From the Heartland: Farmers (2)

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 12:20 AM GMT on June 23, 2013

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From the Heartland: Farmers (2)

This entry starts from the comment from the previous entry by XuLonn

“Farmers, the military - many groups with a practical interest due to dependency on climate and weather are actively adapting to AGW/CC.

I'm curious about farmers and ranchers, who tend to be politically very conservative, especially in the south, and certainly in Indiana and the Midwest where I was raised.

Do they accept AGW/CC and adapt, or do they deny it and adapt anyway?”

For the past two or three years I have often been in the company of farmers along the Front Range of Colorado. Many of these farmers are from families who have been farming this land for a century or more. Others are owners of small farms that have started to provide local organic vegetables and meat to the line of cities and towns that follow Interstate 25. This region is not a easy place to farm: water is not reliable and depends on the snowfall and snowmelt in the high Rockies, it is 5000 feet above sea level and the sunlight is harsh, there are extreme fluctuations of temperature, the air is exceedingly dry, and hail is likely.

Many of the farmers I talk to tell me that weather is completely unpredictable beyond a week or two. They are used to dealing with harsh conditions and their consequences. Combining these two facts they don’t get too pressed about climate change; perhaps, it does not seem so different from the past. Plus there are larger threats from water-use policy, development, and land-use changes. I do note, anecdotally, that the farm that grows vast amounts of sweet corn a few miles down the road seems to play the weather and climate pretty well. They plant early or late with alarming skill and occasionally get a late harvest planted in July – not an easy achievement in Colorado.

On This American Life recently there was a show Hot In My Backyard. One segment featured the State Climatologist of Colorado, Nolan Doesken. All of the state climatologists I know have farmers as a primary clientele. Much of the segment on This American Life was on how to discuss climate change with farmers. For years in his annual presentation at the Colorado Farm Show, Doesken did not explicitly mention climate change.

2012 was a year of amazing wildfires in Colorado. 2012 was dry and hot in the late winter and spring and the fires started early. Increasingly, there is high vulnerability at the wildland-urban interface. In 2012 there was loss of life, record loss of houses, loss of forest and damage of watersheds. June 11, 2013 was one of those days that had the feeling of the proverbial end times, with fires breaking out all over the state. One in the Black Forest destroyed 511 houses (breaking 2012's record) and killed two people. In the This American Life radio segment, Nolan Doesken talked about how the 2012 fires changed the way he would talk about climate change. His own observations and reports from firefighters about how the nature (ferocity and speed of increase) and the season (not just summer) of the fires were changing convinced Doesken that we were already living the world that the climate models were describing. “He (Doesken) realized, if the climate models are right, he was seeing the future. Seeing where Colorado was headed-- droughts and dead crops and fires-- and it was horrible.” Doesken did mention climate change in the 2013 Colorado Farm Show. The fires of 2012 brought it all together in a way that made it clear.

The best work that I know of about farmer’s opinions on climate change comes from Iowa State University professor, J. Gordon Arbuckle. In a 2013 paper in Climatic Change, Arbuckle and colleagues reported that 68% of farmers he surveyed in Iowa believed that the climate was changing. 28% were uncertain and only 5% believed that the climate was not changing. With regard to attribution, 10% felt that climate change was caused by humans, 23% felt it was natural, and about 35% felt it was caused by both human and natural causes. (Summary Article and Press Coverage )

These numbers are consistent with numbers from other polls, which show relatively large percentages of those in the farming community in both groups of whether or not climate change is occurring. The numbers that I have looked at show that the group that believes climate change is occurring is generally larger than the group that does not. The group that attributes climate change primarily to humans is always a minority, but that group combined with those who believe there is a human component in association with non-human fluctuations is usually 50% or larger.

I end this piece pointing out that both Nolan Doesken and J. Gordon Arbuckle work out of extension services at state universities. Polling results show that extension services are the source of information about climate change most trusted by farmers. Looking at the numbers of farmers who are concerned about climate change, there are obviously many farmers who are also able to be good messengers. This piece, Farmer’s Voices too Often Missing in Climate Reporting, highlights the need to engage these voices more actively in the public discussion. In the next entry I will talk about some of the ideas suggested by these polls.

r

Some good references:

Climate and Farming

Farming Success in an Uncertain Future (Cornell)

USDA Warns Farmers about Climate Change (and announces plans to set up climate change centers)

Reinventing Farming for a Changing Climate (NPR)

Farm Level Adjustments to Climate Change (USDA)

Climate Change More Expensive to Farmers than Climate Bill

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Quoting yonzabam:



But how much of the very recent surge in annual atmospheric CO2 increases is anthropogenic, and how much is due to feedback processes?

The last 11 years have seen an average annual rise of 2.1 ppm. The 11 years before that, it was 1.5 ppm. That's an increase of 40% in 11 years.

Given that (until recently) about half of man made CO2 was taken up by sinks, the recent increase is way more than can be accounted for by the increase in fossil fuel consumption over the past 11 years.


It took a while, but I found this article at Planet 3.0:

Global carbon emissions and sinks since 1750
It is rather long so I excerpted the the section which is most relevant to your questions:

The future of carbon sinks




To keep things as clear as possible this analysis has only looked at cumulative emissions. The limitation of this approach is that it doesn%u2019t tell us much about the annual rates of carbon emission and sink absorption.

