Warming World: ‘The Big Kahuna’ of Climate

February 17, 2017

Overcast with some light, misty-drizzle this Friday morning on California’s north coast — we await another big rainstorm supposedly starting this afternoon and lasting into tomorrow, or maybe-seemingly forever.
Despite the forecast, we won’t get the blunt end of a fairly-powerful ‘atmospheric river‘ drenching SoCal also this morning — ‘“…likely the strongest within the last six years and possibly even as far back as December 2004 or January 1995.”‘.

Meanwhile from yesterday (via Climate Central): ‘While a powerful El Niño has faded, the globe’s heat continues to be an enduring phenomenon due largely to carbon pollution. This January was the third-warmest January on record, according to data released this week from both NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.’

(Illustration found here).

And mankind continues its march into the withering immediate-future.

Further on the NASA/NOAA report:

The agencies use different baselines and techniques to measure the Earth’s temperature.
NASA’s data shows the planet was 1.7°F above the 1951-1980 average, while NOAA’s data indicates the planet was 1.6°F above the 20th century average.
Both datasets show largely similar patterns of warm and cold spots.
The eastern half of North America and parts of Russia and China were all well above normal for this time of year while Europe and the western U.S. were on the cooler side.
The real planetary hot spot was the Arctic, though. NASA’s analysis includes the region, which was blistering by January standards.
Large areas saw temperatures that were up to 9°F above normal.
The heat has continued into February with another wave of air up to 50°F above normal reaching the North Pole in the past week.

However, the big freak:

The global temperature, though, is the big kahuna of climate indicators.
After last year’s string of record setting months, this year’s third-warmest January may not sound that worrisome.
But when it comes to climate change, it’s all about the trends.
The world has warmed more than 1.8°F since record keeping began, punctuated by record annual heat in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
In comparison, there hasn’t been a record cold year since 1911.

And this growing-heat is having an effect northward, not only with a drastic impact ice caps and glaciers, but while levels of carbon dioxide are increasing, a new paper has documented how the concentration of oxygen in the oceans is decreasing.
Via IFLScience this morning:

The results have been published in Nature, and are an analysis of over 50 years’ worth of data looking at a range of parameters from ocean salinity to temperature.
They calculated that over this period, the world’s oceans have lost an average 2-percent of their oxygen.
This might not sound like much, but the researchers note that even such a small drop in oxygen concentration can be enough to completely alter some ecosystems, including the formation of dead zones.

But it is not only the acidity that the reefs have to deal with, as the rising surface ocean temperatures also directly harm the organisms, and have been the driving force behind the worst bleaching event ever recorded on the Great Barrier Reef, the most biodiverse habitat on Earth.
The rising temperature is also impacting the northern latitudes too, as the ranges of cold water fish, such as cod, are now thought to be shifting north as they follow the cooler waters.

Couple all of the above with T-Rump’s press conference yesterday, and I so-want-to-watch “Maid in Manhattan” for the third time in two weeks…

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