Global Warming

Polar scientist wary of impending satellite gap.

Scientists are concerned that the two satellites monitoring Arctic, Antarctic and glacial ice volumes, CryoSat-2 and IceSat-2, will expire before their successor, the EC/Esa Cristal is launched in 2027/28 This could mean a 2-5 year gap in our knowledge of how much annual ice loss is occurring.…29 November, 2020

The NASA global temperature anomaly (ref 1951-80) for May is in, and it sets a new record for the month, at +1.02 C, beating the 2016 record of +0.96 C. The annual anomaly for 2020 looks very likely to beat the mega El Nino boosted 2016 record, despite being a non El Nino year.

From Wunderground:

‘Global temperature records are more likely to be set during the peak of the solar cycle–and during strong El Niño events, due to the extra heat the tropical Pacific Ocean gives up to the atmosphere. The remarkable warmth of 2020 has come in the absence of an El Niño event and during the minimum of one of the weakest 11-year solar cycles in the past century, underscoring the dominant role human-caused global warming has in heating our planet.’

That’s disconcerting.

13 June, 2020 – Worse Case Global Heating Scenarios

The latest supercomputer models are telling us that it’s worse than we thought. From the Guardian:

Worst-case global heating scenarios may need to be revised upwards in light of a better understanding of the role of clouds, scientists have said.

Recent modelling data suggests the climate is considerably more sensitive to carbon emissions than previously believed, and experts said the projections had the potential to be “incredibly alarming”, though they stressed further research would be needed to validate the new numbers.

Modelling results from more than 20 institutions are being compiled for the sixth assessment by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is due to be released next year.

Compared with the last assessment in 2014, 25% of them show a sharp upward shift from 3C to 5C in climate sensitivity – the amount of warming projected from a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide from the preindustrial level of 280 parts per million. This has shocked many veteran observers, because assumptions about climate sensitivity have been relatively unchanged since the 1980s.

“That is a very deep concern,” Johan Rockström, the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, said. “Climate sensitivity is the holy grail of climate science. It is the prime indicator of climate risk. For 40 years, it has been around 3C. Now, we are suddenly starting to see big climate models on the best supercomputers showing things could be worse than we thought.”

21 June, 2020

The most northerly temperature of 100 F was recorded yesterday, at Verkhoyansk, in Siberia, which sits 70 miles north of the Arctic circle.

The NASA global temperature anomaly for June is just in, and it’s the joint warmest June in a record going back to 1880, tying with June 2019, at 0.93 C above the 1951-80 average.

NASA global temperature anomaly for July, 2020

It’s the second warmest July on record, at 0.89 C above the 1951-80 average. July 2019 is the warmest on record, at 0.95 C, and 2016 the third warmest, at 0.85 C.

We’re now approaching the most active part of the Atlantic hurricane season. September 10 is the peak. There are currently two low pressure systems in the Atlantic, which the National Hurricane Center expect will develop into named storms. Conditions are more conducive than normal for hurricane development, and the high pressure system over Bermuda is currently strong, which would keep anything that does develop on a westerly track, making landfall more likely.

In addition, a weather system called the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), which circles the globe eastwards in the tropical oceans every 30-60 days, will shortly be entering the Atlantic region. The MJO creates conditions that are very supportive for hurricanes, so we could be about to see a lot of major hurricanes barrelling westwards into the Caribbean islands, Central America and the US.

October, 2020 Copernicus Satellite Monitoring

The Copernicus satellite monitoring global temperature data is now in, and September was the warmest September on record, globally, at 0.05 C warmer than 2019, the previous record holder. Temperatures in Europe also set a new record, at 0.2 C warmer than 2018.

Secrets of the Ice: Unlocking a Melting Time Capsule. 1 November, 2020

Interesting article from today’s Guardian on how melting snow packs around the world are yielding up ancient artefacts, which have been preserved in the snow for thousands of years, but which are at risk of rapid decay once exposed to the air. It’s a race against time for archaeologists to collect these ‘ice time capsule’ objects, before they are lost.

Examples are a 3,000 year old bronze age arrow from the Altai mountains of Mongolia, a 4,300 year old spear from the Yukon, and a 10,300 year old basket from near Yellowstone. In Norway, a pre-Viking 1,700 year old woolen tunic has been found, and 3,300 year old leather shoes.

It’s fascinating stuff, although not in the same league as the discovery of a 5,300 year old body in the melting ice 10,500 feet up in the Austrian Alps in 1991. ‘Otzi’, as he came to be known, after the Otzaler Alps, where he was found, was fully dressed in  leather, and had a bow and quiver of arrows with him, as well as a copper knife. He appears to have lived between the late stone age and the bronze age, when copper was used, but the technology to alloy it with tin to make bronze had still to be discovered. He now has a museum dedicated to him, and is the most studied corpse on the planet.

Makes you wonder what else is out there , waiting to be unearthed. Or, should that be ‘uniced’? Perhaps melting glaciers will reveal caves that haven’t seen the light of day since before the last ice age, 120,000 years ago. Modern humans had still to emerge from Africa at that time, and the Neanderthals had what we now call Europe to themselves. It’s not impossible that melting ice will reveal caves that contain the Neanderthal equivalent of Otzi. Now, that would cause some serious excitement.

October 2020 – Temperature Update

The following is a summary of global temperature conditions in Berkeley Earth’s analysis of October 2020.

