PUBLISHED: 07:51, Sat, Nov 28, 2015 | UPDATED: 12:58, Sat, Nov 28, 2015
Heimdal Glacier southern Greenland, from NASA’s Falcon 20 aircraft at 33,000 feet above sea level.
An intensive scientific study of both Earth’s poles has found that from 2009 to 2016 overall temperature has dropped in the southern polar region.NASA’s Operation IceBridge is an airborne survey of polar ice and has finalised two overlapping research campaigns at both the poles.In the last few weeks NASA has revealed the overall amount of ice has increased at the Antarctic and the amount of sea ice has also extended.Coupled with the latest announcement of slight cooling in the area, it has fuelled claims from climate change deniers that human industrialisation is not having the huge impact on global tenperature as often is claimed.
Map showing the extent of ice during the NASA studies
Environmental activists have plundered Nature’s Scientific Reports and released a paper yesterday that they claim removes all doubt there is a global warming pause. After examining 40 peer-reviewed papers that show a global warming hiatus, they claim the papers didn’t examine a long enough period of time. In fact, the authors—Stephan Lewandowsky, James Risbey, and Naomi Oreskes—broke the golden rule of science: they started with a predetermined outcome and then cherry-picked the data to fit their conclusion. It also runs counter to the unaltered datasets from leading climate institutions.
The paper assessed the “magnitude and significance of all possible trends up to 25 years duration looking backwards from each year over the past 30 years.” Unsurprisingly, the authors thought the papers didn’t use a long enough time frame to show a clear global warming pause over the entire global warming “record.” Here we document how this extended global warming record has been tampered, altered, and utilized for politicized “green ideology,” and how massive alterations were made to both NASA and NOAA’s temperature data series.
According to the satellite record (the most accurate), weather balloons, radiosonde data, sea surface temperatures, and weather stations (least accurate), previously unadulterated data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Institute of Space Studies (NASA GISS) data showed a long-term definitive trend: no increase in tropospheric temperatures when the Industrial Revolution began in earnest after World War II.
We do have weather station temperature data, albeit spotty, that goes back to 1881 and it shows regular intervals of warming and cooling, and not the popular upward slope in temperatures used by environmentalists and governments to illustrate dramatic global warming. More on that shortly.
In 1967 Hansen went to work for NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, in New York City, where he continued his research on planetary problems. Around 1970, some scientists suspected Earth was entering a period of global cooling. Decades prior, the brilliant Serbian mathematician Milutin Milankovitch had explained how our world warms and cools on roughly 100,000-year cycles due to its slowly changing position relative to the Sun. Milankovitch’s theory suggested Earth should be just beginning to head into its next ice age cycle. The surface temperature data gathered by Mitchell seemed to agree; the record showed that Earth experienced a period of cooling (by about 0.3°C) from 1940 through 1970. Of course, Mitchell was only collecting data over a fraction of the Northern Hemisphere—from 20 to 90 degrees North latitude. Still, the result drew public attention and a number of speculative articles about Earth’s coming ice age appeared in newspapers and magazines.
Initial efforts to observe Earth’s temperature were limited to the Northern Hemisphere, and they showed a cooling trend from 1940 to 1970 (jagged line). Scientists estimated the relative effects of carbon dioxide (warming, top curve) and aerosols (cooling, bottom curve) on climate, but did not have enough data to make precise predictions. (Graph from Mitchell, 1972.)
But other scientists forecasted global warming. Russian climatologist Mikhail Budyko had also observed the three-decade cooling trend. Nevertheless, he published a paper in 1967 in which he predicted the cooling would soon switch to warming due to rising human emissions of carbon dioxide. Budyko’s paper and another paper published in 1975 by Veerabhadran Ramanathan caught Hansen’s attention. Ramanathan pointed out that human-made chlorofluorocarbons (or CFCs) are particularly potent greenhouse gases, with as much as 200 times the heat-retaining capacity of carbon dioxide. Because people were adding CFCs to the lower atmosphere at an increasing rate, Ramanathan expressed concern that these new gases would eventually add to Earth’s greenhouse effect and cause our world to warm. (Because CFCs also erode Earth’s protective ozone layer, their use was mostly abolished in 1989 with the signing of the Montreal Protocol.)
