Russian President Medvedev: “What is happening now in our central regions is evidence of this global climate change, because we have never in our history faced such weather conditions in the past.”

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"Russian President Medvedev: “What is happening now in our central regions is evidence of this global climate change, because we have never in our history faced such weather conditions in the past.”"

NYT: “Russia Bans Grain Exports After Drought Shrivels Crop”

Russia is being devastated by extreme weather  — and their leaders aren’t silent on what they think the cause is.  On Thursday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev spoke to a Russian Security Council meeting on the ongoing threat of wildfires associated with the country’s heatwave and drought:

“…our country has not experienced such a heat wave in the last 50 or even 100 years… I want to say that this is, of course, a severe trial for our country, a great trial indeed. But at the same time, we are not alone in facing these hardships, for other countries too have gone through such trials and, despite all the difficulties, have managed to cope with the situation. … Overall, we need to learn our lessons from what has happened, and from the unprecedented heat wave that we have faced this summer.

None of us can say what the next summer will be like. The forecasts vary greatly. Everyone is talking about climate change now. Unfortunately, what is happening now in our central regions is evidence of this global climate change, because we have never in our history faced such weather conditions in the past. This means that we need to change the way we work, change the methods that we used in the past.”

Well, everyone is talking about climate change is now — except maybe major U.S. media outlets like the New York Times.  The NYT reports today:

Russia  banned all exports of grain on Thursday after millions of acres of wheat withered in a severe drought, a portentous decision at a time when crop failures caused by heat and flooding span the northern hemisphere.

And the Times goes on to explain that wheat prices have “increased about 90 percent since June because of the drought in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and parts of the European Union, and floods in Canada.” But it is all just random series of coincidences to the Times (see “As nation, Russia, and world swelter under record-smashing heat waves, The NYTimes sets one-day record for most unilluminating stories“).

But not to the Russian president.  Last Friday, in remarks to the heads of international sports federations, Medvedev said:

“We are in the middle of an unprecedented heat wave…We have never had such record high temperatures before. At times I have the impression that I’m somewhere in Italy or in Egypt, but certainly not in Moscow…Frankly, what is going on with the world’s climate at the moment should incite us all (I mean world leaders and heads of public organizations) to make a more strenuous effort to fight global climate change.

We will have to take this factor into account in our preparations for the Olympics and other international competitions. I think that we will have to make adjustments for the climate factor, and spend extra money, and this concerns the Winter Olympics too. Very soon in fact I will be meeting right there [in Sochi], as it happens, with the heads of our sports federations representing winter sports. We will need to take what is happening to nature into account.”

Global warming needs to be taken into account when planning the Olympics, contrary to what the anti-science crowd has said (see “Is that airlifted snow on your Olympic ski mountain, or is your enormous helicopter just happy to see me? and “What can the Winter Olympic sports tell us about climate change?“).

The extent of Russia’s fires is captured in images posted by NASA’s Earth Observatory today in Fires and Smoke in Russia.  According to NASA:

“Intense fires continued to rage in western Russia on August 4, 2010. Burning in dry peat bogs and forests, the fires produced a dense plume of smoke that reached across hundreds of kilometers….The fires along the southern edge of the smoke plume near the city of Razan, …[in above image], are among the most intense. Outlined in red, a line of intense fires is generating a wall of smoke. The easternmost fire in the image is extreme enough that it produced a pyrocumulus cloud, a dense towering cloud formed when intense heat from a fire pushes air high into the atmosphere.

The lower image shows the full extent of the smoke plume, spanning about 3,000 kilometers (1,860 miles) from east to west. If the smoke were in the United States, it would extend approximately from San Francisco to Chicago….

Early analyses of data … indicates that smoke from previous days has at times reached 12 kilometers (six miles) above Earth’s surface into the stratosphere. At such heights, smoke is able to travel long distances to affect air quality far away. This may be one reason that the smoke covers such a large area. The pyrocumulus cloud and the detection of smoke in the stratosphere are good indicators that the fires are large and extremely intense.

