Filled Under: Climate Change
Has Earth’s Missing Heat Been Found?
|This photo from NASA’s Suomi NPP satellite shows the Eastern Hemisphere of Earth in “Blue Marble” view.
Where, oh where, is the planet’s missing heat?
In 1999, the feverish rise in Earth’s surface temperatures suddenly slowed, even as greenhouse gas emissions escalated. This unexpected slowdown has been called a warming hiatus or global warming pause. Most climate scientists don’t think this hiatus means global warming went kaput, but the reason (or reasons) for the slowdown has scientists flummoxed. Researchers have offered more than two dozen ideas to explain the missing heat.
Now, a study published today (Aug. 21) in the journal Science suggests a natural climate cycle in the North Atlantic Ocean gobbled Earth’s extra heat. While the study is unlikely to settle the scientific debate, it does support the idea that Earth’s global warming continues in the ocean, even when air temperatures stay flat.
“It’s important to distinguish between whether ocean heat is responsible for the hiatus versus not enough heat reaching the surface of the Earth,” said study co-author Ka-Kit Tung, of the University of Washington in Seattle. “We did find enough heat stored in the North and South Atlantic that, if it had remained on the surface, it would have resulted in rapid warming.” [Infographic: Earth’s Tallest Mountain to Deepest Ocean Trench]
Global storage closet
Scientists have blamed the oceans for the global warming pause before, but they pointed their fingers at the Pacific, not the Atlantic. However, in seeking to test this idea with temperature data, oceanographer Xianyao Chen, of the Ocean University of China in Qingdao, and Tung, an atmospheric scientist, said they couldn’t find the missing heat in Pacific Ocean temperature measurements.
“If these models are true, we should be able to find the missing heat, and under the Pacific we couldn’t find enough heat to explain the hiatus,” Tung told Live Science.
Tung and Chen then searched ocean by ocean until they hit on the North Atlantic, where the heat was playing hooky. The pair primarily relied on Argo floats, which record ocean temperature and salt content down to 6,560 feet (2,000 meters). These worldwide floats reached their most comprehensive levels beginning about 2005. Other records from floats, ships and buoys filled in the timeline since 1970.
But the millions of data points don’t conclusively prove that the North Atlantic Ocean is devouring heat. “Unfortunately, the massive array of ocean temperature measurements by Argo floats has only been made after the early 2000s, just when the present hiatus in surface warming was starting,” said Matthew England, a climate scientist at the University of New South Wales in Australia, who was not involved in the study. “So being conclusive about each ocean basin is limited by .”
Tung and Chen noticed that the North Atlantic’s heat content (a measure of stored energy) shifted in 1999, about when the hiatus began. The ocean started absorbing heat at depths below 984 feet (300 m). (The South Atlantic Ocean also took up some heat.) These regions stored more heat energy than the rest of the world’s oceans combined, even the enormous Pacific Ocean, the researchers’ temperature data show.
Small basin, big effect
So how does the Atlantic cool an entire planet? The likely culprit is a natural climate cycle linked to the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) current, Tung said. The AMOC is part of a worldwide ocean conveyor belt. Here’s how the AMOC works: In the North Atlantic, salty tropical water flowing north cools off and sinks. This water, dense because it is cool and salty, heads south toward the equator, then eventually rises again in the South Atlantic. When the water sinks, it traps heat in the ocean depths. Ocean surface temperatures drive the current: when cold, slow when warm. [Images: The World’s Biggest Oceans and Seas]
Between 1945 and 1975, the cycle was in a cool phase, sucking up atmospheric heat at a rapid pace. Toward the end of this cycle, in the 1970s, scientists noticed a suspected “global cooling” that was touted as the beginning of a possible Ice Age. But then the AMOC flipped to warming, corresponding to the rapid uptick in global temperatures. Finally, in 1999, the current switched back to a cold, speedy plunge into the ocean depths, taking extra heat along with it.
Such natural cycles make global warming look more like a staircase than a steady rise in temperatures, Tung said. “Right now, we’re on the flat part of the staircase. We still have a few more years of the hiatus.”
However, others scientists remain convinced the Pacific plays an important role in the global warming hiatus. Several recent studies affirm the link between the pause and the changes in the Pacific. An Aug. 3 study in the journal Nature Climate Change found that trade winds over the Pacific bring up cold water and cool the atmosphere. An Aug. 17 study, also in Nature Climate Change, suggested the Pacific Decadal Oscillation climate cycle might be responsible for the hiatus. That cycle flips every 20 to 30 years.