The Earth’s climate has changed throughout history. Just in the last 650,000 years there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat, with the abrupt end of the last ice age about 7,000 years ago marking the beginning of the modern climate era — and of human civilization. Most of these climate changes are attributed to very small variations in Earth’s orbit that change the amount of solar energy our planet receives.
Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal.
The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is very likely human-induced and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented in the past 1,300 years.1
Earth-orbiting satellites and other technological advances have enabled scientists to see the big picture, collecting many different types of information about our planet and its climate on a global scale. This body of data, collected over many years, reveals the signals of a changing climate.
All three major global surface temperature reconstructions show that Earth has warmed since 1880.5 Most of this warming has occurred since the 1970s, with the 20 warmest years having occurred since 1981 and with all 10 of the warmest years occurring in the past 12 years.6 Even though the 2000s witnessed a solar output decline resulting in an unusually deep solar minimum in 2007-2009, surface temperatures continue to increase.7
The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have decreased in mass. Data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment show Greenland lost 150 to 250 cubic kilometers (36 to 60 cubic miles) of ice per year between 2002 and 2006, while Antarctica lost about 152 cubic kilometers (36 cubic miles) of ice between 2002 and 2005.
Major increase in weather disasters over last 2 decades
Since 1995, weather disasters have killed millions of people & left billions injured & homeless.
FILE: A flood-affected resident swims through floodwaters in Kalay, upper Myanmar’s Sagaing region on August 3, 2015. Relentless monsoon rains have triggered flash floods and landslides, destroying thousands of houses, farmland, bridges and roads with fast-flowing waters hampering relief efforts. Picture: AFP.
GENEVA – Weather-related disasters such as floods and heatwaves have occurred almost daily in the past decade, almost twice as often as two decades ago, with Asia being the hardest hit region, a UN report said on Monday.
While the report authors could not pin the increase wholly on climate change, they did say that the upward trend was likely to continue as extreme weather events increased.
Since 1995, weather disasters have killed millions of people, left billions injured, homeless or in need of aid, and accounted for 90 percent of all disasters, it said.
A recent peak year was 2002, when drought in India hit 200 million and a sandstorm in China affected 100 million.
But the standout mega-disaster was Cyclone Nargis, which killed 138,000 in Myanmar in 2008.
While climate change can certainly exacerbate drought conditions, leading to more frequent wildfires, this year’s ferocious fire season might also have been heavily influenced by the El Niño event developing in the Pacific Ocean.
Satellite images revealed that on October 4, 2015 there were over 900 fires burning in the Brazilian Amazon at once.
The region most affected by the fires was the northern state of Amazonas, where some 11,114 forest fires were recorded this year.
If the Pacific El Niño continues to strengthen, researchers expect fire risk in the Amazon to increase, as well.
On October 4, 2015, satellite images revealed that there were over 900 fires burning in the Brazilian Amazon.That figure was reported by Brazil’s Institute for Space Research, known as INPE, which said that the region most affected by the fires was the northern state of Amazonas. Some 11,114 forest fires have already been observed in Amazonas this year, a 47 percent increase over the same period last year, according to INPE.
Amazonas is not alone in dealing with increased incidence of forest fires. More than a quarter of the fires so far this year have occurred in the Cerrado agricultural region, which encompasses parts of the central states of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Tocantins and Minas Gerais, for instance.
Meanwhile, Brazil’s southeastern states have been suffering from extreme drought, and a study by researchers at the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University determined that the area of the Amazon affected by mild to severe drought is likely to double in the eastern part of Amazonia and triple in the west by 2100, due largely to the impacts of deforestation.
