Showing posts with label sea ice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sea ice. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

High Temperatures October 2020


September 2020 was the warmest September in the NASA record that goes back to 1880. In the image, September 2020 temperatures are compared to 1951-1980.

Global warming is accelerating

Similarly, Copernicus reports that September 2020 global surface air temperature was the highest September temperature on record. The image below shows temperatures averaged over the twelve-month period from October 2019 to September 2020.

Keep in mind that anomalies in the NASA image are compared to 1951-1980, while in the Copernicus image, anomalies are compared to the 1981-2010 average. Anomalies are even higher when compared to pre-industrial levels, as discussed further below.

The Copernicus image shows that the shape of the global anomaly over the past twelve months is very similar to the peak reached around 2016. This confirms that global warming is accelerating, because the peak around 2016 was reached under El Niño conditions, whereas current temperatures are reached under La Niña conditions and while sunspots are at a low, both of which are suppressing temperatures, as discussed in a recent post

What causes this acceleration of the temperature rise?

James Hansen and Makiko Sato confirm that global warming is accelerating and they explore whether this acceleration could be caused by fast feedbacks and short-term natural variability such as the sunspot solar cycle, which they give an amplitude of some 0.25 W/m². James Hansen and Makiko Sato conclude that global warming is accelerating due to a less negative atmospheric aerosol forcing.

Indeed, sunspots cannot explain this acceleration, because we're currently in a sunspot low. 


El Niño/La Niña cannot explain this acceleration either, because we're currently experiencing La Niña conditions, as also illustrated by above NOAA image

Further causes could be explored. As the image below shows, more than 90% of global warming currently goes into oceans. 

[ see also earlier post ]

The two images below shows that high sea surface temperature anomalies feature on the Northern Hemisphere on October 22, 2020, with anomalies (from 1981-2011) as high as 10.2°C or 18.3°F (off the coast of North America). This is the more remarkable since, at the same time, low sea surface temperatures show up over the mid-Pacific, associated with La Niña (image right). 



Stratification may cause oceans to take up less heat and the more heat will remain in the troposphere, the faster the temperature of the troposphere will rise, as discussed in an earlier post

As discussed under feedback #25 at the feedbacks page, the atmosphere can be expected to carry more water vapor as temperatures rise. Since water vapor is a potent greenhouse gas, more water vapor in the atmosphere will contribute to global warming. 

More evaporation also brings more heat into the atmosphere, as illustrated by the image on the right, and more heat will also be transferred to the atmosphere as the area of open water increases in the Arctic Ocean.

Further acceleration of the temperature rise

[ from earlier post ]
Further acceleration of global warming looks set to occur over the next few years as sunspot activity increases and as El Niño conditions will return. 

In 2019, Tiar Dani et al. analyzed a number of studies and forecasts pointing at the maximum in the upcoming Solar Cycle occurring in the year 2023 or 2024.

This analysis, discussed in a recent post, found some variation in intensity between forecasts, adding images including the one on the right, which is based on linear regression and suggests that the Solar Cycle 25 may be higher than the previous Solar Cycle 24. 

The need to rapidly transition to clean, renewable energy 

The international treaty banning nuclear weapons has now been ratified by 50 countries and the treaty will come into force on 22 January 2021, making it illegal to stockpile, produce and use nuclear weapons from January 22, 2021.

The treaty complements the Paris Agreement, the Montreal Protocol and further international agreements that politicians should abide by.

Clean, renewable energy - key to world peace

In the year 1900, there were more electric cars on U.S. roads than gasoline cars. Solar panels were used on a satellite, launched by the US back in 1958. William Thomson proposed using heat pumps for space heating in 1852. The first electricity-generating wind turbine was invented in 1888 in Cleveland, Ohio by Charles Brush.

What has been holding up the innovation in clean, renewable energy technologies such as batteries, solar panels, wind turbines and heat pumps? What stood in the way was the disastrous turn that history took into fossil fuel and nuclear power. Historically, fossil fuel has been a source of conflict that blocked the road to progress. The key to progress and world peace is a rapid transition to clean, renewable energy.

Fossil fuel and control over its supply is behind much of the conflict and violence, as well as pollution that has infested the world for more than a century. Instead of continuing to use fossil fuel, the world must rapidly transition to the use wind turbines, geothermal power, solar power, wave power, and similar ways to generate clean, renewable energy, in combination with hydrogen and batteries and other ways to store energy.

