ScienceCasts: The “Sleeping Giant” in Arctic Permafrost

Visit science.nasa.gov/ for breaking science news. Arctic permafrost soils contain more accumulated carbon than all the human fossil-fuel emissions since 1850 combined. Warming Arctic permafrost, poised to release its own gases into the atmosphere, could be the “sleeping giant” of climate change. NASA Finds ‘Amazing’ Levels Of Arctic Methane And CO2, Asks ‘Is a Sleeping Climate Giant Stirring…

Vast methane ‘plumes’ seen in Arctic ocean as sea ice retreats

The Independent, December 13, 2011: Dramatic and unprecedented plumes of methane – a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide – have been seen bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean by scientists undertaking an extensive survey of the region. The scale and volume of the methane release has astonished the head…

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…

Geologic methane seeps along boundaries of Arctic permafrost thaw and melting glaciers

Release of 14C-depleted methane to the atmosphere from abundant gas seeps concentrated along boundaries of permafrost thaw and receding glaciers in Alaska and Greenland Nature Geoscience (2012) Abstract Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, accumulates in subsurface hydrocarbon reservoirs, such as coal beds and natural gas deposits. In the Arctic, permafrost and glaciers form a ‘cryosphere…

Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment

Landmark Report of an Ad Hoc Study Group on Carbon Dioxide and Climate – Woods Hole, Massachusetts to the Climate Research Board, Assembly of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, National Research Council, NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES | Washington, D.C. 1979 We have examined the principal attempts to simulate the effects of increased atmospheric CO2 on climate.…

Arctic Amplification and Extreme Weather

The “Arctic Paradox” was coined during recent winters when speculations arose that the dramatic changes in the Arctic may be linked to severe snowstorms and cold temperatures in mid-latitudes, particularly along the U.S. east coast and in Europe. Recent studies have illuminated these linkages. Evidence is presented for a physical mechanism connecting Arctic Amplification —…

Lesson: Arctic Sea Ice Decline

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 a…

The N Hemisphere’s Atmospheric Circulation Has Collapsed Creating a Persistent Polar Cyclone

By FishOutOfWater / DailyKos: 500mb heights Normal for May 21 to June 6; 1980-2010 Average 500mb heights for May 21 to June 6 2013 A sudden stratospheric warming split the polar vortex in two in mid-January. Since then, the northern hemisphere’s atmospheric circulation has been behaving very strangely. An area of extreme high pressure formed…

Warming Arctic, Changing Planet

On November 12, 2012 The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Earth Institute, Columbia University and Quebec Government Office presented an exciting discussion about the effects of climate change on the Arctic. Experts highlighted how Arctic sea ice, climate, marine mammals, tundra, and indigenous communities have been affected by and are adapting to climate change. In addition, each…

Arctic Ocean ‘acidifying rapidly’

BBC: The Arctic seas are being made rapidly more acidic by carbon-dioxide emissions, according to a new report. Scientists from the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) monitored widespread changes in ocean chemistry in the region. They say even if CO2 emissions stopped now, it would take tens of thousands of years for Arctic Ocean chemistry to…