Extreme Temperature Diary- January 15th, 2019/ Topic: Going Back Down Under- More Southern Hemisphere Warnings

Tuesday January 15th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing post will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials)😊. 

Going Back Down Under- More Southern Hemisphere Warnings

Australia’s eye opening summer continues into the new year. It’s gotten hot and I mean really hot across southern areas of the country the last couple of days:  

My favorite French meteorologist has also noticed the latest round of heat to plague the country, reporting a couple of “ETs:” 

From a world perspective today one of the warmest anomalies on the planet is from southeast Australia:

Forecast Image

Here is what expert local forecasters are seeing this week for Australia. I highly recommend clicking on the video link:

Also from the Southern Hemisphere more dire warnings are coming in concerning worldwide sea level rise. This new news about Antarctica:

Here is more quoted from Jeff’s linked CBS report:

In the “the longest-ever assessment” of Antarctica‘s ice mass, scientists are reporting a rapid increase in melting — a six-fold increase in yearly Antarctic ice mass loss between 1979 and 2017. 

The study, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was a collaborative effort by glaciologists from the University of California, Irvine, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Netherlands’ Utrecht University. 

“We are on a path for rapid sea level rise in the coming one century or so” says lead author Eric Rignot. 

The team was able to discern that between 1979 and 1990, Antarctica shed an average of 40 billion tons of ice mass annually. From 2009 to 2017, about 252 billion tons per year were lost. And the rate of ice melt has increased as well, by nearly three times. 

The data was derived from high-resolution aerial photographs taken by NASA’s Operation IceBridge, satellite radar interferometry from multiple space agencies and the ongoing Landsat satellite imagery series. 

Rignot warned, “Depending on how old you are and how fast we keep warming up the planet you may see the vector of catastrophically rapid sea level rise (4 meters per century scale).” A rise of 4 meters (about 12 feet) would be enough to put many coastal towns and cities underwater and submerge much of South Florida.

compare-sea-level-miami-climate-central.jpg
Maps show the projected impact of different levels of sea level rise on Miami, Florida. Climate Central

For now, the ice melt and corresponding sea-level rise remains at a manageable level. In the past 40 years, Antarctica’s contribution to global sea level rise has only been a half an inch. But that pace is increasing as the climate warms faster.

Traditionally the western side of Antarctica has been the biggest source of anxiety among scientists. But this study finds a vast quarter of eastern Antarctica is now becoming a bigger player and “is a great concern as well.”

 “This region is probably more sensitive to climate change than has traditionally been assumed, and that’s important to know, because it holds even more ice than West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula together,” said Rignot. 

The more rapid melt is due to increased westerly winds forcing more warm, salty subsurface waters underneath the edges of the floating ice shelves due to a changing climate. The ice shelves act as an ocean-facing, protective barrier, keeping land-ice locked in place.

So, while most meteorologists are anticipating a change in the weather pattern leading to “true winter” across most of North America the next several days, it pays to remind all that this summer in the Southern Hemisphere is undergoing climate change signs, albeit at a slower pace than just one season across Antarctica. Despite shivering across Europe, the United States and Canada, heed these warnings.

Oh, and Dear Diary, here is some other big news concerning Antarctica from Wednesday:

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Here is more climate and weather news from Tuesday:

 (As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have  put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity.) 

The first three items are mostly good news indicating that the globe is still cool enough to produce typical January weather in the United States. And yes, California should see more long term drought relief:

 

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The Climate Guy

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