Decent short vid puts some numbers on the difference between a 1.5 and 2 degree warming.

Somewhere in that spread, we commit to losing the Greenland Ice Sheet, and a portion of West Antarctica.

Those brushfires make for tough skiing.

Casper (Wyoming) Star Tribune:

DENTON, Mont. — By Friday morning as the fog lifted from the small community of Denton in central Montana, residents and work crews started cleaning up as the destruction left by a fast-moving, wind-fueled fire became clear.

The West Wind fire burned 25 homes, 18 secondary structures and six commercial buildings, according to the state Department of Natural Resources County Assist Team.

The buzz of machinery echoed throughout town as teams with chainsaws felled burned trees, backhoe operators piled debris that used to be homes and crews augured holes for new power poles. Power was expected to be restored to the community by the end of the day Friday.

While the town had a 275,000-gallon storage tank full of water, that was depleted quickly with people in town running sprinklers, hoses and anything else trying to keep their homes safe, Joel Barber said. One sprinkler was still running Friday morning. Other water sources were also drained.

We ran the spring dry; it was nothing but well water,” Barber said, adding that was partly attributable to drought this year but that he expected the spring to be replenished soon.

Pyrah said the fire started just off Highway 81 west of town around midnight Tuesday, and he was notified shortly after it was reported. He was immediately concerned given the unseasonably warm weather, dry fields and strong winds.

“December, 60 degrees at 4 o’clock in the morning’s not normal,” Pyrah said.

Like much of the state, central Montana including the Denton area remains in extreme drought. In nearby Lewistown, precipitation for the calendar year to date is 10.19 inches compared to an average of 16.69 inches. The average temperature for November was more than 7 degrees above normal, according to the National Weather Service in Great Falls.

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Bloomberg:

A U.K.-backed research group unveiled a design for a liquid hydrogen-powered airliner theoretically capable of matching the performance of current midsize aircraft without producing carbon emissions.

The FlyZero concept envisions a plane carrying 279 passengers non-stop from London to San Francisco at the same speed and comfort as today, the Aerospace Technology Institute said in a statementMonday. The group, a partnership between the U.K. government and industry, is meant to accelerate high-risk projects that will benefit home-grown firms. 

Hydrogen propulsion is seen as one of the most promising technologies for achieving carbon-neutral commercial flights. However it’s expensive and more challenging to store on board, and it will take years to develop the planes and build infrastructure such as airport refueling capacity.

The U.K., which hosted the COP26 climate summit last month, is funding new technologies to help create aerospace jobs while meeting its climate targets. The government has committed 1.95 billion pounds ($2.6 billion) of funding to ATI since its start in 2013 through 2026, an amount to be matched by industry. The FlyZero concept received 15 million pounds in government funding. 

“These designs could define the future of aerospace and aviation,” said Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng in the statement. “By working with industry, we are showing that truly carbon free flight could be possible, with hydrogen a frontrunner to replace conventional fossil fuels.”

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Right.
If you saw the (all too real) Christmas tweet from the (actual, sitting) congressman Thomas Massie, coming on the heels of the latest mass shooting, and sporting a Christmas (Prince of Peace!) theme, you may have thought the guy was a total triple “A” a-hole. And you’d be right.

And because it’s generally true that the most awful people tend to be science and climate change deniers, right, he is that as well. John Kerry called it right way back in 2020. This video is really something.

Just to underline the point, if even our former President can’t stand you, that’s, well, really something.

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I came across this looking for something else on my hard drive.

Long time observers will remember Dennis Avery of the Hudson Institute, who, with no scientific credentials, confidently predicted a sharp drop in global temperatures, back in the late 2000s.
How did he do?

Might require a different approach than what we do in the north. Josh Rhodes of UT and others weigh in.

Below, a reminder of what caused last year’s Texas blackout.

Well, this helps explain a lot.
My Yale Climate Connections video above describes the climatic changes behind increases in extreme rains across the country and around the world, including a specific catastrophic incident in my local area.

Now, USAToday has a fantastic tool developed from rainfall data, where you can plug in your zip code, and see how precipitation has changed in your area.

Even I’m blown away with this result – that in my local area, extreme rains have increased almost 50 percent.

USAToday:

Think your area has had more rain than usual? You’re probably right. 

Think your area has had less rain than usual? Again, you’re probably right. 

For our climate change investigation out this week, called Downpour, USA TODAY reporters used 126 years of monthly data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to analyze average annual precipitation at 344 climate divisions. They used daily precipitation data from weather stations to measure the change in frequency of extreme rain events across the U.S. from 1951-2020.

