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“Never Before Experienced” Rains Hammer Japan During Early July

“We’ve never experienced this kind of rain before. This is a situation of extreme danger.” — The Japan Meteorological Agency

*****

During recent days as much as 25 inches of rain has fallen over parts of Japan shattering previous all time precipitation records for parts of the island nation. The resulting floods have spurred a major emergency response by 54,000 personnel, taken the lives of more than 125 people, and forced more than 2.8 million to evacuate.

(Rising global surface temperatures increase atmospheric water vapor levels — providing liquid fuel that spikes the most powerful rainfall events to even greater extremes.)

On July 3, Typhoon Prapiroon swept over southwestern Japan bringing with it a spate of heavy rains. Over the following days, Prapiroon got caught up in stationary front even as a high pressure system to the east continued to circulate tropical moisture into the region. Beneath that eastern high, sea surface temperatures ranged between 2 and 3.5 degrees Celsius above normal. Meanwhile, warmer than normal ocean surfaces dominated a region east of the Philippines. These large, abnormally warm zones produced excess evaporation which helped to feed even more moisture into the region.

The result was a historic and devastating rain event for Japan. Isolated locations received more than 39 inches (1000 mm) of rain over a three day period. With one hour rainfall exceeding 3 inches in a number of locations. Motoyami received one day rains of 23 inches. With Mount Ontake seeing more than 25 inches over three days.

(Warmer than normal ocean surfaces, as shown in yellow and red in this sea surface temperature anomaly map, helped to fuel Japan’s recent extreme rainfall event. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

Rising global temperatures increase overall atmospheric moisture loading by approximately 8 percent for each degree Celsius of global temperature increase. Water vapor provides fuel for storms both through enhancing convection and by engorging clouds with moisture. Recent scientific studies have found that climate change can greatly enhance the peak intensity of the most severe storms in this way. And the U.S. National Climate Assessment has identified a historical trend of increasing instances of heavy precipitation.

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46 Comments

  1. Martin Stock

     /  July 9, 2018

    https://phys.org/news/2018-07-global-climate.html
    thought you might like to see this, its not good news in anybody’s world

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    • This is in line with the paleoclimate based sensitivity of 5-6 C per doubling of CO2 that we’ve been identifying here since 2012 and that’s based on Hansen’s earlier work.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. vastmandana

     /  July 9, 2018

    And not a peep discussing this in public to galvanize action… What a wacked out simulation we are in… “Let’s explore roasting the planetary population while telling everyone things are amazing and it’s just a left wing conspiracy…I bet they’ll be mighty tasty when we swoop in and harvest them! Sheeple are the best!”

    Liked by 5 people

    Reply
  3. Sheri

     /  July 10, 2018

    Big mnsoon storm in Phoenix area. This series of storms on radar went north and south from Flagstaff almost to Tucson. The whole row of storms move togetherfrom east to west.

    No damage here but a heavy rain for about 20 minutes along with lightening, thunder and strong winds with dust. There is damage in places all over the state, I am sure.
    Most rain we have had in almost a year, not sure about that but it seems like it.

    All I know for now…keep cool ya’ll…

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  4. Abel Adamski

     /  July 10, 2018

    OT again, back to Renewables downunder
    https://www.watoday.com.au/environment/climate-change/solar-panel-installations-rocket-and-on-track-to-triple-annual-record-20180709-p4zqcx.html

    Unprecedented’: Solar panel installations soar, on track to triple 2017 record

    Rooftop solar panel installations soared by almost half in the first six months of 2018 as businesses eclipse residential take-up for the first time.
    ….
    The long-predicted jump in commercial-sized systems – those of more than 15 kW – is finally happening. Such demand accounted for a quarter of June’s PV demand, according to Ric Brazzale, chairman of Green Energy Markets.

    However, when emerging demand for power stations of 100 kW or larger capacity is included, the full size of the market is likely to be much larger by the end of this year.

    So far 639 MW of such systems have been accredited this year and Green Energy Markets predicts another 1400 MW will be completed or accredited by December.

    All up, total solar installations could approach 4000 MW or close to triple the previous record set in 2017.

    “It’s sort of unprecedented,” Mr Brazzale said.

    Helena Li, president of the Asia Pacific sales division of Trina Solar – one of China’s big three module producers – said commercial users can better match energy generation with their own demands than households.

