Forecast Calls for Two Marches in a Row

I’m befuddled. Should I talk about tornado safety or Alberta Clippers and wind chill? Is it late March or late February? The pattern appears stuck, at least looking out 2 weeks. We just won’t shake a cold, Canadian flow anytime soon.

30-year climate data shows an average of 2.5 inches of snow at MSP during April. My gut is informing me that we may see more than that in 2018. The first week of April will feel more like early March, with 30s, slushy clippers, maybe teens for lows late next week.

No crocus or daffodils anytime soon, at this rate. And nature may be stuck in a state of extended hibernation until the latter half of April.

Why so chilly? Jet stream steering winds over North America are weak, allowing cold air to dip south with unusual regularity. Wet snow may slush up roads Friday night; again Wednesday of next week. The coldest air arrives late next week, when a heavy jacket may not be heavy enough.

At some point a higher sun angle will overcome these jabs of chilling air and spring will bust out, however reluctantly. Soak up low 50s today; a hint of what’s to come!

Snowy Stripe. Stratus clouds eventually pushed into Wisconsin with afternoon clearing, revealing the snow on the ground from Friday’s storm. Visible image: AerisWeather.

Insert Creative Expletive Here. I don’t place much stock in the snowfall forecast above – yet, but there is a potential for slushy accumulation, especially central Minnesota, late Friday into Saturday morning. It may even be plowable in spots. Stay tuned. 12km NAM data: NOAA and

A Cruel April Fool’s Joke. Easter or Groundhog Day? I’m so confused, and apparently the atmosphere is too. Enjoy low 50s today, because we cool down later in the week and by Easter Sunday we may be lucky to see freezing. Thankfully, the sun is too high in the sky for it to stay annoyingly cold for long. Twin Cities ECMWF numbers: WeatherBell.

Slow Moderation Second Week of April. I can’t promise a streak of 60s and 70s anytime soon, but consistent 40s and 50s would be nice, and that should happen by the second week of April as unnaturally cold air finally retreats north into Canada. No bugs or tornadoes anytime soon. Great news, right?

Winter Snowfall To Date. Everything shaded red is 4 feet or more since last September; 10 foot snowfall amounts are common downwind of the great Lakes from near Erie to Rochester and Watertown, New York. Every state, including the Panhandle of Florida, saw some snow accumulation this past winter.

Snow Water Equivalent. There is still 4-6″ of liquid water trapped in the snowpack near Duluth and over the Arrowhead, with 2-4″ over much of central and southwestern Minnesota. Heavy rain coupled with rapid warming coupled with lingering frost in the ground might result in an enhanced river flooding scenario. I don’t see those ingredients converging anytime soon as a cool bias lingers into at least the first week of April. Map credit: NOAA NOHRSC.

1998 St. Peter Tornado Stirs Up Memories for Some, is a History Lesson to Others. Mankato Free Press reminds us of the atmosphere havoc over southern Minnesota nearly 20 years ago; here are a few excerpts: “…It was a storm with a strength uncommon for March. There were high temperatures, humidity and strong upper winds creating the perfect mix for a severe thunderstorm said Mark Seeley, a University of Minnesota climatologist and meteorologist…More than 3,000 buildings were damaged or destroyed by the tornadoes. Every single building on Gustavus’ campus was damaged, and more than 80 percent of the windows were broken, but few students were on campus because it was spring break…Six-year-old Dustin Schneider was killed when his family’s van was swept from the road near St. Peter, and 85-year-old Louis Mosenden died from injuries he sustained when the storm hit his farmhouse in Hanska. There were more than 30 people injured by the storm…”

The Twin Cities office of the National Weather Service has more details on the March 29, 1998 outbreak.

