March 22 News: NOAA Predicts Warmer-Than-Average Spring For Most Of U.S. And Little Drought Relief

NOAA says this spring will be warmer than average for most of the U.S., with expanded drought conditions for large portions of the South and West, and river flooding expected to be worse than last year in the upper Midwest [NPR, Climate Central]

NOAA issued the three-month U.S. Spring Outlook today, stating that odds favor above-average temperatures across much of the continental United States, including drought-stricken areas of Texas, the Southwest and the Great Plains. Spring promises little drought relief for most of these areas, as well as Florida, with below-average spring precipitation favored there. Meanwhile, river flooding is likely to be worse than last year across the country, with the most significant flood potential in North Dakota.

Organizing for America, formed from Obama for America, has asked supporters to to sign a petition for a “clean budget” in the Senate, warning of Republican amendments “designed to destroy environmental protections and set back decades of progress.” [The Hill]

Sally Jewell’s nomination to become Secretary of the Interior was approved overwhelmingly by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee yesterday. [Washington Post]

Senator Roy Blunt filed a budget amendment requiring a 60-vote threshold for any carbon price legislation. [The Hill]

Another amendment filed by Senator Barasso would stop federal agencies from including greenhouse gas emissions from exporting fossil fuels in carbon rules. [The Hill]

The 2010 Icelandic volcanic eruption seeded the ocean with clouds of iron particles, which some geoengineering supporters say would reduce carbon dioxide levels, but a new study says it did no such thing. [Daily Climate]

Traffic increases carbon dioxide levels, and a new study finds it also increases chronic asthma cases in children. [LA Times]

Apple’s largest data center is now running on 100 percent renewable energy, increasing the proportion of renewable energy used by the entire company to 75 percent. [Reuters]

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is urging China — along with other countries with high emissions — to price carbon and stop subsidizing fossil fuels. [Wall Street Journal]

20 Responses to March 22 News: NOAA Predicts Warmer-Than-Average Spring For Most Of U.S. And Little Drought Relief

  1. fj says:

    It seems that Apple eventually going 100% renewable energy is very encouraging.

  2. Icarus62 says:

    Here’s a thought: One day, in the not too distant future, the world is going to wake up and the people are going to be electing governments based on their plans and competency to deal with the climate crisis in a serious way, not just fiddling with a few percent emissions reductions here and there.

    Those governments are going to be calling on scientists and engineers to come up with effective schemes to sequester CO2 from the atmosphere, as that’s the safest method of geo-engineering the planet, and they’ll want schemes which can be up and running, on a huge scale, almost immediately – not in 30 years’ time.

    Who is working on the technology *now*, that we will need when the world wakes up and starts taking global warming seriously? Someone needs to be. Someone needs to be working on the R&D so that when the time comes, they can hand it over to our best engineers and industries and say “get on and build it, make it work”.

  3. Sasparilla says:

    “Why geoengineering has immediate appeal to China”

    Interesting article which basically says from the Chinese communist govt. standpoint they just want to keep the good times going (massive economic growth – requiring large CO2 emissions for decades) so they maintain power and Geo-Engineering would offer the promise of letting the good times roll and delaying some of the climate change consequences temporarily. The country likes to fiddle with its rain via cloudseeding so they’d probably have less hesitation from that standpoint as well.

    This scenario would be rather bad – keep fossil fueling (for growth) but do Geo-Engineering to slightly roll back and delay some effects till it all falls apart at some point. We’ll get to see how this plays out, but it would seem likely China is the biggest player likely to move forward with Geo-Engineering on their own (regardless of what others say).

  4. Sasparilla says:

    Joe I wanted to request that you check out this presentation (looks like it was at U of Manchester in 2012) and tell us what you think (Real Clothes for the Emperor:
    facing the challenges of climate change by Kevin Anderson):

    Looks at current emissions and what’s needed for 2C and basically says its not even close to being plausible and that 4C will be a big stretch with world emissions topping in 2020. It talks about the fact that scientists are debating whether they should tell the tough truth or not – as it would take away hope. You’ll want a drink after reading it, if you drink.

