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Permafrost / NOAA ESRL Global CH4 Trends
« on: February 25, 2018, 09:50:17 PM »
NOAA ESRL global methane (CH4) concentration hit a new high of 1860.1 ppb in November, 2017.

This puts us on a trend of about a 9 ppb increase annually. The five year change was about 44 ppb, and the decadal change is about 70 ppb. There is more on the Apocalypse4Real blog.

I decided to read the US Administration Executive Order for Energy Independence and what it was changing. Here is a critique and response.

Arctic sea ice / SEARCH - Arctic Presentation
« on: July 18, 2016, 10:59:28 PM »
An Arctic Alerts Media Roundtable was held in Washington DC in the last two weeks. Walt Meier and Jennifer Francis among the presenters. The link to the talking point slides for all presenters is:

One sobering take away: Ted Schuur, Vulnerable Permafrost thaw could result in a CO2 gain estimate of 75 ppm by 2100.

I just blogged on how Arctic Ocean 60-90N anomalies are driving up global ocean warming over .5C over the 1971-2000 base used by the NCDC/NCEI. See:

The attached graph shows global ocean anomalies (blue), NH anomalies (red) and 60-90N anomalies (green) from Jan 1950-May 2016.

The map shows the warming trends through time from 1880-2016 for the 1971-2000 base.

I have just finished a long blog post on the massive increase in thunderstorm and lightning activity over the Arctic from 1915 to 2016. What has happened with activity during the last two years has no parallel in the lightning database.

We are seeing effects due to sea ice melt that are enabling storms to generate cloud to ground strikes over 600 miles into the ice pack... or what used to be ice....

Here is the link:

Science / NOAA ESRL Global CO2 Increase Accelerating
« on: May 26, 2015, 11:45:57 PM »
Besides the NOAA ESRL Global CO2 average breaking through 400 ppm for the first time, the decadal global CO2 increase was above 21 ppm for a 10 year period for the first time in the record.

There is more at

Arctic sea ice / Sea Ice Prediction Workshop 2015
« on: January 17, 2015, 02:24:56 AM »
As part of the Polar Climate Predictability Initiative, there will be a Sea Ice Prediction Workshop at the University of Reading in April, 2015.

Here the link:

Permafrost / METOP IASI Global Mean Methane January to October, 2014
« on: November 02, 2014, 03:44:55 AM »
After long muttering about doing this, I decided to blog the global mean methane results from collecting the METOP IASI 2-A imagery for the last couple of years.

In summary, during January to October 2014, global mean methane, as reported by the EUMETSAT METOP IASI instrument, jumped significantly above last year's readings. Global mean methane year to date, as measured by Metop 2-A IASI through October, 2014 climbed to 1807.80 ppb or 6.38 ppb above 2013.

There is more detail - dekadal and monthly data. Here is the link:

Science / Arctic Ocean is Venting CO2 in ESS
« on: August 07, 2014, 01:37:23 PM »
Here is an update from the SWERUS-C3 Expedition that also reports CO2 venting into the atmosphere from the Laptev/East Siberian Sea.


Permafrost / Major Arctic Methane Research - SWERUS-C3
« on: July 22, 2014, 11:25:35 PM »
While some have posted recently that there is little news on Arctic methane research this summer, that does not seem to be the case.

I have summarised the major expeditions and resources that will be of interest, especially the SWERUS-C3 expedition that is now underway till October.

They have already found 100 new methane seeps in the Laptev Sea.

This research seems to warrant its own topic, since I think we will be following it for some months to come.

Science / Global Forest Watch
« on: February 24, 2014, 05:35:22 AM »
The World Resource Institute, Google and other partners have just put up an interactive mapping site that tracks deforestation and reforestation from 2000-2013. It is a great site.

Here is my blog intro to this new resource and potential impact on CO2 and CH4 tracking.

With a potential El Nino on the way, it will change the CO2 and CH4 pattern we have had for the last three years.

