Meanwhile the planet is melting


Difficult as it is to drag ourselves away from the petty clickbait that makes the majority of corporate news over the Summer holiday season, the planet is melting.

Hot, hot, hot: 2016 New Zealand’s hottest year since 1909

Last year was New Zealand’s hottest since records began more than 100 years ago.

Seven months of 2016 recorded above average temperatures, according to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa).

Niwa has given its annual review via a live stream on its social media pages this morning, confirming last year was the country’s hottest since records began in 1909.

Globally, it was also the warmest year on record.

…in real time, as we watch…

Spiking Temperatures in the Arctic Startle Scientists

A spate of extreme warmth in the Arctic over the past two months has startled scientists, who warn that the high temperatures may lead to record-low ice coverage next summer and even more warming in a region that is already among the hardest hit by climate change.

In mid-November, parts of the Arctic were more than 35 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than observed averages, scientists said, and at the pole itself, mean temperatures for the month were 23 degrees above normal. Although conditions later cooled somewhat, the extreme warmth is expected to return, with temperatures forecast to be as much as 27 degrees above normal beginning Thursday.

Jeremy Mathis, who directs the Arctic Research Program for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the warmth had led to a later than usual “freeze-up” of ice in the Arctic Ocean. That in turn may lead to record-low ice coverage in the spring and summer, which could lead to more warming because there will be less ice to reflect the sun’s rays and more darker, exposed ocean to absorb them.

“We’re going to be watching the summer of 2017 very closely,” Dr. Mathis said in an interview.

On Wednesday, researchers released a study linking the abnormally high Arctic temperatures to human-caused climate change. Using simulations of the climate, both current and before widespread carbon emissions, they found that the likelihood of extreme temperatures like those that occurred this fall had increased to about once every 50 years from about once every 1,000 years.

…and clinging onto small decreases in Carbon last year are meaningless because the feed back loops are about to start kick in…

Giant iceberg poised to break off from Antarctic shelf

A giant iceberg, with an area equivalent to Trinidad and Tobago, is poised to break off from the Antarctic shelf.

A thread of just 20km of ice is now preventing the 5,000 sq km mass from floating away, following the sudden expansion last month of a rift that has been steadily growing for more than a decade.

The iceberg, which is positioned on the most northern major ice shelf in Antarctica, known as Larsen C, is predicted to be one of the largest 10 break-offs ever recorded.

Professor Adrian Luckman, a scientist at Swansea University and leader of the UK’s Midas project, said in a statement: “After a few months of steady, incremental advance since the last event, the rift grew suddenly by a further 18km during the second half of December 2016. Only a final 20km of ice now connects an iceberg one quarter the size of Wales to its parent ice shelf.”

…this collapse in Antarctica will open glaciers to the ocean.

The speed with which change is occurring is the worst case scenario of the IPCC and the inability of the Political class to challenge the corporate interests that generate the pollution that is killing the planet demands a different type of solution.

In my mind Green Socialism is the only way forward, and that will increasingly be seen as the only way forward once the impacts of out of control global warming take hold.

We are fortunate in NZ in that we are far away from everywhere else, have a large amount of fertile land and clean water. The need to protect those assets will overcome the power of corporate farming once even the sleepiest of Muddle Nu Zilind Hobbits have been woken by the reality of climate change, it simply demands real leadership.

TDB Recommends

If 2017 can’t see a change in Government, it is time to start arguing for a different kind of Opposition in 2018.


  1. That is a stupid bit of titling by the NZ Herald. A whole lot of poor readers are now going to think that 1909 was even hotter, therefore we need not be so worried… and not realise that 1909 is mentioned only because that is when records started being kept.

    • It’s not really inaccurate though is it? If there were no records before then we don’t know if this year is the hottest ever. In fact, we have data from ice cores that show the climate was hotter during the Roman warm period, the Medieval warm period and the Dalton minium (and even further back). We are currently in a warm period

      Go back to the Herald article and read the comments by Dr John Christy

      “Because the margin of error was about 0.10C, this would technically be a statistical tie, with a higher probability that 2016 was warmer than 1998.

