NOAA goes Hollywood with “Arctic Report Card” at #AGU19

This was from yesterday, and the AGU made it available on YouTube. I was struck by the “Hollywood” factor in the production. Light on science, big on tear-jerking images.


Tuesday, 9 December, 11:00 a.m.

The NOAA-led Arctic Report Card has become the authoritative, annual volume of peer-reviewed environmental observations and analysis on the Arctic.

This year’s report card will feature chapters chronicling the extraordinary and disruptive changes roiling the Bering Sea, and the dislocation of important fisheries in the Bering and Barents Seas, as well as an essay from indigenous peoples whose livelihoods are presently and directly threatened by climate change.

Participants: Matthew Druckenmiller, National Snow and Ice Data Center, Boulder, Colorado, United States; Retired Navy Rear Adm. Tim Gallaudet, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, Washington, District of Columbia, United States; Mellisa Johnson, Bering Sea Elders group, Anchorage, Alaska, United States; Donald Perovich, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, United States.

From their website: https://www.arctic.noaa.gov/Report-Card/Report-Card-2019

I wonder if they actually had accurate temperature data in 1900, I’m reminded of this WUWT story about 1922 in the Arctic.



Highlights

  • The average annual land surface air temperature north of 60° N for October 2018-August 2019 was the second warmest since 1900. The warming air temperatures are driving changes in the Arctic environment that affect ecosystems and communities on a regional and global scale.

On the land

  • The Greenland Ice Sheet is losing nearly 267 billion metric tons of ice per year and currently contributing to global average sea-level rise at a rate of about 0.7 mm yr-1.
  • North American Arctic snow cover in May 2019 was the fifth lowest in 53 years of record. June snow cover was the third lowest.
  • Tundra greening continues to increase in the Arctic, particularly on the North Slope of Alaska, mainland Canada, and the Russian Far East.
  • Thawing permafrost throughout the Arctic could be releasing an estimated 300-600 million tons of net carbon per year to the atmosphere.

In the oceans

  • Arctic sea ice extent at the end of summer 2019 was tied with 2007 and 2016 as the second lowest since satellite observations began in 1979. The thickness of the sea ice has also decreased, resulting in an ice cover that is more vulnerable to warming air and ocean temperatures.
  • August mean sea surface temperatures in 2019 were 1-7°C warmer than the 1982-2010 August mean in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, the Laptev Sea, and Baffin Bay.
  • Satellite estimates showed ocean primary productivity in the Arctic was higher than the long-term average for seven of nine regions, with the Barents Sea and North Atlantic the only regions showing lower than average values.
  • Wildlife populations are showing signs of stress. For example, the breeding population of the ivory gull in the Canadian Arctic has declined by 70% since the 1980s.

Focus on the Bering Sea

  • The winter sea ice extent in 2019 narrowly missed surpassing the record low set in 2018, leading to record-breaking warm ocean temperatures in 2019 on the southern shelf. Bottom temperatures on the northern Bering shelf exceeded 4°C for the first time in November 2018.
  • Bering and Barents Seas fisheries have experienced a northerly shift in the distribution of subarctic and Arctic fish species, linked to the loss of sea ice and changes in bottom water temperature.
  • Indigenous Elders from Bering Sea communities note that “[i]n a warming Arctic, access to our subsistence foods is shrinking and becoming more hazardous to hunt and fish. At the same time, thawing permafrost and more frequent and higher storm surges increasingly threaten our homes, schools, airports, and utilities.”

37 thoughts on “NOAA goes Hollywood with “Arctic Report Card” at #AGU19

  1. The North American snow cover for October and November are the 3rd highest per Rutgers and the November max came in 2018.
    ————————–
    Month Area Mean Departure Rank Maximum (Year) Minimum (Year)
    11 15,086 13,485 1,601 3/54 15,720 (2018) 11,483 (1979)
    10 9,488 8,047 1,441 3/52 9,763 (2002) 6,364 (1979)

  2. “more frequent and higher storm surges increasingly threaten our homes, schools, airports, and utilities.”

    Well now. Sounds a lot like a pre-prepared statement.

    • You have to ask them which schools, homes, airports and utilities are threatened? They should know the answer.

      • M Meteor, that’s a good point. However, it is always easy to drum up emotions about homes, schools and utilities. As for airports, will not the climate be saved if they are destroyed?

  3. So they bring in indigenous people who may have hopes of some form of payoff for the ‘devastation’ in the Arctic but don’t want to hear from them when their communities are under threat from burgeoning polar bear populations.h

  4. Anthony there is a Feb. 1923 article in the NY Times TimesMachine that is similar to the Washington Post 1922. It speaks of radical climate change in the arctic

  5. Hey House and Senate GOP, I’ve got an idea that you should have (tried to) done with NASA back in the 90s after they pointlessly sent John Glenn back up space: DEFUND THEM. REDIRECT TO CANCER SPECIALISTS. You’d be surprised by how politically popular that is.

    • Yes, “we should find a cure for cancer instead of _______” is one of our perennial simplistic memes right along with “let’s give everyone health care” and “let’s give all that money to homeless vets.”

  6. I remain strangely unconvinced that a small fraction occurring thus far, of the alleged 2 Deg. C temp rise that’s supposed to happen by 2100, is currently having a devastating impact on “indigenous peoples.”

    Guess I must be “anti-science,” huh?