The high level story is pretty simple. Human kind is emitting more and more carbon dioxide, as falling land-use emissions are dwarfed by emissions from our growing use of fossil fuels. In reaction to increased emission rates and growing atmospheric concentrations both land and ocean sinks are absorbing more carbon dioxide. The Global Carbon Budget has an excellent summary of this.

Despite the fact that sinks are absorbing more CO2 the atmospheric concentration is growing at a faster rate than ever. In the decade from 2000-2009 the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide grew at an average rate of 2.0 ppm/yr, higher than any previous decade measured. To reduce this growth rate global carbon emissions need to decline. To stop concentrations growing at all would require an immediate reduction in carbon emissions by 55-60%, followed by further reductions in time.

In any future emissions scenario the reaction of our carbon sinks will play a key role in controlling atmospheric carbon concentrations. Hopefully sink absorption will continue to moderate the growth rate of atmospheric carbon, but this is not certain. Plenty of research warns of the dangerous possibilities of sinks becoming sources of emissions. These are the risks of positive feedbacks from things like drought, fire, peat-land dehydration, permafrost melt and out-gassing oceans.

Whenever we talk about tackling the carbon problem it is worth remembering the incredible job the land and ocean sinks do in slowing the growth of atmospheric carbon. This is a good reminder that reducing land use emissions and protecting carbon sinks are also part of the solution.
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3147
Now that we have the Globes attention as to our common future under Climate Change and a Warming Planet,..

..how do we break the news to all these Billions that we have to start turning things off ?



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
Quoting OldLeatherneck:


Anthony reminds me of the constipated mathematician who had trouble working things out with a pencil!


Spoon...
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Quoting JohnLonergan:
You can believe Rolling Stone, you can believe Mother Jones or you can believe WTFUWT. Now personally, I'd trust someone who does the math, not any one who thinks Willis Eisenberg is smart.............

..........So, what does Anthony say in this post? He quotes Willis Eschenbach who apparently has said"400,000 Hiroshima bombs per day works out to 0.6 watts per square metre, "in other words, Hansen wants us to be very afraid because of a claimed imbalance of six tenths of a watt per square metre in a system where the downwelling radiation is half a kilowatt per square metre, we cannot even measure the radiation to that kind of accuracy.".....

.....Anthony then goes on to say "So imagine the output of a 0.6 watt light bulb, 1/100th the power of a common household 60 watt light bulb.

Could you even see it?"


Anthony reminds me of the constipated mathematician who had trouble working things out with a pencil!
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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
Oldleatherneck I'm going with 1.5 meters by 2100. And 20 meters by 2200.


The 40% of Miami residents that might be able to survive that will hope and pray that your are right. My vote was 2.5 meters, however, I reserve the right to change that after watching a few more years of the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) and the potential collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS).
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This has some relevance in light of this year's ice conditions:

Fracture of summer perennial sea ice by ocean swell as a result of Arctic storms

Abstract

[1] The Arctic summer minimum sea ice extent has experienced a decreasing trend since 1979, with an extreme minimum extent of 4.27 × 106 km2 in September 2007, and a similar minimum in 2011. Large expanses of open water in the Siberian, Laptev, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas result from declining summer sea ice cover, and consequently introduce long fetch within the Arctic Basin. Strong winds from migratory cyclones coupled with increasing fetch generate large waves which can propagate into the pack ice and break it up. On 06 September 2009, we observed the intrusion of large swells into the multiyear pack ice approximately 250 km from the ice edge. These large swells induced nearly instantaneous widespread fracturing of the multiyear pack ice, reducing the large, (>1 km diameter) parent ice floes to small (100–150 m diameter) floes. This process increased the total ice floe perimeter exposed to the open ocean, allowing for more efficient distribution of energy from ocean heat fluxes, and incoming radiation into the floes, thereby enhancing lateral melting. This process of sea ice decay is therefore presented as a potential positive feedback process that will accelerate the loss of Arctic sea ice.
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3147
Oldleatherneck I'm going with 1.5 meters by 2100. And 20 meters by 2200.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8554
You can believe Rolling Stone, you can believe Mother Jones or you can believe WTFUWT. Now personally, I'd trust someone who does the math, not any one who thinks Willis Eisenberg is smart.

Wotts Up With That Blog does the math

'Not surprisingly, Watts up With That (WUWT) has a post mocking John Cook%u2019s recent quote that the increase in energy associated anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is the same as 4 Hiroshima bombs per second. As I showed in yesterdays%u2019s post, this comparison is actually quite accurate.

So, what does Anthony say in this post? He quotes Willis Eschenbach who apparently has said"

"400,000 Hiroshima bombs per day works out to 0.6 watts per square metre %u2026 in other words, Hansen wants us to be very afraid because of a claimed imbalance of six tenths of a watt per square metre in a system where the downwelling radiation is half a kilowatt per square metre %u2026 we cannot even measure the radiation to that kind of accuracy.
...

Anthony then goes on to say

So imagine the output of a 0.6 watt light bulb, 1/100th the power of a common household 60 watt light bulb.

Could you even see it?


So I think this analogy is wrong. The correct analogy would be a house full of 60 Watt lightbulbs, but in which 0.6 J of energy per square metre per second nevers leaves the house. So a typical house has a footprint of about 200 m-2. This means the house would gain 120 J of energy every second. If the house has a volume of 2000m-2, then the mass of the air in the house is about 2300 kg. From what I can find, the specific heat capacity of air is 1000 J kg-1 K-1. The temperature of the air in the house would therefore increase by 5.22 x 10-5 K every second. Sounds like a tiny amount doesn%u2019t it? Well, in fact, this means the temperature in the house would increase by 4.5 degrees per day. Unless my calculation is wrong, the house would reach boiling point within a month. Maybe Anthony thinks this is insignificant. Personally, I would disagree....

Edit: Added bold
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3147
Have weather patterns really been unusual?

Thursday 20 June 2013, 17:31

Paul Hudson


There’s been much in the press in recent days following the widely publicised ‘Unusual weather’ conference held at the Met Office.
The Independent headline was similar to others in the media, advising readers to ‘Stand by for another decade of wet summers’, continuing that the UK was in the midst of a ‘rare’ weather cycle.

This cycle, scientists announced, was the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO).
But as it turns out, there’s nothing rare or unusual about it at all.
The AMO was first identified by researchers nearly 20 years ago, incidentally when I had just begun my career as a forecaster at the Met Office, and describes a natural, cyclical warming and cooling of the North Atlantic Ocean over time.

This cycle is known to affect temperatures and rainfall, and alter North American and European summer climate.
In the UK, it leads to an increased risk of summers that are wetter than average.
It’s also linked with changes in the frequency of Atlantic Hurricanes, and of North American droughts.
The 1930’s and 1950’s in North America are dominated by heat records and correlate almost perfectly with a warm AMO.
The AMO has a cycle of approximately 70 years and would mean the current warm AMO is likely to last into the next decade.
But talk of another decade of wet summers is misleading.
If as expected the warm AMO continues then there’s a higher risk of wet summers – but it certainly doesn’t mean every summer will be a washout.
It’s worth remembering that one of the warmest, sunniest summers on record happened in 1959 – during the previous warm AMO cycle.
The return to much colder winters discussed at the conference has coincided with another natural phenomena – that of low solar activity - which has been shown to be associated with weather patterns that encourage cold winters across the UK and Europe.
It goes to show that at a time when it seems that every weather event or climate pattern is linked in some way to man-made climate change, natural weather cycles like the AMO can offer a more straightforward, natural, explanation.

Link



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Quoting Naga5000:
"Goodbye, Miami" Great Rolling Stone article on sea level rise and the hazards. Link


Naga,

Thanks for that link. Truly scary when you think about it. When this happens to Miami, and it will, it will have previously happened to New Orleans and parts of the Texas Gulf Coast. But then it's just a hoax, so why worry??

BTW, I will give you full credit for finding this link when I post the same on the Arctic Sea Ice Forum (ASIF).

While I'm on the topic of Sea Level Rise, a few months ago I conducted a poll of the members of the ASIF about what the global mean sea level rise would be by the end of this century. While this poll was not scientific by any standards, the vast majority of the contributors are highly knowledgeable about all things cryospheric and I respect their opinions. If these predictions come true, Miami will have to be abandoned long before the timeframe suggested in the Rolling Stone article.......and that's scary!!

Below are the results of that poll with 50 responses from forum members:

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Over the past decade or so, 70% or so of the ice remaining at the September minimum has been that which resides in the Central Arctic Basin (see image at bottom). And as you can see from this pair of snapshots, the image at the top shows that this year's CAB ice is in considerably worse shape than last year's (middle):

2013:
CAB

2012:
CAB

For comparison, here's last year's ice at minimum:

cab

The standard anti-realist trick of focusing only on extent is like your boss giving you your pay in one-dollar bills, then convincing you that you got a raise.
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Quoting yoboi:



Rolling Stone????? next you will be quoting articles from Mother Jones......


Rolling Stone has a history of excellent journalism as well as Mother Jones. If you don't approve, keep it to yourself and move on. You aren't adding anything to the discussion.
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3238
Quoting Naga5000:
"Goodbye, Miami" Great Rolling Stone article on sea level rise and the hazards. Link



Rolling Stone????? next you will be quoting articles from Mother Jones......
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2328
What a good find Naga--thanks!
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8554
"Goodbye, Miami" Great Rolling Stone article on sea level rise and the hazards. Link
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3238
Quoting allahgore:



"Virtually all of it"?

Oh, good. You caught that.
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
Quoting martinitony:


It's a great metric when ice extent is low. How's that ice thickness in the southern hemisphere?

I don't think that I've seen much of anyone take extent seriously in quite some time. It's only usefulness stems from the fact that it is the longest-running metric.

Of course, some aren't interested in reality. The reality of the situation is this: If one takes an in-depth look at where the "excess" extent, area, and even volume (to some degree) in 2013, then one quickly realizes that the "excess" is irrelevant. Virtually all of it is in areas that will melt-out over the summer, no matter what the weather is...barring something truly historic and cataclysmic.

I can go through it in detail if you like.
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
Quoting martinitony:
Arctic


Extent. LOL!

Above there is a picture of a man next to the last fan in an Alaskan store.

In your post we see someone grasping at the last straw in the Arctic. Good luck hanging onto it! LOL
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
Quoting martinitony:


It's a great metric when ice extent is low. How's that ice thickness in the southern hemisphere?


Martinitony, your attempt to misdirect the conversation yet again shows a lack of critical thinking skills:

From NASA's Earth Science News Team (emphasis mine):

"(Last winters) Antarctic sea ice maximum extent, reached two weeks after the Arctic Ocean's ice cap experienced an all-time summertime low, was a record high for the satellite era of 7.49 million square miles, about 193,000 square miles more than its average maximum extent for the last three decades... The Antarctic minimum extents, which are reached in the midst of the Antarctic summer, in February, have also slightly increased to 1.33 million square miles in 2012, or around 251,000 square miles more than the average minimum extent since 1979... The numbers for the southernmost ocean, however, pale in comparison with the rates at which the Arctic has been losing sea ice – the extent of the ice cover of the Arctic Ocean in September 2012 was 1.32 million square miles below the average September extent from 1979 to 2000. The lost ice area is equivalent to roughly two Alaskas."

I would advise you to be less intellectually dishonest, and be better prepared to face a more truth-seeking audience:

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Quoting martinitony:
There is a serious ignorance to your statement. Given that volume changes geometrically (literally) with area, why of course your statement would be true, increasing or decreasing.

Instead of trying to figure it out or understand why actual scientists disagree, you just claim they are "ignorant." Let's re-evaluate that a bit, for your own sake.

Volume only increases with an increase in area if the thickness stays the same (and vice versa); there can be an increase in volume even with a decrease in area. You might recall from geometry that some shapes are actually 3-dimensional, and any 2 dimensions are not always tied together.

We've known for numerous years now that the ice is not always behaving that perfect way you describe. We are seeing changes in thickness and area. In fact, we are even seeing discrepancy between extent and area in recent years, due to how the ice breaks up, but at times not below the 15% threshold for counting that pixel as having ice. We are seeing both a very significant decrease in area and a very significant decrease in thickness. Coupled together, it is a very significant decrease in volume, which as we already learned is the actual physical property related to how much heat energy was transferred to the material (in this case, the sea ice).

Again, another simple & quick google search would have provided you with this information, and you wouldn't have had to say something regrettably silly about another person who understands the topic.
Quoting martinitony:

Those that protest too much to facts posted that defy the common opinion here, well you know what Shakespeare said about protesting too much.

Ironically enough, one of the most misused and misunderstood Shakespeare quotes.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3167
Politico.com climate change section
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8554
Quoting martinitony:


There is a serious ignorance to your statement. Given that volume changes geometrically (literally) with area, why of course your statement would be true, increasing or decreasing. So, hang onto your seatbelt the next few years and let's see what happens. Truth is none of us has been here long enough to really know much and all our back and forth here just doesn't matter.
I've posted here for about 4 years and I'll give it another four to come to a final conclusion, but things sure look a lot different today than 4 years ago.
Those that protest too much to facts posted that defy the common opinion here, well you know what Shakespeare said about protesting too much.

Your "facts" are misrepresented at best, and completely taken out of context at worst. Stay off the conspiracy weather web sites and look into the real science.
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3238
Quoting martinitony:
Arctic


Also, please note that the graphic you are showing uses a different baseline than the NSIDC. How the data fits into the context of mean and standard deviations will not be directly comparable to the more widely used data from NSIDC.
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Quoting ScottLincoln:

It just happens to be one the easier ice metrics to calculate and estimate for long periods of time.
Area is slightly better, and thickness is good too. But if you want to do a real mass balance and see how much energy has really been absorbed by the Arctic, you need ice volume. The rate of volume loss is much steeper than that of extent and area.

The southern oceans are warming faster than the global trend. Antarctic ice mass balance is negative.


It would have taken a very short-duration google search to find this information.


You know, Scott, I applaud your efforts to educate the trolls. I simply do not have the patience anymore. I prefer to treat them with the same lack of respect they show the science and the blog. But again, thanks for the post and info.
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3238
Quoting ScottLincoln:

It just happens to be one the easier ice metrics to calculate and estimate for long periods of time.
Area is slightly better, and thickness is good too. But if you want to do a real mass balance and see how much energy has really been absorbed by the Arctic, you need ice volume. The rate of volume loss is much steeper than that of extent and area.


There is a serious ignorance to your statement. Given that volume changes geometrically (literally) with area, why of course your statement would be true, increasing or decreasing. So, hang onto your seatbelt the next few years and let's see what happens. Truth is none of us has been here long enough to really know much and all our back and forth here just doesn't matter.
I've posted here for about 4 years and I'll give it another four to come to a final conclusion, but things sure look a lot different today than 4 years ago.
Those that protest too much to facts posted that defy the common opinion here, well you know what Shakespeare said about protesting too much.
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Quoting martinitony:


It's a great metric when ice extent is low. How's that ice thickness in the southern hemisphere?

It just happens to be one the easier ice metrics to calculate and estimate for long periods of time.
Area is slightly better, and thickness is good too. But if you want to do a real mass balance and see how much energy has really been absorbed by the Arctic, you need ice volume. The rate of volume loss is much steeper than that of extent and area.

The southern oceans are warming faster than the global trend. Antarctic ice mass balance is negative.


It would have taken a very short-duration google search to find this information.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3167
Quoting martinitony:


It's a great metric when ice extent is low. How's that ice thickness in the southern hemisphere?


No, do you even know what extent measures? Probably not. Also, while you're busy not understanding the difference between hemispheres, pay attention to the warming, shifting wind patterns, and the lost glacial ice in the south, how it relates to global warming, and how it's exactly in line with what we would expect to see in a warming world. Go troll somewhere else, you aren't very good at it.
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Quoting Naga5000:


This was discussed extensively on the previous blog. Extent is a poor metric, especially when taken without area and volume. Throw in the condition of the ice, and now there's a big problem. It's okay though...we'll see how that works out later on this melt season.


It's a great metric when ice extent is low. How's that ice thickness in the southern hemisphere?
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Quoting martinitony:
Arctic



This was discussed extensively on the previous blog. Extent is a poor metric, especially when taken without area and volume. Throw in the condition of the ice, and now there's a big problem. It's okay though...we'll see how that works out later on this melt season.
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3238
Arctic

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Thank you, Dr. Rood (and Xulonn).

To add to this conversation, many years ago I collaborated with a farmer on a graduate project that studied the storm runoff from a Midwest agricultural watershed.

The interesting thing about this farmer is that we never directly brought up the subjects of climate change or global warming, though we never hid the fact that funding for our project came from academia and scientific groups that were researching the subject. Yet, the farmer was still willing to work with us anyway (as a side note, he received no money from us to work on his property).

I could not have completed my work without that farmer, primarily because he had local, first-hand knowledge of the farming practices that took place in the area since the years immediately following WWII. This was information that the science literature could not provide.

I guess the message that I took home from the collaboration was that regardless of whether each of us "believed" in climate change or global warming, we were still able to work together on specific projects/goals, and still respect each others' points of view.
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Baked Alaska: Sunbathers take to the beach as Arctic state swelters in heatwave with temperatures close to 100F

Anchorage sees highest ever temperature for this time of year at 81F

Alaskans flock to lakes and beaches to take advantage of freak heatwave

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
PUBLISHED: 02:51 EST, 19 June 2013 | UPDATED: 16:45 EST, 19 June 2013


Alaska may be better known for its glaciers and forests than for its beaches, but this week residents of the icy state have been soaking up the sun during a freak heatwave.
Anchorage, the state's biggest city, has seen record temperatures of 81F (27C), while other parts of Alaska are believed to have climbed as high as 98F.
However, while many are delighted by the unusual warmth, others are sweltering in homes and offices which lack air-conditioning and are not designed to tackle heat.

Residents have been sunbathing and swimming at lakes throughout the state, welcoming the heatwave which comes just a month after the last snows of the winter.
18-year-old Jordan Rollison, who joined hundreds relaxing on the shore of Goose Lake, commented: 'I love it - I've never seen a summer like this, ever.'

But others were less positive - Anchorage resident Lorraine Roehl said, 'It's almost unbearable to me. I don't like being hot.'
State officials took the unusual step of warning people that they should wear sunscreen if they go outside.


The 81F temperature officially recorded in Anchorage yesterday is the highest ever seen on that date, while other places saw even more extreme spikes.
The small town of Talkeetna near Mt McKinley saw an official peak of 96F, and a lodge nearby apparently measured 98F - equaling the highest temperature ever recorded in Alaska.

'This is the hottest heat wave in Alaska since 1969,' said meteorologist Jeff Masters. 'You're way, way from normal.'
The heat wave also comes after a few cooler summers - the last time it officially hit the 80 mark in Anchorage was 2009.

The wave has brought a bonanza for stores selling summer supplies - the True Value Hardware store had run out of fans, and was selling five times the usual amount of mosquito repellent.
'Those are two hot items, so to speak,' store owner Tim Craig joked.
However, the unusual heat is set to come to an end soon - a high pressure system responsible for clear skies and high temperatures has moved on, meaning forecasters expect a cooling trend starting from today.


AP Bonanza: Tim Craig with the last fan available for sale at the True Value Hardware store in Anchorage

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New Polar Portal with Sea Ice Temperatures.

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Quoting JohnLonergan:
How we know the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 is anthropogenic

This article summarizes the evidence that the increasing trend of
atmospheric CO2 concentration, which began in the mid-19th century and
continues today, is due to human activities and not to natural emissions
from the land. More detailed accounts can be found in Prentice et al. (2001)
and Denman et al. (2007).
The emissions of CO2 due to fossil fuel burning are known fairly accurately
based on energy use statistics and well-established combustion chemistry.
Emissions from fossil fuel burning were 7.7 ± 0.4 Pg C/yr (1 Pg C = 1 Gt C = 1
billion tonnes of carbon, or 3.664 billion tonnes of CO2) on average during
2000-2008 (Le Quéré et al. 2009) and 8.4 ± 0.5 Pg C/yr in 2009
(Friedlingstein et al. 2010). Land use change contributed a further net
annual amount of 1.1 ± 0.7 Pg C/yr during the 2000s (Friedlingstein et al.
2010).
The annual exchanges between the land and atmosphere, and also between
the ocean and atmosphere, are an order of magnitude larger than these
emissions. Annual uptake of carbon by the land (due to photosynthesis) is
123 ± 8 Pg C/yr (Beer et al. 2010). This must be approximately balanced by
release of carbon from the land (due to respiration, plus a small
contribution from fire). Otherwise, the atmosphere would be losing or
gaining CO2 at a great rate.
The amount of CO2 that is stored in the atmosphere is the most accurately
known component of the global CO2 budget, from the global network of
high-precision observing stations. The mean growth rate of atmospheric CO2
since 1960 has been less than half of what we would expect, based on
emissions. This implies that CO2 is being removed from the atmosphere by
“sinks” in the oceans and/or the land.

More >>



But how much of the very recent surge in annual atmospheric CO2 increases is anthropogenic, and how much is due to feedback processes?

The last 11 years have seen an average annual rise of 2.1 ppm. The 11 years before that, it was 1.5 ppm. That's an increase of 40% in 11 years.

Given that (until recently) about half of man made CO2 was taken up by sinks, the recent increase is way more than can be accounted for by the increase in fossil fuel consumption over the past 11 years.
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DesMoinesRegister.com-18 hours ago

Iowa View: It's time for Iowa to lead on climate change
Jun. 21, 2013



Iowa seems to have become a state of extremes.

Last year, record early warmth prompted fruit blossoming in March and corn planting in early April, only to be severely challenged by late freezes and widespread drought. This year, a cold start to the planting season, followed by the wettest spring on record, has delayed planting and produced widespread soil erosion from extreme rainfall.

Last year along the Mississippi River, low water brought barge traffic to a standstill. This year, barges were halted when locks near St. Louis were overwhelmed by rising waters. In recent weeks, both central and eastern Iowa have had major flooding, which might have rivaled previous records if these patterns had persisted one more day.

While a recent arrival to our state might wonder if extreme weather is the norm and a longtime Iowan might question whether a new normal has arrived, all of us are likely asking, What's going to happen next?

Unfortunately, climate science cannot tell us for sure what the next season or year will bring. It can, however, help us understand which way our future weather is trending. Using a mixture of modeling, historic records and field studies, climate scientists investigate how changes to atmospheric processes can affect long-term trends in our state.

These tools, along with years of extensive study, have shown us that heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide and methane and black carbon resulting from combustion of fossil fuels are relentlessly shifting our future toward more extreme events.

Though weather events and climate change are not always related, we know that the last few decades have brought shifts in weather patterns. What we once considered 500-year floods are now occurring much more frequently than expected. Extreme high temperatures are now, by conservative estimates, twice as likely to occur as extreme lows.

Iowa has experienced, first-hand, billion dollar losses due to extreme precipitation and drought. Unfortunately, these events are becoming much more commonplace. While some of these shifts have been caused by natural variations within the Earth's climate system, we know that human activity is now a leading driver in creating more disruptive weather and climate.

Fortunately, Iowa is in a strong position to be a leader in reducing climate change losses and growing a more sustainable economy.

As one of the nation's largest producers of wind power, we should ask our federal leaders to establish stronger policies promoting renewable energy. As a center of innovation, we can continue to develop effective flood control approaches that protect our communities, reduce runoff and improve water quality. Finally, as one of the largest agriculture-based economies in our country, we can push the envelope on developing drought-resistant crops and more sustainable land-management practices that protect our soil as well as the health of our waterways.

Though Iowa's extremes have brought very real and sometimes painful losses to many communities and farms around our state, our suffering need not have been in vain. No matter what tomorrow's weather brings, our state can become a model of sustainability and energy efficiency so that as Iowa goes, so goes the nation.
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How we know the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 is anthropogenic

This article summarizes the evidence that the increasing trend of
atmospheric CO2 concentration, which began in the mid-19th century and
continues today, is due to human activities and not to natural emissions
from the land. More detailed accounts can be found in Prentice et al. (2001)
and Denman et al. (2007).
The emissions of CO2 due to fossil fuel burning are known fairly accurately
based on energy use statistics and well-established combustion chemistry.
Emissions from fossil fuel burning were 7.7 ± 0.4 Pg C/yr (1 Pg C = 1 Gt C = 1
billion tonnes of carbon, or 3.664 billion tonnes of CO2) on average during
2000-2008 (Le Quéré et al. 2009) and 8.4 ± 0.5 Pg C/yr in 2009
(Friedlingstein et al. 2010). Land use change contributed a further net
annual amount of 1.1 ± 0.7 Pg C/yr during the 2000s (Friedlingstein et al.
2010).
The annual exchanges between the land and atmosphere, and also between
the ocean and atmosphere, are an order of magnitude larger than these
emissions. Annual uptake of carbon by the land (due to photosynthesis) is
123 ± 8 Pg C/yr (Beer et al. 2010). This must be approximately balanced by
release of carbon from the land (due to respiration, plus a small
contribution from fire). Otherwise, the atmosphere would be losing or
gaining CO2 at a great rate.
The amount of CO2 that is stored in the atmosphere is the most accurately
known component of the global CO2 budget, from the global network of
high-precision observing stations. The mean growth rate of atmospheric CO2
since 1960 has been less than half of what we would expect, based on
emissions. This implies that CO2 is being removed from the atmosphere by
“sinks” in the oceans and/or the land.

More >>
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Met Office in the Media: 23 June 2013

There has been further coverage in the weekend papers following a workshop held here at the Met Office HQ in Exeter on a recent run of unusual seasons in the UK.

During the workshop new, early stage research by the University of Reading suggested that long-term Atlantic currents may be playing an important role in wet summers.

These are understood to operate on cycles of a decade or more, which suggests that we may see their influence on our summers for a few more years to come. While these influence the odds of a wet summer, it doesn’t rule out the possibility of decent summers over the next few years. Professor Rowan Sutton of the University of Reading has provided a guest blog which explains the research in more detail.

The Met Office has been at the forefront of global weather and climate science for 150 years through continued investment in our scientific expertise and supercomputing technology.

We use more than 10 million weather observations a day, an advanced atmospheric model and a high-performance supercomputer to create 3,000 tailored forecasts and briefings a day. These are delivered to a huge range of customers from the Government, to businesses, the general public, armed forces and other organisations.

Weather forecasting isn’t an exact science and we know that accuracy is the main driver of peoples trust in the Met Office. Recent surveys show that 83% of people trust the Met Office, 91% of the public said they found our forecasts useful and 76% said they were accurate.

We are an island nation with island weather and we forecast as accurately as we can without bias, regardless of what weather is expected. Our forecasts are right six days out of seven and we are consistently one of the top two operational weather forecasting services in the world. We can’t change the weather, but we like to help in any other way we can.

Unbiased Met Office forecasts and warnings help us prepare for and protect ourselves in times of severe weather and help us enjoy the good weather when it is here.

The Met Office has worked with the tourism industry in recent years to provide detailed forecasts for resorts, beaches and attractions with local forecasts for up to 5,000 locations across the UK. All our forecasts provide local three-hourly detail of the weather with information on the chance of rain so that visitors can plan their day out with confidence and make the most of the great British weather come rain or shine.

We have also made these forecasts easier to access for holiday makers and attraction owners. Our website widget, which attraction owners can embed on their websites, gives visitors instant access to the latest observations, forecasts and warnings, not just for today but for the next five days.

Our award winning free weather apps for Android and iPhone also give easy access to our forecasts and warnings, 24 hours a day anywhere in the UK.

At the time of launch of these local forecasts, Mark Smith, Director of Bournemouth Tourism said: “These new forecasts from the Met Office communicate weather forecast information in clearer, more appropriate and user friendly ways that allow tourists and tourism operators to better plan activities.”

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“My Favorite Things”

– Horatio Algeranon’s rendition of the Rodgers and Hammerstein song (from “The Sound of Music)

Curry and Roses and high diving horses
Mything with Moncktons, divining with dowsers
Skeptics with foolishness hung with their strings
These are a few of my favorite things

“Blog Science” phonies and short trend balonies
Ding dongs and ding bats and blogging at Tony’s
Theories that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Graphs from fake skeptics with BS statistics
Fact-fakes that stray like erratic ballistics
Sea-ice “recoveries” that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When the blog bites
When “tee hee” stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad
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Addressing the threat of Climate Change

Published on 22 Jun 2013

At 1:35 on Tuesday June 25th President Obama will speak at Georgetown University on the growing threat of climate change. He will lay out his vision of where we need to go, to do what we can to address and prepare for the serious implications of a changing climate. Tune in at whitehouse.gov/live


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Very good DaddyJames. Thanks for bringing that article to my attention. I have to confess I don't look at every link in Dr. Rood's blog.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8554
Thanks Dr. Rood.

I know that many modern farmers are college educated, but like engineers, they typically study basic science, then they veer off to focus entirely on specialized practical subjects, leaving advanced "pure" science and research to others who specialize in it. They may not be as likely as the more "pure science" types to study and understand AGW/CC. It is interesting to see that the levels of their acceptance of AGW/CC reflects the general population in the U.S.

OTOH, military officers in in the science, planning and strategy, while also practical and often conservative, are hard-core practical-minded types. I have a feeling that, unlike TV meteorologists, military meteorologists have a mandate to find the truth, and not to simply please audiences and advertisers - and corporate company owners. If the military officers screw up, their careers can be put in jeopardy. (Any validity to my thoughts, Brian? Do you have any insight into attitudes by your fellow officers with respect to AGW/CC? Do you know any military meteorologists or long-range strategists?)

I Googled "pentagon climate change war" (without the quotation marks) and saw a lot of interesting info on the subject. There is a lot of planning for domestic unrest as well as resource conflicts. If the farmers cannot provide enough food for the population - look out!

The Pentagon believes in AGW/CC and it is a very serious part of their planning these days. Perhaps, since most military officers are conservatives - like the farmers - many don't believe that it is anthropogenic, but they do indeed believe that it is happening.


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End Times: Scripture vs. Climate
by Robert Hunziker / June 21st, 2013

(BTW, I quite concur with the last chapter of this article. I really have difficulties to understand the alleged contradiction "religious belief contra science/human responsibility").
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Out with melting ice, in with living a balanced life
Dublin Climate Gathering dropped global-warming scare tactics in favour of a new green narrative
Sat, Jun 22, 2013, 01:00
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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
I suspect that a lot of farmers/ranchers will deny that AGW is real and adapt anyway. If they can adapt.


