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Paul Douglas on Weather

Thunder Risk Today - Cooler Late Week - Another Hot Spike Next Week?

Puddle Potential Today - Then Cooling Off

“Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow” wrote William Pollard.

I just discovered that 88 percent of Fortune 500 companies around in 1955 no longer exist. The treadmill of innovation, computerization and creative destruction is increasing. Today's students need skills to succeed in jobs that don't even exist yet.

The reality: what worked in the 1980s probably won't work in the 2020s. It's a tough lesson, but if you don't disrupt yourself - someone will be happy to do it for you.

Computers have disrupted meteorologists with a need for fewer people, as access to data has increased exponentially.

A consensus of weather models predict heavy showers and T-storms today, followed by welcome cooling later in the week (highs in the 70s). A warm, quiet, drama-free weekend gives rise to more heat next week; a few more days in the 90s as early as Monday.

I'm not yet convinced we'll see an extended August heat wave; NOAA models bring a parade of cooler fronts into town within 1-2 weeks.


Today: Wettest Day of the Week. NOAA's 4km NAM pulls a pinwheel of showers and T-storms across the state today (00z NAM prints out .41" for the Twin Cities). Behind this disturbance a northeast breeze dries us out Thursday with a drop in temperature and dew point. Future radar: NOAA and AerisWeather.


Another Heat Spike Next  Week? ECMWF (European) guidance shows comfortable air overhead Thursday into Saturday, followed by another warming trend next week. 90 degrees is possible by Monday, likely by Tuesday with dew points surging into the 70s. Graphic: WeatherBell.


Hottest Weather: First Half of Next Week. NOAA models pull more 90s into Minnesota the first few days of next week; even mid to upper 90s by the middle of next week. Timing is still tricky, but another spell of stinking hot weather is quite possible before things cool off  late next week. Graphic: Aeris Enterprise.


For The First Time, Forecast Predicts Hotter-Than-Normal in Every Square Inch of the USA. And this is without an El Nino warm phase in the Pacific. Here's an excerpt from USA TODAY: "For the first time on record, every square inch of all 50 states is forecast to see above-average temperatures for the next three months, according to a forecast map from the federal government's Climate Prediction Center. An entire forecast map awash in the red and orange colors of unusually warm temperatures for a 3-month period is unprecedented, according to Dan Collins, a meteorologist with the prediction center. Typically parts of the map register blue, depicting the likelihood of cooler-than-normal air, or white for equal chances of cool and warm. The archives for the center's climate predictions go back to 1995, Collins said..."


Out of Control Wildfire Grows to More Than 33,000 Acres in Santa Clarita Valley. My oldest son, Walt, snapped the photo above as his flight was leaving Los Angeles Sunday evening. Here's an excerpt from The Los Angeles Times: "The brush fire raging in the rugged mountains of the Santa Clarita Valley grew by more than 10,000 acres on Sunday, scorching an estimated 33,172 acres by the late evening as the blaze continued to threaten hundreds of homes while firefighters battled to keep flames from spreading, authorities said. Fueled by 20-mph winds and hillsides carpeted with tinder-like chaparral, the wildfire was burning in hills toward Acton by late Sunday afternoon. Hundreds of residents were ordered to evacuate..."


U.S. Wildfire Tracker. The Sand Blaze is one of 5 large fires underway in California. Check out the tracker for yourself, courtesy of WXshift.


Wildfire Trends. More people living in harm's way? That's one factor, along with warming temperatures and  longer, deeper droughts, setting the stage for larger, more intense fires, according to Climate Central.


Tornado Spotted in South Africa. The USA sees the most tornadoes of any nation on Earth, but twisters spin up from China and Russia into Europe, and across portions of the Southern Hemisphere. This tornado spun up near Johannesburg, South Africa.


Tornadoes in Unusual Places. More on the small tornado that hit Joburg, South Africa yesterday from Traveller24.


Gulf of Mexico Hurricane Drought Likely To Become Longest in 130 Years. Here's an excerpt from WunderBlog: "No hurricanes have entered or developed in the Gulf of Mexico since September 2013, a stretch of well over 1,000 days. By the end of this week, the streak will be the longest on record, dating to the 1800s. The last hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico was Hurricane Ingrid, which made landfall in northeast Mexico in September 2013..."


Pacific Storms. Check out "Georgette" and "Frank", doing the twist in the Pacific Ocean. Imagery courtesy of Aeris Maps Platform (AMP).


