PDA

View Full Version : Record June ocean temps “consistent” with global warming


Fiddlerdave
08-22-2009, 01:44 AM
http://www.startribune.com/nation/53813712.html?elr=KArks:DCiUMEaPc:UiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUU

WASHINGTON - Steve Kramer spent an hour and a half swimming in the ocean Sunday — in Maine. The water temperature was 72 degrees — more like Ocean City, Md., this time of year. And Ocean City's water temp hit 88 degrees this week, toasty even by Miami Beach standards.

Kramer, 26, who lives in the seaside town of Scarborough, said it was the first time he's ever swam so long in Maine's coastal waters. "Usually, you're in five minutes and you're out," he said.

It's not just the ocean off the Northeast coast that is super-warm this summer. July was the hottest the world's oceans have been in almost 130 years of record-keeping.

The average water temperature worldwide was 62.6 degrees, according to the National Climatic Data Center, the branch of the U.S. government that keeps world weather records. That was 1.1 degree higher than the 20th century average, and beat the previous high set in 1998 by a couple hundredths of a degree. The coolest recorded ocean temperature was 59.3 degrees in December 1909.

Meteorologists said there's a combination of forces at work this year: A natural El Nino system just getting started on top of worsening man-made global warming, and a dash of random weather variations. The resulting ocean heat is already harming threatened coral reefs. It could also hasten the melting of Arctic sea ice and help hurricanes strengthen.

The Gulf of Mexico, where warm water fuels hurricanes, has temperatures dancing around 90. Most of the water in the Northern Hemisphere has been considerably warmer than normal. The Mediterranean is about three degrees warmer than normal. Higher temperatures rule in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

The heat is most noticeable near the Arctic, where water temperatures are as much as 10 degrees above average. The tongues of warm water could help melt sea ice from below and even cause thawing of ice sheets on Greenland, said Waleed Abdalati, director of the Earth Science and Observation Center at the University of Colorado.

Breaking heat records in water is more ominous as a sign of global warming than breaking temperature marks on land, because water takes longer to heat up and does not cool off as easily as land.

"This warm water we're seeing doesn't just disappear next year; it'll be around for a long time," said climate scientist Andrew Weaver of the University of Victoria in British Columbia. It takes five times more energy to warm water than land.

The warmer water "affects weather on the land," Weaver said. "This is another yet really important indicator of the change that's occurring."

Georgia Institute of Technology atmospheric science professor Judith Curry said water is warming in more places than usual, something that has not been seen in more than 50 years.

Add to that an unusual weather pattern this summer where the warmest temperatures seem to be just over oceans, while slightly cooler air is concentrated over land, said Deke Arndt, head of climate monitoring at the climate data center.

The pattern is so unusual that he suggested meteorologists may want to study that pattern to see what's behind it.

The effects of that warm water are already being seen in coral reefs, said C. Mark Eakin, coordinator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's coral reef watch. Long-term excessive heat bleaches colorful coral reefs white and sometimes kills them.

Bleaching has started to crop up in the Florida Keys, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands — much earlier than usual. Typically, bleaching occurs after weeks or months of prolonged high water temperatures. That usually means September or October in the Caribbean, said Eakin. He found bleaching in Guam Wednesday. It's too early to know if the coral will recover or die. Experts are "bracing for another bad year," he said.

The problems caused by the El Nino pattern are likely to get worse, the scientists say.

An El Nino occurs when part of the central Pacific warms up, which in turn changes weather patterns worldwide for many months. El Nino and its cooling flip side, La Nina, happen every few years.

During an El Nino, temperatures on water and land tend to rise in many places, leading to an increase in the overall global average temperature. An El Nino has other effects, too, including dampening Atlantic hurricane formation and increasing rainfall and mudslides in Southern California.

Warm water is a required fuel for hurricanes. What's happening in the oceans "will add extra juice to the hurricanes," Curry said.

Hurricane activity has been quiet for much of the summer, but that may change soon, she said. Hurricane Bill quickly became a major storm and the National Hurricane Center warned that warm waters are along the path of the hurricane for the next few days.

Hurricanes need specific air conditions, so warmer water alone does not necessarily mean more or bigger storms, said James Franklin, chief hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Hilladelphia
11-07-2009, 04:14 AM
I learned to swim off the south coast of Maine, near Ogunquit in the early 60's. Temperatures were rarely above 56 except if we were lucky enough to find a small rocky outcrop in a bend of the coastline where water was fairly still at low tide.. what a delight to be able to swim for a long time and not end up freezing cold! It was a good life, one where in we were rarely if ever sick. I cannot imagine finding the water warm...

