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Thanks, Neven,

I'll give Climate Central a read later.

I think rapid Arctic warming has an influence on events, mostly in the fall but beginning around June as the albedo effect kicks in. Ocean-Atmosphere coupling and landmass-snowcover-anomalies are other sources of extremities.
“Reverberating“, to describe what’s going on troughout the atmosphere, is a good word; it highlights the process of reorganisation within the three atmospheric cells, most pronounced over the Northern Hemisphere.
I have a hunch the long period of neutral to negative ENSO and the peculiarities of the cyclone/hurricane seasons are linked to the process. For me, the Arctic part of the story is important, but not the initiating part. That is the planetary energy balance, accumulating levels of energy having intertwining effects within highly chaotic biospheric systems.
To have a good perspective of the scale of extreme events, the co-existent counterparts of the mentioned extreme events should not be overlooked; FI the Pakistan floods in relation to the 2010 heat wave over Russia.

After consuming the article, I think it comes down to perception whether one sees a link, relating individual events on the one hand and the whole pattern to AGW on the other. In a way, it is still hard to get one’s head around such profound change when the measured boundary layer temps have risen an ‘insignificant’ 0.6 dC and there’s so much weather noise.
Looking at the evidence from a geological perspective, it should knock in that circumstances are developing at an extremely fast pace. Reflections (‘reverberations’) of circumstances in past interglacial stadia, the pliocene, the PETM and even wilder times are glimmering.
It is hard to tell where the mean will go, given the intricate rubber-band effects that are revealed during the process. It will head for unprecedented modes, and humanity probably won’t see much of them…

Colorado Bob

Christopher C. Burt at Weather Underground has some more background -

Anecdotally, it is interesting to compare the current situation to that of early December 1972 when Barrow had a December ‘heat wave’ with daily record highs occurring on Dec. 6 (32°) and Dec. 11 (29°). This happens to be when the Pacific NW and the Rocky Mountain states were experiencing one of their worst cold waves on record (like now but considerably colder). It was –40° in Butte, Montana and 21° at Eureka, California where 1.9” of snow fell, and 9” of snow fell at Redding, California (where they had 5” last Friday). Other cold temperatures in 1972 included 6° at Astoria, OR, -23° at Boise, ID. So we can see a connection here (between record Alaskan Arctic warmth and record Pacific Northwest and Rockies/Plains U.S. cold. And guess what, in Charleston, SC it hit 83° that same week in 1972 (a December monthly record), similar to the 83° measured at Savannah, Georgia last week which tied their all-time December record. In both years (1972 and 2013) a severe ice storm also affected the Texas to Kentucky region.



Thanks for posting this, Neven. I was just surprised to see the level of disagreement about whether having a whole new open ocean at the top of the world would have any effect outside of the Arctic, given that a relatively small part of the Pacific drives the El Nino/LaNina pattern that has so much effect. As Francis said in some video or another, how could it NOT have an effect.

I'd still like to see more discussion about what is may be happening to the jetstreams and Hadley cells...That seems to me to have the most likelihood of rather suddenly effect the expected patterns of rainfall that our whole global agricultural system is based on, whether it is monsoon patterns, or expected rains in the breadbaskets of the American MidWest and in the Ukraine.

The recent NRC report on abrupt change was a great improvement on the relative silence about such possibilities in general. But I still get the feeling that they are not connecting all dots that could reasonably connected as to reasonably possible sudden (within a decade or so) changes in our near future.


AGU2013: Coldest pockets of surface air (<-90C) on shallow valleys near Antarctica Dome A (c.3800m ASL) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-6GdScvVFY#t=33

I was just surprised to see the level of disagreement about whether having a whole new open ocean at the top of the world would have any effect outside of the Arctic

I guess that's partly because of the way science works. As long as something isn't proven, it doesn't exist. But we'll know soon enough, my guess before the decade is out.

Like Francis says at the end of the Climate Central article:

As we continue to emit ever-increasing amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and as the Arctic continues to warm faster than mid-latitudes, we will see the case for the linkage strengthen. I expect that with every year we will see a clearer response of weather patterns in all four seasons, and new modeling experiments will help elucidate the links in the chain, as well.

>"I was just surprised to see the level of disagreement about..."

I wondered whether this was a case of journalists not knowing how to deal with science stories other than to either make it into lone scientist fighting long battle against consensus view or to make a disagreement out of it in order to present both sides.

Reality might be more like some don't regard it as well established, at least not yet.


As discussed under previous topics on this blog a strong and persistent blocking high pressure system has been located along the west coast of North America since May. This high pressure has varied in strength and has changed position slightly yet continues to persist in the same general location. Temperatures have been near or at record lows in my area just north of Portland Oregon for the past week although it has warmed some but the temperatures are still slightly below freezing.
It is extremely highly unusual for a high pressure to persist in this area for this length of time. During summer such a high pressure may persist for 3 months though. I personally have never seen this type of high pressure persist for more than a month at a time during fall through winter to spring.
I am wondering too if the very warm temperatures in the North Pacific Ocean are partly the driver of this weather. I am wondering if the ocean temperatures were similarly warm in 1972?
How much ice will there be in the Bering Sea in February if this persists through January?

Bob Bingham

Of all the outcomes from climate change the loss of Arctic ice would be the fastest. Lose the ice and get the results that autumn. No hanging around for fifty years waiting for Greenland to melt. Lose the ice, get a drought, or a flood. Serious disruption to farming and food production in the Northern hemisphere.


