Increased Episodic Flooding by 2100 Under High Emissions Scenarios

Scientific Reports, July 30 Under the high emissions RCP8.5 scenario, and with no adaptation such as sea walls or inland migration, increases of 48% in total land area, 20% of global GDP and an additional 23 million people could face periodic risk of flooding by 2100, significantly increasing previous estimates. Regions in northwestern Europe, Asia, […]

Current Arctic Warming Closer to Past Abrupt Climate Events than Models

Nature, July 29 Over the past 40 years, the rate of change in large portions of the Arctic appears comparable to past rapid warming events, going back to the last interglacial period as reflected in this analysis of Greenland ice cores. These past warming events were typically characterized by warming rates of 1-2°C per decade […]

Record High Temperatures in Northernmost Arctic Human Settlements

While the Siberian heatwave drove large wildfires in July, other parts of the Arctic also saw record-breaking temperatures. On July 25, the town of Longyearbyen in Svalbard, an archipelago in the Norwegian High Arctic saw temperatures reach 21.7°C, breaking the previous record by 0.4°C; with daily temperatures exceeding 20°C for four days in a row. […]

First Active Methane Leak Observed off Antarctica

Proceedings of the Royal Society B, July 22. A team of scientists has discovered the first active leak of methane through the Antarctic seafloor, in the Ross Sea. Researchers monitored microbial communities that can consume the greenhouse gas before it reaches the atmosphere, and therefore play an important role within the methane cycle. Their work reveals […]

South Pole Warming Three Times the Global Average

Nature Climate Change, June 29. Surface air temperatures at the South Pole over the past 30 years, as measured at the Scott-Amundsen station and across the Antarctic plateau, reached record-high warming levels of 0.61 ± 0.34 °C per decade, more than three times the global average. Scientists found that stronger low-pressure systems in the Weddell Sea carry warmer […]

East Antarctic Ice Sheet Vulnerable to Melting Within Paris 2°C Goal

Nature, July 22 Large sections of the massive Wilkes Basin ice sheet of East Antarctica, holding 3-4 meters of SLR collapsed only 400,000 years ago, retreating over 700 km inland from the current ice margin – dispelling theories that it had been stable for millions of years. This glacial retreat, measured through traces of uranium-234 in […]

Climate Sensitivity to CO2 Emissions: More Accurate and Higher Level

AGU, July 21, 2020 Earth’s global “climate sensitivity” to CO2 emissions remains a fundamental question in predicting the future climate.  Until now, scientists relied on a 1979 estimate of 1.5‐4.5°C per doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide (assuming no other climate forcing).  For the first time in 40 years, this consensus report – part of preparation […]

Global Methane Emissions Reach ‘Record High’ Levels

Global Methane Budget, 2000-2017 (2020), July 15, 2020. A new consensus update to global methane emissions reveals that atmospheric methane increased by 8.5ppb and 10.7ppb in 2018 and 2019, respectively – two of the highest annual values of the 21st century. The current concentration of atmospheric methane is more than 2.5 times higher than pre-industrial […]

World Temperatures Projected to Reach 1.5°C by 2024

Global Annual to Decadal Climate Update, WMO, July 9, 2020. A new report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) finds a ~70% chance that global mean temperature will rise 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels for at least one month within the next 5 years. This projection does not necessarily mean that the 1.5°C limit will have […]

Climate Analogs & Cryosphere

PNAS December 10: Models Show Abrupt Transition of Climate to Past Geologic States Main Messages: Already in 2030, Earth’s climate will approach that of the mid-Pliocene (-3 million years) if current emissions levels continue unabated, eg RCP8.5 through 2030. Pliocene (–3 million), temps 2.8°-4.6° above pre-industrial, with 20+ m. SLR If emissions continue on an […]