January 6, 2015 at 1:27 pm #15410February 4, 2015 at 10:17 am #18636
RIVERS IN THE SKY
The idea that water flows around the atmosphere in observable pathways is not new; it was first proposed in an article by Reginald Newell and others in Geophysical Research Letters in 1992. Several studies have confirmed these and show, in addition, that these “aerial rivers” are responsible for the rainfall in southeastern Brazil. Contrary to surface rivers, these aerial rivers gain water from the vegetation as it pumps water out of the soil and lose it through rainfall.
Several groups have been working on this phenomenon during the past decade, and our understanding of the importance of these aerial rivers has grown. In particular, we now understand how these massive flows of water through the atmosphere relate to rainfall around the South American continent.
To cite one study, Josefina Moraes Arraut and others from the Brazilian Institute of Space Studies showed that as the air masses move across the Amazon, enhanced by the biotic pump, they eventually encounter the Andean Cordillera, where they veer south and eventually east to bring humidity from the Amazon Basin to southeastern Brazil and northern Argentina. Thus, maintaining the biotic pump in the Amazon is essential for ensuring water delivery to southeastern Brazil.March 30, 2015 at 9:32 pm #20072
`May 17, 2015 at 5:55 pm #21236June 8, 2015 at 8:12 am #21485
While people in China and the rest of Asia want their governments to be ambitious in tackling environmental damage, many in the West want their representatives not to do anything at allJune 28, 2015 at 7:39 pm #21715
“The warming rate since 2002 is 15 times faster than from the previous 100 years,” says Glen Gawarkiewicz, a WHOI senior scientist and one of the authors of the report.
“There’s just been this incredible acceleration to the warming, and we don’t know if it’s decadal variability or if this trend will continue.”
“It’s producing conditions that we think are going to be more common with global warming.”
To make sure of their perspective, the authors compared their analysis with surface data from the Nantucket lightship and other such installations along the coast, from 1880 to 2004. The new study shows that the warming is not just confined to surface waters.
Although there must be some link with the steady rise in atmospheric temperatures because of global warming as a result of human-made carbon dioxide emissions, the oceanographers suspect there may also be another explanation, so far undiscovered.July 5, 2015 at 3:10 am #21805July 8, 2015 at 7:04 am #21858
And right now the Arctic sea ice pack is undergoing a massive heat wave which shows no signs of letting up.July 9, 2015 at 7:57 pm #21876
This recent forecast shows the jet stream getting fractured over Siberia on July 8, 2015, 12:00 UTC, resulting in a sequence of vertical wind streams. This is a new development, rather unknown to the forecasting model that works on the basis of the jet stream flowing horizontally in one strong and narrow stream around the globe.July 25, 2015 at 1:35 am #22132
The “editing” and cover-up of Fukushima’s role in the Arctic ozone hole formation is part of the long-running campaign to promote global-warming theory to the exclusion of all other environmental threats. Global warming was adopted as the official cover story in 1996 by then CIA director John Deutch, in the Clinton-Gore administration, under his MEDEA program (Measurements for Earth Data for Environmental Analysis). A key intelligence objective at the time was to recruit Russian environmental specialists on the Arctic, a key natural-resource asset and potential battlefield for the 21st century.
By no coincidence Al Gore, who as vice president chaired the National Security Council (NSC), was the star attraction at the following year’s summit in Japan for the signing of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The White House intention became immediately clear on the first day in Kyoto with the dropping of the Biodiversity clause, which left global warming as the sole item on the plate. Despite their best effort at arm-twisting, the U.S. delegation famously failed to convince a skeptical developing world, including China, to adopt emissions controls that would halt any further industrial progress toward economic equity with the advanced economies.
