6 Month Boating Season - in Minnesota?
70F Again Today, Then Cooling Off

"Haven't seen this before." 24 years ago today we were still digging out from 2-3 feet of snow. On November 4, 1991 the Twin Cities woke up to -3F. The "high" that day was a refreshing 17F. Today will be 55 degrees warmer.

I'm black and blue from pinching myself, watching a flotilla of boats on the lake. I don't remember boating in November, in Minnesota. That's a new one.

Uh oh, here it comes. Paul is about to blubber on about global warming. Not today. This is weather, not climate. But if the experts are right (and I suspect there is now ample evidence) we'll continue to see more warmer than average days going forward.

After flirting with 70F again today showers arrive on Thursday. By Friday it will feel like November with highs stuck in the 40s; scrappy stratocumulus clouds racing by.

50s return next week (above average) and weather models show prevailing winds howling from the southwest into the 3rd week of November. Our mild bias continues. Thank - or blame - El Nino.

At some point it will snow, eventually we'll see a rush of polar air. Our super-sized autumn limps on.

Minor Reality Check Brewing. No, it can't stay in the 70s indefinitely, not with a sun angle as high in the sky as it was the first week of February. At some point gravity kicks in - and Canadian air pushes south, in waves. One such (minor) push of chilly air arrives by Friday; 7 AM wind chills in the low 30s. Source: Aeris Enterprise.

Thursday Rain - Bigger Rain Event Brewing Next Week? A coule models print out nearly 2" of rain a week from today. Let's see if there's any continuity to the forecast of a significant storm; odds favor enough warm air nearby for (mostly) rain.

10-Day Rainfall Forecast. Here is GFS guidance, showing showery rains Thursday; a better chance of a more significant storm - probably rain - spinning up by the middle of next week from the Upper Midwest to the Great Lakes. Source: AerisWeather.

Whispers of El Nino? Attribution is difficult, but a major El Nino event usually pulls the core of the jet stream south, favoring troughs of low pressure over the western USA, a southwesterly wind flow downwind favoring milder weather east of the Rockies. The 500 mb forecast (GF) valid Tuesday evening, November 17, suggests a series of storms for the Pacific Northwest and northern California with a mild bias predicted over the central USA.

November? More Like September as Warm Weather Toasts Eastern U.S. Yes, we know something about unusual warmth these days - here's an excerpt from WXshift: "Forget enjoying a pumpkin spice latte if you live in the eastern half of the U.S. Cold brew weather is coming back to the region to start November, including record warmth in Florida to kick off the week. A strong ridge of high pressure is building in eastern Canada and will effectively block colder air from coming into the region. That will allow near-record warmth to bake most locations east of the Mississippi with temperatures more like September than November. Highs will be 10-15°F above normal from Chicago to New York, reaching into the 70s this week. The warmest location compared to normal goes to Iowa on Monday. Temperatures are also in the 70s there and in some locations, that’s more than 20°F above normal..."

Map credit above: "Temperatures anomalies forecast for North America this Wednesday." Credit:

Chapala to Make Landfall in Yemen as First Hurricane-Strength Cyclone on Record. More details in an update from The Capital Weather Gang: "...Cyclones themselves are not uncommon in the Arabian Sea — on average a few weak to moderately strong storms spin up each year. However, cyclone landfalls in this region are rare. Chapala will be the first known hurricane-strength storm to make landfall in Yemen since modern records began there in the 1940s. And  if Chapala maintains hurricane strength at landfall, it would only be the third hurricane on record to make landfall on the entire Arabian Peninsula..."

Inside the Core of "Patricia"; the Strongest Recorded Hurricane to Strike Mexico's West Coast. The (amazing) video and story is at Capital Weather Gang; here's an excerpt: "...What’s it like to withstand the brunt of a ferocious and historic Category 5 hurricane? Josh Morgerman, an extreme storm chaser from Los Angeles, intentionally positioned himself to intercept the landfall of Patricia, which just hours prior attained the greatest intensity of any hurricane ever measured by the National Hurricane Center. His footage of the storm making landfall, complemented by his compelling first person narrative, is absolutely riveting..."

