Climate Case Study: California Drought (2)

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 2:23 PM GMT on September 02, 2014

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Climate Case Study: California Drought (2)

In my last blog I explored the current California drought as a climate case study. In my climate case studies I focus on interconnections, for example, how weather and climate influence jobs and behavior. This helps us expose the connections, the management strategies and the policies that are effective or absent. The stresses of climate change will generally amplify the threats due to these events with the expectation, that over the next 3 decades, the climate stresses will increase relative to other stresses. I also made a reaching metaphor to the extinction of large mammals at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument in western Nebraska. The point of the metaphor was to expose the risks of short-term pumping of ground water on longer-term sustainability. In this blog I want to analyze some of the media coverage and a recent paper about the drought.

I would be a deficient blogger if I did not write about the 63 trillion gallons. If you do a search on “63 trillion gallons California,” there will be many hits (LATimes, Mashable). There are pictures of what 63 trillion gallons look like, though not really. This number is drawn from a paper by Adrian Borsa et al. entitled Ongoing drought-induced uplift in the western United States. (Also, though not really!)

This is a nicely written paper, which is, at least currently, not behind a pay wall. The paper examines several hundred ground-based Geographical Positioning Systems (GPS) sensors. These sensors have been placed in the ground over the past couple of decades, primarily to help measure how the surface of the Earth is moving. Back when I was at NASA in the late 1990s, these were being placed in the ground of Southern California. It was part of an investigation to inform, ultimately, earthquake prediction. Now there is a network of more than 800 sensors in the western part of the U.S., west of a line running, north-south, from western New Mexico and Colorado, central Wyoming and east-central Montana (longitude 109W). This line is west of the Continental Divide, in Colorado and New Mexico, which is relevant because it captures most of the Colorado River Basin, an important part of the California’s water picture.

The first point of the paper is, in my opinion, that this data system is of sufficient precision and adequate coverage that the rise and fall of the Earth’s crust due to the changing surface and ground water can be measured. The second point is that they can distinguish between wet and dry years, and in 2014, a time of exceptional drought, the crust of the Earth has risen in some places up to 15 millimeters, which is a little more than a half an inch. That’s a pretty cool measurement. The cause of this rise is loss of water, and of course, a loss of the water’s mass, which effectively changes the local gravity field.

The authors talk about the rise of the land being equivalent, at its maximum, to a decrease of about 50 cm of water. 50 cm is about 20 inches. When they calculate this water loss, they state it is consistent with changes in stream flow and precipitation. By consistent, they mean that they calculate the budget of water mass and, within their levels of uncertainty, the numbers match. The authors state that the total mass loss is equivalent to 10 cm of water (about 4 inches), spread over the entirety of the study area. To my knowledge the number of gallons of water were not mentioned in the paper, but I did not check the online supplemental information. It’s an easy enough calculation.

This relation between the measurement of rise and fall of the Earth’s surface and precipitation, evaporation and stream flow is what leads the authors of the paper to conclude, “Our analysis shows that the existing network of continuous GPS stations in the western USA measures vertical crustal motion at sufficient precision and sampling density to allow the estimation of interannual changes in water loads, providing a new view of the ongoing drought in much of the WUSA (Western United States of America).” The authors do not pose this measurement, their number, as a measure of exceptionalism or extremes. (There is another interesting number in the paper. The authors calculate that the change in stress along the San Andreas fault is equal to about a week’s worth of the normal strain due to the motion along the fault.)

One of the problems I have with the press coverage is that this 63 trillion gallons and the change in the Earth’s crust is out of context of any other numbers. It is the first time the measurement has been made, not the first time there has been the change in the water sufficient enough to change the Earth’s elevation. There are also many pictures showing depleted reservoirs, again out of context. If one were so inclined, then one could find many inconsistencies and allusions, which would be open, potentially, to criticism of exaggeration. All of this is generated by the reportage on the paper on points that, to the best of my reading, were not made in the paper. Looking around with my favorite search engines, I can find a number of stories and pictures that, often with the best of intentions, are adding more extreme, more emotional adjectives to describe the drought. (Oh, Rood, are you going down the alarmist path? Ye, of the Beardogs?)

In my wandering around on the California drought, I came across the prolific writing and videos of Jay Famiglietti. Jay and I have mingled in the same worlds for much of our careers and were co-authors on a National Strategy for Advancing Climate Modeling. In Op-Ed’s, blogs and his scientific writings, Famiglietti is laying out the essential need for California, and by extension for the U.S., to develop rational, sustainable water policy. Looking at supply and demand, if the current drought continues as current conditions suggest, California will soon be down to a water supply of months. Even if there is an exceptional period of rain that ends this particular drought, the stresses of residential demand, agricultural demand and climate change will soon, again, converge to crises that erode community, productivity and economy.

Jay Famiglietti: How Much Water Does California Have Left? An nice piece on how water management and keeping the population centers hydrated place the problem out of sight out of mind.

Jay Famiglietti: Can We End the Global Water Crisis?

Castle et al.: Groundwater depletion during drought threatens future water security of the Colorado River Basin (open access, a more important paper about California water than the paper discussed in this blog)




Figure 1: Figure from Randall Munroe of xkcd.com. This graph shows a time series from 2000 to 2014 of the extent of the graph. Details are provided at this link on explainxkcd.com. (Yes, I would be science happier if "ludicrous" was not used, but it is a good graph, and it has the dates. Many of the images appear in other graphs but with no dates.)

Here is a nice Infographic from the LA Times: 191 drought maps, with dates.

Note: The changes in the land associated with removal and addition of water have many of the same causes and effects as the effects of sea level rise on land. There have been large amounts of sinking in parts of California’s Central Valley due to pumping of ground water. Some of the basic concepts are in my blog Sea-level Variability: A Primer.


