Friday, January 28, 2011

Alaska Marine Science Symposium - Polar Bears

Ocean Watch Captain Mark Schrader was recently in Alaska and came across this amazing polar bear story which quite frankly has stretched my imagination to a new extreme. This is the new world of the polar bear...

"Between 26 August and 4 September, 2008, a radio collared adult female polar bear swam 687 km through ice-free waters north from the Alaskan Beaufort Sea coast to offshore pack ice. The bear then intermittently swam or walked on the sea ice surface an additional 1800 km until her recapture on the Beaufort Sea coast on 26 October 2008. During the 687 km swim, collar activity sensors and GPS data showed that the bear swam CONTINUOUSLY without rest for 232 hours. During the 9 day swim her body temperature declined and between her first capture and subsequent recapture she lost 22% of her body weight and lost her yearling cub."

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sea Warming Effects Cod

Scandinavian sea may get too warm for cod

By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent

OSLO | Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:30am IST

OSLO (Reuters) - Climate change could make a sea in southern Scandinavia too warm for Atlantic cod and rising water temperatures may be stunting the growth of young fish, a study showed on Monday.

The report, drawing on records since 1919 of more than 100,000 juvenile cod caught and measured in the Skagerrak area off south Norway, gives some of the most detailed evidence yet of how global warming may affect commercial fish stocks.

More on the 2010 Heat/Extremes

GENEVA — The warmest year on record is a three-way tie: 2010, 2005 and 1998.

So says the U.N. weather agency, providing further evidence Thursday that the planet is slowly but surely heating up.

Average temperatures globally last year were 0.95 degrees Fahrenheit (0.53 Celsius) higher than the 1961-90 mean that is used for comparison purposes, according to World Meteorological Organization.

"The 2010 data confirm the Earth's significant long-term warming trend," said Michel Jarraud, WMO's top official. He added that the ten warmest years after records began in 1854 have all occurred since 1998.

But rising global temperatures over the last century are causing climate experts to worry. Most atmospheric scientists attribute the change to carbon dioxide and gases released into the air by gasoline-burning engines and other industrial processes. The gases tend to trap heat in the atmosphere like a greenhouse.

The Geneva-based global weather agency noted that last year's extreme weather – notably the heat wave in Russia and monsoon flooding in Pakistan – has continued into the new year. It also cited the heavy floods in Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Brazil and Australia as examples.

The year 2010 also was the wettest on record, according to the Global Historical Climatology Network. But since rain and snowfall patterns varied greatly around the world, scientists say more research is needed to establish a link between the warmer temperatures with the unusual moisture.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Record Heat Again, Especially in the Arctic

NOAA Report by Doyle Rice, USA Today

2010 tied with 2005 as the warmest year of the global surface temperature record, according to data released today by the National Climatic Data Center. Records began in 1880. The Earth's temperature was 1.12 degrees F above the 20th-century average, which was the same as 2005.

It was the 34th-consecutive year that the global temperature were above average, according to the data center. The last below-average year was 1976.
The global land surface temperatures for 2010 were the warmest on record at 1.8 F above the 20th-century average.

Warmer-than-average temperatures occurred for most of the world's surface. The warmest temperatures occurred throughout the high-latitude regions of the Northern Hemisphere, Canada, Alaska, the tropical Atlantic Ocean, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and northern Africa.

Nine of the Earth's 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001, and all 12 of the warmest years have occurred since 1997.

The satellite data shows that the globe continues to warm unevenly, with warming increasing as you go north: The Arctic Ocean has warmed an average of almost 3 degrees in the past 32 years.