According to news reports, 520 fires were burning in western Russia on August 4…. High temperatures and severe drought dried vegetation throughout central Russia, creating hazardous fire conditions in July.

As of August 4, 48 people had died in the fires and more than 2,000 had lost their homes throughout central Russia, said news reports. The dense smoke also created hazardous air quality over a broad region. Visibility in Moscow dropped to 20 meters (0.01 miles) on August 4, and health officials warned that everyone, including healthy people, needed to take preventative measures such as staying indoors or wearing a mask outdoors, reported the Wall Street Journal. In the image, Moscow is hidden under a pall of smoke. Close to the fires, smoke poses a health risk because it contains small particles (soot) and hazardous gases that can irritate the eyes and respiratory system. Smoke also contains chemicals that lead to ozone production farther away from the fires.”

As WWF’s climate blog notes:

The smoke appears now to extend even beyond Russia to North America.  In its daily smoke report (5 Aug 2010), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says that an “area of thin aerosol that is believed to be smoke was analyzed over Nunavut and extending into northern portions of Manitoba. It’s possible that this area may be associated with the ongoing fire activity over Russia.”

Lester Brown is sounding more and more prescient every day:

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61 Responses to Russian President Medvedev: “What is happening now in our central regions is evidence of this global climate change, because we have never in our history faced such weather conditions in the past.”

  1. Well, I guess this must prove now that the whole global warming thing is a commie plot :).

  2. MapleLeaf says:

    BBC is reporting 50 lives now lost in the heat wave and 3500 people have lost their homes to fires.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-10881892

    No mention in the BBC story of the link to this major event and record/near-record high global temperatures be/c of AGW/ACC. These are the type of events that I was personally expecting to become widespread after 2040 or so, not now…..

    Forecast at wunderground.com for Moscow is 40 C (104 F)for Friday, with max. temps. staying at 37 C or higher until at least next Wednesday….

    Death toll in Pakistan from unprecedented floods now at 1600, with 4 million people affected.

    This is all so very sad…and yet our leaders continue to drag their feet on reducing GHG emissions.

  3. From Peru says:

    The West Russia hotspot is visible in this NOAA map:
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/map/images/fnl/sfctmpmer_01b.fnl.html

    Heat also affects North America, Central and East Asia.

    Finally, there is also a cold area in South America (Argentina, Brasil, Bolivia and my country, Peru), now in winter, that surely will apperar in the WUWT disinformation.

  4. paulm says:

    I is about time people start attributing Climate Change events as such.

    All this – you cant attribute a single event to climate change, is misleading.

  5. Bob Wright says:

    Selfish of him banning grain exports! When is he going to ban coal and oil exports?

  6. Michael Tucker says:

    Drought and the fires are causing the fear of a food shortage. The shortage is not actually here yet but just the mention of an export ban is enough to cause prices to rise. Many are now saying that if the drought and heat persist it may stop planting of winter wheat and that would cause a shortfall in wheat supply.

    The state of the climate seems to present a clear threat to our water and food supplies now. Many experts are saying that in just 20 years water and food shortages will become common occurrences in many countries. India constantly, every year, deals with food and water shortages and in just 20 years India is expected to surpass China in population.

    The dangers of global warming are here now! We do not need to wait until the end of this century to experience climate driven catastrophes! Water is the limiting factor. A water shortage means that a food shortage and an energy shortage will follow. We have very few technologies to produce energy without water.

  7. SecularAnimist says:

    So, the phytoplankton are already dying off, and agriculture is already collapsing.

    Meanwhile, the most aggressive GHG reduction plans even being contemplated by any nation in the world are based on the obsolete idea that if we can keep CO2 below 450ppm everything will be OK.

