Weather!

Off topic discourse and banter encouraged.
User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 17140
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: Weather!

Post by neufer » Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:10 am

https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/146879/heat-and-fire-scorches-siberia wrote:
Heat and Fire Scorches Siberia

<<Eastern Siberia is famous for some of the coldest wintertime temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere. But in 2020, it has been the region’s wildly high temperatures and wildfires that have wowed meteorologists.

After several months of warm weather, the Russian town of Verkhoyansk reported a daytime temperature of 38°C (100.4°F) on June 20—likely a record high for the town. (The previous high was 37.3°C, recorded on July 25, 1988.) If verified, this will be the northernmost temperature reading above 100°F ever observed and the highest temperature on record in the Arctic, according to the Capital Weather Gang.

“This event seems very anomalous in the last hundred years or so,” said NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies Director Gavin Schmidt. “The background trends in temperature in this region are about 3 degrees Celsius since the 19th century, so the probabilities of breaking records there are increasing fast.”

The map at the top of the page shows land surface temperature anomalies from March 19 to June 20, 2020. Red colors depict areas that were hotter than average for the same period from 2003-2018; blues were colder than average. The map is based on data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite.

Note that the map depicts land surface temperatures (LSTs), not air temperatures. LSTs reflect how hot the surface of the Earth would feel to the touch and can sometimes be significantly hotter or cooler than air temperatures. (To learn more about land surface temperatures and air temperatures, read: Where is the Hottest Place on Earth?)

In a report about the remarkably warm temperatures in Siberia, European scientists examined historical temperature data in their global ERA5 reanalysis, finding that temperatures have been unusually warm in the region since January 2020. Since the ERA5 data begins in 1979, the European team also looked to GISTEMP, a NASA temperature record with data through 1880. They could not find any other examples in either dataset of such an intense heat wave in this part of Siberia persisting for such an extended period.

The persistent high-pressure atmospheric pattern that brought the extreme heat has exacerbated wildfires, prompting dozens to burn in the region’s forest and shrub ecosystems. Some of those ecosystems grow on top of carbon-rich layers of peat and permafrost. The natural-color image below shows smoke streaming from several active wildfires in Russia's Sakha region.

“Most of Earth’s terrestrial carbon is stored in the upper latitudes of the northern hemisphere,” explained Amber Soja, a NASA and National Institute of Aerospace associate research fellow who has conducted field research in the region. Soja noted that many forests in the region are dominated by a coniferous tree—Dahurian larch—that drops its needles each winter. “But because the winters are so cold, there are few decomposers around to break the needles down. Over time, you end up with lots of buried fuel that has built up over millennia, which stores massive quantities of carbon in peat and soils.”

Intense heat waves can thaw the permafrost layer and make long-frozen deposits susceptible to fires, which move carbon from the ground to the atmosphere and contribute to global concentrations of greenhouse gases. “In this part of Siberia, the signs of climate change are already here. It’s not some distant future. It’s now,” she said. “The heat and fires this year are just adding more evidence to the climate change signal that we have seen in these forests for years.”

Though it is still early in the fire season, satellite observations of active fires by NASA and NOAA’s MODIS and VIIRS sensors show the number of fire detections to be among the highest observed in any year since 2003. “Over the Russian Far East, there has been about the same amount of fire as last year, another very active year,” said NASA and Columbia University scientist Robert Field. “Both 2020 and 2019 were about twice the 2003–2020 average, and about half as much as 2011, the most active year.”>>
Art Neuendorffer

BDanielMayfield
Don't bring me down
Posts: 2300
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:24 am
AKA: Bruce
Location: East Idaho

Re: Weather!

Post by BDanielMayfield » Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:37 am

neufer wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:10 am
https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/146879/heat-and-fire-scorches-siberia wrote:
Heat and Fire Scorches Siberia

<<Eastern Siberia is famous for some of the coldest wintertime temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere. But in 2020, it has been the region’s wildly high temperatures and wildfires that have wowed meteorologists.

After several months of warm weather, the Russian town of Verkhoyansk reported a daytime temperature of 38°C (100.4°F) on June 20—likely a record high for the town. (The previous high was 37.3°C, recorded on July 25, 1988.) If verified, this will be the northernmost temperature reading above 100°F ever observed and the highest temperature on record in the Arctic, according to the Capital Weather Gang.

