Drought, Fire, Flood: In the News

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 5:22 AM GMT en Julio 12, 2011

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Drought, Fire, Flood: In the News

I have been writing about a variety of issues that I know are of interest to only a small number of people – U.S. science organizations, climate model software, and validation of climate models. I am going to move away from that arcane set of subjects for a while and spend a little more time in the climate mainstream. In this entry I want to touch on several subjects – starting with my garden.

My garden is in the flat land that is the western edge of the Great Plains, just east of Boulder, Colorado. Weather wise, it is a complex and difficult environment: more than 5000 feet above sea level, reliant upon water from the winter snow pack in the mountains, huge swings of hot and cold. In terms of climate types, I have seen region defined as both arid and semiarid. In the last week, we have had three or more inches of rain – hard driving rain with much lightning. There is water standing between the rows in the garden. The week of July 4 it was so dry there was a fire ban, and many firework fires.

Last summer in Boulder we had the Fourmile Fire, which burned thousands of acres and dozens of houses. With this rain, we have mudslides, rock slides and flash floods (Longmont Times Call). It all makes you appreciate the importance of the weather and the climate. Wet and dry. Hot and cold. ( 485 Billion Dollar Impact of Weather)

Boulder is a microcosm of what is going on in the U.S. There have been overwhelming fires in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. (Texas Fires). Dangerous drought and heat is spreading all across the southern half of the U.S. The dust storm last week in Arizona was reminiscent of pictures of the Dust Bowl. (more here). We were overwhelmed not long ago by the Mississippi River flooding. I have almost forgotten about the Missouri River flooding.



Figure 1: From KFAB Omaha News Radio. Photo Credit AP: Missouri River flood of Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant.

We see here the persistence of weather, climate, snow cover, drought, floods - one extreme after another. Jeff Master’s wrote an excellent summary of 2010-2011 as being a year of the most extreme events since 1816 – the year of Mount Tambora, a definitive and understood climate anomaly. Jeff writes that June 2011 continues the run. July 2011 is looking strong. It has been more than 300 months since there was a “below average” mean temperature. That’s a little compelling.

We are being handed one case study after another, where we see the impact that weather and climate have on us. And what is that impact? We see vulnerable people losing their homes, their crops. But where is the real threat? What does it mean that 213 counties in Texas are primary disaster areas?

Energy, economy, population – markets. We all know that the weather affects our economy. We rely on a stable climate. We see here and now an interconnected world, where extreme heat kills thousands and destroys crops and send food prices soaring. We see multiple billion dollar liens placed on our economy by floods, droughts, and tornadoes. These costs come at a time when economies all around the world are weak. There is a debt crisis, and the weather is demanding more loans. Right here and now the world is providing one climate disaster after another. The weather and climate are showing the need for more planning, for building resilience and recovery strategies. The weather and climate are revealing our vulnerabilities. While there is the obvious, the family fleeing the flood, the destroyed Joplin, Missouri hospital, there is also the accumulated impact felt through markets, higher food prices, emergency relief, things that will not be fixed, people relocating.

We are being offered lessons. I have written this far and not strung together the words “climate change” or mentioned “global warming.” This is the weather in our warming climate. The take away message from climate models, Be Prepared.

r

Rood on To the Point

Open Climate Modeling:

Greening of the Desert

Stickiness and Climate Models

Open Source Communities, What are the Problems?

A Culture of Checking


Organizing U.S. Climate Modeling:

Something New in the Past Decade?

The Scientific Organization

A Science-Organized Community

Validation and the Scientific Organization

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NOAA, UK met, Japan show no warming for 12 years are they all wrong and your right
Member Since: Julio 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2259
Quoting ChrisWinson:


Completely false. 2005 and 2010 were both warmer than 1998.

So when you post that, you mean you're "completely dishonest", nymore.


He ignores the other part of the graph and zeros in on a tiny portion of it thinking the total trend is that way. The stupidity in that is laughable but it is also sad to think he really believes it.
Member Since: Enero 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20400
NEO- what does that have to do with the temp of the globe
Member Since: Julio 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2259
Chris you need glasses also 2005 and 2010 were only warmer on the GISS graph all others say statistically no and the GISS is probably within the margin of error
Member Since: Julio 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2259
Quoting nymore:
Neapolitan- By abnormally fast you mean no statistical warming for at least 12 years

Keep telling yourself that; perhaps it will eventually come true. You know, right around the time the Great Denialist 21st Century Fantasy Cooldown gets underway...