  • October 2020 was the 5th warmest October since records began in 1850.
  • A moderate La Niña has strengthened in the Pacific, reducing temperatures from September.
  • Very warm conditions occurred over most of the Arctic, coincident with very record low sea ice extent for October.
  • With 10 months completed, 2020 is now slightly behind 2016 as the warmest year since instrumental measurements began.
  • A relatively cool October and stronger La Niña has sharply reduced the odds that 2020 will be a record warm year. We estimate only a 16% chance that 2020 ends as the warmest year, and a 80% chance that it finishes as the second warmest year.

I think they are way off with the 16% (5 to 1 odds) estimate for 2020 being the record warmest year.

I’ll take those 5/1 odds. Bet of the century. The first 9 months of 2020 are averaging 1.05 C above the 1951-80 average (NASA GISS). The current warmest year, globally, is 2016, at + 1.02 C. The La Nina cooling effect isn’t that noticeable early on, being more noticeable the following year. The NASA figure for October hasn’t been added to the table data page yet.

Add to that the fact that Arctic Ocean ice volume is currently neck and neck with the record low winter volume year, and this always produces high air temperatures there which boost the global temperature anomaly.

6 December, 2020 – Record Warmth in the Artic

There has been record warmth in the Arctic, particularly in eastern Siberia and Canada. The polar jet stream has been changed by global warming, so that its giant, meandering waves are plunging further south, taking cold air with them, and taking warm air north on their return. We’re getting the cold bit, and they’re expecting a huge snowfall in the Alps.

There’s currently a La Nina in the Pacific, which would usually mean that global temperatures will be a little lower in the first four months of 2021. However, Arctic Ocean sea ice volume is currently at a record low, and this will have a warming effect, which will more than counteract the cooling effect of La Nina. I expect global temperatures for the first four months of 2021 might set a new record, despite the La Nina, which would show just how ‘out of kilter’ the global climate has become.

Early indications are that November was the warmest November on record, globally, by around 0.05 C. Doesn’t sound much, but is actually a fair jump.

Nasa Figure For November 2020

The NASA figure for the November global temperature anomaly has just been added to the table data, an incredible 1.13 C above the 1951-80 average, and that during a strong La Nina, which should have caused significant cooling.

The previous highest November was during the record 2015/16 El Nino, at 1.06 C. So, a strong La Nina year beats a record El Nino year by 0.07 C, just 5 years later. That is very, very disturbing.

And I really don’t get why scientists are saying that 2020 ‘might beat or tie’ the 2016 record warmth year. The 11 months so far in 2020 are 1.04 C higher than the 1951-80 average. The full year for 2016 was +1.01 C, so 2020 is quite clearly going to set a new record, in the NASA GISS record, anyway.…

The NASA GISS global temperature anomaly for December 2020

Added to the table data, and it’s surprisingly small – just the sixth warmest December on record, and the lowest anomaly for any month since August 2018.

That makes 2020 the joint warmest year on record with 2016 at 1.02 C above the 1951-80 average. The reason for the low anomaly is the recent development of a La Nina in the tropical Pacific, which is the cool counterpart of  El Nino. A record strong El Nino boosted global temperatures in 2016.

However, the Guardian states that the NASA figures make 2020 slightly warmer of 2016, by less than a hundredth of a degree.

“Last year was by a narrow margin the hottest ever on record, according to Nasa, with the climate crisis stamping its mark on 2020 through soaring temperatures, enormous hurricanes and unprecedented wildfires.

The average global land and ocean temperature in 2020 was the highest ever measured, Nasa announced on Thursday, edging out the previous record set in 2016 by less than a tent

Due to slightly different methods used, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) judged 2020 as fractionally cooler than 2016, while the UK Met Office also put 2020 in a close second place. The European Union’s climate observation program puts the two years in a dead heat.”

February 2021 16th Warmest On Record

February 2021 was the 16th warmest February since global record keeping began in 1880, 0.65 degrees Celsius (1.17°F) above the 20th century average, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, NCEI, reported March 12.

NASA rated the month as the 14th warmest February on record. The Japan Meteorological Agency has not yet released its February numbers. Minor differences in rankings often occur among various research groups, the result of different ways they handle data-sparse regions such as the Arctic.

February 2021 was Earth’s coolest month (relative to average) since April 2015, according to the European Copernicus Climate Change Service, and the coolest February since 2014. This relative coolness was partially the result of a strong negative Arctic Oscillation (AO) during the first half of the month. In a negative AO phase, the jet stream weakens and meanders, creating larger troughs and ridges, allowing very cold Arctic air to spill southward over the mid-latitudes. The AO on February 10-11 was -5.3, which essentially ties February 5, 1978, and February 13, 1969, for the lowest February value on record.

According to NCEI’s annual temperature outlook, the year 2021 is 96% likely to rank among the 10 warmest years on record, and 85% likely to rank among the eight warmest years on record. In that latter case, each of the eight calendar years 2014 through 2021 would rank among the eight warmest years on record, dating back to 1880. The NCEI outlook finds that 2021 has just a 0.1% chance of displacing 2016 and 2020 as the warmest years on record. The low expectations for a warmest-year-on-record reflect the presence of a La Niña event in the Eastern Pacific, which cools the planet slightly.

Some of the Effects of Global Warming
Climate Change - The Hurricane Season

This section: Science: Climate Change and Other Topics

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