The Carnegie Institution researchers did not factor rising global temperatures into their calculations, however, meaning drought conditions are likely to be even worse than they projected. That does not bode well for future fire seasons being tamer than 2015.
Monday 16 November 2015 08.04 EST Last modified on Monday 16 November 2015 13.47 EST
The UN has warned of months of extreme weather in many of the world’s most vulnerable countries with intense storms, droughts and floods triggered by one of the strongest El Niño weather events recorded in 50 years, which is expected to continue until spring 2016.
El Niño is a natural climatic phenomenon that sees equatorial waters in the eastern Pacific ocean warm every few years. This disrupts regular weather patterns such as monsoons and trade winds, and increases the risk of food shortages, floods, disease and forest fires.
This year, a strong El Niño has been building since March and its effects are already being seen in Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Malawi, Indonesia and across Central America, according to the World Meteorological Organisation. The phenomenon is also being held responsible for uncontrolled fires in forests in Indonesia and in the Amazon rainforest.
The UN’s World Meteorological Organization warned in a report on Monday that the current strong El Niño is expected to strengthen further and peak around the end of the 2015. “Severe droughts and devastating flooding being experienced throughout the tropics and sub-tropical zones bear the hallmarks of this El Niño, which is the strongest in more than 15 years,” said WMO secretary-general Michel Jarraud.
Jarraud said the impact of the naturally occurring El Niño event was being exacerbated by global warming, which had already led to record temperatures this year. “This event is playing out in uncharted territory. Our planet has altered dramatically because of climate change,” he said. “So this El Niño event and human-induced climate change may interact and modify each other in ways which we have never before experienced. El Niño is turning up the heat even further.”
If you’ve been paying attention to the weather news at all lately, you’ll know that it’s a big year for a weather event called El Niño.
The complex phenomenon could bring warmer, wetter weather to the Northeast this winter and much-needed rain to California, but worsen cold and drought conditions elsewhere in the US.
And this year’s El Niño could be one of the most powerful on record, experts say.
“One of the strongest El Niño events in the past 65 years is likely to bring significant winter weather to the United States,” James Aman, senior meteorologist at Earth Networks, said in a statement.
What the heck is El Niño, anyway?
El Niño is a weather event characterized by warmer-than-normal temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, with important consequences for global weather and climate, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. By contrast, La Niña refers to colder-than-normal Pacific temperatures.
The effects of El Niño can be seen across the globe, from increased rainfall in the Southern US and Peru to drought in the Western Pacific and brush fires in Australia.
“It’s a complex scenario,” says John Long from Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. He says there are probably a lot of causes conspiring to drive these mass extinctions. But his latest work suggests fluctuations in essential minerals in the ocean could be an important, and so-far completely unexplored, cause.
Earlier this year, researchers discovered that periods when the ocean had high levels of trace elements – like zinc, copper, manganese and selenium – seemed to overlap with periods of high productivity, including the Cambrian explosion, when most groups of living animals first appeared.
Global warming may be responsible for AMOC’s slowdown but natural forces may also be at work, NASA said. AMOC is part of the complex circulation of currents that help take the warmer Gulf Stream water and move it through the basin.
OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD LANDSCAPE The latest data from the New Horizons mission has helped create topographical maps of Pluto (blue shows lower elevations, brown, higher elevations) that have revealed surprises such as these two possible ice volcanoes, the first of their kind in the outer solar system.
SwRI, JHUAPL, NASA
OXON HILL, Md. — At this point, the only thing unsurprising about Pluto is that it continues to offer up surprises.
A wide variety of landscapes, ongoing surface transformations and a family of wildly spinning moons are among the riddles reported by the New Horizons mission team November 9 at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences.
“Pluto is like a graduate course in planetary science,” mission leader Alan Stern said at a news briefing. “It’s going to take the larger planetary science community many years to digest all this.”
The New Horizons spacecraft, which buzzed the dwarf planet on July 14, has so far sent back only about 20 percent of the data it acquired from the Pluto system. And every new nugget continues a story that’s pretty familiar by now: Pluto is a weird place.
