Siberian Arctic permafrost decay and methane escape

Widespread seafloor gas release from the seabed offshore the West Yamal Peninsula, suggests that permafrost has degraded more significantly than previously thought.  Gas is released in an area of at least 7500 km2 in water depths >20 m.((Offshore permafrost decay and massive seabed methane escape in water depths >20 m at the South Kara Sea shelf | http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50735/abstract | Alexey Portnov,…

NASA | 2014 Warmest Year On Record

The year 2014 now ranks as the warmest on record since 1880, according to an analysis by NASA scientists. Nine of the 10 warmest years since modern records began have now occurred since 2000, according to a global temperature analysis by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. 2014’s record-breaking warmth…

Natural Gas versus Coal Power Plants: Greenhouse gas warming

Ken Caldeira: We had a paper come out comparing effects of natural gas versus coal plants, aimed at understanding how much methane leakage there could be from natural gas before it caused more near-term warming than coal. The answer depends on how efficient the different power plants are, but one thing that is clear is…

Arctic Sea Ice, Summer 2014 (NASA animation)

An animation of daily Arctic sea ice extent in summer 2014, from March 21, 2014 to Sept. 17, 2014 – when the ice appeared to reach it’s minimum extent for the year. It’s the sixth lowest minimum sea ice extent in the satellite era. The data was provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency from…

Experts: Arctic craters could be ‘Visible Effect’ of Global Warming

The preliminary results from scientists studying the mysterious holes (craters), that began emerging in recent times in Siberia, indicate that climate change may be a cause. The Russian crater research team led by Alexei Plekhanov of the Scientific Centre of Arctic Studies, explained a possible mechanism, in a Nature interview. The past two summers were…

Novel climate proxy reveals CO2 content of Earth’s atmosphere, of the past 400 million years

The study New constraints on atmospheric CO2 concentration for the Phanerozoic (DOI: 10.1002/2014GL060457), by Peter J. Franks, Dana L. Royer, David J. Beerling , Peter K. Van de Water, David J. Cantrill, Margaret M. Barbour, and Joseph A. Berry, estimates CO2 in Earth history based on a new climate proxy. Estimates are in particular based…

Rapid sea-ice loss may increase the rate of Arctic land warming by 3.5 times – affecting permafrost

Recently a mysterious Siberian crater has been discovered, which subsequently raised questions about the circumstances surrounding the crater formation.  Theories include Pingo formation and connections to the thawing of permafrost (ClimateState reported). Robert Scribbler, summed it up: One theory on the feature is that it might be a pingo — a melting of a permafrost water pocket…

Greenland ice sheet collapse, triggered ancient sea level rise 400,000 years ago

New evidence suggest that the longest interglacial (the time in between ice ages) – a warming period, called Marine Isotope Stage 11, more than 400,000 years ago, created nearly complete deglaciation of southern Greenland, thus contributed 4-6 meters to global sea level rise at that period. Overall se alevel rose about 6-13 meters above present…

NOAA, State of the Climate 2013 report: Climate Scientists See ‘Very Rapid Declines’

Access the report State of the Climate in 2013 (PDF) NBC: Leading climate scientists on Thursday issued their annual physical of Earth, comparing the planet in 2013 to a patient that’s only getting worse and highlighting problems with key vital signs: from record warmth in Australia and China to sea levels that continue to rise…

WMO: Climate, water and weather extreme data (1970-2012)

The World Meteorological Organisation published the  Atlas of mortality and  economic losses from weather,  climate and water extremes  (1970–2012) on July 11, 2014. The Atlas summarizes the global impacts of the last four decades, based on extreme events such as droughts, extreme temperatures, floods, tropical cyclones and related health epidemics, and the related economic losses. From 1970 to 2012, 8835 disasters,…

Time history of atmospheric carbon dioxide (2013 data)

Video credit: Andy Jacobson, CIRES/NOAA In 2013, Greenhouse gases continued to rise, 34 percent increase since 1990 NOAA reported in May 2014, about greenhouse gas observations, based on the Annual Greenhouse Gas Index (AGGI). Findings show that greenhouse gasses keep rising, a trend observed since the Industrial Revolution (1880s) and has accelerated in recent decades. The main contributor…

Why is Antarctic sea ice expanding?

By Laura Naranjo (NSIDC), first published January 31, 2014. In the following  an edited version, reposted here with permission. Antarctic sea ice is ruled by very different systems than Arctic sea ice. The reasons behind this increase are complex, and several recent studies show that scientists are still trying to understand them. Ice and wind Atmospheric…

Study: 2°C target at risk, without moving subsidies (Updated)

The study, Energy investments under climate policy: A comparison of global models, published in the journal Climate Change Economics (DOI: 10.1142/S2010007813400101 | 2013) explored global energy spending and concluded that low-carbon energy and energy efficiency investments of about 1.1 trillion annually are required, to meet the emissions reduction targets to keep the world below 2°C. In context, additional $0.8…