The points Vaughn mentioned are interesting.

I don’t ‘like’ the appearance of the pattern. It is hard to assess what it will boil down to.
A lot of parameters seem fish-nor-flesh (ENSO, MJO). AO seems to promote some sort of ‘pause’ for the sea ice to at least make the best of winter weather. For the ice, the pattern clearly promotes spread/growth in the Barentsz region and creates an exceptional low extent in the Bering-Chukchi Seas. Meanwhile, ‘winter power’ over the Arctic slowly returns to the trend 2007-2012 after a colder start.

Global sst’s look high, extensive positive anomalies throughout the Indian Ocean, large parts of the Pacific and Atlantic. Siberia, Alaska and to lesser extent Europe experience relatively mild temps, the American Plains and Greenland get the cold. On the meso-synoptic scale there is a repetition of pretty nasty events (Xaver, Illinois tornadoes etc), balling around on a wobbling and stinting jet.

I have no clue…


Here in the Canary Islands, (28.8 N 16.1 W), we've got a loop of the jet stream sitting over us for the last two days and only likely to move on Friday. It's brought more than the annual rainfall in one day and wind gusts of 70 - 100 km/hr. Stripped the leaves of our trees and broken lots of palm fronds. We're battened down for another day as I type this!

Colorado Bob

Follow this week’s talks at AGU via the Internet
You can watch live streaming and recorded talks at this week’s AGU meeting—nearly 100 sessions (almost 600 presentations in total)--will be available live and on demand. Register here, and be sure to use code AGU13 for free access.


You can also browse thousands of poster presentations at the poster site.


Colorado Bob

Earth's sensitivity to climate change could be 'double' previous estimates, say geologists

The sensitivity of the Earth's climate to CO2 could be double what has been previously estimated, according to a statement issued by the Geological Society of London.

In an addendum to 2010's 'Climate change: Evidence from the Geological Record', the statement notes that many climate models typically look at short term, rapid factors when calculating the Earth's climate sensitivity – defined as the mean global temperature increase brought about by a doubling of atmospheric CO2.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-12-earth-sensitivity-climate-previous-geologists.html#jCp


"I wondered whether this was a case of journalists not knowing how to deal with science stories"

Yup, most journalists are trained that every news story has three components, 1. a Victim, 2. a Villain, and 3. a Hero. If they can't find those three components then it isn't news. When we provide a story to the media we sometimes need to play their game and outline three components for them.


I think Anrew Freedman is a superb journalist, arguably the best in the world wrt the Arctic over the last couple of years; and the story under discussion is an exemplary piece of science journalism - actually describing the debate between the proponents of various hypotheses in an emergent field in near-real time is just great.

The jury really is still out on this.

Personally, I find Dr Francis' work very convincing - I believe I can claim credit for originally posting a video of her presentation to meteorologists on tese pages several aeons ago - but I am reassured to learn that her peers - who are much better qualified than I - are doing their best to kick seven shades out of it. Such GENUINE scepticism is one of the bedrocks of the modern scientific method.

And neither Francis nor Overland is hero, villain, nor victim. Just dumb-ass scientists, who know a thousand times more than me, pitting their flimsy human wits against an ocean.


Werther, I am more aged than many here so my recollection of extreme weather events in this area goes back to about 1960. We have had numerous weather events in December and January where this type of weather typically lasts up to two weeks or so then gets washed away with heavy and warm rains. This time the high pressure continues to persist although it looks like there will be a short break in the cold with a return to cold(albeit not as cold as this week)next week and continued somewhat drier than normal conditions. It will indeed be interesting to watch how the weather plays out this winter.

Colorado Bob
Colorado Bob

JPL scientist: Industrialization likely caused end of Little Ice Age



'I believe I can claim credit for originally posting a video of her presentation to meteorologists on tese pages several aeons ago -'

Well, I believe all sorts of strange things, but the Search bar gives credit to R Gates, for this link -


Really long vid, but highly recommended if you haven't seen it.

Back to the present; and to the ice...

The North Alaska 'heatwave' is apparently affecting ice formation in the Chukchi Sea...


and the Bering...


I think we are probably close to a record low anomaly for December (or winter, including Jan and Feb) in this 'Pacific sector'.

This is perhaps 'interesting', in the 'oh, shit' sense of that word.

In the bleak midwinter, when the ice should have been contiguous with the frozen earth, Neven et al have previously seen and offered some dumb-ass observations on the lack of ice in the Labador Sea (2010/2011 IIRC), and in the Kara/Barentzs/NWAntlantic (2011/2012 IIRC).

Both events were quite interesting.

Colorado Bob

Regional climate changes can be very rapid. A German-British team of geoscientists now reports that such a rapid climate change occurred in different regions with a time difference of 120 years. Investigation in the west German Eifel region and in southern Norway demonstrated that at the end of the last glaciation about 12,240 years before present climate became warmer, first recognised in the Eifel region and 120 years later in southern Norway. Nonetheless, the warming was equally rapid in both regions.


Colorado Bob

About the heat widget :

" Previous estimates put the amount of heat accumulated by the world's oceans over the past decade equivalent to about 4 Hiroshima atomic bomb detonations per second, on average, but Trenberth's research puts the estimate equivalent to more than 6 detonations per second."


The Climate Prediction Center


has been consistently forecasting above normal temperatures for western Alaska for the duration of the winter, especially the next two weeks.

