Antarctic temperature rises above 20C for first time on record

Antarctic temperature rises above 20C for first time on record

SOURCE: The Guardian DATE: February 13, 2020 SNIP: The Antarctic has registered a temperature of more than 20C (68F) for the first time on record, prompting fears of climate instability in the world’s greatest repository of ice. The 20.75C logged by Brazilian scientists at Seymour Island on 9 February was almost a full degree higher than the previous record of 19.8C, taken on Signy Island in January 1982. It follows another recent temperature record: on 6 February an Argentinian research station at Esperanza measured 18.3C, which was the highest reading on the continental Antarctic peninsula. These records will need to be confirmed by the World Meteorological Organization, but they are consistent with a broader trend on the peninsula and nearby islands, which have warmed by almost 3C since the pre-industrial era – one of the fastest rates on the planet. Scientists, who collect the data from remote monitoring stations every three days, described the new record as “incredible and abnormal”. Schaefer said the temperature of the peninsula, the South Shetland Islands and the James Ross archipelago, which Seymour is part of, has been erratic over the past 20 years. After cooling in the first decade of this century, it has warmed rapidly. While temperatures in eastern and central Antarctica are relatively stable, there are growing concerns about west Antarctica, where warming oceans are undermining the huge Thwaites and Pine Island glaciers. Until now, this has led to a relatively low amount of sea-level rise, but this could change rapidly if there is a sustained jump in temperature. On a recent trip with Greenpeace, the Guardian saw glaciers that have...
Antarctica logs hottest temperature on record with a reading of 18.3C

Antarctica logs hottest temperature on record with a reading of 18.3C

SOURCE: The Guardian DATE: February 7, 2020 SNIP: Antarctica has logged its hottest temperature on record, with an Argentinian research station thermometer reading 18.3C (65F), beating the previous record by 0.8C. The reading, taken at Esperanza on the northern tip of the continent’s peninsula, beats Antarctica’s previous record of 17.5C, set in March 2015. A tweet from Argentina’s meteorological agency on Friday revealed the record. The station’s data goes back to 1961. Antarctica’s peninsula – the area that points towards South America – is one of the fastest warming places on earth, heating by almost 3C over the past 50 years, according to the World Meteorological Organization. Almost all the region’s glaciers are melting. The Esperanza reading breaks the record for the Antarctic continent. The record for the Antarctic region – that is, everywhere south of 60 degrees latitude – is 19.8C, taken on Signy Island in January 1982. Prof James Renwick, a climate scientist at Victoria University of Wellington, was a member of an ad-hoc World Meteorological Organization committee that has verified previous records in Antarctica. “The reading is impressive as it’s only five years since the previous record was set and this is almost one degree centigrade higher. It’s a sign of the warming that has been happening there that’s much faster than the global average. “To have a new record set that quickly is surprising but who knows how long that will last? Possibly not that long at all.” He said the temperature record at Esperanza was one of the longest-running on the whole continent. Previous research from 2012 found the current rate of warming in...
January 2020 warmest on record: EU climate service

January 2020 warmest on record: EU climate service

SOURCE: France24 DATE: February 4, 2020 SNIP: Last month was the warmest January on record globally, while in Europe temperatures were a balmy three degrees Celsius above the average January from 1981 to 2010, the European Union’s climate monitoring system reported Tuesday. Across a band of countries stretching from Norway to Russia, temperatures were an unprecedented 6C above the same 30-year benchmark, Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) reported in a statement. New temperature highs — monthly, yearly, decadal — have become commonplace due to the impact of climate change, caused mainly by the burning of fossil fuels, scientists say. The five last years have been the hottest on record, as was the ten-year period 2010-2019. 2019 — the second warmest year — was only 0.04C below 2016, when temperatures were boosted by a powerful El Nino, a periodic natural weather phenomenon over the Pacific Ocean. The global record last month was 0.03C above the preceding warmest January, also in 2016. For Europe, last month was “about 0.2C warmer than the previous warmest January in 2007, and 3.1C warmer than the average January in the period 1981-2010,” C3S reported. Records also tumbled in specific locations across the northern reaches of the continent. The village of Sunndalsora in western Norway, for example, hit 19C (66 Fahrenheit) on January 2, more than 25C above the monthly average, while the Swedish town of Orebro saw its warmest January day on the 9th since records began in 1858. Cross-country ski tracks were closed across large swathes of Norway and Sweden. Exceptional above-average temperatures extended over nearly all of Russia as well, and they were...
UN Warns of Extreme Weather Ahead After Declaring Hottest Decade in Recorded History

UN Warns of Extreme Weather Ahead After Declaring Hottest Decade in Recorded History

SOURCE: Science Alert DATE: January 16, 2020 SNIP: The past decade has been the hottest on record, the UN said Wednesday, warning that the higher temperatures were expected to fuel numerous extreme weather events in 2020 and beyond.​ The World Meteorological Organization, which based its findings on analysis of leading international datasets, said increases in global temperatures had already had dire consequences, pointing to “retreating ice, record sea levels, increasing ocean heat and acidification, and extreme weather”. WMO said its research also confirmed data released by the European Union’s climate monitor last week showing that 2019 was the second hottest year on record, after 2016. “Unfortunately, we expect to see much extreme weather throughout 2020 and the coming decades, fuelled by record levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere,” WMO chief Petteri Taalas said. The UN agency said that average global temperatures during both the past five-year (2015-2019) and 10-year (2010-2019) periods were the highest ever recorded. Since more than 90 percent of excess heat is stored in the world’s oceans, their heat content is a good way to quantify the rate of global warming, WMO said. Conservationists said the UN agency’s findings were to be expected. “It is no surprise that 2019 was the second hottest year on record – nature has been persistently reminding us that we have to pick up the pace,” said Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF’s global climate and energy practice, calling for dramatic measures to halt the warming...
Earth warming more quickly than thought, new climate models show

Earth warming more quickly than thought, new climate models show

SOURCE: Phys.org DATE: September 17, 2019 SNIP: Greenhouse gases thrust into the atmosphere mainly by burning fossil fuels are warming Earth’s surface more quickly than previously understood, according to new climate models set to replace those used in current UN projections, scientists said Tuesday. By 2100, average temperatures could rise 7.0 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels if carbon emissions continue unabated, separate models from two leading research centres in France showed. That is up to two degrees higher than the equivalent scenario in the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2014 benchmark 5th Assessment Report. A new generation of 30-odd climate models known collectively as CMIP6—including the two unveiled Tuesday—will underpin the IPCC’s next major report in 2021. These include increased supercomputing power and sharper representations of weather systems, natural and man-made particles, and how clouds evolve in a warming world. “We have better models now,” said Olivier Boucher, head of the Institute Pierre Simon Laplace Climate Modelling Centre in Paris. “They have better resolution, and they represent current climate trends more accurately.” A core finding of the new models is that increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere will warm Earth’s surface more—and more easily—than earlier calculations had suggested. If confirmed, this higher “equilibrium climate sensitivity”, or ECS, means humanity’s carbon budget—our total emissions allowance—is likely to shrink. The French models are the first to be released. But other models developed independently have come to the same unsettling conclusion, Boucher confirmed. “The most respected ones—from the United States, and Britain’s Met Office—also show a higher ECS” than the previous generation of models, he...