Abundance of local clean, renewable energy

This transition to clean, renewable energy will remove much cause for conflict. Clean, renewable energy is available in abundance LOCALLY around the world (unlike fossil fuel) and the use of clean, renewable energy in one place doesn't exclude use of clean, renewable energy elsewhere.

Clean, renewable energy's numerous benefits

This transition also comes with greater energy security and reliability, next to its numerous further benefits, e.g. it will make more land and water available for growing food and it will generate better and more jobs and investment opportunities, and improve our health, in addition to the reductions in greenhouse gases that come with this transition.

Clean, renewable energy is also cheaper

Importantly, it is also more economic to use clean, renewable energy, so the transition will more than pay for itself as we go. The more prices of solar panels, batteries, heat pumps, etc. keep falling, and the more urgency there is to act on climate change, the more sense it makes to transition to clean, renewable energy as soon as possible. Innovation has resulted in a huge drop in the cost of generating and storing clean, renewable electricity. In the Lazard 2019 analysis of the cost of energy and storage, the unsubsidized cost of solar PV (thin film utility scale) was $US32-42/MWh, i.e. already lower than the cost of fossil fuel and nuclear, which ranged from $US44-199/MWh (see image). A recent tender for solar panels in Portugal received an offer equivalent to a price of $US13/MWh. 

Aerosols
 
Yet, while the transition to clean, renewable energy makes sense from so many perspectives, while it is absolutely necessary, and while it will reduce temperatures, this transition will not immediately result in lower overall temperatures, for a number of reasons. Maximum warming occurs about one decade after a carbon dioxide emission, so the full warming wrath of the carbon dioxide emissions over the past ten years is still to come, as discussed at the extinction page. Even with dramatic cuts in emissions, temperatures will not fall as long as levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere remain high. Additionally, sulfate cooling loss will further increase temperatures, as the world progresses with the necessary transition to the use of clean, renewable electricity. So, additional action is needed! 

A rapid, steep temperature rise

The danger is that a rapid and steep temperature rise will be triggered by a combination of elements such as El Niño, sunspots, oceans taking up less heat and changes to aerosols such as further sulfate cooling loss. 

The potential for such a rapid, steep temperature rise is also illustrated by the image below, posted in February 2019 and showing a potential total rise of 18°C or 32.4°F from 1750 by the year 2026.

[ from earlier post ]

A rapid, steep temperature rise would be felt most strongly in the Arctic, causing albedo loss, emissions and transfer of heat from ocean to atmosphere that would all hit the Arctic most strongly, thus further speeding up the temperature rise, as also illustrated by the image below. 


As discussed in an earlier post, a rise of more than 5°C could happen within a decade, possible by 2026. Humans will likely go extinct with a 3°C rise and most life on Earth will disappear with a 5°C rise. 

[ from earlier post ]

Arctic Sea Ice

Meanwhile, temperatures in the Arctic have been very high, as illustrated by the image below showing air temperature in the Arctic up to October 12, 2020 (red line). 


For some time, Arctic sea ice exent has been at a record low for the time of year, as illustrated by the image below, showing the situation on October 20, 2020. 


For some time, sea ice area has also been at a record low for the time of year, as illustrated by the image below, showing the situation up to October 22, 2020.


Arctic sea ice volume has been very low, as illustrated by the image below showing volume up to September 30, 2020. 


As the image below shows, there was a lot of open water north of Greenland on October 23, 2020.


The image below, showing land outlines, is added for reference purposes. See also further images at this facebook post.


Temperature anomalies over the Arctic Ocean remain high. The image below shows a forecast for November 8, 2020 12Z. Very high temperature anomalies are visible over the Arctic Ocean, in particular over the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, while the Arctic as a whole shows an anomaly of 6.1°C compared to 1979-2000.


These high temperature anomalies reflect overheating of the Arctic Ocean with the sea ice no longer acting as a buffer to consume heat.

Furthermore, these high temperatures in October and November 2020 reduce the chances that sea ice will build up much thickness over the next few months, meaning there will be little or no buffer to consume incoming heat as temperatures start to rise again early next year. 

Without such a buffer, and with greater odds of high temperatures at the start of the melting season, the threat increases of destabilization of methane hydrates contained in sediments at the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean. 

