Tracking El Niño: Amongst Other Things

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 4:13 AM GMT on May 20, 2014

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Tracking El Niño: Amongst Other Things

After what seemed a period of climate languidness, there are a number of things I want to write about. There is the compelling news release on West Antarctica and the unbridled melting of glaciers. That’s one I want to think about a while. Almost overwhelmed by West Antarctica is a study on hurricanes creeping northward. And I have a number of entries I’d like to write about the National Climate Assessment. However, I will start tracking El Niño.

El Niño and La Niña are names given to frequently occurring patterns of variation that are concentrated in the tropical Pacific Ocean, but that change the average temperature of Earth for about a year. When there is an El Niño the globe is warmer and when there is a La Niña the globe is cooler.

As Daniel Swain wrote at weatherwest.com, “one of the few things growing more rapidly than the Eastern Pacific sea surface temperature in recent weeks has been the media speculation regarding the future evolution of El Niño conditions in the equatorial Pacific Ocean …” Swain goes on with a nice description of El Niño and its global impacts. Joe Romm talks about a Super El Niño. John Upton at Pacific Standard Magazine writes about a Monster El Niño, a “dinosaurian belch of warm water,” and the potential effects on crops. The Motley Fool discusses El Niño and investment strategies.

Back on February 21, 2014, Michael Ventrice wrote in Jeff Master’s blog, “We are seeing increasing evidence of an upcoming change in the Pacific Ocean base state that favors the development of a moderate-to-strong El Niño event this Spring/Summer.” In March NOAA issued an El Niño watch. Then in May 2014 ocean temperatures reached the threshold that if sustained we would have an El Niño. Currently the NOAA prediction is that with 65% probability there will be an El Niño with its official onset at the end of the summer. At the end of this blog, I provide a list of references.

Enough reporting, now I will wander into whatever it is that distinguishes this blog from the others. For that I will reach back to 2010 and the first two blogs in my series called Bumps and Wiggles (number one and number two). In that blog I used the following figure from Judith Lean’s and David Rind’s 2009 paper “How will Earth's surface temperature change in future decades?




Figure 1 from Lean and Rind (2009), Geophysical Research Letters.

In the Lean and Rind (2009) paper they write about both carbon-dioxide-related warming and internal variability. They investigated the impact of typical events on global averaged temperature, such as volcanic eruptions and El Niño. They considered a “super” El Niño, which was defined as an El Niño similar to the events of 1992-1997. The effect of a “super” El Niño is major warming of the planet. The last strong (dare I say super?) El Niño was 1997-1998, the result of which was a very warm year. 1998 server as fodder for endless ruminations on things like the whole silly warming haitus. Here is a simple graphic of weak and strong El Niños from Golden Gate Weather Services.

One reason there is so much discussion about the possibility of a colossal El Niño is the whole silly warming hiatus. The warming hiatus is the name given to the observation that the global surface temperature has not risen as fast as might be expected. The scientific investigation of the hiatus reveals that there are many things that might be viewed as extreme. Since the 1997-1998 El Niño, the eastern Pacific has remained cool, with strong tropical winds blowing from east to west piling up water in the western Pacific. As discussed in England et al. (2014), and in the blog I referenced above, these extraordinary winds have kept the eastern Pacific and, hence, the planet cool(ish). The amount of water piled up in the western Pacific is enormous and it is natural to imagine an event that might adjust to levels closer to long-term averages. Such a large shift in mass of the Pacific Ocean would be a large El Niño.

If there were such a large El Niño, then there would a large spike in the planet’s temperature. If this proved the end of the warming hiatus, then it would be dramatic in the realm of climate-change news. There are also other possible consequences, such as disruption of the patterns of oceanic and atmospheric heat transport that currently lead to the build up of Antarctic sea ice (see Earth Observatory and Michael Lemonick @ Wunderground News and National Snow and Ice Data Center).

In my 2012 blog Just Temperature, I used this graphic.



Figure 2: Global temperature differences with El Niño (warm) and La Niña (cool) years marked. From National Climatic Data Center.

As pointed out innumerable times by myself and others, the past decade has been historically warm; there is not a convincing warming hiatus. Even the moderate El Niño of 2010, which did not break the larger scale cool pattern of the eastern Pacific, flirted with being a year of record warmth.

At the time of this blog the official Climate Prediction Center Advisory is “Chance of El Niño increases during the remainder of the year, exceeding 65% during summer.” Further, “There remains uncertainty as to exactly when El Niño will develop and an even greater uncertainty as to how strong it may become. This uncertainty is related to the inherently lower forecast skill of the models for forecasts made in the spring.” From Japanese Meteorological Agency, “It is likely that El Niño conditions will develop during the northern hemisphere summer and will continue to autumn.” From the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, “Climate models surveyed by the Bureau suggest El Niño development is possible as early as July. These factors indicate that while El Niño in 2014 cannot be guaranteed, the likelihood of an event developing remains at least 70% and we are at El Niño ALERT level.” And from the International Research Institute, “During April through mid-May the observed ENSO conditions moved from warm-neutral to the borderline of a weak El Niño condition. Most of the ENSO prediction models indicate a continued warming trend, with a transition to sustained El Niño conditions by the early northern summer.” Note, none of these centers are predicting, yet, strong, super or monster. I’m not as smart as those others, so right now I am steering away from “monster,” and looking forward to what we learn about prediction, the climate as a whole and, of course, how we communicate our science.

