead, he said that “changing our environment” was one factor among several.

    Petersen did say that higher temperatures create outbreaks of diseases and enable mosquitoes to migrate to new areas, in turn driving up case counts. However, he maintained that international travel and a lack of preparation for the diseases it brings were equally to blame.

    While that may be true, Jha said he was disappointed the CDC avoided specifically mentioning climate change.

    “It’s pretty clear why that phenomenon is occurring ― it’s climate change. As our leading health agency, the CDC should call it as it is,” Jha said. “By censoring themselves, I think they have both done themselves a disservice and probably brought more attention to the climate change component.”

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mosquito-and-tick-borne-diseases-have-tripled-over-12-years-but-cdc-wont-say-its-climate-change_us_5aea3d83e4b00f70f0eeeafa

    *

    A more useful allergy because it stops people eating meat:

    Meet The Tick That’s Forcing Americans To Give Up Their Meat

    Lone star ticks hunt in packs and spread an allergy to beef and pork. Thanks to climate change, they’re spreading.

    ….

    It only takes one bite from a lone star tick for an unsuspecting victim to develop a meat allergy that can last months, years, or even an entire lifetime.

    Here’s how scientists think it goes down: Alpha-gal is a sugar molecule found in nearly all mammals, except humans and a few other primates. A lone star carrying alpha-gal (or an alpha-gal-like substance) bites a person and spreads it to their blood through the tick’s saliva. Then, the molecule essentially rewires the body’s immune system, prompting it to produce an overload of alpha-gal antibodies. When that person goes in for a cheeseburger, their body has a life-threatening reaction to the sugar in the meat.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/meet-the-tick-thats-forcing-americans-to-give-up-their-meat_us_5aeb47a9e4b041fd2d244a19

    Liked by 2 people

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  21. kassy

     /  May 4, 2018

    ‘Sunny day flooding’ worsens at NC beaches — a sign sea rise is decades too soon, studies say

    In 2016, Charleston saw 50 days of tidal flooding.

    Fifty years ago? Just four days.

    Flooding projections are set at about 25 percent above average for 2017-18 for areas including Wilmington, according to a recent NOAA report.

    Wilmington had 84 days of high-tide flooding in 2016, according to NOAA.

    “It is important for planning purposes that U.S. coastal cities become better informed about the extent that high-tide flooding is increasing and will likely increase in the coming decades,” according to the February 2018 NOAA report.

    ..

    When a state science panel reported in 2010 that seas on the coastline could rise by as much as 39 inches over the next century, legislators passed a law forbidding communities from using the report to make new rules.

    http://www.islandpacket.com/news/state/north-carolina/article210413904.html

    Like

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  22. Abel Adamski

     /  May 4, 2018

    Maybe OT, but
    in a way with the preceeding comments not so much – it may not be musical but still brings a smile
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/reliable-source/wp/2018/03/19/jim-carrey-painted-a-picture-of-sarah-huckabee-sanders-her-father-doesnt-like-it/?utm_term=.b5f7618f21ef

    Like

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  23. wili

     /  May 4, 2018

    This seems like a perspective worth throwing into the mix:

    “The Climate Crisis? It’s Capitalism, Stupid”

    “The real culprit of the climate crisis is not any particular form of consumption, production or regulation but rather the very way in which we globally produce, which is for profit rather than for sustainability. So long as this order is in place, the crisis will continue and, given its progressive nature, worsen. This is a hard fact to confront. But averting our eyes from a seemingly intractable problem does not make it any less a problem. It should be stated plainly: It’s capitalism that is at fault.”

    The claim here is not that unintelligent people do not do unintelligent things, but rather that the overwhelming unintelligence involved in keeping the engines of production roaring when they are making the planet increasingly uninhabitable cannot be pinned on specific people. It is the system as a whole that is at issue, and every time we pick out bumbling morons to lament or fresh-faced geniuses to praise is a missed opportunity to see plainly the necessity of structural change.

    Put differently, the hope that we can empower intelligent people to positions where they can design the perfect set of regulations, or that we can rely on scientists to take the carbon out of the atmosphere and engineer sources of renewable energy, serves to cover over the simple fact that the work of saving the planet is political, not technical. We have a much better chance of making it past the 22nd century if environmental regulations are designed by a team of people with no formal education in a democratic socialist society than we do if they are made by a team of the most esteemed scientific luminaries in a capitalist society. The intelligence of the brightest people around is no match for the rampant stupidity of capitalism.”

    Liked by 2 people

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    • Leland Palmer

       /  May 5, 2018

      I’m not sure I agree.

      We’re not really living in a capitalist society. In some sectors of our economy, there is no effective competition. So our rulers are actually monopolists, not capitalists. We’re living in a disguised oligarchy, I think.

      Markets really can work, and free markets really can do things like set wages and prices efficiently.

