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Old 01-25-2020, 11:28 AM
11,519 posts, read 9,028,277 times
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Several posters have suggested a thread to discuss the impact of climate change on northeast Ohio.

So, I will start it with this observation as a long-time viewer of weather reports on different Cleveland TV stations daily, typically fast forwarding through the histories of the day's weather to get to future weather.

This winter I've particularly noticed how our winter more frequently is being controlled by fronts from the Gulf of Mexico and from the West, and much less so than in the past by fronts from the north or from the northwest. Legendary WJW meteorologist Dick Goddard was famed for his discourses on Alberta Clippers (and Woolly Bears), but I rarely hear Alberta Clippers mentioned these days. Instead, more typically meteorologists such as WKYC chief meteorologist Betsy Kling will explain as she did yesterday why despite much moisture (yesterday through today), there isn't sufficient coldness in January to produce snow.


Nobody explains what has changed to make our winters this mild. What happened to the Alberta Clippers?

We're currently in a neutral ENSO (El Nino/La Nina) condition, so it's possible that a future La Nina (see "U.S. Impacts" at the following website) may bring more Alberta Clippers back to northeast Ohio.



What seems certain is that Arctic Amplification, the rapid warming of the Arctic region due to climate change, is reducing the mass of cold air that once more dominated mid-latitude weather in regions such as northeast Ohio. The decrease in the temperature differential between the Arctic region and the tropics also is weakening the jet stream and the polar vortex. A weaker polar vortex may increase the likelihood of the Arctic polar air mass dropping down into the mid-latitudes, but this impact is lessened as the cold polar air mass is diminished and there is less cold air available to "escape" to the mid-latitudes.

<<In 2018, surface air temperatures in the Arctic continued to warm at roughly twice the rate relative to the rest of the globe, a phenomenon that has been termed "Arctic Amplification." The year 2018 was the second warmest year on record in the Arctic since 1900 (after 2016), at +1.7° C [over 3 degrees F.] relative to the long-term average (1981-2010). Arctic air temperatures for the past five years (2014-18) have exceeded all previous records since 1900. Growing atmospheric warmth in the Arctic results in a sluggish and unusually wavy jet-stream that coincided with abnormal weather events in both the Arctic and mid-latitudes. >>




Climate change models show more Arctic warming impact in the winter than in the summer. See "Global Warming" here:

<<Climate models predict that the temperature increase in the Arctic over the next century will continue to be about twice the global average temperature increase. By the end of the 21st century, the annual average temperature in the Arctic is predicted to increase by 2.8 to 7.8 °C (5.0 to 14.0 °F), with more warming in winter (4.3 to 11.4 °C (7.7 to 20.5 °F)) than in summer.[13]>>


Perhaps if this winter in the lower Midwest becomes increasingly the norm with decreased snowfall and significantly warmer temperatures, there actually may be definitive research to explain the change, assuming research funding is made available.

Cleveland is approximately at the same latitude as Barcelona, Spain. As the Arctic polar air mass increasingly warms and exerts less influence on northeast Ohio, our winters might converge with those experienced in Barcelona, with much more mild temperatures and little or no snow.



The current warm winters in northeast Ohio are occurring even though we are at a solar cycle minimum.

<< Scientists charged with predicting the Sun’s activity for the next 11-year solar cycle say that it’s likely to be weak, much like the current one. The current solar cycle, Cycle 24, is declining and predicted to reach solar minimum - the period when the Sun is least active - late in 2019 or 2020.>>


<<The remarkable global warmth of 2019 means that the six warmest years on record since 1880 were the last six years—2014 through 2019. The near-record global warmth in 2019 is all the more remarkable since it occurred during the minimum of the weakest solar cycle in 100+ years, and during a year without a strong El Niño (though a weak El Niño was present in the first half of 2019, ending in July). Record-warm global temperatures typically occur during strong El Niño events, and when the solar cycle is near its maximum. The near-record warmth of 2019 is thus a testament to how greatly human-caused global warming is impacting the planet.>>


Last edited by WRnative; 01-25-2020 at 12:07 PM..
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Old 01-26-2020, 02:51 AM
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Arctic Amplification continued in 2019, according to the Executive Summary of the 2019 NOAA Arctic Report. The Executive Summary for 2019 also highlighted one of the major reasons for the warming of the Arctic:

<<At +1.9°C [3.42 degrees F.], the annually-averaged land-based surface air temperature anomaly for October 2018-September 2019 is the second highest value (after 2015/16) since 1900. Annually averaged Arctic air temperatures for the past six years (2014-19) all exceed previous records since 1900....