Study: Flood Models Need to Include Cities' Impact on Rainfall. You've heard of the urban heat island keeping surface temperatures warmer, especially at night? It turns out metropolitan areas also impact rainfall and flood potential. Here's an excerpt from Purdue University: "Current flood models do not account for cities' impact on local rainfall patterns, an oversight that could lead to significantly underestimating the severity and frequency of floods in urban areas, a Purdue study finds. Dev Niyogi, Indiana's state climatologist, and collaborators at China's Tsinghua University showed that hard, impenetrable city surfaces such as concrete can dramatically influence the way rainfall spreads across a watershed. Flood models that do not incorporate the ways cities modify rainfall patterns could underestimate the magnitude of future floods by as much as 50 percent, said Niyogi, who is also a professor of agronomy and earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences. "Over the last two decades, we've seen an increase in major flooding in urban areas," he said. "Many factors are contributing to that change, including extreme weather, climate change and climate variability. But evidence is also emerging that cities themselves are significantly and detectably changing the rainfall patterns around them..." (File: USGS).

Debunking 5 Myths About Meteorologists. Dr. Marshall Shepherd has a good post at Forbes; here's a clip: "...With that working definition let’s debunk some myths.

1. Most meteorologists are NOT on TV: Like engineering or teaching, there are different types of meteorologists. Of the 14,000 or so members of AMS, less than 10% of them are in the television world, according to Executive Director, Dr. Keith Seitter.  TV colleagues are the most accessible and obvious window to the public but only a fraction of the meteorology and atmospheric sciences community.  For career options in meteorology, this website is a good start..."

IBM Is About To Change The Way We Forecast the Weather. Will "Watson" put flesh and blood meteorologists out of work? Stay tuned. Disruption, however necessary and inevitable, is never an easy process. Here's an excerpt from Huffington Post: "...Translated: IBM will tap into a huge network of weather data, digest it and provide information to commercial clients. As for how that might affect you, a spokesman for IBM explained to The Huffington Post that insurance companies, for example, will be able to know more about incoming storms and pass that information along to customers. Airlines will be able to better understand weather conditions and, in theory, avoid delays while wasting less fuel. In other words, there's a lot of potential here..."

File photo credit: The Washington Post by Andrew Spear.

Grids That Are Smart Enough To Weather Tomorrow's Storms. Here's a clip from an interesting story at phys.org: "...Blackouts like those could become more common. Climate change will increase not just the number of storms like Hurricane Sandy in the USA, but floods, wildfires, heat waves and droughts. The U.S. Department of Energy reinforced that expectation most recently in an October 2015 report. The country's power supply - with more than 9,200 power plants and nearly half a million kilometers of overhead lines - about a third of a million miles - is already feeling the strain today..."

Climate Change and the U.S. Energy Sector: Regional Vulnerabilities and Resilience Solutions. The report referenced in the story above is available in PDF form here.

New York Prepares For Up to 6 Feet of Sea Level Rise. Interested in property near the ocean? Consider renting, not buying, and make sure your insurance premiums are paid up. Here's an excerpt of a post at Climate Central: "...New York State environment officials announced Friday that they’re creating new sea level rise regulations that will help coastal communities build more resilient homes and other buildings that will be better able to withstand storm surges and other flooding made worse by rising seas driven by climate change. The new regulations will require developers in New York City, along Long Island and on the shores of the Hudson River to prepare for sea levels that could rise between 15 and 75 inches by 2100.  At the far end of that scale, many of the areas hit hard by Hurricane Sandy — the Rockaway Peninsula and the shores of Staten Island, for example — could be underwater..."

Photo credit above: "The flooded Battery Park Tunnel in New York City following Hurricane Sandy in October 2012." Credit: Timothy Krause/flickr

These 13 States Saw Carbon Pollution Go Up Over a Decade. CO2 emissions have gone down in Minnesota and Wisconsin, but that's not the case in North Dakota and Nebraska. Here's an excerpt from a story at National Geographic: "While levels of the heat-trapping greenhouse gas went down in 37 states and the District of Columbia between 2000 and 2013, they actually increased in 13 states, according to figures recently released by the Energy Information Administration. Nebraska saw the biggest rise: Carbon emissions jumped 28 percent, mostly because of higher coal use for electricity and industry. Maine, which gets three fifths of its power from renewable sources such as hydropower and biomass, saw the biggest drop: 27 percent..."


Blackouts like those could become more common. Climate change will increase not just the number of storms like Hurricane Sandy in the USA, but floods, wildfires, heat waves and droughts. The U.S. Department of Energy reinforced that expectation most recently in an October 2015 report. The country's power supply – with more than 9,200 power plants and nearly half a million kilometers of overhead lines – about a third of a million miles – is already feeling the strain today.

