Friday, 3 July 2015

37.1°C (98.78°F) temperatures in Arctic heat wave

37.1°C (98.78°F) in the Arctic circle!!!

This is THE major news of the day that on't make a daily near you. 

It makes a Blue Ocean event this year so much more likely.

East Siberian Heat Wave

2 July, 2015

The image below illustrates the intensity of the heatwave over western Europe, with temperatures forecast to keep hitting the top end of the scale for days to come.

While the media gives wide coverage to the heatwaves that have been hitting populous countries such as India, Pakistan, the U.S., Spain and France recently, less attention is given to heatwaves hitting the Arctic.

High temperatures close to the Arctic Ocean are very worrying, for a number of reasons, including:
  • They are examples of heatwaves that can increasingly extend far to the north, all the way into the Arctic Ocean, speeding up warming of the Arctic Ocean seabed and threatening to unleash huge methane eruptions. 

  • They set the scene for wildfires that emit not only greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, but also pollutants such as carbon monoxide (that depletes hydroxyl that could otherwise break down methane) and black carbon (that when settling on ice causes it to absorb more sunlight). 

  • They cause warming of the water of rivers that end up in the Arctic Ocean, thus resulting in additional sea ice decline and warming of the Arctic Ocean seabed.

June 24, 2015 - Smoke from wildfires in Alaska - from:

The video below was created by 
Stuart Thrupp from a NASA animation showing carbon monoxide from Alaska wildfires spreading over the Arctic from June 17th to 29th, 2015.

(NOTE - I cannot replicate the video - and neither has the original article - so go to the link above - SMR

The heatwaves that hit 
Alaska and Russia recently are now followed up by a heatwave in East Siberia.

The image below shows a location well within the 
Arctic Circle where temperatures as high as 37.1°C (98.78°F) were recorded on July 2, 2015. The top panel shows temperatures, while the bottom panel also shows the depth of the Arctic Ocean and the location of the Gakkel Ridge, in between the northern tip of Greenland and the Laptev Sea.

As the image below shows, the jet stream is forecast to move up high into the Arctic north of Siberia over the next few days. The image shows the jet stream as at July 8, 2015. 

With temperatures as high as the 37.1°C (98.78°F) recorded on July 2, 2015 (image further above), huge melting can be expected where there still is sea ice in the waters off the coast of Siberia, while the waters where the sea ice is already gone will warm up rapidly. Note that the waters off the coast of Siberia are less than 50 m (164 ft) deep, so warming can quickly extend all the way down to the seabed, that can contain enormous amounts of methane in the form of free gas and hydrates.

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