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Showing posts from March, 2017

Earth losing her sea ice

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Earth is losing her sea ice. Arctic sea ice was at record low extent for the time of the year on March 24, 2017, as illustrated by the image below. As the image below shows, on March 24, 2017, Arctic sea ice featured many cracks (top of Greenland is bottom left and Svalbard is on the right). The poor state of Arctic sea ice is also reflected by the sea ice volume, as depicted by the image below, by Wipneus , showing PIOMAS anomalies up to March 2017. On March 24, 2017, Antarctic sea ice extent was also much lower than it used to be at this time of year, as illustrated by the image below. Altogether, global sea ice extent has now been at a record low for many months, as illustrated by the graph by Wipneus below. This means that a huge amount of additional sunlight has been absorbed over these months, instead of getting reflected back into space as before. As Earth loses her sea ice, tipping point look set to be crossed that could result in rapid acceleration of Earth's temperature,

Which Trend Is Best?

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NASA just released temperature data for February 2017 . Should we be worried? Yes, there are many reasons to be very worried. Let's go back in time. This is from a post written ten years ago : We may suddenly face a future in which many if not most people will have little or no access to food, water, medicines, electricity and shelter, while diseases go rampant and gangs and warlords loot and devastate the few livable areas left. Human beings as a species will face the risk of total extinction, particularly if many species of animals and plants that humans depend on will disappear.  The post continues:  Many people are still in denial about the severity of the problem of global warming, the accumulation of dangers and their progression.   Indeed, even today many people will still deny that such events could strike suddenly, e.g. within a few years time. Many people use linear trends to predict the future many years from now. As an example, the straight blue line on the graph below

Methane Erupting From Arctic Ocean Seafloor

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Seafloor methane often missed in measurements Large amounts of methane are erupting from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean. These methane eruptions are often missed by measuring stations, because these stations are located on land, while measurements are typically taken at low altitude, thus missing the methane that rises in plumes from the Arctic Ocean. By the time the methane reaches the coast, it has typically risen to higher altitudes, thus not showing up in low-altitude measurements taken at stations on land. The image below shows the highest mean global methane levels on March 10 over the years from 2013 through 2017, for selected altitudes corresponding to 945 mb (close to sea level) to 74 mb. The table below shows the altitude equivalents in feet (ft), meter (m) and millibar (mb). 57,016 ft 44,690 ft 36,850 ft 30,570 ft 25,544 ft 19,820 ft 14,385 ft  8,368 ft 1,916 ft 17,378 m 13,621 m 11,232 m  9,318 m  7,786 m  6,041 m  4,384 m  2,551 m  584 m  74 mb  147 mb  218 mb  293 mb  3

Low sea ice extent contributes to high methane levels at both poles

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[ click on images to enlarge ] On March 2, 2017, Antarctic sea ice extent was at a record low since satellite readings started. As the image on the right shows, sea ice extent in 2017 (light blue) around Antarctica has been more than 1 million km² lower than the 1981-2010 median. At the same time, Arctic sea ice extent was at a record low for the time of the year since 1979. As the image underneath on the right shows, Arctic sea ice extent in 2017 has also been more than than 1 million km² lower than the 1981-2010 median. [ click on images to enlarge ] For about half a year now, global sea ice extent has been more than 2 million km² lower than it used to be, not too long ago, as illustrated by the image below, by  Wipneus . This means that a lot of sunlight that was previously reflected back into space, has been absorbed instead by Earth, contributing to global warming, especially at the poles. Greater warming at the poles has also caused more extreme weather, resulting in stronger win