We're changing our WunderBlogs. Learn more about this important update on our FAQ page.

Using Predictions to Plan: Case Study – La Nina and the Missouri River (1)

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 6:11 PM GMT on January 14, 2012

Using Predictions to Plan: Case Study – La Nina and the Missouri River (1)

Back in November I wrote an entry on whether or not we could use the prediction that we would have La Nina conditions in late 2011 and early 2012 to anticipate, for example, whether or not there would be a another historic flood in the Upper Missouri River. A little personal micro history: During August of 2011, I was at a meeting of a panel which is writing a report on climate modeling. That meeting included climate-savvy water managers talking about the information from climate models they might find usable. During the meeting on the news, there was the story that seasonal forecasts predicted there would La Nina conditions in late 2011 and early 2012 ( Climate Prediction Center Monthly Outlook). I asked people at the meeting how they would use this information in their planning for 2012. To be fair, this question was out of the blue, but I had this idea that this seasonal prediction was definitive information when compared with the information that comes from century-long projections from climate models. The century long climate predictions might provide information that some characteristics of El Nino and La Nina will change. With adequate analysis of this information, interpretation of the information, and then guidance or translation of this information, then informed decisions about, for example, reservoir design might be made. But I was curious, given a forecast for a particular season, what would you do?

I have introduced a lot of terms in that paragraph. I will define some of them.

First for those who need information on El Nino and La Nina, these are names given to two parts of an oscillation observed in the tropical Pacific Ocean. In the El Nino phase, the eastern Pacific, off of Peru for instance, is warm. La Nina is the opposite, the eastern tropical Pacific is cold. This is our best known example of behavior where the atmosphere and ocean behave in concert together – and we have proven that we can predict it. (NOAA LaNina Page, El Nino @ Wikipedia) We have known for some time that these changes in the Pacific cause or influence preferential weather patterns in other parts of the world. This excites people about being able to do seasonal prediction. In this case there is some oceanic forcing of the weather – or perhaps, when the ocean is considered part of the weather prediction problem, there is information about what the weather might be like for a particular season in a particular place. Concretely, for example, when there is an El Nino, people who worry about floods in California go on high alert (for example).

Translation and guidance - There is a lot of information that comes out of a weather and climate model. All practitioners of modeling know that you can’t simply read off the temperature in Des Moines 9 months from now, much less 90 years in advance. But there is the real possibility that there is usable information in the models if 1) we understand the mechanisms that are responsible for, say, stream flow in the Iowa River, and 2) we have an understanding of the ability or inability of the model to represent those mechanisms. That is, if we can find the right knowledge, often a matter of finding the right people, then we can put together this knowledge in a way that is usable. This is what I mean by translation. It is the translation of knowledge from one discipline expert to another in a way that makes that knowledge usable. That is, to provide guidance. (Lemos and Rood on Useful and Usable)

OK – going down that path I introduced another term that I think demands more explanation. Mechanisms – when we look at a specific event like the 2011 Missouri River flood, we look for what factors come together to cause the flood. In the article that was referenced in the November blog, it was pointed out that there was an extraordinary snow cover on the Great Plains, and then a lot of rain on that snow, that caused melting, and collectively the accumulation of a lot of water that had to go downstream. So in this case, by mechanisms I mean what caused the event to happen. Perhaps the most important mechanisms that a climate model must represent to be usable for regional problems are those mechanisms that provide water to that region.

I am never quite sure if my style of writing is clarifying or just more confusing, but I get enough positive feedback that I think I clarify points for some – so I hope that the way I laid out this basic information makes sense. One more term - What I want to do is to translate information from observational studies and model predictions and make that information usable by someone. From my teaching the last 7 years, I have concluded that it is this translation of information that is the most essential missing ingredient in the usability of climate knowledge. There is a LOT of information and knowledge, but it is not easy to use.

So in this entry, I want to start the process of information translation. I warn in advance that this is a hazardous path. I am going to look at a few papers, in sub-disciplines of weather and climate, in which I am not expert. Hence, I am likely to make some mistakes, and I am hoping that doing this in public, motivates corrections of those mistakes. I take off down this path, because another thing I have discovered in the past seven years is that people who are not consummate experts in a subject are analyzing information and solving problems all over the world. And, I presume to imagine that I am more expert than most, and I presume to believe people when they tell me that I am reasonably good at translating information across discipline interfaces.

So I all start the analysis– and this is not irrelevant. I flew over a swath of the Great Plains last week, and I was struck by the lack of snow. I read Jeff Master’s blog on the extreme state of the Arctic Oscillation. At the beginning of every problem I collect information. This information inventory process is essential. With a little luck, you will find information that when all brought together can be synthesized into a solution strategy or at least contribute to informed decision making. In fact, I have tried to structure a template to problem solving for a project I am involved in, and it is here at glisaclimate.org. (What’s a GLISA?) I collected together a bunch of references that I thought might inform my translation. What, I am going to do now is extract the information from some of these references.

The first paper I am going to look at is by Bunkers et al. from the Journal of Climate in 1996. I chose this paper for a couple of reasons. First, a lot has been written that 2011 Missouri River flood had a La Nina influence. And, thinking about floods, one usually thinks about did it rain a lot? This paper is something of a sanity check, do we see changes in the rain in the Missouri River basin due to La Nina?