Permafrost / High Methane - North America
« on: August 01, 2013, 05:22:57 PM »
The latest METOP 2 IASI imagery for July 31, 2013 12-24 hrs reveals a significant increase in upper tropospheric methane over North America.

Contributing factors are record high temps, fires, perhaps permafrost methane release, and also the lowering of OH in the atmosphere due to the Siberian and North American fires.

Attached is the 586 mb image from 07-31-13 pm to give an example of what is observed. the highest methane readings at that layer were 2241 ppb.

The best way to get the full impact is by use of Remember to use Google Chrome for access.

Permafrost / High Methane - Africa, Middle East, and South Asia
« on: July 31, 2013, 12:48:59 AM »
While this thread may not fit "permafrost" there are high concentrations of methane release elsewhere that contribute to the ongoing rise of CH4 in the global troposphere.

An example is July 29's very high readings across North Africa, Middle East and South Asia, as well as elsewhere. Some of the high readings are the result of fires, rice production, oil and natural gas production, and biological methane release.

Antarctica / Antarctic Climate Warming
« on: July 21, 2013, 04:34:50 PM »
There is a fairly succinct article in Science News that summarizes current research on warming in the Antarctic, drivers that may influence that warming, and the implications of its warming on global climate.

See: Taking Antarctica's temperature Frozen continent may not be immune to global warming
July 27, 2013; Vol.184 #2
By Erin Wayman

Web edition: July 11, 2013
Print edition: July 27, 2013; Vol.184 #2 (p. 18)

Policy and solutions / Climate Change Solution - Thorium Power
« on: July 17, 2013, 03:50:26 PM »
This idea was articulated in an editorial on July 16 by an Arctic climate observer.

Thorium power:

See: Solutions for the real problem of climate change

Permafrost /
« on: July 11, 2013, 06:08:27 AM »
During the last few months, I have not posted as much on methane layers at Apocalypse4Real. That was not due to less interest - although time was a factor. The lag was due to collaboration on a new project which will make 3-D near real time global tracking of methane release at high concentrations a reality. was developed by Omar Cabrera, and has now progressed enough to go public. We are not done with improvements, but it portrays methane release and 3-D concentration in near real time.

The resource uses the METOP 2 IASI CH4 imagery, which has been reprocessed to display in Google Earth. It captures the 100 layers of IASI CH4 readings every 12 hours, from 0-12 hr Z and 12-24 hrs Z daily. We have started with imagery from January 1, 2013 to YTD.

See my comment on the Arctic Sea Ice Blog for further details. I'll post more later.


Permafrost / Noctilucent Cloud development and Methane
« on: June 24, 2013, 02:42:35 AM »
Noctilucent clouds have been increasing in area, timing and intensity for the last decade. Given levels of CH4 being observed high in the Arctic atmosphere, I expect the trend to continue. What effect they will have on climate change is still under study.

Below is excerpts from the recent article on their early appearance in 2013.

Noctilucent clouds get an early start

Jun 10, 2013 by Tony Phillips

"News flash: This year, NLCs are getting an early start. NASA's AIM spacecraft, which is orbiting Earth on a mission to study noctilucent clouds, started seeing them on May 13th.

"The 2013 season is remarkable because it started in the northern hemisphere a week earlier than any other season that AIM has observed," reports Cora Randall of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado. "This is quite possibly earlier than ever before."

The early start is extra-puzzling because of the solar cycle. Researchers have long known that NLCs tend to peak during solar minimum and bottom-out during solar maximum—a fairly strong anti-correlation. "If anything, we would have expected a later start this year because the solar cycle is near its maximum," Randall says. "So much for expectations."....

When AIM was launched in 2007, the underlying cause of NLCs was still unknown. Researchers knew they formed 83 km above Earth's surface where the atmosphere meets the vacuum of space—but that's about all. AIM quickly filled in the gaps.....

