2014/07/08

Recent research. The outlook is not improving.

To set the scene:-

401.30ppm


Atmospheric CO2 for June2014

And now, the news...

1.
Antarctic glaciers melting twice as fast as previously estimated: scientists

English.news.cn   2014-07-08 09:03:09

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/sci/2014-07/08/c_133467402.htm

'..sub-surface ocean temperatures down to 700 meters are rapidly changing around Antarctica because of shifting wind patterns, thought to be partly due to global warming.
"It certainly was for me a very frightening result," Spence said.'
"It's not unlike an avalanche of snow, where you don't quite know when it's going to happen but when it happens, it can happen quickly," Spence said.
The Australian Antarctic Division's Tas van Ommen said the effects of a rapidly transforming Antarctica are now likely to be felt this century.
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2.
The runaway glaciers in West Antarctica 
http://climatestate.com/2014/07/05/the-runaway-glaciers-in-west-antarctica/
NASA/JPL press release, May 12, 2014: A new study by researchers at NASA and the University of California, Irvine, finds a rapidly melting section of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet appears to be in an irreversible state of decline, with nothing to stop the glaciers in this area from melting into the sea.
“The collapse of this sector of West Antarctica appears to be unstoppable,” he said. “The fact that the retreat is happening simultaneously over a large sector suggests it was triggered by a common cause, such as an increase in the amount of ocean heat beneath the floating sections of the glaciers. At this point, the end of this sector appears to be inevitable.”
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3.
Global warming and the vulnerability of Greenland's ice sheet
http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-vulnerability-greenland-ice-sheet.html
...The level our oceans will rise to in the next decades and centuries depends strongly on how fast the Greenland ice sheet will melt.
Aside from the importance of deep troughs to ice motion, the extension inland means that glaciers will have to retreat further than anticipated inland in order to reach a position above sea level. “Some of them will stay in contact with the ocean for centuries, when we thought that in a couple of decades they would stabilize.” said Mathieu Morlighem.
The ice sheet is therefore more vulnerable than predicted, and existing projections of sea level rise contribution from Greenland are too conservative and need to be revised.
As the authors state in the paper, “Our findings imply that the outlet glaciers of Greenland, and the ice sheet as a whole, are probably more vulnerable to ocean thermal forcing and peripheral thinning than inferred previously from existing numerical ice-sheet models.”
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4.

Mercury Rising: 2014 Sees Warmest May Ever Recorded Following on From 2nd Warmest April

Posted on 1 July 2014 by Rob Painting

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Mercury-Rising-2014-Sees-Warmest-May-Ever-Recorded.html
...with April 2014 being the 2nd warmest in 135 years of measurement (tied with 1998), and May 2014 the warmest ever in 135 years. 
2014 is currently on track to be one of the warmest years ever recorded, perhaps even the warmest. 
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