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Here is a list of resources. I will be informally seeing how usable these are over the next few months. If you have some more that you like, please email me. Plus if you want to see which seem best to you, keep score.

Forecast and Analysis Centers

Climate Prediction Center Alert System and the Climate Prediction Center Diagnostic Discussion

International Research Institute Forecast Products and the Quick Look

Japanese Meteorological Agency El Niño Monitoring and Outlook and a nice graph of historical events

Australian Bureau of Meteorology Wrapup

Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) Forecasts

Information Portals

CLIVAR (Variability and predictability of the ocean-atmosphere system) Forecast Page

World Meteorological Updates

Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory El Niño Theme Page Forecasts

Climate Prediction Center FAQ

NOAA’s El Niño Page and NOAA’s La Niña Page

Summaries in Blogs

Judy Curry El Niño Watch

NOAA’s ENSO Blog




Figure 3: Ortelius World Map with a Monster in the Eastern Pacific. Go here to get a really big version Wikipedia

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570. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
8:13 PM GMT on May 29, 2014
RickyRood has created a new entry.
569. Pipejazz
6:34 PM GMT on May 29, 2014
Scotland may have 24 billion barrels of North Sea oil, a source of future wealth. However Scotland's WWF says the planet cannot afford to burn it.

Link
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 200
568. Patrap
5:21 PM GMT on May 29, 2014

A Canadian scientist protests deep cuts and restrictions to their industry by the Stephen Harper administration on July 10, 2012 in Ottawa, Canada.
CREDIT: SHUTTERSTOCK

The Canadian Government Doesn’t Let Its Meteorologists Talk About Climate Change
BY EMILY ATKIN MAY 28, 2014 AT 3:33 PM



A spokesperson for Canada’s federal government has confirmed that meteorologists employed by the Stephen Harper administration are not allowed to speak publicly about climate change, saying the scientists are not qualified to weigh in on the issue.

The government’s communication policy does allow meteorologists to talk about extreme weather, but they are prohibited from talking about climate patterns that could have affected that weather, Environment Canada spokesperson Mark Johnson told investigative journalist Mike De Souza. If journalists or others want information about global warming, they would be directed to a government climatologist, Johnson said.
“Environment Canada scientists speak to their area of expertise,” Johnson told De Souza in an e-mail. “Our Weather Preparedness Meteorologists are experts in their field of severe weather and speak to this subject.”
When it comes to climate change, climatologists are inherently much more qualified to speak about it than meteorologists. As pointed out by Media Matters, their models are different and they ask different questions. Indeed, a handful of weather forecasters have been known to sometimes skew the issue, which then becomes false evidence for conservatives to back-up their climate denial.

But the revelation about Environment Canada’s policy on meteorologists is important moreso because it adds to widespread allegations that the Canadian government has embarked on a widespread campaign to muzzle its scientists from all angles. Under Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s communication policy, federal scientists must seek permission from the government prior to giving interviews to reporters, and in many cases must get approval of what the response will contain.

Environment Canada spokeperson Danny Kingsberry confirmed the policy on meteorologists to ThinkProgress, but declined to comment on whether the policy represents an attempt to prevent scientists from speaking out about environmental issues and climate change. De Souza noted in his story that the agency has posted some interviews with staff on its website in order to assure that its scientists are satisfied with their jobs.

However, many Canadian government scientists do feel frustrated and muzzled — a finding confirmed by a recent survey which saw 90 percent of federal scientists feeling like they can’t speak freely about their work, and 24 percent saying they had been directly asked to exclude or alter information for non-scientific reasons.
“I’m probably quitting,” one scientist surveyed said. “Harper wins.”
The restrictions on scientists have been effective at preventing stories from being written, especially when it comes to climate change. A leaked Environment Canada analysis found that there had been an 80 percent drop in media coverage of climate change issues since the Harper government’s communications policy went into effect.
The muzzling of scientists has been just one of a number of ways the Canadian government under Stephen Harper, a fierce supporter of tar sands development, has worked to create a hostile environment for journalists who are critical of the administration — particularly when it comes to the tar sands. A number of journalists told ThinkProgress that they’ve experienced defensiveness, spitefulness, and intimidation from the federal government that prevents them from doing their jobs effectively.

“We have a government of thugs in Ottawa these days who are absolutely ruthless,” said Andrew Nikiforuk, an award-winning journalist who has been reporting critically on Canada’s oil and gas industry for more than 20 years. “It’s a hostility and thuggery, is the way I would describe it. That’s exactly what it is.”
There are logical reasons why impeding environmental journalists and muzzling scientists could be in Canada’s interest. The Canadian tar sands are the third-largest oil reserve in the world, and production is currently accelerating so quickly that the government predicts capital investments will reach $218 billion over the next 25 years. Part of that investment could come courtesy of a completed northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline, the controversial proposal that, if approved, would bring up to 830,000 barrels of Canadian crude oil per day down to refineries in the United States.