  8. john kearns says:

    No, Comrade CapitalClimate, the Hadian Russian summer is a capitalist plot. The United States is using a weather weapon against the Motherland. Someone commented in this blog that some Russians actually
    believe this.

    Mr. Putin is a big-time Inhofe (also mentioned here), and is considered an Edgar Bergen to Medvedev’s Charley McCarthy. (I suppose a Muppet reference would be more up-to date). I wonder if Medvedev is straying
    from the script or the party line has changed.

  9. Steve Bloom says:

    Re #1: Commie plot? Nyet! To be blamink moose and squirrel.

    Re #5: Plus consider that due to lags in the climate system the effects we’re experiencing now were locked in two or three decades ago.

  10. Michael Tucker says:

    SecularAnimist,

    Yes it is absolutely ridiculous to think that all will be well at 450 ppm and completely stupid to think we will only experience a few degrees of warming at the doubling figure of 560 ppm. Even if we stopped now, between 390 and 400 ppm, the climate would continue to warm and the negative effects would continue to happen.

    There is no salvation and our, the worlds, constant dithering means we will continue our experiment with catastrophic climate change.

  11. command & control advantage says:

    I hope Russia can mimic China’s Green velocity. I wonder if what is learned about combatting Russian peat fires could be used to fight coal seam fires and future peat/tiaga fires. BC is alight too so forget multi-hemisphere firefighting pooling. Can fighter jets drop water balloons?
    I’m not sure, but I think Alberta tar sands are harvested by a process that dries out the surface layer of peat. If so and in combination with mountain pine beetle’s 2010 arrival, I think it means Northern AB will be alight shortly and moreso in the future if tar expansion. The industry/gov guesses peat land use CO2 emissions are 15% ontop of other emissions, not sure if it is just for harvesting methods to date or if new extraction technologies also release peat CO2. Not sure who to trust here as even multi-political-party document penned for this sector get shredded and gagged (is why I round 15% to 20%).

  12. Secular Analist says:

    They can buy wheat from America. America was blessed with good rain and fine harvest. The Mennnonites brought wheat from Russia 140 years ago to flee the Czars. Wheat consumes 10,340 kilograms per acre CO2.

  13. Florifulgurator says:

    Don’t panic. It’s a hoax.

  14. hapa says:

    oh well sheee-yoot. my honey TOLD me not to buy that REAL ESTATE in siBEERia. but them HEARTLAND INSTITUTE folks sounded so TRUSTWORTHY.…

  15. Colorado Bob says:

    Russia fires pose nuclear threat, death toll hits 50

    Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu said heat from fires in the Bryansk region, which already has nuclear contamination from the Chernobyl disaster more than 20 years ago, could release harmful radioactive particles into the atmosphere.

    “In the event of a fire there, radionuclides could rise (into the air) together with combustion particles, resulting in a new pollution zone,” he said on state television, without going into detail.

    The temperature may beat last week’s 38C absolute record on Friday, topping 40C, and remain at 35-38C throughout next week, the deputy director of Rosgidromet meteorological service, Gennady Eliseev, told Itar-Tass news agency.

    The extreme heat may only abate after Aug. 23, he said.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSLDE6741EQ._CH_.2400

  16. Lore says:

    “They can buy wheat from America. America was blessed with good rain and fine harvest.”

    Hurricane season isn’t over yet. All it takes is load of wet weather to prevent the harvests in the Midwest and you’ve got more problems.

  17. John Mason says:

    NOAA’s Deke Arndt recently put it:

    “Climate trains the boxer but weather throws the punches”.

    I think that single short sentence could become Mankind’s epitaph…….

    Cheers – John

  18. Lou Grinzo says:

    John Mason: Nope. The epitaph will be: Died of myopia.

    Everyone: I’ve re-done my graphs page with a few new items (sun spot count, a few other Bremen graphs), and a completely new and much cleaner interface (no more buttons!).

    http://www.grinzo.com/energy/graphs_test_new_menu.html

    Feedback is welcome. (I’m lougrinzo over on that gmail.com place.)