Instead of ignoring or denying the possible effects of Fukushima radiation, along with preceding radioactive releases from the world’s nuclear industry and atomic weapons testing, climatologists should be taking radioactivity as a serious threat to world weather systems and the Arctic/alpine environment. The argument presented here shows a more plausible catastrophe model for the sudden opening of the Arctic hole and ice sheet shrinkage than the overstretched scenarios based on gradual global warming.July 25, 2015 at 2:21 am #22133
New research has revealed abrupt warming, that closely resembles the rapid human-made warming occurring today, has repeatedly played a key role in mass extinction events of large animals, the megafauna, in Earth’s past.August 4, 2015 at 12:36 pm #22304
Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) from the atmosphere has been proposed as a measure for mitigating global warming and ocean acidification. To assess the extent to which CDR might eliminate the long-term consequences of anthropogenic CO2 emissions in the marine environment, we simulate the effect of two massive CDR interventions with CO2 extraction rates of 5 GtC yr−1 and 25 GtC yr−1, respectively, while CO2 emissions follow the extended RCP8.5 pathway. We falsify two hypotheses: the first being that CDR can restore pre-industrial conditions in the ocean by reducing the atmospheric CO2 concentration back to its pre-industrial level, and the second being that high CO2 emissions rates (RCP8.5) followed by CDR have long-term oceanic consequences that are similar to those of low emissions rates (RCP2.6). Focusing on pH, temperature and dissolved oxygen, we find that even after several centuries of CDR deployment, past CO2 emissions would leave a substantial legacy in the marine environment.
http://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate2729.epdf?referrer_access_token=1sDlXMlX_todlrnevIsHO9RgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0NO7YKNvJvaRtZ3tqv-Hvzf9ZYKYpgHAK4dfMVcC46dxhwTXZHrlV8u3wF6vr0N7DkgjVAqosvWCNRJJ36zYjWk09jb9BRDj-hIq8C3JxfPM5D63xzhDM5xfu3ktjkAJO9-m7nhkod4ROEFudRHEj3IddqQblcV2qG3lj9OQfMocYlYy91o1AwrR5cuyhrw_hFf-VbamUr69r4rE-luGSKW&tracking_referrer=www.realclimate.orgAugust 5, 2015 at 3:51 am #22305
The world’s deltas were built up mostly by aggradation, or the deposition of fertile river sediments over thousands of years.8 As such, they comprise important food-producing areas that attract large populations. The Mekong Delta, for instance, which is now subsiding at an average rate of 1.6 cm per year,9 is one of the world’s major rice exporters10 and home to more than 20 million people.9 Unlike rocky continental coasts, delta plains tend to be soft and easily compressed. They’re often propped up by underlying oil, gas, or fresh groundwater that flows through the pores of sediment deposits. As those resources are extracted, the sediments compress, and the land shrinks like a dried sponge.
Some sediments, especially those rich in organic matter, such as peat, also oxidize when they dry. Oxygen binds with carbon in the soils, creating carbon dioxide that is released to the atmosphere. Deprived of the carbon lost to this reaction, the soils lose mass and compact.11
According to James Syvitski, an oceanographer and professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, a delta’s elevation above sea level depends on four interrelated factors: the ocean’s global volume, aggradation, sediment compaction, and vertical movements resulting from plate tectonics and other geophysical processes. He says the ocean’s overall volume, and thus its elevation in relation to land surfaces, is increasing partly as a result of human-induced climate change. Warmer water expands, and seas are rising as vast ice sheets near the poles melt away.1
Aggradation has been severely limited by dams, levees, and embankments that trap silt and starve deltas of new sediments. And sediment compaction is increasing both with the extraction of groundwater and hydrocarbons, and with the growing extent of urban infrastructure. The weight of urban infrastructure compacts underlying soils, and its nonporous roofs and pavements prevent surface waters from percolating back down into the earth and recharging groundwater.
In 2009 Syvitski reported that increasing compaction and reduced aggradation had put many of the world’s deltas in danger, more than half of them in Asia. “All trends point to ever-increasing areas of deltas sinking below sea level,” he wrote. “And it remains alarming how often deltas flood, whether from land or from sea, and the trends seem to be worsening.”4August 19, 2015 at 10:43 am #22553
What’s warming the world ?September 1, 2015 at 11:21 pm #22589
Arctic sea ice extent is now tracking below 2010, 2013, and 2014. Openings in the ice cover have continued to expand within the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. While the Northern Sea Route has opened, the Northwest Passage remains clogged with considerable ice in the channels of the Canadian Archipelago. However, some data sources indicate narrow openings in the ice where navigation may be possible.September 3, 2015 at 1:15 pm #22591
This observation of taxon-specific CO2 niche specialization suggests that marine N2-fixing cyanobacteria may have undergone differential selection by the many spatial and temporal CO2 fluctuations they have experienced during their long evolutionary historySeptember 7, 2015 at 12:43 am #22668September 7, 2015 at 11:51 pm #22672September 14, 2015 at 2:20 am #22752
Although the world’s permafrost is one of the most important pieces in Earth’s climate-system puzzle, to date it has been missing in most climate models. The reason: data on temperature and the active layer thickness were neither comprehensive nor were they available in a standard format suitable for modelling. With the new Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost (GTN-P), scientists from 25 countries have now filled this gap in the data.
