Fahrenheit 85.9 Near Arctic Ocean Shores — Extreme Heatwave Settles in Over North-Central Siberia, Canada’s Northern Tier

70.8 North, 69.2 East. It’s the Lat, Long coordinate location of a section of the Yamal Peninsula in Siberian Russia. A typically chilly region of frozen but now thawing ground more than 4 degrees of Latitude north of the Arctic Circle. A place that saw the appearance of odd, disturbing (and now controversial) methane blowholes pockmarking the melting permafrost during 2014. Today, the high temperature in a land now being forced to rapidly warm by human-caused climate change spiked to a tropical 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26.4 C) at 0800 UTC. Tomorrow, temperatures are expected to again rise to 80 F (26.5 C). And in the same location on Thursday, the mercury is forecast to strike close to 86 F (30 C).

Across the Arctic Ocean at Latitude 71.4 North and Longitude 111.7 West, Canada’s Victoria Island is today also seeing temperatures spike to near 80 F (26.8 C). It’s a place encircled by sounds of wet crackling and fluid sighs. The mournful songs of melting sea ice. A sad threnody for the end of a much more stable and hospitable climate age. And there, and even further north to Banks Island, readings are expected to range from 80 to 82 F (26.7 to 27.7 C) on Wednesday and into Thursday.

GFS Five Day Average

(Extreme heat wave predicted to build over the Arctic during the next five days as indicated by daily maximum temperatures forecast for the next five days shown above. Image source: Climate Reanalyzer.)

The heatwave in Northern Siberia comes on the back of new record high temperatures of 93 F (33.8 C) being reached in Buryatia on July 1 amidst record thunderstorm-induced downpours. The heat has since built northward along an extended ridge stretching over Central Asia and has now compromised a large section of the Arctic Circle zone.

On the Canadian side, the odd warmth comes in the form of a weird Northern heat island. The heat near the Canadian Archipelago is surrounded by cooler regions north, south, east and west. The result of a heat dome high pressure ridge building in over this far Northern region during the coming week.

Weather monitors like the Global Forecast System model show that both of these regions are in for some very severe Arctic heat over the next five days. High temperatures in the range of 80 to 86 F (26 to 30 C) are about 27 to 36 degrees Fahrenheit above average (15 to 20 C).  Temperatures that will basically match those in Central America (8.3 N, 77.9 W) during the same time period. In other words, for these days and these regions, Arctic temperatures will roughly match tropical Equatorial temperatures.

Conditions in Context — 408 ppm CO2, 490 ppm CO2e is Forcing the Arctic to Warm Faster Than Lower Latitudes

This most recent Arctic heatwave occurs in a climate context that, taking into account for 408 ppm CO2 alone will likely result in 1-2 C of additional global warming (on top of current approximate 1 C warming since 1880s) over the long term. Meanwhile, total CO2e (including methane and other greenhouse gasses) measures of about 490 ppm imply 1.5 to 3 C of additional warming long term (on top of 1 C current) even if the present total greenhouse gas forcing is only maintained (not added to by human beings or the Earth System).

These are global averages. But all that extra heat forcing is causing the world to warm unevenly. As of 2009, the Arctic was warming up at a pace more than two times faster than the rest of the globe. And in the 40 year period from 1971 through 2011 NASA found that the Arctic had warmed about 3.55 degrees Fahrenheit while the rest of the world had warmed by 1.44 F. But that was before the big global heat spike during 2015 and 2016 further disproportionately heated the Arctic — pushing it into new record hot temperature ranges. In the end, it appears that the Arctic will eventually warm by about 2.5 to 3 C for every 1 C of overall global temperature rise. And the extreme heat we are seeing now in the Arctic is just a larger part of the geologically rapid warming trend now being driven primarily by human fossil fuel emissions.

Arctic Warming Faster Than Rest of World 2

(NASA graphic shows Arctic warming at a faster rate than the rest of the world. The capture is for 2000 through 2009 vs the NASA 1951 through 1980 20th Century baseline. Read article here at NASA’s Earth Observatory.)

Impacts like loss of sea ice’s cooling albedo effect (reflectivity), loss of land albedo due to greening and loss of snow cover, and unlocking of local carbon stores due to rising heat, expanding fires, and changes in weather all contribute to this more rapid rate of Northern Hemisphere Polar warming. In addition, warming oceans, northward moving climate zones, and warm wind influx events generated by weaknesses in the Polar Jet Stream preferentially transport heat toward the Arctic (especially during Winter). These various forcings generate an overall greater degree of warming for the Arctic Ocean region during Winter all while Summer sees extraordinary heat racing to the Continental edges North of the Arctic Circle.

The only effective way to slake this warming is to both halt human greenhouse gas emissions — which are the major driver of the big heat build up the world is now experiencing — as rapidly as possible while pursuing ways to remove the excess carbon loading from the Earth Atmosphere. Without these necessary responses and mitigations, more warming will continue to be locked into the pipeline and the greater the eventual temperature departure from 1880s (Holocene) values will ultimately become — with the Arctic increasingly entering a hot zone.

Links/Statements/Attribution:

Earth Nullschool

Climate Reanalyzer

Methane Blowhole

NASA’s Earth Observatory

What’s Causing the Poles to Warm Faster Than the Rest of The Earth?

Paleoclimate Tells Us We Have 1-2 C Additional Warming in Pipeline From CO2 Forcing

Record Heat and Abnormal Flooding as Siberia Gets Freak Weather

Scientific hat tip to Dr. Jennifer Francis

Hat tip to Cate

Hat tip to Spike

Hat tip to Colorado Bob

(Note: This post is not intended to draw any specific conclusion on the scientifically controversial issue of potential Arctic carbon store releases. Time-frames and thresholds for such potential amplifying feedbacks in response to human-forced warming — be they small, moderate, large or catastrophic — are currently not very well understood in the science. Mainstream science asserts that such feedbacks will tend to be more moderate and happen over longer time scales given current understanding of carbon store resiliency. That said, the amount of heat build up due to human-forced warming in the Arctic is impressive and concerning. For these reasons carbon store sensitivity necessitates close monitoring and further research by responsible observers.)

Leave a comment

129 Comments

  1. jeremy

     /  July 5, 2016

    How can this not lead to a massive release of Arctic methane?
    A truly terrifying scenario.

    Reply
    • It probably won’t. But it does add to overall pressure on the carbon stores there. Part of a much larger trend.

      Worth noting that Winter temps at times ranged to +50 F above average for certain regions of the Arctic. So the winter heat spikes are even more impressive when looking at an anomaly basis.

