Sunday, August 12, 2012

Roundup: Warming Trends

More evidence of warming climates in the news:

  • U.S. weather is the hottest ever recorded. From NOAA: “July 2012: hottest month on record for contiguous United States; Drought expands to cover nearly 63% of the Lower 48; wildfires consume 2 million acres”. “The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during July was 77.6°F, 3.3°F above the 20th century average, marking the hottest July and the hottest month on record for the nation. The previous warmest July for the nation was July 1936 when the average U.S. temperature was 77.4°F. . . . The January-July period was the warmest first seven months of any year on record for the contiguous United States. . . . The August 2011-July 2012 period was the warmest 12-month period of any 12-months on record for the contiguous U.S. . . .”
  • Whole populations of fish have been cooked to death in abnormally hot U.S. rivers this month. From ThinkProgress: Mass Fish Die-Offs Increasing In Warming U.S. Rivers. “Thousands of fish are dying in the Midwest as the hot, arid summer dries up rivers and causes water temperatures to climb in some spots to nearly 100 degrees.”
  • New satellite measurements confirm that ice on the Arctic Ocean is thinning rapidly. From Guardian: “Rate of arctic summer sea ice loss is 50% higher than predicted; New satellite images show polar ice coverage dwindling in extent and thickness”. “Sea ice in the Arctic is disappearing at a far greater rate than previously expected, according to data from the first purpose-built satellite launched to study the thickness of the Earth's polar caps. Preliminary results from the European Space Agency's CryoSat-2 probe indicate that 900 cubic kilometres of summer sea ice has disappeared from the Arctic ocean over the past year.” “In winter 2004, the volume of sea ice in the central Arctic was approximately 17,000 cubic kilometres. This winter it was 14,000, according to CryoSat. However, the summer figures provide the real shock. In 2004 there was about 13,000 cubic kilometres of sea ice in the Arctic. In 2012, there is 7,000 cubic kilometres . . .”
  • Arctic ice extent is setting new daily record lows. From “NSIDC Extent Sees 2012 Five Days ahead of 2007”. Arctic sea ice could set a new all-time record low. We may know in about two weeks.