Understanding California’s Groundwater / Water in the West

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171. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
4:17 AM GMT on September 11, 2014
RickyRood has created a new entry.
170. iceagecoming
3:21 AM GMT on September 11, 2014


Never forgotten.
Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 24 Comments: 1078
169. iceagecoming
3:10 AM GMT on September 11, 2014
Solar Cycle Prediction

(Updated 2014/09/10)

Link







The current prediction for Sunspot Cycle 24 gives a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 70 in late 2013. The smoothed sunspot number reached 75.4 in November 2013) so the official maximum will be at least this high. The smoothed sunspot number has been rising again towards this second peak over the last five months and has now surpassed the level of the first peak (66.9 in February 2012). Many cycles are double peaked but this is the first in which the second peak in sunspot number was larger than the first. We are currently over five years into Cycle 24. The current predicted and observed size makes this the smallest sunspot cycle since Cycle 14 which had a maximum of 64.2 in February of 1906.

Predicting the behavior of a sunspot cycle is fairly reliable once the cycle is well underway (about 3 years after the minimum in sunspot number occurs [see Hathaway, Wilson, and Reichmann Solar Physics; 151, 177 (1994)]). Prior to that time the predictions are less reliable but nonetheless equally as important. Planning for satellite orbits and space missions often require knowledge of solar activity levels years in advance.

A number of techniques are used to predict the amplitude of a cycle during the time near and before sunspot minimum. Relationships have been found between the size of the next cycle maximum and the length of the previous cycle, the level of activity at sunspot minimum, and the size of the previous cycle.
Among the most reliable techniques are those that use the measurements of changes in the Earth's magnetic field at, and before, sunspot minimum. These changes in the Earth's magnetic field are known to be caused by solar storms but the precise connections between them and future solar activity levels is still uncertain.

Link


The long sunspot cycle 23 predicts a significant temperature decrease in cycle 24
Jan-Erik Solheima, , , Kjell Stordahlb, , Ole Humlumc, d,

Open Access
Abstract
Relations between the length of a sunspot cycle and the average temperature in the same and the next cycle are calculated for a number of meteorological stations in Norway and in the North Atlantic region. No significant trend is found between the length of a cycle and the average temperature in the same cycle, but a significant negative trend is found between the length of a cycle and the temperature in the next cycle. This provides a tool to predict an average temperature decrease of at least View the MathML source from solar cycle 23 to solar cycle 24 for the stations and areas analyzed. We find for the Norwegian local stations investigated that 25–56% of the temperature increase the last 150 years may be attributed to the Sun. For 3 North Atlantic stations we get 63–72% solar contribution. This points to the Atlantic currents as reinforcing a solar signal.

Highlights
► A longer solar cycle predicts lower temperatures during the next cycle. ► A 1 °C or more temperature drop is predicted 2009–2020 for certain locations. ► Solar activity may have contributed 40% or more to the last century temperature increase. ► A lag of 11 years gives maximum correlation between solar cycle length and temperature.

Link






a href="http://storage.calgarysun.com/v1/dynamic_res ize/sws_path/suns-prod-images/1297604709298_ORIGIN AL.jpg?




Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 24 Comments: 1078
168. Patrap
2:57 AM GMT on September 11, 2014

Half of North American bird species threatened by climate change


More than 300 species of birds in Canada and the U.S. face large climate shifts that could cut their habitats

By 2080, the bald eagle, the national symbol of the United States, could see its habitat decrease by 75%
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128874
167. iceagecoming
2:20 AM GMT on September 11, 2014
by Royal Norman | Meteorologist
Bio | Email | Follow: @RoyalNorman
azfamily.com
Posted on August 28, 2014 at 7:19 PM
PHOENIX -- The National Weather Service is saying the drought conditions around Arizona have eased this summer with the usually wet summer in most locations. The following is from the weather service's statement:

The typically dry spring weather kept drought conditions solidly in tact, with slowly intensifying drought during the early parts of the monsoon season. However, more expansive thunderstorm activity and locally heavy rainfall during the past month have helped drought conditions improve significantly.

While more rainfall may be possible over the next month, it will be winter rain and snow over the mountains that will be critical in refilling reservoirs before next spring. Thus, impacts with respect to reservoir storage and water usage will continue to be the largest drought impacts for the remainder of the year.

Extreme drought still remains across almost all of Pinal County. Severe drought covers all but far southwest Maricopa County and much of Gila County, as well as the western portions of Imperial and Riverside counties in southeast California. The recent rainfall has allowed eastern Imperial and Riverside counties as well as large parts of Yuma, La Paz and southwest Maricopa counties to improve back to the moderate drought category. Both longer- and shorter-term rainfall have been beneficial for eastern Yuma and La Paz counties to bring them back to only abnormally dry conditions.

Currently, around 57 percent of the state of Arizona is at severe drought levels or worse, which is an excellent improvement as compared to three months ago when over 76 percent of the state was at such levels.


Link
Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 24 Comments: 1078
166. iceagecoming
1:43 AM GMT on September 11, 2014
Quoting 123. JohnLonergan:

News from The Commonwealth(God save it):

Massachusetts District Attorney Makes History: Recognizes Necessity of Defending Climate

This morning, a District Attorney in Massachusetts made history as he recognized the “necessity defense” of climate-related civil disobedience, and reduced the charges for two activists charged in their Lobster Boat Blockade.

Some quick background. Back in May 2013, Ken Ward and Jay O’Hara boarded their lobster boat, navigated to the shipping channel at the coal-fired Brayton Point Power Plant in southeastern Massachusetts, and dropped anchor. For six hours, the two climate activists and fishermen blocked the “Energy Enterprise” steam ship from delivering Appalachian coal from reaching the power plant.

The two were arraigned later in the year on four charges in relation to their act of civil disobedience, including conspiracy.