Colorado Bob

Arctic Cyclones More Common Than Previously Thought

"We can't yet tell if the number of cyclones is increasing or decreasing, because that would take a multidecade view. We do know that, since 2000, there have been a lot of rapid changes in the Arctic -- Greenland ice melting, tundra thawing -- so we can say that we're capturing a good view of what's happening in the Arctic during the current time of rapid changes," Bromwich said.

Bromwich leads the Arctic System Reanalysis (ASR) collaboration, which uses statistics and computer algorithms to combine and re-examine diverse sources of historical weather information, such as satellite imagery, weather balloons, buoys and weather stations on the ground.

"There is actually so much information, it's hard to know what to do with it all. Each piece of data tells a different part of the story -- temperature, air pressure, wind, precipitation -- and we try to take all of these data and blend them together in a coherent way," Bromwich said.



I sometimes get the feeling that bob is the "only living boy in NY"--almost no one else seems to be paying any attention to the total sh!t storm breaking over our heads.

Thanks bob. Live well and prosper.


"Let your honesty shine on, like it shines on me."


From Weather Underground:


This article also contains a number of before and after pictures of some Alaska glaciers as well. Some of the earlier photos are from more than 100 years ago. Very dramatic differences.


Colorado Bob, ""We can't yet tell if the number of cyclones is increasing or decreasing, because that would take a multidecade view."

I see otherwise. There is overwhelming evidence of a basic change in meteorology, it makes sense by the way. With more Arctic open water and less snow on ground during days with sun (not to forget the long night), the lower troposphere is becoming more and more adiabatic, its loosing its inversions. Even during darkness. This means a dramatic change in the weather. More rain in summer, more fancy lower atmospheric chemistry combinations during spring and winter. And especially the destruction of Anticyclones because they are made by calm stable areas devoid of clouds, so this question would be also apt: how much anticyclones have decreased in coverage? This brings another easy concept, less winter anticyclones, less colder weather. Again in this chain of thought, during total darkness or lower sun , more anticyclones over land and continents when sun is lowest, because there are more cyclones over the Arctic ocean.
http://eh2r.blogspot.ca/ I complement Dr Masters work, he likes the jet stream I like what causes the jet stream.



On going Amazing 944 mb Cyclone South of Greenland. Next to another over Northeastern Europe. Notice the mini ridge in between and the stable anticyclone just to the South. Two very strong cyclones next to each other like that is not too common. Almost like the rotten in physics film the Day After Tomorrow. Some winds with the Greenland system must be hurricane speed.


Arctic Report Card 2013 press conference at AGU Fall Meeting:

Colorado Bob

VaughnA -
Those glacier pictures are stunning, I don't think I've seen that set before.
Thanks for that link.

Colorado Bob

Endangered Right Whales Abandon Atlantic Feeding Grounds Due to Ocean Changes

Read more at http://livinggreenmag.com/2013/12/13/mother-nature/endangered-right-whales-abandon-atlantic-feeding-grounds-due-ocean-changes/#YQeDtYrbhocPoOqu.99

Colorado Bob

SAN FRANCISCO — Antarctica's crumbling Larsen B Ice Shelf is poised to finally finish its collapse, a researcher said Tuesday (Dec. 10) here at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

The Scar Inlet Ice Shelf will likely fall apart during the next warm summer, said Ted Scambos, a glaciologist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo. Scar Inlet's ice is the largest remnant of the vast Larsen B shelf still attached to the Antarctic Peninsula. (Another small fragment, the Seal Nunataks, clings on as well.) In the Southern Hemisphere's summer of 2002, about 1,250 square miles (3,250 square kilometers) of the enormous Larsen B Ice Shelf splintered into hundreds of icebergs. Scar Inlet is about two-thirds the size of the ice lost from Larsen B.

Doug Lofland

Talking about extreme, snowing in Israel http://knlive.ctvnews.ca/playing-in-cairo-snow-a-first-in-112-years-1.1591526

One source predicted over 50 cm. Wonder if its tied to that cyclone off Greenland?

Doug Lofland

Should have said Egypt and Israel.

Hans Gunnstaddar


That's an article about the Sun being its weakest in an 11 year cycle. Is it possible that is why 2013 Arctic ice extent/area had a large rebound from 2012 record low?


"Is it possible that is why 2013 Arctic ice extent/area had a large rebound from 2012 record low?"

Hans, it appears so, but there was no or very little sea ice compaction. I would chalk 2013 has an amazing year, not because there was more ice than 2012 at minima, but rather it provided a lesson in sea ice physics, no compaction = lesser apparent melt, especially where it matters, over Arctic basin area. From this event we can clearly project no great sea ice events like 2012 as long as cyclones dominate during the summer season. Remains to be seen whether this type of cyclonic activity will continue long, if so, sea ice will appear to be spared until Arctic Ocean anticyclonic activity reappears more often during the melting season.


I can't see why a low peak in solar output would cause an ice rebound.

A low peak is still higher than a trough, no?

And I've never seen any evidence showing an 11year cycle in ice extent linked to the solar cycle.


The Ars Technica article currently on the sidebar, or here...


...covers the same subject as the Climate Central piece. It attracted an intriguing public comment, asking...

Could the altering jet stream be melting the Arctic sea ice?

I have no idea, and the article's author also is unaware of any evidence (see comments below article).

Speculation ensues.

Since 2011, we have had a spectacular melt in 2012, followed by an unexpectedly large recovery in 2013. Taken together, these events suggest to me a system which is behaving chaotically, in the mathematical sense.

Might the new state of the jet stream be contributing to a new pattern of greater likelihood, in any one year, of either a spectacular ASI melt, or an almost equally impressive recovery?