“I still think the Pacific Ocean is playing the lead role in this ocean heat uptake, but this study is important as it points to an additional role from the Atlantic and Southern Oceans,” said England, who co-authored the Aug. 3 Nature Climate Change study.
Climate Records Shattered in 2013
| Surface temperatures in 2013 compared to average temperatures since 1981.
Credit: NOAA map by Dan Pisut, NOAA Environmental Visualization Lab
If global warming could be compared to middle-age weight gain, then Earth is growing a boomer belly, according to a newly released report on the state of the global climate.
Climate data show that global temperatures in 2013 continued their long-term rising trend. In fact, 2013 was somewhere between the second- and sixth-hottest year on record for the planet since record keeping began in 1880, according to the climate report, released Thursday (July 17) by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). (Four groups of scientists, who rely on slightly different methods to calculate global surface temperatures, ranked 2013 slightly differently compared with other years.)
The annual State of the Climate report compiles climate and weather data from around the world and is reviewed by 425 climate scientists from 57 countries. The report can be viewed online. “You can think of it as an annual checkup on the planet,” said Kathryn Sullivan, NOAA administrator.
And the checkup results show the planet ranged well outside of normal levels in 2013, hitting new records for greenhouse gases, Arctic heat, warm ocean temperatures and rising sea levels.
“The climate is changing more rapidly in today’s world than at any time in modern civilization,” said Thomas Karl, director of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. “If we look at it like we’re trying to maintain an ideal weight, then we’re continuing to see ourselves put more weight on from year to year,” he said.
Climate scientists blame rising levels of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere for the planet’s changing climate. The levels of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere at Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii hit 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in 2013. The worldwide average reached 395.3 ppm, a 2.8 ppm increase from 2012, NOAA reports. (Parts per million denotes the volume of a gas in the air; in this case, for every 1 million air molecules, 400 are carbon dioxide.) [In Images: Extreme Weather Around the World]
“The major greenhouse gases all reached new record high values in 2013,” said Jessica Blunden, a climate scientist with ERT, Inc., and a NOAA contractor who helped write the report.
Most parts of the planet experienced above-average annual temperatures in 2013, NOAA officials said. Australia experienced its warmest year on record, while Argentina had its second warmest and New Zealand its third warmest. There was a new high-temperature record set at the South Pole, of minus 53 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 47 degrees Celsius).
Here are the highlights from the report:
- Sea level continued rising: Boosted by warm Pacific Ocean temperatures (which causes water to expand) and melting ice sheets, sea level rose 0.15 inches (3.8 millimeters), on par with the long-term trend of 0.13 inches (3.2 mm) per year over the past 20 years.
- Antarctic sea ice hit another record high: On October 1, Antarctic sea ice covered 7.56 million square miles (19.5 million square kilometers). This beats the old record set in 2012 by 0.7 percent. However, even though the Antarctic sea ice is growing, the continent’s land-based glaciers continued to melt and shrink.
- Arctic sea ice low: The Arctic sea ice extent was the sixth lowest since satellite observations began in 1979. The sea ice extent is declining by about 14 percent per decade.
- Extreme weather: Deadly Super Typhoon Haiyan had the highest wind speed ever recorded for a tropical cyclone, with one-minute sustained winds reaching 196 mph (315 km/h). Flooding in central Europe caused billions of dollars in damage and killed 24 people.
- Melting permafrost: For the second year in a row, record high temperatures were measured in permafrost on the North Slope of Alaska and in the Brooks Range. Permafrost is frozen ground underneath the Earth’s surface. The temperatures were recorded more than 60 feet (20 meters) deep.
- Arctic heat: Temperatures over land are rising faster in the Arctic than in other regions of the planet. Fairbanks, Alaska, had a record 36 days with temperatures at 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) or warmer. However, Greenland had a cooler than average summer.
- Warm seas: Sea surface temperatures for 2013 were among the 10 warmest on record. Temperatures in the North Pacific hit a record high in 2013.
NOAA quietly revises website after getting caught in global warming lie, admitting 1936 was hotter than 2012
NOAA quietly revises website after getting caught in global warming lie, admitting 1936 was hotter than 2012
Tags: global warming fraud, data manipulation, NOAA
(NaturalNews) As global warming and climate change alarmists burn tons of fossil fuel jetting around the world, lecturing people about how burning tons of fossil fuel is destroying our planet, federal government agencies and learned academic institutions are quietly revising previously published data to reflect “an inconvenient truth” — that, contrary to their earlier claims, the earth is actually getting cooler, and weather is actually getting milder.One of the most recent examples of this fraud was reported by The Daily Caller: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has been criticized for manipulating temperature records to give the illusion of a warming trend. Since then, the agency has been caught changing temperature data from both the past and present.
