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All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

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2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #20

Posted on 17 May 2020 by John Hartz

Story of the Week... El Niño/La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Graphic of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week...

Story of the Week...

The Largest Arctic Science Expedition in History Finds Itself on Increasingly Thin Ice

Covid-19 is just one of many setbacks for hundreds of scientists pursuing critical climate questions in the world’s most remote and inhospitable environment.

MOASiC Follows Nansen's Lead

In March 2019, at a crowded happy hour in Boulder, Colorado, I sat listening to Matt Shupe, an atmospheric scientist, describing his decades-long dream that was about to come true. 

He was sprinting to finish the years of planning and preparations required to freeze an icebreaker into the Arctic Ocean ice as close to the North Pole as it could get. The vessel would drift with the ice for a year as a rotating cast of nearly 600 experts from 20 nations representing dozens of scientific disciplines spread out in research camps around the ship.

"It's kind of like a work of art—a manifestation of something that was an idea at some point, and now it's actually real," Shupe told me of his Arctic daydream that had turned into a full-time obsession. "It was my life story for the last 10 or more years."

Even the name suggested an artwork. MOSAiC—the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate—would be the largest Arctic research expedition in history, a $155 million mission to observe how the rapidly warming Arctic and its fast diminishing sea ice are affecting the atmosphere high above the expedition, the water below it and the weather throughout the Northern Hemisphere.

The warming of the Arctic was driving some of the most profound changes to the world's climate. But the region's inaccessibility made it less understood by science than just about anywhere else on the planet.

MOSAiC, which launched last September, hopes to fill that gap with the most detailed study ever of the polar sea, its atmosphere and the pack ice that functions something like a giant eggshell over the top of the Earth to modulate interactions between them. And all of this would take place over an uninterrupted year and document every aspect of a single, sprawling raft of that ice.

"Capturing a full year is one of the essential aspects of the expedition," Shupe said. "We really need to capture that full cycle of the life of the ice."

Then, in March—six months into the expedition—the coronavirus triggered calamity. Shupe, who had returned from MOSAiC last winter and wasn't due to return to the ship until the summer, was desperately trying to get back, hoping to keep the coronavirus and the rapidly melting Arctic from turning his dream expedition into a frozen nightmare. 

The Largest Arctic Science Expedition in History Finds Itself on Increasingly Thin Ice by Michael Kodas, InsideClimate News, May 17, 2020


El Niño/La Niña Update...

May 2020 ENSO update: road trip

 

Walker circulation in El Nino conditions

ENSO-neutral conditions continue and are expected to remain through the fall. Let’s hit the road (virtually) and take a trip around El Niño/Southern Oscillation land! Who needs Carhenge when you have the Walker circulation

... 

Where are we headed next? There’s a 65% chance that ENSO-neutral conditions will last through the summer. As predicted, ocean surface temperature anomalies decreased through April and into May. Winds over the surface of the tropical Pacific, the trade winds, have been stronger over the past few weeks, helping to cool the surface. Also, an area of cooler water beneath the surface has expanded over the past weeks.

May 2020 ENSO update: road trip by Emily Becker, NOAA's Climate.gov, May 14, 2020


Toon of the Week...

2020 Toon 20 


Graphic of the Week...

Albedo Effect InsideClimate News 

The Largest Arctic Science Expedition in History Finds Itself on Increasingly Thin Ice by Michael Kodas, InsideClimate News, May 17, 2020


Climate Feedback Article Review...

Article in Business Insider accurately describes results from a study estimating up to 3 billion people could live in much warmer temperatures by 2070 

Climate Feedback Article Review

Article Analyzed: 3 billion people — up to half the current global population — could be living in unbearable heat in 50 years by Sarah Al-Arshani, Business Insider, May 5, 2020

Four scientists analysed the article and estimate its overall scientific credibility to be Neutral

A majority of reviewers tagged the article as: Accurate.

Article in Business Insider accurately describes results from a study estimating up to 3 billion people could live in much warmer temperatures by 2070 by Nikki Forrester, Climate Feedback, May 8, 2020 


Coming Soon on SkS...

  • PETM climate warming 56 million years ago strongly tied to igneous activity Part 3 (Howard Lee)
  • COVID-19 Shows that Research Institutions Need Stronger Scientific Integrity Policies (CSLDF)
  • SkS New Research for Week #20 (Doug Bostrom)
  • Michael Moore's Movie is Garbage (Friendly Jordies)
  • The Underground Solution To Climate Change (zentuoro)
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #21 (John Hartz)
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #21 (John Hartz)

Climate Feedback Claim Review...

Diesel cars are a major source of NO2 emissions in European cities, contrary to online claim

CLAIM: "The drop in NO2 content has only been “slight”. So it cannot be the evil diesel engine cars that are “choking” our cities."

VERDICT: Flawed Reasoning

SOURCE:  , 12 April 2020   

KEY TAKE AWAY: Road transport accounts for almost half of nitrous oxide emissions in European cities, including Stuttgart, Germany. Scientific studies have shown that diesel-fueled vehicles are the primary source of nitrous oxide emissions from road transport in Europe.

Diesel cars are a major source of NO2 emissions in European cities, contrary to online claim, Edited by Nikki Forrester, Climate Feedback, May 2, 2020


SkS Week in Review... 


Poster of the Week...

2020 Poster 20 

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