      But the main difference was the extra warmth in the Northern Hemisphere in 2016 compared to 1998.

      “The question is, does 2016’s record warmth mean anything scientifically?” Christy said.

      “I suppose the answer is, not really. Both 1998 and 2016 are anomalies, outliers, and in both cases we have an easily identifiable cause for that anomaly: a powerful El Nino Pacific Ocean warming event.

      “While El Ninos are natural climatic events, they also are transient.”

      • Grasping at straws there, I think Cosmicray. But nobody will know for 5 years or so, and those who were in the right will either be happy and unrepentant, or they will be like the motorcyclist who thought as he died – “But I had right of way…”

      • Outliers. Ha, nice one – I suppose you think that gets you a free pass, a convenient excuse to splotch the trend.
        Every El Nino is an outlier – so what’s the trend in outliers? Getting warmer aren’t they.
        Drop them and look at the trend – warmer.
        Keep them in and look at the trend – warmer.

        You can try and pull some sophistry to maintain your position, but the planet inexorably grins a warmer smile at your contortions.

  2. Relax, it’s not happening, and if it is happening it’s definitely not man made, and if it’s man made it can’t be CO2 because CO2 is essential to life. More CO2 is our path to the greening of the planet – so hey, what’s a few storms, floods and tornadoes when a lush green planet is our future?

    • so hey, what’s a few storms, floods and tornadoes when a lush green planet is our future?

      Except for the bits where encroaching desertification changes the landscape.

      But hey, having a mini-Sahara Desert on the East Coast will be good for the tourism sector? 😉

      • I think the coral reefs in the Bay of islands, replacing the Gt Barrier reef will be a bigger drawcard.

      • Good call martyn,

        I would like to ask you to recall the movie “The day after tomorrow” when the world was reaching Northpole breakup and the result was massive weather changes after the ice caps melted and the sea temperatures changed massively as a result?

        Like the Scottish researcher at the edge of the Artic self said in his last moments to scientists in Washington after they requested they leave the weather base station, he said in a chilling tone, “we are unable to leave here now as that time has come and gone”

        I am afraid we are at this point now as you pointed out the Larson ice cap in the west Antarctic yesterday announced a large section of their ice is also about to sever and detach from the Antarctic ice self

        So we are now entering a place we have never been before and only time will show us what we have done and what is our price we will pay for the reckless ignorance we displayed without regard for our actions.

        Also we are being told that the ice is also collapsing around the entire Antarctic ice shelf also.

        The 3-D visualization reveals in startling detail the complex patterns in which carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases, decreases and moves around the globe over the course of September 2014 to September 2015.critical-step-for-carbon-cycle-science

        The visualization showcases information about global carbon dioxide fields that has not been seen before in such detail: The rise and fall of carbon dioxide in the Northern Hemisphere throughout a year; the influence of continents, mountain ranges and ocean currents on weather patterns and therefore carbon dioxide movement; the regional influence of highly active photosynthesis in places like the Corn Belt in the U.S.

    • Agreed – I read both sides of the argument and it was clear that the climate change alarmists are using ‘adjusted’ data and models that do not reflect reality. We’ll see an up-tick in alarmist cries in the next 6 months as the planet moves into an entirely predictable cooling period (also part of natural variation) and they see their funding disppear when the fraud becomes apparent to your average punter.

      • @JW – 400ppm, sure when it gets to 450ppm we’ll be living the green dream on a warm lush planet of unbounded vegetation with all that warmth, precipitation and abundant CO2. The acidified oceans will be fucked but eggs and omelettes right.

        How would I describe a climate change denier? Best you ask @CosmicRay that one – I think he knows the answer to that.

    • Reductionist.

      Fringe Americanism.

      A big bux project – whoopee for investors and fuck the world – as usual.

      Similar thinking to that that got us into the mess we are in.

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