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Tag Archive: record

  1. Climate Change Altering the Arctic Faster Than Expected

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    By Brian Kahn Published: April 25th, 2017 full article here

    Evidence continues to mount that climate change has pushed the Arctic into a new state. Skyrocketing temperatures are altering the essence of the region, melting ice on land and sea, driving more intense wildfires, altering ocean circulation and dissolving permafrost.

    A new report chronicles all these changes and warns that even if the world manages to keep global warming below the targeted 2°C threshold, some of the shifts could be permanent. Among the most harrowing are the disappearance of sea ice by the 2030s and more land ice melt than previously thought, pushing seas to more extreme heights.

    The findings, released Monday in the Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic (SWIPA) assessment, come after a winter of extreme discontent for the region. Sea ice receded a bit in November, a rare occurrence, and hit a record-low maximum for the third year in a row. Temperatures averaged 11°F above normal, driven by sustained mild weather that was punctured by periods of almost unheard of heat when temperatures reached up to 50°F above normal.

    This past winter is just the latest in a string of bizarre years and the report, authored by 90 Arctic experts, is the latest in a long line of increasingly dire warnings for the fastest-warming region on the planet. If carbon pollution isn’t slowed, parts of the Arctic could warm a whopping 16°F by the 2050s….

    The new analysis shows that the average number of days with sea ice cover has dropped by 10-20 days per decade since 1979….

    The massive rush of freshwater into the Arctic Ocean is also reshaping ocean circulation and the ecology of the region. Researchers have seen a marked slowdown in North Atlantic circulation as cold, fresh water off Greenland’s southern tip has acted as a roadblock to the currents that steer water through the region. That has the potential to mess with ocean circulation as well as weather patterns, particularly in Europe.

    The changes in the Arctic are a harbinger of what’s in store for the planet if we continue to emit carbon pollution. Some of these changes are likely irreversible. But the report does note that if the world sticks to its goal in the Paris Agreement, the region could reach an equilibrium that while different from its present state, is still less radical than the fate it faces if we keep going down the current carbon path.

  2. One of wettest winters on record in CA- new warm & wet atmospheric river to affect Oroville Dam watershed

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    by Daniel Swain on February 16, 2017

    Very heavy precipitation expected across Southern California on Friday and Northern California on Monday (including the Feather River watershed). NCEP

    California is currently experiencing one of its wettest winters on record. Precipitation has been especially remarkable across the Northern Sierra watersheds, where liquid equivalent (rain+melted snow) is presently above 200% of average. Widespread flooding has already occurred across Northern California in recent weeks, and supersaturated soils are now leading to slope failures (mudslides and landslides) across much of the state. In additional to the “typical” flooding of regional rivers and streams that one might expect with prolonged heavy precipitation, California’s vast water storage and conveyance infrastructure is starting to crack under the strain–in some cases, quite literally….

  3. We did it again! November is hottest on record

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    Joe Romm, PhD ClimateProgress  December 6 2016  see full article here

    Last month was easily the hottest November on record globally, according to satellite data sets.

    …In fact, satellite data, ground-based weather stations, sea-based buoys, and even weather balloons all reveal a steady long-term warming trend. These satellites have documented a steady warming of the troposphere (the lower atmosphere). It always bears repeating that the satellites indirectly measure the temperature where we don’t live (the troposphere), so the data need a whole bunch of (easily screwed up) adjustments before it is useful to anyone. If you want a direct measure of the temperature at the surface where we actually live and grow food, you need NASA’s land and ocean temperature index (LOTI) from the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS):

    NASA’s land and ocean temperature index (LOTI). Via GISS director Gavin Schmidt.

    So, no matter how we look at it, we are warming rapidly. And carbon pollution is the primary cause. In fact, as I’ve written, the best estimate by climate scientists is that humans are responsible for all of the warming we have suffered since 1950…

    Despite this, the denier-led House Science Committee tweeted out an erroneous Breitbart story last week about some satellites showing cooling. The story was quickly debunked by actual scientists here and everywhere.

  4. The North Pole is an insane 36 degrees warmer than normal as winter descends

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    By Chris Mooney and Jason Samenow November 17 at 1:41 PM  Wash Post

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/11/17/the-north-pole-is-an-insane-36-degrees-warmer-than-normal-as-winter-descends/?utm_term=.34b66a277a35

    Political people in the United States are watching the chaos in Washington in the moment. But some people in the science community are watching the chaos somewhere else — the Arctic. It’s polar night there now — the sun isn’t rising in much of the Arctic. That’s when the Arctic is supposed to get super-cold, when the sea ice that covers the vast Arctic Ocean is supposed to grow and thicken.

    But in fall of 2016 — which has been a zany year for the region, with multiple records set for low levels of monthly sea ice — something is totally off. The Arctic is super-hot, even as a vast area of cold polar air has been displaced over Siberia.

    At the same time, one of the key indicators of the state of the Arctic — the extent of sea ice covering the polar ocean — is at a record low. The ice is freezing up again, as it always does this time of year after reaching its September low, but it isn’t doing so as rapidly as usual.

    In fact, the ice’s area is even lower than it was during the record-low 2012…

     

     

  5. Record hot year may be the new normal by 2025

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    Record hot year may be the new normal by 2025

    Posted: 09 Nov 2016 08:47 AM PST

    The hottest year on record globally in 2015 could be just another average year by 2025 if carbon emissions continue to rise at their current rate, according to new research…And no matter what action we take, human activities had already locked in a “new normal” for global average temperatures that would occur no later than 2040…

    The results revealed that while global average temperatures would inevitably enter a new normal under all emissions scenarios, this wasn’t the case at seasonal and regional levels.

    “It gives us hope to know that if we act quickly to reduce greenhouse gases, seasonal extremes might never enter a new normal state in the 21st Century at regional levels for the Southern Hemisphere summer and Northern Hemisphere winter,” Dr Lewis said….

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    Sophie C. Lewis, Andrew D. King, Sarah E. Perkins-Kirkpatrick. Defining a new normal for extremes in a warming world. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 2016; DOI: 10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0183.1