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5 December 2019

Can Arctic ‘ice management’ combat climate change?

Both sea ice retreat and global warming could be slowed by millions of wind-powered pumps, drifting in the sea ice, to promote ice formation during the Arctic winter. Researchers have now, for the first time, tested the concept using a complex climate model.


18 September 2019

Arctic Sea Ice Melt May be 2nd Lowest On Record

The summer melt of the Arctic sea ice is nearly done and the numbers are flirting with being the 2nd lowest on record. 2012  is the lowest and this year will not be as low but still at alarming levels. The real change is the loss of the multi ice that lasts from year to year. This “old” ice is nearly gone and you can see it disappear in this …


29 January 2019

The Climate Threat is Much Worse Than You Think, But There’s Still Hope

I know a lot of people are tired of hearing the title of this post, but it’s true. The threat we face from climate change is a lot worse than you think it is. There is near unanimous agreement that we must strive to keep the Earth’s temperature from going above 2 degrees C from the pre-industrial times, and better yet would be holding it to 1.5 C. That’s not …


12 December 2018

NOAA’s Says The Polar Freezer is In Defrost Mode

NOAA’s Arctic Report Card came out today but with all the news (that’s barely fit to print) these days, it was easy to miss. Here’s a summary of the major points and an excellent video from NOAA that summarises it. Too bad I’ve not seen it linked on any major news sites. You can read the whole report here. Report Card Highlights from NOAA Surface air temperatures in the Arctic continued to …


21 March 2018

Four in A Row! Is Tomorrow’s Snow Storm Related to Melting Ice in the Arctic?

Just because it seems like it, doesn’t mean it is so. A subjective feeling means nothing more than,” I wonder if this is true”. Science goes by the data, so when it seems like there have been a lot of snowy winters in the Northeast U.S. over the last couple of decades, you need to see if that has indeed been the case. Then (and only then!) can you ask, what …


5 March 2018

Arctic Sea Ice May Be About To Set Another Record Low

Earth science community is all watching the Arctic sea ice right now. We are very close to the winter maximum extent, and it may very well be the lowest on record. The ice has grown slowly due to the incredibly warm temperatures across the region compared to the average. Look how warm the entire Arctic was on 25 February.   Since then, it has cooled somewhat. here are today’s anomalies. …


15 December 2017

Take Three Minutes and Study These Two Graphs

One of the biggest science meetings on the planet is underway in New Orleans right now. The AGU meeting is huge and a LOT of newsmaking science comes out of it. This year is no different. The AMS published a special edition of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS) to coincide with this conference and the AMS annual meeting that I’m looking forward to attending in Austin next month. …


27 June 2017

As climate stirs Arctic sea ice faster, pollution tags along

A warming climate is not just melting the Arctic’s sea ice; it is stirring the remaining ice faster, increasing the odds that ice-rafted pollution will foul a neighboring country’s waters, says a new study. The new study, which maps the movement of sea ice in the region, underscores the risk of contaminated sea ice drifting from the economic zone of one country to another’s.


22 March 2017

Record Low Ice at Both Poles

We are getting used to hearing about a record melt out of the Arctic in the early autumn each year, but now we are seeing the lowest wintertime ice on record as well. It’s not official yet, but it looks like the Arctic Ice is now in a steady melt, and the maximum extent this winter was the lowest on record. Neven, over at the Arctic Sea Ice Blog thinks …


12 February 2017

Astonishing February Heat From Colorado to Oklahoma, and Into The High Arctic

Denver reached 80 degrees Friday, smashing their record high for the 10th of February by 9 degrees, but wait, there’s more. They also saw their hottest February temperature on record, and records there go back to 1872! Grant was President of the U.S. when temperature records began in Denver. Colorado Springs, and Pueblo, also saw their hottest February day on record. The heat shifted south into Oklahoma today and Oklahoma City smashed their …