“If we want to understand the extent to which climate change is causing the permafrost to thaw and the effect this thawing will in turn have on our climate, we have to closely observe these regions around the globe, and we also have to make our measurements freely available.
This can only work if it is based on international cooperation, which we managed to achieve comprehensively for the first time in this project,” explains database initiator Professor Hugues Lantuit, permafrost expert at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI).October 7, 2015 at 2:25 pm #22906October 29, 2015 at 9:31 am #23095
Now, analysis of the 14 years of data collected by TIMED’s radiometer reveals that CO2 levels in the region, some 70 miles (113 km) above the Earth’s surface, are increasing at a much faster rate of 12 percent per decade. Furthermore, while models indicated that gas would be equally spread across the planet at such an altitude, the results shows that levels are increasing much faster over the Northern Hemisphere.January 22, 2016 at 12:07 pm #24420
We have front row seats for what are remarkable, rapid and devastating changes. Just think back to a few decades ago. It would’ve been unthinkable to imagine the North Pole above freezing and Greenland melting in the cold, dark depths of Winter. Not only that,but we have record flooding on the Mississippi and hurricanes in the Atlantic and the Pacific, and we’re about as far from hurricane season as you can get.
The season of Winter has shifted to something else. Sure, we still see cold. But now we also have the very real potential to experience any type of weather event during the Winter months, even storms and temperatures that are usually reserved for Spring, Fall and even Summer. A profound change in a geological blink of an eye.February 10, 2016 at 2:08 pm #24718
Surprisingly, the researchers also found that during the cold seasons they studied, the relative methane emissions were higher at the drier, upland tundra sites than at wetland sites, contradicting yet another longstanding assumption about Arctic methane emissions. Upland tundra was previously assumed to be a negligible contributor of methane, Zona said, adding that the freezing of the surface inhibits methane oxidation, resulting in significant net methane emissions during the fall and winter. Plants act like chimneys, facilitating the escape through the frozen layer to the atmosphere. The highest annual emissions were observed in the upland site in the foothills of the Brooks Range, where warm soils and a deep active layer resulted in high rates of methane production.
To complement and verify the on-the-ground study, the University of Montana’s John Kimball and his team used microwave sensor measurements from the AMSR-E instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite to develop regional maps of surface water cover, including the timing, extent and duration of seasonal flooding and drying of the region’s wetlands.
“We were able to use the satellite data to show that the upland tundra areas that appear to be the larger methane sources from the on-the-ground instruments, account for more than half of all of the tundra in Alaska,” Kimball said.
Finally, to test whether their site-specific sampling was representative of methane emissions across the Arctic, the researchers compared their results to measurements recorded during aircraft flights over the region made by NASA’s Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE).
“CARVE flights were designed to cover as much of the year as feasible,” said CARVE Principal Investigator Charles Miller of JPL. “It was a challenging undertaking, involving hundreds of hours of flying in difficult conditions.”February 19, 2016 at 9:47 am #24827February 19, 2016 at 9:58 am #24828February 23, 2016 at 12:31 pm #24913
Millennia of sea-level change
In contrast, a robust result is the fact that sea level has risen more during the 20th century than during any previous century. (This statement is true regardless of an additive trend.) A good way to show this is the following graph.
The fact that the rise in the 20th century is so large is a logical physical consequence of man-made global warming. This is melting continental ice and thus adds extra water to the oceans. In addition, as the sea water warms up it expands.February 27, 2016 at 12:13 pm #24916March 7, 2016 at 1:00 pm #25104
“Keep in mind that it took from the dawn of the industrial age until last October to reach the first 1.0 degree Celsius, and we’ve come as much as an extra 0.4 degrees further in just the last five months. Even accounting for the margin of error associated with these preliminary datasets, that means it’s virtually certain that February handily beat the record set just last month for the most anomalously warm month ever recorded. That’s stunning.”March 8, 2016 at 3:37 pm #25107March 9, 2016 at 9:43 am #25109
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