Monsoon Disrupted By El Nino + Climate Change as India Suffers Deaths, Crop Losses from Extreme Heat.

May is the month when the massive rainstorm that is the Asian Monsoon begins to gather and advance. This year, as in many other years, the monsoon gradually formed along the coast of Myanmar early in the month. It sprang forward with gusto reaching the Bay of Bengal by last week.

And there it has stalled ever since.

On May 25-27, an outburst of moisture from this stalled monsoonal flow splashed over the coasts of India. But by the 29th and 30th, these coastal storms and even the ones gathering over the Bengali waters had all been snuffed out. The most prominent feature in the MODIS shot of India today isn’t the rainfall that should be now arriving along the southeast coast, but the thick and steely-gray pallor of coal-ash smog trapped under a persistent and oppressive dome of intense heat.

Monsoon Disrupted

(MODIS shot of India on May 30th. See the open stretch of blue water in the lower right frame? That’s the Bay of Bengal which borders coastal India. During a normal year at this time, that entire ocean zone should be filled with the storm clouds of a building monsoon that is already encroaching on coastal India. Today, there is nothing but a smattering of small and dispersed cloud through a mostly clear sky. Image source: LANCE-MODIS.)

Monsoon Described as Feeble

Official forecasts had already announced as of May 27th that the annual monsoon was likely to be delayed by at least a week for southeast regions of India. Meanwhile, expected monsoonal rainfall for western and northern sections of India for 2014 fell increasingly into doubt.

From The Times of India:

The monsoon is likely to be delayed by 10 days, according to scientists at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) here. The IITM’s third experimental real-time forecast says that a feeble monsoon will reach central India after June 20 as against the usual June 15. Last year, the monsoon had covered the entire country by June 15.

The annual monsoon is key to India’s agriculture. The substantial rains nurture crops even as they tamp down a powerful heating that typically builds throughout the sub-continent into early summer. Without these rains, both heat and drought tend to run rampant, bringing down crop yields and resulting in severe human losses due to excessive heat.

But, this year, heat and drought are already at extreme levels.

Major Heatwave Already Results in Loss of Life for 2014

As early as late March, the heatwave began to build over the Indian subcontinent. The heat surged throughout the state, setting off fires, resulting in a growing list of heat casualties, shutting down the power grid and spurring unrest. Meanwhile, impacts to India’s agriculture were already growing as the Lychee fruit crop was reported to have suffered a 40% loss.

By late May, temperatures across a broad region had surged above 105 degrees shattering records as the oppressive and deadly heat continued to tighten its grip.

In a country surrounded on three sides by oceans, it is a combination of heat, humidity and persistently high night-time temperatures that can be a killer. Wet bulb temperatures surge into a high-risk range for human mortality during the day even as night-time provides little respite for already stressed human bodies. Such extreme and long-duration heat doesn’t come without a sad toll. As of today, early reports indicated a loss of more than 56 lives due to heat stroke (In 2012 and 2013, total Indian heat deaths were near 1,000 each year). That said, final figures on heat losses are still pending awaiting complete reports from all of India’s provinces.

“Climatologically, we know that heatwaves are increasing in frequency and the number of days exceeding 45ºC temperatures is increasing. The frequency will increase further with global warming, hence this is a good example of a situation where science and disaster management can come together and avert damage,” a spokesman for India’s National Disaster Management Authority noted on Friday.

Hot Dust

(Hot Dust. A dust storm rolls through New Delhi on Friday amidst furnace-like 113 degree heat snarling traffic and resulting in the tragic loss of 9 more lives. Image source: Gaurav Karoliwal/YouTube Screenshot.)

Today the heatwave continued to gain ground, with Kota and Rajasthan reaching an all-time record of 116 degree F (46.5 C) as New Delhi’s mercury hit 113 degrees F in the midst of a drought-induced dust storm. Dust shrouding the city spurred traffic chaos and in the heat, darkness, and confusion nine more souls were lost.

After two months of growing disruption due to heat and drought, the lands and peoples of India cry out for a Monsoon that is running later and later with each new weather report.

Climate Change + El Nino: Adding Heat and Beating Back the Monsoon

As systems approach tipping points, they are more likely to tilt toward the extremes.

For India this year, its seasonally warmest period from April to May found severe heat amplification from a number of global factors. First, climate change seeded the ground for the current Indian heatwave by adding general heat and evaporation to already hot conditions. With global average heating of +0.8 C above 1880s levels amplifying in the hot zones, early moisture loss due to higher-than-normal temperatures produces a kind of snowball effect for still more warming. Essentially, the cooling effect of water evaporation is baked out early allowing for heat to hit harder just as typical seasonal maximums are reached.

Equatorial Pacific Ocean Temperatures May 30

(Equatorial Pacific Ocean temperatures warmed to +0.63 C positive anomaly on May 30th, extending further into El Nino Range. Image source: University of Maine.)

In addition, this year saw rapid progress toward an El Nino event in the Pacific Ocean with sea surface temperatures warming into the El Nino range by mid-May and continuing to ramp higher. By today, Equatorial Pacific anomalies had hit +0.63 C according to GFS analysis, extending a run into El Nino conditions.

El Nino events typically allow for the formation of hot, drier air over India. These air masses tend to engender extreme heatwaves like the one we are seeing now even as they delay the onset of cooling monsoonal rains. In essence, the monsoon is confronted with a heavy and entrenched wall of hot air that doggedly resists being shoved aside. And this is the very situation we observe now over India — a sputtering monsoon to the east getting bullied by a brutally hot and thick air mass that just won’t give ground. Climate change only exaggerates the problem by increasing the intensity and inertia of the hot air mass.

Major monsoonal disruptions typically occur during years following an El Nino’s peak heating impact. For example, in 1998, during a period following an extreme El Nino, India suffered one of its most severe droughts and monsoonal delays on record. But during recent years preceding El Nino, such as 2009, India also saw severe heat, drying, and crop damage due to a weakening of the annual summer rains. So an early monsoonal enfeeblement and coincident strong heatwaves and droughts over India with El Nino still forming is cause for some concern and bears further monitoring.

Currently, temperatures over India are surging to between 5 and 12 degrees Celsius above already hot averages. With heat and drought firmly in place, forecasts are calling for a 1 to 2 week delay in the cooling and moisture-bringing monsoon as India continues to swelter.

Links:

Heatwave Persists Across India

LANCE-MODIS

Northern India to Endure Scorching Heat and Drought due to Weak Monsoon

Heatwave Continues in Raj, Kota

Lychee Crop Suffers 40% Loss Due to Heatwave

Dust Storm Blamed for 9 Deaths, Transportation Nightmare

Indian Monsoon Delayed as Heatwave Continues

Ten Day Delay in Monsoon

El Nino Delays Rain, May Spell Trouble for Government

El Nino May Disrupt Monsoon

(Hat Tip to Colorado Bob RE Tipping Points)

(Hat Tip to Mark from New England for Excellent Clarifying Questions)

 

 

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170 Comments

  1. Spike

     /  May 30, 2014

    Remarkable temperatures also in China and Korea

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/weatherhistorian/comment.html?entrynum=278

    Reply
  2. Mark from New England

     /  May 30, 2014

    Minor typo: “And there it has stalled every since.” – should be ‘ever since’ of course.

