The Winter of Blazing Discontent Continues in the Arctic

GR:  Climate change in action. We are losing the polar ice cap and that is changing Earth’s climate right now. Nothing good will come of it.

“Weird. Strange. Extreme. Unprecedented. These are some of the words that describe what’s been happening in the Arctic over the past year as surge after surge of warm air have stalled, and at times reversed, sea ice pack growth. And the unfortunate string of superlatives is set to continue this week.

The animation shows projected polar temperature anomalies through Feb. 13, 2017.

“Arctic sea ice is already sitting at a record low for this time of year and a powerful North Atlantic storm is expected to open the flood gates and send more warmth pouring into the region from the lower latitudes. By Thursday, it could reach up to 50°F above normal. In absolute temperature, that’s near the freezing point and could further spur a decline in sea ice.

Right now, “A massive storm is swirling toward Europe. It’s a weather maker in itself, churning up waves as high as 46 feet and pressure dropping as low as is typical for a Category 4 hurricane as of Monday. The storm is to the southeast of Greenland and its massive comma shape has made for stunning satellite imagery. The storm is expected to weaken as it approaches Europe, but it will conspire with a high pressure system over the continent to send a stream of warm air into the Arctic through the Greenland Sea.

“Temperatures are forecast to reach the melting point in Svalbard, Norway, an island between the Greenland and Karas Seas. The North Pole could also approach the melting point on Thursday.

“It’s just the latest signal that the Arctic is in the middle of a profound change. Sea ice extent has dropped precipitously as has the amount of old ice, which is less prone to breakup. Beyond sea ice, Greenland’s ice sheet is also melting away and pushing sea levels higher, large fires are much more common and intense in boreal forests and other ecosystem changes are causing the earth to hyperventilate.

“Together, these all indicate that the Arctic is in crisis. It’s the most dramatic example of how carbon pollution is reshaping the planet and scientists are racing to understand what comes next.” –Brian Kahn (More:  The Winter of Blazing Discontent Continues in the Arctic | Climate Central.)

Times like these remind us…

Jayden

Jayden, 12, of Rayne, Louisiana, pictured with her mother, Cherri Foytlin.

Obama Administration Ignores Global Warming

“Ironically and sadly, this past weekend, Jayden, a plaintiff asking the federal government to take real action on climate change, experienced first hand what the National Weather Service has called a 1,000 year flood. At least 13 were killed, and an estimated 20,000 had to be rescued as a result of this climate generated catastrophe. Yesterday, Jayden and her family addressed the damage to their own home, pulling up carpet and throwing away their destroyed belongings.

“Unbelievably, next Wednesday, August 24th, the Obama administration will auction off an area the size of Virginia for offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, further exacerbating the climate crisis. Adding insult to injury, the auction will be held in Jayden’s backyard, at the New Orleans Superdome — the site of one of the most visible and tragic instances of climate injustice in history after Hurricane Katrina.

“Globally, Moscow had its worst rains in more than 100 years on Sunday. On that same day in the Philippines, a tornado ripped through downtown Manila as two landslides took out homes in the hills of San Mateo. The Blue Cut Fire that ignited Tuesday morning in San Bernardino County, California forced the evacuations of over 80,000 residents, just a day after another wildfire in northern California demolished an entire town just north of San Francisco. In Portugal, 286,600 acres of forestland have been charred by wildfires this year alone. In fact, July was by far the hottest month in recorded history.” –Source: Times like these remind us…

Hothouse 2090: Category 6 Hurricane A Grey Swansong For Tampa | robertscribbler

GR.–“Here’s what you get when a climate expert adds a little drama to scientific projections of what we can expect:  Sea-level rise, massive storms, heat, and failing civilization.  Be sure to read the comments that follow Scribbler’s story.”

Tampa. 2090. Late September.

“The stiff wind running off the Gulf of Mexico felt like a blast furnace. Ocean surface temperatures near 100 degrees Fahrenheit; air temperatures of 113 F, high humidity, and a smell like rotten eggs added to the overall insufferability. Unpleasant was a better word from a better time. Mere unpleasantness had long since fallen away before the new deadly edge that Nature had adopted.