Power plants in the dry U.S. Southwest must often cut back generation because there is not enough cooling water. Since 2011, California has been going through the worst drought since meteorological measurements began.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-11-grids-smart-weather-tomorrow-storms.html#jCp

Rare Cyclone's Rainfall a Concern for Yemen. The Washington Post reports - here's a link and story excerpt: "...Needless to say, this is a region with little or no experience with hurricanes. As Bob Henson of Weather Underground put it Monday, speaking of possible effects in Mukalla: It “is difficult to overstate the rarity and gravity of this event: a hurricane-strength storm striking near a large, ancient city, situated near mountains, with no modern experience in dealing with tropical cyclones. Although Hurricane Patricia got much more media attention, Chapala may end up bringing more damage and misery by far. The ongoing civil war in Yemen can only exacerbate the suffering of those affected and complicate relief efforts...”

Image credit above: Joint Typhoon Warning Center and NPR.

A Flight To The Top of the Most Powerful Hurricane Ever. At least for that portion of the Pacific basin. WIRED has a fascinating tale - here's an excerpt: "...Then, almost overnight, Patricia strengthened to a Category 5 hurricane with the highest sustained wind speeds ever recorded. And it was headed straight for the west coast of Mexico. The speed of Patricia’s intensification stunned scientists around the world, including Doyle. The deep layer of warm water in the Pacific this year fueled the storm, and it got lucky by hitting a patch of calm and humid air. But all the models took those factors into account, and none of them even got close to predicting just how strong Patricia would become. Doyle didn’t know what the models were missing, exactly, but he had a good guess as to where to look for it: At the top of the hurricane, more than 35,000 feet above the ocean, where storms exhale the air they suck in from below..."

Photo credit above: "The WB-57." NASA.

2050 Weather Forecast Brought To Your Living Room. A preview of what a typical TV weather report might look like 35 years from now if carbon levels aren't curtailed? Here's a glimpse from Climate Home: "Vessels crossing an ice-free Arctic sea. Balmy temperatures fit for a music festival in Greenland. This is a likely weather report for the polar region within 35 years if emissions continue unabated, the USA's prominent Weather Channel illustrated on Monday. It responded to a WMO-sponsored series of global forecasts to roll almost daily before a UN climate change summit starts in Paris on 30 November. Broadcasters from Sky News Arabia to Vietnam Television will present their local visions of a world increasingly impacted by stronger storms and volatile rainfall..."

We're On The Cusp of a Revolution That Will Change the World As Much As Computers Did. Am I the only one who got chills after reading this at Tech Insider? Again, what can possibly go wrong. Here's an excerpt: "...But one of the most exciting things — or disconcerting things, for those scared of the power of this new technology — is that actually using the latest tools to make genetic edits is so simple that Doudna says that anyone who has basic molecular biology skills would be able to use CRISPR to edit a human embryo. People with sufficient expertise could probably set up a lab that would be able to make designer babies or transform animal species for less than $2,000, according to experts we spoke with. We're still waiting for a demonstration of genetic editing that will really sear it into the world's consciousness. But for better or worse, the world-transforming power of this technology isn't limited to the most technologically advanced and well funded labs..." (File image: genome-engineering.org).

Sorry Earth, This Newly Discovered Planet Is Way More Metal. By comparison Venus looks downright pleasant. The Daily Dot has an interesting tale - here's an excerpt: "...Considered to be a newborn in terms of planetary age, the orphan planet is approximately 12 million years old.  It's also insanely hot: Surface temperature is estimated to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,100 kelvin, or about 1,520 degrees Fahrenheit. Any clouds rolling over its surface would probably be made out of metal, according to Dr. Beth Biller of the University of Edinburgh. “These are likely hot silicates and iron droplet clouds,” Biller told the New Scientist. “This makes Venus look like a nice place...”

Live Long and Die Out. The Awl takes a look at the voluntary extinction movement. I'll bet these folks are great fun at parties. Here's an excerpt: "If you’re prone to flights of depressive thoughts in the shower (who isn’t?), you’ve perhaps briefly entertained the notion that, since humans are responsible for every environmental catastrophe, maybe the planet would be better off if we all just died. While you might rid yourself of such a bleak thought by making the water scalding and moving on to thinking about something cruel you did in middle school, there is a group of extremist hippies called the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (VHEMT, pronounced “vehement”) that actively promotes the idea. Their philosophy is simple: Humans should stop breeding, and allow ourselves to go extinct. As their motto puts it, “Live long and die out...”

