Drought, Fire, Flood: In the News

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 5:22 AM GMT on July 12, 2011

Drought, Fire, Flood: In the News

I have been writing about a variety of issues that I know are of interest to only a small number of people – U.S. science organizations, climate model software, and validation of climate models. I am going to move away from that arcane set of subjects for a while and spend a little more time in the climate mainstream. In this entry I want to touch on several subjects – starting with my garden.

My garden is in the flat land that is the western edge of the Great Plains, just east of Boulder, Colorado. Weather wise, it is a complex and difficult environment: more than 5000 feet above sea level, reliant upon water from the winter snow pack in the mountains, huge swings of hot and cold. In terms of climate types, I have seen region defined as both arid and semiarid. In the last week, we have had three or more inches of rain – hard driving rain with much lightning. There is water standing between the rows in the garden. The week of July 4 it was so dry there was a fire ban, and many firework fires.

Last summer in Boulder we had the Fourmile Fire, which burned thousands of acres and dozens of houses. With this rain, we have mudslides, rock slides and flash floods (Longmont Times Call). It all makes you appreciate the importance of the weather and the climate. Wet and dry. Hot and cold. ( 485 Billion Dollar Impact of Weather)

Boulder is a microcosm of what is going on in the U.S. There have been overwhelming fires in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. (Texas Fires). Dangerous drought and heat is spreading all across the southern half of the U.S. The dust storm last week in Arizona was reminiscent of pictures of the Dust Bowl. (more here). We were overwhelmed not long ago by the Mississippi River flooding. I have almost forgotten about the Missouri River flooding.

Figure 1: From KFAB Omaha News Radio. Photo Credit AP: Missouri River flood of Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant.

We see here the persistence of weather, climate, snow cover, drought, floods - one extreme after another. Jeff Master’s wrote an excellent summary of 2010-2011 as being a year of the most extreme events since 1816 – the year of Mount Tambora, a definitive and understood climate anomaly. Jeff writes that June 2011 continues the run. July 2011 is looking strong. It has been more than 300 months since there was a “below average” mean temperature. That’s a little compelling.

We are being handed one case study after another, where we see the impact that weather and climate have on us. And what is that impact? We see vulnerable people losing their homes, their crops. But where is the real threat? What does it mean that 213 counties in Texas are primary disaster areas?

Energy, economy, population – markets. We all know that the weather affects our economy. We rely on a stable climate. We see here and now an interconnected world, where extreme heat kills thousands and destroys crops and send food prices soaring. We see multiple billion dollar liens placed on our economy by floods, droughts, and tornadoes. These costs come at a time when economies all around the world are weak. There is a debt crisis, and the weather is demanding more loans. Right here and now the world is providing one climate disaster after another. The weather and climate are showing the need for more planning, for building resilience and recovery strategies. The weather and climate are revealing our vulnerabilities. While there is the obvious, the family fleeing the flood, the destroyed Joplin, Missouri hospital, there is also the accumulated impact felt through markets, higher food prices, emergency relief, things that will not be fixed, people relocating.

We are being offered lessons. I have written this far and not strung together the words “climate change” or mentioned “global warming.” This is the weather in our warming climate. The take away message from climate models, Be Prepared.


Rood on To the Point

Open Climate Modeling:

Greening of the Desert

Stickiness and Climate Models

Open Source Communities, What are the Problems?

A Culture of Checking

Organizing U.S. Climate Modeling:

Something New in the Past Decade?

The Scientific Organization

A Science-Organized Community

Validation and the Scientific Organization

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Ideology has no place in science based policy creation.

Unfortunately, it does exist in a big way.

Pachauri: No Conflict of Interest Policy for AR5

Older and still very much relevant

The IPCC under the Microscope

Government has even recognized the problem

Conflict of interest guidelines for the IPCC

No different than big oil,,,,, we now we have, big solar, big wind, all big green is now in hypocritical play as much as the ones they have accused of the same.