Terrains both new and old sit side-by-side on Pluto’s surface. Some heavily cratered regions are roughly 4 billion years old, about as old as Pluto itself. Others, like the now famous heart, appear to have been laid down within the last 10 million years, judging by the total lack of craters.
Climate scientists have produced an atlas reconstructing weather conditions over the last millennium, in an effort to understand more about current changes to the weather.They hope their Old World Drought Atlas (OWDA) will allow for a greater understanding of climate forecasts.
“Climate model projections suggest widespread drying in the Mediterranean Basin and wetting in Fennoscandia in the coming decades largely as a consequence of greenhouse gas forcing of climate,” write the scientists in their paper, published in Science Advances on Friday.
The researchers used archaeological tree ring data to measure more than a thousand years of European weather. They compared their findings to historical accounts of severe droughts, wet weather events or other catastrophes, and found that the tree ring data corresponds with many documented incidents of extreme weather.
Oh, and look at 1741, and the terrible drought. The trees are showing the results of the cold and dry spell that began in 1739. This is the year of the great Irish famine, and it killed millions as well. Here’s what the paper has to say about the 1741 map:
The Irish famine of 1740–1741: This event has been attributed to unusually low winter and spring temperatures in 1740, resulting in crop failures and subsequent famine (17). The OWDA is not well suited for determining temperature anomalies because it primarily reflects warm season hydroclimate. However, climate field reconstructions of seasonal precipitation from documentary and early instrumental data (18) indicate that spring-summer rainfall over Ireland in 1741 was well below normal relative to the modern average. Drought over Ireland may therefore have contributed to the severity of the famine through its negative impact on food production in 1741. The OWDA map of 1741 indicates severe drought over Ireland that also extended over England and Wales, consistent with previously reported record rainfall deficits.
Is it just me, or does this give you the willies? It’s like looking at that big high pressure over the NW Atlantic on the night of April 14,1912. The Titanic survivors reported the ocean as still as a mill-pond, and I have the surface weather map that proves they were right. That’s how I feel about these rainfall charts. That horrible famine was seven long centuries ago, but the trees still remember, and they tell us that those old faded pieces of parchment were not exaggerating. It was real, and it left millions dead, and millions more in grief.
This Old World Drought Atlas will have great benefits in climate research, and historians will find them invaluable as well, but they also give us a warning. Our limited 100 years or so of written weather records can be deceiving. We think we know what a bad crop year is, and how long a bad drought can last, but our lifetimes are rather short, and perhaps we are fools. Knowing this makes fooling with our planet’s temperature control even more egregious.
The paper is open access and you can read it all HERE.
Geoscientists have for the first time revealed the magma plumbing beneath Mount St. Helens, the most active volcano in the Pacific Northwest. The emerging picture includes a giant magma chamber, between 5 and 12 kilometers below the surface, and a second, even larger one, between 12 and 40 kilometers below the surface. The two chambers appear to be connected in a way that could help explain the sequence of events in the 1980 eruption that blew the lid off Mount St. Helens.
So far the researchers only have a two-dimensional picture of the deep chamber. But if they find it extends to the north or south, that would imply that the regional volcanic hazard is more distributed rather than discrete, says Alan Levander, a geophysicist at Rice University in Houston, Texas, and a leader of the experiment that is doing the subterranean imaging. “It isn’t a stretch to say that there’s something down there feeding everything,” he adds.
Levander unveiled the results on 3 November at a meeting of the Geological Society of America in Baltimore, Maryland—the first detailed images from the largest-ever campaign to understand the guts of a volcano with geophysical methods. The campaign, “imaging magma under St. Helens” (iMUSH), started in 2014 when researchers stuck 2500 seismometers in the ground on trails and logging roads around the volcano. They then detonated 23 explosive shots, each with the force of a small earthquake. “You’d feel this enormous roll in the ground, and everyone would go, ‘Oh wow’,” Levander says.
