A few days ago we told you about the nonexistent or “8%” snow pack
Now the coldest place on Earth just got warmer than has ever been recorded.
According to the weather blog Weather Underground, on Tuesday, March 24, the temperature in Antarctica rose to 63.5°F (17.5C) —it’s still unofficial but would be a record for the polar continent. Part of a longer heat wave, the record high came just a day after the previous record was set at 63.3°F.
The poles are warming faster than any part of the planet and rapid ice melt is being observed at increased rates in Antarctica. According to a new study, ice shelves in West Antarctica have lost as much as 18 percent of their volume over the last two decades, with rapid acceleration occurring over the last decade.
From 1994 to 2003, the overall loss of ice shelf volume across the continent was negligible, but over the last decade West Antarctic losses increased by 70 percent.
According to the British Antarctic Survey, since records for the Antarctic Peninsula began half a century ago, the average temperature has risen about 5°F, making it “the most rapidly warming region in the Southern Hemisphere – comparable to rapidly warming regions of the Arctic.”
While the polar regions are feeling the most severe temperature changes brought on by the rise in greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, areas across the globe are setting record highs at a much faster rate than record lows. Since 2010, 46 nations or territories out of 235 have set or tied record highs. Only four have set record lows. According to the Weather Underground, so far this year, five nations or territories have tied or set all-time records for their highest temperature: Antarctica, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Wallis and Futuna Territory, and Samoa.
From: Weather Underground
These stories bring in to sharp focus this prophetic newscast from April 3, 1980 Where CBS TV news anchor Walter Cronkite “The Most Trusted Man in America” tried to warn us about climate change.
On April 3, 1980, Cronkite tossed to a news piece from CBS veteran Nelson Benton. Thirty-five years ago, for two and half minutes – an eternity even then by TV news standards and a near-impossibility today – a broadcast anchored by The Most Trusted Man in America tried to warn us about climate change. Watch this newscast from 1980 here:
Actually, “climate change” wasn’t mentioned in Benton’s piece, but CO2, “global warming” and the “Greenhouse Effect” were.”Scientists,” intoned Benton, “and a few politicians are beginning to worry.” The story features Senator Paul Tsongas at a Senate hearing, reciting a list of cities that could someday be under water. Scientist Gordon MacDonald of the non-profit Mitre Corp. predicts a summertime temperature hike of 16 F.
Benton quotes another unnamed scientist’s reference to the book of Genesis: “Noah knew trouble was coming, and he prepared for it.”
Despite thirty-five years of accumulating evidence, national TV news can’t much be bothered with covering it. CNN boss Jeff Zucker candidly said last year that climate change “deserves more attention,” but there’s “a tremendous lack of interest on the audience’s part.”
In all likelihood, the no-nonsense, avuncular Cronkite or Nelson Benton couldn’t get past the first job interview today. And the top-rated anchorman doesn’t get called “The Most Trusted Man in America” anymore. For the past several years, the top-rated anchor has been Brian Williams, and neither he nor his rivals or successors would air a prime time editorial to change hearts and minds on climate change.
The book of Genesis is still invoked in climate discussions, but these days, it’s often by James Inhofe, whose full-bore denial screeds have taken the place of the cerebral Senator Tsongas.
And to paraphrase the signature close to Uncle Walter’s nightly newscast, that, “unfortunately”, is The Way It Is.
From: the Daily Climate
Then it just gets more bleak.
It is bad enough that warming temperatures are being blamed for the drought in California or melting sea ice in the Arctic.
Now, a new study finds a warmer world could actually be causing an increase in emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane from ecosystems on land. Using data from ice cores dating back nearly 1 million years, researchers uncovered what is called positive feedback in climate, where effects of one factor serve to amplify another and thus worsen the cycle of climate change.
Taking 800,000 years of ice core data and putting it into a mathematical model, the researchers, writing in the journal Nature Climate Change on Monday, were able to demonstrate a correlation between the rising temperatures and a spike in greenhouse gas emissions across several ice ages.
“This gives a direct deduction from this past data that there is a strong effect of the temperature on concentrations on carbon dioxide and methane, in other words two major greenhouse gases,” Tim Lenton, a co-author on the paper from the University of Exeter, told CBS News. “That gives us a direct confirmation purely from the data that there is this positive feedback loop.”