    And as for the food situation, imagine how much more tenuous it would be if the US funneled 25% of its corn crop into ethanol. Oh, wait…

  19. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    Beside the absurdly selective death toll being reported in western media, a parallel falsehood is being told about the scale of the areas of Russia’s Boreal forest that have burned this summer. The following satellite images give some clues. (Go to the 250m/pixel view to see the fires’ dark burnt areas).

    The first is from July 7th and shows a fire well established NE of the bay behind the Chuchki Peninsular.
    http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/gallery/?2010188-0707/Russia.A2010188.0035.1km.jpg

    The next shows the same fire on July 25th
    http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/gallery/?2010206-0725/Russia.A2010206.0020.1km.jpg

    The next shows the same fire on July 31st.
    http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/gallery/?2010212-0731/Russia.A2010212.0140.2km.jpg
    By my estimate this one fire had burned about 5,000 km2, or 0.5 Mha.s during the month.

    The next shows the number of fires in central Russia just north of Mongolia, on April 17th.
    http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/gallery/?2008108-0417/Russia.A2008108.0420.1km.jpg

    Evidently a massive conflagration has been going on over the last 4 months, with nothing much said until July.

    The critical aspect that has yet to get any discussion that I’ve seen has been wildfire-as-feedback. A very rough estimate can be made: per 1.0 MHa.s, assuming as much as 280TsC are released per hectare, x 3.67 for CO2, equals around 1.0 gigatonne of CO2 per million hectares burnt. Yet with the release of volatile hydrocarbons, plus carbon monoxide, plus unburnt methane, plus soot particulates, the CO2e figure is surely well over 2.0 GTsCo2e per 1.0 Mha.s.

    Hopefully NASA is collating the charred areas to give overall figures for the forest and grasslands burnt this year. At present it seems likely that the fires will be quite a kick to this year’s global anthro GHG outputs.

    Quite apart from the need for cutting extensive firebreaks in both Canada and Russia on an unprecedented scale to at least slow the forests’ combustion in the coming years, I’d suggest that geoengineering is going to be rising up the global agenda rather fast. –

    It seems to me that either we’re in the debate as to what are Geo-E’s prudent intentions, how it would best be governed, what are the trade offs (the treaty), and what are the criteria for sustainability, or we’ll likely be faced with an incompetent greenwash fait accompli.

    Regards,

    Lewis

  20. Wit'sEnd says:

    Of course, climate change with more frequent and intense heat waves and droughts and extreme weather events (like hail and floods) will be sufficient to cause crops to fail, and to kill trees, and increase the incidence of wildfires. The only question is, how soon will it spiral insanely out of control?

    We could buy some time, if we wanted to, to stave off the worst, and plan and adapt…while we figure out what to do about the rather intractable problems of ocean acidification, and the albedo effect.

    What we can’t put off are the effects of toxic ozone damage. Those are powerful, and current, and rapidly intensifying and worsening.

    Trees that have been damaged by years of cumulative exposure to ozone – and acid rain in all of its manifestations – are pyres of tinder waiting for ignition.

    There are still some left – and even though they may be irreversible decline, we still have their genetic code in the seeds and nuts and fruits that aren’t completely gone yet.

    It’s imperative if humans want to survive as a species, even if in greatly reduced numbers, that we have the food, shelter, and habitat of trees.

    Any use of fuel should be immediately restricted to only the most necessary purpose.

    energy gobbling toys…mass extinction…toys…mass extinction…

    Is it really that hard of a choice?

    http://witsendnj.blogspot.com/2010/08/russia-burning.html

  21. Well the verdict is well and truly in.

    It’s global warming.

    It’s dangerous.

    We need to act.

