climate

UAH_POLAR

Climate Fact Of The Day – Arctic v Antarctic Temperatures 1980-2012

SOURCE: http://icecap.us/images/uploads/UAH_POLAR.png

1) Arctic temperatures were actually in decline during the 1980’s, before falling further around 1993, presumably as a result of the Pinatubo eruption two years earlier.

2) Between 1980 and 2012, Arctic temperature anomalies have increased from -0.22C to 0.79C, an increase of 1.01C. During the same period, however, Antarctic anomalies have fallen by 0.87C.

Global ocean study reveals unexpected plankton populations

Reuters – A research mission across the world’s oceans has revealed that twice as many plankton types live in the sea than previously thought. The Tara schooner has been docked in London for ten days following its momentous two-and-a-half-year voyage across the Atlantic, Pacific, Antarctic and Indian Oceans to chart the impact of climate change. Jim Drury went aboard. Read atsource

Climate Fact Of The Day – ‘Counterintuitive finding suggests that unexpected factors may govern a glacier’s response to climate change’

University of Buffalo – A new Arctic study in the journal Science is helping to unravel an important mystery surrounding climate change: How quickly glaciers can melt and grow in response to shifts in temperature.

According to the new research, glaciers on Canada’s Baffin Island expanded rapidly during a brief cold snap about 8,200 years ago. The discovery adds to a growing body of evidence showing that ice sheets reacted rapidly in the past to cooling or warming, raising concerns that they could do so again as the Earth heats up.

“One of the questions scientists have been asking is how long it takes for these huge chunks of ice to respond to a global climate phenomenon,” said study co-author Jason Briner, PhD, a University at Buffalo associate professor of geology. “People don’t know whether glaciers can respond quickly enough to matter to our grandchildren, and we’re trying to answer this from a geological perspective, by looking at Earth’s history.”

The research, scheduled to appear in Science on Sept. 14, found that mountain glaciers on Baffin Island, along with a massive North American ice sheet, expanded quickly when the Earth cooled about 8,200 years ago.

The finding was surprising because the cold snap was extremely short-lived: The temperature fell for only a few decades, and then returned to previous levels within 150 years or so. Read Article

Climate Fact Of The Day – Paper demonstrates solar activity was at a grand maximum in the late 20th century

A History of Solar Activity over Millennia

Author:
Ilya G. Usoskin, Sodankyla Geophysical Observatory (Oulu unit), University of Oulu, Finland

Abstract:
Presented here is a review of present knowledge of the long-term behavior of solar activity on a multi-millennial timescale, as reconstructed using the indirect proxy method. The concept of solar activity is discussed along with an overview of the special indices used to quantify different aspects of variable solar activity, with special emphasis upon sunspot number.

Over long timescales, quantitative information about past solar activity can only be obtained using a method based upon indirect proxy, such as the cosmogenic isotopes 14C and 10Be in natural stratified archives (e.g., tree rings or ice cores). We give an historical overview of the development of the proxy-based method for past solar-activity reconstruction over millennia, as well as a description of the modern state. Special attention is paid to the verification and cross-calibration of reconstructions. It is argued that this method of cosmogenic isotopes makes a solid basis for studies of solar variability in the past on a long timescale (centuries to
millennia) during the Holocene.

A separate section is devoted to reconstructions of strong solar–energetic-particle (SEP) events in the past, that suggest that the present-day average SEP flux is broadly consistent with estimates on longer timescales, and that the occurrence of extra-strong events is unlikely. Finally, the main features of the long-term evolution of solar magnetic activity, including the statistics of grand minima and maxima occurrence, are summarized and their possible implications, especially for solar/stellar dynamo theory, are discussed. READ PAPER

Climate Fact Of The Day – Decadal (overlapping) rates for sea level rise as determined from the satellite sea level rise observations, 1993-2011

SOURCE: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/09/13/sea-level-acceleration-not-so-fast-recently/

Global average sea level rose at an average rate of 1.8 [1.3 to 2.3] mm per year over 1961 to 2003. The rate was faster over 1993 to 2003: about 3.1 [2.4 to 3.8] mm per year. Whether the faster rate for 1993 to 2003 reflects decadal variability or an increase in the longer-term trend is unclear. There is high confidence that the rate of observed sea level rise increased from th3 19th to the 20th century, the total 20th-century rise is estimated to be 0.17 [0.12 to 0.22] m.

Climate Fact Of The Day – Antarctic Ice Area Sets Another Record – Media Silent

Data Source: http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/timeseries.south.anom.1979-2008

Day 256 Antarctic ice is the highest ever for the date, and the eighth highest daily reading ever recorded. All seven higher readings occurred during the third week of September, 2007 – the week of the previous Arctic record minimum.

Climate Fact Of The Day – Climate change drove early man across the globe

New Scientist 18/9/12 – Humans may have conquered the world, but not without a big helping hand from climate change. A major study of the last 120,000 years of history reminds us that, while we are adaptable, our species is ultimately at the mercy of the climate.

Homo sapiens evolved in Africa around 200,000 years ago, but only left the continent about 70,000 years ago. After that our species rapidly went global, colonising first Europe and Asia, and then Australasia and the Americas.

But why did early humans linger so long in Africa, and what spurred them to finally move? Several theories have been proposed, but according to a large effort to reconstruct the last 120,000 years of human history – including the climate we lived in and the vegetation we fed on – the current population spread around the planet would not be as it is without key changes in the climate.

Geneticist Andrea Manica at the University of Cambridge, UK, and his colleagues teamed up with climate modellers, who simulated changes in temperature and rainfall across the planet over the last 120,000 years.

The climate modelling allowed the researchers to calculate changes in the vegetation in different regions, which gave an estimate of the amount of food available there.

The team then used this food supply data to drive a model of human population and migration. The model accurately reproduced the pattern and timings of human expansion out of Africa and across the continents, so far as it is known from the archaeological record – suggesting that climate and food supply were key elements needed to explain how humans spread worldwide.

The model also revealed that climate changes probably had a key role in lifting four major roadblocks to humanity’s global takeover.

The first and most important roadblock was the Arabian peninsula, an impassable desert that trapped humans in Africa for tens of thousands of years. Then, 70,000 years ago it began receiving more rain. The coastal areas became more fertile, allowing humans out of Africa. “Climate is a really good explanation for why they didn’t make it out earlier,” says Manica.

There are several conceivable routes out of Africa, but Manica’s model suggests that the Arabian coast was the most important exit route. After that, H. Sapiens clustered in what is now Iraq before heading off in different directions.

One group expanded east into Asia, spreading south-east into Indonesia. There, they hit a second roadblock: high sea levels meant that wide stretches of open water separated the many islands. Manica assumed that crossings of 100 kilometres were a bridge too far, leaving pioneers no way to reach Australia.

That meant people could only go further once sea levels fell, exposing more patches of low-lying land and making for shorter sea journeys. The waters fell 60,000 years ago and then again 15,000 years later, as successive glaciations trapped more of the world’s water at the poles.

The combined climate and vegetation model suggests H. sapiens probably only reached south-east Asia 45,000 to 50,000 years ago, which would rule out a crossing when sea levels fell for the first time. READ ARTICLE

Climate Fact Of The Day – Climate changes & nature adapts

Phys Org – 12/9/12 – The Little Ice Age allowed a new wave of arctic foxes to colonise Iceland, according to new research led by Durham University, UK. A ?bridge? of sea ice appeared during a dip in temperatures between 200 to 500 years ago allowing arctic foxes to migrate to Iceland from different Arctic regions including Russia, North America and Greenland.

A “bridge” of sea ice appeared during a dip in temperatures between 200 to 500 years ago allowing arctic foxes to migrate to Iceland from different Arctic regions including Russia, North America and Greenland. The research, led by scientists at Durham University, UK, said their findings showed the importance of sea ice in creating and maintaining the genetic population of the arctic fox across the polar regions where the animal is found. The multi-disciplinary approach used for this project could also be used to track the migration of other animals found on remote islands, the researchers said.

