Monday, May 13, 2024

Temperature rise may soon accelerate even more

The April 2024 temperature was 1.32°C higher than 1951-1980, as illustrated by the above image, created with NASA content. Local anomalies are as high as 6.2°C.

The April 2024 temperature was 1.62°C higher than 1900-1930, as illustrated by the above image, created with NASA content. The red line highlights acceleration of the temperature rise (Lowess Smoothing). 

The image below, created with NOAA content, uses a LOESS filter (green line) to highlight the recent acceleration in the temperature rise of the ocean. In this case, the temperature anomaly is calculated versus a 1901-2000 base. 

[ click on images to enlarge ]

The temperature anomaly is even higher when calculated from a pre-industrial base. The image below, created with NASA content, shows that the February 2024 temperature was 1.76°C above 1885-1915, and potentially 2.75°C above pre-industrial (bright yellow inset right). 

[ from earlier post ]

The image below, created with NASA content, shows Land+Ocean monthly mean global temperature anomalies versus a 1900-1923 custom base, further adjusted by 0.99°C to reflect ocean air temperatures, higher polar anomalies and a pre-industrial base. 

[ from earlier post ]
The above image shows a magenta trend that points at the temperature crossing 3°C above pre-industrial later this year (2024). What could be behind such a steep rise? 

Have Feedbacks taken over? 

In April 2024, El Niño conditions were still dominant. Sea surface temperatures have been extremely high recently. The correlation between El Niño and temperature anomalies (from 1901-2000) is illustrated by the image below, created with NOAA content.

[ click on images to enlarge ]

As illustrated by the image below, created with NOAA content, El Niño conditions are no longer dominant. Instead, neutral conditions now prevail and La Niña conditions may develop as early as June-August 2024 (49% chance) or one month later, i.e. July-September (69% chance). 

The extremely high recent temperatures and the trends depicted in the images further above raise the question as to what the underlying driver is, given that we're no longer in an El Niño. Indeed, the question is whether feedbacks have taken over as the main driver causing the temperature rise to further accelerate. 

As mentioned above, the February 2024 temperature could be as much as 2.75°C higher than pre-industrial. The extinction page points out that a 2.75°C rise corresponds with almost ⅕ more water vapor in the atmosphere. This increase in water vapor in the atmosphere is a self-reinforcing feedback loop, since water vapor is a powerful greenhouse gas, further accelerating the temperature rise.

There is no single feedback that could cause the recent steep rise of temperatures and its acceleration, instead there are numerous non-linear, self-amplifying feedback loops that can all contribute, interact and start to kick in with greater ferocity, amplifying and further accelerating the rise. 

Such feedbacks do include more water vapor, as said, as well as stronger wind, waves and storms, more ocean stratification, faster loss of sea ice, faster loss of reflectivity of clouds and more freshwater accumulating at the surface of oceans, due to stronger ice melting, due to heavier runoff from land and rivers and due to changes in wind patterns and ocean currents and circulation.

Furthermore, developments such as rising emissions from industry, transport, land use, forest fires and waste fires, ocean acidification and reductions in sulfur emissions over the past few years all contribute to further acceleration of the temperature rise. 

Two tipping points threaten to get crossed

For about one year now, global temperature anomalies have been extremely high, as illustrated by the image below, created with a screenshot from Copernicus, showing an anomaly from 1991-2020 of 0.84°C on May 31, 2024. 

The image below, adapted from Copernicus, shows sea surface temperature anomalies from 1991-2020 on May 31, 2024. 

The temperature rise is hitting the Arctic harder than elsewhere, as illustrated by the images at the top and below, created with NASA content. 

Contributing to these high temperatures in the Arctic are high temperatures of the North Atlantic Ocean, which are now rising rapidly, in line with seasonal changes, as illustrated by the image below, created with Climate Reanalyzer content. 

