Showery Cooling Trend – Dangerous Heat for Southwestern USA

85 F. maximum temperature on Friday.
78 F. average high on June 16.
78 F. high on June 16, 2016.

June 17, 2010: The largest single-day tornado outbreak in Minnesota history occurs with 48 tornadoes across the state. This outbreak would set the stage for a record breaking tornado year in Minnesota that finished with 113 tornadoes, the most of any state in the US that year. There were three EF-4 tornadoes and four EF-3 tornadoes in Minnesota. Four tornado fatalities occurred, which was the highest daily number since July 5, 1978.

Minnesota Outlook Calls For Free (Canadian) A/C

I wonder if Canadians refer to sweaty hot fronts as “American Air”? I’m calling my friends in Scottsdale, warning them not to leave their cool, underground bunkers. The predicted high temperature on Tuesday is 120F in Phoenix, within a degree or 2 of the all-time record high.

“But it’s a DRY HEAT Paul!” they insist rather indignantly. Yeah, so is my oven, but I still don’t stick my head inside.

Yes, Arizona is to summer what Minnesota is to winter. At least the old fashioned winters of the 1970s.

According to Mark Seeley the first half of June was unusually warm, statewide. Only 1933 and 1988 were hotter. And now it’s time for the inevitable correction.

Get outside this morning; showers and T-storms become more numerous by afternoon and evening with highs in the upper 70s. Sunday should be drier but significantly cooler, with PM readings in the 60s. Temperatures mellow a little next week, but no extended, persistent heat is in sight between now and the 4th of July.

My semi-educated hunch? Record heat will grip much of the southern USA the next few weeks. We’ll see flashes of heat, but Canada will burp a series of cooling fronts south of the border. No heatwaves here anytime soon.

Tuesday Highs. Hotter in Phoenix than Death Valley? Good grief. Be careful out there. Map: Aeris AMP.

Record Territory. High temperatures early next week in metro Phoenix will come within a couple degrees of the all-time record of 122F, set on June 26, 1990.

Waves of Heat. GFS guidance looking out 384 hours shows the hottest temperatures (white denotes 90s and 100s) from the Desert Southwest into the central and southern Plains into next week; a series of cooler fronts taking the edge off the heat across northern tier states. Temperature animation: Pivotalweather.com.
Warming Increasing Hot Weather Records Across the USA. Here’s the excerpt of an explainer from Climate Signals: “…The science connecting the observed increase in heat waves to climate change is extensive and has recently advanced even further.
Highlights:

In a stable climate, the ratio of days that are record hot to days that are record cold is approximately 1:1. In our warming climate, record highs have begun to outpace record lows, with the imbalance growing for the past three decades. In the last 365 days, there were 4.21 high temperature records for 1 record low in the US...”

Map credit: Aeris AMP.

Saturday Severe Storm Threat. Keep an eye on Kansas City and Des Moines to Chicago later today as a few swarms of strong to severe thunderstorms bubble up. Once again a few tornadoes are likely; expect tornado watches and a few warnings by late afternoon. Map: NOAA SPC.

Sizzling Heat and Persistent T-storms. It’s a wet forecast east of the Mississippi River with frequent storms, while dry desert heat envelopes the southwest and southern Plains. The Pacific Northwest may even go a few days before the next slap of moisture. 84-hour NAM Future Radar: NOAA and Tropicaltidbits.com.

Predicted Rainfall by July 2. I’m not (yet) convinced that the Florida Panhandle and southern Georgia will pick up 8-12″ of rain (that depends on whether a tropical system really does spin up in the Gulf of Mexico next week). As much as 5″ of rain is predicted for Chicago; 3-5″ amounts for New England as a series of Canadian fronts push south of the border.

