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WEATHER & CLIMATE CHANGE NEWS: Tracking the Emergence of a New Weather Pattern, 2016 | High Sierra Backpacker

WEATHER & CLIMATE CHANGE NEWS: Emergence of a New Weather Pattern, Jan-March 2016

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 07 January 2016

 This Page Last Updated 
                               March 17, 2016 




  This is the collection point tracking the latest steps in our path of profound changes in seasonal weather patterns and the resulting chaos in the webs of life that we are experiencing into 2016.


 The last forty years of slowly but steadily trend of warming and drying conditions in the Sierra have rapidly transitioned into what can be characterized as the Drought Disaster and Fire phase over the last four years.

Current Events
   The firing-up of the very-very early El Nino in 2014, then the  biggest, earliest  El Nino in recorded history again in 2015 is now (Jan 7) lining up and pointing California and the Sierra towards potentially record precipitation on parched and burned terrain. That would usher in the flood stage our our multi-layered disaster.

Or not.

The behavior of the Arctic Circle and the recent tendency of great high pressure ridges to build off the coast of California and the edge of the Continental United States during Winter are both capable of guiding El Nino moisture around California. Or pointing it at California, as discussed in our 

September Backpacker Alert

Backpacker Alerts.

2015 Climate News

Whoever gets hit by the vast streams of El Nino tropical moisture pumping out of the West-Central Pacific is going to get pounded. The effects of this El Nino have been predicted to, and are showing the potential to disrupt all North Hemisphere weather patterns as this vast plume of super-heated moisture makes its way around the North Hemisphere of our planet.

 Since I wrote the above N Eng has flooded, the North Pole had temps above freezing in mid-Winter, and folks on the East Coast have enjoyed quite balmy temps. How about all that? Then things got really weird;


March 17, 2016

Stunning Global Heat Wave Pushes Planet Into Uncharted Territory,
Bloomberg, 1-17-16.


Background Information 
JAN 21, 2016  

 2016: We actually broke the record for breaking records,
Bloomberg, 1-20-16.

The Hottest Year Graphic

The Last Year Hottest Ever

Winter is Beautiful:
 How do snowflakes form?
American Chemical Society, 1-21-16


Feb 18, 2016

The Blob is dead, scientists declare,
EarthSky, 2-17-16.
More on The Blob
Don’t count Blob out yet. Note tracks of ocean surface heating cast Northeast along front lines, which will very soon be carrying vast amounts of El Nino Moisture along their tracks.
These are the same winds, “riding the ridge,” of high pressure up to the NW US.

California’s commercial Dungeness crab season to stay closed,
SF Chron, 1-17-16.

Aliso Canyon
California methane leak 'permanently sealed',
BBC, 1-18-16.


Feb 11, 2016  

Long-term global warming not driven naturally,
Duke University, 2-1-16.

Southwest sliding into a drier climate,
National Center for Atmospheric Research/University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, 2-10-16.
See much earlier reporting: "Permanent Drought"

  (This is Old News, as is the steady surge of desertification and the mega drought forming over us in the SW for the last 25 years…)

Climate change prompts makeover of New England's forests, Dartmouth study finds, Dartmouth College, 1-29-16.

A long, hot view: Climate change likely to extend across next 10,000 years,
Boston College, 2-8-16.

US Forest Service releases findings on the effects of drought for forests and rangelands, USDA Forest Service - Southern Research Station, 2-1-16. ( 2007  Report!)

Also see forest death report…

Study documents drought's impact on redwood forest ferns,
University of California - Santa Cruz, 2-1-16.

 Man-made climate change helped cause south of England floods, say scientists,
University of Oxford, 2-1-16.

Record Missouri flooding was manmade calamity, scientist says,
 Washington University in St. Louis, 2-5-16.

See below:


NASA measures 10 days of US extreme precipitation from space,
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, 2-4-16.


JAN 29, 2016  

Recent summer temperatures in Europe are likely the warmest of the last 2 millennia, Institute of Physics, 1-28-16.

Record warm years almost certainly due to human-made climate change,
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), 1-25-16.

Model explains huge recurring rainstorms in tropical Indian and Pacific oceans,
University of Washington, 1-26-16.

Climate change: Ocean warming underestimated,
University of Bonn, 1-25-16.

Human impact has created a 'plastic planet,' research shows,
University of Leicester, 1-27-16.