Goldman Bets on Being Green. When in doubt, follow the (big) money. Here's an excerpt of a post at The Wall Street Journal: "Goldman Sachs Group Inc.GS +0.77%, one of Wall Street’s most-profitable firms, is betting on a different kind of green. The New York firm is seeking to finance and invest $150 billion in clean-energy projects over the next decade, more than its previous goal of $40 billion. The pledge headlines Goldman’s list of updated policies on a swath of environment policies, from the role its investment bankers play in advising clients in the energy industry to the holdings of its own money-management division. The firm is unveiling its new environmental policy framework about a decade after its former chief executive and chairman, Henry Paulson, championed an initial slate of policies..."

Teens Spend a Mind-Boggling 9 Hours a Day Using Media. It seems we're all addicted to the daily dopamine-drip of digital information, some more than others, apparently. Here's a video and story excerpt at CNN: "...On any given day, teens in the United States spend about nine hours using media for their enjoyment, according to the report by Common Sense Media, a nonprofit focused on helping children, parents and educators navigate the world of media and technology. Let's just put nine hours in context for a second. That's more time than teens typically spend sleeping, and more time than they spend with their parents and teachers. And the nine hours does not include time spent using media at school or for their homework..."

71 F. high on Tuesday at KMSP.

74 F. record high on November 3 in the Twin Cities (2008 and 1978).

-3 F. low temperature on this date in 1991.

49 F. average high on November 3.

55 F. high on November 3, 2014.

November 4, 1982: 20 inches of snow falls in the Kabatogema area.

November 4, 1901: With a high temperature of only 22 and a low of 15, 175 boxcars of potatoes were in peril at the Minneapolis rail yard. Workers scrambled to move the rail cars full of tubers in roundhouses and transfer potatoes to refrigerated cars. Individual stoves had to be purchased on the spot for 59 remaining cars. Thankfully, most of the spuds were saved.

November 4, 1853: Cold snap begins at Ft. Snelling. The next four days would be 16 degrees or lower.

November 4, 1727: The first outdoor celebration at the chapel of Fort Beauharnois on Lake Pepin was postponed due to "variableness of the weather."

TODAY: Mostly cloudy - milder than average. Winds: S 10-15. High: 65

THURSDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy, still mild. Low: 57

THURSDAY: Periods of rain, turning cooler. Winds: S 15-25. High: 62

FRIDAY: More clouds than sun, brisk. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 43. High: near 50

SATURDAY: Partly sunny, bug-free. Winds: W 10-15. Wake-up: 35. High: 48

SUNDAY: Plenty of sun, above average again. Wake-up: 35. High: 53

MONDAY: Unsettled, few showers possible. Wake-up: 42. High: 52

TUESDAY: Intervals of sun, quiet for November. Wake-up: 40. High: 55

Climate Stories...

Climate Change and Creation Care. It seems that Pope Francis kicked off the world’s conversation on the moral aspect of climate change. However, for years just about every major religion in the world has a statement on the need to confront climate change on behalf of the poor. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice states, “The earth is a planet of beauty and abundance; the earth system is wonderfully intricate and incredibly complex. But today living creatures, and the air, soil, and water that support them, face unprecedented threats. Many threats are global; most stem directly from human activity. Our current practices may so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner we know.”

Would you like to explore where your faith intersections with weather and climate change? On Saturday, November 7th at 9a in Prior Lake, Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran Church is hosting a Creation Care event that will examine the intersection of faith, climate change and weather. The event is free. Childcare is provided for those that RSVP. Presenters include faith leaders from the Lutheran, Methodist, MCC and Catholic church, Dr. John Abraham (climate scientist from the University of St. Thomas) and me. RSVP at: http://www.sollc.org/creationcare.

China Burns More Coal Than Reported, Complicating Climate Talks. Here's an update from The New York Times: "China, the world’s leading emitter of greenhouse gases from coal, is burning far more annually than previously thought, according to new government data. The finding could vastly complicate the already difficult efforts to limit global warming. Even for a country of China’s size and opacity, the scale of the correction is immense. China has been consuming as much as 17 percent more coal each year than reported, according to the new government figures. By some initial estimates, that could translate to almost a billion more tons of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere annually in recent years, more than all of Germany emits from fossil fuels..."

