Sunday, September 22, 2013

Super Typhoon Usagi drawing energy from record warm waters

Super Typhoon Usagi is the strongest tropical cyclone storm on a global level this year, bringing destruction to the Northern Philippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong and southern China.

Warmer surface waters contribute energy for much stronger, more intense storms. Parts of the Western Pacific have experienced record and much warmer than average sea surface temperatures in August, part of record global sea surface temperatures.

A NASA analysis of the storm remarked on it's super rapid intensification, identifying warm ocean waters as a contributor to the storm's rapid growth and strength.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

NOAA: Record Global Sea surface temperatures for August 2013

In August 2013 global sea surface temperatures (SST) set a new record. The August average sea surface temperature was 0.57°C above the 20th century average of 16.4°C (61.4°F), tying with 1998, 2003, 2005, and 2009 as the record highest for August.

This record warmth comes despite La Nina/El Nino (ENSO) neutral conditions in place for the last 16 months with below-average temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Early start to Australian bushfires, record temperatures


Just a few days after the Federal election NSW experienced a surprisingly early start to the bushfire season with fires on Sydney's outskirts giving us a taste of things to come. Queensland is also facing severe fire danger with the early onset of high temperatures.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology also issued a special climate statement saying that the last 12 months is Australia’s hottest 12 month period on record, and it's second warmest winter on record for maximum temperatures.

Tony Abbott's Government first actions: trash climate change education, carbon pricing

On September 7 Australia elected the Liberal National parties - the Coalition - to Federal Government, with Tony Abbott as our new Prime Minister. It is a Government firmly in climate denial, intent on winding back carbon pricing; undermining renewables; and closing down the Climate Commission setup to communicate and engage the public on climate science and its impacts.

On the Monday after the election there was an early start to the bushfire season with large fires in Western Sydney and bushfire alerts for much of Queensland. The Bureau of Meteorology also issued a special climate statement saying the last 12 months has been the hottest 12 month period on record with the winter period being the 2nd warmest on record.

Going into the election campaign there was bipartisan commitment by both the Labor and Liberal Parties to meeting a minimum commitment of 5 per cent reduction in Australia's emissions by 2020. But the Liberal Party party strategy for meeting this commitment, the Climate Direct Action Plan, was widely criticised as being reliant on soil carbon methodologies largely unproven and unable to achieve its target within its $3.2 billion budget.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Guest Post: Andy Pittman - Is global warming in a hiatus? Are our politicians being lulled into a false sense of security?

Is global warming in a hiatus?

By Andy Pitman

On September 27 2013 the 5th Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will be released.

One part of this report will address the so-called “warming hiatus”. This is the argument that warming has stopped, with the further assertion in some quarters that we therefore have nothing to worry about in the future.

It is a fact, based on observations of air temperature, that the rate of global warming measured as surface air temperature has slowed over the past 15 years. The last decade is still the warmest in the past 150 years.

If you measure global heat content then global warming has not slowed. If you measure other indices including sea level rise or ocean temperatures or sea ice cover global warming has not slowed.

However, the warming trend in air temperatures has slowed over the last 15 years. There is a great deal of interest in this “hiatus” in the sense of whether it points to some fundamental error in climate science.