Kyoto drop out's speak volumes and the exposure of corruption is in full force. You all are seeing it right before your eyes.

Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8192
Ideology is NOT science,,its Ideology.

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I posted a Wunder blog post about why Natural Drivers are dominating current Climate Change.

For those who are interested...

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Quoting Neapolitan:I read the text and watched the videos.

Thank you, Nea. I was getting ready to end my work day and did not actually follow the link before I posted. Your post clarifies the matter for me. I shall watch the video, since I was requested to do so. Should I see anything that you have not covered I will ask this blog to clarify it for me.
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Neapolitan do you think this person would have had the video posted if he had turned it over to National Resources Defense Council or the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization. Ps maybe his or her conscience got to them same as with a private firm. Either way I support the whistle blower laws because as we all know there is SCUM on both sides
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2285
Quoting JBastardi:

It already is in a small way. Many independent scientists are taking their own time to unmask government bias (funded by taxpayers, I might add) Take a look at this article Link. This concerns a scientist who works for the government. He sent WUWT a very interesting piece on arctic ice. He insisted that remain anonymous because he would be ostracized by his peer were they to find out that he posted to a "denialist" website. This shows you the extreme bias held by government workers.

It may very well be that the engineer who helped deploy those buoys in the Arctic wants to remain nameless out of fear he'll be ostracized for sharing on WUWT. But I think the word he should have used is "ridiculed"; his posting on Watts's site is akin to a member of a crack surgical team posting medical videos on Josef Mengele's "Ethical Research Blog". ;-)

Anyway, I read the text and watched the videos. The guy states that only one ice-tethered buoy (of six deployed) is not "sitting on the ocean floor", and I guess attempts to make the point that because that last remaining buoy is sitting aslant in a melt pond atop a drifting floe, Arctic Sea ice isn't melting. The understandably frustrated WUWT group immediately jumps all over that, and all the while not a single person thinks to mention that the reason there's only one buoy left is that the others sank after the ice on which they were deployed melted. So maybe that's why the contributor fears ostracization...

On a related note, I've attempted on repeated occasions to post comments on various WUWT blogs, and have succeeded exactly once due to Watt's heavy hand tight editorial control over dissenting (read: scientific) opinions. On the other hand, here at Weather Underground, people are free to post whatever they wish and see it displayed immediately. It matters not whether what's posted is scientific, logical, on-topic, or even civil; it can be seen right away. I commend Dr. Masters (and Dr. Rood) for that, and only wish Watts were half as open and classy.

P.S. -- The buoys being deployed were developed and owned by the National Science Foundation, and the deployment trip he was on was sponsored by the NSF. You know, a U.S. Government agency. That means the video-leaker is a paid government worker. I thought denialists hated them and mistrusted every word those socialist, taxpayer-leaching, anti-business commies ever said. No?
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 14690
Quoting JBastardi:

One of the first statements renders that article moot: "Over 95% of the world's publishing scientists agree the Earth is warming...." That's because if you aren't part of the peer-review cabal and scam, you rarely get published unless you publish it yourself. Do you really expect us to take an article from an unabashed AGW proponent as evidence of anything? Pass da Kool-Aid.

It's not a cabal. The articles are open for anyone to criticise. Even if, for arguments sake, there is a closed set of publishers that won't allow dissenting opinions, why not create your own magazines and publish? All the ones i've seen, including most of those you linked to above, are junk. You have the raw data, put togather your theories.

For what it's worth, I'm in this argument because I want the USA free of Oil and the corruption that goes with it. I don't follow the scientific arguments either. I did follow them once, enough to believe that they are theoretically possible. However, I don't have enough scientific expertise to calibrate the theories to the facts well enough to personally verify the predictions.

However, I have followed data such as artic ice, dry lake bed and glacier photographs to believe that global warming is real.

I also listen to the opinions of the people who argue the issue. By far the majority of people who don't believe in global warming come across as hate filled idiots. Some of the people who believe in global warming come across as idiots or at least unknowledgeable as well. However, they don't seem to have the hate.

