UN agency: 2012 warmer than normal despite La Nina

Nov 28, 2012 by Karl Ritter
In this Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012 file photo, a man walks past destroyed homes on the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens, New York. Delegates from nearly 200 countries are meeting in the Qatari capital of Doha to discuss ways slowing climate change, including by cutting emissions of greenhouse gases that scientists say are warming the planet, melting ice caps, raising sea levels, and changing rainfall patterns with impacts on floods and droughts (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Despite early cooling from La Nina, 2012 is on track to become one of the top 10 hottest years on record, with the U.S. experiencing extreme warmth and Arctic Sea ice shrinking to its lowest extent, the U.N. weather agency said Wednesday.

In a statement released at international in Qatar, the said the "alarming rate" of the Arctic melt highlights the far-reaching changes caused by global warming.

"Climate change is taking place before our eyes and will continue to do so as a result of the concentrations of in the atmosphere, which have risen constantly and again reached new records," WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said.

Delegates from nearly 200 countries are meeting in the Qatari capital of Doha to discuss ways of slowing climate change, including by cutting emissions of greenhouse gases that scientists say are warming the planet, melting ice caps, raising sea levels, and changing with impacts on floods and droughts.

In this July 26, 2012 file photo, dead fish float in a drying pond near Rock Port, Mo. Delegates from nearly 200 countries are meeting in the Qatari capital of Doha to discuss ways slowing climate change, including by cutting emissions of greenhouse gases that scientists say are warming the planet, melting ice caps, raising sea levels, and changing rainfall patterns with impacts on floods and droughts.(AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

Discord between rich and poor countries on who should do what has kept the two-decade-old U.N. talks from delivering on that goal, and are still going up.

The WMO said rose after initial cooling caused by the La Nina weather oscillation, with major in the U.S. and Europe. Average temperatures in January-October were the highest on record in the continental U.S., and the ninth highest worldwide.

Before that, a cold spell had much of the Eurasian continent in an icy grip between late January and mid-February, when temperatures in eastern Russia plunged to -50 degrees C (-58 F).

In this Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012 file photo, Jerry Johnson of Ashland uses his antique 57 Ford tractor to mow vegetation around his drying pond in Ashland, Neb. Delegates from nearly 200 countries are meeting in the Qatari capital of Doha to discuss ways slowing climate change, including by cutting emissions of greenhouse gases that scientists say are warming the planet, melting ice caps, raising sea levels, and changing rainfall patterns with impacts on floods and droughts. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

Cyclone activity was normal globally, but above average in the Atlantic, where 10 storms reached hurricane strength, including Sandy, which wreaked havoc across the Caribbean and the U.S. east coast.

Sandy wasn't the strongest cyclone, though. That was typhoon Sanba, which struck the Philippines, Japan, and the Korean Peninsula, "dumping torrential rain and triggering floods and landslides that affected thousands of people and caused millions in U.S. dollars in damage," the WMO said.

In this Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012 file photo, a combine harvests corn near Bennington, Neb. Delegates from nearly 200 countries are meeting in the Qatari capital of Doha to discuss ways slowing climate change, including by cutting emissions of greenhouse gases that scientists say are warming the planet, melting ice caps, raising sea levels, and changing rainfall patterns with impacts on floods and droughts. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

Droughts impacted the U.S., Russia, parts of China and northern Brazil. Nigeria saw exceptional floods, while southern China saw its heaviest rainfall in three decades.

But of all the weather events in 2012, the most ominous to climate scientists was the loss of ice cover on the North Pole. In September, scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado said measured 1.32 million square miles (3.41 million sq. kilometers)—which is 18 percent less than the previous record low, set in 2007. Records go back to 1979 based on satellite tracking.

The scientists said their computer models predict the Arctic could become essentially free of ice in the summer by 2050, but added that current trends show ice melting faster than the computers are predicting.

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Lurker2358
not rated yet Nov 28, 2012
The scientists said their computer models predict the Arctic could become essentially free of ice in the summer by 2050, but added that current trends show ice melting faster than the computers are predicting.


Has to do with the "peer review" process.

They write papers and simulations using data that is typically 5 years out of date, so they do not reflect the real trend that is emerging in the real data, which is currently accelerating much more quickly than it was prior to 2007.

At the current linear average rate of melting, the sea ice will be gone in September in 5 years. If you follow the exponential trend it will be gone in September in 4 years.

In about 7 years, the winter maximum sea ice volume will be less than the September minimum sea ice volume was in 1979.