Meltdown: The Skiing Industry and Climate Change. Denver Magazine takes a look at the trends; here's a clip at 5280.com: "...This is our new reality: On average, ski seasons are shorter and storms more difficult to predict. Fourteen of the warmest years on record have come in the past 15 years. And 2015 is on pace to be hotter still. Colorado has warmed by two degrees Fahrenheit over the past 30 years, and according to a 2014 report by the University of Colorado Boulder’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, climate models show temperatures could increase another two to six degrees by 2050. Artificial snowmaking has helped the ski industry—and also provided a false promise, because snowmaking only works when it’s cold..." (File image credit here).

Is Antarctica Gaining or Losing Ice? God is in the details, and in this case the details are somewhat confusing and conflicting, but worth a closer look. Here's an excerpt from Carbon Brief: "...The findings of the new NASA study are “at least somewhat at odds with multiple lines of other evidence,” says Prof Richard Alley from Penn State University, who wasn’t involved in the research. He points to another recent paper – which some of the authors of the new study also contributed to – as the current scientific consensus on ice loss from Antarctica. That paper found changes between 1992 and 2011 of +14bn, -65bn and -20bn tonnes of ice per year on East Antarctica, West Antarctica, and the Antarctic Peninsula, respectively. Prof Jonathan Bamber, a professor at the University of Bristol whose work focuses on satellite monitoring of the ice sheets, says there are potential pitfalls in combining radar and laser satellite data for the two different time periods, as the NASA study does..."

Scientists Confirm Their Fears About West Antarctica - That It's Inherently Unstable. Here's an excerpt of a Chris Mooney update at The Washington Post: "...In a new study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Johannes Feldmann and Anders Levermann of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research use a sophisticated climate model to study what will happen if these glaciers are, indeed, fully destabilized. And in essence, they find that the process of retreat doesn’t end with the region currently up against the ocean. “We showed that there is actually nothing that stops it,” said Levermann. “There are troughs and channels and all this stuff, there’s a lot of topography that actually has the potential to slow down or stop the instability, but it doesn’t...”

Photo credit above: "An edge of the Thwaites Ice Shelf." (Jim Yungel/NASA)

Indonesia is Burning. So Why Is The World Looking Away? Here's the intro to a jaw-dropping story at The Guardian: "I've often wondered how the media would respond when eco-apocalypse struck. I pictured the news programmes producing brief, sensational reports, while failing to explain why it was happening or how it might be stopped. Then they would ask their financial correspondents how the disaster affected share prices, before turning to the sport. As you can probably tell, I don’t have an ocean of faith in the industry for which I work. What I did not expect was that they would ignore it. A great tract of Earth is on fire. It looks as you might imagine hell to be. The air has turned ochre: visibility in some cities has been reduced to 30 metres. Children are being prepared for evacuation in warships; already some have choked to death. Species are going up in smoke at an untold rate. It is almost certainly the greatest environmental disaster of the 21st century – so far..." (Image: NASA Earth Observatory).

Editorial: Question Those Who Seek to Undermine Science. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed at Jacksonville's Times-Union: "...Once a scientific issue is closed, there is only one ‘side.’ Imagine providing balance to the issue of whether the Earth orbits the sun, whether continents move or whether DNA carries genetic information.” There is only one right side on whether smoking causes cancer. How many people died because the merchants of doubt convinced them there was no real proof? We don’t know everything about the complex science of climate change. But if we get this wrong, the stakes involve the entire planet. Listen to the scientists."

Congressmen Call on SEC to Investigate Exxon's Climate Disclosures. InsideClimate News, which helped to break the story, along with a separate investigation at the L.A. Times, reports the latest; here's an excerpt: "Four members of Congress asked the Securities and Exchange Commission late Friday to investigate ExxonMobil’s past federal filings to determine if the company violated securities laws by failing to adequately disclose material risks to its business posed by climate change. The letter to the SEC from members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, led by California Democrat Ted Lieu, cites recent separate investigative series by InsideClimate News and The Los Angeles Times regarding Exxon’s early research into climate change..."

Photo credit above: "Rep. Peter Welch from Vermont, pictured here, is one of several Congressman calling on the SEC to launch a probe of Exxon and its history with climate science." (Credit: Congressman Peter Welch's Office).