Tropical Development? It’s way too early to even speculate, but the 00z NAM model does try to spin up a tropical depression or storm in the Gulf of Mexico early next week. Confidence levels are about as low as they ever get. Consider this a desperate attempt to cover my….Doppler….just in case the forecast verifies.
Early Hurricane Season May Be Brewing Something in the Gulf of Mexico. 4 Things to Know. Meteorologist Marshall Shepherd helps us keep some sense of perspective at Forbes: “It is that time of year. It is hurricane season, and nature seems to know that as well. As a meteorology professor and scientist, I have been watching weather models over the past several days, and some have hinted, as far back as last week, at the possibility of “something developing” in the Gulf of Mexico. I tend to err on the side of caution with long-range solutions and let the information evolve. Too often, models spin up “fantasy” storms at long range so it is important to be cautious in what is shared. This current threat is now within a time window that warrants a little more attention. Here are 4 things that you need to know right now...”

Near-Record Warmth First Half of June. Like clockwork, Dr. Mark Seeley has details at Minnesota WeatherTalk: “In contrast to May, the first half of June has been unusually warm, near record-setting in many places across Minnesota. For the Twin Cities Metro Area the mean temperature for the first half of June has been about 74.9 degrees F. Only 1976 was warmer, with a mean temperature of 75.1 degrees F. On a statewide basis the mean temperature for the first half of June was 69 degrees F. Only 1933 (71.4°F) and 1988 (70.4°F) were warmer. Within the Minnesota climate observation network 45 stations have reported daily maximum temperature records tied or broken so far this month, and 46 stations have also reported daily warm minimum temperature records tied or broken so far. Many places have reported multiple days with 90°F temperatures, as high as 97 degrees F at Rosemount and Waseca. MSP set a new record warm minimum temperature on June 10th with a reading of 77°F, breaking the old record of 73 degrees F back in 1973. Milan also reported a record warm minimum on that date with a reading of 77°F. MSP also tied a record high dew point reading on June 13 with a reading of 74 degrees F…”

Warmer Than Average July For Most of USA? Here is the latest prediction from NOAA CPC, the Climate Prediction Center, calling for a very warm July (with the possible exception of the Pacific Northwest).

Oklahoma or Minnesota? 7 years ago today a swarm of 48 tornadoes strafed Minnesota in a single 24-hour period; 3 of them violent EF-4 strength. 2010 was the year Wadena was hit. We’ve been relatively lucky in recent years, but as we all know, at some point your luck runs out. It pays to stay a little paranoid, and never let your guard down.

Map above courtesy of the Twin Cities National Weather Service, which has more details here.
Into the Storm: OSU Researchers Use Drones for Tornado Prediction. Getting real-time boundary-layer observations from a new generation of drones may help to provide the high-octane weather data required to take tornado prediction to the next level. Here’s an excerpt from News OK: “…Tornadoes are spontaneous and on a much smaller scale. To predict them, meteorologists need a precise understanding of the atmosphere between the ground and the bottom of the storm. Typically, current weather radar cannot detect activity happening at this level. By getting ahead of the storm, Jacob can have a drone fly directly into the target area to measure the pressure, temperature and humidity in this previously unreachable space. The drone will transmit the data from the sensors to the controller who can then analyze the data into weather models. This data could allow tornado warnings to go from 15 minutes to in excess of an hour while decreasing the overall false alarm rate, ultimately saving lives…”

Photo credit: “Research being performed at OSU hopes to improve the metrics for tornado prediction through the use of drones.” Photo courtesy of Dr. Jamey Jacob.
Changes to NOAA’s Watch/Warning/Advisory Protocol? Nothing is happening yet, but there are considering streamlining and simplifying their hazard-alerting system. Here’s more from NOAA: “…For decades, the NWS has used the Watch, Warning, and Advisory (WWA) system to alert users of forecasted hazards. In many ways, the WWA system has been highly effective in protecting life and property. With that said, as we have collected feedback during the course of this project, we have learned that some users find the WWA terms confusing. Also, users are sometimes confused about how to interpret and distinguish among the large number of individual WWA “products” (e.g., Wind Advisory, Flood Watch, Winter Storm Warning). Based on this initial feedback, and with support from social and behavioral scientists, NWS is exploring alternatives for more effectively communicating our hazard messages. The NWS is not making any changes to the operational system at this time but we are carefully considering a number of options, as follows:

  • Keep the current WWA system as is;
  • Make small to moderate changes; or
  • Make a transformational change to the WWA system…”