This morning, Ward and O’Hara were due in court, and their lawyers — along with a number of climate experts in Fall River to present testimony to the trial — had intended on using the “necessity defense” to argue that their actions were necessary to combat the greater threat of climate change.

Ward and O'Hara had sought to become the first American climate activists to use this “necessity defense”, arguing that “the blockade was necessary in light of the imminent threat of climate change.” They had planned to call former NASA climatologist James Hansen and environmentalist Bill McKibben to the stand as expert witnesses.

Scheduled for two days, the court proceedings were over in a less than an hour, as Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter immediately dropped the conspiracy charge, and reduced the other charges to civil infractions.

“The truth is that taking these sorts of actions is necessary in light of the drastic news that continues to be described by the science. This decision by the District Attorney is an admission that the political and economic system isn’t taking the climate crisis seriously, and that it falls to ordinary citizens, especially people of faith, to stand up and take action to avert catastrophe,” said O’Hara.

Read more

Emphasis added


Hmm, some very short memories on very thin skinned folks. Could it be true?

I wonder where the Atty General was then? Obviously not the right time to chime in!

By Patrick Cassidy
pcassidy@capecodonline.com
July 20, 2011
Once again, a Kennedy is blasting the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm but this time the focus is on the high cost of the project.

In an opinion piece printed Monday in the Wall Street Journal, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. calls Cape Wind a "rip-off" and alleges that a merger between NStar and Northeast Utilities is being held up by Massachusetts utility regulators to force the companies to buy half of the project's power.

Related Stories
Cape Wind foes pushing forced bidding on energy costsCounty panel hears wind project testimony
The Kennedy family compound in Hyannisport overlooks Nantucket Sound. The family, led by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, has long opposed the 130-turbine Cape Wind project.

NStar delivers electricity to Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard; National Grid delivers to Nantucket and other parts of the state. National Grid has already agreed to buy half of Cape Wind's power and says it will add about $1.50 to the average electricity bill of a National Grid customer using 618 kilowatt hours a month. The price of the contract between Cape Wind and National Grid will rise by 3.5 percent each year.

Opponents of Cape Wind argue that the cost to businesses will be far greater, causing a ripple effect in the state's economy.

The review of the merger between NStar and Northeast Utilities has nothing to do with Cape Wind, according to state officials.

"It is the responsibility of the Department of Public Utilities to ensure that any proposed merger is both beneficial for ratepayers and in-line with the Commonwealth's nation-leading energy standards," Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Mark Sylvia said in a statement emailed to the Times on Tuesday in response to Kennedy's opinion piece.

"It is in that spirit alone that the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has moved to stay the merger proceeding pending the receipt of robust rate impact information, and applied (a) 'net benefit' standard to this case," Sylvia wrote.

The cost of Cape Wind's power, Kennedy writes, is far higher than what is available to Massachusetts utilities from Hydro-Quebec, a Canadian-based power generator that Cape Wind opponents say is a less-expensive source of power. Most of Hydro-Quebec's electricity, which is sold to markets in Canada and the United States, comes from hydroelectric dams.

Kennedy, who did not return messages seeking comment for this story, argues in the Wall Street Journal piece that cheaper electricity is also available from land-based wind turbines.

Kennedy's position on Cape Wind and, in particular, his support for importing power from a hydroelectric generator in Canada, smacks of hypocrisy given his environmental credentials, said Cape Wind officials and other supporters of the project.

"Over the past eight years Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has been attacking the Cape Wind project, while also calling for the greater use of wind and solar power as alternatives to coal," Cape Wind officials said in a statement issued in response to Kennedy's opinion piece. "In so doing, Mr. Kennedy has been derided by those across the political spectrum who say his misleading objections mask an entitled and hypocritical objection to the aesthetics of wind turbines six miles off his family's waterfront compound."

Kennedy is a senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council and is well-known for his environmental work, including his opposition to hydroelectric projects in Canada and elsewhere. One of the Canadian projects he has opposed in the past was proposed by Hydro-Quebec.

In a 2004 column Kennedy argued against another hydroelectric project proposed by Manitoba Hydro, citing the potential impact of hydropower on people and the environment.

"Manitoba Hydro has been selling its projects as the answer to combat climate change due to the low greenhouse gas emissions of hydroelectricity, but hydro development not only harms the land and the people who live there, it may worsen global warming," Kennedy wrote.

Michael Conathan, director of ocean policy at the Center for American Progress, took aim at Kennedy in a piece posted Monday on the website Climate Progress and again in an interview on Tuesday.

"I think hypocrisy is a strong word but I think it has to apply in this case," Conathan said.

Conathan, who grew up in Centerville and still regularly visits family on the Cape, said Kennedy is clearly on the record opposing hydropower.

Kennedy's position on Cape Wind, however, is no longer a surprise, Conathan said.

"It seems fairly clear that he's grasping at straws for ways to justify that position," Conathan said.

Cape Wind's staunchest opponents disagree. "I think the point (Kennedy is) making is that Cape Wind is far more expensive than other clean energy," said Audra Parker, president and CEO of the anti-Cape Wind group, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound.

NIMBY anyone?


Link

Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 24 Comments: 1078
165. ColoradoBob1
10:53 PM GMT on September 10, 2014
Bernard asked me, after the WMO report, if the systems that suck-up CO2 are breaking down . ( On Scribbler's thread . ) , By the way, RS is really smart and doesn't allow trolls , I''ve been reading his stuff for over year, the people who post there , are pretty bright . And find really interesting things.

My reply -

Bernard, the WMO report also states that the oceans haven’t been this acidic in 300 million years. The real kicker in the last 24 hours has been that study from the Arabian sea (Shift in Arabia sea plankton may threaten fisheries) , the base of an entire food chain has flipped in just a decade. I recommend reading it carefully.
Robert has written often on the oceans turning on us, and that nasty little creature that has high-jacked an area the size of Texas between Oman and India fits the bill.
It got it’s start 1.5 billion years ago. In a very low oxygen world.