So for me, it finally comes down to personality. Even if there is no global warming, I'd rather be on the Nea - Patrap side of things and fight for a better world than be right and be on the big oil/corruption/hate filled side.
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If you have never tried receiving and have a simple police scanner look up the satellite passes for your area tune to the frequency for that satellite and listen you should hear the tell tale sign of a ticking clock tic tok tic tok this is embedded in the signal. ps you can receive a better signal by tilting the radio or antenna
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2285
I have to go work on my Tri-ceps...at Henry's Tavern on Magazine St. here.

Ciao for now
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Quoting JBastardi:

It already is in a small way. Many independent scientists are taking their own time to unmask government bias (funded by taxpayers, I might add) Take a look at this article Link. This concerns a scientist who works for the government. He sent WUWT a very interesting piece on arctic ice. He insisted that remain anonymous because he would be ostracized by his peer were they to find out that he posted to a "denialist" website. This shows you the extreme bias held by government workers.

The first thing I take from this is the obvious. A scientist released a scientific opinion that was not peer reviewed. He now expects that his scientific opinion carry more weight than that of an opinion that has had peer review. Am I on base so far?

Should he actually fear that he would be ostracized by his peers, would it be because he posted this to a "denialist" website or would it be because he broke proper scientific protocol?

I am sorry but, the only extreme bias I see here, by the government scientist, is that this one scientist broke proper scientific protocol. As you well know, any scientist, concerning this study, that is made to look like a fool, places doubt on all of their study. When he is working in a group study he is a reflection of that group and how it is perceived. He should be ostracized for that.
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The only reason to encrypt weather or climate data that should be public is to make money. I can see no other reason whether it be government or private
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2285
The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change

..pass da tabasco please.
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Simple solution the raw data can be received by anyone with a dish such as polar orbiting satellites do now all you need is a scanner and a laptop for noaa 15, 17, 18, 19 weather images for free. a simple police scanner is a bit limiting but with a better radio you can receive nice images both visible and infrared images.
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2285
Quoting JBastardi:

If the satellite is launched by the government, then the data is public information. I'm talking about the studies themselves being funded by the gov't. Any study financed by the government is suspect. I've seen first-hand how money corrupts and biases any semblance of independent outcomes. My wife is in the pharmaceutical industry. Medical schools are bribed to teach their doctors that drugs are the only way when there are many other healthy means of curing diseases without deadly side-effects. The FDA is run by pharma executives who make it their job to destroy any independent physician who might have a natural cure. One cannot make a claim that a natural substance is a cure for any disease even if if might be true. They claim they are protecting the public while they allow drug side-effects to kill hundreds of thousands every year.

I understand what you are saying but, any entity that pays for the research is at risk of creating a bias in that study. Do you suggest that this be done open source by volunteers?
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Quoting JBastardi:

I don't think we should have the government supplying funding for climate study either. It's no different. The government has a bias and they expect the studies to support that bias. If the results don't support AGW, the institutions lose their funding. It's as simple as that. Do you agree?

I hear this argument rather frequently and it is a valid point to make. My question is, if not the government, then who? You? Rusty? Cat5? Nea? Dr. Masters? Me? I am willing to wager that, collectively, you, Rusty, Cat5, Nea, Dr. Masters and myself could not afford to pay for a single launch of a satellite. So, I ask again, if not government, then who?
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Quoting JBastardi:

Elsevier did nothing that the FDA and medical schools don't do. Big Pharma runs medical schools these days as well as the FDA. I know from first-hand experience. Big Pharma brainwashes doctors-to-be that drugs are the holy grail and natural remedies are nothing but a fairy tale.

And this is exactly why corporations should never be allowed to have any influence over public interests. I am glad that we can agree on this.
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Quoting cat5hurricane:
Earth to Neo
Earth to Neo....

As he frantically pages through the notes printed out from MichaelSTL's archive before the empty space consumed the blog...