    “It’s a three-to-four years’ payback now for commercial [users],” Ms Li said. “It makes more sense, especially with electricity [prices] rising.”

    Solar panel prices are now about 50 cents per kilowatt of capacity, a figure that could shrink to “something below 40 cents”, Mr Brazzale said.

    Now add in electrification of a companies fleet charged from Company RE plus batt to business savings.

    Now remind me , what capacity does a Coal generator have and what is it’s build and operation cost and time taken from planning to throwing the switch

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  5. kassy

     /  July 10, 2018

    A meter of rain is pretty crazy. In 3 days they had more rain then we normally get in a year in the Netherlands (currently 880 mmm).

    Aside: in 1910 it was 695 mm, the 880mm is from 2015. This is a 27% gain over those 106 years.

    http://www.clo.nl/indicatoren/nl050806-jaarlijkse-hoeveelheid-neerslag-in-nederland

    Death toll in Japan is now up to 141 with dozens still missing:
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-44775627

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • I’m getting the sense that this was a pretty terrible event. Lots of building collapses, mudslides and rapid floods. As I was writing the article, the death toll moved from 100 to 125. So it’s pretty concerning to me that we’re looking at a very serious loss of life event here.

      Like

      Reply
  6. Charles Haggerty .

     /  July 10, 2018

    hi Robert , I wonder if you would like to comment on this interview of James Hansen (JH) by Chris Hedges (CH) on RT’s ‘ On Contact ‘ ? At 7:19 CH asks , ” Even if we stopped all carbon emissions today , we have what decades of effects in the future ? JH responds , ” If we stopped all fossil fuel use today the warming would continue for a decade or so but then it would stabilise and even begin to go down….” It has always been my understanding that generally the warming caused by fossil fuel use would stay in the atmosphere for many decades . I don’t have any academic background in science and I was wondering if you could clear up this confusion for me and/or possibly provide links ? Regards . Charles Haggerty . Here’s the link ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zt8EUMu6S7c

    Like

    Reply
    • If we stop fossil fuel burning you end up with a degree of warming that gets locked in. It’s due to the fact that we’ve already emitted so much carbon. However, if climate sensitivity is relatively low and the pathway is relatively low, then you do get the effect than Hansen mentions according to various model studies.

      There are a number of issues with this interpretation.

      1. The higher emissions pathways tend to produce more warming long term. In addition, the higher emissions pathways produce more feedback from the Earth System environment.
      2. Many of the models only include fast feedbacks. When longer term feedbacks are included, this may result in more of a leveling off or a slower rate of temperature retrograde even in the lower level emissions scenarios.
      3. Some loss of temperature in the longer term is due to fast decay of methane. So if human methane emissions decline, it provides an avenue for reducing the level of ‘locked in’ warming.

      Note that this more recent model scenario does not include the tapering down seen in some of the RCP 2.6 scenario models.

      With regards to the conversation, I would like to reassert that we are looking at a sliding scale of outcomes from rather difficult but probably manageable to bad to worse, to terrible to catastrophic. I recent statement from Mann comes to mind here:

      Our best response at this time, and this has been the case for a long time now, is to respond. To respond in a concerted, organized manner that holds our civilizations together. And to respond by using the low hanging fruit method first of rapidly transitioning from oil, coal, and gas burning to wind, solar, EVs, and other renewables to get to a net zero carbon society. Following that, and depending on how sensitive the Earth System is, we may need to pursue carbon negative options on a mass scale as well. In my opinion, I think this is somewhat likely. But we need to get to 100 percent renewables and net zero first. That should be our goal. That’s what limits the level of the whole problem.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      • kassy

         /  July 10, 2018

        Maybe combine this with a response to the 2x what the models predicted article? It keeps popping up so it’s obviously a hot topic.

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
      • Meanwhile […]

        Like

        Reply
        • Not really an accurate statement here, Charles. So I’ve removed it. I guess I’m going to have to clarify climate sensitivity again. And what’s survivable and what’s not. IPCC, has been very accurate RE projected temperature increases. So you need to rethink your statement and context.

          Like

    • Mick Walker

       /  July 10, 2018

      “It has always been my understanding that generally the warming caused by fossil fuel use would stay in the atmosphere for many decades.”

