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Organization, Presence: Adaptive Management in the Trump Administration

By: Dr. Ricky Rood, 10:00 PM GMT on February 03, 2017

Organization, Presence: Adaptive Management in the Trump Administration

Once again, I woke feeling great. Decided I need to think about how to manage my career or, well perhaps, what’s left of it. Think I am going back to my EOS editorial and see if any of what I said made sense.

I am one of those people who feel that there is value of organization and management in our science enterprise. This has been an albatross around the neck of my career; I again and again find myself wandering around on deck imagining how to organize the vital fragments. I have this tedious mantra that organization emerges from complex systems, and that we can do things to seed, fertilize, and accelerate that emergence. It’s not hard to collect scientists together, but it is hard to organize scientists.

We are at a moment when organization will be critical to how the U.S. science enterprise appears in 4 years, 8 years, and 12 years. What I am going to attempt to do in this blog is to think about how to monitor and manage what, presently, feels like convulsions from one outrage to the next.

President Trump: I have seen several analyses of President’s Trump’s psychology, personality, motivations, tactics, and intents. I especially like the articles that say that President Trump’s logic and reason defy understanding. These are people looking to use their models of logic and reason, perhaps even norms of behavior they consider to be established decorum and protocol, and they find no way to frame President Trump’s behavior into compact, rational models.

What we know is that President Trump makes statements that outrage, disrupt, and divert. The statements are often dismissive, insulting, and hurtful. Some statements seem contradictory; many, however, are quite consistent what Mr. Trump has said that he would do. They could be viewed as chaos, “behavior so unpredictable as to appear random, owing to great sensitivity to small changes in conditions.”

We, also, know that we cannot control what Mr. Trump says, and it is unlikely we will evolve to an understanding that allows intuition of his motivations, logic, and reason. In fact, it is reasonable to assume that if we get to a point where we can predict what will come next, then he will change. Being unpredictable is an attribute; chaos is a style of management, of leadership, of negotiation.

What we can control is how we evaluate and respond.

When trying to manage chaos generated by a leader, it is important to monitor the difference between what is being said and what is being done. What is the difference between words and behavior? In the case of a large organization or, in this case, a government, it is essential to look at those who are actually carrying out the operations on the ground – the behavior.

In my course on climate change, I have a short module on argumentation and rhetoric. Understanding the tactics and motivation of, for instance, someone opposed to making greenhouse gas reductions is critical. The motivation is disruption of policy considered, perhaps, damaging to their industry. The tactic is to take on the credibility, legitimacy and robustness of scientists and science-based investigation. While scientists engage in the reaction and diversion defending scientific knowledge and their personal integrity, the disruption of policy development is achieved. Scientists become engaged in efforts to better communicate and complete their knowledge-based results, but the other side of the argument is not really interested in a knowledge-based reconciliation.

One of the most usable analyses of Trump’s use of language I have seen comes from linguist George Lakoff. In a radio interview, Lakoff deconstructs Trump’s tactics. Two common tactics are diversion, to turn your attention away from the important issue, and deflection, attacking and discrediting the messenger.

Chaos as a management tool is well known. Some of us at NASA in the 1990s viewed Administrator Dan Goldin as a practitioner of chaos management. The NASA history states Goldin was taking on a “bloated bureaucracy” through “aggressive management reform.” Familiar words. (I like to remind people that Goldin served as the NASA Administrator the entire Clinton-Gore Administration, with large reductions to the Earth Observing System budget. Partisanship is often not so easy.)

Deflection, diversion, and disruption are tactics of chaos management. They are counterintuitive to the definition of “managed.” They offend our norms of diplomacy, protocol, and decorum. We are affronted and outraged. We respond at an emotional level, and that allows those waiting for the diversion, the operatives, to go into action.

What we can control is how we evaluate and respond. Organization and discipline will be critical attributes for an effective response to the Trump administration’s efforts to deconstruct not only President Obama’s climate actions, but also to weaken a generation of environmental law. Critical in effective response is to depersonalize that which is dismissive, insulting, and hurtful.

What is most clear in the Trump environmental agenda is to damage and diminish the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). At the top of the list are Obama’s Clean Power Plan and elimination of the language of management of carbon dioxide and climate change from the EPA’s public interface. Though commanding outrage, these changes are essentially distractions. They are relatively easy to do, and are in the big picture, largely inconsequential. More consequential will be attacks of underlying environmental law.

I have a growing collection of articles on the EPA archived here. An article that I note from the Washington Post is entitled, “Trump might revisit environmental rules going back decades, transition adviser says.” The article focuses on EPA transition team lead Myron Ebell, and ends with:

In an interview with E&E News Thursday, Ebell raised the idea of cutting the agency’s roughly 15,000-person workforce by two-thirds. Speaking to The Washington Post, he said that he thought cutting the EPA by either a third or a half would be “an aspirational goal,” though he added that he did not know whether the new administration would embrace it.

“I’m not saying that’s what’s going to happen, that’s a goal,” Ebell said, noting that roughly half of the EPA’s budget is passed through to the states. “The states do most of the work, particularly when it comes to air and water programs.”

During the campaign, Trump raised the prospect of eliminating the EPA, saying at one point, “what they do is a disgrace.” At other points, he suggested scaling it back significantly. “We can leave a little bit, but you can’t destroy businesses.”

Ebell noted that Trump would probably propose deeper cuts to the agency than would actually be enacted, because lawmakers are often reluctant to slash the budgets of agencies they oversee. “It you want to achieve significant domestic budget cuts across the government, you’re going to take on appropriators by requesting big cuts.”


Mr. Ebell is, perhaps, representative of the behavior, as opposed to the words, of President Trump’s administration. He has years of steady message; he understands politics; he has stated, directly, what he would like to see happen. My list of articles suggests it is happening.

One response of the climate community is Climate Deregulation Tracker:

About the Climate Deregulation Tracker

President Donald Trump has stated that he intends to undo most or all of the Obama administration’s efforts to address climate change. Many members of Congress have expressed similar intentions.

The Climate Deregulation Tracker monitors efforts undertaken by the Trump administration to scale back or wholly eliminate federal climate mitigation and adaptation measures. The tracker also monitors congressional efforts to repeal statutory provisions, regulations, and guidance pertaining to climate change, and to otherwise undermine climate action. Finally, the tracker will monitor any countervailing efforts to advance climate change mitigation and adaptation in the face of these deregulatory actions.

The tracker will also provide links to related news items, such as updates about federal agency appointments, the removal of climate data from federal websites, and federal actions with indirect implications for climate change.


The Climate Deregulation Tracker helps collect information, but its impact ultimately relies on the emergence of other organized responses to oppose the degradation of our environmental law.

That is more than enough for this blog entry. I fall into the pit of diffuse message.

The climate community, the climate-science community, is not just climate scientists. In fact, our community might not even be majority climate scientists. There are practitioners, professionals, and scientists of all sorts, natural and social, vested in the climate community. There are many activities emerging in our community. The challenge is to focus some of these activities to our behavior on the ground and not to get lost in our words. Because when there is chaos, there is not just opportunity for those who are, perhaps, on the side of chaos.

Climate Change Politics

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

Trump administration begins altering EPA climate change websites


I do mind, the Dude minds. This will not stand, ya know, this aggression will not stand, man.

I would like to see the Science March on Washington focus on what I consider the most important science of the moment, and it is also that which the Trump administration seems most at odds with -- climate science. Science in general is pretty diffuse, but a focus on climate science could, I think, bring all of science into sharper focus, because almost all of science is essentially involved in the study of climate science. I proposed that all attendees wear green hats, of whatever description, decorated however they please, but the green, a symbol of the environment, could focus attention on the major topic of climate science and put it front and center on the table.
How Baton Rouge-area homes might fare in hurricane's storm surge shown in new interactive map


Link to The Advocate (Baton Rouge)


In Louisiana, even inland areas such as Baton Rouge are vulnerable to coastal flooding from storm surges.

Researchers modeled hundreds of thousands of storms and found that the risk for flooding around Baton Rouge shoots up precipitously from the worst-case Category 2 storm and the most destructive Category 3 storm. Storm surges are caused when a storm system pushes water from the sea onto land and are measure based on peak conditions.

The latest maps show that coastal flooding from a Category 3 hurricane nearing the coastline could push water over much of Baton Rouge that lies between Highland Road and the Mississippi River, depending on the storm's track and conditions at the time.

It could also cause Ward Creek to overrun and the Amite River to overflow, especially south of Interstate 12. Even hurricanes of a lower category could inundate large parts of the River Parishes and southern Livingston and Tangipahoa parishes, the documents reveal.

"These maps make it clear that storm surge is not just a beachfront problem, with the risk of storm surge extending many miles inland from the immediate coastline in some areas," states the disclaimer on the National Storm Surge Hazard Maps.

Link to Interactive Map
Quoting 159. FLwolverine:

The link worked for me.

About the opinion: it's written by a scientist who seems credible to me. I don't think I agree with him, but I find myself much more in favor of public protest that I have been in the past.

What does anyone else think?

Or as Brian would say: Discuss.


I have a feeling a large scientists' march may be a tactical victory and a strategic defeat. If it becomes an anti-Trump affair, the conservative half of the USA may reject science as being a tool of opposition, not inquiry into truth and how things work. By a tactical victory, I mean a large march with many Democratic speakers, that slows down and/or stops some of Trump's agenda--the strategic defeat I describe in my second sentence.
This is how I see Trump. He is self targeting, auto firing and does not fully discern what he targets. Anything that moves will be fired upon. Trump has not only targeted our enemies, he has targeted our allies as well. The only weapon in our arsenal to disable his automatically firing at all targets, is Congress. Currently, Congress is in the repair shop awaiting a refit. Will the refit be completed in time?

I know that my emotions have some control over how I evaluate the circumstances, but I always try to set them aside when I try to evaluate serious issues that cannot be considered based on my emotions. Climate change is still my long term concern that I still know will be our long term challenge that must be faced. Trump has given me a greater short term concern that could far outweigh my long term concerns. I am less willing to rule out a global nuclear exchange now than I was just a few months ago. Trump's bully tactics are not a reasonable substitute for political diplomacy. The world appears to have been gearing up for global conflict for about 18 months. Why is this?
Quoting 6. Some1Has2BtheRookie:

This is how I see Trump. He is self targeting, auto firing and does not fully discern what he targets. Anything that moves will be fired upon. Trump has not only targeted our enemies, he has targeted our allies as well. The only weapon in our arsenal to disable his automatically firing at all targets, is Congress. Currently, Congress is in the repair shop awaiting a refit. Will the refit be completed in time?

I know that my emotions have some control over how I evaluate the circumstances, but I always try to set them aside when I try to evaluate serious issues that cannot be considered based on my emotions. Climate change is still my long term concern that I still know will be our long term challenge that must be faced. Trump has given me a greater short term concern that could far outweigh my long term concerns. I am less willing to rule out a global nuclear exchange now than I was just a few months ago. Trump's bully tactics are not a reasonable substitute for political diplomacy. The world appears to have been gearing up for global conflict for about 18 months. Why is this?
THANK YOU! You nailed it beautifully for me. But to me another very scary thing is that almost all the people who voted for him believe strongly that he is right and acting correctly, so he has broad support among voters, though not majority support I hope.
Quoting 7. CaneFreeCR:

THANK YOU! You nailed it beautifully for me. But to me another very scary thing is that almost all the people who voted for him believe strongly that he is right and acting correctly, so he has broad support among voters, though not majority support I hope.


Trump does have his unshakeable supporters. They will defend him, no matter what he does. These supporters are a minority of our people, but they are very committed to Trump.

I can envision one small place in the world where a conventional bomb could be used to create instant global chaos. I also see a nation that would at least consider doing this. I will not say what I envision out of my concern that the idea of it would be attempted. Just the attempt, even without actual success, would likely create the chaos needed to start a world war. While targeting the capital of any major nation would bring about this chaos, this is not what I would consider would happen. The target that I see is a much softer target. I think that BaltimoreBrian could pinpoint this one location, regardless of which nation would attempt it. Brian, if you think that you know it, WUmail me. Hopefully, you could tell me that I have too much concern that this could actually happen.
@8 - rookie

I tell you what, if some fool blows up my little garden, there WILL be chaos!!

okthxbai
Quoting 9. aquak9:

@8 - rookie

I tell you what, if some fool blows up my little garden, there WILL be chaos!!

okthxbai


Should anyone be foolish enough to do that, I will help you track them down. ;)

BTW, I am not saying that anyone would ever target the place that I imagine could be relatively easy to target. I am just suggesting that even something as remotely possible could create global chaos fairly easily.

Added
I sent you a WUmail. See if you agree with this possibility, even as remote as it may be that it would actually happen.
Swedish Deputy Prime Minister signs climate change bill and trolls Vugar Talking Yam at the same time

...The climate bill she is signing in the photo aims to make Sweden carbon neutral by 2045 and “marks a new era in Swedish climate politics,” Lövin wrote.

“There is a global demand for climate leadership. I want to show that Sweden is ready to take that leadership,” she added.

Sweden has criticised the Trump administration’s approach to climate policy as it announced legislation binding future governments to a goal of phasing out greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, among the most ambitious by any developed nation.

Lövin urged European countries to take a leading role in tackling climate change, now “the US is not there anymore to lead”.

Seven of eight political parties – all but the far-right Sweden Democrats – agreed to pass a binding law obliging future governments to set tougher goals to cut fossil fuel use every four years. The law will come into force from 1 January 2018.

Sweden’s goal would demand at least an 85% cut in domestic greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 from 1990 levels, the government said. Remaining emissions would be offset, for instance by planting forests that soak up carbon as they grow or by investments abroad.

The European Union as a whole has set a target of an 80-95% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050....


This is sedition in the open and dissent of Science by design,and both are offences committed against the American people to lie, distort and a attempt to mute Science.


Trump's EPA Is Removing Climate Change Information From Website

The agency strikes mentions of Obama's Climate Action Plan, carbon pollution as a cause of climate change and removes the U.S. commitment to UN climate negotiations.
BY BRIAN KAHN, CLIMATE CENTRAL


The Environmental Protection Agency's website has begun to transform under the Trump administration.

A group of researchers have found what are likely the first steps in a major overhaul of a site that's been closely watched since President Trump's inauguration on Jan. 20. Federal climate plans created under former President Obama, tribal assistance programs and references to international cooperation have been stricken from the site.



A mention of carbon pollution as a cause of climate change has also been removed and adaptation has been emphasized, indicating an attempt to separate the cause of climate change from the response. Some of the changes—like removing mentions to programs and task forces that have run their course as well as broken links—are housekeeping, according to an agency statement.

Putting the web page changes together with Trump's statements dismissing climate change gives a clearer picture of his vision of "America First." It likely signals that the U.S. will be stepping back from addressing global climate change. And by removing the information, it could give Trump and Scott Pruitt, his nominee to head the EPA, more leeway to decimate funding for programs they see as incompatible with "America First."

"If the public is unaware of partnerships depending on the EPA, it may be easier to shrink the EPA without raising as much concern," said Gretchen Gehrke, a data quality manager at Public Lab and a member of the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative (EDGI).

The changes were shared exclusively with Climate Central by EDGI, a group of scientists tracking federal websites and data. They first noticed the changes on Jan. 22 on a page formerly called "Federal Partner Collaboration," but now dubbed "EPA Adaptation Collaboration." Researchers spotted further changes on Jan. 26 to climate and water and international cooperation pages. All the pages are subpages of the EPA's climate change page.

Obama's legacy is being wiped away. One common theme running through the alterations is removing references to Obama-era projects such as the Climate Action Plan and other federal roadmaps to address climate change. The international partnership page also lost a paragraph affirming the U.S. commitment to the United Nations climate negotiations.

"They're mostly scrubbing it of anything that has a hint of Obama," said Gretchen Goldman, the research director for the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. "The United Nations stuff being removed is also maybe not surprising but definitely not positive."

Trump campaigned on a promise to revoke much of Obama's legacy, including on climate change. He's made good on that promise at the EPA by nominating Pruitt to head the agency. Pruitt dogged the EPA with lawsuits as Oklahoma's attorney general and has generally sided with oil and gas interests against environmental protections. Erasing mentions of Obama's executive orders is another move, albeit one that's a fairly common practice when the presidency changes hands.

"I am actually surprised to say that none of this strikes me as particularly egregious, but perhaps that is because my expectations are so low," said Jessica Wentz, a fellow at the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law.

An EPA spokesperson said that all the changes were routine and in line with agency guidelines.

Mentions of local commitments and partnerships have been scaled back. The EPA could also be heading toward a pull back from supporting U.S. communities, including some of the poorest in the country. The updated partners page has removed mentions of the Tribal Environmental General Assistance Program.

That program provided $65.5 million to tribes across the U.S. in 2016 to help increase their ability to prepare for and adapt to climate and other environmental changes. The program requested $96.4 million in the 2017 budget to expand its scope of work.


Credit: EDGI via Climate Central
While the program still has a standalone web page as well as pages on regional EPA office websites, its disappearance from the partnerships page raises some warning flags about the future of the program.

"I am very concerned about tribal rights under the new administration, and would keenly watch information regarding federal-tribal partnerships," Gehrke said.

The new web page also includes language that "some" state, local and tribal activities are supported by the EPA, further opening the door to cut back funding and partnership activities.

"That combined with what they've already said about scrutinizing grants and contracts doesn't look good," Goldman said. "It sends a signal to EPA partners to be on high alert."

International commitments could be in jeopardy. The EPA site is also missing mentions of the United Nations and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. That includes a paragraph on the EPA's international partnerships page stating that the U.S. is committed to the international community through the United Nations climate talks.


Credit: EDGI via Climate Central
The changes follow a pattern seen on the State Department's website. After the inauguration, a handful of pages on the U.S. commitment to international climate talks and funds were removed.

Trump has pledged to withdraw from the Paris Agreement and he has taken a transactional view of international relations. That could lead to reduced funding for climate efforts in developing countries in particular.

Recently leaked documents published by BuzzFeed News show newly minted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is even less committed to the Paris Agreement than his on-camera testimony would bely, further underscoring the possibility of the U.S. stepping back from a burgeoning leadership role on climate.

Climate change is being disassociated from carbon pollution. In the process of removing a mention of Obama's Climate Action Plan, the partnerships page also no longer mentions carbon pollution as a cause of climate change. Removing the commitment to the United Nations process also came with removing a statement linking greenhouse gas emissions to climate change.

Coupled with new language framing climate change as an adaptation issue, the early changes show that the EPA could continue its climate work but with less of a focus on reining in the underlying cause of climate change.

That's underscored by a report from InsideEPA, an online news service that monitors the agency, showing that the Trump administration could soon start to remove what it's deemed as "propaganda" from the EPA site. Given Pruitt's dim views on the link between climate change and carbon pollution, it's likely that those references will be in jeopardy.

"Highlighting adaptation is good for us in terms of food security, and even national security, but not coupled with a de-emphasis on our responsibility to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and do everything we can to mitigate the potential change," Gehrke said.

Gehrke and her group will continue to monitor the EPA website as well as other federal climate sites. She said that EDGI monitors around 25,000 web pages across the government using proprietary software that allows them to track changes to the language and code. As more political appointees start their terms at the EPA and other agencies, there will likely be a lot more to monitor for clues about what comes next for climate policy.

Quoting 1. Patrap:

Trump administration begins altering EPA climate change websites


I do mind, the Dude minds. This will not stand, ya know, this aggression will not stand, man.


So yer saying the Dude doesn't abide?

Try da grouper, it's good on Saturdays.
It likely signals that the U.S. will be stepping back from addressing global climate change.

As it should be, just 8 wasted and confused years late!

