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The air that usually lays over the North Pole every winter in a circular shape—as the Earth is indeed round unless you are a flat-earther—has elongated toward North America for the last several weeks giving us a taste of how Things Used to Be. Back in the day, 'lo these many blog years ago, like in 2000, or 1994, the year of one of the greatest US ice storms on record. But how's the climate elsewhere?
In Alaska, extremely unseasonable warm weather has destabilized the snowpack that’s there every year, causing a series of a dozen avalanches that buried roads 40 feet deep and hundreds of feet long last month.

Alaska isn’t alone. Greenland has been about 5°C warmer than normal in January. This year’s snow season has shrunk in the northern hemisphere by about three weeks, leaving the people who plan Winter Olympics grappling with how to adapt. Sao Paolo, Brazil is running out of water as it suffered through its hottest month on record in January. And extreme heat rolling through Australia has not just caused tennis tournaments to suspend outdoor play, but also led to a spike in heat-related deaths in Victoria.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 06:00 AM PST.

Also republished by SciTech.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Global climate change denial must be thawing (10+ / 0-)

    Fox global warming snarks during extreme winter storms must be getting threadbare with each new southern ice storm.

    It takes more and more Koch money to keep the energy company narrative of denial on the air.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 06:08:27 AM PST

    •  speaking of Koch money (5+ / 0-)

      why is DK accepting ads for the XL Pipeline? I realize any source of money for such a site as this is not worth spitting on, unless it's extremely dirty. And this is extremely dirty money.

      •  You want revenge, click on the link. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        whaddaya, RiveroftheWest

        Then the ad sponsors get charged a fee.

        dKos contracts with - someone? - who places ads based upon readers' and site interest.  Since the Masters of the InterTubes have noticed a lot of mention of Keystone XL on this site, they steer the pro-Keystone ads here. It's probably the worst use of that ad money for the advertiser, but the Masters aren't always that bright. Yet.

        FWIW, I wrote a diary about ads. We had one for a T-shirt vendor. The picture featured with a braless young woman wearing a shirt saying "This is worth going to jail for" over her breasts. (Why would you go to jail? Because she's underage? Because you would take her forcibly?) Nothing like promoting a little sexual abuse/assault...

  •  Science . . . so . . . awesome. (nt) (5+ / 0-)

    Hard to have a government when one-third of your representatives are insane and the other two-thirds have been sold to the highest bidder.

    by Rikon Snow on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 06:09:00 AM PST

  •  ice hazared (5+ / 0-)

    I can hear it falling sitting at the keyboard


  •  Flowing water on Mars TODAY? All the essentials (7+ / 0-)

    for life as we know it! Except for beer.
    (Or, as they say down under, 'Bier'.)

  •  People who can't see Australia or Greenland (9+ / 0-)

    from their house look outside and see snow. Their denial of climate change is reinforced, and that is all they need to know.

    Such a lack of intellectual curiosity is alien to me, but unfortunately it's a fact of life in this country.

    •  I like to explain: more snow proves warming here- (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      foresterbob, RiveroftheWest upstate New York. It's observable and measurable, too.

      We get a lot of lake-effect snow. A LOT. As things warm, less ice forms on Lake Ontario - and that's a recorded trend so they can't deny it. Less ice means more open water for winds to blow across, picking up moisture, leading to MORE snow, not less. All one has to do is look at the snow totals for the Tug Hill area to verify it.

      When it was colder on average, we had many winters with less snow.

      "When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny." Thomas Jefferson

      by CodeTalker on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 10:38:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cant say I ever thought much about Icthyosaur (5+ / 0-)

    reproduction. But I'm 'surprised'  to read the claim these very (very) old reptiles gave birth on land.

  •  Incredible fossil, and incredibly ignorant bunch (7+ / 0-)

    of idiots in the comments on the site below it.  Sigh.

  •  turn out the lights... (4+ / 0-)

    the party's over...

  •  wingnut quacks (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, whaddaya, RiveroftheWest

    That was so very, very sad.  To prey on the desperate, to feast on this misfortunes of others . . . hell, special place, hope you rot.

    Hard to have a government when one-third of your representatives are insane and the other two-thirds have been sold to the highest bidder.

    by Rikon Snow on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 06:31:10 AM PST

    •  cancer too (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      whaddaya, RiveroftheWest

      We have yet another valid long term study indicating that aggressive mammograms do not help.  That it results in 20% over treatment.  Yet doctors and pharmcos are fighting tooth and nail to substitute science with fear.  What would a 20% reduction in treatment look like to the bottom line?  And what would it look like to the industry if yearly physical exams too the place of expensive machinery?

      We saw a similar situation with prostate cancer.  Over aggressive screening, over aggressive treatment.  While the two are in no way exactly comparable, the fear and manipulation are present in both.

  •  Norway maelstrom (5+ / 0-)

    The time to watch the "polar vortex" is in July and August.
    In recent years there have been what amounts to massive hurricanes (vigorous low pressure cyclones at the North Pole) which have been quite effective at chewing up the ice there and exposing blue water for even further solar heating.

  •  I'm going out on a limb here (5+ / 0-)

    but I'm pretty confident that page 859 is different in every single edition of the Bible.  Is page 859 the same in the Guttenberg and the King James?  Oh, well, can't cure willful ignorance like you can't cure cancer by reading the bible.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 06:50:35 AM PST

  •  We are living in precarious times. (8+ / 0-)

    Personally I am every year seeing more evidence of climate change.

    Item: Driest January for New Mexico since they have been keeping records.  Zero precipitation (I doubt we can beat that record.)

    Item: Butterflies, honey bees, grasshoppers and wasps active ALL WINTER in my back yard.  First time I have seen this in 31 years of living in the county, plus 2 1/2 years before that.

    Item: Large number of the population suffering from respiratory ailments.

    Item: Having to water outside plants ALL winter.  Never had to do this before.

    Item: Continues invasions of pest insects and arachnids, including the yellow fever mosquito in 2000 and the Mediterranean squint-eyed spider in the 1990s.  The European false black widow is now one of the common house spiders, along with the squint-eyed spider.

    Item: Irrigation rapidly becoming a thing of the past, with the Rio Grande flowing only a short time last year and maybe less this year. Allotments in acre-inches.

    Item: occasional violent cold snaps - worst in 2011 when we unofficially hit -5 F (0 F officially) in earlier February.

    Nope - nothing to see here!

    •  There are micro climates all over and you have one (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Now I teach climate change, but the problem is when you talk about just 1 location that does not been that that is climate change.  Now if those events happen all over the world then yes the climate is changing.

      One other thing about 1400 years ago there was a group of people named the Anasazi who lived in the American Southwest, maybe right where you live today.  Anyway they left their home area around 1200 -1300 and it is thought that was because of a drought that started maybe around 1175 and lasted well into the next few hundred years.

      So what you are seeing is maybe nothing new and maybe it is.  There are lots of questions that need answers.  One is the warming this time happing faster?  The ice cores and sea sediment cores may have those answers.

      As I said at the start I teach climate change and I am challenged by my college students.  

      An excellent read on Climate Change is Field Notes from a Catastrophe by Elizabeth Kolbert.

      •  I am well aware of local effects. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        If it was only happening here I'd say there was not yets a case, but ...

        Item: violent storms in England and east US
        Item: Severe drought in Australia
        Item: Flooding in South America

        Item: Weird weather for at least a decade.

        They may be isolated weather systems, but they keep adding up.

        I suppose it could be just coincidence.  But it is getting a bit old, climate change or not.

        I was NOT trying to argue that my back yard was a laboratory for climate change.  I am, after all, a biological scientist and I do understand the necessity of empirical evidence, even in historical contexts.  I was only saying that my back yard (including actually all of the Southwest, have been having some pretty strange weather that would fit with climate change.

  •  When talking about science we should use the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    correct terminology.  The world is not round, but instead a oblate ellipsoid.  Meaning that the poles are somewhat flattened, with a bulge at the equator.

  •  Not all mass extinctions come from asteroids... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dopper0189, RiveroftheWest

    Here is another bit of news from this week: MIT researchers found that the end-Permian extinction, which wiped out 96% of all marine life and 70% of all life on land, happened in a span of 60,000 years (±48,000 years). During the 10,000 years prior to the extinction, volcanic activity in the Siberian traps increased atmospheric CO2 and acidified the oceans.

    •  All the continent being bunched together (Pangae) (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      atana, RiveroftheWest

      is believed to have been responsible for disrupting lava flow convection in the Earth's mantle. There are some large "dome" flows generated by plate sublimation that normally find there "way out" as (usually) ocean hot spots, that all got bunched up under the ticker continental land plates. They kept building up until one day they had enough pressure to "pop" basically all at once.  

      -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)! Follow on Twitter @dopper0189

      by dopper0189 on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 09:33:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Do the mini-satellites have propulsion? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They need to be able to reenter the Earth's atmosphere after they start to malfunction. Otherwise if this trend takes hold, the amount of space junk will multiply, and it will only exacerbate  an already serious problem.

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)! Follow on Twitter @dopper0189

    by dopper0189 on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 09:26:58 AM PST

    •  There (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dopper0189, RiveroftheWest

      are ways to keep them on station, at the proper altitude, yes. Some are simple, using a puff of gas, others ideas are still in the late term testing or early stage deployment stage which use electro-static forces collected by the sats from the earth's mag or elec fields. So they can be deorbited under control and burn in, and not add to LEO space junk.

  •  About The Arctic Cold Fronts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's routine for Alaska to be warmer than normal when an arctic cold front comes to the continental U.S. -- these events are almost always a matter of the jet stream developing a big "hump" north of Alaska, and then a sharp downward turn through Canada into the continental U.S.

    Back in the day, which I guess you'd rather not hear about (?), they called these "Canadian clippers" where I lived, and the weather report would often point out that it was warmer in Alaska than it was in Chicago, for exactly the reason I've just mentioned.

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