    The dust storm in 113 F New Delhi looks like an image of hell on Earth. The poor of course will suffer the most.

    Reply
  3. Mark from New England

     /  May 30, 2014

    Robert,

    A comment. How can we be sure that the forming El Nino is contributing to the delay and weakening of this monsoon? Isn’t it too early for the El Nino to be affecting the atmosphere in such a powerful manner, especially as far away as India?

    Reply
    • Not too early in the least. This is exactly the time we’d expect monsoonal disruption from a developing El Nino. And now we have it.

      Reply
    • That said, the strongest disruption tends to occur during years following El Nino. For example 1998 saw severe drought and monsoonal disruption in India.

      Reply
      • Mark from New England

         /  May 30, 2014

        Thanks. So 2015 may be even worse for them and a lot of other areas around the world…

      • It would be under more typical conditions. Human warming throws a bit of a curve ball by amplifying the extremes. But, yes, 2015 would be the year to watch if El Nino continues on its current track.

      • Thanks for the question. It’s allowed me an opportunity to provide more clarity.

        I’d like to add that we are hitting +0.63 C for the entire equatorial Pacific and Nino 3.4 is looking still warmer. We will likely enter our 3rd week of Nino-like conditions for the Pacific on Monday.

        It’s probable that some of the conditions caused by El Nino are related to the added atmospheric heat forcing. So It’s worth considering that some of the events that have occurred in the past may be more likely to occur even with only a small nudge.

        I was surprised to see the monsoonal disruption so soon and had failed to provide a good explanation as to why. Part of the reason is that explanations are not readily apparent. But it’s worth noting that for a non El Nino year to see a monsoonal disruption would be a very rare event.

      • colinc

         /  May 31, 2014

        RS – “Part of the reason is that explanations are not readily apparent.”

        Could it be that “the climate” and its inferred “weather patterns” which we’ve all come to know and love, whether they’ve been deduced by the past hundred years or more of record keeping or teased from ice and sediment cores, is absolutely, positively “broken” and EVERYTHING “we” believed we “knew” regarding climate/weather no longer applies? Expecting “what will be” from “what was” is a fool’s errand. It has been well documented, even here on this site, that the “forcing(s)” is(/are) multiples (perhaps orders of magnitude) beyond ANYTHING that has happened in the past. For example, everyone posting on this site KNOWS the Arctic ice (sea AND land) is melting out “several” decades ahead of the previously modeled “worst case” scenarios. Why, then, would anyone “believe” the ensuing droughts and deluges in certain regions that were also forecast are not also “several” decades ahead of said prognostications? This coming August or September or one of those months next year WILL see ZERO ice in the Arctic. Anyone who “thinks” the weather has been “weird” for the last several years(/decades) hasn’t seen anything yet! Moreover, having done “ice-melt experiments,” I am certain that Wipneus and Dr. Wadhams are prescient in understanding there will be no Arctic ice, year-round, by 2025 at the latest. Alas, by then, most of the human population won’t be here to notice.

  4. Mark from New England

     /  May 30, 2014

    Robert,

    I’m so glad I came across your blog about a year ago. I’ve learned more about global warming reading your articles this past year than in the previous, er, all of them! I’m also grateful for your rapid reply to the questions we pose you. I’m not aware of any other major blogger who is as responsive to their audience! Thanks again.

    Reply
    • I find the dialogue is helpful to me in my research as well. Sometimes asking the question is the most important part of it.

      Reply
    • Paul Hemans

       /  May 31, 2014

      Yes, I second that. This has been invaluable.

      Reply
  5. Colorado Bob

     /  May 30, 2014

    KABACAN, North Cotabato – Floods spawned by days of heavy rain have swamped the homes of at least 19,000 people in low-lying villages in this municipality.
    Don Saure, chief of the municipal disaster risk reduction management office, said Friday that the villages affected by the floods included Dagupan, Cuyapon, Upper Paatan, Katidtuan, Pedtad and Lower Paatan.
    “Hundreds of hectares of newly planted ricefields were submerged and might not be salvaged anymore,” Saure said.
    Saure said the floods triggered by rain were brought about by an inter-tropical convergence zone affecting many parts of Mindanao for days now. The rains have swollen the Kabacan River and the Rio Grande de Mindanao.

    Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/606930/floods-force-thousands-out-of-homes-in-north-cotabato#ixzz33ExT8faP

    Reply
  6. Colorado Bob

     /  May 30, 2014

    Government pledges aid to flood victims

    Torrential downpours culminating on Wednesday night caused widespread damage to the town and its environs, with over 100 hundred homes flooded, and roads and bridges damaged. – ………….Poland has been lashed by storms this week, with heavy downpours across much of southern and central Poland. – See more at: http://www.thenews.pl/1/9/Artykul/172377,Government-pledges-aid-to-flood-victims#sthash.ukQyXAeH.dpuf

    Reply
  7. Colorado Bob

     /  May 30, 2014

    Brazil drought fuels World Cup blackouts fear
    Last updated on 30 May 2014, 7:36 am

    Water reserves at hydropower plants, which produce 70% of country’s power, and now at record lows

    – See more at: http://www.rtcc.org/2014/05/30/brazil-drought-fuels-world-cup-blackouts-fear/#sthash.GmwkHSDP.dpuf

    Reply
    • Climate change induced drought disrupting hydro-power plants. The fossil fuel nuts must love that one.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  May 31, 2014

        Having watched this story since Feb. , the politicians in Brazil make Sen Inhofe look like MENSA member.

      • You have to feel for the people of Brazil, then. As victimized by climate change denying conservative politicians as those who live in the duped states of a North Carolina or Florida.

  8. rayduray

     /  May 30, 2014

    To play devil’s advocate once again here (as I did with Arctic methane), let me suggest that it is too soon to fret about a late South Asian monsoon, since the traditional start dates are all still ahead of us on the calendar.

    http://tinyurl.com/pusuuhz

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsoon#South_Asian_monsoon

    Traditional arrival dates move from SE India to NW India more or less according to this formula:

    Tamil Nadu — June 1
    Kerala/Karanataka — June 5
    Maharastra — June 10
    Gujurat to Bihar — June 15
    Uttar Pradesh to Jammu & Kashmir – July 1
    Rajastan – July 15

    Relax. We’ve got plenty of time before worry should set in.

    Don’t Worry, Be Happy….. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-diB65scQU

    Reply
    • Got it!