One of the greenhouse gases that has become more abundant in Earth's atmosphere since the 19th century is methane. "When methane makes its way into the upper atmosphere, it is oxidized by a complex series of reactions to form water vapor," says Russell. "This extra water vapor is then available to grow ice crystals for NLCs."

The early start of the 2013 season appears to be caused by a change in atmospheric "teleconnections."

"Half-a-world away from where the northern NLCs are forming, strong winds in the southern stratosphere are altering global circulation patterns," explains Randall. "This year more water vapor is being pushed into the high atmosphere where NLCs love to form, and the air there is getting colder."

"All of this has come as an interesting surprise for us," notes Russell. "When we launched AIM, our interest was in the clouds themselves. But now NLCs are teaching us about connections between different layers of the atmosphere that operate over great distances. Our ability to study these connections will surely lead to new understanding about how our atmosphere works."

Read more at:

On May 27-30, 2013, the International Conference on Climate Change Effects occurred in Potsdam. The peer-reviewed papers and research addressed five major questions:

1) Can we integrate our climate impact knowledge across sectors and disciplines?

2) How certain are we of expected climate impacts?

3) What is still missing in climate impact understanding?

4) How do we bridge the divide between regional and globlal impact studies?

5) Is anyone listening to climate impact change assessments?

There are approximately 100 science based papers that are linked on the website that cover everything from agriculture to hydrology - globally and regionally. There are alot of papers on climate impacts on Europe, Africa and Asia. There are more on modeling and use of modeling to predict future impacts, policy issues, climate change action - to prepare for impacts. It is a treasure trove!

Here is the link:

Developers Corner / Google Earth Mapping
« on: June 17, 2013, 05:46:26 PM »
I am attempting to take the AMRS2 imagery and overlay it in Google Earth and am using the AMRS2 tiff file.

So far, I have played with OkMap, Maptiler, and Geotiff GUI, but have not gotten farther than having OkMap getting it into a Google Earth kmz, but not having the correct coordinates as the initial points in Google Earth - which centers somewhere in Africa - not 90 N.

Any suggestions?

Permafrost / NASA CARVE Mission - Methane Tracking
« on: June 11, 2013, 06:02:59 PM »
The NASA CARVE mission, that tracks CH4 release in the Alaskan permafrost is flying missions again this year.

According to the article, some findings from 2012:

"The CARVE science team is busy analyzing data from its first full year of science flights. What they're finding, Miller said, is both amazing and potentially troubling.

"Some of the methane and carbon dioxide concentrations we've measured have been large, and we're seeing very different patterns from what models suggest," Miller said. "We saw large, regional-scale episodic bursts of higher-than-normal carbon dioxide and methane in interior Alaska and across the North Slope during the spring thaw, and they lasted until after the fall refreeze. To cite another example, in July 2012 we saw methane levels over swamps in the Innoko Wilderness that were 650 parts per billion higher than normal background levels. That's similar to what you might find in a large city."

Ultimately, the scientists hope their observations will indicate whether an irreversible permafrost tipping point may be near at hand. While scientists don't yet believe the Arctic has reached that tipping point, no one knows for sure. "We hope CARVE may be able to find that 'smoking gun,' if one exists," Miller said."

Here is the links:

1) The NASA article link:

2) The NASA mission link:

3) The JPL Mission Project home page:

4) The CARVE Investigation Home page with a link to 2012 data (must register):

Arctic sea ice / North American Ice Service Seasonal Outlook
« on: June 11, 2013, 05:31:36 AM »
While researching this evening I ran across the NAIS June 3 Seasonal Ice Forecast. I thought it might be an interesting benchmark for future comparison. The report pdf can be found here:

What interests me most is that it does not forecast major ice pack elimination in the Beaufort north of 120 miles from the coast nor in the CAB above 75 N.

Policy and solutions / 2 C Target No Longer Workable or Possible
« on: June 04, 2013, 04:29:50 PM »
The US government and now a German think tank have come out with statments that the 2C global warming target is not likely going to be met - or even workable, similar to the previous World Bank report on avoiding a 4C world.

