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Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Posts Tagged ‘climate’

2016 Confirmed as Warmest Year on Record Globally

Posted by feww on August 11, 2017

Who Let the Genie Out of the Well?

2016 also 3rd consecutive year of record warmth

Last year was warmest on record, topping 2015, the previous warmest year since 1880, according to the 27th annual State of the Climate report.

Most indicators of climate change have continued to follow trends of a warming globe, while land and ocean temperatures, sea level and greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere broke records set in 2015, according to the report.

Notable findings from the report include:

Greenhouse gases were toppled record. Carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, reached new record-high values in 2016. Average global CO2 concentration in 2016 was 402.9 parts per million (ppm), an increase of 3.5 ppm compared with 2015 and the largest annual increase observed in the 58-year record.

Global surface temperature was the highest on record. The 2016 combined global land and ocean surface temperature reached a record-high for a third consecutive year, ranging 0.45°–0.56°C above the 1981-2010 average.

Average SST was the highest on record. The 2016 SST was 0.36C to 0.41C higher than the 1981–2010 average topping the previous record set in 2015 by 0.01 to 0.03 C degrees C).

Global sea level was the highest on record. The global average sea level rose to a new record high in 2016, and was about 82 mm higher than that observed in 1993, when satellite record-keeping for sea level began.

Arctic sea ice coverage was at or near record low. The maximum Arctic sea ice extent reached in March 2016 tied last year as the smallest in the 37-year satellite data record, while the minimum sea ice extent in September tied 2007 as the second lowest on record.

Tropical cyclones were above-average overall. There were 93 named tropical cyclones across all ocean basins in 2016, above the 1981-2010 average of 82 storms. Three basins – the North Atlantic and Eastern and Western Pacific basins – experienced above-normal activity in 2016.


World-wide events from 2016 State of the Climate Report (NOAA)


Download State of the Climate in 2016

Full Report

Executive Summary

Index Page

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Arctic’s Ice Cycle since 1990

Posted by feww on January 11, 2016

Arctic’s oldest ice each week since 1990 – NOAA Climate

Time lapse of the relative age of Arctic sea ice weekly since 1990. The oldest ice (9 or more years old) is white. Seasonal ice is darkest blue. Old ice drifts out of the Arctic through the Fram Strait (east of Greenland), but in recent years, it has also been melting as it drifts into the southernmost waters of the Beaufort Sea (north of western Canada and Alaska). Video produced by the team, based on data provided by Mark Tschudi, University of Colorado-Boulder.

Arctic Sea Ice – On the Decline 2015

At 4.41 million square kilometers or 1.79 million square miles, 2015 was the fourth-smallest summer sea ice minimum extent in recorded history. This is 1.87 million square kilometers below the 1981 to 2010 average extent.

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Europe Plagued by ‘One of the Worst Droughts since 2003’

Posted by feww on August 21, 2015

Severe drought has severely affected Europe this summer

Parts of western, central and eastern Europe could continue to experience severe drought conditions in the foreseeable future, forecasters have warned.

Severe drought has affected much of the European continent since June 2015, one of the worst since the drought and heat wave of summer of 2003, according to the latest report by the JRC’s European Drought Observatory (EDO). “The drought, which particularly affects France, Benelux, Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, northern Italy and northern Spain, is caused by a combination of prolonged rain shortages and exceptionally high temperatures,” said the report.

The prolonged rainfall shortage (since April) and the temperature anomalies in July caused a severe drought which affected soil moisture content and vegetation conditions. Furthermore, the areas with the largest rainfall deficits also recorded exceptionally high maximum daily temperatures: in some cases these reached record values.

Another characteristic of this period was the persistence of the thermal anomalies: in the entire Mediterranean region, and particularly in Spain, the heat wave was even longer than that of 2003, with maximum daily temperatures consistently above 30°C for durations of 30 to 35 days (even more than 40 days in Spain).


joint EU Research commission
Areas with the lowest soil moisture content since 1990 in July 2015 (in red) and in July 2003 (in blue). Source: JRC-EDEA database (EDO)

Temperature Analysis
Almost the entire European continent has been experiencing temperatures that were significantly above the seasonal norm since the beginning of June 2015. Spain, Benelux, Germany and France recorded maximum daily temperatures of up to 10°C above normal values in June., said the report. “Conditions got even worse in July, with absolute maximum daily values above 34-35°C in almost the entire EU and absolute maximum temperatures that were well above 40°C in many areas (e.g. 47.3°C in Apulia, 46.5°C in Andalucia, 46.2°C in southern Bulgaria and outhern Romania, 45.7°C in Alentejo, 44.7° in Sicily). Moreover, several areas in Germany, Benelux, France, Spain, Italy and even in Austria, the Czech Republic, the UK and Sweden recorded their highest maximum daily temperatures for July since 1975.”

Drought News August 2015 by EDO is posted at

Click to access EDODroughtNews201508.pdf

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Tending their Goaties at the Edge of Anthropocene

Posted by feww on March 28, 2010

Thank goodness geography is not an exact science!

“11 questions to shape geographical sciences research in the next decade”

As a new epoch dawns, prompting humanity to search for the largest cave, situated well above the sea level, but with running water and enough soil to cultivate fast growing, edible weeds, as far away from the nearest volcanoes, and with near-zero seismic history … to protect their backsides [it won’t happen that way, of course] …

Life in a Rockshelter

Daily life at Hinds Cave as depicted by artist Peggy Maceo. In the foreground two women sit on woven mats and prepare food while a baby sleeps to one side and two young girls intently watch (and learn). The woman on the left pulverizes parched nuts while the seated woman uses a parching basket to keep nuts and several red-hot coals in motion. At the rear of the cave, an elder sits wrapped in a rabbit-fur robe while her adult daughter weaves a new mat. Two young boys kick up dust as the older brother aims a stick at his younger sibling. The men must be out hunting [that’s what they’ll tell the kids, any way—Moderator.] Image courtesy of College of Liberal Arts, The University of Texas in Austin. Click image to enlarge.

