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2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #34

Posted on 23 August 2020 by John Hartz

Story of the Week: Fire... Story of the Week: Ice... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review...

Story of the Week: Fire...

California and Colorado Fires May Be Part of a Climate-Driven Transformation of Wildfires Around the Globe

Wildfires from Australia to Siberia are not just larger, hotter and faster, but burning in areas and seasons where they were previously rare.

California Wildfire Aug 2020

A spot fire from the CZU August Lightning Complex fire burns along Alba Road on the outskirts of Ben Lomond, California, on Aug. 20, 2020. Credit: Dai Sugano/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

The wildfires that exploded over the past few days in California and Colorado show clear influences of global warming, climate scientists say, and evidence of how a warming and drying climate is increasing the size and severity of fires from the California coast to the high Rocky Mountains.

They may also be the latest examples of climate-driven wildfires around the world burning not only much bigger, hotter and faster, but exploding into landscapes and seasons in which they were previously rare.

For tens of thousands of Californians enduring evacuations, and millions more suffering through smoke that has brought some parts of the state the worst air quality in the world, the recent fire weather has seemed almost biblical.

The entire state and much of the rest of the West has been, for the last week, in the grip of a "heat dome" that has brought temperatures of 129.9 degrees Fahrenheit to Death Valley, perhaps the hottest temperatures ever recorded on the planet. On Saturday, Aug. 15, the National Weather Service issued its first ever warning for a tornado born of a wildfire, when radar detected at least five spinning vortices in a pyrocumulonimbus cloud rising from the Loyalton fire near the Nevada state line. Witnesses saw a "firenado" dropping from the smoky storm cloud to the ground.

Click here to access the entire artile originally posted on the InsdieClimate News website.

California and Colorado Fires May Be Part of a Climate-Driven Transformation of Wildfires Around the Globe by Michael Kodas, InsideClimate News, Aug 22, 2020

Story of the Week: Ice...

Earth has lost 28 trillion tonnes of ice in less than 30 years

‘Stunned’ scientists say there is little doubt global heating is to blame for the loss

Dog sled on melting sea ice near Greenland

Husky dogs wade over sea ice during an expedition in north-western Greenland, where ice loss has been triggered by rising sea levels and atmospheric temperatures. Photograph: Steffen Olsen/Centre for Ocean and Ice at the/AFP/Getty Images

A total of 28 trillion tonnes of ice have disappeared from the surface of the Earth since 1994. That is stunning conclusion of UK scientists who have analysed satellite surveys of the planet’s poles, mountains and glaciers to measure how much ice coverage lost because of global heating triggered by rising greenhouse gas emissions.

The scientists – based at Leeds and Edinburgh universities and University College London – describe the level of ice loss as “staggering” and warn that their analysis indicates that sea level rises, triggered by melting glaciers and ice sheets, could reach a metre by the end of the century.

“To put that in context, every centimetre of sea level rise means about a million people will be displaced from their low-lying homelands,” said Professor Andy Shepherd, director of Leeds University’s Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling.

The scientists also warn that the melting of ice in these quantities is now seriously reducing the planet’s ability to reflect solar radiation back into space. White ice is disappearing and the dark sea or soil exposed beneath it is absorbing more and more heat, further increasing the warming of the planet.

In addition, cold fresh water pouring from melting glaciers and ice sheets is causing major disruptions to the biological health of Arctic and Antarctic waters, while loss of glaciers in mountain ranges threatens to wipe out sources of fresh water on which local communities depend.

“In the past researchers have studied individual areas – such as the Antarctic or  Greenland – where ice is melting. But this is the first time anyone has looked at all the ice that is disappearing from the entire planet,” said Shepherd. “What we have found has stunned us.”

The level of ice loss revealed by the group matches the worst-case-scenario predictions outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), he added.

Click here to access the entire article origninally posted on the Observer/Guardian website.

Earth has lost 28 trillion tonnes of ice in less than 30 years by Robin McKie, Environment, Observer/Guardian, Aug 23, 2020

Toon of the Week...

2020 Toon 34

Hat tip to the Stop Climate Science Denial Facebook page.

Climate Feedback Article Review...

[To be added.]

Coming Soon on SkS...

  • Scientists seek to collect ice core samples before glaciers and ice sheets melt (Kristen Pope)
  • Climate TRACE to track real-time global carbon emissions (Bruce Lieberman)
  • SkS New Research for Week #34 (Doug Bostrom)
  • change (Daisy Dunne)
  • Will Fusion Power solve Climate Change? (Climate Adam)
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #35 (John Hartz)
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #35 (John Hartz)

Poster of the Week...

2020 Poster 34 

SkS Week in Review... 

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