IMUSH: MAGMA RESERVOIRS FROM THE UPPER CRUST TO THE MOHO INFERRED FROM HIGH-RESOLUTION VP AND VS TOMOGRAPHY BENEATH MOUNT ST. HELENS
KISER, Eric1, LEVANDER, Alan2, PALOMERAS, Immaculada1, ZELT, Colin A.1, SCHMANDT, Brandon3, HANSEN, Steven3, HARDER, Steven4, CREAGER, Kenneth5 and VIDALE, John E.5, (1)Earth Science, Rice University, 6100 Main Street, Houston, TX 77005, (2)Earth Science, Rice University, 6100 Main Street MS-126, Houston, TX 77005, (3)Earth & Planetary Sciences, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, (4)Dept. of Geological Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso, 500 W. University Ave., El Paso, TX 79968, (5)Earth & Space Sciences, University of Washington, Johnson Hall Rm-070 Box 351310, 4000 15th Avenue NE, Seattle, WA 98195, email@example.com
Seismic investigations following the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens have led to a detailed model of the magmatic and tectonic structure directly beneath the volcano. These studies suffer from limited resolution below ~10 km, making it difficult to estimate the volume of the shallow magma reservoir beneath the volcano, the regions of magma entry into the lower crust, and the connectivity of this magma system throughout the crust. The latter is particularly interesting as one interpretation of the Southern Washington Cascades Conductor (SWCC) suggests that the Mount St Helens and Mount Adams volcanic systems are connected in the crust (Hill et al., 2009).
The multi-disciplinary iMUSH (imaging Magma Under St. Helens) project is designed to investigate these and other fundamental questions associated with Mount St. Helens. Here we present the first high-resolution 2D Vp and Vs models derived from travel-time data from the iMUSH 3D active-source seismic experiment. Significant lateral heterogeneity exists in both the Vp and Vs models. Directly beneath Mount St. Helens we observe a high Vp/Vs body, inferred to be the upper/middle crustal magma reservoir, between 4 and 13 km depth. Southeast of this body is a low Vp column extending from the Moho to approximately 15 km depth. A cluster of low frequency events, typically associated with injection of magma, occurs at the northwestern boundary of this low Vp column. Much of the recorded seismicity between the shallow high Vp/Vs body and deep low Vp column took place in the months preceding and hours following the May 18, 1980 eruption. This may indicate a transient migration of magma between these two reservoirs associated with this eruption.
Outside of the inferred magma bodies that feed Mount St. Helens, we observe several other interesting velocity anomalies. In the lower crust, high Vp features bound the low Vp column. One explanation for these features is the presence of lower crustal cumulates associated with Tertiary ancestral Cascade volcanism. West of Mount St. Helens, high Vp/Vs regions in the upper and middle crust have eastern boundaries that are close to the eastern boundaries of the accreted Siletzia terrain inferred from magnetic data. Finally, a low Vp channel northeast of Mount St. Helens between 14 and 18 km depth correlates well with the location of the SWCC.
Published: 11:16 EST, 5 November 2015 | Updated: 13:59 EST, 5 November 2015
Lava, steam and ash began erupting from Mount St Helens in 2004 but it fell silent again in 2008. Geologists have been closely monitoring the volcano for signs that the unrest may begin again
Its scarred and jagged crater is a reminder of the terrible devastation that Mount St Helens wrought over the Washington countryside 35 years ago.
Now a new study of the volcanic plumbing lurking beneath the 8,363ft (2,459 metre) summit suggests the volcano could yet again blow its top in an explosive eruption.
Geologists studying the volcano, which is responsible for the most deadly eruption in US history, have discovered a second enormous magma chamber buried far beneath the surface.
The IMUSH project has detected signs that a second larger magma chamber may lie beneath Mount St Helens, filling the chamber directly under the volcano from below (illustrated) through a series of earthquakes. The chamber may also connect Mount St Helens to other nearby volcanoes
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