04/10/2014 04:37 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Climate Change This Week: The Ultimate Reality Series, Zombie Oil, and More!

Today, the Earth got a little hotter, and a little more crowded.


Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Apr 9, 2014

How unusual has the weather been? No one event is "caused" by climate change, but global warming, which is predicted to increase unusual, extreme weather, is having a daily effect on weather, worldwide.

Looking above at recent temperature anomalies, much of the western US drought persists with warmer than normal temperatures and a stationary Pacific warm air mass that continues to block substantial precipitation, while the North Pole and surroundings (that big orange spot) are experiencing much warmer than normal temperatures - not good news for our Arctic thermal shield of ice. Hotter than usual temperatures continue to dominate human habitats.

(Add 0.3-0.4 C to have these anomaly values calibrate with those of NASA.) Daily updates of can be seen here for both the temperature anomalies map, and the jetstream map. For real time animated US surface wind patterns, click here, and here, for the planet. (Clicking on "earth" there reveals data and map options.)


Arnold Schwarzenegger is on the scene of a wildfire as a correspondent investigating the real impacts of climate change on the US. Screen capture of the preview video, Mary Ellen Harte.

Fabulous, Jaw-Dropping Showtime Series, Years of Living Dangerously, produced by James ("Avatar") Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and award-winning ("60 Minutes") veterans, features a host of film stars turned international correspondents to chronicle the impacts of climate change on families and humanity through gripping stories.

This is the ultimate reality show. Featuring Matt Damon, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, America Ferrera, Mark Bittman, Thomas Friedman, Chris Hayes, m. Sanjayan, Lesley Stahl, Ian Somerhalder, Olivia Munn, Jessica Alba, Michael C. Hall, and Don Cheadle. Rave reviews have already started. You can view the first episode for free here.


Up close and personal: Years of Living Dangerously explores the human dimension of climate change impacts, including families that are literally losing their homes. Screen capture of preview video, Mary Ellen Harte.

Not to be missed! Check it out and then spread the word! is making it easy for folks to host group viewings here
or attend viewings near you. The Showtime channel will officially start the 9-part series on April 13 at 10 PM.


The Arctic ice cap acts like a giant planetary thermal shield in the summer: no ice, no shield.

Earth's Hot Top: Arctic Ice Cap Low, Siberia Heats Up reports Joanna Foster at Climate Progress, with the Arctic Ice cap maximum for 2014 logging in as the 5th smallest ever recorded, indicating yet more threats to Earth's Arctic thermal shield, a major planetary defense against absorbing far more solar heat. Meanwhile, Siberia is already experiencing summer temperatures and wildfires.

US Clean Energy and Efficiency Keep Growing

On the clean energy front, a new interactive tracks how fast wind farms are spreading across the US, and Texas sets a new wind power high. Solar companies continue to increase solar cell efficiency and investment.

Other companies are driving the clean transformation in the US power sector, and devising new ways of storing clean renewable energy. As major online media - Apple, Google, And Facebook - go green, focus shifts to Amazon and Twitter, still using dirty energy, says a new report.

Energy efficiency is evolving on many fronts, with policies requiring grid-smart thermostats, price incentives to cut energy loads, and pairing IT with energy efficiency technology.



Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have now reached those last seen in the Pliocene several million years ago,an unusually warm period of Earth's history when mastadons roamed the plains. Unlike then, our atmosphere has changed far faster, and the water cycle on Earth is still in the process of reacting to that change via melting ice, warmer oceans, and rising sea levels. Wikipedia.

This IS NOT Cool: Welcome to the Pliocene! Is the latest in Peter Sinclair's TINC series of video shorts on climate change. Here he interviews geologist and climate scientist Maureen Raymo who joins the likes of Charles Darwin as this year's winner of the British Wollaston Medal, the first female honoree in the prize's 183-year history. In 4 minutes, she succinctly summarizes where we are in an evolving climate, crystallizing the problem in a way people can understand.


Too bad for the world that Exxon doesn't get it: when it comes to climate change, they sound like a bunch of quacks.

Exxon: the Largest Bipolar Company on Earth acknowledges the serious threat of climate change from burning fossil fuels, but plans to mine and sell as much climate-changing fossil fuels as it can, insisting humanity needs it (directly countering the latest and most reputable report on climate change), and that its stock portfolio will thrive.

That depends on whether humanity continues to trust a company dominated by a bipolar mentality. The bad news? The US Congress does trust it, doing pitifully little to protect the US from this insanely suicidal path. The good news? The rest of the world is making other plans - and if the US doesn't, it will be left in the dust.

Indeed, It's Time To Slay Zombie Oil says one reputable policy expert, who notes that Big Oil has failed to predict and ignored the meteoric rise of clean renewable energy, which is becoming as cheap as fossil fuels increasingly around the world, and is getting cheaper as fossil fuel prices keep rising. Big Oil is dead and wrong, but that's the last thing Exxon wants its investors to know.

Relevant Headlines

OO It's Time To Measure The 'True Value' Of Business

OO U.N. Climate Chief Urges Radical Clean-Up Of Oil, Gas Industry


OO Ex-IPCC Chief: Adaptation Only Works Alongside Carbon Cuts

OO So, After The IPCC Report, Which Bit Of The World Are You Prepared To Lose?

OO Climate Change Action Is The Best Insurance Policy In World History


What fossil fuel spills do to sea shells. Posted by Wave Farmer at


OO 200,000 Lbs Of Sticky, Black Oiled Sand Found Along Texas Coastline After Spill

OO Anadarko Agrees To Record $5 Billion Fine For '85 Years Of Poisoning The Earth'

OO Washington: Massive Explosion Rocks Natural Gas Plant


OO Keystone XL Pipeline: Business Leaders, et al, Pressure White House To Reject It

OO North Dakota: Parts Could Soon Become Radioactive Waste Sites

OO We Really Don't Know How Much Fracking Harms Our Health, Environment , Climate - Study

<><><><> GOPPING IT UP <><><><>


Even elephants can't survive on oil. Credit: Mary Ellen Harte


OO GOP Led House Passes Bill Telling Agencies To Put Climate Change On Back Burner

OO Ohio Senate Republicans Launch Attack On State's Renewable Energy Law

OO Koch Brothers Quietly Seek To Ban New Mass Transit In Tennessee - use their limos instead...

Global Renewables Rise, China Winning the Clean Energy Race says a UNEP report, even as investment drops, writes Sophie Yeo at Responding to Climate Change. Renewable energy grew to produce 8.5% of total electricity in 2013, including 44% of new installations.

As it is, global clean energy investment reached $254 billion in 2013 - no small potatoes. And for the second straight year, China has outpaced the US in annual clean energy investment, according to a new report from Pew Charitable Trust. Anyone in Congress listening?

Related Headline

OO One Million Solar Lamps Now Shining Across Africa - and the main company aims to replace all of Africa's kerosene lamps by 2020.

***** Headline Choice of the Week: Where Would You Rather Live?

A. Pennsylvania: Drilling Company Could Force Landowners To Allow Fracking Under Their Land

B. California To Start Giving Millions Of Dollars Of Climate Credits To Electricity Users

Don't think too hard on this one...



Climate change will increasing threaten our food sources via drought, spreading crop diseases, and harming vital pollinators. Wikipedia.

Food Fight! Food Fight! is what's going to happen globally, warns the head of the World Bank as global warming increases crop failures, echoing the conservative report on climate change by the reputable Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which warns of a breakdown of food systems as climate change worsens.

The report notes climate change impacts already on failing crops due to intensifying droughts and spreading crop diseases, and warming temperatures could dry out one third of the planet.

Climate change is also harming bees, important pollinators of food crops. For now, scientists are urging people worldwide to save substantial energy by eating less meat and dairy, the production of which generates a lot of global warming gases.



OO US, China And EU Agree To Cooperate On UN Climate Treaty

OO China's Hubei Province Launches Carbon Market

OO China Wants To Close 1,700+ Coal Mines By The End Of This Year


OO Norway's Oil Fund To Increase Clean Energy Investments

OO India Just Massively Boosted Its Solar Target For 2015


Saharan dust flowed northwest and mixed with European and local fossil fuel pollution to create hazardous smog in England (arrow) recently. Source: British Met Office.


OO Smog Turns Deadly in London - as it is enveloped in a hazardous mix of Saharan dust, European pollution and its own traffic pollution.

OO Australia: Hottest Water Temperatures in 200+ Years Threaten Coral Reefs

OO China: Portable 'Fresh Air' Bags Rescue Smog-Ridden City - a new way of life: taking drags of fresh air from oxygen bags...


Look what's coming our way -- literally! What you're seeing is a mass of hot water (those numbers on the isobars are anomalously warm temperatures in degrees Celsius) stretching across the Pacific Ocean, viewed as a cross section of ocean depth - the top represents the ocean surface. This is shaping up to be one of the strongest El Nino weather cycles ever seen. Source: NOAA

OO El Nino Update: Monster Kelvin Wave Continues to Emerge and Intensify - remember all that global warming heat that the Pacific Ocean has been absorbing since 2000? It looks like it's about to give some of it back to us, in the form of a giant mass of hot water that, as it travels east and breaks the ocean surface, will create a rippling series of atmospheric disturbances around the globe.

Judging from previous El Ninos (a weather cycle created by buildups of hot water at the eastern edge of the Pacific), this El Nino promises to be a whopper, according to NOAA data. Hang on tight, folks, for more spectacular floods, droughts and higher temperatures unfolding in the coming months!


OO Deforestation Makes Indonesia Hotter, Reduces Quality Of Life - just like deforestation did in Brazil decades earlier, but not for those who made their fortunes selling off forests - those exploiters can afford to live richly elsewhere.

OO No Real Relief For California Drought. Next Up: Wildfires


Not enough rain has come, so California will be facing more wildfires again this season. Credit Matt Granz at twitter, Sacramento National Weather Service.

History Lesson: Microbe-Driven Global Warming Caused Greatest Extinction indicates a new published study that looked at rocky evidence from the Permian extinction, 250+ millions of years ago, reports the UK Guardian. The rocks indicate a sudden spike in carbon emissions, much greater and faster than volcanism at the time could have created - but an exploding microbe could.

The culprit, they supect, is Methanosarcina, a methane-belching microbe, that proliferated when volcanism fertilized the oceans from the deep depths with a growth-stimulating nutrient, nickel.


Evidence indicates that global warming, driven by a methane-producing microbe, wiped out most of the larger forms of life, including trilobites, on Earth at the end of the Permian era, 250+ million years ago. Wikipedia.

Methanocarcina sent enormous amounts of the potent greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere, shooting up temperatures high and fast, too fast for most life to adapt. Practically all macrolife (ie, big enough to be visible without a microscope) on Earth went extinct. Among the survivors were our ancestors.

Far fetched? Actually, it was the evolution of another microbe that made macrolife possible in the first place: microbes that could photosynthesize, pumping enough oxygen into the atmosphere to support the evolution of macrofauna and flora.

Hmmmm... a fast spike in global temperatures... now where have I heard that before?

There's far more news, of course. To find even more news about the consequences and solutions to climate change, check out this annotated resource list I've compiled, "Climate Change News Resources," at here. For more information on the science of climate change, its consequences and solutions you can view my annotated list of online information resources here.

To help you understand just what science does and does NOT do, check this out!

Every day is Earth Day, folks, as I was reminded by this iris I photographed recently. Making the U.S. a global clean energy leader will ensure a heck of a lot more jobs, and a clean, safe future. If you'd like to join the increasing numbers of people who want to TELL Congress that they will vote for clean energy candidates you can do so here. It's our way of letting Congress know there's a strong clean energy voting bloc out there. For more detailed summaries of the above and other climate change items, audio podcasts and texts are freely available.