Cone Of Uncertainty 2

The Cone of Uncertainty

Hawai’i Island Dodges A Bullet, As Tropical Storm (Olivia) Defies Worst Case Hurricane Expectations

— Final Update : Tuesday, Sept. 12. 2018, AM

Olivia, as of Wednesday morning, is no longer a Cat 1 Hurricane.  Now, a much less powerful Tropical Storm, Olivia is presently moving west towards Maui at 12 mph and passing the Big Island farther to the north than originally forecast.  Oliva 2Olivia is still packing winds averaging 25-35 mph and remains a wind and flooding threat to islands north of Hawai’i Island.

Future 2018 hurricane season threats for Hawai’i will encounter a strengthening El Nino (fueled by global warming emissions absorbed by the Earth’s oceans), and that is presently increasing water temperatures to significantly higher levels than is average throughout the island chain — in effect, providing the added fuel for supercharging future hurricanes.

Olivia, like Lane before it are the new storm norm – increasingly unpredictable, more powerful, and with the potential for greater destructive force, social, economic, and environmental impacts, and loss of life.  “Because of the warm waters surrounding the islands this year, we may continue to see tropical storms and hurricanes maintain more strength as they approach Hawaii not only from the south, but also the east.  If Olivia were to remain a hurricane when moving through the islands this would be something that has never happened,” according to AccuWeather (Sept. 10-2018).

Also, 2018-19 is now shaping up for a repeat performance by El Nino and for the Hawaiian Islands.  Locally, this new ElNino event will likely add stress and new impacts to Hawai’i Island’s already impacted western reef system and coral, devastated by the El Nino event of 2015-16, that set unrepresented water temperature records linked to climate change, including ocean acidification: (

originally published August 28th, 2018 — 

Hurricane Lane, What it Revealed…

Hurricane Lane was a lesson in uncertainty for many of Hawaii’s residents, businesses, and vacationers looking for a good time in some form other than dodging the uncertainty of a slow moving and unpredictable Cat 5 hurricane.

How well prepared are our island country governments, the state as a whole, Hawaii’s residents and businesses, emergency responders for Lane-like hurricane results that at times seemed to defy traditional weather models and thinking?

Storm Image 1

With decades of scientific findings and experience, weather forecasting remains a hit and miss exercise for the public by failing to connect the dots between weather and climate change.  Rising sea levels, unprecedented melting of the polar regions, a changing jet stream: all are connected to the arrival of 100 year storms occurring every 1 to 2 years.  Rising global temperatures are also fueling extreme droughts, fires, flooding, storm intensity and duration, and changing the very nature of weather itself– all of which seemed far fetched in the not too recent past.

Global Warming, or as some call it, global weirding, explains a lot about how 21st century storms have changed and are continuing to change. Hurricane Lane turned into a Cat 5 monster, moving slower (at times less than 6 mph) than traditional storms through Hawai’i islands track. Today, storm tracking is less predictable, and storms are moving slower which is magnifying the duration and total rainfall released, along with increased wind speeds as the new norm.

Case in point, Hurricane Lane dumped an unprecedented amount of rain on what seemed like for Hilo area residents, rain for days on end.  Hurricane Lane is the second wettest tropical cyclone to hit the United States, after Hurricane Harvey in 2017.  In addition, Lane was the wettest tropical cyclone ever recorded in Hawaii, surpassing Hurricane Hiki of 1950. A maximum of 52.02 inches (1,321 mm) of rain was recorded at Mountainview, Hawaii on August 26. Hawaii Island’s famous Rainbow Falls resembled Niagara Falls from Lane’s unceasing rainfall, while the storm created unprecedented Big Island flooding problems.

Global Warming Chart 2018

Bring Science into Policy Decisions

Hurricane Lane is the latest example of  how the traditional “cone of uncertainty” forecast models, still used to predict weather and hurricane tracks, are increasingly incomplete and uncertain as a public planning tool for all stakeholders. With all the technology available, an incomplete set of data parameters can only produce  an incomplete picture for analysis and forecasting.  Today’s weather  forecasting tools largely ignore climate science and the veracity of scientific findings that help us better understand events now shaping our world’s weather and storm behavior.

