Heat is Online

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msfreeh
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Re: Heat is Online

Postby msfreeh » Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:32 pm

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A Terrifying Jump in Global Temperatures — December of 2015 at 1.4 C Above 1890

A monster El Nino firing off in the Pacific. A massive fossil fuel driven accumulation of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere pushing CO2 levels well above 400 parts per million. The contribution of other greenhouse gasses pushing the total global heat forcing into the range of 485 parts per million CO2e. Given this stark context, we knew the numbers were probably going to be bad. We just didn’t know how bad. And, looking at the initial measures coming in, we can definitely say that this is serious.

According to today’s report from Japan’s Meteorological Agency, global temperatures jumped by a ridiculous 0.36 degrees Celsius from the period of December 2014 — the previous hottest December in the global climate record — through December 2015 — the new hottest December by one heck of a long shot. To put such an amazing year-on-year monthly jump in global temperatures into context, the average decadal rate of global temperature increase has been in the range of 0.15 C every ten years for the past three and a half decades. It’s as if you lumped 20 years of human forced warming all into one 12 month differential.

December 2015 Global Temperature Record Hottest Month

(Japan’s Meteorological Agency shows a terrifyingly sharp jump in global temperatures for the month of December, 2015. Image Source: JMA.)

Taking a look at this amazing monthly jump in global temperatures in terms of longer timeframes, we find that December of 2015 came in at 1.05 C above the 20th Century Average and a terrifying (yes, no other word can describe) 1.42 C departure from average temperatures at the start of the record during 1890.

The world is now exploring monthly global temperature averages that are hitting very close to a dangerous 1.5 C above preindustrial levels. And though these numbers do not reflect yearly averages that will probably be much lower — in the range of 1 to 1.2 C above 1880 for 2015 and 2016 — we should be very clear that such high readings remain cause for serious concern. Concern for the potential that 2016 may also see continued new record hot annual temperatures on top of previous record hot years 2014 and and 2015. And concern that we may well be just one more strong El Nino away from breaking through or coming dangerously close to the 1.5 C annual average temperature threshold.

There is cause here for concern and there is certainly some cause for alarm. Alarm in the sense that the world really needs to be ever-more serious about reducing global fossil fuel emissions to near zero as rapidly as possible. Otherwise, we might well break 2 C — not before 2100, but before 2050.

Links:

Japan Meteorological Agency Global Temperature Analysis

(NASA and NOAA Analysis to soon foll

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msfreeh
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Re: Heat is Online

Postby msfreeh » Sat Jan 16, 2016 8:43 pm

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Did The Human-Warmed Ocean Just Kill 8,000 Murres?

Around the world, mass sea creature die-offs have been occurring at an alarming rate. Off the US West Coast alone, the past three years have seen severe losses along almost ever link of the marine food chain from sea stars, to salps, to crabs, to sea lions. Many of these deaths have been linked directly or indirectly to impacts caused by a chronic warming of the region’s ocean surface dubbed ‘the hot blob.’

Now, a tragic and heart-wrenching new die-off has been recorded in the region of Prince William Sound. There, according to recent reports in the Washington Post, more than 8,000 murres — a kind of deep-swimming sea bird — were found dead. Washed up on shore, the mures bodies were shrunken and emaciated. Their stomachs completely empty of food.

Researchers noted that the mass death was likely due to starvation. But the potential cause given for the starvation was rather more ominous.

The Link to Human Warming of the World Ocean

Mures feed on small fish that swim within the top 300 feet of the ocean surface. The graceful murres ride the airs above the water until they catch sight of a school of these fish. Swooping in from above, the mures plunge toward their prey, snaring them with rapier-quick thrusts of their beaks.

Such fish usually swim close to the coast — thriving in the cold, nutrient-rich waters off Prince William Sound. But warm the waters up by just a little and the fish may leave — following their own food supply into colder regions.

sea surface temperature anomaly map

(The hot blob still holds sway over the Northeastern Pacific. This despite a series of strong El Nino storms and a somewhat flattening of the Jet Stream. It’s an extreme ocean warming that has been ongoing for more than two years. One that’s been linked to the mass deaths of numerous marine creatures. Image source: The National Weather Service.)

And the waters near and around Prince William Sound have been much warmer than normal during recent years. As of January 14th, 2016, sea surface temperatures in the region have ranged from 1 to 4 degrees Celsius above average. Extremely high differentials for an ocean surface that, during the Holocene, rarely varied by more than 1 or 2 degrees from typical ranges.

This extreme Northeastern Pacific warming is but an aspect of a larger heating trend ongoing in the global ocean system due to a rampant human emission of greenhouse gasses. This massive burning of fossil fuel has dumped hundreds of billions of tons of carbon into the world’s atmospheres and oceans — setting off a raging greenhouse effect and causing the Earth surface to warm by more than 1 degree Celsius above 1880s levels. It may not sound like much, but 1 C is just 1/4 the difference between now and the last ice age — but on the side of hot. And this 1 C warming happened in just 130 years where at the end of the last ice age the same amount of warming would have taken 25 centuries.

A Hothouse Dead Zone For Prince William Sound?

To the oceans and to the innocent creatures that live within, upon and above it, such a rapid accumulation of heat is a brutal insult. It removes whole habitats. It forces sea creatures to change their patterns of migration. It makes the surface waters more suitable for the kinds of dangerous algae blooms that produce ocean dead zones. Zones of low or zero oxygen in which very few forms of life can survive.

Prince William Sound Dead Zone

(Prince William Sound dead zone visible in this December 6, 2015 satellite shot? Tell-tale greens and blues hint that a large algae bloom may be robbing the waters around the sound of much needed nutrients and oxygen. A kind of new deadly ocean environment that is proliferating as sea surface temperatures warm into ranges in which dead zone producing microbes can thrive. Image source: LANCE MODIS.)

And it’s this kind of generation of an ocean killing field that is perhaps the most brutal and terrifying aspect of what we’ve already done to our planet. What the legacy of our fossil fuel carbon emissions will continue to do for decades to centuries to, perhaps, millennia.

And sadly, looking at the NASA MODIS satellite data, we do see an indication of the kind of algae bloom that may be depleting the waters near Prince William Sound of that life-giving oxygen. We see the tell-tale greens and blues of a large bloom of the kind that can rob waters both of nutrients to support fish life and of oxygen itself. Visual analysis alone cannot positively identify this kind of bloom with 100 percent certainty. Water samples must be taken in the area and analyzed. But scientists asking the very pertinent question — did global warming cause this? — may only need to take a look at the composition of this bloom to get their answer.

An answer that won’t save the thousands of already dead murres, but that might help us build the resolve to prevent more catastrophes like this one. To stop burning fossil fuels and halt the accumulation of a terrible build-up of heat forcing that is ripping the very underpinnings of life in the oceans asunder.

Links:

LANCE MODIS

The National Weather Service

Mysterious Mass Death of Seabirds Baffles Scientists

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Re: Heat is Online

Postby msfreeh » Sun Jan 17, 2016 1:21 pm

Coal and oil emissions have already postponed the next Ice Age by 50,000 years
Climate change: CO2 emissions 'will delay next ice age by 100,000 years'
New research finds humans are having a 'mind-boggling' impact on the Earth
The Independent (U.K.), Jan. 13, 2016

Mankind is pumping so much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that it could postpone the next ice age by more than 100,000 years, according to new research which finds humans are having a “mind-boggling” impact on the Earth.