Your Air Conditioner is Making the Heat Wave Worse. Here's an excerpt from a Washington Post explainer: "...Between 1993 and 2005, when the increase in house size was reaching its zenith, total consumption of electricity for residential air conditioning nearly doubled, from 134 billion kilowatt-hours to 261 billion, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration surveys. The Energy Department says air conditioners use about 5 percent of all the electricity produced in the country each year, costing homeowners more than $11 billion. It’s not too late to reduce our dependence on air conditioning, especially in rural areas, small towns and leafy suburbs. Even in big cities, homeowners can plant shade trees and other vegetation, install whole-house fans, sleep in the basement..."


The Pilots Who Make It Rain. Here's an excerpt from The BBC: "...But, perhaps blinded by desperation, many don’t understand the actual capabilities and limitations of cloud seeding. “You can’t hook a chain to clouds and drag them where you want,” says Ahlness. And once a drought has already descended, it’s too late: there’s no precipitation there to enhance. People – and governments – may expect big results, but pilots can only work with what nature offers. With requests from around the world tumbling in faster than ever, Bruintjes says that scientists and consultants must be careful not to make unsubstantiated claims or impossible promises..."


Sticker Shock: The Soaring Costs of Germany's Nuclear Shutdown. A clean energy revolution is well underway, but can we make a transition to renewables and decarbonize the world's economies without nuclear, at least in the short term? Here's an excerpt from Yale Environment 360: "...The waste issue is one reason nuclear power has been so controversial in Germany and why there is broad support among the public for phasing it out, with three-quarters of the German population saying they are in favor of Merkel’s decision, according to a survey this year by the Renewable Energy Hamburg Cluster. “Nuclear in Germany is not popular,” Kemfert said. “Everybody knows it is dangerous and causes a lot of environmental difficulties. Nuclear has been replaced by renewables – we have no need for nuclear power any more...”

Photo credit: "Barrels of radioactive waste in the Asse II storage cavern in 1975". View gallery. Photo: Federal Office for Radiation Protection.


Despite Roadblocks for Tesla, Elon Musk Is Moving Full Speed Ahead. Here's a clip from a New York Times article: "...Jeff Nesbit, former head of legislative and public affairs at the National Science Foundation under Presidents Obama and George W. Bush, said Tesla’s value could also be measured by the pressure it places on other car companies to match it. “He’s driving everybody else,” Mr. Nesbit said. “That’s the power Musk has.” Utilities, whatever their resentments, are paying attention, too. “Elon is truly the archetype of the disruptive entrepreneur,” said Andrew Beebe, a former electric industry executive who is now a venture capital investor. “Utilities and utility executives, because of the success on the vehicle side, are absolutely taking note...”

Photo credit: "The site of the Tesla Gigafactory, which the company says will eventually put out more lithium-ion batteries each year than were produced globally in all of 2013." Credit Jason Henry for The New York Times.


The End of Advertising, As We Know It. The disruption continues - here's an excerpt of a fascinating article at MediaPost: "Eighty-eight percent of Fortune 500 companies that were around in 1955 no longer exist today. Industries get disrupted. How’s that working out for advertising? Until relatively recently, the ad industry has been dominated by the same media that dominated it in 1955: print, radio and TV. Only TV still dominates today, but its grip on media buyers is slipping. It’s hanging on by its fingernails. That’s about to change. Cataclysmic forces are shifting corporate culture and disrupting pent-up organizational malaise..."


The Best Reason to Ride a Bike. Here's an excerpt from YES! Magazine: "...it turns out that biking is actually significantly safer than driving. One statistical study found that a modest bike commute adds 90 to 420 days of life expectancy from increased cardiovascular health, while the increased risk from accidents subtracts only five to nine days. Other studies find the effect to be even greater. Still, in the United States we could easily improve both safety and perceived safety for bicyclists. A relatively modest investment in real bike infrastructure—a network of bike lanes and bike paths connecting schools, transit hubs, and workplaces—would make biking feel safer; and when biking feels safer, more people ride..."

Photo credit: "Aline Cavalcante rides in São Paulo, Brazil." Photo by Rodrigo Marcondes.