Finally "hope and change" has arrived, just not as the previous occupant of the White House would have predicted.
Europe in deep freeze, over 60 dead as new Arctic blast arrives

The United Arab Emirates is currently under the influence of a deep low pressure associated with cold air mass which is causing unstable conditions throughout the country. Snow is falling in the country's north while the rest of the country is experiencing strong winds, sandstorms and scattered rain.

Afer heavy showers on Thursday, February 2, 2017, snow has fallen on Ras Al Khaimah's popular Jebel Jais mountain on Friday and more is forecast into Saturday. UAE's National Center of Meteorology & Seismology (NCMS) Jebel Jais Mountain weather station has recorded -2.2 °C (28 °F) at 05:00 UTC (09:00 GST) today. By 18:10 GST, the temperature there dipped to -5 °C (23 °F).

Up to 10 cm (3.9 inches) of snow was reported.

Local authorities are no longer allowing motorists and residents up Jebel Jais which is causing traffic jams, the Khaleej Times reported.
Los Alamos releases 16 years of GPS solar weather data

ScienceMag.org

Global Positioning System (GPS) Energetic Particle Data - Data.gov

It’s not often that a scientific discipline gains a 23-satellite constellation overnight. But today, space weather scientists are reaping such a windfall, as the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico has released 16 years of radiation measurements recorded by GPS satellites.

Although billions of people globally use data from GPS satellites, they remain U.S. military assets. Scientists have long sought the data generated by sensors used to monitor the status of the satellites, which operate in the heavy radiation of medium-Earth orbit and can be vulnerable to solar storms. But few have been allowed to tap this resource. “There’s a general hesitancy to broadcast even fairly innocuous things out to the broad community,” says Marc Kippen, a program manager at Los Alamos, which developed the radiation-measuring instruments.

That attitude changed in October 2016, when the outgoing Obama administration issued an executive order aimed at preparing the country for extreme space weather. Such bursts in charged particles, originating in a solar flare or coronal mass ejection, could disable the electrical power grid or divert flights away from the Arctic, where radiation exposure is heightened.

The GPS data, which dates from December 2000, fill a hole in studies of space weather, the complex interplay of Earth’s magnetic field with bombarding radiation from cosmic rays and the sun. These satellites operate exposed to the Van Allen belts, two donuts of highly energetic radiation wrapped up in Earth’s magnetism. Although purpose-built spacecraft, like NASA’s Van Allen probes, have studied the belt, nothing can beat the GPS system for the frequency and duration of its observations, according to Steven Morley, a Los Alamos researcher.
Quoting 14. iceagecoming:

It likely signals that the U.S. will be stepping back from addressing global climate change.

As it should be, just 8 wasted and confused years late!

Finally "hope and change" has arrived, just not as the previous occupant of the White House would have predicted.


Obama ran on "hope and change". Trump ran on change and with no mention of hope. Does that tell you anything?
Does anyone ever look at these stories? Where it snowed and close to freezing at 2000 meters. At sea level more like 25 C. ~ 75 F


Quoting 15. iceagecoming:

Europe in deep freeze, over 60 dead as new Arctic blast arrives

The United Arab Emirates is currently under the influence of a deep low pressure associated with cold air mass which is causing unstable conditions throughout the country. Snow is falling in the country's north while the rest of the country is experiencing strong winds, sandstorms and scattered rain.

Afer heavy showers on Thursday, February 2, 2017, snow has fallen on Ras Al Khaimah's popular Jebel Jais mountain on Friday and more is forecast into Saturday. UAE's National Center of Meteorology & Seismology (NCMS) Jebel Jais Mountain weather station has recorded -2.2 °C (28 °F) at 05:00 UTC (09:00 GST) today. By 18:10 GST, the temperature there dipped to -5 °C (23 °F).

Up to 10 cm (3.9 inches) of snow was reported.

Local authorities are no longer allowing motorists and residents up Jebel Jais which is causing traffic jams, the Khaleej Times reported.
Quoting 10. Some1Has2BtheRookie:
I sent you a WUmail. See if you agree with this possibility, even as remote as it may be that it would actually happen.

WUmail is broke right now; I didn't get it.
Quoting 20. aquak9:


WUmail is broke right now; I didn't get it.


Ah! Well, I will not name the place on a public blog. I will tell you when WUmail is working again. There is no reason for me to believe that this place would be attacked. Were I a terrorist, or a nation that would welcome global chaos, then I would certainly target this place. Even an unsuccessful attempt at targeting this place would create major global concerns.
I set up a perimeter defence..so I believe the entry is good to go.

Regarding the allegations made by John Bates and repeated by David Rose, Peter Thorne , a former NOAA scientist, has written this rebuttal:

On the Mail on Sunday article on Karl et al., 2015
There is an "interesting" piece (use of quotes intentional) in the Mail on Sunday today around the Karl et al., 2015 Science paper.

There are a couple of relevant pieces arising from Victor Venema and Zeke Hausfather already available which cover most of the science aspects and are worth a read. I'm adding some thoughts because I worked for three and a bit years in the NOAA group responsible in the build-up to the Karl et al. paper (although I had left prior to that paper's preparation and publication). I have been involved in and am a co-author upon all relevant underlying papers to Karl et al., 2015.

The 'whistle blower' is John Bates who was not involved in any aspect of the work. NOAA's process is very stove-piped such that beyond seminars there is little dissemination of information across groups. John Bates never participated in any of the numerous technical meetings on the land or marine data I have participated in at NOAA NCEI either in person or remotely. This shows in his reputed (I am taking the journalist at their word that these are directly attributable quotes) mis-representation of the processes that actually occured. In some cases these mis-representations are publically verifiable.

I will go through a small selection of these in the order they appear in the piece:



1. 'Insisting on decisions and scientific choices that maximised warming and minised documentation'

Dr. Tom Karl was not personally involved at any stage of ERSSTv4 development, the ISTI databank development or the work on GHCN algorithm during my time at NOAA NCEI. At no point was any pressure bought to bear to make any scientific or technical choices. It was insisted that best practices be followed throughout. The GHCN homogenisation algorithm is fully available to the public and bug fixes documented. The ISTI databank has been led by NOAA NCEI but involved the work of many international scientists. The databank involves full provenance of all data and all processes and code are fully documented. The paper describing the databank was held by the journal for almost a year (accepted October 2013, published September 2014) to allow the additional NOAA internal review processes to complete. The ERSSTv4 analysis also has been published in no fewer than three papers. It also went through internal review and approval processes including a public beta release prior to its release which occurred prior to Karl et al., 2015.

2. 'NOAA has now decided the sea dataset will have to be replaced and revised just 18 months after it was issued, because it used unreliable methods which overstated the speed of warming'

While a new version of ERSST is forthcoming the reasoning is incorrect here. The new version arises because NOAA and all other centres looking at SST records are continuously looking to develop and refine their datasets. The ERSSTv4 development completed in 2013 so the new version reflects over 3 years of continued development and refinement. All datasets I have ever worked upon have undergone version increments. Measuring in the environment is a tough proposition - its not a repeatable lab experiment - and measurements were never made for climate. It is important that we continue to strive for better understanding and the best possible analyses of the imperfect measurements. That means being open to new, improved, analyses. The ERSSTv4 analysis was a demonstrable improvement on the prior version and the same shall be true in going to the next version once it also has cleared both peer-review and the NOAA internal process review checks (as its predecessor did).


3. 'The land temperature dataset used by the study was afflicted by devestating bugs in its software that rendered its findings unstable' (also returned to later in the piece to which same response applies)

The land data homogenisation software is publically available (although I understand a refactored and more user friendly version shall appear with GHCNv4) and all known bugs have been identified and their impacts documented. There is a degree of flutter in daily updates. But this does not arise from software issues (running the software multiple times on a static data source on the same computer yields bit repeatability). Rather it reflects the impacts of data additions as the algorithm homogenises all stations to look like the most recent segment. The PHA algorithm has been used by several other groups outside NOAA who did not find any devestating bugs. Any bugs reported during my time at NOAA were investigated, fixed and their impacts reported.


4. 'The paper relied on a preliminary alpha version of the data which was never approved or verified'

The land data of Karl et al., 2015 relied upon the published and internally process verified ISTI databank holdings and the published, and publically assessable homogenisation algorithm application thereto. This provenance satisfied both Science and the reviewers of Karl et al. It applied a known method (used operationally) to a known set of improved data holdings (published and approved).


5. [the SST increase] 'was achieved by dubious means'

The fact that SST measurements from ships and buoys disagree with buoys cooler on average is well established in the literature. See IPCC AR5 WG1 Chapter 2 SST section for a selection of references by a range of groups all confirming this finding. ERSSTv4 is an anomaly product. What matters for an anomaly product is relative homogeneity of sources and not absolute precision. Whether the ships are matched to buoys or buoys matched to ships will not affect the trend. What will affect the trend is doing so (v4) or not (v3b). It would be perverse to know of a data issue and not correct for it in constructing a long-term climate data record.

6. 'They had good data from buoys. And they threw it out [...]'

v4 actually makes preferential use of buoys over ships (they are weighted almost 7 times in favour) as documented in the ERSSTv4 paper. The assertion that buoy data were thrown away as made in the article is demonstrably incorrect.

7. 'they had used a 'highly experimental early run' of a programme that tried to combine two previously seperate sets of records'

Karl et al used as the land basis the ISTI databank. This databank combined in excess of 50 unique underlying sources into an amalgamated set of holdings. The code used to perform the merge was publically available, the method published, and internally approved. This statement therefore is demonstrably false.


There are many other aspects of the piece that I disagree with. Having worked with the NOAA NCEI team involved in land and SST data analysis I can only say that the accusations in the piece do not square one iota with the robust integrity I see in the work and discussions that I have been involved in with them for over a decade.

Quoting 434. Xandra:

Atmospheric CO2 for January 2017

406.07 parts per million (ppm)

January 2016: 402.52 ppm

January 2015: 399.98 ppm



"Today’s rate of increase is more than 100 times faster than the increase that occurred when the last ice age ended."




Climate Change, Science, NOAA Falsely Maligned by Tabloid Spin
Climate Nexus.

As a result of human activities, primarily the burning of fossil fuels, the planet is warming. Those who deny this fact have pointed to a supposed "pause" in warming to justify opposition to climate action. In 2015, a study led by NOAA's Tom Karl was published in Science that flatly refuted the idea of a "pause." It is one of many. But its high profile made it a target for attack.

On Saturday, a feature in the UK's Mail on Sunday by David Rose makes outrageous claims that were already disproven as the paper version hit stands, and that he has already had to in part correct. Rose, who has a history of inaccurate reporting, spins a scandal out of a letter by a former NOAA employee published on a climate change denial blog. The letter makes accusations of wrongdoing in the methodology and data archiving procedures used in the study. These accusations have already been shown to be faulty. Even if they were true, the implications have been blown out of proportion by Rose.

(...) If there were substance to the claims, they would have been published in the peer-reviewed literature. The original study was published in Science, perhaps the most highly regarded academic journal in the world. That these claims are found on a blog and a tabloid should be an indication of their veracity. (...)


Click for more.

See also:
Mail on Sunday launches the first salvo in the latest war against climate scientists
The Guardian - Feb 5.

(...) The real story here is that the denial industry has lost the battle on the science. There are no reputable scientists who discount the enormous human influence on our Earth's climate. Because they have lost that battle, they are manufacturing doubt about the science. They are making misleading claims and attacking scientists with intimidating tactics. This is a playbook that has been used for years. It should alarm everyone that excellent researchers like Dr. Thomas Karl from NOAA can be attacked for just telling us what the data says.

Click for more.
Quoting 8. Some1Has2BtheRookie:

Trump does have his unshakeable supporters. They will defend him, no matter what he does. These supporters are a minority of our people, but they are very committed to Trump. I can envision one small place in the world where a conventional bomb could be used to create instant global chaos. I also see a nation that would at least consider doing this. I will not say what I envision out of my concern that the idea of it would be attempted. Just the attempt, even without actual success, would likely create the chaos needed to start a world war. While targeting the capital of any major nation would bring about this chaos, this is not what I would consider would happen. The target that I see is a much softer target. I think that BaltimoreBrian could pinpoint this one location, regardless of which nation would attempt it. Brian, if you think that you know it, WUmail me. Hopefully, you could tell me that I have too much concern that this could actually happen.
Rookie, a cyber bomb that melts down the financial system could cause a lot of chaos. A conventional bomb? Not really a place that could happen. There are critical points in our energy infrastructure that are not hardened against attack--and I wonder what would happen if a hijacked jumbo jet were flown into a nuclear power plant or a major dam (e.g. Hoover Dam, Three Gorges Dam)---but really, we are quite resilient. Even the 9/11 attacks which crippled part of the Pentagon and took parts of Wall Street offline didn't cause a catastrophic meltdown.
Just for Patrap: The last day under 400 ppm

Coming soon: The first day over 410 ppm
Old English word of the day: wæflian - to talk foolishly. Pronounced "waff-lee-on"

Watch for it.
I feel certain that many of you have seen this commercial.

American Petroleum Institute's Super Bowl commercial.

There is no lie in what the API says our use of oil has brought us. The lie is in its omission to tell us what will happen going forward by our continued use of oil.

Ricky, would it be possible for scientists to put the API's commercial into its proper perspective? Have a group set up a "Go Fund Me" site and I will donate to run the rebuttal commercial.
Quoting 26. BaltimoreBrian:

Rookie, a cyber bomb that melts down the financial system could cause a lot of chaos. A conventional bomb? Not really a place that could happen. There are critical points in our energy infrastructure that are not hardened against attack--and I wonder what would happen if a hijacked jumbo jet were flown into a nuclear power plant or a major dam (e.g. Hoover Dam, Three Gorges Dam)---but really, we are quite resilient. Even the 9/11 attacks which crippled part of the Pentagon and took parts of Wall Street offline didn't cause a catastrophic meltdown.


What you say is true, but you concentrate too heavily on the U.S.. Check your WUmail.
Climate change deniers eager to sink their fangs into a new manufactured controversy
(some of the stronger language has been removed]

Daily Kos

Climate change denial took a hit this year. While it’s true that Trump is now appointing ridiculously unqualified men and women who are openly hostile to the environmental and science-based organizations they will run (into the ground), the climate itself refused to go along with the ruse. Last year was the hottest on record and the last few years were among the hottest before it. Worst of all, fossil fuel toadies had to bid farewell to one of their most beloved zombie lies: the global warming pause.

The NOAA study, published in the prestigious journal Science, found that the slowdown in global warming never actually happened. Instead, improperly adjusted data on surface temperatures made for an artificial lull in the warming trend. When NOAA researchers corrected their temperature datasets, they found that Earth's climate had warmed by a larger amount than previously thought.

But now the usual suspects think maybe, just maybe, they can resurrect that undead talking point and parade it about one more time. Over the weekend, several media outlets, led by a tabloid writer infamous for reporting alternative facts, claimed a retired NOAA scientist has “blown the lid” off the warming pause cover-up. The House Committee promoting pseudoscience, led by Lamar Smith (R-Texas), just about lost their minds in a tweet-storm of epic proportion as ably documented here by Bo Gardiner.

Take a good look at the front page of today’s Daily Mail. Yes, children, this august institution is now to be our nation’s primary science source, driving the well-being of the planet and all who dwell upon it.

For those too young or who weren’t paying close attention during the Bush years, better get used to this, folks. The effort to downplay global warming is well-funded, the clowns promoting it are very well paid, it’s not going to go away for a long time, or until the money dries up, whichever comes first, and they now have allies in the White House soon to be sitting at the head of every federal agency responsible for monitoring the environment. They will claim—and some of them may genuinely believe—that a conspiracy of thousands of scientists spanning every continent over two generations has been ginning up fake data to needlessly scare the world without ever getting caught.

Rookie I responded to your wundermail after reading your comment. My wundermail icon is not working---be sure to check your wundermail whether your wundermail icon alerts or not.
Quoting 34. BaltimoreBrian:

Rookie I responded to your wundermail after reading your comment. My wundermail icon is not working---be sure to check your wundermail whether your wundermail icon alerts or not.


Got it. I sent one back.
Quoting 19. RickyRood:

Does anyone ever look at these stories? Where it snowed and close to freezing at 2000 meters. At sea level more like 25 C. ~ 75 F





Oh, we read them. But critical thinking tools such as the adiabatic lapse rate and the ideal gas law are rarely used in such articles to help bring them into context. They unfortunately continue to be re-posted throughout the internet, filtered and cherry-picked by those who wish to invoke emotional responses instead of discussing the issues in a reasoned, logical fashion.

I've made my own blog rants about journalists and internet community managers needing to take responsibility for the stories posted in their venues by including fact verification and source trustworthiness as pillars in their charters and principals. I've always felt that to do any less is culpable negligence on their part for the impacts they will reap upon society and science literacy by the general public. Personally, I think we're at a pivotal moment in human history regarding this issue.

"You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today."
- Abraham Lincoln
2017 ushers in record low extent
National Snow & Ice Data Center - Feb 7.
Record low daily Arctic ice extents continued through most of January 2017, a pattern that started last October. Extent during late January remained low in the Kara, Barents and Bering Seas. Southern Hemisphere extent also tracked at record low levels for January; globally, sea ice cover remains at record low levels. Arctic sea ice extent for January 2017 averaged 13.38 million square kilometers (5.17 million square miles), the lowest January extent in the 38-year satellite record. (...)

In the Shadow of Trump's First Week, Climate Scientists Gather in Washington
Pacific Standard - Feb 3.
Researchers at this week's conference discuss how Arctic sea ice is fundamentally changing air masses and weather systems in the Northern Hemisphere.

Think climate change is a hoax? Visit Norway
Climate Home - Feb 7.
Environment minister says warm temperatures and low levels of Arctic sea ice are an early warning to world that climate change is biting. (...)
"What is happening now is a harbinger of things to come, we are seeing drastic changes," he tells Climate Home in an interview.
"One of our major glaciers is retreating one metre a day, two kilometres in five years. It's happening very fast and the world should take note.
"This will happen faster in the Arctic. We know a 2C rise in global average temperatures means up to 4C in the Arctic."
The unusual conditions should alarm all governments, he says, given the Arctic's influence on global weather patterns and the evolving links between climate change and issues such as conflict and migration. (...)


Click articles' title for more.
From InsideClimate News:

Russia, U.S. Could Be Partners in Climate Inaction

The only big emitter to not ratify the Paris climate agreement, Russia may find it easier to slough off climate action with the U.S. matching its oil-focused view.

As Donald Trump pushes the United States toward inaction on climate change, he is likely to find an ally in Russia.

Russia is the fifth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. Yet the plan it submitted under the Paris agreement to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 is one of the weakest of any government and actually permits Russia to increase carbon pollution over time. The Paris agreement went into effect last November, but Russia is the only major emitter that has not ratified it. Instead, it has laid out a timetable that would delay ratification for almost three years.

"Russia will not artificially accelerate the process of ratification of the Paris climate agreement," Russia's special presidential representative on climate, Alexander Bedritsky, said last September.

[...]

The Paris accord entered into effect after countries responsible for 55 percent of global emissions ratified it. On the same day, Russia, which accounts for about 7.5 percent of global emissions, issued a detailed schedule of study and reports. Ratification would not be completed until after its 2018 presidential election.

If Russia's commitment under the Paris agreement is so weak, why has Moscow been slow to ratify the accord? "It's not a question of logic, but rather one about ideology," said Vladimir Chuprov, head of the energy unit at Greenpeace Russia. The ratification question "is about whether Russia is ready to go green or not, phase out fossil fuels or not."

[...]

"Fossil fuels are richer and in a better lobbying position and they are much, much stronger" than the camp that backs climate action, Chuprov said. "The coal companies are the most aggressive but oil also doesn't want to ratify the Paris agreement because it would mean the stoppage of the oil economy and an end to all the subsidies oil gets."

The oil and gas sector also contributes a vast percentage of Russia's greenhouse gases, about 45 percent, according to the UNFCCC's 2014 inventory, wrote Alexey Kokorin of the World Wildlife Fund, Russia in a June 2016 paper in Russian Analytical Digest. Russia's methane emissions account for 2 percent of all global greenhouse gases, the equivalent of emissions from global aviation, Kokorin continued. The oil and gas sector, in turn, produces 75 percent of Russia's methane emissions.

It appears unlikely that Russia will rein in emissions or the expansion of the oil and gas industry, which contributes about half the revenues to the domestic budget. Oil production on land is falling, so Russia is looking to tap the vast petroleum and gas reserves offshore in the Arctic. A friendly administration in Washington could help. In 2011, Russia and ExxonMobil, under chief executive Rex Tillerson, signed a $500 billion deal to develop oil and gas in the Russian Arctic.

But sanctions imposed in 2014 by the Obama administration after Russia's invasion of Ukraine stalled the projects. Tillerson, now secretary of state, and Exxon lobbied against the sanctions. If the Trump administration and the GOP-led Congress lift the sanctions, oil and gas extraction in the Russian Arctic would proceed and unlock a vast amount of greenhouse gases.

[...]

Russia has commissioned government studies of how ratification of the Paris agreement would affect its economy. It wants to see the agreement produce rules advantageous to Russia before it ratifies, such as calculations of the impact of forests and land use on emissions, experts said. Russia aims to present a draft plan of its 2030 emissions targets in March 2020.

[...]

Click here to read full article


[Pruitt’s] appointment would be a classic case of putting the fox in charge of the henhouse.

From LA Times:

Putting Scott Pruitt in charge of the EPA risks irreversible damage to the planet

As Oklahoma’s attorney general, Scott Pruitt has spent the last six years suing the federal Environmental Protection Agency over the extent of its authority, particularly its efforts to regulate the oil and gas industry and restrict coal-fired power plants. These industries belch out the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming, yet Pruitt has led or been part of 14 lawsuits (most of them in concert with industry) challenging rules that limit them or otherwise protect the nation’s air and water.

It’s hardly news that some public officials are shills or apologists for powerful polluting industries. But to select someone with a record like Pruitt’s to lead the EPA is mind-boggling, offensive and deeply worrisome. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved the appointment Thursday despite a boycott by Democratic members, but the full Senate should say no.

Yes, Trump won the election, and as president, he’s entitled to appoint people who reflect his political views. But when the president’s policies and appointees pose such a fundamental threat to the nation, even a Senate controlled by his fellow Republicans — whose first loyalty should be to the people of the United States — must put the nation’s best interests ahead of party loyalty.

[...]

In addition to his objectionable efforts to weaken the EPA, Pruitt is a key figure in a cabal of Republican attorneys general who sued to undercut the subsidies for low-income insurance buyers under the Affordable Care Act, to kill the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, and to void the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Those efforts suggest Pruitt is not a principled law enforcement figure so much as an ambitious partisan.

[...]

Pruitt’s political career in Oklahoma was heavily supported by the oil and gas industry. He submitted letters ghost-written by oil industry officials to the EPA, Interior Department and the White House challenging various regulatory schemes the industry opposed. He refused in his nomination hearing to promise to recuse himself from decisions tied to the lawsuits he’s involved with, and which he would now be responsible for defending. His appointment would be a classic case of putting the fox in charge of the henhouse. And he poses a particular threat to California: He has raised the possibility that his EPA could rescind federal waivers that California’s environmental regulators have used to help cut greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles by nearly a third since 2009.

As reprehensible as most of Trump’s actions and appointments have been so far, their broader consequences, for the most part, are reversible at some later date. (Although not for individuals, such as a refugee who gets killed because Trump sends him back to a country where his or her life has been threatened.) Putting Pruitt in charge of the EPA, however, poses an irreversible risk to the planet, and the Senate needs to ensure that doesn’t happen.

Click here to read full article
Dr Julia Shaw:
‏@drjuliashaw

Teaching regression in 2017.

From The New York Times:

American Universities Must Take a Stand


Richie Pope

Not since the era of witch hunts and “red baiting” has the American university faced so great a threat from government. How is the university to function when a president’s administration blurs the distinction between fact and fiction by asserting the existence of “alternative facts”? How can the university turn a blind eye to what every historian knows to be a key instrument of modern authoritarian regimes: the capacity to dress falsehood up as truth and reject the fruits of reasoned argument, evidence and rigorous verification?

[...]

Moreover, what will become of the major government agencies of scientific research, the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation? Will their research agendas be manipulated to fit Mr. Trump’s view of reality? Will there be a continuing erosion of support for basic research as opposed to research that contributes to some commercial product? The greatest advances in medicine were a result of research conducted after World War II, motivated exclusively to enable humankind to better understand nature, not to come up with a new drug.

What, then, are we, the leaders of our institutions of higher education, to do when faced with a president who denies facts, who denies science? Is it best to stand by when he repudiates climate science and revives the credibility of discredited theories about autism? Facts and photographs did not stop him from rejecting the evidence regarding the election results or the size of crowds at his inauguration. He has undermined public confidence in the electoral system. In the face of this, standing up for the truth — which is, after all, higher education’s business — might appear to be an act of political partisanship. But this is not about political parties. It is about the proper role of the academy in a troubling time.

American colleges and universities, public and private, are properly seen as nonpartisan elements in civil society, committed to research and teaching in a manner that transcends ordinary politics. But to succeed, these institutions must ensure that academic freedom and the highest standards of scholarship prevail. This means respect for the rules of evidence, rigorous skepticism and the honoring of the distinction between truth and falsehood.

[...]

The voices of our leaders in higher education must be heard in opposition. The cause is not partisan. The cause is a democracy where citizens of the entire world are welcome, minorities are protected and dissent respected. Such a democracy is the only context in which research and learning and the pursuit of knowledge can thrive. The time to act together is upon us. The world must have no doubt about where the American university stands.

Click here to read full article
A Conservative Answer to Climate Change - WSJ
Enacting a carbon tax would free up private firms to find the most efficient ways to cut emissions.
By George P. Shultz and James A. Baker III

....

Edit: Fixed the link.
Also noting there are articles in #4 and #38 of similar title but not the same article.
From Grist:

DAKOTA ACCESS


Daniel Penner

It’s official: The city of Seattle is divesting from Wells Fargo. The Seattle City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to withdraw $3 billion from the bank, in part because it is funding the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the city’s mayor said he would sign the measure.

The vote delivered a win for pipeline foes, albeit on a bleak day for the #NoDAPL movement. Earlier in the day, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will allow construction of the pipeline’s final leg and forgo an environmental impact statement.

Before the vote, many Native speakers took the floor in support of divestment, including members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Tsimshian First Nation, and Muckleshoot Indian Tribe.

Seattle will withdraw its $3 billion when the city’s current contract with Wells Fargo expires in 2018. Meanwhile, council members will seek out a more socially responsible bank. Unfortunately, the pickings are somewhat slim, as Bank of America, Chase, CitiBank, ING, and a dozen other banks have all invested in the pipeline.

While $3 billion is just a small sliver of Wells Fargo’s annual deposit collection of $1.3 trillion, the council hopes its vote will send a message to other banks. Activism like this has worked before — in November, Norway’s largest bank sold all of its assets connected to Dakota Access. With any luck, more will follow.
From Nature:

Arctic 2.0: What happens after all the ice goes?

Researchers look into the future of the far North for clues to save species and maybe even bring back sea ice.



[...]

Blue period
Pfirman remembers the first time she realized just how fast the Arctic was unravelling. It was September 2007, and she was preparing to give a talk. She went online to download the latest sea-ice maps and discovered something disturbing: the extent of Arctic ice had shrunk past the record minimum and was still dropping. “Oh, no! It’s happening,” she thought.

Although Pfirman and others knew that Arctic sea ice was shrinking, they hadn’t expected to see such extreme ice losses until the middle of the twenty-first century. “It was a wake-up call that we had basically run out of time,” she says.

In theory, there’s still a chance that the world could prevent the total loss of summer sea ice. Global climate models suggest that about 3 million square kilometres — roughly half of the minimum summer coverage in recent decades — could survive if countries fulfil their commitments to the newly ratified Paris climate agreement, which limits global warming to 2 °C above pre-industrial temperatures.

But sea-ice researchers aren’t counting on that. Models have consistently underestimated ice losses in the past, causing scientists to worry that the declines in the next few decades will outpace projections2. And given the limited commitments that countries have made so far to address climate change, many researchers suspect the world will overshoot the 2 °C target, all but guaranteeing essentially ice-free summers (winter ice is projected to persist for much longer).

In the best-case scenario, the Arctic is in for a 4–5 °C temperature rise, thanks to processes that amplify warming at high latitudes, says James Overland, an oceanographer at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Seattle, Washington. “We really don’t have any clue about how disruptive that’s going to be.”

[...]

Global cooling
Given the stakes, some researchers have proposed global-scale geoengineering to cool the planet and, by extension, preserve or restore ice. Others argue that it might be possible to chill just the north, for instance by artificially whitening the Arctic Ocean with light-coloured floating particles to reflect sunlight. A study9 this year suggested installing wind-powered pumps to bring water to the surface in winter, where it would freeze, forming thicker ice.

But many researchers hesitate to embrace geoengineering. And most agree that regional efforts would take tremendous effort and have limited benefits, given that Earth’s circulation systems could just bring more heat north to compensate. “It’s kind of like walking against a conveyor the wrong way,” Pfirman says. She and others agree that managing greenhouse gases — and local pollutants such as black carbon from shipping — is the only long-term solution.

[...]

Some researchers also say that the idea of regrowing sea ice seems like wishful thinking, because it would require efforts well beyond what nations must do to meet the Paris agreement. Limiting warming to 2 °C will probably entail converting huge swathes of land into forest and using still-nascent technologies to suck billions of tonnes of CO2 out of the air. Lowering greenhouse-gas concentrations enough to regrow ice would demand even more.

And if summer sea ice ever does come back, it’s hard to know how a remade Arctic would work, Derocher says. “There will be an ecosystem. It will function. It just may not look like the one we currently have.”

Click here to read full article
Kim Stanley Robinson is coming out with a new science fiction book on March 14:

New York 2140

From RealClimate:

Serving up a NOAA-thing burger

by Gavin-Schmidt

I have mostly been sitting back and watching the John Bates story go through the predictable news-cycle of almost all supposed ‘scandalous’ science stories. The patterns are very familiar – an initial claim of imperfection spiced up with insinuations of misconduct, coordination with a breathless hyping of the initial claim with ridiculous supposed implications, some sensible responses refuting the initial specific claims and demolishing the wilder extrapolations. Unable to defend the nonsense clarifications are made that the initial claim wasn’t about misconduct but merely about ‘process’ (for who can argue against better processes?). Meanwhile the misconduct and data falsification claims escape into the wild, get more exaggerated and lose all connection to any actual substance. For sure, the technical rebuttals to the specific claims compete with balance of evidence arguments and a little bit of playful trolling for the attention of anyone who actually cares about the details. None of which, unfortunately, despite being far more accurate, have the narrative power of the original meme.

The next stages are easy to predict as well – the issues of ‘process’ will be lost in the noise, the fake overreaction will dominate the wider conversation and become an alternative fact to be regurgitated in twitter threads and blog comments for years, the originators of the issue may or may not walk back the many mis-statements they and others made but will lose credibility in any case, mainstream scientists will just see it as hyper-partisan noise and ignore it, no papers will be redacted, no science will change, and the actual point (one presumes) of the ‘process’ complaint (to encourage better archiving practices) gets set back because it’s associated with such obvious nonsense.

This has played out many, many times before: The Yamal story had a very similar dynamic, and before that the ‘1934‘ story, etc. etc.

Assuming for the sake of politeness that sound and fury signifying nothing is not the main goal for at least some participants, the question arises: since this is so predictable why do people still keep making the same mistakes?

I have two slides that I use in my talks about the challenges of science communication in a politicized world:



The Bates story is an excellent illustration of how this plays out in real life. The key thing to remember is that there is a ready-made narrative and ‘public’ issue for all stories like this and it takes real skill (and might not be possible) to avoiding falling into that pre-existing narrative rut. You know, this one: Link

[Pro-tip: talking about massive international multi-agency conspiracies makes you sound like a crazy person, so get past that by only talking about the whistleblowers!].

Click here to read more.
Astronaut Bill Nelson understands importance of federal scientists, they trained him!

From Science:


Senator Bill Nelson (D–FL) in 2015.

U.S. Senate bill aims to make sure federal scientists aren’t ‘muzzled’

Congressional Democrats are rallying behind a bill to protect federal scientists from attempts to interfere with scientific discourse and dissemination of research results.

Senator Bill Nelson (D–FL) yesterday introduced a bill (S.338) that would codify existing policies at some two dozen federal agencies. Those policies stem from a 2009 executive order from former President Barack Obama that required them to spell out how they would safeguard scientific integrity. The policies have dribbled out over the last 7 years.

[...]

“Few things are more un-American than censorship, especially when it would keep the public in the dark on vital public health and safety information, such as climate change and sea level rise,” said Nelson, who serves as the top Democrat on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, in a statement. “Any attempt to intimidate or muzzle scientists must be stopped.” The bill has been referred to the commerce committee, but Nelson staffers say that its chairman, Senator John Thune (R–SD), has not indicated whether he will hold a hearing on the legislation.

Pro-science lobbyists applaud Nelson’s move. “If ever there was a time that such a bill is needed, it is now,” says Gretchen Goldman of the Union of Concerned Scientists, which is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Goldman says the bill “raises the floor for a minimum standard” across the government while allowing agencies to tailor policies that are consistent with their specific missions and operating procedures.

The legislation is aimed at blocking attempts by political appointees to manipulate or suppress the results of research that could undermine the administration’s position on an issue. It would enshrine in law the idea of transparency, open communication, and protection for whistleblowers in a scientific context. Goldman says her “personal favorite” is a provision giving government scientists the right to review and approve the contents of any press release or other document dealing with their research before it goes out to the public.

[...]

Click here to read full article
From UCI:

UCI, NASA reveal new details of Greenland ice loss


Maps of the northwest Greenland coastline before (left) and after (right) OMG data were incorporated. The coastline itself -- the edge of the glacier ice -- appears as a faint white line. The right-hand image shows several previously unknown troughs revealed by the OMG seafloor survey. Credit: UCI

Data are dramatically increasing knowledge of how the ocean is melting the ice sheet

Irvine, Calif., Feb. 9, 2017 – Less than a year after the first research flight kicked off NASA’s Oceans Melting Greenland campaign, data from the new program are providing a dramatic increase in knowledge of how Greenland’s ice sheet is melting from below. Two new research papers in the journal Oceanography, including one by UCI Earth system scientist Mathieu Morlighem, use OMG observations to document how meltwater and ocean currents are interacting along Greenland’s west coast and to improve seafloor maps used to predict future melting and sea level rise.

[...]

In the first paper, UCI’s Morlighem used the OMG surveys to refine and improve maps of the bedrock under some of the west coast glaciers. Glaciologists worldwide use these and other maps in modeling the rate of ice loss in Greenland and projecting future losses.

A coastal glacier’s response to a warming climate depends heavily not only on the depth of the seafloor in front of it, but on the shape of the bedrock below. [...]

Morlighem noted, “OMG [data are]not only improving our knowledge of the ocean floor, they’re improving our knowledge of the topography of the land, too.” This is because the campaign’s seafloor survey revealed features under the ocean, such as troughs cut by glaciers during the last ice age, that must continue upstream under the glacial ice. Therefore, Morlighem said, “By having OMG’s measurements close to the ice front, I can tell whether what I thought about the bed topography is correct or not.” Morlighem was pleasantly surprised to discover that 90 percent of the glacier depths he had estimated were within 160 feet (50 meters) of the actual depths recorded by the OMG survey.

[...]

In the second paper, Ian Fenty of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, and coauthors, including Morlighem, tracked water up the west coast to see how it changed as it interacted with hundreds of melting coastal glaciers. They found that in northwest Greenland, cold and fresh water flowing into glacial fjords from the melting surface of the ice sheet is cooling the warmer subsurface water, which circulates clockwise around the island. In one instance, evidence for meltwater-cooled waters was found in fjords 100 miles (160 kilometers) downstream from its source. Fenty noted, “This is the first time we’ve documented glacier meltwater significantly impacting ocean temperatures so far downstream. That shows meltwater can play an important role in determining how much ocean heat ultimately reaches Greenland’s glaciers.”

[...]

Click here to read full article

The two papers are available online:

Improving bed topography mapping of Greenland glaciers using NASA’s Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) data, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2016.99

Oceans Melting Greenland: Early Results from NASA’s Ocean-Ice Mission in Greenland, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2016.100
New report from the Climate Council AU:

Cranking Up The Intensity: Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events

Climate change is now influencing all extreme weather events – with some of the most severe climate impacts occurring in 2016, our latest report has found.

Cranking Up The Intensity: Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events finds that while the links between climate change and some extreme weather events such as bushfires and heatwaves are well-established, the evidence linking climate change to storms and heavy rainfall is also growing.

Read more here

Love your article links Xandra--especially the Greenland ice loss article. Thank you!
Paul Beckwith:
‏@PaulHBeckwith

Even the dictionary knows...Webster's Unabridged 1983...

What a great time to be a climate journalist
Climate Home - Feb 10.
As he hands the secret Climate Home editor codes and knackered laptop to Karl Mathiesen, Ed King reflects on the five years since he launched the site.

Solar Impulse soars above Egypt's pyramids on its historic flight earlier this year (Pic: Solar Impulse/Flickr).
From Gizmodo:

Science Teachers on Why Betsy DeVos Is a 'Monstrous Mistake'


Photo: AP

Despite widespread resistance, today [Tuesday], Betsy DeVos was confirmed as Education Secretary in a 51-to-50 vote. Though 48 Democrats and two Republican senators voted against her, ultimately, vice president Mike Pence broke the tie. For public school educators, and particularly science teachers, her confirmation is a nightmare realized.

While Devos has claimed she will be a “strong advocate for great public school,” her record suggests otherwise. In addition to having no actual classroom experience, Devos, a billionaire with myriad financial ties to education companies that could represent conflicts of interest, has long favored privatizing education through charter schools over bettering public education. In 1993, she worked to pass the first charter school bill in Michigan, and has since advocated to loosen restrictions on these schools in her home state, only to see students’ performance plummet. During her Senate confirmation hearing, Devos declined to support accountability rules for for-profit colleges, which have a long, controversial history. In addition to low employment rates for recent grads, these schools have been accused of encouraging students to lie about their FAFSA information. They’re widely regarded as scams.

To make matters worse, DeVos has repeatedly supported Republicans who have waged war against climate change and evidence-based education. Her family supports the notoriously anti-science evangelical group Focus on the Family, and other fundamentalist Christian organizations. Unsurprisingly, DeVos also supports vouchers that can carry taxpayer dollars to religious schools, which could be teaching creationism. In effect, taxpayers could be sending their children to school where evolution is regarded as—to quote Trump—“fake news.”

“The president-elect, in his selection of Betsy DeVos, has chosen the most ideological, anti-public education nominee put forward since President Carter created a Cabinet-level Department of Education,” The American Teacher Federation wrote in a statement back in November. “In nominating DeVos, Trump makes it loud and clear that his education policy will focus on privatizing, defunding and destroying public education in America.”

Click here to read more.
From CSI:

From Chemtrails to CSICon: An Interview with Mick West.

[...]

Susan Gerbic: So, Mick. It’s nice to catch up with you. This website you run, Metabunk, sounds right up the skeptic alley. Tell me about that site.

Mick West: Metabunk is a skeptical forum, where we do investigations into a wide range of phenomena from conspiracy theories to UFOs. We also discuss best practices for communicating the results of an investigation (the debunking) and how to help people get out of the “rabbit hole” of conspiratorial thinking. It grew out of my old blog Contrail Science, which was about chemtrails. Metabunk still has a strong focus on the chemtrail theory.

Gerbic: Chemtrails? Doesn’t everyone know they don’t exist and what they see in the sky are contrails? And the few people who still believe that the government is poisoning us aren’t likely to listen to reason, right? Note: I just looked at the pageview stats for the Chemtrails conspiracy theories Wikipedia page, and 99,560 people visited it in the last thirty days. I suppose I’m living in a bubble.

West: Chemtrails is a surprisingly popular theory; it’s right up there with things like the 9/11 conspiracy theories. It all stems from a fundamental distrust of science and authority. You are always going to get a percentage of people who are true believers. My goal is to minimize that as much as possible, stop people falling for it, and help them get out as easily as possible.

Gerbic: I understand that you are also a pilot. Do you know pilots who believe in this conspiracy theory?

West: I only flew small, single engine planes, which isn’t that hard. I’d not be surprised if some single-engine pilots fell for it. But I’d be very surprised if there were any commercial pilots who believe in it. Most of them have heard of it and find the idea ridiculous and sad. Some of them even get harassed about it, as people think they are part of the plot because their planes leave contrails.

[...]

Gerbic: Tell me about some of your favorite parts of CSICon? Favorite lectures?

West: [...] Something I think would be great to address at CSICon is the function of skepticism in social media—and the role of new media in general. There’s a real danger in falling into a bubble by being overly attached to a traditional set of media (print, blogs, newsletters) that is becoming increasing irrelevant. Skepticism needs to evolve with the understanding that information (and disinformation) is now propagated by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. Understanding how this works and how we can best use those channels of communication is crucial to keeping skepticism relevant and effective.

[...]

Gerbic: Any last thoughts, Mick?

West: I think that events such as CSICon are becoming more and more important, especially with the election of a president who has what seem to be anti-science leanings. Skeptics are fairly politically diverse, but we are united in our opposition to fake science, alternative facts, charlatans, and bunk. CSICon is part of the solution—a place where we can recharge our skeptical batteries and form and renew connections with other skeptics to try to turn back the tide.

[...]

Click here to read full interview
Youtube video (November 2016):
Are we waking up the sleeping Arctic Ocean? (Dr Michael Tsamados)
Temperatures in the Arctic are rising at more than twice the global average rate. As the sea ice cover retreats, there is a radiation imbalance and a modification of the Arctic Ocean circulation, and as the atmosphere and ocean come into direct contact, exchanges of heat and momentum will potentially be transformed. Dr Michel Tsamados will discuss the implications for the Arctic climate system and beyond.
Jerry Brown Asks Donald Trump For California Storm Disaster Declaration
The state is now grappling with a massive dam spillway glitch in the Sierra foothills.

02/11/2017 02:37 am ET | Updated 22 minutes ago



California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has sent a letter to Donald Trump, asking the president to issue a disaster declaration for the storm-beleaguered state.

The letter, issued Friday, cites a series of “powerful winter storms” beginning Jan. 3 and lasting nine days that brought “relentless heavy precipitation and high winds that caused flash flooding, debris and mud flows, erosion, power outages, and damage to critical infrastructure.” The storms resulted in eight deaths in seven counties.

“The impacts associated with this series of storms were substantial and widespread, devastating much of California,” the letter adds.

A disaster declaration frees up federal funds to help pay for damage. Presidents usually respond positively to such requests, but Trump is an unconventional commander-in-chief. Last week, he called California “out of control” ― though he didn’t explain exactly what he meant. Trump also threatened to block federal funds if California goes ahead with plans to become a sanctuary state for immigrants.

Brown has already declared a state emergency in 49 counties.

Most of the damage has occurred to roads, bridges, dams and water control and filtration systems, according to Brown’s letter, which estimates damages of $162 million for the January storms. Bad weather is continuing to wallop California this month.

On Friday, the state’s second-largest reservoir was at 99 percent capacity and threatening to burst its banks after officials cut down use of the Oroville Dam’s seriously damaged concrete spillway, which is supposed to divert excess water. The eroded spillway continued to deteriorate under a chaotic rush of water that was washing away ground dangerously close to power lines and threatening to flood communities downstream, the Sacramento Bee reported.

The region, located about 70 miles north of Sacramento in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas, has been pelted with up to 20 inches of rain in the past three days. Officials were hoping that an emergency spillway could fill in for the crippled spillway if it comes to that. The spillway hasn’t been used once since the earthen dam was built 48 years ago.

This could be Northern California’s wettest season ever, according to the California Department of Water Resources. The average annual rainfall in the region is 50 inches. On Friday it hit 67.4 inches of precipitation and was still trending up. The 1982-83 wet season produced 88.5 inches, but this year could still surpass that record.

203. RobertWC
5:22 PM CST on February 11, 2017
1 +
Bob Henson ✔ @bhensonweather
It just hit 100F at the Oklahoma Mesonet site at Mangum, OK. Today is February 11.
From the Guardian:

Humans causing climate to change 170 times faster than natural forces

Researchers behind ‘Anthropocene equation’ say impact of people’s intense activity on Earth far exceeds that of natural events spread across millennia


Greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans over the past 45 years have increased the rate of temperature rise to 1.7 degrees celsius per century. Photograph: ISS/NASA

For the first time, researchers have developed a mathematical equation to describe the impact of human activity on the earth, finding people are causing the climate to change 170 times faster than natural forces.

The equation was developed in conjunction with Professor Will Steffen, a climate change expert and researcher at the Australian National University, and was published in the journal The Anthropocene Review.

The authors of the paper wrote that for the past 4.5bn years astronomical and geophysical factors have been the dominating influences on the Earth system. The Earth system is defined by the researchers as the biosphere, including interactions and feedbacks with the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere and upper lithosphere.

But over the past six decades human forces “have driven exceptionally rapid rates of change in the Earth system,” the authors wrote, giving rise to a period known as the Anthropocene.

“Human activities now rival the great forces of nature in driving changes to the Earth system,” the paper said.

Click here to read more
This article deserves its own comment. It is lengthy. And it is beautiful.

!!! Greenland needs money. Is a uranium mine the answer?
Jesse Watters Is On The Hunt For Global Warming (video) Caution: This will kill your brain cells faster than funneling Everclear.
"(...) Antarctic sea ice set an all-time record low on Monday in a dramatic reversal from the record highs of recent years." Source:
Sea Ice Hits Record Lows at Both Poles
Climate Central - February 2017.

An Arctic Summer: Boring Through the Pack in Melville Bay

Detail from An Arctic Summer: Boring Through the Pack in Melville Bay by William Bradford, 1871.

Making a Difference
NASA Global Climate Change / Vital Signs of the Planet - Feb 2017.
You know, not having regular access to TV, not children of a certain age, I have made it to the ripe old age of 62 living in complete ignorance of Sid the Science Kid. There are so many questions that, now, must be answered.

I mean the headline: "Russian lawmakers rush to the defense of Trump’s ex-national security adviser," that seems pretty OK. Might even raise the curiosity of Sid the Science Kid.


Quoting 74. BaltimoreBrian:

Representative Jason Chaffetz decides to investigate the Sid the Science Kid cartoon character.



From Grist:


Residents survey damage at a mobile home park in Georgia after a tornado struck in January.
REUTERS/Tami Chappell

FEMA’s disaster relief budget will be slashed if conservatives get their way

One of the worst winter tornado outbreaks in U.S. history ravaged parts of the South last month, leveling homes and buildings and killing at least 20 people across Mississippi and Georgia. In total, 79 tornadoes ripped through seven states. Last week, seven tornadoes touched down in southern Louisiana, injuring 41 people. As officials and residents dug through the rubble, affected states began requesting aid from the federal government, standard practice in the aftermath of a natural disaster. Reconstruction is expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars. But if an influential conservative think tank gets its way, federal funding for future disasters may be cut sharply — even as disasters themselves become more frequent.

The proposal to cut disaster aid was part of a lengthy report released last year by the Heritage Foundation. Dubbed a Blueprint for Balance, the document argued that the federal government can save $10.5 trillion over the next decade by slashing funds for some programs and eliminating others. The blueprint calls for a funding cut for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Relief Fund, the primary mechanism through which states receive federal aid after natural disasters. It would shift the majority of the costs to state and local governments.

The Heritage Foundation is extremely influential in the world of conservative politics, and the Trump administration appears ready to lean on the think tank for policy ideas. Donald Trump’s transition team was stacked with advisers from Heritage, and the organization helped the president compile a list of potential Supreme Court picks. The Hill reported in January that a series of massive budget cuts being considered by the Trump administration “hew closely” to the Heritage budget blueprint.

Click here to read more

See also: DeSmogBlog: Heritage Foundation
From the Miami Herald:

Coastal Everglades, deprived of fresh water, near unhealthy ‘tipping point’

SHARK RIVER – At the bottom of the Everglades along the mouth of the Shark River, a towering mangrove forest stands in a place few people outside anglers and researchers ever see: at the edge of a vast shallow bay where the salty sea and freshwater marshes conspired to erect a cathedral of trees.

In the current fight over restoration, this isolated region often gets overlooked. While Lake Okeechobee pollution to the north grabs headlines and gets the attention of Florida lawmakers, it’s actually here where damage may be most profound.

For the last 16 years, nearly 80 scientists and their students from 29 organizations — including all the state’s major universities, the National Park Service and the South Florida Water Management District — have embarked on one of the longest and largest studies ever conducted on South Florida’s coastal Everglades. They now fear the system may be at what lead investigator Evelyn Gaiser calls a “tipping point,” where change is happening faster than scientists expected and spinning into a self-perpetuating cycle of decline.

The mangroves ringing the coast are moving inland, overtaking vital freshwater marshes. Growing swathes of peat, the rich mucky soil that formed over a few thousand years, are collapsing. And periphyton, the spongy brown mats of native algae that form the foundation of the food chain, is shrinking.

Aside from losing one of the planet’s rarest ecosystems, changes happening in the system could also have global consequences, damaging one of the region’s main defenses against climate change fueled by greenhouse gases.

“The threat here is we’re changing the system from one that is very good at sucking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere,” said Gaiser, a Florida International University aquatic ecologist, “to one that’s very rapidly losing it.”

Click here to read more

Robert Rohde:
‏@rarohde

Warm start to 2017. Globally, January was 0.96 ± 0.05 C above 1951-1980 average. 2nd warmest Jan. since 1850, behind 2016.




The warm start to 2017, slightly above the 2016 average, increases the odds that 2017 could challenge for warmest year.

Dr. Rood, being a 46-year old gay married man (no kids, not adopting any), I hadn't heard of Sid the Science Kid either. I looked it up-that show started on PBS in 2008. I only found out about it when looking through the Washington Post site yesterday.
How can we even be citizens of the world?

Next people will have a litmus test of knowing about Sid the Science Kid, an just what he is doing to society.

Quoting 79. BaltimoreBrian:

Dr. Rood, being a 46-year old gay married man (no kids, not adopting any), I hadn't heard of Sid the Science Kid either. I looked it up-that show started on PBS in 2008. I only found out about it when looking through the Washington Post site yesterday.
Quoting 81. RickyRood:

How can we even be citizens of the world?

Next people will have a litmus test of knowing about Sid the Science Kid, an just what he is doing to society.




I don't know what what you are complaining about. I have been working on computers since the early 1990's. I know what WYSIWYG means. I know what RLL, MFM, IDE, SATA and SSD stand for. I know what MODEM stands for. I still have to use Google to figure out what my grandkids send me in a text message!
Do they let you vote?

Quoting 82. Some1Has2BtheRookie:



I don't know what what you are complaining about. I have been working on computers since the early 1990's. I know what WYSIWYG means. I know what RLL, MFM, IDE, SATA and SSD stand for. I know what MODEM stands for. I still have to use Google to figure out what my grandkids send me in a text message!
Quoting 84. RickyRood:

Do they let you vote?




LOL. I tell them that I am going to get gas for the car. :)
From UCI:

Canadian glaciers now major contributor to sea level change, UCI study shows

Nine times more ice is melting annually due to warmer temperatures


Irvine, Calif., Feb. 14, 2017 — Ice loss from Canada’s Arctic glaciers has transformed them into a major contributor to sea level change, new research by University of California, Irvine glaciologists has found.

From 2005 to 2015, surface melt off ice caps and glaciers of the Queen Elizabeth Islands grew by an astonishing 900 percent, from an average of three gigatons to 30 gigatons per year, according to results published today in the journal Environmental Research Letters.


UCI / Jennie Brewton

“In the past decade, as air temperatures have warmed, surface melt has increased dramatically,” said lead author Romain Millan, an Earth system science doctoral student.

The team found that in the past decade, overall ice mass declined markedly, turning the region into a major contributor to sea level change. Canada holds 25 percent of all Arctic ice, second only to Greenland.

The study provides the first long-term analysis of ice flow to the ocean, from 1991 to 2015.

Click here to read more.
On february 5, 2017, NOAA ESRL published the preliminary November, 2016 global methane mean - a new high of 1852.6 ppb.

!!! Risk of rapid North Atlantic cooling in 21st century greater than previously estimated
Science Daily (Source: CNRS) - February 2017.

About this picture

Summary:

The possibility of major climate change in the Atlantic region has long been recognized and has even been the subject of a Hollywood movie: The Day After Tomorrow. To evaluate the risk of such climate change, researchers developed a new algorithm to analyze the 40 climate models considered by the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Their findings raise the probability of rapid North Atlantic cooling during this century to nearly 50%.


Beach bashing: Last year's El Nino resulted in unprecedented erosion of Pacific coastline
Science Daily - February 2017.

Image credit: David Hubbard.

Summary:

Last winter's El Nino might have felt weak to residents of Southern California, but it was in fact one of the most powerful climate events of the past 145 years. If such severe El Nino events become more common in the future as some studies suggest they might, the California coast -- home to more than 25 million people -- may become increasingly vulnerable to coastal hazards. And that's independent of projected sea level rise.



What Happens When That Enormous Antarctic Ice Shelf Finally Breaks?
Gizmodo - February 2017.

Rift in the Larsen C ice shelf photographed by NASA's IceBridge aerial survey in November 2016. Image: NASA/John Sonntag.
Think about this one.


Madness'


Climate Change Has Already Harmed Almost Half of All Mammals
Researchers found the range of wildlife now affected by climate change is broad, and includes animals on every continent

By Scott Waldman, ClimateWire on February 15, 2017


The effect of climate change on endangered species has been wildly underestimated, a new study has found.
A survey of studies has determined that climate change has had a particularly dire effect on mammals and birds on the endangered species list. That includes about half of the mammals and almost a quarter of the birds on the “red list” kept by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), according to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. The study found that about 700 species on the list were affected by the warming planet.

The findings show that climate change is already a major threat to many species on Earth, not at some vague point in the future, said James Watson, a researcher at the University of Queensland in Australia. Watson said most climate studies on biodiversity focus on the effects climate change could have 50 to 100 years from now.
“It’s a scientific problem in that we are not thinking about climate change as a present-day problem, we’re always forecasting into the future,” he said, adding, “When you look at the evidence, there is a massive amount of impact right now.”

Currently, IUCN only lists about 7 percent of mammals on the list and 4 percent of birds as being threatened by climate change.
A team of researchers examined about 130 earlier studies. They found the range of animals now affected by climate change is broad, including animals on every continent. Particularly hard hit are animals with highly specialized diets and those that live in high altitudes. But, they found, even those with a wide range of diet are suffering from tremendous declines.
The list includes all species of elephants, eastern gorillas and snow leopards, as well as many types of bird. Animals, such as rodents, that can burrow were better able to adapt to the changes in their habitat.

Animals that breed more slowly, including primates and elephants, or marsupials, which evolved in stable tropical climates, were less able to thrive in a quickly changing environment. The relative stability of their environment means they are more vulnerable to extreme temperatures and storms, researchers found.
Those animals are expected to be harmed even more in the future, said Michela Pacifici of the Global Mammal Assessment program at Sapienza University of Rome and a lead author of the study.
“It is likely that many of these species have a high probability of being very negatively impacted by expected future changes in the climate,” she said.
The study shows a significant trend in some of the most researched taxonomic groups, according to Watson. More worrying is how a warming planet is affecting plants and animals that have been subjected to less research.

“We have seriously underestimated the effects of climate change on the most well-known groups, which means those other groups, reptiles, amphibians, fish, plants, the story is going to be much, much worse in terms of what we think the threat is from climate change already,” he said.
The study noted that animals in North American and Europe were the most studied. The researchers cautioned that their findings may not be “less generalizable” to animals in Africa and Asia, as well as South America.
Watson said the study should demonstrate to researchers as well as policymakers that the changing planet is already harming animals and that climate change needs to be addressed as an issue now playing out, not something that could happen in the future.

Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from E&E News. E&E provides daily coverage of essential energy and environmental news at www.eenews.net.

Wees gonnas all pays fo diss,...

Jar-Jar Binks
From the Washington Post:

Scientists have just detected a major change to the Earth’s oceans linked to a warming climate


Big waves generated by the Nazare canyon just off the coast of Nazare, central Portugal, in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean. (Francisco Leong/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)

A large research synthesis, published in one of the world’s most influential scientific journals, has detected a decline in the amount of dissolved oxygen in oceans around the world — a long-predicted result of climate change that could have severe consequences for marine organisms if it continues.

The paper, published Wednesday in the journal Nature by oceanographer Sunke Schmidtko and two colleagues from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany, found a decline of more than 2 percent in ocean oxygen content worldwide between 1960 and 2010. The loss, however, showed up in some ocean basins more than others. The largest overall volume of oxygen was lost in the largest ocean — the Pacific — but as a percentage, the decline was sharpest in the Arctic Ocean, a region facing Earth’s most stark climate change.

The loss of ocean oxygen “has been assumed from models, and there have been lots of regional analysis that have shown local decline, but it has never been shown on the global scale, and never for the deep ocean,” said Schmidtko, who conducted the research with Lothar Stramma and Martin Visbeck, also of the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre.

Ocean oxygen is vital to marine organisms, but also very delicate — unlike in the atmosphere, where gases mix together thoroughly, in the ocean that is far harder to accomplish, Schmidtko explained. Moreover, he added, just 1 percent of all the Earth’s available oxygen mixes into the ocean; the vast majority remains in the air.

Climate change models predict the oceans will lose oxygen because of several factors. Most obvious is simply that warmer water holds less dissolved gases, including oxygen. “It’s the same reason we keep our sparkling drinks pretty cold,” Schmidtko said.

But another factor is the growing stratification of ocean waters. Oxygen enters the ocean at its surface, from the atmosphere and from the photosynthetic activity of marine microorganisms. But as that upper layer warms up, the oxygen-rich waters are less likely to mix down into cooler layers of the ocean because the warm waters are less dense and do not sink as readily.

“When the upper ocean warms, less water gets down deep, and so therefore, the oxygen supply to the deep ocean is shut down or significantly reduced,” Schmidtko said.

Click here to read more.
Quoting 78. Xandra:

Robert Rohde:
‏@rarohde

Warm start to 2017. Globally, January was 0.96 ± 0.05 C above 1951-1980 average. 2nd warmest Jan. since 1850, behind 2016.




The warm start to 2017, slightly above the 2016 average, increases the odds that 2017 could challenge for warmest year.



I think NASA GISTemp came out today too. Also one of the top 5 warmest Januarys.
Want to bet whether Trump takes credit for a small decline in global temperature this year after 3 consecutive years set record highs?
Quoting 92. ScottLincoln:


I think NASA GISTemp came out today too. Also one of the top 5 warmest Januarys.

Yes the third warmest january on record.

From NASA GISS:

January 2017 Was Third-Warmest January On Record



January 2017 was the third warmest January in 137 years of modern record-keeping, according to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.

Last month's temperature was 0.20 degrees Celsius cooler than the warmest January in 2016. However, it was 0.92 degrees Celsius warmer than the mean January temperature from 1951-1980.

Two of the three top January temperature anomalies have been during the past two years. 2016 was the hottest on record, at 1.12 degrees Celsius warmer than the January mean temperature, followed by 2007 at 0.96 degrees Celsius warmer. January 2017 placed third.

Click here to read more

Data: https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata_v3/G LB.Ts+dSST.txt
Ed Hawkins:
‏@ed_hawkins

Exactly 79 years ago today, an amateur meteorologist provided the first evidence that the globe was warming due to carbon dioxide emissions.

His name was Guy Stewart Callendar (@GuyCallendar) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Stewart_Callend ar



He had to do all the calculations by hand, without a computer, meticulously recording the observations in many notebooks like this one.



Tyndall & Arrhenius had earlier suggested that CO2 changes would alter the climate, but Callendar's study was first observational evidence.

Callendar's original 1938 study, with 'review comments' from esteemed meteorologists at the end, is available: http://www.met.reading.ac.uk/~ed/callendar_1938.p df

Callendar's global land temperature change estimates are remarkably similar to modern estimates for the same period https://www.climate-lab-book.ac.uk/2013/75-years- after-callendar/



Callendar highlighted some potential benefits of a warming planet: avoiding the deadly ice ages & increased crop growth at high latitudes.

But as the world warms, the negative consequences become clearer, eg. rising sea levels, melting ice, increasing heatwaves & heavy rainfall.
From InsideClimate News:

Scientists' Group Launches Website to Help Federal Whistleblowers

Fearing an assault on science from the Trump administration, the Union of Concerned Scientists is creating a way for federal scientists to report abuses.


Many scientists, led by those doing climate work, have expressed concern about the Trump administration's actions and the future of federal science. Credit: Wikimedia

Many of President Donald Trump's words and actions have federal scientists worried their work will be politicized or suppressed. Now, one advocacy group is responding with a step-by-step guide for scientists to securely share information about any foul play.

The Union of Concerned Scientists, whose mission is to protect scientific integrity, has created a webpage for federal scientists to report abuses, with instructions on how to avoid detection or hacking.

Trump has called climate change a hoax, and one of his administration's first moves was to remove pages from the White House and State Department websites that referred to the issue. The Trump administration has sent memos and directives to agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Park Service, that some employees reportedly interpreted as gag orders, though some of the directives were later reversed or disavowed.

"There have been a number of actions either proposed or taken by the transition team and the administration that make science more vulnerable to political interference," said Michael Halpern, deputy director of the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. He said many of Trump's nominees are opposed to the missions of the agencies they would oversee. "When you have hostile agency appointees, science becomes more vulnerable to political influence. So I think all these conditions taken together make it more important for federal employees to report what they see."

[...]

UCS's new webpage encourages federal employees to "share any evidence of actions that impede the ability of science or scientists to protect public health and the environment," including memos, emails or "datasets or other information that has been altered or removed from public view."

Click here to read full article
Global warming already surrendering to new administration! After failures of 2014-2016! World temperatures are dropping! Great!

2,500 cm of sea level rise by 2500 CE. Gonna make it happen. It's gonna be great.
From InsideClimate News:

EPA Official, After Years of Work to Thwart the Agency's Mission, Returns to Carry Out Trump Agenda

A key member of Donald Trump's transition team, David Schnare returns to the agency where he worked for 33 years, while also striving to hamstring some of its work.


David Schnare in a Fox News appearance about the EPA

David Schnare's career with the Environmental Protection Agency began in the agency's infancy in 1978 with the critical mission of implementing the new Safe Drinking Water Act. Over the next 33 years, he would call the EPA home as an enforcement lawyer and policy analyst, while also working in his outside time to try to undermine some of the agency's pressing priorities.

During his tenure at the EPA, Schnare simultaneously directed a conservative think tank's environmental program that opposed regulation as a pollution remedy. He testified to Congress that carbon regulations do greater harm to the environment than carbon dioxide. He also co-founded a legal organization funded partly by fossil fuel interests, and through that group launched an effort to make public climate scientists' private emails to call their work into question.

Now in his late 60s, Schnare returns to the EPA in a far more powerful role: reshaping it under another foe of regulation, President Donald Trump. He is one of 11 appointees to the agency's beachhead team that is beginning to implement the administration's agenda, which Trump has promised will include a rollback of environmental regulations. Schnare said he's been asked to stay on full-time beyond the transition. That's a chilling prospect for environmental and climate activists, who worry his history of aggressive campaigns against scientists and fossil fuel regulation mean he will work against the agency's mission.

"The bottom line is he has been a virulent EPA critic who has worked to block health protections saving many tens of thousands of lives a year," said John Walke, director of the clean air program at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Click here to read more.
NASA Satellite Spots Mile-Long Iceberg Breaking Off of Antarctic Glacier

Kacey Deamer | LiveScience | February 16, 2017


Photo Credits: NASA Earth Observatory

A massive, 1-mile-long (1.6 kilometers) chunk of ice has broken off Antarctica's fast-changing Pine Island Glacier, and NASA satellites captured the dramatic event as the icy surface cracked and ripped apart.

The Pine Island Glacier is one of the largest glaciers within the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, accounting for about 20 percent of the ice sheet's total ice flow to the ocean, according to NASA scientists. The immense glacier is also one of the least stable, and in recent years, the ice sheet has been quickly retreating and losing massive amounts of ice. Previously, icebergs the size of cities have broken off of the Pine Island Glacier.

The glacier's last major iceberg break — an event known as calving — was in July 2015, when an iceberg measuring almost 225 square miles (580 square kilometers) separated from Pine Island Glacier.

The Earth-watching Landsat 8 satellite captured images of the latest iceberg event between Jan. 25 and 29, seeing the progression from the initial crack to the iceberg floating into the bay. Though this latest iceberg is about 10 times smaller than the 2015 event, measuring between 0.6 and 1.2 miles (1 to 2 km), NASA scientists said the recent break shows how fragile the ice shelf is.

"I think this event is the calving equivalent of an 'aftershock' following the much bigger event," Ian Howat, a glaciologist at The Ohio State University, said in a statement. "Apparently, there are weaknesses in the ice shelf — just inland of the rift that caused the 2015 calving — that are resulting in these smaller breaks."

More icebergs may break off of the Pine Island Glacier in the near future. NASA has previously photographed small rifts developing about 6 miles (10 km) from the ice front, and one such rift was observed on Nov. 4, 2016, during one of the agency's Operation IceBridge flights to monitor the region.

Climate change and the warming ocean have been linked to the the retreat and melt of the world's ice. According to Howat, such "rapid fire" calving is generally unusual for the glacier, but West Antarctic glaciers are eroding due to the flow of warm ocean water beneath them. A recent study found that the warming ocean was melting an ice crevasse of the Pine Island Glacier at the bedrock level, melting the glacier from its center.

These warmer ocean waters are causing the Antarctic ice shelf to break from the inside out. As such, scientists expect further calving along the glacier and have warned that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet could collapse within the next 100 years.

Original article on Live Science. Copyright © 2017 All Rights Reserved.
From Live Science:

'The Blob' in Pacific Ocean Linked to Spike in Ozone


The "warm blob," seen in April 2015, squished up against the West Coast. The scale bar is in degrees Celsius (each increment is 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit). Credit: NOAA National Climate Data Center

A warm blob of water lurking in the Pacific Ocean in 2014 and 2015 led to a spike in ozone levels across the western U.S., new research suggests.

[...]

The "blob" ― as meteorologists affectionately called the mass of warm water ― occurred from the winter of 2014 through the summer of 2015, when high sea-surface temperatures prevailed in the Northeast Pacific Ocean. The warmer waters — about 2 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit (1 to 4 degrees Celsius) higher than average for the region — spanned from the coast of Sitka, Alaska, to Santa Barbara, California, and came with a high-pressure system in the atmosphere that led to low wind speeds, fewer storms and sunnier skies.

The warm blob scrambled the food chain and brought a host of strange ecological effects: The toastier waters fueled some of the worst-ever toxic red tide algal blooms, and marine mammals died in droves as they struggled to find enough food in normally cold, food-rich waters, Jaffe said.

[...]

"When you looked at where the highest temperatures were and the unusual highest ozone levels were, you see an unusually good match," Jaffe told Live Science.

That made the team suspect the blob may have fueled the ozone levels. Ozone forms when hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides, which are emitted as pollutants from cars, undergo a complicated chemical reaction with sunlight in the atmosphere. Both sunlight and high temperatures fuel faster ozone-formation, whereas the wind blows away the basic building-block pollutants, making it harder to form ozone, Jaffe said.

[...]

The new findings suggest the blob directly led to dangerous levels of ozone across the western U.S.

What's not known, however, is whether climate change will lead to more of these blobby weather patterns.

"We know it's getting warmer, and the question becomes how will ozone change in the future?" Jaffe said.

Click here to read full article
From Phys.org:

Climate change doubled the likelihood of the Australian heatwave


Maximum temperature anomalies across NSW on February 11, the peak of the heatwave. Credit: Bureau of Meteorology, Author provided

[...]

Since Christmas, much of eastern Australia has been in a flux of extreme temperatures. This increased frequency of heatwaves shows a strong trend in observations, which is set to continue as the human influence on the climate deepens.

It is all part of a rapid warming trend that over the past decade has seen new heat records in Australia outnumber new cold records by 12 to 1.

Let's be clear, this is not natural. Climate scientists have long been saying that we would feel the impacts of human-caused climate change in heat records first, before noticing the upward swing in average temperatures (although that is happening too). This heatwave is simply the latest example.

What's more, in just a few decades' time, summer conditions like these will be felt across the whole country regularly.

Attributing the heat

The useful thing scientifically about heatwaves is that we can estimate the role that climate change plays in these individual events. This is a relatively new field known as "event attribution", which has grown and improved significantly over the past decade.

Using the Weather@Home climate model, we looked at the role of human-induced climate change in this latest heatwave, as we have for other events before.

We compared the likelihood of such a heatwave in model simulations that factor in human greenhouse gas emissions, compared with simulations in which there is no such human influence. Since 2017 has only just begun, we used model runs representing 2014, which was similarly an El Niño-neutral year, while also experiencing similar levels of human influence on the climate.

Based on this analysis, we found that heatwaves at least as hot as this one are now twice as likely to occur. In the current climate, a heatwave of this severity and extent occurs, on average, once every 120 years, so is still quite rare. However, without human-induced climate change, this heatwave would only occur once every 240 years.

In other words, the waiting time for the recent east Australian heatwave has halved. As climate change worsens in the coming decades, the waiting time will reduce even further.

Our results show very clearly the influence of climate change on this heatwave event. They tell us that what we saw last weekend is a taste of what our future will bring, unless humans can rapidly and deeply cut our greenhouse emissions.

[...]

Click here to read full article.

See also: weather@home—development and validation of a very large ensemble modelling system for probabilistic event attribution
Less snow and a shorter ski season in the Alps
Phys.org - Feb. 16.
After long-awaited snowfall in January, parts of the Alps are now covered with fresh powder and happy skiers. But the Swiss side of the iconic mountain range had the driest December since record-keeping began over 150 years ago, and 2016 was the third year in a row with scarce snow over the Christmas period. A study published today in The Cryosphere, a journal of the European Geosciences Union, shows bare Alpine slopes could be a much more common sight in the future. (...)

State of Alpine Glaciers in 2016 - Negative for 37th Consecutive Year
AGU Blogs - Feb. 2017.
(...) Much of Europe experienced record or near record warmth in 2016, thus contributing to the negative mass balance of glaciers on this continent. In the European Alps, annual mass balance has been reported for 12 glaciers from Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland. All had negative annual balances with a mean of -1050 mm w.e. This continues the pattern of substantial negative balances in the Alps and continues to lead to terminus retreat. In 2015, in Switzerland 99 glaciers were observed, 92 retreated, 3 were stable and 4 advanced. In 2015, Austria observed 93 glaciers; 89 retreated, 2 were stable and 2 advanced, the average retreat rate was 22 m. (...)
Mexico City, Parched and Sinking, Faces a Water Crisis
New York Times - Feb. 17.
(...) Much is being written about climate change and the impact of rising seas on waterfront populations. But coasts are not the only places affected. Mexico City - high in the mountains, in the center of the country - is a glaring example. The world has a lot invested in crowded capitals like this one, with vast numbers of people, huge economies and the stability of a hemisphere at risk. (...)
From ProPublica:

Child’s Play: Team Trump Rewrites a Department of Energy Website for Kids

Effort meant to inform younger generations about energy and the environment sees sentences reworked and pie charts eliminated.



Almost 20 years ago, the U.S. Energy Information Administration had an idea: Make an educational website for children about energy sources and the science behind them.

In short order, the EIA created “Energy Kids,” which now features energy-themed sudoku and crossword puzzles, colorful pie charts and a know-it-all mascot called Energy Ant. Images of a school bus parked between a coal plant and an oil rig adorn the bottom of the web page, along with drawings of wind turbines, solar panels and an energy-efficient lightbulb.

During the Obama administration, Energy Kids even won multiple international awards for its content and design, as well as one from a digital publishing company that hailed it as “the best of the best in open and engaging government.”

The Trump administration, it seems, wasn’t altogether impressed with the site or its awards. In recent weeks, language on the website describing the environmental impacts of energy sources has been reworked, and two pie charts concerning the link between coal and greenhouse gas emissions have been removed altogether.

On a page dedicated to coal, the following sentences were deleted: “In the United States, most of the coal consumed is used as a fuel to generate electricity. Burning coal produces emissions that adversely affect the environment and human health.”

The two pie charts that were axed showed that although coal generated only 42 percent of total U.S. electricity in 2014, it created 76 percent of total carbon dioxide emissions linked to electricity generation.

“Impact” seems to have been a word the new administration disliked in particular.

The sentence “Reuse and recycling can also reduce coal’s environmental impact” was changed to “Reuse and recycling can also reduce the environmental effects of coal production and use.” “Underground mines have less of an impact on the environment compared to surface mines” became “Underground mines generally have a lesser effect on the landscape compared to surface mines.” “Impacts of coal mining” was changed to “Effects of coal mining,” and “Reducing the environmental impacts of coal use” became “Reducing the environmental effects of coal use.”

In a section on oil, the sentence, “There are environmental concerns associated with hydraulic fracturing” became “Hydraulic fracturing has some effects on the environment.”

On a separate kids’ page for greenhouse gases, a paragraph detailing the U.S. share of global carbon dioxide emissions was also deleted:

“The United States, with 4 percent of the world’s population, produced about 17 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels in 2011, the most recent year for which global data are available. The United States has the world’s largest economy and meets 83 percent of its energy needs by burning fossil fuels.”

Another change involved shrinking a paragraph into footnote-sized font. The minimized text includes a description of methane as “a strong greenhouse gas” that results from coal mining. In the same paragraph, the sentence “Learn more about greenhouse gas emissions” — along with a link to the EIA’s page on “Where Greenhouse Gases Come From” — was deleted.

The changes on the website for kids were flagged by the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative, a group including scientists, lawyers and archivists that started tracking changes to federal websites and data after Trump’s election. ProPublica independently confirmed the timing and nature of the website changes by examining previous versions of the EIA website captured by the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.

Click here to read more.
Society of Pro Journ:
‏@spj_tweets

An attack on a free press by a sitting US president is a slap in the face to democracy, our country's founders and the American people.

Donald J. Trump ‏@realDonaldTrump

The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!

RE: #107

Congrats to Peter Sinclair, the founder of the ClimateCrocks.com website and producer of the Climate Denial Crock of the Week video series; and the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication on a well deserved Friend of the Planet Award.

From the Huffington Post:

Here’s What We Learned From Friday’s #DayofFacts

Libraries and museums reminded the world of the better alternative to “alternative.”



Museums and libraries are typically nonpartisan institutions, but even they can’t stay quiet in this political climate and amid the “fake news” buzz. On Friday, they took to Twitter to stand up for something that’s become a puzzling political talking point: Facts.

Using the hashtag #DayofFacts, scientists, historians and even encyclopedias filled Twitter feeds with all the facts that no one ― not a POTUS nor political pundit ― could deny.

The movement was launched by two museum educators in Virginia and D.C., and more than 280 institutions participated, according to The Washington Post.

“We’re using facts to illustrate truth about the present moment,” Alli Hartley, one of the founders, told the Post.

Tweeted facts varied from the mind-blowing (Earth is 4.5 billion years old) to the poignant (over half of the world’s refugees are children). Most tweets seemed to address political topics: civil rights, climate change, borders and immigration, and the free press.

[...]

So, what do we get when a horde of researchers, scientists and history buffs tweet in the fight against “alternative facts”?

Turns out, a whole lot of truth bombs about our country, its history, its communities and the health of the planet we all call home.

[...]

Click here to read full article.

In 2004 there was a massive attack on those who would oppose embryonic stem cell research. Scientists and physicians involved in research were all over the news promoting this research as a cure all. Those opposed to it were morally offended by this research. With many of the same celebrities who advocate climate change today, advocating embryonic stem cell research then. The same scientists who said we would be out of oil by now. Same scientists who said we were running out landfills for our trash. If climate change is the threat it is reported to be, then there should be no problem in getting an agreement similar to the Montreal Protocol. We are kind of lucky that we didn't have the industrial revolution 15,000 years ago, the same arguments would be made to keep us in the ice age. It hasn't been this hot in 20,000 years.
New important study describes how warming is already causing sizable reductions in Colorado River flow.

The 21st century Colorado River hot drought and implications for the future

Bradley Udall, Jonathan Overpeck

Accepted manuscript online: 17 February 2017

DOI: 10.1002/2016WR019638

Abstract

Between 2000 and 2014, annual Colorado River flows averaged 19% below the 1906-1999 average, the worst 15-year drought on record. At least one-sixth to one-half (average at one-third) of this loss is due to unprecedented temperatures (0.9°C above the 1906-99 average), confirming model-based analysis that continued warming will likely further reduce flows. Whereas it is virtually certain that warming will continue with additional emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, there has been no observed trend towards greater precipitation in the Colorado Basin, nor are climate models in agreement that there should be a trend. Moreover, there is a significant risk of decadal and multidecadal drought in the coming century, indicating that any increase in mean precipitation will likely be offset during periods of prolonged drought. Recently published estimates of Colorado River flow sensitivity to temperature combined with a large number of recent climate model-based temperature projections indicate that continued business-as-usual warming will drive temperature-induced declines in river flow, conservatively -20% by mid-century and -35% by end–century, with support for losses exceeding -30% at mid-century and -55% at end-century. Precipitation increases may moderate these declines somewhat, but to date no such increases are evident and there is no model agreement on future precipitation changes. These results, combined with the increasing likelihood of prolonged drought in the river basin, suggest that future climate change impacts on the Colorado River flows will be much more serious than currently assumed, especially if substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions do not occur. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


More information: Climate change is already sapping the Colorado River

A warming climate is already reducing the flow in the Colorado River, and the future risk is large, with a worst case of the river’s flow being cut in half by the end of the century, according to a new study from a pair of the region’s leading researchers.

From the Guardian:

Australia’s new normal … as city temperatures hit 47C people shelter from the deadly heat

In Sydney’s baking suburbs, fans have sold out – and fears about the effects of climate change are mounting

Nahid is resting on a bench outside a Target clothing store, her groceries beside her. A cheery, middle-aged woman with a soft Egyptian accent, she is eating a cone of bubblegum ice-cream as though it contains the secret of life. When I ask her if she’s enjoying her ice-cream, it takes her 30 seconds to stop laughing.

“On the weekend I was sick! Sick from the heat! It was like a virus,” she exclaims. “My nephew, he was throwing up from the heat! He couldn’t even take water, he was so sick.

“They say it’s going to be this bad in March too! Normally it is a little cooler in March, but this year…” Nahid shakes her head sorrowfully.

Australians are no strangers to hot weather. But for the past week large parts of the continent have suffered a heatwave of unusual length and intensity. Temperature records were beaten in cities and rural towns around the country. Shops across Sydney ran out of fans, and New South Wales energy minister Don Harwin urged people to beat the heat by going to the movies. More than 40,000 homes in South Australia experienced blackouts as electricity networks struggled to cope with the increased demand placed on the grid by air conditioners.

[...]

The heatwave is officially over, but the reality of Australian summers getting hotter is much more serious and far-reaching than a few more hot days each year. Almost every Australian capital city experienced higher-than-average temperatures in January; in Sydney and Brisbane, it was the hottest month on record. That scorching January came after 2016 was the country’s fourth-hottest year on record – a year that, in turn, followed on from 2013, the hottest year the country has ever recorded.

[...]

It wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume that the Australian government’s response to this steadily unfolding public health and safety crisis would include some acknowledgement of the elephant in the room – climate change. That’s certainly the opinion of the Bureau of Meteorology, which warned in its state of the climate report, published in late 2016, that “the duration, frequency and intensity of extreme heat events have increased across large parts of Australia”, and that “Australian temperatures are projected to continue increasing”.

“There’s a clear trend where those extreme hot days across the continent are increasing, and quite dramatically over the past 20 years,” Braganza says. “Regarding fire weather – which includes things like wind speed, humidity, the drought factor – we’ve seen a shift in most of Australia’s fire-prone regions towards a longer fire season and an increase in the frequency and extremity of fire events, as well as fire danger days.”

But the country’s current administration, headed by the conservative Liberal Party and the rural-based National Party, is deeply hostile to any substantive action on climate change, and the recent heat has seemingly done little to change their minds.

[...]

Click here to read full article.
From the Huffington Post:

GOP Wants NASA To Stop Worrying About Earth And Focus On Space

There are talks of “rebalancing” the agency’s mission as it continues to tweet about climate change.

NASA continues to steadfastly tweet urgent climate change information despite a critical president and GOP efforts to force the agency to stick to space and forget the Earth.

The Trump administration aims to largely restrict NASA’s focus to its space missions and have it abandon climate change research, which is a part of its Earth Sciences Division. The division, which accounts for just $2 billion of NASA’s $20 billion budget, also includes gathering weather information, which the Republicans don’t want to drop.

At a House Science, Space and Technology Committee hearing last Thursday, Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said he wants a “rebalancing” of NASA’s mission to allow other agencies to take over its climate change research. But it’s unclear which agencies could pick up the slack.

The new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, climate-change sceptic Scott Pruitt, has vowed to cut the EPA’s budget and staff in the wake of Trump’s campaign promise to “get rid” of the agency, The New York Times noted. The EPA has also been under orders from the Trump administration to refrain from tweeting anything about climate change.

Meanwhile, NASA posts daily climate change updates on @NASAclimate and Facebook with frequent dire warnings about rapid global changes.

Click here to read more.

Re. 112:

When one expends the effort to name sources and furnish their exact statements one can be more persuasive. However sometimes one does not find what one expected and then one can adjust one's opinions to agree with reality. Just sayin'. ;^)
Quoting 115. Xandra:

From the Huffington Post:

GOP Wants NASA To Stop Worrying About Earth And Focus On Space

There are talks of “rebalancing” the agency’s mission as it continues to tweet about climate change.

NASA continues to steadfastly tweet urgent climate change information despite a critical president and GOP efforts to force the agency to stick to space and forget the Earth.

The Trump administration aims to largely restrict NASA’s focus to its space missions and have it abandon climate change research, which is a part of its Earth Sciences Division. The division, which accounts for just $2 billion of NASA’s $20 billion budget, also includes gathering weather information, which the Republicans don’t want to drop.

At a House Science, Space and Technology Committee hearing last Thursday, Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said he wants a “rebalancing” of NASA’s mission to allow other agencies to take over its climate change research. But it’s unclear which agencies could pick up the slack.

The new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, climate-change sceptic Scott Pruitt, has vowed to cut the EPA’s budget and staff in the wake of Trump’s campaign promise to “get rid” of the agency, The New York Times noted. The EPA has also been under orders from the Trump administration to refrain from tweeting anything about climate change.

Meanwhile, NASA posts daily climate change updates on @NASAclimate and Facebook with frequent dire warnings about rapid global changes.

Click here to read more.


Of course planetary science wouldn't apply to the only planet we know of that supports human life. :^\
In the Sierras, New Approaches to Protecting Forests Under Stress
Yale Environment 360 - Feb. 13.

In California's Sierras and around the world, extreme drought and rising temperatures are killing trees and threatening the viability of forests. Some ecologists are saying that land managers now need to adopt radically new strategies. (...)



California Forests Failing to Regrow After Intense Wildfires
Inside Climate News - December 2016.

(...) Alistair Jump, a forest ecologist in the U.K. who has studied forests on three continents, said recent forest die-offs around the world should be seen as part of a global forest crisis. The massive changes aren't just a symptom of climate change -- they could drive changes in the global carbon cycle that would speed the buildup of heat-trapping pollution. (...)
Quoting 112. Misogynist:

In 2004 there was a massive attack on those who would oppose embryonic stem cell research. Scientists and physicians involved in research were all over the news promoting this research as a cure all. Those opposed to it were morally offended by this research. With many of the same celebrities who advocate climate change today, advocating embryonic stem cell research then. The same scientists who said we would be out of oil by now. Same scientists who said we were running out landfills for our trash. If climate change is the threat it is reported to be, then there should be no problem in getting an agreement similar to the Montreal Protocol. We are kind of lucky that we didn't have the industrial revolution 15,000 years ago, the same arguments would be made to keep us in the ice age. It hasn't been this hot in 20,000 years.


The Montreal Protocol was implemented with far less evidence of the problems that particulates were causing us than there is evidence that our release of greenhouse gases are causing us. There was far less push back on the reduction of particulates than there was, and still is, on the reduction of greenhouse gases. One likely reason for this is that we cannot "see" the greenhouse gases whereas, in many cases, we could see the particulates and the impacts that they were causing. Another reason would be is that particulates could be reduced with readily available substitutes of products being used and scrubber technologies. This is not so much the case for the reduction of greenhouse when one cannot actually see the greenhouse gases and their impacts are not as easily detected, even if their impacts will be far more enduring and problematic than the particulates would be.



--That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. --
Warming ponds could accelerate climate change
Phys.org - Feb. 20.

"This accelerating effect in ponds, which could have serious impacts on climate change, is not currently accounted for in Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change models."


New footage shows crack in Larsen C Ice Shelf
British Antarctic Survey - Feb 21.

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) recently captured this video footage of a huge crack in the Larsen C Ice Shelf, on the Antarctic Peninsula. Currently a huge iceberg (...) looks set to break off Larsen C Ice Shelf, which is more than twice the size of Wales. Satellite observations from February 2017 show the growing crack in the ice shelf which suggests that an iceberg with an area of more than 5,000 km2 is likely to calve soon.

(...) The largest icebergs known have all calved from ice shelves. In 1956, a huge iceberg of roughly 32,000 km2 - bigger than Belgium - was spotted in the Ross Sea by a US Navy icebreaker. However, since there were no satellites in orbit at this point, its exact size was not verified. In 1986, a section of the Filchner ice shelf roughly the size of Wales calved - but this iceberg broke into three pieces almost immediately. The largest iceberg recorded by satellites calved from the Ross ice shelf in 2001, and was roughly the size of Jamaica at 11,000 km2. (...)
From The New York Times:

The Pruitt Emails: E.P.A. Chief Was Arm in Arm With Industry


Scott Pruitt, administrator of the E.P.A., at the agency’s headquarters in Washington on Tuesday. Credit Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — During his tenure as attorney general of Oklahoma, Scott Pruitt, now the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, closely coordinated with major oil and gas producers, electric utilities and political groups with ties to the libertarian billionaire brothers Charles G. and David H. Koch to roll back environmental regulations, according to over 6,000 pages of emails made public on Wednesday.

The publication of the correspondence comes just days after Mr. Pruitt was sworn in to run the E.P.A., which is charged with reining in pollution and regulating public health.

“Thank you to your respective bosses and all they are doing to push back against President Obama’s EPA and its axis with liberal environmental groups to increase energy costs for Oklahomans and American families across the states,” said one email sent to Mr. Pruitt and an Oklahoma congressman in August 2013 by Matt Ball, an executive at Americans for Prosperity. That nonprofit group is funded in part by the Kochs, the Kansas business executives who spent much of the last decade combating federal regulations, particularly in the energy sector. “You both work for true champions of freedom and liberty!” the note said.

[...]

An Oklahoma judge ordered the release of the emails in response to a lawsuit by the Center for Media and Democracy, a liberal watchdog group. Many of the emails are copies of documents previously provided in 2014 to The New York Times, which examined Mr. Pruitt’s interaction with energy industry players that his office also helps regulate.

The companies provided him draft letters to send to federal regulators in an attempt to block federal regulations intended to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas wells, ozone air pollution, and chemicals used in fracking, the email correspondence shows.

They held secret meetings to discuss more comprehensive ways to combat the Obama administration’s environmental agenda, and the companies and organizations they funded repeatedly praised Mr. Pruitt and his staff for the assistance he provided in their campaign.

The correspondence points to the tension emerging as Mr. Pruitt is now charged with regulating many of the same companies with which he coordinated closely in his previous position. As attorney general of Oklahoma, Mr. Pruitt took part in 14 lawsuits against major E.P.A. environmental rules, often in coordination with energy companies such as Devon Energy, an Oklahoma oil and gas producer, and American Electric Power, an Ohio-based electric utility.

Click here to read full article.
Eric Holthaus: "A brave EPA employee securely contacted me with a heartfelt message for all Americans."

From Mother Jones:

"We Will Never Stop": An EPA Employee Blasts the Trump Administration

“What type of nation are we?"


Greenpeace activists unfurl a banner protesting the Trump administration. Ken Cedeno/ZUMA

[...]

Shortly after the inauguration, a career EPA employee contacted me through a secure chat program and began to express profound concern over the threat now posed to their life's work. What follows is a heartfelt essay that this official—who requested anonymity out of fear of retribution by the administration—wrote shortly after Pruitt's confirmation last week:

[...]

What type of nation are we when we allow our leaders to sign into law a rule that makes it EASIER for mining companies to pollute local waterways? These same politicians will try to convince their voters that making it easier to pollute local streams is somehow good for them. Communities in West Virginia, Indiana, and Alabama with sky-high rates of cancer due to industry pollution shouldn't be presented with the false choice of accepting even more poison in their local environment or having a job. No one should be told that they have to put up with cancer-causing poison in their water, air, and land. It's shameful, and it's wrong.

[...]

2015 was the deadliest year on record for people working to defend and protect the environment. Let that sink in. One hundred and eighty-five human beings were killed around the world (more than three for every week of 2015) because they dedicated their lives to protecting human health from pollution and preserving the beautiful planet we all cherish. The same year, the Environmental Protection Agency welcomed Berta Cáceres, along with the other winners of the Goldman Environmental Prize, to honor them for being global leaders in defense of human rights and environmental protection. Less than one year later, Ms. Caceres would be murdered in her home in Honduras because she was brave enough to challenge mining and dam-building corporations. She defended human rights and the environment, and her life was taken because of it.

Here in the US, those of us who work to protect the environment and human health from corporate pollution are lucky enough that we do not live under the specter of murder. We are, however, acutely aware that the forces behind these heinous crimes against environmental activists abroad are the same forces that are working against us in the US today. And make no mistake: These forces are poised to grow even stronger.

If it is discovered in the next few weeks that the EPA Administrator does in fact have even closer ties to polluting corporate interests than we feared, what will the public do? Will the capture of EPA by corporate interests be swept up in all the other horrifying news of the day or week? Or will the public finally decide that it is not acceptable to allow EPA, the only agency with a mission dedicated to protecting the environment, to be systematically dismantled, allowing those at the top to further concentrate wealth and power among themselves? Despite the long odds we face, we will never stop working to protect every person's right to have a healthy place to live, work, and play. And if the new administrator casts me out of the job I love, I will not stop working toward the principles that have always animated my life. This is who I am, and that will never change. I stand in solidarity with brothers and sisters that work to protect human rights, human health, and the environment here in the US and all over the world. The struggle continues.

[...]

Click here to read full article.
Quoting 55. Xandra:

Paul Beckwith:
‏@PaulHBeckwith

Even the dictionary knows...Webster's Unabridged 1983...




Encyclopedia Germanica (transcript):
Trump-et
Noisy instrument with a goldish gloss.
All that comes out is moist air.
From YES! Magazine:

The Student-Built Website That Keeps Government Climate Data Safe

Since Trump’s election, scientists have been scrambling to save climate change data sets. And one Michigan graduate student thought the more copies, the better.


Photo courtesy of United States Environmental Protection Agency / Flickr.

It wasn’t long after President Trump took office that chaos took hold at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Throughout his campaign, Trump had promised to get rid of the agency, leaving just “little tidbits left.” He wasted little time.

[...]

Many scientists didn’t wait to find out what was up, what was down, or what was going which way. At risk was years of data on greenhouse gas emissions, temperature trends, sea level rise, and shrinking sea ice—data essential to our understanding of the enormous environmental shifts our planet is undergoing. Worldwide, they scrambled to capture the information from the websites of the EPA, NASA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the United States Geological Survey. Hackathons were organized to download the data to university servers and sites like DataRefuge and the Internet Archive for the fear that Scott Pruitt would be confirmed as head of the EPA; he was confirmed by the Senate on Friday.

Even outside of scientific circles, concerned citizens recognized a need to act. When John Rozsa, a graduate student in technology studies at Eastern Michigan University, heard about these efforts, he thought the more copies, the better. So, between classes and his full-time job, he began to download the pre-Trump version of the EPA website—28,000 files and counting.

[...]

Now he’s uploading the files to a website he calls EPA Data Dump. It’s very simplistic, he said, “due to the fact that less than one week ago the website was just a small project of mine.” The website is not quite ready for prime time—it’s still under construction—but already it’s getting a lot of attention.

EPA Data Dump has seen over 200,000 users to date, so much traffic that its server nearly crashed. Rozsa had to start a modest online fundraiser to pay for a dedicated server, more bandwidth, and increased security. The site will soon include a search engine, he said, but first the files must be organized by librarians and other volunteers.

[...]

“Any climate data that has been collected and published by government scientists, or as a result of government-funded or government-sponsored research, belongs in the public domain,” said Michael Mann, professor and director of the Pennsylvania State University Earth System Science Center and lead-author of the now-famous “hockey stick graph” of rising global average temperatures.

“The public has a right to know that it is safe and that it will be preserved for posterity, despite the fluctuations in the prevailing political winds,” he said. “The fact that scientists are fearful that climate data inconvenient to the vested interests that have funded President Trump and congressional republicans will be scrubbed from government websites is a testament to the truly chilling nature of the fossil fuel industry-funded assault on climate science.”

Click here to read full article.


Emails reveal Pruitt's behind-the-scenes collaboration with oil and natural gas giant
Rene Marsh-Profile-Image
By Jeremy Diamond and Rene Marsh, CNN
Updated 4:50 AM ET, Thu February 23, 2017
Scott Pruitt tries to soothe worries at EPA



A letter signed by Pruitt was nearly identical to one sent by a Devon Energy lobbyist
More than 7,500 pages of emails shed light on Pruitt's relationship with the energy company.

(CNN)In June 2013, a top lobbyist at Devon Energy, an Oklahoma-based oil and natural gas giant, sent one of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt's top officials a draft letter objecting to recently proposed federal regulations on fracking.

Two months later, Pruitt, who is now the head of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Donald Trump, signed a nearly identical version of that letter and sent it to then-Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. The only difference was the addition of the attorney general's official letterhead and a paragraph citing additional legal precedent to back up the letter's arguments against federal regulations on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, one of the main ways Devon Energy pumps out oil and natural gas.

The episode was just one of several examples that highlighted the relationship Pruitt and his top aides maintained with Devon Energy and the oil and gas industry during his time as Oklahoma attorney general. This raises fresh questions about how Pruitt will conduct himself at the EPA, which is charged with regulating that industry.

More than 7,500 pages of emails from the Oklahoma attorney general's office obtained and released by the Center for Media and Democracy through an open records request shed light on Pruitt's relationship with Devon Energy, including allowing the energy giant's top lobbyists to draft and edit letters sent to top federal officials on behalf of Pruitt and other state attorneys general.
A CNN request for comment from the White House was not immediately returned.

An EPA spokesman said the agency would not be commenting.
"That's an Oklahoma issue and we are going to remain focused on the environment and environmental issues," EPA spokesman Doug Ericksen said.
CNN has also reached out for comment to the four state attorney generals who co-signed the August 2013 letter to ask if they were aware the letter had been drafted by Devon Energy officials.

More than 7,500 pages of emails from the Oklahoma attorney general's office obtained and released by the Center for Media and Democracy through an Open Records Act shed light on Pruitt's relationship with Devon Energy, including allowing the energy giant's top lobbyists to draft and edit letters sent on Pruitt and other state attorney generals' behalf to top federal officials.
The newly released emails confirm years of cushy ties between Pruitt and Devon Energy dating back to at least October 2011, when Pruitt also signed a letter quietly drafted by Devon Energy officials and sent it to the head of the EPA. That exchange was first reported by The New York Times in December 2014.

That type of exchange took place multiple times in years to come, according to the released emails.
A month before one of Devon Energy's top lobbyists sent the draft letter on fracking to Pruitt's deputy solicitor general Clayton Eubanks, Eubanks gave Devon Energy officials the opportunity to edit a separate letter addressed to the EPA -- this time about the regulation of methane emissions, a dangerous pollutant.

"Attached is the final draft of the methane letter to EPA regarding the 7 NE States NOI to sue over the regulation of methane emissions. We have received good support on this and I would like to get the letter out in the morning. I thought we should insert a sentence or two regarding the recent EPA report indicating their initial estimates on methane emissions for two categories were too high," Eubanks wrote in a May 2013 email to Bill Whitsitt, Devon's executive vice president of public affairs. "Any suggestions?"
Less than three hours later, Whitsitt replied with proposed additions to the letter from him and his team.
The next day, Pruitt sent the letter that included Whitsitt's changes, word-for-word.


At the time, Devon Energy had been leading the fight against the EPA's system of measuring methane emissions.
"There's no mention of Pruitt questioning anything they (the energy industry) are doing or saying. This is a direct cut and paste type relationship," said Liz Perera, the Sierra Club's climate policy director, who said the emails make clear Pruitt "not only has a good relationship [with the] fossil fuel industry but he's dependent on them to provide research and talking points."
Perera said she was especially struck by the absence of any mention of the earthquakes occurring in Oklahoma at the time, which scientists believed to be tied to fracking activity in the state.
"Pruitt never expressed concern about the increased number of earthquakes believed to be linked to the fracking activity in Oklahoma. He never mentioned launching an investigation into the earthquakes," Perera said.