Climate change is one of the biggest reasons why the tar sands are controversial. Because the oil has such a unique, thick, gooey makeup, producers must use what is called “non-conventional” methods of getting the oil out of the ground. Those methods are more carbon-intensive, meaning they emit more climate change-causing greenhouse gases than normal drilling.
Because of large increases in tar sands extraction, Canada’s energy industry recently became the largest producer of climate-change causing greenhouse gases in the country, narrowly beating transportation for the first time.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129796
567. Patrap
4:56 PM GMT on May 29, 2014
Wyoming, the state of science denial

By Derrick Z. Jackson | MAY 28, 2014

WYOMING’S REJECTION of new national science standards because they include the teaching of climate change reminds me of a book I read to my kids, “Gila Monsters Meet You at the Airport.” It’s about a Manhattan boy who moves west and is filled with scary stereotypes. He meets a boy there who thinks the East is full of gangsters and alligators living in the sewers. Of course, the stereotypes do not pan out in this gentle poking at ignorance.

But there is nothing gentle about the spasm of ignorance that continues to prolong national inaction on climate change. The Wyoming legislature refused to approve the national standards because it was afraid they would turn children against the state’s coal and oil industry.

State education board chairman Ron Micheli told the Casper Star-Tribune he does not accept climate change as a fact and that the new standards are “very prejudiced in my opinion against fossil-fuel development.” State Representative Matt Teeters said, “There’s all kind of social implications” in saying global warming is settled science, “that, I don’t think, would be good for Wyoming.”

Meanwhile, South Carolina is considering adding guidelines to soften the references to climate change. To be sure, these are only two states. Eleven others and the District of Columbia have already adopted the national standards, including the coal state of Kentucky. A legislative committee had rejected them, but Governor Steve Beshear approved them anyway. His office said the standards are “a critical component in preparing Kentuckians for college and the workforce.”

But even as major scientific reports continue to warn that the effects of climate change are already here, fossil-fuel disciples try to chip away at what kids can learn about it in school. Last year, the Texas Board of Education faced several questions on whether the risks of hydraulic fracturing were being exaggerated in a high school environmental science textbook and whether any downsides to renewable energy were being ignored.

One complaint was that the text failed to point out that wind energy is unreliable and cannot be easily transported from rural areas to cities. The publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, responded that the text “explicitly states that ‘one of the problems of wind energy is transporting electricity from rural areas where it is generated to urban centers where it is needed.’ ”

But that is troubling, because by the time the textbook hits the classroom, the issue will on its way to being solved. Power companies in Texas and the Midwest are addressing the issue with billions of dollars in transmission-line upgrades.

Bit by bit, step by step, these challenges add up to an America that remains more ambivalent about climate change and what to do about it than most other developed nations. According to a Pew Research global survey last year, only 40 percent of Americans considered climate change a major threat to the nation, placing the United States among the least concerned of the 39 nations surveyed. A Gallup poll last month found that the percentage of Americans who worry “a great deal” about global warming, 34 percent, is virtually unchanged since 1989.

One reason we are not universally concerned is because we are not universally informed. This willful ignorance about man’s responsibility for global warming allows Republicans and fossil-fuel-state Democrats to stonewall a national climate change policy, and leads most of the 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls to believe they can win on a platform that includes denying the conclusions of an overwhelming percentage of climate scientists.

In Wyoming, Micheli said he opposed the science standards because they do not teach “the cost-benefit analysis” of controlling climate change. With each state that denies science, the nation moves closer to the tipping point where the cost is beyond control.

Derrick Z. Jackson can be reached at jackson@globe.com.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129796
566. pcola57
2:21 PM GMT on May 29, 2014
Re: Posts 562-565..
Thanks barb for sharing..
Very interesting and relevant..
I value your posts.. :)
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6915
565. barbamz
1:29 PM GMT on May 29, 2014
And last news from me for today, hopefully with a good outcome:

Australian brings reef fight to Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Welle English, May 28, 2014
A tourism operator from the Great Barrier Reef has come halfway around the world in a last-ditch attempt to save his business. He's hoping to convince European banks not to fund a coal terminal expansion on his doorstep. ...

Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 62 Comments: 6697
564. barbamz
1:00 PM GMT on May 29, 2014
'Home-made' electricity creating buzz in Germany
PhysOrg, May 27, 2014 by Mathilde Richter

Of the about 600 terawatt hours Germany consumes each year, 50 TWh are self-produced—about eight percent of the total—in a trend that has seen solar panels installed on home roofs and gas plants set up in factories.

In industry, the share is around 20 percent, according to business and energy consumers groups. Their main goal: cost savings.

Home-made power in Germany, which has among Europe's highest electricity bills, is not taxed unlike conventional electricity where one third of the customer's bill goes into the public coffers.

And neither are the do-it-yourselfers subject to the duties used to subsidise the country's wider "energy transition" away from fossil fuels and nuclear power and toward clean energy. ...



Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-05-home-made-electricity -germany.html#jCp
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 62 Comments: 6697
563. barbamz
12:44 PM GMT on May 29, 2014
Asian relative of cane toad threatens Madagascar havoc
Rebecca Morelle By Rebecca Morelle Science correspondent, BBC News, 29 May 2014 Last updated at 00:04 GMT
A relative of the cane toad, which has devastated wildlife in Australia, has invaded Madagascar, scientists report.
The Asian common toad was first seen on the island in March, and there have been several sightings since. ...
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 62 Comments: 6697
562. barbamz
12:36 PM GMT on May 29, 2014
Ocean waves influence polar ice extent
By Jonathan Amos Science correspondent, BBC News, 29 May 2014 Last updated at 11:51 GMT
Large ocean waves can travel through sea ice for hundreds of km before their oscillations are finally dampened, scientists have shown.
The up and down motion can fracture the ice, potentially aiding its break-up and melting, the researchers told Nature magazine.
They say storm swells may have a much bigger influence on the extent of polar sea ice than previously recognised. ...
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 62 Comments: 6697
561. JohnLonergan
12:09 PM GMT on May 29, 2014
The Wall Street Journal denies the 97% scientific consensus on human-caused global warming


Rupert Murdoch’s The Wall Street Journal editorial page has long published op-eds denying basic climate science. This week, they published an editorial denying the 97% expert scientific consensus that humans are causing global warming. The editorial may have been published as a damage control effort in the wake of John Oliver’s brilliant and hilarious global warming debate viral video, which has now surpassed 3 million views. After all, fossil fuel interests and Republican political strategists have been waging a campaign to obscure public awareness of the expert consensus on global warming for nearly three decades.