      Charles, the warming is also in the oceans. In fact, 90%+ of all increase in energy trapped in the atmosphere due to increases in GHG’s has transferred into the oceans. There is a 30-40 year lag time from date of emissions to when that thermal energy releases from the oceans, called thermal inertia. Not only do we need to get to zero carbon emissions, but I think this is why many assert we also need to sequester existing CO2 from the atmosphere to drop levels lower. The oceans have bought us some time, but as we can see from the change to climate already, quick international action is needed.

      Like

      Reply
      • Accumulating CO2 stays in the atmosphere for millennia.

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
      • Charles Haggerty

         /  July 12, 2018

        hi Mick , thanks to you , Robert and others for your kind replies . I thought I posted a follow-up question yesterday but I don’t know what happened to it , possibly I didn’t post it properly . However this is what I wanted to ask ; even if we could somehow stop ALL fossil fuel burning tomorrow would that still mean that because of the 30/40 year time-lag between emission and effect(s) on global temperature we would still have decades of increased/increasing temperature(s) ? ( Where this leaves James Hansen’s ” 10 years ” , I just don’t understand ! ) Also in that scenario , of zero greenhouse gas emissions ; would that not mean that the phospates (?) , which cause global dimming , already in the atmosphere would basically be reduced to zero in a matter of a few weeks and thereby increase average global temperatures ? Regards . Charles Haggerty .

        Like

        Reply
        • I think we are jumping ahead a bit.

          In order of greatest warming impact:

          1. Increasing CO2 at the rate of approx 2.2 C per year.
          2. Added CO2 of 135 ppm over the 1700s base line of 275 ppm.
          3. Other increasing atmospheric greenhouse gasses.
          4. Added CO2e of 83 ppm over the 1700s baseline.
          5. Removal of minor global dimming.

          OK. Now on to the next question.

          1. The present RAPID pace of warming is driven by the present RAPID pace of atmospheric greenhouse gas increase.
          2. Halt that increase and warming rates will rapidly slow down.
          3. If human methane emissions on the order of 250-350 MT per year are removed or reduced, then atmospheric methane will rapidly fall out reducing a portion of CO2e. This will help to counter the response from loss of global dimming and in the more aggressive scenarios overwhelms it.
          4. A portion of added CO2e and added CO2 will remain. If Ocean sinks remain healthy, then approx 10-20 ppm CO2 will be drawn down.
          5. Net final CO2e following cessation would be around 420 to 450. Which is enough to warm the Earth by a little less than 1.5 C this Century and about 3 C long term.
          6. So yes, warming would probably continue unless the carbon sinks are very strong, albeit very slowly. Much more slowly than at present.
          7. To return to safe climates, we will need to reduce atmospheric CO2e to below 350 ppm. So further work over the long term following cessation will be needed.
          8. The presently accepted science notes that we can avoid 1.5 C warming this Century by cutting U.S. emissions by 100 percent by 2035 and global emissions by 100 percent by 2050. In my opinion, if this happens, it will be close. It might go over a bit. But that’s my opinion. The science is pretty accurate. So I’m not going to denigrate it. And we shouldn’t. That’s shooting ourselves in the foot. There are some reasons for concern that this pathway will be blow by. But they are often over-stated here. If the Earth feedback comes more strongly, we get closer to 2 C this Century even under the most aggressive emissions reduction pathways. If less so, then the pathway is very valid.
          9. The key is to halt emissions ASAP. That’s one elephant in the room that everyone keeps trying to avoid.
          10. The other elephant that everyone keeps trying to avoid is that rapid renewable deployment is the fastest way to both increase efficiency and cut emissions without creating terrible harm and social unrest.
          11. And the final issue is that once we get to zero, that being the primary goal that needs to be targeted, then we need to get to net negative as a major follow on goal.

          Like

  7. kassy

     /  July 10, 2018

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  8. kassy

     /  July 10, 2018

    Climate science & appliantology:

    Air Conditioners with 24 degrees Celsius as default temperature: Here’s why government is pushing for this

    An air conditioner is no longer a luxury for most of the Indian consumers. However, during summers, air conditioning is a major load on electricity consumption in India. It is estimated that by 2030, India will have an annual demand of 28.5 million units of ACs, an enormous jump from the current 5.5 million units annually. The rising temperatures and equally steep electricity bills can impact the overall financial budget of an average Indian consumer.

    By 2030 the connected load due to air conditioners is expected to be 140GW.