Meanwhile, the temperature of the ocean on the Northern Hemisphere keeps increasing, as illustrated by the image below, from an earlier post


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, as discussed in many earlier posts such as this one, which featured a forecast for March 31, 2019, with a temperature anomaly for the Arctic of 7.7°C or 13.86°F and local anomalies approaching 30°C or 54°F higher than 1979-2000.

So, the odds are increasing that very high temperatures will hit the Arctic at the start of the melting season, further increasing the threat of destabilization of methane hydrates contained in sediments at the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean. 

The Methane Threat

On October 26, 2020 pm, the NetOp-1 satellite recorded methane levels as high as 2537 ppb. 

Where did such high levels originate? The animation shows areas solidly magenta-colored and indicating high methane levels to first appear over the East Siberian Arctic Shelf close to sea level, and to grow larger and cover more of the Arctic Ocean at higher altitudes. 

As discussed repeatedly in earlier posts such as this one and as illustrated by the image below, from a recent post, methane levels are rising most strongly at higher altitudes. 

[ from earlier post ]

As discussed in a 2017 post, methane eruptions from the Arctic Ocean can be missed by measuring stations that are located on land and that often take measurements at low altitude, thus missing the methane that rises in plumes from the Arctic Ocean. Since seafloor methane is rising in plumes, it hardly shows up on satellite images at lower altitude either, as the methane is very concentrated inside the area of the plume, while little or no increase in methane levels is taking place outside the plume. Since the plume will cover less than half the area of one pixel, such a plume doesn't show up well at low altitudes on satellite images.

Over the poles, the Troposphere doesn't reach the heights it does over the tropics. At higher altitudes, methane will follow the Tropopause, i.e. the methane will rise in altitude while moving closer to the Equator.

Methane rises from the Arctic Ocean concentrated in plumes, pushing away the aerosols and gases that slow down the rise of methane elsewhere, which enables methane erupting from the Arctic Ocean to rise straight up fast and reach the stratosphere. Since little hydroxyl is present in the atmosphere over the Arctic, it is much harder for this methane to be broken down. 

What further makes the rise of methane at these high altitudes very worrying is that once methane does reach the stratosphere, it can remain there for a long time. The IPCC in 2013 (AR5) gave methane a lifetime of 12.4 years. The IPCC in 2001 (TAR) gave stratospheric methane a lifetime of 120 years, adding that less than 7% of methane did reach the stratosphere.

Conclusion

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


Links

• Copernicus - Surface air temperature for September 2020
https://climate.copernicus.eu/surface-air-temperature-september-2020

• NASA - Temperature anomalies September 2020
https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/maps/index.html

• September 2020 Global Temperature Update - by James Hansen
http://www.columbia.edu/~mhs119/Temperature/Emails/September2020.pdf

• Accelerated Global Warming (14 October 2020) - by James Hansen and Makiko Sato
http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2020/20201014_AcceleratedWarming.pdf

• NOAA - Global monthly temperature anomalies, with ENSO status
https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/202009/supplemental/page-4

• ENSO: Recent Evolution, Current Status and Predictions - NOAA, October 12, 2020
https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf

• Danish Meteorological Institute - Arctic temperature
http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

• Climate reanalyzer
https://climatereanalyzer.org

• Cryospherecomputing - by Nico Sun 
http://cryospherecomputing.tk

• Arctic sea ice extent - Vishop, Arctic Data archive System, National Institute of Polar Research, Japan 
https://ads.nipr.ac.jp/vishop/#/extent

• Portugal’s second solar PV tender sets new world record low price

• Lazard 2019 analysis of the cost of energy and storage 
https://www.lazard.com/perspective/lcoe2019

• UN Secretary-General's Spokesman - on the occasion of the 50th ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons 
https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/statement/2020-10-24/un-secretary-generals-spokesman-the-occasion-of-the-50th-ratification-of-the-treaty-the-prohibition-of-nuclear-weapons

• Temperatures threaten to become unbearable
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2020/09/temperatures-threaten-to-become-unbearable.html 

• Methane Hydrates Tipping Point threatens to get crossed
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2017/04/10c-or-18f-warmer-by-2021.html

• A Global Temperature Rise Of More than Ten Degrees Celsius By 2026?

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

North Hole 2020?

Will there be open water at the North Pole in August 2020?


Above images show, on the left, sea surface temperatures on August 4, 2020, with a forecast on the right for August 9, 2020.

On the image at the left, the center of the Arctic Basin (pale-blue) still has a sea surface temperature below 0°C (or 32°F).