The volume of CO2 emissions that has accumulated in the atmosphere is so great that it has fundamentally changed the relationship between people and the planet as human behaviour radically alters the way the system operates, the research shows.
The study found that the next ice age would be pushed back by about 50,000 years even if emissions stopped overnight. And if the volume of greenhouse gases forecast to be produced in the coming decades comes to pass it could be postponed by more than 100,000 years.

The impact of greenhouse gases is so profound and long-lasting because they can linger in the atmosphere for centuries. During this time they upset the evolution of the ice sheets of the Northern Hemisphere which build up gradually over a period of 90,000 years through a complex, highly uneven, feedback mechanism of cooling temperatures, increasing snowfall, rising levels of reflected sunlight and falling temperatures.

“It is mind-boggling that humankind is able to interfere with a mechanism that shaped the world as we know it,” said Dr Andrey Ganopolski, lead author of the study, by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

“But our study shows that CO2-emissions from burning oil, coal and gas are already sufficient to postpone the next ice age for another 50,000 years,” Dr Ganopolski added.

And unless drastic action is taken to swiftly cut emissions the next ice age could be pushed back considerably further than that, according to Dr Ricarda Winkelmann, co-author of the research, published in the journal Nature.

“Due to the extremely long life-time of CO2 in the atmosphere, past and future emissions have a significant impact on timing of the next glacial inception,” she said.

“Our analysis shows that even small additional carbon emissions will most likely affect the evolution of the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets over tens of thousands of years and moderate future CO-emissions are bound to postpone the next ice age by at least 100,000 years,” said Dr Winkelmann.

The paper defines moderate human emissions as being a cumulative amount of between 1000 billion and 1,500 billion tonnes.
Mankind has already emitted more than 500 billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere and many scientists fear fossil fuels are so entrenched in the energy system that emissions could eventually total well over 1,000 tonnes before their expected eradication at some point during the second half of this century, even after world leaders recently agreed a deal in Paris last month to step up action against climate change.

The research is the first to quantify the impact of manmade CO2 emissions on the timing of the next ice age and demonstrates just how much the relationship has changed between humanity and the planet, the authors said.

“Like no other force on the planet, ice ages have shaped the global environment and thereby determined the development of human civilisation,” said Dr Winkelmann.

“We owe our fertile soil to the last ice age that also carved out today’s landscapes, leaving glaciers and rivers behind, forming fjords, moraines and lakes. However, today it is humankind with its emissions from burning fossil fuels that determines the future development of the planet,” she added.

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Re: Heat is Online

Postby dlbww » Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:16 am

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msfreeh
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Re: Heat is Online

Postby msfreeh » Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:48 am

Snow prompts states of emergency in Washington DC and Virginia

Up to 27in of snow forecast in US capital
Washington mayor: ‘We are preparing for a blizzard’

A pile of shoveled snow stands in the plaza on the east side of the US Capitol in Washington on Thursday.

Thursday 21 January 2016 11.03 EST


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Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia also declared a state of emergency on Thursday, amid predictions that the snowstorm could beat previous storms in 2009 and 2010, dubbed “Snowmageddon” and “Snowpocalypse” respectively. The 2010 storm brought 17.8in of snow.

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Re: Heat is Online

Postby msfreeh » Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:13 pm

scroll down to see the flood photos from today

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Blizzard Fueled By Ocean Heat Cripples Eastern US, Floods Coast With Historic Storm Surge

We knew the weather this weekend would be wicked. A predicted extreme winter storm kicked into a much higher gear by an atmosphere warmed by human greenhouse gas emissions and by a record heat and moisture bleed coming off an anomalously hot Atlantic Ocean kind of wicked. A severe Blizzard featuring 12-40 inch snows, near record to record storm surges, and hurricane force wind gusts that has been showing up in model forecasts since earlier this week. And it appears that’s exactly what we’re getting.

Heavy Snows Cause Major Disruptions

Jonas Saturday Morning

(National Weather Service Radar showing heavy snowfall stretching from West Virginia to Rhode Island at 10:45 AM Saturday Morning.)

By early Saturday morning, the reports were coming in. More than 1,500 vehicles were wrecked or disabled along Virgina State highways Friday evening as the storm roared across the region. Sudden, heavy snowfall generated a similar snarl — setting off a 40 mile long traffic jam in Kentucky which stranded motorists for more than 12 hours. According to reports from The Weather Channel, Jonas had already dumped as much as 28 inches of snow by 8 AM this morning. With 5-20 more inches on the way for many regions, these totals are expected to continue to climb.

These crippling snowfall totals were hitting very close to home in Gaithersburg, MD — where I took this video of still heavy snows over an already amazing 21 inch accumulation (unofficial).

The video was taken during a lull in an area that’s been experiencing accumulations at faster than 1 inch per hour rates since late last night. Sporadic reports of thundersnow were also starting to trickle in — especially in areas closer to the Chesapeake Bay like Baltimore.

Severe Coastal Flooding Threat Grows

Along the coast, Jonas’s impacts began to look more like those of Superstorm Sandy than of a typical winter snowmaker. Winds on the Eastern Shore of Virginia hit a peak hurricane force gust of 85 miles per hour earlier this morning as Jonas gorged on record warm Atlantic Ocean waters and intensified. These strong winds combined with astronomical high tides and a climate change related pile up of Gulf Stream waters off the US East Coast to push tides to the second highest level on record for Delaware beaches.

According to the Weather Channel:

On Saturday morning, the water level at Lewes, Delaware, rose to 9.27 feet, a storm surge of more than 4 feet. This is the highest level on record at that gauge, beating 9.20 feet on March 6, 1962. Record flooding has also been observed in at least three New Jersey locations (Great Channel at Stone Harbor, Cape May Harbor, Delaware Bay at Cape May).

Cindy Nevitt in Cape May, New Jersey sent along this photo of ocean floodwaters and ice floes surging around her coastal home this morning as Jonas mercilessly drove its surge inland:

Cindy Nevitt Cape May New Jersey

(Severe coastal flooding surges into Cape May New Jersey as hurricane force gusts drive a storm surge into the Northeast Coast on Saturday morning. Image source: Cindy Nevitt.)

Reports are beginning to come in of ongoing emergency evacuations of coastal homes flooded by surging waters in this region. Given the 9 foot above normal tides combined with hurricane force wind gusts and 30 foot waves slamming into beaches, sand dunes and sea walls, it’s a situation that is, sadly, likely to worsen as the day progresses.

Many of the Worst Impacts Still to Come

To this point, it’s important to note that, with Jonas still centered off the Delmarva Peninsula, this major tidal flooding that regions are now currently experiencing is just the start. The head of water should continue to build on into late Saturday as it moves up the coastline and into New York City, Long Island, Coastal Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Furthermore, impacts to New Jersey and Delaware should remain dangerous or worsen over the coming hours as winds pile waves and waters on top of already record high tides.

Meanwhile, Jonas will continue to generate heavy snowfall over hundreds of miles on into Saturday evening. The situation, therefore, remains quite dangerous and all residents in the affected areas should keep tuned to local emergency officials for instruction. In other words, this climate change enhanced monster winter storm isn’t done yet. Not by a long shot.

UPDATE: 330 PM, 25-26 Inches, Everything is Getting Buried

The locals are calling this thing Snowzilla. And for the past 36 hours it feels like I’ve had the darn thing by the tail. It’s been a rough ride but now things are honestly starting to get weird. Howling winds and heavy snows at the rate of 1 inch or more per hour continue. And we’re just sitting here as all that moisture feeding in off the Atlantic hits that cold air and condenses out in the form of a merciless fall of snow.