At present, to illustrate, a large amount of Arctic air seems to have migrated to both Arizona, and to Cairo, Egypt...

What could also now happen, more readily than before, is a batch of Arizona/Egyptian heat heading polewards...



If the jet stream is wigglier, and has a greater tendency to waft weather systems from North to South, then wrt the Arctic, let's simplify as follows...

There are 4 massive thingies surrounding the Arctic Ocean;

1. the Pacific Ocean
2. North America
3. the Atlantic Ocean
4. Eurasia

It seems to me highly possible that the final ASI minimum in any one year may from now on be highly dependent on the question of whether a kink in the jet stream delivers weather to the Arctic from which of these quarters over some period of the summer months.

My guesstimate being that the most damage would be done by a persistent pattern blowing to the North over the Atlantic in early Summer; or by a persistent pattern blowing North over Central Eurasia in later Summer.

At any rate, it is an interesting question, I think: could the changes in the jet stream, probably caused by the Arctic melt, be affecting the Arctic melt?


"One source predicted over 50 cm. Wonder if its tied to that cyclone off Greenland?"

Doug, very fine question. Everything weather wise is important especially if there is something big near by.

The jet stream can be a creature made from Lows in the absence of extreme drops in temperature. The Jet stream was particularly weird over the UK heading Northwards (warm there I take it), that was quite strange, being so, there was a jet going Southwestwards from the North towards Israel and Egypt. brrr that means its colder there (cold systems southwards bound). So in effect those 2 big cyclones (with other weather features) have remade the jet stream configuration making it so. http://eh2r.blogspot.ca/


"The Jet stream was particularly weird over the UK heading Northwards (warm there I take it),"



But situation has now changed. See update, explicitly about the jetstream.


Colorado Bob

Earth's poles are shifting because of climate change

Climate change is causing the North Pole's location to drift, owing to subtle changes in Earth's rotation that result from the melting of glaciers and ice sheets. The finding suggests that monitoring the position of the pole could become a new tool for tracking global warming.

Computer simulations had suggested that the melting of ice sheets and the consequent rise in sea level could affect the distribution of mass on the Earth's surface. This would in turn cause the Earth's axis to shift, an effect that has been confirmed by measurements of the positions of the poles.

Colorado Bob

Jet stream loops -
The temperatures in northern Sweden have been on a roller coaster so far this month. One site, Nikkaluokta saw its temperature fall from 4.7°C (40.5°F) on December 3rd to -40.8°C (-41.4°F) on December 9th only to then rise to a maximum of 7.7°C (45.9°F) on December 11th, an amazing rise of 48.5°C (87.3°F) in just under 48 hours!



Colorado Bob, Thanks for all the links you post on climate sites, I really appreciate them.

NASA and NOAA both show warmest November on record. NOAA's data comes from there "state of climate" page, not yet on main page. Can anyone explain why they show higher anomalies than RSS or UAH ?

Colorado Bob

bb -
Thanks, sometimes I feel like a undertaker at a cocktail party.

Colorado Bob

A great quote -

There is growing evidence that the Arctic's new normal is driving changing weather patterns in lower hemispheres. “The Arctic is not like Vegas,” said University of Virginia ecologist Howie Epstein, another report contributor. “What happens in the Arctic doesn't stay in the Arctic.”


Colorado Bob

NASA and NOAA both show warmest November on record.

Check out the November map from NASA -



C"an anyone explain why they show higher anomalies than RSS or UAH ?"

Not surprising bigbass, , saw it coming by the persistent cloudiness of the Arctic going back since the summer, all this driven by cyclonic activity. Thanks Colorado Bob, the NASA link shows incredible warming in the Arctic particularly over central Russia, exactly where it would affect temperatures mostly. North America was beginning to clear and therefore its continent was cooling more. Antarctica was also fascinating.

Colorado Bob

This Siberian/Alaska anomaly has been going on for months :

Arctic Heat Wave Re-Intensifies Over Central Siberia Setting off Rash of Tundra Fires

Colorado Bob

Antarctica was also fascinating.

“Notes on data released Dec. 4, 2013:

Compared to seasonal norms, in November the warmest area on the globe was in eastern Antartica, where the average temperature for the month was 5.32 C (almost 9.6 degrees F) warmer than seasonal norms, according to Dr. John Christy, a professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. The coolest area was in northwestern Greenland, where temperatures in the troposphere were 4.16 C (almost 7.5 degrees F) cooler than seasonal norms.

Colorado Bob

•Alaska had its warmest October since records began in 1918, with a temperature 8.8°F (4.9°C) above the 1971–2000 average.



Colorado Bob, yes, mechanics of warming can be largely influenced by clouds, especially at what time of year they happen. The Arctic usually clears by end of October, leaving its surface cool greatly by radiation escaping to space without sun heat making up for the loss.
Constant incursions of cyclones again have delayed this process. Making the Arctic anomaly warmer than further South. But it takes heat to make a cyclone, the prima cause of clouds is greater evaporation ie a warmer planet.

Colorado Bob

OT –
13 December 2013

“It’s like a zombie wasteland,” says Tucker, who is, like Perlkin, a field technician employed by the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). “You’ll see detached arms crawling away from their body.”.

Among the animals now affected are the scavenger bat star, Asterina miniata; some species of sea urchin, an important source of food for threatened sea otters; and recreational and commercially fished species such as the California spiny lobster (Panulirus interruptus) and sheephead fish (Semicossyphus pulcher).