      We don’t have time to stage a social revolution before we fight global warming. Setting a price on carbon (a high price, IMO) would likely be an effective way to fight to global warming. Capitalism is very robust. Put three people on an island, and the next thing you know they have an economy going.

      Elon Musk is using capitalist means to fight global warming, and doing it effectively. The capitalists that criticize Elon Musk should reconsider, I think – they are criticizing the future of capitalism – if capitalism has a future.

      Liked by 3 people

      Reply
      • Paul

         /  May 5, 2018

        Put three people on an island and they’ll cut down every tree and eat every animal. Then their children build a boat and sail off to another island.

        Like

        Reply
        • Leland Palmer

           /  May 5, 2018

          That can happen. If it does, the society dies out. Most often, though, the societies that persist develop a culture that seeks a steady state. A dynamic equilibrium develops that is sustainable.

          Science and technology have destroyed that dynamic equilibrium. Now we consciously have to seek a new equilibrium.

          It is possible to have a sustainable society run off solar energy and mostly recycled materials, I think. On the positive side, the solar energy resource is huge. On the materials side, that resource is also huge, and we have a flexible technology capable of doing more with less and substituting one material for another. We have an economy that constantly seeks a cheaper way of doing things.

          A new sustainable world is possible, I think. Mostly, we just have to stop dumping fossil carbon into the atmosphere.

          It is possible with biomass energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) to actually put carbon back underground. Done on a large enough scale, converting coal fired power plants to BECCS, we could take carbon out of the atmosphere and set the CO2 thermostat of the earth wherever we want it – hopefully close to where it was a hundred years or so ago.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bio-energy_with_carbon_capture_and_storage

          Liked by 1 person

        • Leland Palmer

           /  May 5, 2018

          Of course, the main way to get out of a hole is to stop digging. We have to universally substitute clean energy for fossil fuels, I think.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Leland Palmer

           /  May 5, 2018

          What we need is a firewall between the human race and our technology, and the natural world. We’re not likely to get one, but it is possible to build one, I think.

          If human beings lived in arcologies – giant cities in one big building – we could have a sustainable society with as many as 50 or 100 billion people on the earth, I think. We could effectively disappear from Gaia’s sight, and build a firewall between our technological society and the natural world. The mass of the people and electrical devices could provide heating, and cooling could be done by storing cold water in an aquifer in the winter and using it to cool the structure in the summer, or some other large scale energy efficient scheme. People movers, elevators and escalators could carry people where they need to go. Electric railways or something similar could connect the arcologies.

          It’s not likely to happen, but it could happen. With solar energy and mostly recycled materials and waste products, it is possible, I think.

          A sustainable mostly solar powered two dimensional society distributed on the surface of the earth is all we can hope for, in the near future. Perhaps we can use the method of successive approximations to get to a sustainable society – starting with solar energy and electric vehicles, moving on to Bio-Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage and drawing down greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

          A future in which many billions of people live sustainably on the earth and in space is possible. The physics of the situation say it is possible. We just have to figure out how to get there from here.

          Like

      • kassy

         /  May 5, 2018

        Capitalism takes weird forms:

        Share
        The U.S. shale oil industry hailed as a “revolution” has burned through a quarter trillion dollars more than it has brought in over the last decade. It has been a money-losing endeavor of epic proportions.

        In September 2016, the financial ratings service Moody’s released a report on U.S. oil companies, many of which were hurting from the massive drop in oil prices. Moody’s found that “the financial toll from the oil bust can only be described as catastrophic,” particularly for small companies that took on huge debt to finance fracking shale formations when oil prices were high.

        And even though shale companies still aren’t turning a profit, Wall Street continues to lend the industry more money while touting these companies as good investments. Why would investors do that?

        David Einhorn, star hedge fund investor and the founder of Greenlight Capital, has referred to the shale industry as “a joke.”

        “A business that burns cash and doesn’t grow isn’t worth anything,” said Einhorn, who often goes against the grain in the financial world.

        https://www.desmogblog.com/2018/05/04/wall-street-shale-oil-fracking-revolution-losing-billions-continental-resources

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
        • bill h

           /  May 5, 2018

          Kassy, very interesting summary of what a lot of gas/petroleum mining engineers already knew: basically the companies involved have borrowed hugely, hoping that the gas or oil would keep flowing. However, the output for a typical fracked well falls off rapidly over time: IIRC depletion rates of 20% per annum or more are typical. They have to keep extracting just to pay off their creditors, even though they make a loss on their investment.

          Like

        • Vernon Hamilton

           /  May 7, 2018

          The product that the fracking industry produces in great abundance is – not gas or oil – it is commercial paper

          Like

    • Leland Palmer

       /  May 5, 2018

      So, I asked my wife if capitalism had to go.