  22. Robert says:

    MapleLeaf (#2) – there has been a total about face at the BBC over the last few months. Pre-Copenhagen climate change was mentioned every five minutes and just about every bit of bad weather, coastal erosion and dead polar bear was blamed on it. Post-Copenhagen climate change is NEVER mentioned in any context whatsoever. BBC news has successfully manoeuvered through floods in China, India and Pakistan, and fires in Russia and Australia without ever mentioning CC once. Someone high up has obviously issued a “don’t mention the war I mentioned it once but I think I got away with it” memo. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xnNhzgcWTk

    Even our new Climate and Energy Secretary managed to go though a lengthy BBC interview explaining how we were going to build wind turbines, nuclear, etc. without ever mentioning CO2 or CC. The whole thing is now justified on economic grounds to reduce our vulnerability to volatile global fossil fuel prices.

  23. Robert says:

    This is a BBC report of the Chris Huhne interview: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8874933.stm

  24. Peter Mizla says:

    A grim look at the heartland of the USA – now seen in Russia.
    A hellish view of our near globally and in this country- indeed.

  25. villabolo says:

    paulm says:
    August 5, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    “All this – you cant attribute a single event to climate change, is misleading.”
    *********************************************************************

    It’s a matter of “correct” communication. If you preface a single event with a brief overview of the general, world wide, situation, then you are “highlighting” single events.

    Example: “Global Warming predicts more intense rains. The floods in X, Y, Z are likely to be an example.”

    “Cherry picking” is when you bring up examples out of context of the big picture.

  26. Question…

    I’ve just read Mckibben’s Eaarth in which he proposes we become far more self sufficient, and and work on “down-scaling” agricultural operations and thinking “smaller”.

    Time to start making communities more self sufficient and moving towards new models of energy supply and distribution?

    Adaption/mitigation is obviously where we need to invest…

  27. So I wonder what Russia will do. I am not sure what their water re-distribution possibilities might be.

    It was mostly un-noticed when this blog reported Pres. Hu saying that they would. “– energetically increase forest carbon … we will endeavor to increase forest coverage by 40 million hectares and forest stock volume by 1.3 billion cubic meters by 2020 from the 2005 levels.” Here is a reason for that biggest dam in the world, among other things.

    North America has enormous potential for water re-distribution that could enable standing forests instead of deserts all the way through Mexico. Other food crop production could also benefit. And yes, we should pay Canada for their resource, and maybe even lay off haranguing them over the oil sands processing, as if we know better how to do things.

  28. Wit'sEnd says:

    Haha, Robert #22…

    I laughed so hard I had tears! Brilliant link!

  29. John Mason says:

    Lou (#18)

    Indeed – you’re probably right!

    Meanwhile over at the Guardian, they’re asking “is it time to retire the term Global Warming”?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/aug/05/global-warming-birthday-new-name?showallcomments=true#start-of-comments

    Motl weighs in immediately, presumably via RSS feed. I ask him if dogmatism has an off-switch? A response is not yet forthcoming!

    Meanwhile, I hear reports that speculators are playing the grain market. A question: after a disaster, it is often reported that “looters will be apprehended/shot/whatever”. Are speculators any different – or worse?

    Cheers – John

  30. Colorado Bob says:

    It seems the real body count in Russia may be coming to light , ……….
    ” Humanitarian organizations say the number of those killed could be much higher. ” – Earth Times
    First time I’ve seen that in the reports .

    Another telling item –

    The military prosecutor for the Moscow region gave orders to protect military sites in the Moscow region after there were widespread reports that a communications centre belonging to the country’s General Staff was burned down in the Moscow region.

    The Ministry of Defence denied the reports. However, it also denied last week that fire had ravaged a naval base. President Dmitry Medvedev sacked several senior navy officers on Wednesday after it was revealed that the blaze had indeed occurred. ”
    Reuters –
    ————-
    ” There are no climate change deniers on a wild land fire crew .”

    The head US fire fighter 2007

  31. paulm says:

    #25 vill,
    I think extreme record events are special especially if they are in the context of a trend and the physics. With refinement of climate prediction I think we will be able to say to a given probability that an event was due to a climate forcing. We will get there with hind site….

    If that probability is over a threshold then to all extent and purpose you should be able to attribute it to the forcing. In particular for communicating to the public.

  32. MarkB says:

    No end in sight for Moscow…

    http://www.wunderground.com/global/stations/27612.html

    Keep in mind that the average high in Moscow this time of year is in the low 70’s. Record highs generally run from the low 80’s to low 90’s. They are being smashed out of the ballpark and out of the city.

    Jeff Masters noted that the Moscow’s monthly record for July was shattered by 4-5 degrees C. That’s no typo. No missed decimal point. It’s truly a remarkable weather event, and for the true weather nerds, I’d like to see how often such events that extremely anomalous occur.

  33. Prokaryotes says:

    Long term implications …

    Russian Wildfire Threatens Nuclear Facility
    As record hot temperatures reaching 35 degrees Celsius continue to bake Russia, wildfires threaten the nation’s nuclear-weapons laboratory and other military facilities. A thick haze of wood smoke blankets Moscow.

    While 3,000 firefighters battle flames and try to protect Russia’s main nuclear weapons laboratory, the head of Russia’s nuclear agency sought to reassure the public that all radioactive materials have been removed. http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/europe/Russian-Wildfire-Threatens-Nuclear-Facility-99961334.html

  34. Prokaryotes says:

    Russian officials spoke about “stormy fires”.

    Shoigu said that “upstream” fires are spreading much more quickly, in Nizhny Novgorod region fiery tornadoes move at a speed of 100 meters per minute. “We have a fire area of 82,000 hectares which emerged in 6 hours. Fiery tornadoes jumped over 250-meter lakes like a puddle”, Shoigu reported.

    Russian authorities say that in one day, the area of fires increased by more than 27,5 thousand hectares. http://kavkazcenter.com/eng/content/2010/07/31/12338.shtml

  35. Gary says:

    I bought and read “The Genesis Strategy” by Stephen H. Schneider in 1977 or
    maybe 1978. Thirty plus years later here we are without a strategy.

  36. Omega Centauri says:

    Jim @27, artificially increasing forest coverage into desert regions may not have a net cooling effect. The reason is that deserts have high albedo, and forest albedo is very low. It is claimed that subarctic forest expansion has a net warming effect (amplified by the temperature/albedo effect in the arctic). The increased evaporation also enhances atmospheric water vapor, which is itself a greenhouse gas. I don’t think we can plant our way out of our climate problem.

  37. Colorado Bob says:

    The flood is moving into the breadbasket along the Indus

    On Thursday, Kot Adu, a town in southern Punjab, was totally submerged, with almost its entire population of 300,000 residents evacuated, said Uzma Shafi, an aid worker with Plan International, a British-based charity. People escaped with their loved ones and also with their livestock, valuable possessions but ones that caused more chaos.

    Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/08/05/98711/pakistani-floods-threaten-lives.html#ixzz0vnYn67lM

  38. Colorado Bob says:

    Moscow’s tabloid press has even speculated that the United States orchestrated the heatwave in order to favour its own grain exporters by blasting Russia with harmful rays from a research station in Alaska.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/aug/05/vladimir-putin-ban-grain-exports

    ————
    (Insert Palin joke here.)

  39. Colorado Bob says:

    Flash floods kill at least 50 in Indian Kashmir

    The area is a high-altitude desert about 11,500 feet above sea level, and normally experiences very low precipitation.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2010-08-06-india-floods_N.htm

  40. Colorado Bob says:

    July 2010 was the wettest month of July on record with a record rainfall of 10.93 inches in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (This shatters the old record of 7.66

    In the last two months, Yankton has received 16.90 inches of rain according to the National Weather Service, which is a record for the two months. The yearly average as of Aug. 2 is 15.40 inches.