Don't worry Neo, you'll do fine. No pressure. Just remember, the truth is out there. Search for it. Find it. You can start today.

Cat5, sir. I have lurked WU since the days of Katrina in '05. My vested interest in this site was to learn more on the tropical systems and their dynamics. Dr. Jeff Master's blog has proven to be an excellent blog for me to learn and observe. You, yourself, have made some very nice entries into his blog concerning the tropics. I do appreciate your contributions there. Over the past year, I have been coming to Professor Rood's blog and have lurked and made a few posts of my own. I have watched your behavior, on this blog, and I am less impressed with your contributions here.

You say that you sat in the back of the class, yet you were not the "class clown". I can easily believe this, for here, you have shown yourself to have no class at all.

You also state that you thought for yourself and basically paid little attention to the lessons being taught. I can very easily believe this as well. Your posts in here quite well displays your belief that you are simply the brightest and most knowledgeable among us all and therefore would never consider hearing any evidence that disputes your predetermined beliefs. You are, after all, far too superior to the rest of us.

You also state that you are a leader. A leader of what? All that I can tell you appear to be a lone wolf that is incapable of leading and will not join any pack for you could never follow anyone that is actually capable of leading. You may have a few followers here, but you are not their leader are you? No, they just follow the same beliefs that you have in life and you get mutual enjoyment from that.

I very rarely have seen you bring any new data that is based on science and not just pure conjecture to the debates that would support your beliefs. I am almost always able to see you post attacks on anyone that you believe is inferior to your knowledge and intellect. Dr. Jeff Masters, Professor Rood or any scientist that will not carry your beliefs before the world. You even have the arrogance to attack Dr. Jeff Masters and Professor Rood on their very blogs. You lack the respect for them to convey your skepticism of their words in an email to them. You must make a public showing of it on their respective blogs. Is this for you to learn why their opinion is different from yours or is this to just to show others how clever you are? ..... You don't even have enough character to play Devil's advocate.

I am willing to be convinced that AGW is false and give you and the others here a chance to convince me of such. You do not even try to do so. You just keep posting debunked science(?) and place attacks on others. Is this the qualities of a leader? Not even close! I do not know what it is that you think you are capable of leading but, certainly, it is not men. But, hey, what do I know? Napoleon Bonaparte and Hitler where leaders and they were equally as disillusioned and self sure of themselves as you are.

I would simply just call you a jerk and leave it that but, since I have some very goods friends and they themselves are jerks, I do wish to dishonor them by pulling you up to their class.

OK, I am off of my soap box now and you may continue to entertain us, at your will, sir. ... Yes, I know. You will not be able to do so until you have had your cry over this and have had a chance to regain your composure. Please, take your time. We will anxiously await your return. I know this will not be until you and Rusty have returned to your respective blogs and posted your little grins and giggles. You do know how to enjoy the simple things in life, do you not?
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Quoting Neapolitan:
(And preferably something not published by the discredited and dishonorable Elsevier?)

(Also here.)

(And here.)
?? Never heard of an issue with Elsevier. But I do know they are the publishers of a great many of our most widely accepted texts and journals going back to the 50s in the realm of atmospheric science.
http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/simple_search.cw s_home?boost=true&needs_keyword=true&adv=false&act ion=simple_search&default=default&keywords=atmosph eric&submitTopNav=Search

It appears that they got abused in Australian pharmaceuticals, though.
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Quoting cat5hurricane:
LOL Neo. That was cute. I even got the smiley this time
*warm & fuzzies*

Like I said, some are hot and some are cold. Just
take it all in stride.

A vaguely demonic ogre-like being, Heat Miser is a blustery, quick-tempered hothead who is ultimately harmless

I guess mother nature will straighten us out in the end

Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 26 Comments: 1149
Quoting JBastardi:

Perhaps you should investigate before you rush to judgment, Master of Everything.


