Tag Archives: climate change

What are Earth Minute Videos?

NASA has a number of whiteboard animations called Earth Minute Videos:

NASA isn’t all about interplanetary exploration; in fact, the agency spends much of its time studying our home planet. This fun whiteboard animation series explains Earth science to the science-curious.

The videos themselves don’t have much math but each video has a link underneath to more info. For example, the Greenland video here includes a link to Ice Sheets info which has data.

How hot was April 2022?

From NOAA’s April 2022 Global Climate Report:

The April 2022 global surface temperature was 0.85°C (1.53°F) above the 20th century average and tied with 2010 as the fifth highest for April in the 143-year record. The 10 warmest April months have occurred since 2010, with the years 2014–2022 all ranking among the 10 warmest Aprils on record. This marked the 46th consecutive April and the 448th consecutive month with temperatures, at least nominally, above the 20th century average.

Time series data available at a link at the top of the page.

Are there more hurricanes due to climate change?

The climate.gov article Can we detect a change in Atlantic hurricanes today due to human-caused climate change? by Chris Landsea and Tom Knutson (5/11/2022) is a great example of the challenges in understanding complex systems. If all you want is the answer:

Atlantic hurricanes display distinct busy and quiet periods:  Busy hurricane decades occurred in the late 19th century, mid-20th century, and from the mid-1990s onward, but quieter decades in the early 20th century and in the 1970s to early-1990s.

These multi-decadal variations in Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes have been linked to a phenomenon called the Atlantic Multidecadal Variability, which may be primarily natural internal variability or aerosol-driven.

A detectable greenhouse gas-induced influence on observed Atlantic tropical storm and hurricane behavior to date is difficult to identify because of the 50-80 year variability in hurricane activity.

The bottom-line answer to the question in the title is: No, we cannot confidently detect a trend today in observed Atlantic hurricane activity due to man-made (greenhouse gas-driven) climate change. Some human influence may be present though still below the threshold for confident detection.

There is a difference between more hurricanes and worse hurricanes.

Finally, a number of studies have found that several Atlantic hurricane metrics, including hurricane maximum intensities, hurricane numbers, major hurricane numbers, and Accumulated Cyclone Energy have all increased since around 1980.

However, in a 2019 tropical cyclone-climate change assessment, the majority of authors concluded that the recent hurricane activity increases mentioned above did not qualify as a detectable man-made influences (meaning clearly distinguishable from natural variability). Another hurricane metric, the fraction of rapidly intensifying Atlantic hurricanes, was reported to have increased since around 1980 (Bhatia et al. 2019), and they found that this change was highly unusual compared with simulated natural variability from a climate model, while being consistent in sign with the expected change from human-caused forcing. Even so, however, their confidence was limited by uncertainty in how well the single climate model used was representing real-world natural variability in the Atlantic region.

 

How hot was Jan 2022?

From NOAA’s Global Climate Report – January 2022:

The global surface temperature for January 2022 was 0.89°C (1.60°F) above the 20th century average and the sixth highest for January since global records began in 1880. The last eight Januarys (2015–2022) rank among the 10 warmest Januarys on record.

Similar to 2021, the year 2022 began with an episode of a La Niña in the tropical Pacific Ocean. The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) can affect global temperatures. La Niña tends to cool global temperatures slightly, while El Niño tends to boost global temperatures. With a slightly cool start to the year, there is only a 10% chance of 2022 ending as the warmest year on record. However, there is over 99% chance of the year ranking among the 10 warmest years on record.

Time series data available at the top of the page.

 

What are the predicted climate changes for your state?