Around that pale-blue area is a blue area where sea surface temperatures are 0 to 2°C (or 32 to 35.6°F).

Seawater will freeze and stay frozen at about −2 °C (28 °F). The sea surface of the Arctic Ocean contains less salt, so the sea ice will stay frozen longer, even as temperatures rise, but it will melt at 0°C (or 32°F).

As the images show, the blue area where sea surface temperatures are at or above 0°C (or 32°F), is encroaching upon the pale-blue area at the center of the Arctic Basin, and appears to reach the North Pole at August 9, 2020.

Hat-tip to Albert Kallio for pointing at this.

Above combination image shows the running twelve-month averages of global-mean (top) and European-mean (bottom) surface air temperature anomalies relative to 1981-2010, based on monthly values from January 1979 to July 2020.

The shape of current anomalies is very similar to the peak reached around 2016. This in itself is alarming and it is even more alarming since the peak around 2016 was reached under El Niño conditions, whereas the July 2020 temperature was reached under ENSO-neutral conditions, as the image below illustrates.


The image below shows surface temperatures as high as 6.1°C or 42.9°F north of Greenland for August 7, 2020, with wind coming from the south-east.


The image below shows sea surface temperatures as high as 2.2°C or 36°F north of Greenland on August 7, 2020.


The image below shows Arctic sea ice volume, with the black line showing volume in 2020, up to August 12, 2020.
The dramatic decline of the sea ice becomes even more evident when looking at the fall in thickness. The navy.mil animation below was run on August 11, 2020, and shows sea ice thickness over 30 days (last 8 frames are forecasts for August 12 - August 19, 2020).


16°C (or 60.8°F) at northern tip of Greenland

The temperature was 16°C (or 60.8°F) on August 7, 2020, 10:00 am, at Kap Morris Jesup, at the northern tip of Greenland. The lowest temperature at Kap Morris Jesup over the past few days (i.e. from July 27 Jul 1:00 am — August 11, 1:00 am) was 0°C, i.e. on August 6, 2020, 7:00 pm. The average temperature at Kap Morris Jesup over this period was 8°C (or 46.4°F).

Remember that above 0°C, ice will melt. The water temperature of the Arctic Ocean underneath the sea ice is warmer, and this has been melting the sea ice from below. There still is a (rapidly thinning and shrinking) layer of sea ice at the surface of the Arctic Ocean, because until recently, air temperatures had remained low enough to maintain it, while it also takes time for the ice to melt. As long as there is ice, the heat will be consumed by the process of melting - once the ice is gone, temperatures will rise even more rapidly.

Relative humidity over this period was 69%, which means there was quite a bit of rain as well, further speeding up the melting.

The image below shows the ice at the northern tip of Greenland on August 6, 2020.


The image below shows ocean surface temperatures, with very high anomalies showing up where the sea ice has disappeared.


Above image also shows that the Arctic Ocean in many places is very shallow, which means that heat can quickly reach sediments at the seafloor, threatening to destabilize methane hydrates.

Methane levels are very high at the moment, the MetOp-1 sattelite recorded a mean methane level of 1917 ppb at 293 mb on August 4, 2020 pm, with high methane levels visible over the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS).
High methane levels were recorded over the Arctic Ocean by the MetOp-1 satellite on the morning of August 8, 2020, at 469 mb.

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


Links

• Danish Meteorological Institute - 5 Day Ocean Forecast - Universal (Greenwich) Time
http://ocean.dmi.dk/anim/index.uk.php

• Danish Meteorological Institute - sea ice thickness and volume
http://polarportal.dk/en/sea-ice-and-icebergs/sea-ice-thickness-and-volume

• Copernicus - Surface air temperature for July 2020
https://climate.copernicus.eu/surface-air-temperature-july-2020

• NOAA - ENSO: Recent Evolution, Current Status and Predictions - August 3, 2020
https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf

• Temperature at Kap Morris Jesup, the northern tip of Greenland
https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/@3421844/historic

• NASA Worldview image of northern tip of Greenland, August 6, 2020

Monday, July 27, 2020

Arctic sea ice could disappear completely within two months' time

Arctic sea ice fell by 3.239 million km² in extent in 25 days (i.e. from July 1 to 25, 2020). Melting will likely continue for another two months. If it continues on its current trajectory, the remaining 6.333 million km² of Arctic sea ice could disappear completely within two months' time.