This is spreading , like a bad “B” movie.


I have a horrible feeling that I may have learned an ill-advised new trick. Testing...

Further thoughts on the jetstream, contradicting somewhat my earlier post...

If there is now a greater chance of weather patterns being wafted either North or South, due to a wibblier jet stream...

The season matters, a lot.

In January, North America and Eurasia are much colder than the SSTs in the Atlantic and the Pacific.

In July, North America and Eurasia are much warmer than the ocean SSTs.

So a persistent Northwards jet stream in, say, the Eurasian quarter, would have an opposite effect at different seasons.

In January, it should certainly blow the Siberian cold North. Much colder than the Atlantic sea breezes. In January, this should cool the Arctic, and cause more ice to form.

In July, though, Siberia/Central Asia is much hotter than the maritime weather associated with the Atlantic. A persistent Northwards airflow from this quarter should cause much greater melt.

Colorado Bob

Wayne -

Hans Gunnstaddar

Colorado Bob, Maybe they need look no further than Fukushima fallout.


“Experts at Canada’s Vancouver Aquarium say they are puzzled by what is causing thousands of sunflower starfish, or sea stars, to die in the waters of Vancouver Harbor and Howe Sound.

What is even more startling is the way the creatures perish — by quickly dissolving in a phenomenon the aquarium has dubbed Sea Star Wasting Syndrome.

“They have disintegrated, and now there is just goo left,” says research diver and taxonomist Donna Gibbs.”

Dr Tskoul

If radiation was that high it would also affect other sea creatures. Most likely weak immune system and a virus.


Francis et al also predict that, as the jet stream meanders more, it slows in its movement from West to East. So persistent patterns are much more likely.

The Table below is likely to be mangled...

Effects of a persistent midWINTER Northwards jetstream, by quarter...

Arctic ASI
Pacific Warmer Less
American Colder More
Atlantic Warmer Less
Eurasian Colder More

Effects of a persistent midSUMMER Northwards jetstream, by quarter...

Arctic ASI
Pacific Colder More
American Warmer Less
Atlantic Colder More
Eurasian Warmer Less

It seems to me enirely possible that this new, somewhat unimproved jetstream, may be largely responsible for some of the fluctuation in ASI minima over recent years.

FICTION ensues, for example,

Say that over the winter of 2011/2012 a kink in the jetstream, moving slowly, spends several months blowing mild, say, Pacific air into the Arctic = less ice formed.

Over summer 2012, a persistent etc kink blows air North from off of one of the land masses _ Eurasia or America, both of which, in midsummer, are comparatively warmer than either ocean. Result = more ice melts.

To get to 2013 recovery, reverse the above. Cold continental air exported North in winter = more ice. Mild maritime air exported North in Summer = less heat, and thus less melt.

Colorado Bob

Hans Gunnstaddar -
This is spreading into other species. And it was first observed on the East Coast 2 years ago -

Why Are Sea Stars Dying from New Jersey to Maine? Divers Asked to Report Large Groupings of Starfish
July 23, 2013 — When University of Rhode Island graduate student Caitlin DelSesto collected starfish in Narragansett Bay for an undergraduate research project in 2011, she was surprised to watch as the animals appeared to melt and die in her tank within a week. After bringing it to the attention of URI Professor Marta Gomez-Chiarri, she learned it was among the first observations of a new disease that is now affecting starfish -- also called sea stars -- from New Jersey to Maine.

Colorado Bob

Hans Gunnstaddar -
The Monarch butterfly population collapsed this year , now we watch sea star populations collapse. I am reminded of what Dr. Sagan said:
" Extinction is the rule , not the exception."

Colorado Bob

A great article -

Climate Change Planning in New York City and New Bern
A Tale of Two Cities: America's Bipolar Climate Future

Hans Gunnstaddar

Colorado Bob, I hear ya. Here’s another species headed for possible extinction if for no other reason (besides climate change) the price their pelt fetches, here and especially in China where they sell for upwards of 80 thousand USD. Unfortunately once a species is worth more dead than alive, like blue fin tuna, polar bears and butterflies (that people tack to boards and sell) it’s probably just a matter of time until extinction.


Increased Hunting ‘Speeding Up Polar Bear’s Extinction’
Posted on December 10, 2013 by Alisha Mims •

“Polar bears already face an enormous threat from climate change,” Sarah Uhlemann, international program director at the Center for Biological Diversity said at the meeting. “Adding overhunting to an already deadly situation is speeding up the polar bear’s extinction.”

Prices for polar bear hides have quadrupled since 2007, doubling during last year to $22,000 for a single hide. Demand for the hides is also growing, particularly in China, where a single hide can sell for up to $80,000.

In Canada, it seems the commitment to protect polar bears and their habitat will be a difficult one to keep, if the position of its environment minister is any indicator. Last year, Canada helped to defeat a US proposal to impose an international ban on the trade of polar bear parts and to reclassify the species as “threatened with extinction.”

All these knock-on effects from our species activity seems to be speeding up. I still hold out hope that many species will make it through the bottle-neck we are forcing. Even some in each species can later (after the dust settles) evolve into other sub-species. For example maybe grizzly or brown bear can evolve into polar bears after of course we have been sufficiently reduced in numbers. Maybe if some butterflies persist they can later evolve into other sub-species.

