2014 is on track to become the warmest year ever. It is in competition with 2010. As it is, the warming is accelerating: this summer was the warmest. If so, it starts a new trend: warming so strong, it’s all messed up. (I predicted long ago that equipartition of energy applied to greenhouse warming would cause wild fluctuations.)
The five warmest years on record are: 2010, 2005, 1998, 2013, and 2003, in that order. 1998 had the strongest El Nino. Only 2013 and 2014 didn’t start with a full grown El Nino, according to NOAA (USA’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). The latter fact is curious, and tells a tale, as we will see.
Apparently, we experienced the warmest June-August period, globally:
What does El Nino do? It is characterized by a huge blob of warm water, which usually sits in the West Pacific, transferring itself to the East Pacific, by spreading out towards the Americas. By doing so, El Nino brings heat over half of the Earth’s atmosphere. To start with. Then consequences extend worldwide.
Sedimentary records indicates that, during strong global planetary warming, El Nino happens every year. (There have been examples of fast warming before, from natural causes that are now elucidated; the present warming is definitively the work of the present energy system, an extension of the one Neanderthal had, already 75,000 years ago.)
Of the top 10 warmest years on record, 1998 is the sole year that didn’t occur in the Twenty-First century, showing how much global temperatures have risen due to the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
2014 the warmest? This may sound weird to denizens of the East Coast of America, who experienced a cold winter. However that cold winter there is directly tied to the Global Warming.
OK, let me go on a creative spur. The following is greatly speculations on my part, from observation I made. Yet I am pretty sure I will be proven correct, and very soon.
What is known is this: Trade Winds off California have doubled in speed. That was so true that hypersonic tests off Hawai’i by NASA had to be put off during the whole month of June 2014, because of said high winds.
Trade Winds go towards the South West, before turning increasingly West. Thus those winds acted like a high pressure system off the West Coast of the USA, deflecting storms there to the north (Canada), and the south (Mexico). Hence a drought in the Western USA, but also a counter to the gathering El Nino (announced with fanfare last May, before it petered out).
Another effect of Trade Winds off the West Coast has been a deflection north of the jet stream, as it hits America. As the jet wiggled back down, after its excursion into cold Canada, it brought polar air with it. Hence the East Coast cooling.
Another personal observation: there was a totally abnormal amount of sea ice in the Svalbard-Spitzbergen area this summer. Everywhere else, except the North-West passage, sea ice was in dramatic retreat. How come?
Very simple: the northern reaches of the Gulf Stream, a set of currents, are supposed to shut down, in case of strong surface melting of Greenland. And that’s apparently exactly what they are doing.
To finish with an aside that was just published. A few years ago, the Larsen B Ice Shelf disintegrated in a few days. At the time, it seemed likely that the grounding line, where the ice stops touching the sea bottom, had retreated so fast, that Larsen B broke apart. However, research, it is claimed show that the grounding line of Larsen B had not moved for 12,000 years.
Conclusion: it is warming of the air above Larsen B that caused the collapse. This informs that the same may happen to other ice shelves in Antarctica. So the shelves may well disintegrate much faster than expected by just looking at the retreating grounding lines. The shelves hold back the huge glaciers behind them.
All this greenhouse gas built-up is happening not because it’s too expensive to fix. In truth, it’s cheaper to fix it, and it would create dozens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of jobs, worldwide.
Greenhouse gas built-up is happening mostly because of vested interests controlling the planet’s politics. This is the answer to the question children are asking: why destroy the planet?
Destruction, children, is fun. Especially when it profits the few who happen to take all the important decisions. Meanwhile, you, children, can concentrate on the latest iPhone, or Mr. Leonardo DiCaprio’s blue eyes.
Warmest year ever, atmospheric currents all messed up worldwide, Greenland flooding the North Atlantic with sweet, light, icy water, Gulf Stream shutting down, ice shelves disintegrating from hot air, exploding methane cavities in Siberia, how could it get worse? Trust me, it will.