The US made this statement in regard to its policy in 2012. Now Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik German Institute for International and Security Affairs, has proposed the same.

The US statements were made by Todd Stern, US Special Envoy on Climate Change at Dartmouth College in August, 2012. See:

The German SWP report is about as blunt. For an article on the issue, see:

For the SWP report, see:

The World Bank report can be found at:

The IEA World Energy Outlook provides the assumptions on energy consumption which will drive the GHG increases. In the Executive Summary, page 25 provides the brief perspective. See:

I ran across this interesting study about the Canadian military and Vancouver Aquarium taking Arctic sea ice and water measurements during February and March of this year, to determine a host of Arcic ice and water factors.

For the article, see:

For the Vancouver Aquarium Blog documenting CROW - read the submissions beginning on February 14:

Arctic sea ice / My Ocean Desk - Data Available
« on: March 14, 2013, 07:21:34 PM »
I was looking for the Godiva 2 data, which has now been intergrated into:

The site has a wealth of global sea ice and ocean resources available.

Below is the latest sea ice thickness model, and it models several days into the future. Another resource that will be of interest is the ice velocity modeling.

For a list of available imagery see:

There are two interesting pieces of research out this week, with significant implications for methane hydrate - natural gas production.

The first is an announcement from Japan on successful drilling and extraction of natural gas from methane hydrate sources. The key comments:

"The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said a team aboard the scientific drilling ship Chikyu had started a trial extraction of gas from a layer of methane hydrates about 300 meters, or 1,000 feet, below the seabed Tuesday morning. The ship has been drilling since January in an area of the Pacific about 1,000 meters deep and 80 kilometers, or 50 miles, south of the Atsumi Peninsula in central Japan."

"A separate, rough estimate by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology has put the total amount of methane hydrate in the waters surrounding Japan at more than 7 trillion cubic meters, or what researchers have long said is closer to 100 years’ worth of Japan’s natural gas needs."

"Scientists at the U.S.G.S. note, however, that there is still a limited understanding of how drilling for hydrates might affect the environment, particularly the possible release of methane, a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere, and are calling for continued research and monitoring."

"If test wells prove safe and economic, commercial methane production could begin as early as 2016. Methane has previously been extracted from methane hydrate buried deep under Arctic permafrost, but not from ocean deposits. The substance is formed by a combination of high pressures and cold temperatures. To produce usable gas, methane is separated from from a "cage" of ice by sucking out seawater to lower the surrounding pressure. One cubic foot of solid methane hydrate yields about 164 cubic feet of gas."
Two articles are:

Additionally, Data from Innovative Methane Hydrate Test on Alaska's North Slope Now Available on NETL Website. Test Demonstrated Ability to Inject CO2, Nitrogen, and Initiate and Maintain Gas Production

"Methane hydrate – essentially molecules of natural gas trapped in ice crystals – represents a potentially enormous energy resource, possibly exceeding the combined energy content of all other fossil fuels. Hydrate resources in arctic sandstone reservoirs contain an in-place gas volume estimated to be in the 100’s of trillions of cubic feet (TCF), while hydrate in marine sands is estimated to contain 1,000’s to 10,000’s of TCF, and hydrate dispersed through marine mud is estimated to contain 100,000’s of TCF.

In addition to the immense resource, CO2 injection into methane hydrate deposits is a technology that can potentially both release an energy resource while permanently storing carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas."

Consequences / Abrupt Warming - As Warm As Any Time in the Holocene
« on: March 08, 2013, 03:08:39 AM »
There is a new article being published in Science tomorrow, new research which documents that we are now as warm as any time in the Holocene.