Bigger, Stronger, Dangerous

Last year’s Hurricane Harvey produced record rainfall – Harvey was a 1,000-year flood event unprecedented in scale. More than 30 inches of rain fell over an area of 11,000 plus square miles) equivalent in size to the state of Maryland. Another 40 inches of rain from Harvey drenched an additional 3,400 square miles encompassing Texas and other gulf states.

Texas, which is accustomed to hurricanes and has the infrastructure needed to evacuate large quantities of storm water (unlike Hawai’i), but was totally unprepared for the flooding and destruction that Harvey delivered in 2017.

Hurricanes, like Harvey and Lane, and as others have shown that these thermodynamic storm systems can withdraw massive amounts of energy from the ocean and expel it into the atmosphere, all being fueled by warmer seas (the result of CO2 loading into the world’s oceans from unabated burning of fossil fuels). The warmer ocean temperature fuels storm intensity and supercharges higher winds, with slower storm tracks producing more intense rainfall by duration and amount (as was the case for Lane). The end result, a greater likelihood for destructive storm surges and coastal flooding amplified by raising sea levels.

The stunning combination of extreme strength and longevity supports the case for weather linkage to climate change, evidence that continues to grow with each new hurricane season.

Storms, Cause & Effect – What Can be Done

  1. Assumptions governing the design and development of water runoff must change, including: water catchment systems, cesspools, and municipal waste water management systems, roadways, bridges, residential and commercial buildings storm and water runoff management, etc.   In short, past storm management assumptions must be updated to a new climate reality that now includes stronger and longer storm intensities with greater rainfall.
  2. Greater state and county resource response must be factored in budgeting processes and readiness.  Our hats off to the impressive level of cooperation between government agencies and the private industries that help to keep the islands running during Hurricane Lane. But this remarkable response also came on backs of Federal, State, and County emergency resources already deployed in an on-going response to Kauai storm-related flooding and recent Kilauea eruption impacts on the Big Island.  Clearly, an ongoing and coordinated effort at the state and county levels on emergency-response policy goals and implementation, prioritized to individual island needs is long overdue.  —  There is also the need for Hawai’i to address the individual differences and needs, island-by-island, for emergency preparedness, and storm impact mitigation.  It is the latter that requires greater attention by state and local governments in producing an upgraded infrastructure and storm-hardening of critical systems.  Needed are immediate infrastructure upgrades, including better waste and water management systems that address run-off intensity and flooding from supercharged and climate-fueled storm systems. All this will require reforming and aligning Hawaii’s building codes and infrastructure designed to meet the response needs of 21st century weather realities and challenges.
  3. Supply chain limitations of island living, combined with limited storage of essential supplies in the wake of and the aftermath of a major storm is another component of storm readiness.  Increasingly, stronger storm events are producing longer term consequences for Hawaii’s social, economic, and environmental sectors. Distributed storage centers for supplies for each island (county) need to be readied to meet essential public supply needs for clean water, food and fuel and are ready to address supply needs beyond the current weekly supply-distribution cycles.  If and when Oahu is the primary target of the next major Hurricane, by extension, the supply chain of which life in Hawai’i is dependent will likely be significantly disrupted, and with long term consequences. Hurricane Lane demonstrated just how lucky Hawai’i fared overall, because Oahu, and the state’s supply chain port hub Honolulu, dodged a bullet from this storm – less by planning and readiness, and more by luck and circumstances.
  4. Accelerate Hawaii’s  transition to a clean energy economy. The electric grid and the power consumed represents the second largest contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, just behind transportation. Global wind and solar developers took 40 years to install their first trillion watts of power generation capacity, and the next trillion may be finished within the next five years (source Bloomberg).  Hawaii Electric, Hawaii’s primary electricity provider, must reform its current strategy of prolonging its supply chain dependency on imported dirty energy and on an Oahu-based centralized fuel refining, processing and distribution system in order to power its multi-island utility customer base. The HEI energy business model, dependent on fossil fuels, is fueling climate change, and by extension, impacts to Hawai’i.  Solar and wind fuel replacement opportunities abound, and in combination with distributed residential and commercial solar installation coupled to localized battery storage options, microgrids — all together, clean energy technology is here — and the transition to a clean energy is cost effective enough for HEI to fully embrace a complete zero emissions power production and management capability, and one that will deliver greater grid reality against major storm events.
  5. Hawaii’s state legislature must immediately address the current deficiencies within the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio standard which allows both dirty and clean energy replacement options of fossil fuels that allow for utilities to meet the state’s 2045 100% RPS goal with a mix of both emissions-laden and emissions-free energy replacement options of traditional imported fossil fuels.

