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Showing posts from September, 2016

The Threat Of Arctic Albedo Change

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Arctic sea ice extent in 2016 was the lowest since satellite measurements started, when extent is averaged over the period from March 20 to September 22, as illustrated by the image below. As the added trend also illustrates, this decline in Arctic sea ice extent looks set to further accelerate and result in a dramatic fall in albedo. The trend points at zero sea ice over this entire period in less than two decades from now. Zero sea ice on a single day looks set to occur much earlier; a similar trend points at minimum sea ice extent reaching zero in about a decade from now, as illustrated by the image below. Above image also shows average sea ice extent data for the period January 1 to September 22, i.e. the year to date (blue line). The added trend points at zero being reached in 2037. The data show that Arctic sea ice extent also was the lowest since satellite measurements started, when extent is averaged over the period from January 1 to September 22. Finally, the image also shows

Arctic Sea Ice September 2016 - Update

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[ click on images to enlarge ] On September 10, 2016, Arctic sea ice reached the second lowest extent measured by satellites since 1979, as the image on the right shows. Arctic sea ice took over second-lowest position with an extent of 4.137 million square km. This was 17,000 square km lower than the 2007 minimum, which was 4.154 million square km on September 18, 2007, according to NSIDC data . Also note the purple line for 2010 on this image. In early September 2010, some people thought a low was reached (on September 12, 2010), but then a much lower extent was reached later (on September 21, 2010). As the image below shows (screenshot from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency ), 2016 Arctic sea ice extent (red line) has declined over the past two days. Arctic sea ice extent may well decline further over the coming days. The image on the right shows a temperature anomaly forecast for September 24, 2016. This gives an idea of the temperature anomalies that can be expected over the A

August 2016 another month above Paris Agreement guardrail

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[ click on images to enlarge ] August 2016 was the warmest August in 136 years of modern record-keeping, according to a NASA news release  and as illustrated by the image on the right. The seasonal cycle makes that temperature typically peaks in July. Nonetheless, August 2016 wound up tied with July 2016 for the warmest month ever recorded. So, when incorporating the seasonal cycle, it was more than 2°C or 3.6°F warmer in July and August 2016 than it used to be. It's important to compare the temperature rise with preindustrial levels, given that end last year at the Paris Agreement countries pledged to keep temperatures from rising by more than 1.5°C above preindustrial levels. NASA typically calculates anomalies by comparing temperatures with the period from 1951 to 1980, so without adjustment and without including seasonal cycle, the picture looks like the one below. The added polynomial trendline shows that the anomaly grows, when comparing the temperature rise with an period th

Arctic Sea Ice September 2016

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On September 8, 2016, there was hardly any sea ice left around the North Pole, as illustrated by the image below. The image below, made with a screenshot from ads.nipr.ac.jp , shows that, on September 7, 2016, Arctic sea ice extent (i.e. areas with 15% ice or more) was 4.02 million square km. While this is above the minimum extent of 2012, it is less than what the minimum extent was for all other years on the image. The image below shows extent as calculated by NSIDC.org , which is only slightly different from the above image. Even more frightening than sea ice extent is sea ice thickness, as illustrated by the image on the right, showing a nowcast (in m), run on September 7, 2016, and valid for September 8, 2016. The image shows that the multi-year sea ice has now virtually disappeared and that there's virtually no buffer left to absorb ocean heat. The image below shows sea ice thickness for the years 2012 through 2016, each time a nowcast, run on September 7 and valid for Septemb

Action must be taken now

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Some of the world's most preeminent climate scientists, all experts with many decades of experience in their respective field, are warning that effective action must be taken now to avoid catastrophe. These scientists, and many others, have made valuable and much-appreciated contributions to the Arctic-news blog  over the years [note: contributors each express their own views in posts and may or may not endorse other content of this blog] . Sam Carana , editor of this blog, has for years supported the calls of these scientists, also discussing and sharing their calls at facebook groups such as Arctic-News , Electric Transport ,  Renewables and Climate Alert . Furthermore, Sam Carana has called for specific action for years, including support for biochar, preferably through feebates. More specifically, Sam Carana recommends that revenues raised from fees imposed on sales of livestock products, nitrogen fertilizers and Portland cement are used to fund support for soil supplements, a