Comment Science Daily captures the significance, "We already knew that on a global scale, Earth is warmer today than it was over much of the past 2,000 years," Marcott said. "Now we know that it is warmer than most of the past 11,300 years. This is of particular interest because the Holocene spans the entire period of human civilization."
Peter Clark, an OSU paleoclimatologist and co-author on the Science article, said many previous temperature reconstructions were regional in nature and were not placed in a global context. Marcott led the effort to combine data from 73 sites around the world, providing a much broader perspective.
"When you just look at one part of the world, the temperature history can be affected by regional climate processes like El Niño or monsoon variations," noted Clark. "But when you combine the data from sites all around the world, you can average out those regional anomalies and get a clear sense of the Earth's global temperature history."
What that history shows, the researchers say, is that over the past 5,000 years, Earth on average cooled about 1.3 degrees (Fahrenheit) -- until the past 100 years, when it warmed ̴ 1.3 degrees (F)."


The attached image is from:

Consequences / Climate Change Impacts - Global Agriculture
« on: March 07, 2013, 05:37:01 AM »
A recent paper and journal article summarize the impacts on current climate change on global food production. See:

Recent patterns of crop yield growth and stagnation

The Washington Post article follows:

Study: Global crop production shows some signs of stagnating
Posted by Max Fisher on December 24, 2012 at 7:00 am

After decades of rapidly growing global agricultural output, production of four of the world’s most important crops could be stagnating or even slowing in some regions, according to a new study published in Nature, a top scientific journal. The study, by the University of Minnesota’s Deepak Ray and four others, examined millions of census reports from the last half century to gather their data.

The authors are careful to point out that crop production is still increasing in parts of the world; it is by no means a categorical decline. The report’s abstract reads summarizes, “Although yields continue to increase in many areas, we find that across 24–39% of maize-, rice-, wheat- and soybean-growing areas, yields either never improve, stagnate or collapse.” That’s about a quarter to a third of global production of four of our most important crops.

This is potentially a very big deal. World populations are still growing. So is the global middle class, members of which tend to consume more meat and dairy per person, which means more crops per person. That’s been happening for a while, and it’s been fine as long as food production has kept pace. But the pace of crop production growth appears to be slowing in some really important regions, particularly in parts of India and China – and, yes, the U.S.

How did this happen? Study co-author Jonathan Foley, talking to Science Daily, suggests one possible explanation. “This finding is particularly troubling because it suggests that we have preferentially focused our crop improvement efforts on feeding animals and cars, as we have largely ignored investments in wheat and rice, crops that feed people and are the basis of food security in much of the world,” he said. Yikes.

What do the data show us? The authors kindly shared some charts and maps illustrating their data. As Ray told Science Daily, it “both sounds the alert for where we must shift our course if we are to feed a growing population in the decades to come, and points to positive examples to emulate.”

Here, first, is what the data look like for changes in wheat production. The green indicates rising production (and, again, keep in mind that some growth is necessary to keep pace with population increases), orange for stagnating production, and red for a decrease. You’ll notice lots of orange (as well as some green splotches) in Asia.

Here are similar maps for rice and soybeans. The map for maize (corn) appears at the top of the page. Again, look closely at quick-growing Asia, where you’ll see both good and bad news, although ideally they would be all green:
And here are some sample findings from the study’s data, showing what it looks when a crop stagnates growth, collapses, never improved, or is still growing. Take a look at the sample locations – places like Argentina and Morocco are in there, but so are Arkansas, Texas, and Minnesota – and you’ll remember that sustainable crop production really is a global problem.
The solid filled circles in each panel are the observed crop yields from various global locations to serve as illustrative examples. Colour codes indicate the crop. The solid curves are the statistical model fits to the data and similarly…

America’s population might not be growing as quickly as India’s or China’s, but it is growing, and its consumption habits tend to require more crops per person. That’s because we need crops not just to feed ourselves but to fuel our cars and to support our enormous demand for meat and dairy, which require substantial crop outputs. As Asian societies become not just larger but increasingly wealthy, the stress on the world’s food supply is expected to increase. If crops are to keep pace, we’ll need more of the world following the examples of places like Big Stone County, Minnesota, which has seen consistent growth in wheat production.

People have been predicting a Malthusian crisis, in which population growth outstrips the world’s ability to feed and house everyone, for centuries. The predictions have all been wrong. Let’s hope it stays that way.

