The frozen world is dwindling fast. New research suggests that the cryosphere − the area of the planet covered by snow and ice − is dwindling by around 87,000 square kilometres every year. This is an area bigger than Austria, almost as big as Hungary, or Jordan. Even the Arctic’s coldest sea ice is threatened. A second, separate study warns that what glacier scientists call the Last Ice Refuge − the tract of Arctic Ocean that will stay frozen when the rest of it becomes open water during some summers in the next decades − is itself at risk: the coldest and most secure reaches of sea ice just north of Greenland and Canada could be vulnerable to summer melt. That the polar regions and the high-altitude frozen rivers and lakes are at risk is not news: climate scientists have been warning for decades of accelerating melt in Antarctica, ever-higher losses of ice mass from Greenland, and a loss of northern polar sea ice so comprehensive that by 2050, much of the Arctic Ocean could be clear blue water most summers.
Climate News Network 6th July 2021 read more »
Climatologists are nervous of being accused of alarmism – but many have been frankly alarmed for some time now. “The extreme nature of the record, along with others, is a cause for real concern,” says veteran scientist Professor Sir Brian Hoskins. “What the climate models project for the future is what we would get if we are lucky. The model’s behaviour may be too conservative.” In other words, in some places it’s likely to be even worse than predicted.
BBC 7th July 2021 read more »
The European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service revealed that June temperatures in North America were 1.2C higher than the average from 1991 to 2020, which is more than 2C above pre-industrial levels. This is the 12th consecutive year of above-average June temperatures in the region, and the greatest increase recorded until now. At the start of the month, the record-breaking heatwave conditions were centred over the south-west of the US. They then moved over the north-west of the US and south-west Canada, causing more than 500 heat-related deaths and creating tinder for wildfires. The town of Lytton in British Columbia broke Canada’s heat record three days in a row. The latest hydrological bulletin shows many of the affected regions had unusually dry soil. Northern Europe and Siberia also experienced an unusually hot June. Temperature records were broken in Moscow and Helsinki. The world as a whole was also warmer than average for this time of year. This would not normally be expected in the same year as a La Niña phenomenon, which is generally associated with a cooling effect.
Guardian 7th July 2021 read more »
In a leaked report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC, (due out officially in August), climate scientists revealed their concerns over tipping points triggered by global warming beyond which humans will not survive, and that these thresholds are far closer than most people realise.
The National 7th July 2021 read more »