      She said- well the rich people who are currently running the country, with their short term goals, will have to go. Capitalism and global warming are a bad combination, she said.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    • The culprits are:

      1. Fossil fuel burning. And:
      2. Not enough government action to limit fossil fuel burning and transition to renewables.

      How have monopolies and hyper capitalism fed this? They’ve enabled powerful corporate interests to slow or eliminate responses and to corrupt political systems. Capitalism itself isn’t purely to blame. But a completely unfettered capitalism has played a major role in the crisis as has the drive to give powerful corporations free reign.

      There are some capitalistic entities that are operating in a more benevolent fashion. The clean energy industry, ironically, is an example of the responsible use of capital flows aimed at generating public goods. But certainly the present right-wing hyper-capitalistic ideology is unhelpful.

      I’d say that we can still have capitalism and climate change response. But we need a regulated capitalism that plays by the rules and looks toward innovation and the long term in order to do it. In my opinion, that’s a better path for the west. And, in any case, the pure capitalist model must give way for the clear need for increasing equality and helping those less fortunate.

      Like

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  24. Humanity beaten out – by a sea slug –
    Solar powered sea slugs shed light on search for perpetual green energy
    Near-shore animal becomes plant-like after pilfering tiny solar panels and storing them in its gut. Date: May 3, 2018, Rutgers University.
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180503085550.htm

    Summary:
    In an amazing achievement akin to adding solar panels to your body, a Northeast sea slug sucks raw materials from algae to provide its lifetime supply of solar-powered energy, according to a new study.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
  25. redskylite

     /  May 5, 2018

    Another feedback loop discovered in our freshwater lakes . .

    Greenhouse gas ‘feedback loop’ discovered in freshwater lakes

    Latest research finds plant debris in lake sediment affects methane emissions. The flourishing reed beds created by changing climates could threaten to double the already significant methane production of the world’s northern lakes.

    “The warming climates that promote the growth of aquatic plants have the potential to trigger a damaging feedback loop in natural ecosystems
    http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/greenhouse-gas-feedback-loop-discovered-in-freshwater-lakes

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • redskylite

       /  May 5, 2018

      New climate ‘feedback loop’ discovered in freshwater lakes

      Methane emissions from lakes in the northern hemisphere could almost double over the next 50 years because of a novel “feedback loop” say scientists.

      Climate change is boosting the proportion of cattail plants growing in and around freshwater lakes they say.

      But when debris from these reed beds falls in the water it triggers a major increase in the amount of methane produced.

      http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-43990403

      Like

      Reply
    • Warming tends to generate these feedback loops which is one reason why hyperthermals involve such strong temperature spikes.

      Like

      Reply
  26. I did an update. Enjoy the Jazz…

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply
  27. PlazaRed

     /  May 5, 2018

    It seems that the reaping on the fruits of all the CO2 is in the Arctic sea ice graph/chart right now, simply nothing to compare it too in the past and heading downhill very fast.
    The temps for the next few days over the North Pole area are set to be well above normal, though normal is also a subject of “history” now!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Major Arctic temperature spike has been ongoing for the past week and is expected to continue for another ten days at least. New blog about this disturbing trend is up.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  28. wharf rat

     /  May 6, 2018

    Lots of photos.

    Toxic gasses spew from Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island as new fissures form and 1,700 flee their homes
    The map shows vent 8 smack dab in the middle if Puna Geothermal Venture

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5695425/Hawaiis-Kilauea-volcano-spews-toxic-gasses-new-fissures-form-thousands-flee.html#ixzz5EgTMyrQn

    Like

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    • wili

       /  May 6, 2018

      Lava Flows and Sulfur Dioxide Threaten Leilani Estates on Kilauea

      The new eruption far on the East Rift zone of Kilauea is continuing. The latest count has at least 10 fissure vents erupting … on the east side of Leilani Estates and more cracks in the ground, some releasing copious sulfur dioxide gas. The lava flows coming from the fissures vents that are intermittently erupting has destroyed at least 5 homes so far with more being threatened and has overrun a number of roads. The lava fountains from the active fissure vents have reached as high 70 meters (215 feet) — you can watch some of the impressive footage of the eruption below. All of the Leilani Estates subdivision has been evacuated with little idea when residents might be permitted back into their homes.

      In some of the most stunning video, you can see a fissure erupting in the middle of an area of homes. These vents could be active for weeks-to-months, so many of these homes could be inundated with lava. This part of Hawaii is by no means wealthy, so the stakes are high for the people who live in Leilani Estates — many of which may not be able to just “pick up and leave”.

      However, it is the sulfur dioxide gas that is the real danger to people, as the concentrations being emitted are high enough to kill someone — the sulfur dioxide combines with water in your lungs and throat to form sulfuric acid! The sulfur dioxide plume has been mapped from the Suomi-NPP satellite, spreading to the southwest of the eruption. …

      http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/rockyplanet/2018/05/06/lava-flows-and-sulfur-dioxide-threaten-leilani-estates-on-kilauea/
      Maps and video at the link.

