Friday, February 19, 2016

Next Time Someone Tells You Global Warming is a Hoax

You might want to send them over to NASA so they can have a look at what's really going on.

The chart above shows temperature anomalies for the month of January. This compares current monthly temperatures to the average for that month from 1951 to 1980. What it shows is that across most of the Arctic and parts of Canada and Russia, temperatures were 4 degrees Celsius above the historic average.

New data from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration suggest that January of 2016 was, for the globe, a truly extraordinary month. Coming off the hottest year ever recorded (2015), January saw the greatest departure from average of any month on record, according to data provided by NASA.

But as you can see in the NASA figure above, the record breaking heat wasn’t uniformly distributed — it was particularly pronounced at the top of the world, showing temperature anomalies above 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the 1951 to 1980 average in this region.

Can you say "tipping points"? all fits a by-now familiar picture of an Arctic warming up considerably faster than the mid-latitudes, with consequences that could extend far outside of the polar region, says Rafe Pomerance, a former deputy assistant secretary of state who sits on the National Academy of Sciences’ Polar Research Board.

Impacts of Arctic warming are usually considered in isolation, and that’s a mistake, he says. “It’s unraveling, every piece of it is unraveling, they’re all in lockstep together,” Pomerance says. “What tends to happen is, everybody nationally reports on the latest piece of news, which is about one system. You hear about the sea ice absent the temperature trend. So you really have to think of it as a whole.”

Indeed, impacts of Arctic warming include the melting of major Arctic glaciers and Greenland (containing the potential for up to 7 meters of sea level rise if it were to melt entirely), the thawing of carbon rich permafrost (which could add to the burden of atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions) and signs of worsening wildfires across the boreal forests of Alaska, to name a few.


Toby said...

The really sad response to numbers like these is that there are those who see big money making opportunities as the ice melts.

Bill said...

I live in the brown area on the map and tomorrow I will pull out my winter coat for the second time since winter started last Halloween. Last week the younger hotter blooded set were wearing t shirts after weeks of minus 5. The talk around timmies is when the grizzlies might come out of hibernation which would be a disaster in more than one way. All new buildings and the old ones now have major cracks in walls and concrete floors and stairwells and the soil gets more unstable monthly as permafrost starts melting. At this time of year normally there is two feet or more of ice on our lakes and talking to a fisherman last week he only drilled 4 inches before carefully getting the hell out of there. This is just a tiny example of the changes occurring around me. All you need to know about the future can be found by looking north from where you live now.

Anonymous said...

Fiji is getting pounded by the biggest storm ever in the southern hemisphere - but hey, there's no climate change.

mr perfect

deb said...

strangely silent in the news theses days....and no more hoax talks except for the really crazy.
This seems worse to me, the argument is over but the folks who need to fix or help fix the issues, are also no longer speaking( politicians etc) The endless summits seem so pointless if folks wont really committ to any real targets.

this is also the psychology of what was predicted, denial from fear, disbelief....and now some sort of calm acceptance....
sad really as this could have been solved eons ago if politicians had some balls and stood up to the oil companies

The Mound of Sound said...

@ Bill. Jesus, that sounds grim. Thanks for the insights but I am sorry to learn of them. As I've written many times, we're seeing climate change in the migration of species into our waters out of the south. We used to have sea lions migrate into our area for the annual herring run that are now permanent residents. A while back my server at a local waterfront pub gave me a gushing account of a pod of humpback whales that had been cavorting not far off the beach. They've been gone from these waters for decades but now they're back. California bemoans the loss of its sardine stocks at the same time they show up here. There are so many changes underway.

Those living in the far north, up your way, are going to need government assistance to make good the physical damage/losses you're sustaining. A good start might be to levy a suitable tax on the fossil fuel industry and siphon off part of the royalties government pockets from those resources.

The Mound of Sound said...

@ Deb - I haven't been posting much lately. Events - political, economic, social and environmental - have been deteriorating to the point where it's hard to imagine the important solutions ever being implemented. Like you I've come to feel that we've gone through all the grieving stages of a terminal patient and now we're at acceptance.

We don't fix things any more. Bill's comments above demonstrate that much. Our leaders are like deer caught in the headlights. They don't know what to do and the obvious solutions are too daunting for them. Now when sovereign powers are needed more than ever we've yielded many of them to transnationals via trade agreements.

As Jared Diamond chronicles in "Collapse," societies don't fail by surprise. They know what's happening. They see it coming. They choose not to act until they're abruptly overtaken by events. We're on that very path.