Saturday 24 December 2016

On December 22, 2016, the Arctic was on average 3.33°C or 5.99°F warmer than it was in 1979-2000.

Accelerating Warming of the Arctic Ocean

Warming is accelerating in the Arctic. On December 22, 2016, the Arctic was on average 3.33°C or 5.99°F warmer than it was in 1979-2000.

23 December, 2016

Within the Arctic, the Arctic Ocean is warming most rapidly. While the Arctic as a whole was as much as 3.34°C or 6.01°F warmer than in 1979-2000 on December 22, 2016, temperatures over much of the Arctic Ocean were at the top end of the scale that day, i.e. as much as 30°C or 54°F warmer than in 1979-2000.

The temperature in the Arctic is also illustrated by the image below.

Over the entire year 2016, warming was most profound over the Arctic Ocean, which was more than 2.5°C or 4.5°F warmer t
han 1981-2010 for the 365-day period from Dec. 22, 2015, to Dec. 20, 2016.

These high temperatures over the Arctic Ocean reflect warming water of the Atlantic Ocean, as illustrated by the image below, showing ocean warming, with temperatures rising particularly rapidly on the Northern Hemisphere.

[ Ocean warming, from earlier post ]

Warmer water of the Atlantic Ocean is pushed by the Coriolis force toward the Arctic Ocean. The huge amounts of energy entering the oceans translate not only into higher temperatures of the water and of the air over the water, but also into higher waves and stronger winds.

As the image below shows, sea surface temperatures near Svalbard (green circle) were as high as 13.1°C or 55.7°F on December 20, 2016, 11.7°C or 21°F warmer than in 1981-2011.

Above image gives an indication of the temperature of the water in the Atlantic Ocean underneath the sea surface, as the water comes to the surface near Svalbard, as also illustrated by the plot on the right.

The Arctic Ocean is warming due to the inflow of warm water from the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

The Arctic Ocean is also warming due to 
feedbackssuch as warmer air temperatures that speed up demise of snow and ice and that cause soot from wildfires to settle on the snow and ice, resulting in further albedo changes.

Further feedbacks are increased levels of water vapor in the atmosphere, stronger winds and warmer river water running into the Arctic Ocean.

As the water of the Arctic Ocean keeps warming, the danger increases that methane hydrates at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean will destabilize.

This could trigger huge abrupt methane eruptions leading to mass destruction and extinction.
Potential warming by more than 10°C or 18°F by 2026 (from: Climate Plan Summary, see also: the extinction page)

The situation is dire and calls for comprehensive and effective action as described at the Climate Plan.


- Climate Plan

- Feedbacks

- The University Centre in Svalbard: UNIS

- Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI)

- Monthly CO₂ not under 400 ppm in 2016

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