Robot kayaks discovered that the Alaskan glacier basin is melting 100 TIMES faster than the models showed
On June 23, 1988, a sensual day in Washington, James Hansen told Congress and the world that global warming was not approaching, it had already arrived.
The testimony of NASA’s chief scientist, said the historian of Rice University Douglas Brinkley, was “the initial save of the era of climate change.”
Thirty years later, it is clear that Hansen and other fans were right.
But the change has been so radical that it is easy to lose sight of the large and small effects, some obvious, others less striking.
FILE – In this archive photo of December 5, 2017, smoke rises behind a destroyed apartment complex as a forest fire burns in Ventura, California. In the 30 years since 1988, the number of acres burned in the USA. UU. Due to forest fires it has doubled. (AP Photo / Noah Berger, Archive)
The earth is noticeably hotter, the weather is more stormy and more extreme. Polar regions have lost billions of tons of ice; Sea level has been raised by billions of gallons of water. Much more forest fires.
More than 30 years, the period of time that climate scientists often use in their studies to minimize natural climatic variations, the world’s annual temperature has warmed almost 1 degree (0.54 degrees Celsius), according to the National Administration Oceanic and Atmospheric. And the temperature in the United States has risen further: almost 1.6 degrees.
“The biggest change in the last 30 years, which is most of my life, is that we are no longer thinking only about the future,” said Kathie Dello, a climate scientist at Oregon State University in Corvallis. “Climate change is here, now and it is hitting us hard from all sides.”
The warming has not only been global, it has been too local. According to an Associated Press statistical analysis of 30 years of weather, ice, fire, ocean, biological and other data, each of the 344 climate divisions in the lower 48 states (NOAA counties with similar weather ) has warmed significantly, as each of 188 cities has examined.
The effects have been felt in cities from Atlantic City, New Jersey, where the average annual temperature increased 2.9 degrees in the past 30 years, to Yakima, Washington, where the thermometer rose a little more. In the middle, Des Moines, Iowa, has warmed 3.3 degrees since 1988.
The southern center of Colorado, the climate division on the outskirts of Salida, has warmed 2.3 degrees on average since 1988, among the warmest divisions in the contiguous United States.
When I was a girl 30 years ago, winery marketing manager Jessica Shook used to cross-country skiing from her exit door in winter. It was so cold and there was so much snow. Now, he has to drive about 50 miles through snow that is not on the mountain tops, he said.
“The weather of the shirts in January, that never used to happen when I was a kid,” Shook said. When Buel Mattix bought his heating and cooling systems company 15 years ago in Salida, he had perhaps four air conditioning jobs a year. You now have a waiting list of 10 to 15 air conditioning jobs long and may not reach everyone.
And then there is the effect on forest fires. Exit veteran firefighter Mike Sugaski used to think that a 10,000-acre fire was large. Now he fires 10 times bigger fires.
‘Somehow you keep saying’ How can they get much worse? “But they do,” said Sugaski, who was riding his mountain bike on what are generally ski slopes in January of this year.
In fact, wildfires in the United States now consume more than double the area they consumed 30 years ago.
The statistics that follow climate change since 1988 are almost paralyzing. North America and Europe have warmed 1.89 degrees, more than any other continent. The northern hemisphere has warmed more than the south, the land faster than the ocean. Across the United States, temperature increases were most evident at night and in summer and fall. The heat increased at a faster rate in the north than in the south.
Since 1988, daily heat records have been broken more than 2.3 million times in weather stations across the country, half a million times more than cold records.
FILE – In this file photo of October 18, 2015, a girl wades in the water outside Fatou Faye’s house on Diamniadio Island, Saloum Delta in Senegal. The place where Faye’s kitchen once stood is now delineated with short mangrove branches that he hopes will delay the destruction of the rest of his house by the nearby sea. The rising sea level that pushes the waters of the Saloum Delta in Senegal already threatens to carve out the rest of its gray cement home since its foundation, leaving it to her and 30 other homeless relatives on the lower island. (AP Photo / Jane Hahn, Archive)
Doreen Pollack fled the Chicago cold to Phoenix over two decades ago, but in the last 30 years, the summer night heat increased almost 3.3 degrees there. She said that when the power goes out, it becomes unbearable and adds: “Be careful what you ask for.”
The AP interviewed more than 50 scientists who confirmed the depth and spread of warming.
Clara Deser, head of climate analysis at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said that when it comes to periods of 30 years in regions smaller than the continents or the world as a whole, it would not be wise to say that all warming is done by the man. Their studies show that in some places in North America, although not in the majority, natural climatic variability could represent up to half the warming.
But when you look at the globe as a whole, especially since 1970, almost all warming is done by man, said Zeke Hausfather, of the independent scientific group Berkeley Earth. Without additional carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, he said, the Earth would be cooling slightly due to a weakened sun. Numerous scientific studies and government reports estimate that greenhouse gases in the overall picture account for more than 90 percent of Earth’s post-industrial warming.
