Begin Typing to Search Submit Search

Search Results
    August 22, 2017 | 12:49 PM

    These Are the Crazy Climate Records from 2016 You Haven’t Heard Much About

    Republished with permission from Climate Central. surface temperature in 2016 compared to the 1981-2010 average.
    Credit: NOAA

    But there are other climate change-related records that have flown more under the radar. Several of those records were highlighted in the annual State of the Climate report, released in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society:

    For example, during August, ice-free areas of the Barents Sea (north of Norway and Russia) were up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit (11 degrees Celsius) above average, a figure that stunned climate scientists.

    The Chukchi Sea off Alaska and the waters to the west of Greenland were 13 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit (7.2 to 7.7 degrees Celsius) above average. Those warm waters were linked to the smallest annual winter peak in sea ice levels and the second lowest annual minimum.

    The average land surface temperature for the Arctic was 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2.0 degrees Celsius) above the 1981-2010 average — a 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit (3.5 degrees Celsius) rise in temperatures since 1900. Record-high temperatures were measured below the surface of the permafrost, or permanently frozen ground, across the North Slope of Alaska. mass balance — the difference between ice lost through melting and ice gained through new snowfall — each year since 1980 (blue bars) for the 44 glaciers in the World Glacier Monitoring Service's reference network. The orange line shows the running total ice mass loss between 1980–2015. These glaciers have lost the equivalent of cutting a 70-foot thick slice off the top of the average glacier.
    Credit: NOAA

    “2016 was a year in the Arctic like we’ve never seen before,” Jeremy Mathis, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Arctic research program and an author of the report, said.

    The rate of warming in the Arctic, which is happening at twice the rate of the rest of the globe, has major impacts on local ecosystems, but also further drives the warming of the planet, as the sea ice that would reflect the sun’s rays back to space is lost.

    And for the 37th consecutive year, alpine glaciers retreated across the globe. These glaciers are a major source of water for local communities, and their loss has led to concerns about water security, particularly in places like Southeast Asia. surface temperature in 2016 compared to the 1981-2010 average.
    Credit: NOAA

    Global sea level was also the highest on record — and sea surface temperatures globally were also record-high — with a sea level 3.25 inches higher than they were in 1993, the beginning of the record. The year marked six consecutive years of global sea levels being higher than the year before. Over the long term, sea level rise is driven by the warming of the oceans (as water expands as it heats up) and the addition of water from melting polar ice.

    On a more local level, the year, which was the second hottest on record for the US, was the 20th consecutive warmer-than-normal year for the country — a mark of the impact that long-term warming is having.

    Republished with permission from Climate Central.

    Here’s What You Can Do

    1. Learn about climate change basics. Download our free e-book, Climate Crisis 101, and learn the basic science behind climate change.

    2. Attend a presentation from a trained Climate Reality Leader. You’ll learn not only what the climate crisis means for our planet, but will also hear what it means for your community and even you personally.

    3. Apply to attend a Climate Reality Leadership Corps training. As seen in An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, you’ll learn from former US Vice President Al Gore and renowned climate scientists and communicators about what’s happening to our planet and how to inspire audiences to take action.


    Before You Go

    At Climate Reality, we work hard to create high-quality educational content like blogs, e-books, videos, and more to empower people all over the world to fight for climate solutions and stand together to drive the change we need. We are a nonprofit organization that believes there is hope in unity, and that together, we can build a safe, sustainable future.

    But we can't do it without your help.

    If you enjoyed what you’ve just read and would like to see more, please consider making a generous gift to support our ongoing work to fight climate denial and support solutions.

    Climate Central

    Climate Central surveys and conducts scientific research on climate change and informs the public of key findings. Our scientists publish and our journalists report on climate science, energy, sea-level rise, wildfires, drought, and related topics.