In our most recent set of homebrew storm videos, filmed at 3:30, the world is taking on the features of an alien landscape. Everything familiar is being covered in massive piles that dwarf people, cars, trees and even make the buildings seem to blend into a blank background of mounded white. Snowfall accumulation, in our unofficial estimate, has now reached between 25 and 26 inches. But everywhere 3, 4, 5, 6 foot and larger piles and drifts can be found (if you want to view my complete video essay of this storm, now composing 10 live films of events as they unfolded in Gaithersbur, MD, it’s available here).

Offshore, Jonas is still strengthening, still hurling more snow our way. Now, forecasts are indicating the merciless accumulation won’t stop until around 8 PM this evening. National Weather Service radar analysis puts our region firmly under the pivot point of the storm and very heavy bands just keep spiraling in. Given the slow motion of the storm and the current visible conditions, I’m starting to think that the early forecasts were optimistic. We’re just getting socked here.

Links:

A Blizzard Roars out of Climate Change’s Heart

National Weather Service

Winter Storm Jonas Bringing Peak Impacts to Mid-Atlantic and Northeast on Saturday

Winter Storm Jonas Live Updates

Jonas Generates 40 Mile Long Traffic Snarl in Kentucky

Cindy Nevitt

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Re: Heat is Online

Postby msfreeh » Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:43 pm

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daily map of planet temperature anomalies

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Re: Heat is Online

Postby msfreeh » Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:54 am

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Polar Amplification vs a Godzilla El Nino — Is the Pacific Storm Track Being Shoved North by Arctic Warming?

It’s an El Nino year. One of the top three strongest El Ninos on record. The strongest by some NOAA measures. And we are certainly feeling its effects all over the world. From severe droughts in Southeast Asia, Africa, and South America, to Flooding in the Central and Eastern US, Southern Brazil, and India, these impacts, this year and last, have been extreme and wide-ranging. During recent days, Peru and Chile saw enormous ocean waves and high tides swamping coastlines. Record flooding and wave height events for some regions. All impacts related to both this powerful El Nino and the overall influence of human-forced warming by more than 1 C above 1880s temperatures on the whole of the hydrological cycle.

Amped up by a global warming related 7 percent increase in atmospheric water vapor (and a related increase in evaporation and precipitation over the Earth’s surface), many of these El Nino related impacts have followed a roughly expected pattern (you can learn more about typical El Nino patterns and links to climate change related forcings in this excellent video by Dr Kevin Trenberth here). However, so far, some of the predicted kinds of events you’d typically see during a strong El Nino have not yet emerged. A circumstance that may also be related to the ongoing human-forced warming of the globe.

Storm Track Not Making it Far Enough South

Particularly, there has been an absence of powerful storms running in over Southern California then surging on into Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas. During strong El Nino events, heat and moisture bleeding off the super-warmed Equator have typically fed powerful storms racing across the Pacific. These storms have tended to engulf the entire US Pacific Coast from San Diego through to Seattle. However, much of the storm energy is often directed further south toward Central and Southern California.

Ridiculously Resilient Ridge Returns

(A massive Pacific storm being warded off by high pressure systems over the US West Coast on Tuesday, January 26th. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

These storms tend to run over regions that are typically much drier. So strong El Ninos of the past have often generated abnormal and memorable storms and rains. But this year there has been, mostly, an abscense of such events. Storms have slammed into Northern California, Oregon, been deflected back into the coasts of Canada and Alaska, or even been bottled up near the Aleutian Island Chain.

But today, a high pressure cell dominates the western US, warding off a powerful storm system. The storm, howling just south of Alaska and pushing out average 60 foot wave heights and hurricane force winds across the Pacific, is predicted to rebound toward Alaska where it will become bottled up in the Bering sea and push above freezing temperatures into the Arctic Beaufort Sea during Winter. The storms and rains will steer far away from Southern California and even much of California altogether.

Rainfall Patterns Have Tended Toward the North, Contrary to NOAA’s Seasonal Predictions



NOAA Precipitation

(NOAA precipitation quantities prediction for the coming week is indicative a continued northward shift of the Pacific Storm track. Image source: NOAA.)

It’s a pattern more reminiscent of some strange ridiculously resilient ridge (RRR) than that of a strong El Nino. And though storms later this week are again predicted to slam into the Northwest and weekly rainfall totals are expected to rise to near 1 inch for parts of Southern California, the path of these storms and related moisture flows are quite a bit further north than one would expect for a year in which strong El Nino was the dominant feature.

The moisture flow, instead, so far has tended northward across the upper and central tiers of the US even as the El Nino related moisture bleed toward the Gulf and East Coasts has remained quite intense. Such observed weather is both contrary to what we’ve tended to know about Strong El Nino and to NOAA’s seasonal forecasts which had predicted much more rain for the southwest than what we’ve seen so far.

Seasonal Outlook NOAA

(NOAA three month outlook is more in line with traditional strong El Nino forecasts bringing strong storms in through the southwestern US. We currently do not see a prevalence of that particular pattern. Image source: NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.)

Polar Warming + Hot Blob Tugging the Storm Track Northward?

Since weather patterns related to El Nino are an aspect of global atmospheric dynamics — teleconnections between the influence of an excess of hot air and heavy rainfall at the Equator and of large scale atmospheric wave patterns downstream, you have to wonder if there isn’t some kind of influence competing with El Nino on a global scale. One with enough oomph to nudge the Pacific Storm Track northward.

Hot Blob Pacific Northwest

(The Hot Blob is still a dominant feature of ocean waters in the Pacific Northwest. Is its influence helping to pull the Pacific Storm Track northward during a strong El Nino year? Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

The first likely suspect is the pool of still much warmer than normal sea surface temperatures lurking off the US West Coast. Though somewhat diminished from their peak during 2014 and 2015, the waters in the hot blob off California, Oregon, Washington, Canada and Alaska are still in the range of 1 to 3 C above average. A very large region of significantly warmer than normal ocean surfaces that wasn’t present during the 1982-83 and 1997-1998 super El Ninos. And much of the warmest anomalies are now centered much further to the north along the coast of Alaska.

But the second potential player is likely even more significant. And that would be an ongoing and extreme warming of the northern polar region. Heating at the Pole generates less thermal gradient between the higher Latitudes and the Equator. And such a lessened gradient would tend to impact the strength of the circumpolar winds that drive weather systems and storm tracks. In particular, the overall warming of the globe would tend to pull these storm tracks northward even as the loss of thermal gradient would tend to enhance wave patterns in the Jet Stream.



Polar Amplification January 26

(Polar Amplification shown as very intense in the January 26 Climate Reanalyzer graphic. Is Polar Amplification helping to shove the Pacific Storm Track northward even during a record strong El Nino year? If so, it’s bad news for long term moisture levels in the US Southwest. Image source: Climate Reanalyzer.)

Perhaps also specifically related to this ongoing polar amplification, we find that two warm slots — one over the Barents and far North Atlantic east of Greenland and another over the Bering — have tended to develop during recent Winter years. These slots have often served as staging areas for warm air invasions of the Arctic. But what they also represent are regions of water that have been freshly liberated from their sea ice coverings. As such, these vast regions of water serve as heat transport and ventilation zones. And all this extra heat energy may be sucking the related North Atlantic and North Pacific Storm tracks into what may well be described as an oceanic and atmospheric trap.

If such a situation where the case, we’d tend to see a dipole of warm east, cold west in the storm trap regions. And that’s exactly what we’ve seen more and more of with Greenland and Siberia serving as the backdrops to reinforce this tendency. Thus setting up the stage for cold air slots cutting through Northeast Siberia and Northeast Canada and warm, wet air slots over Alaska and the UK.

