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Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet


High Temperatures October 2020

September 2020 global surface air temperature was the highest September temperature on record, according to a Copernicus news release. The image below shows temperatures averaged over the twelve-month period from October 2019 to September 2020.

Keep in mind that anomalies are compared to the 1981-2010 average, so anomalies are higher when compared to pre-industrial levels. Also keep in mind that we’re in a La Niña period and that sunspots are low, which both are suppressing current temperatures, as discussed in a recent post.

Temperatures in the Arctic have been very high, as illustrated by the image below showing air temperature in the Arctic up to October 12, 2020 (red line). 

Arctic sea ice was at record low extent for the time of year again. 

Sea ice area was also at a record low for the time of year, as illustrated by the image below, showing the situation up to October 9, 2020.

Arctic sea ice volume has been very low, as illustrated by the image below showing volume up to September 30, 2020. 

Temperatures can be expected to remain high. 

The image on the right shows a forecast for October 17, 2020, 21Z, run October 11, 2020 18Z. Very high temperatures are visible over the Arctic Ocean, while the Arctic as a whole shows an anomaly of 5.5°C compared to 1979-2000.

These high temperatures leave little or no opportunity for sea ice to build up thickness over the next few months, meaning there will be little or no buffer to consume incoming heat, as temperatures start to rise again early next year. 

Without such a buffer, a rapid temperature rise of the Arctic Ocean can be expected to take place, threatening to destabilize methane contained in sediments at the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean.

• Arctic sea ice extent – Vishop, Arctic Data archive System, National Institute of Polar Research, Japan

• Climate Plan


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