Monday, July 8, 2019

Alaska On Fire

Fires are raging over Alaska. The satellite image below shows the situation on July 8, 2019.


The satellite image below shows the situation on July 9, 2019.


The image below shows carbon monoxide levels as high as 43,443 ppb over Alaska on July 8, 2019.


Carbon dioxide levels were as high as 561 ppm over that same spot in Alaska on July 8, 2019. Carbon dioxide levels were as high as 888 ppm on July 10, 2019, as the image below shows.


The image below shows a forecast for July 10, 2019, with temperatures forecast to be as high as 35.5°C or 95.8°F.


What causes such extreme weather events to occur?

The Arctic has been heating up faster than the rest of the world, due to self-reinforcing feedback loops such as the decline of the snow and ice cover in the Arctic, which results in less sunlight getting reflected back into space and more sunlight instead getting absorbed in the Arctic.

As the image on the right shows, sea surface temperatures in the Bering Sea were as high as 19.8°C or 67.64°F on June 21, 2019.

As the image underneath shows, sea surface temperatures in the Bering Sea were as high as 21.6°C or 70.88°F on July 15, 2019.

Warm water from rivers flowing into the Bering Strait have contributed to some of the high temperatures of the water near the coast of Alaska.

Furthermore, as the June 21, 2019, image below shows, sea surface temperature anomalies have also been high around Alaska further away from the coast.

Indeed, more than 90% of the extra energy caused by humans goes into oceans, and sea currents carry a lot of this extra heat toward the Arctic Ocean.

As a result, ocean temperatures have been high for some time around Alaska.

The image below shows sea surface temperature anomalies around Alaska on June 21, 2019.


Another feedback is that, as the Arctic heats up faster than the rest of the world, the jet stream becomes more wavy, making it easier for cold air to flow out of the Arctic to the south and for warm air from the south to enter the Arctic. These changes to the jet stream also cause stronger storms to occur in the Arctic and more water vapor to enter the atmosphere. All this further contributes to more heating to occur in the Arctic and more extreme weather events.

Heatwaves also cause more forest fires to occur in Alaska, and these forest fires are causing large amounts of soot to get deposited on mountains and on sea ice, thus further blackening the surface. More generally, the Arctic is getting more deposits of soot and dust, as well as stronger growth of algae, moss and microbes, all further speeding up the demise of the snow and ice cover in the Arctic.

The image below shows sea surface temperature anomalies around Alaska on July 11, 2019, with an anomaly of 7.7°C or 13.8°F compared to 1981-2011 showing up north of Alaska in the Arctic Ocean. The light blue areas indicate sea surface that is colder, due to heavy melting of the sea ice in those areas.


The image below shows a deformed jet stream (forecast for July 9, 2019) that enables hot air from the south to move over Alaska.


from an earlier post (2014)  
Heatwaves and forest fires are symptoms of the rapid heating that is taking place in the Arctic. Self-reinforcing feedback loops further accelerate heating in the Arctic and just one of them, seafloor methane, threatens to cause runaway heating.

Just the existing carbon dioxide and methane, plus seafloor methane releases, would suffice to trigger the clouds feedback tipping point to be crossed that by itself could push up global temperatures by 8°C, within a matter of years, as the image below shows.


As described on above image and in an earlier post, huge amounts of methane could be released from destabilizing hydrates contained in sediments at the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean. Such releases could be triggered by strong winds causing an influx of warm, salty water into the Arctic ocean, as described in an earlier post and discussed in the 2017 video below.



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


Links

• Extreme weather
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/extreme-weather.html

• Feedbacks in the Arctic
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/feedbacks.html

• When Will We Die?
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/06/when-will-we-die.html

• Warning of mass extinction of species, including humans, within one decade
http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2017/02/warning-of-mass-extinction-of-species-including-humans-within-one-decade.html

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



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