Pacific Provocation

July 17, 2015

BlobBright, clear and windy this Friday afternoon on California’s north coast — supposedly we could reach the mid-70s sometime today, even as the entire region is apparently cooling off a bit after a run at some record heat.

Part-n-parcel for the times: ‘Summer temperatures have already increased across the U.S. in recent decades; in the Pacific Northwest they have risen by almost 0.5°F per decade since 1970.’

Couple that shit with “…the Super Bowl of climate anomaly,” wherein nicknamed, “the blob,” — a section of the Pacific Ocean, the size of Alaska, 300 feet deep and stretching from California to the Gulf of Alaska.
Water in that “blob” is roughly 5 degrees warmer than it should be — tropical seeping up the coast — creating chaos with marine life and “…the warm water has gone so far north that the fish have followed it.”
Worse trait, keeps the rain/snow away, too, lending heritage to California’s drought, along with dry spots infested all over the Pacific Northwest.

(Illustration found here).

Henceforth, and the tell-tale in the reality show of the season — “El Niño Meets The Blob,”
No screaming violence, a shift most-likely way-more subtle than sharp. A lot of shit on this maybe “super El Niño,” which has been forming in the south Pacific on-and-off the last couple of years, and apparently has gathered strength this past spring. Via The Weather Channel: ‘El Niño is intensifying much earlier than usual this summer and may become the strongest on record in the modern era later this year. That may play a significant role in your weather through the winter and spring.’
The influence of this system per the sometimes-crazy trade winds that straddle the equator is fairly substantial, even already — from WunderBlog this morning: ‘The ferocious wind shear associated with El Niño has remained far enough west to give a tropical wave in the central Atlantic at least a slender chance of development.’
If the El Niño is indeed decent, California can expect to be awash literally in rain/snow this coming winter, which can aid in subduing our drought, but won’t end it. And with the rain/snow, the mudslides, flooding, weird-ass tornadoes, whatnot.

And the effect of the above-mentioned ‘blob’ on the El Niño effect?
An insight via KATU in Portland, OR:

“I want to remind everybody the atmosphere and the climate system has plenty of tricks up its sleeve, so we should always be prepared to be surprised,” said Nick Bond, state climatologist for Washington, who studies the phenomenon he named “The Blob.”

Bond said, for the first time, The Blob and El Niño could impact the Northwest at the same time.
This year’s El Niño — a current of warm water in the Pacific Ocean that can cause warming in the Northwest — is one of the most intense in a century.
“Both of these kinds of impacts are liable to be on the strong side,” said Bond.
“Are they going to work together to cause really weird weather, or is there going to be just a return to more normal conditions?”

Bond said the most likely effect will be warmer temperatures in the Northwest, starting in the fall and lasting possibly through March 2016.
“The deck is stacked for a warmer than normal winter,” Bond said.
“With both of them being in place, that just increases the odds.”
He added that effects could also include the sea level rising six to nine inches, which could cause some flooding in some situations along the coast, and less rain or snow.

Yet there’s no definite answer:

“Still, what ends up happening is kind of random, to a large degree,” he said.
Bond said they can’t predict what will actually happen because it has never happened before and there are no models to show the effects.
But he said it does not look in any way catastrophic.
“There’s no reason to give up,” he laughed.
“We’ll just have to see what the deal of the cards is.”

Is what?
Local possible El Niño-preview for North California at the Willits News.
And a good flip to news-reporting of climate news, especially the ‘current bout of hysteria‘ on that “super El Niño,” can be found at FabiusMaximus — interesting.

Add twixt to the climate situation and our oceans — from the Guardian:

The warming of the oceans due to climate change is now unstoppable after record temperatures last year, bringing additional sea-level rise, and raising the risks of severe storms, US government climate scientists said on Thursday.
The annual State of the Climate in 2014 report, based on research from 413 scientists from 58 countries, found record warming on the surface and upper levels of the oceans, especially in the North Pacific, in line with earlier findings of 2014 as the hottest year on record.

Adds Joe Romm in similar fashion at Climate Progress this morning: ‘NASA reported Wednesday that this was the hottest June on record (tied with 1998). And it’s now all but certain 2015 will be the hottest year on record, probably by a wide margin — as what increasingly appears to be one of the strongest El Niños in 50 years boosts the underlying global warming trend.’
And for an experience of the sad, melancholy sense of our times, read Romm’s piece earlier this week debunking and laying-bare background to the so-called “mini ice age” that is supposedly coming after the sun loses its bright in 15 years — news that circulated amongst the InterWebs the last couple of weeks.

Not only facts, but also reality.

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