Coastal Arctic Temperatures hit 84.2 F Today

Fossil fuel burning is really ramping up the global heat. And for the typically cold Arctic Ocean coastal region, this means that temperatures are now able to strike into the 80s during mid-May.

Today, a very extreme wave in the Jet Stream produced an elongated ridge pattern that ran far to the north over Eastern Europe. This high amplitude wave brought with it temperatures that ranged up to 20 degrees Celsius (36 degrees Fahrenheit) above normal for this time of year. A heat surge which pushed temperatures to 29 C or 84.2 F near Archangel, Russia.

Extreme heat Arkangel

(Severe heat strikes northeastern Europe as part of an extreme jet stream wave pattern. Image source: WX Charts. Hat tip to Peter Sinclair.)

The kind of jet stream wave that spurred this extreme heat has become common over recent years. It’s an atmospheric feature that some scientists have associated with polar amplification — an aspect of human-forced climate change in which the poles warm faster than the lower latitudes.

During 2019, heat transfer into the Arctic has contributed to near record low and record low sea ice extent values in the months of March, April and May. The wavy jet stream patterns have also been associated with a number of severe weather events. Today’s extreme northern heatwave fits into a longer-term pattern of similar occurrences.

(Analysis of recent extreme jet stream pattern over Eastern Europe.)

Wavy, persistent jet streams have recently been associated with worsening weather — heat waves and wild fires in the ridge zones and severe precipitation in the trough zones. Scientists like Dr. Michael E. Mann and Dr. Jennifer Francis have warned that the associated Jet Stream waves are linked to human-forced climate change and are likely contributors to recent events.

Dr. Mann notes:

The extreme weather we’re seeing around the Northern Hemisphere, such as heat waves, floods, droughts, and wildfires, is related to an unusual, undulating pattern in the jet stream. The other part of this that’s atypical is that this undulating pattern doesn’t usually hold longer than a few days. But this one isn’t going anywhere. Our work shows that this sort of pattern, which has been associated with many of the most extreme, persistent weather events in recent years, including the 2003 European heatwave, the 2010 Moscow wildfires, the 2011 Texas and Oklahoma drought, and the 2016 Alberta wildfires to name a few, is becoming more common because of human-caused climate change, and in particular, because of amplified Arctic warming.

It looks like 2019 is no exception to the longer-term trend. And we have already seen a number of instances of middle latitude extreme weather contributed to by the jet stream features Dr. Mann mentions above this year.

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15 Comments

  1. PlazaRed

     /  May 11, 2019

    Thank you so much for this post, I am in England at the moment where its set to be up to 25.C this week.
    Meanwhile northern Russia is experiencing temperatures the same as Seville at the moment which is 37 degrees north, they have about 27/C at night rising in the day to about 37.C and they are moaning about it being unseasonably hot. Whoever knows what the Russians are making of 27.C in mid May?

    On the top chart above, compare the vast area of heat over northern Russia / Scandinavia with the small area of the same level of heat over the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea, probably several dozen time larger in land area.

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply
  2. I find it amazing that intelligent, thoughtful people I know can STILL deny climate change, and/or that we are the cause.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
  3. New Zealand introduces groundbreaking zero carbon bill, including targets for agricultural methane.
    https://blog.planetaryecology.org/2019/05/12/nz-introduces-groundbreaking-zero-carbon-bill-including-targets-for-agricultural-methane/

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
  4. Abel Adamski

     /  May 12, 2019

    I hate being a werttish blanket, but some indications are not what we would like.
    https://www.sciencealert.com/coral-records-show-that-brutal-el-ninos-haven-t-always-been-this-way
    First-Ever Record of 400 Years of El Ninos Shows They Really Are Getting More Brutal
    MANDY FREUND ET AL., THE CONVERSATION
    8 MAY 2019
    The pattern of El Niño has changed dramatically in recent years, according to the first seasonal record distinguishing different types of El Niño events over the last 400 years.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  5. Great start: “Fossil fuel burning is really ramping up the global heat.”
    The Arctic is abnormally hot for this time of year, and the record in the sea ice extent shows it has had this pattern for months. 2019 Sea Ice has been uniquely low for all of April, but is again tracking 2015, 2016 and 2012
    ►http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/charctic-interactive-sea-ice-graph/
    Meanwhile, Total sea ice globally is in uncharted territory
    ►https://14adebb0-a-62cb3a1a-s-sites.googlegroups.com/site/arctischepinguin/home/sea-ice-extent-area/grf/nsidc_global_area_byyear_b.png