The question to be asked is, then, are these new influences related to human-forced warming also now doing battle with El Nino for control over the Pacific Storm Track? And has that influence increased enough to dramatically nudge that track northward? We may find the answer to that question in what happens to the direction of powerful Pacific Storms over the next few months. But early indications seem to be that polar warming and the related hot blob may have thrown a wrench in the kinds of El Nino storms that we’ve been used to.

Links:

El Nino Related Waves, Floods Strike Chile

Dr Kevin Trenberth on El Nino and Climate Change

Earth Nullschool

Climate Reanalyzer

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center

NOAA

The United States Drought Monitor

Hat Tip to Colorado Bob

Hat Tip to DT Lange

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Re: Heat is Online

Postby msfreeh » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:49 am

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Warming waters linked to another die off

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Re: Heat is Online

Postby msfreeh » Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:31 am

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Oslo Trash Incinerator Starts Experiment to Slow Warming

Published: January 31st, 2016


Oslo's main waste incinerator began the world's first experiment to capture carbon dioxide from the fumes of burning rubbish on Monday, hoping to develop technology to enlist the world's trash in slowing global warming.

The test at the Klemetsrud incinerator, which burns household and industrial waste, is a step beyond most efforts to capture and bury greenhouse gases at coal-fired power plants or factories using fossil fuels.

"I hope Oslo can show other cities that it's possible" to capture emissions from trash, Oslo Mayor Marianne Borgen said at an opening ceremony at the Klemetsrud waste-to-energy incinerator

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Re: Heat is Online

Postby msfreeh » Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:51 pm

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Sea Ice Death Spiral Continues — Start of 2016 Sees Arctic Ocean Ice Hitting New Record Lows

In January, Arctic sea ice extent hit a new record average low for the month. Meanwhile, during the first days of February, both Arctic sea ice extent and area hit new daily record lows even as global sea ice area also entered the second lowest range ever recorded. And so it seems that the sea ice death spiral of a record warm world continues.

January lowest sea ice on record

(According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, Arctic sea ice extent averages were the lowest on record for the month of January since at least 1979. The new low beats out 2011, continuing an ongoing decadal January decline of about 420,000 square kilometers every ten years. Image souce: NSIDC.)

But before we go more into the new spate of record low Arctic and global sea ice measures, it’s important to consider the context — our world has not seen the current level of heat forcing from greenhouse gasses (CO2 + methane + NOx + other greenhouse gasses) in the atmosphere since about 15 million years ago. It’s an unprecedented amount of hothouse potential that is having equally unprecedented results.

Unprecedented Volume of Heat Trapping Gasses Drives Raging Atmospheric and Ocean Warming

About 50 billion tons of CO2 equivalent from all those greenhouse gasses hit the Earth’s atmosphere each year these days. In vast part driven by industrial fossil fuel burning and extraction, this unconscionable, monstrous, and difficult-to-imagine accumulation of heat-trapping vapors is pushing the world to warm up at an unprecedented rate. A pace that is now at least 20 times faster than the widespread warming that occurred at the end of the last ice age.

Temperatures above 80 North

(It’s likely been a record warm start of the year for the Arctic above the 80 degree North Latitude Line. Temperatures in that high Arctic region have tended well outside the 2 standard deviation range and have hit above the record line on numerous occasions. Image source: NSIDC.)

Back then, it took about 2,500 years for the Earth’s atmosphere to heat by 1 degree Celsius for a total of a 4 C temperature increase over 10,000 years. By just this past year, in 2015, fossil fuel burning had managed to do more in 135 years than what an Earth System rising up out of an ice age did in all of two and one half millenia. For 2015 hit a new record high of about 1.1 C above 1880s averages in all the major global temperature monitors (NASA, NOAA, JMA, UK MET Office). It’s amazing, crazy, terrifying to think about. The end of the last glacial period was a great upheaval that violently re-shaped our world. And fossil fuel industry is running a similar, if much more dangerous, geological process in fast forward by pumping out heat trapping gasses at a rate at least six times faster than anything seen in all of Earth’s history.

Yet as amazing as the current rate of atmospheric warming is, it’s just the thin lens through which a vast amount of heat is transferring into the world’s ocean systems. In fact, according to Peter Gleckler, an oceanographer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory “Ninety, perhaps 95 percent of the accumulated heat is in the oceans.”

Arctic Sea Ice Concentration January

(What was possibly the warmest January on record for the Arctic contributed to major sea ice losses in almost all of the major ice formation basins. Image source: NSIDC.)

And all that extra heat doesn’t just sit there. It goes to work transforming water to water vapor — shoving atmospheric moisture content 7 percent higher for each degree Celsius of warming even as it amps up the rate at which water evaporates from the Earth’s surface or falls down in the form of precipitation. Perhaps still more ominously, this heat goes to work melting the great white ice coverings it comes into contact with at the shoreline and upon the ocean surface.

Arctic Sea Ice Hits New Record Lows For January Through Early February

For 2016, that heat has led to new record lows in Arctic sea ice extent and area even as it has pushed global sea ice coverage within striking distance of a scant range never before seen in the whole of the modern era. New record daily lows for sea ice extent — now an almost annual occurrence for at least some time during the calendar year — are now also being breached.

Arctic Sea ice area new record lows

(Arctic sea ice area explores new record low territory on January 29 through 31 of 2016. Image source: Cryosphere Today.)

In the major monitors, Arctic sea ice extent hit a new record low average for the month of January, 2016. This average included a number of record daily lows early in the month even as the entire monitor held within 1st to 3rd lowest on record for each day throughout January. Record daily lows were again breached in the NSIDC measure on January 29th. A streak that continued on through February 1st with totals hitting 13.911 million square kilometers for the day. That’s 119,000 square kilometers below the previous record daily low for February 1 set in 2011 at 14.030 million square kilometers or a region of ice lost below the previous minimum extent slightly larger than the State of Virginia.

Arctic sea ice area as recorded by Cryosphere Today (see graphic above) followed a similar record low range through the end of January. By January 31st, the most recent date in the measure, Arctic sea ice area had hit 12.27 million square kilometers or about 61,000 square kilometers below the previous record daily low for sea ice area set during 2006.

globalice

(A very warm Arctic during January of 2016 likely contributed to shoving the global sea ice area measure into striking distance of new record lows by early February. Image source: Pogoda i Klimat. Data Source: Cryosphere Today.)

Also disturbing is the fact that global sea ice area — which has shown consistent losses over time — has also now come within striking distance of new record lows. The Cryosphere Today monitor now shows global sea ice area in the range of 14.5 million square kilometers or just above previous record lows set during 2006 for this time of year.

Conditions In Context — Amazing Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies, Major Winter Warm-ups Hit Sea Ice Hard

Arctic sea ice area negative anomaly is now in the range of -1.23 million square kilometers. With Antarctic sea ice at around 200,000 square kilometers below average, it’s pretty clear that the bulk of current global sea ice losses are now ongoing in the Arctic.

Warm ocean waters, especially in the Barents Sea and the Greenland Strait are likely major contributors to record low sea ice extents during recent weeks. These sea surface temperatures now show between 1 and an amazing 8 C above average reading in the NOAA sea surface temperature anomaly map below.

NOAA Sea surface temperature anomalies

(Sea surface temperatures are in the range of 4-8 degrees Celsius or 7-14 degrees Fahrenheit above average near sections of sea ice in the Northern Barents Sea. These very warm sea surfaces continue to suppress refreeze and provide melt pressure on into early February. Image source: NOAA.)

Such amazingly warm waters likely helped contribute to major atmospheric warming events in the high north over the past two months including one above freezing event at the North Pole during late December and another near freezing event for the same region during late January, likely added to the overall melt pressure. The very warm water in the Barents likely helped to enable the observed warm air slots that formed north of Svalbard and on toward the North Pole on numerous occasions.

Over the next seven days, Arctic air temperatures are expected to range about 1 C above average — as opposed to the 2-3 C above average range seen during the past month. This slight cooling may allow for a more rapid freezing of some regions including the Sea of Okhotsk. But overall warm waters and airs along the sea ice edge in the Bering and Barents should continue to suppress major ice formation there. By the second week of February, risk increases that high amplitude Jet Stream waves will deliver another burst of warm air to the far Northern Latitudes, potentially continuing the trend of extreme above average atmospheric temperatures in the region of the Arctic Ocean during 2016.





Links:

NSIDC

NASA GISS

Arctic Sea Ice Graphs

The Arctic Sea Ice Blog

This is Where 90 Percent of Global Warming is Going

CO2 Rising Ten Times Faster Than PETM

NOAA

Cryosphere Today

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Re: Heat is Online

Postby msfreeh » Tue Feb 09, 2016 3:22 pm

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Record-breaking heat in February? Expect temperatures to hit 89 in L.A.
Warm temperatures and high winds hit Southland


In case there were any doubts this February was shaping up to be a hot one, forecasters said Los Angeles would hit 89 degrees again Tuesday, just one day after temperatures shattered local records.

The old record high for Feb. 8 in Los Angeles was 87 degrees, which was measured at LAX in 2006, according to the National Weather Service. On Monday, the mercury there climbed to 89 degrees.

The warming is expected to last into the weekend, just in time for Sunday’s L.A. Marathon. Temperatures are expected to hover in the 70s along the beaches Sunday, and reach the low

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Re: Heat is Online

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Huge Temperature Swings to Sock the Northeast Ahead of Early-Week Storm
By: Bob Henson , 10:01 PM GMT on February 12, 2016

From frigid, near-record lows this weekend to mild, soggy highs on Tuesday, New York and New England are about to experience one of the most dramatic chill-down-to-warm-up sequences in memory. The brief but sharp cold will extend across the eastern U.S., but the most dramatic temperature swings are expected from Washington, D.C., northward. Some locations from Philadelphia to Portland will rocket from temperatures near or below 0°F on Saturday night--plus much lower wind chills--to readings near or above 50°F by Tuesday.

The weather whiplash is being produced by a highly dynamic pattern that’s pushing cold northerly winds across the region this weekend. As we discussed on Wednesday, this is a deep-layered cold intrusion rather than a shallow, frigid surface air mass. This means that the cold may not set dramatic records at low-elevation towns and cities, but at higher elevations, the chill will be truly exceptional (see below). Because there won’t be a sharp inversion locking in the surface cold air, it will be much easier to scour out than usual. That’s exactly what will happen from Sunday through Tuesday as a strong surface low spins up over the Carolinas and moves northward near the coast, perhaps just inland or just offshore. To the east of the storm, winds will be howling at all levels from the south, pushing in mild maritime air to displace the weekend chill. The orientation of this flow may actually bring milder temperatures to New England than to the mid-Atlantic, accentuating the whiplash effect further north.

The exact track of this storm--impossible to pin down at this point--will dictate how a potpourri of heavy rain, sleet, freezing rain, and snow evolves across the region. The ECMWF model has consistently taken the surface low inland toward central New York, whereas the GFS model has trended further east, but with more run-to-run variation.


Figure 2. Surface air temperatures in °F predicted by the 12Z Friday run of the GFS model for 7:00 am ET on Sunday, February 14, 2016. Image credit: Levi Cowan, tropicaltidbits.com.


Hang on to your hats--and your coats!
As of Friday afternoon, the WU forecasts for major East Coast cities (below) suggest that a few daily record lows might be set on Valentine’s Day (Sunday, Feb. 14). Amazingly, if Boston manages to set a record low on Sunday morning, it will be their first daily record low for the entire month of February in almost 50 years, since -3°F on Feb. 13, 1967 (thanks to Eric Fisher, WBZ, for this tidbit). The potential temperature swings from Sunday to Tuesday are more akin to those felt in dry Western climates!

Predicted low for Sun., Feb. 14, and predicted high for Tues., Feb. 16 (asterisk indicates daily record low)
Portland, ME: -4°F to 43°F (spread of 47°F)
*Boston, MA: -4°F to 50°F (spread of 54°F)
Providence, RI: -6°F to 50°F (spread of 56°F)
Burlington, VT: -4°F, 37°F (spread of 41°F)
*Albany, NY: -11°F to 39°F (spread of 50°F)
Buffalo, NY: -8°F to 36°F (spread of 44°F)
*New York, NY (Central Park): 0°F to 50°F (spread of 50°F)
*Philadelphia, PA: 0°F to 47°F (spread of 47°F)
Washington, DC (National): 10°F to 47°F (spread of 37°F)



Figure 1. As shown by this Wundermap, temperatures at the 850-mb level (about a mile above ground) projected by the 12Z Friday run of the GFS model for Saturday night (top) will drop below -30°F in places. This will be close to the lowest ever observed by radiosonde across parts of the Northeast. The yellow region over the Adirondacks corresponds to predicted values colder than -29°F about a mile above sea level at 10:00 pm EST Saturday, Feb. 12, 2016. Less than three days later (bottom), at 7:00 pm EST Tuesday, Feb. 16, readings at this altitude may soar above 46°F over southern New England.


Radiosondes may provide our most impressive benchmark of this weekend’s cold event. In the soundings to be launched at 0Z Sunday (7:00 pm Saturday), the temperatures at 850 mb (about a mile above sea level) may challenge February record lows at New York and Boston, in data going back to 1948. Buffalo has a shot at its monthly 850-mb record low on Saturday morning, and on Saturday night, Albany could break its all-time coldest radiosonde-measured 850-mb temperature (current record -31.8°C, interpolated from data on Feb. 8, 1963; thanks to Patrick Marsh, NOAA Storm Prediction Center).

Weather pick of the weekend: Mt. Washington, New Hampshire
There aren’t many weather stations at high altitude over the Northeast, but those that exist will get a wintry hammering this weekend. The most venerable of these is atop Mount Washington, NH, elevation 6289 feet), where the Mount Washington Observatory was established in 1932. The MWO’s Friday afternoon forecast for higher summits in the region is a jaw-dropper: “Temperatures will fall steadily into Saturday night where they will bottom out in the mid 30’s below zero....The coldest air and the highest winds will likely occur at the same time so wind chills late Saturday into Saturday night will be approaching 90 below zero. These are extremely dangerous conditions to be exposed to for any length of time.” Winds are expected to gust as high as 95 mph.

The MWO station dipped to -35°F three times in February 2015. The last time a colder temperature was recorded was -37°F on February 6 and March 6 of 2007, according to Mike Carmon, co-director of summit operations. The most recent temperature below -40°F was -45°F on January 14 and 15, 2004. “We do not keep records of wind chills at the summit, being that they are constantly-fluctuating and calculated values,” Carmon told me in an email. “Off the top of my head, though, I can say the last time we hit wind chills approaching -90F was almost exactly one year ago during the President’s Day polar outbreak of 2015.”