Consequences / Climate Change Impacts - US Agriculture
« on: March 07, 2013, 04:50:19 AM »
One area of developing awareness is that the US agricultural contribution to the global food supply is threatened. This became more clear in the recent USDA Climate Change and Agriculture Report.

The link is:

It is a sobering read. The Executive Summary states the following:

Climate Change and Agriculture in the United States:
Effects and Adaptation
Executive Summary

Key Messages

Increases of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), rising temperatures, and altered precipitation patterns will affect agricultural productivity. Increases in temperature coupled with more variable precipitation will reduce productivity of crops, and these effects will outweigh the benefits of increasing carbon dioxide. Effects will vary among annual and perennial crops, and regions of the United States; however, all production systems will be affected to some degree by climate change. Agricultural systems depend upon reliable water sources, and the pattern and potential magnitude of precipitation changes is not well understood, thus adding considerable uncertainty to assessment efforts.

Livestock production systems are vulnerable to temperature stresses. An animal’s ability to adjust its metabolic rate to cope with temperature extremes can lead to reduced productivity and in extreme cases death. Prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures will also further increase production costs and productivity losses associated with all animal products, e.g., meat, eggs, and milk.

Projections for crops and livestock production systems reveal that climate change effects over the next 25 years will be mixed. The continued degree of change in the climate by midcentury and beyond is expected to have overall detrimental effects on most crops and livestock.
Climate change will exacerbate current biotic stresses on agricultural plants and animals. Changing pressures associated with weeds, diseases, and insect pests, together with potential changes in timing and coincidence of pollinator lifecycles, will affect growth and yields. The potential magnitude of these effects is not yet well understood.

For example, while some pest insects will thrive under increasing air temperatures, warming temperatures may force others out of their current geographical ranges. Several weeds have shown a greater response to carbon dioxide relative to crops; understanding these physiological and genetic responses may help guide future enhancements to weed management.

Agriculture is dependent on a wide range of ecosystem processes that support productivity including maintenance of soil quality and regulation of water quality and quantity. Multiple stressors, including climate change, increasingly compromise the ability of ecosystems to provide these services. Key near-term climate change effects on agricultural soil and water resources include the potential for increased soil erosion through extreme precipitation events, as well as regional and seasonal changes in the availability of water resources for both rain-fed and irrigated agriculture.

The predicted higher incidence of extreme weather events will have an increasing influence on agricultural productivity. Extremes matter because agricultural productivity is driven largely by environmental conditions during critical threshold periods of crop and livestock development. Improved assessment of climate change effects on agricultural productivity requires greater integration of extreme events into crop and economic models.

The vulnerability of agriculture to climatic change is strongly dependent on the responses taken by humans to moderate the effects of climate change. Adaptive actions within agricultural sectors are driven by perceptions of risk, direct productivity effects of climate change, and by complex changes in domestic and international markets, policies, and other institutions as they respond to those effects within the United States and worldwide.

Opportunities for adaptation are shaped by the operating context within which decision‑making occurs, access to effective adaptation options, and the capacity of individuals and institutions to take adaptive action as climate conditions change. Effective adaptive action across the multiple dimensions of the U.S. agricultural system offers potential to capitalize on emerging opportunities
and minimize the costs associated with climate change. A climate-ready U.S. agriculture will depend on the development of geographically specific, agriculturally relevant, climate projections for the near and medium term; effective adaptation planning and assessment strategies; and soil, crop and livestock management practices that enhance agricultural production
system resilience to climatic variability and extremes.

Anticipated adaptation to climate change in production agriculture includes adjustments to production system inputs, tillage, crop species, crop rotations, and harvest strategies. New research and development in new crop varieties that are more resistant to drought, disease, and heat stress will increase the resilience of agronomic systems to climate change and will enable exploitation of opportunities that may arise.

