Global Warming Map:
Atmospheric CO2 levels have crossed the 414 PPM threshold. The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet. A major factor in extreme weather everywhere else. The Jet Stream is compromised.
Arctic Amplification Feedback: 1. As sea ice disappears, sunlight is not reflected away from the planet, while heat energy is absorbed into the black waters of the open ocean. As ocean warming accelerates, more ice melts, continuing the loop. 2. As permafrost melts, long trapped methane (a greenhouse gas far more powerful than CO2) is released. More methane drives faster warming, increasing rate of permafrost melt. Continuing the loop.
Rain Now Melts Greenland Ice Cap in Winter: New research shows rainfall is now causing melting of the sheets, which would flood coastal cities around the planet when gone..
Collapse of Land Ice: contributes to accelerating sea level rise and desalinization of the oceans, which affects the global river (Gulf Stream).
Permafrost Thaw: No one knows how much methane lies beneath the melting permafrost, but we are in the early stages of a massive release. CH4 is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2. On a more immediate note, human infrastructure in the Arctic is beginning to collapse as the very ground beneath it melts.
Methane Blowout/Pingos: Pingos (small hills) and blowout craters are forming as methane gas pushes up against the softening tundra. Gas escapes and can sometimes be ignited.
Greenland Ice Sheet Crosses a Tipping Point: Melting 4X faster than previously believed. The ice loss is from the main sheet and not only the glaciers. Yes, that is bad. The acceleration began about 2003. Who knew?
That will add about 23 more feet to sea level rise. More from National Geographic.
Feb 10: Petermann Glacier, Greenland’s longest has formed new cracks and appears to be accelerating it’s collapse into the ocean. A Manhattan-sized chunk broke away in 2012.
Loss of Ice Skewing Jet Stream
The Jet Stream affects weather around the planet, but particularly in the Northern Hemisphere. It has become more erratic in the past few decades, which causes more extreme weather.
Global sea waters are now warming about 40% faster than previously thought. The ocean has absorbed 93% of incoming solar heat, along with increased amounts of CO2, which affects marine life. Many species – particularly shellfish – are increasingly endangered. Global seafood supplies are also diminishing due to water temperature changes (a separate issue from over-fishing).
Marine Heat Waves are destroying coral reefs and kelp forests.
Expanding Ocean volume: another contributor to sea level rise; warmer water takes up more space.
Hurricane / Cyclone Intensity and Duration / Speed of Development
Sandy, Harvey, Irma, Maria, Florence: Some of the worst storms off all time have occurred in the past two years. This is the result of more heat energy in the air and water, but also because the depth of warm water has increased.
Ocean Chemistry: The ocean is absorbing unprecedented quantities of CO2, changing the pH chemistry. Shellfish are already extremely compromised. Coral reefs are dying in almost all parts of the planet. Underwater Kelp forests are being wiped out from Tasmania to California, replaced by sea urchin barrens nearly devoid of life.
GLOBAL WATER CRISIS
Lake Ice Vanishing
Winter ice is slowly but surely disappearing from thousands of lakes. Effects include warmer surface waters as temps climb earlier in the spring, increasing algae blooms and and devastating effects on fish and marine organisms.
Glacier Emergency: The accelerating disappearance of glaciers in virtually all regions is critical, and not because it affects tourism. Literally billions of people rely on glaciers for their fresh water supplies. For example, the Himalayan region. Read here about the “climate crisis you never heard of.”
US SOUTHWEST The Ogallala aquifer (which contains as much water as the Great Lakes) is being pumped dry after decades of serious over-pumping. Billions of dollars of industrial agriculture depend on it. The reckoning is about to happen in aquifers around the world. “Too many straws in too small a cup.” The Colorado River is facing a current real time crisis as recurring drought and bad water management combine to force catastrophic choices. Time to pay the piper, but the well is dry.
MIDDLE EAST Longer droughts, hotter heatwaves, more frequent dust storms, disappearing water sources. Some scientists say the region is on the cusp of being unlivable within another decade. The Dead Sea is shrinking rapidly and will disappear within 30 years. About 6,000 sinkholes have formed and highways are crumbling as the waters recede. The Jordan River (of Bible fame) is now flowing at 10% of its normal level and drinking water aquifers are also drying up.
AUSTRALIA: Catastrophic heat waves are now the norm with temps of 115F across the continent. The Murray Darling river system is permanently compromised. Tasmania/extreme heat and wildfires
ISLAND NATIONS DISAPPEARING: The Marshall Islands, Solomons, Kuripati Archipelago, the Orkneys and others are being eroded and inundated by oceans rising slightly about a quarter inch a year. Some islands have disappeared. Populations are making plans to emigrate.
ANTARCTICA: East Antarctica glaciers have begun melting rapidly, including the once stable Totten Glacier.
The ice shelves of West Antarctica have are in the early stages of collapse, a situation that will accelerate the inland glaciers to flow directly into the ocean. A huge (Manhattan sized) cavern has been found inside the Brunt Ice Shelf, foreshadowing a major break off event. All three Larsen ice shelves have collapsed in the past 20 years.