St. Peter to Commemorate 20th Anniversary of 1998 Tornado. Gustavus Adolphus College reports: “At 5:29 p.m. on March 29, 1998, an F-3 tornado ripped through Saint Peter, Minn., causing more than $120 million in damages, destroying approximately 400 homes, and taking the life of one boy. By 9 p.m., the American Red Cross was setting up shelters in the broken community, eventually bringing in 600 workers from 32 states and serving over 40,000 meals as the town worked to recover. More than 10,000 people volunteered to help the Saint Peter community cleanup and rebuild following the tornado, which was part of a record-breaking March supercell thunderstorm that spawned 14 tornadoes in Minnesota…”

File photo credit: Gustavus Adolphus College Archive.

This Man Risked His Life to Study Tornadoes – Until One Killed Him. Tim Samaras was an amazingly prolific scientist, but he was also a really good guy – the kind of guy you’d want to have a beer with. That’s why the meteorology community is still reeling from his death. Here’s an excerpt from The New York Post: “For centuries, humans were almost completely powerless to predict when and where a tornado might strike. By the late 20th century, researchers were able to probe the outer edges of the violent storm systems but still had no idea what took place inside their core. In a new biography, “The Man Who Caught the Storm: The Life of Legendary Tornado Chaser Tim Samaras” (Simon & Schuster), journalist Brantley Hargrove profiles the self-taught inventor who handed weather scientists one of their most significant breakthroughs — then recreates the epic storm that took his life at 55…”

Photo credit: “Fearless tornado chaser Tim Samaras also was a pioneer in storm research.” Carsten Peter/National Geographic.

Road Trip: On the Trail of a Tornado. Air&Space takes a look at researchers, like Tim Samaras, who are collecting data out in the field to learn more about what makes tornadoes tick: “…Tornadoes here are not like their cousins to the west. They’re more likely to come at night, for one thing. At night, approaching funnel clouds are difficult to spot—a challenge even in daylight, because Alabama is much hillier and more thickly forested than, say, Oklahoma—and people who are at home asleep are less likely to receive and act upon a message to seek shelter, even if a dangerous storm is detected in advance. In the first two years, investigators in the collaborating institutions monitored weather and determined observing periods. Once triggering conditions appeared, the team would scramble to make the 700-mile road trip from Purdue to Huntsville before the storms began. The observing periods generally last only about eight to 12 hours—a narrow window...”

Photo credit: “Purdue storm chaser Andrew Arnold watches a developing supercell in southern Kansas. His 2009 work was part of an earlier VORTEX project, which studied the “tornado alley” storms in the U.S. midwest.” (Ryan McGinnis)

The “Nightmare” California Flood More Dangerous than a Huge Earthquake. The Los Angeles Times reports: “…Eighty years ago this month, epic storms over just six days caused widespread destruction across Southern California. Rain fell as fast as 2 inches for a one-hour period. Wide swaths of the San Fernando Valley were inundated; floodwaters in the Los Angeles River mowed down bridges and pulled apart railroads. Government officials responded with a major flood control campaign, building dams and deepening rivers and lining them with concrete to flush water out to sea before floodwaters could rise. But even those protections have limits. And history shows there is precedent for even more devastation. Several weeks of monumental storms would be all it would take to overwhelm California’s flood control system and cause widespread flooding and destruction…”

Image credit: “California has a risk of widespread flooding that could transform parts of the state into an inland sea.” (Los Angeles Times).

Multiple Strands of Evidence – Severe Weather is Increasing, Worldwide. Here’s an excerpt of a post I wrote for one of the companies I’m involved with, AerisWeather: “It’s definitely not your grandfather’s weather anymore. Data suggest an uptick in severe weather, worldwide – symptomatic of a warming atmosphere and warming oceans. It’s basic physics: every 2F of warming means roughly 8 percent more water vapor floating overhead; more fuel to “juice” storms and produce heavier summer rains and winter snows. The result has been a subsequent increase in billion-dollar weather events across the United States since 1980. The United States has experienced 25 separate 500-year floods since 2010, according to NOAA. During Hurricane Harvey, the town of Nederland, Texas received 64.58” of rain. By some accounts, Harvey unleashed a million gallons of water for every man, woman, and child in Texas. But it’s not just warm season rains falling with greater intensity. Blizzards are becoming supersized as well. Data shows extreme regional snowstorms were twice as common from 1961 to 2010 than from 1900 to 1960…”