It's warm, and getting warmer. Fact of the day: as of yesterday, the U.S. has set 9,002 new daily high temperature records in 2011, and just 3,655 new daily low temperature records. That's a ratio of 2.46 to 1.

As cyclonebuster would say; "OUCH".
Member Since: Noviembre 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13505
Quoting nymore:
Cyclone- according to the articles you posted today the anomaly was what 0.43 C for the year to date far below 0.6 C so still no warming


The year isn't over yet is it?
Member Since: Enero 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20400
Quoting Neapolitan:

Yes, the earth has been warmer in the past. But as so many scientists have stated--and as video #1 reiterates--it's not the fact that the climate is changing, but how abnormally fast it's doing so. In all of geologic record, the climate has never changed so fast without mass disruptions to the biosphere.


We may soon find out similar "velocity of change" info with respect to Katla. We have much better and more accurate tools to work with today than even 5 years ago. It is no surprise that we have much faster reaction to short term change. I would compare it to watching the news 30 years ago when you got 1/2 hr/24, to the 24/7 live coverage we have today on multiple more levels.



L8R
Member Since: Junio 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8186
Also what is the resolution of the geographic record 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, 50 years, 100 years?
Member Since: Julio 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2259
Neapolitan- By abnormally fast you mean no statistical warming for at least 12 years
Member Since: Julio 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2259
Cyclone- according to the articles you posted today the anomaly was what 0.43 C for the year to date far below 0.6 C so still no warming
Member Since: Julio 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2259
Quoting Neapolitan:

Yes, the earth has been warmer in the past. But as so many scientists have stated--and as video #1 reiterates--it's not the fact that the climate is changing, but how abnormally fast it's doing so. In all of geologic record, the climate has never changed so fast without mass disruptions to the biosphere.


Correct Again!
Member Since: Enero 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20400
Really follow the red line( NASA ) notice the uptick and all others fall
Member Since: Julio 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2259
Quoting Ossqss:


Great entertainment for certain.

It is interesting to ponder that the Earth has been much warmer in the past than now,,,, so life must have made quite a come back it seems. Then again, the prognostication associated with the show is based upon our limited ability to assess, through modeling, the impact of temperature change on not just climate, but vast ecosystems that history tells us has adapted well over time. History also tells us that cold is the proven threat to life with respect to mass extinction.




Yes, the earth has been warmer in the past. But as so many scientists have stated--and as video #1 reiterates--it's not the fact that the climate is changing, but how abnormally fast it's doing so. In all of geologic record, the climate has never changed so fast without mass disruptions to the biosphere.
Member Since: Noviembre 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13505
Quoting nymore:
Really I cherry picked 12 years seems like a long time to cherry pick


No you cherry picked 9 years from 1999 to 2008.
Member Since: Enero 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20400
Really I cherry picked 12 years seems like a long time to cherry pick
Member Since: Julio 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2259
Quoting nymore:
Here is a graph off the NASA site provided by the link above by ChrisWinson Link please notice the only one that has it being warmer is NASA and notice the uptick in the NASA graph around 2006 when all others have it falling. So in conclusion Japan says no, NOAA says no, UK Met says no. Also if you will notice on the graph ChrisWinson posted from the GISS the running mean is 0.71 C while on the link I have provided from the GISS there highest anomaly is 0.61 C so with the same data they came up with two different results? 1 degree C = 1.8 degrees F


But the trend on all the graphs is upward for the longer period of time isn't it? You can cherrypick the data all you want but the fact is the trend is upwards.
Member Since: Enero 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20400
Quoting Ossqss:


Great entertainment for certain.

It is interesting to ponder that the Earth has been much warmer in the past than now,,,, so life must have made quite a come back it seems. Then again, the prognostication associated with the show is based upon our limited ability to assess, through modeling, the impact of temperature change on not just climate, but vast ecosystems that history tells us has adapted well over time. History also tells us that cold is the proven threat to life with respect to mass extinction.





Cold weather mass extinction for other species except for man.
Member Since: Enero 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20400
Here is a graph off the NASA site provided by the link above by ChrisWinson Link please notice the only one that has it being warmer is NASA and notice the uptick in the NASA graph around 2006 when all others have it falling. So in conclusion Japan says no, NOAA says no, UK Met says no. Also if you will notice on the graph ChrisWinson posted from the GISS the running mean is 0.71 C while on the link I have provided from the GISS there highest anomaly is 0.61 C so with the same data they came up with two different results? 1 degree C = 1.8 degrees F
Member Since: Julio 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2259
Quoting Neapolitan:
For those wondering what difference "a few degrees" might make, check out this series of "alarmist" National Geographic videos. I think it's interesting how many of the "one degree" things are happening:

Could Just One Degree Change the World?

2 Degress Warmer: Ocean Life in Danger

3 Degrees Warmer: Heat Wave Fatalities

4 Degrees Warmer: Great Cities Wash Away

5 Degrees Warmer: Civilization Collapses

6 Degrees Warmer: Mass Extinction?


Great entertainment for certain.

It is interesting to ponder that the Earth has been much warmer in the past than now,,,, so life must have made quite a come back it seems. Then again, the prognostication associated with the show is based upon our limited ability to assess, through modeling, the impact of temperature change on not just climate, but vast ecosystems that history tells us has adapted well over time. History also tells us that cold is the proven threat to life with respect to mass extinction.



Member Since: Junio 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8186
Quoting ChrisWinson:
From shepherd's post.


"Flipping open my laptop and comparing my reading to the official NOAA reported reading of that particular bouy, I see NOAA's report a couple of degrees warmer. Why would that happen?"

Because your thermometer is not accurate?

You make it sound like you believe that there is a government conspiracy to fake buoy temperature readings.

I say if you believe that, your tinfoil hat is on too tight.


I am sure they can run Automatic calibrations on those buoy temperature instruments all the time.What say you?
Member Since: Enero 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20400
Quoting cyclonebuster:


Check out Coral Bleaching.

Link


Root cause analysis proves it is GHGs causing the current problems with coral reefs mostly all over the world.
Member Since: Enero 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20400
Quoting ChrisWinson:
And the Earth's surface temperatures were higher in 2005 and 2010 than in 1998. As you can read here.

Now that's settled we can drop the dishonest nonsense that there's been no warming since 1998.


Correct. Shame on them.
Member Since: Enero 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20400
Quoting theshepherd:
Dr. Rood

No matter what the debate, let us be deligent in our own research and not blindly follow "anyone".

Let us not depend on graphs and factoids for our only source of knowledge.

Let us look at our coral reefs worldwide.

The only thing we have heard from "the powers that be" is that coral reefs wordwide are being destroyed by ocean acidification.

Is ocean acidification responsible for destroying my beloved reefs?

Maybe not???

http://soundwaves.usgs.gov/2011/04/research.html

Could ther still be other causes???

http://floridakeys.noaa.gov/sanctuary_resources/m orecoral.html

****But wait a minute...How can newly planted coral florish in an ever increasing acid enviroment???****

That's worth repeating..."HOW CAN NEWLY PLANTED CORAL FLORISH IN AN EVER INCREASING ACID ENVIROMENT"?

http://www.floridakeysdivectr.com/florida-keys-co ral-reef-restoration.html

The takeaway from this is that we don't hear "the rest of the story".

Regional threats include new diseases that sweep through populations of organisms livingon the reefs. For example, in 1983, an unknown disease,possibly a virus, is believed to have come through the Panama Canal from the Pacific Ocean. This disease killed most of the spiny sea urchin population, first in Panama then throughout the Caribbean and to the Western Atlantic reefs of the Florida Keys and Bahamas.More than 99% of the spiny sea urchins were killed. The virus seems to still be present,because spiny sea urchins are now uncommon on Caribbean reefs.
The consequence of the die-off of the spiny sea urchin has been unlimited growth of algae on coral reefs. The spiny sea urchin population fed on the
algae populations found on the coral reefs. For example, in the early 1980’s, coral covered more than 60% of the reefs in Jamaica. Now, coral covers less than 10% of the reef. Algae are taking over the reefs
everywhere.

Couple that with the fact that I have fished the Florida Keys for years. The water thermometer on my boat is calibrated and true. It is not uncommon for me to troll the bouy line off the Keys and note the temperature of the water. Flipping open my laptop and comparing my reading to the official NOAA reported reading of that particular bouy, I see NOAA's report a couple of degrees warmer. Why would that happen?

