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Impact Climate Change Will Have on New York State, USA

43.9N 77.2W

June 22nd, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Lakes AVHRRMetOp

USA and Canada – June 21st, 2013

Climate change in New York state may cause some initially positive effects for certain people, in general it is creating alarming issues. While the long-term outlook for grape-growers in the Finger Lakes region (lower right quadrant) is favorable, it is less than optimal for skiers and other winter sports enthusiasts in the Adirondacks. Fir and spruce trees are expected to die out in the Catskills, and New York City’s backup drinking water supply may well be contaminated as a result of seawater making its way farther up the Hudson River.

These possibilities — modeled deep into this century — are detailed in a new assessment of the impact that climate change will have in New York State. If carbon emissions continue to increase at their current pace, ttemperatures are expected to rise across the state by 3 degrees Fahrenheit by the 2020s and by as much as 9 degrees by the 2080s.

That would have profound effects on agriculture across the state. For example, none of the varieties of apples currently grown in New York orchards would be viable. Dairy farms would be less productive as cows faced heat stress. And the state’s forests would be transformed; spruce-fir forests and alpine tundra would disappear as invasive species like kudzu, an aggressive weed, gained more ground.

If the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets melt, as the report says could happen, the sea level could rise by as much as 55 inches, which means that beach communities would frequently be inundated by flooding. The effects of climate change would fall disproportionately on the poor and the disabled, since in coastal areas in New York City and along rivers in upstate New York there is a high amount of low-income housing that would be in the path of flooding (click here for more information).

Climate Change in the Barents Sea – June 21st, 2013

70.2N 50.8E

June 21st, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Image of the day VIIRSSuomi-NPP

Russia – June 21st, 2013

Visible on the right side of this image is the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, part of Russia, between the Barents and Kara Seas. Recent data over the last decade show an Arctic wide temperature increase consistent with model projections of global warming rather than showing regional warming patterns which would have been caused by natural variability as occurred in previous Arctic warming episodes such as the 1930s.

While a major surprise was the nearly 40% loss of September sea ice extent in 2007, the major change is that in every year since then sea ice has been below 30% and that much old, thick sea ice has disappeared. Extensive forest fires are another major Arctic change. These shifts seem to be rapid and occurring 20-30 years earlier than expected by steady processes in climate forecast models.

The Arctic is normally dominated a very stable “Polar Vortex” of counter-clockwise circulating winds surrounding the North Pole which traps the cold Arctic air mass at high latitudes. However, during early winter of 2009-2010 the Polar Vortex weakened due to higher geopotential heights over the Arctic, allowing cold air to spill southwards and be replaced by warm air moving poleward, a warm Arctic –cold continent climate pattern. One
indicator of a weak Polar Vortex is the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index which in December 2009 through February 2010 had its most negative value (weak vortex) in 145 years of record.

Meteorological attribution to these sub-Arctic events is difficult. Certainly random chaos in the development of weather patterns can produce such extreme events. There is a potential impact, however, from Arctic regions where heat stored in the ocean in sea-ice-free and thin ice areas has been released to the lower atmosphere during autumn. One would not expect a sub-Arctic impact in every year or the in the same locations every year. The Barents Sea seems to be part of the Arctic wide warming pattern, while northern Europe is in the subArctic high climate variability zone (click here for more information).

Effects of Global Warming in Quebec, Canada

47.7N 77.6W

June 21st, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Vegetation Index AVHRRMetOp

USA and Canada – June 21st, 2013

Record floods, melting permafrost, shoreline erosion, intense winds and higher than normal temperatures have caused problems in Quebec, Canada. The higher temperatures add to the credibility of climate models that have predicted the march of global warming will accelerate the more greenhouse gases we pump into the atmosphere, scientists say.

According to Environment Canada, spring temperatures in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River region, which includes Montreal and Quebec City, were 54 per cent higher than normal. This is the highest percentage deviation from the norm recorded since 1948.

The warmer winters are already endangering coastlines, the northern communities that are built on permafrost and forests, which probably will not be able to adapt fast enough to a warmer climate. Warmer temperatures in all seasons indicate Quebec is well on its way to meeting the climate-model predictions that we are fast closing in on the 2C mark many scientists claim is the tipping point that will plunge the globe into catastrophic climate change.

The models indicate mean temperatures in the southern half of Quebec will be 2C to 3C higher than normal by 2020. In northern Quebec, the warming will be even higher. And at the present rate of warming as tracked since 1948, we are on track to be well over 4C by 2050 and as high as 7C to 9C by 2080 (click here for more information).

Climate Change Issues for Densely Populated Hong Kong

20.7N 112.3E

June 20th, 2013 Category: Climate Change VIIRSSuomi-NPP

China – June 19th, 2013

Hong Kong, visible as a bright white area on the right side of this image, is one of the most densely populated places in the world. The average
population density as at mid-2007 stood at 6,410 persons per square kilometre.

Climate change will mean that Hong Kong will experience a warmer climate, at times with significantly more rainfall, but will also face the risk of seasonal water shortages. Hong Kong will also experience a significant increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, such as heat waves, tidal surges, typhoons and very heavy rainfall. Sea levels will continue to rise for decades.

The impacts of these changes on Hong Kong will be increased risks of flooding, droughts and dangerously hot weather. There will also be secondary and indirect impacts, including an increased risk of infrastructure damage, ground instability and landslides, and further increases in dangerously poor air quality periods. This will all impact on human health and quality of life and pose significant risks for the economy of Hong Kong (click here for more information).

Greenland Ice Sheet and Climate Change

71.5N 31.4W

June 20th, 2013 Category: Climate Change VIIRSSuomi-NPP

Greenland – June 19th, 2013

The Greenland ice sheet is a vast body of ice covering 1,710,000 square kilometres (660,235 sq mi), roughly 80% of the surface of Greenland. It is the second largest ice body in the world, after the Antarctic Ice Sheet.

The ice sheet is almost 2,400 kilometres (1,500 mi) long in a north-south direction, and its greatest width is 1,100 kilometres (680 mi) at a latitude of 77°N, near its northern margin. The mean altitude of the ice is 2,135 metres (7,005 ft). The thickness is generally more than 2 km (1.24 mi) and over 3 km (1.86 mi) at its thickest point.

Some scientists predict that climate change may be near a “tipping point” where the entire ice sheet will melt in about 2000 years. If the entire 2,850,000 cubic kilometres (683,751 cu mi) of ice were to melt, it would lead to a global sea level rise of 7.2 m (23.6 ft).

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