Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Great Unraveling

The great unraveling of how climate catastrophe is unfolding on land and in the oceans, in the atmosphere and the cryosphere, is becoming more and more clear every month.

March 2015 temperatures were the highest for March in the 136-year period of record. NOAA analysis shows that the average temperature across global land and ocean surface temperatures combined for March 2015 was 0.85°C (1.53°F) higher than the 20th century average of 12.7°C (54.9°F).

Ocean temperature anomalies on the Northern Hemisphere for March 2015 were the highest on record. In many ways, the situation looks set to get worse. For the 12-month period from April to March, data from 1880 contain a trendline that points at a rise of 2 degrees Celsius by the year 2032, as illustrated by the image below.

Click on image to enlarge
The rise in Northern Hemisphere ocean temperatures was especially profound in September and October 2014, when methane started to erupt from the Arctic Ocean seafloor in huge quantities.

The image below shows a polynomial trendline pointing at an October Northern Hemisphere sea surface temperature anomaly rise of 2°C (3.6°F) by 2030, and a rise of more than 5°C (9°F) by 2050, compared to the 20th century average, from an earlier post.
From: Ocean Temperature Rise continues
The images below give an idea of the current sea surface temperature anomalies around North America.

On April 11, 2015, a sea surface temperature of 22.2°C (71.96°F) was recorded off the North
American coast (green circle bottom), a 12.6°C (22.68°F) anomaly (green circle top).

Ocean heat is carried by the Gulf Stream from the North Atlantic into the Arctic Ocean. The huge amounts of energy entering the oceans translate into higher temperatures of the water and of the air over the water, as well as higher waves and stronger winds.

The image below highlights waves and winds, showing that waves as high as 12.06 m (39.57 ft) were recorded off the coast of North America in the path of the Gulf Stream, while winds with speeds as high as 115 km/h (71.46 mph) were recorded in that area on April 17, 2015.

The combination image below illustrates the threat. A sea surface temperature of 8°C (46.4°F, green circle left) was recorded near Svalbard on April 17, 2015, an anomaly of 6.2°C (11.16°F, green circle right).

Click on image to enlarge
A continued rise of ocean temperatures on the Northern Hemisphere threatens to unleash huge eruptions of methane from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean, further accelerating the temperature rise in the Arctic and escalating into runaway global warming.

Malcolm Light comments: "The Pacific heating must be caused by the southward spreading Arctic methane global warming veil that is able to penetrate through a giant hole in the hydroxyl and ozone layer over the far east and is moving eastwards."

Current methane levels remain extremely high (see this recent post), on track to break the record mean level of 1839 ppb (parts per billion) reached in September 2014.

Above image shows that the highest mean methane levels ranged from 1815 ppb on March 30, 2015, to 1828 ppb on April 17, 2015. The highest peak level during this period was 2483 ppb, reached on April 15, 2015.

The extremely high methane levels are undoubtedly contributing to the high temperatures reached in March, especially at higher latitudes, on top of the dramatic global rise of greenhouse gases in general, as illustrated by above contribution by Peter Carter.

Above image shows that temperature anomalies over much of the Arctic Ocean were at the top end of the scale on April 17, 2015, i.e. 20°C or 36°F.

The image below gives an idea of the temperature differences on April 17, 215. While temperatures over the Sahara in Africa were as high as 32.1°C (89.78°F), temperatures over Greenland were as low as -41°C (-41.8°F). In between, temperatures of 2.8°C (37.04°) were recorded over the waters near Svalbard and of 6.1°C (42.98°F) closer to the coast of Norway.

Such wide temperature differences highlight the importance of looking at peaks, rather than at averages. The year-to-date maximum sea surface temperature anomaly, up to April 18, 2015, gives an idea of the peak anomalies that can be expected as the hot season approaches on the Northern Hemisphere.

Below are details for March 2015.

Temperature anomalies as high as 10.2°C (or 18.3°F) were recorded for March 2015 on Kolguyev Island in the Barents Sea.

A rise in ocean temperatures on the Northern Hemisphere of 2°C (3.6°F) by October 2030 looks set to go hand in hand with a 6°C (10.8°F) rise in Arctic temperatures by 2030, fueling runaway global warming, as illustrated by the image below, from another earlier post.

Without action, similar temperature rises look set to hit the globe at large a dozen years later, accompanied by huge temperature swings that threaten to cause depletion of supply of food and fresh water, as discussed by Guy McPherson in the video below and illustrated by the image further below.

Guy McPherson (left) in discussion with Paul Beckwith (right)

From Methane Levels Early 2015

In conclusion, the situation is dire and calls for comprehensive and effective action, as discussed at the Climate Plan blog.

Sources and Related

- Ocean temperatures, NOAA

- Sea Surface Temperatures, from:
and from:

- Kolguyev Island temperature anomaly, from:

- Temperature anomaly April 17, 2015, Climate Reanalyzer

- Year-to-date maximum sea surface temperature anomaly April 18, 2015, from:

- Methane levels. NOAA IASI MetOp

- The Mechanism

- Three kinds of warming (temperature trendlines), from: Methane levels Early 2015

- Northern Hemisphere October Ocean Temperature Rise, from:

Ocean temperature anomalies on the Northern Hemisphere for March 2015 were the highest on record. In many ways, the...
Posted by Sam Carana on Saturday, April 18, 2015


  1. This will be my next translation to French project to appear on
    in about a week.
    Thanks again Sam for your excellent work. The more it goes, the more I realize how much dedication and knowledge you have.
    Keep it up and have an excellent week-end.
    I'm still hoping for a positive and soon to come reply from NASA. Have to cross my toes, my fingers have been quite busy lately. I'm almost done on another CC post for my French blog. I might finish it tonight if all goes well.

    1. Sam, I will be using a few or more of your images in my posts that won't be translated from yours. I will always give credit and acknowledge all I learned and am still learning from you. and Arctic News Hope it's ok with you.
      You're my climate mentor, I'd be lost without you.
      Thanks in advance in case I publish before you reply :-)
      Take care

    2. That should be fine Randomjack, thanks for your work,

  2. Just as cold water fish species cannot exist in the tropics nor tropical fish in the polar regions, this anomaly and the coming amplification will devestate ocean fish stocks from the phyto plankton right up to the large pelagic species.
    Being that phyto plankton produce 50% of the planetary oxygen and are the basis of the marine food web this morning we have more evidence that yesterday about the collapse of our ecosystem starting in our oceans.

  3. Antarctic News - Today, the temperature climbed up to 17,5°C in the Antarctic. Beating the previous record by a full 2,5°C! Holy Totten! Guess I just made myself a new expression for when I, fall of my armchair.
    On a side note, I saw the first comment I got for my French CC blog today: "Bravo et merci." That's a full load of motivational fuel I'm happy to share with you Sam.
    Here's a little translation exercise for you
    "Merci à Sam Carana de pour ses enseignements et pour son accord à l'utilisation d'images et de données provenant de son travail acharné. C'est aussi mon mentor en sciences climatiques et un modèle pour mes actions."
    Looks like this will be the top or end of page for all my future posts
    Have a nice day and thanks for... everything.

  4. My latest article on leclimatoblogue was reposted by someone having a large number of followers.
    It went up to 100 + in less than 6 hours
    I'm so happy about it I had to share with you my friend and mentor.
    Have a nice Earth day :-)