Half of All U.S. Coal Plants Would Lose Money Without Regulation. A story at Bloomberg Markets is worth a read – here’s a story link and excerpt: “It’s long been clear that U.S. coal plants are struggling. A study released Monday shows how much — concluding that barely half earned enough revenue last year to cover their operating expenses. Power grids may face “massive” upheaval as more uneconomic plants close, according to the report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The problem is particularly bad in Florida, Georgia and elsewhere in the Southeast, where the distance from major coal mines drives up prices. The study examined the monthly economic performance of every U.S. coal plant in operation since 2012. Still, many coal plants manage to shield themselves from economics. About 95 percent of those with operating expenses exceeding revenue operate in regions where regulators set rates, the study found…”

Photo credit: “Cooling towers are reflected in a puddle at a coal-fired power plant in West Virginia.” Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg.

How Trump Favored Texas Over Puerto Rico. Politico reports: “…A POLITICO review of public documents, newly obtained FEMA records and interviews with more than 50 people involved with disaster response indicates that the Trump administration — and the president himself — responded far more aggressively to Texas than to Puerto Rico. “We have the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. We go anywhere, anytime we want in the world,” bemoaned retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, who led the military’s relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina. “And [in Puerto Rico] we didn’t use those assets the way they should have been used.” No two hurricanes are alike, and Harvey and Maria were vastly different storms that struck areas with vastly different financial, geographic and political situations. But a comparison of government statistics relating to the two recovery efforts strongly supports the views of disaster-recovery experts that FEMA and the Trump administration exerted a faster, and initially greater, effort in Texas, even though the damage in Puerto Rico exceeded that in Houston…”

Hurricane Harvey file image courtesy of Marcus Yam, Los Angeles Times.

COAL: Headlines and links via Climate Nexus: “Half of all US coal plants would lose money without regulation (Bloomberg), federal lease sale fails to impress, but nets $10 million for Wyoming despite concerns over sage grouse, historic sites (Casper Star-Tribune), coal tycoon governor Jim Justice uses loophole to leave mines and workers idle (Climate Home), Washington to hear from coal country in Clean Power Plan meeting Tuesday in Wyoming (Casper Star-Tribune), India weighs operating stressed coal plants via state-run firms.” (Bloomberg)

File image: Reuters.

Study: Wind and Solar Can Power Most of the United States. University of St. Thomas professor John Abraham writes for The Guardian; here’s a clip: “…Fortunately, these two sources of energy fluctuate in ways that complement each other. For instance, solar power generation is highest in the summer and lowest in the winter. Wind power is greatest in the spring and fall. Wind turbines work at night when solar panels are dormant. So, can these complementing variations help balance out the power that the two technologies can provide? This question was addressed in a very recent paper published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science. The author list included Dr. Ken Caldeira, who is extremely well known for his years of work in environmental science and energy. The authors analyzed 36 years of hourly weather data (1980–2015) in the US. They calculated the available wind and solar power over this time period and also included the electrical demand in the US and its variation throughout the year…”

File image: Shutterstock.

The Cambridge Analytica Data Apocalypse Was Predicted in 2007. Here’s a clip from a story at “…Possibly even more disturbing than the idea that Cambridge Analytica tried to steal an election—something lots of people say probably isn’t possible—is the role of scientists in facilitating the ethical breakdowns behind it. When Zeynep Tufekci argues that what Facebook does with people’s personal data is so pervasive and arcane that people can’t possibly give informed consent to it, she’s employing the language of science and medicine. Scientists are supposed to have acquired, through painful experience, the knowledge of how to treat human subjects in their research. Because it can go terribly wrong. Here’s what’s worse: The scientists warned us about big data and corporate surveillance. They tried to warn themselves…”

