West Antarctic rapid glacier retreat may be exceptional during the Holocene

Ice loss from the marine-based, potentially unstable West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) contributes to current sea-level rise and may raise sea level by ≤3.3 m or even ≤5 m in the future. Over the past few decades, glaciers draining the WAIS into the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) have shown accelerated ice flow, rapid thinning, and…

Weird weather might just wake feeble politicians up to climate change

The Guardian: Meteorologists are debating our role in bizarre weather events. We have the technology for change, but not the political will On Monday, Amory Lovins, physicist, environmentalist, and unassuming colossus of the green movement, appeared in London to talk about energy use. I mention this in the context of the Guardian’s story that meteorologists…

The state of the climate and national security

The release of huge quantities of previously stored “multiyear/deep layer” carbon deposite and equivalent greenhouse gases (CO2/CH4/N2O, from soil and water) can act like a trigger to boot the earth systems. This boot begins initially with a transition phase depending on the rate of emissions and in further development creates several large scale carbon excursions…

Pentagon bracing for public dissent over climate and energy shocks

NSA Prism is motivated in part by fears that environmentally-linked disasters could spur anti-government activism The Guardian: Top secret US National Security Agency (NSA) documents disclosed by the Guardian have shocked the world with revelations of a comprehensive US-based surveillance system with direct access to Facebook, Apple, Google, Microsoft and other tech giants. New Zealandcourt…

The N Hemisphere’s Atmospheric Circulation Has Collapsed Creating a Persistent Polar Cyclone

By FishOutOfWater / DailyKos: 500mb heights Normal for May 21 to June 6; 1980-2010 Average 500mb heights for May 21 to June 6 2013 A sudden stratospheric warming split the polar vortex in two in mid-January. Since then, the northern hemisphere’s atmospheric circulation has been behaving very strangely. An area of extreme high pressure formed…

How Hot will it Get?

The latest projections about the extent of planetary warming and the dire consequences of our growing carbon imbalance. Series: “Science at the Theater” [Science] A special Earth Day edition of Science at the Theater —”How Hot Will It Get?” — Featuring presentations by Lab climate scientists Bill Collins, Margaret Torn, Michael Wehner, and Jeff Chambers,…

Permafrost: The Tipping Time Bomb

“If we can limit our emissions, then the permafrost region will release less carbon to the atmosphere, there is a curve – it’s not a all or nothing question.” Ben Abbott One of the most feared of climate change “feedbacks” is the potential release of greenhouse gases by melting arctic permafrost soils. New research indicates…

In Ancient Ice, Clues That Scientists Are Underestimating Future Sea Levels

By John Mahoney / Popsci: The skies do strange things at the NEEM camp, a remote ice-drilling and research facility on the northern Greenland ice sheet. Midnight sunshine. Low clouds of sparkling ice crystals known as “diamond dust.” But when rain fell instead of snow last summer, complete with a rainbow arcing over the camp,…

Extreme Jet Stream Pattern Triggers Historic European Floods

Dr. Jeff Masters / Wunderground: A historic multi-billion dollar flood disaster has killed at least eighteen people in Central Europe after record flooding unprecedented since the Middle Ages hit major rivers in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland and Slovakia over the past two weeks. The Danube River in Passau, Germany hit the highest level…