Extreme Temperature Diary- Thursday December 1st, 2022/ Main Topic: Mauna Loa Blows Stopping Crucial Carbon Measurements

The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track global 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).😉

Main Topic: Mauna Loa Blows Stopping Crucial Carbon Measurements

Dear Diary. This blog entry goes under the category of Murphy’s Law…what can go wrong will go wrong. There were a lot of good reasons for establishing the number one observatory for measuring atmospheric carbon dioxide on top of Mauna Loa in Hawaii back in 1958. Getting good scientific readings from the top of the mountain were ideal. Unfortunately, the mountain is an active (or semi active) volcano, so any observatory could easily be shut down. Now there is a break from the most continuous long-term readings of atmospheric carbon, which are steadily rising due to worldwide burning of fossil fuels. Jokingly, perhaps Gaia wants us to have a blind eye.

Will treaties and ever larger switches to renewable energy start to curtail carbon trends? There are other observatories that can confirm changes in trends, but those from Mauna Loa are deemed to bec the most reliable. Hopefully, the Mauna Loa observatory will be back up and running so that we will know. Here are more details from the Washington Post:

Mauna Loa eruption halts key atmospheric measurements, CO2 monitoring – The Washington Post

Mauna Loa eruption halts key atmospheric measurements

‘It’s a big eruption, and it’s in a bad place,’ geoscientist Ralph Keeling says of the impact on long-running monitoring of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

Image without a caption

By Brady Dennis

November 29, 2022 at 4:09 p.m. EST

Lava flows downslope of the Mauna Loa volcano on Tuesday after its eruption in Hawaii. (David Fee/Reuters)

The eruption of Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, the world’s largest active volcano, has interrupted a key site that monitors greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, officials said Tuesday.

“The carbon dioxide measurement equipment that maintains the famed Keeling Curve record lost power at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 28 and is not currently recording data,” the University of California at San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography said in a statement.

Despite pandemic, carbon dioxide level in atmosphere hits record high

The site, selected by the late scientist Charles David Keeling as an ideal spot to measure CO2 due to its relative isolation and vegetation-free landscape, has been recording atmospheric concentrations of the planet-heating gas since the late 1950s.

The Keeling Curve — a chart that shows the steady rise of carbon in the atmosphere in recent decades, as measured at Mauna Loa — is considered a simple yet important piece of scientific evidence that human activities are transforming the Earth’s climate.

“It’s a big eruption, and it’s in a bad place,” Keeling’s son, Scripps geoscientist Ralph Keeling, said in a statement Tuesday about the lava flows at Mauna Loa, located at the heart of Hawaii’s Big Island. He described the outlook for future CO2 readings from the station as “very troubling.”

Earlier, Scripps tweeted that the ongoing eruption “is flowing close to the observatory” and that measurements probably would shut down.

A spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which makes complementary CO2 measurements with Scripps Oceanography at Mauna Loa, said in an email Tuesday evening that lava from the eruption crossed an access road to the observatory and took out power lines to the site.

All NOAA staff at the observatory are safe, she said, but the facility is not accessible.

Atmospheric CO2 measurements are maintained at multiple spots around the globe, from the South Pole to Alaska, though the site at Mauna Loa has the best known and most continuous record in the world.

Large image by U.S. Geological Survey/AFP/Getty Images

The current outage is not the only time measurements at the site have faced an interruption.

Scripps said Tuesday that there have been “occasional times” in which measurements have not been available because of excessive variability in hourly readings.

There were also “sustained periods without measurements” in 1964, when budget cuts within federal agencies led to suspending operations at Mauna Loa for several months, Scripps said. And a previous eruption at the volcano in 1984 cut power, leaving the observatory without readings from March 26 to April 29 that year, when a generator arrived and operations resumed.

Mauna Loa, the world’s largest volcano, is erupting. Here’s why and what will happen next.

The measurements at Mauna Loa over the years have charted the profound impact of human activities, primarily the burning of fossil fuels. Last summer, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen to levels not seen in 2 million years.

NOAA says there is widespread confidence that the measurements at Mauna Loa “reflect truth about our global atmosphere” for several reasons. Its high altitude near the summit is an ideal spot to measure air masses “representative of very large areas,” the agency says.

In addition, NOAA says, “all of the measurements are rigorously and very frequently calibrated,” and the ongoing nature of independent measurements at the same site allow for more precision over time.

The eruption at Mauna Loa marks its first in nearly four decades. The U.S. Geological Survey said it began about 11:30 p.m. local time Sunday in Mokuaweoweo, the summit caldera of Mauna Loa.

It was visible from Kona, a popular tourist destination on the island’s west coast, though authorities have said that while its lava flows could threaten some roadways, there is no immediate danger to populated areas.

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Here are some “ET’s” recorded from around the planet the last couple of days, their consequences, and some extreme temperature outlooks:

Here is some new November 2022 climatology:

Here is more climate and weather news from Thursday:

(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. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)

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Guy Walton… “The Climate Guy”

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