I downloaded 14 Years of my Facebook Data and Here’s What Happened. A story at caught my eye: “…Facebook has an impeccable memory. After downloading my stored data on the site — I’ve been a member since 2004 — I was presented with an enormous amount of personal details that have been collected about me over the years. It had the phone number of my late grandmother who never had a Facebook account, or even an email address. It preserved the conversations I had with an ex– someone with whom I thought I had deleted my digital ties. It even recalled times I was “poked,” a feature I had forgotten about. I also learned that Kate Spade New York and MetLife have me on their advertiser lists. Staring at the data was not only creepy but it drudged up painful memories…”

Facebook Call, Text Message Data For Years From Android Phones. Ars Technica has a rather distressing post: “[Update, March 25, 2018, 20:24 Eastern Time]: Facebook has responded to this and other reports regarding the collection of call and SMS data with a blog post that denies Facebook collected call data surreptitiously. The company also writes that it never sells the data and that users are in control of the data uploaded to Facebook. This “fact check” contradicts several details Ars found in analysis of Facebook data downloads and testimony from users who provided the data. More on the Facebook response is appended to the end of the original article below. This past week, a New Zealand man was looking through the data Facebook had collected from him in an archive he had pulled down from the social networking site. While scanning the information Facebook had stored about his contacts, Dylan McKay discovered something distressing: Facebook also had about two years’ worth of phone call metadata from his Android phone, including names, phone numbers, and the length of each call made or received…”

How to Reduce Your Exposure on Facebook, or Cut Ties Altogether. The Wall Street Journal reports: “You’re fed up with Facebook . FB -5.67% It’s understandable. An outside developer violated the social network’s policies and shared the data of tens of millions of users with people he shouldn’t have. This isn’t the first time users have felt betrayed by the company, and a lot are feeling like this could be the final straw. The hashtag #deletefacebook has been trending on Twitter . Deleting your account is an option, but just know: It’s more complicated than just clicking a button. There are other ways to cope, if you’re conflicted about your relationship. From scaling back your account activity and Facebook’s data collection to full-on deletion, these are your options...”

Image credit: “Facebook’s data privacy scandal has driven many to contemplate ditching the social network for good. WSJ’s Katherine Bindley explains how, and suggests some non-permanent alternatives.” Photo illustration: iStock

Carnage Followed the First Automobile. How Many Deaths Will We Accept from Self-Driving Cars? Quartz has an interesting post; here are a couple of excerpts: “…Ultimately, experts tell us, autonomous vehicles will be safer, cheaper, and more convenient. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates 103 people are killed in the US in motor-vehicle accidents every day, and more than 94% of crashes are due to driver error (pdf). Autonomous vehicle could virtually eliminate a entire category of lethal crashes…States finally began requiring driver’s licenses in the 1930s. And only by the 1960s did systematic motor-vehicle safety efforts such as seatbelts arrived nationwide, along with the formation of federal agencies charged with enforcing standards. Change was slow to come, but it brought the death rate from around 25 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in 1921 to around 1.18 in 2016—a 93% drop…”

The Third Education Revolution. Prepare for a career of lifelong learning as we work side by side with increasingly intelligent machines, argues a post at The Atlantic: “Now a third wave in education and training has arrived, argue economists, educators, and workforce-development officials. The level of preparation that worked in the first two waves—adding more time to education early in life—does not seem sufficient in the 21st-century economy. Instead the third wave is likely to be marked by continual training throughout a person’s lifetime—to keep current in a career, to learn how to complement rising levels of automation, and to gain skills for new work. Workers will likely consume this lifelong learning in short spurts when they need it, rather than in lengthy blocks of time as they do now when it often takes months or years to complete certificates and degrees. With this third wave will come a shift in how workers perceive retraining, said Brent Parton, deputy director of the Center on Education and Skills at the think tank New America….”

Illustration credit: Corey Brickley.