Over the last 150 years, U.S. agriculture has exhibited a remarkable capacity to adapt to a wide
diversity of growing conditions amid dynamic social and economic changes. These adaptations
were made during a period of relative climatic stability and abundant technical, financial and natural resources. Future agricultural adaptation will be undertaken in a decision environment characterized by high complexity and uncertainty driven by the sensitivity of agricultural system response to climatic variability, the complexity of interactions between the agricultural systems, non-climate stressors and the global climate system, and the increasing pace and intensity of climatic change.

New approaches to managing the uncertainty associated with climate change, such as integrated assessment of climate change effects and adaptation options, the use of adaptive management and robust decision-support strategies, the integration of climate knowledge into decisionmaking by producers, technical advisors, and agricultural research and development planning efforts, and the development of resilient agricultural production systems will help to sustain agricultural production during the 21st century.

Greenland and Arctic Circle / Greenland Melt Impacts 2012
« on: March 02, 2013, 10:26:11 PM »
Thought I'd put in the link to Tedesco's November 30, 2012 paper in Greenland ice melt impacts during 2012

The Cryosphere Discuss., 6, 4939–4976, 2012

Evidence and analysis of 2012 Greenland
records from spaceborne observations,
a regional climate model and reanalysis

M. Tedesco1, X. Fettweis2, T. Mote3, J. Wahr4, P. Alexander1,5, J. Box6, and
B. Wouters4,7
1The City College of New York, The City University of New York, New York, NY 10031, USA
2University of Liege, Liege, Belgium
3University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
4Department of Physics and Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences,
University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA
5The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, New York, NY 10031, USA
6The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA
7School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
Received: 24 October 2012 – Accepted: 15 November 2012 – Published: 30 November 2012
Correspondence to: M. Tedesco (
Published by Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union.


A combined analysis of remote sensing observations, regional climate model (RCM)
outputs and reanalysis data over the Greenland ice sheet provides evidence that multiple
records were set during summer 2012. Melt extent was the largest in the satellite
era 5 (extending up to 97% of the ice sheet) and melting lasted up to  two months
longer than the 1979–2011 mean. Model results indicate that near surface temperature
was 3 standard deviations () above the 1958–2011 mean, while surface mass
balance was 3 below the mean and runoff was 3.9 above the mean over the same
period. Albedo, exposure of bare ice and surface mass balance also set new records,
10 as did the total mass balance with summer and annual mass changes of, respectively,
−627 Gt and −574 Gt, 2 below the 2003–2012 mean.
We identify persistent anticyclonic conditions over Greenland associated with
anomalies in the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), changes in surface conditions (e.g.
albedo) and pre-conditioning of surface properties from recent extreme melting as ma15
jor driving mechanisms for the 2012 records. Because of self-amplifying positive feedbacks,
less positive if not increasingly negative SMB will likely occur should large-scale
atmospheric circulation and induced surface characteristics observed over the past
decade persist. Since the general circulation models of the Coupled Model Intercomparison
Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) do not simulate the abnormal anticyclonic circulation
20 resulting from extremely negative NAO conditions as observed over recent years, contribution
to sea level rise projected under different warming scenarios will be underestimated
should the trend in NAO summer values continue.

Antarctica / Antarctic Methane Concentrations
« on: February 28, 2013, 03:07:53 PM »
Over the last couple of weeks, higher levels of methane have started to appear over Antarctica.

I have updated the METOP 2/B images through February 26, 2013 pm. They reveal that there is a significant area of high methane concentration over Antarctica.


Permafrost / Arctic Methane Release
« on: February 17, 2013, 05:01:55 PM »
Welcome to the Arctic Sea Ice Forum - Arctic Methane Topic!

I will post observations and comments on methane release in the Arctic Basin and surrounding seas or land areas on this thread.

There is a website I maintain which tracks methane release for AIRS/AQUA/IASI methane imagery with the kind contribution of Dr. Leonid Yurganov. It is found at:

I also maintain a set of imagery for METOPS 2 IASI CH4 at this site:

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