Sunday, March 31, 2019

Arctic Warming Up Fast

On March 30, 2019, Arctic sea ice extent was 13.42 million km², a record low for the measurements at ads.nipr.ac.jp for the time of year.


[ click on images to enlarge ]
As the Arctic warms up faster than the rest of the world, the temperature difference between the North Pole and the Equator narrows, making the jet stream wavier, thus enabling warm air over the Pacific Arctic to move more easily into the Arctic.

The image on the right shows that, on March 31, 2019, the Arctic was 7.5°C or 13.5°F warmer than 1979-2000.

The earlier forecast below shows a temperature anomaly for the Arctic of 7.6°C or 13.68°F for March 31, 2019, 12:00 UTC and in places 30°C or 54°F warmer. The inset shows the Jet Stream moving higher over the Bering Strait, enabling air that has been strongly warmed up over the Pacific Ocean to move into the Arctic.


A wavier Jet Stream also enables cold air to more easily move out of the Arctic. The inset shows the Jet Stream dipping down over North America where temperatures lower than were usual were recorded.

The later forecast below shows a temperature anomaly for the Arctic of 7.7°C or 13.86°F for March 31, 2019, 12:00 UTC.


The image below shows that El Niño can be expected to push temperatures up higher in 2019 during the Arctic sea ice retreat.

A warmer sea surface can cause winds to grow dramatically stronger, and they can push warm, moist air into the Arctic, while they can also speed up sea currents that carry warm, salty water into the Arctic Ocean.

Rivers can also carry huge amounts of warm water from North America and Siberia into the Arctic Ocean, as these areas are getting hit by ever stronger heatwaves that are hitting the Arctic earlier in the year.

With Arctic sea ice at a low, it won't be able to act as a buffer to absorb heat for long, with the danger that an influx of warm, salty water will reach the seafloor and trigger methane eruptions.

As warmer water keeps flowing into the Arctic Ocean and as air temperatures in the Arctic are now starting to rise on the back of a strengthening El Niño, fears for a Blue Ocean Event in 2019 are rising, which would further accelerate the temperature rise as less sunlight gets reflected back into space.

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

Links

• Arctic sea ice extent
https://ads.nipr.ac.jp/vishop/#/extent

• Climate Reanalyzer
https://climatereanalyzer.org

• ENSO Update by Climate Prediction Center / NCEP 25 March 2019
https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf

• Blue Ocean Event
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2018/09/blue-ocean-event.html

• Climate Plan
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/climateplan.html


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