    If the AC’s temperature is set at 19 degrees and the outside is 38 degrees, the electricity required will be a lot more than when the thermostat temperature is set for 24 degrees. The compressor will work longer to reach the desired level which in turn will consume more electricity.

    Assuming 50 per cent users adapt to the change and run the air conditioner at a default setting of 24 degrees, there will be 24 per cent reduction in the energy consumption which will save up to 10 billion units of electricity.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    • All the heat is pushing people into climate controlled environments. Yet one more reason why transitioning to renewables is so important.

      Like

      Reply
      • Jeremy in Wales

         /  July 10, 2018

        Italian businesses seem to set their AC (when they have it) to a far higher temperature than in the US where you seem to set it to ice cold. It is in fact more uncomfortable than the heat at times.
        A/C is lovely in a hot humid climate but not quite as needed in the dry heat in most of the US west since your own sweat cools you down. Is there any drive in the US to reduce the amount of A/C?

        Like

        Reply
        • I think that this recent western heatwave shows a clear need for controlled environments. High heat + low humidity = rapid dehydration. From the Central US eastward, we have high wet bulb temperatures which create directly higher heat injury risk environments. I think reducing AC would be a bad idea and increase injury and loss of life. We need to hook that AC up to wind and solar and batteries.

          Like

  9. kassy

     /  July 10, 2018

    Here’s Why You Need to Stop Washing Your Dishes by Hand

    “In order to wash the same amount of dishes that can fit in a single load of a full size dishwasher and use less water, you would need to be able to wash eight full place settings and still limit the total amount of time that the faucet was running to less than two minutes,” he adds.

    “The worst approach for the environment – and energy and water bills – is pre-washing dishes in constantly running hot water and then running them in an ancient dishwasher that was not built to modern standards,” wrote Mooney.

    In fact, by pre-washing our dishes, Consumer Reports suggests that households could be wasting more than 22,000 litres (6,000 gallons) of water per year.

    more details on:
    https://www.sciencealert.com/is-it-better-to-wash-dishes-by-hand-or-dishwasher-environment-science

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Ironically good efficiency advice.

      Like

      Reply
    • wili

       /  July 10, 2018

      Does this include the embodied energy, though? I never continuously run hot water while washing, and my hot water is not heated by electricity.

      Thought experiment–do you really think that if everyone in the world who does not have a dishwasher went out and bought one tomorrow, the global footprint would go down?

      But yeah, however you wash dishes, do so as efficiently as possible.

      Like

      Reply
      • Jeremy in Wales

         /  July 10, 2018

        Do not have any hot water in the summer, the dishwasher, washing machine and the shower just heats what is needed.
        One of the bigger domestic electricity uses in the UK will be tumble dryers for clothes. In the winter outside drying just does not work and drying clothes inside the house encourages condensation on walls. Waiting for someone to perfect the vacuum dryer or a heat pump condenser dryer.

        Like

        Reply
  10. kassy

     /  July 10, 2018

    On the Yuba River, Climate Change Means It’s Time for a Dam Makeover

    Yuba River floods have killed people – notably in 1955, 1986 and 1997 – and climate change is making such floods more likely. As the atmosphere warms, more winter precipitation falls as rain rather than snow. This boosts the amount of runoff coursing downhill in any given storm.

    The Yuba County Water Agency plans to build a second spillway at the dam to boost its water-release capacity, at an estimated cost of $160 million. The larger spillway will allow dam operators to release water sooner and faster to prepare for approaching storms.

    It will have a release capacity of 45,000 cubic feet per second – more than double the existing spillway. And it will be 31.5ft lower than the existing spillway gates.

    As a result, when a big storm is forecast, dam operators can release water a lot sooner to free up empty space in the reservoir. This means the potential impact of downstream flooding is reduced, because the peak flow can be spread out over a longer period of time. Aikens said the new spillway could reduce the flood peak on the Yuba River downstream at Marysville as much as 2ft, significantly reducing stress on the city’s levees.

    and much more on:
    https://www.newsdeeply.com/water/articles/2018/07/10/on-the-yuba-river-climate-change-means-its-time-for-a-dam-makeover

    Like

    Reply
  11. 12volt dan

     /  July 11, 2018

    News from Tesla

    Tesla to open Shanghai electric car factory, doubling its production
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jul/10/tesla-to-open-shanghai-electric-car-factory-doubling-its-production

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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