What a 100-degree day in Siberia really means

What a 100-degree day in Siberia really means

SOURCE: National Geographic DATE: June 23, 2020 SNIP: An extended heat wave that has been baking the Russian Arctic for months drove the temperature in Verkhoyansk, Russia—north of the Arctic Circle—to 100.4°F on June 20, the official first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. This record high temperature is a signal of a rapidly and continually warming planet, and a preview of how Arctic warming will continue in an increasingly hot future, scientists say. “For a long time, we’ve been saying we’re going to get more extremes like strong heat waves,” says Ruth Mottram, a climate scientist at the Danish Meteorological Institute. “It’s a little like the projections are coming true, and sooner than we might have thought.” Saturday’s record wasn’t just a quick spike before a return to more normal summer temperatures for the Russian Arctic: The heat wave behind it is projected to continue for at least another week. It was the hottest temperature ever recorded in the town, where records have been kept since 1885. [C]limate change is “loading the dice” toward extreme temperatures like the one recorded this week…. The Arctic is warming more than twice as fast as the rest of the planet: Baseline warmth in the high Arctic has increased by between 3.6 to 5.4°F(2 to 3°C) over the past hundred or so years. About 0.75°C of that has occurred in the last decade alone. That means any heat waves that hit the region are strengthened by the extra warming. So the average warmness of a summer increases, and the extremes do too. This month’s super-hot day emerged from a potent mix...
World’s major cities to face ‘unknown’ climate conditions by 2050

World’s major cities to face ‘unknown’ climate conditions by 2050

SOURCE: Reuters and PLOS One DATE: July 10, 2019 SNIP: A fifth of the world’s major cities will face “unknown” climate conditions by 2050, researchers warned on Wednesday, as rising temperatures heighten the risks of drought and flooding. Climate scientists at the Crowther Lab, a research group based at ETH Zurich, a science and technology university, analyzes 520 cities across the world, including all capitals and most urban centers with a population of more than 1 million. Looking at current climate conditions in these cities – including precipitation and seasonal data – scientists projected what would happen as temperatures rise another half degree, to near the lower 1.5 degree Celsius target set in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. It showed that 22% of the cities will experience unprecedented climate conditions by 2050, such as more intense dry and monsoon seasons, said Jean Francis-Bastin, the lead author of the report. Crowther Lab scientists said their study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, was the first global analysis of the likely shifts in climate conditions in major cities as a result of global warming. It showed that 77% of the cities it looked at will experience a striking change in climate conditions by 2050. Across the northern hemisphere, many cities in 30 years time could resemble places that are over 1,000 km (620 miles) further south toward the equator, said the study, which projected conditions if current plans to cut climate-changing emissions go ahead. Of the 22% of cities that will see ‘unprecedented’ climate shifts, 64% are located in the tropics and include Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Rangoon and Singapore,...
The heat is on: Amazon tree loss could bring 1.45 degree C local rise

The heat is on: Amazon tree loss could bring 1.45 degree C local rise

SOURCE: MongaBay DATE: May 14, 2019 SNIP: It is well known that the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation both lead to the emission of carbon dioxide, raising temperatures worldwide. Less well understood is how removing tree cover is contributing to increased temperatures at a local level – until now. In a new study published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE, scientists from Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro State University and the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), have found that the temperature increase in the immediate vicinity of a deforested area could be as much as 1.45 degrees Celsius (2.6 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2050 in tropical areas such as Brazil’s Amazon basin or in the Cerrado, the nation’s savanna biome. “Everyone is familiar with how hot it is in cities compared to a forest environment, and this is because the energy is absorbed and then generates infrared radiation that heats up the environment. The same happens if you deforest,” explained study co-author Barry Sinervo of the UCSC Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in a Mongabay interview. The paper explores how the albedo effect (whereby lighter-colored surfaces reflect heat, while darker ones absorb it), and the loss of evapotranspiration (whereby water goes back into the atmosphere from land, trees and plants) can both lead to warming on a local scale within deforested tropical areas. By contrast, loss of vegetative cover in sub-Arctic boreal forests has little impact on local temperatures. “We show that the heating in those [tropical] deforested habitats can have an effect at a very local scale,” Sinervo said. “And that means, even if you have an...
Why a sudden spike in the temperature of the Great Lakes has scientists worried

Why a sudden spike in the temperature of the Great Lakes has scientists worried

SOURCE: CBC News DATE: September 11, 2018 SNIP: The Great Lakes are getting hotter, seeing a rise in some parts of three degrees. Aaron Fisk, a professor with the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research at the University of Windsor, spoke with the CBC’s Julianne Hazlewood about why temperatures are on the rise and what that means for the Great Lakes and the things that live in it. “Three degrees is pretty big. We see a variation from year to year of half a degree or .2 of a degree. Three degrees is a pretty significant jump. It’s a really significant change in temperature. Much beyond anything you would normally expect over the last 60, 70, 80 years. Temperature is one of the most important drivers of aquatic systems and terrestrial systems as well. It sets up the types of animals you can have there. Animals and fish like a particular temperature. They have evolved to live in that temperature. We also see a lot of seasonal chances with the algae and the zooplankton that are in the water. When you change the temperature you force animals to move to places they don’t want to be and also fish are a cold blooded species. They are the temperature of their water. When water gets warmer it means their metabolism is higher which means they need to eat more. It just adds to a general stress on the system. If you look at any of the Great Lakes there’s a warming trend since the ’50s and ’60s but this recent jump is consistent with a lot of other data. We...
Climate Change Altering the Arctic Faster Than Expected

Climate Change Altering the Arctic Faster Than Expected

SOURCE: Climate Central DATE: April 25, 2017 SNIP: Evidence continues to mount that climate change has pushed the Arctic into a new state. Skyrocketing temperatures are altering the essence of the region, melting ice on land and sea, driving more intense wildfires, altering ocean circulation and dissolving permafrost. A new report chronicles all these changes and warns that even if the world manages to keep global warming below the targeted 2°C threshold, some of the shifts could be permanent. Among the most harrowing are the disappearance of sea ice by the 2030s and more land ice melt than previously thought, pushing seas to more extreme heights. The findings, released Monday in the Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic (SWIPA) assessment, come after a winter of extreme discontent for the region. Sea ice receded a bit in November, a rare occurrence, and hit a record-low maximum for the third year in a row. Temperatures averaged 11°F above normal, driven by sustained mild weather that was punctured by periods of almost unheard of heat when temperatures reached up to 50°F above...