Why TV Advertising May Be Headed Toward a Cliff. Baclays explains the shift in ad dollars now underway and potential tipping points in the near future: “In 2016, for the first time, digital advertising spend surpassed that of television. The shift was inevitable – the surprise is that it took this long to happen. After all, TV viewership has declined for years, and the internet promises the ability to target consumers on a virtually individual basis. Still, for TV advertising, the levee has mostly held: buoyed by unmatched audience reach and a long-entrenched and relatively simple ad buying process, television can still deliver an audience like no other medium…for now. At some point, the internet will, without qualification, displace TV. And when that happens, there will be little warning...”

Understanding Speed and Velocity: Saying “NO” to the Non-Essential. A post at Farnam Street resonated; here’s a clip: “…Certainly, offers of work are good problems to have. A lot of people struggle to find work, and here I was, a few weeks out of university, saying no to my boss. But saying yes to everything is a quick road to mediocrity. I took a two-thirds pay cut to work for the government so I could work with incredibly smart people on a very narrow skill (think cyber). I was willing to go all in. So no, I wasn’t going say yes to things that didn’t help me hone the craft I’d given up so much to work on. “Instead of asking how many tasks you can tackle given your working hours,” writes Morten Hansen in Great at Work, “ask how many you can ditch given what you must do to excel.” I did what I needed to do to keep my job. As John Stuart Mill said, “as few as you can, as many as you must.” Doing more isn’t always moving you ahead. To see why, let’s go back to first-year physics…”

The Life Issue. Although it’s still true that there’s a high probability none of us will be able to cheat death, life “hacks” will make it easier to live a longer, high-quality life. has a great issue on this – here’s a link to some of the highlights: “Before we get too far into an entire issue about how science and technology are extending, optimizing, and disrupting every stage of human life, let’s get the bad news out of the way: Despite the efforts of humanity’s greatest minds, we’ve yet to find a way of perpetuating physical vitality or individual consciousness indefinitely. As of this writing, it appears that each of us, sooner or later, will die. It’s the sooner or later, though—the stuff between conception and death—that is a moving target. We’re continuously adapting to technology as technology is adapting to us. Geneticists and biotechnologists are reengineering our bodies. Ubiquitous screens, apps, VR devices, and social media are transforming how we experience the world. We are a species rewritten, so it’s time for us to chronicle how that’s playing out for each generation…”

Starbucks at Yosemite? Say it isn’t so. But according to The Guardian skinny lattes have come to Yosemite: “Starbucks (sans exterior signage) has opened in Yosemite, part of a major remodel inside the 128-year-old national park. The convenient caffeine has spurred controversy. To many, however, the Starbucks represents a trend of encroaching commercialism inside one of the nation’s most beloved natural landmarks. That’s why more than 25,000 people petitioned to stop it from opening last week.  “I understand that they are trying to improve the infrastructure and make it better than it used to be,” Freddy Brewster, a former Yosemite trail guide who started the petition, told the Guardian. “But it is representative of what our culture is becoming...”

Photo credit: “Australian visitor Tom Collin sips a coffee from the new Starbucks at Yosemite, part of a major remodeling effort inside the 128-year-old national park.” Photograph: Gabrielle Canon for the Guardian.

A Wendy’s Rap Mixtape? Oh hell, why not. Stream it now on Spotify! Here’s a clip from Eatery: “…Some Twitter users are noting that the mixtape goes hard AF (may as well lean into the millennial-focused language since Wendy’s is so thirsty for the generation). Shots are taken at burger competitors such as McDonald’s, Burger King, even Shake Shack. We Beefin? is essentially the musical version of Wendy’s social media personality: mean as hell and proud of it. But logging on and wading through the cesspool that is the modern internet every day wears on the psyche. There’s enough vitriol and pettiness and negative thought coming from and going in all directions without a fast-food chain making digital headlines every time it lobs some disparaging remarks. The campaign has inspired other #brands to look to the dark side — some aggressive, some nihilistic. This isn’t good for anyone, and Wendy’s cantankerous strategy isn’t even resulting in a sales boost. So, what’s the point?…”

48 F. maximum temperature yesterday in the Twin Cities.

47 F. average high on March 27.

61 F. high on March 27, 2017.

March 28, 1924: A drought is broken with style in southern Minnesota as up to 25 inches of snow falls

WEDNESDAY: Partly sunny, mild. Winds: SW 10-15. High: 52

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy. Low: 28

THURSDAY: Plenty of sun, cooler breeze. Winds: NW 8-13. High: 44

FRIDAY: Cloudy, mix or wet snow late? Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 27. High: near 40

SATURDAY: Snow tapers early, cold wind kicks in. Winds: NW 15-30. Wake-up: 25. High: 38

EASTER SUNDAY: Partly sunny, brisk. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 20. High: 36

MONDAY: Clouds increase, trending milder. Winds: SW 8-13. Wake-up: 26. High: 45

TUESDAY: Peeks of sun, cooling off again. Winds: N 10-15. Wake-up: 30. High: 41

Climate Stories…

Canada’s Outdoor Rinks Are Melting. So Is a Way of Life. The Boston Globe reports: “…Climate change is warming the Northern Hemisphere rapidly, largely because of the greenhouse gases that humans have put into the atmosphere since the beginning of the industrial age. McLeman, with Colin Robertson, both associate professors of geography at Wilfrid Laurier, created Rink Watch, a citizen science project that has enlisted more than 1,500 backyard rink owners like Williams — about 80 percent of them in Canada — to report skating conditions daily. Climate change does not mean the immediate end of cold weather, as recent nor’easters have shown, but it is putting a squeeze on outdoor skating, a deep part of this country’s cultural identity. Irregular freezing weather is not enough for a good outdoor rink; consistency is key...”

Photo credit: “The Williams family’s melting backyard ice rink in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.” Aaron Vincent Elkaim/The New York Times.

Shell – Yes, That Shell – Just Outlined a Radical Scenario For What It Would Take to Halt Climate Change. Here’s an excerpt from The Washington Post: “…The scenario, which finds the world in a net-zero emissions state by 2070, is based on the idea that “a simple extension of current efforts, whether efficiency mandates, modest carbon taxes, or renewable energy supports, is insufficient for the scale of change required,” the oil company document reads. “The relevant transformations in the energy and natural systems require concurrent climate policy action and the deployment of disruptive new technologies at mass scale within government policy environments that strongly incentivize investment and innovation.” The company also cautioned that Sky is only a scenario — a possible future dependent on many assumptions — not a reality that will definitely be realized...”

Teens are Marching for Justice. Next Up, Climate Change. Here’s a clip from a post at Grist: “…Thousands of people marched for gun control this past weekend — a movement energized, organized, and realized by America’s youth. Now, teenagers are taking on the ticking time bomb that disproportionately affects the world’s youngest generations. You know the one. In 2017, high school sophomore Jamie Margolin founded Zero Hour, a youth-led collective that aims to mobilize young voices in the fight against climate change. Since then, Zero Hour has grown into a full-fledged organization raising awareness about the urgency of climate action. The group is planning a march on July 21 in Washington, D.C., building on the Women’s March last January and the People’s Climate March in 2014. The march is using the hashtag #thisiszerohour...”

Who Should Pay for Climate Change? FiveThirtyEight has a good summary of the trial now underway in California: “…That very sea wall is at the heart of the court case — The People of the State of California v. BP P.L.C. et al. — that was the reason for Wednesday’s spectacle. The cities of Oakland and San Francisco are suing the five biggest fossil fuel companies on the planet — BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell — for billions of dollars for past damages and to prevent future flooding from sea level rise. Since the companies extracted fuel that altered the planet, the argument goes, they should pay for the consequences. It’s a modern version of “you break it, you buy it.” The oil companies have filed to dismiss the lawsuit on many grounds, including that it’s the government’s job to set and enforce carbon dioxide levels — not theirs…”

Photo credit: “Waves crash against a seawall along the Embarcadero in San Francisco in 2010.” Eric Risberg / AP.