The coldest temperature ever observed at the summit actually predates MWO. A U.S. Signal Service station that operated sporadically from the 1870s to 1890s reported a low of -50°F on Jan. 22, 1885, according to the Northeast Regional Climate Center. This reading is not yet reflected in NOAA’s digital data files but exists in NOAA archives.


Figure 3. The Mount Washington Observatory, encased in rime ice on April 7, 2004. Image credit: Talinus/Wikimedia Commons.

Other all-time records at higher-altitude stations across the Northeast also date back many decades. They include:

Pinkham Notch, NH (2010 ft): -32°F on 2/16/1943
Mt Mansfield, VT (3950 ft): -39°F on 1/9/1968 & 1/15/1965 & 1/15/1957
Lake Placid, NY (1940 ft): -39°F on 12/30/1917
Whiteface Mt, NY (4865 ft): -36°F on 1/25/1945 (por is 9/1937-8/1946)
North Lake, NY (1831 ft): -47°F on 2/9/1934 (por is 9/1896-5/1948)
Slide Mtn, NY (2650 ft): -23°F on 1/18/1982 (por is 12/1961-10/2012)
(Thanks to Jessica Spacio at the Northeast Regional Climate Center for these data.)

Meteorologist Anton Seimon (Appalachian State University/University of Maine) got a taste of high-altitude Northeast cold on a ski trip in mid-January 1994 to Lake Colden, NY (elevation 2762 feet). “On that Saturday night [Jan. 22], our mercury thermometer spent several hours parked at -45°F (-42.7°C) while winds in the strongly channeled lake corridor gusted to about 25 knots with blowing snow.” Seimon said in an email. “We did measure even colder temperatures in the central Adirondacks on other excursions during that winter, but those were under calm, radiative

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Re: Heat is Online

Postby msfreeh » Sun Feb 14, 2016 3:27 pm

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Re: Heat is Online

Postby msfreeh » Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:55 pm

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Re: Heat is Online

Postby msfreeh » Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:06 am

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Peabody Energy 'Experts' Sow Doubt About Reality of Climate Change

Kevin Grandia | August 25, 2015






also see

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The Peabody Energy Chronicles Ends

Mar. 17, 2016 11:33 AM • btu

Summary

This is my final piece on Peabody Energy until it emerges from chapter 11.
I think there is now a 95% chance Peabody files.
I reflect on my failed attempt to influenced management to restructure its balance sheet.

To The Peabody Energy Faithful,

This is my final piece on Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU), at least until they emerge from bankruptcy. Wednesday's midnight filing of its 10-K with going concern language listed throughout and the skipped interest payments all but ensure that management has thrown in the towel. The probability of a bankruptcy filing are now sky high and I would place SWAG odds at close to 95%.

This is a Greek tragedy as all Peabody stakeholders, notably employees and their families, have been directly and severely negatively impacted by the ideological headwinds impose by President Obama's policies, the lowest natural gas prices in twenty years, and inaction by Peabody's management to restructure its balance sheet. These three forces have brought us to this most unfortunate outcome.

In retrospect my ego and desire to win the unwinnable case influenced and overrode my instincts to pull the ripcord in late October after management didn't present any credible debt restructuring plan on its October 27, 2015 Q3 earnings calls. I persuade and convinced one of my mentors, who is

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Re: Heat is Online

Postby msfreeh » Sun Mar 20, 2016 11:45 am

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One Month Above 1.5 C — NASA Data Shows February Crossed Critical Threshold

We had a number of preliminary indicators that February of 2016 was going to be ridiculously hot. And, according to new reports from NASA, those indicators appear to have born out.

In short, we’ve just experienced a month that was more than 1.5 C hotter than 1880s averages. It’s not a yearly average in this dangerous range — but likely the peak reading from a very intense El Nino combining with the growing base forcing of human climate change. That said, it’s a foretaste of what could very easily happen on a 5-15 year timescale in the annual measure if fossil fuel burning and related carbon emissions do not radically ramp downward.

February of 2015 was About 1.57 C Hotter Than 1880s Averages

According to NASA GISS, February of 2016 was the hottest February ever recorded by a long shot with global temperature departures hitting a never-before-seen above average range. Land and ocean temperature averages hit 1.35 C above NASA’s 20th Century baseline (1951-1980). This extraordinarily hot global reading represents a 1.57 C departure from average temperatures in the 1880s. In other words, for one month during February of 2016, global temperatures exceeded the dangerous 1.5 C threshold.

NASA record Warm February

(February of 2016 showed an extreme departure from global average temperatures. Much of the extra heat focused on the Northern Polar region with the High Arctic bearing the brunt of it. Image source: NASA GISS.)

Japan’s Met Agency also showed February temperatures exceeding 1.5 C above 1880s averages. So we only await NOAA’s findings for final confirmation.

Overall, these temperatures were the highest anomaly departure ever recorded in the NASA GISS monitor. The previous highest anomaly reading being January of 2016 at +1.14 C above 20th Century and +1.36 C above 1880s averages. Overall, the three month period of December, January and February hit an amazing +1.20 C above 20th Century averages or +1.42 C above 1880s averages. Overall, this three month departure is +0.51 C above peak three month departures during the 1997-1998 El Nino or a peak-to-peak warming from strong El Nino to strong El Nino at a rate of 0.28 C per decade.

Such high peak to peak increases may imply an acceleration above the baseline rate of warming of 0.15 to 0.2 C per decade since the late 1970s. However, such above baseline rates of warming will need to also bear out in the post strong El Nino record before such a claim can be made with any confidence.

Ridiculous Amount of Heat Over the Northern Polar Region

Looking at the geographical distribution of these extreme, above average, temperatures we find a broad swath of record heat in the range of 4 to 11.5 degrees Celsius hotter than normal covering a huge swath surrounding and including the Arctic. A region stretching from just north and west of the Great Lakes including Northwest Canada, Alaska, the Beaufort and East Siberian Seas, the Chukchi, the Laptev, the Kara, a huge expanse of Europe and Asia stretching from Eastern Europe to Lake Baikal and north to the Arctic Ocean, the Barents, the Greenland Sea, the Northeast tip of Greenland and most of the region of the High Arctic above the 80 degree North Latitude line, all experienced these extremely warm readings.

Still very warm 2 to 4 C above average temperatures surrounded much of this zone even as a broad 2-4 C above average hot spot is apparent over the record El Nino region of the Eastern Equatorial Pacific. Smaller regions experiencing similar 2 to 4 C anomalies include sections of Brazil and Columbia, a region over Southern Africa, Northern Australia and Northern New Zealand.

Overall, very few regions show cooler than normal temperatures — though the cool pool just south and east of Greenland continues to stand out as

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Re: Heat is Online

Postby msfreeh » Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:26 pm

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World Meteorological Organization — Dangerous Climate Future Has Arrived
The alarming rate of change we are now witnessing in our climate as a result of greenhouse gas emissions is unprecedented in modern records. — Petteri Taalas, Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization

*****

It would be a bit of an understatement to say that the global scientific community is reeling. Sure, the various scientists and researchers knew that a massive accumulation of greenhouse gasses in the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans was beginning to take a serious toll. They knew that ocean heat content in the top 2,000 meters of the world ocean system (accounting for 93 percent of Earth System warming) was going through the roof. And they knew that this warmth was going to bleed out in a seriously big and bad way as a record El Nino swept through the global climate system during 2014, 2015 and 2016.