The fall in extent over the next two months' time may not remain as as steep as it was in July, yet the sea ice still could disappear completely. One reason for this is that, over the years, sea ice thickness has been declining even faster than extent. The rapid decline in sea ice thickness is illustrated by the sequence of images below.


The image on the right further illustrates that sea ice is getting very thin, which threatens the latent heat tipping point to get crossed. 

Sea currents and the Coriolis force will make that the influx of warm, salty water into the Arctic Ocean will continue. With no buffer of sea ice left underneath the surface of the sea ice to absorb incoming ocean heat, more heat will accumulate in the Arctic Ocean, threatening that the methane hydrates tipping point will get crossed.

The navy.mil animation below was run on August 3, 2020, and shows sea ice thickness over 30 days (last 8 frames are forecasts for August 4 - August 11, 2020). 


Here's another indication that the buffer is disappearing fast. North of Greenland and of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, less than 700 km from the North Pole, the sea ice is disappearing, precisely where the thickest sea ice used to be located. 


High greenhouse gas levels are causing high temperatures over the Arctic and high ocean temperatures. 


On July 25, 2020, sea surface temperatures in the Arctic Ocean were as high as 20.8°C or 69.4°F (at the green circle on above image).


At that same location, on July 22, 2020, sea surface temperatures in the Arctic Ocean were as much as 17°C or 30.5°F higher than the daily average during the years 1981-2011. 

This location is where the Pechora River flows into the Barents Sea (the green circle pointed at by the white arrow on above image).

Distortion of the jet stream is causing more extreme weather, resulting in the recent lengthy heatwave over Siberia that has heated up the water of rivers flowing into the Arctic Ocean.

A cyclone was visible over the Arctic Ocean on July 28, 2020, as illustrated by the image on the right. 

Underneath on the right is a forecast for August 7, 2020, showing rain over the North Pole. 

In summary, Arctic sea ice may disappear completely over the next two months, and there are at least six reasons why this could occur:
• Low Arctic sea ice extent;
• Low Arctic sea ice thickness;
• High ocean temperature;
• High greenhouse gas levels;
• High temperatures over the Arctic;
• Distorted jet stream causing extreme weather such as storms that can break up the sea ice. 
As the image below shows, sea surface temperatures in the Arctic Ocean on August 1, 2020, were as much as 11.5°C or 20.7°F higher than 1981-2011 (at green circle, off the coast of Siberia, opposite Greenland). 


Ominously, the MetOp-1 satellite recorded peak methane levels of 2933 ppb, at 469 mb, on the afternoon of July 30, 2020.

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


Links

• NSIDC Arctic sea ice
http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews

• Polar Portal - sea ice volume
http://polarportal.dk/en/sea-ice-and-icebergs/sea-ice-thickness-and-volume

• NASA Worldview
https://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov

• Arctic Hit By Ten Tipping Points
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2020/04/arctic-hit-by-ten-tipping-points.html

• Fast Path to Extinction
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2020/06/fast-path-to-extinction.html

• 2020 Siberian Heatwave continues
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2020/06/2020-siberian-heatwave-continues.html

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



Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Arctic Sea Ice at Record Low for Time of Year

As temperatures keep rising, should the IPCC raise the alarm?


Some 1,750 jurisdictions in 30 countries have now declared a climate emergency, according to this post dated July 8, 2020. The United Nations does acknowledge the Climate Emergency, but its description is sourced from the IPCC Global Warming of 1.5°C report that was approved back in 2018. A lot has happened since, as described in many posts at Arctic-news. When a state of emergency is declared, doesn't one expect such a declaration to result in action, complete with updates on the effectiveness of the action?

Described below are some events taking place right now.

Arctic Sea Ice at Record Low for Time of Year

Arctic sea ice looks set to reach an all-time record low in September 2020.


In an earlier post, Paul Beckwith describes a Blue Ocean Event (BOE) and some of the consequences of the changes taking place in the Arctic. A BOE occurs when sea ice extent gets below 1 million km², which is important regarding the amount of sunlight absorbed/reflected in the Arctic (albedo feedback).

[ from earlier post ]
Arctic sea ice extent on July 20, 2020, was well below the minimum of the 1979-1990 average (the orange line among the blue lines on the image below).


If it continues on its current trajectory, Arctic sea ice may well be gone altogether in September 2020.


A BOE is one of the many tipping points that threaten to get crossed in the Arctic.

[ click on images to enlarge ]
As illustrated by the image on the right, sea ice is getting very thin, which threatens the latent heat tipping point to be crossed, meaning there is no buffer of sea ice left underneath the surface of the sea ice to absorb ocean heat.

Furthermore, the temperature rise in the Arctic is accelerating and the Arctic Ocean is getting very hot, threatening that the methane hydrates tipping point will get crossed.

The navy.mil animation below run on July 20, 2020, shows the fall in sea ice thickness over 30 days (last 8 frames are forecasts for July 21-28, 2020).


The combination image below illustrates the speed at which Arctic sea ice is disappearing, with sea ice thickness shown in meters from left to right at June 1, June 18, July 1 and July 18, 2020.


Meanwhile, fires and smoke are visible at a distance of as little as 1970 km or 1224 miles from the North Pole.


The image below shows open water on the edge of the sea ice, north of Greenland and the Canadian Archipelago, where the thickest sea ice used to be located.



Alarming acceleration of heating continues

The image below shows the global temperature rise through to June 2020.
[ click on images to enlarge ]
The red trend supports fears that the 2°C above preindustrial threshold has already been crossed this year, while loss of the aerosol masking effect and an emerging El Niño could trigger a huge further temperature rise.

Global temperature anomalies are typically lower in June (yellow circles) than the annual anomaly. The Copernicus image below shows twelve-month averages of global-mean surface air temperature anomalies relative to 1981-2010.

The shape of current anomalies is very similar to the peak reached around 2016. This is alarming because the peak around 2016 was reached under El Niño conditions, whereas the current temperatures are reached under conditions that are leaning toward La Niña, as illustrated by the images below.


In conclusion, one may wonder how much stronger the temperature rise will be once El Niño conditions do arrive.

[ click on images to enlarge ]
Furthermore, one may wonder how much current temperatures are elevated by a decrease in emissions due to COVID-19 restrictions, which in turn makes one wonder how much higher the temperature will be when the aerosol masking effect will fall away even further as the world phases out coal-fired power plants, bunker oil for shipping, etc. Guy McPherson concludes that a 1°C rise in global-average temperature will occur within a few days or weeks after industrial activity is reduced by as little as 20%.

Very high sea surface temperature anomalies in the Arctic Ocean

Sea surface temperature anomalies in the Arctic Ocean are very high. As discussed in a recent post, sea surface temperatures in the Bering Strait were as much as 15.1°C or 27.2°F hotter than 1981-2011 on June 20, 2020 (in Norton Sound, Alaska, at the green circle).



As the image below shows, the sea surface temperature at green circle used to be 0.3°C (32.6°F). It was 12°C (53.6°F) on July 18, 2020.


Much of the Arctic Ocean is quite shallow, making that the water can warm up very quickly during summer heat peaks and heat can reach the seafloor, which comes with the risk that heat will penetrate cracks in sediments at the seafloor. Melting of ice in such cracks can lead to abrupt destabilization of methane hydrates contained in sediments.

Very high peak methane levels

Ominously, as the 2020 Siberian heatwave continues, very high peak methane levels show up over the Arctic Ocean. The NOAA 20 satellite recorded a peak methane level of 2728 ppb at 399 mb on the afternoon of July 16, 2020.


The MetOp-1 satellite recorded a peak methane level of 2726 ppb on the afternoon of July 16, 2020. Also, a mean methane level of 1897 ppb was recorded at 469 mb and a mean methane level of 1908 ppb at 293 mb.

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


Links

• Arctic Data archive System
https://ads.nipr.ac.jp/vishop/vishop-extent.html

• Polar Portal - sea ice volume
http://polarportal.dk/en/sea-ice-and-icebergs/sea-ice-thickness-and-volume

• Fast Path to Extinction
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2020/06/fast-path-to-extinction.html

• NASA Worldview
https://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov

• Surface air temperature for June 2020
https://climate.copernicus.eu/surface-air-temperature-june-2020

• ENSO: Recent Evolution, Current Status and Predictions - NOAA, July 6, 2020
https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf

• Arctic Hit By Ten Tipping Points
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2020/04/arctic-hit-by-ten-tipping-points.html

• The Myth of Sustainability - by Guy McPherson
https://opastonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/the-myth-of-sustainability-eesrr-20.pdf

• 2020 Siberian Heatwave continues
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2020/06/2020-siberian-heatwave-continues.html

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