    Yankton isn’t the only place that has received record rainfall this summer. Vermillion has received 19.25 inches of rain, also a record, during the last two months.

    Wakefield, Neb., which is 70 miles southeast of Yankton, had its wettest two months of the summer in history with a total of 16.95 inches.

    The past week’s rain has created the wettest summer on record for Sioux Falls with 17.93 inches of rain since June 1 as of Tuesday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

  41. Colorado Bob says:

    Here in B.C. it had been a slow fire season — until two weeks ago. Then the consequences of the third-driest July on record took hold. In much of B.C. it was the hottest July on record, too, with temperature ceilings shattered in many communities.

    Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Stephen+Hume+Weather+trends+signal+more+raging+fire+seasons+ahead/3364475/story.html#ixzz0vnqZnuaW

  42. richard pauli says:

    NOAA says that Russian smoke is drifting over the US
    http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/FIRE/DATA/SMOKE/2010H050457.html

  43. Mark says:

    One thing I find very interesting is that Russia is often viewed as a potential winner from climate change, at least in the short and medium term. I hope this lays to rest the idea that there will be any clear “winners”. There may be, but I think you’d be foolish to bank on it.

  44. Marion Delgado says:

    Didn’t the NYT say Medvedev was a front man, and that Vladimir Putin still had all the power, even though they’d switched jobs? Oh, wait, another thing the US media said confidently for years that was fraudulent. Funny, they still don’t quote Putin. I mean, don’t we want to know what the real leadership thinks?

  45. _Flin_ says:

    This is all a piece of cake. Current global temperature anomalies are around 0.6. We are heading for 3.9 on current emissions path.

    Go figure.

  46. Brooks Bridges says:

    Given the US singlehandedly produced a huge percentage (cumulatively) of our current excess of greenhouse gases, one wonders how many more catastrophes, such as Russia’s, it will take before the world is “taking us to court” and demanding we make major changes.

  47. Wit'sEnd says:

    Interesting question, Brooks Bridges. It puts comment #39 into perspective!

  48. SecularAnimist says:

    So, what are the prospects that the massive Russian fires are going to stop — any time soon, or ever? Will they just burn and burn until they run out of “fuel”? That could be a long time.

  49. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    Inevitably rains will stop the fires at some point, pretty certainly before winter, but future droughts will prepare fresh episodes of combustion.

    If there’s no action taken to cut very extensive firebreaks to prevent fires spreading, then the process would likely consume all of the fuel within a few decades, given the rising incidence of extreme droughts. Reports of ‘fire-tornadoes’ with the ability to jump a 250m lake give an idea of the immense scale of the firebreaks that will be needed.

    The alternative, of letting the forests burn, would be to multiply current anthro GHG outputs very substantially.

    It will be an interesting new focus within the UNFCCC as to how nations will presumably have to be held accountable for their feedback emissions. Canada & Russia being cases in point.

    Regards,

    Lewis

  50. norris hall says:

    Global warming??
    Naw said Russia’s Medvedev last year.
    The global-warming debate is just “some kind of tricky campaign made up by some commercial structures to promote their business projects.”

    Medvedev announced that Russia would be spewing 30% more planet-warming gases into the atmosphere by 2020. “We will not cut our development potential,” he said during the summer of 2009.

    Now …after the hottest summer on record , forest fires scorching the earth, a failed wheat crop and no rain for months here’s Medvedev now

    “practically everything is burning. The weather is anomalously hot.” “What’s happening with the planet’s climate right now needs to be a wake-up call to all of us, meaning all heads of state, all heads of social organizations, in order to take a more energetic approach to countering the global changes to the climate.”

    At least he’s smart enough to know Global Warming when he sees it.
    Conservatives are not that intelligent

  51. Michael Tucker (#6) says, correctly: “The dangers of global warming are here now! We do not need to wait until the end of this century to experience climate driven catastrophes! Water is the limiting factor. A water shortage means that a food shortage and an energy shortage will follow. We have very few technologies to produce energy without water.”