Hundreds of other emails showed regular contact between Pruitt's top aides and Devon Energy's lobbyists and public affairs executives, including frequent phone calls and in-person meetings between those officials -- as well as meetings between Pruitt and Whitsitt.
Whitsitt also sent along talking points and other draft letters to Pruitt's office in 2013 following "conversations with Attorney General Pruitt."
CNN could not immediately confirm whether Pruitt officially used those letters and talking points as well.
The emails also showed that Pruitt was close with other groups beyond Devon Energy.

In a May 2013 email, Pruitt's executive assistant emailed Richard Moskowitz, the general counsel of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers association, after "General Pruitt asked that I email you" to put Moskowitz in touch with Eubanks, Oklahoma's deputy solicitor general.
"Thank you again for the information you provided during General Pruitt's visit and please do not hesitate to contact me if there is anything else we can do for you," Pruitt's assistant wrote in the email.

Some conservative groups are defending Pruitt's close relationship with the industry. "Despite hyperventilating from fringe groups on the left, these emails show that Scott Pruitt was a dutiful and responsible Attorney General who fought daily on behalf of the people that elected him," Jeremy Adler of America Rising Squared told CNN. "There was no new information in these emails to support the left's anti-Pruitt fever dreams, instead they showed that he behaved like any accomplished public servant, working with key industries in his state to help his constituents."
CNN's Amanda Watts and Curt Devine contributed to this report.




Link From the Harvard Chan School Public Health
Impact of climate change on health. Also links to articles and a webcast of the meeting included in this summary.
In the year 2525

Sea level rise will be 2,525 cm

CO2 will be 2525 ppm

And the world population will be 2525 cubed.
Quoting 134. BaltimoreBrian:

In the year 2525

Sea level rise will be 2,525 cm

CO2 will be 2525 ppm

And the world population will be 2525 cubed.
Carve it in stone and set it up somewhere it won't wash away. But. Somehow I doubt that last number, unless you include the population of all vertebrates. I suspect the human population will be less than the square of the number, under the living conditions that will prevail.


Paper thin solar cells on paper can now be produced with inkjet printing. This will allow solar cells to be much cheaper and be placed almost anywhere.

It may still seem far fetched to imagine our houses powered by solar cells in curtains, blinds and windows. But some scientists say it will eventually be possible to print photovoltaic elements on a huge range of surfaces and materials – creating cheap, printable solar cells in place of more costly silicon panels.

Printable solar cells offer exciting potential for generating electricity more flexibly and at a lower cost, wherever the sun shines. In the traditional silicon solar PV we see on people’s rooftops, the most costly component is the silicon material that holds the photovoltaic elements. Silicon is abundant and non-toxic, but it is expensive to process into wafers for traditional rooftop solar PV panels.

New developments in printed solar cells could allow solar energy to be cheaply and easily converted into electricity almost anywhere, including walls, windows, roller blinds, shade umbrellas, and even tents.

The idea of using your tent to harvest power on trips to the beach or a camping weekend could really propel glamping (glamorous camping) to the next level, with free on-site electricity powering life’s little luxuries!

TOWARDS COMMERCIALLY VIABLE PRINTABLE SOLAR CELLS

Currently, printable solar cells have only reached about 10 per cent efficiency, whereas traditional silicon solar PV cells are closer to 25% efficient. The life span of the printed solar cells is also only six months. So researchers are working to increase their efficiency, weather-resistance and life span to reach commercial viability.

In late 2014, a consortium from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the University of Melbourne and Monash University announced that their printable solar cells were on the verge of commercialisation.

A team of 50 chemists, physicists and engineers – working together since 2007 – hope to see printed solar panels used in low-power applications within the next few years.

CSIRO photovoltaic expert Dr Fiona Scholes explained the team hoped they could achieve a similar power delivery at a significantly reduced cost.

“Silicon is falling in price, but think about how cheap plastic is. The ink is a negligible cost, so the raw materials are very cost effective. This is a big step forward because you can put these cells anywhere you can think of. Also the consistency is better than silicon – they work well in cloudy conditions,” said Dr Scholes.

The CSIRO’s Scholes said although silicon cells are still on top of the market, she predicts printed solar cells will be “a key part of the renewable energy mix”. While the team can’t produce the cells commercially itself, a number of manufacturing companies are stepping forward.

HOW ARE PRINTABLE SOLAR CELLS MADE?

At the moment, printable solar cells are made by printing a specially developed ‘solar ink’ onto plastic film, similar to the way plastic bank notes are printed.

Whatever the method or the materials used, the solar principles remain the same:

Incoming photons free electrons and send them scattering through the solar cell’s material before being channelled into an electrical circuit.
The efficiency of the solar cell depends both on how well the material captures light to set these electrons free, as well as how effortlessly the electrons travel through the material.

Researchers such as the Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium are developing processes for printing solar cells onto all manner of surfaces using various printing, dyeing and spraying techniques. The solar cells can be printed straight onto paper-thin, flexible plastic, as well as onto steel, and can be made semi-transparent for building cladding and windows.




Paper thin solar cells on paper can now be produced with inkjet printing. This will allow solar cells to be much cheaper and be placed almost anywhere.

It may still seem far fetched to imagine our houses powered by solar cells in curtains, blinds and windows. But some scientists say it will eventually be possible to print photovoltaic elements on a huge range of surfaces and materials – creating cheap, printable solar cells in place of more costly silicon panels.

Printable solar cells offer exciting potential for generating electricity more flexibly and at a lower cost, wherever the sun shines. In the traditional silicon solar PV we see on people’s rooftops, the most costly component is the silicon material that holds the photovoltaic elements. Silicon is abundant and non-toxic, but it is expensive to process into wafers for traditional rooftop solar PV panels.

New developments in printed solar cells could allow solar energy to be cheaply and easily converted into electricity almost anywhere, including walls, windows, roller blinds, shade umbrellas, and even tents.

The idea of using your tent to harvest power on trips to the beach or a camping weekend could really propel glamping (glamorous camping) to the next level, with free on-site electricity powering life’s little luxuries!

TOWARDS COMMERCIALLY VIABLE PRINTABLE SOLAR CELLS

Currently, printable solar cells have only reached about 10 per cent efficiency, whereas traditional silicon solar PV cells are closer to 25% efficient. The life span of the printed solar cells is also only six months. So researchers are working to increase their efficiency, weather-resistance and life span to reach commercial viability.

In late 2014, a consortium from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the University of Melbourne and Monash University announced that their printable solar cells were on the verge of commercialisation.

A team of 50 chemists, physicists and engineers – working together since 2007 – hope to see printed solar panels used in low-power applications within the next few years.

CSIRO photovoltaic expert Dr Fiona Scholes explained the team hoped they could achieve a similar power delivery at a significantly reduced cost.

“Silicon is falling in price, but think about how cheap plastic is. The ink is a negligible cost, so the raw materials are very cost effective. This is a big step forward because you can put these cells anywhere you can think of. Also the consistency is better than silicon – they work well in cloudy conditions,” said Dr Scholes.

The CSIRO’s Scholes said although silicon cells are still on top of the market, she predicts printed solar cells will be “a key part of the renewable energy mix”. While the team can’t produce the cells commercially itself, a number of manufacturing companies are stepping forward.

HOW ARE PRINTABLE SOLAR CELLS MADE?

At the moment, printable solar cells are made by printing a specially developed ‘solar ink’ onto plastic film, similar to the way plastic bank notes are printed.

Whatever the method or the materials used, the solar principles remain the same:

Incoming photons free electrons and send them scattering through the solar cell’s material before being channelled into an electrical circuit.
The efficiency of the solar cell depends both on how well the material captures light to set these electrons free, as well as how effortlessly the electrons travel through the material.

Researchers such as the Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium are developing processes for printing solar cells onto all manner of surfaces using various printing, dyeing and spraying techniques. The solar cells can be printed straight onto paper-thin, flexible plastic, as well as onto steel, and can be made semi-transparent for building cladding and windows.


CaneFreeCR world population is about 1,946 cubed now and that's going up by 1 about every two months. We're getting closer to 2,525 cubed...for now.
Quoting 138. BaltimoreBrian:

CaneFreeCR world population is about 1,946 cubed now and that's going up by 1 about every two months. We're getting closer to 2,525 cubed...for now.
SRO
Quoting 141. BaltimoreBrian:

Andy Weir's Best Seller 'The Martian' Gets a Classroom-Friendly Makeover Thoughts?

Great idea, but most (if not all) high schoolers already know those words.
Quoting 138. BaltimoreBrian:

CaneFreeCR world population is about 1,946 cubed now and that's going up by 1 about every two months. We're getting closer to 2,525 cubed...for now.
If CO2 increases as you project, we will lose the ability to feed even the current population long before we get to 2525 cubed, not to mention places hospitable enough for humans to live.
NASA Climate twitter seems to be OK. From February 24th
I just found out that WU blogs are going away on 3APR. In the event that I'll be going away, I just want to make sure that I thank Dr. Rood and the many fine people who have commented here over the years. When I first joined WU (during Hurricane Wilma) my opinion on AGW was, "Oh, good. Another end of the world story!" Over the course of a few years of studying the facts, I came to the only conclusion those facts allow -AGW definitely is real.

I then started reading this blog, and posting here when I felt I'd learned enough to have something to say. I've learned many, many things on this blog --sometimes in a spectacularly public and embarrassing way. But I learned. I owe a fair amount of that to Dr. Rood and the knowledgeable people that post here. I will always be grateful for the time and effort that you all have put into posting about this, the most important topic in human history.

Thanks to each and every one of you. I wish you and yours nothing but the best in our danger-filled future. It's going to be a bumpy ride. I hope you all find sufficiently padded places to ride it out.

Top Trump Advisers Are Split on Paris Agreement on Climate Change

By CORAL DAVENPORT MARCH 2, 2017


WASHINGTON — The White House is fiercely divided over President Trump’s campaign promise to “cancel” the Paris agreement, the 2015 accord that binds nearly every country to curb global warming, with more moderate voices maintaining that he should stick with the agreement despite his campaign pledge.

Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s senior adviser, is pressing the president to officially pull the United States from the landmark accord, but he is clashing with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump, who fear the move could have broad and damaging diplomatic ramifications.

Mr. Trump vowed on the campaign trail to tear up President Barack Obama’s global warming policies, and on the home front he is moving aggressively to meet those pledges with deep cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency and a new E.P.A. administrator, Scott Pruitt, who is a skeptic of climate science.

Next week, Mr. Trump plans to sign an executive order directing Mr. Pruitt to start the lengthy legal process of unwinding Mr. Obama’s E.P.A. regulations for cutting greenhouse pollution from coal-fired power plants. Those regulations are the linchpin of the last administration’s program to meet the nation’s obligations to reduce climate emissions under the Paris agreement.

While the president cannot, as Mr. Trump suggested, unilaterally undo a 194-nation accord that has already been legally ratified, he could initiate the four-year process to withdraw the world’s largest economy and second-largest climate polluter from the first worldwide deal to tackle global warming. Such a move would rend a global deal that has been hailed as historic, throwing into question the fate of global climate policy and, diplomats say, the credibility of the United States.

But it would also demonstrate to his supporters that Mr. Trump is a man of his word, putting American coal interests ahead of a global deal forged by Mr. Obama.

On one side of that debate is Mr. Bannon, who as a former chief executive of Breitbart News published countless articles denouncing climate change as a hoax, and who has vowed to push Mr. Trump to transform all his major campaign promises into policy actions.

On the other side are Ms. Trump, Mr. Tillerson, and a slew of foreign policy advisers and career diplomats who argue that the fallout of withdrawing from the accord could be severe, undercutting the United States’ credibility on other foreign policy issues and damaging relations with key allies.

Although Ms. Trump has not spoken out publicly for action to combat climate change, proponents and opponents of such action see her as an ally. Former Vice President Al Gore met with her during the Trump transition, and was ushered in by the “first daughter” to see the president-elect. The actor and activist Leonardo DiCaprio even slipped her a DVD copy of his climate-change documentary.

“President Trump Must Not Wobble on Climate Change — No Matter What Ivanka Says …,” blared a Breitbart post on Monday written by James Delingpole, who is close to Mr. Bannon and who leads the website’s coverage of climate-change policy.

Mr. Trump wants to make a decision by next week, say people familiar with the White House’s debate on the climate pact, in order to announce his executive order to undo Mr. Obama’s climate regulations in conjunction with his plans for the Paris deal.

According to leaked budget documents, the president will also propose killing off nearly two dozen E.P.A. programs, including the Obama-era Clean Power Program, climate partnership programs with local governments, Energy Star grants to encourage efficiency research in consumer products and climate-change research. Those would be part of a broader budget submission that would cut the E.P.A.’s funding by 25 percent, to around $6.1 billion from $8.2 billion, and its staff by 20 percent.

“If the goal is to fulfill the president’s campaign promises and implement his agenda, there is no value in staying in Paris,” said Thomas J. Pyle, an adviser to the Trump transition and the president of the Institute for Energy Research, an organization partly funded by the billionaire brothers Charles G. and David H. Koch, who have worked for years to undermine climate-change policies.

Mr. Trump has cited Mr. Pyle’s group as being influential in shaping his energy and climate proposals, including his campaign pledge to withdraw from the Paris deal.

“The two greatest obstacles to a Clexit (climate exit from U.N. Paris agreement) are probably Ivanka and Tillerson,” wrote Marc Morano, a former Republican Senate staff member who now runs Climate Depot, a fossil-fuel-industry-funded website that promotes the denial of climate science, in an email. “Tillerson with his ‘seat at the table’ views could be biggest proponent of not withdrawing the U.S. from the agreement.”

Mr. Tillerson is a former chief executive of Exxon Mobil, which, like many major global corporations, endorsed the Paris agreement. While his former company once denied human-caused climate change, it has more recently publicly acknowledged the threat posed by burning oil and supported proposals to tax carbon dioxide pollution.

Asked during his Senate confirmation hearing about the Paris accord, Mr. Tillerson said, “It’s important that the U.S. maintains its seat at the table about how to address the threat of climate change, which does require a global response.”

Under the Paris agreement, every nation has formally submitted plans detailing how it expects to lower its planet-warming pollution. The Obama administration pledged that the United States would reduce its carbon pollution about 26 percent from 2005 levels by 2025. However, that pledge depends on enactment of Mr. Obama’s E.P.A. regulations on coal-fired power plants, which Mr. Trump and Mr. Pruitt intend to substantially weaken or eliminate.

But under the Paris deal, those numerical targets are not legally binding, and there are no sanctions for failing to meet them. The only legal requirements of the deal are that countries publicly put forth their emissions reductions targets, and later put forth reports verifying how they are meeting the targets. It would be possible for the Trump administration to stay in the deal and submit a less ambitious target.

Even senior Republican voices in the foreign policy debate have said it may be wiser to stay in but keep a low profile.

“There’s really no obligation,” Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee and chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said in an interview. “It doesn’t require us to do anything. I think they may take a little time to assess whether pulling out makes sense now.”


Foreign policy experts say withdrawing from Paris would have far greater diplomatic consequences than President George W. Bush’s withdrawal from the world’s first global climate-change accord, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

“I think it would be a major mistake, even a historic mistake, to disavow the Paris deal,” said R. Nicholas Burns, a retired career diplomat and under secretary of state under Mr. Bush.

“In international politics, trust, reliability and keeping your commitments — that’s a big part of how other countries view our country,” Mr. Burns said. “I can’t think of an issue, except perhaps NATO, where if the U.S. simply walks away, it would have such a major negative impact on how we are seen.”

The Paris deal is more consequential than Kyoto. Unlike that pact, which required action only from developed economies, the Paris agreement includes commitments from every nation, rich and poor, to cut emissions, including China and India, the world’s largest and third-largest polluters. Also, the science of climate change has become far more certain and the impact more visible in the 20 years since Kyoto. Each of the last three years has surpassed the previous one as the hottest on record.

Some of the United States’ closest allies are urging the Trump administration not to pull out. In a letter to Mr. Trump after he won the election, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany wrote, “Partnership with the United States is and will remain a keystone of German foreign policy, especially so that we can tackle the great challenges of our time.” They include, she wrote, “working to develop farsighted climate policy.”

As Mr. Trump and his advisers weigh their Paris options, one proposal is gaining traction, according to participants in the debate: Mr. Trump could declare that the Paris agreement is a treaty that requires ratification by the Senate. The pact was designed not to have the legal force of a treaty specifically so that it would not have to go before the United States Senate, which would have assuredly failed to ratify it.

“If there are camps forming in the White House, then let the people decide, the elected representatives,” Mr. Pyle said. “Let’s put the question to them.”

Proponents of that idea say it could shift some of the weight of the decision from Mr. Trump to Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, at least in the eyes of some foreign diplomats, and of the president’s daughter.
Quoting 64. JeffMasters:


It's been a long, crazy ride here at wunderground, and this latest round of changes is certainly a big shift. The changes to the blogs will mean that the significant problems we've had over the past year (blog slowness, unavailability, comments disappearing, etc) should resolve--though with any new software upgrade, there will be a shake-out period. I want to thank everyone in the wunderground community that blogged here; you helped make the wunderground a unique place to be. I will miss all the great contributions you made, and I sympathize with the angst expressed here in the comments today.

A new commenting system will be launched, which will allow independent comment threads on different topics--should be a big improvement.

The featured blogs from Portlight, Ricky Rood, Chris Burt, Marshall Shepherd, Lee Grenci, and Steve Gregory will continue to exist, and will have their own landing pages with a unique URL that will have their photo and bio at the bottom; the URL will be, for example:

https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/RickyRood/

Jeff Masters




I have to say, I think a lot of our "bloggers" here who have been crying over spilled milk are going to be surprised to find, next month about this time, that the milk has been made into ice cream, flavor of your choice, with toppings of your choice. From the description Jeff has given of the way he expects it to turn out, the Cat6 blog in a new format should be much better, and if it has the same bloggers (meaning blog authors) writing on the same topics, it will be a smorgasbord of interesting topics interestingly treated. I for one am looking forward to it!
EPA Scraps Rule Requiring Oil And Gas Industry To Report Methane Pollution
The move is sure to delight EPA chief Scott Pruitt’s oil and gas allies.

By Alexander C. Kaufman


In May, the Environmental Protect Agency issued a new rule requiring oil and gas companies to report what equipment they use and how much methane ― a greenhouse gas 40 times more potent than carbon dioxide ― their drilling sites emit.

On Thursday, the agency’s newly sworn-in administrator, Scott Pruitt, scrapped a regulation deemed crucial to cutting planet-warming emissions as part of the Paris climate deal.

The decision, one of Pruitt’s first since the Senate narrowly confirmed his nomination last month, underscores the former Oklahoma attorney general’s deep, friendly ties to an industry he’s now tasked with policing. The move comes days after The Huffington Post reported on the White House’s proposal to slash a quarter of the EPA’s budget and pink-slip 1 in 5 agency employees.

“By taking this step, EPA is signaling that we take these concerns seriously and are committed to strengthening our partnership with the states,” Pruitt said in a statement. “Today’s action will reduce burdens on businesses while we take a closer look at the need for additional information from this industry.”

Pruitt’s relationship with oil and gas players became a flashpoint after President Donald Trump nominated him to lead an agency he sued 13 times as the Sooner State’s top cop.

Pruitt repeatedly joined oil, gas and coal players ― including Oklahoma Gas & Electric and the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance, an industry-backed group ― in filing lawsuits to stop federal regulations. In 2011, Pruitt allowed Devon Energy Corporation, the Oklahoma City-based natural gas giant, to write a three-page complaint to the EPA under his letterhead, which he later signed.