It worries me deeply , if the system is indeed breaking down , this study points in that direction.
http://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2014/09/06/h othouse-rains-for-kashmir-worst-flooding-in-more-t han-60-years-puts-450-villages-under-water/#commen t-22292
Member Since: August 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2607
164. ColoradoBob1
10:34 PM GMT on September 10, 2014
The "Hoax" goes on -


New research, published today (9 September 2014) in the International Journal of Climatology, shows that weather patterns over the UK have become distinctly more unstable, resulting in contrasting conditions from very mild, wet and stormy to extremely cold and snowy.


Read more at: Link
Member Since: August 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2607
163. ColoradoBob1
9:20 PM GMT on September 10, 2014
Texas environmental chief doubts link between greenhouse gases and the climate; Texas climate scientist says he’s wrong

Shaw’s assertion that greenhouse gases — carbon dioxide and other emissions from industries, vehicles and other human activities — aren’t linked to climate change drew a quick retort from a prominent Texas climate scientist.

“He might have a hard time finding a real climate scientist who would spend more than five minutes arguing with him about whether increasing greenhouse gases are causing climate change,” said Gerald R. North, distinguished professor of atmospheric sciences and oceanography at Texas A&M.


Link
Member Since: August 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2607
162. ColoradoBob1
5:33 PM GMT on September 10, 2014
Quoting 161. Patrap:

More Water Vapor will and is creating mo chaos in the system


As of 8 am EDT Wednesday, 10.54" was recorded in 12 hours in Browning, MO, with 9.61" inches falling at Chillicothe. Moisture from Norbert will spread all the way into Michigan's Upper Peninsula on Wednesday afternoon, and an Areal Flood Watch is posted there for flooding rains of 1 - 3".

Link
Member Since: August 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2607
161. Patrap
4:12 PM GMT on September 10, 2014
More Water Vapor will and is creating mo chaos in the system
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128874
160. JohnLonergan
4:08 PM GMT on September 10, 2014
Here’s How Global Warming Is Already Worsening Extreme Deluges In The U.S.

.

Decadal index of two-day precipitation totals that are exceeded on average only once in a 5-year period. Changes are compared to the period 1901-1960. As data show, such once-in-five-year events have become much more common (via NCA.)

..One of the most robust scientific findings is the direct connection between global warming and more extreme deluges. Scientists have observed a sharp jump in monster one- and two-day rainstorms in this country.
The 2014 National Climate Assessment (NCA), which is the definitive statement of current and future U.S. climate impacts, notes, “The mechanism driving these changes is well understood.” The congressionally-mandated report by 300 leading climate scientists and experts, which was reviewed by the National Academy of Sciences, explains:
Warmer air can contain more water vapor than cooler air. Global analyses show that the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere has in fact increased due to human-caused warming…. This extra moisture is available to storm systems, resulting in heavier rainfalls. Climate change also alters characteristics of the atmosphere that affect weather patterns and storms.

Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3402
159. JohnLonergan
3:55 PM GMT on September 10, 2014
From Nick Stokes:

TempLS global temp up 0.1°C in August



TempLS rose in August; from 0.515°C (July) to 0.613°C. This largely reflects the strong rise in SST. It's often forgotten that a land/ocean index is mostly SST. Anyway, TempLS is back up to about where it was in May. The tropospheric indices went down by a little over 0.1°C.

Here is the spherical harmonics plot:

Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3402
158. ColoradoBob1
3:46 PM GMT on September 10, 2014
Honore pressed the journalists in the audience not to shy away from controversial stories about the environment. "There's never a time the world needs you more to shed light on environmental problems. Do your damn job!"

Good on him , Patrap .
Member Since: August 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2607
157. ColoradoBob1
3:35 PM GMT on September 10, 2014


This Legendary Accounting Firm Just Ran the Numbers on Climate Change
We’re 20 years away from catastrophe, says PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Link
Member Since: August 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2607
156. Patrap
3:35 PM GMT on September 10, 2014
Former Army General Lambasts Oil Industry for 'Hijacking' Democracy
By Zoë Schlanger
Filed: 9/9/14 at 6:54 AM




After a BP executive lambasted “opportunistic” environmentalists and journalistic “sensationalism” from a podium in front of hundreds of environmental journalists in a New Orleans ballroom Wednesday evening, Russel Honore could not hide his disgust. Taking the podium some time after, Honore, a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General, had harsh words for the oil and gas industry. In the four years that has passed since the BP oil spill, Honore has run out of patience with energy companies that he says have “hijacked” his state.

“They have hijacked our damn democracy. They lobby, they write the laws.”

Environmental impacts of the BP spill and other energy activities should not be downplayed, he said. “Regardless of what that kemo-sabe told you, that dolphin took a hit” from the Gulf oil disaster, Honore said, referring to Geoff Morrell, the BP communications executive who spoke before him.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128874
155. ColoradoBob1
3:02 PM GMT on September 10, 2014
Overnight -



The Weather Channel reported rainfall rates of more than five inches per hour in Nebraska.

Link
Member Since: August 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2607
154. indianrivguy
12:20 PM GMT on September 10, 2014
Quoting 153. JohnLonergan:

Larry Gibson and the Lobster Boat
9 September 2014
James Hansen


...What I would like to do, if I can find support for it, is play offense instead of defense. Instead of using legal talent to defend protestors and minimize their penalties, we should file cases against
the real culprits, our governmental leaders who are failing to protect the rights of all people,
especially young people. The basis for legal action, in my opinion, should be the most fundamental rights guaranteed by our Constitution.

The science is clear. If we do not phase down fossil fuel emissions rapidly, we will hand young
people a situation out of their control. Our Constitution guarantees all people equal protection of
the laws. It says they cannot be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.

