Tag Archives: Record

Arctic ice hit one of its lowest points on record, but there’s another grim statistic

Arctic ice hit one of its lowest points on record, but there’s another grim statisticSea ice in the Arctic has just about melted to its lowest point of 2018, and this reinforces a trend of dwindling ice atop the globe — where the climate is warming two to three times faster than the rest of the planet. As of last week, it's the sixth-lowest ice extent — known as the sea ice minimum — in nearly 40 years of satellite records, and with the summer's end it's likely to keep that ranking. This statistic alone might not carry the bite of 2012's extreme Arctic melt, in which the ice thawed to its lowest point ever recorded. Yet, a closer examination of what's transpired in the great north this year reveals the Arctic's ever-accelerating disappearance. "I don’t want the story to be 'This was a ho-hum year'," Jeremy Mathis, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientist who has led the agency's Arctic Research Program, said in an interview. "Even though the ice didn’t break an all-time record, it was still well below the historical average." 2018 sea ice extent is well below the average.Image: national snow and ice data centerIn fact, each of the last 12 years have been the lowest 12 years on the satellite record, Walt Meier, a senior research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, said in an interview. "Twelve in a row," said Meier. "That clearly indicates a change." And there's more. SEE ALSO: The wilderness has returned to idyllic Cape Cod. That means great white sharks. Some of the thickest, oldest Arctic ice, which is anchored in a compacted mass off the frigid north Greenland shore, broke apart this year. "That was oldest, most stable ice in the Arctic," said Mathis. "That’s the ice that we thought would hold on the longest." "It even stuck around when we saw all-time record-breaking melt in 2012," he added. The average thickness of this ice is around 5 meters, or 16 feet thick, but in parts it can reach 20 meters, or some 65 feet, said Meier.  In the greater scope of the expansive Arctic, this break-up wasn't extremely large. But it wasn't exactly small, either. A large pond of melted water on Arctic sea iceImage: nasa"It's an area about the size of Indiana, so it's not trivial," he said.  This break-up portends what may eventually transpire in the Arctic — a visible gauge of climate change — in the next four or so decades. "Something happened this year that is incredibly indicative of just how fast the Arctic is changing," said Mathis. "That could accelerate the timeline for what could be an ice-free Arctic Ocean during the summer months." "It definitely was a surprise," said Meier.  Though, this may not be the first time such Greenland ice melting has happened, he explained; given the limited satellite records, there's no way to know for sure. In any case, it's still a sign of growing instability.  "It’s an indication that it [the ice] was thinner and weaker than it used to be," he said. Loss and variability of August #Arctic sea ice volume…+ Model (PIOMAS) info/validation: t.co/UDsruDEI5p + Additional graphics: t.co/bTAfMZhjL1 pic.twitter.com/2YNhTPXoym — Zack Labe (@ZLabe) September 22, 2018 When sea ice melts, it contributes to even more ice melting. In contrast to the dark ocean, bright ice reflects sunlight back into space. But as both the warming oceans and atmosphere melt the bright ice cover, the ocean is then able to absorb this energy, which in turn melts more ice, said Meier. It's a continuing, stubborn feedback loop. The change here, even in non-record breaking years, is stark.  "We're definitely looking at a shift in the climate," said Meier. WATCH: A paralyzed man walks, with assistance, thanks to a new therapy that reactivates the spinal cord



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Hundreds rescued as river reaches record heights in North Carolina

Hundreds rescued as river reaches record heights in North CarolinaNorth Carolina rivers may crest higher than they did during Hurricane Matthew in 2016.