I don't want that scene in soylent green to come true where Edward G. Robinson opts to die via the state's program, in which (beforehand) gets to view on a big screen the way Earth use to be like with wild horses running free and flocks of birds, etc. and his son, played by Charlton Heston gets into the building (because he's a cop) and when seeing what his Father is seeing, says, "But, I had no idea!" to whit his Father says, "How could you have?"


I just fished this comment from the bottom of the spam filter by Dr Tskoul (apologies):

If radiation was that high it would also affect other sea creatures. Most likely weak immune system and a virus.

I concur with Dr. Tskoul. The released radionuclides simply have not had the time, nor the scale to cause the kinds of declines described. I'd look to find a cause in ocean chemistry and temperature changes.

I dunno - regarding circulation and reduced melt in 2013, the mechanical effect of slightly lower temperatures would have been far less than the reduced insolation the actic received because of very persistent cloudiness and resulting higher albedo. Heat inputs from sunlight and warm ocean currents dwarf that of the atmosphere. The greatest effect of atmospheric change is thus indirect, by way of shifts in cloud cover.


Apologies if this has already been linked:


Nature Climate Change | News and Views

"Atmospheric science: Long-range linkage"

James E. Overland

Nature Climate Change (2013)

Published online
08 December 2013

"Evidence indicates that the continued loss of Arctic sea-ice and snow cover may influence weather at lower latitudes. Now correlations between high-latitude cryosphere changes, hemispheric wind patterns and mid-latitude extreme events are shown for the Northern Hemisphere."

Climate Changes

Hello good people.

Here's a repost of a re-post:


Yeah, the change of the cell's behaviour is becoming more visually acute.

I posted this last year:

" Now, we are more likely to see atmospheric rivers of moisture running from the Caribbean to Greenland. Or, atmospheric rivers flowing from the tropical Pacific to the Bearing Sea."

I have noticed this already happening. I check regularly the global flow and for the last 4-5 winters water vapour from the Equator has shifted from a fairly regular North East direction to truer North sending wave after wave of warm tropical moisture.
I believe this is down to the Jet Stream getting weaker and it is more obvious over the Autumn/Winter months (till re-freeze is achieved I suppose). A daily check here:
can help follow the flow and spot those pesky JT loops that are becomming more common bringing Cold snaps, rain, etc.

Posted by: Climate Changes | December 11, 2012 at 12:32

Climate Changes

I don't do spam! :\

[But TypePad doesn't seem to care about that, and I'm not checking the spam filter every 24 hours; N.]

Hans Gunnstaddar


Regarding extreme weather events, 'Lawmakers ask Brown to declare California drought emergency'

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, sent a letter to the governor's office this week, saying the state is facing a third consecutive year of scant rainfall that could deplete reservoirs and leave farmers without enough water to grow their crops.

The Brown administration said Wednesday that it's not ready to issue any proclamations.

Climate forecasters have said the chances of a wet winter in California are slim. The Department of Water Resources released a winter forecast last month that called for "mostly dry conditions."

State water managers estimate that growers who receive water allocations from the state, mostly from runoff in the Sierra, will get just 5 percent of what they requested if conditions don't improve.

The weather channel 10 day forecast calls for 10% chance of rain on two days, however underground weather shows no chance for the next 10 days. That takes us through Xmas, and with another 5 days that will conclude December and this year. It’s so dry here we’re still using the drip irrigation. But there are still 3 more months it usually rains a lot so we’ll just have to see. If this keeps up though, it will be yet another nail in the climate change coffin. Denial will get much harder if produce rises drastically in price.


Hans, it's been dry up here to your north(Just north of Portland Oregon) but not nearly as dry as there. Some precipitation and temperatures either warm or cold depending on where the high pressure is centered. Some rain and maybe a touch of snow in the forecast but mostly low levels of precipitation. There have only been about 3 months, February, March, and April and a brief pause in early November in the past year when this high pressure hasn't persisted. Extremely unusual.

Hans Gunnstaddar

VaughnA, the high pressure of course here as well, digging in for extended periods, but didn't know No. Oregon was experiencing similar phenom. Although the area you're in can probably have a lot less rain (I'm guessing) and still be fine, whereas with our ag. and massive redirect to so. CA, decent rain and snowfall totals are requisite or we get rationing and much higher rates.

One would think the blocking can go both ways though, i.e. with extended highs or lows. Maybe we'll just have to wait for another El Nino to see if the lows get blocked (which might mean the opposite, floods). If however this new climate means predominantly blocking highs for our neck of the woods, we're in trouble.

Looks like Colorado bob got told to post on their regular message boards so as not to be off topic, so will have to find suitable venue there for this continued discussion as more info. comes in later.


Hans, typically as a blocking high breaks down in this area the westerlies undercut it with heavy rains and the high dissipates. So far since May there have been no occurrences of the high being undercut even though it has weakened at times. Like what has been discussed here maybe the westerlies are becoming weak enough to be ineffective for longer and longer periods of time. Also, blocking ridges usually are a little farther west in January than December with a greater chance of colder weather and more snow but overall much drier than normal.
The persistence of this high is just plain "weird" and just a bit scary about what it possibly means.


This looks exciting. A near-real-time animation of global wind speeds, which can be adjusted to different heights or viewpoints...


Potentially more/as useful as the maps on the ASIGraphs page?


See for example, current winds over the NH @1000hPa, here...






Now if I can only score some proper drugs, that's me sorted for Christmas;)


Idunno, those animations are very cool, thanks!

Hans Gunnstaddar

Vaughn, fascinating it is the Westerlies that undercut the high. Evidently not strong enough to counter blocking effect.