“Tampa’s streets were packed with vehicles but featured only the rare transient foot and bike traffic. Just 15 minutes’ exposure to the brutal four p.m. heat and humidity could swiftly result in heat stroke as a body’s natural cooling systems were overwhelmed by conditions no human physiology could for long endure. The city had long since grown accustomed to the warnings. Anyone wanting to stay healthy remained indoors, huddling close to the blessed vents blasting machine-cooled, filtered air.

“In the heat-scorched streets, elevated many times over to keep above the rising seas, a few diehards still roamed. They sported the latest in cooling accessories — thermal-bleeding fashions were all the rage and had been for at least three decades now. So too were the thin-film sulfur filtration masks, totem-like in their branding and individually styled in patterns of iridescent colors. These were the stylized provisional responses to the gigantic dead zones that regularly painted the Gulf’s waters purple-black with stinking, toxic-gas-spewing bacteria. But today, the waters were sickly green. The stink was merely unbearable and only somewhat unhealthy, thanks to the large and powerful storm now pushing in the bluer off-shore waters and flushing out some of the seaside dead zone.

RCP 8.5(Under RCP 8.5 warming scenarios, the Earth is transformed into a hotter, more deadly place, capable of supporting storms of never-before-seen intensity. Image source: The European Environmental Agency.)”–RobertScribbler.com. Hothouse 2090: Category 6 Hurricane A Grey Swansong For Tampa | robertscribbler

Monster African Thunderstorm Hurls Enormous Haboob at Europe, 100 + Degree (F) Heat to Follow | robertscribbler

GR:  Humans cause desertification directly as livestock grazing, farming, and logging remove plants and expose soil to erosion.  They also cause desertification indirectly by burning fossil fuel, increasing global temperature, and increasing droughts and storms.  Of course, there are also the disturbing impacts of our toxic wastes and our footprints on the land.  And there’s more.  Folks, I think we’ve covered all the bases.

(Monster thunderstorm explodes over Northwestern Africa last night, hurling a huge dust storm or Haboob northward toward Europe. Image source: The Met Office.)

Robertscribbler.–“An expansion of the Sahara Desert northward into Europe. A scenario that has long been a concern raised by scientists modeling potential extreme weather and climate scenarios related to human-caused climate change. And this week, it appears that Southern and Eastern Europe are going to get a taste of Sahara Desert-type weather conditions. It’s just unfolding a bit more dramatically than scientists at first anticipated.

“Last night, a massive thunderstorm large enough to cover the England, Scotland and Ireland combined blew up over western Africa. The storm, larger than most hurricanes, drew in strong, hot winds from North Africa and the Sahara Desert. These winds bore upon them a great load of dust. Dust which the strong outflow of the storm then turned northward along a frontal boundary draped across the Mediterranean toward Europe.”  Continue reading:  Monster African Thunderstorm Hurls Enormous Haboob at Europe, 100 + Degree (F) Heat to Follow | robertscribbler

Save

Save

Australian researchers call for more coastal monitoring in the face of expected climate change impacts

Bob Berwyn–June storms highlight impacts of rising seas, shifting storm patterns.

Just after the Australian government announced massive cuts to the country’s science agency, researchers are warning that there’s more of a need than ever to track climate change impacts.

A series of recent storms that lashed Australia’s east coast are reminder that rising sea level presents a growing threat to coastal communities, according scientists with the University of New South Wales.

“The damage we’ve seen is a harbinger of what’s to come,” said Ian Turner, director of the Water Research Laboratory at the University of New South Wales. “Climate change is not only raising the oceans and threatening foreshores, but making our coastlines much more vulnerable to storm damage. What are king high tides today will be the norm within decades.”  Continue.– Australian researchers call for more coastal monitoring in the face of expected climate change impacts | Summit County Citizens Voice

Save

New Extreme Climate to Hurl More Rain Bombs at Texas, Light off Another Record West Coast Heatwave | robertscribbler

More Severe Storms

They call them rain bombs. A new breed of severe storm fueled by a record hot atmosphere. One capable of dumping 2-4 inches of rainfall an hour and generating voracious flash floods that can devour homes and cars in just minutes. And in southeast Texas, the rain bombs have been going off like gangbusters.