Last week, the Oklahoma attorney general’s office released emails under court order that shed new light on how chummy relations between Pruitt and the oil and gas industry became during his six years as the state’s attorney general.

The office sued to block the release of more emails that were scheduled to be disclosed this month, and the Oklahoma Supreme Court on Tuesday granted a stay, giving the new attorney general’s office more time to produce the correspondence.

The first batch of 7,564 documents released last week renewed concerns that Pruitt would use his new post to benefit his industry allies, who have donated more than $300,000 to his campaigns between 2002 and 2016. Even more money went to a political action committee and super PAC that paid for Pruitt’s trips to Hawaii and New Orleans.

The now-infamous 2011 Devon Energy letter, published in 2014 by The New York Times, specifically criticized EPA estimates on methane emissions from drilling rigs as inaccurate or too high in hopes of preventing further regulation. Two spokesmen for Devon Energy did not immediately return calls and emails requesting comment on Thursday evening.

Natural gas emits less carbon than other fossil fuels, such as oil or coal, and utility companies are increasingly relying on it to produce electricity as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, technology has made it much cheaper. The shift from coal- to gas-burning power plants has helped to limit the carbon footprint of the utility sector, by far the biggest emitter in the country, but not by much.

But the fracking industry is relatively new, and its effects on the environment are still being studied. Oklahoma is now dogged by man-made earthquakes caused by fracking, which involves cracking bedrock with highly-pressurized, sand- and chemical-laced water to unleash gas trapped below.

Methane leaks, which can cause dizziness and headaches, remain what The Economist called the industry’s “dirty little secret.” Earlier this week, an underwater pipeline in Alaska began leaking natural gas into the scenic Cook Inlet. A massive leak last year in a suburb of Los Angeles, dubbed an “invisible tsunami,” became the biggest natural disaster since the BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.

“We must reject as a nation the false paradigm that if you’re pro-energy, you’re anti-environment or if you’re pro-environment, you’re anti-energy,” Pruitt said during his Senate confirmation hearing last month. “I reject that.”

Yet so far, Pruitt’s time at the helm of the EPA has been marked by plans to eviscerate the agency’s budget, halt climate change action and ease restraints on corporate polluters. During his first speech to agency staff last week, Pruitt mentioned a “toxic environment” only once ― to refer to the political rhetoric of his critics.

He did not mention pollution, climate change or environmental destruction at all.

Climate Change Is Turning Minor Floods Into A Major Problem
The result of increasingly frequent “nuisance” flooding could be even more destructive than disasters like Katrina and Sandy.

By Joseph Erbentraut


It goes without saying that major natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy, deservedly, tend to capture far more media attention than less extreme, more localized flooding.

But ignoring those minor storms could prove costly, according to a new study authored by University of California-Irvine researchers and published last month in the Earth’s Future journal.

That’s because the impact of those minor storms could prove even more destructive in the near future. As is the case with extreme rainfall events, these storms are becoming increasingly common due to our warming planet.

Just because these storms tend to fly under the radar both in media and research circles doesn’t mean they should be taken any less seriously, according to study co-author Amir AghaKouchak, a civil and environmental engineering professor at University of California-Irvine.

“Non-extreme weather events don’t get a lot of attention, but we spend a lot of money on them,” AghaKouchak told The Huffington Post. “The cumulative costs are significant and we need to start monitoring them and collecting data to understand them better.”

AghaKouchak was inspired to look into the collective impacts of these smaller flooding events after he learned of the so-called long tail theory, which suggests the cumulative impact of a frequent, minor event could match or exceed that of a rare, major event.

He wondered if the impacts of more common, less extreme flooding events that might strike a coastal U.S. city, for example, a few times per month or a few times a year might similarly match — or even exceed — the impacts associated with major disasters on the magnitude of a Katrina or Sandy.

The results, based on a cumulative hazard index developed by the researchers, indicate that less extreme “nuisance” flooding could prove just as destructive to many cities, over time, as those extreme events.

The researchers’ analysis considered the future risk of flooding events ranging from minor “nuisance” flooding and extreme disasters and compared estimates of these storms’ impacts in 11 U.S. coastal cities.

Their analysis found that five of the cities — San Francisco, Seattle, Miami, New York and Washington, D.C. — had estimated impacts associated with minor flooding that was just as, or more, serious than the impacts associated with extreme events.



STEPHEN LAM/REUTERS
Many U.S. cities are increasingly facing the challenge of minor, “nuisance” flooding. The impact over time could prove significant, University of California-Irvine researchers say.

Of course, the study notes, direct comparisons between the varying impacts of different types of storms are difficult to make, particularly when it comes to intangible costs like human fatalities that can be caused by extreme storms.

But still, the costs associated with minor storms can prove tremendous ― and life-threatening in their own right.

“If we act too late, we will have significant negative impacts,” AghaKouchak said.

Such flooding can significantly degrade infrastructure like roads and building foundations. It can also impact sewer infrastructure, potentially resulting in serious public health risks. These minor flooding events are also a drain on municipal budgets — due to the resources required to pump water out of streets — and also can force the closure of schools and businesses.

Rising sea levels spurred on by climate change are contributing to increased frequency, and an increased cumulative effect, of these storms.

In D.C., the study noted, the number of hours of nuisance flooding per year has increased almost 500 percent over the last 50 years, from about 19 hours between the years 1930 and 1970 to about 94 over the past two decades. Projections indicate that number will continue to grow at an increasing rate — to as much as 700 hours per year — by 2050.

To address the problem, AghaKouchak said coastal cities will need to get proactive with flood control measures, though he added that there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

New York City is already working to do just that, launching an ambitious flood resiliency plan that includes the large “Big U” project aims to flood-proof lower Manhattan.

The $505 million project, however, is not yet funded fully. And, of course, what works in New York may not work in Miami — or anywhere else for that matter.

“These issues are very local and there is no single recipe for all cities around the country,” AghaKouchak said. “Each city has to come up with their own plan, and each plan won’t necessarily work in other places.”

The issue is growing more serious with time. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s latest sea-level rise estimate anticipates scenarios ranging from 1 foot to an “extreme” 8.2 feet rise by 2100.

Beyond the inconvenience of shutting down roads or schools, the trend could force millions of people from their homes. A recent study estimated that as many as 13.1 million Americans could be displaced if the sea level rises 6 inches by century’s end. An estimated 4.2 million people would be forced out of their homes by a 3-inch rise, according to the study.

Because the stakes are so high, AghaKouchak believes action should be taken— and funded — as quickly as possible.

“This may not get a lot of attention, but beyond a certain point, we will see the impacts everywhere,” AghaKouchak said. “The sooner we take action and plan, the better.”

―-

Joseph Erbentraut covers promising innovations and challenges in the areas of food, water, agriculture and our climate. Follow Erbentraut on Twitter at @robojojo. Tips? Email joseph.erbentraut@huffingtonpost.com.

What the Climate models told us years ago, is all underplayed. The obs and events are now outpacing them, a lot. I've been saying this for years that the observations were outpacing the Climate models,greatly.

Our Global Warming is accelerating at a ever increasing alarming rate.

Read. You must stay aware of our shared dilemma.
Quoting 156. Patrap:

What the Climate models told us years ago, is all underplayed. The obs and events are now outpacing them, a lot. I've been saying this for years that the observations were outpacing the Climate models,greatly.

Our Global Warming is accelerating at a ever increasing alarming rate.

Read. You must stay aware of our shared dilemma.


Climate models as reported are an average of many runs of a given model --as I understand. Therefore, it seems reasonable to state that those averages can be (and probably will be) a bit on the conservative side. However, I think in most cases we are still within the two-sigma range of the averages produced by the models. If that's the case then the models aren't doing badly at all.
From National Geographic:

Siberia's Growing 'Doorway to Hell' Offers Clues on Climate Change

A new study suggests that the expanding hole might provide fresh insight into a warming world.



Some call it a doorway to hell. Or a portal to the underworld. Scientists call it a crater. But everyone agrees that it's getting bigger.

The Batagiaka crater in eastern Siberia, already the largest of its kind, has been growing wider. The most recent measurements, published in February of this year, estimate the crater to be 0.6 miles long and 282 feet deep. These numbers are expected to continue gradually increasing.

[...]

Siberia's crater is caused by melting permafrost, perennially frozen soil that remains in that state for at least two consecutive years. The resulting irregular terrain of mounds and hollows is called thermokarst.

A new study published in the journal Quaternary Research indicates that the crater may allow scientists to view more than 200,000 years of climate change in Siberia. Scientists plan to collect sediment to analyze how the landscape changed as climate warmed and cooled during the last Ice Age. This could provide insights for today's climate change issues. Satellite imagery indicates that the crater expands, on average, by 33 feet per year.

[...]

Increasing thermokarst is not only one result of a warming climate, but it may also be a cause of warming temperatures in the future. Scientist estimate that as much as 50 percent of the Earth's methane gas may be stored in Arctic and Northern Hemisphere permafrost (methane is a greenhouse gas more powerful than carbon dioxide).

A 2016 study in the journal Nature Communications looked at greenhouse gases released from Siberian permafrost in the last ice age and found that the climate experienced a significant spike in temperatures from this alone. A spike, they believe, that could happen again.

"The Arctic carbon reservoir locked in the Siberian permafrost has the potential to lead to massive emissions of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane to the atmosphere,” the study's co-author Francesco Muschitiello told Columbia University's science blog after the study's release.

[...]

Click here to read full article.
The Great Day of His Wrath (1851), by John Martin. Click painting to expand.

Just a set of Hugs and love --- flying around the blogs, trying make sure all and everyone has at least one wave of friendship, hug and love for being a part of what made WU an neat place ...... from the Deep South of USA, state of Mississippi .....

I am in Flickr and now -- DISQUS - (same nick and avatar) and have been in FB, since almost the start due to my kids who first got me into that web... lol ... anyway look for my avatar as it is also the same in here, FB, and DISQUS
I plan to keep that the tiny photo up for a few months..
Sad but not unexpected news from Florida about cancer and superfund sites:

Link
Imagine what extra water immerison will do to those sites.
From The Science Post:

Chemtrails may protect against vaccine injuries, study finds



ROVIDENCE, RI – In a new study coming out of Brown University, researchers concluded that being sprayed with chemtrails actually has a positive effect when it comes to vaccine injuries.

“We sprayed chemtrails over 3 different cities in Rhode Island and then followed children in those cities for 4 years,” said Dr. Frank Defano. “We saw a strikingly lower rate of vaccine injuries in the children from the chemtrail laden cities than the normal population.”

While not all the data are available from the study just yet, it appears as though only 20% of the children who were severely sprayed with chemtrails ended up developing autism after their vaccines; a much lower rate than the 80% who normally get autism from vaccines.

“We are very excited about our findings and are hoping to present the data at several international conferences this summer,” said Dr. Defano. “We really need to push governments to increase their chemtrail use. You know, for the kids.”

Conspiracy theorists are somewhat confused by the news, not knowing how to react.

“Chemtrails are poison and they are making millions of people sick!” said Nina Morocco, conspiracy theorist. “And vaccines are also toxic…and…well….they are both bad and we should stop both of them!”

Governments have been secretly spraying their own countries with toxic chemtrails for decades and it is only thanks to brave mavericks with the ability to make YouTube videos that the general population is finally being informed.

“Sheep, wake up, chemtrails, Monsanto, shills, do your research” said Morroco. Sage advice indeed.
Quoting 166. Xandra:

From The Science Post:

Chemtrails may protect against vaccine injuries, study finds



ROVIDENCE, RI – In a new study coming out of Brown University, researchers concluded that being sprayed with chemtrails actually has a positive effect when it comes to vaccine injuries.

“We sprayed chemtrails over 3 different cities in Rhode Island and then followed children in those cities for 4 years,” said Dr. Frank Defano. “We saw a strikingly lower rate of vaccine injuries in the children from the chemtrail laden cities than the normal population.”

While not all the data are available from the study just yet, it appears as though only 20% of the children who were severely sprayed with chemtrails ended up developing autism after their vaccines; a much lower rate than the 80% who normally get autism from vaccines.

“We are very excited about our findings and are hoping to present the data at several international conferences this summer,” said Dr. Defano. “We really need to push governments to increase their chemtrail use. You know, for the kids.”

Conspiracy theorists are somewhat confused by the news, not knowing how to react.

“Chemtrails are poison and they are making millions of people sick!” said Nina Morocco, conspiracy theorist. “And vaccines are also toxic…and…well….they are both bad and we should stop both of them!”

Governments have been secretly spraying their own countries with toxic chemtrails for decades and it is only thanks to brave mavericks with the ability to make YouTube videos that the general population is finally being informed.

“Sheep, wake up, chemtrails, Monsanto, shills, do your research” said Morroco. Sage advice indeed.


Chemtrails protect us against the evil hoisted upon us by vaccines? Who knew?

The Science Post
Science, Health, Satire


I will go out on a limb here and file this article under Satire. We know too many will file this under Science, even though they will have no working knowledge in any field of Science.
Quoting 165. Xandra:

Atmospheric CO2 for February 2017

406.42 parts per million (ppm)

February 2016: 404.04 ppm

February 2015: 400.28 ppm




"Today%u2019s rate of increase is more than 100 times faster than the increase that occurred when the last ice age ended."


Quoting 166. Xandra:

snip
Chemtrails may protect against vaccine injuries, study finds



ROVIDENCE, RI – In a new study coming out of Brown University, researchers concluded that being sprayed with chemtrails actually has a positive effect when it comes to vaccine injuries.

“We sprayed chemtrails over 3 different cities in Rhode Island and then followed children in those cities for 4 years,” said Dr. Frank Defano. “We saw a strikingly lower rate of vaccine injuries in the children from the chemtrail laden cities than the normal population.”

While not all the data are available from the study just yet, it appears as though only 20% of the children who were severely sprayed with chemtrails ended up developing autism after their vaccines; a much lower rate than the 80% who normally get autism from vaccines.

“We are very excited about our findings and are hoping to present the data at several international conferences this summer,” said Dr. Defano. “We really need to push governments to increase their chemtrail use. You know, for the kids.”

Conspiracy theorists are somewhat confused by the news, not knowing how to react.

“Chemtrails are poison and they are making millions of people sick!” said Nina Morocco, conspiracy theorist. “And vaccines are also toxic…and…well….they are both bad and we should stop both of them!”

Governments have been secretly spraying their own countries with toxic chemtrails for decades and it is only thanks to brave mavericks with the ability to make YouTube videos that the general population is finally being informed.

“Sheep, wake up, chemtrails, Monsanto, shills, do your research” said Morroco. Sage advice indeed.
I have to say that between some of the posts like this on WU and some of the articles on HuffPost I have been giggling all day -- it's great! Thank you, Xandra -- this one was the very best!
Only one climate article in Science Daily today. Never seen that happen on a regular work day. Very thin selection.

US desert songbirds at risk in a warming climate

Spring Came Early. Scientists Say Climate Change Is a Culprit.



Photon Jump (NASA video)
EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Says Carbon Dioxide Is Not a ‘Primary Contributor’ to Global Warming

Link

The hill we have been climbing has just turned into a mountain !!
Quoting 173. whitewabit:

EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Says Carbon Dioxide Is Not a ‘Primary Contributor’ to Global Warming

Link

The hill we have been climbing has just turned into a mountain !!
And it was a pretty steep hill, too.
From Climate Nexus:

Scientists, Leaders Slam Scott Pruitt’s Televised Climate Denial

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in an interview with CNBC this morning that he doesn’t believe carbon dioxide is a major contributor to climate change.

[...]

The following are quotes from leading climate scientists in response to Pruitt’s remarks.

[...]

Noah Diffenbaugh, Professor in the School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences and Kimmelman Family Senior Fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment:

“We know that global warming is happening, and that the climate is changing. It’s clear that humans are the primary cause. It’s clear that we are already being impacted by climate change here in the United States. To deny that reality not only is a denial of scientific evidence but it also threatens the safety and security of Americans who face increasing odds of extreme events like the California drought, the flooding from Superstorm Sandy, and the heat wave that decimated crops in the mid-west in 2012.”

John Abraham, Professor, School of Engineering, University of St. Thomas:

"Actually scientists have known since the mid 1800s that carbon dioxide was a major greenhouse gas. This means Mr. Pruitt’s knowledge is close to 200 years out of date."

Richard Somerville, Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Research Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego:

“CO2 is the most important control on climate. Our burning of coal, oil and gas is the dominant cause of the 45% increase in CO2 since the industrial revolution. The biggest unknown about future climate is human behavior. Everything depends on what people and their governments do. Scott Pruitt should begin his new job by accepting the fundamental findings of modern climate science.”

[...]

The following are quotes from business, military, faith, and conservative leaders and elected officials in response to Pruitt’s remarks.

Brigadier General Stephen A. Cheney, USMC (ret), CEO of the American Security Project:

“Countries are going to pay for climate change one way or another. The best way to pay for it is by tackling the root causes of climate change and cutting greenhouse gas emissions. If we do not, the national security impacts around the world will be increasingly costly, and borne by our men and women in the armed forces.”

Andrew Holland, Director of Studies, American Security Project:

“It is astonishing that EPA Director Pruitt said that he does not believe that carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to climate change. However, it does not actually matter what he “believes” – by law (as decided by the Supreme Court), he is required under the Clean Air Act to promulgate policies that reduce carbon pollution. It is important that the EPA continues to regulate carbon pollution in order to reduce the risk of serious national security consequences of climate change.”

[...]

Dr. Georges Benjamin, MD, Executive Director, American Public Health Association:

“Pruitt is just wrong. Carbon dioxide emissions pose an enormous risk to human health. Carbon pollution is the leading contributor to greenhouse gases that cause climate change. Climate change is causing more heatwaves and drought, more intense extreme weather events, expanded range of disease-carrying ticks and mosquitoes and a host of other threats to health. In addition, carbon emissions contribute to increased smog which triggers asthma attacks and aggravates existing lung disease. The science is clear. We need immediate action to reduce carbon emissions to protect public health.”

Aron Cramer, President and CEO, Business for Social Responsibility:

“EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s statement today questioning climate science is deeply troubling. Businesses in the United States and elsewhere are keenly aware that human activity is remaking the climate in ways that create disruption and business risk. In addition to the obvious and substantial human and environmental damage that will result, his approach will undermine the conditions that businesspeople need to innovate, create jobs, and compete in the global marketplace.”

[...]

Rear Admiral David W. Titley, United States Navy (Ret.):

“Within the science community, the link between CO2 and climate change is as well known as the consequences of stepping out of an airplane and the effect of gravity. In both cases, if you ignore the science, someone is going to get hurt.”

[...]

Rev. Mitch Hescox, President/CEO, Evangelical Environmental Network:

"The science of climate change is well understood not only by every major scientific body in the world but also by the over whelming members of the Christian community. The Catholic Church, the National Association of Evangelicals, the World Evangelical Alliance and The Orthodox Communion all understand the carbon caused reality of climate change and most importantly its threats to God 's children around the world."

David Crane, B-Team leader and former head of NRG:

"It is unfortunate that we have people in positions of authority making statements about global warming that are contrary to established science,” said David Crane, B Team leader and co-chair of its Net Zero by 2050 Initiative. “As the climate changes before our eyes, with the pace of change accelerating and irreversible damage occurring to our polar ice caps and other essential ecosystems, to suggest otherwise is not only an insult to the intelligence of the American people but a danger to the well-being of future Americans.”

[...]

Click here to read full article with more quotes.
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" - Upton Sinclair, I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked (1935)
To go with my tangentially-topiced theme, Upton Sinclair's final book, The Coal War, posthumously published in 1976. Rejected as "uninteresting" in 1917.



A sequel to King Coal (1917)

RickyRood has created a new entry.