      Cheers Ray. Have to say that we are looking at a forecast consensus for a weak and delayed monsoon, which is rather bad news for India. This is the reason India grows anxious these days anytime someone whispers the word El Niño. Impacts have been growing concordant with both time and advance of human warming. The satellite shot above speaks volumes.

      Could the monsoon stage a miraculous comeback? I suppose. But chances at this stage are rather low for that fortuitous development.

      As for methane, we have an approximate 40 teragram and likely growing emission/feedback from the Arctic. This is bad news but not yet terrible news.

      Reply
    • Vineet

       /  June 27, 2014

      Hi, I am from Pune ( Maharashtra today is 27/6/2014 and no rains. Already 26 days late for monsoon. What are your thoughts…

      Reply
  9. Colorado Bob

     /  May 31, 2014

    Fighting climate change is good policy and good politics

    When President Obama announces the country’s first-ever standards to curb carbon pollution from our power plants next Monday, June 2, he will be betting on the adage that good policy makes for good politics.

    That looks to be a pretty good wager — because running for office on a platform of protecting the environment, promoting clean sources of energy, and curbing climate change is a proven winner, far from the political liability that the polluting industry would have politicians believe.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/energy-environment/207598-fighting-climate-change-is-good-policy-and-good

    Reply
  10. james cole

     /  May 31, 2014

    Those temperatures are truly amazing, and life threatening. We hear the adjective “unprecedented” used over and over again to describe weather events now on nearly a daily basis. In fact, it sounds worn out at this point! Rain events, heat waves, storms of all types. Melting ice, glacier movements, forest fires, arrival times for spring. Everything is “unprecedented”. But now that global warming is clearly the driver for most of these record events, we might even have to look for new descriptors to put things into a proper context.
    Brazil’s Amazon has been stressed very badly by slash and burn practices and by natural droughts. I know large parts of the Amazon are on the edge of survival. Would a record or large El Nino result in a likely major drought in the Amazon basin? If so, I can imagine a real tipping point crisis for some large areas that will not recover, and the fires would be out of control. Feed backs down in the Amazon are tending towards rain forest collapse in large areas. Man’s actions directly are killing it, and man’s actions on carbon fuel burning are also tending towards Amazon destruction.
    The long term effects of a dieing Amazon are just one more set of nails in the coffin. This all makes the coming oil rush into the arctic seem an act of utter madness. Equal to the insane Tar Sands fiasco of Harper’s Canada.

    Reply
    • Any El Nino is likely to add to the drought stress in Brazil. A strong El Nino could well be terrible. Your concerns about expanding fires in the rain forest are certainly justified.

      Reply
    • The loss of the Amazon alone, if memory serves, could add about as much atmospheric carbon dioxide as manmade activities to date. A potentially powerful feedback.

      Reply
      • There’s a huge amount of carbon in the Amazon. We really don’t want to lose the Amazon. And, right now, we are losing it by inches.

      • Inches? That’s a very optimistic unit of measurement, unless you’re using a very short time unit to go with it.

  11. Colorado Bob

     /  May 31, 2014

    The most amazing picture of a coal mine I have ever seen –

    One Key Question on Obama’s Push Against Climate Change: Will It Matter?

    Wyoming’s Black Thunder coal mine feeds power plants across the United States. Coal plants, which account for more than a third of U.S. electricity generation, stand to face retrofits or shutdowns in the wake of emission rules to be proposed by the Obama Administration Monday.

    Link

    A few years ago, I did the math as best as I could , at the time, the total of all coal trains from Wyoming were 40 miles long . I am reminded of Jim Morrison’s words from :
    “When the Music Over” .

    What we done to the earth ?
    What have we done to our fair sister ?
    Ravaged, ripped her, stabbed her, and bit her.

    These words were written long before they dug the first shovel of dirt at the Black Thunder Mine.

    Reply
    • A great gaping pit in the Earth. Looks like an orc-warren.

      I am very glad for Obama’s EPA regulations. By themselves, they won’t be enough. But they are certainly a start to the kinds of larger policy actions we will need.

      Reply
  12. Colorado Bob

     /  May 31, 2014

    The Doors – When The Music’s Over
    The Doors Live In Copenhagen 1968

    Reply
  13. Colorado Bob

     /  May 31, 2014

    Cancel my subscription to the Resurrection
    Send my credentials to the House of Detention

    Reply
  14. Looking at those temperatures and the state of the monsoon in India, 3 things come to mind.

    As mentioned above by Mark regarding 2015 being pretty horrid for India. We are not in an El Nino yet (technically) as it is still forming. Yet we are seeing events that mimic the effects a year afterwards. I wonder whether the trigger for a missed monsoon has other forcings such as heat, thermal flow within an ocean, trade wind itself, jet stream(s) and others. There is a lot to that puzzle, and there may be some components which have not been quantified yet.

    The other, these temperatures of 105F up to 116F. Photosynthesis falls off at 104F.

    Third, rain zones are moving as are dry zones geographically. This seems evident anecdotally. Areas are going to suffer due to these shifts (both wet & dry). There should be a knock on effect of lost crops for both, lost habitat for both and the ecosystems will get punched in the teeth for both.

    I suspect 2015 and especially 2016 onward, it will be very difficult to keep affected nations from engaging one another militarily and/or suffering internal disruptions with the population (food riots). The FOA index has been in the danger zone for a very long time, this may help spike it. This of course in addition to the South American drought, East European disruptions, Russian declining yields. I hate to say it, but a lot is riding on the US yields this year.

    Reply
    • It’s worth noting that we did see a monsoonal disruption in 2009 as the world was building up to the 2010 El Nino.

      Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  May 31, 2014

      Andy –
      Excellent thinking . To paraphrase what “Chris” said about “Calvera” –

      We are all about to learn about the price of corn.

      Reply
      • It’s pretty clear that the climate results in either major storms or major droughts at a drop of the hat now.

        FAO at 209 prior to a monsoonal disruption. You and Andy are both right about the price of corn…

    • High food prices are a severe stress on global systems. Look for greatest disruption to importing nations, marginal nations or to nations like Ukraine, who have fractured political systems and whose resources are valuable to the global market.

      Unfortunately, the risk of food related conflict grows more likely as time moves forward.

      Reply
  15. Colorado Bob

     /  May 31, 2014

    Paradise by John Prine

    Reply
  16. Reblogged this on jpratt27 and commented:
    Hard to ignore climate change.

    Reply
  17. Gerald Spezio

     /  May 31, 2014

    Bob’s link to Nat Geo had one powerful image of the mind-boggling size of the gaping hole in the earth – Black Thunder Mine.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  May 31, 2014

      The Black Thunder has to dig ever deeper to chase the seem. Which means ever more over burden to be dug up, more cost, more dirt, less coal. All coal deposits are getting harder to mine. They are like oil deposits , all the easy oil has been found.