While Iceland’s approximately 10,000 strong arctic fox population is not at risk, the researchers added that increasing isolation from the rest of the Arctic, caused by warmer temperatures and a lack of sea ice, could further differentiate the island’s population from their mainland relatives.

Ancient arctic foxes also crossed sea ice during previous ice ages to reach Iceland well before human settlement in the 9th Century. Warmer temperatures then melted the sea ice and isolated the ancient foxes on the island before the Little Ice Age reconnected Iceland to the mainland. The Little Ice Age saw temperatures plummet in the 16th to 19th Centuries across large parts of Europe and North America in particular, and rivers such as the Thames were frequently frozen enough to support ice skating and winter festivals. The researchers analysed DNA samples from ancient remains of Icelandic arctic foxes dating from two late 9th to 12th Century archaeological sites and compared the findings to DNA data from their modern successors. Read Article

Climate Fact Of The Day – Temperature for the last 12,000 years from the Vostok ice core

SOURCE: http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/vostok_figure1.png

Time series showing temperature anomaly (temperature difference from the recent past) during the final segment of the Vostok paleoclimate ice core record (the Holocene) in which conterminous proxy temperature and carbon dioxide measurements are available. Each arrow designates the peak temperature reached during a natural warming event (NWE). Blue arrows and font identify the peaks of low-rate warming events (LRWEs; < 0.74oC/century), while red arrows and font designate the peaks of high-rate warming events (HRWEs; > 0.74oC/century). In each case the first number associated with each arrow is the exact YBP at which the indicated NWE began, while the symbol # designates the number of the NWE in ascending chronological order, which permits cross-referencing of each peak with corresponding data in the accompanying table.

Climate Fact Of The Day – Mars’s dramatic climate variations are driven by the Sun

University Of Copenhagen – On Mars’s poles there are ice caps of ice and dust with layers that reflect to past climate variations on Mars. Researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute have related the layers in the ice cap on Mars’s north pole to variations in solar insolation on Mars, thus established the first dated climate history for Mars, where ice and dust accumulation has been driven by variations in insolation. The results are published in the scientific journal, Icarus.

The ice caps on Mars’s poles are kilometres thick and composed of ice and dust. There are layers in the ice caps, which can be seen in cliffs and valley slopes and we have known about these layers for decades, since the first satellite images came back from Mars. The layers are believed to reflect past climate on Mars, in the same way that the Earth’s climate history can be read by analysing ice cores from the ice caps on Greenland and Antarctica. READ PAPER

Volcano erupts in Guatemala forcing thousands to evacuate – thousands of tonnes of CO2 emitted

Guardian – A long-simmering volcano exploded into a series of powerful eruptions outside one of Guatemala’s most famous tourist attractions on Thursday, hurling thick clouds of ash nearly two miles (three kilometers) high, spewing rivers of lava down its flanks and prompting evacuation orders for more than 33,000 people from surrounding communities. Read Article

Climate Fact Of The Day – Sunspots do impact climate

Washington Times – Scientists have been studying solar influences on the climate for more than 5,000 years.
Chinese imperial astronomers kept detailed sunspot records. They noticed that more sunspots meant warmer weather. In 1801, the celebrated astronomer William Herschel (discoverer of the planet Uranus) observed that when there were fewer spots, the price of wheat soared. He surmised that less light and heat from the sun resulted in reduced harvests.

Earlier last month, professor Richard Muller of the University of California-Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project announced that in the project’s newly constructed global land temperature record, “no component that matches solar activity” was related to temperature. Instead, Mr. Muller said carbon dioxide controlled temperature.

Could it really be true that solar radiation — which supplies Earth with the energy that drives our climate and which, when it has varied, has caused the climate to shift over the ages — is no longer the principal influence on climate change? Read Article

Climate Fact Of The Day – Climate Change hits Mars

The Sunday Times – Thu, 29 Mar 2007 09:37 CDT

Mars is being hit by rapid climate change and it is happening so fast that the red planet could lose its southern ice cap, writes Jonathan Leake. Scientists from Nasa say that Mars has warmed by about 0.5C since the 1970s. This is similar to the warming experienced on Earth over approximately the same period.

