Thursday, January 30, 2014

Forecast: America to be hit by temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees

The image on the right shows that large parts of North America, the Arctic Ocean and Siberia are experiencing low temperatures.

What many people may not realize is that temperatures in the Arctic are actually a lot higher than they used to be around this time of year.

Temperatures in the Arctic have risen due to feedbacks as described in the post The Biggest Story of 2013.

As a result, temperature anomalies above 20 degrees Celsius now feature in the Arctic. As the image on the right illustrates, the once-common temperature difference between the Arctic and lower latitudes has been shattered, and this is weakening the Jet Stream and the Polar Vortex, in turn making it easier for cold air to flow down to lower latitudes and for warmer air to enter the Arctic, as described in posts at this blog for years, e.g. this post.

This is illustrated by the image below, showing that the Arctic is hit by an overall temperature anomaly of 6.55 degrees Celsius, while some areas in the Arctic feature anomalies above 20 degrees Celsius.

Forecasts show that on February 2nd, 2014, 1200 UTC, the Arctic will be hit by a temperature anomaly of 7.85 degrees Celsius, while on February 6th, 2014, 1200 UTC, the U.S. will be hit by temperatures as low as -40 degrees, as illustrated by the image below.

The video below shows temperature forecasts from February 1to February 8, 2014.

The video below shows temperatire anomalies from February 2 to February 9, 2014.

Meanwhile, the Gulf Stream keeps pushing warm water into the Arctic Ocean, as illustrated by the image below.

Click on image to enlarge - view updated animation at 
The image below shows how high sea surface temperature anomalies stretch out from the point where the Gulf Stream travels at high speeds, off the coast of North America, all the way into the Arctic Ocean.

This has already resulted in methane eruptions from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean that started several months ago and are continuing to date - ominous signs of more to come. The image below, which compares peak methane levels at two altitudes between January 2013 and January 2014, suggests that January 2014 peak levels have increased strongly, compared to January 2013 peak levels. Furthermore, that the rise in average peak readings has been most dramatic at the higher altitude.

This suggests that huge quantities of methane have indeed been released from hydrates under the Arctic ocean, and that much of the methane is rising and building up at higher altitudes. The increasing appearance of noctilucent clouds further confirms indications that methane concentrations are rising at higher altitudes.

Of course, the above analysis uses a limited dataset, but if verified by further analysis, it would confirm a dramatic rise in the presence of methane in the atmosphere due to releases from hydrates. Moreover, it would confirm the immensity of threat that releases from the Arctic Ocean will escalate and trigger runaway warming, as high methane concentrations over the Arctic are contributing to the anomalously high temperatures there. The risk that this will eventuate is unacceptable, which calls for comprehensive and effective action such as discussed at the ClimatePlan blog.


  1. Thank you Sam, for this great post. I really had to give a second look - as a person which isn't used to follow the arctic weather patterns - to see the huge difference in the temperature gradient in the northern hemisphere.
    Meanwhile, the antarctic region "only" shows a temperature anomaly of +0.8°C. It would be interesting, though, to analyse why there is such a big difference between the situation in the arctic and the antarctic region. Is it the albedo effect of the preserved antarctic ice shield, which still allows to maintain a "normal" convection pattern in the southern hemisphere?

    1. From Paul Beckwith:
      Published on Jan 27, 2014
      I explain how declining Arctic sea ice is causing Australia to bake and Antarctic sea ice to grow. Animations used are Southern Hemisphere temperature anomalies, temperatures, jet steams, sea surface temperature and precipitation.

    2. Thanks Frank, Paul's video was already added at Paul's post Our New Climate and Weather - part 2

    3. In addition to Paul's comments, there's the point that global warming causes more evaporation of seawater and sunsequent precipitation getting deposited on the heights of Antarctica in the form of snow and ice, causing additional pressure and moving ice into the sea at the bottom of the mountains.

      Note also that a lot of the snow and ice can also melt at the top of the mountains, and due to the larger quantities, this can cause greater differences in pressure, which can cause hydrates to destabilize and release methane.

  2. Good work. Please keep up the real news weather reporting.

  3. This is not unknown I think. Why and how is Canada spending 30 billion to build ships to patrol the Arctic? We only have 30 million people here and that includes children. That is 1,000.00 dollars per person. It didn't make sense till now!!

    1. Do you think that it is because they know and have known for some time that the sea lanes are opening up there permanently and they will have protect their shores up there? I understand the USA Navy has been planning how to use these sea lanes in the near future.

  4. At last science is awakening to the fact that we [life] are going to be destroyed by double edged sword of sudden peak and fall of temperature. I have been calling attention to the Principle and Design on which nature functions to sustain the temperature on earth and how we humans are interfering into earth’s functioning and inviting destruction.