Committee Passes First Round of Flood Insurance Bills. Here’s an excerpt of a press release from The House Committee on Financial Services: “The House Financial Services Committee met today to begin consideration of several measures to reform and reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is set to expire on September 30, 2017. “We cannot continue to call on the American taxpayer to bailout a program that is currently drowning in $25 billion of red ink and suffers a $1.4 billion annual actuarial deficit,” said Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX). “These bills put the National Flood Insurance Program on a path toward actuarial soundness where all will be protected, no one will be denied a policy, all will benefit from competition, the NFIP will be sustainable, and the national debt clock will spin a little less rapidly...”

File photo of December 2015 flooding in Missouri: Associated Press.
Mystery of the Missing Noctilucent Clouds. Here’s an interesting snippet from SpaceWeather.com: “…In late May 2017, observers in Europe began seeing electric-blue tendrils snaking over the western horizon at sunset. The summer season for noctilucent clouds (NLCs) was apparently beginning. Normally, the strange-looking clouds surge in visibility in the weeks immediately after their first sighting. This year, however, something mysterious happened. Instead of surging, the clouds vanished. During the first two weeks of June 2017, Spaceweather.com received ZERO images of NLCs — something that hasn’t happened in nearly 20 years. Where did they go? Researchers have just figured it out: There’s been a “heat wave” in the polar mesosphere, a region in Earth’s upper atmosphere where NLCs form. Relatively warm temperatures have wiped out the clouds...”

ASCE Gives U.S. Infrastructure a D+. Details via Business Insider: “America’s infrastructure is in dire need of repairs. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, which is published every four years, US infrastructure gets a D+ grade. It got the same grade in 2013. The ASCE estimates the US needs to spend some $4.5 trillion by 2025 to improve the state of the country’s roads, bridges, dams, airports, schools, and more. The report breaks down the state of infrastructure in 16 different categories. Here’s a look at each category’s final grade, according to the organization…”

Photo credit: “An aerial view of the damaged Oroville Dam spillway is shown. Dams in the US are aging. In fact, the average age of of US dams is 56 years.” Dale Kolke / California Department of Water Resources via Reuters.
Asia’s Rivers Send More Plastic Into The Ocean Than All Other Continents Combined. Quartz reports: “Every year, millions of tonnes of plastics are produced and trashed, with some ending up in the sea, and gobbled up by tiny fish. Even though countries don’t report on how much plastic they are flushing, a recent study suggests that around 86% of the plastic running through rivers was coming from a single continent—Asia. An estimated 1.15 to 2.41 million tonnes (1.27 to 2.66 million metric tons) of plastic waste enters rivers every year, around one-fifth of the total plastic in the sea from coastal populations worldwide, according to a study published in Nature on June 7...”

Photo credit: “Heading out.” (EPA/Sebastiao Moreira)
Renewables Provided a Record 10% of U.S. Power in March. Bloomberg Markets has details: “Wind and solar energy accounted for more than 10 percent of U.S. power generation for the first time in March following a record year for clean energy development. Wind farms in Texas, Oklahoma and elsewhere accounted for 8 percent of electric generation, while residential and commercial solar installations provided about 2 percent, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a statement Wednesday…”

Forget Coal, Solar Will Soon Be Cheaper Than Natural Gas Power. Look at the trends, argues a post at ThinkProgress: “The staggering drop in the cost of clean energy has already upended the global power market over the past two decades — and that trend will only continue for the next two decades, according to new analysis from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). As a result, renewables will capture the lion’s share of the $10.2 trillion the world will invest in new power generation by 2040, BNEF projects in its annual New Energy Outlook 2017 report. Despite years of plummeting prices for renewables, BNEF projects that over the next two decades, the cost of solar power will still drop another two-thirds, onshore wind costs will be cut nearly in half, and offshore wind costs will drop a stunning 71 percent…”