The above image shows that the North Atlantic sea surface temperature was 22.4°C on May 31, 2024, higher than the temperature in 2023 for this time of year. High North Atlantic sea surface temperatures spell bad news for the Arctic, as much ocean heat gets pushed toward the Arctic from the North Atlantic, due to prevailing winds and ocean circulation.

North Atlantic sea surface temperatures are now rising strongly, in line with seasonal changes. Ominously, a peak of 25.4°C was reached in August 2023. The question is how high the North Atlantic temperature will be in 2024 at that time of year. 

The image below shows North Atlantic sea surface temperature anomalies versus 1982-2011. Data shown are from September 1, 1981, through May 31, 2024.

As discussed, one reason for the high temperatures of the North Atlantic is that sulfur emissions have been reduced over the years. Furthermore, there are many feedbacks. Importantly, there is potential for the slowing down of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) to contribute to more heat accumulating at the surface of the North Atlantic Ocean, as also illustrated by the image below. 

[ click on images to enlarge ]

The above image highlights mechanisms with the potential to contribute to further heating up of the Arctic Ocean resulting in more methane erupting from the seafloor of the Arctic Oceans, including storms and changes to the Jet Stream, as discussed before. e.g. in this post

One tipping point that threatens to get crossed is loss of Arctic sea ice. Loss of Arctic sea ice comes with albedo change, which constitutes a huge self-reinforcing feedback loop, i.e. the more sea ice disappears, the more sunlight gets absorbed by the Arctic Ocean, further accelerating sea ice melting, while less sunlight gets reflected back into space.

[ Albedo change, from the Albedo page ]

Next to the albedo loss, there is loss of the latent heat buffer constituted by the sea ice. Latent heat is energy associated with a phase change, in this case the energy consumed as solid ice turns into liquid water (i.e. melts). During a phase change, the temperature remains constant. Sea ice acts as a buffer that absorbs heat, while keeping the temperature at about zero degrees Celsius. As long as there is sea ice in the water, this sea ice will keep absorbing heat, so the temperature doesn't rise at the sea surface.

As long as air temperatures over the Arctic are below freezing, sea ice can persist at the surface, maintaining sea ice extent, which may give the false impression that sea ice was healthy, whereas in fact sea ice has steadily been declining in thickness.

Arctic sea ice volume is at its lowest on record for the time of year, as illustrated by the image below, created with Danish Meteorological Institute content, and as also discussed in earlier posts such as this one.  

The amount of energy absorbed by melting ice is as much as it takes to heat up an equivalent mass of water from zero to 80°C. Loss of sea ice thickness implies loss of the latent heat buffer and constitutes a tipping point, i.e. once crossed, the Arctic Ocean will heat up at accelerating pace. 

The above map, created with Danish Meteorological Institute content, shows that much of the thicker sea ice is located away from the North Pole, such as off the east coast of Greenland. This sea ice is likely to melt away quickly as more sunlight starts reaching the Northern Hemisphere and temperatures rise in line with seasonal changes.

Seafloor methane constitutes a second tipping point. When methane escapes from hydrates that get destabilized by rising temperatures, the methane will expand to 160 times its previous volume and enter the atmosphere with force. Without the buffer constituted by thicker sea ice, an influx of ocean heat could cause large-scale destabilization of hydrates contained in sediments at the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean, resulting in eruptions of huge amounts of methane.

[ from earlier post ]
[ image from the Extinction page ]
On the above image, estimates for these two tipping points are added to Northern Hemisphere Ocean Temperature anomalies vs 1901-2000, created with NOAA data. Furthermore, two trends are added. The magenta trend is based on January 1880-January 2024 data and warns that the Seafloor Methane Tipping Point may be crossed in 2025. The red trend, which is based on January 2010-January 2024 data and better reflects variables such as El Niño, warns that the Seafloor Methane Tipping Point may be crossed in 2024.

Crossing of the latent heat tipping point and the seafloor methane tipping point results in ever more heat reaching and accumulating in the Arctic ocean, destabilizing methane hydrates contained in sediments at the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean, as discussed in many earlier posts such as this one.