The Wall Street Journal editorial was written by Joseph Bast, president of the Heartland Institute political advocacy group of Unabomber billboard infamy, and Roy Spencer of “global warming Nazis” infamy. Spencer previously claimed in testimony to US Congress to be part of the 97% consensus, although his research actually falls within the less than 3% fringe minority of papers that minimize or reject the human influence on global warming.

Read more...
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3653
560. AlwaysThinkin
3:42 AM GMT on May 29, 2014
Quoting 546. riverat544:


I feel the same way about plans by some Californians to pipe water from the Columbia River down to California.


I didn't even know they were still trying to do that! You'd think someone would inform them that they are, infact, living in an arid climate.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 394
559. BaltimoreBrian
3:12 AM GMT on May 29, 2014
indianrivguy, I think he means that with the rise of sea level accelerating, it could rise by 5 feet by 2100 and be rising at 1 foot per decade by then.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8868
558. AlwaysThinkin
3:09 AM GMT on May 29, 2014
Quoting 553. ColoradoBob1:

Seattle sets 6 month rainfall record in just 4 months
Seattle just did that, meteorologically speaking, by breaking a six month rainfall record%u2026 and only needing four months to do it.

The National Weather Service reported Monday morning that with the 0.22 inches of rain that fell on Sunday, Seattle had received 22.87 inches of rain since Feb. 1. That broke the record for wettest February-through-July period in Seattle history.

It took all six months to get there in 1972, reaching 22.81 inches. This year, we broke it tying June and July behind our back. We could go bone dry the next 65 days and the record is still broken


Link


Bob got another one for you:

Storm dumps heavy rain on Madison

The weather is expected to moderate across south-central Wisconsin Wednesday and Thursday, after a wild Tuesday which saw a record amount of rainfall in Madison. The National Weather Service said many downtown streets were impassable early Tuesday evening due to high water. Flash flood warnings were issued and water was chest deep for a time near Warner Park on the city%u2019s north side, where the home opener between the Madison Mallards and Kalamazoo Bombers was called off.

The Weather Service said Madison received a record rainfall for the date, 1.6 inches at the airport, breaking a record set in 1945. But NWS hydrologist Brian Hahn told the Wisconsin State Journal that radar estimates indicated 4 to 6 inches of rain fell on downtown and along parts of the Beltline highway between 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. Madison police and fire officials said no one was hurt during the flooding, but much of the Isthmus was in gridlock as the storm passed.

To the south, Brodhead in Green County had almost one-and-three-quarter inches of rain, and numerous streets in Beloit were flooded out after 9:00 p.m. In western Wisconsin, two-and-a-half inches of rain fell at Whitehall in Trempealeau County.

Very strange weather behavior around this area yesterday.

Edit: This one happened a couple of weeks ago in Appleton. Again record daily rainfall in a matter of a couple hours.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 394
557. indianrivguy
3:08 AM GMT on May 29, 2014
Quoting 545. JohnLonergan:

Guest Post: Rising sea levels will be too much, too fast for Florida

By Harold R. Wanless, University of Miami

It is amazing for me to see the very aggressive building boom underway in south Florida; on the beaches and barrier islands, throughout downtown and in the low western areas bordering the Everglades. They are building like there is no tomorrow. Unfortunately, they are right.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published its assessment of sea level rise in 2012 as part of the National Climate Assessment. Including estimates based on limited and maximum melt of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, it anticipated a raise of 4.1 to 6.6ft (1.25 to 2m) by 2100, reaching 2ft (0.6m) by around 2050 and 3ft (0.9m) by around 2075.

This degree of sea level rise would make nearly all the barrier islands of the world uninhabitable, inundate a major portion of the world’s deltas, upon which hundreds of millions of people live, and leave low-lying coastal zones like southeast Florida increasingly difficult to maintain infrastructure services for and increasingly vulnerable to hurricanes and storms.

Read more ...


I don't understand this;

If we are at just 5ft (1.5m) rise at the end of the century, sea level will be rising at a foot per decade

The arithmetic doesn't add up...
Member Since: September 23, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 2639
552. Patrap
12:57 AM GMT on May 29, 2014


IPCC co-chairman says scientists being intimidated by climate change deniers

Prof Thomas Stocker says campaign to undermine IPCC’s fifth assessment report led by ‘people and organisations with vested interests’

Global warming deniers have been involved in a “concerted campaign to isolate individual scientists and destroy them,” according to one of the co-chairmen of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Prof Thomas Stocker, Swiss-born co-chairman of the panel’s working group on the scientific basis for climate change, said the campaign to undermine its fifth assessment report was led by “people and organisations with vested interests”.
Speaking to The Irish Times prior to giving a public lecture in Dublin, he said claims that there had been no global warming for 15 years were “quite a clever way to divert the attention of policymakers from the broader perspective of climate change”.
Prof Stocker said: “It is perfectly legitimate to ask such questions. Normally, you would expect a debate in which arguments would be considered and then we’d come to a conclusion.
“But unfortunately, sceptics have not followed that scientific approach.”
He said scientists involved in the IPCC process had done all the work, showing that warming was being observed “in all parts of the world” and this was closely related to the rise in greenhouse gas emissions, looked at over a longer timeframe than 15 years.
‘Not appreciated’
“It is unfortunate that this worldwide effort by the scientific community, which included responding to 54,677 comments, is not appreciated in the media, where they take assessment like ours and juxtapose it with the views of Mr X or Mr Y,” he said.
Prof Stocker, who has avoided using social media, agreed that several colleagues such as Phil Jones and Michael Mann had been “vilified” on Twitter and other forums, and some of them had even received death threats for daring to speak out.
He said natural variability could explain the current “hiatus”. Thus, IPCC scientists were looking at a longer “climatological period”.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129796
551. Patrap
11:57 PM GMT on May 28, 2014
Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.

Maya Angelou
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129796
549. Astrometeor
9:28 PM GMT on May 28, 2014
*Astro talking to grandparents about AGW*

*Grandpa munching away on cereal*

Grandma nods head as Astro explains the very basics, but then, Grandma goes, "But they call it Climate Change now since a scientist from somewhere said that they falsified the data and lied about humans causing global warming. Also, all of this climate science is just political BS since the money comes from the government."



This is the same Grandma who asked her son (my father) to turn the big 48" TV on to Fox News.
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 101 Comments: 10480
548. JohnLonergan
9:24 PM GMT on May 28, 2014
Global CO2 to Reach Extremely Dangerous Peak Near 402 PPM for 2014, Methane Levels Ramp Ominously Higher

During 2014, human CO2 forcing continued its long march toward ever-more dangerous and climate-damaging levels. By the peak month of May, global CO2 had ranged well above the 400 parts per million threshold, catapulting Earth at raging velocity toward climate and atmospheric states not seen in at least 3 million years.

According to May readings from the Mauna Loa Observatory, the more volatile hourly measures jumped as high as 404 parts per million while daily and weekly averages tended to settle between 401.4 and 402.3 parts per million. Given these trends, overall CO2 levels for May of 2014 are likely to peak at near or just below the astronomical 402 ppm threshold.



(Atmospheric CO2 levels measured by the Mauna Loa Observatory over the past two years. Peak values for 2012 hit near 397 ppm, peak for 2013 hit near 400 ppm, and peak for 2014 is likely to hit near 402 ppm. Image source: The Keeling Curve.)

Read more ...
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3653
547. TimSoCal
9:03 PM GMT on May 28, 2014
Quoting 546. riverat544:

I feel the same way about plans by some Californians to pipe water from the Columbia River down to California.


I honestly feel like Desal plants are the only way to truly drought proof the state. And yes, I know it's expensive, but it's really the only way to create enough potable water to support a population this size in the long-term.
Member Since: July 9, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 832
546. riverat544
8:26 PM GMT on May 28, 2014
Quoting 542. AlwaysThinkin:



It won't happen without a whole hell of a lot of violence. Can't say I wouldn't participate. Making a direct pipeline from the Great Lakes to the southwest would be nothing less than an act of civil insurrection by Sunbelters. The boosters (often called 'rainmakers') of the region are gonna have to find another way to grift from the general public grow their region's economy.

I feel the same way about plans by some Californians to pipe water from the Columbia River down to California.
Member Since: March 29, 2014 Posts: 0 Comments: 126
545. JohnLonergan
8:24 PM GMT on May 28, 2014
Guest Post: Rising sea levels will be too much, too fast for Florida

By Harold R. Wanless, University of Miami

It is amazing for me to see the very aggressive building boom underway in south Florida; on the beaches and barrier islands, throughout downtown and in the low western areas bordering the Everglades. They are building like there is no tomorrow. Unfortunately, they are right.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published its assessment of sea level rise in 2012 as part of the National Climate Assessment. Including estimates based on limited and maximum melt of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, it anticipated a raise of 4.1 to 6.6ft (1.25 to 2m) by 2100, reaching 2ft (0.6m) by around 2050 and 3ft (0.9m) by around 2075.

This degree of sea level rise would make nearly all the barrier islands of the world uninhabitable, inundate a major portion of the world’s deltas, upon which hundreds of millions of people live, and leave low-lying coastal zones like southeast Florida increasingly difficult to maintain infrastructure services for and increasingly vulnerable to hurricanes and storms.

Read more ...
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3653
544. JohnLonergan
7:54 PM GMT on May 28, 2014
Quoting 538. AlwaysThinkin:


Just curious John do you guys have Virginia Creeper taking over the forests in Mass? Only reason I ask is because the stuff seems to be smothering our forests here in Wisconsin.


We have it throughout the state, but I haven't seen evidence of it overrunning the woodlands. Not yet anyway.
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3653
543. Pipejazz
5:51 PM GMT on May 28, 2014
Quoting 503. FLwolverine:

Death existed before Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden; God told them they would "surely die" if they ate the forbidden fruit. But the first human death that is recorded is indeed murder. And isn't that telling!

Quoting 523. no1der:

And to think that the IPCC is called 'alarmist'.
Real alarm doesn't even come from paleoclimatology and knowledge of the numerous prior extinction events that were driven by changes in atmospheric composition.
IMHO real alarm comes from looking at the slow catastrophes of the past, and wondering about all the transients you're going to get when you push that system a couple of orders of magnitude faster.




I will try my best to teach the grandchildren how to garden, find edibles, etc. One wants to be an actor. So be it. I grieve in advance, but I will not see the end game.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 200
542. AlwaysThinkin
5:41 PM GMT on May 28, 2014
Quoting 539. FLwolverine:

That ESA photo should be shown every time somebody suggests piping water from the Great Lakes to the Great Plains or the desert southwest!


It won't happen without a whole hell of a lot of violence. Can't say I wouldn't participate. Making a direct pipeline from the Great Lakes to the southwest would be nothing less than an act of civil insurrection by Sunbelters. The boosters (often called 'rainmakers') of the region are gonna have to find another way to grift from the general public grow their region's economy.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 394
541. AlwaysThinkin
5:37 PM GMT on May 28, 2014
Quoting 529. no1der:

Koch-Funded Groups Fuel Assault On Kansas Clean Energy Law


That's from earlier this year and it got defeated. In a red state. With a republican controlled Legislature. With a republican governor. In the state that is the home of the Koch brothers. In fact there was an article in The Nation detailing how Gov. Brownback has basically made Kansas his personal fiefdom and the legislators are just there to rubber stamp his agenda. If he wanted to he could have wiped RPS into the dusty wheat fields without much resistance. And he didn't. Wind is here. Wind is now. Assimilate. Resistance is futile :D.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 394
540. pcola57
5:01 PM GMT on May 28, 2014
Quoting 539. FLwolverine:

That ESA photo should be shown every time somebody suggests piping water from the Great Lakes to the Great Plains or the desert southwest!



I never thought of that scenario FL..
Lets hope that nothing like that occurs..
Water wars are coming..
Aral Sea will soon be a footnote in history books..
Mankind thinks it can control nature..
Obviously that's quite the opposite..
We have knocked the climate out of balance..
And now have further accelerated the consequences..
We are smart enough to destroy..
Are we smart enough to correct this ??..
I dunno..
I have hope but..
With the leaders of today..
It seems we are unable to accomplish anything positive..
Action is needed..
Not more words..
Sad.. :(
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6915
539. FLwolverine
4:38 PM GMT on May 28, 2014
Quoting 536. pcola57:

From ESA:

Dying Sea

That ESA photo should be shown every time somebody suggests piping water from the Great Lakes to the Great Plains or the desert southwest!

From the link:

The Aral Sea is a striking example of the kind of changes the satellite series has been tracking. Once the world’s fourth-largest inland water body, it has lost around 90% of its water volume since 1960 because of Soviet-era irrigation schemes.

The lake is located on the borders of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The World Bank and Kazakhstan worked together to build the Kok-Aral dike to stabilise the northern section of the Aral Sea.

The Aral Sea’s southern section was beyond saving, however, and is projected to dry out completely by the end of this decade.

Acquired on 13 May 2014, the 300 m-resolution Proba-V image depicts the white salt terrain left behind by the southern Aral Sea receding, now called the Aral Karakum Desert. The greenery to the south is cultivated land irrigated by the Amu Darya river.
Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 2441
538. AlwaysThinkin
3:06 PM GMT on May 28, 2014
Quoting 532. JohnLonergan:



I have read that poison ivy and poison oak thrive under increased co2.

Just curious John do you guys have Virginia Creeper taking over the forests in Mass? Only reason I ask is because the stuff seems to be smothering our forests here in Wisconsin.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 394
537. AlwaysThinkin
3:00 PM GMT on May 28, 2014
Quoting 531. Naga5000:



I'm pretty sure the potato vine is the best growing plant in Florida now. Link
Florida has so many invasive species it must be hard to keep track of! One I had heard of was a vine that was a pest to the citrus industry, but in all reality the vine was actually a native species and they we're trying to eliminate it because of the introduced species, the orange. Wish I could remember because it shows just how asinine states can be when the economic incentives are right!
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 394
536. pcola57
2:59 PM GMT on May 28, 2014
From ESA:

Dying Sea
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6915
535. Naga5000
1:40 PM GMT on May 28, 2014
Quoting 533. indianrivguy:



naaa, its St. Augustine grass....


Tell that to my backyard. :) But seriously the stuff grows up to 8 inches a day. A few years ago, Gainesville removed 13 tons of it.
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3963
534. FLwolverine
1:30 PM GMT on May 28, 2014
Syria Today Is A Preview Of Memorial Day, 2030
BY JOE ROMM ON MAY 26, 2014


At first I was surprised at the number of older (2005, 2008, etc) studies and reports Romm referenced in this piece, especially because the statements quoted seemed so current. Then I realized they seemed current because conditions today are consistent those previous projections.