If you click on the link in "These numbers are consistent with numbers from other polls" you won't have to suspect. As a farmer/rancher you are, on a yearly basis grappling with variable weather conditions that may obscure any long-term trends - until or unless one thing begins to predominate.
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From uknowispeaksense

New paper on climate sensitivityLink



Schematic showing the climate sensitivity (°C) to an instantaneous doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration versus the time required to achieve this equilibrium surface temperature response (in years since CO2 doubling). Different coloured circles represent the three main types of climate sensitivity discussed in the text, specifically the fast feedback sensitivity, the Earth system sensitivity (ESS) including ice sheet/vegetation albedo feedbacks, and the ESS additionally including climate-greenhouse gas (GHG) feedbacks. Dashed lines indicate the approximate time-scales on which climate–GHG feedbacks and ice-sheet albedo feedbacks are expected to become significant (decades or longer and centuries or longer, respectively). We suggest that the ESS including both ice sheet/vegetation albedo and climate–GHG feedbacks is the most relevant form of climate sensitivity in the Anthropocene.

Climate sensitivity in the Anthropocene
M. Previdi, B. G. Liepert, D. Peteet, J. Hansen, D. J. Beerling, A. J. Broccoli, S. Frolking, J. N. Galloway, M. Heimann, C. Le Quéré, S. Levitus, V. Ramaswamy.

bstract
Climate sensitivity in its most basic form is defined as the equilibrium change in global surface temperature that occurs in response to a climate forcing, or externally imposed perturbation of the planetary energy balance. Within this general definition, several specific forms of climate sensitivity exist that differ in terms of the types of climate feedbacks they include. Based on evidence from Earth’s history, we suggest here that the relevant form of climate sensitivity in the Anthropocene (e.g. from which to base future greenhouse gas (GHG) stabilization targets) is the Earth system sensitivity including fast feedbacks from changes in water vapour, natural aerosols, clouds and sea ice, slower surface albedo feedbacks from changes in continental ice sheets and vegetation, and climate–GHG feedbacks from changes in natural (land and ocean) carbon sinks. Traditionally, only fast feedbacks have been considered (with the other feedbacks either ignored or treated as forcing), which has led to estimates of the climate sensitivity for doubled CO2 concentrations of about 3°C. The 2×CO2 Earth system sensitivity is higher than this, being ∼4–6°C if the ice sheet/vegetation albedo feedback is included in addition to the fast feedbacks, and higher still if climate–GHG feedbacks are also included. The inclusion of climate–GHG feedbacks due to changes in the natural carbon sinks has the advantage of more directly linking anthropogenic GHG emissions with the ensuing global temperature increase, thus providing a truer indication of the climate sensitivity to human perturbations. The Earth system climate sensitivity is difficult to quantify due to the lack of palaeo-analogues for the present-day anthropogenic forcing, and the fact that ice sheet and climate–GHG feedbacks have yet to become globally significant in the Anthropocene. Furthermore, current models are unable to adequately simulate the physics of ice sheet decay and certain aspects of the natural carbon and nitrogen cycles. Obtaining quantitative estimates of the Earth system sensitivity is therefore a high priority for future work.

Full article
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Thanks a lot, Dr. Rood, for continuing this subject!

From the last blog:

Hmmm, even enhanced growth of plants because of more CO2 seems to have some unforeseen devastating impact in some parts of the world:

Blind, starving cheetahs: the new symbol of climate change?
Thorny plants have begun to smother grasslands, transforming rangeland into impenetrable thicket – bad news for the big cats
Posted by Adam Welz, Friday 21 June 2013 11.06 BST guardian.co.uk

The world's fastest land animal is in trouble. The cheetah, formerly found across much of Africa, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent, has been extirpated from at least 27 countries and is now on the Red List of threatened species.

Namibia holds by far the largest remaining population of the speedy cat. Between 3,500 and 5,000 cheetahs roam national parks, communal rangelands and private commercial ranches of this vast, arid country in south-western Africa, where they face threats like gun-toting livestock farmers and woody plants.

Yes, woody plants. Namibia is under invasion by multiplying armies of thorny trees and bushes, which are spreading across its landscape and smothering its grasslands.

So-called bush encroachment has transformed millions of hectares of Namibia's open rangeland into nearly impenetrable thicket and hammered its cattle industry. Beef output is down between 50 and 70% compared with the 1950s, causing losses of up to $170m a year to the country's small economy.

Bush encroachment can also be bad news for cheetahs, which evolved to use bursts of extreme speed to run down prey in open areas. Low-slung thorns and the locked-open eyes of predators in "kill mode" are a nasty combination. Conservationists have found starving cheetahs that lost their sight after streaking through bush encroached habitats in pursuit of fleet footed food.

Farmers and researchers recognised bush encroachment as a serious problem in many parts of southern Africa by the 1980s, and it has long been thought to be caused by poor land management, including overgrazing. But, as I recently reported in Yale e360, an emerging body of science indicates that rapidly increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide may be boosting the onrushing waves of woody vegetation.

To read the whole article see link above
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I suspect that a lot of farmers/ranchers will deny that AGW is real and adapt anyway. If they can adapt.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8554

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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.