The Downside of Being Happy. Are you really more creative when you're depressed? Here's an excerpt from a Washington Post story: "...Past studies have suggested that negative feelings can provide fodder for art and trigger more self-reflective thought. Others have shown that influential figures in science and art have a tendency toward depression. But research has not really demonstrated a direct link between sadness and many of the most lasting achievements in art history. Now, a fascinating new study from an economist at the University of Southern Denmark appears to show that link..."


The Perplexing Problem of Manitoba's Nameless Lakes. Hey, it worked for No Name Steaks, why not lakes? Atlas Obscura fills us in on the dilemma: "...It's safe to say that Manitoba has more than 100,000 lakes," says Kappel over the phone from his office in Winnipeg. As the province's official toponymist, Kappel has the Adam-esque task of pinning names on its many anonymous features. Although the Manitoba database currently contains about 8,000 lake names, they're just a drop in the bucket. Go through some simple subtraction, and the scale of anonymity becomes clear: "About 90,000 of our lakes currently do not have an official name," Kappel notes..."

Photo credit: "Manitoba's Dorothy Lake, one of the 10% of the province's lakes that do have an official name." (Photo: Robert Nunnally/CC BY 2.0).



91 F. high in the Twin Cities Tuesday.

83 F. average high on July 26.

87 F. high on July 26, 2015.

July 27, 1910: Giant hailstones fall in Todd and Wadena Counties. One stone weighed in at 5 pounds.


TODAY: Showers and T-storms. Winds: SW 5-10. High: 82

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Another T-storm. Low: 65

THURSDAY: A bit cooler, isolated shower possible but a drier day. Winds: NE 7-12. High: 79

FRIDAY: More sunshine, fairly comfortable. Winds: E 7-12. Wake-up: 62. High: 80

SATURDAY: Plenty of lukewarm sunshine. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 63. High: 82

SUNDAY: Lot's of sunshine, warmer. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 67. High: 86

MONDAY: Hazy sun, muggy again. Winds: S 8-13. Wake-up: 70. High: 90

TUESDAY: Steamy sun, few strong T-storms. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up:  75. High: 92


Climate Stories...

The Climate Change Election. Will Bernie Sander's passionate supporters on climate issues come around to Hillary Clinton? Here's an excerpt of an analysis at Slate: "...The stakes are enormously high. And that means, for the first time in history, the climate caucus feels big enough to matter, or at least, it’s big enough to be worth courting. This small but increasingly vocal minority of the country understands what we’re up against, and knows it will take an economic (if not political) revolution in order to bend the global greenhouse gas emissions trajectory fast enough to avoid locking in dangerous, irreversible, planetary-scale change. When science tells you a certain type of policy is required, and you believe in science, fighting for that policy is an eternal source of motivation..."


How Climate Disasters Can Drive Violent Conflict Around the World. In the words of the U.S. Department of Defense: climate change is a threat multiplier. It aggravates and accelerates other problems, including access to water and the ability to consistently grow crops. By turning up Earth's thermostat we're making it more challenging for a BAU (business as usual) existance. Here's an excerpt from The Washington Post: "It’s increasingly clear that the consequences of climate change won’t stop at just heat waves and sea-level rise. Scientists expect numerous social issues to arise around the world as well, such as food shortages, decreased water quality and forced migrations. And many experts now say that violence, war and other forms of human conflict may be driven or worsened by the effects of climate change. A new study, published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, lends support to the growing body of evidence behind this idea. The study finds that climate-related disasters may enhance the risk of armed conflict around the world — specifically in countries with high levels of ethnic divides..."


Armed Conflict Risks Enhanced by Climate-Related Disasters in Ethnically Fractionalized Countries. Here's an excerpt of the abstract of the new research referenced above: "...Globally, we find a coincidence rate of 9% regarding armed-conflict outbreak and disaster occurrence such as heat waves or droughts. Our analysis also reveals that, during the period in question, about 23% of conflict outbreaks in ethnically highly fractionalized countries robustly coincide with climatic calamities. Although we do not report evidence that climate-related disasters act as direct triggers of armed conflicts, the disruptive nature of these events seems to play out in ethnically fractionalized societies in a particularly tragic way..."


Changing Minds About Climate Change. Here's a snippet of an interesting post at Nexus Media: "...Monday morning quarterbacking is virtually a national pastime whether it be sports or public policy, but when these discussions flout the data and invoke conspiracy theories on a subject of such central and urgent importance, they can safely be classified as reckless. It is morally indefensible to use climate change as a wedge issue. Beyond the subversion of science and the political posturing, there is another insidious source of the misalignment between climate science and public perception of climate change: humans are simply not good at assessing long-term risk. We routinely underestimate threats that creep up on us. Unless there is an immediate negative consequence, we will often march straight into danger..."