Self-amplifying feedbacks and developments as discussed above, as well as crossing of these two tipping points, could all contribute to cause a temperature rise of over 10°C, in the process causing the clouds tipping point to get crossed that can push up the temperature rise by a further 8°C.

Altogether, the temperature rise may exceed 18°C from pre-industrial by as early as 2026, as illustrated by the image on the right, from the extinction page.

Climate Emergency Declaration

The situation is dire and the precautionary principle calls for rapid, comprehensive and effective action to reduce the damage and to improve the situation, as described in this 2022 post, where needed in combination with a Climate Emergency Declaration, as discussed at the Climate Emergency group.


• NASA - datasets and images

• Climate Reanalyzer

• Copernicus

• NOAA - National Centers for Environment Information

• NOAA - Climate Prediction Center / National Centers for Environmental Prediction

• Pre-industrial

• Extinction

• Moistening Atmosphere

• Jet Stream

• Atlantic ocean heat threatens to unleash methane eruptions

• Danish Meteorological Institute - Arctic sea ice thickness and volume

• Cold freshwater lid on North Atlantic

• Arctic Ocean Feedbacks

• Arctic sea ice set for steep decline

• Did the climate experience a Regime Change in 2023?

• Arctic sea ice under threat

• Blue Ocean Event 2024?

• Transforming Society

• Climate Plan

• Climate Emergency Declaration

Tracking toward mass extinction

 by Andrew Glikson

Where “Two plus two equals five if the party says so” (George Orwell)
and when drilling methane wells reduces global warming

Having turned a blind eye to climate science, ignoring the evidence that extreme atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO₂), methane (CH₄) rise and ocean acidification have led to mass extinctions of species through time, humanity allows an exponential growth of carbon emissions to track toward a global suicide marked by false pretexts and betrayal by the powers that be. The evidence suggests unabated global warming will lead to 3.4 million Deaths Per Year by Century End, fatal consequences calling for a preemptive Nuremberg-like trial exposing the crimes leading to the looming climate suicide.

Note the future estimates of CO₂ levels.
[ Figure 1. Historic CO₂by Owen Mulhern, image from Forster et al. (2017) ]

Note the sharp current and near-future temperature rise.

[ Figure 2. by Glen Fergus, from: Wikipedia - Temperature of Planet Earth ]

The rise in CO₂ in the atmosphere and oceans and the rise in ocean acidity (decline in pH).
[ Figure 3. As human activities have increased CO2 levels in our atmosphere (red line),
about a third of that CO2 has been absorbed by the ocean (green line), and
ocean pH has decreased (blue line). Adapted from NOAA by UC Museum of Paleontology. ]

According to the IPCC, as stated by the late Prof Will Steffen, Australia’s foremost climate scientist, if the exponential rise in greenhouse gas emissions continues we will already have crossed the upper limit that gives us a two-thirds chance of limiting warming to <2.0°C. Other scientists estimate that we have already missed the boat.

During the 200-plus years since the onset of the industrial revolution, the burning of fossil fuels, changing land use and deforestation increased the concentration of atmospheric CO₂. As the ocean absorbs about 30% of the CO₂ its surface acidity increased by -0.1 pH units on a logarithmic scale, resulting in rising concentration of hydrogen ions, a process with far reaching implications for the survival of marine organisms, altering ecosystems.

Ocean acidification affects marine life by dissolving shells and skeletons made from calcium carbonate. Organisms that produce calcium carbonate structures, like corals, sea urchins, sea snails and oysters, need to spend extra energy repairing damaged shells or thickening them to survive.

The onset of the Sixth mass extinction of species.

