Oceanography

Something is wrong in the Arctic

It has long been predicted that as the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere climbs, so too will the average global temperature, with the greatest temperature increases being seen at the poles.  This year, the polar amplification effect is in full swing, with exceptional global losses of sea ice.
Sea ice hits record lows

"What area on Mars is the most interesting for us?". My answer to this question isn’t an impressive geological feature like Olympus Mons or Valles Marineres. For me, it’s a rather unremarkable seeming crater, Richardson crater near the south pole. Let me explain why.

First this shows where it is. It is close to the south pole - this is an elevation map and I’ve trimmed it down to the southern hemisphere. You can see Olympus Mons as the obvious large mountain just right of middle, and Hellas Basin as the big depression middle left. Richardson crater is about half way between them and much further south.

Postglacial rebound, uplift in Greenland blamed on global warming, has actually made it harder to measure ice loss due to global warming, according to a new paper in Science Advances.

Declining Antarctic sea ice extents were a cornerstone of climate models - unless they began increasing. It may be that both are just natural fluctuation according to a new paper which shows that the negative phase of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO), which is characterized by cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical eastern Pacific, has created favorable conditions for additional Antarctic sea ice growth since 2000.

Obviously that could mean that sea ice may begin to shrink as the IPO switches to a positive phase. Climate models have done a poor job of accounting for nature, they have tended to take a trend and made it linear into the future. Nature is not that predictable. 



The frequency of nuisance tidal flooding in many U.S. cities was predicted for the 2015 meteorological year, from May 2015 to April 2016, according to a new NOAA report.


A new paper in American Journal of Geophysics, Geochemistry and Geosystems criticizes alarming projections of up to 2 meters in sea level rise due to increasing anthropogenic CO2 emissions - and implicitly media that acts as cheerleaders by foregoing critical thinking - because those claims are not based on data. 

Instead of noting that tide gauges with enough information to infer a trend don't show increased relative rate of rise, but instead show small positive negative and positive fluctuations, papers with claims of up to 2 meters in sea level rise are heavily promoted, including by groups who insist policy makers need to include those claims in flood maps. 

SAR11 are the most abundant plankton in the world's oceans. They are also a massive source of two sulfur gases that play important roles in the Earth's atmosphere.


Sea-level rise, erosion and coastal flooding are some of the greatest challenges facing humanity from climate change.

Recently at least five reef islands in the remote Solomon Islands have been lost completely to sea-level rise and coastal erosion, and a further six islands have been severely eroded.

These islands lost to the sea range in size from one to five hectares. They supported dense tropical vegetation that was at least 300 years old. Nuatambu Island, home to 25 families, has lost more than half of its habitable area, with 11 houses washed into the sea since 2011.

Coral reefs and hard-shelled sea creatures such as oysters and mussels are constantly being threatened, not only by the detrimental effects of stressors such as climate change and habitat loss, but also by microorganisms.

Researchers have discovered how a particular type of cyanobacteria, a photosynthetic microbe, is able to bore into and live within solid carbonates, the main mineral that makes up coral skeletons and seashells -- hastening their erosion and causing trouble for shellfish farmers.  

Organisms that can do this, known as euendoliths, infest many kinds of rock, but they are especially adept at boring into rock types that consist of calcium carbonate, such as limestone and marble used to make sculptures, buildings and other man-made structures.


Groundwater extraction and other land water contribute about three times less to sea level rise than previous estimates, according to a new study. Sea level has risen an estimated average 1.7 mm per year over the 20th and the early 21st century, and concerns are that will increase uif climate change further warms the planet.

Researchers have the rising seas to a combination of factors including melting ice caps and glaciers, thermal expansion (water expands as it gets warmer), and the extraction of groundwater for human use. Land water contributions are small in comparison to the contribution of ice melt and thermal expansion, yet they have been increasing, leading to concerns that this could exacerbate the problem of sea level rise caused by climate change.