100 degrees F in Siberia!


Joshua Stevens/NASA Earth Observatory

The Arctic heat wave that sent Siberian temperatures soaring to around 100 degrees Fahrenheit on the first day of summer put an exclamation point on an astonishing transformation of the Arctic environment that’s been underway for about 30 years.

As long ago as the 1890s, scientists predicted that increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would lead to a warming planet, particularly in the Arctic, where the loss of reflective snow and sea ice would further warm the region. Climate models have consistently pointed to “Arctic amplification” emerging as greenhouse gas concentrations increase.

Well, Arctic amplification is now here in a big way. The Arctic is warming at roughly twice the rate of the globe as a whole. When extreme heat waves like this one strike, it stands out to everyone. Scientists are generally reluctant to say “We told you so,” but the record shows that we did.

The question now on the table is will nations led by fools who continually reject science change their practices in the least? Or are the residents of the planet stuck into a downward spiral, refusing to act – for whatever excuses they adopt – until it is too late to halt our collective demise?

6 thoughts on “100 degrees F in Siberia!

  1. Cassandra says:

    “…Why is this heat wave sticking around? No one has a full answer yet, but we can look at the weather patterns around it.
    As a rule, heat waves are related to unusual jet stream patterns, and the Siberian heat wave is no different. A persistent northward swing of the jet stream has placed the area under what meteorologists call a “ridge.” When the jet stream swings northward like this, it allows warmer air into the region, raising the surface temperature.
    Some scientists expect rising global temperatures to influence the jet stream. The jet stream is driven by temperature contrasts. As the Arctic warms more quickly, these contrasts shrink, and the jet stream can slow.
    Is that what we’re seeing right now? We don’t yet know.”
    Mark Serreze, Director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center
    See also “Siberia heatwave: why the Arctic is warming so much faster than the rest of the world” https://www.inverse.com/science/siberia-heatwave
    Meanwhile “According to figures reported Saturday by Avialesookhrana, Russia’s agency for aerial forest fire management, 1.15 million hectares (2.85 million acres) were burning in Siberia in areas that cannot be reached by firefighters.
    The worst-hit area is the Sakha Republic, where Verkhoyansk is located, with 929,000 hectares (2.295 million acres) burning. https://www.9news.com.au/national/siberia-heatwave-forest-fires-grow-500-per-cent-arctic-hottest-day-on-record/5ad71697-9ae3-46b8-92c4-07b7405cdf3a

  2. Chechako says:

    “As the Arctic warms, the Inupiat adapt” https://grist.org/climate/as-the-arctic-warms-the-inupiat-adapt/ “…The Arctic — “ground zero for climate change” — is warming more rapidly than the rest of the planet because of a positive feedback loop called Arctic amplification. Rising global temperatures melt the reflective surfaces of snow and ice each year, exposing the darker areas they cover, and the open water and bare ground absorb sunlight, rather than reflect it. This absorbed light creates heat, melting more snow and ice.
    Last year, temperatures in Utqiagvik and the state of Alaska broke the federal government’s 120-year record. The shift has happened so quickly in the North that it has outrun the research tools used to measure it. In 2017, it changed so fast that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warned scientists that the data was potentially flawed. But the data proved accurate: It was the area’s warmest recorded temperature to date.”
    Utqiagvik, Alaska https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utqiagvik,_Alaska

  3. Cassandra says:

    Scientists at Stanford University have discovered a surprising shift in the Arctic Ocean. Exploding blooms of phytoplankton, the tiny algae at the base of a food web topped by whales and polar bears, have drastically altered the Arctic’s ability to transform atmospheric carbon into living matter. Over the past decade, the surge has replaced sea ice loss as the biggest driver of changes in uptake of carbon dioxide by phytoplankton. https://phys.org/news/2020-07-regime-shift-arctic-ocean-scientists.html The research appears July 10 in the journal Science: “Climate change tweaks Arctic marine ecosystems” https://science.sciencemag.org/content/369/6500/137
    Also: “Extreme ocean surface waves with a devastating impact on coastal communities and infrastructure in the Arctic may become larger due to climate change, according to a new study.” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200707113248.htm

  4. inconvenient reality says:

    Recent Siberian heat wave ‘almost impossible’ without climate change, study says https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2020/07/16/siberian-heat-wave-almost-impossible-without-climate-change/5450168002/ “The analysis, published Wednesday, showed that prolonged heat such as Siberia experienced this year would happen less than once in every 80,000 years without human-induced climate change – “making it almost impossible in a climate that had not been warmed by greenhouse gas emissions,” the study said.
    Climate change increased the chances of the prolonged heat by a factor of at least 600. This is among the strongest results of any study, according to the analysis.”
    See “Prolonged Siberian heat in 2020” https://www.worldweatherattribution.org/siberian-heatwave-of-2020-almost-impossible-without-climate-change/

  5. Update says:

    “It’s Not Just Siberia as Record Heat Spreads Across the Arctic” https://earther.gizmodo.com/its-not-just-siberia-as-record-heat-spreads-across-the-1844517909
    July 27, 2020: Forecast temperature anomalies over the next few days in the Arctic. Ellesmere Island is off the northwest coast of Greenland while Svalbard is due north of Scandinavia. Both saw record high temperatures set this weekend. (Gif: University of Maine Climate Change Institute)

    [video src="https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/c_scale,fl_progressive,q_80,w_800/dz2yczbxjokajltabv20.webm" /]

  6. Stover says:

    “The Arctic is burning like never before — and that’s bad news for climate change
    Fires are releasing record levels of carbon dioxide, partly because they are burning ancient peatlands that have been a carbon sink.” (Nature 9/10/20) https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02568-y
    “Why forest fires in Siberia, Russia threaten us all” (BBC video) https://www.bbc.com/news/av/science-environment-54126762
    See also: “Smoke from the US West Coast wildfires has reached Europe” https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/16/weather/us-wildfires-smoke-europe-copernicus-intl/index.html

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