Graphic credit: BNEF New Energy Outlook 2017

At Xcel Energy, We’ll Stay on a Clean Energy Path. My thanks to Xcel Chairman and CEO Ben Fowke for brightening my day; here’s an excerpt of an Op-Ed at Star Tribune: “…Power companies like Xcel Energy are leading the way toward a clean energy future. As an industry, electric utilities already have reduced carbon emissions by 25 percent since 2005. The Paris agreement would have required a reduction of 26 to 28 percent by 2025. Our industry is reducing carbon emissions and doing so 10 years in advance of international agreements. All CEOs are proud of their companies, and I am no exception. Last year, Xcel Energy achieved a 30-percent reduction in carbon emissions, and we are on track to reduce our emissions by 45 percent by 2021 companywide. Our reductions are the result of remarkable changes in how we produce energy. Back in 2005, 9 percent of our energy came from renewable sources. In 2016 it was 25 percent, and by 2021 we project it will be more than 40 percent...”

Photo credit: “Xcel Energy’s renewable energy sources include the 100-megawatt North Star Solar project near North Branch, Minn.” Brian Peterson – Star Tribune file.

How Electric Vehicles Can Help Cities Like Houston Fight Climate Change. Here’s a nugget from an Op-Ed at The Houston Chronicle: “…Thirty cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston, are seeking bulk-rate deals on electric vehicles. They’ve asked manufacturers to submit bids to supply up to 114,000 electric vehicles, ranging from police cruisers to trash haulers, at a total cost of roughly $10 billion. This surge in electric vehicle sales could make them more affordable — not just for cities but for the rest of us, too. That’s because emerging technologies typically get cheaper as production increases. A study by researchers from the Stockholm Environment Institute estimates that electric car batteries prices fall by 6 percent to 9 percent every time production doubles. Some analysts forecast that as soon as 2025, electric cars will become cheaper than gasoline-powered cars. In some cases, they are already cheaper to own and operate over the vehicle’s lifetime, our research has shown. If cities help ramp up demand for electric cars faster than anticipated, this transition could happen even faster...”

Will Replacing Human Drivers With Self-Driving Cars Be Safer? Fortune speculates (as much as I can’t see myself giving up on driving anytime soon – I suspect the experts are right). Our grandkids won’t think twice about taking a driverless (electric) vehicle to work, ride-sharing along the way: “U.S. cities will look a lot different in 20 years, at least when it comes to public transportation. That’s according to Bryan Salesky, the CEO of the self-driving car company Argo AI, which became a Ford Motor subsidiary after the auto giant said in February it would invest $1 billion in the startup. The rise of self-driving cars will usher a “much safer mode of transportation” by “removing the human from the loop,” Salesky said on Wednesday at the Rutberg FM technology conference in Half Moon Bay, Calif. Human drivers are more prone to distractions and errors in their judgment compared to autonomous cars in the future, Salesky believes...”

Image credit: BMW and Business Insider.

Rural America Is Stranded in the Dial-Up Age. Which makes it hard to attract new (information-related) companies and jobs. Is cheap satellite-delivered internet delivery the answer? Here’s an excerpt from The Wall Street Journal: “…In many rural communities, where available broadband speed and capacity barely surpass old-fashioned dial-up connections, residents sacrifice not only their online pastimes but also chances at a better living. In a generation, the travails of small-town America have overtaken the ills of the city, and this technology disconnect is both a cause and a symptom. Counties without modern internet connections can’t attract new firms, and their isolation discourages the enterprises they have: ranchers who want to buy and sell cattle in online auctions or farmers who could use the internet to monitor crops. Reliance on broadband includes any business that uses high-speed data transmission, spanning banks to insurance firms to factories…”
Quantum Entanglement, Science’s “Spookiest” Phenomenon, Achieved in Space. I don’t pretend to fully understand it, but it reminds us we don’t know what we don’t know. Here’s a clip from The Washington Post: “Imagine you are a photon, a packet of light. You are a tiny blip of energy, hurtling through the universe on your own. But you have a twin, another photon to whom you have been intimately connected since the day you were born. Now matter what distance separates you, be it the width of a lab bench or the breadth of the universe, you mirror each other. Whatever happens to your twin instantaneously affects you, and vice versa. You are like the mouse siblings in “An American Tail”, wrenched apart by fate but feeling the same feelings and singing the same song beneath the same glowing moon. This is quantum entanglement…”