The National Research Council has released a new report which poses eleven questions that they believe would shape the research in geographical sciences in the next decade. To their credit they have briefly touched on “a time when populations are moving and natural resources are being depleted,” honing their questions with the “aim to provide a more complete understanding of where and how landscapes are changing” so that the society could manage and adapt to the transformation that are occurring on the Earth’s surface.

The following expert is from the National Academy of Sciences latest public release:

11 questions for the next decade of geographical sciences identified

The committee that wrote the report solicited input from the geographical science community to identify research priorities and the approaches, skills, data, and infrastructure necessary to advance research. The strategic directions span from overarching issues of environmental change and sustainability to specific areas in the field that are transforming. They are grouped by topic area, but are not ranked in any order of importance.

How to understand and respond to environmental change:

  • How are we changing the physical environment of Earth’s surface?
  • How can we best preserve biological diversity and protect endangered ecosystems?
  • How are climate and other environmental changes affecting the vulnerabilities of coupled human-environment systems?

How to promote sustainability:

  • Where and how will 10 billion people live?
  • How will we sustainably feed everyone in the coming decade and beyond?
  • How does where we live affect our health?

How to recognize and cope with the rapid spatial reorganization of economy and society:

  • How is the movement of people, goods, and ideas changing the world?
  • How is economic globalization affecting inequality?
  • How are geopolitical shifts influencing peace and stability?

How to leverage technological change for the benefit of society and environment:

  • How might we better observe, analyze, and visualize a changing world?
  • What are the societal implications of citizen mapping and mapping citizens?

Related Links:

Posted in Biodiversity, economic globalization, environmental change, geopolitical shifts, National Academy of Sciences | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Arctic Ice Affects Global Climate, Weather

Posted by feww on March 17, 2010

Arctic ice-melt is not just a local issue, it affects climate, weather globally

Melting sea ice may appear to be  or local at worst regional problem, but NOAA says that changes in the Arctic ice cover also influence weather in the mid-latitudes, where the majority of humans live.

Satellite images show a clear acceleration in the Arctic ice loss for the past 30 years.  For additional information visit
Will the Arctic be free of summer ice in 30 years?

Just about every model available for the Arctic ice cover in the future predict a continuation of the present pattern, an acceleration in the ice melt.

What happens when the open arctic waters absorb the additional heat?

The additional heat impacts the Arctic winds and therefore the Arctic atmosphere, increasing the variability and unpredictability of global wind patterns. For additional information visit How the loss of sea ice leads to a warmer Arctic

Cold arctic winds move to mid-altitude regions of the globe, spawning violent winter storm in the U.S. and Eurasia.

Teleconnections impact mid-latitudes

Warmer temperatures that result from huge losses in the sea ice cover give rise to higher pressure surfaces above the North Pole which in turn impact large scale wind patterns over the Northern Hemisphere. “Climate models show these connections with cold air moving south, producing low pressure areas and unusually cold winters in the eastern U.S. and eastern Asia, and cooler than usual weather in late winter from Europe to the Far East.”  For additional information visit How changes in the Arctic impact weather and climate in Europe, Asia and the US.

See also:  Transitory Impact of AO is the ‘Good News’

How much warmer is the Arctic?

In the figures below, red, yellow and green colors indicate areas over the Arctic region where autumn near-surface air temperatures were from 2 to 6°C warmer than the normal values observed prior to 2002.

Anomalies for autumn in 2002-2005 represent deviations from the normal near surface air temperature values which were observed from 1968-1996. Figure from Overland and Wang via NOAA

Anomalies for autumn 2007-2008 represent deviations from the normal near surface air temperature values which were observed from 1968-1996. Figure from Overland and Wang via NOAA

Anomalies (above) represent deviations from normal pressure surface elevations over the Arctic. Figure from Overland and Wang via NOAA

Warmer Arctic changes the Arctic atmosphere, impacts global winds

The elevated pressure surfaces above the North Pole persist into early winter and impact large scale wind patterns over the Northern Hemisphere, allowing cold are to move southward.

Figure (below) shows the changes in the Northern Hemisphere wind fields that are associated with late autumn surface air temperature and earlier sea loss. Blue and purple colors indicate areas with wind deviations below normal. Note the much reduced winds north of Alaska and western Canada.2

The reduction in winds opposes the usual atmospheric circulation patterns, allowing outbreaks of cold Arctic air to move southward.

It must be noted that there is considerable year-to-year variability in pressure fields, and that modifications of mid-latitude weather by wind patterns associated with sea ice reduction can be complex (involving storm track and longwave interactions).

However a consequence of the changes in Arctic atmospheric temperature and pressure, following loss of sea ice, is increased likelihood of cold air moving southward via teleconnections to impact weather at mid-latitudes.

As summer Arctic open water area increases over the next decades, we anticipate an increasing influence of loss of summer sea ice on the atmospheric northern hemisphere general circulation in following seasons with resultant impacts on northern hemisphere weather. For more information visit source: Loss of summer Arctic sea ice … and  Arctic Future Web site

Anomalies (above) represent deviations from normal east-west winds over the Arctic. Figure from Overland and Wang via NOAA

Related Links:

Posted in Arctic winds, Climate Change, Eurasia winter, Teleconnections, US weather | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »