Climate Change Science [Strictly Moderated]

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Re: Climate Change Science [Strictly Moderated]

#781  Postby OlivierK » Aug 09, 2016 9:04 pm

Macdoc wrote:
Unprecedented global warming as 2016 approaches 1.5 °C mark
By Michael le Page

Global surface temperatures could get close to the 1.5 °C-above-preindustrial limit before the Paris climate agreement even comes into effect.

That’s alarming news, considering that the deal aspires to limit global warming to no more than this.

Last week Gavin Schmidt, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies, estimated that the average global temperature in 2016 could range from about 1.1 °C above preindustrial to only slightly below 1.5 °C, based on GISS’s temperature record and its definition of pre-industrial (other records and definitions vary).


https://www.newscientist.com/article/20 ... -5-c-mark/

Regarding the red: yes, they've already been through 1.5C over pre-industrial for short timeframes, including the month of the Paris agreement, and are likely to come in around 1.4C above for calendar 2016 using the GISS measure (anomaly from 1951-80 average + 0.4C).

As this is the peak year of a large El Nino event, that points to current trendline temperatures about 1.1C over pre-industrial, which at current warming rates would put the trendline past 1.5C sometime in the 2040's, which in turn would mean that future El Nino yearly averages may well break through 1.5C from the 2020's when the trendline temperature is over 1.25C or so above pre-industrial (depending on the size of the ENSO event, and how soon it occurs - over time it will take smaller and smaller El Nino events to break 1.5C over pre-industrial, and by 2050 it won't take an El Nino event at all, and could even happen in La Nina years.)

At 400ppm CO2, this is not avoidable, and the Paris agreement was criticised at the time it was made for including a long term 1.5C target that was plainly unachievable.

Regarding the green, it's not alarming news that with trendline temperatures of 1.1C above pre-industrial and rising that large El Nino peaks are hitting 1.4C above pre-industrial. It's just idiotic to focus on single years (or months) of a dataset containing much longer cycles like ENSO. If, during the next La Nina, we have a year that's only around 1.0C above pre-industrial, and someone argued that as 2016 had been close to 1.5C we'd obviously fixed the problem, what would you say to them?
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Re: Climate Change Science [Strictly Moderated]

#782  Postby Macdoc » Aug 10, 2016 6:24 am

Excellent longish article about the Greenland Ice Sheet.
Interesting in particular that we are CO2 PPM near to when it first formed during the Middle Miocene.

snip
Conditions in Context — The Level of Atmospheric Greenhouse Gasses is Now About Equal to Where They Were When the Greenland Ice Sheet First Formed


complete article

NASA Map Shows Large Portions of Greenland are Melting from Below
During recent years, as human fossil-fuel emissions have forced the Earth to warm, observations of Greenland’s surface has indicated a rising rate of melt. What has been less well-observed is melt rates beneath the ice and near the ice base. This is important because the pooling of water beneath the great ice sheet can help speed its movement toward ocean outlets, along with accumulating heat at the base of the ice — which can also quicken the pace of overall melt.

A new scientific study headed by NASA researchers has developed one of the first comprehensive maps of melt along Greenland’s basal zone, where the ice contacts the ground surface. What they have found is that large portions of Greenland are melting from below:
Image

(New, first-of-its-kind map shows extensive melt along the Greenland ice sheet base. Melt in this region is a sign that heat is building up beneath the ice as well as on top. Image source: NASA.)

continues
https://robertscribbler.com/2016/08/09/ ... rom-below/

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Re: Climate Change Science [Strictly Moderated]

#783  Postby Alan B » Aug 10, 2016 9:33 am

Would it be a valid assumption that the frozen areas are of a higher elevation than the thawed areas?
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Re: Climate Change Science [Strictly Moderated]

#784  Postby OlivierK » Aug 12, 2016 3:01 am

The frozen areas seem to correspond to areas with low-altitude bedroack, and a massive ice-sheet, and the thawing areas to areas with higher-elevation bedrock, and a thinner ice-sheet (central Greenland has lower bedrock than the coastal ring - below is a bedrock topo map from wikipedia).

Image

The original NASA report is also interesting: http://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/201 ... -ice-sheet

As the thaw map is a first map, it's more concerned with understanding the behaviour of the ice sheet than attempting to draw conclusions as to how the current distribution of basal thaw relates to the normal state of the ice sheet. It will be interesting to see what sort of mapping comes out of these new techniques over coming years. It would be fascinating to see what this map would have looked like 10 or 20 years ago.
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Re: Climate Change Science [Strictly Moderated]

#785  Postby Macdoc » Aug 15, 2016 12:44 pm

CO2e a more encompassing measurement...


Smashing Through 490 — Fragmenting Prospects for Avoiding 2 C Warming
“The IPCC indicated in its fourth assessment report that achieving a 2 C target would mean stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at around 445 to 490 ppm CO2 equivalent or lower. Higher levels would substantially increase the risks of harmful and irreversible climate change.” –Johan Eliasch

NOAA's Greenhouse Gas Index

Image

(NOAA’s greenhouse gas index shows that CO2e concentration for 2015 averaged 485 ppm. Given recent rates of rise, the 2016 average should be near 490 ppm CO2e. At the latest, this key threshold will be crossed some time during 2017. Image source: NOAA’s Earth Systems Research Laboratory.)

https://robertscribbler.com/2016/08/12/ ... c-warming/

*****

There are a few things we know about climate change that should really keep us up at night. The first is that the world is warming, and this warming of the Earth, in so many ways, is dangerous to human beings and all the other innocent creatures living here.

The second is that, over recent years, this warming has been very rapid. In the three years from 2014 through 2016, the Earth’s atmospheric temperature is likely to have increased by 0.2 degrees Celsius or more to around 1.2 C above 1880s levels. When thinking about this in absolute terms, it doesn’t sound like much. But in geological terms, this is very rapid warming, especially when you consider that, at the end of the last ice age, it took about 400 years to produce a similar amount of atmospheric temperature gain.

What all this boils down to is that as global temperatures have spiked, we’ve rapidly crossed an established climate threshold into a far more geophysically dangerous time.

Surging Levels of Heat-Trapping Gasses

405 parts per million carbon dioxide. That’s about the average level of CO2 accumulation the Earth’s atmosphere will see by the end of 2016, due primarily to fossil-fuel burning. It’s a big number. The Earth hasn’t seen a number like that in millions of years. But 405 ppm CO2 doesn’t tell the whole story of heat-trapping gasses in the atmosphere. To do that, we have to look at another number — carbon dioxide equivalent or CO2e.

The Keeling Curve August
Image

(During a typical September and October, daily or weekly values may briefly dip below 400 ppm CO2, as detected at the Mauna Loa Observatory. But after September-October 2016, it’s unlikely that you or I will ever see such low levels of CO2 from that measure again in our lifetimes. Image source: Scripps Institution of Oceanography.)

490 ppm CO2e. That’s about the total amount of CO2-equivalent heat forcing from all the human-added greenhouse gasses like CO2, methane, various nitrogen compounds, and other gaseous chemical waste that the Earth’s atmosphere will see by late 2016 to early 2017.

Why is this a big deal?

Four reasons —

First, hitting 490 CO2e crosses the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change‘s (IPCC) lowest climate threshold. If this were a highway, and climate change were a collision, we’d now be careening through the first guardrail.

Second, 490 CO2e represents significant current and future warming (and there’s good reason to believe that IPCC’s estimates of that warming may be a bit conservative).

Third, it signifies that we have now fully entered the era of catastrophic climate change, with some bad climate outcomes almost certainly locked in as a result. We see a number of these instances now in the form of extreme rainfall events, extreme drought, coral bleaching, sea ice and glacial melt, threatened crops, ocean anoxia and dead zones, widespread harmful algae blooms, ocean acidification, and expanding infectious disease ranges. However, what we are experiencing now is just the tip of the (melting) climate change iceberg if we do not rapidly respond.

Fourth, if we were never really aware before that we very urgently need to get serious about swiftly cutting fossil-fuel emissions, protecting and regrowing forests, and working to help people to adapt to climate change, then this is our wake-up call.


more
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Re: Climate Change Science [Strictly Moderated]

#786  Postby pip » Aug 20, 2016 12:17 am

That's scary reading especially as we've barely started talking about what to do about it, at least here in oz, and are still debating the actual reality of AGW!

I'm not a scientist and i've only recently started to educate myself on AGW so apologies if my questions are kind of dumb. Would it be right to say that as the atmosphere heats up more C02 is released into the atmosphere from ice sheets and the ocean and C02 absorbing organisms die off which potentially and exponentially creates even more warming?

Also, i've tried to find this information but havent yet, is there some reliable testable method of quantifying how much C02 and other greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere is the result of natural phenomenon, ie not from human activity? Or is the system simply too big and complex to make a reasonable estimation?
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Re: Climate Change Science [Strictly Moderated]

#787  Postby OlivierK » Aug 20, 2016 7:24 am

Welcome, pip :cheers:

This could be an interesting read on both of your questions:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/ar ... s-updated/
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Re: Climate Change Science [Strictly Moderated]

#788  Postby Macdoc » Sep 06, 2016 1:21 am

Global temperatures could rise 1.5 degrees by 2020, researchers say

Global temperatures could rise 1.5 degrees in the next five years, much faster than previously thought, according to new modelling.

A landmark climate deal struck in Paris last year saw almost 200 countries agree to work to limit temperature rises to "well below two degrees" and work towards limiting the increase to 1.5 degrees.

University of Queensland solar and biofuels expert Professor Ben Hankamer.

But findings from Queensland researchers published on Thursday predicted that barrier would be reached by 2020 if the status quo was maintained.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted a global mean surface temperature rise of 0.3°C to 0.7°C from 2016 to 2035 in its 2014 report.


more

http://www.smh.com.au/environment/clima ... neyhn.html

paper
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/articl ... ne.0149406
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Re: Climate Change Science [Strictly Moderated]

#789  Postby OlivierK » Sep 06, 2016 1:49 am

Macdoc wrote:
Global temperatures could rise 1.5 degrees by 2020, researchers say

Global temperatures could rise 1.5 degrees in the next five years, much faster than previously thought, according to new modelling.

A landmark climate deal struck in Paris last year saw almost 200 countries agree to work to limit temperature rises to "well below two degrees" and work towards limiting the increase to 1.5 degrees.

University of Queensland solar and biofuels expert Professor Ben Hankamer.

But findings from Queensland researchers published on Thursday predicted that barrier would be reached by 2020 if the status quo was maintained.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted a global mean surface temperature rise of 0.3°C to 0.7°C from 2016 to 2035 in its 2014 report.


more

http://www.smh.com.au/environment/clima ... neyhn.html

paper
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/articl ... ne.0149406

There are two separate, and contradictory, claims made by this scientifically illterate article:
(1)
Global temperatures could rise 1.5 degrees in the next five years

(2)
A landmark climate deal struck in Paris last year saw almost 200 countries agree to work to limit temperature rises to "well below two degrees" and work towards limiting the increase to 1.5 degrees.

University of Queensland solar and biofuels expert Professor Ben Hankamer.

[b]But findings from Queensland researchers published on Thursday predicted that barrier would be reached by 2020 if the status quo was maintained.

Given that the Paris agreement was to attempt to limit the total rise to 1.5C above pre-industrial temperatures, then it's patently obvious that reaching the 1.5C barrier (above pre-industrial) is not the same as a 1.5C rise (above current temperatures) by the same date, given that current warming since pre-industrial is not zero.

So I hope we can agree that claim (1) above is nonsense, and just an attempt to make claim (2) that's gone beyond "muddled", and into "false".

Now claim (2) is certainly possible, but as far as I can see, it's not made in the paper that you linked. If it is, then I'd be happy to stand corrected if you could quote the relevant section - I only skimmed the paper and may have missed it. What the paper does seem to claim is that if we're going to stay below 1.5C, then we can only burn a certain quantity of fossil fuel, beyond which atmospheric CO2 levels will lock in 1.5C of warming, and we're on track to burn that quantity by 2020 at the latest. In other words, by 2020, we will have guaranteed 1.5C above pre-industrial warming at some future time.

That's a different claim, and a more reasonable one. I think that given political realities, we're at the point of having locked in 1.5C+ already - I'm not sure how, at 400ppm, we turn the ship around given how close we are to the target.

I do wish, given the enormity of the issue, that standards of reportage of climate science were much higher than demonstrated in the quoted article.
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Re: Climate Change Science [Strictly Moderated]

#790  Postby Macdoc » Sep 06, 2016 6:39 am

Maybe Robert Scribbler was on to something - he was getting criticized over this article
https://robertscribbler.com/2016/06/28/ ... e-to-pole/

now it seems something is afoot.

A strange thing happened in the stratosphere
A 60-year pattern in the stratosphere changes up

Date:
September 2, 2016
Source:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Summary:
High above Earth's tropics, a pattern of winds changed recently in a way that scientists had never seen in more than 60 years of consistent measurements.

A predictable pattern of winds in the stratosphere recently changed in a way scientists had not seen in more than 60 years of record-keeping.
Credit: NASA
This disruption to the wind pattern -- called the "quasi-biennial oscillation" -- did not have any immediate impact on weather or climate as we experience it on Earth's surface. But it does raise interesting questions for the NASA scientists who observed it: If a pattern holds for six decades and then suddenly changes, what caused that to happen? Will it happen again? What effects might it have?

"The quasi-biennial oscillation is the stratosphere's Old Faithful," said Paul Newman, Chief Scientist for Earth Sciences at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, and lead author on a new paper about the event published online in Geophysical Research Letters. "If Old Faithful stopped for a day, you'd begin to wonder about what was happening under the ground."

Winds in the tropical stratosphere, an atmospheric layer that extends from about 10 to 30 miles above Earth's surface, circulate the planet in alternating easterly and westerly directions over roughly a two-year period. Westerly winds develop at the top of the stratosphere, and gradually descend to the bottom, about 10 miles above the surface while at the same time being replaced by a layer of easterly winds above them. In turn, the easterlies descend and are replaced by westerlies.

This pattern repeats every 28 months. In the 1960s scientists coined it the "quasi-biennial oscillation." The record of these measurements, made by weather balloons released in the tropics at various points around the globe, dates to 1953.

The pattern never changed -- until late 2015. As the year came to a close, winds from the west neared the end of their typical descent. The regular pattern held that weaker easterly winds would soon replace them. But then the westerlies appeared to move upwards and block the downward movement of the easterlies. This new pattern held for nearly half a year, and by July 2016 the old regime seemed to resume.

"It's really interesting when nature throws us a curveball," Newman said.

The quasi-biennial oscillation has a wide influence on stratospheric conditions. The amount of ozone at the equator changes by 10 percent between the peaks of the easterly and westerly phases, while the oscillation also has an impact on levels of polar ozone depletion.

With this disruption now documented, Newman and colleagues are currently focused on studying both its causes and potential implications. They have two hypotheses for what could have triggered it -- the particularly strong El Niño in 2015-16 or the long-term trend of rising global temperatures. Newman said the scientists are conducting further research now to figure out if the event was a "black swan," a once-in-a-generation event, or a "canary in the coal mine," a shift with unforeseen circumstances, caused by climate change.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... 142132.htm
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Re: Climate Change Denial

#791  Postby Animavore » Sep 14, 2016 9:32 am

The effects of climate change endanger U.S. military operations and could increase the danger of international conflict, according to three new documents endorsed by retired top U.S. military officers and former national security officials.

"There are few easy answers, but one thing is clear: the current trajectory of climatic change presents a strategically-significant risk to U.S. national security, and inaction is not a viable option," said a statement published on Wednesday by the Center for Climate and Security, a Washington-based think tank.

It was signed by more than a dozen former senior military and national security officials, including retired General Anthony Zinni, former commander of the U.S. Central Command, and retired Admiral Samuel Locklear, head of the Pacific Command until last year.

They called on the next U.S. president to create a cabinet level position to deal with climate change and its impact on national security.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-c ... SKCN11K0BC
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Re: Climate Change Science [Strictly Moderated]

#792  Postby Animavore » Sep 15, 2016 1:03 pm

here may be music in the roar of the sea, as Byron eulogized, but the waves can also bring creeping unease. On low-lying fragments of land like the Marshall Islands, the tides are threatening to take away what they previously helped support: life.

Hilda Heine surveys the latest temporary sea wall that cleaves her property from the waves. It has been knocked down twice since February by floods and she frets about her plants that will probably face a salty demise.


Her vista would, sadly, be unremarkable in the Marshall Islands were it not for the policeman languidly guarding the corrugated metal wall – Heine is the president of the Pacific island nation. Here, no one is spared the rising seas.

“I need a better wall, one with rocks,” Heine mutters. Her presidency will probably be defined by climate change. Heine took charge in January and immediately declared a state of emergency over a drought so dire that water was rationed in the capital, Majuro. The nation also faces the existential threat of sea level rise and, with it, the potential exodus of its population.


The escape route is there [that allows Marshallese work in the US without a visa], for now, but it has come at a cost. The option of moving to the US was born from the Marshall Islands’ misfortune of being under US administration during the cold war.

Between 1946 and 1958, the US conducted nuclear weapons testing on the islands, peppering Bikini atoll alone with 23 bombs. The largest, known as the Bravo shot, was 1,000 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb and vaporized three small islands.

While Bikini was evacuated, the wind blew radioactive detritus on to the inhabited atolls of Rongelap and Utrik. “Within hours, the atoll was covered with a fine, white, powder-like substance,” says Jeton Anjain, who led the eventual evacuation of Rongelap. “No one knew it was radioactive fallout. The children played in the snow. They ate it.”


Cancers, particularly of the thyroid, riddled many of those who came into contact with this radioactivity. But the wounds of dispossession are the ones that run deepest, 70 years on. The Marshallese may use faded US dollar bills, daub murals of LeBron James and Steph Curry on walls and retain the names Rita (after Rita Hayworth) and Laura (after Lauren Bacall) for the two ends of the curved Majuro island, but the relationship with America is a complicated one.

A US military base remains at Kwajalein, where unarmed missiles periodically land, fired from California. Many Marshallese serve in the US army, while the rest of the population each gets around $500 a year via a trust fund set up to compensate the harrowing nuclear tests. Still, many feel it’s not enough given the legacy of trauma.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... e-arkansas
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Re: Climate Change Science [Strictly Moderated]

#794  Postby Animavore » Sep 19, 2016 5:28 am

That article has a picture of penguins for some reason.
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Re: Climate Change Science [Strictly Moderated]

#795  Postby Macdoc » Sep 19, 2016 6:13 am

generic climate change victims

••••

no El Nino

NASA Analysis Finds August 2016 Another Record Month
Posted Sep. 12, 2016

August 2016 was the warmest August in 136 years of modern record-keeping, according to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.


Image

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/news/20160912/
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Re: Climate Change Science [Strictly Moderated]

#796  Postby OlivierK » Sep 19, 2016 11:29 am

Yep, the anomaly is certainly holding up - looks like 2016 may break the 2015 record by comfortably over 0.1C.
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Re: Climate Change Science [Strictly Moderated]

#797  Postby felltoearth » Sep 19, 2016 12:54 pm

Has it rolled off a bit? I think of climate a bit like a capacitor. Changes don't show up immediately and don't disappear immediately either.
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Re: Climate Change Science [Strictly Moderated]

#798  Postby OlivierK » Sep 19, 2016 9:55 pm

Yeah, that's what I was expecting, and what the anomaly was doing until June, but the last two months have seen non-trivial rises totalling 0.18C.

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/table ... s+dSST.txt
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Re: Climate Change Science [Strictly Moderated]

#799  Postby Macdoc » Sep 20, 2016 5:23 am

May be the culprit....

HAS THE PACIFIC BLOB DELAYED LA NIÑA?
Date: 13/09/16 David Whitehouse, Science Editor
The Pacific Blob’s contribution to the record global temperatures is significant. Is it also delaying the La Niña?

Image

In most of the discussions about the factors behind the record-breaking global temperature of 2015 and probably 2016, the crucial contribution made by an intense El Niño is often mentioned, though not as often as it should be. Mentioned even less is the so-called Pacific “blob.” According to researchers writing in the journal Nature, “Between the winters of 2013/14 and 2014/15 during the strong North American drought, the northeast Pacific experienced the largest maritime heatwave ever recorded.” The blob’s contribution to the record global temperatures is significant.

It formed in the Gulf of Alaska during the autumn of 2013. The following year it had spread across the North Pacific to the Oyashio, Sea of Okhotsk, the Bering Sea, and to the waters offshore of the California Current. In February and June of 2014, the Gulf of Alaska had temperature anomalies of +2 to +4°C to depths of 100 m; the western North Pacific warmed an equal amount during the summer of 2014. During that summer its effects began to diminish, but it remained a prominent feature in the Northeast Pacific. In mid-September northerly winds ceased and the blob moved into the shelf waters off southern British Columbia, Washington and Oregon, raising coastal sea surface temperatures by 6°C. In November of 2014, it was entrenched in coastal waters off Oregon. The blob continued throughout the summer and autumn of 2015.

By December of 2015 many considered the blob had dissipated; By then the El Niño was intense. But the latest measurements indicate that the blob has not gone away and is currently resting several hundred metres below the ocean’s surface. The new data indicates that the region’s upper waters are being mixed by the wind again and coming back to normal temperatures, but the residual effect of the blob is still there at about 150 to 200 metres below the surface.

The reason why the blob was declared dead at the end of 2015 was that satellite thermal images no longer detected abnormally warm waters on the surface of the Pacific Coast. However, the imaging only reached up to 40 metres below the surface. The most recent vertical measurements suggest that the blob might be starting to weaken at the new depth.

Delayed La Niña
Many scientists expected that in the next few months a La Niña – an ocean-atmospheric system that has a cooling effect on surface temperatures – would bring temperatures back to normal. When the expected region of cold water started to breach the surface last May, ending the El Niño’s reign, climatologists forecasted a 75 percent chance La Niña would be here by the end of the year. But recently NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center changed its mind and is now predicting neutral conditions persisting through the forthcoming winter. The probability of a La Niña has been downgraded significantly to about 40 percent.

The delayed La Niña will obviously affect global temperatures keeping the globe warmer for longer. Despite the ending of the El Niño and subsequent cooling 2016 was already on course to be a record because of the strength of the El Niño’s contribution.

NOAA’s next updated long range 30- and 90-day forecasts, are due out on September 22nd. It will be fascinating to see if the blob is a factor in predictions and its interaction with the missing La Niña.


http://www.thegwpf.com/has-the-pacific- ... d-la-nina/
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Re: Climate Change Science [Strictly Moderated]

#800  Postby felltoearth » Sep 20, 2016 12:51 pm

So, if the cooling doesn't arrive in the North Pacific can the east expect a polar vortex situation as in the winters of 2013 and 2014?
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