Deep Ocean Warming is Coming Back to Haunt Us: Record Warmth for 2014 Likely As Equatorial Heat Rises

As prominent ocean researcher and climate scientist Dr. Kevin Trenberth presciently noted during recent years — an observed spike in ocean heat content over the past decade may well be coming back to haunt us.

Earlier this year the most intense sub-sea Kelvin Wave on record raged across the Pacific Ocean. Driven eastward by a series of strong westerly wind bursts, it traveled just below the surface, running out to collide with South America. By April, it had arrived in the traditional El Nino spawning grounds of the Eastern Equatorial Pacific where it retained an extreme intensity. There it sprawled, snuffing off the cold deep water upwelling that over the past few years has kept surface water temperatures in this critical region slightly cooler than average.

And so, from late March through mid-May, the Eastern Pacific warmed.

A surface warm pool sprang off the back of this beast, growing even as it continued to gather heat, radiating it back into the atmosphere. By yesterday, temperature anomaly values over this growing region had increased to between 1 and 3 C above average with local spikes up to +3.9 C — a far above normal temperature departure for ocean surface waters, especially near the stable equator. But if trends hold, this is just the beginning. An early start to what could be a record-setting event.

Today's GFS Model Summary of Sea Surface Temp Anomalies

(Today’s GFS model summary of global sea surface temperature anomalies. See the mottled red just off South America? That’s the head of an extraordinarily strong and massive Kelvin Wave breaking the surface. Image source: University of Maine.)

Today’s GFS global ocean temperature anomaly map shows the entire Equatorial Pacific well in the El Nino range at +0.60 C. The strong +1 to +3 C or greater hot zone, shown in orange to deep-red, stretches from about 140 West to 80 West Latitude along the equator and shows continued slow intensification.

Note that global sea surface temperatures for today are at an extraordinary +1.12 C above already warm 1979 to 2000 values. This marks more than a week of 1 C or greater positive ocean surface temperature anomalies. The very definition of Trenberth’s ocean heat content coming back to haunt us.

The El Nino Clock Begins

Meanwhile, NOAA weekly anomaly readings also show continued progression toward surface warming. Overall, the Nino zone 4 in the Central Pacific was at +0.8 C, the Nino 3.4 zone in the East- Central Pacific +0.5 C, the Nino 3 zone in the Eastern Pacific +0.6 C, and the Nino 1+2 zone just off the coast of Equatorial South America a very high +1.2 C. Overall, this shows strong warming over the broad Nino sector with the key Nino 3.4 zone flipping into low El Nino levels this week.

The emergence of Nino 3.4 into +0.5 C or greater territory marks the start point for the NOAA El Nino clock. For NOAA to declare El Nino, the Nino 3.4 zone must remain at +0.5 C or above for multiple months running. And forecast models, at this time, show nearly an 80% likelihood of just such an event for 2014.

So this week’s readings represent the crossing of a new threshold toward El Nino and certainly warrant further tracking.

Monster Kelvin Wave in Not-so-Cool Phase

The extreme Kelvin wave that raged across the Pacific from February through April still appears monstrous even though it has now entered its supposedly cool, upwelling phase. Pressed against the coast of South America, the heat has deflected both upward and downward through the water column. The result is both a continued heating at the surface and a downward thrust of 1-2 C above average water temperatures into the 400 meter below surface zone. And so here we have a continued down-thrust of the 20 C isotherm, priming the Pacific for another west-to east rush of deep ocean heat later this year.

Monster Kelvin Wave May 8

(This is supposed to be the Kelvin Wave’s cool phase. It’s not looking very cool. Image source: NOAA.)

Overall, the still amazingly hot Kelvin Wave is upwelling. So it should also be cooling. And it has. A little. But what is extraordinary is the amount of heat it has retained even as it rises. Here we see an enormous slug of 5-6 + C above average water rising as high as 40 meters beneath the surface. Maintenance of this high heat content even while upwelling is an insane feat of heat propagation. Should these readings hit the surface, we really will be witnessing a monster event.

Already, the warming Eastern Pacific appears to be having a broader atmospheric affect. According to NASA, global surface temperatures spiked to their second highest level on record in April. Meanwhile, GFS model analysis shows May daily surface temperature values in the range of +0.7 to +1.0 C or higher above the 1950 to 1981 average globally. A continuation of these high temperatures would be enough to put May at first or second hottest on record and set a trend for 2014 to break global high temperature records last seen in 2010. So the early and not yet fully developed ocean surface heating we are seeing from our developing El Nino appears to have already come back to haunt us. But what we see now is minor compared to what could emerge.