(Temperature averages for 2016 are so far about 1.22 C above the 1951 to 1980 baseline or about 1.44 C above 1880s averages. Though temperatures should fall somewhat as El Nino cools off in the Pacific, it’s likely that 2016 comes in well hotter than the previous three record warm years. Current guidance indicates a likely range of 1 to 1.13 C above the 1950 to 1981 baseline or 1.22 to 1.35 C above 1880s averages. This is uncomfortably close to 1.5 C warming levels the Paris Climate Conference has stated a desire to avoid by the end of this Century. Image source: Climate Central.)

But I’m pretty sure if you told these same scientists a year ago that February of 2016 would see temperatures in the range of 1.43 to 1.57 degrees Celsius above averages seen during the 1880s, as we see now in the three major global climate monitors (here, here and here), they’d have responded with not just a little incredulity.

“The startlingly high temperatures so far in 2

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Re: Heat is Online

Postby msfreeh » Tue Mar 22, 2016 9:03 am

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Sea level
Climate guru James Hansen warns of much worse than expected sea level rise
Former Nasa researcher and father of climate change awareness says melting of ice sheets could cause ‘several meters’ rise in a century, swamping coastal cities


Arizona Avenue is seen underwater following coastal flooding in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in January. More than 13 million Americans are at risk with a 6ft (1.8-meter) rise in sea level.
Tuesday 22 March 2016 00.01 EDT Last modified on Tuesday 22 March 2016

The current rate of global warming could raise sea levels by “several meters” over the coming century

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Re: Heat is Online

Postby msfreeh » Wed Mar 23, 2016 11:37 am

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Dr. Jeff Masters' Blog

Dr. Jeff Masters


Avoiding a Soylent Green Future by 2040; First Severe Outbreak of Spring Coming

By: Jeff Masters and Bob Henson, 12:51 PM GMT on March 23, 2016

If you want a sobering look a potential global apocalyptic food shortage scenario, you don’t need to rent a copy of the 1973 sci-fi classic, “Soylent Green”. A non-sci-fi computer model being developed by the Global Sustainability Institute at the UK's Anglia Ruskin University predicts that catastrophic food shortages, triggered by a combination of climate change, water scarcity, energy crisis, and political instability might lead to a virtual collapse industr...
Drought Climate Change Severe Weather

View Full Blog Entry — View Comments (75)
Ten Civilizations or Nations That Collapsed From Drought

By: Jeff Masters, 3:15 PM GMT on March 21, 2016

Drought is the great enemy of human civilization. Drought deprives us of the two things necessary to sustain life--food and water. When the rains stop and the soil dries up, cities die and civilizations collapse, as people abandon lands no longer able to supply them with the food and water they need to live. While the fall of a great empire is usually due to a complex set of causes, drought has often been identified as the primary culprit or a significant contributi...
Drought

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Re: Heat is Online

Postby msfreeh » Sat Mar 26, 2016 2:54 pm

Hot Winds Fan Massive, Unprecedented March Wildfire Burning 40 Mile Swath Through Kansas and Oklahoma


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It’s likely that we’ve never seen a March wildfire like the beast that just ripped through Kansas and Oklahoma over the past day. But in a world that’s now exploring a new peak temperature range near or above 1.5 C warmer than pre-industrial averages, a level of heat not seen in the past 110,000 years, we’d be out of our minds to expect the weather and climate conditions to behave in any kind of manner that could be considered normal.

We’re Probably Looking at the Worst Wildfire on Record for Kansas and Oklahoma



(Massive, unprecedented, wildfire burns along a 40 mile swath across Kansas and Oklahoma on Wednesday. Image source: NASA/MODIS.)

And abnormal absolutely describes what happened in Oklahoma and Kansas yesterday and today.

The first sign of trouble was a warning of severe fire risk by weather officials for a multi-state region of the Central US on Wednesday. Extremely dry southwest winds gusting to 60 miles per hour coupled with anomalous temperature readings in the 80s (F) — or about 25 degrees (F) above average for this time of year — spiked fire hazards across a broad swath stretching from New Mexico and Western Texas on into Oklahoma and Kansas. The abnormal heat and dry winds combined to spark one of the worst grass fires on record.

The fire began in Northern Oklahoma at around 5:45 PM and almost immediately leapt northward — following the wind along a 1-2 mile wide swath through the northern portions of the state before roaring across the border into Kansas. It swelled to massive size — spewing out a plume of debris so large that doppler weather radar stations began picking it up. The large cloud, filled with tinders, dropped burning fragments over towns as far as 85 miles away from the blaze. People as far away as Arkansas reported smelling smoke.

During the height of the fire, the City of Medicine Lodge found itself facing an encroaching wall of flame on three sides. The nearby Route 160 had been cut off by the fire and as many as 2,000 structures, including the local hospital, were in danger of being consumed by the flames. Two homes burned, two bridges were destroyed and thousands were urged to evacuate as government officials declared a state of emergency. The American Red Cross scrambled to set up disaster shelters for evacuees.



(Anderson Creek wildfire’s enormous footprint is likely to grow larger over the coming day before the massive fire is finally contained. For reference, 212,000 acres is about 300 square miles. Note that by early afternoon the size of the blaze had jumped to 400,000 acres or more than 600 square miles. Image source: KOCO.)

As of this morning, 800-1000 structures in Medicine Lodge remained under threat. But the fire appeared to have mostly swept around the city. An overnight shift in the wind had caused the blaze to balloon eastward. And, according to the most recent reports, more than 400,000 acres, or about 600 square miles, had burned along a 40 mile swath stretching through Kansas and Oklahoma by early afternoon Thursday.

Conditions in Context

For a single fire to burn so much land in just a single day is absolutely unprecedented for this region. By comparison, the fire season of 2014 was considered to be the worst on record for Kansas — but it took nearly 4,000 fires to burn 110,000 acres during March of that year and here we have a single fire that has now exceeded that record total.

Under the conditions of human-forced climate change, wildfire risk is amplified due to a number of factors. First, overall increased temperatures result in periods of greater and greater fire risk. In addition, the added heat increases rates of moisture loss, facilitating drought, flash drought, and brief periods of intense dryness. Plants, which have adapted over tens of thousands of years to manage an expected range of moisture levels, are unable to compensate for the increased heat and dryness and become more vulnerable to burning.



(Anomalous heat and dry wind events, like the unseasonable warmth over Oklahoma and Kansas that pushed March temperatures into the mid 80s [F] over Oklahoma and Kansas yesterday become more prevalent as human greenhouse gas emissions force the world to warm. These conditions are a trigger for increasingly severe wildfire events. Earth Nullschool GFS capture at 2100 UTC on March 23, 2016.)

Furthermore, increased prevalence of drought and thawing lands — such a permafrost thaw — provide an increasing volume of fuels to feed the fires that do ignite. Fires under such conditions tend to burn hotter — generating far more destructive and potentially rapidly expanding blazes than the tam

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Re: Heat is Online

Postby msfreeh » Sun Apr 10, 2016 10:43 am

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Early Warning Signs for James Hansen’s Superstorms Visible — North Atlantic Cool Pool As Harbinger to “All Hell Breaking Loose”
Extreme weather. It’s something that’s tough to predict 2 weeks out, much less 2 decades. But for more than twenty years Dr James Hansen has been warning that the out-flush of cold water from glaciers in Greenland and Canada into the North Atlantic could set up a storm-producing weather pattern the likes of which human civilization has never seen. An atmospheric wrecking ball in the form of an intense cold-hot dipole that, once firmly established over Atlantic Ocean waters between North American and Europe, would carry on in brutally destructive fashion for decades and decades. In other words, as Dr. Hansen says in the below video, “all hell would break loose.”