Earthquakes, Superstorms and Other Little-Known Perils of Climate Change. This is the first time I've seen news of a possible link between climate change impacting the hydrological cycle and earthquake risk. I'm skeptical, but keeping an open mind - here's an excerpt at The Conversation: "...It is also important to remember the possible relationship between climate change and tectonic activity. It is well-established that the construction of dams has, in the past, stimulated earthquake activity, a result of their heavy mass destabilising faults while providing plentiful water for lubrication of the underlying fault systems, allowing them to move more freely. The weight and lubricating properties of water have been attributed to earthquakes throughout the globe and even to the recent devastating earthquake in Nepal. Researchers have suggested that the redistribution of weight on the Earth’s surface as ice melts, oceans deepen and rainfall increases, may all add up to an increased seismic risk globally; indeed, seasonal earthquake patterns associated with monsoon rains have been noted...."

Photo credit above: "Caution: climate change can affect tectonic plates, too." Fox New Insider/flickr, CC BY-SA

Climate Change Kills The Mood: Economists Warn of Less Sex on a Warming Planet. Well here's a potential tipping point. If this doesn't result in congressional inquiries and a serious solution to a vexing challenge I'm not sure what will. Here's an excerpt from Bloomberg Business: "Climate change has been blamed for many things over the years. Never, until now, has anyone thought it was possible to see it as a kind of contraceptive. Hot weather leads to diminished “coital frequency," according to a new working paper put out by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Three economists studied 80 years of U.S. fertility and temperature data and found that when it’s hotter than 80 degrees F, a large decline in births follows within 10 months. Would-be parents tend not to make up for lost time in subsequent, cooler months..."

Rising Temperatures Kick-Start Subarctic Farming in Alaska. NPR has the audio and story link; here's the intro: "We've heard a lot about the negative effects of climate change in the arctic and subarctic. But some Alaskans, like farmer Tim Meyers, are seeing warming temperatures as an opportunity. Now that potato harvest is underway at his Bethel farm, Meyers uses a giant potato washer, like a washing machine for root vegetables, to clean California white potatoes. They're some of the only commercially-produced vegetables in this southwestern Alaska region, about the size of Oregon. Meyers says the warming summers are a big part of his success..."

Photo credit above: "A field near harvest time at Meyers Farm in Bethel, Alaska, can now grow crops like cabbage outside in the ground, due to rising temperatures." Daysha Eaton/KYUK.

NASA Study: Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater Than Losses. It'll be interesting to see if this holds up, if data from recent years shows a (net) gain in ice Way Down Under. Here's an excerpt from NASA: "A new NASA study says that an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers. The research challenges the conclusions of other studies, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2013 report, which says that Antarctica is overall losing land ice. According to the new analysis of satellite data, the Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001. That net gain slowed   to 82 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008..."

Image credit above: "A new NASA study says that Antarctica is overall accumulating ice. Still, areas of the continent, like the Antarctic Peninsula photographed above, have increased their mass loss in the last decades." Credits: NASA's Operation IceBridge.

* The Christian Science Monitor has more on what's happening in Antarctica.

Homogenization of Temperature Data: An Assessment. The current manufactured flap from the usual suspects is over new data sets which show no hiatus, no slow-down in warming for the last 15 years. Do charges of "NASA and NOAA are cooking the books!" hold up? Here's an excerpt from Skeptical Science: "...The validity of this process has been questioned in the public discourse on climate change, on the basis that the adjustments increase the warming trend in the data. This question is surprising in that sea surface temperatures play a larger role in determining global temperature than the weather station records, and are subject to a larger adjustments in the opposite direction (Figure 1). Furthermore, the adjustments have the biggest effect prior to 1980, and don't have much impact on recent warming trends..."

Graphic credit: Figure 1: The global temperature record (smoothed) with different combinations of land and ocean adjustments.

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse: "Global Warming Is Real - And We Made It". Tulsa World Magazine has the Op-Ed, here are a couple of clips that caught my eye: "...For members of Congress who say the science is not, in fact, settled, I say, “Don’t you trust NASA and NOAA and our Navy and every American national lab — the science you pay for? And every major U.S. scientific society? Are they all wrong? And if you think there is some vast federal conspiracy, how about your own home state university?”...If you think there’s a vast federal scientific conspiracy, and that you can’t even trust the military on this, listen to the Oklahoma experts. They’ll tell you that climate change is real, that the consequences are serious for Oklahoma and that there’s an industry-funded “organized climate-denial machine.” Or use your own two eyes and brain..." (File image: NASA).

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