Right now in this area of No. CA the 10 day forecast is all dry to finish out the year. 2013 has so far had the lowest rainfall for CA since records started being kept in 1895, and looks to finish that way to set a new record low.

Next few months will determine if this goes from scary to so called biblical.


Hans, the high has broken down a bit to the north up here but the forecast calls for its return through the remainder of the month after a couple days. No heavy rain though, just light drizzle and showers.

Climate Changes

"The persistence of this high is just plain "weird" and just a bit scary about what it possibly means."

Strong SST anomaly under the blocking high west of US has been there for a very long time too, cause, effect or feedback loop?


In the chase for extreme or ‘wacky’ weather I’m trying to notice ephemeral patterns that could later on be pointed to as being defining.
Could this be such a one?

 photo Polarvortex19122013verysmall_zps15c490f4.jpg

This is a combination of 300Mb jet, 500Mb ridges and troughs over the NH on 19 december.
Being momentary, it still illustrates the long lasting pattern that Hans and VaughnA describe. On the Forum I’ll give it some more thought. Meanwhile, it looks like this pattern is having an effect on the sea ice too, now that the ‘normal’ fall extent growth has almost been completed.
It could well be from now on SIE/SIA and Volume will get in line with the ’07-’12 years…


I noticed that the 300 mb jet stream has this huge half-doughnut from Turkey all the way to Hawaii or thereabouts:

Is this a regularly occurring phenomenon?


Morning Neven,
I think it is, but also that there's a bit more to say on it. But I'll comment on the Forum. That comment will be based on 19/12, but now that you posted this Squall-pic, look at the complete donut N of Fram Strait. The high amplitude ridge has shaped up as a complete cut-off bulge, filling that part of the Arctic troposphere with energy and humidity.


Also here, at 250, and in full psychadelic splendour...


The feature over Greenland/Fram is spinning in the opposite sense to the jetstream - an anti-jetstream.


The little Fram Donut is raising temperatures in Northern Greenland by ~20C - Kap Morris Jesup is -4C while this date in 2012 it was -26C.
Warmth is as far west as Alert at -6C.


How very funny. I've been looking at the same. I was checking Canadian weather service site through the CAA yesterday. Temps in the interior are close to normal; at most witching a degree or so. Along the water, even near the new emerging " cold" pole, they are running 2 to as much as 10C above normal,both currently and in the forecast. That can't be helpful for ice growth.

Looking at DMI and others browsing CAB temp trends, it seems like there is a "channel" running from the Barents region across the pole into the Chikuchi sea region where temperatures are remaining consistently 5-10 degrees above normal. It's like the pack is in a vice being squeezed.


The persistence of the ongoing geopotential height ridging over the Pacific is pretty incredible. I've been following this and the associated extreme dry spell in California pretty closely on the California Weather Blog at http://www.weatherwest.com. Initial analysis suggests that the year-long persistence of this pattern in the Pacific is essentially unprecedented in the observational record...

Climate Changes


Do you think we may end up with an Earthly version of Jupiter's perennial red spot?

Climate Changes

Keeping on the topic of the North Pacific High I bumped into this interesting article from 4 years ago.

"In nine years, the North Pacific Gyre expanded 10X to 25X times faster than models of global warmng predicted and it is at least twice the size of Texas"

The NPG is also known as the Garbage patch.


Climate Changes

Could the plastic soup have helped alter the behaviour of the Gyre and the NP High?... Perhaps the concentration of plastic particles is so high at surface level that water within that area no longer operates as such but more as a liquid plastic. Thinking that plastic is an insulator, would that affect the air/sea heat/energy transfer?


The garbage patch is not like a floating garbage dump, you hardly see any of the plastic when sailing through it. It's rather a lot of small debris and particles that you see with an underwater camera or hauling a net through it.

I don't think this can have an influence on the atmosphere or ocean currents, but I'm not an expert.


Don't want to drift this thread too far afield, but, while I don't know about effects on currents, the junk certainly is having effects on the bio-chemical level:



Suffice to say, the changes in the gyre are a consequence, not a cause.

Jim Hunt

Terry - Somewhat belatedly! The "extreme weather" in Northern Greenland on December 22nd may have had something to do with the fact that there was a fair bit of open water near both Kap Morris Jesup and Alert at the time. Here's DMI's AVHRR view:

and here's the University of Hamburg's AMSR2:


Thanks Jim, I hadn't thought to check the Lincoln Sea for open water.
I'd point out however that DMI is showing possibly even more open water today & the Max Temp I'm getting at Alert is -26, an even 20C change from the 22md.
Naires Strait opened very late last melt season but is remaining open longer than I would have expected. Lots of MYI may have found the back door open.


Following up on Whether's Siberia anomaly:


Normal winter "on steroids" is mainly over North America now, sort of the continuation of not enough "winter to go around" of the Northern Hemisphere of many recent years. Of which I believe Arctic Ocean warmer anomaly is key. It cuts off the build up of cold weather on a world wide scale. In this case the coldest anomaly zone wobbles around the Pole, it does not implicate North America to have a long continuous winter, but rather to go through extreme changes in temperatures, especially when the "steroid winter" zone migrates likely towards central Russia. Since Siberia has remarkably little snow . The implication logically means a short living winter dipole, of which Gulf Stream moisture will and pounds Western Eurasia until the snow there will drag the cold temperature North Pole further towards Novaya Zemlya . Already the UK got the rain to prove that its happening, further to the East in the Continent there should be lots of snow. Right Now Cold temperature Pole is about Hudson Bay, around it to the South a powerful jet stream shooting one Atlantic cyclone after another towards Ireland and Britain which splinters North towards Iceland or Scandinavia. The later winter will be where the most snow will lay.



shows big snow extent negative anomaly in Europe


Crandle, close enough! Looks like there will be lots of snow in that region. Now the Cold temperature North Pole will likely start moving away from Hudson Bay to the North but very slowly...