    Wind is one of those also, using virtually no water while it generates electricity sans CO2 … I trust everyone here from the U.S. contacted their Senators concerning a Renewable Electricity Standard? If not, more info at http://www.powerofwind.org

  52. paulm says:

    Want to see what it will look like from now on in the summer at 1C GW….

    http://inapcache.boston.com/ universal/ site_graphics/ blogs/ bigpicture/ russiafire_08_02/ r12_24529197.jpg

    The entire central BC coast is a ghostly eerie gloom from raging interior fires…
    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/08/05/bc-air-quality-advisory-extended.html
    http://www.cbc.ca/video/player.html?category=News&zone=canada&site=cbc.news.ca&clipid=1559472570

  53. Esop says:

    I guess the Russians never guessed that global cooling could be so hot.
    I don’t envy Russian climate deniers these days.
    Extremely serious situation, though.
    After a long lucky streak when it came to the distribution of warm temperatures (record temps mostly in remote areas), the deniers are now facing the difficult situation where both DC and Moscow are boiling in record smashing temperatures. SSTs have been going straight up lately, despite the La Nina. UAH satellite land temps still well above 09 levels, so there is a good chance that 2010 will break the all time record despite the natural drivers being turned to the cool setting. I think climate scientists predicted so quite a long time ago. The anti science group predicted something else.

  54. TYM says:

    Slowly, Mr. Worthington realizes that global warming is more serious than just changing to a summer suit, and that agriculture is affected…

    http://tinyurl.com/2uqqjwh

  55. Michael Y says:

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Most of the readers of this blog already recognize that some of the early impacts of climate change are clearly upon us and already creating great harm around the world.

    Most of us have avoided supporting intentional geo-engineering efforts because of (1) unforeseen consequences and (2) creating a moral hazard. This was my position for a long time. But I’ve had to revise my thinking.

    Potential positive feedback loop tipping points and collapsing ecological systems are either imminent or already upon us. We need to change our position and re-think our opposition to geo-engineering.

    Sincerely,

    Michael

  56. Whatshisname says:

    @Prokaryotes #35 — Some of the descriptions of the Russian fires sound similar to the ones during the Australian bush fires of early 2009.

  57. Leif says:

    “We need to change our position and re-think our opposition to geo-engineering.” states Michael Y.

    I fully agree, the very first geo-engineering approach should be to stop digging the hole that got us here. Any other approach is just whistling in the wind. Other suggestions must pass “peer review science” by at least 95% approval, which is a bit less than the scientific agreement that Global Climatic Disruption represents serious trouble on the horizon.

    Michael, perhaps you would like to put a lower threshold on Geo-E? Perhaps a few buddies on talk radio night do the trick? That of course assumes that those talking heads are wrong on AGW in the first place and action must be taken.

  58. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    Leif –

    The paper by Prof Creutzen (a scientist of very high renown) concerning the use of sulphates as an atmospheric coolant was published after full per review. In its day it was the best available published option.

    Personally I see little prospect of sulphates being used owing to both their pollution effects and to their very slow control responses hindering the negotiation of their deployment.

    In a sense, just which technologies are applied for carbon recovery and albido restoration is a secondary concern – The primary question is whether, in addition to rapidly ending anthro GHG outputs, there is any viable alternative means of cleansing the atmosphere and controlling the feedbacks while doing so.

    If so, we need to identify it; if not, we need to start serious discussion asap of the relative merits of candidate-options for Geo-E.

    Regards,

    Lewis

  59. all the hot weather in north hemesphere and floods in pakistan are caused by colder conditions at the antartic when the antartics cold air pushes outwards like it as done in south america this year weather pattens change look at russias heat wave it coincides with south americas very cold weather the antartic can change global weather pattens in southern hemesphere that in turn change weather pattens in north hemesphere and by the way gt britain faces a very cold snowy icy winter again this year