The declining trend in the extent of the sea ice cover is also directly linked to observed changes in the sea surface temperatures and ocean primary productivity. Sea surface temperatures in the Arctic Ocean are driven mainly by solar warming. Greater solar warming occurs in ice-free regions of the Arctic Ocean, where the dark ocean surface absorbs solar radiation up to 10 times more readily than the brighter sea ice surface, which largely reflects sunlight.>>


The earth's reflectivity of sunlight is referred to as its albedo. As ice and especially snow cover declines in Arctic region, albedo is reduced increasing the absorption of solar radiation by many magnitudes.


Another problem is the dirtying of remaining snow, especially as carbon black from massive boreal wildfires covers the snow. These wildfires therefore contribute to Arctic Amplification, and the reduction of the Arctic cold air mass and its impact on northeast Ohio winter weather.

<<Snow albedo is highly variable, ranging from as high as 0.9 for freshly fallen snow, to about 0.4 for melting snow, and as low as 0.2 for dirty snow.[37]>>


<<Gargantuan forest fires in Siberia, which burned for more than three months, created a cloud of soot and ash as large as the countries that make up the entire European Union....

Higuera and his team predicted in 2016, based on sophisticated computer modeling, that fires in the boreal forests and Arctic tundra would increase by up to four times by 2100.

A key tipping point, he says, is an average July temperature of 13.4C [56.12 degrees F.] over a 30-year period. Much of the Alaskan tundra has been perilously close to this threshold between 1971 and 2000, making it particularly sensitive to a warming climate. The number of areas near to and exceeding this tipping point are likely to increase as the climate continues to warm in the coming decades, says Higuera.>>


As well discussed in the above article, these wildfires also are exacerbating the release of massive amounts of carbon dioxide and methane greenhouse gases and thereby accelerating both the warming of the Arctic and general global warming. As reported, combustible methane in the soil actually sustains these wildfires. Long-burning smouldering fires are reportedly more destructive than even fierce blazes.

<<In a research paper from 2015, Turetsky explains how smouldering fires are actually a much greater threat to the global climate. They burn for much longer, so they can transfer heat much deeper into the soil and permafrost, overall consuming twice as much carbon-rich fuel as normal fires....

Capable of smouldering beneath the surface, these subterranean fires can persist through the winter and pop up in spring in completely unexpected locations. Hence their nickname: “zombie fires”. They’re neither dead nor alive.>>

Last edited by WRnative; 01-26-2020 at 03:18 AM..
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Old 03-02-2020, 07:54 PM
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Default Millions of methane hotspots powering Arctic warming?

A Feb. 18, 2020 NASA press release reports an aerial survey of only 11,583 square miles of the Arctic identified 2 million hotspots showing in excess of 3,000 parts per million of methane in the atmosphere, compared to an average level of 2 parts per million.


This shocking study is discussed in posts 19 and 21 of this thread.


Great increases in methane in the Arctic atmosphere may explain Cleveland's increasingly mild winters in recent years by greatly contributing to the Arctic Amplification discussed in post 1.
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Old 03-03-2020, 12:10 AM
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I was just reading an article today--wish I could find it, but I can't remember where I read it--on potentially safest places in 2100. Buffalo, NY was listed (along with Siberia, Greenland, Maine, etc) but it mentioned everywhere along the Great Lakes as having the ability to handle climate-related change well. It seems we've hit the location jackpot here.
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Old 03-03-2020, 03:14 AM
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This article provides some important perspective on the NASA research published this month about the millions of methane hotspots discovered in just a small survey of the Arctic land mass. See post 3.

<<Flying over some of the most inaccessible parts of Alaska and northwestern Canada, NASA researchers have located a shocking amount of thawing permafrost - the frozen layer of soil that blankets much of the region.

If this tundra melts, it releases methane and other carbon emissions into the atmosphere, further accelerating global warming.

Today, we know the Arctic is warming twice as fast as any other place on Earth, but given how frigid and formidable landscape the landscape is, we still don't know where the most methane is being emitted....

Methane has a global warming potential some 30 times greater than carbon dioxide, and even if the Paris Agreement is met, Arctic permafrost is expected to shrink 45 percent more, releasing billions of metric tonnes of carbon and methane into the atmosphere.>>

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Old 03-04-2020, 01:07 PM
Location: livin' the good life on America's favorite island
2,220 posts, read 4,187,137 times
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[quote=Princessroja;57472148]I was just reading an article today--wish I could find it, but I can't remember where I read it--on potentially safest places in 2100. Buffalo, NY was listed (along with Siberia, Greenland, Maine, etc) but it mentioned everywhere along the Great Lakes as having the ability to handle climate-related change well. It seems we've hit the location jackpot here.[/quote]

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Old 10-07-2020, 08:44 PM
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Default Increased rainfall?

This is new to me:

<<Adding the extra curves to the river will help it better absorb extra water that’s been funneled into the river in the form of runoff from impervious surfaces from nearby developments, as well as added rainfall in the region due to climate change. Army Corps of Engineers officials say the Cuyahoga River basin gets 7 inches more rain each year than it did in the 1960s, with an average increase of .12 inches each year.>>


Icouldn't find anything at the Army Corps of Engineers website substantiating this significant claim. The cleveland.com link provided within the quoted material is behind a paywall.
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Old 12-25-2020, 10:17 AM
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Default Warming winters

The thread has several posts documenting the warming of Greater Cleveland winters, especially characterized by higher low temperatures.

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Old 09-13-2021, 03:52 AM
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Default Much warmer Septembers than in the past

See post 63 in this thread for a discussion of how summer temperatures now extend well into September, impacting even Lake Erie water temperature.

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Old 09-17-2021, 03:53 AM
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Default Heated limestone outcrops release methane in Siberia

New research raises concerns about the likelihood of a "methane" bomb accelerating climate change, as warming caused by fossil fuel emissions triggers a natural feedback loop resulting in "massive" releases of methane from limestone outcrops.

<<In recent years, climate scientists have warned thawing permafrost in Siberia may be a “methane time bomb” detonating slowly. Now, a peer-reviewed study using satellite imagery and a review by an international organization are warning that warming temperatures in the far northern reaches of Russia are releasing massive measures of methane—a potent greenhouse gas with considerably more warming power than carbon dioxide....

Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, the study of satellite photos of a previously unexplored site in Siberia detected large amounts of methane being released from exposed limestone. A heat wave in 2020 was responsible for the emissions along two large strips of rock formations in the Yenisey-Khatanga Basin, located several hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle.

Lead author Nikolaus Froitzheim, a geoscientist at the University of Bonn in Germany, is concerned about his study’s findings. Interpreting this data correctly “may make the difference between catastrophe and apocalypse” as the climate crisis worsens, he tells Tara Yarlagadda of Inverse.>>



Listening to an MSNBC news report about mounting extinctions of beneficial insects earlier this week, for the first time on a major network I heard a discussion of "climate collapse" and not "climate change."

<<So, to take a page from the bees, we need to start thinking this as not just climate change or even a climate crisis, but as the threat of a climate collapse. And that collapse looms closer every single day, unless our politicians decide to actually do something about it.>>


Even though I've studied climate change for decades, and certainly have considered the possibility of a climate apocalypse, just hearing this unanticipated statement from a mainline cable news host was momentarily jarring for me.

Last edited by WRnative; 09-17-2021 at 04:34 AM..
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