Posted on July 23, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Growth in sea ice may be slower than reported
Scientists are puzzling over the expansion of Antarctic sea ice. bberwyn photo.
FRISCO — Global warming deniers have long been using the observed expansion of Antarctic sea ice as a way to try and confuse the public about the reality of global warming, but some new research by scientists with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California San Diego suggests the rate of expansion is not as dramatic as reported.
The findings, published in The Cryosphere (European Geosciences Union) acknowledge that there has been some expansion recently, but that some of the reported ice gain may be due to inconsistencies in computer models used to measure Antarctic sea ice. Continue reading
Filed under: Antarctica, climate and weather, global warming | Tagged: antarctic sea ice, climate, global warming, IPCC | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 17, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Greenhouse gas levels again reach record highs, wtih CO2 crossing 400 ppm threshold for the first time in the anthropocene — last tine CO2 was this high, Earth was a much warmer place, with sea levels 20 feet higher than now …
This graph of global glacier loss is a mirror image to graphs that show the rise in global temperatures. Graphic courtesy NOAA.
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FRISCO — Last year brought more sobering signs of continued global warming, including record-warm temperatures 20 meters below the ground on Alaska’s North Slope, federal scientists said today, releasing the 2013 State of the Climate report (Blunden, J., and D. S. Arndt, Eds., 2014: State of the Climate in 2013. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 95 (7), S1-S238).
With heat-trapping greenhouse gases reaching record levels in 2013, “the state of the climate is changing more rapidly than at any time in … in the known record,” said National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration director Thomas Karl, outlining the findings in the agency’s annual climate check-up. Read the full report here: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/bams-state-of-the-climate/2013.php.
The deep permafrost melt in the Arctic is probably linked with declining spring snow cover in the region, scientists said, highlighting a steady decline in the northern hemisphere’s reflective blanket of high latitude snow — think of the sunshade you use in a car windshield. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming | Tagged: climate, climate change, global warming, NOAA< 2013 State of the Climate report, permafrost | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 17, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
California drought still intensifying
A NASA climate maps shows much of the globe was warmer than average during June 2014.
FRISCO — The average June temperature across the contiguous United States was 1.1 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average, not near a record but still high enough to rank as the 33d warmest June on the books, according to the National Climatic Data Center’s monthly summary.
No state reported June temps ranking in the top 10, but if you’re waiting for things to cool down at night, you may be out of luck. The average minimum temperature during the first month of summer was 1.7 degrees above average — the 10th warmest average minimum temperature on record.
Many climate models project that nighttime low temps will rise faster than the overall average temperature, a worrying trend that doesn’t bode well for city dwellers, and especially for low-income residential areas, where residents are not equipped to protect themselves from extreme heat. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming | Tagged: climate, global warming, June U.S. temperatures | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 7, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
The far West and northern Great Basin are especially prone to wildfires this summer.
Potential for big fires still a concern in California
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — For the first time in 10 years, the acreage burned by wildfires was less than 1 million acres as of the beginning of July. With extreme drought and high fire danger in parts of the far West, that could change quickly, but for now, both the number of fires and the acreage affected is well below average for the season, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
To-date, 26,684 fires have burned across about 909,000 acres, less than half he average 2.5 million acres for this time of year. By comparison, wildfires had already burned across more than 1.7 million acres last year at this time. In 2011 that number was at 4.8 million acres. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, forest fires | Tagged: climate, Environment, West, Wildfires | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 2, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
A loggerhead sea turtle swimming over a coral reef. Photo courtesy NOAA/Marco Giuliano.
Ocean advocates say warming ocean drives sea turtles into floating gillnets
FRISCO — Along with the potential for affecting weather over North America, the emerging El Niño conditions on the Pacific Ocean could pose a threat to endangered loggerhead sea turtles, conservation advocates say, calling on federal fisheries managers to implement legally required restrictions on gillnet fishing to protect the turtles.
When ocean waters in the eastern Pacific get warmer, the loggerheads tend to move into commercial fishing grounds, where they often die after getting tangled up in nets. When El Niño is occurring or forecasted, the Pacific Loggerhead Conservation Area (California ocean waters east of 120 degrees latitude) is, by law, closed to drift gillnet fishing during June, July and August. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, El Niño, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: climate, El Nino, endangered species, gillnets, loggerhead sea turtles, weather | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 23, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Year to-date is fifth-warmest through May
You have to look pretty hard for the tiny cool spots.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — The average global temperature soared to a new record in May, more than 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average, according to the latest monthly update from the National Climatic Data Center.
Land surface temperatures were well above average in many parts of the world, including Australia and Alaska, but sea surface temperatures were off the charts, driving the global average temperature for the month to an all-time high. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming | Tagged: climate, Environment, global warming, May 2014 global temperatures, National Climatic Data Center, NOAA | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 20, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
UK researchers say rerouting flight paths could cut warming effect
Flying over Greenland … bberwyn photo.
FRISCO — Chemtrail conspiracy theorists aside, researchers at the University of Reading (UK) say that airplanes could reduce their climate impact by choosing flight paths in areas where jet exhaust condensation trails are less likely to form and persist.
The study, published June 19 in the journal Environmental Research Letters, shows that aircraft contribute less to global warming by avoiding the places where the thinly shaped clouds, called contrails, are produced – even if that means flying further and emitting more carbon dioxide. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming | Tagged: climate, cloud formation, contrails, global warming, Travel | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 15, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Antarctic sea ice at record high; northern hemisphere snow cover shows rapid spring decline
Low spring snow cover in the northern hemisphere.
FRISCO — Arctic sea ice extent in May was about a quarter of a million square miles below the 1981-2010 average, ending up as the third-lowest on record for the month, according to the latest update from the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
By contrast, sea ice extent around Antarctica is at a record high, almost half a million square miles above the 1981-2010 baseline, marking the highest May Antarctic sea ice extent on record. Read the full NSIDC report here. Continue reading
Filed under: Arctic, climate and weather, global warming, Greenland | Tagged: Arctic sea ice, climate, climate change, global warming, northern hemisphere snow cover | 1 Comment »
Posted on June 13, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Year-to-date readings also close to average
A temperature sandwich across the U.S. in May.
FRISCO — The average temperature across the U.S. was 1 degree Fahrenheit above the 20th century average, making it the 32d-warmest May on record, according to the latest report from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. Both the East and West coasts were warmer than average during May, while much of the central U.S. had near-average temperatures.
For the spring season (March- May), the average temperature was 0.2 degrees above the 20th century average, ranking the season near the middle of the pack for the 120-year period of record. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming | Tagged: climate, May 2014 state of the climate, weather | Leave a comment »