What I am saying, is things are not always as they appear or as some official or Empirical Data streams would have us infer.

It would serve many of us well to get out of our chairs and go see for ourselves.

A profoundry of pessimistic despair does not always describe knowledge.

Regards,
sheph


Check out Coral Bleaching.

Link
Member Since: Enero 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20400
Quoting PurpleDrank:


how about all that data prior to satellites and computers?

how about that data before the combustion engine?

how about that data from the bronze age?



They have that too.
Member Since: Enero 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20400
Dr. Rood

No matter what the debate, let us be deligent in our own research and not blindly follow "anyone".

Let us not depend on graphs and factoids for our only source of knowledge.

Let us look at our coral reefs worldwide.

The only thing we have heard from "the powers that be" is that coral reefs wordwide are being destroyed by ocean acidification.

Is ocean acidification responsible for destroying my beloved reefs?

Maybe not???

http://soundwaves.usgs.gov/2011/04/research.html

Could ther still be other causes???

http://floridakeys.noaa.gov/sanctuary_resources/m orecoral.html

****But wait a minute...How can newly planted coral florish in an ever increasing acid enviroment???****

That's worth repeating..."HOW CAN NEWLY PLANTED CORAL FLORISH IN AN EVER INCREASING ACID ENVIROMENT"?

http://www.floridakeysdivectr.com/florida-keys-co ral-reef-restoration.html

The takeaway from this is that we don't hear "the rest of the story".

Regional threats include new diseases that sweep through populations of organisms livingon the reefs. For example, in 1983, an unknown disease,possibly a virus, is believed to have come through the Panama Canal from the Pacific Ocean. This disease killed most of the spiny sea urchin population, first in Panama then throughout the Caribbean and to the Western Atlantic reefs of the Florida Keys and Bahamas.More than 99% of the spiny sea urchins were killed. The virus seems to still be present,because spiny sea urchins are now uncommon on Caribbean reefs.
The consequence of the die-off of the spiny sea urchin has been unlimited growth of algae on coral reefs. The spiny sea urchin population fed on the
algae populations found on the coral reefs. For example, in the early 1980’s, coral covered more than 60% of the reefs in Jamaica. Now, coral covers less than 10% of the reef. Algae are taking over the reefs
everywhere.

Couple that with the fact that I have fished the Florida Keys for years. The water thermometer on my boat is calibrated and true. It is not uncommon for me to troll the bouy line off the Keys and note the temperature of the water. Flipping open my laptop and comparing my reading to the official NOAA reported reading of that particular bouy, I see NOAA's report a couple of degrees warmer. Why would that happen?

What I am saying, is things are not always as they appear or as some official or Empirical Data streams would have us infer.

It would serve many of us well to get out of our chairs and go see for ourselves.

A profoundry of pessimistic despair does not always describe knowledge.

Regards,
sheph
Member Since: Septiembre 11, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10084
I saw those

followed by Mega Disasters and other Doom Docs

love that stuff
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
For those wondering what difference "a few degrees" might make, check out this series of "alarmist" National Geographic videos. I think it's interesting how many of the "one degree" things are happening:

Could Just One Degree Change the World?

2 Degress Warmer: Ocean Life in Danger

3 Degrees Warmer: Heat Wave Fatalities

4 Degrees Warmer: Great Cities Wash Away

5 Degrees Warmer: Civilization Collapses

6 Degrees Warmer: Mass Extinction?
Member Since: Noviembre 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13505
Quoting cyclonebuster:


Data prior to 1999.


how about all that data prior to satellites and computers?

how about that data before the combustion engine?

how about that data from the bronze age?

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting nymore:
What other data


Data prior to 1999.
Member Since: Enero 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20400
What other data
Member Since: Julio 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2259
Quoting nymore:
Exclude what


The other data.
Member Since: Enero 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20400
Exclude what
Member Since: Julio 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2259
Quoting nymore:
I never said it wasn't warming prior 1999 just that it has not warmed since. Although it should be according to co2 climate models if this is all man made


Why did you exclude it then?
Member Since: Enero 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20400
I never said it wasn't warming prior 1999 just that it has not warmed since. Although it should be according to co2 climate models if this is all man made
Member Since: Julio 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2259
Quoting nymore:
Cyclone even on that graph without a running mean where is the warming the last several years even though co2 keeps rising also have La-nina and El-nino been been taken out. Here let me help you out Link source Hadley Centre for climate prediction and research


You sound like the Hadley Center cherry picking data on a chart that clearly shows warming over a longer time period. Sorry if you don't see it that way!
Member Since: Enero 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20400
SEATTLE %u2014 A Seattle nuclear watchdog group is accusing the federal government of failing to keep the public informed of radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.


