Ten Degrees Above Average
June 11, 2016 6:54 PM Subscribe
Alaska is Having Its Hottest Year Since Records Began - "After a spring that was a full ten degrees hotter than normal, the northern state is on track for the most sweltering year on record." (via)
- Arctic Sea Ice Goes Far Beyond Record Low Extent for May (jpg) - "This year's hasty ice retreat has been fueled by incredibly mild temperatures across the Arctic during much of the winter and spring--a byproduct of El Niño atop longer-term warming from human-produced greenhouse gases. At Barrow, Alaska, every day since January 1 has been above average except for January 22, February 6, and a stretch from March 28 to April 3. Alaska's Climate Division 1, which covers the North Slope, is having its warmest year to date by far (see Figure 3), with the January-to-April average of 2.7°F beating the previous record (–1.4°F, from 2014) by an eye-popping 4.1°F. Another red-letter data point: snow cover disappeared from the open tundra at the NOAA Barrow Observatory on May 13. Assuming that no snow cover returns this spring--an increasingly good bet--this is the earliest melt-out date by far in 74 years of recordkeeping at the Barrow lab, beating out May 24, 2002. Conditions have also been exceptionally mild on the other side of the Arctic. The town of Longyearbyen in Svalbard, Norway--the northermost civilian community on the planet--has had only one below-average day in 2016 thus far ( see Figure 4).
- Algal Blooms In Chile - "On the Chilean coast, fisheries have been knocked sideways by an outbreak of red tide – a toxic algal bloom that's wiping out fish stocks along 2000 km of the shore line. Millions of salmon and other fish, clams and other shellfish species have died, and Chilean livelihoods are endangered. But the widespread poisoning has been followed by a blame game – with the recent El Nino, pollution and fish farming all called into question."
- Fast Storage of CO2 in Volcanic Rock - "Last year in Paris the world made commitments to rein in CO2 emissions, but there's precious little evidence from the past that we’re very good at that. CO2 levels are increasing all the time, and may now have permanently passed the iconic 400 parts per million in the atmosphere. If we don't reduce the amount of CO2 we create, one option, for the short-term at least – is to dispose of the combustion waste more carefully, like we have to with other waste products. It's called carbon capture and storage, or CCS. Catch the CO2 before it reaches the atmosphere and store it somewhere safe, in the rocks under our feet for example. This week saw the first results from an experiment called CarbFix, which started 5 years ago in Iceland and effectively turns the CO2 into chalk, far underground."
- Solar Added More New Capacity Than Coal, Natural Gas and Nuclear Combined - "The U.S. solar industry will install 14.5 gigawatts of capacity in 2016, nearly doubling the 7.5 gigawatts in capacity installed in 2015... just in the first quarter of 2016, solar made up 64 percent of new electric generating capacity, which is more new capacity during this period than coal, natural gas and nuclear combined."
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