Time is Not On Our Side

If a 100-year flood event occurs, that does NOT mean that people are ‘safe’ for 99 years. The risk of having the storm flooding in any given year is the same,” regardless of whether it occurred recently. Ditto for 500-year, and 1,000 year floods, as was the case with Hurricane Harvey in 2017.   For the past 20 years, storm – climate linkage studies and modeling continue to be refined, but basic science and linkage data has been established.  The current Federal Government Administration has demonstrated little interest in addressing the causes associated with global warming, in fact, this current Administration is deploying energy and environmental policies that accelerate the effects and impacts of burning more fossil fuels, not lessen them; fueling the fire of global warming.

As the climate warms (recent studies show), future hurricanes will not only be more powerful and destructive, but will likely occur both in and out of season — extending the Central Pacific Hurricane season threat into the late spring or late fall/early winter.

Hawai’i state, with its fragmented multi-island topography and separate county governments too often competing for state resources, cannot afford to continue to travel at a leisurely pace in developing and acting on policies designed to address the cause and effects of a new climate reality.

Nor can Hawai’i state expect a Federal Government bail-out from FEMA for all future major storm events.  The trajectory for Federal FEMA funding and ability to respond is unsustainable as simultaneous super storm events and year-round fires impact mainland states.  Hawai’i must proactively prepare through state, County, and private sector partnerships that are ready to address the storm mitigation needs of the state.

More must be done, and now.  Recently, the state undertook a study on climate effects of sea level rise.  The study focused on the potential impacts to Honolulu, Maui, and Kauai, largely ignoring the low lying and ocean facing vulnerabilities of Kona Airport, Hawaii island East and West port facilities, the downtown areas of Kailua and Hilo — all of which are at or near sea level and subject to storm surge and other related impacts, and increasingly so as time passes. A total state approach to planning and mitigation actions must be seriously undertaken.

The science of climate change is nearly 150 years old, tracing its roots back to the industrial age of the 19th century, when coal was king, and burning this dirtiest of fuels laid the foundation for today’s increasing global temperatures.

As uncertain as predicting weather is, even in the 21st century, and the current Administration’s de-funding and policy ignorance of climate science, leads us to one conclusion — Hawai’i cannot afford to be less prepared than is possible and practical in readying the state for the on-going impacts of climate change, with or without Federal assistance.

Global scientific efforts continue to evolve in both accuracy and validation, as scientists witness once a forecast, climate effects now unfolding — and now playing out in our lifetime.

Earth Wind Fire And Water

Hawai’i – Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water

Volcano Update: Monday, Aug. 6th, 2018

Since this July 29th issue of Hawai’i Today was published, and beginning this past Saturday (Aug. 4th), field observations and drone overflights indicated “reduced output” from Fissure 8. By late Saturday afternoon, the lava river, which had once been a vigorous liquid flow moving over 30 mph, had become a very slow moving flow chunky hardened cooler lava.

The latest report, issued by Hawaii County Civil Defense (Sunday evening) stated the there was no lava moving in the lava river channel. At the heart of the eruption, the cone at Fissure 8, there is still some lava spattering, but the lava fountains of 200 feet high and more have stopped.