Here’s the story. A couple of years ago, NASA scientists and climatologists declared July 2012 to be the hottest month in a report titled, “Too Hot to Handle?” [See it here: http://science.nasa.gov]. During the summer months of that year, the country experienced widespread drought and wildfires burned more than 1.3 million acres of land, according to NASA statistics and data.
Now, according to NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in 2012, the “average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during July was 77.6°F, 3.3°F above the 20th century average, marking the warmest July and all-time warmest month on
record for the nation in a period of record that dates back to 1895.” [You can see that assessment here: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov]
‘You can’t get any clearer proof’ of fraud
“The previous warmest July for the nation was July 1936, when the average U.S. temperature was 77.4°F,” NOAA said in 2012.
When checked by The Daily Caller, that claim by the NOAA was still available on the agency’s website. However:
[W]hen meteorologist and climate blogger Anthony Watts went to check the NOAA data [June 29] he found that the science agency had quietly reinstated July 1936 as the hottest month on record in the U.S.
Watts wrote: “Two years ago during the scorching summer of 2012, July 1936 lost its place on the leaderboard and July 2012 became the hottest month on record in the United States. Now, as if by magic, and according to NOAA’s own data, July 1936 is now the hottest month on record again. The past, present, and future all seems to be ‘adjustable’ in NOAA’s world.” [See his blog post here: http://wattsupwiththat.com]
Watts had used data from NOAA’s “Climate at a Glance” plots from 2012, a graphic showing that July 2012 was the hottest month on record at 77.6°F. July 1936 — which was during the infamous Dust Bowl years — is listed at only 77.4°F.
He ran the same data plot again on June 29 and discovered that NOAA inserted a new number in for July 1936; the average temperature for July 1936 was made slightly higher than July 2012, meaning, again, that July 1936 is the hottest year on record.
“You can’t get any clearer proof of NOAA adjusting past temperatures,” Watts wrote. “This isn’t just some issue with gridding, or anomalies, or method, it is about NOAA not being able to present historical climate information of the United States accurately.”
He went on to note that in “one report they give one number, and in another they give a different one with no explanation to the public as to why.
“This is not acceptable. It is not being honest with the public. It is not scientific. It violates the Data Quality Act.”
U.S. ‘cooling since the Thirties’
Watts’ assessment of the NOAA data manipulation came on the heels of earlier reports stating that the federal agency was lowering past temps to create the illusion of a warming trend in the U.S. that did not coincide with the raw data.
The after-the-fact data manipulation was documented by climate blogger Steven Goddard, which was summarily reported by Britain’s Telegraph newspaper earlier in June.
“Goddard shows how, in recent years, NOAA’s US Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) has been ‘adjusting’ its record by replacing real temperatures with data ‘fabricated’ by computer models,” the paper’s Christopher Booker wrote. “The effect of this has been to downgrade earlier temperatures and to exaggerate those from recent decades, to give the impression that the Earth has been warming up much more than is justified by the actual data.”
The real data, Booker said, “show that the US has actually been cooling since the Thirties, the hottest decade on record.”
Antarctic Sea Ice Growing Despite Global Warming Warnings
Sunday, 29 Jun 2014 10:37 AM
By GCN Staff
NASA launches challenges using OpenNEX data
NASA is launching two challenges to give the public an opportunity to create innovative ways to use data from the agency’s Earth science satellites.
The open data challenges will use the Open NASA Earth Exchange (OpenNEX), an Amazon Web Services data and supercomputing platform where users can share knowledge and expertise.
A component of the NASA Earth Exchange, OpenNEX also features a large collection of climate and Earth science satellite data sets, including global land surface images, vegetation conditions, climate observations and climate projections.
“OpenNEX provides the general public with easy access to an integrated Earth science computational and data platform,” said Rama Nemani, principal scientist for the NEX project at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.
“These challenges allow citizen scientists to realize the value of NASA data assets and offers NASA new ideas on how to share and use that data.”
To educate citizen scientists on how the data on OpenNEX can be used, NASA is releasing a series of online video lectures and hands-on lab modules.
The first stage of the challenge offers as much as $10,000 in awards for ideas on novel uses of the data sets. The second stage, beginning in August, will offer between $30,000 and $50,000 for the development of an application or algorithm that promotes climate resilience using the OpenNEX data, and based on ideas from the first stage of the challenge. NASA will announce the overall challenge winners in December.
OpenNEX is hosted on the Amazon Web Services cloud and available to the public through a Space Act Agreement.
Posted by GCN Staff on Jun 25, 2014 at 12:18 PM
main site ….