“This event seems very anomalous in the last hundred years or so,” said NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies Director Gavin Schmidt. “The background trends in temperature in this region are about 3 degrees Celsius since the 19th century, so the probabilities of breaking records there are increasing fast.”

The map at the top of the page shows land surface temperature anomalies from March 19 to June 20, 2020. Red colors depict areas that were hotter than average for the same period from 2003-2018; blues were colder than average. The map is based on data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite.

Note that the map depicts land surface temperatures (LSTs), not air temperatures. LSTs reflect how hot the surface of the Earth would feel to the touch and can sometimes be significantly hotter or cooler than air temperatures. (To learn more about land surface temperatures and air temperatures, read: Where is the Hottest Place on Earth?)

In a report about the remarkably warm temperatures in Siberia, European scientists examined historical temperature data in their global ERA5 reanalysis, finding that temperatures have been unusually warm in the region since January 2020. Since the ERA5 data begins in 1979, the European team also looked to GISTEMP, a NASA temperature record with data through 1880. They could not find any other examples in either dataset of such an intense heat wave in this part of Siberia persisting for such an extended period.

The persistent high-pressure atmospheric pattern that brought the extreme heat has exacerbated wildfires, prompting dozens to burn in the region’s forest and shrub ecosystems. Some of those ecosystems grow on top of carbon-rich layers of peat and permafrost. The natural-color image below shows smoke streaming from several active wildfires in Russia's Sakha region.

“Most of Earth’s terrestrial carbon is stored in the upper latitudes of the northern hemisphere,” explained Amber Soja, a NASA and National Institute of Aerospace associate research fellow who has conducted field research in the region. Soja noted that many forests in the region are dominated by a coniferous tree—Dahurian larch—that drops its needles each winter. “But because the winters are so cold, there are few decomposers around to break the needles down. Over time, you end up with lots of buried fuel that has built up over millennia, which stores massive quantities of carbon in peat and soils.”

Intense heat waves can thaw the permafrost layer and make long-frozen deposits susceptible to fires, which move carbon from the ground to the atmosphere and contribute to global concentrations of greenhouse gases. “In this part of Siberia, the signs of climate change are already here. It’s not some distant future. It’s now,” she said. “The heat and fires this year are just adding more evidence to the climate change signal that we have seen in these forests for years.”

Though it is still early in the fire season, satellite observations of active fires by NASA and NOAA’s MODIS and VIIRS sensors show the number of fire detections to be among the highest observed in any year since 2003. “Over the Russian Far East, there has been about the same amount of fire as last year, another very active year,” said NASA and Columbia University scientist Robert Field. “Both 2020 and 2019 were about twice the 2003–2020 average, and about half as much as 2011, the most active year.”>>
Wow. Heat is scorching Alaska too. And all this extra Arctic heat is happening during a spring in which there was a reduction of man made CO2 release due to global covid-19 slowdowns that I'm guessing where far larger than the protocols were even calling for. This is evidence to me that Earth has already been pushed far beyond a global warming tipping point.

Will Earth's northern polar ice cap melt completely this year :?:
"Happy are the peaceable ... "

User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 17140
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Wear a mask!

Post by neufer » Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:13 pm

https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/146913/a-dust-plume-to-remember wrote:
A Dust Plume to Remember
NASA : Earth Observatory Earth Observatory

<<Winds routinely drive clouds of Saharan dust out of West Africa and across the Atlantic Ocean in the summer. But the intensity and extent of a plume that departed Africa in June 2020 was so great that it had internet meme-makers buzzing about a “Godzilla” dust cloud. From the International Space Station, NASA astronaut Doug Hurley described the vast ribbon of dust as “amazing.” And as dust blanketed the Caribbean Sea and darkened skies in several states in the U.S. Southeast, several meteorologists called the event “historic.”

Such superlatives are backed by data. One preliminary analysis of aerosol optical depth (AOD) measurements from NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor showed a greater concentration of dust in the atmosphere over the Atlantic Ocean on June 20 than on any other day since 2003. AOD is a unitless measurement of how much light the airborne particles prevent from traveling through the atmosphere. A few days later, a ground-based AERONET sensor at Ragged Point, Barbados, recorded the all-time highest AOD value the site has recorded since 1996.