[ Figure 4. Cumulative vertebrate species recorded as extinct or extinct in the wild by the IUCN (2012). Dashed black line represents background rate. This is the ‘highly conservative estimate’. Source: Ceballos et al. (2015). ]

There have been five Mass Extinction events in the history of Earth's biodiversity, all caused by dramatic natural phenomena. The current rate of extinction is 10 to 100 times higher than in any of the previous mass extinctions in the history of Earth. Incorporating estimates of the true number of invertebrate extinctions leads to the conclusion that the rate vastly exceeds the background rate and that we may indeed be witnessing the start of the Sixth Mass Extinction Island species have suffered far greater rates than continental ones.

As systematic biologists, we encourage the nurturing of the innate human appreciation of biodiversity, but we reaffirm the message that the biodiversity that makes our world so fascinating, beautiful and functional is vanishing unnoticed at an unprecedented rate. These estimates reveal an exceptionally rapid loss of biodiversity over the last few centuries, indicating that a sixth mass extinction is already under way.

While multitudes of humanity are trying to escape climate disasters, such as Africa, or are engaged in fatal conflicts and geocidal wars, or are perched in front of electronic screens flaunting obscene hubris, cheap entertainment and commercial and political propaganda.

It is far from clear who, apart from the children, would be able to save life on Earth?

A/Prof. Andrew Y Glikson
Earth and climate scientist

Andrew Glikson

The Asteroid Impact Connection of Planetary Evolution
The Archaean: Geological and Geochemical Windows into the Early Earth
The Plutocene: Blueprints for a Post-Anthropocene Greenhouse Earth
The Event Horizon: Homo Prometheus and the Climate Catastrophe
Climate, Fire and Human Evolution: The Deep Time Dimensions of the Anthropocene
Evolution of the Atmosphere, Fire and the Anthropocene Climate Event Horizon
From Stars to Brains: Milestones in the Planetary Evolution of Life and Intelligence
Asteroids Impacts, Crustal Evolution and Related Mineral Systems with Special Reference to Australia
The Fatal Species: From Warlike Primates to Planetary Mass Extinction
The Trials of Gaia. Milestones in the evolution of Earth with reference to the Antropocene

Friday, May 3, 2024

Is CMIP6 SSP585 the worst-case scenario?

The image below, adapted from Climate Reanalyzer, shows the temperature in the year 2100, in a CMIP6 SSP585 scenario. The image shows how much the temperature will have risen in 2100, at 2 meters above the surface and compared to the period 1979-2000. 

The image below shows a progressive temperature rise reaching 4.589°C in 2100 compared to the same period, i.e. 1979-2000 and in a CMIP6 SSP585 scenario.

The 1979-2000 period is relatively recent. The temperature has been rising for longer than that. The image below shows a progressive temperature rise reaching 4.91°C by 2100 in a CMIP6 SSP585 scenario when instead using a 1901-2000 period as a base.

The 1901-2000 period is also relatively recent, much later than pre-industrial. When using a pre-industrial base, the temperature rise will be well over 5°C.

As illustrated by the top image, the temperature rise over land will be much higher than over oceans, which makes the situation even more dire, given that most people live on land and could face a rise of  8°C by 2100 in a CMIP6 SSP585 scenario.

In a CMIP6 SSP585 scenario, temperatures are projected to keep rising strongly beyond 2100, as illustrated by the image below, from a 2016 paper by Brian O'Neill et al.

In the study by Brian O'Neill et al., CO₂ emissions keep rising until 2100, to then fall gradually to current levels, while the CO₂ concentration in the atmosphere keep rising, to remain at levels beyond 2000 ppm and result in a temperature rise of 8°C by 2300 in a CMIP6 SSP585 scenario.

Is CMIP6 SSP585 the worst-case scenario?

To check whether CMIP6 SSP585 is indeed the worst-case scenario, one can look at how fast CO₂ is rising. According to the IEA, global energy-related CO₂ emissions grew in 2023, reaching a new record high of 37.4 Gt (or 10.098 GtC). The image below, from a recent post, confirms the recent acceleration in CO₂ concentrations, while showing the potential for CO₂ concentration to cross 1200 ppm before the year 2060.