“We were hearing a lot about extreme rainfall, stories of flooding, people with sewer backups, people flooded out of their homes, and we wanted to know, is this happening everywhere?,” said Dinah Pulver, one of the project’s lead reporters. “How many people, how many places, are contending with this kind of rainfall?

We found more than half of the nation’s 344 climate divisions had their wettest periods on record since 2018. We calculated the same rolling averages for states. 

“East of the Rockies, more rain is falling, and it’s coming in more intense bursts,” our report finds. “In the West, people are waiting longer to see any rain at all.

“Taken together, the reporting reveals a stunning shift in the way precipitation falls in America.”

Specifically, our reporting finds:

  • At some point over the past three years, 27 states – all east of the Rocky Mountains – hit their highest 30-year precipitation average since record keeping began in 1895.
  • A dozen states, including Iowa, Ohio and Rhode Island, saw five of their 10 wettest years in history over the past two decades.
  • Michigan saw six of its wettest 10 years on record over the past 13 years.
  • In June, at least 136 daily rainfall records were set during storms across five states along the Mississippi River.
  • At the opposite extreme, eight states – including five in the West – had at least three record-dry years in the same time period. That’s double what would be expected based on historical patterns.

Just six months after a “once in a thousand year” heat event in the Pacific Northwest, the same area is recording unprecedented warmth, which extends over much of North America. Below, see my Yale Climate Connections video on the June event.

Nothing to see here, move along.

Axios:

A widespread and intense heatwave is roasting large portions of the U.S. and Canada, shattering daily and monthly temperature records. 

Why it matters: Winter is the fastest-warming season across the U.S., and the lingering warmth is shortening the snow season in places like Colorado and Montana, where mountain snowpack is a critical source of water during the summer months. 

The big picture: On Wednesday, British Columbia saw its highest temperature ever recorded during the month of December, with a high of 72.5°F recorded in Penticton, which is 250 miles east of Vancouver. This tied the country’s all-time record high for the month. 

By the numbers: Temperatures across the Plains, portions of the Rockies and Central states are running as much as 35°F above average for this time of year. 

  • Four states have tied or broken records for the hottest temperatures seen during December: Washington, Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota, according to weather historian Maximiliano Herrera
  • In Denver, Colorado, which often picks up heavy snow at the start and end of winter, it has not yet snowed, setting a record for the latest measurable snowfall. The forecast high temperature on Thursday is in the mid-70s, about 30°F above average for this time of year. 
  • Records are expected to fall Thursday in Denver, Omaha, Oklahoma City and Kansas City, Missouri among other locations. According to Herrera, Hettinger, North Dakota, located just north of the South Dakota border, hit 71°F on Wednesday, setting a monthly record for the state.
  • In Cheyenne, Wyo., the temperature reached 70°F on Thursday, setting a state record for the month of December. A monthly record was also set in Nebraska, according to the National Weather Service.
  • The warmth, combined with powerful atmospheric river events rolling in off the Pacific Ocean has eaten away at the snowpack in the Pacific Northwest and Canadian Rockies, contributing to flooding at lower elevations. 
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Working on a piece examining, among other things, how liquified natural gas exports mean that US consumers are now competing in a global market, with inevitable price rises. I’ve spoken to a number of smart people about this, including James Osborn, who covers energy for the Houston Chronicle. (above)

Justin Gerdes in Energy Monitor:

Until recently, the US natural gas market stood apart from the world. Exports by pipeline to Canada and Mexico increased steadily over the past decade, but North America remained a regional market. Booming production from the Marcellus, Permian Basin and other large shale gas plays kept US natural gas prices well below those in Europe or Asia.

However, that closed system has cracked open. In 2016, the first shipments of liquified natural gas (LNG) from the lower 48 states left the US by tanker. What started as a trickle has become a flood. In the first six months of 2021, US LNG exports averaged 9.6 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day, an increase of 42% compared with 2020 and 10% of the nation’s gas production, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

With the US Henry Hub natural gas benchmark price still well below prices on the global market, gas companies could fetch much more for their product in Europe, Japan or South Korea than at home. “This price difference has supported record volumes of US LNG exports,” says the EIA’s Victoria Zaretskaya.

The flipside is that with natural gas producers chasing higher prices overseas, even the US is beginning to feel the pinch of higher prices at home. US natural gas prices have more than doubled since the beginning of the year. Over the past decade, cheap natural gas and increasingly competitive wind and solar power delivered a knockout blow to the US coal plant fleet. However, if US natural gas prices remain high, propped up by LNG exports, renewables’ next victim could be their erstwhile ally in killing coal.

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