See "Anthropocene," below.

JAN 25, 2016  

See Latest Mosquito News for info on Zika and spread of Dangerous Mosquito Species and the nasty new tropical diseases they are carrying  into North America's warming climate.
  I put this climate-driven mosquito and disease information under "backpacker" news, rather than "climate" news, because these changes directly affect High Sierra backpackers... though their spread is caused by the radical changes in our weather patterns...


El Niño not fizzling: More storms barreling toward California,
1-16-16, SJ Mercury.

California temporarily curbing water to spare vanishing fish,
1-14-16, AP.
  Also See:
Boiled Fish for Everyone!
All Fish News
High Sierra Fish Forum

Emergency Endangered Species Act Protection Sought for Rare Alpine Flower in Northern California, Eureka Net, 1-15-16.

 The Scum-o-Cene: 
The indications of a new geological epoch marked by human impact are clear,
 University of the Basque Country, 1-20-16.

How a 2°C rise means even higher temperatures where we live,
University of New South Wales, 1-20-16.

Warmer oceans could produce more powerful superstorms,
University of Maryland, 1-19-16.


 Crop Failure and Fading Food Supplies: Climate Change's Lasting Impact,
Jan, 15, 2016, Live Science.

Rising carbon dioxide emissions pose 'intoxication' threat to world's ocean fish,
University of New South Wales, 1-20-16.

 JAN 14, 2016

Pottery Barn Rule:
We broke it.
Human-made climate change suppresses the next ice age
1-13-16,  Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).
More Human Effects below.

Weird Weather
A rare January hurricane forms, could become month’s strongest on record,
1-14-16, Ars Technica.

NASA sees Tropical Depression Pali headed toward Equator,
1-14-16, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center.

NASA analyzes Hurricane Pali's rainfall rates,
1-13-16, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center.
More on Pali below.


Weather Effects
CA's state fish can benefit from restoring and protecting streamside meadows,
1-13-16, USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station.

Research Paper
"Mediating Water Temperature Increases Due to Livestock and Global Change in High Elevation Meadow Streams of the Golden Trout Wilderness," 
 USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station

Pacific Southwest Research Station

Fish Forum


"Unique" Weather Continues 
U.S. Has Plenty of Snow on the Ground, Just Not in the East,
1-12-16, Bloomberg.

Unusual Tropical Storm Pali still thriving far from Hawaii,
 1-11-16, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center.


2015 News Recap
We ended 2015 with some more unprecedented, never seen before weather:

Unprecedented Tornadoes hit Dallas Metro Area,
Dallas Morning News, Dec 26, 2015.

Unprecedented December-January Floods hit Mississippi,
Weather Underground.

Redirected flood waters lead to unintended consequences,
1-6-16, University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. 

 2015 Weather News Page


Continuing 2015
 Review and Damage Assessment of 2015

2015 worst US wildfire year on record,
1-12-16, Earth-Sky.

 We need more urgency on sinking Valley,
1-10-16, Sac Bee.


Climate change altering Greenland ice sheet and accelerating sea level rise,
Greenland ice sheet is rapidly losing the ability to buffer its contribution to rising sea levels, 1-4-16, York University.

See Last Year Hottest Ever


What it All Means

For the second time, we are witnessing a new geological epoch,
1-11-16, Ars Technica.

The indications of a new geological epoch marked by human impact are clear,
 University of the Basque Country, 1-20-16.


Also See
Are Humans the Death of Nature?
"How we became nature – Anthropocene"
A Scientific Review of Humanity, 3-17-15

Guardian "Extinction" Report

2008 "Epoch" Report

The Environmental Record is Clear



El Nino
 ENSO Information

El Nino Outlook,
 Current Report

Lakes, Reservoirs, and Rivers 
California Major Reservoir Graphic

Daily Reservoir Storage Summary

California River Guidance Plots

 Water Level in Lake Powell


Drought Monitor

Drought Outlook

US Drought Portal

Climate Prediction Center
Adjustable Outlooks Map

NOAA Climate Monitoring

Drought, Weather, Fire, & Snowpack News


Next Page

April and May of 2016


Earlier News

 Last Year's Weather News: 
2015 Weather-Climate News for Backpackers


Read 'em and Weep:
A sample of 2007-09 Enviro News DEBACLE 


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