      Like

      Reply
    • Lots of news about this volcanic eruption. Climate change related events get far less coverage :(.

      Like

      Reply
  29. wili

     /  May 6, 2018

    baby I remember when you were born
    it was dawn and the storm settled in my belly…

    they lit a match
    and the void went flash
    and the sky split…

    little sister the sky is falling
    I don’t mind…

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  30. PlazaRed

     /  May 6, 2018

    Bad flooding in Ankara Turkey.
    Some serious damage there.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  31. Methane madness

     /  May 6, 2018

    Speaking of not fighting wars, Australia is spending 200 billion dollars on War machines. Which is great.

    Like

    Reply
  32. wili

     /  May 6, 2018

    “Latest Climate Threat for Coastal Cities: More Rich People”

    “Around the country, the government’s response to extreme weather is pushing lower-income people like the Barons away from the waterfront, often in the name of safety. Those homes, in turn, are often replaced with more costly houses, such as those built higher off the ground and are better able to withstand storms. Housing experts, economists and activists have coined the term ‘climate gentrification.’ ”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-23/the-latest-climate-threat-for-coastal-cities-more-rich-people

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Ironically, it’ll be those living on the coast who see the most severe impacts. Those who move early will do better. These rich are putting themselves on the bleeding edge. Those building in these zones are going to get kicked in the teeth.

      Like

      Reply
  33. Dave McGinnis

     /  May 6, 2018

    In the 90’s when I asked Greg Spoden, state climatologist for Minnesota, what to expect he said ‘look for more extreme events.’ This makes sense as the only way to move a long-term average is through extremes. Think of a batting average or a bowling average or a golf handicap. BTW there is a climatologist in Oregon who has data suggesting that the Alaskan archipelago is the wettest place in the world, where it makes a right-angle turn.

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  34. wili

     /  May 7, 2018

    “Ecofys, a Navigant company, presents decarbonisation scenario for energy transition in line with 1.5°C target”

    PUBLISHED: 30/04/2018
    ” Ecofys, a Navigant company, has investigated what the increased ambition of limiting temperature increase to 1.5°C rather than 2°C means for the global energy system. In a new paper, the energy experts present a transformation scenario that would see the global energy system fully decarbonised by 2050.

    The findings indicate that strong energy efficiency improvements could bring global energy use below current levels to 435 EJ, a large contrast to business as usual growth to over 800 EJ. While the total primary energy supply in the scenario is decreasing slightly, electricity demand is expected to almost triple. Ecofys, a Navigant company, estimates that all this energy can be supplied from zero-carbon or low carbon energy sources.

    If society kept on emitting CO2 at the current pace, the carbon budget to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C would be exceeded in one or two decades. The energy experts therefore explored options for a fast energy system transformation and developed a scenario against a background of increasing population and growing demand for energy services like space heating and cooling, transportation, and materials production.”

    https://www.ecofys.com/en/news/ecofys-a-navigant-company-presents-decarbonisation-scenario-for-energy-tran/

    Like

    Reply
    • Electric engines are 2 to 3 times more efficient than ICEs. We’re already starting a mass movement in that direction.

      Like

      Reply
    • Worth noting that the U.S. got more than 90 percent its newly installed energy from wind and solar during Q1 of 2018. Very little in the way of gas and zero coal. Part of the reason is the drive for larger efficiency in which renewables are incentivized. The nice thing about efficiency is it makes it easier to shut down those fossil fuel plants faster.

      Like

      Reply
  35. wharf rat

     /  May 7, 2018

    What genuine, for real, no-bullshit ambition on climate change would look like
    New scenarios show how to hit the most stringent targets, with no loopholes.
    By David Roberts
    https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/5/7/17306008/global-warming-climate-change-scenarios-ambition

    Like

    Reply
    • We need to rely more on shutting down fossil fuel emitting systems as swiftly as possible. We will need some atmospheric carbon capture in any case. But it’s not as reliable as preventing the emissions in the first place.

      In this regard, the present opportunity presented by wind + solar + EVs + battery storage clean energy ecosystems are huge and growing.

      Like

      Reply
  36. It’s 24 degrees centigrade here in Suffolk UK today, I don’t think it has ever been this warm here at this time of the year.

    Like

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  37. Gareth

     /  May 7, 2018

    Just a small nitpick with your otherwise excellent post: Kauai is the 8th wettest place on Earth, not the wettest. India takes out the number 1 and 2 spots, and Colombia and New Zealand have the 3rd and 4th spots respectively.

    Like

    Reply
  1. Climate Change Ignores all Borders as Rain Bombs Fall on Kauai and the Middle East Alike — robertscribbler « Antinuclear
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