18 May 2020   Leave a comment

The Arctic is currently in the grips of a heat wave which is accelerating the ice melt in the Arctic, Greenland, and large parts of Siberia. The Independent quantifies the temperature highs as extreme:

“The current temperature spike follows a considerably warmer April than normal for the Arctic. In mid-April average temperatures reached highs of more than 0C, meaning overall some recordings were up to 20C above the long-term normal values for the area, according to data collected by Nasa and other agencies.

Speaking to The Independent about the record-breaking data, climate scientist Martin Stendel of the Danish Meteorological Institute said ‘the temperature anomalies in the high Arctic and large parts of Siberia are indeed quite extreme’.

“’I could not find anything comparable for the high Arctic in a data set which goes back to 1958.’

“’There is no similar event so early in the season’ on record, he said.”

Even though it did not feel that way in South Hadley, MA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that April 2020 was the second warmest April on record for the planet as a whole: “The eight warmest Aprils have all occurred since 2010, and April 2020 marked the 44th consecutive April above the 20th-century average.”

Last year, there were record wildfires in Siberia but it appears as if this year could be worse. According to Ecowatch:

As of April 27, ten times the amount of land was on fire in the Krasnoyarsk region compared to the same time last year, The Siberian Times reported. In Transbaikal, meanwhile, three times as much land was burning, and in the Amur region, there were 1.5 times as many fires.

“‘A critical situation with fires has developed in Siberia and the Far East,’ Emergencies Minister Evgeny Zinichev said in a video conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin reported by The Siberian Times.”

Although there are some who still deny that climate change is occurring, the evidence is overwhelming that the process is occurring. Given the present trends, some parts of the planet will be unlivable soon. A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concluded that:

“We show that for thousands of years, humans have concentrated in a surprisingly narrow subset of Earth’s available climates, characterized by mean annual temperatures around ∼13 °C. This distribution likely reflects a human temperature niche related to fundamental constraints. We demonstrate that depending on scenarios of population growth and warming, over the coming 50 y, 1 to 3 billion people are projected to be left outside the climate conditions that have served humanity well over the past 6,000 y.”

Posted May 18, 2020 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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