Photo credit: “A view of the Milky Way during the Perseid Meteor Shower. Also in space: a satellite where scientists are producing entangled photons and beaming them back to Earth.” (Daniel Reinhardt/EPA)
Sweden’s Museum of Failure Highlights Products That Have Flopped. If you’re not failing it might mean that you’re not really trying. Here’s an excerpt from The Washington Post: “Green Heinz ketchup? Fat-free Pringles? Colgate frozen lasagna? You don’t need to be an expert to know these products weren’t successful. Which is why these creations, with dozens of others, feature in the new Museum of Failure, a wacky parade of rejected products from years gone by set up in the Swedish town of Helsingborg. It’s the brainchild of 43-year-old curator and clinical psychologist Samuel West. The idea came to him while on vacation, and he quickly purchased the Internet domain name. West later realized he had accidentally misspelled “museum” — a sure sign the project would succeed…”

Photo credit: “Samuel West, curator of the Museum of Failure, holds a bottle of Heinz ‘Green Sauce’ ketchup at the Museum of Failure in Helsingborg, Sweden. West has put together a collection of failed products that also includes Fat-Free Pringles potato chips and a frozen lasagna by toothpaste maker Colgate.” (James Brooks/AP).

Hong Kong Parking Spot Sells for Record $664,300. Good grief, a new record for wretched excess? Bloomberg reports: “Hong Kong just set another property-price record. This time, it was for a parking space. A 188-square-foot space on Hong Kong island sold for HK$5.18 million ($664,300), or HK$27,500 a square foot, last month, newspaper Ming Pao reported Wednesday, citing land registration records. The car park cost more than some Hong Kong homes: Centaline Property data shows a HK$4.2 million sale of a 284-square-foot, two-bedroom home in Sha Tin, in the New Territories, in April...”

Photo credit: Trip Advisor.
7% of Americans Believe Chocolate Milk Comes From Brown Cows. Wait, you mean it doesn’t? Here’s a head-shaking clip from The Washington Post: “Seven percent of all American adults believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows, according to a nationally representative online survey commissioned by the Innovation Center of U.S. Dairy. If you do the math, that works out to 16.4 million misinformed, milk-drinking people. The equivalent of the population of Pennsylvania (and then some!) does not know that chocolate milk is milk, cocoa and sugar...”

Photo credit: ““Pumpkin,” a 7-month-old Guernsey cow who does not produce chocolate milk.” (The Washington Post).

TODAY: Some sun, PM showers and storms. Winds: SW 8-13. High: 78

SATURDAY NIGHT: Lingering showers, a few claps of thunder. Low: 60

SUNDAY: Windy and cooler, few showers and sprinkles. Winds: NW 10-20. High: 68

MONDAY: Sunny start, late day shower. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 56. High: 73

TUESDAY: More clouds than sun, less wind. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 59. High: 76

WEDNESDAY: Unsettled, passing shower possible. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 58. High: 75

THURSDAY: Hot and sticky. Few T-storms. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 62. High: 88

FRIDAY: Partly sunny, breezy, a bit cooler. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 60. High: 78

Climate Stories…

Small Change in Average, Big Change in Extremes. There is a strong and growing correlation between warming and more intense precipitation events and hotter heat waves, as explained at Climate Central: “…To understand what’s happening, we need to get a little geeky and take you back to Stats class. The classic bell curve represents the distribution of all temperatures at a location. The bulk of temperatures — those close to average — sit near the middle of the curve. Record temperatures, which are rare, sit on the fringes, with hot on right and cold on the left. As the world warms from the increase in greenhouse gases, the whole curve shifts to the warmer side, the right. This shift results in a large jump in the number of extremely hot days and a drop in the number of extremely cool days. It also means heat records are more likely to be set than cold records. And it is these extremes that impact our lives…”