With the sub-surface waters remaining so extraordinarily warm even through the upwelling/cool phase of the current Kelvin Wave, the Pacific is now primed for a second hot pulse to feed the monster now rising off South America. The new, reinforcing heat pulse will require another series of west wind back bursts at the surface between 160 East and 170 West Longitude to drive it. And atmospheric conditioning for the development of these winds appears well in play. Should it happen, we are likely to get a taste of what Dr. Trenberth really meant.

Dr. Trenberth Hints at PDO Flip

Along with these sobering thoughts, I leave you an excellent related interview Peter Sinclair conducted with Dr. Kevin Trenberth. In the interview, Trenberth predicts a + 0.2 to 0.3 C rise in global average temperatures due to Pacific Ocean surface heating and hints that a flip in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) from its current cool (negative) phase to a new warm (positive phase) may well be underway. Such a flip would indeed mean that a rapid spike in global surface temperatures is in the offing:

Links:

University of Maine

Monster El Nino Rising From the Depths

NASA: April 2014 was Second Hottest on Record

Ocean Heat Anomaly Spikes to New Extreme High of +1.16 C Above Average on May 10, 2014

Forecast Models Show Nearly 80% Chance of El Nino in 2014

Kevin Trenberth on El Nino

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center

Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO)

 

 

 

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96 Comments

  1. Bassman

     /  May 16, 2014

    I never thought I would learn so much about an El Niño this spring. How reliable is the climate Reanalyzer app for predicting monthly averages? It seems like there is a lot of processing that goes on to get the final monthly data. I guess it shouldn’t be surprising for temps to rise so soon with a cold pacific surface suddenly shifting back to warm.

    Reply
    • I would say that the GFS summaries are a decent indicator but wouldn’t put all eggs in that basket. Right now, I’m using it as a kind of compass, but the monthly measures are still the final word.

      It’s also worth noting that though atmospheric temps take some time to respond (weeks), the ocean surface temps immediately add to any land-ocean index.

      Reply
  2. Mark from New England

     /  May 16, 2014

    Robert,

    Great update on the emerging El Nino. However, I’m not clear as to what a “PDO flip” means. I know PDO stands for “Pacific Decadal Oscillation”, but not sure what that means and what a flip of it entails!

    Reply
    • You’re right, should explain it a bit. More in a minute.

      Reply
    • OK. Added a bit more clarification in the text…

      PDO stands for Pacific Decadal Oscillation. It’s the general change between a warm Pacific Ocean surface state that favors El Nino events and atmospheric warming (positive PDO) and the cool Pacific Ocean surface state that favors La Nina events and atmospheric cooling. We have been in a negative (cool) PDO phase since the 1998 super El Nino. Most PDO phases last between about 15 and 30 years so we’re in the period of time where we’d start looking for a flip to positive.

      During the last positive PDO phase, atmospheric temperatures jumped by about +0.4 degrees C after cooling a little during the negative PDO phase that preceded it. The current negative PDO has resulted in zero cooling and has instead seen slow warming. The flip to positive, therefore, might see a major step change in temperature increase. With so much ghg forcing in the atmosphere it could well be far more significant warming that the 1979-1998 period of the last positive PDO.

      During Positive PDO, heat sequestered in the deep ocean at the equator rises back to the surface and heats the atmosphere. With Pacific Ocean heat being so extreme lately, especially at deeper levels, any such heat transfer could result in extraordinary temperature rises. This is what Trenberth means by ocean heating coming back to haunt us.

      Reply
      • Mark from New England

         /  May 16, 2014

        Thanks Robert. Watching part 2 of the Trenberth interview also helped me to understand it.

      • True. But it should be in the text as well.

    • A couple more points if I may…

      Stronger and more frequent El Niños tend to happen when PDO is in its positive phase whereas stronger and more frequent La Niñas tend to happen when PDO is in its negative phase.

      Please see:

      Comparing ENSO and PDO: Table of PDO-ENSO Years (Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington)

      However, an El Niños and La Niñas tend to lead flips in PDO.

      Please see:

      ENSO also leads the PDO index by a few months throughout the year (Fig. 1d), most notably in winter and summer. Simultaneous correlation is lowest in November–March, consistent with Mantua et al. (1997). The lag of maximum correlation ranges from two months in summer (r ~ 0.7) to as much as five months by late winter (r ~ 0.6).

