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A new NASA sponsored study in the journal Geophysical Research Letters is showing a connection between the collapse of the Polar vortex, the California drought, and the rise of the monster El Nino forming in the pacific.  This isn't good news for California since it suggests that this is going to be a more common occurrence.

Joe Romm at thinkprogress has a very nice synopsis of the upcoming paper.  Here's some cuts from the thinkprogress report.

A new study in Geophysical Research Letters (subs. req’d) takes the warming link to the California drought to the next level of understanding. It concludes, “there is a traceable anthropogenic warming footprint in the enormous intensity of the anomalous ridge during winter 2013-14, the associated drought and its intensity.
FishOutOfWater has a nice explanation of what happened to the Polar vortex this past winter, and the effects it had on the northern hemisphere.

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On the left is what a normal polar vortex should look like.  On the right is what the polar vortex looked like this year.  Take a look at how the jet stream is all over and dipping deep into the U.S.

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This collapse of the polar vortex created some extreme temperature differences known as a dipole.  The well worth reading blog at robertscribller says this about the dipole and the new report:

But in a world where extremes between hot and cold are becoming more intense, in North America which has just experienced its most extreme dipole anomaly since record keeping began in 1960, it’s also something that’s important to understand as it relates to ongoing human-caused climate change.

...

GFS Model summary of Polar Vortex Collapse event on January 19, 2014 shows 850 mb temperatures over the Eastern US colder than the same temperatures over parts of Greenland and the Arctic Ocean. 850 mb temperatures over St. Augustine, FL are the same as 850 mb temperatures over central Greenland.

...

This clear picture of a climate-change caused event was this week provided through the groundbreaking new research by Dr. Wang and fellows. These top scientists engaged climate models and analyzed past records to find the culprits of the weather extremes we witnessed during this past winter. And what they found was a very high correlation in the models with the extreme dipole over North America and the Arctic, an oncoming El Nino, and climate change driven impacts.

And speaking of the monster El Nino, it seems to be right on course to make it's appearance in the next few months.  
And here's the latest forecast from the models.
And finally here is the latest drought monitor map.
The good news for California is that the drought map will probably start changing by the end of the year.  The bad news is that El Ninos sometime bring massive rain events to California.  But imagine what would happen to California if this biblical Global Warming drought extended for another 3, 4, or 5 years?

Meteor Blades has a nice post about President Obama's efforts to promote solar energy.

Part of Obama's Climate Action Plan announced 10 months ago is an end run around Congress in this matter. One element of that effort is making the federal government into a model of energy efficiency, renewables electricity generation and carbon dioxide emissions cutbacks. Last year, Obama reset from 7.5 percent to 20 percent the 2020 goal for powering with renewables the nation's 500,000 federally owned and leased buildings. That's both practical and sets an example for others.
President Obama deserves credit for his big efforts to promote ALT-E, but frankly, it's not enough!  Where was the talk about the Global Warming disaster we all face during the campaign?  Where is it now among Democrats?  Where's the "moon landing" type plan to stop the Climate crises?  I know, I know, he can't get it through congress, but sometimes, fighting and losing today is the only path to victory tomorrow.  The way to hammer the science denying Republicans at the polls is to lead the way and fight for science, and our children's future, during the campaign.  One thing I can assure you of, we won't stop this climate disaster from running over our children, by quietly taking tiny steps in the background.

So we have another report linking the extreme weather events that seem to be more the norm than the unusual, to the damage we're doing to our atmosphere.  The latest IPCC report said these events are going to get a lot, lot, lot worse if we don't do something about them NOW.  So lets keep the pressure on our Democratic candidates and politicians to take the action to stop this climate crises.

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