NCICS (North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies) hosts the State Climate Summaries page. On this page you can select a state to arrive at a climate summary for the state. For example, the NYS page has ten graphs, including the one copied here, and summaries such as

Since the beginning of the 20th century, temperatures in New York have risen almost 2.5°F, and temperatures in the 2000s have been higher than in any other historical period (Figure 1). As of 2020, the hottest year on record for New York was 2012, with a statewide average temperature of 48.8°F, more than 4°F above the long-term average (44.5°F). This warming has been concentrated in the winter and spring, while summers have not warmed as much (Figures 2a and 2b). Summer warming is more influenced by the number of warm nights than by the occurrence of very hot days (Figures 2c and 2d). The state has experienced an increase in the number of warm nights and a decrease in the number of very cold nights (Figure 3). The increase in winter temperatures has had an identifiable effect on Great Lakes ice cover. Since 1998, there have been several years when Lakes Erie and Ontario were mostly ice-free (Figure 4).

A great site that allows educators to plan lessons around their state.

How hot are the oceans?

The abstract from The recent normalization of historical marine heat extremes by Kisei R. Tanaka and Kyle S. Van Houtan (2/1/2022) in PLOS Climate:

Climate change exposes marine ecosystems to extreme conditions with increasing frequency. Capitalizing on the global reconstruction of sea surface temperature (SST) records from 1870-present, we present a centennial-scale index of extreme marine heat within a coherent and comparable statistical framework. A spatially (1° × 1°) and temporally (monthly) resolved index of the normalized historical extreme marine heat events was expressed as a fraction of a year that exceeds a locally determined, monthly varying 98th percentile of SST gradients derived from the first 50 years of climatological records (1870–1919). For the year 2019, our index reports that 57% of the global ocean surface recorded extreme heat, which was comparatively rare (approximately 2%) during the period of the second industrial revolution. Significant increases in the extent of extreme marine events over the past century resulted in many local climates to have shifted out of their historical SST bounds across many economically and ecologically important marine regions. For the global ocean, 2014 was the first year to exceed the 50% threshold of extreme heat thereby becoming “normal”, with the South Atlantic (1998) and Indian (2007) basins crossing this barrier earlier. By focusing on heat extremes, we provide an alternative framework that may help better contextualize the dramatic changes currently occurring in marine systems.

The paper includes a link to the data (so you can reproduce the cool ridge plot here) and there are three other graph.

How hot was 2021, ENSO version?

From NOAA’s Global Climate Report – Annual 2021:

The year 2021 began with an episode of cold phase El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) episode, also known as La Niña, across the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, which had developed in August 2020. As seen in the graph below, ENSO can have an effect on global temperatures. La Niña episodes tend to cool global temperatures slightly, while the warm phase ENSO (also known as El Niño) tends to boost global temperatures. Although the monthly global temperatures were above average throughout the year, February 2021 was the coldest month of 2021 for the globe. The global temperature departure for February 2021 was +0.64°C (+1.15°F) — the coolest February since 2014. However, after the month of February, temperatures were at 0.80°C (1.44°F) or higher for the remaining months of 2021.

The net result:

The year culminated as the sixth warmest year on record for the globe with a temperature that was 0.84°C (1.51°F) above the 20th century average. The years 2013–2021 all rank among the ten warmest years on record.

Time series data available at the top. ENSO status data must be somewhere but there doesn’t appear to be a link; just the graph.

How hot was Dec 2021?

From NOAA’s Global Climate Report – December 2021:

The December 2021 global surface temperature tied with 2016 as the fifth highest in the 142-year record at 0.83°C (1.49°F) above the 20th century average. Eight of the 10 warmest Decembers have occurred since 2014. December 2021 also marked the 37th consecutive December and the 444th consecutive month with temperatures, at least nominally, above the 20th century average.

Regionally?

During the month of December, the most notable warm temperature departures were present across much of the contiguous U.S. and across parts of eastern Canada, northern Mexico, and southern Asia, where temperatures were at least 2.5°C (4.5°F) above average. Record-warm December temperatures were present across a large area of the southwestern Pacific Ocean and small areas across North America, South America, Africa, Asia, and the Atlantic Ocean. Meanwhile, the most notable cool temperatures were observed across the western half of Canada and across parts of Scandinavia and northern Russia. However, no land or ocean areas had a record-cold December temperature.

Time series data is available at the top of the page.