      That’s a key message , all the carbon will cost ever more to extract Just to bring it to the surface.

      Reply
      • Higher energy cost too. Higher and higher overall net emission if the system remains fossil fuel based.

  18. Colorado Bob

     /  May 31, 2014

    The Black Thunder

    What a perfect name for a coal mine.

    Reply
  19. Colorado Bob

     /  May 31, 2014

    India Dust Storm Blamed for 9 Deaths, Causes Travel Nightmare

    Reported winds hit 90 mph, knocking out power and temporarily suspending metro service, stranding people in train stations and diverting flights, according to Gulf News.

    “The high temperature in New Delhi Friday was 113 degrees,” explains weather.com senior meteorologist Jon Erdman. “However, with dry air below cloud base, thundershowers produced little rain, but instead a lot of wind, churning up dust.”

    http://www.wunderground.com/news/india-dust-storm-deadly-20140530

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  May 31, 2014

      . Traffic jams were reported across the city. The dust was so thick, it blocked out the sun.

      Reply
    • Antipodean

       /  May 31, 2014

      Nasty weather, we had something like this in Melbourne, Australia last summer. Mid 40’s, 30% humidity, layer of very dry air above, and thunderstorms with a high cloud base above that. The rain in the downdraught would be ‘zapped’ by the dry layer, leaving only squally blasts of hot wind. This weather also originated from a heat-dome which blocked the northern monsoon, then made its way across the continent. It was the most bizarre weather I have ever encountered – in a city known for its ‘odd’ weather.

      Reply
  20. An interesting read, it appears the wheat crop in Oklahoma has basically failed for 2014.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/05/30/317368805/oklahomas-extreme-drought-has-wheat-farmers-bracing-for-worst

    Items that caught my eye are:

    “While a few farmers will go out of business, others have crop insurance. Cassidy doesn’t have that financial lifeline, and while he doesn’t think he’s going to go under, he’s cutting costs, saving money and trying to diversify his business by selling more products, like lumber.”

    1) Cassidy is now cannibalizing his damaged land to try to keep the lights on. What does he do when the trees run out?

    2) Crop insurance. What will the insurance companies do with the premiums for 2015 onward? They are not in the business of benevolence. With such a high redemption rate for 2014 crop insurance, premiums will skyrocket or policies will not be offered going forward.

    With a normal harvest of 120 to 150 million bushels now at ~60 million bushels, commodity prices will push higher resulting in social disruptions in net importer countries. To that end, now watch Kansas with it’s expanding drought.

    Reply
    • 25% of the US wheat crop is in poor or very poor condition. So far, corn and soybeans are OK. Will have to see how things progress for the US as we head on into the summer growing season.

      Reply
      • Re corn, I wonder how much of the crop/acreage is for animal feed, bio-fuel, or other less than nutritional usage vs corn for eating and corn meal etc. Soy monoculture is mostly for animal feed, I believe. All animal production is very water and fossil fuel intensive… just more parts to the human forced climate equation.

      • 46 percent of corn goes to animal feed, about 30 percent is direct sale for human food consumption, the remaining balance goes to Ethanol and other uses.

      • 98 percent of the US soybean crop is used for livestock feed…

        In general, we could greatly increase the number of people fed by reducing our livestock dependence as well as diversifying our farming base. Polyculture and a shift toward vegan ism would go a long way in the US to both reducing the carbon burden of our agriculture and expanding the number of people we’re able to feed.

  21. Kevin Jones

     /  May 31, 2014

    For the Northern Hemisphere, home to most people & their agriculture and most terrestrial species, plant and animal, Hell seems to be arriving early , this year.

    Reply
  22. Tom

     /  May 31, 2014

    Did you see this?

    http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2014/study-dangerous-storms-peaking-further-north-south-past-0514

    Study: Dangerous storms peaking further north, south than in past

    New analysis of cyclones shows migration away from tropics and toward the poles in recent decades.

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  May 31, 2014

      Good find. Tropical storms meet rapid sea level rise – going to be an interesting future.

      Reply
    • It makes sense given the expansion of Hadley Cells and the northward migration of warm water.

      Reply
    • One thing to consider, though, is that any northward formation of storms would skew peak intensity northward.

      Reply
  23. 800 flee forest fire; two die of heatstroke as China gripped by 40C temperatures

    Shandong hoisted an orange weather alert in the past few days as temperatures in some areas reached 41 degrees Celsius.

    In Beijing, authorities raised the hot weather alert to red, the highest in the four-level scale. The mercury climbed to 34 degrees in the capital yesterday, after hitting 36.9 degrees on Wednesday – the hottest day in May since May 14, 1968, when temperatures hit 38.3 degrees.

    http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1521463/2-reported-dead-heatwave-grips-nation

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  May 31, 2014

      Can citizens and environmental groups in China openly speak out about human-caused global warming without the threat of censorship of arrest? Would a group protesting a new coal plant be threatened with arrest?

      Reply
      • I think protesting is very risky there. It usually ends up in a reeducation camp.

      • True. The government there keeps a tight lid on any form of social unrest and remains very authoritarian. Although I think there’s a case for conservatives in the US showing a stronger authoritarian streak in recent years.

    • Mark from New England

       /  May 31, 2014

      Not that the US has a great track record in tolerating environmental activism. The book “Green is the New Red” by Will Potter is an eye-opening read into recent persecution of animal rights and environmental activists in the good ole’ bastion of democracy and human rights. Still, I’d much rather be here with our fraying constitutional protections than in a country without any.

      Reply
    • Very intense for that region, especially considering it’s only May…

      Reply
  24. Antipodean

     /  May 31, 2014

    Is there much obs. data associated with these records, (for example a 24hr temp/humidity profile or wet bulb temps?) I have not been able to find it. The thing that worries me most re. 2-3ºC warming is that it will carry through into higher wet-bulb temps and has the potential to make many heavily populated areas of the world uninhabitable.

    Reply
  25. Gerald Spezio

     /  May 31, 2014

    Pregnant with quintuplets … “especially considering it’s only May…”

    … and August & September are not far off.

    Why have we NOT heard from Charles Miller & CARVE?

    Why have we NOT heard from Igor & Natalia?

    Reply
  26. Gerald Spezio

     /  May 31, 2014

    I am supposed to believe that no U.S. atomic powered submarine has surfaced in the Arctic in the last month.
    … and not just “to show the flag.”
    NO CURRENT DATA YET?

    Reply
    • Barrow at around 1915 ppb currently. YoY increase in the range of 6-10 ppb per year over past 3 years.

      Broader analysis would be helpful. But no spike in this data, just the continued overburden and increase trend we’ve seen since the mid 2000s.

      Overall global methane per Mauna Loa pushing a higher rate of increase in the past couple of years. Again, no spikes, but rate of increase on the rise.

