Climate Change News and Notes

This is what came across my desk this morning. A bit more activity than usual, but not by much. Enjoy. Or, rather, Be Afraid.

Congressman Demands Obama Apologize To Oklahoma For Investing In Climate Change Research

Just as extreme weather season kicks off, freshman Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) demanded that President Obama apologize to Oklahoma for allocating funding to climate change research. Bridenstine, a climate denier who serves on the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, plans to introduce a bill that defunds climate change research.

Thousands more forced from home by Germany flooding

Floods continued to devastate communities alongside the surging River Elbe in Germany’s northeastern Saxony-Anhalt state Wednesday.
Hundreds of people are being evacuated from their homes in the towns of Stendal and Aken, with the army using helicopters and amphibious vehicles to help move them to safety….
In total, 45,000 people have been asked to leave their homes in Saxony-Anhalt, the state currently worst affected by the flooding. About 11,500 rescue workers are operating in the area.

German flood damage insurance claims may reach €3bn

Dammage from the past week’s flooding in Germany is expected to lead to insurance claims of up to €3bn (£2.5bn), a credit rating agency has said, as flood levels on the Elbe river in the country’s north appeared to stabilise.

Further south, the peak of the flood on the Danube, Europe’s second-longest river, moved away from the Hungarian capital, Budapest, toward Serbia.

The Elbe, the Danube and other rivers have overflowed their banks following weeks of heavy rain, causing extensive damage in Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary.

Fitch Ratings said that the total cost to insurers of the floods in Germany alone is likely to total between €2.5bn and €3bn.

Why Arctic sea ice will vanish in 2013

I am just looking at the “big-picture” using all available data while considering feedbacks that have been incorrectly considered (or unidentified) and in the context of abrupt changes that are CLEARLY documented in climate paleorecords.

I really hope I’m wrong folks but I just don’t see it any other way. Time will tell…but, in any event, we need to have that ‘adult discussion’ ASAP

Arctic

Research Station Evacuated After Ice Melts Underneath It
Research at Russia’s North Pole-40, a station located aboard an ice floe in the Arctic, has ceased following an emergency evacuation of personnel. The ice upon which the station was built had begun to melt at an alarming rate and split into six pieces.

According to ITAR-TASS, a Russian news agency, North Pole-40 had been constructed in October 2012 with the expectation of working through September 2013. Those plans were scrapped in late May, however, after its foundation began melting and the research was quite literally put on thin ice.

Robert Redford Calls on President Obama to Show the Courage of His Climate Convictions

UK Secretary of State for the Environment reveals his depth of knowledge of climate change (not!)

An extraordinary – and worrying – insight into the mind of Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for the Environment here in the UK, was provided during a June 7th edition of the political Q&A programme Any Questions, available on BBC Radio 4 here. The programme is broadcast from a different venue every week and consists of chairman Jonathan Dimbleby and a panel of four politicians and commentators plus a studio audience who ask a selection of topical questions. This edition was from my home town of Machynlleth in Mid Wales and more specifically from the Centre for Alternative Technology, which has been promoting renewable energy and other sustainability issues since the 1970s.

New D.C. monument: The mall flood wall

Taxpayers are paying for the construction of a new wall on the National Mall. Longer than a football field, the wall has not been built to honor the nation’s fallen heroes or great leaders from our past. It has been quietly constructed over the past 2½ years to protect a vast swath of downtown Washington from a devastating flood. No longer a theory, climate change is here. The wall is a small part of the tens of billions of dollars Americans will have to pay in the future just to take the edge off the devastating effects of climate alteration.

Bloomberg’s race to protect NYC from climate change

Drive on 17th Street NW, just south of Constitution Avenue, and you’ll see concrete footings, a mound of dirt and jersey barriers — all part of an oft-delayed project to build a floodwall to protect downtown Washington from a rising Potomac River.

The flood wall, and similar initiatives elsewhere, amount to tacit acknowledgments that the fight against climate change, the cause celebre of the environmental movement for more than a decade, has failed in its primary purpose. In the race to prevent disaster, it’s already too late.

After Sandy, a new threat: Soaring flood insurance

Officials are urging people to elevate their houses now because they are eligible for federal financial aid. About $350 million of New York City’s and $600 million of New Jersey’s Sandy relief funding has been allocated for the repair of single- and two-family homes, which could help defray the cost.

But it’s still unclear how that money will be distributed among individual homeowners, which means many of them could be on their own financially.

The process of house-raising is laborious and prohibitively expensive, especially for working-class people who are already saddled with storm repair costs. Even a small cottage can cost $60,000 to elevate, while a sprawling multilevel home could run upwards of $250,000.

Early Summer Heat Krushes Kansas Records

The preliminary final high temperature at Goodland was 107°, smashing the old record by 7°. Other records were tied or broken in Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas.

…Extreme to Exceptional Drought Across Most of New Mexico…Moderate to Severe Drought All Remaining Areas…

The first 11 days of June brought above normal precipitation to much of central and eastern New Mexico, thanks to severe weather outbreaks on the 3rd, 5th and 7th. The west has experienced mostly below normal precipitation so far.

Unusually massive line of storms aim at Midwest

A gigantic line of powerful thunderstorms could affect one in five Americans on Wednesday as it rumbles from Iowa to Maryland packing hail, lightning and tree-toppling winds.

Meteorologist are warning that the continuous line of storms may even spawn an unusual weather event called a derecho, which is a massive storm of strong straight-line winds spanning at least 240 miles. Wednesday’s storms are also likely to generate tornadoes and cause power outages that will be followed by oppressive heat, said Bill Bunting, operations chief at the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla.

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Photo from Boston.com of 2008 flooding in Iowa.