Stacy Summary: Again, of course, in terms of climate related disasters and their impact on the economy and on food security, you can choose to believe Lord Monckton, the Koch Bros, Exxon and the Chamber of Commerce; others, however, might want to follow the link and make your own judgment about the integrity of these groups.
China announces $1 billion in emergency water aid to ease its worst drought in 60 years. China is the world’s largest producer of wheat.
Beijing has also promised to use its grain reserves to reduce the pressure on global food prices, which have surged in the past year to record highs due to the floods in Australia and a protracted dry spell in Russia.
Here is a map of the precipitation anomalies for the past month; where China doesn’t actually look all that bad when compared to most of South America, where severe drought turned the Amazon into a net emitter of CO2 last month!
China’s water problems are, of course, exacerbated by rampant and inefficient development and industrialisation; nevertheless, erratic precipitation patterns as the climate changes can be expected to continue to amplify such impacts in the future.
Now for some temperature anomaly updates. As you recall, here is the December 2010 map:
It was cold in Topeka this January, making it the 37th coldest January for the US in the 117 year record. Topekans might find solace, therefore, in the 100 degree temperature swing projected over the next few days. (Gee, I guess them thar sunspots have returned very suddenly over the Midwest?)
Globally, however, it was the 11th warmest January on record:
As you can see, the Arctic continues to be much warmer than average. And, thus, the January 2011 Arctic sea ice extent lowest on record:
The decline in sea ice extent has been matched by a decline in the sea ice volume:
And also, a dramatic decline in the age of the ice:
In terms of climate change impact on missions, the Navy is watching with great interest the changing Arctic environment. September 2007 saw a record low in sea ice extent and the declining trend has continued — September 2010 was third lowest extent on record and the overall trend has shown an 11.2 percent decline per decade in seasonal ice coverage since satellites were first used to measure the Arctic ice in 1979. Perhaps more significantly, estimates from the University of Washington’s Applied Physics Lab show that the amount of sea ice continues to decrease dramatically. September ice volume was the lowest recorded in 2010 at 78 percent below its 1979 maximum and 70 percent below the mean for the 1979-2009 period.
For more on separating the Koch propaganda from the science, here’s another great video from greenman3610:
I’ve been watching the Bruce Parry “Arctic” series. In one epsiode, he was in Greenland where he spent a week or two with an Inuit group who live by hunting walrus; the guy he was hunting with explained that they now have trouble hunting walrus due to the melting ice. And in this clip from later in Parry’s journey (this time to Canada), an Inuit subsistence hunter, sitting in the same spot from which his family has hunted caribou for many generations, talks about how the caribou are no longer reliably there due to changing climate:
Yes, I know that the Koch Brothers and Lord Monckton insist that the Arctic sea ice extent is actually building and the world is getting colder; so you can either choose to believe their assertions or you can believe the Inuit and the Nasa/NOAA/UAH satellite data that confirms the accuracy of their observations. For those who need an excuse to support their ideology, you can say that the Inuit have lying eyes that are conveniently supported by the fabricated data from the scientists who just want a grant.