Young people are people. It is time to file suit against our governments, to ask the courts to
require the government to present plans to phase down fossil fuel use at a pace that can stabilize
climate, preserving nature and a future for young people, providing young people equal
protection of the laws.



good stuff John, thanks!
Member Since: September 23, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 2583
153. JohnLonergan
11:31 AM GMT on September 10, 2014
Larry Gibson and the Lobster Boat
9 September 2014
James Hansen


...What I would like to do, if I can find support for it, is play offense instead of defense. Instead of using legal talent to defend protestors and minimize their penalties, we should file cases against
the real culprits, our governmental leaders who are failing to protect the rights of all people,
especially young people. The basis for legal action, in my opinion, should be the most fundamental rights guaranteed by our Constitution.

The science is clear. If we do not phase down fossil fuel emissions rapidly, we will hand young
people a situation out of their control. Our Constitution guarantees all people equal protection of
the laws. It says they cannot be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.

Young people are people. It is time to file suit against our governments, to ask the courts to
require the government to present plans to phase down fossil fuel use at a pace that can stabilize
climate, preserving nature and a future for young people, providing young people equal
protection of the laws.
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3402
152. riverat544
4:22 AM GMT on September 10, 2014
Quoting 140. yonzabam:

Brief, but informative Guardian article on accelerating levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, despite efforts to curtail them. Seems to have at least a couple of errors, though. 'Radiative forcing' by GHGs is stated to have increased by 34% since the early 80s. My understanding is that pre-industrial levels of GHGs warm the planet by 33C, so wouldn't the 34% figure equate to 11C? Even allowing for the time lag until positive feedbacks kick in, this is obviously wrong. ... We live in interesting times.

I read the WMO report. The 34% rise from 1990 to 2013 is for long lived greenhouse gases relative to a baseline of 1750. IOW the existing greenhouse warming in 1750 is the zero point and we've bumped the anthropogenic portion of greenhouse warming up by 34% since 1990. So for the sake of argument say that anthropogenic forcing caused 1 C of temperature rise from 1750 to 1990. 34% of that would be 0.34 C. (Note: I think the actual equations to calculate the temperature/energy are considerably more complex than our simple math and I suspect the actual answer is a bit less than 0.34 C, but maybe it's in the ballpark.)

The WMO report also has a section on ocean acidification. It says that ocean pH is decreasing by 0.0011-0.0024 units per year.
Member Since: March 29, 2014 Posts: 0 Comments: 97
151. Patrap
12:22 AM GMT on September 10, 2014
I'm sorry Miss, but your Prius has been seized under the Carbon Neutral Seizure Act.

Your Lectric replacement should be delivered by 2018, Spring I'm seeing on the list.

So...



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128874
150. pcola57
12:15 AM GMT on September 10, 2014
Quoting 148. ColoradoBob1:
Climate change deniers raise the heat on the Bureau of Meteorology


Thanks Bob..
I get the impression that they are throwing whatever they can against the wall and hoping some of it sticks..
Many countries have these Bozo's..
Sigh..
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6856
149. ColoradoBob1
12:07 AM GMT on September 10, 2014
Shift in Arabia sea plankton may threaten fisheries

A growing "dead zone" in the middle of the Arabian Sea has allowed plankton uniquely suited to low- oxygen water to take over the base of the food chain. Their rise to dominance over the last decade could be disastrous for the predator fish that sustain 120 million people living on the sea's edge. ......................................... Until recently, photosynthetic diatoms supported the Arabian Sea food chain. Zooplankton grazed on the diatoms, a type of algae, and were in turn eaten by fish. In the early 2000s, it all changed. The researchers began to see vast blooms of Noctiluca and a steep drop in diatoms and dissolved oxygen in the water column. Within a decade, Noctiluca had virtually replaced diatoms at the base of the food chain, marking the start of a colossal ecosystem shift. ........................................ The study has attributed much of Noctiluca's rise to growing sewage flows into the Arabian Sea, an intriguing connection that should be followed up on, says Andrew Juhl, a microbiologist at Lamont-Doherty who was not involved in the study. "It's unusual for Noctiluca to bloom in the open sea and return year after year," he said "All of these observations suggest that something dramatic has changed in the Arabian Sea."

Link
Member Since: August 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2607
148. ColoradoBob1
11:43 PM GMT on September 09, 2014
Climate change deniers raise the heat on the Bureau of Meteorology


The Australian newspaper is publishing attacks on the Bureau's temperature record and the homogenisation process. These attacks are not based on published scientific studies, but instead rely heavily on the claims of former Institute of Public Affairs fellow, biologist and blogger Jennifer Marohasy.

The attacks use the pseudoscience tactic of selecting just a few towns where the homogenisation removes artificial cooling, while ignoring more towns where both the raw and homogenised data show warming. A few potential errors in the data have been highlighted, while ignoring the fact that warming across Australia is seen in both raw and homogenised data utilising millions of individual measurements.

These attacks on the Bureau of Meteorology have combined sloppiness with denigrating professional scientists. Is the Bureau really unwilling to provide 20th century data for town of Bourke? No, that data is freely available from the Bureau's website. Was the vital Stevenson Screen dumped from the Bourke weather station in 1996? No, the Bureau's catalogue has a photo of the Stevenson Screen at Bourke's current weather station. Is the Bureau hiding its methods? No, Blair Trewin details the Bureau's methods in a scientific paper.

Despite the attacks on Bureau of Meteorology having little basis in fact, they are gaining traction amongst right wing MPs and commentators. Backbench MP George Christensen tweeted "It's time for an official investigation of Bureau's handling of temperature records". Columnist Miranda Devine has claimed the Bureau's actions are "fraudulent".