At the summit of Kilauea, the rhythm of the last couple months of 5.2 magnitude earthquakes every 36 hours has also stopped. There has not been a magnitude 5 or greater earthquake in over 3 and a half days, and the magnitude 2 earthquakes, which were numbering in the hundreds per hour, now happen at a rate of a few per hour.

What’s next is anyone’s guess.

BeyondKona’s July 29th issue of Hawai’i Today:  

KILAUEA – the volcano that keeps on giving

Reuters reported last week: “Hawaii eruption could last years, destroy new areas”.   The Reuters report went on to state: The current eruption could become the longest in the volcano’s recorded history”.   It’s noteworthy, these dire predictions are just that, predictions, and volcanic science is imprecise, even in the tech-weighted 21st century.

Here’s what we know.  A higher volume of molten rock is now flowing underground from Kilauea’s summit lava reservoir than in previous eruptions, with supply to a single giant crack — fissure 8 — and is showing no signs of waning, according to the study published last week.   The lava is now bursting from the same area (about 25 miles down Kilauea’s eastern side) as it did in major eruptions of 1840, 1955 and 1960. The longest of those eruptions was in 1955. It lasted 88 days, separated by pauses in activity.

If the ongoing eruption maintains its current high rate, Kilauea-based geologists believe it may take months to a year or two to wind down.

Geologists also believe previous eruptions may have stopped as underground lava pressure dropped due to multiple fissures opening up in this Lower East Rift Zone. The current eruption has coalesced around a single fissure (8), allowing lava pressure to remain high.

Hawai’i (Big) Island consists of an area representing nearly 63% of the entire state’s land mass, and is growing daily thanks to the current eruption activity.  With 4,000 plus square miles of land and multiple micro climates, Hawai’i Island is nature at its fullest, and the current eruption is producing consequences far beyond the island’s districts of Ka’u and Puna.  For example, here are some of the early eruption indicators and impacts on Hawai’i Island:

1- The number of voggy and overcast days now outnumbers clear air, sunny days in West Hawai’i

2- Respiratory health problems related to vog-smog (SO2) exposure have spiked with local residents

3- Nurseries, landscapers, and agricultural operations have reported increased yellowing and other signs of plant stress. Some good news as well, many Kona coffee growers are pleased with the unusual number and duration of overcast days (less the SO2), which is apparently good for growing coffee

4- The same (vog-related) overcast conditions pleasing some Kona coffee growers, has presented other problems for some of Hawai’i Island’s solar energy community who are experiencing a decrease in historic energy production

Overall, our Hawai’i Island community appears to be adapting to the current economic, environmental, and community changes, while gearing up for a possible long term increase in Kilauea’s volcanic activity.  If the aloha spirit and community, mean anything, it is that they are more than just words when practiced by our island residents …and now is the time. 


It’s election time again in Hawai’i, and primary election cycles in Hawai’i generally decide the outcome of many races, including our next governor.

Hawai’i is currently at a crossroad, and BeyondKona has researched the backgrounds, qualifications, achievements, and energy policy agenda of the candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor, and who may well decide the state’s energy future: one towards sustainability or greater dependency on imported fossil fuels.

So why is energy so important?  Next to life’s fundamental need for food, water, housing; energy is the foundation and building block of our modern world.  Living in Hawai’i is expensive, as is the case for imported energy and its supply chain dependency from one of the most remote and populated locations on Earth.

Hawaii’s cost of living is the highest of any of the 50 states.  Hawaii, which along with Alaska belongs to the “Pacific Noncontiguous” region of the US, has by far the highest monthly utility bills.   For Hawai’i Island residents and businesses, energy represents half or more of the cost of water for DWS customers, and our island electric utility HELCO rates are the highest in the nation, and among the costliest of HECO’s four island utility service range.

The choice of governor in this current election year will likely determine the direction and outcome of Hawaii’s 2045 100% renewable energy objective, and the cost of energy in the future.  ”Although Hawaii’s energy policy is spelled out generally by statute, Hawaii’s governor plays a significant role in implementing the policy”, stated Rep. Chris Lee, chairman of the House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee.

For many voters, Governor Ige gets a gold star for both clean energy leadership, and another for protecting Hawaii’s unique and precious multi-island environment.

  • Ige’s leadership style is a refreshing contrast to many of today’s political leaders whose self-serving agenda is more media engagement than substance or achievement.  Ige has demonstrated quietly and thoughtfully honest leadership as Hawaii’s chief executive — addressing Hawaii’s growing homeless problems, supporting Hawai’i Island in its most recent major eruption and the corresponding disruption of communities and businesses.
  • The Governor’s highest visibility action to date was opposing the highly unpopular NextEra takeover of HECO. For any other governor it would have been an easy sell-out to NextEra and political gain that would have provided NextEra the support it badly needed, but Ige instead repeatedly placed the state’s interest ahead of any potential personal and political gain by standing up against the NextEra’s fossil-fueled political juggernaut by representing Hawaii’s interests first.  No2 Nextera
  • This election year’s Sierra Club endorsement of Ige stated…” Hawaii’s common-sense commitment to clean energy owes a lot to Gov. David Ige, who championed this vision at the Legislature and made it a core part of his leadership agenda”.  Ige’s leadership has produced more than twice as many people now working in Hawaii’s clean energy sector — these are well paying local jobs.

However, the elephant in the room that many politicians fail to acknowledge is the growing societal, environmental and economic costs of burning fossil fuels linked to global warming. An absence of leadership on this macro issue by Colleen Hanabusa could not be more obvious.

Hawai’i is now squarely in the cross hairs of climate change.  The impact and costs of climate change on island states like Hawai’i, continues to accelerate, with rising sea levels, super storms, and changing wind and weather patterns. Hawaii’s future is increasingly dependent on the energy choices we make today, and moving Hawai’i forward to self-sufficiency in energy and food are key to the state’s future and viability; no governor understands this better and has demonstrated leadership towards tackling climate change than Gov. David Ige.

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa… Hanabusa’s links to the fossil fuel industry go back to her family’s gas station.   She has previously served as a director of Hawaii Gas, and is a strong advocate of LNG (natural gas) for Hawaii’s future.

  • Hanabusa pushed hard for the NextEra takeover of HECO and its island operating utilities, and supported NextEra plans to slow Hawaii’s advancement of solar, wind, and other local clean energy options, substituting the importation of natural gas as a so-called “bridge” and dirty fuel replacement for Hawaii’s current dependency on other fossil fuels.
  • Also, in this current election cycle, a dark money PAC (fossil fuel funded) launched several TV attack ads against Ige that some considered crossed a line when it comes to Hawaii’s historic rules of political engagement.

⊗  – BeyondKona recommends the re-election of Governor David Ige

Hawaii Island continues to struggle in its development of adequate health resources and services for our island population – no one understands this issue better and is better qualified to address this problem than Dr. Josh Green.

Green is a practicing local Hawai’i Island doctor who has spent much of his life caring for Hawaii’s families.  As a State Senator, Green currently serves as the chair of the Committee on Human Services, and has been a leader on advancing Hawaii’s health care opportunities.  He is also a member of the Committee on Hawaiian Affairs and represents Hawai‘i’s 3rd Senatorial District.  Green has served in the Hawai‘i State Senate since 2008, and understands the issues facing Hawai’i today, especially the importance of the state’s transition to a clean energy economy.

⊗  – BeyondKona recommends the election of Dr. Josh Green to the position of Lt. Governor

BeyondKona has researched the candidates, their qualifications, voting records, legislative achievements in full consideration of its candidate recommendations.

We kindly urge our kama’aina friends to vote by mail or at the ballot box in this year’s important primary election, August 11, 2018.  Mahalo a nui loa.


This 2018 summer marks a global spike in the continuing trend of global temperature rise.  Weather stations around the world are logging record-high temperatures on the edge of the Sahara and above the Arctic Circle.