Graphic credit: "Observed warming (black line) and projected warming (colored lines) under four emissions scenarios. The bars at right show the possible range in temperature for each scenario." Source: IPCC


China's Coal Peak Hailed as Turning Point in Climate Change Battle. The Guardian explains: "The global battle against climate change has passed a historic turning point with China’s huge coal burning finally having peaked, according to senior economists. They say the moment may well be a significant milestone in the course of the Anthropocene, the current era in which human activity dominates the world’s environment. China is the world’s biggest polluter and more than tripled its coal burning from 2000 to 2013, emitting billions of tonnes of climate-warming carbon dioxide. But its coal consumption peaked in 2014, much earlier than expected, and then began falling..."


Sizzling Midwest Feels a Preview of a Hotter Future Climate. InsideClimate News offers up some perspective: "Extreme heat waves like the current string of scorching days in the Midwest have become more frequent worldwide in the last 60 years, and climate scientists expect that human-caused global warming will exacerbate the dangerous trend in coming decades. It comes with potentially life-threatening consequences for millions of people. Research has shown that overall mortality increases by 4 percent during heat waves compared to normal days in the U.S. A study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives in 2011 suggested that rising summer temperatures could kill up to 2,200 more people per year in Chicago alone during the last two decades of the 21st century..."

Map credit: "This June was the hottest ever, and July has brought even more heat, particularly in the Midwest." Credit: NOAA.



Earth on Track for Hottest Year Ever as Warming Speeds Up. Reuters reports: "The earth is on track for its hottest year on record and warming at a faster rate than expected, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Thursday. Temperatures recorded mainly in the northern hemisphere in the first six months of the year, coupled with an early and fast Arctic sea ice melt and "new highs" in heat-trapping carbon dioxide levels, point to quickening climate change, it said. June marked the 14th straight month of record heat, the United Nations agency said..."

Photo credit: "A man walks through a dried-up Sarkhej lake on a hot summer day in Ahmedabad, India, April 21, 2016." Reuters/Amit Dave/File Photo.


Life On The Front Line of Climate Change. Here's an excerpt from Horizon Magazine: "...Observations show that the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of world; an alarming trend given its understood role as the world’s barometer of environmental health. Its summer sea ice cover has decreased by about 50 % since the late 1970s, a loss larger than the landmass of India. With sea ice loss outstripping modelled predictions and complete summer loss being a realistic possibility within decades, ICE-ARC is also working to better understand the local and global economic impact of this. The researchers are using their understanding of community vulnerabilities and resilience, along with data collected from sources including autonomous robot platforms, data-sampling buoys and submersibles, to predict what physical and living marine resource changes can be expected — and how fast..."

Photo credit: "Measurement tools on dog sleds will tell researchers and the local Inuit population the ice thickness in northwest Greenland." Image courtesy of ICE-ARC.

This Week: A Break from Obnoxious Heat - But Not Heavy T-storms

Another Streak of 90s Brewing On The Horizon

"Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it" wrote Russel Baker. Between the urban heat island, "corn sweat" and a dew point pushing 80 degrees, last week's heat index of 112F in the metro was an acquired taste. And there's growing agreement among weather models that a second wave of gasp-worthy heat is shaping up for early August.

A steep lapse rate (temperatures cooling more rapidly with altitude) sparks a few spotty showers and T-showers Tuesday night into Friday. Probably no sustained tropical soakers, and temperatures this week trend closer to average for late July.

Warm sunshine returns for the weekend and by early next week neighbors may be griping about the heat once more, with highs near 90F and dew points in the 70s. Some of the models build another heat dome, a bubble of hot high pressure, directly above the Midwest by the second week of August, potentially capable of a second round of sustained heat & humidity.

MSP has enjoyed 10 days of 90- plus heat in 2016. Average is 13 for the year. At the rate we're going I could see a total of 15-20.


Warm Tuesday, Cooler Late Week - Heating Up Next Week. After flirting with 90F today temperatures cool off into the low 80s by the end of the week, before heating up again early next week. A few models hint at a heat index over 100F by Monday of next week. Graphic: NOAA and Aeris Enterprise.