In this week’s most recent iteration of flaring, climate change induced, storms, a region north of Houston and South of Dallas saw flood after flood after flood. Now, hundreds of people have been forced to abandon inundated homes, thousands of cars have been submerged, and seven people are dead. Rainfall totals for the region over the past seven days have averaged between 7 and 10 inches. But local amounts in the most intense bombification zones have come in at 16, 19, and even as high as 30 inches in Washington County. All time record rainfall totals that might be associated with a powerful hurricane. Floods that would typically happen only once every 500 years. But in the new moisture-laden atmosphere of a record warm world, a garden variety thunderstorm now has enough atmospheric oomph to frequently set off what were once multi-century floods.

Source: New Extreme Climate to Hurl More Rain Bombs at Texas, Light off Another Record West Coast Heatwave | robertscribbler

Save

Record Rain Events a Global Pattern | Climate Denial Crock of the Week

GR:  As predicted by scientists more than 30 years ago, the storms are growing stronger.  As the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans warm, the storms will continue to grow.

Climate denial:  “This weekend’s record flooding in Germany was a reminder of one of the most basic, first-order-physics predictions of climate science – warmer air holds more moisture. The pattern of increase in record breaking precipitation events is well documented and global, as my friend Stephan Rahmstorf reminded me this morning with a graph from a recent study of similar events.”

Potsdam University: Heavy rainfall events setting ever new records have been increasing strikingly in the past thirty years. While before 1980, multi-decadal fluctuations in extreme rainfall events are explained by natural variability, a team of scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research detected a clear upward trend in the past few decades towards more unprecedented daily rainfall events. They find the worldwide increase to be consistent with rising global temperatures which are caused by greenhouse-gas emissions from burning fossil fuels. Short-term torrential rains can lead to high-impact floodings.

More at: Record Rain Events a Global Pattern | Climate Denial Crock of the Week

Fire in the Sky — More Than 330,000 Lightning Strikes Hit Europe in Just Eight Hours | robertscribbler

“Whatever happened to normal weather? Earth has always experienced epic storms, debilitating drought, and biblical floods. But lately it seems the treadmill of disruptive weather has been set to fast-forward.” — Paul Douglas.

A cold, unstable air mass aloft. A record atmospheric moisture load due to human-caused climate change. Add in 80 degree or warmer surface temperatures and these three ingredients can spark some seriously epic thunderstorms. Such was the case across Europe today as towering thunderheads exploded into the skies, raining more than 330,000 bolts of lightning down upon the continent.

Source: Fire in the Sky — More Than 330,000 Lightning Strikes Hit Europe in Just Eight Hours | robertscribbler

Meteorologists are seeing global warming’s effect on the weather | Paul Douglas | Environment | The Guardian

GR:  Read my last post to see how forecasters failed to predict the extreme rainfall and flooding that hit Texas today.

“Whatever happened to normal weather? Earth has always experienced epic storms, debilitating drought, and biblical floods. But lately it seems the treadmill of disruptive weather has been set to fast-forward. God’s grandiose Symphony of the Seasons, the natural ebb and flow of the atmosphere, is playing out of tune, sounding more like a talent-free second grade orchestra, with shrill horns, violins screeching off-key, cymbal crashes coming in at the wrong time. Something has changed.”  Source: Meteorologists are seeing global warming’s effect on the weather | Paul Douglas | Environment | The Guardian

Multi-Day ‘Siege of Storms’ Follows Exxon Shareholder Meeting | robertscribbler

A multi-day siege of severe thunderstorms morphed into a major flash flood event in parts of Texas, Kansas, and other states late Thursday into Friday, and more severe weather is expected into Friday night.

NOAA weather forecasts earlier this week had identified some risk of severe rainfall over this region. But the forecasts had only predicted around 3 inches of rainfall in the most heavily affected areas. The forecast therefore undershot Thursday rainfall intensity by 14-16 inches. And this makes it look like the current weather models are having some serious difficultly keeping up with the human-forced atmospheric changes that are now fully in swing. Combine this with current weather media’s near complete blindness (there are noted exceptions — Weather Underground included) to factors related to human-caused climate change and we have what could best be described as a hazardous degree of under-reporting on climate related risk factors. And the result is a great underutilization of a vast array of weather sensors and scientific talent that would be capable of providing helpful and life-saving information if only they were enabled to. But media-wide, we’re still living and acting as if climate change doesn’t affect the weather.  Source: Multi-Day ‘Siege of Storms’ Follows Exxon Shareholder Meeting | robertscribbler