In other words, CO₂ may well be rising even faster than anticipated in a CMIP6 SSP585 scenario, while this scenario doesn't take into account the potential for CO₂e concentrations to cross 1200 ppm much earlier than 2100 (inset), e.g. before 2060 as illustrated by the red trend in the main image. Furthermore, CMIP6 SSP585 doesn't take into account that, in addition to the temperature rise resulting from high greenhouse gas concentrations, crossing the clouds tipping point at 1200 ppm in itself would push up temperatures by a further 8°C.

Indeed, the clouds tipping point could be crossed even earlier when also taking into account methane, nitrous oxide and further greenhouse gases, while there are additional developments such as organic carbon and inorganic carbon release from soils that could further raise both CO₂ concentrations and temperatures. The Extinction page and posts such as this one and this one warn about the potential for a temperature rise of well over 18°C unfolding as early as 2026. 
In conclusion, the temperature looks set to be rising higher and faster at accelerating rate, dwarfing anything seen in previous extinction events, as illustrated by the image below, from an earlier post.

"Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."

The above image is a screenshot from the video (further above) in which physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer reflects on the first test of the atomic bomb. His haunting words mark the moment when science met conscience.

Similarly, climate change is a destroyer of worlds with unfathomable consequences, yet politicians refuse to heed the warnings, in an unprecedented breach of moral values, neglect of the precautionary principle, betrayal of trust and violation of the duty of care.

As a result, the IPCC persists with downplaying the potential for dangerous developments in efforts to hide the need for the most effective climate action. The IPCC keeps pointing at less effective policies such as support for BECCS and biofuel, while continuing to make it look as if there was a carbon budget to divide among polluters, as if polluters could continue to pollute for decades to come, as discussed in earlier posts such as this one.

Meanwhile, a 2018 study (by Strona & Bradshaw) indicates that most life on Earth will disappear with a 5°C rise. Humans, who depend for their survival on many other species, will likely go extinct with a 3°C rise, as illustrated by the image below, from an earlier post.

Climate Emergency Declaration

The situation is dire and the precautionary principle calls for rapid, comprehensive and effective action to reduce the damage and to improve the situation, as described in this 2022 post, where needed in combination with a Climate Emergency Declaration, as discussed at this group.


• Climate Reanalyzer

• The Scenario Model Intercomparison Project (ScenarioMIP) for CMIP6 - by Brian O'Neill et al. (2016)

• International Energy Agency (IEA) - CO2 Emissions in 2023 report

• September 2023, highest anomaly on record?

• CO2 keeps accelerating

• Feedbacks in the Arctic

• Pre-industrial

• Clouds Feedback and the Clouds Tipping Point

• The Threat

• Amplifying feedback loop between drought, soil desiccation cracking, and greenhouse gas emissions - by Farshid Vahedifard et al. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Temperature rise in the Tropics (update 5)

The temperature in the Tropics (23.5°S-23.5°N, 0-360°E) reached a new record high on April 24, 2024 of 27°C (or 80.6°F). 

The image below shows the monthly temperature anomaly over the past few years through March 2024, when the anomaly reached a record high of 1.448°C (or 2.606°F).  

Note that the anomaly in the top image is calculated from 1979-2000 as a base, while anomalies in the above image are calculated from 1951-1980 as a base. When calculated from a pre-industrial base, these anomalies will be much higher.

The high temperatures are causing widespread damage and are threatening to cause huge loss of life of people, livestock and wildlife, crop failure and ecosystem collapse in the tropics and elsewhere.

Climate Emergency Declaration

The situation is dire and the precautionary principle calls for rapid, comprehensive and effective action to reduce the damage and to improve the situation, as described in this 2022 post, where needed in combination with a Climate Emergency Declaration, as discussed at this group.


• Climate Reanalyzer

• Pre-industrial

• Extinction

• Transforming Society

• Climate Plan

• Climate Emergency Declaration

Posts discussing the temperature rise in the Tropics in 2024 at facebook are at: