July Was the Hottest Month in Recorded History

scientificamerican.com 

After a record-breaking heat wave in Europe and the Arctic, last month edged out July 2016

July Was the Hottest Month in Recorded History
People play and refresh themselves in a fountain at the Museumplein square in Amsterdam during the heat wave on July 25, 2019. Credit: Robin Utrecht Getty Images

In what may be the week’s most unsurprising news, scientists have officially announced that this past July was the hottest month ever recorded on Earth.

According to data released yesterday by the Copernicus Climate Change Service, a program of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, last month edged out July 2016, the previous record-holder, for the title.

Last month was 0.04 degree Celsius, or about 0.07 degree Fahrenheit, warmer than July 2016. And it was more than 1 F warmer than the average July between 1981 and 2010.
Continue reading “July Was the Hottest Month in Recorded History”

Advertisements

The last five years have been Earth’s warmest since records began in 1880

February 7, 2019A depiction of how temperatures have risen over North America from 2014 to 2018

Last three years were hottest on record, says UN weather agency

© Loic Venance, AFP | Dry river bed of the Loire in Montjean-sur-Loire, western France, on September 7, 2017.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2018-01-18

Last year was the second or third warmest on record behind 2016, and the hottest without an extra dose of heat caused by an El Niño event in the Pacific Ocean, the United Nations said on Thursday.Average surface temperatures in 2017 were 1.1 degree Celsius (2.0 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times, creeping towards a 1.5C (2.7F) ceiling set as the most ambitious limit for global warming by almost 200 nations under the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Continue reading “Last three years were hottest on record, says UN weather agency”

Ice Loss and the Polar Vortex: How a Warming Arctic Fuels Cold Snaps

insideclimatenews_The loss of sea ice may be weakening the polar vortex, allowing cold blasts to dip south from the Arctic, across North America, Europe and Russia, a new study says.
A strong versus weakened polar vortex. Credit: NOAA

A strong polar vortex (left, from December 2013) is centered over the Arctic. A weakened polar vortex (right, from January 2014) allows cold air to dip farther south. Credit: NOAA

When winter sets in, “polar vortex” becomes one of the most dreaded phrases in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s enough to send shivers even before the first blast of bitter cold arrives.

New research shows that some northern regions have been getting hit with these extreme cold spells more frequently over the past four decades, even as the planet as a whole has warmed. While it may seem counterintuitive, the scientists believe these bitter cold snaps are connected to the warming of the Arctic and the effects that that warming is having on the winds of the stratospheric polar vortex, high above the Earth’s surface.

Here’s what scientists involved in the research think is happening: The evidence is clear that the Arctic has been warming faster than the rest of the planet. That warming is reducing the amount of Arctic sea ice, allowing more heat to escape from the ocean. The scientists think that the ocean energy that is being released is causing a weakening of the polar vortex winds over the Arctic, which normally keep cold air centered over the polar region. That weakening is then allowing cold polar air to slip southward more often.

Continue reading “Ice Loss and the Polar Vortex: How a Warming Arctic Fuels Cold Snaps”

The Climate – Justice – Cooperation Nexus: 10 Cornerstones of the Great Transformation towards Sustainability

IIASA

The challenge of our generation: Avert dangerous global warming – invest in social cohesion and wellbeing of people – build local, national, and transnational alliances for transformative change towards sustainability

1. We can reach the goals of the Paris Agreement – but ambitious action is needed now! Climate change is a threat to humanity. Irreversible Earth systems changes need to be avoided. This is a civilisational challenge which requires unprecedented joint action around the globe. We are under huge time pressure. Global CO2 emissions must decline to zero by mid-century in order to achieve the ambitious Paris goal, aimed at stabilising the global mean temperature well below 2 degrees C, and if possible at 1.5 degrees C. This translates into a stylised “carbon law”, whereby emissions must be halved every decade in analogy to the Moore’s law of semiconductors. We have the resources and the technology to achieve this, but do we have the political will and the resolve? Recent developments, such as the declaration by the US President to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, can be interpreted as a major setback. At the same time, they may inspire counter-movements, strengthening the determination to vigorously combat climate change. In particular, OECD countries and emerging economies should make commitments within the G 20 and within their national policies to ensure the achievement of global decarbonisation by the middle of the century. Continue reading “The Climate – Justice – Cooperation Nexus: 10 Cornerstones of the Great Transformation towards Sustainability”

Venezuela is likely to be the first country to lose all of its glaciers, but unfortunately it will not be the last country.

Venezuela is losing its last glacier

Glacierhub.com

Humboldt Glacier, 14 December 2011 (Source: The Photographer/ Creative Commons).

Venezuela used to have five glaciers. Today, only one remains. The last glacier in Venezuela, the Humboldt glacier, is about to disappear. “Reduced to an area of ten football pitches, a tenth of its size 30 years ago, it will be gone within a decade or two,” reports The Economist. Once Venezuela loses the Humbolt, it will become the first country in modern history to have lost all of its glaciers.

The glacier is expected to completely vanish in ten to twenty years, and scientists have expressed the importance of studying the glacier in its last stages. However, the political and economic crisis in Venezuela makes it difficult to study the glacier. In the past, studies have shown how rapid glacier retreat affects the water cycle in glacier-dependent basins, which changes water regulation and availability. Thus, the disappearance of the Humboldt glacier will impact local communities as run-off stability and water supply for agriculture change. Continue reading “Venezuela is likely to be the first country to lose all of its glaciers, but unfortunately it will not be the last country.”