      Reply
  2. climatehawk1

     /  July 5, 2016

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  3. Colorado Bob

     /  July 5, 2016

    Someone on Dr. Masters thread just said we should log 66 million dead trees for their lumber –

    My reply :

    The dying forests in California –

    The devastation the California drought has caused to conifer trees in the Sierra Nevadas over the last couple of years “is far greater than previously observed,” NASA scientists said in announcement of the publication of new map of the region.

    And there’s this :
    He also said that the map points to what could represent a permanent change in the landscape of the region.

    “The drought has some momentum, there could be a wave of mortality that continues for the next several years,” he said. “The biggest concern here is that the trees that are dying are decades old or even centuries old, and this mortality rate means that the Sierras will be changed during our lifetimes and our kids’ lifetimes.”

    Link

    We’ve already seen this before, in New Mexico , the death of an entire forest on the Southwest flank of the Valles Caldera. This was 13 years ago :

    Rising temperatures are worsening the effects of drought in the Four Corners region of the U.S. Southwest, threatening regional ecosystems and global biodiversity.

    More than 90 percent of the centuries-old piñon pines around Mesita del Buey, NM, died in a 2002-2003 drought.
    This recent drought was warmer than a previous drought in the 1950s, and there is evidence that the recent piñon die-off was significantly more extensive.
    In a warming climate, scientists expect drought to cause even more rapid and extensive die-off of trees on a regional scale.

    Link

    These centuries-old piñon pines did not grow back , and they tried to replant this forest.

    So the simple idea that we log. 66 million dead trees is rather short sighted. First of all there are no mills to take the logs. Secondly logging means roads, and if the West is full up on one thing, it’s roads.
    Thirdly, those dead trees are the inheritance of what comes next . And it shouldn’t be left to the fast buck artists that have plagued it it since 1849.

    Now, should we leave it ? No. We should send chain saw crews into it. And cut the trees so they slow the runoff. and leave plenty standing as homes for wild life. As the man said :

    “The drought has some momentum, there could be a wave of mortality that continues for the next several years,” he said. “The biggest concern here is that the trees that are dying are decades old or even centuries old, and this mortality rate means that the Sierras will be changed during our lifetimes and our kids’ lifetimes.”

    So just logging it is rather 19th century thinking, when the trees were 10 feet across at their base , and no one gave a fig what would happen if we cut everyone of them down.

    Reply
  4. Colorado Bob

     /  July 5, 2016

    Another thing about forest management , the Russians , and Canadians never managed their forests like we did over time. This entire idea that we attacked fires for decades , and now we pay the price. Doesn’t ring true. Their forests didn’t burn in the 50’s . They were wet, and cool fire never had chance.

    Have we screwed our forest management over the last 70 years , Yes .

    Have the Russians , and Canadians done better ?

    Not at all , their wild land fires grow every day.

    Reply
    • Climate change is the great equalizer when it comes to forest management. It’s impossible to manage a forest well when the climate zone it adapted to has gone north or slipped on off the planet entirely.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  July 5, 2016

        I am reminded of Sail Away –

        Sail Away- Randy Newman

        Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 5, 2016

      This myth, that our fire management applies to the world needs to be cut to pieces. The Russians will no longer fight fires in remote places. The Canadians only defend towns.

      And yet the fires grow. This ruins idea, that we have controlled fires for 70 years dies in the face of other countries. Their forests never burned 70 years ago.

      This myth, that our fire management applies to the world needs to be cut to pieces.

      Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  July 6, 2016

        Love that (and all other) Turner, Bob. A storm coming on, so the slavers are throwing the dead and dying overboard, to the sharks’ delight. Humanity are like those slaves, and our Masters are quite happy to throw us all overboard, as the climate destabilisation hurricane approaches.

        Reply
    • Shawn Redmond

       /  July 5, 2016

      In the 90’s the provincial forestry department offered monetary assistance to wood lot owners if you signed on to the program for x amount of time. I and my father had a 40 acre lot we were selectively cutting at the time so we arranged for a government biologist to walk the lot with us. He said we had to remove 30% of the mass by volume. When asked about removing the sick and double top trees first, creating openings for the remaining healthy trees to seed he said not if we wanted into the program. The fact that the seeds from a predominantly spruce forest are 90% dead after the first year on the ground was lost on them. So the sick and deformed trees would be left to reseed as a matter of due course. If Howard Dill worked on the same principal his giant pumpkins probably would yet to be developed. Centuries of taking the best and leaving the rest has left us with an inferior forest just when we need the opposite the most. My point is we know this and we know that and we don’t know enough to know that we don’t know anything. Present company exempt.

      Reply
  5. Arriving at 490 CO2e requires that an equivalency factor of ~25 is used between CH4 and CO2. However, that assumes that pulses of CH4 are emitted, and then oxidized, so that the concentration of CH4 declines rapidly.

    However, observed CH4 concentrations in the atmosphere have increased continuously. Thus, the assumptions of the conversion factor are not met. Under conditions of a continually increasing CH4 concentrations in the atmosphere, a better equivalency factor would be ~86, yielding a current CO2e on the close order of 560.

    The graph of CH4 concentration has the same shape as the curve for CO2.
    ( http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/ccgg/trends/ch4_trend_all_gl.png )

    Any rational consideration of CH4 in the atmosphere leads to more warming than has been discussed in public by IPCC.

    IPCC WG1 (Watson et al., ) was written by atmospheric chemists, and neglected to consider that most of the methane cycle is not in the atmosphere.

    Reply
    • humanistruth

       /  July 6, 2016

      A current CO2e on the close order of 560 isn’t trivial. I’d appreciate a link to learn more on the assumptions regarding methane oxidation. Thanks

      Reply
      • We’re in the range of 490 ppm CO2e not counting aerosols. GWP extends for 500 years. Methane’s short atmospheric lifetime weighs against it in the broader measure. The 490 ppm context assumes a methane GWP of 40 vs 25 actual over the 500 year approx period. The added value is due to the fact that methane based warming is front-loaded.

        Reply
  6. Ryan in New England

     /  July 5, 2016

    We are starting a heatwave here in Connecticut right now, and I find it absolutely nuts that the shores of the Arctic Ocean will be experiencing nearly the same temperatures over coming days.

    Off topic, but something I noticed this past weekend. My father rents a small home down on the Connecticut shore every year (in Old Saybrook) and I was down there for the holiday weekend. While I spent time on the beach, walking around, talking to local homeowners, I could not detect any concern about climate change or sea level rise. One section of the shore has a good 15 feet above the current sea level, but right down the road you have countless homes sitting just a few feet above high tide, many of them costing a million or more. “Small” homes being torn down so that outrageous sums of money can be spent on a bigger home, sitting right where high tide will soon be. And this is just one small section of one town, in a very small state, in just a single country, in a world full of people and getting fuller every day. I try to think of all of the homes, infrastructure, agriculture, that currently exists at sea level, and it boggles my mind to think of the amount of energy that it will take to move it all. And it frightens and depresses me to think of all that can’t be moved.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 5, 2016

      Hell in a Bucket –

      Reply
    • They’re crazy. Building there at this time is just asking to take it on the chin. But, yeah, they’re still doing it everywhere. My buddy just got a house on the water.

      Reply
    • Hey Ryan:
      I frequent Robert’s most excellent site. I also write climate change articles for the Huffington Post. Just now I’m writing a book on climate change in which I analogize my rather fraught health history to the unfolding climate situation. One of my approaches is to analogize the symptoms of my inflammatory diseases with those of a heating planet. I have about 75 pages done and I just now finished the chapter on Stage 1 (“beginning” level) symptoms. For climate change I used sea-level rise as the symptom. If you’d be interested in taking a look, I could email you a word doc…I am soliciting feedback in preparation to pitch to publishers.

      Reply
      • Best of luck with the book, David. Let me know when it publishes and I’ll be glad to write a review. Don’t have a huge amount of time for book length editing projects, but if you’ve got a rough section that needs evening out, I’d be happy to take a crack at it.

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  July 6, 2016

        David, I’m absolutely interested! Thank you🙂 I’m familiar with your writing and have noticed your presence here before, and I would consider it an honor to provide feedback. I hope your overall health has a better prognosis than our climate.

        My email is rkoconnor1@gmail.com

        Reply
  7. Ryan in New England

     /  July 5, 2016
    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 5, 2016

      They issue that id coming.

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  July 5, 2016

      The line,”They noted that much of the Republican debate has either focused on blatant denial that climate change even exists or on how to unpick Barack Obama’s attempts to fight global warming, while on the Democratic side both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have raised the issue but have rarely pushed it to the top of the political agenda.” is bullsh*t. Bernie Sanders has routinely called climate change the number one threat to national security, and has repeatedly shown he is very educated on the topic of climate change and believes it is a very urgent, and important issue.

      Reply
      • “The line,”They noted that much of the Republican debate has either focused on blatant denial that climate change even exists or on how to unpick Barack Obama’s attempts to fight global warming, while on the Democratic side both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have raised the issue but have rarely pushed it to the top of the political agenda.” is bullsh*t.”

        False balance.

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  July 6, 2016

        Lol You read my mind, Climatehawk😉

        Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  July 6, 2016

        The false balance disease is easy to recognize, but nearly impossible to eradicate. There are NOT two sides to everything, but our media insists on pretending the Republicans have legitimate ideas supported by evidence, when they live in a delusional world of their own making. It’s like having an opposing view to the weather forecast.

        Now our meteorologist with the weather…it’s going to be in the upper 80s today, with a slight chance of rain. Sun sets at 8:30.
        And the opposing view from Republicans…Obama has lied about the forecast in order to sell air conditioners and promote his warmist agenda. It will soon be cooling, and the sun will not set this evening.

        That is exactly what the false balance thing looks like to anybody who hasn’t been brainwashed by the reich-wing in this country.

        Reply
      • False equivalency indeed. There’s a huge amount of material on the anti climate science legislation republicans have put out. A huge amount of material on bills pushed to under cut renewables and to support fossil fuels. And democratic legislation and executive action has time and time again pushed for greater support for carbon emissions cuts, greater support for renewables, and greater support for climate science.

        In addition, the democratic debates and communications featured numerous high profile statements on climate change. Bernie Sanders led the change with a continuous stream of editorials, missives, and debate statements. Clinton also issued a good number of statements on the issue. And though these were milder than Sanders, they were much more vocal than Barack Obama, for example, during the 2012 campaign.

        Politifact posted a good comparison between Sanders and Clinton’s positions on climate change change. Both advocated a stronger response. Sanders had the strongest position with support of fracking bans and a carbon tax. But Clinton’s positions represented an advancement of current policies.

        Post Democratic campaign, Sanders in particular has continued to blast Trump for his climate change denial.

        The issue is now not that democrats aren’t speaking out on climate change. The issue appears to be that a big subset of the media isn’t really reporting on this fact. WaPO, NYT and other sources have generated a mild level of coverage. But considering the breadth of the problem, you’d think that most media worth its salt would be hammering away and asking climate change related questions to all candidates.

        In any case, I’d say that the Guardian mostly gets this right. Maybe this was an off post.

        Case in point:

        “Water World: Rising Tides Close in on Trump…the Climate Change Denier”
        https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/06/donald-trump-climate-change-florida-resort

        Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  July 6, 2016

      No mention during the Australian election, either. Just almost totally ignored, even as the Great Barrier Reef dies before our eyes.

      Reply
  8. Cate

     /  July 5, 2016

    “Andreas Muenchow works at the University of Delaware as a sea-going physical oceanographer whose puzzles range from the physics of river discharges in Argentina, Siberia, and Delaware to ice-ocean interactions and glaciers off northern Greenland and Canada. He also dabbles in statistics, ocean color remote sensing, computer modeling, and kids himself to be a writer.”

    https://icyseas.org/

    His blog is called Icy Seas: Scientific Musings of a Sailor in a Changing Climate. It’s a good read, not often updated but current enough, most recently on 15 June in which he describes an upcoming US Navy-funded project he’ll be working on north of northern Alaska in October-November. He describes his “homework” for the expedition as crunching numbers to figure out what the ice will be like there and then.

    >>>>>> For the two decades of the last century, the ice cover looks like a crap shoot with 80% ice cover possible any month of the year and ice-free conditions unlikely but possible here or there for a week or two at most. The situation changed dramatically since about 2000. During the last six years our study area has always been free of ice from late August to early October, however, our 2016 expedition is during the transition from ice-free October to generally ice-covered early November, but, I feel, our saving grace is that the sea ice will be thin and mobile. I thus feel that we probably can work comfortable on account of ice for the entire period, but the winds and waves will blow us away<<<<<

    Reply
  9. Jeremy

     /  July 5, 2016

    Reply
    • ‘Only’ mostly above average melt for Greenland surface so far this year. We probably have another big melt spike or two on the way. Center of heat so far has tended west. Greenland got a big snow dump in May. Increased albedo there and kept it relatively cooler. Next year situation may be different.

      Reply
  10. Cate

     /  July 5, 2016

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/

    Mauna Loa updated today:
    June 2015 402.80 ppm
    June 2016 406.81 ppm

    +4.01 ppm on the year

    Reply
  11. Kalypso

     /  July 5, 2016

    I was reading NOAA’s ENSO update (http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf) and it looks like La Niña will be on the weak side. If La Niña remains week, could this mean another global temperature record in 2017?

    Reply
    • Probably not unless La Niña flips pretty rapidly to another strong El Niño. PDO still strongly positive and that should be a concern.

      Reply
  12. Griffin

     /  July 5, 2016

    Very impressive post Robert. Thanks for having the balls to stay in the fight and keep doing what you do. Posts like this tell us an incredibly important story and put the pieces together in a way that is just not done anywhere else.

    Reply
    • No worries Griff. Too much to do to quit. Too much that needs to be done. Too little time left and nowhere near enough hands on deck. And no time to really engage with critics and play the whole media 3 ring circus game.

      I think, eventually, if we do the right thing, that these kinds of attacks will start to become constant. Some people will have an axe to grind due to climate change denial, some due to fossil fuel special interests, some due to jealousy, some due to egocentric preconceptions about ‘who should be the messenger,’ some due to feeling personally or institutionally threatened, some due to feeling monetarily threatened, some due to ugly politics. I could honestly care less. The most important thing is continuing to strive for the best quality analysis, continuing to push for climate action, and continuing to refine and improve the message. If criticism results in improvement, great. But no way am I going to get let down. The message is important, probably the most important out there. That’s why it receives scrutiny. That’s why it invites conflict. And that’s why it will continue to be written as long as we’re still here.

      And I just want to give you my wholehearted thanks and appreciation for taking this journey with me. For pitching in, helping out and for standing here with me. I absolutely value your contributions and you make this blog a better place in your willingness to share your own experiences and to take part.

      Reply
      • If you keep working on coming up with hypotheses that encompass a wide variety of phenomena, without bias, as opposed to supporting theories that are overall more pleasant, then you may be incorrect equally often, or even more frequently, but it’s the bit about avoiding bias that matters. This is not a pleasant subject.

        In any case, the theories are turning out wrong all the time, mostly in a temporal sense, though also in terms of levels of complexity. So what is most important is to pay attention to as much as possible and try to knit it together as one goes, and you are doing that quite effectively, together with the other contributors here. I doubt you are making much bank doing so, and I overall look askance at attacks on your work, as they have the hidden assumption that one must not address these subjects merely via hypothesis, as if we have all the time in the world to wait while others more qualified ponder these deep issues.

        Reply
        • I make more money going on school visits and selling the fantasy stories. This job isn’t about the money. It’s about you guys. I don’t want to see the horrible worst case realized. I don’t want to see what happens if we don’t get off FF burning soon. I want to live in a living world. I want people to be able to live without fear of increasingly deadly environments. I want human beings to be enabled to live in ways that do no harm or do as little harm as possible. I want us to see that it is most worthwhile to live for happiness, for our children’s happiness, and not for material objects. I want us enabled to produce technologies and ways of living that reduce and eliminate external harms. I want people to live enriched lives and to have their lives enrich life itself. We have for so long been the bringers of death, but now to save ourselves we must become preservers of life. Somehow, we must help people to see that.

        • Yup. 😪

      • Cate

         /  July 6, 2016

        RS: “The message is important, probably the most important out there…” Indeed. As I say as nauseam to anyone who will listen, we really shouldn’t be talking about anything else. We shouldn’t be doing anything else. The entire world needs to get on the proverbial “war footing” and throw everything we have at this crisis, for the sake of our grandchildren and generations to come.

        Reply
  13. Colorado Bob

     /  July 6, 2016

    RS – Your masthead is a dense black soup. Change it. No one gains hope from a dense black soup.

    Reply
  14. – RS: “..it appears that the Arctic will eventually warm by about 2.5 to 3 C for every 1 C of overall global temperature rise.”

    That ratio is rather settling — 2.5/1 or 3/1 — and says a lot as it points to an critical situation.
    Worthy of often referring to. Should be easy to understand…
    Yikes.

    Reply
    • – And the odds in favor, or against, are one in two point five — or one in three.
      I wonder how the pro bookies are listing AGW. I believe they factor in everything at hand for any situation..
      Unsuccessful in past searches.

      Reply
  15. Ryan in New England

     /  July 6, 2016

    Taiwan is the target for Super Typhoon Nepartak, let’s hope they get spared.

    Residents of Taiwan are turning worried eyes eastwards, where Super Typhoon Nepartak is steaming towards them after putting on a phenomenal display of rapid intensification. Nepartak went from a tropical storm with 70 mph winds on Monday afternoon to a Category 4 super typhoon with 150 mph winds in just 24 hours, as estimated by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). The typhoon took advantage of light wind shear of 5 – 10 knots and extremely warm ocean waters of 31°C (88°F) to fuel its rapid intensification. Unusually warm waters extended to great depth below the storm, creating some of the highest oceanic heat content readings we see for a tropical cyclone–near 150 kJ/cm**2

    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/super-typhoon-nepartak-takes-aim-at-taiwan

    Reply
  16. – There is quite a bit of cloud/atmo info in the referenced AGU link.
    An amazing photo too.

    Reply
  17. – Arctic waters and its contents;

    Reply
    • ‘A new survey of ocean waters flowing in and out of the Arctic may shed light on how dissolved organic nitrogen and phosphorus contribute to nutrient cycling in the Arctic.’

      Reply
  18. It was 109° here in Carlsbad, NM today, breaking the 1998 record for this date by two degrees. Highest recorded temperature measured here on any date was 111°.

    I am wondering whether the same forces at work in the Arctic that drew the El Niño weather further north than usual are going to act similarly upon USA SW regions that typically experience summer monsoons. That or send it all to Texas.

    Reply
    • The US SW was beneath the north bound warm air slot during this most recent El Niño. Dryness remains now which promotes more localized heat in addition to the added warming factors due to broader climate change. The region is at the center of what models indicate should be an expanding and heating desert as human forced climate change worsens. If we mitigate fast, we can take some of the edge off. But unless we somehow rapidly pull carbon out of the Earth System, then it’s almost certainly going to get worse for some time to come.

      Reply
      • Plants do that better than humans do, but the trick is where and what plants. There is so much talk already of pre-emptive logging, because it’s all going to burn anyway. Maybe grassland restoration, meaning leaving it alone.

        Not to suggest burning fossil fuels isn’t insane, but deserts don’t do a very good job of carbon capture.

        Reply
        • If you don’t stop burning fossil fuels, you’re going to have a lot more desert… But, yeah, reducing and eliminating other human activity that causes desertification helps. You just run to fall behind if you keep burning fossil fuels.

        • Ending commercial grazing would be a big deal. I am less concerned about what humans eat than I am about how they eat wrecks natural communities. No more cutting down rain forest for pasture, no more grazing public lands. Any meat production that drives desertification should be globally outlawed. Actually any farming practice that does should be too.

        • So next to cutting fossil fuels, cuts to this kind of meat based ag are a very high priority for sustainability. A much better regulatory structure would help as well. It’s amazing how many things have gone off the rails just due to laissez faire.

          We are pretty far behind the 8 ball in all this…

        • Any ag that isn’t permaculture ultimately desertifies. You can’t ask the world to carbon capture when it’s dead.

          So yeah, we have to stop putting all that carbon out there, and we have to stop killing the world that can capture that carbon. It’s a two-pronged fork. Well three-pronged: third fork is ending enforced human pregnancy.

          Veganism isn’t an answer unto itself. There are loads of ways to ruin soil by growing plants. But the whole idea that it’s okay to wreck large swathes of land in order to temporarily feed animals that some portion of some human culture particularly likes to consume is beyond self indulgent and shockingly destructive. Culturally speaking, we don’t respect what we eat, we have become too distanced to remember that we must give back, not just take and trash.

  19. wili

     /  July 6, 2016

    “climate may be more sensitive and situation more dire”

    https://www.skepticalscience.com/richardson-2016-climate-sensitive-situation-dire.html

    Reply
    • 3 C ECS. 6 C ESS.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  July 6, 2016

        Those are the most likely figures, but I would point out that Shindell (2012) gets a 4 C ECS with efficacies figured in, according to the second chart here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2016/01/marvel-et-al-2015-part-1-reconciling-estimates-of-climate-sensitivity/

        Reply
        • Aware of the Shindell numbers. Worth keeping an eye on. Ranges near ECS 3 C ESS 6 C are validated by paleoclimate proxy data, which is why they’re the most likely to be correct.

      • wili

         /  July 6, 2016

        That should be Shindell (2014)

        Reply
        • So the thing that concerns me is that ECS and ESS based on paleoclimate does not take into account amplifying carbon feedbacks. We’re now forcing an end to a long period of cooling. So the amount of carbon that we’ve put out there will add heat and will generate more carbon.

          So there’s a base sensitivity and then there’s an amplifying carbon feedback sensitivity. And current understanding of sensitivity only includes a kind of steady state atmospheric carbon load thinking for simplification.

          I think it may be worth exploring a possible dynamic climate sensitivity (DCS) model that include amplifying carbon feedbacks into the traditional understanding of paleoclimate. You could run it under low feedback, zero feedback, moderate feedback, and high feedback scenarios.

          I think that this would probably give a better picture of overall sensitivity if the physical processes were well defined.

          But under steady carbon state exercises I think the ECS 3 C and ESS 6 C are most likely to bear out.

  20. Robert Schmidt

     /  July 6, 2016

    Robert,

    Yes, we are screwed. Only thing left to determine, how much can we lessen the degree of screwedness of which we are?

    Sixth Extinction a probable done deal due to the avarice and ignorance of TPTW.

    Again, how much can we lessen the thoroughness of the Sixth Extinction and remove it from the possibility of extending into a Venus Event?

    Current event blazed by the unprecedented rapid temperature rise across and throughout the planet (beneath the waves).

    CO2 temperature driven increase driving a self-reinforcing Methane feedback loop possibly past any previous performance to result in a SOON to be completed Sixth Extinction Event and possible graduation to Venus-like Finality.

    With friends like these, who needs asteroidal collisions, malevolent ET’s, or relatively nearby interstellar catestrophic explosions?

    We sit here, Pogo’ed to the max.

    A suggestion.

    Guy Mcpherson (Eeyore) pooh poohed it, Beckwith got a nice haircut but did not respond, and I was serious because the problem is UNBELIEVABLY SERIOUS.

    Current efforts extended to a logical conclusion….we are dead, the planet is dead, and possibly Venus. Not good.

    Possible fix. Currently SLR (sea level rise), is inadequate to quench the already ongoing methane clathrate release. We are momentarily doomed by the enormous climate flywheels of the ice deposits at the north and south poles of our near insignificant planet. Exterminating Methane Release is held back by either low temps (ice ages) or high pressures (increased ocean depths). Our near heroin-like addiction to fossil fuels has jump started a CO2 initiated rapid temperature rise as yet unaccompanied by it’s normal sea level rise, which moderates to tolerable levels. methane release. In other words, we and our precious planet are about to be slaughtered by the too slow pace of the transition of ice to water. Nothing more complex
    than that.

    We soon suffocate and overheat within an ice cubed slow melting Margarita, rather than survive to fight another day within the parameters of a quickly melting crushed ice Margarita.

    Yes, there will be a hangover. But better a hangover than a funeral with no one to man the shovels.

    Bring on the melting, move the seaside cities, islands, and industries inland where possible.

    Force the above ground ice melting in Greenland and Antarctica, move the coastal cities and assets inland and rapidly pursue wind and solar to help prevent further heating and clathrate melting.

    About as simple as I can state it. Those familiar with temps and pressures please weigh in.
    It is important. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Hansen’s most recent paper on runaway warming indicated we needed to burn all FF or nearly all to get to wet stratosphere, but that Earth to Venus was not as likely. Wet stratosphere is bad enough. Far worse than Permian.

      Current forcing gets us to 3-4 C at worst long term. Carbon feedbacks may add 1-2 C more under the more likely scenarios.

      Methane runaway currently less likely. But we are likely to see some carbon feedback. Strong mitigation response and very hard work on atmospheric carbon capture may limit us to 1.8 to 2.5 C over next 1-2 Centuries if we work very hard, shut down emissions very soon, and are very lucky.

      The range of outcomes are

      1. Current situation = pretty bad (2-3 C long term warming in better case scenarios, atmospheric carbon capture required to prevent this)
      2. Moderate continued FF burning = terrible (500 to 700 ppm CO2, worse CO2 e, 4-7 C warming long term, practically impossible to capture even a decent chunk of the carbon spike).
      3. BAU FF burning = absolutely catastrophic (700 to 1100 ppm CO2, worse CO2e 7+ C warming long term, high chance of pretty amazingly bad carbon feedbacks, Permian or worse type extinction possible, wet stratosphere possible)

      If you burn FF to the point where all the ice melts, you get extra heat at the ocean bottom due to stratification and the action of the fresh water wedge. The period of melt actually acts as a mechanism that forces a huge amount of heat into the oceans. If you’re worried about clathrate, then melting the glaciers is just making the situation worse by pushing more heat toward the ocean bottom.

      Paul Beckwith and Guy McPherson, though they often cite me, continuously come to conclusions that I wholeheartedly reject.

      Reply
    • Andy in SD

       /  July 6, 2016

      I believe civilization(s) are screwed big time. A lot of people are screwed, as are significant environments. Instead of an orderly retreat from the coastline, we will fight it (because that is what we do). And when we can’t push nature back and have to migrate, we will fight one another.

      Climate change is the finger on the trigger, human nature is the round in the chamber.

      Reply
      • Andy in SD

         /  July 6, 2016

        Actually this is wrong “Climate change is the finger on the trigger, human nature is the round in the chamber.”

        It seems more appropriate as follows.

        Human nature is the shaky finger on the trigger, climate change is the round in the chamber and civilization is staring down the barrel.

        Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  July 6, 2016

        Andy, there is no single ‘human nature’. The ‘inhuman nature’ of the insatiably greedy and compassionless capitalist elites is what is destroying us.

        Reply
  21. Andy in SD

     /  July 6, 2016

    I just stumbled onto something curious…bear with me, this post will have 2 or 3 replies from me.

    They all link to July 4th Greenland, by Jakobshavn. The first link show your 7/4/2014. Take note of the glacial melt pond locations, specifically the altitude as expressed by their distance from the coast.

    On the first reply image, you will see 7/4/2015. Again, note the locations.

    On the third reply, you will see 7/4/2016. Look at where those glacial melt ponds are located (distance from coast line).

    If you want, you can use the date picker at the top and roll back to 7/4/2013 and they will align with the locale of 2014 and 2015.

    Just found it curious….

    Here is 7/4/2014

    http://www.arctic.io/explorer/8/2014-07-04/9-N68.56029-W50.34368

    Reply
  22. Reply
  23. – Methane – USA – Texas – Austin

    – The Daily Texan – U of Texas

    Lower methane emissions, kick your beef habit

    Texans enjoy the unique experience of driving down an eighty miles-per-hour highway and witnessing the world’s biggest polluters: the gas and cattle industries. One is a multi-billion dollar industry that produces more methane than any other source worldwide, and the the other is oil and gas.

    http://www.dailytexanonline.com/2016/07/03/lower-methane-emissions-kick-your-beef-habit

    Reply
  24. – AGW – SLR Down San Diego, USA way — and at the southern end of the So Cal Bight.
    – Coronado is basically an island in San Diego, CA and mostly a USN base/port.
    – Civil/civic Politics vs reality a microcosm…

    ‘When it Comes to Rising Sea Levels, Coronado Is Treading Water’

    Coronado’s city leadership acknowledges it could be facing dire circumstances. It also acknowledges that thus far, it has taken no steps to plan for such outcomes.

    Some coastal cities are rushing to prepare for rising sea levels, but Coronado – surrounded almost entirely by the ocean and a bay – is not one of them.

    Sea-level rise could affect what’s on Coronado already, as well as future development in the city and Navy property. Everything from a new city beach bathroom to a new $700 million Navy facility could be impacted. As oceans rice, beaches may erode, tides will creep in and storms will cause worse floods.

    While the Navy has made some preparations of its own for climate change on Coronado, the city itself has not.

    http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/topics/science-environment/comes-rising-sea-levels-coronado-treading-water/

    Reply
    • – A high tide this winter consumed the stairs in front of Trisha Trowbridge’s condo.
      -Photo courtesy of Trisha Trowbridge

      Reply
  25. redskylite

     /  July 6, 2016

    Many thanks Robert for keeping us well informed about the remarkable heatwaves being experienced in our high Northern latitudes Not reported at all by our conventional press.

    Positive reporting in the New Zealand Herald today on a topic that gets little attention here.

    “The physics is beyond question.”

    “Skeptics would do well to stop wasting their energy, and distracting the public and scientists by trying to deconstruct this scientific truth, and join the rest of humanity in helping figure out what to do about climate change.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11669116

    Reply
  26. – West Coast civil aviation SLR side-note:

    The major airports at San Diego, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, CA, and Vancouver, BC are all next to either built upon some kind of reclaimed slough, marshland. or flat alluvial shore side plain.

    Elevations per: NOAA/NWS:

    – San Diego, San Diego International-Lindbergh Field (KSAN)
    Lat: 32.73361°NLon: 117.18306°WElev: 13ft.

    – Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (KSBA)
    Lat: 34.42611°NLon: 119.84361°W — Elev: 10ft.

    – San Francisco, San Francisco International Airport (KSFO)
    Lat: 37.61961°NLon: 122.36558°W Elev: 10ft.

    – Vancouver, BC
    Elevations per: ourairports.com/airports/CYVR/pilot-info
    distancesto.com/elevation/ca/vancouver-international-latitude

    Longitude -123.183998 | 123 11.039886 W | W123 11 02
    Field elevation 14 ft / 4 m MSL
    The elevation for Vancouver International Airport, 3211 Grant McConachie Way, Richmond, BC V7B 0A4, Canada is: 3 meters.

    – Portland, Portland International Airport (KPDX)
    Lat: 45.59578°NLon: 122.60917°WElev: 20ft.

    Though higher in elevation, PDX at Portland, OR — of similar design, and next to the Columbia River is within the reach of ocean tides. It also has protective levees.
    ‘ Tides flow upriver for 140 miles (225 km). Portland, Oregon (about 110 miles [180 km] from the mouth), and Vancouver, Washington (100 miles [160 km]), are the upper limit of oceangoing navigation…’
    – britannica.com/place/Columbia-River

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  July 6, 2016

      East coast SLR: according to Wiki, JFK is sitting at 4 m = about 13 feet elevation, pretty much right in Jamaica Bay.

      Reply
      • Scott

         /  July 6, 2016

        And LGA is about the same. Most of the airport is at 20 feet above MSL, with significant important elements much lower (like the runways).
        Runway 13 – 12 feet
        Runway 31 – 7 feet
        Runway 4 – 21 feet
        Runway 22 – 12 feet

        Plans for the new LGA Terminal Replacement are well underway. Construction should start very soon, the PPP (Public Private Partnership) that will be rebuilding and operating the airport took over operations June 1 of this year. The design is admittedly pretty cool, with giant skyways over the taxiways leading to a new midfield terminal. Passengers can stand on the skyways and watch the plans taxi underneath.

        http://laguardiagatewaypartners.com/media/

        If you are going to go out, I guess you might as well go out with style? They plan to invest $4 billion in the terminal and taxiways. No changes to the seawalls or elevation of the runways or taxiways is anticipated. The lease runs until 2050 – just long enough, I suspect, for this “investment” to become really interesting.

        Reply
        • Pretty sobering stuff. You’d think that the major airlines would be more concerned about climate change. A big chunk of their infrastructure is within striking distance of 2-4 meter sea level rise + storms.

          Reagan National is also quite low. And the Potomac is nothing more than a big funnel for amplifying a storm surge running up the Chesapeake Bay.

      • Indeed: the Potomac/Chesapeake Bay funnel/venturi note.

        – NOAA/NWS

        Washington/Reagan National Airport, DC (KDCA)
        Lat: 38.85°NLon: 77.03°W Elev: 13ft.

        Reply
        • OK, OK, I get the hint. You guys want me to do an article on sea level rise and airports😉. Will put it on the roster for tomorrow.

          Just wonder if the new post (Rapid Bombification) is showing up for you. Had a couple of people state they had an issue RE seeing it/commenting.

        • “Just wonder if the new post (Rapid Bombification) is showing up for you. Had a couple of people state they had an issue RE seeing it/commenting.”

          Seemed OK to me. I was surprised to find my comment was first, though, and that seems to occasionally happen when the distribution is messed up for some reason.

        • Thanks, CH. seems like the bugs have worked out now.

      • JeremyD

         /  July 7, 2016

        Nuclear power plants might also be worth looking at:

        “Despite the increased risk of flooding due to rising sea levels, some plant operators have not factored this into their long-term plans. In 2010, when Florida Power and Light Company applied for a license to build two additional reactors at the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station in Homestead, Florida, the NRC asked the plant’s owners to explain “how potential sea-level rise due to potential future climate change is accounted for” in their plans, NRC documents show. The company declined to discuss climate change in its analysis, and used a projection that assumed a constant sea level rise of just 1 foot per century, which is 5.6 feet lower than NOAA’s worst-case projection for 2100.”

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/19/maps-rising-seas-storms-threaten-flood-coastal-nuclear-power-plants_n_5233306.html

        National Geographic lists 13 sites at risk from 2C rise in temperature in the US, and the graphic for Florida showing the Turkey Point site is particularly alarming.

        http://news.nationalgeographic.com/energy/2015/12/151215-as-sea-levels-rise-are-coastal-nuclear-plants-ready/

        Reply
  27. Spike

     /  July 6, 2016

    City of 10 million in China has a real flood situation in progress.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-36721514

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  July 6, 2016

      And from there a great article on getting it done practically and intelligently
      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-36681112
      How India’s ‘smart villages’ are centralising solar power

      The Indian government has committed 980bn rupees ($14.5bn; £10.9bn) to a flagship smart cities’ programme, but the social entrepreneur behind the country’s first smart village thinks they’ve missed some low-hanging fruit.

      City-dwellers tend to take electricity for granted, says Ashok Das, but for the roughly 200 million Indians living off-grid, access to power is a privilege, not a right.

      Mr Das says that makes them a fertile ground for experimenting with smarter ways of using energy that could help the rural poor leapfrog traditional power networks to a greener, community-led approach.

      “Changing consumer behaviour in a big city is a major problem,” he says. “It will take decades to build smart cities, but I can get thousands of smart villages done in that time.”

      “I remember asking my niece, ‘what can I bring you?’ and she said, ‘Uncle, I have everything, just bring me light,'” he says.

      India’s green energy sector has a tendency to “sell and run” – high-end equipment is installed, but a lack of maintenance support for remote villages means systems often fall into disrepair, he adds.

      So Mr Das decided to create a smart grid technology that allows a village’s entire electrical infrastructure to be monitored remotely.

      In January, Chhotkei in Orissa became India’s first smart village powered by the Smart NanoGrid technology developed by his company SunMoksha.

      Power is provided by a 30KW solar plant and meters and sensors collect data on energy usage and system health.

      Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged to electrify every Indian village in 1,000 days, and in Orissa, OREDA is responsible for installing renewable power solutions in remote villages.

      But deputy director Ashok Choudhury says most projects are simple solar home lighting systems.

      “When you ask villagers what’s their priority for getting electricity they always prioritise livelihood. Number two is entertainment and number three is illumination,” he says.

      “We always do the third priority first, so we don’t make much headway because our programme can’t support livelihoods.”

      Even with larger installations, the difficulty of monitoring and maintaining systems means they often break down.

      But for a 15 to 20% mark-up on the cost of a solar plant and microgrid, Mr Choudhury says the Smart NanoGrid makes projects sustainable.

      “You get a lot more control,” he says. “It brings a real solution to a village; otherwise we install a system and don’t know what happens to it when we leave.”

      The railway board also wants them to look at using train stations as local power hubs for nearby houses and businesses, and several mining firms want to use the technology to provide power for settlements relocated due to mining activities.

      The pilot village is so remote it currently relies on a satellite data connection, which is too expensive for general internet use.

      But the communications network the system puts in place provides a backbone for future e-governance, telemedicine and tele-education applications, he says.

      “The smart grid acts as a catalyst in the village and then all these other things become possible,” says Mr Das. “The potential is huge.”

      An excellent article on an excellent inclusive approach

      Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  July 6, 2016

        I can see young Ashock becoming a seriously major player, next the communications infrastructure, maybe with the railway network and fibre cables serving railway and communities and wireless networks powered by the community microgrids truly boosting those impoverished economies far quicker and cheaper (more affordable for poor rural people than expensive FF fuel plants and expensive locality limited power grids)

        The opportunities are there for a win win in the transition for the innovative

        Reply
      • Scheduling tweet on this, thanks for the recommendation.

        Reply
  28. Suzanne

     /  July 6, 2016

    “Water World: Rising Tides Close in on Trump…the Climate Change Denier”
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/06/donald-trump-climate-change-florida-resort

    Trump currently dismisses climate change as a hoax invented by China, though he has quietly sought to shield real estate investments in Ireland from its effects.

    But at the Republican presidential contender’s Palm Beach estate and the other properties that bear his name in south Florida, the water is already creeping up bridges and advancing on access roads, lawns and beaches because of sea-level rise, according to a risk analysis prepared for the Guardian.

    In 30 years, the grounds of Mar-a-Lago could be under at least a foot of water for 210 days a year because of tidal flooding along the intracoastal water way, with the water rising past some of the cottages and bungalows, the analysis by Coastal Risk Consulting found.

    Reply
  29. Greg

     /  July 6, 2016

    This cat 5 super typhoon monster, called Nepartak, is taking direct aim for Taiwan and then China over hot Pacific waters. Tomorrow it strikes. It dwarfs Taiwan in size in this animated image:

    Reply
  30. Greg

     /  July 6, 2016

    Temperature anomalies chart. Taiwan in the thick of it:

    Reply
  31. Greg

     /  July 6, 2016

    Sorry, again:

    Reply
  32. Greg

     /  July 6, 2016

    Jeff Masters posted moments ago an analysis of this storm and its implications. “Nepartak went from a tropical storm with 70 mph winds on Monday afternoon to a Category 4 super typhoon with 150 mph winds on Tuesday afternoon, in just 24 hours.”
    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3349

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  July 6, 2016

      From Masters: Over the past two days, unusually warm waters have extended to great depth below the storm, creating some of the highest oceanic heat content readings one sees for a tropical cyclone–near 150 kJ/cm**2

      Reply
      • – Way to go, Greg. You’re right on top of it.
        Another rapid growth super typhoon/hurricane storm made possible…

        Reply
        • I agree. Huge help here. Lots of stuff in the comments that fed into my recent post. You guys are really rocking it.

      • Greg

         /  July 6, 2016

        DT, thanks.You are the master of twitter evolving news.Taiwan has great experience and infastructural strength for these cat4/5 storms. China, on the other hand, may be the big story this weekend…

        Reply
  33. Greg

     /  July 6, 2016

    Concern for heavy rainfall from Nepartak is in mainland China, though. Exceptionally heavy monsoon rains affected large portions of central and eastern China over the past ten days, bringing rampaging floods that killed at least 170 people and caused over $5 billion in damage. The soils are still saturated from these rains, and Nepartak’s rains will trigger additional damaging flooding. The largest city in central China–Wuhan, with a population of 10.8 million–received over 560mm (1.8 feet) of rain over the past ten days, causing widespread chaos there. However, the Wednesday morning run of the HWRF model showed the heaviest rains of Nepartak would likely miss Wuhan. The main concern is for the region between Wuhan and Shanghai, where another 8 – 16″ of rain is likely to fall on regions where more than 8″ of rain fell last week.

    Reply
  34. Greg

     /  July 6, 2016

    A reminder again of what kind of effective legislation we are capable of: “The ultraviolet (UV) radiation falling on mid-latitude cities like Washington, D.C., is strong enough to cause sunburn in just five minutes. DNA-mutating UV radiation is up 650 percent, with likely harmful effects on plants, animals and human skin cancer rates.”
    That’s the result of a NASA simulation of life on earth in 2065 if, in 1987, 193 nations hadn’t agreed to ban ozone-depleting substances like CFCs, technically known as chlorofluorocarbons, which had widely been used as refrigerants and propellants in spray cans…Rather than growing to cover the entire earth ….the average size of the annual Antarctic ozone hole each September has shrunk by more than 1.7 million square miles since 2000, and should heal completely sometime after 2050.
    http://www.globalpost.com/article/6780040/2016/07/01/ozone-layer-bouncing-back

    Reply
  35. Reply
  36. Article on internal melting of glaciers, without surface melt.

    Understanding ice loss in Earth’s coldest regions. June 30, 2016
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160630102508.htm

    How do ice sheets melt in places where surface conditions are too cold for melting? Glaciers in the McMurdo Dry Valley rarely are observed to be actively melting, yet runoff from these glaciers feeds streams, lakes, and associated ecosystems in the valleys, which are among the coldest and driest ecosystems on Earth. Using ice models, scientists found that melt on the glacier surface is rare, but internal melting is extensive and its drainage accounts for about half of all summer ice loss.

    A team of scientists, including a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)−supported researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory . . . the team investigated two processes:

    (1) penetration of solar radiation into the ice and

    (2) drainage of subsurface melt from the ice, as well as their roles in generating runoff from Dry Valley glaciers.

    Model results show that inclusion of both processes is necessary to accurately model the loss, density, and temperature of ice on these glaciers. Although melt on the glacier surface is rare, internal melting 5 to 15 centimeters below the ice surface is extensive and its drainage accounts for ~50% of all summer ice loss. This is consistent with field observations of subsurface streams and formation of a weathering crust.

    The team identified an annual cycle of weathering crust formation in summer and its removal during the 10 months of winter sublimation. Ice melt complexities at air temperatures close to the melting temperature result in these glaciers responding differently to changes in climate than glaciers in warmer climates.

    Reply
    • Great link and topic.

      Basal melt and baking heat into the overall glacier system is a pretty insidious process. But it’s worth remembering that water contains a lot more heat energy than air for each unit of volume. So where the Ice Sheets do contact the warming ocean are regions of serious vulnerability. A big weather event in a new climate state can generate some pretty severe surface warmth, though. And rains over glaciers — especially a large rainfall event like the Pakistan floods — should also be a concern.

      Reply
  37. Greg

     /  July 6, 2016

     Appalachia and similar heavy FF extractions areas can create a new future. “The time to build a new economy that is good for all people—not just a wealthy few—is now…emergency relief for front-line workers impacted by coal’s decline represents “really important triage and Band-Aids. But there’s a much bigger climate[-driven], forced energy transition underway that’s going to affect a lot of working people” involved in fossil fuels–based production, from mine to assembly line.
    https://www.thenation.com/article/rescuing-appalachia-from-coals-demise/

    Reply
  38. Drew

     /  July 6, 2016

    It would seem that the work of Jennifer Francis would be particularly relevant given the increasing arctic temperatures https://robertscribbler.com/tag/dr-jennifer-francis/

    Reply
  39. Wow. Whitley Strieber predicted this would happen just before the Coming Global Superstorm in his book of the same name.

    Reply
    • Whitley Strieber’s one-off global superstorm was an allegory for Hansen’s age of storms. Strieber’s prediction for a one-off big storm event followed by an ice age is a bit off given the current context. But what we will see in the North Atlantic over coming years and decades as a result is almost certainly going to be very nasty.

      Eventually all that Arctic heat basically obliterates the sea ice and starts to more and more rapidly take down the GIS. And that’s when North Atlantic weather really starts to go nuts.

      Reply
  40. The PIOMAS “death spiral” graph shows a major volume drop in ASI for June – down almost to same level as 2012 – but the ice is much more broken up and slushy than it was in 2012.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the link, Dave.

      So June appears to be following the 2010 trend line. We’re somewhat off 2012’s record rate of loss in Volume according to PIOMAS.

      Reply
  41. The Arctic News has a post on ASI extent / thickness with a couple of interesting images.

    Reply
  1. The Front Lines of Climate Disruption: Alaskans Witness Collapsing Mountains, Shattered Lives | We Seek the Truth!
  2. Dahr Jamail | Alaskans Witness Collapsing Mountains, Shattered Lives | PopularResistance.Org
  3. Alaska Climate Impact: Collapsing Mountains, Shattered Lives | PopularResistance.Org

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