ECMWF Data. Here's the 12z Monday forecast from the European model, confirming a cool-down the latter half of this week; moderating temperatures next week (although not as hot as some of NOAA's models) Source: WeatherBell.


Another Wave of Persistent Heat? I want to see a few more model runs but NOAA's GFS ensembles and NDFD data show air temperatures close to 100F one week from today. A real summer this year? Imagine that.


Heat Dome, The Sequel. Looking 2 weeks over the horizon GFS guidance predicts another heat-pump high pressure bubble stretching from the Midwest to the Carolinas by the second week of August, hinting at another streak of 90s, even a stretch of 100-degree heat for the Ohio Valley.


2 Middle East Locations Hit 129 Degrees, Hottest Ever in Eastern Hemisphere, Maybe the World. Jason Samenow reports at Capital Weather Gang: "The temperature in Mitribah, Kuwait, surged Thursday to a blistering 129.2 degrees (54 Celsius). And on Friday in Basra, Iraq, the mercury soared to 129.0 degrees (53.9 Celsius). If confirmed, these incredible measurements would represent the two hottest temperatures ever recorded in the Eastern Hemisphere, according to Weather Underground meteorologist Jeff Masters and weather historian Christopher Burt, who broke the news. It’s also possible that Mitribah’s 129.2-degree reading matches the hottest ever reliably measured anywhere in the world. Both Mitribah and Basra’s readings are likely the highest ever recorded outside of Death Valley, Calif..."

Map credit: "Temperatures simulated by the GFS model in the Middle East on Friday reached 129 degrees (54 Celsius)." (WeatherBell.com).


Your Air Conditioner is Making the Heat Wave Worse. Here's an excerpt from a Washington Post explainer: "...Between 1993 and 2005, when the increase in house size was reaching its zenith, total consumption of electricity for residential air conditioning nearly doubled, from 134 billion kilowatt-hours to 261 billion, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration surveys. The Energy Department says air conditioners use about 5 percent of all the electricity produced in the country each year, costing homeowners more than $11 billion. It’s not too late to reduce our dependence on air conditioning, especially in rural areas, small towns and leafy suburbs. Even in big cities, homeowners can plant shade trees and other vegetation, install whole-house fans, sleep in the basement..."



Despite Roadblocks for Tesla, Elon Musk Is Moving Full Speed Ahead. Here's a clip from a New York Times article: "...Jeff Nesbit, former head of legislative and public affairs at the National Science Foundation under Presidents Obama and George W. Bush, said Tesla’s value could also be measured by the pressure it places on other car companies to match it. “He’s driving everybody else,” Mr. Nesbit said. “That’s the power Musk has.” Utilities, whatever their resentments, are paying attention, too. “Elon is truly the archetype of the disruptive entrepreneur,” said Andrew Beebe, a former electric industry executive who is now a venture capital investor. “Utilities and utility executives, because of the success on the vehicle side, are absolutely taking note...”

Photo credit: "The site of the Tesla Gigafactory, which the company says will eventually put out more lithium-ion batteries each year than were produced globally in all of 2013." Credit Jason Henry for The New York Times.


The End of Advertising, As We Know It. The disruption continues - here's an excerpt of a fascinating article at MediaPost: "Eighty-eight percent of Fortune 500 companies that were around in 1955 no longer exist today. Industries get disrupted. How’s that working out for advertising? Until relatively recently, the ad industry has been dominated by the same media that dominated it in 1955: print, radio and TV. Only TV still dominates today, but its grip on media buyers is slipping. It’s hanging on by its fingernails. That’s about to change. Cataclysmic forces are shifting corporate culture and disrupting pent-up organizational malaise..."


VHS is Dead, But At Least It Outlived Betamax Tapes by 9 Months. Here's a snippet from The Guardian: "The 40-year-war between Betamax and VHS is finally over, but while victorious 28 years ago, the VHS video cassette recorders only managed to outlive its rival’s tapes by 9 months. The last VHS VCR will roll off the production line at the end of this month. It’s the end of the home analogue magnetic video tape era. Japan’s Funai Electric, the last remaining VCR manufacturer after Panasonic pulled out several years ago, has ceased production citing a sharp decline in sales and trouble sourcing parts..."

Photo credit: "The humble VHS VCR is finally dead, outliving its arch-rival Betamax’s tapes by 9 months." Photograph: Dan Chung for the Guardian.