Before commentators and politicians get too excited, they should remember similar claims have been made before. In New Zealand climate change deniers launched a court case making similar claims about that country's temperature record. They lost the case and have been avoiding paying the taxpayers' costs since.


Read more: Link
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147. pcola57
10:53 PM GMT on September 09, 2014


Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6856
146. FLwolverine
10:32 PM GMT on September 09, 2014
Update: still on generator power but internet is up. More storms predicted for tomorrow. Interestingly, WU is predicting a low of -2 F on Wed night. Goodness........... !

PS. I haven't seen a lineman yet but I'll thank them when I do.
Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 2399
145. Patrap
10:06 PM GMT on September 09, 2014
New Remote-Sensing Instrument to Blaze a Trail on the International Space Station

The Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS), a new instrument that will measure the character and worldwide distribution of the tiny particles that make up haze, dust, air pollutants and smoke, will do more than gather data once it’s deployed on the International Space Station this year.
“CATS is a groundbreaking science and technology pathfinder,” said Colleen Hartman, deputy center director for science at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “Not only will it make critical measurements that will tell us more about the global impact of pollution, smoke and dust on Earth’s climate, it will demonstrate promising new technology and prove that inexpensive missions can make critical measurements needed by the modelers to predict future climate changes.”

A Technological First

Technologically, NASA has never before flown an instrument like CATS.

Developed by a Goddard team led by scientist Matt McGill, the refrigerator-size CATS will demonstrate for the first time three-wavelength laser technology for measuring volcanic particles and other aerosols from space. It is intended to operate for at least six months and up to three years aboard the Japanese Experiment Module-Exposed Facility, augmenting measurements gathered by NASA’s CALIPSO (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations) mission.

However, the big difference between the two is that CALIPSO uses two wavelengths — the 1,064- and 532-nanometer wavelengths — to study the same phenomena.
That’s not the only difference, McGill said. CATS, which was developed with NASA and Goddard research and development funding, also carries extremely sensitive detectors that can count individual photons, delivering better resolution and finer-scale details. It also will fire 5,000 laser pulses per second, using only one millijoule of energy per second. In sharp contrast, CALIPSO delivers 20 laser pulses per second, using a whopping 110 millijoules of energy in each of those pulses.

“As a pathfinder mission, what we’re trying to determine is whether the addition of the third wavelength — 355 nanometers, which is in the ultraviolet — will produce the results we expect it to generate,” McGill said. “We believe it will deliver more detailed information revealing whether the particles scientists see in the atmosphere are dust, smoke or pollution.” Though it adds an advanced capability, particularly when coupled with the new detectors, engineers believe the ultraviolet wavelength may be particularly susceptible to damage caused by contamination, McGill said.

“If you get contamination on any of your outgoing optics, they can self-destruct, and then your system’s dead,” he said. “You end up with very limited lifetime. The way to find out is to fly a relatively inexpensive payload aboard an existing platform, like the International Space Station.”
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128874
144. LowerCal
8:39 PM GMT on September 09, 2014
Quoting 141. Barefootontherocks:

The potential negative points about this water will not be realities until they happen. I am not in your head. Don't know how you see life. I have seen and felt the effects of (add: prolonged Exceptional) drought on the human psyche, though, and dwelling on the positive, even if it's only potential, helps alleviate hopelessness.
(And, no. I am not saying you are hopeless.)

bfotr, having participated in the WU blogs since 2006 you must have encountered the expression, "Hope for the best but prepare for the worst." at least a few times.

The expression, "It's just drop in the bucket." applies to JohnLonergan's point in 142.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9196
143. LowerCal
8:31 PM GMT on September 09, 2014
Quoting 140. yonzabam:

Brief, but informative Guardian article on accelerating levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, despite efforts to curtail them. Seems to have at least a couple of errors, though. 'Radiative forcing' by GHGs is stated to have increased by 34% since the early 80s. My understanding is that pre-industrial levels of GHGs warm the planet by 33C, so wouldn't the 34% figure equate to 11C? Even allowing for the time lag until positive feedbacks kick in, this is obviously wrong.
....

Hopefully this helps and someone with more fluency in the nuts and bolts of climatology can giive you a better and more complete answer and/or correct any errors I make.

"Radiative forcing" is not expressed in terms of temperature degrees. It is expressed in terms of radiant energy (sunlight). It is the difference between incoming and outgoing. So the statement in the article,

'Between 1990 and 2013 the warming effect on the planet known as "radiative forcing" due to greenhouse gases such as CO2 rose by more than a third (34%).'

means the excess of incoming solar radiation over outgoing radiation increased by 34% from 1990 to 2013.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9196
142. JohnLonergan
7:22 PM GMT on September 09, 2014
Quoting 137. LowerCal:


I hope you're not implying that I am hoping for the worst because I'm not. I just choose not to ignore the likely realities that I emphasized.





Being a realist, I prefer to deal with numbers:

1. From the article, flow in Wild Horse Creek = 200,000 gal/day
2. From USGS, average household water use = 100 gal/day

Therefore, it is obvious that the flow in Wild Horse Creek would supply a small town of 2000 people for 1 day.
This is household use only, no consideration is given to agricultural, commercial or industrial uses which generally greatly exceed household usage.

The ground water released by the seismic activity will not make a tiny dent in the water supply deficit in in California.
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3402
141. Barefootontherocks
6:30 PM GMT on September 09, 2014
Quoting 137. LowerCal:


I hope you're not implying that I am hoping for the worst because I'm not. I just choose not to ignore the likely realities that I emphasized.
The potential negative points about this water will not be realities until they happen. I am not in your head. Don't know how you see life. I have seen and felt the effects of (add: prolonged Exceptional) drought on the human psyche, though, and dwelling on the positive, even if it's only potential, helps alleviate hopelessness.
(And, no. I am not saying you are hopeless.)
Member Since: April 29, 2006 Posts: 154 Comments: 18790
140. yonzabam
6:28 PM GMT on September 09, 2014
Brief, but informative Guardian article on accelerating levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, despite efforts to curtail them. Seems to have at least a couple of errors, though. 'Radiative forcing' by GHGs is stated to have increased by 34% since the early 80s. My understanding is that pre-industrial levels of GHGs warm the planet by 33C, so wouldn't the 34% figure equate to 11C? Even allowing for the time lag until positive feedbacks kick in, this is obviously wrong.

A 34% increase in GHGs does not equate to a 34% increase in radiative forcing, as the vast majority of outgoing infrared is already being trapped by CO2, methane etc at the specific wavelengths that these gases intercept. Also, the 2013 increase in CO2 (2.9 ppm) is given as a new record, when the record El Nino year of 1998 saw the same increase, so it ties the record. Warm oceans outgas CO2, and all Earth's oceans were warmer in 1998, not just the Pacific. Also, there were massive forest fires in Indonesia that year.

Nevertheless, a 2.9 ppm increase in a non El Nino year is a tad concerning as it might indicate that the positive feedbacks that scientists have long warned us about may be starting to kick in.

We live in interesting times.

Link

Edit: I've just had a look at the NOAA site, and the 2013 increase is given as 2.05 ppm. I've no idea what to make of it.

Link
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139. LowerCal
4:47 PM GMT on September 09, 2014
Some California drought news re. action and inaction at the national level:
Drought: Five things to know about legislation stuck in Congress | 89.3 KPCC
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9196
138. bappit
4:37 PM GMT on September 09, 2014
I'm glad to see that Kevin Trenberth is not a climate weenie: "Oh, no! We must not talk about that!"

Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6061
137. LowerCal
4:37 PM GMT on September 09, 2014
Quoting 135. Barefootontherocks:

134. LowerCal

In the quote I pulled out from this article, the author used the word "potential."
I'd rather hope for the best than the worst, but that's just me. Others, of course, may not see life that way.

I hope you're not implying that I am hoping for the worst because I'm not. I just choose not to ignore the likely realities that I emphasized.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9196
136. JohnLonergan
4:36 PM GMT on September 09, 2014
Climate model simulations of the observed early-2000s hiatus of global warming

The slowdown in the rate of global warming in the early 2000s is not evident in the multi-model ensemble average of traditional climate change projection simulations1. However, a number of individual ensemble members from that set of models successfully simulate the early-2000s hiatus when naturally-occurring climate variability involving the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) coincided, by chance, with the observed negative phase of the IPO that contributed to the early-2000s hiatus. If the recent methodology of initialized decadal climate prediction could have been applied in the mid-1990s using the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 multi-models, both the negative phase of the IPO in the early 2000s as well as the hiatus could have been simulated, with the multi-model average performing better than most of the individual models. The loss of predictive skill for six initial years before the mid-1990s points to the need for consistent hindcast skill to establish reliability of an operational decadal climate prediction system.
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135. Barefootontherocks
4:19 PM GMT on September 09, 2014
134. LowerCal

In the quote I pulled out from this article, the author used the word "potential."
I'd rather hope for the best than the worst, but that's just me. Others, of course, may not see life that way.
Member Since: April 29, 2006 Posts: 154 Comments: 18790
134. LowerCal
4:15 PM GMT on September 09, 2014
Quoting 131. Barefootontherocks:

Here's an interesting result of that 6.0 earthquake near Napa, CA the other day...
Surprise bonanza since Napa quake: Dry creeks now flowing.
It is a potential bonanza for drought-plagued Vallejo, which built an emergency pipeline from Lake Berryessa in the spring after officials learned that their supply of Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta water was being cut off. The liquid infusion, which some locals have taken to calling "miracle water," bubbled up within the 1,500-acre watershed that Vallejo has exclusive rights to use.

Please excuse the horrible, transgressionary repost if someone has already posted this news.

That news is not all rosy. From further on in the very same linked article (with emphasis added by me)...

"he [Nestlerode] waits for laboratory tests to determine whether there are heavy metals or radio nuclides in the water.

"We'll use it if the tests come back in a couple of weeks and everything checks out," he said.

Alas, said Holzer, Vallejo would be best served if they don't bank on the extra H2O.

"Usually in a few weeks, maybe six to eight weeks, the creeks return to normal," he said. "There is only so much water in there. As the water table lowers, the water flow diminishes. It's like a bank account. You've just reached into the bank account and borrowed some money, but the spending spree will eventually end."

And, he said, the liquid largesse could eventually have negative consequences.

"It's an indication that the earthquake has changed the shallow groundwater system," Holzer said. "So people who have wells in the area, particularly if they are shallow wells, could find their wells going dry. That actually happened in the Loma Prieta quake."
"
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9196
133. Patrap
2:57 PM GMT on September 09, 2014

GREENHOUSE GASES AT NEW HIGH

'The Laws Of Physics Are Non-Negotiable... We Are Running Out Of Time...'

Greenhouse Gas Levels In Atmosphere Surged To New High In 2013, World Meteorological Organization Reports


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128874
132. Naga5000
4:22 AM GMT on September 09, 2014
John Cook's Ask Me Anything (AMA) thread on Reddit: Link

A few trolls there, and he repeatedly beats down the "97% consensus is a lie brigade", overall an informative and fun AMA.
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3547
131. Barefootontherocks
4:07 AM GMT on September 09, 2014
Here's an interesting result of that 6.0 earthquake near Napa, CA the other day...
Surprise bonanza since Napa quake: Dry creeks now flowing.
It is a potential bonanza for drought-plagued Vallejo, which built an emergency pipeline from Lake Berryessa in the spring after officials learned that their supply of Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta water was being cut off. The liquid infusion, which some locals have taken to calling "miracle water," bubbled up within the 1,500-acre watershed that Vallejo has exclusive rights to use.