Link
Member Since: Enero 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20400
Cyclone even on that graph without a running mean where is the warming the last several years even though co2 keeps rising also have La-nina and El-nino been been taken out. Here let me help you out Link source Hadley Centre for climate prediction and research
Member Since: Julio 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2259
Quoting nymore:
Cyclone- Your link shows no running mean of global temperatures try again


Same Link

The Global Surface Temperature is Rising

Global average temperature is one of the most-cited indicators of global climate change, and shows an increase of approximately 1.4F since the early 20th Century. The global surface temperature is based on air temperature data over land and sea-surface temperatures observed from ships, buoys and satellites. There is a clear long-term global warming trend, while each individual year does not always show a temperature increase relative to the previous year, and some years show greater changes than others. These year-to-year fluctuations in temperature are due to natural processes, such as the effects of El Ninos, La Ninas, and the eruption of large volcanoes. Notably, the 20 warmest years have all occurred since 1981, and the 10 warmest have all occurred in the past 12 years.



Global annual average temperature measured over land and oceans. Red bars indicate temperatures above and blue bars indicate temperatures below the 1901-2000 average temperature. The black line shows atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration in parts per million.

Member Since: Enero 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20400
Cyclone- Your link shows no running mean of global temperatures try again
Member Since: Julio 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2259
Quoting nymore:
I have asked for proof the earth has warmed for the past several years yet none has been provided still waiting. Co2 has increased but yet the temperature has not how can this be, if it is all man made climate change.



Global Climate Change Indicators
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Climatic Data Center

Many lines of scientific evidence show the Earth's climate is changing. This page presents the latest information from several independent measures of observed climate change that illustrate an overwhelmingly compelling story of a planet that is undergoing global warming. It is worth noting that increasing global temperature is only one element of observed global climate change. Precipitation patterns are also changing; storms and other extremes are changing as well.
How do we know the Earth's climate is warming?

Thousands of land and ocean temperature measurements are recorded each day around the globe. This includes measurements from climate reference stations, weather stations, ships, buoys and autonomous gliders in the oceans. These surface measurements are also supplemented with satellite measurements. These measurements are processed, examined for random and systematic errors, and then finally combined to produce a time series of global average temperature change. A number of agencies around the world have produced datasets of global-scale changes in surface temperature using different techniques to process the data and remove measurement errors that could lead to false interpretations of temperature trends. The warming trend that is apparent in all of the independent methods of calculating global temperature change is also confirmed by other independent observations, such as the melting of mountain glaciers on every continent, reductions in the extent of snow cover, earlier blooming of plants in spring, a shorter ice season on lakes and rivers, ocean heat content, reduced arctic sea ice, and rising sea levels.

Link

Member Since: Enero 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20400
I have asked for proof the earth has warmed for the past several years yet none has been provided still waiting. Co2 has increased but yet the temperature has not how can this be, if it is all man made climate change.
Member Since: Julio 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2259
Quoting nymore:
So let me get this straight man made climate change makes it colder and warmer? Is there nothing this this man made co2 can not do


Yes! Go away for the next few thousand years unless man intervenes.
Member Since: Enero 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20400
So let me get this straight man made climate change makes it colder and warmer? Is there nothing this this man made co2 can not do
Member Since: Julio 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2259
Quoting iceagecoming:



Night sky offers treats and challenges at the South PoleBy Grace Clark and Dana Hrubes, South Pole correspondents
Posted June 24, 2011 May is the month when “Polies” are settled into their work routine, which includes dealing with constant darkness.


We experienced a record in South Pole weather last month, with May 2011 being the coldest May since the Navy began keeping records in 1957. The average temperature was -62.6C/-80.7F. The previous record was from 1989.

Must be regional, really?







Link

And yet more extremes. Pretty amazing, init?
Member Since: Noviembre 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13505

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About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.

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