Here in Australia people indulge in silent sceptism. I am the only person I know who has been following this topic of climate change, global warming and other environmental issues for years. I'm a mother of five, my kids have grown up and left home. I work full time and meet people often in my work and normal life. None of my family discuss this topic, my siblings or off spring.

flourbug
11-07-2009, 07:22 AM
Hello Hilladelphia and welcome to This Blue Marble!

jason
11-07-2009, 08:04 AM
I'm sure it's been said elsewhere before, but it should be obvious to anyone that climate change is constantly happening on earth. There is no stable temperature. The question is cause.


Warm water is a required fuel for hurricanes. What's happening in the oceans "will add extra juice to the hurricanes," Curry said.

Funny considering how abnormally mild this year's hurricane season has been :)

Oric
11-07-2009, 08:28 AM
I'm sure it's been said elsewhere before, but it should be obvious to anyone that climate change is constantly happening on earth. There is no stable temperature. The question is cause.




Funny considering how abnormally mild this year's hurricane season has been :)

Calm before storm ?

hillsidedigger
11-07-2009, 09:34 AM
I'm sure it's been said elsewhere before, but it should be obvious to anyone that climate change is constantly happening on earth. There is no stable temperature. The question is cause.




Funny considering how abnormally mild this year's hurricane season has been :)

Did you notice the number and severity of Pacific typhoons this year? Afterall, it is a worldwide issue.

jason
11-07-2009, 09:36 AM
I refuse to believe you can get any meaningful information looking at numbers from a year to year time span. We're talking about a complex and massive system that fluctuates. Average it out over 10 years or more to see if there is a trend.

hillsidedigger
11-07-2009, 10:11 AM
I refuse to believe you can get any meaningful information looking at numbers from a year to year time span. We're talking about a complex and massive system that fluctuates. Average it out over 10 years or more to see if there is a trend.

Then why did you note the scarcity of Atlantic storms this year?

jason
11-07-2009, 10:15 AM
Then why did you note the scarcity of Atlantic storms this year?

Tongue in cheek with the global warming scare tactics that are used constantly. "You had more hurricanes this year because of global warming. You will die next year!"

A few years ago on i4 between Orlando and Tampa, we had billboards telling us that Bush was directly responsible for the hurricanes we were seeing. I doubt that in the span of an 8 year presidency that he could have any meaningful impact on the climate around us.

Samen
11-07-2009, 11:29 AM
Global worming is so out its cooling that’s in the news today, wake up.

Auburn Boy
11-07-2009, 10:00 PM
We need a flash mob.

Get every human on the planet to stand outside in the full sunlight at noon in their locale on a specific day.

Each person is to wear a one meter square aluminum foil hat in a plane parallel to the earths surface.

The change in the albedo of the earth should force some cooling..,

Six billion square meters of reflection..,

I wonder if that would help???

southerncross
11-10-2009, 07:11 AM
#
at Frank:
January 23rd, 2007 at 8:03 pm

There could be a game of sematics going on here. For example, "recent warming is strongly evident at all latitudes in SSTs over each of the oceans" does not mean 'recent strong warming is evident at all latitudes…." That is, the way they worded it, "strongly" refers to the evidence and not to the warming. So, they could be wording the text in such a way as to say one thing but get everyone to infer something else. Net result: the medium is the message, the message is the subtext, and the subtext is factually misleading. You're an astute and very expert reader, Steve, and it looks like their wording got past even your filter. Guess how reporters and political aides will read that.

It gets even better than all that, though. If you plot the southern ocean data since 1995, you'll get a small warming trend. Therefore, we have a play on "recent". It could mean 'since 1979' if the trend since then is warming, but could also mean 'since 1995' if a shorter trend is necessary to show the desired result.

Since 1995, all the oceans show some warming, but not the same amount. The south polar ocean is warming the slowest of all, and the north pole by far the fastest. In fact, since 1995 the north polar ocean is warming 7 times faster than the south polar ocean, and the tropics are warming only slightly faster than the south polar ocean. So, even if the data are tendentiously truncated, the disparity of the poles is a serious problem for GCM polar amplification.

What's even better is that since 2002, i.e., the most recent 5 years, the entire southern hemisphere — tropics and south polar ocean, both — plus the tropical ocean itself, all show a distinct cooling trend. Only the northern extratropics and north polar ocean show warming.

So, it's clear that "recent" means what the IPCC wants it to mean: restricted to about the last 12 years, but not the last 5 years or the last 30 years. Thirty years: a very long time for IPCC climates.

Not to beat my own drum here, but I'd like to ressurect the term: "ends-justified data manipulation" to describe the IPCC process.

You're being too generous, Steve (as usual). It's not that the IPCC is trying to drive anyone crazy. snip That should drive you to anger. Not to say ethical despair.
#
http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1100