      Methane monster still rumbling and grumbling but no major release in the data. Human forcing is enough to result in what we are seeing now even without a severe amplifying feedback. A 425 CO2e including aerosols is extraordinary, especially when you consider how rapid the accumulation is.

      Reply
      • I think we can be optimistic that the methane won’t really start coming out in earnest until the sea ice is basically gone for at least part of the year, and temperatures in that region really start to move.

        By which time, I suspect most of the human population will be too busy dead or fighting to survive to really care any more.

  27. rayduray

     /  May 31, 2014

    Hi Robert,

    I seem to have a comment upstream that has gotten stuck in limbo, “awaiting moderation”. Should I re-post?

    Reply
  28. I predict a methane reading for Barrow, Alaska in September 2014 in excess of 1940 ppb.
    I predict a methane reading for several areas of the Arctic Sea in September 2014 in excess of 2500 ppb.

    Reply
    • September is usually in the trough for the Arctic. So current trends get us to around an 1890 average for Sep 2014. It’s worth noting that winter readings for Barrow hit 2000 ppb + this year.

      If what you say happens, it would be a significant anomaly.

      Reply
  29. james cole

     /  May 31, 2014

    This is amazing! Floods following right on the heels of forest fires. These floods just south of the larger fires of recent weeks. From RT: “Hundreds of people have been evacuated and tens of thousands left without power after heavy floods struck southern Siberia. A state of emergency has been introduced in three regions.

    Those areas are the Altai region, Khakassia Republic, and Altai Republic, said Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov, who added that a “high alert” has been issued for two other regions – Tuva Republic and Buryatia Republic.

    Meanwhile, Puchkov also noted that other regions are at risk from the flooding – such as Sakha (Yakutia) Republic and the Amur region – due to the fact that rivers in southern Siberia have responded quickly to the heavy rains.”
    The big Amur river which flooded in the recent past, is now in flood danger again!
    How wild can the weather get? I know, much wilder as global warming is taking hold of the normal weather patterns and systems.

    Reply
  30. Colorado Bob

     /  May 31, 2014

    Coffee rust reaches new heights in Central America

    FRAIJANES, Guatemala (AP) — For years, Hernan Argueta’s small plot of coffee plants seemed immune to the fungus spreading elsewhere in Central America. The airborne disease that strikes coffee plants, flecking their leaves with spots and causing them to wither and fall off, failed to do much damage in the cooler elevations of Guatemala’s mountains.

    Then, the weather changed.

    Temperatures warmed in the highlands and the yellow-orange spots spread to Argueta’s plants. Since the warming trend was noted in 2012, the 46-year-old farmer said his family went from gathering a dozen 100-pound (45-kilogram) sacks of coffee beans each month to just five.

    Read more: http://www.denverpost.com/popular/ci_25871551?source=most_viewed#ixzz33Kb3ziOs

    Reply
  31. Hundreds evacuated as heavy floods sweep across Russia’s Siberia – http://rt.com/news/162736-russia-siberia-altai-flood/

    Reply
    • These are devastating floods. Europe getting hammered with heavy rains at this time. That climate change amped hydrological cycle is on a rampage at the moment.

      Reply
  32. Andy in Bangalore

     /  June 1, 2014

    The articles are excellent. I pass many of them on to friends, family and students.

    The pool of hot water in the northeast Pacific is an anomaly that was not present during the previous El Nino’s. One would think it would have an effect that likely will only be understood in hindsight.

    More people have died in Bangalore in the past two weeks from lightening and trees falling during thunderstorms than the heat related deaths reported in the article. In a country of over 1 billion people experiencing 425 births per minute and where such things as marital difficulties are often “solved” by suicide reporting 9 heat related deaths is viewed “in country” as simply one more somewhat newsworthy occurrence, and certainly nothing extraordinary.

    Many of the temperate cereal crops display an optimum daytime temperature for photosynthesis of 30C. The increased rate of heating during the growth and pollination period, elevated night time lows are of equal concern as is soil temperature and soil evaporation rates and disrupted precipitation patterns.Additionally industrial chemical farming, GMO’s and more are all contributing to crop reductions in India.

    10 years ago rice farmers in Karnataka (sometimes referred to as India’s rice bowl) were getting 3 crops per year. Now they are down to 1 crop per year due to the erratic nature of the monsoons. India is importing rice from China. Of course this is wrapped up in “increased trade numbers” so it is seen as a good thing.

    Reply
    • Andy,

      Great information. I have been watching that north east pacific heating with concern as well. I use to live there and know the marine life can get damaged by the temperature anomaly.

      With the rice, India is normally a net exporter (#2 in world – 9 million metric tons), one of the biggest exporters in the world. China is a net importer (#1 in world 3.7 million metric tons). That really puts pressure on the price world wide. The other big farm export from India is cotton (sold to China).Is that taking a hit too?

      Reply
  33. Gerald Spezio

     /  June 1, 2014

    Andy, just fun.
    I had to look up the proper spelling yesterday – lightning.
    I wonder, if you learned it from t.v. as a meme?
    Andy Kaufmann as Latka was famous for lightENing.
    I think that may have happened with me?

    Meaningless drivel like the proper way to spell lightning keeps the devils away.
    The devils get closer by the minute.
    T.v. made me crazier.

    Reply
  34. Gerald Spezio

     /  June 1, 2014

    I don’t consider this a digression.

    Pages & pages of this magical foo-foo on YouTube.

    Video after video – how to “manifest” money, clearly.

    221,000 views.

    Cut back on carbon?

    On YouTube; How To : Hear Your Angels Clearly

    Reply
  35. Andy in Bangalore

     /  June 1, 2014

    Sadly I’m not able to blame the poor spelling on t.v. since I grew up without, and only rarely have had it in my various homes since then. No. . . lets just leave at advancing old age and a lousy cup of coffee this morning.

    Reply
  36. The temperatures are big in Japan
    A deadly heatwave sweeps across Japan and hospitalises hundreds.

    Two women have died from heat related illnesses and over 300 people were admitted to hospital with suspected heatstroke by late Saturday.

    Much of Japan has been has been sweltering for two days now as the temperature topped 35 Celsius on Saturday and Sunday. Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA) have issue extreme temperature warnings with the hot weather expected to continue into the new working week.

    Central Tokyo saw the temperature reach 33.1 Celsius on Sunday afternoon. This is a full 10 degrees above the seasonal average of 23 degrees. Not too far away, the highest temperature recorded was 36 degrees in Tatebayashi, located just to the north of the capital.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/weather/2014/06/temperatures-are-big-japan-20146110022217775.html

    Reply
  37. bassman

     /  June 1, 2014

    Does anyone know what the volcano in Indonesia will do in terms if negative forcing? I keep thinking that a Pinatubo like eruption could delay warming just long enough ( reducing what political pressure there is for mitigation) to put us beyond the point of no return in terms of 450 ppm or higher.