Since there is no known life on Mars it suggests rapid changes in planetary climates could be natural phenomena. The mechanism at work on Mars appears, however, to be different from that on Earth. One of the researchers, Lori Fenton, believes variations in radiation and temperature across the surface of the Red Planet are generating strong winds.

In a paper published in the journal Nature, she suggests that such winds can stir up giant dust storms, trapping heat and raising the planet’s temperature. Read Article

Climate Fact Of The Day – Solar activity linked to Arctic winter severity

Solar forcing on the ice winter severity index in the western Baltic region

Authors:
M.C. Leal-Silva, V.M. Velasco Herrerab,
a Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Del. Coyoacán, 04510, México City
b Instituto de Geofísica, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Del. Coyoacán, 04510, México City

Abstract
The Sun is the fundamental energy sources of the Earth’s climate and therefore its variations can contribute to natural climate variations. In the present work we study the variability of ice winter severity index in the Baltic Sea since the 15th century and its possible connection with solar activity, based in a new method for finding and measuring amplitude-phase cross-frequency coupling in time series with a low signal/noise ratio, we suggests that the ice winter severity index in the Baltic Sea is modulated by solar activity and solar motion in several frequency bands during the last 500 yrs.

According to our model a strong coupling between the decadal periodicity in the ice winter severity index time series and the secular periodicity of solar activity is present. We found that the ice winter severity index is strongly modulated by solar activity at the decadal periodicity. We also found that the 180 year periodicity of the Barycentre motion modulates the amplitudes of the decadal periodicity of solar activity and the Ice winter severity index. This method represents a useful tool for study the solar-terrestrial relationships. READ PAPER

Global carbon trading system has ‘essentially collapsed’

The Guardian – The world’s only global system of carbon trading, designed to give poor countries access to new green technologies, has “essentially collapsed”, jeopardising future flows of finance to the developing world. Billions of dollars have been raised in the past seven years through the United Nations’ system to set up greenhouse gas-cutting projects, such as windfarms and solar panels, in poor nations. But the failure of governments to provide firm guarantees to continue with the system beyond this year has raised serious concerns over whether it can survive. Read Article

Editorial Comment – These two articles, both from The Guardian, are a classic example of Problem, Reaction, Solution in action. The problem presented by the ‘opinion formers’ is that climate change is going to be the doom of mankind and that our one great hope – carbon trading – is in dire need to more taxpayer funds. The reaction from the masses is therefore hoped to be one of fear and calls for action; which will lead to the desired solution which also includes that most ec-friendly power source – nuclear fission – being massively expanded in its use. The real winners? The multi-trillion dollar banking and nuclear industries. The real losers? Humanity and the wider environment as the temperature’s natural movements will not be changed one jot and the environment will be lumbered with ever increasing volumes of nuclear waste that will take tens of thousands of years to become safe.

Climate change “expert” calls for geoengineering, nuclear power ‘binge’ to avert global warming

The Guardian – A leading British academic has called for accelerated research into futuristic geo-engineering and a worldwide nuclear power station “binge” to avoid runaway global warming. Peter Wadhams, professor of ocean physics at Cambridge University, said both potential solutions had inherent dangers but were now vital as time was running out. “It is very, very depressing that politicians and the public are attuned to the threat of climate change even less than they were 20 years ago when Margaret Thatcher sounded the alarm. CO2 levels are rising at a faster than exponential rate, and yet politicians only want to take utterly trivial steps such as banning plastic bags and building a few windfarms,” he said. “I am very suspicious of using technology to solve problems created by technology, given that we have messed up so much in the past but having done almost nothing for two decades we need to adopt more desperate measures such as considering geo-engineering techniques as well as conducting a major nuclear programme.” Read Article