Hans Gunnstaddar


Twice this Fall/Winter rainy season here in No. CA what were forecast for periods of heavier rain that have fallen short. This latest event had the 7, 8 & 9th of Jan. with 20% chance of rain, 30% & 40% respectively, then a few days later altered the percentages to 10/10/10%. In Nov. was a week long period of rain that was later changed to no rain. Instead of some rain turning into lots of rain (when it is rarely forecasted) it's turning into light or no rain. So far the number of storms in each month: Sept.: 0 Oct. 0 Nov. 1 Dec. 1 with Jan. Feb & Mar. to go.


At the link above is an interactive bar graph comparing 2013 (the record setting lowest) to the previous driest year, and yearly average to date, for SF, SAC, LA & Eugene, OR. In spite of overall rainfall total differences, relative differences are similar for these four regions. That really brings it home as to our situation here, but still have three months to pull a rabbit out of our hat. Start your (move the blocking) rain dance for January rain now.

Bob Wallace

It's been scary dry and very warm here in far northern California. We had a bit of snow and cold before Thanksgiving and since then only a trace of rain and incredibly warm temperatures.

Normally we'd have a fire going all day. Instead I'm sitting around in a t-shirt and bare feet like it was December-January in San Diego. It's been that way for over a month.

Last time I checked we were about 35% of normal rainfall. We got none of the normal Pineapple Express heavy rains in the fall.

Here's a good description of how things are playing out in terms of meteorology.


Jai Mitchell

much that once was is lost. . .

The California sun is so warm this winter. I felt it flying over the Midwest in the summer of 2012 when a descending column of air, flowing from the tropics via the Hadley Cell was creating a high pressure dome of 114F from Oklahoma to Nebraska and over to southern Illinois.

Once, in mid June in California the temperature dropped on a clear day from 90'F to 70'F within 2 hours. With no change in cloud cover, just a wind shift and dogs barking. . .

subtropical jets began moving atmospheric moisture up from the tropics into the mid-latitudes, Atlanta received record rainfall levels, and record continuous rainfall days

meanwhile, in the pacific, the Hadley Cell ceased to operated, there was NO heatwave in the Midwest this summer, no descending column of air. Instead we got cut-off lows moving backwards across the country and "biblical" catastrophic sudden downpours in Alberta and Colorado.

California is now bone dry, with likely water shortages hitting major cities in the central valley. Most reservoirs are around 20% full with very little rain in the future forecast.

Somehow, tropical moisture from the equator became super dry this year, dry air suppressed hurricane activity in the western hemisphere and this dry air has effectively suppressed the Hadley Cell.

Here is the tropics relative humidity anomaly for 300 MB geopotential heights. At higher elevations, the dry air increases in amount reaching over 35% drier than normal.


Can this be a signal that shows some kind of geoengineering due to cloud seeding or atmospheric reflective particle emissions in above the tropopause?

Would this explain the increase in moisture convection into the arctic this summer? Does it explain the lack of heatwave in the u.s. Midwest this summer? does it explain the persistent ridge that has diverted the pacific stormtrack up into british Columbia and Alaska, leaving California with a superdrought?

what else can explain the amount of wacky weather in these last 2 years?


Good news in a little while for those who are drenched in Ireland and UK, tHe Cold temperature North Pole split in two, Southern half is creating havoc in Southern Quebec with a NE North American Cyclone, the Northern half is well to the North of Hudson Bay. The recent path of cyclones has been broken, so in about 7 days South Baffin will get what should have gone to NW Europe, that is an unusual event.

Hans Gunnstaddar

Thanks for the info. and link Bob W. Know what you mean about warm temps. Today was 70F and very still, no wind. With the windows open during the day, no need for heaters in the evening. The link says it all - high holding off storms. Next week may bring some rain, with one day that is forecast to have a 40% chance. Hope it does so I can stop using the drip irrigation!


Hans, according to the GFS (The GFS has been highly unreliable for the past month.) thinks that there is a chance that the westerlies will finally undercut the high and bring some rain. Maybe, but we could get a split flow with most of the energy still going over the top of the high. On the plus side there are some westerlies farther out in the Pacific that could eventually break through. So far it appears that everything is still going over the high into the sub arctic. Forecasts out more than 3 days have been so unreliable that I would not bank on too much rain until I saw it. Mostly the forecasts have been for rain or snow that never materializes. Let's see what happens with this now.



Interesting circulation change particularly for the North Atlantic:


everything is going as planned. As a consequence Montreal will go from -24 C to + 3 in a few days. Corner Brook Newfoundland from -19 to +7. NYC from -4 to +9 on Monday. London UK from a balmy +12 to below 0 in 7 days...

It is called : Not enough winter to go around. So its a not so merry-go-around the Pole especially for those who find steady weather bracing. But I think that the North so winter Sochi Olympic town will turn cold eventually but signs are not so good: http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/getForecast?query=sochi+russia hopefully otherwise snow machines will have to be imported. The Cold Temperature North Pole does not tend to be at one place for too long, another sign of winters grasp being shorter and shorter. May be the skiing is good at higher altitudes?

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