    Reply
    • rayduray

       /  June 1, 2014

      Hi bassman,

      Re: “Does anyone know what the volcano in Indonesia will do in terms if negative forcing? “

      You’ll find a deep bench of expertise at Eric Klemetti’s Eruptions blog: http://www.wired.com/category/eruptions/

      So far the Sangeang Api eruption appears to be only a minor contributor to atmospheric aerosols. Certainly nothing like Pinatubo.

      Reply
    • It’s a decent sized eruption, but not comparable to the large ones of the 20th Century. Even Pinatubo only delayed warming for a few years. And this eruption isn’t comparable to that event.

      Reply
  38. Spike

     /  June 1, 2014

    Summer flash floods in UK will quintuple under future climate conditions http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-27624478

    Reply
  39. Colorado Bob

     /  June 1, 2014

    In Norfolk, evidence of climate change is in the streets at high tide

    NORFOLK — At high tide on the small inlet next to Norfolk’s most prestigious art museum, the water lapped at the very top of the concrete sea wall that has held it back for 100 years. It seeped up through storm drains, puddled on the promenade and spread, half a foot deep, across the street, where a sign read, “Road Closed.”

    The sun was shining, but all around the inlet people were bracing for more serious flooding. The Chrysler Museum of Art had just completed a $24 million renovation that emptied the basement, now accessible only by ladder, and lifted the heating and air-conditioning systems to the top floor. A local accounting firm stood behind a homemade barricade of stanchions and detachable flaps rigged to keep the water out. And the congregation of the Unitarian Church of Norfolk was looking to evacuate.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/in-norfolk-evidence-of-climate-change-is-in-the-streets-at-high-tide/2014/05/31/fe3ae860-e71f-11e3-8f90-73e071f3d637_story.html

    Reply
  40. rayduray

     /  June 1, 2014

    BBC Weather reports the start of the Indian monsoon to be delayed by about 4 days:

    http://www.bbc.com/weather/features/27641162

    Reply
    • We have a little weather in the Arabian Sea but the Bay of Bengal remains clear for the third day running. The forecast for south India, where the monsoon should have arrived today, in three days is for light drizzle. The monsoonal moisture flow did begin to move a little today, but it remains weak and unimpressive.

      Reply
    • Meanwhile New Delhi endured another day of 108 degree + temps and dust storms.

      Reply
      • If they are getting dust storms does that imply that the soil is drying out more than the norm, or is that expected in the region? Hopefully someone (Andy from Bangalore perhaps) knows.

      • New Delhi isn’t an area where dust storms are common. It’s comparable to having large dust storms in the plains states.

      • Philippine floods have displaced 19,000 people today…

    • If Jesus does return, I wonder what he will think of pastors like these who malign his father’s name in an attempt to justify the ongoing destruction of his creation at the hands of greedy, short-sighted, and black-hearted men?

      Climate change in this day is a crime human beings commit. It has perpetrators and its victims encompass all the Earth.

      The pastor has turned his face from the prophets of our day — 97 percent of the world’s scientists — and has decided to side with the destroyers of our Earth. The Bible has a place for such hypocrites. And it is not in the Kingdom of Heaven.

      Reply
      • You’re absolutely right Robert. One of the prayers we regularly pray is as follows: “Give us a reverence for the earth as your own creation, that we may use its resources rightly in the service of other and to your honor and glory”. I’m sure other religions (denominations, sects) have similar sentiments. I cannot imagine a religion that has as its creed “go forth and destroy the earth”.

      • I’ve always been particularly fond of that prayer, Jim.

  41. Colorado Bob

     /  June 1, 2014

    Drought to Heat Coffee Prices

    Brazil, the source of about half of the world’s arabica coffee, produced back-to-back bumper crops in the previous two years. This year, hot and dry weather has hurt coffee trees, and trade houses, analysts, and government agencies have slashed their forecasts for Brazil’s production, which many of them had initially expected to be a record. “My area is highly affected,” says Danilo Silva Fernandes, president of coffee cooperative Coopervitae in Minas Gerais, the top arabica-growing state in Brazil. He estimates Coopervitae’s production will fall by 30% this season to 7,000 bags of beans because coffee trees missed crucial rains in January and February. …………………………..Production in Central America appears to be in even worse shape. While the region accounts for less than 10% of global output, it is the source of some of the world’s rarest and most expensive coffee beans. An outbreak of coffee rust, a fungal disease that attacks the trees, has driven down production by an estimated 14% this year.

    Ganes estimates that arabica prices could reach $3 a pound this year and says the global coffee market will likely tip into a supply deficit in 2015, one of the carryover effects of the Brazilian drought. High temperatures and dry weather prevent new vegetative growth, hurting the coffee trees’ ability to produce future crops.

    Link

    Reply
    • Climate change is pushing coffee’s habitable zone out of the valleys and up the sides of mountains. It’s becoming an island crop.

      Reply
  42. Colorado Bob

     /  June 1, 2014

    By Meg Sullivan, UCLA

    Forget about positioning giant mirrors in space to reduce the amount of sunlight being trapped in the earth’s atmosphere or seeding clouds to reduce the amount of light entering earth’s atmosphere. Those approaches to climate engineering aren’t likely to be effective or practical in slowing global warming.
    A new report by professors from University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and five other universities concludes that there’s no way around it: We have to cut down the amount of carbon being released into the atmosphere. The interdisciplinary team looked at a range of possible approaches to dissipating greenhouse gases and reducing warming.

    Link

    Reply
    • If we had started cutting total emissions in 1980, if we had helped the Chinese and India and the rest of the world adopt renewables through the last four decades, if we had diversified farming, relied more on polyculture, and cut down total meat consumption, if we had implemented a broad global campaign to push responsible land use practices, if we had gone full bore with implementing vehicle to grid technology, then we wouldn’t be facing the imminent loss of a growing number of our coastal cities now, we wouldn’t be facing worsening crop disruption and the almost daily displacement of tens of thousands due to extreme weather.

      We lost four decades and this is what we have to show. We simply cannot afford to lose another four.

      Reply
  43. Colorado Bob

     /  June 1, 2014

    Cosmos takes on Climate Change
    The groundbreaking Fox and National Geographic Channel series Cosmos, hosted by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, has been attracting more than 3 million viewers every Sunday night–an impressive tally for a science-based show. Cosmos has been unafraid to confront controversy, taking on creationism and industry-funded science denial, for example. This Sunday, June 1, at 9 pm EDT/8 pm CDT, Cosmos takes on climate science deniers with a full 1-hour episode devoted to climate change. According to Chris Mooney of motherjones.com, who had a chance to preview the episode, “it contains some powerful refutations of a number of global warming denier talking points, as well as some ingenious sequences that explain the planetary-scale significance of climate change. It also contains some in-situ reporting on the impacts of climate change, straight from the imperiled Arctic.” I’m looking forward to seeing the legacy of Carl Sagan continue this Sunday night. For those who miss it on Sunday, Cosmos also airs Monday, June 2nd at 9 pm EDT on National Geographic Channel, with additional footage.

