‘Beyond the extreme’: Scientists marvel at ‘increasingly non-natural’ Arctic warmth

GR:  Declining ice, warming oceans, and fading polar high pressure are supporting frequent flows of warm air from the south. Scientists and weather forecasters did not expect this consequence of global warming to come so soon. They do not know what to expect next.

Arctic temperature difference from normal during January. (WeatherBell.com)

“The Arctic is so warm and has been this warm for so long that scientists are struggling to explain it and are in disbelief. The climate of the Arctic is known to oscillate wildly, but scientists say this warmth is so extreme that humans surely have their hands in it and may well be changing how it operates.

“Temperatures are far warmer than ever observed in modern records, and sea ice extent keeps setting record lows.

“2016 was the warmest year on record in the Arctic, and 2017 has picked up right where it left off. “Arctic extreme (relative) warmth continues,” Ryan Maue, a meteorologist with WeatherBell Analytics, tweeted on Wednesday, referring to January’s temperatures.

“Veteran Arctic climate scientists are stunned.

“[A]fter studying the Arctic and its climate for three and a half decades, I have concluded that what has happened over the last year goes beyond even the extreme,” wrote Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., in an essay for Earth magazine.

“At the North Pole, the mercury has rocketed to near the melting point twice since November, and another huge flux of warmth is projected by models next week. Their simulations predict some places in the high Arctic will rise over 50 degrees above normal.

GFS model temperature forecast difference from normal next Feb. 8 over Arctic. (WeatherBell.com)

“What happens next in the Arctic is anyone’s guess. But Penn State’s Titley, who said we are “headed into a new unknown” is concerned: “Science is still trying to figure out the details. We do know that 2017 will almost certainly start with the weakest, thinnest, smallest arctic ice pack in recorded history. So we are one step closer to living with an ice-free arctic in the summer, and probably sooner than we think.” –Jason Samenow (More:  ‘Beyond the extreme’: Scientists marvel at ‘increasingly non-natural’ Arctic warmth – The Washington Post.)

Is the Usual El Nino Pacific Storm Track Being Pulled North by Arctic Warming?

Will El Niño soften the mid-latitude droughts?

GR: Scribbler is suggesting that weakening of the polar high-pressure air mass is drawing the jet stream and El Niño enriched storms farther north away from the U. S. Southwest. Thus, the three-month forecast in the map below, based on past El Niño activity, may be inaccurate.

The 2014 Mule Deer Fawn Twins

The 2014 Mule Deer Fawn Twins Sampling Fallen Seeds From the Bird Feeder.

Three years ago, deer began visiting Coldwater Farm for the first time in 20 years. This might be related to drying springs in the uplands brought on by drought and the water-table-lowering wells of the homes in the foothills. A basalt dyke forces the normally belowground flow of the Agua Fria River above ground as it crosses the farm. Besides continuous year-round flow, there are several spring-fed ponds. For the past few years, homeowners have deepened their wells, and the water level in the ponds has dropped by about 10%. Last year, some precipitation softened the drought, and upland springs are flowing again. Nevertheless, the deer have remained and have increased.

Scribbler and others believe that precipitation events in February should tell us if this El Niño will break the Southwest drought, or a poleward shift of the storms will leave it intact.

seasonal-outlook-noaa Polar Amplification vs a Godzilla El Nino — Is the Pacific Storm Track Being Shoved North by Arctic Warming?

From robertscribbler.com 

“It’s an El Niño year. One of the top three strongest El Ninos on record. The strongest by some NOAA measures. And we are certainly feeling its effects all over the world. From severe droughts in Southeast Asia, Africa, and South America, to Flooding in the Central and Eastern US, Southern Brazil, and India, these impacts, this year and last, have been extreme and wide-ranging. During recent days, Peru and Chile saw enormous ocean waves and high tides swamping coastlines. Record flooding and wave height events for some regions. All impacts related to both this powerful El Niño and the overall influence of human-forced warming by more than 1 C above 1880s temperatures on the whole of the hydrological cycle.

“Amped up by a global warming related 7 percent increase in atmospheric water vapor (and a related increase in evaporation and precipitation over the Earth’s surface), many of these El Niño related impacts have followed a roughly expected pattern (you can learn more about typical El Niño patterns and links to climate change related forcings in this excellent video by Dr Kevin Trenberth here). However, so far, some of the predicted kinds of events you’d typically see during a strong El Niño have not yet emerged. A circumstance that may also be related to the ongoing human-forced warming of the globe.”