What is the story behind these extreme weather events? The image below tells the story. The Arctic has been much warmer than it used to be, due to numerous feedbacks that accelerate warming in the Arctic. This reduces the temperature differential between the Arctic and lower latitudes, which changes the Jet Stream and Polar Vortex, in turn making the weather at many places ever more extreme.
|earlier forecasts by cci-reanalyzer.org|
Arctic sea ice has meanwhile reached record lows, as illustrated by the image below.
The situation can be expected to get even worse. The image below shows sea ice extent, as measured by the NSIDC, which is one day ahead compared to above image.
Below, two regular contributors to the Arctic-news blog comment on the situation.
In the video below, Paul Beckwith discusses the above sign and the situation in general.
Dr. Malcolm Light, Earth Scientist, comments:
Below is a comparison of methane readings for the week from February 9 to 16, 2014, compared to the same period in 2013.
The comparison shows that there is a lot of methane over the Arctic Ocean that wasn't there last year. Furthermore, high methane readings show up where currents move the sea ice out of the Arctic Ocean, in areas such as Baffin Bay. This indicates that methane that is released from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean appears to be moving underneath the ice and entering the atmopshere where the sea ice is fractured or thin enough to allow the methane to pass through.
Also note that more orange areas show up on the southern hemisphere in 2014, indicating that more methane from the northern hemisphere is now spreading south beyond the equator. This in addition to indications that more methane is rising and building up at higher altitudes, as discussed in an earlier post.
As said before, the situation calls for comprehensive and effective action, as discussed at the Climate Plan blog.