The plumes in June 2020 spanned thousands of kilometers. When the leading edge arrived in Puerto Rico and skies turned a hazy yellow-gray, beaches were closed and air quality plummeted. “This is the most significant event in the past 50 years,” Pablo Méndez-Lázaro, a University of Puerto Rico scientist told the Associated Press. “Conditions are dangerous on many Caribbean islands.” Méndez-Lázaro is working on a NASA applied sciences project to develop an early warning system for poor air quality in the region.

The sequence of images above, based on data from NASA’s Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) modeling system, shows pulses of Saharan dust at one-week intervals as they made their way across the Atlantic Ocean. Aside from Cape Verde, which regularly gets doused with dust, the islands in the Caribbean were some of the hardest-hit locations. As the plume reached the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency reported on June 27 that levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) had risen enough to reach “unhealthy levels” (between 151-200 on the air quality index) in Florida, Texas, and Georgia.

The data in the transect below reveal the height of the dust over the Dominican Republic as observed by the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) instrument on the CALIPSO satellite on June 23, 2020. Reaching roughly 4 kilometers (2.5 miles), the top of the plume was a bit higher than most; there was also plenty of dust at or below 1 kilometer (0.6 miles). As dust crosses the ocean, larger particles fall out first, leaving behind mainly finer and smaller ones, which are especially problematic for human health.

Air pollution experts are not the only specialists who are closely following this event. Meteorologists track dust storms because the dry, dusty air can inhibit the formation of clouds and prevent hurricanes. Infectious disease researchers watch them because dust plumes can be vectors for viral and bacterial diseases. And climate scientists study dust because big events can absorb enough light to affect Earth’s radiation budget.

Others will be watching for impacts on the oceans. “In nutrient-limited waters, iron and other nutrients in dust can trigger phytoplankton blooms with wide-ranging effects,” explained Hongbin Yu, a scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Phytoplankton are critical to marine food webs and play an important—though little understood—role in the carbon cycle. “In this case, I do not expect to see much of a response from the Gulf of Mexico, which already has plenty of nutrients. But we could see a major response in a few weeks if enough dust passes over Central America and ends up in the more nutrient-limited waters of the eastern Pacific.”

Likewise, outbreaks of Saharan dust can play a key role in fertilizing the nutrient-poor soils of the Amazon rainforest in the winter and spring. However, Yu said seasonal wind patterns generally carries most of the dust from summer events north of the Amazon rainforest and into the Caribbean.

NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using GEOS-5 data from the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office at NASA GSFC and data from the CALIPSO team. Story by Adam Voiland.
Art Neuendorffer

BDanielMayfield
Don't bring me down
Posts: 2300
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:24 am
AKA: Bruce
Location: East Idaho

Re: Wear a mask!

Post by BDanielMayfield » Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:01 pm

Wear a mask indeed.
Infectious disease researchers watch them because dust plumes can be vectors for viral and bacterial diseases.
Good things that Africa mostly has very low levels of Covid-19 infection, north Africa is very sparsely populated, and that the virus is supposed to have somewhat limited airborne transmission. (Thus the 6 foot social distance recommendation.)
"Happy are the peaceable ... "

User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 17140
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: Wear a mask!

Post by neufer » Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:11 am

BDanielMayfield wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:01 pm

Wear a mask indeed.
Infectious disease researchers watch them because dust plumes can be vectors for viral and bacterial diseases.
Good things that Africa mostly has very low levels of Covid-19 infection, north Africa is very sparsely populated, and that the virus is supposed to have somewhat limited airborne transmission. (Thus the 6 foot social distance recommendation.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_East_respiratory_syndrome-related_coronavirus wrote:
<<Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS-CoV), or EMC/2012 (HCoV-EMC/2012), is a species of coronavirus which infects humans, bats, and camels. Serological evidence shows that these viruses have infected camels for at least 20 years. The evidence available to date suggests that the viruses have been present in bats for some time and had spread to camels by the mid 1990s. The viruses appear to have spread from camels to humans in the early 2010s. The original bat host species and the time of initial infection in this species has yet to be determined. 182 genomes have been sequenced by 2015 (94 from humans and 88 from dromedary camels). All sequences are >99% similar. The genomes can be divided into two clades - A and B - with the majority of cases being caused by clade B. Human and camel strains are intermixed suggesting multiple transmission events.>>
Art Neuendorffer