The Dying Earth - 05/21/2015
The main headlines come out of the Antarctica with an unexpected and unprecedented collapse of the ice sheet and loss of ice. The bad news just keeps coming, and coming
onset of ice loss in Antarctica so large it affects Earth's gravity
group of scientists, led by a team from the University of Bristol, UK
has observed a sudden increase of ice loss in a previously stable
region of Antarctica.
The research is published today in Science.
measurements of the elevation of the Antarctic ice sheet made by a
suite of satellites, the researchers found that the Southern
Antarctic Peninsula showed no signs of change up to 2009. Around
2009, multiple glaciers along a vast coastal expanse, measuring some
750km in length, suddenly started to shed ice into the ocean at a
nearly constant rate of 60 cubic km, or about 55 trillion litres of
water, each year.
vast slab of Antarctic ice that was previously stable may have
started to collapse, according to new analysis of satellite data.
Glaciers in part of Antarctic thought to be stable suddenly melting at a massive rate, say scientists
sudden and massive melting of glaciers in a part of the Antarctic
that was thought to be relatively stable has been detected by
satellites monitoring the polar ice sheet, scientists have said.
glaciers in the Southern Antarctic Peninsula have become unstable
since 2009, releasing vast amounts of ice into the sea equivalent to
about 56bn tonnes of meltwater each year, the researchers said.
glaciers along a stretch of coastline 750km long have suddenly and
consistently started to shed ice into the ocean at a constant rate of
60 cubic km or 55 trillion litres of water each year, they report in
the journal Science.
Bad News Keeps Flowing From Antarctica
"Lee said it’s likely to continue globe trotting along the ocean conveyor belt and find its way to the Atlantic in the coming decades."
“If this warm blob of water in upper Indian Ocean is transported all the way to North Atlantic, that could affect the melting of Arctic sea ice,” Lee said. “That can also increase hurricane activity and influence the effects of drought in the U.S. These are simply hypotheses that need to be tested and studied in the future work.”
There's the kicker.
The world’s oceans are playing a game of hot potato with the excess heat trapped by greenhouse gas emissions.
Scientists have zeroed in on the tropical Pacific as a major player in taking up that heat. But while it might have held that heat for a bit, new research shows that the Pacific has passed the potato to the Indian Ocean, which has seen an unprecedented rise in heat content over the past decade.
"Temperatures have increased more than two degrees Celsius since the fall of 2013"
"A conference at California’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography earlier this month featured scientists in fields ranging from avian biology to Arctic climatology. They tried to determine the potential impacts of a giant mass of warm, ocean water that currently stretches from the Gulf of Alaska down to Baja California"
Scientists are watching for how a warmer North Pacific Ocean could affect weather and climate this year. There could also be significant impacts to marine life, including species that form the basis for Alaska’s commercial fisheries.
The month of May is typically known for its severe weather season in the Plains states — tornadoes, damaging winds and very large hail. But this year, May might be remembered more for its prolific rain and flooding — a series of brief but destructive events spurred by an intensifying El Niño in the Pacific Ocean and just part of the upward trend in extreme rainfall events in a warming world.
Drought urgency hits rain country: Washington governor declares state emergency
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared a statewide drought Friday — citing historically low snowpack, dwindling rivers and rising temperatures that have plunged nearly the entire West Coast into official emergency status.
“The drought has deepened dramatically over the past few weeks,” said Inslee, a Democrat. “It has spread quickly and now encompasses all of the state of Washington. We are already seeing severe impacts in several areas of the state, and conditions are expected to worsen over time.”
But in a climatic quirk peculiar to the Pacific Northwest this year, Washington's deepening drought is accompanied by regular rainfall, and the major population centers of Seattle, Tacoma, Everett and Spokane are not expected to notice that disaster lurks.
Mother Nature seems to have the weather flipped upside down with Fairbanks, Alaska, set to start the Memorial Day holiday weekend on a warmer note than Phoenix.
The unusual weather will stem from a dip in the jet stream ushering cool air across Arizona, while a ridge of high pressure continues to allow temperatures to soar throughout eastern Alaska.
As a result, a high in the lower 80s is expected in Phoenix on Saturday as temperatures in Fairbanks climb into the upper 80s.
Houston-Dallas-San Antonio and Atlanta-Charlotte-Raleigh areas most affected by ‘double whammy’ of population shift and temperature rises, scientists argue
The Significance of El Niño and Its Impacts
This event shows the significance of El Niño through observations—satellite, in situ, and model simulations—its physical mechanisms and associated biological and biogeochemical impacts, with a focus on the Equatorial Pacific and South America. The event provides a detailed discussion on seasonal ENSO forecasts and will bridge together knowledge from other domestic and international agencies to provide a complete understanding of ENSO.
And here are some scientific presentations -on el-Nino and Antarctic glaciers