29 December 2016

The Smoking Gun of Arctic Warmth Leads To A Stunning Indictment

It normally takes many months to get a paper through peer review and into a journal, but a group of scientists has released their detection and attribution study early, and it’s a stunning indictment. We now know the culprit for the astonishing Arctic warmth of November and December. It seemed very likely that the guilty party was rising greenhouse gasses with Arctic amplification as the accomplice, and that’s JUST what …


22 December 2016

The United States of Warming

That’s what the folks at Climate Central called this animated GIF. Look how warm 2016 has been across the U.S.: Globally there is no doubt that 2016 will become the new hottest year on record globally, and look at the animation from NASA of the Arctic sea ice vanishing before our eyes. The High Arctic is extremely warm today, and I’m seeing some model output showing temps. may approach an …


30 November 2016

The Warm November May Be Setting Us Up For a Cold Winter

The Arctic Sea ice continues to run at record lows, and this has potentially large implications on the winter ahead. Instead of white ice reflecting what little sunlight is available north of 60 degrees, we have ocean water rapidly losing its heat into the atmosphere of the High Arctic. The ice that’s usually there now acts as an insulator to hold in the heat, but not this year! How all …


16 September 2016

Arctic Ice Melt Reaches 2nd Lowest On Record

This press release from the National Snow and Ice Data Center this evening: BOULDER, Colo.—The Arctic’s ice cover appears to have reached its minimum extent on September 10, 2016, according to scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). Arctic sea ice extent on that day stood at 4.14 million square kilometers (1.60 million square miles), statistically tied at second lowest in the satellite record with the 2007 …


4 April 2016

As The Science Gets Better, The News Gets Worse on Sea Level Rise

I spent the weekend reading the new paper in Nature last week that made a lot of news. (Justin Gillis at The NY Times has an excellent summary of the paper here). If you missed it, the short version is that for the first time, researchers used a series of coupled models to produce a more realistic look at what will happen to Antarctica in the coming decades and centuries. There …


15 September 2015

Arctic Sea Ice Reaches 4th Lowest Extent on Record

The summer sea ice melt has ended in the High Arctic, and the ice pack melted back to the 4th lowest extent on the satellite record. From the Nat. Snow Ice Data Center: On September 11, 2015, sea ice extent dropped to 4.41 million square kilometers (1.70 million square miles), the fourth lowest minimum in the satellite record. This appears to be the lowest extent of the year. In response to …


4 September 2015

The Great Polar Melt Continues

We are nearing the end of the summer melt season in the High Arctic and once again we are flirting with the lowest amount of sea ice on record. The graph above is a striking confirmation of just what is happening. Here is the latest from NSIDC: August saw a remarkably steady decline in Arctic sea ice extent, at a rate slightly faster than the long-term average. Forecasts show that …


12 July 2015

Coastal Oceanography off North-East Greenland

THIS IS A GUEST POST BY OCEANOGRAPHER ANDREAS MUENCHOW AT THE UNIV. OF DELAWARE Greenland is melting, but it is not entirely clear why. Yes, air temperatures continue to increase, but what does it matter, if those temperatures are below freezing most of the time. What if the ocean does most of the melting a few 100 m below the surface rather than the air above? It means that gut feeling …


13 November 2014

Some Really Good Science Journalism

I saw three pieces of REALLY good science journalism today, and (in case you missed one or all three) here they are. I usually give top marks on science journalism to the BBC, but the best reporting (BY FAR) today on the Rosetta Probe and it’s Philae Lander came from MSNBC host Rachael Maddow. Well worth a watch: Next is a piece by my friend Bob Henson (who is trying …


30 September 2014

The Devil In The Climate Change Details

  Greenland is melting, the oceans are warming, the sea is rising (and becoming more acidic), and the Arctic sea ice is in a serious decline (that seems to be faster than predicted). These are all things that those who work in climate science understand and accept. They also accept that they are almost certainly being caused by rising greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Yes, large portions of the public may not …