‘It would take centuries to a millennium to achieve that kind of change with natural causes. This, in that context, is a dizzying pace, “said Kim Cobb, a climate scientist at Georgia Tech in Atlanta.
Others warned that what might appear to be small increases in temperature should not be taken lightly.
“One or two degrees may not seem like much, but raising your thermostat only that amount will have a noticeable effect on your comfort,” said Deke Arndt, NOAA’s head of climate monitoring in Asheville, North Carolina, which has warmed nearly 1.8 degrees. in 30 years
Arndt said average temperatures don’t tell the whole story: “It’s the extremes that bring these changes.”
The nation’s extreme climate – rain-inducing downpours, prolonged droughts, heat and cold waves and snow – has doubled in 30 years, according to a federal index.
Jessica Shook poses for a photo at the winery where she works in Salida, Colorado, on April 30, 2018. When she was a girl 30 years ago, Shook used to cross-country skiing from her exit door in winter. It was so cold and there was so much snow. Now, he has to drive about 50 miles through snow that is not on the mountain tops, he said. ‘The weather of the shirts in January, that never used to happen when I was a kid.’ (AP Photo / Peter Banda)
Extreme rainfall in the northeast has more than doubled. Brockton, Massachusetts, had only one day with at least four inches of rain from 1957 to 1988, but a dozen of them in the subsequent 30 years, according to NOAA records. Ellicott City, Maryland, has just had its second flood of a thousand years in just under two years.
And the Atlantic storms called summer? On average, the first now forms almost a month earlier than in 1988, according to the University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy.
The 14 most expensive hurricanes in the history of the United States, adjusted for inflation, have hit since 1988, reflecting both the growing coastal development and a span that included the most intense Atlantic storms recorded.
“The collective damage caused by the Atlantic hurricanes in 2017 was more than half of the entire budget of our Department of Defense,” said Kerry Emanuel of the MIT.
Climate scientists point to the Arctic as the place where climate change is most notable with a dramatic loss of sea ice, a layer of melting Greenland ice, shrinking glaciers and permafrost defrosting. The Arctic has warmed twice as fast as the rest of the world.
FILE – In this file photo of August 29, 2017, Javier (no surname) catches a tent in the middle of Brittmoore Park Drive in West Houston after the Addicks Reservoir overflowed due to heavy rain days after from Hurricane Harvey. On average, over the past 30 years there have been more major hurricanes (those with winds over 110 mph), they have lasted longer and produced more energy than the previous 30 years, according to an analysis of Associated Press storm data. (Jay Janner / Austin American-Statesman via AP)
Alaska has warmed 2.4 degrees annually since 1988 and 5.4 degrees in winter. Since 1988, Utqiagvik (oot-GAR’-vik), Alaska, formerly known as Barrow, has warmed more than 6 degrees annually and more than 9 degrees in winter.
‘The temperature change is remarkable. Our land is thawing, ” said Mike Aamodt, 73, former interim mayor of the city. He had to move his own cabins at least four times due to coastal erosion and defrosting due to global warming. “We live climate change.”
The amount of Arctic sea ice in September, when it shrinks more, has decreased by almost a third since 1988. It is disappearing 50 years faster than scientists predicted, said Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University.
“There is a new Arctic now because the Arctic Ocean is now navigable” sometimes in the summer, said Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
The vast majority of glaciers worldwide have shrunk. A NASA satellite that measures changes in gravity estimated that Earth’s glaciers lost 279 billion tons of ice, almost 67 billion gallons of water, from 2002 to 2017. In 1986, the Begich Boggs visitor center in The Alaska Chugach National Forest opened to highlight the Portage Glacier. But the glacier continues to decline.
FILE – In this archive photo of July 21, 2017, researchers observe from the Finnish icebreaker MSV Nordica as the sun sets over sea ice in the Victoria Strait along the northwest passage in the Canadian Arctic archipelago. Studies show that the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet. Scientists are worried because the impacts of Arctic warming can be felt elsewhere. (AP Photo / David Goldman, file)
“It can’t be seen from the visitor center and it hasn’t been seen in the last 15 years,” said climatologist Brian Brettschneider of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Ice sheets in Greenland and West Antarctica have also withered, melting about 455 billion tons of ice in water, according to the NASA satellite. That’s enough water to cover the state of Georgia in water almost 9 feet deep.
And it is enough, along with the rest of the melted ice, to raise the level of the seas. Overall, NASA satellites have shown three inches of sea level rise (75 millimeters) in the past 25 years.
With more than 70 percent of the Earth covered by oceans, an increase of 3 inches means about 6,500 cubic miles (27,150 cubic km) of additional water. That’s enough to cover the entire United States with water about 9 feet deep.
It is a suitable metaphor for climate change, say the scientists: we are deep and ever deeper.
“Thirty years ago, we could have seen it coming as a train in the distance,” said Arndt of NOAA. ‘The train is in our living room now.’