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Brett Kavanaugh's Record Sets A Dangerous Precedent On Endangered Species

Brett Kavanaugh's Record Sets A Dangerous Precedent On Endangered SpeciesIf Judge Brett Kavanaugh becomes Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh, activists



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Drug Overdoses In America Hit A Record High — Again

Drug Overdoses In America Hit A Record High — AgainDrug overdose deaths killed a record 72,287 Americans last year, according to



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California just had its hottest month on record, and that means more wildfires

California just had its hottest month on record, and that means more wildfiresIt should come as no surprise that California is burning.  On Wednesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that July was California's hottest month since record keeping began in 1895. Those scorching temperatures withered the land, creating profoundly parched forests primed to catch fire with just a spark.  SEE ALSO: Engineering Earth's climate might quell global warming, but it could come with a cost Major wildfires are propelled by weather, notably strong winds, but they're also enhanced by overall rising global temperatures due to human-caused climate change, say scientists. This is a particularly stark reality in California, where even in early July, fire scientists noted that the state's vegetation reached near-record dryness.  On Monday, the Mendocino Complex Fire became the largest blaze in state history, easily outpacing the Thomas Fire, which broke the record just this past winter.  Just in: #California had its warmest July on record, as hot, dry weather fueled multiple #wildfires across the state. t.co/ggKyL5hS1V — NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) August 8, 2018 Nearly the entire Golden State experienced either record heat or temperatures "much above average" in July, said NOAA.  However, California wasn't alone in experiencing scorching temperatures and multiple heat waves.  Most of the West was abnormally warm, and in the contiguous U.S., May through July temperatures were also the warmest on record, eclipsing the previous record set in 1934. Image: noaaAs climate and environmental scientists are quick to point out, individual temperature records are not too meaningful — it's the long-term trends that matter.  And California's summer heat is certainly a continuation of accelerating warming trends in both the U.S. and around the globe.   Heat waves and longer warming spells will certainly happen, regardless of what the climate is doing, as big blobs of warm air can settle over areas, like California or Europe, for extended periods of time.  But the climate is simply warmer that it was a half century ago, giving hot temperatures an extra boost — which can mean vast swathes of land are turned to fire-ready tinder.   #HolyFire appears to be picking up significantly, making a run to the north, along eastern side of the ridge leading up to Santiago Peak. Current view from HPWREN's camera #CAwx #OrangeCounty #Riverside #SanDiego pic.twitter.com/eqc3gnZ6nR — NWS San Diego (@NWSSanDiego) August 8, 2018 Yet another heat wave continues this week in portions of California, like Los Angeles. As might be expected, this doesn't bode well for the already dry vegetation in the region. Southern California's Holly Fire is now actively growing near suburban neighborhoods. Relieving rains aren't expected in much of the state for months.  California, like recently scorched Greece, experiences the dry, warm summers defined by the Mediterranean climate. Historically, fires happen during this time of year.  But now — just like heat waves around the world — they're getting worse. And the consequences are plainly visible.  WATCH: This "horror" was spotted off the coast of the Carolinas



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California wildfire: State's biggest blaze on record expected to burn for rest of month

California wildfire: State's biggest blaze on record expected to burn for rest of monthCalifornia’s biggest wildfire on record is expected to burn for the rest of the month, fire officials say, amid strong winds and a summer heatwave. The latest report from firefighters is that 34 per cent of the fire has been contained, after it damaged 75 residences and nearly 2,000 other structures. The state experienced a similarly large wildfire last year in the southern part of the state in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, but the Mendocino Fire has eclipsed the Thomas Fire in size.



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Record 'Red Tide' Of Toxic Algae Is Killing Wildlife In Florida

Record 'Red Tide' Of Toxic Algae Is Killing Wildlife In FloridaA toxic algae bloom sweeping Florida's southwest coast is being described as



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Turkey lira slumps to record lows over US sanctions

Turkey lira slumps to record lows over US sanctionsThe Turkish lira on Wednesday slumped to record lows of 5.0 against the dollar as the US hit Turkey’s justice and interior ministers with sanctions over the case of an American pastor on trial for terror-related charges. Before his move home last week, Brunson, who led a Protestant church in the Aegean city of Izmir, had spent nearly two years in jail. It then hit 5.0 again after the official announcement from the White House.



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'Incredibles 2' Destroys Opening Weekend Record For Animated Films

'Incredibles 2' Destroys Opening Weekend Record For Animated FilmsThe first family of the cinematic superhero world has returned in epic



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STDs Reached a Record High in California Last Year, According to State Health Authorities

STDs Reached a Record High in California Last Year, According to State Health AuthoritiesHealth professionals blame budget shortfall and other factors for the spike



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