Not happy reading.
Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 2441
533. indianrivguy
1:24 PM GMT on May 28, 2014
Quoting 531. Naga5000:



I'm pretty sure the potato vine is the best growing plant in Florida now. Link


naaa, its St. Augustine grass....
Member Since: September 23, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 2639
532. JohnLonergan
10:44 AM GMT on May 28, 2014
Quoting 531. Naga5000:



I'm pretty sure the potato vine is the best growing plant in Florida now. Link


I have read that poison ivy and poison oak thrive under increased co2.
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3653
531. Naga5000
10:29 AM GMT on May 28, 2014
Quoting 528. AlwaysThinkin:



This is really bad news considering that the same people involved in this study were involved with this one

Why are vines overtaking the American tropics?

With this quote:
There is still no consensus as to why lianas are gaining the upper hand. They may survive seasonal droughts that are becoming more common as climate becomes more variable. They may recover more quickly from natural disturbances such as hurricanes and El Ni�o events and from human disturbances like logging, clearing land for agriculture and road building. Lianas respond quickly to an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide -- growing faster than associated tree species in several experiments.

It may be a confluence of several things (which is often the case), but the one thing that has been singled out that we know is that liana vines in the American Tropics are getting a leg up on other vegetation due to an increasingly carbon dioxide rich environment. This is also benefiting our domestic vines like kudzu and poison ivy more than other vegetation.



I'm pretty sure the potato vine is the best growing plant in Florida now. Link
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3963
530. JohnLonergan
10:19 AM GMT on May 28, 2014
Forget ‘saving the Earth’ – it’s an angry beast that we’ve awoken

Environmentalism is undergoing a radical transformation. New science has shown how long-held notions about trying to “save the planet” and preserve the life we have today no longer apply.

Instead, a growing chorus of senior scientists refer to the Earth with metaphors such as “the wakened giant” and “the ornery beast”, a planet that is “fighting back” and seeking “revenge”, and a new era of “angry summers” and “death spirals”.

Whether you consider yourself to be an environmentalist or not, the warnings from Earth system science have far-reaching implications for us all.

Read more at The Conversation ...
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3653
529. no1der
5:40 AM GMT on May 28, 2014
Koch-Funded Groups Fuel Assault On Kansas Clean Energy Law

A bill designed to repeal Kansas' clean energy law is moving quickly through the state legislature this week an effort led by corporate-backed, pro-fossil fuel groups that have fought to kill renewable energy laws around the country.
The Senate Utilities Committee approved the bill to repeal the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) on Thursday, along with a maneuver by Committee Chairman Pat Apple (R-Louisburg) that would allow the House to approve the bill without holding a public hearing, as long as it's approved by the Senate. The Senate vote will likely be Tuesday and the House could vote as soon as Wednesday.
Repeal efforts are being led by House and Senate leaders, backed by the Kansas Chamber, Americans for Prosperity, and American Legislative Exchange Council, the Lawrence Journal-World reported. Several of these groups are familiar faces in the well-funded push to stymie the growth of clean energy in states across the country. Funded by corporations, fossil fuel interests and the petrochemical billionaire Koch brothers, ALEC tried to repeal clean energy targets in 13 states last year including Kansas and failed on all fronts.
Despite the overwhelming failure, ALEC is still at it in 2014, crafting new model bills that aim to weaken solar net metering policies, open loopholes in disclosure requirements for fracking chemicals, and establish restrictions for state agencies that will be required to limit carbon pollution from power plants under the upcoming Environmental Protection Agency standards. ALEC drafted the model bill, Electricity Freedom Act, to help state legislators repeal renewable energy standards.




State Wind Energy Profile: Kansas

Jobs & Economic Benefits:
Total direct and indirect jobs support in 2013: 3,001-4,000. State Rank: Kansas ranks 6th for number of wind-related jobs.Capital investment: $5.5 billion  Annual land lease payments: over $7,900,000

Wind-Related Manufacturing:Number of manufacturing facilities in Kansas: 7 facilities
Major wind turbine manufacturer Siemens opened a $50 million nacelle assembly facility in Hutchinson, Kansas in November 2010. The effects of this investment will be felt throughout the Kansas supply chain, allowing an ever increasing number of Kansas firms to participate in the wind energy industry.

Environmental Benefits of Wind Power:Generating wind power creates no emissions and uses virtually no water.The water consumption savings from wind projects in Kansas total more than 2 billion gallons of water per year.
Member Since: June 5, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 537
528. AlwaysThinkin
5:22 AM GMT on May 28, 2014
Quoting 524. BaltimoreBrian:

*** Vines choke a forest's ability to capture carbon


This is really bad news considering that the same people involved in this study were involved with this one

Why are vines overtaking the American tropics?

With this quote:
There is still no consensus as to why lianas are gaining the upper hand. They may survive seasonal droughts that are becoming more common as climate becomes more variable. They may recover more quickly from natural disturbances such as hurricanes and El Nio events and from human disturbances like logging, clearing land for agriculture and road building. Lianas respond quickly to an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide -- growing faster than associated tree species in several experiments.

It may be a confluence of several things (which is often the case), but the one thing that has been singled out that we know is that liana vines in the American Tropics are getting a leg up on other vegetation due to an increasingly carbon dioxide rich environment. This is also benefiting our domestic vines like kudzu and poison ivy more than other vegetation.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 394
527. no1der
5:01 AM GMT on May 28, 2014
Massive clean-up in Balkans after flood of the century



[AFP] The death toll from cataclysmic floods in the Balkans rose by six to 57 on Friday as people returned home to salvage what belongings they could amid a huge clean-up operation.

The task facing the thousands of rescue workers, volunteers and soldiers was immense, with dozens of towns and villages devastated by the region's worst natural disaster in living memory.