A GOP Congressman Is Forging Ahead on Climate Action. Climate Central reports: “…But he’s also staking his political reputation on solving an issue nearly verboten in the Republican-controlled Congress: climate change. He’s called President Trump’s decision to yank the U.S. from the Paris Agreement a mistake, introduced legislation to combat climate impacts and helped create a bipartisan caucus all aimed at dialing back the partisanship around one of the most pressing problems not just in the U.S., but in the world. Whether he succeeds — or survives the 2018 midterms for that matter — is very much up in the air, but his work represents one of the few efforts toward climate action by Republicans on the national stage. “For me, this is a local issue,” Curbelo told Climate Central last month. “Most of the people in my district live near sea level and near the sea. That’s how it first caught my attention. Then I started doing my own research, I had a very enlightening meeting with NOAA experts, and I realized it’s one of the greatest challenges…”

Photo credit: “Carlos Curbelo speaking at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.” Credit: Gage Skidmore/flickr.

Scientists Stunned by Antarctic Rainfall and a Melt Area Bigger Than Texas. Chris Mooney reports at The Washington Post: “Scientists have documented a recent, massive melt event on the surface of highly vulnerable West Antarctica that, they fear, could be a harbinger of future events as the planet continues to warm. In the Antarctic summer of 2016, the surface of the Ross Ice Shelf, the largest floating ice platform on Earth, developed a sheet of meltwater that lasted for as long as 15 days in some places. The total area affected by melt was 300,000 square miles, or larger than the state of Texas, the scientists report. That’s bad news because surface melting could work hand in hand with an already documented trend of ocean-driven melting to compromise West Antarctica, which contains over 10 feet of potential sea level rise…”

Map credit: “Number of days in January 2016 when surface melt was detected from passive microwave satellite observations.” (Julien Nicolas).

Houston Fears Climate Change Will Cause Catastrophic Flooding. “It’s Not If – It’s When”. The Guardian reports: “…The Texas metropolis has more casualties and property loss from floods than any other locality in the US, according to data stretching back to 1960 that Brody researched with colleagues. And, he said: “Where the built environment is a main force exacerbating the impacts of urban flooding, Houston is number one and it’s not even close.” Near the Gulf coast, Houston is also at annual risk from hurricanes: it is now into the start of the 2017 season, which runs from June to November. Ike, the last hurricane to hit the Houston region, caused $34bn in damage and killed 112 people across several states in September 2008. There is little hope the situation is going to get better any time soon…”

File photo credit: “Houston has more casualties and property loss from floods than any other locality in the US.” Photograph: David J Phillip/AP.
Climate Change Deniers Aren’t Tired of Winning Yet. A story at New Republic traces the playbook for those with a vested interest in climate-related misinformation: “…But two months in, some prominent members of the denier community began to worry. “We have a problem,” Ebell said at a March conference for the Heartland Institute, an organization dedicated to discrediting climate science. “Swamp creatures are still [at the White House]. They are trying to infiltrate the administration. And some of them are succeeding.” Alarmed by Trump’s indecision on Paris, Ebell’s organization—the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which is partly funded by coal companies—began running television ads pressuring Trump to exit. Paris wasn’t the only issue raising alarms, as several members of Ebell’s EPA transition team expressed concerns about Pruitt. They complained that he wasn’t speaking strongly enough against climate science; wasn’t acting quickly enough to repeal regulations; and had not acted to undo the EPA’s categorization of carbon dioxide as a pollutant. Breitbart’s James Delingpole—one of the most prolific anti-environmentalist trolls on the internet—tore into Pruitt and Trump for not being aggressive enough in rejecting climate science, and even suggested Pruitt consider resigning…”

315 Gigatons of Man-Made CO2; Half Of That Released Since 1986. A new paper at Climate Change caught my eye; here’s an excerpt of the abstract: “This paper presents a quantitative analysis of the historic fossil fuel and cement production records of the 50 leading investor-owned, 31 state-owned, and 9 nation-state producers of oil, natural gas, coal, and cement from as early as 1854 to 2010. This analysis traces emissions totaling 914 GtCO2e—63 % of cumulative worldwide emissions of industrial CO2 and methane between 1751 and 2010—to the 90 “carbon major” entities based on the carbon content of marketed hydrocarbon fuels (subtracting for non-energy uses), process CO2 from cement manufacture, CO2 from flaring, venting, and own fuel use, and fugitive or vented methane. Cumulatively, emissions of 315 GtCO2e have been traced to investor-owned entities, 288 GtCO2e to state-owned enterprises, and 312 GtCO2e to nation-states. Of these emissions, half has been emitted since 1986...”