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2687

    Reply
  44. Gerald Spezio

     /  June 1, 2014

    Robert, with as much as you know, you can seriously say; “We simply cannot afford to lose another four (decades).”
    We do not have four decades.
    We will not see 2054.
    Abrupt arctic methane release, both from the sea floor & permafrost, will soon devastate mammalian life.
    … and we will be sucking carbon & spewing CO2 the whole way.
    Guy McPherson is right – there is no way out.

    Reply
    • I have a friendly disagreement with Guy on this point. Human extinction is likely not inevitable at this time. Though that card may be on the table face down if the Earth System is even more sensitive than what we have direct scientific evidence for now (constant exponential feedback, though I’m more of the quadratic persuasion, myself).

      Don’t get me wrong, from the point of view of risk analysis, there is serious cause for concern and we are at the start of the years of disruption (food and mass migration being a first and growing concern).

      We probably have already locked in at least a minor mass extinction in the biosphere, though. Jury still out on the methane monster’s early large-scale emergence. I certainly don’t like what I see.

      Reply
      • Human extinction is neither inevitable (over historical timescales, everything dies some day) nor inevitable in the near term.

        I hope all the people who are running around saying it is die quietly when their time comes though, and let the rest of us get on with trying to make a go of it. They’ve got a lot to answer for for spreading a defeatist delaying mindset promoting inaction.

      • “They’ve got a lot to answer for for spreading a defeatist delaying mindset promoting inaction.”

        There’s the poison pill, my friend.

    • Colorado Bob

       /  June 1, 2014

      Gerald Spezio –

      I try not to express these thoughts, but I don’t argue your points . I prefer to say , ” Our cake is already baked.”

      It makes the fall of the Roman Empire , look like an 8 year-old girl’s birthday party.

      Hell of a time to be alive.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  June 1, 2014

        Hell of a time to be alive.

        The Roman Empire, didn’t have the solutions in their hands, we do. That’s what makes this time so interesting.

      • And Amen to that.

  45. Colorado Bob

     /  June 1, 2014

    RS –
    Did you ever read Joseph Campbell ?

    Reply
  46. Colorado Bob

     /  June 1, 2014

    I think the person who takes a job in order to live – that is to say, for the money – has turned himself into a slave.
    Joseph Campbell

    http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/joseph_campbell.html

    Reply
    • “Follow your bliss” rang true for me. Have always distrusted the notion of constructing one’s life to serve monetary income.

      Reply
  47. Colorado Bob

     /  June 1, 2014

    When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.
    Joseph Campbell

    Reply
    • To my mind, this is the very heart of faith. When the lust to survive falls away, the just spirit emerges uninhibited. Conscience is unfettered and the moral spirit given form and a will to act.

      Reply
  48. Colorado Bob

     /  June 1, 2014

    One last quote-

    The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.
    Joseph Campbell

    Reply
  49. Gerald Spezio

     /  June 1, 2014

    No, not muddleheaded literary twit Joe Campbell & his “follow your bliss” mantra.
    In a culture of narcissism follow your bliss was the perfect prescription.
    Jungian archetypes are crazier than sex bespattered Freudian repressions.
    Joe Campbell snookered an entire nation with his Jungian double-talk, & Bill Moyers played right along.
    I lost all respect for Moyers.
    Both of them reaped big bucks from the sinister scam.
    Taking on Joe Campbell is almost as difficult as questioning if Santa’s sleigh can really fly.
    I think that the Koch Bros are following THEIR bliss, now.

    Reply
    • I suppose it only works for people to which conscience is intrinsic. Could easily be seen as an excuse for narcissism otherwise.

      Reply
  50. Gerald Spezio

     /  June 2, 2014

    A really sharp writer at Veterans Today, Jonas E. Alexis, just a few days ago took the whole preposterous Jungian edifice to the woodshed & beat the daylights out of it.
    Also covered is Robert Noll’s recent book exposing Jung’s perverse anti-science, his blatant lying, his mysticism, & his glaring respect for the occult.
    Well worth your time because your brain is on the line.

    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2014/05/27/carl-jung-humanistic-psychology-and-the-land-of-the-dead/

    Reply
    • All human brains are primitive and bound to animal spirits, Gerald. Absolutism, often being the greatest impediment to understanding reality as it actually exists.

      Reply
  51. Andy in Bangalore

     /  June 2, 2014

    Dr. Bruce Lipton’s presentation at IONS speaks to absolutism, determinism and spirit:

    I like Mark Twain’s quote: It isn’t what you don’t know that gets you, but what you think you know for sure that just isn’t so. (or words to that effect)

    Reply
  52. Gerald Spezio

     /  June 2, 2014

    Joe Campbell passed himself off as a very well read literary intellectual, but he was dumb as nails scientifically.
    Some of Joe’s assertive dictums on anthropology smack of outright madness such as
    Adolph Bastain’s psychic unity of mankind.
    Joe thought that assertion was proof.
    His Jungian psychological foundation is pure sorcery.
    His last book, The Inner Reaches of Outer Space is phantasmagorical nonsense.

    In the Book Campbell actually preaches about the a priori wisdom of Immanuel Kant, who was soundly debunked by Einstein’s Relativity.

    Kant is famous for riding Newton’s coat-tails & asserting THAT NEWTONIAN PHYSICS WAS IN THE MEAT OF THE HUMAN MIND – A PRIORI

    I have Campbell’s book in my bullshit collection.

    Reply
  53. Colorado Bob

     /  June 2, 2014

    At about 8 min . into Cosmos the Fox Station here started the local news.

    Any one else see this ?

    Reply
    • bassman

       /  June 2, 2014

      It was awesome, talked about the fingerprints of CO2 warming and sea ice/methane positive feedbacks, weather vs climate walking a dog example (dog is weather, man walking is climate). Very well done for casual viewers.

      Reply
      • They even built the theme around runaway greenhouse/Venus syndrome. I can just about hear the primal scream from climate change deniers now…

    • Saw it. Very well done.

      Reply
      • bassman

         /  June 2, 2014

        It was well timed for tomorrow. I wonder if Obama will emphasize local benefits or Global warming benefits for tomorrow’s EPA event.

      • Good points. I still can’t believe this was on Fox.

      • Mark from New England

         /  June 2, 2014

        Yes, it was very good. I liked how he imagined that if CO2 was not an invisible gas, perhaps we would have taken action by now. I too have thought the same thing, but alas, like most gases, it is invisible! He also did a good job of explaining positive feedbacks. And I liked the analogy of walking a dog on a leash to weather and climate – easy to understand and an analogy most people can relate to.

