Winter Heat and Cold Diary…December 10-13, 2017

Wednesday December 13th… Dear Diary. Here is today’s climate change related topic:

New Attribution Study for Harvey

This year Harvey, which produced cataclysmic flooding in the Houston area, was the first of three major Atlantic hurricanes suspected of being affected or strengthened by climate change. In coming months and years many papers will be written on Harvey, Irma and Maria. Today I saw reporting on Harvey from Climate Central here:

https://wwa.climatecentral.org/analyses/hurricane-harvey-august-2017/

From the article: “World Weather Attribution’s scientific analysis found that human-caused climate change made the record rainfall that fell over Houston during Hurricane Harvey roughly three times more likely and 15 percent more intense. WWA is an international coalition of scientists that objectively and quantitatively assesses the possible role of climate change in individual extreme weather events.”

Here is the referred to paper: http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aa9ef2 

Here is the first couple of sentences from the abstract: 

“During August 25–30, 2017, Hurricane Harvey stalled over Texas and caused extreme precipitation, particularly over Houston and the surrounding area on August 26–28. This resulted in extensive flooding with over 80 fatalities and large economic costs. It was an extremely rare event: the return period of the highest observed three-day precipitation amount, 1043.4 mm 3dy−1 at Baytown, is more than 9000 years (97.5% one-sided confidence interval) and return periods exceeded 1000 yr (750 mm 3dy−1) over a large area in the current climate. Observations since 1880 over the region show a clear positive trend in the intensity of extreme precipitation of between 12% and 22%, roughly two times the increase of the moisture holding capacity of the atmosphere expected for 1 °C warming according to the Clausius–Clapeyron (CC) relation.”

It’s becoming more clear to me and other climate scientists that carbon pollution played a big role with 2017’s devastating tropical season. Attribution studies are very important linking significant weather events with carbon pollution so that mitigation and adaption efforts to help solve the climate problem going forward are deemed necessary.

Bob Henson has written an excellent post on attribution and climate change published today:

https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/three-things-wouldnt-have-happened-climate-change

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Desperate firefighting continues in the Los Angeles Basin. Extremely dry air has made an appearance in the area again:

Not only has it been dry, but temperatures have been at and above record warm levels:

RECORD EVENT REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LOS ANGELES/OXNARD CA
800 AM PST WED DEC 13 2017
…DEC 12 2017 DAILY HIGH TEMPERATURE RECORD SET AT OXNARD NWS…A RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 87 DEGREES WAS SET AT OXNARD NWS
TODAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 84 SET IN 2010….DEC 11 2017 DAILY HIGH TEMPERATURE RECORDS SET AT PASO ROBLES
AIRPORT CA… OXNARD AND CAMARILLO CA… SANTA BARBARA AND LONG
BEACH AIRPORT CA…

A DAILY HIGH TEMPERATURE RECORD OF 78 DEGREES TIED AT SANTA BARBARA
AIRPORT CA.  THE OLD RECORD WAS 78 SET IN 1958.

A DAILY HIGH TEMPERATURE RECORD OF 79 DEGREES WAS SET AT PASO ROBLES
AIRPORT CA TODAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 76 SET IN 1958.
A DAILY HIGH TEMPERATURE RECORD OF 86 DEGREES WAS SET AT CAMARILLO
TODAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 85 SET IN 1958.A DAILY HIGH TEMPERATURE RECORD OF 86 DEGREES WAS TIED AT NWS
OXNARD TODAY. THIS TIESS THE OLD RECORD OF 86 SET IN 2004.A DAILY HIGH TEMPERATURE RECORD OF 85 DEGREES WAS SET AT LONG BEACH
AIRPORT CA TODAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 84 SET IN 1958.A DAILY HIGH TEMPERATURE RECORD OF 78 DEGREES WAS TIED AT SANTA
BARBARA AIRPORT CA TODAY. THIS TIES THE OLD RECORD OF 78 SET IN 1958….DEC 10 2017 DAILY HIGH TEMPERATURE RECORD SET AT PASO ROBLES
AIRPORT CA…
A DAILY HIGH TEMPERATURE RECORD OF 75 DEGREES WAS SET AT PASO ROBLES
AIRPORT CA TODAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 74 SET IN 1958.
Here are some records from today:
I hope that these advisories don’t get extended all winter long:
I’ll post more relevant information if it crosses my radar later today.

The Climate Guy 

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Tuesday December 12th… Dear Diary. Here is today’s climate change related topic:

Yes I’m guilty too… Cyber Communications are Increasingly Gobbling Up Energy

Obviously it takes electric energy to run and use computers, which do contribute to carbon emissions, particularly from non-green grids. Just by writing this post, unfortunately, I have put a little more carbon into the atmosphere. A new article shows how the percent of total emissions in association with device driven communications will increase with time:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/11/tsunami-of-data-could-consume-fifth-global-electricity-by-2025

From the article:

“The industry has long argued that it can considerably reduce carbon emissions by increasing efficiency and reducing waste, but academics are challenging industry assumptions. A new paper, due to be published by US researchers later this month, will forecast that information and communications technology could create up to 3.5% of global emissions by 2020 – surpassing aviation and shipping – and up to 14% 2040, around the same proportion as the US today. Global computing power demand from internet-connected devices, high resolution video streaming, emails, surveillance cameras and a new generation of smart TVs is increasing 20% a year, consuming roughly 3-5% of the world’s electricity in 2015, says Swedish researcher Anders Andrae.”