    I stumbled over this presentation in a link from a Guardian article on Geo-Engineering and how it would fit well with China’s government (have that link up but its in moderation purgatory).

  5. Mark E says:

    Timing was lousy…. I stumbled onto this Heritage Foundation attack on PACCOM Adm Locklear right after lunch.

  6. Sasparilla says:

    Wanted to flag something I heard on CNBC this morning (U.S. only) – Natural Gas Prices have kissed $4 MMBTu and hovering just below it – the commentator said that $4 natural gas means Coal starts getting chosen for power plants again instead of natural gas – he said this would be good for the rail companies, since they haul the coal (this is for existing plants).

    Natural gas prices have risen ~100% from Dec 2011 as it climbs out the effects of an oversupply bubble. Were it to double again, you’d have parity (or slightly more expensive) than equivalent gasoline ($3.75 gallon), doubt that happens soon though. Natural gas is losing its leverage to put coal plants out of business on straight costs of running the plants at this point…I was hoping that would go on for a few more years & snuff out more coal plants.

  7. Sasparilla says:

    Ah, here’s the presentation (Cabot Institute Annual Lecture):

    Real Clothes for the Emperor: facing the challenges of climate change by Kevin Anderson – Nov 2012

  8. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Letting ‘The Market’ determine everything always works so well, does it not?

  9. Sasparilla says:

    Oh yes Mulga, its only a solution for those mythical shareholders, which in the end, is no solution at all. That said, when we don’t have our govt. doing anything I’ll take all the coal plant closings from “the market” we can get and am sad that door is closing here.

    Mulga, check out this video presentation I stumbled on today (wanted a drink after watching it) – from November 2012 the guy basically takes all the big reports our elected officials look at and points out these huge errors (typically in accounting for prior CO2 emissions and in forecasting future CO2 emissions by the folks between the scientists and the politicians) that make it “plausible” for us to reach 2.0C (i.e. the numbers are gamed), it appears 4.0C will be a huge stretch without feedbacks was the guy’s point:

  10. Sasparilla says:

    I was laughing when I heard this today. I hope Phil takes the 5th. ;-)

    Of course here in IL, we didn’t get snow until Feb., but since then we’ve had winter, still have the snow on the ground – unfortunately for the spring animals who have all returned, apparently remembering the summer weather we had last March, (its been cold enough we had a Canadian goose freeze to death on a pond out back earlier this week).

  11. Check into Allan Savory (watch his TED talk and read the commentary on that page); Wes Jackson and the Land Institute; and the International Biochar Initiative web site. Between these three technologies, we can bring existing CO2 back to pre-industrial levels in about 100 years, assuming we have stopped emissions.

  12. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Philip, I know Savory sounds great but you only have to walk around the top end of Oz to see the ravaged soils, noxious weeds and wrecked water holes that hooved animals have inflicted on the fragile, old soils of Australia. We have, as you know, massive problems here, and doing more of the same is not going to work, ME

  13. Mark E says:

    sorry, I couldn’t help double posting to test the spam filter. Guess its working based on keywords

  14. Joe Romm says:

    Except Geo-Engineering without aggressive mitigation is hopeless.

  15. Sasparilla says:

    I totally agree Joe, but that may not matter much to those folks who only want to assure they’re still in power in 20 years…

  16. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Wrong animals. We need lots more macropods, and, if we must eat meat, we must eat them.

  17. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Yes, it is what any rational person knows, and pretending that it is not so is the soft denialism that is running rampant on the sane side of society. It’s understandable.

  18. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    It’s simply the horrible truth, that the sane humans cannot stomach. I don’t blame them-I believe, just below the rational surface, in miracles, too. Some ‘Act of God’ will mysteriously come to pass, and save humanity. It keeps you from screaming at people in the street.

  19. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Yes, and they’re better for you, jokes about boiled possum aside, ME