Five-year forecast indicates further warming

Five-year forecast indicates further warming

SOURCE: UK Met Office DATE: February 1, 2018 SNIP: A new forecast published by scientists at the Met Office indicates the annual global average temperature is likely to exceed 1 °C and could reach 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels during the next five years (2018-2022). There is also a small (around 10%) chance that at least one year in the period could exceed 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels (1850–1900), although it is not anticipated that it will happen this year. It is the first time that such high values have been highlighted within these...
Rise in severity of hottest days outpaces global average temperature increase

Rise in severity of hottest days outpaces global average temperature increase

SOURCE: University of California Irvine (UCI) News DATE: January 24, 2018 SNIP: While our planet’s average annual temperature has increased at a steady pace in recent decades, there has been an alarming jump in the severity of the hottest days of the year during that same period, with the most lethal effects in the world’s largest cities. Engineers at the University of California, Irvine have learned that urban centers with more than 5 million inhabitants and parts of Eurasia and Australia have been hardest hit by the accelerated growth in short-term, extreme-heat events, resulting in lost lives, reduced agricultural productivity and damage to infrastructure. In a paper appearing in the American Geophysical Union journal Earth’s Future, the researchers report that their analysis of temperature readings from the most recent 50- and 30-year periods rules out the possibility that natural climate variability is to blame for the mercury rising. “The global average annual temperature has increased over the past three decades at a rate of 0.20 degrees Celsius per decade, but we have found that the maximum temperature of the year has climbed at a much faster rate – two to three times higher in such regions as Eurasia and parts of Australia and more than three times higher in some megacities,” said Efi Foufoula-Georgiou, UCI Distinguished Professor of civil & environmental engineering and senior author on the study. “These results are alarming and yet more evidence of the harsh impact of global warming being felt by people around the world...
Alaska just had its warmest December on record

Alaska just had its warmest December on record

SOURCE: Anchorage Daily News DATE: January 9, 2018 SNIP: Last month was the warmest December on record in Alaska, according to a federal report released Monday. The statewide average temperature in December was 19.4 degrees, 15.7 degrees above the 20th century average, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s report said. Records for Alaska go back to 1925. The report also found that 2017 was the third warmest year on record for the U.S. as a whole since record-keeping began in 1895. But December in Alaska specifically “was really quite remarkable,” said Rick Thoman, climate science and services manager for the National Weather Service. “Alaska, of course, being the only Arctic part of the U.S. … it’s often referred to as polar amplification, that climate is warming much more rapidly at high latitudes,” Thoman said. “We are the U.S.’s canary in that coal mine.” Last year was also the seventh warmest year in Alaska on record. The last four years are all in the top seven warmest on record. “There’s no comparable period like that,” said Thoman. “This is unique in our 93-year temperature...

2017 was the hottest year on record without an El Niño, thanks to global warming

SOURCE: The Guardian DATE: January 2, 2018 SNIP: 2017 was the second-hottest year on record according to Nasa data, and was the hottest year without the short-term warming influence of an El Niño event. In fact, 2017 was the hottest year without an El Niño by a wide margin – a whopping 0.17°C hotter than 2014, which previously held that record. Remarkably, 2017 was also hotter than 2015, which at the time was by far the hottest year on record thanks in part to a strong El Niño event that year. For comparison, the neutral El Niño conditions and the level of solar activity in 1972 were quite similar to those in 2017. 45 years later, the latter was 0.9°C hotter than the former. For each type of year – La Niña, El Niño, and neutral – the global surface warming trend between 1964 and 2017 is 0.17–0.18°C per decade, which is consistent with climate model predictions. America was also battered by climate-fueled extreme weather events in 2017. Research has already shown that global warming boosted Hurricane Harvey’s record rainfall (and associated flooding) by about 38%. California’s record wildfire season was similarly fueled by the state’s hot summer. The southwestern states were cooked by record hot summer temperatures this year, and global warming is making droughts in America and Europe worse. America was hit by 15 billion-dollar weather and climate disasters in 2017, and it will likely be the costliest such year on record once all of the hurricane damages are...
Scientists stunned by massive snowfall increases among Alaska’s highest peaks

Scientists stunned by massive snowfall increases among Alaska’s highest peaks

SOURCE: Washington Post DATE: December 19, 2017 SNIP: A team of scientists presented surprising data on Tuesday suggesting that even as the state of Alaska has warmed up extremely rapidly in recent years, snowfall in the iconic Denali National Park has increased dramatically during the era of human-driven global warming. The researchers from Dartmouth College, the University of Maine at Orono and the University of New Hampshire set up a camp at 13,000 feet atop Mount Hunter, within view of Denali, previously known as Mount McKinley, the highest peak in the United States. There, they drilled into the snow to extract lengthy cores of ice that provided a historical record of snowfall patterns going back more than 1,000 years — and found a marked change over the past 150 years or so. “We were shocked, frankly, at just how much snowfall had increased,” said Erich Osterberg, a Dartmouth researcher who was one of the study’s authors. The ice cores showed an enormous upswing in the rates of snowfall beginning around the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, when humans began burning fossil fuels to produce energy in large quantities. The increase over time represented more than a doubling in the amount of snow. “We can say confidently that the amount of snowfall we see today has never been seen previously during that whole 1,200-year record,” Osterberg said. “That we are way outside the range of what was natural conditions before the Industrial Revolution.” Climate change increases the volume of precipitation, because a warmer atmosphere holds more water vapor. But it isn’t supposed to increase it this...