87 F. high in the Twin Cities Monday.

83 F. average high on July 25.

86 F. high on July 25, 2015.

July 26, 1981: A chilly morning occurs across the Northland, with 33 degrees at Roseau and Wannaska.


TODAY: Partly sunny, sticky. Winds: SW 8-13. High: 87

TUESDAY NIGHT: Humid, risk of a T-storm. Low: 70

WEDNESDAY: Unsettled, a few T-showers nearby. Winds: SW 5-10. High: 83

THURSDAY: A few more showers may sprout. Winds: NE 5-10. Wake-up: 68. High: 80

FRIDAY: Stray shower, cooler breeze kicks in. Winds: NE 10-15. Wake-up: 66. High: 79

SATURDAY: Intervals of sun, T-storm up north. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 63. High: 83

SUNDAY: More sun, warming up again. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 65. High: 86

MONDAY: Hot sun, feels like upper 90s. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 69. High: near 90


Climate Stories...

“A man may imagine things that are false, but he can only understand things that are true.”—Isaac Newton


Sizzling Midwest Feels a Preview of a Hotter Future Climate. InsideClimate News offers up some perspective: "Extreme heat waves like the current string of scorching days in the Midwest have become more frequent worldwide in the last 60 years, and climate scientists expect that human-caused global warming will exacerbate the dangerous trend in coming decades. It comes with potentially life-threatening consequences for millions of people. Research has shown that overall mortality increases by 4 percent during heat waves compared to normal days in the U.S. A study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives in 2011 suggested that rising summer temperatures could kill up to 2,200 more people per year in Chicago alone during the last two decades of the 21st century..."

Map credit: "This June was the hottest ever, and July has brought even more heat, particularly in the Midwest." Credit: NOAA.



Earth on Track for Hottest Year Ever as Warming Speeds Up. Reuters reports: "The earth is on track for its hottest year on record and warming at a faster rate than expected, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Thursday. Temperatures recorded mainly in the northern hemisphere in the first six months of the year, coupled with an early and fast Arctic sea ice melt and "new highs" in heat-trapping carbon dioxide levels, point to quickening climate change, it said. June marked the 14th straight month of record heat, the United Nations agency said..."

Photo credit: "A man walks through a dried-up Sarkhej lake on a hot summer day in Ahmedabad, India, April 21, 2016." Reuters/Amit Dave/File Photo.


Life On The Front Line of Climate Change. Here's an excerpt from Horizon Magazine: "...Observations show that the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of world; an alarming trend given its understood role as the world’s barometer of environmental health. Its summer sea ice cover has decreased by about 50 % since the late 1970s, a loss larger than the landmass of India. With sea ice loss outstripping modelled predictions and complete summer loss being a realistic possibility within decades, ICE-ARC is also working to better understand the local and global economic impact of this. The researchers are using their understanding of community vulnerabilities and resilience, along with data collected from sources including autonomous robot platforms, data-sampling buoys and submersibles, to predict what physical and living marine resource changes can be expected — and how fast..."

Photo credit: "Measurement tools on dog sleds will tell researchers and the local Inuit population the ice thickness in northwest Greenland." Image courtesy of ICE-ARC.


Crisis on High. Over a billion people rely on water melting from the Himalayas, a water source under increasing distress, according to the ABC Network in Australia: "Deep in the Himalayas sits a remote research station that is tracking an alarming trend in climate change, with implications that could disrupt the lives of more than 1 billion people and pitch the most populated region of the world into chaos. The station lies in the heart of a region called the Third Pole, an area that contains the largest area of frozen water outside of the North Pole and South Pole. Despite its relative anonymity, the Third Pole is vitally important; it is the source of Asia's 10 largest rivers including the Yellow, the Yangzi, the Mekong, the Irrawaddy and the Ganges — and their fertile deltas..." (Photo credit: Wayne McAllister).


How Big Oil Taught Big Tobacco to Bend Science. Vice News reports: "Over the past year, revelations about what the giants of the US petroleum industry knew decades ago about climate change have had a familiar ring to them. Several observers picked up an echo of the same pattern that forced the American tobacco industry into a multi-billion-dollar court settlement in the 1990s: trying to cast doubt on the risks of the product, and denying publicly the hazards their own scientists told companies about privately. Turns out there may be a reason for that..."

Photo credit: "A file photo dated 19 June 2010 showing oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill being corralled and burned on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana." Photo by Bevil Knapp/EPA.