His recent and literally earth-shattering paper on the subject — Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise, and Superstorms — takes a good, hard look at both the potential for exponentially ramping rates of ice melt and sea level rise over the coming decades and the impact those thousands of cubic kilometers of fresh water ramming out into the North Atlantic would have in producing a barrage of increasingly intense superstorms.


(Hansen addresses his concerns about the potential for increasingly severe storms and rapid sea level rise if human fossil fuel emissions do not stop soon in the above video.)

Early Evidence That All Hell is Starting to Break Loose

How could this happen? And what might it look like?

These are questions Hansen valiantly attempts to tackle. And according to him, in addition to a growing number of top climate researchers like Dr. Jason Box and Dr. Stephan Ramhstorf (please see Dr. Jason Box’s very salient take on the new Hansen study here), we may already be starting to witness signs of the wrenching oceanic and atmospheric shift that would produce these terrible weather systems.

For what we see now is the visible formation of a large cool pool in the North Atlantic. One that appears to be developing due to an increasingly rapid rate of Greenland melt. One that may be setting up atmospheric conditions for the age of storms that Hansen has feared could arise. An event resulting from a ram

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Re: Heat is Online

Postby msfreeh » Fri Apr 15, 2016 11:59 am

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Conditions Promoting the Arctic Sea Ice Collapse Are Exceptionally Strong This Spring

It didn’t take long for Arctic sea ice to start to respond to a fossil-fuel based accumulation of hothouse gasses in the Earth’s atmosphere. For since the 1920s, that region of ocean ice along the northern polar zone has been in a steady, and increasingly rapid, retreat. Rachel Carson wrote about the start of the Northern Hemisphere ocean ice decline in her ground-breaking 1955 book — The Edge of the Sea.

But it wasn’t until the late 1970s that consistent satellite observations began to provide an unbroken record telling the tale of Arctic sea ice decline. The National Snow and Ice Data Center, The Polar Science Center (PIOMAS), Japan’s JAXA, The Danish Meteorological Institute, and others have since that time provided a loyal recording of the stark

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Re: Heat is Online

Postby msfreeh » Fri Apr 15, 2016 1:43 pm

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March temperature smashes 100-year global record

Average global temperature was 1.07C hotter - beating last month’s previous record increase
An illustration shows that 2015 was the hottest year since 1880.


Friday 15 April 2016 11.33 EDT

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Re: Heat is Online

Postby msfreeh » Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:56 am

March Continues Streak of Exceptional Global Warmth

Published: April 19th, 2016

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As representatives of the world’s nations prepare to gather later this week to sign a landmark agreement to limit the human-caused warming of the planet, global temperature records continue to pile up.

Not only was March 2016 handily the warmest March on record, according to data released Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, but the year to date has also been record warm.

Temperature departures from average for the planet for the period from January through March 2016.
Click image to enlarge. Credit: NOAA

The planet’s temperature for January through March was 1.15°C (2.07°F) above the 20th century average for the same period, according to NOAA. That puts it above the halfway mark to the stated goal of limiting warming to under 2°C (3.6°F) by the end of this century.

While an exception

msfreeh
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Re: Heat is Online

Postby msfreeh » Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:22 am

https://robertscribbler.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

A Death of Beauty — Climate Change is Bleaching the Great Barrier Reef Out of Existence
Extinction.

It’s a hard, tough thing to consider. One of those possibilities people justifiably do not want to talk about. This notion that a creature we’re fond of and familiar with — a glorious living being along with all its near and distant relatives — could be entirely removed from the web of existence here on Earth.

Our aversion to the topic likely stems from our own fear of death. Or worse — the notion that the entire human race might eventually be faced with such an end. But extinction is a threat that we’ll see arising more and more as we force the world to rapidly warm. For species of the world now face existential crisis with increasing frequency as atmospheric and ocean temperatures have risen so fast that a growing number of them have simply become unable to cope with the heat.

The Great Barrier Reef of Australia — the world’s largest single structure made up of living organisms — is no exception. For this 1,440 mile long expanse of corals composed of more than 2,900 individual reefs that has existed in one form or another for 600,000 years has suffered a severe blow — one from which it may never be able to recover. OA Death of Beauty — Climate Change is Bleaching the Great Barrier Reef Out of Existence
Extinction.

It’s a hard, tough thing to consider. One of those possibilities people justifiably do not want to talk about. This notion that a creature we’re fond of and familiar with — a glorious living being along with all its near and distant relatives — could be entirely removed from the web of existence here on Earth.

Our aversion to the topic likely stems from our own fear of death. Or worse — the notion that the entire human race might eventually be faced with such an end. But extinction is a threat that we’ll see arising more and more as we force the world to rapidly warm. For species of the world now face existential crisis with increasing frequency as atmospheric and ocean temperatures have risen so fast that a growing number of them have simply become unable to cope with the heat.

The Great Barrier Reef of Australia — the world’s largest single structure made up of living organisms — is no exception. For this 1,440 mile long expanse of corals composed of more than 2,900 individual reefs that has existed in one form or another for 600,000 years has suffered a severe blow — one from which it may never be able to recover. O

msfreeh
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Re: Heat is Online

Postby msfreeh » Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:11 pm

https://robertscribbler.com/2016/04/22/ ... to-europe/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Record Global Heat — Huge Springtime Arctic Warm-up to Crush Sea Ice, Drive Extreme Jet Stream Dip into Europe
We know now, as soon as the middle of April, that 2016 will be the hottest year on record. That not only will it be the hottest year, but that it will crush any other previous record hot year by a wide margin.

NASA GISS head — Gavin Schmidt — in a recent tweet estimated that 2016 would fall into a range near 1.32 C above the 1880-1899 average that NASA uses for its preindustrial baseline. By comparison, 2015 — which was the most recent hottest year on record after 2014 (three in a row!) — hit 1.07 C above the 1880-1899 average.



(According to NASA, the first three months of 2016 were 1.25 C above the NASA 20th Century baseline and a ridiculous 1.47 C above the 1880 through 1899 preindustrial average. Image source: NASA GISS.)

As a result, 2016 will likely have jumped by about a quarter of a degree Celsius in a single year. If every year from 2016 on warmed up so fast the world would surpass the dreaded 2 C mark by 2019 and rocket to about +22 C above 19th Century averages by 2100. That’s not going to happen. Why?

msfreeh
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Re: Heat is Online

Postby msfreeh » Sun Apr 24, 2016 10:24 pm

http://www.heatisonline.org/contentserver/objecthandlers/index.cfm?id=7605&method=full



http://www.rigorousintuition.ca/board2/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=26525&sid=f415caf023d6016c87a76f4b42652a75&start=2295
Last edited by msfreeh on Sun Apr 24, 2016 10:37 pm, edited 3 times in total.

msfreeh
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Re: Heat is Online

Postby msfreeh » Sun Apr 24, 2016 10:31 pm

http://www.350.org" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

msfreeh
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Re: Heat is Online

Postby msfreeh » Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:49 pm

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https://robertscribbler.com/2016/04/25/ ... g-iceberg/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Melt Expanding into East Antarctica as Nansen Ice Shelf Crack Produces 20 Kilometer Long Iceberg

Ever since 1999 a gigantic crack has been growing in the Nansen Ice Shelf in East Antarctica. By 2014, expansion of the crack accelerated. As of early 2016, the crevice had grown to 40 kilometers in length. Flooded by melt along the Ice Shelf’s warming surface and weakened by the heating of ocean waters from below, on April 7th, according to ESA reports, this East Antarctic Ice Shelf produced an immense 20 kilometer long iceberg. A towering block of ice covering an area larger than Manhattan floating on out toward the world’s shipping


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