U.S. Forests Caught Up in Climate Change Loop. A story at Futurity explains: “…The researchers based their findings on systematic forest inventories of trees in the eastern US from the 1980s to the 2000s. They looked specifically at forest biomass, tree species composition, and climate variability. The findings show that decades of changes in water deficit have reduced forest biomass, causing an influx of trees that are more tolerant to drought but slower growing. This shift results in significant changes in forest species composition with their accompanying ecological effects and, moreover, affects the capacity of forest biomass (the mass of living trees) to store carbon. Healthy forests play a key role in global ecosystems as they contain much of the terrestrial biodiversity on the planet and act as a net sink for capturing atmospheric carbon…”

Ski Resorts Fight Climate Change with Snow Guns and Buses. explains: “…Mountain snow isn’t just important for shredding; it also provides drinking water for urban dwellers and irrigates farmers’ fields. Those issues are front of mind for many municipalities, but after years of inaction, the ski industry itself is starting to take climate change seriously. Resorts are deploying new snow-making technology to adapt to unpredictable conditions, reducing the energy skiers use to get up the slopes, and even trying to alter customers’ habits. “Our snowpack has decreased, but I don’t think it’s going to disappear,” says Maura Olivos, sustainability coordinator at Utah’s Alta, which opened 80 years ago. In the future, Olivos says skiers might not be floating on as much fluffy pow...”

IMPACTS: From Climate Nexus: “A tale of two families recovering from Hurricane Harvey (Wall Street Journal $), hotting up: how climate change could swallow Louisiana’s Tabasco island (The Guardian), land degradation drives mass migration, climate change: experts.” (Reuters).

The Climate is Changing for Climate Skeptics. Here’s the intro to a post at Huffington Post: “Climate change skeptics may have outlived their usefulness to the fossil fuel industry. That was one of the key takeaways from a five-hour climate tutorial held Wednesday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. Judge William Alsup, who has a history of digging into the scientific and technical details of the cases before him, ordered the tutorial to better understand climate science before presiding over a case in which the cities of San Francisco and Oakland are suing the five largest fossil fuel companies ― ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, ConocoPhillips and Shell ― over the damages of climate change. Although both sides presented the science that would seem to most help their cases, it was clear that the age of discrediting climate science in general is over…”

Inside Exxon’s Climate Change Strategy. Axios has analysis and context: “ExxonMobil is betting on two costly technologies — carbon capture and biofuels — and overly optimistic data to drive its climate-change strategy.

Why it matters: As the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, Exxon is the face of America’s fight over climate change and fossil fuels. While other oil majors like Shell and BP are branching out to wind and solar, and investing in electrification technologies, Exxon has made its existing natural gas and liquid fuels business the focus of its climate strategy.

Exxon is at the center of lawsuits alleging big oil companies knew about and concealed the dangers of climate change for decades, and a record share of its investors have urged it to be more transparent about the risks climate poses to its business. That’s a trend proliferating within other publicly trading fossil-fuel companies...”

IMPACTS: Headlines and links courtesy of Climate Nexus: “Arctic sea ice missed a record low this winter–barely(New York Times $, AP, Vox), Arctic Ocean ice near record low for winter, boost for shipping (Reuters), a heat wave left Arctic sea ice near a record winter low–this town is paying the price (InsideClimate News), global CO2 emissions rise after Paris climate agreement signed.” (E&E)

In Alaska, a Town Threatened by Climate Change Gets Federal Funding to Relocate. Climate change refugees are already a reality in Alaska and coastal Louisiana, the tip of the (melting) iceberg. Here’s an excerpt from Think Progress: “The small coastal village of Newtok, Alaska has secured more than $15 million in funding to begin relocating households to safer ground inland. The funding is part of the $1.3 trillion spending bill signed Friday. This amount, however, is still just a fraction of what’s required to relocate the whole village. Located along the banks of the Ninglick River, the land on which the community of roughly 350 people lives has been eroding away since the late 1950s. They have been trying to relocate since 1994 but securing funding has remained elusive and the effects of climate change — sea level rise, stronger storms, and melting permafrost — have made the situation increasingly urgent...”