    • yeah curious that an avg 2 to 5c rise in day and night temps due to UHI comapered to rual zones ..
      doesnt seem to have sunk into their brains
      theyre already living with more heat than is the worst case scenario for most of the crap modelling

  7. “The average annual land surface air temperature north of 60° N for October 2018-August 2019 was the second warmest since 1900.”

    I wonder if has ever dawned on the authors to wonder how warm the arctic must have been 5000 years ago when spruce trees were flourishing almost to the shore of the Arctic Ocean?

    Furthermore, what natural forcing created those warmer than normal temperatures? Sure as hell wasn’t from humans burning fossil fuels.

    • Kamikazedave: Oh woe is me. Why must you present facts and “inconvenient truths” !!! Sarcasm can be fun. This is an example of why I feel I must use units of time of not less than a thousand years and, maybe, down to a century. when I think of climate change. Anything less, to me, refers to weather. For example: Since 1900 to now, the weather (not climate) has shown variations.

  8. This puzzles me: “Tundra greening continues to increase in the Arctic, particularly on the North Slope of Alaska, mainland Canada, and the Russian Far East.” Isn’t the top and both sides of Alaska the “Arctic”?

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  10. “•Satellite estimates showed ocean primary productivity in the Arctic was higher than the long-term average for seven of nine regions, with the Barents Sea and North Atlantic the only regions showing lower than average values.”

    Isn’t productivity a good thing? What, for the NOAA, is the Arctic Ocean producing that they consider bad?

    “Thawing permafrost throughout the Arctic could be releasing an estimated 300-600 million tons of net carbon per year to the atmosphere.”

    Even taking the high end, 600 million tons of CO2 per year would increase the atmospheric concentration by about 0.075 ppm per year. If CO2 concentrations at Mauna Loa are increasing at 1.8 ppm per year, permafrost thawing only contributes about 4.2% to the rate of increase.

    “Tundra greening continues to increase in the Arctic, particularly on the North Slope of Alaska, mainland Canada, and the Russian Far East.”

    If grass or other plants are now growing on what used to be tundra, wouldn’t the extra photosynthesis remove CO2 from the atmosphere, and tend to slow down any effects from additional CO2?

    “The average annual land surface air temperature north of 60° N for October 2018-August 2019 was the second warmest since 1900. The warming air temperatures are driving changes in the Arctic environment that affect ecosystems and communities on a regional and global scale.”

    How many thermometers do they now have on land north of 60 degrees North latitude, and how many did they have in 1900? Are we dealing with the same dataset throughout? Also, since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990, some weather stations in northern Russia and Siberia have been abandoned. If the coldest weather stations are taken out of the average, doesn’t that tend to increase the average of the remaining stations?

    No mention of polar bear populations. Why not?

  11. As CC is supposed to be a world wide thing what about the Antarctic.

    The Arctic is a open sea surrounded by land masses, hardly representative of the rest of the world.

    With strong currents and wind anything can and does happen up there.

    MJE VK5ELL

  12. When I think “report card”, I think subjective, power-hungry person deciding whether or not you agree with them sufficiently to get a “good grade”. Sounds very “Big Brother”/McCarthy to me, but that’s where we live now.

    Science cannot get a “report card”—the only report card possible is if the minions are cooperating or not. So NOAA is a dictatorial agency, not appropriate in science or the USA. Maybe it should be tossed out in the remaining sea ice and see if these people can tread water as well as they can con and fabricate.

  13. Sea 7 deg C warmer. Any explanation on how CO2 induced warming is causing that? Quite likely something else is.

    • Yes air has a puny amount of heat compared to water. At equal volume and equal temperature water has 3000+ times more heat than air. Air temperature therefore has a negligible effect on water temperature

  14. Are there any pictures of Russian oil development projects in the Arctic or Russians soliciting Chinese and Japanese investors on more Arctic oil development or maybe an education piece on basic geography of how much of the Arctic is Russian?

    • RT has ran some items on the newest oil/gas setups novalya/novaya? zemla? thats where theyre taking that floating nuk plant for power supplies for workers too I gather

  15. Scientists studying the Arctic to learn about the Arctic with objective scientific inquiry is a good thing but scientists studying the Arctic to find evidence of the horrors of agw climate change and thereby attributing all changes to agw and making the determination that all changes are bad and agw induced; is not science but activism. As an example 600 million tons of CO2 a year is an insignificant 0.164 gigatons of carbon per year well within the error band of known natural flows of carbon into the atmosphere and of 12+ gigatons of carbon per year in fossil fuel emissions. Yet it this data is presented as “600 MILLLION TONS PER YEAR! (OMG OMG!). This is not science. It is a combination of anti fossil fuel activism and Hollywood by a taxpayer funded govt agency charged with a scientific mission. Surely a criminal neglect of duty and disservice to the taxpayers paying their salaries and expenses.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/12/11/noaa-goes-hollywood-with-arctic-report-card-at-agu19/

  16. “Thawing permafrost throughout the Arctic could be releasing an estimated 300-600 million tons of net carbon per year to the atmosphere.”
    Finally they admit that rising CO2 follows warming instead of preceding it.
    “This cycle is a critical reason why the Arctic has warmed at more than twice the rate of the global mean since the mid-1990s, a phenomenon known as Arctic amplification of global warming,”
    At least they admit this is cyclical

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