Please excuse the horrible, transgressionary repost if someone has already posted this news.
Member Since: April 29, 2006 Posts: 154 Comments: 18790
130. bappit
3:37 AM GMT on September 09, 2014
This lecture by Veerabhadran Ramanathan at UCSD is compelling.

"Sustainability of the Bottom 3 Billion in the Context of Climate Change and SLCPs Mitigation"

part one
part two
part three
part four

The SLCP's are short lived climate pollutants, the worst of which is black carbon. In the long term CO2 is still a 500 pound (uh, gigaton?) gorilla, but SLCP mitigation would help in the short term and set a precedent for dealing with climate pollutants.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6061
129. ColoradoBob1
1:59 AM GMT on September 09, 2014
We have know idea how poorly the deniers are educated, and what their numbers are . But I fear , telling red from black is a great victory for some of them .

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128. ColoradoBob1
1:49 AM GMT on September 09, 2014
David McElroy · Top Commenter · Fresno Pacific College
Why do we keep seeing more foreign terms (like "haboob") being promoted in the media instead of more common American terms (like "dust storm")? This is just more multiculturalism forcing our language into the back seat, and eventually, obscurity.


Colorado Bob · Top Commenter · Art Students League of New York
You do know that English is a rich language ? It's growing is be cause it swallows up words like "haboob".

For example , "jury" comes from the Vikings.

A "haboob" is a giant wall of dust . a sand storm is what comes after.

"haboob" means giant wall of dust ,

In English we always go from "a giant wall of dust " to "haboob" .

That's why you have so many rich words to use . If you speak English , what will you write ?

a sand storm is what comes after

Or a "haboob"

David McElroy

Stop feeding on Am Talk Radio .
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/09/08/35644 34/phoenix-wacky-weather/
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127. ColoradoBob1
1:43 AM GMT on September 09, 2014
Quoting 125. yoboi:

# 119......If you like your ice you can keep your ice period......
All Bs aside looks like we are in a recovery.......I know...I know Cali is in a drought but looks like that will change soon.......




124. ColoradoBob1
11:28 PM GMT on September 08, 2014
SST's reach another new high
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126. riverat544
1:42 AM GMT on September 09, 2014
Quoting 125. yoboi:

# 119......If you like your ice you can keep your ice period......
All Bs aside looks like we are in a recovery.......


As I said to you before (on the previous blog IIRC) two years does not a recovery make. The 2014 Arctic sea ice minimum is going to be about equal to 2013 and it's still lower than any year before 2007. If you can still proclaim "Recovery!" in 2020 then you may have something. Until then you're just falling victim to short term variations.
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124. ColoradoBob1
11:28 PM GMT on September 08, 2014
SST's reach another new high
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123. JohnLonergan
9:25 PM GMT on September 08, 2014
News from The Commonwealth(God save it):

Massachusetts District Attorney Makes History: Recognizes Necessity of Defending Climate

This morning, a District Attorney in Massachusetts made history as he recognized the “necessity defense” of climate-related civil disobedience, and reduced the charges for two activists charged in their Lobster Boat Blockade.

Some quick background. Back in May 2013, Ken Ward and Jay O’Hara boarded their lobster boat, navigated to the shipping channel at the coal-fired Brayton Point Power Plant in southeastern Massachusetts, and dropped anchor. For six hours, the two climate activists and fishermen blocked the “Energy Enterprise” steam ship from delivering Appalachian coal from reaching the power plant.

The two were arraigned later in the year on four charges in relation to their act of civil disobedience, including conspiracy.

This morning, Ward and O’Hara were due in court, and their lawyers — along with a number of climate experts in Fall River to present testimony to the trial — had intended on using the “necessity defense” to argue that their actions were necessary to combat the greater threat of climate change.

Ward and O'Hara had sought to become the first American climate activists to use this “necessity defense”, arguing that “the blockade was necessary in light of the imminent threat of climate change.” They had planned to call former NASA climatologist James Hansen and environmentalist Bill McKibben to the stand as expert witnesses.

Scheduled for two days, the court proceedings were over in a less than an hour, as Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter immediately dropped the conspiracy charge, and reduced the other charges to civil infractions.

“The truth is that taking these sorts of actions is necessary in light of the drastic news that continues to be described by the science. This decision by the District Attorney is an admission that the political and economic system isn’t taking the climate crisis seriously, and that it falls to ordinary citizens, especially people of faith, to stand up and take action to avert catastrophe,” said O’Hara.

Read more

Emphasis added
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122. JohnLonergan
8:23 PM GMT on September 08, 2014
Climate Peril: The Intelligent Reader’s Guide to Understanding the Climate Crisis.



According to John Berger, author of the newly released book Climate Peril: The Intelligent Reader’s Guide to Understanding the Climate Crisis, time is running out. The climate is changing in ways that will bring unwanted results, and we as a species are slow off the mark to do something about it.

Climate Peril: The Intelligent Reader’s Guide to Understanding the Climate Crisis begins with a description of the global climate in the not too distant future, 2100. It is of course a guess, perhaps fiction. But Berger’s description of the world in 2100 is plausible, and much of it probable. We don’t know, of course which parts are more vs. less likely. Killer heat waves are common. Forest are dying. Wildfires are frequent and abnormally large. Natural habitats, all of them, are being destroyed by changing conditions, causing widespread species extinctions. Serious diseases well ensconced in the tropics have spread widely. Island nations and low lying continental regions are being flooded, or are already destroyed by rising seas. And more

Read more ...
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121. indianrivguy
8:06 PM GMT on September 08, 2014
Quoting 117. Patrap:



Reminds me of a inter-Galatic Kegger I attended once.






Hope you had a good time Sport...
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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.