Does Sea Ice loss create the condition for an emerging permanent El Nino state?

Recently Doug asked: “…my question is, how far could this phenomenon go? What is the “end” state? Is it possible for example that we could find the jet stream staying in place for months at a time, years, decades? How wavy could this waviness become?” A main theme of Sea ice loss seems to be…

Hydrology & Water Systems Grand Challenges at the Interface of Climate

Grand Challenges at the Interface of Climate, Hydrology and Water Systems AGU Chapman Conference on Communicating Climate Science: A Historic Look to the Future 08 June 2013 — 13 June 2013, Granby, CO, USA Presenter: Peter Gleick Sunday, June 9, 2013, 3:40 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Session: New and Bleeding Edge Topics in Climate Science…

Cryosat reveals major loss of Arctic sea ice

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DC1WxC1JvbQ 13 February 2013: An international team of scientists using new measurements from ESA’s ice mission has discovered that the volume of Arctic sea ice has declined by 36% during autumn and 9% during winter between 2003 and 2012. Satellite records show a constant downward trend in the area covered by Arctic sea ice during…

Secrets of Abrupt Climate Shifts revisited

The understanding of the puzzle about what is going on with our climate system and possible implications improved recently. Let’s begin with going back to 2006, here i quote an excerpt from the blog post “Revealed: Secrets of Abrupt Climate Shifts” via RealClimate, describing more robust understanding of the bipolar / see-saw mechanism of the…

Exceptional 2012 Greenland Ice Melt Caused By Jet Stream Changes That May Be Driven By Global Warming

By Joe Romm / Climate Progress: New research finds that “unusual changes in atmospheric jet stream circulation caused the exceptional surface melt of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) in summer 2012.” Prof. Jennifer Francis tells me these changes are consistent with those caused by warming-driven “Arctic Amplification.” And that means GrIS may melt faster than…

Cyclone Activity Has Been Intensified in the Arctic

Cyclones are key weather elements that make a major contribution to climate trends and variability, and that also bring intense high-frequency changes in wind, temperature and precipitation. Given the recent dramatic change of the Arctic climate, Arctic cyclone activity has attracted an increasing amount of attention. We investigated the Arctic cyclone activity in the context…

Research closes gap between Warming and CO2 Rise

Feedbacks in the climate system – in which warming is linked to natural CO2 increase, driving further warming – may operate faster than previously thought. ACE CRC: Researchers use Antarctic and Greenland ice cores to examine temperature and CO2 changes during the largest natural climate change in Earth’s recent climate history: the warming out of…

Lesson: Arctic Sea Ice Decline

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tY0RdXmLGdU Jennifer Francis, Rutgers University – assesses the broad topic of the Arctic Sea Ice Decline and explains seasonal impacts. Observations, especially since the 1950’s, explain how the “Arctic Amplification” leads to rapid sea ice changes during the summer month. Much more ridging in North America during the winter. And this affects weather patterns, because…

Catastrophic sea levels ‘distinct possibility’ this century

A breakthrough study of fluctuations in sea levels the last time Earth was between ice ages, as it is now, shows that oceans rose some three meters in only decades due to collapsing ice sheets. The findings suggest that such an scenario — which would redraw coastlines worldwide and unleash colossal human misery — is…

First evidence of under-ice volcanic eruption in Antarctica

The first evidence of a volcanic eruption from beneath Antarctica’s most rapidly changing ice sheet. The volcano on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet erupted 2000 years ago (325BC) and remains active. Using airborne ice-sounding radar, scientists from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) discovered a layer of ash produced by a ‘subglacial’ volcano. It extends across an…

Potential methane reservoirs beneath Antarctica

We calculate that the sub-Antarctic hydrate inventory could be of the same order of magnitude as that of recent estimates made for Arctic permafrost. Once thought to be devoid of life, the ice-covered parts of Antarctica are now known to be a reservoir of metabolically active microbial cells and organic carbon. The potential for methanogenic…

Central West Antarctica among the most rapidly warming regions on Earth

There is clear evidence that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is contributing to sea-level rise. In contrast, West Antarctic temperature changes in recent decades remain uncertain. West Antarctica has probably warmed since the 1950s, but there is disagreement regarding the magnitude, seasonality and spatial extent of this warming. This is primarily because long-term near-surface temperature…

West Antarctic rapid glacier retreat may be exceptional during the Holocene

Ice loss from the marine-based, potentially unstable West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) contributes to current sea-level rise and may raise sea level by ≤3.3 m or even ≤5 m in the future. Over the past few decades, glaciers draining the WAIS into the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) have shown accelerated ice flow, rapid thinning, and…