      Matthew Newman et al (1 Dec 2003) ENSO-Forced Variability of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, Journal of Climate, Vol 16, No 23

      These interactions between the two oscillations isn’t at all surprising once one looks at the temperature fields that are associated with them. They appear quite similar, but with ESNO being more intense near the equator and PDO being more intense in the North Pacific,

      Please see:

      Figure 1 shows the sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies that are associated with the warm phase of PDO. The spatial patterns are very similar: both favor anomalously warm sea surface temperatures near the equator and along the coast of North America, and anomalously cool sea surface temperatures in the central North Pacific. The cool phases for PDO and ENSO, which are not shown, have the opposite patterns of SST anomalies: cool along the equator and the coast of North America and warm in the central north Pacific.

      Figure 1 of About PDO: The Pacific Decadal Oscillation.
      Climate Impacts Group, University of Washington

      To the extent that their phases are sustained by positive feedback mechanisms (e.g., where weakening easterly trade winds permit warm water to rise which further weakens the trade winds) one should expect constructive interference when they are in sync and deconstructive interference when they are out of sync.

      Anyway, here are couple of articles that may be of interest…

      England, Matthew H., et al. Recent intensification of wind-driven circulation in the Pacific and the ongoing warming hiatus. Nature Climate Change 4.3 (2014): 222-227.

      Cai, Wenju, et al. Increasing frequency of extreme El Niño events due to greenhouse warming. Nature Climate Change (2014).

      Reply
      • Mark from New England

         /  May 17, 2014

        Thanks for all the information Timothy. As someone who is still on the learning curve with PDO and ENSO, this information is very helpful.

      • Helpful additions all…

  3. Andy (at work)

     /  May 16, 2014

    Here is a great image which compares 1997 to now as a comparison. It paints a vivid picture.

    Reply
    • Great job on the research by Climate Central. This thing has all the trappings of a real monster event.

      Reply
      • What really catches my eye is the temp delta that runs up the coast of the us, through British Columbia from the equator, the size of the “blob” off of South America and the width of this thing as it reaches across the pacific.

        It is almost as though the components which were acting as dampening heat sinks are gone.

      • The oceans have taken on a huge volume of heat. The typical patterns are highly altered by the added energy. That hot pool you describe will have consequences for weather patterns this summer and potentially for much longer.

    • Mark from New England

       /  May 17, 2014

      Strikingly similar, only 2014 is warmer along the equatorial Pacific. Looks like a big El Nino is indeed coming.

      Reply
  4. What I wonder – and I might be thinking a bit too simplistically – but if the surface equatorial waters are warmer, are there likely to be implications for polewards heat transport via oceanic and atmospheric circulation? How long does it take for that extra heat to be shunted up towards the Arctic? A little bit of extra heat up there at the wrong time could be we all need now – maybe not this year, but perhaps next?

    Either way the key threat posed by an oncoming El Nino is the tendency to depress agricultural yields – if that is cumulative with the ongoing extreme weather impacts, it could tip us into the next iteration of collapse – the next set of nations undergoing Arab Spring style events.

    I can’t help feeling we’re overdue that in any event. The question really is how many such iterations of collapse we can go through before the human world as we know it is fundamentally broken. Personally, I think each iteration will tend to grow and have more impacts, and suspect at most we will see a few such iterations (4-5 at most, and possibly fewer?).

    Reply
    • That’s a good question and depends on a lot of things I’m not sure we have nailed down yet. But if you look at it historically, sea ice melt accelerated in the positive PDO through the 1950s, stalled in the negative PDO through the late 1970s, picked up again in the positive PDO through 1998, and then accelerated again during the most recent negative PDO. There’s some argument that changes in ocean gyres during positive PDO actually slow down melt, but there’s practically no evidence of that in the historical record.

      My opinion is the added atmospheric heat in the Arctic due to another big shove to the Jet will probably be the final straw. Probably not this year, but soon.

      Reply
      • I’m reminded of a quote I can attribute to Professor Wadhams (which I paraphrase) – “It could all melt away rather suddenly”. I think we came closer to that in 2012 that we perhaps realised – given the extensive apparent fragmentation of the ice pack experienced by ice breakers in areas satellites analysis was measuring as “ice”.

        The good news is, I don’t see strong reasons we should expect instant catastrophe post ice melt out (though negative effects will continue to substantially accelerate). The bad news is that without instant catastrophe it’ll be yet another anti-climax and yet another busted flush in terms of motivating people to act.

        But the good news is it still means there is a little time to prepare, and I don’t think anything will get people to act anywhere near the scales required for collective hope (if indeed it is still possible to find solutions on such scales in the first place, which I think highly questionable).

      • Not instant catastrophe. Just one more bad outcome in a series of bad outcomes. It does intensify heat forcing on local tundra, sea bed methane stores and glaciers (Greenland). So those worried about tipping points in these systems will have far more reason to worry once the ice is gone.

      • Not instant catastrophe, but if there is one thing so very many people are guilty of doing – it is linear thinking. You cannot look at the rate of change now and extrapolate that it will remain constant, and the same goes for collapse itself. If positive feedback applies (and I argue it does), the early stages will appear relatively slow and comfortable – the later stages will appear to happen very rapidly – and for those who weren’t paying attention (almost everyone) – almost instantly (in historical timescales at least – you might still be talking years in which “peak collapse” can be said to apply).

        It is the human factor that really drives this more than the climatic factors. We built a fragile interconnected world, now we get to see it perform (or more likely not) under stresses it wasn’t designed to cope with.

      • We hit acceleration pretty soon. At that point, we find out what cycles are quadratic and what cycles are exponential.

        Linear? There’s very little here that points toward a linear outcome.

      • Very little linear and yet very many people thinking there are decades left for really serious impacts.

      • Some rather close misses happening now. The hits are coming faster too.

      • I would rather not adopt this as their default view, but there is a certain truth to a catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. It just isn’t one great catastrophy but many smaller ones. The longer, more severe heatwaves, the unprecedented droughts and flooding, the stronger hurricanes and so forth.

      • There are many climate monsters clamoring in their rush to get out of the closet. Many are comparatively small to moderate in size, a few are enormous. For my part, I think we would be unwise to entirely discount the larger, more deadly, of this ken.

        So yes, I’m a bit of a catastrophist, but with a few caveats.

  5. PMB

     /  May 17, 2014

    First time to comment here. Been following this blog for a while now and the information certainly keeps me more informed than the people around me. Too informed. They don’t want to hear or know any of this.

    Some questions and a comment if anyone cares to respond. Hope this isn’t too long of a length.

    1) I’ve noticed that the equipment at Mauna observatory has been down for most of the week. There has been no update regarding repair. Is there any other place that is recording carbon readings that I can link to?

    2) The news reports today, especially on CNN (that was what the TV was set to at the Gym), were focused on the cause of the wildfires as being the result of arson. Two youths were arrested. Seems that this is the focus of the situation without any mention of Climate Change i anything I’ve seen. Did I miss something that someone else came across which was of more substance anywhere?

    3) It was also interesting that this week Nafeez Ahmed of the Guardian had a piece that focused on the dilution of the IPCC reports. He mentions the presentations done by David Wasdell back in 2007 that were all about the process the IPPC follows. I know that Guy McPherson has discussed this as part of his presentation over the last 18 months. And recently we’ve had reports by two economists and their issues with the report. I believe Cory Morningstar addressed this issue a while back as well, but my memory is vague on this point.

    In these seven years since 2007 most act or treat he IPPC process as if it’s the best we can come with. What’s wrong with this picture? What has taken Ahmed or anyone reporting on climate so long to get a piece in print regarding this process?

    According to Wasdell the information used in the report is already six years out of date when the process begins. Then the process of veto makes the end result of the report circumspect. Yet the report is still treated as if it is the Holy Grail when it’s released (Democracy Now, MSM, etc, etc). And only the above three people that I know of has raised questions about the IPPC process in all these years. It seems we’re not only working with a 40 year time lag, but with a set of blinders on that is keeping us from seeing a wider and more informed picture.

    Reply
    • 1. The CO2 instrument has been functional through May 13. You can go to the NOAA ESRL for other readings. But the best updates are from the Keeling Curve site.

      2. I think the early allegations of arson are well over the top given the obvious extreme conditions on the ground. Though the state does have a problem with fire bugs, constant media allegations of arson are a not too transparent cover for avoiding talking about how abnormal these early fires are. It appears to me to be a kind of climate change scape goating.

      3. The IPCC is a consensus report. As such it will tend to be conservative. This is not to say that the report is not useful. Just that some of its key predictions, such as rate of sea level rise are likely to be lower than what is realized. The report does produce excellent science and is very useful as a base line. It would be nice to have another body that deals with the issue of outside risks, perhaps an IPCC satellite?

      It is worth challenging the findings of established science. But you need a good basis — paleoclimate, for example.

      Reply
  6. Phil

     /  May 17, 2014

    The other issue will be possible reinforcement of a second EKW that is thought to be underway that will interact with the first large one.

    Robert, with the first EKW that is surfacing currently off the coast of South America, are the increase in SST’s along the coast and off the coast just because of the surfacing phase or does the EKW itself rebound off the coast and laterally along it?

    If the latter, and assuming a second EKW is on the way moving from Western Pacific towards the Eastern Pacific, would the two collide or are they operating at in different depths of the ocean? For example, is the second one located deeper in then ocean and coming up underneath the first one and will then also reinforce SST’s in shallower depths?

    Do you know if the second EKW is definite or is it still too early to tell. Also, I am assuming their is still enough heat to sustain further EKW’s as well which will be needed for a strong or super El Nino?

    Reply
    • We’ve had strong and growing Kelvin Waves since mid to late last year. And conditions appear to remain in place for wave propagation to continue.

      The wave reaches the South American coast where it spreads out and eventually dissipates, getting drawn into the next wave as it comes along. The current wave, however, has created much warmer than normal conditions so even the cool phase is rather warm. Another strong, hot down welling wave would almost certainly set conditions for a quite strong El Niño.

      Reply
  7. Colorado Bob

     /  May 17, 2014

    A satellite animation of the Bosnia / Serbia floods –

    http://www.weather.com/safety/floods/bosnia-serbia-flooding-20140515

    Notice it’s retrograde movement .

    Reply
  8. The Jetstream is a Nasty Drunk

    http://climatecrocks.com/2014/05/16/the-jetstream-is-a-nasty-drunk/

    Record May Heat and Wildfires Continue in California; Extreme Flooding in Serbia

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2680

    Reply
  9. Colorado Bob

     /  May 17, 2014

    Reply
    • Bassman

       /  May 17, 2014

      Bob, Is that in Serbia?

      Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  May 17, 2014

      Yikes – when the BRIDGE moves down the river, you know the flooding is bad. The damage to Serbia is going to be immense. How many such events can relatively poor countries absorb before their economy tanks?

      Reply
      • coopgeek

         /  May 17, 2014

        The bridge footage is in Zavidovici, Bosnia. If you zoom in on the maps it looks like the video is shot from just SW of the Pinkasa Bandta bridge. A pedestrian bridge upstream was taken out. I have some friends near there and they are deeply worried about the corrupt and feeble government’s ability to get the people through this. This is a game changer for them.

  10. Bassman

     /  May 17, 2014

    Readers here may want to view the recent PDO values over the last decade at the link below. When you see what the 09/10 El Niño did to global temps you can imagine what this El Niño could do.

    Reply
    • 1998 was about a .15 C temperature jump in a single year. A current positive PDO plus strong El Niño series in the environment of human warming could bring us multiple years of this intensity or greater.

      Reply
      • Mark from New England

         /  May 17, 2014

        Perhaps a taste of what the ‘new normal’ may be in, say, 2030 or so? Will a super El Nino lead to more heat waves in populated areas? Like Europe or the US?

      • In an El Niño, where the heat waves do happen, they will be very intense. Vulnerable regions for this summer: western North America, Eastern Europe through West-Central Russia, India, China through East Siberia. (Northern Hemisphere only).

      • Mark from New England

         /  May 17, 2014

        I should have said ENSO-neutral instead of the ‘new normal’ – I’ll strive to be more precise in this blog!

      • If there is a PDO flip ongoing, then we see a rapid step change with rocketing global temp increases from now to the mid 2030s, likely ending with global conditions in the range of +1.4 to +2.2 C above 1880s values (depending on human ghg emission reductions or lack thereof).

    • Bernard

       /  May 17, 2014

      Yeah.. been looking around for numbers on how this one relates to 2003. We had a tough summer in Europe:

      “Similar questions were also frequently asked following the summer heatwave in Europe in 2003, which was the hottest in continental Europe since at least 1540.”

      http://www.preventionweb.net/english/professional/news/v.php?id=14970

      I’m mainly interested in key indicators on how this would unfold again – if repeating the same scenario – but can’t find the mechanism for the 2003 heat wave. Was it a blocking high somewhere, a prevalent eastern wind, something in the Mediterranean…

      Reply
      • Heat dome. Similar to what we see developing in the Caspian this year. But that would indicate a trough setting up over Europe and the heat centering a bit further East. More along the lines of 2010.

      • Bernard

         /  May 18, 2014

        ^ Thank you Robert.

        Time to hunt for online early alert systems.

  11. Colorado Bob

     /  May 17, 2014

    How Climate Change Will Destroy Your Country’s Credit Rating
    Get ready for a big downgrade.

    We all know that climate change threatens to devastate coastal cities, disrupt food production, and trigger a refugee crisis of untold proportions. It’s also bad for a nation’s credit rating, according to a report released Thursday by Standard & Poor’s.

    That would be seem to be the least of the worries of, say, Vietnam, which S&P ranked dead last of 116 countries’ vulnerability to climate change-related credit risk. (Investors, on the other hand, might want to bet on Luxembourg, which was deemed least vulnerable to climate catastrophe.)

    Link

    Reply
    • It’s a pretty vicious wealth destruction machine.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  May 18, 2014

        The Balkans are moving up the list tonight. Tiny countries with little to fall back on , don’t stand a chance , they’ll be at the doorstep with their beggars bowl tomorrow.

      • And we should help.

      • I’ll suggest a recent book that delves into the economics of global warming: “Windfall: The Booming Business of Global Warming”. Pretty grim outlook, particularly for poor countries in the southern hemisphere. For countries like the US, we’re going to be hard-pressed to help ourselves; very doubtful that we’ll have much left to help anyone else. There’s some tough times ahead folks!

      • Colorado Bob

         /  May 18, 2014

        These floods never made CNN, let alone the big 3. America never knew they happened.

      • It seems the purview of MSM to keep people uniformed and blissfully unaware.

      • I think the only way we’d get through this is via cooperation and resource sharing. Building walls and hoarding will break down into resource wars rather quickly.

    • Colorado Bob

       /  May 18, 2014

      That low still hasn’t moved. I saw it on Dr Masters thread this morning. This disaster is still going. . It’s cut off and just floating . These cut off lows are real wild card. I can’t think of one paper that has ever addressed them.

      Reply
      • Yep. Still plain as day in the MODIS shot. Another one floating over Afghanistan/Pakistan waiting for a moisture flow to amp it up.

  12. Would a shift to a positive phase of the PDO result in more rain for Southern California breaking the current drought?

    Reply
    • Depends on how far north the storm track has shifted. We will find out this winter. My opinion is that drought relief will come primarily during strong El Niño events and in the form of inundation that may make people there think longingly of drought.

      Long dry extremes punctuated by moist violence.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  May 18, 2014

        “As a system nears a tipping point , it moves to the extremes, there it gets stuck. Before violently swinging to the other extreme.”

      • Absolutely correct.

  13. Colorado Bob

     /  May 18, 2014

    Then one day it slams into a new state . And that will be our new climate. But only for a while because our forcing is rocket sled to world the Earth has never seen. We have baked a very big cake. And all our hand waving is useless. There’s no nude woman that’s going to jump from it and save us.

    Reply
  14. Colorado Bob

     /  May 18, 2014

    My comment to Joe Romme –

    Hey jack ass , your new web site missed the Balkan floods.

    The Balkan floods :

    The most outrageous thing about this flood, Thousands of landmines have been washed away from their original locations. You not only have a ruined life , it may have landmines buried in the mud next to your family keepsakes.

    Not a word about this event on web site.

    Everyday you and your team , suck more and more.

    Get a head in the game.

    Reply
    • The land mine issue is a big deal. Every time there’s a flood in this region, more get spread about, more people put at risk.

      Climate Progress appears to have shifted more to coverage of renewables/social/political issues related to climate change. A bit on El Niño too. It’s strange, it’s almost like MSM in general is in shock over the extreme weather related to climate change.

      Reply
  15. Colorado Bob

     /  May 18, 2014

    Your editor couldn’t find their ass with both hands.

    I have seen people point out typos in headlines and you folks never correct them.
    This bright future you promised us, ain’t what you said.
    Climate Progress did not post one thing about the West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse.

    No one word. Your new web site is a mess.

    Hey jack ass , your new web site missed the Balkan floods.

    The Balkan floods :

    The most outrageous thing about this flood, Thousands of landmines have been washed away from their original locations. You not only have a ruined life , it may have landmines buried in the mud next to your family keepsakes.

    Not a word about this event on web site.

    Reply
    • ‘Colorado Bob : – ‘Climate Progress did not post one thing about the West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse.’

      You’re wrong.

      Joe Romm did an excellent piece on it with great contributions form scientists…

      http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/05/13/3437033/coastal-cities-abandoned/

      I don’t understand why you’re being so harsh, Joe’s own blog posts are still among the best coverage of climate science on the blogosphere.

      Bare in mind he’s been involved with a lot of other things including being the chief science adviser to the massive ‘years of living dangerously’ T.V. series, which we’ve all agreed is excellent and is fulfilling the crucial task of taking the message to a much wider audience.

      Reply
      • For my part, I support the Center For American Progress and Climate Progress. Though I think the overall tone has shifted less toward threat focus and more toward solutions focus, I don’t oppose what they’re doing. Though they may miss one or two important events, I think it’s fair to remember they can’t cover everything. If the comparison is with CNN, they do a far better job of covering significant instances.

        As someone who writes about this stuff very frequently, I can also sympathize with what I think is a natural human reaction to withdraw from a very difficult set of subjects. That said, I believe it is our duty, at least it is mine, to do my best not to waver.

    • New article at Climate Progress today…

      From the article:

      Beyond the elements of natural disaster, the floods are uprooting or otherwise jeopardizing the more than 100,000 landmines left over from the regional conflict in the 1990s.
      “The torrential rain, floods and landslides are likely to cause the mines to move,” writes Guy De Launey of BBC News. “Warning signs have already been washed away in a number of places. When the floods finally recede, there will be an urgent need for the deminers to move in.”

      More Than One Million Suffer Worst Flooding In Over A Century
      by Ari Phillips, Climate Progress, 2014-05-18
      At least 25 people are dead and tens of thousands more are without water or electricity in Bosnia and Serbia.

      By Phillips, though, not Romm.

      Reply
  16. Colorado Bob

     /  May 18, 2014

    Joe Romme promised a better future , his change has been left wing disaster. Their editor is a brain dead moron.

    Reply
  17. bassman

     /  May 18, 2014

    Bob, I find it really strange/disappointing too about the Climate Progress blog’s new format and sloppy coverage of climate change. I understand your frustration. That being said I wonder how much control Joe Romme really has, certainly when it comes to format and budget issues. We may not really know what is going on with Think Progress as a whole in terms of their business model. This blog is currently kicking its behind.

    I will say this. I am not an expert in climate change (trying to be) but I have read 20+ books on human nature (M.S. Molecular Bio) and feel qualified to explain the political/societal response to climate change.

    Most people of Westernized nations are simply too disconnected with nature (especially climate/weather due to indoor climate control which alone can completely disconnect humanity from the realities of climate change!). The simple steps of energy transition that we scream about everyday will never be a top priority for voters until something really hits home hard on a regular basis. And we understand that that may take decades longer (agricultural disruption at a much greater global scale) to occur. I know more vulnerable countries will experience these problems first (Arab springs), but it may take wealthier countries decades to experience them. I live and speak with many liberal relatives and friends and I gotta say even they don’t give a flying crap about climate change. (nowhere near the level that we do). They believe in it but don’t seem to grasp the inertia of the CO2 forcing.

    Keep posting these stories Bob. People read the comment sections and it does make a difference even if the main story of the climate progress/whatever blog isn’t well done.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  May 18, 2014

      bassman –
      Many thanks, but Joe Romme promised us a better site. He failed. Anytime someone says a new better site, I cringe. When the big fish eat the little fish, all we get is fish shit.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  May 18, 2014

        i just posted this comment on one of his threads

        http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/05/15/3438412/noaa-tropical-cyclone-intensity/

        You have no idea how deeply I am disappointed in Joe Romme.

      • Bob, I’ve seen some changes to climate progress too. I’m just wondering how you’ve seen it change that makes you disappointed? Is it primarily the lack of critical disaster/event coverage or is it the fact that this is a liberal/progressive site?

        From my point of view, both as a liberal and a progressive, the conservatives don’t have a clue on this issue and the only help, though certainly not enough at the moment, is coming from the left or from left-leaning independents.

      • And now we have fires lighting off again near lake Baikal.

      • Jacob

         /  May 23, 2014

        Bob, I am disappointed with Climate Progress as a whole and I refuse create a Facebook account just to be able to post there to voice my displeasure. It smacks of a corporate circle jerk which I will not encourage. I do enjoy reading your comments and going to the links within them when I find them. Thank you for putting up the good fight and thank you Robert Scribbler for your blog. Apologies for the crude terminology, but at this moment I could not come up with something more PC.

  18. Colorado Bob

     /  May 18, 2014

    bassman –
    Come over to Dr, Ricky Roods site , we beat each other to pieces …….

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/RickyRood/comment.html?entrynum=296#commenttop

    Reply
  19. Colorado Bob

     /  May 18, 2014

    Bob, I’ve seen some changes to climate progress too. I’m just wondering how you’ve seen it change that makes you disappointed?

    It’s like CNN, watching Don Lemon for 2 months explore the endless bullshit . While the rest of the world roars forward. Those people on that jet are dead. The Balkans will kill many more. There is no measure now , of what tragedy really is, on the CNN scale.

    Reply
  20. Colorado Bob

     /  May 18, 2014

    Robert we may need a new scoreboard of death . One that follows these disasters. If we forget them , ………………… same on us.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  May 18, 2014

      If you died because you could not drink water , that would place you on,my list.

      Reply
  21. Phil

     /  May 18, 2014

    Robert, excellent post about the current status of the 2014 El Nino and potential for PDO flip.

    Looks like a big week might be coming up for the arctic sea ice. Increasing speculation on Arctic Sea Ice Blog that the patterns are starting to look real bad especially for ESS although many other areas also looking fragile as well.

    Apparently there was some divergence between GFS and EURO but they began to converged significantly over the last day or so and now point to a bad dipole pattern. The worst impacts still 4 to 5 days away so still out a fair way and subject to potential change.

    Reply
  22. I just wrote, again, to the HR department at The Intercept to encourage them to publish your writing:

    Hello,

    I’m writing to encourage you to consider publishing Robert Marston Fanney’s superb reporting on climate change.

    He is by far the best specialist I know of in that field.

    Even if you don’t end up hiring him, you might want to follow his blog. You won’t find more informed, clearly written and no-nonsense climate change reporting.

    http://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/

    With best regards,

    Philip Heying

    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/05/13/intercept-hiring/

    Reply
    • Thank you, Philip. I will continue to do my best for you.

      Reply
      • Yes, I agree with Phillip. The Intercept is a good place for your undiluted and thorough reportage.
        We’ve got to keep hammering away with truths even if things are going badly.

  23. Pajarito

     /  May 18, 2014

    Robert, I have enjoyed your informed writing for a while now. Well written and explained, I also learn much from your commenters and their linked information.

    Huffington Post has some stories up on the Balkan Floods, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/18/balkan-flood-landslides_n_5347037.html
    Does a pretty good job of reporting on the scale and the human suffering. Says over a quarter of the Bosnian population is in the flooded areas. Landslides, floods and the river rise is moving downstream. Aftermath of this will be huge, hopefully other nations will come to aid.

    On that credit downgrade due to climate changes: just another way for the 1% to impose more austerity on nations, increase the shock doctrine effects. The same people who benefit most from
    burning fossil fuels…a grim “win-win.”

    Reply
  24. just a quick report from northern chile (antofagasta). in the heart of the atacama desert, the el niño effects are always felt here, specially considering we are in front of the humbolt current (cold one) that suffers greatly when el niño arrives. about 6 weeks ago we’ve witness the arrival of the portuguese man o’ war (physalia physalis) wich has put in a warning status the coastal cities due to its venomous and painful stings. and just today, we had a report a rare cuttlefish attack to a beachgoer. cuttlefish are rare nowdaws in the region, and extremely rare beachside.

    el niño is coming.

    Reply
  25. Ben Wouters

     /  May 20, 2014

    I’m a firm believer in the importance of the oceans for our climate.
    When discussing the current heating of the deep oceans, do you have an estimate for when the deep ocean temperature will surpass the temperatures reached in the Cretaceous?
    (about 18K warmer then today)

    Reply
    • Surface temps could approach Eocene levels by end of century. The pace of deep ocean warming under such a condition is outrageous. That said, it will probably take centuries for everything to balance out. What we are talking about is mass extinction in the oceans — to warm it so fast is to rip the oxygen right out.

      Deep ocean warming, methane hydrates, hydrogen sulfide, ocean stratification — we need to take a good hard look at this now.

      Reply
  26. Gerald Spezio

     /  May 21, 2014

    Colo Bob; “You have no idea how deeply I am disappointed in Joe Romm(e).”

    Joe is the science guru for Showtime’s “DAYS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY.”

    And Tom Friedman is one of the literary gurus.

    Reply

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