Bunkers et al. paper focuses on the “Northern Plains,” which is approximately North and South Dakota. The Missouri River and the Red River of the North are important drainages for these states, and they were in historic flood in 2011. The authors look at data as far back as the late 1800s. That is about as long as any record that we have in the United States. The short story of their findings is that they find that during El Nino, there is significantly enhanced precipitation in the months April through October that follow the onset of the El Nino. For the La Nina phase they find significantly less precipitation for the months May through August following the onset of La Nina. However, we cannot stop with the conclusion, El Nino = wet, La Nina = dry. El Nino and La Nina are often viewed as 2 year long events, and in the second year following the onset of El Nino it is usually a bit wetter than in years with neither an El Nino or a La Nina, but during April and May of that second year it is drier than average. The second year following the onset of the La Nina, it is in general dry. There is also temperature information in the paper, but I am going to keep my focus on precipitation for now.

Let’s recall the problem we are trying to address; namely, 2011 was a La Nina year with a huge flood on the Missouri River, and another La Nina is predicted for 2012, will we have a similar flood? One of the first things it makes sense to look at is the precipitation in the Missouri River basin. This paper looks at part of the Missouri River basin, and area where there were floods, and at least as far as La Nina is concerned we would expect less, not more, spring time precipitation. This seems contradictory to our 2011 experience.

Returning to the Bunker’s et al. paper, there are years when the relation described above did not hold. Bunker’s et al. extract seemingly robust signals, but there are exceptions to the rule. The exception to the rule requires us to consider the mechanisms that might be in play for a given year. We arrive therefore, at a problem of tailoring the information for a particular application. The relation that Bunkers et al. derived between El Nino / La Nina and precipitation in North and South Dakota is quite strong. So if you look at a climate model and it tells you that there will be more or less intense El Nino and La Nina cycles a century from now, the long-term water planner for Fargo might be able to anticipate the water system needed for her grand children. The statistical information might be enough – might, it requires more thought. For a particular season, however, we can’t use this information in isolation. It is just part of the portfolio.

So we have a sanity check that tells us that, indeed, there is documented variability of precipitation in the Missouri River basin, correlated with La Nina. But, at first blush, the La Nina variability in this region is towards drier conditions. We also, know, that what determines a flood is far more complex than “it rains a lot.” So while looking at the paper above gives us some good information, it motivates me to step back and think about all of the pieces – or mechanisms – that might work in concert to produce a flood. And it motivates me to seek whether or not such events are happenstance, or whether we can use our knowledge to anticipate, better, such extreme events. This series of blogs will go on for a while.

Figure 1. Characteristic position of wintertime jet streams during La Nina. From ClimateWatch Magazine: “The jet streams are high-altitude, racing rivers of air that can influence the path of storms as they track over North America from the Pacific Ocean. The jet streams meander and shift from day to day, but during La Niña events, they tend to follow paths that bring cold air and storms into the Upper Missouri River Basin. Map based on original graphics from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. Adapted by Richard Rivera & Hunter Allen.”

Pilot Project on La Nina and the Missouri River Basin.

Link to webinars.

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 389 - 339

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8Blog Index

388. Neapolitan
7:40 PM GMT on January 31, 2012
Quoting NeapolitanFan:
I didn't seen any comment from Neapolitan about this member of the IPCC gaining a little objectivity:

The book is lauded as a "bestseller", but that's not too impressive given that it's not even the number one book on the German Amazon site. In the "Science" category. In the "Environment" subcategory. (It doesn't appear in the overall German top 100 on Amazon, meaning it's got less traction than that, say, #96 barnburner Pig's head al dente: A provincial crime)

At any rate, the science isn't about whether Big Energy has spent enough money on its PR campaign to successfully confuse the majority of people, is it?

Whatever. You denialists may want to hold off fully praising the book until you read it...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
387. Some1Has2BtheRookie
6:54 PM GMT on January 31, 2012
Quoting NeapolitanFan:
A perfect vehicle for Neapolitan, but I'm sure he'll find a way to show that it produces the demonic gas, CO2. I'd be interested in knowing what he drives now.


From the article:
"This seems like an eco-dream come true, a car the runs on air developed in India." - I would suggest that if someone is going to write such an article that they do a better job of writing. - "a car the runs"

What I find to be more amazing than the car is that India has developed air. ... I wonder if this air comes in different flavors?

All you need to do, J, is to read the "comments section", below the article. Seriously, I wish this was a game changer but, unfortunately, this does not appear to be the case. I do like that you are looking at alternatives. That, in itself, is a game changer.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
384. Patrap
6:12 PM GMT on January 31, 2012
.."if we are not capable of that, then the Computer"..
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
380. Neapolitan
5:16 PM GMT on January 31, 2012
Climate change indicator #11,413:

Drought May Cause Shutdown of Texas Rice Production

Although recent rains have put a dent in the Texas drought, a day of reckoning looms for the state’s long-grain rice growers, who pump millions into the economy in Southeast Texas each year and account for about 5 percent of America’s rice production. Come March 1, if there is less than 850,000 acre-feet of water in reservoirs along the Lower Colorado River, water managers will be forced to take the unprecedented step of withholding water from agricultural users, which will mean severe cuts to Texas rice production this year.

According to Bob Rose, chief meteorologist with the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), it’s unlikely that enough rain will fall between now and March 1 to reach the 850,000 acre-feet threshold that was established by a recent agreement between the authority and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. An acre-foot is the amount of water required to cover one acre of land to a depth of one foot, and it amounts to about 326,000 gallons.

As of January 30, the highland lakes that serve as the area’s reservoirs held about 758,000 acre-feet.

"This is going to be a huge, huge deal," Rose said during a presentation at the annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society in New Orleans. "What’s going to happen is that there will be no water for agriculture in Texas this year."

Driving the Lower Colorado River Authority’s decision-making is the need to ensure there is enough water to meet the demand from Austin, the rapidly growing state capital that is completely reliant on water from the Lower Colorado River, as well as other municipalities and users, such as electric utilities that need water to run power plants.

Full article here.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
379. percylives
3:48 PM GMT on January 31, 2012
From the New York Times and written by New Orleanian, Randy Fertel.

The Mississippi River Delta Must Be Restored

New Orleans

THE Mississippi River Delta loses the equivalent of a football field of marshland every hour as it melts into the Gulf of Mexico. Over the last 75 years, we’ve lost the equivalent of the state of Delaware to erosion.

We have a chance to stop this disaster and protect the delta, where much of the nation’s seafood is spawned. But for this to happen, Congress must turn over billions in penalties, expected from the BP oil spill, to the Gulf of Mexico states for the restoration of the delta’s wetlands.

Since the 19th century, the Army Corps of Engineers has channelized the Mississippi River to improve navigation while avoiding the expense of dredging. But the levees built for that goal deprived the marsh of the alluvial silt that nurtured it over millenniums. After the epic 1927 flood, the corps raised the levees higher still. Starved of silt, the marshes are now subsiding into the gulf.

On top of that, sulfur, natural gas and oil production companies have, since the 1930s, dug close to 10,000 miles of canals into the delta, gaining direct routes to their mineral wealth. These canals brought saltwater deep into the wetlands, killing marsh grasses and encouraging tidal and wave action that eroded banks. Like the pelican, our state bird that, legend has it, feeds its young with its own blood, the Mississippi River Delta has sacrificed itself for the good of the nation. But the nation has not repaid in kind.

Disaster and rebirth is an old story around here. My family has lived that cycle for generations. After the hurricane of 1915, the family spent three weeks on the levee, the only high ground, their cattle and rice, ready to harvest, washed away. Life was hard. But it was also the land of plenty. In deltaic mud 200 feet deep, they farmed rice, indigo and oranges. They hunted and fished. In the Depression, according to my mother, who would later found Ruth’s Chris Steak House, “We never knew we were poor. There was always plenty of food for the taking.”

What is happening to the delta today is a national crisis. Twenty percent of the seafood caught in the United States in 2009 came from the gulf. (That dropped to 16 percent in 2010, when vast areas of the gulf were closed.) Ninety percent of that catch depends on the wetlands for some part of its life cycle.

The BP spill occurred at just the moment and at just the spot offshore where the magnificent but endangered bluefin tuna spawns. Chances are we’ve lost at least one generation of bluefin. (Sushi fans, think, no more toro.) Another sure sign of loss is how hard oysters are to come by. Oysters have been a mainstay in the seafood gumbo with which my Plaquemines Parish family begins our festive dinners. This December, oysters for my Christmas dressing came from a friend in Galveston, Tex.

The oil spill may prove to be one too many disasters for the return of the Plaquemines Parish my family once knew — unless we see it as an urgent opportunity for changes long overdue.

The future of all our shellfish and fisheries — shrimp, oyster, redfish, pompano, speckled trout — hinges on restoration of the delta wetlands using the billions that BP and other companies could end up owing. Since a hurricane’s storm surge is reduced by the wetlands it travels across — by as much as a foot for every two and a half miles, according to some scientists — the longevity of New Orleans also relies on the wetlands’ restoration. How else to get all that grain from the heartland to international markets?

President Obama recently signed legislation appropriating $9.6 million for restoration studies in the Louisiana coastal area. But we already know how to restore the delta: by diverting the silt-laden Mississippi waters into the wetlands. Pilot river diversion programs are already building wetlands. At Wax Lake at the mouth of the Atchafalaya River, a natural diversion of the Mississippi, silt has built 25 square miles of new wetlands — which would cut a storm surge headed for inland cities and towns by many feet.

The moment is ripe. The Obama administration has called for using BP’s fines for coastal restoration. The bipartisan Restore the Gulf Coast Act of 2011 was approved by a key Senate committee in September, but has not come to a vote there or in the House. If it passes, 80 percent of the Clean Water Act penalties against BP would go to the injured parties — the gulf states.

Senator Mary Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana, rightly argues that the lion’s share should be used to restore the delta wetlands, a national treasure that suffered the most harm from the BP oil spill. All that’s needed now is a sense of purpose and the political will.

Randy Fertel is the author of “The Gorilla Man and the Empress of Steak: A New Orleans Family Memoir.”

Two comments:

1) Plaquemines is my home parish and holds so many wonderful memories it brings tears to my eyes thinking of its present condition and its future. Towns and ways of life are already being destroyed by climate change in the USA.

2) Close to a quote of Mike Tidwell, author of "Bayou Farewell", at a post-Katrina news conference,"If you're not going to rebuild the marshlands surrounding New Orleans, don't spend a dime rebuilding the city. And if you're not going to seriously address the problem of global warming and sea level rise, don't spend a dime rebuilding the marshlands surrounding New Orleans." When will Congress get their collective head out of the oil sand and act on climate change? Are we doomed to losing our coastal cities?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
378. Neapolitan
3:21 PM GMT on January 31, 2012
Quoting NeapolitanFan:
Hansen's climate models are no better than a Ouija board when it comes to predicting land and sea temperatures:

Here, have a read.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
377. Neapolitan
3:13 PM GMT on January 31, 2012
Quoting hcubed:

You wouldn't happen to have the chart showing the growing zones for the U.S. during the last Ice Age, would you?

Parts of Minnesota are currently in zone 3a. During the last Ice Age, it was covered by a 3.5 to 4 km thick ice sheet.

I'll bet that really messed up their growing season...
Your point being...?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
376. hcubed
2:38 PM GMT on January 31, 2012
Quoting Neapolitan:
Climate change indicator #5,765:Full article here.

You wouldn't happen to have the chart showing the growing zones for the U.S. during the last Ice Age, would you?

Parts of Minnesota are currently in zone 3a. During the last Ice Age, it was covered by a 3.5 to 4 km thick ice sheet.

I'll bet that really messed up their growing season...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
374. RevElvis
2:54 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
"Volcanoes may have sparked Little Ice Age"


(I don't brake for trolls)

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
373. Neapolitan
12:08 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
Quoting NeapolitanFan:

No matter how much you deny it, the global temperature has been stagnant for the past fifteen years.
Aw, jeez, this again? No matter how much you deny it, the global temperature has been rising for the past fifteen years.
Quoting NeapolitanFan:

Now warmists deny actual data even from warmist sites such as the UK Met Office.
Oh, bad news; you may want to actually check in with the UK Met Office before you rely on them to substantiate your denialist fantasies:

Today the Mail on Sunday published a story written by David Rose entitled 'Forget global warming -- it's Cycle 25 we need to worry about'.

This article includes numerous errors in the reporting of published peer reviewed science undertaken by the Met Office Hadley Centre and for Mr. Rose to suggest that the latest global temperatures available show no warming in the last 15 years is entirely misleading.

"...what is absolutely clear is that we have continued to see a trend of warming, with the decade of 2000-2009 being clearly the warmest in the instrumental record going back to 1850. Depending on which temperature records you use, 2010 was the warmest year on record for NOAA NCDC and NASA GISS, and the second warmest on record in HadCRUT3.'

...although solar output is likely to reduce over the next 90 years this will not substantially delay expected increases in global temperatures caused by greenhouse gases. The...expected decrease in solar activity would only most likely cause a reduction in global temperatures of 0.08 C. This compares to an expected warming of about 2.5 C over the same period due to greenhouse gases (according to the IPCC's B2 scenario for greenhouse gas emissions that does not involve efforts to mitigate emissions). In addition the study also showed that if solar output reduced below that seen in the Maunder Minimum -- a period between 1645 and 1715 when solar activity was at its lowest observed level -- the global temperature reduction would be 0.13C."



And there you have it straight from the horse's mouth. And of course we won't see you or any others denying this; after all, it would be incredibly dishonest to believe the folks at the UK Met Office when their words have been twisted, while then disbelieving what they actually said, right?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
372. iceagecoming
11:33 PM GMT on January 30, 2012
Thanks Tony.
Best part at the end>

She argued it is becoming evident that factors other than CO2 play an important role in rising or falling warmth, such as the 60-year water temperature cycles in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

‘They have insufficiently been appreciated in terms of global climate,’ said Prof Curry. When both oceans were cold in the past, such as from 1940 to 1970, the climate cooled. The Pacific cycle ‘flipped’ back from warm to cold mode in 2008 and the Atlantic is also thought likely to flip in the next few years .

Pal Brekke, senior adviser at the Norwegian Space Centre, said some scientists found the importance of water cycles difficult to accept, because doing so means admitting that the oceans – not CO2 – caused much of the global warming between 1970 and 1997.

The same goes for the impact of the sun – which was highly active for much of the 20th Century.

‘Nature is about to carry out a very interesting experiment,’ he said. ‘Ten or 15 years from now, we will be able to determine much better whether the warming of the late 20th Century really was caused by man-made CO2, or by natural variability.’

Meanwhile, since the end of last year, world temperatures have fallen by more than half a degree, as the cold ‘La Nina’ effect has re-emerged in the South Pacific.

‘We’re now well into the second decade of the pause,’ said Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. ‘If we don’t see convincing evidence of global warming by 2015, it will start to become clear whether the models are bunk. And, if they are, the implications for some scientists could be very serious.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-209 3264/Forget-global-warming--Cycle-25-need-worry-NA SA-scientists-right-Thames-freezing-again.html#ixz z1kzHPsxkw

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
371. iceagecoming
11:26 PM GMT on January 30, 2012
Global Warming Update #5799

January 30, 2012
Cold Weather Kills 14 Across Eastern Europe

VOA News

Freezing weather has killed at least 14 people throughout eastern Europe as temperatures plummeted over the past few days and are expected to drop even further.

Police in Poland said Monday at least 10 people froze to death as the cold weather dropped to minus 26 Celsius. Authorities say until now, the winter in the country had been unusually mild.

In central Serbia, three people died from cold exposure over the weekend.

And in neighboring Bulgaria, at least one person froze to death. The country declared a "Code Orange" weather alert in most districts. At least two towns are reporting record low temperatures.


Death Toll is reported as 36 though sadly likely much higher.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
369. RevElvis
9:49 PM GMT on January 30, 2012
Climate Change - Has The Earth Been Cooling?


(I don't brake for trolls!)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
368. RevElvis
9:41 PM GMT on January 30, 2012
Climate Change Threatens Civilization (parts 1 through 3)

Link to Part 1

Link to Part 2

Link to Part 3 (Austin Post)

(I don't brake for trolls!)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
366. Patrap
7:21 PM GMT on January 30, 2012
Seems that "shaken and stirred" thing has a limit..

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
365. martinitony
7:20 PM GMT on January 30, 2012
Quoting cyclonebuster:

Nice cherry picking of chart data. Try this one!

The most interesting thing about your chart is that it doesn't support your thesis.

The increase in average temperature from about 1910 to about 1935 has more velocity than from about 1975-2000. How do you try to explain this?

Then it stops for about a dozen years. How do you explain that?

If you believe that CO2 is the major factor in the increase and with CO2 increases accelerating, why then do we have actual decreases in average temperatures over extended periods and a total stop for more than a decade now?

We all know that the Earth has been warming for the last couple hundred years, but the early part can't be explained by CO2. All of the increase seems to fit an overall warming trend, but not a trend caused by CO2.

I am using your cherries. I hope that is OK with you.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
363. Neapolitan
5:34 PM GMT on January 30, 2012
Quoting NeapolitanFan:
No measurable global temperature increase in 15 years according to the MET office:

Cherry-picking (chair'-ee--pik'-ing) - verb (trans-intrans) 1. the activity of selecting and/or presenting only that data which supports ones point of view, while intentionally omitting and/or de-emphasizing that which does not.
Grasping at Straws (grass'-ping at strahz') - idiom (trans-intrans) 1. to make a futile attempt at something when nothing else chosen has worked, nor is likely to.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
360. Patrap
4:54 PM GMT on January 30, 2012
Climate Change in Arctic could Trigger Domino Effect Around the World

By Lawrence Villamar | January 30, 2012 4:00 PM EST
Professor Carlos Duarte, a leading scientist from The University of Western Australia, says human kind is set to face dire consequences as the first signs of climate change manifest in the Arctic. He says the region is approaching “a series of ‘tipping points’” that could trigger a domino effect of climate change on Earth.

In a paper, the lead author Professor Duarte, who is also the Director of the University’s Oceans Institute, said the Arctic region contained arguably the greatest concentration of potential tipping elements for global climate change.

“If set in motion, they can generate profound climate change which places the Arctic not at the periphery but at the core of the Earth system,” Professor Carlos Duarte said. “There is evidence that these forces are starting to be set in motion.”

“This has major consequences for the future of human kind as climate change progresses.”

Professor Duarte said the loss of Arctic summer sea ice forecast over the next four decades was expected to have abrupt knock-on effects in northern mid-latitudes, including Beijing, Tokyo, London, Moscow, Berlin and New York.
Research showed that the Arctic was warming at three times the global average and the loss of sea ice, which had melted faster in summer than predicted, was linked tentatively to recent extreme cold winters in Europe.

Professor Duarte said the most dangerous aspect of Arctic climate change was the risk of passing critical “tipping points”.

Arctic records showed unambiguously that sea ice volume had declined dramatically over the past two decades, Professor Duarte said. In the next 10 years, summer sea ice could be largely confined to north of coastal Greenland and Ellesmere Island, and was likely to disappear entirely by mid-century.

“Some environmental and biological elements may be linked in a domino effect of tipping points that cascade rapidly once the summer sea ice is lost,” Professor Duarte said.

However, semantic confusion masquerading as scientific debate had delayed an urgent need to start managing the reality of dangerous climate change in the Arctic, Professor Duarte said.

A drop in Arctic ice had opened new shipping routes, expanded oil, gas and mineral exploitation, increased military and research use, and led to new harbours, houses, roads, airports, power stations and other support facilities

It had triggered a new gold rush to access these resources, with recent struggles by China, Brazil and India to join the Arctic Council where the split of these resources was being discussed.

But increased deposits of black carbon (soot) from coal-burning power stations and stoves on snow and ice had accelerated warming and ice melt.

Top predators such as polar bears were declining, more methane gas was entering the atmosphere as permafrosts and submarine methane hydrates thawed, freshwater discharge had increase 30 per cent recent years and the Arctic Sea was warming faster as the ice cap melted, trapping more solar heat instead of reflecting it back into space.

In the subarctic region, dieback of the boreal forest and desiccation of peat deposits leading to uncontrolled peat fires (such as those that affected Russia in the summer of 2010) would further enhance greenhouse gas emissions.

Professor Duarte said the rate of Arctic climate change was now faster than ecosystems and traditional Arctic societies could adapt to.

The Arctic was expected to stop being a carbon dioxide sink and become a source of greenhouse gases if seawater temperatures rose 4-5ºC.

“It represents a test of our capacity as scientists, and as societies to respond to abrupt climate change,” Professor Duarte said.

“We need to stop debating the existence of tipping points in the Arctic and start managing the reality of dangerous climate change.

“We argue that tipping points do not have to be points of no return.

“Several tipping points, such as the loss of summer sea ice, may be reversible in principle − although hard in practice.

“However, should these changes involve extinction of key species − such as polar bears, walruses, ice-dependent seals and more than 1000 species of ice algae − the changes could represent a point of no return.

“Confusion distracts attention from the urgent need to focus on developing early warning indicators of abrupt climate change, address its human causes and rebuild resilience in climate, ecosystems and communities.”

Duarte’s paper was published in the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ journal AMBIO and a parallel commentary is available in Nature Climate Change.

Source: University of Western Australia

To contact the editor, e-mail: editor@ibtimes.com
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
359. Patrap
4:48 PM GMT on January 30, 2012

Must be a cleaning day over at da Bunker.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
357. iceagecoming
4:20 PM GMT on January 30, 2012


http://occupydc.org/jan-30th-occupy-dc-will-defen d-our-home-and-our-dream/

Let's see if Nobama and crew step in to save the tents.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
356. iceagecoming
4:14 PM GMT on January 30, 2012
Protesters trap Gillard and Abbott

AAP and Yahoo!7 January 26, 2012, 3:55 pm

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has put on a brave face to host ambassadors at the Lodge after a tumultuous afternoon when she was mobbed by protesters.

Ms Gillard said she was fine following the incident in which a large group of Aboriginal protesters converged on an emergency services awards function she was attending with Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.

"The only thing that angers me is that it distracted from such a wonderful event with great people from emergency services," she said.

Wild scenes broke out at the Canberra restaurant where nearly 200 protesters trapped Ms Gillard and Mr Abbott before police arrived to clear a passage for the pair.

The protesters, from the nearby Aboriginal tent embassy, banged on the three glass sides of The Lobby restaurant chanting "shame" and "racist".

Probably not enough for the locals in her new carbon tax ponzi scheme>

another liberal under attack.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
355. Neapolitan
3:54 PM GMT on January 30, 2012
Quoting greentortuloni:
Business is noticing climate change.

OK another 'popular' link though it does have a link to the underlying paper. But the point is that business is starting to believe.

I wonder how long it takes after buiness starts to believe that all the denialists will start denying they are denailists:

"What? Me, a denialist? I always believed in global warming! This is a plot by ... [hmm, interesting question? who would blame then? probably still blame the liberal pinko communists]... the liberal pinko communists!"
Your guess about what future denialists will say is probably accurate--and the complicit conservative press will be right there backing them up. :-\
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
354. greentortuloni
3:04 PM GMT on January 30, 2012
Business is noticing climate change.

OK another 'popular' link though it does have a link to the underlying paper. But the point is that business is starting to believe.

I wonder how long it takes after buiness starts to believe that all the denialists will start denying they are denailists:

"What? Me, a denialist? I always believed in global warming! This is a plot by ... [hmm, interesting question? who would blame then? probably still blame the liberal pinko communists]... the liberal pinko communists!"
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
353. Neapolitan
1:29 PM GMT on January 30, 2012
Quoting iceagecoming:
Occupy congress pits liberals against anarchists.


Hmm, the 99.9 %
Nice try there, sparky. But the President of the most powerful nation on the planet just last week gave a State of the Union address that was in very large part shaped by the demands of the very Occupy movement you ridicule.

Imagine that. ;-)

The Tea Party movement, so strong just a few short years ago, is practically gone now, a victim of infighting, bickering, and--most of all--its strong anti-everything stance. Meanwhile, the Occupy movement grows stronger each day, because people (a majority of them, anyway, which is all that matters) are starting to realize that the pro-corporate status quo is driving this country to ruin, and must be stopped. Plutocracies may be just peachy to plutocrats and those disillusioned enough to believe they'll be allowed to sit at the table if only they beg and grovel enough, but most people recognize the inherent unfairness in them.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
352. martinitony
1:22 PM GMT on January 30, 2012
A Different View Cycle 25
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
351. Neapolitan
1:16 PM GMT on January 30, 2012
Quoting Ossqss:
Quite the interesting list of this weeks info on said topics. Check it out for yourself.

Quote of the Week:
"...we redistribute de facto the worlds wealth by climate policy. One has to free oneself from
the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to
do with environmental policy anymore" IPCC co-chair of Working Group 3, Dr. Ottmar

Ya think some will do the character assassination thing? Lots of characters to try and hit in the references !

The Week That Was: 2012-1-28 (January 28, 2012)

Get ready for the new Monthly Global Temp info coming to a blog near you :)

Oh, can't forget the video, and ignore the animated bar charts ~

Make it a good week -- >> L8R

That Endenhoffer bit would make a lot more sense as "Quote of the Week" if it had actually been made this week rather than the middle of November, 2010. In fact, to be truthful, maybe it should be called "Quote of 62 Weeks Ago"?

Wait, who am I kidding? Denialists? Truthful? Ha! ;-)

The Endenhoffer quote has been repeated out of context so many times as to be laughable, and then some. And, of course, when doing so, no one ever includes the first part of Endenhoffer's remark. Endenhoffer was simply stating that rich nations had expropriated--that is, stolen--natural resources from countries with lots of them, including the air they breathe. IOW, China and the U.S. and other high carbon polluters have stolen clean air from all nations, and replaced it with CO2 for which we're all paying a price. His common sense suggestion is that those high-polluting nations need to start paying their fair share to clean up their messes. Who--except a Koch-loving fool--could possibly disagree with that on any grounds?

One thing I've never understood is why "redistribution of wealth" from the rich to the poor is sneered at as vile socialism, while the ongoing and rapacious "redistribution of wealth" from the poor to the rich we've been witnessing all these decades is patted lovingly on the head and called good ol' American capitalism. Care to explain? (And please feel free to use any 1980s music videos you wish.)

P.S. -- Pointing out the non-credibility of a person who is being presented as credible isn't "character assasination"; it's due diligence.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
350. Xandra
12:47 PM GMT on January 30, 2012

Full size
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
349. iceagecoming
12:04 PM GMT on January 30, 2012
Occupy congress pits liberals against anarchists.

The protest permit would have allowed 10,000, but the Associated Press is reporting that the Occupy march on the West Lawn of the Capitol ended up drawing just a few hundred activists yesterday. Some of the low turnout can be chalked up to the bad weather, but you’d think people who willingly sleep outside for weeks at a time wouldn’t be so deterred by a little rain.

The underlying problem may be that the movement is having some serious identity issues, now that the curious onlookers and fair-weather supporters have checked out for the winter. Right now the Occupiers have fizzled down to two core elements: professional liberal activists and radical anarchists. Needless to say, they’re having a hard time agreeing on which path the movement should head down:

The Occupy movement includes activists who want to change government from within and anarchists who oppose all government. Tension between the two camps was evident at Tuesday’s gathering, where some taunted police while others participated in earnest group discussions about how to influence their elected representatives.

Anne Filson, 71, a retired teacher from Madison, N.H., said she was disappointed by the turnout and said Occupy protesters needed to stick to their core message of narrowing the gap between rich and poor. Protesters did not help the cause by carrying profane signs and antagonizing police, she said.

“What I regret about some of the Occupy movements is the dilution of the message,” Filson said. “A lot of Occupy people have to realize that they’re being counterproductive.”

The future of the Occupy movement depends on whether the earnest activist-types like Filson stick around. They’re obviously frustrated at the lack of direct political action and the violent antagonism. The problem is, their goal – to dramatically increase the size of government – is in direct conflict with the goal of the radical anarchists. One of these groups is going to have to win out for control of the movement’s direction–and my money is on the extremists.


Convicted eco-terrorist re-emerges in Southeast Portland

A convicted eco-terrorist has re-emerged in a Southeast Portland neighborhood.

Tre Arrow, also known as Michael Scarpitti, climbed a 50-foot tree Sunday on SE 44th and SE Stark Street and sat there for hours, shouting about the environment.

"It's pretty nuts he's doing all this just to get a point across," said onlooker Tara Stargrove.

"I think it's great, I've got all my neighbors over here, we're serving wine and bringing our porch chairs out," said neighbor Marisa Martin.

This is the first time we have heard from, or seen, Arrow since his release from prison in June of 2009.

Arrow rose to infamy when he climbed atop a Portland building to protest a timber sale, and most recently served time for firebombing trucks at a local logging company.

Arrow refused to climb down from the tree Sunday, despite several efforts by firefighters. Crews say after getting close to Arrow he claimed he wanted media attention regarding a message about nature, and he did not want to leave the tree with the firefighters.

Crews quickly called for a representative from Project Respond, who works with mental health patients, to confirm that he was not suicidal. Once the representative was on scene, firefighters accompanied her in the bucket back up to talk with the man. It was determined that he was not suicidal, nor was he a danger to himself or others.

"Our number one priority is safety. Once we determined the man was not suicidal we did not want to take any action that could cause harm to him or to firefighters." said Chief Dan Buckner.

After finally climbing down from the tree, Arrow told FOX 12 he stepped back into the public eye to redirect the Occupy Portland movement.

"When we think about the 99 percent, we need to think about every tree, every plant and every animal. If you occupy the heart, then you get connected to what's important. You realize this earth is worth protecting and saving."

Arrow says until a change is made, he plans to continue to find extreme ways to make his voice heard.

"You can look for me in the trees, I will see you soon."

CopyrightKPTV 2011. All rights reserved.


Hmm, the 99.9 %
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
348. greentortuloni
11:53 AM GMT on January 30, 2012

Interesting: the UN tries to create a plan for the future.

I haven't read the report but I think at least opening the dialogue is good because I think we have to all agree on some version of a future that is fair and sustainable. This rat race we are in now can't be the future. Not that I think the UN is capable of a managing anything particularly or understanding futurology but the dialogue is good.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
347. Ossqss
3:28 AM GMT on January 30, 2012
Quite the interesting list of this weeks info on said topics. Check it out for yourself.

Quote of the Week:
"...we redistribute de facto the worlds wealth by climate policy. One has to free oneself from
the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to
do with environmental policy anymore" IPCC co-chair of Working Group 3, Dr. Ottmar

Ya think some will do the character assassination thing? Lots of characters to try and hit in the references !

The Week That Was: 2012-1-28 (January 28, 2012)

Get ready for the new Monthly Global Temp info coming to a blog near you :)

Oh, can't forget the video, and ignore the animated bar charts ~

Make it a good week -- >> L8R

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
346. Neapolitan
2:26 AM GMT on January 30, 2012
Quoting NeapolitanFan:

The University of VA used over $500k in taxpayer dollars refusing to release Mikey's email, because, they said, it would be too expensive. What were they hiding? It was later learned, the expense was less then $9000, but they spent half a million fighting it. Who is spending the dollars? They must have been worried that releasing the email would stop the flow of government dollars to their coffers.
Allow me to try this again:

"Despite a hard-nosed corruption investigation led by Virginia Attorney General (and prominent climate denier) Ken Cuccinelli, every judicial body to examine the Mann case thus far, including several Virginia courts, the National Science Foundation [PDF], and a Penn State ethics panel, has rejected allegations that the professor fraudulently obtained public research dollars."

There's nothing there. Mann has been cleared. It's been proven over and over again. For Cuccinelli to keep wasting taxpayer dollars just shows how pathetic he is.
Witch hunt (wich' hunt') - metaphor (coined 1932) 1. The act of seeking and persecuting any perceived enemy, particularly when the search is conducted using extreme measures and with little regard to actual guilt or innocence.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
345. Patrap
11:16 PM GMT on January 29, 2012
Global Upper Ocean Heat Content is Rising

While ocean heat content varies significantly from place to place and from year-to-year (as a result of changing ocean currents and natural variability), there is a strong trend during the period of reliable measurements. Increasing heat content in the ocean is also consistent with sea level rise, which is occurring mostly as a result of thermal expansion of the ocean water as it warms.

Time series of seasonal (red dots) and annual average (black line) of global upper ocean heat content for the 0-700m layer since 1955. More information: BAMS State of the Climate in 2009.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
343. Neapolitan
9:12 PM GMT on January 29, 2012
Quoting NeapolitanFan:
It's getting deep for Mikey Mann. What's he hiding?

Hiding? Nothing. But I can tell you who will be hiding: Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, an obsessed loser who has squandered tax dollar after tax dollar in a still-fruitless witch hunt. I suspect that while Cuccinelli may linger as a denialist darling for some time to come, his time in a position of real power will shortly be stripped due to his misuse and abuse of office. And good riddance.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
340. iceagecoming
6:23 PM GMT on January 29, 2012
Global warming update # 5798

Gas use breaks record in Turkey

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
The need for natural gas is rising as heavy snow paralyses most of Turkey. DHA photo

The need for natural gas is rising as heavy snow paralyses most of Turkey. DHA photo
Due to the unseasonably chilly winter weather, Turkey broke a natural gas consumption record on Jan. 16, consuming 178 million cubic meters of natural gas.

Energy Ministry officials, however, said an 8 to 10 million cubic meter deficit is not a cause for concern and the deficit stems from the fact that people have consumed more electricity leading to a strain on the natural gas conversion plants, which convert natural gas to electricity. The situation is expected to be resolved by Jan. 21, according to officials.

“This period has not affected residential and industrial natural gas usage and will not affect usage going forward,” the officials said.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s state-run pipeline company Botaş’ Executive Board Director and General Manager Fazıl Şenel said the news regarding Botaş urging citizens in the Marmara and Ege regions to move toward secondary fuel sources was partly true.

“There is missing information though. Our citizens need not be concerned. There is no likelihood of natural gas being shut down in either residential or industrial establishments,” he said, adding that companies which were capable of producing electricity for a three to four-day period with secondary fuel sources like oil had already begun to do so.

“It is only for these firms we have applied the natural gas reduction to. This does not affect the average citizen,” said Şenel.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
339. Neapolitan
5:50 PM GMT on January 29, 2012
Quoting NeapolitanFan:
A great summary concerning the fallacy of AGW:

If by "great" you mean a difficult-to-read collage of gawdy graphics mixed with every denialist trope of the past 30 years, then, yes, it's great. Egads, what a mess...

I have respect for Rutan's earlier aircraft designs--and, in fact, flew one back in the 90s. But the poor guy has aged into just another conspiracy theory-loving anti-government crank. It's sad, really; it's like watching Leonardo da Vinci pick up fortune-telling in his old age.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 389 - 339

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8Blog Index

Top of Page

Dr. Ricky Rood's Climate Change Blog

About RickyRood

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

Ad Blocker Enabled