    Robert, your posts years back were among the first to highlight for me the significance of Wet Bulb temperatures. I bring this up because I suspect there are soon to be announced reports of deaths due to heat in the Tropics. This year’s El Nino is “milder” than 2016, but the temperatures in SE Asia and India have been higher and more persistently so than in 2016 when I last tracked them day-by-day.
    This chart of Heat and Humidity is easier to point to than Wet Bulb, and many days already have combinations placing people in the dark orange zones. In 2016, I only saw 5 weeks of daytime highs over 39ºC. This year will exceed 6 weeks in the locale I track for family, and this year the highs reached 44ºC, most days over 41ºC.
    As the monsoon season approaches, the latent heat of buildings, roads, land will continue to build. I expect many people will experience [see last graphic] the Humidex Index red zone combinations that will cause deaths – especially for those who are required to work outdoors. While the Arctic is warming faster, the tropics have less leeway before temperatures are too hot for many workers to survive very long.
    ►https://scontent-sin2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/56161883_10157170270054324_1026512718640709632_n.jpg?_nc_cat=108&_nc_ht=scontent-sin2-1.xx&oh=e8e5d414327ce7091223fd84ea0f8a9e&oe=5D6DA5DF

    I don’t mean to leave ignored the suffering of so many others. Similar sad stories in different ways for people on islands in the sea, along coastlines, flooded by intense storms, made homeless by fires. The Climate is now a sequence of extremes in one place after another. Consequences of our addiction to fossil fuels are already life and death.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    • Rudy, good point. “Skeptics” like to draw attention to increased death rates in winter compared to summer, ignoring the fact that we are better adapted to cope with cold than heat. Basically, we have the 2nd Law of thermodynamics on our side when dealing with cold: we can simply put on layers to stop losing heat, whereas we have to expend energy through sweating to avoid overheating in hot weather.

      Like

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      • Rudy Sovinee

         /  May 12, 2019

        … and as that last graphic or past posts by Robert about wet bulb temperatures attest, there are biological limits to the conditions of warmth / humidity/ solar radiance that a human can tolerate. Exertion that burns calories adds to the heat stress. Too hot or too humid and the act of sweating can still not cool the body. Once core temperatures rise, heat stroke becomes a matter of time.

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    • rhymeswithgoalie

       /  May 13, 2019

      I sometimes wonder about the roadways in Indian cities often packed with combustion vehicles, and how much that can add to the ambient heat, continuing to burn fuel as they idle in place. Will the efforts to promote EVs to reduce air pollution have a significant effect on city heat?

      Like

      Reply
    • Vic

       /  May 13, 2019

      “At least 111 people died of heatstroke over the past 42 days in Indian states of Andhra Pradesh (45) and Telangana (66). Temperatures ranged from 43 – 46 °C (109.4 – 114.8 °F) in more than 360 measuring stations across Andhra Pradesh.

      “According to Revenue authorities, over 1 600 people were hospitalized.”

      https://watchers.news/2019/05/11/intense-heatwave-claims-at-least-111-lives-india/

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  6. PlazaRed

     /  May 12, 2019

    One of the first side effects from the heat showing now with over 120,000 lightning strikes over Europe into Russia.
    “Brutally active day across Europe yesterday! Central Europe & Italy erupted in storms, as did Eastern Europe and up to NW Russia and N Finland! Nearly 120 000 lighting flashes in the past 24h! Map: @blitzortung_org”

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  7. John

     /  May 12, 2019

    Thank You.

    Like

    Reply
  8. Baker

     /  May 13, 2019

    This is incredible heat for these regions. It reminds me of the 2010 heatwave if it stays in place. Central Europe is quite cool for the first time in 13 months with constant inflow of ex-Arctic air.
    There seems to be building a heat dome around the Eastern Mediterranean next week (e.g. Turkey, Libya near 40 to above 45 °C) and cooling in Iberia, shifting the West African heat center and pulling Middle Eastern desert air northward.
    This area will be surrounded by a high-amplitude Euro-Atlantic and West Siberian trough, so quite stable.

    How does the African/Asian heat compare to recent years and normals (wet-bulb)?
    In absolute terms, Pakistan didn’t break 50 °C yet, but Myanmar had 47 °C, maybe a bit more around Mali.

    Liked by 1 person

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