Inhaber? Seriously? The author of the vaunted classic books "Why Energy Conservation Fails" and "Slaying the NIMBY Dragon" (the latter in which he explains why people should just quit whining about pollution and noise and GW and just let Big Energy have its way)? The author of articles such as "Disinheriting the Wind", "Energy Conservation Doesn't Happen", and "The Future of Nuclear Power"?

When you get a chance, can you please link to something not written by a rabid Big Energy apologist? (And preferably something not published by the discredited and dishonorable Elsevier?)

(Also here.)

(And here.)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 14690
O Lordy,,now itsa getting deep.


Itsa wunder anything ever gets done @ weatherbell.com

Analysis and damage modeling

APTECH has analyzed the cycling costs in more than
300 power-generating plants, including more than
250 American units, 20 Canadian units and 16 European
Union units. The units have included 15 MW to
1300 MW coal, oil, and gas fired units with sub critical
drum-type and supercritical once through Benson
type boilers with varying turbine, boiler, and balance
of plant manufacturers. All of the units had a range
of designs and operational regimes. Some were designed
for cycling with European style turbine bypass
systems, plants designed for base-loaded operations
and units subjected to heavy cyclic operations. Many
of the units were being operated at or above the
unit's maximum continuous rating operation (MCR).
Although running a plant above MCR may be
costly, it can save a rapid costly start up on another
unit in the fleet. Regardless of type, each unit in the
fleet should have its cost analyzed so that the utility
can dispatch a unit with similar cost.
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Quoting JBastardi:

If the wind were reliable, everyone would be using it. What happens when the wind doesn't blow?

One example for you and the actual paper's link is contained in the write up.

Wind resistance
MIT analysis suggests generating electricity from large-scale wind farms could influence climate and not necessarily in the desired way.

PDF of the paper referenced

Potential climatic impacts and reliability of very large-scale wind
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8192
Quoting cat5hurricane:
As he frantically pages through the notes printed out from MichaelSTL's archive before the empty space consumed the blog...


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Quoting Snowlover123:
Quoting Neapolitan...

It's late, and I'm going to bed, but I may try to address this in the morning. In the meantime, though, since you posted graphs from an uber-denialist site--Climate4You.com--I thought I'd share something that site's owner said: "I expect it will be colder over the next three years." -- Ole Humlum, January, 2008.

P.S. -- We've been over this before: not all OLR is the same. State otherwise as often as you wish, but OLR at the bands absorbed by CO2, methane, and other GHGs has been decreasing, not increasing.

Climate4you is not a "denialist site." It is a site that has all of the data needed to make one's own individual hypotheses about the Climate.

In every single image there is on Climate4you, there is a link back to the raw data. For example, the caption with OLR:

Outgoing longwave radiation (OLR; red graph) anomaly at the top of the atmosphere above Equator between 160oE and 160oW since 1979 according to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center (CPC).

And we have been over this in the past as well, Nea. Regardless of if CO2 is the main driver of the climate or not, increasing amounts of CO2 would block OLR in the CO2 Spectrum! This tells you absolutely nothing!

If CO2 were the driver of climate, you would notice an overall drop in OLR. The models indicated this.

(Note that this image comes from Lindzen and Choi 2009.)

This image shows that the climate models predicted an overall drop of OLR (not just the OLR in the CO2 Spectrum) at the TOA, due to GHGs being the primary driver of the climate, and trapping some of the OLR.

However, reality is completely different.

The ERBE data has shown time and time again, that every single Climate Model predicted a decrease in OLR at the TOA as temperatures increased due to GHG warming. However, the ERBE data shows that as temperature increases, so does OLR. The only way that this could create warming, is if the ISR was also increasing. A decrease in Cloud Cover through decreasing GCRs is the only explaination to the late-20th Century Global Warming, as it is the only explaination that has both an increase in ISR and an increase in OLR. This adds an additional 17 w/m^2 to Earth's Energy Budget, if all clouds were to be removed.

Bump for Neapolitan...

I have no idea if he responded or not, since his posts are hidden from me, and no one has quoted him yet.
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Quoting GerlindeEspinosa:
Neapolitan - Thanks for the WU mail with the climate change links. I don't know how to reply back in this system. I am new hear. but I had to tell you. Also, the TCHP maps and computer model links you also added are really helpful. I am exciting about monitoring the upcoming hurricane season. It's been quite so far, but as well all know that is probably a blessing! :0


TCHP product changes have taken place over time (2008 most recent). Be careful if you try to compare them for they are not equal and can be misleading.

http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/phod/cyclone/data/method .html
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8192
Quoting cat5hurricane:
To your dismay, I rarely disagree with greent, even despite our very different views regarding climate change. You know why? It's simple. Because aims to find solutions to what he deems an issue(s) instead of the constant, belittling, whining, and ridiculous attempts to get others to feel ones pity and hear ones cry. greent is a go-getter. You sir, are not.

Oh, dear, I am so sorry; I somehow misconstrued "[Neapolitan] and others cannot accept the fact that the world does not revolve around their radical ideology within their little Marxist bubble" as the "go-getter aim to find a solution" you clearly meant it to be. I'll not make that mistake again. ;-)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 14690
Quoting greentortuloni:
Ceptin we don't have to go to war for it and no one ownes the wind. That probably what troubles the bought and sold GOP abut wind. If only the wind indsutry could get enough cash to bribe the politicians the way big Oil and Coal does, wind farms would be all over the place.

Well said, sir. Well said.
Quoting cat5hurricane:
[Neapolitan] and others cannot accept the fact that the world does not revolve around their radical ideology within their little Marxist bubble

"...radical ideology within their little Marxist bubble" = "caring about people more than corporate profits"
Quoting cat5hurricane:
Fox is number 1.

Funny; I always considered them number 2. ;-)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 14690
Proposed Climate Service in NOAA

Consistent with the Department of Commerce's authority under the National Climate Program Act (15 U.S.C. §2901, et seq.), NOAA’s Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Request includes a reorganization that brings together NOAA’s existing dispersed climate capabilities under a single line office to more effectively and efficiently respond to America’s increasing demand for climate information. The Climate Service will provide a reliable and authoritative source for climate data, information, and decision-support services and allow NOAA to more effectively coordinate with other agencies and partners. The reorganization is budget neutral, does not change staffing levels, require employee relocations, new facilities, or the physical relocation of any programs or labs. The headquarters will be located in Silver Spring, MD.
Growing Demand for Climate Information
Up to one-third of the U.S. gross domestic product depends on accurate weather and climate information. Concerns from business, industry, government and the public about the potential impacts of climate variability and change are fueling an exponential growth in the demand for climate services—easily accessible and timely scientific data and information about climate that helps people make informed decisions in their lives, businesses, and communities.
Increasing and New Demands Require a Focused Organization
Through its existing laboratories, data centers and programs, NOAA responds to millions of annual requests for climate information. Despite this success, its current distributed network of climate assets is limiting NOAA’s ability to fully anticipate, develop and deliver climate science and services to meet the rapidly-increasing demands of users and providers. NOAA must therefore make adjustments today that will support our long-term commitment to serving the climate service needs of the Nation.
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What the world needs to watch

Global warming is mainly the result of CO2 levels rising in the Earth's atmosphere. Both atmospheric CO2 and climate change are accelerating. Climate scientists say we have years, not decades, to stabilize CO2 and other greenhouse gases.

To help the world succeed, CO2Now.org makes it easy to see the most current CO2 level and what it means. So, use this site and keep an eye on CO2. Invite others to do the same. Then we can do more to send CO2 in the right direction.


Atmospheric CO2 for June 2011

Preliminary data released July 5, 2011 (Mauna Loa Observatory: NOAA-ESRL)
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Dr. Ricky Rood's Climate Change Blog

About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.

RickyRood's Recent Photos

Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.
Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.
Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.
Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.