"This disaster has entered a new phase. At first it was about saving lives ... now the water is receding, leaving devastation behind it," Bosnia's Defence Minister Zekerijah Osmic said.

Vast areas still remain under water, and tens of thousands of the nearly 150,000 people evacuated in Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia -- the biggest exodus since the wars of the 1990s -- were stuck in shelters.

Those who have come back, if their homes are still standing, were taking appliances and other belongings outside to dry, though many have found everything ruined.

Locals still found reasons to laugh, despite the devastation.

"Humour helped people during the war," said Colonel Mirsad Adzic, organising operations in the Bosnian town of Samac.

"That's the pool for the local water polo club," he told AFP, pointing to the submerged football pitch.

Member Since: June 5, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 537
526. riverat544
3:50 AM GMT on May 28, 2014
Quoting 518. etxwx:

Hybrid Trout Threaten Montana's Native Cutthroats
Many parts of the U.S. have been getting warmer over the past several decades, and also experiencing persistent drought. Wildlife often can't adjust. Among the species that are struggling is one of the American West's most highly prized fish — the cutthroat trout.

I plan to catch* me some of them cutthroat trout when I raft the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in July. It's great fun when the water is so clear you can see the trout rising to the fly.

*And release.
Member Since: March 29, 2014 Posts: 0 Comments: 126
525. riverat544
3:43 AM GMT on May 28, 2014
Quoting 511. tramp96:


Ice on the ocean is already floating, so if it melts it has no effect on sea level.

True but the flow of warmer water which melts the sea ice also flows past Greenland which has about 23 feet of sea level rise in its ice sheet. It will warm the water around the terminus's of Greenland's glaciers increasing the melt rate and/or the flow rate. It will also warm the atmosphere above the warmer flow which also will increase the melt rate on the surface of the ice sheet. Melting on Greenland will certainly have an effect on sea level.

That said I'd like to see the source of Colorado Bob's information. It seems like the Canadian Arctic Archipelago would limit (but not stop) the amount of water that get's through.
Member Since: March 29, 2014 Posts: 0 Comments: 126
523. no1der
2:42 AM GMT on May 28, 2014
And to think that the IPCC is called 'alarmist'.
Real alarm doesn't even come from paleoclimatology and knowledge of the numerous prior extinction events that were driven by changes in atmospheric composition.
IMHO real alarm comes from looking at the slow catastrophes of the past, and wondering about all the transients you're going to get when you push that system a couple of orders of magnitude faster.
Quoting 522. Birthmark:


That's pretty somber reading.

Member Since: June 5, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 537
522. Birthmark
2:31 AM GMT on May 28, 2014
Quoting 520. no1der:

End-Permian Mass Extinction in the Oceans: An Ancient Analog for the Twenty-First Century?


That's pretty somber reading.
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
520. no1der
2:26 AM GMT on May 28, 2014
End-Permian Mass Extinction in the Oceans: An Ancient Analog for the Twenty-First Century?


Abstract: "The greatest loss of biodiversity in the history of animal life occurred at the end of the Permian Period (ca. 252 million years ago). This biotic catastrophe coincided with an interval of widespread ocean anoxia and the eruption of one of Earth's largest continental flood basalt provinces, the Siberian Traps. Volatile release from basaltic magma and sedimentary strata during emplacement of the Siberian Traps can account for most end-Permian paleontological and geochemical observations. Climate change and, perhaps, destruction of the ozone layer can explain extinctions on land, whereas changes in ocean oxygen levels, CO2, pH, and temperature can account for extinction selectivity across marine animals. These emerging insights from geology, geochemistry, and paleobiology suggest that the end-Permian extinction may serve as an important ancient analog for twenty-first century oceans."

"Summary of Pattern: [...]First, the extinction was the most severe biotic crisis of the Phanerozoic, affecting both marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Second, the main extinction pulse occurred over a timescale shorter, and likely much shorter, than a few hundred thousand years. Third, marine animals with limited physiological capacity to buffer themselves against changes in ambient pCO2, temperature, pH, and oxygen concentration were preferentially victimized. Fourth, sedimentary fabrics, pyrite framboid abundances, and organic biomarkers suggest widespread ocean anoxia and euxinia that reached shallow-marine habitats at least episodically, beginning during Changhsingian time but peaking in intensity around the main extinction pulse. Fifth, the delta-13C composition of carbonate rocks and organic carbon began to decrease shortly before the main extinction pulse and dropped most abruptly, coincident with the mass extinction. Sixth, environmental disruption and its biological consequences continued through much of the Early Triassic."

"LESSONS FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

As human impacts push environmental conditions to extremes not experienced in the recent past, the geological record is increasingly essential as an archive of past experiments in global change. Carbon release events from the more recent geological past, such as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum and other hyperthermal events, allow for more detailed documentation of Earth system changes on short timescales. However, the rates of carbon release associated with these events may have been smaller than those that Earth is currently experiencing (Cui et al. 2011) and so may lead us to underestimate the potential biotic response. The end-Permian rock record cannot currently provide the temporal and spatial resolutions to make specific predictions about expected changes in the coming decades or centuries, but increasing evidence that the end- Permian mass extinction was precipitated by rapid release of CO2 into Earth's atmosphere is a valuable reminder that the best - and most sobering - analogs for our near future may lie deeper in Earth's past."
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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.

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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.