File photo: Billy Wilson, flickr.

E-mails Reiterate EPA Chief’s Ties to Fossil Fuel Interests. Here’s an excerpt from the AP: “Newly obtained emails underscore just how closely Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt coordinated with fossil fuel companies while serving as Oklahoma’s state attorney general, a position in which he frequently sued to block federal efforts to curb planet-warming carbon emissions. The latest batch of Pruitt’s emails, provided to The Associated Press on Thursday, runs more than 4,000 pages. They include schedules and lists of speaking engagements from the years before Pruitt became the nation’s top environmental watchdog, recounting dozens of meetings between Pruitt, members of his staff, and executives and lobbyists from the coal, oil and gas industries. Many of the calendar entries were blacked out, making it impossible for the public to know precisely where Pruitt traveled or with whom he met…”
Water and U.S. National Security. People can live without a lot of things, but water isn’t one of them. You think mass migrations are overwhelming now? Give it a few years. Here’s a post at War Room, at the United States Army War College: “…Fresh water has long been a vital and necessary natural resource, and it has long been a source of tension, a military tool, and a target during war. The links between water and conflict have been the subject of extensive analysis for several decades, beginning with the development of the literature on “environmental security” and water conflicts in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In coming years, new factors, including rising populations, industrial and agricultural demand for water, human-induced climate change, and political uncertainties make it increasingly urgent that solutions to water tensions be found and implemented. The failure to address water problems through diplomacy will lead to new and growing security risks, including for the U.S. The U.S. and its allies must develop and employ a wide variety of instruments to reduce instability and the risk of conflict related to growing water problems, before military intervention is needed...”
Climate Change in Schools Where It’s “Fake News”. Turns out in many school districts the kids should be teaching the teachers, at least when it comes to climate science. CNN.com reports: “…Although 97% of climate scientists agree that global warming is linked to the burning of fossil fuels, a majority of middle and high school teachers are not aware of this consensus. Many of these teachers teach climate change as if it were an ongoing debate within the scientific community. This disconnect between scientists and educators was captured in a recent survey (PDF) by the National Center for Science Education, a nonprofit that works to promote science over ideology. “Our survey found that relatively few teachers had even a college course that devoted as much as a single class to climate change,” said Glenn Branch, the center’s deputy director, who notes that many teachers present misinformation about climate change or avoid teaching it entirely…”

File image: Shutterstock.

Delray (Florida) To Put Climate Change at Forefront: “The Waters Are Coming”. Here’s an excerpt from PalmBeachPost.com: “…Miami Beach will soon embark on an ambitious $100 million project to raise roads, install pumps and water mains and redo sewer connections to combat flooding, according to the Miami Herald. That could be in store for Delray Beach a decade down the line, commissioners said. The effects of rising tides are already presenting themselves in Delray Beach, according to city staff. Delray’s Marina Historic District along the Intracoastal Waterway sees damaging floods during high tides. And the city’s freshwater aquifers have already experienced saltwater intrusion that will require action within a year, said John Morgan, who heads the city’s environmental services department. The city is planning both long-term and immediate actions to adapt to global climate change...”

File photo: Lynne Sladky, AP.
The Dutch Have Solutions to Rising Seas. The World is Watching. It’s both a threat – and an opportunity. Here’s an excerpt from The New York Times: “…Mr. Ovink is the country’s globe-trotting salesman in chief for Dutch expertise on rising wawter and climate change. Like cheese in  France or cars in Germany, climate change is a business in the Netherlands. Month in, month out, delegations fromm as far away as Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, New York and New Orleans make the rounds in the port city of Rotterdam. They often end up hiring Dutch firms, which dominate the global market in high-tech engineering and water management...”

Photo credit: Josh Haner.

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