Increasingly powerful computer mainframes, such as the one pictured, use a lot of energy.

After that sour note I do have some short term good news. The U.S. should undergo a weather pattern change soon, which will bring relief to California with the possibility of rain. Here is the latest operational European model indicating a big cool down for the West and major warm up for the East (coming within my 240 good model hour range):

Will Santa bring the present of rain to California? We will see.

Here is some of the latest forecast fire information from Southern California:

This map shows the extent of the in and Santa Barbara counties—231,700 acres burned.

 

Wow! Smoke from and other SoCal fires has made it all the way up the coast north of Eureka this afternoon!

This is a check on global temperatures so far for December 2017:

Ouch! Talk about baked Alaska from that resilient ridge. Here is some information from Monday:

 

Dear diary. Here is an update from this evening from Southern California:

I’ll post more relevant information later today as it crosses my radar.

The Climate Guy

Monday December 11th… Dear Diary. Here is today’s climate change related topic:

Past Warnings in Association With California’s Current Climate Change Tragedy 

I came across an interesting discussion today indicating that past studies have warned about likely climate change effects on California more than ten years ago. Here is one example from climate scientist, Dr. Katherine Hayhoe:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2006GL025808/full

Daniel Swain also notes:

The point here is that humanity has been and continues to not heed scientific studies and warnings in association with climate change. Personally I think we needed to right the climate ship around the year 2000 keeping, as Bill McKibben and others have stated, CO2 levels well below 400 parts per million. Obviously its going to be much harder to stabilize the planet’s climate now as we move into the 2020s with CO2 levels getting above 410 ppm, but we need to keep trying. At least green energy technology has come a long way since the turn of the century.

Today as far as short term weather goes I do have a little good news for California, which certainly will help fire fighting efforts if verified:

Around the 20th the ridge west of California may break down enough to allow at east weak states to shift winds on shore, cooling temperatures and raising humidity. There is even an outside shot at light rain.
For now here is what is expected by the Weather Service:
On another note Climate Central has noted my work with record temperatures and come up with this nifty chart indicating how warming has increased substantially across the U.S. in the last 20 years:

A first look at the data from NOAA/NCEI indicates that 2017 continues the warming trend, as daily record highs are beating daily record lows by a 3.5-to-1 margin so far. Below are some preliminary 2017 stats through the end of November. Visit the NOAA Daily Weather Records tool to get the daily updates on these numbers:

  • Monthly record highs have outnumbered monthly record lows at a rate of 9.7 to 1
  • All-time record highs have outnumbered all-time record lows 8.7 to 1
  • Record high minimum temperatures have outnumbered record low minimums 4.6 to 1

The Thomas fire now burning over 230,000 acres is now the 5th largest fire in California’s history (and this is happening in December!):

https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Thomas-Fire-Explodes-Evacuations-Acreage-Monday-Intense-463378113.html

Here are some records from smoldering Southern California from Monday:

NWS Oxnard 86 Tied (2004)

Long Beach 85 Old record (84-1958)

Santa Barbara AP 78 Tied (1958)

Paso Robles 79 Old Record (76-1958)

 The Climate Guy
Sunday December 10th… Dear Diary. Here is today’s climate change related topic:

Climate Change is Causing California’s Fire Season to be Year Round

My little break from writing about the devastating California wild fire 🔥 situation is over. The anomalous snow across the South was nice to report on and look at, but the California fires are causing the worst damage this December much more than any icy, snowy weather. Here is more scientific information on why global warming is leading to a threat from fire year round across California from a Rolling Stone article:

http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/southern-california-wildfires-climate-change-emergency-w513659?utm_content=buffer74db9&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

From the article:

“For years, climate scientists have warned us that California was entering a year-round fire regime. For years, climate campaigners have been wondering what it would take to get people to wake up to the urgency of cutting fossil fuel emissions. For years, we’ve been tip-toeing as a civilization towards a point of no return.

That time is now.

The advent of uncontrollable wintertime megafires in California is a turning point in America’s struggle to contain the impacts of a rapidly changing climate. Conditions that led to the Thomas fire won’t happen every year, but the fact that they’re happening at all should shock us.”

This morning the mentioned Thomas fire was spreading  due to yet more high Santa Ana winds and dry, warm conditions. From Bob Henson:

“It’s now scorched more than 170,000 acres. By far the biggest Calif. fire on record for December–or Nov/Dec, for that matter.”

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