From the Arctic to Antarctic and places in between we are witnessing and experiencing the heat this summer, with massive fires in the mainland’s western states, super storms in the east, and rising global heat-related deaths that defy the current US Administration’s policy on climate and energy – one that appears deaf, dumb, and blind to the scientific facts, costs, and societal consequences of global warming.

The Arctic Circle this month is experiencing an unprecedented heat wave that has sent temperatures in the far north of Sweden as high as 86 F, and in parts of northern Siberia it reached 90 F degrees, 40 F degrees above normal.  After years of increasingly hot, dry summers, the great forests in the far north, and around the globe are starting to burn releasing large quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and melting permafrost that is releasing huge quantities of methane – what scientists call a feed-back loop that is further accelerating global warming impacts. Japan was walloped by record triple-digit temperatures, killing at least 86 people in what its meteorological agency bluntly called a “disaster.”

So far, Hawai’i has escaped some of these climate change impacts, but that is now changing.  Sea-level rise, coral beaching and die-off, and changing weather and trade wind patterns that are now being experienced throughout the Hawaiian island chain.  It seems, no matter how remote Hawai’i may seem from the rest of the world, global warming is truly global.  For an in depth perspective on current and frightening climate change developments, visit the BeyondKona Climate section:

Wh Real Estate Sale Chart

Will Vog-Shrouded West Hawai’i Real Estate Valuations be next on Kilauea’s Hit List?

As Q2 2018 closed in a volcanic haze that shrouded West Hawaii’s famous sunsets, so did sales data showing some worrisome indicators for the south Kohala and Kona area real estate market.  A developing sales trend may impact both potential buying and sellers, and Hawai’i County officials who are struggling to balance growing budget needs.

The direct and indirect economic and social impacts from the recent volcanic uptick are only just beginning to be fully understood. However, the impacts are real enough for lower Puna families who have suffered greatly, but have come together as a community in the best aspects of Hawaii’s unique aloha spirit.  At last count 700 homes have been destroyed and nearly $380 million in taxable real estate turned into fields of lava.

All this begs the question: Will vog-shrouded West Hawai’i real estate valuations be next on the Kilauea hit list?Vog Map

Perhaps the possibility of shrinking property valuations in the lucrative property tax-areas of south Kohala and the greater Kona will give Hawai’i County officials more to ponder?  These areas regularly covered by voggy views and the after-effects of laze and voggy haze, producing stinging eyes, coughing, and choking from the air both visitors and residents equally breathe.

The recent upsurge in Kilauea’s eruption activity has produced a consistent number of vog-shrouded days for south Kohala and Kona that have become the norm, rather than the exception.  West Hawaii’s tourist trade has already felt the impact of vog-covered skies, with area residents and businesses struggling to adjust to this new environmental reality.  While the local Costco now stocks gas masks, Guy Hagi (Hawaii News Now’s high profile weather guy) extols the virtues of “no worries”, proclaiming clear skies and helpful trade winds from his distant Oahu perch.

West Hawai’i real estate sales data at the close of the second quarter looked mostly normal, however, on closer examination there was a noticeable drop in sales closings at the end of June that does not bode well for an uncertain future governed by a restless volcano or the near term prospects for clear skies and the return of West Hawaii’s famous sunsets.

Second quarter 2018 data for home and condo sales consisted mostly of offers written in February and prior to the recent increase in Kilauea eruption activities and air-polluted views. While it’s too early tell, this recent trend indicates a potential link between the island’s recent uptick in volcanic activity and a late Q2 decline in area sales numbers.

The two year Kona area real estate sales chart (shown below) illustrates this developing economic trend in detail, with the chart’s blue line representing the “sales pending ratio”, which is the number of escrows per 100 listings for the Kona residential market.  Note, how the number of sales in escrow for late June 2018 that appear to have fallen off a cliff — a trend not normally associated with historic and seasonal sales data for the same period from recent years.  The last time a lower ratio sales for this period occurred was June 2011.

If this trend continues, experts predict “a prolonged decrease in units sold, lower sales values and prices will follow.”  And, when home and condo values drop, County property tax revenues follow.

The real estate market, like the stock market, goes up and down and each has its own market cycles, but only Hawai’i Island has a volcano and a fire goddess named Pele, who since 1983 never sleeps.

Wh Real Estate Sale Chart

Defying Trump, Hawaii Becomes First State to Pass Law Committing to Paris Climate Accord

Hawaii, A Leader in Renewable and Clean Energy, Enacts Law Aligned With Global Paris Climate Accord

HONOLULU — Hawaii has passed a law to document sea level rise and set strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The bill signed by Gov. David Ige aligns the state’s goals with the Paris climate accord.

Ige said Hawaii is the first state to enact legislation implementing parts of the Paris climate agreement. President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would withdraw from that accord last week. Read more

Trump Administration declares war on climate science realities with key federal agencies cuts: EPA, NOAA, and NASA

Trump Administration has proposed funding cuts for fiscal 2018 targeting overall environmental protection responsibilities of more than a dozen federal agencies.

Cuts include marine sciences and sharp reductions and elimination of climate-ocean science specific research and reporting within NASA and NOAA impacting grants and research currently benefiting Hawai’i. 

The Trump administration has targeted environmental protections across the board with EPA a top target in their cross-hairs, and climate change research set for elimination. And while the cuts are essentially an opening salvo in what promises to be a fight with Congress once the budget requests formally arrive, they also demonstrate the level of hostility many scientists feared their work would face from a new Administration loaded with cabinet and agency level managers filled with fossil-fuel interests and climate change deniers. Read more

U.S. scientists officially declare 2016 the hottest year on record. That makes three in a row…

In a powerful testament to the warming of the planet, two leading U.S. science agencies Wednesday (1/18/17) jointly declared 2016 the hottest year on record, surpassing the previous record set just last year — which itself had topped a record set in 2014.

Average surface temperatures in 2016, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the warmest since the agency’s records began in 1880.

The average temperature across the world’s land and ocean surfaces was 58.69 Fahrenheit, or 1.69 degrees above the 20th-century average of 57 degrees, NOAA declared. The agency also noted that the record for the global temperature has now successively been broken five times since the year 2000. The years 2005 and 2010 were also record warm years, according to the agency’s data set. Read more

Here is where Trump’s cabinet nominees stand on climate change

Environmental Protection Agency: Scott Pruitt

The Oklahoma attorney general has been a longtime adversary of the EPA and a close friend to the fossil fuels industry. He helped lead a lawsuit from 28 states against the agency’s clean power plan, an Obama administration initiative to cut carbon pollution from coal power plants. Read more

Inside the largest Earth Science event… “The time has never been more urgent…”

With Trump set to have a ‘chilling effect’ on environmental policy, 20,000 Earth and space scientists met in California to face up to a new responsibility

They argued about moon-plasma interactions, joked about polar bears, and waxed nostalgic for sturdy sea ice.

But few of the 20,000 Earth and climate scientists meeting in San Francisco this week had much to say about the president-elect, Donald Trump – though his incoming administration loomed over much of the conference. Read more

Trump To Scrap NASA Climate Research In Crackdown On Science

Donald Trump is poised to eliminate all climate change research conducted by NASA as part of a so-called crackdown on “politicized science”, his senior adviser on issues relating to the space agency has said.

NASA’s Earth science division is set to be stripped of funding in favor of exploration of deep space, with the president-elect having set a goal during the campaign to explore the entire solar system by the end of the century. Read more

Pacific Islands nations to Trump: ‘save us’ from global warming

Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has message for the world: climate change is not a hoax, as US President-elect Donald Trump has claimed. The next head of the UN global climate talks has appealed for the US to “save” Pacific islands from the impacts of global warming.

Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said that the islands needed the US now as much as they did during World War Two.

Mr Trump has promised to pull the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement and scrap all payments for UN global warming projects.

But as he accepted the role of president of the Conference of the Parties for the year ahead, the Fijian leader took the opportunity to call on to the next US president to step away from his scepticism. Read more