Typhoon Nepartak

July 24, 2016

More Siberian Weirdness

July 22, 2016

Siberian Times:

This extraordinary sight – in a video filmed of the tundra on remote Belyy Island in the Kara Sea off the Yamal Peninsula coastline – was witnessed by a scientific research expedition. Researchers Alexander Sokolov and Dorothee Ehrich spotted 15 patches of trembling or bubbling grass-covered ground.

When punctured they emitted methane and carbon dioxide, according to measurements, although so far no details have been given. The reason is as yet unclear, but one possible explanation of the phenomenon is abnormal heat that caused permafrost to thaw, releasing gases.

Alexander Sokolov said that this summer is unusually hot on the Arctic island, a sign of which is polar bears moving from the frozen sea to the island.

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But we already knew that fossil fuel’s deception was bottomless, right?

Video description:

Exxon and its allies have dismissed comparisons to Big Tobacco as baseless. Our research in more than 14 million documents of the Tobacco Industry Archives reveals compelling evidence that the relationship between these two industries is neither coincidental nor casual. Beyond a doubt, the oil companies have benefitted from the tobacco playbook in their fight against climate science.

But the question arises, where did the tobacco companies get their playbook in the first place?

Desmogblog:

The Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) today launched SmokeandFumes.org, a website featuring internal industry documents dating back to the 1950s that reveal the nexus between the oil and tobacco industries’ shared campaigns to undermine science to delay accountability and political action to curtail their deadly products.

CIEL has uncovered new evidence showing that it was the work performed for the oil industry by PR firms (particularly Hill & Knowlton) that attracted the tobacco industry to follow suit — in contrast to the prevailing narrative that Big Oil deployed the Tobacco Playbook to ward off responsibility for climate change resulting from its fossil fuel pollution.

Again and again we found both the PR firms and the researchers worked first for oil, then for tobacco,” said CIEL President Carroll Muffett in a statement. “It was a pedigree the tobacco companies recognized and sought out.”

ExxonMobil’s excuse in the face of #ExxonKnew has, in part, relied on the defense that oil is not the new tobacco. At the end of the day, as Muffett points out in the video below, the final result is the same, despite who was first to devise the strategies of deception and attacking inconvenient science.

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A developing story over recent weeks while I was out of the country was the huge and toxic bloom of algae devastating Florida waterways – part of an evolving, global environmental threat that has roots in agriculture, pollution, waste water, invasive species, and climate change.

Above, in my wide ranging interview with Arctic expert Dr. David Barber in Sweden a few weeks ago, the rise of toxic algae blooms in arctic waters came up.
Below, if you have not seen Dr. Alan Steinman’s interview, highly recommended. Great Lakes Aquatic biologist, and expert on these organisms.

New York Times:

The mess in Florida is only the latest in a string of algal blooms that some experts believe are increasing in frequency and in severity. An immense plume of blue-green algae last September covered a 636-mile stretch of the Ohio River. A month earlier, the city of Toledo, Ohio, warned more than 400,000 residents to avoid drinking tap water after toxic algae spread over an intake in Lake Erie. (Indeed, the Lake Erie bloom is now an annual event.)

floridaalgae

The vast algal bloom in the Pacific last year was also fed in part by El Niño, the mass of warm water that forms periodically off the West Coast. But longer-term climate change may also be playing a role, some experts say.

Warming atmospheric temperatures and wetter weather in some parts of the country increase the nutrient-laden runoff into streams, lakes and the ocean. And as ice melts in the Arctic, sea temperatures are rising and more sunlight is filtering into the ocean.

“Some of the features of climate change, such as warmer ocean temperatures and increased light availability through the loss of sea ice in the Arctic, are making conditions more favorable for phytoplankton growth — both toxic and nontoxic algae — in more regions and farther north,” Kathi Lefebvre, a biologist at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, wrote in an email.

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sisson

Rob Sisson of ConservAmerica, left, discusses conservative approaches to clean energy at an event in conjunction with the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Rob Sisson is practically a neighbor, fellow Michigander, and a real nice, smart guy.
He’s trying to be a voice of reason in the most hostile environment imaginable.

Midwest Energy News:

Growing numbers of conservative voters agree the U.S. needs more clean energy, reported members of organizations at this week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland. However, there’s little agreement on how government policies should pursue that goal.

Conservative interest in encouraging clean energy reflects voters’ growing concern about climate change, said Alicia Kolar Prevost of Defend Our Future. The organization partnered with Bloomberg Government to host a roundtable luncheon on Monday about the future of climate change conversations within the Republican Party.

A majority of Republicans — 56 percent — agree climate change is happening, according to a recent Yale/George Mason University survey referenced by Prevost. Supporters of presidential hopefuls still in the major party races at the time were more likely to vote for a candidate who supports taking action to reduce global warming, the report found.

“The polling is going to be critical going forward to show candidates that they need to come along,” said Rob Sisson, president of ConservAmerica.

“People in political office are sensitive to what brings in votes,” stressed Nan Hayworth, a former member of Congress from New York state and a director of ConservAmerica. “As electeds, we can’t be too far behind our districts. We can’t be too far ahead of our districts.”

Religion, hunting and prosperity

While conservative Republicans may not agree with Democrats’ policies, they share a range of concerns about climate change.

“First and foremost, it’s a moral issue,” said Rachel Lamb of Young Evangelicals for Climate Action. As she sees it, climate change is “negatively impacting people, as well as the environment, which we’re called to take care of by God.”

“God has given us a commandment to take care of our planet,” agreed Ash Mason of the Christian Coalition, referring to a passage in the book of Genesis.

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heatdome

Back just in time.

NOAA:

As we descend into the depths of summer, some of the year’s hottest temperatures may be soon upon us. Forecasters expect a high pressure ridge and extreme temperatures to combine to create what is referred to as a “heat dome” over large portions of the United States.

A heat dome occurs when high pressure in the upper atmosphere acts as a lid, preventing hot air from escaping. The air is forced to sink back to the surface, warming even further on the way. This phenomenon will result in dangerously hot temperatures that will envelop the nation throughout the week. Heat index values for parts of the U.S. are expected to reach 110 degrees or higher. In response, the National Weather Service has issued heat alerts for more than a dozen states across the U.S.

This map, based on data from NOAA’s HRRR Model shows the predicted high temperatures on July 18, 2016 at 5 p.m. EDT. These temperatures reflect the beginning of the scorching heat wave that is expected to last throughout the week.

Andrew Friedman in Mashable:

The culprit for the sultry weather is an unusually intense and expansive area of high pressure, also referred to as a “heat dome,” that is parking itself over the South Central U.S.

The clockwise circulation of air around this high is dragging moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and pumping it northward, all the way to Canada, which is resulting in the high humidity levels.

In addition, evapotranspiration from crops in agricultural states such as Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Minnesota is also adding to the moisture content of the atmosphere.

The high pressure area itself will be strong enough to put it on a list of strongest such weather systems observed in that part of the country.

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..and some other outrageous stuff as well.

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