        I only wish that the illustration of the Keeling Curve had been slower, and gotten perhaps 20 seconds more of explanation to go with it. He made a statement that open ocean water has the lowest albedo of surfaces on Earth. Is that true? Lower even then deserts or semi-arid scrubland, perhaps?

      • Dark ocean surface has the lowest albedo. Desert actually has decent albedo due to its light color.

        There was a lot crammed into this episode. I this they could have done it with more elegance in two or three.

      • Mark from New England

         /  June 2, 2014

        “Dark ocean surface has the lowest albedo”. That’s NOT good in the context of the dramatic loss of arctic summer sea ice – the understatement of the century!

        Hopefully this particular episode and the Cosmos series in general will help in reversing scientific illiteracy in the USA. I wonder how much ‘Fundie’ hate mail Fox is getting. From some accounts Cosmos is upsetting the Young-Earth Creationists / Bible literalists. Great I say!

        How’s the monsoon proceeding in India? Has it finally started raining in earnest there?

      • Good for Cosmos. Can’t stand the anti-science nonsense.

  54. Mark from New England

     /  June 2, 2014

    ‘Climate Change Is Here’: Australia Experiences Hottest Two Years Ever Recorded:

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/06/02/3443604/australia-hottest-two-years/

    And with a coming El Nino, make that 2 more years, eh? That’d be 4 years in a row of record heat for them, with even fiercer wildfires likely for the next southern hemisphere summer, right when El Nino effects will be peaking, if I understand correctly.

    I’m afraid Australia will become the first ‘First World’ nation casualty of global warming, in the sense of making it basically uninhabitable due to lack of water and wicked hot temperatures.

    What do the Aussies who read this blog think? Is it situation code red yet?

    Reply
    • Australia is on the front lines. It’s surrounded by two very large and heating oceans. Hot land in the middle of hot seas.

      Reply
    • nathan tetlaw

       /  June 2, 2014

      I live in Perth, Western Australia… Lovely city. For us Climate change has resulted in about a 25-30% reduction in rainfall since the mid 70s. Most of our dams are now useless. Luckily we are living on a giant aquifer (that we are busily depleting) so the impact has been moderate. High summer temps are becoming a problem; each Summer is now the ‘hottest on record’ – which is uncomfortable. People haven’t really suffered here yet. But the forests outside of Perth are; large scale tree deaths. we have bushfire problems here too, but not of the scale of Melbourne or Sydney; their forests have bigger biomasses. We can see that in 20 or 30 years the effects will be serious; especially in the northwest of the state. A lot of money is made in the Pilbara mining iron ore. This area is extremely hot in Summer (40+ C daily) and the modelling suggests that by 2050 it will be around 5C hotter up there. People will die in those conditions.

      Reply
      • Mark from New England

         /  June 3, 2014

        Nathan, Thanks for the first hand account from Perth – one of the most isolated large cities on Earth. Must be neat living there, sort of like living on an island in a way. Isn’t Perth building a large desalination plant for drinking water? Perhaps I’m confusing it with somewhere else in Australia. May you have just the right amount of rain when you need it!

      • At the local context, it’s amazing to see how much things are changing. Perth sounds like it’s in for a tough haul, as are we all. Those working conditions sound brutal. How long have you lived in Perth?

        Australia’s a tough spot to be in — a large mass of land rather close to the equator and surrounded by warming seas. Not like there are a lot of easy places, though.

  55. JPL

     /  June 2, 2014

    Don’t know if that has already been posted, but http://www.methanetracker.org/ is soliciting donations to move their site to a new server.

    Here is some background info about the guy running that site: http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2014/06/support-methanetracker.org.html

    John

    Reply
  56. Nathan Tetlaw

     /  June 3, 2014

    Hi Robert.

    I have lived here all my life.
    We normally get around 80% of our rainfall between May and September. And I remember when I was young (in the 70s and early 80s) that winter was wet. all the time; we would get between 700 and 800 mm over those 4-5 months. Now, we struggle to get about 500. Summer now is bone dry; we received about 2mm between Dec and April this Summer. With the extra heat you see a lot of plants suffering; our street tree almost died this Summer and a lot in my neighbourhood have.

    If you look at our changing weather it’s pretty clear we now get the weather that Geraldton (about 500km north) used to get. So this is consistent with the Southward movement of the Hadley Cell.

    Yes, Mark, we have a big desal plant now (40GL/a?). That was very expensive to build. What we should have is water recycling… Cheaper and more sustainable. But less politically attainable.

    The coastal parts of Australia are quite nice, but once you get over 100km inland most places become quite dry. And generally the wildlife and plants are adapted to cope with droughts. But now we have droughts every Summer… So something will break. The northern ‘wheatbelt’ of Western Australia will be kaput soon. So dry and salty up there now.

    The Pilbara is amazing, but as you say ‘brutal’ I go up once a month and that’s enough for me…. So hot in Summer.

    Perth is pretty much like most other First world cities. Easy to live in, some crime issues and what not, but generally fine. It doesn’t feel isolated to me, it just takes a long time to get anywhere else.

    Reply
    • Paul Hemans

       /  June 3, 2014

      I am over in NSW, Southern Highlands, been to Perth a couple of times. Loved Magaret River.
      Over here the last big Sydney bush fire season brought the “Halls Rd” fire within a 1km of my house, the scale was enormous. We have noticed the winters getting decidedly milder since we have moved up here from Sydney. Australia is definitely changing.

      Reply
  57. rayduray

     /  June 3, 2014

    June 3 Monsoon Update:

    AP: “Deadly flooding, mudslides take toll in Sri Lanka”

    Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/deadly-flooding-mudslides-take-toll-in-sri-lanka-1.1850727#ixzz33b9nTQ5N

    Reply
  58. “It’s official. Southwest monsoon-2014 has finally set in over Kerala on Friday. The monsoon has further advanced into most parts of south Arabian sea and Kerala, remaining parts of Maldives-Comorin areas, some parts of Tamil Nadu, most parts of southwest Bay of Bengal and some parts of West-central Bay of Bengal during next 24 hours. According to weathermen, the monsoon is likely to hit Vizag and Hyderabad after June 10. ”

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/visakhapatnam/Southwest-monsoon-sets-over-Kerala/articleshow/36163452.cms

    Reply
  1. Monsoon Disrupted By El Nino + Climate Change as India Suffers Deaths, Crop Losses from Extreme Heat - CLIMATE HIMALAYA
  2. May Likely to Break Global High Temperature Records as El Nino Conditions Strengthen in Pacific | robertscribbler
  3. May Likely to Break Global High Temperature Record as El Nino Conditions Strengthen in Pacific | Artic Vortex
  4. Monsoon Disrupted By El Nino + Climate Change as India Suffers Deaths, Crop Losses from Extreme Heat. | Artic Vortex
  5. Another Week in the Ecological Crisis, June 1, 2014 [A Few Things Ill Considered] | Gaia Gazette

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